“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
Explanation and Commentary of Romans 11:33
This is a worshipful moment in the letter of Paul to the Romans. Paul, who has deftly unraveled the mystery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with more clarity than any other at any time, after ten and a half chapters, must stop to give glory to God. The depths of the simple message of Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Cor 2:2), has left him unable to go further without praising God for his wisdom, knowledge, judgment, and paths.
This should always be the true goal of theology, as it should be the true goal of all of life in God, God’s glory, his worship, and his praise. If God’s glory is the end for which he created the world, as the Westminster Confession rightly states, then certainly it is the end of all theological understanding. Any revelation of God’s nature and plans that don’t lead to doxology must be questioned. If any of God’s ways do not move us to delight and wonder, it may be that our hearts are not yet fully conformed to him, and our minds are not yet transformed by the renewal that comes from knowing him.
This particular declaration of praise follows Paul’s illumination about the temporary blinding and hardening of Israel so that the Gentile branches could be grafted in (Ro 11:1-32), and the future surety of the opening of the eyes, and the softening of the hearts of the Jews when the time is right for them to be saved, having been originally chosen by God as a people of his own. Paul is constantly amazed at the wisdom and power of God, and the way he has fulfilled and will fulfill his promise to Abraham to make him a blessing to all nations (Gen 22:18).
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Romans 11:33
#1 “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”
There is, of course, a sense in which the wisdom and knowledge of God are wide, and cover a wide range, but Paul’s main subject, the Gospel of Christ crucified, is simple, but deeper than we could ever imagine. The more Paul understands this one message, the more amazed he is at the depths of it.
#2 “How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
Clearly Paul doesn’t think that God’s judgments should not be searched or his paths traced out. More than anyone else, he has done for us that very thing. But consider how little the prophets and chroniclers of the Old Testament understood the nature of the first coming of the Messiah. Consider how unable to see were the scribes and teachers of the law when he came. We should expect that there is yet much we do not understand about the God whose “ways are higher than our ways” (Isa 55:8-9). We should surely seek to know what he has revealed, but what he has not, can only cause us to wonder and praise him.
Bible Study on Romans 11:33
Expert Overview of Romans Ch. 5-16
Biblical Translations of Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
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!
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.