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Chapter 13

13:1 Every soul [pāsa psuchē]. As in 2:9; Ac 2:43. A Hebraism for [pās anthrōpos] (every man). To the higher powers [exousiais huperechousais]. Abstract for concrete. See Mr 2:10 for [exousia]. [Huperechō] is an old verb to have or hold over, to be above or supreme, as in 1Pe 2:13. Except by God [ei mē hupo theou]. So the best MSS. rather than [apo theou] (from God). God is the author of order, not anarchy. The powers that be [hai ousai]. “The existing authorities” (supply [exousiai]. Art ordained [tetagmenai eisin]. Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of [tassō], “stand ordained by God.” Paul is not arguing for the divine right of kings or for any special form of government, but for government and order. Nor does he oppose here revolution for a change of government, but he does oppose all lawlessness and disorder.

13:2 He that resisteth [ho antitassomenos]. Present middle articular participle of [antitassō], old verb to range in battle against as in Ac 18:6, “he that lines himself up against.” Withstandeth [anthestēken]. Perfect active indicative of [anthistēmi] and intransitive, “has taken his stand against.” The ordinance of God [tēi tou theou diatagēi]. Late word, but common in papyri (Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 89), in N.T. only here and Ac 7:53. Note repetition of root of [tassō]. To themselves [heautois]. Dative of disadvantage. See Mr 12:40 for “shall receive a judgment” [krina lēmpsontai]. Future middle of [lambanō].

13:3 A terror [phobos]. This meaning in Isa 8:13. Paul does not approve all that rulers do, but he is speaking generally of the ideal before rulers. Nero was Emperor at this time. From the same [ex autēs]. “From it” [exousia], personified in verse 4).

13:4 A minister of God [theou diakonos]. General sense of [diakonos]. Of course even Nero was God’s minister “to thee [soi] ethical dative) for good [eis to agathon], for the good).” That is the ideal, the goal. Beareth [phorei]. Present active indicative of [phoreō], old frequentative form of [pherō], to bear, to wear. But if thou do [ean de poiēis]. Condition of third class, [ean] and present active subjunctive of [poieō], “if thou continue to do.” Sword [machairan]. Symbol of authority as to-day policemen carry clubs or pistols. “The Emperor Trajan presented to a provincial governor on starting for his province, a dagger, with the words, ‘For me. If I deserve it, in me’” (Vincent). An avenger [ekdikos]. Old adjective from [ek] and [dikē] (right), “outside of penalty,” unjust, then in later Greek “exacting penalty from one,” in N.T. only here and 1Th 4:6.

13:5 Ye must needs [anagkē]. “There is necessity,” both because of the law and because of conscience, because it is right (2:15; 9:1).

13:6 Ye pay [teleite]. Present active indicative (not imperative) of [teleō], to fulfil. Tribute [phorous]. Old word from [pherō], to bring, especially the annual tax on lands, etc. (Lu 20:22; 23:1). Paying taxes recognizes authority over us. Ministers of God’s service [leitourgoi theou]. Late word for public servant (unused [leitos] from Attic [leōs], people, and [ergō], to work). Often used of military servants, servants of the king, and temple servants (Heb 8:2). Paul uses it also of himself as Christ’s [leitourgos] (Ro 15:16) and of Epaphroditus as a minister to him (Php 2:25). See [theou diakonos] in verse 4. Attending continually [proskarterountes]. Present active participle of the late verb [proskartereō] [pros] and [kartereō] from [kartos] or [kratos], strength) to persevere. See on Ac 2:42; 8:13.

13:7 Dues [opheilas]. Debts, from [opheilō], to owe. Often so in the papyri, though not in Greek authors. In N.T. only here, Mt 18:32; 1Co 7:3. Paying debts needs emphasis today, even for ministers. To whom tribute is due [tōi ton phoron]. We must supply a participle with the article [tōi] like [apaitounti] (“to the one asking tribute”). So with the other words (to whom custom, [tōi to telos apaitounti]; to whom fear, [tōi ton phobon apaitounti]; to whom honour, [tōi tēn timēn apaitounti]. [Phoros] is the tribute paid to a subject nation (Lu 20:22), while [telos] is tax for support of civil government (Mt 17:25).

13:8 Save to love one another [ei mē to allēlous agapāin]. “Except the loving one another.” This articular infinitive is in the accusative case the object of [opheilete] and partitive apposition with [mēden] (nothing). This debt can never be paid off, but we should keep the interest paid up. His neighbour [ton heteron]. “The other man,” “the second man.” “Just as in the relations of man and God [pistis] has been substituted for [nomos], so between man and man [agapē] takes the place of definite legal relations” (Sanday and Headlam). See Mt 22:37-40 for the words of Jesus on this subject. Love is the only solution of our social relations and national problems.

