(1) there is no other instance in Scripture where this active verb has a passive signification and
(2) the passive makes h[marton to denote God?s action, and not man?s. This would not furnish the justification of the infliction of death, which Paul is seeking.
Verse 13 begins a demonstration of the proposition, in verse 12, that death comes to all because all men sinned the one sin of the one man. The argument is as follows: Before the law sin existed for there was death, the penalty of sin. But this sin was not sin committed against the Mosaic law because that law was not yet in existence. The death in the world prior to that law proves that there must have been some other law, against which sin had been committed.
Verse 14. Nor could it have been personal and conscious violation of an unwritten law, for which death was inflicted for death passed upon multitudes, such as infants and idiots, who did not sin in their own persons, as Adam did, by violating some known commandment. Infants are not specifically named here, because the intention is to include others who, though mature in years, have not reached moral consciousness. But since death is everywhere and always the penalty of sin, the death of all must have been the penalty of the common sin of the race, when pa>ntev h[marton in Adam. The law which they violated was the Eden statute, Gen. 2:17. The relation between their sin and Adam?s is not that of resemblance, but of identity. Had the sin by which death came upon them been one like Adam?s, there would have been as many sins, to be the cause of death and to account for it, as there were individuals. Death would have come into the world through millions of men, and not ?through one man? (verse 12) and judgment would have come upon all men to condemnation through millions of trespasses, and not ?through one trespass? (v. 18). The object, then, of the parenthetical digression in verses 13 and 14 is to prevent the reader from supposing from the statement that ?all men sinned.? The individual transgressions of all men are meant and to make it clear that only the one first sin of the one first man is intended. Those who died before Moses must have violated some law. The Mosaic Law and the law of conscience have been ruled out of the case. These persons must, therefore, have sinned against the commandment in Eden, the probationary statute, and their sin was not similar oJmoi>wv to Adam?s, but Adam?s identical sin, the very same sin numerically of the ?one man.? They did not, in their own persons and consciously, sin as Adam did yet in Adam, and in the nature common to him and them, they sinned and fell (versus Current Discussions in
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