Romans 9:29

29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”[a]

Romans 9:29 in Other Translations

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.
29 And as Isaiah predicted, "If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah."
29 And Isaiah said the same thing in another place: “If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of our children, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.”
29 Isaiah had looked ahead and spoken the truth: If our powerful God had not provided us a legacy of living children, We would have ended up like ghost towns, like Sodom and Gomorrah.
29 And just as Isaiah predicted: If the Lord of Hosts had not left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah.

Romans 9:29 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 9:29

And as Esaias said before
In the beginning of his prophecy, in ( Isaiah 1:9 ) .

Except the Lord of sabaoth had left us a seed;
the title and character the great God goes by here, is "Lord of sabaoth", that is, "of hosts", or "armies"; the Septuagint often leave the word untranslated, as here and elsewhere, as in ( 1 Samuel 1:11 ) ( 17:45 ) . He is Lord of the hosts of heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, whom he brings forth by number, calls by their names, and them to praise him; of the angels, the multitude of the heavenly host, that do his pleasure, fight under him, and for him; and of the hosts of nations, of the several kingdoms of the world, who are all under his government, and among whom he acts according to his sovereign will and pleasure. Kimchi on the place says, he is called so,

``because of "the hosts above", and because of "the hosts below", who are the Israelites, that are called "hosts"; wherefore he would not consume us all, as we deserved:''

no, according to the council of his own will, he left them "a seed"; or as it is in Isaiah, a very small remnant": and so the Syriac here, (adyro) , a remnant"; both signify one and the same, namely, a few persons only: "a remnant" signifies a few, which remain out of a large number; and so does "seed", which is reserved for sowing again, after the whole stock is sold off, or consumed: and the leaving of this small number designs God's gracious acts of reserving in the election of a people for himself; the calling them by his grace in time, and preserving them from general corruption; which if he had not done among the Jews, as Jarchi on the text says,

``of himself, and by his mercies, and not for our righteousnesses,''

we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha;
the cities which God destroyed with fire and brimstone from heaven, for their iniquities: had it not been for electing grace, they would have been like the inhabitants of these cities for wickedness; and the case would have been the same with us and with the whole world, had it not been for God's act of election, choosing some to holiness here, and happiness hereafter. The decree of election is so far from being a door to licentiousness, that it is the true spring and source of all real holiness, that has been, or is in the world; and had it not been for this, there would have been no such thing as holiness in the world; and consequently not only Judea, but thee whole world, were it not for this, must have been long before now, like Sodom and Gomorrah, in their punishment.

Romans 9:29 In-Context

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.
28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”
29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.

Cross References 2

  • 1. James 5:4
  • 2. Isaiah 1:9; Genesis 19:24-29; Deuteronomy 29:23; Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 50:40

Footnotes 1

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.