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Bible Commentaries
Romans 10

Dunagan's Commentary on the BibleDunagan's Commentary

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Romans CHAPTER 10



I. Israel's Refusal to Submit to God's Righteousness: 10:1-4

II. The Needlessness of the Jews Being Lost: 10:5-15

III. Jewish loss not due to lack of revelation but to lack of faith: 10:16-21

Verse 1

Rom_10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved.

'Heart's desire' -'the longing of my heart' (Mon); 'my heart's good will goes out for them' (Wms). More literally, the good will of my heart. (Vincent p. 111) 'The Apostle cannot enlarge on this melancholy situation without expressing once more the deep grief which it causes him.' (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 668)

"Desire' -'what would give Paul the greatest pleasure and satisfaction' (Lenski p. 641).

'There would be no lack of converts to the Christian faith if all who profess to follow Christ felt for the spiritual welfare of their fellow countrymen the deep concern expressed by Paul for his own people.'

How shallow are our own goals! We worry about our looks, or money, but how often do we earnestly pray for the salvation of those we know?

"Supplication" -1162. deesis deh'-ay-sis; from 1189; a petition: -prayer, request, supplication.

"that they may be saved" -'Paul described the sin and rejection of Israel so clearly that many of them would be apt to think that he prayed for their punishment.'

'He isn't a follower of Rousseau's romantic "everything will turn out right in the end; no matter what" philosophy. Paul agonized about the Jew's lost condition in such a way as to let us know that their future wasn't unconditionally rosy . He wants them saved. Not pampered or praised or persecuted or isolated or ostracized. There are too many extremes taught concerning the Jews. Some people have them forever damned and without hope of redemption. Others have them as still, despite their unbelief, the "people of God" and not just the descendants of Abraham.'

Point to Note: Paul's statement here contradicts 'predestination'. For it would be in vain to pray for the salvation of others, if all have been 'predestined' for heaven or hell, regardless of their own personal choices.

Verse 2

Rom_10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

'For I bear them witness' -'reason why I sympathize with their efforts, though misdirected' (Alford p. 929). 'I can testify that they are zealous for the honour of God' (TCNT); 'I can vouch for their zeal for God' (Mof); 'I know from experience what a passion for God they have'. (Phi)

'He understands their state of mind better than most: "a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge" exactly describes his own attitude before he met the risen Christ. Of that zeal of his he speaks elsewhere: his zeal for the ancestral traditions of his people impelled him to forge ahead of his contemporaries in his devotion to the study and practice of the Jewish religion. ( Gal_1:13 f; Php_3:6 ) He too had kicked against the stone of stumbling..and if this had happened to him, why could it not happen to this people?'

'With what excessive zeal he had once burned ( Act_8:1 ; Act_9:1 ). He refers to the Jewish hatred of idolatry, their fanatic reverence for the Temple ( Act_21:28-31 ), their outward obedience to the law and the rabbinical traditions ( Mar_7:2-4 ), and, to crown all of these, their hatred of Christ and of Christianity. ( Act_17:5-13 ; Act_18:12 ).'

Yes, from experience Paul could testify to the Jewish zeal (though misdirected) for God. ( Act_14:19 )

Points to Note:

1. Being really excited about serving God, isn't enough. Emotion, uproar, shouting, etc..don't constitute acceptable service to God.

2. Many defend various religious groups, by saying, 'Well, you can't fault them for their zeal', as if 'zeal' is all that one needs. Paul prayed for 'very zealous people', why? Because these 'zealous people for God', were lost! ( Pro_16:25 )

3. Remember: Error produces 'zeal' also. ( 1Pe_4:4 ) In fact, 'zeal', without the correct knowledge, can turn into a dangerous thing, a lot of people can get hurt and end up lost. ( Mat_7:21-23 ) 'Zeal' can make error look a lot more appealing.

'It is better', says Augustine, 'to go limping in the right way, than to run with all our might out of the way.' (McGarvey p. 420)

'An unbelieving Jew could interpret his opposition to the gospel..as zeal for the divinely-given rule of life, and his opposition to the crucified Messiah as zeal for the divinely-given promises. It was God's honour for which he stood in refusing the Gospel..this religious earnestness is not regulated by adequate knowledge.'

