Category Archives: ROMANS 9

The apostle Paul shows that God’s dealings with Israel in Old Testament times are not contradicted by the gospel.

ROMANS 9

GOD’S WAYS DEFENDED

Romans chapters 9-11 form a parenthetical section in the epistle, in which the apostle shows that the gospel which is the same for Jew and Gentile is perfectly in harmony with the purpose of God. The Old Testament had made a sharp distinction between Israel and the rest of mankind, (see, for example, Ephesians 2:11,12), but the apostle has shown in chapters 1-8 that as far as sinnership is concerned, “there is no difference”. Does this mean that Old Testament distinctions are invalid, and that there is no future for Israel as a separate entity? The apostle shows in chapters 9, 10 and 11 that this is not so. In chapter 9 the emphasis is upon incidents from Israel’s past which declare the principles behind the purpose of God. In chapter 10 the emphasis is on Israel’s present unbelief and its consequences. In chapter 11 the emphasis is on the future for Israel when “the Redeemer shall come from Zion”.

SUMMARY OF THE TEACHING OF THE CHAPTER

9:1-5
Having declared his sorrow of heart for the present state of unbelief of his own nation, the apostle then proceeds to list the great national privileges they had, culminating in the coming of the Messiah from their midst.

9:6-13
He then proceeds to show by the use of illustrations from the lives of the patriarchs that not all of Israel are in true relationship with God. The purpose and choice of God determines that not all who count their descent from Abraham and Isaac are His children. The choice of Isaac rather than Ishmael establishes the principle that God’s children are begotten entirely of Himself, and not through the energy of the flesh. So with His placing of Jacob before Esau whilst they were both unborn, which shows that being in right relationship with God is a matter of the outworking of His purpose and choice. Whilst this is true with individuals, it is also true regarding the nation of Israel, which is Paul’s emphasis in this chapter.

9:14-18
God has mercy upon whom He will, despite their sinfulness, and hardens those who persistently rebel against Him. Israel must beware lest they act like Pharoah, and reap Pharoah’s judgement, see 11:7.

9:19-21
God may seem to unbelievers to act at random, and not according to principle. Even if that were so, (and it is not), then God has no obligation to explain Himself to mere man.

9:22-24
There is an alternative explanation, however, for whilst God is the creator of men, and could, if He chose, make them only to damn them, this is not His character, for He waits for His rebellious creatures to repent. And if at last they are destroyed, it is because they have fitted themselves for destruction. Those who reach glory, however, do so only because He has prepared them beforehand for it; they did not prepare themselves.

9:25-29
All this is in line with the Old Testament predictions, that God would reinstate His people nationally to a place of blessing.

9:30-33
This reinstatement, however, is on the basis of faith on their part, and not effort to earn a right standing in His presence.

STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER

Section (a) Verses 1-5 The privileges of Israel.
Section (b) Verses 6-13 The purpose of God.
Section (c) Verses 14-18 The pity of God.
Section (d) Verses 19-24 The power of God.
Section (e) Verses 25-33 The proof from the Scriptures.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 9, VERSES 1 TO 5:

9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Section (a)    Verses 1-5    The privileges of Israel

9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

I say the truth in Christ- Paul writes now as a believing Jew, and therefore as a man who is in Christ. His Jewish opponents no doubt accused him of treachery, for he had embraced Christianity, which to them was based on the claims of a blasphemous imposter. He puts himself on oath, so to speak, to tell the truth about his situation. It would be a very serious thing to associate with Christ, and then lie.
My conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit- first his oath, now two witnesses by which every word may be established. His conscience was one witness, and the Holy Spirit is the other. He is confident that the Holy Spirit and his conscience are in agreement on this matter. Even if the Jews were sceptical of Paul, this solemn statement would at least gain their attention.

9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart- far from having disowned his nation, Paul’s heart was burdened and sorrowful as he thought of their national unbelief. In the next verse he will tell us how far his concern for the nation of Israel could go.

