Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT


vers 1.
Brethren. See on 1 John ii. 9. An expression of affectionate interest and indicating emotion.

My heart's desire (h eudokia thv emhv kardiav). More literally, the good will of my heart. See on Luke ii. 14. Compare Philip. i. 15; ii. 13; Eph. i. 5, 9; 2 Thess. i. 11.

Prayer (dehsiv). See on Luke v. 33.

To God (prov). Implying communion. See on with God, John i. 1.

For Israel. The best texts substitute aujtwn for them; those described in the last three verses of ch. 9. Bengel remarks that Paul would not have prayed had they been utterly reprobate.

That they may be saved (eiv swthrian). Lit., unto (their) salvation.

vers 2.
I bear them record (marturw). Rev. witness. "He seems to be alluding to his conduct of former days, and to say, 'I know something of it, of that zeal'" (Godet).

Zeal of God (zhlon Qeou). Rev., zeal for God. Like the phrase "faith of Christ" for "faith in Christ" (Philip. iii. 9); compare Col. ii. 12; Eph. iii. 12; John ii. 17, "the zeal of thine house," i.e., "for thy house." Knowledge (epignwsin). Full or correct and vital knowledge. See on ch. i. 28; iii. 20.

vers 3.
God's righteousness. That mentioned in ix. 30. Compare Philippians iii. 9; Rom. i. 16, 17; iii. 20-22.

To establish (sthsai). Or set up, indicating their pride in their endeavor. They would erect a righteousness of their own as a monument to their own glory and not to God's.

vers 4.
The end of the law (telov nomou). First in the sentence as the emphatic point of thought. Expositors differ as to the sense. 1. The aim. Either that the intent of the law was to make men righteous, which was accomplished in Christ, or that the law led to Him as a pedagogue (Gal. iii. 24). 2. The fulfillment, as Matt. v. 17. 3. The termination. To believers in Christ the law has no longer legislative authority to say, "Do this and live; do this or die" (Morison). The last is preferable. Paul is discussing two materially exclusive systems, the one based on doing, the other on believing. The system of faith, represented by Christ, brings to an end and excludes the system of law; and the Jews, in holding by the system of law, fail of the righteousness which is by faith. Compare Gal. ii. 16; iii. 2-14.

vers 5.
Describeth the righteousness - that (grafei thn dikaiosunhn - oti). The best texts transfer oti that, and read grafei oti, etc. Moses writeth that the man, etc. See Lev. xviii. 5.

Those things - by them (auta - en autoiv). Omit those things, and read for ejn aujtoiv by them, ejn aujth by it, i.e., the righteousness which is of the law. The whole, as Rev., Moses writeth that the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby.

vers 6.
The righteousness which is of faith (h ek pistewv dikaiosunh).

The of-faith righteousness. Righteousness is personified. Paul makes the righteousness of faith describe itself. Of faith, ejk from. Marking the source.

Speaketh on this wise (outwv legei). The quotation in 6-8 is a free citation from Deut. xxx. 11-14. Paul recognizes a secondary meaning in Moses' words, and thus changes the original expressions so as to apply them to the Christian faith-system. His object in the change is indicated by the explanatory words which he adds. He does not formally declare that Moses describes the righteousness of faith in these words, but appropriates the words of Moses, putting them into the mouth of the personified faith-righteousness.

Say not in thy heart. In thy heart is added by Paul. The phrase say in the heart is a Hebraism for think, compare Psalm xiv. 1; xxxvi. 1; x. 11. Usually of an evil thought. Compare Matt. iii. 9; xxiv. 48; Apoc. xviii. 7. Who shall ascend into heaven? The Septuagint adds for us, and bring it to us, and hearing it we will do it.

To bring down. Interpreting the Septuagint, and bring it to us.

vers 7.
Descend into the deep. Rev., abyss. Septuagint, Who shall pass through to beyond the sea? See on Luke viii. 31. Paul changes the phrase in order to adapt it to the descent of Christ into Hades. The two ideas may be reconciled in the fact that the Jew conceived the sea as the abyss of waters on which the earth rested. Compare Exod. xx. 4. Thus the ideas beyond the sea and beneath the earth coincide in designating the realm of the dead. Compare Homer's picture of the region of the dead beyond the Ocean-stream:

"As soon as thou shalt cross.

