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    ROMANS To THE REVELATION:

    FINAL NOTE;

    Deuter-canonical Books are included as references, and less often, the Pseudoe-pigraphia (extra-biblical New Testament Era writings - such as the Gospel of Barnabas - used for over 300 years by the early Church.

    Though these are not Inerrant Scripture, they are very important as geographical and historical references, and helping to understand how particular Hebrew and Greek words were used.

    Since the Deuter-canonical Books were part of the Jewish Bible that Jesus and Paul used, they have great value for understanding the era between the Covenants, and all things Jewish.

    Many will be surprised to know they were in the Geneva Bible of Calvin and Knox - and the Puritan Pilgrims - and included in the King James for over 275 years . . .

    . . . and left out in later versions - ONLY to make the Bible MORE PROFITABLE, by selling at the usual price, while being much smaller to print!

    No wonder Paul said the "love of money is the root of all evil!"

    Further know, that that these books are rejected by most Bible Preachers today, BECAUSE the Jews of Jesus' Day rejected them for the Jewish Canon at the Council of Jamnia after the fall of Jerusalem.

    This seems reasonable enough, and though these Scribes and Lawyers SHOULD have had superior knowledge in ALL THINGS JEWISH . . . in their Jewish wisdom, THEY ALSO REJECTED JESUS AS THE MESSIAH!!!

    TheDeuter-canonical Books are very "Kingdom of God" and "Messianic" Oriented, thus the Jews sis NOT want any writings confirming that Jesus WAS the Jewish Messiah.

    The wise "Students-N-Scholars" will know them, as they provide light on New Testament Scripture that are NOT understood otherwise;

    Quick Example:

    In Luke 3:36 YOUR Bible reads as follows:

      "Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem (Shem), which was the son of Noe (Noah), which was the son of Lamech;"

    This ancestor of Jesus named "Cainan, son of Arphaxad": where is he in YOUR Bible/ (Check Genesis 11:13, and other genealogies).

    This dilemma - which the WORLD calls a great contradiction in the linage of Jesus as the Christ - can ONLY be solved by the Bible Jesus used, which included the Deuter-canonical Books.

    Do you suppose Jesus knew more about the "Correct Books" of the Bible than modern Denomination?



    [1] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, HOMEPAGE and INDEX

    [2] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, INTRO and PREFACE

    [3] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, GENESIS - DEUTERONOMY

    [4] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, JOSHUA To ESTHER

    [5] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, JOB To SONG of SOLOMON

    [6] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, THE PSALMS

    [7] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, ISAIAH To JEREMIAH

    [8] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, EZEKIEL To MALACHI

    [9] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, MATTHEW To ACTS

    [10] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, ROMANS To THE-REVELATION

    [11] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, The Whole OLD TESTAMENT

    [12] Cambridge Bible Commentary Concise, The Whole NEW TESTAMENT





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    "ROMANS to THE REVELATION"

    AN EXPOSITION, WITH PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS
    ON THE APOSTLE PAUL'S EPISTLES; ROMANS;

    All Commentary from INSPIRED-INERRANT View of God's Word!



    Commentary by David Brown;

      INTRODUCTION

      The Genuineness of the Epistle to the Romans has never been questioned. It has the unbrokentestimony of all antiquity, up to Clement of Rome, the apostle's "fellow laborer in the Gospel, whosename was in the Book of Life" (Php 4:3), and who quotes from it in his undoubted Epistle to theCorinthians, written before the close of the first century. The most searching investigations ofmodern criticism have left it untouched.When and Where this Epistle was written we have the means of determining with great precision,from the Epistle itself compared with the Acts of the Apostles. Up to the date of it the apostle hadnever been at Rome (Ro 1:11, 13, 15). He was then on the eve of visiting Jerusalem with a pecuniarycontribution for its Christian poor from the churches of Macedonia and Achaia, after which hispurpose was to pay a visit to Rome on his way to Spain (Ro 15:23-28). Now this contribution weknow that he carried with him from Corinth, at the close of his third visit to that city, which lastedthree months (Ac 20:2, 3; 24:17). On this occasion there accompanied him from Corinth certainpersons whose names are given by the historian of the Acts (Ac 20:4), and four of these are expresslymentioned in our Epistle as being with the apostle when he wrote it—Timotheus, Sosipater, Gaius,and Erastus (Ro 16:21, 23). Of these four, the third, Gaius, was an inhabitant of Corinth (1Co 1:14),and the fourth, Erastus, was "chamberlain of the city" (Ro 16:23), which can hardly be supposedto be other than Corinth. Finally, Phoebebe, the bearer, as appears, of this Epistle, was a deaconessof the Church at Cenchrea, the eastern port of Corinth (Ro 16:1). Putting these facts together, it isimpossible to resist the conviction, in which all critics agree, that Corinth was the place from whichthe Epistle was written, and that it was despatched about the close of the visit above mentioned,probably in the early spring of the year 58.The Founder of this celebrated church is unknown. That it owed its origin to the apostle Peter,and that he was its first bishop, though an ancient tradition and taught in the Church of Rome as afact not to be doubted, is refuted by the clearest evidence, and is given up even by candid Romanists.On that supposition, how are we to account for so important a circumstance being passed by insilence by the historian of the Acts, not only in the narrative of Peter's labors, but in that of Paul'sapproach to the metropolis, of the deputations of Roman "brethren" that came as far as Appii Forumand the Three Taverns to meet him, and of his two years' labors there (Ac 28:15, 30)? And how,consistently with his declared principle—not to build on another man's foundation (Ro 15:20)—couldhe express his anxious desire to come to them that he might have some fruit among them also, evenas among other Gentiles (Ro 1:13), if all the while he knew that they had the apostle of thecircumcision for their spiritual father? And how, if so, is there no salutation to Peter among themany in this Epistle? or, if it may be thought that he was known to be elsewhere at that particulartime, how does there occur in all the Epistles which our apostle afterwards wrote from Rome notone allusion to such an origin of the church at Rome? The same considerations would seem to provethat this church owed its origin to no prominent Christian laborer; and this brings us to themuch-litigated question.For What Class of Christians was this Epistle principally designed—Jewish or Gentile? That alarge number of Jews and Jewish proselytes resided at this time at Rome is known to all who arefamiliar with the classical and Jewish writers of that and the immediately subsequent periods; andthat those of them who were at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:10), and formed probablypart of the three thousand converts of that day, would on their return to Rome carry the glad tidingswith them, there can be no doubt. Nor are indications wanting that some of those embraced in thesalutations of this Epistle were Christians already of long standing, if not among the earliest converts2352JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto the Christian faith. Others of them who had made the apostle's acquaintance elsewhere, and who,if not indebted to him for their first knowledge of Christ, probably owed much to his ministrations,seemed to have charged themselves with the duty of cherishing and consolidating the work of theLord in the capital. And thus it is not improbable that up to the time of the apostle's arrival theChristian community at Rome had been dependent upon subordinate agency for the increase of itsnumbers, aided by occasional visits of stated preachers from the provinces; and perhaps it may begathered from the salutations of the last chapter that it was up to that time in a less organized, thoughfar from less flourishing state, than some other churches to whom the apostle had already addressedEpistles. Certain it is, that the apostle writes to them expressly as a Gentile Church (Ro 1:13, 15;15:15, 16); and though it is plain that there were Jewish Christians among them, and the wholeargument presupposes an intimate acquaintance on the part of his readers with the leading principlesof the Old Testament, this will be sufficiently explained by supposing that the bulk of them, havingbefore they knew the Lord been Gentile proselytes to the Jewish faith, had entered the pale of theChristian Church through the gate of the ancient economy.It remains only to speak briefly of the Plan and Character Of this Epistle. Of all the undoubtedEpistles of our apostle, this is the most elaborate, and at the same time the most glowing. It has justas much in common with a theological treatise as is consistent with the freedom and warmth of areal letter. Referring to the headings which we have prefixed to its successive sections, as bestexhibiting the progress of the argument and the connection of its points, we here merely note thatits first great topic is what may be termed the legal relation of man to God as a violator of His holylaw, whether as merely written on the heart, as in the case of the heathen, or, as in the case of theChosen People, as further known by external revelation; that it next treats of that legal relation aswholly reversed through believing connection with the Lord Jesus Christ; and that its third and lastgreat topic is the new life which accompanies this change of relation, embracing at once a blessednessand a consecration to God which, rudimentally complete already, will open, in the future world,into the bliss of immediate and stainless fellowship with God. The bearing of these wonderful truthsupon the condition and destiny of the Chosen People, to which the apostle next comes, though itseem but the practical application of them to his kinsmen according to the flesh, is in some respectsthe deepest and most difficult part of the whole Epistle, carrying us directly to the eternal springsof Grace to the guilty in the sovereign love and inscrutable purposes of God; after which, however,we are brought back to the historical platform of the visible Church, in the calling of the Gentiles,the preservation of a faithful Israelitish remnant amidst the general unbelief and fall of the nation,and the ultimate recovery of all Israel to constitute, with the Gentiles in the latter day, one catholicChurch of God upon earth. The remainder of the Epistle is devoted to sundry practical topics,winding up with salutations and outpourings of heart delightfully suggestive.

      CHAPTER 1Ro 1:1-17. Introduction.1. Paul—(See on Ac 13:9).a servant of Jesus Christ—The word here rendered "servant" means "bond-servant," or onesubject to the will and wholly at the disposal of another. In this sense it is applied to the disciplesof Christ at large (1Co 7:21-23), as in the Old Testament to all the people of God (Isa 66:14). But2353JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson

      as, in addition to this, the prophets and kings of Israel were officially "the servants of the Lord"(Jos 1:1; Ps 18:1, title), the apostles call themselves, in the same official sense, "the servants ofChrist" (as here, and Php 1:1; Jas 1:1; 2Pe 1:1; Jude 1), expressing such absolute subjection anddevotion to the Lord Jesus as they would never have yielded to a mere creature. (See on Ro 1:7;Joh 5:22, 23).

