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11 So I ask, has God left his people? No, he has not! I myself am a Jew. I was born in Abraham's family. I belong to the tribe of Benjamin.

God has not left his people whom he knew from the first. Do you not know what the holy writings say about the prophet Elijah? He talked to God against the people of Israel.

He said, `Lord, they have killed your prophets. They have pulled down your holy places. I am the only one that is left, and they are trying to kill me.'

But what did God answer him? He said, `I have seven thousand men who have not kneeled down to the idol god Baal.'

So now some are left because God was kind to them, and chose them.

But if it was a gift because he was kind to them, then it was no longer because of the things they did. Or else a gift would no longer be a gift.

So what does that mean? The Jews did not get what they tried to get. Only the people God chose got it. The hearts of the rest of the people became hard.

The holy writings say, `God made them dull with sleep. He gave them eyes that could not see, and ears that could not hear. They have been like that until today.'

And David said long ago, `May the table where they eat be like a net and like a trap. May it make them fall down. May it punish them.

10 Make their eyes become blind so that they cannot see. Make their backs bent all the time.'

11 So I ask, `Have their feet been caught so that they have really fallen down?' No. But because they began to fall, the people who are not Jews were told how to be saved. That would make the Jews jealous.

12 The people who are not Jews have been richly blessed because the Jews failed. So it will be even better for them when the Jews no longer fail God.

13 Now I say this to you who are not Jews. I am an apostle to those who are not Jews, so I think highly of the work I have been sent to do.

14 I want the people of my own nation, the Jews, to be jealous. Then I may be able to save some of them.

15 God turned away from the Jews in order to bring the world back to himself. Then if that is true, when he takes the Jews back to himself, will not that be like making dead people live?

16 If the first piece of bread is holy, so is all the rest which came from the same bread mix. If the root of a tree is holy, the branches are holy also.

17 Maybe some of the tree's branches were broken off. And you, a branch from a wild olive tree, were made to grow on the tree among the branches. You then have the good water that comes from the root of the olive tree.

18 But do not think that you are better than the tree's own branches. If you do, remember it is not you that holds the root in place. But it is the root that holds you.

19 Then you will say, `The branches were broken off so that I might be joined to the tree.'

20 That is true. They were broken off because they did not believe. And you have your place only because you believe. So do not be proud, but fear.

21 If God punished the tree's own branches, he will punish you also.

22 See how kind God is. And see how hard he is. He is hard on those who have fallen. But God is kind to you if you go on following in his ways. If you do not, you also will be broken off.

23 God will also put back the other branches if they believe. God is able to put the Jews back where they belong.

24 You were cut off from a wild olive tree. And you were put on a good olive tree. That is not the way trees grow. But it can be done. And so, even more, the Jewish branches will be put back on their own olive tree.

25 My brothers, I want you to know something that has been a secret. Then you will not be proud of yourselves. The secret is this. Some Jews will have hard hearts until the right number of other people have come in.

26 Then all the Jews will be saved. The holy writings say, `Someone will come from Zion to save people. He will take away the wrong ways of our father Jacob.'

27 This will be my agreement with them when I take away the wrong things they have done.

28 The Jews make themselves enemies of God because they do not want the good news of Jesus Christ. That helps you since the good news has then come to you. But God still loves the Jews because of the promise he made to their fathers long ago.

29 God does not change his gifts or his call to people.

30 At one time you did not obey God. But now he has been kind to you because the Jews did not obey him.

31 So now, they also have not obeyed him. But he will also be kind to them because he was kind to you.

32 God allowed people to disobey him. He did it so that he might be kind and forgive all people.

33 God is very kind. He is very wise. He knows much. No one can understand why he judges the way he does. No one can find out why he does the things he does.

34 The holy writings say, `Who has known what the Lord thinks? Who has ever told him what to do?

35 Who has given a gift to God first, so that God would give him something also?'

36 All things come from God, through God, and return to God. Praise him for ever! Yes, it is so!