Romans 2:22

22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you 1rob temples?

Romans 2:22 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 2:22

Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery
Adultery here is to be taken not figuratively for adulterating the word of God, and mixing it with their own inventions; but literally for the sin of adultery, and that not in heart only, but in act:

dost thou commit adultery?
an iniquity which greatly prevailed among the Jews at this time of day; hence Christ calls them "an adulterous generation", ( Matthew 12:39 ) ( 16:4 ) ( Mark 8:38 ) ; and that to such a degree, that by the advice of their great Rabbi, R. Jochanan ben Zaccai, they left off the trial of the suspected woman, cases of this nature being so very numerous: and this sin prevailed not only among the common people, but among their principal doctors; as may be learnt from their own writings, and from that conviction of this iniquity which the Scribes and Pharisees were brought under by Christ, when the woman, taken in adultery, was had before him by them, ( John 8:9 ) .

Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
for though at this time they abhorred idolatry, to which their forefathers were so much inclined, and so often fell into, yet they were guilty of sacrilege; by violating the worship of God, and polluting it with their own inventions; by pillaging or withholding, or not offering the sacrifices they ought; and by plundering the temple, and converting the sacred things of it to their own use.

Romans 2:22 In-Context

20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--
21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.
24 For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Cross References 1

  • 1. Acts 19:37; [Malachi 3:8]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.