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17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

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17 But the Lord assisted me He adds this, in order to remove the scandal which he saw might arise from that base desertion of his cause. 206206     “De ce que plusieurs L’avoyent ainsi lachement abandonne en la defense de sa cause.” — “From many having so basely deserted them in the defense of his cause.” Though the church at Rome had failed to perform its duty, he affirms that the gospel had suffered no loss by it, because, leaning on heavenly power, he was himself fully able to bear the whole burden, and was so far from being discouraged by the influence of that fear which seized on all, that it became only the more evident that the grace of God has no need of receiving aid from any other quarter. He does not boast of his courage, but gives thanks to the Lord; that, when reduced to extremities, he did not give way nor lose heart under so dangerous a temptation. He therefore acknowledges that he was supported by the arm of the Lord, and is satisfied with this, that the inward grace of God served for a shield to defend him against every assault. He assigns the reason —

That the proclamation might be confirmed The word “proclamation” is employed by him to denote the office of publishing the gospel among the Gentiles, which was especially assigned to him; 207207     “Le mot Grec signifie proprement une publication et proclamation qui se fait solennellement et comme a son de trompe.” — “The Greek word properly denotes a publication or proclamation which is made solemnly, and, as it were, with the sound of a trumpet.” for the preaching of others did not so much resemble a proclamation, in consequence of being confined to the Jews. And with good reason does he make use of this word in many passages. It was no small confirmation of his ministry, that, when the whole world foamed with madness against him, and on the other hand, all human assistance failed him, still he remained unshaken. Thus he gave practical demonstration that his apostleship was from Christ.

He now describes the manner of the confirmation, that all the Gentiles might hear that the Lord had so powerfully assisted him; for from this event they might infer that both their own calling and that of Paul were from the Lord.

And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. By the word “lion,” many suppose that he means Nero. For my part, I rather think that he makes use of this expression to denote danger in general; as if he had said, “out of a blazing fire,” or “out of the jaws of death.” He means that it was not without wonderful assistance from God, that he escaped, the danger being so great that but for this he must have been immediately swallowed up.




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