For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For the same Lord over all is rich.—Rather, for the same Lord (is Lord) over all, abounding, &c. Christ is the Lord alike of Jew and of Gentile. (Comp. Ephesians 4:5.)Isaiah 28:16, which says that "everyone" (Greek, πᾶς pas) that believeth shall not be ashamed; that is, everyone of every nation and kindred. This implies that it was not to be confined to the Jews. This thought he now further illustrates and confirms by expressly declaring that there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. This doctrine it was one main design of the Epistle to establish, and it is fully proved in the course of the argument in Romans 1-4. See particularly Romans 3:26-30. When the apostle says there is no difference between them, he means in regard to the subject under discussion. In many respects there might be a difference; but not in the way of justification before God. There all had sinned; all had failed of obeying the Law; and all must be justified in the same way, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The word "difference" διαστολὴ diastolē means "distinction, diversity." It also means "eminence, excellence, advantage." There is no eminence or advantage which the Jew has over the Greek in regard to justification before God.
The Jew - That portion of mankind which professed to yield obedience to the Law of Moses.
The Greek - Literally, those who dwelt in Greece, or those who spoke the Greek language. As the Jews, however, were acquainted chiefly with the Greeks, and knew little of other nations, the name Greek among them came to denote all who were not Jews; that is, the same as the Gentiles. The terms "Jew and Greek," therefore, include all mankind. There is no difference among people about the terms of salvation; they are the same to all. This truth is frequently taught. It was a most important doctrine, especially in a scheme of religion that was to be preached to all people. It was very offensive to the Jews, who had always regarded themselves as a especially favored people. Against this, all their prejudices were roused, as it completely overthrew all their own views of national eminence and pride, and admitted despised Gentiles to the same privileges with the long favored and chosen people of God. The apostles, therefore, were at great pains fully to establish it; see Acts 10:9; Galatians 3:28.
For the same Lord over all ... - For there is the same Lord of all; that is, the Jews and Gentiles have one common Lord; compare Romans 3:29-30. The same God had formed them, and ruled them; and God now opened the same path to life. See this fully presented in Paul's address to the people of Athens, in Acts 17:26-30; see also 1 Timothy 2:5. As there was but one God; as all, Jews and Gentiles, were his creatures; as one law was applicable to all; as all had sinned; and as all were exposed to wrath; so it was reasonable that there should be the same way of return - through the mere mercy of God. Against this the Jew ought not to object; and in this he and the Greek should rejoice.
Is rich unto all - πλουτῶν εἰς παντάς ploutōn eis pantas. The word "rich" means to have abundance, to have in store much more than is needful for present or personal use. It is commonly applied to wealth. But applied to God, it means that he abounds in mercy or goodness toward others. Thus, Ephesians 2:4, "God, who is rich in mercy," etc.; 1 Timothy 6:17-18, "charge them that are rich in this world ...that they be rich in good works." James 2:5, "God hath chosen the poor ...rich in faith;" that is, abounding in faith and good works, etc. Thus, God is said to be rich toward all, as he abounds in mercy and goodness toward them in the plan of salvation.
That call upon him - This expression means properly to supplicate, to invoke, as in prayer. As prayer constitutes no small part of religion; and as it is a distinguishing characteristic of those who are true Christians (Acts 11:11, "Behold he prayeth;") to call on the name of the Lord is put for religion itself, and is descriptive of acts of devotion toward God; 1 Peter 1:17, "And if ye call on the Father, etc.;" Acts 2:21; Acts 9:14," he hath authority ...to bind all that call on thy name;" Acts 7:59; Acts 22:16; Genesis 4:26, "Then began men to call on the name of the Lord."
between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord over all—that is, not God (as Calvin, Grotius, Olshausen, Hodge), but Christ, as will be seen, we think, by comparing Ro 10:9, 12, 13 and observing the apostle's usual style on such subjects. (So Chrysostom, Melville, Bengel, Meyer, De Wette, Fritzsche, Tholuck, Stuart, Alford, Philippi).
is rich—a favorite Pauline term to express the exuberance of that saving grace which is in Christ Jesus.
unto all that call upon him—This confirms the application of the preceding words to Christ; since to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus is a customary expression. (See Ac 7:59, 60; 9:14, 21; 22:16; 1Co 1:2; 2Ti 2:22).For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: he gives a reason for that universal term, whosoever, which he had added in the precedent verse, and is not found in Isaiah, as was noted before, in Romans 9:33.
