corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.10.21
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Romans 10

 

 

Verse 1

Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

The Yearning of the Apostle's Heart after Israel's Salvation All the Greater by Reason of their Religious Zeal (Romans 10:1-2)

Brethren, my heart's ('my own,' or 'my very heart's') desire , [ eudokia (Greek #2107) tees (Greek #3588) emees (Greek #1699) kardias (Greek #2588)]. The word here rendered "desire" expresses 'entire complacency' (see the note at Matthew 11:26) - that in which the heart would experience full satisfaction.

And prayer to God for Israel -`for them,' is beyond doubt the true reading; the subject being continued And prayer to God for Israel - `for them,' is beyond doubt the true reading; the subject being continued from the close of the preceding chapter. At the commencement of a church lesson it would be natural to insert the catch-word "for Israel," and thus it would creep into the text.

That they might be saved , [ eis (Greek #1519) sooteerian (Greek #4991)] - 'for [their] salvation! Having before poured forth the anguish of his soul at the general unbelief of his nation and its dreadful consequences (Romans 9:1-3), he here expresses in the most emphatic terms his desire and prayer for their salvation.


Verse 2

For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

For I bear them record (or, 'witness') - as well he could from his own sad experience,

That they have a zeal of ('for') God, but not according to knowledge (cf. Acts 22:3; Acts 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13-14). He alludes to this well-meaning of his people, notwithstanding their spiritual blindness, not certainly to excuse their rejection of Christ and rage against His saints, but as some ground of hope regarding them (see 1 Timothy 1:13).

Self-righteousness was the fatal rock on which Israel was split-Christ the divinely-provided, divinely-predicted, only, and all-sufficient righteousness of the sinner, whether Jew or Gentile, that believeth (Romans 10:3-13)


Verse 3

For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

For they being ignorant of God's righteousness - i:e., that righteousness which God approves and provides for the justification of the guilty (see the note at Romans 1:17).

And going about ('seeking') to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves , [ hupetageesan (Greek #5293)] - 'submitted themselves not'

Unto the righteousness of God. The apostle views the general rejection of Christ by the nation as one act.


Verse 4

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

For Christ is the end (the object or aim) of the law for (justifying) righteousness to everyone that believeth - i:e., contains within Himself all that the law demands for the justification of such as embrace Him, whether Jew or Gentile (Galatians 3:24); bestowing that righteousness and life which the law holds forth but cannot give. 'The law (says Bengel, naively) hounds a man until he betake himself to Christ; then it says to him, Thou hast found an asylum, I pursue thee no more; thou art wise, thou art safe.'


Verse 5

For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth, [ poieesas (G4160)] those things (which the law enjoins) shall live by them - (Leviticus 18:5; etc.) Lachmann and Tregelles have en (Greek #1722) autee (Greek #846) - 'shall live in (or 'by') it,' meaning, 'the righteousness of the law,'-for which there are 'Aleph (') A B, three cursives, two copies of the Old Latin (one a late corrector only), the Vulgate (in ea), Gothic, and later versions. But this is insufficient evidence; and Tischendorf (with the best critics) prefers the Received Text. This is the one way of justification and life which the law recognizes, the only "righteousness which is of (or by our own obedience to) the law."


Verse 6

But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

But the (justifying) righteousness which is of (that is, which is obtained by) faith speaketh on this wise , [ houtoos (Greek #3779)] - 'speaketh thus;' its language or import is to this effect (quoting in substance Deuteronomy 30:13-14, and with a running comment on the words quoted, to bring out their Christian reading).

Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? that is (in effect), to bring Christ down [from above] - q.d., 'Ye have not to sigh over the impossibility of attaining to justification; as if one should say, Ah! if I could but get some one to mount up to heaven and fetch me down Christ, there might be some hope; but since that cannot be, mine is a desperate case.'


Verse 7

Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

Or, Who shall descend into the deep? that is (in effect), to bring up Christ [again] from the dead. This is another case of impossibility suggested by Proverbs 30:4, and perhaps also Amos 9:2. These were probably proverbial expressions of impossibility, (cf. Psalms 139:7-10; Proverbs 24:7, etc.)


