Romans 13:4

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

For hee is the minister of God to thee for good: but if thou do that which is euill, be afraid: for he beareth not the sword in vaine: for he is the minister of God, a reuenger to execute wrath vpon him that doeth euill.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

for he is a minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is a minister of God, an avenger for wrath to him that doeth evil.
- American Standard Version (1901)

For he is the servant of God to you for good. But if you do evil, have fear; for the sword is not in his hand for nothing: he is God's servant, making God's punishment come on the evil-doer.
- Basic English Bible

for it is God's minister to thee for good. But if thou practisest evil, fear; for it bears not the sword in vain; for it is God's minister, an avenger for wrath to him that does evil.
- Darby Bible

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou doest that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
- Webster's Bible

For he is God's servant for your benefit. But if you do what is wrong, be afraid. He does not wear the sword to no purpose: he is God's servant--an administrator to inflict punishment upon evil-doers.
- Weymouth Bible

for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn't bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil.
- World English Bible

for he is the mynystre of God to thee in to good. But if thou doist yuel, drede thou; for not with outen cause he berith the swerd, for he is the mynystre of God, vengere in to wraththe to hym that doith yuel.
- Wycliffe Bible

for of God it is a ministrant to thee for good; and if that which is evil thou mayest do, be fearing, for not in vain doth it bear the sword; for of God it is a ministrant, an avenger for wrath to him who is doing that which is evil.
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Romans 13:4


13:4 The sword - The instrument of capital punishment, which God authorizes him to inflict.


People's Bible Notes for Romans 13:4


Ro 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. The ruler, the guardian of order and the preserver of peace is, as a rule, a blessing. He beareth not the sword in vain. Not only did the magistrate wear the sword, but one was borne before him in public processions as an emblem of his right to use it in the interests of order and justice.

Discussion for Romans 13

  • Steve
    We see in Romans 13 that God has placed those in authority for His reasons.We are so blessed here in America that whether we agree or not, we can still express our opinions...peacefully. We are to get along with our neighbors and help when possible.,The night is far spent, we will see Jesus soon. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
  • Peter A. Okebukola
    Eternal truths- Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
  • Ray321
    Romans 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. If we speak the truth about the Word and someone bring evil to us, God have mercy on them. Hebrews 4:12 THE WORD OF GOD
  • A disciple
    HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYONE! May the Lord have mercy on us all!
  • A dsiciple
    Lu2677; This is a VERY important subject so applicable for us today. Many are turned aside from the commandments of the Saviour by hearkening to voices in the world, which say we must stand and fight for our rights. With respect to the Military and the Police, that's there job by God's appointment. But for us as individuals, we follow Jesus' example of love, piety, faith and meekness toward all.
  • Lu2677
    Roman 13:1 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers (government).For there are no powers but of God,(our government is put in place by God).The powers that be, are ordained by God." This chapter is telling us to give honor,give tribute,love,submit,owe nothing to government officials. Regardless of what they do. His word stands!

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