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Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,

“So that you may be justified in your words,

and prevail in your judging.”

5 But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

None Is Righteous

9 What then? Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, 10as it is written:

“There is no one who is righteous, not even one;


there is no one who has understanding,

there is no one who seeks God.


All have turned aside, together they have become worthless;

there is no one who shows kindness,

there is not even one.”


“Their throats are opened graves;

they use their tongues to deceive.”

“The venom of vipers is under their lips.”


“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”


“Their feet are swift to shed blood;


ruin and misery are in their paths,


and the way of peace they have not known.”


“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.


Righteousness through Faith

21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

1. Though Paul has clearly proved that bare circumcision brought nothing to the Jews, yet since he could not deny but that there was some difference between the Gentiles and the Jews, which by that symbol was sealed to them by the Lord, and since it was inconsistent to make a distinction, of which God was the author, void and of no moment, it remained for him to remove also this objection. It was indeed evident, that it was a foolish glorying in which the Jews on this account indulged; yet still a doubt remained as to the design of circumcision; for the Lord would not have appointed it had not some benefit been intended. He therefore, by way of an objection, asks, what it was that made the Jew superior to the Gentile; and he subjoins a reason for this by another question, What is the benefit of circumcision? For this separated the Jews from the common class of men; it was a partition-wall, as Paul calls ceremonies, which kept parties asunder.

2. Much in every way, etc.; that is, very much. He begins here to give the sacrament its own praise; but he concedes not, that on this account the Jews ought to have been proud; for when he teaches that they were sealed by the symbol of circumcision, by which they were counted the children of God, he does not allow that they became superior to others through any merit or worthiness of their own, but through the free mercy of God. If then regard be had to them as men, he shows that they were on a level with others; but if the favors of God be taken to the account, he admits that they possessed what made them more eminent than other men.

First indeed, because, intrusted to them, etc. Some think there is here an unfinished period, for he sets down what he does not afterwards complete. But the word first seems not to me to be a note of number, but means chiefly” or especially, 8888     The word πρῶτον is thus used in other places. See Matthew 6:33; Mark 7:27; 2 Peter 1:20. — Ed. and is to be taken in this sense — “Though it were but this one thing, that they have the oracles 8989     Λόγια, oracula, mean, in Greek authors, divine responses. Hesychius explains it by Θέσφατα — divine dictates. The word is used four times in New Testament. In Acts 7:38, it means specifically the law of Moses; here it includes the whole of the Old Testament; in Hebrews 5:12, and in 1 Peter 4:11, it embraces the truths of the Gospel. The divine character of the Scriptures is by this word attested; they are the oracles of God, his dictates, or communications from him. — Ed. of God committed to them, it might be deemed sufficient to prove their superiority.” And it is worthy of being noticed, that the advantage of circumcision is not made to consist in the naked sign, but its value is derived from the word; for Paul asks here what benefit the sacrament conferred on the Jews, and he answers, that God had deposited with them the treasure of celestial wisdom. It hence follows, that, apart from the word, no excellency remained. By oracles he means the covenant which God revealed first to Abraham and to his posterity, and afterwards sealed and unfolded by the law and the Prophets.

Now the oracles were committed to them, for the purpose of preserving them as long as it pleased the Lord to continue his glory among them, and then of publishing them during the time of their stewardship through the whole world: they were first depositories, and secondly dispensers. But if this benefit was to be so highly esteemed when the Lord favored one nation only with the revelation of his word, we can never sufficiently reprobate our ingratitude, who receive his word with so much negligence or with so much carelessness, not to say disdain.

3. What indeed if some, etc. As before, while regarding the Jews as exulting in the naked sign, he allowed them no not even a spark of glory; so now, while considering the nature of the sign, he testifies that its virtue (virtutem, efficacy) is not destroyed, no, not even by their inconstancy. As then he seemed before to have intimated that whatever grace there might have been in the sign of circumcision, it had wholly vanished through the ingratitude of the Jews, he now, anticipating an objection, again asks what opinion was to be formed of it. There is here indeed a sort of reticence, as he expresses less than what he intended to be understood; for he might have truly said that a great part of the nation had renounced the covenant of God; but as this would have been very grating to the ears of the Jews, he mitigated its severity, and mentioned only some.

