Rebuttal of the nomist critique, 6:1-11:36

5. The vindication of grace, 9:1-11:36

i] Not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 9:6-29

b) The true Israel consists of a remnant according to grace


In this the first major part of his fifth rebuttal argument against the nomist critique that his gospel is flawed (given that most Jews have rejected it), Paul sets out to establish that "not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel", Cassirer. In developing the argument that "not all Israel are Israel", v6b, 9:6b-13, Paul now raises the issue of divine election. In the passage before us, he defends the justice of God in election, v14-23, noting that the Gentiles are similarly recipients of God's "mercy", v24, which truth he supports from scripture, v25-29.


i] Context: See 9:1-6a.


ii] Background: See 1:8-15.


iii] Structure: This passage, serving to argue that it is the remnant according to grace that realizes Israel's hope, presents as follows:

Proposition: Not all Israel is part of God's true Israel, v6b.

Argument: The children of promise are the children of God, v7-29.

The evidence of salvation history: The election of a Godly line - Isaac and Jacob, v7-13;

With respect to God's election of a Godly line, v14-29:

Divine election is according to grace, 14-18;

Divine election is not for all of Israel, v19-23;

Divine election is for both Jew and Gentile, v24-29.


iv] Thesis: See 3:21-31.


v] Interpretation:

See 9:1-6a.


Divine sovereignty and human freewill: Although verses 11-23 are a warm encouragement to commentators who support predestination, or double predestination, they have caused consternation amongst those who want to emphasize human choice in salvation, cf. Dodd, O'Neill. Some commentators opt for the middle ground by holding in tension both God's election of individuals to salvation and human responsibility, here arguing that Paul is only dealing with one side of "this perennial paradox", Moo.

In referring to God's omnipotence in terms of his complete sovereignty, Paul is certainly not touching on a radically new idea. An Old Testament Israelite perceived the Creator's hand in every aspect of life, both good and bad. Only we modern-day believers feel compelled to wrestle with the philosophical difficulties caused by holding either/both, divine sovereignty or/and human freedom. In fact, believers, prior to our modern age, would not even be able to get their head around the commonly accepted notion of a non-intrusive benevolent God. In any case, Paul's argument does not concern the salvation, or otherwise, of the individual. Paul's argument concerns the salvation of a corporate entity, the membership of which is by faith and not linage/race, or effort/worth. God's election is of a godly line / remnant, an election of grace in that inclusion rests on divine mercy. God's righteous reign is manifested in his gathering of a people who in no way deserve to be gathered to him, a people gathered by grace through faith. See "Interpretation", 9:6b-13.


vi] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 9:14

The true Israel consists of a remnant according to grace, v14-21: i] Having raised the issue of the election of a godly line / remnant within Israel, v11-13, Paul now sets out to argue for the justice of God in his election of a remnant, v14-18. He develops his case by arguing against the objection that the exercise of God's sovereign grace in calling out a godly line / remnant is unjust, and thus by implication, not true to the Abrahamic covenant.

oun "[what] then" - Inferential, drawing a logical conclusion; "therefore".

eroumen (eipon) fut. "shall we say?" - will we say. A deliberative future. The phrase is often used by Paul "at a point where he recognizes that a false conclusion could be drawn", Cranfield; "are we saying that God is unfair", CEV.

mh "is" - there is not. This negation in a question expects the answer "no"; "may it never be so."

para + dat. "[God unjust?]" - [unrighteousness] with [God]. Expressing association, "with"; "God has nothing to do with unrighteousness", cf. BAGD. As for adikia, "unjust", in what sense is God not unrighteous ("in his character", Moo) / unfair (in his dealings with Esau, Jewett) / "partial", Murray? Dumbrell suggests "untrue to his covenant undertakings", or more particularly, referring to God's "inconsistency" in his "dealings with contemporary Israel and his dealings with Abraham's offspring in the remote past", Cranfield.


