The true Circumcision is thus the more honoured.


the Law and the circumcision, but something yet more Rom, subdued, thee who by the letter and circumcision dost 2, 28. transgress the Law. That is, such uncircumcision even stands up for the circumcision which has been injured, and comes to the Law's assistance, which has been insulted, and obtains a notable triumph. For then is the rictory decided, when it is not by Jew that Jew is judged, but by the uncircumcised; as when He says, The men of Mat. 12,

41. Ninereh shall rise in judgment against this generation, and shall condemn it. It is not then the Law that he dishonours, (for he reverences it greatly,) but him that does disgrace to the Law. Next, having settled these grounds clearly, he goes on confidently to define what the Jew is. And he shews that it is not the Jew, nor the circumcision, but he that is no Jew, and uncircumcised, whom he is rejecting. And he seemeth indeed to stand up in its behalf, but yet does away with the notion regarding it, securing men's concurrence by the conclusion he comes to. For he shews not only that there is no difference between the Jew and the uncircumcised, but that the uncircumcised has even the advantage, if he take heed to himself, and that it is he that is really the Jew; and so he says:

Ver. 28. For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh.

Here he attacks them as doing all things for show.

Ver. 29. But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter.

By saying this he sets aside all things bodily. For the circumcision is outwardly, and the sabbaths and the sacrifices and purifications. And all these he hints in a single word, when he says, For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; but since much was made of the circumcision, inasmuch as even the sabbath had given way to it, he has good reason for aiming more especially against it. But by saying in the spirit he paves the way for the conversation of

e It might be observed, that all St. Todasią. We want a word to exPaul's reasoning here and to the Ga- press at once the spiritual citizenship latians holds against circumcision and and the corresponding life. the sabbath alike.


80 Objection answered, that the Jew is thus made nothing. Homil. the Church to come, and introduces the faith. For it in the

heart and spirit hath the praise of God. And how cometh he not to shew that the Gentile which doeth aright is no less than the Jew which doeth aright, but that the Gentile which doeth aright is better than the Jew which breaketh the Law? It was that he might make the victory an undoubted one. For when this is agreed upon, of necessity the circumcision of the flesh is set aside, and the universal need of a good life is demonstrated. For when the Greek is saved without these, but the Jew with these is yet punished, Judaism stands by doing nothing. And again, it is not the idolatrous Greek but the religious and virtuous that he says is quit also of the observances of the Law.

Chap. iii. ver. 1. What advantage then hath the Jew?

Since he has set all aside, the hearing, the teaching, the name of the Jew, the circumcision, and all the other particulars by his saying that he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, but he which is one inwardly; see now an objection which starts up, and against this he makes his stand. Now what is this objection? If, he means, these things are no use, what reason was there for that nation being called, and the circumcision too being given? What does he then, and how does he solve it? By the same means as he solved the former ones: for as there, he told, not of their praises, but the benefits of God; not their well doings, (for to be called a Jew and to know His Will and to approve the things which are more excellent, was no well doing of

their own, but came of the grace of God; and this the Ps. 147, Prophet also says, upbraiding them; He hath not done so Deut. 4, to any nation, neither hath he shewed His judgments unto 32. 33. them; and Moses again; Ask now whether there hath been

any such thing as this ? he says, did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, and live?) this then he does here also. For as, when speaking of circumcision, he did not say that circumcision is valueless without a good life, but that circuincision is of value with a good life, pointing out the same thing but in a more subdued tone. And again, if thou be a breaker of the Law, he does not say, Thou art no whit profited by being circumcised, but thy circumcision is made uncircumcision : and

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were trusted.

The Jews, though faithless, trusted with the Oracles of God. 81 after this, again, the uncircumcision, saith he, shall judge, Rom.

3, 4. not the circumcision, but thee that dost transgress the Law, so sparing the things of the Law, and smiting the persons. So he doth here also. For after setting before him this objection, and saying, what advantage then hath the Jew? he says not, None, but he joins in the argument, and confutes it again by the sequel, and shews that they were even punished owing to this preeminence. And how, I proceed to say at once. Bringing forward the objection, What adrantange then, he says, hath the Jew, or what profit is there of circumcision?

