Romans 1:29

Romans 1:29

Being filled with all unrighteousness
From hence, to the end of the chapter, follows a large and black list and catalogue of the sad characters of the Gentiles, and of the best men they had among them; for the apostle is all along speaking, not of the common people, but of their wise professors, and moral instructors; than which there never was a more wicked set of men that ever lived upon the face of the earth; who under the guise of morality were guilty of the greatest pride and covetousness, and of the most filthy debaucheries imaginable: they were "filled with all unrighteousness". This word includes in it all manner of sin and wickedness in general; fitly expresses the condition of fallen men, destitute of a righteousness; designs every violation of the law respecting our neighbour; and is opposed to that vain conceit of righteousness which these men had: particular branches of it follow; as,

which sometimes includes adultery and an unchastity; simple fornication was not reckoned a sin among the Gentiles:

or mischief, which intends not so much the internal wickedness of the heart, as that particular vice, by which a man is inclined and studies to do hurt, to others, as Satan does:

this may intend every insatiable lust, and particularly the sin which goes by this name, and is the root of all evil, and was a reigning sin among the Gentiles. Seneca, the famous moralist, was notoriously guilty of this vice, being one of the greatest usurers that ever lived:

the word denotes either the iniquity of nature in which men are conceived and born; or that desire of revenge in men, for which some are very notorious:

at the superior knowledge and learning, wealth and riches, happiness, and outward prosperity of others:

which sometimes arose from envy, wherefore they are put together. There is an elegant "paranomasia" in the Greek text:

strife about words more than things, and more for vain glory, and a desire of victory, than for truth:

through their empty notions of philosophy; hence "philosophy and vain deceit" go together, ( Colossians 2:8 ) ; making large pretences to morality, when they were the vilest of creatures:

moroseness; having no courteousness nor affability in them, guilty of very ill manners; as particularly they were who were of the sect of the Cynics. Now they are said to be "filled with", and "full of", these things; not filled by God, but by Satan and themselves; and it denotes the aboundings of wickedness in them, and which was insatiable. The apostle goes on to describe them, as

who made mischief among friends, by privately suggesting, and secretly insinuating things into the mind of one to the prejudice of another.