VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Luther says: "Who hath not known passion, cross, and travail of death, cannot treat of foreknowledge (election of grace) without injury and inward enmity toward God. Wherefore take heed that thou drink not wine while thou art yet a sucking babe. Each several doctrine hath its own reason and measure and age."
Conscience. See on 1 Pet. iii. 16.
Bearing me witness. Rev., bearing witness with me. See on ch. viii. 16. Concurring with my testimony. Morison remarks that Paul speaks of conscience as if it were something distinct from himself, and he cites Adam Smith's phrase, "the man within the breast."
In the Holy Ghost. So Rev. The concurrent testimony of his declaration and of conscience was "the echo of the voice of God's Holy Spirit" (Morison). 49
"Who feeleth double sorrow and heaviness But Palamon?"
"Knight's Tale," 1456
"I am here, brother, full of heaviness."
2 "Henry IV.," iv., 5, 8
Rev., sorrow. Odunh is better rendered pain. Some derive it from the root ed eat, as indicating, consuming pain. Compare Horace, curae edares devouring cares. Only here and 1 Tim. vi. 10, Heart. See on ch. i. 21.
Israelites. See on Acts iii. 12.
Adoption. See on ch. viii. 15. Israel is always represented as the Lord's son or first-born among all peoples. Exod. iv. 22; Deut. xiv. 1; Hosea xi. 1.
The glory. The visible, luminous appearance of the divine presence was called by the Israelites the glory of Jahveh, or, in rabbinical phrase, the Shekinah. See Exod. xxiv. 16; xl. 34, 35; Ezek. i. 28; Heb. ix. 5. Not the final glory of God's kingdom; for this belongs to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews.
The covenants (ai diaqhkai). See on Matt. xxvi. 28. Those concluded with the patriarchs since Abraham. See Gal. iii. 16, 17; Eph. ii. 12. The plural never occurs in the Old Testament. See on Heb. ix. 16. The giving of the law (h nomoqesia). The act of giving, with a secondary reference to the substance of the law; legislation.
The service (h latreia). See on John xvi. 2; Luke i. 74; Apoc. xxii. 3; Philip. iii. 3. Here the sum total of the Levitical services instituted by the law.
The promises. The collective messianic promises on which the covenants were based. The word originally means announcement. See on Acts i. 4.
Who is over all, God blessed for ever (o wn epi pantwn Qeov euloghtov eiv touv aiwnav). Authorities differ as to the punctuation; some placing a colon, and others a comma after flesh. This difference indicates the difference in the interpretation; some rendering as concerning the flesh Christ came. God who is over all be blessed for ever; thus making the words God, etc., a doxology: others, with the comma, the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever; i.e., Christ is God (For minor variations see margin of Rev.) 51 Amen. See on Apoc. i. 6.
Hath taken none effect (ekpeptwken). Lit., has fallen out. Rev., come to nought.
Shall be called (klhqhsetai). Named. See on ch. iv. 17. Others, called from nothing. But the promise was made after Isaac was born.
Children of the promise. Originating from the divine promise. See Gal. iv. 23.
At this time (kata ton kairon touton). Rev., according to this season. The reference is to Gen. xviii. 14, where the Hebrew is when the season is renewed or revives; i.e., next year at this time. The season is represented as reviving periodically.
By one. Though of one father, a different destiny was divinely appointed for each of the twins. Hence only the divine disposal constitutes the true and valid succession, and not the bodily descent.
Purpose according to election (h kat ekloghn proqesiv) For proqesiv purpose, see on the kindred verb proeqeto, ch. iii. 25, and compare ch viii. 28. The phrase signifies a purpose so formed that in it an election was made. The opposite of one founded upon right or merit. For similar phrases see Acts xix. 20; kata kratov according to might, mightily; Rom. vii. 13, kaq' uJperbolhn according to excess, exceedingly See note Might stand (menh). Lit., abide, continue: remain unchangeable. This unchangeableness of purpose was conveyed in His declaration to Rebecca. Contrast with come to nought (ver. 6).
Of works (ex). Lit., out of By virtue of.
Calleth (kalountov). Eternal salvation is not contemplated. "The matter in question is the part they play regarded from the theocratic stand-point" (Godet).