By quoting Exodus 33:19, Paul establishes the basis of his argument. He reminds his readers of Israel's idolatrous flirtation with the Golden Calf at Mt. Sinai. For their apostasy, Israel should have been annihilated, but thankfully God chose to spare many of the people from the consequences of their actions. This called-out remnant of Israel ("the elect") was not saved by human effort or will, but by God's sovereign grace. Paul also reminds his readers that when Israel was called out from Egypt, it was God's heavy hand against Pharaoh that saved his remnant people; their salvation has only ever depended on God's mercy.

gar "for" - Usually taken either as causal or explanatory, although here more likely introducing a confirmation of the statement made in v14; "after all this is what he said to Moses", Cassirer. Scripture confirms the statement in the form of a principle, Ex.33:19. Israel's idolatry, in the making of the golden calf, should properly have resulted in its destruction, but only 3,000 died at the hands of the Levites, cf. Ex.32; a remnant was preserved for the realization of the Abrahamic covenant. God's glory is properly evidenced in his free "mercy" apart from "rights or piety", Morris, and such evidences his righteousness, not his unrighteousness. Again reflecting Paul's salvation history approach to this problem, one his readers should well understand since, apart from the mercy of God, all would be lost, cf. Barrett, Dumbrell.

tw/ Mwusei (hV ou) dat. "to Moses" - to Moses [he says]. Dative of indirect object.

oJn an + subj. "on whom [I have mercy]" - [I will have mercy on] whomever, whoever, whomsoever [I may show mercy, and I will have compassion on] whomever [I have compassion]. The relative pronoun + the particle an (= ean) with the subjunctive forms an indefinite relative clause; "I will have mercy on anyone, whoever he is, that I will show mercy to in the future", Morris.


ara oun ou "it does not, therefore, depend on" - so then it is not. "Introducing an inference from the Exodus word just quoted", Cranfield. The subject "it" must be supplied. Cranfield suggests "God's mercy." The main verb must be supplied, eg. "not a matter of", Moo; "the matter (supplied subject) rests (supplied verb) not on ...", Pilcher. The NIV "depend" is strongly supported, eg. TNT, Barclay, REB...

tou qelontoV gen. pres. part. "man's desire" - of the one desiring. This participle, as with tou tricontoV, "the one running", and tou elewntoV, "the one having mercy", serves as a substantive. The genitive is best treated as ablative, source/origin, with the present tense best viewed as gnomic; "God's bestowal of mercy does not come from a person's willing or running, but comes from the God who shows mercy" ("their readiness to do something" or "the actual execution of that desire", Moo; "if salvation were to rest on human willing and human striving we would all be in difficulties", Morris), Moo. "A reference to the lifestyle of the devout Jew in the intensity of his devotion", Dunn.

oude "or [effort]" - nor [of the one running]. Disjunctive.

alla "but" - but [on the one having mercy]. Adversative / contrastive.

qeou (oV) gen. "God's [mercy]" - God. Standing in apposition to "the one having mercy."


gar "for" - for [says the scripture]. Introducing a confirmation, as in v15; "and indeed, this is what is said to Pharaoh in scripture", Cassirer. The reference to Pharaoh does not serve to imply that God raised him up to damn him, rather that he was used to enable the calling out of Israel from Egypt. The reference concerns the preservation of the remnant under the mercy of God. Contra Moo who argues that v17-18, as with v15-16, answers the question "Is God unjust", v14.

tw/ Faraw "to Pharaoh" - Dative of indirect object / interest: the words are to Pharaoh and are recorded in scripture for our sake.

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of direct speech.

exhgeira (exegeirw) aor. "I raised [you] up]" - I awakened, raised [you]. "Cause to appear", Dunn. Cranfield suggests a general sense is intended, similar to the LXX "you have been preserved", MT root "cause to stand / maintain", even possibly "exist", rather than expressing God's initiative in the actual circumstances of Pharaoh's life, eg. "appoint to a significant role in salvation history", Murray (Pharaoh certainly plays this role, but did God write the part? [Scripture seems to imply that both Pharaoh hardens himself and that God hardens him, cf. Morris p.361]); "I have brought you onto the stage of history", Barclay.

eiV + acc. "for [this very purpose]" - for [just this thing]. Here expressing purpose, BDF 290, as NIV.

oJtwV + subj. "that [I might display]" - in order that, so that. Forming a final clause expressing purpose, but possibly consecutive expressing result; "for no other reason than to show my power", TNT.

thn dunamin (iV ewV) "power" - [I may demonstrate] the strength, power. Surely God's saving power in fulfilling the covenant, cf. Dunn, Dumbrell, "saving power .... directed toward the deliverance of God's people", Cranfield, rather than his power in judgment upon Pharaoh (Both?, cf. Moo).

