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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Romans 7:7


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    King James Bible - Romans 7:7

    What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    World English Bible

    What shall we say then? Is the
    law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

    Douay-Rheims - Romans 7:7

    What shall we say, then? Is the
    law sin? God forbid. But I do not know sin, but by the law; for I had not known concupiscence, if the law did not say: Thou shalt not covet.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    What shall we say then? Is the
    law sin? By no means. No, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    τι
    5101 I-ASN ουν 3767 CONJ ερουμεν 2046 5692 V-FAI-1P ο 3588 T-NSM νομος 3551 N-NSM αμαρτια 266 N-NSF μη 3361 PRT-N γενοιτο 1096 5636 V-2ADO-3S αλλα 235 CONJ την 3588 T-ASF αμαρτιαν 266 N-ASF ουκ 3756 PRT-N εγνων 1097 5627 V-2AAI-1S ει 1487 COND μη 3361 PRT-N δια 1223 PREP νομου 3551 N-GSM την 3588 T-ASF τε 5037 PRT γαρ 1063 CONJ επιθυμιαν 1939 N-ASF ουκ 3756 PRT-N ηδειν 1492 5715 V-LAI-1S ει 1487 COND μη 3361 PRT-N ο 3588 T-NSM νομος 3551 N-NSM ελεγεν 3004 5707 V-IAI-3S ουκ 3756 PRT-N επιθυμησεις 1937 5692 V-FAI-2S

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (7) -
    Ro 3:5; 4:1; 6:15

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 7:7

    ¶ ¿Qu pues diremos? ¿La ley es pecado? En ninguna manera. Pero yo no conocí el pecado sino por la ley; porque (tampoco) conocería la concupiscencia, si la ley no dijera: No codiciars.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Romans 7:7

    Verse 7. Is the
    law sin?] The apostle had said, ver. 6: The motions of sins, which were by the law, did bring forth fruit unto death; and now he anticipates an objection, "Is therefore the law sin?" To which he answers, as usual, mh gevoito, by no means. Law is only the means of disclosing; this sinful propensity, not of producing it; as a bright beam of the sun introduced into a room shows; millions of motes which appear to be dancing in it in all directions; but these were not introduced by the light: they were there before, only there was not light enough to make them manifest; so the evil propensity was there before, but there was not light sufficient to discover it.

    I had not known sin, but by the law] Mr. Locke and Dr. Taylor have properly remarked the skill used by St. Paul in dexterously avoiding, as much as possible, the giving offense to the Jews: and this is particularly evident in his use of the word I in this place. In the beginning of the chapter, where he mentions their knowledge of the law, he says YE; in the 4th verse he joins himself with them, and says we; but here, and so to the end of the chapter, where he represents the power of sin and the inability of the law to subdue it, he appears to leave them out, and speaks altogether in the first person, though it is plain he means all those who are under the law. So, chap. iii. 7, he uses the singular pronoun, why am I judged a sinner? when he evidently means the whole body of unbelieving Jews.

    There is another circumstance in which his address is peculiarly evident; his demonstrating the insufficiency of the law under colour of vindicating it.

    He knew that the Jew would take fire at the least reflection on the law, which he held in the highest veneration; and therefore he very naturally introduces him catching at that expression, Romans vii. 5, the motions of sins, which were by the law, or, notwithstanding the law. "What!" says this Jew, "do you vilify the law, by charging it with favouring sin?" By no means, says the apostle; I am very far from charging the law with favouring sin. The law is holy, and the commandment is holy, just, and good, ver. 12. Thus he writes in vindication of the law; and yet at the same time shows: 1. That the law requires the most extensive obedience, discovering and condemning sin in all its most secret and remote branches, ver. 7. 2. That it gives sin a deadly force, subjecting every transgression to the penalty of death, ver. 8-14. And yet, 3.

    supplies neither help nor hope to the sinner, but leaves him under the power of sin, and the sentence of death, ver. 14, &c. This, says Dr. Taylor, is the most ingenious turn of writing I ever met with. We have another instance of the same sort, chap. xiii. 1-7.

    It is not likely that a dark, corrupt human heart can discern the will of God. His law is his will. It recommends what is just, and right, and good and forbids what is improper, unjust, and injurious. If God had not revealed himself by this law, we should have done precisely what many nations of the earth have done, who have not had this revelation-put darkness for light, and sin for acts of holiness. While the human heart is its own measure it will rate its workings according to its own propensities; for itself is its highest rule. But when God gives a true insight of his own perfections, to be applied as a rule both of passion and practice, then sin is discovered, and discovered too, to be exceedingly sinful. So strong propensities, because they appear to be inherent in our nature, would have passed for natural and necessary operations; and their sinfulness would not have been discovered, if the law had not said, Thou shalt not covet; and thus determined that the propensity itself, as well as its outward operations, is sinful. The law is the straight edge which determines the quantum of obliquity in the crooked line to which it is applied.