The same Lord over all; these words are a reason why there is no difference now between Jew and Greek. This title is to be referred more especially to Jesus Christ, who was called Lord, Romans 10:9, and is called:
Lord of all, Acts 10:36. He is Head of all the elect, in all nations of the world.
Is rich unto all; i.e. is bountiful unto all. So that the Jews need not envy the calling or coming of the Gentiles; they have never the less themselves; the Lord hath an inexhaustible store of grace and mercy. The fountain is above our thirst.
That call upon him; not to all, hand over head, but to such as call upon him in faith.
for the same Lord over all, or "is over all": by whom is meant, either God the Father, who is the God of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews, Romans 3:29; or rather the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all; and is to be understood, not of his being so merely by creation, but redemption, he having bought with his blood all the elect of God, both among the Jews and among the Gentiles; so that he has the same equal propriety in one as another, and they the same claim to him, and the same encouragement to believe in him, for righteousness and life: and moreover, he
is rich unto all that call upon him; he is not only rich as God, being possessed of all divine perfections and glory, but as Mediator, having the riches of grace and glory in him; and is rich, beneficent, liberal and free in dispensing, pardoning, justifying, and sanctifying grace to all that come unto him, throw themselves at his feet, implore his grace and righteousness, and call upon him with faith and fervency. Such as these are here designed, and not all that make mention of his name, or are called by it; but who are the true worshippers of him in faith and fear; for the invocation of his name includes all worship of him, and exercise of grace upon him; hence this passage is no inconsiderable proof of his proper deity.For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Romans 10:12. Elucidation of πᾶς.
οὐ γάρ ἐστι διαστ. ʼΙουδ. τε καὶ Ἕλλ.] in respect, namely, to the bestowal of blessing on the believing, Romans 10:11. Comp. Romans 3:22.
For the Lord of all is one and the same. This κύριος is Christ (Origen, Chrysostom, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, Böhme, Tholuck, Flatt, Rückert, de Wette, Fritzsche, Philippi, Hofmann, and several others), the αὐτός of Romans 10:11, and the κύριος of Romans 10:13, who is necessarily identical with this αὐτός. Were God intended (Theodoret, Theophylact, Grotius, and many, including Ammon, Reiche, Köllner, Ewald, Umbreit, van Hengel, Krummacher), it would in fact be necessary first to suggest the Christian character of the demonstration (as Olshausen: “God in Christ”).
κύριος-g0- πάντων-g0-] comp. Php 2:11; Acts 10:36; Romans 14:9.
πλουτῶν] comp. Ephesians 3:8 : “Quem nulla quamvis magna credentium multitudo exhaurire potest,” Bengel. In what He was rich, the Christian consciousness understood of itself; it is contained also in the previous καταισχυνθήσεται and in the subsequent σωθήσεται,—namely, in grace and salvation. Comp. Romans 5:15, Romans 11:33, and on 2 Corinthians 13:13.
εἰς πάντας] for all, for the benefit of all. See Bernhardy, p. 219; Maetzner, ad Lycurg. 85.
