Romans 16:6
Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) On us.—The true reading seems to be, on you. The readers would know to what the Apostle referred. It is useless for us to attempt to conjecture.

Romans 16:6. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us — Performed many good offices for the faithful, especially for the preachers of the gospel. The apostle is very affectionate in these salutations, giving almost every one some signal epithet, that he might both recommend them for their piety and virtue, and propose them as examples for the imitation of others; as also that he might show his gratitude to them, and the esteem he had for them. And concerning these salutations, and others in the apostolic epistles, it is proper to remark in general, “that they were of great benefit to the persons saluted. For, being sent to individuals in letters addressed to the churches of which they were members, such public testimonies of the apostle’s esteem not only gave the saluted much pleasure, but confirmed them in the faith, and encouraged them to bear with patience the sufferings attending the profession of the gospel. And to us, these salutations are an example of that love which we owe to the sincere disciples of Christ on account of their character. Further, the apostle, by naming so many persons in his epistles, hath not only transmitted to posterity an honourable character of them, but hath furnished an additional proof of the truth and authenticity of his own epistles. For all the persons named in them were appealed to as witnesses of the things which he had written.”

16:1-16 Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It becomes Christians to help one another in their affairs, especially strangers; we know not what help we may need ourselves. Paul asks help for one that had been helpful to many; he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Though the care of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remember many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular characters of them, and express concern for them. Lest any should feel themselves hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named. He adds, in the close, a general salutation to them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.Who bestowed much labour on us - Who labored much for us. Nothing more is known of her but this honorable mention of her name. It is probable that these persons were formerly residents in Greece, and that the apostle had there become acquainted with them, but that they had now removed to Rome. 6. Greet—or "salute"

Mary, who bestowed much labour on us—labor, no doubt, of a womanly kind.

Greet Mary: this was a common name, but the person here meant was of special note. Ignatius highly commends one of this name, giving her an ample character for wisdom and godliness.

Who bestowed much labour on us; this is the commendation the apostle gives of this woman: it is to be understood of her labour and service in providing food and other necessaries for the entertainment of the faithful, especially the preachers of the gospel; which he acknowledgeth as done to himself, though he had not been at Rome, because of the communion of saints. Some think this woman dwelt before at Corinth, or Antioch, or in some other places, where she had ministered unto the apostle Paul himself.

Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. Some copies read, "you"; and so do the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions: and indeed it seems most likely that the persons on whom this good woman bestowed so much labour, and to whom she was so very serviceable, were the saints at Rome, where she lived, rather than the apostle and his companions; not but that she might have been in some parts where she had met with him, and his friends, and had been very indefatigable in assisting and supplying them, in a very generous and liberal manner, with all the necessaries of life; and was exceeding useful in encouraging the ministers of the Gospel, and in promoting the interest of Christ. Her name Mary is the same with Miriam in Hebrew; whether she was of Jewish extract is not certain, and who she was is not known: some have conjectured her to be the same that Ignatius wrote an epistle to; not Mary of Castabilis, but of Naples, who was at Rome in the time of Linus, the Latin version reads "Cletus", and of Clement, on whom he bestows very great characters; calling her most faithful, worthy of God, and a bearer of Christ, and in all things wise (m): and in another letter (n) of his he represents her as exceeding learned, an exemplar of godly women, and having a church in her house. But both these epistles are thought, by learned men, to be falsely ascribed to him, and so not to be depended on.

(m) Ignat. Epist. ad Mariam, p. 69, 70. (n) lb. ad Heronem, p. 97. Ed. Voss.

Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 16:6. How far Mary had toiled much for the Romans (εἰς ὑμᾶς), was as well known to the readers and to the apostle himself, who awards to her on that account the salutation of acknowledgment and commendation, as it is unknown to us. It may have happened abroad (as van Hengel and others think) or in Rome itself through eminent loving activity, possibly in a special emergency which was now past (hence not κοπιᾷ, but the aorist). Reiche refers ἐκοπ. to activity in teaching, for which, however, since the text annexes no definition (as in 1 Timothy 5:17), and since Mary is not more specially known, there is no reason, and generally, as respects public teaching (1 Corinthians 14:34-35), little probability. On εἰς, comp. Galatians 4:11.

Romans 16:6. It is not certain whether Μαριάμ (which is Jewish) or Μαρίαν (Roman) is the true reading. ἥτις πολλὰ ἐκοπίασεν: the much labour she had bestowed is made the ground (ἥτις) of a special greeting. εἰς ὑμᾶς is much better supported than εἰς ἡμᾶς: there is something finer in Paul’s appreciation of services rendered to others than if they had been rendered to himself. Cf. Galatians 4:11.

6. Mary] Mariam or Maria. Both forms represent the Heb. Miriam. In the Gospels, the Holy Mother is always, or nearly always, called Mariam in the Greek text; the other Maries, Maria.—This is the only Hebrew name in this chapter.

bestowed much labour] Lit. toiled; the strongest word for pains and efforts.

on us] The better reading is, on you. We do not know the occasion or occasions of these “labours.” The verb is aorist, and refers to a definite past period or crisis.

Verses 6, 7. - Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on you (ὑμᾶς, rather than, as in the Textus Receptus, ἡμᾶς). Salute Andrenicus and Junia (or Junias: it is uncertain whether this is masculine or feminine; if the latter, Junia might be the wife of Andronicus), my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles who also were in Christ before me. It is a question whether by "my kinsmen" (τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου) here and afterwards St. Paul means that the persons so called were his relations, or only that they were Jews (cf. Romans 9:3, where he speaks of the Jews generally as τῶν συγγενῶν μου κατὰ σάρκα. There are in all five persons so designated in this chapter. The designation "fellow-prisoners" implies that these two had been, like himself, at some time imprisoned for the faith, but it does not fellow that he and they had been in prison together. If, in speaking of them as "of note among the apostles (ἐπὶσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις)," he means to designate them as themselves apostles, this is an instance of a wider use of the term "apostle" than is generally understood (see note under Romans 12:6, etc.). The phrase, however, will bear the interpretation that they were persons held in honour in the circle of the original twelve. The term, οἱ ἀποστόλοι, is certainly often used distinctively of them, as in Acts 9:27 and in Galatians 1:19, by St. Paul himself, the reference in both texts being to his own relations to them; and so here, speaking of two persons, who he also says had been in Christ before himself, he may only mean to point to their having been, as they still were, distinguished in association with the original apostles even before his own conversion. Romans 16:6Mary (Μαριάμ Mariam)

Westcott and Hort read Μαρίαν. A Jewish name, the same as Miriam, meaning obstinacy, rebelliousness.

Bestowed labor (ἐκοπίασεν)

See on Luke 5:5.

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