“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!”

         “O the depth of the riches”
         Literally:  “O {the} depth of the {the} riches”- The expression “the depth of the riches” is a
Hebraism, meaning the deep or profound riches.

Paul now yields himself up to the admiring contemplation of the grandeur of that divine plan which he had sketched out. He has three subjects of admiration. He wishes to express his admiration of the riches, and the wisdom, and the knowledge of God. The KJV translation has followed the Latin Vulgate.

                 DEPTH:  (Grk.–bathos)–The unsearchable, inconceivable abundance. 

         The word “depth” is applied in the Scriptures to anything vast and incomprehensible. As the abyss or the ocean is unfathomable, so the word comes to denote that which words cannot express, or that which we cannot comprehend. (Psa. 36:6),  “Thy judgments are a great deep.” (I Cor. 2:10), “The Spirit searcheth–the deep things of God.” (Rev. 2:24), “The depths of Satan”--the deep, profound, cunning, and wicked plans of Satan.
         Paul's argument concerning God's elective grace and goodness has carried him to the heights and now he pauses on the edge of the precipice as he contemplates God's wisdom and knowledge, fully conscious of his inability to sound the bottom with the plummet of human reason and words

                 RICHES: (Grk.--ploutos)--See v. 12. The Greek word denotes the abundant blessings and mercies which had been conferred on sinful men by the Gospel.

These were vast and wonderful. The pardon of sin; the atonement; the hope of heaven; the peace of the Gospel; all bestowed on the sinful, the poor, the wretched, and the dying.   All speak of the great mercy and rich grace of God.  So every pardoned sinner may still exclaim.

“This grand and comprehensive view of the divine purposes makes so deep an impression upon the Apostle that he breaks out into an impassioned ascription of praise, with which the first (doctrinal) portion of the Epistle is brought to a close”–Elilicottt's Commentary for English Readers

The grace of God which pardons him is felt by Paul to be wonderful, and beyond comprehension. It is beyond the power of language to express; and all that the Christian can do, is to follow the example of Paul and sit down in profound admiration of the rich grace of God.

         “both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”
         Literally:  “And of {the} wisdom and [the] knowledge of God.” 

This is a conclusion of Paul’s preceding discourse.  Wisdom here may refer to the designs or plans of God; knowledge, to the means which God employs to accomplish these designs.  The reasons are the offspring of infinite wisdom, and therefore they are all right; the means are the most proper, as being the choice of an infinite knowledge that cannot err.  We may safely credit the goodness of the plan, founded in infinite wisdom.  We may rely on the due accomplishment of the end, because the means are chosen and applied by infinite knowledge and skill.

            WISDOM:  (Grk.–sophias)—Wisdom is the choice of the best means to accomplish the best ends.

The end or design which God had in view was to bestow mercy on all; i.e., to save men by grace, and NOT by their own works, (v. 32). He intended to establish a glorious system that should present His mercy as the prominent attribute, standing out in living colors in all the Plan of Salvation. This was to be alike shown in relation to Jews and Gentiles. The wonderful wisdom with which this was done is the object of Paul’s profound admiration.

            KNOWLEDGE: (Grk.–gnōseōs)—That is, foreknowledge, or omniscience. This “knowledge” probably points to the vast sweep of divine comprehension herein displayed.  This Greek word is used in the N.T. only here and I Cor. 12:8 and Col. 2:3

Wisdom directs all things to the best end; knowledge sees that end, and the way that leads to it. Or, the divine wisdom was exercised in contriving and ordering these dispensations, and knowledge in foreseeing the effects which they would produce. By applying the word depth to the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God, the apostle represents those perfections as forming a vast ocean.”Benson Commentary

As applied to human acquaintance with divine things, knowledge is the lower; wisdom, the higher stage.  It is wisdom that builds up the man (I cor. 8:1).  As attributes of God, the distinction appears to be between general and special; the wisdom of God ruling everything in the best end; the knowledge of God, Hi wisdom as it contemplates the relations of things, and adopts means and methods.  The wisdom forms the plan; the knowledge knows the ways of carrying it out.”–Vincents Words Studies in the N.T.

         “how unsearchable {are} His judgments and ways”:–That which is past finding out.

UNSEARCHABLE:  (Grk.–anecheraunêta)—Mere human wisdom simply cannot      possibly understand the ways of God.

        HIS JUDGMENTS(Grk.–krimata)–The judgments” of God are the product of His wisdom This word, “judgments” in this place, evidently means His arrangement, His plan, or proceeding.  It sometimes refers to laws; at other times to the decision or determination of God; at others to the inflictions of His justice.

