The Meaning of Romans 10:5 Explained

Romans 10:5

KJV: For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

YLT: for Moses doth describe the righteousness that is of the law, that, 'The man who did them shall live in them,'

Darby: For Moses lays down in writing the righteousness which is of the law, The man who has practised those things shall live by them.

ASV: For Moses writeth that the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby.

What does Romans 10:5 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Paul supported his contention that justification results from faith in Christ ( Romans 10:4) through Romans 10:13. He used the Law ( Deuteronomy 30:6; Deuteronomy 30:11; Deuteronomy 30:14) to prove that Moses showed that it was futile to trust in law-keeping for salvation. Moses revealed that those who practiced the righteousness commanded in the Law would live ( Leviticus 18:5; cf. Galatians 3:12). Here living means experiencing justification (cf. Romans 2:13). However no one can keep the whole Law ( Romans 3:19-20).

Context Summary

Romans 10:1-10 - Missing God's Way Of Salvation
How earnestly the Apostle loved his own people! All their hatred of him could not extinguish the passionate devotion which he entertained for them. "Apostle to the Gentiles" he might be, but he was essentially an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin, Romans 11:1. The whole reason of their rejection of the gospel lay in their inveterate refusal to submit, Romans 10:3. Is not that the difficulty with us all? It is not that we cannot believe, but that we will not submit to God's way of righteousness, so humbling is it to our pride.
If only God would allow us to scale the heights or plumb the depths, to do some great thing, to make some vast sacrifice, we should be satisfied to be saved, and His help in the process would not be resented. But it is intolerable to our proud hearts to be told that our own efforts are useless, and that the exclusive source of salvation is God's grace.
Notice the distinction between righteousness and salvation, Romans 10:9. The one is objective; the other subjective. The first, our standing before God, the latter, the sanctification of our inner life, which not only depends upon the belief of the heart, but requires the confession that Jesus Christ has become Lord and King of the whole nature. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 10

1  The difference between the righteousness of the law, and that of faith;
11  all who believe, both Jew and Gentile, shall not be shamed;
18  and that the Gentiles shall receive the word and believe
19  Israel was not ignorant of these things

Greek Commentary for Romans 10:5

Thereby [εν αυτηι]
That is by or in “the righteousness that is from law.” He stands or falls with it. The quotation is from Leviticus 18:5. [source]
Describeth the righteousness - that [γράφει τὴν δικαιοσύνην - ὅτι]
The best texts transfer ὅτι thatand read γράφει ὅτι , etc. Moses writeth that the man, etc. See Leviticus 18:5. [source]
Those things - by them [αὐτὰ - ἐν αὐτοῖς]
Omit those things, and read for ἐν αὐτοῖς bythem, ἐν αὐτῇ byit, i.e., the righteousness which is of the law. The whole, as Rev., Moses writeth that the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 10:5

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done [οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων τῶν ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ ἃ ἐποιήσαμεν]
Lit. not by works, those namely in righteousness, which we did. The thought is entirely Pauline. Ἑξ ἔργων strictly, out of, in consequence of works. Εν δικαιοσύνῃ inthe sphere of righteousness; as legally righteous men. Comp. Ephesians 2:9. We did emphatic. Comp. Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:12; Galatians 5:3. [source]
Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in, etc. [ὅταν δὲ πάλιν εἰσαγάγῃ]
Const. again with bringeth in. “When he a second time bringeth the first-begotten into the world.” Referring to the second coming of Christ. Others explain again as introducing a new citation as in Hebrews 1:5; but this would require the reading πάλιν δὲ ὅταν andagain, when. In Hebrews, πάλιν , when joined to a verb, always means a second time. See Hebrews 5:12; Hebrews 6:1, Hebrews 6:2. It will be observed that in this verse, and in Hebrews 5:7, Hebrews 5:8, God is conceived as spoken of rather than as speaking; the subject of λέγει saithbeing indefinite. This mode of introducing citations differs from that of Paul. The author's conception of the inspiration of Scripture leads him to regard all utterances of Scripture, without regard to their connection, as distinct utterances of God, or the Holy Spirit, or the Son of God; whereas, by Paul, they are designated either as utterances of Scripture in general, or of individual writers. Very common in this Epistle are the expressions, “God saith, said, spake, testifieth,” or the like. See Hebrews 2:11, Hebrews 2:13; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 4:4, Hebrews 4:7; Hebrews 7:21; Hebrews 10:5, Hebrews 10:8, Hebrews 10:15, Hebrews 10:30. Comp. with these Romans 1:17; Romans 2:24; Romans 4:17; Romans 7:7; Romans 9:13; Romans 10:5, Romans 10:16, Romans 10:20, Romans 10:21; Romans 11:2. Ὅταν εἰσαγάγῃ wheneverhe shall have brought. The event is conceived as occurring at an indefinite time in the future, but is viewed as complete. Comp. John 16:4; Acts 24:22. This use of ὅταν with the aorist subjunctive never describes an event or series of events as completed in the past. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 10:5 mean?

Moses for writes - [of] the righteousness that [is] of the law that The having done these things man will live by them
Μωϋσῆς γὰρ γράφει ὅτι τὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ ‹τοῦ› νόμου [ὅτι] ποιήσας [αὐτὰ] ἄνθρωπος ζήσεται ἐν αὐτῇ

Μωϋσῆς  Moses 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Μωσεύς 
Sense: the legislator of the Jewish people and in a certain sense the founder of the Jewish religion.
γράφει  writes 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: γράφω 
Sense: to write, with reference to the form of the letters.
ὅτι  - 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
τὴν  [of]  the 
Parse: Article, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
δικαιοσύνην  righteousness 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: δικαιοσύνη  
Sense: in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God.
τὴν  that  [is] 
Parse: Article, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
νόμου  law 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: νόμος  
Sense: anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command.
[ὅτι]  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
ποιήσας  having  done 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
[αὐτὰ]  these  things 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative Neuter 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἄνθρωπος  man 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄνθρωπος  
Sense: a human being, whether male or female.
ζήσεται  will  live 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ζάω  
Sense: to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead).