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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ROMANS 9

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    9:1 {In Christ} (en Christ"i). Paul really takes a triple oath here so strongly is he stirred. He makes a positive affirmation in Christ, a negative one (not lying), the appeal to his conscience as co-witness (sunmarturousˆs, genitive absolute as in #2:15 which see) "in the Holy Spirit."

    9:2 {Sorrow} (lupe). Because the Jews were rejecting Christ the Messiah. "We may compare the grief of a Jew writing after the fall of Jerusalem" (Sanday and Headlam). {Unceasing pain in my heart} (adialeiptos odune tei kardiai). Like _angina pectoris_. odune is old word for consuming grief, in N.T. only here and and #1Ti 6:10. {Unceasing} (adialeiptos). Late and rare adjective (in an inscription 1 cent. B.C.), in N.T. only here and #2Ti 1:3. Two rare words together and both here only in N.T. and I and II Timothy (some small argument for the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Epistles).

    9:3 {I could wish} (eucomen). Idiomatic imperfect, "I was on the point of wishing." We can see that eucomai (I do wish) would be wrong to say. An ˆuchomˆn would mean that he does not wish (conclusion of second class condition). An ˆuchomˆn would be conclusion of fourth class condition and too remote. He is shut up to the imperfect indicative (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 886). {anaqema} (anaqema). See for this word as distinct from anaqema (offering) #1Co 12:3; Ga 1:8f. {I myself} (autos eg"). Nominative with the infinitive einai and agreeing with subject of ˆuchomˆn. {According to the flesh} (kata sarka). As distinguished from Paul's Christian brethren.

    9:4 {Who} (hoitines). The very ones who, inasmuch as they. {Israelites} (Israˆleitai). Covenant name of the chosen people. {Whose} (hwn). Predicate genitive of the relative, used also again with hoi pateres. For "the adoption" (hˆ huiothesia) see #8:15. {The glory} (he doxa). The shekinah Glory of God (#3:23) and used of Jesus in #Jas 2:1. {The covenants} (hai diathˆkai). Plural because renewed often (#Ge 6:18; 9:9; 15:18; 17:2,7,9; Ex 2:24). {The giving of the law} (hˆ nomothesia). Old word, here only in N.T., from nomos and tiqemi. {The service} (hˆ latreia). The temple service (#Heb 9:1,6). {The fathers} (hoi pateres). The patriarchs (#Ac 3:13; 7:32).

    9:5 {Of whom} (ex hwn). Fourth relative clause and here with ex and the ablative. {Christ} (ho cristos). The Messiah. {As concerning the flesh} (to kata sarka). Accusative of general reference, "as to the according to the flesh." Paul limits the descent of Jesus from the Jews to his human side as he did in #1:3f. {Who is over all, God blessed for ever} (ho on epi pantwn qeos eulogetos). A clear statement of the deity of Christ following the remark about his humanity. this is the natural and the obvious way of punctuating the sentence. To make a full stop after sarka (or colon) and start a new sentence for the doxology is very abrupt and awkward. See #Ac 20:28; Tit 2:13 for Paul's use of qeos applied to Jesus Christ.

    9:6 {But it is not as though} (ouc hoion de hoti). Supply estin after ouc: "But it is not such as that," an old idiom, here alone in N.T. {Hath come to nought} (ekpept"ken). Perfect active indicative of ekpiptw, old verb, to fall out. {For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel} (ou gar pantes hoi ex Israˆl houtoi Israˆl). "For not all those out of Israel (the literal Jewish nation), these are Israel (the spiritual Israel)." this startling paradox is not a new idea with Paul. He had already shown (#Ga 3:7-9) that those of faith are the true sons of Abraham. He has amplified that idea also in #Ro 4. So he is not making a clever dodge here to escape a difficulty. He now shows how this was the original purpose of God to include only those who believed. {Seed of Abraham} (sperma Abraam). Physical descent here, but spiritual seed by promise in verse #8. He quotes #Ge 21:12f.

