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A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans online

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revived all the teaching of the Prophets, righteousness, mercy,
jieace ; He also exhibited by His death the teaching of the Law,
the heinousness of sin, the duty of sacrifice, the spiritual union of
God and man.

The same lines of argument will justify the Messianic use of the
O. T. If we study it historically the reality of the Messianic
interpretation remains just as clear as it was to St. Paul. Alle-
gorical and incorrect exegesis could never create an idea. They
only illustrate one which has been suggested in other ways. The
Messianic interpretation, and with it the further idea of the uni-
versality of the IMessianic kingdom, arose because they are contained
in the O. T. Any incorrectness of exegesis that there may be lies
not in the ideas themselves but in finding them in passages which
have probably a different meaning. We are not bound, and it
would be wrong to bind ourselves, by the incorrect exegesis of
particular passages ; but the reality and truth of the Messianic idea
and the universal character of the Messianic kingdom, as prophesied
in the O. T. and fulfilled in the N. T., remain one of the most
real and impressive facts in religious history. Historical criticism
does not disprove this ; it only places it on a stronger foundation
and enables us to trace the origin and growth of the idea more
accurately (cf. Sanday, Bampton Lectures, pp. 404, 405).

The value of St. Paul's exegesis therefore lies not in his true
interpretation of individual passages, but in his insight into the
spiritual meaning of the O. T. ; we need not use liis methods, but
the books of the Bible will have little value for us if we are not able
to see in them the spiritual teaching which he saw. In the cause
of truth, as a guide to right religious ideas, as a fatal enemy to
many a false and erroneous and harmful doctrine, historical criticism
and interpretation are of immense value ; but if they be divorced
from a spiritual insii^ht, such as can be learnt only by the spiritual
teaching of the N. T., which interprets the O. T. from the stand-
point of its highest and truest fulfilment, they will become as barren
and unproductive as the strangest conceits of the Rabbis or the
most unreal fancies of the Schoolmen.

[See, besides other works : Jowett, Contrasts of Prophecy, in his
edition of the Romans; Toy, Quotations in the New Testament,


New York, 1884; Kautzsch, De Veleris Testamenti locts a Paulo
Apostolo allegatis, Lipsiae, 1869; Clemen (Dr. August), Ueber den
Gebrauch des Alien Testaments im Neuen Testamente, und spectell in
den Reden Jesu (Einladungsschrift, &c., Leipzig, 1891); Turpie
(David McCalman), The Old Testament in the New, London,


XI. I-IO. Israel then has refused to accept the salvation
offered it; is it therefore rejected? No. At any rate the
rejection is not complete. Now as always in the history of
Israel, although the mass of the people may be condemned to
disbelief there is a remnant that shall be saved.

* The conclusion of the preceding argument is this. It is through
their own fault that Israel has rejected a salvation which was fully
and freely offered. Now what does this imply? Does it mean
that God has rejected His chosen people? Heaven forbid that
I should say this ! I who like them am an Israelite, an Israelite
by birth and not a proselyte, a lineal descendant of Abraham,
a member of the tribe that with Judah formed the restored Israel
after the exile. 'No, God has not rejected His people. He
chose them for His own before all time and nothing can make
Him change His purpose. If you say He has rejected them,
it only shows that you have not clearly grasped the teaching of
Scripture concerning the Remnant. Elijah on Mt. Horeb brought
just such an accusation against his countrymen. * He complained
that they had forsaken the covenant, that they had overthrown
God's altars, that they had slain His Prophets; just as the Jews
at the present day have slain the Messiah and persecuted His
messengers. Elijah only was left, and his life they sought. The
whole people, God's chosen people, had been rejected, ''So he
thought ; but the Divine response came to him, that there were seven
thousand men left in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
There was a kernel of the nation that remained loyal. * Exactly
the same circumstances exist now as then. Now as then the mass
of the people are uniaithful, but there is a remnant of loyal ad-

X a


herents to the Divine message: — a remnant, be it remembered,
chosen by God by an act of free favour : * that is to say those
whom God has in His good pleasure selected for that position, who
have in no way earned it by any works they have done, or any
merit of their own. If that were possible Grace would lose all its
meaning : there would be no occasion for God to show free favour
to mankind.

