Nazarene Commentary 2000©

21st Century Paraphrase of the Hebrew Scriptures©
21st Century Version of the Christian Scriptures© [NCMM]

Locate verse: how?
reveal all notes
Locate verse: Type a verse reference like 'Romans 10:9' or abbreviated 'Rm 10:9'. By just typing the verse one can jump to the corresponding verse on the active page (only works if the current page displays a chapter). If a chapter and a verse is entered without a book, the current selected book is assumed. Providing only the name of a book will bring one to the chapter index of that book. Examples (without the quotes): '1 Tim 3:16', 'Rv 1:8', 'Matthew 5', '3:16', '8', 'Phm'.

THE LETTER TO THE ROMANS

CHAPTER NINE:
“God’s Merciful Justice”

[“Merciful Choosing”]
Key word: Mercy
Theme Verse: 16

Romans 9:1-5 – Paul’s Grief for the Jews

RO9:1 I speak the truth in harmony with Christ. 508 I am not lying as my conscience bears witness to me in holy Pneuma. 509
508 I speak the truth in harmony with Christ: Paul now moves on to a major subject: how the Jews and non-Jews fit into God’s purpose and its relationship to mercy. He will describe two kinds of Israels just as he defined two kinds of Jews in Romans 2:28, 29.
509 I am not lying as my conscience bears witness to me in holy Pneuma: Or, KJV: I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost; TCN: my conscience, enlightened by the Holy Spirit; NEB: assures me it is no lie. Paul is about to say something packed with great emotion. We have reached a monumental mark in the letter to the Romans. Research the subject of conscience or the Greek SYNEIDE. (1 Corinthians chapters 8 and 10 contain the word “conscience” more than any other part of the Bible.)
RO9:2 Because great is my grief and unceasing pain to my heart. 510
510 Great is my grief and unceasing pain to my heart: Or, KJV: great heaviness and continual sorrow; RHM: incessant travail; ABU: unceasing anguish; GDS: constantly distressed; TCN: a great weight of sorrow… my heart is never free from pain. Compare notes on Romans 10:1.
RO9:3 For I wish to be the very one who is anathema 511 and [separated] from the Messiah 512 on behalf of my brothers, my fleshly relatives 513
511 I wish to be the very one who is anathema: Or, KJV: accursed; CON: cast out; MOF: banished from; NOR: sentenced to separation. Paul suggests the real condition of the Jews now. In Ephesians 2:12 he writes the non-Jews had once been alienated from Christ. Paul wishes he could become the cursed one, separated from Christ, just as Israel – to take their place. Paul uses ANATHEMA [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #331, without hope of being redeemed] elsewhere. (Galatians 1:9) Paul has described the state of the Jews in Romans 1:16-32. There are two factors behind the general curse on Israel: a] Failure to obey God’s Law [read Deuteronomy chapter 28]; and, b] Failure to listen to The Prophet. [Deuteronomy 18:19]
512 [Separated] from the Messiah: Or, KJV: from Christ; CON: cast out from Christ; MOF: banished from; NOR: sentenced to separation from Christ. In general by their own choice the Jews rejected Messiah in favor of a criminal.
513 My fleshly relatives: Or, KJV: kinsmen according to the flesh; MOF: my natural kinsmen; KNX: kinsmen by race. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:22 and Philippians 3:5. It is clear Paul has in mind fleshly Israel who are now separated from Messiah. Some of Paul’s relatives are mentioned in Romans 16:7 and Romans 16:21.
