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Subject; obedient and submissive.--The higher powers; those of the civil government.
Damnation; condemnation and just punishment.
The minister of God; the servant, or instrument, employed by God. The duty of submission to the civil government, here urged in an absolute manner, is, of course, like all the other precepts of a similar character contained in the New Testament, to be understood with certain limitations and restrictions. The principal exceptions commonly made to the rule here laid down in general terms, are two:--first, that the civil authorities may be resisted when they require of the subject what is morally wrong; and, secondly, that, when their misgovernment and oppression become extreme and hopeless of reform, the community may depose them from their power. These cases are evidently not included in the view of the subject taken in this passage, as these directions plainly refer to the ordinary routine of civil government, in preserving order in the community, and administering law. The Jews were very prone to turbulence and sedition against the Roman government.
For wrath; for fear of wrath, that is, of punishment.
Custom; a species of tax.
Than when we believed; when we first believed.
Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ; assume the spirit and character of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Romans 13". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany