We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Verse 1 - Romans 16:24. - IV. SUPPLEMENTARY. (See summary of contents, p. 16.) Questions have been raised and much discussed as to the connection of the last two chapters, 15. and 16, with the rest of the Epistle. The facts and the opinions founded on them may be summarized as follows.
(1) There is sufficient proof that in early times copies of the Epistle existed without these two chapters. The evidence is this -
(a) Origen (on Romans 16:25-27) speaks of some copies in his time being without the concluding doxology, and also without any part of these two chapters, attributing the omission to Marcion, for his own purposes, having mutilated the Epistle. His words are, "Caput hoc (i.e. Romans 16:25-27) Marcion, a quo scripturae evangelicae et apostolicae interpolatae sunt, de hac Epistola penitus abstulit; et non solum hoe, sod ab hoc loco ubi scriptum est, Omne autem quod non ex fide est peccatum est (i.e. Romans 14:23) usque ad finem cuncta dissecuit." Tertullian also ('Contra Marcion') speaks of Marcion having mutilated this Epistle, though not specifying these two chapters.
(b) In Codex Amiatinus (a manuscript of the Latin Bible of the sixth century) there is a prefixed table of contents, referring by numbers to the sections into which the Epistle was divided, and describing the subject of each section. In this table the fiftieth section is thus described: "On the peril of one who grieves his brother by his meat," plainly denoting Romans 14:15-23; and the next and concluding section is described thus: "On the mystery of the Lord kept secret before his Passion, but after his Passion revealed," which description can only refer to the doxology of Romans 16:25-27. Hence it would seem that in some Latin copy of the Epistle to which the table of contents referred, the doxology followed Romans 14:23 with nothing between.
(c) Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Cyprian. who quote largely from the Epistle, have no references to ch. 15. and 16. It may be observed, however, that mere omission to quote is not in itself conclusive, though it may be corroborative of other evidence.
(2) The concluding doxology (Romans 16:25-27), though placed, as in the Textus Receptus, at the end of ch. 16. in the uncials generally and by the Latin Fathers, is found at the end of ch. 14. in the uncial L, in most cursives, in the Greek Lectionaries, and is so referred to by the Greek commentators. Some few manuscripts have it in both places, and some few omit it altogether. Origen also (loc. cit.) says that in some copies of the Epistle which contained ch. 15. and 16, the doxology was placed at the end of ch. 16, and in others at the end of ch. 14.
(3) In one manuscript (G) all mention of Rome in the Epistle is omitted; and in one cursive (47) there is a marginal note to the effect that "some one" (i.e. probably, some commentator) makes no mention of the words ἐν Ρώμῃ either in the interpretation or the text. In view of these facts, it may be held that the Epistle, as first written, ended at ch. 14. with the doxology appended, ch. 15. and 16. (ending at ver. 24 with the usual concluding benediction, "The grace," etc.) having been an addition. Baur, after his manner - and this partly on supposed internal evidence - disputes the two last chapters having been written by St. Paul at all, regarding them as an addition by a later hand. But his reasons are too arbitrary to stand against the authority of existing manuscripts, to say nothing of the internal evidence itself, which really appears to us to tell the other way. Such internal evidence will appear in the course of the Exposition. One view, put forth by Ruckert, and recently supported by Bishop Lightfoot (Journal of Philology, 1871, No. 6), is that St. Paul, having originally written the whole Epistle, including the two chapters, but without the doxology, reissued it at a later period of his life in a shortened form for general circulation, having then appended the doxology. This theory, however, is but a conjecture, put forward as best accounting for all the facts of the case, including that of all mention of Rome having been apparently absent from some copies. This, however, might be accounted for by the Epistle having been issued, after St. Paul's time, in a form suited for general circulation. On the whole, we may take it as probable that the apostle, having first concluded his Epistle with ch. 14. and the doxology, felt himself urged to resume a subject which lay so near his heart, and so appended ch. 15, and then the salutations, etc., in ch. 16, before the letter was sent. This supposition would in itself account for copies of the Epistle having got into circulation without the additions to it. Possibly Marcion took advantage of finding some such copies to deny the genuineness of the two final chapters altogether; and his doing so would be likely to promote circulation of the shorter copies. It will be observed that the Epistle, as a doctrinal treatise practically applied, is complete without the last two chapters; and also that ch. 15, though connected in thought with the end of ch. 14, might be, and indeed reads like, a resumption and further enforce-merit of its ideas. It seems, indeed, as if three appendices, or postscripts, had been added by the apostle; the first ending with the benediction of Romans 15:33; the