Every soul (πασα πσυχη pāsa psuchē). As in Romans 2:9; Acts 2:43. A Hebraism for πας αντρωπος pās anthrōpos (every man).To the higher powers (εχουσιαις υπερεχουσαις exousiais huperechousais). Abstract for concrete. See note on Mark 2:10 for εχουσια exousia υπερεχω Huperechō is an old verb to have or hold over, to be above or supreme, as in 1 Peter 2:13. Except by God (ει μη υπο τεου ei mē hupo theou). So the best MSS. rather than απο τεου apo theou (from God). God is the author of order, not anarchy. The powers that be (αι ουσαι hai ousai). “The existing authorities” (supply εχουσιαι exousiai). Art ordained (τεταγμεναι εισιν tetagmenai eisin). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of τασσω tassō “stand ordained by God.” Paul is not arguing for the divine right of kings or for any special form of government, but for government and order. Nor does he oppose here revolution for a change of government, but he does oppose all lawlessness and disorder.
He that resisteth (ο αντιτασσομενος ho antitassomenos). Present middle articular participle of αντιτασσω antitassō old verb to range in battle against as in Acts 18:6, “he that lines himself up against.”Withstandeth (αντεστηκεν anthestēken). Perfect active indicative of αντιστημι anthistēmi and intransitive, “has taken his stand against.” The ordinance of God (τηι του τεου διαταγηι tēi tou theou diatagēi). Late word, but common in papyri (Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 89), in N.T. only here and Acts 7:53. Note repetition of root of τασσω tassō To themselves (εαυτοις heautois). Dative of disadvantage. See Mark 12:40 for “shall receive a judgment” (κρινα λημπσονται krina lēmpsontai). Future middle of λαμβανω lambanō f0).
A terror (ποβος phobos). This meaning in Isaiah 8:13. Paul does not approve all that rulers do, but he is speaking generally of the ideal before rulers. Nero was Emperor at this time.From the same (εχ αυτης ex autēs). “From it” (εχουσια exousia personified in Romans 13:4).
A minister of God (τεου διακονος theou diakonos). General sense of διακονος diakonos Of course even Nero was God‘s minister “to thee (σοι soi ethical dative) for good (εις το αγατον eis to agathon for the good).” That is the ideal, the goal.Beareth (πορει phorei). Present active indicative of πορεω phoreō old frequentative form of περω pherō to bear, to wear. But if thou do (εαν δε ποιηις ean de poiēis). Condition of third class, εαν ean and present active subjunctive of ποιεω poieō “if thou continue to do.” Sword (μαχαιραν machairan). Symbol of authority as to-day policemen carry clubs or pistols. “The Emperor Trajan presented to a provincial governor on starting for his province, a dagger, with the words, ‹For me. If I deserve it, in me‘” (Vincent). An avenger (εκδικος ekdikos). Old adjective from εκ ek and δικη dikē (right), “outside of penalty,” unjust, then in later Greek “exacting penalty from one,” in N.T. only here and 1 Thessalonians 4:6.
Ye must needs (αναγκη anagkē). “There is necessity,” both because of the law and because of conscience, because it is right (Romans 2:15; Romans 9:1).
Ye pay (τελειτε teleite). Present active indicative (not imperative) of τελεω teleō to fulfil.Tribute (πορους phorous). Old word from περω pherō to bring, especially the annual tax on lands, etc. (Luke 20:22; Luke 23:1). Paying taxes recognizes authority over us. Ministers of God‘s service (λειτουργοι τεου leitourgoi theou). Late word for public servant (unused λειτος leitos from Attic λεως leōs people, and εργω ergō to work). Often used of military servants, servants of the king, and temple servants (Hebrews 8:2). Paul uses it also of himself as Christ‘s λειτουργος leitourgos (Romans 15:16) and of Epaphroditus as a minister to him (Philippians 2:25). See τεου διακονος theou diakonos in Romans 13:4. Attending continually (προσκαρτερουντες proskarterountes). Present active participle of the late verb προσκαρτερεω proskartereō (προς pros and καρτερεω kartereō from καρτος kartos or κρατος kratos strength) to persevere. See note on Acts 2:42 and note on Acts 8:13.
Dues (οπειλας opheilas). Debts, from οπειλω opheilō to owe. Often so in the papyri, though not in Greek authors. In N.T. only here, Matthew 18:32; 1 Corinthians 7:3. Paying debts needs emphasis today, even for ministers.To whom tribute is due (τωι τον πορον tōi ton phoron). We must supply a participle with the article τωι tōi like απαιτουντι apaitounti (“to the one asking tribute”). So with the other words (to whom custom, τωι το τελος απαιτουντι tōi to telos apaitounti to whom fear, τωι τον ποβον απαιτουντι tōi ton phobon apaitounti to whom honour, τωι την τιμην απαιτουντι tōi tēn timēn apaitounti). Πορος Phoros is the tribute paid to a subject nation (Luke 20:22), while τελος telos is tax for support of civil government (Matthew 17:25).
Save to love one another (ει μη το αλληλους αγαπαιν ei mē to allēlous agapāin). “Except the loving one another.” This articular infinitive is in the accusative case the object of οπειλετε opheilete and partitive apposition with μηδεν mēden (nothing). This debt can never be paid off, but we should keep the interest paid up.His neighbour (τον ετερον ton heteron). “The other man,” “the second man.” “Just as in the relations of man and God πιστις pistis has been substituted for νομος nomos so between man and man αγαπη agapē takes the place of definite legal relations” (Sanday and Headlam). See Matthew 22:37-40 for the words of Jesus on this subject. Love is the only solution of our social relations and national problems.
