Main point summary
Everyone whom the Lord saves, whether Jew or Gentile, he sovereignly calls when they were not his people. Although it seems as though the cutting precludes the completing, it is by this very means that God accomplishes his word.
...whom he also called,
Οὓς καὶ ἐκάλεσεν
not only from the Jews
οὐ μόνον ἐξ Ἰουδαίων
but also from the Gentiles
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐξ ἐθνῶν,
as also he says in Hosea, "I will call 'Not My People' 'My People,'
ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ Ὡσηὲ λέγει• καλέσω τὸν οὐ λαόν μου λαόν μου
and 'Not Beloved' 'Beloved,'
καὶ τὴν οὐκ ἠγαπημένην ἠγαπημένην•
and it will be in the place where it was said to them, "You are 'Not My People,'
καὶ ἔσται ἐν τῷ τόπῳ οὗ ἐρρέθη αὐτοῖς• οὐ λαός μου ὑμεῖς,
there sons of the living God will be called."
ἐκεῖ κληθήσονται υἱοὶ θεοῦ ζῶντος.
Now, Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "If the number of the sons of Israel should be as the sand of the sea [and the word of God to Abraham be thus fulfilled],
Ἠσαΐας δὲ κράζει ὑπὲρ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ• ἐὰν ᾖ ὁ ἀριθμὸς τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ὡς ἡ ἄμμος τῆς θαλάσσης,
[it will be accomplished because] the remnant will be saved,
τὸ ὑπόλειμμα σωθήσεται•
for he will accomplish his word on the earth
λόγον γὰρ ... ποιήσει κύριος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
and by cutting short
and just as Isaiah foretold, "Unless the Lord of hosts left us offspring,
καὶ καθὼς προείρηκεν Ἠσαΐας• εἰ μὴ κύριος σαβαὼθ ἐγκατέλιπεν ἡμῖν σπέρμα,
we would become like Sodom
ὡς Σόδομα ἂν ἐγενήθημεν
and we would be made like Gomorrah."
καὶ ὡς Γόμορρα ἂν ὡμοιώθημεν.
This is an exception clause: "We would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah, except the Lord left us offspring." Stated positively: -"The Lord of hosts has indeed left us an offspring, so we shall not become like Sodom and Gomorrah"
Recalling the discourse that began in vv. 6-13
Assuming the first Israel is recalling the previous discussion and referring to the true Israel, this would also be a reference to true Israel
I think this is the better place to put και (as opposed to putting it with ημας) because it refers us back to vv. 6-13 where there was a great deal of talk about calling (καλεω)
Grammar Notes, Questions
Parsing - ᾖ ( 9:27) - pres act subj 3 sg - from ειμι -ἡγαπημένην - stative mid/pas participle fem acc sg -ερρεθη - aor mid/pas indic 3 sg - from λεγω Translation [...vessels of mercy, which have been prepared for glory], whom he also called, namely us, not only from the Jews but from the Gentiles, as also he says in Hosea, "I will call 'Not My People' 'My People,' and ' Not Beloved' 'Beloved,' and it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, 'You are Not My People,' there sons of the living God will be called. Now Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "If the number of Israel should be like the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved, for the Lord will accomplish his word on the earth by fulfilling and by limiting." And just as Isaiah has foretold, "If the Lord of hosts did not leave us offspring, we would have become like Sodom, and we would have been made like Gomorrah." Grammatical Notes -According to BDAG, ὁυ in v. 26, though it is the genitive of ὁς, came to function as an "adverb of place." -The resurgence of καλεω in vv. 24-26, λογος in v. 28 and σπερμα in v. 29 recalls vv. 6-13. -Schreiner (citing Piper also) sees vv. 24-29 as a new unit that returns to the issues discussed in vv. 6-13 (525) -->he cites Luz, who thinks that v. 24 should be included in the excursus of vv. 14-24 on the sovereign freedom of God (525) -Schreiner (528), Dunn (572) comment on the use of κραζει as emphatic, denoting special importance to what follows. Questions 1. What is the development in the discourse signaled by δε in v. 27, and how is it significant? -Schreiner says it is adversative and sets up a contrast between the Gentiles who have been effectually called in vv. 24-26 and the people of Israel who have not yet been effectually called. 2. What is the meaning of συντέμνων in this passage, and how is it relating to συντελῶν? What is the cooperative function of these two words? -Dunn (573) says it is an accomplishing of God's purpose in a diminished Israel -Schreiner (529) alongside Cranfield says that it simply refers to the thoroughness, effectiveness and swiftness with which God accomplishes his word
Exegetical Notes -The shift from the neut/acc/pl relative pronoun to the masc/acc/pl relative pronoun seems to ground Paul's "hypothetical" discourse in reality. It also has a shock value to it. -The relative pronoun is able to switch to the real gender from the grammatical gender - I think that it is the better to put και with εκαλεσεν in v. 24 (as opposed to putting it with ημας) because it refers us back to vv. 6-13 where there was a great deal of talk about calling (καλεω). -The translation of v. 26 is tricky. It seems like the whole of 26a except for εσται is functioning adverbially and is subsumed in the εκει. 26b appears to be the main clause, so the emphasis seems to be on the fact that the salvation will be accomplished in the same place that the curse was pronounced. Perhaps this is a reference to the cross. -Seifrid says that it is a reference to the desolation of the land, which implicitly relates to the fact that the present judgment of Israel will be followed by mercy...Yet 'place,' too, becomes