Romans 9Expanded Bible (EXB)
God and the Jewish People
9 I am telling you the truth ·as a follower of Christ [or with Christ as my witness; L in Christ]; I do not lie. My conscience is ·ruled by [or guided by] the Holy Spirit, and it ·tells [testifies to] me I am not lying. 2 I have great sorrow and ·always feel much sadness [unceasing/constant anguish]. 3 [L For] I would even wish that I were cursed and cut off from ·Christ [or the Messiah] ·if that would help [for the sake of] my Jewish brothers and sisters, my ·people [countrymen; L relatives according to the flesh]. 4 They are the people of Israel, God’s ·chosen [L adopted] children. They ·have seen [or have] the glory of God, and they have the ·agreements that God made between himself and his people [L covenants]. God gave them the law of Moses and the ·right way of worship [or temple worship] and his promises. 5 ·They are the descendants of our great ancestors [L They have the fathers/patriarchs], and ·they are the earthly family into which Christ was born [or from their descendants the Messiah came], ·who is God over all. Praise him forever [or May God, who is over all, be praised forever]! Amen.
6 It is not that ·God failed to keep his promise to them [L God’s word failed]. ·But only some of the people of Israel are truly God’s people [L Because not all those (descended) from Israel are Israel], 7 ·and only some of Abraham’s descendants are true children of Abraham [L nor are all of Abraham’s seed/descendants (true) children]. But God said to Abraham: “·The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac [or Through Isaac your descendants will carry on your name; Gen. 21:12].” 8 This means that ·not all of Abraham’s descendants [L it is not the children of the flesh who] are God’s true children. [L But; Rather] ·Abraham’s true children [L Those counted as Abraham’s descendants/seed] are ·those who become God’s children because of the promise God made to Abraham [L the children of the promise]. 9 God’s promise to Abraham was this: “·At the right time [At the appointed time; or About this time next year] I will return, and Sarah will have a son [Gen. 18:10, 14].” 10 And that is not all. Rebekah’s sons ·had the same father, [or were conceived at the same time by] our ·father [ancestor; forefather] Isaac.
14 So what should we say about this? Is God ·unfair [unjust]? ·In no way [Absolutely not!; May it never be!; 7:13]. 15 [L For] God said to Moses, “I will show ·kindness [mercy] to anyone to whom I want to show ·kindness [mercy], and I will show ·compassion [pity] to anyone to whom I want to show ·compassion [pity; Ex. 33:19].” 16 So God’s choice does not depend on ·what people want [human desire; or human will] or ·try to do [effort; exertion], but on God’s ·mercy [kindness]. 17 The Scripture says to ·the king of Egypt [L Pharaoh]: “I ·made you king [L raised you up] for this reason: to show my power in you so that my name will be ·talked about [proclaimed] in all the earth [Ex. 9:16].” 18 So God shows mercy where he wants to show mercy, and he ·makes stubborn [hardens] the people he wants to ·make stubborn [harden].
19 So one of you will ask me: “Then why does God ·blame us for our sins [L blame; find fault]? Who can ·fight [resist; oppose] his will?” 20 ·You are only human, and human beings have no right to question God [L Who are you, a mere human being, to talk back to God?]. ·An object [or A thing molded] should not ask the ·person who made it [molder], “Why did you make me like this? [Is. 29:16; 45:9]” 21 ·The potter can make anything he wants to make [L Doesn’t the potter have authority over the clay?]. He can use the same ·clay [L lump] to make one ·thing [vessel; pot] for ·special [honorable] use and another thing for ·daily [common; dishonorable] use.
22 ·It is the same way with God. He [L What if he…?] wanted to show his ·anger [wrath] and to let people see his power. But he ·patiently stayed with [endured with great patience] those ·people he was angry with [L vessels/objects of wrath]—people who were ·made ready [prepared] to be destroyed. 23 He waited with patience so that he could make known ·his rich glory [the riches of his glory] to the ·people who receive his [L vessels/objects of] mercy. He has prepared these people ·to have his glory [to experience his glory; L for glory], 24 and we are those people whom God called. He called us not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles. 25 As ·the Scripture [or God] says in Hosea:
“I will ·say, ‘You are my people’ [call them ‘my people’]
27 And Isaiah cries out about Israel:
“[L Though] The ·people [L children; sons] of Israel are numbered
29 It is as Isaiah said:
“If the Lord ·All-Powerful [of Hosts; of Heaven’s Armies]
30 ·So what does all this mean [L What, then, shall we say]? Those who are Gentiles ·were not trying to make themselves right with God [L did not pursue righteousness], but they ·were made right with God [obtained righteousness] ·because of their faith [L —that is, a righteousness that is by faith]. 31 The people of Israel tried to ·follow [pursue] a law ·to make themselves right with God [L of righteousness]. But they did not ·succeed [reach/attain it], 32 [L Why?] because they tried to make themselves right by ·the things they did [works] instead of ·trusting in God to make them right [L by faith]. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble. 33 As it is written in the Scripture:
“[L Look; T Behold] I will put in ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C a poetic term for Jerusalem and symbolizing the nation Israel] a stone that causes people to stumble,
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