New International Version
For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
King James Bible
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Darby Bible Translation
for it is God's minister to thee for good. But if thou practisest evil, fear; for it bears not the sword in vain; for it is God's minister, an avenger for wrath to him that does evil.
World English Bible
for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn't bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil.
Young's Literal Translation
for of God it is a ministrant to thee for good; and if that which is evil thou mayest do, be fearing, for not in vain doth it bear the sword; for of God it is a ministrant, an avenger for wrath to him who is doing that which is evil.
Romans 13:4 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For he is the minister of God to thee for good - Here the apostle puts the character of the ruler in the strongest possible light. He is the minister of God - the office is by Divine appointment: the man who is worthy of the office will act in conformity to the will of God: and as the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears open to their cry, consequently the ruler will be the minister of God to them for good.
He beareth not the sword in vain - His power is delegated to him for the defense and encouragement of the good, and the punishment of the wicked; and he has authority to punish capitally, when the law so requires: this the term sword leads us to infer.
For he is the minister of God, a revenger - Θεοῦ διακονος εστιν εκδικος, For he is God's vindictive minister, to execute wrath; εις οργην, to inflict punishment upon the transgressors of the law; and this according to the statutes of that law; for God's civil ministers are never allowed to pronounce or inflict punishment according to their own minds or feeling, but according to the express declarations of the law.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryNovember 23. "It is High Time to Awake Out of Sleep" (Rom. xiii. 11).
"It is high time to awake out of sleep" (Rom. xiii. 11). One of the greatest enemies to faith is indolence. It is much easier to lie and suffer than to rise and overcome; much easier to go to sleep on a snowbank and never wake again, than to rouse one's self and shake off the lethargy and overcome the stupor. Faith is an energetic art; prayer is intense labor; the effectual working prayer of the righteous man availeth much. Satan tries to put us to sleep, as he did the disciples in the garden; but …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
A Sketch of the Life of St. Augustin.
Concerning the Power of the Civil Magistrate in Matters Purely Religious, and Pertaining to the Conscience.
1 Thessalonians 4:6
and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.
1 Peter 2:14
or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.
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