Romans 13:9
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
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(9) Thou shalt not commit adultery.—It will be seen that in this arrangement the seventh commandment precedes the sixth. The same arrangement is found in Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, and James 2:11. On the other hand, the ordinary arrangement appears in Matthew 19:18. There can be no doubt that St. Paul followed an order that was found in the copies of the LXX. that he was in the habit of using. The famous Codex Vaticanus still presents the same order in Deuteronomy 5:17. In Exodus 20:13-15 it places the seventh commandment, first, then the eighth, then the sixth.

13:8-10 Christians must avoid useless expense, and be careful not to contract any debts they have not the power to discharge. They are also to stand aloof from all venturesome speculations and rash engagements, and whatever may expose them to the danger of not rendering to all their due. Do not keep in any one's debt. Give every one his own. Do not spend that on yourselves, which you owe to others. But many who are very sensible of the trouble, think little of the sin, of being in debt. Love to others includes all the duties of the second table. The last five of the ten commandments are all summed up in this royal law, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; with the same sincerity that thou lovest thyself, though not in the same measure and degree. He that loves his neighbour as himself, will desire the welfare of his neighbour. On this is built that golden rule, of doing as we would be done by. Love is a living, active principle of obedience to the whole law. Let us not only avoid injuries to the persons, connexions, property, and characters of men; but do no kind or degree of evil to any man, and study to be useful in every station of life.For this - "This" which follows is the sum of the laws. "This" is to regulate us in our conduct toward our neighbor. The word "this" here stands opposed to "that" in Romans 13:11. This law of love would prompt us to seek our neighbor's good; "that" fact, that our salvation is near, would prompt us to be active and faithful in the discharge of all the duties we owe to him.

Thou shalt not commit adultery - All the commands which follow are designed as an illustration of the duty of loving our neighbor; see these commands considered in the notes at Matthew 19:18-19. The apostle has not enumerated "all" the commands of the second table. He has shown generally what they required. The command to honor our parents he has omitted. The reason might have been that it was not so immediately to his purpose when discoursing of love to a "neighbor" - a word which does not immediately suggest the idea of near relatives. The expression, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," is rejected by the best critics as of doubtful authority, but it does not materially affect the spirit of the passage. It is missing in many manuscripts and in the Syriac version.

If there be any other commandment - The law respecting parents; or if there be any duty which does not seem to be "specified" by these laws, it is implied in the command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

It is briefly comprehended - Greek, It may be reduced to "this head;" or it is summed up in this.

In this saying - This word, or command,

Thou shalt love ... - This is found in Leviticus 19:18. See it considered in the notes at Matthew 19:19. If this command were fulfilled, it would prevent all fraud, injustice, oppression, falsehood, adultery, murder, theft, and covetousness. It is the same as our Saviour's golden rule. And if every man would do to others as he would wish them to do to him, all the design of the Law would be at once fulfilled.

9. For this, &c.—better thus: "For the [commandments], Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and whatever other commandment [there may be], it is summed up," &c. (The clause, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," is wanting in all the most ancient manuscripts). The apostle refers here only to the second table of the law, as love to our neighbor is what he is treating of. This verse proves that love is the fulfilling of the law. It is done by an induction or enumeration of the particular precepts of the second table. The fifth is not mentioned, because the Jews made that commandment a part of the first table; so some: or because he had treated before of duty to the higher powers and superiors, under which parents are comprehended; so others. It may be, he would only mention the negative precepts, as being most contrary to love. But, why doth he mention the seventh commandment before the sixth? Because of the commonness of adultery amongst the Romans; so some: because of the odiousness of it; so others. Hence

adultery is first named amongst the works of the flesh, Galatians 5:19. Possibly it is, because the Seventy, in Exodus, rehearse the commandments in this very order. The tenth commandment is summed up in one word:

Thou shalt not covet; it seems, then, it is but one commandment, and their opinion is ridiculous who divide it into two. When he says, if there be any

other commandment? He means a commandment of the same nature, requiring us to pay what we owe one to another; ergo, to honour our parents; or he means, any other in the Scripture, though not expressed in the decalogue. All commandments respecting our neighbour are summed up in this one:

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: see Matthew 22:39 Galatians 5:14 1 Timothy 1:5.

For this, thou shalt not commit adultery,.... The apostle here reckons up the several laws of the second table, with this view, that it might appear that so far as a man loves his neighbour, whether more near or distantly related, he fulfils the law, or acts according to it. He omits the first of these, the fifth commandment, either because he had urged this before, so far as it may be thought to regard magistrates; or because, according to the division of the Jews, who reckon five commands to each table, this belonged to the first: and he puts the seventh before the sixth, which is of no great moment; the order of things being frequently changed in the Scripture, and which is often done by Jewish writers, in alleging and citing passages of Scripture; and with whom this is a maxim, , "that there is no first nor last in the law" (c); that is, it is of no importance which stands first or last in it: it follows,

thou shall not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet; which are the sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth commands of the decalogue, Exodus 20:13,

and if there be any other commandment; of God, respecting the neighbour, either in the decalogue, as there was the fifth, Exodus 20:12, or elsewhere, the apostle repeating this by memory:

it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself; see Leviticus 19:18; this is the summary and epitome of them; so Christ reduces the laws of the first table to the head of love to God, and those of the second to the head of love to the neighbour, Matthew 22:37, as the apostle does here, and in Galatians 5:14, and the Apostle James, in James 2:8.

(c) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 6. 2.

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is {h} briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

(h) For the whole law commands nothing else but that we love God and our neighbour. But seeing that Paul speaks here of the duties we owe one to another, we must restrain this word law to the second table of the ten commandments.

Romans 13:9. Ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται] συντόμως καὶ ἐν βραχεῖ τὸ πᾶν ἀπαρτίζεται τῶν ἐντολῶν τὸ ἔργον, Chrysostom. But ἀνα is not to be neglected (is again comprised; see on Ephesians 1:10), and is to be referred to the fact that Leviticus 19:18 recapitulates, summarily repeats, the other previously adduced commands in reference to one’s neighbour. Comp. Thilo, ad Cod. Apocr. p. 223.

The arrangement which makes the fifth commandment follow the sixth is also found in Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20 (not in Matthew 19:18), Jam 2:11, in Philo, de decal., and Clement of Alexandria, Strom. vi. 16. The LXX. have, according to Cod. A, the order of the Masoretic original text; but in Cod. B the sixth commandment stands immediately after the fourth, then the seventh, and afterwards the fifth; whereas at Deuteronomy 5:17, according to Cod. B, the order of the series is: six, five, seven in the LXX., as here in Paul. The latter followed copies of the LXX. which had the same order. The deviations of the LXX. from the original text in such a case can only be derived from a diversity of tradition in determining the order of succession in the decalogue, not from speculative reasons for such a determination, for which there is no historical basis.

On ἀγαπ. ὡς ἑαυτόν, see on Matthew 22:39.

Romans 13:9. τὸ γὰρ Οὐ μοιχεύσεις. Cf. Romans 8:26. The order of the commandments here is different from that in Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5 (Hebrew), but it is the same as in Luke 18:20, and (so far) in Jam 2:11. This order is also found in Cod. . of the LXX in Deuteronomy 5 καὶ εἴ τις ἑτέρα ἐντολή: this shows that the enumeration does not aim at completeness, and that the insertion in some MSS. of οὐ ψευδομαρτυρήσεις, to complete the second table, is beside the mark. ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται: it is summed up—the scattered particulars are resumed and brought to one. The only other instance of this word in the N.T. (Ephesians 1:10) illustrates the present one, though the meaning is not exactly the same. ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου κ.τ.λ. In Leviticus 19:18 this is given as a summary of various laws, mostly precepts enjoining humanity, in various relations; by our Lord (in Matthew 22:39) and by Paul (here and in Galatians 5:14) an ampler, indeed an unlimited range, is given to it. Its supreme position too seems to be what is indicated in Jam 2:8 by calling it νόμος βασιλικός.

9. For this] Lit. For the; each precept being a quasi-substantive with the definite article.

Thou shalt not bear false witness] Perhaps to be omitted, on documentary evidence.

and if there be any other commandment, &c.] The Gr. phrase nearly = and whatever other commandments there are, all are summed up, &c.

Thou shalt love, &c.] Leviticus 19:18. See the Lord’s own quotation of the words, Matthew 22:39. Cp. James 2:8.

Romans 13:9. Οὐ μοιχεύσεις, thou shalt not commit adultery) Paul goes over the commandments without binding himself down to their order.—οὐ ψευδομαρτυρήσεις, thou shalt not bear false witness) I did not think that this came from Paul’s pen, but Baumgarten thinks so, as he writes, that Whitby should be consulted. See Appendix. crit. Ed. ii on this passage.[138]—ΕἼ ΤΙς ἙΤΈΡΑ, if there be any other) for example, honour thy father.—ἐντολὴ) ἐντολὴ, a commandment, a part; νόμος, the law, the whole.—λόγῳ, in the saying) a short, easy one.—ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται) it is briefly comprehended, so that although particular precepts may not be thought of, yet no offence can be committed against any one of them by the man, who is endued with love; comp. is fulfilled [in one word] Galatians 5:14, likewise, hang [all the law and the prophets] Matthew 22:40.—ὡς σεαυτόν) So Seidelianus along with some; others read ὡς ἑαυτόν, which Baumgarten approves. I was of opinion that one sigma had been written instead of two, and those, who are acquainted with the habits of the transcribers, will readily agree with me. Examples will be found in App. crit., p. 383.[139]

[138] The German Version has the clause, rather, I should think, from a slip of memory, than from change of opinion.—E. B.

[139] ABD(Λ) Vulg. Orig. have σεαυτόν. But G and Rec. Text ἑαυτόν.—ED.

ABD(Λ)Gfg Origen, the best MSS. of Vulg. omit οὐ ψευδομαρτυρήσεις. Rec. Text keep the words, with which a few MSS. of the Memph. Vers. agree.—ED.

Romans 13:9Thou shalt not commit adultery, etc.

Omit thou shalt not bear false witness. The seventh commandment precedes the sixth, as in Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; James 2:11.

It is briefly comprehended (ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται)

Only here and Ephesians 1:10. Rev., it is summed up. Ἁνά has the force of again in the sense of recapitulation. Compare Leviticus 19:18. The law is normally a unit in which there is no real separation between the commandments. "Summed up in one word." The verb is compounded, not with κεφαλή head, but with its derivative κεφάλαιον the main point.

Namely thou shalt love, etc. (ἐν τῷ ἀγαπήσεις)

The Greek idiom is, it is summed up in the thou shalt love, the whole commandment being taken as a substantive with the definite article.

Neighbor (τὸν πλησίον)

See on Matthew 5:43.

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