1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
God’s Sovereign Choice
6It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”8In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.9For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”10Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand:12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”13Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”16It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.17For 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.”18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.19One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?”20But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ”21Does 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?22What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction?23What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—24even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?25As 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,”26and, “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.’ ”27Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.28For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”29It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
30What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;31but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.32Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.33As 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.”
English Standard Version
God’s Sovereign Choice
1I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— (Ro 1:9; 2Co 11:10; 2Co 12:19; Ga 1:20; 1Ti 2:7)2that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.3For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Ex 32:32; Ro 11:14; 1Co 12:3; 1Co 16:22; Ga 1:8)4They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. (Ge 17:2; Ex 4:22; Ex 40:34; De 4:14; De 29:14; 1Sa 4:21; 1Ki 8:11; Ps 147:19; Joh 4:22; Ac 13:32; Ro 2:28; Ro 8:15; Ro 9:6; Ro 12:1; Ga 4:24; Ga 6:16; Eph 2:12; Heb 9:1)5To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (Joh 1:1; Ro 1:25; Ro 11:28; 2Co 11:31; Eph 4:6; Col 1:16; Heb 1:8)6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (Ge 21:12; Joh 8:33; Ga 3:29; Ga 4:23; Heb 11:18)8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. (Ga 4:23; Ga 4:28)9For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Ge 17:21; Ge 18:10; Ge 18:14)10And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, (Ge 25:21)11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— (Ro 4:17; Ro 8:28)12she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” (Ge 25:23)13As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Mal 1:2)14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! (De 32:4; 2Ch 19:7; Job 8:3; Job 34:10; Ps 92:15)15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Ex 33:19)16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Ex 9:16)18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.19You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” (2Ch 20:6; Job 9:12; Da 4:35)20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” (Job 33:13; Isa 29:16; Isa 45:9)21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? (Isa 64:8; Jer 18:6; 2Ti 2:20)22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (Pr 16:4; Ac 9:15; Ro 9:21; Ro 9:23; 1Pe 2:8)23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— (Ro 2:4; Ro 8:29; Eph 3:16)24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Ro 3:29; Ro 8:28)25As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” (Ho 2:23; 1Pe 2:10)26“And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” (Ho 1:10; Mt 16:16; Ro 8:14)27And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, (Isa 10:22; Ho 1:10; Ro 11:5)28for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”29And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” (De 29:23; Isa 1:9; Isa 13:19; Jer 49:18; Jer 50:40; Am 4:11; Jas 5:4)