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Verse 13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man. Gr., "to every creation of man," (anyrwpinh ktisei.) The meaning is, to every institution or appointment of man; to wit, of those who are in authority, or who are appointed to administer government. The laws, institutes, and appointments of such a government may be spoken of as the creation of man; that is, as what man makes. Of course, what is here said must be understood with the limitation everywhere implied, that what is ordained by those in authority is not contrary to the law of God. See Barnes "Ac 4:19".

On the general duty here enjoined of subjection to civil authority, See Barnes "Ro 13:1-7".

For the Lord's sake. Because he has required it, and has intrusted this power to civil rulers. See Barnes "Ro 13:6".

Comp. See Barnes "Eph 6:7".

Whether it be to the king. It has been commonly supposed that there is reference here to the Roman emperor, who might be called king, because in him the supreme power resided. The common title of the Roman sovereign was, as used by the Greek writers, autokratwr, and among the Romans themselves, imperator, (emperor;) but the title king was also given to the sovereign. Joh 19:15, "We have no king but Cesar." Ac 17:7, "And these all do contrary to the decrees of Cesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus." Peter undoubtedly had particular reference to the Roman emperors, but he uses a general term, which would be applicable to all in whom the supreme power resided, and the injunction here would require submission to such authority, by whatever name it might be called. The meaning is, that we are to be subject to that authority whether exercised by the sovereign in person, or by those who are appointed by him.

As supreme. Not supreme in the sense of being superior to God, or not being subject to him, but in the sense of being over all subordinate officers.

{a} "yourselves" Mt 22:21; Ro 13:1-7

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