'but not according to knowledge' -'it is not an intelligent devotion' (Gspd); 'not according to correct knowledge' (Rhm). 'Full or correct and vital knowledge'. (Vincent p. 112)

Verse 3

Rom_10:3 For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

'For' -Here Paul shows wherein they lacked knowledge. An explanation of 'not according to knowledge.'

'Being ignorant' -'not knowing about' (NASV). 'i.e. not recognizing. 'Being ignorant', is liable to the objection, that it may represent to the reader a state of "excusable" ignorance, whereas they had it before them and overlooked it.' (Alford p. 929). ( Rom_10:18-21 )

'God's righteousness' -how God makes the sinner 'right' with Him. (9:30; 1:16-17)

'Seeking to establish their own' -

'These deeply religious people who have a great zeal for God but lack knowledge were ignorant in a basic area. They were ignorant of their own need, their own terrible need. They were ignorant of the only way to a right relationship with God. Verse 3 again reminds us of Israel's approach to righteousness. They felt they had to establish their own. This is what Paul meant in 9:31-32. They turned the will of God, which was given to sinners to be a rule of conduct, and made of it a legal system by which one gained a right relationship with God by virtue of moral performance .'

'they did not subject themselves' -'they refused to accept with submission' (TCNT); 'They would not surrender to' (Mof).

'This was not vincible ignorance but invincible; not excusable but inexcusable; not merely not knowing but refusing to know when told (10:16-21). To be subjected to the righteousness of God is to bow to it in faith as being the only real righteousness that acquits us before God..and to forsake all our own righteousness by which we would seek to acquit ourselves.'

'Here was their central problem. They would not accept themselves on a par with all other men; they were not objects of mercy (i.e. in their own minds)..they stumbled at a God who asked for trust rather than sinlessness or earning.'

'Subject' is the keyword here. The best comment on this passage is found at Joh_8:31-36 . Those who admit themselves bondservants of sin find it no hardship to enter the free service of Christ, but those whose pride and self-sufficiency and self-righteousness make them self-worshippers, can bring themselves to submit to no one.'

'Confident in their own righteousness, they have not yielded their hearts to a plan which requires them to come confessing that they have no merit.'

Many today stumble at this very point. (1) The morally upright in society, that don't see why they need to follow what the Bible says. (2) Those in the religious world that refuse to submit to God's simple conditions of salvation (i.e. Mar_16:16 ), but who insist on making up 'conditions' of their own.

Verse 4

Rom_10:4 For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth.

'For' -'further proof that the pursuit of a righteousness of one's own by legal observances is a mistake, the act of men "in ignorance"'. (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 669)

In trying to establish a right standing with God on the basis of moral performance, they rejected the gospel that taught a right standing with God on the basis of an obedient trust (9:30). But in reality or in practice, such is the only 'righteousness' available to mankind. It is 'of God', for God worked it out through Christ (3:21ff).

"end of the law unto righteousness" -'end of the law for righteousness' (NASV)

1. The Law brought the believing Jew to Christ- Gal_3:24 , i.e. He is what the Law pointed to. ( Mat_5:17 ).

2. What the Law was after, i.e. righteous men and holy living, Christ has produced. ( Rom_8:3-4 )

"to every one that believeth" -'Paul's point here is made concerning the believer in Christ. He isn't affirming it to be true for everyone. Now then, Christ didn't bring moral law to an end. There are still moral demands made upon people by God so Paul isn't claiming that Christ obliterated moral law.'

3. For the believer in Christ, Christ had ended the necessity for perfect law-keeping as a means to being right with God. (6:14; 7:4,6; 9:31) The true believer in Christ has forsaken all attempts to claim a right standing with God on the basis of flawless law-keeping or moral performance. The true believer realizes that the only road to righteousness is the way of obedient faith and humble submission to God.

'When a man's sins are all blotted out, when he is cleansed from all sin, he is righteous (4:5-8); that condition is reached in Christ by those who believe. The end, or purpose, of the law was righteousness; that end is reached in Christ by the believer.'

