New American Bible (Revised Edition)
V. Jews and Gentiles in God’s Plan[a]
Paul’s Love for Israel.[b] 1 I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the holy Spirit in bearing me witness(A) 2 that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh.(B) 4 They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;(C) 5 theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all[c] be blessed forever. Amen.(D)Read full chapter
- 9:1–11:36 Israel’s unbelief and its rejection of Jesus as savior astonished and puzzled Christians. It constituted a serious problem for them in view of God’s specific preparation of Israel for the advent of the Messiah. Paul addresses himself here to the essential question of how the divine plan could be frustrated by Israel’s unbelief. At the same time, he discourages both complacency and anxiety on the part of Gentiles. To those who might boast of their superior advantage over Jews, he warns that their enjoyment of the blessings assigned to Israel can be terminated. To those who might anxiously ask, “How can we be sure that Israel’s fate will not be ours?” he replies that only unbelief can deprive one of salvation.
- 9:1–5 The apostle speaks in strong terms of the depth of his grief over the unbelief of his own people. He would willingly undergo a curse himself for the sake of their coming to the knowledge of Christ (Rom 9:3; cf. Lv 27:28–29). His love for them derives from God’s continuing choice of them and from the spiritual benefits that God bestows on them and through them on all of humanity (Rom 9:4–5).
- 9:5 Some editors punctuate this verse differently and prefer the translation, “Of whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is God over all.” However, Paul’s point is that God who is over all aimed to use Israel, which had been entrusted with every privilege, in outreach to the entire world through the Messiah.