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TEXT. 27 Where is boasting then ? it is excluded. By what law? of works?
Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without the
deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles ?
Yes, of the Gentiles also. 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith,
and uncircumcision through faith.
PARAPHRASE. 27 faith in Jesus Christ. What reason, then, have you Jews to
glory“, and set yourselves so much above the Gentiles, in judging them, as you do? None at all : boasting is totally
excluded. By what law ? By the law of works? No, but 28 by the law of faith. I conclude, therefore, that a man is 29 justified by faith, and not by the works of the law. Is
God the God of the Jews only, and not of the Gentiles 30 also ? Yea, certainly of the Gentiles also. Since the time is
come that God is no longer one to the Jews, and another to the Gentiles, but he is now become one and the same a God to them all, and will justify the Jews by faith, and the Gentiles
NOTES. * Tor éx distws, 'Incoi, if this phrase had been translated, him that is of the faith of Jesus, as it is chap. iv. 16, and Gal. iii.7, rather than him which believeth in Jesus, it would better have expressed the apostle's meaning here, which was to distinguish oi ix ulcows, those who are of faith, from oi ix cepilogñs, or oi ix voyou, those who are of the circumcision, or those who are of the law, speaking of them as of two sorts, or races of men, of two different extractions. To understand this place fully, let any one read chap. iv. 12—16. Gal. iii. 7-10, where he will
find the apostle's sense more at large. 27 • The glorying here spoken of, is that of the Jews, i.e. their judging of the Gen
tiles, and their contempt of them, which St. Paul had before in several places taken notice of. And here, to take down their pride and vanity, he tells them it is wholly excluded by the Gospel, wherein God, who is the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews, justifieth by faith alone the Jews as well as the Gentiles, since po man could be justified by the deeds of the law. This seems to be said to the converted Jews, to stop their thinking that they had any advantage over the Gentiles under the Gospel. No, says he, the Gospel, which is the law of faith, lays you equal with the Gentiles, and you have no ground to assume any thing to yourselves, or set yourselves above them, now under the Messias. This, and all the rest to this purpose in this epistle, is said to establish the converted Romans in their title to the favour of God, equally with the Jews, in the Gospel, and to fortify them against any disturbance that might be given them by the pretending Jews, which is the principal design of this epistle, as we have already
observed. 28 b. “Therefore.” This inference is drawn from what he had taught, ver. 23.
• Vid. Acts xiii. 39, chap. viii. 3. Gal. ii. 16. 30 'Entítes eis ó Oids, "since God is one.” He that will see the force of St. Paul's
reasoning here, must look to Zachary xiv. 9, from whence these words are taken,
TEXT. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid : yea,
we establish the law.
also through faith, who, by the law of Moses, were heretofore 31 shut out e from being the people of God. Do we then make
the law' insignificant, or useless, by our doctrine of faith ? By no means : but, on the contrary, we establish 3 and confirm the law.
NOTES. where the prophet, speaking of the time when the Lord shall be King over all the earth, and not barely over the little people shut up in the land of Canaan, he says, “in that day there shall be one Lord,” i. e. God shall not be, as he is now, the God of the Jews alone, whom only he hath known, of all the people of the earth : but he shall be the God of the Gentiles also, the same merciful, reconciled God to the people of all nations. This prophecy the Jews understood of the times of the Messias, and St. Paul here presses them with it. € It was impossible for remote nations to keep the law of Moses, a great part of
the worship required by it being local, and confined to the temple at Jerusalem. 31 (Nouos, " law,” is here repeated twice, without the article ; and it is plain that
by it St. Paul does not mean precisely the Mosaical law, but so much of it as is contained in the natural and eternal rule of right, mentioned chap. i. 33, and xi. 26, and is again, by a positive command, re-enacted and continued as a law under the Messias, vid. Matth. xxviii. 20. 8 “Establish.” The doctrine of justification by faith necessarily supposeth a rule of righteousness, which those, who are justified by faith, come short of; and also a punishment incurred, from which they are set free, by being justified : and so this doctrine establishes a law; and accordingly the moral part of the law of Moses, that Sexalwpa tom too, as the apostle calls it in the place above quoted, chap. i. 32, is enforced again, by our Saviour and the apostles, in the Gospel, with penalties annexed to the breach of it.
CHAPTER IV. 1-25.
CONTENTS. St. Paul having, in the foregoing section, cut off all glorying from the Jews, upon the account of their having the law, and shown, that that gave them no manner of title or pretence to be
TEXT. 10 How was it, then, reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in
uncircumcision ? not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received a sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness
of the faith, which he had, being yet uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised,
that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circum
cision only, but also walk in the steps of that faith of our father
Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. 13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to
PARAPHRASE. the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also ? for we
say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 When, therefore, was it reckoned to him ? when he was in
circumcision, or in uncircumcision ? not in circumcision, but 11 in uncircumcision. For he received the sign of circumcision,
a seal of the righteousness of the faith, which he had, being yet uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those
who believe, being uncircumcised, that righteousness might be 12 reckoned to them also ; And the father of the circumcised,
that righteousness might be reckoned, not to those who were barely of the circumcision, but to such of the circumcision as
did also walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abra13 ham, which he had, being uncircumcised".
