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Romans 4:13

    Romans 4:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he should be heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For God's word, that the earth would be his heritage, was given to Abraham, not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    Webster's Revision

    For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed that he should be heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.

    World English Bible

    For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn't through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For not through the law was the promise to Abraham or to his seed, that he should be heir of the world, but through the righteousness of faith.

    Clarke's Commentary on Romans 4:13

    For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world - This promise intimated that he should be the medium through whom the mercy of God should be communicated to the world, to both Jews and Gentiles; and the manner in which he was justified, be the rule and manner according to which all men should expect this blessing. Abraham is here represented as having all the world given to him as his inheritance; because in him all nations of the earth are blessed: this must therefore relate to their being all interested in the Abrahamic covenant; and every person, now that the covenant is fully explained, has the privilege of claiming justification through faith, by the blood of the Lamb, in virtue of this original grant.

    Barnes' Notes on Romans 4:13

    For the promise ... - To show that the faith of Abraham, on which his justification depended, was not by the Law, the apostle proceeds to show that the promise concerning which his faith was so remarkably evinced was before the Law was given. If this was so, then it was an additional important consideration in opposition to the Jew, showing that acceptance with God depended on faith, and not on works.

    That he should be heir of the world - An heir is one who succeeds, or is to succeed to an estate. In this passage, the world, or the entire earth, is regarded as the estate to which reference is made, and the promise is that the posterity of Abraham should succeed to that, or should possess it as their inheritance. The precise expression used here, "heir of the world," is not found in the promises made to Abraham Those promises were that God would make of him a great nation Genesis 12:2; that in him all the families of the earth should be blessed Genesis 12:3; that his posterity should be as the stars for multitude Genesis 15:5; and that he should be a father of many nations Genesis 17:5. As this latter promise is one to which the apostle particularly refers (see Romans 4:17), it is probable that he had this in his eye. This promise had, at first, respect to his numerous natural descendants, and to their possessing the land of Canaan. But it is also regarded in the New Testament as extending to the Messiah Galatians 3:16 as his descendant, and to all his followers as the spiritual seed of the father of the faithful. When the apostle calls him "the heir of the world," he sums up in this comprehensive expression all the promises made to Abraham, intimating that his spiritual descendants, that is, those who possess his faith, shall yet be so numerous as to possess all lands.

    Or to his seed - To his posterity, or descendants.

    Through the law - By the observance of the Law; or made in consequence of observing the Law; or depending on the condition that he should observe the Law. The covenant was made before the law of circumcision was given; and long before the Law of Moses (compare Galatians 3:16-18), and was independent of both.

    But through ... - In consequence of or in connection with the strong confidence which he showed in the promises of God, Genesis 15:6.