Romans 9:5
Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) The fathers.—The patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Who is over all, God blessed for ever.—These words are a well-known subject for controversy. Trinitarian and English interpreters, as a rule, take them with the punctuation of the Authorised version, as referring to Christ. Socinian interpreters, with some of the most eminent among the Germans, put a full stop after “came,” and make the remainder of the verse a doxology addressed to God, “Blessed for ever be God, who is over all.” Both ways are possible. The question is, Which is the most natural and probable? and this is to be considered, putting altogether on one side prepossessions of every kind. We are not to read meaning into Scripture, but to elicit meaning from it. The balance of the argument stands thus:—(1) The order of the words is somewhat in favour of the application to Christ. If the clause had really been a formal doxology, the ascription of blessing would more naturally have come at the beginning in Greek as in English, “Blessed be God,” &c. (2) The context is also somewhat in favour of this application. The break in the form of the sentence becomes rather abrupt on the other hypothesis, and is not to be quite paralleled. Intruded doxologies, caused by a sudden access of pious feeling, are not uncommon in the writings of St. Paul, but they are either worked into the regular order of the sentence, as in Romans 1:25, Galatians 1:5, or else they are formally introduced as in 2Corinthians 11:31; 1Timothy 1:17. (3) But on the other hand, to set somewhat decidedly against this application, is the fact that the words used by the Apostle, “Who is over all,” and the ascription of blessing in all other places where they occur, are referred, not to Christ, but to God. (Comp. Romans 1:25; 2Corinthians 1:3; 2Corinthians 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 4:6.) There is, indeed, a doxology addressed to Christ in 2Timothy 4:18; it should, however, be remembered that the Pauline origin of that Epistle has been doubted by some, though it is also right to add that these doubts do not appear to have any real validity. The title “God” does not appear to be elsewhere applied to our Lord by St. Paul, though all the attributes of Godhead are ascribed to Him: e.g., in Philippians 2:6 et seq., Colossians 1:15 et seq. In 1Timothy 3:16, which would be an apparent exception, the true reading is, * Who was manifested,” and not “God was manifested.” On the other hand, St. John certainly makes use of this title, not only in John 1:1; John 20:28, but also in the reading, adopted by many, of John 1:18, “God only begotten” for “Only begotten Son.” Weighing the whole of the arguments against each other, the data do not seem to be sufficient to warrant a positive and dogmatic conclusion either way. The application to our Lord appears perhaps a little the more probable of the two. More than this cannot be said. Nor is a stronger affirmation warranted by any considerations resting on the division of authorities.

Romans 9:5. Whose, &c. — To the preceding the apostle now adds two more prerogatives: theirs are the fathers — They are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the ancient patriarchs, and other holy men, who were great in the sight of God, and to whom he made many great and precious promises, in which their children also and children’s children were interested. And of whom — Of which Israelites; as concerning the flesh — That is, in respect of his human nature; Christ — The expected Messiah; — came. This plainly supposes another nature in Christ, according to which he came not from the Israelites. And this can be none other but the divine nature; which, in the sequel of the verse, is expressly attributed to him. The apostle reserves the mention of Christ’s descent from the Jews for the last of their prerogatives, as being the greatest of them all: who is over all, God, &c. — The apostle gives this, so highly honourable a testimony to Christ, because he was so vilified by the Jews; thus making up that great breach, so to speak, which they had made on his name and honour by their unbelief, and wicked rejection of him. He is said to be over all, 1st, Because, as he was God-Man and Mediator, all power was given unto him in heaven and on earth, Matthew 28:18; all things delivered into his hands, and put under his feet, John 3:35; 1 Corinthians 15:27; the Father giving him a name above every name, Php 2:9; and constituting him his great plenipotentiary, to transact all things relating to the whole creation, especially angels and men; to settle the affairs of heaven and earth for eternity. And more especially, 2d, Because as God, possessed of true, essential deity, he was in union with his Father and the Holy Spirit, supreme over all, and consequently blessed for ever — Which words he adds to show, that a far different measure from that which the Jews had hitherto measured out unto Christ, was due to him from them, as from all other men. No words can more clearly express his divine, supreme majesty, and his gracious sovereignty over both Jews and Gentiles. The apostle closes all with the word, amen — An expression commonly used for a serious confirmation of what is said immediately before, together with an approbation of it; sometimes also importing a desire for the performance thereof. Some would persuade us that the true reading of this clause is, ων ο επι παντων θεος, whose is the God over all; because by this reading, they say, the climax is completed; and the privilege in which the Jews gloried above all others, (namely, that of having the true God for their God,) is not omitted. “But as this reading,” says Macknight, “is found in no copy whatever, it ought not to be admitted on conjecture.” Thus also Doddridge: “How ingenious soever that conjecture may be thought, by which some would read this, whose is the God over all, to answer to, whose are the fathers, I think it would be extremely dangerous to follow this reading, unsupported as it is by any critical authority of manuscripts or ancient quotations. Nor can I find any authority for rendering Θεος ευλογητος εις τους αιωνας, God be blessed for ever. I must, therefore, consider this memorable text as a proof of Christ’s proper deity, which, I think, the opposers of that doctrine have never been able, nor will ever be able to answer. Though common sense must teach, what Christians have always believed, that it is not with respect to the Father, but to the created world that this august title is given to him:” that is, that he is said to be God over all.9:1-5 Being about to discuss the rejection of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles, and to show that the whole agrees with the sovereign electing love of God, the apostle expresses strongly his affection for his people. He solemnly appeals to Christ; and his conscience, enlightened and directed by the Holy Spirit, bore witness to his sincerity. He would submit to be treated as accursed, to be disgraced, crucified; and even for a time be in the deepest horror and distress; if he could rescue his nation from the destruction about to come upon them for their obstinate unbelief. To be insensible to the eternal condition of our fellow-creatures, is contrary both to the love required by the law, and the mercy of the gospel. They had long been professed worshippers of Jehovah. The law, and the national covenant which was grounded thereon, belonged to them. The temple worship was typical of salvation by the Messiah, and the means of communion with God. All the promises concerning Christ and his salvation were given to them. He is not only over all, as Mediator, but he is God blessed for ever.Whose are the fathers - Who have been honored with so illustrious an ancestry. Who are descended from Abraham, Isaac, etc. On this they highly valued themselves, and in a certain sense not unjustly; compare Matthew 3:9.

Of whom - Of whose nation. This is placed as the crowning and most exalted privilege, that their nation had given birth to the long-expected Messiah, the hope of the world.

As concerning the flesh - So far as his human nature was concerned. The use of this language supposes that there was a higher nature in respect to which he was not of their nation; see the note at Romans 1:3.

Christ came - He had already come; and it was their high honor that he was one of their nation.

Who is over all - This is an appellation that belongs only to the true God. It implies supreme divinity; and is full proof that the Messiah is divine: Much effort has been made to show that this is not the true rendering, but without success. There are no various readings in the Greek manuscripts of any consequence; and the connection here evidently requires us to understand this of a nature that is not "according to the flesh," i. e., as the apostle here shows, of the divine nature.

God blessed forever - This is evidently applied to the Lord Jesus; and it proves that he is divine. If the translation is fairly made, and it has never been proved to be erroneous, it demonstrates that he is God as well as man. The doxology "blessed forever" was usually added by the Jewish writers after the mention of the name God, as an expression of reverence. (See the various interpretations that have been proposed on this passage examined in Prof. Stuart's Notes on this verse.)

5. Whose are the fathers—here, probably, the three great fathers of the covenant—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—by whom God condescended to name Himself (Ex 8:6, 13; Lu 20:37).

and—most exalted privilege of all, and as such, reserved to the last.

of whom as concerning the flesh—(See on [2238]Ro 1:3).

