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1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Ver. 1. My heart’s desire ] So it should be ours. See my True Treasure, chap. vii. sect. 2.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Ver. 2. They have a zeal of God ] So had those two Rabbis, David Rubenita and Shelomoh Molchu, that set upon the Emperor Charles v. to persuade him to Judaism, and were therefore put to a cruel death, A. D. 1530. (Alsted. Chron.) So had Latimer before his conversion: I was as obstinate a Papist, saith he, as any was in England: insomuch that when I should be made Bachelor in Divinity, my whole oration went against Philip Melancthon and his opinions, &c. Being a priest, and using to say mass, he thought he had never sufficiently mingled his massing wine with water: and moreover that he should never be dammed, if he were once a professed friar; with various such superstitious fantasies. (Acts and Mon.) Zeal without knowledge is as wild fire in a fool’s hand; it is like the devil in the demoniac, that casts him sometimes into the fire and sometimes into the water.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Ver. 3. For they being ignorant ] The soul that is without knowledge is not good, and he that (without knowledge) hasteth with his feet, sinneth, Proverbs 19:2 ; the faster he goeth, the farther he is out.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Ver. 4. For Christ is the end, &c. ] q.d. Ay, and for Christ’s sake, is the righteousness of God. But the Jews submit not to Christ, therefore not to the righteousness of God. Christ, saith Austin, is Legis finis interficiens, et perficiens. The ceremonial law he hath slain and taken out of the way: the moral law he hath fulfilled for us, and we by him, so by faith in his name, which maketh his obedience to become ours.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
Ver. 5. Shall live by them ] This do and live; that is, saith Luther, morere, to delay, die out of hand: for there is no man lives and sins not. We can as little cease to sin as the pulse to beat, heart to pant, &c.
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above :)
Ver. 6. Say not in thine heart ] The law preacheth faith in Christ, as well as the gospel.
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
Ver. 7. Into the deep ] Those deeps of the earth, Psalms 71:20 .
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Ver. 8. The word is nigh thee ] Moses meant it of the law, but it more fitly agreeth to the gospel. The babe of Bethlehem is swathed up in the bands of both Testaments: he is author, object, matter, and mark of both. Therefore if we will profit in hearing, teaching, reading, we must have the eye of our minds turned toward Christ, as the faces of the cherubims were toward the mercy seat.
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Ver. 9. That if thou shalt confess ] That is, if thou shalt call upon the name of the Lord, as it is expounded, Romans 10:13 .
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Ver. 10. For with the heart, &c. ] Plutarch tells us that of all plants in Egypt, that they call Persica is consecrated to their goddess Isis, and that for this reason, because the fruit of it is like a heart, the leaf like a tongue.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Ver. 11. Shall not be ashamed ] Maketh not haste, saith the prophet. Shame and confusion follow haste and precipitancy: Sed Deo confisi nunquam confusi. But trust in God is never confused.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Ver. 12. Is rich unto all, &c. ] He cannot therefore be poor that can pray; for he shall have out his prayer, either in money or money’s worth.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Ver. 13. Shall be saved ] Though he miss that particular mercy he asked for, he is certainly sealed up to salvation.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Ver. 14. How shall they hear, &c. ] The word read is of divine use and efficacy; but of preaching we may say as David did of Goliath’s sword, "There is none to that." Milk warmed is fitter for nourishment; and the rain from heaven hath a fatness with it, and a special influence, more than standing waters; so there is not that life, operation, and blessing in the word read as preached.
And how shall they preach unless they be sent ] Here you have that scala caeli, ladder of heaven, as a good old martyr called it; and we must not presume to alter the rounds of this ladder. The apostle holds it for impossible that any should preach that are not sent. Let such look to it, as run before they are sent, press into the pulpit without a call thereunto. Let them remember Nadab and Abihu with their strange fire, Korah and his complices with their dismal usurpations, Uzzah and Uzziah with their exemplary punishmeats, &c. God hanged these up in gibbets, as it were to warn others.
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Ver. 15. How beautiful are the feet ] How much more their faces! "Surely I have seen thy face as the face of God," said Jacob to Esau,Genesis 33:10; Genesis 33:10 , that is, honourable and comfortable. We know how Cornelius received Peter; and the Galatians, Paul, till they were bewitched from him, Galatians 3:1 . But it must be remembered that we "glorify the word," not the preacher, Acts 13:48 .
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Ver. 16. Who hath believed our report? ] Gr. ακοην , our hearing, passively taken. So Caesar and Cicero use auditio for report and rumour. Some sit before a preacher as senseless as the seats they sit on, pillars they lean to, dead bodies they tread on. Others rage, Tange montes et famigabunt, &c.
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Ver. 17. By the word of God ] That is, by the word of God’s command, sending out preachers gifted for the purpose, and saying to them, "Go preach," &c.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Ver. 18. Yes verily; their sound, &c. ] Sonus tonus, οο φθογγος . David saith only, "their line," Psalms 19:2 . That accurate and artificial frame of the heaven preacheth, as it were, the infinite wisdom and power of the Creator. All God’s works are his Regii professores, regal preachers, his Catholic preachers, or real expositors (as one calleth them) of his Divinity. The world (saith Clem. Alex.) is Dei Scriptura, writing of God, God’s great Bible with three great leaves-heaven, earth, and hell. David’s words are here very fitly applied to the sound of the gospel; the circle whereof is like that of the sun, universal to the whole world; and the motion not unlike: for it arose in the east of Judea, went thence to the south of Greece, and then to the west of Italy and the Latins; from whence it is come to these northern parts of the world (the very utmost angle of the universe), where that it may continue, let us pray,
" Vespera nunc venit, nobiscum Christe maneto:
Extingui lucem nec patiare tuam. "
"All that I fear," saith Mr Baxter, "is, lest Mr Herbert be a true prophet, and the gospel be in its solar motion travelling for the American parts, and is quitting its present place of residence and unworthy professors and possessors: and then farewell England." Contempt drove Christ from Nazareth, his own country, which he came purposely to heal. ConferJeremiah 51:9; Jeremiah 51:9 ; Ezekiel 24:13 .
19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
Ver. 19. Did not Israel know ] sc. That the Gentiles were to be called? they were often told of it.
20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Ver. 20. Is very bold ] So that for his boldness he was sawn asunder, saith Jerome.
21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
Ver. 21. Stretched ] A metaphor from a mother.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 10". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34