Romans 15:9
And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
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(9) For his mercy.—On account of His mercy. The Jews had their covenant to appeal to, and the attributes of God most clearly brought home to them in Christianity was His veracity in fulfilling the promises contained in this covenant. The Gentiles had no such covenant, and their admission to the blessings of Christianity was an act of pure grace and mercy, which they could only thankfully recognise. The Apostle then proceeds to quote from the Old Testament a succession of passages bearing upon this ultimate reception and triumph of the Gentiles.

For this cause. . . .—Psalms 18, from which this quotation is taken, is assigned by the heading, as most commentators believe, rightly, to David himself, as a review of his past life, and a thanksgiving for his deliverance from his enemies. David is here taken as a type of Christ. He is said to “confess to God among the Gentiles,” inasmuch as He is the head of the Gentile Church, in whose name its praises are offered, and by whom they are presented.

Confess. . . .—Comp. the Note on Romans 14:11. Here the meaning, “praise,” is more distinctly brought out. The confession or acknowledgment of mercies is itself an act of praise.

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.And that the Gentiles ... - The benefits of the gospel were not to be confined to "the Jews;" and as God "designed" that those benefits should be extended to the "Gentiles," so the Jewish converts ought to be willing to admit them and treat them as brethren. That God "did" design this, the apostle proceeds to show.

Might glorify God - Might "praise," or give thanks to God. This implies that the favor shown to them was a "great" favor.

For his mercy - Greek, On account of the mercy shown to them.

As it is written - Psalm 18:49. The expression there is one of David's. He says that he will praise God for his mercies "among" the pagan, or when surrounded "by" the pagan; or that he would confess and acknowledge the mercies of God to him, as we should say, "to all the world." The apostle, however, uses it in this sense, that the "Gentiles" would "participate" with the Jew in offering praise to God, or that they would be united. This does not appear to have been the original design of David in the psalm, but the "words" express the idea of the apostle.

And sing ... - Celebrate thy praise. This supposes that "benefits" would be conferred on them, for which they would celebrate his goodness.

9. that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy—A number of quotations from the Old Testament here follow, to show that God's plan of mercy embraced, from the first, the Gentiles along with the Jews.

as it is written—(Ps 18:49).

I will confess to—that is, glorify

thee among the Gentiles.

Here he proves the second part, that Christ hath also received the Gentiles. There is a plain ellipsis in the words; this is understood, that there were promises made of or to the Gentiles, and Christ came to confirm them also. The sum of these promises was this,

that the Gentiles should glorify God for his mercy. Some have observed how the truth of God is spoken of in the foregoing verse with respect to the Jews, and the mercy of God with respect to the Gentiles; not that the one was without the other; for the salvation of the Jews, as it was of truth, so of mercy also, Micah 7:20; and the vocation of the Gentiles, as it was of mercy, so also of truth; for there were many promises of God concerning that matter, but mercy is predicated of the Gentiles, because that attribute of God appeared more eminently in their conversion and calling. You had the like distribution and difference in Romans 4:25 10:10.

As it is written: because the Jews were hardly persuaded of the mercy of God to the Gentiles, therefore he proves it by divers Scripture testimonies. This first is taken out of Psalm 18:49: See Poole on "Psalm 18:49". David speaks this in the person of Christ. In the Psalm it is: I will give thanks to thee; but here, according to the LXX., I will confess to thee, or celebrate thee among the Gentiles. They then are received to mercy, forasmuch as it was foretold they should celebrate or praise God for his mercy.

And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy,.... In choosing them in Christ as vessels of mercy, and in redeeming them by Christ as well as the Jews, and in regenerating and calling them by his abundant grace; and which as they clearly show that Christ has received them, and therefore are not to be censured and judged as irreligious persons, because of the use of their Christian liberty; so these things lay them under obligations to glorify God, to show forth his praise both by lip and life, since what they enjoy is not by promise, as the Jews, but of mere mercy; not but that promises arise from grace and mercy, though the accomplishment of them is owing to truth and faithfulness; but the Gentiles had no promises made to them, and yet obtained mercy, though there were many promises made concerning them, and many oracles and predictions in favour of them stood on divine record; some of which the apostle here produces to prove what he had asserted, that Christ had received them, and they were bound to glorify God on that account:

as it is written, in Psalm 18:49;

