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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Romans 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Romans 5:1. δικαιωθέντες οὖν ἐκ πίστεως, therefore being justified by faith) This clause is a recapitulation of the preceding reasonings; comp. justification, ch. Romans 4:25.— εἰρήνην, peace) we are no longer enemies, Romans 5:10, nor do we fear wrath, Romans 5:9, we have peace and we glory, which is the principal topic of Chapters, 5 6 7 8 [Hence Paul so often puts peace by the side of grace.—V. g.]— πρὸς, to) towards, in relation to; God embraces us in the arms of peace.— τοῦ) Paul gives the full title, our Lord Jesus Christ, especially at the beginning or end of any discussion, Romans 5:11; Romans 5:21; Romans 6:11; Romans 6:23, which last verse, however [Romans 6:23] is more closely connected with those that go before, than with those that follow, at the beginning of which, the word brethren is placed [ch. Romans 7:1].


Verse 2

Romans 5:2. προσαγωγὴν, access) Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12.— ἐσχήκαμεν, we have had) the preterite antithetic to the present, we have, Romans 5:1. Justification is access unto grace; peace is the state of permanent remaining in grace, which removes the enmity. So, accordingly, Paul in his salutations usually joins them together, grace to you and peace; comp. Numbers 6:25-26. It comprehends both the past and present; and, presently after, speaking of hope, the future; wherefore construe the words in this connection, we have peace and we [rejoice] glory.— ἐν , in which) Grace always remains grace; it never becomes debt.— ἐστήκαμεν, we have stood) we have obtained a standing-place.— καυχώμεθα, [rejoice] we glory) in a manner new and true; comp. ch. Romans 3:27.— ἐπ ἐλπίδι τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ, in [over, concerning, ‘super’] hope of the glory of God) comp. ch. Romans 3:23, Romans 8:30; Jude 1:24. Christ in us, the hope of glory, Colossians 1:27; John 17:22. Therefore, glory is not glorying itself, but is its surest objects, as regards the future.


Verse 3

Romans 5:3. καυχώμεθα, we [rejoice] glory) Construe with Romans 5:11, see notes there.— ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσιν, in tribulations) Tribulations during the whole of this life seem to deliver us up to death, [Romans 5:12], not to glory, and yet not only are they not unfavourable to hope, but even afford it assistance.— ὑπομονὴν κατεργάζεται, worketh patience [patient perseverance]) namely in the case of believers; for in the case of unbelievers the result is rather impatience and apostacy. Patience is not learned without adversity; it [patience] is the characteristic of a mind not only ready [prompt in resolution], but also of one courageous [hardy] in endurance.


Verse 4

Romans 5:4. δὲ ὑπομονὴ δοκιμήν) Again, conversely, τὸ δοκίμιον τῆς πίστεως, ὑπομονήν. [The trying of your faith, or experience, worketh patience] James 1:3. It will be difficult to find an instance of any one having used δοκιμὴ before Paul: δοκιμὴ is the quality of that man, who is δόχιμος.—[—who has been proved through various casualties and trying circumstances of peril.—V. g.]— δοκιμὴ ἐλπίδα, experience, hope) Hebrews 6:9-11; where Romans 5:10 illustrates δοκιμὴ, experience; Romans 5:9; Romans 5:11, illustrate hope. Comp. Revelation 3:10.— ἐλπίδα, hope) to which our attention is directed at the end of Romans 5:2. The discourse returns in a circle [reverting to hope, from which he started in Romans 5:2]; and it is to this whole [i.e., from rejoice, in Romans 5:2, to maketh not ashamed, Romans 5:5] that the Aetiology(49) [reason assigned by the] because, at Romans 5:5, refers.


Verse 5

Romans 5:5. οὐ καταισχύνει, does not make ashamed) We have here an instance of the figure ταπείνωσις, [by which less is said than the writer wishes to be understood]; that is, hope affords us grounds for the highest glorying, and will not prove fallacious; hope will be a reality.— ὃτι, because) The [believer’s] present state is described, Romans 5:5-8. From this, hope as to the future is inferred, Romans 5:9-11.— ἀγάπη) [not our love to God, but] the love [of God] εἰς ἡμᾶς, toward us; [as proved by] Romans 5:8; from which we derive our hope; for it [God’s love] is an eternal love— ἐκκέχυται, is shed abroad) most abundantly; whence we have this very feeling αἴσθησις [Sense, perception of His love]— ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις, in our hearts) not into our hearts. This form of expression indicates, that the Holy Spirit Himself is in the heart of the believer— διὰ, through [by]) We have the reason assigned for the whole of our present condition, in which the Holy Spirit is the earnest of the future. [The Holy Spirit is here mentioned for the first time in this discussion. When a man is really brought to this point, he at length perceives distinctly (in a marked manner) the operation of the Holy Spirit.—V. g.]— δοθέντος) given, through faith. Acts 15:8; Galatians 3:2; Galatians 3:14.


