Romans 12:17


King James Version (KJV)

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

American Standard Version (ASV)

Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Do not give evil for evil to any man. Let all your business be well ordered in the eyes of all men.

Webster's Revision

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

World English Bible

Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honourable in the sight of all men.

Definitions for Romans 12:17

Recompense - To repay; reward; restore.

Clarke's Romans 12:17 Bible Commentary

Recompense, etc. - Do not take notice of every little injury you may sustain. Do not be litigious. Beware of too nice a sense of your own honor; intolerable pride is at the bottom of this. The motto of the royal arms of Scotland is in direct opposition to this Divine direction - Nemo me impune lacesset, of which "I render evil for evil to every man," is a pretty literal translation. This is both antichristian and abominable, whether in a state or in an individual.

Provide things honest - Be prudent, be cautious, neither eat, drink, nor wear, but as you pay for every thing. "Live not on trust, for that is the way to pay double;" and by this means the poor are still kept poor. He who takes credit, even for food or raiment, when he has no probable means of defraying the debt, is a dishonest man. It is no sin to die through lack of the necessaries of life when the providence of God has denied the means of support; but it is a sin to take up goods without the probability of being able to pay for them. Poor man! suffer poverty a little; perhaps God is only trying thee for a time; and who can tell if he will not turn again thy captivity. Labour hard to live honestly; if God still appear to withhold his providential blessing, do not despair; leave it all to him; do not make a sinful choice; he cannot err. He will bless thy poverty, while he curses the ungodly man's blessings.

Barnes's Romans 12:17 Bible Commentary

Recompense - Render, give, or return; see the note at Matthew 5:39. This is probably one of the most difficult precepts of Christianity; but the law of Christ on the subject is unyielding. It is a solemn demand made on all his followers, and it "must" be obeyed.

Provide - The word rendered "provide" means properly to "think" or "meditate beforehand." Make it a matter of "previous thought," of "settled plan," of "design." This direction would make it a matter of "principle" and fixed purpose to do what is right; and not to leave it to the fluctuations of feeling, or to the influence of excitement. The same direction is given in 2 Corinthians 8:21.

Things honest - Literally, things "beautiful," or "comely." The expression here does not refer to "property," or to "provision" made for a family, etc. The connection requires us to understand it respecting "conduct," and especially our conduct toward those who injure us. It requires us to evince a spirit, and to manifest a deportment in such cases, that shall be lovely and comely in the view of others; such as all people will approve and admire. And the apostle wisely cautions us to "provide" for this, that is, to think of it beforehand, to make it a matter of fixed principle and purpose, so that we shall not be overtaken and excited by passion. If left to the time when the offence shall be given, we may be excited and off our guard, and may therefore evince an improper temper. All persons who have ever been provoked by injury (and who has not been?) will see the profound wisdom of this caution to "discipline" and "guard" the temper by previous purpose, that we may not evince an improper spirit.

In the sight of all men - Such as all must approve; such that no man can blame; and, therefore, such as shall do no discredit to religion. This expression is taken from Proverbs 3:4. The passage shows that people may be expected to approve a mild, kind, and patient temper in the reception of injuries; and facts show that this is the case. The Christian spirit is one that the world "must" approve, however little it is disposed to act on it.

Wesley's Romans 12:17 Bible Commentary

12:17 Provide - Think beforehand; contrive to give as little offence as may be to any.

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