          HIS WAYS(Grk.–hodoi)-A course of conduct. This Greek word denotes a path, or road on which one travels. Hence it comes also to denote the course or manner of life in which one moves; or his principles, or morals; his doctrine or teaching, etc.  Applied to God, it denotes His mode or manner of doing things; the order, etc., of His Divine   providence; His movements, in His great plans, through the universe.

            “past finding out.”
            Literally, “which cannot be tracked or traced out”–This
Greek word (anexichniastoi), here rendered as “past finding out” is used only here and in Eph.3:8.

          It denotes that God's plans are deep, and beyond our comprehension. We can see the proofs that He is everywhere; but how it is, we cannot comprehend. We are permitted to see the vast movements around us; but the invisible hand we cannot see, nor trace the footsteps of that mighty God Who performs His wonders on the ocean and on the land.
           His footsteps cannot be followed.  As if His path were in the sea, (Psa. 77:19) and  the waves closed immediately, leaving no track, it cannot be followed or sought out. It is simply known that He has passed,

“Like a traveler who has reached the summit of an Alpine ascent, the apostle turns and contemplates.  Depths ae at his feet, and waves of light illumine them, and there spreads all around an immense horision which his eye commands”–Godet.

VERSE 34: 
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord?  Or who hath been His counsellor?”

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord?”
Literally: “for who has known the mind of the Lord?”This verse is quoted, with a slight change, from Isaiah 40:13, “Who hath directed the Spirit of {the} Lord”

           It is designed to express the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God, by affirming that no being could teach Him, or counsel Him. It is also designed to silence all opposition to His plans, and to hush all murmuring.  Paul has shown 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.      
         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.  Who; can understand the mind of God?  Or, whoever taught Him anything?  NO ONE!.  He is alone the sum and source of all (Isa. 40:13; Jer. 23:18).  He does not need not and does not receive information from any of His creatures (Acts 17:24-28).  As if Paul had said, “No creature ever did, or ever can, pierce into the mind of God, nor ever was called to be of His council. No creature ever did or can advise Him, nor can any creature challenge God, as if He were indebted to him.”      Or who hath been His counsellor?

Literally:  “or who became His counselor?”–Who can pretend to penetrate the counsels of God, or fathom the reasons of His conduct?

          This verse is a quotation, with a slight change, from Isa. 40:13 “…or being His counselor hath taught Him?”   Earthly monarchs have counselors of state, whom they may consult in times of perplexity or danger., But God neither has nor needs 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.
            His plans and His counsels are like Himself, INFINITE; and, consequently, INSCRUTIBLE.  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 comprehend His operations, it is our place, we who are the objects of His infinite mercy and kindness, to adore in silence, and to obey with readiness and delight.              

“Or who hath first given to Him. And it shall be recompensed unto Him again?”

            “Who hath first given to Him”
            Literally:  “Who first gave to Him?”–Whoever gave to God anything which He did not first give to him?

No one; for no one ever had anything, except what he received from God.  The sentiment in this verse is found substantially in Job 41:11, “Who hath prevented Me, that I should repay him?”  The Hebrew word rendered as “prevented” means, "to anticipate, to go before;” and God asks, “Who has anticipated Me;”—i.e., who has conferred favors on Me before I have on him; who has thus "laid Me under obligation to him?”   This is the sense in which Paul uses the word here.

“be recompensed unto Him again”
Literally: “And it will be repaid to Him?”–That is, repaid as a matter of debt.  None of God's mercies can be conferred in that way;  If they could, man could bring God under obligation, and destroy the freeness and benevolence of His favors.

          Who has, by his services, laid God under obligation to recompense or pay him again? It is added in Job, “Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is Mine.” Thus Paul, contrary to the prevailing doctrine of the Jews, shows that no one could plead his own merits, or advance with a claim on God. All the favors of salvation must be be-stowed by mercy or grace; God owned them all; and he had a right to bestow them when and where he pleased. The same claim to all things is repeatedly made by God, Exo. 19:5; Deut. 10:14; Psa. 24:1; 50:12.
           But how can the CREATOR be indebted to the creature?  How can the CAUSE be dependent on the effect?  How can the AUTHOR of providence, and the FATHER of every good and perfect gift, be under obligation to them for whom He provides, and who are wholly dependent on His bounty?
           Who can pretend to have any demands upon God? To whom is He indebted?  Have either Jews or Gentiles any right to His blessings? May not He bestow His favors as He pleases, and to whom He pleases?  Does He do any injustice to the Jews in choosing the Gentiles! And was it because He was under obligation to the Gentiles that He has chosen them in the place of the Jews? Let him who has any claim on God prefer it; and he shall be compensated.

