Romans 10:16
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias said, Lord, who has believed our report?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Applying this condition of the necessity of preaching to the gospel, we nevertheless see that, as a matter of fact, all did not accept it. Just as Isaiah had said.

The argument does not run quite smoothly. The Apostle has two thoughts in his mind: (1) the necessity that the gospel should be preached before it could be believed; (2) the fact that, although it was preached (and accepted by many among the Gentiles), it was not accepted by the Jews. He begins to introduce this second topic before he has quite done with the first. Romans 10:17 goes back to and connects logically with Romans 10:15, while Romans 10:16 anticipates Romans 10:19; Romans 10:21.

Our report.—So Authorised version, rightly. The Greek word means literally, our hearing. Here it is, the message preached by us, but heard by those who listened to it.

10:12-17 There is not one God to the Jews, more kind, and another to the Gentiles, who is less kind; the Lord is a Father to all men. The promise is the same to all, who call on the name of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, as God manifest in the flesh. All believers thus call upon the Lord Jesus, and none else will do so humbly or sincerely. But how should any call on the Lord Jesus, the Divine Saviour, who had not heard of him? And what is the life of a Christian but a life of prayer? It shows that we feel our dependence on him, and are ready to give up ourselves to him, and have a believing expectation of our all from him. It was necessary that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles. Somebody must show them what they are to believe. How welcome the gospel ought to be to those to whom it was preached! The gospel is given, not only to be known and believed, but to be obeyed. It is not a system of notions, but a rule of practice. The beginning, progress, and strength of faith is by hearing. But it is only hearing the word, as the word of God that will strengthen faith.But they have not all obeyed the gospel - It is not easy to see the connection of this; and it has been made a question whether this is to be regarded as a continuation of the objection of the Jew, or as a part of the answer of the apostle. After all the attention which I have been able to give it, I am inclined to regard it as an admission of the apostle, as if he had said, "It must be admitted that all have not obeyed the gospel. So far as the objection of the Jew arises from that fact, and so far as that fact can bear on the case, it is to be conceded that all have not yielded obedience to the gospel. For this was clearly declared even by the prophet;" compare Acts 28:24; Hebrews 4:2.

For Esaias saith - Isaiah 53:1.

Who hath believed our report? - That is, Isaiah complains that his declarations respecting the Messiah had been rejected by his countrymen. The form of expression, "Who hath believed?" is a mode of saying emphatically that few or none had done it. The great mass of his countrymen had rejected it. This was an example to the purpose of the apostle. In the time of Isaiah this fact existed; and it was not a new thing that it existed in the time of the gospel. "Our report." Our message; or what is delivered to be heard and believed. It originally means the doctrine which Isaiah delivered about the Messiah; and implies that the same thing would occur when the Messiah should actually come. Hence, in the fifty-third chapter he proceeds to give the reasons why the report would not be credited. and why the Messiah would be rejected. It would be because he was a root out of a dry ground; because he was a man of sorrows. etc. And this actually took place. Because he did not come with splendor and pomp, as a temporal prince, he was rejected, and put to death. On substantially the same grounds he is even yet rejected by thousands. The force of this verse, perhaps, may be best seen by including it in a parenthesis, "How beautiful are the feet, etc." how important is the gospel ministry - (although it must be admitted, that all have not obeyed, for this was predicted also by Isaiah, etc.)

16, 17. But they have not all obeyed the gospel—that is, the Scripture hath prepared us to expect this sad result.

For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?—that is,"Where shall one find a believer?" The prophet speaks as if next to none would believe: The apostle softens this into "They have not all believed."

But they have not all obeyed the gospel: he here preventeth a cavil of the Jews. Thus they might reason: If the apostles and preachers of the gospel are sent with so great authority from God, and bring such a welcome message, how comes it to pass that so few receive it, and yield obedience thereunto? To this he answers, that it need not seem strange, because it was foretold long ago by the prophet, Isaiah 53:1. It is not to be understood as if this was the cause of their unbelief, because Isaiah said thus. The particle for doth not show the cause, but the consequence: it was not because the prophet so said, that they did not believe; but because they believed not, the prophet so foretold.

Lord; this is added by the Seventy for explanation.