For this (το γαρ to gar). For the article (το to) pointing to a sentence see note on Romans 8:26, here to the quotation. The order of the commandments here is like that in Luke 18:20; James 2:11 and in B for Deuteronomy 5, but different from that of the Hebrew in Ex 20; Deuteronomy 5. The use of ου ou with the volitive future in prohibitions in place of μη mē and the imperative or subjunctive is a regular Greek idiom.And if there be any other (και ει τις ετερα kai ei tis hetera). Paul does not attempt to give them all. It is summed up (ανακεπαλαιουται anakephalaioutai). Present passive indicative of ανακεπαλαιοω anakephalaioō late literary word or “rhetorical term” (ανα κεπαλαιον anaκεπαλαιον kephalaion head or chief as in Hebrews 8:1). Not in the papyri, but εν τωι kephalaion quite common for sum or summary. In N.T. only here and Ephesians 1:10. Namely (το γαρ en tōi). See βασιλικος νομος to gar at the beginning of the verse, though omitted by B F. The quotation is from Leviticus 19:18. Quoted in Matthew 5:43; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8 it is called τον πλησιον σου basilikos nomos (royal law). Thy neighbour (Πλησιον ton plēsion sou). Plēsion is an adverb and with the article it means “the one near thee.” See note on Matthew 5:43.
The fulfilment of the law (πληρωμα νομου plērōma nomou). “The filling up or complement of the law” like πεπληρωκεν peplērōken (perfect active indicative of πληροω plēroō stands filled up) in Romans 13:8. See note on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 for the fuller exposition of this verse.
And this (και τουτο kai touto). Either nominative absolute or accusative of general reference, a common idiom for “and that too” (1 Corinthians 6:6, 1 Corinthians 6:8, etc.).Knowing (ειδοτες eidotes). Second perfect active participle, nominative plural without a principal verb. Either we must supply a verb like ποιησωμεν poiēsōmen (let us do it) or ποιησατε poiēsate (do ye do it) or treat it as an independent participle as in Romans 12:10. The season (τον καιρον ton kairon). The critical period, not χρονος chronos (time in general). High time (ωρα hōra). Like our the “hour” has come, etc. MSS. vary between ημας hēmas (us) and υμας humās (you), accusative of general reference with εγερτηναι egerthēnai (first aorist passive infinitive of εγειρω egeirō to awake, to wake up), “to be waked up out of sleep” (εχ υπνου ex hupnou). Nearer to us (εγγυτερον ημων egguteron hēmōn). Probably so, though ημων hēmōn can be taken equally well with η σωτηρια hē sōtēria (our salvation is nearer). Final salvation, Paul means, whether it comes by the second coming of Christ as they all hoped or by death. It is true of us all.
Is far spent (προεκοπσεν proekopsen). First aorist active indicative of προκοπτω prokoptō to cut forward, to advance, old word for making progress. See note on Luke 2:52; note on Galatians 1:14; note on 2 Timothy 2:16; and note on 2 Timothy 3:9.Is at hand (ηγγικεν ēggiken). Perfect active indicative, “has drawn nigh.” Vivid picture for day-break. Let us therefore cast off (αποτωμετα ουν apothōmetha oun). Aorist middle subjunctive (volitive) of αποτιτημι apotithēmi to put off from oneself “the works of darkness” (τα εργα του σκοτους ta erga tou skotous) as we do our night-clothes. Let us put on (ενδυσωμετα endusōmetha). Aorist middle subjunctive (volitive) of ενδυω enduō to put on. For this same contrast between putting off (αποτιτημι apotithēmi and απεκδυω apekduō) and putting on (ενδυω enduō) see note on Colossians 3:8-12. The armour of light (τα οπλα του ποτος ta hopla tou photos). The weapons of light, that belong to the light (to the day time). For the metaphor of the Christian armour see note on 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Romans 6:13; Ephesians 6:13.
Honestly (ευσχημονως euschēmonōs). Paul is fond of the metaphor “walk” (περιπατεω peripateō), 33 times though not in the Pastoral Epistles. This old adverb (from ευσχημων euschēmōn graceful) occurs also in 1 Thessalonians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 14:40. The English word “honest” means honourable (Latin honor) and so decent. Wycliffe translates 1 Corinthians 12:23 by “unhonest,” “honesty,” “honest” for “less honourable, honour, honourable.”Not in revelling (μη κωμοις mē kōmois). Plural “revellings.” See Galatians 5:21. Drunkenness (methais). Plural again, “drunkennesses.” See Galatians 5:21. In chambering (koitais). Plural also. See Romans 9:10. Wantonness (μεταις aselgeiais). Plural likewise. See 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19. Not in strife and jealousy (mē eridi kai zēlōi). Singular here, but some MSS. have the plural like the previous words. Quarrelling and jealousy go with the other vices (Shedd).
Put ye on (ενδυσαστε endusasthe). The same metaphor as in Romans 13:12. The Lord Jesus Christ is the garment that we all need. See note on Galatians 3:27 with baptism as the symbol.Provision (προνοιαν pronoian). Old word for forethought (from προνοος pronoos). In N.T. only here and Acts 24:2. For the flesh (της σαρκος tēs sarkos). Objective genitive. To fulfil the lusts thereof (εις επιτυμιας eis epithumias). “For lusts.” No verb.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Easter