en + dat. "in [you of me]" - Possibly local, expressing space/sphere, as NIV, but instrumental, expressing means, seems better; "so that I might demonstrate through you my power", Moo.

oJtwV + subj. "[and] that" - [and] in order that, so that. As above.

diaggelh/ to onoma mou "my name might be proclaimed" - the name of me may be declared, published [in all the earth]. Pharaoh's murderous resistance of God's will for Israel will also serve to display ("might be noised abroad", Pilcher) the character of God, encapsulated in his sovereign grace/mercy toward his covenant people (the remnant).

en + dat. "in [all the earth]" - Local, expressing sphere; "the universal sphere of God's redemptive purpose", Harvey.


"God shows mercy in the gathering of a people who do not deserve to be gathered to him, and where it is his will, he uses human obstinacy to that end." Paul now sums up his argument against the idea that God's justice in election is arbitrary. The realization of God's sovereign grace has as its end the fulfilling of his promises to Abraham - to gather and preserve an eternal people for himself. God's sovereign undertaking to this end exhibits his righteousness, not his unrighteousness.

ara oun "therefore" - therefore / so then. Inferential, drawing a logical conclusion, with ara strengthening oun; "wherefore therefore", Morris. "So then, it is undeniable", Jewett.

o}n qelei "on whom he wants to" - he wills whom [he has mercy, and on whom he wills]. The relative accusative pronoun o}n, "who", serves as the predicate object of the verb qelei, "wills". "Everything depends on what God decides to do", CEV.

sklhrunei (sklhrunw) pres. "he hardens" - he makes hard, stubborn - to cause to be stubborn and obstinate*. The word grouping, noun/pronoun = "hardness", verb, "to be / to make obstinate, stubborn" is often used by Paul to express "an inflexibility and insensibility to the gospel that hinders people from being saved", Schreiner. Here probably in a more general sense of a resistance to the divine will (better than "election to salvation and of reprobation to death", Calvin) which originates from the divine. Many commentators go into apologetic overdrive at this point in an attempt to protect God's good name, cf. Morris. Yet, as already noted, the scriptures never hesitate to affirm God's hand in everything, without in any way watering down human responsibility. There is also, at this point, a wilting on the part of those who argue for a corporate election, as opposed to the election of individuals for salvation, cf. Sandy and Headlam. Yet, as already noted, the corporate election of Israel, of a remnant through grace/mercy, is firmly in mind here, for which end Pharaoh is used. None-the-less, "hardening" is, of itself, the consequence of rebellion rather than an unrelated instrument of predestination. Those who refuse God's mercy find their hearts callused; those who reject a clear word from God are left with riddles (eg., kingdom parables Matt.13:10-17). So, hardening is best viewed as an act of judgment which serves the divine will.


ii] Paul now argues for the justice of God in not electing all of Israel, v19-23. He contends against the obvious objection that divine selectivity serves only to abandon the bulk of Israel (who are unable to resist the divine will) to divine "wrath", demonstrating that "God is unrighteous, acting contrary to his covenant promises to Israel", Dumbrell. Paul addresses this problem by pointing out that God has the right to draw out from unfaithful Israel a remnant, that such is not arbitrary, but serves his ultimate purpose of grace - the calling out of a blessed people of God, v23, ie. God has the right to fulfill the Abrahamic covenant as he sees fit. The reality is that all of Israel, due to sin, are rightly "objects of his wrath", but on the basis of God's sovereign grace / "mercy" (appropriated out of faith - faith in the faithfulness of God) a remnant is set apart for "noble purposes", and thus "for glory."

It is often argued that in this passage Paul addresses the "hardening" of Israel, in terms of the hardening of Pharaoh, yet it is more likely that the issue is that God draws from the "clay" of Israel "pottery for noble purposes", while setting aside the major part of Israel, a pottery "for common use." Paul's point is that God's justice is maintained in that all Israel rightly faces a "common" end, judgment, yet, God shows "patience" toward "the objects of his wrath, prepared for destruction", in order to "make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy." Such maintains God's justice, fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant.

