Robertson's Word Pictures of the New TestamentRomans 13:1
- Every soul (pasa psuxh).
- As in 2:9; Acts 2:43. A Hebraism for pav antrwpov (every man).
- To the higher powers (exousiaiv uperexousaiv).
- Abstract for concrete. See Mark 2:10 for exousia. Huperexw is an old verb to have or hold over, to be above or supreme, as in 1 Peter 2:13.
- Except by God (ei mh upo teou).
- So the best MSS. rather than apo teou (from God). God is the author of order, not anarchy.
- The powers that be (ai ousai).
- "The existing authorities" (supply exousiai). Art ordained (tetagmenai eisin). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of tassw, "stand ordained by God." Paul is not arguing for the divine right of kings or for any special form of government, but for government and order. Nor does he oppose here revolution for a change of government, but he does oppose all lawlessness and disorder.