Romans 11:35

35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”[a]

Romans 11:35 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
English Standard Version (ESV)
35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
New Living Translation (NLT)
35 And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back?
The Message Bible (MSG)
35 Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?
American Standard Version (ASV)
35 or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
35 Who gave the Lord something which the Lord must pay back?
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
35 Or who has ever first given to Him, and has to be repaid?
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
35 "Has anyone ever given anything to God, so that God has to pay him back?" (Job 41:11)

Romans 11:35 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 11:35

Or who hath first given to him
See ( Job 41:11 ) ( 35:7 ) ; no man can give God anything, which he has not first given him, or which he has not a prior right to, or a claim upon him for; Adam, in innocence, was not able to give God anything, nor are the angels in heaven, much less sinful men on earth; their bodies and souls, and all their enjoyments, all that is good in them, or done by them, are from the Lord; men by all their good works, best duties and services, give nothing to God, nor lay him under any manner of obligation to them: hence no man can merit anything at the hands of God, if he could,

it shall be recompensed to him again;
but it is impossible there should be merit in a creature, who has nothing but what he has from God, and does nothing but what he is obliged to do; and that not by his own strength, but by the grace and strength of God; and therefore there is no retribution made by God as of debt, but of grace: hence it follows, that God is indebted to, and obliged by none, and may do what he will with his own; love Jacob and hate Esau; choose one and not another; reject the Jews, and call the Gentiles; save and justify some, and not others; none can call him to account, or say unto him, what dost thou?

Romans 11:35 In-Context

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. Job 41:11; Job 35:7

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.