Romans 11 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
God Has Not Forgotten His People
11 So I ask, “Did God force his people to leave him?” Of course not. I myself am an Israelite. I am from the family of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God chose the Israelites to be his people before they were born. And he did not force them to leave. Surely you know what the Scriptures say about Elijah. The Scriptures tell about Elijah praying to God against the people of Israel. He said, 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and destroyed your altars. I am the only prophet still living, and they are trying to kill me now.”[a] 4 But what answer did God give to Elijah? God said, “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have never given worship to Baal.”[b]
5 It is the same now. God has chosen a few people by his grace. 6 And if he chose them by grace, then it is not what they have done that made them his people. If they could be made his people by what they did, his gift of grace would not really be a gift.
7 So this is what has happened: The people of Israel wanted God’s blessing, but they did not all get it. The people he chose did get his blessing, but the others became hard and refused to listen to him. 8 As the Scriptures say,
“God caused the people to fall asleep.”
“God closed their eyes so that they could not see,
9 And David says,
“Let those people be caught and trapped at their own feasts.
11 So I ask: When the Jews fell, did that fall destroy them? No! But their mistake brought salvation to those who are not Jews. The purpose of this was to make the Jews jealous. 12 Their mistake brought rich blessings to the world. And what they lost brought rich blessings to the non-Jewish people. So surely the world will get much richer blessings when enough Jews become the kind of people God wants.
13 Now I am speaking to you people who are not Jews. I am an apostle to the non-Jewish people. So while I have that work, I will do the best I can. 14 I hope I can make my own people jealous. That way, maybe I can help some of them to be saved. 15 God turned away from the Jews. When that happened, he became friends with the other people in the world. So when he accepts the Jews, it will be like bringing people to life after death. 16 If the first piece of bread is offered to God, then the whole loaf is made holy. If the roots of a tree are holy, the tree’s branches are holy too.
17 It is as if some of the branches from an olive tree have been broken off, and the branch of a wild olive tree has been joined to that first tree. If you are not a Jew, you are the same as that wild branch, and you now share the strength and life of the first tree. 18 But don’t act as if you are better than those branches that were broken off. You have no reason to be proud of yourself, because you don’t give life to the root. The root gives life to you. 19 You might say, “Branches were broken off so that I could be joined to their tree.” 20 That is true. But those branches were broken off because they did not believe. And you continue to be part of the tree only because you believe. Don’t be proud, but be afraid. 21 If God did not let the natural branches of that tree stay, he will not let you stay if you stop believing.
22 So you see that God is kind, but he can also be very strict. He punishes those who stop following him. But he is kind to you, if you continue trusting in his kindness. If you don’t continue depending on him, you will be cut off from the tree. 23 And if the Jews will believe in God again, he will accept them back. He is able to put them back where they were. 24 It is not natural for a wild branch to become part of a good tree. But you non-Jewish people are like a branch cut from a wild olive tree. And you were joined to a good olive tree. But those Jews are like a branch that grew from the good tree. So surely they can be joined to their own tree again.
25 I want you to understand this secret truth, brothers and sisters. This truth will help you understand that you don’t know everything. The truth is this: Part of Israel has been made stubborn, but that will change when enough non-Jewish people have come to God. 26 And that is how all Israel will be saved. The Scriptures say,
“The Savior will come from Zion;
28 The Jews refuse to accept the Good News, so they are God’s enemies. This has happened to help you who are not Jews. But they are still God’s chosen people, and he loves them because of the promises he made to their ancestors. 29 God never changes his mind about the people he calls. He never decides to take back the blessings he has given them. 30 At one time you refused to obey God. But now you have received mercy, because the Jews refused to obey. 31 And now they are the ones who refuse to obey, because God showed mercy to you. But this happened so that they can also receive mercy from him. 32 All people have refused to obey God. And he has put them all together as people who don’t obey him so that he can show mercy to everyone.
Praise to God
33 Yes, God’s riches are very great! His wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain what God decides. No one can understand his ways. 34 As the Scriptures say,
“Who can know what is on the Lord’s mind?
35 “Who has ever given God anything?
36 Yes, God made all things. And everything continues through him and for him. To God be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 11 New International Version (NIV)
The Remnant of Israel
11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a]? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
9 And David says:
“May their table become a snare and a trap,
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
All Israel Will Be Saved
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[e] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now[h] receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!