    It is natural for man to do what is unlawful, and to desire especially to do that which is forbidden. The heathens have remarked this propensity in man.

    Thus LIVY, xxxiv. iv. - Luxuria-ipsis vinculis, sicut fera bestia, irtitata.

    "Luxury, like a wild beast, is irritated by its very bonds." Audax omnia perpeti Gens humana ruit per vetitun; nefas.

    "The presumptuous human race obstinately rush into prohibited acts of wickedness." HOR. Carm. lib. i. Od. iii. ver. 25.

    And OVID, Amor. lib. ii. Eleg. xix. ver. iii. - Quod licet, ingratum est; quod non licet, acrius urit.

    "What is lawful is insipid; the strongest propensity is excited towards that which is prohibited." And again, Ib. lib. iii. E. iv. ver. xvii. - Nitimur in vetitum semper, cupimusque negata.

    "Vice is provoked by every strong restraint, Sick men long most to drink, who know they mayn't." The same poet delivers the same sentiment it another place:- Acrior admonitu est, irritaturque retenta Et crescit rabies: remoraminaque ipsa nocebant. METAM. lib. iii. ver. 566.

    "Being admonished, he becomes the more obstinate; and his fierceness is irritated by restraints. Prohibitions become incentives to greater acts of vice." But it is needless to multiply examples; this most wicked principle of a sinful, fallen nature, has been felt and acknowledged by ALL mankind.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 7. What shall we say then? is the law sin ? etc..] The apostle having said, that the motions of sins were by the law, ( Romans 7:5), meets with an objection, or rather an ill natured cavil, is the law sin? if the motions sins are by it, then it instigates and prompts men to sin; it cherishes it in them; it leads them and impels them to the commission of it, and therefore must be the cause of sin; and if the cause of sin, then it must be sin, or sinful itself: what shall we say then? how shall we remove this difficulty, answer this objection, and silence this cavil? To this it is replied by way of detestation and abhorrence, God forbid ! a way of speaking often made use of by the apostle, when any dreadful consequence was drawn from, or any shocking objection was made to his doctrine, and which was so monstrous as scarcely to deserve any other manner of refutation; (see Romans 3:3-5 6:1,2,15); and next by observing the use of the law to discover sin; which it does by forbidding it, and threatening it with death; by accusing for it, convincing of it, and representing it in its proper colours, it being as a glass in which it may be beheld just as it is, neither greater nor less; which must be understood as attended with a divine power and light, otherwise as a glass is of no use to a blind man, so neither is the law in this sense, to a man in a state of darkness, until the Spirit of God opens his eyes to behold in this glass what manner of man he is: now since the law is so useful to discover, and so to discountenance sin, that itself cannot be sin, or sinful. The apostle exemplifies this in his own case, and says, nay, I had not known sin, but by the law ; which he says not in the person of another, there is no room nor reason for such a fancy; but in his own person, and of himself: not of himself at that present time, as is evident from his way of speaking; nor of himself in his childhood, before he came to years of discretion to discern between good and evil; but as, and when he was a grown person, and whilst a Pharisee, ( Philippians 3:5); he did not know sin during his being in that state till the law came, and entered into his conscience, and then, and by it, he knew sin, ( Romans 7:7), the exceeding sinfulness of it, ( Romans 7:13), and that he himself was the chief of sinners, ( 1 Timothy 1:15). Nay he goes on to observe, that by the law he came to know, not only the sinfulness of outward actions, but also of inward lusts; says he, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shall not covet : as it does in ( Exodus 20:17). This is a way of speaking used by the Jews, when they produce any passage out of the law, thus f124 , hrma hrwth , the law says, if anyone comes to kill thee; referring either to ( Samuel 24:11) or ( Exodus 22:1); and a little after, the law says, namely, in ( Exodus 3:5), put off thy shoes from off thy feet, etc.. By lust is meant the inward motions of sin in the heart, any and every desire of the mind after it; not only studied and concerted schemes, how to bring about and compass an evil action; but every loose vagrant thought of sin, and inclination to it; yea, every imagination of the thought of the heart, before the imagination is well formed into a thought; and not only a dallying with sin in the mind, dwelling upon it with pleasure in thought, but even such sudden motions and starts of the mind to sin, to which we give no assent; such as are involuntary, yea, contrary to the will, being the evil [we] would not, ( Romans 7:19), and are displeasing and hateful to us; these are meant by lust, and which by the law of God are known to be sinful, and only by that. These were not known to be so by the Gentiles, who only had the law and light of nature; nor are they condemned, nor any provision made against them, nor can there be any made, by the laws of men: and though these inward lusts are condemned by the law of God, yet inasmuch as they were not punishable by men, and could be covered with the guise of an external righteousness, multitudes who were born under, and brought up in that law, were secure and indolent about them, did not look upon them as sins, or as at all affecting their righteousness; but imagined that, touching the righteousness of the law, they were blameless, ( Philippians 3:6); which was the case of all the Pharisees, and of the apostle whilst such: but when the law came and entered his conscience with power and light attending it, then he saw, such innumerable swarms of lusts in his heart, and these to be sinful, which he never saw and knew before: just as in a sunbeam we behold those numerous little bits of dust, which otherwise are indiscernible by us. Now since the law is of such use, not only to discover the sinfulness of outward actions, but also of inward lusts and desires, that itself cannot be sinful.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 7-13 - There is no way of coming to that
    knowledge of sin, which is necessar to repentance, and therefore to peace and pardon, but by trying ou hearts and lives by the law. In his own case the apostle would not have known the sinfulness of his thoughts, motives, and actions, but by the law. That perfect standard showed how wrong his heart and life were proving his sins to be more numerous than he had before thought, but it did not contain any provision of mercy or grace for his relief. He is ignorant of human nature and the perverseness of his own heart, wh does not perceive in himself a readiness to fancy there is somethin desirable in what is out of reach. We may perceive this in ou children, though self-love makes us blind to it in ourselves. The mor humble and spiritual any Christian is, the more clearly will he perceive that the apostle describes the true believer, from his firs convictions of sin to his greatest progress in grace, during thi present imperfect state. St. Paul was once a Pharisee, ignorant of the spirituality of the law, having some correctness of character, withou knowing his inward depravity. When the commandment came to his conscience by the convictions of the Holy Spirit, and he saw what is demanded, he found his sinful mind rise against it. He felt at the sam time the evil of sin, his own sinful state, that he was unable to fulfil the law, and was like a criminal when condemned. But though the evil principle in the human heart produces sinful motions, and the mor by taking occasion of the commandment; yet the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good. It is not favourable to sin, which i pursues into the heart, and discovers and reproves in the inwar motions thereof. Nothing is so good but a corrupt and vicious natur will pervert it. The same heat that softens wax, hardens clay. Food of medicine when taken wrong, may cause death, though its nature is to nourish or to heal. The law may cause death through man's depravity but sin is the poison that brings death. Not the law, but sin discovered by the law, was made death to the apostle. The ruinou nature of sin, and the sinfulness of the human heart, are here clearl shown.


    Greek Textus Receptus


    τι
    5101 I-ASN ουν 3767 CONJ ερουμεν 2046 5692 V-FAI-1P ο 3588 T-NSM νομος 3551 N-NSM αμαρτια 266 N-NSF μη 3361 PRT-N γενοιτο 1096 5636 V-2ADO-3S αλλα 235 CONJ την 3588 T-ASF αμαρτιαν 266 N-ASF ουκ 3756 PRT-N εγνων 1097 5627 V-2AAI-1S ει 1487 COND μη 3361 PRT-N δια 1223 PREP νομου 3551 N-GSM την 3588 T-ASF τε 5037 PRT γαρ 1063 CONJ επιθυμιαν 1939 N-ASF ουκ 3756 PRT-N ηδειν 1492 5715 V-LAI-1S ει 1487 COND μη 3361 PRT-N ο 3588 T-NSM νομος 3551 N-NSM ελεγεν 3004 5707 V-IAI-3S ουκ 3756 PRT-N επιθυμησεις 1937 5692 V-FAI-2S

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    7. I had not known (ouk egnwn). Rev., correctly, I did not know. See on
    John ii. 24. The I refers to Paul himself. He speaks in the first person, declaring concerning himself what is meant to apply to every man placed under the Mosaic law, as respects his relation to that law, before and after the revolution in his inner life brought about through his connection with that law. His personal experience is not excluded, but represents the universal experience. 39 Lust (epiqumian). Rev., coveting. See on Mark iv. 19.

    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    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 idein. 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.


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