Romans 9-11 International Standard Version (ISV)
Paul’s Concern for the Jewish People
9 I am telling the truth because I belong to[a] the Messiah[b]—I am not lying, and my conscience confirms it by means of the Holy Spirit. 2 I have deep sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart, 3 for I could wish that I myself were condemned[c] and cut off from the Messiah[d] for the sake of my brothers, my own people,[e] 4 who are Israelis. To them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants,[f] the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To the Israelis[g] belong the patriarchs, and from them, the Messiah[h] descended,[i] who is God over all, the one who is forever blessed. Amen.
6 Now it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all Israelis truly belong to Israel, 7 and not all of Abraham’s descendants are his true descendants. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that descendants will be named for you.”[j] 8 That is, it is not merely the children born through natural descent who were regarded as God’s children, but it is the children born through the promise who were regarded as descendants. 9 For this is the language of the promise: “At this time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[k] 10 Not only that, but Rebecca became pregnant by our ancestor Isaac. 11 Yet before their children[l] had been born or had done anything good or bad (so that God’s plan of election might continue to operate 12 according to his calling and not by actions), Rebecca[m] was told, “The older child will serve the younger one.”[n] 13 So it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”[o]
14 What can we say, then? God is not unrighteous, is he? Of course not! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will be merciful to the person I want to be merciful to, and I will be kind to the person I want to be kind to.”[p] 16 Therefore, God’s choice[q] does not depend on a person’s will or effort, but on God himself, who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says about Pharaoh,
“I have raised you up for this very purpose,
18 Therefore, God[s] has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.
God Chose People who are Not Jewish
19 You may ask me, “Then why does God[t] still find fault with anybody?[u] For who can resist his will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you—mere man that you are—to talk back to God? Can an object that was molded say to the one who molded it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21 A potter has the right to do what he wants to with his clay, doesn’t he? He can make something for a special occasion or something for ordinary use from the same lump of clay.
22 Now if God wants to demonstrate his wrath and reveal his power, can’t he be extremely patient with the objects of his wrath that are made for destruction? 23 Can’t he also reveal his glorious riches to the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for glory— 24 including us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but from the gentiles as well? 25 As the Scripture[v] says in Hosea,
“Those who are not my people
27 Isaiah also calls out concerning Israel,
“Although the descendants of Israel
29 It is just as Isaiah predicted:
“If the Lord of the Heavenly Armies
30 What can we say, then? Gentiles, who were not pursuing righteousness, have attained righteousness, a righteousness that comes through faith. 31 But Israel, who pursued righteousness based on the Law, did not achieve the Law. 32 Why not? Because they did not pursue it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on achievements. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble. 33 As it is written,
“Look! I am placing a stone in Zion
The Person who Believes will be Saved
10 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God about the Jews[ac] is that they would be saved. 2 For I can testify on their behalf that they have a zeal for God, but it is not in keeping with full knowledge. 3 For they are ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God while they try to establish their own, and they have not submitted to God’s means to attain[ad] righteousness. 4 For the Messiah[ae] is the culmination[af] of the Law as far as righteousness is concerned for everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that comes from the Law as follows: “The person who obeys these things will find life by them.”[ag] 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (that is, to bring the Messiah[ah] down), 7 or ‘Who will go down into the depths?’ (that is, to bring the Messiah[ai] back from the dead).”
8 But what does it say? “The message is near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart.”[aj] This is the message about faith that we are proclaiming: 9 If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with his heart and is justified, and declares with his mouth and is saved. 11 The Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will never be ashamed.”[ak] 12 There is no difference between Jew and Greek, because they all have the same Lord, who gives richly to all who call on him. 13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord[al] will be saved.”[am]
14 How, then, can people[an] call on someone they have not believed? And how can they believe in someone they have not heard about? And how can they hear without someone preaching? 15 And how can people[ao] preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are[ap] those who bring the good news!”[aq] 16 But not everyone has obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah asks, “Lord, who has believed our message?”[ar] 17 Consequently, faith results from listening, and listening results through the word of the Messiah.[as]
18 But I ask, “Didn’t they hear?” Certainly they did! In fact,
“Their voice has gone out into the whole world,
19 Again I ask, “Did Israel not understand?” Moses was the first to say,
“I will make you jealous
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who were not looking for me;
21 But about Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
God’s Love for His People
11 So I ask, “God has not rejected his people, has he?” Of course not! I am an Israeli myself, a descendant of Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he chose[ax] long ago. Do you not know what the Scripture says in the story about Elijah,[ay] when he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and demolished your altars. I am the only one left, and they are trying to take my life.”[az] 4 But what was the divine reply to him? “I have reserved for myself 7,000 people who have not knelt to worship Baal.”[ba] 5 So it is at the present time: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if this is by grace, then it is no longer on the basis of actions. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.
7 What, then, does this mean?[bb] It means that Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking, but the selected group obtained it while the rest were hardened. 8 As it is written,
9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
The Salvation of the Gentiles
11 And so I ask, “They have not stumbled so as to fall, have they?” Of course not! On the contrary, because of their stumbling, salvation has come to the gentiles to make the Jews[bf] jealous. 12 Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their fall means riches for the gentiles, how much more will their full participation mean!
13 I am speaking to you gentiles. Because I am an apostle to the gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in the hope that I can make my people[bg] jealous and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection results in reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance bring but life from the dead? 16 If the first part of the dough is holy, so is the whole batch. If the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 Now if some of the branches have been broken off, and you, a wild olive branch, have been grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not boast about being better than[bh] the other[bi] branches. If you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were cut off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 That’s right! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you remain only because of faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid![bj] 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he certainly will not spare you, either.
22 Consider, then, the kindness and severity of God: his severity toward those who fell, but God’s kindness toward you—if you continue receiving his kindness. Otherwise, you too will be cut off. 23 If the Jews[bk] do not persist in their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, because God is able to graft them in. 24 After all, if you were cut off from what is naturally a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier it will be for these natural branches to be grafted back into their own olive tree!
The Restoration of Israel
25 For I want to let you know about this secret, brothers, so that you will not claim to be wiser than you are: Stubbornness has come to part of Israel until the full number of the gentiles comes to faith.[bl] 26 In this way, all Israel will be saved, as it is written,
“The Deliverer will come from Zion;
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake, but as far as election is concerned, they are loved for the sake of their ancestors. 29 For God’s gifts and calling never change. 30 For just as you disobeyed God in the past but now have received his mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they, too, have now disobeyed. As a result, they may[bn] receive mercy because of the mercy shown to you. 32 For God has locked all people in the prison of their own disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
In Praise of God’s Ways
33 O how deep are God’s riches,
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