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Romans 10:16

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But they have not all obeyed the Gospel - This seems to be the objection of a Jew; as if he had said: A Divine mission would be attended with success; whereas there are numbers who pay no attention to the glad tidings you preach. To this the apostle answers, that the Spirit of God, by Isaiah, Isaiah 53:1, foretold it would be so, even in the case of the Jews themselves, where he said, Lord, who hath believed our report? For although God brings the message of salvation to men, he does not oblige them to embrace it.

It is proposed to their understanding and conscience; but it does not become the means of salvation unless it be affectionately credited.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But they have not all obeyed the gospel - It is not easy to see the connection of this; and it has been made a question whether this is to be regarded as a continuation of the objection of the Jew, or as a part of the answer of the apostle. After all the attention which I have been able to give it, I am inclined to regard it as an admission of the apostle, as if he had said, “It must be admitted that all have not obeyed the gospel. So far as the objection of the Jew arises from that fact, and so far as that fact can bear on the case, it is to be conceded that all have not yielded obedience to the gospel. For this was clearly declared even by the prophet;” compare Acts 28:24; Hebrews 4:2.

For Esaias saith - Isaiah 53:1.

Who hath believed our report? - That is, Isaiah complains that his declarations respecting the Messiah had been rejected by his countrymen. The form of expression, “Who hath believed?” is a mode of saying emphatically that few or none had done it. The great mass of his countrymen had rejected it. This was an example to the purpose of the apostle. In the time of Isaiah this fact existed; and it was not a new thing that it existed in the time of the gospel. “Our report.” Our message; or what is delivered to be heard and believed. It originally means the doctrine which Isaiah delivered about the Messiah; and implies that the same thing would occur when the Messiah should actually come. Hence, in the fifty-third chapter he proceeds to give the reasons why the report would not be credited. and why the Messiah would be rejected. It would be because he was a root out of a dry ground; because he was a man of sorrows. etc. And this actually took place. Because he did not come with splendor and pomp, as a temporal prince, he was rejected, and put to death. On substantially the same grounds he is even yet rejected by thousands. The force of this verse, perhaps, may be best seen by including it in a parenthesis, “How beautiful are the feet, etc.” how important is the gospel ministry - (although it must be admitted, that all have not obeyed, for this was predicted also by Isaiah, etc.)

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
There is not one God to the Jews, more kind, and another to the Gentiles, who is less kind; the Lord is a Father to all men. The promise is the same to all, who call on the name of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, as God manifest in the flesh. All believers thus call upon the Lord Jesus, and none else will do so humbly or sincerely. But how should any call on the Lord Jesus, the Divine Saviour, who had not heard of him? And what is the life of a Christian but a life of prayer? It shows that we feel our dependence on him, and are ready to give up ourselves to him, and have a believing expectation of our all from him. It was necessary that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles. Somebody must show them what they are to believe. How welcome the gospel ought to be to those to whom it was preached! The gospel is given, not only to be known and believed, but to be obeyed. It is not a system of notions, but a rule of practice. The beginning, progress, and strength of faith is by hearing. But it is only hearing the word, as the word of God that will strengthen faith.
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