The word is near (Rom 10:8)

“But what does it say?

‘The word is near you!

On your lips

And in your heart.’

That is,

The word of faith

That we proclaim.”

ἀλλὰ τί λέγει; Ἐγγύς σου τὸ ῥῆμά ἐστιν, ἐν τῷ στόματί σου καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου· τοῦτ’ ἔστιν τὸ ῥῆμα τῆς πίστεως ὃ κηρύσσομεν.

Paul finished with this quotation from Deuteronomy, chapter 30:11-14.  He questioned them saying “What does it say (ἀλλὰ τί λέγει)?”  ‘The word is near you (Ἐγγύς σου τὸ ῥῆμά ἐστιν), on your lips (ἐν τῷ στόματί σου) and in your heart (καὶ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου).’  That is the word of faith (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν τὸ ῥῆμα τῆς πίστεως) that we proclaim (ὃ κηρύσσομεν).  Paul finished his comments about Yahweh, Moses, and the Mosaic law.  The law was near them, on their lips and in their heart.  They did not need to go searching in the heavens or the depths of earth.  They had it within themselves.  Paul made the final point that this is exactly what he and his followers of Jesus were saying and proclaiming, that this word of faith was revealed to Moses.  Paul wanted to show his continuity with Moses.  What do you think of Moses?

The abyss (Rom 10:7)

“‘Who will descend

Into the abyss?’

That is

To bring Christ up

From the dead.”

ἤ Τίς καταβήσεται εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον; τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Χριστὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναγαγεῖν.

Paul continued with the citation from Moses from Deuteronomy, chapter 30:11-14 that said ‘Who will descend into the abyss (ἤ Τίς καταβήσεται εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον)?’  That is to bring Christ up from the dead (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Χριστὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναγαγεῖν).  Yahweh continued to tell Moses that they did not have to go down into the sea. “who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us, so that we may hear it and observe it?”  No, the word was very near to them.  It is in their mouth and in heart for them to observe.  Then once again, Paul added that Jesus Christ had been raised up from the dead.  Paul continued to use the Hebrew Bible in a Greek translation, the Septuagint, to show how Jesus was a continuation of the Jewish law and life.  Do you accept the Jewishness of Jesus?

Faith and righteousness (Rom 10:6)

“But the righteousness

That comes from faith says.

‘Do not say

In your heart.

‘Who will ascend into heaven?’

That is

To bring Christ down.”

ἡ δὲ ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοσύνη οὕτως λέγει Μὴ εἴπῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου Τίς ἀναβήσεται εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν; τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Χριστὸν καταγαγεῖν·

Paul said that this righteousness (δικαιοσύνη οὕτως) comes from faith (ἡ δὲ ἐκ πίστεως) says (λέγει).  “Do not say in your heart (Μὴ εἴπῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου).  ‘Who will ascend into heaven (Τίς ἀναβήσεται εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν)?’  This is to bring Christ down (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Χριστὸν καταγαγεῖν).”  Paul used a citation from Deuteronomy, chapter 30:11-14, where Yahweh said to Moses.  “Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’”  In other words, you did not need to send someone to heaven to find out about this law.  These were not impractical laws, but something everyone could follow.  These words were very near to everyone, within them.  They are not that hard.  They were not in heaven, but in their mouths and hearts.  In a certain sense they resemble the ‘natural law’ of the scholastics.  The word of God that was written by Moses, the Mosaic law was available to them.  Then Paul threw in the comment about Jesus who had descended from heaven for them already.  What role does the Mosaic law play in your life?

Moses and righteousness (Rom 10:5)

“Moses writes

Concerning the righteousness

That comes from the law.

‘The person

Who does these things

Will live by them.’”

Μωϋσῆς γὰρ γράφει ὅτι τὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου ὁ ποιήσας ἄνθρωπος ζήσεται ἐν αὐτῇ.

Paul then cited Moses who wrote (Μωϋσῆς γὰρ γράφει) about the righteousness (ὅτι τὴν δικαιοσύνην) that comes from the law (τὴν ἐκ νόμου).  The man who does these things (ὁ ποιήσας ἄνθρωπος) will live by them (ζήσεται ἐν αὐτῇ).  This was a quote from Leviticus, chapter 18:5, where Yahweh told Moses that they were not to follow the laws in Canaan, but the laws that he was giving them.  They are to follow these statutes and ordinances.  If they lived and followed Yahweh, God’s law, they would be saved.  This would seem to be contradictory.  However, the Israelites believed that God had given Moses these laws, so that they were fulfilling the word of God by following and living the law of Moses.  This was sometimes referred to as the “Holiness Code” as an explanation of the Ten Commandments.  What laws do you follow?

Righteousness for believers (Rom 10:4)


Is the end

Of the law.


There may be


For everyone

Who believes.”

τέλος γὰρ νόμου Χριστὸς εἰς δικαιοσύνην παντὶ τῷ πιστεύοντι.

Paul said that Christ (Χριστὸς) was the end or purpose of the law (τέλος γὰρ νόμου).  Thus, there may be righteousness (εἰς δικαιοσύνην) for everyone (παντὶ) who believes (τῷ πιστεύοντι).  Paul indicated that Jesus Christ was the goal, the end, or the purpose of the law.  Thus, anyone who believed in Jesus might be righteous.  The Israelites were headed toward Jesus Christ.  However, the gift of belief was essential to be righteous.  How important is belief in Jesus Christ in your life?