second (commending Phoebe, who was to be the bearer of the letter, and sending salutations to persons at Rome) with the benediction of Romans 16:20; and the third (which might be added at the last moment) with that of Romans 16:24. All the benedictions are thus accounted for, being the apostle's usual concluding authentications (cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:17; Colossians 4:18). As to the proper position of the doxology, if the view last given be correct, its original one would be most naturally at the end of ch. 14; since otherwise the Epistle, as first completed, would have nothing answering to the usual benedictions in conclusion. And though this is not a benediction, but a doxology, embodying in solemn terms the main idea of the preceding treatise, such a conclusion is in keeping with the peculiar character of the Epistle to the Romans. Finally, though uncial authority is decidedly in favour of the position of the doxology at the end of ch. 16, this does not seem to be a sufficient reason for con-eluding it to have been originally there. If there existed anciently two editions, one with, and the other without, the two chapters appended, transcribers of the longer edition would be likely to place the doxology at the end of what they believed to be the true conclusion of the original Epistle. After all, the question cannot be considered as settled. It has been deemed sufficient here to state the main arguments for or against the various views that have been taken. Verses 1-13. - H. Renewed admonition to bear with the weak, enforced by Scripture and the example of Christ. Verses 1-3. - We then (rather, but we, or now we. The δὲ here certainly seems to link this chapter to the preceding section; but it is not inconsistent with the chapter being an addition to a completed letter, of which it takes up the concluding thought) that are strong (St. Paul, here as elsewhere, identifies himself with the more enlightened party) ought (ὀφείλομεν expresses obligation of duty) to bear the infirmities of the weak (cf. Galatians 6:2), and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good (rather, for that which is good) to edification. For Christ also pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. The quotation is from Psalm 69:9; one in which a righteous sufferer under persecution calls on God for deliverance, and to some parts of which even the details of Christ's Passion strikingly correspond. The first part of the verse here quoted, "The zeal of thine house," etc., is applied to him in John 2:17.
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Verse 4. - For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning (in the old sense of teaching, or instruction), that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures (or, as the form of the Greek rather suggests, and as is confirmed by the repetition of the words conjoined in ver. 5, through the patience and the comfort of the Scriptures) might have hope. This verse, introduced by γὰρ, gives the reason why the words of the ancient psalmist are adduced for the instruction of Christians. Christ, it is said, exemplified the principle of it, and it is for us to do so too. By bearing the infirmities of the weak, and submitting, if need be, to reproach, we exhibit Christ-like endurance (ὑπομονὴ), such as Scripture inculcates; and therewith will come comfort, such as Scripture contains and gives, and so a strengthening of our hope beyond these present troubles. The psalm quoted was peculiarly one of endurance and comfort under vexations and reproaches, and of hope beyond them. It was written afore-time for our instruction, that so it may be with us, as it was with Christ. In the next verse the apostle returns definitely to the subject in hand.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Verses 5-7. - Now the God of patience and comfort (the same word as before, though here in the Authorized Version rendered consolation) grant you to be like-minded (see on Romans 12:16), one with another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one accord with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (so certainly, rather than, as in the Authorized Version, "God, even the Father of," etc.). Wherefore receive ye one another (cf. Romans 14:1, and note), even as Christ also received us (or you, which is better supported, and, for a reason to be given below, more likely) to the glory of God. As in ver. 3, the example of Christ is again adduced. The connection of thought becomes plain if we take the admonition, "Receive ye one another," to be mainly addressed to "the strong," and these to consist principally of Gentile believers, the "weak brethren" being (as above supposed) prejudiced Jewish Christians. To the former the apostle says, "Receive to yourselves with full sympathy those Jewish weak ones, even as Christ, though sent primarily to fulfil the ancient promises to the house of Israel only (see ver. 8), embraced you Gentiles (ὑμᾶς) also within the arms of mercy" Thus the sequence of thought in ver. 8, seq., appears. "Unto the glory of God" means "so as to redound to his glory." Christ's receiving the Gentiles was unto his glory; and it is implied that the mutual receiving of each other by believers would be so too. The idea of God's glory being the end of all runs through the whole passage (cf. vers. 6, 9, 11).