Verse 6

Romans 5:6. ἔτι, as yet) This is to be construed with ὄντων, when we were.— γὰρ, for) The marvellous love of God is set forth.— ἀσθενῶν, powerless [without strength]) ἀσθένεια is that [want of strength] powerlessness which characterises a mind when made ashamed (comp. the beginning of Romans 5:5) which [powerlessness] is opposed to glorying [Romans 5:2-3] (comp. notes on 2 Corinthians 11:30); we have the antithetic word at Romans 5:11, [we glory (joy) in God] where this paragraph also, which begins with the words, being without strength, returns in a circle to the point, from which it started. There was powerlessness, and that a deadly powerlessness (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:43), on the part of—

The ungodly,

}

the opposite of whom, respectively, are

Sinners,

The righteous

Enemies,

The reconciled.

See on the powerlessness and on the strength of glorying [i.e., the powerlessness of the ungodly, and the strength of glorying of the righteous] Psalms 68:2, and the following verses; [Psalms 71:16, Psalms 104:35] Isaiah 33:24, Isaiah 45:24; 1 Corinthians 1:31; Hebrews 2:15. Add the verbal parallelism, 2 Corinthians 11:21.— κατὰ καιρὸν ἀπέθανε, in due time died) בעתה , κατὰ καιρὸν, Isaiah 60:22. When our powerlessness had reached its highest point, then Christ died, at the time which God had previously determined, and in such a manner, that He died neither too soon nor too late (comp. the expression in the time that now is [at this time] ch. 4:26), and was not held too long [longer than was needful] under the power of death. Paul fixes the limits [of the due time] and he cannot speak in this passage of the death of Christ, without, at the same time, thinking of the counsel of GOD, and of the resurrection of Christ, Romans 5:10, ch. Romans 4:25, Romans 8:34. The question, why Christ did not come sooner, is not an idle question; see Hebrews 9:26; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Mark 1:15; Mark 12:6, just as also the question, why the law was not given sooner, is no idle question, Romans 5:14.Good men.{


Verse 7

Romans 5:7. δικαίου. το͂ υγαθο͂ υ) Masculines; with which comp. Romans 5:6; Romans 5:8, as Th. Gataker rightly shows, Book 2, Misc. c. 9, but in such a way, that he thinks them to be merely synonymous. When there is any doubt respecting the peculiar force of an expression, and a difference between words, it will be of much advantage if you either suppose something in the meanwhile, or transpose the words. Accordingly, by transposing the words in this passage, we shall read: μόλις γὰρ ὑπὲρ ἀγαθοῦ τιςποθανε͂ ιται, ὑπὲρ γὰρ δικαίου τάχα τὶς καὶ τολμᾷποθανε͂ ιν, for scarcely for a good man will one die, for peradventure for a righteous man, some one would even dare to die) suppose, to wit, also, that ἀ γαθο͂ υ is put without the article. You will immediately perceive the disadvantage to the sense, with which this change would be attended, and it will appear evident, that there is both some difference between δίκαιον and ἀγαθὸν, and a great one between δίκαιον and τὸν ἀγαθὸν, wheresoever that difference in the consecutive words may be found hereafter. In fact, the article so placed, makes a climax. Every good man is righteous; but every righteous man is not good. Gregory Thaumaturgus; περὶ πολλο͂ υ καὶ του παντός. Chrysostom; μικρὰ ταῦτα καὶ το μηδεν, those things of little importance, and that which is of no importance whatever. The Hebrews call a man צדיק, who performs his lawful duties; חסיד, who performs acts of kindness. The Greeks call the former δίκαιος; the latter, ὃσιος; comp. צדק and ענוה, Zephaniah 2:3, but in this passage we have not ὁσίου, but το͂ υ ἀγαθοῦ. Wherefore the distinction between the Hebrew words does not determine the point. But this much is certain, that just as ὅσιος, so also ἀγαθὸς expresses more than δίκαιος. (See Matthew 5:45, and lest they should be thought there also to be merely synonymous, try that same transposition, and it will be seen, that to make mention of the genial sun in connection with the just, and the useful rain in connection with the good, is not so suitable [as the converse order of the original], likewise Luke 23:50.) And so Paul, in this passage, judges τὸν ἀγαθὸν, the good man to be more worthy, that one should die for him, than δίκαιον, a righteous man. ἀσεβεῖς [Romans 5:6] and ἀγαθὸς, the ungodly and the good man, also δίκαιος and ἁμαρτωλοὶ [Romans 5:8], a righteous man and sinners, are respectively opposed to each other. What, then, is the result? δίκαιος, indefinitely, implies a harmless [guiltless] man; ἀγαθὸς, one perfect in all that piety [duty towards God and man] demands, excellent, bounteous, princely, blessed, for example, the father of his country.— ὑπὲρ γὰρ) here γάρ has a disjunctive force, of which we have many examples.— τάχα, τὶς, καὶ, τολμᾷ, peradventure, one, even, dares) These several words amplify that which is stated in Romans 5:8; τάχα (instead of τάχιστα) diminishes the force of the affirmation; τὶς, one, is evidently put indefinitely; nor is it regarded [nor does it enter into the consideration], whether the person, who may die for a just or for the good man, is in a state of wrath or of grace; καἰ, even, concessive, shows, why it is not said simply, dies, as if it were a daily occurrence; but that the writer should rather say, dares to die, inasmuch as it is something great and unusual. τὁλμᾷ, dares, as though it were an auxiliary verb, corresponds to the future, will one die; dares [endures to], ventures.—ἀ ποθανε͂ ιν, to die) Dost thou wish to have the steadiest friends? be a good man.


