|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:9-18 Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness. This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them. Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians. Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes. And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.
Verses 10-18. - As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Psalm 14. or Psalms 53.). Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they hays used deceit (Psalm 5:9); the poison of asps is under their lips (Psalm 140:3): whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness (Psalm 10:7): their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known (Proverbs 1:16 and Isaiah 59:7): there is no fear of God before their eyes (Psalm 36:1). These texts are from various unconnected passages of the Old Testament, quoted from the LXX., though not all accurately. They seem to be put together from memory by way of showing the general scriptural view of human depravity. It may be said that they do not establish the apostle's position of all men being guilty; for that they are for the most part rhetorical rather than dogmatic, that most of them refer only to certain classes of men, and that the righteous are spoken of too, and this in the sequence of even the most sweeping of them all (that from Psalm 14. or Psalms 53.), which does, literally understood, assert universal sinfulness. Any such objection to the cogency of the quotations may be met by regarding them as adduced, not as rigid proofs, but as only generally confirmatory of the apostle's position. See, he would say to the Jew, the picture your own Scriptures give you; observe their continued testimony to human depravity: and the main point of all the quotations is that which is brought out in the next verse, viz. that they had reference, not to the Gentile world, but to the chosen people themselves.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. The several passages cited here, and in some following verses, are taken out of the Psalms and Isaiah; and are brought to prove, not only that the Jews are no better than the Gentiles, being equally corrupt and depraved as they; but also to show the corrupt state and condition of mankind in general: and the words are not always literally expressed, but the sense is attended to, as in this passage; for in the original text of Psalm 14:1, it is, "there is none that doth good"; from whence the apostle rightly infers, "there is none righteous"; for he that does not do good, is not righteous; and therefore if there is none on earth that does good and does not sin, there is none righteous upon earth, "no, not one" single person. The Jews allegorizing that passage in Genesis 19:31, "there is not a man in the earth to come into us", remark (u) on it thus,
"Urab qydu vya Nya, "there is not a righteous man in the earth"; and there is not a man that rules over his imagination.''
There is none righteous as Adam was, in a state of innocence; for all have sinned, and are filled with unrighteousness, and are enemies to righteousness; none are righteous by their obedience to the law of works; nor are there any righteous in the sight of God, upon the foot of their own righteousness, however they may appear in their own eyes, and in the sight of others; nor are any inherently righteous, for there is none without sin, sanctification is imperfect; nor is it, either in whole or in part, a saint's justifying righteousness; indeed there is none righteous, no, not one, but those who are justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.
(u) Midrash Haneelam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 68. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10-12. As it is written, &c.—(Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3). These statements of the Psalmist were indeed suggested by particular manifestations of human depravity occurring under his own eye; but as this only showed what man, when unrestrained, is in his present condition, they were quite pertinent to the apostle's purpose.
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