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Volume 25 - Page 157 of 190 Index | Zoom | |
We must now examine some of the parallels that may be discovered by comparing the
Epistle to the Romans and the Book of Wisdom. The apostle, in Rom. 1: 19-23 speaks
of the heathen world as without excuse:--
"Because that which may be know of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed
it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead;
so that they are without excuse . . . . . they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into
an image . . . . ."
The thirteenth chapter of the Book of Wisdom reads as follows:--
"Surely vain are all men by nature who are ignorant of God, and could not out of good
things that are seen know Him that is; neither considering the works did they
acknowledge the workmaster" (Verses 1 and 2).
"For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures, proportionably the Maker of them is
seen" (Verse 5).
"Howbeit neither are they to be pardoned, for it they were able to know so much that
they could aim at the world; How did they not sooner find out the Lord thereof? But
miserable are they, and in dead things is their hope, who call them gods, which are the
works of men's hands, gold and silver to show art in" (Verse 8-10).
This testimony, written two centuries before Paul's epistle to the Romans, is most
helpful, showing that the witness of Paul must not be limited to the closing days of the
Roman power, but is true from the beginning.
The many parallels between the passages are evident. The word "workmaster" is to be
compared with the word "builder" of Heb. 11: 10. The expression, "They could aim at
the world" means to "guess at the meaning of, or form an opinion about the world".
A little further on in Rom. 1: the apostle writes:--
"Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a
reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient, being filled with all
unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy,
murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful,
proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding,
covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; who knowing the
judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do
the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" (Rom. 1: 28-32).
With this terrible description let us compare some verses of Wisdom 14::--
"Howbeit for both causes they shall be justly punished: both because they thought not
well of God, giving heed unto idols, and also unjustly swore in deceit, despising
holiness" (Wisdom 14: 30).
The awful catalogue of crimes in Rom. 1: finds a parallel in this chapter of Wisdom:--