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TEXT. 15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their con
science also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while
accusing or else excusing one another) 16 In the day, when God shall judge the secrets of men, by Jesus Christ,
according to my Gospel. 17 Behold thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest
thy boast of God; 18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more ex
cellent, being instructed out of the law; 19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light
of them which are in darkness,
PARAPHRASE. rectitude, contained in the positive law, given by God to the
Israelites, they, being without any positive law given them, have 15 nevertheless a law within themselves; And show the rule of
the law written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness to that law, they amongst themselves, in the reasoning
of their own minds, accusing or excusing one another) 16 At the day of judgment, when, as I make known in my
preaching the Gospel", God shall judge all the actions of men, 17 by Jesus Christ. Behold, thou art namedi a Jew; and thou,
with satisfaction, restest in the privilege of having the law, as a mark of God's peculiar favour", whom thou gloriest in, as
being thy God, and thou one of his people; a people, who 18 alone know and worship the true God; And thou knowest
his will, and hast the touch-stone of things excellent', having 19 been educated in the law, And takest upon thee as one who
art a guide to the blind, a light to the ignorant Gentiles, who
NOTES. 16 b « According to my Gospel," i. e. as I make known in my preaching the Gospel.
That this is the meaning of this phrase, may be seen, 2 Tim. ii. 8. Aud of St. Paul's declaring of it, in his preaching, we have an instance left upon record,
Acts xvii. 31. 17 i 'Etorouášn, thou art named, emphatically said by St. Paul; for he, that was
such a Jew as he describes in the following verses, he insists on it, was a Jew only in name, not in reality; for so he concludes, ver. 28 and 29, he is not, iu
the esteem of God, a Jew, who is so outwardly only. 17—20k in these four verses St. Paul makes use of the titles the Jews assumed to
themselves, from the advantages they had, of light and knowledge, above the Gentiles, to show them how inexcusable they were, in judging the Gentiles, who were even in their own account so much beneath them in knowledge, for doing
those things which they themselves were also guilty of. 17 k Vid. Mic. iii. 11. 18 'Tà 8.apéporla, signifies things excellent, convenient, controverted, or differing.
In either of these senses it may be understood here, though the last, viz. their difference in respect of lawful and unlawful, I think may be pitched on, as most suited to the apostle's design here, and that which the Jews much stood upon, as giving them one great pre-eminence above the defiled Gentiles,
TEXT. 20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form
of knowledge, and of the truth in the law. 21 Thou, therefore, which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?
thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal ? 22 Thou, that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou com
mit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law,
dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, through
you, as it is written. 25 For circumcision verily prosteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou
be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law,
shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
PARAPHRASE. 20 are in darkness , An instructor of the foolish”, a teacher of
babes m, having an exact draught, and a complete system of 21 knowledge and truth in the law. Thou, therefore, who art a
master in this knowledge, and teachest others, teachest thou
not thyself? thou that preachest that a man should not steal, 22 dost thou steal ? Thou that declarest adultery to be unlawful,
dost thou commit it ? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou com23 mit sacrilege? Thou who gloriest in the law, dost thou, by 24 breaking of the law, dishonour God? For the name of God
is blasphemed amongst the Gentiles, by reason of your miscar25 riages, as it is written", Circumcision P indeed, and thy being
a Jew, profiteth ?, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a
transgressor of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircum26 cision ; thou art no way better than an heathen. If, therefore,
an uncircumcised Gentile keep the moral rectitudes' of the
NOTES. 19, 20 m “ Blind, in darkness, foolish, babes," were appellations which the Jews
gave to the Gentiles, signifying how much inferior to themselves they thought
them in knowledge. 20 - Mbp$wois, “ form," seems here to be the same with TútoS, “ form," chap. vi.
