But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God,
&c.] Hence it appears, that the unrighteousness of men commends the
righteousness, or faithfulness of God; and yet all unrighteousness is
sin; the wrath of God is revealed against it; and would exclude from
heaven, were it not for pardon through the blood of Christ; and
besides, the one is contrary to the other, and of itself, of its own
nature, cannot influence and affect the other: wherefore this can only
be understood of the manifestation and illustration of, the
righteousness of God by it; which is covered and commended, in
punishing the unrighteousness of men; in setting forth Christ to be a
propitiation for sin; and in fulfilling his promises, notwithstanding
the failings of his people, of which the case of David is a pregnant
proof; just as the love of God is illustrated and commended, by the
consideration of the sins of men, for whom Christ died, and his grace
and mercy in the conversion of them: but if this be true,
what shall we say?
shall we allow the following question to be put?
this answers to (rmyml akya yam) , "what is there to say", or "to be
said?" a way of speaking, often used by the Talmudists F14:
is God unrighteous, who taketh vengeance?
if the premises are true,
this is a just consequence of them; whereas God does take vengeance on
men for their unrighteousness, both here and hereafter, it must be a
piece of unrighteousness in him so to do; since that for which he takes
vengeance on them commends his own righteousness; but that you may know
as well by what follows, that this is not an inference of his own, but
another's, he adds,
I speak as a man;
(Mda ynb Nwvlk) , "according to the language of the
children of men", a phrase often used by the Jewish doctors F15. The
apostle did not speak the sentiments of his own mind, he represented
another man, and spoke in the language of an adversary.
F14 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 4. 1. & passim.
F15 T. Bab. Ceritot, fol. 11. 1. & passim.