Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Romans 2:22

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Dost thou commit adultery? - There is no doubt that this was a crime very common among the Jews; see the Matthew 12:39 note; John 8:1-11 notes. The Jewish Talmud accuses some of the most celebrated of their Rabbies, by name, of this vice. (Grotius.) Josephus also gives the same account of the nation.

Thou that abhorrest idols - It was one of the doctrines of their religion to abhor idolatry. This they were everywhere taught in the Old Testament; and this they doubtless inculcated in their teaching. It was impossible that they could recommend idolatry.

Dost thou commit sacrilege? - Sacrilege is the crime of violating or profaning sacred things; or of appropriating to common purposes what has been devoted to the service of religion. In this question, the apostle shows remarkable tact and skill. He could not accuse them of idolatry, for the Jews, after the Babylonish captivity, had never fallen into it. But then, though they had not the form, they might have the spirit of idolatry. That spirit consisted in withholding from the true God what was his due, and bestowing the affections upon something else. This the Jews did by perverting from their proper use the offerings which were designed for his honor; by withholding what he demanded of tithes and offerings; and by devoting to other uses what was devoted to him, and which properly belonged to his service. That this was a common crime among them is apparent from Malachi 1:8, Malachi 1:12-14; Malachi 3:8-9. It is also evident from the New Testament that the temple was in many ways desecrated and profaned in the time of our Saviour; notes, Matthew 21:12-13.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle directs his discourse to the Jews, and shows of what sins they were guilty, notwithstanding their profession and vain pretensions. A believing, humble, thankful glorying in God, is the root and sum of all religion. But proud, vain-glorious boasting in God, and in the outward profession of his name, is the root and sum of all hypocrisy. Spiritual pride is the most dangerous of all kinds of pride. A great evil of the sins professors is, the dishonour done to God and religion, by their not living according to their profession. Many despise their more ignorant neighbours who rest in a dead form of godliness; yet themselves trust in a form of knowledge, equally void of life and power, while some glory in the gospel, whose unholy lives dishonour God, and cause his name to be blasphemed.
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