The Remnant of Israel
1I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”11:3 1 Kings 19:10,14? 4And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”11:4 1 Kings 19:18 5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
7What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that could not see
and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”11:8 Deut. 29:4; Isaiah 29:10
9And David says:
“May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.”11:10 Psalm 69:22,23
11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
All Israel Will Be Saved
25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26and in this way11:26 Or and so all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27And this is11:27 Or will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”11:27 Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9 (see Septuagint); Jer. 31:33,34
28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now11:31 Some manuscripts do not have now. receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and11:33 Or riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”11:34 Isaiah 40:13
35“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”11:35 Job 41:11
36For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
The Israelites Who Are Faithful
1So here is what I ask. Did God turn his back on his people? Not at all! I myself belong to Israel. I am one of Abraham’s children. I am from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God didn’t turn his back on his people. After all, he chose them. Don’t you know what Scripture says about Elijah? He complained to God about Israel. 3He said, “Lord, they have killed your prophets. They have torn down your altars. I’m the only one left. And they are trying to kill me.” (1 Kings 19:10,14) 4How did God answer him? God said, “I have kept 7,000 people for myself. They have not bowed down to Baal.” (1 Kings 19:18) 5Some are also faithful today. They have been chosen by God’s grace. 6And if they are chosen by grace, then they can’t work for it. If that were true, grace wouldn’t be grace anymore.
7What should we say then? The people of Israel did not receive what they wanted so badly. Those Israelites who were chosen did receive it. But the rest of the people were made stubborn. 8It is written,
“God made it hard for them to understand.
He gave them eyes that could not see.
He gave them ears that could not hear.
And they are still like that today.” (Deuteronomy 29:4; Isaiah 29:10)
“Let their feast be a trap and a snare.
Let them trip and fall. Let them get what’s coming to them.
10Let their eyes grow dark so they can’t see.
Let their backs be bent forever.” (Psalm 69:22,23)
Two Kinds of Olive Branches
11Again, here is what I ask. The Israelites didn’t trip and fall once and for all time, did they? Not at all! Because Israel sinned, the Gentiles can be saved. That will make Israel jealous of them. 12Israel’s sin brought riches to the world. Their loss brings riches to the Gentiles. So then what greater riches will come when all Israel turns to God!
13I am talking to you who are not Jews. I am the apostle to the Gentiles. So I take pride in the work I do for God and others. 14I hope somehow to stir up my own people to want what you have. Perhaps I can save some of them. 15When they were not accepted, it became possible for the whole world to be brought back to God. So what will happen when they are accepted? It will be like life from the dead. 16The first handful of dough that is offered is holy. This makes all of the dough holy. If the root is holy, so are the branches.
17Some of the natural branches have been broken off. You are a wild olive branch. But you have been joined to the tree with the other branches. Now you enjoy the life-giving sap of the olive tree root. 18So don’t think you are better than the other branches. Remember, you don’t give life to the root. The root gives life to you. 19You will say, “Some branches were broken off so that I could be joined to the tree.” 20That’s true. But they were broken off because they didn’t believe. You stand only because you do believe. So don’t be proud, but tremble. 21God didn’t spare the natural branches. He won’t spare you either.
22Think about how kind God is! Also think about how firm he is! He was hard on those who stopped following him. But he is kind to you. So you must continue to live in his kindness. If you don’t, you also will be cut off. 23If the people of Israel do not continue in their unbelief, they will again be joined to the tree. God is able to join them to the tree again. 24After all, weren’t you cut from a wild olive tree? Weren’t you joined to an olive tree that was taken care of? And wasn’t that the opposite of how things should be done? How much more easily will the natural branches be joined to their own olive tree!
All Israel Will Be Saved
25Brothers and sisters, here is a mystery I want you to understand. It will keep you from being proud. Part of Israel has refused to obey God. That will continue until the full number of Gentiles has entered God’s kingdom. 26In this way all Israel will be saved. It is written,
“The God who saves will come from Mount Zion.
He will remove sin from Jacob’s family.
27Here is my covenant with them.
I will take away their sins.” (Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9; Jeremiah 31:33,34)
28As far as the good news is concerned, the people of Israel are enemies. This is for your good. But as far as God’s choice is concerned, the people of Israel are loved. This is because of God’s promises to the founders of our nation. 29God does not take back his gifts. He does not change his mind about those he has chosen. 30At one time you did not obey God. But now you have received mercy because Israel did not obey. 31In the same way, Israel has not been obeying God. But now they receive mercy because of God’s mercy to you. 32God has found everyone guilty of not obeying him. So now he can have mercy on everyone.
Praise to God
33How very rich are God’s wisdom and knowledge!
How he judges is more than we can understand!
The way he deals with people is more than we can know!
34“Who can ever know what the Lord is thinking?
Or who can ever give him advice?” (Isaiah 40:13)
35“Has anyone ever given anything to God,
so that God has to pay them back?” (Job 41:11)
36All things come from him.
All things are directed by him.
All things are for his praise.
May God be given the glory forever! Amen.