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Romans 9Amplified Bible (AMP)

Concern for Israel

I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For [if it were possible] I would wish that I myself were accursed, [separated, banished] from Christ for the sake [of the salvation] of my brothers, my natural kinsmen, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, the glory ([a]Shekinah), the [special] covenants [with Abraham, Moses, and David], the giving of the Law, the [system of temple] worship, and the [original] promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to His natural descent, came the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), He who is exalted and supreme over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

However, it is not as though God’s word has failed [coming to nothing]. For not all who are descended from Israel (Jacob) are [the true] Israel; and they are not all the children of Abraham because they are his descendants [by blood], but [the promise was]: “Your descendants will be named through Isaac” [though Abraham had other sons]. That is, it is not the children of the body [Abraham’s natural descendants] who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are counted as [Abraham’s true] descendants. For this is what the promise said: “About this time [next year] I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only that, but this too: Rebekah conceived twin sons by one man [under the same circumstances], by our father Isaac; 11 and though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything either good or bad, so that God’s purpose [His choice, His election] would stand, not because of works [done by either child], but because of [the plan of] Him who calls them, 12 it was said to her, “The [b]older (Esau) will serve the [c]younger (Jacob).” 13 As it is written and forever remains written, “[d]Jacob I loved (chose, protected, blessed), but [e]Esau I hated (held in disregard compared to Jacob).”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion.” 16 So then God’s choice is not dependent on human will, nor on human effort [the totality of human striving], but on God who shows mercy [to whomever He chooses—it is His sovereign gift]. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “I raised you up for this very purpose, to display My power in [dealing with] you, and so that My name would be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then, He has mercy on whom He wills (chooses), and He hardens [the heart of] whom He wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still blame me [for sinning]? For who [including myself] has [ever] resisted His will and purpose?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers [arrogantly] back to God and dares to defy Him? Will the thing which is formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does the potter not have the right over the clay, to make from the same lump [of clay] one object for honorable use [something beautiful or distinctive] and another for common use [something ordinary or menial]? 22 What if God, although willing to show His [terrible] wrath and to make His power known, has tolerated with great patience the objects of His wrath [which are] prepared for destruction? 23 And what if He has done so to make known the riches of His glory to the objects of His mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory, 24 including us, whom He also called, not only from among the Jews, but also from among the Gentiles? 25 Just as He says in [the writings of the prophet] Hosea:

I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And [I will call] her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
26 
And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

27 And Isaiah calls out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is only the remnant [a small believing minority] that will be saved [from God’s judgment]; 28 For the Lord will execute His word upon the earth [He will conclude His dealings with mankind] completely and without delay.” 29 It is as Isaiah foretold,

If the Lord of Hosts had not left us seed [future generations from which a believing remnant of Israelites came],
We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah [totally rejected and destroyed]!”

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness [who did not seek salvation and a right relationship with God, nevertheless] obtained righteousness, that is, the righteousness which is produced by faith; 31 whereas Israel, [though always] pursuing the law of righteousness, did not succeed in fulfilling the law. 32 And why not? Because it was not by faith [that they pursued it], but as though it were by works [relying on the merit of their works instead of their faith]. They stumbled over the stumbling Stone [Jesus Christ]. 33 As it is written and forever remains written,

Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense;
And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 9:4 The Hebrew word “Shekinah” (“divine presence”) does not appear in Scripture, but has been used by both Christians and Jews to describe the visible Presence of God (the brilliant light of the divine), in such things as the burning bush, the cloud and the pillar of fire that led the Hebrews in the wilderness, and the Presence of God that rested between the cherubim over the mercy seat of the ark. It is said in the Talmud that the Emperor Hadrian once told a rabbi, “I want to see your God.” The rabbi replied, “You cannot see him.” “Indeed,” said the Emperor, “I will see him.” So the rabbi took the Emperor and positioned him to face the sun during the summer solstice, and said to him, “Look at it.” He replied, “I am not able to.” The rabbi said, “If you are not able to look at the sun, which is merely one of the servants that attend the Holy One—blessed be He—then how can you presume to look at the divine presence!”
  2. Romans 9:12 The descendants of Esau, the Edomites.
  3. Romans 9:12 The descendants of Jacob (Israel), the Israelites.
  4. Romans 9:13 The Israelites received God’s protection and blessing.
  5. Romans 9:13 The Edomites were left to God’s judgment.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Romans 9English Standard Version (ESV)

God's Sovereign Choice

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,[a] my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
    and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel[c] be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29 And as Isaiah predicted,

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
    we would have been like Sodom
    and become like Gomorrah.”

Israel's Unbelief

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness[d] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
    and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 9:3 Or brothers and sisters
  2. Romans 9:16 Greek not of him who wills or runs
  3. Romans 9:27 Or children of Israel
  4. Romans 9:31 Greek a law of righteousness
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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