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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 1:13

 

 

I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.

Adam Clarke Commentary

But was let hitherto - The word let, from the Anglo-Saxon to hinder, signifies impediment or hinderance of any kind: but it is likely that the original word, εκωλυθην, I was forbidden, refers to a Divine prohibition: - he would have visited them long before, but God did not see right to permit him.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

That oftentimes I purposed - See Romans 1:10. How often he had purposed this we have no means of ascertaining. The fact, however, that he had done it, showed his strong desire to see them, and to witness the displays of the grace of God in the capital of the Roman world; compare Romans 15:23-24. One instance of his having purposed to go to Rome is recorded in Acts 19:21, “After these things were ended (namely, at Ephesus), Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia to go to Jerusalem; saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” This purpose expressed in this manner in the Epistle, and the Acts of the Apostles, has been shown by Dr. Paley (Horae Paulinae on Romans 1:13) to be one of those undesigned coincidences which strongly show that both books are genuine; compare Romans 15:23-24, with Acts 19:21. A forger of these books would not have thought of such a contrivance as to feign such a purpose to go to Rome at that time, and to have mentioned it in that manner. Such coincidences are among the best proofs that can be demanded, that the writers did not intend to impose on the world; see Paley.

But was let hitherto - The word “let” means to “hinder,” or to “obstruct.” In what way this was done we do not know, but it is probable that he refers to the various openings for the preaching of the gospel where he had been, and to the obstructions of various kinds from the enemies of the gospel to the fulfillment of his purposes.

That I might have some fruit among you - That I might be the means of the conversion of sinners and of the edification of the church in the capital of the Roman Empire. It was not curiosity to see the splendid capital of the world that prompted this desire; it was not the love of travel, and of roaming from clime to clime; it was the specific purpose of doing good to the souls of human beings. To “have fruit” means to obtain success in bringing men to the knowledge of Christ. Thus, the Saviour said John 15:16,” I have chosen you, and ordained you that you should bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.”


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-1.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Romans 1:13

Oftentimes I purposed to come unto you.

Paul’s purpose

I. Its history. “Oftentimes.” The project doubtless early formed. What more natural than that so distinguished a Christian citizen should desire to see the gospel firmly planted in the centre of the empire. This would be strongly opened by the conviction that from Rome the gospel would perforce radiate more powerfully. A Christianised Rome would mean a Christianised world. The purpose was originated or confirmed by Divine revelation (cf. Acts 19:21; Act_27:24; Romans 15:23)
. His eye would never be off this great object.

II. Its temporary frustration.

1. Doubtless by Divine interpositions. He was kept from Rome as he was kept from Asia, etc. (Acts 16:6-7). Sometimes God’s purposes are best answered by the frustration of our own when they are of the highest. Perhaps it was best for Paul to work his way to Rome by a circuitous route, coming in contact with diverse peoples, and so preparing him for dealing with the heterogeneous population of the capital. Anyhow, no ministry at Rome would have compensated for the loss of his brilliant history.

2. Certainly by necessary engagements (Romans 15:20-21). It is always best to do the duty which is nearest to hand, and follow it up by proceeding to the next. All Paul’s career seems an illustration of this. He never seems to have gone out of his way. One event leads to another by a perfectly natural sequence.

3. Possibly Satan may have hindered. If at one time, why not at another (1 Thessalonians 2:18; Daniel 10:13)? Did he hinder at Illyricum (Romans 15:20) when Rome was so temptingly near?

III. Its ultimate object. “Fruit.”

1. This fruit was--

2. Much fruit he had reaped already (Romans 15:18-21).

3. Yet he yearned for more. He could have no rest while one field remained unplanted, and he knew that the most fruitful field yet remained.

IV. Its accomplishment. Read Philippians 1:1-30, and remember that Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, and Philemon were written at Rome. Who shall estimate the fruit reaped by this visit to Rome? Only the Great Husbandman at the Great Day. (J. W. Burn.)

But was let hitherto.--

The true estimate of hindrances

1. Distinguish between the imaginary and the real.

2. Do not be discouraged by them, nor seek to evade them.

3. Conquer them by prayer.

4. Convert them into means of advancement--among other things the apostle’s difficulties occasioned this Epistle to the Romans. (J. Lyth, D. D.)