RO9:4 who are Israelites – to whom belong 514 the adoption as sons, 515 the glory, 516 the covenants, 517 the giving of the Law, 518 the formal worship rites, 519 and the promises 520
514 Who are Israelites – to whom belong: Paul has mentioned the advantage of the Jew in Romans 3:1 and he now lists six or seven blessings the nation of Israel had enjoyed in the past.
515 Adoption as sons: Israel (“the Jew first”) were the first in line to be invited to spiritual adoption in Christ. See notes on Romans 1:16; 8:15, 23; and, Ephesians 1:5.
516 The glory: Or, TCN: the visible presence; GDS: God’s glorious presence; CON: the glory of the Schechinah; NEB: splendour of the divine presence. Compare Deuteronomy 26:19 and 2 Corinthians 3:7-10. (Leviticus 9:6; Numbers 14:21; 1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 5:14; 7:3; Isaiah 35:2; 40:5; 58:8; 60:1)
517 Covenants: Or, GDS: divine agreements. Mainly the Abrahamic and Law covenants. (Acts 3:25; 7:8; 2 Corinthians 3:14; Galatians 3:15; 4:24; see notes on Ephesians 2:12; Hebrews 8:7, 9; 9:15-18, 20) The promise of a “new covenant” with Israel (Judah) was also foretold in Jeremiah 31:31-35. (See covenant in Hebrews.)
518 The giving of the Law: Or, TCN: the revealed Law. (Exodus 24:12; Galatians 3:19)
519 Formal worship rites: Or, KJV: the service of God; TCN: temple worship. The Greek is LATREIA (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2999) and is one of the words often rendered by “worship” leading to some confusion. Compare John 4:21-24. LATREIA may refer to religious worship in some structured and formal manner as characterized by the priesthood of Israel. Compare Acts 26:7 and Hebrews 9:1.
520 Promises: The key “promises” were those of Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 12:3; 17:6; 18:18; 22:17; see notes on Romans 4:13 and Ephesians 2:12. (Joshua 14:10-12; Acts 13:32) Read Joshua 21:45.
RO9:5 of the forefathers from whom the Messiah came 521 according to [the] flesh – the one who is over everything, 522 [a] blessed god 523 throughout all [future] periods of time. 524 Amen!
521 The forefathers from whom the Messiah came: Or, GDS: physically; WEY: in respect of his human lineage. See notes on Matthew 1:17 and related cross-references.
522 The one who is over everything: A problem develops with this concluding phrase. Some view it as directed to The God though He is not mentioned in the immediate context; others view it as applying to Christ who is in the immediate context. Some draw trinitarian conclusions from this (though no Holy Ghost is mentioned); others see it as an indication that the Risen Christ was viewed as divine or a god in a qualified and limited sense. Some translations will apply it to the God and Father of Jesus, while others will apply it to Jesus himself. It is admitted the phrase may go either way. See notes on Romans 9:5 in De Trinitatis Erroribus in Nazarene Commentary 2000.
523 [A] blessed god: Or, KJV: God blessed. Literally EU-LOGETOS (2128), or, well-word, and may be “[a] blessed (one).” That the heavenly Lord Jesus is designated “a god” is demonstrated by Psalm 8:5; 45:7; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, 18; [possibly John 20:28]; Hebrews 1:8. (See notes on John 1:1 and John 1:18.)
524 Throughout all [future] periods of time: Or, KJV: for ever; MOF for evermore; WEY: throughout the ages. The phrase means: into all future periods of time.

