Romans 3:4
God forbid: yes, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you might be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Impossible! Rather let God be seen to be true though all mankind should be proved false, even as the Psalmist looked upon his own sin as serving to enhance the triumph of God’s justice. Speaking of that justice for the moment as if it could be arraigned before the bar of a still higher tribunal, he asserts its absolute and complete acquittal.

That thou mightest be justified.—Strictly, in order that, here as in the Hebrew of the Psalm. Good is, in some way inscrutable to us, educed out of evil, and this is clearly foreseen by God, and forms part of His design, though so as not to interfere with the free-will of man. Religion assumes that the two things, free-will and omnipotence, are reconcilable, though how they are to be reconciled seems an insoluble problem. The same difficulty attaches to every system but one of blank fatalism and atheism. But the theory of fatalism if logically carried out would simply destroy human society.

Psalms 51, in which the quotation occurs, is commonly (in accordance with the heading), though perhaps wrongly, ascribed to David after his sin with Bathsheba. The effect of this sin is to throw out into the strongest relief the justice of the sentence by which it is followed and punished. The original is, “That thou mightest be just in thy speaking; that thou mightest be pure in thy judging.” St. Paul adopts the rendering of the LXX., who make the last word passive instead of active, thus making it apply, not to the sentence given by God, but to the imaginary trial to which by a figure of speech that sentence itself is supposed to be submitted.

3:1-8 The law could not save in or from sins, yet it gave the Jews advantages for obtaining salvation. Their stated ordinances, education in the knowledge of the true God and his service, and many favours shown to the children of Abraham, all were means of grace, and doubtless were made useful to the conversion of many. But especially the Scriptures were committed to them. Enjoyment of God's word and ordinances, is the chief happiness of a people. But God's promises are made only to believers; therefore the unbelief of some, or of many professors, cannot make this faithfulness of no effect. He will fulfil his promises to his people, and bring his threatened vengeance upon unbelievers. God's judging the world, should for ever silence all doubtings and reflections upon his justice. The wickedness and obstinate unbelief of the Jews, proved man's need of the righteousness of God by faith, and also his justice in punishing for sin. Let us do evil, that good may come, is oftener in the heart than in the mouth of sinners; for few thus justify themselves in their wicked ways. The believer knows that duty belongs to him, and events to God; and that he must not commit any sin, or speak one falsehood, upon the hope, or even assurance, that God may thereby glorify himself. If any speak and act thus, their condemnation is just.God forbid - Greek. Let not this be. The sense is, "let not this by any means be supposed." This is the answer of the apostle, showing that no such consequence followed from his doctrines; and that "if" any such consequence should follow, the doctrine should be at once abandoned, and that every man, no matter who, should be rather esteemed false than God. The veracity of God was a great first principle, which was to be held, whatever might be the consequence. This implies that the apostle believed that the fidelity of God could be maintained in strict consistency with the fact that any number of the Jews might be found to be unfaithful, and be cast off. The apostle has not entered into an explanation of this, or shown how it could be, but it is not difficult to understand how it was. The promise made to Abraham, and the fathers, was not unconditional and absolute, that all the Jews should be saved. It was implied that they were to be obedient; and that if they were not, they would be cast off; Genesis 18:19. Though the apostle has not stated it here, yet he has considered it at length in another part of this Epistle, and showed that it was not only consistent with the original promise that a part of the Jews should be found unfaithful, and be east off, but that it had actually occurred according to the prophets; Romans 10:16-21; 11. Thus, the fidelity of God was preserved; at the same time that it was a matter of fact that no small part of the nation was rejected and lost.

Let God be true - Let God be esteemed true and faithful, whatever consequence may follow. This was a first principle, and should be now, that God should be believed to be a God of truth, whatever consequence it might involve. How happy would it be, if all people would regard this as a fixed principle, a matter not to be questioned in their hearts, or debated about, that God is true to his word! How much doubt and anxiety would it save professing Christians; and how much error would it save among sinners! Amidst all the agitations of the world, all conflicts, debates, and trials, it would be a fixed position where every man might find rest, and which would do more than all other things to allay the tempests and smooth the agitated waves of human life.

But every man a liar - Though every man and every other opinion should be found to be false. Of course this included the apostle and his reasoning; and the expression is one of those which show his magnanimity and greatness of soul. It implies that every opinion which he and all others held; every doctrine which had been defended; should be at once abandoned, if it implied that God was false. It was to be assumed as a first principle in all religion and all reasoning, that if a doctrine implied that God was not faithful, it was of course a false doctrine. This showed his firm conviction that the doctrine which he advanced was strictly in accordance with the veracity of the divine promise. What a noble principle is this! How strikingly illustrative of the humility of true piety, and of the confidence which true piety places in God above all the deductions of human reason! And if all people were willing to sacrifice their opinions when they appeared to impinge on the veracity of God; if they started back with instinctive shuddering at the very supposition of such a lack of fidelity in him; how soon would it put an end to the boastings of error, to the pride of philosophy, to lofty dictation in religion! No man with this feeling could be for a moment a universalist; and none could be an infidel.

As it is written - Psalm 51:4. To confirm the sentiment which he had just advanced and to show that it accorded with the spirit of religion as expressed in the Jewish writings, the apostle appeals to the language of David, uttered in a state of deep penitence for past transgressions. Of all quotations ever made, this is one of the most beautiful and most happy. David was overwhelmed with grief; he saw his crime to be awful; he feared the displeasure of God, and trembled before him. Yet "he held it as a fixed, indisputable principle that" God was right. This he never once thought of calling in question. He had sinned against God, God only; and he did not once think of calling in question the fact that God was just altogether in reproving him for his sin, and in pronouncing against him the sentence of condemnation.

That thou mightest be justified - That thou mightest be regarded as just or right, or, that it may appear that God is not unjust. This does not mean that David had sinned against God for the purpose of justifying him, but that he now clearly saw that his sin had been so directly against him, and so aggravated, that God was right in his sentence of condemnation.

In thy sayings - In what thou hast spoken; that is, in thy sentence of condemnation; in thy words in relation to this offence. It may help us to understand this, to remember that the psalm was written immediately after Nathan, at the command of God, had gone to reprove David for his crime; (see the title of the psalm.) God, by the mouth of Nathan, had expressly condemned David for his crime. To this expression of condemnation David doubtless refers by the expression "in thy sayings;" see 2 Samuel 12:7-13.

And mightest overcome - In the Hebrew, "mightest be pure," or mightest be esteemed pure, or just. The word which the Septuagint and the apostle have used, "mightest overcome," is sometimes used with reference to litigations or trials in a court of justice. He that was accused and acquitted, or who was adjudged to be innocent, might be said to overcome, or to gain the cause. The expression is thus used here. As if there were a trial between David and God, God would overcome; that is, would be esteemed pure and righteous in his sentence condemning the crime of David.

When thou art judged - The Hebrew is, "when thou judgest;" that is, in thy judgment pronounced on this crime. The Greek may also be in the middle voice as well as the passive, and may correspond, therefore, in meaning precisely with the Hebrew. So the Arabic renders it. The Syriac renders it, "when they (that is, people) shall judge thee." The meaning, as expressed by David, is, that God is to be esteemed right and just in condemning people for their sins, and that a true penitent, that is, a man placed in the best circumstances to form a proper estimate of God, will see this, though it should condemn himself. The meaning of the expression in the connection in which Paul uses it, is, that it is to be held as a fixed, unwavering principle, that God is right and true, whatever consequences it may involve; whatever doctrine it may overthrow; or whatever man it may prove to be a liar.

4. God forbid—literally, "Let it not be," that is, "Away with such a thought"—a favorite expression of our apostle, when he would not only repudiate a supposed consequence of his doctrine, but express his abhorrence of it. "The Scriptures do not authorize such a use of God's name as must have been common among the English translators of the Bible" [Hodge].

yea, let God be—held

true, and every man a liar—that is, even though it should follow from this that every man is a liar.

when thou art judged—so in Ps 51:4, according to the Septuagint; but in the Hebrew and in our version, "when thou judgest." The general sentiment, however, is the same in both—that we are to vindicate the righteousness of God, at whatever expense to ourselves.

God forbid; the negation that was closely couched in the former verse, is in this expressed by a note of indignation, and of the greatest detestation.

