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as necessary to be observed, by all that professed christianity; and the other, without due regard to the weakness of the jews, showed a too open neglect of those their observ ances, which were of so great account with them. St. Paul was so sensible, how much the churches of Christ suffered, on this occasion, and so careful to prevent this, which was a disturbance almost every where (as inay be seen in the history of the Acts, and collected out of the epistles) that, after he had finished his discourse to them, (which we may ob serve solemnly closed, in the end of the foregoing chapter) he here, in the middle of his salutations, cannot forbear to caution them against the authors and fomenters of these divisions, and that very pathetically, ver. 17-20. All the rest of this chapter is spent, almost wholly, in salutations, Only the four last verses contain a conclusion, after St. Paul's manner,
1 I COMMEND unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Kenchrea:
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her, in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and myself also.`
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus:
4 (Who have, for my life, laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the gentiles.)
I COMMEND to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a ser2 vant of the church, which is at Kenchrea*, That you receive her, for Christ's sake, as becomes christians, and that you assist her, in whatever business she has need of vou, for she has assisted many, and me in particular. 3 Salute Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow-labourers in the 4 gospel, (Who have, for my life, exposed their own to
a Kenchrea was the port to Corinth.
2 8 Προσάτος, σε succourer," seems here to signify hostess, not in a common inn, for there was no such thing as our inns, in that country; but one, whose house was the place of lodging and entertainment of those, who were received by the church, as their guests, and these she took care of. And to that porátig may be very well applied. But, whether St. Paul was induced to make use of it here, as somewhat corresponding to aparte, which he used in her behalf just before, in this verse, I leave to those, who nicely observe St. Paul's style,
3 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epænetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia unto Christ.
6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.
9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 10 Salute Apelles, approved in Christ. Salute them, which are of Aristobulus' houshold.
11 Salute Herodian, my kinsman. Greet them that be of the houshold of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.
12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord.. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. 13 Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
15 Salute Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
danger, unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all 5 the churches of the gentiles.) Greet also the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epæne6 tus, who is the first-fruits of Achaia unto Christ, Greet
Mary, who took a great deal of pains for our sakes. 7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsfolk and fellow
prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also 8 were christians before me. Greet Amplias, my beloved 9 in the Lord. Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and 10 Stachys, my beloved. Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute those who are of the houshold of Aris11 tobulus. Salute Herodian, my kinsman. Salute all those of the houshold of Narcissus, who have embraced 12 the gospel. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who take
pains in the gospel. Salute the beloved Persis, who la13 boured much in the Lord. Salute Rufus, chosen, or
selected to be a disciple of the Lord; and his mother 14 and mine. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Pa
trobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them. 15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and
16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they, that are such, serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and, by good words and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple.
19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.
I am glad, therefore, on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good; and simple concerning evil.
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
16 Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark those who cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine, which 18 you have learned, and avoid them. For they serveʼ not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies, and by good words and fair speeches, insinuating themselves, 19 deceive well-meaning, simple men. Your conversion and ready compliance with the doctrine of the gospel, when it was brought to you, is known in the world, and generally talked of: I am glad, for your sakes, that you so forwardly obeyed the gospel. But give me leave to advise you to be wise and cautious in preserving yourselves steady in what is wise and good; but employ no thought, or skill, how to circumvent, or injure another: 20 be in this regard very plain and simple. For God, who is the giver and lover of peace, will soon rid you of these ministers of Satan', the disturbers of your peace, who
18 Such as these we have a description of, Tit. i, 10, 11.
19 See chap. i. 8.
A direction much like this you have, 1 Cor. xiv. 20, and Eph. iv, 13—15. 20 f So those who made divisions in the church of Corinth are called, 2 Cor. mi. 14, 15.
21 Timotheus, my work-fellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church saluteth you. Eras
tus, the chamberlain of the city, saluteth you, and Quartus, a brother.
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 Now to him, that is of power to stablish you, according to my
make divisions amongst you. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
21 Timothy, my work-fellow, and Lucius and Jason, and 22 Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. ITertius, who wrote 23 this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Gaius mine host,
and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus, the chamberlain of the city, saluteth you; and Quartus, a 24 brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
25 Now, to him that is able to settle and establish you in an adherence to my gospel, and to that which I deliver,
"Shall bruise Satan," i. e. shall break the force and attempts of Satan, upon your peace, by these his instruments, who would engage you in quarrels and discords.