Christ came—or, "is Christ"

who is over all, God—rather, "God over all."

blessed for ever. Amen—To get rid of the bright testimony here borne to the supreme divinity of Christ, various expedients have been adopted: (1) To place a period, either after the words "concerning the flesh Christ came," rendering the next clause as a doxology to the Father—"God who is over all be blessed for ever"; or after the word "all"—thus, "Christ came, who is over all: God be blessed.", &c. [Erasmus, Locke, Fritzsche, Meyer, Jowett, &c.]. But it is fatal to this view, as even Socinus admits, that in other Scripture doxologies the word "Blessed" precedes the name of God on whom the blessing is invoked (thus: "Blessed be God," Ps 68:35; "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel," Ps 72:18). Besides, any such doxology here would be "unmeaning and frigid in the extreme"; the sad subject on which he was entering suggesting anything but a doxology, even in connection with Christ's Incarnation [Alford]. (2) To transpose the words rendered "who is"; in which case the rendering would be, "whose (that is, the fathers') is Christ according to the flesh" [Crellius, Whiston, Taylor, Whitby]. But this is a desperate expedient, in the face of all manuscript authority; as is also the conjecture of Grotius and others, that the word "God" should be omitted from the text. It remains then, that we have here no doxology at all, but a naked statement of fact, that while Christ is "of" the Israelitish nation "as concerning the flesh," He is, in another respect, "God over all, blessed for ever." (In 2Co 11:31 the very Greek phrase which is here rendered "who is," is used in the same sense; and compare Ro 1:25, Greek). In this view of the passage, as a testimony to the supreme divinity of Christ, besides all the orthodox fathers, some of the ablest modern critics concur [Bengel, Tholuck, Stuart, Olshausen, Philippi, Alford, &c.]

Whose are the fathers; who are lineally descended of the holy patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with other holy fathers and prophets, and of the same blood. This was also a great privilege, of which the Jews boasted.

Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came; or out of whom; understand the people of the Jews, not the fathers. The meaning is, Christ took his human nature of their stock. It is the great honour of mankind, that Christ took not the nature of angels, but of man; and it is a great honour to the nation of the Jews, that he took the seed of Abraham their father.

Who is over all, God blessed for ever; this is the fullest place to express the two natures that are in the person of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ; he was God as well as man: yea, this is the title by which the one and supreme God was known amongst the Jews. Whose are the fathers,.... Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; for, according to the (a) Jewish writers,

"they call none in Israel "fathers", but three, and they are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and they call none "mothers" but four, and they are, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah:''

their descent from these fathers was a privilege, though they valued themselves too highly upon it; but what was the crown and glory of all, and which they took the least, though the apostle took the most notice of, is,

and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came; that is, either of the fathers, or of the Israelites, from whom Christ, according to his human nature, sprung; being a son of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of David, and the son of Mary; hence the Messiah is called , "the Messiah or Christ of Israel" (b):

who is described as

over all, angels and men, being the creator, upholder, and governor of them; and as having another nature, a divine one, being

God, truly and properly God,

blessed for evermore; in himself, and to be blessed and praised by all creatures. The apostle alludes to that well known periphrastic name of God so much used by the Jews, , "the holy, blessed God"; to which, by way of assent and confirmation, the apostle puts his

Amen. Now all these particular privileges are mentioned by him, as what heightened his concern for these people; it filled him with heaviness and sorrow of heart, when he considered, that persons who had been partakers of such favours, and especially the last, that the Messiah should spring from them, be born of them, and among them, and yet that they should be given up to ruin and destruction.

(a) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 16. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (b) Targum in Isaiah 16.1, 5. Mic. iv. 8.

Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, {2} who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

(2) Or, who is God over all, blessed for ever. A most manifest testimony of the Godhead and divinity of Christ.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 9:5. Now, after that first relative sentence with its six theocratic distinctions, two other relative clauses introduce the mutually correlative persons, on whom the sacred-historical calling of Israel was based and was to reach its accomplishment.

οἱ πατέρες] Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are per excellentiam the patriarchs, Exodus 3:13; Exodus 3:15; Exodus 4:5; Acts 3:13; Acts 7:32.

καὶ ἐξ ὧν κ.τ.λ.] The last and highest distinction of the Israelites: and from whom Christ descends, namely, according to the human phenomenal nature, as a human phenomenon, apart from the spiritually-divine side of His personality, according to which He is not from the Jews, but (as υἱὸς Θεοῦ κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης, Romans 1:4) is ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ. Regarded in the light of His supernatural generation, He would be also κατὰ σάρκα of God. Comp. Clem. Cor. Romans 1:32 : ἐξ αὐτοῦ ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς τὸ κατὰ σάρκα. On the article τὸ κ. ς., see Heind. ad Gorg. p. 228; Buttm. neut. Gr. p. 84. The καὶ before ἐξ ὧν forbids the reference of the latter to οἱ πατέρες.

ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογ. εἰς τ. αἰῶνας] This passage, which has become of dogmatic importance, has received two different leading interpretations, by the side of which yet a third way, namely, by taking to pieces the relative sentence, came to be suggested. (1) The words are referred (placing a comma after σάρκα) to Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever. So, substantially, Irenaeus (Haer. iii. 16. 3), Tertullian (adv. Prax. § 13, p. 2101, ed. Seml.), Origen, Cyprian, Epiphanius, Athanasius, Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Augustine, Jerome, Theodoret, and later Fathers; Luther, Erasmus, Paraphr., Flacius, Calvin, Beza, and most of the older expositors; and of the later, Michaelis, Koppe, Tholuck, Flatt, Klee, Usteri, Benecke, Olshausen, Nielsen, Reithmayr, Maier, Beck, Philippi, Bisping, Gess, Krummacher, Jatho, Hahn, Thomasius, Ebrard, Ritschl, Hofmann, Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 306, Delitzsch, and others; in a peculiar fashion also, Herm. Schultz (see below); de Wette is undecided. (2) The words are regarded (placing a period after σάρκα, as do Lachm. and Tisch.) as a doxology to God, isolated from the foregoing: “Blessed for ever be the God who is over all.” So none of the Fathers (as to those erroneously adduced by Wetstein, see Fritzsche, p. 262 ff.), at least not expressly; but Erasmus in his Annot., Wetstein, Semler, Stolz, and several others, and recently Reiche, Köllner, Winzer, Fritzsche, Glöckler, Schrader, Krehl, Ewald, van Hengel, and, though not fully decided, Rückert. See also Baur, II. p. 231; Zeller, in the Theol. Jahrb. 1842, p. 51; Räbiger, Christol. Paul. p. 26 f.; Beyschlag, Christol. p. 210. Now the decision, which of the two leading interpretations fits the meaning of the apostle, cannot be arrived at from the language used, since, so far as the words go, both may be equally correct; nor yet from the immediate connection, since with equal reason Paul might (by no means: must, against which is the analogy of Romans 9:3; and the divine in Christ did not belong here, as in Romans 1:3, necessarily to the connection) feel himself induced to set over-against the human side of the being of Jesus its divine side (as in Romans 1:3), or might be determined by the recital of the distinctions of his nation to devote a doxology to God, the Author of these privileges, who therefore was not responsible for the deeply-lamented unbelief of the Jews; just as he elsewhere, in peculiar excited states of piety, introduces a giving glory to God (Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:5; comp. 1 Timothy 1:17). Observe, rather, with a view to a decision, the following considerations: Although our passage, referred to Christ, would term Him not ὁ Θεός, but (who is God over all) only Θεός predicatively (without the article), and although Paul, by virtue of his essential agreement in substance with the Christology of John, might have affirmed, just as appropriately as the latter (Romans 1:1), the predicative Θεός (of divine essence) of Christ, because Christ is also in Paul’s view the Son of God in a metaphysical sense, the image of God, of like essence with the Father, the agent in creation and preservation, the partaker in the divine government of the world, the judge of all, the object of prayerful invocation, the possessor of divine glory and fulness of grace (Romans 1:4, Romans 10:12; Php 2:6; Colossians 1:15 ff; Colossians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20 ff.; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 8:9); yet Paul has never used the express Θεός of Christ, since he has not adopted, like John, the Alexandrian form of conceiving and setting forth the divine essence of Christ, but has adhered to the popular concrete, strictly monotheistic terminology, not modified by philosophical speculation even for the designation of Christ; and he always