Parallel Bible VersionsGreek Bible Study Tools

Romans 4:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— (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.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— (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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— (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.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— (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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— (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;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Even as it is written—Father of many nations, have I appointed thee: before him whom he believed—God, who causeth the dead to live, and calleth the things that are not as things that are:—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 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.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— (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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— (As it is written, I haue made thee a father of many nations) before him whom he beleeued, [euen] God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which bee not, as though they were,
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— (as it is written, I have ordained thee the father of many nations before Aloha, in whom thou hast believed, who maketh alive the dead, and calleth those who are not as though they were:)
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— as it is written: "I have constituted thee a father to a multitude of nations;" [namely] before God, in whom thou hast believed; who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which are not, as if they were.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
(As 2531
{2531} Prime
καθώς
kathos
{kath-oce'}
From G2596 and G5613; just (or inasmuch) as, that.
it is written, 1125
{1125} Prime
γράφω
grapho
{graf'-o}
A primary verb; to 'grave', especially to write; figuratively to describe.
z5769
<5769> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 215
y3754
[3754] Standard
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
I have made 5087
{5087} Prime
τίθημι
tithemi
{tith'-ay-mee}
A prolonged form of a primary word θέω [[theo]], {theh'-o} (which is used only as an alternate in certain tenses); to place (in the widest application, literally and figuratively; properly in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different from G2476, which properly denotes an upright and active position, while G2749 is properly reflexive and utterly prostrate).
z5758
<5758> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 516
thee 4571
{4571} Prime
σέ
se
{seh}
Accusative singular of G4771; thee.
a father 3962
{3962} Prime
πατήρ
pater
{pat-ayr'}
Apparently a primary word; a 'father' (literally or figuratively, near or more remote).
of many 4183
{4183} Prime
πολύς
polus
{pol-oos'}
Including the forms from the alternate 'pollos'; (singular) much (in any respect) or (plural) many; neuter (singular) as adverb largely; neuter (plural) as adverb or noun often, mostly, largely.
nations,) 1484
{1484} Prime
ἔθνος
ethnos
{eth'-nos}
Probably from G1486; a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan).
before 2713
{2713} Prime
κατέναντι
katenanti
{kat-en'-an-tee}
From G2596 and G1725; directly opposite.
him whom 3739
{3739} Prime
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
he believed, 4100
{4100} Prime
πιστεύω
pisteuo
{pist-yoo'-o}
From G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), that is, credit; by implication to entrust (especially one's spiritual well being to Christ).
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
[even] 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.
who quickeneth 2227
{2227} Prime
ζῳοποιέω
zoopoieo
{dzo-op-oy-eh'-o}
From the same as G2226 and G4160; to (re-) vitalize (literally or figuratively).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
dead, 3498
{3498} Prime
νεκρός
nekros
{nek-ros'}
From an apparently primary word νέκυς [[nekus]] (a corpse); dead (literally or figuratively; also as noun).
and y2532
[2532] Standard
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.
x2564
(2564) Complement
καλέω
kaleo
{kal-eh'-o}
Akin to the base of G2753; to 'call' (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise).
calleth 2564
{2564} Prime
καλέω
kaleo
{kal-eh'-o}
Akin to the base of G2753; to 'call' (properly aloud, but used in a variety of applications, directly or otherwise).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
those things which be 5607
{5607} Prime
ὤν
on
{oan}
The feminine, the neuter and the present participle of G1510; being.
z5752
<5752> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 186
not 3361
{3361} Prime
μή
me
{may}
A primary particle of qualified negation (whereas G3756 expresses an absolute denial); (adverbially) not, (conjugationally) lest; also (as interrogitive implying a negative answer [whereas G3756 expects an affirmative one]); whether.
as though 5613
{5613} Prime
ὡς
hos
{hoce}
Probably adverb of comparative from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown).
they were. 5607
{5607} Prime
ὤν
on
{oan}
The feminine, the neuter and the present participle of G1510; being.
z5752
<5752> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 186
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Romans 4:16-17.


Romans 4:17

_ _ As it is written, etc. — (Genesis 17:5). This is quoted to justify his calling Abraham the “father of us all,” and is to be viewed as a parenthesis.

_ _ before — that is, “in the reckoning of.”

_ _ him whom he believed — that is, “Thus Abraham, in the reckoning of Him whom he believed, is the father of us all, in order that all may be assured, that doing as he did, they shall be treated as he was.”

_ _ even God, quickeneth the dead — The nature and greatness of that faith of Abraham which we are to copy is here strikingly described. What he was required to believe being above nature, his faith had to fasten upon God’s power to surmount physical incapacity, and call into being what did not then exist. But God having made the promise, Abraham believed Him in spite of those obstacles. This is still further illustrated in what follows.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Romans 4:9-17.