Verse 8

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

But what saith it? [it saith] - continuing the quotation from Deuteronomy 30:14,

The word is nigh thee (easily accessible), even in thy mouth - when thou confessest Him,

And in thine heart - when thou believest on Him. The thoughtful student of this passage will observe, that though it is of the law that Moses is speaking in the place quoted from, yet it is of the law as Israel shall be brought to look upon it when the Lord their God shall circumcise their heart "to love the Lord their God with all their heart," etc. (Romans 10:6); and thus, in applying it, the apostle (as Olshausen truly observes) is not merely appropriating the language of Moses, but keeping in the line of his deeper thought.

That is, the word of faith, which we preach - i:e., the word which men have to believe for salvation (compare, for the phrase, 1 Timothy 4:6).


Verse 9

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

That if thou shalt confess , [ hoti (Greek #3754) ean (Greek #1437) homologeesees (Greek #3670)] - or 'For (or 'Because) if thou shalt confess.' The words will bear either sense. If the latter rendering is adopted (as most versions and the majority of critics do), we have in this verse the apostle's own remarks, confirming the foregoing statements as to the simplicity of the Gospel method of salvation. But (with Calvin, Beza, Fritzsche, Ferme, Locke, Conybeare, and Jowett) we prefer the sense given by our own version. In this case the apostle is here expressing in full what he holds to be the true Christian reading of the words of Moses in the passage quoted; in other words, the sense which those words of Moses yield to the intelligent Christian reader of them, with the blaze of Gospel light illuminating those ancient oracles of God-namely, "That if thou shalt confess"

With thy mouth the Lord Jesus , [ Kurion (Greek #2962) Ieesoun (Greek #2424)] - meaning either, 'If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as [the] Lord' (so DeWette and Green translate the words); in which case, compare 1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 14:9; Philippians 2:11; or the meaning may be more general-`If thou shalt confess the Lord Jesus with thy mouth;' the emphasis in this case being on the open confession of Christ (Matthew 10:32; 1 John 4:15), and "the Lord Jesus" being but a wonted form of that name which is above every name. We used to take the words in the former sense; but this latter (that of our own version) is probably the correct sense. At the same time, the confession of "the Lord Jesus" can only be genuine in the cordial recognition of Him as "the Lord," as well as "Jesus."

And shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him ('that God raised Him') from the dead (see the note at Romans 4:25), thou shall be saved. The confession of the mouth, of course, comes, in point of time, after the belief of the heart; but it is put first here to correspond with the foregoing quotation from Deuteronomy 30:14 - "in thy mouth and in thy heart" (Romans 10:8). In 2 Peter 1:10 also, the "calling" of believers is put before their "election," as that which is first 'made sure,' although in point of time it comes after it. In the next verse, however, the two things are placed in their natural order.


Verse 10

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness - the righteousness of justification,

And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. This confession of Christ's name, especially in times of persecution, and whenever obloquy is attached to the Christian profession, is an indispensable test of discipleship. In Revelation 21:8 those who have not the courage to make such confession are meant by the "fearful."


Verse 11

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

For the Scripture saith - in Isaiah 28:16, a glorious Messianic passage,

Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Here, as in Romans 9:33, the quotation is from the Septuagint. In the original Hebrew it is, 'shall not make haste' [yaachiysh] - meaning (as we understand it), 'shall not fly for escape, as from apprehended danger.' The Septuagint rendering [kataischuntheeseteai] here made use of is but another phase of the same idea. In the former case, the 'security' which the believer has is viewed as a felt security, producing 'calm continuance;' in the latter case, it is an intrinsically solid security-never putting to shame.


Verse 12

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord over all , [ ho (Greek #3588) gar (Greek #1063) autos (Greek #846) Kurios (Greek #2962) pantoon (Greek #3956) ploutoon (Greek #4147)] - 'the same Lord of all [is] rich;' or, 'The same [is] Lord of all, rich?' Perhaps this last is the thing intended. But the reference, we take it, is not to God the Father (as Calvin, Grotius, Olshausen, Hodge), but to Christ, as may be seen by comparing Romans 10:9; Romans 10:12-13, and observing the apostle's usual style on such subjects. (So Origen, Chrysostom, Melville, Bengel, Fritzsche, Meyer, de Wette, Tholuck, Stuart, Alford, Philipi). The word 'rich' is a favourite Pauline term to express the exuberance of that saving grace which is in Christ Jesus,

Unto all that call upon him. This confirms the application of the preceding words to Christ; since to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus is a customary New Testament phrase. (See Acts 7:59-60; Acts 9:14; Acts 9:21; Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:22; and compare Acts 10:36; Philippians 2:11.


