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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ROMANS 7

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    7:1 {To men that know the law} (gin"skousin nomon). Dative plural of present active participle of ginwskw. The Romans, whether Jews or Gentiles, knew the principle of law. {A man} (tou anqrwpou). "The person," generic term anqrwpos, not aner.

    7:2 {The wife that hath a husband} (hˆ hupandros gune). Late word, under (in subjection to) a husband. Here only in N.T. {Is bound} (dedetai). Perfect passive indicative, stands bound. {By law} (nom"i). Instrumental case. {To the husband while he liveth} (twi zwnti andri). "To the living husband," literally. {But if the husband die} (ean de apoqanei ho aner). Third class condition, a supposable case (ean and the second aorist active subjunctive). {She is discharged} (katˆrgˆtai). Perfect passive indicative of katargew, to make void. She stands free from the law of the husband. Cf. #6:6.

    7:3 {While the husband liveth} (z"ntos tou andros). Genitive absolute of present active participle of zaw. {She shall be called} (crematisei). Future active indicative of crematizw, old verb, to receive a name as in #Ac 11:26, from crema, business, from craomai, to use, qen to give an oracle, etc. {An adulteress} (moichalis). Late word, in Plutarch, LXX. See on ¯Mt 12:39. {If she be joined} (ean genetai). Third class condition, "if she come to." {So that she is no adulteress} (tou mˆ einai autˆn moichalida). It is a fact that tou and the infinitive is used for result as we saw in #1:24. Conceived result may explain the idiom here.

    7:4 {Ye also were made to the law} (kai humeis eqanatwqete). First aorist indicative passive of qanatow, old verb, to put to death (#Mt 10:21) or to make to die (extinct) as here and #Ro 8:13. The analogy calls for the death of the law, but Paul refuses to say that. He changes the structure and makes them dead to the law as the husband (#6:3-6). The relation of marriage is killed "through the body of Christ" as the "propitiation" (#3:25) for us. Cf. #Col 1:22. {That we should be joined to another} (eis to genesqai heter"i). Purpose clause with eis to and the infinitive. First mention of the saints as wedded to Christ as their Husband occurs in #1Co 6:13; Ga 4:26. See further #Eph 5:22-33. {That we might bring forth fruit unto God} (hina karpophorˆs"men twi qewi). He changes the metaphor to that of the tree used in #6:22.

    7:5 {In the flesh} (en tei sarki). Same sense as in #6:19 and #7:18,25. The "flesh" is not inherently sinful, but is subject to Sin. It is what Paul means by being "under the law." He uses sarx in a good many senses. {Sinful passions} (ta pathˆmata t"n hamartiwn). "Passions of sins" or marked by sins. {Wrought} (energeito). Imperfect middle of energew, "were active." {To bring forth fruit unto death} (eis to karpophorˆsai t"i qanatwi). Purpose clause again. Vivid picture of the seeds of Sin working for death.

    7:6 {But now} (nuni de). In the new condition. {Wherein we were holden} (en hwi kateichometha). Imperfect passive of katecw, picture of our former state (same verb in #1:18). {In newness of spirit} (en kainoteti pneumatos). The death to the letter of the law (the old husband) has set us free to the new life in Christ. So Paul has shown again the obligation on us to live for Christ.

    7:7 {Is the law Sin?} (ho nomos hamartia?). A pertinent query in view of what he had said. Some people today oppose all inhibitions and prohibitions because they stimulate violations. That is half-baked thinking. {I had not known Sin} (ten hamartian ouk egnwn). Second aorist indicative of ginwskw, to know. It is a conclusion of a second class condition, determined as unfulfilled. Usually an is used in the conclusion to make it plain that it is second class condition instead of first class, but occasionally it is not employed when it is plain enough without as here (#Joh 16:22,24). See on ¯Ga 4:15. So as to {I had not known coveting} (lust), epithumian ouk ˆidein. But all the same the law is not itself Sin nor the cause of Sin. Men with their sinful natures turn law into an occasion for sinful acts.

