12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
12. Quamobrem sicut per unum hominem peccatmn in mundum introiit, et per peccatum mors; atque ita in omnes homines mors pervagata est. quandoquidem omnes peccaverunt:
13. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
13. (Nam usque ad legem peccatum erat in mundo; peccatum autem non imputatur, quum non est lex:
14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
14. Sed regnavit mors ab Adam usque ad Mosen, etiam in eos qui non peccaverunt ad similitudinem prævericationis Adam, qui est figura futuri.
But Paul wisely introduced this sentence, in order that the Jews might hence more clearly learn how grievously they offended, inasmuch as the law openly condemned them; for if they were not exempted from punishment whom God had never summoned as guilty before his tribunal, what would become of the Jews to whom the law, like a herald, had proclaimed their guilt, yea, on whom it denounced judgment? There may be also another reason adduced why he expressly says, that sin reigned before the law, but was not imputed, and that is, that we may know that the cause of death proceeds not from the law, but is only made known by it. Hence he declares, that all became miserably lost immediately after the fall of Adam, though their destruction was only made manifest by the law. If you translate this adversative de, though, the text would run better; for the meaning is, that though men may indulge themselves, they cannot yet escape God's judgment, even when there is no law to reprove them.
1 The beginning of this verse has occasioned a vast number of conjectures, both as to the connection and as to the corresponding clause to the fist sentence. Most agree in the main with Calvin on these two points. Hodge announces a similar view as to the connection in these words, -- "The idea of men being regarded and treated, not according to their own merits, but the merit of another, is contrary to the common mode of thinking among men. The Apostle illustrates and enforces it by an appeal to the great analogous fact in the history of the world."
As to the corresponding clause, that it is found in the Romans 5:18, there is a common consent, -- Pareus, Willet, Grotius, Doddridge, Scott, Stuart, Chalmers, etc.; the intervening verses are viewed as parenthetic.
12. For this reason -- as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death, even so death came on all men, because all have sinned.
According to this view, the corresponding clause is in the verse itself. The sentiment of the passage is this, -- through one man sin entered and death followed; and death followed as to all mankind, because all had sinned. Then, according to his usual manner, the Apostle takes up the last subject, "sin," issuing in the death of all; and at the end of the Romans 5:14 he goes back to "the one man," Adam, who he says was a type of another: and this sentence is made the text of what follows till the end of the Romans 5:19. Having before referred to the state of things before the "law," in the two remaining verses he refers to the bearing of the law on his subject, and shows that there is in Christ an abundant provision for the increase of sin occasioned by the law.
So abundant is grace that it is fully sufficient to remove original sin, actual sins -- its fruits, and the sins discovered by the law, and by its means increased and enhanced. Hence superabundance is ascribed to it. -- Ed.
2 The particles
Wolfius quotes a singular passage from a Jewish Rabbi, Moses Tranensis, "In the sin which the first man sinned, the whole world through him (or in him,
"There are three things," says Pareus, "which are to be considered in Adam's sin, -- the sinful act, the penalty of the law, and the depravity of nature; or in other words, the transgression of the command, the punishment of death, and natural Corruption, which was the loss of God's image, and in its stead came deformity and disorder. From none of these his posterity are free, but all these have descended to them; there is a participation of the transgression, an imputation of guilt, and the propagation of natural depravity. There is a participation of the sin; for all his posterity were seminally in his loins, so that all sinned in his sin, as Levi paid tithes in the loins of Abraham; and as children are a part of their parents, so children are in a manner partakers of their parents' sin. There is also an imputation of guilt, for the first man so stood in favor, that when he sinned, not only he, but also all his posterity fell with him, and became with him subject to eternal death. And lastly, there is the propagation or the generation of a dreadful deformity of nature; for such as Adam became after the fall, such were the children he begat, being after his own image, and not after the image of God. Genesis 5:1. . . .All these things, as to the first sin, apply to the parent and also to the children, with only this difference -- that Adam sinning first transgressed, first contracted guilt, and first depraved his nature, -- and that all these things belong to his posterity by participation, imputation, and propagation."
Both Stuart and Barnes stumble here; and though they denounce theorizing, and advocate adherence to the language of Scripture, they do yet theorize and attempt to evade the plain and obvious meaning of this passage. But in trying to avoid one difficulty, they make for themselves another still greater. The penalty, or the imputation of guilt, they admit; which is indeed undeniable, as facts, as well as Scripture, most clearly prove: but the participation they deny, though words could hardly be framed to express it more distinctly than the words of this verse; and thus, according to their view, a punishment is inflicted without a previous implication in an offense; while the Scriptural account of the matter is, according to what Calvin states, that "sin extends to all who suffer its punishment," though he afterwards explains this in a way that is not altogether consistent. -- Ed.
3 This verse, as bearing on the argument, maybe viewed rather differently. This and the following verse contain an explanation or an illustration of the last, Romans 5:12. He states in this verse two things: a fact and a general principle; the fact is, that sin, the first sin in its evident effects, (for he speaks throughout of no other sin, as to Adam, or as producing death,) was in the world before the law of Moses was given; and the general principle he avows is, that no sin is imputed where there is no law. Having made this last admission, he proceeds in the Romans 5:14 to say, that "nevertheless," or notwithstanding, death, the effect of sin, prevailed in the world, and prevailed even as to those who did not actually or personally sin as Adam did. He takes no account of personal sins, for his object was to show the effects of the first sin. And then he says, that in is respect Adam was a kind of type, a figure, a representative of Christ who was to come; and in the three verses which follow, Romans 5:15, 16, and 17, he traces the similitude between the two, pointing out at the same time the difference, which in every instance is in favor of the last Adam. That