(Rom 9:1 NASB) I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
Rom 9:1: This is a familiar expression for Paul (2 Cor. 11:31, Gal. 1:20). He is emphatic in what he knows to be true. This section of Romans doesn’t deal as much with the beautiful, lofty, and comforting doctrine of obedience to Torah that was dealt with in the previous chapters. Paul left chapter 8 telling us that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of Messiah Yeshua.
It seems now that Paul is going to fall into a deep depression. I think he does, to an extent. Paul is now going to discuss the sadness he has over the fact that most “Israelites according to the flesh” (his words) rejected the New Covenant offered to them through Yeshua Messiah.
Church teachings have fallen into non-Scriptural and false assumptions concerning Israel. Virtually all churches teach that Israel = Jews. This is an erroneous belief. Israel is Elohim’s people as we have discussed on many occasions. We are a part of Israel only through the faithfulness of the Father and Paul makes that abundantly clear in Romans as well as in his other writings (Gal. 3:27-28, Eph. 2:12-13, 19, 3:6).
(Rom 9:2 NASB) that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.
(Rom 9:3 NASB) For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh,
Rom 9:3: Paul is so distraught over the fact that most of the Jewish people have rejected Messiah, that he would be willing to give up his place in the Kingdom and give it to them, if that were possible.
Notice that Paul is definitely talking about his “countrymen according to the flesh,” which are the Jewish people. He was once a Pharisee and felt the same way they did. But he certainly longs for them to know Him now.
(Rom 9:4 NASB) who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
(Rom 9:5 NASB) whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
Rom 9:5: Paul is going to list eight things that identify Israel “according to the flesh” as a people who were specifically chosen by Elohim.
1. The Adoption: Israel is an entire nation that Elohim Himself adopted and called His own “son” (Exod. 4:22, 2 Cor. 6:16-17).
2. The Glory: The glory of Elohim was physically present with the nation of Israel during the Exodus and in the Temple built by Solomon. Elohim was on the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant and stayed there until the Israel was judged and taken into exile by the Babylonians.
3. The Covenants: Elohim made covenants with Israel that He didn’t make with any other people. That includes the alleged “Old” and “New” Covenants. All the covenants are between Elohim and Israel.
4. The Law: Notice that Elohim’s Torah is a separate item from the covenants. The Torah is the condition of the covenants, but not the covenants themselves. Elohim’s Torah was given to the Israelites. It showed mankind the mind of Elohim and what He expects of them.
5. The Service of Elohim: The Israelites were to be a whole nation of priests in service to Elohim (Exod. 19:6).
Peter says this applies to all who follow Messiah (2 Peter 2:9).
6. The Promises: Elohim made many promises to the Israelites. He promised them a land that would be theirs forever. Elohim promised the Israelites prosperity that would be theirs if they obeyed Him (Deut. 28:1-6). Yeshua said the same thing to His people they seek His righteousness (observe His Father’s Torah) (Matt. 6:31-33).
7. The Fathers: The heritage of Israel through the men Elohim loved, namely, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and Moses and the ancient Israelites. Paul calls Moses and the ancient Israelites “our fathers” (1 Cor. 10:1-2). Paul also reminds us that if we belong to Messiah Yeshua, we are the seed of Abraham, heirs according to promise (Gal. 3:28-29).
8. The Messiah: This is the most important aspect of the Jewish people. The Word of Elohim came to earth as a man and that person was an Israelite.
All these blessings are given to those who love Him. But they were rejected by many of the Jews through their disobedience to His Torah and lack of fear of Elohim..
(Rom 9:6 NASB) But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
Rom 9:6: Paul says that not all these people are truly Israelites who descended from Israel. He says that Israelites are not Israelites just by birthright. Actually, they never were. They are also not Israelites by simply living in the land Elohim gave them either.
(Rom 9:7 NASB) neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but: “THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED.”
Rom 9:7: Abraham had other children besides Isaac (Genesis 17:18,19 & 25:1,2 not shown). Those other children are not part of the covenant.
(Rom 9:8 NASB) That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.
Rom 9:8: Keep in mind that Paul is still talking about his “countrymen according to the flesh (v.3).” Paul is saying that those who are of the bloodline are not necessarily Israel. It is those of the promise that are His.
Paul is carefully distinguishing between Israel (Elohim’s chosen people) and Israel “of the flesh.”
(Rom 9:9 NASB) For this is a word of promise: “AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON.”
Rom 9:9: The children of the promise are chosen before they are born, as Isaac was.
