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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Romans 15

 

 

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Verse 1

Romans 15:1. (151) δὲ, [on the other hand] but) [This is in antithesis to Happy—Sin, last ch. Romans 15:22-23]. There is great danger, and we are only kept guarded by the power of God; but we ought [owe that debt to others] to watch over [pay attention to] one another.— ἡμεῖς) we. He counts himself also in common with others a debtor, as an apostle, and as an apostle of the Gentiles.— οἱ δυνατοὶ, the strong) comp. Galatians 6:1, note.— βαστάζειν, to bear) It is indeed a burden.— ἀρέσκειν) ἀρεσκω, I am anxious to please. He who is anxious to please himself, is indifferent about pleasing another, and pays little respect to his conscience. This is a Metonymy of the antecedent for the consequent [end.]


Verse 2

Romans 15:2. εἰς τὸ ἀγαθὸν, πρός οἰκοδομὴν, for good, to edification) εἰς, unto, denotes the internal end, in respect of God; πρὸς, to, the external end, in respect of our neighbour. Good, the genus; edification, the species.


Verse 3

Romans 15:3. χριστὸς, Christ) who alone was truly δυνατὸς, strong, comp. Romans 15:1 with ch. 5 and 6: δυνατοὶ strong, ἀσθενεῖς weak.— οὐχ ἑαυτῷ, not Himself) Admirable συγκατάβασις, condescension! Not Himself but us, Romans 15:7-8; Psalms 69:32 : Christ procured ἀρέσκειαν, what is well-pleasing to God for those, who see and are glad [Referring to Psalms 69:32, which see].— ἀλλὰ) but, viz., He took that upon Himself, which is written.— γέγραπται, it is written) Psalms 69:10, with which comp. Romans 15:11-12, in the latter hemistich of either, it matters not which.— οἱἐμὲ) So the LXX.— ἐπέπεσον, fell on) By right Christ might have borne Himself as God, and have enjoyed Divine honours, but He did not use His right, for our sakes, Philippians 2:6. He indeed thoroughly felt the reproaches, which wicked men cast upon God, with that sorrow, which they ought to have felt, who gave utterance to them; and He Himself bore and expiated those reproaches as patiently, as if He Himself had been the guilty person. His whole sufferings are here intended; He at that time performed the office of a minister [a servant], Matthew 20:28. [At that time, He did not please Himself, but He interposed Himself, in order that in respect to [in the case of] all who had dishonoured GOD, GOD might receive what was well-pleasing [“caperet beneplacitum.” Or rather, that God might by the atonement, be enabled to exercise good-will consistently with justice]. It behoved Him to endure many things with patience, Romans 15:1; Romans 15:4.—V. g.]


Verse 4

Romans 15:4. γὰρ, for) This assigns the reason for the quotation just made.— προεγράφη) were written before the time of the New Testament; as was that, which is quoted, Romans 15:3, as having been written concerning Christ.— ἡμετέραν) our, or of us believers in the New Testament, ch. Romans 4:24; 1 Corinthians 10:11.— ὑπομονῆς, patience) of which Christ afforded an example, not pleasing Himself.— καὶ) a hendiadys [end.], the comfort [paraclesis] of the Scriptures leads us to patience. A summary of the ends [the main aim] of sacred Scripture.— παρακλήσεως, comfort) which holds the middle place between patience and hope; ch. Romans 5:4. There is comfort [paraclesis, consolation], when the soul re-echoes the sentiment, thou art δόκιμος [Comp. the Gr. James 1:3; James 1:12] approved. 2 Corinthians 1:6.— τῶν γραφῶν, of the Scriptures) It is in the plural, and corresponds with whatsoever. [The Scriptures testify of Christ, and teach us by His example, what we should do or what we should leave undone.—V. g.]— τὴν ἐλπίδα, the hope) The article must not be overlooked, comp. on patience and hope, ch. Romans 5:4, on hope, Romans 15:12-13. For from this mention of patience and comfort the fifth verse is deduced, and from the mentioning of hope the thirteenth verse.— ἔχωμεν, may have) The former part of this verse treats of the use of the whole Scripture, the latter principally of the use of the Saying quoted at Romans 15:3. Hence comes the twofold prayer, Romans 15:5; Romans 15:13, suitable to the approaching conclusion.