9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ- the imperfect tense of the verb “wish” indicates that which is simply theoretical, and which could not be realized in actual fact. It is not possible for someone who is truly saved to be anathema to Christ. Moses in a similar situation asked for his name to be blotted out of God’s book, if it meant God would be with His people again, Exodus 32:30-35. The book he referred to being the record of those who live upon the earth, Psalm 139:16. (Note, in passing, that this book includes the unborn). In effect, Moses was offering to die for the nation.
For my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh- the word brethren speaks of natural affection, not a spiritual relationship in the family of God. Stephen addressed the Jews as brethren, emphasizing their common descent from their father Abraham, Acts 7:2, but their subsequent treatment of him showed they were not born of God.
There now follows an impressive list of national privileges, not one of which in itself brought individual salvation.

9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Who are Israelites- this national name has not been used in the epistle previously, but now occurs as ‘Israel’ or ‘Israelite’ 14 times in chapters 9-11, alerting us to the fact that Paul is speaking about the nation, not specifically about individual Jews.
To whom pertaineth the adoption- this means they were God’s son nationally, for God said to Pharoah, “Israel is My son, even My firstborn”, Exodus 4:22,23. Israel as a nation is the firstborn in God’s family of nations, see Hosea 11:1 and Amos 3:2.
And the glory- the glory of God appeared in connection with the Tabernacle, thus forming a link with the revelation of the God of glory who appeared to Abraham when he was in Ur, Acts 7:2.
And the covenants- whether with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Phinehas or David. Each one had a bearing on the nation.
And the giving of the law- note the apostle separates the covenants of promise from the old covenant of the Law. See Galatians 3:16,17.
And the service of God- the priestly and Levitical activity in connection with the tabernacle and the temple. See Hebrews 9:6. It is not Scriptural to call Christian meetings services.
And the promises- the detail of the undertaking given in the covenants was expanded by the prophets, as they spoke of the blessings available to the nation.

9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Whose are the fathers- the patriarchs were the common possession of all in Israel. This prepares the way for verses 6-13 where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are used as illustrations.
And of whom, as concerning the flesh- note the change of preposition. The nation possessed the fathers, but being unbelieving, did not possess Christ. “Of” means “out of”. Christ is really descended from the fathers insofar as the flesh is concerned. He has legal descent from Abraham through Joseph, and natural descent from Abraham through Mary.
Christ came- the Messiah had arrived, but they failed to recognise Him. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not”, John 1:11. It would be inconceivable for the apostle, who believed in Christ, to turn from the nation which produced Him.
Who is over all, God blessed for ever- there is more to Christ than manhood. He who is from the nation is also over the nation, for He is equal with the God of Israel. Note how the manhood and Godhood are both necessary here, as they were necessary in Romans 1:3,4. Far from modifying his doctrine concerning Christ as he defends himself, Paul insists that Christ is blessed for ever, deserving equal honour with the Father. He is Son of the Blessed, Mark 14:61,62.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 9, VERSES 6 TO 13:

9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Section (b)    Verses 6-13    The purpose of God.

9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect- the statements of God in Old Testament times have not “gone off course”. By His word God had established the nation and promised it blessing; does the gospel which says that Jews are sinners needing to be saved contradict this? Is the word of the gospel on a completely different course to God’s word to the nation in Old Testament times? The apostle denies this, despite appearances.

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS NOT NATIONAL

For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel- Jacob, whose name means “supplanter”, was renamed Israel, meaning “a prince with God”, or “ruling with God”. This signifies that he had a place of dignity before God. However, they are not all ‘princes with God’ who bear the name of “prince with God”. In other words, to be of the nation naturally, does not secure spiritual blessing; that must come through faith. The apostle shows in the next verses that their status as a nation is through the purpose of God, and is not a result of them meriting the position. Since this is so, they must depend on God and His grace for blessing, and come to Him individually in faith. Jacob had to learn that lesson, for he had survived by his wits and scheming until Genesis 32, and then he found that true blessing comes from God alone, when men earnestly desire it. At this point his name was changed to Israel, “for as a prince hast thou power with God, and with men, and hast prevailed”, Genesis 32:28. Cf. John 1:45-51, where Nathaniel is described as “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile”, as there was with Jacob. Note the allusion to Jacob’s experience at Bethel in verse 51 of John 1. See also Romans 2:28,29; Galatians 6:16.
Jacob uses the illustration first, even though he was after Abraham and Isaac, because his name was given to the nation, and the passage is about national blessing.
So it is only as members of the nation turn to God in faith when Christ comes in glory and they “look on Him whom they pierced”, John 19:37, Revelation 1:7, that the nation will enter into fully all that God has for them as a nation.