Romans 9:6-13 – True “Israel”

RO9:6 However, it is not as though the Word of The God has failed. 525 For not all those from Israel are “Israel.” 526
525 It is not as though the Word of The God has failed: Paul has just strongly stated that his own brethren in fleshly Israel are cursed and separated from the Messiah. Have God’s promises failed. He argues, No! and goes on to explain why. Or, PME: now this does not mean that God’s word to Israel has failed. (Numbers 23:19)
526 For not all those from Israel are “Israel”: Or, KJV: for they are not all Israel, which are of Israel; WMS: not everybody that is descended from Israel really belongs to Israel. The Nazarene taught, “Your house is abandoned to you.” (See notes on Matthew 23:38) And, “The realm of heaven will be taken from you and given to a nation producing its fruitage.” (See notes on Matthew 21:43) Paul has already defined a true Jew in Romans 2:28, 29. In his letters he also mentions a “fleshly Israel” as opposed to another – an Israel of God. (1 Corinthians 10:18; Galatians 3:29 and Galatians 6:16) Only those who walk in the faith of Abraham and believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah are the true “Israel.”
RO9:7 Nor, because they are the seed of Abraham [are they] all children [of Abraham], 527 but “Your seed will be called Isaac.” 528 [Genesis 21:2]
527 Nor, because they are the seed of Abraham [are they] all children [of Abraham]: Or, MON: they are not all children of Abraham because they are Abraham’s descendants. Note the Nazarene at John 8:39. (Galatians 3:29)
528 Your seed will be called Isaac: Paul quotes Genesis 21:12 to show that the seed of Abraham is according to a promise. (Hebrews 11:18)
RO9:8 That is, the fleshly children are not the children of The God; 529 rather, the children of the promise are accounted as the Seed. 530
529 The fleshly children are not the children of The God: This is Paul’s inspired deduction from Genesis 21:12 for Isaac was named before he was born by a miracle of God according to the promise. (Galatians 4:23) Abraham had other children in a “fleshly” manner, not by a promise.
530 The children of the promise are accounted as the Seed: The fleshly children of Abraham are not the “Seed” of Abraham. (See notes on Romans 2:28, 29; Galatians 3:29; see notes on John 1:12, 13)
RO9:9 For the word of promise is this: 531 “At the season I will return and Sarah will have a son.” [Genesis 18:10]
531 The word of promise is this: Paul gives another verse indicating of the ongoing promise of God – Genesis 18:10.
RO9:10 But, not only that, but also Rebekah was bedded 532 by one man, Isaac 533 our forefather.
532 Bedded: The Greek is COITEN [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2845, marriage bed], the word for “bed” which became coitus, or sexual intercourse. Twins are inferred by the following.
533 Also Rebekah was bedded by one man, Isaac: Paul gives another example of the promised seed. (Genesis 25:24)
RO9:11 For, before they were yet born 534 – before they had practiced anything good or vile 535 – so that the choosing was by the purpose of The God 536 and not based on works, 537 and rather based on the One inviting 538
534 Before they were yet born: That is her twins, Jacob and Esau. (Genesis 25:24)
535 Before they had practiced anything good or vile: So ruling our any pre-existence of the soul. God can see an embryo, however, and we may assume make certain judgments based on DNA as modern medicine seems to point. (Psalm 139:16)
536 The choosing was by the purpose of The God: Or, KJV: that the purpose of God according to election might stand; GDS: selection; WEY: electing purpose; KNX: as his own choice; MOF: to confirm the divine purpose in election. The Greek word is ECLOGEN (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #1589), or (divine) choosing.
537 Not based on works: Paul introduces a subject he will go on to discuss in other letters. Neither Jacob nor Esau had ever performed a good or bad work so that God’s choosing was not motivated by deeds.
538 Rather based on the One inviting: Or, KJV: but him that calleth. The Greek is KALOUNTOS (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2563), a loud call or invitation. See notes elsewhere on invite or calling. (See notes on Matthew 22:14.) Both Jacob and Esau are children of the seed of Abraham, but only one will become “Israel.”
RO9:12 it was said to her, “The lesser will be the slave of the greater.” 539 [Genesis 25:23]
539 The lesser will be the slave of the greater: Or, KJV: the elder shall serve the younger. These are twins and the difference in their age is virtually infinitesimal though God knows. God has made His choice based on His purpose not a technicality of who was born first. This also affects two future great nations of people. (Genesis 25:23)
RO9:13 Just as it has been written, “I loved Jacob but I hated Esau.” 540 [Malachi 1:2, 3]
540 I loved Jacob but I hated Esau: Or, KNX: I have been a friend to Jacob, and an enemy to Esau; BER: To Jacob I was drawn, but Esau I repudiated. “Hate” in the Bible is not always as harsh as it seems in English: it may mean someone is loved less or preferred than another as in the case of Rachel and Leah. Paul quotes from Malachi 1:2, 3. In the Greek here in Romans 9:13 the word for “love” is EGAPESA (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #25). Compare Hebrews 12:16.

