ROMANS CHAPTER 9

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Romans. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

I) [Ro 9:1-4a]:

(v. 9:1 YLT) "Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit,

(v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart -

(v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

(v. 9:4a YLT) who are Israelites, ..."

A) PAUL EXPRESSES SUCH A GREAT GRIEF AND UNCEASING SORROW THAT HE WISHES HE HIMSELF WOULD BE UNDER CHRIST'S ANATHEMA (CONDEMNATION) INSTEAD OF PAUL'S BRETHREN, THE ISRAELITES - WHICH ANATHEMA WAS DUE TO THE ISRAELITES' REJECTION OF CHRIST AND THEIR BLASPHEMING GOD'S NAME

(v. 8:29 NKJV) "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (v. 8:30 NKJV) Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (v. 8:31 NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God [is] for us, who [can be] against us? (v. 8:32 YLT) He who indeed His own Son did not spare, but for us all did deliver Him up, how shall He not also with Him ...all things grant to us? (v. 8:33 NASB) Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God [is] the one who justifies; (v. 8:34 YLT) who [is] he that is condemning [us]? Christ [is] He that died, yea, rather also, was raised up; who is also on the right hand of God -- who also doth intercede for us. (v. 8:35 NASB) Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (v. 8:36 ASV) Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (v. 8:37 YLT) But in all these we more than conquer, through him who loved us (v. 8:38 NKJV) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, (v. 8:39 NKJV) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (v. 9:1 YLT) Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, (v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart. (v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4a YLT) who are Israelites ..." =

Although chapter breaks are not in the original text that author Paul wrote, we come to a dramatic change in subject matter from Romans 8:37-39 which conveys the great spiritual height of assurance of eternal life that nothing will separate the believer, the one justified by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, the child of God, from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus to Romans 9:1-3 where Paul expresses such a great grief and unceasing sorrow in his heart that he says he could wish that he himself would be under the anathema, the curse of condemnation from Christ instead of his brethren, his kindred in the flesh, i.e., those of his race - the Jewish people for rejecting Jesus Christ, their Messiah and blaspheming God's name:

**** EXCERPT FROM ROMANS CHAPTER 2 ****

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GOD'S NAME IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE THE JEWS DISHONOR GOD BY CONSTANTLY BREAKING THE LAW YET HOLD THEMSELVES UP AS SUPERIOR TO THE GENTILES. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, THEIR UNIQUE POSSESSION. THEY CLAIM THEY RELY ON IT FAITHFULLY

(v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'" =

God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because the Jews dishonor God by constantly breaking the Law yet hold themselves up as superior to the Gentiles. They have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent God and His righteousness to the world through obedience to the law, their unique possession. They claim they rely on it faithfully.

Verse 2:17 begins in the negative: "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew" which implies a Jew who may have fallen short of some standard. The next phrase corroborates this: "If you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God," which implies a certain self-righteousness and false sense of security with God and a false sense of superiority over non-Jews. Then verses 18-20 provide the possibility ("If..."), of a Jew knowing the will of God and approving of what is superior all of which is attributed to learning from the Law.

Verses 19 & 20 continues the context of: 'If you are convinced because of being instructed by the Law and relying on it' and 'If you are convinced that "you are a guide to the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth." ' which suggests that what they are convinced of is not true.

Verses 2:21b-23 then deal the blow of reality: that the Jew by and large has not permitted himself to actually be taught to rely on the Law; he holds a self-righteous opinion which causes him to "brag about his relationship to God" and falsely think he is a "guide to the blind" and "a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of infants." This corroborates that obeying the Law was not a way for man to achieve eternal life, but to make one conscious of sin because it embodies the perfect righteousness from God which is beyond man's capacity, (v. 2:13). The passage goes further to ask questions that implicate Jews for a number of specific things "do you steal?", "do you commit adultery?", "do you rob temples?", "do you dishonor God by breaking the Law?" which each of these questions are answered in the affirmative by verse 24: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

**** END OF EXCERPT FROM ROMANS CHAPTER 2 ****

I cont.) [Ro 9:1-4a cont.]:

(v. 9:1 YLT) "Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit,

(v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart -

(v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

(v. 9:4a YLT) who are Israelites ..."

B) PAUL EMPHATICALLY TESTIFIES THAT HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH IN CHRIST, HIS CONSCIENCE BEARING WITNESS IN THE SPIRIT THAT HE IS FILLED WITH GREAT GRIEF AND UNCEASING SORROW SUCH THAT HE COULD WISH THAT HE HIMSELF WERE UNDER CHRIST'S ANATHEMA (CONDEMNATION) INSTEAD OF PAUL'S BRETHREN, THE ISRAELITES - WHICH ANATHEMA WAS DUE TO THE ISRAELITES' REJECTION OF CHRIST AND THEIR BLASPHEMING GOD'S NAME

(v. 9:1 YLT) Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, (v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart. (v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4a YLT) who are Israelites ..." =

(v. 9:1 Greek) "alEtheian legO en christO .ou ..pseudomai summarturousEs

........................"Truth .......I say in Christ, ...not .I lie, ..........bearing witness with

moi tEs suneidEseOs mou en pneumati hagiO"

me .the conscience ....my ..in .Spirit ......Holy"

Notice that in verse 9:1, Paul testifies emphatically that he is telling the truth in Christ meaning that the statement he is about to make is true that much the more because it was directed by the indwelling Christ. He further emphasizes this by stating that his conscience in telling what he is about to say bears testimony / witness with him in the Holy Spirit, i.e., Paul is under God the Holy Spirit's direction in writing this.

(v. 9:2 Greek) "hoti lupE moi ...estin megalE kai adialeiptos

........................"that grief to me is .....great, ...and unceasing

odunE .tE ......kardia mou"

sorrow in the .heart my"

The first part of Paul's message in chapter 9 expressed in verse 2 is that he is filled with great grief and unceasing sorrow in his heart.

(v. 9:3 Greek) "EuchomEn ....gar autos ...egO anathema ..........einai apo

........................"I could wish... for .myself .I ......accursed [one]..to be from

tou .christou .huper tOn adelphOn mou tOn suggenOn mou kata .............sarka"

the Christ .....for .....the .brothers ..my, .the .relatives ...my .according to .flesh"

In Romans 9:3 (ASV), "For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh," Paul declares the reason for great grief and unceasing sorrow in his heart to be due to the condemnation from Christ upon the Jews - Paul's own people.

The Greek word "EuchomEn" rendered "I could wish" in the ASV in the phrase "For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh" is in the voluntative imperfect tense.

[Syntax of New Testament Greek, Brooks and Winbery, authors, 1979, University Press, Lanham, MD, p. 95]:

"Voluntative Imperfect

Some grammarians prefer to call this the desiderative imperfect, others the potential imperfect. Whatever the name, it expresses a present desire, wish, or disposition. The imperfect rather than the present is used when there is a need to express the desire as politely and inoffensively as possible or when there is a certain amount of hesitation due ot the fact that the desire is impractical or impossible."

The word "anathema" rendered curse in the ASV is a noun meaning an object which is under a divine curse, in this case under the curse of the Christ's relative to punishment due to the Israelites' rejection of Him and their history of unfaithfulness..

Finally, the word "sungenOn" rendered "kinsman" refers to relatives by blood, fellow countryman, which is emphasized by the phrase which follows: "kata sarka" = "according to flesh" meaning physically related by blood, i.e., kinsmen, i.e., physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac.

