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Romans 11:33 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— O depth of riches both of [the] wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable his judgments, and untraceable his ways!
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Oh! the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments! and untraceable his ways!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— O depth of riches, and wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways!
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— O the depth of the riches both of the wisedome and knowledge of God! how vnsearchable are his iudgements, and his wayes past finding out!
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of Aloha, whose judgments man searcheth not, and whose ways are inscrutable!
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— O the depth of the riches, and the wisdom, and the knowledge of God! For man hath not searched out his judgments; and his ways are inscrutable.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
O 5599
{5599} Prime

o
{o}
As a sign of the vocative O; as a note of exclamation. oh.
the depth 899
{0899} Prime
βάθος
bathos
{bath'-os}
From the same as G0901; profundity, that is, (by implication) extent; (figuratively) mystery.
of the riches 4149
{4149} Prime
πλοῦτος
ploutos
{ploo'-tos}
From the base of G4130; wealth (as fulness), that is, (literally) money, possessions, or (figuratively) abundance, richness, (specifically) valuable bestowment.
both 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
of the wisdom 4678
{4678} Prime
σοφία
sophia
{sof-ee'-ah}
From G4680; wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
knowledge 1108
{1108} Prime
γνῶσις
gnosis
{gno'-sis}
From G1097; knowing (the act), that is, (by implication) knowledge.
of God! 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
how 5613
{5613} Prime
ὡς
hos
{hoce}
Probably adverb of comparative from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown).
unsearchable 419
{0419} Prime
ἀνεξερεύνητος
anexereunetos
{an-ex-er-yoo'-nay-tos}
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of G1830; not searched out, that is, (by implication) inscrutable.
[are] his y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
judgments, 2917
{2917} Prime
κρίμα
krima
{kree'-mah}
From G2919; a decision (the function or the effect, for or against ['crime']).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
his y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
ways 3598
{3598} Prime
ὁδός
hodos
{hod-os'}
Apparently a primary word; a road; by implication a progress (the route, act or distance); figuratively a mode or means.
past finding out! 421
{0421} Prime
ἀνεξιχνίαστος
anexichniastos
{an-ex-ikh-nee'-as-tos}
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of a compound of G1537 and a derivative of G2487; not tracked out, that is, (by implication) untraceable.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Romans 11:33

_ _ Oh, the depth, etc. — The apostle now yields himself up to the admiring contemplation of the grandeur of that divine plan which he had sketched out.

_ _ of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God — Many able expositors render this, “of the riches and wisdom and knowledge,” etc. [Erasmus, Grotius, Bengel, Meyer, De Wette, Tholuck, Olshausen, Fritzsche, Philippi, Alford, Revised Version]. The words will certainly bear this sense, “the depth of God’s riches.” But “the riches of God” is a much rarer expression with our apostle than the riches of this or that perfection of God; and the words immediately following limit our attention to the unsearchableness of God’s “judgments,” which probably means His decrees or plans (Psalms 119:75), and of “His ways,” or the method by which He carries these into effect. (So Luther, Calvin, Beza, Hodge, etc.). Besides, all that follows to the end of the chapter seems to show that while the Grace of God to guilty men in Christ Jesus is presupposed to be the whole theme of this chapter, that which called forth the special admiration of the apostle, after sketching at some length the divine purposes and methods in the bestowment of this grace, was “the depth of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge” in these purposes and methods. The “knowledge,” then, points probably to the vast sweep of divine comprehension herein displayed; the “wisdom” to that fitness to accomplish the ends intended, which is stamped on all this procedure.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Romans 11:33-36

_ _ The apostle having insisted so largely, through the greatest part of this chapter, upon reconciling the rejection of the Jews with the divine goodness, he concludes here with the acknowledgment and admiration of the divine wisdom and sovereignty in all this. Here the apostle does with great affection and awe adore,

