What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking [that is, God’s favor by obedience to the Law], but the elect [those chosen few] obtained it, while the rest of them became hardened and callously indifferent;
What then [shall we conclude]? Israel failed to obtain what it sought [God’s favor by obedience to the Law]. Only the elect (those chosen few) obtained it, while the rest of them became callously indifferent (blinded, hardened, and made insensible to it).
So this is what has happened: The people of Israel wanted God’s blessing, but they did not all get it. The people he chose did get his blessing, but the others became hard and refused to listen to him.
·So this is what has happened [What follows from this? L What then?]: ·The people of Israel [L Israel] did not ·succeed in [attain; obtain; find] what they were ·striving [looking; seeking] for, but the ·ones God chose [elect] did ·succeed [attain/obtain/find it]. The ·others [rest] were ·made stubborn and refused to listen to God [L hardened].
So this is what has happened: The people of Israel tried to be right with God. But they did not succeed. But the ones God chose did become right with him. The others became hard and refused to listen to God.
What conclusion do we reach now? That Israel did not, on the whole, obtain the object of his striving, but a chosen few “got there”, while the remainder became more and more insensitive to the righteousness of God. This is borne out by the scripture: ‘God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day’.
And then what happened? Well, when Israel tried to be right with God on her own, pursuing her own self-interest, she didn’t succeed. The chosen ones of God were those who let God pursue his interest in them, and as a result received his stamp of legitimacy. The “self-interest Israel” became thick-skinned toward God. Moses and Isaiah both commented on this: Fed up with their quarrelsome, self-centered ways, God blurred their eyes and dulled their ears, Shut them in on themselves in a hall of mirrors, and they’re there to this day. David was upset about the same thing: I hope they get sick eating self-serving meals, break a leg walking their self-serving ways. I hope they go blind staring in their mirrors, get ulcers from playing at god.
So this is what has happened: Although the Israelites tried to be right with God, they did not succeed, but the ones God chose did become right with him. The others were made stubborn and refused to listen to God.
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