Verse 5

Romans 15:5. θεὸς τὴς ὑπομονῆς καὶ παρακλήσεως, The God of patience and consolation) So, the God of hope, Romans 15:13, the God of peace, Romans 15:33. Titles from the thing, which is treated of. Elsewhere, the God of glory, the God of order, the God of the living, the God of heaven.— τῆς παρακλήσεωςτὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖνκατὰ) So plainly, Philippians 2:1-2.


Verse 6

Romans 15:6.(152) ὁμοθυμαδὸν, with one mind) with one believing mind.— στόματι, with the mouth) confessing.— δοξάζητε, ye may glorify) Ye Jews and Gentiles, Romans 15:7; Romans 15:9.— τὸν θεὸν καὶ πατέρα τοῦ κυρίου ἠμῶν ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ) a frequent appellation, 2 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3. It is to be resolved in this manner: The God of our Lord, etc., Ephesians 1:17, and the Father of our Lord, etc., instead of what men of old said, God the Creator and the Lord of heaven and earth, Psalms 124:8, and the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, thereby subscribing [signifying their assent] to the faith of these believers. So elsewhere God and our Father, Galatians 1:4. Christ has a double relationship to God and the Father, as compared with us; we also have a double relationship, through Christ, John 20:17.


Verse 7

Romans 15:7. ὑμᾶς, you(153)) who were formerly weak, Jews and Greeks without distinction.— εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ, to the glory of God) It is construed with received, comp. Romans 15:6; Romans 15:8-9.


Verse 8

Romans 15:8. λέγω δὲ, Now I say) By this verse the preceding clause concerning Christ is explained.— χριστὸν ιησοῦν.) Others say, ιησοῦν χριστὸν.(154) Those, who have omitted the name Jesus in this passage, seem to have had respect to Romans 15:3; Romans 15:7. The nomenclature, Jesus Christ, and Christ Jesus, ought not to be considered as promiscuously used. Jesus is the name, Christ the surname. The former was first made known to the Jews, the latter to the Gentiles. Therefore he is called Jesus Christ according to the natural and common order of the words; but when He is called Christ Jesus, by inverting the order of the words, peculiar reference is made to the office of Christ, with somewhat of a more solemn design. And this is especially suitable to the present passage. Sometimes in one place, both arrangements of the words prevail, Romans 15:5-6; Galatians 2:16, note; 1 Timothy 1:15-16; 1 Timothy 6:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:9-10. See also 1 Corinthians 3:11; with which comp. 1 Timothy 2:5.— διάκονον, a minister) a suitable appellation; comp. Romans 15:3; Matthew 20:28. [Remarkable humiliation! Here indeed there was need of patience, Romans 15:4-5.—V. g.]—Moreover, Jesus Christ became the minister of the Father for the salvation of the circumcision. Christ was subservient to the will of the Father: the Father devoted Him for the salvation of many, whence the Genitive, of circumcision, has the same meaning as in Galatians 2:7-8. Presently after, reigning is ascribed to this minister, Romans 15:12. But this appellation (minister) is not repeated in the next verse, for the calling of the Gentiles coheres with His state of exaltation;—it is accordingly said there, that they might glorify, for greater thanksgiving is rendered by the Gentiles,(155) than by the circumcision.— περιτομῆς, of the circumcision) that is, of Israel.— πατέρων, of the fathers) The Genitive here contains the emphasis of the sentence, Matthew 15:26.


Verse 9

Romans 15:9. διὰἔθνεσιψαλῶ) Psalms 18:50, LXX., διὰἔθνεσι, κύριεψαλῶ.— ἐξομολογήσομαι, I will confess) Paul says that the Gentiles do that, which Christ declares in the Psalm, that He will do; in fact, Christ is doing this among [or rather, in the person of] the Gentiles, Hebrews 2:12, where Paul quotes Psalms 22, as here Psalms 18 is quoted. In Psalms 22. Christ announces the name of the Lord to His brethren; in Psalms 18. He confesses to the Lord among [or in the person of] the Gentiles, and the Gentiles confess to Him in [the person of] Christ. Afterwards in Psalms 117 the Jews invite all tribes and all nations; לאם signifies a multitude, and עם a political community.— ψαλῶ, I will sing) The Gentiles sing and praise, because they have obtained mercy, Heb. אזמרה, using the organ.


Verse 10

Romans 15:10. λέγει) viz., λέγων.— εὐφράνθητε ἔθνη μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ) So the LXX., Deuteronomy 32:43. Comp. Psalms 67:5, the nations in the earth. The Imperative, put by apostrophe,(156) is equivalent to a categorical indicative, for the promise was not made to the Gentiles.— ΄ετὰ, with) The Gentiles were not His people;—this is mercy [Romans 15:9], because they are admitted notwithstanding.


Verse 11

Romans 15:11. αἰνεῖτεκαὶ ἐπαινέσατε) Psalms 117:1, LXX., αἰνεῖτεἐπαινέσατε.


Verse 12

Romans 15:12.(157) ἡσαΐας, Isaiah) Three sayings had been quoted without the name of Moses and David; he now mentions the name of Isaiah, of whose book the Haphtara (The portion publicly read in the synagogue) with this Saying, is read on the eighth day of the Passover, at that time of the year, at which this epistle seems to have been written.— ἔσται καὶ ἐπʼ αὐτῷ—) Isaiah 11:10, LXX. καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἐπʼ αὐτὸν.— ῥίζα, the root) Christ is elsewhere called the root of David, Revelation 22:16; but, if we compare this passage taken from the passage in Isaiah quoted above with Romans 15:1, He is called the root of Jesse. The descent of kings and of the Messiah from His house was divinely appointed to Jesse in His own name, before it was so in the name of David, and that descent might have been expected even from another son of Jesse, 1 Samuel 16:7. But David was king, not Jesse; and the kingdom of Christ was in some measure hereditary from David, Luke 1:32, in respect of the Jews, but not in respect of the Gentiles. He is therefore called here, not the root of David, but, that which was next to it, the root of Jesse. The Messiah, who was to descend from Jesse, had been promised neither entirely to him, nor to the Gentiles: and yet He was bestowed on both. Those things, however, which immediately precede, where He is called the root of Jesse, and the passage, 1 Samuel 16:7, where it is said of the first-born son of Jesse, I have refused him, testify that the Messiah was divinely appointed to Jesse.— ἀνιστάμενος) So the LXX. interpreted the word of Isaiah, נם, a banner: There is a pleasant antithesis: the root is in the lowest place; the banner rises on high [to the greatest height], so as to be seen even by the remotest nations.— ἐλπιοῦσιν, shall hope, [trust]) Divine worship is implied here as due to Christ even in His human nature. The Gentiles formerly had no ‘hope,’ Ephesians 2:12.


Verse 13

Romans 15:13. ἐλπίδος, of hope] Comp. they shall hope, in the preceding verse and immediately after, in hope. The God of hope, a name glorious to God; a name heretofore unknown to the Gentiles. For Hope had been one of their false divinities, whose temple, Livy mentions in the 21st book of his history, was struck with lightning, and, again in the 24th book, was burnt with fire.— χαρᾶς καὶ εἰρήνης, with joy and peace) We may look back to ch. Romans 14:17. Concerning joy comp. Romans 15:10, Rejoice ye; concerning peace, ibid. with [His people].— ἐν δυνάμει) construed with περισσεύειν.


Verse 14

Romans 15:14. ἀδελφοί μου, my brethren) As one street often conducts men going out of a large city through several gates, so the conclusion of this epistle is manifold. The first begins with this verse; the second with ch. Romans 16:1; the third with Romans 16:17; the fourth with Romans 16:21; and the fifth with Romans 16:25.— καὶ αὐτὸς ἐγὼ, I myself also) not merely others, hold this opinion of you, ch. Romans 1:8.— καὶ αὐτοὶ, you yourselves also) even without any admonition of mine.— δυνάμενοι, who are able) By this very declaration he exhorts them to exercise that ability.— καὶ ἀλλήλους, also one another) not merely that every one should be his own monitor; comp. 2 Timothy 2:2.— νουθετεῖν, to admonish) He points to this ability, [viz. such as consists in this] that a man may be μεστὸς, full of goodness, full from the new creation itself; filled ( πεπληρωμενος) with all knowledge, filled, viz. by daily exercise; in the understanding and the will. So, goodness and knowledge are joined, 1 Peter 3:6-7, and the former is especially recommended to women, the latter to men. γνῶσις, is properly knowledge; and such knowledge, as shows respect to the weaker vessel, obtains the name of moderation, yet it is in reality knowledge.


Verse 15

Romans 15:15. τολμηρότερον, more boldly) That is, I have acted somewhat boldly in writing to you, who are unknown to me, when I should rather have gone to you in person. He says, that the degree of boldness on his part consisted in the very fact of writing at all, not in the manner of writing. διὰ, because of, depends on, I have written.— ἀπὸ μέρους, in part) [in some sort, Engl. V.] He uses this phrase from modesty, and does not assume to himself the whole office of teaching, but only one part of it, that of admonition, and that not entirely; for he subjoins ἐπαναμιμνήσκων with ὡς, as, before it; he does not say simply, ἀναμιμνήσκων, putting you in mind, but ἐπαν.


Verse 16

Romans 15:16. λειτουργὸν, ἱερουργοῦντα, προσφορὰ) This is allegorical. Jesus is the priest; Paul the servant of the priest; the Gentiles themselves are the oblation: ch. Romans 12:1; Isaiah 60:7; Isaiah 66:20 : and that oblation is very acceptable, because it is sanctified (John 17:19), along with [as well as] its gifts [i.e. their contribution to the saints at Jerusalem is also acceptable, Romans 15:26], Romans 15:31.— ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, in the Holy Spirit) whom the Gentiles receive by the Gospel of God.


Verse 17

Romans 15:17. καύχησιν, glorying) Paul had a large heart; so he says at Romans 15:15, more boldly, and Romans 15:20, “I have strived ambitiously,” φιλοτιμούμενον.— ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ, in Christ Jesus) This is explained in the following verse. My glorying with respect to those things, which pertain to God, has been made to rest [rests] in Christ Jesus.— τὰ πρὸς θεὸν, in those things, which pertain to God) Paul makes this limitation; otherwise he was poor and an outcast in the world, 1 Corinthians 4:9, etc.


Verse 18

Romans 15:18. οὐ γὰρ τολμήσω, for I will not dare) That is, my mind shrinks [from speaking of the things wrought by me] when unaccompanied with [except when accompanied with] Divine influence.— λαλεῖν τι, to speak anything) to mention anything, that I have accomplished, or rather, to preach the doctrine of the Gospel, for the expression is abbreviated, in this manner; I will not dare to speak any (or do any) of those things which Christ (would not speak, or) do by me; for, by word and deed, follows. The Inspiration [Theopneustia] of Paul is here marked: 2 Corinthians 13:3.


Verse 19

Romans 15:19. ἐν δυνάμει σημείων καὶ τεράτων, [Engl. V. through mighty] in the power of signs and wonders) This expression should be referred to, by deed.— ἐν δυνάμει πνεύματος θεοῦ, [by] in the power of the Spirit of God) This should be referred to, by word. We have here a gradation, [ascending climax]: for he attributes more to the Spirit of God, than to the signs.— ἀπὸμέχρι, from—unto) A large tract of country.— ἰλλυρικοῦ, Illyricum) of which Dalmatia is a part; 2 Timothy 4:10.— τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, the Gospel) the office of preaching the Gospel.


Verse 20

Romans 15:20. δὲ, moreover [yea, Engl. V.]) He gives the reason for taking those regions under his own care.— φιλοτιμούμενον) The Accusative absolute, in the neuter gender,(158) the same as ἀρξάμενον, Luke 24:47.(159)οὐχ ὅπου, not where) This is more emphatic, than if he had said, where not; for he intimates, that he had as it were avoided those places, where Christ had been already known. So Colossians 2:1; Galatians 1:22. Paul is said to have been ‘unknown’ to those, who had previously received the faith.— ἀλλότριον, another man’s) Paul here does not term Christ Himself the foundation, but the work of others in preaching the Gospel of Christ.


Verse 21

Romans 15:21. οἷςσυνήσουσι) Isaiah 52:15. So plainly the LXX.


Verse 22

Romans 15:22. πρὸς ὑμᾶς, to you) as persons, to whom the name of Christ was now no longer unknown.


Verse 23

Romans 15:23. κλίμασι, regions) This term is applied in contradistinction to the political divisions of the world; for the Gospel does not usually follow such divisions; even the fruit of the Reformation at a very early period had an existence beyond Germany.— ἐπιποθίαν ἔχων) This signifies something more than ἐπιποθῶν.(160)


Verse 24

Romans 15:24. ὡς ἐὰν) ὡς is the principal particle; ἐὰν, soever,(161) παρέλκει, is redundant, in whatsoever manner, at whatsoever time, and by whatsoever route.— εἰς τὴν σπανίαν, into Spain) where the Gospel was not yet preached.— διαπορευόμενος, passing through on my journey) because the foundation of the faith was already laid at Rome.— προπεμφθῆναι, to be brought on my way) The passive voice with a reciprocal signification, that is, to leave or commit himself to their care to be escorted by them on his journey; he writes familiarly to the brethren whom he had not yet seen, as though by virtue of right [as if his claim on them were matter of right].— ὑμῶν, you) He speaks modestly. The Romans were rather likely to have reason to be filled (to be fully gratified) with Paul’s company.— ἀπὸ μέρους, in some measure) He intimates to them, that he would not however be so long at Rome, as he wished; or else, that it is Christ, and not believers, with whom believers should be perfectly filled.


Verse 25

Romans 15:25. διακονῶν, ministering) after the example of Christ, Romans 15:8.— τοῖς ἁγίοις, to the saints) See note at Acts 20:32.


Verse 26

Romans 15:26. ΄ακεδονία καὶ ʼ αχαΐα, Macedonia and Achaia) From this expression the time, at which the epistle was written, may be gathered, Acts 19:21.— κοινωνίαν, an act of communion, or communication [a contribution]) A term of description [applied to their gift of brotherly love] honourable and exceedingly just.— τῶν ἁγίων, of the saints) He does not say, poor saints (Gr. the poor among the saints). Therefore not all the saints were poor. Therefore the community of goods had now ceased at Jerusalem, after the death of Ananias and Sapphira, and after the persecution, Acts 8:1.


Verse 27

Romans 15:27. εὐδόκησαν γὰρ, for they have been pleased) supply, I say, comp. the beginning of the preceding verse. Pleased, and debt, are twice mentioned.— καὶ, and) Liberty and necessity in good works are one and the same [found together].— εἰ γὰρ, for if) This mode of reasoning applies also to the Romans; he therefore mildly invites and admonishes them, in this epilogue of the epistle, to contribute: comp. ch. Romans 12:13.— ὀφειλουσι, they owe it) by virtue of the debt of brotherly kindness, 2 Corinthians 9:7.— λειτουργῆσαι, to minister) The inferior ministers to the superior.