Let God be true; let him remain or appear faithful to his promises and covenant; or, let him be acknowledged to be so, according to the frequent testimonies of Scripture: see Numbers 23:19 Titus 1:2 Hebrews 6:17,18.

But every man a liar; or, although every man should be a liar; or, whatsoever we say of men, who are all mutable creatures, who are liable to mistakes in their own natures, and so may easily deceive others: see Psalm 116:11.

That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings; that thou tnightest be acknowledged just in thy promises and threatenings; in which sense the word is used in divers places, Matthew 11:19 Luke 7:29,35 Lu 10:29.

Mightest overcome; that thou mightest be clear or pure, so it is in the Psalm. The apostle honours the Seventy, which was the common translation, and minds the sense rather than the words. He that is clear, is like to overcome in a just judgment.

When thou art judged; or, when thou judgest: the word may be taken actively or passively; i.e. when thou dost execute judgment upon any, or, when any do presume to censure you. God forbid, yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,.... Let no such thing ever enter into the minds of any, that the truth of God can be, or will be made of none effect by the want of faith in man; let it be always asserted and abode by; that God is true, faithful to his word, constant in his promises, and will always fulfil his purposes; though "every man is a liar", vain, fallacious, and inconstant: referring to Psalm 116:11;

as it is written, Psalm 51:4;

that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. This is a proof that God is true, and stands to his word, though men are fallacious, inconstant, and wicked. God made a promise to David, that of the fruit of his body he would set upon his throne; that the Messiah should spring from him; that he would of his seed raise up unto Israel a Saviour. Now David sinned greatly in the case of Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 11:3 (title), but his sin did not make of no effect the truth and faithfulness of God: though David showed himself to be a weak sinful man, yet God appeared true and faithful to every word of promise which he had sworn in truth to him; and therefore when he was brought to a sense of his evil, and at the same time to observe the invariable truth and faithfulness of God, said, "I acknowledge my transgression, &c. against thee, thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight", Psalm 51:3, which confession of sin I make, "that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings"; or "when thou speakest", Psalm 51:4, which is all one; that is, that thou mightest appear to be just, and faithful, and true in all thy promises, in every word that is gone out of thy mouth, which shall not be recalled and made void, on account of my sins; for though I have sinned, thou abidest faithful; and this also I declare with shame to myself, and with adoring views of thine unchangeable truth and goodness: "that thou mightest overcome"; that is, put to silence all such cavils and charges, as if the faith of God could be made void by the unfaithfulness of men: "when thou art judged"; when men will be so bold and daring to arraign thy truth and faithfulness, and contend with thee about them. This now is brought as a full proof, and is a full proof of this truth, that God is always true to his word, though men fail in theirs, and fall into sin. God kept his word with David concerning the stability of his kingdom, his successor, and the Messiah that should spring from him, though he acted a bad part against God. There is some little difference between these words as they stand in the Hebrew text of Psalm 51:4; and as they are cited and rendered by the apostle, in the last clause of them; in the former it is, "that thou mightest be clear"; in the latter, "that thou mightest overcome". Now to vindicate the apostle's version, let it be observed, that the Hebrew word signifies to "overcome", as well as to "be clear"; of which instances may be given out of the Jewish writings. Says (l) Rabba; concerning an argument used by R. Chanina, in a controversy with other Rabbins, by this R. Chanina ben Antigonus, "hath overcome" them: and in another place (m), whosoever "overcomes" a king, they cast him into an empty ditch; where the gloss upon it is, he that overcomes a king by words, that is, by disputing with him, which is a disgrace to a king. So the word is used in the Syriac language in John 16:33. Moreover, the sense is the same, be it rendered either way; for as a man, when he overcomes his adversary, and carries his point against him, is clear of his charges and cavils, so God, when he overcomes in judgment, is clear of the imputations of wicked men. Another difference in the citation is, that what in the psalm is rendered "when thou judgest", is by the apostle, "when thou art judged", Psalm 51:4, the word, which is used by the Psalmist, may be rendered either way; either "when thou judgest", as a word of the same form is rendered, when "thou speakest", in Psalm 51:4; or "when anyone judges of thee", or "when thou art judged": a like instance is in Psalm 46:2; and so it is rendered by the Septuagint, and followed by the apostle, though the word he uses may be considered in the middle voice, and may have an active signification in it; and the phrase, , may be rendered, "when thou judgest", and then both agree.

