Romans 9

This is a literal translation of an ancient Greek text. It has also been cross-posted on For more information on how to read this post and what everything means, see the relevant page on that site.

1[I] speak truth in Christ, [I] do not lie,(am not lying) with my consciousness witnessinggenitive absolute with me in [the] holy spirit, 2that there is for me a great painlit. a pain of the body, fig. a pain of the mind and an incessant griefsynonymous with “pain” earlier in the sentence, but tends to be used figuratively more often, hence it is rendered grief here for my heart. 3For [I] was praying to be a curse, I myself [was praying to be] away from Christ on behalf oflit. over my brothers, the [ones] akin according to flesh,a 4whoever are Israelites, of whom [there is] the adoption as sonsb and the glory and the covenantssome manuscripts: the covenant and the legislationor adoption of laws; possible play on words with υἱοθεσία (adoption as sons) above and the service and the announcements,here and in verses 8-9, (promises); compare this word, ἐπαγγελία, with ἄγγελος, hence we get “angel” 5of whom [there are] the fathers and out of whom [came] Christ according to the flesh,c the [one] being upon alld God blessed unto the ages,esome manuscripts: the [one] being over all. Blessed [be] God unto the ages; others: the [one] being God over all. Blessed [be he] unto the ages amen.

6But [it is] not, as it were, that the word has fallen from God.(the word of God has fallen)f For not all the [ones] [coming] out of Israel, these [are not] Israel;g 7nor that all children of Abraham are a seed [of Abraham], but, “In Isaac a seed will be called for you.”h 8That is, not the children of flesh, [not] these [are] children of God, but the children of the announcement are counted(reckoned) unto a seed.i 9For the word of announcement [is] this, “At this time [I] will come and a son will be with Sarah.”j 10But not only [this], but also Rebekah bearing out of one marriage-bed of our father Isaac,k 11for with [the child/ren]No mention has yet been made of there being twins; as someone familiar with the Old Testament, we know that Rebekah had twins, and Paul will get to that momentarily, but the point is that, at this stage of the story, Rebekah did not know–and so he does not mention it, even though we already know it. This is first-century irony. not yet being born nor doing anything good or petty, in order that the public notice(purpose) of God according to choice might remain, 12not out of works but out of the [one] calling, [it] was said to her that, “The greater will be enslaved to the smaller,”l 13just as [it] has been written, “Jacob [I] loved,from ἀγάπη but Esau [I] hated.”m

14What therefore shall [we] say? [There is] not injustice with God, [is there]? Would that it not come to be.n 15For [he] says to Moses, “[I] will show mercy to whomever [I] show mercy and [I] will have pity on whomever [I] have pity.”o 16Then, therefore, [it is] not of the [one] wishing nor of the [one] running,These participles (“wishing” and “running”) are frequently translated as modifying some noun “man” or “person,” but that word does not appear. The participles modify “God,” and so may apply to him (i.e.,[it is] not of [God] wishing or of [God] running, but of God showing mercy), but they may also be acting substantively (as I have rendered it). The text itself does not suggest one or the other is more correct. but of God showing mercy. 17For the writingi.e., Scripture says to Pharaoh, “Unto this [thing] itself [I] awakened thee(raised thee / stood thee up) [on a particular occasion] in order thatboth purpose clauses are formed from ὅπως + subjunctive [I] might exhibit in thee my power and in order that my name might be proclaimed [on a particular occasion] in all the earth.”p 18Then, therefore, on whom [he] wishes, [he] has mercy, but on the other hand, whom [he] wishes, [he] hardens.q

