Romans 9:1
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1-5) My heart bleeds for Israel, my country, that highly-privileged people. I could fain have changed places with them, and been myself cut off from Christ, if only they might have been saved.

(1) I say the truth in Christ.—The meaning of this expression seems to be, “From the bottom of my soul, in the most sacred part of my being, as a Christian man united to Christ, I make this solemn asseveration.”

My conscience.—Here, as in Romans 2:15, very much in the modern sense of the word, the introspective faculty which sits in judgment upon actions, and assigns to them their moral qualities of praise or blame. “This conscience of mine being also overshadowed with the Holy Spirit, and therefore incapable of falsehood or self-deception.”

Romans 9:1-2. The apostle having insinuated, Romans 3:3, that God would cast off the Jews for their unbelief, a Jew is there supposed to object, that their rejection would destroy the faithfulness of God. To this the apostle answered, that the faithfulness of God would be established rather than destroyed, by the rejection of the Jews for their unbelief; because God had expressly declared, Genesis 18:19, that Abraham’s children were to keep the way of the Lord, in order to their obtaining the promised blessings; and had thereby insinuated, that if they did not keep that way they would lose blessings, of which their being made the visible Church of God was one. This was all the answer the apostle thought proper to make in that part of his epistle. But the objection being specious, and, it seems, much insisted on by the unbelieving Jews, he introduces it a second time in this place, that he might reply to it more fully: this then is the subject of this chapter. The apostle shows therein, in answer to the objection of his countrymen, that the rejection of the unbelieving Jews from being the Church of God, and the reception of the believing Gentiles to be his people in their stead, was not contrary to the word of God. That the apostle had not here the least thought of personal election or reprobation, is manifest, 1st, Because it lay quite wide of his design, which, as has been just observed, was merely to show that God’s rejecting the Jews, and receiving the Gentiles, was consistent with his word: 2d, Because such a doctrine would not only have had no tendency to convince, but would have evidently tended to harden the Jews: 3d, Because when he sums up his argument, in the close of the chapter, he says not one word, nor gives the least intimation about it.

I say the truth in Christ — This being a solemn appeal to Christ and the Holy Ghost, as knowing the apostle’s heart, for the truth of what he affirmed, it is of the nature of an oath. I lie not — That which he had in the former clause expressed in the affirmative, he in this emphatically confirms in the negative, according to the manner of the Hebrews, who were wont to deliver, as well negatively as affirmatively, what they judged to be worthy of special observation. My conscience also bearing me witness — As to the truth of what I say; in the Holy Ghost — Who searches all hearts, and perfectly knows whether the soul on which he operates be sincere. That I have great heaviness, &c. — Greek, οτι λυπη μοι εστι μεγαλη, και αδιαλειπτος οδυνη τη καρδια μου, that I have great grief, and unceasing anguish in my heart — This is the fact, the belief of which the apostle desired to procure by that solemnity of attestation expressed in the preceding verse: he does not here mention the cause of his grief and anguish, but it is evident from the first verse that the cause was their obduracy, and rejection as a nation, and the many miseries which he foresaw to be coming upon them. By thus declaring his sorrow for the unbelieving Jews, who excluded themselves from all the blessings he had enumerated in the former part of his epistle, he shows that what he was now about to say, he did not speak from any prejudice to them.9:1-5 Being about to discuss the rejection of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles, and to show that the whole agrees with the sovereign electing love of God, the apostle expresses strongly his affection for his people. He solemnly appeals to Christ; and his conscience, enlightened and directed by the Holy Spirit, bore witness to his sincerity. He would submit to be treated as accursed, to be disgraced, crucified; and even for a time be in the deepest horror and distress; if he could rescue his nation from the destruction about to come upon them for their obstinate unbelief. To be insensible to the eternal condition of our fellow-creatures, is contrary both to the love required by the law, and the mercy of the gospel. They had long been professed worshippers of Jehovah. The law, and the national covenant which was grounded thereon, belonged to them. The temple worship was typical of salvation by the Messiah, and the means of communion with God. All the promises concerning Christ and his salvation were given to them. He is not only over all, as Mediator, but he is God blessed for ever.I say the truth - In what I am about to affirm respecting my attachment to the nation and people.