17, i.e.“ such a draught, as contained and represented the parts and lineaments of the whole.” For it is to be remembered, that the apostle uses these expressions and terms here, in the same sense the Jews spoke of themselves, vauntingly, over the Gentiles, he thereby aggravating their fault, in judging the Gen
tiles as they did, 24 · See 2 Sam, xii, 14. Ezek. xxxvi. 23. 25 P Circumcision is here put for “ being a Jew," as being one of the chief and most
discriminating rites of that people. q“ Profiteth, if thou keep the law;" because i Jew, that kept the law, was to
have life therein, Lev. xviii. 5. 26 " Tà oux ascúmale 70 rój ou, “ the righteousness of the law.” I have taken the
liberty to render it, the rectitude of the law, in an appropriated sense of the
NOTE. word rectitude, iu imitation of St. Paul, who uses Sixăscuala here for all those precepts of the law, which contain in them any part of the natural and eternal rule of rectitude, which is made known to men, by the light of reason. This rule of their actions all mankind, uncircumcised as well as circumcised, had, and is that which St. Paul calls orxaiwha TOữ 807, ch. i. 32. Because it came from God, and was made by him; the moral rule to all mankind being laid within the discovery of their reason, which if they kept to, it was so alwua, righteousness to them, or they were justitied. And this rule of morality St. Paul says the Gentile world did acknowledge. So that 8x ców po to Oscũ, ch. i. 32, sigoifies that rule of right, taken in general; and 8sxasuala toữ vó jou here signifies the particular branches of it, contained in the law of Moses. For no other part of the law of Moses could an heathen be supposed to observe, or be concerned in: and, therefore, those only cau be the Bixasu uaTa Toữ cóuou here meant. If we consider the various senses that translators and expositors have given to this term exalwua, in the several places of St. Paul's epistles where it occurs, we shall have occasion to think that the apostle used this word with great latitude and variety of significations; whereas I imagine, that, if we carefully read those passages, we shall find that he used it every where in the same sense, i. e. for that rule, which, if complied with, justified, or rendered perfect, the person or thing it referred to. For example:
Rom. i. 32. Arxalwua coll, translated “the judgment of God," is that rule of right, which, if the heathen world had kept and perfectly obeyed, they had been righteous before God.
Rom. ii. 26. AixasduaTa ToŨ youou, “the righteousness of the law," are those precepts of the law of Moses, which, if the uncircumcised, whom he there speaks of, had kept, they had been righteous before God.
Rom. v. 16. Eis Siracunde, “ to justification," is to the obtaiving of righteousness.
Rom. v. 18. AT evòs EoXQMMATOS, “ by one righteousness," is by one act, whereby he was justified or completely perfected, to be what he had undertaken to be, viz. the Redeemer and Saviour of the world. For it was 8à wabhuatur, or, as some copies read it, Sid wahuatos, by his suffering, viz. death on the cross, that he was perfected, Heb. ii. 9, 10, avd 14, 15, and v. 7-9. Rom. v. 10. Phil. ii. 8. Col. i. 21, 22.
Rom. viii. 4. od 8oxaiw pa Toữ vómov, “the righteousness of the law.” Here, as Rom. ii. 20, it is that rule of right, contained in the law, which, if a mau exactly performed, he was righteous and perfect before God.
Heb. ix. 1. Asxasujata halpsías, “ Ordinances of divine service," are those rules or precepts, concerning the outward worship of God, which, when conformed to, render it perfect, and such as was right and unblamable before God.
Heb. ix. 10. Arxalum QTQ odpxos, “ carnal ordinances,” are such rules, concerning ritual performances, as, when observed, justified the flesh. By these observances, according as they were prescribed, the flesh, or natural outward man, obtained a legal outward holiness, or righteousness; there was no exception against him, but he was freely admitted into the congregation, and into the sanctuary.
In the same sense dixandata is also used in the Apocalypse.
Rev. xv. 4. Td Orxasumata gove' Davepeonoar, “thy judgments are made manifest," i. e. those terms whereupon inen are to be justified before God, were clearly and fully inade known, under the Gospel. Here, as Rom. i. they are called Soxamópata soữ, the terms which God had prescribed to men, for their justification. And,
Rev. xix. 8. Tà Sexaspata sūv áyiwy, “the righteousness of the saints," 1. c. the performances, whereby the saints stand justified before God.
