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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Romans 10

Verse 1

Desire (ευδοκια). No papyri examples of this word, though ευδοκησις occurs, only in LXX and N.T., but no example for "desire" unless this is one, though the verb ευδοκεω is common in Polybius, Diodorus, Dion, Hal. It means will, pleasure, satisfaction (Matthew 11:26; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; Philippians 1:15; Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 1:5; Ephesians 1:9).

Supplication (δεησις). Late word from δεομα, to want, to beg, to pray. In the papyri. See Luke 1:13. It is noteworthy that, immediately after the discussion of the rejection of Christ by the Jews, Paul prays so earnestly for the Jews "that they may be saved" (εις σωτηριαν), literally "unto salvation." Clearly Paul did not feel that the case was hopeless for them in spite of their conduct. Bengel says: Non orasset Paul si absolute reprobati essent (Paul would not have prayed if they had been absolutely reprobate). Paul leaves God's problem to him and pours out his prayer for the Jews in accordance with his strong words in Romans 9:1-45.9.5.

Verse 2

A zeal for God (ζηλον θεου). Objective genitive like Philippians 3:9, "through faith in Christ" (δια πιστεως Χριστου).

But not according to knowledge (αλλ' ου κατ' επιγνωσιν). They had knowledge of God and so were superior to the Gentiles in privilege (Romans 2:9-45.2.11), but they sought God in an external way by rules and rites and missed him (Romans 9:30-45.9.33). They became zealous for the letter and the form instead of for God himself.

Verse 3

Being ignorant of God's righteousness (αγνοουντες την του θεου δικαιοσυνην). A blunt thing to say, but true as Paul has shown in Romans 2:1-45.2.3. They did not understand the God-kind of righteousness by faith (Romans 1:17). They misconceived it (Romans 2:4).

They did not subject themselves (ουχ υπεταγησαν). Second aorist passive indicative of υποτασσω, common Koine verb, to put oneself under orders, to obey, here the passive in sense of the middle (James 4:7) like απεκριθην, I answered.

Verse 4

The end of the law (τελος νομου). Christ put a stop to the law as a means of salvation (Romans 6:14; Romans 9:31; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14) as in Luke 16:16. Christ is the goal or aim of the law (Galatians 3:24). Christ is the fulfilment of the law (Matthew 5:17; Romans 13:10; 1 Timothy 1:5). But here (Denney) Paul's main idea is that Christ ended the law as a method of salvation for "every one that believeth" whether Jew or Gentile. Christ wrote finis on law as a means of grace.

Verse 5

Thereby (εν αυτη). That is by or in "the righteousness that is from law." He stands or falls with it. The quotation is from Leviticus 18:5.

Verse 6

Saith thus (ουτως λεγε). Paul personifies "the from faith righteousness" (η εκ πιστεως δικαιοσυνη). A free reproduction from Deuteronomy 30:11-5.30.14. Paul takes various phrases from the LXX and uses them for "his inspired conviction and experiences of the gospel" (Denney). He does not quote Moses as saying this or meaning this.

Say not in thy heart (μη ειπηις εν τη καρδια σου). Second aorist active subjunctive with μη like Deuteronomy 8:17. To say in the heart is to think (Matthew 3:9).

That is, to bring Christ down (τουτ' εστιν Χριστον καταγαγειν). Second aorist active infinitive of the common verb καταγω, to bring or lead down. It is dependent on the preceding verb αναβησετα (shall ascend). Τουτ' εστιν (that is) is what is called Midrash or interpretation as in Romans 9:8. It occurs three times here (verses Romans 10:6-45.10.8). Paul applies the words of Moses to Christ. There is no need for one to go to heaven to bring Christ down to earth. The Incarnation is already a glorious fact. Today some men scout the idea of the Deity and Incarnation of Christ.

Verse 7

Into the abyss (εις την αβυσσον). See Luke 8:31 for this old Greek word (α privative and βυσσος) bottomless like sea (Psalms 106:26), our abyss. In Revelation 9:1 it is the place of torment. Paul seems to refer to Hades or Sheol (Acts 2:27; Acts 2:31), the other world to which Christ went after death.

To bring Christ up (Χριστον αναγαγειν). Second aorist active infinitive of αναγω and dependent on καταβησετα (shall descend). Christ has already risen from the dead. The deity and resurrection of Christ are precisely the two chief points of attack today on the part of sceptics.

Verse 8

But what saith it? (αλλα τ λεγει?). That is "the from faith righteousness."

The word of faith (το ρημα της πιστεως). The gospel message concerning faith (objective genitive). Only here. In contrast to the law.

Which we preach (ο κηρυσσομεν). The living voice brings home to every one the faith kind of righteousness. Paul seizes upon the words of Moses with the orator's instinct and with rhetorical skill (Sanday and Headlam) applies them to the facts about the gospel message about the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ.

Verse 9

If thou shalt confess (εαν ομολογησηις). Third class condition (εαν and first aorist active subjunctive of ομολογεω).

With thy mouth Jesus as Lord (εν τω στοματ σου Κυριον Ιησουν). This is the reading of nearly all the MSS. But B 71 Clem of Alex. read το ρημα εν τω στοματ σου οτ Κυριος Ιησους (the word in thy mouth that Jesus is Lord). The idea is the same, the confession of Jesus as Lord as in 1 Corinthians 12:3; Philippians 2:11. No Jew would do this who had not really trusted Christ, for Κυριος in the LXX is used of God. No Gentile would do it who had not ceased worshipping the emperor as Κυριος. The word Κυριος was and is the touchstone of faith.

And shalt believe (κα πιστευσηις). Same construction. Faith precedes confession, of course.

Verse 10

Man believeth (πιστευετα). Impersonal construction, "it is believed" (present passive indicative of πιστευω). The order is reversed in this verse and the true order (faith, then confession).

Confession is made (ομολογειτα). Impersonal construction again, "it is confessed," "man confesses." Both καρδια (heart) and στοματ (mouth) are in the instrumental case.

Verse 11

Every one (πας). Paul adds this word to the quotation from Isaiah 28:16 already made in Romans 9:33.

Verse 12

Distinction (διαστολη). See on this word Romans 3:22. Here it is followed by the ablative case Ιουδαιου τε κα Hελληνος (between Jew and Greek).

Lord of all (Κυριος παντων). See Galatians 3:28.

Rich (πλουτων). Present active participle of πλουτεω. See Ephesians 3:8 "the unsearchable riches of Christ."

Verse 13

Paul here quotes Joel 3:5 (Joel 2:32 LXX).

Verse 14

How then shall they call? (πως ουν επικαλεσωνται?). Deliberative subjunctive (first aorist middle) of επικαλεομα (see verses Romans 10:12; Romans 10:13). The antecedent of εις ον (in whom) is not expressed.

How shall they believe? (πος πιστευσωσιν?). Deliberative subjunctive again (first aorist active of πιστευω just used). Each time Paul picks up the preceding verb and challenges that. Here again the antecedent εις τουτον before ον is not expressed.

How shall they hear? (πος ακουσωσιν?). Deliberative subjunctive (first aorist active of ακουω).

Without a preacher? (χωρις κηρυσσοντοσ?). Preposition χωρις with ablative singular masculine present active participle of κηρυσσω, "without one preaching."

How shall they preach? (πως κηρυξωσιν?). Deliberative subjunctive again (first aorist active κηρυσσω, to preach).

Except they be sent? (εαν μη αποσταλωσιν?). Second aorist passive deliberative subjunctive of αποστελλω, to send, from which verb αποστολος apostle comes. Negative condition of third class. In graphic style Paul has made a powerful plea for missions. It is just as true today as then.

Verse 15

How beautiful (Hως ωραιο). A quotation from Isaiah 52:7 more like the Hebrew than the LXX, picturing the messengers of the restoration from the Jewish captivity. Paul assumes that the missionaries (αποστολο) have been sent as implied in verse Romans 10:14.

Verse 16

But they did not all hearken (ου παντες υπηκουσαν). They heard, but did not heed. Some disbelieve now (Romans 3:3) as they did then. On obedience and disobedience see Romans 5:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Galatians 3:2. He quotes Isaiah 53:1 to show how Isaiah felt.

Report (ακοη). Literally, "hearing" (Matthew 14:1; Mark 13:7).

Verse 17

By the word of Christ (δια ρηματος Χριστου). "By the word about Christ" (objective genitive).

Verse 18

Did they not hear? (μη ουκ ηκουσαν?). Rather, "Did they fail to hear?" (expecting the negative answer μη, while ουκ blends with the verb). See on 1 Corinthians 9:5 for this construction.

Yea, verily (μενουνγε). Triple particle (μεν, ουν, γε) as in Romans 9:20.

Sound (φθογγος). Vibration of a musical string. See on 1 Corinthians 14:7. Only two N.T. examples.

The world (της οικουμενης). The inhabited earth as in Luke 2:1.

Verse 19

Did Israel not know? (μη Ισραελ ουκ εγνω?). "Did Israel fail to know?" See above.

First (πρωτος). Moses first before any one else. LXX quotation Deuteronomy 32:21. See on 1 Corinthians 10:22 for παραζηλωσω (I will provoke you to jealousy).

With that which is no nation (επ' ουκ εθνε). The Jews had worshipped "no-gods" and now God shows favours to a "no-nation" (people).

Will I anger you (παροργιω υμας). Future active (Attic future) of παροργιζω, rare word, to rouse to wrath.

Verse 20

Is very bold (αποτολμα). Present active indicative of αποτολμαω, old word, to assume boldness (απο, off) and only here in N.T. Isaiah "breaks out boldly" (Gifford). Paul cites Isaiah 65:1 in support of his own courage against the prejudice of the Jews. See Romans 9:30-45.9.33 for illustration of this point.

I was found (ευρεθην). First aorist passive indicative of ευρισκω.

Verse 21

All the day long (ολην την ημεραν). Accusative of extent of time. He quotes Isaiah 65:2.

Did I spread out (εξεπετασα). First aorist active indicative of εκπεταννυμ, old verb, to stretch out, bold metaphor, only here in N.T.

Unto a disobedient and a gainsaying people (προς λαον απειθουντα κα αντιλεγοντα). "Unto a people disobeying and talking back." The two things usually go together. Contrary and contradictory (Luke 13:34).

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/romans-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.