"Perhaps someone will object: Why then does God condemn Israel, for we are impotent before God." Sin has made Israel impotent and therefore Israel is rightly blamed, but God stays his hand that mercy might be extended toward a remnant in Israel, a people who like Abraham, rest on faith.

oun "-" - then. Usually inferential, but here possibly resumptive / transitional and so left untranslated, or something like, "Now you will say to me."

epeiV (eipon) fut. "one of you will say" - ye say. Deliberative future. The "you" is emphatic, so not so much "one of you"; "now you will wish to ask me", Cassirer.

moi dat. pro. "to me" - Dative of indirect object.

memfetai (memfomai) pres. "blame us" - [why does he still] find fault with, blame? Durative present tense. Touching on the injustice of divine selectivity, but surely Israel is in mind, rather than Pharaoh, as suggested by many.

gar "for" - Expressing cause / reason; explaining why the question is asked.

anqesthken (anqisthmi) perf. "resists / is able to resist" - [who] has opposed, resisted. The perfect is obviously gnomic, so "who has ever resisted God's will?", Jewett. "Resisted" in the sense of "set oneself against", BAGD. This statement supports the question concerning blame, making the point that accountability cannot be morally applied where it is not possible to resist the divine will.

boulhmati (a atoV) dat. "[his] will" - the will, intent [of him]. Dative of direct object after the anti prefix verb anqisthmi; "The purposeful intention of God", Schrenk; "purpose / intention", Jewett.


Possible allusion to Isaiah 45:9.

menounge "but" - on the other hand, on the contrary. Adversative, or possibly resumptive.

wJ anqrwpe (oV) voc. "O man / a human being" - Emphatic. Maintaining rhetorical style, Paul continues to address the critique offered by his nomist opponents, and in so doing furthers the vindication of grace. "Who are you, my friend", Goodspeed; "my dear sir", Barrett.

oJ antapokrinomenoV (apokrinomai) pres. part. "to talk back to" - [who are you O man] the one answering again, replying again. Durative present tense. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "you / O man", the man who questions God. The use of this word "underlines the incongruity of the question", Morris. "That you can object to what God has decided", TH.

tw/ qew/ (oV) dat. "God" - Dative of direct object after the anti + apo prefix verb "talk back to."

mh erei fut. "shall [what is formed] say" - not will say. Deliberative future tense. The negation in the question expects the answer "no". The future tense is deliberative.

tw/ plasanti (plassw) dat. aor. part. "to him who formed [it] / to the one who formed [it]" - to the one having formed. The participle functions as a substantive, dative of indirect object.

ouJtwV adv. "like this" - [why did you make me] thus? This modal adverb serves here as a predicate accusative adjective.


h] "-" - or. Disjunctive; introducing an alternative; "What! has the potter no right over the clay?", Moffatt.

ouk "[does] not" - [has] not [the potter]. The negation in this question prompts the answer "yes".

exousian (a) "right" - authority, power. Direct object of the verb "has". As NIV, "right" in the sense of "entitled".

poihsai (poiew) aor. inf. "to make" - to do, make. The infinitive is epexegetic, explaining the "authority".

auto pro. "[the] same [lump]" - [out of the] same [lump]. Intensive pronoun. "The one batch of clay", Morris.

tou phlou (oV) gen. "of clay" - of mud, clay. The genitive is adjectival, of subordination; "does not the potter have the right over the clay to make from (ek + gen. "out of / from" = source / origin) the same lump." Obviously potter's clay is the material being referred to.

men ..... de - Setting up an adversative comparative / correlative construction; "on the one hand, [one part a vessel for honor], but on the other hand [the other part for dishonor]."

o} "-" - this [vessel] Accented as a demonstrative pronoun, but of course, accents are a later addition so it may just be an article; "one part a vessel for honor and the other a vessel for dishonor."

eiV "for" - to, into [honor = honorable use]. Here the preposition is expressing purpose / end view, as NIV.

atimian (a) "common use" - [and that for] dishonor = dishonorable use]. Not "dishonorable / ignoble" use, but "menial" use. "One article which is designed for the drawing room and one which is designed for the kitchen", Barclay. Dodd's distress at the description of man as "a pot" is understandable, but the reality is that due to sin we are all destined for the kitchen and ultimately the tip, unless ..... In any case, the image is of two pots, remnant Israel and Israel. Thankfully, the potter has chosen to produce a work of art from the and who are we to argue the justice of his mercy? Best to abandon the menial destined for the tip and take up the free offer of art-status and end up in the drawing room!!!