    9:8 {The children of the promise} (ta tekna tes epaggelias). Not through Ishmael, but through Isaac. Only the children of the promise are "children of God" (tekna tou qeou) in the full sense. He is not speaking of Christians here, but simply showing that the privileges of the Jews were not due to their physical descent from Abraham. Cf. #Lu 3:8.

    9:9 {A word of promise} (epaggelias ho logos houtos). Literally, " this word is one of promise." Paul combines #Ge 18:10,14 from the LXX.

    9:10 {Having conceived of one} (ex henos koiten ecousa). By metonomy with cause for the effect we have this peculiar idiom (koite being bed, marriage bed), "having a marriage bed from one" husband. One father and twins.

    9:11 {The children being not yet born} (mepw gennˆthent"n). Genitive absolute with first aorist passive participle of gennaw, to beget, to be born, though no word for children nor even the pronoun autwn (they). {Neither having done anything good or bad} (mede praxantwn ti agaqon e faulon). Genitive absolute again with first active participle of prassw. On phaulon, see #2Co 5:10. {The purpose of God} (hˆ prothesis tou qeou). See #8:28 for prothesis. {According to election} (kat' eklogen). Old word from eklegw, to select, to choose out. See #1Th 1:4. Here it is the purpose (prothesis) of God which has worked according to the principles of election. {Not of works} (ouk ex ergwn). Not of merit.

    9:12 {But of him that calleth} (all' ek tou kalountos). Present active articular participle of kalew in the ablative case after ek. The source of the selection is God himself. Paul quotes #Ge 25:33 (LXX).

    9:13 Paul quotes #Mal 1:2f. {But Esau I hated} (ton de Esau emisˆsa). this language sounds a bit harsh to us. It is possible that the word misew did not always carry the full force of what we mean by "hate." See #Mt 6:24 where these very verbs (misew and agapaw) are contrasted. So also in #Lu 14:26 about "hating" (misew) one's father and mother if coming between one and Christ. So in #Joh 12:25 about "hating" one's life. There is no doubt about God's preference for Jacob and rejection of Esau, but in spite of Sanday and Headlam one hesitates to read into these words here the intense hatred that has always existed between the descendants of Jacob and of Esau.

    9:14 {Is there unrighteousness with God?} (me adikia para twi qewi?). Paul goes right to the heart of the problem. me expects a negative answer. "Beside" (para) God there can be no injustice to Esau or to any one because of election.

    9:15 {For he says to Moses} (t"i M"usei gar legei). He has an Old Testament illustration of God's election in the case of Pharaoh (#Ex 33:19). {On whom I have mercy} (hon an elew). Indefinite relative with an and the present active subjunctive of eleaw, late verb only here and #Jude 1:23 in N.T. "On whomsoever I have mercy." The same construction in hon an oikteirw, "on whomsoever I have compassion."

    9:16 {So qen} (ara oun). In view of this quotation. {It is not of} (ou). We must supply estin eleos with ou. "Mercy is not of." The articular participles (tou thelontos, tou trechontos, tou ele"ntos) can be understood as in the genitive with eleos understood (mercy is not a quality of) or as the predicate ablative of source like epilusews in #2Pe 1:20. Paul is fond of the metaphor of running.

    9:17 {To Pharaoh} (t"i Phara"). There is a national election as seen in verses #7-13, but here Paul deals with the election of individuals. He "lays down the principle that God's grace does not necessarily depend upon anything but God's will" (Sanday and Headlam). He quotes #Ex 9:16. {Might be published} (diaggelei). Second aorist passive subjunctive of diaggell".

    9:18 {He hardeneth} (sklerunei). Pharaoh hardened his own heart also (#Ex 8:15,32; 9:34), but God gives men up also (#1:24,26,28). this late word is used by the Greek physicians Galen and Hippocrates. See on ¯Ac 19:9. Only here in Paul.