So Paul uses the voluntative imperfect instead of the present tense in order state as politely and inoffensively as possible, that he could wish to be under Israel's anathema for rejecting their Messiah Jesus Christ. It is in fact not possible for Paul, a born again believer, to be under Christ's divine curse in place of his brethren Jews, his flesh and blood kinsmen for rejecting Christ. That Paul's kinsmen are Jews is corroborated in verse 9:4a with the phrase "who are Israelites," referring to the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac by definition. Evidently Paul is very emotionally attached to the spiritual and temporal welfare of the Jews, his own people. Having become a believer has evidently served to heighten his concern for his fellow Israelites especially in view of his being "in Christ," (cf. Ro 8:1), and being under the direction of the Holy Spirit, (v. 9:1). By implication of this divine direction, we may conclude that God is very emotionally attached to the spiritual and temporal welfare of the Jews as well - His chosen people.

II) [Ro 9:4-5]:

(v. 9:4 YLT) "who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises

(v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen."

A) TO THE ISRAELITES: THEIRS IS THE ADOPTION BY GOD AS SONS, AND THE GLORY OF GOD TO EXPERIENCE ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN, AND THE COVENANTS GOD HAS MADE WITH THEM, AND THE LAW GIVING, AND THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVICE OF WORSHIP OF GOD IN THE TABERNACLE AND THE TEMPLE, AND THE PROMISES WHICH ARE CONNECTED WITH THE COVENANTS GOD GAVE TO THE DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM THROUGH ISAAC AND JACOB

(v. 9:1 YLT) Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, (v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart. (v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4a YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises, (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen" =

Author Paul stipulates that the Israelites are special for a number of reasons:

1) THEIRS IS THE ADOPTION BY GOD AS SONS

(v. 9:3 ASV) "For I [Paul] could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4 YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen." =

Theirs is "the adoption" from the Greek word "huiothesia," Str. #5206, which contains the root words "huios," Str. # 5207 meaning son and "tithEmi," Str. #5087 meaning to place, hence to place into sonship or place into adoption as sons.

a) [Compare Dt 14:1-2 NIV]:

(v. 14:1 NIV) "You are the children of the LORD your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead,

(v. 14:2 NIV) for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be His treasured possession."

Notice that it is stipulated that the Israelites are the children of God "out of all the peoples on the face of the earth" as "His treasured possession."

A true Israelite is a physical descendant of Abraham through Isaac plus one who has expressed a moment of the faith of Abraham in a coming Savior through the seed of Isaac, his son, (vv. 9:6-7). He is adopted by God as His child as part of the family of God with special considerations not the least of which are enumerated in verses 9:4-5, namely a period of personally experiencing the glory of God, being part of the covenants given to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac, the Mosaic Law giving, the Temple service, the promises of temporal blessing for obedience, the patriarchial fathers and Christ Himself Who is Ruler overall is their physical descendant, their brother and fellow Israelite!

2) AND THEIRS IS THE GLORY OF GOD TO EXPERIENCE ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN

(v. 9:3 ASV) "For I [Paul] could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4 YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen." =

a) [Compare Ex 16:10; 24:16-18, 40:34 NIV]:

(v. 16:10 NIV) "While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud."

(v. 24:16 NIV) "and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud.

(v. 24:17 NIV) To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain.

(v. 24:18 NIV) Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights."

(v. 40:34 NIV) "Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

(v. 40:35 NIV) Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

Note that the Israelites, the children of God were uniquely and graciously provided by God with experiencing the glory of God on the earth in their mortal lifetimes as well as an opportunity for eternal glory through the Seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, namely a Messiah-Savior. This is not to say that individuals of all nations do not have the opportunity to experience eternal glory but that opportunity will be through the covenants of God which were made with Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob to that end.

3) AND THEIRS ARE THE COVENANTS GOD HAS MADE WITH THEM

(v. 9:3 ASV) "For I [Paul] could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4 YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen." =

The Greek word "diathEkai" rendered "covenants" in Romans 9:5 YLT refers to God's sovereign unilateral promises to Abraham's descendants through Isaac and Jacob without requirement on the part of them as opposed to a mutual agreement between parties. There is manuscript evidence for both diathEkai = covenants, plural and"diathEkE" = covenant, singular. The singular form must not be considered part of the original text since the singular word for covenant would then refer to the covenant of the Mosaic Law making the next phrase, "the lawgiving" in verse 9:4 redundant.

*** EXCERPT FROM 'GOD'S COVENANTS WITH ISRAEL' ***

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ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

IN THE PROMISED LAND, THE LORD WILL MAKE ABRAM A GREAT NATION (LONGEVITY AND MANY DESCENDANTS), MAKE ABRAM’S NAME GREAT THROUGHOUT THE EARTH FOR ALL HISTORY, AND IN ABRAM WILL ALL MANKIND THROUGHOUT HISTORY BE BLESSED WITH THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ETERNAL LIFE VIA A MESSIAH SAVIOR DESCENDANT

(v. 12:1 NKJV) "Now the LORD had said to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you. (v. 12:2 NAS) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you will be a blessing. (v. 12:3 NAS) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. ' "

(Gen 12:1 Interlinear) "wayyO'mer .yehwâ ...'el- 'abrAm lek-lekA ..mE'arsekA

...................................."and He said Yahweh .to Abram ..go to you .from your land

ûmimmôladtekA ...............ûmibbêt .................'AbîkA ........'el-hA'Ares

and from your relatives ....and from house of .your father to the land .

'aser ...'ar'ekA"

which .I will show you"

(Gen 12:2 Interlinear) "we'e'eskA .................legôy .......gAdôl wa'abArekkA

....................................."and I will make you to nation great ..and I will bless you

wa'agaddelâ ................semekA .....wehyEh .....berAkâ"

and I will make great .your name .so become .blessing" =

By virtue of the imperfect tense Hebrew verb "wayyO'mer" rendered "had said" (NKJV) which tense portrays repeated action in the past, verse 12:1 stipulates that the LORD had repeatedly said from the time when Abram was in Ur that Abram was to go from his native land Ur, (cf. Gen 15:7), to a land He will show Abram; whereupon, beginning in verse 12:2, the LORD promised Abram to make him a great nation. Notice that the phrase is not 'I will make you ruler of a great nation.' but "I [the LORD] will make you a great nation," i.e., Abram himself will become a great nation. Since a nation is an entity of a great number of individuals, and since Abram will become a great nation, then Abram, in spite of being childless for decades, is to have and live to see a great number of physical descendants over whom he will rule. Verse 12:2 goes on to say, "And I [the LORD] will bless you [Abram] and make your name great; And so you will be a blessing." So Abram is to effect a great number of the people of the earth in some great manner, affording to them great blessing over a great length of time, for it takes time for one to live to have a nation of descendants and by that become a great name throughout all the earth for all history.

Verse 12:3 continues the LORD’s declarations of Abram’s future by stating a number of astounding predictions which indicate that the LORD specifically selected Abram out of the sea of humanity in human history for His special and eternal purpose: "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed." Unlike the word ‘world’ which might be limited in time and geography in the context of Gen 12:3, the Hebrew word rendered "earth" in the NKJV in the context of Gen 12:3 encompasses the entire globe of the earth for all time. So the phrase "all the families of the earth" encompasses all mankind throughout history from all points of the earth.