Verse 13

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

For (as the Scripture saith): whosoever , [ pas (Greek #3956) gar (Greek #1063) hos (Greek #3739)]. The phrase is emphatic-`Every one whosoever,' or, 'Whosoever he be that'

Shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. These words are from Joel 2:32; and they are quoted also by Peter in his great Pentecostal sermon (Acts 2:21) with evident application to Christ. Indeed, this is but one of many Old Testament passages of which Yahweh is the Subject, and which in the New Testament are applied to Christ-an irrefragable proof of His proper divinity. But on this most significant phrase the reader will find more on 1 Corinthians 1:2. (Even DeWette on this passage notices that, in Ephesians 3:8, our apostle speaks of "the unsearchable riches of Christ.")

But this Universality of the Gospel Call Supposes the Universal Proclamation of it, Obnoxious though that be to the Jews (Romans 10:14-15)


Verse 14

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and ... believe in him of whom they have not heard? and ... hear without a preacher?


Verse 15

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

And ... preach except sent? - q.d., 'True, the same Lord over all is rich unto all alike that call upon Him; but this calling implies believing, and believing hearing, and hearing preaching, and preaching a mission to preach. Why, then, take ye it so ill, O children of Abraham, that in obedience to our heavenly mission (Acts 26:16-18) we preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ?'

As it is written (Isaiah 52:7), How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! The whole chapter of Isaiah from which this is taken, and the three that follow, are so richly Messianic, that there can be no doubt "the glad tidings" there spoken of announce a more glorious release than that of Judah from the Babylonian captivity, and the very feet of its preachers are called "beautiful" for the sake of their message. What a call and what encouragement is here to missionary activity in the Church!

All this Was Foretold in their own Scriptures, together with theRejection of the Message by the Jews, and its Reception by the Gentiles (Romans 10:16-21)


Verse 16

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

But they have not all obeyed the gospel - the Scripture has prepared us to expect the general rejection of the Gospel message.

For Esaias saith (Isaiah 53:1), Lord, who hath believed our report? - q.d., 'Where shall one find a believer?' The prophet speaks as if next to none would believe. The apostle softens this into "They have not all The prophet speaks as if next to none would believe. The apostle softens this into "They have not all believed."


Verse 17

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God - q.d., 'Thus have we a Scripture confirmation of the truth that faith supposes the hearing of the Word, and this a commission to preach it.'


Verse 18

But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

But I say, Have they not heard? ('Did they not hear?') - Can Israel, through any region of his dispersion, plead ignorance of these glad tidings, or of God's intention that they should be everywhere proclaimed?

Yes verily , [ menounge (Greek #3304)] - see the note at Romans 9:20 - `Nay verily,'

Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. These beautiful words are from Psalms 19:4. Whether the apostle quoted them as in their primary intention applicable to his subject (as Olshausen, Alford, etc.), or only 'used Scriptural language (as Hodge says) to express his own ideas, as is done involuntarily almost by every preacher in every sermon' (so Calvin and many critics), expositors are not agreed. But though the latter may seem the more natural-since 'the rising of the Sun of righteousness upon the world' (Malachi 4:2), 'the day-spring from on high visiting us, giving light to them that sat in darkness, and guiding our feet into the way of peace' (Luke 1:78-79), must have been familiar and delightful to the apostle's ear-we cannot doubt that the irradiation of the world with the beams of a better sun, by the universal diffusion of the Gospel of Christ, must have been a mode of speaking quite natural, and to him scarcely figurative; not to say that in that very Psalm (as Alford and others justly observe) the glory of God in His Word is represented as transcending and eclipsing that of His works in nature, of which this verse more immediately speaks.


Verse 19

But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

But I say, Did not Israel know? - that is, from their own Scriptures, of God's intention to bring in the Gentiles?