"If God, with the right to punish sin, patiently puts up with rebellious Israel (v22), in order to gather a remnant according to grace, ..... (v23), made up of Jews as well as Gentiles (v24), [then who are we to argue with him as if his actions are unjust?]" As God endured a Pharaoh, so he endures rebellious Israel, and this so that he might ultimately bestow the riches of his glory on "objects of his mercy", ie., save a people to himself. God's gracious purpose displays both wrath and saving power. Israel, along with all humanity, are rightly objects of God's wrath, "prepared for destruction", yet individual Israelites are not necessarily condemned. As with all people, they can, like Abraham, turn in faith to the source of all mercy, and so in Christ be saved. This is the point of Paul's words, "even us, whom he also called", v24a.

de "-" - but, and. Possibly slightly adversative setting up a contrast with the potter illustration, but better taken as transitional.

ei "if" - Introducing a conditional clause, 1st class, covering v22-24, where the condition is assumed to be true, "if, as is the case, .... then ....."; "if God .... bore with great patience ...." The problem is that there does not seem to be an apodosis (the "then" clause). The apodosis is possibly assumed (although some argue that v23 is the intended apodosis), something like: "Who are we to argue .......?" cf. v20-21. "If God, ......., patiently puts up with rebellious Israel (v22), in order to gather a remnant according to grace, ..... (v23), made up of Jews as well as Gentiles (v24), [then who are we to argue with God as if his actions are unjust? ("how much the more then should defiant obstinacy turn into humble praise?" Maurer, or possibly "Why complain about injustice?", Morris)]"

qelwn (qelw) pres. part. "although choosing" - [God] wanting, willing. The participle is obviously adverbial, probably concessive, "though / although"; "though desirous to display his anger and show his might", Moffatt, so also Goodspeed, TNT, NJB. The participle may be causal, "because", NRSV, REB, even possibly temporal, "while ready to display his anger", Cassirer, Weymouth, although both seem unlikely. The sense of the word is possibly "wanted", TEV, in the sense of "desiring", but better "intending"; "although intending to display ...."

endeixasqai (endeiknumi) aor. inf. "to show [his wrath]" - to demonstrate, exhibit, show forth [the/his wrath and to make known the power of him]. As with "to make known [his power]", the infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of qelwn, "willing", a verb of intention, here as a participle. "Demonstrate" in the sense of reveal God's person, here the God of justice rightly acting against sin, so a revelation exhibiting God as holy. What is on display is God's wrath and power expressed in judgment, which judgment God has [momentarily] stayed in order that / with the result that ..... v23-24.

hnegken (ferw) aor. "bore" - carried = endured, put up with. God patiently put up with Israel's rebellion, staying his hand of judgment. "Endured with much patience", Pilcher; "patiently put up with them", CEV.

en "with" - in, on = with [longsuffering]. Here adverbial, expressing manner / accompaniment; "with".

orghV (h) gen. "[the objects] of wrath" - [vessels] of anger, wrath. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "vessels"; "vessels which face divine wrath / destined for wrath"; people facing wrath, facing God's righteous judgment; "vessels on whom God's wrath rests", Moo. Absence of an article for skeuh orghV, "vessels of wrath", indicates a class of people; "the people he is going to judge in his righteous anger."

kathritismena (katartizw) perf. mid/pas. pat. "prepared [for destruction]" - having been prepared, made ready, rendered [toward dishonor]. The perfect tense expresses a completed action with ongoing consequences, "ripe and ready to be destroyed", Moffatt. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "vessels of anger", most likely in the middle voice (ie., they set themselves up for judgment, although Wallace disagrees), although passive is possible with the agent being sin, or even God in the sense of the one who brings the sinner before the judgment seat to be pronounced guilty. Together with "destruction" (used of the final judgment), forming an adjectival phrase modifying an assumed noun, eg., "men and women who deserved nothing but his wrath and who were fit for nothing but destruction", Barclay.

eiV + acc. "for [destruction]" - toward = for [destruction, ruin]. Here expressing purpose / end-view.


kai "what if he did this" - and. Coordinative, maintaining continuity with the v22; "And he has acted in this way", Cassirer.

iJna + subj. "to" - that. Usually understood as expressing purpose, "in order to make known his glory", but a consecutive clause expressing result should not be ruled out. The clause presumably depends on "bore with great patience"; "God waited with patience so that he could make known his rich glory", NCV.

