New King James Version
Israel’s Rejection of Christ
9 I (A)tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 (B)that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For (C)I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my [a]countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, (D)to whom pertain the adoption, (E)the glory, (F)the covenants, (G)the giving of the law, (H)the service of God, and (I)the promises; 5 (J)of whom are the fathers and from (K)whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, (L)who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
Israel’s Rejection and God’s Purpose(M)
6 (N)But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For (O)they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 (P)nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, (Q)“In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but (R)the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: (S)“At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”
10 And not only this, but when (T)Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of (U)Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, (V)“The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, (W)“Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
Israel’s Rejection and God’s Justice
14 What shall we say then? (X)Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, (Y)“I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For (Z)the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, (AA)“For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He (AB)hardens.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For (AC)who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? (AD)Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the (AE)potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make (AF)one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering (AG)the vessels of wrath (AH)prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known (AI)the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had (AJ)prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He (AK)called, (AL)not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As He says also in Hosea:
(AM)“I will call them My people, who were not My people,
And her beloved, who was not beloved.”
26 “And(AN) it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”
27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:
(AO)“Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
(AP)The remnant will be saved.
28 For [b]He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
(AQ)Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.”
29 And as Isaiah said before:
Present Condition of Israel
30 What shall we say then? (AT)That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, (AU)even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, (AV)pursuing the law of righteousness, (AW)has not attained to the law [d]of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, [e]by the works of the law. For (AX)they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
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
King James Version
9 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.