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 13:4

  • Pedro E. idialu for verse 4
    I want know more about God
  • Timothy Wayne George for verse 4
    Government was ordained by God to restrain evil, and the rulers do not bear the sword in vain. Capitol punishment was to be given to any who would murder. There is no perfect government, but we must give honor to those whom honor belongs, and tribute to whom tribute belongs. Christians are to be model citizens, and pray for those in authority, so that we can live a peaceful life. Owe no man any debt, but to love one another as thyself. Love is the fulfillment of the law. Daniel and the three Hebrew boys are examples of how Christians are to live in a pagan society. There will be perfect peace when Jesus Christ shall rule, and the government will be on His shoulders. Until then, we must occupy, until He comes. We do this by casting off the works of darkness, and putting on the armor of light.

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