_ _ I. The secrecy of the divine counsels: O the depth! in these proceedings towards the Jews and Gentiles; or, in general, the whole mystery of the gospel, which we cannot fully comprehend. — The riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God, the abundant instances of his wisdom and knowledge in contriving and carrying on the work of our redemption by Christ, a depth which the angels pry into, 1 Peter 1:12. Much more may it puzzle any human understanding to give an account of the methods, and reasons, and designs, and compass of it. Paul was as well acquainted with the mysteries of the kingdom of God as ever any mere man was; and yet he confesses himself at a loss in the contemplation, and, despairing to find the bottom, he humbly sits down at the brink, and adores the depth. Those that know most in this state of imperfection cannot but be most sensible of their own weakness and short-sightedness, and that after all their researches, and all their attainments in those researches, while they are here they cannot order their speech by reason of darkness. Praise is silent to thee, Psalms 65:1. — The depth of the riches. Men's riches of all kinds are shallow, you may soon see the bottom; but God's riches are deep (Psalms 36:6): Thy judgments are a great deep. There is not only depth in the divine counsels, but riches too, which denotes an abundance of that which is precious and valuable, so complete are the dimensions of the divine counsels; they have not only depth and height, but breadth and length (Ephesians 3:18), and that passing knowledge, v. 19. — Riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God. His seeing all things by one clear, and certain, and infallible view — all things that are, or ever were, or ever shall be, — that all is naked and open before him: there is his knowledge. His ruling and ordering all things, directing and disposing them to his own glory, and bringing about his own purposes and counsels in all; this is his wisdom. And the vast extent of both these is such a depth as is past our fathoming, and we may soon lose ourselves in the contemplation of them. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, Psalms 139:6. Compare Psalms 139:17, Psalms 139:18. — How unsearchable are his judgments! that is, his counsels and purposes: and his ways, that is, the execution of these counsels and purposes. We know not what he designs. When the wheels are set in motion, and Providence has begun to work, yet we know not what he has in view; it is past finding out. This does not only overturn all our positive conclusions about the divine counsels, but it also checks all our curious enquiries. Secret things belong not to us, Deuteronomy 29:29. God's way is in the sea, Psalms 77:19. Compare Job 23:8, Job 23:9; Psalms 97:2. What he does we know not now, John 13:7. We cannot give a reason of God's proceedings, nor by searching find out God. See Job 5:9; Job 9:10. The judgments of his mouth, and the way of our duty, blessed be God, are plain and easy, it is a high-way; but the judgments of his hands, and the ways of his providence, are dark and mysterious, which therefore we must not pry into, but silently adore and acquiesce in. The apostle speaks this especially with reference to that strange turn, the casting off of the Jews and the entertainment of the Gentiles, with a purpose to take in the Jews again in due time; these were strange proceedings, the choosing of some, the refusing of others, and neither according to the probabilities of human conjecture. Even so, Father, because it seemed good in thing eyes. These are methods unaccountable, concerning which we must say, O the depth!Past finding out, anexichniastoicannot be traced. God leaves no prints nor footsteps behind him, does not make a path to shine after him; but his paths of providence are new every morning. He does not go the same way so often as to make a track of it. How little a portion is heard of him! Job 26:14. It follows (Romans 11:34), For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Is there any creature made of his cabinet-council, or laid, as Christ was, in the bosom of the Father? Is there any to whom he has imparted his counsels, or that is able, upon the view of his providences, to know the way that he takes? There is so vast a distance and disproportion between God and man, between the Creator and the creature, as for ever excludes the thought of such an intimacy and familiarity. The apostle makes the same challenge (1 Corinthians 2:16): For who hath known the mind of the Lord? And yet there he adds, But we have the mind of Christ, which intimates that through Christ true believers, who have his Spirit, know so much of the mind of God as is necessary to their happiness. He that knew the mind of the Lord has declared him, John 1:18. And so, though we know not the mind of the Lord, yet, if we have the mind of Christ, we have enough. The secret of the Lord is with those that fear him, Psalms 25:14. Shall I hide from Abraham the thing which I do? See John 15:15. — Or who has been his counsellor? He needs no counsellor, for he is infinitely wise; nor is any creature capable of being his counsellor; this would be like lighting a candle to the sun. This seems to refer to that scripture (Isaiah 40:13, Isaiah 40:14), Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or, being his counsellor, hath taught him? With whom took he counsel? etc. It is the substance of God's challenge to Job concerning the work of creation (Job 38), and is applicable to all the methods of his providence. It is nonsense for any man to prescribe to God, or to teach him how to govern the world.

_ _ II. The sovereignty of the divine counsels. In all these things God acts as a free agent, does what he will, because he will, and gives not account of any of his matters (Job 23:13; Job 33:13), and yet there is no unrighteousness with him. To clear which,

_ _ 1. He challenges any to prove God a debtor to him (Romans 11:35): Who hath first given to him? Who is there of all the creatures that can prove God is beholden to him? Whatever we do for him, or devote to him, it must be with that acknowledgment, which is for ever a bar to such demands (1 Chronicles 29:14): Of thine own we have given thee. All the duties we can perform are not requitals, but rather restitutions. If any can prove that God is his debtor, the apostle here stands bound for the payment, and proclaims, in God's name, that payment is ready: It shall be recompensed to him again. It is certain God will let nobody lose by him; but never any one yet durst make a demand of this kind, or attempt to prove it. This is here suggested, (1.) To silence the clamours of the Jews. When God took away their visible church-privileges from them, he did but take his own: and may he not do what he will with his own — give or withhold his grace where and when he pleases? (2.) To silence the insultings of the Gentiles. When God sent the gospel among them, and gave so many of them grace and wisdom to accept of it, it was not because he owed them so much favour, or that they could challenge it as a debt, but of his own good pleasure.