25 h "My gospel." St. Paul cannot be supposed to have used such an expression as this, unless he knew that what he preached had something in it, that distinguished it from what was preached by others; which was plainly the mystery, as he every-where calls it, of God's purpose, of taking in the gentiles to be his people, under the Messiah, and that without subjecting them to circumcision, or the law of Moses. This is that which he here calls to xúfulua 'Intũ Xpicẽ, the preaching of Jesus Christ;" for, without this, he did not think that Christ was preached to the gentiles, as he ought to be: and, therefore, in several places of his epistle to the galatians he calls it "the truth," and "the truth of the gos"pel;" and uses the like expressions to the ephesians and colossians. This is that mystery, which he is so much concerned, that the ephesians should understand and stick firm to, which was revealed to him, according to that gospel, whereof he was made the minister; as may be seen at large, in that epistle, particularly chap. iii. 6,7. The same thing he declares to the colossians, in his epistle to them, particularly chap. i. 22-27, and ii. 6-8. For that he, in a peculiar manner, preached this doctrine, so as none of the other apostles did, may be seen Acts xxi. 18-25, Acts xv. 6, 7. For though the other apostles and elders of the church of Jerusalem had determined, that the gentiles should only keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from for nication; yet it is plain enough from what they say, Acts xxi. 20—24, that they taught not, nay, probably did not think, what St, Paul openly declares to
gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, (according to the re velation of the mystery, which was kept secret, since the world began;
26 But now is made manifest, and, by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations, for the obedience of faith.)
concerning Jesus Christ, in my preaching, conformable to the revelation of the mystery', which lay unexplained 26 in the secular times; But now is laid open, and, by the writings of the prophets, made known (according to the
the ephesians, that the law of Moses was abolished by the death of Christ, Eph. ii. 15. Which, if St. Peter and St. James had been as clear in as was St. Paul, St. Peter would not have incurred his reproof, as he did by his carriage, mentioned Gal. ii. 12, &c. But in all this may be seen the wisdom and goodness of God, to both jews and gentiles. See note, Eph. ii. 15.
That the mystery, he here speaks of, is the calling of the gentiles, may be seen in the following words; which is that which, in many of his epistles, he calls mystery. See Eph. i. 9, and iii. 3-9, Col. i. 25-27.
* Xpérois alwrios, in the secular times," or in the times under the law, Why the times, under the law, were called xfóros alunos, we may find reason in their jubilees, which were alaves, "secula" or "ages," by which all the time, under the law, was measured; and so xpóros alio is used 2 Tim. i. 9, Tit. i. 2. And so alves are put for the times of the law, or the jubilees. Luke i. 70, Acts iii. 21, 1 Cor. ii. 7, and x. 11, Eph. iii. 9, Col. i. 26, Heb. ix. 26. And so God is called the rock,, alwvwv, of ages, Isa. xxvi. 4, in the same sense that he is called the rock of Israel, Isai. xxx. 29, i.e. the strength and support of the jewish state: for it is of the jews the prophet here speaks. So Exod. xxi. 6, yb, sis Tòr aira, signifies not, as we translate it, "for ever," but "to the jubilee;" which will appear, if we compare Lev. xxv. 39–41, and Exod. xxi. 2, see "Burthogg's christianity, a revealed mystery," p. 17, 18. Now, that the times of the law, were the times spoken of here, by St. Paul, seems plain, from that which he declares to have continued a mystery, during all those times, to wit, God's purpose of taking in the gentiles to be his people, under the Messiah: for this could not be said to be a mystery, at any other time, but during the time that the jews were the peculiar people of God, separated to him, from among the nations of the earth. Before that time, there was no such name, or notion of distinction, as gentiles. Before the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the calling of the israelites to be God's peculiar people, was as much a mystery, as the calling of others, out of other nations, was a mystery afterwards. All, that St. Paul insists on here, and in all the places where he mentions this mystery, is to show, that though God has declared this his purpose to the jews, by the predictions of his prophets amongst them; yet it lay concealed from their knowledge, it was a mystery to them; they understood no such thing: there was not any where the least suspicion, or thought of it, till the Messiah being come, it was openly declared, by St. Paul, to the jews and gentiles, and made out by the writings of the prophets, which were now understood.