Romans 9:14-18 – God’s Merciful Choosing

RO9:14 What, then, will we say? Is there injustice with The God? 541 No, never!
541 Is there injustice with The God: Or, KJV: is there unrighteousness with God; GDS: that God is guilty of injustice. That is, was God unfair in choosing between two unborn twins before either one could produce works pleasurable to God. (Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 34:10)
RO9:15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy 542 upon whom ever I have mercy, and, I will have compassion upon whom ever I will have compassion.” [Exodus 33:19]
542 I will have mercy: Paul quotes Exodus 33:19. Moses had asked to see God’s glory which led to the quotation here. Moses is positioned in a hole on a rock cliff to observe a manifestation of Yehowah. The Angel of Yehowah declared the following, describing the character of God: “Yehowah, Yehowah – a God merciful and gracious, slow to become angry and abounding in covenant-loyalty and truthfulness, keeping covenant-loyalty with a thousand generations, forgiving error, transgression and sin, but never letting the guilty go free from punishment, punishing the error of fathers upon their children and grand-children to the third and fourth generations.” (Exodus 34:6, 7)
RO9:16 So, then, it does not depend on the one wishing, 543 or on the one running. 544 Rather, it depends upon the One having mercy, God. 545
543 It does not depend on the one wishing: Or, KJV: willeth; MOF: not a question of human will; TCN: human wishes. The case of Jacob and Esau demonstrates this principle.
544 Or on the one running: Or, TCN: human efforts.
545 It depends upon the One having mercy, God: Or, MOF: divine mercy; TCN: God’s mercy. (Psalm 115:3)
RO9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very reason I raised you up 546 so that I may demonstrate in you My power 547 and so that My Name may be declared in all the earth.” 548 [Exodus 9:16]
546 For this very reason I raised you up: Paul quotes Exodus 9:16 to show God’s purpose in permitting Pharaoh to exercise power, and thus permitting oppression upon the Israelites. Compare notes on Romans 13:1. (Daniel 4:32, 37)
547 Demonstrate in you My power: Including the ten plagues and the destruction of Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea phenomenon.
548 My Name may be declared in all the earth: God’s Name was explained to Moses at Exodus 3:14 and it was in the Name Yehowah that Moses presented himself to Pharaoh. (Exodus 5:2) The account in the book of Joshua shows how the Name YHWH had spread into other areas. (Joshua 2:9, 10)
RO9:18 So, then, upon whomever He wills He has mercy; 549 but, whomever He wills He hardens. 550
549 Upon whomever He wills He has mercy: The conclusion is simple: if He is God He may show mercy as He pleases. See the Ten Commandments and Exodus 20:6.
550 Whomever He wills He hardens: Or, NEB: makes men stubborn as he chooses. As in the case of Pharaoh. (Exodus 10:1; 14:4)