Oceanus, and come to the low shore And groves of Proserpine, the lofty groups Of poplars, and the willows that let fall Their withered fruit, moor thou thy galley there In the deep eddies of Oceanus, And pass to Pluto's comfortless abode." "Odyssey," 10. 508-513.

"Our bark Reached the far confines of Oceanus.

There lies the land and there the people dwell Of the Cimmerians, in eternal cloud And darkness." "Odyssey," 11. 13-15.

To bring up. There is no need. He is already risen.

vers 8.
The word is nigh thee. Septuagint, Very nigh thee is the word. The word is the whole subject-matter of the Gospel. See ver. 9. Moses used it of the law. See on Luke i. 37. The whole quotation in the Hebrew is as follows: "It (the commandment) is not in heaven, that ye should say, Who will ascend for us to heaven, and bring it to us, and make us hear it that we may do it? And it is not beyond the sea, that ye should say, Who will go over for us beyond the sea, and bring it to us, and make us hear it that we may do it? But the word is very near thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, to do it." The object of the passage is to contrast the system of faith with the system of law, and that, especially, with reference to the remoteness and difficulty of righteousness. Moses says that the commandment of God to Israel is not incapable of accomplishment, nor is it a distant thing to be attained only by long and laborious effort. The people, on the contrary, carries it in its mouth, and it is stamped upon its heart. Compare Exod. xiii. 9; Deut. vi. 6-9. In applying these words to the system of faith, Paul, in like manner, denies that this system involves any painful search or laborious work. Christ has accomplished the two great things necessary for salvation. He has descended to earth and has risen from the dead. All that is necessary is to accept by faith the incarnate and risen Christ, instead of having recourse to the long and painful way of establishing one's own righteousness by obedience to the law.

Word of faith. The phrase occurs only here. "Which forms the substratum and object of faith" (Alford). Others, the burden of which is faith.

We preach (khrussomen). See on Matt. iv. 17, and preacher, 2 Peter ii. 5.

vers 9.
That (oti). So rendered as expressing the contents of the word of faith; but better because, giving a proof that the word is nigh. Confess and believe, correspond to mouth and heart.

The Lord Jesus (kurion Ihsoun). Others, however, read to rJhma ejn tw stomati sou oti kuriov Ihsouv If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the word that Jesus is Lord. Rev., Jesus as Lord.

vers 10.
With the heart (kardia). As the seat of the energy of the divine Spirit (pneuma see on ch. viii. 4); mediating the personal life (of the soul yuch, see on xi. 3), which is conditioned by the Spirit. It is not the affections as distinguished from the intellect. Believing with the heart is in contrast with oral confession, not with intellectual belief. "Believing is a mode of thinking not of feeling. It is that particular mode of thinking that is guided to its object by the testimony of another, or by some kind of inter-mediation. It is not intuitive" (Morison).

Man believeth (pisteuetai). The verb is used impersonally. Lit., it is believed. Believing takes place.

Confession is made (omologeitai). Also impersonal. It is confessed. "Confession is just faith turned from its obverse side to its reverse... When faith comes forth from its silence to announce itself, and to proclaim the glory and the grace of the Lord, its voice is confession" (Morison).

vers 11.
The scripture saith. The quotation from Isa. xxviii. 16 is repeated (see ch. ix. 33) with the addition of everyone, whosoever.

vers 12.
For. Explaining the whosoever of ver. 11.

Difference. Better, as Rev., distinction. See on iii. 22.

Jew and Greek. On Greek, see on Acts vi. 1. Greeks here equivalent to Gentiles.

Lord (kuriov). See on Matt. xxi. 3. The reference is disputed: some Christ, others God. Probably Christ. See ver. 9, and compare Acts x. 36. The hearing which is necessary to believing comes through the word of Christ (ver. 17, where the reading is Christ instead of God).

That call upon (epikaloumenouv). See on appeal, Acts xxv. 11; James ii. 7. That invoke Him as, Lord: recalling vers. 9, 10. Compare Joel ii. 32.

vers 15.
Be sent (ajpostalwsin). See on Matt. x. 16; Mark iv. 29.

Beautiful (wraioi). From wra the time of full bloom or development. Hence the radical idea of the word includes both blooming maturity and vigor. Appropriate here to the swift, vigorous feet. Plato ("Republic," 10. 601) distinguishes between faces that are beautiful (kalwn) and blooming (wraiwn). In Gen. ii. 9 (Sept.) of the trees of Eden. Compare Matthew xxiii. 27; Acts iii. 2, 10.