That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
Verses 8, 9. - For (the reading γὰρ is much better supported than δὲ. The essential meaning, however, of λέγω γὰρ is the same as of λέγω δὲ) I say (i.e. what I mean to say is this; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:12; Galatians 4:1: 5:16) that Jesus Christ was (rather, has been made, γεγενῆσθαι being the more probable reading than γενέσθαι) a minister of the circumcision (i.e. of the Jews) for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers (literally, the promises of the fathers): and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. Observe the expressions, ὑπὲρ ἀληθείας Θεοῦ, etc., and ὑπὲρ ἐλέους, with reference respectively to the Jews and Gentiles. Christ's primary ministry was to "the house of Israel" (cf. Matthew 15:24), in vindication of God's truth, or faithfulness to his promises made through the patriarchs to the chosen race: his taking in of the Gentiles was an extension of the Divine mercy, to his greater glory. The infinitive δοξάσαι, in ver. 9, seems best taken in the same construction with βεβαιῶσαι in ver. 8, both being dependent on εἰς τὸ. As it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy Name. This quotation from Psalm 18:49 or 2 Samuel 22:50, with those that follow, are for scriptural confirmation of God's purpose, which has just been spoken of, to include the Gentiles in his covenanted mercies to Israel, so that they too might glorify him. St. Paul, after a manner usual with him; follows cut a thought suggested in the course of his argument, so as to interrupt the latter for a while, but to return to it in ver. 13. All, in fact, from the beginning of ver. 8 to the end of ver. 12, is parenthetical, suggested by "even as Christ received you,." at the end of ver. 7. All this, it may be observed, is confirmatory of Pauline authorship. The first quotation introduces David, the theocratic king, confessing and praising God, not apart from the Gentiles, but among them. The second, from Deuteronomy 32:43, calls on the Gentiles themselves to join in Israel's rejoicing; the third, from Psalm 117:1, does the same; the last, from Isaiah 11:10, foretells definitely the reign of the Messiah over Gentiles as well as Jews, and the hope also of the Gentiles in him.
And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
Verses 10-13. - And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye peoples. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust (rather, hope - ἐλπιοῦσι ( ωηιξη is the word in the LXX.; thus brining back the thought of the hope spoken of in ver. 4, with a prayer for the abundance of which to his readers, as the result of peace in the faith among each other, the apostle now concludes his exhortation). Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye my abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
Verses 14-33. - I. Expression of confidence in the general disposition of the Roman Christians, and of the writer's desire to visit them, and his intentions in accordance with that desire. Verse 14. - And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye yourselves also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. It is St. Paul's courteous as well as kindly way to compliment those to whom he writes on what he believes to be good in them, and to cling to a good opinion of them, even where he has some misgivings, or has had reason to find fault (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:4, seq.; 2 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 3:1, seq.; 7:3, seq.). Here "I myself also" (καὶ αὐτὸς ἐγὼ) may have tacit reference to the general good report of the Roman Church (cf. Romans 1:8 and Romans 16:19), which he means to say he himself by no means doubts the truth of, notwithstanding his previous warnings. "Ye yourselves also" (καὶ αὐτοὶ) implies his trust that even without such warnings they would of themselves be as he would wish them to be; "full of goodness" (ἀγαθωσύνης), so as to be kind to one another, as they were enlightened and replete with knowledge (γνώσεως).
Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
Verse 15. - But I have written unto you the more boldly, brethren, in some measure (so, as in the Revised Version, or, in part (ἀπὸ μέρονς), rather than in some sort, as in the Authorized Version. The allusion seems to be to the passages in the Epistle in which he has been bold to admonish urgently; such as Romans 11:17, seq.; Romans 12:3; and especially ch. Romans 14.), as putting yon in mind (reminding you only of what you doubtless know), because of the grace given me of God; i.e., as appears from what follows, of apostleship to the Gentiles (cf. Romans 1:5, 14; also Acts 22:21: Galatians 2:9). Though the Church of Rome was not one of his own foundation, and he had no desire, there or elsewhere, to build on another man's foundation (ver. 20), yet his peculiar mission as apostle to the Gentiles gave him a claim to admonish them. The reason thus given is, it will be observed, a confirmation of the view, otherwise apparent, that the Roman Church consisted principally of Gentile believers.
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Verse 16. - That I should be the minister (λειτουργὸν) of Jesus Christ unto the Gentiles, ministering (λειτουργοῦντα) the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified in the Holy Ghost. As to the words λειτουργὸς and λευτουργεῖν, see on Romans 13:6; and on λατρεύω, λατρεία on Romans 1:9 and Romans 12:1. Here they are evidently used in their sacrificial meaning, but applied metaphorically; the "acceptable offering" which Paul offers to God is that of the Gentiles whom he brings to the faith. "The preaching of the gospel he calls a sacrificial service (ἱερουργιάν), and genuine faith an acceptable offering" (Theodoret). "This is my priesthood, to preach and to proclaim" (Chrysostom); cf Philippians 2:17.