That I might have some fruit.--

Anxiety for souls

Brainerd could say of himself on more than one occasion, “I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls to Christ. While I was asleep I dreamed of these things; and, when I waked, the first thing I thought of was this great work. All my desire was for the conversion of the heathen, and all my hope was in God.”

Earnestness in seeking for souls

When Judson carried the message of salvation to the villages and jungles of India, he declared his conviction that men mast be redeemed to God by personal, individual contact with those who knew the grace of Christ; and he said, “I am determined to preach the gospel wherever I can find a congregation of one.”


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Romans 1:13". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/romans-1.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (and was hindered hitherto), that I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles.

This verse shows that Paul had planned to go to Rome and that he had been hindered from doing so. It is immaterial whether the hindering came from Satan or from the Holy Spirit, because the Spirit could have overruled any Satanic hindrance; and, therefore, either the hindrance itself, or its being allowed, must be attributed to the Holy Spirit. Satan indeed was the hinderer on some occasions, as in 1 Thessalonians 2:18, and, upon other occasions, the Holy Spirit was the hinderer, as in Acts 16:6. Whiteside made a very significant deduction from the circumstances revealed in this verse:

This shows that he was not guided by inspiration in forming his plans, for the Holy Spirit would not have guided him into forming plans and then have allowed him to be hindered in carrying out his plans. Paul did sometimes form his own plans or purposes which the Holy Spirit did not allow him to carry out.[20]

From this it is clear that the guidance of the Holy Spirit in Christian lives does not extend so far as helping them to devise ALL their plans. There is nothing in such a deduction to deny that the Spirit might help in forming SOME plans; but there is revealed no way of knowing, for sure, which plans may or may not be attributed to the guidance of the Holy Spirit; hence, the necessity, always, for people to pray, even as Christ did, "Not my will, but thine be done."

Paul's reasons for thinking he should go to Rome sprang out of his desire, as stated here, to have some fruit among them. Just how long he had wanted to make this journey is not known, but it was surely for "many years" (Romans 15:23).

ENDNOTE:

[20] R. L. Whiteside, op. cit., p. 14.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/romans-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren,.... The apostle calls them brethren, because many of them were Jews, his brethren and kinsmen according to the flesh, and all of them were his brethren in a spiritual relation; and this he does to express his affection to them, and engage their attention and credit to him, and particularly to this matter which he now acquaints them with, being unwilling they should be ignorant of it;

that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you: it was not a sudden start of mind, or a desire that lately arose up in him, but a settled resolution and determination, and which he had often made:

but was let hitherto; either by God, who had work for him to do in other places; or by Satan, who sometimes by divine permission has had such power and influence; see 1 Thessalonians 2:18, or through the urgent necessities of other churches, which required his stay with them longer than he intended: his end in taking up at several times such a resolution of coming to them was, says he,

that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles: by fruit he means, not any reward of his labour, either temporal or eternal; but the conversion of sinners, the edification of saints, and the fruitfulness of believers in grace and works. The apostle seems to allude to the casting of seed into the earth: Christ's ministers' are husbandmen, who sow the seed of the word, which lies some time under the clods; wherefore patience is necessary to wait its springing up, first in the blade, and then in the ear, then in the full corn in the ear, when it brings forth fruit; all which depend on the blessing of God: and when he adds, "as among other Gentiles", his design is not so much to let them know that they were as other Gentiles, upon a level with them, had no pre-eminence as citizens of Rome, over other saints, being all one in Christ Jesus; as to observe to them his success in other places, where he had been preaching the Gospel of the grace of God.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/romans-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, but was let — hindered.

hitherto — chiefly by his desire to go first to places where Christ was not known (Romans 15:20-24).

that I might have some fruit — of my ministry

among you also, even as among other Gentiles — The GENTILE origin of the Church at Rome is here so explicitly stated, that those who conclude, merely from the Jewish strain of the argument, that they must have been mostly Israelites, decide in opposition to the apostle himself. (But see on Introduction to this Epistle.)


