Romans 13:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

New Living Translation
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.

English Standard Version
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

New American Standard Bible
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

King James Bible
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.

International Standard Version
Every person must be subject to the governing authorities, for no authority exists except by God's permission. The existing authorities have been established by God,

NET Bible
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God's appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Let every soul be subject to the authority of the great, for there is no authority that is not from the same God, and those authorities who are from God are under orders.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Every person should obey the government in power. No government would exist if it hadn't been established by God. The governments which exist have been put in place by God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Let every soul submit itself to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God, and the powers that be are ordained of God.

King James 2000 Bible
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

American King James Version
Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

American Standard Version
Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
LET every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God.

Darby Bible Translation
Let every soul be subject to the authorities that are above [him]. For there is no authority except from God; and those that exist are set up by God.

English Revised Version
Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but from God: the powers that are, are ordained by God.

Weymouth New Testament
Let every individual be obedient to those who rule over him; for no one is a ruler except by God's permission, and our present rulers have had their rank and power assigned to them by Him.

World English Bible
Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those who exist are ordained by God.

Young's Literal Translation
Let every soul to the higher authorities be subject, for there is no authority except from God, and the authorities existing are appointed by God,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

13:1-7 The grace of the gospel teaches us submission and quiet, where pride and the carnal mind only see causes for murmuring and discontent. Whatever the persons in authority over us themselves may be, yet the just power they have, must be submitted to and obeyed. In the general course of human affairs, rulers are not a terror to honest, quiet, and good subjects, but to evil-doers. Such is the power of sin and corruption, that many will be kept back from crimes only by the fear of punishment. Thou hast the benefit of the government, therefore do what thou canst to preserve it, and nothing to disturb it. This directs private persons to behave quietly and peaceably where God has set them, 1Ti 2:1,2. Christians must not use any trick or fraud. All smuggling, dealing in contraband goods, withholding or evading duties, is rebellion against the express command of God. Thus honest neighbours are robbed, who will have to pay the more; and the crimes of smugglers, and others who join with them, are abetted. It is painful that some professors of the gospel should countenance such dishonest practices. The lesson here taught it becomes all Christians to learn and practise, that the godly in the land will always be found the quiet and the peaceable in the land, whatever others are.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-8. - From admonitions to keep peace, if possible, with all men, whether or not within the Christian circle, and to act honourably and benevolently towards all, the apostle now passes to the duty of Christians towards the civil government and the laws of the country in which they lived. It is well known that the Jews were impatient of the Roman dominion, and that some held it to be unlawful, on religious grounds, to pay tribute to Caesar (Matthew 22:17). Insurrections against the government had consequently been frequent. There had been the notable one under Judas the Gaulonite of Gamala (called ὁ Γαλιλαῖος, Acts 5:37), who left followers behind him, called Gaulonites, and to whose tenets Josephus attributes all subsequent insurrections of the Jews ('Ant.,' 18:01. § 1). Recently one had broken out in Rome, which had caused Claudius to order the expulsion of all Jews from the city (Acts 17:2; cf. Suetonius, 'Claud.,' 25; Din Cassius, 60:6). The Christians, being regarded as a Jewish sect, and known for their acknowledgment of a Messiah and their refusal to comply with heathen usages, were not unnaturally confounded with such disturbers of the peace (cf. Acts 17:6, 7; Acts 21:37). It was, therefore, peculiarly needful that the Christian communities should be cautioned to disprove such accusations by showing themselves in all respects good, law-abiding subjects. They might easily be under a temptation to be otherwise. Feeling themselves already subjects of Christ's new kingdom, and regarding the second advent as probably near at hand, they might seem to themselves above the powers and institutions of the unbelieving world, which were so soon to pass away. St. Paul himself condemned resort to heathen tribunals in matters which Christians might settle among themselves (1 Corinthians 6:1, etc.); and many might go so far as to ignore the authority of such tribunals over the saints at all. Peter and John had at the first defied the authority even of the Sanhedrin in matters touching conscience (Acts 4:19); and many might be slow to distinguish between temporal and spiritual spheres of jurisdiction. St. Paul, therefore, lays down the rule that the civil government, in whatsoever hands it might be, was, no less than the Church, a Divine institution for the maintenance of order in the world, to be submitted to and obeyed by Christians within the whole sphere of its legitimate authority. He does not refer to cases in which it might become necessary to obey God rather than man: his purpose here does not call on him to do so; nor were the circumstances so far such as to bring such cases into prominence; for he was writing in the earlier part of Nero's reign, before any general persecution of Christians had begun. Nor does he touch on the question whether it may be right in some cases for subjects to resist usurped power or tyranny, or to take part in political revolutions, and even fight for freedom. Such a question was apart