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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 13 - Verse 9

Verse 9. For this. This which follows is the sum of the laws. This is to regulate us in our conduct towards our neighbour. The word this here stands opposed to "that" in Ro 13:11. This law of love would prompt us to seek our neighbour's good; that fact, that our salvation is near, would prompt us to be active and faithful in the discharge of all the duties we owe to him.

Thou shalt not commit adultery. All the commands which follow are designed as an illustration of the duty of loving our neighbour. See these commands considered in the Notes on Mt 19:18,19. The apostle has not enumerated all the commands of the second table. He has shown generally what they required. The command to honour our parents he has omitted. The reason might have been, that it was not so immediately to his purpose when discoursing of love to a neighbor —a word which does not immediately suggest the idea of near relatives. The expression, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," is rejected by the best critics as of doubtful authority, but it does not materially affect the spirit of the passage. It is wanting in many Mss., and in the Syriac version.

If there be any other commandment. The law respecting parents; or if there be any duty which does not seem to be specified by these laws, it is implied in the command to love our neighbour as ourselves.

It is briefly comprehended. Greek, It may be reduced to this head; or it is summed up in this.

In this saying. This word, or command.

Thou shalt love, etc. This is found in Le 19:18. See Barnes "Mt 19:19".

If this command were fulfilled, it would prevent all fraud, injustice, oppression, falsehood, adultery, murder, theft, and covetousness. It is the same as our Saviour's golden rule. And if every man would do to others as he would wish them to do to him, all the design of the law would be at once fulfilled.

{a} "Thou shalt not commit adultery" Ex 20:13 {b} "Namely, Thou shalt love" Le 19:18; Mt 22:39,40

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