Romans 9:19-26 – Why God Permits Evil

RO9:19 Will you say to me, “Then, why does He still find fault? 551 For who has resisted His stated purpose?” 552
551 Then, why does He still find fault: Or, CON: why does God still blame us. Perhaps, “How can God still be the Judge, then?” Paul anticipates a question.
552 For who has resisted His stated purpose: Or, CON: resist his will; MOF: oppose his will; BAS: who is able to go against. God’s will and purpose will be realized and no one can resist or change it. An echo of Job 23:13 and Daniel 4:35. (2 Chronicles 20:6)
RO9:20 Rather, O human, who are you to be answering back to The God. 553 “Will the formed say to the Former, 554 ‘Why did you make me so?’” 555 [Isaiah 29:16]
553 Who are you to be answering back to The God: Or, KNX: bandy words with; WEY: cavil against; LAM: question; MOF: speak back; TCN: arguing with. This is the bottom line. God may rightly do as He pleased as His attributes are perfectly balanced: love, justice, power and wisdom. Surely an echo of Job 40:2.
554 Will the formed say to the Former: Or, GDS: a thing that is molded say to its maker; KNX: is the pot to ask the potter. The Greek is PLASMA, PLASANTI (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4110, 4111) from which the English “plastic” and “plasma” comes. Paul here quotes Isaiah 29:16. (Genesis 2:7)
555 Why did you make me so: Or, TCN: why did you make me like this. A common question but here asked with an attitude of accusing the Maker. (Isaiah 45:9)
RO9:21 Or, does not the Potter possess the authority to make out of the same lump of clay, 556 indeed, an honorable vessel as well as a dishonorable one? 557
556 Does not the Potter possess the authority to make out of the same lump of clay: Or, TCN: absolute power over; ABU: a right over; KNX: free to do what he will. Compare Isaiah 64:9 and the right attitude. (Jeremiah 18:6)
557 An honorable vessel as well as a dishonorable one: Or, TCN: one for better and another for common use; MOF: noble… menial; GDS: exalted… menial; WMS: ornamental… degrading. The Greek for “honorable” is TIMEN (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5092) from which comes the name Timothy. Compare 2 Timothy 2:20. The Potter may do as He wills with the clay just as the Maker formed the clay of Eden to the being of His choice. (Genesis 2:7)
RO9:22 However, The God – though having the power to demonstrate His wrath 558 and to make known His power – endured with much tolerance 559 vessels of wrath prepared for destruction. 560
558 Though having the power to demonstrate His wrath: Or, KJV: willing to shew his wrath; MOF: desirous to delay his anger; PME: expose his wrath against. No one would argue with the power or will of the Creator.
559 Endured with much tolerance: Or, KJV: long-suffering; TCN: tolerated most patiently; GDS: great patience. No one, even a critic, could question God’s patient tolerance of humanity. Compare Acts 17:30. God has patiently endured the atrocities of the oppressive though this has brought unhappiness and injury to a majority. There is a reason for His toleration of wickedness.
560 Vessels of wrath prepared for destruction: Or, TCN: objects of his displeasure; BER: agents that deserve wrath and are maturing for destruction. An example may be the Canaanites with whom God waited centuries until their sin justified execution by means of His chosen nation. (Genesis 15:16) As this “error” grew others no doubt suffered while God tolerated these waiting to deliver His own.
RO9:23 So that He might make known His glorious riches upon vessels of mercy 561 prepared in advance for glory 562
561 Make known His glorious riches upon vessels of mercy: Or, TCN: surpassing glory in dealing with the objects of his mercy; NEB: to make know the full wealth of his splendour. Paul was such a vessel. (Acts 9:15)
562 Prepared in advance for glory: Or, TCN: prepared beforehand; MOD: made ready beforehand to receive glory; GDS: prepared from the beginning. See notes on Romans 8:29, 30.
RO9:24 us, whom He called 563 not only from among the Jews but also from the non-Jews. 564
563 Us, whom He called: Or, invited. (See notes on Matthew 22:14.) The “vessels of mercy” are those disciples of the Nazarene, the Christians, both Jews and non-Jews.
564 Not only from among the Jews but also from the non-Jews: Or, MOF: Gentiles; GDS: heathen. See notes on Ephesians 3:6. These two racial groups of humanity compose those “vessels of mercy” – the real Israel. See notes on Romans 2:28, 29 and Romans 9:6.
RO9:25 Just as also Hosea states, 565 “I will invite people not My ‘people’ 566 and the one not beloved, ‘Beloved’. 567
565 Hosea states: Paul makes a conflate or compound paraphrase from several phrases in Hosea, drawing them together into an interpretative rendering. (Hosea 1:10; 2:1)
566 I will invite people not My ‘people’: See notes on Ephesians 2:12. It is God’s intended purpose to call those not of His chosen people. Fleshly Israel may be viewed as a “vessel of wrath” used by God in His tolerance until the “vessels of mercy” appeared on the scene. On “invite” or “call” see notes on Matthew 22:14.
567 The one not beloved, ‘Beloved’: Or, RSV: and her who was not beloved, I will call ‘my beloved’. (Hosea 2:23) Compare notes on Matthew 21:43. (1 Peter 2:10)
RO9:26 And it will occur that in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ 568 there they will be called ‘Sons of a Living God’.” 569 [Hosea 2:1; 1:10; 1:6]
568 You are not My people: From Hosea 1:10. Compare 1 Peter 2:10. The Gentiles or non-Jews were not God’s people, but they will become His people while fleshly Israel is cursed. (See notes on Romans 9:3.)
569 They will be called ‘Sons of a Living God’: Though Israel become as numerous as the stars or sand on the beach it will be those viewed by the Jews as not included among the People of God, the Sons of God. (Hosea 1:10) Compare notes on John 1:12, 13 and Romans 8:14.

