New American Standard Bible
Deep Concern for Israel
9 (A)I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 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, 4 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; 5 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.
6 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; 7 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.” 8 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. 9 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:
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:
- Romans 9:3 Lit pray
- Romans 9:5 I.e., Messiah
- Romans 9:5 Lit unto the ages
- Romans 9:7 Lit seed
- Romans 9:7 Lit in
- Romans 9:7 Lit seed
- Romans 9:8 Lit these
- Romans 9:8 Lit seed
- Romans 9:11 Lit remain
- Romans 9:11 Lit from
- Romans 9:11 Lit from
- Romans 9:14 Lit May it never happen!
- Romans 9:16 Or wills nor
- Romans 9:16 I.e., to win mercy or favor
- Romans 9:17 Lit in all
- Romans 9:20 Lit O
- Romans 9:21 Lit for honor
- Romans 9:21 Lit for dishonor
- Romans 9:22 Lit But
- Romans 9:28 Lit finishing it
- Romans 9:28 Lit cutting it short
- Romans 9:29 Gr sabaoth, for Heb tsebaoth (armies)
- Romans 9:29 Lit seed
- Romans 9:29 Lit been made like
- Romans 9:30 Lit out of
- Romans 9:32 Lit out of
- Romans 9:32 Lit out of
- Romans 9:33 Or disappointed
Concern for Israel
9 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 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,(A) 4 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.(B) 5 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.
6 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; 7 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].(C) 8 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. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time [next year] I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.”(D) 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).”(E) 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).”(F)
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.”(G) 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.”(H) 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?”(I) 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?(J) 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.’”(K)
“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.”(L)
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.”(M) 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]!”(N)
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.(O) 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].(P) 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].”(Q)
- 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!”
- Romans 9:12 The descendants of Esau, the Edomites.
- Romans 9:12 The descendants of Jacob (Israel), the Israelites.
- Romans 9:13 The Israelites received God’s protection and blessing.
- Romans 9:13 The Edomites were left to God’s judgment.
New International Version
Paul’s Anguish Over Israel
9 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying,(A) my conscience confirms(B) it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 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) 4 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) 5 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
6 It is not as though God’s word(R) had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.(S) 7 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) 8 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) 9 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)
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:
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:
29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:
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:
- Romans 9:5 Or Messiah, who is over all. God be forever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be forever praised!
- Romans 9:7 Gen. 21:12
- Romans 9:9 Gen. 18:10,14
- Romans 9:12 Gen. 25:23
- Romans 9:13 Mal. 1:2,3
- Romans 9:15 Exodus 33:19
- Romans 9:17 Exodus 9:16
- Romans 9:20 Isaiah 29:16; 45:9
- Romans 9:25 Hosea 2:23
- Romans 9:26 Hosea 1:10
- Romans 9:28 Isaiah 10:22,23 (see Septuagint)
- Romans 9:29 Isaiah 1:9
- Romans 9:33 Isaiah 8:14; 28:16