Romans 12:19 MEANING

Romans 12:19
(19) Give place unto wrath.--It seems best to understand this of "the wrath of God" (indicated in the Greek, here as elsewhere, by the use of the article). Stand aside yourself as a mere spectator, and let the wrath of God have free course to accomplish itself as He shall think well. The other most plausible interpretation would be, "Give room to the wrath of your adversary; let it spend itself; resist not evil," etc., as in Matthew 5:39. The sense, "Allow time for your own anger to cool," cannot be got out of the Greek. The view first stated is to be preferred.

Vengeance is mine; I will repay.--The form of this quotation, which differs both from the LXX. and from the Hebrew, is precisely similar to that in Hebrews 10:30. This should be noted as a point of resemblance between St. Paul and the author of that Epistle, but its strength as an argument for the identity of the two is much diminished by the fact that other marked coincidences are found in the literature of this age, which seem to point to the conclusion that forms of text were current (perhaps confined to a few familiar quotations) of which no direct representations have come down to us.

12:17-21 Since men became enemies to God, they have been very ready to be enemies one to another. And those that embrace religion, must expect to meet with enemies in a world whose smiles seldom agree with Christ's. Recompense to no man evil for evil. That is a brutish recompence, befitting only animals, which are not conscious of any being above them, or of any existence hereafter. And not only do, but study and take care to do, that which is amiable and creditable, and recommends religion to all with whom you converse. Study the things that make for peace; if it be possible, without offending God and wounding conscience. Avenge not yourselves. This is a hard lesson to corrupt nature, therefore a remedy against it is added. Give place unto wrath. When a man's passion is up, and the stream is strong, let it pass off; lest it be made to rage the more against us. The line of our duty is clearly marked out, and if our enemies are not melted by persevering kindness, we are not to seek vengeance; they will be consumed by the fiery wrath of that God to whom vengeance belongeth. The last verse suggests what is not easily understood by the world; that in all strife and contention, those that revenge are conquered, and those that forgive are conquerors. Be not overcome of evil. Learn to defeat ill designs against you, either to change them, or to preserve your own peace. He that has this rule over his spirit, is better than the mighty. God's children may be asked whether it is not more sweet unto them than all earthly good, that God so enables them by his Spirit, thus to feel and act.Dearly beloved,.... This affectionate appellation the apostle makes use of, expressing his great love to them, the rather to work upon then, and move them to an attention to what he is about to say; which they might assure themselves was in great tenderness to them, for their good, as well as the glory of God: moreover, he may hereby suggest to them, not only that they were dear to him, but that they were greatly beloved of God, that they were high in his favour and affection; and this he might him unto them, in order to melt them into love to their fellow Christians and fellow creatures, and even to their enemies, and never think of private revenge:

avenge not yourselves; this is no ways contrary to that revenge, a believer has upon sin, and the actings of it, which follows on true evangelical repentance for it, 2 Corinthians 7:11, and lies in a displicency at it, and himself for it, and in abstaining from it, and fighting against it; nor to that revenge a church may take of the disobedience of impenitent and incorrigible offenders, by laying censures on them, withdrawing from them, and rejecting them from their communion; nor to that revenge which civil magistrates may execute upon them that do evil; but this only forbids and condemns private revenge in private persons, for private injuries done, and affronts given:

but rather give place to wrath; either to a man's own wrath, stirred up by the provocations given him; let him not rush upon revenge immediately; let him sit down and breathe upon it; let him "give" "space", unto it, as the Syriac, which may signify time as well as place; and by taking time his wrath will, subside, he will cool and come to himself, and think better on it: or to the wrath of the injurious person, by declining him, as Jacob did Esau, till his wrath was over; or by patiently hearing without resistance the evil done, according to the advice of Christ, Matthew 5:39; or to the wrath of God, leave all with him, and to the day of his wrath and righteous judgment, who will render to every man according to his works; commit yourselves to him that judgeth righteously, and never think of avenging your own wrongs; and this sense the following words incline to,

for it is written, Deuteronomy 32:35;

vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord; vengeance belongs to God, and to him only; it is proper and peculiar to him, not to Heathen deities, one of which they call "vengeance"; see Acts 28:4; nor to Satan, who is of a revengeful spirit, and is styled the enemy and the avenger; nor to men, unless to magistrates under God, who are revengers and executioners of his wrath on wicked men; otherwise it solely belongs to God the lawgiver, whose law is broken, and against whom sin is committed: and there is reason to believe he will "repay" it, from the holiness of his nature, the strictness of his justice, his power and faithfulness, his conduct towards his own people, even to his Son, as their surety; nor will he neglect, but in his own time will avenge his elect, which cry unto him day and night; and who therefore should never once think of avenging themselves, but leave it with their God, to whom it belongs.

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