Romans 3:11
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
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3:9-18 Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness. This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them. Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians. Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes. And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.There is none that understandeth - In the Hebrew Psa 14:2, God is represented as looking down from heaven to see, that is, to make investigation, whether there were any that understood or sought after him. This circumstance gives not only high poetic beauty to the passage, but deep solemnity and awfulness. God, the searcher of hearts, is represented as making investigation on this very point. He looks down from heaven for this very purpose, to ascertain whether there were any righteous. In the Hebrew it is not asserted, though it is clearly and strongly implied, that none such were found. That fact the apostle "states." If, as the result of such an investigation, none were found; if God did not specify that there were any such; then it follows that there were none. For none could escape the notice of his eye; and if there had been any, the benevolence of his heart would have led him to record it. To understand is used in the sense of being wise; or of having such a state of moral feeling as to dispose them to serve and obey God. The word is often used in the Bible, not to denote a mere intellectual operation of the mind, but the state of the heart inclining the mind to obey and worship God; Psalm 107:43; Psalm 119:27, Psalm 119:100; Proverbs 5:5; Isaiah 6:10; "Lest they should understand with their heart," etc.

That seeketh after God - That endeavors to know and do his will, and to be acquainted with his character. A disposition not to seek after God, that is, to neglect and forget him, is one of the most decided proofs of depravity. A righteous man counts it his highest privilege and honor to know God, and to understand his will. A man can indulge in wickedness only by forgetting God. Hence, a disposition "not" to seek God is full proof of depravity.

10-12. As it is written, &c.—(Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3). These statements of the Psalmist were indeed suggested by particular manifestations of human depravity occurring under his own eye; but as this only showed what man, when unrestrained, is in his present condition, they were quite pertinent to the apostle's purpose. There is none that understandeth; a more particular proof of the corruption of the soul, and the faculties thereof; and first of the mind, taken out of the forecited Psalms, which may be compared with the scriptures which speak of the ignorance and blindness of the mind, Deu 32:29 Job 32:9 Isaiah 1:3 Jeremiah 4:22 10:14.

There is none that seeketh after God; a proof of the corruption of the will, which follows also in the forecited Psalms.

There is none that understandeth,.... This is rightly concluded, from what the Psalmist says, Psalm 14:2, "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men", on all the children of men, Jews and Gentiles, "to see if there were any that did understand"; and it appears, upon this survey of them, there was not one understanding person among them: man thinks himself a very wise and understanding creature, though he is born a very ignorant one: true indeed, he has not lost by sin the natural faculty of the understanding, so as to become like the horse and mule, which are without any; and it must be allowed, that natural men have some understanding of things natural, civil, and moral; though there is none that understands even these, as Adam did: but then they have no understanding of things spiritual; no spiritual knowledge of God; no true sense of themselves, their sin and misery; nor do they truly know the way of salvation by Christ; nor have they any experience of the work of the Spirit of God upon their souls; nor any experimental knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel: no man can understand these of himself, by the mere strength of reason, and light of nature; nor can even a spiritual man fully understand them in this life; in consequence of this account and character of men it follows, that

there is none that seeketh after God; that worships him in Spirit and in truth, or prays to him with the Spirit, and with the understanding; who seek him chiefly, and in the first place, with their whole hearts, earnestly, diligently, and constantly; who seek him in Christ, and under the assistance of the Spirit; who seek after the knowledge of God in Christ, communion with him through the Mediator, or his honour and glory.

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Romans 3:11. οὐκ ἔστιν συνίων. For the form (συνίων or συνιῶν), see Winer, p. 97. If we read ὁ συνίων the meaning is, There is no one to understand: if the article (as in the LXX) be omitted, There is no one who has sense.

Romans 3:11. ὀὺκ ἒστιν ὁ συνιῶν, there is none that understandeth) They are without understanding in relation to what is good.—ὀὺκ ἔστιν ὁ ἐκζητῶν, there is none that seeketh after) They are without the will to do good. To seek after, implies that God is מסתתר hidden, Isaiah 45:15.

Romans 3:11Understandeth (συνιῶν)

See on foolish, Romans 1:21.

Seeketh after (ἐκζητῶν)

Lit., seeketh out. See on 1 Peter 1:10.

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