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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Romans 10

 

 

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Verse 1

Romans 10:1. ἀδελφοὶ, brethren) Now that he has got over, so to speak, the severity of the preceding discussion, he kindly addresses them as brethren.— μὲν, indeed) δὲ usually follows this particle, but δὲ, Romans 10:2, is absorbed in ἀλλὰ, but.— εὐδοκία, well-wishing, desire) I would most gladly hear of the salvation of Israel.— δέησις, prayer) Paul would not have prayed, if they had been utterly reprobates [cast away.]


Verse 2

Romans 10:2. (115) ζῆλου θεοῦ, a zeal of God) Acts 22:3, note. Zeal of God, if it is not against Christ, is good.— οὐ κατʼ ἐπίγνωσιν, not according to knowledge) An example of Litotes [expressing in less strong terms a strong truth] i.e. with great blindness; it agrees with the word, ignorant, in the next verse. Flacius says: The Jews had and now have a zeal without knowledge; we on the contrary, alas! to our shame, have knowledge without zeal. Zeal and ignorance are referred to at Romans 10:19.


Verse 3

Romans 10:3. ζητοῦντες, seeking) by all means.— οὐχʼ ὑπετάγησαν, have not been subject) and have not obeyed,” ( ὑπήκουσαν) Romans 10:16. ὑποταγὴ, submits itself to the Divine will, τῷ θέλειν, the will of GOD.


Verse 4

Romans 10:4. τέλος, the end) bestowing righteousness and life, which the law points out, but cannot give. τέλος, the end, and πλήρωαα, the fulfilment, are synonymous; comp. 1 Timothy 1:5, with Romans 13:10, therefore comp. with this passage Matthew 5:17. The law presses upon a man, till he flies to Christ; then even the law itself says, thou hast found a refuge. I cease to persecute thee, thou art wise, thou art safe.— χριστὸς, Christ) the subject is, the end of the law. [Not as Engl. Vers. “Christ is the end of the law”]. The predicate is, Christ (viz. ὤν, who is) in [every one that believeth; not as Engl. Vers., “the end of the law to every one”] etc. [Romans 10:6-7; Romans 10:9.]— παντι τῷ πιστεύοντι, in every one that believeth) The words, in the believer, are treated at Romans 10:5, etc.: and the words, every one, at Romans 10:11, etc. παντὶ, in every one, namely, of the Jews and Gentiles. The 9 chap. must not be shut within narrower limits than Paul permits in this x. chap., which is more cheerful and more expanded; and in it the word all occupies a very prominent place, Romans 10:11, etc.


Verse 5

Romans 10:5. γράφει, writes of), [thus exhibiting the truth that] “the letter killeth.” It is antithetic to Romans 10:6; Romans 10:8 : [the righteousness by faith] speaks, with the living voice [not writes, as Moses]. There is also another similar antithesis: Moses in the concrete; the righteousness which is of faith in the abstract.— ὅτι ποιήσας, κ. τ. λ.) Leviticus 18:5, LXX., ποιήσετε αὐτὰ ποιήσας, κ. τ. λ.