Verse 8

Romans 5:8. συνίστησι) commends; a most elegant expression. Persons are usually [commended] recommended to us, who were previously unknown to us or were aliens [strangers]. Comp. He descended into the midst [He stooped down to interpose between us and Himself] ( ἐμεσίτευσε) Hebrews 6:17.— δἐ, but) This comparison presupposes that God’s love toward Christ, is as great as God’s love toward Himself. Therefore the Son is equal to God.— ἁμαρτωλῶν, sinners) We were not only not good, but not even righteous.


Verse 9

Romans 5:9. δικαιωθέντες, Being justified) The antithesis to sinners, Romans 5:8.— νῦν, now) The remembrance of Jesus Christ’s death was at that time fresh among believers.— ἀπὸ τῆς ὀργῆς, from wrath) which otherwise does not cease: wrath abides upon those who do not attain to grace.


Verse 10

Romans 5:10. εἰ, [since] if) Often εἰ, if, especially in this and the eighth chapter of this epistle, does not so much denote the condition as strengthen the conclusion.


Verse 11

Romans 5:11. καυχώμεθα, we glory (joy)) The whole discourse from Romans 5:3-11 is comprehended in one construction, thus: οὐ μόνον δὲ, ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμεθα ἐν τᾶις θλίψεσιν ( εἰδότες, Romans 5:3ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦRomans 5:10) οὐ μόνον δἐ, ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμεθα ἐν τῷ θεῷ κ. τ. λ. So the edition of Colinaeus, Barb. 4, cod. MS. in colleg. prædicatorum apud Basileam, Bodl. 5. Cov. 2. L. Pet. 1. Steph. ια. Aeth. Arab. Vulg. make the words οὐ μόνον δε, ἀλλὰ καὶ καυχώμεθα be repeated after a long intervening parenthesis [by epanalepsis,(50) Not. crit.], and the sense, suspended by it, be most elegantly and most sweetly completed, according to the following arrangement of the apostle, although it was only lately that we discovered it, We have peace, and we glory not only in the HOPE of the glory of God; but, even in the midst of tribulations, we glory, I say, in God Himself, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have NOW [opp. to HOPE above] received the atonement [reconciliation]. Most of the more recent copies have made it καυχώμενοι, as if the construction were, being reconciled, we shall be saved and glorying; according to the reading, which is more generally received.(51)ἐν τῷ θεῷ, in God) not before God, ch. Romans 4:2.— τἠν καταλλαγὴν) the reconciliation. Glorying as to love, which means something more [than merely reconciliation] follows upon the reconciliation and deliverance from wrath.(52)


