Romans 15:12
And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
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(12) And again, Esaias saith.—St. Paul still adheres to the LXX., which here diverges more widely from the Hebrew. The sense of this is rightly given by the Authorised version of Isaiah 11:10—“In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek.” In either case the passage is Messianic.

A root of Jesse.—Strictly, the root, or, root-shoot of Jesse, as in Proverbs 5:5i.e., the expected descendant of Jesse’s line, which, to bring out its intimate connection with the founder of the line, and to distinguish it from all other collateral branches, is identified with the very root, or first shoot, of the line itself.

Trust.—The same word as “hope” in the next verse, the introduction of which was probably suggested, through the association of ideas, by the concluding words of the LXX. quotation—“On Him shall the Gentiles place their hopes. Now the God of hope, &c.

15:8-13 Christ fulfilled the prophecies and promises relating to the Jews, and the Gentile converts could have no excuse for despising them. The Gentiles, being brought into the church, are companions in patience and tribulation. They should praise God. Calling upon all the nations to praise the Lord, shows that they shall have knowledge of him. We shall never seek to Christ till we trust in him. And the whole plan of redemption is suited to reconcile us to one another, as well as to our gracious God, so that an abiding hope of eternal life, through the sanctifying and comforting power of the Holy Spirit, may be attained. Our own power will never reach this; therefore where this hope is, and is abounding, the blessed Spirit must have all the glory. All joy and peace; all sorts of true joy and peace, so as to suppress doubts and fears, through the powerful working of the Holy Spirit.Esaias saith - Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 11:10.

There shall be a root - A descendant, or one that should proceed from him when he was dead. When a tree dies, and falls, there may remain a "root" which shall retain life, and which shall send up a sprout of a similar kind. So Job says Job 14:7, "For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease." So in relation to Jesse. Though he should fall, like an aged tree, yet his name and family should not be extinct. There should be a descendant who should rise, and reign over the Gentiles. The Lord Jesus is thus called also the "root and the offspring of David;" Revelation 22:16; Revelation 5:5.

Of Jesse - The father of David; 1 Samuel 17:58. The Messiah was thus descended from Jesse.

He that shall rise - That is, as a sprout springs up from a decayed or fallen tree. Jesus thus "rose" from the family of David, that had fallen into poverty and humble life in the time of Mary.

To reign over the Gentiles - This is quoted from the Septuagint of Isaiah 11:10. The Hebrew is, "Which shall stand up for an ensign of the people;" that is, a standard to which they shall flock. Either the Septuagint or the Hebrew would express the idea of the apostle. The "substantial" sense is retained, though it is not literally quoted. The idea of his "reigning" over the Gentiles is one that is fully expressed in the second psalm.

In him ... - Hebrew, "To it shall the Gentiles seek." The sense, however, is the same. The design of this quotation is the same as the preceding, to show that it was predicted in the Old Testament that the Gentiles should be made partakers of the privileges of the gospel. The argument of the apostle is, that if this was designed, then converts to Christianity from among the "Jews" should lay aside their prejudices, and "receive" them as their brethren, entitled to the same privileges of the gospel as themselves. The "fact" that the Gentiles would be admitted to these privileges, the apostle had more fully discussed in Romans 10-11.

12. And again, Esaias saith—(Isa 11:10).

There shall be a—"the"

root of Jesse—meaning, not "He from whom Jesse sprang," but "He that is sprung from Jesse" (that is, Jesse's son David)—see Re 22:16.

and he that shall rise, &c.—So the Septuagint in substantial, though not verbal, agreement with the original.

And again, Esaias saith; viz. in Isaiah 11:10: see the notes there. This is a plain prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles; their being received to mercy is implied in the former testimonies, but here it is expressed. The Son of David (the Savionr) shall rise and spring out of Jesse’s root, and reign over the Gentiles by his word and Spirit. He shall gather them by the preaching of his cross, as by an ensign, and they, as it is in the prophet, shall seek to him; or, as it is here, shall trust or hope in him. The apostle, as he is wont, doth follow the LXX., which makes some little variation from the Hebrew text; but it is rather in sound than in sense. You have other prophecies and promises of the Gentiles’ mercy, as Isaiah 42:1,6 Isa 49:22 60:3,5; but the apostle thought, that these he had mentioned were sufficient for his purpose.

And again Esaias saith,.... In Isaiah 11:10;

there shall be a root of Jesse. This prophecy is applied to the Messiah by the Jews (y), who say,

"that when the King Messiah is revealed, there shall be gathered to him all the nations of the world, so that that Scripture shall be fulfilled which is written, "there shall be a root of Jesse", &c.''