accurately distinguishes God and Christ; see, in opposition to such obscure and erroneous intermingling of ideas, Rich. Schmidt, Paulin. Christol. p. 149 ff. John himself calls the divine nature of Christ Θεός only in the introduction of his Gospel, and only in the closest connection with the Logos-speculation. And thus there runs through the whole N. T. a delicate line of separation between the Father and the Son; so that, although the divine essence and glory of the latter is glorified with the loftiest predicates in manifold ways, nevertheless it is only the Father, to whom the Son is throughout subordinated, and never Christ, who is actually called God by the apostles (with the exception of John 1:1, and the exclamation of Thomas, John 20:28)—not even in 1 John 5:20. Paul, particularly, even where he accumulates and strains to the utmost expressions concerning the Godlike nature of the exalted Christ (as Php 2:6 ff.; Colossians 1:15 ff; Colossians 2:9), does not call Him Θεός, but sharply and clearly distinguishes Him as the ΚΎΡΙΟς from ΘΕΌς, even in Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3 (in opposition to Ritschl, Altkath. K. p. 79 f.). The post-apostolical period (and not at all 2 Peter 1:1, see Huther) first obliterated this fine line of separation, and often denominated Christ Θεός, ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, and the like. So, e.g., already several of the Ignatian epistles in the shorter recension (not those ad Magnes., ad Philadelph., ad Trall., not even chap. 7) and the so-called second epistle—not the first—of Clement, nor the epistle of Polycarp. In the closest internal connection herewith stands the fact, that in the properly apostolical writings (2 Peter 3:18 does not belong to them, nor does Hebrews 13:21) we never meet with a doxology to Christ in the form which is usual with doxologies to God (not even in 1 Peter 4:11); therefore, in this respect also, the present passage would stand to the apostolic type in the relation of a complete anomaly. Besides, the insuperable difficulty would be introduced, that here Christ would be called not merely and simply Θεός, but even God over all, and consequently would be designated as Θεὸς παντοκράτωρ, which is absolutely incompatible with the entire view of the N. T. as to the dependence of the Son on the Father (see Gess, v. d. Pers. Chr. p. 157 ff.; Kahnis, Dogm. I. p. 457 ff.), and especially with passages like Romans 8:34 (ἐντυγχάνει), 1 Corinthians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 4:5-6, and notably 1 Corinthians 15:28. Accordingly, the doxology of our passage cannot be referred to Christ, but must be referred to God; although Philippi continues of opinion that the former reference has all in its favour and nothing against it. On the other hand, Tholuck (see also Schmid, bibl. Theol. II. p. 540, ed. 2) does more justice to the objections against the old ecclesiastical interpretation, which Messner also, Lehre d. Ap. p. 236 f., prefers, but only with a certain diffidence; whilst Herm. Schultz (comp. Socinus, in Calovius, p. 153) comes ultimately to a lower acceptation of the notion of Θεός, which is meant not metaphysically, but only designates the fulness of power committed to Christ for behoof of His work, and excludes neither dependence and coming into being, nor beginning and end. Against the latter suggestion it may be decisively urged, that thus characteristics are attached to the notion Θεός, which, compared with the current Pauline mode of expression, directly annul it, and make it interchangeable with κύριος, as Paul uses it of Christ (Ephesians 4:5-6; Php 2:11; 5. the fathers] Cp. Romans 11:28. The reference is probably specially to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But David is also “the patriarch David;” Acts 2:29.—These sacred Persons are now mentioned, after the previous sacred Things, so as to usher in the mention of the Christ Himself.