      called to be an apostle—when first he "saw the Lord"; the indispensable qualification forapostleship. (See on Ac 9:5; Ac 22:14; 1Co 9:1).separated unto the—preaching of thegospel—neither so late as when "the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul" (Ac13:2), nor so early as when "separated from his mother's womb" (see on Ga 1:15). He was calledat one and the same time to the faith and the apostleship of Christ (Ac 26:16-18).of God—that is, the Gospel of which God is the glorious Author. (So Ro 15:16; 1Th 2:2, 8, 9;1Pe 4:17).2. Which he had promised afore … in the holy scriptures—Though the Roman Church wasGentile by nation (see on Ro 1:13), yet as it consisted mostly of proselytes to the Jewish faith (seeon Introduction to this Epistle), they are here reminded that in embracing Christ they had not castoff, but only the more profoundly yielded themselves to, Moses and the prophets (Ac 13:32, 33).3, 4. Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord—the grand burden of this "Gospel of God."made of the seed of David—as, according to "the holy scriptures," He behooved to be. (Seeon Mt 1:1).according to the flesh—that is, in His human nature (compare Ro 9:5; Joh 1:14); implying, ofcourse, that He had another nature, of which the apostle immediately proceeds to speak.4. And declared—literally, "marked off," "defined," "determined," that is, "shown," or "proved."to be the Son of God—Observe how studiously the language changes here. He "was MADE[says the apostle] of the seed of David, according to the flesh" (Ro 1:3); but He was not made, Hewas only "declared [or proved] to BE the Son of God." So Joh 1:1, 14, "In the beginning WAS theWord … and the Word was MADE flesh"; and Isa 9:6, "Unto us a Child is BORN, unto us a Son isGIVEN." Thus the Sonship of Christ is in no proper sense a born relationship to the Father, as some,otherwise sound divines, conceive of it. By His birth in the flesh, that Sonship, which was essentialand uncreated, merely effloresced into palpable manifestation. (See on Lu 1:35; Ac 13:32, 33).with power—This may either be connected with "declared," and then the meaning will be"powerfully declared" [Luther, Beza, Bengel, Fritzsche, Alford, &c.]; or (as in our version, and as wethink rightly) with "the Son of God," and then the sense is, "declared to be the Son of God" inpossession of that "power" which belonged to Him as the only-begotten of the Father, no longershrouded as in the days of His flesh, but "by His resurrection from the dead" gloriously displayedand henceforth to be for ever exerted in this nature of ours [Vulgate, Calvin, Hodge, Philippi, Mehring,&c.].according to the spirit of holiness—If "according to the flesh" means here, "in His humannature," this uncommon expression must mean "in His other nature," which we have seen to bethat "of the Son of God"—an eternal, uncreated nature. This is here styled the "spirit," as animpalpable and immaterial nature (Joh 4:24), and "the spirit of holiness," probably in absolutecontrast with that "likeness, of sinful flesh" which He assumed. One is apt to wonder that if this bethe meaning, it was not expressed more simply. But if the apostle had said "He was declared to bethe Son of God according to the Holy Spirit," the reader would have thought he meant "the Holy2354JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGhost"; and it seems to have been just to avoid this misapprehension that he used the rare expression,"the spirit of holiness."5. By whom—as the ordained channel.we have received grace—the whole "grace that bringeth salvation" (Tit 2:11).and apostleship—for the publication of that "grace," and the organization of as many as receiveit into churches of visible discipleship. (We prefer thus taking them as two distinct things, and not,with some good interpreters, as one—"the grace of apostleship").for obedience to the faith—rather, "for the obedience of faith"—that is, in order to men'syielding themselves to the belief of God's saving message, which is the highest of all obedience.for his name—that He might be glorified.6. Among whom are ye also—that is, along with others; for the apostle ascribes nothing specialto the Church of Rome (compare 1Co 14:36) [Bengel].the called—(See on Ro 8:30).of Christ Jesus—that is, either called "by Him" (Joh 5:25), or the called "belonging to Him";"Christ's called ones." Perhaps this latter sense is best supported, but one hardly knows which toprefer.7. beloved of God—(Compare De 33:12; Col 3:12).Grace, &c.—(See on Joh 1:14).and peace—the peace which Christ made through the blood of His cross (Col 1:20), and whichreflects into the believing bosom "the peace of God which passeth all understanding" (Php 4:7).from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ—"Nothing speaks more decisively for thedivinity of Christ than these juxtapositions of Christ with the eternal God, which run through thewhole language of Scripture, and the derivation of purely divine influences from Him also. Thename of no man can be placed by the side of the Almighty. He only, in whom the Word of theFather who is Himself God became flesh, may be named beside Him; for men are commanded tohonor Him even as they honor the Father (Joh 5:23)" [Olshausen].8. your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world—This was quite practicable throughthe frequent visits paid to the capital from all the provinces; and the apostle, having an eye to theinfluence they would exercise upon others, as well as their own blessedness, given thanks for suchfaith to "his God through Jesus Christ," as being the source, according to his theology of faith, asof all grace in men.9. For God … whom I serve—the word denotes religious service.with my spirit—from my inmost soul.in the gospel of his Son—to which Paul's whole religious life and official activity wereconsecrated.is my witness, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers—so forthe Ephesians (Eph 1:15, 16); so for the Philippians (Php 1:3, 4); so for the Colossians (Col 1:3,4); so for the Thessalonians (1Th 1:2, 3). What catholic love, what all-absorbing spirituality, whatimpassioned devotion to the glory of Christ among men!10. Making request, if by any means now at length I may have a prosperous journey bythe will of God, to come to you—Though long anxious to visit the capital, he met with a numberof providential hindrances (Ro 1:13; Ro 15:22; and see on Ac 19:21; Ac 23:11; Ac 28:15); insomuchthat nearly a quarter of a century elapsed, after his conversion, ere his desire was accomplished,and that only as "a prisoner of Jesus Christ." Thus taught that his whole future was in the hands of2355JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGod, he makes it his continual prayer that at length the obstacles to a happy and prosperous meetingmight be removed.11, 12. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift—not anysupernatural gift, as the next clause shows, and compare 1Co 1:7.to the end that ye may be established.12. That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of youand me—"Not wishing to "lord it over their faith," but rather to be a "helper of their joy," theapostle corrects his former expressions: my desire is to instruct you and do you good, that is, forus to instruct and do one another good: in giving I shall also receive" [Jowett]. "Nor is he insincerein so speaking, for there is none so poor in the Church of Christ who may not impart to us somethingof value: it is only our malignity and pride that hinder us from gathering such fruit from everyquarter" [Calvin]. How "widely different is the apostolic style from that of the court of Papal Rome!"[Bengel].13. oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, but was let—hindered.hitherto—chiefly by his desire to go first to places where Christ was not known (Ro 15:20-24).that I might have some fruit—of my ministryamong you also, even as among other Gentiles—The Gentile origin of the Church at Rome ishere so explicitly stated, that those who conclude, merely from the Jewish strain of the argument,that they must have been mostly Israelites, decide in opposition to the apostle himself. (But see onIntroduction to this Epistle.)14, 15. I am debtor both to the Greeks—cultivatedand to the Barbarians—rude.15. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Romealso—He feels himself under an all-subduing obligation to carry the gospel to all classes of mankind,as adapted to and ordained equally for all (1Co 9:16).16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel—(The words, "of Christ," which follow here, are notfound in the oldest and best manuscripts). This language implies that it required some courage tobring to "the mistress of the world" what "to the Jews was a stumbling-block and to the Greeksfoolishness" (1Co 1:23). But its inherent glory, as God's life-giving message to a dying world, sofilled his soul, that, like his blessed Master, he "despised the shame."for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth—Here and in Ro 1:17the apostle announces the great theme of his ensuing argument; Salvation, the one overwhelmingnecessity of perishing men; this revealed IN THE GOSPEL MESSAGE; and that message so owned andhonored of God as to carry, in the proclamation of it, God's own power to save every soul that embraces it,Greek and Barbarian, wise and unwise alike.17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed—that is (as the whole argument of theEpistle shows), God's justifying righteousness.from faith to faith—a difficult clause. Most interpreters (judging from the sense of such phraseselsewhere) take it to mean, "from one degree of faith to another." But this agrees ill with the apostle'sdesign, which has nothing to do with the progressive stages of faith, but solely with faith itself asthe appointed way of receiving God's "righteousness." We prefer, therefore, to understand it thus:"The righteousness of God is in the gospel message, revealed (to be) from (or 'by') faith to (or 'for')faith," that is, "in order to be by faith received." (So substantially, Melville, Meyer, Stuart, Bloomfield,&c.).2356JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonas it is written—(Hab 2:4).The just shall live by faith—This golden maxim of the Old Testament is thrice quoted in theNew Testament—here; Ga 3:11; Heb 10:38—showing that the gospel way of "LIFE BY FAITH," sofar from disturbing, only continued and developed the ancient method.On the foregoing verses, Note (1) What manner of persons ought the ministers of Christ to be,according to the pattern here set up: absolutely subject and officially dedicated to the Lord Jesus;separated unto the gospel of God, which contemplates the subjugation of all nations to the faith ofChrist: debtors to all classes, the refined and the rude, to bring the gospel to them all alike, all shamein the presence of the one, as well as pride before the other, sinking before the glory which theyfeel to be in their message; yearning over all faithful churches, not lording it over them, but rejoicingin their prosperity, and finding refreshment and strength in their fellowship! (2) The peculiar featuresof the gospel here brought prominently forward should be the devout study of all who preach it,and guide the views and the taste of all who are privileged statedly to hear it: that it is "the gospelof God," as a message from heaven, yet not absolutely new, but on the contrary, only the fulfilmentof Old Testament promise, that not only is Christ the great theme of it, but Christ in the very natureof God as His own Son, and in the nature of men as partaker of their flesh—the Son of God nowin resurrection—power and invested with authority to dispense all grace to men, and all gifts forthe establishment and edification of the Church, Christ the righteousness provided of God for thejustification of all that believe in His name; and that in this glorious Gospel, when preached assuch, there resides the very power of God to save Jew and Gentile alike who embrace it. (3) WhileChrist is to be regarded as the ordained Channel of all grace from God to men (Ro 1:8), let noneimagine that His proper divinity is in any respect compromised by this arrangement, since He ishere expressly associated with "God the Father," in prayer for "grace and peace" (including allspiritual blessings) to rest upon this Church (Ro 1:7). (4) While this Epistle teaches, in conformitywith the teaching of our Lord Himself, that all salvation is suspended upon faith, this is but half atruth, and will certainly minister to self-righteousness, if dissociated from another feature of thesame truth, here explicitly taught, that this faith in God's own gift—for which accordingly in thecase of the Roman believers, he "thanks his God through Jesus Christ" (Ro 1:8). (5) Christianfellowship, as indeed all real fellowship, is a mutual benefit; and as it is not possible for the mosteminent saints and servants of Christ to impart any refreshment and profit to the meanest of theirbrethren without experiencing a rich return into their bosoms, so just in proportion to their humilityand love will they feel their need of it and rejoice in it.Ro 1:18. Why This Divinely Provided Righteousness Is Needed by All Men.18. For the wrath of God—His holy displeasure and righteous vengeance against sin.is revealed from heaven—in the consciences of men, and attested by innumerable outwardevidences of a moral government.against all ungodliness—that is, their whole irreligiousness, or their living without anyconscious reference to God, and proper feelings towards Him.and unrighteousness of men—that is, all their deviations from moral rectitude in heart, speech,and behavior. (So these terms must be distinguished when used together, though, when standingalone, either of them includes the other).Ro 1:18-32. This Wrath of God, Revealed against All Iniquity, Overhangs the Whole Heathen World.18. who hold—rather, "hold down," "hinder," or "keep back."2357JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe truth in unrighteousness—The apostle, though he began this verse with a comprehensiveproposition regarding men in general, takes up in the end of it only one of the two great divisionsof mankind, to whom he meant to apply it; thus gently sliding into his argument. But beforeenumerating their actual iniquities, he goes back to the origin of them all, their stifling the lightwhich still remained to them. As darkness overspreads the mind, so impotence takes possession ofthe heart, when the "still small voice" of conscience is first disregarded, next thwarted, and thensystematically deadened. Thus "the truth" which God left with and in men, instead of having freescope and developing itself, as it otherwise would, was obstructed (compare Mt 6:22, 23; Eph 4:17,18).19. Because that which may be—rather, "which is."known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them—The sense of thispregnant statement the apostle proceeds to unfold in Ro 1:20.20. For the invisible things of him from—or "since"the creation of the world are clearly seen—the mind brightly beholding what the eye cannotdiscern.being understood by the things that are made—Thus, the outward creation is not the parentbut the interpreter of our faith in God. That faith has its primary sources within our own breast (Ro1:19); but it becomes an intelligible and articulate conviction only through what we observe aroundus ("by the things which are made," Ro 1:20). And thus are the inner and the outer revelation ofGod the complement of each other, making up between them one universal and immovableconviction that God is. (With this striking apostolic statement agree the latest conclusions of themost profound speculative students of Theism).even his eternal power and Godhead—both that there is an Eternal Power, and that this isnot a mere blind force, or pantheistic "spirit of nature," but the power of a living Godhead.so that they are without excuse—all their degeneracy being a voluntary departure from truththus brightly revealed to the unsophisticated spirit.21. Because that, when they knew God—that is, while still retaining some real knowledge ofHim, and ere they sank down into the state next to be described.they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful—neither yielded the adoration due toHimself, nor rendered the gratitude which His beneficence demanded.but became vain—(compare Jer 2:5).in their imaginations—thoughts, notions, speculations, regarding God; compare Mt 15:19;Lu 2:35; 1Co 3:20, Greek.and their foolish—"senseless," "stupid."heart—that is, their whole inner man.was darkened—How instructively is the downward progress of the human soul here traced!22, 23. Professing themselves—"boasting," or "pretending to be"wise, they became fools—"It is the invariable property of error in morals and religion, thatmen take credit to themselves for it and extol it as wisdom. So the heathen" (1Co 1:21) [Tholuck].23. And changed—or "exchanged."the glory of the uncorruptible God into—or "for"an image … like to corruptible man—The allusion here is doubtless to the Greek worship,and the apostle may have had in his mind those exquisite chisellings of the human form which layso profusely beneath and around him as he stood on Mars' Hill; and "beheld their devotions." (See2358JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonon Ac 17:29). But as if that had not been a deep enough degradation of the living God, there wasfound "a lower deep" still.and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and to creeping things—referring now to the Egyptianand Oriental worship. In the face of these plain declarations of the descent of man's religious belieffrom loftier to ever lower and more debasing conceptions of the Supreme Being, there are expositorsof this very Epistle (as Reiche and Jowett), who, believing neither in any fall from primeval innocence,nor in the noble traces of that innocence which lingered even after the fall and were only by degreesobliterated by wilful violence to the dictates of conscience, maintain that man's religious historyhas been all along a struggle to rise, from the lowest forms of nature worship, suited to the childhoodof our race, into that which is more rational and spiritual.24. Wherefore God also—in righteous retribution.gave them up—This divine abandonment of men is here strikingly traced in three successivestages, at each of which the same word is used (Ro 1:24, 26; and Ro 1:28, where the word is rendered"gave over"). "As they deserted God, God in turn deserted them; not giving them divine (that is,supernatural) laws, and suffering them to corrupt those which were human; not sending themprophets, and allowing the philosophers to run into absurdities. He let them do what they pleased,even what was in the last degree vile, that those who had not honored God, might dishonorthemselves" [Grotius].25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie—that is, the truth concerning God into idolfalsehood.and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator—Professing merely toworship the Creator by means of the creature, they soon came to lose sight of the Creator in thecreature. How aggravated is the guilt of the Church of Rome, which, under the same flimsy pretext,does shamelessly what the heathen are here condemned for doing, and with light which the heathennever had!who is blessed for ever! Amen—By this doxology the apostle instinctively relieves the horrorwhich the penning of such things excited within his breast; an example to such as are called toexpose like dishonor done to the blessed God.26, 27. For this cause God gave them up—(See on Ro 1:24).for even their women—that sex whose priceless jewel and fairest ornament is modesty, andwhich, when that is once lost, not only becomes more shameless than the other sex, but liveshenceforth only to drag the other sex down to its level.did change, &c.—The practices here referred to, though too abundantly attested by classicauthors, cannot be further illustrated, without trenching on things which "ought not to be namedamong us as become the saints." But observe how vice is here seen consuming and exhaustingitself. When the passions, scourged by violent and continued indulgence in natural vices, becameimpotent to yield the craved enjoyment, resort was had to artificial stimulants by the practice ofunnatural and monstrous vices. How early these were in full career, in the history of the world, thecase of Sodom affectingly shows; and because of such abominations, centuries after that, the landof Canaan "spued out" its old inhabitants. Long before this chapter was penned, the Lesbians andothers throughout refined Greece had been luxuriating in such debasements; and as for the Romans,Tacitus, speaking of the emperor Tiberius, tells us that new words had then to be coined to expressthe newly invented stimulants to jaded passion. No wonder that, thus sick and dying as was thispoor humanity of ours under the highest earthly culture, its many-voiced cry for the balm in Gilead,2359JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand the Physician there, "Come over and help us," pierced the hearts of the missionaries of theCross, and made them "not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!"27. and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet—alludingto the many physical and moral ways in which, under the righteous government of God, vice wasmade self-avenging.28-31. gave them over—or "up" (see on Ro 1:24).to do those things which are not convenient—in the old sense of that word, that is, "notbecoming," "indecorous," "shameful."30. haters of God—The word usually signifies "God-hated," which some here prefer, in thesense of "abhorred of the Lord"; expressing the detestableness of their character in His sight (comparePr 22:14; Ps 73:20). But the active sense of the word, adopted in our version and by the majorityof expositors, though rarer, agrees perhaps better with the context.32. Who knowing—from the voice of conscience, Ro 2:14, 15the judgment of God—the stern law of divine procedure.that they which commit such things are worthy of death—here used in its widest knownsense, as the uttermost of divine vengeance against sin: see Ac 28:4.not only do the same—which they might do under the pressure of temptation and in the heatof passion.but have pleasure in them that do them—deliberately set their seal to such actions byencouraging and applauding the doing of them in others. This is the climax of our apostle's chargesagainst the heathen; and certainly, if the things are in themselves as black as possible, this settledand unblushing satisfaction at the practice of them, apart from all the blinding effects of presentpassion, must be regarded as the darkest feature of human depravity.On this section, Note (1) "The wrath of God" against sin has all the dread reality of a "revelationfrom heaven" sounding in the consciences of men, in the self-inflicted miseries of the wicked, andin the vengeance which God's moral government, sooner or later, takes upon all who outrage it; sothis "wrath of God" is not confined to high-handed crimes, or the grosser manifestations of humandepravity, but is "revealed" against all violations of divine law of whatever nature—"against allungodliness" as well as "unrighteousness of men," against all disregard of God in the conduct oflife as well as against all deviations from moral rectitude; and therefore, since no child of Adamcan plead guiltless either of "ungodliness" or of "unrighteousness," to a greater or less extent, itfollows that every human being is involved in the awful sweep of "the wrath of God" (Ro 1:18).The apostle places this terrible truth in the forefront of his argument on justification by faith, thatupon the basis of universal condemnation he might rear the edifice of a free, world-wide salvation;nor can the Gospel be scripturally preached or embraced, save as the good news of salvation tothose that are all equally "lost." (2) We must not magnify the supernatural revelation which Godhas been pleased to make of Himself, through Abraham's family to the human race, at the expenseof that older, and, in itself, lustrous revelation which He has made to the whole family of manthrough the medium of their own nature and the creation around them. Without the latter, the formerwould have been impossible, and those who have not been favored with the former will be withoutexcuse, if they are deaf to the voice and blind to the glory of the latter (Ro 1:19, 20). (3) Wilfulresistance of light has a retributive tendency to blunt the moral perceptions and weaken the capacityto apprehend and approve of truth and goodness; and thus is the soul prepared to surrender itself,to an indefinite extent, to error and sin (Ro 1:21, &c.). (4) Pride of wisdom, as it is a convincing2360JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonevidence of the want of it, so it makes the attainment of it impossible (Ro 1:22; and compare Mt11:25; 1Co 3:18-20). (5) As idolatry, even in its most plausible forms, is the fruit of unworthy viewsof the Godhead, so its natural effect is to vitiate and debase still further the religious conceptions;nor is there any depth of degradation too low and too revolting for men's ideas of the Godhead tosink to, if only their natural temperament and the circumstances they are placed in be favorable totheir unrestrained development (Ro 1:23, 25). The apostle had Greece and Egypt in his eye whenhe penned this description. But all the paganisms of the East at this day attest its accuracy, fromthe more elaborate idolatry of India and the simpler and more stupid idolatry of China down to thechildish rudiments of nature worship prevalent among the savage tribes. Alas! Christendom itselffurnishes a melancholy illustration of this truth; the constant use of material images in the Churchof Rome and the materialistic and sensuous character of its entire service (to say nothing of the lessoffensive but more stupid service of the Greek Church,) debasing the religious ideas of millions ofnominal Christians, and lowering the whole character and tone of Christianity as represented withintheir immense pale. (6) Moral corruption invariably follows religious debasement. The grossnessof pagan idolatry is only equalled by the revolting character and frightful extent of the immoralitieswhich it fostered and consecrated (Ro 1:24, 26, 27). And so strikingly is this to be seen in all itsessential features in the East at this day, that (as Hodge says) the missionaries have frequently beenaccused by the natives of having forged the whole of the latter part of this chapter, as they couldnot believe that so accurate a description of themselves could have been written eighteen centuriesago. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah furnish a striking illustration of the inseparable connectionbetween religion and morals. Israel corrupted and debased the worship of Jehovah, and the sinswith which they were charged were mostly of the grosser kind—intemperance and sensuality: thepeople of Judah, remaining faithful to the pure worship, were for a long time charged mostly withformality and hypocrisy; and only as they fell into the idolatries of the heathen around them, didthey sink into their vices. And may not a like distinction be observed between the two great divisionsof Christendom, the Popish and the Protestant? To test this, we must not look to Popery, surroundedwith, and more or less influenced by, the presence and power of Protestantism; nor to Protestantismunder every sort of disadvantage, internal and external. But look at Romanism where it hasunrestrained liberty to develop its true character, and see whether impurity does not there taintsociety to its core, pervading alike the highest and the lowest classes; and then look at Protestantismwhere it enjoys the same advantages, and see whether it be not marked by a comparatively highstandard of social virtue. (7) To take pleasure in what is sinful and vicious for its own sake, andknowing it to be such, is the last and lowest stage of human recklessness (Ro 1:32). But (8) thisknowledge can never be wholly extinguished in the breast of men. So long as reason remains tothem, there is still a small voice in the worst of men, protesting, in the name of the Power thatimplanted it, "that they which do such things are worthy of death" (Ro 1:32).CHAPTER 2Ro 2:1-29. The Jew under Like Condemnation with the Gentile.From those without, the apostle now turns to those within the pale of revealed religion, theself-righteous Jews, who looked down upon the uncovenanted heathen as beyond the pale of God'smercies, within which they deemed themselves secure, however inconsistent their life may be.2361JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonAlas! what multitudes wrap themselves up in like fatal confidence, who occupy the correspondingposition in the Christian Church!4. the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance—that is, is designed and adapted to doso.5. treasurest up unto thyself wrath against—rather "in."the day of wrath—that is wrath to come on thee in the day of wrath. What an awful idea ishere expressed—that the sinner himself is amassing, like hoarded treasure, an ever accumulatingstock of divine wrath, to burst upon him in "the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment ofGod!" And this is said not of the reckless, but of those who boasted of their purity of faith and life.7-10. To them who, &c.—The substance of these verses is that the final judgment will turnupon character alone.by patient continuance in well-doing, &c.—Compare Lu 8:15: "That on the good ground arethey, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit withpatience"; denoting the enduring and progressive character of the new life.8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, &c.—referring to suchkeen and determined resistance to the Gospel as he himself had too painfully witnessed on the partof his own countrymen. (See Ac 13:44-46; 17:5, 13; 18:6, 12; and compare 1Th 2:15, 16).indignation and wrath—in the bosom of a sin-avenging God.9. Tribulation and anguish—the effect of these in the sinner himself.10. to the Jew first—first in perdition if unfaithful; but if obedient to the truth, first in salvation(Ro 2:10).12. For as many as have sinned—not "as many as have sinned at all," but, "as many as arefound in sin" at the judgment of the great day (as the whole context shows).without law—that is, without the advantage of a positive Revelation.shall also perish without law—exempt from the charge of rejecting or disregarding it.and as many as have sinned in the law—within the pale of a positive, written Revelation.shall be judged by the law—tried and condemned by the higher standard of that writtenRevelation.13-15. For not the hearers, &c.—As touching the Jews, in whose ears the written law iscontinually resounding, the condemnation of as many of them as are found sinners at the lastinvolves no difficulty; but even as respects the heathen, who are strangers to the law in its positiveand written form—since they show how deeply it is engraven on their moral nature, which witnesseswithin them for righteousness and against iniquity, accusing or condemning them according as theyviolate or obey its stern dictates—their condemnation also for all the sin in which they live and diewill carry its dreadful echo in their own breasts.15. their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing—that is, perhaps by turns doingboth.16. In the day, &c.—Here the unfinished statement of Ro 2:12 is resumed and closed.shall judge the secrets of men—here specially referring to the unfathomed depths of hypocrisyin the self-righteous whom the apostle had to deal with. (See Ec 12:14; 1Co 4:5).according to my gospel—to my teaching as a preacher of the Gospel.17-24. Behold—"But if" is, beyond doubt, the true reading here. (It differs but in a single letterfrom the received reading, and the sense is the same).2362JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. approvest the things that are excellent—"triest the things that differ" (Margin). Bothsenses are good, and indeed the former is but the result of the latter action. (See on Php 1:10).20. hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law—not being left, as the heathenare, to vague conjecture on divine things, but favored with definite and precise information fromheaven.22. thou that abhorrest idols—as the Jews did ever after their captivity, though bent on thembefore.dost thou commit sacrilege?—not, as some excellent interpreters, "dost thou rob idol temples?"but more generally, as we take it, "dost thou profane holy things?" (as in Mt 21:12, 13, and in otherways).24. as it is written—(See Isa 52:5, Marginal reference).25-29. For circumcision—that is, One's being within the covenant of which circumcision wasthe outward sign and seal.verily profiteth, if thou keep the law—if the inward reality correspond to the outward sign.but if, &c.—that is, "Otherwise, thou art no better than the uncircumcised heathen."26. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the … law, &c.—Two mistaken interpretations,we think, are given of these words: First, that the case here supposed is an impossible one, and putmerely for illustration [Haldane, Chalmers, Hodge]; second that it is the case of the heathen who mayand do please God when they act, as has been and is done, up to the light of nature [Grotius, Olshausen,&c.]. The first interpretation is, in our judgment, unnatural; the second, opposed to the apostle'sown teaching. But the case here put is, we think, such as that of Cornelius (Ac 10:1-48), who,though outside the external pale of God's covenant, yet having come to the knowledge of the truthscontained in it, do manifest the grace of the covenant without the seal of it, and exemplify thecharacter and walk of Abraham's children, though not called by the name of Abraham. Thus, thisis but another way of announcing that God was about to show the insufficiency of the mere badgeof the Abrahamic covenant, by calling from among the Gentiles a seed of Abraham that had neverreceived the seal of circumcision (see on Ga 5:6); and this interpretation is confirmed by all thatfollows.28. he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, &c.—In other words, the name of "Jew" and therite of "circumcision" were designed but as outward symbols of a separation from the irreligiousand ungodly world unto holy devotedness in heart and life to the God of salvation. Where this isrealized, the signs are full of significance; but where it is not, they are worse than useless.Note, (1) It is a sad mark of depravity when all that is designed and fitted to melt only hardensthe heart (Ro 2:4, and compare 2Pe 3:9; Ec 8:11). (2) Amidst all the inequalities of religiousopportunity measured out to men, and the mysterious bearing of this upon their character and destinyfor eternity, the same great principles of judgment, in a form suited to their respective discipline,will be applied to all, and perfect equity will be seen to reign throughout every stage of the divineadministration (Ro 2:11-16). (3) "The law written on the heart" (Ro 2:14, 15)—or the Ethics ofNatural Theology—may be said to be the one deep foundation on which all revealed religionreposes; and see on Ro 1:19, 20, where we have what we may call its other foundation—the Physicsand Metaphysics of Natural Theology. The testimony of these two passages is to the theologianinvaluable, while in the breast of every teachable Christian it wakens such deep echoes as areinexpressibly solemn and precious. (4) High religious professions are a fearful aggravation of theinconsistencies of such as make them (Ro 2:17-24). See 2Sa 12:14. (5) As no external privileges,2363JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonor badge of discipleship, will shield the unholy from the wrath of God, so neither will the want ofthem shut out from the kingdom of heaven such as have experienced without them that change ofheart which the seals of God's covenant were designed to mark. In the sight of the great Searcherof hearts, the Judge of quick and dead, the renovation of the character in heart and life is all in all.In view of this, have not all baptized, sacramented disciples of the Lord Jesus, who "profess thatthey know God, but in works deny Him," need to tremble—who, under the guise of friends, are"the enemies of the cross of Christ?"CHAPTER 3Ro 3:1-8. Jewish Objections Answered.1, 2. What advantage then hath the Jew?—that is, "If the final judgment will turn solely onthe state of the heart, and this may be as good in the Gentile without, as in the Jew within, the sacredenclosure of God's covenant, what better are we Jews for all our advantages?"Answer:2. Much every way; chiefly, because—rather, "first, that."unto them were committed the oracles of God—This remarkable expression, denoting "divinecommunications" in general, is transferred to the Scriptures to express their oracular, divine,authoritative character.3, 4. For what if some did not believe?—It is the unbelief of the great body of the nationwhich the apostle points at; but as it sufficed for his argument to put the supposition thus gently,he uses this word "some" to soften prejudice.shall their unbelief make the faith of God—or, "faithfulness of God."of none effect?—"nullify," "invalidate" it.4. God forbid—literally, "Let it not be," that is, "Away with such a thought"—a favoriteexpression of our apostle, when he would not only repudiate a supposed consequence of his doctrine,but express his abhorrence of it. "The Scriptures do not authorize such a use of God's name as musthave been common among the English translators of the Bible" [Hodge].yea, let God be—heldtrue, and every man a liar—that is, even though it should follow from this that every man isa liar.when thou art judged—so in Ps 51:4, according to the Septuagint; but in the Hebrew and inour version, "when thou judgest." The general sentiment, however, is the same in both—that weare to vindicate the righteousness of God, at whatever expense to ourselves.5, 6. But if, &c.—Another objection: "It would appear, then, that the more faithless we are, somuch the more illustrious will the fidelity of God appear; and in that case, for Him to take vengeanceon us for our unfaithfulness would be (to speak as men profanely do) unrighteousness in God."Answer:6. God forbid; for then how shall God judge the world?—that is, "Far from us be such athought; for that would strike down all future judgment.7, 8. For if the truth of God, &c.—A further illustration of the same sentiment: that is, "Suchreasoning amounts to this—which indeed we who preach salvation by free grace are slanderouslyaccused of teaching—that the more evil we do, the more glory will redound to God; a damnable2364JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprinciple." (Thus the apostle, instead of refuting this principle, thinks it enough to hold it up toexecration, as one that shocks the moral sense).On this brief section, Note (1) Mark the place here assigned to the Scriptures. In answer to thequestion, "What advantage hath the Jew?" or, "What profit is there of circumcision?" (Ro 3:1) thoseholding Romish views would undoubtedly have laid the stress upon the priesthood, as the glory ofthe Jewish economy. But in the apostle's esteem, "the oracles of God" were the jewel of the ancientChurch (Ro 3:1, 2). (2) God's eternal purposes and man's free agency, as also the doctrine of salvationby grace and the unchanging obligations of God's law, have ever been subjected to the charge ofinconsistency by those who will bow to no truth which their own reason cannot fathom. But amidstall the clouds and darkness which in this present state envelop the divine administration and manyof the truths of the Bible, such broad and deep principles as are here laid down, and which shinein their own luster, will be found the sheet-anchor of our faith. "Let God be true, and every man aliar" (Ro 3:4); and as many advocates of salvation by grace as say, "Let us do evil that good maycome," "their damnation is just" (Ro 3:8).Ro 3:9-20. That the Jew Is Shut Up under Like Condemnation with the Gentile Is Proved by His Own Scripture.9. are we better than they?—"do we excel them?"No, in no wise—Better off the Jews certainly were, for having the oracles of God to teach thembetter; but as they were no better, that only aggravated their guilt.10-12. As it is written, &c.—(Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3). These statements of the Psalmist were indeedsuggested by particular manifestations of human depravity occurring under his own eye; but as thisonly showed what man, when unrestrained, is in his present condition, they were quite pertinent tothe apostle's purpose.13-18. Their, &c.—From generals, the apostle here comes to particulars, culling from differentparts of Scripture passages which speak of depravity as it affects the different members of the body;as if to show more affectingly how "from the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness"in us.throat is an open sepulchre—(Ps 5:9); that is, "What proceeds out of their heart, and findsvent in speech and action through the throat, is like the pestilential breath of an open grave."with their tongues they have used deceit—(Ps 5:9); that is, "That tongue which is man's glory(Ps 16:9; 57:8) is prostituted to the purposes of deception."the poison of asps is under their lips—(Ps 140:3): that is, "Those lips which should 'drop asan honeycomb,' and 'feed many,' and 'give thanks unto His name' (So 4:11; Pr 10:21; Heb 13:15),are employed to secrete and to dart deadly poison."14. Whose mouth, &c.—(Ps 10:7): that is, "That mouth which should be 'most sweet' (So 5:16),being 'set on fire of hell' (Jas 3:6), is filled with burning wrath against those whom it should onlybless."15. Their feet are swift to shed blood—(Pr 1:16; Isa 59:7): that is, "Those feet, which should'run the way of God's commandments' (Ps 119:32), are employed to conduct men to deeds of darkestcrime."16, 17. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they notknown—This is a supplementary statement about men's ways, suggested by what had been saidabout the "feet," and expresses the mischief and misery which men scatter in their path, instead ofthat peace which, as strangers to it themselves, they cannot diffuse.2365JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. There is no fear of God before their eyes—(Ps 36:1): that is, "Did the eyes but 'see Himwho is invisible' (Heb 11:27), a reverential awe of Him with whom we have to do would chastenevery joy and lift the soul out of its deepest depressions; but to all this the natural man is a stranger."How graphic is this picture of human depravity, finding its way through each several organ of thebody into the life (Ro 3:13-17): but how small a part of the "desperate wickedness" that is within(Jer 17:9) "proceedeth out of the heart of man!" (Mr 7:21-23; Ps 19:12).19. Now we know that what … the law—that is, the Scriptures, considered as a law of duty.saith, it saith to them that are under the law—of course, therefore, to the Jews.that every mouth—opened in self-justification.may be stopped, and all the world may become—that is, be seen to be, and own itself.guilty—and so condemnedbefore God.20. Therefore by the deeds of—obedience tothe law there shall no flesh be justified—that is, be held and treated as righteous; as is plainfrom the whole scope and strain of the argument.in his sight—at His bar (Ps 143:2).for by the law is the knowledge of sin—(See on Ro 4:15; Ro 7:7; and 1Jo 3:4).Note, How broad and deep does the apostle in this section lay the foundations of his greatdoctrine of Justification by free grace—in the disorder of man's whole nature, the consequentuniversality of human guilt, the condemnation, by reason of the breach of divine law, of the wholeworld, and the impossibility of justification before God by obedience to that violated law! Onlywhen these humiliating conclusions are accepted and felt, are we in a condition to appreciate andembrace the grace of the Gospel, next to be opened up.Ro 3:21-26. God's Justifying Righteousness through Faith in Jesus Christ, Alike Adapted to Our Necessities andWorthy of Himself.21-23. But now the righteousness of God—(See on Ro 1:17).without the law—that is, a righteousness to which our obedience to the law contributes nothingwhatever (Ro 3:28; Ga 2:16).is manifested, being witnessed—attested.by the law and the prophets—the Old Testament Scriptures. Thus this justifying righteousness,though new, as only now fully disclosed, is an old righteousness, predicted and foreshadowed inthe Old Testament.22. by faith of—that is, "in"Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe—that is, perhaps, brought nigh "untoall" men the Gospel, and actually "upon all" believing men, as theirs in possession [Luther andothers]; but most interpreters understand both statements" of believers as only a more emphaticway of saying that all believers, without distinction or exception, are put in possession of thisgratuitous justification, purely by faith in Christ Jesus.for there is no difference.23. for all have sinned—Though men differ greatly in the nature and extent of their sinfulness,there is absolutely no difference between the best and the worst of men, in the fact that "all havesinned," and so underlie the wrath of God.and come short of the glory—or "praise"2366JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof God—that is, "have failed to earn His approbation" (compare Joh 12:43, Greek). So the bestinterpreters.24. justified freely—without anything done on our part to deserve.by his grace—His free love.through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus—a most important clause; teaching us thatthough justification is quite gratuitous, it is not a mere fiat of the divine will, but based on a"Redemption," that is, "the payment of a Ransom," in Christ's death. That this is the sense of theword "redemption," when applied to Christ's death, will appear clear to any impartial student ofthe passages where it occurs.25, 26. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation—or "propitiatory sacrifice."through faith in his blood—Some of the best interpreters, observing that "faith upon" is theusual phrase in Greek, not "faith in" Christ, would place a "comma" after "faith," and understandthe words as if written thus: "to be a propitiation, in His blood, through faith." But "faith in Christ"is used in Ga 3:26 and Eph 1:15; and "faith in His blood" is the natural and appropriate meaninghere.to declare his righteousness for the remission—rather, "pretermission" or "passing by."of sins—"the sins."that are past—not the sins committed by the believer before he embraces Christ, but the sinscommitted under the old economy, before Christ came to "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."through the forbearance of God—God not remitting but only forbearing to punish them, orpassing them by, until an adequate atonement for them should be made. In thus not imputing them,God was righteous, but He was not seen to be so; there was no "manifestation of His righteousness"in doing so under the ancient economy. But now that God can "set forth" Christ as a "propitiationfor sin through faith in His blood," the righteousness of His procedure in passing by the sins ofbelievers before, and in now remitting them, is "manifested," declared, brought fully out to theview of the whole world. (Our translators have unfortunately missed this glorious truth, taking "thesins that are past" to mean the past sins of believers—committed before faith—and rendering, bythe word "remission," what means only a "passing by"; thus making it appear that "remission ofsins" is "through the forbearance of God," which it certainly is not).26. To declare … at this time—now for the first time, under the Gospel.his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth inJesus—Glorious paradox! "Just in punishing," and "merciful in pardoning," men can understand;but "just in justifying the guilty," startles them. But the propitiation through faith in Christ's bloodresolves the paradox and harmonizes the discordant elements. For in that "God hath made Him tobe sin for us who knew no sin," justice has full satisfaction; and in that "we are made therighteousness of God in Him," mercy has her heart's delight!Note, (1) One way of a sinner's justification is taught in the Old Testament and in the New alike:only more dimly during the twilight of Revelation; in unclouded light under "its perfect day" (Ro3:21). (2) As there is no difference in the need, so is there none in the liberty to appropriate theprovided salvation. The best need to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ; and the worst only need that.On this common ground all saved sinners meet here, and will stand for ever (Ro 3:22-24). (3) It ison the atoning blood of Christ, as the one propitiatory sacrifice which God hath set forth to the eyeof the guilty, that the faith of the convinced and trembling sinner fastens for deliverance from wrath.Though he knows that he is "justified freely, by God's grace," it is only because it is "through the2367JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonredemption that is in Christ Jesus" that he is able to find peace and rest even in this (Ro 3:25). (4)The strictly accurate view of believers under the Old Testament is not that of a company of pardonedmen, but of men whose sins, put up with and passed by in the meantime, awaited a future expiationin the fulness of time (Ro 3:25, 26; see on Lu 9:31; Heb 9:15; Heb 11:39, 40).Ro 3:27-31. Inferences from the Foregoing Doctrines and an Objection Answered.Inference first: Boasting is excluded by this, and no other way of justification.27, 28. Where is boasting then? … excluded. By what law?—on what principle or scheme?.of works? Nay; but by the law of faith.28. Therefore we conclude, &c.—It is the unavoidable tendency of dependence upon our ownworks, less or more, for acceptance with God, to beget a spirit of "boasting." But that God shouldencourage such a spirit in sinners, by any procedure of His, is incredible. This therefore stampsfalsehood upon every form of "justification by works," whereas the doctrine that.Our faith receives a righteousnessThat makes the sinner just,manifestly and entirely excludes "boasting"; and this is the best evidence of its truth.Inference second: This and no other way of salvation is adapted alike to Jew and Gentile.29. Is he the God of the Jews only? &c.—The way of salvation must be one equally suited tothe whole family of fallen man: but the doctrine of justification by faith is the only one that laysthe basis of a Universal Religion; this therefore is another mark of its truth.30. it is one God who shall justify—"has unchangeably fixed that He shall justify."the circumcision by—"of"faith, and the uncircumcision through faith—probably this is but a varied statement of thesame truth for greater emphasis (see Ro 3:22); though Bengel thinks that the justification of the Jews,as the born heirs of the promise, may be here purposely said to be "of faith," while that of theGentiles, previously "strangers to the covenants of promise," may be said to be "through faith," asthus admitted into a new family.Objection:31. Do we then make void the law through faith?—"Does this doctrine of justification byfaith, then, dissolve the obligation of the law? If so, it cannot be of God. But away with such athought, for it does just the reverse."God forbid: yea, we establish the law—It will be observed here, that, important as was thisobjection, and opening up as it did so noble a field for the illustration of the peculiar glory of theGospel, the apostle does no more here than indignantly repel it, intending at a subsequent stage ofhis argument (Ro 6:1-23) to resume and discuss it at length.Note, (1) It is a fundamental requisite of all true religion that it tend to humble the sinner andexalt God; and every system which breeds self-righteousness, or cherishes boasting, bears falsehoodon its face (Ro 3:27, 28). (2) The fitness of the Gospel to be a universal religion, beneath whichthe guilty of every name and degree are invited and warranted to take shelter and repose, is a gloriousevidence of its truth (Ro 3:29, 30). (3) The glory of God's law, in its eternal and immutableobligations, is then only fully apprehended by the sinner, and then only is it enthroned in the depthsof his soul, when, believing that "He was made sin for him who knew no sin," he sees himself"made the righteousness of God in Him" (2Co 5:21). Thus do we not make void the law throughfaith: yea, we establish the law. (4) This chapter, and particularly the latter part of it, "is the proper2368JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonseat of the Pauline doctrine of Justification, and the grand proof-passage of the Protestant doctrineof the Imputation of Christ's righteousness and of Justification not on account of, but through faithalone" [Philippi]. To make good this doctrine, and reseat it in the faith and affection of the Church,was worth all the bloody struggles that it cost our fathers, and it will be the wisdom and safety, thelife and vigor of the churches, to "stand fast in this liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free,and not be again entangled"—in the very least degree—"with the yoke of bondage" (Ga 5:1).CHAPTER 4Ro 4:1-25. The Foregoing Doctrine of Justification by Faith Illustrated from the Old Testament.First: Abraham was justified by faith.1-3. What shall we say then that Abraham, our father as pertaining to the flesh, hathfound?—that is, (as the order in the original shows), "hath found, as pertaining to ('according to,'or 'through') the flesh"; meaning, "by all his natural efforts or legal obedience."2. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not beforeGod—"If works were the ground of Abraham's justification, he would have matter for boasting;but as it is perfectly certain that he hath none in the sight of God, it follows that Abraham couldnot have been justified by works." And to this agree the words of Scripture.3. For what saith the, Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it—his faith.was counted to him for righteousness—(Ge 15:6). Romish expositors and Arminian Protestantsmake this to mean that God accepted Abraham's act of believing as a substitute for completeobedience. But this is at variance with the whole spirit and letter of the apostle's teaching. Throughoutthis whole argument, faith is set in direct opposition to works, in the matter of justification—andeven in Ro 4:4, 5. The meaning, therefore, cannot possibly be that the mere act of believing—whichis as much a work as any other piece of commanded duty (Joh 6:29; 1Jo 3:23)—was counted toAbraham for all obedience. The meaning plainly is that Abraham believed in the promises whichembraced Christ (Ge 12:3; 15:5, &c.), as we believe in Christ Himself; and in both cases, faith ismerely the instrument that puts us in possession of the blessing gratuitously bestowed.4, 5. Now to him that worketh—as a servant for wages.is the reward not reckoned of grace—as a matter of favor.but of debt—as a matter of right.5. But to him that worketh not—who, despairing of acceptance with God by "working" forit the work of obedience, does not attempt it.but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly—casts himself upon the mercy of Him thatjustifieth those who deserve only condemnation.his faith, &c.—(See on Ro 4:3).Second: David sings of the same justification.6-8. David also describeth—"speaketh," "pronounceth."the blessedness of the man unto whom the Lord imputeth righteousness withoutworks—whom, though void of all good works, He, nevertheless, regards and treats as righteous.7, 8. Saying, Blessed, &c.—(Ps 32:1, 2). David here sings in express terms only of "transgressionforgiven, sin covered, iniquity not imputed"; but as the negative blessing necessarily includes thepositive, the passage is strictly in point.2369JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9-12. Cometh this blessedness then, &c.—that is, "Say not, All this is spoken of the circumcised,and is therefore no evidence of God's general way of justifying men; for Abraham's justificationtook place long before he was circumcised, and so could have no dependence upon that rite: nay,'the sign of circumcision' was given to Abraham as 'a seal' (or token) of the (justifying) righteousnesswhich he had before he was circumcised; in order that he might stand forth to every age as theparent believer—the model man of justification by faith—after whose type, as the first publicexample of it, all were to be moulded, whether Jew or Gentile, who should thereafter believe tolife everlasting."13-15. For the promise, &c.—This is merely an enlargement of the foregoing reasoning,applying to the law what had just been said of circumcision.that he should be the heir of the world—or, that "all the families of the earth should be blessedin him."was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law—in virtue of obedience to the law.but through the righteousness of faith—in virtue of his simple faith in the divine promises.14. For if they which are of the law be heirs—If the blessing is to be earned by obedience tothe law.faith is made void—the whole divine method is subverted.15. Because the law worketh wrath—has nothing to give to those who break is butcondemnation and vengeance.for where there is no law, there is no transgression—It is just the law that makes transgression,in the case of those who break it; nor can the one exist without the other.16, 17. Therefore, &c.—A general summary: "Thus justification is by faith, in order that itspurely gracious character may be seen, and that all who follow in the steps of Abraham'sfaith—whether of his natural seed or no—may be assured of the like justification with the parentbeliever."17. As it is written, &c.—(Ge 17:5). This is quoted to justify his calling Abraham the "fatherof us all," and is to be viewed as a parenthesis.before—that is, "in the reckoning of."him whom he believed—that is, "Thus Abraham, in the reckoning of Him whom he believed,is the father of us all, in order that all may be assured, that doing as he did, they shall be treated ashe was."even God, quickeneth the dead—The nature and greatness of that faith of Abraham whichwe are to copy is here strikingly described. What he was required to believe being above nature,his faith had to fasten upon God's power to surmount physical incapacity, and call into being whatdid not then exist. But God having made the promise, Abraham believed Him in spite of thoseobstacles. This is still further illustrated in what follows.18-22. Who against hope—when no ground for hope appeared.believed in hope—that is, cherished the believing expectation.that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, Soshall thy seed be—that is, Such "as the stars of heaven," Ge 15:5.19. he considered not, &c.—paid no attention to those physical obstacles, both in himself andin Sarah, which might seem to render the fulfilment hopeless.20. He staggered—hesitated2370JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnot … but was strong in faith, giving glory to God—as able to make good His own word inspite of all obstacles.21. And being fully persuaded, &c.—that is, the glory which Abraham's faith gave to Godconsisted in this, that, firm in the persuasion of God's ability to fulfil his promise, no difficultiesshook him.22. And therefore it was imputed, &c.—"Let all then take notice that this was not because ofanything meritorious in Abraham, but merely because he so believed."23-25. Now, &c.—Here is the application of this whole argument about Abraham: These thingswere not recorded as mere historical facts, but as illustrations for all time of God's method ofjustification by faith.24. to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe in him that raised up Jesus our Lord fromthe dead—in Him that hath done this, even as Abraham believed that God would raise up a seedin whom all nations should be blessed.25. Who was delivered for—"on account of."our offences—that is, in order to expiate them by His blood.and raised again for—"on account of," that is, in order to.our justification—As His resurrection was the divine assurance that He had "put away sin bythe sacrifice of Himself," and the crowning of His whole work, our justification is fitly connectedwith that glorious act.Note, (1) The doctrine of justification by works, as it generates self-exaltation, is contrary tothe first principles of all true religion (Ro 4:2; and see on Ro 3:21-26, Note 1). (2) The way of asinner's justification has been the same in all time, and the testimony of the Old Testament on thissubject is one with that of the New (Ro 4:3, &c., and see on Ro 3:27-31, Note 1). (3) Faith andworks, in the matter of justification, are opposite and irreconcilable, even as grace and debt (Ro4:4, 5; and see on Ro 11:6). If God "justifies the ungodly," works cannot be, in any sense or to anydegree, the ground of justification. For the same reason, the first requisite, in order to justification,must be (under the conviction that we are "ungodly") to despair of it by works; and the next, to"believe in Him that justifieth the ungodly"—that hath a justifying righteousness to bestow, and isready to bestow it upon those who deserve none, and to embrace it accordingly. (4) The sacramentsof the Church were never intended, and are not adapted, to confer grace, or the blessings of salvation,upon men. Their proper use is to set a divine seal upon a state already existing, and so, theypresuppose, and do not create it (Ro 4:8-12). As circumcision merely "sealed" Abraham's alreadyexisting acceptance with God, so with the sacraments of the New Testament. (5) As Abraham is"the heir of the world," all nations being blessed in him, through his Seed Christ Jesus, and justifiedsolely according to the pattern of his faith, so the transmission of the true religion and all thesalvation which the world will ever experience shall yet be traced back with wonder, gratitude, andjoy, to that morning dawn when "the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he wasin Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran," Ac 7:2 (Ro 4:13). (6) Nothing gives more glory toGod than simple faith in His word, especially when all things seem to render the fulfilment of ithopeless (Ro 4:18-21). (7) All the Scripture examples of faith were recorded on purpose to begetand encourage the like faith in every succeeding age (Ro 4:23, 24; and compare Ro 15:4). (8)Justification, in this argument, cannot be taken—as Romanists and other errorists insist—to meana change upon men's character; for besides that this is to confound it with Sanctification, whichhas its appropriate place in this Epistle, the whole argument of the present chapter—and nearly all2371JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonits more important clauses, expressions, and words—would in that case be unsuitable, and fittedonly to mislead. Beyond all doubt it means exclusively a change upon men's state or relation toGod; or, in scientific language, it is an objective, not a subjective change—a change from guilt andcondemnation to acquittal and acceptance. And the best evidence that this is the key to the wholeargument is, that it opens all the wards of the many-chambered lock with which the apostle hasenriched us in this Epistle.CHAPTER 5Ro 5:1-11. The Blessed Effects of Justification by Faith.The proof of this doctrine being now concluded, the apostle comes here to treat of its fruits,reserving the full consideration of this topic to another stage of the argument (Ro 8:1-39).1. Therefore being—"having been."justified by faith, we have peace with God, &c.—If we are to be guided by manuscriptauthority, the true reading here, beyond doubt, is, "Let us have peace"; a reading, however, whichmost reject, because they think it unnatural to exhort men to have what it belongs to God to give,because the apostle is not here giving exhortations, but stating matters of fact. But as it seemshazardous to set aside the decisive testimony of manuscripts, as to what the apostle did write, infavor of what we merely think he ought to have written, let us pause and ask—If it be the privilegeof the justified to "have peace with God," why might not the apostle begin his enumeration of thefruits of justification by calling on believers to "realize" this peace as belonged to them, or cherishthe joyful consciousness of it as their own? And if this is what he has done, it would not be necessaryto continue in the same style, and the other fruits of justification might be set down, simply asmatters of fact. This "peace" is first a change in God's relation to us; and next, as the consequenceof this, a change on our part towards Him. God, on the one hand, has "reconciled us to Himself byJesus Christ" (2Co 5:18); and we, on the other hand, setting our seal to this, "are reconciled to God"(2Co 5:20). The "propitiation" is the meeting-place; there the controversy on both sides terminatesin an honorable and eternal "peace."2. By whom also we have—"have had"access by faith into this grace—favor with God.wherein we stand—that is "To that same faith which first gave us 'peace with God' we oweour introduction into that permanent standing in the favor of God which the justified enjoy." As itis difficult to distinguish this from the peace first mentioned, we regard it as merely an additionalphase of the same [Meyer, Philippi, Mehring], rather than something new [Beza, Tholuck, Hodge].and rejoice—"glory," "boast," "triumph"—"rejoice" is not strong enough.in hope of the glory of God—On "hope," see on Ro 5:4.3, 4. we glory in tribulation also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience—Patience isthe quiet endurance of what we cannot but wish removed, whether it be the withholding of promisedgood (Ro 8:25), or the continued experience of positive ill (as here). There is indeed a patience ofunrenewed nature, which has something noble in it, though in many cases the offspring of pride,if not of something lower. Men have been known to endure every form of privation, torture, anddeath, without a murmur and without even visible emotion, merely because they deemed it unworthyof them to sink under unavoidable ill. But this proud, stoical hardihood has nothing in common2372JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwith the grace of patience—which is either the meek endurance of ill because it is of God (Job1:21, 22; 2:10), or the calm waiting for promised good till His time to dispense it come (Heb 10:36);in the full persuasion that such trials are divinely appointed, are the needed discipline of God'schildren, are but for a definite period, and are not sent without abundant promises of "songs in thenight." If such be the "patience" which "tribulation worketh," no wonder that4. patience worketh experience—rather, "proof," as the same word is rendered in 2Co 2:9;13:3; Php 2:22; that is, experimental evidence that we have "believed through grace."and experience—"proof."hope—"of the glory of God," as prepared for us. Thus have we hope in two distinct ways, andat two successive stages of the Christian life: first, immediately on believing, along with the senseof peace and abiding access to God (Ro 5:1); next, after the reality of this faith has been "proved,"particularly by the patient endurance of trials sent to test it. We first get it by looking away fromourselves to the Lamb of God; next by looking into or upon ourselves as transformed by that"looking unto Jesus." In the one case, the mind acts (as they say) objectively; in the other,subjectively. The one is (as divines say) the assurance of faith; the other, the assurance of sense.5. And hope maketh not ashamed—putteth not to shame, as empty hopes do.because the love of God—that is, not "our love to God," as the Romish and some Protestantexpositors (following some of the Fathers) represent it; but clearly "God's love to us"—as mostexpositors agree.is shed abroad—literally, "poured forth," that is, copiously diffused (compare Joh 7:38; Tit3:6).by the Holy Ghost which is—rather, "was."given unto us—that is, at the great Pentecostal effusion, which is viewed as the formal donationof the Spirit to the Church of God, for all time and for each believer. (The Holy Ghost is here firstintroduced in this Epistle.) It is as if the apostle had said, "And how can this hope of glory, whichas believers we cherish, put us to shame, when we feel God Himself, by His Spirit given to us,drenching our hearts in sweet, all-subduing sensations of His wondrous love to us in Christ Jesus?"This leads the apostle to expatiate on the amazing character of that love.6-8. For when we were yet without strength—that is, powerless to deliver ourselves, and soready to perish.in due time—at the appointed season.Christ died for the ungodly—Three signal properties of God's love are here given: First,"Christ died for the ungodly," whose character, so far from meriting any interposition in their behalf,was altogether repulsive to the eye of God; second, He did this "when they were withoutstrength"—with nothing between them and perdition but that self-originating divine compassion;third, He did this "at the due time," when it was most fitting that it should take place (compare Ga4:4), The two former of these properties the apostle now proceeds to illustrate.7. For scarcely for a righteous man—a man of simply unexceptionable character.will one—"any one"die: yet peradventure for a good man—a man who, besides being unexceptionable, isdistinguished for goodness, a benefactor to society.some—"some one."would—rather, "doth."2373JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoneven dare to die—"Scarce an instance occurs of self-sacrifice for one merely upright; thoughfor one who makes himself a blessing to society there may be found an example of such noblesurrender of life" (So Bengel, Olshausen, Tholuck, Alford, Philippi). (To make the "righteous" and the"good" man here to mean the same person, and the whole sense to be that "though rare, the casemay occur, of one making a sacrifice of life for a worthy character" [as Calvin, Beza, Fritzsche, Jowett],is extremely flat.)8. But God commendeth—"setteth off," "displayeth"—in glorious contrast with all that menwill do for each other.his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners—that is, in a state not of positive"goodness," nor even of negative "righteousness," but on the contrary, "sinners," a state which Hissoul hateth.Christ died for us—Now comes the overpowering inference, emphatically redoubled.9, 10. Much more then, being—"having been"now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, muchmore, being now—"having now been"reconciled, we shall be saved by his life—that is "If that part of the Saviour's work which costHim His blood, and which had to be wrought for persons incapable of the least sympathy eitherwith His love or His labors in their behalf—even our 'justification,' our 'reconciliation'—is alreadycompleted; how much more will He do all that remains to be done, since He has it to do, not bydeath agonies any more, but in untroubled 'life,' and no longer for enemies, but for friends—fromwhom, at every stage of it, He receives the grateful response of redeemed and adoring souls?" Tobe "saved from wrath through Him," denotes here the whole work of Christ towards believers, fromthe moment of justification, when the wrath of God is turned away from them, till the Judge on thegreat white throne shall discharge that wrath upon them that "obey not the Gospel of our Lord JesusChrist"; and that work may all be summed up in "keeping them from falling, and presenting themfaultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24): thus are they "saved fromwrath through Him."11. And not only so, but we also joy—rather, "glory."in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by—"through"whom we have now received the atonement—rather, "the reconciliation" (Margin), as thesame word is rendered in Ro 5:10 and in 2Co 5:18, 19. (In fact, the earlier meaning of the Englishword "atonement" was "the reconciliation of two estranged parties") [Trench]. The foregoing effectsof justification were all benefits to ourselves, calling for gratitude; this last may be termed a purelydisinterested one. Our first feeling towards God, after we have found peace with Him, is that ofclinging gratitude for so costly a salvation; but no sooner have we learned to cry, Abba, Father,under the sweet sense of reconciliation, than "gloriation" in Him takes the place of dread of Him,and now He appears to us "altogether lovely!"On this section, Note, (1) How gloriously does the Gospel evince its divine origin by basing allacceptable obedience on "peace with God," laying the foundations of this peace in a righteous"justification" of the sinner "through our Lord Jesus Christ," and making this the entrance to apermanent standing in the divine favor, and a triumphant expectation of future glory! (Ro 5:1, 2).Other peace, worthy of the name, there is none; and as those who are strangers to it rise not to theenjoyment of such high fellowship with God, so they have neither any taste for it nor desire after2374JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonit. (2) As only believers possess the true secret of patience under trials, so, although "not joyousbut grievous" in themselves (Heb 12:17), when trials divinely sent afford them the opportunity ofevidencing their faith by the grace of patience under them, they should "count it all joy" (Ro 5:3,4; and see Jas 1:2, 3). (3) "Hope," in the New Testament sense of the term, is not a lower degreeof faith or assurance (as many now say, I hope for heaven, but am not sure of it); but invariablymeans "the confident expectation of future good." It presupposes faith; and what faith assures uswill be ours, hope accordingly expects. In the nourishment of this hope, the soul's look outward toChrist for the ground of it, and inward upon ourselves for evidence of its reality, must act and reactupon each other (Ro 5:2 and Ro 5:4 compared). (4) It is the proper office of the Holy Ghost to begetin the soul the full conviction and joyful consciousness of the love of God in Christ Jesus to sinnersof mankind, and to ourselves in particular; and where this exists, it carries with it such an assuranceof final salvation as cannot deceive (Ro 5:5). (5) The justification of sinful men is not in virtue oftheir amendment, but of "the blood of God's Son"; and while this is expressly affirmed in Ro 5:9,our reconciliation to God by the "death of His Son," affirmed in Ro 5:10, is but a variety of thesame statement. In both, the blessing meant is the restoration of the sinner to a righteous standingin the sight of God; and in both, the meritorious ground of this, which is intended to be conveyed,is the expiatory sacrifice of God's Son. (6) Gratitude to God for redeeming love, if it could existwithout delight in God Himself, would be a selfish and worthless feeling; but when the one risesinto the other—the transporting sense of eternal "reconciliation" passing into "gloriation in God"Himself—then the lower is sanctified and sustained by the higher, and each feeling is perfectiveof the other (Ro 5:11).Ro 5:12-21. Comparison and Contrast between Adam and Christ in Their Relation to the Human Family.(This profound and most weighty section has occasioned an immense deal of critical andtheological discussion, in which every point, and almost every clause, has been contested. We canhere but set down what appears to us to be the only tenable view of it as a whole and of its successiveclauses, with some slight indication of the grounds of our judgment).12. Wherefore—that is, Things being so; referring back to the whole preceding argument.as by one man—Adam.sin—considered here in its guilt, criminality, penal desert.entered into the world, and death by sin—as the penalty of sin.and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned—rather, "all sinned," that is, inthat one man's first sin. Thus death reaches every individual of the human family, as the penaltydue to himself. (So, in substance, Bengel, Hodge, Philippi). Here we should have expected the apostleto finish his sentence, in some such way as this: "Even so, by one man righteousness has enteredinto the world, and life by righteousness." But, instead of this, we have a digression, extending tofive verses, to illustrate the important statement of Ro 5:12; and it is only at Ro 5:18 that thecomparison is resumed and finished.13, 14. For until the law sin was in the world—that is during all the period from Adam "untilthe law" of Moses was given, God continued to treat men as sinners.but sin is not imputed where there is no law—"There must therefore have been a law duringthat period, because sin was then imputed"; as is now to be shown.14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinnedafter the similitude of Adam's transgression—But who are they?—a much contested question.Infants (say some), who being guiltless of actual sin, may be said not to have sinned in the way2375JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthat Adam did [Augustine, Beza, Hodge]. But why should infants be specially connected with the period"from Adam to Moses," since they die alike in every period? And if the apostle meant to expresshere the death of infants, why has he done it so enigmatically? Besides, the death of infants iscomprehended in the universal mortality on account of the first sin, so emphatically expressed inRo 5:12; what need then to specify it here? and why, if not necessary, should we presume it to bemeant here, unless the language unmistakably point to it—which it certainly does not? The meaningthen must be, that "death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those that had not, like Adam,transgressed against a positive commandment, threatening death to the disobedient." (So mostinterpreters). In this case, the particle "even," instead of specifying one particular class of thosewho lived "from Adam to Moses" (as the other interpretation supposes), merely explains what itwas that made the case of those who died from Adam to Moses worthy of special notice—namely,that "though unlike Adam and all since Moses, those who lived between the two had no positivethreatening of death for transgression, nevertheless, death reigned even over them."who is the figure—or, "a type."of him that was to come—Christ. "This clause is inserted on the first mention of the name"Adam," the one man of whom he is speaking, to recall the purpose for which he is treating of him,as the figure of Christ" [Alford]. The point of analogy intended here is plainly the public characterwhich both sustained, neither of the two being regarded in the divine procedure towards men asmere individual men, but both alike as representative men. (Some take the proper supplement hereto be "Him [that is] to come"; understanding the apostle to speak from his own time, and to referto Christ's second coming [Fritzsche, De Wette, Alford]. But this is unnatural, since the analogy of thesecond Adam to the first has been in full development ever since "God exalted Him to be a Princeand a Saviour," and it will only remain to be consummated at His second coming. The simplemeaning is, as nearly all interpreters agree, that Adam is a type of Him who was to come after himin the same public character, and so to be "the second Adam").15. But—"Yet," "Howbeit."not as the offence—"trespass."so also is the free gift—or "the gracious gift," "the gift of grace." The two cases present pointsof contrast as well as resemblance.For if, &c.—rather, "For if through the offense of the one the many died (that is, in that oneman's first sin), much more did the grace of God, and the free gift by grace, even that of the oneman, Jesus Christ, abound unto the many." By "the many" is meant the mass of mankind representedrespectively by Adam and Christ, as opposed, not to few, but to "the one" who represented them.By "the free gift" is meant (as in Ro 5:17) the glorious gift of justifying righteousness; this isexpressly distinguished from "the grace of God," as the effect from the cause; and both are said to"abound" towards us in Christ—in what sense will appear in Ro 5:16, 17. And the "much more,"of the one case than the other, does not mean that we get much more of good by Christ than of evilby Adam (for it is not a case of quantity at all); but that we have much more reason to expect, orit is much more agreeable to our ideas of God, that the many should be benefited by the merit ofone, than that they should suffer for the sin of one; and if the latter has happened, much more maywe assure ourselves of the former [Philippi, Hodge].16. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift—"Another point of contrast may bementioned."for the judgment—"sentence."2376JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwas by one—rather, "was of one," meaning not "one man," but, as appears from the next clause,"one offense."to condemnation, but the free gift—"gift of grace."is of many offences unto justification—a glorious point of contrast. "The condemnation byAdam was for one sin; but the justification by Christ is an absolution not only from the guilt of thatfirst offense, mysteriously attaching to every individual of the race, but from the countless offensesit, to which, as a germ lodged in the bosom of every child of Adam, it unfolds itself in his life."This is the meaning of "grace abounding towards us in the abundance of the gift of righteousness."It is a grace not only rich in its character, but rich in detail; it is a "righteousness" not only rich ina complete justification of the guilty, condemned sinner; but rich in the amplitude of the groundwhich it covers, leaving no one sin of any of the justified uncancelled, but making him, thoughloaded with the guilt of myriads of offenses, "the righteousness of God in Christ."17. For if by—"the"one man's offence death reigned by one—"through the one."much more shall they which receive—"the"abundance of grace and of the gift of—justifyingrighteousness … reign in life by one Jesus Christ—"through the one." We have here the twoideas of Ro 5:15 and Ro 5:16 sublimely combined into one, as if the subject had grown upon theapostle as he advanced in his comparison of the two cases. Here, for the first time in this section,he speaks of that LIFE which springs out of justification, in contrast with the death which springsfrom sin and follows condemnation. The proper idea of it therefore is, "Right to live"—"Righteouslife"—life possessed and enjoyed with the good will, and in conformity with the eternal law, of"Him that sitteth on the Throne"; life therefore in its widest sense—life in the whole man andthroughout the whole duration of human existence, the life of blissful and loving relationship toGod in soul and body, for ever and ever. It is worthy of note, too, that while he says death "reignedover" us through Adam, he does not say Life "reigns over us" through Christ; lest he should seemto invest this new life with the very attribute of death—that of fell and malignant tyranny, of whichwe were the hapless victims. Nor does he say Life reigns in us, which would have been a scripturalenough idea; but, which is much more pregnant, "We shall reign in life." While freedom and mightare implied in the figure of "reigning," "life" is represented as the glorious territory or atmosphereof that reign. And by recurring to the idea of Ro 5:16, as to the "many offenses" whose completepardon shows "the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness," the whole statement is tothis effect: "If one man's one offense let loose against us the tyrant power of Death, to hold us asits victims in helpless bondage, 'much more,' when we stand forth enriched with God's 'aboundinggrace' and in the beauty of a complete absolution from countless offenses, shall we expatiate in alife divinely owned and legally secured, 'reigning' in exultant freedom and unchallenged might,through that other matchless 'One,' Jesus Christ!" (On the import of the future tense in this lastclause, see on Ro 5:19, and Ro 6:5).18. Therefore—now at length resuming the unfinished comparison of Ro 5:12, in order to giveformally the concluding member of it, which had been done once and again substantially, in theintermediate verses.as by the offence of one judgment came—or, more simply, "it came."upon all men to condenmation; even so by the righteousness of one the free giftcame—rather, "it came."2377JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonupon all men to justification of life—(So Calvin, Bengel, Olshausen, Tholuck, Hodge, Philippi). Butbetter, as we judge: "As through one offense it [came] upon all men to condemnation; even sothrough one righteousness [it came] upon all men to justification of life"—(So Beza, Grotius, Ferme,Meyer, De Wette, Alford, Revised Version). In this case, the apostle, resuming the statement of Ro 5:12,expresses it in a more concentrated and vivid form—suggested no doubt by the expression in Ro5:16, "through one offense," representing Christ's whole work, considered as the ground of ourjustification, as "ONE RIGHTEOUSNESS." (Some would render the peculiar word here employed,"one righteous act" [Alford, &c.]; understanding by it Christ's death as the one redeeming act whichreversed the one undoing act of Adam. But this is to limit the apostle's idea too much; for as thesame word is properly rendered "righteousness" in Ro 8:4, where it means "the righteousness ofthe law as fulfilled by us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," so here it denotes Christ'swhole "obedience unto death," considered as the one meritorious ground of the reversal of thecondemnation which came by Adam. But on this, and on the expression, "all men," see on Ro 5:19.The expression "justification of life," is a vivid combination of two ideas already expatiated upon,meaning "justification entitling to and issuing in the rightful possession and enjoyment of life").19. For, &c.—better, "For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, evenso by the obedience of the One shall the many be made righteous." On this great verse observe:First, By the "obedience" of Christ here is plainly not meant more than what divines call His activeobedience, as distinguished from His sufferings and death; it is the entire work of Christ in itsobediential character. Our Lord Himself represents even His death as His great act of obedienceto the Father: "This commandment (that is, to lay down and resume His life) have I received of MyFather" (Joh 10:8). Second, The significant word twice rendered made, does not signify to work achange upon a person or thing, but to constitute or ordain, as will be seen from all the places whereit is used. Here, accordingly, it is intended to express that judicial act which holds men, in virtueof their connection with Adam, as sinners; and, in connection with Christ, as righteous. Third, Thechange of tense from the past to the future—"as through Adam we were made sinners, so throughChrist we shall be made righteous"—delightfully expresses the enduring character of the act, andof the economy to which such acts belong, in contrast with the for-ever-past ruin of believers inAdam. (See on Ro 6:5). Fourth, The "all men" of Ro 5:18 and the "many" of Ro 5:19 are the sameparty, though under a slightly different aspect. In the latter case, the contrast is between the onerepresentative (Adam—Christ) and the many whom he represented; in the former case, it is betweenthe one head (Adam—Christ) and the human race, affected for death and life respectively by theactings of that one. Only in this latter case it is the redeemed family of man that is alone in view;it is humanity as actually lost, but also as actually saved, as ruined and recovered. Such as refuseto fall in with the high purpose of God to constitute His Son a "second Adam," the Head of a newrace, and as impenitent and unbelieving finally perish, have no place in this section of the Epistle,whose sole object is to show how God repairs in the second Adam the evil done by the first. (Thusthe doctrine of universal restoration has no place here. Thus too the forced interpretation by whichthe "justification of all" is made to mean a justification merely in possibility and offer to all, andthe "justification of the many" to mean the actual justification of as many as believe [Alford, &c.],is completely avoided. And thus the harshness of comparing a whole fallen family with a recoveredpart is got rid of. However true it be in fact that part of mankind is not saved, this is not the aspectin which the subject is here presented. It is totals that are compared and contrasted; and it is the2378JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsame total in two successive conditions—namely, the human race as ruined in Adam and recoveredin Christ).20, 21. Moreover the law—"The law, however." The Jew might say, If the whole purposes ofGod towards men center in Adam and Christ, where does "the law" come in, and what was the useof it? Answer: Itentered—But the word expresses an important idea besides "entering." It signifies, "enteredincidentally," or "parenthetically." (In Ga 2:4 the same word is rendered, "came in privily.") Themeaning is, that the promulgation of the law at Sinai was no primary or essential feature of thedivine plan, but it was "added" (Ga 3:19) for a subordinate purpose—the more fully to reveal theevil occasioned by Adam, and the need and glory of the remedy by Christ.that the offence might abound—or, "be multiplied." But what offense? Throughout all thissection "the offense" (four times repeated besides here) has one definite meaning, namely, "the onefirst offense of Adam"; and this, in our judgment, is its meaning here also: "All our multitudinousbreaches of the law are nothing but that one first offense, lodged mysteriously in the bosom of everychild of Adam as an offending principal, and multiplying itself into myriads of particular offensesin the life of each." What was one act of disobedience in the head has been converted into a vitaland virulent principle of disobedience in all the members of the human family, whose every act ofwilful rebellion proclaims itself the child of the original transgression.But where sin abounded—or, "was multiplied."grace did much more abound—rather, "did exceedingly abound," or "superabound." Thecomparison here is between the multiplication of one offense into countless transgressions, andsuch an overflow of grace as more than meets that appalling case.21. That as sin—Observe, the word "offense" is no more used, as that had been sufficientlyillustrated; but—what better befitted this comprehensive summation of the whole matter—the greatgeneral term sin.hath reigned unto death—rather, "in death," triumphing and (as it were) revelling in thatcomplete destruction of its victims.even so might grace reign—In Ro 5:14, 17 we had the reign of death over the guilty andcondemned in Adam; here it is the reign of the mighty causes of these—of Sin which clothes Deatha Sovereign with venomous power (1Co 15:56) and with awful authority (Ro 6:23), and of Grace,the grace which originated the scheme of salvation, the grace which "sent the Son to be the Saviourof the world," the grace which "made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin," the grace which"makes us to be the righteousness of God in Him," so that "we who receive the abundance of graceand of the gift of righteousness do reign in life by One, Jesus Christ!"through righteousness—not ours certainly ("the obedience of Christians," to use the wretchedlanguage of Grotius) nor yet exactly "justification" [Stuart, Hodge]; but rather, "the (justifying)righteousness of Christ" [Beza, Alford, and in substance, Olshausen, Meyer]; the same which in Ro 5:19is called His "obedience," meaning His whole mediatorial work in the flesh. This is here representedas the righteous medium through which grace reaches its objects and attains all its ends, the stablethrone from which Grace as a Sovereign dispenses its saving benefits to as many as are broughtunder its benign sway.unto eternal life—which is salvation in its highest form and fullest development for ever.by Jesus Christ our Lord—Thus, on that "Name which is above every name," the echoes ofthis hymn to the glory of "Grace" die away, and "Jesus is left alone."2379JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonOn reviewing this golden section of our Epistle, the following additional remarks occur: (1) Ifthis section does not teach that the whole race of Adam, standing in him as their federal head,"sinned in him and fell with him in his first transgression," we may despair of any intelligibleexposition of it. The apostle, after saying that Adam's sin introduced death into the world, does notsay "and so death passed upon all men for that Adam "sinned," but "for that all sinned." Thus,according to the teaching of the apostle, "the death of all is for the sin of all"; and as this cannotmean the personal sins of each individual, but some sin of which unconscious infants are guiltyequally with adults, it can mean nothing but the one "first transgression" of their common head,regarded as the sin of each of his race, and punished, as such, with death. It is vain to start backfrom this imputation to all of the guilt of Adam's first sin, as wearing the appearance of injustice.For not only are all other theories liable to the same objection, in some other form—besides beinginconsistent with the text—but the actual facts of human nature, which none dispute, and whichcannot be explained away, involve essentially the same difficulties as the great principle on whichthe apostle here explains them. If we admit this principle, on the authority of our apostle, a floodof light is at once thrown upon certain features of the divine procedure, and certain portions of thedivine oracles, which otherwise are involved in much darkness; and if the principle itself seem hardto digest, it is not harder than the existence of evil, which, as a fact, admits of no dispute, but, as afeature in the divine administration, admits of no explanation in the present state. (2) What is calledoriginal sin—or that depraved tendency to evil with which every child of Adam comes into theworld—is not formally treated of in this section (and even in the seventh chapter, it is rather itsnature and operation than its connection with the first sin which is handled). But indirectly, thissection bears testimony to it; representing the one original offense, unlike every other, as havingan enduring vitality in the bosom of every child of Adam, as a principle of disobedience, whosevirulence has gotten it the familiar name of "original sin." (3) In what sense is the word "death"used throughout this section? Not certainly as mere temporal death, as Arminian commentatorsaffirm. For as Christ came to undo what Adam did, which is all comprehended in the word "death,"it would hence follow that Christ has merely dissolved the sentence by which soul and body areparted in death; in other words, merely procured the resurrection of the body. But the New Testamentthroughout teaches that the salvation of Christ is from a vastly more comprehensive "death" thanthat. But neither is death here used merely in the sense of penal evil, that is, "any evil inflicted inpunishment of sin and for the support of law" [Hodge]. This is too indefinite, making death a merefigure of speech to denote "penal evil" in general—an idea foreign to the simplicity of Scripture—orat least making death, strictly so called, only one part of the thing meant by it, which ought not tobe resorted to if a more simple and natural explanation can be found. By "death" then, in this section,we understand the sinner's destruction, in the only sense in which he is capable of it. Even temporaldeath is called "destruction" (De 7:23; 1Sa 5:11, &c.), as extinguishing all that men regard as life.But a destruction extending to the soul as well as the body, and into the future world, is clearlyexpressed in Mt 7:13; 2Th 1:9; 2Pe 3:16, &c. This is the penal "death" of our section, and in thisview of it we retain its proper sense. Life—as a state of enjoyment of the favor of God, of purefellowship with Him, and voluntary subjection to Him—is a blighted thing from the moment thatsin is found in the creature's skirts; in that sense, the threatening, "In the day that thou eatest thereofthou shalt surely die," was carried into immediate effect in the case of Adam when he fell; whowas thenceforward "dead while he lived." Such are all his posterity from their birth. The separationof soul and body in temporal death carries the sinner's destruction" a stage farther; dissolving his2380JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonconnection with that world out of which he extracted a pleasurable, though unblest, existence, andushering him into the presence of his Judge—first as a disembodied spirit, but ultimately in thebody too, in an enduring condition—"to be punished (and this is the final state) with everlastingdestruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power." This final extinctionin soul and body of all that constitutes life, but yet eternal consciousness of a blighted existence—this,in its amplest and most awful sense, is "DEATH"! Not that Adam understood all that. It is enoughthat he understood "the day" of his disobedience to be the terminating period of his blissful "life."In that simple idea was wrapt up all the rest. But that he should comprehend its details was notnecessary. Nor is it necessary to suppose all that to be intended in every passage of Scripture wherethe word occurs. Enough that all we have described is in the bosom of the thing, and will be realizedin as many as are not the happy subjects of the Reign of Grace. Beyond doubt, the whole of this isintended in such sublime and comprehensive passages as this: "God … gave His … Son thatwhosoever believeth in Him might not PERISH, but have everlasting LIFE" (Joh 3:16). And shouldnot the untold horrors of that "DEATH"—already "reigning over" all that are not in Christ, andhastening to its consummation—quicken our flight into "the second Adam," that having "receivedthe abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, we may reign in LIFE by the One, JesusChrist?"CHAPTER 6Ro 6:1-11. The Bearing of Justification by Grace upon a Holy Life.1. What, &c.—The subject of this third division of our Epistle announces itself at once in theopening question, "Shall we (or, as the true reading is, "May we," "Are we to") continue in sin, thatgrace may abound?" Had the apostle's doctrine been that salvation depends in any degree upon ourgood works, no such objection to it could have been made. Against the doctrine of a purely gratuitousjustification, the objection is plausible; nor has there ever been an age in which it has not beenurged. That it was brought against the apostles, we know from Ro 3:8; and we gather from Ga 5:13;1Pe 2:16; Jude 4, that some did give occasion to the charge; but that it was a total perversion of thedoctrine of Grace the apostle here proceeds to show.2. God forbid—"That be far from us"; the instincts of the new creature revolting at the thought.How shall we, that are dead, &c.—literally, and more forcibly, "We who died to sin (aspresently to be explained), how shall we live any longer therein?"3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ—compare 1Co 10:2.were baptized into his death?—sealed with the seal of heaven, and as it were formally enteredand articled, to all the benefits and all the obligations of Christian discipleship in general, and ofHis death in particular. And since He was "made sin" and "a curse for us" (2Co 5:21; Ga 5:13),"bearing our sins in His own body on the tree," and "rising again for our justification" (Ro 4:25;1Pe 2:24), our whole sinful case and condition, thus taken up into His Person, has been brought toan end in His death. Whoso, then, has been baptized into Christ's death has formally surrenderedthe whole state and life of sin, as in Christ a dead thing. He has sealed himself to be not only "therighteousness of God in Him," but "a new creature"; and as he cannot be in Christ to the one effectand not to the other, for they are one thing, he has bidden farewell, by baptism into Christ's death,2381JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto his entire connection with sin. "How," then, "can he live any longer therein?" The two thingsare as contradictory in the fact as they are in the terms.4. Therefore we are—rather, "were" (it being a past act, completed at once).buried with him, by baptism into death—(The comma we have placed after "him" will showwhat the sense is. It is not, "By baptism we are buried with Him into death," which makes no senseat all; but, "By baptism with Him into death we are buried with Him"; in other words, "By the samebaptism which publicly enters us into His death, we are made partakers of His burial also"). Toleave a dead body unburied is represented, alike in heathen authors as in Scripture, as the greatestindignity (Re 11:8, 9). It was fitting, therefore, that Christ, after "dying for our sins according tothe Scriptures," should "descend into the lower parts of the earth" (Eph 4:9). As this was the lastand lowest step of His humiliation, so it was the honorable dissolution of His last link of connectionwith that life which He laid down for us; and we, in being "buried with Him by our baptism intoHis death," have by this public act severed our last link of connection with that whole sinful conditionand life which Christ brought to an end in His death.that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father—that is, by such aforth-putting of the Father's power as was the effulgence of His whole glory.even so we also—as risen to a new life with Him.should walk in newness of life—But what is that "newness?" Surely if our old life, now deadand buried with Christ, was wholly sinful, the new, to which we rise with the risen Saviour, mustbe altogether a holy life; so that every time we go back to "those things whereof we are nowashamed" (Ro 6:21), we belie our resurrection with Christ to newness of life, and "forget that wehave been purged from our old sins" (2Pe 1:9). (Whether the mode of baptism by immersion bealluded to in this verse, as a kind of symbolical burial and resurrection, does not seem to us of muchconsequence. Many interpreters think it is, and it may be so. But as it is not clear that baptism inapostolic times was exclusively by immersion [see on Ac 2:41], so sprinkling and washing areindifferently used in the New Testament to express the cleansing efficacy of the blood of Jesus.And just as the woman with the issue of blood got virtue out of Christ by simply touching Him, sothe essence of baptism seems to lie in the simple contact of the element with the body, symbolizingliving contact with Christ crucified; the mode and extent of suffusion being indifferent and variablewith climate and circumstances).5. For if we have been planted together—literally, "have become formed together." (Theword is used here only).in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection—that is,"Since Christ's death and resurrection are inseparable in their efficacy, union with Him in the onecarries with it participation in the other, for privilege and for duty alike." The future tense is usedof participation in His resurrection, because this is but partially realized in the present state. (Seeon Ro 5:19).6, 7. Knowing this, &c.—The apostle now grows more definite and vivid in expressing thesin-destroying efficacy of our union with the crucified Saviour.that our old man—"our old selves"; that is, "all that we were in our old unregenerate condition,before union with Christ" (compare Col 3:9, 10; Eph 4:22-24; Ga 2:20; 5:24; 6:14).is—rather, "was."crucified with him—in order.2382JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthat the body of sin—not a figure for "the mass of sin"; nor the "material body," consideredas the seat of sin, which it is not; but (as we judge) for "sin as it dwells in us in our present embodiedstate, under the law of the fall."might be destroyed—(in Christ's death)—to the end.that henceforth we should not serve sin—"be in bondage to sin."7. For he that is dead—rather, "hath died."is freed—"hath been set free."from sin—literally, "justified," "acquitted," "got his discharge from sin." As death dissolvesall claims, so the whole claim of sin, not only to "reign unto death," but to keep its victims in sinfulbondage, has been discharged once for all, by the believer's penal death in the death of Christ; sothat he is no longer a "debtor to the flesh to live after the flesh" (Ro 8:12).8. Now if we be dead—"if we died."with Christ, &c.—See on Ro 6:5.9-11. Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion overhim—Though Christ's death was in the most absolute sense a voluntary act (Joh 10:17, 18; Ac2:24), that voluntary surrender gave death such rightful "dominion over Him" as dissolved itsdominion over us. But this once past, "death hath," even in that sense, "dominion over Him nomore."10. For in that he died, he died unto—that is, in obedience to the claims ofsin once—for all.but in that he liveth, he liveth unto—in obedience to the claims of God.God—There never, indeed, was a time when Christ did not "live unto God." But in the daysof His flesh He did so under the continual burden of sin "laid on Him" (Isa 53:6; 2Co 5:21); whereas,now that He has "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself," He "liveth unto God," the acquittedand accepted Surety, unchallenged and unclouded by the claims of sin.11. Likewise—even as your Lord Himself.reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed—"dead on the one hand"unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord—(The words, "our Lord," atthe close of this verse, are wanting in the best manuscripts.)Note, (1) "Antinomianism is not only an error; it is a falsehood and a slander" [Hodge]. That "weshould continue in sin that grace may abound," not only is never the deliberate sentiment of anyreal believer in the doctrine of Grace, but is abhorrent to every Christian mind, as a monstrousabuse of the most glorious of all truths (Ro 6:1). (2) As the death of Christ is not only the expiationof guilt, but the death of sin itself in all who are vitally united to Him; so the resurrection of Christis the resurrection of believers, not only to acceptance with God, but to newness of life (Ro 6:2-11).(3) In the light of these two truths, let all who name the name of Christ "examine themselves whetherthey be in the faith."Ro 6:12-23. What Practical Use Believers Should Make of Their Death to Sin and Life to God through Union tothe Crucified Saviour.Not content with showing that his doctrine has no tendency to relax the obligations to a holylife, the apostle here proceeds to enforce these obligations.12. Let not sin therefore—as a Master2383JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonreign—(The reader will observe that wherever in this section the words "Sin," "Obedience,""Righteousness," "Uncleanness," "Iniquity," are figuratively used, to represent a Master, they arehere printed in capitals, to make this manifest to the eye, and so save explanation).in your mortal body, that ye should obey it—sin.in the lusts thereof—"the lusts of the body," as the Greek makes evident. (The other reading,perhaps the true one, "that ye should obey the lusts thereof," comes to the same thing). The "body"is here viewed as the instrument by which all the sins of the heart become facts of the outward life,and as itself the seat of the lower appetites; and it is called "our mortal body," probably to remindus how unsuitable is this reign of sin in those who are "alive from the dead." But the reign heremeant is the unchecked dominion of sin within us. Its outward acts are next referred to.13. Neither yield ye your members instruments of unrighteousness unto Sin, but yieldyourselves—this is the great surrender.unto God as those that are alive from the dead, and—as the fruit of this.your members—till now prostituted to sin.instruments of righteousness unto God—But what if indwelling sin should prove too strongfor us? The reply is: But it will not.14. For Sin shall not have dominion over you—as the slaves of a tyrant lord.for ye are not under the law, but under grace—The force of this glorious assurance can onlybe felt by observing the grounds on which it rests. To be "under the law" is, first, to be under itsclaim to entire obedience; and so, next under its curse for the breach of these. And as all power toobey can reach the sinner only through Grace, of which the law knows nothing, it follows that tobe "under the law" is, finally, to be shut up under an inability to keep it, and consequently to be thehelpless slave of sin. On the other hand, to be "under grace," is to be under the glorious canopy andsaving effects of that "grace which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through JesusChrist our Lord" (see on Ro 5:20, 21). The curse of the law has been completely lifted from offthem; they are made "the righteousness of God in Him"; and they are "alive unto God through JesusChrist." So that, as when they were "under the law," Sin could not but have dominion over them,so now that they are "under grace," Sin cannot but be subdued under them. If before, Sin resistlesslytriumphed, Grace will now be more than conqueror.15, 16. What then? … Know ye not—it is a dictate of common sense.16. that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey—with the view of obeying him.his servants ye are to whom ye obey—to whom ye yield that obedience.whether of Sin unto death—that is, "issuing in death," in the awful sense of Ro 8:6, as thesinner's final condition.or of Obedience unto righteousness—that is, obedience resulting in a righteous character, asthe enduring condition of the servant of new Obedience (1Jo 2:17; Joh 8:34; 2Pe 2:19; Mt 6:24).17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of Sin—that is, that this is a state of thingsnow past and gone.but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you—rather,"whereunto ye were delivered" (Margin), or cast, as in a mould. The idea is, that the teaching towhich they had heartily yielded themselves had stamped its own impress upon them.18. Being then—"And being"; it is the continuation and conclusion of the preceding sentence;not a new one.made free from Sin, ye became the servants of—"servants to"2384JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonRighteousness—The case is one of emancipation from entire servitude to one Master to entireservitude to another, whose property we are (see on Ro 1:1). There is no middle state of personalindependence; for which we were never made, and to which we have no claim. When we wouldnot that God should reign over us, we were in righteous judgment "sold under Sin"; now beingthrough grace "made free from Sin," it is only to become "servants to Righteousness," which is ourtrue freedom.19. I speak after the manner of men—descending, for illustration, to the level of commonaffairs.because of the infirmity of your flesh—the weakness of your spiritual apprehension.for as ye have yielded—"as ye yielded," the thing being viewed as now past.your members servants to Uncleanness and to Iniquity unto—the practice ofiniquity; even so now yield your members servants to Righteousness unto holiness—rather,"unto (the attainment of) sanctification," as the same word is rendered in 2Th 2:13; 1Co 1:30; 1Pe1:2:—that is, "Looking back upon the heartiness with which ye served Sin, and the lengths ye wentto be stimulated now to like zeal and like exuberance in the service of a better Master."20. For when ye were the servants—"were servants"of Sin, ye were free from—rather, "in respect of"Righteousness—Difficulties have been made about this clause where none exist. The importof it seems clearly to be this:—"Since no servant can serve two masters, much less where theirinterests come into deadly collision, and each demands the whole man, so, while ye were in theservice of Sin ye were in no proper sense the servants of Righteousness, and never did it one actof real service: whatever might be your conviction of the claims of Righteousness, your real serviceswere all and always given to Sin: Thus had ye full proof of the nature and advantages of Sin'sservice." The searching question with which this is followed up, shows that this is the meaning.21. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end ofthose things is death—What permanent advantage, and what abiding satisfaction, have thosethings yielded? The apostle answers his own question:—"Abiding satisfaction, did I ask? Theyhave left only a sense of 'shame.' Permanent advantage? 'The end of them is death.'" By sayingthey were "now ashamed," he makes it plain that he is not referring to that disgust at themselves,and remorse of conscience by which those who are the most helplessly "sold under sin" are oftenstung to the quick; but that ingenuous feeling of self-reproach, which pierces and weighs down thechildren of God, as they think of the dishonor which their past life did to His name, the ingratitudeit displayed, the violence it did to their own conscience, its deadening and degrading effects, andthe death—"the second death"—to which it was dragging them down, when mere Grace arrestedthem. (On the sense of "death" here, see on Ro 5:12-21, Note 3, and Ro 6:16: see also Re 21:8—Thechange proposed in the pointing of this verse: "What fruit had ye then? things whereof ye are nowashamed" [Luther, Tholuck, De Wette, Philippi, Alford, &c.], seems unnatural and uncalled for. Theordinary pointing has at least powerful support [Chrysostom, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Bengel, Stuart, Fritzsche]).22. But now—as if to get away from such a subject were unspeakable relief.being made free from Sin, and become servants to God—in the absolute sense intendedthroughout all this passage.ye have—not "ought to have," but "do have," in point of fact.your fruit unto holiness—"sanctification," as in Ro 6:19; meaning that permanently holy stateand character which is built up out of the whole "fruits of righteousness," which believers2385JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsuccessively bring forth. They "have their fruit" unto this, that is, all going towards this blessedresult.and the end everlasting life—as the final state of the justified believer; the beatific experiencenot only of complete exemption from the fall with all its effects, but of the perfect life of acceptancewith God, and conformity to His likeness, of unveiled access to Him, and ineffable fellowship withHim through all duration.23. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through—"in"Jesus Christ our Lord—This concluding verse—as pointed as it is brief—contains the marrow,the most fine gold, of the Gospel. As the laborer is worthy of his hire, and feels it to be his due—hisown of right—so is death the due of sin, the wages the sinner has well wrought for, his own. But"eternal life" is in no sense or degree the wages of our righteousness; we do nothing whatever toearn or become entitled to it, and never can: it is therefore, in the most absolute sense, "THE GIFTOF God." Grace reigns in the bestowal of it in every case, and that "in Jesus Christ our Lord," as therighteous Channel of it. In view of this, who that hath tasted that the Lord is gracious can refrainfrom saying, "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hathmade us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever andever. Amen!" (Re 1:5, 6).Note, (1) As the most effectual refutation of the oft-repeated calumny, that the doctrine ofSalvation by grace encourages to continue in sin, is the holy life of those who profess it, let suchever feel that the highest service they can render to that Grace which is all their hope, is to "yieldthemselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and their members instruments ofrighteousness unto God" (Ro 6:12, 13). By so doing they will "put to silence the ignorance of foolishmen," secure their own peace, carry out the end of their calling, and give substantial glory to Himthat loved them. (2) The fundamental principle of Gospel obedience is as original as it is divinelyrational; that "we are set free from the law in order to keep it, and are brought graciously underservitude to the law in order to be free" (Ro 6:14, 15, 18). So long as we know no principle ofobedience but the terrors of the law, which condemns all the breakers of it, and knows nothingwhatever of grace, either to pardon the guilty or to purify the stained, we are shut up under a moralimpossibility of genuine and acceptable obedience: whereas when Grace lifts us out of this state,and through union to a righteous Surety, brings us into a state of conscious reconciliation, andloving surrender of heart to a God of salvation, we immediately feel the glorious liberty to be holy,and the assurance that "Sin shall not have dominion over us" is as sweet to our renewed tastes andaspirations as the ground of it is felt to be firm, "because we are not under the Law, but underGrace." (3) As this most momentous of all transitions in the history of a man is wholly of God'sfree grace, the change should never be thought, spoken, or written of but with lively thanksgivingto Him who so loved us (Ro 6:17). (4) Christians, in the service of God, should emulate their formerselves in the zeal and steadiness with which they served sin, and the length to which they went init (Ro 6:19). (5) To stimulate this holy rivalry, let us often "look back to the rock whence we werehewn, the hole of the pit whence we were digged," in search of the enduring advantages andpermanent satisfactions which the service of Sin yielded; and when we find to our "shame" onlygall and wormwood, let us follow a godless life to its proper "end," until, finding ourselves in theterritories of "death," we are fain to hasten back to survey the service of Righteousness, that newMaster of all believers, and find Him leading us sweetly into abiding "holiness," and landing us atlength in "everlasting life" (Ro 6:20-22). (6) Death and life are before all men who hear the Gospel:2386JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe one, the natural issue and proper reward of sin; the other, the absolutely free "GIFT OF God" tosinners, "in Jesus Christ our Lord." And as the one is the conscious sense of the hopeless loss ofall blissful existence, so the other is the conscious possession and enjoyment of all that constitutesa rational creature's highest "life" for evermore (Ro 6:23). Ye that read or hear these words, "I callheaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessingand cursing, therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live!" (De 30:19).CHAPTER 7Ro 7:1-25. Same Subject Continued.Relation of Believers to the Law and to Christ (Ro 7:1-6).Recurring to the statement of Ro 6:14, that believers are "not under the law but under grace,"the apostle here shows how this change is brought about, and what holy consequences follow fromit.1. I speak to them that know the law—of Moses to whom, though not themselves Jews (seeon Ro 1:13), the Old Testament was familiar.2, 3. if her husband be dead—"die." So Ro 7:3.3. she be married—"joined." So Ro 7:4.4. Wherefore … ye also are become dead—rather, "were slain."to the law by the body of Christ—through His slain body. The apostle here departs from hisusual word "died," using the more expressive phrase "were slain," to make it clear that he meanttheir being "crucified with Christ" (as expressed in Ro 6:3-6, and Ga 2:20).that ye should be married to another, even to him that is—"was."raised from the dead—to the intent.that we should bring forth fruit unto God—It has been thought that the apostle should herehave said that "the law died to us," not "we to the law," but that purposely inverted the figure, toavoid the harshness to Jewish ears of the death of the law [Chrysostom, Calvin, Hodge, Philippi, &c.].But this is to mistake the apostle's design in employing this figure, which was merely to illustratethe general principle that "death dissolves legal obligation." It was essential to his argument thatwe, not the law, should be the dying party, since it is we that are "crucified with Christ," and notthe law. This death dissolves our marriage obligation to the law, leaving us at liberty to contract anew relation—to be joined to the Risen One, in order to spiritual fruitfulness, to the glory of God[Beza, Olshausen, Meyer, Alford, &c.]. The confusion, then, is in the expositors, not the text; and it hasarisen from not observing that, like Jesus Himself, believers are here viewed as having a doublelife—the old sin-condemned life, which they lay down with Christ, and the new life of acceptanceand holiness to which they rise with their Surety and Head; and all the issues of this new life, inChristian obedience, are regarded as the "fruit" of this blessed union to the Risen One. How suchholy fruitfulness was impossible before our union to Christ, is next declared.5. For when we were in the flesh—in our unregenerate state, as we came into the world. Seeon Joh 3:6 and Ro 8:5-9.the motions—"passions" (Margin), "affections" (as in Ga 5:24), or "stirrings."of sins—that is, "prompting to the commission of sins."2387JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhich were by the law—by occasion of the law, which fretted, irritated our inward corruptionby its prohibitions. See on Ro 7:7-9.did work in our members—the members of the body, as the instruments by which these inwardstirrings find vent in action, and become facts of the life. See on Ro 6:6.to bring forth fruit unto death—death in the sense of Ro 6:21. Thus hopeless is all holy fruitbefore union to Christ.6. But now—On the same expression, see on Ro 6:22, and compare Jas 1:15.we are delivered from the law—The word is the same which, in Ro 6:6 and elsewhere, isrendered "destroyed," and is but another way of saying (as in Ro 7:4) that "we were slain to thelaw by the body of Christ"; language which, though harsh to the ear, is designed and fitted to impressupon the reader the violence of that death of the Cross, by which, as by a deadly wrench, we are"delivered from the law."that being dead wherein we were held—It is now universally agreed that the true readinghere is, "being dead to that wherein we were held." The received reading has no authority whatever,and is inconsistent with the strain of the argument; for the death spoken of, as we have seen, is notthe law's, but ours, through union with the crucified Saviour.that we should—"so as to" or "so that we."serve in newness of spirit—"in the newness of the spirit."and not in the oldness of the letter—not in our old way of literal, mechanical obedience tothe divine law, as a set of external rules of conduct, and without any reference to the state of ourhearts; but in that new way of spiritual obedience which, through union to the risen Saviour, wehave learned to render (compare Ro 2:29; 2Co 3:6).False Inferences regarding the Law Repelled (Ro 7:7-25).And first, Ro 7:7-13, in the case of the UNREGENERATE.7, 8. What … then? Is the law sin? God forbid!—"I have said that when we were in the fleshthe law stirred our inward corruption, and was thus the occasion of deadly fruit: Is then the law toblame for this? Far from us be such a thought."Nay—"On the contrary" (as in Ro 8:37; 1Co 12:22; Greek).I had not known sin but by the law—It is important to fix what is meant by "sin" here. Itcertainly is not "the general nature of sin" [Alford, &c.], though it be true that this is learned fromthe law; for such a sense will not suit what is said of it in the following verses, where the meaningis the same as here. The only meaning which suits all that is said of it in this place is "the principleof sin in the heart of fallen man." The sense, then, is this: "It was by means of the law that I cameto know what a virulence and strength of sinful propensity I had within me." The existence of thisit did not need the law to reveal to him; for even the heathens recognized and wrote of it. But thedreadful nature and desperate power of it the law alone discovered—in the way now to be described.for I had not known lust, except, &c.—Here the same Greek word is unfortunately renderedby three different English ones—"lust"; "covet"; "concupiscence" (Ro 7:8)—which obscures themeaning. By using the word "lust" only, in the wide sense of all "irregular desire," or every outgoingof the heart towards anything forbidden, the sense will best be brought out; thus, "For I had notknown lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not lust; But sin, taking ('having taken') occasionby the commandment (that one which forbids it), wrought in me all manner of lusting." This givesa deeper view of the tenth commandment than the mere words suggest. The apostle saw in it theprohibition not only of desire after certain things there specified, \ but of "desire after everything2388JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondivinely forbidden"; in other words, all "lusting" or "irregular desire." It was this which "he hadnot known but by the law." The law forbidding all such desire so stirred his corruption that itwrought in him "all manner of lusting"—desire of every sort after what was forbidden.8. For without the law—that is, before its extensive demands and prohibitions come to operateupon our corrupt nature.sin was—rather, "is"dead—that is, the sinful principle of our nature lies so dormant, so torpid, that its virulence andpower are unknown, and to our feeling it is as good as "dead."9. For I was alive without the law once—"In the days of my ignorance, when, in this sense,a stranger to the law, I deemed myself a righteous man, and, as such, entitled to life at the hand ofGod."but when the commandment came—forbidding all irregular desire; for the apostle sees inthis the spirit of the whole law.sin revived—"came to life"; in its malignity and strength it unexpectedly revealed itself, as ifsprung from the dead.and I died—"saw myself, in the eye of a law never kept and not to be kept, a dead man."10, 11. And—thus.the commandment, which was, &c.—designedto—givelife—through the keeping of it.I found to be unto death—through breaking it.For sin—my sinful nature.taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me—or "seduced me"—drew me aside intothe very thing which the commandment forbade.and by it slew me—"discovered me to myself to be a condemned and gone man" (compareRo 7:9, "I died").12, 13. Wherefore—"So that."the law is—"is indeed"good, and the commandment—that one so often referred to, which forbids all lusting.holy, and just, and good.13. Was then that which is good made—"Hath then that which is good become"death unto me? God forbid—that is, "Does the blame of my death lie with the good law?Away with such a thought."But sin—became death unto me, to the end.that it might appear sin—that it might be seen in its true light.working death in—rather, "to"me by that which is good, that sin by the commandment might become exceedingsinful—"that its enormous turpitude might stand out to view, through its turning God's holy, just,and good law into a provocative to the very things which is forbids." So much for the law in relationto the unregenerate, of whom the apostle takes himself as the example; first, in his ignorant,self-satisfied condition; next, under humbling discoveries of his inability to keep the law, throughinward contrariety to it; finally, as self-condemned, and already, in law, a dead man. Some inquireto what period of his recorded history these circumstances relate. But there is no reason to thinkthey were wrought into such conscious and explicit discovery at any period of his history before2389JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhe "met the Lord in the way"; and though, "amidst the multitude of his thoughts within him" duringhis memorable three day's blindness immediately after that, such views of the law and of himselfwould doubtless be tossed up and down till they took shape much as they are here described (seeon Ac 9:9) we regard this whole description of his inward struggles and progress rather as thefinished result of all his past recollections and subsequent reflections on his unregenerate state,which he throws into historical form only for greater vividness. But now the apostle proceeds torepel false inferences regarding the law, secondly: Ro 7:14-25, in the case of the REGENERATE;taking himself here also as the example.14. For we know that the law is spiritual—in its demands.but I am carnal—fleshly (see on Ro 7:5), and as such, incapable of yielding spiritual obedience.sold under sin—enslaved to it. The "I" here, though of course not the regenerate, is neitherthe unregenerate, but the sinful principle of the renewed man, as is expressly stated in Ro 7:18.15, 16. For, &c.—better, "For that which I do I know not"; that is, "In obeying the impulses ofmy carnal nature I act the slave of another will than my own as a renewed man?"for, &c.—rather, "for not what I would (wish, desire) that do I, but what I hate that I do."16. If then I do that which I would not—"But if what I would not that I do,"I consent unto the law that it is good—"the judgment of my inner man going along with thelaw."17. Now then it is no more I—my renewed self.that do it—"that work it."but sin which dwelleth in me—that principle of sin that still has its abode in me. To explainthis and the following statements, as many do (even Bengel and Tholuck), of the sins of unrenewedmen against their better convictions, is to do painful violence to the apostle's language, and to affirmof the unregenerate what is untrue. That coexistence and mutual hostility of "flesh" and "spirit" inthe same renewed man, which is so clearly taught in Ro 8:4, &c., and in Ga 5:16, &c., is the trueand only key to the language of this and the following verses. (It is hardly necessary to say that theapostle means not to disown the blame of yielding to his corruptions, by saying, "it is not he thatdoes it, but sin that dwelleth in him." Early heretics thus abused his language; but the whole strainof the passage shows that his sole object in thus expressing himself was to bring more vividly beforehis readers the conflict of two opposite principles, and how entirely, as a new man—honoring fromhis inmost soul the law of God—he condemned and renounced his corrupt nature, with its affectionsand lusts, its stirrings and its outgoings, root and branch).18. For, &c.—better, "For I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is in my flesh, any good."for to will—"desire."is present with me; but how to perform that which is good—the supplement "how," in ourversion, weakens the statement.I find not—Here, again, we have the double self of the renewed man; "In me dwelleth no good;but this corrupt self is not my true self; it is but sin dwelling in my real self, as a renewed man."19, 21. For, &c.—The conflict here graphically described between a self that "desires" to dogood and a self that in spite of this does evil, cannot be the struggles between conscience and passionin the unregenerate, because the description given of this "desire to do good" in Ro 7:22 is suchas cannot be ascribed, with the least show of truth, to any but the renewed.2390JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson22. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man—"from the bottom of my heart."The word here rendered "delight" is indeed stronger than "consent" in Ro 7:16; but both express astate of mind and heart to which the unregenerate man is a stranger.23. But I see another—it should be "a different"law in my members—(See on Ro 7:5).warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin whichis in my members—In this important verse, observe, first, that the word "law" means an inwardprinciple of action, good or evil, operating with the fixedness and regularity of a law. The apostlefound two such laws within him; the one "the law of sin in his members," called (in Ga 5:17, 24)"the flesh which lusteth against the spirit," "the flesh with the affections and lusts," that is, the sinfulprinciple in the regenerate; the other, "the law of the mind," or the holy principle of the renewednature. Second, when the apostle says he "sees" the one of these principles "warring against" theother, and "bringing him into captivity" to itself, he is not referring to any actual rebellion goingon within him while he was writing, or to any captivity to his own lusts then existing. He is simplydescribing the two conflicting principles, and pointing out what it was the inherent property of eachto aim at bringing about. Third, when the apostle describes himself as "brought into captivity" bythe triumph of the sinful principle of his nature, he clearly speaks in the person of a renewed man.Men do not feel themselves to be in captivity in the territories of their own sovereign and associatedwith their own friends, breathing a congenial atmosphere, and acting quite spontaneously. But herethe apostle describes himself, when drawn under the power of his sinful nature, as forcibly seizedand reluctantly dragged to his enemy's camp, from which he would gladly make his escape. Thisought to settle the question, whether he is here speaking as a regenerate man or the reverse.24. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?—Theapostle speaks of the "body" here with reference to "the law of sin" which he had said was "in hismembers," but merely as the instrument by which the sin of the heart finds vent in action, and asitself the seat of the lower appetites (see on Ro 6:6, and Ro 7:5); and he calls it "the body of thisdeath," as feeling, at the moment when he wrote, the horrors of that death (Ro 6:21, and Ro 7:5)into which it dragged him down. But the language is not that of a sinner newly awakened to thesight of his lost state; it is the cry of a living but agonized believer, weighed down under a burdenwhich is not himself, but which he longs to shake off from his renewed self. Nor does the questionimply ignorance of the way of relief at the time referred to. It was designed only to prepare the wayfor that outburst of thankfulness for the divinely provided remedy which immediately follows.25. I thank God—the Source.through Jesus Christ—the Channel of deliverance.So then—to sum up the whole matter.with the mind—the mind indeed.I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin—"Such then is the unchangingcharacter of these two principles within me. God's holy law is dear to my renewed mind, and hasthe willing service of my new man; although that corrupt nature which still remains in me listensto the dictates of sin."Note, (1) This whole chapter was of essential service to the Reformers in their contendings withthe Church of Rome. When the divines of that corrupt church, in a Pelagian spirit, denied that thesinful principle in our fallen nature, which they called "Concupiscence," and which is commonlycalled "Original Sin," had the nature of sin at all, they were triumphantly answered from this chapter,2391JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhere—both in the first section of it, which speaks of it in the unregenerate, and in the second,which treats of its presence and actings in believers—it is explicitly, emphatically, and repeatedlycalled "sin." As such, they held it to be damnable. (See the Confessions both of the Lutheran andReformed churches). In the following century, the orthodox in Holland had the same controversyto wage with "the Remonstrants" (the followers of Arminius), and they waged it on the field of thischapter. (2) Here we see that Inability is consistent with Accountability. (See Ro 7:18; Ga 5:17)."As the Scriptures constantly recognize the truth of these two things, so are they constantly unitedin Christian experience. Everyone feels that he cannot do the things that he would, yet is sensiblethat he is guilty for not doing them. Let any man test his power by the requisition to love Godperfectly at all times. Alas! how entire our inability! Yet how deep our self-loathing andself-condemnation!" [Hodge]. (3) If the first sight of the Cross by the eye of faith kindles feelingsnever to be forgotten, and in one sense never to be repeated—like the first view of an enchantinglandscape—the experimental discovery, in the latter stages of the Christian life, of its power to beatdown and mortify inveterate corruption, to cleanse and heal from long-continued backslidings andfrightful inconsistencies, and so to triumph over all that threatens to destroy those for whom Christdied, as to bring them safe over the tempestuous seas of this life into the haven of eternal rest—isattended with yet more heart—affecting wonder draws forth deeper thankfulness, and issues inmore exalted adoration of Him whose work Salvation is from first to last (Ro 7:24, 25). (4) It issad when such topics as these are handled as mere questions of biblical interpretation or systematictheology. Our great apostle could not treat of them apart from personal experience, of which thefacts of his own life and the feelings of his own soul furnished him with illustrations as lively asthey were apposite. When one is unable to go far into the investigation of indwelling sin, withoutbreaking out into an, "O wretched man that I am!" and cannot enter on the way of relief withoutexclaiming "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord," he will find his meditations rich in fruitto his own soul, and may expect, through Him who presides in all such matters, to kindle in hisreaders or hearers the like blessed emotions (Ro 7:24, 25). So be it even now, O Lord!CHAPTER 8Ro 8:1-39. Conclusion of the Whole Argument—The Glorious Completeness of Them That Are in Christ Jesus.In this surpassing chapter the several streams of the preceding argument meet and flow in one"river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,"until it seems to lose itself in the ocean of a blissful eternity.First: The Sanctification of Believers (Ro 8:1-13).1. There is therefore now, &c.—referring to the immediately preceding context [Olshausen,Philippi, Meyer, Alford, &c.]