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Romans 9

Paul’s Concern for the Jews

1 I speak the truth in Christ; I am not lying, as confirmed by my conscience in the Holy Spirit. 2 I have deep sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my own flesh and blood, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of Christ, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise! a Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice
(Genesis 25:19–28; Malachi 1:1–5)

6 It is not as though God’s word has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are Abraham’s descendants are they all his children. On the contrary, “Through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned.” b  8 So it is not the children of the flesh who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” c 

10 Not only that, but Rebecca’s children were conceived by one man, our father Isaac. 11 Yet before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad, in order that God’s plan of election might stand, 12 not by works but by Him who calls, she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” d  13 So it is written:“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” e 

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Certainly not! 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 So then, it does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For the 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 find fault? For who can resist His will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why did You make me like this?” h  21 Does not the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special occasions and another for common use?

22 What if God, intending to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the vessels of His wrath, prepared for destruction? 23 What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the vessels of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory— 24 including us, whom He has 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 Beloved’ who is not My beloved,” i 

26 and,

“It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them,

‘You are not My people,’

they will be called

‘sons of the living God.’ ” j 

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:

“Though the number of the Israelites is like the sand of the sea,

only the remnant will be saved.

28 For the Lord will carry out His sentence on the earth

thoroughly and decisively.” k 

29 It is just as Isaiah foretold:

“Unless the Lord of Hosts had left us descendants,

we would have become like Sodom,

we would have resembled Gomorrah.” l 

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then will we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because their pursuit was 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 of stumbling

and a rock of offense; m 

and the one who believes in Him

will never be put to shame.” n 



5 a Or forever blessed
7 b Genesis 21:12
9 c Genesis 18:14
12 d Genesis 25:23
13 e Malachi 1:2–3
15 f Exodus 33:19
17 g Exodus 9:16 (see also LXX)
20 h Isaiah 29:16;Isaiah 45:9
25 i Hosea 2:23
26 j Hosea 1:10
28 k Isaiah 10:22–23 (see also LXX)
29 l Isaiah 1:9 (see also LXX)
33 m Isaiah 8:14
33 n Isaiah 28:16 (see also LXX)

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