Romans 2:24
For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Through you.Because of you.

As it is written.—From the LXX. version of Isaiah 52:5. The sense of the original is that the name of God is dishonoured by the enslavement and oppression of His people. A nearer parallel in sense, though more remote in words, may be found in 2Samuel 12:14; Ezekiel 36:22-23. The Apostle is not careful as to the particular context from which he draws. He knew that he was giving the substance of Scripture, and he takes the aptest words that occur to him at the moment. Translated into our modern modes of thought, the formula “as it is written” at the end of the verse amounts to little more than “in the language of Scripture.” The intention, as so frequently with St. Paul, seems, as it were, to be divided between proof and illustration.

2:17-24 The apostle directs his discourse to the Jews, and shows of what sins they were guilty, notwithstanding their profession and vain pretensions. A believing, humble, thankful glorying in God, is the root and sum of all religion. But proud, vain-glorious boasting in God, and in the outward profession of his name, is the root and sum of all hypocrisy. Spiritual pride is the most dangerous of all kinds of pride. A great evil of the sins professors is, the dishonour done to God and religion, by their not living according to their profession. Many despise their more ignorant neighbours who rest in a dead form of godliness; yet themselves trust in a form of knowledge, equally void of life and power, while some glory in the gospel, whose unholy lives dishonour God, and cause his name to be blasphemed.The name of God - The name and character of the true God.

Is blasphemed - Note, Matthew 9:3. That is, your conduct is such as to lead the pagan world to blaspheme and reproach both your religion and its Author. By your hypocrisy and crimes the pagan world is led to despise a religion which is observed to have no effect in purifying and restraining its professors; and of course the reproach will terminate on the Author of your religion - that is, the true God. A life of purity would tend to honor religion and its Author; a life of impurity does the reverse. There is no doubt that this was actually the effect of the deportment of the Jews. They were scattered everywhere; everywhere they were corrupt and wicked; and everywhere they and their religion were despised.

Among the Gentiles - In the midst of whom many Jews lived.

Through you - By means of you, or as the result of your conduct. It may mean, that you Jews do it, or profane the name of God; but the connection seems rather to require the former sense.

As it is written - To what place the apostle has reference, cannot be certainly determined. There are two passages in the Old Testament; which will bear on the case, and perhaps he had them both in his view; Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:22-23. The meaning is not that the passages in the Old Testament, referred to by the phrase, "as it is written," had any particular reference to the conduct of the Jews in the time of Paul, but that this had been the character of the people, and the effect of their conduct as a nation, instances of which had been before observed and recorded by the prophets. The same thing has occurred to a most melancholy extentin regard to professed Christian nations. For purposes of commerce, and science, and war, and traffic, people from nations that are nominally Christian have gone into almost every part of the pagan world. But they have not often been real Christians. They have been intent on gain; and have to a melancholy extent been profane, and unprincipled, and profligate people. Yet the pagan have regarded them as Christians; as fair specimens of the effect of the religion of Christ. They have learned therefore, to abuse the name of Christian, and the Author of the Christian religion, as encouraging and promoting profligacy of life. Hence, one reason, among thousands, of the importance of Christian missions to the pagan. It is well to disabuse the pagan world of their erroneous opinions of the tendency of Christianity. It is well to teach them that we do not regard these people as Christians. As we have sent to them the worst part of our population, it is well to send them holy men, who shall exhibit to them the true nature of Christianity, and raise our character in their eyes as a Christian people. And were there no other result of Christian missions, it would be worth all the expense and toil attending them, to raise the national character in the view of the pagan world.

24. as it is written—(See Isa 52:5, Marginal reference). Through you; because of your and your forefathers’ sins.

As it is written: the apostle doth not tell them where it was written; he supposeth they were not ignorant of it: see Isaiah 52:5 Ezekiel 36:20,23. For the name of God is blasphemed,.... The being and perfections of God, such as his holiness, omniscience, and omnipotence, are denied, or evil spoken of; and also the law of God, and the forms of worship instituted by him:

among the Gentiles through you: through their iniquities, who when they observe them, conclude that the God of Israel is not omniscient, or he would know, and take notice of these things; and that he is not holy, or he could not bear them; nor omnipotent, or he would revenge them:

as it is written; the passage or passages referred to are not mentioned, but are perhaps Isaiah 52:5. In the former of these texts the words are, "they that rule over them make them to howl; saith the Lord, and my name continually every day is blasphemed"; which are spoken of the rulers of the people, either of their ecclesiastical or political rulers, or both; and so Aben Ezra interprets them of , "the great men of Israel"; and here by the apostle are applied to their doctors and wise men: and in the latter are these words, "thus saith the Lord God, I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the Heathen"; that is, by their unbecoming walk and conversation, and especially by the disagreeable conduct of their principal men: and the Jews own the same things, and complain of them in much the "same language the apostle here does, saying, "they disgrace the law before the people of the earth, (the common people, or else the Gentiles,) how? a wise man sits and expounds in the congregation, saying, thou shalt not lend upon usury, and he lends upon usury; he says, thou shalt not commit a robbery, and he commits a robbery; he says, , "thou shalt not steal, and he steals": says R. Berechiah, it happened to one man that his cloak was stolen from him, and he went before the judge about it, and he found it spread upon his bed or couch: and, says the same Rabbi, it happened to a certain man that his pot was stolen from him, and he went before the judge about it, and he found it upon his hearth: hence it is said, "as they were increased they sinned against me, therefore will I change their glory into shame", Hosea 4:7 (d).

(d) Debarim Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 236. 2.

For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 2:24. For confirmation of his τὸν θεὸν ἀτιμάζεις Paul subjoins a Scripture quotation, namely Isaiah 52:5, in substance after the LXX., not the far more dissimilar passage Ezekiel 36:22 f. (Calvin, Ewald and others), which, according to Hofmann, he is supposed to express according to the Greek translation of Is. l.c[704] “more convenient” for him. But he applies the quotation in such a way that he makes it his own by the γάρ not found in the original or the LXX.; only indicating by ΚΑΘῺς ΓΈΓΡΑΠΤΑΙ at the close, that he has thus appropriated a passage of Scripture. Hence καθὼς γέγ. is placed at the end, as is never done in the case of express quotations of Scripture. The historical sense[705] of the passage is not here concerned, since Paul has not quoted it as a fulfilled prophecy, though otherwise with propriety in the sense of Romans 3:19.

ΔΙʼ ὙΜᾶς] i.e. on account of your wicked conduct.

βλασφημεῖται ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι] among the Gentiles, inasmuch, namely, as these infer from the immoral conduct of the Jews that they have an unholy God and Lawgiver, and are thereby moved to blaspheme His holy name. Comp Clement, Cor. I. 47.

[704] .c. loco citato or laudato.

[705] It refers to God’s name being dishonoured through the enslaving of the Jews by their tyrants.Romans 2:24. And this is only what Scripture bids us expect. The Scripture quoted is Isaiah 52:5, LXX. The LXX interpret the Hebrew by inserting διʼ ὑμᾶς and ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. Both insertions are in the line of the original meaning. It was owing to the misery and helplessness of the people of God, in exile among the nations, that the heathen scoffed at the Divine name. “The God of Israel is not able to deliver His people: He is no God.” Paul here gives the words quite another turn. God, he says, is now blasphemed among the nations because of the inconsistency between the pretensions of the Jews and their behaviour. As if the heathen were saying: “Like God, like people; what a Divinity the patron of this odious race must be”. It is surely not right to argue (with Sanday and Headlam) that the throwing of the formula of quotation to the end shows that Paul is conscious of quoting freely: “it is almost as if it were an after-thought that the language he has just used is a quotation at all”. The quotation is as relevant as most that the Apostle uses. He never cares for the context or the original application. When he can express himself in Scripture language he feels that he has the Word of God on his side, and all through this epistle he nails his arguments so, and insists on the confirmation they thus obtain. What the closing of the sentence with καθὼς γέγραπται suggests is not that it occurred to Paul after he had finished that he had almost unconsciously been using Scripture: it is rather that there is a challenge in the words, as if he had said, Let him impugn this who dare contest the Word of God.

In Romans 2:25-29 another Jewish plea for preferential treatment in the judgment is considered. The μὲν in Romans 2:25 (περιτομὴ μὲν γὰρ ὠφελεῖ) implies that this plea has no doubt something in it, but it suggests that there are considerations on the other side which in point of fact make it inapplicable or invalid here. It is these considerations which the Apostle proceeds to explain, with a view to clenching the argument that the wrath of God revealed from heaven impends over Jew and Gentile alike.24. as it is written] In Ezekiel 36:20-23. In that passage the special reference is to the evil example of the dispersed Jews of the captivity.Romans 2:24. Τὸ γὰρ ὄνομα) Isaiah 52:5, in the LXX., διʼ ὑμᾶς διὰ παντὸς τὸ ὀνομά μον βλασφημεῖται ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι, through you My name is continually blasphemed among the Gentiles.—Comp. Ezekiel 36:20, etc.—καθὼς γἐγραπται, as it is written) This short clause is fittingly placed at the end, as it refers to a thing evident of itself, but it is set down for the sake of the Jews, ch. Romans 3:19.
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