Shall their unbelief, etc. Καταργεῖν is properly to render void and ineffectual; a meaning most suitable to this passage. For Paul’s inquiry is not so much whether the unbelief of men neutralizes the truth of God, so that it should not in itself remain firm and constant, but whether it hinders its effect and fulfillment as to men. The meaning then is, “Since most of the Jews are covenant-breakers, is God’s covenant so abrogated by their perfidiousness that it brings forth no fruit among them? To this he answers, that it cannot be that the truth of God should lose its stability through man’s wickedness. Though then the greater part had nullified and trodden under foot God’s covenant, it yet retained its efficacy and manifested its power, not indeed as to all, but with regard to a few of that nation: and it is then efficacious when the grace or the blessing of the Lord avails to eternal salvation. But this cannot be, except when the promise is received by faith; for it is in this way that a mutual covenant is on both sides confirmed. He then means that some ever remained in that nation, who by continuing to believe in the promise, had not fallen away from the privileges of the covenant.

4. But let God be true, etc. Whatever may be the opinion of others, I regard this as an argument taken from the necessary consequence of what is opposed to it, by which Paul invalidates the preceding objection. For since these two things stand together, yea, necessarily accord, that God is true and that man is false, it follows that the truth of God is not nullified by the falsehood of men; for except he did now set those two things in opposition, the one to the other, he would afterwards have in vain labored to refute what was absurd, and show how God is just, though he manifests his justice by our unjustice. Hence the meaning is by no means ambiguous, — that the faithfulness of God is so far from being nullified by the perfidy and apostasy of men that it thereby becomes more evident. “God,” he says, “is true, not only because he is prepared to stand faithfully to his promises, but because he also really fulfills whatever he declares; for he so speaks, that his command becomes a reality. On the other hand, man is false, not only because he often violates his pledged faith, but because he naturally seeks falsehood and shuns the truth.”

The first clause contains the primary axiom of all Christian philosophy; the latter is taken from Psalm 116:11, where David confesses that there is nothing certain from man or in man.

Now this is a remarkable passage, and contains a consolation that is much needed; for such is the perversity of men in rejecting and despising God’s word, that its truth would be often doubted were not this to come to our minds, that God’s verity depends not on man’s verity. But how does this agree with what has been said previously — that in order to make the divine promise effectual, faith, which receives it, is on the part of men necessary? for faith stands opposed to falsehood. This seems, indeed, to be a difficult question; but it may with no great difficulty be answered, and in this way — the Lord, notwithstanding the lies of men, and though these are hinderances to his truth, does yet find a way for it through a pathless track, that he may come forth a conqueror, and that is, by correcting in his elect the inbred unbelief of our nature, and by subjecting to his service those who seem to be unconquerable. It must be added, that the discourse here is concerning the corruption of nature, and not the grace of God, which is the remedy for that corruption.

That thou mightest be justified, etc. The sense is, So far is it that the truth of God is destroyed by our falsehood and unfaithfulness, that it thereby shines forth and appears more evident, according to the testimony of David, who says, that as he was sinner, God was a just and righteous Judge in whatever he determined respecting him, and that he would overcome all the calumnies of the ungodly who murmured against his righteousness. By the words of God, David means the judgments which he pronounces upon us; for the common application of these to promises is too strained: and so the particle that, is not so much final, nor refers to a far-fetched consequence, but implies an inference according to this purport, “Against thee have I sinned; justly then dost thou punish me.” And that Paul has quoted this passage according to the proper and real meaning of David, is clear from the objection that is immediately added, “How shall the righteousness of God remain perfect if our iniquity illustrates it?” For in vain, as I have already observed, and unseasonable has Paul arrested the attention of his readers with this difficulty, except David meant, that God, in his wonderful providence, elicited from the sins of men a praise to his own righteousness. The second clause in Hebrew is this, “And that thou mightest be pure in thy judgment;” which expression imports nothing else but that God in all his judgments is worthy of praise, how much soever the ungodly may clamor and strive by their complaints disgracefully to efface his glory. But Paul has followed the Greek version, which answered his purpose here even better. We indeed know that the Apostles in quoting Scripture often used a freer language than the original; for they counted it enough to quote what was suitable to their subject: hence they made no great account of words.