Verse 12

Romans 5:12. διὰ τοῦτο, wherefore) This has regard to the whole of the preceding discussion, from which the apostle draws these conclusion concerning sin and righteousness, herein making not so much a digression as a regression. In imitation of Paul’s method, we must treat, in the first place, of actual sin, according to the first and following chapters, and then go back to the source in which sin originated. Paul does not speak altogether expressly of that which theologians call original sin; but, in truth the sin of Adam is sufficient to demonstrate man’s guilt; the very many, and most mournful fruits resulting from it, are sufficient for the demonstration of man’s habitual corruption. And man, in consequence of justification, at length looks back upon, and apprehends the doctrine concerning the origin of evil, and the other things connected with it. This second part, however, is in special connection with the first part of this chapter; comp. the much more, which reigns [Romans 5:17] on both sides [i.e. grace reigning and triumphing abundantly over both original sin and habitual corruption]; Romans 5:9, etc., 15, etc., for the very glorying of believers is exhibited; comp. Romans 5:11 [we glory, or Engl. vers. we joy] with Romans 5:21. The equality, too, of Jews and Gentiles, and consequently of all men, is herein included.— ὥσπερ, as) The Protasis, which the words and so continue; for it is not so also that follows [which would follow, if the apodosis began here]. The apodosis, from a change in the train of thoughts and words, is concealed in what follows.— ἀνθρώπου, man) Why is nothing said of the woman? Ans. 1. Adam had received the commandment. 2. He was not only the Head of his race, but also of Eve. 3. If Adam had not listened to the voice of his wife, not more than one would have sinned. Moreover, why is nothing said of Satan, who is the primary cause of sin? Ans. 1. Satan is opposed to God; Adam to Christ; moreover, here the economy of grace is described as it belongs to Christ, rather than as it belongs to God: therefore, God is once mentioned, Romans 5:15; Satan is never mentioned. 2. What has Satan to do with the grace of Christ?— ἁμαρτία θάνατος, sin—death) These are two distinct evils, which Paul discusses successively at very great length.— εἰς τὸν κόσμον) into this world, which denotes the human race— εἰσῆλθε, entered) began to exist in the world; for it had not previously existed outside of the world.— καὶ διὰ, and by) Therefore, death could not have entered before sin.— καὶ οὕτως) and so, namely, by one man.— εἰς) unto [or upon] all, wholly.— διῆλθεν, passed) when sin once entered, which had not been in the world from the beginning.— ἐφʼ ) ἐφʼ with the verb ἥμαρτον has the same signification, as διὰ with the genitive, τῆς ἁμαρτίας. The meaning is, through the fact that, or in other words, inasmuch as all have sinned, comp. the ἐφʼ , 2 Corinthians 5:4, and presently after, the other ἐπὶ, occurring in Romans 5:14.— πάντες) all without exception. The question is not about the particular sin of individuals; but in the sin of Adam all have sinned, as all died in the death of Christ for their salvation, 2 Corinthians 5:15. The Targum on Ruth, ch. 4, at the end: על On account of the counsel, which the serpent gave to Eve, all the inhabitants of the earth became subject to death, אתחייבו מותא, Targum on Eccl. ch. 7, at the end. The serpent and Eve made the day of death rush suddenly upon man and upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Sin precedes death; but the universality of death becomes known earlier than the universality of sin. This plan of arrangement is adopted with respect to the four clauses in this verse.


Verse 13

Romans 5:13. ἄχρι, until) Sin was in the world, not only after the law was given by Moses, but also during the whole period before the law from Adam down to Moses, during which latter period sinners sinned without the law, ch. Romans 2:12, for the condition of all before Moses, and of the Gentiles subsequently [after Moses’ time], was equal; but this sin was not, properly speaking, the cause of death: because there is no imputation of sin without the law, and consequently there is no death; comp. Romans 5:20. The sin committed by Adam, entailing evil on all, is called the sin ( ἁμαρτία) twice in the preceding verse; now, in this verse, sin in general is called ἀμαρτία without the article.— οὐκλλογε͂ ιται, is not imputed) The apostle is not speaking here of men’s negligence, which disregards sin in the absence of a law, but of the Divine judgment, because sin is not usually taken into any account, not even into the Divine account, in the absence of the law.—Comp. ἐλλόγει, impute, or put it to my account, Philemon 1:18, note. Sin therefore does not denote notorious crimes, such as those, for which the inhabitants of Sodom were punished before the time of Moses, but the common evil. Chrysostom on this passage shows exceedingly well, what Paul intended to prove by this argument, ὅτι οὐκ ἀυτὴ ἁμαρτία τῆς τοῦ νόμου παραβάσεως, ἀλλʼ ἐκείνη τῆς τοῦ αδὰμ παρακοῆς, ἀυτὴ ἦν πάντα λυμαινομένη, καὶ τίς τούτου ἀπόδειξις; τὸ καὶ πρὸ τοῦ νόμου πάντας ἀποθνήσκειν, “that it was not the very [actual] sin of transgressing the law, but that of the disobedience of Adam—this was the sin that brought universal destruction, and what is the proof of this? The fact that all died before the giving of the law.”


