The Book of Romans-Chapter 9

(1) I am telling the truth in Messiah, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit (Chapters 9-11 gives a larger understanding of the Gospel message, which includes Israel’s role and the role of the Gentile to Israel. The following three chapters should be taken as a whole. The focus of chapter 9 is Gentile believers and Jews who do not believe yet. Paul knows of the growing anti-Semitic ideas in the Roman congregation and the tendency to ignore the Jewish roots of their faith and knows that these ideas come from the anti-Jewish world around them, especially in Rome. This chapter will deal with the Lord’s role in Israel’s apostasy and that God has not been unfaithful to the Jewish people and shows that if God is faithful to Israel, he will be faithful to a believer. He also talks about election in regards to Israel and the Torah) (2) that I have great sorrow and increasing grief in my heart. (3) For I wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for the sake of my brethren (Paul considers those Jews who do not believe in Yeshua as his brothers and the chosen people of God. His words are similar to what Moses said in Exo 32.31-32. He will go on to list several advantages to being Israel and the Torah is listed as a gift and a good thing given to the Jews-see Romans 2.17-20; 3.1-9), my kinsmen according to the flesh (4) who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Torah and the Temple service and the promises, (5) whose are the fathers, and from who is the Messiah (why Abrahamic circumcision was given to them. Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham) according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. (6) But it is not as though the word of God has failed (Rom 3.3). For they are not all Israel who are from Israel (the word of God is true even if man fails to carry it out. There is , however, a righteous remnant within Israel who have a place in the World to Come and there are those who won’t. This was a common teaching among the Jewish people and Paul was not coming up with a new doctrine here-see the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 90a) (7) neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants (he had two sons), but: “through Isaac your descendants will be named.” (8) That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants (Isaac was chosen over Ishmael). (9) For this is a word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” (10) And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac (now he shows how Jacob was chosen over Esau even before they were born, before there were any works by either one of them); (11) for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad (to deserve to be chosen or not chosen), in order that God’s purpose according to his choice (election) might stand, not because of works, but because of him who calls (Paul is now bringing in the concept of “election” which has nothing to do with human effort or who your parents were. In his “selection” there is no reason in ourselves but God has his reasons, there is no human will involved) (12) it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” (13) Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved (elected, chosen) but Esau I hated (not elected-“love” and “hate” in these verses are to be understood as “elected” and “not elected”).” (14) What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! (15) For he says to Moses (more evidence), “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion (man cannot earn or control God’s mercy. Paul is pointing out that he is dealing with Israel like he did with Isaac and Ishmael and Jacob and Esau. The Lord is not being unfair because it is God’s choice and no one group has a claim to his mercy).” (16) So then it (his mercy, election) does not depend on the man who wills (to have it) or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy (John 1.13). (17) For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth (the self-will of Pharaoh served God’s purposes in the same way the self-will of Israel serves God’s purposes).” (18) So then he has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens(why God created him) whom he desires (“hardens” has three meanings when talking about Pharaoh-it means his stubbornness (Kashah) in Exo 7.3; 13.15; it means heavy (Kabed) in Exo 8.15,32; 9.34) and strength used in the context of encourage (Chabak) in Exo 4.12; 9.13; 10.20, 27; 11.10; 14.4). (19) You will say to me then “why does he still find fault (on other words, if God hardens people, how can they be held responsible? He continues to find fault with sinners because they are already sinners. If he leaves them in that state, he can’t be blamed for something that he did not do in the first place. He didn’t make them sinners, they did that themselves)? For who resists his will?” (20) On the contrary, who are you O man who answers back to God! The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? (21) Or does not the potter (God) have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use (elected), and another for common use (not elected-the potter has no evil intent, everything he makes is for his purpose)? (22) What if God, although willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath fitted (the Greek word means “of men whose souls God has so constituted that they cannot escape destruction”-see #2675, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on the word “fitted”) for destruction? (23) And he did so in order that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy which he prepared beforehand(Greek “proetoimazo” carries the meaning of being ordained and equipped beforehand) for glory (Paul is teaching that as he endured Pharaoh, he endures Israel’s rebellion against him and his Messiah because he has Gentile salvation in mind) (24) even us, whom he has called, not from among the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles (showing that the elect comes from the Gentiles as well as Jews). (25) As he says also in Hosea, “I will call those who were not my people (lo-ammi), my people (ammi), and her who was not beloved (lo-ruhamah), beloved. (26) And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, you are not my people, there they shall be called sons of the living God (originally Hosea was talking about the fallen condition of the northern 10 tribes but Paul applies the principle found in this passage in a true rabbinic, midrashic style, that God can take into his covenant those who were previously cut-off from it, and in this case, the Gentiles).” (27) And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant (the elect) that will be saved; (28) for the Lord will execute his word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly.” (29) And just as Isaiah foretold, “except the Lord of Sabaoth (tz’vaot in Hebrew, meaning the armies) has left to us a posterity (remnant, elect), we would become as Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah (these verses concern the election of Israel and that there would be a small minority of believing Jews compared to the majority of unbelieving Jews. This was predicted, so what is happening does not mean that the Lord has rejected Israel. It means that God saves some because he is merciful and he condemns rest because he is just).” (30) What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness , even the righteousness which is by faith (apart from works); (31) but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness (by works) did not arrive at the law of righteousness (all the legalistic efforts of those who thought they could earn righteousness was set aside because faith was given by God’s mercy and the exercise of that gift fulfilled the only requirement for obtaining righteousness from God. To follow the Torah is a good thing and not done away with by faith-Rom 3.31-Paul is not against Torah observance but he is against the concept that following the Torah apart from faith to gain righteousness, which is not in the purposes of God). (31) Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though by works (self effort). They stumbled over the stumbling stone (they rejected Yeshua and pursued a law of works righteousness) (33) just as it is written, “Behold I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in him will not be disappointed (

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