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Romans 11 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

God Shows Mercy to All People

11 So I ask: Did God throw out his people? No! I myself am an Israelite. I am from the family of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God chose the Israelites to be his people before they were born. And God did not leave his people. Surely you know what the Scripture says about Elijah, how he prayed to God against the people of Israel. Elijah said, “They have killed your prophets, and they have destroyed your altars. I am the only prophet left. And now they are trying to kill me, too.”[a] But what answer did God give Elijah? He said, “But I have left 7,000 people in Israel. Those 7,000 have never bowed down before Baal.”[b] It is the same now. There are a few people that God has chosen by his grace. And if God chose them by grace, then it is not for the things they have done. If they could be made God’s people by what they did, then God’s gift of grace would not really be a gift.

So this is what has happened: The people of Israel tried to be right with God. But they did not succeed. But the ones God chose did become right with him. The others became hard and refused to listen to God. As it is written in the Scriptures:

“God gave the people a dull mind so they could not understand.” Isaiah 29:10
“God closed their eyes so they could not see,
    and God closed their ears so they could not hear.
    This continues until today.” Deuteronomy 29:4

And David says:

“Let their own feasts trap them and cause their ruin.
    Let their feasts cause them to sin and be paid back.
10 Let their eyes be closed so they cannot see.
    Let their backs be forever weak from troubles.” Psalm 69:22-23

11 So I ask: When the Jews fell, did that fall destroy them? No! But their failure brought salvation to the non-Jews. This took place to cause the Jews to be jealous. 12 The Jews’ failure brought rich blessings for the world. And what the Jews lost brought rich blessings for 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 who are not Jews. I am an apostle to the non-Jews. 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, God became friends with the other people in the world. So when God accepts the Jews, then surely that will bring to them 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, then the tree’s branches are holy too.

17 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. You non-Jews are the same as that wild branch, and you now share the strength and life of the first tree, the Jews. 18 So do not brag about those branches that were broken off. You have no reason to brag. Why? You do not give life to the root. The root gives life to you. 19 You will 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. Do not be proud, but be afraid. 21 If God did not let the natural branches of that tree stay, then he will not let you stay if you don’t believe.

22 So you see that God is kind, but he can also be very strict. God punishes those who stop following him. But God is kind to you, if you continue following in his kindness. If you do not continue following him, you will be cut off from the tree. 23 And if the Jews will believe in God again, then God will accept the Jews back again. God is able to put them back where they were. 24 It is not natural for a wild branch to be part of a good tree. But you non-Jews 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. This truth will help you understand that you do not know everything. The truth is this: Part of Israel has been made stubborn. But that will change when many non-Jews have come to God. 26 And that is how all Israel will be saved. It is written in the Scriptures:

“The Savior will come from Jerusalem;
    he will take away all evil from the family of Jacob.[c]
27 And I will make this agreement with those people
    when I take away their sins.” Isaiah 59:20-21; 27:9

28 The Jews refuse to accept the Good News, so they are God’s enemies. This has happened to help you non-Jews. But the Jews are still God’s chosen people, and God loves them very much. He loves them because of the promises he made to their ancestors. 29 God never changes his mind about the people he calls and the things he gives them. 30 At one time you refused to obey God. But now you have received mercy, because those people refused to obey. 31 And now the Jews refuse to obey, because God showed mercy to you. But this happened so that they also can[d] receive mercy from God. 32 All people have refused to obey God. God has given them all over to their stubborn ways, so that God can show mercy to all.

Praise to God

33 Yes, God’s riches are very great! God’s wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain the things God decides. No one can understand God’s ways. 34 As the Scripture says,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Who has been able to give the Lord advice?” Isaiah 40:13
35 “No one has ever given God anything
    that he must pay back.” Job 41:11

36 Yes, God made all things. And everything continues through God and for God. To God be the glory forever! Amen.


  1. 11:3 “They . . . too.” Quotation from 1 Kings 19:10, 14.
  2. 11:4 “But . . . Baal.” Quotation from 1 Kings 19:18.
  3. 11:26 Jacob Father of the 12 family groups of Israel, the people God chose to be his people.
  4. 11:31 can Some Greek copies read “can now.”
International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

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. 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: “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]? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, as it is written:

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
    eyes that could not see
    and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”[c]

And David says:

“May their table become a snare and a trap,
    a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
    and their backs be bent forever.”[d]

Ingrafted Branches

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:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;
    he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is[f] my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins.”[g]

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!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”[j]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”[k]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.


  1. Romans 11:3 1 Kings 19:10,14
  2. Romans 11:4 1 Kings 19:18
  3. Romans 11:8 Deut. 29:4; Isaiah 29:10
  4. Romans 11:10 Psalm 69:22,23
  5. Romans 11:26 Or and so
  6. Romans 11:27 Or will be
  7. Romans 11:27 Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9 (see Septuagint); Jer. 31:33,34
  8. Romans 11:31 Some manuscripts do not have now.
  9. Romans 11:33 Or riches and the wisdom and the
  10. Romans 11:34 Isaiah 40:13
  11. Romans 11:35 Job 41:11
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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