Verse 6

Romans 10:6. ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοσύνη, the righteousness which is of faith) A very sweet Metonymy, i.e. a man seeking righteousness by faith.— λέγει, speaks) with himself.— μὴ εἴπῃς, say not) for he, who says so, does not find in the law what he seeks; and he does not seek, what he might find in the Gospel: viz. righteousness and salvation, which are in Christ and are ready for believers in the Gospel. And yet, whoever only hears and heeds that from Moses, The man that doeth shall live, considers it necessary, thus to say [who shall ascend into heaven, etc.]— καρδίᾳ, in the heart) The mouth [Romans 10:9] is also attributed to faith; for faith speaks; but unbelief generally mutters.— τίς, κ. τ. λ.) Deuteronomy 30:11-14, LXX., ὅτι ἐντολὴ αὕτη, ἣν ἐγὼ ἐντέλλομαί σοι σήμερον οὐχʼ ὑπέρογκός ἐστιν, οὐδὲ μακρὰν ἀπὸ σοῦ ἐστιν. οὐκ ἐν τῷ σὐρανῷ ἐστι, λέγων· τίς ἀναβήσεται ἡμῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν, καὶ λήψεται ἡμῖν αὐτὴν; καὶ ἀκούσαντες αὐτὴν ποιήσομεν. οὐδε πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης ἐστὶ, λέγων· τίς διαπεράσεται ἡμῖν εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης καὶ λήψεται ἡμῖν αὐτὴν. καὶ ἀκόυσαντες αὐτὴν ποιήσομεν. ἐγγύς σου ἐστὶ τὸ ῥῆμα σφόδρα: ἐν στόματί σου καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου, καὶ ἐν ταῖς χερσί σου, ποῖειν αὐτὸ. “For this commandment which I command thee this day is not overwhelmingly great; nor is it far from thee; it is not in heaven, that thou shouldst say, who amongst us shall go up to heaven and obtain it for us, that we may hear it and do it? nor is it across the sea, that thou shouldst say, who shall cross the sea and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? The word is very near to thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart and in thy hands to do it.” This paraphrase, so to speak, very sweetly alludes to this passage, without expressly quoting it. Moses speaks of heaven, as well as Paul, but the former afterwards says, across the sea, instead of which Paul most dexterously turns his discourse to the abyss, that he may on the contrary [in antithesis to their question as to the abyss] make mention of the resurrection of Christ from the dead. The abyss is a huge cavity in the terraqueous globe, at once under the sea and the land. Compare, as to many things connected with this subject, Job 28:14; Job 28:22; Philippians 2:10, note.— τίς ἀναβήσεται; who shall ascend?) He, who thus speaks, shows his willingness, but declares his inability to ascend and descend, so as to fetch righteousness and salvation from afar.— τοῦτʼ ἔστι, that is) Their perverseness is reproved, who say, Who shall ascend into heaven? for they speak just as if the word concerning the Lord of heaven were not at hand, whom the mouth of the believer confesses to be Lord, Romans 10:9, and they who wish to bring salvation down from heaven, wish to bring Christ (as being the One, without whom there is no salvation) down from heaven, whence He has already descended: but as the latter cannot take place, so neither can the former. The words, That is, in the present is thrice used, with great force.


Verse 7

Romans 10:7. τοῦτ ἔστι), that is. That is construed with to say, as substantive and adjective. Moreover, they are again reproved for perverseness, who say, who shall descend into the deep? for they speak just as if the word concerning the resurrection of Christ from the dead were not nigh at hand, and the heart of the believer acknowledges, that He has risen, in the same Romans 10:9 : and they who wish to fetch salvation from the depths of the earth, wish to bring Christ (since there is no salvation without Him) from the deep, which He left once for all at His resurrection; but as the latter cannot happen, so neither can the former. Therefore the believer, so far as this is concerned, regards not either heaven or the deep, since he has the thing which he desires, as near to him, as he is to himself. But unbelief is always fluctuating; it is always wishing, and knows not what it wishes; it is always seeking, and finds nothing. Hence it looks down at the deep with giddiness, nor can it look up to the heaven with joy.— χριστὸν, Christ) The unbeliever does not fetch Christ in His own name, that is in the name of Christ [in His peculiar attributes as anointed Saviour] either from heaven or from the deep: but the righteousness by faith, speaking here, suggests to the ignorant unbeliever to call upon the name of Christ, as much as to say, that which thou art seeking, O unbeliever [O unbelief], whilst thou art moving heaven and the deep, and art taking refuge in heaven or the deep, (as we find in Virgil, I will move hell(116) [Acheronta movebo], know that it can neither be thought of by me, nor be found by thee, without [outside of] Christ, Romans 10:4. The expression is hypothetical. That, which cannot be done,—to fetch righteousness from afar [opposed to, is nigh thee], from heaven or out of the deep; Paul sets this aside: and so leaves one only refuge, the word of Christ, which is very near.


Verse 8

Romans 10:8. ἀλλὰ, but) The particle here either has an augmentative [ ἐπιτατικήν: end. on Epitasis] meaning as in Matthew 11:8-9, or falls upon ἐγγὺς, nigh thee.— ἐγγὺς, nigh) We ought not to seek Christ at a distance, but within us. For while faith is beginning to believe, Christ dwells in the heart. This seeking for Christ [at a distance, instead of within one’s own heart] is found not only in those who are merely beginning, but even in those who are making progress in faith, Song of Solomon 3:1; Psalms 105:3-4. For he is here speaking, as if the righteousness of faith were itself conversing with itself.— ἐν τῷ στόματί σου καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου) so it is in the Hebrew, but the LXX. add καὶ ἐν ταῖς χερσί σου τοῦτʼ ἔστι) The word, that is, the word of faith is nigh thee.


