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Romans 9 Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Israel’s Rejection

I am telling the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears witness to me in the Holy Spirit— that my grief is great and there is constant distress in my heart. For I could wish myself to be accursed from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my fellow countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belong the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the temple service, and the promises, to whom belong the patriarchs, and from whom is the Christ according to human descent, who is God over all, blessed forever[a]! Amen.

But it is not as if the word of God had failed. For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, nor are they all children because they are descendants of Abraham, but “In Isaac will your descendants be named.”[b] That is, it is not the children by human descent[c] who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants. For the statement of the promise is this: “At this time I will return and Sarah will have[d] a son.”[e] 10 And not only this, but also when[f] Rebecca conceived children by one man,[g] Isaac our father— 11 for although they[h] had not yet been born, or done anything good or evil, in order that the purpose of God according to election might remain, 12 not by works but by the one who calls—it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger,”[i] 13 just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”[j]

God’s Sovereign Choice to Show Mercy

14 What then shall we say? There is no injustice with God, is there?[k] May it never be! 15 For to Moses he says, “I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion.”[l] 16 Consequently therefore, it does not depend on the[m] one who wills or on the one who runs, but on God who shows mercy. 17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very reason I have raised you up, so that I may demonstrate my power in you, and so that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[n] 18 Consequently therefore, he has mercy on whomever he wishes, and he hardens whomever he wishes.

19 Therefore you will say to me, “Why then does he still find fault? For who has resisted[o] his will? 20 On the contrary, O man, who are you who answers back to God? Will what is molded say to the one who molded it, “Why did you make me like this”?[p] 21 Or does the potter not have authority over the clay, to make from the same lump a vessel that is for honorable use[q] and one that is for ordinary use[r]? 22 And what if God, wanting to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And he did so[s] in order that he could make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy that he prepared beforehand for glory, 24 us whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he also says in Hosea,

“I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’
    and those who were not loved, ‘Loved.’[t]
26 And it will be in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”[u]

27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel,

Even if the number of the sons of Israel is like the sand of the sea,
    the remnant will be saved,
28 for the Lord will execute his sentence thoroughly and decisively[v] upon the earth.”[w]

29 And just as Isaiah foretold,

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us descendants,
    we would have become like Sodom
        and would have resembled Gomorrah.”[x]

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness—even the righteousness that is by faith. 31 But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, did not attain to the law. 32 Why that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if by works. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble[y], 33 just as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble[z],
    and a rock that causes them to fall[aa],
and the one who believes in him will not be put to shame.”[ab]

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 9:5 Literally “for eternity”
  2. Romans 9:7 A quotation from Gen 21:12
  3. Romans 9:8 Literally “of the flesh”
  4. Romans 9:9 Literally “there will be to Sarah”
  5. Romans 9:9 A quotation from Gen 18:10, 14
  6. Romans 9:10 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“having conception” = “conceived”) which is understood as temporal
  7. Romans 9:10 Or perhaps “by one act of sexual intercourse
  8. Romans 9:11 Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“been born”) which is understood as concessive
  9. Romans 9:12 A quotation from Gen 25:23
  10. Romans 9:13 A quotation from Mal 1:2–3
  11. Romans 9:14 *The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here
  12. Romans 9:15 A quotation from Exod 33:19
  13. Romans 9:16 Literally “not of the”
  14. Romans 9:17 A quotation from Exod 9:16
  15. Romans 9:19 Or “who resists”
  16. Romans 9:20 A quotation from Isa 29:16; 45:9
  17. Romans 9:21 Literally “honor”
  18. Romans 9:21 Literally “dishonor”
  19. Romans 9:23 The words “he did so” are not in the Greek text, but are an understood repetition from the previous clause
  20. Romans 9:25 A quotation from Hos 2:23
  21. Romans 9:26 A quotation from Hos 1:10
  22. Romans 9:28 Literally “for the Lord will act, closing the account and cutting short”
  23. Romans 9:28 A paraphrased quotation from Isa 10:22–23
  24. Romans 9:29 A quotation from Isa 1:9
  25. Romans 9:32 Literally “stone of stumbling”
  26. Romans 9:33 Literally “a stone of stumbling”
  27. Romans 9:33 Literally “a rock of offense”
  28. Romans 9:33 A quotation from Isa 28:16; 8:14
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

2012 by Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software

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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