Amplified Bible

Romans 9

Concern for Israel

1I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For [if it were possible] I would wish that I myself were accursed, [separated, banished] from Christ for the sake [of the salvation] of my brothers, my natural kinsmen, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, the glory ([a]Shekinah), the [special] covenants [with Abraham, Moses, and David], the giving of the Law, the [system of temple] worship, and the [original] promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to His natural descent, came the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), He who is exalted and supreme over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

However, it is not as though God’s word has failed [coming to nothing]. For not all who are descended from Israel (Jacob) are [the true] Israel; and they are not all the children of Abraham because they are his descendants [by blood], but [the promise was]: “Your descendants will be named through Isaac” [though Abraham had other sons]. That is, it is not the children of the body [Abraham’s natural descendants] who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are counted as [Abraham’s true] descendants. For this is what the promise said: “About this time [next year] I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only that, but this too: Rebekah conceived twin sons by one man [under the same circumstances], by our father Isaac; 11 and though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything either good or bad, so that God’s purpose [His choice, His election] would stand, not because of works [done by either child], but because of [the plan of] Him who calls them, 12 it was said to her, “The [b]older (Esau) will serve the [c]younger (Jacob).” 13 As it is written and forever remains written, “[d]Jacob I loved (chose, protected, blessed), but [e]Esau I hated (held in disregard compared to Jacob).”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I have compassion.” 16 So then God’s choice is not dependent on human will, nor on human effort [the totality of human striving], but on God who shows mercy [to whomever He chooses—it is His sovereign gift]. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “I raised you up for this very purpose, to display My power in [dealing with] you, and so that My name would be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then, He has mercy on whom He wills (chooses), and He hardens [the heart of] whom He wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still blame me [for sinning]? For who [including myself] has [ever] resisted His will and purpose?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers [arrogantly] back to God and dares to defy Him? Will the thing which is formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does the potter not have the right over the clay, to make from the same lump [of clay] one object for honorable use [something beautiful or distinctive] and another for common use [something ordinary or menial]? 22 What if God, although willing to show His [terrible] wrath and to make His power known, has tolerated with great patience the objects of His wrath [which are] prepared for destruction? 23 And what if He has done so to make known the riches of His glory to the objects of His mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory, 24 including us, whom He also called, not only from among the Jews, but also from among the Gentiles? 25 Just as He says in [the writings of the prophet] Hosea:

I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And [I will call] her who was not beloved, ‘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.”

27 And Isaiah calls out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is only the remnant [a small believing minority] that will be saved [from God’s judgment]; 28 For the Lord will execute His word upon the earth [He will conclude His dealings with mankind] completely and without delay.” 29 It is as Isaiah foretold,

If the Lord of Hosts had not left us seed [future generations from which a believing remnant of Israelites came],
We would have become like Sodom, and would have resembled Gomorrah [totally rejected and destroyed]!”

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness [who did not seek salvation and a right relationship with God, nevertheless] obtained righteousness, that is, the righteousness which is produced by faith; 31 whereas Israel, [though always] pursuing the law of righteousness, did not succeed in fulfilling the law. 32 And why not? Because it was not by faith [that they pursued it], but as though it were by works [relying on the merit of their works instead of their faith]. They stumbled over the stumbling Stone [Jesus Christ]. 33 As it is written and forever remains written,

Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense;
And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”

Notas al pie

  1. Romans 9:4 The Hebrew word “Shekinah” (“divine presence”) does not appear in Scripture, but has been used by both Christians and Jews to describe the visible Presence of God (the brilliant light of the divine), in such things as the burning bush, the cloud and the pillar of fire that led the Hebrews in the wilderness, and the Presence of God that rested between the cherubim over the mercy seat of the ark. It is said in the Talmud that the Emperor Hadrian once told a rabbi, “I want to see your God.” The rabbi replied, “You cannot see him.” “Indeed,” said the Emperor, “I will see him.” So the rabbi took the Emperor and positioned him to face the sun during the summer solstice, and said to him, “Look at it.” He replied, “I am not able to.” The rabbi said, “If you are not able to look at the sun, which is merely one of the servants that attend the Holy One—blessed be He—then how can you presume to look at the divine presence!”
  2. Romans 9:12 The descendants of Esau, the Edomites.
  3. Romans 9:12 The descendants of Jacob (Israel), the Israelites.
  4. Romans 9:13 The Israelites received God’s protection and blessing.
  5. Romans 9:13 The Edomites were left to God’s judgment.