from his subject, which is the general duty of obedience to the law and government under which we are placed by Providence. This is the only passage in which he treats the subject at length and definitely. In a doctrinal and practical treatise like this Epistle, addressed as an apologia pro fide sua to the metropolis of the world and the seat of government, it was fitting that he should express clearly the attitude of the Church with regard to the civil order. But his teaching in other Epistles is in accordance with this; as where (1 Corinthians 7:21) he bids slaves acquiesce in the existing law of slavery, and (1 Timothy 2:1, etc.) he desires especially prayers to be made in behalf of kings and rulers. And he himself notably carried out his principles in this regard (cf. Acts 23:5; Acts 25:8-11). There is a closely similar passage in the First Epistle of St. Peter (1 Peter 2:12-18). Verse 1. - Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of (rather, from) God: the powers that be are ordained of God. It is of God's ordering that there should be human governments and human laws. Without them there could be no order, security, or progress among mankind. Imperfect as they may often be, and in some instances oppressive and unjust, still they exist for a purpose of good, and form part of the Divine order for the government of the world. In this sense all are from God, and ordained of God; and in submitting to them we are submitting to God.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers,.... The apostle having finished his exhortations to this church, in relation to the several duties incumbent upon both officers and private Christians, as members of a church, and with reference to each other, and their moral conduct in the world; proceeds to advise, direct, and exhort them to such duties as were relative to them as members of a civil society; the former chapter contains his Christian Ethics, and this his Christian Politics. There was the greater reason to insist upon the latter, as well as on the former, since the primitive saints greatly lay under the imputation of being seditious persons and enemies to the commonwealth; which might arise from a very great number of them being Jews, who scrupled subjection to the Heathen magistrates, because they were the seed of Abraham, and by a law were not to set one as king over them, that was a stranger, and not their own brother, and very unwillingly bore the Roman yoke, and paid tribute to Caesar: hence the Christians in common were suspected to be of the same principles; and of all the Jews none were more averse to the payment of taxes to the Roman magistrates than the Galilaeans; see Acts 5:37. And this being the name by which Christ and his followers were commonly called, might serve to strengthen the above suspicion of them, and charge against them. Moreover, some Christians might be tempted to think that they should not be subject to Heathen magistrates; since they were generally wicked men, and violent persecutors of them; and that it was one branch of their Christian liberty to be freed from subjection to them: and certain it is, that there were a set of loose and licentious persons, who bore the name of Christians, that despised dominion, and spoke evil of dignities; wherefore the apostle judged it advisable especially to exhort the church of Rome, and the members who dwelt there, where was the seat of power and civil government, so to behave towards their superiors, that they might set a good example to the Christians in the several parts of the empire, and wipe off the aspersion that was cast upon them, as if they were enemies to magistracy and civil power. By "the higher powers", he means not angels, sometimes called principalities and powers; for unto these God hath not put in subjection his people under the Gospel dispensation; nor ecclesiastical officers, or those who are in church power and authority; for they do not bear the temporal sword, nor have any power to inflict corporeal punishment: but civil magistrates are intended, see Titus 3:1; and these not only supreme magistrates, as emperors and kings, but all inferior and subordinate ones, acting in commission under them, as appears from 1 Peter 2:13, which are called "powers", because they are invested with power and authority over others, and have a right to exercise it in a proper way, and in proper cases; and the "higher" or super eminent ones, because they are set in high places, and have superior dignity and authority to others. The persons that are to be subject to them are "every soul"; not that the souls of men, distinct from their bodies, are under subjection to civil magistrates; for of all things they have the least to do with them, their power and jurisdiction not reaching to the souls, the hearts, and consciences of men, especially in matters of religion, but chiefly to their bodies, and outward civil concerns of life: but the meaning is, that every man that has a soul, every rational creature, ought to be subject to civil government. This is but his reasonable service, and which he should from his heart, and with all his soul, cheerfully perform. In short, the sense is, that every man should be subject: this is an Hebraism, a common way of speaking among the Jews, who sometimes denominate men from one part, and sometimes from another; sometimes from the body or flesh, thus "all flesh is grass", Isaiah 40:6, that is, all men are frail; and sometimes front the soul, "all souls are mine", Ezekiel 18:4, all belong to me; as here, "every soul", that is, every man, all the individuals of mankind, of whatsoever sex, age, state, or condition, ecclesiastics not excepted: the pope, and his clergy, are not exempted from civil jurisdiction; nor any of the true ministers of the Gospel; the priests under the law were under the civil government; and so was Christ himself, and his apostles, who paid tribute to Caesar; yea, even Peter particularly, whose successor the pope of Rome pretends to be. "Subjection" to the civil magistrates designs and includes all duties relative to them; such as showing them respect, honour, and reverence suitable to their stations; speaking well of them, and their administration; using them with candour, not bearing hard upon them for little matters, and allowing for ignorance of the secret springs of many of their actions and conduct, which if known might greatly justify them; wishing well to them, and praying constantly, earnestly, and heartily for them; observing their laws and injunctions; obeying their lawful commands, which do not contradict the laws of God, nature, and right reason; and paying them their just dues and lawful tribute, to support them in their office and dignity:

for there is no power but of God; God is the fountain of all power and authority; the streams of power among creatures flow from him; the power that man has over all the creatures, the fowls of the air, the beasts of the field, and the fishes of the sea, is originally of God, and by a grant from him; the lesser powers, and the exercises of them, in the various relations men stand in to one another, are of God, as the power the husband has over the wife, parents over their children, and masters over their servants; and so the higher power that princes have over their subjects: for it is the God of heaven that sets up kings, as well as pulls them down; he is the King of kings, from whom they derive their power and authority, from whom they have the right of government, and all the qualifications for it; it is by him that kings reign, and princes decree justice.

The powers that be are ordained of God. The order of magistracy is of God; it is of his ordination and appointment, and of his ordering, disposing, and fixing in its proper bounds and limits. The several forms of government are of human will and pleasure; but government itself is an order of God. There may be men in power who assume it of themselves, and are of themselves, and not of God; and others that abuse the power that is lodged in them; who, though they are by divine permission, yet not of God's approbation and good will. And it is observable, that the apostle speaks of powers, and not persons, at least, not of persons, but under the name of powers, to show that he means not this, or the other particular prince or magistrate, but the thing itself, the office and dignity of magistracy itself; for there may be some persons, who may of themselves usurp this office, or exercise it in a very illegal way, who are not of God, nor to be subject to by men. The apostle here both uses the language, and speaks the sentiments of his countrymen the Jews, who are wont to call magistrates, "powers"; hence those sayings were used among them; says Shemaiah (t),

"twvrl edwtt la, "be not too familiar with the power".''

that is, with a magistrate, which oftentimes is dangerous. Again,

"says (u) Rabban Gamaliel, , "take heed of the power" (i.e. of magistrates), for they do not suffer a man to come near them, but in necessity, and then they appear as friends for their own advantage, but will not stand by a man in the time of distress.''

Moreover, after this manner they explain (w) Proverbs 5:8,

""remove thy way far from her", this is heresy; "and come not nigh the door of her house", , "this is the power". The gloss on it is, magistrates, because they set their eyes upon rich men to kill them, and take away their substance.''

And a little after it is observed,

""the horse leech hath two daughters, crying, give, give", Proverbs 30:15, it is asked, what is the meaning of give, give? Says Mar Ukba, there are two daughters which cry out of hell, and say in this world, give, give, and they are heresy, "and the civil power".''

The gloss on this place is,

"Heresy cries, bring a sacrifice to the idol; "Civil Power" cries, bring money, and gifts, and revenues, and tribute to the king.''

Nevertheless, they look upon civil government to be of divine appointment. They say (x), that

"no man is made a governor below, except they proclaim him above;''

continued...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 13

Ro 13:1-14. Same Subject Continued—Political and Social Relations—Motives.

1, 2. Let every soul—every man of you

be subject unto the higher powers—or, "submit himself to the authorities that are above him."

For there is no power—"no authority"

but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God—"have been ordained of God."

Romans 13:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Submission to Authorities
1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.…
Cross References
Proverbs 8:15
By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

Proverbs 24:21
Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials,

Daniel 2:21
He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Daniel 4:17
"'The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.'

John 19:11
Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Acts 2:41
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 13:2
Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

1 Timothy 2:2
for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Titus 3:1
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,

1 Peter 2:13
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,
Treasury of Scripture

Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

every.

Deuteronomy 17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not listen to the …

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey …

1 Peter 2:13-17 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: …

2 Peter 2:10,11 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, …

Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, …

there.

1 Samuel 2:8 He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from …

1 Chronicles 28:4,5 However, the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of …

Psalm 62:11 God has spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs to God.

Proverbs 8:15,16 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice…

Jeremiah 27:5-8 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, …

Daniel 2:21 And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings, and sets …

Daniel 4:32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with …

Daniel 5:18-23 O you king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, …

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your …

John 19:11 Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me, except …

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first …

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: …

Revelation 19:16 And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING …

ordained. or, order.

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