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time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Eccles. 3: 1, 7). The word translated in the
A.V. "kept secret" is sigao, translated elsewhere in the N.T. "keep silence" and "hold
Much important truth latent in Gen. 1:-11: was "hushed" until the "time to speak"
had arrived, when Paul was inspired to write the epistle to the Romans. The study of
Gen. 1:-11: in the light of Rom. 5: 12 - 8: 39 is therefore of the utmost importance to
the believer who would realize the peculiar character of his calling. From Gen. 12: until
the end of the Acts one nation holds the pre-eminent place and that part of the O.T. which
deals with Israel knows no salvation apart from the chosen race, or the covenants made
If Israel should finally fail and fall, the prophets had nothing to tell us of how God
would cope with the resulting problem. It is, accordingly, the purpose of the central
section of Romans to reveal the relationship of man, as such (i.e., as neither Jew nor
Gentile) to Adam and to Christ, irrespective both of promises made to the fathers, and the
failure or success of the chosen people. But this is not the theme of the O.T. prophecy in
general. The period covered by the Scriptures from Gen. 12: to Matt. 1: is as long as that
covered by Gen. 1: 3 to 11: In that small space of eleven chapters is written all that can
be known of the first 2000 years of this present creation. What is written is pregnant with
truth, but it must await its appointed time, and just as the gospel itself revealed teaching
hidden in O.T. Scriptures (as we have already seen in Hab. 2: 3, 4, etc.) so these early
chapters of Genesis hold much basic teaching throwing light on the position of the
believer who is saved and justified without reference to the law of Moses. Volumes have
been written to associate the obedience of Christ with the law of Moses, whereas this law
was but transient, it was "added because of transgressions", it was "found fault with" and
passed away (Heb. 8: 7).
This secret has been hushed in aionian times. We read of some part of God's purpose
as being related to a period "before aionian times" (Titus 1: 2; II Tim. 1: 9), and in
I Corinthians we read of "the wisdom of God in a mystery" which has been "hidden" and
which God "foreordained before the ages" (I Cor. 2: 7). The mystery of the prison
epistles was "hidden from the ages, and from the generations" (Col. 1: 26). These hidden
subjects had "their own seasons" of manifestation, which manifestations were through the
medium of "preaching" and "according to" a "commandment" (Titus 1: 3).
The mystery of Rom. 16: is not said to be related to a period "before age times" but
silenced in age times. This secret is the theme of the central section of Romans, and its
subject is Adam, not Abraham, man, not Israel or Gentile, the law of sin, not the law of
Sinai, the dominion of sin and death, not the domination of Canaanites or Babel.
What are the "prophetic writings" that Paul refers to? The words translated in the
A.V. "the scriptures of the prophets" are not exactly the same as those used in Rom. 1: 2.
In Rom. 1: 2 the original reads: Dia ton propheton auton en graphais hagiais, where,
Rom. 16: 26 reads: Dia te graphion prophetikon. The suggestion is made by some that
not only a difference of expression is intended here, but a real difference and that the