|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-16 The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, treasuring up wrath. In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.
Verse 5. - But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. The "day of wrath" is the day of judgment, the final display of eternal righteousness, when the "forbearance" will be over; ever represented, notwithstanding the world's redemption, under a terrible aspect for the persistently impenitent (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:9). It may be here observed again that it is ὁ κρίνων against whom these indignant denunciations are hurled, and this on the very ground of his thus setting himself up to judge while being himself guilty. Of him it is implied, not only that he shares the guilt of mankind, but also that he especially will not escape the final judgment. Of others who, conscious of their own failings, seek sincerely alter good, this is not said, however liable to condemnation on their own mere merits they may be. Indeed, the contrary is emphatically asserted in the verses that follow; nay, even eternal life is assured to such, whoever they may be, and under whatever dispensation, though it does not fall within the scope of the argument to explain in this place why or how. It is important for us to see this clearly for an understanding of the drift of the chapter, and of St. Paul's whole doctrine with respect to human sin and its consequences.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart,.... The apostle goes on to show, that such persons who promise themselves impunity on the score of prosperity, shall not always go unobserved and unpunished; for there is a day of wrath and righteous judgment hastening on, and will take place after they have filled up the measure of their iniquity. There is a natural "hardness" of the heart in every son and daughter of Adam; and there is an acquired habitual hardness, which is increased by sinning; and a judicial one, which God, for sin, sometimes gives persons up unto. An "impenitent heart" is not only an heart which does not repent, but such an one as cannot repent, being harder than the nether millstone. Now men, by such hardness and impenitence,
treasure up unto themselves wrath: they are the authors of their own destruction; by which is meant the wrath of God, in opposition to the riches of his goodness, despised by them; and is in reserve for wicked men: and is laid up
against, and will be brought forth in
the day of wrath; which the Scriptures call "the evil day", Amos 6:3 Ephesians 6:13; the day fixed by God, when he will call men to an account for their sins, and stir up all his wrath against them:
and revelation; that is, the day of revelation, when Christ shall be revealed from heaven in flames of fire, the sins of men shall be revealed, and the wrath of God against them:
of the righteous judgment of God; so some copies read; that is, the day of the righteous judgment; so the Arabic version reads, "and of the appearance of God, and of his righteous judgment"; for the judgment will be at the appearance of Christ, who is God, and at his kingdom, 2 Timothy 4:1. The Alexandrian copy reads, "and of the retribution of the righteous judgment of God"; and so the Ethiopic version seems to have read, rendering the words, "if so", or "seeing thy retribution may come upon thee", and "if the judgment of God may befall thee"; for when the judgment of God shall come, as there will be a revelation of men's sins, and of the wrath of God against them, there will be a just retribution according to their works. Or "the revelation of the righteous judgment of God"; that is, when the judgment of God, which is now hid, shall appear; and which is said to be "righteous", because it will be carried on in a righteous manner, and proceed upon, and be executed according to the strictest rules of justice and equity.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. treasurest up unto thyself wrath against—rather "in."
the day of wrath—that is wrath to come on thee in the day of wrath. What an awful idea is here expressed—that the sinner himself is amassing, like hoarded treasure, an ever accumulating stock of divine wrath, to burst upon him in "the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God!" And this is said not of the reckless, but of those who boasted of their purity of faith and life.
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