Verse 28

Romans 15:28. ἐπιτελέσας καὶ σφραγισάμενος) Words nearly related to each other, 2 Kings 22:4, וְיַתֵּס אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף, LXX., καὶ σφράγισον τὸ ἀργύριον, and seal the silver. Paul finished this first; nothing interrupted him, how eager soever he might be as to other objects, Acts 19:21. σφραγισάμενος, as soon as I shall have sealed, not only that they might perceive the good faith of him, who delivered it, but that they might also be confirmed in spiritual communion. ἀπελεύσομαι, I will go away) even though I may never be about to return from Spain. This is the force of the compound verb.— σπανίαν, Spain) Paul does not seem to have reached Spain. A holy purpose often exists in the minds of godly men, which, although it is not fulfilled, is nevertheless precious [in God’s eyes], 2 Samuel 7:2; 2 Samuel 7:4.


Verse 29

Romans 15:29. πληρώματι, in the fulness) comp. Romans 15:19. There is a real parallelism in the fulness of the Gospel, both intensive and extensive.(162)εὐλογίας, of the blessing) which is conspicuous [such fulness of blessing as it is conspicuously seen to possess] both at Jerusalem and Rome.— τοῦ εὐαγγελίου) Some have omitted this word: The cause of the omission is easy to be perceived, viz. from the recurrence of τοῦ.(163)

The τοῦ alluded to by Beng. as recurring refers to Rec. Text τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ, which reading is supported by both Syr. Versions and Vulg. (later MSS.) But ABCD( λ)G Cod. Amiat. (the oldest MS.) of Vulg. Memph. fg Versions omit the three words.—ED.


Verse 30

Romans 15:30. κυρίου, Lord) He exhorts them by the name of the Lord; comp. by [for] the love, immediately after.— ἀγάπης, love) The love of the Spirit is most widely extended; it brings home [it makes a matter of interest] to thee, even what might seem to belong to another.— συναγωνίζεσθαί μοι, to strive with me) He himself must pray, who wishes others to pray with him, Acts 8:24; Acts 8:22. Prayer is a striving, or contest, especially when men resist. Paul is the only one of the apostles, who asks for himself the prayers of believers. He does this moreover generally at the conclusion of his epistles, but not indiscriminately so in all. For he does not so write to those, whom he treats as sons, with the dignity of a father, or even with severity, for example, Timothy, Titus, the Corinthians, the Galatians, as he does to those, whom he treats as his equals with the deferential regard of a brother, for example, the Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians (with whom he had not been), and therefore so also the Romans and likewise the Hebrews. It [the request for their prayers] is introduced with great elegance at 2 Corinthians 1:11; Philippians 1:19; Philemon 1:22.


Verse 31

Romans 15:31. καὶ ἵνα, and that) This is also an important matter.— εὐπρόσδεκτος, accepted) that the Jews and Gentiles may be united in the closest bonds of love. The liberality of the Gentiles, which was shown for the sake of the name of Jesus, afforded to the Jews an argument for the truth and efficacy of the Christian faith, and for lawful communion with the Gentiles, 2 Corinthians 9:13.


Verse 32

Romans 15:32. ἐν χαρᾷ ἔλθω, that I may come to you with joy) I may come, has respect to the former part of Romans 15:31, and, with joy, to the latter.


Verse 33

Romans 15:33. θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης, the God of peace) A gradation in reference to Romans 15:5; Romans 15:13 : The God of patience, hope; so, the God of love and peace, 2 Corinthians 13:11, The God of peace, ch. Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20(164)

AGg omit ἀμήν. B (judging from its silence), CD( λ)f Vulg. have it. Tischend. therefore supports it. Lachm. brackets it.—ED.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 15:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-15.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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