21. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
21. Reperio igitur Legem volenti mihi facere bonum quod mihi malum insideat. 1
22. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
22. Consentio enim Legi Dei secundum interiorem hominem.
23. But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members,
23. Video autem alterum Legem in membris meis, repugnantem 2 legi mentis meæ, et captivum me reddentem legi peccati, quæ est in membris meis.
As to the first clause, many interpreters take the word
But we ought to notice carefully the meaning of the
Now since the
2 "Repugnantem, --
4 Some consider the conclusion of Romans 7:23, "to the law of sin which is in my members," as a paraphrase for "to itself;" as the Apostle describes it at the beginning as the law in his members: and the reason which may be assigned for the repetition is twofold, -- to preserve the distinction between it and "the law of the mind" in the preceding clause, -- and to give it a more distinctive character, by denominating it "the law of sin." We in fact find a gradation in the way in which it is set forth: in Romans 7:21, he calls it simply "a law;" in this verse he first calls it "another law in his members," and then, "the law of sin in his members."
The construction of Romans 7:21, is difficult. Pareus quotes Chrysostom as supposing
This verse, and the two which follow, conclude the subject, and also explain what he had been saying about willing and doing. He in fact accounts here for the paradoxical statements which he had made, by mentioning the operation and working of two laws, which were directly contrary to one another. It seems to be a mistake that he alludes to four laws; for the law of the mind and the law of God are the same, under different names; it is that of the mind, because it belongs to and resides in the mind: and it is the law of God, because it comes from him, and is implanted by his Spirit. To the other law he also gives two names, the "law in his members," and the "law of sin." This view is confirmed by the last verse in the chapter, which contains a summary of the whole.
The latter part of Romans 7:23 is in character with the Hebraistic style, when the noun is stated instead of the pronoun; see Genesis 9:16; Psalm 50:23; and it is also agreeable to the same style to add the same sentiment with something more specific appended to it. This part then might be rendered thus, -- "and making me captive to itself, even to the law of sin, which is he my members." -- Ed.