Who hath believed our report? i.e. Very few, none in comparison. Compare this with John 3:32. But they have not all obeyed the Gospel,.... Who hear it, and to whom it is preached; for though ministers may be regularly sent forth, and rightly preach the Gospel in the purity of it, yet there is no success without the power of God attending it: ministers may preach, and men may hear, and yet not obey the Gospel; that is, cordially embrace the doctrines, and sincerely submit to the ordinances of it:

for Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report; or "our hearing", agreeably to the Hebrew word in Isaiah 53:1, and which designs not the "hearing" with which the apostles heard Christ, though what they heard from him, they made known to men; but the hearing, or the word heard, which others had from them, namely, the report they made in their ministry, of the person and grace of Christ, which was disregarded, when the arm and power of the Lord were not, revealed and exerted: this was the case of the Jews in Isaiah's time, and the same in the times of Christ and his apostles, and is always the case, when divine power does not attend the preaching of the Gospel.

{10} But they have not {l} all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

(10) Wherever faith is, there is also the word, but not the opposite, namely, wherever the word is, there may not necessarily be faith: for many refuse and reject the word.

(l) He says this because of the Jews.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 10:16. Ἀλλʼ] contrast to the prophetic saying of Romans 10:15 : But—notwithstanding that accordingly the blessed sending forth of messengers of salvation did not fail to take place—all did not obey the message of salvation, all did not submit to the requirement (of faith), which the glad news concerning Messiah and His kingdom placed before them; comp. Romans 1:5, Romans 16:26; 2 Thessalonians 1:8. With Theodore of. Mopsuestia, who takes ἀλλʼ οὐ κ.τ.λ. as a question (comp. Theodoret), Reiche thinks that ἀλλʼεὐαγγ. is an opponent’s objection, which Paul accordingly repels by the passage from Isaiah. Against this view the presence of the following γάρ would not be decisive—it would rather be quite in its proper place in the reply (Herm. ad Viger. p. 829; Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 473 f.)—but Romans 10:18-19 (comp. Romans 11:1; Romans 11:11), to which Reiche appeals, testify directly against it, because there λέγω is found. Fritzsche, following Carpzov, refers οὐ πάντες to the Gentiles, of whom, however, although van Hengel also understands them to be intended in Romans 10:14-15, nothing is said in the whole context; hence it is not to be even taken quite generally (Hofmann), but is to be referred textually to the Jews, of whom so many, notwithstanding that the lovely feet of the messengers of salvation came to tread amongst them, yielded no result. The negative expression for this multitude is a litotes, forbearing, but making it felt quite tragically enough, that the opposite of οὐ πάντες should have been found. Comp. Romans 3:3 ἠπίστησάν τινες.

γάρ] prophetic confirmation of the sad phenomenon (οὐ πάντες κ.τ.λ.), which thus, as already predicted, enters into the connection of divine destiny, and is not an accidental occurrence. This Hofmann misapprehends, extending the reference of the γάρ to the following ἄρα ἡ πίστις κ.τ.λ., which is impossible on account of the ἄρα commencing a new sentence, since Paul has not written εἰ γὰρ Ἡσαΐας λέγει κ.τ.λ.… ἄρα ἡ πίστις κ.τ.λ., whereby to these latter words would fall the definition of the citation, as Hofmann thinks.

