I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means!1 I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham,2 from the tribe of Benjamin.32
God did not reject his people,4 whom he foreknew.5 Don't you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel:
"Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"a ?64
And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal."b75
So too, at the present time there is a remnant8 chosen by grace.96
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works;10 if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain.11 The elect among them did, but the others were hardened,128
as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear,13 to this very day."c149
And David says: "May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,15 and their backs be bent forever."d16
Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!17 Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles18 to make Israel envious.1912
But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles,20 how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles,21 I make much of my ministry
in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy22 and save23 some of them.
For if their rejection brought reconciliation24 to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?2516
If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits26 is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
If some of the branches have been broken off,27 and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others28 and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
do 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.2919
You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in."
Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith.30 Do not be arrogant,31 but tremble.3221
For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Consider therefore the kindness33 and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue34 in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.3523
And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.3624
After 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,37 how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
I do not want you to be ignorant38 of this mystery,39 brothers and sisters, so that you may not think you are superior:40 Israel has experienced a hardening41 in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,4226
and in this waye all Israel will be saved.43 As it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this isf my covenant with them when I take away their sins."g4428
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies45 for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,4629
for God's gifts and his call47 are irrevocable.4830
Just as you who were at one time disobedient49 to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,
so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowh receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you.
For God has bound everyone over to disobedience50 so that he may have mercy on them all.
Oh, the depth of the riches51 of the wisdom andi knowledge of God!52 How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!5334
"Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"j5435
"Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?"k5536
For from him and through him and to him are all things.56 To him be the glory forever! Amen.57