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Therefore it is a necessity to be subject— not only because of the wrath[a], but also because of the conscience.

So Give Them Their Due

For because of this also you pay tributes[b]. For they are ministers[c] of God devoting-themselves to this very thing. Give-back to all authorities the things owed— the tribute to the one owed the tribute, the tax[d] to the one owed the tax, the fear[e] to the one owed the fear, the honor to the one owed the honor.

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  1. Romans 13:5 We submit out of fear of God’s wrath expressed through government, and our own conscience toward God. Usually these are in agreement. In exceptional cases, which Paul does not address here, the conscience must be followed in spite of the threats from government.
  2. Romans 13:6 Taxes paid by foreigners to ruling states, such as that paid by Israel to Rome.
  3. Romans 13:6 Or, public servants. Note that Paul is talking about Rome, which conquered and subjugated his nation and took away their freedom and right of self-government.
  4. Romans 13:7 That is, the local taxes.
  5. Romans 13:7 Or, respect.

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