level ground for the Gentiles..." (648) v. 29 -This 2nd class conditional sentence assumes something that is actually not true for the sake of an argument. In this case, the idea that the Lord did not leave an offspring to us is assumed in order to show what would have happened in that case. The resultant idea is that, "The Lord of hosts has indeed left us an offspring, so we shall not become like Sodom and Gomorrah." Questions 1. What is the development in the discourse signaled by δε in v. 27, and how is it significant? -Schreiner says it is adversative and sets up a contrast between the Gentiles who have been effectually called in vv. 24-26 and the people of Israel who have not yet been effectually called. I disagree with this and would offer that v. 26 does not have to be viewed so narrowly as a justification for the inclusion of the Gentiles because such a discussion already occurred back in chs. 2-3. An interpretation that seems more fitting to the immediate context of Romans 9 would be that v. 26, by way of concluding the section from vv. 14-26, sums up the argument by declaring that all those who were called, both Jews and Gentiles, were not God's people until he called them. This would be in accord with the thrust of the argument in vv. 14-26, as a justification of God's actions in vv. 6-9 and vv. 10-13, that just as vessels of wrath are vessels of wrath because he prepared them to be so, vessels of mercy are only vessels of mercy by his calling. -Alternatively he seems to be calling Isaiah as a 3rd witness to support the claim back in v. 6 that the word of God has not failed. If you trace the major developmental conjunctions to this point, you find that the initial problem was introduced by δε (v. 6), the initial response was made by the negated form of δε (v. 7), and the next response was introduced by δε (v. 10). Now there is an excursus explaining why these two responses do not imply that God is unrighteous, and having done so, he then introduces his final argument with δε (v. 27) to explain and solidify that these actions are not only righteous but also the very means by which he fulfills his word. While there are other uses of δε in this discourse, they are clearly not functioning on a macro level like the uses in vv. 6, 7, 10, and 27. -He establishes the principle of election to explain why the word of God hasn't failed in 6-13 -He establishes why the principle of election is righteous in 14-26 -He establishes that the principle of election is the means by which the word of God is accomplished in 27-29 Possible Interpretation of vv. 27-28 -Abrahamic covenant reference in v. 27 -"If the number of the sons of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved." (In order for the sons of Israel to be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved.) -The 3rd class conditional sentence introduced by εαν + subj implies that the protasis will be true or is likely to be true. "The number of the sons of Israel shall indeed be like the sand of the sea." -->The apodosis then is the situation that gives rise to the condition stated, or the cause of the truthfulness of the condition. -See Hosea 1:10 (Hos 2:1 MT) vs. Isaiah 10:22 the differences in the way the protasis is presented?? -" The third class condition encompasses a broad semantic range: (a) a logical connection (if A, then B) in the present time (sometimes called present general condition), indicating nothing as to the fulfillment of the protasis; (b) a mere hypothetical situation or one that probably will not be fulfilled; and (c) a more probable future occurrence. 29 Technically, the subjunctive is used in the third class condition as well as the fifth class condition. Structurally, these two are virtually identical: The fifth class condition requires a present indicative in the apodosis, while the third class can take virtually any mood-tense combination, including the present indicative. Semantically, their meaning is a bit different. The third class condition encompasses a broad range of potentialities in Koine Greek. It depicts what is likely to occur in the future, what could possibly occur, or even what is only hypothetical and will not occur. In classical Greek the third class condition was usually restricted to the first usage (known as more probable future), but with the subjunctive’s [p. 697] encroaching on the domain of the optative in the Hellenistic era, this structural category has expanded accordingly. 30 The context will always be of the greatest help in determining an author’s use of the third class condition." (Wallace, 696-97) -->To translate v. 27 as a concessive is to assume that the first statement is true and that the second statement is surprising. "The number of the sons of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the sea. However, only a remnant will be saved." This does not seem to do justice to the εαν + subj conditional construction. -On Isaiah 10: 21–23 . "There are two sides to the Shear-Jashub theme introduced in 7:4. On the one hand, there is the certain hope of a preserved remnant (21); on the other hand, the sad contrast (22) between ‘the few that be saved’ and the innumerable company of the divine promise ( Gen. 22:17 ). NIV, however, does not offer the only understanding of verse 22 . First, only is an interpretative addition, assuming that remnant here has a threatening sense. Secondly, though is not the most obvious translation of the preposition kî ʾim. It is usually a strong adversative, ‘But (contrary to what you might have