(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who vivifies the dead…
Those philosophers of old who held that man pre-existed before his birth into this world had just one element of truth in their doctrine. Man — body, soul, and spirit — pre-existed eternally in the mind and will of God, and as such was an object of Divine contemplation and compassion. Grand architectural fabrics pre-exist long before the ground is cleared, the materials are collected or prepared — yes, long before the plans are drawn. They pre-exist in the mind of the architect and in the will of the constructor. Many things, however, exist in the mind and will of man which, through his inability or caprice, fail to have any formal or substantial being what. ever. Consequently it behoves us not to speak too confidently upon the execution and realisation of our conceptions. But with God, who is of infinite power and who changes not, the things in His mind and will are as sure and certain as if they were already ushered into life and activity (cf. Hebrews 11:3).
(C. Neil, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
WEB: As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations." This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.