Early Church Fathers
1 In ix. 30-33 Paul had stated that the reason of Israel's rejection was, that they sought after righteousness not by faith but by works, while the Gentiles sought it by faith and attained it. Chap. x. is an illustration and confirmation of this position. Its leading idea is, that the Jews could not be justified by works of the law, because a new system, that of faith, had come in with Christ and had displaced the old. The argument may be summarized thus: (1) Vv. 1, 2. Conciliatory introduction in which the apostle avows his love for his people. (2) Vv. 3, 4. Their method, however, of seeking righteousness by works is an effort to obtain a righteousness of their own, which is impossible. Christ has put an end to the system of works and He is himself the only means of attaining God's righteousness. At v. 5 begins the Scriptural argument concerning the two systems of works an faith. (3) Vv. 5-10. The principle of the system of works as stated by Moses is, keep the law and you will be saved by it. The principle of faith, on the other hand, is, not that of striving to reach something afar off, but of accepting the present truth. It is not struggle but acceptance; not attaining by merit, but receiving by grace. (4) Vv. 11-13. The Scriptures emphasize this principle of faith as the true principle of salvation, speaking of the assurance which it brings and that to all, regardless ot nationality or outward condition. (5) Vv. 14, 15. But in order that men may accept this message, preachers must be sent to proclaim the glad tidings. (6) Vv. 16-21. This has been done in the case of the Jews. They cannot shelter themselves behind the excuse that they have not known God's message. The scriptures of the Old Testament reveal God and require faith in Him and also intimate the larger destination of the gospel for Gentiles as well as Jews.-G. B. S.
2 Referring to the expression, "a zeal of God," see 1 Cor. iii. 3, Gr.
3 2 Gr. "is summed up," anakefalaioutai. See Irenaeus, ...31, 32; iii. 21, 9, 10; xxii. I Massuet pp. 293, 294 O. T. where he says the creation is "recapitulated" in Christ. Also iv. 74, 78, v. 1; iv. 38, 1; 40. 3: v. 1, 2. Mass. pp. 436, 444, 451 O. T. much to the same purpose, and v. 29, p. 518 O. T. of the recapitulation or consummation of iniquity in Antichrist; the word is the same.
4 By the "end of the law," the author seems to understand the ability to secure righteousness to men which was the ideal aim of the law but which it could not do. While this view is correct enough in itself, it seems not to present the full force of teloj nomou which is best taken, with most recent interpreters, (as Meyer, Godet, De Wette, Olshausen, Dwight) to literally the end or termination of the law. Christ end to the law system by fulfilling it. The meaning is well given in Meyer's paraphrase: "For the validity of the law has come to an end in Christ, in order that every believer may be a partaker of righteousness."-G. B. S.
5 He seems to consider the words quoted from Lev. xviii. a sufficient refutation, as the Jews thought to be justified by the Law without fulfilling it. See Rom. ii.
6 2 This term is admissible with respect to the method of attainment; but there are two other readings of the passage; one is "that the easiness may not seem to make it contemptible and cheap."
7 "sinews" Field, from Catena.
8 pasan akolouqian, i. e. the common order of cause and effect.
9 St. Augustin Quaest. in Deut. lib. v. q. 54, discusses this passage and its application, and considers it to refer to the spiritual meaning of the Law.
10 The following analysis of Paul's meaning in vv. 6-10 may be useful in connection with the exposition of Chrys. The apostle quotes Deut. xxx. 11-14 in which God assures the people that his commandments are not beyond their power to obey. He brings truth and duty near to them. These expressions are typical of the principles of the Christian faith. No striving, journeying or climbing are needful to reach Christ and his truth and law. Christian truth and duty are brought near in the apostolic message. After this presentation of the faith-idea in Old Testament language, which all might not grasp, he presents the message of the gospel in vv. 9, 10 in unmistakable terms. It includes two points, (1) confession, (2) faith, and the object of both is stated. It is Christ. Confess Christ; believe heartily in his resurrection (which would carry belief in all the essential facts of his life and person with itself). And then, reversing the order, and throwing kardia and stomati into special prominence, he repeats the assurance that faith and confession conduct to the true goal-eij dikaiosunhn-eij swthrian (10).-G. B. S.
11 Hooker, v. 23, "The higher any cause is, the more it coveteth to impart virtue unto things beneath it."
12 or "confirm" sugkrotein.