The Israelites did not submit to God’s righteousness (Rom 10:3)

“Being ignorant

Of the righteousness

That comes from God,

But seeking

To establish

Their own righteousness,

They have not submitted

To God’s righteousness.”

ἀγνοοῦντες γὰρ τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην, καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ζητοῦντες στῆσαι, τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐχ ὑπετάγησαν.

Paul said that the Israelites were ignorant (ἀγνοοῦντες) of the righteousness (δικαιοσύνην) that comes from God (γὰρ τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Instead, they were seeking to establish their own righteousness (καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ζητοῦντες στῆσαι).  They have not submitted (οὐχ ὑπετάγησαν) to God’s righteousness (τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Paul indicated that the Israelites did not know or were ignorant about God’s righteousness.  Instead, they were trying to establish and maintain their own sense of righteousness.  They were not willing to submit to God and his righteousness.  They thought that they knew it all, but in fact, they were ignorant of God’s righteousness, while trying to establish their own criteria of what was righteous.  They did not defer to God.  They were like Paul/Saul before his conversion.  He had zeal for righteousness in his persecution of the early Christians.  Do you have an enlightened sense of righteousness?

The Israelites have a zeal for God (Rom 10:2)

“I can testify

That the Israelites

Have a zeal

For God,

But it is not enlightened.”

μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς ὅτι ζῆλον Θεοῦ ἔχουσιν, ἀλλ’ οὐ κατ’ ἐπίγνωσιν·

Paul said that he could testify or bear witness (μαρτυρῶ γὰρ) that that the Israelites (γὰρ αὐτοῖς) have a zeal for God (ὅτι ζῆλον Θεοῦ ἔχουσιν), but (ἀλλ’) it was not an enlightened or knowledgeable zeal (οὐ κατ’ ἐπίγνωσιν).  Paul indicated that he would swear that the Israelites have a great zeal for God, but it was not an enlightened passion, since they did not fully understand their zeal for God.  The Israelites did want to do good, but they were not completely aware of how to do this.  They loved God, but they were not aware of how to love God correctly.  Is this a problem that you have?

I want the Israelites saved (Rom 10:1)

“My brothers!

My heart’s desire

And my prayer to God

For them

Is that they may be saved.”

Ἀδελφοί, ἡ μὲν εὐδοκία τῆς ἐμῆς καρδίας καὶ ἡ δέησις πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν εἰς σωτηρίαν.

Paul said.  “My brothers (Ἀδελφοί)!  My heart’s desire (ἡ μὲν εὐδοκία τῆς ἐμῆς καρδίας) and my prayer (καὶ ἡ δέησις) to God (πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν) for them (αὐτῶν), the Israelites, was that they might be saved (εἰς σωτηρίαν).  Paul desired and prayed to God that the Israelites would be saved.  He was not opposed to the Jewish people.  He just wanted them saved.  Do you want Jewish people to be saved?

The stone and the rock (Rom 9:33)

“As it is written.


I am laying in Zion

A stone

That will make men stumble,

A rock

That will make them fall.

Whoever believes in him

Will not be put to shame.’”

καθὼς γέγραπται Ἰδοὺ τίθημι ἐν Σιὼν λίθον προσκόμματος καὶ πέτραν σκανδάλου, καὶ ὁ πιστεύων ἐπ’ αὐτῷ οὐ καταισχυνθήσεται.

Paul concluded that as it is written (καθὼς γέγραπται) in Isaiah, chapter 28:16, “See (Ἰδοὺ)!  I am laying (τίθημι) in Zion (ἐν Σιὼν) a stone (λίθον) that will make men stumble (προσκόμματος), a rock (καὶ πέτραν) that will make them fall (σκανδάλου).  Whoever believes in him (καὶ ὁ πιστεύων ἐπ’ αὐτῷ) will not be put to shame (οὐ καταισχυνθήσεται).”  Paul now explained this stumbling stone based on the prophet Isaiah.  Yahweh, God, had told Isaiah that he was laying in Zion, a foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.  Anyone who trusted in this stone, probably Jesus, would not panic.  God was going to lay a new tested foundation as the precious cornerstone in Zion.  People who trusted in Yahweh would not panic.  The line and the plummet lead bob for this construction of the new Jerusalem would be justice and righteousness.  Paul took another angle on this cornerstone that became a stumbling stone, meaning Jesus.  How important is a foundation stone?

Faith and works (Rom 9:32)

“Why not?

Because they did not pursue it

On the basis of faith,

But as if it were based

On works.

They have stumbled

Over the stumbling stone.”

διὰ τί; ὅτι οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐξ ἔργων· προσέκοψαν τῷ λίθῳ τοῦ προσκόμματος,

Paul once again asked an ironic question “Why not (διὰ τί)?”  Of course, he answered that Israel did not pursue righteousness on the basis of faith (ὅτι οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως), but as if it were based on works (ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐξ ἔργων).  They have stumbled (προσέκοψαν) over the stumbling stone (τῷ λίθῳ τοῦ προσκόμματος).  The problem with the Israelites and the law was that they did not seek righteousness with faith, but by works.  If they followed the law, they thought that they would be righteous by simply keeping the law.  They lacked faith, so that they stumbled on the stumbling stone.  Instead of the law helping them, it hindered them with their narrow legalistic treatment of the law.  What is your attitude towards the law?