9 1 He answereth an objection, that might be brought on the Jews’ behalf, 7 and telleth of two sorts of Abraham’s children, 15 and that God worketh all things in this matter according to his will, 20 even as the potter doth. 24, 30 He proveth as well the calling of the Gentiles, 31 as also the rejecting of the Jews, 25, 27 by the testimony of the Prophets.
1 I say [a]the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness, and continual sorrow in mine heart.
3 For I would wish myself to be [b]separate from Christ, for my brethren that are my kinsmen according to the [c]flesh,
4 Which are the Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the [d]glory, and the [e]Covenants, and the giving of the [f]Law, and the [g]service of God, and the [h]promises.
5 Of whom are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is [i]God over all, blessed forever, Amen.
6 [j]Notwithstanding it cannot be that the word of God should take none effect: for all they are not [k]Israel, which are of Israel:
7 Neither are they all children, because they are the seed of Abraham: [l]but, In [m]Isaac shall thy seed be called:
8 [n]That is, they which are the children of the [o]flesh, are not the children of God: but the children of the [p]promise, are counted for the seed.
9 [q]For this is a word of promise, In this same time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
10 [r]Neither he only felt this, but also Rebecca, when she had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac.
11 For ere the children were born, and when they had neither done good nor evil (that the [s]purpose of God might [t]remain according to election, not by works, but by him that calleth.)
12 [u]It was said unto her, The Elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, I have loved Jacob, and have hated Esau.
14 [v]What shall we say then? Is there [w]unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 [x]For he saith to Moses, I will [y]have mercy on him, to whom I will show mercy: and will have [z]compassion on him, on who I will have compassion.
16 [aa]So then it is not in him that [ab]willeth, nor in him that runneth, but in God that showeth mercy.
17 [ac]For the [ad]Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this same purpose have [ae]I stirred thee up, that I might [af]show my power in thee, and that my Name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 [ag]Therefore he hath mercy on whom he [ah]will, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 [ai]Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet complain? for who hath resisted his will?
20 [aj]But, O man, who art thou which pleadest against God? [ak]shall the thing [al]formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 [am]Hath not the potter power of the clay to make of the same lump one [an]vessel to [ao]honor, and another unto [ap]dishonor?
22 [aq]What and if God would, to show his wrath, and to make his power known, suffer with long patience the [ar]vessels of wrath, prepared to [as]destruction?
23 And that he might declare the [at]riches of his glory upon the vessels of mercy, which he hath prepared unto glory?
24 [au]Even us whom he hath called, not of the [av]Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.
25 [aw]As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them, My people, which were not my people: and her, Beloved, which was not beloved.
26 And it shall be in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, that there they shall be called, The children of the living God.
27 [ax]Also Isaiah crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel were as the sand of the sea, yet shall but a remnant be saved.
28 For he will make his account, and gather it into a [ay]short sum with righteousness: for the Lord will make a short count in the earth.
29 And as Isaiah said before, Except the Lord of [az]hosts had left us a [ba]seed, we had been made as Sodom, and had been like to Gomorrah.
30 [bb]What shall we say then? That the Gentiles which followed [bc]not righteousness, have attained unto righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31 [bd]But Israel which followed the Law of righteousness, could not attain unto the Law of righteousness.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the [be]works of the Law: for they have stumbled at the stumbling stone,
33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone, and a rock to make men fall: and everyone that believeth in him, shall not be ashamed.
Romans 9:1The third part of this Epistle, even to the twelfth Chapter, wherein Paul ascendeth to the higher causes of faith: and first of all because he purposed to speak much of the casting off of the Jews, he useth an insinuation, declaring by a double or triple oath, and by witnessing of his great desire towards their salvation, his singular love towards them, and therewithall granting unto them all their prerogatives.
Romans 9:3The Apostle loved his brethren so entirely, that if it have been possible he would have been ready to have redeemed the casting away of the Israelites, with the loss of his own soul forever: for this word separate, betokeneth as much in this place.
Romans 9:3Being brethren by flesh, as of one nation and country.
Romans 9:4The ark of the covenant, which was a token of God’s presence.
Romans 9:4The tables of the covenant: and this is spoken by the figure Metonymy.
Romans 9:4Which were made to Abraham and to his posterity.
Romans 9:5A most manifest testimony of the Godhead and divinity of Christ.
Romans 9:6He entereth into the handling of predestination by a kind of preventing an objection: How may it be, that Israel is cast off, but that therewithall we must also make the covenant which God made with Abraham and his seed, frustrate and void? He answereth therefore, that God’s word is true, although that Israel be cast off: for the election of the people of Israel is so general and common, that notwithstanding the same, God chooseth by his secret counsel, such as it pleaseth him. So then this is the proposition and state of this Treatise: The grace of salvation is offered generally in such sort, that notwithstanding it, the efficacy thereof pertaineth only to the elect.
Romans 9:6Israel in the first place, is taken for Jacob: and in the second, for the Israelites.