Historically the Edomites, represented by Esau, were for a time the greater, and surpassed the Israelites in national and military development. Moses sent envoys to the king of Edom from Kadesh, asking permission to pass through his country, which was refused, and the Edomite army came out against Israel (Num. xx. 14-21). Later they were "vexed" by Saul (1 Sam. xiv. 47), and were conquered and made tributary by David (2 Sam. viii. 14). Their strength was shown in their subsequent attempts to recover independence (2 Kings viii. 20, 21; xiv. 7; 2 Chron. xxviii. 17). Their final subjugation was effected by John Hyrcanus, who incorporated them into the Jewish nation and compelled them to be circumcised.
Hated (emishsa). The expression is intentionally strong as an expression of moral antipathy. Compare Matt. vi. 24; Luke xiv. 26. No idea of malice is implied of course.
Pharaoh. The original meaning of the word is now supposed to be the double house or palace. Compare the Sublime Porte.
Raised thee up (exhgeira). Hebrew, caused thee to stand. Sept., diethrhqhv thou wast preserved alive. Only once elsewhere in the New Testament, 1 Cor. vi. 14, of raising from the dead. The meaning here is general, allowed thee to appear; brought, thee forward on the stage of events, as Zech. xi. 16. So the simple verb in Matt. xi. 11; John vii. 52. Other explanations are, preserved thee alive, as Sept., excited thee to opposition, as Hab. i. 6; creded thee.
Might be declared (diaggelh). Published abroad, thoroughly (dia). So Rev. See on Luke ix. 60. "Even to the present day, wherever throughout the world Exod. is read, the divine intervention is realized" (Godet).
Hardeneth (sklhrunei). Only here by Paul. See on hard, Matthew xxv. 24; Jude 14; Jas. iii. 4. Three words are used in the Hebrew to describe the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. The one which occurs most frequently, properly means to be strong, and therefore represents the hardness as foolhardiness, infatuated insensibility to danger. See Exodus 14. The word is used in its positive sense, hardens, not merely permits to become hard. In Exodus the hardening is represented as self-produced (viii. 15, 32; ix. 34), and as produced by God (iv. 21; vii. 3; ix. 12; x. 20, 27; xi. 10). Paul here chooses the latter representation.
That repliest (o antapokrinomenov). Only here and Luke xiv. 6. Lit., to contradict in reply: to answer by contradicting. Thus, in the case of the dropsical man (Luke 14.), Jesus answered (apokriqeiv) the thought in the minds of the lawyers and Pharisees by asking, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" Then He asked, "Who of you would refuse on the Sabbath to extricate his beast from the pit into which it has fallen?" And they were unable to answer Him in reply: to answer by contradicting Him. So here, the word signifies to reply to an answer which God had already given, and implies, as Godet observes, the spirit of contention.
Lump (furamatov). From furaw to mix so as to make into dough.
Hence any substance mixed with water and kneaded. Philo uses it of the human frame as compounded. By the lump is here meant human nature with its moral possibilities, "but not yet conceived of in its definite, individual, moral stamp" (Meyer). 52 The figure of man as clay molded by God carries us back to the earliest traditions of the creation of man (Gen. ii. 7). According to primitive ideas man is regarded as issuing from the earth. The traditions of Libya made the first human being spring from the plains heated by the sun. The Egyptians declared that the Nile mud, exposed to the heat of the sun, brought forth germs which sprang up as the bodies of men. A subsequent divine operation endowed these bodies with soul and intellect, and the divine fashioner appears upon some monuments molding clay, wherewith to form man, upon a potter's wheel. The Peruvians called the first man "animated earth;" and the Mandans of North America related that the Great Spirit molded two figures of clay, which he dried and animated with the breath of his mouth, one receiving the name of First Man, the other that of Companion. The Babylonian account, translated by Berosus, represents man as made of clay after the manner of a statue. See Francois Lenormant, "Beginnings of History."
To make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor (poihsai o men eijv timhn skeuov, o de eijv ajtimian). Rev., more correctly, to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another part, etc. For vessel, see on 1 Pet. iii. 7; compare Matt. xii. 29; Acts ix. 15. The vessel here is the one which has just come from the potter's hand. Those in ver. 22 have been in household use.
