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Romans 15:4

    Romans 15:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For whatever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Now those things which were put down in writing before our time were for our learning, so that through quiet waiting and through the comfort of the holy Writings we might have hope.

    Webster's Revision

    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.

    World English Bible

    For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through patience and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope.

    Definitions for Romans 15:4

    Aforetime - At a former time; previously.

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 15:4

    For whatsoever things were written aforetime - This refers not only to the quotation from the 69th Psalm, but to all the Old Testament scriptures; for it can be to no other scriptures that the apostle alludes. And, from what he says here of them, we learn that God had not intended them merely for those generations in which they were first delivered, but for the instruction of all the succeeding generations of mankind. That we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures - that we, through those remarkable examples of patience exhibited by the saints and followers of God, whose history is given in those scriptures, and the comfort which they derived from God in their patient endurance of sufferings brought upon them through their faithful attachment to truth and righteousness, might have hope that we shall be upheld and blessed as they were, and our sufferings become the means of our greater advances in faith and holiness, and consequently our hope of eternal glory be the more confirmed. Some think that the word παρακλησις, which we translate comfort, should be rendered exhortation; but there is certainly no need here to leave the usual acceptation of the term, as the word comfort makes a regular and consistent sense with the rest of the verse.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 15:4

    For whatsoever things ... - This is a "general" observation which struck the mind of the apostle, from the particular case which he had just specified. He had just made use of a striking passage in the Psalms to his purpose. The thought seems suddenly to have occurred to him that "all" the Old Testament was admirably adapted to express Christian duties and doctrine, and he therefore turned aside from his direct argument to express this sentiment. It should be read as a parenthesis.

    Were written aforetime - That is, in ancient times; in the Old Testament.

    For our learning - For our "teaching" or instruction. Not that this was the "only" purpose of the writings of the Old Testament, to instruct Christians; but that all the Old Testament might be useful "now" in illustrating and enforcing the doctrines and duties of piety toward God and man.

    Through patience - This does not mean, as our translation might seem to suppose, patience "of the Scriptures," but it means that by patiently enduring sufferings, in connection with the consolation which the Scriptures furnish, we might have hope. The "tendency" of patience, the apostle tells us Romans 5:4, is to produce "hope;" see the notes at this place.

    And comfort of the Scriptures - By means of the consolation which the writings of the Old Testament furnish. The word rendered "comfort" means also "exhortation" or "admonition." If this is its meaning here, it refers to the admonitions which the Scriptures suggest, instructions which they impart, and the exhortations to patience in trials. If it means "comfort," then the reference is to the examples of the saints in affliction; to their recorded expressions of confidence in God in their trials, as of Job, Daniel, David, etc. Which is the precise meaning of the word here, it is not easy to determine.

    Might have hope - Note, Romans 5:4. We may learn here,

    (1) That afflictions may prove to be a great blessing.

    (2) that their proper tendency is to produce "hope."

    (3) that the way to find support in afflictions is to go to the Bible.

    By the example of the ancient saints, by the expression of their confidence in God, by their patience, "we" may learn to suffer, and may not only be "instructed," but may find "comfort" in all our trials; see the example of Paul himself in 2 Corinthians 1:2-11.

    Wesley's Notes on Romans 15:4

    15:4 Aforetime - In the Old Testament. That we through patience and consolation of the scriptures may have hope - That through the consolation which God gives us by these, we may have patience and a joyful hope.