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Romans 9 New Century Version (NCV)

God and the Jewish People

I am in Christ, and I am telling you the truth; I do not lie. My conscience is ruled by the Holy Spirit, and it tells me I am not lying. I have great sorrow and always feel much sadness. I wish I could help my Jewish brothers and sisters, my people. I would even wish that I were cursed and cut off from Christ if that would help them. They are the people of Israel, God’s chosen children. They have seen the glory of God, and they have the agreements that God made between himself and his people. God gave them the law of Moses and the right way of worship and his promises. They are the descendants of our great ancestors, and they are the earthly family into which Christ was born, who is God over all. Praise him forever![a] Amen.

It is not that God failed to keep his promise to them. But only some of the people of Israel are truly God’s people,[b] and only some of Abraham’s[c] descendants are true children of Abraham. But God said to Abraham: “The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac.”[d] This means that not all of Abraham’s descendants are God’s true children. Abraham’s true children are those who become God’s children because of the promise God made to Abraham. God’s promise to Abraham was this: “At the right time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[e] 10 And that is not all. Rebekah’s sons had the same father, our father Isaac. 11-12 But before the two boys were born, God told Rebekah, “The older will serve the younger.”[f] This was before the boys had done anything good or bad. God said this so that the one chosen would be chosen because of God’s own plan. He was chosen because he was the one God wanted to call, not because of anything he did. 13 As the Scripture says, “I loved Jacob, but I hated Esau.”[g]

14 So what should we say about this? Is God unfair? In no way. 15 God said to Moses, “I will show kindness to anyone to whom I want to show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy.”[h] 16 So God will choose the one to whom he decides to show mercy; his choice does not depend on what people want or try to do. 17 The Scripture says to the king of Egypt: “I made you king for this reason: to show my power in you so that my name will be talked about in all the earth.”[i] 18 So God shows mercy where he wants to show mercy, and he makes stubborn the people he wants to make stubborn.

19 So one of you will ask me: “Then why does God blame us for our sins? Who can fight his will?” 20 You are only human, and human beings have no right to question God. An object should not ask the person who made it, “Why did you make me like this?” 21 The potter can make anything he wants to make. He can use the same clay to make one thing for special use and another thing for daily use.

22 It is the same way with God. He wanted to show his anger and to let people see his power. But he patiently stayed with those people he was angry with—people who were made ready to be destroyed. 23 He waited with patience so that he could make known his rich glory to the people who receive his mercy. He has prepared these people to have his glory, 24 and we are those people whom God called. He called us not from the Jews only but also from those who are not Jews. 25 As the Scripture says in Hosea:

“I will say, ‘You are my people’
    to those I had called ‘not my people.’
And I will show my love
    to those people I did not love.” Hosea 2:1, 23
26 “They were called,
    ‘You are not my people,’
but later they will be called
    ‘children of the living God.’” Hosea 1:10

27 And Isaiah cries out about Israel:

“The people of Israel are many,
    like the grains of sand by the sea.
But only a few of them will be saved,
28 because the Lord will quickly and completely punish the people on the earth.” Isaiah 10:22–23

29 It is as Isaiah said:

“The Lord All-Powerful
    allowed a few of our descendants to live.
Otherwise we would have been completely destroyed
    like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.”[j] Isaiah 1:9

30 So what does all this mean? Those who are not Jews were not trying to make themselves right with God, but they were made right with God because of their faith. 31 The people of Israel tried to follow a law to make themselves right with God. But they did not succeed, 32 because they tried to make themselves right by the things they did instead of trusting in God to make them right. They stumbled over the stone that causes people to stumble. 33 As it is written in the Scripture:

“I will put in Jerusalem a stone that causes people to stumble,
    a rock that makes them fall.
Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed.” Isaiah 8:14; 28:16

Footnotes:

  1. 9:5 born . . . forever! This can also mean “born. May God, who rules over all things, be praised forever!”
  2. 9:6 God’s people Literally, “Israel,” the people God chose to bring his blessings to the world.
  3. 9:7 Abraham Most respected ancestor of the Jews. Every Jew hoped to see Abraham.
  4. 9:7 “The descendants . . . Isaac.” Quotation from Genesis 21:12.
  5. 9:9 “At . . . son.” Quotation from Genesis 18:10, 14.
  6. 9:11–12 “The older . . . younger.” Quotation from Genesis 25:23.
  7. 9:13 “I . . . Esau.” Quotation from Malachi 1:2–3.
  8. 9:15 “I . . . mercy.” Quotation from Exodus 33:19.
  9. 9:17 “I . . . earth.” Quotation from Exodus 9:16.
  10. 9:29 Sodom and Gomorrah Two cities that God destroyed because the people were so evil.
New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Romans 9 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the 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. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 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] In 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. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[c]

10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”[d] 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”[e]

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”[f]

16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 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] 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But 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?’”[h] 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?

22 What 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? 23 What 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 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As 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,”[i]

26 and,

“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.’”[j]

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:

“Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
    only the remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out
    his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”[k]

29 It 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.”[l]

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As 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.”[m]

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 9:5 Or Messiah, who is over all. God be forever praised! Or Messiah. God who is over all be forever praised!
  2. Romans 9:7 Gen. 21:12
  3. Romans 9:9 Gen. 18:10,14
  4. Romans 9:12 Gen. 25:23
  5. Romans 9:13 Mal. 1:2,3
  6. Romans 9:15 Exodus 33:19
  7. Romans 9:17 Exodus 9:16
  8. Romans 9:20 Isaiah 29:16; 45:9
  9. Romans 9:25 Hosea 2:23
  10. Romans 9:26 Hosea 1:10
  11. Romans 9:28 Isaiah 10:22,23 (see Septuagint)
  12. Romans 9:29 Isaiah 1:9
  13. Romans 9:33 Isaiah 8:14; 28:16
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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