Римлянам - Еврейский Новый Завет, перевод и комментарии Давида

chapter 2
1. Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, passing judgment; for when you judge someone else, you are passing judgment against yourself; since you who are judging do the same things he does.
2. We know that God’s judgment lands impartially on those who do such things;
3. do you think that you, a mere man passing judgment on others who do such things, yet doing them yourself, will escape the judgment of God?
4. Or perhaps you despise the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience; because you don’t realize that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to turn from your sins.
5. But by your stubbornness, by your unrepentant heart, you are storing up anger for yourself on the Day of Anger, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed;
But the Bad News is not over. Perhaps you are not caught in the mire of 1:18-32 but perceive the condition of others who are and rightly condemn them. Your sin is pride, and Sha'ul has a word for you: spotting the evil in others has not rooted out the evil in you — or, as the folk saying has it, "It takes one to know one." Sha'ul accuses you. who have made yourself a judge, less for passing judgment on others than for not passing equally severe judgment on yourself (compare Mt 7:1-4, Ya 4:11-12). You cannot take a stand outside humanity, supposing you are special; you too must turn from yuursins (v. 4; see Mt 3:2N).

This is the only reason God in his mercy has held back his anger against you. True, he has always shown such mercy: Adam and Eve did not die on the day they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but hundreds of years later (Genesis 2:17, 3:1-22, 5:1-5); Noah's generation heard him warn them and was given 120 years to repent (Genesis 6:1-7:6,2 Ke 2:5); Jonah announced doom to the inhabitants of Nineveh, but they turned from sin and were spared (for awhile). Nevertheless there is urgency, because the Day of Judgment will surely come, with its solemn consequences (w. 7-8), and you do not know when that will be (1 Th 5:2). The Talmud expresses the same concern:

"Rabbi Eli'ezer said, 'Repent one day before you die.' His disciples asked him, ' [ How can we do that?] Who knows on what day he will die?' He answered them, "All the more reason to repent today, because you might be dead tomorrow !'"(Shabbat 153a) 

6. for he will pay back each one according to his deeds (Psalm 62:13(12), Proverbs 24:12)
This idea is found also in the Tanakh at Job 34:11, in the Apocrypha at Sirach 16:14, and in the New Testament at Mt 16:27. Yn 5:29 and 2C 5:10. 

7. To those who seek glory, honor and immortality by perseverance in doing good, he will pay back eternal life.
8. But to those who are self-seeking, who disobey the truth and obey evil, he will pay back wrath and anger.
The Bad News concludes where it began in 1:18, with God's paying back wrath and anger (v. 8) to those whose deeds display their lack of trust in him. But v. 7 offers a ray of hope; indeed, it gives the kernel of the Gospel. 

9. Yes, he will pay back misery and anguish to every human being who does evil, to the Jew first, then to the Gentile;
10. but glory and honor and shalom to everyone who keeps doing what is good, to the Jew first, then to the Gentile.
11. For God does not show favoritism.
12. All who have sinned outside the framework of Torah will die outside the framework of Torah; and all who have sinned within the framework of Torah will be judged by Torah.
Outside the framework of Torah, Greek anomds, literally, "apart from law," "a-legally." Within the framework of Torah, Greek en nomo. literally, "in-connection-with law," "in law." Some translations (New International Version, Revised Standard Version) have "under the law" here, even though they use ihe same phrase elsewhere to translate upo потоп, which means something else (see Ga 3:23bN).

The Bad News, like the Good News, is universal: "All have sinned and fall short of earning God's praise" (3:23). To prove this, Sha'ul must show that it applies to Jews as well as to Gentiles; this is his subject from here to 3:20. Some Jewish people, he says, may think that belonging to God's chosen people or having detailed knowledge of the Torah may save them from God's wrath and guarantee them eternal life — they may consider 1:18 true for Gentiles but not for themselves. That such a view was not uncommon among Jews in the first century is suggested by Mt 3:9-10, Ac 10:28&N and Ga 2:15.1 have found this attitude without apology among a few ultra-Orthodox Jews, but it seems safe to say that the vast majority of today's Jews would find such a position uncongenial, if not repulsive, just as Sha'ul does. Moreover, there are non-Jews with the same attitude — people proud of calling themselves Christians or of their religious knowledge, but whose lives fail to demonstrate what their mouths proclaim.

Sha'ul starts in vv. 9-10 by relating the summary in the preceding two verses to the Jew first, then to the Gentile — to the Jew first and foremost because his Torah knowledge ought to make him more aware of how God functions; also see 1:16&N. On "shalom" see Mt 10:12N. Since God is impartial (v. 11), the criterion he uses in judgment is not whether an individual's life situation places him within the framework of Torah as a Jew, but whether or not he has sinned (v. 12). 