A picture is presented of the LORD sovereignly selecting Abram from Ur of the Chaldees out of the sea of humanity to go to the promised land to be His vessel, (cf. 12:1). The LORD will then supernaturally enable Abram, whose wife has been barren and childless for decades, (cf. Gen 11:30) - both of whom are very old and unable to have children to have such a great name, i.e., have such a worldwide reputation of doing great and godly things and be such a great nation of many physical descendants that in Abram will all the families of the earth throughout history and eternity be blessed through the seed of Abram. This is evidently a fulfillment of the promise of God to provide for the eternal reconciliation of man to God relative to sin and the restoration of mankind's sovereignty over the earth through the miraculous Seed of the woman - a Messiah-Savior, evidently through the seed of Abram, (cf. Gen 3:14-15). That fact alone - that the Messiah-Savior of the world will be a descendant of Abram, will make Abram a great nation and a great name, for in him through that Messiah-Savior will be an opportunity for eternal life and blessing for all the families of the earth throughout history.

Hence an eternal time frame is in view. All of this is with an emphasis on the LORD's sovereign enablement in moving Abram to a faithful position in the land He will show Abram so as to fulfill His promises unilaterally and supernaturally. This was to begin with Abram getting out of his country, going from his family and his father's house to a land He will show Abram, (v. 12:1).

GENESIS CHAPTER 3 DECLARES GOD'S PLAN FOR THE ETERNAL RECONCILIATION OF MAN TO GOD AND THE RESTORATION OF MANKIND'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE EARTH THROUGH AN INDIVIDUAL DESCENDANT OF EVE WHICH CHAPTER 12 IMPLIES WILL BE FULFILLED THROUGH THE LORD'S MAKING ABRAM A GREAT NATION AND A GREAT NAME AND IN ABRAM THROUGH HIS SEED WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ETERNAL LIFE AND BLESSING FOR ALL MANKIND THROUGHOUT THE AGES

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' (v. 3:15 NKNV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel... (v. 12:2 NAS) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you will be a blessing." =

Genesis chapter 3 declares God's plan for the eternal reconciliation of man to God and the restoration of mankind's sovereignty over the earth which chapter 12 implies will be fulfilled through the LORD's making Abram a great nation and a great name and in Abram through his seed will be an opportunity for eternal life and blessing for all mankind throughout the ages and eternity. The context of previous chapters in Genesis has indicated that mankind is sinful and estranged from God for which He has a plan for reconciling mankind to Himself through the Seed of Eve which will evidently be through the seed of Abram wherein all individuals have the opportunity to be blessed throughout history with spiritual reconciliation with God and eternal life with Him resulting in the restoration of mankind's authority over the earth.

[GEN 3:14 NKJV]:

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' "

(Gen 3:4 Interlinear) "wayyO'mer .yehOwâ 'elOhîm 'el-hannAhAs .kî '.........AsîtA ...zO't

....................................."and He said Yahweh .God .......to the serpent because you did this

'Arûr ..attâ mikkAl-habbehEmâ ûmikkOl ..hayyat ...............hassAdeh 'al-gehOnekA

cursed you .of all of the animals ..and of all living things of the field ....on your belly

tElEk ..............we'ApAr tO'kal ..........kAl-yemê .hayyeykA"

you will crawl and dust .you will eat .all days of your life"

FOR DECEIVING EVE AND CAUSING HER AND ADAM TO SIN, THE LORD GOD CURSED THE SERPENT WHO WAS POSSESSED BY SATAN, GOD'S ADVERSARY, MORE THAN ANY OTHER CREATURE, RELEGATING SERPENTS NOW TO CRAWL ON THEIR BELLIES, EATING DUST AS A SIGN OF JUDGMENT UPON SATAN'S REBELLION

(v. 3:14 NKJV) "So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.' " =

God spoke to the particular serpent in the garden of Eden in a manner consistent with one who had demonstrated highly intelligent, subtle and evil qualities but wholly inconsistent with such an earthly creature as God had created it. For of all the earthly creatures, only man was created to have a soul which reflected the image of God thereby providing such high intelligence and capacity to exercise rulership over all the other created beings on the earth. Hence we may conclude that the serpent in view in Genesis 3 was possessed / influenced by another highly superior created being other than the two humans God had created; which leaves an angelic being. So for deceiving Eve and causing her and Adam to sin, (Gen 3:1-7), the LORD GOD cursed the serpent who was possessed by a rebellious angelic creature named in other passages as Satan, God's adversary. God cursed the serpent more than any other creature, relegating serpents now to crawl on their bellies, eating dust as a sign of judgment upon Satan's rebellion. Previous text in Genesis does not describe such an intelligent and evil being, but other passages in Scripture corroborate this and provide more details:

[GEN 3:15]:

(v. 3:15 NKNV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel."

(Gen 3:15 Interlinear) "we'êbâ ........'Asît .......bênkA ..........ûbên .............hA'issâ

......................................."and enmity I will put between you and between the woman

ûbên ..............zar'akA ...ûbên .............zar'â .....hû yesûpekA ..............rO's we'attâ

and between .your seed and between her seed he .he will crush you .head and you

tesûpennû ...............'AqEb."

you will bruise him heel"

TWO SPIRITUAL (NOT BIOLOGICAL) SEEDS ARE IN VIEW:

i) THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO FOLLOW SATAN IN SPIRITUAL REBELLION ARE DECLARED SEED OF SATAN - ANGELS AND HUMANS ALIKE. THEY ARE FURTHER DECLARED BY GOD TO BE AT ENMITY WITH THE WOMAN, EVE, AND HER SEED:

ii) A SEED, WHICH BIOLOGICALLY COMES FROM THE MALE, IN ORDER TO BE THE SEED OF THE WOMAN, HAD TO BE PRODUCED INTO A FEMALE PHYSICAL DESCENDANT OF THE WOMAN SUPERNATURALLY AND SPIRITUALLY BY GOD TO RESULT IN AN INDIVIDUAL MALE DESCENDANT TO REPRESENT THE HUMAN RACE - A MESSIAH-SAVIOR - IN THE BATTLE WITH SATAN AND HIS SEED TO PROVIDE ETERNAL RECONCILIATION FOR HUMANITY WITH GOD AND REGAIN SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HUMAN RACE OVER THE WORLD

(v. 3:15 NKNV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." =

The Hebrew words "zar’akhA" and "zar’Ahh' " rendered "your seed" and "her Seed" respectively in 3:15 in the NKJV usually has a biological connotation; but in Genesis 3:15, the Hebrew words "zar’akhA" and "zar’Ahh' " refer to:

i) Those individuals - angelic and human - who deliberately follow, i.e., are given 'birth' as seed of the Agent (Satan) who possessed the serpent and caused Eve to sin. Note that that Agent is a spiritual being, not a physical one, hence seed has a spiritual connotation, not a physical one. Furthermore, all of the seed of Satan were declared by God to be at enmity with the woman and her Seed.

ii) The second word rendered seed in Genesis 3:15 which is rendered with a capital "S" in the NKJV, is portrayed as resulting in a male physical descendant of the woman, Eve, in 3:15c: "He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." The word seed when it is used to portray a physical descendant, normally refers to a seed which biologically comes from the male; but in the case of Gen 3:15, the phrase "the seed of the woman" is stipulated as opposed to the normal phrase 'the seed of the man.' Hence the word "Seed" in this case refers to a Seed which must be produced supernaturally and spiritually by God into a female physical descendant of the woman, Eve, in order to result in an individual male descendant of that woman. The Seed of the woman, Eve, is futher portrayed as representing the whole human race - a Messiah-Savior, hence the capital "Seed" - in doing battle with Satan and his seed to regain the lost sovereignty of the human race, usurped by Satan; and to provide an opportunity for every individual human being to be eternally reconciled with God relative to sin.

