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1: My prayer to God is, that they may be saved - He would not
have prayed for this, had they been absolutely reprobated.
2: They have a zeal, but not according to knowledge - They had
zeal without knowledge; we have knowledge without zeal.
3: For they being ignorant of the righteousness of God
- Of the method God has established for the justification of a
sinner. And seeking to establish their own righteousness
- Their own method of acceptance with God. Have not submitted
to the righteousness of God - The way of justification which he
4: For Christ is the end of the law - The scope and aim of it.
It is the very design of the law, to bring men to believe in
Christ for justification and salvation. And he alone gives
that pardon and life which the law shows the want of, but
cannot give. To every one - Whether Jew or gentile, treated of,(Ro 10:11), &c.
That believeth - Treated of,(Ro 10:5).
5: For Moses describeth the only righteousness which is
attainable by the law, when he saith, The man who doeth these
things shall live by them - that is, he that perfectly keeps all
these precepts in every point, he alone may claim life and
salvation by them. But this way of justification is impossible to
any who have ever transgressed any one law in any point.(Le 18:5)
6: But the righteousness which is by faith - The method of
becoming righteous by believing. Speaketh a very different
language, and may be considered as expressing itself thus: (to
accommodate to our present subject the words which Moses
spake, touching the plainness of his law:) Say not in thy heart,
Who shall ascend into heaven, as if it were to bring Christ
down: or, Who shall descend into the grave, as if it were to
bring him again from the dead - Do not imagine that these things
are to be done now, in order to procure thy pardon and salvation.(De 30:14).
8: But what saith he - Moses. Even these words, so
remarkably applicable to the subject before us. All is done
ready to thy hand. The word is nigh thee - Within thy reach;
easy to be understood, remembered, practised. This is
eminently true of the word of faith - The gospel. Which we
preach - The sum of which is, If thy heart believe in Christ,
and thy life confess him, thou shalt be saved.
9: If thou confess with thy mouth - Even in time of persecution,
when such a confession may send thee to the lions.
10: For with the heart - Not the understanding only.
Man believeth to righteousness - So as to obtain justification.
And with the mouth confession is made - So as to obtain final
salvation. Confession here implies the whole of outward, as
believing does the root of all inward, religion.
11: (Isa 28:16).
12: The same Lord of all is rich - So that his blessings are
never to be exhausted, nor is he ever constrained to hold his
hand. The great truth proposed in (Ro 10:11) is so repeated
here, and in (Ro 10:13), and farther confirmed, (Ro 10:14,15),
as not only to imply, that "whosoever calleth upon him shall be
saved;" but also that the will of God is, that all should savingly
call upon him.
13: (Joe 2:32).
15: But how shall they preach, unless they be sent - Thus by a
chain of reasoning, from God's will that the gentiles also
should "call upon him," St. Paul infers that the apostles were
sent by God to preach to the gentiles also. The feet - Their
very footsteps; their coming.(Isa 52:7).
16: (Isa 53:1).
17: Faith, indeed, ordinarily cometh by hearing;
even by hearing the word of God.
18: But their unbelief was not owing to the want of
hearing For they have heard. Yes verily - So many nations
have already heard the preachers of the gospel, that I may in
some sense say of them as David did of the lights of heaven.(Ps 29:4)
19: But hath not Israel known - They might have known,
even from Moses and Isaiah, that many of the gentiles would be
received, and many of the Jews rejected. I will provoke you
to jealousy by them that are not a nation - As they followed
gods that were not gods, so he accepted in their stead a nation
that was not a nation; that is, a nation that was not in covenant
with God. A foolish nation - Such are all which know not God.(De 32:21)
20: But Isaiah is very bold - And speaks plainly what
Moses but intimated.(Isa 65:1,2).
21: An unbelieving and gainsaying people - Just
opposite to those who believed with their hearts, and made
confession with their mouths.