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Romans 11:4

    Romans 11:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But what said the answer of God to him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But what answer does God make to him? I have still seven thousand men whose knees have not been bent to Baal.

    Webster's Revision

    But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

    World English Bible

    But how does God answer him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 11:4

    But what saith the answer of God - The answer which God made assured him that there were seven thousand, that is, several or many thousands; for so we must understand the word seven, a certain for an uncertain number. These had continued faithful to God; but, because of Jezebel's persecution, they were obliged to conceal their attachment to the true religion; and God, in his providence, preserved them from her sanguinary rage.

    Who have not bowed the knee - Baal was the god of Jezebel; or, in other words, his worship was then the worship of the state; but there were several thousands of pious Israelites who had not acknowledged this idol, and did not partake in the idolatrous worship.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 11:4

    The answer of God - ὁ χρηματισμός ho chrēmatismos. This word is used no where else in the New Testament. It means an oracle, a divine response. It does not indicate the manner in which it was done, but implies only that it was an oracle, or answer made to his complaint by God. Such an answer, at such a time, would be full of comfort, and silence every complaint. The way in which this answer was in fact given, was not in a storm, or an earthquake, but in a still, small voice; 1 Kings 19:11-12.

    I have reserved - The Hebrew is, "I have caused to remain," or to be reserved. This shows that it was of God that this was done. Amidst the general corruption and idolatry he had restrained a part, though it was a remnant. The honor of having done it he claims for himself, and does not trace it to any goodness or virtue in them. So in the case of all those who are saved from sin and ruin, the honor belongs not to man, but to God.

    To myself - For my own service and glory. I have kept them steadfast in my worship, and have not suffered them to become idolaters.

    Seven thousand men - Seven is often used in the Scriptures to denote an indefinite or round number. Perhaps it may be so here, to intimate that there was a considerable number remaining. This should lead us to hope that even in the darkest times in the church, there may be many more friends of God than we suppose. Elijah supposed he was alone; and yet at that moment there were thousands who were the true friends of God; a small number, indeed, compared with the multitude of idolaters; but large when compared with what was supposed to be remaining by the dejected and disheartened prophet.

    Who have not bowed the knee - To bow or bend the knee is an expression denoting worship; Philippians 2:10; Ephesians 3:14; Isaiah 45:23.

    To Baal - The word "Baal" in Hebrew means Lord, or Master. This was the name of an idol of the Phenicians and Canaanites, and was worshipped also by the Assyrians and Babylonians under the name of Bel; (compare the Book of Bel in the Apocrypha.) This god was represented under the image of a bull, or a calf; the one denoting the Sun, the other the Moon. The prevalent worship in the time of Elijah was that of this idol.

    Wesley's Notes on Romans 11:4

    11:4 To Baal - Nor to the golden calves.