Romans 4:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

New Living Translation
Clearly, God's promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God's law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.

English Standard Version
For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

New American Standard Bible
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

King James Bible
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

International Standard Version
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the Law, but through the righteousness produced by faith.

NET Bible
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For it was not by The Written Law that The Promise came to Abraham and his seed, that he would be the heir to the universe, but by the righteousness of his faith.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So it was not by obeying Moses' Teachings that Abraham or his descendants received the promise that he would inherit the world. Rather, it was through God's approval of his faith.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

King James 2000 Bible
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his descendants, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

American King James Version
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

American Standard Version
For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he should be heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For not through the law was the promise to Abraham, or to his seed, that he should be heir of the world; but through the justice of faith.

Darby Bible Translation
For [it was] not by law that the promise was to Abraham, or to his seed, that he should be heir of [the] world, but by righteousness of faith.

English Revised Version
For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed, that he should be heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Weymouth New Testament
Again, the promise that he should inherit the world did not come to Abraham or his posterity conditioned by Law, but by faith-righteousness.

World English Bible
For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn't through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Young's Literal Translation
For not through law is the promise to Abraham, or to his seed, of his being heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:13-22 The promise was made to Abraham long before the law. It points at Christ, and it refers to the promise, Ge 12:3. In Thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. The law worketh wrath, by showing that every transgressor is exposed to the Divine displeasure. As God intended to give men a title to the promised blessings, so he appointed it to be by faith, that it might be wholly of grace, to make it sure to all who were of the like precious faith with Abraham, whether Jews or Gentiles, in all ages. The justification and salvation of sinners, the taking to himself the Gentiles who had not been a people, were a gracious calling of things which are not, as though they were; and this giving a being to things that were not, proves the almighty power of God. The nature and power of Abraham's faith are shown. He believed God's testimony, and looked for the performance of his promise, firmly hoping when the case seemed hopeless. It is weakness of faith, that makes a man lie poring on the difficulties in the way of a promise. Abraham took it not for a point that would admit of argument or debate. Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggerings at God's promises. The strength of faith appeared in its victory over fears. God honours faith; and great faith honours God. It was imputed to him for righteousness. Faith is a grace that of all others gives glory to God. Faith clearly is the instrument by which we receive the righteousness of God, the redemption which is by Christ; and that which is the instrument whereby we take or receive it, cannot be the thing itself, nor can it be the gift thereby taken and received. Abraham's faith did not justify him by its own merit or value, but as giving him a part in Christ.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 13-15. - For not through law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he should be the heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith, For if they which are of law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect. For the Law worketh wrath: for where no law is, neither is there transgression. The point of the argument is that the principle of law is essentially different from that on which Abraham was justified, and which is hence to be understood in the fulfilment of the promise to him and his seed. How this is so is shortly intimated in ver. 15, the idea being more fully expounded in ch. 7. The idea is (as has been already explained) that law simply declares what is right, and requires conformity to it; it does not give either power to obey, or atonement for not obeying. Hence, in itself, it worketh, not righteousness, but wrath; for man becomes fully liable to wrath when he comes to know, through law, the difference between right and wrong (cf. John 9:41, "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin"). Exactly the same view of the impossibility of the Mosaic Law being the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham is found in Galatians 3, where also the real purpose of the Law, intervening thus between the promise and its fulfilment, is further explained. The expression in ver. 13, "that he should be the heir of the world," has reference to the ultimate scope of the Abrahamic promises (see Genesis 12:2, 3; Genesis 13:14-16; Genesis 15:5, 6, 18; Genesis 17:2-9; Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:17, 18). Now, it is true that in some of these promises the language used seems to denote no more than the temporal possession by Israel of the promised land, with dominion (actually realized under David and Solomon) over the whole country from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, as in Genesis 13:14, 15; Genesis 15:18, etc. But their full scope transcends any such limited fulfilment, as where it is said that the promised seed should be as the stars of heaven, and as the dust of the earth that cannot be numbered, and that in it all the nations of the earth should be blessed. The prophets accordingly recognized a far larger ultimate fulfilment in their frequent pictures of the Messiah's universal dominion; and there was no need for the apostle to prove here what the Jews already understood. The only difference between the view current among them and his would be that they would mostly have in view a universal worldly sovereignty with its local centre on the throne of David at Jerusalem, while he interpreted spirttually, seeing beyond the outward framework of prophetic visions to the ideal they imply. "Heres mundi idem est quod pater omnium gentium, benedictionem accipientium. Totus mundus promissus est Abrahae et semini ejus per totum mundum conjunctim. Abrahamo obtigit terra Canaan, et sic aliis alia pars; atque corporalia sunt specimen spiritualium. Christus beres mundi, et omuium (Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 2:5; Revelation 11:15), et qui in eum credunt Abrahae exemplo (Matthew 5:5) (Bengel). It is to be observed that, though Abraham himself in ver. 13 is spoken of as "the heir of the world," yet the preceding expression, "to Abrabam or to his seed," sufficiently intimates that it is in his seed, identified with him, that he is conceived as so inheriting.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the promise that he should be heir of the world,.... This promise is thought by some to refer to that of his being "the father of many nations", Genesis 17:4; by whom the Gentiles are particularly meant, who are sometimes called "the world", and "the whole world", or the elect of God, the believing part of the world; whether among Jews or Gentiles, who sometimes go by the name of "the world" in Scripture: but to this it may be objected, that the promise here spoken of is made to Abraham's seed, as well as to himself; by which is meant not the Messiah, who is indeed heir of the world, and all things in it, but all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles; as appears from Romans 4:16; and therefore cannot be both heirs and inheritance too. Others think the land of Canaan is designed, and by a synecdoche, a part of the world is put for the whole world; but that land is never so called, and, besides, the promise of it belonged to those of the law, and to them only, contrary to what the apostle argues, Romans 4:14. Others therefore consider Canaan as a type of heaven, which Abraham and his spiritual seed are heirs of by promise. But rather, by "the world" here, is meant, both this world and that which is to come; Abraham and all believers are the "heirs" of this world, and of all things in it; "all things" are theirs, and, among the rest, the world, Christ being theirs, and they being Christ's; he is heir of all things, and they are joint heirs with him; and how little soever they may enjoy of it now, the time is coming, when they, by virtue of their right, "shall inherit the earth"; see Psalm 37:9; and now they have as much of it as is necessary, and with a blessing, and which the Jews call their "world". It is a saying in their Talmud (o), , "thou shall see thy world" in thy lifetime; which the gloss explains, "thou shalt find", or enjoy all thy necessities, or what is needful for thee; and of Abraham they say (p), that

