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My Heart Has Great Grief And Pain Over Israel

I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying— my conscience bearing-witness-with me in the Holy Spirit— that there is great grief in me and unceasing pain in my heart. For I would pray[a] that I myself might be accursed from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh— who are Israelites, of whom[b] is the adoption and the glory[c] and the covenants and the Law-giving and the [temple] service and the promises, of whom are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according-to[d] the flesh, the One being[e] over all, God, blessed forever, amen.

But Not All Abraham’s Physical Children Are Children of God

But it is not such as that the word of God has failed— for not all[f] these ones from Israel are Israel. Nor are they all children because they are seed of Abraham, but “In Isaac a seed will be called for you” [Gen 21:12]. That is, these children of the flesh are not children of God, but the children of [g] the promise are counted for seed. For the word of promise is this: “I will come at this time, and there will be a son to Sarah” [Gen 18:10]. 10 And not only this, but there is also Rebekah having bed[h] from one man, Isaac our father. 11 For the twins having not yet been born nor having done anything good or bad— in order that the purpose[i] of God according to His choosing[j] might continue[k], 12 not of works but of the One calling— it was said to her [in Gen 25:23] that “the older will serve the younger”. 13 Just as it has been written [in Mal 1:2-3]: “I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau”.

God Has Mercy On Whom He Wants, And He Hardens Whom He Wants

14 Therefore what shall we say? There is not unrighteousness[l] with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses [in Ex 33:19], “I will have-mercy-on whomever I have-mercy, and I will have-compassion-on whomever I have compassion”. 16 So then, mercy is not of [m] the one wanting, nor of the one running, but of the One having-mercy[n]— God. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh [in Ex 9:16] that “I raised you up for this very purpose: so that I might demonstrate My power[o] in you, and so that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth”. 18 So then, He has-mercy-on whom He wants, and He hardens[p] whom He wants.

The Creator Is Making Known His Wrath And His Mercy In Humankind

19 Therefore you will say to me, “Why then does He still find-fault? For who has resisted[q] His will?” 20 O human, on the contrary, who are you, the one answering-back to God? The thing formed will not say to the one having formed it, “Why did you make me like-this?”, will it? 21 Or does not the potter have authority over the clay to make from the same lump one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 But what if God, wanting[r] to demonstrate His wrath and to make-known His power, bore[s] with much patience vessels of wrath having been prepared[t] for destruction, 23 and did so in order that He might make-known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy which He prepared-beforehand[u] for glory— 24 even us whom He called not only from the Jews, but also from the Gentiles?

He Is Making Those Not His People His Own Children

25 As[v] He says also in Hosea: “I will call ‘Not My people’, ‘My people’; and ‘Not having been loved’, ‘Having been loved’” [Hos 2:23]. 26 “And it shall be in the place where it was said to them ‘you are not My people’, there they will be called sons of the living God” [Hos 1:10].

But Only a Remnant of Israel Will Be Saved

27 But[w] Isaiah cries-out concerning Israel: “If the number of the sons of Israel should be like the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will accomplish[x] His word upon the earth, completing[y] and cutting-short[z]” [in Isa 10:22-23]. 29 And just as Isaiah said-before [in Isa 1:9]: “Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left-behind a seed for us, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been likened[aa] as Gomorrah”.

Israel Pursued a Righteousness Through The Law, And Did Not Attain It

30 Therefore, what shall we say? That Gentiles, the ones not pursuing righteousness, took-hold-of [ab] righteousness— but a righteousness by faith. 31 But Israel, pursuing the Law of righteousness, did not attain to that Law. 32 For what reason? Because they pursued it not by faith, but as-if it was by works. They stumbled on the Stone of stumbling, 33 just as it has been written [in Isa 28:16]: “Behold— I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of falling. And the one putting-faith upon Him will not be put-to-shame”.


  1. Romans 9:3 Or, I would wish (pray in a non-religious sense). Paul may mean ‘I would pray’ or ‘I could almost pray’, but don’t since it is not possible; or, ‘I was wishing’, meaning he did at one period in his life wish it.
  2. Romans 9:4 That is, to whom belong.
  3. Romans 9:4 That is, the glory of God in all its manifestations in their history.
  4. Romans 9:5 Or, with respect to.
  5. Romans 9:5 That is, the One Who is the following three things. Or, the One being over all, blessed God forever; or, the One being God over all, blessed forever.
  6. Romans 9:6 All of Abraham’s physical descendants are not partakers of God’s promises made to him, as seen even in the very first case, Isaac and Ishmael.
  7. Romans 9:8 That is, belonging to, originating in, proceeding from the promise.
  8. Romans 9:10 That is, having conceived.
  9. Romans 9:11 Same word as in 8:28.
  10. Romans 9:11 Or, election, selection.
  11. Romans 9:11 With Jacob as with Isaac, God chose before their birth, without reference to their works, who would be the promised ‘seed’ of Abraham.
  12. Romans 9:14 Is God unjust to choose one over the other without reference to their works?
  13. Romans 9:16 That is, not dependent on.
  14. Romans 9:16 God is not unrighteous because mercy is not a matter of justice or debt; it is a matter of undeserved kindness. Gift-giving is the prerogative of the giver. God cannot be faulted for blessing Isaac and Jacob.
  15. Romans 9:17 That is, My power both to punish (Egypt) and to save (Israel); My wrath and My mercy.
  16. Romans 9:18 God is not unrighteous to harden because all punishment for sin is earned and deserved.
  17. Romans 9:19 How can people be held accountable since God has mercy or hardens as He pleases and people cannot resist His will in either direction? Paul’s answer is that people are accountable, and the Creator intends to demonstrate both His wrath and mercy on mankind.
  18. Romans 9:22 Or, willing, wishing, intending. Paul may mean because of wanting; or, although wanting.
  19. Romans 9:22 Or, endured, put up with.
  20. Romans 9:22 By whom? Perhaps God (as in 9:18; 11:7-8; Jn 12:37-40); Satan; or themselves, rendering it ‘having prepared-themselves’.
  21. Romans 9:23 Note that God endured the one group, but actively prepared-beforehand the other.
  22. Romans 9:25 Here Paul proves that those not in a relationship with God would be called to salvation.
  23. Romans 9:27 Here Paul proves that only a remnant of physical Israel would be saved.
  24. Romans 9:28 Or more specifically, execute His sentence; less specifically, carry-out the matter.
  25. Romans 9:28 That is, completing the judgment; or, carrying-out His word; or, closing the account.
  26. Romans 9:28 Or, cutting-down, cutting-off. Paul may mean cutting-short the nation, cutting it down to the remnant; or, cutting short the time, ‘quickly’.
  27. Romans 9:29 That is, we would have been used as an illustration of desolation, like Gomorrah.
  28. Romans 9:30 Or, took possession of, seized.