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Oftentimes I purposed (πολλακις προετεμηνpollakis proethemēn). Second aorist middle of προτιτημιprotithēmi old verb to place, to propose to oneself, in N.T. only here, Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:9. See note on Acts 19:21 for this purpose.

And was hindered (και εκωλυτηνkai ekōluthēn). “But was hindered,” adversative use of καιkai

That I might have some fruit (ινα τινα καρπον σχωhina tina karpon schō). Second aorist (ingressive), active of εχωechō to have, and here means “might get (ingressive aorist) some fruit.”


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/romans-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

I would not have you ignorant

An emphatic expression calling special attention to what follows. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13.

Have some fruit ( τινὰ καρπὸν σχῶ )

For the phrase, compare Romans 6:22. A metaphorical statement of what is stated literally in Romans 1:11. Not equivalent to bear fruit, but to gather as a harvest. Compare John 4:36; Philemon 1:22; Colossians 1:6. Fruit is a favorite metaphor with Paul. He uses it in both a good and a bad sense. See Romans 7:4, Romans 7:5; Romans 6:22; Galatians 5:22.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/romans-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Brethren — A frequent, holy, simple, sweet, and yet grand, appellation. The apostles but rarely address persons by their names; 'O ye Corinthians," "O Timotheus." St. Paul generally uses this appellation, " Brethren;" sometimes in exhortation, " My beloved," or, " My beloved brethren;" St. James, "Brethren," "My brethren," My beloved brethren;" St. Peter and Jude always, " Beloved;" St. John frequently, " Beloved;" once, " Brethren;" oftener than once, My little children." Though I have been hindered hitherto - Either by business, see Romans 15:22; or persecution, 1 Thessalonians 2:2; or the Spirit, Acts 16:7.

That I might have some fruit — Of my ministerial labours. Even as I have already had from the many churches I have planted and watered among the other gentiles.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/romans-1.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Let; prevented.


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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/romans-1.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

13.I would not that you should be ignorant. What he has hitherto testified — that he continually requested of the Lord that he might visit them, might have appeared a vain thing, and could not have obtained credit, had he neglected to seize the occasion when offered: he therefore says, that the effort had not been wanting, but the opportunity; for he had been prevented from executing a purpose often formed.

We hence learn that the Lord frequently upsets the purposes of his saints, in order to humble them, and by such humiliation to teach them to regard his Providence, that they may rely on it; though the saints, who design nothing without the Lord’s will, cannot be said, strictly speaking, to be driven away from their purposes. It is indeed the presumption of impiety to pass by God, and without him to determine on things to come, as though they were in our own power; and this is what James sharply reprehends in James 4:13.

But he says that he was hindered: you must take this in no other sense, but that the Lord employed him in more urgent concerns, which he could not have neglected without loss to the Church. Thus the hinderances of the godly and of the unbelieving differ: the latter perceive only that they are hindered, when they are restrained by the strong hand of the Lord, so as not to be able to move; but the former are satisfied with an hinderance that arises from some approved reason; nor do they allow themselves to attempt any thing beyond their duty, or contrary to edification.

That I might obtain some fruit, etc. He no doubt speaks of that fruit, for the gathering of which the Lord sent his Apostles,

“I have chosen you, that ye may go and bring forth fruit,
and that your fruit may remain.” (
John 15:16.)

Though he gathered it not for himself, but for the Lord, he yet calls it his own; for the godly have nothing more as their own than the work of promoting the glory of the Lord, with which is connected all their happiness. And he records what had happened to him with respect to other nations, that the Romans might entertain hope, that his coming to them would not be unprofitable, which so many nations had found to have been attended with so much benefit.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/romans-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Ver. 13. But was let hitherto] Either by Satan, 1 Thessalonians 2:18; or by the Holy Spirit otherwise disposing of him, as Acts 19:6-7; or by some intervenient but important occasion, as Romans 15:20-21.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Romans 1:13. But was let Hindered.