Romans 4:17-22

_ _ Having observed when Abraham was justified by faith, and why, for the honour of Abraham and for example to us who call him father, the apostle here describes and commends the faith of Abraham, where observe,

_ _ I. Whom he believed: God who quickeneth. It is God himself that faith fastens upon: other foundation can no man lay. Now observe what in God Abraham's faith had an eye t — o that, certainly, which would be most likely to confirm his faith concerning the things promised: — 1. God who quickeneth the dead. It was promised that he should be the father of many nations, when he and his wife were now as good as dead (Hebrews 11:11, Hebrews 11:12), and therefore he looks upon God as a God that could breathe life into dry bones. He that quickeneth the dead can do any thing, can give a child to Abraham when he is old, can bring the Gentiles, who are dead in trespasses and sins, to a divine and spiritual life, Ephesians 2:1. Compare Ephesians 1:19, Ephesians 1:20. 2. Who calleth things which are not as though they were; that is, creates all things by the word of his power, as in the beginning, Genesis 1:3; 2 Corinthians 4:6. The justification and salvation of sinners, the espousing of the Gentiles that had not been a people, were a gracious calling of things which are not as though they were, giving being to things that were not. This expresses the sovereignty of God and his absolute power and dominion, a mighty stay to faith when all other props sink and totter. It is the holy wisdom and policy of faith to fasten particularly on that in God which is accommodated to the difficulties wherewith it is to wrestle, and will most effectually answer the objections. It is faith indeed to build upon the all-sufficiency of God for the accomplishment of that which is impossible to anything but that all-sufficiency. Thus Abraham became the father of many nations before him whom he believed, that is, in the eye and account of God; or like him whom he believed; as God was a common Father, so was Abraham. It is by faith in God that we become accepted of him, and conformable to him.

_ _ II. How he believed. He here greatly magnifies the strength of Abraham's faith, in several expressions. 1. Against hope, he believed in hope, Romans 4:18. There was a hope against him, a natural hope. All the arguments of sense, and reason, and experience, which in such cases usually beget and support hope, were against him; no second causes smiled upon him, nor in the least favoured his hope. But, against all those inducements to the contrary, he believed; for he had a hope for him: He believed in hope, which arose, as his faith did, from the consideration of God's all-sufficiency. That he might become the father of many nations. Therefore God, by his almighty grace, enabled him thus to believe against hope, that he might pass for a pattern of great and strong faith to all generations. It was fit that he who was to be the father of the faithful should have something more than ordinary in his faith — that in him faith should be set in its highest elevation, and so the endeavours of all succeeding believers be directed, raised, and quickened. Or this is mentioned as the matter of the promise that he believed; and he refers to Genesis 15:5, So shall thy seed be, as the stars of heaven, so innumerable, so illustrious. This was that which he believed, when it was counted to him for righteousness, Romans 4:6. And it is observable that this particular instance of his faith was against hope, against the surmises and suggestions of his unbelief. He had just before been concluding hardly that he should go childless, that one born in his house was his heir (Romans 4:2, Romans 4:3); and this unbelief was a foil to his faith, and bespeaks it a believing against hope. 2. Being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body, Romans 4:19. Observe, His own body was now dead — become utterly unlikely to beget a child, though the new life and vigour that God gave him continued after Sarah was dead, witness his children by Keturah. When God intends some special blessing, some child of promise, for his people, he commonly puts a sentence of death upon the blessing itself, and upon all the ways that lead to it. Joseph must be enslaved and imprisoned before he be advanced. But Abraham did not consider this, su katenosehe did not dwell in his thoughts upon it. He said indeed, Shall a child be born to him that is a hundred years old? Genesis 17:17. But that was the language of his admiration and his desire to be further satisfied, not of his doubting and distrust; his faith passed by that consideration, and thought of nothing but the faithfulness of the promise, with the contemplation whereof he was swallowed up, and this kept up his faith. Being not weak in faith, he considered not. It is mere weakness of faith that makes a man lie poring upon the difficulties and seeming impossibilities that lie in the way of a promise. Though it may seem to be the wisdom and policy of carnal reason, yet it is the weakness of faith, to look into the bottom of all the difficulties that arise against the promise. 3. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief (Romans 4:20), and he therefore staggered not because he considered not the frowns and discouragements of second causes; su diekrithhe disputed not; he did not hold any self-consultation about it, did not take time to consider whether he should close with it or no, did not hesitate nor stumble at it, but by a resolute and peremptory act of his soul, with a holy boldness, ventured all upon the promise. He took it not for a point that would admit of argument or debate, but presently determined it as a ruled case, did not at all hang in suspense about it: he staggered not through unbelief. Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggerings at God's promises. It is not the promise that fails, but our faith that fails when we stagger. 4. He was strong in faith, giving glory to God, enedunamthhe was strengthened in faith, his faith got ground by exercise — crescit eundo. Though weak faith shall not be rejected, the bruised reed not broken, the smoking flax not quenched, yet strong faith shall be commended and honoured. The strength of his faith appeared in the victory it won over his fears. And hereby he gave glory to God; for, as unbelief dishonours God by making him a liar (1 John 5:10), so faith honours God by setting to its seal that he is true, John 3:33. Abraham's faith gave God the glory of his wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, and especially of his faithfulness, resting upon the word that he had spoken. Among men we say, “He that trusts another, gives him credit, and honours him by taking his word;” thus Abraham gave glory to God by trusting him. We never hear our Lord Jesus commending any thing so much as great faith (Matthew 8:10 and Matthew 15:28): therefore God gives honour to faith, great faith, because faith, great faith, gives honour to God. 5. He was fully persuaded that what God had promised he was able to perform, plrophortheiswas carried on with the greatest confidence and assurance; it is a metaphor taken from ships that come into the harbour with full sail. Abraham saw the storms of doubts, and fears, and temptations likely to rise against the promise, upon which many a one would have shrunk back, and lain by for fairer days, and waited a smiling gale of sense and reason. But Abraham, having taken God for his pilot, and the promise for his card and compass, resolves to weather his point, and like a bold adventurer sets up all his sails, breaks through all the difficulties, regards neither winds nor clouds, but trusts to the strength of his bottom and the wisdom and faithfulness of his pilot, and bravely makes to the harbour, and comes home an unspeakable gainer. Such was his full persuasion, and it was built on the omnipotence of God: He was able. Our waverings rise mainly from our distrust of the divine power; and therefore to fix us it is requisite we believe not only that he is faithful, but that he is able, that hath promised. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness, Romans 4:22. Because with such a confidence he ventured his all in the divine promise, God graciously accepted him, and not only answered, but out-did, his expectation. This way of glorifying God by a firm reliance on his bare promise was so very agreeable to God's design, and so very conducive to his honour, that he graciously accepted it as a righteousness, and justified him, though there was not that in the thing itself which could merit such an acceptance. This shows why faith is chosen to be the prime condition of our justification, because it is a grace that of all others gives glory to God.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 4:17