19[Thou] ask me therefore, “WhyThis is probably an adverbial question (as rendered), but it could also be what, the object of μέμφεται (blame). {therefore} does [he] still blame?(find fault) For who stands against his purpose?” 20O man, on the contrary,Lit. on the one hand, therefore, at least; idiomatically, it suggests something like, That wrong thing I just said? The reality is this: who are thou, the [one] responding again to God? [Thou], as the formed [thing], do not say to the forming [one], “Why did [thou] make me thus,” [do thou]?r 21Or does the potter not have authority of the clays to make out of his mixture a vessel which [is] unto honor, on the one hand, but on the other, [does he not have authority to make a vessel] which [is] unto dishonor?t 22But if God, wishing to exhibit [his] wrath and to make known his power, bore, in much long-suffering, vessels of wrath,u having been equippedi.e., the vessels unto destruction, 23[did he not do so] alsosome manuscripts omit in order that [he] may make known the wealth of his glory upon vessels of pity, which [vessels] [he] prepared beforehand unto glory?v 24Which [vessels] also [he] called, us, not only out of Jews but also out of nations,or (peoples), but a different word from that translated “people” in vv25-26 25just as [it] also says in Hosea, “[I] will call the not-my-people my people and the not-beloved beloved;w 26and [it] will be [that], in the place where [it] was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there [they] will be called sons of [the] living God.”x 27And Isaiah cries out over Israel, Ifa future more vivid conditional clause the number of the sons of Israel be just as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved; 28for [the] lord, completing and cutting short,some manuscripts: cutting short in (justice/righteousness); others: cutting short in justice because [the] word [was] cut altogether; one other: cutting short in justice because [the] word [was] shattered will make [his] word upon the earth.”y 29And just as Isaiah has said beforehand, “If [the] lord Sabaothfrom a Hebrew word, meaning “hosts” or “armies”; here, though undeclined, probably genitive, so of hosts had not left behind a seed for us, [we] would have become just as Sodom, and [we] would have been made just like Gomorrah.”z

30What therefore shall [we] say? That nations, the [ones] not pursuingThe verbs in this verse and verse 31 create images of pursuit and attainment; on the one hand, nations doing no pursuit at all capture justice through faith, but Israel, actively pursuing the law of justice, cannot reach it by that way. justice, caught justice, but the justice out of faith,aa 31but Israel, pursuing [the] law of justice, did not come first unto [the] law.ab 32On account of what? Because [Israel pursued it] not out of faith, but ashere, this carries the sense that pursuing from faith can succeed, but pursuing from works cannot: as if it could be caught out of works out of works;some manuscripts: works of [the] law [they] stumbled on the stone of stumbling,ac 33just as [it] has been written, “Behold, [I] place in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of scandal, and the [one] believingsome manuscripts: everyone believing upon it will not be dishonored.”ad

a verse 3: cf. Exodus 32:32
b Israelites, of whom…adoption as sons: cf. Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:1-2
c out of whom…to the flesh: cf. Matthew 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38
d the [one] being upon all: cf. John 1:1
e God blessed unto the ages: cf. Psalm 41:13; Romans 1:25
f But [it is]…fallen from God: cf. Numbers 23:19
g For not all…[are not] Israel: cf. Romans 2:28
h In Isaac a…called for you: Genesis 21:12
i verse 8: cf. Galatians 4:23
j At this time…be with Sarah: Genesis 18:10, 14
k verse 10: cf. Genesis 25:21
l The greater will…to the smaller: Genesis 25:23
m Jacob [I] loved…Esau [I] hated: Malachi 1:2-3
n [There is] not…come to be: cf. Deuteronomy 32:4
o [I] will show…[I] have pity: Exodus 33:19
p Unto this [thing]…all the earth: Exodus 9:16
q whom [he] wishes, [he] hardens: cf. Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 14:4, 17
r [Thou], as the…thus,” [do thou]: cf. Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; Wisdom 12:12
s does the potter…of the clay: cf. Jeremiah 18:6
t to make out…[is] unto dishonor: cf. Wisdom 15:7
u bore, in much…vessels of wrath: cf. Jeremiah 50:25
v verse 23: cf. Ephesians 1:3-12
w [I] will call…the not-beloved beloved: Hosea 2:23
x verse 26: Hosea 1:10
y If the number…upon the earth: Isaiah 10:22-23; cf. Hosea 1:10
z If [the] lord…just like Gomorrah: Isaiah 1:9
aa verse 30: cf. Romans 10:20
ab verse 31: cf. Wisdom 2:11; Romans 10:2-3
ac [they] stumbled on…stone of stumbling: cf. Isaiah 8:14
ad Behold, [I] place…not be dishonored: Isaiah 28:16; cf. Romans 10:11; I Peter 2:6, 8

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