In Christ - Most interpreters regard this as a form of an oath, as equivalent to calling Christ to witness. It is certainly to be regarded, in its obvious sense, as an appeal to Christ as the searcher of the heart, and as the judge of falsehood. Thus, the word translated "in" ἐν en is used in the form of an oath in Matthew 5:34-36; Revelation 10:6, Greek. We are to remember that the apostle was addressing those who had been Jews; and the expression has all the force of an oath "by the Messiah." This shows that it is right on great and solemn occasions, and in a solemn manner, and thus only, to appeal to Christ for the sincerity of our motives, and for the truth of what we say. And it shows further, that it is right to regard the Lord Jesus Christ as present with us, as searching the heart, as capable of detecting insincerity, hypocrisy, and perjury, and as therefore divine.

My conscience - Conscience is that act or judgment of the mind by which we decide on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our actions, and by which we instantly approve or condemn them. It exists in every man, and is a strong witness to our integrity or to our guilt.

Bearing me witness - Testifying to the truth of what Isay.

In the Holy Ghost - He does not say that he speaks the truth by or in the Holy Spirit, as he had said of Christ; but that the conscience pronounced its concurring testimony by the Holy Spirit; that is, conscience as enlightened and influenced by the Holy Spirit. It was not simply natural conscience, but it was conscience under the full influence of the Enlightener of the mind and Sanctifier of the heart. The reasons of this solemn asseveration are probably the following:

(1) His conduct and his doctrines had led some to believe that he was an apostate, and had lost his love for his countrymen. He had forsaken their institutions, and devoted himself to the salvation of the Gentiles. He here shows them that it was from no lack of love to them.

(2) the doctrines which he was about to state and defend were of a similar character; he was about to maintain that no small part of his own countrymen, notwithstanding their privileges, would be rejected and lost. In this solemn manner, therefore, he assures them that this doctrine had not been embraced because he did not love them, but because it was solemn, though most painful truth. He proceeds to enumerate their privileges as a people, and to show to them the strength and tenderness of his love.

CHAPTER 9

Ro 9:1-33. The Bearing of the Foregoing Truths upon the Condition and Destiny of the Chosen People—Election—The Calling of the Gentiles.

Too well aware that he was regarded as a traitor to the dearest interests of his people (Ac 21:33; 22:22; 25:24), the apostle opens this division of his subject by giving vent to his real feelings with extraordinary vehemence of protestation.

1, 2. I say the truth in Christ—as if steeped in the spirit of Him who wept over impenitent and doomed Jerusalem (compare Ro 1:9; 2Co 12:19; Php 1:8).

my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost—"my conscience as quickened, illuminated, and even now under the direct operation of the Holy Ghost."Romans 9:1-5 Paul professeth an unfeigned sorrow for the Jewish nation,

Romans 9:6-13 but proveth by instance from Scripture that the promise

to Abraham did not necessarily include all his descendants,

Romans 9:14-18 asserting that there is no unrighteousness in God’s

bestowing his unmerited bounty on whom he pleaseth,

Romans 9:19-24 and that he was unquestionably free to suspend his

judgments, where deserved, either for the more signal

display of his power in taking vengeance on some, or

of his mercy in calling others to glory.

Romans 9:26-29 The calling of the Gentiles, and rejection of the

Jews, foretold.

Romans 9:30,31 Accordingly, the Gentiles have attained the

righteousness of faith, which the Jews refused.

Romans 9:32,33 The cause of such refusal.

The apostle being about to treat of the rejection of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles, before he enters upon it, he premiseth a preface, to prepare the minds of the Jews to a patient reading or hearing the same; and in this preface, he solemnly protesteth his love to his nation, and his hearty grief for their rejection, that so it might the better appear, that these things were not written out of any spleen or malice, but out of conscience towards God and the truth.

I say truth in Christ; or, by Christ: so the word in is taken, Matthew 5:34-36. This is the form of an oath, which the Scripture elsewhere useth in matters of importance: see Genesis 22:16 Daniel 12:7 Ephesians 4:17.

I lie not; this is added for confirmation, or to gain the greater credit to what he said or swore. It was the manner of the Hebrews, to an affirmative to add a negative: see 1 Samuel 3:18 John 1:20.

My conscience also bearing me witness; as being for this purpose placed in man by God, and is instead of a thousand witnesses.

In the Holy Ghost; i.e. in the presence of the Holy Ghost, who is privy to what I say, and who is a witness also to the truth thereof: or, as some, by the guidance of the Holy Ghost, who cannot lie.

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not,.... The apostle being about to discourse concerning predestination, which he had mentioned in the preceding chapter, and to open the springs and causes of it, and also concerning the induration and rejection of the Jewish nation; he thought it necessary to preface his account of these things with some strong assurances of his great attachment to that people, and his affection for them, lest it should be thought he spoke out of prejudice to them; and well knowing in what situation he stood in with them, on account of his preaching up the abrogation of the ceremonial law, and how difficult it might be for him to obtain their belief in what he should say, he introduces it with a solemn oath, "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not": which refers not to what he had said in the foregoing chapter, but to what he was going to say; and is all one as if he had said, as I am in Christ, a converted person, one born again, and renewed in the spirit of my mind, what I am about to speak is truth, and no lie; or I swear by Christ the God of truth, who is truth itself, and I appeal to him as the true God, the searcher of hearts, that what I now deliver is truth, and nothing but truth, and has no falsehood in it. This both shows that the taking of an oath is lawful, and that Christ is truly God, by whom only persons ought to swear:

my conscience bearing me witness. The apostle, besides his appeal to Christ, calls his conscience to witness to the truth of his words; and this is as a thousand witnesses; there is in every man a conscience, which unless seared as with a red hot iron, will accuse or excuse, and bear a faithful testimony to words and actions; and especially a conscience enlightened, cleansed, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, as was the apostle's: hence he adds,

in the Holy Ghost; meaning either that his conscience was influenced and directed by the Holy Ghost in what he was about to say; or it bore witness in and with the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost with that; so that here are three witnesses called in, Christ, conscience, and the Holy Ghost; and by three such witnesses, his words must be thought to be well established.

I say {1} the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

(1) The third part of this epistle, which goes to the twelfth chapter, in which Paul ascends to the higher causes of faith: and first of all, because he purposed to speak much of the casting off of the Jews, he uses a declaration, saying by a double or triple oath, and by witnessing of his great desire towards their salvation, his singular love towards them, and in addition granting to them all their privileges.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 9:1-3.] The new section is introduced without connection with the foregoing, but in a fervent outburst of Israelitish patriotism, the more sorrowful by contrast with the blessedness of the Christian previously extolled and so deeply experienced by the apostle himself. This sorrow might be deemed incredible, after the joyous triumph which had just been exhibited. Hence the extremely urgent asseveration with which he begins: truth I speak in Christ, that is, in my fellowship with Christ; ἐν Χ. is the element, in which his soul moves. Just so Ephesians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 12:19. The explanation adopted by most of the older commentators (especially Joh. Capellus, Clericus, Locke), and by Nösselt, Koppe, Böhme, Flatt, Reiche, Köllner, and others, of ἐν in the sense of adjuration, is a perfectly arbitrary departure both from the manner of the apostle, who never swears by Christ, and also from Greek usage, which would have required πρός with the genitive (Kühner, II. 1, p. 448; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 647); and cannot at all be justified from Matthew 5:34, LXX. Jeremiah 5:7, Daniel 12:7, Revelation 10:6, because in these passages ὁμνύειν expressly stands beside it.

Οὐ ΨΕΎΔΟΜΑΙ] ΠΡΌΤΕΡΟΝ ΔῈ ΔΙΑΒΕΒΑΙΟῦΤΑΙ ΠΕΡῚ ὯΝ ΜΈΛΛΕΙ ΛΈΓΕΙΝ· ὍΠΕΡ ΠΟΛΛΟῖς ἜΘΟς ΠΟΙΕῖΝ, ὍΤΑΝ ΜΈΛΛΩΣΊ ΤΙ ΛΈΓΕΙΝ ΠΑΡᾺ ΤΟῖς ΠΟΛΛΟῖς ἈΠΙΣΤΟΎΜΕΝΟΝ (comp. e.g. Acts 21:21), καὶ ὑπὲρ οὗ σφόδρα ἑαυτούς εἰσι πεπεικότες, Chrys. Compare 1 Timothy 2:7. Conversely, Lys. Romans 4:12 : ΨΕΎΔΕΤΑΙ Κ. ΟὐΚ ἈΛΗΘῆ ΛΈΓΕΙ.

ΣΥΜΜΑΡΤ. ΜΟΙ Τῆς ΣΥΝΕΙΔ. ΜΟΥ
] ground assigned for the Οὐ ΨΕΎΔ.: since with me (agreeing with my express assurance) my conscience gives testimony. Compare Romans 2:15, Romans 8:16.