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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/romans-1.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here observe, How the apostle obviates an objection, and prevents a reflection upon himself: Some at Rome might be ready to say, If Paul had such a longing desire to see us as he expresses, why did he not come all this time and preach here, as he has done at Corinth and Ephesus, and elsewhere? He truly tells them, therefore, that it was not for want of inclination and will, but for want of opportunity; he had often intended it, and attempted it also, but was providentially hindered.

From whence I gather, That the ministers of God cannot always dispose of themselves and of their labours according to their own inclinations and desires, but both their persons and ministry are directed and disposed of by the providence, and according to the pleasure of Almighty God.

Observe, 2. The great modesty and condescending humility of our apostle, in telling the Romans, that though he desired and intended to take this long journey to Rome, to preach the gospel to them, yet this was rather a debt than a gift: He doth not intimate to them, that his coming amongst them was an arbitrary favour, for which they should be indebted to him, but a bounden duty which he owed to them; I am a debtor both to Jew and Greek, and ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

Here note, That the debt spoken of is the preaching of the gospel: St. Paul contracted this debt, and laid himself under an obligation to pay it then, (as every minister doth now) at his first entering upon the office of the ministry; by virtue of his mission, it was his duty to preach the gospel to all, both to the learned Greeks and unlearned Barbarians.

From whence, learn, That to preach the gospel of Christ, both far and near, with a laborious diligence, when regularly called thereunto, is a ministerial debt and duty. We are first indebted to God that sends us forth, we are also indebted to the people we are sent unto.

But, oh! how many people are there that would willingly forgive their ministers this debt! but we must tender payment at the time and place appointed, or we can never be discharged, whether the debt be accepted or not.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/romans-1.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

13. οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμ. ἀγ.] A Pauline formula: see reff.

καὶ ἐκωλ. ἄχρι τ. δεῦρο is best as a parenthesis, as it is impossible that ἵνα can depend on ἐκωλύθην. So Demosth. p. 488. 7, ἐμοὶ δʼ, ὦ ἄνδρες ἀθ., δοκεῖ λεπτίνης ( καί μοι πρὸς διὸς μηδὲν ὀργισθῇς· οὐδὲν γὰρ φλαῦρον ἐρῶ σε) ἢ οὐκ ἀνεγνωκέναι τοὺς σόλωνος νόμους ἢ οὐ συνιέναι.

The reason of the hindrance is given in ch. Romans 15:20-22; it was, his φιλοτιμία to preach the gospel where it had not been preached before, rather than on the foundation of others.

καρπόν] Not, ‘wages,’ or ‘result of my apostolic labour,’ for such is not the ordinary meaning of the word in the N. T., but fruit borne by you who have been planted to bring forth fruit to God. This fruit I should then gather and present to God; cf. the figure in ch. Romans 15:16; see also Philippians 1:22 and note.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/romans-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:13. My longing towards you has often awakened in me the purpose of coming to you, in order also among you etc. Paul might have placed a καί before προεθ., but was not obliged to do so (in opposition to Hofmann’s objection); and he has not put it, because he did not think of it. The discourse proceeds from the desire (Romans 1:11) to the purpose, which is coming nearer to realisation. Hence it is the less necessary to transfer the weight of the thought in Romans 1:13 to the clause expressive of purpose (Mangold).

οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμ. ἀγν.] The Apostle lays stress on this communication. Comp on Romans 11:25. The δὲ is the simple μεταβατικόν.

καὶ ἐκωλ. ἄχρι τοῦ δεῦρο] is a parenthesis separated from the structure of the sentence, so that ἵνα attaches itself to προεθ. ἐλθ. πρ. ὑμ. The καὶ, however, is not to be taken as adversative, as Köllner still thinks (see, in opposition to this, Fritzsche), but as the simple and marking the sequence of thought, which here (comp John 17:10) intervenes parenthetically. For the view which makes it still dependent on ὅτι, so that it introduces the second part of what the readers are to know (Hofmann), is precluded by the following clause of purpose, which can only apply to that resolution so often formed.

δεῦρο] used only here in the N. T. as a particle of time, but more frequently in Plato and later authors; see Wetstein. That by which Paul had been hitherto hindered, may be seen in Romans 15:22; consequently it was neither by the devil (1 Thessalonians 2:18) nor by the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:6 f.). Grotius aptly observes (comp Romans 15:22): “Magis urgebat necessitas locorum, in quibus Christus erat ignotus.”