of whom] out of whom; not merely “whose,” as in previous clauses; perhaps to keep the thought in view that He was not exclusively for Israel, though wholly of Israel.

as concerning the flesh] In respect of His human Parent’s descent He also was Jewish. His blessed Humanity was indeed, on the Paternal side, “of God;” (Meyer;) but this distinction is not in view here, where the plain meaning is that, by human parentage, He was Jewish.

who is over all, God blessed for ever] The Gr. may (with more or less facility) be translated, (1) as in E. V.; or (2) who is God over all, &c.;” or (3) blessed for ever [be] the God who is over all. Between (1) and (2) the practical difference is slight, but (1) is the easier and safer grammatically: between (3) and the others the difference is, of course, complete. If we adopt (3) we take the Apostle to be led, by the mention of the Incarnation, to utter a sudden doxology to the God who gave that crowning mercy. In favour of this view it is urged, (not only by Socinian commentators and the like, but by some of the orthodox, as Meyer,) that St Paul nowhere else styles the Lord simply “God;” but always rather “the Son of God,” &c. By this they do not mean to deny or detract from the Lord’s Deity, but they maintain that St Paul always so states that Deity, under Divine guidance, as to mark the “Subordination of the Son”—that Subordination which is not a difference of Nature, Power, or Eternity, but of Order; just such as is marked by the simple but profound words Father and Son.—But on the other hand there is Titus 2:13, where the Gr. is (at least) perfectly capable of the rendering “our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” And if, as St John is witness, it is divinely true that “the Word is God,” it is surely far from wonderful if here and there, in peculiar connexions, an equally inspired Teacher should so speak of Christ, even though guided to keep another side of the truth habitually in view. Now, beyond all fair question, the Greek here (in view of the usual order of words in ascriptions of praise) is certainly best rendered as in E. V.: had it not been for controversy, probably, no other rendering would have been suggested. And lastly, the context far rather suggests a lament (over the fall of Israel) than an ascription of praise; while it also pointedly suggests some allusion to the super-human Nature of Christ, by the words “according to the flesh.” But if there is such an allusion, then it must lie in the words “over all, God.”—We thus advocate the rendering of the E. V., as clearly the best grammatically, and the best suited to the context.—Observe lastly that while St John (John 1:1; John 20:28; and perhaps John 1:18, where E. V. “Son;”) uses the word God of Christ, and in John 12:41 distinctly implies that He is Jehovah, (Isaiah 6:5,) yet his Gospel is quite as full of the Filial Subordination as of the Filial Deity and Co-equality. So that the words of St Paul here are scarcely more exceptional in him than they would be in St John.

for ever] Lit. unto the ages; the familiar phrase for endless duration, under all possible developements, where God and the other world are in question.

Amen] The word is properly a Hebrew adverb (“surely”), repeatedly used as here in O. T. See e.g. Deuteronomy 27:15; Psalm 72:19; Jeremiah 11:5 (marg. E. V.).Romans 9:5. Ὧν οἱ πατέρες, κ.τ.λ.) whose are the fathers, etc. Baumgarten has both written a dissertation on this passage, and has added it to his Exposition of this Epistle. All, that is of importance to me in it, I have explained im Zeugniss, p. 157, etc. (ed. 1748), [c. 11, 28].—καὶ ἐξ ὧν, and of whom, i.e. of the Israelites, Acts 3:22. To the six privileges of the Israelites lately mentioned are added the seventh and eighth, respecting the fathers, and respecting the Messiah Himself. Israel is a noble and a holy people.—ὁ ὤν) i.e. ὅς ἐστι, but the participle has a more narrow meaning. Artemonius with great propriety proves from the grief of Paul, that there is no doxology in this passage: Part I. cap. 42; but at the same time he along with his associates contends, that Paul wrote ὧν ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, Θεὸς, κ.τ.λ. So that there may be denoted in the passage this privilege of the Israelites, that the Lord is their God; and he interprets the clause, ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, thus: that this privilege is the greatest of all the honours conferred upon Israel. But such an interpretation of the ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, with which comp. Ephesians 4:6 (that we may remove this out of our way in the first place), implies a meaning, which owes its birth merely to the support of an hypothesis, and which requires to be expressed rather by a phrase of this sort; τὸ δὴ πάντων μεῖζον. The conjecture itself, ὧν ὁ, carries with it an open violation of the text. For I. it dissevers τὸ κατὰ σάρκα from the antithetic member of the sentence, κατὰ πνεῦμα,[109] which is usually everywhere mentioned [expressed]. II. It at the same time divides the last member of the enumeration [of the catalogue of privileges], before which καὶ, and, is suitably placed, καὶ ἐξ ὧν, κ.τ.λ. into two members, and in the second of these the conjunction is by it harshly suppressed.

[109] i.e., according to His divine nature. The words ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων θεός are equivalent to κατὰ πνεῦμα, and form a plain antithesis to τὸ κατὰ σάρκα = His human nature.—ED.