Verse 14

Romans 5:14. ἑβασίλευσε, reigned) Chrysostom says, πῶς ἐβασίλευσεν; ἐν τῳ ὁμοιώματι τῆς παραβάσεως ἀδάμ. “How did it reign? in the likeness of Adam’s transgression.” He therefore construed in the likeness with reigned; and no doubt [death] reigned, I say, may be supplied [before the words in the likeness of Adam’s transgression]; comp. Romans 6:5. A reign is ascribed to death, as well as power, Hebrews 2:14. Scarcely indeed has any sovereign so many subjects, as are the many even kings whom death has taken away. It is an immense kingdom. This is no Hebraism; sin rules; righteousness rules.— ἀπὸμέχρι, from—until) The dispensation respecting the whole human race is threefold. 1. Before the law. 2. Under the law. 3. Under grace. Men severally experience the power of that dispensation, chap. 7.— καὶ, even) The particle indicates a species of persons subject to death, whom death might have seemed likely to spare in preference to all others; and so therefore it establishes the universality of death. [Not only against those, he says, who committed many sins after the age of Moses, which were to be reckoned to them according to the law, but even against those, long before, who did not commit such sins—V. g.].— ἐπὶ, over) This is a paradox; death reigned over those who had not sinned. Paul shows an inclination to use such paradoxes in speaking of this mystery, comp. v. 19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:5.— τοὺς μὴ ἁμαρτήσαντας, those who had not sinned) All indeed from Adam to Moses have committed sins, although some were virtuous, others profligate; but because they sinned without law, without which sin is not reckoned, they are spoken of as those, who had not sinned: but Adam is spoken of as the one who sinned, Romans 5:16. Observe, if these seven precepts of Noah, were what they are said to be, Paul would have described those who had not sinned, from Adam to Noah, not to Moses.— ὁμοιώματι, in the likeness) As Adam, when he transgressed the law, died, in like manner also they died, who did not transgress, or rather, who did not sin; for Paul varies the words in speaking of Adam, and of all others. This is the conclusion; That men died before the law, is a thing which befell them on account of the similitude of Adam’s transgression; that is. Because the ground on which they stood, and on which Adam stood, [their footing and that of Adam] was one and the same:—they died on account of another guilt, not on account of that, which they themselves had contracted, namely, the guilt which had been contracted by Adam. In fact, the death of many is ascribed directly to the fall of the one, Romans 5:15. Thus it is not denied, that death is the wages of any sin whatever; but it is proved, that the primary cause of death was the first sin. It is this fact, which has brought us to destruction, just as the robber, who has plundered his victim, after having murdered him, is punished for the murder, and yet he did not commit the robbery with impunity, since the punishment of the robbery merged in the punishment of the murder; but, as compared with the greater punishment of murder, it was scarcely taken into account.— ἀδὰμ, of Adam) In this one verse we have the name of the individual ἀδὰμ, in all the others, the appellative noun, man. But, while the name of Adam is consigned to oblivion, the name of Jesus Christ is distinctly preached [proclaimed] Romans 5:15; Romans 5:17.— ὅς ἐστι τύπος τοῦ μέλλοντος) ὁς for , which thing, agrees in gender with τύπος: that which was to come, τὸ μέλλον, is in the neuter gender [But Eng. vers., “of Him, that was to come.”] Hence what is said respecting the future, Romans 5:17; Romans 5:19. This paragraph from Romans 5:12 by implication contains the whole comparison of the first and second Adam, so far as they correspond to each other; for what follows refers to the differences between them, and the apodosis should be inferred from the protasis in this manner at Romans 5:12 : [As by one man sin entered—and death, etc.], so in like manner by one man righteousness entered into the world and by righteousness life; and so life passed upon all men, because all are justified. And at Romans 5:14, All shall reign in life, after the similitude of Christ, who has rendered all obedience; although those who thus reign have not by themselves fulfilled all righteousness [answering to the words “even over them,” etc., and ‘nevertheless’ in Romans 5:14.] Again Chrysostom says, πῶς τύπος; φησιν. ὅτι ὥσπερ ἐκεῖνος τοῖς ἐξ αὐτοῦ, καίτοιγε μὴ φαγοῦσιν ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου, γέγονεν αἴτιος θανάτου τοῦ διὰ τὴν βρῶσιν ἐισαχθέντος. οὕτω καὶ χριστὸς τοῖς ἐξ αὐτοῦ, καίτοιγε οὐ δικαιοπραγήσασι, γέγονε πρόξενος δικαιοσύνης, ἣν διὰ τοῦ σταυροῦ πᾶσιν ἡμῖν ἐχαρίσατο· διὰ τοῦτο ἄνω καὶ κάτω τοῦ ἑνὸς ἔχεται, καὶ συνεχῶς τοῦτο ἐις μέσον φέρει. “How is he a type or figure? because just as that man [Adam] has become the source of death, which was brought in by the eating of the forbidden fruit, to those descended from him, although they had not eaten of the fruit of that tree, so also Christ has become the provider of righteousness to those belonging to Him, although they have not performed what is righteous; and this righteousness He has freely bestowed upon us all by the cross; therefore IN EVERY DIRECTION AND ON ALL OCCASIONS he maintains this One thing, and perpetually brings it into view.” We may farther add; as the sin of Adam, independently of the sins, which we afterwards committed, brought death upon us, so the righteousness of Christ, independently of good works, which are afterwards performed by us, procures for us life; nevertheless, as every sin receives its appropriate punishment, so every good action receives a suitable reward.