Verse 9

Romans 10:9. εἀν) if only— ὁμολογήσῃς, thou shalt confess) Confession in itself does not save; otherwise infants would not be saved: but only in as far as it includes faith.— κύριον, the Lord) The summary of faith and salvation is found in this appellation. He who confesses that Jesus is Lord, does not now any longer [now for the first time ceases to] endeavour to bring Him down from heaven.— ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν, hath raised Him from the dead) The special object of faith. He who believes the resurrection of Jesus does not now any longer endeavour to bring Him from the dead, Romans 10:7.


Verse 10

Romans 10:10. καρδίᾳ, with the heart) From the mentioning of the ‘heart’ and ‘mouth’ by Moses [in Deuteronomy 30:14, quoted here at Romans 10:8], the consequence is [here by Paul referred, or] proved in reference to ‘faith,’ and ‘confession;’ namely, because the ‘heart’ is the proper subject of ‘faith’ and the ‘mouth,’ of ‘confession;’ therefore Paul here in this verse begins his sentences, by saying, with the heart, and with the mouth.


Verse 11

Romans 10:11. λέγει, saith) Romans 9:33, note.(117)


Verse 12

Romans 10:12. οὐ γὰρ ἐστι διαστολὴ, for there is no difference) ch. Romans 3:22. Here the words first to the Jews, are not added, as at the beginning, ch. Romans 1:16.— γὰρ αὐτὸς, for the same) ch. Romans 3:29-30.— κύριος, Lord), Romans 10:9.— πλουτῶν) rich and liberal, whom no multitude of believers, how great soever it may be, can exhaust; who never finds it necessary to deal more sparingly.


Verse 13

Romans 10:13. πᾶς ὄς ἄν, whosoever, Acts 2:21, note. This monosyllable, πᾶς (all), more precious than the whole world, set forth [as a theme] Romans 10:12, is so repeated, Romans 10:12-13, and farther confirmed, Romans 10:14-15, as not only to signify that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved, but that God wills that He should be called upon by all, for their salvation.


Verse 14

Romans 10:14. οὗ οὐκ ἤκουσαν) whom, namely, when speaking in the Gospel, Romans 10:15, or offering Himself, they have not heard.


Verse 14-15

Romans 10:14-15. πῶς, how) A descending climax; by which Paul argues from each higher to the next lower degree, and infers the necessity of the latter, as also from that necessity [infers] its very existence. He who wills the end, wills also the means. God wills that men should call upon Him for their salvation; therefore He wills that they should believe; therefore He wills that they should hear; therefore He wills that they should have preachers. Wherefore He sent preachers. He has done all that the matter [the object aimed at, viz., man’s salvation] required. His antecedent will is universal and efficacious.


Verse 15

Romans 10:15. πῶς δὲ κηρύξουσιν, but how [how then] shall they preach) viz., οἱ κηρύσσοντες, those preaching. This word, as well as those going before, is put in the future tense, in imitation of Joel, in whose writings this expression, shall call, is found, Romans 10:13, by that [manner, which Paul has at times, of] looking from the Old Testament [standing-point] to the New.— καθὼς, as) i.e. messengers [of the good tidings] were not wanting. Isaiah in spirit saw their eager steps.— ὡςεἰρήνην, τῶν ἐυαγγελιζομένων τὰ ἀγαθά) Isaiah 52:7. LXX ὡςἀκοὴν εἰρήνης ὃς ἐυαγγελιζόμενος ἀγαθά.— ὡραῖοι) it is properly said of what is beautiful and pleasant in nature.— οἱ πόδες, the feet) at a distance, how much more their countenances [or else mouths, as preachers] close at hand.— τῶν εὐαγγελιζομένων, of them that bring glad tidings) for while they speak, the Lord Himself speaks, Isaiah 52:7, with which comp. Romans 10:6.


Verse 16

Romans 10:16. ἀλλʼ, but) Here the fault is at last pointed out.— οὐ παντες, not all) An antithesis to every one, whosoever, Romans 10:11, etc. The fault lies with men, especially with the Jews: not all, i.e. almost nobody, comp. the who? which immediately follows.— ὑπήκουσαν) comp. ὑπὸ in ὑπετάγησαν, Romans 10:3. Those, too, should and might have obeyed, who have not become obedient.— λέγει) says, presently after the words quoted from him in Romans 10:15, [by Paul]. See John 12:38, note.


Verse 17

Romans 10:17.(118) ἄρα, then) From the complaint of the prophet respecting the unbelief of his hearers, he infers, that the word of God and preaching, the proper source and handle of faith, were not wanting.— ἐξ ἀκοῆς) ἀκοὴ, hearing, and hence [the thing heard] speech, word, preaching.