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS NOT NATURAL

9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children- Ishmael and Keturah’s sons were all descended from Abraham, yet they were not reckoned as his children when it came to the choice of God.
But, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called”- a quotation from Genesis 21:12, spoken when Hagar was cast out of Abraham’s house. God sovereignly chose to single out Isaac to be the heir of Abraham, thus showing that man must bow to the will of God, and not rest on outward privileges.

9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God- Paul now applies the principle illustrated by Ishmael, (child of the flesh), and Isaac, (child of promise). See Galatians 4:21-31. “That is” should be understood as “which means”. The apostle begins to apply the principle; he is not still speaking of Ishmael and Isaac, but rather of those whom they illustrate, namely, those who are born after the flesh, and those who are born again of the Spirit. He is not saying anything about the personal spiritual status of Ishmael and Isaac. Whether they are born again depends on individual faith. Isaac was certainly not born of God because he was miraculously conceived; he would have to have personal dealings with God to become His child.
But the children of the promise are counted for the seed- it is those who are born as a result of God working, as Isaac was, rather than those born through human effort, like Ishmael, who are the true children of God, see John 1:12,13.

9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

For this is the word of promise- the last point is of great importance, therefore the apostle quotes what God said.
“At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son”- the emphasis is on the action of God, “will I come”, showing that position with God must come from His intervention, not that of the flesh.

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS NOT MERITORIAL

9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

And not only this- the third lesson Israel must learn.
But when Rebecca also had conceived- as well as Sarah’s conception illustrating a principle, Rebecca’s does also.
By one, even by our father Isaac- the fact that there were two different mothers involved in the births of Ishmael and Isaac served to illustrate the contrast between, on the one hand, the devices of the flesh, (Abraham having a child by his bondslave), and, on the other hand, the promise of God, (Isaac is born of parents who are as good as dead). Now, however, the apostle draws attention to the purpose of God in His sovereign choice of one rather than the other. The situation with Rebecca suits his requirements admirably, for there is one father, one mother, and their twin sons are not born when God speaks about them.

9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil- as both are not yet born, they are in identical circumstances. As those not having done any act of moral significance, neither has earned the favour of God, or, for that matter, His anger.
That the purpose of God according to election might stand- “stand” means abide, last, not perish. There was nothing in the situation regarding Rebecca’s sons which would cause God’s purpose to be undermined.
Not of works, but of Him that calleth)- neither Jews nor Gentiles can earn salvation, any more than unborn children can. And this principle applies to Israel nationally too, for having the service of God entrusted to them does not guarantee the blessing of individuals. The only way for this to be known is involvement with God’s purpose, which is worked out as the gospel is preached, and men respond to His call. In this way the purpose of God according to election is brought to pass. “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”, 2 Thessalonians 2:13,14.

9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

It was said unto her- first the apostle quotes what was said to Rebecca before the sons were born.
“The elder shall serve the younger”- that is, Esau, the first one to come from the womb, would serve his younger brother Jacob. In normal circumstances in the East, the reverse would be the case. That this is a national thing is seen firstly by the previous verse in Genesis which reads. “Two nations are in thy womb…and the elder shall serve the younger”, Genesis 25:23, and secondly, in that Esau did not personally serve Isaac in his lifetime. (although he did do so nationally in the time of David, for “all they of Edom became David’s servants”, 2 Samuel 8:14; Edom is the national name of Esau). In fact the reverse is the case, for Jacob called Esau his lord, and himself his servant, Genesis 33:14. Thirdly, the quotation which follows in verse 13 relates to the nations, as described by Malachi. So the point is the principle that it is God’s choice which matters, not individual merit. We must not lose sight of the fact that Paul is dealing with national matters, and is only using individuals to illustrate his point. So Jacob represents the nation of Israel according to God; Esau represents the nation of Israel according to the flesh.