13:9 For this [to gar]. For the article [to] pointing to a sentence see 8:26, here to the quotation. The order of the commandments here is like that in Lu 18:20; Jas 2:11 and in B for De 5, but different from that of the Hebrew in Ex 20; De 5. The use of [ou] with the volitive future in prohibitions in place of [] and the imperative or subjunctive is a regular Greek idiom. And if there be any other [kai ei tis hetera]. Paul does not attempt to give them all. It is summed up [anakephalaioutai]. Present passive indicative of [anakephalaioō], late literary word or “rhetorical term” [ana, kephalaion], head or chief as in Heb 8:1). Not in the papyri, but [kephalaion], quite common for sum or summary. In N.T. only here and Eph 1:10. Namely [en tōi]. See [to gar] at the beginning of the verse, though omitted by B F. The quotation is from Le 19:18. Quoted in Mt 5:43; 22:39; Mr 12:31; Lu 10:27; Ga 5:14; Jas 2:8 it is called [basilikos nomos] (royal law). Thy neighbour [ton plēsion sou]. [Plēsion] is an adverb and with the article it means “the one near thee.” See on Mt 5:43.

13:10 The fulfilment of the law [plērōma nomou]. “The filling up or complement of the law” like [peplērōken] (perfect active indicative of [plēroō], stands filled up) in verse 8. See 1Co 13 for the fuller exposition of this verse.

13:11 And this [kai touto]. Either nominative absolute or accusative of general reference, a common idiom for “and that too” (1Co 6:6, 8, etc.). Knowing [eidotes]. Second perfect active participle, nominative plural without a principal verb. Either we must supply a verb like [poiēsōmen] (let us do it) or [poiēsate] (do ye do it) or treat it as an independent participle as in 12:10f. The season [ton kairon]. The critical period, not [chronos] (time in general). High time [hōra]. Like our the “hour” has come, etc. MSS. vary between [hēmas] (us) and [humās] (you), accusative of general reference with [egerthēnai] (first aorist passive infinitive of [egeirō], to awake, to wake up), “to be waked up out of sleep” [ex hupnou]. Nearer to us [egguteron hēmōn]. Probably so, though [hēmōn] can be taken equally well with [hē sōtēria] (our salvation is nearer). Final salvation, Paul means, whether it comes by the second coming of Christ as they all hoped or by death. It is true of us all.

13:12 Is far spent [proekopsen]. First aorist active indicative of [prokoptō], to cut forward, to advance, old word for making progress. See Lu 2:52; Ga 1:14; 2Ti 2:16; 3:9. Is at hand [ēggiken]. Perfect active indicative, “has drawn nigh.” Vivid picture for day-break. Let us therefore cast off [apothōmetha oun]. Aorist middle subjunctive (volitive) of [apotithēmi], to put off from oneself “the works of darkness” [ta erga tou skotous] as we do our night-clothes. Let us put on [endusōmetha]. Aorist middle subjunctive (volitive) of [enduō], to put on. For this same contrast between putting off [apotithēmi] and [apekduō] and putting on [enduō] see Col 3:8-12. The armour of light [ta hopla tou photos]. The weapons of light, that belong to the light (to the day time). For the metaphor of the Christian armour see 1Th 5:8; 2Co 6:7; Ro 6:13; Eph 6:13ff.

13:13 Honestly [euschēmonōs]. Paul is fond of the metaphor “walk” [peripateō], 33 times though not in the Pastoral Epistles. This old adverb (from [euschēmōn], graceful) occurs also in 1Th 4:12; 1Co 14:40. The English word “honest” means honourable (Latin honor) and so decent. Wycliff translates 1Co 12:32 by “unhonest,” “honesty,” “honest” for “less honourable, honour, honourable.” Not in revelling [mē kōmois]. Plural “revellings.” See on Ga 5:21. Drunkenness [methais]. Plural again, “drunkennesses.” See on Ga 5:21. In chambering [koitais]. Plural also. See on Ro 9:10. Wantonness [aselgeiais]. Plural likewise. See on 2Co 12:21; Ga 5:19. Not in strife and jealousy [mē eridi kai zēlōi]. Singular here, but some MSS. have the plural like the previous words. Quarrelling and jealousy go with the other vices (Shedd).

13:14 Put ye on [endusasthe]. The same metaphor as in verse 12. The Lord Jesus Christ is the garment that we all need. See Ga 3:27 with baptism as the symbol. Provision [pronoian]. Old word for forethought (from [pronoos]. In N.T. only here and Ac 24:2. For the flesh [tēs sarkos]. Objective genitive. To fulfil the lusts thereof [eis epithumias]. “For lusts.” No verb.

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