For the pro
NOTES. 11 . See Gen, xvii. 11. 11, 12 'What righteousness reckoned to any one, or as it is usually called, imputed righteousness, is, St. Paul explains, ver. 6–8. Whom this blessing belongs to, he inquires, ver. 9, and here, ver. 11 and 12, he declares who are the children of Abraham, that from him inherit this blessing ; ver. 11, he speaks of the Gentiles, and there shows that Abraham, who was justified by faith, before he was circumcised, (the want whereof the Jews looked on as a distinguishing mark of a Gentile) was the father of all those, among the Gentiles, who should believe without being circumcised. And here, ver. 12, he speaks of the Jews, and says that Abraham was their father ; but not that all should be jastified, who were only circumcised: but those, who, to their circumcision, added the faith of Abraham, which he had before he was circumcised. That which misled those, who mistook the sense of St. Paul here, seems to be their not observing that tois oùx éx σεριτομής is referred to, and governed by εις το λογισθήναι, which must be supposed repeated here after warépa epitouñs. Or else the apostle's sense and argument will not stand in its full force, but the antithesis will be lost, by preserving of which the sense runs thus : and the father of the circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to those who, &c. Another thing, very apt to mislead them, was the joining of pover, only, to oux, not, as if it were os povos tois, not only those who are of the circumcision; whereas it should be understood as it stands joined to περιτομής, and so περιτομής μόνον are best translated barely circumcision, and the apostle's sense runs thus : “that he might be the father of the Gentiles
TEXT. Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteous
ness of faith. 14 For if they, which are of the law, be heirs, faith is made void, and
the promise made of none effect. 15 Because the law worketh wrath : for where no law is, there is no
PARAPHRASE. mises, that he should be possessor of the world, was not that Abraham, and those of his seed who were under the law, should, by virtue of their having and owning the law, be possessed of it'; but by the righteousness of faith,
whereby those who were, without the law, scattered all over the world, beyond the borders of Canaan, became his posterity, and had him for their
father, and inherited the blessing of justification by faith. 14 For, if they only who had the law of Moses given them were
heirs of Abraham, faith is made void and useless', it receiving no benefit of the promise, which was made to the heirs of
Abraham's faith, and so the promise becomes of no effect. 15 Because the law procures them not justification”, but renders
them liable to the wrath and punishment of God', who, by the law, has made known to them what is sin, and what punish
NOTES. that believe, though they be not circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also : and the father of the Jews, that righteousness might be imputed, not to them who have circumcision only, but to them who also walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham, which he had being uncircumcised." In which way of understanding this passage, not only the apostle's meaning is very plain, easy, and coherent; but the construction of the Greek exactly corresponds to that of ver. 11, and is genuine, easy, and natural, which
any other way will be very perplexed. 13 8 The promise bere meant is that which he speaks of ver. 1), whereby Abraham
was made the father of all that should believe, all the world over; and, for that reason, he is called xampóropos xbojou, “ heir, or lord of the world.” For the believers, of all nations of the world, being given to him for a posterity, he becomes, thereby, lord and possessor (for so heir amongst the Hebrews signified) of the world. For it is plain, the apostle, in this verse, pursues the argument he was upon in the two former. And it is also plain, that St. Paul makes cir. cumcision to be the seal of the promise made to Abraham, Gen. xii. as well as of that made to him, Gen. xvii. and so both these to be but one covenant, and that of chap. xvii. to be but a repetition and farther explication of the former, as is evident from this chapter, compared with Gal. iii. In both which the apostle argues, that the Gentiles were intended to be justified, as well as the Jews ; and that both Jews and Gentiles, who are justified, are justified by faith, and not by the works of the law.
h Gal. iii. 7 14 I See Gal. iii. 18. 15 k Ch, viii. 3. Gal. iii. 21.
Sce ch. iii. 19, 20, and v. 10, 13, 20, and vii. 7, 8, 10. I. Cor. xv. 56. Gal. iii. 19. John ix. 41, and xv. 22.
TEXT. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the
promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is
the father of us all. 17 (As it is written, “ I have made thee a father of many nations”)
before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead,
and calleth those things which be not as though they were: 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father
of many nations, according to that which was spoken, “ So shall thy
seed be.” 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now
PARAPHRASE. ment he has annexed to it. For there is no incurring wrath
or punishment, where there is no law that says any thing 16 of it": Therefore the inheritance is of faith, that it might be
merely of favour, to the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed of Abraham; not to that part of it only which has faith, being under the law; but to that part also, who, without the law, inherit the faith of Abraham, who is the
father of us all who believe, whether Jews or Gentiles, 17 (As it is written ”, “I have made thee a father of many
nations.") I say the father of us all (in the account of God, whom he believed, and who accordingly quickened the dead,
i. e. Abraham and Sarah, whose bodies were dead; and calleth 18 things that are not, as if they were P:) Who without any hope,
which the natural course of things could afford, did in hope believe, that he should become the father of many nations, ac
cording to what God had spoken, by God's showing him the 19 stars of heaven, saying, So shall thy seed be. And being firm
NOTES. moi oux isry v6jos, oudi mapabudis, of that, concerning which there is no law, with the sanction of a punishment annexed, there can be no transgression, incurring wrath or punishment. Thus it may be rendered, if we read ou with an aspiration as some do. But whether it be taken to signify where, or whereof, the sense will be the same. Tlapábavis here, to make St. Paul's argument of force, most signify such a transgression as draws on the transgressor wrath and punishment, by the force and sanction of a law. And so the apostle's proposition is made good, that it is the law alone that exposes us to wrath, and that
is all the law can do, for it gives us no power to perform. 16 - The grammatical construction does not seem much to favour “ inheritance,"
as the word to be supplied bere, because it does not occur in the preceding verses. But he, that observes St. Paul's way of writing, who more regards things than forms of speaking, will be satisfied, that it is enough that he mentioned “ heirs," ver. 13 and 14; and that he does mean inheritance here, Gal.
jii. 18, puts it past doubt. 17 . See Gew.xvii. 16.
D Gen, xvi. 5.