Romans 4:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

New Living Translation
That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, "I have made you the father of many nations." This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

English Standard Version
as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

New American Standard Bible
(as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

King James Bible
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
in God's sight. As it is written: I have made you the father of many nations. He believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist.

International Standard Version
As it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations." Abraham acted in faith when he stood in the presence of God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that don't yet exist.

NET Bible
(as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"). He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed--the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
According to what is written: “I have appointed you a father to the multitude of the nations, before God, in whom you believed, who gives life to the dead, and he calls those who are not as though they are.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
as Scripture says: "I have made you a father of many things." Abraham believed when he stood in the presence of the God who gives life to dead people and calls into existence nations that don't even exist.

Jubilee Bible 2000
as it is written, As a father of many Gentiles have I placed thee before God, whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which are not as those that are.

King James 2000 Bible
(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were.

American King James Version
(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who vivifies the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.

American Standard Version
(as it is written, A father of many nations have I made thee) before him whom he believed, even God, who giveth life to the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were.

Douay-Rheims Bible
(As it is written: I have made thee a father of many nations,) before God, whom he believed, who quickeneth the dead; and calleth those things that are not, as those that are.

Darby Bible Translation
(according as it is written, I have made thee father of many nations,) before the God whom he believed, who quickens the dead, and calls the things which be not as being;

English Revised Version
(as it is written, A father of many nations have I made thee) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were.

Webster's Bible Translation
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations) before him whom he believed, even God, who reviveth the dead, and calleth those things which are not, as though they were.

Weymouth New Testament
so that the promise should be made sure to all Abraham's true descendants; not merely to those who are righteous through the Law, but to those who are righteous through a faith like that of Abraham. Thus in the sight of God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and makes reference to things that do not exist, as though they did, Abraham is the forefather of all of us. As it is written, "I have appointed you to be the forefather of many nations."

World English Bible
As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations." This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.

Young's Literal Translation
who is father of us all (according as it hath been written -- 'A father of many nations I have set thee,') before Him whom he did believe -- God, who is quickening the dead, and is calling the things that be not as being.
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.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

As it is written I have made thee a father of many nations,.... The passage referred to, is in Genesis 17:4; which proves him to be a father not of the Jews only, since they cannot be called "many nations", but of the Gentiles also; and which must be understood in a spiritual sense, for Abraham was the father of them,

before him whom he believed, even God; that is, he was so, either in the sight of God, who sees not as man sees; in his account, he was the father of many nations, long before he really in fact was; or "over against" or "like unto him", as the word may signify: as God was the Father of many nations, so was Abraham, though not in such a sense as he is; and as God is the Father of us all that believe, so was Abraham; there is some little likeness and resemblance in this between them, though not sameness. The object of his faith is described as he,

who quickeneth the dead: meaning either the dead body of Abraham and Sarah's womb; or Isaac, who was given up for dead; or the Gentiles, who were dead in trespasses and sins; or rather the dead bodies of men at the last day, a work which none but the almighty God can effect; the consideration of which is sufficient to engage faith in the promises of God, and a dependence on him for the fulfilment or them: and who stands further described as he, who

calleth those things which be not, as though they were; so he called Abraham the father of many nations, when he was not in fact, as if he really was; and the Gentiles his seed and offspring, before they were; and when he comes effectually to call them by his grace, they are represented as "things which are not", whom he called, "to bring to nought things that are", 1 Corinthians 1:28; they were not his people, nor his children, and he called them so, and by his grace made them so, and made them appear to be so; for as in creation so in regeneration, God calls and brings that into being which before was not: and the phrase seems to be an allusion to the creation of all things out of nothing; and it is a Rabbinical one, for so the Jews speaking of the creation say (s).

"Nya la arwq, "he calls to that which is not", and it is excluded; (i.e. all things are excluded out of it, as a chicken out of an egg;) and to that which is, and it is established, and to the world, and it is stretched out.''

(s) R. Solomon ben Gabirol in Cether Malcuth apud L. Capell. in loc.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. As it is written, &c.—(Ge 17:5). This is quoted to justify his calling Abraham the "father of us all," and is to be viewed as a parenthesis.

before—that is, "in the reckoning of."

him whom he believed—that is, "Thus Abraham, in the reckoning of Him whom he believed, is the father of us all, in order that all may be assured, that doing as he did, they shall be treated as he was."

even God, quickeneth the dead—The nature and greatness of that faith of Abraham which we are to copy is here strikingly described. What he was required to believe being above nature, his faith had to fasten upon God's power to surmount physical incapacity, and call into being what did not then exist. But God having made the promise, Abraham believed Him in spite of those obstacles. This is still further illustrated in what follows.

Romans 4:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
Abraham Receives the Promise
16For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17(as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."…
Cross References
Genesis 17:5
No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

Isaiah 48:13
My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.

Isaiah 51:2
look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.

John 5:21
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

Romans 4:18
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Romans 9:11
Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand:

1 Corinthians 1:28
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are,

Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Treasury of Scripture

(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who vivifies the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.

I have.

Genesis 17:4,5,16,20 As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father …

Genesis 25:1-34 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah…

Genesis 28:3 And God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, …

Hebrews 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many …

before him. or, like unto him.

Romans 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, …

who quickeneth.

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he has whereof to glory; …

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you…

Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: …

John 5:21,25 For as the Father raises up the dead, and vivifies them; even so …

John 6:63 It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words …

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; …

Ephesians 2:1-5 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…

1 Timothy 6:13 I give you charge in the sight of God, who vivifies all things, and …

calleth.

Romans 8:29,30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed …

Romans 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to …

Isaiah 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: …

Isaiah 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order …

Isaiah 49:12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, see, these from the north …

Isaiah 55:12 For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains …

Acts 15:18 Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

1 Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has …

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved …

1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: …

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is …

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