Verse 18

Romans 10:18. ΄ὴ οὐκ ἤκουσαν, Have they not heard? [ μἠ Interrog. implies a negative answer is expected: so Latin num; you cannot say they have not heard, can you?]) You cannot say, can you, that the faculty of hearing was wanting in them, since faith comes only by hearing?— εἰς πᾶσανῥήματα αὐτῶν) So the LXX., Psalms 19:5. In that Psalm, there is a comparison drawn, and the protasis is accordingly, Romans 10:2-7, and the apodosis, Romans 10:8, etc. Hence we clearly perceive the same reason for the Proclamation made by the heavens, and the Gospel,(119) which penetrates into all things [So the proclamation of the heavens, “There is no speech,” etc., “where their voice is not heard,” etc.] The Comparison rests mainly on the quotation of the apostle, and offers no violence to the text.— φθόγγος, the sound, Psalms 19:5, קו. Aquila had at a former period translated that word κανών, rule.—Comp. by all means, 2 Corinthians 10:13. Every apostle had his own region and province, as it were, defined, to which his voice was to come, but a rule only refers to single individuals, a sound or word extends to the whole earth.


Verse 19

Romans 10:19. ΄ὴ οὐκ ἔγνω ἰσράηλ; Did not Israel know?) The meaning is, that Israel could and should have known the righteousness of God, but did not wish to know it, Romans 10:3, and that is now shown from Moses and Isaiah. Paul in ch. 9–11. frequently calls the people, Israel, not Jews.— πρῶτος ΄ωϋσῆς, first Moses) Moses, under whom Israel took the form of a people or nation, has already at that early time said.— ἐγὼὑμᾶςὑμᾶς) Deuteronomy 32:21. LXX., κἀγὼαὐτοὺςαὐτοὺςοὐκ ἔθνει) This may be expressed in Latin by ne-gente, a not-nation. As the people followed gods, that were no gods, so God avenges the perfidy of the people, and took up a people that was no people, a people, who had not God as their God, a people quite unlike to Israel. So the term people does not recur Romans 10:20, [of the Gentiles] but Romans 10:21 [of Israel].— ἀσυνέτῳ, foolish) Wisdom makes a people, Job 12:2. Therefore a foolish people is not a nation; [a not-nation] a people that knows not God is foolish. גוי is a middle term, by which even Israel is denoted [ μέσον; applicable to the people Israel, and the not-people, the Gentiles]. The epithet נבל denotes other nations.


Verse 20

Romans 10:20. ἀποτολμᾷ) What Moses had merely hinted at, Isaiah boldly and openly proclaims.— εὑρέθην, I was found) I was ready at hand for, Isaiah 65:1, LXX., ἐμφανὴς ἐγενήθην τοῖς ἐμὲ μὴ ζητοῦσιν, εὑρέθην τοῖς ἐμὲ μὴ ἐπερωτῶσιν, I was made manifest to them that sought Me not, I was found by them who asked not after Me.


Verse 21

Romans 10:21. ὅλην, whole) Isa. ibid. Romans 10:2, LXX., ἐξεπέτασα τὰς χεῖράς μου ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν πρὸς κ. τ. λ., comp. the whole day, [all the day long] ch. Romans 8:36, see the remarkable dissertation of J. C. Pfaffius, on the continued grace of God.— ἐξεπέτασα, I extended) A metonymy [en.] of the antecedent [for the consequent]. They permit Me to extend My hands, nor do they come. Even by this one word alone the doctrine of the double will of God, viz., a mere good-will [which is towards all men], and a will of sealing [certain persons as His elect; beneplaciti et signi; εὑδοκία, Luke 2:14, good will; but σφραγὶς, sealing as the Lord’s own, 2 Timothy 2:19, or else the “voluntas beneplaciti” is God’s effectual good will towards the elect, Ephesians 1:5, εὐδοκία τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ; the “voluntas signi,” His mere figurative and ostensible good will, whereby it is said in accommodation to human modes of thought “God willeth all men to be saved.” Comp. Calvin Instit. B. iii. c. 20 and c. 24, sect. 17], is shown to be absurd.— ἀπειθοῦντα, not believing) with the ‘heart.’— ἀντιλέγοντα, gainsaying) with the ‘mouth;’ comp. Romans 10:8, etc.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 10:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-10.html. 1897.

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
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