ἐν πνεύμ. ἁγίῳ] is by no means to be connected with Τῆς ΣΥΝΕΙΔ. ΜΟΥ (Grotius and several others, Semler, Ammon, Vater: “conscientia a Spiritu sancto gubernata”), because otherwise Τῆς would not be wanting; but either with Οὐ ΨΕΎΔΟΜΑΙ (Cramer, Morus, Nösselt, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Winzer, Reiche, Köllner, Fritzsche; of whom, however, only Winzer and Fritzsche take it not as an oath, but as equivalent to Ὡς ἘΝ ΠΝΕΎΜΑΤΙ ἉΓΊῼ ὬΝ), or—which is the nearest and simplest—with ΣΥΜΜΑΡΤ. (Beza, Böhme, Tholuck, Rückert, de Wette, Maier, Philippi, van Hengel, Hofmann, and others). Compare Matthew 22:43; Luke 2:27; Mark 12:36; 1 Corinthians 12:3. The testimony of his conscience, Paul knows, is not apart from the πνεῦμα that fills him, but “Spiritu sancto duce et moderatore” (Beza), in that πνεῦμα. And thus the negative Οὐ ΨΕΎΔ. receives its sacred guarantee through a concurrent testimony of the conscience ἘΝ ΠΝΕΎΜΑΤΙ ἉΓΊῼ, as the positive ἈΛΉΘ· ΛΈΓΩ had received it through ἘΝ ΧΡΙΣΤῷ. This very appropriate symmetry dissuades us from joining ΣΥΜΜΑΡΤ. ΜΟΙ Κ.Τ.Λ to ἈΛΉΘ. ΛΈΓΩ, so that Οὐ ΨΕΎΔ. would be only “thrown in between” (Hofmann).

ὅτι λύπη κ.τ.λ.] that, etc. A comma only preceding. Over what is this sorrow? Over the exclusion of a great part of the Jews from the Messianic salvation. With tender forbearance Paul does not express this, but leaves it to be gathered by the reader from what follows, in which he immediately, by γάρ, assigns the ground for the greatness and continuance of his sorrow.

ηὐχόμην] I would wish, namely, if the purport of the wish could be realized to the advantage of the Israelites. Comp. on Galatians 4:20, where also no ἄν is annexed. But van Hengel takes it of a wish which had actually arisen in the mind of Paul amidst his continual sorrowfulness. So also Hofmann: the wish had entered his mind, though but momentarily. But a thing so incapable of being fulfilled he can scarce have actually wished; he would only wish it, if it were capable of being fulfilled; this is expressed by ηὐχόμην, and that without ἌΝ, as a definite assurance; comp. on Acts 25:22; Galatians 4:20; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 187; Kühner, II. 1, p. 178. On the wish itself, comp. Exodus 32:32.

ἀνάθεμα] or, in the Attic form, ἈΝΆΘΗΜΑ (Lobeck, ad Phryn. pp. 249, 445, and Paralip. p. 391 ff.), in Greek writers (also Luke 21:5; 2Ma 2:13, et al.) a votive offering, corresponds frequently in the LXX. to the Hebrew חֶרֶם, and means something devoted to God without redemption (Leviticus 27:28); then—in so far as such a thing was devoted to the divine wrath, and destined to destruction (see Ewald, Alterth. p. 101 ff.)—something abandoned to destruction; a curse-offering. So in the N. T. See Galatians 1:8-9, 1 Corinthians 12:3; 1 Corinthians 16:22, which passages at the same time prove that the (later) special sense of חרם, as denoting the Jewish curse of excommunication, is not to be here introduced. The destruction, to which Paul would fain yield himself on behalf of his brethren, is not to be understood of a violent death (Jerome, Limborch, Elsner, and others, also Michaelis, Nösselt, Flatt), but, as ἈΠῸ Τ. Χ. renders necessary, of the everlasting ἀπώλεια. It has been objected that the wish must thus be irrational (Michaelis: “a frantic prayer”); but the standard of selfish reflection is not suited to the emotion of unmeasured devotedness and love out of which the apostle speaks. Groundlessly, and contrary to Paul’s usage elsewhere, Hofmann weakens the positive notion of the expression into the negative one of the being excluded from Christ. This element is implied in ἀπὸ τοῦ Χ. as the specific accompanying relation of the ἈΝΆΘΕΜΑ. Bengel well remarks that the modulus ratiocinationum nostrarum as little comprehends the love of the apostle, as does a little boy the animos heroum bellicorum.

