1I ask then: did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.2God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah – how he appealed to God against Israel:3‘Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me’? (1Ki 19:10; 1Ki 19:14)4And what was God’s answer to him? ‘I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ (1Ki 19:18)5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.6And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.7What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened,8as it is written: ‘God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.’ (De 29:4; Isa 29:10)9And David says: ‘May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling-block and a retribution for them.10May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent for ever.’ (Ps 69:22; Ps 69:23)
11Again I ask: did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.15For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,18do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: you do not support the root, but the root supports you.19You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.’20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble.21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
All Israel will be saved
25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,26and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.27And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ (Isa 27:9; Isa 59:20; Isa 59:21; Jer 31:33; Jer 31:34)28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,29for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.32For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!34‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?’ (Isa 40:13)35‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?’ (Job 41:11)36For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.