Romans 9:27-29 – A Remnant Saved

RO9:27 However, Isaiah cries out regarding the Israel, 570 “Though the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea [it is] the remnant [who] will be saved. 571
570 Isaiah cries out regarding the Israel: The Greek has the article with “Israel” and it is possible Paul means a certain “Israel” – that one of Romans 9:6. He quotes Isaiah 10:22, 23.
571 [It is] the remnant [who] will be saved: From Isaiah 10:22 in the Septuagint where the word is “saved” rather than the “returned” in the Hebrew Text. No matter how large fleshly Israel ever becomes only a remnant will be saved. Here “saved” seems to mean that salvation which belongs to the Church. See notes on Romans 8:24 and Romans 11:5.
RO9:28 Because YHWH will conclude an accounting upon the earth and do it suddenly.” 572 [Isaiah 10:22, 23]
572 YHWH will conclude an accounting upon the earth and do it suddenly: Or, KJV: he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth; ASV: execute his word; TCN: execute his sentence upon the world; MOF: carry out his sentence; WEY: a final and summary reckoning. The word for “account” is LOGON (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #3056) and one can see “log” in it, that is, the account ledger. (Isaiah 10:23) It is possible when Isaiah says “earth” he means the land of Israel during what the Nazarene called “the day of inspection.” (Luke 19:44) This later phrase is in the prophetic context of the desolation of Jerusalem during the Jewish Wars, 66-73 CE. Jesus also refers to a cutting short or sudden end to this desolation on Jerusalem itself. See notes on Matthew 24:22.
RO9:29 Also, just as Isaiah said earlier, “If the YHWH Sabaoth 573 had not let our seed remain we would have become like Sodom 574 and would be compared to Gomorrah.” [Isaiah 1:9]
573 YHWH Sabaoth: Or, RHM: Lord of hosts; NW: of armies. The Greek SABAOTH (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4519) is a military designation of God. This is a Hebraism which would seem to infer the Tetragram YHWH ought to go with it. The unique designation occurs again at James 5:4.
574 Had not let our seed remain we would have become like Sodom: Paul quotes Isaiah 1:9. How Yehowah viewed Israel is expressed in Isaiah 1:2-8. Compare this with Paul’s judgment at Romans 1:24-32. Paul has already stated that only a “remnant” of Jews has appeared during those “last days” before the destruction of Jerusalem. (See Romans 9:27 and Romans 11:5.)

