Wisdom of Solomon 6:3


1 Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth. 2 Give ear, you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations. 3 For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High; he will search out your works and inquire into your plans. 4 Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly, or keep the law, or walk according to the purpose of God, 5 he will come upon you terribly and swiftly, because severe judgment falls on those in high places. 6 For the lowliest may be pardoned in mercy, but the mighty will be mightily tested.

Romans 13:1

New Testament

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation 4 because it is God’s servant for your well-being. But be afraid if you do wrong because government does not bear the sword for nothing. It is God’s servant to administer punishment on the person who does wrong.

 Notes and References

"... C. K. Barrett, the English exegete, refuted Cullmann's interpretation of the 'authorities' as angelic, finding rather that Cullmann's view is 'almost the exact opposite of the truth; the "authorities" are the state, appointed by God as a bulwark against demonic powers.' Barrett pointed to Wisdom of Solomon 6:3 and Josephus's Jewish War 2:140 as parallels to Romans 13:1b. Subjection to civil rulers is 'an aspect of the doctrine of providence.' It expressed Paul's eschatology, for the 'restraining power' of the Roman imperial government (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7) 'afforded Christians a peaceful existence and the opportunity of preaching the Gospel' prior to the eschaton ..."

Wood, James E. The Dialectic of Romans 13:1-7 and Revelation 13: Part One (pp. 433-442) Journal of Church and State Vol. 18, No. 3, 1976

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