3. And thinkest thou this, o man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the Judgment of God?
3. Existimas autem, O homo, qui judicas eos qui talia faciunt, et eadem facis, quod ipse effugies judicium Dei?
4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering; 1 not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
4. An divitias bonitatis ipsius tolerantiæque, ac lenitatis contemnis; ignorans quod bonitas Dei te ad pœnitentiam deducit?
5. But, after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
5. Sed, juxta duritiam tuam, et cor pœnitere nescium, thesaurizas tibi iram in diem irae et revelations justi judicii Dei;
6. Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
6. Qui redditurus est unicuique secundam ipsius opera:
7. To them who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honor, and immortality, eternal life;
7. Iis quidem, qui per boni operis perseverantiam, gloriam et honorem et immortalitatem quærunt, vitam æternam;
8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
8. Iis vero qui sunt contentiosi, ac veritati immorigeri, injustitiæ autem obtemperant, excandescentia, ira, tribulatio,
9. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile:
9. Et anxietas in omnem animam hominis perpetrantis malum, Iudæi primum simul et Græci:
10. But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.
10. At gloria et honor et pax omni operanti bonum, Iudæo primum simul et Græco.
This is a remarkable passage: we may hence learn what I have already referred to -- that the ungodly not only accumulate for themselves daily a heavier weight of God's judgments, as long as they live here, but that the gifts of God also, which they continually enjoy, shall increase their condemnation; for an account of them all will be required: and it will then be found, that it will be justly imputed to them as an extreme wickedness, that they had been made worse through God's bounty, by which they ought surely to have been improved. Let us then take heed, lest by unlawful use of blessings we lay up for ourselves this cursed treasure.
"A day of wrath," saith Zephaniah, "shall be that day, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and wretchedness, a day of darkness and of thick darkness, a day of mist and of whirlwind." (Zephaniah 1:15.)
You have a similar description in Joel 2:2, etc. And Amos exclaims,
"Woe To You Who Desire The Day Of The Lord! What Will It Be To You? The Day Of The Lord Will Be Darkness, And Not Light." (Amos 5:18.)
Farther, by adding the word
Contention is mentioned here for rebellion and stubbornness; for Paul was contending with hypocrites who, by their gross and supine self-indulgence, trifled with God. By the word
We may add, that though he might have briefly described, even in two words, the blessedness of the godly and also the misery of the reprobate, he yet enlarges on both subjects, and for this end -- that he might more effectually strike men with the fear of God's wrath, and sharpen their desire for obtaining grace through Christ: for we never fear God's judgment as we ought, except it be set as it were by a lively description before our eyes; nor do we really burn with desire for future life, except when roused by strong incentives, (multis flabellis incitati -- incited by many fans.)
1 Lenitatis --
2 What follows in the text, according to Calvin, is this, "et Corinthians pœni tere nescium -- and a heart that knoweth not to repent;"
3 It has appeared to some difficult to reconcile this language with the free salvation which the gospel offers, and to obviate the conclusion which many are disposed to draw from this passage -- that salvation is by works as well as by faith.
To this objection Pareus answers, that the Apostle speaks here of salvation by the works of the law, not indeed as a thing possible, which he subsequently denies, but as a declaration of what it is, that he might thereby show the necessity of a gratuitous salvation which is by faith only. And this is the view which Mr. Haldane takes.
But there is no need of having recourse to this hypothesis: for whenever judgment is spoken of even in the New Testament, it is ever represented in the same way, as being regulated in righteousness, according to the works of every individual. See Acts 17:31; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Colossians 3:24, 25; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 22:12.
It will be a judgment, conducted according to the perfect rule of justice, with no respect of persons, with no regard to individuals as such, whether high or low, much or little favored as to outward privileges, but according to what their conduct has been, under the circumstances of their case. The rule, if heathens, will be the law of nature; if Jews, the law which had been given them. Judgment, as to its character, will be still the same to those under the gospel; it will be according to what the gospel requires. -- Ed.
4 With regard to the construction of this passage, 6-10, it may be observed, that it is formed according to the mode of Hebrew parallelism, many instances of which we meet with even in the prose writings of the New Testament. None of the ancients, nor any of the moderns, before the time of Bishop Lowth, understood much of the peculiar character of the Hebrew style. All the anomalies, noticed by Calvin, instantly vanish, when the passage is so arranged, as to exhibit the correspondence of its different parts. It consists of two general portions; the first includes three verses,Romans 2:6, 7, and 8; the other, the remaining three verses. The same things are mainly included in both portions, only in the latter there are some things additional, and explanatory, and the order is reversed, so that the passage ends with what corresponds with its beginning. To see the whole in a connected form, it is necessary to set it down in lines, in the following manner --
6. Who will render to each according to his works, --
7. To those indeed, who, by perseverance in well -- doing, Seek glory and honor and immortality, -- Eternal life
8. But there shall be to them who are contentious And obey not the truth, but obey iniquity, --Indignation and wrath: Then follow the same things, the order being reversed --
9. Distress and anguish shall be On every soul of man that worketh evil, -- On the Jew first, and then on the Greek;
10. But glory and honor and peace, To every one who worketh good, -- To the Jew first and then to the Greek;
11. For there is no respect of persons with God.
The idea in the last and the first line is essentially the same. This repetition is for the sake of producing an impression. The character of the righteous, in the first part, is, that by persevering in doing good they seek glory, honor, and immortality, and their reward is to be eternal life: the character of the wicked is that of being contentious, disobedient to the truth, and obedient to unrighteousness, and their reward is to be indignation and wrath. The character of the first, in the second part. is, that they work good; and of the other, that they work evil: and the reward of the first is glory, honor, and peace, and the reward of the other, distress and anguish; which are the effects of indignation and wrath, as glory honor, and peace are the fruits or the constituent parts of eternal life It is to be observed that priority in happiness, as well as priority in misery, is ascribed to the Jew. -- Ed.