THE SEED OF THE WOMAN PORTRAYS AN INDIVIDUAL OF SUPERNATURAL BIRTH VIA A SPIRITUALLY PROVIDED SEED WHO WILL REPRESENT ALL OF HUMANITY IN BATTLE WITH SATAN AND HIS SEED TO REGAIN THE LOST SOVEREIGNTY OF THE HUMAN RACE OVER THE WORLD AND PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEING TO BE ETERNALLY RECONCILED WITH GOD RELATIVE TO SIN. THIS MESSIAH-SAVIOR WILL BRUISE SATAN'S HEAD = DELIVER A MORTAL BLOW TO DESTROY HIM, AND SATAN WILL BRUISE HIS HEEL - A NON-MORTAL BLOW

(v. 3:15 NKJV) "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." =

The word "shuph," [Str. # 7779], rendered "shall bruise" twice in 3:15 connotes a striking blow which is purposed to cause destruction.

The LORD GOD spoke to Satan who possessed the serpent in the garden and caused Adam and Eve to sin, usurping their position of authority over the world. He said, "And I [the LORD GOD] will put enmity, [i.e., decree mutual hostility] between you [Satan] and the woman [Eve, who is the mother of all humanity, (cf. 3:20)].

Notice from Gen 3:1 on, it was not Satan's intent to have hostility, but to gain sovereignty over Eve, humanity and the world. He successfully deceived and hence manipulated her and Adam so as to usurp their position and God's authority given to them by God over the earth.

... and [enmity] between your seed and her Seed =

[And there was also decreed by God to be enmity between the seed of Satan, i.e., those who chose to rebel against the LORD GOD, to be spiritually like Satan: unbelieving and rebellious angelic and human beings. They are 'birthed' by Satan in the sense of choosing to rebel against God after Satan's example. Satan evidently makes a constant effort to tempt others to follow him in rebellion against God]

and her Seed =

[= a single individual is portrayed in 3:15b considering the next phrase in 3:15c, ("He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel"), which has a single individual in view. This Individual is stipulated as the Seed of the woman, Eve, portraying a supernatural birth via a spiritually provided Seed to impregnate a female descendant of Eve to give birth to a male descendant Who will represent all of humanity in battle with Satan and his seed to regain the lost sovereignty of the human race over the world and provide an opportunity for every individual human being to be eternally reconciled with God relative to sin.

The LORD GOD then said, 'He [the single individual Messiah Savior] shall bruise [strike] your head, [ i.e., deliver a mortal blow via an act which destroys Satan and the evil he did and restores humanity to its original sinless state]

and you [Satan] will bruise [strike] his heel, [i.e., deliver a non-mortal blow, i.e., cause him injury but not mortal to His existence and purpose, giving Him the victory over sin for all humanity over Satan and his evil work which caused Adam and Eve to sin, destroy their relationship with God and lose control of their rulership over the world to Satan]

ABRAM BEGAN BELIEVING, IN THE TIME FRAME OF GENESIS 15:4-6, IN GOD'S PROMISE OF INNUMERABLE DESCENDANTS THROUGH HIS SEED SUPERNATURALLY PROVIDED BY GOD AND RELATIVE TO THE LORD'S PROMISE OF INHERITING THE LAND AT WHICH TIME GOD ACCOUNTED IT TO ABRAM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE AND CONFIRMED HIS ENTIRE COVENANT WITH ABRAM UNILATERALLY

(Gen 15:4 NKJV) "And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.' (Gen 15:5 NKJV) Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants [lit. seed] be.' (Gen 15:6 NKJV) And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness, (v. 15:17 ASV) And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking furnace [lit. fire pot], and a flaming torch that passed between these pieces. (v. 15:18 NKJV) In that day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: (v. 15:19 NKJV) the Kenite, and the Kenizzite, and the Kadmonite, (v. 15:20 NKJV) and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Rephaim, (v. 15:21 NKJV) and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Girgashite, and the Jebusite"

(Gen 15:6 Interlinear):

"wehe'emin ........bayhwâ .....wayyahsbehA .............lô sedAqâ"

"and he believed in Yahweh and He considered it .to him righteousness."

The Hebrew word "wehe'emin" rendered "and he [Abram] believed" in verse 15:6 in the NKJV is in the Hiphil stem in the perfect tense portraying a simple completed action by Abram as an immediate response to the LORD's words in the previous verse: "Then He [the LORD] brought him [Abram] outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He [the LORD] said to him [Abram], 'So shall your descendants [lit. seed] be."

So when Abram began believing in God's promise of innumerable descendants relative to the promises he had been making to Abram since Ur - it was in the time frame of Gen 15:4-6, whereupon God acounted it at that time to Abraham for righteousness unto eternal life, i.e., the perfect righteousness of God. So Abraham was credited with God's perfect righteousness in conjunction with God's promise to Abraham and innumerable descendants of receiving the promised land forever which God's righteousness is evidently required in order to have eternal life in order to inherit the promised land forever. Note that it was received by a moment of faith alone in the LORD's promise alone. And the entire covenant was confirmed unilaterally by the LORD, (cf. Gen 15:17-18). So it cannot be misconstrued that Abraham was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle in order to receive eternal life from God. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.

Gen 15:5-6 is not just a picture of Abram's countless descendants living long after he died with him having gone into the Lake of Fire. There would be no purpose if Abraham would never see them in person, i.e., have eternal life and instead be eternally confined and condemned to the Lake of Fire? This demonstration by the LORD was a picture of His promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time through an individual seed / descendant supernaturally provided for in order to make all of this possible. For Abram was still childless and impotent and Sarai was barren. And all of God's promises to Abram and through his seed to all mankind, the LORD were unilaterally confirmed with Abram.

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT WAS CONFIRMED WITH ISAAC BECAUSE ABRAHAM WALKED BEFORE THE LORD AND THEREBY WAS DECLARED BLAMELESS, I.E., VIEWED AS OBEYING THE LORD'S VOICE AND KEEPING HIS CHARGE, COMMANDS, STATUTES AND LAWS

(Gen 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [so shall you] be [declared] blameless." ... (Gen 26:1 NKJV) There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar. (Gen 26:2 NKJV) Then the LORD appeared to him and said: 'Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. (Gen 26:3 NKJV) Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. (Gen 26:4 NKJV) And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, (Gen 26:5 NKJV) because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.'(Gen 26:6) So Isaac dwelt in Gerar."

In the face of famine, the LORD commands Isaac to remain in the land of Gerar and not go to Egypt - similar to the LORD's repeated command to Abram to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go to the Promised Land and remain there even in the face of famine and not go to Egypt, (cf. Gen 12). He confirms with Isaac the oath, i.e., the covenant He swore to his father Abraham when he went to the Promised Land. He specifically stipulated to Isaac as He did with Abraham that He will make Isaac's descendants, (and therefore Abraham's), as numerous as the stars in the sky, and will give them the Promised Land; and through Isaac's offspring, lit., seed, will all the nations of the earth be blessed which points to a future Messiah-Savior as it did with Abraham . Notice that these blessings of the covenant are as a result of the "requirements, commands, decrees and laws" of the LORD that Abraham declared as obedient to, evidently by walking before the LORD as the LORD commanded Abraham in Gen 17:1-2. For the covenant of the LORD with Abraham was confirmed unilaterally by the LORD - void of any requirements for Abram to fulfill. Furthermore, as an act of grace, the LORD consistently and supernaturally came to the rescue of Abraham and thus enabled Abraham to fulfill the LORD'S requirements, commands, decrees and laws despite Abraham's frequent failures, (cf Gen chapters 12-15, 20; 17:1-2):

[Compare Gen 17:1-2]:

(v. 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [so shall you] be [declared] blameless.