gnwrish/ (gnwrizw) aor. subj. "make [the riches of his glory] known" - he might make known. As noted above, "make known" is not just a revelation of God's glory, but the exhibition of that glory in the active pouring out of his mercy. God reveals himself with powerful pro-active words that achieve their end.

thV doxhV (a) gen. "[the riches of his] glory" - [the riches] of the glory [of him]. The genitive is adjectival, possibly attributive, limiting "riches", so "God's glorious riches", but "glory" is such a strong word that a partitive sense seems best, "riches consisting especially of the divine glory." Possibly of definition / apposition / epexegetic; "riches which are glory."

epi + acc. "to" - upon. Probably spacial, so "to", as NIV, but the exhibition of divine glory is evident in the application of mercy upon the remnant, those who are "the objects of his mercy." Possibly also expressing influence; "over the objects of his mercy."

eleouV (oV) gen. "[the objects] of his mercy" - [vessels] of mercy. Genitive as above; "vessels on whom his mercy rests", Moo.

a} pro. "whom" - which, who. The relative pronoun introduces an attributive relative clause which further limits skeuh, "objects", "the objects / vessels of his mercy which he has prepared beforehand."

prohtoimasen (proetoimazw) aor. "he prepared in advance" - he prepared beforehand. This active constative aorist is used to express the divine determination here, as opposed to the passive in "vessels of wrath having been prepared", v22. The prefix expresses predetermination. The idea that salvation results from divine cherry picking prompts numerous responses. That Paul has in the back of his mind the ultimate salvation of all Israel seems unlikely, although he does argue for the salvation of a representative whole in chapter 11, cf. Cranfield, Dunn. Is this an example of "the training through history and life, not to election", Parry? Of course, Paul may just be stating the way it is, God picks and prepares "the objects of his mercy", cf. Moo, Jewett, Schreiner, Osborne etc. The divine initiative is clearly expressed here, but as noted elsewhere in these notes, the initiative applies to a corporate entity, rather than individuals. The remnant are the objects of his mercy and these, like Abraham, are the people of faith. Israel may have broken the covenant and face annihilation, but God had long before determined the way forward for his people and so has patiently stayed his hand of judgment for the fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant in the gathering of people by grace, through faith. "Those to whom he has [already] prepared to receive his glory", TEV.

eiV + acc. "for [glory]" - Here expressing result; "so that glory might be theirs", Cassirer.


This verse is grammatically attached to v22-23, but becomes, in Paul's argument, the head statement for a collage of Old Testament citations that serve to conclude the argument commenced at 9:6b.

kai "even [us]" - [among whom] also [he called]. Adjunctive; "whom also."

hJmaV "-" - us. Accusative complement of the accusative object ou}V, "whom", of the verb "he called."

ex (ek) + gen. "[not only] from [the Jews]" - Serving instead of a partitive genitive; "from among the Jews."

alla "but" - but [also from Gentiles]. Strong adversative; "but from the Gentiles too", Barclay.


iii] Paul establishes that God's grace applies equally to Jewish and Gentile Christians; both groups are called on the same basis, namely, grace through faith. Paul supports this proposition from Hosea, 2:23, and 1:10, v25-26, and Isaiah 10:22-23, v27-28, and 1:9, v29.

wJV "as" - like. Comparative.

en + dat. "in [Hosea]" - [also] in [Hosea he says]. Local, expressing space. "In the book of Hosea."

to "who are [not my people]" - [I will call] the [not people of me, a people of me, and the one not having been loved, having been loved]. Serving as a nominalizer for the substantive construction "the ones who are not my people." So also thn for the participle "not having been loved", so serving as a substantive. The NIV "her" = "the one" = the nation of Israel, so "the nation that I did not love", TEV (the passive treated as an active). Hosea named his daughter Lo-Ruhamah, "Without mercy", and his son Lo-Ammi, "Not-my-people," to express the state of Israel in the sight of God. But in this verse Hosea speaks of a reversal of fortune for Israel. Paul notes that this reversal is not just for Israel, believers like him, but also for the Gentiles. Those who were not my people I will call my people", NRSV.