13. For it is not merely the hearers of Torah whom God considers righteous; rather, it is the doers of what Torah says who will be made righteous in God’s sight.
Jews may be hearers of the Torah (rather than "readers," because scrolls were rare and Torah knowledge came from hearing them read aloud and memorizing them), but if they don't do what it says they are sinners who will die; Ya 1:22 expresses the same thought. 

14. For whenever Gentiles, who have no Torah, do naturally what the Torah requires, then these, even though they don’t have Torah, for themselves are Torah!
15. For their lives show that the conduct the Torah dictates is written in their hearts (Jeremiah 31:32(33)). Their consciences also bear witness to this, for their conflicting thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them
16 To stress the priority of deeds over head-knowledge of the Torah or status as a Jew, Sha'ul pointedly speaks of Gentiles, who by definition don't have Torah but nevertheless do naturally what the Torah requires, as being for themselves already Torah because their lives show that the conduct the Torah dictates is "written in their hearts." The quotation from Jeremiah 31:32(33) speaks of the "new covenant" which Adonai is lo make with Israel, when he says, "I will put my Torah in their inward parts and write it in their hearts" (see MJ 8:8-12).

That non-Jews have knowledge of the eternal moral law of God set forth in the Torah is further proved when they come to explicit and conscious faith in God — on a day when God passes judgment on people's inmost secrets, which, according to the Good News as Sha'ul proclaims it and as Yeshua himself proclaimed it (Yn 5:22-29), he does... through the Messiah Yeshua. On the day people come to faith they at last admit that God was right and they were wrong. Some of their behavior may prove not blameworthy, so that their consciences... sometimes defend them: but some of their behavior they will then perceive is falling short of God's standard, and their consciences will accuse them.

The above interpretation of these verses takes the "day" of v. 16 to be the day of an individual's salvation, the day he truly puts his trust in God. But an equally plausible understanding is that the "day1" is the Day of Judgment at the end of history.

Just below the surface of these verses is the question of whether it is possible for a person to be saved without explicitly having put his faith in God through the Messiah Yeshua. For vv. 14-15 speak of doing what the Torah requires and having the conduct the Torah dictates written in one's heart; and it sounds very much as if such a person would in fact be trusting and loving God with all his heart and soul and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5, Mt 22:37). Skeptics sometimes ask, "How can God be so unfair as to condemn to hell some 'primitive tribesman' who hasn't even heard of the Bible?" They often raise the issue not out of concern for the "pitiful lost heathen" but as a dodge to justify their own unbelief; the very form of the question assumes that God is unjust and not worthy of their trust, that the "primitive tribesman" is an innocent "noble savage" and God the guilty party.

Sha' ul carefully skirts answering conclusively. On the one hand, the New Testament explicitly states, "Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned" (Mk 16:16); this can be understood to mean that anyone who does not explicitly acknowledge Yeshua will be condemned and not saved, including all "primitive tribesmen." Such a reading strengthens the motivation to evangelize.

On the other hand, the present verses suggest this line of reasoning: if non-Jews, without the Torah, live up to the light they have, obeying whatever of the Torah God has written in their hearts, then their consciences will sometimes defend them and sometimes accuse them. When their consciences accuse them, they will admit their sin, ask forgiveness from God and from the people sinned against, make restitution where possible, and throw themselves on God's mercy. If they keep doing that, "Will not the Judge of al I the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25), even if these people have never heard of Yeshua? Yes, he will, although they will have no assurance of their salvation, since they will not know that Yeshua has made a final atonement for their sins.

I will not pursue the matter further, except for this one caution: no one reading the above can be in the condition of the person just described and therefore excused from trusting God and his Messiah Yeshua. For anyone reading the Jewish New Testament and this commentary is being presented with the Gospel, and he cannot evade responsibility for deciding what to do with it. If he rejects it, any reading of Mk 16:16 puts the blame for the eternal consequences on his shoulders alone. 

