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grieved at the unbelief and blindness of the great majority of his countrymen; but his sorrow is not hopeless. He knows all the while that "the word of God hath not failed;" that “God hath not cast off his people whom he foreknew"; that at last “all Israel shall be saved”; and nothing seems to me more natural than the play of mingled feelings which the passage presents; grief for the present temporary alienation of his countrymen from Christ; joy and thanksgiving at the thought of the priceless blessings of which Christ was the minister to man, and in which his countrymen should ultimately share.
Flatt, Stuart, and others put the objection in a very pointed form. They represent a doxology as making Paul say, in effect: “The special privileges of the Jews have contributed greatly to enhance the guilt and punishment of the Jewish nation; God be thanked that he has given them such privileges!”—But they simply read into the passage what is not there. There is nothing in the context to suggest that the Apostle is taking this view of the favor which Gód had shown the Jewish nation. He is not denouncing his countrymen for their guilt in rejecting the Messiah, and telling them that this guilt and its punishment are aggravated by the privileges they have abused. So tender is he of their feelings that he does not even name the cause of his grief, but leaves it to be inferred. He is assuring his countrymen, who regarded him as their enemy, of the sincerity and strength of his love for them. They are his brethren; the very name “Israelite” is to him a title of honor;* and he recounts in detail, certainly not in the manner of one touching a painful subject, the glorious distinctions which their nation had enjoyed through the favor of God. Calvin, who so often in his commentaries admirably traces the connection of thought, here hits the nail on the head: “Haec dignitatis elogia testimonia sunt amoris. Non enim solemus adeo benigne loqui, nisi de iis quos amamus." +
At the risk of being tedious, I will take some notice of Dr. Gifford's remarks in his recent and valuable Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. He says: “Paul's anguish is deepened by the memory of their privileges, most of all by the thought that their race gave birth to the Divine Saviour, whom they have rejected."-But in Paul's
* See ch. xi. 1; 2 Cor. xi. 22.
† The view which I have taken accords with that of Dr. Hodge. He says:-"The object of the Apostle in the introduction to this chapter, contained in the first five verses, is to assure the Jews of his love and of his respect for their peculiar privileges."— Comm. on the Ep. to the Romans, new ed. (1864), note on ix. 4, p. 469; see also p. 463.
enumeration of the privileges of the Jews he has in view not merely their present condition but their whole past history, illuminated as it had been by light from heaven. Will it be seriously maintained that Paul did not regard the peculiar privileges which the Jewish nation had enjoyed for so many ages, as gifts of God's goodness for which eternal gratitude was due ?--But "his anguish was deepened most of all by the thought that their race gave birth to the Divine Saviour"! Paul's grief for his unbelieving countrymen, then, had extinguished his gratitude for the inestimable blessings which he personally owed to Christ; it had extinguished his gratitude for the fact that the God who rules over all had sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world! The dark cloud which hid the light just then from the mass of his countrymen, but which he believed was soon to pass away, had blotted the sun from the heavens. The advent of Christ
no cause for thanksgiving; he could only bow his head in anguish, deepened most of all by the thought that the Messiah had sprung from the race to which he himself belonged !
“His anguish was deepened by the memory of their privileges. Paul does not say this; and is Dr. Gifford quite sure that this was the way in which these privileges presented themselves to his mind? May we not as naturally suppose that the thought of God's favor to his people in the past, whom he had so often recalled from their wanderings, afforded some ground for the hope that they had not stumbled so as to fall and perish, but that their present alienation from Christ, contributing as it had done, in the overruling providence of God, to the wider and more rapid spread of the gospel among the Gentiles, was only temporary? If we will let Paul be his own interpreter, instead of reading unnatural thoughts between his lines, we shall take this view. “God hath not cast off his PEOPLE, whom he foreknew,” “whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the promises." "A hardening in part hath befallen Israel,” but only “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so (or then) all Israel shall be saved." It is not for nothing that "theirs are the fathers”; that they had such ancestors as Abraham, “the friend of God," and Isaac, and Jacob; "as touching the gospel, they are enemies for the sake of the Gentiles, but as touching the election,” as the chosen people of God, “they are beloved for the fathers' sake." “If the firstfruit is holy, so is the lump; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.” “God doth not repent of his calling and his gists.” “God hath shut up all [Jews and Gentiles) unto disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.” For the ancient prophecy is now fulfilled; the Deliverer hath come out of Zion, and “he shall
turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” “O the depth of the riches,” &c. Such were the thoughts which the past privileges of the Jews, in connection with the advent of Christ, as we see from the eleventh chapter of this Epistle, actually suggested to the mind of Paul.*
Can we then reasonably say, that when in his grand historic survey and enumeration of the distinctive privileges of the Jews, the Apostle reaches the culminating point in the advent of the Messiah, sprung from that race, a devout thanksgiving to God as the beneficent ruler over all is wholly out of place? Might we not rather ask, How could it be repressed?
We may then, I conceive, dismiss the psychological objection to the doxology, on which many have laid great stress, as founded on a narrow and superficial view of what we may reasonably suppose to have been in the Apostle's mind. And I am happy to see that so fairminded and clear-sighted a scholar as Professor Dwight takes essentially the same view of the matter. (See above, p. 41.)
2. A second objection to a doxology here is founded on the relation of the first five verses of the chapter to what follows. A doxology, it is thought, unnaturally breaks the connection between the sixth verse and what precedes.
This argument is rarely adduced, and I should hardly have thought it worthy of notice were it not that Dr. Dwight seems to attach some weight to it, though apparently not much. (See above, p. 41 f.)
