18. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
18. Sed dico, Nunquid non audierunt? Quinimo, In omnem terram exivit sonus eorum, et in fines orbis verba eorum.
19. But I say, Did not Israel know? First, Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
19. Sed dico, Nunquid non cognovit Israel? Primus Moses dicit, Ego ad aemulationem provocabo vos in eo qui non est populus, et in gente stulta irritabo vos.
20. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
20. Iesaias autem audet et dicit, Inventus sum a non quaerentibus me, conspicuus factus sum iis qui me non interrogabant.
21. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
21. De Israele autem dicit, Quotidie expandi manus meas ad populum contumacem et contradicentem (vel, non credentem.)
This passage of Paul gave occasion to the ancients to explain the whole Psalm allegorically, and posterity have followed them: so that, without doubt, the sun going forth as a bridegroom from his chamber, was Christ, and the heavens were the Apostles. They who had most piety, and showed a greater modesty in interpreting Scripture, thought that what was properly said of the celestial architecture, has been transferred by Paul to the Apostles by way of allusion. But as I find that the Lord's servants have everywhere with great reverence explained Scripture, and have not turned them at pleasure in all directions, I cannot be persuaded, that Paul has in this manner misconstrued this passage. I then take his quotation according to the proper and genuine meaning of the Prophet; so that the argument will be something of this kind, -- God has already from the beginning manifested his divinity to the Gentiles, though not by the preaching of men, yet by the testimony of his creatures; for though the gospel was then silent among them, yet the whole workmanship of heaven and earth did speak and make known its author by its preaching. It hence appears, that the Lord, even during the time in which he confined the favor of his covenant to Israel, did not yet so withdraw from the Gentiles the knowledge of himself, but that he ever kept alive some sparks of it among them. He indeed manifested himself then more particularly to his chosen people, so that the Jews might be justly compared to domestic hearers, whom he familiarly taught as it were by his own mouth; yet as he spoke to the Gentiles at a distance by the voice of the heavens, he showed by this prelude that he designed to make himself known at length to them also.
But I know not why the Greek interpreter rendered the word
Observe, that a
I know that this whole passage is changed by some Rabbins, as though God promised that he would cause that the Jews should repent of their defection: but nothing is more clear than that he speaks of aliens; for it follows in the same context, -- "I have said, Behold I come to a people, on whom my name is not called." Without doubt, then, the Prophet declares it as what would take place, that those who were before aliens would be received by a new adoption unto the family of God. It is then the calling of the Gentiles; and in which appears a general representation of the calling of all the faithful; for there is no one who anticipates the Lord; but we are all, without exception, delivered by his free mercy from the deepest abyss of death, when there is no knowledge of him, no desire of serving him, in a word, no conviction of his truth.
And very emphatical is the expression, that he
Their unfaithfulness is also set forth by two most suitable words. I have thought it right to render the participle
1 Intepreters have been very much at a loss to account for this difference. The Apostle adopts the rendering of the Septuagint, as though the Hebrew word had been
4. Without speech, and without words!
Not heard is their voice! --
5. Through all the earth goes forth their voice,
And through the extremity of the world their words.
They have no words, and yet they have words; they have no voice, and yet they have a voice. Here the first and the last line Correspond, and the second and the third. There is indeed a different term used for "words" in the last line from that which is adopted in the first, but in the first there are two, "speech,"
The "sound," or voice, as applied in this passage, means the report, the news, respecting the gospel; and the "words," the actual preaching of it. -- Ed.
2 The quotation is from Deuteronomy 32:21, and it is literally the Hebrew as well as the Septuagint, except that "you" is put for "them." The contrast in Hebrew is very striking; the whole verse is this, --
21. They have made me jealous by a no-God,
They have provoked me by their foolish idols;
And I will make them jealous by a no-people,
By a foolish nation will I provoke them. -- Ed.
3 Isaiah 65:1. The two sentences are reversed; the Septuagint and the Hebrew are the same. The reason for changing the order does not appear; but it may be observed, that it is an instance common in Hebrew, where essentially the same idea is expressed in two successive lines, so that it is immaterial which of them is put first. -- Ed.
4 The passage is taken from Isaiah 65:2. The Septuagint is followed, except that the order of the words in the first part of the sentence is changed, thought the Septuagint has preserved the order of the original. The version is according to the Hebrew, with the exception of the last word, which from its form, the last radical letter being doubled, can hardly be expressed in another language by a single term, and so the Septuagint has employed two. It means "revolting again and again," or willfully revolting. The simple verb