Vessels of wrath (skeuh orghv). Not filled with wrath, nor prepared to serve for a manifestation of divine wrath; but appertaining to wrath. Such as by their own acts have fallen under His wrath. Compare Psalm ii. 9. Fitted (kathrtismena). Lit., adjusted. See on mending, Matt. iv. 21; perfect, Matt. xxi. 16; Luke vi. 40; 1 Pet. v. 10. Not fitted by God for destruction, but in an adjectival sense, ready, ripe for destruction, the participle denoting a present state previously formed, but giving no hint of how it has been formed. An agency of some kind must be assumed. That the objects of final wrath had themselves a hand in the matter may be seen from 1 Thess. ii. 15, 16. That the hand of God is also operative may be inferred from the whole drift of the chapter. "The apostle has probably chosen this form because the being ready certainly arises from a continual reciprocal action between human sin and the divine judgment of blindness and hardness. Every development of sin is a net-work of human offenses and divine judgments"
His glory. See on ch. iii. 23. Godet thinks the phrase was suggested by Moses' request, "Show me thy glory," Exod. xxxiii. 18.
Afore prepared (prohtoimasen). Only here and Eph. ii. 10. The studied difference in the use of this term instead of katartizw to fit (ver. 22), cannot be overlooked. The verb is not equivalent to foreordained (proorizw). Fitted, by the adjustment of parts, emphasizes the concurrence of all the elements of the case to the final result. Prepared is more general. In the former case the result is indicated; in the latter, the previousness. Note before prepared, while before is wanting in ver. 22. In this passage the direct agency of God is distinctly stated; in the other the agency is left indefinite. Here a single act is indicated; there a process. The simple verb eJtoimazw often indicates, as Meyer remarks, to constitute qualitatively; i.e., to arrange with reference to the reciprocal quality of the thing prepared, and that for which it is prepared. See Luke i. 17; John xiv. 2; 1 Cor. ii. 9; 2 Tim. ii. 21. "Ah, truly," says Reuss, "if the last word of the christian revelation is contained in the image of the potter and the clay, it is a bitter derision of all the deep needs and legitimate desires of a soul aspiring toward its God. This would be at once a satire of reason upon herself and the suicide of revelation. But it is neither the last word nor the only word; nor has it any immediate observable bearing on the concrete development of our lives. It is not the only word, because, in nine-tenths of Scripture, it is as wholly excluded from the sphere of revelation as though it had been never revealed at all; and it is not the last word, because, throughout the whole of Scripture, and nowhere more than in the writings of the very apostle who has faced this problem with the most heroic inflexibility, we see bright glimpses of something beyond. How little we were intended to draw logical conclusions from the metaphor, is shown by the fact that we are living souls, not dead clay; and St. Paul elsewhere recognized a power, both within and without our beings, by which, as by an omnipotent alchemy, mean vessels can become precious, and vessels of earthenware be transmuted into vessels of gold" (Farrar). See note at end of ch. 11.
Concerning (uper). Lit., over, as proclaiming a judgment which hangs over Israel.
Work (logon). It does not mean work, but word, utterance, doctrine; not decree, which logov never means, though the idea may underlie it. Better reckoning.
Finish - cut short (suntelwn - suntemnwn). The preposition sun together signifies summarily; bringing to an end at the same time. Compare the peculiar word ejkolobwqhsan should be shortened, in Matthew xxiv. 22, and see note. Omit in righteousness.
Seed. Following the Septuagint, which thus renders the Hebrew remnant. See ver. 27. Like the remnant of corn which the farmer leaves for seed.
Even (de) or and that. Subjoining something distinct and different from what precedes, though not sharply opposed to it. Attained righteousness, that is not that arising from these works, but from faith.
They stumbled (prosekoyan). "In their foolish course Israel thought they were advancing on a clear path, and lo! all at once there was found in this way an obstacle upon which they were broken; and this obstacle was the very Messiah whom they had so long invoked in all their prayers" (Godet).
Shall not be ashamed (ou kataiscunqhsetai). The Hebrew in Isaiah xxviii. 16 is, shall not make haste, or flee hastily. The quotation combines Isa. viii. 4 and xxviii. 16.