The first five verses of the chapter, as we have seen, are a conciliatory introduction to the treatment of a delicate and many-sided subject. This treatment begins with the sixth verse, which is introduced by the particle dé, “but.” Whether the last part of verse 5 is a doxology to God, or simply the climax of the privileges of the Jews, the dé cannot refer to what immediately precedes. In either case, it refers to what is implied in verses 2 and 3, and meets the most prominent objection to the doctrine set forth by the Apostle in the preceding part of the Epistle. The thought is, The present condition of the great mass of my countrymen is indeed a sad one, and not the Jews as a nation, but Christians, are the true people of God; but it is not as if the promises of God have failed. (Comp. iii. 3, 4.) This simple statement of the connection of ver. 6 with what precedes seems to me all that is needed to meet the objection. The argument that a
* This appreciative recapitulation of the distinctions of the Jewish people would also serve to check the tendency of the Gentile Christians to self-conceit, and would lead them to recognize the important part of the despised Hebrews in the drama of the world's history. It would virtually say to them, "Glory not over the branches; but it ihou gloriest, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.” (Rom. xi. 18.)
doxology is inconsistent with the Apostle's state of mind has already been answered.
3. A third objection, urged by many, is founded on the alleged abruptness of the doxology, and the absence of any mention of God in what precedes. Some also think that a doxology here would need to be introduced by the particle 06.
I cannot regard this objection as having any force. It is quite in accordance with the habit of Paul thus to turn aside suddenly to give expression to his feelings of adoration and gratitude toward God.* See Rom. i. 25; vii. 25 (where the genuineness of of is very doubtful); 2 Cor. ix. 15, where note the omission of of in the genuine text; 1 Tim. i. 17, where the doxology is suggested by the mention of Christ. The doxology xi. 36, as has already been noticed (p. 89), is completely parallel in thought. Far more abrupt is the doxology 2 Cor. xi. 31, ο Θεός και πατήρ του κυρίου Ιησού οίδεν, ο ών ευλογητός εις τους αιώνας, ότι ου ψεύδομαι, where the ascription of praise is interposed between oldev and 7te in an extraordinary manner.
It is very strange that it should be urged as an argument against the doxology that God is not mentioned in the preceding context. The name does not occur, but almost every word in verses 4 and 5 suggests the thought of God. So, to a Jew, the very name "Israelites”; so “the adoption, and the glory, and the giving of the Law, and the covenants, and the service, and the promises "; and so above all Zpotós, the Anointed of God, the Messiah; as to the flesh, sprung from the Jews, but as to his holy spirit the Son of God, the messenger of God's love and mercy, not to the Jews alone, but to all the nations of the earth.
That the mention of Christ in such a connection as this should bring vividly to the mind of the Apostle the thought of God and his goodness, and thus lead to a doxology, is simply in accordance with the conception of the relation of Christ to God which appears everywhere in this Epistle and in all his Epistles. While Christ, 8x' ou à Trávra, is the medium of communication of our spiritual blessings, Paul constantly views them in relation to God, ob cà rávra, as the original Author and Source. The gospel is "the gospel of God,"
*"Ad hæc annotatum est hoc in scriptis beati Pauli, quod aliquoties in medio sermonis cursu veluti raptus orat, aut adorat, aut gratias agit, aut glorificat Deum, præsertim ubi commemoratum est aliquid de mysteriis adorandis, aut ineffabili bonitate Dei.”—Erasmus, Apol. adv. monachos quosdam Hispanos, Opp. ix. (Lugd. Bat. 1706), col. 1044. On this subject, and on the position of cùłorros, see the valuable note of the Rev. Joseph Agar Beet, Comm. on St. Paul's Ep. to the Romans, 3d ed. (Lond. 1881), p. 269 f., 271.
"a power of God unto salvation"; the righteousness which it reveals is “a righteousness which is of God"; it is God who has set forth Christ as idastýpov, who "commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”; who “spared not, his own Son, but freely gave him for us all”; it is “God who raised him from the dead"; "what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and on account of sin," has done ; the glory to which Christians are destined, as sons and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, is “the glory of God”; in short, “all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ,” and “nothing shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Though no one can doubt that Paul was full of love and gratitude to Christ, so that we might expect frequent ascriptions to him of praise and glory, it is a remarkable fact that there is no doxology or thanksgiving to Christ in any of his Epistles except those to Timothy, the genuineness of which has been questioned by many modern scholars. These Epistles, at any rate, present marked peculiarities of style and language, and if written by Paul, were probably written near the close of his life. And in them there is but one doxology to Christ, and that not absolutely certain, on account of the ambiguity of the word zúplos (2 Tim. iv. 18); while the thanksgiving is a simple expression of thankfulness (1 Tim. i. 12), záptv fyw, gratias habeo (not ago). One reason for this general absence of such ascriptions to Christ on the part of the Apostle seems to have been that habit of mind of which I have just spoken, and which makes it a priori more probable that the doxology in Rom. ix. 5 belongs to God. But this is a matter which will be more appropriately treated in another place.
As to the ot, which Schultz insists would be necessary, needs only to look fairly at the passage to see that it would be wholly out of place; that a doxology to God involves no antithetic contrast between God and Christ, as Schultz and some others strangely imagine. Nor does of as a particle of transition seem natural here, much less required. It would make the doxology too formal.
4. It is urged that “sőv, grammatically considered, is more easily and naturally construed in connection with zplotós, than as the subject of a new and doxological clause.” (See Dr. Dwight's article, pp. 24, 25, above.)
Much stronger language than this is often used. Dr. Hodge, for
*Jahrbücher für deutsche Theol., 1868, xiii. 470 f., 477.