1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
1. Propterea inexcusabilis es, O homo, quicunque judicas: in quo enim judicas alterum, teipsum condemnas; eadem enim facis dum judicas.
2. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
2. Novimus autem quod judicium Dei est secundum veritatem in eos qui talia agunt.
1. Therefore inexcusable art thou, O man. This reproof is directed against hypocrites, who dazzle the eyes of men by displays of outward sanctity, and even think themselves to be accepted before God, as though they had given him full satisfaction. Hence Paul, after having stated the grosser vices, that he might prove that none are just before God, now attacks saintlings (sanctulos) of this kind, who could not have been included in the first catalogue. Now the inference is too simple and plain for any one to wonder how the Apostle derived his argument; for he makes them inexcusable, because they themselves knew the judgment of God, and yet transgressed the law; as though he said, |Though thou consented not to the vices of others, and seemest to be avowedly even an enemy and a reprover of vices; yet as thou art not free from them, if thou really examinest thyself, thou canst not bring forward any defense.|
For in what thou judgest another, etc. Besides the striking resemblance there is between the two Greek verbs, krinein and katakrinein (to judge and to condemn,) the enhancing of their sin ought to be noticed; for his mode of speaking is the same, as though he said, |Thou art doubly deserving of condemnation; for thou art guilty of the same vices which thou blamest and reprovest in others.| It is, indeed, a well-known saying, -- that they who scrutinize the life of others lay claim themselves to innocence, temperance, and all virtues; and that those are not worthy of any indulgence who allow in themselves the same things which they undertake to correct in others.
For thou, judging, doest the same things: so it is literally; but the meaning is, |Though thou judgest, thou yet doest the same things.| And he says that they did them, because they were not in a right state of mind; for sin properly belongs to the mind. They then condemned themselves on this account, -- because, in reproving a thief, or an adulterer, or a slanderer, they did not merely condemn the persons, but those very vices which adhered to themselves.
2. But we know that the judgment of God, etc. The design of Paul is to shake off from hypocrites their self-complacencies, that they may not think that they can really gain any thing, though they be applauded by the world, and though they regard themselves guiltless; for a far different trial awaits them in heaven. But as he charges them with inward impurity, which, being hid from the eyes of men, cannot be proved and convicted by human testimonies, he summons them to the tribunal of God, to whom darkness itself is not hid, and by whose judgment the case of sinners, be they willing or unwilling, must be determined.
Moreover, the truth of judgment will in two ways appear, because God will punish sin without any respect of persons, in whomsoever it will be found; and he will not heed outward appearances, nor be satisfied with any outward work, except what has proceeded from real sincerity of heart. It hence follows, that the mask of feigned sanctity will not prevent him from visiting secret wickedness with judgment. It is, no doubt, a Hebrew idiom; for truth in Hebrew means often the inward integrity of the heart, and thus stands opposed not only to gross falsehood, but also to the outward appearance of good works. And then only are hypocrites awakened, when they are told that God will take an account, not only of their disguised righteousness, but also of their secret motives and feelings.