_ _ 2. He resolves all into the sovereignty of God (Romans 11:36): For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, that is, God is all in all. All things in heaven and earth (especially those things which relate to our salvation, the things which belong to our peace) are of him by way of creation, through him by way of providential influence, that they may be to him in their final tendency and result. Of God as the spring and fountain of all, through Christ, God — man, as the conveyance, to God as the ultimate end. These three include, in general, all God's causal relations to his creatures: of him as the first efficient cause, through him as the supreme directing cause, to him as the ultimate final cause; for the Lord hath made all for himself, Revelation 4:11. If all be of him and through him, there is all the reason in the world that all should be to him and for him. It is a necessary circulation; if the rivers received their waters from the sea, they return them to the sea again, Ecclesiastes 1:7. To do all to the glory of God is to make a virtue of necessity; for all shall in the end be to him, whether we will or no. And so he concludes with a short doxology: To whom be glory for ever, Amen. God's universal agency as the first cause, the sovereign ruler, and the last end, ought to be the matter of our adoration. Thus all his works do praise him objectively; but his saints do bless him actively; they hand that praise to him which all the creatures do minister matter for, Psalms 145:10. Paul had been discoursing at large of the counsels of God concerning man, sifting the point with a great deal of accuracy; but, after all, he concludes with the acknowledgment of the divine sovereignty, as that into which all these things must be ultimately resolved, and in which alone the mind can safely and sweetly rest. This is, if not the scholastic way, yet the Christian way, of disputation. Whatever are the premises, let god's glory be the conclusion; especially when we come to talk of the divine counsels and actings, it is best for us to turn our arguments into awful and serious adorations. The glorified saints, that see furthest into these mysteries, never dispute, but praise to eternity.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 11:33

O the depth of the riches, and wisdom, and knowledge of God — In the ninth chapter, St. Paul had sailed but in a narrow sea: now he is in the ocean. The depth of the riches is described, Romans 11:35; the depth of wisdom, Romans 11:34; the depth of knowledge, in the latter part of this verse. Wisdom directs all things to the best end; knowledge sees that end. How unsearchable are his judgments — With regard to unbelievers. His ways — With regard to believers. His ways are more upon a level; His judgments "a great deep." But even his ways we cannot trace.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Romans 11:33

(17) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable [are] his (g) judgments, and his (h) ways past finding out!

(17) The apostle cries out as one astonished with this wonderful wisdom of God, which he teaches us to revere in a religious manner, and not curiously and profanely to be searched beyond the boundary of that which God has revealed unto us.

(g) The course that he holds in governing all things both generally and particularly.

(h) The order of his counsels and doings.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the depth:

Psalms 107:8-43 Oh that [men] would praise the LORD [for] his goodness, and [for] his wonderful works to the children of men! ... Whoso [is] wise, and will observe these [things], even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
Proverbs 25:3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings [is] unsearchable.
Ephesians 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

riches:

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Romans 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Colossians 2:2-3 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; ... In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

how:

Job 5:9 Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:
Job 9:10 Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.
Job 11:7-9 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? ... The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
Job 26:14 Lo, these [are] parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?
Job 33:13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.
Job 37:19 Teach us what we shall say unto him; [for] we cannot order [our speech] by reason of darkness.
Job 37:23 [Touching] the Almighty, we cannot find him out: [he is] excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.
Psalms 36:6 Thy righteousness [is] like the great mountains; thy judgments [are] a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
Psalms 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wonderful works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.
Psalms 77:19 Thy way [is] in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
Psalms 92:5 O LORD, how great are thy works! [and] thy thoughts are very deep.
Psalms 97:2 Clouds and darkness [are] round about him: righteousness and judgment [are] the habitation of his throne.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Jb 5:9; 9:10; 11:7; 26:14; 33:13; 37:19, 23. Ps 36:6; 40:5; 77:19; 92:5; 97:2; 107:8. Pv 25:3. Ec 3:11. Dn 4:35. Ro 2:4; 9:23. Ep 1:7; 2:7; 3:8, 10, 16, 18. Col 1:27; 2:2.

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