Or unto governors
Inferior magistrates, such as were under the Roman emperor; as proconsuls, procurators such as Pontius Pilate, Felix, and Festus, who had under the emperor the government of particular nations, provinces, and cities:
as unto them that are sent by him;
either by the king, the Roman emperor, by whom they were sent, from whom they received their commission, and derived their authority, under whom they acted, and to whom they were accountable; or by God, by whom they are ordained, and whose ministers they are, and for the ends hereafter mentioned; so that this contains an argument or reason why they should be submitted to:
for the punishment of evildoers;
the breakers of the laws of God and men, on whom punishment is to be inflicted, by the civil magistrates, for the breach of them, by lines, scourgings, imprisonment, and death itself, according as the crimes are:
and for the praise of them that do well;
who behave according to the laws of God and nations, and are obedient to magistrates, and subject to every ordinance; these have praise of men, of magistrates, and are rewarded by them; by protecting their persons, defending their properties, and preserving them in the peaceable enjoyment of their estates and possessions; see ( Romans 13:3 ) .