9:13 As it is written, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated’.

As it is written- the previous verse relates to what was said by God just before the twins were born, whereas now it is the word of God through Malachi centuries later.
‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated’- God now speaks in the past tense, and summarises His attitude to the two nations which came from Isaac and Esau. That He loved Isaac is seen in their restoration to the land after the captivity; that He hated Esau (referred to as Edom by Malachi), by the fact that his mountains and cities were laid waste, whereas Jerusalem was restored. So it is not a question of God hating or loving people as individuals before they were even born. The passage has to do with God’s choice of Jacob to be the father of the chosen nation, and not Esau.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 9, VERSES 14 TO 18:
9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
9:15 For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.
9:18 Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.

Section (c)    Verses 14-18    The pity of God.

9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

What shall we say then- here the apostle asks his believing readers, whereas in verse 19 he supposes an unbeliever objecting.
Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid- are God’s dealings unjust when He loves one and hates another? Only if He does so without good reason and contrary to His own righteousness. God cannot deny Himself, 2 Timothy 2:13.

9:15 For He saith to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion’.

For He saith to Moses- after Israel had sinned in the matter of the golden calf. We might think this will be an example of God hating, but it is the reverse. Moses, in Exodus 32:13, appealed to God on the basis of His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, the very ones who are used as illustrations of principles in verses 6-13 of this chapter.
‘I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion’- Israel had good reason to be grateful that this sovereign attitude of God was manifested towards them. They had forfeited all rights to His mercy, yet God chose to show mercy to them despite their sin. This is a righteous thing for God to do, because He declares His glory to Moses in the very next chapter as one who forgives sin, Exodus 34:7. So when at last God blesses the nation even though they murdered His Son, it will be on the basis of mercy and compassion alone.

9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who showeth mercy- the principle on which God acts, (“it”), is not in response to the will of man deciding on a course of action, (willeth), nor on man putting that action into effect, (runneth), but the sovereign choice of God to show mercy. In this way the blessing is thoroughly undeserved and secure.

9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, ‘Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth’.

For the scripture saith unto Pharoah- by using the word “saith”, the apostle emphasizes the living voice of the Old Testament scriptures, that they have the same authority as the original oral statement. Pharoah becomes, because of his hardness of heart, one who knows God’s hatred.
‘Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up- God brought Pharoah to the throne of Egypt to show His power when he abused his position and fought against God. It is not raised up by being born, as if God creates men to destroy them.
That I might show My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth’- the two-fold purpose of God, to show what happens to those who rebel against Him, and to magnify His name when He defeats His foes. See Exodus 15:14-16; Joshua 2:8-11. It is fearfully possible for Israel to be, in principle, the same as Pharoah, (for remember God has hardened their heart because they rejected Christ, John 12:40.

9:18 Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.

Therefore- on the basis of God’s dealings with Israel and Pharoah, the following conclusion may be drawn.
Hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth- note that whilst the mention of mercy to Israel is repeated, the thought regarding Pharoah is now changed to hardeneth. In order that God’s power over Egypt might be demonstrated by the plagues, He hardened Pharoah’s heart, by allowing Pharoah to harden his heart wilfully, and thus fulfilled His purpose. The hardening by God and by Pharoah are simultaneous. If God hardened Pharoah’s heart first, then he could not afterwards harden it himself, for it would have been already hard. When Pharoah hardened his heart, he was doing exactly what God willed to happen, yet he was still fully responsible for his actions.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 9, VERSES 19 TO 24:

9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?
9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
9:22 What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
9:23 And that He might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory,
9:24 Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Section (d)    Verses 19-24    The power of God.