The calling upon Christ, who nowhere in the N. T. appears as identical with the Jehovah of the O. T. (in opposition to Philippi), is not the worshipping absolutely, as it takes place only in respect of the Father, as the one absolute God; but rather worship according to that relativity in the consciousness of the worshipper, which is conditioned by the relation of Christ to the Father (whose Son of like nature, image, partner of the throne, mediator and advocate on behalf of men, etc., He is). This is not imported as an Origenistic gloss (Philippi), but is necessarily founded on the dependence and subordination in which even the glorified God-man Christ, in virtue of His munus regium, stands in relation to the Father; see on 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 15:28. Comp. Lücke, de invocat. J. Chr., Gott. 1843. He who calls upon Christ is conscious that he does not call upon Him as the absolute God, but as the divine-human Representative and Mediator of God exalted to the divine glory, in whom God’s adequate revelation of salvation has been given. To the mediatorial relation of Christ Hofmann also reverts. Comp. on Php 2:10-11; 1 Corinthians 1:2.Romans 10:12. οὐ γάρ ἐστι διαστολὴ Ἰουδαίου τε καὶ Ἕλληνος: this has been proved in one sense in chap. 3—there is no distinction between them in point of sin; it is now asserted in another sense—there is no distinction between them in that the same Lord is waiting to save all on the same conditions. κύριος πάντων is best taken as predicate: the same Lord is Lord of all: cf. Acts 10:36, Php 2:10 f. Christ is undoubtedly meant: in His presence, in view of His work and His present relation to men, all differences disappear; there can be only one religion. πλουτῶν εἰς πάντας: abounding in wealth toward all. Christ can impart to all men what all men need—the righteousness of God. Cf. Romans 5:15-17, Ephesians 3:8, τὸ ἀνεξιχνίαστον πλοῦτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ. τοὺς ἐπικαλουμένους αὐτόν: cf. 1 C. Romans 1:2 where Christians are described as οἱ ἐπικαλούμενοι τὸ ὄνομα τ. Κ. ἡμῶν Ι. Χ. The formula, as the next verse shows, is borrowed from the Old Testament; and as Weiss remarks, Romans 10:13 sets aside every idea of a distinction between the invocation of God and that of Christ. To a Christian, as Paul conceives him, Christ has at least the religious value of God; the Christian soul has that adoring attitude to Christ which (when shown in relation to Jehovah) was characteristic of O.T. religion, See Acts 9:14; Acts 9:21, Acts 22:16 (Paul’s conversion), 2 Timothy 2:22. It is a fair paraphrase of the words to say that salvation depends on this: whether a sinful man will make appeal for it to Christ in prayer, as to One in whom all God’s saving judgment and mercy dwell bodily. It rests with Christ, so appealed to, to make a man partaker in the righteousness of God and eternal life.12. For there is no difference] The same phrase (with precisely opposite reference) as Romans 3:22.—The “for” here refers to the “whosoever” of Romans 10:11; and this refers to the truth, suggested through the whole passage here, of the “nearness” and freedom of salvation, which, as revealed in Christ, needed no advantage of Jewish privilege in order to reach it. Belief and confession were as “near” to Greek as to Jewish hearts and lips.—On “Greek” see note, Romans 1:16.
for the same Lord, &c.] Better, for the same Lord is [Lord] of [them] all; abounding in wealth unto all, &c. Cp. Romans 3:30, and note.
rich] In “goodness,” to pardon and accept. See Isaiah 55:7.—The word “wealth” respects both the splendour of the gift and its sufficiency for “whosoever will,” however numerous the suppliants.
call upon him] appeal to Him. The Gr. is same word as Acts 25:11-12. See also Acts 7:59; where Stephen’s “appeal” is “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” The “appeal” here is to the Redeemer as our Justification.Romans 10:12. Οὐ γὰρ ἐστι διαστολὴ, for there is no difference) ch. Romans 3:22. Here the words first to the Jews, are not added, as at the beginning, ch. Romans 1:16.—ὁ γὰρ αὐτὸς, for the same) ch. Romans 3:29-30.—Κύριος, Lord), Romans 10:9.—πλουτῶν) rich and liberal, whom no multitude of believers, how great soever it may be, can exhaust; who never finds it necessary to deal more sparingly.
Explaining the whosoever of Romans 10:11.
Better, as Rev., distinction. See on Romans 3:22.
Jew and Greek
On Greek, see on Acts 6:1. Greeks here equivalent to Gentiles.
See on Matthew 21:3. The reference is disputed: some Christ, others God. Probably Christ. See Romans 10:9, and compare Acts 10:36. The hearing which is necessary to believing comes through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17, where the reading is Christ instead of God).
That call upon (ἐπικαλουμένους)
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