Romans 4:13
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

King James Bible
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Darby Bible Translation
For it was not by law that the promise was to Abraham, or to his seed, that he should be heir of the world, but by righteousness of faith.

World English Bible
For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn't through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Young's Literal Translation
For not through law is the promise to Abraham, or to his seed, of his being heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith;

Romans 4:13 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For the promise ... - To show that the faith of Abraham, on which his justification depended, was not by the Law, the apostle proceeds to show that the promise concerning which his faith was so remarkably evinced was before the Law was given. If this was so, then it was an additional important consideration in opposition to the Jew, showing that acceptance with God depended on faith, and not on works.

That he should be heir of the world - An heir is one who succeeds, or is to succeed to an estate. In this passage, the world, or the entire earth, is regarded as the estate to which reference is made, and the promise is that the posterity of Abraham should succeed to that, or should possess it as their inheritance. The precise expression used here, "heir of the world," is not found in the promises made to Abraham Those promises were that God would make of him a great nation Genesis 12:2; that in him all the families of the earth should be blessed Genesis 12:3; that his posterity should be as the stars for multitude Genesis 15:5; and that he should be a father of many nations Genesis 17:5. As this latter promise is one to which the apostle particularly refers (see Romans 4:17), it is probable that he had this in his eye. This promise had, at first, respect to his numerous natural descendants, and to their possessing the land of Canaan. But it is also regarded in the New Testament as extending to the Messiah Galatians 3:16 as his descendant, and to all his followers as the spiritual seed of the father of the faithful. When the apostle calls him "the heir of the world," he sums up in this comprehensive expression all the promises made to Abraham, intimating that his spiritual descendants, that is, those who possess his faith, shall yet be so numerous as to possess all lands.

Or to his seed - To his posterity, or descendants.

Through the law - By the observance of the Law; or made in consequence of observing the Law; or depending on the condition that he should observe the Law. The covenant was made before the law of circumcision was given; and long before the Law of Moses (compare Galatians 3:16-18), and was independent of both.

But through ... - In consequence of or in connection with the strong confidence which he showed in the promises of God, Genesis 15:6.

Romans 4:13 Parallel Commentaries

Waiting Faith Rewarded and Strengthened by New Revelations
'And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Hooker -- the Activity of Faith; Or, Abraham's Imitators
Thomas Hooker, graduate and fellow of Cambridge, England, and practically founder of Connecticut, was born in 1586. He was dedicated to the ministry, and began his activities in 1620 by taking a small parish in Surrey. He did not, however, attract much notice for his powerful advocacy of reformed doctrine, until 1629, when he was cited to appear before Laud, the Bishop of London, whose threats induced him to leave England for Holland, whence he sailed with John Cotton, in 1633, for New England, and
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Vol. 2

Now this Election the Apostle Demonstrating to Be...
17. Now this election the Apostle demonstrating to be, not of merits going before in good works, but election of grace, saith thus: "And in this time a remnant by election of grace is saved. But if by grace, then is it no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace." [2672] This is election of grace; that is, election in which through the grace of God men are elected: this, I say, is election of grace which goes before all good merits of men. For if it be to any good merits that it is given,
St. Augustine—On Patience

Christ is represented in the gospel as sustaining to men three classes of relations. 1. Those which are purely governmental. 2. Those which are purely spiritual. 3. Those which unite both these. We shall at present consider him as Christ our justification. I shall show,-- I. What gospel justification is not. There is scarcely any question in theology that has been encumbered with more injurious and technical mysticism than that of justification. Justification is the pronouncing of one just. It may
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Cross References
Genesis 17:4
"As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.

Genesis 22:17
indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

Acts 13:32
"And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers,

Romans 4:12
and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

Romans 9:8
That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

Galatians 3:16
Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ.

Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

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