Romans 13:1

Every soul (pasa psuch). As in 2 Timothy 2:9 ; Acts 2:43 . A Hebraism for pa anqrwpo (every man). To the higher powers (exousiai uperecousai). Abstract for concrete. See Mark 2:10 for exousia. Huperecw 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 qeou). So the best MSS. rather than apo qeou (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.