Before God — Though before men nothing of this appeared, those nations being then unborn. As quickening the dead — The dead are not dead to him and even the things that are not, are before God. And calling the things that are not — Summoning them to rise into being, and appear before him. The seed of Abraham did not then exist; yet God said, "So shall thy seed be." A man can say to his servant actually existing, Do this; and he doeth it: but God saith to the light, while it does not exist, Go forth; and it goeth. Genesis 17:5.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Romans 4:17

(As it is written, I have made thee a (16) father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] (m) God, who (n) quickeneth the dead, and (o) calleth those things which be not as though they were.

(16) This fatherhood is spiritual, depending only upon the power of God, who made the promise.

(m) Before God, that is by membership in his spiritual family, which has a place before God, and makes us acceptable to God.

(n) Who restores to life.

(o) With whom those things are already, which as yet are not indeed, as he can with a word make what he wishes out of nothing.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I have:

Genesis 17:4-5 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 I made thee.
Genesis 17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be [a mother] of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
Genesis 17:20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
Genesis 25:1-34 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name [was] Keturah. ... Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised [his] birthright.
Genesis 28:3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest 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, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

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 hath [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, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to [our] father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto 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 [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; ... Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
1 Timothy 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and [before] Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

calleth:

Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. ... Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Romans 9:26 And it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
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? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
Isaiah 49:12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.
Acts 15:18 Known unto 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, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
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; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
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.
Random Bible VersesNew Quotes



Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 17:4, 16, 20; 25:1; 28:3. Is 43:6; 44:7; 49:12; 55:12. Mt 3:9. Jn 5:21, 25; 6:63. Ac 15:18. Ro 3:29; 4:2; 8:11, 29; 9:26. 1Co 1:28; 15:45. Ep 2:1. 1Ti 6:13. He 11:7, 12. 1P 2:10. 2P 3:8.

Newest Chat Bible Comment
Comment HereComplete Biblical ResearchComplete Chat Bible Commentary
Please post your comment on Romans 4:17.
Name:

WWW Chat Bible Commentary

User-Posted Comments on Romans 4:17


Recent Chat Bible Comments