"he was the foundation of the world, and that for his sake the world was created;''

and introduce God saying of him thus (q).

"as I am the only one in my world, so he is the only one, "in his world".''

And as he and all the saints are heirs of this world, so of the world to come, the future salvation, the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, never fading, and reserved in the heavens; for they are heirs of God himself, and shall inherit all things: now this large and comprehensive promise, which takes in the things of time and eternity,

was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law: not through the law of circumcision, or on the score of their obedience to that, for this promise was made before that was enjoined; see Genesis 12:2; nor through the law of Moses, which was not as yet given; nor through the law of nature, nor by any righteousness of the law;

but through the righteousness of faith: by virtue of which they have "all things that pertain to life and godliness", 2 Peter 1:3; and have "the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come", 1 Timothy 4:8; enjoy with a blessing what they now have, and have a right and title to the heavenly glory.

(o) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 17. 1.((p) Caphtor, fol. 99. 2.((q) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 118. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13-15. For the promise, &c.—This is merely an enlargement of the foregoing reasoning, applying to the law what had just been said of circumcision.

that he should be the heir of the world—or, that "all the families of the earth should be blessed in him."

was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law—in virtue of obedience to the law.

but through the righteousness of faith—in virtue of his simple faith in the divine promises.

Romans 4:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
Abraham Receives the Promise
13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;…
Cross References
Genesis 17:4
"As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

Genesis 22:17
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,

Acts 13:32
"We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors

Romans 4:12
And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Romans 9:8
In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.

Galatians 3:16
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.

Galatians 3:29
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Hebrews 7:6
This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
Treasury of Scripture

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

For the.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: …

Genesis 17:4,5,16 As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father …

Genesis 22:17,18 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply …

Genesis 28:14 And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread …

Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between …

Psalm 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance, …

Psalm 72:11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.

through the.

Galatians 3:16-18,29 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, …

but through. See on

Romans 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness …

Jump to Previous
Abraham Descendants Earth Faith Faith-Righteousness God's Heir Heritage Inherit Law Offspring Posterity Promise Received Righteousness Seed sness Wasn't Word World
Jump to Next
Abraham Descendants Earth Faith Faith-Righteousness God's Heir Heritage Inherit Law Offspring Posterity Promise Received Righteousness Seed sness Wasn't Word World
Links
Romans 4:13 NIV
Romans 4:13 NLT
Romans 4:13 ESV
Romans 4:13 NASB
Romans 4:13 KJV

Romans 4:13 Bible Apps
Romans 4:13 Bible Suite
Romans 4:13 Biblia Paralela
Romans 4:13 Chinese Bible
Romans 4:13 French Bible
Romans 4:13 German Bible

Alphabetical: Abraham and be but by comes descendants faith For he heir his It law not of offspring or promise received righteousness that the through to was world would

NT Letters: Romans 4:13 For the promise to Abraham (Rom. Ro) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Romans 4:12
Top of Page
Top of Page