(l) T. Bab. Niddah, fol. 52. 2.((m) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 10. 2. Sanhedrim, fol. 39. 1. & Becorot, fol. 8. 2.

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be {e} justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome {f} when thou art judged.

(e) That your justice might be plainly seen.

(f) Seeing that you showed forth an true token of your righteousness, steadfastness and faith, by preserving him who had broken his covenant.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 3:4. Let it not be (far be it)! but God is to be truthful, i.e. His truthfulness is to be the actual result produced (namely, in the carrying out of His Messianic plan of salvation), and every man a liar. To this it shall come; the development of the holy divine economy to this final state of the relation between God and men, is what Paul knows and wishes.

μὴ γένοιτο] The familiar formula of negation by which the thing asked is repelled with abhorrence, corresponding to the חָלִילָה (Genesis 44:17; Joshua 22:29; 1 Samuel 20:2), is used by Paul particularly often in our Epistle, elsewhere in Galatians 2:17; Galatians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 6:15, always in a dialectic discussion. In the other writings of the N. T. it occurs only at Luke 20:16, but is current in later Greek authors (Raphel, Arrian. in loc[742]; Sturz, de dial. Al. p. 204).

γινέσθω] not equivalent to ΦΑΝΕΡΟΎΣΘΩ, ἈΠΟΔΕΙΚΝΎΣΘΩ (Theophylact), but the historical result which shall come to pass, the actual Theodicée that shall take place. This indeed in reality amounts to a φανεροῦσθαι, but it is expressed by ΓΙΝΈΣΘΩ, according to its objective reality, which demonstrates itself. In that which God (and man) does, He becomes actually what according to His nature He is.

πᾶς δὲ ἄνθρ. ψεύστ.] By no means unessential (Rückert), or merely a concomitant circumstance (Th. Schott), is designed, and that all the more forcibly without a preceding ΜΈΝ, to appropriate the ἈΛΉΘΕΙΑ exclusively to God, in contrast to ἠπίστ. τινες, Romans 3:3, outbidding this ΤΙΝΈς by Πᾶς. Every man is a liar, if he does not perform the service to which he has become bound, as is brought to light in the case of the τινές by their ἈΠΙΣΤΊΑ, since as members of the people of God they had bound themselves to faith in the divine promises. That Paul had Psalm 116:11 in view (Calvin, Wolf, and many others) is the more doubtful, seeing that he immediately quotes another passage.

ὅπως ἂν δικ. Κ.Τ.Λ[743]] Psalm 51:6 exactly after the LXX. Independently of the more immediate connection and sense of the original text, Paul seizes on the type of the relation discussed by him, which is involved in the words of the Psalm, in the form in which they are reproduced by the LXX.[744] and that in the sense: that thou mayest be justified, i.e. acknowledged as faultless and upright, in thy words, and prevail (in substance the same as the previous δικαιωθῇς) when thou disputest, namely, with men against whom thou defendest and followest out thy right. From this second clause results that Πᾶς ΔῈ ἌΝΘΡ. ΨΕΎΣΤΗς. The exact appropriateness of this view in the connection is decisive against the explanation commonly adopted formerly after the Vulgate and Luther, and again preferred by Mehring, which takes ΚΡΊΝΕΣΘΑΊ as passive (when thou art subjected to judgment). On the use of the middle, to dispute with, compare LXX. Job 9:3; Job 13:19, and other passages in Schleusner, Thes. III. p. 385 f. This use has been properly maintained by Beza, Bengel, and others; also Matthias, Tholuck, Philippi, van Hengel, Ewald, Hofmann, and Morison. Compare 1 Corinthians 6:1; Matthew 5:40.