    7:8 {Finding occasion} (aformen labousa). See #2Co 5:12; 11:12; Ga 5:13 for aformen, a starting place from which to rush into acts of Sin, excuses for doing what they want to do. Just so drinking men use the prohibition laws as "occasions" for violating them. {Wrought in me} (kateirgasato en emoi). First aorist active middle indicative of the intensive verb katergazomai, to work out (to the finish), effective aorist. The command not to lust made me lust more. {Dead} (nekra). Inactive, not non-existent. Sin in reality was there in a dormant state.

    7:9 {I was alive} (ez"n). Imperfect active. Apparently, "the lost paradise in the infancy of menw (Denney), before the conscience awoke and moral responsibility came, "a seeming life" (Shedd). {Sin revived} (hˆ hamartia anezˆsen). Sin came back to life, waked up, the blissful innocent stage was over, "the commandment having come" (elthousˆs tˆs entolˆs, genitive absolute). {But I died} (egw de apeqanon). My seeming life was over for I was conscious of Sin, of violation of law. I was dead before, but I did not know. Now I found out that I was spiritually dead.

    7:10 { this I found unto death} (heureqe moi--haute eis qanaton). Literally, "the commandment the one for (meant for) life, this was found for me unto death." First aorist (effective) passive indicative of heuriskw, to find, not active as the English has it. It turned out so for me (ethical dative).

    7:11 {Beguiled me} (exepatesen me). First aorist active indicative of exapataw, old verb, completely (ex) made me lose my way (a privative, patew, to walk). See on ¯1Co 3:18; 2Co 11:3. Only in Paul in N.T. {Slew me} (apekteinen). First aorist active indicative of apokteinw, old verb. "Killed me off," made a clean job of it. Sin here is personified as the tempter (#Ge 3:13).

    7:12 {Holy, and righteous, and good} (hagia kai dikaia kai agaqe). this is the conclusion (wherefore, hwste) to the query in verse #7. The commandment is God's and so holy like Him, just in its requirements and designed for our good. The modern revolt against law needs these words.

    7:13 {Become death unto me?} (emoi egeneto qanatos?). Ethical dative emoi again. New turn to the problem. Admitting the goodness of God's law, did it issue in death for me? Paul repels (me genoito) this suggestion. It was Sin that (But Sin, allahamartia) "became death for me." {That it might be shown} (hina phanˆi). Final clause, hina and second aorist passive subjunctive of fainw, to show. The sinfulness of Sin is revealed in its violations of God's law. {By working death to me} (moi katergazomenˆ thanaton). Present middle participle, as an incidental result. {Might become exceedingly sinful} (genetai kaq' huperbolen hamartwlos). Second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai with hina in final clause. On kaq' huperbolen, see on ¯1Co 12:31. Our _hyperbole_ is the Greek huperbole. The excesses of Sin reveal its real nature. Only qen do some people get their eyes opened.

    7:14 {Spiritual} (pneumatikos). Spirit-caused and spirit-given and like the Holy Spirit. See #1Co 10:3f. {But I am carnal} (eg" de sarkinos eimi). "Fleshen" as in #1Co 3:1 which see, more emphatic even than sarkikos," a creature of flesh." {Sold under Sin} (pepramenos hupo ten hamartian). Perfect passive participle of pipraskw, old verb, to sell. See on ¯Mt 13:46; Ac 2:45, state of completion. Sin has closed the mortgage and owns its slave.

    7:15 {I know not} (ou ginwskw). "I do not recognize" in its true nature. My spiritual perceptions are dulled, blinded by Sin (#2Co 4:4). The dual life pictured here by Paul finds an echo in us all, the struggle after the highest in us ("what I really wish," ho qelw, to practise it steadily, prassw) and the slipping into doing (poi") "what I really hate" (ho mis") and yet sometimes do. There is a deal of controversy as to whether Paul is describing his struggle with Sin before conversion or after it. The words "sold under Sin" in verse #14 seem to turn the scale for the pre-conversion period. "It is the unregenerate man's experience, surviving at least in memory into regenerate days, and read with regenerate eyes" (Denney).