. The subject with which the seventh chapter concludes is still underconsideration. The scope of Ro 8:1-4 is to show how "the law of sin and death" is deprived of itspower to bring believers again into bondage, and how the holy law of God receives in them thehomage of a living obedience [Calvin, Fraser, Philippi, Meyer, Alford, &c.].no condemnation: to them which are in Christ Jesus—As Christ, who "knew no sin," was,to all legal effects, "made sin for us," so are we, who believe in Him, to all legal effects, "made therighteousness of God in Him" (2Co 5:21); and thus, one with Him in the divine reckoning. thereis to such "NO CONDEMNATION." (Compare Joh 3:18; 5:24; Ro 5:18, 19). But this is no mere legal2392JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonarrangement: it is a union in life; believers, through the indwelling of Christ's Spirit in them, havingone life with Him, as truly as the head and the members of the same body have one life.who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit—The evidence of manuscripts seems toshow that this clause formed no part of the original text of this verse, but that the first part of it wasearly introduced, and the second later, from Ro 8:4, probably as an explanatory comment, and tomake the transition to Ro 8:2 easier.2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free—rather, "freedme"—referring to the time of his conversion, when first he believed.from the law of sin and death—It is the Holy Ghost who is here called "the Spirit of life," asopening up in the souls of believers a fountain of spiritual life (see on Joh 7:38, 39); just as He iscalled "the Spirit of truth," as "guiding them into all truth" (Joh 16:13), and "the Spirit of counseland might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (Isa 11:2), as the inspirer of thesequalities. And He is called "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," because it is as members of Christthat He takes up His abode in believers, who in consequence of this have one life with their Head.And as the word "law" here has the same meaning as in Ro 7:23, namely, "an inward principle ofaction, operating with the fixedness and regularity of a law," it thus appears that "the law of theSpirit of life in Christ Jesus" here means, "that new principle of action which the Spirit of Christhas opened up within us—the law of our new being." This "sets us free," as soon as it takespossession of our inner man, "from the law of sin and death" that is, from the enslaving power ofthat corrupt principle which carries death in its bosom. The "strong man armed" is overpoweredby the "stronger than he"; the weaker principle is dethroned and expelled by the more powerful;the principle of spiritual life prevails against and brings into captivity the principle of spiritualdeath—"leading captivity captive." If this be the apostle's meaning, the whole verse is to this effect:That the triumph of believers over their inward corruption, through the power of Christ's Spirit inthem, proves them to be in Christ Jesus, and as such absolved from condemnation. But this is nowexplained more fully.3, 4. For what the law could not do, &c.—a difficult and much controverted verse. But it isclearly, we think, the law's inability to free us from the dominion of sin that the apostle has in view;as has partly appeared already (see on Ro 8:2), and will more fully appear presently. The law couldirritate our sinful nature into more virulent action, as we have seen in Ro 7:5, but it could not secureits own fulfilment. How that is accomplished comes now to be shown.in that it was weak through the flesh—that is, having to address itself to us through a corruptnature, too strong to be influenced by mere commands and threatenings.God, &c.—The sentence is somewhat imperfect in its structure, which occasions a certainobscurity. The meaning is, that whereas the law was powerless to secure its own fulfilment for thereason given, God took the method now to be described for attaining that end.sending—"having sent"his own Son—This and similar expressions plainly imply that Christ was God's "OWN Son"before He was sent—that is, in His own proper Person, and independently of His mission andappearance in the flesh (see on Ro 8:32 and Ga 4:4); and if so, He not only has the very nature ofGod, even as a son of his father, but is essentially of the Father, though in a sense too mysteriousfor any language of ours properly to define (see on the first through fourth chapters). And thispeculiar relationship is put forward here to enhance the greatness and define the nature of the relief2393JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprovided, as coming from beyond the precincts of sinful humanity altogether, yea, immediatelyfrom the Godhead itself.in the likeness of sinful flesh—literally, "of the flesh of sin"; a very remarkable and pregnantexpression. He was made in the reality of our flesh, but only in the likeness of its sinful condition.He took our nature as it is in us, compassed with infirmities, with nothing to distinguish Him asman from sinful men, save that He was without sin. Nor does this mean that He took our naturewith all its properties save one; for sin is no property of humanity at all, but only the disorderedstate of our souls, as the fallen family of Adam; a disorder affecting, indeed, and overspreadingour entire nature, but still purely our own.and for sin—literally, "and about sin"; that is, "on the business of sin." The expression ispurposely a general one, because the design was not to speak of Christ's mission to atone for sin,but in virtue of that atonement to destroy its dominion and extirpate it altogether from believers.We think it wrong, therefore, to render the words (as in the Margin) "by a sacrifice for sin" (suggestedby the language of the Septuagint and approved by Calvin, &c.); for this sense is too definite, andmakes the idea of expiation more prominent than it is.condemned sin—"condemned it to lose its power over men" [Beza, Bengel, Fraser, Meyer, Tholuck,Philippi, Alford]. In this glorious sense our Lord says of His approaching death (Joh 12:31), "Now isthe judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out," and again (see on Joh16:11), "When He (the Spirit) shall come, He shall convince the world of … judgment, becausethe prince of this world is judged," that is, condemned to let go his hold of men, who, through theCross, shall be emancipated into the liberty and power to be holy.in the flesh—that is, in human nature, henceforth set free from the grasp of sin.4. That the righteousness of the law—"the righteous demand," "the requirement" [Alford], Or"the precept" of the law; for it is not precisely the word so often used in this Epistle to denote "therighteousness which justifies" (Ro 1:17; 3:21; 4:5, 6; 5:17, 18, 21), but another form of the sameword, intended to express the enactment of the law, meaning here, we believe, the practical obediencewhich the law calls for.might be fulfilled in us—or, as we say, "realized in us."who walk—the most ancient expression of the bent of one's life, whether in the direction ofgood or of evil (Ge 48:15; Ps 1:1; Isa 2:5; Mic 4:5; Eph 4:17; 1Jo 1:6, 7).not after—that is, according to the dictates ofthe flesh, but after the spirit—From Ro 8:9 it would seem that what is more immediatelyintended by "the spirit" here is our own mind as renewed and actuated by the Holy Ghost.5. For they that are after the flesh—that is, under the influence of the fleshly principle.do mind—give their attention to (Php 3:19).the things of the flesh, &c.—Men must be under the predominating influence of one or otherof these two principles, and, according as the one or the other has the mastery, will be the complexionof their life, the character of their actions.6. For—a mere particle of transition here [Tholuck], like "but" or "now."to be carnally minded—literally, "the mind" or "minding of the flesh" (Margin); that is, thepursuit of fleshly ends.is death—not only "ends in" [Alford, &c.], but even now "is"; carrying death into its bosom, sothat such are "dead while they live" (1Ti 5:6; Eph 2:1, 5) [Philippi].2394JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbut to be spiritually minded—"the mind" or "minding of the spirit"; that is, the pursuit ofspiritual objects.is life and peace—not "life" only, in contrast with the "death" that is in the other pursuit, but"peace"; it is the very element of the soul's deepest repose and true bliss.7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God—The desire and pursuit of carnal ends isa state of enmity to God, wholly incompatible with true life and peace in the soul.for it is not subject—"doth not submit itself."to the law of God, neither indeed can be—In such a state of mind there neither is nor can bethe least subjection to the law of God. Many things may be done which the law requires, but nothingeither is or can be done because God's law requires it, or purely to please God.8. So then—nearly equivalent to "And so."they that are in—and, therefore, under the government ofthe flesh cannot please God—having no obediential principle, no desire to please Him.9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell inyou—This does not mean, "if the disposition or mind of God dwell in you"; but "if the Holy Ghostdwell in you" (see 1Co 6:11, 19; 3:16, &c.). (It thus appears that to be "in the spirit" means here tobe under the dominion of our own renewed mind; because the indwelling of God's Spirit is givenas the evidence that we are "in the spirit").Now—"But."if any man have not the Spirit of Christ—Again, this does not mean "the disposition or mindof Christ," but the Holy Ghost; here called "the Spirit of Christ," just as He is called "the Spirit oflife in Christ Jesus" (see on Ro 8:2). It is as "the Spirit of Christ" that the Holy Ghost takes possessionof believers, introducing into them all the gracious, dove-like disposition which dwelt in Him (Mt3:16; Joh 3:34). Now if any man's heart be void, not of such dispositions, but of the blessed Authorof them, "the Spirit of Christ."he is none of his—even though intellectually convinced of the truth of Christianity, and in ageneral sense influence by its spirit. Sharp, solemn statement this!10, 11. And if Christ be in you—by His indwelling Spirit in virtue of which we have one lifewith him.the body—"the body indeed."is dead because of—"by reason of"sin; but the spirit is life because—or, "by reason"of righteousness—The word "indeed," which the original requires, is of the nature of aconcession—"I grant you that the body is dead … and so far redemption is incomplete, but," &c.;that is, "If Christ be in you by His indwelling Spirit, though your 'bodies' have to pass through thestage of 'death' in consequence of the first Adam's 'sin,' your spirit is instinct with new and undying'life,' brought in by the 'righteousness' of the second Adam" [Tholuck, Meyer, and Alford in part, butonly Hodge entirely].11. But—"And."if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you—that is, "If He dwellin you as the Spirit of the Christ-raising One," or, "in all the resurrection-power which He put forthin raising Jesus."2395JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhe that raised up Christ from the dead—Observe the change of name from Jesus, as thehistorical Individual whom God raised from the dead, to Christ, the same Individual, considered asthe Lord and Head of all His members, or of redeemed Humanity [Alford].shall also quicken—rather, "shall quicken even"your mortal bodies by—the true reading appears to be "by reason of."his Spirit that dwelleth in you—"Your bodies indeed are not exempt from the death whichsin brought in; but your spirits even now have in them an undying life, and if the Spirit of Him thatraised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, even these bodies of yours, though they yield to thelast enemy and the dust of them return to the dust as it was, shall yet experience the same resurrectionas that of their living Head, in virtue of the indwelling of same Spirit in you that quickened Him."12, 13. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh—"Oncewe were sold under sin (Ro 7:14); but now that we have been set free from that hard master andbecome servants to Righteousness (Ro 6:22), we owe nothing to the flesh, we disown its unrighteousclaims and are deaf to its imperious demands." Glorious sentiment!13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die—in the sense of Ro 6:21.but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body—(See on Ro 7:23).ye shall live—in the sense of Ro 6:22. The apostle is not satisfied with assuring them that theyare under no obligations to the flesh, to hearken to its suggestions, without reminding them whereit will end if they do; and he uses the word "mortify" (put to death) as a kind of play upon the word"die" just before. "If ye do not kill sin, it will kill you." But he tempers this by the bright alternative,that if they do, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, such a course will infalliblyterminate in "life" everlasting. And this leads the apostle into a new line of thought, opening intohis final subject, the "glory" awaiting the justified believer.Note, (1) "There can be no safety, no holiness, no happiness, to those who are out of Christ: No"safety," because all such are under the condemnation of the law (Ro 8:1); no holiness, becausesuch only as are united to Christ have the spirit of Christ (Ro 8:9); no happiness, because to be"carnally minded is death" (Ro 8:6)" [Hodge]. (2) The sanctification of believers, as it has its wholefoundation in the atoning death, so it has its living spring in the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ(Ro 8:2-4). (3) "The bent of the thoughts, affections, and pursuits, is the only decisive test ofcharacter (Ro 8:5)" [Hodge]. (4) No human refinement of the carnal mind will make it spiritual, orcompensate for the absence of spirituality. "Flesh" and "spirit" are essentially and unchangeablyopposed; nor can the carnal mind, as such, be brought into real subjection to the law of God (Ro8:5-7). Hence (5) the estrangement of God and the sinner is mutual. For as the sinner's state of mindis "enmity against God" (Ro 8:7), so in this state he "cannot please God" (Ro 8:8). (6) Since theHoly Ghost is, in the same breath, called indiscriminately "the Spirit of God," "the Spirit of Christ,"and "Christ" Himself (as an indwelling life in believers), the essential unity and yet Personaldistinctness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, m the one adorable Godhead must bebelieved, as the only consistent explanation of such language (Ro 8:9-11). (7) The consciousnessof spiritual life in our renewed souls is a glorious assurance of resurrection life in the body also, invirtue of the same quickening Spirit whose inhabitation we already enjoy (Ro 8:11). (8) Whateverprofessions of spiritual life men may make, it remains eternally true that "if we live after the fleshwe shall die," and only "if we through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body we shall live"(Ro 8:13, and compare Ga 6:7, 8; Eph 5:6; Php 3:18, 19; 1Jo 3:7, 8).2396JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonSecond: The Sonship of Believers—Their Future Inheritance—The Intercession of the Spirit forThem (Ro 8:14-27).14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God, they, &c.—"theseare sons of God." Hitherto the apostle has spoken of the Spirit simply as a power through whichbelievers mortify sin: now he speaks of Him as a gracious, loving Guide, whose "leading"—enjoyedby all in whom is the Spirit of God's dear Son—shows that they also are "sons of God."15. For, &c.—"For ye received not (at the time of your conversion) the spirit of bondage," thatis, "The spirit ye received was not a spirit of bondage."again—gendering.to fear—as under the law which "worketh wrath," that is, "Such was your condition before yebelieved, living in legal bondage, haunted with incessant forebodings under a sense of unpardonedsin. But it was not to perpetuate that wretched state that ye received the Spirit."but ye have received—"ye received."the spirit of adoption, whereby—rather, "wherein."we cry, Abba, Father—The word "cry" is emphatic, expressing the spontaneousness, thestrength, and the exuberance of the final emotions. In Ga 4:6 this cry is said to proceed from theSpirit in us, drawing forth the filial exclamation in our hearts. Here, it is said to proceed from ourown hearts under the vitalizing energy of the Spirit, as the very element of the new life in believers(compare Mt 10:19, 20; and see on Ro 8:4). "Abba" is the Syro-Chaldaic word for "Father"; andthe Greek word for that is added, not surely to tell the reader that both mean the same thing, butfor the same reason which drew both words from the lips of Christ Himself during his agony in thegarden (Mr 14:36). He, doubtless, loved to utter His Father's name in both the accustomed forms;beginning with His cherished mother tongue, and adding that of the learned. In this view the useof both words here has a charming simplicity and warmth.16. The Spirit itself—It should be "Himself" (see on Ro 8:26).beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children—"are children"of God—The testimony of our own spirit is borne in that cry of conscious sonship, "Abba,Father"; but we are not therein alone; for the Holy Ghost within us, yea, even in that very cry whichit is His to draw forth, sets His own distinct seal to ours; and thus, "in the mouth of two witnesses"the thing is established. The apostle had before called us "sons of God," referring to our adoption;here the word changes to "children," referring to our new birth. The one expresses the dignity towhich we are admitted; the other the new life which we receive. The latter is more suitable here;because a son by adoption might not be heir of the property, whereas a son by birth certainly is,and this is what the apostle is now coming to.17. And if children, then heirs—"heirs also."heirs of God—of our Father's kingdom.and joint-heirs with Christ—as the "First-born among many brethren" (Ro 8:29), and as "Heirof all things" (Heb 1:2).if so be that we suffer—"provided we be suffering with Him."that we may be also glorified together—with Him. This necessity of conformity to Christ insuffering in order to participate in His glory, is taught alike by Christ Himself and by His apostles(Joh 12:24-26; Mt 16:24, 25; 2Ti 2:12).18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be comparedwith the glory which shall be revealed in us—that is, "True, we must suffer with Christ, if we2397JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwould partake of His glory; but what of that? For if such sufferings are set over against the comingglory, they sink into insignificance."19-22. For, &c.—"The apostle, fired with the thought of the future glory of the saints, poursforth this splendid passage, in which he represents the whole creation groaning under its presentdegradation, and looking and longing for the revelation of this glory as the end and consummationof its existence" [Hodge].the earnest expectation—(compare Php 1:20).of the creature—rather, "the creation."waiteth for the manifestation—"is waiting for the revelation"of the sons of God—that is, "for the redemption of their bodies" from the grave (Ro 8:23),which will reveal their sonship, now hidden (compare Lu 20:36; Re 21:7).20. For the creature—"the creation."was made subject to vanity, not willingly—that is, through no natural principle of decay. Theapostle, personifying creation, represents it as only submitting to the vanity with which it wassmitten, on man's account, in obedience to that superior power which had mysteriously linked itsdestinies with man's. And so he addsbut by reason of him who hath subjected the same—"who subjected it."in hope—or "in hope that."21. Because the creature itself also—"even the creation itself."shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption—its bondage to the principle of decay.into the glorious liberty—rather, "the liberty of the glory."of the children of God—that is, the creation itself shall, in a glorious sense, be delivered intothat freedom from debility and decay in which the children of God, when raised up in glory, shallexpatiate: into this freedom from corruptibility the creation itself shall, in a glorious sense, bedelivered (So Calvin, Beza, Bengel, Tholuck, Olshausen, De Wette, Meyer, Philippi, Hodge, Alford, &c.).22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together untilnow—If for man's sake alone the earth was cursed, it cannot surprise us that it should share in hisrecovery. And if so, to represent it as sympathizing with man's miseries, and as looking forward tohis complete redemption as the period of its own emancipation from its present sin-blightedcondition, is a beautiful thought, and in harmony with the general teaching of Scripture on thesubject. (See on 2Pe 3:13).23. And not only they, but ourselves also—or "not only [so], but even we ourselves"—thatis, besides the inanimate creation.which have the first-fruits of the Spirit—or, "the Spirit as the first-fruits" of our full redemption(compare 2Co 1:22), moulding the heart to a heavenly frame and attempering it to its future element.even we ourselves—though we have so much of heaven already within us.groan within ourselves—under this "body of sin and death," and under the manifold "vanityand vexation of spirit" that are written upon every object and every pursuit and every enjoymentunder the sun.waiting for the—manifestation of ouradoption, to wit, the redemption of our body—from the grave: "not (be it observed) thedeliverance of ourselves from the body, but the redemption of the body itself from the grave"[Bengel].2398JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson24. For we are saved by hope—rather, "For in hope we are saved"; that is, it is more a salvationin hope than as yet in actual possession.but hope that is seen is not hope—for the very meaning of hope is, the expectation thatsomething now future will become present.for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?—the latter ending when the other comes.25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it—that is, then,patient waiting for it is our fitting attitude.26, 27. Likewise the Spirit also, &c.—or, "But after the like manner doth the Spirit also help.our infirmities—rather (according to the true reading), "our infirmity"; not merely the oneinfirmity here specified, but the general weakness of the spiritual life in its present state, of whichone example is here given.for we know not what we should pray for as we ought—It is not the proper matter of prayerthat believers are at so much loss about, for the fullest directions are given them on this head: butto ask for the right things "as they ought" is the difficulty. This arises partly from the dimness ofour spiritual vision in the present veiled state, while we have to "walk by faith, not by sight" (seeon 1Co 13:9 and 2Co 5:7), and the large admixture of the ideas and feelings which spring from thefleeting objects of sense that there is in the very best views and affections of our renewed nature;partly also from the necessary imperfection of all human language as a vehicle for expressing thesubtle spiritual feelings of the heart. In these circumstances, how can it be but that much uncertaintyshould surround all our spiritual exercises, and that in our nearest approaches and in the freestoutpourings of our hearts to our Father in heaven, doubts should spring up within us whether ourframe of mind in such exercises is altogether befitting and well pleasing to God? Nor do theseanxieties subside, but rather deepen, with the depth and ripeness of our spiritual experience.but the Spirit itself—rather, "Himself." (See end of Ro 8:27).maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered—that is, which cannotbe expressed in articulate language. Sublime and affecting ideas, for which we are indebted to thispassage alone! "As we struggle to express in articulate language the desires of our hearts and findthat our deepest emotions are the most inexpressible, we 'groan' under this felt inability. But not invain are these groanings. For 'the Spirit Himself' is in them, giving to the emotions which He Himselfhas kindled the only language of which they are capable; so that though on our part they are thefruit of impotence to utter what we feel, they are at the same time the intercession of the SpiritHimself in our behalf."27. And—rather, "But," inarticulate though these groanings be.he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he—the Spiritmaketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God—As the Searcher of hearts,He watches the surging emotions of them in prayer, and knows perfectly what the Spirit means bythe groanings which He draws forth within us, because that blessed Intercessor pleads by them onlyfor what God Himself designs to bestow.Note, (1) Are believers "led by the Spirit of God" (Ro 8:14)? How careful then should they benot to "grieve the Holy Spirit of God" (Eph 4:30)! Compare Ps 32:8, 9: "I will … guide thee withMine eye. Be not (then) as the horse, or as the mule," &c. (2) "The spirit of bondage," to whichmany Protestants are "all their lifetime subject," and the "doubtsome faith" which the Popish Churchsystematically inculcates, are both rebuked here, being in direct and painful contrast to that "spiritof adoption," and that witness of the Spirit, along with our own spirit, to the fact of our sonship,2399JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhich it is here said the children of God, as such, enjoy (Ro 8:15, 16). (3) As suffering with Christis the ordained preparation for participating in this glory, so the insignificance of the one as comparedwith the other cannot fail to lighten the sense of it, however bitter and protracted (Ro 8:17, 18). (4)It cannot but swell the heart of every intelligent Christian to think that if external nature has beenmysteriously affected for evil by the fall of man, it only awaits his completed recovery, at theresurrection, to experience a corresponding emancipation from its blighted condition into undecayinglife and unfading beauty (Ro 8:19-23). (5) It is not when believers, through sinful "quenching ofthe Spirit," have the fewest and faintest glimpses of heaven, that they sigh most fervently to bethere; but, on the contrary, when through the unobstructed working of the Spirit in their hearts, "thefirst-fruits" of the glory to be revealed are most largely and frequently tasted, then, and just for thatreason, is it that they "groan within themselves" for full redemption (Ro 8:23). For thus they reason:If such be the drops, what will the ocean be? If thus "to see through a glass darkly" be so verysweet, what will it be to "see face to face?" If when "my Beloved stands behind our wall, lookingforth at the windows, showing Himself through the lattice" (So 2:9)—that thin veil which parts theseen from the unseen—if He is even thus to me "Fairer than the children of men," what shall Hebe when He stands confessed before my undazzled vision, the Only-begotten of the Father in myown nature, and I shall be like Him, for I shall see Him as He is? (6) "The patience of hope" (1Th1:3) is the fitting attitude for those who with the joyful consciousness that they are already "saved"(2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:5), have yet the painful consciousness that they are saved but in part: or, "that beingjustified by His grace, they are made (in the present state) heirs according to the hope (only) ofeternal life," Tit 3:7 (Ro 8:24, 25). (7) As prayer is the breath of the spiritual life, and the believer'sonly effectual relief under the "infirmity" which attaches to his whole condition here below, howcheering is it to be assured that the blessed Spirit, cognizant of it all, comes in aid of it all; and inparticular, that when believers, unable to articulate their case before God, can at times do nothingbut lie "groaning" before the Lord, these inarticulate groanings are the Spirit's own vehicle forconveying into "the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth" their whole case; and come up before the Hearerof prayer as the Spirit's own intercession in their behalf, and that they are recognized by Him thatsitteth on the Throne, as embodying only what His own "will" determined before to bestow uponthem (Ro 8:26, 27)! (8) What a view do these two verses (Ro 8:26, 27) give of the relations subsistingbetween the Divine Persons in the economy of redemption, and the harmony of their respectiveoperations in the case of each of the redeemed!Third: Triumphant Summary of the Whole Argument (Ro 8:28-39).28. And—or, "Moreover," or "Now"; noting a transition to a new particular.we know, &c.—The order in the original is more striking: "We know that to them that loveGod" (compare 1Co 2:9; Eph 6:24; Jas 1:12; 2:5) "all things work together for good [even] to themwho are the called (rather, 'who are called') according to His (eternal) purpose." Glorious assurance!And this, it seems, was a "household word," a "known" thing, among believers. This working ofall things for good is done quite naturally to "them that love God," because such souls, persuadedthat He who gave His own Son for them cannot but mean them well in all His procedure, learn thusto take in good part whatever He sends them, however trying to flesh and blood: and to them whoare the called, according to "His purpose," all things do in the same intelligible way "work togetherfor good"; for, even when "He hath His way in the whirlwind," they see "His chariot paved withlove" (So 3:10). And knowing that it is in pursuance of an eternal "purpose" of love that they havebeen "called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ" (1Co 1:9), they naturally say within2400JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthemselves, "It cannot be that He 'of whom, and through whom, and to whom are all things,' shouldsuffer that purpose to be thwarted by anything really adverse to us, or that He should not make allthings, dark as well as light, crooked as well as straight, to co-operate to the furtherance and finalcompletion of His high design."29. For—as touching this "calling according to his purpose" (Ro 8:28).whom he did foreknow he also did predestinate—foreordain. In what sense are we to takethe word "foreknow" here? "Those who He foreknew would repent and believe," say Pelagians ofevery age and every hue. But this is to thrust into the text what is contrary to the whole spirit, andeven letter, of the apostle's teaching (see Ro 9:11; 2Ti 1:9). In Ro 11:2, and Ps 1:6, God's"knowledge" of His people cannot be restricted to a mere foresight of future events, or acquaintancewith what is passing here below. Does "whom He did foreknow," then, mean "whom Heforeordained?" Scarcely, because both "foreknowledge" and "foreordination" are here mentioned,and the one as the cause of the other. It is difficult indeed for our limited minds to distinguish themas states of the Divine Mind towards men; especially since in Ac 2:23 "the counsel" is put before"the foreknowledge of God," while in 1Pe 1:2 "election" is said to be "according to theforeknowledge of God." But probably God's foreknowledge of His own people means His "peculiar,gracious, complacency in them," while His "predestinating" or "foreordaining" them signifies Hisfixed purpose, flowing from this, to "save them and call them with an holy calling" (2Ti 1:9).to be conformed to the image of his Son—that is, to be His sons after the pattern, model, orimage of His Sonship in our nature.that he might be the first-born among many brethren—"The First-born," the Son by nature;His "many brethren," sons by adoption: He, in the Humanity of the Only-begotten of the Father,bearing our sins on the accursed tree; they in that of mere men ready to perish by reason of sin, butredeemed by His blood from condemnation and wrath, and transformed into His likeness: He "theFirst-born from the dead"; they "that sleep in Jesus," to be in due time "brought with Him"; "TheFirst-born," now "crowned with glory and honor"; His "many brethren," "when He shall appear,to be like Him, for they shall see Him as He is."30. Moreover—"And," or "Now"; explanatory of Ro 8:29—In "predestinating us to beconformed to the image of His Son" in final glory, He settled all the successive steps of it. Thuswhom he did predestinate, them he also called—The word "called" (as Hodge and others trulyobserve) is never in the Epistles of the New Testament applied to those who have only the outwardinvitation of the Gospel (as in Mt 20:16; 22:14). It always means "internally, effectually, savinglycalled." It denotes the first great step in personal salvation and answers to "conversion." Only theword conversion expresses the change of character which then takes place, whereas this "calling"expresses the divine authorship of the change, and the sovereign power by which we are summoned,Matthew-like, Zaccheus-like, out of our old, wretched, perishing condition, into a new, safe, blessedlife.and whom he called—thus.them he also justified—brought into the definite state of reconciliation already so fullydescribed.and whom he justified, them he also glorified—brought to final glory (Ro 8:17, 18). Nobleclimax, and so rhythmically expressed! And all this is viewed as past; because, starting from thepast decree of "predestination to be conformed to the image of God's Son" of which the other stepsare but the successive unfoldings—all is beheld as one entire, eternally completed salvation.2401JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson31. What shall we then say to these things?—"We can no farther go, think, wish" [Bengel].This whole passage, to Ro 8:34, and even to the end of the chapter, strikes all thoughtful interpretersand readers, as transcending almost every thing in language, while Olshausen notices the "profoundand colossal" character of the thought.If God be for us, who can be against us?—If God be resolved and engaged to bring us through,all our enemies must be His; and "Who would set the briers and thorns against Him in battle? Hewould go through them. He would burn them together" (Isa 27:4). What strong consolation is here!Nay, but the great Pledge of all has already been given; for,32. He—rather, "He surely." (It is a pity to lose the emphatic particle of the original).that spared not—"withheld not," "kept not back." This expressive phrase, as well as the wholethought, is suggested by Ge 22:12, where Jehovah's touching commendation of Abraham's conductregarding his son Isaac seems designed to furnish something like a glimpse into the spirit of Hisown act in surrendering His own Son. "Take now (said the Lord to Abraham) thy son, thine only,whom thou lovest, and … offer him for a burnt offering" (Ge 22:2); and only when Abraham hadall but performed that loftiest act of self-sacrifice, the Lord interposed, saying, "Now I know thatthou fearest God, seeing thou HAST NOT WITHHELD THY SON, THINE ONLY SON, from Me." In thelight of this incident, then, and of this language, our apostle can mean to convey nothing less thanthis, that in "not sparing His own Son, but delivering Him up," or surrendering Him, God exercised,in His Paternal character, a mysterious act of Self-sacrifice, which, though involving none of thepain and none of the loss which are inseparable from the very idea of self-sacrifice on our part,was not less real, but, on the contrary, as far transcended any such acts of ours as His nature isabove the creature's. But this is inconceivable if Christ be not God's "own (or proper) Son," partakerof His very nature, as really as Isaac was of his father Abraham's. In that sense, certainly, the Jewscharged our Lord with making Himself "equal with God" (see on Joh 5:18), which He in replyforthwith proceeded, not to disown, but to illustrate and confirm. Understand Christ's Sonship thus,and the language of Scripture regarding it is intelligible and harmonious; but take it to be an artificialrelationship, ascribed to Him in virtue either of His miraculous birth, or His resurrection from thedead, or the grandeur of His works, or all of these together—and the passages which speak of itneither explain of themselves nor harmonize with each other.delivered him up—not to death merely (as many take it), for that is too narrow an idea here,but "surrendered Him" in the most comprehensive sense; compare Joh 3:16, "God so loved theworld that He GAVE His only-begotten Son."for us all—that is, for all believers alike; as nearly every good interpreter admits must be themeaning here.how shall he not—how can we conceive that He should not.with him also—rather, "also with Him." (The word "also" is often so placed in our version asto obscure the sense; see on Heb 12:1).freely give us all things?—all other gifts being not only immeasurably less than this Gift ofgifts, but virtually included in it.33, 34. Who shall lay anything to the charge of—or, "bring any charge against."God's elect?—the first place in this Epistle where believers are styled "the elect." In what sensethis is meant will appear in next chapter.34. yea rather, that is risen again—to make good the purposes of His death. Here, as in someother cases, the apostle delightfully corrects himself (see Ga 4:9; and see on Ro 1:12); not meaning2402JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthat the resurrection of Christ was of more saving value than His death, but that having "put awaysin by the sacrifice of Himself"—which though precious to us was to Him of unmingled bitterness—itwas incomparably more delightful to think that He was again alive, and living to see to the efficacyof His death in our behalf.who is even—"also"at the right hand of God—The right hand of the king was anciently the seat of honor (compare1Sa 20:25; 1Ki 2:19; Ps 45:9), and denoted participation in the royal power and glory (Mt 20:21).The classical writings contain similar allusions. Accordingly Christ's sitting at the right hand ofGod—predicted in Ps 110:1, and historically referred to in Mr 16:19; Ac 2:33; 7:56; Eph 1:20; Col3:1; 1Pe 3:22; Re 3:21—signifies the glory of the exalted Son of man, and the power in thegovernment of the world in which He participates. Hence it is called "sitting on the right hand ofPower" (Mt 26:64), and "sitting on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb 1:3) [Philippi].who also maketh intercession for us—using all His boundless interest with God in our behalf.This is the top of the climax. "His Session at God's right hand denotes His power to save us; HisIntercession, His will to do it" [Bengel]. But how are we to conceive of this intercession? Not certainlyas of one pleading "on bended knees and with outstretched arms," to use the expressive languageof Calvin. But yet, neither is it merely a figurative intimation that the power of Christ's redemptionis continually operative [Tholuck], or merely to show the fervor and vehemence of His love for us[Chrysostom]. It cannot be taken to mean less than this: that the glorified Redeemer, conscious ofHis claims, expressly signifies His will that the efficacy of His death should be made good to theuttermost, and signifies it in some such royal style as we find Him employing in that wonderfulIntercessory Prayer which He spoke as from within the veil (see on Joh 17:11, 12): "Father, I WILLthat they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am" (see on Joh 17:24). But in whatform this will is expressed is as undiscoverable as it is unimportant.35, 36. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?—This does not mean "our love toChrist," as if, Who shall hinder us from loving Christ? but "Christ's love to us," as is clear from theclosing words of the chapter, which refer to the same subject. Nor would the other sense harmonizewith the scope of the chapter, which is to exhibit the ample ground of the believer's confidence inChrist. "It is no ground of confidence to assert, or even to feel, that we will never forsake Christ;but it is the strongest ground of assurance to be convinced that His love will never change" [Hodge].shall tribulation, &c.—"None of these, nor all together, how terrible soever to the flesh, aretokens of God's wrath, or the least ground for doubt of His love. From whom could such a questioncome better than from one who had himself for Christ's sake endured so much? (See 2Co 11:11-33;1Co 4:10-13). The apostle says not (remarks Calvin nobly) "What," but "Who," just as if all creaturesand all afflictions were so many gladiators taking arms against the Christians [Tholuck].36. As it is written, For thy sake, &c.—(Ps 44:22)—quoted as descriptive of what God'sfaithful people may expect from their enemies at any period when their hatred of righteousness isroused, and there is nothing to restrain it (see Ga 4:29).37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through him that loved us—not,"We are so far from being conquered by them, that they do us much good" [Hodge]; for though thisbe true, the word means simply, "We are pre-eminently conquerors." See on Ro 5:20. And so farare they from "separating us from Christ's love," that it is just "through Him that loved us" that weare victorious over them.2403JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson38, 39. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, norpowers—whether good or bad. But as the bad are not called "angels," or "principalities," or "powers,"save with some addition to show that such are meant (Mt 25:41; Col 2:15; Eph 6:12; 2Pe 2:4—exceptperhaps 1Co 6:3), probably the good are meant here, but merely as the same apostle supposes anangel from heaven to preach a false gospel. (So the best interpreters).nor things present, nor things to come—no condition of the present life and none of theunknown possibilities of the life to come.39. nor any other creature—rather, "created thing"—any other thing in the whole createduniverse of Godshall be able to separate us, &c.—"All the terms here are to be taken in their most generalsense, and need no closer definition. The indefinite expressions are meant to denote all that can bethought of, and are only a rhetorical paraphrase of the conception of allness" [Olshausen].from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord—Thus does this wonderful chapter,with which the argument of the Epistle properly closes, leave us who are "justified by faith" in thearms of everlasting Love, whence no hostile power or conceivable event can ever tear us. "Beholdwhat manner of love is this?" And "what manner of persons ought we to be," who are thus "blessedwith all spiritual blessings in Christ?"Note, (1) There is a glorious consistency between the eternal purposes of God and the freeagency of men, though the link of connection is beyond human, perhaps created, apprehension (Ro8:28). (2) How ennobling is the thought that the complicated movements of the divine governmentof the world are all arranged in expressed furtherance of the "good" of God's chosen (Ro 8:28)! (3)To whatever conformity to the Son of God in dignity and glory, believers are or shall hereafter beraised, it will be the joy of everyone of them, as it is most fitting, "that in all things He should havethe pre-eminence" (Col 1:18), (Ro 8:29). (4) "As there is a beautiful harmony and necessaryconnection between the several doctrines of grace, so must there be a like harmony in the characterof the Christian. He cannot experience the joy and confidence flowing from his election withoutthe humility which" the consideration of its being gratuitous must produce; nor can he have thepeace of one who is justified without the holiness of one who is saved" (Ro 8:29, 30) [Hodge]. (5)However difficult it may be for finite minds to comprehend the emotions of the Divine Mind, letus never for a moment doubt that in "not sparing His own Son, but delivering Him up for us all,"God made a real sacrifice of all that was dearest to His heart, and that in so doing He meant forever to assure His people that all other things which they need—inasmuch as they are nothing tothis stupendous gift, and indeed but the necessary sequel of it—will in due time be forthcoming(Ro 8:32). (6) In return for such a sacrifice on God's part, what can be considered too great on ours?(7) If there could be any doubt as to the meaning of the all-important word "Justification" in thisEpistle—whether, as the Church of Rome teaches, and many others affirm, it means "infusingrighteousness into the unholy, so as to make them righteous," or, according to Protestant teaching,"absolving, acquitting, or pronouncing righteous the guilty" Ro 8:33 ought to set such doubt entirelyat rest. For the apostle's question in this verse is, "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?"In other words, "Who shall pronounce" or "hold them guilty?" seeing that "God justifies" them:showing beyond all doubt, that to "justify" was intended to express precisely the opposite of "holdingguilty"; and consequently (as Calvin triumphantly argues) that it means "to absolve from the chargeof guilt." (8) If there could be any reasonable doubt in what light the death of Christ is to be regardedin this Epistle, Ro 8:34 ought to set that doubt entirely at rest. For there the apostle's question is,2404JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonWho shall "condemn" God's elect, since "Christ died" for them; showing beyond all doubt (as Philippijustly argues) that it was the expiatory (character of that death which the apostle had in view). (9)What an affecting view of the love of Christ does it give us to learn that His greatest nearness toGod and most powerful interest with Him—as "seated on His right hand"—is employed in behalfof His people here below (Ro 8:34)! (10) "The whole universe, with all that it contains, so far as itis good, is the friend and ally of the Christian; and, so far as it is evil, is more than a conqueredfoe" (Ro 8:35-39) [Hodge]. (11) Are we who "have tasted that the Lord is gracious," both "kept bythe power of God through faith unto salvation" (1Pe 1:5), and embraced in the arms of InvincibleLove? Then surely, while "building ourselves up on our most holy faith," and "praying in the HolyGhost," only the more should we feel constrained to "keep ourselves in the love of God, lookingfor the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 20, 21).CHAPTER 9Ro 9:1-33. The Bearing of the Foregoing Truths upon the Condition and Destiny of the ChosenPeople—Election—The Calling of the Gentiles.Too well aware that he was regarded as a traitor to the dearest interests of his people (Ac 21:33;22:22; 25:24), the apostle opens this division of his subject by giving vent to his real feelings withextraordinary vehemence of protestation.1, 2. I say the truth in Christ—as if steeped in the spirit of Him who wept over impenitentand doomed Jerusalem (compare Ro 1:9; 2Co 12:19; Php 1:8).my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost—"my conscience as quickened,illuminated, and even now under the direct operation of the Holy Ghost."2. That I have, &c.—"That I have great grief (or, sorrow) and unceasing anguish in myheart"—the bitter hostility of his nation to the glorious Gospel, and the awful consequences of theirunbelief, weighing heavily and incessantly upon his spirit.3. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for—"in behalf of"my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh—In proportion as he felt himself severedfrom his nation, he seems to have realized all the more vividly their natural relationship. To explainaway the wish here expressed, as too strong for any Christian to utter or conceive, some haverendered the opening words, "I did wish," referring it to his former unenlightened state; a sense ofthe words too tame to be endured: others unwarrantably soften the sense of the word "accursed."But our version gives the true import of the original; and if it be understood as the language ratherof "strong and indistinct emotions than of definite ideas" [Hodge], expressing passionately how hefelt his whole being swallowed up in the salvation of his people, the difficulty will vanish, and weshall be reminded of the similar idea so nobly expressed by Moses (Ex 32:32).4. Who are Israelites—See Ro 11:1; 2Co 11:22; Php 3:5.to whom pertaineth—"whose is"the adoption—It is true that, compared with the new economy, the old was a state of minorityand pupilage, and so far that of a bond-servant (Ga 4:1-3); yet, compared with the state of thesurrounding heathen, the choice of Abraham and his seed was a real separation of them to be aFamily of God (Ex 4:22; De 32:6; Isa 1:2; Jer 31:9; Ho 11:1; Mal 1:6).2405JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand the glory—that "glory of the Lord," or "visible token of the Divine Presence in the midstof them," which rested on the ark and filled the tabernacle during all their wanderings in thewilderness; which in Jerusalem continued to be seen in the tabernacle and temple, and onlydisappeared when, at the Captivity, the temple was demolished, and the sun of the ancient economybegan to go down. This was what the Jews called the "Shekinah."and the covenants—"the covenants of promise" to which the Gentiles before Christ were"strangers" (Eph 2:12); meaning the one covenant with Abraham in its successive renewals (seeGa 3:16, 17).and the giving of the law—from Mount Sinai, and the possession of it thereafter, which theJews justly deemed their peculiar honor (De 26:18, 19; Ps 147:19, 20; Ro 2:17).and the service of God—or, of the sanctuary, meaning the whole divinely instituted religiousservice, in the celebration of which they were brought so nigh unto God.and the promises—the great Abrahamic promises, successively unfolded, and which had theirfulfilment only in Christ; (see Heb 7:6; Ga 3:16, 21; Ac 26:6, 7).5. Whose are the fathers—here, probably, the three great fathers of the covenant—Abraham,Isaac, and Jacob—by whom God condescended to name Himself (Ex 8:6, 13; Lu 20:37).and—most exalted privilege of all, and as such, reserved to the last.of whom as concerning the flesh—(See on Ro 1:3).Christ came—or, "is Christ"who is over all, God—rather, "God over all."blessed for ever. Amen—To get rid of the bright testimony here borne to the supreme divinityof Christ, various expedients have been adopted: (1) To place a period, either after the words"concerning the flesh Christ came," rendering the next clause as a doxology to the Father—"Godwho is over all be blessed for ever"; or after the word "all"—thus, "Christ came, who is over all:God be blessed.", &c. [Erasmus, Locke, Fritzsche, Meyer, Jowett, &c.]. But it is fatal to this view, as evenSocinus admits, that in other Scripture doxologies the word "Blessed" precedes the name of Godon whom the blessing is invoked (thus: "Blessed be God," Ps 68:35; "Blessed be the Lord God, theGod of Israel," Ps 72:18). Besides, any such doxology here would be "unmeaning and frigid in theextreme"; the sad subject on which he was entering suggesting anything but a doxology, even inconnection with Christ's Incarnation [Alford]. (2) To transpose the words rendered "who is"; in whichcase the rendering would be, "whose (that is, the fathers') is Christ according to the flesh" [Crellius,Whiston, Taylor, Whitby]. But this is a desperate expedient, in the face of all manuscript authority; asis also the conjecture of Grotius and others, that the word "God" should be omitted from the text. Itremains then, that we have here no doxology at all, but a naked statement of fact, that while Christis "of" the Israelitish nation "as concerning the flesh," He is, in another respect, "God over all,blessed for ever." (In 2Co 11:31 the very Greek phrase which is here rendered "who is," is used inthe same sense; and compare Ro 1:25, Greek). In this view of the passage, as a testimony to thesupreme divinity of Christ, besides all the orthodox fathers, some of the ablest modern critics concur[Bengel, Tholuck, Stuart, Olshausen, Philippi, Alford, &c.]6. Not as though the word of God had taken none effect—"hath fallen to the ground," thatis, failed: compare Lu 16:17, Greek.for they are not all Israel which are of Israel—better, "for not all they which are of Israelare Israel." Here the apostle enters upon the profound subject of Election, the treatment of whichextends to the end of the eleventh chapter—"Think not that I mourn over the total loss of Israel;2406JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor that would involve the failure of God's word to Abraham; but not all that belong to the naturalseed, and go under the name of 'Israel,' are the Israel of God's irrevocable choice." The difficultieswhich encompass this subject lie not in the apostle's teaching, which is plain enough, but in thetruths themselves, the evidence for which, taken by themselves, is overwhelming, but whose perfectharmony is beyond human comprehension in the present state. The great source of error here liesin hastily inferring (as Tholuck and others), from the apostle's taking tip, at the close of this chapter,the calling of the Gentiles in connection with the rejection of Israel, and continuing this subjectthrough the two next chapters, that the Election treated of in the body of this chapter is national,not personal Election, and consequently is Election merely to religious advantages, not to eternalsalvation. In that case, the argument of Ro 9:6, with which the subject of Election opens, would bethis: "The choice of Abraham and his seed has not failed; because though Israel has been rejected,the Gentiles have taken their place; and God has a right to choose what nation He will to theprivileges of His visible kingdom." But so far from this, the Gentiles are not so much as mentionedat all till towards the close of the chapter; and the argument of this verse is, that "all Israel is notrejected, but only a portion of it, the remainder being the 'Israel' whom God has chosen in theexercise of His sovereign right." And that this is a choice not to mere external privileges, but toeternal salvation, will abundantly appear from what follows.7-9. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children—"Not in the lineof mere fleshly descent from Abraham does the election run; else Ishmael, Hagar's child, and evenKeturah's children, would be included, which they were not."but—the true election are such of Abraham's seed as God unconditionally chooses, asexemplified in that promise.in Isaac shall thy seed be called—(Ge 21:12).10-13. And not only this; but when Rebecca, &c.—It might be thought that there was a naturalreason for preferring the child of Sarah, as being Abraham's true and first wife, both to the childof Hagar, Sarah's maid, and to the children of Keturah, his second wife. But there could be no suchreason in the case of Rebecca, Isaac's only wife; for the choice of her son Jacob was the choice ofone of two sons by the same mother and of the younger in preference to the elder, and before eitherof them was born, and consequently before either had done good or evil to be a ground of preference:and all to show that the sole ground of distinction lay in the unconditional choice of God—"not ofworks, but of Him that calleth."14. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid—This is thefirst of two objections to the foregoing doctrine, that God chooses one and rejects another, not onaccount of their works, but purely in the exercise of His own good pleasure: "This doctrine isinconsistent with the justice of God." The answer to this objection extends to Ro 9:19, where wehave the second objection.15. For he saith to Moses—(Ex 33:19).I will have mercy on whom I will have—"on whom I have"mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have—"on whom I have"compassion—"There can be no unrighteousness in God's choosing whom He will, for to MosesHe expressly claims the right to do so." Yet it is worthy of notice that this is expressed in the positiverather than the negative form: not, "I will have mercy on none but whom I will"; but, "I will havemercy on whomsoever I will."16. So then it is not of him that willeth—hath the inward desire2407JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnor of him that runneth—maketh active effort (compare 1Co 9:24, 26; Php 2:16; 3:14). Boththese are indispensable to salvation, yet salvation is owing to neither, but is purely "of God thatshoweth mercy." See on Php 2:12, 13, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: forit is God which, out of His own good pleasure, worketh in you both to will and to do."17. For the scripture saith to Pharaoh—observe here the light in which the Scripture is viewedby the apostle.Even for this same—"this very"purpose have I raised—"raised I"thee up, &c.—The apostle had shown that God claims the right to choose whom He will: herehe shows by an example that God punishes whom He will. But "God did not make Pharaoh wicked;He only forbore to make him good, by the exercise of special and altogether unmerited grace"[Hodge].that I might—"may"show my power in thee—It was not that Pharaoh was worse than others that he was so dealtwith, but "in order that he might become a monument of the penal justice of God, and it was witha view to this that God provided that the evil which was in him should be manifested in this definiteform" [Olshausen].and that my name might—"may"be declared—"proclaimed"in all the earth—"This is the principle on which all punishment is inflicted, that the truecharacter of the Divine Lawgiver should be known. This is of all objects, where God is concerned,the highest and most important; in itself the most worthy, and in its results the most beneficent"[Hodge].18. Therefore hath he—"So then he hath." The result then is that He hathmercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth—by judiciallyabandoning them to the hardening influence of sin itself (Ps 81:11, 12; Ro 1:24, 26, 28; Heb 3:8,13), and of the surrounding incentives to it (Mt 24:12; 1Co 15:38; 2Th 2:17).Second objection to the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty:19. Thou shalt say then unto me, Why—"Why then" is the true reading.doth he yet find fault? for who hath resisted—"Who resisteth"his will?—that is, "This doctrine is incompatible with human responsibility"; If God choosesand rejects, pardons and punishes, whom He pleases, why are those blamed who, if rejected byHim, cannot help sinning and perishing? This objection shows quite as conclusively as the formerthe real nature of the doctrine objected to—that it is Election and Non-election to eternal salvationprior to any difference of personal character; this is the only doctrine that could suggest the objectionhere stated, and to this doctrine the objection is plausible. What now is the apostle's answer? It istwofold. First: "It is irreverence and presumption in the creature to arraign the Creator."20, 21. Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formedsay to him that formed it, Why hast thou made—"didst thou make"me thus?—(Isa 45:9).21. Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel untohonour, and another to dishonour?—"The objection is founded on ignorance or misapprehensionof the relation between God and His sinful creatures; supposing that He is under obligation to extendHis grace to all, whereas He is under obligation to none. All are sinners, and have forfeited every2408JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonclaim to His mercy; it is therefore perfectly competent to God to spare one and not another, to makeone vessel to honor and another to dishonor. But it is to be borne in mind that Paul does not herespeak of God's right over His creatures as creatures, but as sinful creatures: as he himself clearlyintimates in the next verses. It is the cavil of a sinful creature against his Creator that he is answering,and be does so by showing that God is under no obligation to give His grace to any, but is assovereign as in fashioning the clay" [Hodge]. But, Second: "There is nothing unjust in suchsovereignty."22, 23. What if God, willing to show—"designing to manifest"his wrath—His holy displeasure against sin.and to make his power—to punish itknown endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath—that is, "destined to wrath";just as "vessels of mercy," in Ro 9:23, mean "vessels destined to mercy"; compare Eph 2:3, "childrenof wrath."fitted for destruction—It is well remarked by Stuart that the "difficulties which such statementsinvolve are not to be got rid of by softening the language of one text, while so many others meetus which are of the same tenor; and even if we give up the Bible itself, so long as we acknowledgean omnipotent and omniscient God we cannot abate in the least degree from any of the difficultieswhich such texts make." Be it observed, however, that if God, as the apostle teaches, expressly"designed to manifest His wrath, and to make His power (in the way of wrath) known," it couldonly be by punishing some, while He pardons others; and if the choice between the two classeswas not to be founded, as our apostle also teaches, on their own doings but on God's good pleasure,the decision behooved ultimately to rest with God. Yet, even in the necessary punishment of thewicked, as Hodge observes, so far from proceeding with undue severity, the apostle would have itremarked that God "endures with much long-suffering" those objects of His righteous displeasure.23. And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy—that"glorious exuberance of Divine mercy" which "was manifested in choosing and eternally arrangingfor the salvation of sinners."24. even us, whom he hath called, &c.—rather, "Whom he hath also called, even us," &c., innot only "afore preparing," but in due time effectually "calling us."not of the Jews, &c.—better, "not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles." Herefor the first title in this chapter the calling of the Gentiles is introduced; all before having respect,not to the substitution of the called Gentiles for the rejected Jews, but to the choice of one portionand the rejection of another of the same Israel. Had Israel's rejection been total, God's promise toAbraham would not have been fulfilled by the substitution of the Gentiles in their room; but Israel'srejection being only partial, the preservation of a "remnant," in which the promise was made good,was but "according to the election of grace." And now, for the first time, the apostle tells us thatalong with this elect remnant of Israel, it is God's purpose to "take out of the Gentiles a people forHis name" (Ac 28:14); and that subject, thus introduced, is now continued to the end of the eleventhchapter.25. As he saith also in Osee—"Hosea."I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was notbeloved—quoted, though not quite to the letter, from Ho 2:23, a passage relating immediately, notto the heathen, but to the kingdom of the ten tribes; but since they had sunk to the level of theheathen, who were "not God's people," and in that sense "not beloved," the apostle legitimately2409JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonapplies it to the heathen, as "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenantsof promise" (so 1Pe 2:10).26. And—another quotation from Ho 1:10.it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people;there shall they be called the children—"called sons"of the living God—The expression, "in the place where … there," seems designed only to givegreater emphasis to the gracious change here announced, from divine exclusion to divine admissionto the privileges of the people of God.27-29. Esaias also crieth—"But Isaiah crieth"—an expression denoting a solemn testimonyopenly borne (Joh 1:15; 7:28, 37; 12:44; Ac 23:6; 24:21).concerning Israel, Though the number of the children—"sons"of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a—"the"remnant—that is, the elect remnant only shall be saved.28. For he will finish the work, and cut—"is finishing the reckoning, and cutting it"it short in righteousness; because a short work—"reckoning"will the Lord make upon the earth—(Isa 10:22, 23), as in the Septuagint. The sense given tothese words by the apostle may seem to differ from that intended by the prophet. But the samenessof sentiment in both places will at once appear, if we understand those words of the prophet, "theconsumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness," to mean that while a remnant of Israelshould be graciously spared to return from captivity, "the decreed consumption" of the impenitentmajority should be "replete with righteousness," or illustriously display God's righteous vengeanceagainst sin. The "short reckoning" seems to mean the speedy completing of His word, both in cuttingoff the one portion and saving the other.29. And as Esaias said—"hath said"before—that is, probably in an earlier part of his book, namely, Isa 1:9.Except the Lord of Sabaoth—that is, "The Lord of Hosts": the word is Hebrew, but occursso in the Epistle of James (Jas 5:4), and has thence become naturalized in our Christian phraseology.had left us a seed—meaning a "remnant"; small at first, but in due time to be a seed of plenty(compare Ps 22:30, 31; Isa 6:12, 13).we had been—"become"as Sodom, &c.—But for this precious seed, the chosen people would have resembled the citiesof the plain, both in degeneracy of character and in merited doom.30, 31. What shall we say then?—"What now is the result of the whole?" The result isthis—very different from what one would have expected.That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained—"attained"to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith—As we have seen that "the righteousnessof faith" is the righteousness which justifies (see on Ro 3:22, &c.), this verse must mean that "theGentiles, who while strangers to Christ were quite indifferent about acceptance with God, havingembraced the Gospel as soon as it was preached to them, experienced the blessedness of a justifiedstate."31. But Israel, which followed—"following"after the law of righteousness, hath not attained—"attained not"2410JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonunto the law of righteousness—The word "law" is used here, we think, in the same sense asin Ro 7:23, to denote "a principle of action"; that is, "Israel, though sincerely and steadily aimingat acceptance with God, nevertheless missed it."32, 33. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were—rather simply, "as"by the works of the law—as if it were thus attainable, which justification is not: Since, therefore,it is attainable only by faith, they missed it.for—it is doubtful if this particle was originally in the text.they stumbled at that stumbling-stone—better, "against the stone of stumbling," meaningChrist. But in this they only did.33. As it is written—(Isa 8:14; 28:16).Behold, &c.—Two Messianic predictions are here combined, as is not unusual in quotationsfrom the Old Testament. Thus combined, the prediction brings together both the classes of whomthe apostle is treating: those to whom Messiah should be only a stone of stumbling, and those whowere to regard Him as the Cornerstone of all their hopes. Thus expounded, this chapter presentsno serious difficulties, none which do not arise out of the subject itself, whose depths areunfathomable; whereas on every other view of it the difficulty of giving it any consistent and worthyinterpretation is in our judgment insuperable.Note, (1) To speak and act "in Christ," with a conscience not only illuminated, but under thepresent operation of the Holy Ghost, is not peculiar to the supernaturally inspired, but is the privilege,and ought to be the aim, of every believer (Ro 9:1). (2) Grace does not destroy, but only intensifyand elevate, the feelings of nature; and Christians should study to show this (Ro 9:2, 3). (3) Tobelong to the visible Church of God, and enjoy its high and holy distinctions, is of the sovereignmercy of God, and should be regarded with devout thankfulness (Ro 9:4, 5). (4) Yet the most sacredexternal distinctions and privileges will avail nothing to salvation without the heart's submissionto the righteousness of God (Ro 9:31-33). (5) What manner of persons ought "God's elect" to be—inhumility, when they remember that He hath saved them and called them, not according to theirworks, but according to His own purpose and grace, given them in Christ Jesus before the worldbegan (2Ti 1:9); in thankfulness, for "Who maketh thee to differ, and what hast thou that thou didstnot receive?" (1Co 4:7); in godly jealousy over themselves; remembering that "God is not mocked,"but "whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap" (Ga 6:7); in diligence "to make our callingand election sure" (2Pe 1:10); and yet in calm confidence that "whom God predestinates, and calls,and justifies, them (in due time) He also glorifies" (Ro 8:30). (6) On all subjects which from theirvery nature lie beyond human comprehension, it will be our wisdom to set down what God says inHis word, and has actually done in His procedure towards men, as indisputable, even though itcontradict the results at which in the best exercise of our limited judgment we may have arrived(Ro 9:14-23). (7) Sincerity in religion, or a general desire to be saved, with assiduous efforts to doright, will prove fatal as a ground of confidence before God, if unaccompanied by implicit submissionto His revealed method of salvation (Ro 9:31-33). (8) In the rejection of the great mass of the chosenpeople, and the inbringing of multitudes of estranged Gentiles, God would have men to see a lawof His procedure, which the judgment of the great day will more vividly reveal that "the last shallbe first and the first last" (Mt 20:16).2411JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 10Ro 10:1-21. Same Subject Continued—How Israel Came to Miss Salvation, and the Gentiles to Find It.1. Brethren, my heart's desire—The word here expresses "entire complacency," that in whichthe heart would experience full satisfaction.and prayer—"supplication."to God for Israel—"for them" is the true reading; the subject being continued from the closeof the preceding chapter.is, that they may be saved—"for their salvation." Having before poured forth the anguish ofhis soul at the general unbelief of his nation and its dreadful consequences (Ro 9:1-3), he hereexpresses in the most emphatic terms his desire and prayer for their salvation.2. For I bear them record—or, "witness," as he well could from his own sad experience.that they have a zeal of—"for"God, but not according to knowledge—(Compare Ac 22:3; 26:9-11; Ga 1:13, 14). He alludesto this well-meaning of his people, notwithstanding their spiritual blindness, not certainly to excusetheir rejection of Christ and rage against His saints, but as some ground of hope regarding them.(See 1Ti 1:13).3. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness—that is, for the justification of the guilty(see on Ro 1:17).and going about—"seeking"to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousnessof God—The apostle views the general rejection of Christ by the nation as one act.4. For Christ is the end—the object or aim.of the law for—justifyingrighteousness to every one that believeth—that is, contains within Himself all that the lawdemands for the justification of such as embrace Him, whether Jew or Gentile (Ga 3:24).5-10. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man thatdoeth—"hath done"those things—which it commands.shall live in them—(Le 18:5). This is the one way of justification and life—by "the righteousnesswhich is of (or, by our own obedience to) the law."6. But the—justifyingrighteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise—"speaketh thus"—its language orimport is to this effect (quoting in substance De 30:13, 14).Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? that is, to bring Christ down,&c.—that is, "Ye have not to sigh over the impossibility of attaining to justification; as if one shouldsay, oh! if I could but get someone to mount up to heaven and fetch me down Christ, there mightbe some hope, but since that cannot be, mine is a desperate case."7. Or, Who shall descend, &c.—another case of impossibility, suggested by Pr 30:4, andperhaps also Am 9:2—probably proverbial expressions of impossibility (compare Ps 139:7-10; Pr24:7, &c.).8. But what saith it? It saith—continuing the quotation from De 30:14.The word is nigh thee—easily accessible.in thy mouth—when thou confessest Him.2412JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand in thine heart—when thou believest on Him. Though it is of the law which Moses moreimmediately speaks in the passage quoted, yet it is of the law as Israel shall be brought to look uponit when the Lord their God shall circumcise their heart "to love the Lord their God with all theirheart" (Ro 10:6); and thus, in applying it, the apostle (as Olshausen truly observes) is not merelyappropriating the language of Moses, but keeping in the line of his deeper thought.that is, the word of faith, which we preach—that is, the word which men have to believe forsalvation (compare 1Ti 4:6).9. That if thou shalt, &c.—So understanding the words, the apostle is here giving the languageof the true method of justification; and this sense we prefer (with Calvin, Beza, Ferme, Locke, Jowett).But able interpreters render the words, "For," or "Because if thou shalt," &c. [Vulgate, Luther, DeWette, Stuart, Philippi, Alford, Revised Version]. In this case, these are the apostle's own remarks,confirming the foregoing statements as to the simplicity of the gospel method of salvation.confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus—that is, probably, "If thou shalt confess Jesus [to be]the Lord," which is the proper manifestation or evidence of faith (Mt 10:32; 1Jo 4:15). This is putfirst merely to correspond with the foregoing quotation—"in thy mouth and in thine heart." So in1Pe 1:10 the "calling of believers" is put before their "election," as that which is first "made sure,"although in point of time it comes after it.and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised—"that God raised"him from the dead, &c.—(See on Ro 4:25). In Ro 10:10 the two things are placed in theirnatural order.10. For with the heart man believeth unto—justifyingrighteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation—This confession ofChrist's name, especially in times of persecution, and whenever obloquy is attached to the Christianprofession, is an indispensable test of discipleship.11-13. For the scripture saith—in Isa 28:16, a glorious Messianic passage.Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed—Here, as in Ro 9:33, the quotation isfrom the Septuagint, which renders those words of the original, "shall not make haste" (that is, flyfor escape, as from conscious danger), "shall not be put to shame," which comes to the same thing.12. For there is no difference—or "distinction"between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord over all—that is, not God (as Calvin, Grotius,Olshausen, Hodge), but Christ, as will be seen, we think, by comparing Ro 10:9, 12, 13 and observingthe apostle's usual style on such subjects. (So Chrysostom, Melville, Bengel, Meyer, De Wette, Fritzsche,Tholuck, Stuart, Alford, Philippi).is rich—a favorite Pauline term to express the exuberance of that saving grace which is inChrist Jesus.unto all that call upon him—This confirms the application of the preceding words to Christ;since to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus is a customary expression. (See Ac 7:59, 60; 9:14,21; 22:16; 1Co 1:2; 2Ti 2:22).13. For—saith the scripturewhosoever—The expression is emphatic, "Everyone whosoever"shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved—(Joe 2:32); quoted also by Peter, in hisgreat Pentecostal sermon (Ac 2:21), with evident application to Christ.14, 15. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and … believein him of whom they have not heard? and … hear without a preacher? and … preach except2413JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson… sent?—that is, "True, the same Lord over all is rich unto all alike that call upon Him. But thiscalling implies believing, and believing hearing, and hearing preaching, and preaching a missionto preach: Why, then, take ye it so ill, O children of Abraham, that in obedience to our heavenlymission (Ac 26:16-18) we preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ?"15. as it is written—(Isa 52:7).How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, &c.—The whole chapterof Isaiah from which this is taken, and the three that follow, are so richly Messianic, that there canbe no doubt "the glad tidings" there spoken of announce a more glorious release than of Judah fromthe Babylonish captivity, and the very feet of its preachers are called "beautiful" for the sake oftheir message.16, 17. But they have not all obeyed the gospel—that is, the Scripture hath prepared us toexpect this sad result.For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?—that is,"Where shall one find abeliever?" The prophet speaks as if next to none would believe: The apostle softens this into "Theyhave not all believed."17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God—"This is anotherconfirmation of the truth that faith supposes the hearing of the Word, and this a commission topreach it."18. But I say, Have they not heard?—"Did they not hear?" Can Israel, through any region ofhis dispersion, plead ignorance of these glad tidings?Yes, verily, their sound went—"their voice went out"into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world—These beautiful words arefrom Ps 19:4. Whether the apostle quoted them as in their primary intention applicable to his subject(as Olshausen, Alford, &c.), or only "used scriptural language to express his own ideas, as is doneinvoluntarily almost by every preacher in every sermon" [Hodge], expositors are not agreed. Butthough the latter may seem the more natural since "the rising of the Sun of righteousness upon theworld" (Mal 4:2), "the Dayspring from on high visiting us, giving light to them that sat in darkness,and guiding our feet into the way of peace" (Lu 1:78, 79), must have been familiar and delightfulto the apostle's ear, we cannot doubt that the irradiation of the world with the beams of a better Sunby the universal diffusion of the Gospel of Christ, must have a mode of speaking quite natural, andto him scarcely figurative.19. But I say, Did not Israel know?—know, from their own Scriptures, of God's intention tobring in the Gentiles?First—that is First in the prophetic line [De Wette].Moses saith, &c.—"I will provoke you to jealousy ('against') [them that are] not a nation, andagainst a nation without understanding will I anger you" (De 32:21). In this verse God warns Hisancient people that because they had (that is, in aftertimes would) moved Him to jealousy withtheir "no-gods," and provoked Him to anger with their vanities, He in requital would move themto jealousy by receiving into His favor a "no-people," and provoke them to anger by adopting anation void of understanding.20. But Esaias is very bold, and saith—that is, is still plainer, and goes even the length ofsaying.I was found of them that sought me not—until I sought them.I was made—"became"2414JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonmanifest unto them that asked not after me—until the invitation from Me came to them.That the calling of the Gentiles was meant by these words of the prophet (Isa 65:1) is manifest fromwhat immediately follows, "I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by Myname."21. But to—rather, "with regard to"Israel he saith, All day—"All the day"long I have stretched out my hands—"did I stretch forth"my hands—the attitude of gracious entreaty.unto a disobedient and gainsaying people—These words, which immediately follow theannouncement just quoted of the calling of the Gentiles, were enough to forewarn the Jews bothof God's purpose to eject them from their privileges, in favor of the Gentiles, and of the cause ofit on their own part.Note, (1) Mere sincerity, and even earnestness in religion—though it may be some ground ofhope for a merciful recovery from error—is no excuse, and will not compensate, for the deliberaterejection of saving truth, when in the providence of God presented for acceptance (Ro 10:1-3; andsee on Ro 9:7, Note 7). (2) The true cause of such rejection of saving truth, by the otherwise sincere,is the prepossession of the mind by some false notions of its own. So long as the Jews "sought toset up their own righteousness," it was in the nature of things impossible that they should "submitthemselves to the righteousness of God"; the one of these two methods of acceptance being in theteeth of the other (Ro 10:3). (3) The essential terms of salvation have in every age been the same:"Whosoever will" is invited to "take of the water of life freely," Re 22:17 (Ro 10:13). (4) How willthe remembrance of the simplicity, reasonableness, and absolute freeness of God's plan of salvationoverwhelm those that perish from under the sound of it (Ro 10:4-13). (5) How piercingly andperpetually should that question—"How shall they hear without a preacher?"—sound in the ears of allchurches, as but the apostolic echo of their Lord's parting injunction, "Preach the Gospel to every creature"(Mr 16:15), and how far below the proper standard of love, zeal, and self-sacrifice must the churchesas yet be, when with so plenteous a harvest the laborers are yet so few (Mt 9:37, 38), and that cryfrom the lips of pardoned, gifted, consecrated men—"Here am I, send me" (Isa 6:8), is not heardeverywhere (Ro 10:14, 15)! (6) The blessing of a covenant relation to God is the irrevocable privilegeof no people and no Church; it can be preserved only by fidelity, on our part, to the covenant itself(Ro 10:19). (7) God is often found by those who apparently are the farthest from Him, while Heremains undiscovered by those who think themselves the nearest (Ro 10:20, 21). (8) God's dealingseven with reprobate sinners are full of tenderness and compassion; all the day long extending thearms of His mercy even to the disobedient and gainsaying. This will be felt and acknowledged atlast by all who perish, to the glory of God's forbearance and to their own confusion (Ro 10:21).CHAPTER 11Ro 11:1-36. Same Subject Continued and Concluded—The Ultimate Inbringing of All Israel, to Be, with theGentiles, One Kingdom of God on the Earth.1. I say then, Hath—"Did"God cast away his people? God forbid—Our Lord did indeed announce that "the kingdomof God should be taken from Israel" (Mt 21:41); and when asked by the Eleven, after His resurrection,2415JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonif He would at that time "restore the kingdom to Israel," His reply is a virtual admission that Israelwas in some sense already out of covenant (Ac 1:9). Yet here the apostle teaches that, in tworespects, Israel was not "cast away"; First, Not totally; Second, Not finally. First, Israel is not whollycast away.for I also am an Israelite—See Php 3:5, and so a living witness to the contrary.of the seed of Abraham—of pure descent from the father of the faithful.of the tribe of Benjamin—(Php 3:5), that tribe which, on the revolt of the ten tribes, constituted,with Judah, the one faithful kingdom of God (1Ki 12:21), and after the captivity was, along withJudah, the kernel of the Jewish nation (Ezr 4:1; 10:9).2-4. God hath—"did"not cast away his people—that is, whollywhich he foreknew—On the word "foreknew," see on Ro 8:29.Wot—that is, "Know"ye not that the scripture saith of—literally, "in," that is, in the section which relates toElias? how he maketh intercession—"pleadeth"against Israel—(The word "saying," which follows, as also the particle "and" before "diggeddown," should be omitted, as without manuscript authority).3. and I am left alone—"I only am left."4. seven thousand, that have not bowed the knee to Baal—not "the image of Baal," accordingto the supplement of our version.5. Even so at this present time—"in this present season"; this period of Israel's rejection. (SeeAc 1:7, Greek).there is—"there obtains," or "hath remained"a remnant according to the election of grace—"As in Elijah's time the apostasy of Israel wasnot so universal as it seemed to be, and as he in his despondency concluded it to be, so now, therejection of Christ by Israel is not so appalling in extent as one would be apt to think: There is now,as there was then, a faithful remnant; not however of persons naturally better than the unbelievingmass, but of persons graciously chosen to salvation." (See 1Co 4:7; 2Th 2:13). This establishes ourview of the argument on Election in Ro 9:1-29, as not being an election of Gentiles in the place ofJews, and merely to religious advantages, but a sovereign choice of some of Israel itself, fromamong others, to believe and be saved. (See on Ro 9:6.)6. And, &c.—better, "Now if it (the election) be by grace, it is no more of works; for [then]grace becomes no more grace: but if it be of works," &c. (The authority of ancient manuscriptsagainst this latter clause, as superfluous and not originally in the text, though strong, is not sufficient,we think, to justify its exclusion. Such seeming redundancies are not unusual with our apostle).The general position here laid down is of vital importance: That there are but two possible sourcesof salvation—men's works, and God's grace; and that these are so essentially distinct and opposite,that salvation cannot be of any combination or mixture of both, but must be wholly either of theone or of the other. (See on Ro 4:3, Note 3.)7-10. What then?—How stands the fact?Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for—better, "What Israel is in search of (thatis, Justification, or acceptance with God—see on Ro 9:31); this he found not; but the election (theelect remnant of Israel) found it, and the rest were hardened," or judicially given over to the "hardnessof their own hearts."2416JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson8. as it is written—(Isa 29:10; De 29:4).God hath given—"gave"them the spirit of slumber—"stupor"unto this day—"this present day."9. And David saith—(Ps 69:23), which in such a Messianic psalm must be meant of the rejectersof Christ.Let their table, &c.—that is, Let their very blessings prove a curse to them, and their enjoymentsonly sting and take vengeance on them.10. Let their eyes be darkened … and bow down their back alway—expressive either ofthe decrepitude, or of the servile condition, to come on the nation through the just judgment ofGod. The apostle's object in making these quotations is to show that what he had been compelledto say of the then condition and prospects of his nation was more than borne out by their ownScriptures. But, Secondly, God has not cast away His people finally. The illustration of this pointextends, Ro 11:11-31.11. I say then, Have they stumbled—"Did they stumble"that they should fall? God forbid; but—the supplement "rather" is better omitted.through their fall—literally, "trespass," but here best rendered "false step" [De Wette]; not "fall,"as in our version.salvation is come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy—Here, as also in Ro 10:19(quoted from De 32:21), we see that emulation is a legitimate stimulus to what is good.12. Now if the fall of them—"But if their trespass," or "false step"be the riches of the—Gentileworld—as being the occasion of their accession to Christ.and the diminishing of them—that is, the reduction of the true Israel to so small a remnant.the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness!—that is, their full recovery (seeon Ro 11:26); that is, "If an event so untoward as Israel's fall was the occasion of such unspeakablegood to the Gentile world, of how much greater good may we expect an event so blessed as theirfull recovery to be productive?"13, 14. I speak—"am speaking"to you Gentiles—another proof that this Epistle was addressed to Gentile believers. (See onRo 1:13).I magnify—"glorify"mine office—The clause beginning with "inasmuch" should be read as a parenthesis.14. If … I may provoke, &c. (See on Ro 11:11.)my flesh—Compare Isa 58:7.15. For if the casting away of them—The apostle had denied that they were east away (Ro11:1); here he affirms it. But both are true; they were cast away, though neither totally nor finally,and it is of this partial and temporary rejection that the apostle here speaks.be the reconciling of the—Gentileworld, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?—The reception of thewhole family of Israel, scattered as they are among all nations under heaven, and the most inveterateenemies of the Lord Jesus, will be such a stupendous manifestation of the power of God upon thespirits of men, and of His glorious presence with the heralds of the Cross, as will not only kindle2417JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondevout astonishment far and wide, but so change the dominant mode of thinking and feeling on allspiritual things as to seem like a resurrection from the dead.16. For—"But"if the first-fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root … so the branches—TheIsraelites were required to offer to God the first-fruits of the earth—both in their raw state, in asheaf of newly reaped grain (Le 23:10, 11), and in their prepared state, made into cakes of dough(Nu 15:19-21)—by which the whole produce of that season was regarded as hallowed. It is probablethat the latter of these offerings is here intended, as to it the word "lump" best applies; and theargument of the apostle is, that as the separation unto God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from therest of mankind, as the parent stem of their race, was as real an offering of first-fruits as that whichhallowed the produce of the earth, so, in the divine estimation, it was as real a separation of themass or "lump" of that nation in all time to God. The figure of the "root" and its "branches" is oflike import—the consecration of the one of them extending to the other.17, 18. And if—rather, "But if"; that is, "If notwithstanding this consecration of Abraham'srace to God.some of the branches—The mass of the unbelieving and rejected Israelites are here called"some," not, as before, to meet Jewish prejudice (see on Ro 3:3, and on "not all" in Ro 10:16), butwith the opposite view of checking Gentile pride.and thou, being a wild olive, wert—"wast"grafted in among them—Though it is more usual to graft the superior cutting upon the inferiorstem, the opposite method, which is intended here, is not without example.and with them partakest—"wast made partaker," along with the branches left, the believingremnant.of the root and fatness of the olive tree—the rich grace secured by covenant to the true seedof Abraham.18. Boast not against the—rejectedbranches. But if thou—"do"boast—remember thatthou bearest not—"it is not thou that bearest"the root, but the root thee—"If the branches may not boast over the root that bears them, thenmay not the Gentile boast over the seed of Abraham; for what is thy standing, O Gentile, in relationto Israel, but that of a branch in relation to the root? From Israel hath come all that thou art andhast in the family of God; for "salvation is of the Jews" (Joh 4:22).19-21. Thou wilt say then—as a plea for boasting.The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.20. Well—"Be it so, but remember that"because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest—not as a Gentile, but solelyby faith—But as faith cannot live in those "whose soul is lifted up" (Hab 2:4).Be not high-minded, but fear—(Pr 28:14; Php 2:12):21. For if God spared not the natural branches—sprung from the parent stem.take heed lest he also spare not thee—a mere wild graft. The former might, beforehand, havebeen thought very improbable; but, after that, no one can wonder at the latter.22, 23. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them that fell, severity—inrejecting the chosen seed.2418JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbut toward thee, goodness—"God's goodness" is the true reading, that is, His sovereigngoodness in admitting thee to a covenant standing who before wert a "stranger to the covenants ofpromise" (Eph 2:12-20).if thou continue in his goodness—in believing dependence on that pure goodness which madethee what thou art.23. And they also—"Yea, and they"if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them inagain—This appeal to the power of God to effect the recovery of His ancient people implies thevast difficulty of it—which all who have ever labored for the conversion of the Jews are madedepressingly to feel. That intelligent expositors should think that this was meant of individual Jews,reintroduced from time to time into the family of God on their believing on the Lord Jesus, issurprising; and yet those who deny the national recovery of Israel must and do so interpret theapostle. But this is to confound the two things which the apostle carefully distinguishes. IndividualJews have been at all times admissible, and have been admitted, to the Church through the gate offaith in the Lord Jesus. This is the "remnant, even at this present time, according to the election ofgrace," of which the apostle, in the first part of the chapter, had cited himself as one. But here hemanifestly speaks of something not then existing, but to be looked forward to as a great future eventin the economy of God, the reingrafting of the nation as such, when they "abide not in unbelief."And though this is here spoken of merely as a supposition (if their unbelief shall cease)—in orderto set it over against the other supposition, of what will happen to the Gentiles if they shall notabide in the faith—the supposition is turned into an explicit prediction in the verses following.24. For if thou wert cut—"wert cut off"from the olive tree, which is wild by nature, and wast grafted contrary to nature into agood olive tree; how much more shall these, &c.—This is just the converse of Ro 11:21: "As theexcision of the merely engrafted Gentiles through unbelief is a thing much more to be expectedthan was the excision of the natural Israel, before it happened; so the restoration of Israel, whenthey shall be brought to believe in Jesus, is a thing far more in the line of what we should expect,than the admission of the Gentiles to a standing which they never before enjoyed."25. For I would not … that ye should be ignorant of this mystery—The word "mystery,"so often used by our apostle, does not mean (as with us) something incomprehensible, but "somethingbefore kept secret, either wholly or for the most part, and now only fully disclosed" (compare Ro16:25; 1Co 2:7-10; Eph 1:9, 10; 3:3-6, 9, 10).lest ye should be wise in your own conceits—as if ye alone were in all time coming to be thefamily of God.that blindness—"hardness"in part is happened to—"hath come upon"Israel—that is, hath come partially, or upon a portion of Israel.until the fulness of the Gentiles be—"have"come in—that is, not the general conversion of the world to Christ, as many take it; for thiswould seem to contradict the latter part of this chapter, and throw the national recovery of Israeltoo far into the future: besides, in Ro 11:15, the apostle seems to speak of the receiving of Israel,not as following, but as contributing largely to bring about the general conversion of the world—but,"until the Gentiles have had their full time of the visible Church all to themselves while the Jewsare out, which the Jews had till the Gentiles were brought in." (See Lu 21:24).2419JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson26, 27. And so all Israel shall be saved—To understand this great statement, as some still do,merely of such a gradual inbringing of individual Jews, that there shall at length remain none inunbelief, is to do manifest violence both to it and to the whole context. It can only mean the ultimateingathering of Israel as a nation, in contrast with the present "remnant." (So Tholuck, Meyer, De Wette,Philippi, Alford, Hodge). Three confirmations of this now follow: two from the prophets, and a thirdfrom the Abrahamic covenant itself. First, as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer,andshall—or, according to what seems the true reading, without the "and"—"He shall"turn away ungodliness from Jacob—The apostle, having drawn his illustrations of man'ssinfulness chiefly from Ps 14:1-7 and Isa 59:1-21, now seems to combine the language of the sametwo places regarding Israel's salvation from it [Bengel]. In the one place the Psalmist longs to seethe "salvation of Israel coming out of Zion" (Ps 14:7); in the other, the prophet announces that "theRedeemer (or, 'Deliverer') shall come to (or 'for') Zion" (Isa 59:20). But as all the gloriousmanifestations of Israel's God were regarded as issuing out of Zion, as the seat of His manifestedglory (Ps 20:2; 110:2; Isa 31:9), the turn which the apostle gives to the words merely adds to themthat familiar idea. And whereas the prophet announces that He "shall come to (or, 'for') them thatturn from transgression in Jacob," while the apostle makes Him say that He shall come "to turnaway ungodliness from Jacob," this is taken from the Septuagint version, and seems to indicate adifferent reading of the original text. The sense, however, is substantially the same in both. Second,27. For—rather, "and" (again); introducing a new quotation.this is my covenant with them—literally, "this is the covenant from me unto them."when I shall take away their sins—This, we believe, is rather a brief summary of Jer 31:31-34than the express words of any prediction, Those who believe that there are no predictions regardingthe literal Israel in the Old Testament, that stretch beyond the end of the Jewish economy, areobliged to view these quotations by the apostle as mere adaptations of Old Testament language toexpress his own predictions [Alexander on Isaiah, &c.]. But how forced this is, we shall presentlysee.28, 29. As concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes—that is, they are regardedand treated as enemies (in a state of exclusion through unbelief, from the family of God) for thebenefit of you Gentiles; in the sense of Ro 11:11, 15.but as touching, the election—of Abraham and his seed.they are beloved—even in their state of exclusion for the fathers' sakes.29. For the gifts and calling—"and the calling"of God are without repentance—"not to be," or "cannot be repented of." By the "calling ofGod," in this case, is meant that sovereign act by which God, in the exercise of His free choice,"called" Abraham to be the father of a peculiar people; while "the gifts of God" here denote thearticles of the covenant which God made with Abraham, and which constituted the real distinctionbetween his and all other families of the earth. Both these, says the apostle, are irrevocable; and asthe point for which he refers to this at all is the final destiny of the Israelitish nation, it is clear thatthe perpetuity through all time of the Abrahamic covenant is the thing here affirmed. And lest anyshould say that though Israel, as a nation, has no destiny at all under the Gospel, but as a peopledisappeared from the stage when the middle wall of partition was broken down, yet the Abrahamiccovenant still endures in the spiritual seed of Abraham, made up of Jews and Gentiles in oneundistinguished mass of redeemed men under the Gospel—the apostle, as if to preclude that2420JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsupposition, expressly states that the very Israel who, as concerning the Gospel, are regarded as"enemies for the Gentiles' sakes," are "beloved for the fathers' sakes"; and it is in proof of this thathe adds, "For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance." But in what sense are thenow unbelieving and excluded children of Israel "beloved for the fathers' sakes?" Not merely fromancestral recollections, as one looks with fond interest on the child of a dear friend for that friend'ssake [Dr. Arnold]—a beautiful thought, and not foreign to Scripture, in this very matter (see 2Ch20:7; Isa 41:8)—but it is from ancestral connections and obligations, or their lineal descent fromand oneness in covenant with the fathers with whom God originally established it. In other words,the natural Israel—not "the remnant of them according to the election of grace," but THE NATION,sprung from Abraham according to the flesh—are still an elect people, and as such, "beloved." Thevery same love which chose the fathers, and rested on the fathers as a parent stem of the nation,still rests on their descendants at large, and will yet recover them from unbelief, and reinstate themin the family of God.30, 31. For as ye in times past have not believed—or, "obeyed"God—that is, yielded not to God "the obedience of faith," while strangers to Christ.yet now have obtained mercy through—by occasion oftheir unbelief—(See on Ro 11:11; Ro 11:15; Ro 11:28).31. Even so have these—the Jews.now not believed—or, "now been disobedient"that through your mercy—the mercy shown to you.they also may obtain mercy—Here is an entirely new idea. The apostle has hitherto dweltupon the unbelief of the Jews as making way for the faith of the Gentiles—the exclusion of the oneoccasioning the reception of the other; a truth yielding to generous, believing Gentiles but mingledsatisfaction. Now, opening a more cheering prospect, he speaks of the mercy shown to the Gentilesas a means of Israel's recovery; which seems to mean that it will be by the instrumentality ofbelieving Gentiles that Israel as a nation is at length to "look on Him whom they have pierced andmourn for Him," and so to "obtain mercy." (See 2Co 3:15, 16).32. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief—"hath shut them all up to unbelief"that he might have mercy upon all—that is, those "all" of whom he had been discoursing;the Gentiles first, and after them the Jews [Fritzsche, Tholuck, Olshausen, De Wette, Philippi, Stuart, Hodge].Certainly it is not "all mankind individually" [Meyer, Alford]; for the apostle is not here dealing withindividuals, but with those great divisions of mankind, Jew and Gentile. And what he here says isthat God's purpose was to shut each of these divisions of men to the experience first of an humbled,condemned state, without Christ, and then to the experience of His mercy in Christ.33. Oh, the depth, &c.—The apostle now yields himself up to the admiring contemplation ofthe grandeur of that divine plan which he had sketched out.of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God—Many able expositors render this,"of the riches and wisdom and knowledge," &c. [Erasmus, Grotius, Bengel, Meyer, De Wette, Tholuck,Olshausen, Fritzsche, Philippi, Alford, Revised Version]. The words will certainly bear this sense, "thedepth of God's riches." But "the riches of God" is a much rarer expression with our apostle thanthe riches of this or that perfection of God; and the words immediately following limit our attentionto the unsearchableness of God's "judgments," which probably means His decrees or plans (Ps119:75), and of "His ways," or the method by which He carries these into effect. (So Luther, Calvin,Beza, Hodge, &c.). Besides, all that follows to the end of the chapter seems to show that while the2421JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGrace of God to guilty men in Christ Jesus is presupposed to be the whole theme of this chapter,that which called forth the special admiration of the apostle, after sketching at some length thedivine purposes and methods in the bestowment of this grace, was "the depth of the riches of God'swisdom and knowledge" in these purposes and methods. The "knowledge," then, points probablyto the vast sweep of divine comprehension herein displayed; the "wisdom" to that fitness toaccomplish the ends intended, which is stamped on all this procedure.34, 35. For who hath known the mind of the Lord?—See Job 15:8; Jer 23:18.or who hath been his counsellor—See Isa 40:13, 14.35. Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him—"and shall haverecompense made to him"again—see Job 35:7; 41:11. These questions, it will thus be seen, are just quotations from theOld Testament, as if to show how familiar to God's ancient people was the great truth which theapostle himself had just uttered, that God's plans and methods in the dispensation of His Gracehave a reach of comprehension and wisdom stamped upon them which finite mortals cannot fathom,much less could ever have imagined, before they were disclosed.36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom—"to Him"be glory for ever. Amen—Thus worthily—with a brevity only equalled by its sublimity—doesthe apostle here sum up this whole matter. "Of Him are all things," as their eternal Source: "THROUGHHim are all things," inasmuch as He brings all to pass which in His eternal counsels He purposed:"To Him are all things," as being His own last End; the manifestation of the glory of His ownperfections being the ultimate, because the highest possible, design of all His procedure from firstto last.On this rich chapter, Note, (1) It is an unspeakable consolation to know that in times of deepestreligious declension and most extensive defection from the truth, the lamp of God has never beenpermitted to go out, and that a faithful remnant has ever existed—a remnant larger than their owndrooping spirits could easily believe (Ro 11:1-5). (2) The preservation of this remnant, even astheir separation at the first, is all of mere grace (Ro 11:5, 6). (3) When individuals and communities,after many fruitless warnings, are abandoned of God, they go from bad to worse (Ro 11:7-10). (4)God has so ordered His dealings with the great divisions of mankind, "that no flesh should gloryin His presence." Gentile and Jew have each in turn been "shut up to unbelief," that each in turnmay experience the "mercy" which saves the chief of sinners (Ro 11:11-32). (5) As we are "justifiedby faith," so are we "kept by the power of God through faith"—faith alone—unto salvation (Ro11:20-32). (6) God's covenant with Abraham and his natural seed is a perpetual covenant, in equalforce under the Gospel as before it. Therefore it is, that the Jews as a nation still survive, in spiteof all the laws which, in similar circumstances, have either extinguished or destroyed the identityof other nations. And therefore it is that the Jews as a nation will yet be restored to the family ofGod, through the subjection of their proud hearts to Him whom they have pierced. And as believingGentiles will be honored to be the instruments of this stupendous change, so shall the vast Gentileworld reap such benefit from it, that it shall be like the communication of life to them from thedead. (7) Thus has the Christian Church the highest motive to the establishment and vigorousprosecution of missions to the Jews; God having not only promised that there shall be a remnantof them gathered in every age, but pledged Himself to the final ingathering of the whole nationassigned the honor of that ingathering to the Gentile Church, and assured them that the event, whenit does arrive, shall have a life-giving effect upon the whole world (Ro 11:12-16, 26-31). (8) Those2422JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwho think that in all the evangelical prophecies of the Old Testament the terms "Jacob," "Israel,"&c., are to be understood solely of the Christian Church, would appear to read the Old Testamentdifferently from the apostle, who, from the use of those very terms in Old Testament prophecy,draws arguments to prove that God has mercy in store for the natural Israel (Ro 11:26, 27). (9)Mere intellectual investigations into divine truth in general, and the sense of the living oracles inparticular, as they have a hardening effect, so they are a great contrast to the spirit of our apostle,whose lengthened sketch of God's majestic procedure towards men in Christ Jesus ends here in aburst of admiration, which loses itself in the still loftier frame of adoration (Ro 11:33-36).CHAPTER 12Ro 12:1-21. Duties of Believers, General and Particular.The doctrinal teaching of this Epistle is now followed up by a series of exhortations to practicalduty. And first, the all-comprehensive duty.1. I beseech you therefore—in view of all that has been advanced in the foregoing part of thisEpistle.by the mercies of God—those mercies, whose free and unmerited nature, glorious Channel,and saving fruits have been opened up at such length.that ye present—See on Ro 6:13, where we have the same exhortation and the same wordthere rendered "yield" (as also in Ro 12:16, 19).your bodies—that is, "yourselves in the body," considered as the organ of the inner life. As itis through the body that all the evil that is in the unrenewed heart comes forth into palpablemanifestation and action, so it is through the body that all the gracious principles and affections ofbelievers reveal themselves in the outward life. Sanctification extends to the whole man (1Th 5:23,24).a living sacrifice—in glorious contrast to the legal sacrifices, which, save as they were slain,were no sacrifices at all. The death of the one "Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world,"has swept all dead victims from off the altar of God, to make room for the redeemed themselvesas "living sacrifices" to Him who made "Him to be sin for us"; while every outgoing of their gratefulhearts in praise, and every act prompted by the love of Christ, is itself a sacrifice to God of asweet-smelling savor (Heb 13:15, 16).holy—As the Levitical victims, when offered without blemish to God, were regarded as holy,so believers, "yielding themselves to God as those that are alive from the dead, and their membersas instruments of righteousness unto God," are, in His estimation, not ritually but really "holy,"and soacceptable—"well-pleasing"unto God—not as the Levitical offerings, merely as appointed symbols of spiritual ideas, butobjects, intrinsically, of divine complacency, in their renewed character, and endeared relationshipto Him through His Son Jesus Christ.which is your reasonable—rather, "rational"service—in contrast, not to the senselessness of idol-worship, but to the offering of irrationalvictims under the law. In this view the presentation of ourselves, as living monuments of redeemingmercy, is here called "our rational service"; and surely it is the most rational and exalted occupation2423JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof God's reasonable creatures. So 2Pe 1:5, "to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God throughJesus Christ."2. And be ye not conformed to this world—Compare Eph 2:2; Ga 1:4, Greek.but be ye transformed—or, "transfigured" (as in Mt 17:2; and 2Co 3:18, Greek).by the renewing of your mind—not by a mere outward disconformity to the ungodly world,many of whose actions in themselves may be virtuous and praiseworthy; but by such an inwardspiritual transformation as makes the whole life new—new in its motives and ends, even where theactions differ in nothing from those of the world—new, considered as a whole, and in such a senseas to be wholly unattainable save through the constraining power of the love of Christ.that ye may prove—that is, experimentally. (On the word "experience" see on Ro 5:4, andcompare 1Th 5:10, where the sentiment is the same).what is that—"the"good and acceptable—"well-pleasing"and perfect, will of God—We prefer this rendering (with Calvin) to that which many able critics[Tholuck, Meyer, De Wette, Fritzsche, Philippi, Alford, Hodge] adopt—"that ye may prove," or "discern thewill of God, [even] what is good, and acceptable, and perfect." God's will is "good," as it demandsonly what is essentially and unchangeably good (Ro 7:10); it is "well pleasing," in contrast withall that is arbitrary, as demanding only what God has eternal complacency in (compare Mic 6:8,with Jer 9:24); and it is "perfect," as it required nothing else than the perfection of God's reasonablecreature, who, in proportion as he attains to it, reflects God's own perfection. Such then is the greatgeneral duty of the redeemed—SELF-CONSECRATION, in our whole spirit and soul and body to Himwho hath called us into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ. Next follow specific duties, chieflysocial; beginning with Humility, the chiefest of all the graces—but here with special reference tospiritual gifts.3. For I say—authoritativelythrough the grace given unto me—as an apostle of Jesus Christ; thus exemplifying his ownprecept by modestly falling back on that office which both warranted and required such plainnesstowards all classes.to every man that is among you, not to think, &c.—It is impossible to convey in good Englishthe emphatic play, so to speak, which each word here has upon another: "not to be high-mindedabove what he ought to be minded, but so to be minded as to be sober-minded" [Calvin, Alford]. Thisis merely a strong way of characterizing all undue self-elevation.according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith—Faith is here viewed asthe inlet to all the other graces, and so, as the receptive faculty of the renewed soul—that is, "asGod hath given to each his particular capacity to take in the gifts and graces which He designs forthe general good."4, 5. For as we have many members, &c.—The same diversity and yet unity obtains in thebody of Christ, whereof all believers are the several members, as in the natural body.6-8. Having then gifts differing according to the grace given to us—Here, let it be observed,all the gifts of believers alike are viewed as communications of mere grace.whether—we have the gift ofprophecy—that is, of inspired teaching (as in Ac 15:32). Anyone speaking with divineauthority—whether with reference to the past, the present, or the future—was termed a prophet(Ex 7:1).2424JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonlet us prophesy according to the proportion of faith—rather, "of our faith." Many Romishexpositors and some Protestant (as Calvin and Bengel, and, though, hesitatingly, Beza and Hodge),render this "the analogy of faith," understanding by it "the general tenor" or "rule of faith," divinelydelivered to men for their guidance. But this is against the context, whose object is to show that,as all the gifts of believers are according to their respective capacity for them, they are not to bepuffed up on account of them, but to use them purely for their proper ends.7. Or ministry, let us wait on—"be occupied with."our ministering—The word here used imports any kind of service, from the dispensing of theword of life (Ac 6:4) to the administering of the temporal affairs of the Church (Ac 6:1-3). Thelatter seems intended here, being distinguished from "prophesying," "teaching," and "exhorting."or he that teacheth—Teachers are expressly distinguished from prophets, and put after them,as exercising a lower function (Ac 13:1; 1Co 12:28, 29). Probably it consisted mainly in openingup the evangelical bearings of Old Testament Scripture; and it was in this department apparentlythat Apollos showed his power and eloquence (Ac 18:24).8. Or he that exhorteth—Since all preaching, whether by apostles, prophets, or teachers, wasfollowed up by exhortation (Ac 11:23; 14:22; 15:32, &c.), many think that no specific class is herein view. But if liberty was given to others to exercise themselves occasionally in exhorting thebrethren, generally, or small parties of the less instructed, the reference may be to them.he that giveth—in the exercise of private benevolence probably, rather than in the dischargeof diaconal duty.with simplicity—so the word probably means. But as simplicity seems enjoined in the nextclause but one of this same verse, perhaps the meaning here is, "with liberality," as the same wordis rendered in 2Co 8:2; 9:11.he that ruleth—whether in the Church or his own household. See 1Ti 3:4, 5, where the sameword is applied to both.with diligence—with earnest purpose.he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness—not only without grudging either trouble orpecuniary relief, but feeling it to be "more blessed to give than to receive," and to help than behelped.9. Let love be without dissimulation—"Let your love be unfeigned" (as in 2Co 6:6; 1Pe 2:22;and see 1Jo 3:18).Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good—What a lofty tone of moral principleand feeling is here inculcated! It is not, Abstain from the one, and do the other; nor, Turn awayfrom the one, and draw to the other; but, Abhor the one, and cling, with deepest sympathy, to theother.10. Be, &c.—better, "In brotherly love be affectionate one to another; in [giving, or showing]honor, outdoing each other." The word rendered "prefer" means rather "to go before," "take thelead," that is, "show an example." How opposite is this to the reigning morality of the heathenworld! and though Christianity has so changed the spirit of society, that a certain beautifuldisinterestedness and self-sacrifice shines in the character of not a few who are but partially, if atall under the transforming power of the Gospel, it is only those whom "the love of Christ constrainsto live not unto themselves," who are capable of thoroughly acting in the spirit of this precept.11. not slothful in business—The word rendered "business" means "zeal," "diligence,""purpose"; denoting the energy of action.2425JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonserving the Lord—that is, the Lord Jesus (see Eph 6:5-8). Another reading—"serving thetime," or "the occasion"—which differs in form but very slightly from the received reading, hasbeen adopted by good critics [Luther, Olshausen, Fritzsche, Meyer]. But as manuscript authority isdecidedly against it, so is internal evidence; and comparatively few favor it. Nor is the sense whichit yields a very Christian one.12. Rejoicing, &c.—Here it is more lively to retain the order and the verbs of the original: "Inhope, rejoicing; in tribulation, enduring; in prayer, persevering." Each of these exercises helps theother. If our "hope" of glory is so assured that it is a rejoicing hope, we shall find the spirit of"endurance in tribulation" natural and easy; but since it is "prayer" which strengthens the faith thatbegets hope and lifts it up into an assured and joyful expectancy, and since our patience in tribulationis fed by this, it will be seen that all depends on our "perseverance in prayer."13. given to hospitality—that is, the entertainment of strangers. In times of persecution, andbefore the general institution of houses of entertainment, the importance of this precept would beat once felt. In the East, where such houses are still rare, this duty is regarded as of the most sacredcharacter [Hodge].14. Bless—that is, Call down by prayer a blessing on.them which persecute you, &c.—This is taken from the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:44),which, from the allusions made to it, seems to have been the storehouse of Christian morality amongthe churches.15. Rejoice with them that rejoice; and weep—the "and" should probably be omitted.with them that weep—What a beautiful spirit of sympathy with the joys and sorrows of othersis here inculcated! But it is only one charming phase of the unselfish character which belongs toall living Christianity. What a world will ours be when this shall become its reigning spirit! Of thetwo, however, it is more easy to sympathize with another's sorrows than his joys, because in theone case he needs us; in the other not. But just for this reason the latter is the more disinterested,and so the nobler.16. Be—"Being"of the same mind one toward another—The feeling of the common bond which binds allChristians to each other, whatever diversity of station, cultivation, temperament, or gifts may obtainamong them, is the thing here enjoined. This is next taken up in detail.Mind not—"not minding"high things—that is, Cherish not ambitious or aspiring purposes and desires. As this springsfrom selfish severance of our own interests and objects from those of our brethren, so it is quiteincompatible with the spirit inculcated in the preceding clause.but condescend—"condescending"to men of low estate—or (as some render the words), "inclining unto the things that be lowly."But we prefer the former.Be not wise in your own conceits—This is just the application of the caution againsthigh-mindedness to the estimate we form of our own mental character.17. Recompense—"Recompensing," &c.—(See on Ro 12:14).Provide—"Providing"things honest—"honorable"in the sight of all men—The idea (which is from Pr 3:4) is the care which Christians shouldtake so to demean themselves as to command the respect of all men.2426JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. If it be possible—that is, If others will let you.as much as lieth in you—or, "dependeth on you."live peaceably—or, "be at peace."with all men—The impossibility of this in some cases is hinted at, to keep up the hearts ofthose who, having done their best unsuccessfully to live in peace, might be tempted to think thefailure was necessarily owing to themselves. But how emphatically expressed is the injunction tolet nothing on our part prevent it! Would that Christians were guiltless in this respect!19-21. avenge not, &c.—(See on Ro 12:14).but rather give place unto wrath—This is usually taken to mean, "but give room or space forwrath to spend itself." But as the context shows that the injunction is to leave vengeance to God,"wrath" here seems to mean, not the offense, which we are tempted to avenge, but the avengingwrath of God (see 2Ch 24:18), which we are enjoined to await, or give room for. (So the bestinterpreters).20. if thine enemy hunger, &c.—This is taken from Pr 25:21, 22, which without doubt suppliedthe basis of those lofty precepts on that subject which form the culminating point of the Sermonon the Mount.in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head—As the heaping of "coals of fire" is inthe Old Testament the figurative expression of divine vengeance (Ps 140:10; 11:6, &c.), the truesense of these words seems to be, "That will be the most effectual vengeance—a vengeance underwhich he will be fain to bend" (So Alford, Hodge, &c.). Ro 12:21 confirms this.21. Be not overcome of evil—for then you are the conquered party.but overcome evil with good—and then the victory is yours; you have subdued your enemyin the noblest sense.Note, (1) The redeeming mercy of God in Christ is, in the souls of believers, the living springof all holy obedience (Ro 12:1). (2) As redemption under the Gospel is not by irrational victims,as under the law, but "by the precious blood of Christ" (1Pe 1:18, 19), and, consequently, is notritual but real, so the sacrifices which believers are now called to offer are all "living sacrifices";and these—summed up in self-consecration to the service of God—are "holy and acceptable toGod," making up together "our rational service" (Ro 12:1). (3) In this light, what are we to thinkof the so-called "unbloody sacrifice of the mass, continually offered to God as a propitiation forthe sins both of the living and the dead," which the adherents of Rome's corrupt faith have beentaught for ages to believe is the highest and holiest act of Christian worship—in direct oppositionto the sublimely simple teaching which the Christians of Rome first received (Ro 12:1)—(4)Christians should not feel themselves at liberty to be conformed to the world, if only they avoidwhat is manifestly sinful; but rather, yielding themselves to the transforming power of the truth asit is in Jesus, they should strive to exhibit before the world an entire renovation of heart and life(Ro 12:2). (5) What God would have men to be, in all its beauty and grandeur, is for the first timereally apprehended, when "written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablesof stone, but on the fleshy tables of the heart," 2Co 3:3 (Ro 12:2). (6) Self-sufficiency and lust ofpower are peculiarly unlovely in the vessels of mercy, whose respective graces and gifts are all adivine trust for the benefit of the common body and of mankind at large (Ro 12:3, 4). (7) Asforgetfulness of this has been the source of innumerable and unspeakable evils in the Church ofChrist, so the faithful exercise by every Christian of his own peculiar office and gifts, and the lovingrecognition of those of his brethren, as all of equal importance in their own place, would put a new2427JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonface upon the visible Church, to the vast benefit and comfort of Christians themselves and to theadmiration of the world around them (Ro 12:6-8). (8) What would the world be, if it were filledwith Christians having but one object in life, high above every other—to "serve the Lord"—andthrowing into this service "alacrity" in the discharge of all duties, and abiding "warmth of spirit"(Ro 12:11)! (9) Oh, how far is even the living Church from exhibiting the whole character andspirit, so beautifully portrayed in the latter verses of this chapter (Ro 12:12-21)! What need of afresh baptism of the Spirit in order to this! And how "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terribleas an army with banners," will the Church become, when at length instinct with this Spirit! TheLord hasten it in its time!CHAPTER 13Ro 13:1-14. Same Subject Continued—Political and Social Relations—Motives.1, 2. Let every soul—every man of yoube subject unto the higher powers—or, "submit himself to the authorities that are above him."For there is no power—"no authority"but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God—"have been ordained of God."2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power—"So that he that setteth himself against theauthority."resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselvesdamnation—or, "condemnation," according to the old sense of that word; that is, not from themagistrate, but from God, whose authority in the magistrate's is resisted.3, 4. For rulers are not a terror to good works—"to the good work," as the true readingappears to bebut to the evil.4. he beareth not the sword in vain—that is, the symbol of the magistrate's authority to punish.5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath—for fear of the magistrate'svengeance.but also for conscience' sake—from reverence for God's authority. It is of Magistracy ingeneral, considered as a divine ordinance, that this is spoken: and the statement applies equally toall forms of government, from an unchecked despotism—such as flourished when this was written,under the Emperor Nero—to a pure democracy. The inalienable right of all subjects to endeavorto alter or improve the form of government under which they live is left untouched here. But sinceChristians were constantly charged with turning the world upside down, and since there certainlywere elements enough in Christianity of moral and social revolution to give plausibility to thecharge, and tempt noble spirits, crushed under misgovernment, to take redress into their own hands,it was of special importance that the pacific, submissive, loyal spirit of those Christians who residedat the great seat of political power, should furnish a visible refutation of this charge.6, 7. For, for this cause pay ye—rather, "ye pay"tribute also—that is, "This is the reason why ye pay the contributions requisite for maintainingthe civil government."for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing—"to this verything."2428JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. Render therefore to all their dues—From magistrates the apostle now comes to otherofficials, and from them to men related to us by whatever tie.tribute—land tax.custom—mercantile tax.fear—reverence for superiors.honour—the respect due to persons of distinction.8. Owe no man anything, but to love one another—"Acquit yourselves of all obligationsexcept love, which is a debt that must remain ever due" [Hodge].for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law—for the law itself is but love in manifoldaction, regarded as matter of duty.9. For this, &c.—better thus: "For the [commandments], Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt notcommit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and whatever other commandment[there may be], it is summed up," &c. (The clause, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," is wantingin all the most ancient manuscripts). The apostle refers here only to the second table of the law, aslove to our neighbor is what he is treating of.10. Love worketh no ill to his—or, "one's"neighbour; therefore, &c.—As love, from its very nature, studies and delights to please itsobjects, its very existence is an effectual security against our wilfully injuring him. Next followsome general motives to the faithful discharge of all these duties.11. And that—rather, "And this [do]"knowing the time, that now it is high time—literally, "the hour has already come."to awake out of sleep—of stupid, fatal indifference to eternal things.for now is our salvation—rather, "the salvation," or simply "salvation."nearer than when we—firstbelieved—This is in the line of all our Lord's teaching, which represents the decisive day ofChrist's second appearing as at hand, to keep believers ever in the attitude of wakeful expectancy,but without reference to the chronological nearness or distance of that event.12. The night—of evilis far spent, the day—of consummated triumph over itis at hand: let us therefore cast off—as a dressthe works of darkness—all works holding of the kingdom and period of darkness, with which,as followers of the risen Saviour, our connection has been dissolved.and let us put on the armour of light—described at length in Eph 6:11-18.13. Let us walk honestly—"becomingly," "seemingly"as in the day—"Men choose the night for their revels, but our night is past, for we are all thechildren of the light and of the day (1Th 5:5): let us therefore only do what is fit to be exposed tothe light of such a day."not in rioting and drunkenness—varied forms of intemperance; denoting revels in general,usually ending in intoxication.not in chambering and wantonness—varied forms of impurity; the one pointing to definiteacts, the other more general.not in strife and envying—varied forms of that venomous feeling between man and man whichreverses the law of love.14. But—to sum up all in one word.2429JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonput ye on the Lord Jesus Christ—in such wise that Christ only may be seen in you (see 2Co3:3; Ga 3:27; Eph 4:24).and make no provision—"take no forethought."for the flesh, to fulfil the lust thereof—"Direct none of your attention to the cravings of yourcorrupt nature, how you may provide for their gratification."Note, (1) How gloriously adapted is Christianity for human society in all conditions! As it makeswar directly against no specific forms of government, so it directly recommends none. While itsholy and benign principles secure the ultimate abolition of all iniquitous government, the reverencewhich it teaches for magistracy, under whatever form, as a divine institution, secures the loyaltyand peaceableness of its disciples, amid all the turbulence and distractions of civil society, andmakes it the highest interest of all states to welcome it within their pale, as in this as well as everyother sense—"the salt of the earth, the light of the world" (Ro 13:1-5). (2) Christianity is the grandspecific for the purification and elevation of all the social relations; inspiring a readiness to dischargeall obligations, and most of all, implanting in its disciples that love which secures all men againstinjury from them, inasmuch as it is the fulfilling of the law (Ro 13:6-10). (3) The rapid march ofthe kingdom of God, the advanced stage of it at which we have arrived, and the ever-nearingapproach of the perfect day—nearer to every believer the longer he lives—should quicken all thechildren of light to redeem the time, and, seeing that they look for such things, to be diligent, thatthey may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless (2Pe 3:14). (4) In virtue of "theexpulsive power of a new and more powerful affection," the great secret of persevering holinessin all manner of conversation will be found to be "Christ IN US, the hope of glory" (Col 1:27), andChrist ON US, as the character in which alone we shall be able to shine before men (2Co 3:8) (Ro13:14).CHAPTER 14Ro 14:1-23. Same Subject Continued—Christian Forbearance.The subject here, and on to Ro 15:13, is the consideration due from stronger Christians to theirweaker brethren; which is but the great law of love (treated of in the thirteenth chapter) in oneparticular form.1. Him that is weak in the faith—rather, "in faith"; that is, not "him that is weak in the truthbelieved" [Calvin, Beza, Alford, &c.], but (as most interpreters agree), "him whose faith wants thatfirmness and breadth which would raise him above small scruples." (See on Ro 14:22, 23).receive ye—to cordial Christian fellowship.but not to doubtful disputations—rather, perhaps, "not to the deciding of doubts," or "scruples;"that is, not for the purpose of arguing him out of them: which indeed usually does the reverse;whereas to receive him to full brotherly confidence and cordial interchange of Christian affectionis the most effectual way of drawing them off. Two examples of such scruples are here specified,touching Jewish meats and days. "The strong," it will be observed, are those who knew these to beabolished under the Gospel; "the weak" are those who had scruples on this point.2. one believeth that he may eat all things—See Ac 10:16.another, who is weak, eateth herbs—restricting himself probably to a vegetable diet, for fearof eating what might have been offered to idols, and so would be unclean. (See 1Co 8:1-13).2430JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. Let not him that eateth despise—look down superciliously upon "him that eateth not."and let not him that eateth not judge—sit in judgment censoriously upon "him that eateth."for God hath received him—as one of His dear children, who in this matter acts not fromlaxity, but religious principle.4. Who art thou that judges another man's—rather, "another's"servant?—that is, Christ's, as the whole context shows, especially Ro 14:8, 9.Yea, &c.—"But he shall be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand"; that is, to makegood his standing, not at the day of judgment, of which the apostle treats in Ro 14:10, but in thetrue fellowship of the Church here, in spite of thy censures.5. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day—Thesupplement "alike" should be omitted, as injuring the sense.Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind—be guided in such matters byconscientious conviction.6. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it to the Lord—the Lord Christ, as before.and he … not, to the Lord he doth not—each doing what he believes to be the Lord's will.He that earth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to theLord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks—The one gave thanks to God for the flesh which theother scrupled to use; the other did the same for the herbs to which, for conscience' sake, he restrictedhimself. From this passage about the observance of days, Alford unhappily infers that such languagecould not have been used if the sabbath law had been in force under the Gospel in any form.Certainly it could not, if the sabbath were merely one of the Jewish festival days; but it will not doto take this for granted merely because it was observed under the Mosaic economy. And certainly,if the sabbath was more ancient than Judaism; if, even under Judaism, it was enshrined among theeternal sanctities of the Decalogue, uttered, as no other parts of Judaism were, amidst the terrorsof Sinai; and if the Lawgiver Himself said of it when on earth, "The Son of man is Lord even of thesabbath day" (see Mr 2:28)—it will be hard to show that the apostle must have meant it to be rankedby his readers among those vanished Jewish festival days, which only "weakness" could imagineto be still in force—a weakness which those who had more light ought, out of love, merely to bearwith.7, 8. For none of us—Christiansliveth to himself—(See 2Co 5:14, 15), to dispose of himself or shape his conduct after his ownideas and inclinations.and no man—"and none" of us Christians "dieth to himself."8. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord—the Lord Christ; see Ro 14:9.and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are theLord's—Nothing but the most vivid explanation of these remarkable words could make themendurable to any Christian ear, if Christ were a mere creature. For Christ is here—in the mostemphatic terms, and yet in the most unimpassioned tone—held up as the supreme Object of theChristian's life, and of his death too; and that by the man whose horror of creature worship wassuch, that when the poor Lycaonians would have worshipped him, he rushed forth to arrest thedeed, directing them to "the living God," as the only legitimate Object of worship (Ac 14:15). Nordoes Paul teach this here, but rather appeals to it as a known and recognized fact, of which he hadonly to remind his readers. And since the apostle, when he wrote these words, had never been atRome, he could only know that the Roman Christians would assent to this view of Christ, because2431JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonit was the common teaching of all the accredited preachers of Christianity, and the common faithof all Christians.9. For to this end Christ both, &c.—The true reading here is, To this end Christ died and lived("again").that he might be Lord both of the dead and—"and of the"living—The grand object of His death was to acquire this absolute Lordship over His redeemed,both in their living and in their dying, as His of right.10. But why, &c.