Feet. Emphasizing the rapid approach of the messenger. "In their running and hastening, in their scaling obstructing mountains, and in their appearance and descent from mountains, they are the symbols of the earnestly-desired, winged movement and appearance of the Gospel itself" (Lange). Compare Nahum i. 15; Eph. vi. 15; Rom. iii. 15; Acts v. 9. Paul omits the mountains from the citation. Omit that preach the gospel of peace.

Bring glad tidings. See on Gospel, Matthew, superscription.

16 Obeyed (uphkousan). See on obedience and disobedience, ch. v. 19. Also on Acts v. 29. Obeyed as the result of listening, and so especially appropriate here. Compare head and hear, ver. 14. For the same reason hearken (Rev.) is better than obeyed.

Report (akoh). Lit., hearing. Similarly, Matt. xiv. 1; Mark xiii. 7. Compare the phrase word of hearing, 1 Thess. ii. 13; Heb. iv. 2 (Rev.); and hearing of faith, i.e., message of faith, Gal. iii. 2.

vers 17.
By hearing (ex akohv). The same word as report, above, and in the same sense, that which is heard.

Word of God (rhmatov Qeou). The best texts read of Christ. Probably not the Gospel, but Christ's word of command or commission to its preachers; thus taking up except they be sent (ver. 15), and emphasizing the authority of the message. Belief comes through the message, and the message through the command of Christ.

vers 18.
Did they not hear? (mh ouk hkousan). A negative answer is implied by the interrogative particle. "Surely it is not true that they did not hear." Sound (fqoggov). Only here and 1 Cor. xiv. 7, on which see note. Paul uses the Septuagint translation of Psalm xix. 4, where the Hebrew line or plummet-line (others musical chord) is rendered sound. The voice of the gospel message is like that of the starry sky proclaiming God's glory to all the earth. The Septuagint sound seems to be a free rendering in order to secure parallelism with words.

Of the world (thv oikoumenhv). See on Luke ii. 1; John i. 9.

vers 19.
Did Israel not know? As in ver. 18, a negative answer is implied. "It is surely not true that Israel did not know." Did not know what? That the Gospel should go forth into all the earth. Moses and Isaiah had prophesied the conversion of the Gentiles, and Isaiah the opposition of the Jews thereto.

First Moses. First in order; the first who wrote.

I will provoke you to jealousy (egw parazhlwsw umav). From Deut. xxxii. 21. See Rom. xi. 11, 14; 1 Cor. x. 22. Used only by Paul. The Septuagint has them instead of you.

By them that are no people (ep ouk eqnei). Lit., upon a no-people. The relation expressed by the preposition is that of the no-people as forming the basis of the jealousy. The prediction is that Israel shall be conquered by an apparently inferior people. No-people as related to God's heritage, not that the Gentiles were inferior or insignificant in themselves. For people render nation, as Rev. See on 1 Pet. ii. 9.

By a foolish nation (epi eqnei asunetw). Lit., upon a foolish nation as the basis of the exasperation. For foolish, see on ch. i. 21.

I will anger (parorgiw). Or provoke to anger. The force of the compounded preposition para in this verb and in parazhlwsw provoke to jealousy, seems to be driving to the side of something which by contact or comparison excites jealousy or anger.

vers 20.
Is very bold (apotolma). Only here in the New Testament. Plato, "Laws," 701, uses it of liberty as too presumptuous (apotetolmhmenhv). The force of the preposition is intensive, or possibly pointing to him from whom the action proceeds; bold of himself: The simple verb means primarily to dare, and implies the manifestation of that boldness or confidence of character which is expressed by qarjrJew. See 2 Corinthians v. 6, 8; vii. 16; x. 2, note.

Saith. Isa. lxv. 1. Following the Septuagint, with the inversion of the first two clauses. Hebrew: "I have offered to give answers to those who asked not. I have put myself in the way of those who sought me not. I have spread out my hand all the day to a refractory people." The idea in the Hebrew is, "I have endeavored to be sought and found." Compare the clause omitted in Paul's quotation: "I have said 'Here am I' to a people who did not call upon my name."

vers 21.
Disobedient - gainsaying (apeiqounta - antilegonta). See on John iii. 36; Jude 11. Disobedience is the manifestation of the refractoriness expressed in gainsaying. Some explain gainsaying as contradicting. Compare Luke xiii. 34, 35.

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