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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 3 - Verse 11

Verse 11. There is none that understandeth. In the Hebrew, (Ps 14:2), God is represented as looking down from heaven to see, that is, to make investigation, whether there were any that understood or sought after him. This circumstance gives not only high poetic beauty to the passage, but deep solemnity and awfulness. God, the Searcher of hearts, is represented as making investigation on this very point, he looks down from heaven for this very purpose, to ascertain whether there were any righteous. In the Hebrew it is not asserted, though it is clearly and strongly implied, that none such were found. That fact the apostle states. If, as the result of such an investigation, none were found; if God did not specify that there were any such; then it follows that there were none. For none could escape the notice of his eye; and if there had been any, the benevolence of his heart would have led him to record it. To understand is used in the sense of being wise; or of having such a state of moral feeling as to dispose them to serve and obey God. The word is often used in the Bible, not to denote a mere intellectual operation of the mind, but the state of the heart inclining the mind to obey and worship God, Ps 107:43; 119:27,100

Pr 2:5; Isa 6:10: "Lest they should understand with their heart," etc.

That seeketh after God. That endeavours to know and do his will, and to be acquainted with his character. A disposition not to seek after God, that is, to neglect and forget him, is one of the most decided proofs of depravity. A righteous man counts it his highest privilege and honour to know God, and to understand his will. A man can indulge in wickedness only by forgetting God. Hence a disposition not to seek God is full proof of depravity.

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