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Romans 9 Modern English Version (MEV)

God’s Election of Israel

I am speaking the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers, my kinsmen by race, who are Israelites, to whom belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises, to whom belong the patriarchs, and from whom, according to the flesh, is Christ, who is over all, God forever blessed. Amen.

It is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel, nor are they all children because they are descendants of Abraham, but “In Isaac shall your descendants be called.”[a] So those who are the children of the flesh are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For this is the word of promise, “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.”[b]

10 Not only that, but Rebekah also had conceived by one man, our father Isaac. 11 For before the children had been born, having done neither evil nor good, so that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but through Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “The elder shall serve the younger.”[c] 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”[d]

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid! 15 For He says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[e]

16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth.”[f] 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills.

Wrath and Mercy of God

19 You will then say to me, “Why does He yet find fault? For who can resist His will?” 20 Rather, O man, who are you to answer back to God? Shall the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does the potter not have power over the clay to make from the same lump one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

22 What if God, willing to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He previously prepared for glory, 24 even us, whom He has called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed He says in Hosea:

“I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
    and her who was not beloved, ‘Beloved,’ ”[g]

26 and,

“In the place where it was said to them,
    ‘You are not My people,’
there they shall be called ‘sons of the living God.’ ”[h]

27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:

“Though the number of the children of Israel be like the sand of the sea,
    a remnant shall be saved.[i]
28 For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness,
    because the Lord will make a quick work upon the earth.”[j]

29 And as Isaiah previously said:

“Unless the Lord of Hosts
    had left us a seed,
we would have become like Sodom,
    and been made like Gomorrah.”[k]

Israel and the Gospel

30 What shall we say then? The Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith, 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, did not attain the law of righteousness. 32 Why not? Because they did not seek it by faith, but by the works of the law. For they stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“Look! I lay in Zion a stumbling stone
    and rock of offense,
and whoever believes in Him will not be ashamed.”[l]

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Romans 9 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[b] In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[c]

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”[d] 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”[e]

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]

16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea:

“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
    and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”[i]

26 and,

“In the very place where it was said to them,
    ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”[j]

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:

“Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
    only the remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out
    his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”[k]

29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:

“Unless the Lord Almighty
    had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
    we would have been like Gomorrah.”[l]

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[m]

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 9:5 Or Messiah, who is over all. God be forever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be forever praised!
  2. Romans 9:7 Gen. 21:12
  3. Romans 9:9 Gen. 18:10,14
  4. Romans 9:12 Gen. 25:23
  5. Romans 9:13 Mal. 1:2,3
  6. Romans 9:15 Exodus 33:19
  7. Romans 9:17 Exodus 9:16
  8. Romans 9:20 Isaiah 29:16; 45:9
  9. Romans 9:25 Hosea 2:23
  10. Romans 9:26 Hosea 1:10
  11. Romans 9:28 Isaiah 10:22,23 (see Septuagint)
  12. Romans 9:29 Isaiah 1:9
  13. Romans 9:33 Isaiah 8:14; 28:16
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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