' It is necessary then at any rate to modify the broad statement
that has been made. Israel, it is true, has failed to obtain the
righteousness which it sought; but, although this is true of the
nation as a whole, there is a Remnant of which it is not true.
Those whom God selected have attained it. But what of the rest?
Their hearts have been hardened. Here again we find the same
conditions prevailing throughout Israel's history. Isaiah declared
(xxix. lo; vi. 9, 10) ''how God had thrown the people into a state
of spiritual torpor. He had given them eyes which could not see,
and ears which could not hear. All through their history the mass
of the people has been destitute of spiritual insight. * And again
in the book of Psalms, David (Ixix. 23, 24) declares the Divine
wrath against the unfaithful of the nation : * May their table be their
snare.' It is just their position as God's chosen people, it is the Law
and the Scriptures, which are their boast, that are to be the cause of
their ruin. • They are to be punished by being allowed to cleave
fast to that to which they have perversely adhered. ^° ' Let their eyes
be blinded, so that they cannot see light when it shines upon them :
let their back be ever bent under the burden to which they have
so obstinately clung.' This was God's judgement then on Israel
for their faithlessness, and it is God's judgement on them now.

1-36. St. Paul has now shown (i) (ix. 6-29) that God was
perfectly free, whether as regards promise or His right as Creator, to
reject Israel ; (2) (ix. 30-x. 21) that Israel on their side by neglecting
the Divine method of salvation offered them have deserved this
rejection. He now comes to the original question from which he
started, but which he never expressed, and asks. Has God, as might
be thought from the drift of the argument so far, really cast away
His people ? To this he gives a negative answer, which he proceeds
to justify by showing (i) that this rejection is only partial (xi. i-io),
(2) only temporary (xi. 11-25), and (s) ^hat in all this Divine action
there has been a purpose deeper and wiser than man can altogether
understand (xi. 26-36).


1. Xcyoi ouf. This somewhat emphatic phrase occurring here
and in ver. 1 1 seems to mark a stage in the argument, the ovv as
so often summing up the result so far arrived at. The change of
particle shows that we have not here a third question parallel to

the aWa Xeyo) of X. 1 8, 1 9.

fAT) dirwaaro 6 ©cos tok Xaoi' auroG ; ' Is it possible that God has
cast away His people?' The form of the question implies neces-
sarily a negative answer and suggests an argument against it. (i)
By the juxtaposition of 6 Qe6s and t6v Xaou avrov. Israel is God's
people and so He cannot reject them. Ipsa populi eius appellatio
rationem. negandi contmet. Beng. (2) By the use made of the
language of the O. T. Three times in the O. T. (i Sam. xii. 22 ;

Ps. XCiii [xciv]. 14; XCiv [xcv]. 4) the promise ovk ancocreTat Kvpios

Tov Xnov avToi occurs. By using words which must be so well
known St. Paul reminds his readers of the promise, and thus again
implies an answer to the question.

This very clear instance of the merely literary use of the language
of the O. T. makes it more probable that St. Paul should have
adopted a similar method elsewhere, as in x. 6 ff., 18.

fiT) YeVoiTO. St. Paul repudiates the thought with horror. All
his feelings as an Israehte make it disloyal in him to hold it.

Kal yap K.T.X. These words have been taken in two ways, (i)
As a proof of the incorrectness of the suggestion. St. Paul was an
Israelite, and he had been saved ; therefore the people as a whole
could not have been rejected. So the majority of commentators
(Go. Va. Oltr. Weiss). But the answer to the question does not
occur until St. Paul gives it in a solemn form at the beginning of
the next verse; he would not therefore have previously given
a reason for its incorrectness. Moreover it would be inconsistent
with St. Paul's tact and character to put himself forward so promi-

(2) It is therefore better to take it as giving * the motive for his
deprecation, not a proof of his denial' (Mey. Gif. Lips.). Through-
out this passage, St. Paul partly influenced by the reality of his
own sympathy, partly by a desire to put his argument in a form as
little offensive as possible, has more than once emphasized his own
kinship with Israel (ix. 1-3 ; x. i). Here for the first time, just
when he is going to disprove it, he makes the statement which lias
really been the subject of the two previous passages, and at once,
in order if possible to disarm criticism, reminds his readers that he
is an Israelite, and that therefore to him, as much as to them, the
supposition seems almost blasphemous.

