Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Romans 11:34

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? - Who can pretend to penetrate the counsels of God, or fathom the reasons of his conduct? His designs and his counsels are like himself, infinite; and, consequently, inscrutable. It is strange that, with such a scripture as this before their eyes, men should sit down and coolly and positively write about counsels and decrees of God formed from all eternity, of which they speak with as much confidence and decision as if they had formed a part of the council of the Most High, and had been with him in the beginning of his ways! A certain writer, (Mr. Perkins), after having entered into all these counsels, and drawn out his black-lined scheme of absolute and eternal reprobation, with all its causes and effects; and then his light-lined scheme of absolute and eternal Election, with all its causes and effects, all deduced in the most regular and graduated order, link by link; concludes with Romans 11:33; : O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how Unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways Past Finding Out! But this writer forgot that he had searched out God's judgments in the one case, and found out his ways in the other: and that he had given, as a proof of the success of his researches, a complete exhibition of the whole scheme! This conduct is worthy of more than mere reprehension; and yet he who differs from such opinions gives, in the apprehension of some, this proof of his being included in some of the links of the black list! We may rest with the conviction, that God is as merciful and good in all his ways, as he is wise and just. But as we cannot comprehend him, neither can we his operations, it is our place, who are the objects of his infinite mercy and kindness, to adore in silence, and to obey with alacrity and delight.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For who hath known? … - This verse is a quotation, with a slight change, from Isaiah 40:13, “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him?” It is designed to express the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God, by affirming that no being could teach him, or counsel him. Earthly monarchs have counsellors of state, whom they may consult in times of perplexity or danger. But God has no such council. He sits alone; nor does he call in any or all of his creatures to advise him. All created beings are not qualified to contribute anything to enlighten or to direct him. It is also designed to silence all opposition to his plans, and to hush all murmurings. The apostle had proved that this was the plan of God. However mysterious and inscrutable it might appear to the Jew or the Gentile, yet it was his duty to submit to God, and to confide in his wisdom, though he was not able to trace the reason of his doings.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle Paul knew the mysteries of the kingdom of God as well as ever any man; yet he confesses himself at a loss; and despairing to find the bottom, he humbly sits down at the brink, and adores the depth. Those who know most in this imperfect state, feel their own weakness most. There is not only depth in the Divine counsels, but riches; abundance of that which is precious and valuable. The Divine counsels are complete; they have not only depth and height, but breadth and length, Eph 3:18, and that passing knowledge. There is that vast distance and disproportion between God and man, between the Creator and the creature, which for ever shuts us from knowledge of his ways. What man shall teach God how to govern the world? The apostle adores the sovereignty of the Divine counsels. All things in heaven and earth, especially those which relate to our salvation, that belong to our peace, are all of him by way of creation, through him by way of providence, that they may be to him in their end. Of God, as the Spring and Fountain of all; through Christ, to God, as the end. These include all God's relations to his creatures; if all are of Him, and through Him, all should be to Him, and for Him. Whatever begins, let God's glory be the end: especially let us adore him when we talk of the Divine counsels and actings. The saints in heaven never dispute, but always praise.
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 239.3

The piles of rubbish that have been accumulating need to be removed. How? Let us “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Cultivate personal piety. God would have us inquire, “Who hath known the mind of the Lord?” that He may instruct us, and that we may be able to say, “We have the mind of Christ.” Then all the rubbish of evil words will be removed. May the Lord imbue us with His Spirit, and touch our lips with a burning coal from the altar. Earnestly, vigilantly watching and waiting and working, we are to be “not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11). UL 239.3

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 93-4

I have been shown that without Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Relics found in the earth do give evidence of a state of things differing in many respects from the present. But the time of their existence, and how long a period these things have been in the earth, are only to be understood by Bible history. It may be innocent to conjecture beyond Bible history, if our suppositions do not contradict the facts found in the sacred Scriptures. But when men leave the word of God in regard to the history of creation, and seek to account for God's creative works upon natural principles, they are upon a boundless ocean of uncertainty. Just how God accomplished the work of creation in six literal days he has never revealed to mortals. His creative works are just as incomprehensible as his existence. 3SG 93.1

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.” 3SG 93.2

“Which doeth great things, past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.” 3SG 93.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 220.3

The Word is full of precious promises. I shall have strength of eyesight, I shall have strength of brain, I shall have clearness of conception and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, because I ask in the name of Jesus. Precious Saviour! He gave His life for me. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36). TDG 220.3

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