In the lament of the author of Isaiah 53:1 (closely following the LXX., even with the κύριε added by them) over the unbelief of his time in the prophetic preaching (ἀκοή, see on Galatians 3:2), Paul sees—and on account of the Messianic character of the entire chapter justly—a prophecy of the Jewish unbelief of Christian times in the Christian preaching. Comp. John 12:38. Following Syr., Calovius, and others, Umbreit and Hengstenberg, Christol. II. p. 307, take ἀκοή as the thing heard, i.e. “that which is announced to us through the word of God (by revelation).” But the very following ἡ πίστις ἐξ ἀκοῆς shows, that Paul did not wish to be understood as meaning the divine communication which the preacher received, but the preaching of that word heard by the listeners. The historic aorist corresponds closely to ὑπήκουσαν. We may add that Theophylact rightly remarks: τὸ τίς ἀντὶ τοῦ σπάνιοι κεῖται ἐνταῦθα· τουτέστιν ὀλίγοι ἐπίστευσαν.Romans 10:16. The fact remains, however, in spite of this universal preaching, that there has not been a universal surrender to the Gospel. οὐ πάντες: the Jews are present to the writer’s mind here, though the words might apply more widely; hence the compassionate mode of statement. Cf. Romans 3:3 : εἰ ἠπίστησάν τινες. Yet this quantum of unbelief does not discomfit the Apostle; for it also, as well as the proclamation of the Gospel, is included in the prophecy. τίς ἐπίστευσεν τῇ ἀκοῇ ἡμῶν is a lament over practically universal unbelief. ἡ ἀκοὴ ἡμῶν in Isaiah means “that which we heard,” but who the “we” are is not clear. If a representative prophet speaks, ἀκοὴ will mean that which he and other prophets heard from God: = Who hath believed the revelation made to us? Cf. Isaiah 28:9; Isaiah 28:19. If a representative of repenting Israel speaks, ἀκοὴ will mean that which he and his countrymen have heard from the prophets: = Who hath believed the message delivered to us? Assuming that Paul as a preacher instinctively used the words to express his own thought and experience in his vocation, they will mean here, Who has believed the message delivered by us Apostles?16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel] i.e. the gospel, or good tidings, just specified; that of “peace.”—Here St Paul meets from prophecy the supposed objection that the message had only partially succeeded. Innumerable Gentiles had rejected it: was not this an indication that the messengers had no commission? No: Isaiah himself had prophetically deplored just such seeming scantiness of acceptance for Messiah’s message.

have not obeyed] Better, did not obey. The apostolic evangelization of the Gentiles is viewed as ideally past.

Esaias saith] Isaiah 53:1; quoted also, with special reference to Jewish unbelief, John 12:38.Romans 10:16. Ἀλλʼ, but) Here the fault is at last pointed out.—οὐ παντες, not all) An antithesis to every one, whosoever, Romans 10:11, etc. The fault lies with men, especially with the Jews: not all, i.e. almost nobody, comp. the who? which immediately follows.—ὑπήκουσαν) comp. ὑπὸ in ὑπετάγησαν, Romans 10:3. Those, too, should and might have obeyed, who have not become obedient.—λέγει) says, presently after the words quoted from him in Romans 10:15, [by Paul]. See John 12:38, note.Verses 16-18. - But not all obeyed (or, hearkened to) the gospel (or, good tidings). This means, apparently, that in the prophet's representation of the proclamation of the good tidings all were said to hear, but not all to hearken, For Esaias saith, Lord, who Believed our report? (The Greek word here is ἀκοῇ, the same as in ver. 17, there rendered "hearing," and corresponding to the verb ἀκούειν ιν vers. 14,18.) So then faith cometh of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (ῤήματος Θεοῦ, God's own Word, committed to, and spoken by, preachers duly sent). But I say, Did they not hear?. The previous aorist, ὑπήκουσαν, in ver. 16 having been understood as referring to the prophetic representations rather than to present known facts, the aorist ἤκουσαν here must, for consistency, be similarly understood, though with a view also to the actual universality of the gospel message. The unexpressed nominative to ἤκουσαν appears from the context to be men in general, not the Jews in particular. Israel is not specified till ver. 19. Yea, verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world (Psalm 19:4). The "sound" and the "words" in the psalm are those of the heavens and the firmament. But in the second part of the psalm, beginning at ver. 7, the psalmist passes from God's revelation of himself in nature to his revelation of himself in his Word. Still the psalm itself cannot well be understood as intimating the universal proclamation of the gospel. Nor is it necessary to suppose that St. Paul so understood it. Enough for him that the words he quotes express admirably what he desires to say. Obeyed (ὑπήκουσαν)

See on obedience and disobedience, Romans 5:19. Also see on Acts 5:29. Obeyed as the result of listening, and so especially appropriate here. Compare head and hear, Romans 10:14. For the same reason hearken (Rev.) is better than obeyed.

Report (ἀκοῇ)

Lit., hearing. Similarly, Matthew 14:1; Mark 13:7. Compare the phrase word of hearing, 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:2 (Rev.); and hearing of faith, i.e., message of faith, Galatians 3:2.

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