Romans 4:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
(as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does 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.

Darby Bible Translation
(according as it is written, I have made thee father of many nations,) before the God whom he believed, who quickens the dead, and calls the things which be not as being;

World English Bible
As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations." This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.

Young's Literal Translation
who is father of us all (according as it hath been written -- 'A father of many nations I have set thee,') before Him whom he did believe -- God, who is quickening the dead, and is calling the things that be not as being.

Romans 4:17 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

As it is written - Genesis 17:5.

I have made thee - The word used here in the Hebrew Gen 17:5 means literally, to give, to grant; and also, to set, or constitute. This is also the meaning of the Greek word used both by the Septuagint and the apostle. The quotation is taken literally from the Septuagint. The argument of the apostle is founded in part on the fact that the past tense is used - I have made thee - and that God spoke of a thing as already done, which he had promised or purposed to do. The sense is, he had, in his mind or purpose, constituted him the father of many nations; and so certain was the fulfillment of the divine purposes, that he spoke of it as already accomplished.

Of many nations - The apostle evidently understands this promise as referring, not to his natural descendants only, but to the great multitude who should believe as he did.

Before him - In his view, or sight; that is, God regarded him as such a father.

Whom he believed - Whose promise he believed; or in whom he trusted.

Who quickeneth the dead - Who gives life to the dead, Ephesians 2:1, Ephesians 2:5. This expresses the power of God to give life. But why it is used here has been a subject of debate. I regard it as having reference to the strong natural improbability of the fulfillment of the prophecy when it was given, arising from the age of Abraham and Sarah, Romans 4:19. Abraham exercised power in the God who gives life, and who gives it as he pleases. It is one of his prerogatives to give life to the dead (νεκρους nekrous), to raise up those who are in their graves; and a power similar to that, or strongly reminding of that, was manifested in fulfilling the promise to Abraham. The giving of this promise, and its fulfillment, were such as strongly to remind us that God has power to give life to the dead.

And calleth ... - That is, those things which he foretels and promises are so certain, that he may speak of them as already in existence. Thus, in relation to Abraham, God, instead of simply promising that he would make him the father of many nations, speaks of it as already done, "I have made thee," etc. In his own mind, or purpose, he had so constituted him, and it was so certain that it would take place, that he might speak of it as already done.

Romans 4:17 Parallel Commentaries

Library
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

Justification.
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 17:5
"No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.

Isaiah 48:13
"Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together.

Isaiah 51:2
"Look to Abraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him."

John 5:21
"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.

Romans 4:18
In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."

Romans 9:11
for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,

1 Corinthians 1:28
and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,

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