But what saith it? - That is, what is the language of the doctrine of justification by faith? Or what is to be done according to that doctrine?
The word is nigh thee - This is still a use of the language of Moses. Deuteronomy 30:14. The meaning is, the doctrine is not difficult to be understood and embraced. What is nigh us may be easily obtained. What is remote, with difficulty. The doctrine of Moses and of the gospel was nigh; that is, it was easily obtained, embraced, and understood.
In thy mouth - This is taken from the Septuagint. Deuteronomy 30:14. The meaning is, that the doctrine was already so familiar, and so well understood, that it was actually in their mouth, that is, their language, their common conversation. Moses had so often inculcated it, that it was understood and talked about by the people, so that there was no need to search in distant climes to obtain it. The same was true of the gospel. The facts were so well known by the preaching of the apostles, that they might be said to be "in every man' s mouth."
In thy heart - The word "heart" is very variously used in the sacred Scriptures. As used by Moses in this place, it evidently means that his doctrines were in their mind, or were a subject of meditation and reflection. They already possessed them, and talked and thought about them: so that there was no need of going to distant places to learn them. The same was true of the doctrine requiring faith in Christ. It was already among them by the preaching of the apostles, and was a subject of conversation and of thought.
That is - This is the use which the apostle makes of it; not that Moses referred to the gospel. His language conveys the main idea which Paul wished to do, that the doctrine was plain and intelligible.
The word of faith - The doctrine which requires faith, that is, the gospel; compare I Timothy 4:6. The gospel is called the Word of faith, the Word of God, as being what was spoken, or communicated by God to man. Romans 10:17; Hebrews 6:5; Hebrews 11:3.
Which we preach - Which is proclaimed by the apostles, and made known to Jews and Gentiles. As this was now made known to all, as the apostles preached it everywhere, it could be said to be nigh them; there was no need of searching other lands for it, or regarding it as a hidden mystery, for it was plain and manifest to all. Its simplicity and plainness he proceeds immediately to state.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Romans 10:8:
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