Deep Concern for Israel

(A)I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For (B)I could [a]wish that I myself were (C)accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my countrymen, my kinsmen (D)according to the flesh, who are (E)Israelites, to whom belongs (F)the adoption as sons and daughters, (G)the glory, (H)the covenants, (I)the giving of the Law, (J)the temple service, and (K)the promises; whose are (L)the fathers, and (M)from whom is the [b]Christ according to the flesh, (N)who is over all, (O)God (P)blessed [c]forever. Amen.

But it is not as though (Q)the word of God has failed. (R)For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children (S)because they are Abraham’s [d](T)descendants, but: “[e](U)through Isaac your [f]descendants shall be named.” That is, it is not the children of the flesh [g]who are (V)children of God, but the (W)children of the promise are regarded as [h](X)descendants. For this is the word of promise: “(Y)At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 (Z)And not only that, but there was also (AA)Rebekah, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that (AB)God’s purpose according to His choice would [i]stand, not [j]because of works but [k]because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “(AC)The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “(AD)Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

14 (AE)What shall we say then? (AF)There is no injustice with God, is there? [l](AG)Far from it! 15 For He says to Moses, “(AH)I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will show compassion to whomever I show compassion.” 16 So then, it does not depend on the person who [m]wants it nor the one who [n](AI)runs, but on (AJ)God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “(AK)For this very reason I raised you up, in order to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed [o]throughout the earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He (AL)hardens whom He desires.

19 (AM)You will say to me then, “(AN)Why does He still find fault? For (AO)who has resisted His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, [p](AP)you foolish person, who (AQ)answers back to God? (AR)The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does the potter not have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one object [q]for honorable use, and another [r]for common use? 22 [s]What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with great (AS)patience objects of wrath (AT)prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known (AU)the riches of His glory upon (AV)objects of mercy, which He (AW)prepared beforehand for glory, 24 namely us, whom He also (AX)called, (AY)not only from among Jews, but also from among Gentiles, 25 as He also says in Hosea:

(AZ)I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
26 (BA)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 (BB)the living God.”

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “(BC)Though the number of the sons of Israel may be (BD)like the sand of the sea, only (BE)the remnant will be saved; 28 (BF)for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, [t]thoroughly and [u]quickly.” 29 And just as Isaiah foretold:

(BG)If (BH)the Lord [v]of armies had not left us [w](BI)descendants,
(BJ)We would have become like Sodom, and would have [x]been like Gomorrah.”

30 (BK)What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, but (BL)the righteousness that is [y]by faith; 31 however, Israel, (BM)pursuing a law of righteousness, did not (BN)arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it [z]by faith, but as though they could [aa]by works. They stumbled over (BO)the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written:

(BP)Behold, I am laying in Zion (BQ)a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
(BR)And the one who believes in Him (BS)will not be [ab]put to shame.”


  1. Romans 9:3 Lit pray
  2. Romans 9:5 I.e., Messiah
  3. Romans 9:5 Lit unto the ages
  4. Romans 9:7 Lit seed
  5. Romans 9:7 Lit in
  6. Romans 9:7 Lit seed
  7. Romans 9:8 Lit these
  8. Romans 9:8 Lit seed
  9. Romans 9:11 Lit remain
  10. Romans 9:11 Lit from
  11. Romans 9:11 Lit from
  12. Romans 9:14 Lit May it never happen!
  13. Romans 9:16 Or wills nor
  14. Romans 9:16 I.e., to win mercy or favor
  15. Romans 9:17 Lit in all
  16. Romans 9:20 Lit O
  17. Romans 9:21 Lit for honor
  18. Romans 9:21 Lit for dishonor
  19. Romans 9:22 Lit But
  20. Romans 9:28 Lit finishing it
  21. Romans 9:28 Lit cutting it short
  22. Romans 9:29 Gr sabaoth, for Heb tsebaoth (armies)
  23. Romans 9:29 Lit seed
  24. Romans 9:29 Lit been made like
  25. Romans 9:30 Lit out of
  26. Romans 9:32 Lit out of
  27. Romans 9:32 Lit out of
  28. Romans 9:33 Or disappointed

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying,(A) my conscience confirms(B) it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself(C) were cursed(D) and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people,(E) those of my own race,(F) the people of Israel.(G) Theirs is the adoption to sonship;(H) theirs the divine glory,(I) the covenants,(J) the receiving of the law,(K) the temple worship(L) and the promises.(M) Theirs are the patriarchs,(N) and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah,(O) who is God over all,(P) forever praised![a](Q) Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice

It is not as though God’s word(R) had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.(S) Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[b](T) In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children,(U) but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.(V) For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[c](W)

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.(X) 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad(Y)—in order that God’s purpose(Z) in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”[d](AA) 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”[e](AB)

14 What then shall we say?(AC) Is God unjust? Not at all!(AD) 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.”[f](AE)

16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.(AF) 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[g](AG) 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.(AH)

19 One of you will say to me:(AI) “Then why does God still blame us?(AJ) For who is able to resist his will?”(AK) 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God?(AL) “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,(AM) ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h](AN) 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?(AO)

22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience(AP) the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?(AQ) 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory(AR) known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory(AS) 24 even us, whom he also called,(AT) not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?(AU) 25 As he says in Hosea:

“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
    and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”[i](AV)

26 and,

“In the very place where it was said to them,
    ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”[j](AW)

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:

“Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,(AX)
    only the remnant will be saved.(AY)
28 For the Lord will carry out
    his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”[k](AZ)

29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:

“Unless the Lord Almighty(BA)
    had left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
    we would have been like Gomorrah.”[l](BB)

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say?(BC) That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;(BD) 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness,(BE) have not attained their goal.(BF) 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.(BG) 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[m](BH)


  1. Romans 9:5 Or Messiah, who is over all. God be forever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be forever praised!
  2. Romans 9:7 Gen. 21:12
  3. Romans 9:9 Gen. 18:10,14
  4. Romans 9:12 Gen. 25:23
  5. Romans 9:13 Mal. 1:2,3
  6. Romans 9:15 Exodus 33:19
  7. Romans 9:17 Exodus 9:16
  8. Romans 9:20 Isaiah 29:16; 45:9
  9. Romans 9:25 Hosea 2:23
  10. Romans 9:26 Hosea 1:10
  11. Romans 9:28 Isaiah 10:22,23 (see Septuagint)
  12. Romans 9:29 Isaiah 1:9
  13. Romans 9:33 Isaiah 8:14; 28:16