“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory forever.  Amen”

            “For of Him”  
            Literally:  “Because of Him.”--Comp. I Cor. 1:30; 8:6. This expression doubtless means, that He is the original SOURCE and FOUNTAIN of all blessings.

He is the CREATOR  of all, the “Fountain from which all streams of existence take their rise.” The purpose of this verse is to show that NO creature has any claim on God.  Jews and Gentiles must alike receive salvation on the ground of His mercy.  So far from having a claim on God.  Paul here affirms that all things have come from Him, and therefore all must be derived to us. Nothing has been produced by chance, or haphazard; nothing by created skill or might.  ALL has been formed by God; and therefore He has a right to dispose of all.

            “through Him”–That is, by His immediate operating agency.

            It is not merely by His plan or purpose; it is by His agency; by the direct exertion of His power in their creation and bestowment. By His power they are still directed and controlled. Human agency, therefore, could not lay Him under any obligation. He does not need the aid of man; and He did not call in that aid in the creation and government of the world. He is the independent CREATOR and LORD and on Him none can have a claim. God as their PRESERVER their and BENEFACTOR.
           To Him; as their great end, are all things.  ALL things were created; are preserved and controlled, and will be disposed of, to the promotion of His glory. To whom be glory forever; it all belongs to Him; then to Him let it all be given. Amen; so be it. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psa. 150:6).

            “to Him”–This expression denotes the final CAUSE; the REASON or END for which all things were formed.

It is to promote His honor and glory.  It is to manifest His praise, or to give a proper putting forth of the glorious attributes of God; that the exceeding greatness, and goodness, and grandeur of His character might be shown.. It is not to promote His happiness, for He was eternally happy; not to add anything to Him, for He is infinite; but that He might act as God, and have the honor and praise that is due to God. As this was the design of all things, so it followed that the bestowment of His favors must be in accordance with this–in such a way as to promote His glory; and not so as to consult the feelings or views of either Jews or Gentiles.

“to Whom be glory forever.”
Literally:  “To Him be the glory to the ages.”–As the ultimate end for the manifestation of His eternal
glory and goodness, are all things in universal nature, through the whole compass of time and eternity.

           All things are of God, as the AUTHOR and efficient CAUSE; all things are through Him as the providential DIRECTOR, and preserving CAUSE; and all things tend to Him, as the ultimate END and final CAUSE: therefore to Him all praise, honor, and glory, ought for ever to be ascribed.
           The universe; the creation; or, still more particularly, the things of which Paul is speaking.  He does not affirm that He is the Author of sin, or of sinful thoughts; nor that He creates evil, or that evil is designed to promote His glory.  Paul is not speaking of these, but of His method of bestowing His favors; and he says that these are to be conferred in such a way as to promote His honor, and to declare the praise of Him who is the original SOURCE, the CREATOR and the PROPRIETOR of all things.

This acknowledgment of praise is the appropriate close of the argumentative part of this epistle, as well as appropriate to the train of remarks into which Paul had fallen. It expresses his hearty amen in concurrence with this view; the deep desire, of a pious man that all might be to God's glory and honor. He had not merely come to it by reasoning, but it was the sincere desire of his soul that it might be so. The Christian does not merely admit this doctrine; he is not merely driven to it by argument, but it finds a hearty response in his bosom. He rejoices in it; and sincerely desires that all may be to the honor of God. Sinners are often compelled by argument to admit it, but they do not love it. They would rejoice were it otherwise, and be glad if they were permitted rather to seek their own glory than that of the living God.

            OF HIM: (Grk.–ex autou)–Of Him, as the original DESIGNER and AUTHOR; and BY HIM: (Grk.–di’ autou),  as the prime and efficient CAUSE,  and TO HIM  (Grk.–eis utou), as the ultimate end for the manifestation of His eternal glory and goodness, are all things in universal nature, through the whole compass of time and eternity.

 GLORY: (Grk.–doxa)—Praise, honor.

             FOR EVER: (Grk.–tous aionas)—Literally: “To the ages.”–Not merely amid transitory events now, but ever onward to eternity. This will be the case. There never will be a time when the affairs of the universe shall not be conducted with reference to the glory of God. That honor and glory shall shine brighter and brighter, and all worlds shall be perfectly adapted to show His praise, and to evince His greatness, goodness, power, and love, for ever and ever. Thus let it be, is the language of every one that truly loves Him.