ἵνα τινὰ καρπὸν κ. τ. λ(372)] is entirely parallel in sense with ἵνα τι ΄εταδῶ κ. τ. λ(373) in Romans 1:11, and it is a gratuitous refining on the figurative καρπόν to find specially indicated here the conversion of unbelievers beyond the range which the church had hitherto embraced (Hofmann); comp also Th. Schott, and even Mangold, who takes the Apostle as announcing his desire to take in hand the Gentile mission also among his readers, so that the καρπός would be Gentiles to be converted. No; by καρπόν Paul, with a complimentary egotism flattering to the readers, describes that which his personal labours among the Romans would have effected—consequently what had been said without metaphor in Romans 1:11—according to a current figure (John 4:36; John 15:16; Philippians 1:22; Colossians 1:6), as harvest-fruit which he would have had among them, and which as the produce of his labour would have been his (ideal) possession among them. But in this view the literal sense of ἔχειν (comp Romans 6:21 f.) is not even to be altered by taking it as consequi (Wolf, Kypke, Koppe, Köllner, Tholuck, and others). To postpone the having the fruit, however, till the last day (Mehring) is quite alien to the context.

καθὼς καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιπ. ἔθν.] as also among the remaining nations, i.e. Gentiles (see on Romans 1:5), namely, I have fruit. In the animation and fulness of his thought Paul has inserted twice the καὶ of comparison, inasmuch as there was present to his mind the twofold conception: (1) “among you also,(376) as among;” and (2) “among you, as also among.” So frequently in Greek authors. See Baeumlein, Partikell. p. 153; Stallbaum, a(377) Plat. Gorg. p. 457 E Winer, p. 409 [E. T. 547]. There is therefore no grammatical reason for commencing the new sentence with καθώς (Mehring), nor is it in accordance with the repetition of the ἐν.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Romans 1:13. ὀυἀγνοεῖν, not—to be ignorant) A form of expression usual with Paul, which shows the candour of his mind.— ἀδελφοί, brethren) An address, frequent, holy, adapted to all, simple, agreeable, magnificent. It is profitable, in this place, to consider the titles, which the apostles use in their addresses. They rather seldom introduce proper names, such as Corinthians, Timothy, etc. Paul most frequently calls them brethren; sometimes, when he is exhorting them, beloved, or my beloved brethren. James says, brethren, my brethren, my beloved brethren; Peter and Jude always use the word beloved; John often, beloved; once, brethren; more than once, little, or my little children, as Paul, my son Timothy.— καρπὸν σχῶ, I might have fruit) Have, a word elegantly placed midway between receive and give. What is profitable to others is a delight to Paul himself. He esteems that as the fruit [of his labour] (Philippians 1:22). In every place, he wishes to have something [a gift] put out at interest. He somewhat modifies [qualifies] this desire of gain [spiritual gain], when he speaks of himself in the following verse as a debtor. He both demands and owes, Romans 1:12; Romans 1:11. By the cords of these two forces, the 15th verse is steadied and strengthened.— καθὼς, even as) Good extends itself among as many as possible.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He prevents a cavil; they might say, If Paul hath such a longing desire to see us, why doth he not come to us? To this he answers, it was not for want of will or affection; for he often intended and attempted it.

But was let hitherto; either by Satan, as 1 Thessalonians 2:18; or by the Holy Spirit otherwise disposing of him, as Acts 16:6,7 Ro 15:22. It is possible that he might be hindered also by his own infirmities, or by others’ necessities and entreaties, Acts 10:48 16:15 28:14.

That I might have some fruit, i.e. of my ministry and calling, as the apostle of the uncircumcision. He hoped the gospel he should preach among them would have good success, and bring forth fruit in them, as it had done in other churches of the Gentiles. See Colossians 1:6.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 1:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/romans-1.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Let; hindered.

Some fruit; be the means of good in Rome, as he had been in other places.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/romans-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

13. προεθἐμην. He had got beyond prayers; he had made definite plans, but had been hindered by the exigencies of his work.

τινὰ καρπὸν, again the apologetic τις. σχῶ, ‘get,’ as always.


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"Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/romans-1.html. 1896.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

13. “I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, I purposed to come unto you, (but was hindered hitherto,) in order that I may have some fruit among you, as indeed among other Gentiles.” A half-dozen years had elapsed since Paul first planted the gospel in Greece, which was separated from Italy only by a narrow sea, yet it is the Adriatic, in all ages notorious as a storm-center and a tempest breeder. In that age, when the art of navigation was in its infancy, the mariner’s compass and the steam engine not yet dreamed of, the enterprise of crossing that stormy sea from Greece to Italy was no insignificant affair. You must remember that when Paul made this voyage it occupied about five months, and involved an awful shipwreck after a storm of two solid weeks without letting up. We must not forget that our apostle was entirely without financial resources, so essential to this long, perilous and expensive voyage. Hence, in the providence of God appealing to Caesar, he forced his enemies to defray the expenses of this tour, all the way from Jerusalem to Rome. During these twenty eight years his work had resulted in the establishing of hundreds of churches (i. e., mostly little Holiness bands) throughout Syria, Phrygia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Cilicia, Lydia, Mysia, Macedonia, Achaia and many other countries. Hence God, in His providence, had thus long postponed his cherished enterprise of preaching the gospel in the world’s metropolis.


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/romans-1.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And I would not have you ignorant, brothers and sisters (brethren), that many times I purposed to come to you (and was up until now hindered), that I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles.’

Lest they feel that his protestations about his wanting to visit them are rather weak (if he did why hadn’t he done so already?), he assures them that he had purposed to come to them many times in the past, but had each time been prevented from doing so by something unavoidable, something arising from his responsibility to care for the churches for which he was primarily responsible. He does not want them to be in any doubt about the matter (‘I would not have you ignorant’). For as the Apostle to the Gentiles he is eager to have some fruit in Rome, as he has had among the rest of the Gentiles. Rome was the hub of the empire. It was natural that he should want to have his part in planting seed there, and seeing the church firmly established. It was important for the whole worldwide church.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/romans-1.html. 2013.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

Now, I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (but was let hitherto), that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Paul’s zeal and affection for those to whom he wrote, were not of recent origin; they had long been cherished in his heart. Of this he did not wish them to be ignorant. It is of importance that believers should know the love entertained for them by the servants of God. It is a testimony of the love of God Himself. Paul wished to see some fruit of his ministry among them. This was his great desire everywhere in the service of Christ. ‘I have chosen you and ordained you,’ said Jesus to His Apostles, ‘that ye should go and bring forth fruit;’ and Paul ardently longed to see the fulfillment of this gracious promise among those to whom he wrote, for believers were his joy and crown. As among other Gentiles. — The apostleship of Paul had not been unfruitful, ch. 15:17. He had traveled through a great part of Syria, of Asia, and of Greece, and everywhere he had either been the means of converting sinners or edifying believers. This was a source of much joy to him; but after so many labors, he did not wish for repose. He desired to go to Rome to obtain fruit there also. He had been let, or hindered, hitherto.

Our desires are always pleasing to God when their object is to promote His glory; but sometimes He does not see good to give them effect. It was good that it was in David’s heart, although he was not permitted, to build the house of God. The times and the ways of God’s providence are often unknown to us, and therefore our desires and designs in His service ought always to be cherished in submission to His Divine wisdom. Paul had been hindered till now from going to Rome. This may have happened in different ways, and through what are called second causes. It may have been occasioned by the services he found it indispensable to perform in other churches before leaving them; or it may have arisen from the machinations of Satan, the God of this world, exciting disturbances and opposition in these churches, 1 Thessalonians 2:18; or he may have been prevented by the Spirit of God, Acts 16:7. His being hindered, by whatever means, from going to Rome, when he intended it, shows that the Apostles were sometimes thwarted in their purposes, and were not always under the guidance of Divine inspiration in their plans. This, however, has nothing to do with the subject of their inspiration as it respects the Scriptures, or as it regards their doctrine. Thou who raise any objection to the inspiration of the Scriptures, from the disappointments or misconduct of the Apostles, confound things that entirely and essentially differ.