Artemonius objects: I. Christ is nowhere in the sacred Scriptures expressly called God. Ans. Nowhere? Doubtless because Artemonius endeavours to get rid of all those passages either by proposing a different reading, or by a different mode of interpretation. He himself admits, that too many proofs of one thing ought not to be demanded, page 225. In regard to the rest, see note on John 1:1. He objects, II. If Paul wrote ὁ ὤν, he omitted the principal privilege of the Israelites, that God, who is the Best and Greatest of all, was their God. Ans. The adoption and the glory had consisted in that very circumstance; therefore he did not omit it; nor is that idea, the Lord is the God of Israel, ever expressed in these words, Thine, O Israel, is God blessed for ever. He urges further; Christ is included even in the covenants, and yet Paul presently after makes mention of Christ; how much more would he be likely to make mention of God the Father Himself? Ans. The reason in the case of Christ for His being mentioned does not equally hold good in the case of God. Paul mentions in the order of time all the privileges of Israel (the fathers being by the way [incidentally] joined with Christ). He therefore mentions Christ, as He was manifested [last in order of time]; but it was not necessary that that should be in like manner mentioned of God. Moreover, Christ was in singularly near relationship to the Israelites; but God was also the God of the Gentiles, ch. Romans 3:29 : and it was not God, but Christ, whom the Jews rejected more openly. What? In the very root of the name Israel, and therefore of the Israelites, to which the apostle refers, Romans 9:4; Romans 9:6, the name El, God, is found. He objects, III. The style of the Fathers disagrees with this opinion: nay, the false Ignatius [pseudoignatius] reckons among the ministers of Satan those, who said, that Jesus Himself is God over all. Ans. By this phrase, he has somewhat incautiously described the Sabellians, and next to them he immediately places the Artemonites in the same class. In other respects the fathers often apply the phraseology of Paul respecting Christ to the Father, and by that very circumstance prove the true force of that phraseology [as expressing Divinity]; and yet the apostle is superior to [should have more weight than] the fathers. Wolfius refutes Artemonius at great length in vol. ii. Curar. ad N. T., p. 802, etc.—ἐπὶ πάντων, over all) The Father is certainly excepted, 1 Corinthians 15:27. Christ is of the fathers, according to the flesh; and at the same time was, is, and shall be over all, inasmuch as He is God blessed for ever. Amen! The same praise is ascribed to the Father and the Son, 2 Corinthians 11:31. Over all, which is antithetic to, of whom, shows both the pre-existence (προὗπαρξιν) of Christ before the fathers, in opposition to His descent from the fathers according to the flesh, and His infinite majesty and dominion full of grace over Jews and Gentiles; comp. as to the phrase, Ephesians 4:6; as to the fact itself, John 8:58; Matthew 22:45. They are quite wrong, who fix the full stop either here [after πάντων], (for the comma may be placed with due respect to religion); for in that case the expression should have been, εὐλογητὸς ὁ θεός [not θεὸς εὐλογητός], if only there had been here any peculiar occasion for such a doxology; or [who fix a full stop] after σάρκα; for in this case τὸ κατὰ σάρκα would be without its proper antithesis [which is, “who in His divine nature is God over all”].—Θεὸς, God) We should greatly rejoice, that in this solemn description Christ is so plainly called God. The apostles, who wrote before John, take for granted the deity of Christ, as a thing acknowledged; whence it is that they do not directly treat of it, but yet when it comes in their way, they mark it in a most glorious manner. Paul, ch. Romans 5:15, had called Jesus Christ man; but he now calls Him God; so also 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:16. The one appellation supports the other.—εὐλογητὸς, blessed) הקבה֞. By this epithet we unite in giving all praise to God, 2 Corinthians 11:31.—εἰς τους αἰῶνας, for ever) [He] Who is above all—for ever, is the first and the last, Revelation 1:17.Of whom (ἐξ ὧν)

From the midst of whom. But in order to guard the point that the reference is only to Christ's human origin, he adds, as concerning the flesh.

Who is over all, God blessed for ever (ὁ ὣν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας)

Authorities differ as to the punctuation; some placing a colon, and others a comma after flesh. This difference indicates the difference in the interpretation; some rendering as concerning the flesh Christ came. God who is over all be blessed for ever; thus making the words God, etc., a doxology: others, with the comma, the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever; i.e., Christ is God (For minor variations see margin of Rev.)

Amen

See on Revelation 1:6.

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