Solicitude for Israel

1 1I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit,
2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.
3 For 2I could wish that I myself were 3accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen 4according to the flesh,
4 who are 5Israelites, to whom belongs 6the adoption as sons, and 7the glory and 8the covenants and 9the giving of the Law and 10the temple service and 11the promises,
5 whose are 12the fathers, and 13from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, 14who is over all, 15God 16blessed forever. Amen.
6 But it is not as though 17the word of God has failed. 18For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
7 nor are they all children 19because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "20THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED."
8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are 21children of God, but the 22children of the promise are regarded as descendants.
9 For this is the word of promise: "23AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON."
10 24And not only this, but there was 25Rebekah also, when she had conceived * twins by one man, our father Isaac;
11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that 26God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
12 it was said to her, "27THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
13 Just as it is written, "28JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
14 29What shall we say then? 30There is no injustice with God, is there? 31May it never be!
15 For He says to Moses, "32I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who 33runs, but on 34God who has mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "35FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."
18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He 36hardens whom He desires.
19 37You will say to me then, "38Why does He still find fault? For 39who resists His will?"
20 On the contrary, who are you, 40O man, who 41answers back to God? 42The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?
21 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?
23 And He did so to make known 45the riches of His glory upon 46vessels of mercy, which He 47prepared beforehand for glory,
24 even us, whom He also 48called, 49not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
25 As He says also in Hosea, "50I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, 'MY PEOPLE,' AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, 'BELOVED.' "
26 "51AND 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 52THE LIVING GOD."
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "53THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE 54LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS 55THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED;
28 56FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY."
29 And just as Isaiah foretold, "57UNLESS 58THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO US A POSTERITY, 59WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH."
30 60What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even 61the righteousness which is by faith;
31 but Israel, 62pursuing a law of righteousness, did not 63arrive at that law.
32 Why *? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over 64the stumbling stone,
33 just as it is written, "65BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION 66A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, 67AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM 68WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."