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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/romans-1.html. 1835.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13. Purposed—His whole journeyings have been westward, as if with a presentiment that his destination was the great Capital, (Acts 19:21.)

Let—Hindered. Hence we see that the apostles were not inspired in all their plans, purposes, or opinions.

Fruit—A fruitage of converts, which the apostle considered as the great harvest of his life.

Other Gentiles—Though there were clearly Jews in the Roman Church, yet, as it was largely Gentile, and in the very center of Gentilism, he speaks as if they were a Gentile Church.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/romans-1.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:13. But I would not have you ignorant (comp). chap. Romans 11:25). The phrase lays stress on what is said. The progress of thought is natural. Paul had expressed his prayerful longing to see them (Romans 1:9-12), he now tells them that this longing had not been inactive; it had frequently led to a definite purpose to visit them.

Brethren. This affectionate address agrees well with the fraternal tone of Romans 1:12.

Often I purposed. In his frequent visits to Greece such a purpose would readily be formed (comp. chap. Romans 15:23).

And was hindered hitherto.—This is a parenthetical explanation, introduced by ‘and,’ not ‘but’ The word ‘let’ is an instance of entire reversal of meaning in English usage. It meant ‘hinder’ at the time when the E. V. was made. The hindrances are not specified; but we infer from chap. Romans 15:20-24, that he felt it to be his first duty to preach where the gospel had not been yet proclaimed. At the same time, his necessary journeys to Jerusalem, and the task of organizing the Gentile churches, of correcting their errors (comp. Galatians), of allaying dissensions (comp. Corinthians), filled up his time. It is nowhere hinted that he was forbidden to preach there.

That I might have some fruit. The main thought is here resumed. The figure is quite common. The ‘fruit’ is the harvest to be gathered and presented to God. Hence it is not Paul’s reward, or the result of his labor merely, but the good works produced among the Roman Christians, as fruit unto God (comp. Romans 15:11). The conversion of others is not alluded to.

Among you also. Lit., ‘in you also.’ The literal sense would emphasize the internal character of the fruit-bearing; but ‘among,’ which is a frequent sense of the preposition, is, on the whole, to be preferred.

Among the rest of the Gentiles. In Romans 1:5, the word is rendered ‘nations,’ but here the reference to ‘Gentiles’ is more marked, since there is a marked hint of his special mission as Apostle to the Gentiles, carried out in the next verse.


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/romans-1.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Romans 1:13. οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν: a phrase of constant recurrence in Paul, and always with ἀδελφοί (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1, 2 Corinthians 1:8). Some emphasis is laid by it on the idea that his desire or purpose to visit them was no passing whim. It was grounded in his vocation as Apostle of the Gentiles, and though it had been often frustrated he had never given it up. ἐκωλύθην ἄχρι τοῦ δεῦρο: probably the main obstacle was evangelistic work which had to be done elsewhere. Cf. chap. Romans 15:22 f. The purpose of his visit is expressed in ἵνα τινὰ καρπὸν σχῶ: that I may obtain some fruit among you also. καρπὸς denotes the result of labour: it might either mean new converts or the furtherance of the Christians in their new life. καθὼς καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσιν: nothing could indicate more clearly that the Church at Rome, as a whole, was Gentile.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/romans-1.html. 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Romans 1:13 And I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (and was hindered hitherto), that I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles.

At times God had changed Paul"s plans (Acts 16:6-7). At others times unruly people forced a turn of events (17:10,14). In addition, Paul had spent his time preaching in regions where no preacher had gone before (Romans 15:18-23). Other, very important work had kept him from Rome.


