They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They are together become unprofitable.—Here the adjective is used to express a state of moral corruption and depravity. “Together” means “altogether;” “the whole mass of mankind, with one consent, has fallen to ruin.”
They are together - They have at the same time; or they have equally become unprofitable. They are as one; they are joined, or united in this declension. The expression denotes union, or similarity.
Become unprofitable - This word in Hebrew means to become "putrid" and "offensive," like fruit that is spoiled. In Arabic, it is applied to "milk" that becomes sour. Applied to moral subjects, it means to become corrupt and useless. They are of no value in regard to works of righteousness.They are all gone out of the way: viz. of truth, or life: see Psalm 14:3 36:4 58:3. This doth illustrate thee former charge.
They are together become unprofitable; unuseful, and, which is more noisome, fit only for the dunghill, as the word signifies: this follows also in Psalm 14:1-7 see Job 15:16.
There is none that doeth good, no, not one; the same as Romans 3:10, though more exactly according to the words of the Psalm, where also it is twice repeated: see Psalm 14:1,3. Psalm 14:3; it is said, "they are all gone aside"; as persons in debt: man had a considerable stock of righteousness, holiness, knowledge, &c. but he has run through all, has contracted large and numerous debts, has been obliged to hide himself, has been used as a bankrupt, and turned out of house and home: Christ indeed has undertook to pay, and he has paid all the debts of his people; and has put them into a better state than ever Adam was in: in Psalm 53:3, it is rendered, "everyone of them is gone back"; that is, from God; from his commands, and from their former state and condition: here the phrase is rendered by the apostle, "they are all gone out of the way": that is, out of the way of God and his precepts, out of the way of holiness and righteousness, of light and life; into their own ways, the ways of sin, Satan, and the world of darkness, and of death: so Aben Ezra explains it, "out of the right way"; Kimchi and Ben Melech paraphrase it, "out of the good way: and so"
they are together become unprofitable; the word in Psalm 14:3 and Psalm 53:3; is translated, "they are become filthy"; which R. Aben Ezra interprets by "they are corrupt"; and R. Solomon Jarchi by , "they are turned to corruption"; the metaphor is taken from stinking flesh, which is tainted and corrupted, and so good for nothing, hence here rendered "unprofitable"; for so men being corrupted by sin, are of no use, service, and advantage to God, to men, or to themselves; but, on the contrary, nauseous to God, and to all that are good, and hurtful to themselves and others: for
there is none that does good, no, not one; and therefore must be unprofitable. There is none that can do good in a spiritual manner, without the grace of God, strength from Christ, and the assistance of the Spirit; and there is not even a spiritual man, that can do good perfectly, and without sin.They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Romans 3:12. ἠχρεώθησαν is the LXX rendering of נֶאֱלָחוּ, which means “to become sour,” “to turn” (of milk): one and all they have become good for nothing. χρηστότητα usually signifies kindness, and so it is rendered in 2 Corinthians 6:6, Ephesians 2:7, Colossians 3:12, Titus 3:4 (cf. Romans 2:4; Romans 11:22 : goodness): here it answers to Hebrew טוֹב and means “good”. οὐκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός, non est usque ad unum (Vulg.), which may be even more exactly given in the Scottish idiom: there is not the length of one.Romans 3:12. Ἐξέκλιναν, they have turned aside) they have gone out of the way. Declension supposes, that all had formerly been in the right path.—ἅμα, together) at the same time.—ἠχρειώθησαν. They have become unprofitable) They have not the power of returning to do good. And on the contrary, in all these particulars they cling to what is evil, either secretly, or even openly. They have become unfit for any useful purpose (ἀχρεῖοι). The conjugate word χρηστότης presently after follows.
Only here in the New Testament: Together carries forward the all. The Hebrew of the Psalm means have become corrupt. The Greek word is to become useless. Compare John 15:6.
Only in Paul's writings. The radical idea of the word is profitableness. Compare have become unprofitable. Hence it passes readily into the meaning of wholesomeness. See on Matthew 11:30. It is opposed by Paul to ἀποτομία abruptness, severity (Romans 11:22). It is rendered kindness in Ephesians 2:7; Colossians 3:12; Galatians 5:22. Paul, and he only, also uses ἀγαθωσύνη for goodness. The distinction as drawn out by Jerome is that ἀγαθωσύνη represents a sterner virtue, showing itself in a zeal for truth which rebukes, corrects, and chastises, as Christ when He purged the temple. Χρηστότης is more gentle, gracious, and kindly Bishop Lightfoot defines it as a kindly disposition to one's neighbor, not necessarily taking a practical form, while ἀγαθωσύνη energizes the χρηστότης.
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