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.
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 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.]