'lCTpaTf]\iT>]s K.T.X. Cf. 2 Cor. xi. 22 ; Phil. iii. g.

ov wpot-yvoj, which is added by Lachmann after rdv \aiv airov, has the
rapport of A D Chrys. and other authorities, but clearly came in from ver. 2.

2. ouK d-TTiuoraTo. St. Paul gives expressly and formally a negative


answer to the question he has just asked, adding emphasis by
repeating the very words he has used.

Of TTpoeyKw. The addition of these words gives a reason for the
emphatic denial of which they form a part. Israel was the race
which God in His Divine foreknowledge had elected and chosen,
and therefore He could not cast it off. The reference in this
chapter is throughout to the election of the nation as a whole, and
therefore the words cannot have a limiting sense (Orig. Chrys.
Aug.), 'that people whom He foreknew,' i.e. those of His people
whom He foreknew ; nor again can they possibly refer to the
spiritual Israel, as that would oblige a meaning to be given to
'Kaos different from that in ver. i. The word npoiyva may be taken,
(i) as used in the Hebrew sense, to mean 'whom He has known or
chosen beforehand.' So yivaaKuv in the LXX. Amos iii. 2 viica
tyvav cK naa-wv rajc (f)vXau Trjs yTjs. And in St. Paul I Cor. viii. 3 (t

8f TLS dyuTT^ Tov 6f6v, ovTos (yvcaa-Tai in' avrov. Gal. iv. 9 vvi> 8e
yvovres Qeuv, fiaWop 8e yvaaSevrei xinb GfoC. 2 Tim. ii. 1 9 eyfo) Kv/Jtoj

Tovs ovras avrov. Although there is no evidence for this use of
irpoyivixTKeiv it represents probably the idea which St. Paul had in
his mind (see on viii. 29). (2) But an alternative interpretation
taking the word in its natural meaning of foreknowledge, must not
be lost sight of, ' that people of whose history and future destiny
God had full foreknowledge.' This seems to be the meaning
with which the word is generally used (Wisd. vi. 13 ; viii. 8; xviii. 6;
Just. Mart. Apol. i. 28 ; Dial. 42. p. 261 B.); so too npoyvaia-ts is used
definitely and almost technically of the Divine foreknowledge (Acts
ii. 23); and in this chapter St. Paul ends with vindicating the
Divine wisdom which had prepared for Israel and the world
a destiny which exceeds human comprehension.

fi ouK oiSare: cf. ii. 4; vi. 3; vii. i; ix. 21. 'You must admit
this or be ignorant of what the Scripture says.' The point of the
quotation lies not in the words which immediately follow, but in the
contrast between the two passages ; a contrast which represented
the distinction between the apparent and the real situation at the
time when the Apostle wrote.

iy 'HXia : ' in the section of Scripture which narrates the story
of Elijah.' The O. T. Scriptures were divided into paragraphs to
which were given titles derived from their subject-matter ; and these
came to be very commonly used in quotations as references. Many
instances are quoted from the Talmud and from Hebrew commen-
tators: Berachoth, fol. 2. col. i, fol. 4. col. 2 id quod scriptum est apud
Michael, referring to Is. vi. 6. So Taanigoth, ii. i; Aboth de- Rabbi
Nathan, c. 9 ; Shir hashirim rabba i. 6, where a phrase similar
to that used here, 'In Elijah,' occurs, and the same passage is
quoted, ' I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of Hosts.*
So also Philo, De Agricultural p. 203 (i. 317 Mang.) \r^tk yap iv rott


apnU, referring to Gen. iii. 15. The phrase im rij? ^drov Mark
xii. 26; Luke xx. 37 ; Clem. Horn. xvi. 14 ; Apos^. Const, v. 20, is
often explained in a similar manner, but very probably incorrectly,
the 6771 being perhaps purely local. The usage exactly corresponds
to the method used in quoting the Homeric poems. As the Rabbis
divided the O. T. into sections so the Rhapsodists divided Homer,
and these sections were quoted by their subjects, fVEKTopo? avaipiaa,
iv vtKvia. (See Fri. Delitzsch ad /oc, Surenhusius, Bl^Xos KuraXXay^s,

P- 31)

€tTOYx<i»'ei : ' he accuses Israel before God.' The verb eV-
Tvyxdvfiif means, (i) 'to meet with,' (2) 'to meet with for the
purposes of conversation,' 'have an interview with,' Acts xxv. 24;
hence (3) 'to converse with,' 'plead with,' Wisdom viii. 21, either
on behalf of some one {Iwep nvos) Rom. viii. 27, 34; Heb. vii. 25;
or against some one {KOTd nvos), and so (4) definitely ' to accuse ' as

here and I Mace. xi. 25 kcu iufrvy^^avov kut ainov nves avofxoi ribv €k

Tov edfovg: viii. 32; X. 61, 63.

The TR. adds Xeyuv at the end of this verse with N*L al. pier., it is
omitted by NoABCDEFGP min. pauc., Vulg. Sah. Boh., and most

8. Kupie, Tofis irpo^iiTas k.t.X. The two quotations come from
I Kings xix. 10, 14, 18; the first being repeated twice. Elijah
has fled to Mt. Horeb from Jezebel, and accuses his countrymen
before God of complete apostasy; he alone is faiihful. God
answers that even although the nation as a whole has deserted
Him, yet there is a faithful remnant, 7,000 men who have not
bowed the knee to Baal. There is an analogy, St. Paul argues,
between this situation and that of his own day. The spiritual
condition is the same. The nation as a whole has rejected God"s
message, now as then; but now as then also there is a faithful
remnant left, and if that be so God cannot be said to have cast
away His people.

The quotation is somewhat shortened from the LXX, and the order of the
clanses is inverted, perhaps to put in a prominent position the words Toi%
■rrpo:pr]Tas aov d-rrfKTfivav to which there was most analogy during St. Paul's
time (cf. Acts vii. 52 ; i Thess. ii. 14). Th.e Kai between the clauses of the
TR. is read by D £ L and later M»S. Justin Martyr, Dta/. 39. p. 257 I),
quotes the words as in St. Paul and not as in the LXX : Km yap 'HAt'as
TTfpl vfiuiv irpus rov Qtov evTvyxdvaJV oVtcos \*yfi' Kvpie, tov? rrpocprqTas aov
dnfKTdvav xat rd Ovaiaarripid aov KaT(aKu\pav Ka-yai viri\fi<p6rjv p.uvos Kal
^rjTovai rijv ^v-^-qv fiov. Kal diroKpLVirai avTw, "En dai poi tirra/fiCTX'^""
afSpes, o\ ovK iKapxpav yuvv rp BdaA..

4. 6 xp'HH'Q'Ti.o-jxos : ' the oracle.' An unusual sense for the
word, which occurs here only in the N. T., but is (bund in 2 Mace,
ii. 4 ; Clem. Rom. xvii, 5 ; and occasionally elsewhere. The verb
XprjixarlCiLv meant (1) originally ' to transact business '; then (2) ' to
consult,' 'deliberate'; hence (3) 'to give audience,' 'answer after


deliberation'; and so finally (4) of an oracle 'to give a response,'
taking the place of the older xp«'^> ^iid so it is used in the N. T.
of the Divine warning Mat. ii. 12, 22 x/"?M'"''0"^f'i^f^ '^^'■' ouap: Luke
ii. 26 ; Acts X. 22 ; Heb. viii. 5 ; xi. 7 : cf. Jos. AnU. V. i. 14 ; X. i.
3 ; XI. iii. 4. From this usage of the verb xpwaT'T'^ was derived
XPiftarianos, as the more usual xPWi^^^ from xp""^' See also p. 173.
TTJ BdaX: substituted by St. Paul (as also by Justin Martyr, loc.
at.) for the LXX tw BdaX, according to a usage common in other
passages in the Greek Version.