The application then of this passage is the following: Since all the sins of mortals must serve to illustrate the glory of the Lord, and since he is especially glorified by his truth, it follows, that even the falsehood of men serves to confirm rather than to subvert his truth. Though the word κρίνεσθαι, may be taken actively as well as passively, yet the Greek translators, I have no doubt, rendered it passively, contrary to the meaning of the Prophet. 9191     Whenever there is a material agreement between the Greek and the Hebrew, we ought not to make it otherwise. If the verb κρίνεσθαι, as admitted by most critics, may be taken actively and be thus made to agree with the Hebrew, what reason can there be to take it in another sense? The only real difference is in one word, between νικήσης, “overcomest,” and תזכה, “art clear:” but the meaning is the same, though the words are different. To overcome in judgment, and to be clear in judgment, amounts to the same thing. The parallelism of the Hebrew requires κρίνεσθαι to be a verb in the middle voice, and to have an active meaning. The two lines in Hebrew, as it is often the case in Hebrew poetry, contain the same sentiment in different words, the last line expressing it more definitely; so that to be “justified,” and to be “cleared,” convey the same idea; and also “in thy word,” or saying — בדברך and “in thy judgment” בשפטך. In many copies both these last words are in the plural number, so that the first would be strictly what is here expressed, “in thy words,” that is, the words which thou hast declared; and “in thy judgments,” that is, those which thou hast announced, would be fully rendered by “when thou Judgest.”
   Commentators, both ancient and modern, have differed on the meaning of the verb in question. Pareus, Beza, Macknight, and Stuart, take it in an active sense; while Erasmus, Grotius, Venema, and others, contend for the passive meaning. Drusius, Hammond, and Doddridge render it, “when thou contendest in judgment,” or, “when thou art called to judgment:” and such a meaning no doubt the verb has according to Matthew 5:40, and 1 Corinthians 6:1, 6. But in this case regard must be had, especially to the meaning which corresponds the nearest with the original Hebrew. Some have maintained that “in thy judgment” בשפטך may be rendered “in judging thee;” but this would not only be unusual and make the sentence hardly intelligible, but also destroy the evident parallelism of the two lines. The whole verse may be thus literally rendered from the Hebrew, —

   Against thee, against thee only have I sinned;
And the evil before thine eyes have I done;
So that thou art justified in thy words,
And clear in thy judgments.

   The conjunction למען, admits of being rendered so that; see Psalm 30:12; Isaiah 41:20; Amos 2:7; and ὅπως in many instances may be thus rendered; see Luke 2:35; Philemon 6; 1 Peter 2:9. It is what Schleusner designates ἐκβατικῶς, signifying the issue or the event.

   Pareus connects the passage differently. He considers the former part of the verse parenthetic, or as specifying what is generally stated in the previous verse, the third; and with that verse he connects this passage: so that the rendering of the two verses would be the following, —

   3. For my transgression I acknowledge, And my sin is before me continually, —

   4. (Against thee, against thee only have I sinned, and the evil before thine eyes have I done,) That thou mightest be justified in thy saying, And clear in thy judgment.

   This is certainty more probable than what Vatablus and Houbigant propose, who connect the passage with the second verse, “Wash me thoroughly,” etc. But the sense given by Calvin is the most satisfactory — Ed.

5 But if our unrighteousness, etc. Though this is a digression from the main subject, it was yet necessary for the Apostle to introduce it, lest he should seem to give to the ill-disposed an occasion to speak evil, which he knew would be readily laid hold on by them. For since they were watching for every opportunity to defame the gospel, they had, in the testimony of David, what they might have taken for the purpose of founding a calumny, — “If God seeks nothing else, but to be glorified by men, why does he punish them, when they offend, since by offending they glorify him? Without cause then surely is he offended, if he derives the reason of his displeasure from that by which he is glorified.” There is, indeed, no doubt, but that this was an ordinary, and everywhere a common calumny, as it will presently appear. Hence Paul could not have covertly passed it by; but that no one should think that he expressed the sentiments of his own mind, he premises that he assumes the person of the ungodly; and at the same time, he sharply, touches, by a single expression, on human reason; whose work, as he intimates, is ever to bark against the wisdom of God; for he says not, “according to the ungodly,” but “according to man,” or as man. And thus indeed it is, for all the mysteries of God are paradoxes to the flesh: and at the same tine it possesses so much audacity, that it fears not to oppose them and insolently to assail what it cannot comprehend. We are hence reminded, that if we desire to become capable of understanding them, we must especially labor to become freed from our own reason, (proprio sensu) and to give up ourselves, and unreservedly to submit to his word. — The word wrath, taken here for judgment, refers to punishment; as though he said, “Is God unjust, who punishes those sins which set forth his righteousness?”