    9:19 {Why doth he still find fault?} (ti eti memphetai?). Old verb, to blame. In N.T. only here and #Heb 8:8. Paul's imaginary objector picks up the admission that God hardened Pharaoh's heart. "Still" (eti) argues for a change of condition since that is true. {Withstandeth his will} (twi boulemati autou anqesteken). Perfect active indicative of anqistemi, old verb, maintains a stand (the perfect tense). Many have attempted to resist God's will (boulema, deliberate purpose, in N.T. only here and #Ac 27:43; 1Pe 4:3). Elsewhere qelema (#Mt 6:10).

    9:20 {Nay, but, O man, who art thou?} (o anqrwpe, men oun ge su tis ei?). "O man, but surely thou who art thou?" Unusual and emphatic order of the words, proleyis of su (thou) before tis (who) and men oun ge (triple particle, men, indeed, oun, therefore, ge, at least) at the beginning of clause as in #Ro 10:18; Php 3:8 contrary to ancient idiom, but so in papyri. {That repliest} (ho antapokrinomenos). Present middle articular participle of double compound verb antapokrinomai, to answer to one's face (anti-) late and vivid combination, also in #Lu 14:6, nowhere else in N.T., but in LXX. {The thing formed} (to plasma). Old word (Plato, Aristophanes) from plassw, to mould, as with clay or wax, from which the aorist active participle used here (t"i plasanti) comes. Paul quotes these words from #Isa 29:16 verbatim. It is a familiar idea in the Old Testament, the absolute power of God as Creator like the potter's use of clay (#Isa 44:8; 45:8-10; Jer 18:6). me expects a negative answer. {Why didst thou make me thus?} (ti me epoiˆsas houtws?). The original words in Isaiah dealt with the nation, but Paul applies them to individuals. this question does not raise the problem of the origin of Sin for the objector does not blame God for that but why God has used us as he has, made some vessels out of the clay for this purpose, some for that. Observe "thus" (houtws). The potter takes the clay as he finds it, but uses it as he wishes.

    9:21 {Or hath not the potter a right over the clay?} (ˆ ouk ecei exousian ho kerameus tou pˆlou?). this question, expecting an affirmative answer, is Paul's reply to the previous one, "Why didst thou make me thus?" pelos, old word for clay, is mud or wet clay in #Joh 9:6,11,14f. The old word for potter (kerameus) in N.T. only here and #Mt 27:7,10. {Lump} (furamatos). Late word from furaw, to mix (clay, dough, etc.). {One part} (ho men) {--another} (ho de). Regular idiom for contrast (men--de) with the old demonstrative ho ( this ), " this vessel (skeuos, old word as in #Mr 11:16) for honor, that for dishonor." Paul thus claims clearly God's sovereign right (exousian, power, right, authority, from exesti) to use men (already sinners) for his own purpose.

    9:22 {Willing} (qelwn). Concessive use of the participle, "although willing," not causal, "because willing" as is shown by "with much long-suffering" (en pollˆi makroqumiai, in much long-suffering). {His power} (to dunaton autou). Neuter singular of the verbal adjective rather than the substantive dunamin. {Endured} (enegken). Constative second aorist active indicative of the old defective verb ferw, to bear. {Vessels of wrath} (skeue orgˆs). The words occur in #Jer 50:25 (LXX #Jer 27:25), but not in the sense here (objective genitive like tekna orgˆs, #Eph 2:3, the objects of God's wrath). {Fitted} (katˆrtismena). Perfect passive participle of katartizw, old verb to equip (see #Mt 4:21; 2Co 13:11), state of readiness. Paul does not say here that God did it or that they did it. That they are responsible may be seen from #1Th 2:15f. {Unto destruction} (eis apwleian). Endless perdition (#Mt 7:13; 2Th 2:3; Php 3:19), not annihilation.

    9:23 {Vessels of mercy} (skeue eleous). Objective genitive like skeue orgˆs. {Afore prepared} (proetoimasen). First aorist active indicative of proetoimaz", old verb to make ready (from hetoimos, ready) and pro, before, in N.T. only here and #Eph 2:10. But same idea in #Ro 8:28-30.