ΑὐΤῸς ἘΓΏ] belonging to ΕἾΝΑΙ by attraction (Kühner, II. 2, p. 596): I myself, I, as far as my own person is concerned. Comp. on Romans 7:25. Paul sees those who belong to the fellowship of his people advancing to ruin through their unbelief; therefore he would fain wish that he himself were a curse-offering, if by means of this sacrifice of his own self he could only save the beloved brethren. The contrast, with reference to which ΑὐΤῸς ἘΓΏ is here conceived, lies therefore in ὙΠῈΡ ΤῶΝ ἈΔΕΛΦ. ΜΟΥ, whose unhappy state appears already in Romans 9:1-2 so sad in the eyes of the apostle; not in the duty of the apostle’s calling (Th. Schott); and least of all in a “nescio quis alius” (Fritzsche). Theodoret and Theophylact (comp. Chrysostom) refer back to Romans 8:39 (I myself, whom nevertheless nothing can separate, etc.); but this lies too far off. Van Hengel (after Krehl): “Ipse ego, qui me in Christi communione esse dixi.” But ἘΝ Χ. in the previous instance was merely an accessory definition.

ἈΠῸ ΤΟῦ Χ.] away from Christ, separated from Him. Comp. 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Galatians 5:4; 2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Leviticus 27:29; and see generally, Nägelsbach on Ilias, p. 188, ed. 3; Ameis on Hom. Od. Anh. ξ, 525; Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 277. Christ is not conceived as author of the ἀνάθ. (Nösselt, Morus, Flatt, and others); for ἀπὸ (comp. Leviticus 27:29) does not stand for ὑπό, which latter D E G actually read in consequence of this erroneous view.

ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφ. μοῦ] ὑπέρ is here also not instead of (Rückert, Tholuck, Olshausen, and many others), but for the advantage of, for their deliverance. Grotius aptly paraphrases: “Si ea ratione illos ad justitiam veram et ad aeternam salutem possem perducere.”

κατὰ ς.] subjoined, without the connective of the article, as a familiar accessory definition, which blends with the principal word into a single notion. Comp. 1 Corinthians 10:18; Ephesians 2:11; Ephesians 6:5. Moreover, there lies in the addition τ. συγγ. μ. κ. ς. already something conveying with it the wish of love, and that from the natural side; the theocratic grounds for it follow, Romans 9:4 ff.Romans 9:1-5. The intense pain with which Paul contemplates the unbelief of his countrymen.Ch. Romans 9:1-6. The problem of Jewish unbelief: Paul’s distress in view of it

1. I say the truth in Christ, &c.] The discussion of the case of Israel occupies tins chapter and the next two. On the general subject thus introduced, we offer a few remarks. (See also Introduction, I. § 26.)

(1) The dedication of this large section to this special case is not out of proportion. Israel not only was immensely important as the Depositary of Revelation for ages past and the possessor as such of inestimable privileges, (Romans 9:4-5,) but at the time of St Paul it formed the vast majority of all professed believers in the God of Revelation. The unbelief of the great majority of Israel was therefore not only a distress to the Christian’s heart, but a perplexity to his mind, and so needed very special treatment and explanation.

(2) He distinctly foretells a future of grace and mercy for Israel, on a grand scale of conversion. A time is to come when “blindness in part” is no longer to characterize Israel as a people; that is to say, a time when unbelief, if existing still at all, shall be the exception, not the rule.

(3) He does not touch on any other than the spiritual aspects of that future. As to the question of a political, or local, restoration of Israel, or both, he is entirely silent whether to affirm or deny; and so in all his Epistles. So it is also in all the N. T. Epistles. St Paul’s great object here is (1) to explain the spiritual alienation of the mass of Israelites, and (2) to open the prospect of its blessed reversal.

in Christ] As a “member of Christ,” and so bound to inviolable truthfulness; and as speaking to other “members.” (Ephesians 4:25.)

