*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God - Does not produce in the life that righteousness which God requires. Its tendency is not to incline us to keep the law, but to break it; not to induce us to embrace the truth, but the opposite. The meaning of this passage is not that our wrath will make God either more or less righteous; but that its tendency is not to produce that upright course of life, and love of truth, which God requires. A man is never sure of doing right under the influence of excited feelings; he may do that which is in the highest sense wrong, and which he will regret all his life. The particular meaning of this passage is, that wrath in the mind of man will not have any tendency to make him righteous. It is only that candid state of mind which will lead him to embrace the truth which can be hoped to have such an effect.
The wrath of man - A furious zeal in matters of religion is detestable in the sight of God; he will have no sacrifice that is not consumed by fire from his own altar. The zeal that made the Papists persecute and burn the Protestants, was kindled in hell. This was the wrath of man, and did not work any righteous act for God; nor was it the means of working righteousness in others; the bad fruit of a bad tree. And do they still vindicate these cruelties? Yes: for still they maintain that no faith is to be kept with heretics, and they acknowledge the inquisition.
For the wrath of man worketh not the (s) righteousness of God.
(s) That which God appoints.
For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. This is so far from engaging persons to do that which is right and acceptable in the sight of God, that it puts them upon doing that which is evil. The Alexandrian copy reads, "with the wrath of men do not work the righteousness of God"; do not attend upon the word and ordinances of God with a wrathful spirit. Compare, with this, 1-Timothy 2:8.
Man's angry zeal in debating, as if jealous for the honor of God's righteousness, is far from working that which is really righteousness in God's sight. True "righteousness is sown in peace," not in wrath (James 3:18). The oldest and best reading means "worketh," that is, practiceth not: the received reading is "worketh," produceth not.
The righteousness of God here includes all duties prescribed by him, and pleasing to him.
*More commentary available at chapter level.