Romans 11Expanded Bible (EXB)
God Shows Mercy to All People
11 So I ask: Did God ·throw out [cast away; reject] his people? ·No [Absolutely not; May it never be; 9:14]! I myself am an Israelite from the ·family [descendants; L seed] of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not ·thrown out [cast away; rejected] his people, whom he ·chose [or knew] ·long ago [from the beginning; L beforehand]. ·Surely you know [L Do you not know…?] what the Scripture says about Elijah, how he ·prayed [appealed; complained] to God against the people of Israel. 3 “Lord,” he said, “they have killed your prophets, and they have ·destroyed [torn/burned down] your altars. I am the only one left, and now they are ·trying to kill me, too [seeking my life; 1 Kin. 19:10, 14].” 4 But what ·answer did God give Elijah [L was the divine response]? He said, “But I have ·left [kept for myself] seven thousand ·people [or men] in Israel who have not bowed ·down [L the knee] before Baal [1 Kin. 19:18].” 5 It is the same now. There ·are a few people [is a remnant] that God has chosen by his grace. 6 And if he chose them by grace, it is not ·for the things they have done [by works]. If they could be made God’s people by ·what they did [works], God’s gift of grace would ·not really [or no longer] be a gift.
7 ·So this is what has happened [What follows from this? L What then?]: ·The people of Israel [L Israel] did not ·succeed in [attain; obtain; find] what they were ·striving [looking; seeking] for, but the ·ones God chose [elect] did ·succeed [attain/obtain/find it]. The ·others [rest] were ·made stubborn and refused to listen to God [L hardened]. 8 As it is written in the Scriptures:
“God gave the people a ·dull mind [L spirit of stupor/insensitivity] so they could not understand [Is. 29:10].”
9 And David says:
“Let their ·own feasts [L table] ·trap them and cause their ruin [L become a snare and a trap],
11 So I ask: When ·the Jews [L they] fell, did ·that fall destroy them [or they fall beyond recovery]? ·No [Absolutely not; May it never be; 11:1]! But their ·failure [transgression; violation] brought salvation to the Gentiles, in order to make ·the Jews [L them] jealous. 12 [L But if…] Their ·failure [transgression/violation] brought ·rich blessings [L riches] for the world, and their ·loss [defeat; failure] brought ·rich blessings [L riches] for the Gentiles. ·So surely the world will receive much richer blessings [L How much more…!] ·when enough Jews become the kind of people God wants [or when the appointed number of Jews is saved; or when the nation as a whole is restored; L at their fullness].
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. ·Since [or As long as] I am an apostle to the Gentiles [Acts 9:15; 22:21; Gal. 2:8], I ·will make the most of [glory in; take pride in; magnify] my ministry. 14 ·I hope […if somehow] I can make my own ·people [flesh] jealous and, in that way, help some of them to be saved. 15 [L For] If ·God’s rejection of Israel [L their loss/rejection] meant he ·became friends with [was reconciled to] the world, what will Israel’s acceptance mean? It will be like ·bringing the dead back to life [life from the dead].
16 If the ·first piece of bread is offered to God [L firstfruits are holy; C the dough made from the first crops harvested], then the whole ·loaf [batch; L lump of dough] is made holy. If the roots of a tree are holy, then the tree’s branches are holy too [C since Abraham and the patriarchs were God’s chosen people, so were their Jewish descendants].
17 It is as if some of the branches from an olive tree [C symbolizing Israel] have been broken off. You Gentiles are like the branch of a wild olive tree that has been ·joined [grafted] to that first tree. You now share the ·strength and life [nourishment; L rich/fat root] of the first tree [C the Gentiles now share in the rich blessings promised to Israel through their “root,” Abraham and the patriarchs]. 18 So do not ·brag about [boast over; consider yourselves superior to] those branches that were broken off. If you ·brag [boast], remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 [L Then] You will say, “Branches were broken off so that I could be ·joined to their tree [grafted in].” 20 That is true. But those branches were broken off because they ·did not believe [were unfaithful], and you ·continue to be part of the tree only because you believe [L stand by faith]. Do not be ·proud [arrogant], but be ·afraid [in awe]. 21 [L For] If God did not spare the natural branches, then he will not spare you either.
22 ·So you see [Notice; Consider] that God is kind and also ·very strict [stern; severe; harsh]. He ·punishes [is strict/severe/harsh toward] those who ·stop following him [have fallen]. But God is kind to you, if you continue ·following in [trusting in; L in] his kindness. If you do not, you will also be cut off from the tree. 23 And if ·the Jews [L they] ·will believe in God again [L do not continue in unbelief], ·he will accept them back [L they will be grafted in]. [L For] God is able to ·put them back where they were [graft them in again]. 24 [L For] If ·you Gentiles [you] were cut off from a wild olive tree and, contrary to nature, ·joined to [grafted into] a ·good [cultivated] olive tree, how much more will these natural branches [C Jews presently rejecting the gospel] be ·joined to [grafted into] their own olive tree again.
25 I ·want you to understand [L do not want you to be ignorant of] this ·secret [mystery; C something God had not previously disclosed; Eph. 1:9], brothers and sisters, so you will ·understand that you do not know everything [not become conceited/arrogant/superior-minded]: ·Part of Israel has been made stubborn [or A partial hardening has happened to Israel], ·but that will change when [L until] the ·complete number [or appointed number; L fullness] of the Gentiles have come ·to God [or into the kingdom; L in]. 26 And ·that is how [in this way; or so it will be that; or so in the end] all Israel will be saved. [L As; Just as] It is written in the Scriptures:
“The ·Savior [Rescuer; Deliverer] will come from ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C a poetic term for Jerusalem symbolizing the nation Israel];
28 ·The Jews refuse to accept the Good News, so [L With regard to the Gospel,] they are God’s enemies. ·This has happened to help you who are not Jews [L …for your sake; C Israel’s rejection resulted in the proclamation of the Good News to the Gentiles; vv. 11, 12]. But ·the Jews are still God’s chosen people, and he loves them very much [L with regard to election, they are beloved] because of ·the promises he made to their ancestors [L the ancestors/fathers/patriarchs]. 29 ·God never changes his mind about the people he calls and the things he gives them [L For God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable]. 30 [L For] 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[a] receive mercy from him [or but this happened so that they also can[b] receive mercy from him, because of the mercy God showed to you]. 32 God has ·given [imprisoned] all people ·over to their stubborn ways [L to/in disobedience] so that he can show mercy to all.
Praise to God
33 ·Yes [L O], ·how great are [L the depth of] ·God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge [or the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge]! ·No one can explain [L How unsearchable are…] ·the things God decides [God’s judgments] ·or understand [L …and untraceable…!] his ·ways [paths]. 34 As the Scripture says,
“[L For] Who has known the mind of the Lord,
36 ·Yes, God made all things, and everything continues through him and for him [L Because all things come from him, through him and for him]. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
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