Ver. 2. Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

Do you see that, as I said above, it is not their well doings, but the benefits of God, that he every where counts up? And what is the word &TIO TEÚByo av?? It means, that' they they had the Law put into their hands because He held them worthy so far as to entrust the oracles to them, which came down from above. I know indeed that some take the ÉTIOteúdno ay not of the Jews, but of the oracles, as much as to say, the Law was believed in. But the context does not admit of this being held good. For in the first place he is saying this with a view to accuse them, and shews that, though in the enjoyment of many a blessing from above, they yet shewed great unfeelingness. Then, the context also makes this clear. For he goes on to say, For what if some did not believe. If they did not believe, how do some say, the oracles were believed in? What does he mean then? Why that God entrusted the same to them, and not that they trusted to the oracles. And how else will the context make sense? For he farther goes on to say,

Ver. 3. For what if some did not believe ?

And what comes next makes the same point clear. For? cò quod he again adds as follows; Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Ver. 4. God forbid. The word nioteulno av, then, proclaims God's gift.

And I would have you here also note his judgment. & See Gen. 18, 19. Deut. 4, 37. and h For this use of the word, see 1 Tim. 10, 15.

3, 16.

6 Mss.


God's kindness even greater as toward the unworthy. Homil.. For again, he does not bring in their accusation on his VI.

own part, but as it were by way of objection, as if he said, But perhaps you will say, ' What then is the use of this circumcision, since they used it not' as were fitting, since they were trusted with the Law and did not believe themselves ? And hitherto he is not a severe accuser, but as if to clear God of complaints against Him, he by this means turns the whole of the accusations round upon themselves. For why, he would say, do you complain that they did not believe? Now how doth this affect God? For as for His benefit, doth the unfeelingness of those benefitted overturn it? Or doth it make the honour to be no honour? For this is what the words, Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect, amount to. God forbid. As if one should say, I have honoured such an one. And if he did not receive the honour, this gives no ground for accusing me, nor impairs my kindness, but shews his want of feeling. But Paul does not say this merely, but what is much more. That not only does their unbelief not leave the soil of a complaint upon God, but even shews His honour and love of man to be the greater, in that He is seen to have bestowed honour upon one who would dishonour Him. See how he has brought them out guilty of misdemeanours by means of what they gloried in; forasmuch as the honour with which God treated them was so great, that even when He saw what would come thereof, He withheld not His goodwill toward them! Yet they made the honours bestowed on them a means of insulting Him that honoured them! Next, since he said, For what if some did not believe? (and clearly it was all of them that did not believe,) lest by speaking here too as the history allowed him, he should seem to be a severe accuser of them like an enemy, he puts that, which really took place, in the method of reasoning and syllogism, saying as follows: Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar. What he says is something of this sort.

that some did not believe, but if you will, suppose that all were unbelieving, so waving what really happened, to fall in with ' the objector, that he might not seem overbearing or

he means,

1 κατά συνδρομην, see above on v. 1. συνέδραμε.

I do not say,

Yet not in such sense but that He justly judges the abuse. 83 to be suspected. Well, he says, in this way God is the Rom. more justified. What does the word justified mean? That,

3, 6. if there was to be a trial and an examination of the things He had done for the Jews, and of what had been done on their part towards Him, the victory would be with God, and all the right on His side. And after shewing this clearly from what was said before, he next introduces the Prophet also as giving his approval to these things, and saying, that Ps. 51, Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and clear when Thou art judged. He then for His part did every thing, but they were nothing the better even for this. Then he brings another objection forward, that starts up out of this,


and says,

6 Mss.

Ver. 5. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? 1 speak as a man.

Ver. 6. God forbid.

He solves one perplexity by another again. Yet as this is not clear, we must needs declare it more clearly. What to dův is it then he means? God honoured the Jews: they did dishonour Him. This gives Him the victory, and shews the greatness of His love toward man, in that He honoured them even such as they were. Since then, he means, by our dishonouring of Him and wronging Him, God by this very thing became victorious, and His righteousness was shewn to be clear; why (a man may say) am I to be punished, who have been the cause of His victory by the wrongs I did Him. Now how does he meet this? It is, as I was saying, by another absurdity. Again, if it were you, he says, that were the cause of the victory, and after this are punished, the thing is an act of injustice. But if He be not unrighteous, and yet you be punished, then you are no more the cause of the victory. And note the caution of the Apostle; for after saying, Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? he adds, I speak as a man. As if, he means, any body were to argue in the way men reason. For what things seem with us to be justice, these the just judgment of God far exceedeth, and has certain other unspeakable grounds for it. Next, since it was indistinct, he begins afresh again, and says:

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