Romans 15:22-24

22. For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

22. Itaque impeditus etiam saepius fui quominus venirem ad vos:

23. But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;

23. Nunc vero nullum amplius locum habens in his regionibus, desiderium autem habens a multis annis veniendi ad vos;

24. Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thither-ward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.

24. Si quando in Hispaniam proficiscar, veniam ad vos: 1 spero enim fore ut istac iter faciens videam vos, et illuc a vobis deducar, si tamen prius ex parte vestra consuetudine fuero expletus.

22. And on this account, etc. What he had said of his apostleship he applies now to another point, even for the purpose of excusing himself for not having come to them, though he was destined for them as well as for others. He, in passing, then intimates, that in propagating the gospel from Judea as far as to Illyricum, he performed, as it were, a certain course enjoined him by the Lord; which being accomplished, he purposed not to neglect them. And lest they should yet think that they had been neglected, he removes this suspicion by testifying, that there had been for a long time no want of desire. Hence, that he had not done this sooner was owing to a just impediment: he now gives them a hope, as soon as his calling allowed him.

From this passage is drawn a weak argument respecting his going to Spain. It does not indeed immediately follow that he performed this journey, because he intended it: for he speaks only of hope, in which he, as other faithful men, might have been sometimes frustrated. 2

24. For I hope, etc. He refers to the reason why he had for a long time wished to come to them, and now intended to do so, -- even that he might see them, enjoy an interview and an intercourse with them, and make himself known to them in his official character; for by the coming of the Apostles the gospel also came.

By saying, to be brought on my way thither by you, he intimates how much he expected from their kindness; and this, as we have already observed, is the best way for conciliating favor; for the more confidence any one hears is reposed in him, the stronger are the obligations under which he feels himself; inasmuch as we deem it base and discourteous to disappoint the good opinion formed of us. And by adding, When I shall first be in part filled, etc., he bears witness to the benevolence of his mind towards them; and to convince them of this was very necessary for the interest of the gospel.

1 This clause, and ga<r in the next, Griesbach dismisses as being spurious: then the verse would be, --

24. "Whenever I go into Spain, I hope, in passing through, to see you, and to be by you sent there, when I shall first be in a measure refreshed by you;" or, literally, "filled with you;" or it may be rendered, "satisfied with you."

The Vulgate renders the words, "Si vobis primum ex parte fruitus fuero -- when I shall first in part enjoy you, i.e., your society. Stuart's version is, "When I am in part first satisfied with your company." The expression, "in part," seems to imply that his stay would not be long. -- Ed.

2 On this subject Wolfius says, "Paul's journey to Spain we unknown to Origen and Eusebius; nor does it comport with the records connected with him. The Apostle, when freed from the chains of Nero, did not go to Spain, but to Asia; and there is no vestige of a Church founded by Paul in Spain. Basnage has carefully examined this subject as well as W. Wall in his critical Notes in English on the New Testament." As is common in many things connected with antiquity, fathers later than Origen and Eusebius came to know of this journey, but how, it is not easy to know: and in process of time various particulars were discovered, or rather invented, in connection with this journey. It is something similar to the story of Peter being the founder of the Church of Rome. -- Ed.