Verse 15

Romans 5:15. ἀλλʼ οὐχ, but not) Adam and Christ, according to contrary aspects [regarded from contrary points of view], agree in the positive [absolutely], differ in the comparative [in the degree]. Paul first intimates their agreement, Romans 5:12-14, expressing the protasis, whilst leaving the apodosis, meanwhile, to be understood. Then next, he much more directly and expressly describes the difference: moreover, the offence and the gift differ; 1. In extent, Romans 5:15; Romans 2. That self-same man from whom sin was derived, and this self-same Person, from whom the gift was derived, differ in power, Romans 5:16; and those two members are connected by anaphora [i.e., repeating at the beginning, the same words] not as, [at the beginning of both] Romans 5:15-16, and the aetiology in Romans 5:17 [cause assigned; on aetiology, and anaphora, endix] comprehends both. Finally, when he has previously stated this difference, in the way of προθεραπεία [endix; Anticipatory, precaution against misunderstanding], he introduces and follows up by protasis and apodosis the comparison itself, viewed in the relation of effect, Romans 5:18, and in the relation of cause, Romans 5:19.— τὸ παραπτώματὸ χάρισμα, the offence—the gift) The antitheses in this passage are to be observed with the utmost care, from which the proper signification of the words of the apostle is best gathered. Presently after, in this verse, and then in Romans 5:17, the gift is expressed by synonymous terms.— οἱ πολλοὶ, the many) this includes in its signification all, for the article has a meaning relative to all, Romans 5:12, comp. 1 Corinthians 10:17.— χάρις, grace) Grace and the gift differ, Romans 5:17; Ephesians 3:7. Grace is opposed to the offence; the gift is opposed to the words, they are dead, and it is the gift of life. The Papists hold that as grace, which is a gift, and what follows grace, as they define it, they do not consider as a gift, but as merit. But all is without money or price of ours [the whole, from first to last, is of grace, not of debt or merit of ours].— ἐν χάριτι χριστοῦ, in the grace of Christ) see Matthew 3:17; Luke 2:14; Luke 2:40; Luke 2:52; John 1:14; John 1:16-17; Galatians 1:6; Ephesians 1:5-7. The grace of God is the grace of Christ, conferred by the Father upon Christ, that it may flow from Him to us.— τῇ τοῦ) Articles most forcible, Colossians 1:19 : τῇ especially, is very providently [to guard against mistake] added; for if it were wanting, any one, in my opinion, might suppose that the words of one, depended on the word gift, rather than on grace. As it is, [the τῇ being used] it is evident that the grace of God, and the grace of Jesus Christ, are the things predicated; comp. similarly, Romans 8:35; Romans 8:39, concerning love [the attribution of it, both to God and to Christ, as here].— ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου, of one man) Paul (more than the other apostles, who had seen Him before His passion) gladly and purposely calls Jesus man, in this His work, as man for man, 1 Corinthians 15:21; 1 Timothy 2:5. Can the human nature of Christ be excluded from the office of Mediator? When Paul in this verse calls Christ man, he does not give that appellation to Adam; and Romans 5:19, where he gives it to Adam, he does not bestow it upon Christ (comp. Hebrews 12:18, note). The reason is, doubtless, this, both Adam and Christ do not sustain our manhood at the same time; and either Adam rendered himself unworthy of the name of man; or the name of man is scarcely sufficiently worthy of Christ. Moreover, Christ is generally denominated from His human nature, when the question is about bringing men to God, Hebrews 2:6, etc.: from His Divine nature, when the subject under discussion is the coming of the Saviour to us, and the protection which He affords us, against our enemies, Titus 2:13. No mention is here made of the Mother of God; and if her conception was necessarily immaculate, she must have had no father, but only a mother, like Him, to whom she gave birth. [Cohel. or Ecclesiastes 7:29.]


