|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:26-32 In the horrid depravity of the heathen, the truth of our Lord's words was shown: Light was come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil; for he that doeth evil hateth the light. The truth was not to their taste. And we all know how soon a man will contrive, against the strongest evidence, to reason himself out of the belief of what he dislikes. But a man cannot be brought to greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts. As the Gentiles did not like to keep God in their knowledge, they committed crimes wholly against reason and their own welfare. The nature of man, whether pagan or Christian, is still the same; and the charges of the apostle apply more or less to the state and character of men at all times, till they are brought to full submission to the faith of Christ, and renewed by Divine power. There never yet was a man, who had not reason to lament his strong corruptions, and his secret dislike to the will of God. Therefore this chapter is a call to self-examination, the end of which should be, a deep conviction of sin, and of the necessity of deliverance from a state of condemnation.
Verse 26. - For this cause God gave them up (παρέδωκε, as before) to vile affections (πάθη ἀτιμίας, i.e. "passions of infamy;" cf. above, τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι). For the use, on the other hand, of the words τιμὴ and τίμιος to denote seemly and honourable indulgence of the sexual affections, cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 (Τὸ ἐαυτοῦ σκεῦος κτᾶσθαι ἐν ἁγιασμῶ καὶ τιμῆ) and Hebrews 13:4 (Τίμιος ὁ γάμος ἐν πᾶσι καὶ ἡ κοίτη ἀμίαντος). For their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections,.... Because of their idolatrous practices, God left them to very dishonourable actions, sodomitical ones, both among the men and women:
for even the women did change the natural use into that which is against nature; either by prostituting themselves to, and complying with the "sodomitical" embraces of men, in a way that is against nature (h); or by making use of such ways and methods with themselves, or other women, to gratify their lusts, which were never designed by nature for such an use: of these vicious women, and their practices, Seneca (i) speaks, when he says,
"libidine veto nec maribus quidem cedunt, pati natae; Dii illas Deoeque, male perdant; adeo perversum commentae, genus impudicitiae, viros ineunt:''
also Clemens Alexandrinus (k) has respect to such, saying,
"gunaikev andrizontai para fusin, gamou men ai te kai .'
and such there were among the Jews, whom they call (l), and whom the priests were forbidden to marry.
(h) Vid. R. Sol Jarchi in Genesis 24.16. (i) Epist. 95. (k) Paedagog. l. 3. p. 226. (l) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 65. 2. Piske Tosaph. ib. artic. 266. Yevamot, fol. 76. 1. & Piske Tosaph. ib. art. 141. Maimonides in Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 7. sect. 4. & Hilchot Issure Bia, c. 21. sect. 8, 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26, 27. For this cause God gave them up—(See on Ro 1:24).
for even their women—that sex whose priceless jewel and fairest ornament is modesty, and which, when that is once lost, not only becomes more shameless than the other sex, but lives henceforth only to drag the other sex down to its level.
did change, &c.—The practices here referred to, though too abundantly attested by classic authors, cannot be further illustrated, without trenching on things which "ought not to be named among us as become the saints." But observe how vice is here seen consuming and exhausting itself. When the passions, scourged by violent and continued indulgence in natural vices, became impotent to yield the craved enjoyment, resort was had to artificial stimulants by the practice of unnatural and monstrous vices. How early these were in full career, in the history of the world, the case of Sodom affectingly shows; and because of such abominations, centuries after that, the land of Canaan "spued out" its old inhabitants. Long before this chapter was penned, the Lesbians and others throughout refined Greece had been luxuriating in such debasements; and as for the Romans, Tacitus, speaking of the emperor Tiberius, tells us that new words had then to be coined to express the newly invented stimulants to jaded passion. No wonder that, thus sick and dying as was this poor humanity of ours under the highest earthly culture, its many-voiced cry for the balm in Gilead, and the Physician there, "Come over and help us," pierced the hearts of the missionaries of the Cross, and made them "not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!"
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