“Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?”
King James Version (KJV)
2:21 Thou dost not teach thyself - He does not teach himself who does not practise what he teaches. Dost thou steal, commit adultery, commit sacrilege - Sin grievously against thy neighbour, thyself, God. St. Paul had shown the gentiles, first their sins against God, then against themselves, then against their neighbours. He now inverts the order: for sins against God are the most glaring in an heathen, but not in a Jew. Thou that abhorrest idols - Which all the Jews did, from the time of the Babylonish captivity. Thou committest sacrilege - Doest what is worse, robbing Him who is God over all of the glory which is due to him. None of these charges were rashly advanced against the Jews of that age; for, as their own historian relates, some even of the priests lived by rapine, and others in gross uncleanness. And as for sacrilegiously robbing God and his altar, it had been complained of ever since Malachi; so that the instances are given with great propriety and judgment.
Ro 2:21 Thou therefore who teachest another. Having just described the proud claims of the Jews, he next inquires how their practice corresponds. Teachest thou not thyself? He who teaches others how to live, does he teach himself how to live? Dost thou steal? Some of the essential principles of the law which the Jews supposed to teach to others. The decalogue forbade stealing (Ex 20:15), but the Jews were already proverbial for their tricky methods of trade.