Verse 16

Romans 5:16. καὶ, and) The meaning is to this effect: and not, as by one that sinned (is the judgment) (so by one, the author of righteousness is) the gift [Engl. Vers, is different]; that is to say; And [moreover] the proportion [the ratio] on both sides, is not the same.— κρίμα, the judgment) namely, is.— ἐξ ἑνὸς, from one) namely, offence, [Engl. Vers. differs]; for the antithesis, of many offences, follows. The one offence was of the one man; the many offences are of many men.(53)


Verse 17

Romans 5:17. τοῦ ἑνὸςδιὰ τοῦ ἑνὸς, of the one man, by the one) A very significant repetition; lest the sins committed by individuals should seem rather [than the offence of the one man] to have produced death.— ἐβασίλευσε, reigned) The word in the preterite tense looks back from the economy of grace to the economy of sin; as presently after the expression shall reign, in the future, looks forward from the economy of sin, to the economy of grace and eternal life; so Romans 5:19.— τὴν περισσείαν) πλεονάζειν, and περισσεύειν differ, as much in the positive, and more in the comparative, Romans 5:20. Abundance of grace, is put in opposition to the one offence.— λαμβάνοντες, receiving) λαμβάνειν may be rendered either as a neuter-passive verb, empfangen, erlangen, kriegen to receive, to acquire, to get; or actively, annehmen, to take. The former is the better sense; still the relation to δωρεὰν a gift, is more suitable to the act of taking. In justification, man does something; but the act of taking, so far as it is an act, does not justify, but that which is taken or laid hold of. The gift and taking, are correlatives. Furthermore, this verb is not used, when we are speaking of sin; and it is for the same reason, owing to which it happens that we are not said to reign in death, but death reigned; but life reigns in us, 2 Corinthians 4:12, and we in life. Christ, in this passage, is King of them that reign. Life and reigning are mentioned in connection also, in Revelation 20:4. The term life is repeated from ch. Romans 1:17, and often recurs, presently after, in Romans 5:18; Romans 5:21, and in the following chapters.


Verse 18

Romans 5:18. ἄρα οὖν) ἄρα draws the inference, syllogistically: οὖν concludes, almost rhetorically: for this subject is not farther discussed than in this and the following verse.— ἑνὸςἑνὸς, of one—of one) In the masculine; as is manifest from the antithesis, all. The word one, generally put without the addition, man, designates with the greatest force, one, either of the two.— δικαιώματοςδικαίωσιν) δικαίωμα is, so to speak, the material substratum, the foundation for δικαιώσει, justification; obedience, righteousness fulfilled. It may be called justificament (justificamentum) The ground and material of justification, as ἐδραίωμα denotes a firmament [or means of making firm]; ἔνδυμα, vestment; ἐπίβλημα, additament [or the thing wherewith addition is made]; μίασμα, defilement; ὀχύρωμα, muniment; περικάθαρμα, the means of purgation; περίψημα, the thing scraped of; σκέπασμα, a tegument or the thing wherewith a covering is made; στερέωμα, firmament; ὑπόδημα, a thing wherewith the foot is covered, a shoe; φρόνημα, sentiment [the material of φρόνησις] French sentiment. Aristot. Eth. Book v. c. 10, has put ἀδίκημα and δικαίωμα in opposition to each other, and defines the latter to be the correction of injustice [ τὸ ἐπανόρθωμα τοῦ ἀδικήματος] the putting right what is wrong; which is tantamount to satisfaction [or atonement], a term undeservedly hateful to the Socinians.

The following scheme exhibits the exquisite propriety of the terms:—

A.

B.

C.

D.

Romans 5:16.

κρίμα,

κατάκριμα·,

χάρισμα,

δικαίωμα,

judgment.

condemnation.

free gift.

righteousness.

Romans 5:18.

παράπτωμα,

κατάκριμα·,

δικαίωμα,

δικαίωσις ζωῆς,

Offence.

condemnation.

righteousness.

justification of life.