16. on a day when God passes judgment on people’s inmost secrets. (According to the Good News as I proclaim it, he does this through the Messiah Yeshua.)
17. But if you call yourself a Jew and rest on Torah and boast about God
18. and know his will and give your approval to what is right, because you have been instructed from the Torah;
19. and if you have persuaded yourself that you are a guide to the blind, a light in the darkness,
20. an instructor for the spiritually unaware and a teacher of children, since in the Torah you have the embodiment of knowledge and truth;
21. then, you who teach others, don’t you teach yourself? Preaching, "Thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:13(15), Deuteronomy 5:17(19)) do you steal?
22. Saying, “Thou shalt not commit adultery, (Exodus 20:13(14), Deuteronomy 5:17(18)) do you commit adultery? Detesting idols, do you commit idolatrous acts?
23. You who take such pride in Torah, do you, by disobeying the Torah, dishonor God? —
Having shown that being without the Torah does not necessarily place the Gentile at a disadvantage, Sha'ul demonstrates with cutting sarcasm derived from his own experience as a very zealous Pharisee (Ac 22:3, 26:5; Ga 1:13-14; Pp 3:4-6) that a Jew can waste his advantage (3:1-2) by misusing his Jewish status and Torah knowledge to justify boastfulness (vv. 17-20) and hypocrisy (vv. 21-23). The picture drawn is not antisemitic; rather, it applies the universal truth of vv. 1-3 in a specifically Jewish context. 

24. as it says in the Tanakh, “For it is because of you that God’s name is blasphemed by the Goyim (Isaiah 52:5, Ezekiel 36:20)
The result of the behavior described in vv. 17-23 is that, far from being a "light to the Gentiles" (Isaiah 42:6,49:6), as he is supposed to be, such a Jew plunges them further into darkness, causing them to harden their hearts: because of you... God's name is blasphemed by the Goyim (Greek ethne, l:5b-6N). One may add that, with the necessary changes, the same accusation can be made of some who "call themselves" (v. 17) Christians: by leading lives that shame God they cause Jewish people to despise the Messiah and distance themselves even farther (example: the televangelist scandals of the late 1980's). Fortunately, God's truth does not depend on them, and there are others whose lives are a better testimony.

In the thirteenth century the moralist, Rabbi Moses of Coucy, wrote,
"Those who lie freely to non-Jews and steal from them, are worse than ordinary criminals. They are blasphemers; for it is due to their guilt, that some say, 'Jews have no binding law, no moral standards."'(From Semag, as quoted by Hertz in his Prayerbook, p. 723) 

25. For circumcision is indeed of value if you do what Torah says. But if you are a transgressor of Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision!
26. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the Torah, won’t his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?
On the one hand, circumcision, taken as symbolic of being Jewish but recalling the covenant with Avraham in particular, is indeed of value, as explained in 3:1-2,9:4-5, 11:11-32 — but only if you do what Torah says. But if you are a transgressor of Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision! You have thrown away everything your Jewishness stands for. By despising God and his Law you have cut yourself off from his promises and from his people, spiritually, even though biological and cultural attachments remain. The reality behind the symbol has departed. (On the significance of circumcision see Ac 15:1N, 16:3N.)

On the other hand, if an unrircumcised man, a Gentile, keeps the righteous requirements of the Torah,... his physical uncircumcision will be counted as spiritual circumcision, "circumcision of the heart" (v. 29; the imagery comes from Leviticus 26:41: Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6; Jeremiah 9:24-25(25-26); compare Ac 7:51&N). He will then become an heir to promises of the covenant with Avraham (this theme is resumed in Chapter 4; also in Ga 3:6-29). See vv. 14-16N. 

27. Indeed, the man who is physically uncircumcised but obeys the Torah will stand as a judgment on you who have had a b’rit-milah and have Torah written out but violate it!
Sha'ul presses his case against sanctimoniousness in general and its Jewish form in particular. The Greek word "krinef may be rendered "will judge," "is judging," or, as here, "will, by his very existence and manifestly righteous behavior, stand as a continual judgment." 

28. For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical.
29. On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God.
Following is a very literal rendering of these Jewishly significant verses:
"For not the in-the-open [a] Jew is. and not the in-the-open in flesh circumcision. On the contrary, the in-the-secret [is a] Jew; and circumcision of heart, in spirit not letter; of whom the praise [is] not from people but from God."

This passage is significant for Messianic Judaism because it answers authoritatively the perennial question facing the Jewish community at large and the State of Israel in particular, "Who is a Jew?" The English word "Jew" and the Greek word "loudaios" transliterate Hebrew Y'hudi. which is related to the word "hodayah" ("praise"). Thus, by etymology a Jew is a God-praiser; and conversely, the praise he should seek and value comes not from other people but from God. This wordplay, surely present in the mind of a Hebrew-speaking religious Jew like Sha'ul but not conveyed either in the English translation or in the Greek text, underlies this passage.

For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly. Here are four possible interpretations; I think Sha'ul would disagree with the first, agree with the ideas of the second and third, but say that in this passage he means the fourth.

(1) "Being born to a Jewish family does not make one a Jew." Moishe Rosen, leader of the organization Jews for Jesus, is fond of quipping, "Being born to Christian parents doesn't make you a Christian any more than being born in a bagel factory makes you a bagel." This is true because being a Christian or a Messianic Jew requires faith, which is not transmitted biologically; trusting Yeshua makes anyone a child of God (8:14-15). but, as a Protestant cliche has it, "God has no grandchildren." However, this interpretation of our text contradicts the halakhic definition of a Jew as the child of a Jewish mother or a person converted to Judaism. While Sha'ul does not necessarily bind himself to the rulings of lhc P'rushim or the rabbis, it does not appear that he questioned this particular point but that he agreed with it (Ac 16:1-3&NN). Therefore, and also because nothing in the book of Romans questions the halakhic definition of a Jew, this cannot be the meaning.

(2) "Being born to a Jewish family does not guarantee that one will be a good Jew, a real Jew, one who praises God.1' Sha'ul would certainly endorse this, but in context such a statement seems weak. The Greek phrase literally translated "in-the-open" can indeed mean "passively in Ihe open, concerning externals," hence, "being bom to a Jewish family." which is the passive external distinctive of Jews. But it can also mean "actively in the open, making a public display," which leads to:

(3) "The born Jew who puts on a show of his Jewishness is not behaving the way a Jew should; he is not a good Jew, a real Jew, one who praises God." Sha'ul would agree with this too. but the context suggests he goes further and says:

(4) "The born Jew who puts on a show of his Jewishness is not a Jew at all!" He is not a God-praiser in any sense and therefore forfeits his right to be considered a Jew in God's sight. Instead he boasts about God's gifts as if they were his own achievements (w. 17-20) and hypocritically teaches God's Torah to others while violating it himself (vv. 21-23,25,27). God will exclude such a one from the promises he has made to the Jewish people (see Chapters 9-11). (However, if he repents, gives up his pride and sanctimonious cant, and comes to acknowledge Yeshua as his Savior. Lord and Messiah, he will be "grafted back into his own olive tree" (11:24) — so there is a sense in which his Jewishness remains, because it is still "his own olive tree." But in his present state he is a branch cut off from the tree, hence not a Jew.

See 11:23-24N.) This radical sense is concordant with v. 25 ("your circumcision has become uncircumcision") and with Sha'ul's opposition to a Jew's relying on his Jewishness for assurance of salvation (see vv. 9-12N).

True circumcision is not only external and physical. Or: "Circumcision is not a matter of boasting about the fact that a physical operation has been performed."

On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly (compare Mt 6:5-6,23:3-7); and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal. (The metaphor of heart circumcision is from the Tanakh; see vv. 25-26N above.) It is obvious that in v. 28 the people spoken of as not real Jews are in fact bom Jews, for no one needs to be told that Gentiles are not Jews. But in this passage, exactly who is a real Jew? Is Sha'ul talking about born Jews who are also born again (Yn 3:3), that is, about Messianic Jews? Or is he making a radical and dramatic assertion that some Gentiles (as well as some bom Jews) are actually Jews in God's sight by virtue of being Jews inwardly, having circumcised hearts that offer praise to God? In other words, is he saying that both Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians are Jews?

In favor of the latter idea, that bom-again Gentiles are real Jews, real God-praisers and inheritors of promises made to the Jewish people, are the following arguments:

(1) The most immediate context (vv. 24-27) deals with Gentiles and presents a series of points that lead naturally to that conclusion. Verse 26 says that an uncircumcised man who keeps the righteous requirements of the Torah will have his uncircumcision counted as circumcision. Verse 27 says that the uncircumcised man who obeys the Torah stands as a continual judgment against the circumcised man who has the Torah's guidance available to him but disobeys it. Thus a certain class of Gentiles is doing what a real Jew should do; it is then but a short step to asserting that, since the essence of the matter is "spiritual not literal," such Gentiles are in fact Jews. (A point of formal support: v. 25 stands in the same complementary logical relationship to v. 26 as v. 28 does to v. 29.)

(2) If the book of Romans as a whole is the context, we find throughout it the theme that Jews and Gentiles are equal before God in regard to salvation (1:16&N). So if "real Jew" means the same thing as "saved person," then a Gentile can be a real Jew.