laon mou "my people" - a people of me. This phrase serves as an object complement in a double accusative construction, "not people of me, a people of me." The construction is repeated with "the one not having been love, the one having been loved."


en + dat. "in" - [and it will be] in [the place where it is said]. Local, expressing space. The people of Israel, scattered, subjugated and now a no-people, "a nobody", under the authority of foreign rulers, will be called, in tw/ topw/, "that very place where they are", "sons of the living God."

autoiV dat. pro. "to them" - Dative of indirect object.

zwntoV (zaw) gen. pres. part. "[children of the] living [God]" - [not a people of me you are, there they will be called sons of God] living. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting God, genitive is agreement with the relational genitive "of God." The phrase "living God" is often used in the OT to distinguish YHWH from the dead idols of pagan religions.


de "-" - but, and [Isaiah cries]. Not adversative, rather "moreover"; "Isaiah maintained this same emphasis", Peterson.

uJper + gen. "concerning [Israel]" - Reference / respect, "with respect to, concerning, regarding", or possibly benefit / advantage, "for the sake of, on behalf of."

ean + ind. "though" - if [be]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, the number of the sons of Israel are as the sand of the sea, then the remnant will be saved." The future tense used in the apodosis increases expectancy for the condition's fulfillment. The emphatic construction of the apodosis makes the condition difficult to express in English, so requiring a concessive sense, "even if ....., only ....", as NIV etc.

twn uiJwn (oV) gen. "[the number] of the children [of Israel]". The genitive is adjectival, partitive / wholative.

wJV "like" - Comparative; "even though the people of Israel are many, just like the countless grains of sand beside the sea."

thV qalasshV (a) gen. "[the sand] by the sea" - [the sand] of the sea. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic, as NIV; "the sand on the seashore", Peterson.

swqhsetai (swzw) fut. pas. "only [the remnant] will be saved" - [the ones remaining] will be saved. Predictive future, with the passive viewed as divine / theological. Note the emphatic nature of the apodosis; "The sons of Israel may be as many in number as the sand of the sea, but it is only the remnant who will be saved", Barclay.


Paul only roughly quotes Isaiah 10:23, adding "bringing to pass, completing" and "cutting short, with haste, speedily." Although the sense of the verse is not overly clear, it is generally felt that the words express promised judgment rather than blessing / salvation; "He is rapidly bringing the whole affair to a speedy conclusion. He will end it in a blaze of godliness, for the Master will make short work of all that is going on, here on earth", Junkins. Dunn disagrees, arguing that the ambiguity of the verse serves to counter the harsh reality of only a remnant being saved. Paul expects more than a remnant, particularly with the incoming of the Gentiles. It may be best to allow the ambiguity to prevail; "Finally and summarily, the Lord will do on earth what he said he would do", Barclay.

gar "for" - for [the Lord will do (execute) his word upon the earth, finishing and cutting it short]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why only a remnant will be saved.

epi "on [earth]" - Spacial.

suntelwn (suntelew) pres. part. "with speed [and finality]" - bringing to pass [and cutting short]. The participle, as with "cutting short", is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of God's action, of his doing the word / carrying out his sentence.


This quote from Isaiah 1:9 "is more a gasp of gratitude that God had not allowed his people to be totally destroyed, as they richly deserved", Dunn.

wJV "just as [Isaiah said]" - [and] just as [Isaiah has said before]. Probably expressing a quality / standard; "in accordance with." "As Isaiah further foretold", Berkeley.

ei mh + ind. an + aor. "[unless ...... we would become ..]" - except [the Lord of Sabbath left an offspring to us we would have become like Sodom ...]. Conditional clause 2nd. class unfulfilled / contrary to fact; "if, as is not the case, ..... then ......" "If the Lord of host had not left us offspring, we would have been ....", ESV.

sabawq "[the Lord] of hosts" - The expressed genitive is adjectival, of subordination; he is the Lord over / who rules over the heavenly host / army.

hJmin dat. pro. "us" - to us. Dative of indirect object / interest, advantage.

sperma (a atoV) "descendants" - seed. For Paul, the "seed" is the seed of promise, the many nations promised to Abraham and now being fulfilled in Christ. The remnant can embrace, not just the faithful of Israel, but also Gentiles. "God has brought together in his new order those of faith regardless of their national background", Mounce.

wJV "[we would have become] like [Sodom]" - Comparative.


Romans Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]