TEXT. 27 And shall not uncircumcision, which is by nature, if it fulfil the law,
judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the
law ? 28 For he is not a w, which is one outwardly ; neither is that cir
cumcision, which is outward in the flesh :
PARAPHRASE. law, shall he not be reckoned and accounted of as if he were 27 circumcised, and every way a Jew? And shall not a Gentile,
who, in his natural state of uncircumcision, fulfils the law,
condemns thee, who, notwithstanding the advantage of having 28 the law and circumcision “, art a transgressor of the law ? For
NOTES. So that, if we will observe it, &ixaiwua is the rule of right; as having God for its author, it is exaiwuel Ecū; as contained in the precepts of the law, it is 8ıxarsa uQTX To róuou; as it concerns the external, instituted rites of the Levi. tical worship of God, it is orxandata hopperas; as it concerns the outward, legal, or ritual holiness of the Jews, it is 8ıxawuata orfeos; as it is in holy men nade perfect, it is examuuata kylwr.
It may not be amiss to take a little notice also of St. Paul's use of the other term here, róuos, “ law,” which he commonly puts for a positive rule given to men, with the sanction of a penalty annexed; and in particular, frequently (sometimes with, sometimes without, the particle) for the law of Moses, with: out naming what law he means, as if there had been no other law in the world, as indeed there was not any other in St. Paul's notion of a law, from the fall to our Saviour's time, but only the law given by God to the Israelites, by the hand of Moses. Under the Gospel the law of Moses was abrogated: but yet the 8sxasub near TO TOű vójcũ were not abrogated. The Sıxarduce toŨ coll not only stood firm, but was, by the divine authority, promulgated anew, by Jesus Christ, the King and Saviour of the world. For it is of this that he says, “that he is not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it," i, e. to give it positively and plaiuly, in its full latitude and extent, and set these @oxowuaTa TCŨ rópoll in their due light and full force ; and accordingly we see all the branches of it more expressly commanded, and with penalties more rigorously enforced, on all his subjects, by our Saviour and his apostles, than they were in the law of Moses.
Thus we see that, by the doctrine of St. Paul and the New Testament, there is one and the same rule of rectitude set to the actions of all mankind, Jews, Gentiles, and Christians; and that failing of a complete obedience to it in every tittle makes a man unrighteous, the consequence whereof is death. For the Gentiles, that have sinned without a law, shall perish without a law; the Jews, that have sinned, having a law, shall be judged by that law; but that both Jews and Gentiles shall be saved from death, if they believe in Jesus Christ, and sincerely endeavour after righteousness, though they do not attain unto it; their
faith being accounted to them for righteousness, Rom. ii. 19-24. 27 : “ Judge thee.” This he saith, prosecuting the design he began with, ver. 1,
of showing the folly and unreasonableuess of the Jews, in judging the Gentiles, and denying them admittance and fellowship with themselves, in the kingdom of the Messias. + It is plain that “ by nature,” and “ by the letter and circumcision,” are there opposed to one another, and mean the one, a man, in his natural state, wholly a stranger to the law of God revealed by Moses; and the other a Jew, observing the external rites contained in the letter of the law,
TEXT. 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that
of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
he is not a Jew, who is one in outward appearance and con
formity, nor is that the circumcision which renders a man 29 acceptable to God, which is outwardly in the flesh: But he is
a Jew, and one of the people of God, who is one in an inward conformity to the law: and that is the circumcision which avails a man which is of the heart", according to the spiritual sense of the law, which is the purging our hearts from iniquity, by faith in Jesus Christ, and not in an external observance of the letter, by which a man cannot attain life ; such true Israelites as these, though they are judged, condemned, and rejected by men of the Jewish nation, are nevertheless honoured and accepted by God.
NOTES. 28 u Vid. chap. ix. 6, 7. Gal. vi. 15, 16. 29 w St. Paul's exposition of this, see Phil. iii. 3. Col. ii. 11.
"Letter,' vid. ch. vii. 6. 2 Cor. ii. 6, 7, compared with 17.
CHAPTER III. 1-31.
In this third chapter, St. Paul goes on to show, that the national privileges the Jews had over the Gentiles, in being the people of God, gave them no peculiar right, or better title
to the kingdom of the Messias, than what the Gentiles had. Because they, as well as the Gentiles, all sinned, and, not being able to attain righteousness by the deeds of the law, more than the Gentiles, justification was to be had only by the free grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ; so that, upon their believing, God, who is the God not of the Jews alone, but also of the Gentiles, accepted the Gentiles, as well as the Jews; and now admits all, who profess faith in Jesus Christ, to be equally his people.