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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 13

Verse 13. That oftentimes I purposed. See Ro 1:10. How often he had purposed this we have no means of ascertaining. The fact, however, that he had done it, showed his strong desire to see them, and to witness the displays of the grace of God in the capital of the Roman world. Comp. Ro 15:23,24. One instance of his having purposed to go to Rome is recorded in Ac 19:21: "After these things were ended, (viz., at Ephesus,) Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem; saying, after I have been there, I must also see Rome." This purpose expressed in this manner in the epistle, and the Acts of the Apostles, has been shown by Dr. Paley (Horae Paulinae on Ro 1:13) to be one of those undesigned coincidences which strongly show that both books are genuine. Comp. Ro 15:23,24 with Ac 19:21. A forger of these books would not have thought of such a contrivance as to feign such a purpose to go to Rome at that time, and to have mentioned it in that manner. Such coincidences are among the best proofs that can be demanded, that the writers did not intend to impose on the world. See Paley.

But was let hitherto. The word "let" means to hinder, or to obstruct. In what way this was done we do not know, but it is probable that he refers to the various openings for the preaching of the gospel where he had been, and to the obstructions of various kinds from the enemies of the gospel to the fulfillment of his purposes.

That I might have some fruit among you. That I might be the means of the conversion of sinners, and of the edification of the church, in the capital of the Roman empire. It was not curiosity to see the splendid capital of the world that prompted this desire; it was not the love of travel, and of roaming from clime to clime; it was the specific purpose of doing good to the souls of men. To have fruit means to obtain success in bringing men to the knowledge of Christ. Thus the Saviour said, (Joh 15:16) "I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain."

{1} "among" or, "in"

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