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/romans-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

would, &c. First of six occurances: Romans 11:25. 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 12:1. 2 Corinthians 1:8. 1 Thessalonians 4:13. See the positive form, 1 Corinthians 11:3. Colossians 2:1.

would. Greek. thelo. App-102.

have you, &c. = that you should be ignorant. Greek. agnoeo. Compare Mark 9:32. Luke 9:45.

purposed. Greek. protithemi; only here, Romans 3:25. Ephesians 1:9.

let = hindered. (Anglo-Saxon lettan, to delay.) Greek. kdluo; Occurs twenty-three times (seventeen times "forbid").

other. Greek. loipos. App-124. Paul frequently uses the significant term, "the rest", to designate the unsaved. See Romans 11:7. Ephesians 2:3; Ephesians 4:17. 1 Thessalonians 4:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6. See also Revelation 20:5.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/romans-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, but was let ('hindered') hitherto - chiefly by his desire to go first to places where Christ was not known (see Romans 15:20-24),

That I might have some fruit (of my ministry) among you also, even as among other Gentiles. The GENTILE origin of the Roman Church is here so explicitly stated, that those who conclude merely from the Jewish strain of the argument, that they must have been mostly Israelites, decide in opposition to the apostle himself. (But see Introduction to this Epistle.)


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) In the previous verses the Apostle has been speaking of his desire; here he speaks of his purpose, which is one step nearer to the realisation. He had intended to add the Roman Church to the harvest that he was engaged in gathering in.

Let.—This is, of course, an archaism for “hindered,” “prevented.” The Greek is literally, “and was prevented hitherto.”

It is hardly worth while to speculate, as some commentators have done, on the causes that may have hindered the Apostle from going to Rome. In a life like his there may have been many.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/romans-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
None
11:25; 1 Corinthians 10:1; 12:1; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13
that oftentimes
15:23-28; Acts 19:21; 2 Corinthians 1:15,16
but
15:22; Acts 16:6,7; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7
that I
Isaiah 27:6; John 4:36; 12:24; 15:16; Colossians 1:6; Philippians 4:17
among
or, in. even.
15:18-20; Acts 14:27; 15:12; 21:19; 1 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 2:14; 10:13-16; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; 2:13,14; 2 Timothy 4:17

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/romans-1.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

I would not have you ignorant, brethren; a mode of expression which the apostle often adopts, when he would assure his readers of anything, or call their attention to it particularly. That oftentimes I purposed to come unto you. In Romans 15:23, he states that he had cherished this purpose for many years. And was hindered until now. Our version renders καί adversatively but. This is objected to as unnecessary especially as καί often introduces a parenthesis; and such is this clause, because the following ἵνα must depend on προεθέμην of the preceding clause. As in the fifteenth chapter the apostle says, that having no more place in the countries around Greece, he was ready to visit Rome, it is probable that the hindering to which he here refers, was the incessant calls for apostolic labor, which left no time at his command. As, however, his course seems to have been under the guidance of a special providence, Acts 16:6, Acts 16:7, Acts 16:9 it may be that the Spirit who had forbidden his preaching in Asia, had hitherto forbidden his visiting Rome. That may have some fruit among you, as among other gentiles. καρπὸν ἔχειν is to have profit, or advantage. See Romans 6:21, Romans 6:22. The profit, however, which Paul desired, was the fruit of his ministry, the conversion or edification of those to whom he preached.


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Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:13". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/romans-1.html.

: And I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (and was hindered hitherto), that I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles.

Here is another expression of Paul's love for the believers at Rome. He had wanted to come to them several times ("oftentimes I purposed to come unto you"), but this had not been possible. Paul knew what it was like to make plans and then have the plans fail. Paul had been "hindered" from making his desired trip, but he did eventually get to Rome (this is made clear in the book of Acts). He did not want these Christians to be "ignorant" (agnoeo) about this matter. Paul often used this verb when he gave corrective instructions to congregations (see how it is used in; 7:1; 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; etc.). "I want you to know" (Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 1:21) is the meaning in this verse.

One of Paul's purposes for going to Rome is given at the end of verse13. He wanted to have "fruit" among the Romans. This is not a reference to getting something to eat. The fruit Paul had in mind was souls-successful evangelism ( Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15). Paul previously had success among the Gentiles and he wanted to continue to reach those who were not Jewish. Rome would have been a fresh field for him. Paul was similar to those in our day who look forward to starting a new job or working in a new place.


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Price, Brad "Commentary on Romans 1:13". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bpc/romans-1.html.

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