6. By no means, etc. In checking this blasphemy he gives not a direct reply to the objection, but begins with expressing his abhorrence of it, lest the Christian religion should even appear to include absurdities so great. And this is more weighty than if he adopted a simple denial; for he implies, that this impious expression deserved to be regarded with horror, and not to be heard. He presently subjoins what may be called an indirect refutation; for he does not distinctly refute the calumny, but gives only this reply, — that the objection was absurd. Moreover, he takes an argument from an office which belongs to God, by which he proves it to be impossible, — God shall judge the world; he cannot then be unjust.

This argument is not derived, so to speak, from the mere power of God, but from his exercised power, which shines forth in the whole arrangement and order of his works; as though he said, — “It is God’s work to judge the world, that is, to rectify it by his own righteousness, and to reduce to the best order whatever there is in it out of order: he cannot then determine any thing unjustly.” And he seems to allude to a passage recorded by Moses, in Genesis 18:25, where it is said, that when Abraham prayed God not to deliver Sodom wholly to destruction, he spoke to this purpose, —

“It is not meet, that thou who art to judge the earth, shouldest destroy the just with the ungodly: for this is not thy work nor can it be done by thee.”

A similar declaration is found in Job 34:17, —

“Should he who hates judgment exercise power?”

For though there are found among men unjust judges, yet this happens, because they usurp authority contrary to law and right, or because they are inconsiderately raised to that eminence, or because they degenerate from themselves. But there is nothing of this kind with regard to God. Since, then, he is by nature judge, it must be that he is just, for he cannot deny himself. Paul then proves from what is impossible, that God is absurdly accused of unrighteousness; for to him peculiarly and naturally belongs the work of justly governing the world. And though what Paul teaches extends to the constant government of God, yet I allow that it has a special reference to the last judgment; for then only a real restoration of just order will take place. But if you wish for a direct refutation, by which profane things of this kind may be checked, take this, and say, “That it comes not through what unrighteousness is, that God’s righteousness becomes more illustrious, but that our wickedness is so surpassed by God’s goodness, that it is turned to serve an end different from that to which it tends.”

7. If indeed 9292     Or, “For if” — Si enim — εἰ γὰρ. The particle γὰρ here gives no reason, but is to be viewed as meaning then, or indeed, verily; see Luke 12:58; John 9:30; Acts 16:37; Philippians 2:27 Stuart renders it, still, and says, that it “points to a connection with verse. 5, and denotes a continuance of the same theme.” Macknight often renders it by further, besides, and no doubt rightly. — Ed. the truth of God, etc. This objection, I have no doubt, is adduced in the person of the ungodly; for it is a sort of an explanation of the former verse, and would have been connected with it, had not the Apostle, moved with indignation, broken off the sentence in the middle. The meaning of the objection is — “If by our unfaithfulness the truth of God becomes more conspicuous, and in a manner confirmed, and hence more glory redounds to him, it is by no means just, that he, who serves to display God’s glory, should be punished as a sinner.” 9393     It is remarkable how the Apostle changes his words from the third verse to the end of this, while the same things are essentially meant. His style is throughout Hebraistic. Stuart makes these just remarks, “Αδικία is here [Romans 3:5] the generic appellation of sin, for which a specific name, ἀπιστία, was employed in Romans 3:3, and ψεῦσμα, in Romans 3:7. In like manner the δικαιοσύνη, in Romans 3:5, which is a generic appellation, is expressed by a specific one, πίστιν, in Romans 3:3, and by ἀλήθεια, in Romans 3:7. The idea is substantially the same, which is designated by these respectively corresponding appellations. Fidelity, uprightness, integrity, are designated by πίστιν, δικαιοσύνην, and ἀλήθεια; while ἀλήθεια, and ἀπιστία ἀδικία, designate unfaithfulness, want of uprightness and false dealing. All of these terms have more or less reference to the ברית, covenant or compact (so to speak) which existed between God and his ancient people.” — Ed.