I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
Verse 17. - I have therefore whereof I may glory through (rather, I have my boasting in) Christ Jesus in the things that pertain unto God (τὰ πρὸς Θεόν - the same phrase as is used in Hebrews 5:1 with reference to priestly service). St. Paul's purpose in this and the four following verses is to allege proof of his being a true apostle with a right to speak with authority to the Gentiles. It is evident, he says, from the extent and success of my apostolic labours, and the power of God that has accompanied them. So also, still more earnestly and at length, in 2 Corinthians 11. and 12. As to his reason for frequently thus insisting on his true apostleship, and for asserting it in writing to the Romans, see note on Romans 1:1.
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
Verses 18, 19. - For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought through me unto the obedience of the Gentiles (meaning, I will not dare to speak, of any mere doings of my own, but only of those in which the power of Christ working through my ministry has been displayed) by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders (i.e. displays of miraculous power. It is noteworthy how St. Paul alludes incidentally in his letters to such "signs and wonders" having accompanied his ministry, as to something familiar and acknowledged, so as to suggest the idea of their having been more frequent than we might gather from the Acts of the Apostles. Had the alleged "signs and wonders" been unreal, we might have expected them to be made more of in the subsequent narrative of an admirer than in contemporary letters), by the power of the Spirit of God (al. the Holy Spirit. This power, if taken as distinct from that of signs and wonders, may denote the power of the Holy Spirit displayed in the conversion of believers, and the gifts bestowed upon them); so that from Jerusalem, and round about as far as Illyricum, I have fully preached (literally, I have fulfilled) the gospel of Christ. In thus designating the sphere of his ministry the apostle is denoting its local extent, rather than the course he had taken. He had, in fact, preached first at Damascus (Acts 9:20), and afterwards at Jerusalem (Acts 9:29); but he mentions Jerusalem first, as being the original home of the gospel in the East, and, indeed, the first scene of his own preaching in fellowship with the original apostles. Thence he had extended it in various quarters (for the meaning of κύκλῳ - trans. "round about" - cf. Mark 6:6; Luke 9:12), and carried it into Europe, Illyricum being the western limit so far reached. It is true that there is no mention in the Acts of his having actually visited Illyria. In the journey of Acts 17. he plainly got no further west than Betted, which is, however, not far off; and he might possibly mean here only to say that he had extended the gospel to the borders of Illyricum, but for the word πεπληρωκέναι, and his seeming to imply afterwards (ver. 23) that he had gone as far as he could in those regions, and consequently contemplated a journey to Spain. Hence, the narrative of Acts not being an exhaustive history, it may be supposed that he had on some occasion extended his operations from Macedonia to Illyricum, as he may well have done on his visit to the latter mentioned in Acts 20:1-3, where διελθὼν τὰ μέρη ἐκεῖνα allows for a visit into Illyricum.
Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:
Verse 20. - Yea (or, but), so striving (or, earnestly desiring, or making it my aim. The word is φιλοτιμούμενον, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:11) to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation. In the compact between St. Paul and the apostles of the circumcision referred to in Galatians 2:1-7, it was agreed that he should confine his apostolic ministry to the Gentiles. Consequently, we find him selecting as centres of his work the principal cities of the heathen world. But he was further careful to avoid places, wherever they might be, in which Churches were already founded. It was the function of an apostle to extend the gospel by founding new Churches, rather than to invade the provinces of others. Those founded by himself, and thus under his immediate jurisdiction, as e.g. the Corinthian Church, he visited as need arose, and addressed them in authoritative letters, commanding as well as exhorting. But his rule in this respect did not preclude his writing also letters of general encouragement and admonition to any whom his peculiar commission as apostle of the Gen- tiles gave him a claim to be heard by. Thus he wrote to the Colossians, though he had never seen them (Colossians 1:4; Colossians 2:1); and thus also to the Romans, at the same time (as we have seen, Romans 15:15, seq.) almost apologizing for doing so; and, though he proposes visiting them, it is nor with the view of staying among them long, so as to take up the superintendence of them, but only on his way to Spain for mutual comfort and edification (see Romans 1:11, 12; Romans 15:24).
But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.