Verse 5


'This is the Jewish complaint..for 1500 years they have been talking about and pursuing righteousness and looking for the Messiah and 1500 years of religious fervor has availed nothing. What a sad end! But Paul will make it clear in Chapter 10 that there is no need for endless complaint for there is no need to remain unblessed . The Jew ought to be pleased to hear that everything has been done for him. He need only accept the Messiah, and all the blessings he sought so long would be his. He will make it clear to them that Christ brings righteousness to them and they need no superhuman efforts to obtain it (10:5-11) . He will make it clear that what the Gentiles received by faith the Jew can receive too (11-13). God has even arranged to have the message given to the world that they might believe (14-15). And he will close the chapter by telling the Jews that such a message didn't (or shouldn't have) come to them as a surprise for it was well known to the prophets (16-21).'

Rom_10:5 For Moses writeth that the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby.

'Moses writeth' -( Lev_18:5 ). Moses wrote about the method or way of "righteousness", which the unbelieving Jews had chosen.

'doeth' -'that meant strict adherence to all that the law said..perfect obedience to all its requirements' (Whiteside p. 215)

'What's wrong with that?' it might be asked. Just this, Paul would reply, that no-one has succeeded in doing them perfectly (3:23), and therefore no-one has succeeded in gaining life this way . Even if he could describe his own earlier career as 'touching the righteousness that is in the law, blameless' ( Php_3:6 ), he knew that it was blameless only in the sight of men, but not before God.'

'shall live thereby' -'He stands or falls with it' (Robertson p. 388). Paul had found that attempting to be right with God on the basis of a law-righteousness, didn't bring 'life', but rather, 'death' ( Rom_7:11 ). The rich young ruler, still 'lacked' something. ( Mat_19:20 )

Verse 6

Rom_10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith saith thus, Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down:)

'But' -on the other hand.

'of faith' -a right standing with God that is the result of an obedient faith in God. ( Rom_1:16 ) This infers that when a person is trying to 'merit or earn' God's favor (10:5), i.e. put God in debt, that there is no 'faith' involved in such a mind-set. Many of the Jew's didn't trust God for salvation, rather they thought that God owed them salvation. ( Luk_18:9 ff)

'saith thus' -Note: The O.T. spoke of this 'righteousness of faith'. Paul now will quote from the Law, ( Deu_30:12-14 ). Right standing with God based on 'obedient trust' had always been available to mankind. (1:17)

'Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven?' -'Who will scale heaven for us' (Knox) To say in the heart is to think. 'To think secretly and is used especially regarding some unworthy thought which one fears to utter aloud' (Lenski p. 650)

'You don't have to do the impossible. You don't have to go up to heaven and persuade Christ to come down and die for you. That's already been done.' '

Verse 7

Rom_10:7 or, Who shall descend into the abyss? (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)

'abyss' -'Who will go down into the depths below' (TCNT). Hades or Sheol ( Act_2:27 ; Act_2:31 ).

'This is the gist of his commentary: God had brought His salvation near to us, in Christ. We do not have to "climb the heavenly steeps" to procure it, for Christ has come down with it; we do not need to "plumb the lowest deeps" for it, for Christ has risen from the dead to make it secure to us. It is here, present and available; what we are called upon to do is to accept it..'

Verse 8

Rom_10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach:

'But what saith it?' -'What does it say, then? This!' (Bruce p. 204)

'The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart'

'The righteousness which is of the law (that is, earned righteousness) asks for (in practice) the impossible. The righteousness which is of faith asks for what is easy to give; that is, submission, by faith, to Jesus as Lord. To seek a righteousness of our own is to act as though Jesus had never come, died and rose again (10:6-7). To seek, by earning, God's righteousness is to act as though Christ had not obtained for us the righteousness of God. The will of God as laid before Israel by Moses was not difficult to understand, it wasn't beyond their capacity, it wasn't inaccessible to them. They didn't have to be supermen to do it. They didn't have to be Einsteins to understand it. They didn't have to be Marco Polo to travel to distant regions to find it (Read Deu_30:11-14 ). God had made it available to them! God had placed it within their ability! Moses simply called on them to then submit to God's desires out of love for Him (30:6,10,16,20). ...this was what the righteousness which is of faith called for. It called for people to lovingly submit to a Lord who had done everything for them. (Now all of this had the aim in view of reminding the complaining, whining Jews that they didn't NEED to be whining in their unblessed condition.)'

All that 'faith-righteousness' requires, is that you believe/accept/embrace with full trust the gospel message (1:16; Act_2:38 ; Act_2:41 ). And that's not an impossible task for anyone!

These are great passages for those that claim the Bible is too confusing! Or, it is impossible to live the Christian life.