—The original is more lively:—"But thou (the weaker believer), why judgestthou thy brother? And thou again (the stronger), why despisest thou thy brother?"for we shall all—the strong and the weak together.stand before the judgment-seat of Christ—All the most ancient and best manuscripts readhere, "the judgment-seat of God." The present reading doubtless crept in from 2Co 5:10, where"the judgment-seat of Christ" occurs. But here "the judgment-seat of God" seems to have beenused, with reference to the quotation and the inference in Ro 14:11, 12.11, 12. For it is written—(Isa 45:23).As I live, saith the Lord—Hebrew, Jehovah.every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God—consequently, shallbow to the award of God upon their character and actions.12. So then—infers the apostle.every one of us shall give account of himself to God—Now, if it be remembered that all thisis adduced quite incidentally, to show that Christ is the absolute Master of all Christians, to rule theirjudgments and feelings towards each other while "living," and to dispose of them "dying," thetestimony which it bears to the absolute Divinity of Christ will appear remarkable. On any otherview, the quotation to show that we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God would be astrange proof that Christians are all amenable to Christ.13. Let us not therefore judge—"assume the office of judge over"one another; but judge this rather, &c.—a beautiful sort of play upon the word "judge,"meaning, "But let this be your judgment, not to put a stumbling-block," &c.14, 15. I know, and am persuaded by—or rather, "in"the Lord Jesus—as "having the mind of Christ" (1Co 2:16).that there is nothing unclean of itself—Hence it is that he calls those "the strong" who believedin the abolition of all ritual distinctions under the Gospel. (See Ac 10:15).but—"save that"to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean—"and therefore, thoughyou can eat of it with out sin, he cannot."15. But if thy brother be grieved—has his weak conscience hurtwith thy meat—rather, "because of meat." The word "meat" is purposely selected as somethingcontemptible in contrast with the tremendous risk run for its sake. Accordingly, in the next clause,that idea is brought out with great strength.Destroy not him with—"by"thy meat for whom Christ died—"The worth of even the poorest and weakest brother cannotbe more emphatically expressed than by the words, 'for whom Christ died'" [Olshausen]. The samesentiment is expressed with equal sharpness in 1Co 8:11. Whatever tends to make anyone violate2432JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhis conscience tends to the destruction of his soul; and he who helps, whether wittingly or no, tobring about the one is guilty of aiding to accomplish the other.16, 17. Let not then your good—that is, this liberty of yours as to Jewish meats and days, wellfounded though it be.be evil spoken of—for the evil it does to others.17. For the kingdom of God—or, as we should say, Religion; that is, the proper business andblessedness for which Christians are formed into a community of renewed men in thorough subjectionto God (compare 1Co 4:20).is not meat and drink—"eating and drinking"but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost—a beautiful and comprehensivedivision of living Christianity. The first—"righteousness"—has respect to God, denoting here"rectitude," in its widest sense (as in Mt 6:33); the second—"peace"—has respect to our neighbors,denoting "concord" among brethren (as is plain from Ro 14:19; compare Eph 4:3; Col 3:14, 15);the third—"joy in the Holy Ghost"—has respect to ourselves. This phrase, "joy in the Holy Ghost,"represents Christians as so thinking and feeling under the workings of the Holy Ghost, that theirjoy may be viewed rather as that of the blessed Agent who inspires it than their own (compare 1Th1:6).18. For he that in these things—"in this," meaning this threefold life.serveth Christ—Here again observe how, though we do these three things as a "kingdom ofGod," yet it is "Christ" that we serve in so doing; the apostle passing here from God to Christ asnaturally as before from Christ to God—in a way to us inconceivable, if Christ had been viewedas a mere creature (compare 2Co 8:21).is acceptable to God, and approved of men—these being the things which God delights in,and men are constrained to approve. (Compare Pr 3:4; Lu 2:52; Ac 2:47; 19:20).19. the things, &c.—more simply, "the things of peace, and the things of mutual edification."20. For—"For the sake of"meat destroy not the work of God—(See on Ro 14:15). The apostle sees in whatever tendsto violate a brother's conscience the incipient destruction of God's work (for every converted manis such)—on the same principle as "he that hateth his brother is a murderer" (1Jo 3:15).All things indeed are pure—"clean"; the ritual distinctions being at an end.but it is evil to that man—there is criminality in the manwho eateth with offence—that is, so as to stumble a weak brother.21. It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing—"nor to do any thing"whereby—"wherein"thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak—rather, "is weak." These threewords, it has been remarked, are each intentionally weaker than the other:—"Which may cause abrother to stumble, or even be obstructed in his Christian course, nay—though neither of these mayfollow—wherein he continues weak; unable wholly to disregard the example, and yet unpreparedto follow it." But this injunction to abstain from flesh, from wine, and from whatsoever may hurtthe conscience of a brother, must be properly understood. Manifestly, the apostle is treating of theregulation of the Christian's conduct with reference simply to the prejudices of the weak in faith;and his directions are to be considered not as prescriptions for one's entire lifetime, even to promotethe good of men on a large scale, but simply as cautions against the too free use of Christian libertyin matters where other Christians, through weakness, are not persuaded that such liberty is divinely2433JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonallowed. How far the principle involved in this may be legitimately extended, we do not inquirehere; but ere we consider that question, it is of great importance to fix how far it is here actuallyexpressed, and what is the precise nature of the illustrations given of it.22. Hast thou faith—on such matters?have it to thyself—within thine own breastbefore God—a most important clause. It is not mere sincerity, or a private opinion, of whichthe apostle speaks; it is conviction as to what is the truth and will of God. If thou hast formed thisconviction in the sight of God, keep thyself in this frame before Him. Of course, this is not to beover-pressed, as if it were wrong to discuss such points at all with our weaker brethren. All that ishere condemned is such a zeal for small points as endangers Christian love.Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that which he alloweth—allows himself to donothing, about the lawfulness of which he has scruples; does only what he neither knows nor fearsto be sinful.23. And—rather, "But"he that doubteth is damned—On the word "damnation," see on Ro 13:2.if he eat, because he eateth not of faith—On the meaning of "faith" here, see on Ro 14:22.for whatsoever is not of faith is sin—a maxim of unspeakable importance in the Christianlife.Note, (1) Some points in Christianity are unessential to Christian fellowship; so that thoughone may be in error upon them, he is not on that account to be excluded either from the communionof the Church or from the full confidence of those who have more light. This distinction betweenessential and non-essential truths is denied by some who affect more than ordinary zeal for thehonor and truth of God. But they must settle the question with our apostle. (2) Acceptance withGod is the only proper criterion of right to Christian fellowship. Whom God receives, men cannotlawfully reject (Ro 14:3, 4). (3) As there is much self-pleasing in setting up narrow standards ofChristian fellowship, so one of the best preservatives against the temptation to do this will be foundin the continual remembrance that Christ is the one Object for whom all Christians live, and to whomall Christians die; this will be such a living and exalted bond of union between the strong and theweak as will overshadow all their lesser differences and gradually absorb them (Ro 14:7-9). (4)The consideration of the common judgment-seat at which the strong and the weak shall standtogether will be found another preservative against the unlovely disposition to sit in judgment oneon another (Ro 14:10-12). (5) How brightly does the supreme Divinity of Christ shine out in thischapter! The exposition itself supersedes further illustration here. (6) Though forbearance be a greatChristian duty, indifference to the distinction between truth and error is not thereby encouraged.The former is, by the tax, made an excuse for the latter. But our apostle, while teaching "the strong"to bear with "the weak," repeatedly intimates in this chapter where the truth really lay on the pointsin question, and takes care to call those who took the wrong side "the weak" (Ro 14:1, 2, 14). (7)With what holy jealousy ought the purity of the conscience to be guarded, since every deliberateviolation of it is incipient perdition (Ro 14:15, 20)! Some, who seem to be more jealous for thehonor of certain doctrines than for the souls of men, enervate this terrific truth by asking how itbears upon the "perseverance of the saints"; the advocates of that doctrine thinking it necessary toexplain away what is meant by "destroying the work of God" (Ro 14:20), and "destroying him forwhom Christ died" (Ro 14:15), for fear of the doctrinal consequences of taking it nakedly; whilethe opponents of that doctrine are ready to ask, How could the apostle have used such language if2434JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhe had believed that such a catastrophe was impossible? The true answer to both lies in dismissingthe question as impertinent. The apostle is enunciating a great and eternal principle in ChristianEthics—that the wilful violation of conscience contains within itself a seed of destruction; or, toexpress it otherwise, that the total destruction of the work of God in the renewed soul, and,consequently, the loss of that soul for eternity, needs only the carrying out to its full effect of suchviolation of the conscience. Whether such effects do take place, in point of fact, the apostle givesnot the most distant hint here; and therefore that point must be settled elsewhere. But, beyond alldoubt, as the position we have laid down is emphatically expressed by the apostle, so the interestsof all who call themselves Christians require to be proclaimed and pressed on every suitable occasion.(8) Zeal for comparatively small points of truth is a poor substitute for the substantial and catholicand abiding realities of the Christian life (Ro 14:17, 18). (9) "Peace" among the followers of Christis a blessing too precious to themselves, and, as a testimony to them that are without, too important,to be ruptured for trifles, even though some lesser truths be involved in these (Ro 14:19, 20). Norare those truths themselves disparaged or endangered thereby, but the reverse. (10) Many thingswhich are lawful are not expedient. In the use of any liberty, therefore, our question should be, notsimply, Is this lawful? but even if so, Can it be used with safety to a brother's conscience?—Howwill it affect my brother's soul (Ro 14:21)? It is permitted to no Christian to say with Cain, "Am Imy brother's keeper?" (Ge 4:9). (11) Whenever we are in doubt as to a point of duty—whereabstinence is manifestly sinless, but compliance not clearly lawful—the safe course is ever to bepreferred, for to do otherwise is itself sinful. (12) How exalted and beautiful is the Ethics ofChristianity—by a few great principles teaching us how to steer our course amidst practicaldifficulties, with equal regard to Christian liberty, love, and confidence!CHAPTER 15Ro 15:1-13. Same Subject Continued and Concluded.1. We then that are strong—on such points as have been discussed, the abolition of the Jewishdistinction of meats and days under the Gospel. See on Ro 14:14; Ro 14:20.ought … not to please ourselves—ought to think less of what we may lawfully do than of howour conduct will affect others.2, 3. Let every one of us—lay himself out toplease his neighbour—not indeed for his mere gratification, butfor his good—with a viewto his edification.3. For even Christ pleased not—lived not to pleasehimself; but, as it is written—(Ps 69:9).The reproaches, &c.—see Mr 10:42-45.4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning—"instruction"through, &c.—"through the comfort and the patience of the Scriptures"might have hope—that is, "Think not that because such portions of Scripture relate immediatelyto Christ, they are inapplicable to you; for though Christ's sufferings, as a Saviour, were exclusivelyHis own, the motives that prompted them, the spirit in which they were endured, and the generalprinciple involved in His whole work—self-sacrifice for the good of others—furnish our most2435JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonperfect and beautiful model; and so all Scripture relating to these is for our instruction; and sincethe duty of forbearance, the strong with the weak, requires 'patience,' and this again needs 'comfort,'all those Scriptures which tell of patience and consolation, particularly of the patience of Christ,and of the consolation which sustained Him under it, are our appointed and appropriate nutriment,ministering to us 'hope' of that blessed day when these shall no more be needed." See on Ro 4:7,Note 7. (For the same connection between "patience and hope" see on Ro 12:12, and 1Th 1:3).5, 6. Now the God of patience and consolation—Such beautiful names of God are taken fromthe graces which He inspires: as "the God of hope" (Ro 15:13), "the God of peace" (Ro 15:33).grant you to be likeminded—"of the same mind"according to Christ Jesus—It is not mere unanimity which the apostle seeks for them; forunanimity in evil is to be deprecated. But it is "according to Christ Jesus"—after the sublimestmodel of Him whose all-absorbing desire was to do, "not His own will, but the will of Him thatsent Him" (Joh 6:38).6. That, &c.—rather, "that with one accord ye may with one mouth glorify the God and Fatherof our Lord Jesus Christ"; the mind and the mouth of all giving harmonious glory to His name.What a prayer! And shall this never be realized on earth?7. Wherefore—returning to the pointreceive ye one another … to the glory of God—If Christ received us, and bears with all ourweaknesses, well may we receive and compassionate one with another, and by so doing God willbe glorified.8-12. Now—"For" is the true reading: the apostle is merely assigning an additional motive toChristian forbearance.I say that Jesus Christ was—"hath become"a minister of the circumcision—a remarkable expression, meaning "the Father's Servant forthe salvation of the circumcision (or, of Israel)."for the truth of God—to make good the veracity of God towards His ancient people.to confirm the—Messianicpromises made unto the fathers—To cheer the Jewish believers, whom he might seem tohave been disparaging, and to keep down Gentile pride, the apostle holds up Israel's salvation asthe primary end of Christ's mission. But next after this, Christ was sent.9. that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy—A number of quotations from the OldTestament here follow, to show that God's plan of mercy embraced, from the first, the Gentilesalong with the Jews.as it is written—(Ps 18:49).I will confess to—that is, glorifythee among the Gentiles.10. And again—(De 32:43, though there is some difficulty in the Hebrew).Rejoice, ye Gentiles—alongwith his people—Israel.11. And again—(Ps 117:1).Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people—"peoples"—the various nationsoutside the pale of Judaism.12. And again, Esaias saith—(Isa 11:10).There shall be a—"the"2436JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonroot of Jesse—meaning, not "He from whom Jesse sprang," but "He that is sprung from Jesse"(that is, Jesse's son David)—see Re 22:16.and he that shall rise, &c.—So the Septuagint in substantial, though not verbal, agreementwith the original.13. Now, &c.—This seems a concluding prayer, suggested by the whole preceding subjectmatter of the epistle.the God of hope—(See on Ro 15:5).fill you with all joy and peace in believing—the native truth of that faith which is the greattheme of this epistle (compare Ga 5:22).that ye may abound in hope—"of the glory of God." (See on Ro 5:1).through the power of the Holy Ghost—to whom, in the economy of redemption, it belongsto inspire believers with all gracious affections.On the foregoing portion, Note, (1) No Christian is at liberty to regard himself as an isolateddisciple of the Lord Jesus, having to decide questions of duty and liberty solely with reference tohimself. As Christians are one body in Christ, so the great law of love binds them to act in all thingswith tenderness and consideration for their brethren in "the common salvation" (Ro 15:1, 2). (2)Of this unselfishness Christ is the perfect model of all Christians (Ro 15:3). (3) Holy Scripture isthe divine storehouse of all furniture for the Christian life, even in its most trying and delicatefeatures (Ro 15:4). (4) The harmonious glorification of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christby the whole body of the redeemed, as it is the most exalted fruit of the scheme of redemption, soit is the last end of God in it (Ro 15:5-7).Ro 15:14-33. Conclusion: In Which the Apostle Apologizes for Thus Writing to the Roman Christians, ExplainsWhy He Had Not Yet Visited Them, Announces His Future Plans, and Asks Their Prayers for the Completion of Them.14, 15. And, &c.—rather, "Now I am persuaded, my brethren, even I myself, concerning you"that ye also yourselves are full of goodness—of inclination to all I have been enjoining onyoufilled with all knowledge—of the truth expoundedand able—without my intervention.to admonish one another.15. Nevertheless, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort—"measure"as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God—as an apostle ofJesus Christ.16. that I should be the—rather, "a"minister—The word here used is commonly employed to express the office of the priesthood,from which accordingly the figurative language of the rest of the verse is taken.of Jesus Christ—"Christ Jesus," according to the true reading.to the Gentiles—a further proof that the Epistle was addressed to a Gentile church. (See on Ro1:13).ministering the gospel of God—As the word here is a still more priestly one, it should berendered, "ministering as a priest in the Gospel of God."that the offering up of the Gentiles—as an oblation to God, in their converted character.might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost—the end to which the ancientofferings typically looked.2437JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. I have therefore whereof I may glory—or (adding the article, as the reading seems to be),"I have my glorying."through—"in"Christ Jesus in those things which pertain to God—the things of the ministry committed tome of God.18-22. For I will not dare to speak of any—"to speak aught"of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me—a modest, though somewhat obscureform of expression, meaning, "I will not dare to go beyond what Christ hath wrought by me"—inwhich form accordingly the rest of the passage is expressed. Observe here how Paul ascribes allthe success of his labors to the activity of the living Redeemer, working in and by him.by word and deed—by preaching and working; which latter he explains in the next clause.19. Through mighty—literally, "in the power of"signs and wonders—that is, glorious miracles.by the power of the Spirit of God—"the Holy Ghost," as the true reading seems to be. Thisseems intended to explain the efficacy of the word preached, as well as the working of the miracleswhich attested it.so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto—"as far as"Illyricum—to the extreme northwestern boundary of Greece. It corresponds to the modernCroatia and Dalmatia (2Ti 4:10). See Ac 20:1, 2.I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.20, 21. Yea, &c.—rather, "Yet making it my study (compare 2Co 5:9; 1Th 4:11, Greek) so topreach the Gospel, not where Christ was [already] named, that I might not build upon another man'sfoundation: but (might act) as it is written, To whom no tidings of Him came, they shall see," &c.22. For which cause—"Being so long occupied with this missionary work, I have been much(or, 'for the most part') hindered," &c. (See on Ro 1:9-11.)23, 24. But now having no more place—"no longer having place"—that is, unbroken ground,where Christ has not been preached.and having a great desire—"a longing"these many years to come unto you—(as before, see on Ro 1:9-11).24. whensoever I take my journey into Spain—Whether this purpose was ever accomplishedhas been much disputed, as no record of it nor allusion to it anywhere occurs. Those who think ourapostle was never at large after his first imprisonment at Rome will of course hold that it neverwas; while those who are persuaded, as we are, that he underwent a second imprisonment, prior towhich he was at large for a considerable time after his first, incline naturally to the other opinion.I will come to you—If these words were not originally in the text, and there is weighty evidenceagainst them, they must at least be inserted as a necessary supplement.in my journey, &c.—"as I pass through by you, to be set forward on my journey thither, if firstI be somewhat filled with your company": that is, "I should indeed like to stay longer with you thanI can hope to do, but I must, to some extent at least, have my fill of your company."25-27. But now I go to Jerusalem to minister—"ministering"to the saints—in the sense immediately to be explained.26. For, &c.—better, "For Macedonia and Achaia have thought good to make a certaincontribution for the poor of the saints which are at Jerusalem." (See Ac 24:17). "They have thought2438JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonit good; and their debtors verily they are"; that is, "And well they may, considering what the Gentilebelievers owe to their Jewish brethren."27. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty isalso—"they owe it also"to minister unto them in carnal things—(Compare 1Co 9:11; Ga 6:6; and see Lu 7:4; Ac10:2).28, 29. When therefore I have … sealed—that is, delivered over safelyto them this fruit—of the faith and love of the Gentile convertsI will come—"come back," or "return"by you into Spain—(See on Ro 15:24).29. And I am sure—"I know"that … I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of Christ—Such, beyond all doubts, is thetrue reading, the words "of the gospel" being in hardly any manuscripts of antiquity and authority.Nor was the apostle mistaken in this confidence, though his visit to Rome was in very differentcircumstances from what he expected. See Ac 28:16-31.30. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of theSpirit—or, "by the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit"—not the love which the Spiritbears to us, but that love which He kindles in the hearts of believers towards each other; that is "Bythat Saviour whose name is alike dear to all of us and whose unsearchable riches I live only toproclaim, and by that love one to another which the blessed Spirit diffuses through all thebrotherhood, making the labors of Christ's servants a matter of common interest to all—I beseechyou."that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me—implying that he had hisgrounds for anxious fear in this matter.31. That I may be delivered from them that do not believe—"that do not obey," that is, thetruth, by believing it; as in Ro 2:8.in Judea—He saw the storm that was gathering over him in Judea, which, if at all, wouldcertainly burst upon his head when he reached the capital; and the event too clearly showed thecorrectness of these apprehensions.and that my service which I have for Jerusalem—(See on Ro 15:25-28).may be accepted of—"prove acceptable to"the saints—Nor was he without apprehension lest the opposition he had made to the narrowjealousy of the Jewish converts against the free reception of their Gentile brethren, should makethis gift of theirs to the poor saints at Jerusalem less welcome than it ought to be. He would havethe Romans therefore to join him in wrestling with God that this gift might be gratefully received,and prove a cement between the two parties. But further.32. That I may come unto you with—"in"joy by the will of God—(Ac 18:21; 1Co 4:19; 16:7; Heb 6:3; Jas 4:15)and may with you be refreshed—rather, "with you refresh myself," after all his labors andanxieties, and so be refitted for future service.33. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen—The peace here sought is to be taken inits widest sense: the peace of reconciliation to God, first, "through the blood of the everlastingcovenant" (Heb 13:20; 1Th 5:23; 2Th 3:16; Php 4:9); then the peace which that reconciliationdiffuses among all the partakers of it (1Co 14:33; 2Co 13:11; and see on Ro 16:20); more widely2439JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonstill, that peace which the children of God, in beautiful imitation of their Father in Heaven, arecalled and privileged to diffuse far and wide through this sin-distracted and divided world (Ro12:18; Mt 5:9; Heb 12:14; Jas 3:18).Note, (1) Did "the chiefest of the apostles" apologize for writing to a Christian church whichhe had never seen, and a church that he was persuaded was above the need of it, save to "stir uptheir pure minds by way of remembrance" (2Pe 1:13; 3:1); and did he put even this upon the soleplea of apostolic responsibility (Ro 15:14-16)? What a contrast is thus presented to hierarchicalpride, and in particular to the affected humility of the bishop of this very Rome! How close thebond which the one spirit draws between ministers and people—how wide the separation producedby the other! (2) There is in the Christian Church no real priesthood, and none but figurativesacrifices. Had it been otherwise, it is inconceivable that Ro 15:16 should have been expressed asit is. Paul's only priesthood and sacrificial offerings lay, first, in ministering to them as "the apostleof the Gentiles," not the sacrament with the "real presence" of Christ in it, or the sacrifice of themass, but "the Gospel of God," and then, when gathered under the wing of Christ, presenting themto God as a grateful offering, "being sanctified [not by sacrificial gifts, but] by the Holy Ghost."(See Heb 13:9-16). (3) Though the debt we owe to those by whom we have been brought to Christcan never be discharged, we should feel it a privilege when we render them any lower benefit inreturn (Ro 15:26, 27). (4) Formidable designs against the truth and the servants of Christ should,above all other ways of counteracting them, be met by combined prayer to Him who rules all heartsand controls all events; and the darker the cloud, the more resolutely should all to whom Christ'scause is dear "strive together in their prayers to God" for the removal of it (Ro 15:30, 31). (5)Christian fellowship is so precious that the most eminent servants of Christ, amid the toils and trialsof their work, find it refreshing and invigorating; and it is no good sign of any ecclesiastic, that hedeems it beneath him to seek and enjoy it even amongst the humblest saints in the Church of Christ(Ro 15:24, 32).CHAPTER 16Ro 16:1-27. Conclusion, Embracing Sundry Salutations and Directions, and a Closing Prayer.1. I commend unto you Phoebebe our sister, which is a servant—or "deaconess"of the church which is at Cenchrea—The word is "Cenchreæ," the eastern part of Corinth(Ac 18:18). That in the earliest churches there were deaconesses, to attend to the wants of the femalemembers, there is no good reason to doubt. So early at least as the reign of Trajan, we learn fromPliny's celebrated letter to that emperor—A.D. 110, or 111—that they existed in the Eastern churches.Indeed, from the relation in which the sexes then stood to each other, something of this sort wouldseem to have been a necessity. Modern attempts, however, to revive this office have seldom foundfavor; either from the altered state of society, or the abuse of the office, or both.2. Receive her in the Lord—that is, as a genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus.as—"so as"becometh saints—so as saints should receive saints.assist her in whatsoever business she hath—"may have"need of you—some private business of her own.for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also—(See Ps 41:1-3; 2Ti 1:16-18).2440JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3-5. Salute Priscilla—The true reading here is "Prisca" (as in 2Ti 4:19), a contracted form ofPriscilla, as "Silas" of "Silvanus."and Aquila my helpers—The wife is here named before the husband (as in Ac 18:18, and Ro16:26, according to the true reading; also in 2Ti 4:19), probably as being the more prominent andhelpful to the Church.4. who have for my life laid down—"who did for my life lay down"their own necks—that is, risked their lives; either at Corinth (Ac 18:6, 9, 10), or more probablyat Ephesus (Ac 19:30, 31; and compare 1Co 15:32). They must have returned from Ephesus (wherewe last find them in the history of the Acts) to Rome, whence the edict of Claudius had banishedthem (Ac 18:2); and doubtless, if not the principal members of that Christian community, they wereat least the most endeared to our apostle.unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles—whose specialapostle this dear couple had rescued from imminent danger.5. Likewise the church that is in their house—The Christian assembly that statedly met therefor worship. "From his occupation as tent-maker, he had probably better accommodations for themeetings of the church than most other Christians" [Hodge]. Probably this devoted couple had writtento the apostle such an account of the stated meetings at their house, as made him feel at home withthem, and include them in this salutation, which doubtless would be read at their meetings withpeculiar interest.Salute my well beloved Epænetus, who is the first-fruits—that is, the first convertof Achaia unto Christ—The true reading here, as appears by the manuscripts, is, "the first-fruitsof Asia unto Christ"—that is, Proconsular Asia (see Ac 16:6). In 1Co 16:15 it is said that "thehousehold of Stephanas was the first-fruit of Achaia"; and though if Epænetus was one of thatfamily, the two statements might be reconciled according to the received text, there is no need toresort to this supposition, as that text is in this instance without authority. Epænetus, as the firstbeliever in that region called Proconsular Asia, was dear to the apostle. (See Ho 9:10; Mic 7:1).None of the names mentioned from Ro 16:5-15 are otherwise known. One wonders at the numberof them, considering that the writer had never been at Rome. But as Rome was then the center ofthe civilized world, to and from which journeys were continually taken to the remotest parts, thereis no great difficulty in supposing that so active a travelling missionary as Paul would, in courseof time, make the acquaintance of a considerable number of the Christians then residing at Rome.6. Greet—or "salute"Mary, who bestowed much labour on us—labor, no doubt, of a womanly kind.7. Andronicus and Junia—or, as it might be, "Junias," a contracted form of "Junianus"; inthis case, it is a man's name. But if, as is more probable, the word be, as in our version, "Junia,"the person meant was no doubt either the wife or the sister of Andronicus.my kinsmen—or, "relatives."and my fellow prisoners—on what occasion, it is impossible to say, as the apostle elsewheretells us that he was "in prisons more frequent" (2Co 11:23).which are of note among the apostles—Those who think the word "apostle" is used in a laxsense, in the Acts and Epistles, take this to mean "noted apostles" [Chrysostom, Luther, Calvin, Bengel,Olshausen, Tholuck, Alford, Jowett]; others, who are not clear that the word "apostle" is applied to anywithout the circle of the Twelve, save where the connection or some qualifying words show thatthe literal meaning of "one sent" is the thing intended, understand by the expression used here,2441JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"persons esteemed by the apostles" [Beza, Grotius, De Wette, Meyer, Fritzsche, Stuart, Philippi, Hodge]. Andof course, if "Junia" is to be taken for a woman, this latter must be the meaning.who also were in Christ before me—The apostle writes as if he envied them this priority inthe faith. And, indeed, if to be "in Christ" be the most enviable human condition, the earlier thedate of this blessed translation, the greater the grace of it. This latter statement about Andronicusand Junia seems to throw some light on the preceding one. Very possibly they may have beenamong the first-fruits of Peter's labors, gained to Christ either on the day of Pentecost or on someof the succeeding days. In that case they may have attracted the special esteem of those apostleswho for some time resided chiefly at Jerusalem and its neighborhood; and our apostle, though hecame late in contact with the other apostles, if he was aware of this fact, would have pleasure inalluding to it.8. Amplias—a contracted form of "Ampliatus."my beloved in the Lord—an expression of dear Christian affection.9, 10. Urbane—rather, "Urbanus." It is a man's name.our helper—"fellow labourer"in Christ.10. Salute Apelles approved—"the approved"in Christ—or, as we should say, "that tried Christian"; a noble commendation.Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household—It would seem, from what is said ofNarcissus in Ro 16:11, that this Aristobulus himself had not been a Christian; but that the Christiansof his household simply were meant; very possibly some of his slaves.11. Salute Herodion, my kinsman—(See on Ro 16:7).Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord—which impliesthat others in his house, including probably himself, were not Christians.12. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord—two active women.Salute the beloved Persis—another woman.which laboured much in the Lord—referring probably, not to official services, such as wouldfall to the deaconesses, but to such higher Christian labors—yet within the sphere competent towoman—as Priscilla bestowed on Apollos and others (Ac 18:18).13. Salute Rufus, chosen—"the chosen"in the Lord—meaning, not "who is one of the elect," as every believer is, but "the choice" or"precious one" in the Lord. (See 1Pe 2:4; 2Jo 13). We read in Mr 15:21 that Simon of Cyrene, whowas compelled to bear our Lord's cross, was "the father of Alexander and Rufus." From this wenaturally conclude that when Mark wrote his Gospel, Alexander and Rufus must have been wellknown as Christians among those by whom he expected his Gospel to be first read; and, in alllikelihood, this was that very "Rufus"; in which case our interest is deepened by what immediatelyfollows about his mother.and—salute.his mother and mine—The apostle calls her "his own mother," not so much as our Lord callsevery elderly woman believer His mother (Mt 12:49, 50), but in grateful acknowledgment of hermotherly attentions to himself, bestowed no doubt for his Master's sake, and the love she bore tohis honored servants. To us it seems altogether likely that the conversion of Simon the Cyreniandated from that memorable day when "passing [casually] by, as he came from the country" (Mr15:21), "they compelled him to bear the" Saviour's cross. Sweet compulsion, if what he thus beheld2442JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonissued in his voluntarily taking up his own cross! Through him it is natural to suppose that his wifewould be brought in, and that this believing couple, now "heirs together of the grace of life" (1Pe3:7), as they told their two sons, Alexander and Rufus, what honor had unwittingly been put upontheir father at that hour of deepest and dearest moment to all Christians, might be blessed to theinbringing of both of them to Christ. In this case, supposing the elder of the two to have departedto be with Christ ere this letter was written, or to have been residing in some other place, and Rufusleft alone with his mother, how instructive and beautiful is the testimony here borne to her!14, 15. Salute Asyncritus, &c.—These have been thought to be the names of ten less notableChristians than those already named. But this will hardly be supposed if it be observed that theyare divided into two pairs of five each, and that after the first of these pairs it is added, "and thebrethren which are with them," while after the second pair we have the words, "and all the saintswhich are with them." This perhaps hardly means that each of the five in both pairs had "a churchat his house," else probably this would have been more expressly said. But at least it would seemto indicate that they were each a center of some few Christians who met at his house—it may befor further instruction, for prayer, for missionary purposes, or for some other Christian objects.These little peeps into the rudimental forms which Christian fellowship first took in the great cities,though too indistinct for more than conjecture, are singularly interesting. Our apostle would seemto have been kept minutely informed as to the state of the church at Rome, both as to its membershipand its varied activities, probably by Priscilla and Aquila.16. Salute one another with an holy kiss—So 1Co 16:20; 1Th 5:26; 1Pe 5:14. The customprevailed among the Jews, and doubtless came from the East, where it still obtains. Its adoptioninto the Christian churches, as the symbol of a higher fellowship than it had ever expressed before,was probably as immediate as it was natural. In this case the apostle's desire seems to be that onreceipt of his epistle, with its salutations, they should in this manner expressly testify their Christianaffection. It afterwards came to have a fixed place in the church service, immediately after thecelebration of the Supper, and continued long in use. In such matters, however, the state of societyand the peculiarities of different places require to be studied.The churches of Christ salute you—The true reading is, "All the churches"; the word "all"gradually falling out, as seeming probably to express more than the apostle would venture to affirm.But no more seems meant than to assure the Romans in what affectionate esteem they were heldby the churches generally; all that knew he was writing to Rome having expressly asked their ownsalutations to be sent to them. (See Ro 16:19).17. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contraryto the doctrine which ye have learned—"which ye learned."and avoid them—The fomentors of "divisions" here referred to are probably those who wereunfriendly to the truths taught in this epistle, while those who caused "offenses" were probablythose referred to in Ro 14:15 as haughtily disregarding the prejudices of the weak. The directionas to both is, first, to "mark" such, lest the evil should be done ere it was fully discovered; and next,to "avoid" them (compare 2Th 3:6, 14), so as neither to bear any responsibility for their procedure,nor seem to give them the least countenance.18. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ—"our Lord Christ" appears tobe the true reading.but their own belly—not in the grosset sense, but as "living for low ends of their own" (comparePhp 3:19).2443JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand by good words and fair speeches deceive the simple—the unwary, the unsuspecting.(See Pr 14:15).19. For your obedience—that is, tractablenessis come abroad unto all. I am glad therefore on your behalf—"I rejoice therefore over you,"seems the true reading.but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple—"harmless," as in Mt10:16, from which the warning is taken.concerning—"unto"evil—"Your reputation among the churches for subjection to the teaching ye have received isto me sufficient ground of confidence in you; but ye need the serpent's wisdom to discriminatebetween transparent truth and plausible error, with that guileless simplicity which instinctivelycleaves to the one and rejects the other."20. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly—The apostle encouragesthe Romans to persevere in resisting the wiles of the devil with the assurance that, as good soldiersof Jesus Christ, they are "shortly" to receive their discharge, and have the satisfaction of "puttingtheir feet upon the neck" of that formidable enemy—symbol familiar, probably, in all languagesto express not only the completeness of the defeat, but the abject humiliation of the conquered foe.(See Jos 10:24; 2Sa 22:41; Eze 21:29; Ps 91:13). Though the apostle here styles Him who is thusto bruise Satan, the God of peace," with special reference to the "divisions" (Ro 16:17) by whichthe church at Rome was in danger of being disturbed, this sublime appellation of God has here awider sense, pointing to the whole "purpose for which the Son of God was manifested, to destroythe works of the devil" (1Jo 3:8); and indeed this assurance is but a reproduction of the first greatpromise, that the Seed of the woman should bruise the Serpent's head (Ge 3:15).The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen—The "Amen" here has no manuscriptauthority. What comes after this, where one would have expected the epistle to close, has its parallelin Php 4:20, &c., and being in fact common in epistolary writings, is simply a mark of genuineness.21. Timotheus, my work-fellow—"my fellow labourer"; see Ac 16:1-5. The apostle mentionshim here rather than in the opening address to this church, as he had not been at Rome [Bengel].and Lucius—not Luke, for the fuller form of "Lucas" is not "Lucius" but "Lucanus." The personmeant seems to be "Lucius of Cyrene," who was among the "prophets and teachers" at Antiochwith our apostle, before he was summoned into the missionary field (Ac 13:1).and Jason—See Ac 17:5. He had probably accompanied or followed the apostle fromThessalonica to Corinth.Sosipater—See Ac 20:4.22. I, Tertius, who wrote this—"the"epistle—as the apostle's amanuensis, or penman.salute you in the Lord—So usually did the apostle dictate his epistles, that he calls the attentionof the Galatians to the fact that to them he wrote with his own hand (Ga 6:11). But this Tertiuswould have the Romans to know that, far from being a mere scribe, his heart went out to them inChristian affection; and the apostle, by giving his salutation a place here, would show what sort ofassistants he employed.23. Gaius mine host, and—the host2444JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonof the whole church—(See Ac 20:4). It would appear that he was one of only two personswhom Paul baptized with his own hand (compare 3Jo 1). His Christian hospitality appears to havebeen something uncommon.Erastus the chamberlain—"treasurer."of the city—doubtless of Corinth. (See Ac 19:22; 2Ti 4:20).and Quartus a brother—rather, "the" or "our brother"; as Sosthenes and Timothy are called(1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1, Greek). Nothing more is known of this Quartus.24. The grace, &c.—a repetition of the benediction precisely as in Ro 16:20, save that it is hereinvoked on them "all."25. Now to him that is of power—more simply, as in Jude 24, "to Him that is able."to stablish—confirm, or upholdyou, according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ—that is, in conformity withthe truths of that Gospel which I preach, and not I only, but all to whom has been committed "thepreaching of Jesus Christ."according to the revelation of the mystery—(See on Ro 11:25).which was kept secret since the world began—literally, "which hath been kept in silenceduring eternal ages."26. But is now made manifest—The reference here is to that peculiar feature of the Gospeleconomy which Paul himself was specially employed to carry into practical effect and to unfoldby his teaching—the introduction of the Gentile believers to an equality with their Jewish brethren,and the new, and, to the Jews, quite unexpected form which this gave to the whole Kingdom ofGod (compare Eph 3:1-10, &c.). This the apostle calls here a mystery hitherto undisclosed, in whatsense Ro 16:27 will show, but now fully unfolded; and his prayer for the Roman Christians, in theform of a doxology to Him who was able to do what he asked, is that they might be established inthe truth of the Gospel, not only in its essential character, but specially in that feature of it whichgave themselves, as Gentile believers, their whole standing among the people of God.and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlastingGod, made known to all nations for—in order tothe obedience of faith—Lest they should think, from what he had just said, that God hadbrought in upon his people so vast a change on their condition without giving them any previousnotice, the apostle here adds that, on the contrary, "the Scriptures of the prophets" contain all thathe and other preachers of the Gospel had to declare on these topics, and indeed that the same"everlasting God," who "from eternal ages" had kept these things hid, had given "commandment"that they should now, according to the tenor of those prophetic Scriptures, be imparted to everynation for their believing acceptance.27. To God, &c.—"To the only wise God through Jesus Christ, be"—literally, "to whom be";that is, "to Him, I say, be the glory for ever. Amen." At its outset, this is an ascription of glory tothe power that could do all this; at its close it ascribes glory to the wisdom that planned and thatpresides over the gathering of a redeemed people out of all nations. The apostle adds his devout"Amen," which the reader—if he has followed him with the astonishment and delight of him whopens these words—will fervently echo.On this concluding section of the Epistle, Note, (1) In the minute and delicate manifestationsof Christian feeling, and lively interest in the smallest movements of Christian life, love, and zeal,which are here exemplified, combined with the grasp of thought and elevation of soul which this2445JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhole Epistle displays, as indeed all the writings of our apostle, we have the secret of much of thatgrandeur of character which has made the name of Paul stand on an elevation of its own in theestimation of enlightened Christendom in every age, and of that influence which under God, beyondall the other apostles, he has already exercised, and is yet destined to exert, over the religiousthinking and feeling of men. Nor can any approach him in these peculiarities without exercisingcorresponding influence on all with whom they come in contact (Ro 16:1-16). (2) "The wisdom ofthe serpent and the harmlessness of the dove"—in enjoining which our apostle here only echoesthe teaching of his Lord (Mt 10:16)—is a combination of properties the rarity of which amongChristians is only equalled by its vast importance. In every age of the Church there have been realChristians whose excessive study of the serpent's wisdom has so sadly trenched upon their guilelesssimplicity, as at times to excite the distressing apprehension that they were no better than wolvesin sheep's clothing. Nor is it to be denied, on the other hand, that, either from inaptitude orindisposition to judge with manly discrimination of character and of measures, many eminentlysimple, spiritual, devoted Christians, have throughout life exercised little or no influence on anysection of society around them. Let the apostle's counsel on this head (Ro 16:19) be taken as astudy, especially by young Christians, whose character has yet to be formed, and whose permanentsphere in life is but partially fixed; and let them prayerfully set themselves to the combined exerciseof both those qualities. So will their Christian character acquire solidity and elevation, and theirinfluence for good be proportionably extended. (3) Christians should cheer their own and eachother's hearts, amidst the toils and trials of their protracted warfare, with the assurance that it willhave a speedy and glorious end; they should accustom themselves to regard all opposition to theprogress and prosperity of Christ's cause—whether in their own souls, in the churches with whichthey are connected, or in the world at large—as just "Satan" in conflict, as ever, with Christ theirLord; and they should never allow themselves to doubt that "the God of peace" will "shortly" givethem the neck of their Enemy, and make them to bruise the Serpent's head (Ro 16:20). (4) AsChristians are held up and carried through solely by divine power, working through the gloriousGospel, so to that power, and to the wisdom that brought that Gospel nigh to them, they shouldascribe all the glory of their stability now, as they certainly will of their victory at last (Ro 16:25-27).(5) "Has the everlasting God … commanded" that the Gospel "mystery," so long kept hid but nowfully disclosed, shall be "made known to all nations for the obedience of faith" (Ro 16:26)? Then,what "necessity is laid upon" all the churches and every Christian, to send the Gospel "to everycreature!" And we may rest well assured that the prosperity or decline of churches, and of individualChristians, will have not a little to do with their faithfulness or indifference to this imperative duty.The ancient subscription at the end of this epistle—though of course of no authority—appearsto be in this case quite correct.THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THECORINTHIANSCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONThe Authenticity of this Epistle is attested by Clement of Rome [First Epistle to the Corinthians, 47],Polycarp [Epistle to the Philippians, 11], and Irenæus [Against Heresies, 4.27.3]. The city to which it2446JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwas sent was famed for its wealth and commerce, which were chiefly due to its situation betweenthe Ionian and Ægean Seas on the isthmus connecting the Peloponese with Greece. In Paul's timeit was the capital of the province Achaia and the seat of the Roman proconsul (Ac 18:12). The stateof morals in it was notorious for debauchery, even in the profligate heathen world; so much so that"to Corinthianize" was a proverbial phrase for "to play the wanton"; hence arose dangers to thepurity of the Christian Church at Corinth. That Church was founded by Paul on his first visit (Ac18:1-17).He had been the instrument of converting many Gentiles (1Co 12:2), and some Jews (Ac 18:8),notwithstanding the vehement opposition of the countrymen of the latter (Ac 18:5), during the yearand a half in which he sojourned there. The converts were chiefly of the humbler classes (1Co 1:26,&c.). Crispus (1Co 1:14; Ac 18:8), Erastus, and Gaius (Caius) were, however, men of rank (Ro16:23). A variety of classes is also implied in 1Co 11:22. The risk of contamination by contact withthe surrounding corruptions, and the temptation to a craving for Greek philosophy and rhetoric(which Apollos' eloquent style rather tended to foster, Ac 18:24, &c.) in contrast to Paul's simplepreaching of Christ crucified (1Co 2:1, &c.), as well as the opposition of certain teachers to him,naturally caused him anxiety. Emissaries from the Judaizers of Palestine boasted of "letters ofcommendation" from Jerusalem, the metropolis of the faith. They did not, it is true, insist oncircumcision in refined Corinth, where the attempt would have been hopeless, as they did amongthe simpler people of Galatia; but they attacked the apostolic authority of Paul (1Co 9:1, 2; 2Co10:1, 7, 8), some of them declaring themselves followers of Cephas, the chief apostle, others boastingthat they belonged to Christ Himself (1Co 1:12; 2Co 10:7), while they haughtily repudiated allsubordinate teaching. Those persons gave out themselves for apostles (2Co 11:5, 13). The groundtaken by them was that Paul was not one of the Twelve, and not an eye-witness of the Gospel facts,and durst not prove his apostleship by claiming sustenance from the Christian Church. Anothersection avowed themselves followers of Paul himself, but did so in a party spirit, exalting theminister rather than Christ. The followers of Apollos, again, unduly prized his Alexandrian learningand eloquence, to the disparagement of the apostle, who studiously avoided any deviation fromChristian simplicity (1Co 2:1-5). In some of this last philosophizing party there may have arisenthe Antinomian tendency which tried to defend theoretically their own practical immorality: hencetheir denial of the future resurrection, and their adoption of the Epicurean motto, prevalent inheathen Corinth, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die" (1Co 15:32). Hence, perhaps, arosetheir connivance at the incestuous intercourse kept up by one of the so-called Christian body withhis stepmother during his father's life. The household of Chloe informed Paul of many other evils:such as contentions, divisions, and lawsuits brought against brethren in heathen law courts byprofessing Christians; the abuse of their spiritual gifts into occasions of display and fanaticism; theinterruption of public worship by simultaneous and disorderly ministrations, and decorum violatedby women speaking unveiled (contrary to Oriental usage), and so usurping the office of men, andeven the holy communion desecrated by greediness and revelling on the part of the communicants.Other messengers, also, came from Corinth, consulting him on the subject of (1) the controversyabout meats offered to idols; (2) the disputes about celibacy and marriage; (3) the due exercise ofspiritual gifts in public worship; (4) the best mode of making the collection which he had requestedfor the saints at Jerusalem (1Co 16:1, &c.). Such were the circumstances which called forth theFirst Epistle to the Corinthians, the most varied in its topics of all the Epistles.2447JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonIn 1Co 5:9, "I wrote unto you in an Epistle not to company with fornicators," it is implied thatPaul had written a previous letter to the Corinthians (now lost). Probably in it he had also enjoinedthem to make a contribution for the poor saints at Jerusalem, whereupon they seem to have askeddirections as to the mode of doing so, to which he now replies (1Co 16:2). It also probably announcedhis intention of visiting them on way to Macedonia, and again on his return from Macedonia (2Co1:15, 16), which purpose he changed hearing the unfavorable report from Chloe's household (1Co16:5-7), for which he was charged with (2Co 1:17). In the first Epistle which we have, the subjectof fornication is alluded to only in a way, as if he were rather replying to an excuse set up afterrebuke in the matter, than introducing for the first time [Alford]. Preceding this former letter, heseems to have paid a second visit to Corinth. For in 2Co 12:4; 13:1, he speaks of his intention ofpaying them a third visit, implying he had already twice visited them. See on 2Co 2:1; 2Co 13:2;also see on 2Co 1:15; 2Co 1:16. It is hardly likely that during his three years' sojourn at Ephesushe would have failed to revisit his Corinthian converts, which he could so readily do by sea, therebeing constant maritime intercourse between the two cities. This second visit was probably a shortone (compare 1Co 16:7); and attended with pain and humiliation (2Co 2:1; 12:21), occasioned bythe scandalous conduct of so many of his own converts. His milder censures having then failed toproduce reformation, he wrote briefly directing them "not to company with fornicators." On theirmisapprehending this injunction, he explained it more fully in the Epistle, the first of the two extant(1Co 5:9, 12). That the second visit is not mentioned in Acts is no objection to its having reallytaken place, as that book is fragmentary and omits other leading incidents in Paul's life; for example,his visit to Arabia, Syria, and Cilicia (Ga 1:17-21).The Place of Writing is fixed to be Ephesus (1Co 16:8). The subscription in English Version, "FromPhilippi," has no authority whatever, and probably arose from a mistaken translation of 1Co 16:5,"For I am passing through Macedonia." At the time of writing Paul implies (1Co 16:8) that heintended to leave Ephesus after Pentecost of that year. He really did leave it about Pentecost (A.D.57). Compare Ac 19:20. The allusion to Passover imagery in connection with our Christian Passover,Easter (1Co 5:7), makes it likely that the season was about Easter. Thus the date of the Epistle isfixed with tolerable accuracy, about Easter, certainly before Pentecost, in the third year of hisresidence at Ephesus, A.D. 57. For other arguments, see Conybeare and Howson's Life and Epistles ofSt. Paul.The Epistle is written in the name of Sosthenes "[our] brother." Birks supposes he is the sameas the Sosthenes, Ac 18:17, who, he thinks, was converted subsequently to that occurrence. Hebears no part in the Epistle itself, the apostle in the very next verses (1Co 1:4, &c.) using the firstperson: so Timothy is introduced, 2Co 1:1. The bearers of the Epistle were probably Stephanas,Fortunatus, and Achaicus (see the subscription, 1Co 16:24), whom he mentions (1Co 16:17, 18)as with him then, but who he implies are about to return back to Corinth; and therefore he commendsthem to the regard of the Corinthians.CHAPTER 11Co 1:1-31. The Inscription; Thanksgiving for the Spiritual State of the Corinthian Church; Reproof of PartyDivisions: His Own Method of Preaching Only Christ.2448JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. called to be—Found in some, not in others, of the oldest manuscripts Possibly inserted fromRo 1:1; but as likely to be genuine. Translate, literally, "a called apostle" [Conybeare and Howson].through the will of God—not because of my own merit. Thus Paul's call as "an apostle by thewill of God," while constituting the ground of the authority he claims in the Corinthian Church(compare Ga 1:1), is a reason for humility on his own part (1Co 15:8, 10) [Bengel]. In assuming theministerial office a man should see he does so not of his own impulse, but by the will of God (Jer23:21); Paul if left to his own will would never have been an apostle (Ro 9:16).Sosthenes—See my Introduction. Associated by Paul with himself in the inscription, either inmodesty, Sosthenes being his inferior [Chrysostom], or in order that the name of a "brother" of notein Corinth (Ac 18:17) might give weight to his Epistle and might show, in opposition to his detractorsthat he was supported by leading brethren. Gallio had driven the Jews who accused Paul from thejudgment-seat. The Greek mob, who disliked Jews, took the opportunity then of beating Sosthenesthe ruler of the Jewish synagogue, while Gallio looked on and refused to interfere, being secretlypleased that the mob should second his own contempt for the Jews. Paul probably at this time hadshowed sympathy for an adversary in distress, which issued in the conversion of the latter. SoCrispus also, the previous chief ruler of the synagogue had been converted. Saul the persecutorturned into Paul the apostle, and Sosthenes the leader in persecution against that apostle, were twotrophies of divine grace that, side by side, would appeal with double power to the Church at Corinth[Birks].2. the church of God—He calls it so notwithstanding its many blots. Fanatics and sectariesvainly think to anticipate the final sifting of the wheat and tares (Mt 13:27-30). It is a dangeroustemptation to think there is no church where there is not apparent perfect purity. He who thinks so,must at last separate from all others and think himself the only holy man in the world, or establisha peculiar sect with a few hypocrites. It was enough for Paul in recognizing the Corinthians as achurch, that he saw among them evangelical doctrine, baptism, and the Lord's Supper" [Calvin]. Itwas the Church of God, not of this or of that favorite leader [Chrysostom].at Corinth—a church at dissolute Corinth—what a paradox of grace!sanctified—consecrated, or set apart as holy to God in (by union with) Christ Jesus. In theGreek there are no words "to them that are"; translate simply, "men sanctified."called to be saints—rather, "called saints"; saints by calling: applied by Paul to all professingmembers of the Church. As "sanctified in Christ" implies the fountain sources of holiness, thebeliever's original sanctification in Christ (1Co 6:11; Heb 10:10, 14; 1Pe 1:2) in the purposes ofGod's grace, so "called saints" refers to their actual call (Ro 8:30), and the end of that call that theyshould be holy (1Pe 1:15).with all that in every place call upon … Christ—The Epistle is intended for these also, aswell as for the Corinthians. The true Catholic Church (a term first used by Ignatius [Epistle to theSmyræans, 8]): not consisting of those who call themselves from Paul, Cephas, or any other eminentleader (1Co 1:12), but of all, wherever they be, who call on Jesus as their Saviour in sincerity(compare 2Ti 2:22). Still a general unity of discipline and doctrine in the several churches is impliedin 1Co 4:17; 7:17; 11-16; 14-33, 36. The worship due to God is here attributed to Jesus (compareJoe 2:32; Mt 4:10; Ac 9:14).both theirs and ours—"in every place which is their home … and our home also"; this is addedto include the Christians throughout Achaia, not residing in Corinth, the capital (2Co 1:1). Paulfeels the home of his converts to be also his own. Compare a similar phrase in Ro 16:13 [Conybeare2449JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand Howson]. "Ours" refers to Paul and Sosthenes, and the Corinthians' home [Alford]. Beza betterexplains, "Both their Lord and our Lord." All believers have one and the same Lord (1Co 8:6; Eph4:5); a virtual reproof of the divisions of the Corinthians, as if Christ were divided (1Co 1:13).3. peace—peculiarly needed in the Corinthian church, on account of its dissensions. On thisverse see on Ro 1:7.4. He puts the causes for praise and hope among them in the foreground, not to discourage themby the succeeding reproof, and in order to appeal to their better selves.my God—(Ro 1:8; Php 1:3).always—(Compare Php 1:4).the grace … given you—(Compare 1Co 1:7).by … Christ—literally, "IN Jesus Christ" given you as members in Christ.5. utterance—Alford from Menochius translates, "doctrine." Ye are rich in preachers or thepreaching of the word, and rich in knowledge or apprehension of it: literally "(the) word (preached)."English Version (as in 2Co 8:7) is better: for Paul, purposing presently to dwell on the abuse of thetwo gifts on which the Corinthians most prided themselves, utterance (speech) and knowledge (1Co1:20; 3:18; 4:19; 1Co 13:1-14:40), previously gains their goodwill by congratulating them on havingthose gifts.6. According as the testimony of (of, and concerning) Christ (who is both the object and authorof this testimony [Bengel]; 1Co 2:1; 1Ti 2:6; 2Ti 1:8) was confirmed among [Alford] you; that is, byGod, through my preaching and through the miracles accompanying it (1Co 12:3; Mr 16:20; 2Co1:21, 22; Ga 3:2, 5; Eph 4:7, 8; Heb 2:4). God confirmed (compare Php 1:7; Heb 2:3), or gaveeffect to the Gospel among (or better as English Version, "in") the Corinthians by their acceptingit and setting their seal to its truth, through the inward power of His Spirit, and the outward giftsand miracles accompanying it [Calvin].7. ye come behind—are inferior to other Christians elsewhere [Grotius].in no gift—not that all had all gifts, but different persons among them had different gifts (1Co12:4, &c.).waiting for … coming of … Christ—The crowning proof of their "coming behind in no gift."Faith, hope, and love, are all exercised herein (compare 2Ti 4:8; Tit 2:13). "Leaving to others theirMEMENTO MORI (remember death), do thou earnestly cherish this joyous expectation of the Lord'scoming" [Bengel]. The Greek verb implies, "to expect constantly, not only for a certain time, buteven to the end till the expected event happens" (Ro 8:19, [Tittmann, Greek Synonyms of the NewTestament]).8. Who—God, 1Co 1:4 (not Jesus Christ, 1Co 1:7, in which case it would be "in His day").unto the end—namely, "the coming of Christ."blameless in the day of … Christ—(1Th 5:23). After that day there is no danger (Eph 4:30;Php 1:6). Now is our day to work, and the day of our enemies to try us: then will be the day ofChrist, and of His glory in the saints [Bengel].9. faithful—to His promises (Php 1:6; 1Th 5:24).called—according to His purpose (Ro 8:28).unto … fellowship of … Jesus—to be fellow heirs with Christ (Ro 8:17-28), like Him sonsof God and heirs of glory (Ro 8:30; 2Th 2:14; 1Pe 5:10; 1Jo 1:3). Chrysostom remarks that the nameof Christ is oftener mentioned in this than in any other Epistle, the apostle designing thereby todraw them away from their party admiration of particular teachers to Christ alone.2450JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson10. Now—Ye already have knowledge, utterance, and hope, maintain also love.brethren—The very title is an argument for love.by … Christ—whom Paul wishes to be all in all to the Corinthians, and therefore names Himso often in this chapter.speak … same thing—not speaking different things as ye do (1Co 1:12), in a spirit of variance.divisions—literally, "splits," "breaches."but—"but rather."perfectly joined together—the opposite word to "divisions." It is applied to healing a wound,or making whole a rent.mind … judgment—the view taken by the understanding, and the practical decision arrivedat [Conybeare and Howson], as to what is to be done. The mind, within, refers to things to be believed:the judgment is displayed outwardly in things to be done [Bengel]. Disposition—opinion [Alford].11. (1Co 11:18).by them … of … house of Chloe—They seem to have been alike in the confidence of Pauland of the Corinthians. The Corinthians "wrote" to the apostle (1Co 7:1), consulting him concerningcertain points; marriage, the eating of things offered to idols, the decorum to be observed by womenin religious assemblies. But they said not a syllable about the enormities and disorders that hadcrept in among them. That information reached Paul by other quarters. Hence his language aboutthose evils is, "It hath been declared unto me," &c.; "It is reported commonly" (1Co 5:1, 2). Allthis he says before he refers to their letter, which shows that the latter did not give him any intimationof those evils. An undesigned proof of genuineness [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. Observe his prudence:He names the family, to let it be seen that he made his allegation not without authority: he does notname the individuals, not to excite odium against them. He tacitly implies that the informationought rather to have come to him directly from their presbyters, as they had consulted him aboutmatters of less moment.contentions—not so severe a word as "divisions," literally, "schisms" (1Co 1:10, Margin).12. this I say—this is what I mean in saying "contentions" (1Co 1:11).every one of you saith—Ye say severally, "glorying in men" (1Co 1:31; 1Co 3:21, 22), one,I am of Paul; another, I am of Apollos, &c. Not that they formed definite parties, but they individuallybetrayed the spirit of party in contentions under the name of different favorite teachers. Paul willnot allow himself to be flattered even by those who made his name their party cry, so as to conniveat the dishonor thereby done to Christ. These probably were converted under his ministry. Thosealleging the name of Apollos, Paul's successor at Corinth (Ac 18:24, &c.), were persons attractedby his rhetorical style (probably acquired in Alexandria, 1Co 3:6), as contrasted with the "weakbodily presence" and "contemptible speech" of the apostle. Apollos, doubtless, did not willinglyfoster this spirit of undue preference (1Co 4:6, 8); nay, to discourage it, he would not repeat hisvisit just then (1Co 16:12).I of Cephas—probably Judaizers, who sheltered themselves under the name of Peter, the apostleof the circumcision ("Cephas" is the Hebrew, "Peter" the Greek name; Joh 1:42; Ga 2:11, &c.): thesubjects handled in the seventh through ninth chapters were probably suggested as matters of doubtby them. The church there began from the Jewish synagogue, Crispus the chief ruler, and Sostheneshis successor (probably), being converts. Hence some Jewish leaven, though not so much aselsewhere, is traceable (2Co 11:22). Petrism afterwards sprang up much more rankly at Rome. Ifit be wrong to boast "I am of Peter," how much more so to boast I am of the Pope!" [Bengel].2451JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonI of Christ—A fair pretext used to slight the ministry of Paul and their other teachers (1Co 4:8;2Co 10:7-11).13. Is Christ divided?—into various parts (one under one leader, another under another) [Alford].The unity of His body is not to be cut in pieces, as if all did not belong to Him, the One Head.was Paul crucified for you?—In the Greek the interrogation implies that a strong negativeanswer is expected: "Was it Paul (surely you will not say so) that was crucified for you?" In theformer question the majesty of "Christ" (the Anointed One of God) implies the impossibility of Hisbeing "divided." in the latter, Paul's insignificance implies the impossibility of his being the headof redemption, "crucified for" them, and giving his name to the redeemed. This, which is true ofPaul the founder of the Church of Corinth, holds equally good of Cephas and Apollos, who hadnot such a claim as Paul in the Corinthian Church.crucified … baptized—The cross claims us for Christ, as redeemed by Him; baptism, asdedicated to Him.in the name—rather, "into the name" (Ga 3:27), implying the incorporation involved in theidea of baptism.14. I thank God's providence now, who so ordered it that I baptized none of you but Crispus(the former ruler of the synagogue, Ac 18:8) and Gaius (written by the Romans Caius, the host ofPaul at Corinth, and of the church, Ro 16:23; a person therefore in good circumstances). Baptizingwas the office of the deacons (Ac 10:48) rather than of the apostles, whose office was that ofestablishing and superintending generally the churches. The deacons had a better opportunity ofgiving the necessary course of instruction preparatory to baptism. Crispus and Gaius were probablyamong the first converts, and hence were baptized by Paul himself, who founded the church.15. Lest—not that Paul had this reason at the time, but God so arranged it that none might say[Alford].16. household of Stephanas—"The first-fruits of Achaia," that is, among the first convertedthere (1Co 16:15, 17). It is likely that such "households" included infants (Ac 16:33). The historyof the Church favors this view, as infant baptism was the usage from the earliest ages.17. Paul says this not to depreciate baptism; for he exalts it most highly (Ro 6:3). He baptizedsome first converts; and would have baptized more, but that his and the apostles' peculiar work wasto preach the Gospel, to found by their autoptic testimony particular churches, and then to superintendthe churches in general.sent me—literally, "as an apostle."not to baptize—even in Christ's name, much less in my own.not with wisdom of words—or speech; philosophical reasoning set off with oratorical languageand secular learning, which the Corinthians set so undue a value upon (1Co 1:5; 2:1, 4) in Apollos,and the want of which in Paul they were dissatisfied with (2Co 10:10).cross of Christ—the sum and substance of the Gospel (1Co 1:23; 2:2), Christ crucified.be made of none effect—literally, "be made void" (Ro 4:14); namely, by men thinking moreof the human reasonings and eloquence in which the Gospel was set forth, than of the Gospel itselfof Christ crucified, the sinner's only remedy, and God's highest exhibition of love.18. preaching, &c.—literally, "the word," or speech as to the cross; in contrast to the "wisdomof words" (so called), 1Co 1:17.2452JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthem that perish—rather, "them that are perishing," namely, by preferring human "wisdomof words" to the doctrine of the "cross of Christ." It is not the final state that is referred to; but,"them that are in the way of perishing." So also in 2Co 2:15, 16.us which are saved—In the Greek the collocation is more modest, "to them that are beingsaved (that are in the way of salvation) as," that is, to which class we belong.power of God—which includes in it that it is the wisdom of God" (1Co 1:24). God's powerfulinstrument of salvation; the highest exhibition of God's power (Ro 1:16). What seems to the world"weakness" in God's plan of salvation (1Co 1:25), and in its mode of delivery by His apostle (1Co2:3) is really His mighty "power." What seems "foolishness" because wanting man's "wisdom ofwords" (1Co 1:17), is really the highest "wisdom of God" (1Co 1:24).19. I will destroy—slightly altered from the Septuagint, Isa 29:14. The Hebrew is, "The wisdomof the wise shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Paul by inspirationgives the sense of the Spirit, by making God the cause of their wisdom perishing, &c., "I will destroy,"&c.understanding of the prudent—literally, "of the understanding ones."20. Where—nowhere; for God "brings them to naught" (1Co 1:19).the wise—generally.the scribe—Jewish [Alford].the disputer—Greek [Alford]. Compare the Jew and Greek of this world contrasted with thegodly wise, 1Co 1:22, 23. Vitringa thinks the reference is to the Jewish discourses in the synagogue,daraschoth, from a Hebrew root "to dispute." Compare "questions," Ac 26:3; Tit 3:9. If so, "wise"refers to Greek wisdom (compare 1Co 1:22). Paul applies Isa 33:18 here in a higher sense; therethe primary reference was to temporal deliverance, here to external; 1Co 1:22, which is in threefoldopposition to 1Co 1:18 there, sanctions this higher application; the Lord in the threefold characterbeing the sole ground of glorying to His people.of this world … of this world—rather, "dispensation (or age) … world"; the Greek words aredistinct. The former is here this age or worldly order of things in a moral point of view, as opposedto the Christian dispensation or order of things. The latter is the world viewed externally andcosmically.made foolish—shown the world's philosophy to be folly, because it lacks faith in Christ crucified[Chrysostom]. Has treated it as folly, and not used its help in converting and saving men (1Co 1:26,27) [Estius].21. after that—rather, "whereas."in the wisdom of God—in the wise arrangement of God.world by wisdom—rather, "by its wisdom," or "its philosophy" (Joh 1:10; Ro 1:28).knew not God—whatever other knowledge it attained (Ac 17:23, 27). The deistic theory thatman can by the light of nature discover his duty to God, is disproved by the fact that man has neverdiscovered it without revelation. All the stars and moon cannot make it day; that is the prerogativeof the sun. Nor can nature's highest gifts make the moral day arise; that is the office of Christ. Eventhe Jew missed this knowledge, in so far as he followed after mere carnal world wisdom.it pleased God—Paul refers to Jesus' words (Lu 10:21).by the foolishness of preaching—by that preaching which the world (unbelieving Jews andGentiles alike) deem foolishness.save them that believe—(Ro 1:16).2453JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson22. For—literally, "Since," seeing that. This verse illustrates how the "preaching" of Christcrucified came to be deemed "foolishness" (1Co 1:21).a sign—The oldest manuscripts read "signs." The singular was a later correction from Mt 12:38;16:1; Joh 2:18. The signs the Jews craved for were not mere miracles, but direct tokens from heaventhat Jesus was Messiah (Lu 11:16).Greeks seek … wisdom—namely, a philosophic demonstration of Christianity. Whereas Christ,instead of demonstrative proof, demands faith on the ground of His word, and of a reasonableamount of evidence that the alleged revelation is His word. Christianity begins not with solvingintellectual difficulties, but with satisfying the heart that longs for forgiveness. Hence not the refinedGreeks, but the theocratic Jews were the chosen organ for propagating revelation. Again, intellectualAthens (Ac 17:18-21, &c.) received the Gospel less readily than commercial Corinth.23. we—Paul and Apollos.Christ crucified—The Greek expresses not the mere fact of His crucifixion, but the permanentcharacter acquired by the transaction, whereby He is now a Saviour (Ga 3:1) crucified was thestone on which the Jews stumbled (Mt 21:44). The opposition of Jew and Gentile alike shows thata religion so seemingly contemptible in its origin could not have succeeded if it had not been divine.unto the Greeks—the oldest manuscripts read "unto the Gentiles."24. called—(compare 1Co 1:26). The same class as the "us which are (being) saved" (1Co1:18); the elect, who have obeyed the call; called effectually (Ro 8:28, 30).Christ—"Crucified" is not here added, because when the offense of the cross is overcome,"Christ" is received in all His relations, not only in His cross, but in His life and His future kingdom.power—so meeting all the reasonable requirements of the Jews who sought "a sign." The cross(the death of a slave), which to the Jews (looking for a temporal Messiah) was a "stumbling-block,"is really "the power of God" to the salvation of all who believe.wisdom of God—so really exhibiting, and in the highest degree (if they would but see it), thatwhich the Greeks sought after—wisdom (Col 2:3).25. foolishness of God—that is, God's plan of salvation which men deem "foolishness."weakness of God—Christ "crucified through weakness" (2Co 13:4, the great stumbling-blockof the Jews), yet "living by the power of God." So He perfects strength out of the weakness of Hisservants (1Co 2:3; 2Co 12:9).26. ye see—rather, from the prominence of the verb in the Greek, "see" or "consider" (imperative)[Alford from Vulgate and Irenæus].your calling … are called—Instead of the words in italics, supplied by English Version, supply,"were your callers." What Paul is dwelling on (compare 1Co 1:27, 28) is the weakness of theinstrumentality which the Lord employed to convert the world [Hinds and Whately; so Anselm].However, English Version accords well with 1Co 1:24. "The whole history of the expansion of theChurch is a progressive victory of the ignorant over the learned, the lowly over the lofty, until theemperor himself laid down his crown before the cross of Christ" [Olshausen].wise … after the flesh—the wisdom of this world acquired by human study without the Spirit.(Contrast Mt 16:17).27. the foolish things—a general phrase for all persons and things foolish. Even things (andthose, too, foolish things) are chosen by God to confound persons, (and those too persons who arewise). This seems to me the force of the change from neuter to masculine.2454JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto confound—The Greek is stronger, "that He might confound (or put to shame)." Godconfounds the wise by effecting through His instruments, without human wisdom, that the worldlywise, with it, cannot effect, namely, to bring men to salvation.chosen … chosen—The repetition indicates the gracious deliberateness of God's purpose (Jas2:5).28. yea, and things which are not—Yea is not in the Greek. Also some of the oldest manuscriptsomit "and." Thus the clause, "things which are not" (are regarded as naught), is in apposition with"foolish … weak … base (that is, lowborn) and despised things." God has chosen all four, thoughregarded as things that are not, to bring to naught things that are.29. no flesh … glory—For they who try to glory (boast) because of human greatness andwisdom, are "confounded" or put to shame (1Co 1:27). Flesh, like "the flower of the field," isbeautiful, but frail (Isa 40:6).in his presence—We are to glory not before Him, but in Him [Bengel].30. But … ye—in contrast to them that "glory" in worldly wisdom and greatness.of him are—not of yourselves (Eph 2:8), but of Him (Ro 11:36). From Him ye are (that is,have spiritual life, who once were spiritually among the "things which are not." 1Co 1:28).in Christ—by living union with Him. Not "in the flesh" (1Co 1:26, 29).of God—from God; emanating from Him and sent by Him.is made unto us—has been made to us, to our eternal gain.wisdom—unattainable by the worldly mode of seeking it (1Co 1:19, 20; contrast Col 2:3; Pr8:1-36; Isa 9:6). By it we become "wise unto salvation," owing to His wisdom in originating andexecuting the plan, whereas once we were "fools."righteousness—the ground of our justification (Jer 23:5, 6; Ro 4:25; 2Co 5:21); whereas oncewe were "weak" (Ro 5:6). Isa 42:21; 45:24.sanctification—by His Spirit; whereas formerly we were "base." Hereafter our righteousnessand sanctification alike shall be both perfect and inherent. Now the righteousness wherewith weare justified is perfect, but not inherent; that wherewith we are sanctified is inherent, but not perfect[Hooker]. Now sanctification is perfect in principle, but not in attainment. These two are joined inthe Greek as forming essentially but one thing, as distinguished from the "wisdom" in devising andexecuting the plan for us ("abounded toward us in all wisdom," Eph 1:8), and "redemption," thefinal completion of the scheme in the deliverance of the body (the position of "redemption" lastshows that this limited sense is the one intended here). Lu 21:28; Ro 8:23; Eph 1:14; 4:30.redemption—whereas once we were "despised."31. glory in … Lord—(Jer 9:23, 24)—in opposition to "flesh glorying in His presence" (1Co1:29). In contrast to morbid slavish self-abasement, Paul joins with humility the elevatingconsciousness of our true dignity in Christ. He who glories is to glory in the Lord, not in the flesh,nor in the world.CHAPTER 21Co 2:1-16. Paul's Subject of Preaching, Christ Crucified, Not in Worldly, but in Heavenly, Wisdom among thePerfect.2455JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson1. And I—"So I" [Conybeare] as one of the "foolish, weak, and despised" instruments employedby God (1Co 1:27, 28); "glorying in the Lord," not in man's wisdom (1Co 1:31). Compare 1Co1:23, "We."when I came—(Ac 18:1, &c.). Paul might, had he pleased, have used an ornate style, havingstudied secular learning at Tarsus of Cilicia, which Strabo preferred as a school of learning to Athensor Alexandria; here, doubtless, he read the Cilician Aratus' poems (which he quotes, Ac 17:28),and Epimenides (Tit 1:12), and Menander (1Co 15:33). Grecian intellectual development was animportant element in preparing the way for the Gospel, but it failed to regenerate the world, showingthat for this a superhuman power is needed. Hellenistic (Grecizing) Judaism at Tarsus and Alexandriawas the connecting link between the schools of Athens and those of the Rabbis. No more fittingbirthplace could there have been for the apostle of the Gentiles than Tarsus, free as it was from thewarping influences of Rome, Alexandria, and Athens. He had at the same time Roman citizenship,which protected him from sudden violence. Again, he was reared in the Hebrew divine law atJerusalem. Thus, as the three elements, Greek cultivation, Roman polity (Lu 2:1), and the divinelaw given to the Jews, combined just at Christ's time, to prepare the world for the Gospel, so thesame three, by God's marvellous providence, met together in the apostle to the Gentiles [Conybeareand Howson].testimony of God—"the testimony of Christ" (1Co 1:6); therefore Christ is God.2. The Greek implies, "The only definite thing that I made it my business to know among you,was to know Jesus Christ (His person) and Him crucified (His office)" [Alford], not exalted on theearthly throne of David, but executed as the vilest malefactor. The historical fact of Christ'scrucifixion had probably been put less prominently forward by the seekers after human wisdom inthe Corinthian church, to avoid offending learned heathens and Jews. Christ's person and Christ'soffice constitute the sum of the Gospel.3. I—the preacher: as 1Co 2:2 describes the subject, "Christ crucified," and 1Co 2:4 the modeof preaching: "my speech … not with enticing words," "but in demonstration of the Spirit."weakness—personal and bodily (2Co 10:10; 12:7, 9; Ga 4:13).trembling—(compare Php 2:12). Not personal fear, but a trembling anxiety to perform a duty;anxious conscientiousness, as proved by the contrast to "eye service" (Eph 6:5) [Conybeare andHowson].4. my speech—in private.preaching—in public [Bengel]. Alford explains it, My discourse on doctrines, and my preachingor announcement of facts.enticing—rather, "persuasive."man's wisdom—man's is omitted in the oldest authorities. Still "wisdom" does refer to "man's"wisdom.in demonstration of … Spirit, &c.—Persuasion is man's means of moving his fellow man.God's means is demonstration, leaving no doubt, and inspiring implicit faith, by the powerfulworking of the Spirit (then exhibited both outwardly by miracles, and inwardly by working on theheart, now in the latter and the more important way only, Mt 7:29; Ac 6:10; Heb 4:12; comparealso Ro 15:19). The same simple power accompanies divine truth now, producing certain persuasionand conversion, when the Spirit demonstrates by it.5. stand in … wisdom of men—rest on it, owe its origin and continuance to it.2456JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6, 7. Yet the Gospel preaching, so far from being at variance with true "wisdom," is a wisdominfinitely higher than that of the wise of the world.we speak—resuming "we" (preachers, I, Apollos, &c.) from "we preach" (1Co 1:28), only thathere, "we speak" refers to something less public (compare 1Co 2:7, 13, "mystery … hidden") than"we preach," which is public. For "wisdom" here denotes not the whole of Christian doctrine, butits sublimer and deeper principles.perfect—Those matured in Christian experience and knowledge alone can understand the truesuperiority of the Christian wisdom which Paul preached. Distinguished not only from worldly andnatural men, but also from babes, who though "in Christ" retain much that is "carnal" (1Co 3:1,2), and cannot therefore understand the deeper truths of Christianity (1Co 14:20; Php 3:15; Heb5:14). Paul does not mean by the "mystery" or "hidden wisdom" (1Co 2:7) some hidden traditiondistinct from the Gospel (like the Church of Rome's disciplina arcani and doctrine of reserve), butthe unfolding of the treasures of knowledge, once hidden in God's counsels, but now announced toall, which would be intelligently comprehended in proportion as the hearer's inner life becameperfectly transformed into the image of Christ. Compare instances of such "mysteries," that is,deeper Christian truths, not preached at Paul's first coming to Corinth, when he confined himselfto the fundamental elements (1Co 2:2), but now spoken to the "perfect" (1Co 15:51; Ro 11:25; Eph3:5, 6). "Perfect" is used not of absolute perfection, but relatively to "babes," or those less ripe inChristian growth (compare Php 3:12, 15, with 1Jo 2:12-14). "God" (1Co 2:7) is opposed to theworld, the apostles to "the princes [great and learned men] of this world" (1Co 2:8; compare 1Co1:20) [Bengel].come to naught—nothingness (1Co 1:28). They are transient, not immortal. Therefore, theirwisdom is not real [Bengel]. Rather, translate with Alford, "Which are being brought to naught,"namely, by God's choosing the "things which are not (the weak and despised things of the Gospel),to bring to naught (the same verb as here) things that are" (1Co 1:28).7. wisdom of God—emphatically contrasted with the wisdom of men and of this world (1Co2:5, 6).in a mystery—connected in construction with "we speak": We speak as dealing with a mystery;that is not something to be kept hidden, but what heretofore was so, but is now revealed. Whereasthe pagan mysteries were revealed only to a chosen few, the Gospel mysteries were made knownto all who would obey the truth. "If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2Co 4:3),"whom the God of this world hath blinded." Ordinarily we use "mystery" in reference to those fromwhom the knowledge is withheld; the apostles, in reference to those to whom it is revealed [Whately].It is hidden before it is brought forward, and when it is brought forward it still remains hidden tothose that are imperfect [Bengel].ordained—literally, "foreordained" (compare 1Co 2:9), "prepared for them that love Him."before the world—rather, "before the ages" (of time), that is, from eternity. This infinitelyantedates worldly wisdom in antiquity. It was before not only the wisdom of the world, but eternallybefore the world itself and its ages.to our glory—ours both now and hereafter, from "the Lord of glory" (1Co 2:8), who brings tonaught "the princes of this world."8. Which—wisdom. The strongest proof of the natural man's destitution of heavenly wisdom.2457JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncrucified … Lord of glory—implying the inseparable connection of Christ's humanity andHis divinity. The Lord of glory (which He had in His own right before the world was, Joh 17:4,24) was crucified.9. But—(it has happened) as it is written.Eye hath not seen, &c.—Alford translates, "The things which eye saw not … the things whichGod prepared … to us God revealed through His Spirit." Thus, however, the "but" of 1Co 2:10 isignored. Rather construe, as Estius, "('We speak,' supplied from 1Co 2:8), things which eye saw not(heretofore), … things which God prepared … But God revealed them to us," &c. The quotationis not a verbatim one, but an inspired exposition of the "wisdom" (1Co 2:6, from Isa 64:4). Theexceptive words, "O God, beside (that is, except) Thee," are not quoted directly, but are virtuallyexpressed in the exposition of them (1Co 2:10), "None but thou, O God, seest these mysteries, andGod hath revealed them to us by His Spirit."entered—literally, "come up into the heart." A Hebraism (compare, Jer 3:16, Margin). In Isa64:4 it is "Prepared (literally, 'will do') for him that waiteth for Him"; here, "for them that loveHim." For Isaiah spake to them who waited for Messiah's appearance as future; Paul, to them wholove Him as having actually appeared (1Jo 4:19); compare 1Co 2:12, "the things that are freelygiven to us of God"10. revealed … by … Spirit—The inspiration of thoughts (so far as truth essential to salvationis concerned) makes the Christian (1Co 3:16; 12:3; Mt 16:17; Joh 16:13; 1Jo 2:20, 27); that ofwords, the PROPHET (2Sa 23:1, 2; 1Ki 13:1, 5), "by the word of the Lord" (1Co 2:13; Joh 20:30,31; 2Pe 1:21). The secrets of revelation are secret to some, not because those who know them willnot reveal them (for indeed, the very notion of revelation implies an unveiling of what had beenveiled), but because those to whom they are announced have not the will or power to comprehendthem. Hence the Spirit-taught alone know these secrets (Ps 25:14; Pr 3:32; Joh 7:17; 15:15).unto us—the "perfect" or fully matured in Christian experience (1Co 2:6). Intelligent men mayunderstand the outline of doctrines; but without the Holy Spirit's revelation to the heart, these willbe to them a mere outline—a skeleton, correct perhaps, but wanting life [Whatley, Cautions for theTimes, 14], (Lu 10:21).the Spirit searcheth—working in us and with our spirits (compare Ro 8:16, 26, 27). The OldTestament shows us God (the Father) for us. The Gospels, God (the Son) with us. The Acts andEpistles, God (the Holy Ghost) in us [Monod], (Ga 3:14).deep things of God—(Ps 92:5). His divine nature, attributes, and counsels. The Spirit delightsto explore the infinite depths of His own divine mind, and then reveal them to us, according as weare capable of understanding them (De 29:29). This proves the personality and Godhead of theHoly Ghost. Godhead cannot be separated from the Spirit of God, as manhood cannot be separatedfrom the Spirit of man [Bengel].11. what man, &c.—literally, "who of men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of thatman?"things of God knoweth no man—rather, "none knoweth," not angel or man. This proves theimpossibility of any knowing the things of God, save by the Spirit of God (who alone knows them,since even in the case of man, so infinitely inferior in mind to God, none of his fellow men, but hisown spirit alone knows the things hidden within him).2458JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson12. we … received, not … spirit of … world—the personal evil "spirit that now worketh inthe children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2). This spirit is natural in the unregenerate, and needs not tobe received.Spirit which is of God—that is, which comes from God. We have received it only by the giftof God, whose Spirit it is, whereas our own spirit is the spirit that is in us men (1Co 2:11).that we might know … things … freely given … of God—present experimental knowledge,to our unspeakable comfort, of His deep mysteries of wisdom, and of our future possession of thegood "things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1Co 2:9).13. also—We not only know by the Holy Ghost, but we also speak the "things freely given tous of God" (1Co 2:12).which the Holy Ghost teacheth—The old manuscripts read "the Spirit" simply, without "Holy."comparing spiritual things with spiritual—expounding the Spirit-inspired Old TestamentScripture, by comparison with the Gospel which Jesus by the same Spirit revealed [Grotius]; andconversely illustrating the Gospel mysteries by comparing them with the Old Testament types[Chrysostom]. So the Greek word is translated, "comparing" (2Co 10:12). Wahl (Key of the NewTestament) translates, "explaining (as the Greek is translated, Ge 40:8, the Septuagint) to spiritual(that is, Spirit-taught) men, spiritual things (the things which we ourselves are taught by the Spirit)."Spirit-taught men alone can comprehend spiritual truths. This accords with 1Co 2:6, 9, 10, 14, 15;1Co 3:1. Alford translates, "Putting together (combining) spirituals with spirituals"; that is, attachingspiritual words to spiritual things, which we should not do, if we were to use words of worldlywisdom to expound spiritual things (so 1Co 2:1, 4; 1Pe 4:11). Perhaps the generality of the neutersis designed to comprehend these several notions by implication. Comparing, or combining, spiritualswith spirituals; implying both that spiritual things are only suited to spiritual persons (so "things"comprehended persons, 1Co 1:27), and also that spiritual truths can only be combined with spiritual(not worldly-wise) words; and lastly, spirituals of the Old and New Testaments can only beunderstood by mutual comparison or combination, not by combination with worldly "wisdom," ornatural perceptions (1Co 1:21, 22; 2:1, 4-9; compare Ps 119:18).14. natural man—literally, "a man of animal soul." As contrasted with the spiritual man, heis governed by the animal soul, which overbears his spirit, which latter is without the Spirit of God(Jude 19). So the animal (English Version, "natural") body, or body led by the lower animal nature(including both the mere human fallen reason and heart), is contrasted with the Spirit-quickenedbody (1Co 15:44-46). The carnal man (the man led by bodily appetites, and also by a self-exaltingspirit, estranged from the divine life) is closely akin; so too the "earthly." "Devilish," or "demon-like";"led by an evil spirit," is the awful character of such a one, in its worst type (Jas 3:15).receiveth not—though they are offered to him, and are "worthy of being received by all men"(1Ti 1:15).they are foolishness unto him—whereas he seeks "wisdom" (1Co 1:22).neither can he—Not only does he not, but he cannot know them, and therefore has no wish to"receive" them (Ro 8:7).15. He that is spiritual—literally, "the spiritual (man)." In 1Co 2:14, it is "A [not 'the,' asEnglish Version] natural man." The spiritual is the man distinguished above his fellow men, as hein whom the Spirit rules. In the unregenerate, the spirit which ought to be the organ of the HolySpirit (and which is so in the regenerate), is overridden by the animal soul, and is in abeyance, sothat such a one is never called "spiritual."2459JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonjudgeth all things—and persons, by their true standard (compare 1Co 6:2-4; 1Jo 4:1), in sofar as he is spiritual. "Discerneth … is discerned," would better accord with the translation of thesame Greek (1Co 2:14). Otherwise for "discerned," in 1Co 2:14, translate, "judged of," to accordwith the translation, "judgeth … is judged" in this fifteenth verse. He has a practical insight intothe verities of the Gospel, though he is not infallible on all theoretical points. If an individual mayhave the Spirit without being infallible, why may not the Church have the Spirit, and yet not beinfallible (a refutation of the plea of Rome for the Church's infallibility, from Mt 28:20; Joh 16:13)?As the believer and the Church have the Spirit, and are yet not therefore impeccable, so he and theChurch have the Spirit, and yet are not infallible or impeccable. He and the Church are both infallibleand impeccable, only in proportion to the degree in which they are led by the Spirit. The Spiritleads into all truth and holiness; but His influence on believers and on the Church is as yet partial.Jesus alone, who had the Spirit without measure (Joh 3:34), is both infallible and impeccable.Scripture, because it was written by men, who while writing were infallibly inspired, is unmixedtruth (Pr 28:5; 1Jo 2:27).16. For—proof of 1Co 2:15, that the spiritual man "is judged of no man." In order to judge thespiritual man, the ordinary man must "know the mind of the Lord." But "who of ordinary menknows" that?that he may instruct him—that is, so as to be able to set Him right as His counsellor (quotedfrom Isa 40:13, 14). So the Septuagint translates the Greek verb, which means to "prove," in Ac9:22. Natural men who judge spiritual men, living according to the mind of God ("We have themind of Christ"), are virtually wishing to instruct God, and bring Him to another mind, as counsellorssetting to right their king.we have the mind of Christ—in our degree of capability to apprehend it. Isa 40:13, 14 refersto Jehovah: therefore, as it is applied here to Christ, He is Jehovah.CHAPTER 31Co 3:1-23. Paul Could Not Speak to Them of Deep Spiritual Truths, as They Were Carnal, Contending for TheirSeveral Teachers; These Are Nothing but Workers for God, to Whom They Must Give Account in the Day of Fiery Judgment.The Hearers Are God's Temple, Which They Must Not Defile by Contentions for Teachers, Who, as Well as All Things,Are Theirs, Being Christ's.1. And I—that is, as the natural (animal) man cannot receive, so I also could not speak untoyou the deep things of God, as I would to the spiritual; but I was compelled to speak to you as Iwould to MEN OF FLESH. The oldest manuscripts read this for "carnal." The former (literally, "fleshy")implies men wholly of flesh, or natural. Carnal, or fleshly, implies not they were wholly naturalor unregenerate (1Co 2:14), but that they had much of a carnal tendency; for example their divisions.Paul had to speak to them as he would to men wholly natural, inasmuch as they are still carnal(1Co 3:3) in many respects, notwithstanding their conversion (1Co 1:4-9).babes—contrasted with the perfect (fully matured) in Christ (Col 1:28; compare Heb 5:13, 14).This implies they were not men wholly of flesh, though carnal in tendencies. They had life in Christ,but it was weak. He blames them for being still in a degree (not altogether, compare 1Co 1:5, 7;therefore he says as) babes in Christ, when by this time they ought to have "come unto a perfect2460JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonman, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph 4:13). In Ro 7:14, also the oldestmanuscripts read, "I am a man of flesh."2. (Heb 5:12).milk—the elementary "principles of the doctrine of Christ."3. envying—jealousy, rivalry. As this refers to their feelings, "strife" refers to their words, and"divisions" to their actions [Bengel]. There is a gradation, or ascending climax: envying had producedstrife, and strife divisions (factious parties) [Grotius]. His language becomes severer now as Heproceeds; in 1Co 1:11 he had only said "contentions," he now multiplies the words (compare thestronger term, 1Co 4:6, than in 1Co 3:21).carnal—For "strife" is a "work of the flesh" (Ga 5:20). The "flesh" includes all feelings thataim not at the glory of God, and the good of our neighbor, but at gratifying self.walk as men—as unregenerate men (compare Mt 16:23). "After the flesh, not after the Spirit"of God, as becomes you as regenerate by the Spirit (Ro 8:4; Ga 5:25, 26).4. (1Co 1:12).are ye not carnal—The oldest manuscripts read, "Are ye not men?" that is, "walking as men"unregenerate (1Co 3:3).5. Who then—Seeing then that ye severally strive so for your favorite teachers, "Who is (ofwhat intrinsic power and dignity) Paul?" If so great an apostle reasons so of himself, how muchmore does humility, rather than self-seeking, become ordinary ministers!Paul … Apollos—The oldest manuscripts read in the reverse order, "Apollos," &c. Paul." Heputs Apollos before himself in humility.but ministers, &c.—The oldest manuscripts have no "but." "Who is Apollos … Paul? (mere)ministers (a lowly word appropriate here, servants), by whom (not "in whom"; by whoseministrations) ye believed."as … Lord gave to every man—that is, to the several hearers, for it was God that "gave theincrease" (1Co 3:6).6. I … planted, Apollos watered—(Ac 18:1; 19:1). Apollos at his own desire (Ac 18:27) wassent by the brethren to Corinth, and there followed up the work which Paul had begun.God gave the increase—that is, the growth (1Co 3:10; Ac 18:27). "Believed through grace."Though ministers are nothing, and God all in all, yet God works by instruments, and promises theHoly Spirit in the faithful use of means. This is the dispensation of the Spirit, and ours is the ministryof the Spirit.7. neither is he that … anything … but God—namely, is all in all. "God" is emphatically lastin the Greek, "He that giveth the increase (namely), God." Here follows a parenthesis, 1Co 3:8-21,where "Let no man glory in men" stands in antithetic contrast to "God" here.8. one—essentially in their aim they are one, engaged in one and the same ministry; thereforethey ought not to be made by you the occasion of forming separate parties.and every man—rather "but every man." Though in their service or ministry, they are essentially"one," yet every minister is separately responsible in "his own" work, and "shall receive his own(emphatically repeated) reward, according to his own labor." The reward is something over andabove personal salvation (1Co 3:14, 15; 2Jo 8). He shall be rewarded according to, not his successor the amount of work done, but "according to his own labor." It shall be said to him, "Well done,thou good and (not successful, but) faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Mt 25:23).2461JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. Translate, as the Greek collocation of words, and the emphasis on "God" thrice repeated,requires, "For (in proof that "each shall receive reward according to his own labor," namely, fromGod) it is of God that we are the fellow workers (laboring with, but under, and belonging to Himas His servants, 2Co 5:20; 6:1; compare Ac 15:4; see on 1Th 3:2) of God that ye are the field (ortillage), of God that ye are the building" [Alford]. "Building" is a new image introduced here, assuited better than that of husbandry, to set forth the different kinds of teaching and their results,which he is now about to discuss. "To edify" or "build up" the Church of Christ is similarly used(Eph 2:21, 22; 4:29).10. grace … given unto me—Paul puts this first, to guard against seeming to want humility,in pronouncing himself "a WISE master builder," in the clause following [Chrysostom]. The "grace"is that "given" to him in common with all Christians (1Co 3:5), only proportioned to the work whichGod had for him to do [Alford].wise—that is, skilful. His skill is shown in his laying a foundation. The unskilful builder laysnone (Lu 6:49). Christ is the foundation (1Co 3:11).another—who ever comes after me. He does not name Apollos; for he speaks generally of allsuccessors, whoever they be. His warning, "Let every man (every teacher) take heed how," &c.,refers to other successors rather than Apollos, who doubtless did not, as they, build wood, hay, &c.,on the foundation (compare 1Co 4:15). "I have done my part, let them who follow me see (so theGreek for 'take heed') to theirs" [Bengel].how—with what material [Alford]. How far wisely, and in builder-like style (1Pe 4:11).buildeth thereupon—Here the building or superstructure raised on Christ the "foundation,"laid by Paul (1Co 2:2) is not, as in Eph 2:20, 21, the Christian Church made up of believers, the"lively stones" (1Pe 2:5), but the doctrinal and practical teaching which the teachers who succeededPaul, superadded to his first teaching; not that they taught what was false, but their teaching wassubtle and speculative reasoning, rather than solid and simple truth.11. (Isa 28:16; Ac 4:12; Eph 2:20).For—my warning ("take heed," &c. 1Co 3:10) is as to the superstructure ("buildeth thereupon"),not as to the foundation: "For other foundation can no man lay, than that which has (already) beenlaid (by God) Jesus Christ," the person, not the mere abstract doctrine about Him, though the latteralso is included; Jesus, God-Saviour; Christ, Messiah or Anointed.can—A man can not lay any other, since the only one recognized by God has been alreadylaid.12. Now—rather, "But." The image is that of a building on a solid foundation, and partlycomposed of durable and precious, partly of perishable, materials. The "gold, silver, preciousstones," which all can withstand fire (Re 21:18, 19), are teachings that will stand the fiery test ofjudgment; "wood, hay, stubble," are those which cannot stand it; not positive heresy, for that woulddestroy the foundation, but teaching mixed up with human philosophy and Judaism, curious ratherthan useful. Besides the teachings, the superstructure represents also the persons cemented to theChurch by them, the reality of whose conversion, through the teachers' instrumentality, will betested at the last day. Where there is the least grain of real gold of faith, it shall never be lost (1Pe1:7; compare 1Co 4:12). On the other hand, the lightest straw feeds the fire [Bengel] (Mt 5:19).13. Every man's work—each teacher's superstructure on the foundation.the day—of the Lord (1Co 1:8; Heb 10:25; 1Th 5:4). The article is emphatic, "The day," thatis, the great day of days, the long expected day.2462JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondeclare it—old English for "make it clear" (1Co 4:4).it shall be revealed by fire—it, that is, "every man's work." Rather, "He," the Lord, whose dayit is (2Th 1:7, 8). Translate literally, "is being revealed (the present in the Greek implies the certaintyand nearness of the event, Re 22:10, 20) in fire" (Mal 3:3; 4:1). The fire (probably figurative here,as the gold, hay, &c.) is not purgatory (as Rome teaches, that is, purificatory and punitive), butprobatory, not restricted to those dying in "venial sin"; the supposed intermediate class betweenthose entering heaven at once, and those dying in mortal sin who go to hell, but universal, testingthe godly and ungodly alike (2Co 5:10; compare Mr 9:49). This fire is not till the last day, thesupposed fire of purgatory begins at death. The fire of Paul is to try the works, the fire of purgatorythe persons, of men. Paul's fire causes "loss" to the sufferers; Rome's purgatory, great gain, namely,heaven at last to those purged by it, if only it were true. Thus this passage, quoted by Rome for, isaltogether against, purgatory. "It was not this doctrine that gave rise to prayers for the dead; butthe practice of praying for the dead [which crept in from the affectionate but mistaken solicitudeof survivors] gave rise to the doctrine" [Whately].14. abide—abide the testing fire (Mt 3:11, 12).which he hath built thereupon—which he built on the foundation.reward—wages, as a builder, that is, teacher. His converts built on Christ the foundation,through his faithful teaching, shall be his "crown of rejoicing" (2Co 1:14; Php 2:16; 1Th 2:19).15. If … be burnt—if any teacher's work consist of such materials as the fire will destroy[Alford].suffer loss—that is, forfeit the special "reward"; not that he shall lose salvation (which isaltogether a free gift, not a "reward" or wages), for he remains still on the foundation (1Co 3:12;2Jo 6).saved; yet so as by fire—rather, "so as through fire" (Zec 3:2; Am 4:11; Jude 23). "Saved, yetnot without fire" (Ro 2:27) [Bengel]. As a builder whose building, not the foundation, is consumedby fire, escapes, but with the loss of his work [Alford]; as the shipwrecked merchant, though he haslost his merchandise, is saved, though having to pass through the waves [Bengel]; Mal 3:1, 2; 4:1,give the key to explain the imagery. The "Lord suddenly coming to His temple" in flaming "fire,"all the parts of the building which will not stand that fire will be consumed; the builders will escapewith personal salvation, but with the loss of their work, through the midst of the conflagration[Alford]. Again, a distinction is recognized between minor and fundamental doctrines (if we regardthe superstructure as representing the doctrines superadded to the elementary essentials); a manmay err as to the former, and yet be saved, but not so as to the latter (compare Php 3:15).16. Know ye not—It is no new thing I tell you, in calling you "God's building"; ye know andought to remember, ye are the noblest kind of building, "the temple of God."ye—all Christians form together one vast temple. The expression is not, "ye are temples," but"ye are the temple" collectively, and "lively stones" (1Pe 2:5) individually.God … Spirit—God's indwelling, and that of the Holy Spirit, are one; therefore the Holy Spiritis God. No literal "temple" is recognized by the New Testament in the Christian Church. The onlyone is the spiritual temple, the whole body of believing worshippers in which the Holy Spirit dwells(1Co 6:19; Joh 4:23, 24). The synagogue, not the temple, was the model of the Christian house ofworship. The temple was the house of sacrifice, rather than of prayer. Prayers in the temple weresilent and individual (Lu 1:10; 18:10-13), not joint and public, nor with reading of Scripture, as inthe synagogue. The temple, as the name means (from a Greek root "to dwell"), was the earthly2463JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondwelling-place of God, where alone He put His name. The synagogue (as the name means anassembly) was the place for assembling men. God now too has His earthly temple, not one of woodand stone, but the congregation of believers, the "living stones" on the "spiritual house." Believersare all spiritual priests in it. Jesus Christ, our High Priest, has the only literal priesthood (Mal 1:11;Mt 18:20; 1Pe 2:5) [Vitringa].17. If any … defile … destroy—rather as the Greek verb is the same in both cases, "destroy… destroy." God repays in kind by a righteous retaliation. The destroyer shall himself be destroyed.As temporal death was the penalty of marring the material temple (Le 16:2; Da 5:2, 3, 30), so eternaldeath is the penalty of marring the spiritual temple—the Church. The destroyers here (1Co 3:16,17), are distinct from the unwise or unskilful builders (1Co 3:12, 15); the latter held fast the"foundation" (1Co 3:11), and, therefore, though they lose their work of superstructure and thespecial reward, yet they are themselves saved; the destroyers, on the contrary, assailed with falseteaching the foundation, and so subvert the temple itself, and shall therefore be destroyed. (See on1Co 3:10), [Estius and Neander]. I think Paul passes here from the teachers to all the members of theChurch, who, by profession, are "priests unto God" (Ex 19:6; 1Pe 2:9; Re 1:6). As the Aaronicpriests were doomed to die if they violated the old temple (Ex 28:43), so any Christian who violatesthe sanctity of the spiritual temple, shall perish eternally (Heb 12:14; 10:26, 31).holy—inviolable (Hab 2:20).which temple ye are—rather, "the which (that is, holy) are ye" [Alford], and, therefore, want ofholiness on the part of any of you (or, as Estius, "to tamper with the foundation in teaching you") isa violation of the temple, which cannot be let to pass with impunity. Grotius supports English Version.18. seemeth—that is, is, and is regarded by himself and others.wise in this world—wise in mere worldly wisdom (1Co 1:20).let him become a fool—by receiving the Gospel in its unworldly simplicity, and so becominga fool in the world's sight [Alford]. Let him no longer think himself wise, but seek the true wisdomfrom God, bringing his understanding into captivity to the obedience of faith [Estius].19. with God—in the judgment of God.it is written—in Job 5:13. The formula of quoting Scripture used here, establishes the canonicityof Job.He taketh … wise in … own craftiness—proving the "foolishness" of the world's wisdom,since it is made by God the very snare to catch those who think themselves so wise. Literally, "Hewho taketh … the whole of the sentence not being quoted, but only the part which suited Paul'spurpose.20. Quotation from Ps 94:11. There it is of men; here it is "of the wise." Paul by inspirationstates the class of men whose "thoughts" (or rather, "reasonings," as suits the Greek and the senseof the context) the Spirit designated in the Psalm, "vanity," namely, the "proud" (Ps 94:2) andworldly-wise, whom God in Ps 94:8 calls "fools," though they "boast themselves" of their wisdomin pushing their interests (Ps 94:4).21. let no man glory in men—resuming the subject from 1Co 3:4; compare 1Co 1:12, 31,where the true object of glorying is stated: "He that glorieth, let him glory in THE Lord." Also 1Co4:6, "That no one of you be puffed up for one against another."For all things—not only all men. For you to glory thus in men, is lowering yourselves fromyour high position as heirs of all things. All men (including your teachers) belong to Christ, andtherefore to you, by your union with Him; He makes them and all things work together for your2464JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesongood (Ro 8:28). Ye are not for the sake of them, but they for the sake of you (2Co 4:5, 15). Theybelong to you, not you to them.22. Enumeration of some of the "all things." The teachers, in whom they gloried, he puts first(1Co 1:12). He omits after "Cephas" or Christ (to whom exclusively some at Corinth, 1Co 1:12,professed to belong); but, instead, substitutes "ye are Christ's" (1Co 3:23).world … life … death … things present … things to come—Not only shall they not "separateyou from the love of God in Christ" (Ro 8:38, 39), but they "all are yours," that is, are for you (Ro8:28), and belong to you, as they belong to Christ your Head (Heb 1:2).things present—"things actually present" [Alford].23. ye are Christ's—not Paul's, or Apollos,' or Cephas' (1Co 11:3; Mt 23:8-10). "Neither beye called masters; for one is your Master, even Christ" (Ro 14:8). Not merely a particular sectionof you, but ye all are Christ's (1Co 1:12).Christ is God's—(1Co 11:3). God is the ultimate end of all, even of Christ, His co-equal Son(1Co 15:28; Php 2:6-11).CHAPTER 41Co 4:1-21. True View of Ministers: The Judgment Is Not to Be Forestalled; Meanwhile the Apostles' Low StateContrasts with the Corinthians' Party Pride, Not That Paul Would Shame Them, but as a Father Warn Them; for WhichEnd He Sent Timothy, and Will Soon Come Himself.1. account … us—Paul and Apollos.ministers of Christ—not heads of the Church in whom ye are severally to glory (1Co 1:12);the headship belongs to Christ alone; we are but His servants ministering to you (1Co 1:13; 3:5,22).stewards—(Lu 12:42; 1Pe 4:10). Not the depositories of grace, but dispensers of it ("rightlydividing" or dispensing it), so far as God gives us it, to others. The chazan, or "overseer," in thesynagogue answered to the bishop or "angel" of the Church, who called seven of the synagogue toread the law every sabbath, and oversaw them. The parnasin of the synagogue, like the ancient"deacon" of the Church, took care of the poor (Ac 6:1-7) and subsequently preached in subordinationto the presbyters or bishops, as Stephen and Philip did. The Church is not the appendage to thepriesthood; but the minister is the steward of God to the Church. Man shrinks from too close contactwith God; hence he willingly puts a priesthood between, and would serve God by deputy. Thepagan (like the modern Romish) priest was rather to conceal than to explain "the mysteries of God."The minister's office is to "preach" (literally, "proclaim as a herald," Mt 10:27) the deep truths ofGod ("mysteries," heavenly truths, only known by revelation), so far as they have been revealed,and so far as his hearers are disposed to receive them. Josephus says that the Jewish religion madeknown to all the people the mysteries of their religion, while the pagans concealed from all but the"initiated" few, the mysteries of theirs.2. Moreover—The oldest manuscripts read, "Moreover here" (that is, on earth). The contrastthus is between man's usage as to stewards (1Co 4:2), and God's way (1Co 4:3). Though here below,in the case of stewards, inquiry is made, that one man be found (that is, proved to be) faithful; yetGod's steward awaits no such judgment of man, in man's day, but the Lord's judgment in His greatday. Another argument against the Corinthians for their partial preferences of certain teachers for2465JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontheir gifts: whereas what God requires in His stewards is faithfulness (1Sa 3:20, Margin; Heb 3:5);as indeed is required in earthly stewards, but with this difference (1Co 4:3), that God's stewardsawait not man's judgment to test them, but the testing which shall be in the day of the Lord.3. it is a very small thing—literally, "it amounts to a very small matter"; not that I despiseyour judgment, but as compared with God's, it almost comes to nothing.judged … of man's judgment—literally, "man's day," contrasted with the day (1Co 3:13) ofthe Lord (1Co 4:5; 1Th 5:4). "The day of man" is here put before us as a person [Wahl]. All daysprevious to the day of the Lord are man's days. Emesti translates the thrice recurring Greek for"judged … judge … judgeth" (1Co 4:4), thus: To me for my part (though capable of being foundfaithful) it is a very small matter that I should be approved of by man's judgment; yea, I do not evenassume the right of judgment and approving myself—but He that has the right, and is able to judgeon my case (the Dijudicator), is the Lord.4. by myself—Translate, "I am conscious to myself of no (ministerial) unfaithfulness." Bengelexplains the Greek compound, "to decide in judgments on one in relation to others," not simply tojudge.am I not hereby justified—Therefore conscience is not an infallible guide. Paul did not considerhis so. This verse is directly against the judicial power claimed by the priests of Rome.5. Disproving the judicial power claimed by the Romish priesthood in the confessional.Therefore—as the Lord is the sole Decider or Dijudicator.judge—not the same Greek word as in 1Co 4:3, 4, where the meaning is to approve of or decideon, the merits of one's case. Here all judgments in general are forbidden, which would, on our part,presumptuously forestall God's prerogative of final judgment.Lord—Jesus Christ, whose "ministers" we are (1Co 4:1), and who is to be the judge (Joh 5:22,27; Ac 10:42; 17:31).manifest … hearts—Our judgments now (as those of the Corinthians respecting their teachers)are necessarily defective; as we only see the outward act, we cannot see the motives of "hearts.""Faithfulness" (1Co 4:2) will hereby be estimated, and the "Lord" will "justify," or the reverse (1Co4:4), according to the state of the heart.then shall every man have praise—(1Co 3:8; 1Sa 26:23; Mt 25:21, 23, 28). Rather, "his duepraise," not exaggerated praise, such as the Corinthians heaped on favorite teachers; "the praise"(so the Greek) due for acts estimated by the motives. "Then," not before: therefore wait till then(Jas 5:7).6. And—"Now," marking transition.in a figure transferred to myself—that is, I have represented under the persons of Apollosand myself what really holds good of all teachers, making us two a figure or type of all the others.I have mentioned us two, whose names have been used as a party cry; but under our names I meanothers to be understood, whom I do not name, in order not to shame you [Estius].not to think, &c.—The best manuscripts omit "think." Translate, "That in us (as your example)ye might learn (this), not (to go) beyond what is written." Revere the silence of Holy Writ, as muchas its declarations: so you will less dogmatize on what is not expressly revealed (De 29:29).puffed up for one—namely, "for one (favorite minister) against another." The Greek indicativeimplies, "That ye be not puffed up as ye are."7. Translate, "Who distinguisheth thee (above another)?" Not thyself, but God.2466JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonglory, as if thou hadst not received it—as if it was to thyself, not to God, thou owest thereceiving of it.8. Irony. Translate, "Already ye are filled full (with spiritual food), already ye are rich, ye haveseated yourselves upon your throne as kings, without us." The emphasis is on "already" and "withoutus"; ye act as if ye needed no more to "hunger and thirst after righteousness," and as if already yehad reached the "kingdom" for which Christians have to strive and suffer. Ye are so puffed up withyour favorite teachers, and your own fancied spiritual attainments in knowledge through them, thatye feel like those "filled full" at a feast, or as a "rich" man priding himself in his riches: so ye feelye can now do "without us," your first spiritual fathers (1Co 4:15). They forgot that before the"kingdom" and the "fulness of joy," at the marriage feast of the Lamb, must come the cross, andsuffering, to every true believer (2Ti 2:5, 11, 12). They were like the self-complacent Laodiceans(Re 3:17; compare Ho 12:8). Temporal fulness and riches doubtless tended in some cases at Corinth,to generate this spiritual self-sufficiency; the contrast to the apostle's literal "hunger and thirst"(1Co 4:11) proves this.I would … ye did reign—Translate, "I would indeed," &c. I would truly it were so, and thatyour kingdom had really begun.that we also might reign with you—(2Co 12:14). "I seek not yours, but you." Your spiritualprosperity would redound to that of us, your fathers in Christ (1Co 9:23). When you reach thekingdom, you shall be our "crown of rejoicing, in the presence of our Lord Jesus" (1Th 2:19).9. For—assigning the reason for desiring that the "reign" of himself and his fellow apostleswith the Corinthians were come; namely, the present afflictions of the former.I think—The Corinthians (1Co 3:18) "seemed" to (literally, as here, "thought") themselves"wise in this world." Paul, in contrast, "thinks" that God has sent forth him and his fellow ministers"last," that is, the lowest in this world. The apostles fared worse than even the prophets, who, thoughsometimes afflicted, were often honored (2Ki 1:10; 5:9; 8:9, 12).set forth—as a spectacle or gazing-stock.us the apostles—Paul includes Apollos with the apostles, in the broader sense of the word; soRo 16:7; 2Co 8:23 (Greek for "messengers," apostles).as it were appointed to death—as criminals condemned to die.made a spectacle—literally, "a theatrical spectacle." So the Greek in Heb 10:33, "made agazing-stock by reproaches and afflictions." Criminals "condemned to die," in Paul's time, wereexhibited as a gazing-stock to amuse the populace in the amphitheater. They were "set forth last"in the show, to fight with wild beasts. This explains the imagery of Paul here. (Compare Tertullian[On Modesty, 14]).the world—to the whole world, including "both angels and men"; "the whole family in heavenand earth" (Eph 3:15). As Jesus was "seen of angels" (1Ti 3:16), so His followers are a spectacleto the holy angels who take a deep interest in all the progressive steps of redemption (Eph 3:10;1Pe 1:12). Paul tacitly implies that though "last" and lowest in the world's judgment, Christ's servantsare deemed by angels a spectacle worthy of their most intense regard [Chrysostom]. However, since"the world" is a comprehensive expression, and is applied in this Epistle to the evil especially (1Co1:27, 28), and since the spectators (in the image drawn from the amphitheater) gaze at the showwith savage delight, rather than with sympathy for the sufferers, I think bad angels are included,besides good angels. Estius makes the bad alone to be meant. But the generality of the term "angels,"2467JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand its frequent use in a good sense, as well as Eph 3:10; 1Pe 1:12, incline me to include good aswell as bad angels, though, for the reasons stated above, the bad may be principally meant.10. Irony. How much your lot (supposing it real) is to be envied, and ours to be pitied.fools—(1Co 1:21; 3:18; compare Ac 17:18; 26:24).for Christ's sake … in Christ—Our connection with Christ only entails on us the lowestignominy, "ON ACCOUNT OF," or, "FOR THE SAKE OF" Him, as "fools"; yours gives you full fellowshipIN Him as "wise" (that is, supposing you really are all you seem, 1Co 3:18).we … weak … ye … strong—(1Co 2:3; 2Co 13:9).we … despised—(2Co 10:10) because of our "weakness," and our not using worldly philosophyand rhetoric, on account of which ye Corinthians and your teachers are (seemingly) so "honorable."Contrast with "despised" the "ye (Galatians) despised not my temptation … in my flesh" (Ga 4:14).11. (2Co 11:23-27).naked—that is, insufficiently clad (Ro 8:35).buffeted—as a slave (1Pe 2:20), the reverse of the state of the Corinthians, "reigning as kings"(Ac 23:2). So Paul's master before him was "buffeted" as a slave, when about to die a slave's death(Mt 26:67).12. working with our own hands—namely, "even unto this present hour" (1Co 4:11). This isnot stated in the narrative of Paul's proceedings at Ephesus, from which city he wrote this Epistle(though it is expressly stated of him at Corinth, compare Ac 18:3, 19). But in his address to theEphesian elders at Miletus (Ac 20:34), he says, "Ye yourselves know that these hands have ministeredunto my necessities," &c. The undesignedness of the coincidence thus indirectly brought out isincompatible with forgery.13. defamed, we entreat—namely, God for our defamers, as Christ enjoined (Mt 5:10, 44)[Grotius]. We reply gently [Estius].filth—"the refuse" [Conybeare and Howson], the sweepings or rubbish thrown out after a cleaning.of all things—not of the "World" only.14. warn—rather, "admonish" as a father uses "admonition" to "beloved sons," not provokingthem to wrath (Eph 6:4). The Corinthians might well be "ashamed" at the disparity of state betweenthe father, Paul, and his spiritual children themselves.15. ten thousand—implying that the Corinthians had more of them than was desirable.instructors—tutors who had the care of rearing, but had not the rights, or peculiar affection,of the father, who alone had begotten them spiritually.in Christ—Paul admits that these "instructors" were not mere legalists, but evangelical teachers.He uses, however, a stronger phrase of himself in begetting them spiritually, "In Christ Jesus,"implying both the Saviour's office and person. As Paul was the means of spiritually regeneratingthem, and yet "baptized none of them save Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas,"regeneration cannot be inseparably in and by baptism (1Co 1:14-17).16. be ye followers of me—literally, "imitators," namely, in my ways, which be in Christ (1Co4:17; 1Co 11:1), not in my crosses (1Co 4:8-13; Ac 26:29; Ga 4:12).17. For this came—that ye may the better "be followers of me" (1Co 4:16), through hisadmonitions.sent … Timotheus—(1Co 16:10; Ac 19:21, 22). "Paul purposed … when he had passed throughMacedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem. So he sent into Macedonia Timotheus and Erastus."Here it is not expressly said that he sent Timothy into Achaia (of which Corinth was the capital),2468JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbut it is implied, for he sent him with Erastus before him. As he therefore purposed to go into Achaiahimself, there is every probability they were to go thither also. They are said only to have been sentinto Macedonia, because it was the country to which they went immediately from Ephesus. Theundesignedness of the coincidence establishes the genuineness of both the Epistle and the history.In both, Timothy's journey is closely connected with Paul's own (compare 1Co 4:19). Erastus isnot specified in the Epistle, probably because it was Timothy who was charged with Paul's orders,and possibly Erastus was a Corinthian, who, in accompanying Timothy, was only returning home.The seeming discrepancy at least shows that the passages were not taken from one another [Paley,Horæ Paulinæ].son—that is, converted by me (compare 1Co 4:14, 15; Ac 14:6, 7; with Ac 16:1, 2; 1Ti 1:2,18; 2Ti 1:2). Translate, "My son, beloved and faithful in the Lord."bring you into remembrance—Timothy, from his spiritual connection with Paul, as convertedby him, was best suited to remind them of the apostle's walk and teaching (2Ti 3:10), which theyin some respects, though not altogether (1Co 11:2), had forgotten.as I teach … in every church—an argument implying that what the Spirit directed Paul toteach "everywhere" else, must be necessary at Corinth also (1Co 7:17).18. some … as though I would not come—He guards against some misconstruing (as by theSpirit he foresees they will, when his letter shall have arrived) his sending Timothy, "as though"he "would not come" (or, "were not coming") himself. A puffed-up spirit was the besetting sin ofthe Corinthians (compare 1Co 1:11; 5:2).19. Alford translates, "But come I will"; an emphatical negation of their supposition (1Co 4:18).shortly—after Pentecost (1Co 16:8).if the Lord will—a wise proviso (Jas 4:15). He does not seem to have been able to go as soonas he intended.and will know—take cognizance of.but the power—I care not for their high-sounding "speech," "but" what I desire to know is"their power," whether they be really powerful in the Spirit, or not. The predominant feature ofGrecian character, a love for power of discourse, rather than that of godliness, showed itself atCorinth.20. kingdom of God is not in word—Translate, as in 1Co 4:19, to which the reference is"speech." Not empty "speeches," but the manifest "power" of the Spirit attests the presence of "thekingdom of God" (the reign of the Gospel spiritually), in a church or in an individual (compare1Co 2:1, 4; 1Th 1:5).21. with a rod, or in love—The Greek preposition is used in both clauses; must I come INdispleasure to exercise the rod, or IN love, and the Spirit of meekness (Isa 11:4; 2Co 13:3)?CHAPTER 51Co 5:1-13. The Incestuous Person at Corinth: The Corinthians Reproved for Connivance, and Warned to PurgeOut the Bad Leaven. Qualification of His Former Command as to Association with Sinners of the World.1. commonly—rather, "actually" [Alford]. Absolutely [Bengel]. "It is reported," implies, that theCorinthians, though they "wrote" (1Co 7:1) to Paul on other points, gave him no information on2469JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthose things which bore against themselves. These latter matters reached the apostle indirectly (1Co1:11).so much as named—The oldest manuscripts and authorities omit "named": "Fornication ofsuch a gross kind as (exists) not even among the heathen, so that one (of you) hath (in concubinage)his father's wife," that is, his stepmother, while his father is still alive (2Co 7:12; compare Le 18:8).She was perhaps a heathen, for which reason he does not direct his rebuke against her (compare1Co 5:12, 13). Alford thinks "have" means have in marriage: but the connection is called"fornication," and neither Christian nor Gentile law would have sanctioned such a marriage, howeverCorinth's notorious profligacy might wink at the concubinage.2. puffed up—with your own wisdom and knowledge, and the eloquence of your favoriteteachers: at a time when ye ought to be "mourning" at the scandal caused to religion by the incest.Paul mourned because they did not mourn (2Co 2:4). We ought to mourn over the transgressionsof others, and repent of our own (2Co 12:21) [Bengel].that—ye have not felt such mourning as would lead to the result that, &c.taken away from among you—by excommunication. The incestuous person was herebybrought to bitter repentance, in the interval between the sending of the first and second Epistles(2Co 2:5-10). Excommunication in the Christian Church corresponded to that in the Jewishsynagogue, in there being a lighter and heavier form: the latter an utter separation from churchfellowship and the Lord's house, the former exclusion from the Lord's Supper only but not fromthe Church.3. as absent—The best manuscripts read, "being absent."present in spirit—(2Ki 5:26; Col 2:5).so done—rather, "perpetrated," as the Greek word here is stronger than that for "done" in 1Co5:2. "So," that is, so scandalously while called a brother.4. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—By His authority and as representing His personand will (2Co 2:10). Join this with "to deliver such a one unto Satan" (1Co 5:5). The clause, "Whenye have been gathered together and my spirit (wherein I am 'present,' though 'absent in body,' 1Co5:3), with the power of our Lord Jesus," stands in a parenthesis between. Paul speaking of himselfuses the word "spirit"; of Christ, "power." Christ's power was promised to be present with HisChurch "gathered together in His name" (Mt 18:18-20): and here Paul by inspiration gives a specialpromise of his apostolic spirit, which in such cases was guided by the Holy Spirit, ratifying theirdecree passed according to his judgment ("I have judged," 1Co 5:3), as though he were present inperson (Joh 20:21-23; 2Co 13:3-10). This power of infallible judgment was limited to the apostles;for they alone had the power of working miracles as their credentials to attest their infallibility.Their successors, to establish their claim to the latter, must produce the former (2Co 12:2). Eventhe apostles in ordinary cases, and where not specially and consciously inspired, were fallible (Ac8:13, 23; Ga 2:11-14).5. Besides excommunication (of which the Corinthians themselves had the power), Paul delegateshere to the Corinthian Church his own special power as an apostle, of inflicting corporeal diseaseor death in punishment for sin ("to deliver to Satan such an one," that is, so heinous a sinner). Forinstances of this power, see Ac 5:1-11; 13:11; 1Ti 1:20. As Satan receives power at times to try thegodly, as Job (Job 2:4-7) and Paul (2Co 12:7; compare also as to Peter, Lu 22:31), much more theungodly. Satan, the "accuser of the brethren" (Re 12:10) and the "adversary" (1Pe 5:8), demandsthe sinner for punishment on account of sin (Zec 3:1). When God lets Satan have his way, He is2470JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsaid to "deliver the sinner unto Satan" (compare Ps 109:6). Here it is not finally; but for the afflictionof the body with disease, and even death (1Co 11:30, 32), so as to destroy fleshly lust. He does notsay, "for the destruction of the body," for it shall share in redemption (Ro 8:23); but of the corrupt"flesh" which "cannot inherit the kingdom of God," and the lusts of which had prompted thisoffender to incest (Ro 7:5; 8:9, 10). The "destruction of the flesh" answers to "mortify the deeds ofthe body" (Ro 8:13), only that the latter is done by one's self, the former is effected by chastisementfrom God (compare 1Pe 4:6):the spirit … saved—the spiritual part of man, in the believer the organ of the Holy Spirit.Temporary affliction often leads to permanent salvation (Ps 83:16).6. Your glorying in your own attainments and those of your favorite teachers (1Co 3:21; 4:19;5:2), while all the while ye connive at such a scandal, is quite unseemly.a little leaven leaveth … whole lump—(Ga 5:9), namely, with present complicity in the guilt,and the danger of future contagion (1Co 15:33; 2Ti 2:17).7. old leaven—The remnant of the "old" (Eph 4:22-24) heathenish and natural corruption. Theimage is taken from the extreme care of the Jews in searching every corner of their houses, and"purging out" every particle of leaven from the time of killing the lamb before the Passover (De16:3, 4). So Christians are continually to search and purify their hearts (Ps 139:23, 24).as ye are unleavened—normally, and as far as your Christian calling is concerned: free fromthe leaven of sin and death (1Co 6:11). Paul often grounds exhortations on the assumption ofChristian professors' normal state as realized (Ro 6:3, 4) [Alford]. Regarding the Corinthian Churchas the Passover "unleavened lump" or mass, he entreats them to correspond in fact with this theirnormal state. "For Christ our Passover (Ex 12:5-11, 21-23; Joh 1:29) has been (English Version,"is") sacrificed for us"; that is, as the Jews began the days of unleavened bread with the slaying ofthe Passover lamb, so, Christ our Passover having been already slain, let there be no leaven of evilin you who are the "unleavened lump." Doubtless he alludes to the Passover which had been twoor three weeks before kept by the Jewish Christians (1Co 16:8): the Gentile Christians probablyalso refraining from leavened bread at the love-feasts. Thus the Jewish Passover naturally gaveplace to our Christian Easter. The time however, of keeping feast (metaphorical; that is, leadingthe Christian life of joy in Christ's finished work, compare Pr 15:15) among us Christians,corresponding to the Jewish Passover, is not limited, as the latter, to one season, but is ALL ourtime; for the transcendent benefits of the once-for-all completed sacrifice of our Passover Lambextends to all the time of our lives and of this Christian dispensation; in no part of our time is theleaven of evil to be admitted.For even—an additional reason, besides that in 1Co 5:6, and a more cogent one for purgingout every leaven of evil; namely, that Christ has been already sacrificed, whereas the old leaven isyet unremoved, which ought to have been long ago purged out.8. not … old leaven—of our unconverted state as Jews or heathen.malice—the opposite of "sincerity," which allows no leaven of evil to be mixed up with good(Mt 16:6).wickedness—the opposite of "truth," which allows not evil to be mistaken for good. The Greekfor "malice" means the evil habit of mind; "wickedness," the outcoming of the same in word anddeed. The Greek for "sincerity" expresses literally, a thing which, when examined by the sun's light,is found pure and unadulterated.2471JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. I wrote … in an epistle—rather, "in the Epistle": a former one not now extant. That Pauldoes not refer to the present letter is proved by the fact that no direction "not to company withfornicators" occurs in the previous part of it; also the words, "in an (or, the) epistle," could not havebeen added if he meant, "I have just written" (2Co 10:10). "His letters" (plural; not applying tomerely one) confirm this. 2Co 7:8 also refers to our first Epistle, just as here a former letter isreferred to by the same phrase. Paul probably wrote a former brief reply to inquiries of theCorinthians: our first Epistle, as it enters more fully into the same subject, has superseded theformer, which the Holy Spirit did not design for the guidance of the Church in general, and whichtherefore has not been preserved. See my Introduction.10. Limitation of the prohibition alluded to in 1Co 5:9. As in dissolute Corinth to "companywith no fornicators," &c., would be almost to company with none in the (unbelieving) world; yeneed not utterly ("altogether") forego intercourse with fornicators, &c., of the unbelieving world(compare 1Co 10:27; Joh 17:15; 1Jo 5:18, 19). As "fornicators" sin against themselves, so"extortioners" against their neighbors, and "idolaters" against God. The attempt to get "out of theworld," in violation of God's will that believers should remain in it but keep themselves from itsevil, led to monasticism and its consequent evils.11. But now—"Now" does not express time, but "the case being so," namely, that to avoidfornicators, &c., of the world, you would have to leave the world altogether, which would be absurd.So "now" is used in Heb 11:16. Thus we avoid making the apostle now retract a command whichhe had before given.I have written—that is, my meaning in the letter I wrote was "not to keep company," &c.a brother—contrasted with a "fornicator … of the world" (1Co 5:10). There is less danger inassociating with open worldlings than with carnal professors. Here, as in Eph 5:3, 5, "covetousness"is joined with "fornication": the common fount of both being "the fierce and ever fiercer longingof the creature, which has turned from God, to fill itself with the inferior objects of sense" [Trench,Greek Synonyms of the New Testament]. Hence "idolatry" is associated with them: and the covetousman is termed an "idolater" (Nu 25:1, 2). The Corinthians did not fall into open idolatry, but atethings offered to idols, so making a compromise with the heathen; just as they connived atfornication. Thus this verse prepares for the precepts in 1Co 8:4, &c. Compare the similar case offornication, combined with a similar idolatrous compromise, after the pattern of Israel with theMidianites (Re 2:14).no not to eat—not to sit at the same table with such; whether at the love-feasts (agapæ) or inprivate intercourse, much more at the Lord's table: at the last, too often now the guests "are not aschildren in one family, but like a heterogeneous crowd of strangers in an inn" [Bengel] (compare Ga2:12; 2Jo 10, 11).12. what have I to do—You might have easily understood that my concern is not withunbelievers outside the Church, but that I referred to those within it.also—Implying, Those within give me enough to do without those outside.do not ye, &c.—Ye judge your fellow citizens, not strangers: much more should I [Bengel].Rather, Is it not your duty to judge them that are within? God shall judge them that are without: doyou look at home [Grotius]. God is the Judge of the salvation of the heathen, not we (Ro 2:12-16).Paul here gives an anticipatory censure of their going to law with saints before heathen tribunals,instead of judging such causes among themselves within.2472JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson13. put away from among yourselves that wicked—Sentence of excommunication in languagetaken from De 24:7.CHAPTER 61Co 6:1-11. Litigation of Christians in Heathen Courts Censured: Its Very Existence Betrays a Wrong Spirit: Betterto Bear Wrong Now, and Hereafter the Doers of Wrong Shall Be Shut Out of Heaven.1. Dare—This word implies treason against Christian brotherhood [Bengel].before the unjust—The Gentile judges are here so termed by an epithet appropriate to thesubject in question, namely, one concerning justice. Though all Gentiles were not altogether unjust,yet in the highest view of justice which has regard to God as the Supreme Judge, they are so:Christians, on the other hand, as regarding God as the only Fountain of justice, should not expectjustice from them.before … saints—The Jews abroad were permitted to refer their disputes to Jewish arbitrators[Josephus, Antiquities, 14.10,17]. So the Christians were allowed to have Christian arbitrators.2. Do ye not know—as a truth universally recognized by Christians. Notwithstanding all yourglorying in your "knowledge," ye are acting contrary to it (1Co 1:4, 5; 8:1). The oldest manuscriptshave "Or" before "know ye not"; that is, "What! (expressing surprise) know ye not," &c.saints … judge—that is, "rule," including judgment: as assessors of Christ. Mt 19:28, "judging,"that is, "ruling over." (Compare Ps 49:14; Da 7:22, 27; Re 2:26; 3:21; 20:4). There is a distinctiondrawn by able expositors between the saints who judge or rule, and the world which is ruled bythem: as there is between the elected (Mt 20:23) twelve apostles who sit on thrones judging, andthe twelve tribes of Israel that are judged by them. To reign, and to be saved, are not necessarilysynonymous. As Jehovah employed angels to carry the law into effect when He descended on Sinaito establish His throne in Israel, so at His coming the saints shall administer the kingdom for, andunder, Him. The nations of the earth, and Israel the foremost, in the flesh, shall, in this view, bethe subjects of the rule of the Lord and His saints in glorified bodies. The mistake of the Chiliastswas that they took the merely carnal view, restricting the kingdom to the terrestrial part. This partshall have place with the accession of spiritual and temporal blessings such as Christ's presencemust produce. Besides this earthly glory, there shall be the heavenly glory of the saints reigning intransfigured bodies, and holding such blessed intercourse with mortal men, as angels had with menof old, and as Christ, Moses, and Elias, in glory had with Peter, James, and John, in the flesh at thetransfiguration (2Ti 2:12; 2Pe 1:16-18). But here the "world" seems to be the unbelieving worldthat is to be "condemned" (1Co 11:22), rather than the whole world, including the subject nationswhich are to be brought under Christ's sway; however, it may include both those to be condemned,with the bad angels, and those about to be brought into obedience to the sway of Christ with Hissaints. Compare Mt 25:32, 40, "all nations," "these my brethren" on the thrones with Him. Theevent will decide the truth of this view.judged by you—or, before you (compare 1Co 3:22).smallest matters—The weightiest of earthly questions at issue are infinitely small comparedwith those to be decided on the judgment-day.3. judge angels—namely, bad angels. We who are now "a spectacle to angels" shall then "judgeangels." The saints shall join in approving the final sentence of the Judge on them (Jude 6). Believers2473JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonshall, as administrators of the kingdom under Jesus, put down all rule that is hostile to God. Perhaps,too, good angels shall then receive from the Judge, with the approval of the saints, higher honors.4. judgments—that is, cases for judgment.least esteemed—literally, "those of no esteem." Any, however low in the Church, rather thanthe heathen (1Co 1:28). Questions of earthly property are of secondary consequence in the eyes oftrue Christians, and are therefore delegated to those in a secondary position in the Church.5. your shame—Thus he checks their puffed-up spirit (1Co 5:2; compare 1Co 15:34). To shameyou out of your present unworthy course of litigation before the heathen, I have said (1Co 6:4),"Set the least esteemed in the Church to judge." Better even this, than your present course.Is it so?—Are you in such a helpless state that, &c.?not a wise man—though ye admire "wisdom" so much on other occasions (1Co 1:5, 22). Paulalludes probably to the title, "cachain," or wise man, applied to each Rabbi in Jewish councils.no, not one—not even one, amidst so many reputed among you for wisdom (1Co 3:18; 4:6).shall be able—when applied to.brethren—literally, "brother"; that is, judge between brother and brother. As each case shouldarise, the arbitrator was to be chosen from the body of the church, such a wise person as had thecharism, or gift, of church government.6. But—emphatically answering the question in the end of 1Co 6:5 in the negative. Translate,"Nay," &c.7. utterly a fault—literally, "a shortcoming" (not so strong as sin). Your going to law at all isa falling short of your high privileges, not to say your doing so before unbelievers, which aggravatesit.rather take wrong—(Pr 20:22; Mt 5:39, 40); that is, "suffer yourselves to be wronged."8. ye—emphatic. Ye, whom your Lord commanded to return good for evil, on the contrary, "dowrong (by taking away) and defraud" (by retaining what is entrusted to you; or "defraud" marksthe effect of the "wrong" done, namely, the loss inflicted). Not only do ye not bear, but ye inflictwrongs.9. unrighteous—Translate, "Doers of wrong": referring to 1Co 6:8 (compare Ga 5:21).kingdom of God—which is a kingdom of righteousness (Ro 14:17).fornicators—alluding to 1Co 5:1-13; also below, 1Co 6:12-18.effeminate—self-polluters, who submit to unnatural lusts.11. ye are washed—The Greek middle voice expresses, "Ye have had yourselves washed."This washing implies the admission to the benefits of Christ's salvation generally; of which theparts are; (1) Sanctification, or the setting apart from the world, and adoption into the Church: so"sanctified" is used 1Co 7:14; Joh 17:19. Compare 1Pe 1:2, where it rather seems to mean thesetting apart of one as consecrated by the Spirit in the eternal purpose God. (2) Justification fromcondemnation through the righteousness of God in Christ by faith (Ro 1:17). So Paræus. The orderof sanctification before justification shows that it must be so taken, and not in the sense ofprogressive sanctification. "Washed" precedes both, and so must refer to the Christian's outwardnew birth of water, the sign of the inward setting apart to the Lord by the inspiration of the Spiritas the seed of new life (Joh 3:5; Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5; Heb 10:22). Paul (compare the Church of EnglandBaptismal Service), in charity, and faith in the ideal of the Church, presumes that baptism realizesits original design, and that those outwardly baptized inwardly enter into vital communion withChrist (Ga 3:27). He presents the grand ideal which those alone realized in whom the inward and2474JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe outward baptism coalesced. At the same time he recognizes the fact that this in many casesdoes not hold good (1Co 6:8-10), leaving it to God to decide who are the really "washed," whilehe only decides on broad general principles.in the name of … Jesus, and by the Spirit—rather, "in the Spirit," that is, by His in-dwelling.Both clauses belong to the three—"washed, sanctified, justified."our God—The "our" reminds the that amidst all his reproofs God is still the common God ofhimself and them.1Co 6:12-20. Refutation of the Antinomian Defense of Fornication as if It Was Lawful Because Meats Are So.12. All things are lawful unto me—These, which were Paul's own words on a former occasion(to the Corinthians, compare 1Co 10:23, and Ga 5:23), were made a pretext for excusing the eatingof meats offered to idols, and so of what was generally connected with idolatry (Ac 15:29),"fornication" (perhaps in the letter of the Corinthians to Paul, 1Co 7:1). Paul's remark had referredonly to things indifferent: but they wished to treat fornication as such, on the ground that theexistence of bodily appetites proved the lawfulness of their gratification.me—Paul giving himself as a sample of Christians in general.but I—whatever others do, I will not, &c.lawful … brought under the power—The Greek words are from the same root, whence thereis a play on the words: All things are in my power, but I will not be brought under the power ofany of them (the "all things"). He who commits "fornication," steps aside from his own legitimatepower or liberty, and is "brought under the power" of an harlot (1Co 6:15; compare 1Co 7:4). The"power" ought to be in the hands of the believer, not in the things which he uses [Bengel]; else hisliberty is forfeited; he ceases to be his own master (Joh 8:34-36; Ga 5:13; 1Pe 2:16; 2Pe 2:19).Unlawful things ruin thousands; "lawful" things (unlawfully used), ten thousands.13. The argument drawn from the indifference of meats (1Co 8:8; Ro 14:14, 17; compare Mr7:18; Col 2:20-22) to that of fornication does not hold good. Meats doubtless are indifferent, sinceboth they and the "belly" for which they are created are to be "destroyed" in the future state. But"the body is not (created) for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body" (as itsRedeemer, who hath Himself assumed the body): "And God hath raised up the Lord, and will alsoraise up us" (that is our bodies): therefore the "body" is not, like the "belly," after having served atemporary use, to be destroyed: Now "he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body"(1Co 6:18). Therefore fornication is not indifferent, since it is a sin against one's own body, which,like the Lord for whom it is created, is not to be destroyed, but to be raised to eternal existence.Thus Paul gives here the germ of the three subjects handled in subsequent sections: (1) The relationbetween the sexes. (2) The question of meats offered to idols. (3) The resurrection of the body.shall destroy—at the Lord's coming to change the natural bodies of believers into spiritualbodies (1Co 15:44, 52). There is a real essence underlying the superficial phenomena of the presenttemporary organization of the body, and this essential germ, when all the particles are scattered,involves the future resurrection of the body incorruptible.14. (Ro 8:11).raised up—rather, "raised," to distinguish it from "will raise up us"; the Greek of the latterbeing a compound, the former a simple verb. Believers shall be raised up out of the rest of the dead(see on Php 3:11); the first resurrection (Re 20:5).2475JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonus—Here he speaks of the possibility of his being found in the grave when Christ comes;elsewhere, of his being possibly found alive (1Th 4:17). In either event, the Lord's coming ratherthan death is the great object of the Christian's expectation (Ro 8:19).15. Resuming the thought in 1Co 6:13, "the body is for the Lord" (1Co 12:27; Eph 4:12, 15,16; 5:30).shall I then—such being the case.take—spontaneously alienating them from Christ. For they cannot be at the same time "themembers of an harlot," and "of Christ" [Bengel]. It is a fact no less certain than mysterious, thatmoral and spiritual ruin is caused by such sins; which human wisdom (when untaught by revelation)held to be actions as blameless as eating and drinking [Conybeare and Howson].16. Justification of his having called fornicators "members of an harlot" (1Co 6:15).joined—by carnal intercourse; literally, "cemented to": cleaving to.one body—with her.saith he—God speaking by Adam (Ge 2:24; Mt 19:5). "He which made them at the beginningsaid," &c. (Eph 5:31).17. one spirit—with Him. In the case of union with a harlot, the fornicator becomes one "body"with her (not one "spirit," for the spirit which is normally the organ of the Holy Spirit in man, is inthe carnal so overlaid with what is sensual that it is ignored altogether). But the believer not onlyhas his body sanctified by union with Christ's body, but also becomes "one spirit" with Him (Joh15:1-7; 17:21; 2Pe 1:4; compare Eph 5:23-32; Joh 3:6).18. Flee—The only safety in such temptations is flight (Ge 39:12; Job 31:1).Every sin—The Greek is forcible. "Every sin whatsoever that a man doeth." Every other sin;even gluttony, drunkenness, and self-murder are "without," that is, comparatively external to thebody (Mr 7:18; compare Pr 6:30-32). He certainly injures, but he does not alienate the body itself;the sin is not terminated in the body; he rather sins against the perishing accidents of the body (asthe "belly," and the body's present temporary organization), and against the soul than against thebody in its permanent essence, designed "for the Lord." "But" the fornicator alienates that bodywhich is the Lord's, and makes it one with a harlot's body, and so "sinneth against his own body,"that is, against the verity and nature of his body; not a mere effect on the body from without, but acontradiction of the truth of the body, wrought within itself [Alford].19. What? know ye not? &c.—Proof that "he that fornicates sinneth against his own body"(1Co 6:18).your body—not "bodies." As in 1Co 3:17, he represented the whole company of believers(souls and bodies), that is, the Church, as "the temple of God," the Spirit; so here, the body of eachindividual of the Church is viewed as the ideal "temple of the Holy Ghost." So Joh 17:23, whichproves that not only the Church, but also each member of it, is "the temple of the Holy Ghost." Stillthough many the several members form one temple, the whole collectively being that which eachis in miniature individually. Just as the Jews had one temple only, so in the fullest sense all Christianchurches and individual believers form one temple only. Thus "YOUR [plural] body" is distinguishedhere from "HIS OWN [particular or individual] body" (1Co 6:18). In sinning against the latter, thefornicator sins against "your (ideal) body," that of "Christ," whose "members your bodies" are (1Co6:15). In this consists the sin of fornication, that it is a sacrilegious desecration of God's temple toprofane uses. The unseen, but much more efficient, Spirit of God in the spiritual temple now takesthe place of the visible Shekinah in the old material temple. The whole man is the temple; the soul2476JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonis the inmost shrine; the understanding and heart, the holy place; and the body, the porch and exteriorof the edifice. Chastity is the guardian of the temple to prevent anything unclean entering whichmight provoke the indwelling God to abandon it as defiled [Tertullian, On the Apparel of Women].None but God can claim a temple; here the Holy Ghost is assigned one; therefore the Holy Ghostis God.not your own—The fornicator treats his body as if it were "his own," to give to a harlot if hepleases (1Co 6:18; compare 1Co 6:20). But we have no right to alienate our body which is theLord's. In ancient servitude the person of the servant was wholly the property of the master, nothis own. Purchase was one of the ways of acquiring a slave. Man has sold himself to sin (1Ki 21:20;Ro 7:14). Christ buys him to Himself, to serve Him (Ro 6:16-22).20. bought with a price—Therefore Christ's blood is strictly a ransom paid to God's justiceby the love of God in Christ for our redemption (Mt 20:28; Ac 20:28; Ga 3:13; Heb 9:12; 1Pe 1:18,19; 2Pe 2:1; Re 5:9). While He thus took off our obligation to punishment, He laid upon us a newobligation to obedience (1Co 7:22, 23). If we accept Him as our Prophet to reveal God to us, andour Priest to atone for us, we must also accept Him as our King to rule over us as wholly His,presenting every token of our fealty (Isa 26:13).in your body—as "in" a temple (compare Joh 13:32; Ro 12:1; Php 1:20).and in your spirit, which are God's—not in the oldest manuscripts and versions, and notneeded for the sense, as the context refers mainly to the "body" (1Co 6:16, 18, 19). The "spirit" isincidentally mentioned in 1Co 6:17, which perhaps gave rise to the interpolation, at first written inthe Margin, afterwards inserted in the text.CHAPTER 71Co 7:1-40. Reply to Their Inquiries as to Marriage; the General Principle in Other Things Is, Abide in Your Station,for the Time Is Short.1. The Corinthians in their letter had probably asked questions which tended to disparagemarriage, and had implied that it was better to break it off when contracted with an unbeliever.good—that is, "expedient," because of "the present distress"; that is, the unsettled state of theworld, and the likelihood of persecutions tearing rudely asunder those bound by marriage ties. Heb13:4, in opposition to ascetic and Romish notions of superior sanctity in celibacy, declares, "Marriageis HONORABLE IN ALL." Another reason why in some cases celibacy may be a matter of Christianexpediency is stated in 1Co 7:34, 35, "that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction." Butthese are exceptional cases, and in exceptional times, such as those of Paul.2. Here the general rule is givento avoid fornication—More literally, "on account of fornications," to which as being veryprevalent at Corinth, and not even counted sins among the heathen, unmarried persons might betempted. The plural, "fornications," marks irregular lusts, as contrasted with the unity of the marriagerelation [Bengel].let every man have—a positive command to all who have not the gift of continency, in fact tothe great majority of the world (1Co 7:5). The dignity of marriage is set forth by Paul (Eph 5:25-32),in the fact that it signifies the mystical union between Christ and the Church.3, 4. The duty of cohabitation on the part of the married.2477JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondue benevolence—The oldest manuscripts read simply, "her due"; that is, the conjugalcohabitation due by the marriage contract (compare 1Co 7:4).4. A paradox. She hath not power over her body, and yet it is her own. The oneness of body inwhich marriage places husband and wife explains this. The one complements the other. Neitherwithout the other realizes the perfect ideal of man.5. Defraud … not—namely, of the conjugal duty "due" (1Co 7:3; compare the Septuagint, Ex21:10).except it be—"unless perchance" [Alford].give yourselves to—literally, "be at leisure for"; be free from interruptions for; namely, onsome special "season," as the Greek for "time" means (compare Ex 19:15; Joe 2:16; Zec 7:3).fasting and prayer—The oldest manuscripts omit "fasting and"; an interpolation, evidently,of ascetics.come together—The oldest manuscripts read, "be together," namely, in the regular state of themarried.Satan—who often thrusts in his temptations to unholy thoughts amidst the holiest exercises.for your incontinency—because of your inability to "contain" (1Co 7:9) your naturalpropensities, which Satan would take advantage of.6. by permission … not of commandment—not by God's permission to me to say it: but, "byway of permission to you, not as a commandment." "This" refers to the directions, 1Co 7:2-5.7. even as I—having tile gift of continence (Mt 19:11, 12). This wish does not hold goodabsolutely, else the extension of mankind and of the Church would cease; but relatively to "thepresent distress" (1Co 7:26).8. to the unmarried—in general, of both sexes (1Co 7:10, 11).and widows—in particular.even as I—unmarried (1Co 9:5).9. if they cannot contain—that is, "have not continency."burn—with the secret flame of lust, which lays waste the whole inner man. (Compare Augustine[Holy Virginity]). The dew of God's grace is needed to stifle the flame, which otherwise wouldthrust men at last into hell-fire.10. not I, but the Lord—(Compare 1Co 7:12, 25, 40). In ordinary cases he writes on inspiredapostolic authority (1Co 14:37); but here on the direct authority of the Lord Himself (Mr 10:11,12). In both cases alike the things written are inspired by the Spirit of God "but not all for all time,nor all on the primary truths of the faith" [Alford].Let not the wife depart—literally, "be separated from." Probably the separation on either side,whether owing to the husband or to the wife, is forbidden.11. But and if she depart—or "be separated." If the sin of separation has been committed, thatof a new marriage is not to be added (Mt 5:32).be reconciled—by appeasing her husband's displeasure, and recovering his good will.let not … husband put away … wife—In Mt 5:32 the only exception allowed is, "saving forthe cause of fornication."12. to the rest—the other classes (besides "the married," 1Co 7:10, where both husband andwife are believers) about whom the Corinthians had inquired, namely, those involved in mixedmarriages with unbelievers.not the Lord—by any direct command spoken by Him.2478JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonshe be pleased—Greek, "consents": implying his wish in the first instance, with which hersconcurs.13. the woman—a believer.let her not leave him—"her husband," instead of "him," is the reading of the oldest manuscriptsThe Greek for "leave" is the same as in 1Co 7:12, "put away"; translate, "Let her not put away [thatis, part with] her husband." The wife had the power of effecting a divorce by Greek and Romanlaw.14. sanctified—Those inseparably connected with the people of God are hallowed thereby, sothat the latter may retain the connection without impairing their own sanctity (compare 1Ti 4:5);nay, rather imparting to the former externally some degree of their own hallowed character, andso preparing the way for the unbeliever becoming at last sanctified inwardly by faith.by … by—rather, "in … in"; that is, in virtue of the marriage tie between them.by the husband—The oldest manuscripts read, "by the brother." It is the fact of the husbandbeing a "brother," that is, a Christian, though the wife is not so, that sanctifies or hallows the union.else … children unclean—that is, beyond the hallowed pale of God's people: in contrast to"holy," that is, all that is within the consecrated limits [Conybeare and Howson]. The phraseologyaccords with that of the Jews, who regarded the heathen as "unclean," and all of the elect nation as"holy," that is, partakers of the holy covenant. Children were included in the covenant, as Godmade it not only with Abraham, but with his "seed after" him (Ge 17:7). So the faith of one Christianparent gives to the children a near relationship to the Church, just as if both parents were Christians(compare Ro 11:16). Timothy, the bearer of this Epistle, is an instance in point (Ac 16:1). Paulappeals to the Corinthians as recognizing the principle, that the infants of heathen parents wouldnot be admissible to Christian baptism, because there is no faith on the part of the parents; butwhere one parent is a believer, the children are regarded as not aliens from, but admissible even ininfancy as sharers in, the Christian covenant: for the Church presumes that the believing parentwill rear the child in the Christian faith. Infant baptism tacitly superseded infant circumcision, justas the Christian Lord's day gradually superseded the Jewish sabbath, without our having any expresscommand for, or record of, transference. The setting aside of circumcision and of sabbaths in thecase of the Gentiles was indeed expressly commanded by the apostles and Paul, but the substitutionof infant baptism and of the Lord's day were tacitly adopted, not expressly enacted. No explicitmention of it occurs till Irenæus in the third century; but no society of Christians that we read ofdisputed its propriety till fifteen hundred years after Christ. Anabaptists would have us defer baptismtill maturity as the child cannot understand the nature of it. But a child may be made heir of anestate: it is his, though incapable at the time of using or comprehending its advantage; he is nothereafter to acquire the title and claim to it: he will hereafter understand his claim, and be capableof employing his wealth: he will then, moreover, become responsible for the use he makes of it[Archbishop Whately].15. if … depart—that is, wishes for separation. Translate, "separateth himself": offended withher Christianity, and refusing to live with her unless she renounce it.brother or a sister is not under bondage—is not bound to renounce the faith for the sake ofretaining her unbelieving husband [Hammond]. So De 13:6; Mt 10:35-37; Lu 14:26. The believerdoes not lie under the same obligation in the case of a union with an unbeliever, as in the case ofone with a believer. In the former case he is not bound not to separate, if the unbeliever separateor "depart," in the latter nothing but "fornication" justifies separation [Photius in Æcumenius].2479JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbut God hath called us to peace—Our Christian calling is one that tends to "peace" (Ro 12:18),not quarrelling; therefore the believer should not ordinarily depart from the unbelieving consort(1Co 7:12-14), on the one hand; and on the other, in the exceptional case of the unbeliever desiringto depart, the believer is not bound to force the other party to stay in a state of continual discord(Mt 5:32). Better still it would be not to enter into such unequal alliances at all (1Co 7:40; 2Co6:14).16. What knowest thou but that by staying with thy unbelieving partner thou mayest save himor her? Enforcing the precept to stay with the unbelieving consort (1Co 7:12-14). So Ruth theMoabitess became a convert to her husband's faith: and Joseph and Moses probably gained overtheir wives. So conversely the unbelieving husband may be won by the believing wife (1Pe 3:1)[Calvin]. Or else (1Co 7:15), if thy unbelieving consort wishes to depart, let him go, so that thoumayest live "in peace": for thou canst not be sure of converting him, so as to make it obligatory onthee at all costs to stay with him against his will [Menochius and Alford].save—be the instrument of salvation to (Jas 5:20).17. But—Greek, "If not." "Only." Caution that believers should not make this direction (1Co7:16; as Alford explains it) a ground for separating "of themselves" (1Co 7:12-14). Or, But if therebe no hope of gaining over the unbeliever, still let the general principle be maintained, "As theLord hath allotted to each, as God hath called each, so let him walk" (so the Greek in the oldestreading); let him walk in the path allotted to him and wherein he was called. The heavenly callingdoes not set aside our earthly callings.so ordain I in all churches—Ye also therefore should obey.18. not become uncircumcised—by surgical operation (1 Maccabees 1:15; Josephus [Antiquities,12.5.1]). Some Christians in excess of anti-Jewish feeling might be tempted to this.let him not be circumcised—as the Judaizing Christians would have him (Ac 15:1, 5, 24; Ga5:2).19. Circumcision … nothing, but … keeping of … commandments of God—namely, is allin all. In Ga 5:6 this "keeping of the commandments of God" is defined to be "faith which workethby love"; and in Ga 6:15, "a new creature." Circumcision was a commandment of God: but not forever, as "love."20. the same calling—that is, the condition from which he is called a Jew, a Greek, a slave, ora freeman.21. care not for it—Let it not be a trouble to thee that thou art a servant or slave.use it rather—Continue rather in thy state as a servant (1Co 7:20; Ga 3:28; 1Ti 6:2). The Greek,"But if even thou mayest be made free, use it," and the context (1Co 7:20, 22) favors this view[Chrysostom, Bengel, and Alford]. This advice (if this translation be right) is not absolute, as the spiritof the Gospel is against slavery. What is advised here is, contentment under one's existing condition(1Co 7:24), though an undesirable one, since in our union with Christ all outward disparities ofcondition are compensated (1Co 7:22). Be not unduly impatient to cast off "even" thy condition asa servant by unlawful means (1Pe 2:13-18); as, for example, Onesimus did by fleeing (Phm 10-18).The precept (1Co 7:23), "Become not (so the Greek) the servants of men," implies plainly thatslavery is abnormal (compare Le 25:42). "Men stealers," or slave dealers, are classed in 1Ti 1:10,with "murderers" and "perjurers." Neander, Grotius, &c., explain, "If called, being a slave, toChristianity, be content—but yet, if also thou canst be free (as a still additional good, which if thoucanst not attain, be satisfied without it; but which, if offered to thee, is not to be despised), make2480JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonuse of the opportunity of becoming free, rather than by neglecting it to remain a slave." I preferthis latter view, as more according to the tenor of the Gospel, and fully justified by the Greek.22. the Lord's freeman—(Phm 16)—rather, "freedman." Though a slave externally, spirituallymade free by the Lord: from sin, Joh 8:36; from the law, Ro 8:2; from "circumcision," 1Co 7:19;Ga 5:1.Christ's servant—(1Co 9:21). Love makes Christ's service perfect freedom (Mt 11:29, 30; Ga5:13; 1Pe 2:16).23. be not ye—Greek, "become not ye." Paul here changes from "thou" (1Co 7:21) to "ye." Yeall are "bought" with the blood of Christ, whatever be your earthly state (1Co 6:20). "Become notservants to men," either externally, or spiritually; the former sense applying to the free alone: thelatter to Christian freemen and slaves alike, that they should not be servile adherents to their partyleaders at Corinth (1Co 3:21, 22; Mt 23:8-10; 2Co 11:20); nor indeed slaves to men generally, sofar as their condition admits. The external and internal conditions, so far as is attainable, shouldcorrespond, and the former be subservient to the latter (compare 1Co 7:21, 32-35).24. abide with God—being chiefly careful of the footing on which he stands towards Godrather than that towards men. This clause, "with God," limits the similar precept in 1Co 7:20. Aman may cease to "abide in the calling wherein he was called," and yet not violate the precept here.If a man's calling be not favorable to his "abiding with God" (retaining holy fellowship with Him),he may use lawful means to change from it (compare Note, see on 1Co 7:21).25. no commandment of the Lord: yet … my judgment—I have no express revelation fromthe Lord commanding it, but I give my judgment (opinion); namely, under the ordinary inspirationwhich accompanied the apostles in all their canonical writings (compare 1Co 7:40; 1Co 14:37; 1Th4:15). The Lord inspires me in this case to give you only a recommendation, which you are free toadopt or reject—not a positive command. In the second case (1Co 7:10, 11) it was a positivecommand; for the Lord had already made known His will (Mal 2:14, 15; Mt 5:31, 32). In the thirdcase (1Co 7:12), the Old Testament commandment of God to put away strange wives (Ezr 10:3),Paul by the Spirit revokes.mercy of the Lord—(1Ti 1:13). He attributes his apostleship and the gifts accompanying it(including inspiration) to God's grace alone.faithful—in dispensing to you the inspired directions received by me from the Lord.26. I suppose—"I consider."this—namely, "for a man so to be," that is, in the same state in which he is (1Co 7:27).for—by reason of.the present distress—the distresses to which believers were then beginning to be subjected,making the married state less desirable than the single; and which would prevail throughout theworld before the destruction of Jerusalem, according to Christ's prophecy (Mt 24:8-21; compareAc 11:28).27. Illustrating the meaning of "so to be," 1Co 7:26. Neither the married (those "bound to awife") nor the unmarried (those "loosed from a wife") are to "seek" a change of state (compare 1Co7:20, 24).28. trouble in the flesh—Those who marry, he says, shall incur "trouble in the flesh" (that is,in their outward state, by reason of the present distress), not sin, which is the trouble of the spirit.but I spare you—The emphasis in the Greek is on "I." My motive in advising you so is, to"spare you" such trouble in the flesh. So Alford after Calvin, Bengel, and others. Estius from Augustine2481JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonexplains it, "I spare you further details of the inconveniences of matrimony, lest even the incontinentmay at the peril of lust be deterred from matrimony: thus I have regard for your infirmity." Theantithesis in the Greek of "I … you" and "such" favors the former.29. this I say—A summing up of the whole, wherein he draws the practical inference fromwhat precedes (1Co 15:50).the time—the season (so the Greek) of this present dispensation up to the coming of the Lord(Ro 13:11). He uses the Greek expression which the Lord used in Lu 21:8; Mr 13:33.short—literally, "contracted."it remaineth—The oldest manuscripts read, "The time (season) is shortened as to what remains,in order that both they," &c.; that is, the effect which the shortening of the time ought to have is,"that for the remaining time (henceforth), both they," &c. The clause, "as to what remains," thoughin construction belonging to the previous clause, in sense belongs to the following. However, Cyprianand Vulgate support English Version.as though they had none—We ought to consider nothing as our own in real or permanentpossession.30. they that weep … wept not—(Compare 2Co 6:10).they that buy … possessed not—(Compare Isa 24:1, 2). Christ specifies as the condemningsin of the men of Sodom not merely their open profligacy, but that "they bought, they sold," &c.,as men whose all was in this world (Lu 17:28). "Possessed" in the Greek implies a holding fast ofa possession; this the Christian will not do, for his "enduring substance" is elsewhere (Heb 10:34).31. not abusing it—not abusing it by an overmuch using of it. The meaning of "abusing" hereis, not so much perverting, as using it to the full [Bengel]. We are to use it, "not to take our fill" ofits pursuits as our chief aim (compare Lu 10:40-42). As the planets while turning on their own axis,yet revolve round the sun; so while we do our part in our own worldly sphere, God is to be thecenter of all our desires.fashion—the present fleeting form. Compare Ps 39:6, "vain show"; Ps 73:20, "a dream"; Jas4:14, "a vapor."passeth away—not merely shall pass away, but is now actually passing away. The image isdrawn from a shifting scene in a play represented on the stage (1Jo 2:17). Paul inculcates not somuch the outward denial of earthly things, as the inward spirit whereby the married and the rich,as well as the unmarried and the poor, would be ready to sacrifice all for Christ's sake.32. without carefulness—I would have you to be not merely "without trouble," but "withoutdistracting cares" (so the Greek).careth—if he uses aright the advantages of his condition.34. difference also—Not merely the unmarried and the married man differ in their respectiveduties, but also the wife and the virgin. Indeed a woman undergoes a greater change of conditionthan a man in contracting marriage.35. for your own profit—not to display my apostolic authority.not … cast a snare upon you—image from throwing a noose over an animal in hunting. Notthat by hard injunctions I may entangle you with the fear of committing sin where there is no sin.comely—befitting under present circumstances.attend upon—literally, "assiduously wait on"; sitting down to the duty. Compare Lu 10:39,Mary; Lu 2:37, "Anna … a widow, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fastingsand prayers night and day" (1Ti 5:5).2482JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondistraction—the same Greek as "cumbered" (Lu 10:40, Martha).36. behaveth … uncomely—is not treating his daughter well in leaving her unmarried beyondthe flower of her age, and thus debarring her from the lawful gratification of her natural feeling asa marriageable woman.need so require—if the exigencies of the case require it; namely, regard to the feelings andwelfare of his daughter. Opposed to "having no necessity" (1Co 7:37).let them marry—the daughter and her suitor.37. steadfast—not to be turned from his purpose by the obloquy of the world.having no necessity—arising from the natural inclinations of the daughter.power over his … will—when, owing to his daughter's will not opposing his will, he has powerto carry into effect his will or wish.decreed—determined.38. her—The oldest manuscripts have "his own virgin daughter."but—The oldest manuscripts have "and."39. bound by the law—The oldest manuscripts omit "by the law."only in the Lord—Let her marry only a Christian (2Co 6:14).40. happier—(1Co 7:1, 28, 34, 35).I think also—"I also think"; just as you Corinthians and your teachers think much of youropinions, so I also give my opinion by inspiration; so in 1Co 7:25, "my judgment" or opinion. Thinkdoes not imply doubt, but often a matter of well-grounded assurance (Joh 5:39).CHAPTER 81Co 8:1-13. On Partaking of Meats Offered to Idols.1. Though to those knowing that an idol has no existence, the question of eating meats offeredto idols (referred to in the letter of the Corinthians, compare 1Co 7:1) might seem unimportant, itis not so with some, and the infirmities of such should be respected. The portions of the victimsnot offered on the altars belonged partly to the priests, partly to the offerers; and were eaten at feastsin the temples and in private houses and were often sold in the markets; so that Christians wereconstantly exposed to the temptation of receiving them, which was forbidden (Nu 25:2; Ps 106:28).The apostles forbade it in their decree issued from Jerusalem (Ac 15:1-29; 21:25); but Paul doesnot allude here to that decree, as he rests his precepts rather on his own independent apostolicauthority.we know that we all have knowledge—The Corinthians doubtless had referred to their"knowledge" (namely, of the indifference of meats, as in themselves having no sanctity or pollution).Paul replies, "We are aware that we all have [speaking generally, and so far as Christian theorygoes; for in 1Co 8:7 he speaks of some who practically have not] this knowledge."Knowledge puffeth up—when without "love." Here a parenthesis begins; and the main subjectis resumed in the same words, 1Co 8:4. "As concerning [touching] therefore the eating," &c. "Puffingup" is to please self. "Edifying" is to please one's neighbor; Knowledge only says, All things arelawful for me; Love adds, But all things do not edify [Bengel], (1Co 10:23; Ro 14:15).edifieth—tends to build up the spiritual temple (1Co 3:9; 6:19).2483JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. And—omitted in the oldest manuscripts The absence of the connecting particle gives anemphatical sententiousness to the style, suitable to the subject. The first step to knowledge is toknow our own ignorance. Without love there is only the appearance of knowledge.knoweth—The oldest manuscripts read a Greek word implying personal experimentalacquaintance, not merely knowledge of a fact, which the Greek of "we know" or are aware (1Co8:1) means.as he ought to know—experimentally and in the way of "love."3. love God—the source of love to our neighbor (1Jo 4:11, 12, 20; 5:2).the same—literally, "this man"; he who loves, not he who "thinks that he knows," not having"charity" or love (1Co 8:1, 2).is known of him—is known with the knowledge of approval and is acknowledged by God asHis (Ps 1:6; Ga 4:9; 2Ti 2:19). Contrast, "I never knew you" (Mt 7:23). To love God is to knowGod; and he who thus knows God has been first known by God (compare 1Co 13:12; 1Pe 1:2).4. As concerning, &c.—resuming the subject begun in 1Co 8:1, "As touching," &c.idol is nothing—has no true being at all, the god it represents is not a living reality. This doesnot contradict 1Co 10:20, which states that they who worship idols, worship devils; for here it isthe Gods believed by the worshippers to be represented by the idols which are denied to have anyexistence, not the devils which really under the idols delude the worshippers.none other God—The oldest manuscripts omit the word "other"; which gives a clearer sense.5. "For even supposing there are (exist) gods so called (2Th 2:4), whether in heaven (as thesun, moon, and stars) or in earth (as deified kings, beasts, &c.), as there be (a recognized fact, De10:17; Ps 135:5; 136:2) gods many and lords many." Angels and men in authority are termed godsin Scripture, as exercising a divinely delegated power under God (compare Ex 22:9, with Ex 22:28;Ps 82:1, 6; Joh 10:34, 35).6. to us—believers.of whom—from whom as Creator all things derive their existence.we in him—rather, "we for Him," or "unto Him." God the Father is the end for whom and forwhose glory believers live. In Col 1:16 all things are said to be created (not only "by" Christ, butalso) "for Him" (Christ). So entirely are the Father and Son one (compare Ro 11:36; Heb 2:10).one Lord—contrasted with the "many lords" of heathendom (1Co 8:5).by whom—(Joh 1:3; Heb 1:2).we by him—as all things are "of" the Father by creation, so they (we believers especially) arerestored to Him by the new creation (Col 1:20; Re 21:5). Also, as all things are by Christ by creation,so they (we especially) are restored by Him by the new creation.7. Howbeit—Though to us who "have knowledge" (1Co 8:1, 4-6) all meats are indifferent, yet"this knowledge is not in all" in the same degree as we have it. Paul had admitted to the Corinthiansthat "we all have knowledge" (1Co 8:1), that is, so far as Christian theory goes; but practicallysome have it not in the same degree.with conscience—an ancient reading; but other very old manuscripts read "association" or"habit." In either reading the meaning is: Some Gentile Christians, whether from old associationof ideas or misdirected conscience, when they ate such meats, ate them with some feeling as if theidol were something real (1Co 8:4), and had changed the meats by the fact of the consecration intosomething either holy or else polluted.2484JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonunto this hour—after they have embraced Christianity; an implied censure, that they are notfurther advanced by this time in Christian "knowledge."their conscience … is defiled—by their eating it "as a thing offered to idols." If they ate itunconscious at the time that it had been offered to idols, there would be no defilement of conscience.But conscious of what it was, and not having such knowledge as other Corinthians boasted of,namely, that an idol is nothing and can therefore neither pollute nor sanctify meats, they by eatingthem sin against conscience (compare Ro 14:15-23). It was on the ground of Christian expediency,not to cause a stumbling-block to "weak" brethren, that the Jerusalem decree against partaking ofsuch meats (though indifferent in themselves) was passed (Ac 15:1-29). Hence he here vindicatesit against the Corinthian asserters of an inexpedient liberty.8. Other old manuscripts read, "Neither if we do not eat, are we the better: neither if we eat arewe the worse": the language of the eaters who justified their eating thus [Lachmann]. In EnglishVersion Paul admits that "meat neither presents [so the Greek for 'commendeth'] us as commendednor as disapproved before God": it does not affect our standing before God (Ro 14:6).9. this liberty of yours—the watchword for lax Corinthians. The very indifference of meats,which I concede, is the reason why ye should "take heed" not to tempt weak brethren to act againsttheir conscience (which constitutes sin, Ro 14:22, 23).10. if any man—being weak.which hast knowledge—The very knowledge which thou pridest thyself on (1Co 8:1), willlead the weak after thy example to do that against his conscience, which thou doest without anyscruple of conscience; namely, to eat meats offered to idols.conscience of him which is weak—rather, "His conscience, seeing he is weak" [Alford andothers].emboldened—literally, "built up." You ought to have built up your brother in good: but byyour example your building him up is the emboldening him to violate his conscience.11. shall … perish—The oldest manuscripts read "perisheth." A single act seeminglyunimportant may produce everlasting consequences. The weak brother loses his faith, and if he donot recover it, his salvation [Bengel] (Ro 14:23).for whom Christ died—and for whose sake we too ought to be willing to die (1Jo 3:16). Andyet professing Christians at Corinth virtually tempted their brethren to their damnation, so far werethey from sacrificing aught for their salvation. Note here, that it is no argument against the dogmathat Christ died for all, even for those who perish, to say that thus He would have died in vain formany. Scripture is our rule, not our suppositions as to consequences. More is involved in redemptionthan the salvation of man: the character of God as at once just and loving is vindicated even in thecase of the lost for they might have been saved, and so even in their case Christ has not died invain. So the mercies of God's providence are not in vain, though many abuse them. Even thecondemned shall manifest God's love in the great day, in that they too had the offer of God's mercy.It shall be the most awful ingredient in their cup that they might have been saved but would not:Christ died to redeem even them.12. wound their weak conscience—literally, "smite their conscience, being (as yet) in a weakstate." It aggravates the cruelty of the act that it is committed on the weak, just as if one were tostrike an invalid.against Christ—on account of the sympathy between Christ and His members (Mt 25:40; Ac9:4, 5).2485JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson13. meat—Old English for "food" in general.make … to offend—Greek, "is a stumbling-block to."no flesh—In order to ensure my avoiding flesh offered to idols, I would abstain from all kindsof flesh, in order not to be a stumbling-block to my brother.CHAPTER 91Co 9:1-27. He Confirms His Teaching as to Not Putting a Stumbling-block in a Brother's Way (1Co 8:13) BYHis Own Example in Not Using His Undoubted Rights as an Apostle, so as to Win Men to Christ.1. Am I not an apostle? am I not free?—The oldest manuscripts read the order thus, "Am Inot free? am I not an apostle?" He alludes to 1Co 8:9, "this liberty of yours": If you claim it, I appealto yourselves as the witnesses, have not I also it? "Am I not free?" If you be so, much more I. For"am I not an apostle?" so that I can claim not only Christian, but also apostolic, liberty.have I not seen Jesus—corporeally, not in a mere vision: compare 1Co 15:8, where the factof the resurrection, which he wishes to prove, could only be established by an actual bodilyappearance, such as was vouchsafed to Peter and the other apostles. In Ac 9:7, 17 the contrastbetween "the men with him seeing no man," and "Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way," showsthat Jesus actually appeared to him in going to Damascus. His vision of Christ in the temple (Ac22:17) was "in a trance." To be a witness of Christ's resurrection was a leading function of an apostle(Ac 1:22). The best manuscripts omit "Christ."ye my work in the Lord—Your conversion is His workmanship (Eph 2:10) through myinstrumentality: the "seal of mine apostleship" (1Co 9:2).2. yet doubtless—yet at least I am such to you.seal of mine apostleship—Your conversion by my preaching, accompanied with miracles ("thesigns of an apostle," Ro 15:18, 19; 2Co 12:12), and your gifts conferred by me (1Co 1:7), vouchfor the reality of my apostleship, just as a seal set to a document attests its genuineness (Joh 3:33;Ro 4:11).3. to them that … examine me—that is, who call in question mine apostleship.is this—namely, that you are the seal of mine apostleship.4. Have we not power—Greek, "right," or lawful power, equivalent to "liberty" claimed bythe Corinthians (1Co 8:9). The "we" includes with himself his colleagues in the apostleship. TheGreek interrogative expresses, "You surely won't say (will you?) that we have not the power orright," &c.eat and drink—without laboring with our hands (1Co 9:11, 13, 14). Paul's not exercising thisright was made a plea by his opponents for insinuating that he was himself conscious he was notrue apostle (2Co 12:13-16).5. lead about a sister, a wife—that is, "a sister as a wife"; "a sister" by faith, which makes allbelievers brethren and sisters in the one family of God: "a wife" by marriage covenant. Paul implieshe did not exercise his undoubted right to marry and "lead about" a believer, for the sake of Christianexpediency, as well to save the Church the expense of maintaining her in his wide circuits, as alsothat he might give himself more undistractedly to building up the Church of Christ (1Co 7:26, 32,35). Contrast the Corinthians' want of self-sacrifice in the exercise of their "liberty" at the cost ofdestroying, instead of edifying, the Church (1Co 8:9, Margin; 1Co 8:10-13).2486JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonas other apostles—implying that some of them had availed themselves of the power whichthey all had, of marrying. We know from Mt 8:14, that Cephas (Peter) was a married man. Aconfutation of Peter's self-styled followers, the Romanists, who exclude the clergy from marriage.Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 7.63] records a tradition that he encouraged his wife when beingled to death by saying, "Remember, my dear one, the Lord." Compare Eusebius [Eccleiastical History,3.30].brethren of the Lord—held in especial esteem on account of their relationship to Jesus (Ac1:14; Ga 1:9). James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. Probably cousins of Jesus: as cousins were termedby the Jews "brethren." Alford makes them literally brothers of Jesus by Joseph and Mary.Cephas—probably singled out as being a name carrying weight with one partisan section atCorinth. "If your favorite leader does so, surely so may I" (1Co 1:12; 3:22).6. Barnabas—long the associate of Paul, and, like him, in the habit of self-denyingly forbearingto claim the maintenance which is a minister's right. So Paul supported himself by tent-making (Ac18:3; 20:34; 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8).7. The minister is spiritually a soldier (2Ti 2:3), a vine-dresser (1Co 3:6-8; So 1:6), and ashepherd (1Pe 5:2, 4).of the fruit—The oldest manuscripts omit "of."8. as a man—I speak thus not merely according to human judgment, but with the sanction ofthe divine law also.9. ox … treadeth … corn—(De 25:4). In the East to the present day they do not after reapingcarry the sheaves home to barns as we do, but take them to an area under the open air to be threshedby the oxen treading them with their feet, or else drawing a threshing instrument over them (compareMic 4:13).Doth God … care for oxen?—rather, "Is it for the oxen that God careth?" Is the animal theultimate object for whose sake this law was given? No. God does care for the lower animal (Ps36:6; Mt 10:29), but it is with the ultimate aim of the welfare of man, the head of animal creation.In the humane consideration shown for the lower animal, we are to learn that still more ought it tobe exercised in the case of man, the ultimate object of the law; and that the human (spiritual as wellas temporal) laborer is worthy of his hire.10. altogether—Join this with "saith." "Does he (the divine lawgiver) by all means say it forour sakes?" It would be untrue, that God saith it altogether (in the sense of solely) for our sakes.But it is true, that He by all means saith it for our sakes as the ultimate object in the lower world.Grotius, however, translates, "mainly" or "especially," instead of altogether.that—"meaning that" [Alford]; literally, "because."should plough—ought to plough in hope. The obligation rests with the people not to let theirminister labor without remuneration.he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope—The oldest manuscript versionsand Fathers read, "He that thresheth (should or ought to thresh) in the hope of partaking" (namely,of the fruit of his threshing). "He that plougheth," spiritually, is the first planter of a church in aplace (compare 1Co 3:6, 9); "he that thresheth," the minister who tends a church already planted.11. we … we—emphatical in the Greek. We, the same persons who have sown to you theinfinitely more precious treasures of the Spirit, may at least claim in return what is the only thingyou have to give, namely, the goods that nourish the flesh ("your carnal things").12. others—whether true apostles (1Co 9:5) or false ones (2Co 11:20).2487JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwe rather—considering our greater labors for you (2Co 11:23).suffer all things—without complaining of it. We desire to conceal (literally, "hold as awater-tight vessel") any distress we suffer from straitened circumstances. The same Greek is in1Co 13:7.lest we … hinder … gospel—not to cause a hindrance to its progress by giving a handle forthe imputation of self-seeking, if we received support from our flock. The less of incumbrance andexpense caused to the Church, and the more of work done, the better for the cause of the Gospel(2Ti 2:4).13. minister about holy things—the Jewish priests and Levites. The Greek especially appliesto the former, the priests offering sacrifices.partakers with the altar—a part of the victims going to the service of the altar, and the restbeing shared by the priests (Le 7:6; Nu 18:6, &c.; De 18:1, &c.).14. Even so—The only inference to be drawn from this passage is, not that the Christian ministryis of a sacrificial character as the Jewish priesthood, but simply, that as the latter was supported bythe contributions of the people, so should the former. The stipends of the clergy were at first fromvoluntary offerings at the Lord's Supper. At the love-feast preceding it every believer, accordingto his ability, offered a gift; and when the expense of the table had been defrayed, the bishop laidaside a portion for himself, the presbyters, and deacons; and with the rest relieved widows, orphans,confessors, and the poor generally [Tertullian, Apology, 39]. The stipend was in proportion to thedignity and merits of the several bishops, presbyters, and deacons [Cyprian, c. 4, ep. 6].preach … gospel—plainly marked as the duty of the Christian minister, in contrast to theministering about sacrifices (Greek) and waiting at the altar of the Jewish priesthood and Levites(1Co 9:13). If the Lord's Supper were a sacrifice (as the Mass is supposed to be), this fourteenthverse would certainly have been worded so, to answer to 1Co 9:13. Note the same Lord Christ"ordains" the ordinances in the Old and in the New Testaments (Mt 10:10; Lu 10:7).15. Paul's special gift of continency, which enabled him to abstain from marriage, and his abilityto maintain himself without interrupting seriously his ministry, made that expedient to him whichis ordinarily inexpedient; namely, that the ministry should not be supported by the people. Whatto him was a duty, would be the opposite to one, for instance, to whom God had committed a family,without other means of support.I have used none of these things—none of these "powers" or rights which I might have used(1Co 9:4-6, 12).neither—rather, "Yet I have not written."so done unto me—literally, "in my case": as is done in the case of a soldier, a planter, a shepherd,a ploughman, and a sacrificing priest (1Co 9:7, 10, 13).make my glorying void—deprive me of my privilege of preaching the Gospel withoutremuneration (2Co 11:7-10). Rather than hinder the progress of the Gospel by giving any pretextfor a charge of interested motives (2Co 12:17, 18), Paul would "die" of hunger. Compare Abraham'ssimilar disinterestedness (Ge 14:22, 23).16. though I preach … I have nothing to glory of—that is, If I preach the Gospel, and do sonot gratuitously, I have no matter for "glorying." For the "necessity" that is laid on me to preach(compare Jer 20:9, and the case of Jonah) does away with ground for "glorying." The sole groundfor the latter that I have, is my preaching without charge (1Co 9:18): since there is no necessitylaid on me as to the latter, it is my voluntary act for the Gospel's sake.2488JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson17. Translate, "If I be doing this (that is, preaching) of my own accord (which I am not, for the'necessity' is laid on me which binds a servant to obey his master), I have a reward; but if (as is thecase) involuntarily (Ac 9:15; 22:15; 26:16); not of my own natural will, but by the constraininggrace of God; (Ro 9:16; 1Ti 1:13-16), I have had a dispensation (of the Gospel) entrusted to me"(and so can claim no "reward," seeing that I only "have done that which was my duty to do," Lu17:10, but incur the "woe," 1Co 9:16, if I fail in it).18. What is my reward?—The answer is in 1Co 9:19; namely, that by making the Gospelwithout charge, where I might have rightfully claimed maintenance, I might "win the more."of Christ—The oldest manuscripts and versions omit these words.abuse—rather "that I use not to the full my power." This is his matter for "glorying"; the"reward" ultimately aimed at is the gaining of the more (1Co 9:19). The former, as involving thelatter, is verbally made the answer to the question, "What is my reward?" But really the "reward"is that which is the ultimate aim of his preaching without charge, namely, that he may gain themore; it was for this end, not to have matter of glorying, that he did so.19. free from all men—that is, from the power of all men.gain the more—that is, as many of them ("all men") as possible. "Gain" is an appropriateexpression in relation to a "reward" (1Th 2:19, 20); he therefore repeats it frequently (1Co 9:20-22).20. I became as a Jew—in things not defined by the law, but by Jewish usage. Not Judaizingin essentials, but in matters where there was no compromise of principle (compare Ac 16:3;21:20-26); an undesigned coincidence between the history and the Epistle, and so a sure proof ofgenuineness.to them that are under the law, as under the law—in things defined by the law; such asceremonies not then repugnant to Christianity. Perhaps the reason for distinguishing this class fromthe former is that Paul himself belonged nationally to "the Jews," but did not in creed belong tothe class of "them that are under the law." This view is confirmed by the reading inserted here bythe oldest manuscripts, versions, and Fathers, "not being (that is, parenthetically, 'not that I am')myself under the law."21. To them … without law—that is, without revealed law: the heathen (compare Ro 2:12with 1Co 9:15).as without law—not urging on them the ceremonies and "works of the law," but "the hearingof faith" (Ga 3:2). Also discoursing in their own manner, as at Athens, with arguments from theirown poets (Ac 17:28).being not without law to God—"While thus conforming to others in matters indifferent, takingcare not to be without law in relation to God, but responsible to law (literally, "IN LAW") in relationto Christ." This is the Christian's true position in relation to the world, to himself, and to God.Everything develops itself according to its proper law. So the Christian, though no longer subjectto the literal law as constraining him from without, is subject to an inward principle or law, thespirit of faith in Christ acting from within as the germ of a new life. He does not in the Greek (asin English Version) say "under the law (as he does in 1Co 9:20) to Christ"; but uses the milderterm, "in … law," responsible to law. Christ was responsible to the law for us, so that we are nolonger responsible to it (Ga 3:13, 24), but to Him, as the members to the Head (1Co 7:22; Ro 8:1-4;1Pe 2:16). Christians serve Christ in newness of spirit, no longer in oldness of the letter (that is,the old external law as such), Ro 7:4-6. To Christ, as man's Head, the Father has properly delegatedHis authority (Joh 5:22, 27); whence here he substitutes "Christ" for "God" in the second clause,2489JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"not without law to God, but under the law to Christ." The law of Christ is the law of love (Ga 6:2;compare Ga 5:13).22. gain the weak—that is, establish, instead of being a stumbling-block to inexperiencedChristians (1Co 8:7) Ro 14:1, "Weak in the faith." Alford thinks the "weak" are not Christians at all,for these have been already "won"; but those outside the Church, who are yet "without strength"to believe (Ro 5:6). But when "weak" Christians are by the condescending love of stronger brethrenkept from falling from faith, they are well said to be "gained" or won.by all means … some—The gain of even "some" is worth the expenditure of "all means." Heconformed himself to the feelings of each in the several classes, that out of them all he might gainsome.23. partaker thereof—Greek, "fellow partaker": of the Gospel blessings promised at Christ'scoming: "with" (not as English Version, "you": but) them, namely, with those thus "gained" by meto the Gospel.24. Know ye not—The Isthmian games, in which the foot race was a leading one, were ofcourse well known, and a subject of patriotic pride to the Corinthians, who lived in the immediateneighborhood. These periodical games were to the Greeks rather a passion than a mere amusement:hence their suitableness as an image of Christian earnestness.in a race—Greek, "in a race course."all … one—Although we knew that one alone could be saved, still it Would be well worth ourwhile to run [Bengel]. Even in the Christian race not "all" who enter on the race win (1Co 10:1-5).So run, that ye may obtain—said parenthetically. These are the words in which the instructorsof the young in the exercise schools (gymnasia) and the spectators on the race course exhorted theirpupils to stimulate them to put forth all exertions. The gymnasium was a prominent feature in everyGreek city. Every candidate had to take an oath that he had been ten months in training, and thathe would violate none of the regulations (2Ti 2:5; compare 1Ti 4:7, 8). He lived on a strictself-denying diet, refraining from wine and pleasant foods, and enduring cold and heat and mostlaborious discipline. The "prize" awarded by the judge or umpire was a chaplet of green leaves; atthe Isthmus, those of the indigenous pine, for which parsley leaves were temporarily substituted(1Co 9:25). The Greek for "obtain" is fully obtain. It is in vain to begin, unless we persevere to theend (Mt 10:22; 24:13; Re 2:10). The "so" expresses, Run with such perseverance in the heavenlycourse, as "all" the runners exhibit in the earthly "race" just spoken of: to the end that ye may attainthe prize.25. striveth—in wrestling: a still more severe contest than the foot race.is temperate—So Paul exercised self-denial, abstaining from claiming sustenance for the sakeof the "reward," namely, to "gain the more" (1Co 9:18, 19).corruptible—soon withering, as being only of fir leaves taken from the fir groves whichsurrounded the Isthmian race course or stadium.incorruptible—(1Pe 1:4; 5:4; Re 2:10). "Crown" here is not that of a king (which is expressedby a different Greek word, namely, "diadem"), but a wreath or garland.26. I—Paul returns to his main subject, his own self-denial, and his motive in it.run, not as uncertainly—not as a runner uncertain of the goal. Ye Corinthians gain no end inyour entering idol temples or eating idol meats. But I, for my part, in all my acts, whether in mybecoming "all things to all men," or in receiving no sustenance from my converts, have a definiteend in view, namely, to "gain the more." I know what 1 aim at, and how to aim at it. He who runs2490JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwith a clear aim, looks straightforward to the goal, makes it his sole aim, casts away everyencumbrance (Heb 12:1, 2), is indifferent to what the by-standers say, and sometimes even a fallonly serves to rouse him the more [Bengel].not as one that beateth the air—instead of beating the adversary. Alluding to the sciamachiaor sparring in the school in sham-fight (compare 1Co 14:9), wherein they struck out into the air asif at an imaginary adversary. The real adversary is Satan acting on us through the flesh.27. keep under—literally, "bruise the face under the eyes," so as to render it black and blue;so, to chastise in the most sensitive part. Compare "mortify the deeds of the body," Ro 8:13; also1Pe 2:11. It is not ascetic fasts or macerations of the body which are here recommended, but thekeeping under of our natural self-seeking, so as, like Paul, to lay ourselves out entirely for the greatwork.my body—the old man and the remainders of lust in my flesh. "My body," so far as by theflesh it opposes the spirit [Estius] (Ga 5:17). Men may be severe to their bodies and yet indulge theirlust. Ascetic "neglect of the body" may be all the while a more subtile "satisfying of the flesh" (Col2:23). Unless the soul keep the body under, the body will get above the soul. The body may bemade a good servant, but is a bad master.bring it into subjection—or bondage, as a slave or servant led away captive; so the Greek.preached—literally, "heralded." He keeps up the image from the races. The heralds summonedthe candidates for the foot race into the race course [Plato, Laws, 8.833], and placed the crowns onthe brows of the conquerors, announcing their names [Bengel]. They probably proclaimed also thelaws of the combat; answering to the preaching of the apostles [Alford]. The The Christian heraldis also a combatant, in which respect he is distinguished from the herald at the games.a castaway—failing shamefully of the prize myself, after I have called others to the contest.Rejected by God, the Judge of the Christian race, notwithstanding my having, by my preaching,led others to be accepted. Compare the equivalent term, "reprobate," Jer 6:30; 2Co 13:6. Paulimplies, if such earnest, self-denying watchfulness over himself be needed still, with all his laborsfor others, to make his own calling sure, much more is the same needed by the Corinthians, insteadof their going, as they do, to the extreme limit of Christian liberty.CHAPTER 101Co 10:1-33. Danger of Fellowship with Idolatry Illustrated in the History of Israel: Such Fellowship Incompatiblewith Fellowship in the Lord's Supper. Even Lawful Things Are to Be Forborne, so as Not to Hurt Weak Brethren.1. Moreover—The oldest manuscripts read "for." Thus the connection with the foregoingchapter is expressed. Ye need to exercise self-denying watchfulness notwithstanding all yourprivileges, lest ye be castaways. For the Israelites with all their privileges were most of themcastaways through want of it.ignorant—with all your boasted "knowledge."our fathers—The Jewish Church stands in the relation of parent to the Christian Church.all—Arrange as the Greek, "Our fathers were all under the cloud"; giving the "all" its properemphasis. Not so much as one of so great a multitude was detained by force or disease (Ps 105:37)[Bengel]. Five times the "all" is repeated, in the enumeration of the five favors which God bestowedon Israel (1Co 10:1-4). Five times, correspondingly, they sinned (1Co 10:6-10). In contrast to the2491JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"all" stands "many (rather, 'the most') of them" (1Co 10:5). All of them had great privileges, yetmost of them were castaways through lust. Beware you, having greater privileges, of sharing thesame doom through a similar sin. Continuing the reasoning (1Co 9:24), "They which run in a race,run all, but one receiveth the prize."under the cloud—were continually under the defense of the pillar of cloud, the symbol of thedivine presence (Ex 13:21, 22; Ps 105:39; compare Isa 4:5).passed through the sea—by God's miraculous interposition for them (Ex 14:29).2. And—"And so" [Bengel].baptized unto Moses—the servant of God and representative of the Old Testament covenantof the law: as Jesus, the Son of God, is of the Gospel covenant (Joh 1:17; Heb 3:5, 6). The peoplewere led to believe in Moses as God's servant by the miracle of the cloud protecting them, and bytheir being conducted under him safely through the Red Sea; therefore they are said to be "baptizedunto" him (Ex 14:31). "Baptized" is here equivalent to "initiated": it is used in accommodation toPaul's argument to the Corinthians; they, it is true, have been "baptized," but so also virtually werethe Israelites of old; if the virtual baptism of the latter availed not to save them from the doom oflust, neither will the actual baptism of the former save them. There is a resemblance between thesymbols also: for the cloud and sea consist of water, and as these took the Israelites out of sight,and then restored them again to view, so the water does to the baptized [Bengel]. Olshausen understands"the cloud" and "the sea" as symbolizing the Spirit and water respectively (Joh 3:5; Ac 10:44-47).Christ is the pillar cloud that screens us from the heat of God's wrath. Christ as "the light of theworld" is our "pillar of fire" to guide us in the darkness of the world. As the rock when smitten sentforth the waters, so Christ, having been once for all smitten, sends forth the waters of the Spirit.As the manna bruised in mills fed Israel, so Christ, when "it pleased the Lord to bruise Him," hasbecome our spiritual food. A strong proof of inspiration is given in this fact, that the historical partsof Scripture, without the consciousness even of the authors, are covert prophecies of the future.3. same spiritual meat—As the Israelites had the water from the rock, which answered tobaptism, so they had the manna which corresponded to the other of the two Christian sacraments,the Lord's Supper. Paul plainly implies the importance which was attached to these two sacramentsby all Christians in those days: "an inspired protest against those who lower their dignity, or denytheir necessity" [Alford]. Still he guards against the other extreme of thinking the mere externalpossession of such privileges will ensure salvation. Moreover, had there been seven sacraments,as Rome teaches, Paul would have alluded to them, whereas he refers to only the two. He does notmean by "the same" that the Israelites and we Christians have the "same" sacrament; but thatbelieving and unbelieving Israelites alike had "the same" spiritual privilege of the manna (compare1Co 10:17). It was "spiritual meat" or food; because given by the power of God's spirit, not byhuman labor [Grotius and Alford] Ga 4:29, "born after the Spirit," that is, supernaturally. Ps 78:24,"corn of heaven" (Ps 105:40). Rather, "spiritual" in its typical signification, Christ, the true Breadof heaven, being signified (Joh 6:32). Not that the Israelites clearly understood the signification;but believers among them would feel that in the type something more was meant; and their implicitand reverent, though indistinct, faith was counted to them for justification, of which the manna wasa kind of sacramental seal. "They are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look onlyfor transitory promises" [Article VII, Church of England], as appears from this passage (compareHeb 4:2).2492JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson4. drink—(Ex 17:6). In Nu 20:8, "the beasts" also are mentioned as having drunk. The literalwater typified "spiritual drink," and is therefore so called.spiritual Rock that followed them—rather, "accompanied them." Not the literal rock (or itswater) "followed" them, as Alford explains, as if Paul sanctioned the Jews' tradition (Rabbi Solomonon Nu 20:2) that the rock itself, or at least the stream from it, followed the Israelites from place toplace (compare De 9:21). But Christ, the "Spiritual Rock" (Ps 78:20, 35; De 32:4, 15, 18, 30, 31,37; Isa 28:16; 1Pe 2:6), accompanied them (Ex 33:15). "Followed" implies His attending on themto minister to them; thus, though mostly going before them, He, when occasion required it, followed"behind" (Ex 14:19). He satisfied all alike as to their bodily thirst whenever they needed it; as onthree occasions is expressly recorded (Ex 15:24, 25; 17:6; Nu 20:8); and this drink for the bodysymbolized the spiritual drink from the Spiritual Rock (compare Joh 4:13, 14; see on 1Co 10:3).5. But—though they had so many tokens of God's presence.many of them—rather, "the majority of them"; "the whole part." All except Joshua and Calebof the first generation.not—in the Greek emphatically standing in the beginning of the sentence: "Not," as one mighthave naturally expected, "with the more part of them was," &c.God—whose judgment alone is valid.for—the event showed, they had not pleased God.overthrown—literally, "strewn in heaps."in the wilderness—far from the land of promise.6. were—Greek, "came to pass as."our examples—samples to us of what will befall us, if we also with all our privileges walkcarelessly.lust—the fountain of all the four other offenses enumerated, and therefore put first (Jas 1:14,15; compare Ps 106:14). A particular case of lust was that after flesh, when they pined for the fish,leeks, &c., of Egypt, which they had left (Nu 11:4, 33, 34). These are included in the "evil things,"not that they are so in themselves, but they became so to the Israelites when they lusted after whatGod withheld, and were discontented with what God provided.7. idolaters—A case in point. As the Israelites sat down (a deliberate act), ate, and drank atthe idol feast to the calves in Horeb, so the Corinthians were in danger of idolatry by a like act,though not professedly worshipping an idol as the Israelites (1Co 8:10, 11; 10:14, 20, 21; Ex 32:6).He passes here from the first to the second person, as they alone (not he also) were in danger ofidolatry, &c. He resumes the first person appropriately at 1Co 10:16.some—The multitude follow the lead of some bad men.play—with lascivious dancing, singing, and drumming round the calf (compare "rejoiced," Ac7:41).8. fornication—literally, Fornication was generally, as in this case (Nu 25:1-18), associated atthe idol feasts with spiritual fornication, that is, idolatry. This all applied to the Corinthians (1Co5:1, 9; 6:9, 15, 18; 1Co 8:10). Balaam tempted Israel to both sins with Midian (Re 2:14). Compare1Co 8:7, 9, "stumbling-block," "eat … thing offered unto … idol."three and twenty thousand—in Nu 25:9 "twenty and four thousand." If this were a realdiscrepancy, it would militate rather against inspiration of the subject matter and thought, thanagainst verbal inspiration. The solution is: Moses in Numbers includes all who died "in the plague";Paul, all who died "in one day"; one thousand more may have fallen the next day [Kitto, Biblical2493JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCyclopædia]. Or, the real number may have been between twenty-three thousand and twenty-fourthousand, say twenty-three thousand five hundred, or twenty-three thousand six hundred; whenwriting generally where the exact figures were not needed, one writer might quite veraciously giveone of the two round numbers near the exact one, and the other writer the other [Bengel]. Whicheverbe the true way of reconciling the seeming discrepant statements, at least the ways given aboveprove they are not really irreconcilable.9. tempt Christ—So the oldest versions, Irenæus (264), and good manuscripts read. Some ofthe oldest manuscripts read "Lord"; and one manuscript only "God." If "Lord" be read, it will meanChrist. As "Christ" was referred to in one of the five privileges of Israel (1Co 10:4), so it is naturalthat He should be mentioned here in one of the five corresponding sins of that people. In Nu 21:5it is "spake against God" (whence probably arose the alteration in the one manuscript, 1Co 10:9,"God," to harmonize it with Nu 21:5). As either "Christ" or "Lord" is the genuine reading, "Christ"must be "God." Compare "Why do ye tempt the Lord?" (Ex 17:2, 7. Compare Ro 14:11, with Isa45:22, 23). Israel's discontented complainings were temptings of Christ especially, the "Angel" ofthe covenant (Ex 23:20, 21; 32:34; Isa 63:9). Though they drank of "that Rock … Christ" (1Co10:4), they yet complained for want of water (Ex 17:2, 7). Though also eating the same spiritualmeat (Christ, "the true manna," "the bread of life"), they yet murmured, "Our soul loatheth thislight bread." In this case, being punished by the fiery serpents, they were saved by the brazenserpent, the emblem of Christ (compare Joh 8:56; Heb 11:26). The Greek for "tempt" means, temptor try, so as to wear out the long-suffering of Christ (compare Ps 95:8, 9; Nu 14:22). The Corinthianswere in danger of provoking God's long-suffering by walking on the verge of idolatry, throughoverweening confidence in their knowledge.10. some of them … murmured—upon the death of Korah and his company, who themselveswere murmurers (Nu 16:41, 49). Their murmurs against Moses and Aaron were virtually murmursagainst God (compare Ex 16:8, 10). Paul herein glances at the Corinthian murmurs against himself,the apostle of Christ.destroyed—fourteen thousand seven hundred perished.the destroyer—THE same destroying angel sent by God as in Ex 12:23, and 2Sa 24:16.11. Now … these things … ensamples—resuming the thread of 1Co 10:6. The oldestmanuscripts read, "by way of example."the ends of the world—literally, "of the ages"; the New Testament dispensation in its successivephases (plural, "ends") being the winding up of all former "ages." No new dispensation shall appeartill Christ comes as Avenger and Judge; till then the "ends," being many, include various successiveperiods (compare Heb 9:26). As we live in the last dispensation, which is the consummation of allthat went before, our responsibilities are the greater; and the greater is the guilt, Paul implies, tothe Corinthians, which they incur if they fall short of their privileges.12. thinketh he standeth—stands and thinks that he stands [Bengel]; that is, stands "by faith …well pleasing" to God; in contrast to 1Co 10:5, "with many of them God was not well pleased" (Ro11:20).fall—from his place in the Church of God (compare 1Co 10:8, "fell"). Both temporally andspiritually (Ro 14:4). Our security, so far as relates to God, consists in faith; so far as relates toourselves, it consists in fear.13. Consolation to them, under their temptation; it is none but such as is "common to man," or"such as man can bear," "adapted to man's powers of endurance" [Wahl].2494JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfaithful—(Ps 125:3; Isa 27:3, 8; Re 3:10). "God is faithful" to the covenant which He madewith you in calling you (1Th 5:24). To be led into temptation is distinct from running into it, whichwould be "tempting God" (1Co 10:9; Mt 4:7).way to escape—(Jer 29:11; 2Pe 2:9). The Greek is, "the way of escape"; the appropriate wayof escape in each particular temptation; not an immediate escape, but one in due time, after patiencehas had her perfect work (Jas 1:2-4, 12). He "makes" the way of escape simultaneously with thetemptation which His providence permissively arranges for His people.to bear it—Greek, "to bear up under it," or "against it." Not, He will take it away (2Co 12:7-9).14. Resuming the argument, 1Co 10:7; 1Co 8:9, 10.flee—Do not tamper with it by doubtful acts, such as eating idol meats on the plea of Christianliberty. The only safety is in wholly shunning whatever borders on idolatry (2Co 6:16, 17). TheHoly Spirit herein also presciently warned the Church against the idolatry, subsequently transferredfrom the idol feast to the Lord's Supper itself, in the figment of transubstantiation.15. Appeal to their own powers of judgment to weigh the force of the argument that follows:namely, that as the partaking of the Lord's Supper involves a partaking of the Lord Himself, andthe partaking of the Jewish sacrificial meats involved a partaking of the altar of God, and, as theheathens sacrifice to devils, to partake of an idol feast is to have fellowship with devils. We cannotdivest ourselves of the responsibility of "judging" for ourselves. The weakness of private judgmentis not an argument against its use, but its abuse. We should the more take pains in searching theinfallible word, with every aid within our reach, and above all with humble prayer for the Spirit'steaching (Ac 17:11). If Paul, an inspired apostle, not only permits, but urges, men to judge hissayings by Scripture, much more should the fallible ministers of the present visible Church do so.To wise men—refers with a mixture of irony to the Corinthian boast of "wisdom" (1Co 4:10;2Co 11:19). Here you have an opportunity of exercising your "wisdom" in judging "what I say."16. The cup of blessing—answering to the Jewish "cup of blessing," over which thanks wereoffered in the Passover. It was in doing so that Christ instituted this part of the Lord's Supper (Mt26:27; Lu 22:17, 20).we bless—"we," not merely ministers, but also the congregation. The minister "blesses" (thatis, consecrates with blessing) the cup, not by any priestly transmitted authority of his own, but asrepresentative of the congregation, who virtually through him bless the cup. The consecration isthe corporate act of the whole Church. The act of joint blessing by him and them (not "the cup"itself, which, as also "the bread," in the Greek is in the accusative), and the consequent drinking ofit together, constitute the communion, that is, the joint participation "of the blood of Christ."Compare 1Co 10:18, "They who eat … are partakers" (joint communicants). "Is" in both cases inthis verse is literal, not represents. He who with faith partakes of the cup and the bread, partakesreally but spiritually of the blood and body of Christ (Eph 5:30, 32), and of the benefits of Hissacrifice on the cross (compare 1Co 10:18). In contrast to this is to have "fellowship with devils"(1Co 10:20). Alford explains, "The cup … is the [joint] participation (that is, that whereby the actof participation takes place) of the blood," &c. It is the seal of our living union with, and a meansof our partaking of, Christ as our Saviour (Joh 6:53-57). It is not said, "The cup … is the blood,"or "the bread … is the body," but "is the communion [joint-participation] of the blood … body." Ifthe bread be changed into the literal body of Christ, where is the sign of the sacrament? Romanistseat Christ "in remembrance of Himself." To drink literal blood would have been an abominationto Jews, which the first Christians were (Le 17:11, 12). Breaking the bread was part of the act of2495JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonconsecrating it, for thus was represented the crucifixion of Christ's body (1Co 11:24). The distinctspecification of the bread and the wine disproves the Romish doctrine of concomitancy, and exclusionof the laity from the cup.17. one bread—rather, "loaf." One loaf alone seems to have been used in each celebration.and one body—Omit "and"; "one loaf [that is], one body." "We, the many (namely, believersassembled; so the Greek), are one bread (by our partaking of the same loaf, which becomesassimilated to the substance of all our bodies; and so we become), one body" (with Christ, and sowith one another).we … all—Greek, "the whole of us."18. Israel after the flesh—the literal, as distinguished from the spiritual, Israel (Ro 2:29; 4:1;9:3; Ga 4:29).partakers of the altar—and so of God, whose is the altar; they have fellowship in God andHis worship, of which the altar is the symbol.19, 20. What say I then?—The inference might be drawn from the analogies of the Lord'sSupper and Jewish sacrifices, that an idol is really what the heathen thought it to be, a god, andthat in eating idol-meats they had fellowship with the god. This verse guards against such aninference: "What would I say then? that a thing sacrificed to an idol is any real thing (in the sensethat the heathen regard it), or that an idol is any real thing?" (The oldest manuscripts read the wordsin this order. Supply "Nay") "But [I say] that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrificeto devils (demons)." Paul here introduces a new fact. It is true that, as I said, an idol has no realityin the sense that the heathen regard it, but it has a reality in another sense; heathendom being underSatan's dominion as "prince of this world," he and his demons are in fact the powers worshippedby the heathen, whether they are or are not conscious of it (De 32:17; Le 17:7; 2Ch 11:15; Ps106:37; Re 9:20). "Devil" is in the Greek restricted to Satan; "demons" is the term applied to hissubordinate evil spirits. Fear, rather than love, is the motive of heathen worship (compare theEnglish word "panic," from Pan, whose human form with horns and cloven hoofs gave rise to thevulgar representations of Satan which prevail now); just as fear is the spirit of Satan and his demons(Jas 2:19).20. I would not that ye … have fellowship with devils—by partaking of idol feasts (1Co8:10).21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord—really and spiritually; though ye may outwardly(1Ki 18:21).cup of devils—in contrast to the cup of the Lord. At idol feasts libations were usually madefrom the cup to the idol first, and then the guests drank; so that in drinking they had fellowshipwith the idol.the Lord's table—The Lord's Supper is a feast on a table, not a sacrifice on an altar. Our onlyaltar is the cross, our only sacrifice that of Christ once for all. The Lord's Supper stands, however,in the same relation, analogically, to Christ's sacrifice, as the Jews' sacrificial feasts did to theirsacrifices (compare Mal 1:7, "altar … table of the Lord"), and the heathen idol feasts to theiridolatrous sacrifices (Isa 65:11). The heathen sacrifices were offered to idol nonentities, behindwhich Satan lurked. The Jews' sacrifice was but a shadow of the substance which was to come.Our one sacrifice of Christ is the only substantial reality; therefore, while the partaker of the Jew'ssacrificial feast partook rather "of the altar" (1Co 10:18) than of God manifested fully, and theheathen idol-feaster had fellowship really with demons, the communicant in the Lord's Supper has2496JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin it a real communion of, or fellowship in, the body of Christ once sacrificed, and now exalted asthe Head of redeemed humanity.22. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?—by dividing our fellowship between Him and idols(Eze 20:39). Is it our wish to provoke Him to assert His power? De 32:21 is before the apostle'smind [Alford], (Ex 20:5).are we stronger?—that we can risk a contest with Him.23. All things are lawful for me, &c.—Recurring to the Corinthian plea (1Co 6:12), he repeatshis qualification of it. The oldest manuscripts omit both times "for me."edify not—tend not to build up the spiritual temple, the Church, in faith and love. Paul doesnot appeal to the apostolic decision (Ac 15:1-29), which seems to have been not so much regardedoutside of Palestine, but rather to the broad principle of true Christian freedom, which does notallow us to be governed by external things, as though, because we can use them, we must use them(1Co 6:12). Their use or non-use is to be regulated by regard to edification.24. (1Co 10:33; 1Co 13:5; Ro 15:1, 2).25. shambles—butchers' stalls; the flesh market.asking no question—whether it has been offered to an idol or not.for conscience' sake—If on asking you should hear it had been offered to idols, a scruple wouldarise in your conscience which was needless, and never would have arisen had you asked noquestions.26. The ground on which such eating without questioning is justified is, the earth and all itscontents ("the fulness thereof," Ps 20:1; 50:12), including all meats, belong to the Lord, and areappointed for our use; and where conscience suggests no scruple, all are to be eaten (Ro 14:14, 20;1Ti 4:4, 5; compare Ac 10:15).27. ye be disposed to go—tacitly implying, they would be as well not to go, but yet notforbidding them to go (1Co 10:9) [Grotius]. The feast is not an idol feast, but a general entertainment,at which, however, there might be meat that had been offered to an idol.for conscience' sake—(See on 1Co 10:25).28. if any man—a weak Christian at table, wishing to warn his brother.offered in sacrifice unto idols—The oldest manuscripts omit "unto idols." At a heathen's tablethe expression, offensive to him, would naturally be avoided.for conscience' sake—not to cause a stumbling-block to the conscience of thy weak brother(1Co 8:10-12).for the earth is the Lord's, &c.—not in the oldest manuscripts.29. Conscience … of the other—the weak brother introduced in 1Co 10:28.for why is my liberty judged off another man's conscience?—Paul passes to the first person,to teach his converts by putting himself as it were in their position. The Greek terms for "the other"and "another" are distinct. "The other" is the one with whom Paul's and his Corinthian converts'concern is; "another" is any other with whom he and they have no concern. If a guest know themeat to be idol meat while I know it not, I have "liberty" to eat without being condemned by his"conscience" [Grotius]. Thus the "for," &c., is an argument for 1Co 10:27, "Eat, asking no questions."Or, Why should I give occasion by the rash use of my liberty that another should condemn it [Estius],or that my liberty should cause the destruction of my weak brother?" [Menochius]. Or, the words arethose of the Corinthian objector (perhaps used in their letter, and so quoted by Paul), "Why is myliberty judged by another's conscience?" Why should not I be judged only by my own, and have2497JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonliberty to do whatever it sanctions? Paul replies in 1Co 10:31, Your doing so ought always to belimited by regard to what most tends "to the glory of God" [Vatablus, Conybeare and Howson]. The firstexplanation is simplest; the "for," &c., in it refers to "not thine own" (that is, "not my own," inPaul's change to the first person); I am to abstain only in the case of liability to offend another'sconscience; in cases where my own has no scruple, I am not bound, in God's judgment, by any otherconscience than my own.30. For—The oldest manuscripts omit "For."by grace—rather, "thankfully" [Alford].I … be partaker—I partake of the food set before me.evil spoken of—by him who does not use his liberty, but will eat nothing without scrupulosityand questioning whence the meat comes.give thanks—which consecrates all the Christian's acts (Ro 14:6; 1Ti 4:3, 4).31. Contrast Zec 7:6; the picture of worldly men. The godly may "eat and drink," and it shallbe well with him (Jer 22:15, 16).to the glory of God—(Col 3:17; 1Pe 4:11)—which involves our having regard to the edificationof our neighbor.32. Give none offence—in things indifferent (1Co 8:13; Ro 14:13; 2Co 6:3); for in all essentialthings affecting Christian doctrine and practice, even in the smallest detail, we must not swervefrom principle, whatever offense may be the result (1Co 1:23). Giving offense is unnecessary, ifour own spirit cause it; necessary, if it be caused by the truth.33. I please—I try to please (1Co 9:19, 22; Ro 15:2).not seeking mine own—(1Co 10:24).many—rather as Greek, "THE many."CHAPTER 111Co 11:1-34. Censure on Disorders in Their Assemblies: Their Women Not Being Veiled, and Abuses at theLove-Feasts.1. Rather belonging to the end of the tenth chapter, than to this chapter.followers—Greek, "imitators."of Christ—who did not please Himself (Ro 15:3); but gave Himself, at the cost of laying asideHis divine glory, and dying as man, for us (Eph 5:2; Php 2:4, 5). We are to follow Christ first, andearthly teachers only so far as they follow Christ.2. Here the chapter ought to begin.ye remember me in all things—in your general practice, though in the particular instanceswhich follow ye fail.ordinances—Greek, "traditions," that is, apostolic directions given by word of mouth or inwriting (1Co 11:23; 15:3; 2Th 2:15). The reference here is mainly to ceremonies: for in 1Co 11:23,as to the Lord's Supper, which is not a mere ceremony, he says, not merely, "I delivered unto you,"but also, "I received of the Lord"; here he says only, "I delivered to you." Romanists argue hencefor oral traditions. But the difficulty is to know what is a genuine apostolic tradition intended forall ages. Any that can be proved to be such ought to be observed; any that cannot, ought to berejected (Re 22:18). Those preserved in the written word alone can be proved to be such.2498JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. The Corinthian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sexes in Christ,claimed equality with the male sex, and, overstepping the bounds of propriety, came forward topray and prophesy without the customary head-covering of females. The Gospel, doubtless, didraise women from the degradation in which they had been sunk, especially in the East. Yet, whileon a level with males as to the offer of, and standing in grace (Ga 3:28), their subjection in pointof order, modesty, and seemliness, is to be maintained. Paul reproves here their unseemliness as todress: in 1Co 14:34, as to the retiring modesty in public which becomes them. He grounds hisreproof here on the subjection of woman to man in the order of creation.the head—an appropriate expression, when he is about to treat of woman's appropriate headdressin public.of every man … Christ—(Eph 5:23).of … woman … man—(1Co 11:8; Ge 3:16; 1Ti 2:11, 12; 1Pe 3:1, 5, 6).head of Christ is God—(1Co 3:23; 15:27, 28; Lu 3:22, 38; Joh 14:28; 20:17; Eph 3:9). "Jesus,therefore, must be of the same essence as God: for, since the man is the head of the woman, andsince the head is of the same essence as the body, and God is the head of the Son, it follows theSon is of the same essence as the Father" [Chrysostom]. "The woman is of the essence of the man,and not made by the man; so, too, the Son is not made by the Father, but of the essence of theFather" [Theodoret, t. 3, p. 171].4. praying—in public (1Co 11:17).prophesying—preaching in the Spirit (1Co 12:10).having—that is, if he were to have: a supposed case to illustrate the impropriety in the woman'scase. It was the Greek custom (and so that at Corinth) for men in worship to be uncovered; whereasthe Jews wore the Talith, or veil, to show reverence before God, and their unworthiness to look onHim (Isa 6:2); however, Maimonides [Mishna] excepts cases where (as in Greece) the custom of theplace was different.dishonoureth his head—not as Alford, "Christ" (1Co 11:3); but literally, as "his head" is usedin the beginning of the verse. He dishonoreth his head (the principal part of the body) by wearinga covering or veil, which is a mark of subjection, and which makes him look downwards insteadof upwards to his Spiritual Head, Christ, to whom alone he owes subjection. Why, then, ought notman to wear the covering in token of his subjection to Christ, as the woman wears it in token ofher subjection to man? "Because Christ is not seen: the man is seen; so the covering of him who isunder Christ is not seen; of her who is under the man, is seen" [Bengel]. (Compare 1Co 11:7).5. woman … prayeth … prophesieth—This instance of women speaking in public worshipis an extraordinary case, and justified only by the miraculous gifts which such women possessedas their credentials; for instance, Anna the prophetess and Priscilla (so Ac 2:18). The ordinary ruleto them is: silence in public (1Co 14:34, 35; 1Ti 2:11, 12). Mental receptivity and activity in familylife are recognized in Christianity, as most accordant with the destiny of woman. This passage doesnot necessarily sanction women speaking in public, even though possessing miraculous gifts; butsimply records what took place at Corinth, without expressing an opinion on it, reserving the censureof it till 1Co 14:34, 35. Even those women endowed with prophecy were designed to exercise theirgift, rather in other times and places, than the public congregation.dishonoureth … head—in that she acts against the divine ordinance and the modest proprietythat becomes her: in putting away the veil, she puts away the badge of her subjection to man, whichis her true "honor"; for through him it connects her with Christ, the head of the man. Moreover, as2499JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe head-covering was the emblem of maiden modesty before man (Ge 24:65), and conjugal chastity(Ge 20:16); so, to uncover the head indicated withdrawal from the power of the husband, whencea suspected wife had her head uncovered by the priest (Nu 5:18). Alford takes "her head" to be man,her symbolical, not her literal head; but as it is literal in the former clause, it must be so in the latterone.all one as if … shaven—As woman's hair is given her by nature, as her covering (1Co 11:15),to cut it off like a man, all admit, would be indecorous: therefore, to put away the head-covering,too, like a man, would be similarly indecorous. It is natural to her to have long hair for her covering:she ought, therefore, to add the other (the wearing of a head-covering) to show that she does of herown will that which nature itself teaches she ought to do, in token of her subjection to man.6. A woman would not like to be "shorn" or (what is worse) "shaven"; but if she chooses to beuncovered (unveiled) in front, let her be so also behind, that is, "shorn."a shame—an unbecoming thing (compare 1Co 11:13-15). Thus the shaving of nuns is "a shame."7-9. Argument, also, from man's more immediate relation to God, and the woman's to man.he is … image … glory of God—being created in God's "image," first and directly: the woman,subsequently, and indirectly, through the mediation of man. Man is the representative of God's"glory" this ideal of man being realized most fully in the Son of man (Ps 8:4, 5; compare 2Co 8:23).Man is declared in Scripture to be both the "image," and in the "likeness," of God (compare Jas3:9). But "image" alone is applied to the Son of God (Col 1:15; compare Heb 1:3). "Express image,"Greek, "the impress." The Divine Son is not merely "like" God, He is God of God, "being of onesubstance (essence) with the Father." [Nicene Creed].woman … glory of … man—He does not say, also, "the image of the man." For the sexesdiffer: moreover, the woman is created in the image of God, as well as the man (Ge 1:26, 27). Butas the moon in relation to the sun (Ge 37:9), so woman shines not so much with light direct fromGod, as with light derived from man, that is, in her order in creation; not that she does not in gracecome individually into direct communion with God; but even here much of her knowledge ismediately given her through man, on whom she is naturally dependent.8. is of … of—takes his being from ("out of") … from: referring to woman's original creation,"taken out of man" (compare Ge 2:23). The woman was made by God mediately through the man,who was, as it were, a veil or medium placed between her and God, and therefore, should wear theveil or head-covering in public worship, in acknowledgement of this subordination to man in theorder of creation. The man being made immediately by God as His glory, has no veil betweenhimself and God [Faber Stapulensis in Bengel].9. Neither—rather, "For also"; Another argument: The immediate object of woman's creation."The man was not created for the sake of the woman; but the woman for the sake of the man" (Ge2:18, 21, 22). Just as the Church, the bride, is made for Christ; and yet in both the natural and thespiritual creations, the bride, while made for the bridegroom, in fulfilling that end, attains her owntrue "glory," and brings "shame" and "dishonor" on herself by any departure from it (1Co 11:4, 6).10. power on her head—the kerchief: French couvre chef, head-covering, the emblem of"power on her head"; the sign of her being under man's power, and exercising delegated authorityunder him. Paul had before his mind the root-connection between the Hebrew terms for "veil"(radid), and "subjection" (radad).because of the angels—who are present at our Christian assemblies (compare Ps 138:1, "gods,"that is, angels), and delight in the orderly subordination of the several ranks of God's worshippers2500JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin their respective places, the outward demeanor and dress of the latter being indicative of thatinward humility which angels know to be most pleasing to their common Lord (1Co 4:9; Eph 3:10;Ec 5:6). Hammond quotes Chrysostom, "Thou standest with angels; thou singest with them; thou hymnestwith them; and yet dost thou stand laughing?" Bengel explains, "As the angels are in relation to God,so the woman is in relation to man. God's face is uncovered; angels in His presence are veiled (Isa6:2). Man's face is uncovered; woman in His presence is to be veiled. For her not to be so, would,by its indecorousness, offend the angels (Mt 18:10, 31). She, by her weakness, especially needstheir ministry; she ought, therefore, to be the more careful not to offend them."11. Yet neither sex is insulated and independent of the other in the Christian life [Alford]. Theone needs the other in the sexual relation; and in respect to Christ ("in the Lord"), the man and thewoman together (for neither can be dispensed with) realize the ideal of redeemed humanityrepresented by the bride, the Church.12. As the woman was formed out of (from) the man, even so is man born by means of woman;but all things (including both man and woman) are from God as their source (Ro 11:36; 2Co 5:18).They depend mutually each on the other, and both on him.13. Appeal to their own sense of decorum.a woman … unto God—By rejecting the emblem of subjection (the head-covering), she passesat one leap in praying publicly beyond both the man and angels [Bengel].14. The fact that nature has provided woman, and not man, with long hair, proves that man wasdesigned to be uncovered, and woman covered. The Nazarite, however, wore long hair lawfully,as being part of a vow sanctioned by God (Nu 6:5). Compare as to Absalom, 2Sa 14:26, and Ac18:18.15. her hair … for a covering—Not that she does not need additional covering. Nay, her longhair shows she ought to cover her head as much as possible. The will ought to accord with nature[Bengel].16. A summary close to the argument by appeal to the universal custom of the churches.if any … seem—The Greek also means "thinks" (fit) (compare Mt 3:9). If any man chooses(still after all my arguments) to be contentious. If any be contentious and thinks himself right inbeing so. A reproof of the Corinthians' self-sufficiency and disputatiousness (1Co 1:20).we—apostles: or we of the Jewish nation, from whom ye have received the Gospel, and whoseusages in all that is good ye ought to follow: Jewish women veiled themselves when in public,according to Tertullian [Estius]. The former explanation is best, as the Jews are not referred to in thecontext: but he often refers to himself and his fellow apostles, by the expression, "we—us" (1Co4:9, 10).no such custom—as that of women praying uncovered. Not as Chrysostom, "that of beingcontentious." The Greek term implies a usage, rather than a mental habit (Joh 18:39). The usageof true "churches (plural: not, as Rome uses it, 'the Church,' as an abstract entity; but 'the churches,'as a number of independent witnesses) of God" (the churches which God Himself recognizes), isa valid argument in the case of external rites, especially, negatively, for example, Such rites werenot received among them, therefore, ought not to be admitted among us: but in questions of doctrine,or the essentials of worship, the argument is not valid [Sclater] (1Co 7:17; 14:33).neither—nor yet. Catholic usage is not an infallible test of truth, but a general test of decency.17. in this—which follows.2501JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonI declare—rather, "I enjoin"; as the Greek is always so used. The oldest manuscripts readliterally "This I enjoin (you) not praising (you)."that—inasmuch as; in that you, &c. Here he qualifies his praise (1Co 11:2). "I said that I praisedyou for keeping the ordinances delivered to you; but I must now give injunction in the name of theLord, on a matter in which I praise you not; namely, as to the Lord's Supper (1Co 11:23; 1Co 14:37).not for the better—not so as to progress to what is better.for the worse—so as to retrograde to what is worse. The result of such "coming together" mustbe "condemnation" (1Co 11:34).18. first of all—In the first place. The "divisions" (Greek, "schisms") meant, are not merelythose of opinion (1Co 1:10), but in outward acts at the love-feasts (Agapæ), (1Co 11:21). He doesnot follow up the expression, "in the first place," by "in the second place." But though not expressed,a second abuse was in his mind when he said, "In the first place," namely, THE ABUSE OF SPIRITUALGIFTS, which also created disorder in their assemblies [Alford], (1Co 12:1; 14:23, 26, 33, 40).in the church—not the place of worship; for Isidore of Pelusium denies that there were such placesspecially set apart for worship in the apostles' times [Epistle, 246.2]. But, "in the assembly" or"congregation"; in convocation for worship, where especially love, order, and harmony shouldprevail. The very ordinance instituted for uniting together believers in one body, was made anoccasion of "divisions" (schisms).partly—He hereby excepts the innocent. "I am unwilling to believe all I hear, but some I cannothelp believing" [Alford]: while my love is unaffected by it [Bengel].19. heresies—Not merely "schisms" or "divisions" (1Co 11:18), which are "recent dissensionsof the congregation through differences of opinion" [Augustine, Con. Crescon. Don. 2.7, quoted byTrench, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament], but also "heresies," that is, "schisms which havenow become inveterate"; "Sects" [Campbell, vol. 2, pp. 126, 127]: so Ac 5:17; 15:5 translate thesame Greek. At present there were dissensions at the love-feasts; but Paul, remembering Jesus'words (Mt 18:7; 24:10, 12; Lu 17:1) foresees "there must be (come) also" matured separations,and established parties in secession, as separatists. The "must be" arises from sin in professorsnecessarily bearing its natural fruits: these are overruled by God to the probation of character ofboth the godly and the ungodly, and to the discipline of the former for glory. "Heresies" had notyet its technical sense ecclesiastically, referring to doctrinal errors: it means confirmed schisms. St.Augustine's rule is a golden rule as regards questions of heresy and catholicity: "In doubtful questions,liberty; in essentials, unity; in all things, charity."that … approved may be made manifest—through the disapproved (reprobates) becomingmanifested (Lu 2:35; 1Jo 2:19).20. When … therefore—Resuming the thread of discourse from 1Co 11:18.this is not to—rather, "there is no such thing as eating the Lord's Supper"; it is not possible whereeach is greedily intent only on devouring "HIS OWN supper," and some are excluded altogether, nothaving been waited for (1Co 11:33), where some are "drunken," while others are "hungry" (1Co11:21). The love-feast usually preceded the Lord's Supper (as eating the Passover came before theLord's Supper at the first institution of the latter). It was a club-feast, where each brought his portion,and the rich, extra portions for the poor; from it the bread and wine were taken for the Eucharist;and it was at it that the excesses took place, which made a true celebration of the Lord's Supperduring or after it, with true discernment of its solemnity, out of the question.2502JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson21. one taketh before other—the rich "before" the poor, who had no supper of their own.Instead of "tarrying for one another" (1Co 11:33); hence the precept (1Co 12:21, 25).his own supper—"His own" belly is his God (Php 3:19); "the Lord's Supper," the spiritualfeast, never enters his thoughts.drunken—The one has more than is good for him, the other less [Bengel].22. What!—Greek, "For."houses—(compare 1Co 11:34)—"at home." That is the place to satiate the appetite, not theassembly of the brethren [Alford].despise ye the church of God—the congregation mostly composed of the poor, whom "Godhath chosen," however ye show contempt for them (Jas 2:5); compare "of God" here, marking thetrue honor of the Church.shame them that have not—namely, houses to eat and drink in, and who, therefore, ought tohave received their portion at the love-feasts from their wealthier brethren.I praise you not—resuming the words (1Co 11:17).23. His object is to show the unworthiness of such conduct from the dignity of the holy supper.I—Emphatic in the Greek. It is not my own invention, but the Lord's institution.received of the Lord—by immediate revelation (Ga 1:12; compare Ac 22:17, 18; 2Co 12:1-4).The renewal of the institution of the Lord's Supper by special revelation to Paul enhances itssolemnity. The similarity between Luke's and Paul's account of the institution, favors the suppositionthat the former drew his information from the apostle, whose companion in travel he was. Thus,the undesigned coincidence is a proof of genuineness.night—the time fixed for the Passover (Ex 12:6): though the time for the Lord's Supper is notfixed.betrayed—With the traitor at the table, and death present before His eyes, He left this ordinanceas His last gift to us, to commemorate His death. Though about to receive such an injury from man,He gave this pledge of His amazing love to man.24. brake—The breaking of the bread involves its distribution and reproves the Corinthianmode at the love-feast, of "every one taking before other his own supper."my body … broken for you—"given" (Lu 22:19) for you (Greek, "in your behalf"), and"broken," so as to be distributed among you. The oldest manuscripts omit "broken," leaving it tobe supplied from "brake." The two old versions, Memphitic and Thebaic, read from Luke, "given."The literal "body" could not have been meant; for Christ was still sensibly present among Hisdisciples when He said, "This is My body." They could only have understood Him symbolicallyand analogically: As this bread is to your bodily health, so My body is to the spiritual health of thebelieving communicant. The words, "Take, eat," are not in the oldest manuscripts.in remembrance of me—(See on 1Co 11:25).25. when he had supped—Greek, "after the eating of supper," namely, the Passover supperwhich preceded the Lord's Supper, as the love-feast did subsequently. Therefore, you Corinthiansought to separate common meals from the Lord's Supper [Bengel].the new testament—or "covenant." The cup is the parchment-deed, as it were, on which Mynew covenant, or last will is written and sealed, making over to you all blessings here and hereafter.in my blood—ratified by MY blood: "not by the blood of goats and calves" (Heb 9:12).as oft as—Greek, "as many times soever": implying that it is an ordinance often to be partakenof.2503JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin remembrance of me—Luke (Lu 22:19) expresses this, which is understood by Matthewand Mark. Paul twice records it (1Co 11:24 and here) as suiting his purpose. The old sacrificesbrought sins continually to remembrance (Heb 10:1, 3). The Lord's Supper brings to remembranceChrist and His sacrifice once for all for the full and final remission of sins.26. For—in proof that the Lord's Supper is "in remembrance" of Him.show—announce publicly. The Greek does not mean to dramatically represent, but "ye publiclyprofess each of you, the Lord has died FOR ME" [Wahl]. This word, as "is" in Christ's institution(1Co 11:24, 25), implies not literal presence, but a vivid realization, by faith, of Christ in the Lord'sSupper, as a living person, not a mere abstract dogma, "bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh"(Eph 5:30; compare Ge 2:23); and ourselves "members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones,""our sinful bodies made clean by His body (once for all offered), and our souls washed throughHis most precious blood" [Church of England Prayer Book]. "Show," or "announce," is an expressionapplicable to new things; compare "show" as to the Passover (Ex 13:8). So the Lord's death oughtalways to be fresh in our memory; compare in heaven, Re 5:6. That the Lord's Supper is inremembrance of Him, implies that He is bodily absent, though spiritually present, for we cannotbe said to commemorate one absent. The fact that we not only show the Lord's death in the supper,but eat and drink the pledges of it, could only be understood by the Jews, accustomed to such feastsafter propitiatory sacrifices, as implying our personal appropriation therein of the benefits of thatdeath.till he come—when there shall be no longer need of symbols of His body, the body itself beingmanifested. The Greek expresses the certainly of His coming. Rome teaches that we eat Christpresent corporally, "till He come" corporally; a contradiction in terms. The showbread, literally,"bread of the presence," was in the sanctuary, but not in the Holiest Place (Heb 9:1-8); so the Lord'sSupper in heaven, the antitype to the Holiest Place, shall be superseded by Christ's own bodilypresence; then the wine shall be drunk "anew" in the Father's kingdom, by Christ and His peopletogether, of which heavenly banquet, the Lord's Supper is a spiritual foretaste and specimen (Mt26:29). Meantime, as the showbread was placed anew, every sabbath, on the table before the Lord(Le 24:5-8); so the Lord's death was shown, or announced afresh at the Lord's table the first dayof every week in the primitive Church. We are now "priests unto God" in the dispensation of Christ'sspiritual presence, antitypical to the HOLY PLACE: the perfect and eternal dispensation, which shallnot begin till Christ's coming, is antitypical to the HOLIEST PLACE, which Christ our High Priestalone in the flesh as yet has entered (Heb 9:6, 7); but which, at His coming, we, too, who arebelievers, shall enter (Re 7:15; 21:22). The supper joins the two closing periods of the Old and theNew dispensations. The first and second comings are considered as one coming, whence theexpression is not "return," but "come" (compare, however, Joh 14:3).27. eat and drink—So one of the oldest manuscripts reads. But three or four equally oldmanuscripts, the Vulgate and Cyprian, read, "or." Romanists quote this reading in favor of communionin one kind. This consequence does not follow. Paul says, "Whosoever is guilty of unworthy conduct,either in eating the bread, or in drinking the cup, is guilty of the body and blood of Christ."Impropriety in only one of the two elements, vitiates true communion in both. Therefore, in theend of the verse, he says, not "body or blood," but "body and blood." Any who takes the breadwithout the wine, or the wine without the bread, "unworthily" communicates, and so "is guilty ofChrist's body and blood"; for he disobeys Christ's express command to partake of both. If we donot partake of the sacramental symbol of the Lord's death worthily, we share in the guilt of that2504JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondeath. (Compare "crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh," Heb 6:6). Unworthiness in theperson, is not what ought to exclude any, but unworthily communicating: However unworthy webe, if we examine ourselves so as to find that we penitently believe in Christ's Gospel, we mayworthily communicate.28. examine—Greek, "prove" or "test" his own state of mind in respect to Christ's death, andhis capability of "discerning the Lord's body" (1Co 11:29, 31). Not auricular confession to a priest,but self-examination is necessary.so—after due self-examination.of … of—In 1Co 11:27, where the receiving was unworthily, the expression was, "eat thisbread, drink … cup" without "of." Here the "of" implies due circumspection in communicating[Bengel].let him eat—His self-examination is not in order that he may stay away, but that he may eat,that is, communicate.29. damnation—A mistranslation which has put a stumbling-block in the way of many inrespect to communicating. The right translation is "judgment." The judgment is described (1Co11:30-32) as temporal.not discerning—not duty judging: not distinguishing in judgment (so the Greek: the sin andits punishment thus being marked as corresponding) from common food, the sacramental pledgesof the Lord's body. Most of the oldest manuscripts omit "Lord's" (see 1Co 11:27). Omitting also"unworthily," with most of the oldest manuscripts, we must translate, "He that eateth and drinketh,eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, IF he discern not the body" (Heb 10:29). The Church is"the body of Christ" (1Co 12:27). The Lord's body is His literal body appreciated and discernedby the soul in the faithful receiving, and not present in the elements themselves.30. weak … sickly—He is "weak" who has naturally no strength: "sickly," who has lost hisstrength by disease [Tittmann, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament].sleep—are being lulled in death: not a violent death; but one the result of sickness, sent as theLord's chastening for the individual's salvation, the mind being brought to a right state on the sickbed (1Co 11:31).31. if we would judge ourselves—Most of the oldest manuscripts, read "But," not "For."Translate also literally "If we duly judged ourselves, we should not be (or not have been) judged,"that is, we should escape (or have escaped) our present judgments. In order to duly judge or "discern[appreciate] the Lord's body," we need to "duly judge ourselves." A prescient warning against thedogma of priestly absolution after full confession, as the necessary preliminary to receiving theLord's Supper.32. chastened—(Re 3:19).with the world—who, being bastards, are without chastening (Heb 12:8).33. tarry one for another—In contrast to 1Co 11:21. The expression is not, "Give a share toone another," for all the viands brought to the feast were common property, and, therefore, theyshould "tarry" till all were met to partake together of the common feast of fellowship [Theophylact].34. if any … hunger—so as not to be able to "tarry for others," let him take off the edge of hishunger at home [Alford] (1Co 11:22).the rest—"the other questions you asked me as to the due celebration of the Lord's Supper."Not other questions in general; for he does subsequently set in order other general questions in thisEpistle.2505JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 121Co 12:1-31. The Use and the Abuse of Spiritual Gifts, Especially Prophesying and Tongues.This is the second subject for correction in the Corinthian assemblies: the "first" was discussed(1Co 11:18-34).1. spiritual gifts—the signs of the Spirit's continued efficacious presence in the Church, whichis Christ's body, the complement of His incarnation, as the body is the complement of the head. Bythe love which pervades the whole, the gifts of the several members, forming reciprocal complementsto each other, tend to the one object of perfecting the body of Christ. The ordinary and permanentgifts are comprehended together with the extraordinary, without distinction specified, as both alikeflow from the divine indwelling Spirit of life. The extraordinary gifts, so far from making professorsmore peculiarly saints than in our day, did not always even prove that such persons were in a safestate at all (Mt 7:22). They were needed at first in the Church: (1) as a pledge to Christians themselveswho had just passed over from Judaism or heathendom, that God was in the Church; (2) for thepropagation of Christianity in the world; (3) for the edification of the Church. Now that we havethe whole written New Testament (which they had not) and Christianity established as the resultof the miracles, we need no further miracle to attest the truth. So the pillar of cloud which guidedthe Israelites was withdrawn when they were sufficiently assured of the Divine Presence, themanifestation of God's glory being thenceforward enclosed in the Most Holy Place [ArchbishopWhately]. Paul sets forth in order: (1). The unity of the body (1Co 12:1-27). (2). The variety of itsmembers and functions (1Co 12:27-30). (3). The grand principle for the right exercise of the gifts,namely, love (1Co 12:31; 1Co 13:1-13). (4) The comparison of the gifts with one another (1Co14:1-40).I would not have you ignorant—with all your boasts of "knowledge" at Corinth. If ignorantnow, it will be your own fault, not mine (1Co 14:38).2. (Eph 2:11).that ye were—The best manuscripts read, "That WHEN ye were"; thus "ye were" must besupplied before "carried away"—Ye were blindly transported hither and thither at the will of yourfalse guides.these dumb idols—Greek, "the idols which are dumb"; contrasted with the living God who"speaks" in the believer by His Spirit (1Co 12:3, &c.). This gives the reason why the Corinthiansneeded instruction as to spiritual gifts, namely, their past heathen state, wherein they had noexperience of intelligent spiritual powers. When blind, ye went to the dumb.as ye were led—The Greek is, rather, "as ye might (happen to) be led," namely, on differentoccasions. The heathen oracles led their votaries at random, without any definite principle.3. The negative and positive criteria of inspiration by the Spirit—the rejection or confession ofJesus as Lord [Alford] (1Jo 4:2; 5:1). Paul gives a test of truth against the Gentiles; John, againstthe false prophets.by the Spirit—rather, as Greek, "IN the Spirit"; that being the power pervading him, and theelement in which he speaks [Alford], (Mt 16:17; Joh 15:26).of God … Holy—The same Spirit is called at one time "the Spirit of God"; at another, "theHOLY Ghost," or "Holy Spirit." Infinite Holiness is almost synonymous with Godhead.speaking … say—"Speak" implies the act of utterance; "say" refers to that which is uttered.Here, "say" means a spiritual and believing confession of Him.Jesus—not an abstract doctrine, but the historical, living God-man (Ro 10:9).2506JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonaccursed—as the Jews and Gentiles treated Him (Ga 3:13). Compare "to curse Christ" in theheathen Pliny's letter [Epistles, 10.97]. The spiritual man feels Him to be the Source of all blessings(Eph 1:3) and to be severed from Him is to be accursed (Ro 9:3).Lord—acknowledging himself as His servant (Isa 26:13). "Lord" is the Septuagint translationfor the incommunicable Hebrew name Jehovah.4. diversities of gifts—that is, varieties of spiritual endowments peculiar to the several membersof the Church: compare "dividing to every man severally" (1Co 12:11).same Spirit—The Holy Trinity appears here: the Holy Spirit in this verse; Christ in 1Co 12:5;and the Father in 1Co 12:6. The terms "gifts," "administrations," and "operations," respectivelycorrespond to the Divine Three. The Spirit is treated of in 1Co 12:7, &c.; the Lord, in 1Co 12:12,&c.; God, in 1Co 12:28. (Compare Eph 4:4-6).5, 6. "Gifts" (1Co 12:4), "administrations" (the various functions and services performed bythose having the gifts, compare 1Co 12:28), and "operations" (the actual effects resulting from boththe former, through the universally operative power of the one Father who is "above all, throughall, and in us all"), form an ascending climax [Henderson, Inspiration].same Lord—whom the Spirit glorifies by these ministrations [Bengel].6. operations—(Compare 1Co 12:10).same God … worketh—by His Spirit working (1Co 12:11).all in all—all of them (the "gifts") in all the persons (who possess them).7. But—Though all the gifts flow from the one God, Lord, and Spirit, the "manifestation" bywhich the Spirit acts (as He is hidden in Himself), varies in each individual.to every man—to each of the members of the Church severally.to profit withal—with a view to the profit of the whole body.8-10. Three classes of gifts are distinguished by a distinct Greek word for "another" (a distinctclass), marking the three several genera: allo marks the species, hetero the genera (compare Greek,1Co 15:39-41). I. Gifts of intellect, namely, (1) wisdom; (2) knowledge. II. Gifts dependent on aspecial faith, namely, that of miracles (Mt 17:20): (1) healings; (2) workings of miracles; (3)prophecy of future events; (4) discerning of spirits, or the divinely given faculty of distinguishingbetween those really inspired, and those who pretended to inspiration. III. Gifts referring to thetongues: (1) diverse kinds of tongues; (2) interpretation of tongues. The catalogue in 1Co 12:28 isnot meant strictly to harmonize with the one here, though there are some particulars in which theycorrespond. The three genera are summarily referred to by single instances of each in 1Co 13:8.The first genus refers more to believers; the second, to unbelievers.by … by … by—The first in Greek is, "By means of," or "through the operation of"; the secondis, "according to" the disposing of (compare 1Co 12:11); the third is, "in," that is, under the influenceof (so the Greek, Mt 22:43; Lu 2:27).word of wisdom—the ready utterance of (for imparting to others, Eph 6:19) wisdom, namely,new revelations of the divine wisdom in redemption, as contrasted with human philosophy (1Co1:24; 2:6, 7; Eph 1:8; 3:10; Col 2:3).word of knowledge—ready utterance supernaturally imparted of truths ALREADY REVEALED(in this it is distinguished from "the word of wisdom," which related to NEW revelations). Compare1Co 14:6, where "revelation" (answering to "wisdom" here) is distinguished from "knowledge"[Henderson]. Wisdom or revelation belonged to the "prophets"; knowledge, to the "teachers." Wisdom2507JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonpenetrates deeper than knowledge. Knowledge relates to things that are to be done. Wisdom, tothings eternal: hence, wisdom is not, like knowledge, said to "pass away" (1Co 13:8), [Bengel].9. faith—not of doctrines, but of miracles: confidence in God, by the impulse of His Spirit,that He would enable them to perform any required miracle (compare 1Co 13:2; Mr 11:23; Jas5:15). Its nature, or principle, is the same as that of saving faith, namely, reliance on God; theproducing cause, also, in the same,' namely, a power altogether supernatural (Eph 1:19, 20). Butthe objects of faith differ respectively. Hence, we see, saving faith does not save by its instrinsicmerit, but by the merits of Him who is the object of it.healing—Greek plural, "healings"; referring to different kinds of disease which need differentkinds of healing (Mt 10:1).10. working of miracles—As "healings" are miracles, those here meant must refer to miraclesof special and extraordinary POWER (so the Greek for "miracles" means); for example, healingsmight be effected by human skill in course of time; but the raising of the dead, the infliction ofdeath by a word, the innocuous use of poisons, &c., are miracles of special power. Compare Mr6:5; Ac 19:11.prophecy—Here, probably, not in the wider sense of public teaching by the Spirit (1Co 11:4,5; 14:1-5, 22-39); but, as its position between "miracles" and a "discerning of spirits" implies, theinspired disclosure of the future (Ac 11:27, 28; 21:11; 1Ti 1:18), [Henderson]. It depends on "faith"(1Co 12:9; Ro 12:6). The prophets ranked next to the apostles (1Co 12:28; Eph 3:5; 4:11). Asprophecy is part of the whole scheme of redemption, an inspired insight into the obscurer parts ofthe existing Scriptures, was the necessary preparation for the miraculous foresight of the future.discerning of spirits—discerning between the operation of God's Spirit, and the evil spirit, orunaided human spirit (1Co 14:29; compare 1Ti 4:1; 1Jo 4:1).kinds of tongues—the power of speaking various languages: also a spiritual language unknownto man, uttered in ecstasy (1Co 14:2-12). This is marked as a distinct genus in the Greek, "Toanother and a different class."interpretation of tongues—(1Co 14:13, 26, 27).11. as he will—(1Co 12:18; Heb 2:4).12, 13. Unity, not unvarying uniformity, is the law of God in the world of grace, as in that ofnature. As the many members of the body compose an organic whole and none can be dispensedwith as needless, so those variously gifted by the Spirit, compose a spiritual organic whole, thebody of Christ, into which all are baptized by the one Spirit.of that one body—Most of the oldest manuscripts omit "one."so also is Christ—that is, the whole Christ, the head and body. So Ps 18:50, "His anointed(Messiah or Christ), David (the antitypical David) and His seed."13. by … Spirit … baptized—literally, "in"; in virtue of; through. The designed effect ofbaptism, which is realized when not frustrated by the unfaithfulness of man.Gentiles—literally, "Greeks."all made to drink into one Spirit—The oldest manuscripts read, "Made to drink of one Spirit,"omitting "into" (Joh 7:37). There is an indirect allusion to the Lord's Supper, as there is a directallusion to baptism in the beginning of the verse. So the "Spirit, the water, and the blood" (1Jo 5:8),similarly combine the two outward signs with the inward things signified, the Spirit's grace.are … have been—rather as Greek, "were … were" (the past tense).2508JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson14. Translate, "For the body also." The analogy of the body, not consisting exclusively of one,but of many members, illustrates the mutual dependence of the various members in the one body,the Church. The well-known fable of the belly and the other members, spoken by Menenius Agrippa,to the seceding commons [Livy, 2.32], was probably before Paul's mind, stored as it was with classicalliterature.15. The humbler members ought not to disparage themselves, or to be disparaged by othersmore noble (1Co 12:21, 22).foot … hand—The humble speaks of the more honorable member which most nearly resemblesitself: so the "ear" of the "eye" (the nobler and more commanding member, Nu 10:31), (1Co 12:16).As in life each compares himself with those whom he approaches nearest in gifts, not those farsuperior. The foot and hand represent men of active life; the ear and eye, those of contemplativelife.17. Superior as the eye is, it would not do if it were the sole member to the exclusion of therest.18. now—as the case really is.every one—each severally.19. where were the body—which, by its very idea, "hath many members" (1Co 12:12, 14),[Alford].20. now—as the case really is: in contrast to the supposition (1Co 12:19; compare 1Co 12:18).many members—mutually dependent.21. The higher cannot dispense with the lower members.22. more feeble—more susceptible of injury: for example, the brain, the belly, the eye. Theirvery feebleness, so far from doing away with the need for them, calls forth our greater care for theirpreservation, as being felt "necessary."23. less honourable—"We think" the feet and the belly "less honorable," though not really soin the nature of things.bestow … honour—putting shoes on (Margin) the feet, and clothes to cover the belly.uncomely parts—the secret parts: the poorest, though unclad in the rest of the body, coverthese.24. tempered … together—on the principle of mutual compensation.to that part which lacked—to the deficient part [Alford], (1Co 12:23).25. no schism—(compare 1Co 12:21)—no disunion; referring to the "divisions" noticed (1Co11:18).care one for another—that is, in behalf of one another.26. And—Accordingly.all … suffer with it—"When a thorn enters the heel, the whole body feels it, and is concerned:the back bends, the belly and thighs contract themselves, the hands come forward and draw out thethorn, the head stoops, and the eyes regard the affected member with intense gaze" [Chrysostom].rejoice with it—"When the head is crowned, the whole man feels honored, the mouth expresses,and the eyes look, gladness" [Chrysostom].27. members in particular—that is, severally members of it. Each church is in miniature whatthe whole aggregate of churches is collectively, "the body of Christ" (compare 1Co 3:16): and itsindividual components are members, every one in his assigned place.28. set … in the church—as He has "set the members … in the body" (1Co 12:18).2509JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfirst apostles—above even the prophets. Not merely the Twelve, but others are so called, forexample, Barnabas, &c. (Ro 16:7).teachers—who taught, for the most part, truths already revealed; whereas the prophets madenew revelations and spoke all their prophesyings under the Spirit's influence. As the teachers hadthe "word of knowledge," so the prophets "the word of wisdom" (1Co 12:8). Under "teachers" areincluded "evangelists and pastors."miracles—literally, "powers" (1Co 12:10): ranked below "teachers," as the function of teachingis more edifying, though less dazzling than working miracles.helps, governments—lower and higher departments of "ministrations" (1Co 12:5); as instancesof the former, deacons whose office it was to help in the relief of the poor, and in baptizing andpreaching, subordinate to higher ministers (Ac 6:1-10; 8:5-17); also, others who helped with theirtime and means, in the Lord's cause (compare 1Co 13:13; Nu 11:17). The Americans similarly use"helps" for "helpers." And, as instances of the latter, presbyters, or bishops, whose office it was togovern the Church (1Ti 5:17; Heb 13:17, 24). These officers, though now ordinary and permanent,were originally specially endowed with the Spirit for their office, whence they are here classifiedwith other functions of an inspired character. Government (literally, "guiding the helm" of affairs),as being occupied with external things, notwithstanding the outward status it gives, is ranked bythe Spirit with the lower functions. Compare "He that giveth" (answering to "helps")—"he thatruleth" (answering to "governments") (Ro 12:8). Translate, literally, "Helpings, governings" [Alford].diversities of tongues—(1Co 12:10). "Divers kinds of tongues."29. Are all?