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Romans 11:34

34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”[a]

Romans 11:34 in Other Translations

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
34 For who can know the LORD ’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?
34 Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
34 For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?

Romans 11:34 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 11:34

For who hath known the mind of the Lord
The intentions of his mind, the thoughts of his heart, and the counsels of his will: these could never have been known, if he had not revealed them; nor can the doctrines relating to them, though externally revealed, be known by the natural man, or by the mere dint of nature, but only by the light of the Spirit of God; who searches them, and makes them known in a spiritual manner to spiritual men, who have a spiritual discerning of them; and yet even by these they are not known perfectly, only in part, and are seen through a glass darkly:

or who hath been his counsellor?
or was of his council, when all things were fixed according to his sovereign will: when the scheme of man's salvation was consulted and agreed upon between the eternal Three, there was no creature, angel, or man there; no created angel, only the eternal One, "the Counsellor", ( Isaiah 9:6 ) ; or as the Septuagint there style him, (aggelov megalhv boulhv) , "the angel of the great council"; none but Father, Son, and Spirit, were present, when the book of life was made, when the names of God's elect were put into it, and others left out; when all things relating to his chosen ones, both for time and eternity, whether among Jews or Gentiles, were determined, ordered, and settled; and as there was no creature that assisted, or could give any advice about these matters, so there were none that were privy to the resolutions, determinations, and counsels of his will; which were purposed in himself and in his Son, and were known only to them and his Spirit, which is in him: from the whole it appears, that predestination is not according to men's works, or the foresight of them; for then these things would be plain and easy, they would not be unsearchable and past finding out; there would not be an unfathomable depth in them; the mind and counsels of God, and the springs of them, would be obvious; but it is according to his secret, sovereign, and unchangeable will.

Romans 11:34 In-Context

32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Isaiah 40:13,14; Job 15:8; Job 36:22; Jeremiah 23:18; 1 Corinthians 2:16

Footnotes 1

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.