Romans 9:30-33 – Jews Stumble, Non-Jews Attain

RO9:30 What shall we say, then? That non-Jews, not pursuing righteousness, attained righteousness 575 – but the righteousness [belonging to] belief. 576
575 Non-Jews, not pursuing righteousness, attained righteousness: Or, PME: who never had the Law’s standard of righteousness to guide them; MOF: who never aimed at righteousness. The non-Jews were without God’s revealed Law which defined His standard for righteousness. This does not absolutely mean they were not righteous by the standard of the conscience, as Paul has already argued. See notes on Romans 2:14 and Romans 2:26. See notes Romans 10:20.
576 The righteousness [belonging to] belief: Or, KJV: even the righteousness which is of faith; TCN: the result of faith; GDS: produced by faith; WEY: dependent on faith; WMS: conditioned on faith. See notes on Romans 1:17 and Romans 4:11. He means those non-Jews which have now become sons of God by discipleship to Jesus the Nazarene. (Philippians 3:9)
RO9:31 However, Israel, pursuing a Law of righteousness did not attain that Law. 577
577 Israel, pursuing a Law of righteousness did not attain that Law: Or, KJV: followed after; NOR: seeking justification by law; GDS: Israel, straining after a law that should bring uprightness. (Galatians 2:21; 5:4) That is, did not attain to the righteousness of Law.
RO9:32 Why was that? [They did not attain righteousness] because of not believing 578 but rather [pursued it by] works [of Law]. 579 They stumbled against the stone of stumbling. 580
578 [They did not attain righteousness] because of not believing: Or, KJV: because they sought it not by faith; BER: because their principle was not faith; NEB: because their efforts were not based on faith. (Galatians 2:16)
579 But rather [pursued it by] works [of Law]: Or, KJV: but as it were by the works of the law; MON: thought to gain it by works; RSV: based on works; BEC: they thought they could get it by works. Paul would be a good judge of the general Jewish attitude about the Law of Moses judging from Philippians 3:5, 6.
580 They stumbled against the stone of stumbling: Or, KJV: they stumbled at that stumbling-stone; GDS: that stone that makes people stumble; BER: the stone that occasions stumbling. See notes on Romans 10:11. (1 Peter 2:6) An allusion to Isaiah 8:14 before quoting the entire verse. Fleshly Israel stumbled on the Messiah. The Nazarene also quotes a similar text at Psalm 118:22. (Luke 20:18; 1 Corinthians 1:23) Isaiah chapter 53 foretold Israel’s general reaction to the Messiah.
RO9:33 Just as it has been written: “Behold, I place in Zion a stone of stumbling 581 and a rock of offense, 582 and the one believing on him will not be ashamed.” 583 [Isaiah 8:14]
581 I place in Zion a stone of stumbling: Judging from Paul’s quotation of Psalm 2:7 at Acts 13:33 this placement would be upon the Lord’s ascension to heaven in the year 33 CE. (Psalm 2:6) If this is correct then it is following the death of Christ that the Jews would stumble.
582 A rock of offense: Or, TCN: a rock which shall prove a hindrance; MOF: a rock to trip them up. Compare Isaiah 8:14. On “stumbling” see notes on Matthew 13:57; 15:12. (John 6:61)
583 The one believing on him will not be ashamed: Or, ASV: not be put to shame; CON: confounded; WEY: disappointed. Consider “shame” at Daniel 12:2 and 1 John 2:28.

Summary of Chapter Nine

Paul swears about his grief for his Jewish flesh and wishes he could replace them in their cursed situation. He launches into one of his lists regarding the former blessings of Israel and then praises the Messiah as a god.

Paul clarifies who “Israel” may be – that is the true Jews who make up the “Israel of God.” Paul cites several verses to establish that God chooses or invites according to His own purpose and not based on some fleshly relationship.

Paul raises the logical question – God’s justice in choosing as He wills and not based on works. He quotes from Moses when Yehowah declared His attributes: though He is merciful He will choose to whom He is merciful. God choosing depends on his mercy and not the one wishing for it. He gives the example of God’s preservation of Pharaoh in order to show His power and declare His name. God will choose whom he pities and whom he hardens.

Paul raises another logical question, Why does God continue to judge? He uses Isaiah 29:16 as an illustration of not trying to rebut God. The Potter may do as He will with the clay. The reason God has tolerated wickedness is in order to show His mercy upon vessels of His choice, the Christians invited from Jews and non-Jews. He shows how Hosea foretold that the Sons of God would come to be from among those not considered His People.

Paul quotes Isaiah to prove that a remnant of Israel will be saved during God’s accounting with the land of Judah.

Paul explains why the non-Jews attained righteousness while the Jews stumbled. He quotes and applies Isaiah 8:14 (Isaiah 28:16) from the Hebrew Text.

Review Questions on Chapter Nine

  • What assurance does Paul give?
  • What does Paul wish?
  • How does Paul describe the blessings on Israel in the past?
  • Who is the blessed God?
  • What does Paul say about real Israel?
  • How does he show that the fleshly children are not the children of God?
  • What examples does he give?
  • What Bible verses does he quote?
  • What is Paul’s main point?
  • What is Paul’s question?
  • What is God like according to Moses?
  • Why did God raise up Pharaoh?
  • What is Paul’s main point?
  • What question does Paul raise?
  • What example does he give to explain?
  • What Scripture does Paul use to show who the vessels of mercy are?
  • Why does God tolerate wickedness?
  • What Scriptures does Paul quote?
  • Among Israel who would be saved?
  • Why did the Jews stumble?
  • What text does Paul quote?

Nazarene Commentary 2000©

Mark Heber Miller

©2000 All Rights Reserved