To men that know the law (γινωσκουσιν νομον ginōskousin nomon). Dative plural of present active participle of γινωσκω ginōskō The Romans, whether Jews or Gentiles, knew the principle of law.A man (του αντρωπου tou anthrōpou). “The person,” generic term αντρωπος anthrōpos not ανηρ anēr f0).
The wife that hath a husband (η υπανδρος γυνη hē hupandros gunē). Late word, under (in subjection to) a husband. Here only in N.T.Is bound (δεδεται dedetai). Perfect passive indicative, stands bound. By law (νομωι nomōi). Instrumental case. To the husband while he liveth (τωι ζωντι ανδρι tōi zōnti andri). “To the living husband,” literally. But if the husband die (εαν δε αποτανηι ο ανηρ ean de apothanēi ho anēr). Third class condition, a supposable case (εαν ean and the second aorist active subjunctive). She is discharged (κατηργηται katērgētai). Perfect passive indicative of καταργεω katargeō to make void. She stands free from the law of the husband. Cf. Romans 6:6.
While the husband liveth (ζωντος του ανδρος zōntos tou andros). Genitive absolute of present active participle of ζαω zaōShe shall be called (χρηματισει chrēmatisei). Future active indicative of χρηματιζω chrēmatizō old verb, to receive a name as in Acts 11:26, from χρημα chrēma business, from χραομαι chraomai to use, then to give an oracle, etc. An adulteress (μοιχαλις moichalis). Late word, in Plutarch, lxx. See note on Matthew 12:39. If she be joined (ean genētai). Third class condition, “if she come to.” So that she is no adulteress (tou mē einai autēn moichalida). It is a fact that εαν γενηται tou and the infinitive is used for result as we saw in Romans 1:24. Conceived result may explain the idiom here.
Ye also were made dead to the law (και υμεις ετανατωτητε kai humeis ethanatōthēte). First aorist indicative passive of τανατοω thanatoō old verb, to put to death (Matthew 10:21) or to make to die (extinct) as here and Romans 8:13. The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (Romans 6:3-6). The relation of marriage is killed “through the body of Christ” as the “propitiation” (Romans 3:25) for us. Cf. Colossians 1:22.That we should be joined to another (εις το γενεσται ετερωι eis to genesthai heterōi). Purpose clause with εις το eis to and the infinitive. First mention of the saints as wedded to Christ as their Husband occurs in 1 Corinthians 6:13; Galatians 4:26. See further Ephesians 5:22-33. That we might bring forth fruit unto God (ινα καρποπορησωμεν τωι τεωι hina karpophorēsōmen tōi theōi). He changes the metaphor to that of the tree used in Romans 6:22.
In the flesh (εν τηι σαρκι en tēi sarki). Same sense as in Romans 6:19 and Romans 7:18, Romans 7:25. The “flesh” is not inherently sinful, but is subject to sin. It is what Paul means by being “under the law.” He uses σαρχ sarx in a good many senses.Sinful passions (τα πατηματα των αμαρτιων ta pathēmata tōn hamartiōn). “Passions of sins” or marked by sins. Wrought (ενεργειτο energeito). Imperfect middle of ενεργεω energeō “were active.” To bring forth fruit unto death (εις το καρποπορησαι τωι τανατωι eis to karpophorēsai tōi thanatōi). Purpose clause again. Vivid picture of the seeds of sin working for death.
But now (νυνι δε nuni de). In the new condition.Wherein we were holden (εν ωι κατειχομετα en hōi kateichometha). Imperfect passive of κατεχω katechō picture of our former state (same verb in Romans 1:18). In newness of spirit (εν καινοτητι πνευματος en kainotēti pneumatos). The death to the letter of the law (the old husband) has set us free to the new life in Christ. So Paul has shown again the obligation on us to live for Christ.
Is the law sin? (ο νομος αμαρτια ho nomos hamartiȧ). A pertinent query in view of what he had said. Some people today oppose all inhibitions and prohibitions because they stimulate violations. That is half-baked thinking.I had not known sin (την αμαρτιαν ουκ εγνων tēn hamartian ouk egnōn). Second aorist indicative of γινωσκω ginōskō to know. It is a conclusion of a second class condition, determined as unfulfilled. Usually αν an is used in the conclusion to make it plain that it is second class condition instead of first class, but occasionally it is not employed when it is plain enough without as here (John 16:22, John 16:24). See note on Galatians 4:15. So as to I had not known coveting (lust), epithumian ouk ēidein But all the same the law is not itself sin nor the cause of sin. Men with their sinful natures turn law into an occasion for sinful acts.
Finding occasion (απορμην λαβουσα aphormēn labousa). See note on 2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 11:12; Galatians 5:13 for απορμην aphormēn a starting place from which to rush into acts of sin, excuses for doing what they want to do. Just so drinking men use the prohibition laws as “occasions” for violating them.Wrought in me (κατειργασατο εν εμοι kateirgasato en emoi). First aorist active middle indicative of the intensive verb κατεργαζομαι katergazomai to work out (to the finish), effective aorist. The command not to lust made me lust more. Dead (νεκρα nekra). Inactive, not non-existent. Sin in reality was there in a dormant state.
I was alive (εζων ezōn). Imperfect active. Apparently, “the lost paradise in the infancy of men” (Denney), before the conscience awoke and moral responsibility came, “a seeming life” (Shedd).Sin revived (η αμαρτια ανεζησεν hē hamartia anezēsen). Sin came back to life, waked up, the blissful innocent stage was over, “the commandment having come” (ελτουσης της εντολης elthousēs tēs entolēs genitive absolute). But I died (εγω δε απετανον egō de apethanon). My seeming life was over for I was conscious of sin, of violation of law. I was dead before, but I did not know. Now I found out that I was spiritually dead.
This I found unto death (ευρετη μοιαυτη εις τανατον heurethē moi̇̇hautē eis thanaton). Literally, “the commandment the one for (meant for) life, this was found for me unto death.” First aorist (effective) passive indicative of ευρισκω heuriskō to find, not active as the English has it. It turned out so for me (ethical dative).
Beguiled me (εχηπατησεν με exēpatēsen me). First aorist active indicative of εχαπαταω exapataō old verb, completely (εχ ex) made me lose my way (α a privative, πατεω pateō to walk). See note on 1 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 11:3. Only in Paul in N.T.Slew me (apekteinen). First aorist active indicative of apokteinō old verb. “Killed me off,” made a clean job of it. Sin here is personified as the tempter (Genesis 3:13).
Holy, and righteous, and good (αγια και δικαια και αγατη hagia kai dikaia kai agathē). This is the conclusion (wherefore, ωστε hōste) to the query in Romans 7:7. The commandment is God‘s and so holy like Him, just in its requirements and designed for our good. The modern revolt against law needs these words.
Become death unto me? (εμοι εγενετο τανατοσ emoi egeneto thanatoṡ). Ethical dative εμοι emoi again. New turn to the problem. Admitting the goodness of God‘s law, did it issue in death for me? Paul repels (μη γενοιτο mē genoito) this suggestion. It was sin that (But sin, αλλα η αμαρτια alla hē hamartia) “became death for me.”That it might be shown (ινα πανηι hina phanēi). Final clause, ινα hina and second aorist passive subjunctive of παινω phainō to show. The sinfulness of sin is revealed in its violations of God‘s law. By working death to me (μοι κατεργαζομενη τανατον moi katergazomenē thanaton). Present middle participle, as an incidental result. Might become exceedingly sinful (γενηται κατ υπερβολην αμαρτωλος genētai kath' huperbolēn hamartōlos). Second aorist middle subjunctive of γινομαι ginomai with ινα hina in final clause. On κατ υπερβολην kath' huperbolēn see note on 1 Corinthians 12:31. Our hyperbole is the Greek υπερβολη huperbolē The excesses of sin reveal its real nature. Only then do some people get their eyes opened.
Spiritual (πνευματικος pneumatikos). Spirit-caused and spirit-given and like the Holy Spirit. See note on 1 Corinthians 10:3.But I am carnal (εγω δε σαρκινος ειμι egō de sarkinos eimi). “Fleshen” as in 1 Corinthians 3:1 which see, more emphatic even than σαρκικος sarkikos a creature of flesh.” Sold under sin (πεπραμενος υπο την αμαρτιαν pepramenos hupo tēn hamartian). Perfect passive participle of πιπρασκω pipraskō old verb, to sell. See note on Matthew 13:46 and note on Acts 2:45, state of completion. Sin has closed the mortgage and owns its slave.
I know not (ου γινωσκω ou ginōskō). “I do not recognize” in its true nature. My spiritual perceptions are dulled, blinded by sin (2 Corinthians 4:4). The dual life pictured here by Paul finds an echo in us all, the struggle after the highest in us (“what I really wish,” ο τελω ho thelō to practise it steadily, πρασσω prassō) and the slipping into doing (ποιω poiō) “what I really hate” (ο μισω ho misō) and yet sometimes do. There is a deal of controversy as to whether Paul is describing his struggle with sin before conversion or after it. The words “sold under sin” in Romans 7:14 seem to turn the scale for the pre-conversion period. “It is the unregenerate man‘s experience, surviving at least in memory into regenerate days, and read with regenerate eyes” (Denney).
I consent unto the law (συνπημι τωι νομωι sunphēmi tōi nomōi). Old verb, here only in N.T., with associative instrumental case. “I speak with.” My wanting (τελω thelō) to do the opposite of what I do proves my acceptance of God‘s law as good (καλος kalos).
So now (νυνι δε nuni de). A logical contrast, “as the case really stands.”But sin that dwelleth in me (αλλ η ενοικουσα εν εμοι αμαρτια all' hē enoikousa en emoi hamartia). “But the dwelling in me sin.” Not my true self, my higher personality, but my lower self due to my slavery to indwelling sin. Paul does not mean to say that his whole self has no moral responsibility by using this paradox. “To be saved from sin, a man must at the same time own it and disown it” (Denney).
In me (εν εμοι en emoi). Paul explains this by “in my flesh” (εν τηι σαρκι μου en tēi sarki mou), the unregenerate man “sold under sin” of Romans 7:14.No good thing (ουκαγατον ouk̇̇agathon). “Not absolutely good.” This is not a complete view of man even in his unregenerate state as Paul at once shows. For to will is present with me (το γαρ τελειν παρακειται μοι to gar thelein parakeitai moi). Present middle indicative of παρακειμαι parakeimai old verb, to lie beside, at hand, with dative μοι moi Only here in N.T. The wishing is the better self, the doing not the lower self.
But the evil which I would not (αλλα ο ου τελω κακον alla ho ou thelō kakon). Incorporation of the antecedent into the relative clause, “what evil I do not wish.” An extreme case of this practise of evil is seen in the drunkard or the dope-fiend.
It is no more I that do it (ουκετι εγω κατεργαζομαι αυτο ouketi egō katergazomai auto). Just as in Romans 7:17, “no longer do I do it” (the real Εγο Ego my better self), and yet there is responsibility and guilt for the struggle goes on.
The law (τον νομον ton nomon). The principle already set forth (αρα ara accordingly) in Romans 7:18, Romans 7:19. This is the way it works, but there is no surcease for the stings of conscience.
For I delight in (συνηδομαι γαρ sunēdomai gar). Old verb, here alone in N.T., with associative instrumental case, “I rejoice with the law of God,” my real self “after the inward man” (κατα τον εσω αντρωπον kata ton esō anthrōpon) of the conscience as opposed to “the outward man” (2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16).
A different law (ετερον νομον heteron nomon). For the distinction between ετερος heteros and αλλος allos see note on Galatians 1:6.Warring against (αντιστρατευομενον antistrateuomenon). Rare verb (Xenophon) to carry on a campaign against. Only here in N.T. The law of my mind (τωι νομωι του νοος tōi nomōi tou noos). The reflective intelligence Paul means by νοος noos “the inward man” of Romans 7:22. It is this higher self that agrees that the law of God is good (Romans 7:12, Romans 7:16, Romans 7:22). Bringing me into captivity (αιχμαλωτιζοντα aichmalōtizonta). See note on this late and vivid verb for capture and slavery Luke 21:24; note on 2 Corinthians 10:5. Surely it is a tragic picture drawn by Paul with this outcome, “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14), “captivity to the law of sin” (Romans 7:23). The ancient writers (Plato, Ovid, Seneca, Epictetus) describe the same dual struggle in man between his conscience and his deeds.
O wretched man that I am (ταλαιπωρος εγω αντρωπος talaipōros egō anthrōpos). “Wretched man I.” Old adjective from τλαω tlaō to bear, and πωρος pōros a callus. In N.T. only here and Revelation 3:17. “A heart-rending cry from the depths of despair” (Sanday and Headlam).Out of the body of this death (εκ του σωματος του τανατου τουτου ek tou sōmatos tou thanatou toutou). So the order of words demands. See Romans 7:13 for “death” which finds a lodgment in the body (Lightfoot). If one feels that Paul has exaggerated his own condition, he has only to recall 1 Timothy 1:15 when he describes himself a chief of sinners. He dealt too honestly with himself for Pharisaic complacency to live long.
I thank God (χαρις τωι τεωι charis tōi theōi). “Thanks to God.” Note of victory over death through Jesus Christ our Lord.”So then I myself (αρα ουν αυτος εγω ara oun autos egō). His whole self in his unregenerate state gives a divided service as he has already shown above. In 6:1-7:6 Paul proved the obligation to be sanctified. In 7:7-8:11 he discusses the possibility of sanctification, only for the renewed man by the help of the Holy Spirit.
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)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
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