This character, "the root of Jesse", may be understood of Christ with respect to his divine nature, who, as God, was before Jesse, and the author of his being, as of all creatures; just in such sense as he is called "the root and offspring of David", Revelation 5:5; the root of David, as he is God, and the offspring of David, as he is man; unless both are to be interpreted of his human nature, as the phrase here also may be, and denote his descent from Jesse as man; and so the Jewish writers interpret it as well as some Christian ones. This is R. David Kimchi's comment;

""and there shall be a root of Jesse"; the meaning is, , "which goes out from the root of Jesse", according to Isaiah 11:1, for "Jesse" is the root. And so the Targum of Jonathan, , "the son's son of Jesse";''

that is, David's son, the King Messiah, who sprung from Jesse's family, when that family was very low and mean, like to a tree cut down to, its roots, and to a root in a dry ground; out of which sprung the man the branch, David's son and Lord. This character may be applied to Christ as Mediator, who as a root is unseen and unknown to carnal men, and mean, abject, and of no account in the eyes of the world; the root that not only bears Jesse, David, and other good men, but all the branches of God's elect, from whom they have their beings, both in a natural and spiritual sense; which communicates life and nourishment to them; in whom their life is hid, and is safe when scarcely to be discerned in them; and from whom they have all their fruitfulness, and to whom is owing their perseverance in faith and holiness.

And he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; or, as the Syriac version, "and he that shall rise shall be a prince unto the Gentiles"; or, as the Arabic, "and he that shall rise out of it", the root, "shall rule over the Gentiles". In the Hebrew text in Isaiah, this is said of the root, and to be read thus, "which shall stand for an ensign of the people", Isaiah 11:10; because mention is made of a root, the apostle expresses the standing of it by rising out of it, which signifies both the incarnation and exaltation of Christ; and because an ensign is a token of power and government, therefore he has rendered it to "reign", agreeably enough to the sense; since upon Christ's exaltation, and setting up his ensign or standard, the Gospel, in the Gentile world, multitudes became voluntary subjects to him, and still do; over whom he rules by his grace and Spirit, and will more largely and manifestly in the latter day, when the kingdoms of this world shall be his. In like manner R. Aben. Ezra explains the words of the Messiah.

"Says he, this may be understood, for all the whole world shall be , "under his power", or government.''

And so the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases them, "and kingdoms shall obey him"; so that the Jew can have no reason to complain of the apostle's version.

In him shall the Gentiles trust, or "hope"; this in the Hebrew text is, "to him shall the Gentiles seek"; which cannot be truly done without faith and hope; see Hebrews 11:6; for the hope and faith of enjoying what is sought for, put persons upon seeking: so that the apostle here gives us the true sense of the words, and most fully describes the affection of the Gentiles to Christ; who having some knowledge of him, seek unto him for life and salvation, prostrate themselves at his feet, venture upon him, commit themselves to him, and hope and trust in him. This part of the prophecy is by the Jews understood of the Messiah.

"All the Gentiles (says R. David Kimchi on the text) shall seek , "to the Messiah", and shall go after him to do what he commands; all of them shall obey him.''

But why no mention made of the Israelites seeking to the Messiah? hear what they say, and which still confirms the sense of these words (z).

"The Israelites will have no need of the doctrine of the King Messiah in future time, as it is said, "to him shall the Gentiles seek", and not the Israelites.''

True enough! The apostle dwells on the proof of this point, it not being so easy of belief with the Jews, but makes it clear from the law, psalms, and prophets, which is the threefold division of the writings of the Old Testament; see Luke 24:44.


And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
Romans 15:12. Isaiah 11:10, with omission of ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ after ἔσται, literally after the LXX., who, however, translate the original inaccurately. The latter runs: “And it comes to pass at that day, that after the root-shoot of Jesse, which stands as a tanner of peoples (לְּנֵם עַמִּים), Gentiles shall inquire;” see Umbreit in the Stud. u. Krit. 1835, p. 553, and the explanation in reference thereto, p. 880 f.; Drechsler and Delitzsch, in loc. But the words of the LXX., as Paul has quoted them, run as follows: “There shall be the root-shoot of Jesse and (i.e. and indeed, explanatory) He who arises (raises himself) to rule over Gentiles; on Him shall Gentiles hope.” This passage and its entire connection are Messianic, and that indeed in so far as the idea is therein expressed, that the promised descendant of David, the ideal of the theocratic king, will extend His kingdom over Gentiles also, and will be the object of their desire (according to the LXX. and Paul: of their believing hope). This prophecy likewise Paul sees fulfilled through the magnifying of the divine mercy by the already converted Gentiles (Romans 15:7; Romans 15:9). Observe that ἐθνῶν and ἔθνη are without the article, and hence do not denote “the Gentile world” (Hofmann).

ἡ ῥίζα is here, according to the Heb. שֹׁרֶשׁ, the root-shoot; comp. Sir 47:22; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:6; 1Ma 1:10; Sir 40:15. He is the root-shoot of Jesse, because Jesse is the root from which He springs, as the ancestor of the Messianic king, David, Jesse’s son, sprang from it. This descendant of Jesse is the Messiah (comp. Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2), who (according to the original text) is a banner for peoples, and consequently their leader and ruler. Christ has entered on this dominion at His exaltation, and He carries it out by successive stages through the conversion of the Gentiles.

ἐπʼ αὐτῷ] of the resting of hope upon Him (Hemsterh. ad Xen. Eph. p. 128), 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Timothy 6:17; LXX. Isaiah 42:4. Comp. πιστεύειν ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, Romans 9:33, Romans 10:11. The contents of the hope is the attainment of eternal salvation, which will be fulfilled in them at the Parousia.

Romans 15:12. καὶ πάλιν Ἡσαίας λέγει: Isaiah 11:10. Paul again follows the LXX, only omitting ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ after ἔσται. The words are meant to describe the Messianic kingdom and its Davidic head. It is a universal kingdom, and the nations set their hope in its King, and therefore in the God of salvation whose representative He is. Such a hope in God, the Apostle’s argument implies, will result in the praise which glorifies Him for His mercy (Romans 15:9).

12. a root] Lit. the root. The quotation is from Isaiah 11:10 : verbatim with LXX. The Heb. reads, “It shall come to pass … the root of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto it (or Him) shall the Gentiles seek.” Here the LXX. forms a sufficient rendering of the substance of the Heb.

trust] Lit. hope.

Romans 15:12.[157] Ἡσαΐας, Isaiah) Three sayings had been quoted without the name of Moses and David; he now mentions the name of Isaiah, of whose book the Haphtara (The portion publicly read in the synagogue) with this Saying, is read on the eighth day of the Passover, at that time of the year, at which this epistle seems to have been written.—ἔσται ἡκαὶ ὁἐπʼ αὐτῷ—) Isaiah 11:10, LXX. καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ἡἐπʼ αὐτὸν.—ἡ ῥίζα, the root) Christ is elsewhere called the root of David, Revelation 22:16; but, if we compare this passage taken from the passage in Isaiah quoted above with Romans 15:1, He is called the root of Jesse. The descent of kings and of the Messiah from His house was divinely appointed to Jesse in His own name, before it was so in the name of David, and that descent might have been expected even from another son of Jesse, 1 Samuel 16:7. But David was king, not Jesse; and the kingdom of Christ was in some measure hereditary from David, Luke 1:32, in respect of the Jews, but not in respect of the Gentiles. He is therefore called here, not the root of David, but, that which was next to it, the root of Jesse. The Messiah, who was to descend from Jesse, had been promised neither entirely to him, nor to the Gentiles: and yet He was bestowed on both. Those things, however, which immediately precede, where He is called the root of Jesse, and the passage, 1 Samuel 16:7, where it is said of the first-born son of Jesse, I have refused him, testify that the Messiah was divinely appointed to Jesse.—ὁ ἀνιστάμενος) So the LXX. interpreted the word of Isaiah, נם, a banner: There is a pleasant antithesis: the root is in the lowest place; the banner rises on high [to the greatest height], so as to be seen even by the remotest nations.—ἘΛΠΙΟῦΣΙΝ, shall hope, [trust]) Divine worship is implied here as due to Christ even in His human nature. The Gentiles formerly had no ‘hope,’ Ephesians 2:12.

[157] Αἰνεῖτε, praise ye) on account of grace and truth. For these things follow in the Psalm, where Israel cries aloud to the Gentiles.—V. g.

Romans 15:12Root

See on Nazarene, Matthew 2:23. Root is a sprout from the root.

He that shall rise to reign

Rev., that ariseth to reign. Literally from the Septuagint. Ariseth to reign is a paraphrase of the Hebrew stands as banner. Bengel says: "There is a pleasant contrast: the root is in the lowest place, the banner rises highest, so as to be seen even by the remotest nations."

Shall - hope

So Septuagint, which is a free rendering of the Hebrew seek or resort to.

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