Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Amen.—The weight of MS. authority is decidedly in favour of retaining this word, though it is omitted by three MSS. of some importance.
It does not, however, follow that the benediction was intended, as some have thought, to close the Epistle. Intercalated benedictions and doxologies are frequent in the writings of St. Paul. (Comp. Romans 9:5; Romans 11:36; Galatians 5; Ephesians 3:20-21, et al.)Romans 15:13, he is called the God of hope. Here the apostle desires that the God who gives peace would impart to them union of sentiment and feeling, particularly between the Jewish and Gentile Christians - the great object for which he labored in his journey to Judea, and which he had been endeavoring to promote throughout this Epistle; see 1 Corinthians 14:33; Hebrews 13:20.
This is the close of the doctrinal and hortatory parts of this Epistle. The remainder is made up chiefly of salutations. In the verses concluding this chapter, Paul expressed his earnest desire to visit Rome. He besought his brethren to pray that he might be delivered from the unbelievers among the Jews. His main desire was granted. He was permitted to visit Rome; yet the very thing from which he sought to be delivered, the very opposition of the Jews, made it necessary for him to appeal to Caesar, and this was the means of his accomplishing his desire. (See the closing chapters of the Acts of the Apostles.) God thus often grants our "main desire;" he hears our prayer; but he may make use of that from which we pray to be delivered as the "means" of fulfilling our own requests. The Christian prays that he may be sanctified; yet at the same time he may pray to be delivered from affliction. God will hear his main desire, to be made holy; will convert what he fears into a blessing, and make it the means of accomplishing the great end. It is right to express our "desires - all" our desires - to God; but it should be with a willingness that he should choose his own means to accomplish the object of our wishes. Provided the "God of peace" is with us, all is well.
Note, (1) Did "the chiefest of the apostles" apologize for writing to a Christian church which he had never seen, and a church that he was persuaded was above the need of it, save to "stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance" (2Pe 1:13; 3:1); and did he put even this upon the sole plea of apostolic responsibility (Ro 15:14-16)? What a contrast is thus presented to hierarchical pride, and in particular to the affected humility of the bishop of this very Rome! How close the bond which the one spirit draws between ministers and people—how wide the separation produced by the other! (2) There is in the Christian Church no real priesthood, and none but figurative sacrifices. Had it been otherwise, it is inconceivable that Ro 15:16 should have been expressed as it is. Paul's only priesthood and sacrificial offerings lay, first, in ministering to them as "the apostle of the Gentiles," not the sacrament with the "real presence" of Christ in it, or the sacrifice of the mass, but "the Gospel of God," and then, when gathered under the wing of Christ, presenting them to God as a grateful offering, "being sanctified [not by sacrificial gifts, but] by the Holy Ghost." (See Heb 13:9-16). (3) Though the debt we owe to those by whom we have been brought to Christ can never be discharged, we should feel it a privilege when we render them any lower benefit in return (Ro 15:26, 27). (4) Formidable designs against the truth and the servants of Christ should, above all other ways of counteracting them, be met by combined prayer to Him who rules all hearts and controls all events; and the darker the cloud, the more resolutely should all to whom Christ's cause is dear "strive together in their prayers to God" for the removal of it (Ro 15:30, 31). (5) Christian fellowship is so precious that the most eminent servants of Christ, amid the toils and trials of their work, find it refreshing and invigorating; and it is no good sign of any ecclesiastic, that he deems it beneath him to seek and enjoy it even amongst the humblest saints in the Church of Christ (Ro 15:24, 32).The God of peace; this is a frequent title of God in Scripture; he is called the God of peace, Romans 16:20 2 Corinthians 13:11 Philippians 4:9 1 Thessalonians 5:23 2 Thessalonians 3:16 Hebrews 13:20. Here it fits his great argument, which was to persuade the believing Romans to be at peace amongst themselves, and not to contend about indifferent things.
Be with you all: three times in this chapter doth the apostle lift up a prayer for the believing Romans; see Romans 16:5,13; and this is more comprehensive than the other two. If God be with us, no good thing can be wanting to us. God’s presence is inclusive of all good, and exclusive of all evil.
Amen: see Romans 16:27. Romans 15:5, and the God of hope, Romans 15:13, because of his concern in these graces; so he is here styled "the God of peace", because of his concern in that peace which is made between him and his people, by the blood of Christ. This peace was first upon his thoughts, which are therefore called thoughts of peace; a council of peace was held between him and his Son upon this head; the scheme of reconciliation was drawn by him in it; he entered into a covenant of peace with Christ, which takes its name from this momentous article of it; he appointed Christ to be the peacemaker, and laid on him the chastisement of our peace; and it pleased him by him to reconcile all things to himself, Colossians 1:20. Moreover, he is so called because he is the giver of all true solid conscience peace, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding of natural men; and which when he gives, none can give trouble; and is what he fills his people with in a way of believing, leading their faith to the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of his Son. He is also the author of happiness and prosperity, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, and likewise of all the peace and concord which is in his churches, and among his saints; so that when the apostle wishes that the God of peace might be with them, he not only prays that the presence of God might be with them; but that they might have fresh views of their interest in peace, made by the blood of Christ; that they might enjoy peace in their own consciences, arising from thence; that they might be possessed of felicity of every kind, and that unity and harmony might subsist among them; that the peace of God might rule in their hearts, and they live in love and peace one with another, laying aside all their differences as Jews and Gentiles, about the rites and ceremonies of the law of Moses; to which the apostle may have a particular respect in this concluding wish of his, and here indeed properly the epistle ends; the following chapter being as a sort of postscript, filled up with salutations and recommendations of particular persons; wherefore the word "Amen" is placed here, though it is wanting in the Alexandrian copy. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Romans 15:33. ὁ δὲ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης: there is an appropriateness in this designation after Romans 15:31, but “peace” is one of the ruling ideas in Paul’s mind always, and needs no special explanation in a benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:2, Php 4:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:23.33. the God of peace] So also Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Php 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20. In some of these passages, the Sacred Title indicates the peace of reconciliation (ch. Romans 5:1) with which God regards His people; in others, the peace of outward quiet or inward concord which He grants to them. Here, probably, we have the latter meaning. St Paul is led to think of the precious gift of rest and calm both by the dangers he is about to face in Judæa, and by the loving intercourse for which he looks at Rome.
It is quite needless to take this verse as an intended close to the Epistle. We may be sure that some personal greetings must have been all along in St Paul’s intention; and none have yet been written. The wish here expressed quite naturally follows the previous context, (see this note, just above,) and also marks the pause before the commendation and salutations now to follow.Romans 15:33. Ὁ Θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης, the God of peace) A gradation in reference to Romans 15:5; Romans 15:13 : The God of patience, hope; so, the God of love and peace, 2 Corinthians 13:11, The God of peace, ch. Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 14:33; Php 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20
 Ἀμὴν, the Greek transcribers loved to add the final Amen from its very frequent use, not to say, in doxologies only, which have Amen in Ps. 41:14, Psalm 72:19, etc., but in prayers and at the conclusions of books.—Not. crit.
AGg omit ἀμήν. B (judging from its silence), CD(Λ)f Vulg. have it. Tischend. therefore supports it. Lachm. brackets it.—ED.
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