—Surely not.31. covet earnestly—Greek, "emulously desire." Not in the spirit of discontented "coveting."The Spirit "divides to every man severally as He will" (1Co 12:1); but this does not prevent menearnestly seeking, by prayer and watchfulness, and cultivation of their faculties, the greatest gifts.Beza explains, "Hold in the highest estimation"; which accords with the distinction in his view (1Co14:1) between "follow after charity—zealously esteem spiritual gifts"; also with (1Co 12:11, 18)the sovereign will with which the Spirit distributes the gifts, precluding individuals from desiringgifts not vouchsafed to them. But see on 1Co 14:1.the best gifts—Most of the oldest manuscripts read, "the greatest gifts."and yet—Greek, "and moreover." Besides recommending your zealous desire for the greatestgifts, I am about to show you a something still more excellent (literally, "a way most way-like")to desire, "the way of love" (compare 1Co 14:1). This love, or "charity," includes both "faith" and"hope" (1Co 13:7), and bears the same fruits (1Co 13:1-13) as the ordinary and permanent fruitsof the Spirit (Ga 5:22-24). Thus "long-suffering," compare 1Co 12:4; "faith," 1Co 12:7; "joy," 1Co12:6; "meekness," 1Co 12:5; "goodness," 1Co 12:5; "gentleness," 1Co 12:4 (the Greek is the samefor "is kind"). It is the work of the Holy Spirit, and consists in love to God, on account of God'slove in Christ to us, and as a consequence, love to man, especially to the brethren in Christ (Ro 5:5;15:30). This is more to be desired than gifts (Lu 10:20).CHAPTER 131Co 13:1-13. Charity or Love Superior to All Gifts.2510JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThe New Testament psalm of love, as the forty-fifth Psalm (see Ps 45:1, title) and the Song ofSolomon in the Old Testament.1. tongues—from these he ascends to "prophecy" (1Co 13:2); then, to "faith"; then to benevolentand self-sacrificing deeds: a climax. He does not except even himself, and so passes from addressingthem ("unto you," 1Co 12:31) to putting the case in his own person, "Though I," &c.speak with the tongues—with the eloquence which was so much admired at Corinth (forexample, Apollos, Ac 18:24; compare 1Co 1:12; 3:21, 22), and with the command of variouslanguages, which some at Corinth abused to purposes of mere ostentation (1Co 14:2, &c.).of angels—higher than men, and therefore, it is to be supposed, speaking a more exaltedlanguage.charity—the principle of the ordinary and more important gifts of the Spirit, as contrasted withthe extraordinary gifts (1Co 12:1-31).sounding … tinkling—sound without soul or feeling: such are "tongues" without charity.cymbal—Two kinds are noticed (Ps 150:5), the loud or clear, and the high-sounding one: handcymbals and finger cymbals, or castanets. The sound is sharp and piercing.2. mysteries—(Ro 11:25; 16:25). Mysteries refer to the deep counsels of God hitherto secret,but now revealed to His saints. Knowledge, to truths long known.faith … remove mountains—(Mt 17:20; 21:21). The practical power of the will elevated byfaith [Neander]; confidence in God that the miraculous result will surely follow the exercise of thewill at the secret impulse of His Spirit. Without "love" prophecy, knowledge, and faith, are notwhat they seem (compare 1Co 8:1, 2; Mt 7:22; Jas 2:14; compare 1Co 13:8), and so fail of theheavenly reward (Mt 6:2). Thus Paul, who teaches justification by faith only (Ro 3:4, 5; Ga 2:16;3:7-14), is shown to agree with James, who teaches (Jas 2:24) "by works" (that is, by LOVE, whichis the "spirit" of faith, Jas 2:26) a man is justified, "and not by faith only."3. bestow … goods … poor—literally, "dole out in food" all my goods; one of the highestfunctions of the "helps" (1Co 12:28).give … body to be burned—literally, "to such a degree as that I should be burned." As thethree youths did (Da 3:28), "yielded their bodies" (compare 2Co 12:15). These are most nobleexemplifications of love in giving and in suffering. Yet they may be without love; in which casethe "goods" and "body" are given, but not the soul, which is the sphere of love. Without the soulGod rejects all else, and so rejects the man, who is therefore "profited" nothing (Mt 16:26; Lu9:23-25). Men will fight for Christianity, and die for Christianity, but not live in its spirit, whichis love.4. suffereth long—under provocations of evil from others. The negative side of love.is kind—the positive side. Extending good to others. Compare with love's features here thoseof the "wisdom from above" (Jas 3:17).envieth—The Greek includes also jealousy.vaunteth not—in words, even of gifts which it really possesses; an indirect rebuke of those atCorinth who used the gift of tongues for mere display.not puffed up—with party zeal, as some at Corinth were (1Co 4:6).5. not … unseemly—is not uncourteous, or inattentive to civility and propriety.thinketh no evil—imputeth not evil [Alford]; literally, "the evil" which actually is there (Pr10:12; 1Pe 4:8). Love makes allowances for the falls of others, and is ready to put on them acharitable construction. Love, so far from devising evil against another, excuses "the evil" which2511JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonanother inflicts on her [Estius]; doth not meditate upon evil inflicted by another [Bengel]; and indoubtful cases, takes the more charitable view [Grotius].6. rejoiceth in the truth—rather, "rejoiceth with the truth." Exults not at the perpetration ofiniquity (unrighteousness) by others (compare Ge 9:22, 23), but rejoices when the truth rejoices;sympathizes with it in its triumphs (2Jo 4). See the opposite (2Ti 3:8), "Resist the truth." So "thetruth" and "unrighteousness" are contrasted (Ro 2:8). "The truth" is the Gospel truth, the inseparableally of love (Eph 4:15; 2Jo 12). The false charity which compromises "the truth" by glossing over"iniquity" or unrighteousness is thus tacitly condemned (Pr 17:15).7. Beareth all things—without speaking of what it has to bear. The same Greek verb as in 1Co9:12. It endures without divulging to the world personal distress. Literally said of holding fast likea watertight vessel; so the charitable man contains himself in silence from giving vent to whatselfishness would prompt under personal hardship.believeth all things—unsuspiciously believes all that is not palpably false, all that it can witha good conscience believe to the credit of another. Compare Jas 3:17, "easy to be entreated"; Greek,"easily persuaded."hopeth—what is good of another, even when others have ceased to hope.endureth—persecutions in a patient and loving spirit.8. never faileth—never is to be out of use; it always holds its place.shall fail … vanish away—The same Greek verb is used for both; and that different from theGreek verb for "faileth." Translate, "Shall be done away with," that is, shall be dispensed with atthe Lord's coming, being superseded by their more perfect heavenly analogues; for instance,knowledge by intuition. Of "tongues," which are still more temporary, the verb is "shall cease." Aprimary fulfilment of Paul's statement took place when the Church attained its maturity; then"tongues" entirely "ceased," and "prophesyings" and "knowledge," so far as they were supernaturalgifts of the Spirit, were superseded as no longer required when the ordinary preaching of the word,and the Scriptures of the New Testament collected together, had become established institutions.9, 10. in part—partially and imperfectly. Compare a similar contrast to the "perfect man," "themeasure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph 4:11-13).10. that which is in part—fragmentary and isolated.11. When … a child—(1Co 3:1; 14:20).I spake—alluding to "tongues."understood—or, "had the sentiments of." Alluding to "prophecy."I thought—Greek "reasoned" or "judged"; alluding to "knowledge."when I became … I put away—rather, "now that I am become a man, I have done away withthe things of the child."12. now—in our present state.see—an appropriate expression, in connection with the "prophets" of seers (1Sa 9:9).through a glass—that is, in a mirror; the reflection seeming to the eye to be behind the mirror,so that we see it through the mirror. Ancient mirrors were made of polished brass or other metals.The contrast is between the inadequate knowledge of an object gained by seeing it reflected in adim mirror (such as ancient mirrors were), compared with the perfect idea we have of it by seeingitself directly.darkly—literally, "in enigma." As a "mirror" conveys an image to the eye, so an "enigma" tothe ear. But neither "eye nor ear" can fully represent (though the believer's soul gets a small2512JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrevelation now of) "the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1Co 2:9). Paulalludes to Nu 12:8, "not in dark speeches"; the Septuagint, "not in enigmas." Compared with thevisions and dreams vouchsafed to other prophets, God's communications with Moses were "not inenigmas." But compared with the intuitive and direct vision of God hereafter, even the revealedword now is "a dark discourse," or a shadowing forth by enigma of God's reflected likeness. Compare2Pe 1:19, where the "light" or candle in a dark place stands in contrast with the "day" dawning.God's word is called a glass or mirror also in 2Co 3:18.then—"when that which is perfect is come" (1Co 13:10).face to face—not merely "mouth to mouth" (Nu 12:8). Ge 32:30 was a type (Joh 1:50, 51).know … known—rather as Greek, "fully know … fully known." Now we are known by, ratherthan know, God (1Co 8:3; Ga 4:9).13. And now—Translate, "But now." "In this present state" [Henderson]. Or, "now" does notexpress time, but opposition, as in 1Co 5:11, "the case being so" [Grotius]; whereas it is the casethat the three gifts, "prophecy," "tongues," and "knowledge" (cited as specimens of the whole classof gifts) "fail" (1Co 13:8), there abide permanently only these three—faith, hope, charity. In onesense faith and hope shall be done away, faith being superseded by sight, and hope by actual fruition(Ro 8:24; 2Co 5:7); and charity, or love, alone never faileth (1Co 13:8). But in another sense, "faithand hope," as well as "charity," ABIDE; namely, after the extraordinary gifts have ceased; for thosethree are necessary and sufficient for salvation at all times, whereas the extraordinary gifts are notat all so; compare the use of "abide," 1Co 3:14. Charity, or love, is connected specially with theHoly Spirit, who is the bond of the loving union between the brethren (Ro 15:30; Col 1:8). Faithis towards God. Hope is in behalf of ourselves. Charity is love to God creating in us love towardsour neighbor. In an unbeliever there is more or less of the three opposites—unbelief, despair, hatred.Even hereafter faith in the sense of trust in God "abideth"; also "hope," in relation to ever new joysin prospect, and at the anticipation of ever increasing blessedness, sure never to be disappointed.But love alone in every sense "abideth"; it is therefore "the greatest" of the three, as also becauseit presupposes "faith," which without "love" and its consequent "works" is dead (Ga 5:6; Jas 2:17,20).but—rather, "and"; as there is not so strong opposition between charity and the other two, faithand hope, which like it also "abide."CHAPTER 141Co 14:1-25. Superiority of Prophecy over Tongues.1. Follow after charity—as your first and chief aim, seeing that it is "the greatest" (1Co 13:13).and desire—Translate, "Yet (as a secondary aim) desire zealously (see on 1Co 12:31) spiritualgifts."but rather—"but chiefly that ye may prophesy" (speak and exhort under inspiration) (Pr 29:18;Ac 13:1; 1Th 5:20), whether as to future events, that is, strict prophecy, or explaining obscure partsof Scripture, especially the prophetical Scriptures or illustrating and setting forth questions ofChristian doctrine and practice. Our modern preaching is the successor of prophecy, but withoutthe inspiration. Desire zealously this (prophecy) more than any other spiritual gift; or in preferenceto "tongues" (1Co 14:2, &c.) [Bengel].2513JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson2. speaketh … unto God—who alone understands all languages.no man understandeth—generally speaking; the few who have the gift of interpreting tonguesare the exception.in the spirit—as opposed to "the understanding" (1Co 14:14).mysteries—unintelligible to the hearers, exciting their wonder, rather than instructing them.Corinth, being a mart resorted to by merchants from Asia, Africa, and Europe, would give scopeamidst its mixed population for the exercise of the gift of tongues; but its legitimate use was in anaudience understanding the tongue of the speaker, not, as the Corinthians abused it, in mere display.3. But—on the other hand.edification—of which the two principal species given are "exhortation" to remove sluggishness,"comfort" or consolation to remove sadness [Bengel]. Omit "to."4. edifieth himself—as he understands the meaning of what the particular "tongue" expresses;but "the church," that is, the congregation, does not.5. Translate, "Now I wish you all to speak with tongues (so far am I from thus speaking throughhaving any objection to tongues), but rather IN ORDER THAT (as my ulterior and higher wish foryou) ye should prophesy." Tongues must therefore mean languages, not ecstatic, unintelligiblerhapsodie (as Neander fancied): for Paul could never "wish" for the latter in their behalf.greater—because more useful.except he interpret—the unknown tongue which he speaks, "that the Church may receiveedifying (building up)."6. Translate, "But now"; seeing there is no edification without interpretation.revelation … prophesying—corresponding one to the other; "revelation" being the supernaturalunveiling of divine truths to man, "prophesying" the enunciation to men of such revelations. So"knowledge" corresponds to "doctrine," which is the gift of teaching to others our knowledge. Asthe former pair refers to specially revealed mysteries, so the latter pair refers to the general obvioustruths of salvation, brought from the common storehouse of believers.7. Translate, "And things without life-giving sound, whether pipe or harp, YET (notwithstandingtheir giving sound) if they give not a distinction in the tones (that is, notes) how?" &c.what is piped or harped—that is, what tune is played on the pipe or harp.8. Translate, "For if also," an additional step in the argument.uncertain sound—having no definite meaning: whereas it ought to be so marked that onesuccession of notes on the trumpet should summon the soldiers to attack; another, to retreat; another,to some other evolution.9. So … ye—who have life; as opposed to "things without life" (1Co 14:7).by the tongue—the language which ye speak in.ye shall speak—Ye will be speaking into the air, that is, in vain (1Co 9:26).10. it may be—that is, perhaps, speaking by conjecture. "It may chance" (1Co 15:37).so many—as may be enumerated by investigators of such matters. Compare "so much," usedgenerally for a definite number left undefined (Ac 5:8; also 2Sa 12:8).kinds of voices—kinds of articulate speech.without signification—without articulate voice (that is, distinct meaning). None is without itsown voice, or mode of speech, distinct from the rest.11. Therefore—seeing that none is without meaning.2514JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesona barbarian—a foreigner (Ac 28:2). Not in the depreciatory sense as the term is now used, butone speaking a foreign language.12. zealous—emulously desirous.spiritual gifts—literally, "spirits"; that is, emanations from the one Spirit.seek that ye may excel to—Translate, "Seek them, that ye may abound in them to the edifying,"&c.13. Explain, "Let him who speaketh with a tongue [unknown] in his prayer (or, when praying)strive that he may interpret" [Alford]. This explanation of "pray" is needed by its logical connectionwith "prayer in an unknown tongue" (1Co 14:14). Though his words be unintelligible to his hearers,let him in them pray that he may obtain the gift of interpreting, which will make them "edifying"to "the church" (1Co 14:12).14. spirit—my higher being, the passive object of the Holy Spirit's operations, and the instrumentof prayer in the unknown tongue, distinguished from the "understanding," the active instrument ofthought and reasoning; which in this case must be "unfruitful" in edifying others, since the vehicleof expression is unintelligible to them. On the distinction of soul or mind and spirit, see Eph 4:23;Heb 4:12.15. What is it then?—What is my determination thereupon?and—rather as Greek, "but"; I will not only pray with my spirit, which (1Co 14:14) might leavethe understanding unedified, BUT with the understanding also [Alford and Ellicott].pray with the understanding also—and, by inference, I will keep silence altogether if I cannotpray with the understanding (so as to make myself understood by others). A prescient warning,mutatis mutandis, against the Roman and Greek practice of keeping liturgies in dead languages,which long since have become unintelligible to the masses; though their forefathers spoke them ata time when those liturgies were framed for general use.16. Else … thou—He changes from the first person, as he had just expressed his own resolution,"I will pray with the understanding," whatever "thou" doest.bless—the highest kind of prayer.occupieth the room of the unlearned—one who, whatever other gifts he may possess, yet, aswanting the gift of interpretation, is reduced by the speaking in an unknown tongue to the positionof one unlearned, or "a private person."say Amen—Prayer is not a vicarious duty done by others for us; as in Rome's liturgies andmasses. We must join with the leader of the prayers and praises of the congregation, and say aloudour responsive "Amen" in assent, as was the usage of the Jewish (De 27:15-26; Ne 8:6) and Christianprimitive churches [Justin Martyr, Apology, 2. 97].17. givest thanks—The prayers of the synagogue were called "eulogies," because to each prayerwas joined a thanksgiving. Hence the prayers of the Christian Church also were called blessingsand giving of thanks. This illustrates Col 4:2; 1Th 5:17, 18. So the Kaddisch and Keduscha, thesynagogue formulæ of "hallowing" the divine "name" and of prayer for the "coming of God'skingdom," answer to the Church's Lord's Prayer, repeated often and made the foundation on whichthe other prayers are built [Tertullian, Prayer].18. tongues—The oldest manuscripts have the singular, "in a tongue [foreign]."19. I had rather—The Greek verb more literally expresses this meaning, "I WISH to speak fivewords with my understanding (rather) than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue"; even the2515JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontwo thousandth part of ten thousand. The Greek for "I would rather," would be a different verb.Paul would NOT wish at all to speak "ten thousand words in an unknown tongue."20. Brethren—an appellation calculated to conciliate their favorable reception of his exhortation.children in understanding—as preference of gifts abused to nonedification would make you(compare 1Co 3:1; Mt 10:16; Ro 16:19; Eph 4:14). The Greek for "understanding" expresses thewill of one's spirit, Ro 8:6 (it is not found elsewhere); as the "heart" is the will of the "soul." Thesame Greek is used for "minded" in Ro 8:6.men—full-grown. Be childlike, not childish.21. In the law—as the whole Old Testament is called, being all of it the law of God. Comparethe citation of the Psalms as the "law," Joh 10:34. Here the quotation is from Isa 28:11, 12, whereGod virtually says of Israel, This people hear Me not, though I speak to. them in the language withwhich they are familiar; I will therefore speak to them in other tongues, namely, those of the foeswhom I will send against them; but even then they will not hearken to Me; which Paul thus applies,Ye see that it is a penalty to be associated with men of a strange tongue, yet ye impose this on theChurch [Grotius]; they who speak in foreign tongues are like "children" just "weaned from the milk"(Isa 28:9), "with stammering lips" speaking unintelligibly to the hearers, appearing ridiculous (Isa28:14), or as babbling drunkards (Ac 2:13), or madmen (1Co 14:23).22. Thus from Isaiah it appears, reasons Paul, that "tongues" (unknown and uninterpreted) arenot a sign mainly intended for believers (though at the conversion of Cornelius and the Gentileswith him, tongues were vouchsafed to him and them to confirm their faith), but mainly to be acondemnation to those, the majority, who, like Israel in Isaiah's day, reject the sign and theaccompanying message. Compare "yet … will they not hear Me" (1Co 14:21). "Sign" is often usedfor a condemnatory sign (Eze 4:3, 4; Mt 12:39-42). Since they will not understand, they shall notunderstand.prophesying … not for them that believe not, but … believe—that is, prophesying has noeffect on them that are radically and obstinately like Israel (Isa 28:11, 12), unbelievers, but on themthat are either in receptivity or in fact believers; it makes believers of those not wilfully unbelievers(1Co 14:24, 25; Ro 10:17), and spiritually nourishes those that already believe.23. whole … all … tongues—The more there are assembled, and the more that speak in unknowntongues, the more will the impression be conveyed to strangers "coming in" from curiosity("unbelievers"), or even from a better motive ("unlearned"), that the whole body of worshippers isa mob of fanatical "madmen"; and that "the Church is like the company of builders of Babel afterthe confusion of tongues, or like the cause tried between two deaf men before a deaf judge, celebratedin the Greek epigram" [Grotius].unlearned—having some degree of faith, but not gifts [Bengel].24. all—one by one (1Co 14:31).prophesy—speak the truth by the Spirit intelligibly, and not in unintelligible tongues.one—"anyone." Here singular; implying that this effect, namely, conviction by all, would beproduced on anyone, who might happen to enter. In 1Co 14:23 the plural is used; "unlearned orunbelievers"; implying that however many there might be, not one would profit by the tongues;yea, their being many would confirm them in rejecting the sign, as many unbelieving men togetherstrengthen one another in unbelief; individuals are more easily won [Bengel].convinced—convicted in conscience; said of the "one that believeth not" (Joh 16:8, 9).2516JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonjudged—His secret character is opened out. "Is searched into" [Alford]. Said of the "oneunlearned" (compare 1Co 2:15).25. And thus—omitted in the oldest manuscripts and versions.secrets of his heart made manifest—He sees his own inner character opened out by the swordof the Spirit (Heb 4:12; Jas 1:23), the word of God, in the hand of him who prophesieth. Comparethe same effect produced on Nebuchadnezzar (Da 2:30 and end of Da 2:47). No argument is strongerfor the truth of religion than its manifestation of men to themselves in their true character. Hencehearers even now often think the preacher must have aimed his sermon particularly at them.and so—convicted at last, judged, and manifested to himself. Compare the effect on the womanof Samaria produced by Jesus' unfolding of her character to herself (Joh 4:19, 29).and report—to his friends at home, as the woman of Samaria did. Rather, as the Greek is, "Hewill worship God, announcing," that is, openly avowing then and there, "that God is in you of atruth," and by implication that the God who is in you is of a truth the God.1Co 14:26-40. Rules for the Exercise of Gifts in the Congregation.26. How is it then?—rather, "What then is the true rule to be observed as to the use of gifts?"Compare 1Co 14:15, where the same Greek occurs.a psalm—extemporary, inspired by the Spirit, as that of Mary, Zechariah, Simeon, and Anna(Lu 1:46-55, 67-79; 2:34-38).a doctrine—to impart and set forth to the congregation.a tongue … a revelation—The oldest manuscripts transpose the order: "revelation … tongue";"interpretation" properly following "tongue" (1Co 14:13).Let all things be done unto edifying—The general rule under which this particular case fails;an answer to the question at the beginning of this verse. Each is bound to obey the ordinances ofhis church not adverse to Scripture. See Article XXXIV, Church of England Prayer Book.27. let it be by two—at each time, in one assembly; not more than two or three might speakwith tongues at each meeting.by course—in turns.let one interpret—one who has the gift of interpreting tongues; and not more than one.28. let him—the speaker in unknown tongues.speak to himself, and to God—(compare 1Co 14:2, 4)—privately and not in the hearing ofothers.29. two or three—at one meeting (he does not add "at the most," as in 1Co 14:27, lest he shouldseem to "quench prophesyings," the most edifying of gifts), and these "one by one," in turn (1Co14:27, "by course," and 1Co 14:31). Paul gives here similar rules to the prophets, as previously tothose speaking in unknown tongues.judge—by their power of "discerning spirits" (1Co 12:10), whether the person prophesyingwas really speaking under the influence of the Spirit (compare 1Co 12:3; 1Jo 4:13).30. If any thing—Translate, "But if any thing."another that sitteth by—a hearer.let the first hold his peace—Let him who heretofore spoke, and who came to the assemblyfurnished with a previous ordinary (in those times) revelation from God (1Co 14:26), give placeto him who at the assembly is moved to prophesy by a sudden revelation from the Spirit.31. For ye may—rather, "For ye can [if ye will] all prophesy one by one," giving way to oneanother. The "for" justifies the precept (1Co 14:30), "let the first hold his peace."2517JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson32. And—following up the assertion in 1Co 14:31, "Ye can (if ye will) prophesy one by one,"that is, restrain yourselves from speaking all together; "and the spirits of the prophets," that is, theirown spirits, acted on by the Holy Spirit, are not so hurried away by His influence, as to cease to beunder their own control; they can if they will hear others, and not demand that they alone shouldbe heard uttering communications from God.33. In all the churches of the saints God is a God of peace; let Him not among you be supposedto be a God of confusion [Alford]. Compare the same argument in 1Co 11:16. Lachmann and othersput a full stop at "peace," and connect the following words thus: "As in all churches of the saints,let your women keep silence in your churches."34. (1Ti 2:11, 12). For women to speak in public would be an act of independence, as if theywere not subject to their husbands (compare 1Co 11:3; Eph 5:22; Tit 2:5; 1Pe 3:1). For "underobedience," translate, "in subjection" or "submission," as the Greek is translated (Eph 5:21, 22, 24).the law—a term applied to the whole Old Testament; here, Ge 3:16.35. Anticipation of an objection. Women may say, "But if we do not understand something,may we not 'ask' a question publicly so as to 'learn'? Nay, replies Paul, if you want information,'ask' not in public, but 'at home'; ask not other men, but 'your own particular (so the Greek)husbands.'"shame—indecorous.36. What!—Greek, "Or." Are you about to obey me? Or, if you set up your judgment abovethat of other churches. I wish to know, do you pretend that your church is the first church FROMwhich the gospel word came, that you should give the law to all others? Or are you the only personsIn, fro whom it has come?37. prophet—the species.spiritual—the genus: spiritually endowed. The followers of Apollos prided themselves as"spiritual" (1Co 3:1-3; compare Ga 6:1). Here one capable of discerning spirits is specially meant.things that I write … commandments of the Lord—a direct assertion of inspiration. Paul'swords as an apostle are Christ's words. Paul appeals not merely to one or two, but to a body of men,for the reality of three facts about which no body of men could possibly be mistaken: (1) that hishaving converted them was not due to mere eloquence, but to the "demonstration of the Spirit andof power"; (2) that part of this demonstration consisted in the communication of miraculous power,which they were then exercising so generally as to require to be corrected in the irregular employmentof it; (3) that among these miraculous gifts was one which enabled the "prophet" or "spiritualperson" to decide whether Paul's Epistle was Scripture or not. He could not have written so, unlessthe facts were notoriously true: for he takes them for granted, as consciously known by the wholebody of men whom he addresses [Hinds, On Inspiration].38. if any man be ignorant—wilfully; not wishing to recognize these ordinances and myapostolic authority in enjoining them.let him be ignorant—I leave him to his ignorance: it will be at his own peril; I feel it a wasteof words to speak anything further to convince him. An argument likely to have weight with theCorinthians, who admired "knowledge" so much.39. covet—earnestly desire. Stronger than "forbid not"; marking how much higher he esteemed"prophecy" than "tongues."40. Let, &c.—The oldest manuscripts read, "But let," &c. This verse is connected with 1Co14:39, "But (while desiring prophecy, and not forbidding tongues) let all things be done decently."2518JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson"Church government is the best security for Christian liberty" [J. Newton]. (Compare 1Co 14:23,26-33).CHAPTER 151Co 15:1-58. The Resurrection Proved against the Deniers of It at Corinth.Christ's resurrection rests on the evidence of many eye-witnesses, including Paul himself, andis the great fact preached as the groundwork of the Gospel: they who deny the resurrection ingeneral, must deny that of Christ, and the consequence of the latter will be, that Christian preachingand faith are vain.1. Moreover—"Now" [Alford and Ellicott].I declare—literally, "I make known": it implies some degree of reproach that it should be nownecessary to make it known to them afresh, owing to some of them "not having the knowledge ofGod" (1Co 15:34). Compare Ga 1:11.wherein ye stand—wherein ye now take your stand. This is your present actual privilege, ifye suffer not yourselves to fall from your high standing.2. ye are saved—rather, "ye are being saved."if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you—Able critics, Bengel and others, preferconnecting the words thus, "I declare unto you the Gospel (1Co 15:1) in what words I preached itunto you." Paul reminds them, or rather makes known to them, as if anew, not only the fact of theGospel, but also with what words, and by what arguments, he preached it to them. Translate in thatcase, "if ye hold it fast." I prefer arranging as English Version, "By which ye are saved, if ye holdfast (in memory and personal appropriation) with what speech I preached it unto you."unless—which is impossible, your faith is vain, in resting on Christ's resurrection as an objectivereality.3. I delivered unto you—A short creed, or summary of articles of faith, was probably eventhen existing; and a profession in accordance with it was required of candidates for baptism (Ac8:37).first of all—literally, "among the foremost points" (Heb 6:2). The atonement is, in Paul's view,of primary importance.which I … received—from Christ Himself by special revelation (compare 1Co 11:23).died for our sins—that is, to atone FOR them; for taking away our sins (1Jo 3:5; compare Ga1:4): "gave Himself for our sins" (Isa 53:5; 2Co 5:15; Tit 2:14). The "for" here does not, as in somepassages, imply vicarious substitution, but "in behalf of" (Heb 5:3; 1Pe 2:24). It does not, however,mean merely "on account of," which is expressed by a different Greek word (Ro 4:25), (though inEnglish Version translated similarly, "for").according to the scriptures—which "cannot be broken." Paul puts the testimony of Scriptureabove that of those who saw the Lord after His resurrection [Bengel]. So our Lord quotes Isa 53:12,in Lu 22:37; compare Ps 22:15, &c.; Da 9:26.4. buried … rose again—His burial is more closely connected with His resurrection than Hisdeath. At the moment of His death, the power of His inextinguishable life exerted itself (Mt 27:52).The grave was to Him not the destined receptacle of corruption, but an apartment fitted for enteringinto life (Ac 2:26-28) [Bengel].2519JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonrose again—Greek, "hath risen": the state thus begun, and its consequences, still continue.5. seen of Cephas—Peter (Lu 24:34).the twelve—The round number for "the Eleven" (Lu 24:33, 36). "The Twelve" was their ordinaryappellation, even when their number was not full. However, very possibly Matthias was present(Ac 1:22, 23). Some of the oldest manuscripts and versions read, "the Eleven": but the best on thewhole, "the Twelve."6. five hundred—This appearance was probably on the mountain (Tabor, according to tradition),in Galilee, when His most solemn and public appearance, according to His special promise, wasvouchsafed (Mt 26:32; 28:7, 10, 16). He "appointed" this place, as one remote from Jerusalem, sothat believers might assemble there more freely and securely. Alford's theory of Jerusalem being thescene, is improbable; as such a multitude of believers could not, with any safety, have met in oneplace in the metropolis, after His crucifixion there. The number of disciples (Ac 1:15) at Jerusalemshortly after, was one hundred and twenty, those in Galilee and elsewhere not being reckoned.Andronicus and Junius were, perhaps, of the number (Ro 16:7): they are said to be "among theapostles" (who all were witnesses of the resurrection, Ac 1:22).remain unto this present—and, therefore, may be sifted thoroughly to ascertain thetrustworthiness of their testimony.fallen asleep—in the sure hope of awaking at the resurrection (Ac 7:60).7. seen of James—the Less, the brother of our Lord (Ga 1:19). The Gospel according to theHebrews, quoted by Jerome [On Illustrious Men, p. 170 D.], records that "James swore he wouldnot eat bread from the hour that he drank the cup of the Lord, till he should see Him rising againfrom the dead."all the apostles—The term here includes many others besides "the Twelve" already enumerated(1Co 15:5): perhaps the seventy disciples (Lu 10:1) [Chrysostom].8. One born out of due time—Greek, "the one abortively born": the abortion in the family ofthe apostles. As a child born before the due time is puny, and though born alive, yet not of theproper size, and scarcely worthy of the name of man, so "I am the least of the apostles," scarcely"meet to be called an apostle"; a supernumerary taken into the college of apostles out of regularcourse, not led to Christ by long instruction, like a natural birth, but by a sudden power, as thoseprematurely born [Grotius]. Compare the similar image from childbirth, and by the same spiritualpower, the resurrection of Christ (1Pe 1:3). "Begotten again by the resurrection of Jesus." Jesus'appearance to Paul, on the way to Damascus, is the one here referred to.9. least—The name, "Paulus," in Latin, means "least."I persecuted the church—Though God has forgiven him, Paul can hardly forgive himself atthe remembrance of his past sin.10. by … grace … and his grace—The repetition implies the prominence which God's gracehad in his mind, as the sole cause of his marvellous conversion and subsequent labors. Though "notmeet to be called an apostle," grace has given him, in Christ, the meetness needed for the office.Translate as the Greek, "His grace which was (showed) towards me."what I am—occupying the honorable office of an apostle. Contrast with this the self-sufficientprayer of another Pharisee (Lu 18:11).but I laboured—by God's grace (Php 2:16).than they all—than any of the apostles (1Co 15:7).2520JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesongrace of God … with me—Compare "the Lord working with them" (Mr 16:20). The oldestmanuscripts omit "which was." The "not I, but grace," implies, that though the human will concurredwith God when brought by His Spirit into conformity with His will, yet "grace" so preponderatedin the work, that his own co-operation is regarded as nothing, and grace as virtually the sole agent.(Compare 1Co 3:9; Mt 10:20; 2Co 6:1; Php 2:12, 13).11. whether it were I or they—(the apostles) who "labored more abundantly" (1Co 15:10) inpreaching, such was the substance of our preaching, namely, the truths stated in 1Co 15:3, 4.12. if—Seeing that it is an admitted fact that Christ is announced by us eye-witnesses as havingrisen from the dead, how is it that some of you deny that which is a necessary consequence ofChrist's resurrection, namely, the general resurrection?some—Gentile reasoners (Ac 17:32; 26:8) who would not believe it because they did not see"how" it could be (1Co 15:35, 36).13. If there be no general resurrection, which is the consequent, then there can have been noresurrection of Christ, which is the antecedent. The head and the members of the body stand on thesame footing: what does not hold good of them, does not hold good of Him either: His resurrectionand theirs are inseparably joined (compare 1Co 15:20-22; Joh 14:19).14. your faith … vain—(1Co 15:11). The Greek for "vain" here is, empty, unreal: in 1Co15:17, on the other hand, it is, without use, frustrated. The principal argument of the first preachersin support of Christianity was that God had raised Christ from the dead (Ac 1:22; 2:32; 4:10, 33;13:37; Ro 1:4). If this fact were false, the faith built on it must be false too.15. testified of God—that is, concerning God. The rendering of others is, "against God" [Vulgate,Estius, Grotius]: the Greek preposition with the genitive implies, not direct antagonism (as theaccusative would mean), but indirect to the dishonor of God. English Version is probably better.if so be—as they assert. It is not right to tell untrue stories, though they are told and seem forthe glory of God (Job 13:7).16. The repetition implies the unanswerable force of the argument.17. vain—Ye are, by the very fact (supposing the case to be as the skeptics maintained),frustrated of all which "your faith" appropriates: Ye are still under the everlasting condemnationof your sins (even in the disembodied state which is here referred to), from which Christ's resurrectionis our justification (Ro 4:25): "saved by his life" (Ro 5:10).18. fallen asleep in Christ—in communion with Christ as His members. "In Christ's case theterm used is death, to assure us of the reality of His suffering; in our case, sleep, to give usconsolation: In His case, His resurrection having actually taken place, Paul shrinks not from theterm death; in ours, the resurrection being still only a matter of hope, he uses the term falling asleep"[Photius, Quæstiones Amphilochiæ, 197].perished—Their souls are lost; they are in misery in the unseen world.19. If our hopes in Christ were limited to this life only, we should be, of all men, most to bepitied; namely, because, while others live unmolested, we are exposed to every trial and persecution,and, after all, are doomed to bitter disappointment in our most cherished hope; for all our hope ofsalvation, even of the soul (not merely of the body), hangs on the resurrection of Christ, withoutwhich His death would be of no avail to us (Eph 1:19, 20; 1Pe 1:3). The heathen are "without hope"(Eph 2:12; 1Th 4:13). We should be even worse, for we should be also without present enjoyment(1Co 4:9).20. now—as the case really is.2521JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand become—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.the first-fruits—the earnest or pledge, that the whole resurrection harvest will follow, so thatour faith is not vain, nor our hope limited to this life. The time of writing this Epistle was probablyabout the Passover (1Co 5:7); the day after the Passover sabbath was that for offering the first-fruits(Le 23:10, 11), and the same was the day of Christ's resurrection: whence appears the appropriatenessof the image.21. by man … by man—The first-fruits are of the same nature as the rest of the harvest; soChrist, the bringer of life, is of the same nature as the race of men to whom He brings it; just asAdam, the bringer of death, was of the same nature as the men on whom he brought it.22. in Adam all—in union of nature with Adam, as representative head of mankind in theirfall.in Christ … all—in union of nature with Christ, the representative head of mankind in theirrecovery. The life brought in by Christ is co-extensive with the death brought in by Adam.23. But every man in his own order—rather, "rank": the Greek is not in the abstract, butconcrete: image from troops, "each in his own regiment." Though all shall rise again, let not anythink all shall be saved; nay, each shall have his proper place, Christ first (Col 1:18), and after Himthe godly who die in Christ (1Th 4:16), in a separate band from the ungodly, and then "the end,"that is, the resurrection of the rest of the dead. Christian churches, ministers, and individuals seemabout to be judged first "at His coming" (Mt 25:1-30); then "all the nations" (Mt 25:31-46). Christ'sown flock shall share His glory "at His coming," which is not to be confounded with "the end," orgeneral judgment (Re 20:4-6, 11-15). The latter is not in this chapter specially discussed, but onlythe first resurrection, namely, that of the saints: not even the judgment of Christian hollow professors(Mt 25:1-30) at His coming, is handled, but only the glory of them "that are Christ's," who alonein the highest sense "obtain the resurrection from the dead" (Lu 14:14; 20:35, 36; Php 3:11; see onPhp 3:11). The second coming of Christ is not a mere point of time, but a period beginning withthe resurrection of the just at His appearing, and ending with the general judgment. The ground ofthe universal resurrection is the union of all mankind in nature with Christ, their representativeHead, who has done away with death, by His own death in their stead: the ground of the resurrectionof believers is not merely this, but their personal union with Him as their "Life" (Col 3:4), effectedcausatively by the Holy Spirit, and instrumentally by faith as the subjective, and by ordinances asthe objective means.24. Then—after that: next in the succession of "orders" or "ranks."the end—the general resurrection, and final judgment and consummation (Mt 25:46).delivered up … kingdom to … Father—(Compare Joh 13:3). Seeming at variance with Da7:14, "His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away." Really, His giving upof the mediatorial kingdom to the Father, when the end for which the mediatorial economy wasestablished has been accomplished, is altogether in harmony with its continuing everlastingly. Thechange which shall then take place, shall be in the manner of administration, not in the kingdomitself; God shall then come into direct connection with the earth, instead of mediatorially, whenChrist shall have fully and finally removed everything that severs asunder the holy God and a sinfulearth (Col 1:20). The glory of God is the final end of Christ's mediatorial office (Php 2:10, 11). Hisco-equality with the Father is independent of the latter, and prior to it, and shall, therefore, continuewhen its function shall have ceased. His manhood, too, shall everlastingly continue, though, asnow, subordinate to the Father. The throne of the Lamb (but no longer mediatorial) as well as of2522JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonGod, shall be in the heavenly city (Re 22:3; compare Re 3:21). The unity of the Godhead, and theunity of the Church, shall be simultaneously manifested at Christ's second coming. Compare Zep3:9; Zec 14:9; Joh 17:21-24. The oldest manuscripts for "shall have delivered up," read, "deliverethup," which suits the sense better. It is "when He shall have put down all rule," that "He deliverethup the kingdom to the Father."shall have put down all rule—the effect produced during the millennary reign of Himself andHis saints (Ps 110:1; 8:6; 2:6-9), to which passages Paul refers, resting his argument on the twowords, "all" and "until," of the Psalmist: a proof of verbal inspiration of Scripture (compare Re2:26, 27). Meanwhile, He "rules in the midst of His enemies" (Ps 110:2). He is styled "the King"when He takes His great power (Mt 25:34; Re 11:15, 17). The Greek for "put down" is, "done awaywith," or "brought to naught." "All" must be subject to Him, whether openly opposed powers, asSatan and his angels, or kings and angelic principalities (Eph 1:21).25. must—because Scripture foretells it.till—There will be no further need of His mediatorial kingdom, its object having been realized.enemies under his feet—(Lu 19:27; Eph 1:22).26. shall be—Greek, "is done away with" (Re 20:14; compare Re 1:18). It is to believersespecially this applies (1Co 15:55-57); even in the case of unbelievers, death is done away with bythe general resurrection. Satan brought in sin, and sin brought in death! So they shall be destroyed(rendered utterly powerless) in the same order (1Co 15:56; Heb 2:14; Re 19:20; 20:10, 14).27. all things—including death (compare Eph 1:22; Php 3:21; Heb 2:8; 1Pe 3:22). It is said,"hath put," for what God has said is the same as if it were already done, so sure is it. Paul herequotes Ps 8:6 in proof of his previous declaration, "For (it is written), 'He hath put all things underHis feet.'"under his feet—as His footstool (Ps 110:1). In perfect and lasting subjection.when he—namely, God, who by His Spirit inspired the Psalmist.28. Son … himself … subject—not as the creatures are, but as a Son voluntarily subordinateto, though co-equal with, the Father. In the mediatorial kingdom, the Son had been, in a manner,distinct from the Father. Now, His kingdom shall merge in the Father's, with whom He is one; notthat there is thus any derogation from His honor; for the Father Himself wills "that all should honorthe Son, as they honor the Father" (Joh 5:22, 23; Heb 1:6).God … all in all—as Christ is all in all (Col 3:11; compare Zec 14:9). Then, and not till then,"all things," without the least infringement of the divine prerogative, shall be subject to the Son,and the Son subordinate to the Father, while co-equally sharing His glory. Contrast Ps 10:4; 14:1.Even the saints do not fully realize God as their "all" (Ps 73:25) now, through desiring it; then eachshall feel, God is all to me.29. Else—if there be no resurrection.what shall they do?—How wretched is their lot!they … which are baptized for the dead—third person; a class distinct from that in whichthe apostle places himself, "we" (1Co 15:30); first person. Alford thinks there is an allusion to apractice at Corinth of baptizing a living person in behalf of a friend who died unbaptized; thus Paul,without giving the least sanction to the practice, uses an ad hominem argument from it against itspracticers, some of whom, though using it, denied the resurrection: "What account can they giveof their practice; why are they at the trouble of it, if the dead rise not?" [So Jesus used an ad hominemargument, Mt 12:27]. But if so, it is strange there is no direct censure of it. Some Marcionites2523JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonadopted the practice at a later period, probably from taking this passage, as Alford does; but, generally,it was unknown in the Church. Bengel translates, "over (immediately upon) the dead," that is, whowill be gathered to the dead immediately after baptism. Compare Job 17:1, "the graves are readyfor me." The price they get for their trouble is, that they should be gathered to the dead for ever(1Co 15:13, 16). Many in the ancient Church put off baptism till near death. This seems the betterview; though there may have been some rites of symbolical baptism at Corinth, now unknown,perhaps grounded on Jesus' words (Mt 20:22, 23), which Paul here alludes to. The best punctuationis, "If the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for them" (so the oldest manuscripts readthe last words, instead of "for the dead")?30. we—apostles (1Co 15:9; 1Co 4:9). A gradation from those who could only for a little timeenjoy this life (that is, those baptized at the point of death), to us, who could enjoy it longer, if wehad not renounced the world for Christ [Bengel].31. by your rejoicing—by the glorying which I have concerning you, as the fruit of my laborsin the Lord. Some of the earliest manuscripts and fathers read "our," with the same sense. Bengelunderstands "your rejoicing," to be the enjoyable state of the Corinthians, as contrasted with hisdying daily to give his converts rejoicing or glorying (1Co 4:8; 2Co 4:12, 15; Eph 3:13; Php 1:26).But the words, "which I have," favor the explanation—"the rejoicing which I have over you." Manyof the oldest manuscripts and Vulgate insert "brethren" here.I die daily—This ought to stand first in the sentence, as it is so put prominently forward in theGreek. I am day by day in sight of death, exposed to it, and expecting it (2Co 4:11, 12; 1:8, 9;11:23).32. Punctuate thus: "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, whatadvantageth it me? If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink," &c. [Bengel]. If "merely as a man"(with the mere human hope of the present life; not with the Christian's hope of the resurrection;answering to "If the dead rise not," the parallel clause in the next sentence), I have fought with menresembling savage beasts. Heraclitus, of Ephesus, had termed his countrymen "wild beasts" fourhundred years before. So Epimenides called the Cretians (Tit 1:12). Paul was still at Ephesus (1Co16:8), and there his life was daily in danger (1Co 4:9; compare 2Co 1:8). Though the tumult (Ac19:29, 30) had not yet taken place (for after it he set out immediately for Macedonia), this Epistlewas written evidently just before it, when the storm was gathering; "many adversaries" (1Co 16:9)were already menacing him.what advantageth it me?—seeing I have renounced all that, "as a mere man," might compensateme for such sufferings, gain, fame, &c.let us eat, &c.—Quoted from the Septuagint, (Isa 22:13), where the prophet describes thereckless self-indulgence of the despisers of God's call to mourning, Let us enjoy the good thingsof life now, for it soon will end. Paul imitates the language of such skeptics, to reprove both theirtheory and practice. "If men but persuade themselves that they shall die like the beasts, they soonwill live like beasts too" [South].33. evil communications corrupt good manners—a current saying, forming a verse in Menander,the comic poet, who probably took it from Euripides [Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 3.16]. "Evilcommunications" refer to intercourse with those who deny the resurrection. Their notion seems tohave been that the resurrection is merely spiritual, that sin has its seat solely in the body, and willbe left behind when the soul leaves it, if, indeed, the soul survive death at all.2524JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesongood—not only good-natured, but pliant. Intimacy with the profligate society around was aptto corrupt the principles of the Corinthians.34. Awake—literally, "out of the sleep" of carnal intoxication into which ye are thrown by theinfluence of these skeptics (1Co 15:32; Joe 1:5).to righteousness—in contrast with "sin" in this verse, and corrupt manners (1Co 15:33).sin not—Do not give yourselves up to sinful pleasures. The Greek expresses a continued stateof abstinence from sin. Thus, Paul implies that they who live in sinful pleasures readily persuadethemselves of what they wish, namely, that there is to be no resurrection.some—the same as in 1Co 15:12.have not the knowledge of God—and so know not His power in the resurrection (Mt 22:29).Stronger than "are ignorant of God." An habitual ignorance: wilful, in that they prefer to keep theirsins, rather than part with them, in order to know God (compare Joh 7:17; 1Pe 2:15).to your shame—that you Corinthian Christians, who boast of your knowledge, should haveamong you, and maintain intercourse with, those so practically ignorant of God, as to deny theresurrection.35. How—It is folly to deny a fact of REVELATION, because we do not know the "how." Somemeasure God's power by their petty intelligence, and won't admit, even on His assurance, anythingwhich they cannot explain. Ezekiel's answer of faith to the question is the truly wise one (Eze 37:3).So Jesus argues not on principles of philosophy, but wholly from "the power of God," as declaredby the Word of God (Mt 19:26; Mr 10:27; 12:23; Lu 18:27).come—The dead are said to depart, or to be deceased: those rising again to come. The objectorcould not understand how the dead are to rise, and with what kind of a body they are to come. Is itto be the same body? If so, how is this, since the resurrection bodies will not eat or drink, or begetchildren, as the natural bodies do? Besides, the latter have mouldered into dust. How then can theyrise again? If it be a different body, how can the personal identity be preserved? Paul answers, Inone sense it will be the same body, in another, a distinct body. It will be a body, but a spiritual, nota natural, body.36. fool—with all thy boasted philosophy (Ps 14:1).that which thou—"thou," emphatical: appeal to the objector's own experience: "The seed whichthou thyself sowest." Paul, in this verse and in 1Co 15:42, answers the question of 1Co 15:35,"How?" and in 1Co 15:37-41, 43, the question, "With what kind of body?" He converts the veryobjection (the death of the natural body) into an argument. Death, so far from preventing quickening,is the necessary prelude and prognostication of it, just as the seed "is not quickened" into a newsprout with increased produce, "except it die" (except a dissolution of its previous organizationtakes place). Christ by His death for us has not given us a reprieve from death as to the life whichwe have from Adam; nay, He permits the law to take its course on our fleshly nature; but He bringsfrom Himself new spiritual and heavenly life out of death (1Co 15:37).37. not that body that shall be—a body beautiful and no longer a "bare grain" [Bengel]. Nolonger without stalk or ear, but clothed with blade and ears, and yielding many grains instead ofonly one [Grotius]. There is not an identity of all the particles of the old and the new body. For theperpetual transmutation of matter is inconsistent with this. But there is a hidden germ whichconstitutes the identity of body amidst all outward changes: the outward accretions fall off in itsdevelopment, while the germ remains the same. Every such germ ("seed," 1Co 15:38) "shall haveits own body," and be instantly recognized, just as each plant now is known from the seed that was2525JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsown (see on 1Co 6:13). So Christ by the same image illustrated the truth that His death was thenecessary prelude of His putting on His glorified body, which is the ground of the regeneration ofthe many who believe (Joh 12:24). Progress is the law of the spiritual, as of the natural world. Deathis the avenue not to mere revivification or reanimation, but to resurrection and regeneration (Mt19:28; Php 3:21). Compare "planted," &c., Ro 6:5.38. as it hath pleased him—at creation, when He gave to each of the (kinds of) seeds (so theGreek is for "to every seed") a body of its own (Ge 1:11, "after its kind," suited to its species). SoGod can and will give to the blessed at the resurrection their own appropriate body, such as itpleases Him, and such as is suitable to their glorified state: a body peculiar to the individual,substantially the same as the body sown.39-41. Illustrations of the suitability of bodies, however various, to their species: the flesh ofthe several species of animals; bodies celestial and terrestrial; the various kinds of light in the sun,moon, and stars, respectively.flesh—animal organism [De Wette]. He implies by the word that our resurrection bodies shallbe in some sense really flesh, not mere phantoms of air [Estius]. So some of the oldest creedsexpressed it, "I believe in the resurrection of the flesh." Compare as to Jesus' own resurrection body,Lu 24:39; Joh 20:27; to which ours shall be made like, and therefore shall be flesh, but not of animalorganism (Php 3:21) and liable to corruption. But 1Co 15:50 below implies, it is not "flesh andblood" in the animal sense we now understand them; for these "shall not inherit the kingdom ofGod."not the same—not flesh of the same nature and excellency. As the kinds of flesh, howeverwidely differing from one another, do not cease to be flesh, so the kinds of bodies, however differingfrom one another, are still bodies. All this is to illustrate the difference of the new celestial bodyfrom its terrestrial seed, while retaining a substantial identity.beasts—quadrupeds.another of fishes … another of birds—Most of the oldest manuscripts read thus, "anotherFLESH of birds … another of fishes": the order of nature.40. celestial bodies—not the sun, moon, and stars, which are first introduced in 1Co 15:41, butthe bodies of angels, as distinguished from the bodies of earthly creatures.the glory of the celestial—(Lu 9:26).glory of … terrestrial—(Mt 6:28, 29; 1Pe 1:24).41. one glory of … sun … another … of … moon—The analogy is not to prove differentdegrees of glory among the blessed (whether this may be, or not, indirectly hinted at), but this: Asthe various fountains of light, which is so similar in its aspect and properties, differ (the sun fromthe moon, and the moon from the stars; and even one star from another star, though all seem somuch alike); so there is nothing unreasonable in the doctrine that our present bodies differ fromour resurrection bodies, though still continuing bodies. Compare the same simile, appropriateespecially in the clear Eastern skies (Da 12:3; Mt 13:43). Also that of seed in the same parable (Mt13:24; Ga 6:7, 8).42. sown—Following up the image of seed. A delightful word instead of burial.in corruption—liable to corruption: corruptible: not merely a prey when dead to corruption;as the contrast shows, "raised in incorruption," that is, not liable to corruption: incorruptible.43. in dishonour—answering to "our vile body" (Php 3:21); literally, "our body of humiliation":liable to various humiliations of disease, injury, and decay at last.2526JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin glory—the garment of incorruption (1Co 15:42, 43) like His glorious body (Php 4:21), whichwe shall put on (1Co 15:49, 53; 2Co 5:2-4).in weakness—liable to infirmities (2Co 13:4).in power—answering to a "spiritual body" (1Co 15:44; compare Lu 1:17, "Spirit and power").Not liable to the weaknesses of our present frail bodies (Isa 33:24; Re 21:4).44. a natural body—literally, "an animal body," a body moulded in its organism of "flesh andblood" (1Co 15:50) to suit the animal soul which predominates in it. The Holy Spirit in the spiritof believers, indeed, is an earnest of a superior state (Ro 8:11), but meanwhile in the body the animalsoul preponderates; hereafter the Spirit shall predominate, and the animal soul be duly subordinate.spiritual body—a body wholly moulded by the Spirit, and its organism not conformed to thelower and animal (Lu 20:35, 36), but to the higher and spiritual, life (compare 1Co 2:14; 1Th 5:23).There is, &c.—The oldest manuscripts read, "IF there is a natural (or animal-souled) body,there is also a spiritual body." It is no more wonderful a thing, that there should be a body fitted tothe capacities and want of man's highest part, his spirit (which we see to be the case), than thatthere should be one fitted to the capacities and wants of his subordinate part, the animal soul [Alford].45. so—in accordance with the distinction just mentioned between the natural or animal-souledbody and the spiritual body.it is written—(Ge 2:7); "Man became (was made to become) a living soul," that is, endowedwith an animal soul, the living principle of his body.the last Adam—the LAST Head of humanity, who is to be fully manifested in the last day,which is His day (Joh 6:39). He is so called in Job 19:25; see on Job 19:25 (compare Ro 5:14). Incontrast to "the last," Paul calls "man" (Ge 2:7) "the FIRST Adam."quickening—not only living, but making alive (Joh 5:21; 6:33, 39, 40, 54, 57, 62, 63; Ro 8:11).As the natural or animal-souled body (1Co 15:44) is the fruit of our union with the first Adam, ananimal-souled man, so the spiritual body is the fruit of our union with the second Adam, who isthe quickening Spirit (2Co 3:17). As He became representative of the whole of humanity in Hisunion of the two natures, He exhausted in His own person the sentence of death passed on all men,and giveth spiritual and everlasting life to whom He will.46. afterward—Adam had a soul not necessarily mortal, as it afterwards became by sin, but"a living soul," and destined to live for ever, if he had eaten of the tree of life (Ge 3:22); still hisbody was but an animal-souled body, not a spiritual body, such as believers shall have; much lesswas he a "life-giving spirit," as Christ. His soul had the germ of the Spirit, rather than the fulnessof it, such as man shall have when restored "body, soul, and spirit," by the second Adam (1Th 5:23).As the first and lower Adam came before the second and heavenly Adam, so the animal-souledbody comes first, and must die before it be changed into the spiritual body (that is, that in whichthe Spirit predominates over the animal soul).47. of the earth—inasmuch as being sprung from the earth, he is "earthy" (Ge 2:7; 3:19, "dustthou art"); that is, not merely earthly or born upon the earth, but terrene, or of earth; literally, "ofheaped earth" or clay. "Adam" means red earth.the Lord—omitted in the oldest manuscripts and versions.from heaven—(Joh 3:13, 31). Humanity in Christ is generic. In Him man is impersonated inhis true ideal as God originally designed him. Christ is the representative man, the federal head ofredeemed man.48. As is the earthy—namely, Adam.2527JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthey … that are earthy—All Adam's posterity in their natural state (Joh 3:6, 7).the heavenly—Christ.they … that are heavenly—His people in their regenerate state (Php 3:20, 21). As the formerprecedes the latter state, so the natural bodies precede the spiritual bodies.49. as—Greek, "even as" (see Ge 5:3).we shall also bear—or wear as a garment [Bengel]. The oldest manuscripts and versions read,"We must also bear," or "let us also bear." It implies the divine appointment (compare "must," 1Co15:53) and faith assenting to it. An exhortation, and yet implying a promise (so Ro 8:29). Theconformity to the image of the heavenly Representative man is to be begun here in our souls, inpart, and shall be perfected at the resurrection in both bodies and souls.50. (See on 1Co 15:37; 1Co 15:39). "Flesh and blood" of the same animal and corruptible natureas our present (1Co 15:44) animal-souled bodies, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Thereforethe believer acquiesces gladly in the unrepealed sentence of the holy law, which appoints the deathof the present body as the necessary preliminary to the resurrection body of glory. Hence he "diesdaily" to the flesh and to the world, as the necessary condition to his regeneration here and hereafter(Joh 3:6; Ga 2:20). As the being born of the flesh constitutes a child of Adam, so the being born ofthe Spirit constitutes a child of God.cannot—Not merely is the change of body possible, but it is necessary. The spirit extractedfrom the dregs of wine does not so much differ from them, as the glorified man does from themortal man [Bengel] of mere animal flesh and blood (Ga 1:16). The resurrection body will be stilla body though spiritual, and substantially retaining the personal identity; as is proved by Lu 24:39;Joh 20:27, compared with Php 3:21.the kingdom of God—which is not at all merely animal, but altogether spiritual. Corruptiondoth not inherit, though it is the way to, incorruption (1Co 15:36, 52, 53).51. Behold—Calling attention to the "mystery" heretofore hidden in God's purposes, but nowrevealed.you—emphatical in the Greek; I show (Greek, "tell," namely, by the word of the Lord, 1Th4:15) YOU, who think you have so much knowledge, "a mystery" (compare Ro 11:25) which yourreason could never have discovered. Many of the old manuscripts and Fathers read, "We shall allsleep, but we shall not all be changed"; but this is plainly a corrupt reading, inconsistent with 1Th4:15, 17, and with the apostle's argument here, which is that a change is necessary (1Co 15:53).English Version is supported by some of the oldest manuscripts and Fathers. The Greek is literally"We all shall not sleep, but," &c. The putting off of the corruptible body for an incorruptible by aninstantaneous change will, in the case of "the quick," stand as equivalent to death, appointed to allmen (Heb 9:27); of this Enoch and Elijah are types and forerunners. The "we" implies that Christiansin that age and every successive age since and hereafter were designed to stand waiting, as if Christmight come again in their time, and as if they might be found among "the quick."52. the last trump—at the sounding of the trumpet on the last day [Vatablus] (Mt 24:31; 1Th4:16). Or the Spirit by Paul hints that the other trumpets mentioned subsequently in the Apocalypseshall precede, and that this shall be the last of all (compare Isa 27:13; Zec 9:14). As the law wasgiven with the sound of a trumpet, so the final judgment according to it (Heb 12:19; compare Ex19:16). As the Lord ascended "with the sound of a trumpet" (Ps 47:5), so He shall descend (Re11:15). The trumpet was sounded to convoke the people on solemn feasts, especially on the firstday of the seventh month (the type of the completion of time; seven being the number for perfection;2528JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonon the tenth of the same month was the atonement, and on the fifteenth the feast of tabernacles,commemorative of completed salvation out of the spiritual Egypt, compare Zec 14:18, 19); comparePs 50:1-7. Compare His calling forth of Lazarus from the grave "with a loud voice," Joh 11:43,with Joh 5:25, 28.and—immediately, in consequence.53. this—pointing to his own body and that of those whom he addresses.put on—as a garment (2Co 5:2, 3).immortality—Here only, besides 1Ti 6:16, the word "immortality" is found. Nowhere is theimmortality of the soul, distinct from the body, taught; a notion which many erroneously havederived from heathen philosophers. Scripture does not contemplate the anomalous state broughtabout by death, as the consummation to be earnestly looked for (2Co 5:4), but the resurrection.54. then—not before. Death has as yet a sting even to the believer, in that his body is to beunder its power till the resurrection. But then the sting and power of death shall cease for ever.Death is swallowed up in victory—In Hebrew of Isa 25:8, from which it is quoted, "He(Jehovah) will swallow up death in victory"; that is, for ever: as "in victory" often means in Hebrewidiom (Jer 3:5; La 5:20). Christ will swallow it up so altogether victoriously that it shall never moreregain its power (compare Ho 6:2; 13:14; 2Co 5:4; Heb 2:14, 15; Re 20:14; 21:4).55. Quoted from Ho 13:14, substantially; but freely used by the warrant of the Spirit by whichPaul wrote. The Hebrew may be translated, "O death, where are thy plagues? Where, O Hades, isthy destruction?" The Septuagint, "Where is thy victory (literally, in a lawsuit), O death? Whereis thy sting, O Hades? … Sting" answers to the Hebrew "plagues," namely, a poisoned sting causingplagues. Appropriate, as to the old serpent (Ge 3:14, 15; Nu 21:6). "Victory" answers to the Hebrew"destruction." Compare Isa 25:7, "destroy … veil … over all nations," namely, victoriously destroyit; and to "in victory" (1Co 15:54), which he triumphantly repeats. The "where" implies their pastvictorious destroying power and sting, now gone for ever; obtained through Satan's triumph overman in Eden, which enlisted God's law on the side of Satan and death against man (Ro 5:12, 17,21). The souls in Hades being freed by the resurrection, death's sting and victory are gone. For "Ograve," the oldest manuscripts and versions read, "O death," the second time.56. If there were no sin, there would be no death. Man's transgression of the law gives deathits lawful power.strength of sin is the law—Without the law sin is not perceived or imputed (Ro 3:20; 4:15;5:13). The law makes sin the more grievous by making God's will the clearer (Ro 7:8-10). Christ'speople are no longer "under the law" (Ro 6:14).57. to God—The victory was in no way due to ourselves (Ps 98:1).giveth—a present certainty.the victory—which death and Hades ("the grave") had aimed at, but which, notwithstandingthe opposition of them, as well as of the law and sin, we have gained. The repetition of the word(1Co 15:54, 55) is appropriate to the triumph gained.58. beloved—Sound doctrine kindles Christian love.steadfast—not turning aside from the faith of the resurrection of yourselves.unmovable—not turned aside by others (1Co 15:12; Col 1:23).the work of the Lord—the promotion of Christ's kingdom (Php 2:30).not in vain—as the deniers of the resurrection would make it (1Co 15:14, 17).2529JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin the Lord—applying to the whole sentence and its several clauses: Ye, as being in the Lordby faith, know that your labor in the Lord (that is, labor according to His will) is not to be withoutits reward in the Lord (through His merits and according to His gracious appointment).CHAPTER 161Co 16:1-24. Directions as to the Collection for the Judean Christians: Paul's Future Plans: He Commends to ThemTimothy, Apollos, &C. Salutations and Conclusions.1. collection for the saints—at Jerusalem (Ro 15:26) and in Judea (Ac 11:29, 30; 24:17;compare 2Co 8:4; 9:1, 12). He says "saints" rather than "the poor," to remind the Corinthians thatin giving, it is to the Lord's people, their own brethren in the faith. Towards the close of the nationalexistence of the Jews, Judea and Jerusalem were harassed with various troubles, which in partaffected the Jewish Christians. The community of goods which existed among them for a time gavetemporary relief but tended ultimately to impoverish all by paralyzing individual exertion (Ac 2:44),and hence was soon discontinued. A beautiful fruit of grace it was, that he who had by persecutionsrobbed many of their all (Ac 26:10), should become the foremost in exertions for their relief.as I have given—rather, "gave order," namely, during my journey through Galatia, thatmentioned in Ac 18:23. The churches of Galatia and Phrygia were the last which Paul visited beforewriting this Epistle. He was now at Ephesus, and came thither immediately from visiting them (Ac18:23; 19:1). That he had not been silent in Galatia on contributions for the poor, appears from thehint let fall in his Epistle to that church (Ga 2:10): an undesigned coincidence and mark ofgenuineness [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. He proposes the Galatians as an example to the Corinthians,the Corinthians to the Macedonians, the Corinthians and Macedonians to the Romans (Ro 15:26,27; 2Co 9:2). There is great force in example.2. first day of … week—already kept sacred by Christians as the day of the Lord's resurrection,the beginning day both of the physical and of the new spiritual creations: it gradually supersededthe Jewish sabbath on the seventh day (Ps 118:22-24; Joh 20:19, 26; Ac 20:7; Re 1:10). So thebeginning of the year was changed from autumn to spring when Israel was brought out of Egypt.Three annual feasts, all typical of Christian truths, were directed to be kept on the first day of theweek: the feast of the wave offering of the first sheaf, answering to the Lord's resurrection; Pentecost,or the feast of weeks, typical of the fruits of the resurrection in the Christian Church (Le 23:11, 15,16, 36); the feast of tabernacles at harvest, typical of the ingathering of the full number of the electfrom one end of heaven to the other. Easter was directed to be kept as a holy sabbath (Ex 12:16).The Christian Sabbath commemorates the respective works of the Three Persons of the TriuneGod—creation, redemption (the resurrection), and sanctification (on Pentecost the Holy Ghostbeing poured out). Jesus came to fulfil the Spirit of the Law, not to cancel it, or to lower its standard.The primary object of the sabbath is holiness, not merely rest: "Remember that thou keep holy thesabbath day." Compare Ge 2:3, "God blessed and sanctified it, because … in it He had rested," &c.The word "Remember" implies that it was in existence before the giving of the law from Sinai, andrefers to its institution in Paradise (compare Ex 16:22, 23, 26, 30). "Six days shalt thou labor": thespirit of the command is fulfilled whether the six days' labor be on the last six days or on the first.A perpetual sabbath would doubtless be the highest Christian ideal; but living in a world of business2530JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhere the Christian ideal is not yet realized, if a law of definite times was necessary in Paradise,it is still more so now.every one of yon—even those in limited circumstances.lay by him—though there be not a weekly public collection, each is privately to set apart adefinite proportion of his weekly income for the Lord's cause and charity.in store—abundantly: the earnest of a better store laid up for the giver (1Ti 6:19).as God hath prospered him—literally, "whatsoever he may be prospered in," or "may byprosperity have acquired" [Alford], (Mt 25:15-29; 2Co 8:12).that there be no gatherings when I come—that they may not then have to be made, whenyour and my time ought to be employed m more directly spiritual things. When men give once forall, not so much is given. But when each lays by something every Lord's day, more is collectedthan one would have given at once [Bengel].3. approve by your letters—rather translate, "Whomsoever ye shall approve, them will I sendwith letters": namely, letters to several persons at Jerusalem, which would be their credentials.There could be no need of letters from them before Paul's coming, if the persons recommendedwere not to be sent off before it. Literally, "by letters"; an abbreviated expression for "I will send,recommending them by letters" [Grotius]. If English Version be retained, the sense will be, "WhenI come, I will send those whom by your letters, then to be given them, ye shall approve." But theantithesis (opposition or contrast) to Paul himself (1Co 16:4) favors Grotius' view. So "by" meanswith (Ro 2:27); and the Greek for "by" is translated, with (2Co 2:4).liberality—literally, gracious or free gift (2Co 8:4).4. meet—"worth while." If your collections be large enough to be worth an apostle's journey(a stimulus to their liberality), I will accompany them myself instead of giving them letters credential(1Co 16:3; compare Ac 20:1-4).with me—to guard against all possible suspicion of evil (2Co 8:4, 19-21).5-7. His first intention had been (2Co 1:15, 16) to pass through them (Corinth) to Macedonia,and again return to them from Macedonia, and so to Judea; this he had announced in the lost epistle(1Co 5:9); now having laid aside this intention (for which he was charged with levity, 2Co 1:17,&c., whereas it was through lenity, 2Co 1:23; 2:1), he announces his second plan of "not seeingthem now by the way," but "passing through Macedonia" first on his way to them, and then "tarryinga while," and even "abiding and wintering with them."for I do pass—as much as to say, "This is what I at last resolve upon" (not as the erroneoussubscription of the Epistle represents it, as if he was THEN at Philippi, on his way throughMacedonia); implying that there had been some previous communication upon the subject of thejourney, and also that there had been some indecisiveness in the apostle's plan [Paley]. In accordancewith his second plan, we find him in Macedonia when Second Corinthians was written (2Co 2:13;8:1; 9:2, 4), and on his way to Corinth (2Co 12:14; 13:1; compare Ac 20:1, 2). "Pass through" isopposed to "abide" (1Co 16:6). He was not yet in Macedonia (as 1Co 16:8 shows), but at Ephesus;but he was thinking of passing through it (not abiding as he purposed to do at Corinth).6. He did "abide and even winter" for the three WINTER months in Greece (Corinth), Ac 20:3,6; from which passage it seems that Paul probably left Corinth about a month before the "days ofunleavened bread" or the Passover (so as to allow time to touch at Thessalonica and Berea, fromwhich cities two of his companions were; as we read he did at Philippi); so that thus the threemonths at Corinth would be December, January, and February [Birks, Horæ Apostolicæ].2531JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonye—emphatical in the Greek.whithersoever I go—He purposed to go to Judea (2Co 1:16) from Corinth, but his plans werenot positively fixed as yet (see on 1Co 16:4; compare Ac 19:21).7. I will not see you now by the way—literally, "I do not wish to see you this time in passing";that is, to pay you now what would have to be a merely passing visit as I did in the second visit(2Co 12:14). In contrast to "a while," that is, some time, as the Greek might better be translated.but—The oldest manuscripts read "for."8. at Ephesus—whence Paul writes this Epistle. Compare 1Co 16:19, "Asia," wherein Ephesuswas.until Pentecost—He seems to have stayed as he here purposes: for just when the tumult whichdrove him away broke out, he was already intending to leave Ephesus (Ac 19:21, 22). Combinedwith 1Co 5:7, 8, this verse fixes the date of this Epistle to a few weeks before Pentecost, and verysoon after the Passover.9. door—(2Co 2:12). An opening for the extension of the Gospel. Wise men are on the watchfor, and avail themselves of, opportunities. So "door of hope," Ho 2:15. "Door of faith," Ac 14:27."An open door," Re 3:8. "A door of utterance," Col 4:3. "Great," that is, extensive. "Effectual,"that is, requiring great labors [Estius]; or opportune for effecting great results [Beza].many adversaries—who would block up the way and prevent us from entering the open door.Not here false teachers, but open adversaries: both Jews and heathen. After Paul, by his nowlong-continued labors at Ephesus, had produced effects which threatened the interests of thosewhose gains were derived from idolatry, "many adversaries" arose (Ac 19:9-23). Where great goodis, there evil is sure to start up as its antagonist.10. Now—rather, "But." Therefore Timothy was not the bearer of the Epistle; for it would notthen be said, "IF Timothy come." He must therefore have been sent by Paul from Ephesus beforethis Epistle was written, to accord with 1Co 4:17-19; and yet the passage here implies that Paul didnot expect him to arrive at Corinth till after the letter was received. He tells them how to treat him"if" he should arrive. Ac 19:21, 22 clears up the difficulty: Timothy, when sent from Ephesus,where this Epistle was written, did not proceed direct to Corinth, but went first to Macedonia; thusthough sent before the letter, he might not reach Corinth till after it was received in that city. Theundesigned coincidence between the Epistle and the history, and the clearing up of the meaning ofthe former (which does not mention the journey to Macedonia at all) by the latter, is a sure markof genuineness [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. It is not certain that Timothy actually reached Corinth; forin Ac 19:22 only Macedonia is mentioned; but it does not follow that though Macedonia was theimmediate object of his mission, Corinth was not the ultimate object. The "IF Timothy come,"implies uncertainty. 2Co 1:1 represents him with Paul in Macedonia; and 2Co 12:18, speaking ofTitus and others sent to Corinth, does not mention Timothy, which it would have probably done,had one so closely connected with the apostle as Timothy was, stayed as his delegate at Corinth.The mission of Titus then took place, when it became uncertain whether Timothy could go forwardfrom Macedonia to Corinth, Paul being anxious for immediate tidings of the state of the CorinthianChurch. Alford argues that if so, Paul's adversaries would have charged him with fickleness in thiscase also (2Co 1:17), as in the case of his own change of purpose. But Titus was sent directly toCorinth, so as to arrive there before Timothy could by the route through Macedonia. Titus' presencewould thus make amends for the disappointment as to the intended visit of Timothy and woulddisarm adversaries of a charge in this respect (2Co 7:6, 7).2532JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwithout fear—Referring perhaps to a nervous timidity in Timothy's character (1Ti 3:15; 5:22,24). His youth would add to this feeling, as well as his country, Lystra, likely to be despised inrefined Corinth.11. despise—This charge is not given concerning any other of the many messengers whomPaul sent. 1Ti 4:12 accounts for it (compare Ps 119:141). He was a young man, younger probablythan those usually employed in the Christian missions; whence Paul apprehending lest he should,on that account, be exposed to contempt, cautions him, "Let no man despise thy youth" [Paley, HoræPaulinæ].conduct—set him on his way with every mark of respect, and with whatever he needs (Tit3:13).in peace—(Ac 15:33; Heb 11:31). "Peace" is the salutation of kindness and respect in the East;and so it stands for every blessing. Perhaps here there is too a contrast between "peace" and the"contentions" prevalent at Corinth (1Co 1:11).I look for him—He and Titus were appointed to meet Paul in Troas, whither the apostle purposedproceeding from Ephesus (2Co 2:12, 13). Paul thus claims their respect for Timothy as one whomhe felt so necessary to himself as "look for" to him [Theophylact].with the brethren—Others besides Erastus accompanied Timothy to Macedonia (compare1Co 16:12; Ac 19:22).12. Apollos, I greatly desired … to come unto you—He says this lest they should suspectthat he from jealousy prevented Apollos' coming to them; perhaps they had expressly requestedApollos to be sent to them. Apollos was not at Ephesus when Paul wrote (compare 1Co 16:19, and1Co 1:1). Probably Apollos' unwillingness to go to Corinth at this time was because, being awareof the undue admiration of his rhetorical style which led astray many at Corinth, he did not wishto sanction it (1Co 1:12; 3:4). Paul's noble freedom from all selfish jealousy led him to urge Apollosto go; and, on the other hand, Apollos, having heard of the abuse of his name at Corinth to partypurposes, perseveringly refused to go. Paul, of course, could not state in his letter particularly thesereasons in the existing state of division prevalent there. He calls Apollos "brother" to mark the unitythat was between the two.with the brethren—who bear this letter (1Co 16:17). (See 1Co 16:24, subscription added tothe Epistle). Conybeare thinks Titus was one of the bearers of this first letter (2Co 8:6, 16-24; 12:18).Alford thinks "the brethren" here may be the same as in 1Co 16:11.convenient time—Apollos did return to Corinth when their divisions were moderated [Jerome],and so it was a more seasonable time.13. He shows that they ought to make their hopes of salvation to depend not on Apollos or anyother teacher; that it rests with themselves. "Watch ye": for ye are slumbering. "Stand": for ye arelike men tottering. "Quit you like men; be strong": for ye are effeminate (1Co 16:14). "Let all yourthings be done with charity" (1Co 8:1; 13:1): not with strifes as at present [Chrysostom]. "In the faith"which was assailed by some (1Co 15:1, 2, 12-17).15. first-fruits of Achaia—the first Achæan converts (compare Ro 16:5). The image is fromthe first-fruits offered to the Lord (Le 23:10; compare 1Co 15:20). The members of this family hadbeen baptized by Paul himself (1Co 1:16).addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints—Translate, "Set themselves, (that is,voluntarily) to minister unto the saints" (compare 2Co 8:4).2533JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson16. That ye—Translate, "That ye also," namely, in your turn … in return for their self-devotion[Alford].helpeth with—them.laboureth—by himself.17. Fortunatus … Achaicus—probably of Stephanas' household.that … lacking on your part—So far as you were unable yourselves to "refresh my spirit," inthat you are absent from me, "they have supplied" by coming to me from you, and so supplyingthe means of intercourse between you and me. They seem to have carried this letter back; see thesubscription below: hence the exhortations, 1Co 16:16, 18, as though they would be at Corinthwhen the Epistle arrived.18. refreshed my spirit and yours—"yours" will be refreshed on receiving this letter, byknowing that "my spirit is refreshed" by their having come to me from you; and (perhaps) by thegood report they gave of many of you (1Co 1:4-8); my refreshment of spirit redounds to yours, asbeing my disciples (2Co 7:13; compare Zec 6:8).acknowledge—render them due acknowledgments by a kind reception of them: 1Th 5:12,"know" them in their true worth and treat them accordingly.19. Asia—not all Asia Minor, but Lydian Asia only, of which Ephesus was the capital.much—with especial affection.Aquila … Priscilla—(Compare Ac 18:2; Ro 16:3, 4). Originally driven out of Italy by Claudius,they had come to Corinth (whence their salutation of the Corinthians is appropriate here), and thenhad removed with Paul from Corinth to Ephesus (Ac 18:2, 18, 19, 26); here, as at Rome subsequently,they set up a Church (or assembly of believers) at their house (Ro 16:3, 5). A pattern to Christianhusbands and wives. Their Christian self-devoting love appears wherever they were (Ro 16:3, 4).Even the gifted Apollos, so highly admired at Corinth, owed much of his knowledge to them (Ac18:24-26). In 1Co 16:20, "All the brethren" (that is, the whole Church) seem to be distinguishedfrom "the church that is in their house," which was but a partial and private assembly out of thegeneral Church at Corinth. Neander thinks Ro 16:23 refers to "the whole Church" meeting at thehouse of Gaius (compare Col 4:15). "Synagogue" implies an assembly in general, without referenceto the character or motives of its members. "Church," like the Hebrew Kahal, implies an assemblylegally convened; as, for instance, the Jews met as a body politic to receive the law (hence Stephencalls it "the Church in the wilderness," Ac 7:38), and having a legal bond of union. Christ's followerswhen dispersed from one another cease to be a congregation (synagogue), but still are a Church,having the common bond of union to the same Head by the same faith and hope [Vitringa, Synagogueand Temple]. From this we may explain Paul's entering "into every house and haling men andwomen": he would in searching for Christians go to their several "houses"' of prayer.in the Lord—They pray for all blessings on you from the Lord, the source of every good[Grotius]. Alford explains, "in a Christian manner," as mindful of your common Lord. "In the Lord"seems to me to refer to their union together in Christ, their prayers for one another's good being invirtue of that union.20. holy kiss—the token of the mutual love of Christians, especially at the Lord's Supper(compare Ro 16:16; 1Th 5:26), "in which all the dissensions of the Corinthians would be swallowedup" [Bengel].21. salutation … with mine own hand—He therefore dictated all the rest of the Epistle.22. A solemn closing warning added in his own hand as in Eph 6:24; Col 4:18.2534JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe Lord—who ought to be "loved" above Paul, Apollos, and all other teachers. Love to oneanother is to be in connection with love to Him above all. Ignatius [Epistle to the Romans, 7] writesof Christ, "My love, has been crucified" (compare So 2:7).Jesus Christ—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.let him be Anathema—accursed with that curse which the Jews who call Jesus "accursed"(1Co 12:3) are bringing righteously on their own heads [Bengel]. So far from "saluting" him, I bidhim be accursed.Maranatha—Syriac for, "the Lord cometh." A motto or watchword to urge them to preparednessfor the Lord's coming; as in Php 4:5, "The Lord is at hand."23. The grace, &c.—This is the salutation meant in 1Co 16:21; and from which unbelievers(1Co 16:22; compare 2Jo 10:11) are excluded [Bengel].24. My love, &c.—After having administered some severe rebukes, he closes with expressionsof "love": his very rebukes were prompted by love, and therefore are altogether in harmony withthe profession of love here made: it was love in Christ Jesus, and therefore embraced "all" wholoved Him.The subscription represents the Epistle as written from Philippi. 1Co 16:8 shows it was writtenat Ephesus. Bengel conjectures that perhaps, however, it was sent from Philippi (1Co 16:5), becausethe deputies of the Corinthians had accompanied Paul thither. From Ephesus there was a road toCorinth above Philippi.THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THECORINTHIANSCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONThe following reasons seem to have induced Paul to write this Second Epistle to the Corinthians:(1) That he might explain the reasons for his having deferred to pay them his promised visit, bytaking Corinth as his way to Macedonia (1Co 4:19; 2Co 1:15, 16; compare 1Co 16:5); and so thathe might set forth to them his apostolic walk in general (2Co 1:12, 24; 6:3-13; 7:2). (2) That hemight commend their obedience in reference to the directions in his First Epistle, and at the sametime direct them now to forgive the offender, as having been punished sufficiently (2Co 2:1-11;7:6-16). (3) That he might urge them to collect for the poor saints at Jerusalem (2Co 8:1-9, 15). (4)That he might maintain his apostolic authority and reprove gainsayers.The external testimonies for its genuineness are Irenæus [Against Heresies, 3,7,1]; Athenagoras[Of the Resurrection of the Dead]; Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 3, p. 94; 4, p. 101]; Tertullian[On Modesty, 13].The TIME OF WRITING was after Pentecost, A.D. 57, when Paul left Ephesus for Troas. Havingstayed in the latter place for some time preaching the Gospel with effect (2Co 2:12), he went on toMacedonia, being eager to meet Titus there, having been disappointed in his not coming to Troas,as had been agreed on between them. Having heard from him the tidings he so much desired of thegood effect produced on the Corinthians by his First Epistle, and after having tested the liberalityof the Macedonian churches (2Co 8:1), he wrote this Second Epistle, and then went on to Greece,where he abode for three months; and then, after travelling by land, reached Philippi on his return2535JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonat Passover or Easter, A.D. 58 (Ac 20:1-6). So that this Epistle must have been written about autumn,A.D. 57.Macedonia was THE PLACE from which it was written (2Co 9:2, where the present tense, "Iboast," or "am boasting," implies his presence then in Macedonia). In Asia (Lydian Asia) he hadundergone some great peril of his life (2Co 1:8, 9), whether the reference be [Paley] to the tumultat Ephesus (Ac 19:23-41), or, as Alford thinks, to a dangerous illness in which he despaired of life.Thence he passed by Troas to Philippi, the first city which would meet him in entering Macedonia.The importance of the Philippian Church would induce him to stay there some time; as also hisdesire to collect contributions from the Macedonian churches for the poor saints at Jerusalem. Hisanxiety of mind is recorded (2Co 7:5) as occurring when he came into Macedonia, and thereforemust have been at Philippi, which was the first city of Macedonia in coming from Troas; and here,too, from 2Co 7:6, compared with 2Co 7:5, must have been the scene of his receiving the comfortingtidings from Titus. "Macedonia" is used for Philippi in 2Co 11:9, as is proved by comparison withPhp 4:15, 16. So it is probably used here (2Co 7:5). Alford argues from 2Co 8:1, where he speaksof the "grace bestowed on the churches (plural) of Macedonia," that Paul must have visited otherchurches in Macedonia, besides Philippi, when he wrote, for example, Thessalonica, Berea, &c.,and that Philippi, the first on his route, is less likely to have been the scene of his writing than thelast on his route, whichever it was, perhaps Thessalonica. But Philippi, as being the chief town ofthe province, was probably the place to which all the collections of the churches were sent. Ancienttradition, too (as appears from the subscription to this Epistle), favors the view that Philippi wasthe place from which this Epistle was sent by the hands of Titus who received, besides, a chargeto prosecute at Corinth the collection which he had begun at his first visit (2Co 8:6).The STYLE is most varied, and passes rapidly from one phase of feeling to another; now joyousand consolatory, again severe and full of reproof; at one time gentle and affectionate, at another,sternly rebuking opponents and upholding his dignity as an apostle. This variety of style accordswith the warm and earnest character of the apostle, which nowhere is manifested more beautifullythan in this Epistle. His bodily frailty, and the chronic malady under which he suffered, and whichis often alluded to (2Co 4:7; 5:1-4; 12:7-9; compare Note, see on 2Co 1:8), must have been especiallytrying to one of his ardent temperament. But besides this, was the more pressing anxiety of the"care of all the churches." At Corinth, as elsewhere, Judaizing emissaries wished to bind legalfetters of letter and form (compare 2Co 3:3-18) on the freedom and catholicity of the Church. Onthe other hand, there were free thinkers who defended their immorality of practice by infidel theories(1Co 15:12, 32-36). These were the "fightings without," and "fears within" (2Co 7:5, 6) whichagitated the apostle's mind until Titus brought him comforting tidings from Corinth. Even then,while the majority at Corinth had testified their repentance, and, as Paul had desired, excommunicatedthe incestuous person, and contributed for the poor Christians of Judea, there was still a minoritywho, more contemptuously than ever, resisted the apostle. These accused him of crafty and mercenarymotives, as if he had personal gain in view in the collection being made; and this, notwithstandinghis scrupulous care to be above the possibility of reasonable suspicion, by having others besideshimself to take charge of the money. This insinuation was palpably inconsistent with their othercharge, that he could be no true apostle, as he did not claim maintenance from the churches whichhe founded. Another accusation they brought of cowardly weakness; that he was always threateningsevere measures without daring to execute them (2Co 10:8-16; 13:2); and that he was vacillatingin his teaching and practice, circumcising Timothy, and yet withholding circumcision from Titus;2536JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesona Jew among the Jews, and a Greek among the Greeks. That most of these opponents were of theJudaizing party in the Church, appears from 2Co 11:22. They seem to have been headed by anemissary from Judea ("he that cometh," 2Co 11:4), who had brought "letters of commendation"(2Co 3:1) from members of the Church at Jerusalem, and who boasted of his purity of Hebrewdescent, and his close connection with Christ Himself (2Co 11:13, 23). His partisans contrasted hishigh pretensions with the timid humility of Paul (1Co 2:3); and his rhetoric with the apostle's plainand unadorned style (2Co 11:6; 10:10, 13). It was this state of things at Corinth, reported by Titus,that caused Paul to send him back forthwith thither with this Second Epistle, which is addressed,not to Corinth only (1Co 1:2), but to all the churches also in Achaia (2Co 1:1), which had in somedegree been affected by the same causes as affected the Corinthian Church. The widely differenttone in different parts of the Epistle is due to the diversity which existed at Corinth between thepenitent majority and the refractory minority. The former he addresses with the warmest affection;the latter with menace and warning. Two deputies, chosen by the churches to take charge of thecontribution to be collected at Corinth, accompanied Titus (2Co 8:18, 19, 22).CHAPTER 12Co 1:1-24. The Heading; Paul's Consolations in Recent Trials in Asia; His Sincerity towards the Corinthians;Explanation of His Not Having Visited Them as He Had Purposed.1. Timothy our brother—When writing to Timothy himself, he calls him "my son" (1Ti 1:18).Writing of him, "brother," and "my beloved son" (1Co 4:17). He had been sent before to Macedonia,and had met Paul at Philippi, when the apostle passed over from Troas to Macedonia (compare2Co 2:12, 13; see on 1Co 16:10, 11).in all Achaia—comprising Hellas and the Peloponnese. The Gentiles themselves, and AnnæusGallio, the proconsul (Ac 18:12-16), strongly testified their disapproval of the accusation broughtby the Jews against Paul. Hence, the apostle was enabled to labor in the whole province of Achaiawith such success as to establish several churches there (1Th 1:8; 2Th 1:4), where, writing fromCorinth, he speaks of the "churches," namely, not only the Corinthian, but others also—Athens,Cenchrea, and, perhaps, Sicyon, Argos, &c. He addresses "the Church in Corinth," directly, andall "the saints" in the province, indirectly. In Ga 1:2 all the "churches" are addressed directly in thesame circular Epistle. Hence, here he does not say, all the churches, but "all the saints."3. This thanksgiving for his late deliverance forms a suitable introduction for conciliating theirfavorable reception of his reasons for not having fulfilled his promise of visiting them (2Co 1:15-24).Father of mercies—that is, the SOURCE of all mercies (compare Jas 1:17; Ro 12:1).comfort—which flows from His "mercies" experienced. Like a true man of faith, he mentions"mercies" and "comfort," before he proceeds to speak of afflictions (2Co 1:4-6). The "tribulation"of believers is not inconsistent with God's mercy, and does not beget in them suspicion of it; nay,in the end they feel that He is "the God of ALL comfort," that is, who imparts the only true andperfect comfort in every instance (Ps 146:3, 5, 8; Jas 5:11).4. us—idiomatic for me (1Th 2:18).that we may … comfort them which are in any trouble—Translate, as the Greek is the sameas before, "tribulation." The apostle lived, not to himself, but to the Church; so, whatever gracesGod conferred on him, he considered granted not for himself alone, but that he might have the2537JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesongreater ability to help others [Calvin]. So participation in all the afflictions of man peculiarly qualifiedJesus to be man's comforter in all his various afflictions (Isa 50:4-6; Heb 4:15).5. sufferings—standing in contrast with "salvation" (2Co 1:6); as "tribulation" (distress ofmind), with comfort or "consolation."of Christ—Compare Col 1:24. The sufferings endured, whether by Himself, or by His Church,with which He considers Himself identified (Mt 25:40, 45; Ac 9:4; 1Jo 4:17-21). Christ calls Hispeople's sufferings His own suffering: (1) because of the sympathy and mystical union betweenHim and us (Ro 8:17; 1Co 4:10); (2) They are borne for His sake; (3) They tend to His glory (Eph4:1; 1Pe 4:14, 16).abound in us—Greek, "abound unto us." The order of the Greek following words is moreforcible than in English Version, "Even so through Christ aboundeth also our comfort." The sufferings(plural) are many; but the consolation (though singular) swallows up them all. Comfort preponderatesin this Epistle above that in the first Epistle, as now by the effect of the latter most of the Corinthianshad been much impressed.6. we … afflicted … for your consolation—exemplifying the communion of saints. Theirhearts were, so to speak, mirrors reflecting the likenesses of each other (Php 2:26, 27) [Bengel].Alike the afflictions and the consolations of the apostle tend, as in him so in them, as havingcommunion with him, to their consolation (2Co 1:4; 4:15). The Greek for "afflicted" is the sameas before, and ought to be translated, "Whether we be in tribulation."which is effectual—literally, "worketh effectually."in the enduring, &c.—that is, in enabling you to endure "the same sufferings which we alsosuffer." Here follows, in the oldest manuscripts (not as English Version in the beginning of 2Co1:7), the clause, "And our hope is steadfast on your behalf."7. so shall ye be—rather, "So are ye." He means, there is a community of consolation, as ofsuffering, between me and you.8, 9. Referring to the imminent risk of life which he ran in Ephesus (Ac 19:23-41) when thewhole multitude were wrought up to fury by Demetrius, on the plea of Paul and his associateshaving assailed the religion of Diana of Ephesus. The words (2Co 1:9), "we had the sentence ofdeath in ourselves," mean, that he looked upon himself as a man condemned to die [Paley]. Alfordthinks the danger at Ephesus was comparatively so slight that it cannot be supposed to be the subjectof reference here, without exposing the apostle to a charge of cowardice, very unlike his fearlesscharacter; hence, he supposes Paul refers to some deadly sickness which he had suffered under(2Co 1:9, 10). But there is little doubt that, had Paul been found by the mob in the excitement, hewould have been torn in pieces; and probably, besides what Luke in Acts records, there were otherdangers of an equally distressing kind, such as, "lyings in wait of the Jews" (Ac 20:19), his ceaselessfoes. They, doubtless, had incited the multitude at Ephesus (Ac 19:9), and were the chief of the"many adversaries" and "[wild] beasts," which he had to fight with there (1Co 15:32; 16:9). Hisweak state of health at the time combined with all this to make him regard himself as all but dead(2Co 11:29; 12:10). What makes my supposition probable is, that the very cause of his not havingvisited Corinth directly as he had intended, and for which he proceeds to apologize (2Co 1:15-23),was, that there might be time to see whether the evils arising there not only from Greek, but fromJewish disturbers of the Church (2Co 11:29), would be checked by his first Epistle; there not beingfully so was what entailed on him the need of writing this second Epistle. His not specifying thishere expressly is just what we might expect in the outset of this letter; towards the close, when he2538JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhad won their favorable hearing by a kindly and firm tone, he gives a more distinct reference toJewish agitators (2Co 11:22).above strength—that is, ordinary, natural powers of endurance.despaired—as far as human help or hope from man was concerned. But in respect to help fromGod we were "not in despair" (2Co 4:8).9. But—"Yea."in God which raiseth the dead—We had so given up all thoughts of life, that our only hopewas fixed on the coming resurrection; so in 1Co 15:32 his hope of the resurrection was what buoyedhim up in contending with foes, savage as wild beasts. Here he touches only on the doctrine of theresurrection, taking it for granted that its truth is admitted by the Corinthians, and urging its bearingon their practice.10. doth deliver—The oldest manuscripts read, "will deliver," namely, as regards immediatelyimminent dangers. "In whom we trust that He will also (so the Greek) yet deliver us," refers to thecontinuance of God's delivering help hereafter.11. helping together by prayer for us—rather, "helping together on our behalf by yoursupplication"; the words "for us" in the Greek following "helping together," not "prayer."that for the gift, &c.—literally, "That on the part of many persons the gift (literally, 'gift ofgrace'; the mercy) bestowed upon us by means of (that is, through the prayers of) many may beoffered thanks for (may have thanks offered for it) on our behalf."12. For—reason why he may confidently look for their prayers for him.our rejoicing—Greek, "our glorying." Not that he glories in the testimony of his conscience,as something to boast of; nay, this testimony is itself the thing in which his glorying consists.in simplicity—Most of the oldest manuscripts read, "in holiness." English Version reading isperhaps a gloss from Eph 6:5 [Alford]. Some of the oldest manuscripts and versions, however,support it.godly sincerity—literally, "sincerity of God"; that is, sincerity as in the presence of God (1Co5:8). We glory in this in spite of all our adversities. Sincerity in Greek implies the non-admixtureof any foreign element. He had no sinister or selfish aims (as some insinuated) in failing to visitthem as he had promised: such aims belonged to his adversaries, not to him (2Co 2:17). "Fleshlywisdom" suggests tortuous and insincere courses; but the "grace of God," which influenced himby God's gifts (Ro 12:3; 15:15), suggests holy straightforwardness and sincere faithfulness topromises (2Co 1:17-20), even as God is faithful to His promises. The prudence which subservesselfish interests, or employs unchristian means, or relies on human means more than on the DivineSpirit, is "fleshly wisdom."in the world—even in relation to the world at large, which is full of disingenuousness.more abundantly to you-ward—(2Co 2:4). His greater love to them would lead him to manifest,especially to them, proofs of his sincerity, which his less close connection with the world did notadmit of his exhibiting towards it.13. We write none other things (in this Epistle) than what ye read (in my former Epistle [Bengel];present, because the Epistle continued still to be read in the Church as an apostolic rule). Conybeareand Howson think Paul had been suspected of writing privately to some individuals in the Churchin a different strain from that of his public letters; and translates, "I write nothing else to you butwhat ye read openly (the Greek meaning, 'ye read aloud,' namely, when Paul's Epistles were publiclyread in the congregation, 1Th 5:27); yea, and what you acknowledge inwardly."2539JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonor acknowledge—Greek, "or even acknowledge." The Greek for "read" and for "acknowledge"are words kindred in sound and root. I would translate, "None other things than what ye know byreading (by comparing my former Epistle with my present Epistle), or even know as a matter offact (namely, the consistency of my acts with my words)."even to the end—of my life. Not excluding reference to the day of the Lord (end of 2Co 1:14;1Co 4:5).14. in part—In contrast to "even to the end": the testimony of his life was not yet completed[Theophylact and Bengel]. Rather, "in part," that is, some of you, not all [Grotius, Alford]. So in 2Co 2:5;Ro 11:25. The majority at Corinth had shown a willing compliance with Paul's directions in thefirst Epistle: but some were still refractory. Hence arises the difference of tone in different parts ofthis Epistle. See Introduction.your rejoicing—your subject of glorying or boast. "Are" (not merely shall be) implies thepresent recognition of one another as a subject of mutual glorying: that glorying being about to berealized in its fulness "in the day (of the coming) of the Lord Jesus."15. in this confidence—of my character for sincerity being "acknowledged" by you (2Co1:12-14).was minded—I was intending.before—"to come unto you before" visiting Macedonia (where he now was). Compare Note,see on 1Co 16:5; also see on 1Co 4:18, which, combined with the words here, implies that theinsinuation of some at Corinth, that he would not come at all, rested on the fact of his having thusdisappointed them. His change of intention, and ultimate resolution of going through Macedoniafirst, took place before his sending Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia, and therefore (1Co4:17) before his writing the first Epistle. Compare Ac 19:21, 22 (the order there is "Macedonia andAchaia," not Achaia, Macedonia); Ac 20:1, 2.that ye might have a second benefit—one in going to, the other in returning from, Macedonia.The "benefit" of his visits consisted in the grace and spiritual gifts which he was the means ofimparting (Ro 1:11, 12).16. This intention of visiting them on the way to Macedonia, as well as after having passedthrough it, must have reached the ears of the Corinthians in some way or other—perhaps in the lostEpistle (1Co 4:18; 5:9). The sense comes out more clearly in the Greek order, "By you to pass intoMacedonia, and from Macedonia to come again unto you."17. use lightness—Was I guilty of levity? namely, by promising more than I performed.or … according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea … nay, nay?—The "or"expresses a different alternative: Did I act with levity, or (on the other hand) do I purpose what Ipurpose like worldly (fleshly) men, so that my "yea" must at all costs be yea, and my "nay" nay[Bengel, Winer, Calvin], (Mt 14:7, 9)? The repetition of the "yea" and "nay" hardly agrees with Alford'sview, "What I purpose do I purpose according to the changeable purposes of the fleshly (worldly)man, that there may be with me the yea yea, and the nay nay (that is, both affirmation and negationconcerning the same thing)?" The repetition will thus stand for the single yea and nay, as in Mt5:37; Jas 5:12. But the latter passage implies that the double "yea" here is not equivalent to thesingle "yea": Bengel's view, therefore, seems preferable.18. He adds this lest they might think his DOCTRINE was changeable like his purposes (thechange in which he admitted in 2Co 1:17, while denying that it was due to "lightness," and at the2540JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsame time implying that not to have changed, where there was good reason, would have been toimitate the fleshly-minded who at all costs obstinately hold to their purpose).true—Greek, "faithful" (1Co 1:9).our word—the doctrine we preach.was not—The oldest manuscripts read "is not."yea and nay—that is, inconsistent with itself.19. Proof of the unchangeableness of the doctrine from the unchangeableness of the subject ofit, namely, Jesus Christ. He is called "the Son of God" to show the impossibility of change in Onewho is co-equal with God himself (compare 1Sa 15:29; Mal 3:6).by me … Silvanus and Timotheus—The Son of God, though preached by different preachers,was one and the same, unchangeable. Silvanus is contracted into Silas (Ac 15:22; compare 1Pe5:12).in him was yea—Greek, "is made yea in Him"; that is, our preaching of the Son of God isconfirmed as true in Him (that is, through Him; through the miracles wherewith He has confirmedour preaching) [Grotius]; or rather, by the witness of the Spirit which He has given (2Co 1:21, 22)and of which miracles were only one, and that a subordinate manifestation.20. Rather, How many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the "yea" ("faithfulness in Hisword": contrasted with the "yea and nay," 2Co 1:19, that is, inconstancy as to one's word).and in him Amen—The oldest manuscripts read, "Wherefore through Him is the Amen"; thatis, In Him is faithfulness ("yea") to His word, "wherefore through Him" is the immutable verificationof it ("Amen"). As "yea" is His word, so "Amen" is His oath, which makes our assurance of thefulfilment doubly sure. Compare "two immutable things (namely, His word and His oath) in whichit was impossible for God to lie" (Heb 6:18; Re 3:14). The whole range of Old Testament and NewTestament promises are secure in their fulfilment for us in Christ.unto the glory of God by us—Greek, "for glory unto God by us" (compare 2Co 4:15), that is,by our ministerial labors; by us His promises, and His unchangeable faithfulness to them, areproclaimed. Conybeare takes the "Amen" to be the Amen at the close of thanksgiving: but then "byus" would have to mean what it cannot mean here, "by us and you."21. stablisheth us … in Christ—that is, in the faith of Christ—in believing in Christ.anointed us—As "Christ" is the "Anointed" (which His name means), so "He hath anointed(Greek, "chrisas") us," ministers and believing people alike, with the Spirit (2Co 1:22; 1Jo 2:20,27). Hence we become "a sweet savor of Christ" (2Co 2:15).22. sealed—A seal is a token assuring the possession of property to one; "sealed" here answersto "stablisheth us" (2Co 1:21; 1Co 9:2).the earnest of the Spirit—that is, the Spirit as the earnest (that is, money given by a purchaseras a pledge for the full payment of the sum promised). The Holy Spirit is given to the believer nowas a first instalment to assure him his full inheritance as a son of God shall be his hereafter (Eph1:13, 14). "Sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance until theredemption of the purchased possession" (Ro 8:23). The Spirit is the pledge of the fulfilment of"all the promises" (2Co 1:20).23. Moreover I—Greek, "But I (for my part)," in contrast to God who hath assured us of Hispromises being hereafter fulfilled certainly (2Co 1:20-22).call God—the all-knowing One, who avenges wilful unfaithfulness to promises.2541JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfor a record upon my soul—As a witness as to the secret purposes of my soul, and a witnessagainst it, if I lie (Mal 3:5).to spare you—in order not to come in a rebuking spirit, as I should have had to come to you,if I had come then.I came not as yet—Greek, "no longer"; that is, I gave up my purpose of then visiting Corinth.He wished to give them time for repentance, that he might not have to use severity towards them.Hence he sent Titus before him. Compare 2Co 10:10, 11, which shows that his detractors representedhim as threatening what he had not courage to perform (1Co 4:18, 19).24. Not for that—that is, Not that. "Faith" is here emphatic. He had "dominion" or a right tocontrol them in matters of discipline, but in matters of "faith" he was only a "fellow helper of theirjoy" (namely, in believing, Ro 15:13; Php 1:25). The Greek is, "Not that we lord it over your faith."This he adds to soften the magisterial tone of 2Co 1:23. His desire is to cause them not sorrow (2Co2:1, 2), but "joy." The Greek for "helpers" implies a mutual leaning, one on the other, like themutually supporting buttresses of a sacred building. "By faith (Ro 11:20) ye stand"; therefore it isthat I bestow such pains in "helping" your faith, which is the source of all true "joy" (Ro 15:13). Iwant nothing more, not to lord it over your faith.CHAPTER 22Co 2:1-17. Reason Why He Had Not Visited Them on His Way to Macedonia; the Incestuous Person Ought Nowto Be Forgiven; His Anxiety to Hear Tidings of Their State from Titus, and His Joy When at Last the Good News ReachesHim.1. with myself—in contrast to "you" (2Co 1:23). The same antithesis between Paul and themappears in 2Co 2:2.not come again … in heaviness—"sorrow"; implying that he had already paid them one visitin sorrow since his coming for the first time to Corinth. At that visit he had warned them "he wouldnot spare if he should come again" (see on 2Co 13:2; compare 2Co 12:14; 13:1). See Introductionto the first Epistle. The "in heaviness" implies mutual pain; they grieving him, and he them. Compare2Co 2:2, "I make you sorry," and 2Co 2:5, "If any have caused grief (sorrow)." In this verse heaccounts for having postponed his visit, following up 2Co 1:23.2. For—proof that he shrinks from causing them sorrow ("heaviness").if I—The "I" is emphatic. Some detractor may say that this (2Co 2:1) is not my reason for notcoming as I proposed; since I showed no scruple in causing "heaviness," or sorrow, in my Epistle(the first Epistle to the Corinthians). But I answer, If I be the one to cause you sorrow, it is not thatI have any pleasure in doing so. Nay, my object was that he "who was made sorry by me" (namely,the Corinthians in general, 2Co 2:3; but with tacit reference to the incestuous person in particular)should repent, and so "make me glad," as has actually taken place; "for … who is he then that?"&c.3. I wrote this same unto you—namely, that I would not come to you then (2Co 2:1), as, if Iwere to come then, it would have to be "in heaviness" (causing sorrow both to him and them, owingto their impenitent state). He refers to the first Epistle (compare 1Co 16:7; compare 1Co 4:19, 21;5:2-7, 13).2542JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice—that is, sorrow from their impenitence, whenhe ought, on the contrary, to have joy from their penitent obedience. The latter happy effect wasproduced by his first Epistle, whereas the former would have been the result, had he then visitedthem as he had originally proposed.having confidence … that my joy is the joy of you all—trusting that you, too, would feel thatthere was sufficient reason for the postponement, if it interfered with our mutual joy [Alford]. Thecommunion of saints, he feels confident in them "ALL" (his charity overlooking, for the momentthe small section of his detractors at Corinth, 1Co 13:7), will make his joy (2Co 2:2) their joy.4. So far from my change of purpose being due to "lightness" (2Co 1:17), I wrote my letter toyou (2Co 2:3) "out of much affliction (Greek, 'trouble') and anguish of heart, and with many tears."not that ye should be grieved—Translate, "be made sorry," to accord with the translation,2Co 2:2. My ultimate and main object was, "not that ye might be made sorry," but that throughsorrow you might be led to repentance, and so to joy, redounding both to you and me (2Co 2:2, 3).I made you sorry before going to you, that when I went it might not be necessary. He is easily madesorry, who is admonished by a friend himself weeping [Bengel].that ye might know the love—of which it is a proof to rebuke sins openly and in season [Estius],(Ps 141:5; Pr 27:6). "Love" is the source from which sincere reproof springs; that the Corinthiansmight ultimately recognize this as his motive, was the apostle's aim.which I have more abundantly unto you—who have been particularly committed to me byGod (Ac 18:10; 1Co 4:15; 9:2).5. grief … grieved—Translate as before, "sorrow … made sorry." The "any" is a delicate wayof referring to the incestuous person.not … me, but in part—He has grieved me only in part (compare 2Co 1:14; Ro 11:25), thatis, I am not the sole party aggrieved; most of you, also, were aggrieved.that I may not overcharge—that I may not unduly lay the weight of the charge on you all,which I should do, if I made myself to be the sole party aggrieved. Alford punctuates, "He hath notmade sorry me, but in part (that I press not too heavily; namely, on him) you all." Thus "you all"is in contrast to "me"; and "in part" is explained in the parenthetical clause.6. Sufficient—without increasing it, which would only drive him to despair (2Co 2:7), whereasthe object of the punishment was, "that (his) spirit might be saved" in the last day.to such a man—a milder designation of the offender than if he had been named [Meyer]. Rather,it expresses estrangement from such a one who had caused such grief to the Church, and scandalto religion (Ac 22:22; 1Co 5:5).this punishment—His being "delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh"; not onlyexcommunication, but bodily disease (see on 1Co 5:4, 5).inflicted of many—rather, "by the majority" (the more part of you). Not by an individual priest,as in the Church of Rome, nor by the bishops and clergy alone, but by the whole body of the Church.7. with overmuch sorrow—Greek, "with HIS overmuch sorrow."8. confirm your love toward him—by giving effect in act, and showing in deeds your love;namely, by restoring him to your fellowship and praying for his recovering from the sickness penallyinflicted on him.9. For—Additional reason why they should restore the offender, namely, as a "proof" of theirobedience "in all things"; now in love, as previously in punishing (2Co 2:6), at the apostle's desire.Besides his other reasons for deferring his visit, he had the further view, though, perhaps, unperceived2543JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonby them, of making an experiment of their fidelity. This accounts for his deferring to give, in hisEpistle, the reason for his change of plan (resolved on before writing it). This full discovery of hismotive comes naturally from him now, in the second Epistle, after he had seen the success of hismeasures, but would not have been a seasonable communication before. All this accords withreality, and is as remote as possible from imposture [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ]. The interchange offeeling is marked (2Co 2:4), "I wrote … that ye might know the love," &c.: here, "I did write, thatI might know the proof of you."10. Another encouragement to their taking on themselves the responsibility of restoring theoffender. They may be assured of Paul's apostolic sanction to their doing so.for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it—The oldest manuscripts read, "For even whatI have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything."for your sakes forgave I it—He uses the past tense, as of a thing already determined on; as in1Co 5:3, "I have judged already"; or, as speaking generally of forgiveness granted, or to be granted.It is for your sakes I have forgiven, and do forgive, that the Church (of which you are constituentmembers) may suffer no hurt by the loss of a soul, and that ye may learn leniency as well asfaithfulness.in the person of Christ—representing Christ, and acting by His authority: answering to 1Co5:4, "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ … my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ."11. Literally, "That we may have no advantage gained over us by Satan," namely, by lettingone of our members be lost to us through despair, we ourselves furnishing Satan with the weapon,by our repulsive harshness to one now penitent. The loss of a single sinner is a common loss;therefore, in 2Co 2:10, he said, "for your sakes." Paul had "delivered" the offender "to Satan forthe destruction of the flesh, that the Spirit might be saved" (1Co 5:5). Satan sought to destroy thespirit also: to let him do so, would be to give him an advantage, and let him overreach us.not ignorant of his devices—"Ignorant" and "devices" are words akin in sound and root inGreek: we are not without knowledge of his knowing schemes.12. Paul expected to meet Titus at Troas, to receive the tidings as to the effect of his first Epistleon the Corinthian Church; but, disappointed in his expectation there, he passed on to Macedonia,where he met him at last (2Co 7:5, 6, 7) The history (Acts) does not record his passing throughTroas, in going from Ephesus to Macedonia; but it does in coming from that country (Ac 20:6);also, that he had disciples there (Ac 20:7), which accords with the Epistle (2Co 2:12, "a door wasopened unto me of the Lord"). An undesigned coincidence marking genuineness [Paley, HoræPaulinæ]. Doubtless Paul had fixed a time with Titus to meet him at Troas; and had desired him,if detained so as not to be able to be at Troas at that time, to proceed at once to Macedonia toPhilippi, the next station on his own journey. Hence, though a wide door of Christian usefulnessopened to him at Troas, his eagerness to hear from Titus the tidings from Corinth, led him not tostay longer there when the time fixed was past, but he hastened on to Macedonia to meet him there[Birks].to preach—literally, "for the Gospel." He had been at Troas before, but the vision of a manfrom Macedonia inviting him to come over, prevented his remaining there (Ac 16:8-12). On hisreturn to Asia, after the longer visit mentioned here, he stayed seven days (Ac 20:6).and—that is, though Paul would, under ordinary circumstances, have gladly stayed in Troas.door … opened … of the Lord—Greek, "in the Lord," that is, in His work, and by His graciousProvidence.2544JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson13. no rest in my spirit—rather, "no rest for my spirit" (Ge 8:9). As here his "spirit" had norest; so in 2Co 7:5, his "flesh." His "spirit" under the Holy Spirit, hence, concluded that it was notnecessary to avail himself of the "door" of usefulness at Troas any longer.taking … leave of them—the disciples at Troas.14. Now—Greek, "But." Though we left Troas disappointed in not meeting Titus there, and inhaving to leave so soon so wide a door, "thanks be unto God," we were triumphantly blessed inboth the good news of you from Titus, and in the victories of the Gospel everywhere in our progress.The cause of triumph cannot be restricted (as Alford explains) to the former; for "always," and "inevery place," show that the latter also is intended.causeth us to triumph—The Greek, is rather, as in Col 2:15, "triumphs over us": "leadeth usin triumph." Paul regarded himself as a signal trophy of God's victorious power in Christ. HisAlmighty Conqueror was leading him about, through all the cities of the Greek and Roman world,as an illustrious example of His power at once to subdue and to save. The foe of Christ was nowthe servant of Christ. As to be led in triumph by man is the most miserable, so to be led in triumphby God is the most glorious, lot that can befall any [Trench]. Our only true triumphs are God'striumphs over us. His defeats of us are our only true victories [Alford]. The image is taken from thetriumphal procession of a victorious general. The additional idea is perhaps included, whichdistinguishes God's triumph from that of a human general, that the captive is brought into willingobedience (2Co 10:5) to Christ, and so joins in the triumph: God "leads him in triumph" as one notmerely triumphed over, but also as one triumphing over God's foes with God (which last will applyto the apostle's triumphant missionary progress under the leading of God). So Bengel: "Who showsus in triumph, not [merely] as conquered, but as the ministers of His victory. Not only the victory,but the open 'showing' of the victory is marked: for there follows, Who maketh manifest."savour—retaining the image of a triumph. As the approach of the triumphal procession wasmade known by the odor of incense scattered far and wide by the incense-bearers in the train, soGod "makes manifest by us" (His now at once triumphed over and triumphing captives, compareLu 5:10, "Catch," literally, "Take captive so as to preserve alive") the sweet savor of the knowledgeof Christ, the triumphant Conqueror (Col 2:15), everywhere. As the triumph strikes the eyes, sothe savor the nostrils; thus every sense feels the power of Christ's Gospel. This manifestation (aword often recurring in his Epistles to the Corinthians, compare 1Co 4:5) refutes the Corinthiansuspicions of his dishonestly, by reserve, hiding anything from them (2Co 2:17; 2Co 4:2).15. The order is in Greek, "For (it is) of Christ (that) we are a sweet savor unto God"; thus, the"for" justifies his previous words (2Co 2:14), "the savor of His (Christ's) knowledge." We not onlyscatter the savor; but "we are the sweet savor" itself (So 1:3; compare Joh 1:14, 16; Eph 5:2; 1Jo2:27).in them that are saved—rather, "that are being saved … that are perishing" (see on 1Co 1:18).As the light, though it blinds in darkness the weak, is for all that still light; and honey, though ittaste bitter to the sick, is in itself still sweet; so the Gospel is still of a sweet savor, though manyperish through unbelief [Chrysostom, Homilies, 5.467], (2Co 4:3, 4, 6). As some of the conqueredfoes led in triumph were put to death when the procession reached the capitol, and to them the smellof the incense was the "savor of death unto death," while to those saved alive, it was the "savor oflife," so the Gospel was to the different classes respectively.and in them—in the case of them. "Those being saved" (2Co 3:1-4:2): "Those that are perishing"(2Co 4:3-5).2545JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson16. savour of death unto death … of life unto life—an odor arising out of death (a mereannouncement of a dead Christ, and a virtually lifeless Gospel, in which light unbelievers regardthe Gospel message), ending (as the just and natural consequence) in death (to the unbeliever); (butto the believer) an odor arising out of life (that is, the announcement of a risen and living Saviour),ending in life (to the believer) (Mt 21:44; Lu 2:34; Joh 9:39).who is sufficient for these things?—namely, for diffusing aright everywhere the savor ofChrist, so diverse in its effects on believers and unbelievers. He here prepares the way for onepurpose of his Epistle, namely, to vindicate his apostolic mission from its detractors at Corinth,who denied his sufficiency. The Greek order puts prominently foremost the momentous and difficulttask assigned to him, "For these things, who is sufficient?" He answers his own question (2Co 3:5,6), "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God, who hath made us able(Greek, 'sufficient') ministers," &c.17. not as many—(2Co 11:18; Php 2:21). Rather, "the many," namely, the false teachers ofwhom he treats (tenth through twelfth chapters, especially 2Co 11:13; 1Th 2:3).which corrupt—Greek, "adulterating, as hucksters do wine for gain" (2Co 4:2; Isa 1:22; 2Pe2:3, "Make merchandise of you").as of sincerity … as of God—as one speaking from (out of) sincerity, as from (that is, by thecommand of, and so in dependence on) God.in Christ's—as united to Him in living membership, and doing His work (compare 2Co 12:19).The whole Gospel must be delivered such as it is, without concession to men's corruptions, andwithout selfish aims, if it is to be blessed with success (Ac 20:27).CHAPTER 32Co 3:1-18. The Sole Commendation He Needs to Prove God's Sanction of His Ministry He Has in His CorinthianConverts: His Ministry Excels the Mosaic, as the Gospel of Life and Liberty Excels the Law of Condemnation.1. Are we beginning again to recommend ourselves (2Co 5:12) (as some of them might say hehad done in his first Epistle; or, a reproof to "some" who had begun doing so)!commendation—recommendation. (Compare 2Co 10:18). The "some" refers to particularpersons of the "many" (2Co 2:17) teachers who opposed him, and who came to Corinth with lettersof recommendation from other churches; and when leaving that city obtained similar letters fromthe Corinthians to other churches. The thirteenth canon of the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451)ordained that "clergymen coming to a city where they were unknown, should not be allowed toofficiate without letters commendatory from their own bishop." The history (Ac 18:27) confirmsthe existence of the custom here alluded to in the Epistle: "When Apollos was disposed to pass intoAchaia [Corinth], the brethren [of Ephesus] wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him." Thiswas about two years before the Epistle,and is probably one of the instances to which Paul refers,as many at Corinth boasted of their being followers of Apollos (1Co 1:12).2. our epistle—of recommendation.in our hearts—not letters borne merely in the hands. Your conversion through myinstrumentality, and your faith which is "known of all men" by widespread report (1Co 1:4-7), andwhich is written by memory and affection on my inmost heart and is borne about wherever I go,is my letter of recommendation (1Co 9:2).2546JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonknown and read—words akin in root, sound, and sense (so 2Co 1:13). "Ye are known to bemy converts by general knowledge: then ye are known more particularly by your reflecting mydoctrine in your Christian life." The handwriting is first "known," then the Epistle is "read" [Grotius](2Co 4:2; 1Co 14:25). There is not so powerful a sermon in the world, as a consistent Christianlife. The eye of the world takes in more than the ear. Christians' lives are the only religious booksthe world reads. Ignatius [Epistle to the Ephesians, 10] writes, "Give unbelievers the chance ofbelieving through you. Consider yourselves employed by God; your lives the form of language inwhich He addresses them. Be mild when they are angry, humble when they are haughty; to theirblasphemy oppose prayer without ceasing; to their inconsistency, a steadfast adherence to yourfaith."3. declared—The letter is written so legibly that it can be "read by all men" (2Co 3:2). Translate,"Being manifestly shown to be an Epistle of Christ"; a letter coming manifestly from Christ, and"ministered by us," that is, carried about and presented by us as its (ministering) bearers to those(the world) for whom it is intended: Christ is the Writer and the Recommender, ye are the letterrecommending us.written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God—Paul was the ministering penor other instrument of writing, as well as the ministering bearer and presenter of the letter. "Notwith ink" stands in contrast to the letters of commendation which "some" at Corinth (2Co 3:1) used."Ink" is also used here to include all outward materials for writing, such as the Sinaitic tables ofstone were. These, however, were not written with ink, but "graven" by "the finger of God" (Ex31:18; 32:16). Christ's Epistle (His believing members converted by Paul) is better still: it is writtennot merely with the finger, but with the "Spirit of the living God"; it is not the "ministration ofdeath" as the law, but of the "living Spirit" that "giveth life" (2Co 3:6-8).not in—not on tables (tablets) of stone, as the ten commandments were written (2Co 3:7).in fleshy tables of the heart—ALL the best manuscripts read, "On [your] hearts [which are]tables of flesh." Once your hearts were spiritually what the tables of the law were physically, tablesof stone, but God has "taken away the stony heart out of your flesh, given you a heart of flesh"(fleshy, not fleshly, that is, carnal; hence it is written, "out of your flesh" that is, your carnal nature),Eze 11:19; 36:26. Compare 2Co 3:2, "As ye are our Epistle written in our hearts," so Christ has inthe first instance made you "His Epistle written with the Spirit in (on) your hearts." I bear on myheart, as a testimony to all men, that which Christ has by His Spirit written in your heart [Alford].