    7:16 {I consent unto the law} (sunfemi twi nomwi). Old verb, here only in N.T., with associative instrumental case. "I speak with." My wanting (qelw) to do the opposite of what I do proves my acceptance of God's law as good (kalos).

    7:17 {So now} (nuni de). A logical contrast, "as the case really stands." {But Sin that dwelleth in me} (all' he enoikousa en emoi hamartia). "But the dwelling in me Sin." Not my true self, my higher personality, but my lower self due to my slavery to indwelling Sin. Paul does not mean to say that his whole self has no moral responsibility by using this paradox. "To be saved from Sin, a man must at the same time own it and disown it" (Denney).

    7:18 {In me} (en emoi). Paul explains this by "in my flesh" (en tˆi sarki mou), the unregenerate man "sold under Sin" of verse #14. {No good thing} (ouk--agaqon). "Not absolutely good." this is not a complete view of man even in his unregenerate state as Paul at once shows. {For to will is present with me} (to gar qelein parakeitai moi). Present middle indicative of parakeimai, old verb, to lie beside, at hand, with dative moi. Only here in N.T. {The wishing} is the better self, {the doing not} the lower self.

    7:19 {But the evil which I would not} (alla ho ou qelw kakon). Incorporation of the antecedent into the relative clause, "what evil I do not wish." An extreme case of this practise of evil is seen in the drunkard or the dope-fiend.

    7:20 {It is no more I that do it} (ouketi egw katergazomai auto). Just as in verse #17, "no longer do I do it" (the real Ego, my better self), and yet there is responsibility and guilt for the struggle goes on.

    7:21 {The law} (ton nomon). The principle already set forth (ara, accordingly) in verses #18,19. this is the way it works, but there is no surcease for the stings of conscience.

    7:22 {For I delight in} (sunedomai gar). Old verb, here alone in N.T., with associative instrumental case, "I rejoice with the law of God," my real self "after the inward man" (kata ton es" anqrwpon) of the conscience as opposed to "the outward man" (#2Co 4:16; Eph 3:16).

    7:23 {A different law} (heteron nomon). For the distinction between heteros and allos, see #Ga 1:6f. {Warring against} (antistrateuomenon). Rare verb (_Xenophon_) to carry on a campaign against. Only here in N.T. {The law of my mind} (twi nomwi tou noos). The reflective intelligence Paul means by noos, "the inward man" of verse #22. It is this higher self that agrees that the law of God is good (#12,16,22). {Bringing me into captivity} (aichmal"tizonta). See on this late and vivid verb for capture and slavery #Lu 21:24; 2Co 10:5. Surely it is a tragic picture drawn by Paul with this outcome, "sold under Sin" (#14), "captivity to the law of Sin" (#23). The ancient writers (Plato, Ovid, Seneca, Epictetus) describe the same dual struggle in man between his conscience and his deeds.

    7:24 {O wretched man that I am} (talaipwros eg" anqrwpos). "Wretched man I." Old adjective from tlaw, to bear, and pwros, a callus. In N.T. only here and #Re 3:17. "A heart-rending cry from the depths of despair" (Sanday and Headlam). {Out of the body of this death} (ek tou swmatos tou qanatou toutou). So the order of words demands. See verse #13 for "death" which finds a lodgment in the body (Lightfoot). If one feels that Paul has exaggerated his own condition, he has only to recall #1Ti 1:15 when he describes himself a chief of sinners. He dealt too honestly with himself for Pharisaic complacency to live long.

    7:25 {I thank God} (caris twi qewi). "Thanks to God." Note of victory over death through Jesus Christ our Lord." {So qen I myself} (ara oun autos egw). His whole self in his unregenerate state gives a divided service as he has already shown above. In #6:1-7:6 Paul proved the obligation to be sanctified. In #7:7-8:11 he discusses the possibility of sanctification, only for the renewed man by the help of the Holy Spirit.

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