    9:24 {But also from the Gentiles} (alla kai ex eqnwn). Paul had already alluded to this fact in #9:6f. (cf. #Ga 3:7-9). Now he proceeds to prove it from the Old Testament.

    9:25 {In Hosea} (en twi hwsee). He quotes #2:23 with some freedom. Hosea refers to the ten tribes and Paul applies the principle stated there to the Gentiles. Hosea had a son named _Lo-ammi_ = ou laos. So here ho ou laos mou "the not people of mine." ou with substantives obliterates the meaning of the substantive, an idiom seen in Thucydides and other Greek writers. See also #Ro 10:19; 1Pe 2:10. {Which was not beloved} (tˆn ouk ˆgapˆmenˆn). The LXX rendering of _Lo-ruhamah_ (not mercy, without mercy or love), name of Hosea's daughter. The use of ouk with the perfect passive participle is emphatic, since me is the usual negative of the participle in the _Koin‚_.

    9:26 {Ye are not my people} (ou laos mou humeis). Quotation from #Ho 1:10 (LXX #Ho 2:1). {There} (ekei). Palestine in the original, but Paul applies it to scattered Jews and Gentiles everywhere.

    9:27 {Isaiah} (Esaias). Shortened quotation from #Isa 10:22 (LXX). {It is the remnant that shall be saved} (to hupoleimma swqesetai). First future passive of swzw. Literally, "the remnant will be saved." Late word from hupoleipw, to leave behind (#11:3), here only in N.T. Textus Receptus has kataleimma, but Aleph A B have hupoleimma. Isaiah cries in anguish over the outlook for Israel, but sees hope for the remnant.

    9:28 {Finishing it and cutting it short} (suntelwn kai suntemnwn). Present active participles and note sun- with each (perfective use of the preposition, finishing completely as in #Lu 4:13, cutting off completely or abridging and here only in N.T.) The quotation is from #Isa 28:22.

    9:29 {Hath said before} (proeirˆken). Perfect active indicative of proeipon (defective verb). Stands on record in #Isa 1:9. {Had left} (egkatelipen). Second aorist active indicative of old verb egkataleipw, to leave behind. Condition of second class, determined as unfulfilled, with an egeneqemen and an h"moi"thˆmen as the conclusions (both first aorist passives of ginomai and homoiow, common verbs). {A seed} (sperma). The remnant of verse #27.

    9:30 {Attained} (katelaben). Second aorist active indicative of katalambanw, old verb, to grasp, to seize, to overtake (carrying out the figure in diwkw (to pursue). It was a curious paradox. {Which is of faith} (ten ek pistews). As Paul has repeatedly shown, the only way to get the God-kind of righteousness.

    9:31 {Did not arrive at that law} (eis nomon ouk efqasen). First aorist active indicative of fqanw, old verb to anticipate (#1Th 4:15), now just to arrive as here and #2Co 10:14. The word "that" is not in the Greek. Legal righteousness Israel failed to reach, because to do that one had to keep perfectly all the law.

    9:32 We must supply the omitted verb edi"xa (pursued) from verse #31. That explains the rest. {They stumbled at the stone of stumbling} (prosekoyan twi liqwi tou proskommatos). The quotation is from #Isa 8:14. proskoptw means to cut (koptw) against (pros) as in #Mt 4:6; Joh 11:9f. The Jews found Christ a skandalon (#1Co 1:23).

    9:33 Paul repeats the phrase just used in the whole quotation from #Isa 8:14 with the same idea in "a rock of offence" (petran skandalou, "a rock of snare," a rock which the Jews made a cause of stumbling). The rest of the verse is quoted from #Isa 28:16. However, the Hebrew means "shall not make haste" rather than "shall not be put to shame." In #1Pe 2:8 we have the same use of these Scriptures about Christ. Either Peter had read Romans or both Paul and Peter had a copy of Christian _Testimonia_ like Cyprian's later.

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