thought)’. By itself, remnant in verse 21 would suggest a small number, ‘but, to the contrary’, your people will be like the sand by the sea: this is the remnant that will return. In a word, the Lord will stand by his promises to Abraham and they will be fulfilled. In the light of this, destruction (and the related word in 23) could be translated ‘consummation’: i.e. the Lord will unfailingly bring his promises to their intended conclusion. The interests of the passage are, however, best served by preserving NIV (except for restoring the ‘For’ which should introduce 23). The Holy One who will keep his promises must do so in a way that is true to his holiness. Therefore, the destruction due to sin cannot be withheld, and it will come upon the whole land (23)." (Motyer, Isaiah , Tyndale, 112) -Seifrid's chapter on Romans in Carson/Beale's Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament identifies that the calling of God in vv. 22-26 "signifies the effective and free word of the Creator, which is now visibly embodied in the calling of God's people not only from Jews but also from Gentiles. The people of God are thus...distinct from earthly Israel and from the nations. Here Paul breaks the bounds of his previous argument that dealt with the definition of 'Israel' within the context of earthly descent. Yet Paul's prior identification of'Israel' and 'Abraham's children' as those created by the word of promise and not by physical descent already outlines a pattern with which God's calling of Gentiles through the gospel stands in continuity." (646) -That Paul changes the verb from "saying" to "calling" in v. 25 is "underscoring the effective character of the Lord's word that makes Not-my-people the Lord's people. Paul thus links the text to God's calling of a people from Jews and Gentiles." (Seifrid, 647) -Paul's citation of "Hos. 2:1b MT...makes it clear that God's love and call follow rejection and judgment...This not of saving reversal adds a profound turn to Paul's description of divine calling and rejection in the earlier part of the chapter. The rejected become the chosen...he primarily has in view here the call of a new people from Jews and Gentiles. The divine judgment announced in Hosea reduces Israel to the same status as the nations: they, too, are 'Not-my-people.' Paul implicitly picks up this thought...The present call of a new people from both Jews and Gentiles is a fresh work of the Creator, who acts in freedom and in mercy; 9:24 is the concrete expression of the salvation that Paul describes in 9:22-23, and thereby it implies hardening and judgment." (Seifrid, 647-48) -That Israel became a Gentile nation when God judged them to be "Not-my-people" is "a fundamental point of Paul's appeal to the Hoseanic text...the inclusion of the Gentiles in the promise is direct, for they, too, are nothing other than fallen human beings." (Seifrid, 648) -The conflation of Hos. 1:10 with Isa. 10:22 connects the two quotations together as related, and the use of the language of Hosea for the opening of the quote implies that the purpose of the quote is to imply the hope of salvation and fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise that the number of the sons of Israel will be as the sand of the sea. This could be perhaps the strongest support for the reading argued for here. 2. What is the meaning of συντέμνων in this passage, and how is it relating to συντελῶν? What is the cooperative function of these two words? -BDAG: " to put a limit to someth., freq. w. implication of abruptness, cut short, shorten, limit " -Dunn (573) says it is an accomplishing of God's purpose in a diminished Israel -Schreiner (529) alongside Cranfield says that it simply refers to the thoroughness, effectiveness and swiftness with which God accomplishes his word -Completing and cutting short: the play on words serves to highlight the similarity between two seemingly contradictory terms. How can something be complete and limited at the same time? If the accomplishment of the word happens by completing and cutting, there is a parallel with the previous quotation and the theme of the entire chapter thus far, that salvation is accomplished alongside and through judgment in accordance with the sovereign and free will of God. This also helps to explain the purpose of the following quote in v. 29. If the Lord has not left offspring to us, we would have been utterly destroyed (like Sodom and Gomorrah). There will be cutting, but, in order that God might preserve a people for himself and so accomplish his word, there will surely be completion. Doxological Response -It is a wonder that Paul was able to make it two more chapters before his explosive doxology, for by now it surely seems as though the "foolishness" of God has put to silence the "wisdom" of humans. Although it would seem to those on the outside looking in that the word of God has failed because the people he had chosen were by and large forsaking the Messiah he had sent, Paul, writing in the Spirit, who knows the very mind of God, reveals how wrong such thoughts are. In his infinite wisdom, he has chosen to work this way because he brings more glory to himself when he confounds the reasoning of us simple humans, who now have no other response than to bow in worship. For he has not only done marvelous things that surpass our understanding, but he has done them and made us the beneficiaries! May thankfulness and joy abound as we consider how high and how deep and how broad and how long the love of God is for us in Christ Jesus.