Chinese Contemporary Bible (Traditional)

羅馬書 9

上帝的選民

1我在基督裡說真話,絕無謊言。我被聖靈感動的良心可以作證, 我心裡極為憂愁,痛苦不止! 為了我的弟兄——我的同胞以色列人,即使我自己被咒詛、與基督隔絕,我也願意! 身為以色列人,他們擁有上帝兒子的名分、上帝的榮耀、諸約、律法、聖殿敬拜和各種應許。 蒙揀選的族長是他們的先祖,基督降世為人也是做以色列人。祂是至大至尊,永遠當受稱頌的上帝。阿們!

當然,這並不表示上帝的話落了空,因為從以色列生的,不一定都是以色列人, 亞伯拉罕的後裔不一定都是亞伯拉罕的兒女,聖經上說:「以撒生的才可算為你的後裔。」 這話的意思是:亞伯拉罕憑血氣所生的兒女並不是上帝的兒女,只有憑應許所生的才算是他的後裔。 因為上帝曾這樣應許他:「明年這時候,我會再來,撒拉必生一個兒子。」

10 後來,利百加和我們的先祖以撒結婚,懷了雙胞胎。 11 在這對孩子還未出生,還沒有顯出誰善誰惡之前,上帝為了顯明自己揀選人並不是按人的行為,而是按祂自己的旨意, 12 便對利百加說:「將來大的要服侍小的。」 13 正如聖經上說:「我愛雅各,厭惡以掃。」

14 這樣看來,我們該怎麼下結論呢?難道上帝不公平嗎?當然不是。 15 祂曾對摩西說:

「我要憐憫誰就憐憫誰,
要恩待誰就恩待誰。」

16 可見這並不在於人的意志和努力,而在於祂的憐憫。 17 聖經記載著上帝對法老說的話:「我使你興起是為了在你身上彰顯我的權能,使我的名傳遍天下。」 18 總之,上帝要憐憫誰,就憐憫誰;要叫誰頑固,就叫誰頑固。

上帝的烈怒和憐憫

19 這樣,你肯定會對我說:「為什麼上帝還指責人呢?誰能抗拒祂的旨意呢?」 20 你這個人啊!你是誰啊?竟敢頂撞上帝!受造之物怎能對造物主說:「你為什麼把我造成這樣?」 21 陶匠難道不可以從一團泥中拿一部分造貴重的器皿,又拿一部分造平凡的器皿嗎?

22 倘若上帝要顯示祂的烈怒和權能,就儘量容忍那些祂預備要毀滅的器皿, 23 以便在那些祂憐憫並預備賜予榮耀的器皿上彰顯祂豐盛的榮耀,這難道不可以嗎? 24 那些蒙憐憫的器皿就是我們這些從猶太人和外族人中被上帝呼召的人。 25 正如上帝在《何西阿書》上說:

「本來不是我子民的,
我要稱他們為『我的子民』;
本來不是我所愛的,
我要稱他們為『我所愛的』。
26 從前我在什麼地方對他們說,
『你們不是我的子民。』
將來也要在那裡對他們說,
『你們是永活上帝的兒女。』」

27 關於以色列人,以賽亞先知曾疾呼:

「以色列人雖多如海沙,
但得救的只是剩餘的人,
28 因為上帝要在世上迅速、
徹底地執行祂的判決。」

29 以賽亞又說:

「若不是萬軍之主給我們存留後裔,
我們早就像所多瑪和蛾摩拉一樣滅亡了。」

以色列人和福音

30 這樣看來,我們該說什麼呢?本來不追求義的外族人卻因信而得到了義。 31 以色列人靠遵行律法追求義,卻徒勞無功。 32 為什麼會這樣呢?因為他們不憑信心,只靠自己的行為去追求義,結果就在那塊「絆腳石」上跌倒了。 33 正如聖經上說:

「看啊!我在錫安放了一塊絆腳石,
一塊使人跌倒的磐石。
但信靠祂的人必不致蒙羞。」