Verse 9

Rom_10:9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:

'Because' -'giving a proof that the word is nigh' (Vincent p. 115). The confession and faith of this verse correspond with the mouth and heart of the previous verse. One simply needs to confess what they already believe in their heart. To simply submit and acknowledge what God has already said about Jesus ( Act_2:36 ).

'Confess' -3670. homologeo hom-ol-og-eh'-o; from a compound of the base of 3674 and 3056; to assent, i.e. covenant, acknowledge: -con- (pro-)fess, confession is made, give thanks, promise. A confession is basically the acknowledgment that God is right, what God said about Jesus is absolutely right!

Note: Mere lip confession doesn't save. ( Mat_7:21-23 )

'Jesus as Lord' -all other confessions of Jesus, i.e. Jesus lived, Jesus was a good man, Jesus was a religious teacher, Jesus was a prophet, Jesus is 'a' god, etc... fail to result in salvation. For Jesus claimed to be equal with God ( Joh_5:18 ), i.e. one equal in honor (5:23), and equal in attributes or character (14:8-9).

'that God raised him from the dead' -a faith in Christ that doesn't include a faith in his resurrection, also fails to save. ( 1Co_15:14-19 ).

Note: Right here we have something necessary for salvation, besides 'mere mental assent'. Paul didn't believe that one was saved at the moment they believed. Even those that advocate 'faith-only', violate their own teaching when they have sinners say a prayer in order to receive Jesus into their hearts.

In his commentary Lenski says, 'The instant a sinner believes, righteousness results'. (p. 657) I wonder what he would do with the people in Mat_7:21-23 and Joh_12:42-43 , for both groups were 'believers'.

Verse 10

Rom_10:10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Note: 'These verses don't stress faith over against obedience (Paul doesn't contrast these); they stress faith over against earning.' (McGuiggan p. 310). For 'confession' of Christ is something one 'does', it is obedience to a command of God. ( Act_8:36-37 ; Mat_10:32-33 )

'To believe in Christ is to recognize him for what he is--to put our full trust in him; to confess him is to pledge our allegiance to him' (Whiteside p. 218)

The faith that "results" (NASV) in a right standing with God, is a faith that moves one to repent (2:4-5), confess (10:10), and be baptized (6:3ff) for the forgiveness of one's sins. ( Act_2:38 ) It's an obedient faith, the faith that simply takes God at His word.

Verse 11

Rom_10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.

'For' -Faith does result in salvation. And the proof of it? It's in the Bible.

'the scripture saith' - Isa_28:16 . What did the Scriptures say? Did they say that salvation would be based on merit? No! They talk of the BELIEVER BEING SAVED.

'Whosoever' -'Faith transcends racial bias. It is a "whosoever" issue then. But if it is a "whosoever" issue then it is just as much Gentile as Jew. Just because the Jew has been rejected he need not pout and remain outside. His rejection was the result of UNBELIEF and not due to his racial connection . So why not turn in faith to God and enjoy the blessings?' (McGuiggan p. 311)

'shall not be put to shame' -'No one who believes in him shall have cause for shame' (TCNT); 'will ever be disappointed' (Mof). 'Shame, confusion, fleeing in terror from the face of the great Judge shall not be the lot of him who rests his trust on Christ'. (Lenski p. 658) ( 1Jn_2:28 ***)

Hence we can give Christ our best service, our time, energy, i.e. our life, knowing that all our efforts will not be in vain. There is no reason to 'hold back', or hide our talent in the ground. ( Mat_25:25 ) There is no good reason to hesitate in applying what God said in our daily lives.

Verse 12

Rom_10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him:

'For' -explaining the "whosoever" of verse 11.

'no distinction' -1293. diastole dee-as-tol-ay'; from 1291; a variation: -difference, distinction. 'Jew and Greek are on the same footing' (Wey); 'And that "whosoever" means anyone' (Phi). The same truth is presented in 3:22-23. All are sinners (no distinction), therefore all need the same salvation.

'is Lord of all' -( Act_10:36 ; Php_2:10 ). There is only one true religion! ( Act_4:12 ) There is only one "Lord" that must be obeyed. ( Eph_4:5 ) One Lord demands 'one faith'.

'is rich unto all that call upon him' -'and so rich is God in his mercy ..that no multitude can exhaust them; therefore the Jew had no reason to envy or begrudge the Gentiles..since it in no way impoverished them.' (McGarvey p. 429) 'Abounding in wealth towards all' (Gr. Ex. N.T. p. 672). All can be forgiven and saved, all can be right with God, if they so choose to respond in obedient faith! NO LIMITED ATONEMENT OR PREDESTINATION HERE! Christ can give to every man what every man needs, a right standing with God!

Verse 13

Rom_10:13 for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

'For' -again, O.T. scripture ( Joe_2:32 ) is cited as proof that this doctrine isn't new. The very Scriptures that the Jewish people possessed taught this truth. Who will be saved? The man who merits salvation? No-'call' The Jew only? No-'whosoever'.

'call' -And what does this imply? 'Their inability to save themselves. This is the cry of someone in NEED. To call upon his name is to beg him for aid and salvation.' (McGuiggan p. 311)

Note: Peter quoted this same Scripture on the day of Pentecost ( Act_2:21 ). But what were the people told to do on that day in order to be 'saved'? Repent and be baptized ( Act_2:38 ). The same was truth is found in the example of Paul's own conversion ( Act_22:16 '..Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name '). Therefore, one hasn't truly depended on God for salvation, until they have submitted to His command to be baptized. ( Mar_16:16 )

'name of the Lord' -in the passage quoted ( Joe_2:32 ), the 'Lord' under consideration is Jehovah (ASV). One more Scripture that includes Jesus of the N.T., in the name 'Jehovah' in the O.T.

Verse 14

Rom_10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

'They can't call on someone in whom they haven't trusted, and, they can't trust someone they haven't heard. It is worth stressing here that Paul didn't believe in people coming to faith in Christ apart from proclamation . There has been a lot of talk about God striking people and directly operating on their heart apart from the Gospel but none of this is countenanced by the Bible writings.' (McGuiggan p. 312) ( Act_16:30-33 )

Since the offer of salvation is to "whosoever", there arises the necessity of proclaiming the gospel world-wide. ( Mat_28:19 )

Verse 15

Rom_10:15 and how shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!

'except they be sent?' -'God has not only provided the Christ to obtain for us the ground of our righteousness; he has not only provided the revelation of that work of Christ, he has also provided the messengers to carry that blessed message..why whine and pout about missing the Messianic blessings when God is laboring so loving and so hard to bring those blessings to the unblessed?' (McGuiggan pp. 312,313)

'sent' -'Sending is the last step as we reason backward, but the first as we look forward toward salvation;...Paul argues back from effect to cause, so that, turning his series around, it will read, Sending, preaching, hearing, believing, turning to or calling upon God, salvation. ( Act_8:4-39 )'

'even as it is written' - Isa_52:7

'How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things' -'How pleasant is the coming of men with glad, good news!' (Mof)

'Passages like Nah_1:15 and Isa_40:9 come to mind in this connection. In both of these places we have good news told by people standing on the mountains around Jerusalem and shouting to the people of the city that their enemies (Nineveh in Nahum and Babylon in Isaiah) have come in judgement. Isa_52:7 is the one Paul explicitly calls on. The feet that carry good news of God's delivering work are "beautiful". The deliverance from Babylon or the fierce Assyrian was good news but the deliverance that these "apostles" proclaim is deliverance from the very Devil himself.'

'Feet' -'covered with dust because of the long running, they are simply "beautiful" to the eyes of these longing captives because of the message they are bringing.' (Lenski p. 663)

We should note that: 'God does not act directly upon man in order to produce faith. He acts mediately, indirectly, through the word of faith which is "nigh" him.'

Even in the day and age of the miraculous, the 'message of salvation' was always brought by a another person. ( Act_8:26-35 ; Act_9:6 ; Act_9:17-18 (22:16); 10:3-6; 11:13-14)

Verse 16


Rom_10:16 But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

'But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings' -'They heard, but did not heed' (Robertson p. 390). 'Religious opportunities are too frequently neglected.' (Erdman p. 128) The gospel message was spread over the whole Roman Empire ( Mat_28:19 ; Col_1:23 ). It was deliberately preached to the Jewish people first (1:16; Act_13:46 ; Act_17:2-3 ). Those still unblessed, those still outside of Christ only had themselves to blame!

'But' -'alas', the brevity of the sad statement is full of poignancy, while not all hearkened, it says that some did but at the same time implies that all should have done this . (Lenski p. 664)

'Hearken' -to hear attentively, to give heed to, to obey. (McGarvey p. 436)

'Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?' -( Isa_53:1 ) Isaiah predicted such a rejection of the good news ( Joh_12:37-38 ), even when it was accompanied by miracles. The Jewish people were still rebelling against the message from God, as they did in Isaiah's day. ( Act_7:51 ; Mat_23:31-32 )

'Believed' -accepted as true and trustworthy. 'Our report'-i.e. our preaching.

Verse 17

Rom_10:17 So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

'That they were expected to believe is seen from the fact that they were reprimanded for their unbelief. But on what grounds were they expected to believe? Why, the words of the prophets. The Jewish refusal to accept the teaching of the prophets was due to the fact that they had faithless hearts. In a heart disposed to trust, "faith cometh of hearing . For one with a heart that was trusting it was ENOUGH TO HEAR, but the believing (as they claimed) generation insisted on "signs". The reason the Jews were unblessed is because their faithless hearts refused the message about the Messiah.'

Modern Application: For how many people in our society today, is the word of God considered as insufficient 'evidence' to believe in God? This chapter is very important, for it reveals God's method of reaching people. God offers everyone salvation through the preaching of the gospel (God doesn't offer salvation through dreams, visions, or the frost in the freezer looking like a picture of Jesus.) Those who can't bring themselves to simply trust the message, cannot be saved! McGuiggan makes a good point, 'belief cometh of hearing..the word of Christ', but not for everyone! For many heard, that didn't believe (10:16). Faith only comes from hearing the word of God, if YOUR HEART IS RIGHT! If you are sincere and honest! ( Luk_8:15 )

Verse 18

Rom_10:18 But I say, Did they not hear? Yea, verily, Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world.

'Did they not hear? -'To the grumpy Jew who would claim: "This is the first I've heard of it. We weren't prepared for this:" Paul will reply: "You were told! You just didn't hear."' (McGuiggan p. 314)

'Their sound..' -( Psa_19:4 ) 'As clearly and as universally as the creation speaks of God so the Old Testament told about what I'm now teaching, Paul claims. It was the Scriptures which first told of the gospel ( Rom_1:2 ). It was from that source that Paul got righteousness by faith (3:21,4:3 and other places).' (McGuiggan p. 314)

Verse 19

Rom_10:19 But I say, Did Israel not know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy with that which is no nation, With a nation void of understanding will I anger you.

'Did Israel not know?' -i.e. that God would offer salvation to the Gentiles also. Someone might argue, 'Could it be that Israel was "misinformed" or "mislead"?' Did Israel fail to understand God's purpose, did it catch them off guard because information on the subject was only 'recent'?

'First Moses' -No! From the very beginning of their history as a nation, God had revealed His willingness to bless the Gentiles and provoke Israel to jealousy which would (if they would let it) turn them to God. ( Deu_32:21 )

Verses 20-21

Rom_10:20 And Isaiah is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I became manifest unto them that asked not of me.

Rom_10:21 But as to Israel he saith, All the day long did I spread out my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

'In Isaiah (63-65) the people confess their iniquity but they refuse to take the blame squarely on their own shoulders. In 63:17 it is God who is the instigator of the whole thing. In 64:1-3 they lament that God hasn't been showing himself as he used to. The reason Israel has fallen away from him is his fault (7). Poor Israel! That "sorry old God" is to be blamed. In the passages Paul is calling on, God is making it clear he hasn't been hard to find. How could he be hard to find when he is being found by people who hadn't (even by Jewish admission) been searching for him? All around the Jews in Paul's society there was living Gentile proof that God isn't hard to find. In Isa_65:1 God had made that very response. No, he wasn't hidden. He was easy to find to those who really sought him . He had stood around all day holding out his hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people. They never saw him! The Jew didn't lack revelation; HE LACKED TRUST.'

The same is true today. Many people don't need more information or additional 'proof'. They simply need to believe the abundance of information that has already been presented in the Scriptures. On the judgement day, no one is going to be able to successfully plead, 'I couldn't believe do to lack of evidence'. ( Rom_1:20 )

Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 10". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dun/romans-10.html. 1999-2014.
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