In both verses A and B are of the same class, συστοιχεῖ, [are co-ordinate] and likewise C and D but A and C correspond in the opposite classes, ἀντιστοιχεῖ; so also B and D. In Romans 5:16 the transaction on the part of God is described; in Romans 5:18 on the part of Adam and of Christ; and that, with less variety of words in the case of the economy of sin, than in the case of the economy of grace. διχάιωσις ζωῆς, justification of life, is that Divine declaration, by which the sinner, subject to death, has life awarded to him, and that too, with justice on his side.


Verse 19

Romans 5:19. παρακοῆς) παρὰ in παρακοή very appositely points out the principle of the initial step, which ended in Adam’s fall. The question is asked, how could the understanding or the will of an upright man have been capable of receiving injury, or of committing an offence? Ans. The understanding and the will simultaneously gave way [tottered] through carelessness, ἀμέλεια, nor can we conceive of any thing else previous to carelessness, ἀμέλεια, in this case, as the initial step towards a city being taken is remissness on the part of the guards on watch. Adam was seduced through carelessness and indolence of mind, δια̇ ῥᾳθυμίαν; as Chrysostom says, Homil. xxvii. on Gen., and at full length in Homil. lx. on Matt., “whence did man wish to disobey God? from weakness and indolence of mind,” πόθεν ἠθέλησεν ἄνθρωπος παρακοῦσαι θεοῦ; ἀπὸ ῥᾳθυμίας, κ. τ. λ.— παρακοὴ, disobedience, implies this carelessness or weakness. The opposite in this passage is ὑπακοὴ, obedience, from which is derived an excellent argument regarding active obedience, without which the atonement of Christ could not have been called obedience; it is for this reason He is so often praised as, ἄμωμος, blameless.— κατασταθήσονται, shall be constituted) It is one thing for a man to be constituted righteous, even where imputation is spoken of, it is another thing to be justified, since the former exists as the basis and foundation of justification, and necessarily precedes true justification, under which it is laid as the substratum [on which it rests]; for a man must of necessity stand forth as righteous, before he can be truly justified. But we have both the one and the other from Christ, for both the merit of Christ’s satisfaction for sin, imputed to a man in himself unrighteous, already constitutes that same person righteous, inasmuch as it procures for him the righteousness, by which he is righteous; and by virtue of this righteousness, which is obtained by that merit, he is necessarily justified wherein-soever that justification be needed; that is, he is justly acquitted by merit, who in this way stands forth righteous, Thom. Gataker. Diss. de novi instr. stylo, cap. 8. This is quite right. Nevertheless the apostle, as at the end of the period, seems to set forth such a constituting of men as righteous, as [which] may follow upon the act of justification, and which is included in the expression being found, Philippians 3:9; comp. with Galatians 2:17.— οἱ πολλοὶ, the many) all men, Romans 5:18; Romans 5:15.


Verse 20

Romans 5:20. νόμος, law) the omission of the article tends to increase the sublimity [elevation of tone].— παρεισῆλθε) came in stealthily by Moses, Romans 5:14. The Antithetic word is, entered, Romans 5:12; Sin therefore is more ancient than the law.— πλεονάσῃ, might abound) ch. Romans 7:7, etc. Sin is not reckoned in the absence of the law; but when the law came in stealthily, sin appeared as abounding; but, before the law, the fall of Adam should be held as the cause of death.— τὸ παράπτωμα, the offence) supply καὶ ἁμαρτία and sin. All the sins of mankind, compared with the sin of Adam, are as it were offshoots; it is the root. ἁμαρτία, sin, in the singular number, is considered as a plague most widely spread; and it also comprehends all actual παραπτώματα, offences, Romans 5:16.— ἁμαρτία [the] sin) or in other words, the offence and sin; for there is a difference between them;(54) see notes on Romans 5:14; the sin, in the singular number, John 1:29.— ὑπερεπερίσσευσε, superabounded [did much more abound] A third party conquering the conqueror of the conquered is superior to both: sin conquered man: grace conquers sin; therefore the power of grace is greatest.


Verse 21

Romans 5:21. ἐν τῷ θανατῳἐις ζωὴν, in death—unto life) The difference is here exemplified between the particles ἐν and ἐις. Death has its limits and boundary, whereas life is everlasting, and [by divine power] divinely extended. Death is not said to be eternal; whereas life is said to be eternal, ch. Romans 6:21, etc.— χάρις βασιλεύσῃ, that grace might reign) Grace therefore has had, as it were, no reign, that is, it has had a most brief reign before the fall. We may believe, that Adam sinned not long after that he was created.—Ἰ ησο͂ υ, Jesus) Now no longer is Adam even mentioned: the mention of Christ alone prevails.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 5:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-5.html. 1897.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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