13 Vide ad J. Polluc. vii. 201.
14 ecepesomen kai added after xaritoj in 2 mss. and in Ben from mss. "we have fallen from this grace, and the business of Christianity is treacherously given up."
1 Vv. 14, 15 state a threefold objection to Paul's doctrine of the Jews' responsibility. Vv. 16-21 are the reply to this objection. Paul takes up three points which are summarized in the objections. (1) Shall the fact that they have not believed constitute any excuse? (16, 17). The apostle answers that the real fact is that the message of faith and of the Messianic salvation has been proclaimed to the Jews and a large part of them have rejected and disobeyed it. They must therefore have heard, for disobedience, on the one hand, and faith, on the other, depends upon hearing the message and hearing it. depends upon God having spoken it. (2) Then comes the prior question concerning the hearing on which disobedience or hearing is dependent (18). Certainly they have heard, answers Paul, for we might apply to God's message the words of the Psalm (xix. 5) which describe the movements of the heavenly bodies, so plain and wide-spread have been God's messages concerning Christ and the principles on which his Gospel is based. (3) Since Israel has heard, does it not follow that they knew and are therefore inexcusable? (19). Yes. The Jews complain that God's promise has failed; that He has not preserved to them their promised prerogatives. Hence it is excusable for them to fall away from confidence in Him, etc. The apostle answers that this is an entire misunderstanding of their own providential history. The coming of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God was already foreshadowed in the Old Testament, e.g. Moses (Deut. xxxii. 21) speaks oF Israel being made jealous and angry by a "no-people"-"a foolish nation" (heathen). And again, Isaiah (lxv. 1, Isaiah lxv. 2) uses very bold words which the apostle applies to the relation of Jews and Gentiles. The three points placed in close relation are: (1) Israel has heard and (2) hence knows, and (3) is blameworthy for the rejection of the Messiah.-G. B. S.
2 Four mss. The believing and obeying God equally when He speaks and when He works wonders.
3 Ps. xix. 4 (Ps. xviii 4 and Ps. xviii 4). The mystical interpretation of this Psalm here indicated, is acknowledged by the Church in using it on Christmas day. An ancient Latin hymn has this paraphrase on a part of it:
From Chastity, His Palace bright,
Forth came the Bridegroom decked with light,
Giant! God and Man in one!
Glad His glorious race to run.
From the Eternal Father sent
Back to Him His circuit bent,
Down to hell His path descends,
At the throne of God it ends.
Origen on this passage (t. iv. p. 627), and St. Augustin on the Psalm, enlarge upon its Christian interpretation.
4 "They" "their" i.e. the Jews: "these" i.e. the Gentiles.
5 This of course does not exclude the other interpretation of J. Martyr. Apol. i. 35. p. 27 O. T. Tryph. 97, p. 193 O. T. and others. See, on the contrary, St. John xii. 32, also St. Cyr. Hier. Cat. xiii. 27, and note, p. 157 O. T. add St. Cyprian, Test. ii. 20, p. 56, O. T. and note.
6 As in Cornelius' case. See p. 379, and context.
7 The central thought of chap. xi. is that Israel's rejection is not forever; the nation is to be restored. The or er of thought is as follows: (1) The rejection is partial. The Scriptures furnish analogous examples of partial falls and rejections of the nation, 1-10. (2) The fall of Israel is temporary. Some branches were cut off because of unbelief and Gentile branches inserted in their place, but the natural branches shall yet be restored. 11-24. (3) Reflections upon the wise and gracious purposes of God in all these dispensations, 25-36.-G. B. S.
8 Field with one Ms. reads "What then? Is this the people? is that seed
come to be 3, 5, or 10,000?" and mentions with approval the reading of the Catena "What then? are the people come down to thee and 3, 5, or 10,000?"
9 Referring to his words, 1 Kings xix. 14, and to his sharing in the famine, xvii. 13.
10 4 mss. omit these words: most early mss. and versions of the N. T. omit the whole second half of the verse.
11 All Field's mss. om. "words," which however may mean Offence given by words.
1 Field punctuates so as to give the sense "Why then hath not Israel attained to that which he seeketh after? Nay, but the election hath obtained it;" which seems to be (at all events) St. Chrysostom's view of the passage.