Romans 2:10
But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
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2:1-16 The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, treasuring up wrath. In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.Tribulation - This word commonly denotes affliction, or the situation of being pressed down by a burden, as of trials, calamities, etc.; and hence, to be pressed down by punishment or pain inflicted for sins. As applied to future punishment, it denotes the pressure of the calamities that will come upon the soul as the just reward of sin.

And anguish - στενοχωρία stenochōria. This noun is used in but three other places in the New Testament; Romans 8:35; 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 12:10. The verb is used in 2 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 6:12. It means literally narrowness of place, lack of room, and then the anxiety and distress of mind which a man experiences who is pressed on every side by afflictions, and trials, and want, or by punishment, and who does not know where he may turn himself to find relief. (Schleusner.) It is thus expressive of the punishment of the wicked. It means that they shall be compressed with the manifestations of God's displeasure, so as to be in deep distress, and so as not to know where to find relief. These words affliction and anguish are often connected; Romans 8:35.

Upon every soul of man - Upon all people. In Hebrew the word "soul" often denotes the man himself. But still, the apostles, by the use of this word here, meant perhaps to signify that the punishment should not be corporeal, but afflicting the soul. It should be a spiritual punishment, a punishment of mind. (Ambrose. See Tholuck.)

Of the Jew first - Having stated the general principle of the divine administration, he comes now to make the application. To the principle there could be no objection. And the apostle now shows that it was applicable to the Jew as well as the Greek, and to the Jew pre-eminently. It was applicable first, or in an eminent degree, to the Jew, because,

(1) He had been especially favored with light and knowledge on all these subjects.

(2) these principles were fully stated in his own Law, and were in strict accordance with all the teaching of the prophets; see the note at Romans 2:6; also Psalm 7:11; Psalm 9:17; Psalm 139:19; Proverbs 14:32.

Of the Gentile - That is, of all who were not Jews. On what principles God will inflict punishment on them, he states in Romans 2:12-16. It is clear that this refers to the future punishment of the wicked, for,

(1) It stands in contrast with the eternal life of those who seek for glory Romans 2:7. If this description of the effect of sin refers to this life, then the effects spoken of in relation to the righteous refer to this life also. But in no place in the Scriptures is it said that people experience all the blessings of eternal life in this world; and the very supposition is absurd.

(2) it is not true that there is a just and complete retribution to every man, according to his deeds, in this life. Many of the wicked are prospered in life, and "there are no bands in their death, but their strength is firm;" Psalm 73:4. Many of the righteous pine in poverty and want and affliction, and die in the flames of persecution. Nothing is more clear than there is not in this life a full and equitable distribution of rewards and punishments; and as the proposition, of the apostle here is, that God will render to every man according to his deeds Romans 2:6, it follows that this must be accomplished in another world.

(3) the Scriptures uniformly affirm, that for the very things specified here, God will consign people to eternal death; 2 Thessalonians 1:8, "In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction," etc.; 1 Peter 4:17. We may remark also, that there could be no more alarming description of future suffering than is specified in this passage. It is indignation; it is wrath; it is tribulation; it is anguish which the sinner is to endure forever. Truly people exposed to this awful doom should be alarmed, and should give diligence to escape from the woe which is to come.

10. to the Jew first—first in perdition if unfaithful; but if obedient to the truth, first in salvation (Ro 2:10). Peace; what he called immortality, Romans 2:7, he now calls peace; which word, according to the usual acceptation of it amongst the Hebrews, is comprehensive of all good and happiness, both here and hereafter.

To the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; as the ungodly and unbelieving Jews shall have the first place in punishment, so those that believe and are godly amongst them shall have the first place in reward, though yet, for the reason mentioned in the next verse, the godly and believing Gentiles shall share with them therein. But glory, honour, and peace,.... Which are so many words for the everlasting happiness of the saints; which is a "crown of glory that fadeth not away" 1 Peter 5:4); an honour exceeding that of the greatest potentates upon earth, since such that enjoy it will be kings and priests, and sit with Christ on his throne to all eternity; and is a peace that passes all understanding: all which will be rendered

to every man that doth good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; which none without Christ, and his grace, and by the strength of nature, does, or can do; not that good works are causes of salvation, but are testimonies of faith, and fruits of grace, with which salvation is connected, whether they be found in Jews or Gentiles; for neither grace nor salvation are peculiar to any nation, or set of people.

But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Romans 2:10 f. εἰρήνη is probably = שָׁלוֹם, a comprehensive term, rather = salvation, than peace in any narrower sense. The Jew still comes first, but it is only order that is involved: the same principle underlies the judgment for Jew and Gentile. It would amount to προσωπολημψία in God, if He made a difference in the Jew’s favour because of his birth, or because he possessed the law. This is expanded in Romans 2:12-16 : mere possession of the law does not count. Men are judged according to their works, whether they have or have not had such a special revelation of the Divine will as was given to Israel.10. glory, honour, and peace] A beautiful return to the thought of Romans 2:7, as if out of an abundance of inspired love and hope. “Peace” may here bear a special reference to the peace of acceptance, of which the Epistle is to say so much. Not that this would exclude the larger meaning of all safety and happiness.

to the Jew first] See on Romans 1:16.Romans 2:10. Δόξα δἐ καὶ τιμὴ, but glory and honour. Glory, originating in the Divine good pleasure; honour, originating in the reward bestowed by God; and peace, for the present and for ever. For the δὲ, but, expresses the opposition between wrath, and glory; indignation, and honour; affliction and anxiety [tribulation and anguish], and peace. Comp. ch. Romans 3:17; Romans 3:16, of which catalogue the joys are viewed, as they proceed from God; the sorrows as they are felt by man; for the latter are put absolutely in the nominative, while the former, on the contrary, are put in the accusative in Romans 2:7, as being such things, as God bestows. But why are honour and sorrow set in opposition to each other, since disgrace is the converse of honour, sorrow of pleasure? Ans.: In this passage, we must carefully attend to the word ἐιρήνη, peace, which is here opposed to sorrow, that is to say, to tribulation and anguish. But at Isaiah 65:13, joy (and honour) is opposed to shame (and grief), each of the two parts of the sentence being expressed in abbreviated form, and requiring to be supplied from its own opposite. Besides, in the classification of goods, honour is the highest good, and, in the classification of punishments, sorrow is the greatest punishment; and the highest degree on the one side, including all below it, is opposed to the highest degree on the other; so we have glorying and woe, 1 Corinthians 9:16.Verses 10, 11. - But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (literally, Greek, as before): for there is no respect of persons with God (cf. Acts 10:34). This, with what follows, is important, as bringing out in a striking way the clear doctrine of the New Testament that the Jews had no monopoly of Divine favour with respect to final salvation. Whatever advantages certain races of mankind seem undoubtedly to have above others in this world (and that this has been, and is so, with other races as well as the Jews is obvious), all men are described as standing on an exactly equal footing at the bar of eternal equity.
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