November 10, 2013

William G. T. Shedd (1820–1894) on Romans 2:4

Ver. 4. ή] "or," in case thou dost not thus imagine, "dost thou despise," etc. The particle introduces a new case. πλούτου is emphatic by collocation. It is a frequent word with St. Paul: not a Hebraism, but a common term for abundance. Plato (Euthyphro, 12) speaks of πλούτος της σοφίυς. χρηστότητος] "goodness," in the sense of good-will, or kindness: not the attribute by which God is good (holiness), but by which he does good (benevolence). It is a general term, under which άνοχή and μακροφυμία are species. For the meaning of these, see comment on iii. 25. καταθρονεις] the contempt is in the disregard of the tendency of the divine goodness to produce repentance. άγνοων "not recognizing." The word implies an action of the will along with that of the understanding. It is that culpable ignorance which results: 1. from not reflecting upon the truth; and 2. from an aversion to the repentance which the truth is fitted to produce. It is the "willing ignorance" spoken of in 2 Pet. iii. 5. Compare also the use of άγνοειν in Acts xvii. 23; Rom. x. 3. μετάνοιάν] sorrow for, and turning from, the sins that have been mentioned, and charged home. άγει] the present tense denotes the natural tendency and influence of the divine attribute of goodness. The context shows that this tendency was resisted and thwarted. The apostle is not speaking, here, of the effectual operation of special grace upon the human will, but only of common influences.

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