(Compare Pr 3:3; 7:3; Jer 31:31-34). This passage is quoted by Paley [Horæ Paulinæ] as illustratingone peculiarity of Paul's style, namely, his going off at a word into a parenthetic reflection: hereit is on the word "Epistle." So "savor," 2Co 2:14-17.4. And—Greek, "But." "Such confidence, however (namely, of our 'sufficiency,' 2Co 3:5, 6;2Co 2:16—to which he reverts after the parenthesis—as ministers of the New Testament, 'nothinting,' 2Co 4:1), we have through Christ (not through ourselves, compare 2Co 3:18) toward God"(that is, in our relation to God and His work, the ministry committed by Him to us, for which wemust render an account to Him). Confidence toward God is solid and real, as looking to Him forthe strength needed now, and also for the reward of grace to be given hereafter. Compare Ac 24:15,"hope toward God." Human confidence is unreal in that it looks to man for its help and its reward.5. The Greek is, "Not that we are (even yet after so long experience as ministers) sufficient tothink anything OF ourselves as (coming) FROM ourselves; but our sufficiency is (derived) FROMGod." "From" more definitely refers to the source out of which a thing comes; "of" is more general.2547JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto think—Greek, to "reason out" or "devise"; to attain to sound preaching by our reasonings[Theodoret]. The "we" refers here to ministers (2Pe 1:21).anything—even the least. We cannot expect too little from man, or too much from God.6. able—rather, as the Greek is the same, corresponding to 2Co 3:5, translate, "sufficient asministers" (Eph 3:7; Col 1:23).the new testament—"the new covenant" as contrasted with the Old Testament or covenant(1Co 11:25; Ga 4:24). He reverts here again to the contrast between the law on "tables of stone,"and that "written by the Spirit on fleshly tables of the heart" (2Co 3:3).not of the letter—joined with "ministers"; ministers not of the mere literal precept, in whichthe old law, as then understood, consisted; "but of the Spirit," that is, the spiritual holiness whichlay under the old law, and which the new covenant brings to light (Mt 5:17-48) with new motivesadded, and a new power of obedience imparted, namely, the Holy Spirit (Ro 7:6). Even in writingthe letter of the New Testament, Paul and the other sacred writers were ministers not of the letter,but of the spirit. No piety of spirit could exempt a man from the yoke of the letter of each legalordinance under the Old Testament; for God had appointed this as the way in which He chose adevout Jew to express his state of mind towards God. Christianity, on the other hand, makes thespirit of our outward observances everything, and the letter a secondary consideration (Joh 4:24).Still the moral law of the ten commandments, being written by the finger of God, is as obligatorynow as ever; but put more on the Gospel spirit of "love," than on the letter of a servile obedience,and in a deeper and fuller spirituality (Mt 5:17-48; Ro 13:9). No literal precepts could fullycomprehend the wide range of holiness which LOVE, the work of the Holy Spirit, under the Gospel,suggests to the believer's heart instinctively from the word understood in its deep spirituality.letter killeth—by bringing home the knowledge of guilt and its punishment, death; 2Co 3:7,"ministration of death" (Ro 7:9).spirit giveth life—The spirit of the Gospel when brought home to the heart by the Holy Spirit,gives new spiritual life to a man (Ro 6:4, 11). This "spirit of life" is for us in Christ Jesus (Ro 8:2,10), who dwells in the believer as a "quickening" or "life-giving Spirit" (1Co 15:45). Note, thespiritualism of rationalists is very different. It would admit no "stereotyped revelation," except somuch as man's own inner instrument of revelation, the conscience and reason, can approve of: thusmaking the conscience judge of the written word, whereas the apostles make the written word thejudge of the conscience (Ac 17:11; 1Pe 4:1). True spirituality rests on the whole written word,applied to the soul by the Holy Spirit as the only infallible interpreter of its far-reaching spirituality.The letter is nothing without the spirit, in a subject essentially spiritual. The spirit is nothing withoutthe letter, in a record substantially historical.7. the ministration of death—the legal dispensation, summed up in the Decalogue, whichdenounces death against man for transgression.written and engraven in stones—There is no "and" in the Greek. The literal translation is,"The ministration of death in letters," of which "engraven on stones" is an explanation. Thepreponderance of oldest manuscripts is for the English Version reading. But one (perhaps the oldestexisting manuscript) has "in the letter," which refers to the preceding words (2Co 3:6), "the letterkilleth," and this seems the probable reading. Even if we read as English Version, "The ministrationof death (written) in letters," alludes to the literal precepts of the law as only bringing us theknowledge of sin and "death," in contrast to "the Spirit" in the Gospel bringing us "life" (2Co 3:6).The opposition between "the letters" and "the Spirit" (2Co 3:8) confirms this. This explains why2548JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe phrase in Greek should be "in letters," instead of the ordinary one which English Version hassubstituted, "written and."was glorious—literally, "was made (invested) in glory," glory was the atmosphere with whichit was encompassed.could not steadfastly behold—literally, "fix their eyes on." Ex 34:30, "The skin of his faceshone; and they were AFRAID to come nigh him." "Could not," therefore means here, "for FEAR."The "glory of Moses' countenance" on Sinai passed away when the occasion was over: a type ofthe transitory character of the dispensation which he represented (2Co 3:11), as contrasted with thepermanency of the Christian dispensation (2Co 3:11).8. be rather glorious—literally, "be rather (that is, still more, invested) in glory." "Shall be,"that is, shall be found to be in part now, but fully when the glory of Christ and His saints shall berevealed.9. ministration of condemnation—the law regarded in the "letter" which "killeth" (2Co 3:6;Ro 7:9-11). The oldest existing manuscript seems to read as English Version. But most of the almostcontemporary manuscripts, versions, and Fathers, read, "If to the ministration of condemnationthere be glory."the ministration of righteousness—the Gospel, which especially reveals the righteousness ofGod (Ro 1:17), and imputes righteousness to men through faith in Christ (Ro 3:21-28; 4:3, 22-25),and imparts righteousness by the Spirit (Ro 8:1-4).exceed—"abound."10. For even the ministration of condemnation, the law, 2Co 3:7 (which has been glorified atSinai in Moses' person), has now (English Version translates less fitly, "was made … had") lost itsglory in this respect by reason of the surpassing glory (of the Gospel): as the light of the stars andmoon fades in the presence of the sun.11. was glorious—literally, "was with glory"; or "marked by glory."that which remaineth—abideth (Re 14:6). Not "the ministry," but the Spirit, and Hisaccompaniments, life and righteousness.is glorious—literally, "is in glory." The Greek "with" or "by" is appropriately applied to thatof which the glory was transient. "In" to that of which the glory is permanent. The contrast of theOld and New Testaments proves that Paul's chief opponents at Corinth were Judaizers.12. such hope—of the future glory, which shall result from the ministration of the Gospel (2Co3:8, 9).plainness of speech—openness; without reserve (2Co 2:17; 4:2).13. We use no disguise, "as Moses put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel might notlook steadfastly upon the end of that which was to be done away" [Ellicott and others]. The view ofEx 34:30-35, according to the Septuagint is adopted by Paul, that Moses in going in to speak toGod removed the veil till he came out and had spoken to the people; and then when he had donespeaking, he put on the veil that they might not look on the end, or the fading, of that transitoryglory. The veil was the symbol of concealment, put on directly after Moses' speaking; so that God'srevelations by him were interrupted by intervals of concealment [ALFORD]. But Alford's view doesnot accord with 2Co 3:7; the Israelites "could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for theglory of his countenance." Plainly Moses' veil was put on because of their not having been able to"look steadfastly at him." Paul here (2Co 3:13) passes from the literal fact to the truth symbolizedby it, the blindness of Jews and Judaizers to the ultimate end of the law: stating that Moses put on2549JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe veil that they might not look steadfastly at (Christ, Ro 10:4) the end of that (law) which (likeMoses' glory) is done away. Not that Moses had this purpose; but often God attributes to Hisprophets the purpose which He has Himself. Because the Jews would not see, God judicially gavethem up so as not to see. The glory of Moses' face is antitypically Christ s glory shining behind theveil of legal ordinances. The veil which has been taken off to the believer is left on to the unbelievingJew, so that he should not see (Isa 6:10; Ac 28:26, 27). He stops short at the letter of the law, notseeing the end of it. The evangelical glory of the law, like the shining of Moses' face, cannot beborne by a carnal people, and therefore remains veiled to them until the Spirit comes to take awaythe veil (2Co 3:14-17) [Cameron].14-18. Parenthetical: Of Christians in general. He resumes the subject of the ministry, 2Co 4:1.minds—Greek, "mental perceptions"; "understandings."blinded—rather, "hardened." The opposite to "looking steadfastly at the end" of the law (2Co3:13). The veil on Moses' face is further typical of the veil that is on their hearts.untaken away … which veil—rather, "the same veil … remaineth untaken away [literally, notunveiled], so that they do not see THAT it (not the veil as English Version, but 'THE Old Testament,' orcovenant of legal ordinances) is done away (2Co 3:7, 11, 13) in Christ" or, as Bengel, "Because itis done away in Christ," that is, it is not done away save in Christ: the veil therefore remains untakenaway from them, because they will not come to Christ, who does away, with the law as a mereletter. If they once saw that the law is done away in Him, the veil would be no longer on their heartsin reading it publicly in their synagogues (so "reading" means, Ac 15:21). I prefer the former.15. the veil is—rather, "a veil lieth upon their heart" (their understanding, affected by thecorrupt will, Joh 8:43; 1Co 2:14). The Tallith was worn in the synagogue by every worshipper, andto this veil hanging over the breast there may be an indirect allusion here (see on 1Co 11:4): theapostle making it symbolize the spiritual veil on their heart.16. Moses took off the veil on entering into the presence of the Lord. So as to the Israeliteswhom Moses represents, "whensoever their heart (it) turns (not as English Version, 'shall turn') tothe Lord, the veil is (by the very fact; not as English Version, 'shall be') taken away." Ex 34:34 isthe allusion; not Ex 34:30, 31, as Alford thinks. Whenever the Israelites turn to the Lord, who is theSpirit of the law, the veil is taken off their hearts in the presence of the Lord: as the literal veil wastaken off by Moses in going before God: no longer resting on the dead letter, the veil, they by theSpirit commune with God and with the inner spirit of the Mosaic covenant (which answers to theglory of Moses' face unveiled in God's presence).17. the Lord—Christ (2Co 3:14, 16; 2Co 4:5).is that Spirit—is THE Spirit, namely, that Spirit spoken of in 2Co 3:6, and here resumed afterthe parenthesis (2Co 3:7-16): Christ is the Spirit and "end" of the Old Testament, who giveth lifeto it, whereas "the letter killeth" (1Co 15:45; Re 19:10, end).where the Spirit of the Lord is—in a man's "heart" (2Co 3:15; Ro 8:9, 10).there is liberty—(Joh 8:36). "There," and there only. Such cease to be slaves to the letter,which they were while the veil was on their heart. They are free to serve God in the Spirit, andrejoice in Christ Jesus (Php 3:3): they have no longer the spirit of bondage, but of free sonship (Ro8:15; Ga 4:7). "Liberty" is opposed to the letter (of the legal ordinances), and to the veil, the badgeof slavery: also to the fear which the Israelites felt in beholding Moses' glory unveiled (Ex 34:30;1Jo 4:18).2550JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. But we all—Christians, as contrasted with the Jews who have a veil on their hearts, answeringto Moses' veil on his face. He does not resume reference to ministers till 2Co 4:1.with open face—Translate, "with unveiled face" (the veil being removed at conversion):contrasted with "hid" (2Co 4:3).as in a glass—in a mirror, namely, the Gospel which reflects the glory of God and Christ (2Co4:4; 1Co 13:12; Jas 1:23, 25).are changed into the same image—namely, the image of Christ's glory, spiritually now (Ro8:29; 1Jo 3:3); an earnest of the bodily change hereafter (Php 3:21). However many they be, believersall reflect the same image of Christ more or less: a proof of the truth of Christianity.from glory to glory—from one degree of glory to another. As Moses' face caught a reflectionof God's glory from being in His presence, so believers are changed into His image by beholdingHim.even as, &c.—Just such a transformation "as" was to be expected from "the Lord the Spirit"(not as English Version, "the Spirit of the Lord") [Alford] (2Co 3:17): "who receives of the thingsof Christ, and shows them to us" (Joh 16:14; Ro 8:10, 11). (Compare as to hereafter, Ps 17:15; Re22:4).CHAPTER 42Co 4:1-18. His Preaching Is Open and Sincere, though to Many the Gospel Is Hidden.For he preaches Christ, not himself: the human vessel is frail that God may have the glory; yet,though frail, faith and the hope of future glory sustain him amidst the decay of the outward man.1. Therefore—Greek, "For this cause": Because we have the liberty-giving Spirit of the Lord,and with unveiled face behold His glory (2Co 3:17, 18).seeing we have this ministry—"The ministration of the Spirit" (2Co 3:8, 9): the ministry ofsuch a spiritual, liberty-giving Gospel: resuming 2Co 3:6, 8.received mercy—from God, in having had this ministry conferred on us (2Co 3:5). The senseof "mercy" received from God, makes men active for God (1Ti 1:11-13).we faint not—in boldness of speech and action, and patience in suffering (2Co 4:2, 8-16, &c.).2. renounced—literally, "bid farewell to."of dishonesty—rather, "of shame." "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" (Ro 1:16).Shame would lead to hiding (2Co 4:3); whereas "we use great plainness of speech" (2Co 3:12);"by manifestation of the truth." Compare 2Co 3:3, "manifestly declared." He refers to thedisingenuous artifices of "many" teachers at Corinth (2Co 2:17; 3:1; 11:13-15).handling … deceitfully—so "corrupt" or adulterate "the word of God" (2Co 2:17; compare1Th 2:3, 4).commending—recommending ourselves: recurring to 2Co 3:1.to—to the verdict of.every man's conscience—(2Co 5:11). Not to men's carnal judgment, as those alluded to (2Co3:1).in the sight of God—(2Co 2:17; Ga 1:10).3. But if—Yea, even if (as I grant is the case).2551JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhid—rather (in reference to 2Co 3:13-18), "veiled." "Hid" (Greek, Col 3:3) is said of thatwithdrawn from view altogether. "Veiled," of a thing within reach of the eye, but covered over soas not to be seen. So it was in the case of Moses' face.to them—in the case only of them: for in itself the Gospel is quite plain.that are lost—rather, "that are perishing" (1Co 1:18). So the same cloud that was "light" to thepeople of God, was "darkness" to the Egyptian foes of God (Ex 14:20).4. In whom—Translate, "In whose case."god of this world—The worldly make him their God (Php 3:19). He is, in fact, "the prince ofthe power of the air, the spirit that ruleth in the children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2).minds—"understandings": "mental perceptions," as in 2Co 3:14.them which believe not—the same as "them that are lost" (or "are perishing"). Compare 2Th2:10-12. South quaintly says, "when the malefactor's eyes are covered, he is not far from his execution"(Es 7:8). Those perishing unbelievers are not merely veiled, but blinded (2Co 3:14, 15): Greek, not"blinded," but "hardened."light of the glorious gospel of Christ—Translate, "The illumination (enlightening: thepropagation from those already enlightened, to others of the light) of the Gospel of the glory ofChrist." "The glory of Christ" is not a mere quality (as "glorious" would express) of the Gospel; itis its very essence and subject matter.image of God—implying identity of nature and essence (Joh 1:18; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3). He whodesires to see "the glory of God," may see it "in the face of Jesus Christ" (2Co 4:6; 1Ti 6:14-16).Paul here recurs to 2Co 3:18. Christ is "the image of God," into which "same image" we, lookingon it in the mirror of the Gospel, are changed by the Spirit; but this image is not visible to thoseblinded by Satan [Alford].5. For—Their blindness is not our fault, as if we had self-seeking aims in our preaching.preach … Christ … the Lord—rather, "Christ as Lord," and ourselves as your servants, &c."Lord," or "Master," is the correlative term to "servants."6. For—proof that we are true servants of Jesus unto you.commanded the light—Greek, "By speaking the word, commanded light" (Ge 1:3).hath shined—rather, as Greek, "is He who shined." (It is God) who commanded light, &c.,that shined, &c., (Job 37:15): Himself our Light and Sun, as well as the Creator of light (Mal 4:2;Joh 8:12). The physical world answers to the spiritual.in our hearts—in themselves dark.to give the light—that is, to propagate to others the light, &c., which is in us (compare Note,see on 2Co 4:4).the glory of God—answering to "the glory of Christ" (see on 2Co 4:4).in the face of Jesus Christ—Some of the oldest manuscripts retain "Jesus." Others omit it.Christ is the manifestation of the glory of God, as His image (Joh 14:9). The allusion is still to thebrightness on Moses' "face." The only true and full manifestation of God's brightness and glory is"in the face of Jesus" (Heb 1:3).7. "Lest any should say, How then is it that we continue to enjoy such unspeakable glory in amortal body? Paul replies, this very fact is one of the most marvellous proofs of God's power, thatan earthen vessel could bear such splendor and keep such a treasure" [Chrysostom, Homilies, 8.496,A]. The treasure or "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God." The fragile "earthen vessel"is the body, the "outward man" (2Co 4:16; compare 2Co 4:10), liable to afflictions and death. So2552JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe light in Gideon's pitchers, the type (Jud 7:16-20, 22). The ancients often kept their treasures injars or vessels of earthenware. "There are earthen vessels which yet may be clean; whereas a goldenvessel may be filthy" [Bengel].that the excellency of the power, &c.—that the power of the ministry (the Holy Spirit), inrespect to its surpassing "excellency," exhibited in winning souls (1Co 2:4) and in sustaining usministers, might be ascribed solely to God, we being weak as earthen vessels. God often allowsthe vessel to be chipped and broken, that the excellency of the treasure contained, and of the powerwhich that treasure has, may be all His (2Co 4:10, 11; Joh 3:30).may be of God … not of us—rather, as Greek, "may be God's (may be seen and be thankfully[2Co 4:15] acknowledged to belong to God), and not (to come) from us." The power not merelycomes from God, but belongs to Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.8. Greek, "BEING hard pressed, yet not inextricably straitened; reduced to inextricable straits"(nominative to "we have," 2Co 4:7).on every side—Greek, "in every respect" (compare 2Co 4:10, "always"; 2Co 7:5). This verseexpresses inward distresses; 2Co 4:9, outward distresses (2Co 7:5). "Without were fightings; withinwere fears." The first clause in each member of the series of contrasted participles, implies theearthiness of the vessels; the second clause, the excellency of the power.perplexed, but not in despair—Greek, "not utterly perplexed." As perplexity refers to thefuture, so "troubled" or "hard pressed" refers to the present.9. not forsaken—by God and man. Jesus was forsaken by both; so much do His sufferingsexceed those of His people (Mt 27:46).cast down—or "struck down"; not only "persecuted," that is, chased as a deer or bird (1Sa26:20), but actually struck down as with a dart in the chase (Heb 11:35-38). The Greek "always"in this verse means, "throughout the whole time"; in 2Co 4:11 the Greek is different, and means,"at every time," "in every case when the occasion occurs."10. bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus—that is, having my body exposedto being put to death in the cause of Jesus (the oldest manuscripts omit "the Lord"), and having init the marks of such sufferings, I thus bear about wheresoever I go, an image of the suffering Saviourin my own person (2Co 4:11; 2Co 1:5; compare 1Co 15:31). Doubtless, Paul was exposed to moredangers than are recorded in Acts (compare 2Co 7:5; 11:26). The Greek for "the dying" is literally,"the being made a corpse," such Paul regarded his body, yet a corpse which shares in the life-givingpower of Christ's resurrection, as it has shared in His dying and death.that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body—rather, "may be." The name"Jesus," by itself is often repeated here as Paul seems, amidst sufferings, peculiarly to have felt itssweetness. In 2Co 4:11 the same words occur with the variation, "in our mortal flesh. The fact ofa dying, corpse-like body being sustained amidst such trials, manifests that "the (resurrection) lifealso," as well as the dying, "of Jesus," exerts its power in us. I thus bear about in my own personan image of the risen and living, as well as of the suffering, Saviour. The "our" is added here to"body," though not in the beginning of the verse. "For the body is ours not so much in death, as inlife" [Bengel].11. we which live—in the power of Christ's "life" manifested in us, in our whole man body aswell as spirit (Ro 8:10, 11; see on 2Co 4:10; compare 2Co 5:15). Paul regards his preservationamidst so many exposures to "death," by which Stephen and James were cut off, as a standingmiracle (2Co 11:23).2553JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondelivered unto—not by chance; by the ordering of Providence, who shows "the excellency ofHis power" (2Co 4:7), in delivering unto DEATH His living saints, that He may manifest LIFE alsoin their dying flesh. "Flesh," the very element of decay (not merely their "body"), is by Him madeto manifest life.12. The "death" of Christ manifested in the continual "perishing of our outward man" (2Co4:16), works peculiarly in us, and is the means of working spiritual "life" in you. The life whereofwe witness in our bodily dying, extends beyond ourselves, and is brought by our very dying to you.13. Translate as Greek, "BUT having," &c., that is, not withstanding the trials just mentioned,we having, &c.the same spirit of faith, according as it, &c.—Compare Ro 8:15, on the usage of "spirit offaith." The Holy Spirit acting on our spirit. Though "death worketh in us, and life in you" (2Co4:12), yet as we have the same spirit of faith as you, we therefore [believingly] look for the sameimmortal life as you [Estius], and speak as we believe. Alford not so well translates, "The same …faith with that described in the Scriptures" (Ps 116:10). The balance of the sentence requires theparallelism to be this, "According to that which is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken;we also believe, and therefore speak," namely, without fear, amidst "afflictions" and "deaths" (2Co4:17).14. Knowing—by faith (2Co 5:1).shall raise up us also—at the resurrection (1Co 6:13, 14).by Jesus—The oldest manuscripts have "with Jesus."present us—vividly picturing the scene before the eyes (Jude 24).with you—(2Co 1:14; 1Th 2:19, 20; 3:13).15. For—Confirming his assertion "with you" (2Co 4:14), and "life … worketh in you" (2Co4:12).all things—whether the afflictions and labors of us ministers (2Co 4:8-11), or your prosperity(2Co 4:12; 1Co 3:21, 22; 4:8-13).for your sakes—(2Ti 2:10).abundant grace, &c.—rather, "That grace (the grace which preserves us in trials and workslife in you), being made the greater (multiplied), by means of the greater number (of its recipients),may cause the thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God." [Chrysostom] (2Co 1:11; 9:11, 12). TheGreek is susceptible also of this translation, "That grace, being made the greater (multiplied) onaccount of the thanksgiving of the greater number (for grace already received), may abound(abundantly redound) to," &c. Thus the Greek for "abound" has not to be taken in an active sense,but in its ordinary neuter sense, and so the other Greek words. Thanksgiving invites more abundantgrace (2Ch 20:19-22; Ps 18:3; 50:23).16. we faint not—notwithstanding our sufferings. Resuming 2Co 4:1.outward man—the body, the flesh.perish—"is wearing away"; "is wasted away" by afflictions.inward man—our spiritual and true being, the "life" which even in our mortal bodies (2Co4:11) "manifests the life of Jesus."is renewed—"is being renewed," namely, with fresh "grace" (2Co 4:15), and "faith" (2Co 4:13),and hope (2Co 4:17, 18).17. which is but for a moment—"Our PRESENT light (burden of) affliction" (so the Greek;compare Mt 11:30), [Alford]. Compare "now for a season … in heaviness" (1Pe 1:6). The contrast,2554JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhowever, between this and the "ETERNAL weight of glory" requires, I think, the translation, "Whichis but for the present passing moment." So Wahl. "The lightness of affliction" (he does not express"burden" after "light"; the Greek is "the light of affliction") contrasts beautifully with the "weightof the glory."worketh—rather, "worketh out."a far more exceeding and—rather, "in a surpassing and still more surpassing manner" [Alford];"more and more exceedingly" [Ellicott, Trench, and others]. Greek, "in excess and to excess." Theglory exceeds beyond all measure the affliction.18. look not at—as our aim.things … seen—"earthly things" (Php 3:19). We mind not the things seen, whether afflictionor refreshment come, so as to be seduced by the latter, or deterred by the former [Chrysostom].things … not seen—not "the invisible things" of Ro 1:20, but the things which, though notseen now, shall be so hereafter.temporal—rather, "for a time"; in contrast to eternal. English Version uses "temporal" fortemporary. The Greek is rightly translated in the similar passage, "the pleasures of sin for a season."CHAPTER 52Co 5:1-21. The Hope (2Co 4:17, 18) OF Eternal Glory in the Resurrection Body.Hence arises his ambition to be accepted at the Lord's coming judgment. Hence, too, his endeavorto deal openly with men, as with God, in preaching; thus giving the Corinthians whereof to boastconcerning him against his adversaries. His constraining motive is the transforming love of Christ,by whom God has wrought reconciliation between Himself and men, and has committed to theapostle the ministry of reconciliation.1. For—Assigning the reason for the statement (2Co 4:17), that affliction leads to exceedingglory.we know—assuredly (2Co 4:14; Job 19:25).if—For all shall not die; many shall be "changed" without "dissolution" (1Co 15:51-53). If thisdaily delivering unto death (2Co 3:11) should end in actual death.earthly—not the same as earthy (1Co 15:47). It stands in contrast to "in the heavens."house of this tabernacle—rather, "house of the tabernacle." "House" expresses more permanencythan belongs to the body; therefore the qualification, "of the tabernacle" (implying that it is shifting,not stationary), is added (compare Job 4:19; 2Pe 1:13, 14). It thus answers to the tabernacle in thewilderness. Its wooden frame and curtains wore out in course of time when Israel dwelt in Canaan,and a fixed temple was substituted for it. The temple and the tabernacle in all essentials were one;there was the same ark, the same cloud of glory. Such is the relation between the "earthly" bodyand the resurrection body. The Holy Spirit is enshrined in the believer's body as in a sanctuary (1Co3:16). As the ark went first in taking down the wilderness tabernacle, so the soul (which like theark is sprinkled with blood of atonement, and is the sacred deposit in the inmost shrine, 2Ti 1:12)in the dissolution of the body; next the coverings were removed, answering to the flesh; lastly, theframework and boards, answering to the bones, which are last to give way (Nu 4:1-49). Paul, as atent-maker, uses an image taken from his trade (Ac 18:3).dissolved—a mild word for death, in the case of believers.2555JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwe have—in assured prospect of possession, as certain as if it were in our hands, laid up "inthe heavens" for us. The tense is present (compare Joh 3:36; 6:47, "hath").a building of God—rather "from God." A solid building, not a temporary tabernacle or tent."Our" body stands in contrast to "from God." For though our present body be also from God, yetit is not fresh and perfect from His hands, as our resurrection body shall be.not made with hands—contrasted with houses erected by man's hands (1Co 15:44-49). SoChrist's body is designated, as contrasted with the tabernacle reared by Moses (Mr 14:58; Heb9:11). This "house" can only be the resurrection body, in contrast to the "earthly house of thetabernacle," our present body. The intermediate state is not directly taken into account. A commashould separate "eternal," and "in the heavens."2. For in this—Greek, "For also in this"; "herein" (2Co 8:10). Alford takes it, "in this" tabernacle.2Co 5:4, which seems parallel, favors this. But the parallelism is sufficiently exact by making "inthis we groan" refer generally to what was just said (2Co 5:1), namely, that we cannot obtain our"house in the heavens" except our "earthly tabernacle" be first dissolved by death.we groan—(Ro 8:23) under the body's weaknesses now and liability to death.earnestly desiring to be clothed upon—translate, "earnestly longing to have ourselves clothedupon," &c., namely, by being found alive at Christ's coming, and so to escape dissolution by death(2Co 5:1, 4), and to have our heavenly body put on over the earthly. The groans of the saints provethe existence of the longing desire for the heavenly glory, a desire which cannot be planted by Godwithin us in vain, as doomed to disappointment.our house—different Greek from that in 2Co 5:1; translate, "our habitation," "our domicile";it has a more distinct reference to the inhabitant than the general term "house" (2Co 5:1) [Bengel].from heaven—This domicile is "from heaven" in its origin, and is to be brought to us by theLord at His coming again "from heaven" (1Th 4:16). Therefore this "habitation" or "domicile" isnot heaven itself.3. If so be, &c.—Our "desire" holds good, should the Lord's coming find us alive. Translate,"If so be that having ourselves clothed (with our natural body, compare 2Co 5:4) we shall not befound naked (stripped of our present body)."4. For—resuming 2Co 5:2.being burdened: not for that—rather, "in that we desire not to have ourselves unclothed (ofour present body), but clothed upon (with our heavenly body).that mortality, &c.—rather, "that what is mortal (our mortal part) may be swallowed up of(absorbed and transformed into) life." Believers shrink from, not the consequences, but the mereact of dying; especially as believing in the possibility of their being found alive at the Lord's coming(1Th 4:15), and so of having their mortal body absorbed into the immortal without death. Faithdoes not divest us of all natural feeling, but subordinates it to higher feeling. Scripture gives nosanction to the contempt for the body expressed by philosophers.5. wrought us—framed us by redemption, justification, and sanctification.for the selfsame thing—"unto" it; namely, unto what is mortal of us being swallowed up inlife (2Co 5:4).who also—The oldest manuscripts omit "also."earnest of the Spirit—(See on 2Co 1:22). It is the Spirit (as "the first-fruits") who creates inus the groaning desire for our coming deliverance and glory (Ro 8:23).2556JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson6. Translate as Greek, "Being therefore always confident and knowing," &c. He had intendedto have made the verb to this nominative, "we are willing" (rather, "well content"), but digressingon the word "confident" (2Co 5:6, 7), he resumes the word in a different form, namely, as anassertion: "We are confident and well content." "Being confident … we are confident" may be theHebraic idiom of emphasis; as Ac 7:34, Greek, "Having seen, I have seen," that is, I have surelyseen.always—under all trials. Bengel makes the contrast between "always confident" and "confident"especially at the prospect of being "absent from the body." We are confident as well at all times,as also most of all in the hope of a blessed departure.whilst … at home … absent—Translate as Greek, "While we sojourn in our home in the body,we are away from our home in the Lord." The image from a "house" is retained (compare Php 3:20;Heb 11:13-16; 13:14).7. we walk—in our Christian course here on earth.not by sight—Greek, "not by appearance." Our life is governed by faith in our immortal hope;not by the outward specious appearance of present things [Tittmann, Greek Synonyms of the NewTestament]. Compare "apparently," the Septuagint, "by appearance," Nu 12:8. Wahl supports EnglishVersion. 2Co 4:18 also confirms it (compare Ro 8:24; 1Co 13:12, 13). God has appointed in thislife faith for our great duty, and in the next, vision for our reward [South] (1Pe 1:8).8. willing—literally, "well content." Translate also, "To go (literally, migrate) from our homein the body, and to come to our home with the Lord." We should prefer to be found alive at theLord's coming, and to be clothed upon with our heavenly body (2Co 5:2-4). But feeling, as we do,the sojourn in the body to be a separation from our true home "with the Lord," we prefer evendissolution by death, so that in the intermediate disembodied state we may go to be "with the Lord"(Php 1:23). "To be with Christ" (the disembodied state) is distinguished from Christ's coming totake us to be with Him in soul and body (1Th 4:14-17, "with the Lord"). Perhaps the disembodiedspirits of believers have fulness of communion with Christ unseen; but not the mutual recognitionof one another, until clothed with their visible bodies at the resurrection (compare 1Th 4:13-17),when they shall with joy recognize Christ's image in each other perfect.9. Wherefore—with such a sure "confidence" of being blessed, whether we die before, or befound alive at Christ's coming.we labour—literally, "make it our ambition"; the only lawful ambition.whether present or absent—whether we be found at His coming present in the body, or absentfrom it.accepted—Greek, "well-pleasing."10. appear—rather, "be made manifest," namely, in our true character. So "appear," Greek,"be manifested" (Col 3:4; compare 1Co 4:5). We are at all times, even now, manifest to God; thenwe shall be so to the assembled intelligent universe and to ourselves: for the judgment shall be notonly in order to assign the everlasting portion to each, but to vindicate God's righteousness, so thatit shall be manifest to all His creatures, and even to the conscience of the sinner himself.receive—His reward of grace proportioned to "the things done," &c. (2Co 9:6-9; 2Jo 8). Thoughsalvation be of grace purely, independent of works, the saved may have a greater or less reward,according as he lives to, and labors for, Christ more or less. Hence there is scope for the holy"ambition" (see on 2Co 5:9; Heb 6:10). This verse guards against the Corinthians supposing thatall share in the house "from heaven" (2Co 5:1, 2). There shall be a searching judgment which shall2557JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonsever the bad from the good, according to their respective,deeds, the motive of the deeds beingtaken into account, not the mere external act; faith and love to God are the sole motives recognizedby God as sound and good (Mt 12:36, 37; 25:35-45),done in his body—The Greek may be, "by the instrumentality of the body"; but English Versionis legitimate (compare Greek, Ro 2:27). Justice requires that substantially the same body whichhas been the instrument of the unbelievers' sin, should be the object of punishment. A proof of theessential identity of the natural and the resurrection body.11. terror of the Lord—the coming judgment, so full of terrors to unbelievers [Estius]. Ellicottand Alford, after Grotius and Bengel, translate, "The fear of the Lord" (2Co 7:1; Ec 12:13; Ac 9:31;Ro 3:18; Eph 5:21).persuade—Ministers should use the terrors of the Lord to persuade men, not to rouse theirenmity (Jude 23). Bengel, Estius, and Alford explain: "Persuade men" (by our whole lives, 2Co 5:13),namely, of our integrity as ministers. But this would have been expressed after "persuade," had itbeen the sense. The connection seems as follows: He had been accused of seeking to please andwin men, he therefore says (compare Ga 1:10), "It is as knowing the terror (or fear) of the Lordthat we persuade men; but (whether men who hear our preaching recognize our sincerity or not)we are made manifest unto God as acting on such motives (2Co 4:2); and I trust also in yourconsciences." Those so "manifested" need have no "terror" as to their being "manifested (EnglishVersion, 'appear') before the judgment-seat" (2Co 5:10).12. For—the reason why he leaves the manifestation of his sincerity in preaching to theirconsciences (2Co 3:1), namely, his not wishing to "commend" himself again.occasion to glory—(2Co 1:14), namely, as to our sincerity.in appearance—Greek, "face" (compare 1Sa 16:7). The false teachers gloried in their outwardappearance, and in external recommendations (2Co 11:18) their learning, eloquence, wisdom,riches, not in vital religion in their heart. Their conscience does not attest their inward sincerity,as mine does (2Co 1:12).13. be—rather as Greek, "have been." The contrast is between the single act implied by thepast tense, "If we have ever been beside ourselves," and the habitual state implied by the present,"Or whether we be sober," that is, of sound mind. beside ourselves—The accusation brought byFestus against him (Ac 26:24). The holy enthusiasm with which he spake of what God effected byHis apostolic ministry, seemed to many to be boasting madness.sober—humbling myself before you, and not using my apostolic power and privileges.to God … for your cause—The glorifying of his office was not for his own, but for God'sglory. The abasing of himself was in adaptation to their infirmity, to gain them to Christ (1Co 9:22).14. For—Accounting for his being "beside himself" with enthusiasm: the love of Christ towardsus (in His death for us, the highest proof of it, Ro 5:6-8), producing in turn love in us to Him, andnot mere "terror" (2Co 5:11).constraineth us—with irresistible power limits us to the one great object to the exclusion ofother considerations. The Greek implies to compress forcibly the energies into one channel. Loveis jealous of any rival object engrossing the soul (2Co 11:1-3).because we thus judge—literally, "(as) having judged thus"; implying a judgment formed atconversion, and ever since regarded as a settled truth.that if—that is, that since. But the oldest manuscripts omit "if." "That one died for all (Greek,'in behalf of all')." Thus the following clause will be, "Therefore all (literally, 'the all,' namely, for2558JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhom He 'died') died." His dying is just the same as if they all died; and in their so dying, theydied to sin and self, that they might live to God their Redeemer, whose henceforth they are (Ro6:2-11; Ga 2:20; Col 3:3; 1Pe 4:1-3).15. they which live—in the present life (2Co 4:11, "we which live") [Alford]; or, they who arethus indebted to Him for life of soul as well as body [Menochius].died for them—He does not add, "rose again for them," a phrase not found in Paul's language[Bengel]. He died in their stead, He arose again for their good, "for (the effecting of) their justification"(Ro 4:25), and that He might be their Lord (Ro 14:7-9). Ellicott and Alford join "for them" with both"died" and "rose again"; as Christ's death is our death, so His resurrection is our resurrection;Greek, "Who for them died and rose again."not henceforth—Greek, "no longer"; namely, now that His death for them has taken place,and that they know that His death saves them from death eternal, and His resurrection life bringsspiritual and everlasting life to them.16. Wherefore—because of our settled judgment (2Co 5:14),henceforth—since our knowing Christ's constraining love in His death for us.know we no man after the flesh—that is, according to his mere worldly and external relations(2Co 11:18; Joh 8:15; Php 3:4), as distinguished from what he is according to the Spirit, as a "newcreature" (2Co 5:17). For instance, the outward distinctions of Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, slaveor free, learned or unlearned, are lost sight of in the higher life of those who are dead in Christ'sdeath, and alive with Him in the new life of His resurrection (Ga 2:6; 3:28).yea, though—The oldest manuscripts read, "if even."known Christ after the flesh—Paul when a Jew had looked for a temporal reigning, not aspiritual, Messiah. (He says "Christ," not Jesus: for he had not known personally Jesus in the daysof His flesh, but he had looked for Christ or the Messiah). When once he was converted he nolonger "conferred with flesh and blood" (Ga 1:16). He had this advantage over the Twelve, that asone born out of due time he had never known Christ save in His heavenly life. To the Twelve itwas "expedient that Christ should go away" that the Comforter should come, and so they mightknow Christ in the higher spiritual aspect and in His new life-giving power, and not merely "afterthe flesh," in the carnal aspect of Him (Ro 6:9-11; 1Co 15:45; 1Pe 3:18; 4:1, 2). Doubtless JudaizingChristians at Corinth prided themselves on the mere fleshly (2Co 11:18) advantage of their belongingto Israel, the nation of Christ, or on their having seen Him in the flesh, and thence claimed superiorityover others as having a nearer connection with Him (2Co 5:12; 2Co 10:7). Paul here shows the trueaim should be to know Him spiritually as new creatures (2Co 5:15, 17), and that outward relationstowards Him profit nothing (Lu 18:19-21; Joh 16:7, 22; Php 3:3-10). This is at variance with bothRomish Mariolatry and transubstantiation. Two distinct Greek verbs are used here for "know"; thefirst ("know we no man") means "to be personally acquainted with"; the latter ("known Christ …know … more") is to recognize, or estimate. Paul's estimate of Christ, or the expected Messiah,was carnal, but is so now no more.17. Therefore—connected with the words in 2Co 5:16, "We know Christ no more after theflesh." As Christ has entered on His new heavenly life by His resurrection and ascension, so allwho are "in Christ" (that is, united to Him by faith as the branch is In the vine) are new creatures(Ro 6:9-11). "New" in the Greek implies a new nature quite different from anything previouslyexisting, not merely recent, which is expressed by a different Greek word (Ga 6:15).2559JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncreature—literally, "creation," and so the creature resulting from the creation (compare Joh3:3, 5; Eph 2:10; 4:23; Col 3:10, 11). As we are "in Christ," so "God was in Christ" (2Co 5:19):hence He is Mediator between God and us.old things—selfish, carnal views (compare 2Co 5:16) of ourselves, of other men, and of Christ.passed away—spontaneously, like the snow of early spring [Bengel] before the advancing sun.behold—implying an allusion to Isa 43:19; 65:17.18. all—Greek, "THE."things—all our privileges in this new creation (2Co 5:14, 15).reconciled us—that is, restored us ("the world," 2Co 5:19) to His favor by satisfying the claimsof justice against us. Our position judicially considered in the eye of the law is altered, not as thoughthe mediation of Christ had made a change in God's character, nor as if the love of God was producedby the mediation of Christ; nay, the mediation and sacrifice of Christ was the provision of God'slove, not its moving cause (Ro 8:32). Christ's blood was the price paid at the expense of GodHimself, and was required to reconcile the exercise of mercy with justice, not as separate, but asthe eternally harmonious attributes in the one and the same God (Ro 3:25, 26). The Greek "reconcile"is reciprocally used as in the Hebrew Hithpahel conjugation, appease, obtain the favor of. Mt 5:24,"Be reconciled to thy brother"; that is, take measures that he be reconciled to thee, as well as thouto him, as the context proves. Diallagethi, however (Mt 5:24), implying mutual reconciliation, isdistinct from Katallagethi here, the latter referring to the change of status wrought in one of thetwo parties. The manner of God reconciling the world to Himself is implied (2Co 5:19), namely,by His "not imputing their trespasses to them." God not merely, as subsequently, reconciles theworld by inducing them to lay aside their enmity, but in the first instance, does so by satisfying Hisown justice and righteous enmity against sin (Ps 7:11). Compare 1Sa 29:4, "Reconcile himself untohis master"; not remove his own anger against his master, but his master's against him [ArchbishopMagee, Atonement]. The reconciling of men to God by their laying aside their enmity is theconsequence of God laying aside His just enmity against their sin, and follows at 2Co 5:20.to us—ministers (2Co 5:19, 20).19. God was in Christ, reconciling—that is, God was BY Christ (in virtue of Christ'sintervention) reconciling," &c. Was reconciling" implies the time when the act of reconciliationwas being carried into effect (2Co 5:21), namely, when "God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to besin for us." The compound of "was" and the participle "reconciling," instead of the imperfect(Greek), may also imply the continuous purpose of God, from before the foundation of the world,to reconcile man to Himself, whose fall was foreseen. The expression " IN Christ" for "by Christ"may be used to imply additionally that God was IN Christ (Joh 10:38; 14:10), and so by Christ (theGod-man) was reconciling … The Greek for "by" or "through" Christ (the best manuscripts omit"Jesus"), 2Co 5:18, is different. "In" must mean here in the person of Christ. The Greek Katallassonimplies "changing" or altering the judicial status from one of condemnation to one of justification.The atonement (at-one-ment), or reconciliation, is the removal of the bar to peace and acceptancewith a holy God, which His righteousness interposed against our sin. The first step towards restoringpeace between us and God was on God's side (Joh 3:16). The change therefore now to be effectedmust be on the part of offending man, God the offended One being already reconciled. It is man,not God, who now needs to be reconciled, and to lay aside his enmity against God (Ro 5:10, 11).("We have received the atonement" [Greek, reconciliation], cannot mean "We have received thelaying aside of our own enmity"). Compare Ro 3:24, 25.2560JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe world—all men (Col 1:20; 1Jo 2:2). The manner of the reconciling is by His "not imputingto men their trespasses," but imputing them to Christ the Sin-bearer. There is no incongruity thata father should be offended with that son whom he loveth, and at that time offended with him whenhe loveth him. So, though God loved men whom He created, yet He was offended with them whenthey sinned, and gave His Son to suffer for them, that through that Son's obedience He might bereconciled to them (reconcile them to Himself, that is, restore them WITH JUSTICE to His favor)[Bishop Pearson, Exposition of the Creed].hath committed unto us—Greek, "hath put into our hands." "Us," that is, ministers.20. for Christ … in Christ's stead—The Greek of both is the same: translate in both cases"on Christ's behalf."beseech … pray—rather, "entreat [plead with you] … beseech." Such "beseeching" is uncommonin the case of "ambassadors," who generally stand on their dignity (compare 2Co 10:2; 1Th 2:6,7).be ye reconciled to God—English Version here inserts "ye," which is not in the original, andwhich gives the wrong impression, as if it were emphatic thus: God is reconciled to you, be yereconciled to God. The Greek expresses rather, God was the RECONCILER in Christ … let thisreconciliation then have its designed effect. Be reconciled to God, that is, let God reconcile you toHimself (2Co 5:18, 19).21. For—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The grand reason why they should be reconciledto God, namely, the great atonement in Christ provided by God, is stated without the "for" as beingpart of the message of reconciliation (2Co 5:19).he—God.sin—not a sin offering, which would destroy the antithesis to "righteousness," and would make"sin" be used in different senses in the same sentence: not a sinful person, which would be untrue,and would require in the antithesis "righteous men," not "righteousness"; but "sin," that is, therepresentative Sin-bearer (vicariously) of the aggregate sin of all men past, present, and future.The sin of the world is one, therefore the singular, not the plural, is used; though its manifestationsare manifold (Joh 1:29). "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the SIN of the world." Compare"made a curse for us," Ga 3:13.for us—Greek, "in our behalf." Compare Joh 3:14, Christ being represented by the brazenserpent, the form, but not the substance, of the old serpent. At His death on the cross the sin-bearingfor us was consummated.knew no sin—by personal experience (Joh 8:46) [Alford]. Heb 7:26; 1Pe 2:22; 1Jo 3:5.might be made—not the same Greek as the previous "made." Rather, "might become."the righteousness of God—Not merely righteous, but righteousness itself; not merelyrighteousness, but the righteousness of God, because Christ is God, and what He is we are (1Jo4:17), and He is "made of God unto us righteousness." As our sin is made over to Him, so Hisrighteousness to us (in His having fulfilled all the righteousness of the law for us all, as ourrepresentative, Jer 23:6; 1Co 1:30). The innocent was punished voluntarily as if guilty, that theguilty might be gratuitously rewarded as if innocent (1Pe 2:24). "Such are we in the sight of Godthe Father, as is the very Son of God himself" [Hooker].in him—by virtue of our standing in Him, and in union with Him [Alford].2561JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonCHAPTER 62Co 6:1-18. His Apostolic Ministry Is Approved by Faithfulness in Exhortation, in Sufferings, in Exhibition of theFruits of the Holy ghost: His Largeness of Heart to Them Calls for Enlargement of Their Heart to Him. Exhortations toSeparation from Pollution.1. workers together—with God (Ac 15:4; 1Co 3:9). Not only as "ambassadors."beseech—entreat (2Co 5:20). He is describing his ministry, not exhorting directly.you also—rather, "WE ALSO (as well as God, 2Co 5:20) beseech" or "entreat you": 2Co 6:14,15, on to 2Co 7:1, is part of this entreaty or exhortation.in vain—by making the grace of God a ground for continuance in sin (2Co 6:3). By a life ofsin, showing that the word of reconciliation has been in vain, so far as you are concerned (Heb12:15; Jude 4). "The grace of God" here, is "the reconciliation" provided by God's love (2Co 5:18,19; compare Ga 2:2).2. For—God's own promise is the ground of our exhortation.he saith—God the Father saith to God the Son, and so to all believers who are regarded as onewith Him.heard thee—In the eternal purposes of my love I have hearkened to thy prayer for the salvationof thy people (compare Joh 17:9, 15, 20, 24).accepted … accepted—The Greek of the latter is more emphatic, "well-accepted." What was"an accepted time" in the prophecy (Isa 49:8, Hebrew, "in the season of grace") becomes "thewell-accepted time" in the fulfilment (compare Ps 69:13). As it is God's time of receiving sinners,receive ye His grace: accept (2Co 6:1) the word of reconciliation in His accepted time.in the day of salvation—"in a day of salvation" (Lu 4:18, 19, 21; 19:42; Heb 3:7).3. Resuming the connection with 2Co 6:1, interrupted by the parenthetical 2Co 6:2. "Givingno offense" (compare 1Co 10:33), "approving ourselves," and all the other participles down to 2Co6:10, are nominatives to "we also entreat you" (2Co 6:1), to show the pains he took to enforce hisexhortation by example, as well as precept [Alford]. "Offense" would be given, if we were without"patience" and the other qualifications which he therefore subjoins (compare Ro 14:13).4. Translate, to mark the true order of the Greek words, "in everything, as God's ministersrecommending ourselves," that is, that our hearers may give our message a favorable hearing,through our consistency in every respect, not that they may glorify us. Alluding to 2Co 3:1, heimplies, We commend ourselves, not like them by word, but by deed.patience—(2Co 12:12). Put first. "Pure-minded" follows (2Co 6:6). Three triplets of trialsexercising the "patience" (patient endurance) follow: Afflictions (or "tribulations"), necessities,distresses (or "straits"); stripes, imprisonments, tumults; labors, watchings, fastings. The first tripletexpresses afflictions generally; the second, those in particular arising from the violence of men;the third, those which he brought on himself directly or indirectly.5. stripes—(2Co 11:23, 24; Ac 16:23).imprisonments—(2Co 11:23). He had been, doubtless, elsewhere imprisoned besides at Philippiwhen he wrote this Epistle.tumults—(Ac 13:50; 14:5, 19; 16:22; and recently Ac 19:23-41).labours—in the cause of Christ (2Co 11:23; Ro 16:12).watchings—(2Co 11:27). Sleepless nights.fastings—The context here refers to his trials, rather than devotional exercises (compare 2Co11:27). Thus "foodlessness" would seem to be the sense (compare 1Co 4:11; Php 4:12). But the2562JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonusual sense of the Greek is fasts, in the strict sense; and in 2Co 11:27 it is spoken of independentlyof "hunger and thirst." (Compare Lu 2:37; Ac 10:30; 14:23). However, Mt 15:32; Mr 8:3, justifythe sense, more favored by the context, foodlessness, though a rare use of the word. Gaussen remarks"The apostles combine the highest offices with the humblest exterior: as everything in the Churchwas to be cast in the mould of death and resurrection, the cardinal principle throughout Christianity."6. By … by, &c.—rather, as Greek, "In … in," implying not the instrument, but the sphere orelement in which his ministry moved.knowledge—spiritual: in Gospel mysteries, unattainable by mere reason (1Co 2:6-16; 2Co 3:6,17, 18).long-suffering … kindness—associated with "charity" or "love" (1Co 13:4), as here.by the Holy Ghost—in virtue of His influences which produce these graces, and other gifts,"love unfeigned" being the foremost of them.7. By the word of truth, by the power of God—rather, "In … in," &c. As to "the word oftruth" (compare 2Co 4:2; Col 1:5), and "the (miraculous) power of God" (2Co 4:7); 1Co 2:4, "indemonstration of the Spirit and of power."by the armour—Greek, "through" or "by means of the armor." "Righteousness," which is thebreastplate alone in Eph 6:13-17, here is made the whole Christian panoply (compare 2Co 10:4).on … right … and … left—that is, guarding on every side.8. Translate, "Through glory and dishonor (disgrace)," namely, from those in authority, andaccruing to us present. "By," or "through evil report and good report," from the multitude, andaffecting us absent [Bengel]. Regarded "as deceivers" by those who, not knowing (2Co 6:9), dishonorand give us an evil report; "as true," by those who "know" (2Co 6:9) us in the real "glory" of ourministry. In proportion as one has more or less of glory and good report, in that degree has he moreor less of dishonor and evil report.9. unknown … yet well known—"unknown" in our true character to those who "evil report"of us, "well known" to those who hold us in "good report" (2Co 6:8). Conybeare explains, "Unknownby men, yet acknowledged by God" (1Co 13:12). Perhaps both God and men (believers) are intendedas knowing him (2Co 5:11; 11:6).dying … live—(2Co 1:9; 4:10, 11; 11:23). Compare Gaussen's remark, see on 2Co 6:5. "Behold"calls attention to the fact as something beyond all expectation.chastened … not killed—realizing Ps 118:18.10. The "as" no longer is used to express the opinion of his adversaries, but the real state ofhim and his fellow laborers.making many rich—Spiritually (1Co 1:5), after the example of our Lord, who "by His povertymade many rich" (2Co 8:9).having nothing—Whatever of earthly goods we have, and these are few, we have as thoughwe had not; as tenants removable at will, not owners (1Co 7:30).possessing all things—The Greek implies firm possession, holding fast in possession (compare1Co 3:21, 22). The things both of the present and of the future are, in the truest sense, the believer'sin possession, for he possesses them all in Christ, his lasting possession, though the full fruition ofthem is reserved for the future eternity.11. mouth … open unto you—I use no concealment, such as some at Corinth have insinuated(2Co 4:2). I use all freedom and openness of speech to you as to beloved friends. Hence he introduceshere, "O Corinthians" (compare Php 4:15). The enlargement of his heart towards them (2Co 7:3)2563JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonproduced his openness of mouth, that is, his unreserved expression of his inmost feelings. As anunloving man is narrow in heart, so the apostle's heart is enlarged by love, so as to take in hisconverts at Corinth, not only with their graces, but with their many shortcomings (compare 1Ki4:29; Ps 119:32; Isa 60:5).12. Any constraint ye feel towards me, or narrowness of heart, is not from want of largenessof heart on my part towards you, but from want of it on your part towards me.bowels—that is, affections (compare 2Co 12:15).not straitened in us—that is, for want of room in our hearts to take you in.13. Translate, "As a recompense in the same kind … be enlarged also yourselves" [Ellicott]. "Inthe same way" as my heart is enlarged towards you (2Co 6:11), and "as a recompense" for it (Ga4:12).I speak as unto my children—as children would naturally be expected to recompense theirparents' love with similar love.14. Be not—Greek, "Become not."unequally yoked—"yoked with one alien in spirit." The image is from the symbolical preceptof the law (Le 19:19), "Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind"; or the precept (De22:10), "Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together." Compare De 7:3, forbiddingmarriages with the heathen; also 1Co 7:39. The believer and unbeliever are utterly heterogeneous.Too close intercourse with unbelievers in other relations also is included (2Co 6:16; 1Co 8:10;10:14).fellowship—literally, "share," or "participation."righteousness—the state of the believer, justified by faith.unrighteousness—rather, as always translated elsewhere, "iniquity"; the state of the unbeliever,the fruit of unbelief.light—of which believers are the children (1Th 5:5).15. Belial—Hebrew, "worthlessness, unprofitableness, wickedness." As Satan is opposed toGod, and Antichrist to Christ; Belial being here opposed to Christ, must denounce all manner ofAntichristian uncleanness [Bengel].he that believeth with an infidel—Translate, "a believer with an unbeliever."16. agreement—accordance of sentiments (compare 1Ki 18:21; Eph 5:7, 11).the temple of God—that is, you believers (1Co 3:16; 6:19).with idols—Compare Dagon before the ark (1Sa 5:2-4).as—"even as God said." Quotation from Le 26:12; Jer 31:33; 32:38; Eze 37:26, 27; compareMt 28:20; Joh 14:23.walk in them—rather, "among them." As "dwell" implies the divine presence, so "walk," thedivine operation. God's dwelling in the body and soul of saints may be illustrated by its opposite,demoniacal possession of body and soul.my people—rather, "they shall be to me a people."17. Quoted from Isa 52:11, with the freedom of one inspired, who gives variations sanctionedby the Holy Spirit.be ye separate—"be separated" (Ho 4:17).touch not the unclean thing—rather, "anything unclean" (2Co 7:1; Mic 2:10). Touching ismore polluting, as implying participation, than seeing.2564JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonreceive you—The Greek implies, "to myself"; as persons heretofore out of doors, but nowadmitted within (2Co 5:1-10). With this accords the clause, "Come out from among them," namely,so as to be received to me. So Eze 20:41, "I will accept you"; and Zep 3:19, "gather her that wasdriven out." "The intercourse of believers with the world should resemble that of angels, who, whenthey have been sent a message from heaven, discharge their office with the utmost promptness,and joyfully fly back home to the presence of God" (1Co 7:31; 5:9, 10).18. Translate, "I will be to you in the relation of a Father, and ye shall be to me in the relationof sons and daughters." This is a still more endearing relation than (2Co 6:16), "I will be their God,and they … My people." Compare the promise to Solomon (1Ch 28:6; Isa 43:6; Re 21:3, 7; Jer31:1, 9).Lord Almighty—The Lord the Universal Ruler: nowhere else found but in Revelation. Thegreatness of the Promiser enhances the greatness of the promises.CHAPTER 72Co 7:1-16. Self-Purification Their Duty Resulting from the Foregoing. His Love to Them, and Joy at the GoodEffects on Them of His Former Epistle, as Reported by Titus.1. cleanse ourselves—This is the conclusion of the exhortation (2Co 6:1, 14; 1Jo 3:3; Re 22:11).filthiness—"the unclean thing" (2Co 6:17).of the flesh—for instance, fornication, prevalent at Corinth (1Co 6:15-18).and spirit—for instance, idolatry, direct or indirect (1Co 6:9; 8:1, 7; 10:7, 21, 22). The spirit(Ps 32:2) receives pollution through the flesh, the instrument of uncleanness.perfecting holiness—The cleansing away impurity is a positive step towards holiness (2Co6:17). It is not enough to begin; the end crowns the work (Ga 3:3; 5:7; Php 1:6).fear of God—often conjoined with the consideration of the most glorious promises (2Co 5:11;Heb 4:1). Privilege and promise go hand in hand.2. Receive us—with enlarged hearts (2Co 6:13).we have wronged … corrupter … defrauded no man—(compare 2Co 7:9). This is the groundon which he asks their reception of (making room for) him in their hearts. We wronged none byan undue exercise of apostolic authority; 2Co 7:13 gives an instance in point. We have corruptednone, namely, by beguilements and flatteries, while preaching "another Gospel," as the false teachersdid (2Co 11:3, 4). We have defrauded none by "making a gain" of you (2Co 12:17). Modestly heleaves them to supply the positive good which he had done; suffering all things himself that theymight be benefited (2Co 7:9, 12; 2Co 12:13).3. In excusing myself, I do not accuse you, as though you suspected me of such things [Menochius],or as though you were guilty of such things; for I speak only of the false apostles [Estius and Greekcommentators]. Rather, "as though you were ungrateful and treacherous" [Beza].I have said before—in 2Co 6:11, 12; compare Php 1:7.die and live with you—the height of friendship. I am ready to die and live with you and foryou (Php 1:7, 20, 24; 2:17, 18). Compare as to Christ, Joh 10:11.4. boldness of speech—(compare 2Co 6:11).glorying of you—Not only do I speak with unreserved openness to you, but I glory (boast)greatly to others in your behalf, in speaking of you.2565JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonfilled with comfort—at the report of Titus (2Co 7:6, 7, 9, 13; 2Co 1:4).exceeding joyful—Greek, I overabound with joy (2Co 7:7, 9, 16).our tribulation—described in 2Co 7:5; also in 2Co 4:7, 8; 6:4, 5.5. Greek, "For also" (for "even"). This verse is thus connected with 2Co 2:12, 13, "When I cameto Troas, I had no rest in my spirit"; so "also" now, when I came to Macedonia, my "flesh" had norest (he, by the term "flesh," excepts his spiritual consolations) from "fightings" with adversaries"without" (1Co 5:12), and from fears for the Corinthian believers "within" the Church, owing to"false brethren" (2Co 11:26). Compare 2Co 4:8; De 32:25, to which he seems to allude.6. Translate in the order required by the Greek, "But he that comforteth those that are cast down,even God." Those that are of an high spirit are not susceptible of such comfort.7. when he told us—Greek, "telling us." We shared in the comfort which Titus felt in recordingyour desire (2Co 7:13). He rejoiced in telling the news; we in hearing them [Alford].earnest desire—Greek, "longing desire," namely, to see me [Grotius]; or, in general, towardsme, to please me.mourning—over your own remissness in not having immediately punished the sin (1Co 5:1,&c.) which called forth my rebuke.fervent mind—Greek, "zeal" (compare 2Co 7:11; Joh 2:17).toward me—Greek, "for me"; for my sake. They in Paul's behalf showed the zeal against thesin which Paul would have shown had he been present.rejoiced the more—more than before, at the mere coming of Titus.8. with a letter—Greek, "in the letter" namely, the first Epistle to the Corinthians.I do not repent, though I did repent—Translate, "I do not regret it, though I did regret it."The Greek words for regret and repent are distinct. Paul was almost regretting, through parentaltenderness, his having used rebukes calculated to grieve the Corinthians; but now that he has learnedfrom Titus the salutary effect produced on them, he no longer regrets it.for I perceive, &c.—This is explanatory of "I did repent" or "regret it," and is parenthetical("for I perceive that that Epistle did make you sorry, though it was but for a season").9. Now I rejoice—Whereas "I did repent" or regret having made you sorry by my letter, Irejoice NOW, not that ye were caused sorrow, but that your sorrow resulted in your repentance.ye sorrowed—rather, as before, "ye were made sorry."after a godly manner—literally, "according to God," that is, your sorrow having regard toGod, and rendering your mind conformable to God (Ro 14:22; 1Pe 4:6).that—Translate in Greek order, "to the end that (compare 2Co 11:9) ye might in nothing receivedamage from us," which ye would have received, had your sorrow been other than that "after agodly manner" (2Co 7:10).10. worketh … worketh—In the best Greek reading the translation is, "worketh (simply) …worketh out." "Sorrow" is not repentance, but, where it is "godly," "worketh" it; that is, contributesor tends to it (the same Greek word is in Ro 13:10). The "sorrow of the world" (that is, such as isfelt by the worldly) "worketh out," as its result at last, (eternal) death (the same Greek verb is in2Co 4:17; also see on 2Co 4:17).repentance … not to be repented of—There is not in the Greek this play on words, so thatthe word qualified is not "repentance" merely, but "repentance unto salvation"; this, he says, nonewill ever regret, however attended with "sorrow" at the time. "Repentance" implies a coming to aright mind; "regret" implies merely uneasiness of feeling at the past or present, and is applied even2566JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonto the remorse of Judas (Mt 27:3; Greek, "stricken with remorse," not as English Version, "repentedhimself"); so that, though always accompanying repentance, it is not always accompanied byrepentance. "Repentance" removes the impediments in the way of "salvation" (to which "death,"namely, of the soul, is opposed). "The sorrow of the world" is not at the sin itself, but at its penalconsequences: so that the tears of pain are no sooner dried up, than the pleasures of ungodlinessare renewed. So Pharaoh, Ex 9:27, 28-30; and Saul, 1Sa 15:23-30. Compare Isa 9:13; Re 16:10,11. Contrast David's "godly sorrow," 2Sa 12:13, and Peter's, Mt 26:75.11. Confirmation of 2Co 7:10 from the Corinthians' own experience.carefulness—solicitude, literally, "diligence"; opposed to their past negligence in the matter.in you—Greek "for you."yea—not only "carefulness" or diligence, but also "clearing of yourselves," namely, to me byTitus: anxiety to show you disapproved of the deed.indignation—against the offender.fear—of the wrath of God, and of sinning any more [Sclater and Calvin]; fear of Paul [Grotius],(1Co 4:2, 19-21).vehement desire—longing for restoration to Paul's approval [Conybeare and Howson]. "Fear" isin spite of one's self. "Longing desire" is spontaneous, and implies strong love and an aspirationfor correction [Calvin]. "Desire" for the presence of Paul, as he had given them the hope of it (1Co4:19; 16:5) [Grotius and Estius].zeal—for right and for God's honor against what is wrong. Or, "for the good of the soul of theoffender" [Bengel].revenge—Translate, "Exacting of punishment" (1Co 5:2, 3). Their "carefulness" was exhibitedin the six points just specified: "clearing of themselves," and "indignation" in relation to themselves;"fear" and "vehement desire" in respect to the apostle; "zeal" and "revenge" in respect to the offender[Bengel]; (compare 2Co 7:7).In all—the respects just stated.clear—Greek, "pure," namely, from complicity in the guilty deed. "Approved yourselves,"Greek, "commended yourselves." Whatever suspicion of complicity rested on you (1Co 5:2, 6)through your former remissness, you have cleared off by your present strenuousness in reprobatingthe deed.12. though I wrote unto you—"making you sorry with my letter" (2Co 7:8).his cause that suffered wrong—the father of the incestuous person who had his father's wife(1Co 5:1). The father, thus it seems, was alive.that our care for you, &c.—Some of the oldest manuscripts read thus, "That YOUR care forus might be made manifest unto you," &c. But the words, "unto you," thus, would be rather obscure;still the obscurity of the genuine reading may have been the very reason for the change being madeby correctors into the reading of English Version. Alford explains the reading: "He wrote in orderto bring out their zeal on his behalf (that is, to obey his command), and make it manifest to themselvesin God's sight, that is, to bring out among them their zeal to regard and obey him." But some of theoldest manuscripts and versions (including the Vulgate and old Italian) support English Version.And the words, "to you," suit it better than the other reading. 2Co 2:4, "I wrote … that ye mightknow the love which I have more abundantly unto you," plainly accords with it, and disprovesAlford's assertion that English Version is inconsistent with the fact as to the purpose of his letter. His2567JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwriting, he says, was not so much for the sake of the individual offender, or the individual offended,but from his "earnest care" or concern for the welfare of the Church.13. The oldest manuscripts read thus, "Therefore (Greek, 'for this cause,' namely, because ouraim has been attained) we have been (English Version, 'were,' is not so accurate) comforted; yea(Greek, 'but'), in OUR comfort we exceedingly the more joyed for the joy of Titus," &c. (compare2Co 7:7).14. anything—that is, at all.I am not ashamed—"I am not put to shame," namely, by learning from Titus that you did notrealize the high character I gave him of you.as … all things … in truth, even so our boasting … is found a truth—As our speaking ingeneral to you was true (2Co 1:18), so our particular boasting to Titus concerning you is now, byhis report, proved to be truth (compare 2Co 9:2). Some oldest manuscripts read expressly,"concerning you"; this in either reading is the sense.15. his inward affection—literally, "bowels" (compare 2Co 6:12; Php 1:8; 2:1; Col 3:12).obedience—(2Co 2:9).fear and trembling—with trembling anxiety to obey my wishes, and fearful lest there shouldbe aught in yourselves to offend him and me (2Co 7:11; compare 1Co 2:3).16. therefore—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The conclusion is more emphatical withoutit.that I have confidence in you in all things—rather, as Greek, "that in everything I am of goodcourage concerning (literally, 'in the case of') you," as contrasted with my former doubts concerningyou.CHAPTER 82Co 8:1-24. The Collection for the Saints; the Readiness of the Macedonians a Pattern to the Corinthians; Christthe Highest Pattern; Each Is to Give Willingly after His Ability; Titus and Two Others Are the Agents Accredited toComplete the Collection.1. we do you to wit—we make known to you.the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia—Their liberality was not ofthemselves naturally, but of God's grace bestowed on them, and enabling them to be the instrumentof God's "grace" to others (2Co 8:6, 19). The importance given in this Epistle to the collection,arose as well from Paul's engagement (Ga 2:10), as also chiefly from his hope to conciliate theJudaizing Christians at Jerusalem to himself and the Gentile believers, by such an act of love onthe part of the latter towards their Jewish brethren.2. trial of affliction—The Greek expresses, "in affliction (or, 'tribulation') which tested them";literally, "in a great testing of affliction."abundance of their joy—The greater was the depth of their poverty, the greater was theabundance of their joy. A delightful contrast in terms, and triumph, in fact, of spirit over flesh.their deep poverty—Greek, "their poverty down to the death of it."abounded unto the riches of their liberality—another beautiful contrast in terms: their povertyhad the effect, not of producing stinted gifts, but of "abounding in the riches of liberality" (not asMargin, "simplicity"; though the idea of singleness of motive to God's glory and man's good,2568JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprobably enters into the idea); (compare Ro 12:8, and Margin; 2Co 9:11, Margin; see on 2Co 9:13;Jas 1:5).3-5. they were willing—rather, supply from 2Co 8:5, the ellipsis thus, "According to theirpower … yea, and beyond their power, THEY GAVE."of themselves—not only not being besought, but themselves beseeching us.4. that we would receive—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. Translate therefore, "Beseechingof us … the grace and fellowship of (that is, to grant them the favor of sharing in) the ministeringunto the saints." The Macedonian contributions must have been from Philippi, because Philippiwas the only church that contributed to Paul's support (Php 4:10, 15, 16).5. And this they did, not as we hoped—Translate, "And not as we hoped (that is, far beyondour hopes), but their own selves gave they first to the Lord." "First," not indicating priority of time,but first of all, above all in importance. The giving of themselves takes precedency of their othergifts, as being the motive which led them to the latter (Ro 15:16).by the will of God—not "according to the will of God," but "moved by the will of God, whomade them willing" (Php 2:13). It is therefore called (2Co 8:1), "the grace of God."6. Insomuch that—As we saw the Macedonians' alacrity in giving, we could not but exhortTitus, that as we collected in Macedonia, so he in Corinth should complete the work of collectingwhich he had already begun there, lest ye, the wealthy people of Corinth, should be outdone inliberality by the poor Macedonians.as he had begun—Greek, "previously begun," namely, the collection at Corinth, before theMacedonians began to contribute, during the visit to Corinth from which he had just returned.finish in you the same grace—complete among you this act of grace or beneficence on yourpart.also—as well as other things which he had to do among them [Alford].7. in faith—(2Co 1:24).utterance—(See on 1Co 1:5). Not as Alford, "doctrine" or "word."knowledge—(1Co 8:1).diligence—in everything that is good.your love to us—literally, "love from you (that is, on your part) in us" (that is, which has usfor its object; which is felt in the case of us).8. not by commandment—"not by way of commandment."but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and &c.—rather, "But by (mention of) theforwardness of others (as an inducement to you), and to prove (literally, 'proving') the sincerity ofyour love." The Greek is "by means of," not "on account of the forwardness," &c. Bengel, Ellicott,and others translate, "By means of the forwardness of others, proving the sincerity of your loveALSO." The former is the simpler construction in the Greek.9. ye know the grace—the act of gratuitous love whereby the Lord emptied Himself of Hisprevious heavenly glory (Php 2:6, 7) for your sakes.became poor—Yet this is not demanded of you (2Co 8:14); but merely that, withoutimpoverishing yourselves, you should relieve others with your abundance. If the Lord did so muchmore, and at so much heavier a cost, for your sakes; much more may you do an act of love to yourbrethren at so little a sacrifice of self.might be rich—in the heavenly glory which constitutes His riches, and all other things, so faras is really good for us (compare 1Co 3:21, 22).2569JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson10. advice—Herein he does not (as some misinterpret the passage) disclaim inspiration for theadvice he gives; but under the Spirit, states that it is his "opinion" [Alford] or "judgment" [Ellicott,and others], not a command, that so their offering might be free and spontaneous.this—my giving you an advice, not a command.who have begun before—"seeing that ye have begun before" the Macedonian churches; "ayear ago" should be connected with this clause.not only to do, but also to be forward—There were three steps: (1) the forwardness, moreliterally, "the will"; (2) the setting about it, literally, "doing it"; (3) completion of it [Alford]. In thetwo former, not only the act, but the intention, the Corinthians preceded the Macedonians. Bengelexplains, "Not only to do" FOR THE PAST YEAR, "but also to be forward" or willing FOR THIS YEAR.Ellicott translates, "already," instead of "before": "Ye began already a year ago, not only to do, butalso to be forward." It appears hence, that something had been done in the matter a year before;other texts, however, show the collection was not yet paid (compare 2Co 8:11 and 2Co 9:5, 7).This agrees with one, and only one supposition, namely, that every man had laid by in store thefund from which he was afterwards to contribute, the very case which is shown by 1Co 16:2 tohave existed [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ].11. perform—"complete the doing also" (see on 2Co 8:10).a readiness to will—Greek, "the readiness of will"; referring to 2Co 8:10, where the Greek for"to be forward," ought to be translated as here, "to will."performance—"completion" [Alford], The godly should show the same zeal to finish, as wellas to begin well, which the worldly exhibit in their undertakings (Jer 44:25).12. For—Following up the rule "out of that which ye have" (2Co 8:11), and no more.a willing mind—rather, as Greek, "the readiness," namely, to will, referring to 2Co 8:11.accepted—Greek "favorably accepted."according to that a man hath—The oldest manuscripts omit "a man." Translate, "Accordingto whatsoever it have"; the willing mind, or "readiness" to will, is personified [Alford]. Or better, asBengel, "He is accepted according to whatsoever he have"; so 2Co 9:7, The Lord loveth a cheerfulgiver." Compare as to David, 1Ki 8:18. God accepts the will for the deed. He judges not accordingto what a man has the opportunity to do, but according to what he would do if he had the opportunity(compare Mr 14:8; and the widow's mite, Lu 21:3, 4).13. For—Supply from 2Co 8:8, "I speak." My aim is not that others (namely, the saints atJerusalem) may be relieved at the cost of your being "distressed" (so the Greek for "burdened").The golden rule is, "Love thy neighbour as thyself," not more than thyself.14. by an equality—"by the rule of equality" [Alford]: literally, "Out of equality."now at this time—Greek, "at the present juncture" or season.that their abundance also—The Greek being distinct from the previous "that," translate, "inorder that," namely, at another season, when your relative circumstances may be reversed. Thereference is solely to temporal wants and supplies. Those, as Bengel, who quote Ro 15:27 forinterpreting it of spiritual supplies from the Jews to the Gentiles, forget that Ro 15:27 refers to thepast benefit spiritually, which the Jews have conferred on the Gentiles, as a motive to gratitude onthe part of the latter, not to a prospective benefit to be looked for from the former, which the textrefers to.15. (Ex 16:18; Septuagint). As God gave an equal portion of manna to all the Israelites, whetherthey could gather much or little; so Christians should promote by liberality an equality, so that none2570JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonshould need the necessaries of life while others have superfluities. "Our luxuries should yield toour neighbor's comforts; and our comforts to his necessities" [J. Howard].16, 17. Returning to the subject of 2Co 8:6.for you—Translate, "Which put the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus," as wasin myself. My care for you led me to "desire" him (2Co 8:6, 17, "exhortation," the same Greek);but Titus had of himself the same care, whence he "accepted (gladly) my exhortation" (2Co 8:17)to go to you (2Co 8:6).17. being more forward—more earnest than to need such exhortation.he went—Greek, "went forth." We should say, he is going forth; but the ancients put the pasttense in letter writing, as the things will have been past by the time that the correspondent, receivesthe letter. "Of his own accord," that is, it is true he has been exhorted by me to go, but he showsthat he has anticipated my desires, and already, "of his own accord," has desired to go.18. the brother, whose praise is in the gospel—whose praise is known in connection with theGospel: Luke may be meant; not that "the Gospel" here refers to his written Gospel; but the languageimplies some one well known throughout the churches, and at that time with Paul, as Luke thenwas (Ac 20:6). Not a Macedonian, as appears from 2Co 9:4. Of all Paul's "companions in travel"(2Co 8:19; Ac 19:29), Luke was the most prominent, having been his companion in preaching theGospel at his first entrance into Europe (Ac 16:10). The fact that the person here referred to was"chosen of the churches" as their trustee to travel with Paul in conveying the contribution toJerusalem, implies that he had resided among them some time before: this is true of Luke, whoafter parting from Paul at Philippi (as he marks by the change from "we" to "they," Ac 16:11) sixyears before, is now again found in his company in Macedonia. In the interim he had probablybecome so well known that "his praise was throughout all the churches." Compare 2Co 12:18; Phm24. He who is faithful in the Gospel will be faithful also in matters of inferior importance [Bengel].19. not that only—not only praised in all the churches.chosen—by vote: so the Greek.of the churches—therefore these companions of Paul are called "messengers of the churches"(2Co 8:23).to travel—to Jerusalem.with this grace—Greek, "in the case of this grace," or "gift."to the glory of the same Lord—The oldest manuscripts omit "same."declaration of your ready mind—The oldest manuscripts read, "our," not your. This and theprevious clause, "to the glory of the same Lord," do not follow "administered by us," but "chosenof the churches to travel," &c. The union of the brother with Paul in this affair of the collectionwas done to guard against suspicions injurious "to the glory" of the Lord. It was also done in orderto produce a "readiness" on the part of Paul and the brother to undertake the office which each, byhimself, would have been less ready to undertake, for fear of suspicions arising (2Co 8:20) as totheir appropriation of any of the money.20. Avoiding—taking precautions against this.in this abundance—in the case of this abundance.21. The Septuagint (Pr 3:4; Ro 12:17). The oldest manuscripts read, "For we provide."honest things—"things honorable."2571JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson22. This second brother, Birks supposes to be Trophimus: for a Macedonian is not meant (2Co9:4) probably the same as was sent before with Titus (2Co 12:18); and therefore sent from Ephesus,and probably an Ephesian: all this is true of Trophimus.oftentimes … in many things—Join and translate as in the Greek, "many times in many things."upon the great confidence which I have in you—"through the great confidence WHICH HEHAS towards you" [Alford]. Bengel better supports English Version, "We have sent … through theconfidence WHICH WE FEEL in regard to your liberality."23. fellow helper concerning you—Greek, "fellow worker towards you."our brethren—the two mentioned in 2Co 8:18, 22.messengers—rather, as the Greek, "apostles": in the less strict sense (Ac 14:14).of the churches—sent by the churches, as we are by the Lord (Php 2:25). There was in thesynagogue an ecclesiastical officer, called "the angel of the Church," whence the title seems derived(compare Re 2:1).24. The oldest manuscripts read "[continue] manifesting to them in the face of the churches themanifestation of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf."CHAPTER 92Co 9:1-15. Reasons for His Sending Titus. The Greater Their Bountifulness, the More Shall Be the Return ofBlessing to Them, and Thanksgiving to God.1. For—connected with 2Co 8:16: "Show love to the messengers of the churches; for as concernsthe ministration for the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you who are so forward already."write—emphatical: It is superfluous to "write," for you will have witnesses present [Bengel].2. ready a year ago—to send off the money, owing to the apostle's former exhortation (1Co16:1, 2).your zeal—Greek, "the zeal from you," that is, on your part; propagated from you to others.provoked—that is, stimulated.very many—Greek, "the greater number," namely, of the Macedonians.3. have I sent—we should say, "I send"; whereas the ancients put it in the past, the time whichit would be by the time that the letter arrived.the brethren—(2Co 8:18, 22)—Titus and the two others.should be in vain in this behalf—"should be proved futile in this particular," however truein general (2Co 7:4). A tacit compliment, softening the sharp monition.as I said—as I was saying (2Co 9:2).4. if they of Macedonia—rather as Greek, "if Macedonians."unprepared—with your collection; see 2Co 9:2, "ready," Greek, "prepared."we, not to say ye—Ye would naturally feel more ashamed for yourselves, than we (who boastedof you) would for you.confident boasting—The oldest manuscripts read simply "confidence," namely, in yourliberality.5. that they would go before—Translate, "that they should," &c.whereof ye had notice before—rather, "promised before"; "long announced by me to theMacedonians" (2Co 9:2) [Bengel]. "Your promised bounty" [Ellicott and others].2572JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonnot as of covetousness—Translate, "not as matter of covetousness," which it would be, if yougave niggardly.6. I say—Ellicott and others supply the ellipsis thus: "But remember this."bountifully—literally, "with," or "in blessings." The word itself implies a beneficent spirit inthe giver (compare 2Co 9:7, end), and the plural implies the abundance and liberality of the gifts."The reaping shall correspond to the proportions and spirit of the sowing" [Bengel]. Compare Eze34:26, "Showers of blessing."7. according as he purposeth in his heart—Let the full consent of the free will go with thegift [Alford]. Opposed to "of necessity," as "grudgingly" is opposed to "a cheerful giver" (Pr 22:9;11:25; Isa 32:8).8. all grace—even in external goods, and even while ye bestow on others [Bengel].that—"in order that." God's gifts are bestowed on us, not that we may have them to ourselves,but that we may the more "abound in good works" to others.sufficiency—so as not to need the help of others, having yourselves from God "bread for yourfood" (2Co 9:10).in all things—Greek, "in everything."every good work—of charity to others, which will be "your seed sown" (2Co 9:10).9. As it is written—realizing the highly blessed character portrayed in Ps 112:9.He—the "good man" (Ps 112:5).dispersed—as seed sown with full and open hand, without anxious thought in what directioneach grain may fall. It is implied also that he has always what he may disperse [Bengel]. So in Ps112:9.the poor—The Greek word is found here only in New Testament, "one in straitenedcircumstances, who earns his bread by labor." The word usually employed means "one so poor asto live by begging."his righteousness—Here "beneficence": the evidence of his being righteous before God andman. Compare De 24:13; Mt 6:1, "alms"; Greek, "righteousness."remaineth—unexhausted and unfailing.10. Translate, as in Isa 55:10, "He that ministereth (supplieth) seed to the sower and bread forfood" (literally, "bread for eating").minister—rather future, as the oldest manuscripts, "Shall minister (supply) and multiply."your seed—your means for liberality.the fruits of your righteousness—the heavenly rewards for your Christian charity (Mt 10:42).Righteousness shall be itself the reward, even as it is the thing rewarded (Ho 10:12; Mt 5:6; 6:33).11. Compare 2Co 9:8.bountifulness—Greek, "single-minded liberality." Translated "simplicity," Ro 12:8.causeth through us—literally, "worketh through us"; that is, through our instrumentality asthe distributors.thanksgiving—on the part of the recipients.12. Greek, "The ministration of this public service (on your part) is not only still furthersupplying the wants of the saints (besides the supplies from other quarters), but is abounding also(namely, in respect to relieving the necessities of others in poverty) through many thanksgivingsto God."13. by—through occasion of.2573JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonexperiment—Translate, "the experience" [Ellicott and others]. Or, "the experimental proof" ofyour Christian character, afforded by "this ministration."they—the recipients.for your professed subjection—Greek, "for the subjection of your profession"; that is, yoursubjection in accordance with your profession, in relation to the Gospel. Ye yield yourselves inwilling subjection to the Gospel precepts, evinced in acts, as well as in profession.your liberal distribution—Greek, "the liberality of your contribution in relation to them," &c.14. Translate, "Themselves also with prayer for you, longing after you on account of theexceeding grace of God (resting) upon you." English Version is, however, good sense: They glorifyGod (2Co 9:13) by the experimental proof, &c., "and by their prayer for you." But the Greek favorsthe former.15. his unspeakable gift—the gift of His own Son, which includes all other inferior gifts (2Co8:9; Ro 8:32). If we have received from God "His unspeakable gift," what great thing is it, if wegive a few perishing gifts for His sake?CHAPTER 102Co 10:1-18. He Vindicates His Apostolic Authority against Those Who Depreciated Him for His PersonalAppearance. He Will Make His Power Felt When He Comes. He Boasts Not, as They, Beyond His Measure.1. I Paul myself—no longer "we," "us," "our" (2Co 9:11): I who am represented by depreciatorsas "base," I, the same Paul, of my own accord "beseech you"; or rather "entreat," "exhort" you foryour sake. As "I beseech you" (a distinct Greek verb, 2Co 10:2) for my sake.by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—He mentions these graces of Christ especially(Ps 18:35; Mt 11:29), as on account of his imitation of them in particular he was despised [Grotius].He entreats them by these, in order to show that though he must have recourse to more severemeasures, he is naturally inclined to gentle ones after Christ's example [Menochius]. "Meekness" ismore in the mind internally; "gentleness" in the external behavior, and in relation to others; forinstance, the condescending yieldingness of a superior to an inferior, the former not insisting onhis strict rights [Trench]. Bengel explains it, "By the meekness and gentleness derived by me fromChrist," not from my own nature: he objects to understanding it of Christ's meekness and gentleness,since nowhere else is "gentleness" attributed to Him. But though the exact Greek word is not appliedto Him, the idea expressed by it is (compare Isa 40:11; Mt 12:19, 20).in presence—in personal appearance when present with you.base—Greek, "lowly"; timid, humbly diffident: opposed to "bold." "Am" stands here by ironicalconcession for "am reputed to be" (compare 2Co 10:10).2. I beseech you—Intimating that, as he can beseech in letters, so he can be severe in theirpresence.that I may not be—that I may not have to be bold, &c.with that confidence—that authoritative sternness.I think—I am minded to be.as if we walked according to the flesh—His Corinthian detractors judged of him by themselves,as if he were influenced by fleshly motives, the desire of favor or fear of giving offense, so as notto exercise his authority when present.2574JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. For—Reason why they should regard him "beseeching" them (2Co 10:2) not to oblige himto have recourse to "bold" and stern exercise of authority. "We walk IN the flesh," and so inweakness: but not "ACCORDING TO the flesh" (2Co 10:2). Moreover, though we WALK in it, we donot WAR according to it. A double contrast or antithesis. "They who accuse us of walking after theflesh, shall find [to their cost] that we do not war after the flesh; therefore compel us not to use ourweapons" [Alford].4. A confutation of those who try to propagate their creed by force and persecution (compareLu 9:54-56).weapons—for punishing offending members (2Co 10:6; 1Co 4:21; 5:5, 13); boldness of speech,ecclesiastical discipline (2Co 10:8; 2Co 13:10), the power of the word, and of the sacraments, thevarious extraordinary gifts of the Spirit.carnal—Translate, "fleshly," to preserve the allusion to 2Co 10:2, 3.mighty through God—Greek, "mighty to God," that is, mighty before God: not humanly, butdivinely powerful. The power is not ours, but God's. Compare "fair to God," that is, divinely fair(Ac 7:20, Margin). Also above (2Co 2:15), "unto God a sweet savor." "The efficacy of the Christianreligion proves its truth" [Bengel].pulling down—As the Greek is the same as in 2Co 10:5, translate, "casting down." CompareJer 1:10: the inspired servants of God inherit the commission of the Old Testament prophets.strongholds—(Pr 21:22); namely, in which sinners entrench themselves against reproof; allthat opposes itself to Christ; the learning, and eloquence, and philosophical subtleties on which theCorinthians prided themselves. So Joshua's trumpet blast was "mighty" under God to overthrowthe walls of Jericho.5. imaginations—rather, "reasonings." Whereas "thought" expresses men's own purpose anddetermination of living after their own pleasure [Tittmann].high thing—So it ought to be translated (Ro 8:39). A distinct Greek word from that in Eph3:18, "height," and Re 21:16, which belongs to God and heaven from whence we receive nothinghurtful. But "high thing" is not so much "height" as something made high, and belongs to thoseregions of air where the powers of darkness ::exalt themselves" against Christ and us (Eph 2:2;6:12; 2Th 2:4).exalteth itself—2Th 2:4 supports English Version rather than the translation of Ellicott, &c., "islifted up." Such were the high towers of Judaic self-righteousness, philosophic speculations, andrhetorical sophistries, the "knowledge" so much prized by many (opposed to "the knowledge ofGod"), which endangered a section of the Corinthian Church.against the knowledge of God—True knowledge makes men humble. Where there is exaltationof self, there knowledge of God is wanting [Bengel]. Arrange the words following thus: "Bringingevery thought (that is, intent of the mind or will) into captivity to the obedience of Christ," that is,to obey Christ. The three steps of the apostle's spiritual warfare are: (1) It demolishes what isopposed to Christ; (2) It leads captive; (3) It brings into obedience to Christ (Ro 1:5; 16:26). The"reasonings" (English Version, "imaginations") are utterly "cast down." The "mental intents"(English Version, "thoughts") are taken willing captives, and tender the voluntary obedience offaith to Christ the Conqueror.6. Translate, "Having ourselves (that is, being) in readiness to exact punishment for alldisobedience," &c. We have this in store for the disobedient: it will be brought into action in duetime.2575JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhen your obedience, &c.—He charitably assumes that most of the Corinthian Church willact obediently; therefore he says "YOUR obedience." But perhaps some will act otherwise; in order,therefore, to give all an opportunity of joining the obedient, he will not prematurely exact punishment,but wait until the full number of those gathered out to Christ has been "completed," and the remainderhave been proved incorrigible. He had acted already so at Corinth (Ac 18:6-11; compare Ex 32:34;Mt 13:28-30).7. Do ye regard mere outward appearance (mere external recommendations, personal appearance,voice, manner, oratory of teachers present face to face, such as they admired in the false teachersto the disparagement of Paul, 2Co 10:10; see on 2Co 5:12)? Even in outward bearing when I shallbe present with you (in contrast to "by letters," 2Co 10:9) I will show that I am more really armedwith the authority of Christ, than those who arrogate to themselves the title of being peculiarly"Christ's" (1Co 1:12). A Jewish emissary seems to have led this party.let him of himself think this again—He may "of himself," without needing to be taught it ina more severe manner, by "thinking again," arrive at "this" conclusion, "that even as," &c. Paulmodestly demands for himself only an equal place with those whom he had begotten in the Gospel[Bengel].8. "For even if I were to boast somewhat more exceedingly (than I do, 2Co 10:3-6) of our(apostolic) authority (2Co 10:6; 2Co 13:10) … I should not be put to shame (by the fact; as I shouldbe if my authority proved to be without foundation: my threats of punishment not being carriedinto effect)."for edification … not for … destruction—Greek, "for building up … not for … CASTINGDOWN" (the same Greek as in 2Co 10:5): the image of a building as in 2Co 10:4, 5. Though we"cast down reasonings," this is not in order to destroy, but really to build up ("edify"), by removingthose things which are hindrances to edification, and testing what is unsound, and putting togetherall that is true in the building [Chrysostom].9. I say this lest I should seem to be terrifying you, as children, with empty threats [Bengel].Estius explains, "I might boast more of my authority, but I forbear to do so, that I may not seem asif," &c. But this ellipsis is harsh: and 2Co 10:10, 11 confirm Bengel's view.10. letters—implying that there had been already more letters of Paul received by the Corinthiansthan the one we have, namely, First Corinthians; and that they contained strong reproofs.say they—Greek, "says one," "such a one" (2Co 10:11) seems to point to some definiteindividual. Compare Ga 5:10; a similar slanderer was in the Galatian Church.weak—(2Co 12:7; 1Co 2:3). There was nothing of majesty or authority in his manner; he borehimself tremblingly among them, whereas the false teachers spoke with authoritative bearing andlanguage.11. think this—"consider this."such will we be—or "are," in general, not merely shall we be at our next visit.12. "We do not presume (irony) to judge ourselves among, or in comparison with, some of themthat commend themselves." The charge falsely brought against him of commending himself (2Co3:1; 5:12), really holds good of the false teachers. The phrase, "judge ourselves of the number," isdrawn from the testing of athletes and senators, the "approved" being set down on the roll [Wahl].measuring themselves by themselves—"among themselves": to correspond to the previousverb, "judge ourselves among them." Instead of measuring themselves by the public standard, theymeasure themselves by one made by themselves: they do not compare themselves with others who2576JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonexcel them, but with those like themselves: hence their high self-esteem. The one-eyed is easilyking among the blind.are not wise—with all their boasted "wisdom" (1Co 1:19-26), they are anything but "wise."13. not boast … without … measure—Greek, "to unmeasured bounds." There is no limit toa man's high opinion of himself, so long as he measures himself by himself (2Co 10:13) and hisfellows, and does not compare himself with his superiors. It marks the personal character of thisEpistle that the word "boast" occurs twenty-nine times in it, and only twenty-six times in all theother Epistles put together. Undeterred by the charge of vanity, he felt he must vindicate his apostolicauthority by facts [Conybeare and Howson]. It would be to "boast of things without our measure," werewe to boast of conversions made by "other men's labors" (2Co 10:15).distributed—apportioned [Alford].a measure—as a measure [Alford].to reach—"that we should reach as far as even to you": not that he meant to go no further (2Co10:16; Ro 15:20-24). Paul's "measure" is the apportionment of his sphere of Gospel labors ruledfor him by God. A "rule" among the so-called "apostolic canons" subsequently was, that no bishopshould appoint ministers beyond his own limits. At Corinth no minister ought to have been receivedwithout Paul's sanction, as Corinth was apportioned to him by God as his apostolic sphere. TheEpistle here incidentally, and therefore undesignedly, confirms the independent history, the Acts,which represents Corinth as the extreme limit as yet of his preaching, at which he had stopped,after he had from Philippi passed southward successively through Amphipolis, Apollonia,Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens [Paley, Horæ Paulinæ].14. "We are not stretching ourselves beyond our measure, as (we should be) if we did not reachunto you: (but we do), for as far as even to you have we come in preaching the Gospel."15. "Not boasting to unmeasured bounds (that is, not exceeding our own bounds by boasting)of (literally, 'in') other men's labors."when—"As your faith goes on increasing." The cause of his not yet reaching with the Gospelthe regions beyond Corinth, was the weakness as yet of their faith. He desired not to leave theCorinthians before the proper time, and yet not to put off preaching to others too long.enlarged by you—Greek, "in your case." Our success in your case will give us an importantstep towards further progress beyond you (2Co 10:16).according to our rule—according to our divinely assigned apportionment of the area or sphereof our work; for "we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure" (2Co 10:14).abundantly—Greek, "unto exceeding abundance": so as to exceed the limits we have yetreached (2Co 10:16).16. To—that is, so as to preach … beyond you (and) not to boast, &c.in another man's line of things made ready to our hand—Do not connect "line of things,"&c.; but "boast of things," &c. To make this clearer, arrange the words thus, "Not to boast as tothings (already made by the preaching of others) ready to our hand in another man's line (that is,within the line, or sphere of labor, apportioned by God to another)."17. glorieth—Translate, to accord with 2Co 10:16, "boasteth." In contrast to his opponents'practice of boasting in another's line or sphere, Paul declares the only true boasting is in the Lord(1Co 1:31; 15:10).18. (Pr 27:2).2577JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhom the Lord commendeth—to whom the Lord has given as His "Epistle of commendation,"the believers whom he has been the instrument of converting: as was Paul's case (2Co 3:1-3).is approved—can stand the test of the final trial. A metaphor from testing metals (Ro 16:10;1Co 11:19). So on the other hand those finally rejected by the Lord are termed "reprobate silver"(Jer 6:30).CHAPTER 112Co 11:1-33. Through Jealousy over the Corinthians, Who Made More Account of the False Apostles Than ofHim, He Is Obliged to Commend Himself as in Many Respects Superior.1. Would to God—Translate as Greek, "I would that."bear with me—I may ask not unreasonably to be borne with; not so the false apostles (2Co11:4, 20).my—not in the oldest manuscripts.folly—The Greek is a milder term than that for "foolishness" in 1Co 3:19; Mt 5:22; 25:2. TheGreek for "folly" here implies imprudence; the Greek for "foolishness" includes the idea of perversityand wickedness.and indeed bear—A request (so 2Co 11:16). But the Greek and the sense favor the translation,"But indeed (I need not wish it, for) ye do bear with me"; still I wish you to bear with me further,while I enter at large into self-commendations.2. For I am jealous—The justification of his self-commendations lies in his zealous care lestthey should fall from Christ, to whom he, as "the friend of the Bridegroom" (Joh 3:29), has espousedthem; in order to lead them back from the false apostles to Christ, he is obliged to boast as an apostleof Christ, in a way which, but for the motive, would be "folly."godly jealousy—literally, "jealousy of God" (compare 2Co 1:12, "godly sincerity," literally,"sincerity of God"). "If I am immoderate, I am immoderate to God" [Bengel]. A jealousy which hasGod's honor at heart (1Ki 19:10).I … espoused you—Paul uses a Greek term applied properly to the bridegroom, just as heascribes to himself "jealousy," a feeling properly belonging to the husband; so entirely does heidentify himself with Christ.present you as a chaste virgin to Christ—at His coming, when the heavenly marriage shalltake place (Mt 25:6; Re 19:7, 9). What Paul here says he desires to do, namely, "present" the Churchas "a chaste virgin" to Christ, Christ Himself is said to do in the fuller sense. Whatever ministersdo effectively, is really done by Christ (Eph 5:27-32). The espousals are going on now. He doesnot say "chaste virgins"; for not individual members, but the whole body of believers conjointlyconstitute the Bride.3. I fear—(2Co 12:20); not inconsistent with love. His source of fear was their yielding character.subtilty—the utter foe of the "simplicity" which is intent on ONE object, Jesus, and seeks none"other," and no "other" and different Spirit (2Co 11:4); but loves him with tender SINGLENESS OFAFFECTION. Where Eve first gave way, was in mentally harboring for a moment the possibilityinsinuated by the serpent, of God not having her truest interests at heart, and of this "other" professingfriend being more concerned for her than God.2578JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncorrupted—so as to lose their virgin purity through seducers (2Co 11:4). The same Greekstands for "minds" as for "thoughts" (2Co 10:5, also see on 2Co 10:5); intents of the will, or mind.The oldest manuscripts after "simplicity," add, "and the purity" or "chastity."in Christ—rather, "that is towards Christ."4. if, &c.—which in fact is impossible. However, if it were possible, ye might then bear withthem (see on 2Co 11:1). But there can be no new Gospel; there is but the one which I first preached;therefore it ought not to be "borne" by you, that the false teachers should attempt to supersede me.he that cometh—the high-sounding title assumed by the false teachers, who arrogated Christ'sown peculiar title (Greek, Mt 11:3, and Heb 10:37), "He that is coming." Perhaps he was leader ofthe party which assumed peculiarly to be "Christ's" (2Co 10:7; 1Co 1:12); hence his assumptionof the title.preacheth … receive—is preaching … ye are receiving.Jesus—the "Jesus" of Gospel history. He therefore does not say "Christ," which refers to theoffice.another … another—Greek, "another Jesus … a different Spirit … a different Gospel." Anotherimplies a distinct individual of the same kind; different implies one quite distinct in kind.which ye have not received—from us.spirit … received … gospel … accepted—The will of man is passive in RECEIVING the "Spirit";but it is actively concurrent with the will of God (which goes before to give the good will) inACCEPTING the "Gospel."ye might well bear with him—There would be an excuse for your conduct, though a bad one(for ye ought to give heed to no Gospel other than what ye have already heard from me, Ga 1:6,7); but the false teachers do not even pretend they have "another Jesus" and a "different Gospel"to bring before you; they merely try to supplant me, your accredited Teacher. Yet ye not only "bearwith" them, but prefer them.5. For—My claim is superior to that of the false teachers, "For," &c.I suppose—I reckon [Alford].I was not—Greek, "That I have not been, and am not."the very chiefest apostles—James, Peter, and John, the witnesses of Christ's transfigurationand agony in Gethsemane. Rather, "those overmuch apostles," those surpassers of the apostles intheir own esteem. This sense is proved by the fact that the context contains no comparison betweenhim and the apostles, but only between him and the false teachers; 2Co 11:6 also alludes to these,and not to the apostles; compare also the parallel phrase, "false apostles" (see on 2Co 11:13 and2Co 12:11) [Alford].6. rude—Greek, "a common man"; a "laic"; not rhetorically trained; unskilled in finish ofdiction. 1Co 2:1-4, 13; 2Co 10:10, 11, shows his words were not without weight, though his "speech"was deficient in oratorical artifice. "Yet I am not so in my knowledge" (2Co 12:1-5; Eph 3:1-5).have been … made manifest—Read with the oldest manuscripts, "We have made things(Gospel truths) manifest," thus showing our "knowledge." English Version would mean, I leave itto yourselves to decide whether I be rude in speech … : for we have been thoroughly (literally, "ineverything") made manifest among you (literally, "in respect to you"; "in relation to you"). He hadnot by reserve kept back his "knowledge" in divine mysteries from them (2Co 2:17; 4:2; Ac 20:20,27).2579JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonin all things—The Greek rather favors the translation, "among all men"; the sense then is, wehave manifested the whole truth among all men with a view to your benefit [Alford]. But the Greekin Php 4:12, "In each thing and in all things," sanctions English Version, which gives a clearersense.7. Have I—literally, "Or have I?" Connected with 2Co 11:6, "Or will any of you make it anobjection that I have preached to you gratuitously?" He leaves their good feeling to give the answer,that this, so far from being an objection, was a decided superiority in him above the false apostles(1Co 9:6-15).abasing myself—in my mode of living, waiving my right of maintenance, and earning it bymanual labor; perhaps with slaves as his fellow laborers (Ac 18:3; Php 4:12).ye … exalted—spiritually, by your admission to Gospel privileges.because—"in that."gospel of God—"of God" implies its divine glory to which they were admitted.freely—"without charge."8. I robbed—that is, took from them in order to spare you more than what was their fair shareof contribution to my maintenance, for example, the Philippian Church (Php 4:15, 16).wages—"subsidy."to do you service—Greek, "with a view to ministration to you"; compare "supplied" (Greek,"in addition"), 2Co 11:9, implying, he brought with him from the Macedonians, supplies towardshis maintenance at Corinth; and (2Co 11:9) when those resources failed ("when I wanted") hereceived a new supply, while there, from the same source.9. wanted—"was in want."chargeable—Greek, "burdensome," literally, "to torpify," and so to oppress. Jerome says it is aCilician word (2Co 12:14, 16).the brethren which came—rather, as Greek, "the brethren when they came." Perhaps Timotheusand Silas (Ac 8:1, 5). Compare Php 4:15, 16, which refers to donations received from the Philippians(who were in Macedonia) at two distinct periods ("once and again"), one at Thessalonica, the otherafter his departure from Macedonia, that is, when he came into Achaia to Corinth (from the churchin which city he would receive no help); and this "in the beginning of the Gospel," that is, at itsfirst preaching in these parts. Thus all three, the two Epistles and history, mutually, and no doubtundesignedly, coincide; a sure test of genuineness.supplied—Greek, "supplied in addition," namely, in addition to their former contributions; oras Bengel, in addition to the supply obtained by my own manual labor.10. Greek, "There is (the) truth of Christ in me that," &c. (Ro 9:1).no man shall stop me of—The oldest manuscripts read, "This boasting shall not be shut (thatis, stopped) as regards me." "Boasting is as it were personified … shall not have its mouth stoppedas regards me" [Alford].11. Love is often offended at its favors being not accepted, as though the party to whom theyare offered wished to be under no obligation to the offerer.12. I will do—I will continue to decline help.occasion—Greek, "the occasion," namely, of misrepresenting my motives, which would beafforded to my detractors, if I accepted help.that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we—Bengel joins this clause with "theoccasion," namely, of glorying or boasting; the occasion "that they may be found (a point wherein2580JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthey glory) even as we," that is, quite as disinterested, or virtually, quite as gain-seeking andself-seeking. It cannot mean that the false teachers taught gratuitously even as Paul (compare 2Co11:20; 1Co 9:12). Alford less clearly explains by reference to 2Co 11:18, &c., where the "glorying"here is taken up and described as "glorying after the flesh"; thus it means, that in the matters ofwhich they beast they may be found even as we, that is, we may been a fair and equal footing; thatthere may be no adventitious comparisons made between us, arising out of misrepresentations ofmy course of procedure, but that in every matter of boasting we may be fairly compared and judgedby facts; FOR (2Co 11:13) realities they have none, no weapons but misrepresentation, being falseapostles.13. For—reason why he is unwilling they should be thought like him [Bengel].such—they and those like them.false apostles—those "overmuch apostles" (see on 2Co 11:5) are no apostles at all.deceitful workers—pretending to be "workmen" for the Lord, and really seeking their owngain.14. is transformed—rather, "transforms himself" (compare Job 1:6); habitually; the firstoccasion of his doing so was in tempting Eve. "Himself" is emphatical: If their master himself, whois the "prince of darkness," the most alien to light, does so, it is less marvellous in the case of themwho are his servants (Lu 22:54; Eph 6:12).15. no great thing—no difficult matter.if his ministers also—as well as himself.righteousness—answering to "light" (2Co 11:14); the manifestation wherewith God revealsHimself in Christ (Mt 6:33; Ro 1:17).end—The test of things is the end which strips off every specious form into which Satan'sagents may now "transform" themselves (compare Php 3:19, 21).according to their works—not according to their pretensions.16. I say again—again taking up from 2Co 11:1 the anticipatory apology for his boasting.if otherwise—but if ye will not grant this; if ye will think me a fool.yet as a fool—"yet even as a fool receive me"; grant me the indulgent hearing conceded evento one suspected of folly. The Greek denotes one who does not rightly use his mental powers; nothaving the idea of blame necessarily attached to it; one deceived by foolish vanities, yet boastinghimself [Tittmann], (2Co 11:17, 19).that I—The oldest manuscripts read, "that I, too," namely, as well as they, may boast myself.17. not after the Lord—By inspired guidance he excepts this "glorying" or "boasting" fromthe inspired authoritativeness which belongs to all else that he wrote; even this boasting, thoughundesirable in itself, was permitted by the Spirit, taking into account its aim, namely, to draw offthe Corinthians from their false teachers to the apostle. Therefore this passage gives no proof thatany portion of Scripture is uninspired. It merely guards against his boasting being made a justificationof boasting in general, which is not ordinarily "after the Lord," that is, consistent with Christianhumility.foolishly—Greek, "in foolishness."confidence of boasting—(2Co 9:4).18. many—including the "false teachers."after the flesh—as fleshly men are wont to boast, namely, of external advantages, as their birth,doings, &c. (compare 2Co 11:22).2581JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonI will glory also—that is, I also will boast of such fleshly advantages, to show you that evenin these I am not their inferiors, and therefore ought not to be supplanted by them in your esteem;though these are not what I desire to glory in (2Co 10:17).19. gladly—willingly. Irony. A plea why they should "bear with" (2Co 11:1) him in his folly,that is, boasting; ye are, in sooth, so "wise" (1Co 4:8, 10; Paul's real view of their wisdom was verydifferent, 1Co 3:1-4) yourselves that ye can "bear with" the folly of others more complacently. Notonly can ye do so, but ye are actually doing this and more.20. For—Ye may well "bear with" fools; for ye even "bear with" oppressors. Translate, "Yebear with them."a man—as the false apostles do.bring you into bondage—to himself. Translate "brings," not "bring"; for the case is not merelya supposed case, but a case actually then occurring. Also "devours" (namely, by exactions, Mt23:24; Ps 53:4), "takes," "exalts," "smites."take of you—So the Greek for "take" is used for "take away from" (Re 6:4). Alford translates,as in 2Co 12:16, "catches you."exalt himself—under the pretext of apostolic dignity.smite you on the face—under the pretext of divine zeal. The height of insolence on their part,and of servile endurance on yours (1Ki 22:24; Ne 13:25; Lu 22:64; Ac 23:2; 1Ti 3:3).21. as concerning reproach—rather, "by way of dishonor (that is, self-disparagement) I sayit."as though we … weak—in not similarly (2Co 11:20) showing our power over you. "An ironicalreminiscence of his own abstinence when among them from all these acts of self-exaltation at theirexpense" (as if such abstinence was weakness) [Alford]. The "we" is emphatically contrasted withthe false teachers who so oppressively displayed their power. I speak so as though WE had beenweak when with you, because we did not show our power this way. Howbeit (we are not reallyweak; for), whereinsoever any is bold … I am bold also.22. Hebrews … Israelites … the seed of Abraham—A climax. "Hebrews," referring to thelanguage and nationality; "Israelites," to the theocracy and descent from Israel, the "prince whoprevailed with God" (Ro 9:4); "the seed of Abraham," to the claim to a share in the Messiah (Ro11:1; 9:7). Compare Php 3:5, "An Hebrew of the Hebrews," not an Hellenist or Greek-speakingJew, but a Hebrew in tongue, and sprung from Hebrews.23. I speak as a fool—rather, as Greek, "I speak as if beside myself"; stronger than "as a fool."I am more—namely, in respect to the credentials and manifestations of my ministry, morefaithful and self-denying; and richer in tokens of God's recognition of my ministry. Old authoritiesread the order thus, "In prisons above measures, in stripes more abundantly" (English Version, lessaccurately, "more frequent"). Ac 16:23-40 records one case of his imprisonment with stripes. Clementof Rome [First Epistle to the Corinthians] describes him as having suffered bonds seven times.in death oft—(2Co 4:10; Ac 9:23; 13:50; 14:5, 6, 19; 17:5, 13).24. De 25:3 ordained that not more than forty stripes should be inflicted To avoid exceedingthis number, they gave one short of it: thirteen strokes with a treble lash [Bengel]. This is one ofthose minute agreements with Jewish usage, which a forger would have not been likely to observe.25. The beating by Roman magistrates at Philippi (Ac 16:23) is the only one recorded in Acts,which does not profess to give a complete journal of his life, but only a sketch of it in connection2582JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwith the design of the book, namely, to give an outline of the history of the Gospel Church fromits foundation at Jerusalem, to the period of its reaching Rome, the capital of the Gentile world.once was I stoned—(Ac 14:19).thrice … shipwreck—before the shipwreck at Melita (Ac 27:44). Probably in some of hisvoyages from Tarsus, where he stayed for some time after his conversion, and from which, as beinga seafaring place, he was likely to make missionary voyages to adjoining places (Ac 9:30; 11:25;Ga 1:21).a night and a day … in the deep—probably in part swimming or in an open boat.26. In—rather, "By": connected with 2Co 11:23, but now not with "in," as there, and as in 2Co11:27, where again he passes to the idea of surrounding circumstances or environments [Alford,Ellicott and others].waters—rather, as Greek, "rivers," namely, perils by the flooding of rivers, as on the road oftentraversed by Paul between Jerusalem and Antioch, crossed as it is by the torrents rushing downfrom Lebanon. So the traveller Sport lost his life.robbers—perhaps in his journey from Perga to Antioch in Pisidia. Pisidia was notorious forrobbers; as indeed were all the mountains that divided the high land of Asia from the sea.the heathen—Gentiles.in the city—Damascus, Ac 9:24, 25; Jerusalem, Ac 9:29; Ephesus, Ac 19:23.false brethren—(Ga 2:4).27. fastings—voluntary, in order to kindle devotions (Ac 13:2, 3; 14:23; 1Co 9:27); for theyare distinguished from "hunger and thirst," which were involuntary [Grotius]. However, see on 2Co6:5. The context refers solely to hardships, not to self-imposed devotional mortification. "Hungerand thirst" are not synonymous with "foodlessness" (as the Greek of "fasting" means), but are itsconsequences.cold … nakedness—"cold" resulting from "nakedness," or insufficient clothing, as the Greekoften means: as "hunger and thirst" result from "foodlessness." (Compare Ac 28:2; Ro 8:35). "Whenwe remember that he who endured all this was a man constantly suffering from infirm health (2Co4:7-12; 12:7-10; Ga 4:13, 14), such heroic self-devotion seems almost superhuman" [Conybeare andHowson].28. without—"Beside" trials falling on me externally, just recounted, there is "that whichcometh upon me (literally, the impetuous concourse to me of business; properly, a crowd rising upagainst one again and again, and ready to bear him down), the care of all the churches" (includingthose not yet seen in the flesh, Col 2:1): an internal and more weighty anxiety. But the oldestmanuscripts for "that which cometh," read, "the pressure": "the pressing care-taking" or "inspectionthat is upon me daily." Alford translates, "Omitting what is BESIDES"; namely, those other trialsbesides those recounted. But the Vulgate, Estius, and Bengel, support English Version.the care—The Greek implies, "my anxious solicitude for all the churches."29. I … weak—in condescending sympathy with the weak (1Co 9:22). "Care generatessympathy, which causes the minister of Christ personally to enter into the feelings of all his people,as if he stood in their position, so as to accommodate himself to all" [Calvin].offended—by some stumbling-block put in his way by others: the "weak" is most liable to be"offended."I burn not—The "I" in the Greek is emphatic, which it is not in the former clause, "I am notweak." I not only enter into the feeling of the party offended, but I burn with indignation at the2583JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonoffender, I myself taking up his cause as my own. "Who meets with a stumbling-block and I amnot disturbed even more than himself" [Neander].30. glory of … infirmities—A striking contrast! Glorying or boasting of what others makematter of shame, namely, infirmities; for instance, his humbling mode of escape in a basket (2Co11:33). A character utterly incompatible with that of an enthusiast (compare 2Co 12:5, 9, 10).31. This solemn asseveration refers to what follows. The persecution at Damascus was one ofthe first and greatest, and having no human witness of it to adduce to the Corinthians, as being afact that happened long before and was known to few, he appeals to God for its truth. Luke (Ac9:25) afterwards recorded it (compare Ga 1:20), [Bengel]. It may ALSO refer to the revelation in 2Co12:1, standing in beautiful contrast to his humiliating escape from Damascus.32. governor—Greek, "Ethnarch": a Jewish officer to whom heathen rulers gave authority overJews in large cities where they were numerous. He was in this case under Aretas, king of Arabia.Damascus was in a Roman province. But at this time, A.D. 38 or 39, three years after Paul'sconversion, A.D. 36, Aretas, against whom the Emperor Tiberius as the ally of Herod Agrippa hadsent an army under Vitellius, had got possession of Damascus on the death of the emperor, and theconsequent interruption of Vitellius' operations. His possession of it was put an end to immediatelyafter by the Romans [Neander]. Rather, it was granted by Caligula (A.D. 38) to Aretas, whosepredecessors had possessed it. This is proved by our having no Damascus coins of Caligula orClaudius, though we do have of their immediate imperial predecessors and successors [Alford].CHAPTER 122Co 12:1-21. Revelations in Which He Might Glory: But He Rather Glories in Infirmities, as Calling Forth Christ'sPower: Signs of His Apostleship: His Disinterestedness: Not That He Is Excusing Himself to Them; but He Does All forTheir Good, lest He Should Find Them Not Such as He Desired, and So Should Have to Be Severe at His Coming.1. He proceeds to illustrate the "glorying in infirmities" (2Co 11:30). He gave one instancewhich might expose him to ridicule (2Co 11:33); he now gives another, but this one connected witha glorious revelation of which it was the sequel: but he dwells not on the glory done to himself, buton the infirmity which followed it, as displaying Christ's power. The oldest manuscripts read, "IMUST NEEDS boast (or glory) though it be not expedient; for I will come." The "for" gives a proofthat it is "not expedient to boast": I will take the case of revelations, in which if anywhere boastingmight be thought harmless. "Visions" refers to things seen: "revelations," to things heard (compare1Sa 9:15) or revealed in any way. In "visions" their signification was not always vouchsafed; in"revelations" there was always an unveiling of truths before hidden (Da 2:19, 31). All parts ofScripture alike are matter of inspiration; but not all of revelation. There are degrees of revelation;but not of inspiration.of—that is, from the Lord; Christ, 2Co 12:2.2. Translate, "I know," not "I knew."a man—meaning himself. But he purposely thus distinguishes between the rapt and glorifiedperson of 2Co 12:2, 4, and himself the infirmity-laden victim of the "thorn in the flesh" (2Co 12:7).Such glory belonged not to him, but the weakness did. Nay, he did not even know whether he wasin or out of the body when the glory was put upon him, so far was the glory from being his [Alford].2584JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonHis spiritual self was his highest and truest self: the flesh with its infirmity merely his temporaryself (Ro 7:25). Here, however, the latter is the prominent thought.in Christ—a Christian (Ro 16:7).above—rather, simply "fourteen years ago." This Epistle was written A.D. 55-57. Fourteen yearsbefore will bring the vision to A.D. 41-43, the time of his second visit to Jerusalem (Ac 22:17). Hehad long been intimate with the Corinthians, yet had never mentioned this revelation before: it wasnot a matter lightly to be spoken of.I cannot tell—rather as Greek, "I know not." If in the body, he must have been caught up bodily;if out of the body, as seems to be Paul's opinion, his spirit must have been caught up out of thebody. At all events he recognizes the possibility of conscious receptivity in disembodied spirits.caught up—(Ac 8:39).to the third heaven—even to, &c. These raptures (note the plural, "visions," "revelations,"2Co 12:1) had two degrees: first he was caught up "to the third heaven," and from thence to"Paradise" (2Co 12:4) [Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 5.427], which seems to denote an innerrecess of the third heaven [Bengel] (Lu 23:43; Re 2:7). Paul was permitted not only to "hear" thethings of Paradise, but to see also in some degree the things of the third heaven (compare "visions,"2Co 12:1). The occurrence TWICE of "whether in the body … I know not, God knoweth," and of"lest I should be exalted above measure," marks two stages in the revelation. "Ignorance of themode does not set aside the certain knowledge of the fact. The apostles were ignorant of manythings" [Bengel]. The first heaven is that of the clouds, the air; the second, that of the stars, the sky;the third is spiritual (Eph 4:10).3. Translate, "I know."out of—Most of the oldest manuscripts read "apart from."4. unspeakable—not in themselves, otherwise Paul could not have heard them; but as theexplanation states, "which it is not lawful … to utter" [Alford]. They were designed for Paul's ownconsolation, and not for communication to others. Some heavenly words are communicable (Ex34:6; Isa 6:3). These were not so. Paul had not the power adequately to utter; nor if he had, wouldhe have been permitted; nor would earthly men comprehend them (Joh 3:12; 1Co 2:9). A man mayhear and know more than he can speak.5. of myself—concerning myself. Self is put in the background, except in respect to hisinfirmities. His glorying in his other self, to which the revelations were vouchsafed, was not inorder to give glory to his fleshly self, but to bring out in contrast the "infirmities" of the latter, thatChrist might have all the glory.6. For—Not but that I might glory as to "myself" (2Co 12:5); "FOR if I should desire to glory,I shall not be a fool"; for I have things to glory, or boast of which are good matter for glorying of(not mere external fleshly advantages which when he gloried in [2Co 11:1-33] he termed suchglorying "folly," 2Co 11:1, 16, 17).think of me—Greek, "form his estimate respecting me."heareth of me—Greek, "heareth aught from me." Whatever haply he heareth from me in person.If on account of healing a cripple (Ac 14:12, 13), and shaking off a viper (Ac 28:5), the peoplethought him a god, what would they have not done, if he had disclosed those revelations? [Estius].I wish each of you to estimate me by "what he sees" my present acts and "hears" my teaching tobe; not by my boasting of past revelations. They who allow themselves to be thought of more highlythan is lawful, defraud themselves of the honor which is at God's disposal [Bengel] (Joh 5:44; 12:43).2585JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson7. exalted above measure—Greek, "overmuch uplifted." How dangerous must self-exaltationbe, when even the apostle required so much restraint! [Bengel].abundance—Greek, "the excess"; exceeding greatness.given … me—namely, by God (Job 5:6; Php 1:29).thorn in the flesh—(Nu 33:55; Eze 28:24). Alford thinks it to be the same bodily affliction asin Ga 4:13, 14. It certainly was something personal, affecting him individually, and not as an apostle:causing at once acute pain (as "thorn" implies) and shame ("buffet": as slaves are buffeted, 1Pe2:20).messenger of Satan—who is permitted by God to afflict His saints, as Job (Job 2:7; Lu 13:16).to buffet me—In Greek, present: to buffet me even now continuously. After experiencing thestate of the blissful angels, he is now exposed to the influence of an evil angel. The chastisementfrom hell follows soon upon the revelation from heaven. As his sight and hearing had been ravishedwith heavenly "revelations," so his touch is pained with the "thorn in the flesh."8. For—"concerning this thing."thrice—To his first and second prayer no answer came. To his third the answer came, whichsatisfied his faith and led him to bow his will to God's will. So Paul's master, Jesus, thrice prayedon the Mount of Olives, in resignation to the Father's will. The thorn seems (from 2Co 12:9, andGreek, 2Co 12:7, "that he may buffet me") to have continued with Paul when he wrote, lest still heshould be "overmuch lifted up."the Lord—Christ. Escape from the cross is not to be sought even indirectly from Satan (Lu4:7). "Satan is not to be asked to spare us" [Bengel].9. said—literally, "He hath said," implying that His answer is enough [Alford].is sufficient—The trial must endure, but the grace shall also endure and never fail thee [Alford],(De 33:25). The Lord puts the words into Paul's mouth, that following them up he might say, "OLord, Thy grace is sufficient for me" [Bengel].my strength—Greek, "power."is made perfect—has its most perfect manifestation.in weakness—Do not ask for sensible strength, FOR My power is perfected in man's"strengthlessness" (so the Greek). The "for" implies, thy "strengthlessness" (the same Greek as istranslated "weakness"; and in 2Co 12:10, "infirmities") is the very element in which My "power"(which moves coincident with "My grace") exhibits itself more perfectly. So that Paul instead ofdesiring the infirmity to "depart," "rather" henceforth "glories in infirmities, that the power of Christmay rest (Greek, 'tabernacle upon,' cover my infirmity all over as with a tabernacle; compare Greek,Joh 1:12) upon" him. This effect of Christ's assurance on him appears, 2Co 4:7; 1Co 2:3, 4; compare1Pe 4:14. The "My" is omitted in some of the oldest manuscripts; the sense is the same, "power"(referring to God's power) standing absolutely, in contrast to "weakness" (put absolutely, for man'sweakness). Paul often repeats the word "weakness" or "infirmity" (the eleventh, twelfth, andthirteenth chapters) as being Christ's own word. The Lord has more need of our weakness than ofour strength: our strength is often His rival; our weakness, His servant, drawing on His resources,and showing forth His glory. Man's extremity is God's opportunity; man's security is Satan'sopportunity. God's way is not to take His children out of trial, but to give them strength to bear upagainst it (Ps 88:7; Joh 17:15).10. take pleasure in—too strongly. Rather as the Greek, "I am well contented in."2586JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoninfirmities—the genus. Two pairs of species follow, partly coming from "Satan's messenger,"partly from men.reproaches—"insults."when—in all the cases just specified.then—then especially.strong—"powerful" in "the power of Christ" (2Co 12:9; 2Co 13:4; Heb 11:34).11. in glorying—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. "I am become a fool." He sounds a retreat[Bengel].ye—emphatic. "It is YE who have compelled me; for I ought to have been commended by you,"instead of having to commend myself.am I behind—rather as Greek, "was I behind" when I was with you?the very chiefest—rather, as in 2Co 11:5, "those overmuch apostles."though I be nothing—in myself (1Co 15:9, 10).12. Truly, &c.—There is understood some such clause as this, "And yet I have not beencommended by you."in all patience, in signs, &c.—The oldest manuscripts omit "in." "Patience" is not one of the"signs," but the element IN which they were wrought: endurance of opposition which did not causeme to leave off working [Alford]. Translate, "In … patience, BY signs," &c. His mode of expressionis modest, putting himself, the worker, in the background, "were wrought," not "I wrought." As thesigns have not been transmitted to us, neither has the apostleship. The apostles have no literalsuccessors (compare Ac 1:21, 22).mighty deeds—palpable works of divine omnipotence. The silence of the apostles in fourteenEpistles, as to miracles, arises from the design of those Epistles being hortatory, not controversial.The passing allusions to miracles in seven Epistles prove that the writers were not enthusiasts towhom miracles seem the most important thing. Doctrines were with them the important matter,save when convincing adversaries. In the seven Epistles the mention of miracles is not obtrusive,but marked by a calm air of assurance, as of facts acknowledged on all hands, and thereforeunnecessary to dwell on. This is a much stronger proof of their reality than if they were formallyand obtrusively asserted. Signs and wonders is the regular formula of the Old Testament, whichNew Testament readers would necessarily understand of supernatural works. Again, in the Gospelsthe miracles are so inseparably and congruously tied up with the history, that you cannot deny theformer without denying the latter also. And then you have a greater difficulty than ever, namely,to account for the rise of Christianity; so that the infidel has something infinitely more difficult tobelieve than that which he rejects, and which the Christian more rationally accepts.13. wherein you were inferior—that is, were treated with less consideration by me than wereother churches.I myself—I made a gain of you neither myself, nor by those others whom I sent, Titus and others(2Co 12:17, 18).wrong—His declining support from the Corinthians might be regarded as the denial to themof a privilege, and a mark of their spiritual inferiority, and of his looking on them with less confidenceand love (compare 2Co 11:9, 11).14. the third time—See Introduction to the first Epistle. His second visit was probably a shortone (1Co 16:7), and attended with humiliation through the scandalous conduct of some of hisconverts (compare 2Co 12:21; 2Co 2:1). It was probably paid during his three years' sojourn at2587JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonEphesus, from which he could pass so readily by sea to Corinth (compare 2Co 1:15, 16; 13:1, 2).The context here implies nothing of a third preparation to come; but, "I am coming, and the thirdtime, and will not burden you this time any more than I did at my two previous visits" [Alford].not yours, but you—(Php 4:17).children … parents—Paul was their spiritual father (1Co 4:14, 15). He does not, therefore,seek earthly treasure from them, but lays up the best treasure (namely, spiritual) "for their souls"(2Co 12:15).15. I will … spend—all I have.be spent—all that I am. This is more than even natural parents do. They "lay up treasures fortheir children." But I spend not merely my treasures, but myself.for you—Greek, "for your souls"; not for your mere bodies.the less I be loved—Love rather descends than ascends [Bengel]. Love him as a true friend whoseeks your good more than your good will.16. I did not burden you—The "I" in the Greek is emphatic. A possible insinuation of theCorinthians is hereby anticipated and refuted: "But, you may say, granted that I did not burden youmyself; nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you (in my net) with guile"; namely, made a gain ofyou by means of others (1Th 2:3).17. Paul's reply: You know well I did not. My associates were as distinterested as myself. Animportant rule to all who would influence others for good.18. I desired Titus—namely, to go unto you. Not the mission mentioned 2Co 8:6, 17, 22; buta mission previous to this Epistle, probably that from which he had just returned announcing toPaul their penitence (2Co 7:6-16).a brother—rather "OUR (literally, 'the') brother"; one well known to the Corinthians, and perhapsa Corinthian; probably one of the two mentioned in 2Co 8:18, 22.same spirit—inwardly.steps—outwardly.19. Again—The oldest manuscripts read, "This long time ye think that we are excusing ourselvesunto you? (Nay). It is before God (as opposed to 'unto you') that we speak in Christ" (2Co 2:17).English Version Greek text was a correction from 2Co 3:1; 5:12.20. For—Assigning cause why they needed to be thus spoken to "for their edification"; namely,his fear that at his coming he should find them "not such as he would," and so he should be foundby them "such as they would not" like, namely, severe in punishing misconduct.debates—Greek, "strifes," "contentions."envyings—The oldest manuscripts read "envying," singular.strifes—"factions," "intrigues," "factious schemes" [Wahl]. Ambitious self-seeking; from a Greekroot, "to work for hire."backbitings, whisperings—open "slanderings," and "whispering backbitings" (Ga 5:20).swellings—arrogant elation; puffing up of yourselves. Jude 16, "great swelling words" (2Pe2:18).21. my God—his God, however trying the humiliation that was in store for him.will humble me—The indicative implies that the supposition will actually be so. The faithfulpastor is "humbled" at, and "bewails" the falls of his people, as though they were his own.sinned already—before my last coming [Bengel], that is, before the second visit which he paid,and in which he had much at Corinth to rebuke.2588JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhave not repented—shall not have repented [Alford].uncleanness—for example, of married persons (1Th 4:7).fornication—among the unmarried.CHAPTER 132Co 13:1-14. He Threatens a Severe Proof of His Apostolic Authority, but Prefers They Would Spare Him theNecessity for It.1. This is the third time I am coming to you—not merely preparing to come to you. Thisproves an intermediate visit between the two recorded in Ac 18:1; 20:2.In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established—Quoted from De19:15, Septuagint. "I will judge not without examination, nor will I abstain from punishing upondue evidence" [Conybeare and Howson]. I will no longer be among you "in all patience" towardsoffenders (2Co 12:12). The apostle in this case, where ordinary testimony was to be had, does notlook for an immediate revelation, nor does he order the culprits to be cast out of the church beforehis arrival. Others understand the "two or three witnesses" to mean his two or three visits asestablishing either (1) the truth of the facts alleged against the offenders, or (2) the reality of histhreats. I prefer the first explanation to either of the two latter.2. Rather, "I have already said (at my second visit), and tell you (now) beforehand, AS (I did)WHEN I WAS PRESENT THE SECOND TIME, SO also NOW in my absence (the oldest manuscripts omitthe 'I write,' which here wrongly follows in English Version Greek text) to them which heretoforehave sinned (namely, before my second visit, 2Co 12:21), and to all others (who have sinned sincemy second visit, or are in danger of sinning)." The English Version, "as if I were present the secondtime," namely, this next time, is quite inconsistent with 2Co 13:1, "this is the third time I am comingto you," as Paul could not have called the same journey at once "the second" and "the third time"of his coming. The antithesis between "the second time" and "now" is palpable.if I come again, &c.