Romans 2:17


King James Version (KJV)

Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God,

American King James Version (AKJV)

Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God,

American Standard Version (ASV)

But if thou bearest the name of a Jew, and restest upon the law, and gloriest in God,

Basic English Translation (BBE)

But as for you who have the name of Jew, and are resting on the law, and take pride in God,

Webster's Revision

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

World English Bible

Indeed you bear the name of a Jew, and rest on the law, and glory in God,

English Revised Version (ERV)

But if thou bearest the name of a Jew, and restest upon the law, and gloriest in God,

Definitions for Romans 2:17

Art - "Are"; second person singular.

Clarke's Romans 2:17 Bible Commentary

Behold, thou art called a Jew - What the apostle had said in the preceding verses being sufficient to enforce conviction on the conscience of the Jew, he now throws off the cover, and openly argues with him in the most plain and nervous manner; asserting that his superior knowledge, privileges, and profession, served only to aggravate his condemnation. And that, in fact, he who, under all his greater advantages, transgressed the law of God, stood condemned by the honest Gentile, who, to the best of his knowledge obeyed it. Dr. Taylor.

And restest in the law - Thou trustest in it for thy endless salvation. The word επαναπαυη, implies the strongest confidence of safety and security. Thou reposest thy whole trust and confidence in this law.

And makest thy boast of God - That thou knowest his nature and attributes, which are not known to the Gentiles. The word, καυχασαι, implies the idea of exulting in any thing, as being a proper object of hope and dependence: and, when referred to God, it points out that He is the sure cause of hope, dependence, joy, and happiness; and that it is the highest honor to be called to know his name, and be employed in his service. As if the apostle had said: You rejoice in God as the object of your hope and dependence; you praise and magnify him; you account it your greatest honor that He is your God, and that you worship him.

Barnes's Romans 2:17 Bible Commentary

Behold - Having thus stated the general principles on which God would judge the world; having shown how they condemned the Gentiles; and having removed all objections to them, he now proceeds to another part of his argument, to show how they applied to the Jews. By the use of the word "behold," he calls their attention to it, as to an important subject; and with great skill and address, he states their privileges, before he shows them how those privileges might enhance their condemnation. He admits all their claims to pre-eminence in privileges, and then with great faithfulness proceeds to show how, if abused, these might deepen their final destruction. It should be observed, however, that the word rendered "behold" is in many manuscripts written in two words, ἔι δὲ ei de, instead of ἴδε ide. If this, as is probable, is the correct reading there, it should be rendered, "if now thou art," etc. Thus, the Syriac, Latin, and Arabic read it.

Thou art called - Thou art named Jew, implying that this name was one of very high honor. This is the first thing mentioned on which the Jew would be likely to pride himself.

A Jew - This was the name by which the Hebrews were at that time generally known; and it is clear that they regarded it as a name of honor, and valued themselves much on it; see Galatians 2:15; Revelation 2:9. Its origin is not certainly known. They were called the children of Israel until the time of Rehoboam. When the ten tribes were carried into captivity, but two remained, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The name Jews was evidently given to denote those of the tribe of Judah. The reasons why the name of Benjamin was lost in that of Judah, were probably,

(1) because the tribe of Benjamin was small, and comparatively without influence or importance.

(2) The Messiah was to be of the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10; and that tribe would therefore possess a consequence proportioned to their expectation of that event.

The name of Jews would therefore be one that would suggest the facts that they were preserved from captivity, that they had received remarkably the protection of God, and that the Messiah was to be sent to that people. Hence, it is not wonderful that they should regard it as a special favor to be a Jew, and particularly when they added to this the idea of all the other favors connected with their being the special people of God. The name "Jew" came thus to denote all the peculiarities and special favors of their religion.

And restest in the law - The word "rest" here is evidently used in the sense of trusting to, or leaning upon. The Jew leaned on, or relied on the Law for acceptance or favor; on the fact that he had the Law, and on his obedience to it. It does not mean that he relied on his own works, though that was true, but that he leaned on the fact that he had the Law, and was thus distinguished above others. The Law here means the entire Mosaic economy; or all the rules and regulations which Moses had given. Perhaps also it includes, as it sometimes does, the whole of the Old Testament.

Makest thy boast in God - Thou dost boast, or glory, that thou hast the knowledge of the true God, while other nations are in darkness. On this account the Jew felt himself far elevated above all other people, and despised them. It was true that they only had the true knowledge of God, and that he had declared himself to be their God, Deuteronomy 4:7; Psalm 147:19-20; but this was not a ground for boasting, but for gratitude. This passage shows us that it is much more common to boast of privileges than to be thankful for them, and that it is no evidence of piety for a man to boast of his knowledge of God. An humble, ardent thankfulness that we have that knowledge a thankfulness which leads us not to despise others, but to desire that they may have the same privilege - is an evidence of piety.

Wesley's Romans 2:17 Bible Commentary

2:17 But if thou art called a Jew - This highest point of Jewish glorying, after a farther description of it interposed, Romans 2:17 - 20, and refuted, Rom 2:21 - 24, is itself refuted, Romans 2:25 , &c. The description consists of twice five articles; of which the former five, Romans 2:17 ,18, show what he boasts of in himself; the other five, Romans 2:19 ,20, what he glories in with respect to others. The first particular of the former five answers to the first of the latter; the second, to the second, and so on.And restest in the law - Dependest on it, though it can only condemn thee. And gloriest in God - As thy God; and that, too, to the exclusion of others.

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