9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?

Thou wilt say then unto me- the apostle anticipates an objection to this truth.
Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will?- if the will of God cannot be resisted successfully, as Pharoah’s experience demonstrates, then what just reason has God for finding fault with what men do, since they only carry out what He decrees? The apostle answers this objection in two ways. First, by rebuking any argument against God, then explaining further the way in which God’s purpose is worked out.

9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?- an allusion to Job 33:12,13, “I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. Why dost thou strive against Him? For He giveth not account of any of His matters”. It is outrageous for puny sinful man to seek to argue with God.
Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, “Why hast Thou made me thus?”- An allusion to Isaiah 45:9- “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, “What makest thou?”

9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?- the apostle follows up his allusion to Isaiah 45:9 with its use of the potter-metaphor for God. God has the right to do as He pleases, just as a potter has the right to make whatever he wants of his own clay. But that God does not act arbitrarily and capriciously is seen in the next verses. That God has the right to act sovereignly, is the answer to the unbelievers cavil. For the believer there is a further explanation, for God does not make vessels so He can destroy them.

9:22 What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

What if God- here the apostle proposes an alternative to the stark illustration of the potter making vessels out of lifeless clay.
Willing to show His wrath- that is, determined to do so. If God shows wrath, it is always for a just cause.
And to make His power known- as He did in the case of Pharoah.
Endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction- note that the apostle does not speak of God making vessels to pour out His wrath upon. What is He waiting long for if He is determined to pour out only wrath? If He endured with much long-suffering it was because He was waiting for repentance, as 2 Peter 3:9 indicates. Fitted is not the same as made, and also is in the middle voice, meaning men fit themselves. All men are deserving of God’s wrath as they come into the world, there are none that are vessels unto honour when they are born.

9:23 And that He might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory,

And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy- note it is vessels of mercy, not vessels unto honour. Only the mercy of God to undeserving sinners can introduce them to the glories detailed in 8:28-30. He fits them to be able to behold the glory of which Moses could only see the afterglow, Exodus 33:18-34:8.
Which He had aforeprepared unto glory- the tenses the apostle uses in verses 22 and 23 show that he is looking back after the will of God has been worked out. Aforeprepared either involves being prepared beforehand in His eternal counsel, Ephesians 1:3-6, or prepared for eternity in their lifetime.

9:24 Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles- note that as he describes the vessels of mercy, he speaks of God’s call in the gospel, and also reverts to the term Jew, the individual, rather than Israel, the national name.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS CHAPTER 9, VERSES 25 TO 33:

9:25 As He saith also in Osee, I will call them My people, which were not My people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
9:28 For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
9:29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.

Section (e)    Verses 25-33    The proof from the Scriptures.

9:25 As He saith also in Osee, I will call them My people, which were not My people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

As He saith also in Osee- as well as speaking through Paul, God spoke through Osee, otherwise known as Hosea, who stood at the head of the minor prophets. If he can produce proof from the scriptures that what he has just said is in line with the Old Testament, then he is well on the way to convincing his Jewish objectors.
I will call them “My people”, which were “not My people”; and her “beloved”, which was “not beloved”- a reference to God’s promise that although He was going to renounce His people and send them into captivity because of their idolatry, (Hosea prophesied just before the Assyrians came and removed the Northern Kingdom), He would reverse His decision and accept them back. So, far from being cast off finally because of their sin in going into idolatry, and later on crucifying Christ, they may call upon the Lord to show mercy upon them as individuals now, just as they will do nationally in a future day. The principle is the same in either case. Thus the apostle has derived the principle he needs to prove his point; he has not transferred the interpretation of the passage to the church, but has made a legitimate application. If God will so act towards Israel as a nation in a day to come, that must be in line with His character, and since God does not change, that is His character now in regard to individual salvation.