—that is, whensoever I come again (Ac 20:2). These were probably thevery words of his former threat which he now repeats again.3. Since—The reason why he will not spare: Since ye challenge me to give a "proof" that Christspeaks in me. It would be better if ye would "prove your own selves" (2Co 13:5). This disprovesthe assertion of some that Scripture nowhere asserts the infallibility of its writers when writing it.which—"who" (Christ).is not weak—in relation to you, by me and in this very Epistle, in exercising upon you strongdiscipline.mighty in you—has given many proofs of His power in miracles, and even in punishingoffenders (2Co 5:11, 20, 21). Ye have no need to put me to the proof in this, as long ago Christ hasexhibited great proofs of His power by me among you (2Co 12:12) [Grotius]. It is therefore not me,but Christ, whom ye wrong: it is His patience that ye try in despising my admonitions, and derogatingfrom my authority [Calvin].4. though—omitted in some of the oldest manuscripts; then translate, "For He was evencrucified," &c.2589JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthrough weakness—Greek, "from weakness"; that is, His assumption of our weakness wasthe source, or necessary condition, from which the possibility of His crucifixion flowed (Heb 2:14;Php 2:7, 8).by—Greek, "from"; "owing to."the power of God—the Father (Ro 1:4; 6:4; Eph 1:20).weak in him—that is, in virtue of our union with Him, and after His pattern, weaknesspredominates in us for a time (exhibited in our "infirmities" and weak "bodily presence," 2Co 10:10;12:5, 9, 10; and also in our not putting into immediate exercise our power of punishing offenders,just as Christ for a time kept in abeyance His power).we shall live with him—not only hereafter with Him, free from our present infirmities, in theresurrection life (Php 3:21), but presently in the exercise of our apostolic authority against offenders,which flows to us in respect to you from the power of God, however "weak" we now seem to you."With Him," that is, even as He now exercises His power in His glorified resurrection life, afterHis weakness for a time.5. Examine—Greek, "Try (make trial of) yourselves."prove your own selves—This should be your first aim, rather than "seeking a proof of Christspeaking in me" (2Co 13:3).your own selves—I need not speak much in proof of Christ being in me, your minister (2Co13:3), for if ye try your own selves ye will see that Christ is also in you [Chrysostom], (Ro 8:10).Finding Christ dwelling in yourselves by faith, ye may well believe that He speaks in me, by whoseministry ye have received this faith [Estius]. To doubt it would be the sin of Israel, who, after somany miracles and experimental proofs of God's presence, still cried (Ex 17:7), "Is the Lord amongus or not?" (Compare Mr 8:11).except ye be reprobates—The Greek softens the expression, "somewhat reprobates," that is,not abiding the "proof" (alluding to the same word in the context); failing when tested. Image frommetals (Jer 6:30; Da 5:27; Ro 1:28).6. we … not reprobates—not unable to abide the proof to which ye put us (2Co 13:6). "I trustthat" your own Christianity will be recognized by you (observe, "ye shall know," answers to "knowyour own selves," 2Co 13:5) as sufficient "proof" that ye are not reprobates, but that "Christ speaksin me," without needing a proof from me more trying to yourselves. If ye doubt my apostleship,ye must doubt your own Christianity, for ye are the fruits of my apostleship.7. I pray—The oldest manuscripts read, "we pray."not that we should appear approved—not to gain credit for ourselves, your ministers, byyour Christian conduct; but for your good [Alford]. The antithesis to "reprobates" leads me to preferexplaining with Bengel, "We do not pray that we may appear approved," by restraining you whenye do evil; "but that ye should do what is right" (English Version, "honest").though we be as reprobates—though we be thereby deprived of the occasion for exercisingour apostolic power (namely, in punishing), and so may appear "as reprobates" (incapable ofaffording proof of Christ speaking in us).8. Our apostolic power is given us that we may use it not against, but for the furtherance of, thetruth. Where you are free from fault, there is no scope for its exercise: and this I desire. Far be itfrom me to use it against the innocent, merely in order to increase my own power (2Co 13:10).9. are glad—Greek, "rejoice."2590JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwhen we are weak—having no occasion for displaying our power; and so seeming "weak," asbeing compassed with "infirmities" (2Co 10:10; 11:29, 30).ye … strong—"mighty" in faith and the fruits of the Spirit.and—not in the oldest manuscripts.we wish—Greek, "pray for."your perfection—literally, "perfect restoration"; literally, that of a dislocated limb. Compare2Co 13:11, "Be perfect," the same Greek word; also in 1Co 1:10, "perfectly joined together"; Eph4:12, "the perfecting of the saints."10. Therefore—because I wish the "sharpness" to be in my letters rather than in deeds[Chrysostom].edification … not to destruction—for building up … not for casting down. To "use sharpness"would seem to be casting down, rather than building up; therefore he prefers not to have to use it.11. farewell—meaning in Greek also "rejoice"; thus in bidding farewell he returns to the pointwith which he set out, "we are helpers of your joy" (2Co 1:24; Php 4:4).Be perfect—Become perfect by filling up what is lacking in your Christian character (Eph4:13).be of good comfort—(2Co 1:6; 7:8-13; 1Th 4:18).14. The benediction which proves the doctrine of the Divine Trinity in unity. "The grace ofChrist" comes first, for it is only by it we come to "the love of God" the Father (Joh 14:6). Thevariety in the order of Persons proves that "in this Trinity none is afore or after other" [AthanasianCreed].communion—joint fellowship, or participation, in the same Holy Ghost, which joins in onecatholic Church, His temple, both Jews and Gentiles. Whoever has "the fellowship of the HolyGhost," has also "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ," and "the love of God"; and vice versa. Forthe three are inseparable, as the three Persons of the Trinity itself [Chrysostom]. The doctrine of theTrinity was not revealed clearly and fully till Christ came, and the whole scheme of our redemptionwas manifested in Him, and we know the Holy Three in One more in their relations to us (as setforth summarily in this benediction), than in their mutual relations to one another (De 29:29).Amen—omitted in the oldest manuscripts. Probably added subsequently for the exigencies ofpublic joint worship.THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THEGALATIANSCommentary by A. R. FaussettINTRODUCTIONThe internal and external evidence for Paul's authorship is conclusive. The style ischaracteristically Pauline. The superscription, and allusions to the apostle of the Gentiles in thefirst person, throughout the Epistle, establish the same truth (Ga 1:1, 13-24; 2:1-14). His authorshipis also upheld by the unanimous testimony of the ancient Church: compare Irenæus [Against Heresies,3,7,2] (Ga 3:19); Polycarp [Epistle to the Philippians, 3] quotes Ga 4:26; 6:7; Justin Martyr, or whoeverwrote the Discourse to the Greeks, alludes to Ga 4:12; 5:20.2591JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThe Epistle was written "TO THE CHURCHES OF Galatia" (Ga 1:2), a district of Asia Minor,bordering on Phrygia, Pontus, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Paphlagonia. The inhabitants (Gallo-græci,contracted into Galati, another form of the name Celts) were Gauls in origin, the latter havingoverrun Asia Minor after they had pillaged Delphi, about 280 B.C. and at last permanently settledin the central parts, thence called Gallo-græcia or Galatia. Their character, as shown in this Epistle,is in entire consonance with that ascribed to the Gallic race by all writers. Cæsar [Commentarieson the Gallic War, 4,5], "The infirmity of the Gauls is that they are fickle in their resolves and fondof change, and not to be trusted." So Thierry (quoted by Alford), "Frank, impetuous, impressible,eminently intelligent, but at the same time extremely changeable, inconstant, fond of show,perpetually quarrelling, the fruit of excessive vanity." They received Paul at first with all joy andkindness; but soon wavered in their allegiance to the Gospel and to him, and hearkened as eagerlynow to Judaizing teachers as they had before to him (Ga 4:14-16). The apostle himself had beenthe first preacher among them (Ac 16:6; Ga 1:8; 4:13; see on Ga 4:13; "on account of infirmity offlesh I preached unto you at the first": implying that sickness detained him among them); and hadthen probably founded churches, which at his subsequent visit he "strengthened" in the faith (Ac18:23). His first visit was about A.D. 51, during his second missionary journey. Josephus [Antiquities,16.62] testifies that many Jews resided in Ancyra in Galatia. Among these and their brethren,doubtless, as elsewhere, he began his preaching. And though subsequently the majority in theGalatian churches were Gentiles (Ga 4:8, 9), yet these were soon infected by Judaizing teachers,and almost suffered themselves to be persuaded to undergo circumcision (Ga 1:6; 3:1, 3; 5:2, 3;6:12, 13). Accustomed as the Galatians had been, when heathen, to the mystic worship of Cybele(prevalent in the neighboring region of Phrygia), and the theosophistic doctrines connected withthat worship, they were the more readily led to believe that the full privileges of Christianity couldonly be attained through an elaborate system of ceremonial symbolism (Ga 4:9-11; 5:7-12). Theyeven gave ear to the insinuation that Paul himself observed the law among the Jews, though hepersuaded the Gentiles to renounce it, and that his motive was to keep his converts in a subordinatestate, excluded from the full privileges of Christianity, which were enjoyed by the circumcisedalone (Ga 5:11, Ga 4:16, compare with Ga 2:17); and that in "becoming all things to all men," hewas an interested flatterer (Ga 1:10), aiming at forming a party for himself: moreover, that he falselyrepresented himself as an apostle divinely commissioned by Christ, whereas he was but a messengersent by the Twelve and the Church at Jerusalem, and that his teaching was now at variance withthat of Peter and James, "pillars" of the Church, and therefore ought not to be accepted.His PURPOSE, then, in writing this Epistle was: (1) to defend his apostolic authority (Ga 1:11-19;2:1-14); (2) to counteract the evil influence of the Judaizers in Galatia (Ga 3:1-4:31), and to showthat their doctrine destroyed the very essence of Christianity, by lowering its spirituality to anoutward ceremonial system; (3) to give exhortation for the strengthening of Galatian believers infaith towards Christ, and in the fruits of the Spirit (Ga 5:1-6:18). He had already, face to face,testified against the Judaizing teachers (Ga 1:9; 4:16; Ac 18:23); and now that he has heard of thecontinued and increasing prevalence of the evil, he writes with his own hand (Ga 6:11: a laborwhich he usually delegated to an amanuensis) this Epistle to oppose it. The sketch he gives in it ofhis apostolic career confirms and expands the account in Acts and shows his independence of humanauthority, however exalted. His protest against Peter in Ga 2:14-21, disproves the figment, notmerely of papal, but even of that apostle's supremacy; and shows that Peter, save when speciallyinspired, was fallible like other men.2592JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonThere is much in common between this Epistle and that to the Romans on the subject ofjustification by faith only, and not by the law. But the Epistle to the Romans handles the subject ina didactic and logical mode, without any special reference; this Epistle, in a controversial manner,and with special reference to the Judaizers in Galatia.The STYLE combines the two extremes, sternness. (Ga 1:1-24; 3:1-5) and tenderness (Ga 4:19,20), the characteristics of a man of strong emotions, and both alike well suited for acting on animpressible people such as the Galatians were. The beginning is abrupt, as was suited to the urgencyof the question and the greatness of the danger. A tone of sadness, too, is apparent, such as mightbe expected in the letter of a warm-hearted teacher who had just learned that those whom he lovedwere forsaking his teachings for those of perverters of the truth, as well as giving ear to calumniesagainst himself.The TIME OF WRITING was after the visit to Jerusalem recorded in Ac 15:1, &c.; that is, A.D. 50,if that visit be, as seems probable, identical with that in Ga 2:1. Further, as Ga 1:9 ("as we saidbefore"), and Ga 4:16 ("Have [Alford] I become your enemy?" namely, at my second visit, whereasI was welcomed by you at my first visit), refer to his second visit (Ac 18:23), this Epistle must havebeen written after the date of that visit (the autumn of A.D. 54). Ga 4:13, "Ye know how … I preached… at the first" (Greek, "at the former time"), implies that Paul, at the time of writing, had beentwice in Galatia; and Ga 1:6, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed," implies that he wrote not longafter having left Galatia for the second time; probably in the early part of his residence at Ephesus(Ac 18:23; 19:1, &c., from A.D. 54, the autumn, to A.D. 57, Pentecost) [Alford]. Conybeare and Howson,from the similarity between this Epistle and that to the Romans, the same line of argument in bothoccupying the writer's mind, think it was not written till his stay at Corinth (Ac 20:2, 3), duringthe winter of 57-58, whence he wrote his Epistle to the Romans; and certainly, in the theory of theearlier writing of it from Ephesus, it does seem unlikely that the two Epistles to the Corinthians,so dissimilar, should intervene between those so similar as the Epistles to the Galatians and Romans;or that the Epistle to the Galatians should intervene between the second to the Thessalonians andthe first to the Corinthians. The decision between the two theories rests on the words, "so soon."If these be not considered inconsistent with little more than three years having elapsed since hissecond visit to Galatia, the argument, from the similarity to the Epistle to the Romans, seems tome conclusive. This to the Galatians seems written on the urgency of the occasion, tidings havingreached him at Corinth from Ephesus of the Judaizing of many of his Galatian converts, in anadmonitory and controversial tone, to maintain the great principles of Christian liberty andjustification by faith only; that to the Romans is a more deliberate and systematic exposition of thesame central truths of theology, subsequently drawn up in writing to a Church with which he waspersonally unacquainted. See on Ga 1:6, for Birks's view. Paley [Horæ Paulinæ] well remarks howperfectly adapted the conduct of the argument is to the historical circumstances under which theEpistle was written! Thus, that to the Galatians, a Church which Paul had founded, he puts mainlyupon authority; that to the Romans, to whom he was not personally known, entirely upon argument.CHAPTER 1Ga 1:1-24. Superscription. Greetings. The Cause of His Writing Is Their Speedy Falling Away from the Gospel HeTaught. Defense of His Teaching: His Apostolic Call Independent of Man.2593JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonJudaizing teachers had persuaded the Galatians that Paul had taught them the new religionimperfectly, and at second hand; that the founder of their church himself possessed only a deputedcommission, the seal of truth and authority being in the apostles at Jerusalem: moreover, thatwhatever he might profess among them, he had himself at other times, and in other places, givenway to the doctrine of circumcision. To refute this, he appeals to the history of his conversion, andto the manner of his conferring with the apostles when he met them at Jerusalem; that so far washis doctrine from being derived from them, or they from exercising any superiority over him, thatthey had simply assented to what he had already preached among the Gentiles, which preachingwas communicated, not by them to him, but by himself to them [Paley]. Such an apologetic Epistlecould not be a later forgery, the objections which it meets only coming out incidentally, not beingobtruded as they would be by a forger; and also being such as could only arise in the earliest ageof the Church, when Jerusalem and Judaism still held a prominent place.1. apostle—in the earliest Epistles, the two to the Thessalonians, through humility, he uses notitle of authority; but associates with him "Silvanus and Timotheus"; yet here, though "brethren"(Ga 1:2) are with him, he does not name them but puts his own name and apostleship prominent:evidently because his apostolic commission needs now to be vindicated against deniers of it.of—Greek, "from." Expressing the origin from which his mission came, "not from men," butfrom Christ and the Father (understood) as the source. "By" expresses the immediate operatingagent in the call. Not only was the call from God as its ultimate source, but by Christ and the Fatheras the immediate agent in calling him (Ac 22:15; 26:16-18). The laying on of Ananias' hands (Ac9:17) is no objection to this; for that was but a sign of the fact, not an assisting cause. So the HolyGhost calls him specially (Ac 13:2, 3); he was an apostle before this special mission.man—singular; to mark the contrast to "Jesus Christ." The opposition between "Christ" and"man," and His name being put in closest connection with God the Father, imply His Godhead.raised him from the dead—implying that, though he had not seen Him in His humiliation asthe other apostles (which was made an objection against him), he had seen and been constitutedan apostle by Him in His resurrection power (Mt 28:18; Ro 1:4, 5). Compare as to the ascension,the consequence of the resurrection, and the cause of His giving "apostles," Eph 4:11. He roseagain, too, for our justification (Ro 4:25); thus Paul prepares the way for the prominent subject ofthe Epistle, justification in Christ, not by the law.2. all the brethren—I am not alone in my doctrine; all my colleagues in the Gospel work,travelling with me (Ac 19:29, Gaius and Aristarchus at Ephesus: Ac 20:4, Sopater, Secundus,Timotheus, Tychicus, Trophimus, some, or all of these), join with me. Not that these were jointauthors with Paul of the Epistle: but joined him in the sentiments and salutations. The phrase, "allthe brethren," accords with a date when he had many travelling companions, he and they havingto bear jointly the collection to Jerusalem [Conybeare and Howson].the churches—Pessinus and Ancyra were the principal cities; but doubtless there were manyother churches in Galatia (Ac 18:23; 1Co 16:1). He does not attach any honorable title to thechurches here, as elsewhere, being displeased at their Judaizing. See First Corinthians; FirstThessalonians, &c. The first Epistle of Peter is addressed to Jewish Christians sojourning in Galatia(1Pe 1:1), among other places mentioned. It is interesting thus to find the apostle of the circumcision,as well as the apostle of the uncircumcision, once at issue (Ga 2:7-15), co-operating to build up thesame churches.2594JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson3. from … from—Omit the second "from." The Greek joins God the Father and our Lord JesusChrist in closet union, by there being but the one preposition.4. gave himself—(Ga 2:20); unto death, as an offering. Found only in this and the PastoralEpistles. The Greek is different in Eph 5:25 (see on Eph 5:25).for our sins—which enslaved us to the present evil world.deliver us from this—Greek, "out of the," &c. The Father and Son are each said to "deliverus," &c. (Col 1:13): but the Son, not the Father, gave Himself for us in order to do so, and make uscitizens of a better world (Php 3:20). The Galatians in desiring to return to legal bondage are, heimplies, renouncing the deliverance which Christ wrought for us. This he more fully repeats in Ga3:13. "Deliver" is the very word used by the Lord as to His deliverance of Paul himself (Ac 26:17):an undesigned coincidence between Paul and Luke.world—Greek, "age"; system or course of the world, regarded from a religious point of view.The present age opposes the "glory" (Ga 1:5) of God, and is under the authority of the Evil One.The "ages of ages" (Greek, Ga 1:5) are opposed to "the present evil age."according to the will of God and our Father—Greek, "of Him who is at once God [thesovereign Creator] and our Father" (Joh 6:38, 39; 10:18, end). Without merit of ours. His sovereigntyas "God," and our filial relation to Him as "OUR Father," ought to keep us from blending our ownlegal notions (as the Galatians were doing) with His will and plan. This paves the way for hisargument.5. be glory—rather, as Greek, "be the glory"; the glory which is peculiarly and exclusively His.Compare Note, see on Eph 3:21.6. Without the usual expressions of thanksgiving for their faith, &c., he vehemently plungesinto his subject, zealous for "the glory" of God (Ga 1:5), which was being disparaged by the Galatiansfalling away from the pure Gospel of the "grace" of God.I marvel—implying that he had hoped better things from them, whence his sorrowful surpriseat their turning out so different from his expectations.so soon—after my last visit; when I hoped and thought you were untainted by the Judaizingteachers. If this Epistle was written from Corinth, the interval would be a little more than threeyears, which would be "soon" to have fallen away, if they were apparently sound at the time of hisvisit. Ga 4:18, 20 may imply that he saw no symptom of unsoundness then, such as he hears of inthem now. But English Version is probably not correct there. See see on Ga 4:18; Ga 4:20; also seeIntroduction. If from Ephesus, the interval would be not more than one year. Birks holds the Epistleto have been written from Corinth after his FIRST visit to Galatia; for this agrees best with the "sosoon" here: with Ga 4:18, "It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not onlywhen I am present with you." If they had persevered in the faith during three years of his firstabsence, and only turned aside after his second visit, they could not be charged justly with adheringto the truth only when he was present: for his first absence was longer than both his visits, and theywould have obeyed longer in his "absence" than in his "presence." But if their decline had begunimmediately after he left them, and before his return to them, the reproof will be just. But see onGa 4:13.removed—Translate, "are being removed," that is, ye are suffering yourselves so soon (whetherfrom the time of my last visit, or from the time of the first temptation held out to you) [Paræus] tobe removed by Jewish seducers. Thus he softens the censure by implying that the Galatians weretempted by seducers from without, with whom the chief guilt lay: and the present, "ye are being2595JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonremoved," implies that their seduction was only in process of being effected, not that it was actuallyeffected. Wahl, Alford, and others take the Greek as middle voice. "ye are removing" or "passingover." "Shifting your ground" [Conybeare and Howson]. But thus the point of Paul's oblique referenceto their misleaders is lost; and in Heb 7:12 the Greek is used passively, justifying its being takenso here. On the impulsiveness and fickleness of the Gauls (another form of Kel-t-s, the progenitorsof the Erse, Gauls, Cymri, and Belgians), whence the Galatians sprang, see Introduction and Cæsar[Commentaries on the Gallic War, 3.19].from him that called you—God the Father (Ga 1:15; Ga 5:8; Ro 8:30; 1Co 1:9; 1Th 2:12;5:24).into—rather, as Greek, "IN the grace of Christ," as the element in which, and the instrument bywhich, God calls us to salvation. Compare Note, see on 1Co 7:15; Ro 5:15, "the gift by (Greek,'in') grace (Greek, 'the grace') of (the) one man." "The grace of Christ," is Christ's gratuitouslypurchased and bestowed justification, reconciliation, and eternal life.another—rather, as Greek, "a second and different gospel," that is, into a so-called gospel,different altogether from the only true Gospel.7. another—A distinct Greek word from that in Ga 1:6. Though I called it a gospel (Ga 1:6),it is not really so. There is really but one Gospel, and no other gospel.but—Translate, "Only that there are some that trouble you," &c. (Ga 5:10, 12). All I meant bythe "different gospel" was nothing but a perversion by "some" of the one Gospel of Christ.would pervert—Greek, "wish to pervert"; they could not really pervert the Gospel, thoughthey could pervert Gospel professors (compare Ga 4:9, 17, 21; 6:12, 13; Col 2:18). Thoughacknowledging Christ, they insisted on circumcision and Jewish ordinances and professed to reston the authority of other apostles, namely, Peter and James. But Paul recognizes no gospel, savethe pure Gospel.8. But—however weighty they may seem "who trouble you." Translate as Greek, "Even thoughwe," namely, I and the brethren with me, weighty and many as we are (Ga 1:1, 2). The Greekimplies a case supposed which never has occurred.angel—in which light ye at first received me (compare Ga 4:14; 1Co 13:1), and whose authorityis the highest possible next to that of God and Christ. A new revelation, even though seeminglyaccredited by miracles, is not to be received if it contradict the already existing revelation. For Godcannot contradict Himself (De 13:1-3; 1Ki 13:18; Mt 24:24; 2Th 2:9). The Judaizing teacherssheltered themselves under the names of the great apostles, James, John, and Peter: "Do not bringthese names up to me, for even if an angel," &c. Not that he means, the apostles really supportedthe Judaizers: but he wishes to show, when the truth is in question, respect of persons is inadmissible[Chrysostom].preach—that is, "should preach."any other gospel … than—The Greek expresses not so much "any other gospel different fromwhat we have preached," as, "any gospel BESIDE that which we preached." This distinctly opposesthe traditions of the Church of Rome, which are at once besides and against (the Greek includesboth ideas) the written Word, our only "attested rule."9. said before—when we were visiting you (so "before" means, 2Co 13:2). Compare Ga 5:2,3, 21. Translate, "If any man preacheth unto you any gospel BESIDE that which," &c. Observe theindicative, not the subjunctive or conditional mood, is used, "preacheth," literally, "furnisheth youwith any gospel." The fact is assumed, not merely supposed as a contingency, as in Ga 1:8, "preach,"2596JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonor "should preach." This implies that he had already observed (namely, during his last visit) themachinations of the Judaizing teachers: but his surprise (Ga 1:6) now at the Galatians being misledby them, implies that they had not apparently been so then. As in Ga 1:8 he had said, "which wepreached," so here, with an augmentation of the force, "which ye received"; acknowledging thatthey had truly accepted it.accursed—The opposite appears in Ga 6:16.10. For—accounting for the strong language he has just used.do I now—resuming the "now" of Ga 1:9. "Am I now persuading men?" [Alford], that is,conciliating. Is what I have just now said a sample of men-pleasing, of which I am accused? Hisadversaries accused him of being an interested flatterer of men, "becoming all things to all men,"to make a party for himself, and so observing the law among the Jews (for instance, circumcisingTimothy), yet persuading the Gentiles to renounce it (Ga 5:11) (in order to flatter those, reallykeeping them in a subordinate state, not admitted to the full privileges which the circumcised aloneenjoyed). Neander explains the "now" thus: Once, when a Pharisee, I was actuated only by a regardto human authority and to please men (Lu 16:15; Joh 5:44), but NOW I teach as responsible to Godalone (1Co 4:3).or God?—Regard is to be had to God alone.for if I yet pleased men—The oldest manuscripts omit "for." "If I were still pleasing men,"&c. (Lu 6:26; Joh 15:19; 1Th 2:4; Jas 4:4; 1Jo 4:5). On "yet," compare Ga 5:11.servant of Christ—and so pleasing Him in all things (Tit 2:9; Col 3:22).11. certify—I made known to you as to the Gospel which was preached by me, that it is notafter man, that is, not of, by, or from man (Ga 1:1, 12). It is not according to man; not influencedby mere human considerations, as it would be, if it were of human origin.brethren—He not till now calls them so.12. Translate, "For not even did I myself (any more than the other apostles) receive it from man,nor was I taught it (by man)." "Received it," implies the absence of labor in acquiring it. "Taughtit," implies the labor of learning.by the revelation of Jesus Christ—Translate, "by revelation of [that is, from] Jesus Christ."By His revealing it to me. Probably this took place during the three years, in part of which hesojourned in Arabia (Ga 1:17, 18), in the vicinity of the scene of the giving of the law; a fit placefor such a revelation of the Gospel of grace, which supersedes the ceremonial law (Ga 4:25). He,like other Pharisees who embraced Christianity, did not at first recognize its independence of theMosaic law, but combined both together. Ananias, his first instructor, was universally esteemedfor his legal piety and so was not likely to have taught him to sever Christianity from the law. Thisseverance was partially recognized after the martyrdom of Stephen. But Paul received it by specialrevelation (1Co 11:23; 15:3; 1Th 4:15). A vision of the Lord Jesus is mentioned (Ac 22:18), at hisfirst visit to Jerusalem (Ga 1:18); but this seems to have been subsequent to the revelation heremeant (compare Ga 1:15-18), and to have been confined to giving a particular command. The vision"fourteen years before" (2Co 12:1) was in A.D. 43, still later, six years after his conversion. ThusPaul is an independent witness to the Gospel. Though he had received no instruction from theapostles, but from the Holy Ghost, yet when he met them his Gospel exactly agreed with theirs.13. heard—even before I came among you.conversation—"my former way of life."2597JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonJews' religion—The term, "Hebrew," expresses the language; "Jew," the nationality, asdistinguished from the Gentiles; "Israelite," the highest title, the religious privileges, as a memberof the theocracy.the church—Here singular, marking its unity, though constituted of many particular churches,under the one Head, Christ.of God—added to mark the greatness of his sinful alienation from God (1Co 15:19).wasted—laid it waste: the opposite of "building it up."14. profited—Greek, "I was becoming a proficient"; "I made progress."above—beyond.my equals—Greek, "Of mine own age, among my countrymen."traditions of my fathers—namely, those of the Pharisees, Paul being "a Pharisee, and son ofa Pharisee" (Ac 23:6; 26:5). "MY fathers," shows that it is not to be understood generally of thetraditions of the nation.15. separated—"set me apart": in the purposes of His electing love (compare Ac 9:15; 22:14),in order to show in me His "pleasure," which is the farthest point that any can reach in inquiringthe causes of his salvation. The actual "separating" or "setting apart" to the work marked out forhim, is mentioned in Ac 13:2; Ro 1:1. There is an allusion, perhaps, in the way of contrast, to thederivation of Pharisee from Hebrew, "pharash," "separated." I was once a so-called Pharisee orSeparatist, but God had separated me to something far better.from … womb—Thus merit in me was out of the question, in assigning causes for His callfrom Ac 9:11. Grace is the sole cause (Ps 22:9; 71:6; Isa 49:1, 5; Jer 1:5; Lu 1:15).called me—on the way to Damascus (Ac 9:3-8).16. reveal his Son in me—within me, in my inmost soul, by the Holy Spirit (Ga 2:20). Compare2Co 4:6, "shined in our hearts." The revealing of His Son by me to the Gentiles (so translate for"heathen") was impossible, unless He had first revealed His Son in me; at first on my conversion,but especially at the subsequent revelation from Jesus Christ (Ga 1:12), whereby I learned theGospel's independence of the Mosaic law.that I might preach—the present in the Greek, which includes the idea "that I may preachHim," implying an office still continuing. This was the main commission entrusted to him (Ga 2:7,9).immediately—connected chiefly with "I went into Arabia" (Ga 1:17). It denotes the suddenfitness of the apostle. So Ac 9:20, "Straightway he preached Christ in the synagogue."I conferred not—Greek, "I had not further (namely, in addition to revelation) recourse to …for the purpose of consulting." The divine revelation was sufficient for me [Bengel].flesh and blood—(Mt 16:17).17. went I up—Some of the oldest manuscripts read, "went away."to Jerusalem—the seat of the apostles.into Arabia—This journey (not recorded in Acts) was during the whole period of his stay atDamascus, called by Luke (Ac 9:23), "many [Greek, a considerable number of] days." It is curiouslyconfirmatory of the legitimacy of taking "many days" to stand for "three years," that the samephrase exactly occurs in the same sense in 1Ki 2:38, 39. This was a country of the Gentiles; heredoubtless he preached as he did before and after (Ac 9:20, 22) at Damascus: thus he shows theindependence of his apostolic commission. He also here had that comparative retirement needed,after the first fervor of his conversion, to prepare him for the great work before him. Compare2598JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonMoses (Ac 7:29, 30). His familiarity with the scene of the giving of the law, and the meditationsand revelations which he had there, appear in Ga 4:24, 25; Heb 12:18. See on Ga 1:12. The Lordfrom heaven communed with him, as He on earth in the days of His flesh communed with the otherapostles.returned—Greek "returned back again."18. after three years—dating from my conversion, as appears by the contrast to "immediately"(Ga 1:16). This is the same visit to Jerusalem as in Ac 9:26, and at this visit occurred the vision(Ac 22:17, 18). The incident which led to his leaving Damascus (Ac 9:25; 2Co 11:33) was not themain cause of his going to Jerusalem. So that there is no discrepancy in the statement here that hewent "to see Peter"; or rather, as Greek, "to make the acquaintance of"; "to become personallyacquainted with." The two oldest manuscripts read, "Cephas," the name given Peter elsewhere inthe Epistle, the Hebrew name; as Peter is the Greek (Joh 1:42). Appropriate to the view of himhere as the apostle especially of the Hebrews. It is remarkable that Peter himself, in his Epistles,uses the Greek name Peter, perhaps to mark his antagonism to the Judaizers who would cling tothe Hebraic form. He was prominent among the apostles, though James, as bishop of Jerusalem,had the chief authority there (Mt 16:18).abode—or "tarried" [Ellicott].fifteen days—only fifteen days; contrasting with the long period of three years, during which,previously, he had exercised an independent commission in preaching: a fact proving on the faceof it, how little he owed to Peter in regard to his apostolical authority or instruction. The Greek for"to see," at the same time implies visiting a person important to know, such as Peter was. The plotsof the Jews prevented him staying longer (Ac 9:29). Also, the vision directing him to depart to theGentiles, for that the people of Jerusalem would not receive his testimony (Ac 22:17, 18).19. Compare Ac 9:27, 28, wherein Luke, as an historian, describes more generally what Paul,the subject of the history, himself details more particularly. The history speaks of "apostles"; andPaul's mention of a second apostle, besides Peter, reconciles the Epistle and the history. At Stephen'smartyrdom, and the consequent persecution, the other ten apostles, agreeably to Christ's directions,seem to have soon (though not immediately, Ac 8:14) left Jerusalem to preach elsewhere. Jamesremained in charge of the mother church, as its bishop. Peter, the apostle of the circumcision, waspresent during Paul's fifteen days' stay; but he, too, presently after (Ac 9:32), went on a circuitthrough Judea.James, the Lord's brother—This designation, to distinguish him from James the son ofZebedee, was appropriate while that apostle was alive. But before Paul's second visit to Jerusalem(Ga 2:1; Ac 15:1-4), he had been beheaded by Herod (Ac 12:2). Accordingly, in the subsequentmention of James here (Ga 2:9, 12), he is not designated by this distinctive epithet: a minute,undesigned coincidence, and proof of genuineness. James was the Lord's brother, not in our strictsense, but in the sense, "cousin," or "kinsman" (Mt 28:10; Joh 20:17). His brethren are never called"sons of Joseph," which they would have been had they been the Lord's brothers strictly. However,compare Ps 69:8, "I am an alien to my mother's children." In Joh 7:3, 5, the "brethren" who believednot in Him may mean His near relations, not including the two of His brethren, that is, relatives(James and Jude) who were among the Twelve apostles. Ac 1:14, "His brethren," refer to Simonand Joses, and others (Mt 13:55) of His kinsmen, who were not apostles. It is not likely there wouldbe two pairs of brothers named alike, of such eminence as James and Jude; the likelihood is that2599JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe apostles James and Jude are also the writers of the Epistles, and the brethren of Jesus. Jamesand Joses were sons of Alpheus and Mary, sister of the Virgin Mary.20. Solemn asseveration that his statement is true that his visit was but for fifteen days and thathe saw no apostle save Peter and James. Probably it had been reported by Judaizers that he hadreceived a long course of instruction from the apostles in Jerusalem from the first; hence hisearnestness in asserting the contrary facts.21. I came into … Syria and Cilicia—"preaching the faith" (Ga 1:23), and so, no doubt,founding the churches in Syria and Cilicia, which he subsequently confirmed in the faith (Ac 15:23,41). He probably went first to Cæsarea, the main seaport, and thence by sea to Tarsus of Cilicia,his native place (Ac 9:30), and thence to Syria; Cilicia having its geographical affinities with Syria,rather than with Asia Minor, as the Tarsus mountains separate it from the latter. His placing "Syria"in the order of words before "Cilicia," is due to Antioch being a more important city than Tarsus,as also to his longer stay in the former city. Also "Syria and Cilicia," from their close geographicalconnection, became a generic geographical phrase, the more important district being placed first[Conybeare and Howson]. This sea journey accounts for his being "unknown by face to the churchesof Judea" (Ga 1:22). He passes by in silence his second visit, with alms, to Judea and Jerusalem(Ac 11:30); doubtless because it was for a limited and special object, and would occupy but a fewdays (Ac 12:25), as there raged at Jerusalem at the time a persecution in which James, the brotherof John, was martyred, and Peter was m prison, and James seems to have been the only apostlepresent (Ac 12:17); so it was needless to mention this visit, seeing that he could not at such a timehave received the instructions which the Galatians alleged he had derived from the primary fountainsof authority, the apostles.22. So far was I from being a disciple of the apostles, that I was even unknown in the churchesof Judea (excepting Jerusalem, Ac 9:26-29), which were the chief scene of their labors.23. Translate as Greek, "They were hearing": tidings were brought them from time to time[Conybeare and Howson].he which persecuted us in times past—"our former persecutor" [Alford]. The designation bywhich he was known among Christians still better than by his name "Saul."destroyed—Greek, "was destroying."24. in me—"in my case." "Having understood the entire change, and that the former wolf isnow acting the shepherd's part, they received occasion for joyful thanksgiving to God in respect tome" [Theodoret]. How different, he implies to the Galatians, their spirit from yours!CHAPTER 2Ga 2:1-21. His Co-ordinate Authority as Apostle of the Circumcision Recognized by the Apostles. Proved by HisRebuking Peter for Temporizing at Antioch: His Reasoning as to the Inconsistency of Judaizing with Justification by Faith.1. Translate, "After fourteen years"; namely, from Paul's conversion inclusive [Alford]. In thefourteenth year from his conversion [Birks]. The same visit to Jerusalem as in Ac 15:1-4 (A.D. 50),when the council of the apostles and Church decided that Gentile Christians need not be circumcised.His omitting allusion to that decree is; (1) Because his design here is to show the Galatians his ownindependent apostolic authority, whence he was not likely to support himself by their decision.Thus we see that general councils are not above apostles. (2) Because he argues the point upon2600JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonprinciple, not authoritative decisions. (3) The decree did not go the length of the position maintainedhere: the council did not impose Mosaic ordinances; the apostle maintains that the Mosaic institutionitself is at an end. (4) The Galatians were Judaizing, not because the Jewish law was imposed byauthority of the Church as necessary to Christianity, but because they thought it necessary to beobserved by those who aspired to higher perfection (Ga 3:3; 4:21). The decree would not at alldisprove their view, and therefore would have been useless to quote. Paul meets them by a far moredirect confutation, "Christ is of no effect unto you whosoever are justified by the law" (Ga 5:4),[Paley].Titus … also—specified on account of what follows as to him, in Ga 2:3. Paul and Barnabas,and others, were deputed by the Church of Antioch (Ac 15:2) to consult the apostles and elders atJerusalem on the question of circumcision of Gentile Christians.2. by revelation—not from being absolutely dependent on the apostles at Jerusalem, but byindependent divine "revelation." Quite consistent with his at the same time, being a deputy fromthe Church of Antioch, as Ac 15:2 states. He by this revelation was led to suggest the sending ofthe deputation. Compare the case of Peter being led by vision, and at the same time by Cornelius'messengers, to go to Cæsarea, Ac 10:1-22.I … communicated unto them—namely, "to the apostles and elders" (Ac 15:2): to the apostlesin particular (Ga 2:9).privately—that he and the apostles at Jerusalem might decide previously on the principles tobe adopted and set forward before the public council (Ac 15:1-29). It was necessary that theJerusalem apostles should know beforehand that the Gospel Paul preached to the Gentiles was thesame as theirs, and had received divine confirmation in the results it wrought on the Gentile converts.He and Barnabas related to the multitude, not the nature of the doctrine they preached (as Paul didprivately to the apostles), but only the miracles vouchsafed in proof of God's sanctioning theirpreaching to the Gentiles (Ac 15:12).to them … of reputation—James, Cephas, and John, and probably some of the "elders"; Ga2:6, "those who seemed to be somewhat."lest, &c.—"lest I should be running, or have run, in vain"; that is, that they might see that I amnot running, and have not run, in vain. Paul does not himself fear lest he be running, or had run, invain; but lest he should, if he gave them no explanation, seem so to them. His race was theswift-running proclamation of the Gospel to the Gentiles (compare "run," Margin, for "Word …have free course," 2Th 3:1). His running would have been in vain, had circumcision been necessary,since he did not require it of his converts.3. But—So far were they from regarding me as running in vain, that "not even Titus who waswith me, who was a Greek (and therefore uncircumcised), was compelled to be circumcised." Sothe Greek should be translated. The "false brethren," Ga 2:4 ("certain of the sect of the Phariseeswhich believed," Ac 15:5), demanded his circumcision. The apostles, however, constrained by thefirmness of Paul and Barnabas (Ga 2:5), did not compel or insist on his being circumcised. Thusthey virtually sanctioned Paul's course among the Gentiles and admitted his independence as anapostle: the point he desires to set forth to the Galatians. Timothy, on the other hand, as being aproselyte of the gate, and son of a Jewess (Ac 16:1), he circumcised (Ac 16:3). Christianity did notinterfere with Jewish usages, regarded merely as social ordinances, though no longer having theirreligious significance, in the case of Jews and proselytes, while the Jewish polity and temple stillstood; after the overthrow of the latter, those usages naturally ceased. To have insisted on Jewish2601JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonusages for Gentile converts, would have been to make them essential parts of Christianity. To haverudely violated them at first in the case of Jews, would have been inconsistent with that charitywhich (in matters indifferent) is made all things to all men, that by all means it may win some (1Co9:22; compare Ro 14:1-7, 13-23). Paul brought Titus about with him as a living example of thepower of the Gospel upon the uncircumcised heathen.4. And that—that is, What I did concerning Titus (namely, by not permitting him to becircumcised) was not from contempt of circumcision, but "on account of the false brethren" (Ac15:1, 24) who, had I yielded to the demand for his being circumcised, would have perverted thecase into a proof that I deemed circumcision necessary.unawares—"in an underhand manner brought in."privily—stealthily.to spy out—as foes in the guise of friends, wishing to destroy and rob us ofour liberty—from the yoke of the ceremonial law. If they had found that we circumcised Titusthrough fear of the apostles, they would have made that a ground for insisting on imposing the legalyoke on the Gentiles.bring us into bondage—The Greek future implies the certainty and continuance of the bondageas the result.5. Greek, "To whom not even for an hour did we yield by subjection." Alford renders the Greekarticle, "with THE subjection required of us." The sense rather is, We would willingly have yieldedfor love [Bengel] (if no principle was at issue), but not in the way of subjection, where "the truth ofthe Gospel" (Ga 2:14; Col 1:5) was at stake (namely, the fundamental truth of justification by faithonly, without the works of the law, contrasted with another Gospel, Ga 1:6). Truth precise,unaccommodating, abandons nothing that belongs to itself, admits nothing that is inconsistent withit [Bengel].might continue with you—Gentiles. We defended for your sakes your true faith and liberties,which you are now renouncing.6. Greek, "From those who," &c. He meant to complete the sentence with "I derived no specialadvantage"; but he alters it into "they … added nothing to me."accepteth—so as to show any partiality; "respecteth no man's person" (Eph 6:9).seemed to be somewhat—that is, not that they seemed to be what they were not, but "werereputed as persons of some consequence"; not insinuating a doubt but that they were justly soreputed.in conference added—or "imparted"; the same Greek as in Ga 1:16, "I conferred not with fleshand blood." As I did not by conference impart to them aught at my conversion, so they now didnot impart aught additional to me, above what I already knew. This proves to the Galatians hisindependence as an apostle.7. contrariwise—on the contrary. So far from adding any new light to ME, THEY gave in THEIRadhesion to the new path on which Barnabas and I, by independent revelation, had entered. So farfrom censuring, they gave a hearty approval to my independent course, namely, the innovation ofpreaching the Gospel without circumcision to the Gentiles.when they saw—from the effects which I showed them, were "wrought" (Ga 2:8; Ac 15:12).was committed unto me—Greek, "I was entrusted with."gospel of the uncircumcision—that is, of the Gentiles, who were to be converted withoutcircumcision being required.2602JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncircumcision … unto Peter—Peter had originally opened the door to the Gentiles (Ac 10:1-48;15:7). But in the ultimate apportionment of the spheres of labor, the Jews were assigned to him(compare 1Pe 1:1). So Paul on the other hand wrote to the Hebrews (compare also Col 4:11), thoughhis main work was among the Gentiles. The non-mention of Peter in the list of names, prescientlythrough the Spirit, given in the sixteenth chapter of Romans, shows that Peter's residence at Rome,much more primacy, was then unknown. The same is palpable from the sphere here assigned tohim.8. he—God (1Co 12:6).wrought effectually—that is, made the preached word efficacious to conversion, not only bysensible miracles, but by the secret mighty power of the Holy Ghost.in Peter—Ellicott and others, translate, "For Peter." Grotius translates as English Version.to—with a view to.was mighty—Translate as before, the Greek being the same, "wrought effectually."in me—"for (or 'in') me also."9. James—placed first in the oldest manuscripts, even before Peter, as being bishop of Jerusalem,and so presiding at the council (Ac 15:1-29). He was called "the Just," from his strict adherence tothe law, and so was especially popular among the Jewish party though he did not fall into theirextremes; whereas Peter was somewhat estranged from them through his intercourse with theGentile Christians. To each apostle was assigned the sphere best suited to his temperament: toJames, who was tenacious of the law, the Jerusalem Jews; to Peter, who had opened the door tothe Gentiles but who was Judaically disposed, the Jews of the dispersion; to Paul, who, by themiraculous and overwhelming suddenness of his conversion, had the whole current of his earlyJewish prejudices turned into an utterly opposite direction, the Gentiles. Not separately andindividually, but collectively the apostles together represented Christ, the One Head, in theapostleship. The twelve foundation-stones of various colors are joined together to the one greatfoundation-stone on which they rest (1Co 3:11; Re 21:14, 19, 20). John had got an intimation inJesus' lifetime of the admission of the Gentiles (Joh 12:20-24).seemed—that is, were reputed to be (see on Ga 2:2 and Ga 2:6) pillars, that is, weighty supportersof the Church (compare Pr 9:1; Re 3:12).perceived the grace … given unto me—(2Pe 3:15).gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship—recognizing me as a colleague inthe apostleship, and that the Gospel I preached by special revelation to the Gentiles was the sameas theirs. Compare the phrase, La 5:6; Eze 17:18.heathen—the Gentiles.10. remember the poor—of the Jewish Christians in Judea, then distressed. Paul and Barnabashad already done so (Ac 11:23-30).the same—the very thing.I … was forward—or "zealous" (Ac 24:17; Ro 15:25; 1Co 16:1; 2Co 8:1-9:15). Paul waszealous for good works, while denying justification by them.11. Peter—"Cephas" in the oldest manuscripts Paul's withstanding Peter is the strongest proofthat the former gives of the independence of his apostleship in relation to the other apostles, andupsets the Romish doctrine of Peter's supremacy. The apostles were not always inspired; but wereso always in writing the Scriptures. If then the inspired men who wrote them were not invariably2603JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonat other times infallible, much less were the uninspired men who kept them. The Christian fathersmay be trusted generally as witnesses to facts, but not implicitly followed in matters of opinion.come to Antioch—then the citadel of the Gentile Church: where first the Gospel was preachedto idolatrous Gentiles, and where the name "Christians" was first given (Ac 11:20, 26), and wherePeter is said to have been subsequently bishop. The question at Antioch was not whether the Gentileswere admissible to the Christian covenant without becoming circumcised—that was the questionsettled at the Jerusalem council just before—but whether the Gentile Christians were to be admittedto social intercourse with the Jewish Christians without conforming to the Jewish institution. TheJudaizers, soon after the council had passed the resolutions recognizing the equal rights of theGentile Christians, repaired to Antioch, the scene of the gathering in of the Gentiles (Ac 11:20-26),to witness, what to Jews would look so extraordinary, the receiving of men to communion of theChurch without circumcision. Regarding the proceeding with prejudice, they explained away theforce of the Jerusalem decision; and probably also desired to watch whether the Jewish Christiansamong the Gentiles violated the law, which that decision did not verbally sanction them in doing,though giving the Gentiles latitude (Ac 15:19).to be blamed—rather, "(self)-condemned"; his act at one time condemning his contrary actingat another time.12. certain—men: perhaps James' view (in which he was not infallible, any more than Peter)was that the Jewish converts were still to observe Jewish ordinances, from which he had decidedwith the council the Gentiles should be free (Ac 15:19). Neander, however, may be right in thinkingthese self-styled delegates from James were not really from him. Ac 15:24 favors this. "Certainfrom James," may mean merely that they came from the Church at Jerusalem under James' bishopric.Still James' leanings were to legalism, and this gave him his influence with the Jewish party (Ac21:18-26).eat with … Gentiles—as in Ac 10:10-20, 48, according to the command of the vision (Ac11:3-17). Yet after all, this same Peter, through fear of man (Pr 29:25), was faithless to his own sodistinctly avowed principles (Ac 15:7-11). We recognize the same old nature in him as led him,after faithfully witnessing for Christ, yet for a brief space, to deny Him. "Ever the first to recognize,and the first to draw back from great truths" [Alford]. An undesigned coincidence between theGospels and the Epistle in the consistency of character as portrayed in both. It is beautiful to seehow earthly misunderstandings of Christians are lost in Christ. For in 2Pe 3:15, Peter praises thevery Epistles of Paul which he knew contained his own condemnation. Though apart from oneanother and differing in characteristics, the two apostles were one in Christ.withdrew—Greek, "began to withdraw," &c. This implies a gradual drawing back; "separated,"entire severance.13. the other—Greek, "the rest."Jews—Jewish Christians.dissembled likewise—Greek, "joined in hypocrisy," namely, in living as though the law werenecessary to justification, through fear of man, though they knew from God their Christian libertyof eating with Gentiles, and had availed themselves of it already (Ac 11:2-17). The case was distinctfrom that in 1Co 8:1-10:33; Ro 14:1-23. It was not a question of liberty, and of bearing with others'infirmities, but one affecting the essence of the Gospel, whether the Gentiles are to be virtually"compelled to live as do the Jews," in order to be justified (Ga 2:14).2604JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonBarnabas also—"Even Barnabas": one least likely to be led into such an error, being with Paulin first preaching to the idolatrous Gentiles: showing the power of bad example and numbers. InAntioch, the capital of Gentile Christianity and the central point of Christian missions, thecontroversy first arose, and in the same spot it now broke out afresh; and here Paul had first toencounter the party that afterwards persecuted him in every scene of his labors (Ac 15:30-35).14. walked not uprightly—literally, "straight": "were not walking with straightforward steps."Compare Ga 6:16.truth of the gospel—which teaches that justification by legal works and observances isinconsistent with redemption by Christ. Paul alone here maintained the truth against Judaism, asafterwards against heathenism (2Ti 4:16, 17).Peter—"Cephas" in the oldest manuscriptsbefore … all—(1Ti 5:20).If thou, &c.—"If thou, although being a Jew (and therefore one who might seem to be morebound to the law than the Gentiles), livest (habitually, without scruple and from conviction, Ac15:10, 11) as a Gentile (freely eating of every food, and living in other respects also as if legalordinances in no way justify, Ga 2:12), and not as a Jew, how (so the oldest manuscripts read, for'why') is it that thou art compelling (virtually, by thine example) the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"(literally, to Judaize, that is, to keep the ceremonial customs of the Jews: What had been formerlyobedience to the law, is now mere Judaism). The high authority of Peter would constrain the GentileChristians to regard Judaizing as necessary to all, since Jewish Christians could not consort withGentile converts in communion without it.15, 16. Connect these verses together, and read with most of the oldest manuscripts "But" inthe beginning of Ga 2:16: "We (I and thou, Peter) by nature (not by proselytism), Jews, and notsinners as (Jewish language termed the Gentiles) from among the Gentiles, YET (literally, 'BUT')knowing that … even we (resuming the 'we' of Ga 2:15, 'we also,' as well as the Gentile sinners;casting away trust in the law), have believed," &c.16. not justified by the works of the law—as the GROUND of justification. "The works of thelaw" are those which have the law for their object—which are wrought to fulfil the law [Alford].but by—Translate, "But only (in no other way save) through faith in Jesus Christ," as the MEANand instrument of justification.Jesus Christ—In the second case, read with the oldest manuscripts, "Christ Jesus," theMessiahship coming into prominence in the case of Jewish believers, as "Jesus" does in the firstcase, referring to the general proposition.justified by the faith of Christ—that is, by Christ, the object of faith, as the ground of ourjustification.for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified—He rests his argument on this as anaxiom in theology, referring to Ps 143:2, "Moses and Jesus Christ; The law and the promise; Doingand believing; Works and faith; Wages and the gift; The curse and the blessing—are representedas diametrically opposed" [Bengel]. The moral law is, in respect to justification, more legal than theceremonial, which was an elementary and preliminary Gospel: So "Sinai" (Ga 4:24), which is morefamed for the Decalogue than for the ceremonial law, is made pre-eminently the type of legalbondage. Thus, justification by the law, whether the moral or ceremonial, is excluded (Ro 3:20).17. Greek, "But if, seeking to be justified IN (that is, in believing union with) Christ (who hasin the Gospel theory fulfilled the law for us), we (you and I) ourselves also were found (in your2605JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonand my former communion with Gentiles) sinners (such as from the Jewish standpoint that now weresume, we should be regarded, since we have cast aside the law, thus having put ourselves in thesame category as the Gentiles, who, being without the law, are, in the Jewish view, "sinners," Ga2:15), is therefore Christ, the minister of sin?" (Are we to admit the conclusion, in this case inevitable,that Christ having failed to justify us by faith, so has become to us the minister of sin, by puttingus in the position of "sinners," as the Judaic theory, if correct, would make us, along with all otherswho are "without the law," Ro 2:14; 1Co 9:21; and with whom, by eating with them, we haveidentified ourselves?) The Christian mind revolts from so shocking a conclusion, and so, from thetheory which would result in it. The whole sin lies, not with Christ, but with him who wouldnecessitate such a blasphemous inference. But his false theory, though "seeking" from Christ, wehave not "found" salvation (in contradiction to Christ's own words, Mt 7:7), but "have been ourselvesalso (like the Gentiles) found" to be "sinners," by having entered into communion with Gentiles(Ga 2:12).18. Greek, "For if the things which I overthrew (by the faith of Christ), those very things I buildup again (namely, legal righteousness, by subjecting myself to the law), I prove myself (literally,'I commend myself') a transgressor." Instead of commending yourself as you sought to do (Ga 2:12,end), you merely commend yourself as a transgressor. The "I" is intended by Paul for Peter to taketo himself, as it is his case, not Paul's own, that is described. A "transgressor" is another word for"sinner" (in Ga 2:17), for "sin is the transgression of the law." You, Peter, by now asserting thelaw to be obligatory, are proving yourself a "sinner," or "transgressor," in your having set it asideby living as the Gentiles, and with them. Thus you are debarred by transgression from justificationby the law, and you debar yourself from justification by Christ, since in your theory He becomesa minister of sin.19. Here Paul seems to pass from his exact words to Peter, to the general purport of his argumenton the question. However, his direct address to the Galatians seems not to be resumed till Ga 3:1,"O foolish Galatians," &c.For—But I am not a "transgressor" by forsaking the law. "For," &c. Proving his indignantdenial of the consequence that "Christ is the minister of sin" (Ga 2:17), and of the premises fromwhich it would follow. Christ, so far from being the minister of sin and death, is the establisher ofrighteousness and life. I am entirely in Him [Bengel].I—here emphatical. Paul himself, not Peter, as in the "I" (Ga 2:18).through the law—which was my "schoolmaster to bring me to Christ" (Ga 3:24); both by itsterrors (Ga 3:13; Ro 3:20) driving me to Christ, as the refuge from God's wrath against sin, and,when spiritually understood, teaching that itself is not permanent, but must give place to Christ,whom it prefigures as its scope and end (Ro 10:4); and drawing me to Him by its promises (in theprophecies which form part of the Old Testament law) of a better righteousness, and of God's lawwritten in the heart (De 18:15-19; Jer 31:33; Ac 10:43).am dead to the law—literally, "I died to the law," and so am dead to it, that is, am passed fromunder its power, in respect to non-justification or condemnation (Col 2:20; Ro 6:14; 7:4, 6); justas a woman, once married and bound to a husband, ceases to be so bound to him when deathinterposes, and may be lawfully married to another husband. So by believing union to Christ in Hisdeath, we, being considered dead with Him, are severed from the law's past power over us (compareGa 6:14; 1Co 7:39; Ro 6:6-11; 1Pe 2:24).live unto God—(Ro 6:11; 2Co 5:15; 1Pe 4:1, 2).2606JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson20. I am crucified—literally, "I have been crucified with Christ." This more particularizes theforegoing. "I am dead" (Ga 2:19; Php 3:10).nevertheless I live; yet not I—Greek, "nevertheless I live, no longer (indeed) I." Thoughcrucified I live; (and this) no longer that old man such as I once was (compare Ro 7:17). No longerSaul the Jew (Ga 5:24; Col 3:11, but "another man"; compare 1Sa 10:6). Ellicott and others translate,"And it is no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me." But the plain antithesis between"crucified" and "live," requires the translation, "nevertheless."the life which I now live—as contrasted with my life before conversion.in the flesh—My life seems to be a mere animal life "in the flesh," but this is not my true life;"it is but the mask of life under which lives another, namely, Christ, who is my true life" [Luther].I live by the faith, &c.—Greek, "IN faith (namely), that of (that is, which rests on) the Son ofGod." "In faith," answers by contrast to "in the flesh." Faith, not the flesh, is the real element inwhich I live. The phrase, "the Son of God," reminds us that His Divine Sonship is the source ofHis life-giving power.loved me—His eternal gratuitous love is the link that unites me to the Son of God, and His"giving Himself for me," is the strongest proof of that love.21. I do not frustrate the grace of God—I do not make it void, as thou, Peter, art doing byJudaizing.for—justifying the strong expression "frustrate," or "make void."is dead in vain—Greek, "Christ died needlessly," or "without just cause." Christ's having died,shows that the law has no power to justify us; for if the law can justify or make us righteous, thedeath of Christ is superfluous [Chrysostom].CHAPTER 3Ga 3:1-29. Reproof of the Galatians for Abandoning Faith for Legalism. Justification by Faith Vindicated: TheLaw Shown to Be Subsequent to the Promise: Believers Are the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, Who Was Justified by Faith.The Law Was Our Schoolmaster to Bring Us to Christ, that We Might Become Children of God by Faith.1. that ye should not obey the truth—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.bewitched—fascinated you so that you have lost your wits. Themistius says the Galatians werenaturally very acute in intellect. Hence, Paul wonders they could be so misled in this case.you—emphatical. "You, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been graphically set forth (literally,in writing, namely, by vivid portraiture in preaching) among you, crucified" (so the sense andGreek order require rather than English Version). As Christ was "crucified," so ye ought to havebeen by faith "crucified with Christ," and so "dead to the law" (Ga 2:19, 20). Reference to the"eyes" is appropriate, as fascination was supposed to be exercised through the eyes. The sight ofChrist crucified ought to have been enough to counteract all fascination.2. "Was it by the works of the law that ye received the Spirit (manifested by outward miracles,Ga 3:5; Mr 16:17; Heb 2:4; and by spiritual graces, Ga 3:14; Ga 4:5, 6; Eph 1:13), or by the hearingof faith?" The "only" implies, "I desire, omitting other arguments, to rest the question on this alone";I who was your teacher, desire now to "learn" this one thing from you. The epithet "Holy" is notprefixed to "Spirit" because that epithet is a joyous one, whereas this Epistle is stern and reproving[Bengel].2607JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhearing of faith—Faith consists not in working, but in receiving (Ro 10:16, 17).3. begun—the Christian life (Php 1:6).in the Spirit—Not merely was Christ crucified "graphically set forth" in my preaching, butalso "the Spirit" confirmed the word preached, by imparting His spiritual gifts. "Having thus begun"with the receiving His spiritual gifts, "are ye now being made perfect" (so the Greek), that is, areye seeking to be made perfect with "fleshly" ordinances of the law? [Estius]. Compare Ro 2:28; Php3:3; Heb 9:10. Having begun in the Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit ruling your spiritual life as its"essence and active principle" [Ellicott], in contrast to "the flesh," the element in which the law works[Alford]. Having begun your Christianity in the Spirit, that is, in the divine life that proceeds fromfaith, are ye seeking after something higher still (the perfecting of your Christianity) in the sensuousand the earthly, which cannot possibly elevate the inner life of the Spirit, namely, outwardceremonies? [Neander]. No doubt the Galatians thought that they were going more deeply into theSpirit; for the flesh may be easily mistaken for the Spirit, even by those who have made progress,unless they continue to maintain a pure faith [Bengel].4. Have ye suffered so many things—namely, persecution from Jews and from unbelievingfellow countrymen, incited by the Jews, at the time of your conversion.in vain—fruitlessly, needlessly, since ye might have avoided them by professing Judaism[Grotius]. Or, shall ye, by falling from grace, lose the reward promised for all your sufferings, sothat they shall be "in vain" (Ga 4:11; 1Co 15:2, 17-19, 29-32; 2Th 1:5-7; 2Jo 8)?yet—rather, "If it be really (or 'indeed') in vain" [Ellicott]. "If, as it must be, what I have said,'in vain,' is really the fact" [Alford]. I prefer understanding it as a mitigation of the preceding words.I hope better things of you, for I trust you will return from legalism to grace; if so, as I confidentlyexpect, you will not have "suffered so many things in vain" [Estius]. For "God has given you theSpirit and has wrought mighty works among you" (Ga 3:5; Heb 10:32-36) [Bengel].5. He … that ministereth—or "supplieth," God (2Co 9:10). He who supplied and supplies toyou the Spirit still, to the present time. These miracles do not prove grace to be in the heart (Mr9:38, 39). He speaks of these miracles as a matter of unquestioned notoriety among those addressed;an undesigned proof of their genuineness (compare 1Co 12:1-31).worketh miracles among you—rather, "IN you," as Ga 2:8; Mt 14:2; Eph 2:2; Php 2:13; atyour conversion and since [Alford].doeth he it by the works of the law—that is, as a consequence resulting from (so the Greek)the works of the law (compare Ga 3:2). This cannot be because the law was then unknown to youwhen you received those gifts of the Spirit.6. The answer to the question in Ga 3:5 is here taken for granted, It was by the hearing of faith:following this up, he says, "Even as Abraham believed," &c. (Ge 15:4-6; Ro 4:3). God suppliesunto you the Spirit as the result of faith, not works, just as Abraham obtained justification by faith,not by works (Ga 3:6, 8, 16; Ga 4:22, 26, 28). Where justification is, there the Spirit is, so that ifthe former comes by faith, the latter must also.7. they which are of faith—as the source and starting-point of their spiritual life. The samephrase is in the Greek of Ro 3:26.the same—these, and these alone, to the exclusion of all the other descendants of Abraham.children—Greek, "sons" (Ga 3:29).8. And—Greek, "Moreover."2608JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonforeseeing—One great excellency of Scripture is, that in it all points liable ever to becontroverted, are, with prescient wisdom, decided in the most appropriate language.would justify—rather, "justifieth." Present indicative. It is now, and at all times, God's oneway of justification.the heathen—rather, "the Gentiles"; or "the nations," as the same Greek is translated at the endof the verse. God justifieth the Jews, too, "by faith, not by works." But he specifies the Gentiles inparticular here, as it was their case that was in question, the Galatians being Gentiles.preached before the gospel—"announced beforehand the Gospel." For the "promise" wassubstantially the Gospel by anticipation. Compare Joh 8:56; Heb 4:2. A proof that "the old fathersdid not look only for transitory promises" [Article VII, Church of England]. Thus the Gospel, inits essential germ, is older than the law though the full development of the former is subsequent tothe latter.In thee—not "in thy seed," which is a point not here raised; but strictly "in thee," as followersof thy faith, it having first shown the way to justification before God [Alford]; or "in thee," as Fatherof the promised seed, namely, Christ (Ga 3:16), who is the Object of faith (Ge 22:18; Ps 72:17),and imitating thy faith (see on Ga 3:9).all nations—or as above, "all the Gentiles" (Ge 12:3; 18:18; 22:18).be blessed—an act of grace, not something earned by works. The blessing of justification wasto Abraham by faith in the promise, not by works. So to those who follow Abraham, the father ofthe faithful, the blessing, that is, justification, comes purely by faith in Him who is the subject ofthe promise.9. they—and they alone.of faith—(See on Ga 3:7, beginning).with—together with.faithful—implying what it is in which they are "blessed together with him," namely, faith, theprominent feature of his character, and of which the result to all who like him have it, is justification.10. Confirmation of Ga 3:9. They who depend on the works of the law cannot share the blessing,for they are under the curse "written," De 27:26, Septuagint. Perfect obedience is required by thewords, "in all things." Continual obedience by the word, "continueth." No man renders this obedience(compare Ro 3:19, 20). It is observable, Paul quotes Scripture to the Jews who were conversantwith it, as in Epistle to the Hebrews, as said or spoken; but to the Gentiles, as written. So Matthew,writing for Jews, quotes it as "said," or "spoken"; Mark and Luke, writing for Gentiles, as "written"(Mt 1:22; Mr 1:2; Lu 2:22, 23) [Townson].11. by the law—Greek, "IN the law." Both in and by are included. The syllogism in this verseand Ga 3:12, is, according to Scripture, "The just shall live by faith." But the law is not of faith,but of doing, or works (that is, does not make faith, but works, the conditional ground of justifying).Therefore "in," or "by the law, no man is justified before God" (whatever the case may be beforemen, Ro 4:2)—not even if he could, which he cannot, keep the law, because the Scripture elementand conditional mean of justification is faith.The just shall live by faith—(Ro 1:17; Hab 2:4). Not as Bengel and Alford, "He who is just byfaith shall live." The Greek supports English Version. Also the contrast is between "live by faith"(namely, as the ground and source of his justification), and "live in them," namely, in his doingsor works (Ga 3:12), as the conditional element wherein he is justified.2609JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson12. doeth—Many depended on the law although they did not keep it; but without doing, saithPaul, it is of no use to them (Ro 2:13, 17, 23; 10:5).13. Abrupt exclamation, as he breaks away impatiently from those who would involve us againin the curse of the law, by seeking justification in it, to "Christ," who "has redeemed us from itscurse." The "us" refers primarily to the Jews, to whom the law principally appertained, in contrastto "the Gentiles" (Ga 3:14; compare Ga 4:3, 4). But it is not restricted solely to the Jews, as Alfordthinks; for these are the representative people of the world at large, and their "law" is the embodimentof what God requires of the whole world. The curse of its non-fulfilment affects the Gentiles throughthe Jews; for the law represents that righteousness which God requires of all, and which, since theJews failed to fulfil, the Gentiles are equally unable to fulfil. Ga 3:10, "As many as are of the worksof the law, are under the curse," refers plainly, not to the Jews only, but to all, even Gentiles (asthe Galatians), who seek justification by the law. The Jews' law represents the universal law whichcondemned the Gentiles, though with less clear consciousness on their part (Ro 2:1-29). Therevelation of God's "wrath" by the law of conscience, in some degree prepared the Gentiles forappreciating redemption through Christ when revealed. The curse had to be removed from off theheathen, too, as well as the Jews, in order that the blessing, through Abraham, might flow to them.Accordingly, the "we," in "that we might receive the promise of the Spirit," plainly refers to bothJews and Gentiles.redeemed us—bought us off from our former bondage (Ga 4:5), and "from the curse" underwhich all lie who trust to the law and the works of the law for justification. The Gentile Galatians,by putting themselves under the law, were involving themselves in the curse from which Christhas redeemed the Jews primarily, and through them the Gentiles. The ransom price He paid wasHis own precious blood (1Pe 1:18, 19; compare Mt 20:28; Ac 20:28; 1Co 6:20; 7:23; 1Ti 2:6; 2Pe2:1; Re 5:9).being made—Greek, "having become."a curse for us—Having become what we were, in our behalf, "a curse," that we might ceaseto be a curse. Not merely accursed (in the concrete), but a curse in the abstract, bearing the universalcurse of the whole human race. So 2Co 5:21, "Sin for us," not sinful, but bearing the whole sin ofour race, regarded as one vast aggregate of sin. See Note there. "Anathema" means "set apart toGod," to His glory, but to the person's own destruction. "Curse," an execration.written—(De 21:23). Christ's bearing the particular curse of hanging on the tree, is a sampleof the "general" curse which He representatively bore. Not that the Jews put to death malefactorsby hanging; but after having put them to death otherwise, in order to brand them with peculiarignominy, they hung the bodies on a tree, and such malefactors were accursed by the law (compareAc 5:30; 10:39). God's providence ordered it so that to fulfil the prophecy of the curse and otherprophecies, Jesus should be crucified, and so hang on the tree, though that death was not a Jewishmode of execution. The Jews accordingly, in contempt, call Him Tolvi, "the hanged one," andChristians, "worshippers of the hanged one"; and make it their great objection that He died theaccursed death [Trypho, in Justin Martyr, p. 249] (1Pe 2:24). Hung between heaven and earth asthough unworthy of either!14. The intent of "Christ becoming a curse for us"; "To the end that upon the Gentiles theblessing of Abraham (that is, promised to Abraham, namely, justification by faith) might come inChrist Jesus" (compare Ga 3:8).2610JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthat we might receive the promise of the Spirit—the promised Spirit (Joe 2:28, 29; Lu 24:49).This clause follows not the clause immediately preceding (for our receiving the Spirit is not theresult of the blessing of Abraham coming on the Gentiles), but "Christ hath redeemed us," &c.through faith—not by works. Here he resumes the thought in Ga 3:2. "The Spirit from without,kindles within us some spark of faith Whereby we lay hold of Christ, and even of the Spirit Himself,that He may dwell within us" [Flacius].15. I speak after the manner of men—I take an illustration from a merely human transactionof everyday occurrence.but a man's covenant—whose purpose it is far less important to maintain.if it be confirmed—when once it hath been ratified.no man disannulleth—"none setteth aside," not even the author himself, much less any secondparty. None does so who acts in common equity. Much less would the righteous God do so. Thelaw is here, by personification, regarded as a second person, distinct from, and subsequent to, thepromise of God. The promise is everlasting, and more peculiarly belongs to God. The law is regardedas something extraneous, afterwards introduced, exceptional and temporary (Ga 3:17-19, 21-24).addeth—None addeth new conditions "making" the covenant "of none effect" (Ga 3:17). Solegal Judaism could make no alteration in the fundamental relation between God and man, alreadyestablished by the promises to Abraham; it could not add as a new condition the observance of thelaw, in which case the fulfilment of the promise would be attached to a condition impossible forman to perform. The "covenant" here is one of free grace, a promise afterwards carried into effectin the Gospel.16. This verse is parenthetical. The covenant of promise was not "spoken" (so Greek for "made")to Abraham alone, but "to Abraham and his seed"; to the latter especially; and this means Christ(and that which is inseparable from Him, the literal Israel, and the spiritual, His body, the Church).Christ not having come when the law was given, the covenant could not have been then fulfilled,but awaited the coming of Him, the Seed, to whom it was spoken.promises—plural, because the same promise was often repeated (Ge 12:3, 7; 15:5, 18; 17:7;22:18), and because it involved many things; earthly blessings to the literal children of Abrahamin Canaan, and spiritual and heavenly blessings to his spiritual children; but both promised to Christ,"the Seed" and representative Head of the literal and spiritual Israel alike. In the spiritual seed thereis no distinction of Jew or Greek; but to the literal seed, the promises still in part remain to befulfilled (Ro 11:26). The covenant was not made with "many" seeds (which if there had been, apretext might exist for supposing there was one seed before the law, another under the law; andthat those sprung from one seed, say the Jewish, are admitted on different terms, and with a higherdegree of acceptability, than those sprung from the Gentile seed), but with the one seed; therefore,the promise that in Him "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Ge 12:3), joins in this oneSeed, Christ, Jew and Gentile, as fellow heirs on the same terms of acceptability, namely, by gracethrough faith (Ro 4:13); not to some by promise, to others by the law, but to all alike, circumcisedand uncircumcised, constituting but one seed in Christ (Ro 4:16). The law, on the other hand,contemplates the Jews and Gentiles as distinct seeds. God makes a covenant, but it is one of promise;whereas the law is a covenant of works. Whereas the law brings in a mediator, a third party (Ga3:19, 20), God makes His covenant of promise with the one seed, Christ (Ge 17:7), and embracesothers only as they are identified with, and represented by, Christ.2611JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonone … Christ—not in the exclusive sense, the man Christ Jesus, but "Christ" (Jesus is notadded, which would limit the meaning), including His people who are part of Himself, the SecondAdam, and Head of redeemed humanity. Ga 3:28, 29 prove this, "Ye are all ONE in Christ Jesus"(Jesus is added here as the person is indicated). "And if ye be Christ's, ye are Abraham's SEED, heirsaccording to the promise."17. this I say—"this is what I mean," by what I said in Ga 3:15.continued … of God—"ratified by God" (Ga 3:15).in Christ—rather, "unto Christ" (compare Ga 3:16). However, Vulgate and the old Italianversions translate as English Version. But the oldest manuscripts omit the words altogether.the law which was—Greek, "which came into existence four hundred thirty years after" (Ex12:40, 41). He does not, as in the case of "the covenant," add "enacted by God" (Joh 1:17). Thedispensation of "the promise" began with the call of Abraham from Ur into Canaan, and ended onthe last night of his grandson Jacob's sojourn in Canaan, the land of promise. The dispensation ofthe law, which engenders bondage, was beginning to draw on from the time of his entrance intoEgypt, the land of bondage. It was to Christ in him, as in his grandfather Abraham, and his fatherIsaac, not to him or them as persons, the promise was spoken. On the day following the last repetitionof the promise orally (Ge 46:1-6), at Beer-sheba, Israel passed into Egypt. It is from the end, notfrom the beginning of the dispensation of promise, that the interval of four hundred thirty yearsbetween it and the law is to be counted. At Beer-sheba, after the covenant with Abimelech, Abrahamcalled on the everlasting God, and the well was confirmed to him and his seed as an everlastingpossession. Here God appeared to Isaac. Here Jacob received the promise of the blessing, for whichGod had called Abraham out of Ur, repeated for the last time, on the last night of his sojourn in theland of promise.cannot—Greek, "doth not disannul."make … of none effect—The promise would become so, if the power of conferring theinheritance be transferred from it to the law (Ro 4:14).18. the inheritance—all the blessings to be inherited by Abraham's literal and spiritual children,according to the promise made to him and to his Seed, Christ, justification and glorification (Ga4:7; Ro 8:17; 1Co 6:9).but God, &c.—The Greek order requires rather, "But to Abraham it was by promise that Godhath given it." The conclusion is, Therefore the inheritance is not of, or from the law (Ro 4:14).19. "Wherefore then serveth the law?" as it is of no avail for justification, is it either useless,or contrary to the covenant of God? [Calvin].added—to the original covenant of promise. This is not inconsistent with Ga 3:15, "No manaddeth thereto"; for there the kind of addition meant, and therefore denied, is one that would addnew conditions, inconsistent with the grace of the covenant of promise. The law, thoughmisunderstood by the Judaizers as doing so, was really added for a different purpose, namely,"because of (or as the Greek, 'for the sake of') the transgressions," that is, to bring out into clearerview the transgressions of it (Ro 7:7-9); to make men more fully conscious of their "sins," by beingperceived as transgressions of the law, and so to make them long for the promised Saviour. Thisaccords with Ga 3:23, 24; Ro 4:15. The meaning can hardly be "to check transgressions," for thelaw rather stimulates the corrupt heart to disobey it (Ro 5:20; 7:13).2612JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesontill the seed—during the period up to the time when the seed came. The law was a preparatorydispensation for the Jewish nation (Ro 5:20; Greek, "the law came in additionally and incidentally"),intervening between the promise and its fulfilment in Christ.come—(Compare "faith came," Ga 3:23).the promise—(Ro 4:21).ordained—Greek, "constituted" or "disposed."by angels—as the instrumental enactors of the law [Alford] God delegated the law to angels assomething rather alien to Him and severe (Ac 7:53; Heb 2:2, 3; compare De 33:2, "He came withten thousands of saints," that is, angels, Ps 68:17). He reserved "the promise" to Himself anddispensed it according to His own goodness.in the hand of a mediator—namely, Moses. De 5:5, "I stood between the Lord and you": thevery definition of a mediator. Hence the phrase often recurs, "By the hand of Moses." In the givingof the law, the "angels" were representatives of God; Moses, as mediator, represented the people.20. "Now a mediator cannot be of one (but must be of two parties whom he mediates between);but God is one" (not two: owing to His essential unity not admitting of an intervening party betweenHim and those to be blessed; but as the One Sovereign, His own representative, giving the blessingdirectly by promise to Abraham, and, in its fulfilment, to Christ, "the Seed," without new condition,and without a mediator such as the law had). The conclusion understood is, Therefore a mediatorcannot appertain to God; and consequently, the law, with its inseparable appendage of a mediator,cannot be the normal way of dealing of God, the one, and unchangeable God, who dealt withAbraham by direct promise, as a sovereign, not as one forming a compact with another party, withconditions and a mediator attached thereto. God would bring man into immediate communion withHim, and not have man separated from Him by a mediator that keeps back from access, as Mosesand the legal priesthood did (Ex 19:12, 13, 17, 21-24; Heb 12:19-24). The law that thus interposeda mediator and conditions between man and God, was an exceptional state limited to the Jews, andparenthetically preparatory to the Gospel, God's normal mode of dealing, as He dealt with Abraham,namely, face to face directly; by promise and grace, and not conditions; to all nations united byfaith in the one seed (Eph 2:14, 16, 18), and not to one people to the exclusion and severance fromthe One common Father, of all other nations. It is no objection to this view, that the Gospel, too,has a mediator (1Ti 2:5). For Jesus is not a mediator separating the two parties in the covenant ofpromise or grace, as Moses did, but One in both nature and office with both God and man (compare"God in Christ," Ga 3:17): representing the whole universal manhood (1Co 15:22, 45, 47), and alsobearing in Him "all the fulness of the Godhead." Even His mediatorial office is to cease when itspurpose of reconciling all things to God shall have been accomplished (1Co 15:24); and God'sONENESS (Zec 14:9), as "all in all," shall be fully manifested. Compare Joh 1:17, where the twomediators—Moses, the severing mediator of legal conditions, and Jesus, the uniting mediator ofgrace—are contrasted. The Jews began their worship by reciting the Schemah, opening thus,"Jehovah our God is ONE Jehovah"; which words their Rabbis (as Jarchius) interpret as teaching notonly the unity of God, but the future universality of His Kingdom on earth (Zep 3:9). Paul (Ro 3:30)infers the same truth from the ONENESS of God (compare Eph 4:4-6). He, as being One, unites allbelievers, without distinction, to Himself (Ga 3:8, 16, 28; Eph 1:10; 2:14; compare Heb 2:11) indirect communion. The unity of God involves the unity of the people of God, and also His dealingdirectly without intervention of a mediator.2613JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson21. "Is the law (which involves a mediator) against the promises of God (which are without amediator, and rest on God alone and immediately)? God forbid."life—The law, as an externally prescribed rule, can never internally impart spiritual life to mennaturally dead in sin, and change the disposition. If the law had been a law capable of giving life,"verily (in very reality, and not in the mere fancy of legalists) righteousness would have been bythe law (for where life is, there righteousness, its condition, must also be)." But the law does notpretend to give life, and therefore not righteousness; so there is no opposition between the law andthe promise. Righteousness can only come through the promise to Abraham, and through itsfulfilment in the Gospel of grace.22. But—as the law cannot give life or righteousness [Alford]. Or the "But" means, So far isrighteousness from being of the law, that the knowledge of sin is rather what comes of the law[Bengel].the scripture—which began to be written after the time of the promise, at the time when thelaw was given. The written letter was needed SO as PERMANENTLY to convict man of disobedienceto God's command. Therefore he says, "the Scripture," not the "Law." Compare Ga 3:8, "Scripture,"for "the God of the Scripture."concluded—"shut up," under condemnation, as in a prison. Compare Isa 24:22, "As prisonersgathered in the pit and shut up in the prison." Beautifully contrasted with "the liberty wherewithChrist makes free," which follows, Ga 3:7, 9, 25, 26; 5:1; Isa 61:1.all—Greek neuter, "the universe of things": the whole world, man, and all that appertains tohim.under sin—(Ro 3:9, 19; 11:32).the promise—the inheritance promised (Ga 3:18).by faith of Jesus Christ—that is which is by faith in Jesus Christ.might be given—The emphasis is on "given": that it might be a free gift; not something earnedby the works of the law (Ro 6:23).to them that believe—to them that have "the faith of (in) Jesus Christ" just spoken of.23. faith—namely, that just mentioned (Ga 3:22), of which Christ is the object.kept—Greek, "kept in ward": the effect of the "shutting up" (Ga 3:22; Ga 4:2; Ro 7:6).unto—"with a view to the faith," &c. We were, in a manner, morally forced to it, so that thereremained to us no refuge but faith. Compare the phrase, Ps 78:50, Margin; Ps 31:8.which should afterwards, &c.—"which was afterwards to be revealed."24. "So that the law hath been (that is, hath turned out to be) our schoolmaster (or "tutor,"literally, "pedagogue": this term, among the Greeks, meant a faithful servant entrusted with thecare of the boy from childhood to puberty, to keep him from evil, physical and moral, and accompanyhim to his amusements and studies) to guide us unto Christ," with whom we are no longer "shutup" in bondage, but are freemen. "Children" (literally, infants) need such tutoring (Ga 4:3).might be—rather, "that we may be justified by faith"; which we could not be till Christ, theobject of faith, had come. Meanwhile the law, by outwardly checking the sinful propensity whichwas constantly giving fresh proof of its refractoriness—as thus the consciousness of the power ofthe sinful principle became more vivid, and hence the sense of need both of forgiveness of sin andfreedom from its bondage was awakened—the law became a "schoolmaster to guide us unto Christ"[Neander]. The moral law shows us what we ought to do, and so we learn our inability to do it. Inthe ceremonial law we seek, by animal sacrifices, to answer for our not having done it, but find2614JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesondead victims no satisfaction for the sins of living men, and that outward purifying will not cleansethe soul; and that therefore we need an infinitely better Sacrifice, the antitype of all the legalsacrifices. Thus delivered up to the judicial law, we see how awful is the doom we deserve: thusthe law at last leads us to Christ, with whom we find righteousness and peace. "Sin, sin! is the wordheard again and again in the Old Testament. Had it not there for centuries rung in the ear, andfastened on the conscience, the joyful sound, "grace for grace," would not have been the watchwordof the New Testament. This was the end of the whole system of sacrifices" [Tholuck].25. "But now that faith is come," &c. Moses the lawgiver cannot bring us into the heavenlyCanaan though he can bring us to the border of it. At that point he is superseded by Joshua, thetype of Jesus, who leads the true Israel into their inheritance. The law leads us to Christ, and thereits office ceases.26. children—Greek, "sons."by—Greek, "through faith." "Ye all" (Jews and Gentiles alike) are no longer "children" requiringa tutor, but SONS emancipated and walking at liberty.27. baptized into Christ—(Ro 6:3).have put on Christ—Ye did, in that very act of being baptized into Christ, put on, or clotheyourselves with, Christ: so the Greek expresses. Christ is to you the toga virilis (the Roman garmentof the full-grown man, assumed when ceasing to be a child) [Bengel]. Gataker defines a Christian,"One who has put on Christ." The argument is, By baptism ye have put on Christ; and therefore,He being the Son of God, ye become sons by adoption, by virtue of His Sonship by generation.This proves that baptism, where it answers to its ideal, is not a mere empty sign, but a means ofspiritual transference from the state of legal condemnation to that of living union with Christ, andof sonship through Him in relation to God (Ro 13:14). Christ alone can, by baptizing with HisSpirit, make the inward grace correspond to the outward sign. But as He promises the blessing inthe faithful use of the means, the Church has rightly presumed, in charity, that such is the case,nothing appearing to the contrary.28. There is in this sonship by faith in Christ, no class privileged above another, as the Jewsunder the law had been above the Gentiles (Ro 10:12; 1Co 12:13; Col 3:11).bond nor free—Christ alike belongs to both by faith; whence he puts "bond" before "free."Compare Note, see on 1Co 7:21, 22; Eph 6:8.neither male nor female—rather, as Greek, "there is not male and female." There is nodistinction into male and female. Difference of sex makes no difference in Christian privileges.But under the law the male sex had great privileges. Males alone had in their body circumcision,the sign of the covenant (contrast baptism applied to male and female alike); they alone were capableof being kings and priests, whereas all of either sex are now "kings and priests unto God" (Re 1:6);they had prior right to inheritances. In the resurrection the relation of the sexes shall cease (Lu20:35).one—Greek, "one man"; masculine, not neuter, namely "one new man" in Christ (Eph 2:15).29. and heirs—The oldest manuscripts omit "and." Christ is "Abraham's seed" (Ga 3:16): yeare "one in Christ" (Ga 3:28), and one with Christ, as having "put on Christ" (Ga 3:27); thereforeYE are "Abraham's seed," which is tantamount to saying (whence the "and" is omitted), ye are "heirsaccording to the promise" (not "by the law," Ga 3:18); for it was to Abraham's seed that theinheritance was promised (Ga 3:16). Thus he arrives at the same truth which he set out with (Ga3:7). But one new "seed" of a righteous succession could be found. One single faultless grain of2615JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonhuman nature was found by God Himself, the source of a new and imperishable seed: "the seed"(Ps 22:30) who receive from Him a new nature and name (Ge 3:15; Isa 53:10, 11; Joh 12:24). InHim the lineal descent from David becomes extinct. He died without posterity. But He lives andshall reign on David's throne. No one has a legal claim to sit upon it but Himself, He being the onlyliving direct representative (Eze 21:27). His spiritual seed derive their birth from the travail of Hissoul, being born again of His word, which is the incorruptible seed (Joh 1:12; Ro 9:8; 1Pe 1:23).CHAPTER 4Ga 4:1-31. The Same Subject Continued: Illustration of Our Subjection to the Law Only till Christ Came, from theSubjection of an Heir to His Guardian till He Is of Age. Peter's Good Will to the Galatians Should Lead Them to the SameGood Will to Him as They Had at First Shown. Their Desire to Be under the Law Shown by the Allegory of Isaac andIshmael to Be Inconsistent with Their Gospel Liberty.1-7. The fact of God's sending His Son to redeem us who were under the law (Ga 4:4), andsending the Spirit of His Son into our hearts (Ga 4:6), confirms the conclusion (Ga 3:29) that weare "heirs according to the promise."the heir—(Ga 3:29). It is not, as in earthly inheritances, the death of the father, but our Father'ssovereign will simply that makes us heirs.child—Greek, "one under age."differeth nothing, &c.—that is, has no more freedom than a slave (so the Greek for "servant"means). He is not at his own disposal.lord of all—by title and virtual ownership (compare 1Co 3:21, 22).2. tutors and governors—rather, "guardians (of the person) and stewards (of the property)."Answering to "the law was our schoolmaster" or "tutor" (Ga 3:24).until the time appointed of the father—in His eternal purposes (Eph 1:9-11). The Greek is alegal term, expressing a time defined by law, or testamentary disposition.3. we—the Jews primarily, and inclusively the Gentiles also. For the "we" in Ga 4:5 plainlyrefers to both Jew and Gentile believers. The Jews in their bondage to the law of Moses, as therepresentative people of the world, include all mankind virtually amenable to God's law (Ro 2:14,15; compare Note, see on Ga 3:13; Ga 3:23). Even the Gentiles were under "bondage," and in astate of discipline suitable to nonage, till Christ came as the Emancipator.were in bondage—as "servants" (Ga 4:1).under the elements—or "rudiments"; rudimentary religion teaching of a non-Christian character:the elementary lessons of outward things (literally, "of the [outward] world"); such as the legalordinances mentioned, Ga 4:10 (Col 2:8, 20). Our childhood's lessons [Conybeare and Howson].Literally, The letters of the alphabet (Heb 5:12).4. the fulness of the time—namely, "the time appointed by the Father" (Ga 4:2). CompareNote, see on Eph 1:10; Lu 1:57; Ac 2:1; Eze 5:2. "The Church has its own ages" [Bengel]. God doesnothing prematurely, but, foreseeing the end from the beginning, waits till all is ripe for the executionof His purpose. Had Christ come directly after the fall, the enormity and deadly fruits of sin wouldnot have been realized fully by man, so as to feel his desperate state and need of a Saviour. Sin wasfully developed. Man's inability to save himself by obedience to the law, whether that of Moses,or that of conscience, was completely manifested; all the prophecies of various ages found their2616JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesoncommon center in this particular time: and Providence, by various arrangements in the social andpolitical, as well as the moral world, had fully prepared the way for the coming Redeemer. Godoften permits physical evil long before he teaches the remedy. The smallpox had for long committedits ravages before inoculation, and then vaccination, was discovered. It was essential to the honorof God's law to permit evil long before He revealed the full remedy. Compare "the set time" (Ps102:13).was come—Greek, "came."sent forth—Greek, "sent forth out of heaven from Himself" [Alford and Bengel]. The same verbis used of the Father's sending forth the Spirit (Ga 4:6). So in Ac 7:12. Compare with this verse,Joh 8:42; Isa 48:16.his—emphatical. "His own Son." Not by adoption, as we are (Ga 4:5): nor merely His Son bythe anointing of the Spirit which God sends into the heart (Ga 4:6; Joh 1:18).made of a woman—"made" is used as in 1Co 15:45, "The first man, Adam, was made a livingsoul," Greek, "made to be (born) of a woman." The expression implies a special interposition ofGod in His birth as man, namely, causing Him to be conceived by the Holy Ghost. So Estius.made under the law—"made to be under the law." Not merely as Grotius and Alford explain,"Born subject to the law as a Jew." But "made" by His Father's appointment, and His own free will,"subject to the law," to keep it all, ceremonial and moral, perfectly for us, as the RepresentativeMan, and to suffer and exhaust the full penalty of our whole race's violation of it. This constitutesthe significance of His circumcision, His being presented in the temple (Lu 2:21, 22, 27; compareMt 5:17), and His baptism by John, when He said (Mt 3:15), "Thus it becometh us to fulfil allrighteousness."5. To—Greek, "That He might redeem."them … under the law—primarily the Jews: but as these were the representative people ofthe world, the Gentiles, too, are included in the redemption (Ga 3:13).receive—The Greek implies the suitableness of the thing as long ago predestined by God."Receive as something destined or due" (Lu 23:41; 2Jo 8). Herein God makes of sons of men sonsof God, inasmuch as God made of the Son of God the Son of man [Augustine on Psalm 52].6. because ye are sons—The gift of the Spirit of prayer is the consequence of our adoption.The Gentile Galatians might think, as the Jews were under the law before their adoption, that sothey, too, must first be under the law. Paul, by anticipation, meets this objection by saying, Ye aresons, therefore ye need not be as children (Ga 4:1) under the tutorship of the law, as being alreadyin the free state of "sons" of God by faith in Christ (Ga 3:26), no longer in your nonage (as "children,"Ga 4:1). The Spirit of God's only Begotten Son in your hearts, sent from, and leading you to cryto, the Father, attests your sonship by adoption: for the Spirit is the "earnest of your inheritance"(Ro 8:15, 16; Eph 1:13). "It is because ye are sons that God sent forth" (the Greek requires thistranslation, not "hath sent forth") into OUR (so the oldest manuscripts read for "your," in EnglishVersion) hearts the Spirit of His son, crying, "Abba, Father" (Joh 1:12). As in Ga 4:5 he changedfrom "them," the third person, to "we," the first person, so here he changes from "ye," the secondperson, to "our," the first person: this he does to identify their case as Gentiles, with his own andthat of his believing fellow countrymen, as Jews. In another point of view, though not the immediateone intended by the context, this verse expresses, "Because ye are sons (already in God's electingpurpose of love), God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts," &c.: God thus, by sendingHis Spirit in due time, actually conferring that sonship which He already regarded as a present2617JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonreality ("are") because of His purpose, even before it was actually fulfilled. So Heb 2:13, where"the children" are spoken of as existing in His purpose, before their actual existence.the Spirit of his Son—By faith ye are one with the Son, so that what is His is yours; His Sonshipensures your sonship; His Spirit ensures for you a share in the same. "If any man have not the Spiritof Christ, he is none of His" (Ro 8:9). Moreover, as the Spirit of God proceeds from God the Father,so the Spirit of the Son proceeds from the Son: so that the Holy Ghost, as the Creed says, "proceedethfrom the Father and the Son." The Father was not begotten: the Son is begotten of the Father; theHoly Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son.crying—Here the Spirit is regarded as the agent in praying, and the believer as His organ. InRo 8:15, "The Spirit of adoption" is said to be that whereby WE cry, "Abba, Father"; but in Ro 8:26,"The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." The believers'prayer is His prayer: hence arises its acceptability with God.Abba, Father—The Hebrew says, "Abba" (a Hebrew term), the Greek, "Father" ("Pater," aGreek term in the original), both united together in one Sonship and one cry of faith, "Abba, Father."So "Even so ('Nai,' Greek) Amen (Hebrew)," both meaning the same (Re 1:7). Christ's own formercry is the believers' cry, "Abba, Father" (Mr 14:36).7. Wherefore—Conclusion inferred from Ga 4:4-6.thou—individualizing and applying the truth to each. Such an individual appropriation of thiscomforting truth God grants in answer to them who cry, "Abba, Father."heir of God through Christ—The oldest manuscripts read, "an heir through God." Thiscombines on behalf of man, the whole before-mentioned agency, of THE Trinity: the Father sent HisSon and the Spirit; the Son has freed us from the law; the Spirit has completed our sonship. Thusthe redeemed are heirs THROUGH the Triune God, not through the law, nor through fleshly descent[Windischmann in Alford]; (Ga 3:18 confirms this).heir—confirming Ga 3:29; compare Ro 8:17.8-11. Appeal to them not to turn back from their privileges as free sons, to legal bondage again.then—when ye were "servants" (Ga 4:7).ye knew not God—not opposed to Ro 1:21. The heathen originally knew God, as Ro 1:21states, but did not choose to retain God in their knowledge, and so corrupted the original truth.They might still have known Him, in a measure, from His works, but as a matter of fact they knewHim not, so far as His eternity, His power as the Creator, and His holiness, are concerned.are no gods—that is, have no existence, such as their worshippers attribute to them, in thenature of things, but only in the corrupt imaginations of their worshippers (see on 1Co 8:4; 1Co10:19, 20; 2Ch 13:9). Your "service" was a different bondage from that of the Jews, which was atrue service. Yet theirs, like yours, was a burdensome yoke; how then is it ye wish to resume theyoke after that God has transferred both Jews and Gentiles to a free service?9. known God or rather are known of God—They did not first know and love God, but Godfirst, in His electing love, knew and loved them as His, and therefore attracted them to the savingknowledge of Him (Mt 7:23; 1Co 8:3; 2Ti 2:19; compare Ex 33:12, 17; Joh 15:16; Php 3:12). God'sgreat grace in this made their fall from it the more heinous.how—expressing indignant wonder at such a thing being possible, and even actually occurring(Ga 1:6). "How is it that ye turn back again?"weak—powerless to justify: in contrast to the justifying power of faith (Ga 3:24; compare Heb7:18).2618JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonbeggarly—contrasted with the riches of the inheritance of believers in Christ (Eph 1:18). Thestate of the "child" (Ga 4:1) is weak, as not having attained manhood; "beggarly," as not havingattained the inheritance.elements—"rudiments." It is as if a schoolmaster should go back to learning the A, B, C'S[Bengel].again—There are two Greek words in the original. "Ye desire again, beginning afresh, to bein bondage." Though the Galatians, as Gentiles, had never been under the Mosaic yoke, yet theyhad been under "the elements of the world" (Ga 4:3): the common designation for the Jewish andGentile systems alike, in contrast to the Gospel (however superior the Jewish was to the Gentile).Both systems consisted in outward worship and cleaved to sensible forms. Both were in bondageto the elements of sense, as though these could give the justification and sanctification which theinner and spiritual power of God alone could bestow.ye desire—or "will." Will-worship is not acceptable to God (Col 2:18, 23).10. To regard the observance of certain days as in itself meritorious as a work, is alien to thefree spirit of Christianity. This is not incompatible with observing the Sabbath or the ChristianLord's day as obligatory, though not as a work (which was the Jewish and Gentile error in theobservance of days), but as a holy mean appointed by the Lord for attaining the great end, holiness.The whole life alike belongs to the Lord in the Gospel view, just as the whole world, and not theJews only, belong to Him. But as in Paradise, so now one portion of time is needed wherein to drawoff the soul more entirely from secular business to God (Col 2:16). "Sabbaths, new moons, and setfeasts" (1Ch 23:31; 2Ch 31:3), answer to "days, months, times." "Months," however, may refer tothe first and seventh months, which were sacred on account of the number of feasts in them.times—Greek, "seasons," namely, those of the three great feasts, the Passover, Pentecost, andTabernacles.years—The sabbatical year was about the time of writing this Epistle, A.D. 48 [Bengel].11. lest—Greek, "lest haply." My fear is not for my own sake, but for yours.12. be as I am—"As I have in my life among you cast off Jewish habits, so do ye; for I ambecome as ye are," namely, in the non-observance of legal ordinances. "The fact of my laying themaside among Gentiles, shows that I regard them as not at all contributing to justification orsanctification. Do you regard them in the same light, and act accordingly." His observing the lawamong the Jews was not inconsistent with this, for he did so only in order to win them, withoutcompromising principle. On the other hand, the Galatian Gentiles, by adopting legal ordinances,showed that they regarded them as needful for salvation. This Paul combats.ye have not injured me at all—namely, at the period when I first preached the Gospel amongyou, and when I made myself as you are, namely, living as a Gentile, not as a Jew. You at that timedid me no wrong; "ye did not despise my temptation in the flesh" (Ga 4:14): nay, you "receivedme as an angel of God." Then in Ga 4:16, he asks, "Have I then, since that time, become yourenemy by telling you the truth?"13. how through infirmity—rather, as Greek, "Ye know that because of an infirmity of myflesh I preached," &c. He implies that bodily sickness, having detained him among them, contraryto his original intentions, was the occasion of his preaching the Gospel to them.at the first—literally, "at the former time"; implying that at the time of writing he had beentwice in Galatia. See my Introduction; also see on Ga 4:16, and Ga 5:21. His sickness was probably2619JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe same as recurred more violently afterward, "the thorn in the flesh" (2Co 12:7), which also wasoverruled to good (2Co 12:9, 10), as the "infirmity of the flesh" here.14. my temptation—The oldest manuscripts read, "your temptation." My infirmity, which was,or might have been, a "temptation," or trial, to you, ye despised not, that is, ye were not temptedby it to despise me and my message. Perhaps, however, it is better to punctuate and explain asLachmann, connecting it with Ga 4:13, "And (ye know) your temptation (that is, the temptation towhich ye were exposed through the infirmity) which was in my flesh. Ye despised not (throughnatural pride), nor rejected (through spiritual pride), but received me," &c. "Temptation does notmean here, as we now use the word, tendency to an evil habit, but BODILY TRIAL."as an angel of God—as a heaven-inspired and sent messenger from God: angel means"messenger" (Mal 2:7). Compare the phrase, 2Sa 19:27, a Hebrew and Oriental one for a personto be received with the highest respect (Zec 12:8). An angel is free from the flesh, infirmity, andtemptation.as Christ—being Christ's representative (Mt 10:40). Christ is Lord of angels.15. Where, &c.—Of what value was your congratulation (so the Greek for "blessedness"expresses) of yourselves, on account of your having among you me, the messenger of the Gospel,considering how entirely you have veered about since? Once you counted yourselves blessed inbeing favored with my ministry.ye would have plucked out your own eyes—one of the dearest members of the body—sohighly did you value me: a proverbial phrase for the greatest self-sacrifice (Mt 5:29). Conybeare andHowson think that this particular form of proverb was used with reference to a weakness in Paul'seyes, connected with a nervous frame, perhaps affected by the brightness of the vision described,Ac 22:11; 2Co 12:1-7. "You would have torn out your own eyes to supply the lack of mine." Thedivine power of Paul's words and works, contrasting with the feebleness of his person (2Co 10:10),powerfully at first impressed the Galatians, who had all the impulsiveness of the Celtic race fromwhich they sprang. Subsequently they soon changed with the fickleness which is equallycharacteristic of Celts.16. Translate, "Am I then become your enemy (an enemy in your eyes) by telling you the truth"(Ga 2:5, 14)? He plainly did not incur their enmity at his first visit, and the words here imply thathe had since then, and before his now writing, incurred it: so that the occasion of his telling themthe unwelcome truth, must have been at his second visit (Ac 18:23, see my Introduction). The fooland sinner hate a reprover. The righteous love faithful reproof (Ps 141:5; Pr 9:8).17. They—your flatterers: in contrast to Paul himself, who tells them the truth.zealously—zeal in proselytism was characteristic especially of the Jews, and so of Judaizers(Ga 1:14; Mt 23:15; Ro 10:2).affect you—that is, court you (2Co 11:2).not well—not in a good way, or for a good end. Neither the cause of their zealous courting ofyou, nor the manner, is what it ought to be.they would exclude you—"They wish to shut you out" from the kingdom of God (that is, theywish to persuade you that as uncircumcised Gentiles, you are shut out from it), "that ye may zealouslycourt them," that is, become circumcised, as zealous followers of themselves. Alford explains it, thattheir wish was to shut out the Galatians from the general community, and attract them as a separateclique to their own party. So the English word "exclusive," is used.2620JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson18. good to be zealously affected—rather, to correspond to "zealously court" in Ga 4:18, "tobe zealously courted." I do not find fault with them for zealously courting you, nor with you forbeing zealously courted: provided it be "in a good cause" (translate so), "it is a good thing" (1Co9:20-23). My reason for saying the "not well" (Ga 4:17; the Greek is the same as that for "good,"and "in a good cause," in Ga 4:28), is that their zealous courting of you is not in a good cause. Theolder interpreters, however, support English Version (compare Ga 1:14).always—Translate and arrange the words thus, "At all times, and not only when I am presentwith you." I do not desire that I exclusively should have the privilege of zealously courting you.Others may do so in my absence with my full approval, if only it be in a good cause, and if Christbe faithfully preached (Php 1:15-18).19. My little children—(1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 2:1; 1Jo 2:1). My relation to you is not merely that ofone zealously courting you (Ga 4:17, 18), but that of a father to his children (1Co 4:15).I travail in birth—that is, like a mother in pain till the birth of her child.again—a second time. The former time was when I was "present with you" (Ga 4:18; compareNote, see on Ga 4:13).Christ be formed in you—that you may live nothing but Christ, and think nothing but Christ(Ga 2:20), and glory in nothing but Him, and His death, resurrection, and righteousness (Php 3:8-10;Col 1:27).20. Translate as Greek, "I could wish." If circumstances permitted (which they do not), I wouldgladly be with you [M. Stuart].now—as I was twice already. Speaking face to face is so much more effective towards lovingpersuasion than writing (2Jo 12; 3Jo 13, 14).change my voice—as a mother (Ga 4:19): adapting my tone of voice to what I saw in personyour case might need. This is possible to one present, but not to one in writing [Grotius and Estius].I stand in doubt of you—rather, "I am perplexed about you," namely, how to deal with you,what kind of words to use, gentle or severe, to bring you back to the right path.21. desire—of your own accord madly courting that which must condemn and ruin you.do ye not hear—do ye not consider the mystic sense of Moses' words? [Grotius]. The law itselfsends you away from itself to Christ [Estius]. After having sufficiently maintained his point byargument, the apostle confirms and illustrates it by an inspired allegorical exposition of historicalfacts, containing in them general laws and types. Perhaps his reason for using allegory was toconfute the Judaizers with their own weapons: subtle, mystical, allegorical interpretations,unauthorized by the Spirit, were their favorite arguments, as of the Rabbins in the synagogues.Compare the Jerusalem Talmud [Tractatu Succa, cap. Hechalil]. Paul meets them with an allegoricalexposition, not the work of fancy, but sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. History, if properly understoodcontains in its complicated phenomena, simple and continually recurring divine laws. The historyof the elect people, like their legal ordinances, had, besides the literal, a typical meaning (compare1Co 10:1-4; 15:45, 47; Re 11:8). Just as the extra-ordinarily-born Isaac, the gift of grace accordingto promise, supplanted, beyond all human calculations, the naturally-born Ishmael, so the newtheocratic race, the spiritual seed of Abraham by promise, the Gentile, as well as Jewish believers,were about to take the place of the natural seed, who had imagined that to them exclusively belongedthe kingdom of God.22. (Ge 16:3-16; 21:2).Abraham—whose sons ye wish to be (compare Ro 9:7-9).2621JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesona bond maid … a free woman—rather, as Greek, "the bond maid … the free woman."23. after the flesh—born according to the usual course of nature: in contrast to Isaac, who wasborn "by virtue of the promise" (so the Greek), as the efficient cause of Sarah's becoming pregnantout of the course of nature (Ro 4:19). Abraham was to lay aside all confidence in the flesh (afterwhich Ishmael was born), and to live by faith alone in the promise (according to which Isaac wasmiraculously born, contrary to all calculations of flesh and blood).24. are an allegory—rather, "are allegorical," that is, have another besides the literal meaning.these are the two covenants—"these [women] are (that is, mean; omit 'the' with all the oldestmanuscripts) two covenants." As among the Jews the bondage of the mother determined that ofthe child, the children of the free covenant of promise, answering to Sarah, are free; the childrenof the legal covenant of bondage are not so.one from—that is, taking his origin from Mount Sinai. Hence, it appears, he is treating of themoral law (Ga 3:19) chiefly (Heb 12:18). Paul was familiar with the district of Sinai in Arabia (Ga1:17), having gone thither after his conversion. At the gloomy scene of the giving of the Law, helearned to appreciate, by contrast, the grace of the Gospel, and so to cast off all his past legaldependencies.which gendereth—that is, bringing forth children unto bondage. Compare the phrase (Ac3:25), "children of the covenant which God made … saying unto Abraham."Agar—that is, Hagar.25. Translate, "For this word, Hagar, is (imports) Mount Sinai in Arabia (that is, among theArabians—in the Arabian tongue)." So Chrysostom explains. Haraut, the traveller, says that to thisday the Arabians call Sinai, "Hadschar," that is, Hagar, meaning a rock or stone. Hagar twice fledinto the desert of Arabia (Ge 16:1-16; 21:9-21): from her the mountain and city took its name, andthe people were called Hagarenes. Sinai, with its rugged rocks, far removed from the promisedland, was well suited to represent the law which inspires with terror, and the spirit of bondage.answereth—literally, "stands in the same rank with"; "she corresponds to."Jerusalem which now is—that is, the Jerusalem of the Jews, having only a present temporaryexistence, in contrast with the spiritual Jerusalem of the Gospel, which in germ, under the form ofthe promise, existed ages before, and shall be for ever in ages to come.and—The oldest manuscripts read, "For she is in bondage." As Hagar was in bondage to hermistress, so Jerusalem that now is, is in bondage to the law, and also to the Romans: her civil statethus being in accordance with her spiritual state [Bengel].26. This verse stands instead of the sentence which we should expect, to correspond to Ga 4:24,"One from Mount Sinai," namely, the other covenant from the heavenly mount above, which is(answers in the allegory to) Sarah.Jerusalem … above—(Heb 12:22), "the heavenly Jerusalem." "New Jerusalem, which comethdown out of heaven from my God" (Re 3:12; 21:2). Here "the Messianic theocracy, which beforeChrist's second appearing is the Church, and after it, Christ's kingdom of glory" [Meyer].free—as Sarah was; opposed to "she is in bondage" (Ga 4:25).all—omitted in many of the oldest manuscripts, though supported by some. "Mother of us,"namely, believers who are already members of the invisible Church, the heavenly Jerusalem,hereafter to be manifested (Heb 12:22).27. (Isa 54:1).2622JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthou barren—Jerusalem above: the spiritual Church of the Gospel, the fruit of "the promise,"answering to Sarah, who bore not "after the flesh": as contrasted with the law, answering to Hagar,who was fruitful in the ordinary course of nature. Isaiah speaks primarily of Israel's restorationafter her long-continued calamities; but his language is framed by the Holy Spirit so as to reachbeyond this to the spiritual Zion: including not only the Jews, the natural descendants of Abrahamand children of the law, but also the Gentiles. The spiritual Jerusalem is regarded as "barren" whilethe law trammeled Israel, for she then had no spiritual children of the Gentiles.break forth—into crying.cry—shout for joy.many more—Translate as Greek, "Many are the children of the desolate (the New TestamentChurch made up in the greater part from the Gentiles, who once had not the promise, and so wasdestitute of God as her husband), more than of her which hath an (Greek, 'THE') husband (the JewishChurch having God for her husband, Isa 54:5; Jer 2:2)." Numerous as were the children of the legalcovenant, those of the Gospel covenant are more so. The force of the Greek article is, "Her whohas THE husband of which the other is destitute."28. we—The oldest manuscripts and versions are divided between "we" and "ye." "We" betteraccords with Ga 4:26, "mother of us."children of promise—not children after the flesh, but through the promise (Ga 4:23, 29, 31)."We are" so, and ought to wish to continue so.29. persecuted—Ishmael "mocked" Isaac, which contained in it the germ and spirit ofpersecution (Ge 21:9). His mocking was probably directed against Isaac's piety and faith in God'spromises. Being the older by natural birth, he haughtily prided himself above him that was bornby promise: as Cain hated Abel's piety.him … born after the Spirit—The language, though referring primarily to Isaac, born in aspiritual way (namely, by the promise or word of God, rendered by His Spirit efficient out of thecourse of nature, in making Sarah fruitful in old age), is so framed as especially to refer to believersjustified by Gospel grace through faith, as opposed to carnal men, Judaizers, and legalists.even so it is now—(Ga 5:11; 6:12, 17; Ac 9:29; 13:45, 49, 50; 14:1, 2, 19; 17:5, 13; 18:5, 6).The Jews persecuted Paul, not for preaching Christianity in opposition to heathenism, but forpreaching it as distinct from Judaism. Except in the two cases of Philippi and Ephesus (where thepersons beginning the assault were pecuniarily interested in his expulsion), he was nowhere setupon by the Gentiles, unless they were first stirred up by the Jews. The coincidence between Paul'sEpistles and Luke's history (the Acts) in this respect, is plainly undesigned, and so a proof ofgenuineness (see Paley, Horæ Paulinæ).30. Ge 21:10, 12, where Sarah's words are, "shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac."But what was there said literally, is here by inspiration expressed in its allegorical spiritual import,applying to the New Testament believer, who is antitypically "the son of the free woman." In Joh8:35, 36, Jesus refers to this.Cast out—from the house and inheritance: literally, Ishmael; spiritually, the carnal and legalists.shall not be heir—The Greek is stronger, "must not be heir," or "inherit."31. So then—The oldest manuscripts read, "Wherefore." This is the conclusion inferred fromwhat precedes. In Ga 3:29 and Ga 4:7, it was established that we, New Testament believers, are"heirs." If, then, we are heirs, "we are not children of the bond woman (whose son, according to2623JFB Commentary Robert JamiesonScripture, was 'not to be heir,' Ga 4:30), but of the free woman (whose son was, according toScripture, to be heir). For we are not "cast out" as Ishmael, but accepted as sons and heirs.CHAPTER 5Ga 5:1-26. Peroration. Exhortation to Stand Fast in the Gospel Liberty, Just Set Forth, and Not to Be Led by Judaizersinto Circumcision, or Law Justification: Yet though Free, to Serve One Another by Love: To Walk in the Spirit, Bearingthe Fruit Thereof, Not in the Works of the Flesh.1. The oldest manuscripts read, "in liberty (so Alford, Moberley, Humphry, and Ellicott. But as thereis no Greek for 'in,' as there is in translating in 1Co 16:13; Php 1:27; 4:1, I prefer 'It is FOR freedomthat') Christ hath made us free (not in, or for, a state of bondage). Stand fast, therefore, and be notentangled again in a yoke of bondage" (namely, the law, Ga 4:24; Ac 15:10). On "again," see onGa 4:9.2. Behold—that is, Mark what I say.I Paul—Though you now think less of my authority, I nevertheless give my name and personalauthority as enough by itself to refute all opposition of adversaries.if ye be circumcised—not as Alford, "If you will go on being circumcised." Rather, "If ye sufferyourselves to be circumcised," namely, under the notion of its being necessary to justification (Ga5:4; Ac 15:1). Circumcision here is not regarded simply by itself (for, viewed as a mere nationalrite, it was practiced for conciliation's sake by Paul himself, Ac 16:3), but as the symbol of Judaismand legalism in general. If this be necessary, then the Gospel of grace is at an end. If the latter bethe way of justification, then Judaism is in no way so.Christ … profit … nothing—(Ga 2:21). For righteousness of works and justification by faithcannot co-exist. "He who is circumcised [for justification] is so as fearing the law, and he whofears, disbelieves the power of grace, and he who disbelieves can profit nothing by that grace whichhe disbelieves [Chrysostom].3. For—Greek, "Yea, more"; "Moreover."I testify … to every man—as well as "unto you" (Ga 5:2).that is circumcised—that submits to be circumcised. Such a one became a "proselyte ofrighteousness."the whole law—impossible for man to keep even in part, much less wholly (Jas 2:10); yet nonecan be justified by the law, unless he keep it wholly (Ga 3:10).4. Literally, "Ye have become void from Christ," that is, your connection with Christ has becomevoid (Ga 5:2). Ro 7:2, "Loosed from the law," where the same Greek occurs as here.whosoever of you are justified—"are being justified," that is, are endeavoring to be justified.by the law—Greek, "IN the law," as the element in which justification is to take place.fallen from grace—Ye no longer "stand" in grace (Ro 5:2). Grace and legal righteousnesscannot co-exist (Ro 4:4, 5; 11:6). Christ, by circumcision (Lu 2:21), undertook to obey all the law,and fulfil all righteousness for us: any, therefore, that now seeks to fulfil the law for himself in anydegree for justifying righteousness, severs himself from the grace which flows from Christ'sfulfilment of it, and becomes "a debtor to do the whole law" (Ga 5:3). The decree of the Jerusalemcouncil had said nothing so strong as this; it had merely decided that Gentile Christians were notbound to legal observances. But the Galatians, while not pretending to be so bound, imagined there2624JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwas an efficacy in them to merit a higher degree of perfection (Ga 3:3). This accounts for Paul notreferring to the decree at all. He took much higher ground. See Paley's Horæ Paulinæ. The naturalmind loves outward fetters, and is apt to forge them for itself, to stand in lieu of holiness of heart.5. For—proof of the assertion, "fallen from grace," by contrasting with the case of legalists,the "hope" of Christians.through the Spirit—Greek, rather, "by the Spirit": in opposition to by the flesh (Ga 4:29), orfleshly ways of justification, as circumcision and legal ordinances. "We" is emphatical, and contrastedwith "whosoever of you would be justified by the law" (Ga 5:4).the hope of righteousness—"We wait for the (realization of the) hope (which is the fruit) ofthe righteousness (that is, justification which comes) by (literally, 'from—out of') faith," Ro 5:1, 4,5; 8:24, 25, "Hope … we with patience wait for it." This is a farther step than being "justified"; notonly are we this, but "wait for the hope" which is connected with it, and is its full consummation."Righteousness," in the sense of justification, is by the believer once for all already attained: butthe consummation of it in future perfection above is the object of hope to be waited for: "the crownof righteousness laid up" (2Ti 4:8): "the hope laid up for you in heaven" (Col 1:5; 1Pe 1:3).6. For—confirming the truth that it is "by faith" (Ga 5:5).in Jesus Christ—Greek, "in Christ Jesus." In union with Christ (the Anointed Saviour), that is,Jesus of Nazareth.nor uncircumcision—This is levelled against those who, being not legalists, or Judaizers, thinkthemselves Christians on this ground alone.faith which worketh by love—Greek, "working by love." This corresponds to "a new creature"(Ga 6:15), as its definition. Thus in Ga 5:5, 6, we have the three, "faith," "hope," and "love." TheGreek expresses, "Which effectually worketh"; which exhibits its energy by love (so 1Th 2:13).Love is not joined with faith in justifying, but is the principle of the works which follow afterjustification by faith. Let not legalists, upholding circumcision, think that the essence of the law isset at naught by the doctrine of justification by faith only. Nay, "all the law is fulfilled in oneword—love," which is the principle on which "faith worketh" (Ga 5:14). Let them, therefore, seekthis "faith," which will enable them truly to fulfil the law. Again, let not those who pride themselveson uncircumcision think that, because the law does not justify, they are free to walk after "the flesh"(Ga 5:13). Let them, then, seek that "love" which is inseparable from true faith (Jas 2:8, 12-22).Love is utterly opposed to the enmities which prevailed among the Galatians (Ga 5:15, 20). TheSpirit (Ga 5:5) is a Spirit of "faith" and "love" (compare Ro 14:17; 1Co 7:19).7. Translate, "Ye were running well" in the Gospel race (1Co 9:24-26; Php 3:13, 14).who, &c.—none whom you ought to have listened to [Bengel]: alluding to the Judaizers (compareGa 3:1).hinder—The Greek means, literally, "hinder by breaking up a road."not obey the truth—not submit yourselves to the true Gospel way of justification.8. This persuasion—Greek, "The persuasion," namely, to which you are yielding. There is aplay on words in the original, the Greek for persuasion being akin to "obey" (Ga 5:7). This persuasionwhich ye have obeyed.cometh not of—that is "from." Does not emanate from Him, but from an enemy.that calleth you—(Ga 5:13; Ga 1:6; Php 3:14; 1Th 5:24). The calling is the rule of the wholerace [Bengel].2625JFB Commentary Robert Jamieson9. A little leaven—the false teaching of the Judaizers. A small portion of legalism, if it bemixed with the Gospel, corrupts its purity. To add legal ordinances and works in the least degreeto justification by faith, is to undermine "the whole." So "leaven" is used of false doctrine (Mt16:12: compare Mt 13:33). In 1Co 5:6 it means the corrupting influence of one bad person; soBengel understands it here to refer to the person (Ga 5:7, 8, 10) who misled them. Ec 9:18, "Onesinner destroyeth much good" (1Co 15:33). I prefer to refer it to false doctrine, answering to"persuasion" (Ga 5:8).10. Greek, "I (emphatical: 'I on my part') have confidence in the Lord with regard to you (2Th3:4), that ye will be none otherwise minded" (than what by this Epistle I desire you to be, Php 3:15).but he that troubleth you—(Ga 1:7; Ac 15:24; Jos 7:25; 1Ki 18:17, 18). Some one, probably,was prominent among the seducers, though the denunciation applies to them all (Ga 1:7; 4:17).shall bear—as a heavy burden.his—his due and inevitable judgment from God. Paul distinguishes the case of the seduced,who were misled through thoughtlessness, and who, now that they are set right by him, he confidentlyhopes, in God's goodness, will return to the right way, from that of the seducer who is doomed tojudgment.whosoever he be—whether great (Ga 1:8) or small.11. Translate, "If I am still preaching (as I did before conversion) circumcision, why am I stillpersecuted?" The Judaizing troubler of the Galatians had said, "Paul himself preaches circumcision,"as is shown by his having circumcised Timothy (Ac 16:3; compare also Ac 20:6; 21:24). Paulreplies by anticipation of their objection, As regards myself, the fact that I am still persecuted bythe Jews shows plainly that I do not preach circumcision; for it is just because I preach Christcrucified, and not the Mosaic law, as the sole ground of justification, that they persecute me. If forconciliation he lived as a Jew among the Jews, it was in accordance with his principle enunciated(1Co 7:18, 20; 9:20). Circumcision, or uncircumcision, are things indifferent in themselves: theirlawfulness or unlawfulness depends on the animus of him who uses them. The Gentile Galatians'animus in circumcision could only be their supposition that it influenced favorably their standingbefore God. Paul's living as a Gentile among Gentiles, plainly showed that, if he lived as a Jewamong Jews, it was not that he thought it meritorious before God, but as a matter indifferent, whereinhe might lawfully conform as a Jew by birth to those with whom he was, in order to put no needlessstumbling-block to the Gospel in the way of his countrymen.then—Presuming that I did so, "then," in that case, "the offense of (stumbling-block, 1Co 1:23occasioned to the Jews by) the cross has become done away." Thus the Jews' accusation againstStephen was not that he preached Christ crucified, but that "he spake blasphemous words againstthis holy place and the law." They would, in some measure, have borne the former, if he had mixedwith it justification in part by circumcision and the law, and if he had, through the medium ofChristianity, brought converts to Judaism. But if justification in any degree depended on legalordinances, Christ's crucifixion in that degree was unnecessary, and could profit nothing (Ga 5:2,4). Worldly Wiseman, of the town of Carnal Policy, turns Christian out of the narrow way of theCross, to the house of Legality. But the way to it was up a mountain, which, as Christian advanced,threatened to fall on him and crush him, amidst flashes of lightning from the mountain [Bunyan,Pilgrim's Progress] (Heb 12:18-21).12. they … which trouble you—Translate, as the Greek is different from Ga 5:10, "they whoare unsettling you."2626JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonwere even cut off—even as they desire your foreskin to be cut off and cast away by circumcision,so would that they were even cut off from your communion, being worthless as a castaway foreskin(Ga 1:7, 8; compare Php 3:2). The fathers, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, and Chrysostom, explain it,"Would that they would even cut themselves off," that is, cut off not merely the foreskin, but thewhole member: if circumcision be not enough for them, then let them have excision also; an outbursthardly suitable to the gravity of an apostle. But Ga 5:9, 10 plainly point to excommunication as thejudgment threatened against the troublers: and danger of the bad "leaven" spreading, as the reasonfor it.13. The "ye" is emphatical, from its position in the Greek, "Ye brethren"; as opposed to thoselegalists "who trouble you."unto liberty—The Greek expresses, "on a footing of liberty." The state or condition in whichye have been called to salvation, is one of liberty. Gospel liberty consists in three things, freedomfrom the Mosaic yoke, from sin, and from slavish fear.only, &c.—Translate, "Only turn not your liberty into an occasion for the flesh." Do not givethe flesh the handle or pretext (Ro 7:8, "occasion") for its indulgence which it eagerly seeks for;do not let it make Christian "liberty" its pretext for indulgence (Ga 5:16, 17; 1Pe 2:16; 2Pe 2:19;Jude 4).but by love serve one another—Greek, "Be servants (be in bondage) to one another." If yemust be servants, then be servants to one another in love. While free as to legalism, be bound byLove (the article in the Greek personifies love in the abstract) to serve one another (1Co 9:19).Here he hints at their unloving strifes springing out of lust of power. "For the lust of power is themother of heresies" [Chrysostom].14. all the law—Greek, "the whole law," namely, the Mosaic law. Love to God is presupposedas the root from which love to our neighbor springs; and it is in this tense the latter precept (so"word" means here) is said to be the fulfilling of "all the law" (Le 19:18). Love is "the law of Christ"(Ga 6:2; Mt 7:12; 22:39, 40; Ro 13:9, 10).is fulfilled—Not as received text "is being fulfilled," but as the oldest manuscripts read, "hasbeen fulfilled"; and so "receives its full perfection," as rudimentary teachings are fulfilled by themore perfect doctrine. The law only united Israelites together: the Gospel unites all men, and thatin relation to God [Grotius].15. bite—backbite the character.devour—the substance by injuring, extortion, &c. (Hab 1:13; Mt 23:14; 2Co 11:20).consumed, &c.—Strength of soul, health of body, character, and resources, are all consumedby broils [Bengel].16. This I say then—Repeating in other words, and explaining the sentiment in Ga 5:13, WhatI mean is this."Walk in the Spirit—Greek, "By (the rule of) the (Holy) Spirit." Compare Ga 5:16-18, 22, 25;Ga 6:1-8, with Ro 7:22; 8:11. The best way to keep tares out of a bushel is to fill it with wheat.the flesh—the natural man, out of which flow the evils specified (Ga 5:19-21). The spirit andthe flesh mutually exclude one another. It is promised, not that we should have no evil lusts, butthat we should "not fulfil" them. If the spirit that is in us can be at ease under sin, it is not a spiritthat comes from the Holy Spirit. The gentle dove trembles at the sight even of a hawk's feather.17. For—the reason why walking by the Spirit will exclude fulfilling the lusts of the flesh,namely, their mutual contrariety.2627JFB Commentary Robert Jamiesonthe Spirit—not "lusteth," but "tendeth (or some such word is to be supplied) against the flesh."so that ye cannot do the things that ye would—The Spirit strives against the flesh and itsevil influence; the flesh against the Spirit and His good influence, so that neither the one nor theother can be fully carried o