(v. 17:2 NAS) And I will establish [provided fulfillment of] My covenant between Me and you and I will multiply you exceedingly."

a) WHILE ABRAM WALKS BEFORE THE LORD, I.E., ACKNOWLEDGES HIS HOLINESS, SOVEREIGNTY AND ALL SUFFICIENT CAPACITY TO PROVIDE EVERYTHING, ABRAM IS THUS DECLARED BLAMELESS = RIGHTEOUS BY GOD AS AN ACT OF GRACE

(v. 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [you will] be [declared] blameless." =

The verb form rendered "walk" in the NKJV is in the imperative tense, a command. The second phrase rendered "and [you shall] be [declared] blameless" in the NKJV is in the imperative tense in a 'waw copulative', i.e., it is dependent upon the previous imperative, "walk before the LORD." It is not commanding Abram to be blameless, which is impossible for any mortal. The second imperative is a declaration by the LORD of Abram being blameless when he walks openly before the LORD. In the same way that a business owner can legitimately say, ‘Be open and honest with me and be working’ meaning that so long as you are open and honest with him you will have a job, (no stipulation as to performance at particular tasks); so God can legitimately say to Abram ‘Walk openly and honestly before Me and be blameless’ meaning that during those moments when Abram was open and honest in his life before God, (no stipulation as to being godly), Abram will be blameless.

It is evident that being blameless here is a declaration by the grace of God and not a reflection of actual blameless behavior on the part of Abram, as some contend. This is a grace operation by the LORD as was Abram's declaration of righteousness when he believed in the LORD's plan for his salvation unto eternal life, (cf. Gen 15:6).

THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT IS CONFIRMED WITH JACOB

(Gen 28:10 NKJV) "Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. (Gen 28:11 NKJV) So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. (Gen 28:12 NKJV) Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder [was] set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (Gen 28:13 NKJV) And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I [am] the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. (Gen 28:14 NKJV) Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. (Gen 28:15 NKJV) Behold, I [am] with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.' "

Note that the promises of the LORD given to Jacob are a reiteration of the promises of the Abrahamic covenant given to Abraham and Isaac. [Return to Ro 9:7-8]

THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION AS A SIGN OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

A) ABRAHAM AND HIS HOUSEHOLD MUST KEEP A COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION WITH THE LORD AS A SIGN OF THE ORIGINAL COVENANT NOT AS A PART OF IT

(Gen 13:14 NKJV) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: 'Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward: (v. 13:15 NKJV) for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendant [lit., seed] forever. (v. 13:16 NKJV) And I will make your descendants [lit., seed] as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. (v. 17:1 NKJV) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I [am] Almighty God; walk before Me and [so shall you] be [declared] blameless. (v. 17:2 NAS) And I will establish [fulfill] My covenant between Me and you and I will multiply you exceedingly. (v. 17:3 NKJV) Then Abram fell on his face and God talked with him, saying: (v. 17:3 NKJV) Then Abram fell on his face and God talked with him, saying: (v. 17:4 NKJV) ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. (v. 17:5 NKJV) No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. (v. 17:6 NKJV) I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. (v. 17:7 NKJV) And I will establish [fulfill] My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. (v. 17:8 NKJV) Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’ (v. 17:9 NKJV)And God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (v. 17:10 NKJV) This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants [lit., seed] after you: Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised. (v. 17:11 NKJV) And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. =

Having formally and unilaterally ratified His covenant with Abram, more than 13 years ago, the LORD appears once again to Abram at 99 years old, declares Himself to be "El Shadday", (God Almighty), commands Abram to walk before Him and so shall he be declared blameless and the LORD will establish (begin fulfilling in real time), His covenant with a special emphasis on multiplying Abram exceedingly. Furthermore, the LORD reaffirms Abram that His covenant is with Abram and his descendants forever, (cf. 13:14-16); and then He gives Abram the new name of Abraham, declaring that he is a father of many nations which affirms God's covenant with Abram.

With the above in mind, especially the LORD's formal ratification of His covenant with Abram more than 13 years ago, God says to Abraham, (v. 17:9 NKJV), "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (v. 17:10 NKJV) This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants [lit., seed] after you: Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised." If this is part of the LORD’s original and formally ratified covenant with Abram, it contradicts the non-participatory quality of the original when it was formally ratified. Nothing was stipulated at that time for Abram to do in a proactive way, certainly not circumcision. Furthermore, the LORD said, (v. 17:9 NKJV) "And God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. (v. 17:10 NKJV) This [is] My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants [lit., seed] after you: Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised. Notice that verse 9 and the phrase "This is My covenant" in verse 10a do not refer back to the LORD’s unilateral covenant which He made with Abram more than 13 years ago, but they refer forward to what is spoken to Abram in verse 10b: "Every male [child] among you shall be circumcised." So the LORD is introducing another covenant: a command to Abram and his descendants to be circumcised as a sign of the first covenant, not as a part of it:

(v. 17:11 NKJV) "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you."

Note that circumcision "shall be a sign of [the original Abrahamic] covenant between the LORD and Abram = two covenants are in view.

PALESTINIAN COVENANT

GOD WILL CIRCUMCISE THE HEARTS OF ALL ISRAELITES SO THAT THEY WILL LOVE HIM WITH ALL THEIR HEART AND SOUL IMPLYING COMPLETE OBEDIENCE TO HIM; AND BY THAT THEY WILL LIVE AND FULFILL THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT UNILATERALLY THROUGH THE LORD

[Dt 27-28; 29:1; 30:1-20 NKJV]:

(Dt 27-28)

[Deuteronomy chapters 27-28 speak of blessings and curses for Israel's past history of obedience and disobedience to God]

(v. 29:1 NKJV) "These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the [Mosaic Law] covenant which He made with them in Horeb.

(vv. 29:2-29 NKJV) [A review of Israel's past emphasizing blessings when she was faithful and curses when not]

(v. 30:1 NKJV) Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you,

(v. 30:2 NKJV) and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul,

(v. 30:3 NKJV) that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you

(v. 30:4 NKJV) If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.

(v. 30:5 NKJV) Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

(v. 30:6 NKJV) And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

[Notice that part of the Palestinian Covenant is a New Covenant wherein God will circumcise the hearts of all Israelites at that time so that they will love Him with all their heart and soul implying complete obedience to him; and by that they will live, i.e., experience the abundant blessings and complete fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant unilaterally through the LORD. From the history of mankind from Adam and Eve to Abraham to the Israelites and mankind the world over, it is evident that man has not and will not live godly lives of their own volition unless the LORD circumcises their hearts to enable them to do so]

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, Walvoord and Zuck Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 315]:

"The promise that the LORD your God will circumcise your hearts (cf. 10:16) means that God will graciously grant the nation a new will to obey Him in place of their former spiritual insensitivity and stubbornness. After returning to the Promised Land with a new heart they will remain committed to the Lord and therefore will experience abundant blessing (live). Loving Him wholeheartedly ... they would not fall back into apostasy as they had done before. A new heart is an essential feature of the New Covenant (cf. Ezek 36:24-32), which will not be fulfilled for Israel as a nation until the return of Jesus Christ (cf. Jer 31:31-34)"]

(v. 30:7 NKJV) Also the LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.

(v. 30:8 NKJV) And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today.

(v. 30:9 NKJV) The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,

(v. 30:10 NKJV) if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

(v. 30:11 NKJV) For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.