8. And not, etc. This is an elliptical sentence, in which a word is to be understood. It will be complete, if you read it thus, — “and why is it not rather said, (as we are reproached, etc.) that we are to do evils, that good things may come?” But the Apostle deigns not to answer the slander; which yet we may check by the most solid reason. The pretense, indeed, is this, — “If God is by our iniquity glorified, and if nothing can be done by man in this life more befitting than to promote the glory of God, then let us sin to advance his glory!” Now the answer to this is evident, — “That evil cannot of itself produce anything but evil; and that God’s glory is through our sin illustrated, is not the work of man, but the work of God; who, as a wonderful worker, knows how to overcome our wickedness, and to convert it to another end, so as to turn it contrary to what we intend, to the promotion of his own glory.” God has prescribed to us the way, by which he would have himself to be glorified by us, even by true piety, which consists in obedience to his word. He who leaps over this boundary, strives not to honor God, but to dishonor him. That it turns out otherwise, is to be ascribed to the Providence of God, and not to the wickedness of man; through which it comes not, that the majesty of God is not injured, nay, wholly overthrown 9494     Grotius thinks, that in the beginning of this verse there is a transposition, and that ὅτι, after the parenthesis, ought to be construed before μὴ which precedes it, and that ὅτι is for cur, why, — as in Mark 9:11, and 28. The version would then be, “and why not, (as we are reproached, and as some declare that we say,) Let us do evil that good may come?” This is the rendering of Luther But Limborch and Stuart consider λεγωμεν to be understood after μὴ; and the latter takes μὴ not as a negative but an interrogative, “and shall we say,” etc.? Amidst these varieties, the main drift of the passage remains the same. — Ed.

(As we are reproached,) etc. Since Paul speaks so reverently of the secret judgments of God, it is a wonder that his enemies should have fallen into such wantonness as to calumniate him: but there has never been so much reverence and seriousness displayed by God’s servants as to be sufficient to check impure and virulent tongues. It is not then a new thing, that adversaries at this day load with so many false accusations, and render odious our doctrine, which we ourselves know to be the pure gospel of Christ, and all the angels, as well as the faithful, are our witnesses. Nothing can be imagined more monstrous than what we read here was laid to the charge of Paul, to the end, that his preaching might be rendered hateful to the inexperienced. Let us then bear this evil, when the ungodly abuse the truth which we preach by their calumnies: nor let us cease, on this account, constantly to defend the genuine confession of it, inasmuch as it has sufficient power to crush and to dissipate their falsehoods. Let us, at the same time, according to the Apostle’s example, oppose, as much as we can, all malicious subtilties, (technis — crafts, wiles,) that the base and the abandoned may not, without some check, speak evil of our Creator.

Whose judgment is just. Some take this in an active sense, as signifying that Paul so far assents to them, that what they objected was absurd, in order that the doctrine of the gospel might not be thought to be connected with such paradoxes: but I approve more of the passive meaning; for it would not have been suitable simply to express an approval of such a wickedness, which, on the contrary, deserved to be severely condemned; and this is what Paul seems to me to have done. And their perverseness was, on two accounts, to be condemned, — first, because this impiety had gained the assent of their minds; and secondly, because, in traducing the gospel, they dared to draw from it their calumny.