Verses 21-24. - But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand (Isaiah 52:15, as in the LXX. The passage is Messianic; but St. Paul need be understood to be quoting it as predictive or directive of the rule he follows. Enough if it expresses his meaning well). For which cause also I have been much hindered (or, was for the most part, or many times hindered) from coming to you. The hindrance had been, mainly at least, as is evident from Δὼ (ver. 22), the obligation he was under of completing his ministry in the first place in other quarters (see on Romans 1:13). But now having no longer place in these regions (i.e., according to the context, there being no additional sphere for my activity there. He had now planted the gospel in all the principal centres, leaving disciples and converts, and probably an ordained ministry, to carry on the work and extend it in the regions round. In this his proper apostolic work consisted; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:14-17), and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I hope to see you on my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. The sense of this verse is no way affected by the omission of "I will come unto you," which authorities are against retaining. If "for," after this omission, be retained, the sentence is incomplete, as St. Paul's sometimes are. The omission of "for" (for which there is some little authority) leaves the sentence improved. The apostle's selection of Spain as his next intended sphere of labour might be due to the notoriety of that Roman province, and the facility of communication with it by sea. His omission of Italy, except for a passing visit, is accounted for by his principle, already enunciated, of not building on other men's foundation, there being already a flourishing Church at any rate at Rome. He hoped, as appears from this verse, that some of the members of it might join him in his mission to Spain. For the word προπεμφθῆναι would imply their going all the way in the case of a sea-voyage. For the use of the word, cf. Acts 15:3; Acts 20:38; Acts 21:5; 1 Corinthians 16:6; 2 Corinthians 1:16. Observe the characteristic courtesy of the concluding clause, which is literally, "should I be first in part" (i.e. not as much as I should wish, but to such extent as my short stay with you will allow) "filled with you," i.e. enjoy you.
For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.
But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;
Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.
But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
Verses 25-27. - But now I go to Jerusalem ministering unto the saints. For it hath pleased (εὐδόκησανα, implying good will) Achaia and Macedonia to make a certain contribution (κοινωνίαν, intimating the communion of Christians with each other, evinced by making others partakers of their own blessings; of Romans 12:13; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 1 Timothy 6:18; Hebrews 13:16) to the poor of the saints which are at Jerusalem. As to this collection for the poor Christians at Jerusalem, which St. Paul seems to have been intent on during his journeys, and which he was now on the point of carrying to its destination, cf. Acts 19:21; Acts 24:17; 2 Corinthians 8:1 - 9:15. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister (λειουργῆσαι; here in the general sense of ministry; see on Romans 13:6) to them in carnal things. Here we have the same idea of salvation being derived to the Gentiles from the Jews as is prominent in Romans 11:17, 18, and apparent in Romans 15:7, seq.
For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.
It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
Verses 28, 29. - When therefore I have accomplished this, and sealed to them (i.e. ratified and assured to them) this fruit, I will come away by you into Spain. And I know that when I come to you (ὑμᾶς here is intended emphatically) I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of Christ. How different from his anticipations were the circumstances of his first visit to Rome we know from the Acts. So man proposes, but God disposes, and all for final good (cf. Philippians 1:12, seq.). That he afterwards carried out his intention of visiting Spain cannot be alleged with certainty, though there is distinct evidence of an early tradition that he did so (Canon Muratori, Eusebius, Jerome, Theodoret. Cf. Clem. Romans, Ep. 1, who speaks of St. Paul having gone to "the boundaries of the West"). Certainly before the end of his detention at Rome he had given up any idea he might have had of going thence at once to Spain; for cf. Philippians 2:19; Philemon 1:22; which Epistles are believed, on good grounds, to have been written during that detention. Still, he may have gone during the interval between his release and his final captivity at Rome, during which the pastoral Epistles were probably written. In what follows (vers. 30-32) some apprehension of dangers attending his visit to Jerusalem, which might possibly thwart his intentions, already appears; sounding like an undertone allaying the confidence of the hope previously expressed. In the course of his progress to Jerusalem this apprehension appears to have grown upon him; for see Acts 20:22, 23, 28; Acts 21:4, 11-14). It may be here observed that such signs, evidently unintentional, of conflicting feelings in the letter, and such consistency between the letter and the narrative, are strong confirmations of the genuineness of both.
And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;
Verses 30-33. - Now I beseech you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints. Here he seems to imply a possibility of even the Jewish Christians not receiving him, with the alms he brought them, kindly. In 2 Oct. 8:18, seq., he had shown signs of being anxious to avoid any possible suspicion of malversation with regard to the contribution. The danger probably arose from the suspicions against himself, his authority, and his motives, entertained by the Judaistic faction. That this faction was then strong at Jerusalem appears from the precautions he was advised to take on his arrival there (see Acts 21:20-24). That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Now the God of peace be with you all Amen.
That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.
Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.