Romans 9:7The first proof is taken from the example of Abraham’s own house, wherein Isaac only was counted the son, and that by God’s ordinance: although that Ishmael also was born of Abraham, and circumcised before Isaac.
Romans 9:7Isaac shall be thy true and natural son, and therefore heir of thy blessing.
Romans 9:8A general application of the former proof or example.
Romans 9:8Which are born of Abraham by the course of nature.
Romans 9:8Which are born by virtue of the promise.
Romans 9:9A reason of that application: Because that Isaac was born by the virtue of the promise, and therefore he was not chosen, nay he was not at all, but by the free will of God: whereby it followeth that the promise is the fountain of predestination, and not the flesh from which promise the particular election proceedeth: that is, that the elect be born elect: and not that they be first born and then afterward elected, in respect of God who doth predestinate.
Romans 9:10Another forcible proof, taken from the example of Esau and Jacob, which were both born of the same Isaac, which was the son of promise, of one mother, and at one birth, and not at divers as Ishmael and Isaac were: and yet notwithstanding, Esau being cast off, only Jacob was chosen: and that before their birth, that neither any goodness of Jacob’s might be thought to be the cause of his election, neither any wickedness of Esau, of his casting away.
Romans 9:11God’s decree, which proceedeth of his mere good will, whereby it pleased him to choose one, and refuse the other.
Romans 9:11Paul saith not, might be made, but being made, might remain. Therefore they are deceived which make foreseen faith the cause of election, and foreknown infidelity, the cause of reprobation.
Romans 9:12He proveth the casting away of Esau by that, that he was made servant to his brother: and proveth the choosing of Jacob by that that he was made Lord of his brother, although his brother were the first begotten. And lest that any man might take this saying of God, and refer it to external things, the Apostle showeth out of Malachi, who is a good interpreter of Moses, that the servitude of Esau was joined with the hatred of God, and the Lordship of Jacob with the love of God.
Romans 9:14The first objection: If God doth love or hate upon no consideration of worthiness or unworthiness, then [is] he unjust, because he may love them which are unworthy, and hate them that are worthy. The Apostle detesteth this blasphemy, and afterward answereth it severally, point by point.
Romans 9:14Man’s will knoweth no other causes of love or hatred, but those that are in the persons, and thereupon this objection riseth.
Romans 9:15He answereth first touching them which are chosen to salvation in choosing of whom, he denieth that God may seem unjust, although he choose and predestinate to salvation, them that are not yet born, without any respect of worthiness: because he bringeth not the chosen to the appointed end, but by the means of his mercy, which is a cause next under predestination. Now mercy presupposeth misery, and again misery presupposeth sin or voluntary corruption of mankind, and corruption presupposeth a pure and perfect creation. Moreover mercy is showed by her degrees: to wit, by calling, by faith, by justification and sanctification, so that at length we come to glorification, as the Apostle will show afterward. Now all these things, orderly following the purpose of God, do clearly prove that he can by no means seem unjust in loving and saving his.
Romans 9:15I will be merciful and favorable to whom I list to be favorable.
Romans 9:15I will have compassion on whomsoever I list to have compassion.
Romans 9:16The conclusion of the answer: Therefore God is not unjust in choosing and saving of his free goodness, such as it pleaseth him: as he also answered Moses, when he prayed for all the people.
Romans 9:16By will, he meaneth the thought and endeavor of heart, and by running, good works: to neither of which he giveth the praise, but only to the mercy of God.
Romans 9:17Now he answereth concerning the reprobate or them whom God hateth being not yet born, and hath appointed to destruction, without any respect of unworthiness. And first of all he proveth this to be true, by alleging the testimony of God himself touching Pharaoh, whom he stirred up to this purpose, that he might be glorified in his hardening and just punishing.
Romans 9:17God so speaketh unto Pharaoh in the Scripture, or, the Scripture bringeth in God, so speaking to Pharaoh, Exodus 9:16.
Romans 9:17Secondly, he bringeth the end of God’s counsel, to show that there is no unrighteousness in him. Now this chiefest end, is not properly and simply the destruction of the wicked, but God’s glory which appeareth in their rightful punishment.
Romans 9:18A conclusion of the full answer to the first objection: therefore seeing that God doth not save them whom he freely chose according to his good will and pleasure, but by justifying and sanctifying them by his grace, his counsel in saving them cannot seem unjust. And again, there is not injustice in the everlasting counsel of God touching the destruction of them whom he listeth to destroy, for that he hardeneth before he destroyeth: Therefore the third answer for the maintenance of God’s justice is the everlasting counsel of reprobation, consisteth in this word Hardening: which notwithstanding he concealed in the former verse, because the History of Pharaoh was well known. But the force of the word is great: for Hardening, which is set against Mercy, presupposeth the same things that mercy did, to wit, a voluntary corruption, wherein the reprobate are hardened: and again corruption presupposeth a perfect state of creation. Moreover, this hardening also is voluntary, for God so hardeneth being offended with corruption, that he useth their own will whom he hardeneth, to the executing of that judgment. Then follow the fruits of Hardening, to wit, unbelief and sin, which are the true and proper causes of the condemnation of the reprobate. Why doth he then appoint to destruction? because he will: why doth he harden? because they are corrupt: why doth he condemn? because they are sinners. Where is then unrighteousness? Nay, if he should destroy all after this same sort, to whom should he do injury?