First, Moses saith - or, 'was the first (in the prophetic line) to say,'

I will provoke you to jealousy by [them that are] no people , [ ep' (Greek #1909) ouk (Greek #3756) ethnei (Greek #1484)] - not 'against' (as the Vulgate), nor 'by' (as Beza and our version), but 'on account of a no-nation' [see Fritzsche on the force of epi (Greek #1909) here].

[And] by a foolish nation ('on account of a nation without understanding,') will I anger you. The words are from Deuteronomy 32:21, (almost entirely as in the Septuagint) In that chapter Moses prophetically sings the future destinies of his people; and in this verse God warns His ancient people that, because they had moved Him (that is, because in after-times they would move Him) to jealousy with their "no gods," and provoked Him to anger with their vanities, He, in requital, would move them to jealousy by receiving into His favour a no-nation, and provoke them to anger by adopting a nation void of understanding.


Verse 20

But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

But Esaias is very bold, and saith - i:e., is still plainer, and goes even the length of saying,

I was found of them that sought me not (that is, until I sought them); I was made ('became') manifest unto them that asked not after me - that is, until the invitation from Me came to them. That the calling of the Gentiles was meant by these words of the prophet (Isaiah 65:1), is manifest from what immediately follows: "I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name."


Verse 21

But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

But to , [ pros (Greek #4314) to (Greek #3588)] - rather, 'But with regard to'

Israel he saith, All day ('All the day') long I have stretched out ('did I stretch forth') my hands (the attitude of gracious entreaty) unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. These words, which immediately follow the announcement just quoted of the calling of the Gentiles, were enough to forewarn the Jews both of God's purpose to eject them from their privileges, in favour of the Gentiles, and of the cause of it on their own part.

Remarks:

(1) Mere sincerity, and even earnestness in religion-though it may be some ground of hope for a merciful recovery from error (see 1 Timothy 1:13) - is no excuse, and will not compensate, for the deliberate rejection of saving truth, when in the providence of God presented for acceptance, (Romans 10:1-3; and see Remark 3, at the close of Romans 9:1-33).

(2) The true cause of such rejection of saving truth, by the otherwise sincere, is the prepossession of the mind by some false notions of its own. So long as the Jews "sought to establish their own righteousness," it was in the nature of things impossible that they should "submit themselves to the righteousness of God;" the one of these two methods of acceptance being in the teeth of the other.

(3) Is there one soul sighing for salvation, but saying within itself, 'Ah! Salvation is beyond my reach: others may be able to lay hold of it; but for me, who have so long and so perseveringly set at nought all His counsel and despised all His reproof, Christ seems so far off that I may as well think to mount up to heaven and pluck Him down, or descend into the deep to bring Him up from thence?' How gloriously does the apostle here teach us to deal with such a case. 'The word (says he) is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart-the word of faith which we preach: Christ is in the heart of everyone who believeth on Him, in the mouth of whose confesseth Him; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.'

(4) How will the remembrance of the simplicity, reasonableness, and absolute freeness of God's plan of salvation overwhelm those that perish from under the sound of it? (Romans 10:4-13.)

(5) How piercingly and perpetually should that question - "HOW SHALL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER?" - sound in the ears of all the churches, as but the apostolic echo of their Lord's parting injunction, "PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE" (Mark 16:15); and how far below the proper standard of love, zeal, and self-sacrifice, must the churches as yet be, when with so plenteous a harvest the labourers are yet so few (Matthew 9:37-38), and that cry from the lips of pardoned, gifted, consecrated men - "Here am I, send me" (Isaiah 6:8) - is not heard everywhere (Romans 10:14-15)!

(6) The blessing of a covenant-relation to God is the irrevocable privilege of no people and no church: it can be preserved only by fidelity, on our part, to the covenant itself (Romans 10:19).

(7) God is often found by those who apparently are the farthest from Him, while He remains undiscovered by those who think themselves the nearest (Romans 10:20-21; and see Matthew 8:11-12; Matthew 19:30).

(8) How affectingly is the attitude of God toward the ungrateful and persevering rejecters of His love here presented to us-all the day long extending the arms of His mercy even to the disobedient and gainsaying. This tenderness and compassion of God, in His dealings even with reprobate sinners, will be felt and acknowledged at last by all who perish, to the glory of God's forbearance and to their own confusion, imparting to their misery its bitterest ingredient.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 10:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/romans-10.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology