rss

CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.

Romans 8:20 - Creation and the Curse

Romans 8:20 - Creation and the Curse Bookmark

Romans 8:20 — Creation and the Curse

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to (x) vanity, not (y) willingly, but by reason (z) of him who hath subjected [the same] in (a) hope,

(x) Is subject to a vanishing and disappearing state.

(y) Not by their natural inclination.

(z) That they should obey the Creator's commandment, whom it pleased to show by their sickly state, how greatly he was displeased with man.

(a) God would not make the world subject to be cursed forever because of the sin of man, but gave it hope that it would be restored. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope (NASB)

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (KJV)

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope, (NLT)

 For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly but because of God who subjected it — in hope (NET)

We must be mindful of the literal genesis of our current estate.  When our parents fell from their paradisiacal estate, the whole creation became subject to the fall as well.  We see in the Scriptural account a host of first words, "thorns, thistles, sweat, ect., that are indicative of the pain cause by sin and the judgment justly delivered.  But we have hope that this will not remain forever but for a season.  So let us be busy making sure that none should perish.  Let us be swift of foot delivering the words of life by our words, by our actions and by the witness of our whole life.  Lives that have been delivered from the marketplace of sin into the glorious resurrection light.  Let us be the purveyors of this hope to a lost and dying world.  

The word “vanity” here ματαιότης  mataiotēs is descriptive of the present condition of the Christian, as frail and dying; as exposed to trials, temptations, and cares; as in the midst of conflicts, and of a world which may be emphatically pronounced vanity. More or less, the Christian is brought under this influence; his joys are marred; his peace is discomposed; his affections wander; his life is a life of vanity and vexation. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

Rom 8:20 
For the creature was made subject to vanity - The Gentile world were subject to vanity of mind; but how? not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same. May we not say, it became vain willingly, but was made subject to vanity unwillingly? For, let us recur to the origin of Gentilism, the confusion of languages, by reason of the attempt to build the tower of Babel; and though there are some passages in the gloss of the Targumists upon this matter that are sufficiently ridiculous, yet as to their scope and design they are worthy of notice. “They said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, and let its head reach unto the top of heaven; and let us make a house of worship in the top of it; and let us put a sword in his hand that he may wage war for us against our enemies, before we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” It is an ancient tradition among the Jews, that this tower was built on an idolatrous account. The confusion of tongues, by which true religion was lost in the world, is a proof that the builders of this tower sinned against God in the highest degree. They were inclined to vanity, i.e. idolatry, Willingly; but they were subjected to vanity Unwillingly; for this proceeded from the just indignation and vengeance of God. From this time the world lay under heathenism till the bringing in of the Gospel, upwards of 2000 years after. See Lightfoot. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity,.... This designs the vanity and emptiness of the minds of the Gentiles, who were without God and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, without the law and Gospel, and grace of God; also the vain conceits they had of themselves, of their wisdom, knowledge, learning, and eloquence; likewise their vain philosophy, particularly their gross idolatry, their polytheism, or worshipping of many gods; together with their divers lusts and vices, to which they were addicted, to such a degree, that they might be truly said to be made subject thereunto, being under the government of these things, slaves unto them, and in such subjection, as that they could not deliver themselves from it. (Dr. John Gill)

Was made subject to vanity, not willingly — that is, through no natural principle of decay. The apostle, personifying creation, represents it as only submitting to the vanity with which it was smitten, on man’s account, in obedience to that superior power which had mysteriously linked its destinies with man’s. (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown)

There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon the creature by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one creature to another. And they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. (Matthew Henry)

For the creature was made subject to vanity. The creation was subjected to vanity; i. e., became empty; lost its original significance. The Greek word rendered "vanity," means "to seek without finding." God placed "the creation" under man's dominion, and when man fell the whole was subject to vanity by God. (The People's New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson)

To vanity (tēi mataiotēti). Dative case. Rare and late word, common in lxx. From mataios, empty, vain. Eph 4:17; 2Pe 2:18. (WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by Archibald Thomas Robertson)

Eph 4:17  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (KJV)

2Pe 2:18  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (KJV)

Gen 3:17-19  And to the man He said, "Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.  It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.  By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return." (NLT)

Gen 6:13  So God said to Noah, "I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth! (NLT)

Job 12:6-12  But robbers are left in peace, and those who provoke God live in safety—though God keeps them in His power.  "Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.  Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish in the sea speak to you.  For they all know that my disaster has come from the hand of the LORD.  For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being. (NLT)

Isa 24:5-6  The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God's instructions, violated His laws, and broken His everlasting covenant.  Therefore, a curse consumes the earth. Its people must pay the price for their sin.  They are destroyed by fire, and only a few are left alive. (NLT)

Jer 12:4  How long must this land mourn? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. For the people have said, "The LORD doesn't see what's ahead for us!" (NLT)

Jer 12:11  They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry. The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares. (NLT)

Jer 14:5-6  Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn because there is no grass in the field.  The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills panting like thirsty jackals. They strain their eyes looking for grass, but there is none to be found." (NLT)

Hos 4:3  That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing. (NLT)

Joe 1:18  How the animals moan with hunger! The herds of cattle wander about confused, because they have no pasture. The flocks of sheep and goats bleat in misery. (NLT)

Romans 8:20 — Creation and the Curse

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to (x) vanity, not (y) willingly, but by reason (z) of him who hath subjected [the same] in (a) hope,

(x) Is subject to a vanishing and disappearing state.

(y) Not by their natural inclination.

(z) That they should obey the Creator's commandment, whom it pleased to show by their sickly state, how greatly he was displeased with man.

(a) God would not make the world subject to be cursed forever because of the sin of man, but gave it hope that it would be restored. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope (NASB)

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (KJV)

Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope, (NLT)

 For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly but because of God who subjected it — in hope (NET)

We must be mindful of the literal genesis of our current estate.  When our parents fell from their paradisiacal estate, the whole creation became subject to the fall as well.  We see in the Scriptural account a host of first words, "thorns, thistles, sweat, ect., that are indicative of the pain cause by sin and the judgment justly delivered.  But we have hope that this will not remain forever but for a season.  So let us be busy making sure that none should perish.  Let us be swift of foot delivering the words of life by our words, by our actions and by the witness of our whole life.  Lives that have been delivered from the marketplace of sin into the glorious resurrection light.  Let us be the purveyors of this hope to a lost and dying world.  

The word “vanity” here ματαιότης  mataiotēs is descriptive of the present condition of the Christian, as frail and dying; as exposed to trials, temptations, and cares; as in the midst of conflicts, and of a world which may be emphatically pronounced vanity. More or less, the Christian is brought under this influence; his joys are marred; his peace is discomposed; his affections wander; his life is a life of vanity and vexation. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

Rom 8:20 
For the creature was made subject to vanity - The Gentile world were subject to vanity of mind; but how? not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same. May we not say, it became vain willingly, but was made subject to vanity unwillingly? For, let us recur to the origin of Gentilism, the confusion of languages, by reason of the attempt to build the tower of Babel; and though there are some passages in the gloss of the Targumists upon this matter that are sufficiently ridiculous, yet as to their scope and design they are worthy of notice. “They said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, and let its head reach unto the top of heaven; and let us make a house of worship in the top of it; and let us put a sword in his hand that he may wage war for us against our enemies, before we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” It is an ancient tradition among the Jews, that this tower was built on an idolatrous account. The confusion of tongues, by which true religion was lost in the world, is a proof that the builders of this tower sinned against God in the highest degree. They were inclined to vanity, i.e. idolatry, Willingly; but they were subjected to vanity Unwillingly; for this proceeded from the just indignation and vengeance of God. From this time the world lay under heathenism till the bringing in of the Gospel, upwards of 2000 years after. See Lightfoot. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity,.... This designs the vanity and emptiness of the minds of the Gentiles, who were without God and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, without the law and Gospel, and grace of God; also the vain conceits they had of themselves, of their wisdom, knowledge, learning, and eloquence; likewise their vain philosophy, particularly their gross idolatry, their polytheism, or worshipping of many gods; together with their divers lusts and vices, to which they were addicted, to such a degree, that they might be truly said to be made subject thereunto, being under the government of these things, slaves unto them, and in such subjection, as that they could not deliver themselves from it. (Dr. John Gill)

Was made subject to vanity, not willingly — that is, through no natural principle of decay. The apostle, personifying creation, represents it as only submitting to the vanity with which it was smitten, on man’s account, in obedience to that superior power which had mysteriously linked its destinies with man’s. (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown)

There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon the creature by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one creature to another. And they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. (Matthew Henry)

For the creature was made subject to vanity. The creation was subjected to vanity; i. e., became empty; lost its original significance. The Greek word rendered "vanity," means "to seek without finding." God placed "the creation" under man's dominion, and when man fell the whole was subject to vanity by God. (The People's New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson)

To vanity (tēi mataiotēti). Dative case. Rare and late word, common in lxx. From mataios, empty, vain. Eph 4:17; 2Pe 2:18. (WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT by Archibald Thomas Robertson)

Eph 4:17  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (KJV)

2Pe 2:18  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (KJV)

Gen 3:17-19  And to the man He said, "Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.  It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.  By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return." (NLT)

Gen 6:13  So God said to Noah, "I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth! (NLT)

Job 12:6-12  But robbers are left in peace, and those who provoke God live in safety—though God keeps them in His power.  "Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.  Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish in the sea speak to you.  For they all know that my disaster has come from the hand of the LORD.  For the life of every living thing is in His hand, and the breath of every human being. (NLT)

Isa 24:5-6  The earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God's instructions, violated His laws, and broken His everlasting covenant.  Therefore, a curse consumes the earth. Its people must pay the price for their sin.  They are destroyed by fire, and only a few are left alive. (NLT)

Jer 12:4  How long must this land mourn? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. For the people have said, "The LORD doesn't see what's ahead for us!" (NLT)

Jer 12:11  They have made it an empty wasteland; I hear its mournful cry. The whole land is desolate, and no one even cares. (NLT)

Jer 14:5-6  Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn because there is no grass in the field.  The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills panting like thirsty jackals. They strain their eyes looking for grass, but there is none to be found." (NLT)

Hos 4:3  That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing. (NLT)

Joe 1:18  How the animals moan with hunger! The herds of cattle wander about confused, because they have no pasture. The flocks of sheep and goats bleat in misery. (NLT)



Comments are closed.

Christian Military Fellowship

An Indigenous Ministry • Discipleship • Prayer • Community • Support
Encouraging Men and Women in the United States Armed Forces, and their families, to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Contact Us

  • Address:
    PO Box 1207, Englewood, CO 80150-1207

  • Phone: (800) 798-7875

  • Email: Office@cmfhq.org

Webmaster

Book Offers