(3) The equality of Jews and Gentiles before God recurs as a theme in Sha'ul's other letters. In the Messiah "there is neither Jew nor Gentile" (Ga 3:28, Co 3:11). The m'chitzah ("wall of separation") between Jew and Gentile has been broken down (Ep 2:14). Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians deal especially with the subject and show that Sha'ul was at pains to establish this point. Would it not make Messianic Jewish and Gentile Christian equality "more equal" if both could be called real Jews?

(4) In two other passages (in other letters) Sha'ul makes very similar assertions. At Pp 3:3, after criticizing certain Messianic Jewish heretics, he says, "For it is we who are the Circumcised, we who worship by the Spirit of God and make our boast in the Messiah Yeshua! We do not put confidence in human qualifications...." At Ga 6:15-16, at the end of an entire letter devoted to the issue of salvation by faith, he writes, "Neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is being a new creation. And as many as order their lives by this rule, shalom upon them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." (See notes to both passages.)

In favor of the idea that, in the sense of these verses, the only real Jews are born-again Jews, and that bom-again Gentiles are indeed saved but not by virtue of that fact Jews, are these arguments:

(1) The intermediate context (2:17—3:20) is discussing not Gentiles but Jews. At 2:17-24 Sha'ul describes a Jew who ought not to be considered a Jew. Although he does bring in the effect of such a person on Gentiles in v. 24 and continues talking about Gentiles in vv. 25-27, this discussion of Gentiles is subordinate; for the verses following this passage return to analyzing the significance of being Jewish (3:1-20). Since v. 28 has already returned to the subject of born Jews, v. 29 too should be understood as referring to born Jews — especially since 3:1-2 clearly refers to born Jews ("What advantage has the (born] Jew [not the saved Gentile]?... Much...!").

(2) Although Jews and Gentiles are equal as regards salvation, there are other distinctions between them, as Sha'ul acknowledges immediately (3:1-2) and later (9:4-5, and especially 11:28-29). One distinctive (Sha'ul does not deal with it, but Yeshua does at Lk 21:20-24), for example, is that the Jewish people are to inherit the Land of Israel in perpetuity. This is a promise to physical or national Israel that has not yet been entirely fulfilled, but it will be. No one expects the Land to be inherited by all believers, Jews and Gentiles alike. Another distinctive is the Jew's relationship with the Torah. About this Sha'ul has much to say, both in this letter and elsewhere. But it is clear from the Jerusalem Council (Ac 15:20) that the Gentile believer's relationship with the Torah was different from that of the Jewish believer. Many notes in this commentary address this matter. Because of these distinctives remaining to the Jewish people Sha'ul would not cloud the question by such a peculiar assertion as, "Some Gentiles are Jews."

(3) The two passages quoted above (in argument (4)) are as ambiguous as the present one as to whether they refer to born-again Jews or to all believers; for detailed discussion see Pp 3:3N, Ga 6:16N.

This leaves us at an impasse, which the modern interpreter finds unsatisfying because he assumes that any passage, properly understood in its linguistic and historical contexts, has one and only one meaning (puns and the like aside). However, Sha'ul was not a modern but a Pharisee who grew up in the home of Hebrew-speakers and had his mind steeped in rabbinic modes of thought at the feet of Rahban Gamli'el I (Ac 22:3, 23:6; Pp 3:5).

Carrying many new ideas in his head, Sha'ul could produce a sentence that had both a simple sense (p'shat) and a hint (remez) of something more profound; furthermore, he would not be averse to making an allegorical or homiletical application {drash) of his own words or looking in them for a secret meaning (sod); because these four ways of interpreting texts were well known among educated Jews and were part of Sha'ul's thinking equipment. For more on these four levels of rabbinic interpretation see Mt 2:15N.

Thus a born-again Gentile, one who has come to faith in the God of Israel through trusting Yeshua the Messiah, is indeed a Jew inwardly; his heart is circumcised even though his flesh is not; he is a true God-praiser, whose praise comes from God and not from other people — in many senses a real Jew. In the present verse we find a hint (remez) of such ideas which Sha'ul will develop in the rest of Romans.

Elements of drash are present in the implicit challenge and exhortation to Jews who make a show of their Jewishness to change their ways and repent, and not risk being overtaken or even replaced by Gentiles (compare 11:11-25).

One can perceive a sod (secret truth), in that Yeshua, the Son of God identifying with all mankind by his atoning death, overthrows human categories by divine intervention.

But the simple sense of the text, Ihe p'shat, the meaning arrived at by linguistic and historical analysis, even though in some senses less profound than the other levels which rest upon it, is that the only real Jew is the born Jew who has been born again by trusting in Yeshua the Messiah, for only he lives up to what the name "Jew," conferred on him at birth and confirmed by physical circumcision, implies and demands. 

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