The word Baal, which means 'Lord,' appears to have been originally
used as one of the names of the God of Israel, and as such became a part of
many Jewish names, as for example Jeruhbaal (Jud. vi. 32 ; vii. i), Eshbaal
(1 Chron. ix. ."9), Meribbaal i^i Chron. ix. 40), &c. But gradually the
special association of the name with the idolatrous worship of the Phoenician
god caused the use of it to be forbidden. Hosea ii. 16, 17 'and it shall be
at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi ; and shalt call me
no more Baali. For I will take away the names of the P>aalim out of her
mouth, and they shall no more be mentioned by their name.' Owing to this
motive a tendency arose to obliterate the name of Baal from the Scriptures :
just as owing to a feeling of reverence ' Elohim' was substituted for ' Jehovah'
in the second and third books of the Psalms. This usage took the lorm of
substituting Bosheth, 'abomination,' for Baal. So Eshbaal (1 Chr. viii. 33,
ix. 39) became Ishbosheth (2 Sam. ii. 8; iii. 8) ; Meribbaal (i Chr. ix. 40)
Mephiboslieth (2 Sam. ix. fi ff.); Jerubbaal Jerubbesheth (2 Sam. xi. 21).
See also Hosea ix. 10; Jer. iii. 24; xi. 13. Similarly in the LXX alaxiv-q
represents in one passage Baal of the liebrew text, 3 Kings xNaii. 19, 25.
But it seems to have been more usual to substitute alaxwrj in reading for the
written BdaA., and as a sign of this Qeri the feminine article was written;
just as the name Jehovah was written with the pointing of Adonai. This
usage is most common in Jeremiah, but occurs also in the books of Kings,
Chronicles, and other Prophets. It appears not to occur in the Pentateuch.
The plural rats occurs 2 Chr. xxiv. 7 ; xxxiii. 3. This, the only satisfactory
explanation of the feminine article with the masculine name, is given by
Dillmann, Monatsberichte der Akade7nie der Wissenschaft zu Berlin, 1881,
p. 601 ff. and has superseded all others.

The LXX version is again shortened in the quotation, and for KaraKeixpu
is substituted KariXnTov e/uavTw, which is an alternative and perhaps more
exact translation of the Hebrew.

5. ouTCJs oiJc. The application of the preceding instance to the
circumstances of the Apostle's own time. The facts were the
same. St. Paul would assume that his readers, some of whom
were Jewish Christians, and all of whom were aware of the exist-
ence of such a class, would recognize this. And if this were so
the same deduction might be made. As then the Jewish people
were not rejected, because the remnant was saved ; so now there
is a remnant, and tliis implies that God has not cast away His
people as such.

Xeififxa (on the ortho2:iaphy cf. WH. ii. App. p. 154, who read
Xi'fxnu), ' a remnant.' The word does not occur elsewhere in the
N.T., and in the O. T. only twice, and then not in the technical
sense of the ' remnant.' The usual word for that is t6 KaTa\fi(bdev.


KOT* ckXoy?]!' x<^piTos. Predicate with yiynvev. * There has come
to be through the principle of selection which is dependent on the
Divine grace or favour.' This addition to the thought, which is
further explained in ver. 6, reminds the reader of the result of the
previous discussion: that 'election' on which the Jews had always
laid so much stress had operated, but it was a selection on the
part of God of those to whom He willed to give His grace, and
not an election of those who had earned it by their works.

6. €1 8e x'^'P"'"''*' K.T.X. A further explanation of the principles of
election. If the election had been on the basis of works, then the
Jews might have demanded that God's promise could only be ful-
filled if all who had earned it had received it : St. Paul, by reminding
them of the principles of election already laid down, implies that
the promise is fulfilled if the remnant is saved. God's people
are those whom He has chosen ; it is not that the Jews are chosen
because they are His people.

cTTcl 1^ X^P'^S ouK^Ti YtVerat yfipi<i'. 'this follows from the very
meaning of the idea of grace.' Gratia nisi gratis sit gratia non est.
St. Augustine.

The TR. after yivtrai X'^/"* adds tl ii 1^ epytuv, ovkIti tarl x°P'^' *"■*' '''^
tpyov ovKiTi karlv epyov with N'=(B)L and later MSS., Syrr., Chrys. and Thdrt.
(in the text, but they do not refer to the words in their commentary).
B reads d Si If ipyeuv, oiutTi xa/"S* e'ret to epyov ovKeri earl X'^P'^- The
clause is omitted by N* A C D E F G P, Vulg. Aegyptt. (Boh Sah.^ Arm.,
Orig.-lat. Jo.-Damasc. Amlirst. Fatr.-latt. There need be no doubt ihat it is
a gloss, nor is the authority of B of any weight in support of a Western
addition such as this against such preponderating authority. This is con-
sidered by WH. to be the solitary or almost the solitary case in which B
possibly has a Syrian reading (Introd. ii. 150).

7. Tt oiji' ; This verse sums up the result of the discussion in
vf. z-6. ' What then is the result ? In what way can w^e modify
the harsh statement made in ver. i ? It is indeed still true that
Israel as a nation has failed to obtain what is its aim, namely
righteousness: but at the same time there is one portion of it, the
elect, who have attained it.'

x\ %l exXoyii : i. e. ol (KKeKro'i. The abstract for the concrete
suggests the reason for their success by laying stress on the idea
rather than on the individuals.

oi Be XoiTTol €7rtdpoj0T]aaf : ' while the elect have attained what
they sought, those who have failed to attain it have been hardened.'
They have not failed because they have been hardened, but they
have been hardened because they have failed; cf. i. 24 ff., where
sin is represented as God's punishment inflicted on man for their
rebellion. Here St. Paul does not definitely say by whom, for
that is not the point it interests him to discuss at present : he has
represented the condition of Israel both as the result of God's
action (ch. ix) and of their own (ch. x). Here as in KarripTicrufva


ix. 22, he uses the colourless passive without laying stress on the
cause : the quotation in ver. 8 represents God as the author,
fTTTcucrav in ver. 1 1 suggests that they are free agents.

The verb Traipuu (derived from TrSpos a callus or stone formed in the
bladder) is a medical term used in Hippocrates and elsewhere of a bone or
hard substance growing when bones are fractured, or of a stone forming in
the bladder. Hence metaphorically it is used in the N. T., and apparently
there only of the heart becoming hardened or callous: so Mark vi. 53;
Jo. xii. 40; Rom. xi. 7 ; 2 Cor. iii. 14; while the noun -nwpajais occurs in
the same sense, Mark iii. 5; Rom. \i. 25 ; Eph. iv. iS. The idea is in all
these places the same, that a covering has grown over the heart, making
men incapable of receiving any new teaching however good, and making
them oblivious of the wrong they are doing. In Job xvii. 7 {■neTrwpcuvTai
■yap uttH upyrjs oi 6<p9aXf^oi /j.uv) the word is used of blindness, but again only
of moral blindness ; anger has caused as it were a covering to grow ovei
the eyes. There is therefore no need to take the word to mean ' blind,' as
do the grammarians (Suidas, ircopos, 6 rv<pK6i : mirajpaiTai, TtTv<pKorrai ;
Hesychius, imrwpaifi.evot, T(rv<j}\(u/xivot) and the Latin Versions (excaecati,
tbcaecaii). It is possible that this translation arose from a confusion with
■n-qpos (tee on Kaiavii^fws below) which was perhaps occasionally used of
blindness (see Prof. Armitage Robinson in Academy, 1892, p. 305), although
probably then as a specialized usage for the more general ' maimed.' Al-
though the form -nripoo} occurs in some MSS. of the N. T., yet the evidence
against it is in every case absolutely conclusive, as it is also in the O. T. in
the one passage where the word occurs.

8. Ka6ws Ycypairrai. St. Paul supports and explains his last
statement ol 8e Xonrol firapaSrja-av by quotations from the O. T.

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