9. What then? He returns from his digression to his subject. For lest the Jews should object that they were deprived of their right, as he had mentioned those distinctions of honor, for which they thought themselves superior to the Gentiles, he now at length replies to the question — in what respect they excelled the Gentiles. And though his answer seems in appearance to militate against what he had said before, (for he now strips those of all dignity to whom he had attributed so much,) there is yet no discord; for those privileges in which he allowed them to be eminent, were separate from themselves, and dependent on God’s goodness, and not on their own merit: but here he makes inquiry as to their own worthiness, whether they could glory in any respect in themselves. Hence the two answers he gives so agree together, that the one follows from the other; for while he extols their privileges, by including them among the free benefits of God, he shows that they had nothing of their own. Hence, what he now answers might have been easily inferred; for since it was their chief superiority, that God’s oracles were deposited with them, and they had it not through their own merit, there was nothing left for them, on account of which they could glory before God. Now mark the holy contrivance (sanctum artificium) which he adopts; for when he ascribes pre-eminency to them, he speaks in the third person; but when he strips them of all things, he puts himself among them, that he might avoid giving offense.

For we have before brought a charge, etc. The Greek verb which Paul adopts, αἰτιάσθαι is properly a forensic term; and I have therefore preferred to render it, “We have brought a charge;” 9696     So do Grotius, Beza, and Stuart render the verb. Doddridge and Macknight have preserved our common version. “We have before charged,” ChalmersAntea idoneis argumentis demonstravimus — we have before proved by sufficient arguments.” Schleusner It is charge rather than conviction that the verb imports, though the latter idea is also considered to be included. — Ed. for an accuser in an action is said to charge a crime, which he is prepared to substantiate by testimonies and other proofs. Now the Apostle had summoned all mankind universally before the tribunal of God, that he might include all under the same condemnation: and it is to no purpose for any one to object, and say that the Apostle here not only brings a charge, but more especially proves it; for a charge is not true except it depends on solid and strong evidences, according to what Cicero says, who, in a certain place, distinguishes between a charge and a slander. We must add, that to be under sin means that we are justly condemned as sinners before God, or that we are held under the curse which is due to sin; for as righteousness brings with it absolution, so sin is followed by condemnation.

10. As it is written, etc. He has hitherto used proofs or arguments to convince men of their iniquity; he now begins to reason from authority; and it is to Christians the strongest kind of proof, when authority is derived from the only true God. And hence let ecclesiastical teachers learn what their office is; for since Paul asserts here no truth but what he confirms by the sure testimony of Scripture, much less ought such a thing to be attempted by those, who have no other commission but to preach the gospel, which they have received through Paul and others.

There is none righteous, etc. The Apostle, who gives the meaning rather than the entire words, seems, in the first place, before he comes to particulars, to state generally the substance of what the Prophet declares to be in man, and that is — that none is righteous; 9898     Psalm 14:1. The Hebrew is, “There is none that doeth good;” and the Septuagint, “There is none doing kindness, (χρηστότητα), there is not even one, (ὀυκ ἔστιν ἕως ἑνός.)” So that the Apostle quotes the meaning, not the words.
   The eleventh verse (Romans 3:11) is from the same Psalm; the Hebrew, with which the Septuagint agree, except that there is the disjunctive ἢ between the participles, is the following, — “Whether there is any one who understands, who seeks after God.” — Ed.
he afterwards particularly enumerates the effects or fruits of this unrighteousness.

11. The first effect is, that there is none that understands: and then this ignorance is immediately proved, for they seek not God; for empty is the man in whom there is not the knowledge of God, whatever other learning he may possess; yea, the sciences and the arts, which in themselves are good, are empty things, when they are without this groundwork.

12. It is added, 9999     This verse is literally the Septuagint, and as to meaning, a correct version of the Hebrew. “All have gone out of the way — πάντες ἐξέκλιναν” “is in Hebrew הכל סר, “the whole (or every one) has turned aside,” or revolted, or apostatized. Then, “they have become unprofitable” or useless, is נאלחו, “they are become putrid,” or Corrupted, like putrified fruit or meat, therefore useless, not fit for what they were designed — to serve God and to promote their own and the good of others. Idolatry was evidently this putrescence. — Ed. There is no one who doeth kindness By this we are to understand, that they had put off every feeling of humanity. For as the best bond of mutual concord among us is the knowledge of God, (as he is the common Father of all, he wonderfully unites us, and without him there is nothing but disunion,) so inhumanity commonly follows where there is ignorance of God, as every one, when he despises others, loves and seeks his own good.

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