New Defender's Study Bible Notes
10:1 heart’s desire. God has promised to give each of us, if one is sincere and in line with God’s revealed will, the “desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4), and the heart’s desire of Paul will indeed be fulfilled, for one day soon “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26).
10:2 zeal of God. Paul himself, as “an Hebrew of the Hebrews” (Philippians 3:5) had formerly been exactly like this, zealous “to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus” (Acts 26:9).
10:5 shall live by them. Paul refers here to Leviticus 18:5. If one could keep the law in its entirety, he would be acceptable to God, but the law must be taken in whole or not at all. Breaking any part of it comes short of God’s standard (Galatians 3:12, Romans 3:23; James 2:10). Only Christ fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17).
10:6 on this wise. In Romans 10:6-8, Paul refers to the teaching of Deuteronomy 30:11-14, which stresses that God’s Word is not difficult to find, especially now that Christ has fulfilled the law and can provide imputed righteousness by faith (Romans 10:4). It is not necessary to seek for it either in heaven, or hades, since Christ has already come down from heaven, become incarnate as Son of man, descended into hades, and risen from the dead. He has paid our debt in full, and opened the door of faith to God.
10:7 into the deep. The “deep” (Greek abussos, meaning “bottomless pit”) is at the center of the earth and is also called hades, though often translated “hell.” This is where all the dead were confined until Christ descended there at His death and brought back with Him from the dead those who had died in faith and were awaiting His coming (Matthew 27:52,53; Ephesians 4:8-10). The spirits of the unsaved are still there, awaiting the final judgment, when their bodies will be raised, then consigned to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12-15).
10:8 what saith it. Paul in this passage is quoting (or better, paraphrasing and applying) Deuteronomy 30:14. It is noteworthy that he refers to its authority, not as that of the Scripture or as Moses or as God, as he usually does when quoting from the Old Testament, but rather as “the righteousness which is of faith” speaking (Romans 10:6), in effect personifying that righteousness (note I Corinthians 1:30).
10:9 the Lord Jesus. This should be understood as confessing “Jesus as Lord,” with all that such a confession implies. The Greek word, kurios, was applied in the Roman world to the emperor, but in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament to God. Thus confessing Jesus as Lord meant both renouncing emperor worship and acknowledging Jesus as God. Furthermore, one does not come to Jesus with reservations as to what he will do or believe. Jesus must be accepted as God, and as Lord of his life; One must confess that he will believe and obey His Word unreservedly, in particular, believing in the bodily resurrection, which implies belief also in creation, for only the Creator of life could defeat sin and death.
10:10 unto salvation. There can be no such thing as a secret Christian, for verbal confession of Jesus as Lord is prerequisite to receiving eternal salvation, after receiving His imputed righteousness by faith.
10:11 not be ashamed. Paul again quotes Isaiah 28:16 (note Romans 9:33). In Isaiah, “be ashamed” was “make haste.” The believer finds true rest in Christ.
10:12 Jew and the Greek. Although Paul has been writing primarily to the Jewish believers in the Roman churches, he again stresses that the gospel applies equally to the Greek converts and, indeed, to all who call on the Lord Jesus.
10:13 whosoever shall call. See notes on Acts 2:21, where the same verse is quoted (Joel 2:32). Paul had been stressing God’s electing sovereignty in Romans 9; here he again stresses human responsibility. Both are true.
10:15 it is written. This testimony is found in Isaiah 52:7. Note also Ephesians 6:15: “[having] your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” A similar figure is used in Nahum 1:15.
10:16 Esaias saith. Isaiah 53:1 is quoted here. Although the gospel of peace with God is, indeed, “glad tidings” to all who will believe, most will refuse to believe.
10:17 by the word. In this verse, “word” means, literally, “saying” (same as in Ephesians 6:17, referring to “the sword of the Spirit”). That is, not just the Bible in general, but each individual “saying” is vital to the full understanding of God’s plan. In some manuscripts, “the word of God” is replaced by “the word of Christ.” Since Christ is God, the effect is the same.
10:18 into all the earth. Yes, all men have heard the gospel, even those to whom no preacher has ever gone. Paul here reminds his readers of the same truth he had stressed in Romans 1:20 (see notes on this verse). All men are “without excuse,” since God has left a complete witness in the creation, especially in the heavens. Quoting Psalm 19:4, he stresses that a silent but eloquent witness has gone forth into all lands since “the heavens declare the glory of God [which actually is Christ Himself—Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17] and the firmament showeth His handywork” (Psalm 19:1), day after day and night after night.
10:19 Moses saith. Deuteronomy 32:21. Because Israel had rejected God, in Christ, for “no gods,” God would replace His chosen people by “no people.” That is, the Gentiles in general, not another chosen nation, would displace Israel in God’s economy, at least for a time.
10:20 and saith. Isaiah, like Paul, had to be “bold” in telling the exclusive-minded Jews that the Gentiles would take their place in God’s plan. See Isaiah 65:1.
10:21 he saith. Isaiah 65:2. God had been almost infinitely patient with Israel, even for several decades after her leaders had crucified their Messiah. Finally, however, Israel’s stubborn refusal to believe led to the destruction of the city and its temple, followed by her worldwide, age-long dispersion and suffering among the nations.