Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God,
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They are called Jews because it was their ancestral right to be called Israelites. Nevertheless, if we wish to understand everything which is relevant to the case, we must note that the name Jew had three different meanings. First, it meant the children of Abraham, who because of his faith was made the father of many nations. Then it refers to Jacob, who because of his increasing faith was called Israel, for the dignity which began with the father was honored in the sons. Third, they are called Jews not so much because of Judah as because of Christ, who was born of Judah according to the flesh, since in Judah it was made known that he would be in Christ. For it is said: “Judah will be your master,” and: “Judah, your brothers praise you.” This praise was given not to Judah as such but to Christ, whom nowadays all those whom he deigns to call his brethren praise…. The Jews themselves do not understand the meaning of their name and claim that it refers to the human Judah. Commentary on Pa...
If a Jew boasts in God in the manner called for by grace, which is given not according to the merits of works but freely, his praise would be of God and not of men…. But they thought that they had fulfilled this law of God by their own righteousness, even though they were transgressors of it. And so for them it worked wrath as sin multiplied, committed by those who knew what sin was. Those who did what the law commanded without the help of the Spirit of grace did it through fear of punishment and not out of love for righteousness.
Ction of the law, the apostle showed in the passage relating to the Jews, writing thus: "Behold, thou art called a Jew and restest in the law, and makest thy boast in God, and knowest the will of God, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law, and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, who hast the form of knowledge and of truth in the law."
But if thou art called a Jew. In the common Greek copies, we read, behold, thou art a Jew St. Paul here turns his discourse particularly to the Jews, who valued themselves so much upon their law, their temple, and their ceremonies; and therefore are said to rest on the law, as if it were enough to be by profession a Jew. (Witham)
But many manuscripts, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, St. Ambrose, Sedul., Theophylactus read it as in the Vulgate, ei su Ioudaios. (Calmet)
The Jew may boast that he is loved by God and honored above all other men. It seems to me that here Paul is gently mocking their unreasonableness … because they misused this gift … to set themselves up against the rest of mankind and to despise them.
224. After showing that the doers of the Law are justified even without being hearers, which pertained to the Gentiles, the Apostle now shows that hearers are not justified, unless they are doers, which pertains to the Jews. First, therefore, he shows the Jews’ privileged state in receiving the Law; secondly, their shortcomings in transgressing the Law, there [v. 21; n. 232] at You then who teach others. He shows their privileged state on three counts: first, in being the race to whom the Law was given; secondly, as regards the Law itself, there [v. 17b; n. 226] at and rely upon the law; 119 thirdly, as regards the effect or work of the Law, there [v. 18; n. 227] at and know his will. 225. In regard to race he says, But if you call yourself a Jew, which is an honorable name: "Judah became his sanctuary" (Ps 114:2); "Salvation is from the Jews" (Jn14:22). They are called Jews not after Judas Maccabeus as some say, probably on the ground that he united and protected that people, when the...