ἐν τοῖς λόγοις σου] i.e. in that which thou hast spoken. And that is the category to which those ΛΌΓΙΑ belong, as to which the Apostle has just repelled the idea that God will not keep them on account of the ἈΠΙΣΤΊΑ of the ΤΙΝΈς and will thereby prove untrue. The sense “in sententia ferenda,” when thou passest a sentence (Philippi), cannot be taken out of ἐν τ. λόγ. σου, since God is not represented as judge, but as litigant, over whom the justifying judicial decision is pronounced. The view of Hofmann is also erroneous: that it denotes the accusations, which God may bring against men. For the text represents God indeed as the party gaining the verdict and prevailing, but not as the accuser preferring charges; and the λόγοι, in respect of which He is declared justified, point back so directly to the λόγια in Romans 3:2, that this very correlation has occasioned the selection of the particular passage from Psalms 51

νικᾶν, like vincere, used of prevailing in a process; compare Xen. Mem. iv. 4, 17; Dem. 1436, 18 al[745] The opposite: ἩΤΤᾶΣΘΑΙ

On ὍΠΩς (here in order that in the event of decision) see Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 286, 289; Klotz, a[746] Devar. p. 685.

[742] n loc. refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[743] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[744] The inaccuracies in the translation of the LXX. must be candidly acknowledged; still they do not yield any essential difference of sense from the idea of the original text. These inaccuracies consist in תִּזְכֶּה (insons sis) being rendered in the LXX. by νικήσης, and בְשָׁפְטֶךָ (cum judicas) being translated ἐν τῷ κρίνεσθαί σε.

[745] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[746] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.4. God forbid] Lit. may it not be; be it not; and so always where the words “God forbid” occur in the Eng. N. T.—The Apostle more than accepts the opponent’s position, but not in his sense. God’s promise should indeed stand; the mere thought of a failure there is shocking. But that promise had never said that impenitent individuals of the chosen race should be safe from doom.

let God be true, &c.] Q. d., “If there is failure, it is safer and truer to believe the truest man false, than ‘God who cannot lie.’ ”—It is a profound characteristic of all Scripture to be always on the side of God. In this lies one pregnant evidence, to those who will think it out, of the “Supernatural Origin of the Bible.”