Romans 9:18Whom it pleased him to appoint, to show his favor upon.
Romans 9:19Another objection but only for the reprobate, rising upon the former answer. If God do appoint to everlasting destruction, such as he listeth, and if that cannot be hindered notwithstanded that he hath once decreed, how doth he justly condemn them, which perish by his will?
Romans 9:20The Apostle doth not answer that it is not God’s will, or that God doth not either reject or elect according to his pleasure, which thing the wicked call blasphemy, but he rather granteth, his adversary both the antecedents, to wit, that it is God’s will, and that it must of necessity so fall out, yet he denieth that God is therefore to be thought an unjust revenger of the wicked: for seeing it appeareth by manifest proof that this is the will of God and his doing, what impudency is it for man, which is but dust and ashes to dispute with God, and as it were to call him into judgment? Now if any man say that the doubt is not so dissolved and answered, I answer, that there is no surer demonstration in any matter, because it is grounded upon this principle, That the will of God is the rule of righteousness.
Romans 9:20An amplification of the former answer, taken from a comparison, whereby also it appeareth that God’s determined counsel is set of Paul the highest of all causes, so that it dependeth not upon any respect of second causes, but doth rather frame and direct them.
Romans 9:20This similitude agreeth very fitly in the first creation of mankind.
Romans 9:21Alluding to the creation of Adam, he compareth mankind not yet made (but in the Creator’s mind) to a lump of clay: whereof afterward God made and doth daily make, according as he purposed from everlasting both such as should be elect, and such as should be reprobate, as also this word, making, declareth.
Romans 9:21Whereas in the objection propounded, mention was only made of vessels to dishonor: yet he speaketh of the other also in this answer, for that he proveth the Creator to be just in either of them, as the rule of contraries doth require.
Romans 9:21Seeing then, that in the name of dishonor, the ignomy of everlasting death is signified, they speak with Paul, which say, that some are made of God to most just destruction: and they [that] are offended with this kind of speech bewray their own folly.
Romans 9:22The second answer is this, that God, moreover and besides that he doth justly decree whatsoever he doth decree, useth that moderation in executing of his decrees, as declareth his singular lenity even in the reprobate in that, that he suffereth them a long time, and permitteth them to enjoy many and singular benefits, until at length he justly condemns them: and that to good end and purpose, to wit, to show himself to be an enemy and revenger of wickedness, that it may appear what power he is of by these severe judgments, and finally by comparison of contraries to set forth indeed, how great his mercy is towards the elect.
Romans 9:22By vessels, the Hebrews understand all kinds of instruments.
Romans 9:22Therefore again, we may say with Paul that some men are made of God the Creator to destruction.
Romans 9:24Having established the doctrine of the eternal predestination of God on both parts: that is, as well of the reprobate, as of the elect, he cometh now to show the use of it, teaching us that we ought not to seek the testimony of it in the secret counsel of God, but by the vocation which is made manifest and set forth in the Church, propounding unto us the example of the Jews and Gentiles, that the doctrine may be better perceived.
Romans 9:24He saith not that all and every one of the Jews are called, but some of the Jews, and some of the Gentiles.
Romans 9:25Our vocation or calling is free and of grace, even as our predestination is: and therefore there is no cause why either our own unworthiness, or the unworthiness of our ancestors should cause us to think that we are not the elect and chosen of God, if we be called of him, and so embrace through faith the salvation that is offered us.
Romans 9:27Contrariwise, Neither any outward general calling, neither any worthiness of our ancestors is a sufficient witness of election, unless by faith and belief we answer God’s calling: which thing came to pass in the Jews, as the Lord had forewarned.
Romans 9:28God purposeth to bring the unkind and unthankful people to an extreme fewness.
Romans 9:29Armies, by which word the chiefest power that is, is given to God.
Romans 9:30The declaration and manifestation of our election, is our calling apprehended by faith, as it came to pass in the Gentiles.
Romans 9:30So then, the Gentiles had no works to prepare and procure God’s mercy beforehand: and as for that, that the Gentiles attained to that which they sought not for, the mercy of God is to be thanked for it: and in that the Jews attained not that which they sought after, they can thank none for it but themselves, because they sought it not aright.
Romans 9:31The pride of men is the cause that they condemn vocation, so that the cause of their damnation need not to be sought for any other where but in themselves.
Romans 9:32Seeking to come by righteousness, they followed the Law of righteousness.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
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