for this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name; which words are not spoken unto God by David, literally, considered, but as representing the Messiah; for David when he penned this Psalm, was in the decline of life; the next account after this is of his last dying words, 2 Samuel 23:1; nor could he hope to praise God among the Gentiles, nor did he in person, but in his Son the Messiah. These words are the words of Christ unto his Father, who in the title of the psalm is called "the servant of God", he being the Mediator eminently; he is represented as encompassed with the sorrows and snares of death and the grave, which agree with Jesus when in the garden, and on the cross. God is all along in it spoken as his helper and deliverer, as he was to Christ in his human nature, having promised to be so, and on which he depended; and the person, the subject of the psalm, is a victorious person, one that has got the conquest over all enemies, which is in the fullest sense true of the Messiah, who has overcome the world, made an end of sin, destroyed Satan, spoiled principalities and powers, and abolished death; and particularly is said to be the head of the Heathen, and they to be voluntary subjects to him, Psalm 18:43, which is expressed in much the same language as the like things are in Isaiah 55:4; which is so manifest a prophecy of the Messiah; add to all which, that the Lord's anointed, the King Messiah, and who is called David, is expressly mentioned in the words following these that are cited, and which are applied by the Jews (x) themselves to the Messiah; as is Psalm 18:32 paraphrased of him, by the Targumist upon it: what is here said by the Messiah to God, is that he would "confess to him among the Gentiles"; which is to be understood not of confession of sin, or of a confession of faith in him; but of praise and thanksgiving, a celebration of his perfections, particularly his, race, mercy, and goodness; ascribing honour and glory to him, either for the conversion of the Gentiles, as he did in the believing Jews, Acts 11:18, or by the mouth of the Gentiles, for what God had done in bringing the Gospel to them, Acts 13:48, or among them, by his apostles and ministers of the Gospel being made very successful among them, and made to triumph in Christ, whilst they diffused the savour of his knowledge in every place. The word "Lord" is omitted in this citation, though it appears in the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions, and in the Complutensian edition, and two of Stephens's copies: "and sing unto thy name"; psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to the glory of his grace, as in all the churches of the Gentiles, to which they are directed by the Spirit of Christ, Ephesians 5:19.

(x) Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. Midrash Tillim in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 47. 3.

{6} And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will {h} confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

(6) An applying of the same to the Gentiles, whom also the Lord by his incomprehensible goodness had regard for, so that they are not to be condemned by the Jews as strangers.

(h) I will openly confess and set forth your name.

Romans 15:9. τὰ δὲ ἔθνη ὑπὲρ ἐλέους δοξάσαι τὸν θεόν: Some expositors make this depend directly on λέγω, as if Paul had meant: “I say Christ has become a minister of circumcision, in the interest of the truth of God … and that the Gentiles have glorified God for His mercy,” the only contrast being that between God’s faithfulness, as shown to the descendants of Abraham, and His mercy as shown to those without the old covenant. But if τὰ δὲ ἔθνη κ.τ.λ. is made to depend on εἰς τὸ, as in the A.V., there is a double contrast brought out: that of faithfulness and mercy being no more emphatic than that of the fathers and the Gentiles. Indeed, from the passages quoted, it is clear that Paul is preoccupied rather with the latter of these two contrasts than with the former; for all the passages concern the place of the Gentiles in the Church. At the same time it is made clear—even to the Gentiles—that the salvation which they enjoy is “of the Jews”. Hence the Gentiles must not be contemptuous of scruples or infirmities, especially such as rise out of any associations with the old covenant; nor should the Jews be censorious of a Gentile liberty which has its vindication in the free grace of God. καθὼς γέγραπται: the contemplated glorification of God answers to what we find in Psalm 18:50, LXX. Christ is assumed to be the speaker, and we may say that He gives thanks to God among the Gentiles when the Gentiles give thanks to God through Him (Hebrews 2:12).

9. and] Lit. but. A slight contrast or correction is implied; “to confirm indeed the promise given to Israel, but also to bring in mercy for the Gentiles.”

for his mercy] Lit. for mercy. The word “mercy” is here used, perhaps, with reference to the previous position of the Gentiles as “strangers from” an explicit “covenant of promise.” (Ephesians 2:12)—Cp. however Romans 11:32 for the real equality of mercy in all cases of salvation.

For this cause, &c.] Psalms 18 (LXX. 17):49. Verbatim with LXX., only omitting the word “Lord.”

St Paul interprets the ver. as ultimately fulfilled in Messiah, and as foretelling that He, as Saviour, shall rejoice among the Gentiles as the saved.

Romans 15:9. Διὰἔθνεσιψαλῶ) Psalm 18:50, LXX., διὰἔθνεσι, Κύριεψαλῶ.—ἐξομολογήσομαι, I will confess) Paul says that the Gentiles do that, which Christ declares in the Psalm, that He will do; in fact, Christ is doing this among [or rather, in the person of] the Gentiles, Hebrews 2:12, where Paul quotes Psalms 22, as here Psalms 18 is quoted. In Psalms 22. Christ announces the name of the Lord to His brethren; in Psalms 18. He confesses to the Lord among [or in the person of] the Gentiles, and the Gentiles confess to Him in [the person of] Christ. Afterwards in Psalms 117 the Jews invite all tribes and all nations; לאם signifies a multitude, and עם a political community.—ψαλῶ, I will sing) The Gentiles sing and praise, because they have obtained mercy, Heb. אזמרה, using the organ.

Romans 15:9It is written

The citations are from Psalm 18:50, compare 2 Samuel 22:50; Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 117:1; Isaiah 11:10.


Rev., give praise. See on Romans 14:11.

Sing (ψαλῶ)

See on James 5:13.

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