that thou mightest, &c.] The Gr. words are verbatim the LXX. of Psalms 51 (LXX. 50):4. The lit. Hebrew is exactly as E. V. there, “clear when thou judgest;” and probably the Gr. of LXX. and of St Paul here is really the same, or nearly so, in effect: “clear when thou impleadest; when thou procurest judgment.” Same word as “go to law,” 1 Corinthians 6:1. On the special force of this thought in Psalms 51 see paraphrase above.Romans 3:4. Μὴ γένοιτο) Paul alone uses this form of expression, and only in his epistles to the Romans and the Galatians.—γινέσθω, let him be made) in judgement.—ὁ Θεὸς ἀληθὴς, God true) See Psalm 116:12, where God’s most faithful retribution is set in opposition to man’s perfidy. This fact, and the term lying, are referred to again, in verse 7.—πᾶς ἄνθρωπος, every man), not even excepting David. Psalm 116:11, the LXX. have πᾶς ἄνθρωπος ψεύστης, every man a liar. Hence David, 1 Samuel 24:9, speaks of man’s words, that is, falsehood.—ὄπωςκρίνεσθαί σε) So the LXX., Psalm 51:6 [4]. Those things are also [besides their application at David’s time] Prophetical, which David prayed in the agony [conflict] of his repentance.—ἂν), if only it [God’s faithfulness] were to be had recourse to, and if man would dare to put it to the test.—δικαιωθῇςνικήσῃς, thou mayest be justified—mayest overcome), in the name of faithfulness and truth. The human judge judges so, as that the offence of the guilty is the only consideration weighed [regarded] by him, nor is he otherwise concerned as regards [vindicating] his own righteousness; but God exercises judgement so, as that the unrighteousness of men is not more demonstrated thereby, than His own righteousness: νικᾷν is generally said of a victory after the hazard of war, or of a lawsuit for money, or of a contest in the public games. In this passage, it is said of a judicial victory, which cannot but come to God [i.e. God is sure to be the victor].—ἐν τοῖς λόγοις σου) Hebr. בדברך, in which one passage דבר occurs in Kal, without the participle, that is, when thou beginnest to speak, and judicially to answer man, who accuses thee, or to proceed against him. [In a general way, indeed, men acknowledge that GOD is just, but when the question refers to special cases, then they are wont [they love] to defend their own cause, V. g.]—ἐν τῷ κρίνεσθαί σε) Hebr. בשפטך God at once both Κρίνει and Κρίνεται. Κρίνεται [implead in judgment] has the meaning of the middle voice, such as verbs of contending usually have: κρίνοντας applies to those who dispute in a court of law. LXX., Isaiah 43:26; Jdg 4:5; Jeremiah 25:31. An instance in illustration is to be found in Micah 6:2, etc.; also in 1 Samuel 12:7. It is inexpressible loving-kindness in God to come down [condescend to stoop] to man for the purpose of pleading with him.Verse 4. - God forbid (there is no better English phrase for expressing the indignant repudiation of μὴ γένοιτο): yea, let God be true (γινέσθω ἀληθὴς; i.e. "let his truth be established;" "Fiat, in judicio," Bengel), but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged, We can hardly avoid recognizing a reference to Psalm 116:11 in "every man a liar, the words of the LXX. being exactly given, though the general purport of that psalm does not bear upon the present argument. The apostle takes this phrase from it as expressing well what he wants to say, viz. that though all men were false (in the sense expressed and implied by the previous ἠπίστησαν), yet God's truth stands. But it only leads up to the second quotation from Psalm 51, which is the important one, introduced by καθὼς γέραπται. In its final words, νικήσης ἐν τῶ κρίνεσθαί σε, the LXX. is followed (so also Vulgate, cum judicaris), though the Hebrew may be more correctly rendered, as in the Authorized Version, "be clear when thou judgest." The κρίνεσθαι of the LXX. may be understood passively in the sense of God being called to account, as men might be, for the justice of his dealings; or, perhaps, in a middle sense for entering into a suit or controversy with his people. Κρίνεσθαι means "going to law" in 1 Corinthians 6:1, 6 (cf. also Matthew 5:40), and in the LXX., with especial reference to a supposed controversy or pleading of God with men, Jeremiah 25:31; Job 9:2; Job 13:19. (See also Hosea 2:2, Κρίθητε πρὸς τὴν μητέρα ὑῶν.) The meaning of this concluding expression does not, however, affect the main purport of the verse, or its relevancy as here quoted. Occurring in what is believed to be David's penitential psalm after his sin. in the matter of Uriah, it declares, in conjunction with the preceding verse, that, sin having been committed, man alone is guilty, and that God's truth and righteousness can never be impugned. But it seems to imply still more than this, viz. that man's sin has the establishment of God's righteousness as its consequence, or even, it may be, as its purpose; for the conclusion of ver. 4 in the psalm, naturally connected with "against thee only have I sinned" preceding, is so connected by ὄπως α}ν (in Hebrew, לְמַעַן); and it is not out of keeping with scriptural doctrine that David should have intended to express even Divine purpose in that he had been permitted, for his sins, to fall into that deeper sin with the view of establishing God's righteousness all the more. It does not, however, seem certain (whatever some grammarians may say) that the conjunction need of necessity be understood as relic; it may be embatic only. However this be, it is the inference from ὄπως ἀν that suggests the new objection of the following verse. God forbid (μὴ γένοιτο)

Lit., may it not have come to pass. Used by Paul fourteen times. It introduces the rebuttal of an inference drawn from Paul's arguments by an opponent. Luther renders das sey ferne that be far. Wyc. fer be it. It corresponds to the Hebrew chalilah. profane, which in the Septuagint is sometimes rendered by it, sometimes by μηδαμῶς by no means, sometimes by μὴ εἴη may it not be, and again by ἵλεως God be merciful to us (see on Matthew 16:22). It indicates a feeling of strong aversion: "Away with the thought."

Let God be true (γινέσθω ὁ Θεὸς ἀληθής)

Rev., better, "let God be found true;" thus giving the force of γίνομαι to become. See on was, I am, John 8:58. The phrase is used with reference to men's apprehension. Let God turn out to be or be found to be by His creatures.

Be justified

Acknowledged righteous. The figure is forensic. God's justice is put on trial.

Overcome (νικήσῃς)

Rev., prevail. Gain the case. The word occurs only three times outside of John's writings.

When thou art judged (ἐν τῷ κρίνεσθαί σε)

Rev., when thou comest into judgment.

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