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Romans 9:2 – Unintermittent pain

24-06-2021 - Posted by Hans

The truth am I telling in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifying together with me in holy spirit, that my sorrow is great, and unintermittent pain is in my heart

In the first verse, Paul introduced his new subject by emphasizing its sacred necessity. He must speak of this for the sake of “truth in Christ.” In the second verse he names the emotional motive. Paul carried “great sorrow” with him. He calls it (literally) a “pain in the heart”. Not sometimes and not even often, but “unintermittent”.

The truth that Paul is going to bring up is by no means an academic matter for him. Sure, he can speak and write about it rationally. Debating it with evidence and strong conviction. But that is precisely why it grieves him so much that he ran into a wall of unbelief.

The reason for Paul’s sadness will be discussed at length. But note here that intense joy can apparently be accompanied by “a great sorrow” and “a unintermittent heartache.” After all, just a few verses before this, Paul was exulting (8:37-39). That is indeed doubly, but nevertheless reality. And would not the joy be chiefly in this, that it exceeds all sorrow, however great?