(Rom 9:10 NASB) And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
Rom 9:10: Sarah and Rebecca are used as examples of Elohim’s elect. They were chosen by Elohim because He loved them, not because they were super wonderful girls that earned their place in Elohim’s heart.
Notice here that Paul tells these Roman followers of Messiah that Isaac is “our father..” Paul is making it very clear that those who are a part of Israel are a part of Israel through faithfulness to Elohim, not through a bloodline.
(Rom 9:11 NASB) for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls,
Rom 9:11: Isaac and Jacob were chosen because they served Elohim’s purpose. Not because they had anything to offer to Elohim. They were chosen before the beginning of time. Why? That is His call, not ours. We are to trust Him and praise His name for using Isaac and Jacob in a plan that saved us.
(Rom 9:12 NASB) it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”
Rom 9:12: This is a quote from Genesis 25:22-23. Rebecca had twins in her belly and she was told who was going to be the chosen one.
(Rom 9:13 NASB) Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”
Rom 9:13: This is a quote from Malachi 1:2-3. Elohim said the older will serve the younger because He hated Esau from the very beginning. Nations sprang from Esau that hated Elohim, were idolaters, and later became what we know today to be the Muslim people. It is easy to see why Elohim hated Esau. It is a little more difficult to see why Elohim loved Jacob.
(Rom 9:14 NASB) What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
(Rom 9:15 NASB) For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”
Rom 9:15: Elohim decides on whom He will have mercy and on whom He will have compassion. That is not our call. It is His (Ex. 33:19).
(Rom 9:16 NASB) So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.
Rom 9:16: We are told here that it does not matter what we will or where we run. A man cannot will to be a child of Elohim and a man cannot run from being His child. It is Elohim’s mercy that saves us. It is not a work of our own (Isa. 65:1).
(Rom 9:17 NASB) 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.”
(Rom 9:18 NASB) So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
Rom 9:18: Elohim raised up Pharaoh in order to demonstrate His power to the whole earth. He will have mercy on whoever He decides to have mercy on. On the other hand, He will harden the hearts of those who He desires to harden also. Being one of His is not a decision we make at all. It is entirely His decision that He made before the beginning of time (Rev. 13:8, 17:8, Matt. 25:34).
(Rom 9:19 NASB) You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”
(Rom 9:20 NASB) 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?
Rom 9:20: The rejection of Messiah by fleshly Israel was a puzzle to Paul. Paul tells us later that Elohim has a plan behind it.
(Rom 9:21 NASB) Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?
(Rom 9:22 NASB) What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
Rom 9:22: The reference to the potter making one vessel for honorable use and one for common use is a reference to one vessel used for beauty and the other one used for a toilet. The potter can make them both out of the same lump of clay. There are uses for both of them.
Elohim endured with much patience the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction for a purpose.
(Rom 9:23 NASB) And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
(Rom 9:24 NASB) even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
Rom 9:24: He did so in order that the riches of His glory might be made known to those who are His vessels of mercy. That includes some Jews and some non-Jews.
(Rom 9:25 NASB) As He says also in Hosea, “I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.'”
(Rom 9:26 NASB) “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.”
Rom 9:26: This is a quote from Hosea 2:23 and 1:9-10. This is quite a declaration that He will bring others into Israel that were not an original part of it.
(Rom 9:27 NASB) 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 THAT WILL BE SAVED;
(Rom 9:28 NASB) FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD UPON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY.”
Rom 9:28: Though Israel of the flesh is numerous, only a remnant will be saved. This is a quote from Isaiah 10:20-23.
(Rom 9:29 NASB) And just as Isaiah foretold, “EXCEPT THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO US A POSTERITY, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME AS SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH.”
Rom 9:29: This is a quote from Isaiah 1:9. Elohim will preserve a remnant.
(Rom 9:30 NASB) What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
(Rom 9:31 NASB) but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.
Rom 9:31: Many Gentiles, who did not pursue the righteousness of Elohim, were brought into the New Covenant and had the Torah written on their hearts and minds by the faithfulness of the Father. But Israel of the flesh was pursuing a righteousness of their own. Therefore, they could not receive righteousness by faithfulness to Elohim. They did not want the Torah written on their hearts and minds through Messiah. They wanted to do it their way.
(Rom 9:32 NASB) Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
(Rom 9:33 NASB) 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.”
Rom 9:33: Israel of the flesh did not pursue righteousness through faithfulness in Elohim. They tried to do it by their country club method. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. Verse 33 is a quote from Isa. 8:13-15 in reference to Messiah. The next verse is particularly interesting (Isa. 8:16).
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas