Romans 4:17
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

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."

Romans 4:17 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

A father of many nations

See Genesis 17:5. Originally his name was Abram, exalted father; afterward Abraham, father of a multitude.

Have I made (τέθεικα)

Appointed or constituted. For a similar sense see Matthew 24:51; John 15:16, and note; Acts 13:47; 1 Timothy 2:7. The verb shows that the paternity was the result of a special arrangement. It would not be used to denote the mere physical connection between father and son.

Who quickeneth the dead

This attribute of God is selected with special reference to the circumstances of Abraham as described in Romans 4:18, Romans 4:21. As a formal attribute of God it occurs 1 Samuel 2:6; John 5:21; 2 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Timothy 6:13.

Calleth (καλοῦντος)

The verb is used in the following senses:

1. To give a name, with ὄνομα name, Matthew 1:21, Matthew 1:22, Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:13, Luke 1:31; without ὄνομα Luke 1:59, Luke 1:60. To salute by a name, Matthew 23:9; Matthew 22:43, Matthew 22:45.

2. Passive. To bear a name or title among men, Luke 1:35; Luke 22:25; 1 Corinthians 15:9. To be acknowledged or to pass as, Matthew 5:9, Matthew 5:19; James 2:23.

3. To invite, Matthew 22:3, Matthew 22:9; John 2:2; 1 Corinthians 10:27. To summon, Matthew 4:21; Acts 4:18; Acts 24:2. To call out from, Matthew 2:15; Hebrews 11:8; 1 Peter 2:9.

4. To appoint. Select for an office, Galatians 1:15; Hebrews 5:4; to salvation, Romans 9:11; Romans 8:30.

5. Of God's creative decree. To call forth from nothing, Isaiah 41:4; 2 Kings 8:1.

In this last sense some explain the word here; but it can scarcely be said that God creates things that are not as actually existing. Others explain, God's disposing decree. He disposes of things that are not as though existing. The simplest explanation appears to be to give καλεῖν the sense of nameth, speaketh of. Compare Romans 9:7; Acts 7:5. The seed of Abraham "which were at present in the category of things which were not, and the nations which should spring physically or spiritually from him, God spoke of as having an existence, which word Abraham believed" (Alford). In this case there may properly be added the idea of the summons to the high destiny ordained for Abraham's seed.

Romans 4:17 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have.

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

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, that you may be a multitude of people;

Hebrews 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude...

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, of the Gentiles also:

who quickeneth.

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he has whereof to glory; but not before God.

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: for I say to you...

John 5:21,25 For as the Father raises up the dead, and vivifies them; even so the Son vivifies whom he will...

John 6:63 It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

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 before Christ Jesus...

calleth.

Romans 8:29,30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son...

Romans 9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people...

Isaiah 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

Isaiah 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people?...

Isaiah 49:12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, see, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

Isaiah 55:12 For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing...

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 God chosen, yes, and things which are not...

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house...

1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Cross References
Genesis 17:5
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

Isaiah 48:13
My hand laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together.

Isaiah 51:2
Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him.

John 5:21
For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.

Romans 4:18
In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be."

Romans 9:11
though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls--

1 Corinthians 1:28
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,

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