I lie not] On this and similar appeals see on Romans 1:9.—The special reason for such words here is, perhaps, the thought that both Gentile Christians and unbelieving Jews (for different reasons) might think him now regardless of his earthly kindred, because so resolute in teaching the entire spiritual equality of all believers, Jew or Gentile. The Epistle might possibly be heard or read by unconverted Jews; and such words as these might reach their hearts.

my conscience also bearing me witness] Paul, as a man speaking to men, was corroborated (in his own consciousness) by Paul speaking to himself. Word and conscience coincided in statement.

in the Holy Ghost] Who, as the Sanctifier, pervades the conscience with new and intense light and sensibility. The reference is not to inspiration but to spirituality, of which he has said so much in ch. 8.Romans 9:1. Ἀλήθειαν, truth) Concerning the connexion, see on ch. Romans 1:16; note. The article is not added here; comp. 2 Corinthians 7:14; 2 Corinthians 11:10, because his reference is not to the whole truth, but to something true in particular [a particular truth], and in this sense also ἀλήθειαι in the plural is used in Psalm 12:2, LXX.; 2Ma 7:6. This asseveration chiefly relates to Romans 9:3, where for is put as in Matthew 1:18. Therefore in Romans 9:2 ὅτι denotes because [not as Engl. Vers. that], and indicates the cause of the prayer. For verse 2 was likely to obtain belief of itself without so great an asseveration [being needed; therefore ὅτι is not = that in Romans 9:2.]—λέγω, I speak) The apostle speaks deliberately.—ἐν Χριστῷ) ב, ἐν, has sometimes the same force as an oath.—οὐ ψεύδομαι, I lie not) This is equivalent to that clause, I speak the truth. Its own confirmation is added to each [both to, I lie not, and to, I speak the truth]. This chapter throughout in its phrases and figures comes near to the Hebrew idiom.—συνειδήσεως, conscience) The criterion of truth lies in the conscience and in the heart, which the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit enlightens and confirms.Verse 1 - Romans 11:36. - 2. The present position and prospects of the Jewish nation con-sidereal. Verses 1-5. - (1) Deep regret expressed for the present exclusion of the Jewish nation from inheritance of the promises. This section is not necessary for the main argument of the Epistle, which would have been complete without it for an exposition of God's righteousness, ch. 12. following naturally the conclusion of ch. 8, and these intervening chapters having no immediate connection with the preceding or succeeding context. But it was a subject too deeply fixed in St. Paul's mind to be left unnoticed. And besides, what he had said at the beginning of his treatise, and afterwards implied, seemed to call for some explanation in the face of existing facts. For he had said (Romans 1:16), that the gospel "was the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile;" and throughout he has regarded it as the fulfilment of the peculiar promises made to the Jews themselves, who were to have precedence, though not monopoly, in the inheritance of its blessings. How, then, was this view consistent with the fact that the Jews in general, even more than any others, were now excluded from this inheritance? The apostle has already, even in the course of his argument, paused to meet certain supposed difficulties of this kind in the short section, Romans 3:1-8; but now he takes up the whole subject formally, and considers it in all its bearings. First, in ch. 9, he expresses his deep sorrow for the fact; but shows it to be not inconsistent either with God's faithfulness to his promise, or with his justice, or with the Word of prophecy. Verse 1. - I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing witness with me in the Holy Ghost. For similar solemn asseverations by St. Paul of the truth of what was known to himself alone, cf. Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Philippians 1:8; 1 Timothy 2:7. The peculiar solemnity of this may be due to the peculiar depth of his feelings on the subject. It is not necessary to suppose him to be moved by a fear of his patriotic enthusiasm being doubted, now that he had turned Christian, and argued so strongly against Jewish monopoly of privilege But it may have been so. For the force of ἐν Ξριστῶ, cf. 2 Corinthians 2:17; ch. 12:19; Ephesians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1. It is not an adjuration, but denotes the element in which he moves and speaks. Similarly, ἐν Πνεύματι ἁγίῳ following (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:3), which, of course, could not be on oath. In Christ

Not by Christ, as the formula of an oath, Christ being never used by the apostles in such a formula, but God. Romans 1:9; 2 Corinthians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Philippians 1:8. For this favorite expression of Paul, see Galatians 2:17; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 12:19, etc.

Conscience

See on 1 Peter 3:16.

Bearing me witness

Rev., bearing witness with me. See on Romans 8:16. Concurring with my testimony. Morison remarks that Paul speaks of conscience as if it were something distinct from himself, and he cites Adam Smith's phrase, "the man within the breast."

In the Holy Ghost

So Rev. The concurrent testimony of his declaration and of conscience was "the echo of the voice of God's Holy Spirit" (Morison).

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