9:26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

And it shall to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, “Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God”- a quotation from Hosea 1:10. The prophet spoke words of judgement to Israel whilst they were still in the land, yet they will be brought back from dispersion amongst the Gentiles to be addressed by God in the land again, (hence the reference to “the place where is was said unto them”, meaning the land of Israel), this time with words of encouragement. Thus the meaning of the name of Hosea’s first son finds its double fulfilment. Jezreel means “sown of God”, or “seed of God”. They were to be scattered amongst the nations as seed is scattered, but in a day to come they will be sown in the land, and will be the seed, (children) of God, see Hosea 2:22,23. All this has been anticipated by believers now. Christian Jews have been rescued from the national scattering and enclosed in God’s eternal purpose, see 1 Peter 1:1,2. Christian who were once Gentiles, who were not God’s children in any sense before, are now children of God.

9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, ‘Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Esaias also crieth concerning Israel- Isaiah also, as well as Hosea, had things to say about Israel. “Concerning” means over, as if lamenting over Israel as Christ did over Jerusalem.
‘Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea- as Hosea said they would be, but he was referring to their prosperity in the land under the Messiah, Hosea 1:10, (hence the apostle does not quote his words, even though they are in the same sentence as the words quoted in verse 26).
Isaiah is the one the apostle quotes now, for he is highlighting the fact that despite the numerical greatness of Israel, God will only save a remnant. This of course is the main theme of the apostle in the chapter, that relationship with God is on the basis of His choice, and their faith, not on national status.
A remnant shall be saved- that is, only a remnant, and not the whole nation. This is true in principle now, see 11:5, and in the future, see Zechariah 13:9.

9:28 For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth’.

For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth’- God will do, and finish, a work with Israel, in which He will cut them short, that is, will reduce them from a professing multitude to a believing remnant. This will be a righteous thing for Him to do, and He will do it “upon the earth”, that is, in the land of Israel, where they will all gravitate at the end times. Notice it is not a short work of the earth, but upon the earth.

9:29 And as Esaias said before, ‘Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha’.

And as Esaias said before- that is, before it came to pass.
‘Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrha’- note the implied encouragement in the use of the title Lord of Sabaoth, or Hosts. God is surrounded by myriads who serve Him, and He sends forth hosts to protect those who are His, see Hebrews 1:14. They may only be a remnant, but they are in the majority. But this was only because of Divine intervention; otherwise they would have been exterminated, just like the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha. The next verse in Isaiah 1 describes the rulers of Jerusalem as “rulers of Sodom”, and the people as “people of Gomorrah”.  But God will bring them from that low moral state to being His holy nation once more, under the Messiah.

9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

What shall we say then?- what conclusion shall we draw from the foregoing?
That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness- they had no law to guide them in matters relative to God and did not desire one.
Have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith- attained means laid hold of; it is not a word which suggest human attainment or merit, but rather a laying hold of God’s promises in faith.

9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness- professing to be interested in being righteous, and seeking to keep the law to achieve this.
Hath not attained to the law of righteousness- attain in this instance means to arrive at. The Gentiles have reached and grasped righteousness, but it is always just out of the reach of the Jew, no matter how hard he pursues it.

9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Wherefore?- why is this the case?
Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the deeds of the law- only faith grasps the blessing, those who seek to merit it fall short.
For they stumbled at that stumblingstone- “that” does not refer to the law as a stumblingstone, but the stumbling stone of Christ as Messiah, as the quotation following makes clear. It is not only the Jews of Christ’s day who stumbled at Him because He emphasized the need for faith, and the futility of human effort; in the Old Testament time there was a failure to see that if a Messiah was needed as their Saviour, then they had no power in themselves to please God.

9:33 As it is written, ‘Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed’.

As it is written, ‘Behold I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed’- the apostle here combines together quotations from Isaiah 28:16, “Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste”, and Isaiah 8:14, “And He shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence” In both contexts the idea is of the danger of the sort of unbelief which trusts in men rather than God. Faith rests upon Christ the foundation stone and does not have to make a hasty retreat when the enemy comes, whereas unbelief trips up over Christ, and finds Him to be offensive as He insists on the need for faith not religious works.