(v. 30:12 NKJV) It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?

(v. 30:13 NKJV) Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?

(v. 30:14 NKJV) But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.

(v. 30:15 NKJV) See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.

(v. 30:16 NKJV) that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.

(v. 30:17 NKJV) But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,

(v. 30:18 NKJV) I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.

[Notice that obedience to the LORD results in temporal blessing and disobedience in temporal destruction]

(v. 30:19 NKJV) I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live

(v. 30:20 NKJV) that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.' "

[The Palestinian Covenant was made between God and Israel right before Moses died and Israel entered the Promised Land. Hence it was made after the Mosaic Covenant and after Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the generation that had refused to enter the Promised Land the first time had passed away. The covenant would serve the new generation of Israelites as a reminder of their special covenant relationship with God originally ratified unilaterally with Abraham. It was the LORD's promise to restore the fortunes of Israel - make them more prosperous and more numerous than their fathers as they walked in his ways, and kept His commands, decrees and laws. Then the LORD will have compassion on the Israelites and gather them from all the nations where the LORD had scattered them to the land that belonged to their fathers. And the LORD will put curses on Israel's enemies. The focus of this covenant is on what God is going to do more than what Israel is supposed to do. While Israel's prosperity is closely tied to their obedience to God's command and they will still be punished for their disobedience to God, there is coming a day when God will return them to the land and they will possess it and God will bless them forever and through the New Covenant wherein He will circumcise their hearts and the hearts of their descendants, so that they may love Him with all their heart and with all their soul, and live - live forever in the eternal kingdom - live forever in the eternal kingdom]

DAVIDIC COVENANT

God reaffirms the promise of the land that He made in the first two covenants with Israel (The Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenants)

(2 Sam 7:8 NKJV) [God speaks to Nathan, (v. 4)] '''Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel.

(2 Sam 7:9 NKJV) And I have been with you where ever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a a great name, like the name of the great men who are on the earth.

(v. 7:10 NKJV) Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously."

The LORD will establish a temple for David to be built by David's son Solomon. Solomon will be on the throne of Israel which throne will be established forever pointing to a future Messiah King. The LORD will punish him for wrongs but His love will never be taken away from Solomon.

This is an unconditional covenant made between God and David where God promises David and Israel that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) would come from the lineage of David and the tribe of Judah and would establish a kingdom that would endure forever. It is unconditional because God does not place any conditions of obedience upon its fulfillment. The surety of the promises made rests solely on God’s faithfulness and do not depend at all on David's or Israel’s obedience. The promises of the Davidic Covenant are largely a reiteration of the Abrahamic and Mosaic Law Covenants.

This covenant centers on several key promises that are made to David.

God promises that David’s descendent or "seed" will succeed Him as king of Israel and that David’s throne will be established forever - evidently referring to a future Messiah-Savior

1) [2 Sam 7:11-16]:

(2 Sam 7:11 NKJV) ''' " 'Since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the LORD tells you that He will make you a house [a temple of worship].

(2 Sam 7:12 NKJV) When your days [David's, (cf. v. 5)] are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you [Solomon], who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

(2 Sam 7:13 NKJV) He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

(2 Sam 7:14 NKJV) I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of me.

(2 Sam 7:15 NKJV) But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

(2 Sam 7:16 NKJV) And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever' " '''

[The LORD promises to make David's name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth. Further, the LORD will provide a permanent land for His people Israel where no longer will they have to move. The promise that David’s "house," "kingdom" and "throne" will be established forever are significant because they show that the Messiah will come from the lineage of David and that He will establish a kingdom from which He will reign forever. The covenant is summarized by the words "house," promising a dynasty in the lineage of David; "kingdom," referring to a people who are governed by a king; "throne," emphasizing the authority of the king’s rule; and "forever," emphasizing the eternal and unconditional nature of this promise to David and Israel]

2) [Compare 1 Chron 16:15-18 NKJV]:

(v. 15 NKJV) "Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,

(v. 16 NKJV) The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac,

(v. 17 NKJV) And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel for an everlasting covenant,

(v. 18 NKJV) Saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance' "

NEW COVENANT

THE LORD WILL PUT HIS LAW IN THE MINDS OF ALL ISRAELITES SO THEY THEY WILL KNOW AND OBEY HIM; AND HE WILL FORGIVE THEIR WICKEDNESS. HE WILL BE THEIR GOD AND THEY WILL BE HIS PEOPLE

1) [Jer 31:31-34 NKJV]:

(v. 31 NKJV) ''' "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

(v. 32 NKJV) not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

(v. 33 NKJV) But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: 'I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

(v. 34 NKJV) No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. ' "

The LORD will put His law in the minds of Israelites and write it on their hearts. He will be their God and they will be His people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know Him. And He will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Notice that this covenant - a total act of grace on the part of the LORD - was made in view of the repeated failures of the Israelites to obey God. It is the unilateral fulfillment of God's covenants with Abraham and his descendants including David and the Israelite people in view of those failures. This implies the incapacity of any mortal being to obey God except the Seed of the Woman, Jesus Christ Who is the vessel through Whom God is justified in doing this via a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

THE LORD WILL GATHER THE ISRAELITES INTO THEIR OWN LAND AND GIVE THEM A NEW HEART, PUT A NEW SPIRIT WITHIN THEM AND PUT HIS HOLY SPIRIT IN THEM CAUSING THEM TO WALK IN HIS STATUTES AND KEEP HIS JUDGMENTS HENCE FULFILLING THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

1) [Ez 36:24-38 NKJV]:

(v. 24 NKJV) ''' " 'For I [the LORD, (v. 1)] will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

(v. 25 NKJV) Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

(v. 26 NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

(v. 27 NKJV) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

(v. 28 NKJV) Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

(v. 29 NKJV) I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.

(v. 30 NKJV) And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.

(v. 31 NKJV) Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.

(v. 32 NKJV) Not for your sake do I do this,' says the Lord GOD, 'let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!'

(v. 33 NKJV) Thus says the Lord GOD: 'On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

(v. 34 NKJV) The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.'

(v. 35 NKJV) So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’

(v. 36 NKJV) Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.

(v. 37 NKJV) Thus says the Lord GOD: 'I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock.

(v. 38 NKJV) Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.' " '''

[Notice that only after the LORD Himself has taken those Israelites living at the time from among the nations, and gathered them out of all countries, and brought them into their own land - the land promised to Abraham and all his descendants - and sprinkled clean water on them so that they will be clean and cleanse them from all filthiness and from all idols and given them a new heart and put a new spirit within them and taken out their heart of stone out of their flesh and given them a heart of flesh and put His Holy Spirit within them and caused them to walk in His statutes and keep His judgments and do them, (vv. 24-27), will there be a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. In view is God doing it all so that the Israelites will be a godly people. This implies that the Abrahamic Covenant will be finally and completely fulfilled through the New Covenant.

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, Walvoord and Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, 1988, p. 1297]:

"God's restoration will not simply be an undoing of Israel's sin to bring her to a state of neutrality. Rather it will involve the postive implanting of a new nature in Israel's people that will make them reighteous. Jeremiah called this work of God the 'New Covenant", (cf. Jer 31:31)."

*** END OF EXCERPT FROM 'GOD'S COVENANTS WITH ISRAEL' ***

II cont) [Ro 9:4-5 cont.]:

(v. 9:4 YLT) "who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises

(v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen."

A cont.) TO THE ISRAELITES: THEIRS IS THE ADOPTION BY GOD AS SONS, AND THE GLORY OF GOD TO EXPERIENCE ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN, AND THE COVENANTS GOD HAS MADE WITH THEM, AND THE LAW GIVING, AND THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVICE OF WORSHIP OF GOD IN THE TABERNACLE AND THE TEMPLE, AND THE PROMISES WHICH ARE CONNECTED WITH THE COVENANTS GOD GAVE TO THE DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM THROUGH ISAAC AND JACOB, cont.

(v. 9:1 YLT) Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, (v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart. (v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4a YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises, (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen" =

4) AND THEIRS IS THE LAW GIVING

(v. 9:3 ASV) "For I [Paul] could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4 YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen." =

The Law is exclusive to the Jews:

a) [Ps 147:19-20 NIV]:

(v. 19 NIV) "He [The LORD, (v. 2)] has revealed His word to Jacob, His laws and decrees to Israel.

(v. 20 NIV) He has done this for no other nation; they do not know His laws. Praise the LORD."

b) [Ro 2:13-4, 17, 3:1-2 NIV]:

(v. 2:13) "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law" =

Paul provides a perspective of Gentiles - those who do not have the Law, for it was instituted exclusively for Jews, yet they have the capacity to do by nature, i.e., out of their consciences, things required by the Law.

Notice that the lawgiving is unique to the Jews, not to the Gentiles.

c) [Dt 11:26-28]:

(v. 11:26) "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse -

(v. 11:27) the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today;

(v. 11:28) the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known."

Further details on the Law

5) AND THEIRS IS THE SERVICE OF WORSHIPPING GOD IN THE TABERNACLE AND TEMPLE

(v. 9:3 ASV) "For I [Paul] could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4 YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen." =

The worshipping of God was uniquely instituted for the redeemed of Israel, (Ex 30), within the unique Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem built by Solomon, down to the last detail from the building and the clothing of the priests, to the precise rituals and the meaning behind each, (Exodus chapters 24-31; 1 Kings chapters 5-9:9)

a) [Exodus 25:1-8]:

(v. 25:1) "The LORD said to Moses,

(v. 25:2) Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give.

(v. 25:3) These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze;

(v. 25:4) blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair;

(v. 25:5) ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood;

(v. 25:6) olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;

(v. 25:7) and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

(v. 25:8) Then have them make a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell among them."

Notice that God will dwell unquely among the Israelites in the sanctuary of the Tabernacle - a building made exclusively for them to worship God.

6) AND THEIRS ARE THE PROMISES WHICH ARE CONNECTED WITH THE COVENANTS GOD GAVE TO THE DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM THROUGH ISAAC AND JACOB

In view of the fact that Paul stipulated covenants and lawgiving in the list of unique blessings of God upon the Israelites, and since covenants and the Law, (which is a covenant) are promises, then we have in view the promises to Israel which are closely connected to those covenants.

a) Abrahamic Covenant Promises

i) The LORD Promised To Give Abram Eternal Life And Make Abram A Great Nation With Countless Offspring, A Great Name. It Will Be Through Abram That All The Families Of The Earth Of All Ages Will Be Blessed

[Gen 12:1-2]:

(v. 12:1 NKJV) "Now the LORD had said to Abram: 'Get out of [lit. go from] your country, from your family [lit. relatives], and from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.

(v. 12:2 NAS) [The LORD said to Abram] And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing."

[Gen 15:5]:

(v. 5 NKJV) "Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants [lit., seed] be.' "

[Gen 17:2]:

(v. 17:2 NAS) "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and I will multiply you exceedingly."

[Gen 28:13-15]:

(v. 13 NKJV) "And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I [am] the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.

(v. 14 NKJV) Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

(v. 15 NKJV) Behold, I [am] with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.'"

ii) Abraham's Descendants Will Be Strangers In A Country [Egypt] NotTheir Own, Enslaved, Mistreated For 400 Years, That Nation Will Be Punished, Abraham's Descendants Will Come Out With Great Possessions And Return to The Promised Land To Deal With The Amorites

[Gen 15:13-16 NIV]:

(v. 13) "Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.

(v. 14) But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

(v. 15) You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.

(v. 16) In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."

iii) God Will Be With His Children - Israel, And Watch Over Them Wherever They Go

[Gen 28:13-15 NIV]:

(v. 13) "There above it stood the LORD, and he said: 'I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you [Jacob] and your descendants the land on which you are lying.

(v. 14) Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.

(v. 15) I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.' "

b) Davidic Covenant Promises

i) David's Son, Solomon, Will Be Established As Ruler Over Israel And Will Build The Temple Instead Of David - And God Will Be His Father And Punish Him When He Does Wrong, But God's Love Will Never Be Taken Away From Him

[2 Sam 7:27 NIV]:

(v. 27) "O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant [David], saying, 'I will build a house for you.' So your servant has found courage to offer you this prayer."

Notice that God promised that David would build the Temple but later repented and gave the promise to Solomon, David's Son.

[2 Sam 7:12-16 cf. 2 Chr 6:15 NIV]:

(v. 12) "When your [David's] days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring [Solomon] to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.

(v. 13) He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

(v. 14) I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men.

(v. 15) But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.

(v. 16) Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.' "

ii) God Promises To Protect And Redeem Israel Out Of Egypt

[2 Sam 7:22-27 NIV]:

(v. 22) "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.

(v. 23) And who is like your people Israel - the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for Himself, and to make a name for Himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt?

(v. 24) You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, O LORD, have become their God.

(v. 25) And now, LORD God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised,

(v. 26) so that your name will be great forever. Then men will say, 'The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!' And the house of your servant David will be established before you.

(v. 27) O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, `I will build a house for you.' So your servant has found courage to offer you this prayer."

iii) God Allowed No Man To Oppress Israel Or Her Prophets

[1 Chron 16:15-22 NIV]:

(v. 15) "[David said:] Remember His Covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,

(v. 16) The Covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac.

(v. 17) He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

(v. 18) Saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan, as the portion of your inheritance.'

(v. 19) When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it,

(v. 20) they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.

(v. 21) He allowed no man to oppress them; for their sake he rebuked kings:

(v. 22) 'Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.' "

iv) If Your Descendants Walk Faithfully Before God, You Will Never Fail To Have A Man - An Israelite - On The Throne Of Israel

[1 Ki 2:1-4 NIV]:

(v. 1) "When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

(v. 2) 'I am about to go the way of all the earth,' he said. 'So be strong, show yourself a man,

(v. 3) and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go,

(v. 4) and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: 'If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before Me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.' "

[1 Ki 8:20, 24-25 NIV]:

(v. 20) "The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.

(v. 24) You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it - as it is today.

(v. 25) Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me as you have done.' "

[1 Ki 9:1-9 NIV]:

(v. 1) "When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do,

(v. 2) the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.

(v. 3) The LORD said to him: "I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

(v. 4) As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws,

(v. 5) I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, 'You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'

(v. 6) But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them,

(v. 7) then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.

(v. 8) And though this temple is now imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, 'Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?'

(v. 9) People will answer, 'Because they have forsaken the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them - that is why the LORD brought all this disaster on them.' "

c) Mosaic Law Covenant Promises

i) When Solomon Or Israel Is Faithful To God's Commands and Decrees, Then Solomon Remains On The Throne And Succeeding Israelites Will Be Ruler. If Solomon Or Israel Is Unfaithful, Israel Will Be Cut Off From The Land, The Temple Rejected And Israel Ridiculed

[1 Ki 2:1-4 NIV]:

(v. 1) "When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son.

(v. 2) 'I am about to go the way of all the earth,' he said. 'So be strong, show yourself a man,

(v. 3) and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go

(v. 4) and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: 'If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before Me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.' "

[1 Ki 9:1-9 NIV]:

(v. 1) "When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do,

(v. 2) the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon.

(v. 3) The LORD said to him: "I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.

(v. 4) As for you, if you walk before me in integrity of heart and uprightness, as David your father did, and do all I command and observe my decrees and laws,

(v. 5) I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, 'You shall never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'

(v. 6) But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them,

(v. 7) then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.

(v. 8) And though this temple is now imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, 'Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?'

(v. 9) People will answer, 'Because they have forsaken the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them - that is why the LORD brought all this disaster on them.' "

d) Palestinian Covenant Promises

i) [Dt 29:1; 30:1-20 NIV]:

(Dt 27-28)

[Deuteronomy chapters 27-28 speak of blessings and curses for Israel's past history of obedience and disobedience to God]

(v. 29:1 NKJV) "These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the [Mosaic Law] covenant which He made with them in Horeb.

(vv. 29:2-29 NKJV) [A review of Israel's past emphasizing blessings when she was faithful and curses when not]

(v. 30:1 NKJV) Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you,

(v. 30:2 NKJV) and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul,

(v. 30:3 NKJV) that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you

(v. 30:4 NKJV) If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.

(v. 30:5 NKJV) Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

(v. 30:6 NKJV) And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

[Notice that part of the Palestinian Covenant is a New Covenant wherein God will circumcise the hearts of all Israelites at that time so that they will love Him with all their heart and soul implying complete obedience to him; and by that they will live, i.e., experience the abundant blessings and complete fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant unilaterally through the LORD. From the history of mankind from Adam and Eve to Abraham to the Israelites and mankind the world over, it is evident that man has not and will not live godly lives of their own volition unless the LORD circumcises their hearts to enable them to do so]

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, Walvoord and Zuck Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 315]:

"The promise that the LORD your God will circumcise your hearts (cf. 10:16) means that God will graciously grant the nation a new will to obey Him in place of their former spiritual insensitivity and stubbornness. After returning to the Promised Land with a new heart they will remain committed to the Lord and therefore will experience abundant blessing (live). Loving Him wholeheartedly ... they would not fall back into apostasy as they had done before. A new heart is an essential feature of the New Covenant (cf. Ezek 36:24-32), which will not be fulfilled for Israel as a nation until the return of Jesus Christ (cf. Jer 31:31-34)"]

(v. 30:7 NKJV) Also the LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.

(v. 30:8 NKJV) And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today.

(v. 30:9 NKJV) The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,

(v. 30:10 NKJV) if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

(v. 30:11 NKJV) For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.

(v. 30:12 NKJV) It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?

(v. 30:13 NKJV) Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?

(v. 30:14 NKJV) But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.

(v. 30:15 NKJV) See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.

(v. 30:16 NKJV) that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.

(v. 30:17 NKJV) But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,

(v. 30:18 NKJV) I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.

[Notice that obedience to the LORD results in temporal blessing and disobedience in temporal destruction]

(v. 30:19 NKJV) I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live

(v. 30:20 NKJV) that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.' "

[The Palestinian Covenant was made between God and Israel right before Moses died and Israel entered the Promised Land. Hence it was made after the Mosaic Covenant and after Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the generation that had refused to enter the Promised Land the first time had passed away. The covenant would serve the new generation of Israelites as a reminder of their special covenant relationship with God originally ratified unilaterally with Abraham. It was the LORD's promise to restore the fortunes of Israel - make them more prosperous and more numerous than their fathers as they walked in his ways, and kept His commands, decrees and laws. Then the LORD will have compassion on the Israelites and gather them from all the nations where the LORD had scattered them to the land that belonged to their fathers. And the LORD will put curses on Israel's enemies. The focus of this covenant is on what God is going to do more than what Israel is supposed to do. While Israel's prosperity is closely tied to their obedience to God's command and they will still be punished for their disobedience to God, there is coming a day when God will return them to the land and they will possess it and God will bless them forever and through the New Covenant wherein He will circumcise their hearts and the hearts of their descendants, so that they may love Him with all their heart and with all their soul, and live - live forever in the eternal kingdom - live forever in the eternal kingdom]

e) New Covenant Promises

i) [Jer 31:31-34 NKJV]:

(v. 31 NKJV) ''' "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

(v. 32 NKJV) not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

(v. 33 NKJV) But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: 'I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

(v. 34 NKJV) No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. ' "

The LORD will put His law in the minds of Israelites and write it on their hearts. He will be their God and they will be His people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know Him. And He will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Notice that this covenant - a total act of grace on the part of the LORD - was made in view of the repeated failures of the Israelites to obey God. It is the unilateral fulfillment of God's covenants with Abraham, David and the Israelite people in view of those failures and hence the incapacity of any mortal being to obey God except the Seed of the Woman, Who is the vessel through Whom God is justified in doing this,(Jesus Christ).

ii) [Ez 36:24-38 NKJV]:

(v. 24 NKJV) ''' " 'For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

(v. 25 NKJV) Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

(v. 26 NKJV) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

(v. 27 NKJV) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

(v. 28 NKJV) Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

(v. 29 NKJV) I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.

(v. 30 NKJV) And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.

(v. 31 NKJV) Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.

(v. 32 NKJV) Not for your sake do I do this,' says the Lord GOD, 'let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!'

(v. 33 NKJV) Thus says the Lord GOD: 'On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

(v. 34 NKJV) The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.'

(v. 35 NKJV) So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’

(v. 36 NKJV) Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.

(v. 37 NKJV) Thus says the Lord GOD: 'I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock.

(v. 38 NKJV) Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.' " '''

[Notice that only after the LORD Himself has taken those Israelites living at the time from among the nations, and gathered them out of all countries, and brought them into their own land - the land promised to Abraham and all his descendants - and sprinkled clean water on them so that they will be clean and cleanse them from all filthiness and from all idols and given them a new heart and put a new spirit within them and taken out their heart of stone out of their flesh and given them a heart of flesh and put His Holy Spirit within them and caused them to walk in His statutes and keep His judgments and do them, (vv. 24-27), will there be a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. In view is God doing it all so that the Israelites will be a godly people. This implies that the Abrahamic Covenant will be finally and completely fulfilled through the New Covenant.

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, OT, Walvoord and Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, 1988, p. 1297]:

"God's restoration will not simply be an undoing of Israel's sin to bring her to a state of neutrality. Rather it will involve the postive implanting of a new nature in Israel's people that will make them reighteous. Jeremiah called this work of God the 'New Covenant", (cf. Jer 31:31)."

7) THEIRS ARE THE PATRIARCHIAL FATHERS, ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB THROUGH WHOM WERE MADE THE COVENANTS AND PROMISES TO ISRAEL. IT IS THROUGH THE SEED OF THE FATHERS THAT CHRIST'S HUMANITY WOULD BE BORN

The patriarchial fathers are the men to whom and through whom the covenants and promises were given prior to the giving of the Law. In Exodus 3:15 God announced Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:

a) [Compare Ex 3:15 NIV]:

'''God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob - has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation." '''

8) THEIRS IS THE CHRIST IN HIS HUMANITY WHO IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL, WHO IS GOD BLESSED FOREVER

(v. 9:5b ASV) "and from whom [Israel is] the Christ, according to the flesh, Who is [sovereign] over all, God blessed forever. Amen."

And from Israel is the Christ according to the flesh, i.e., according to Jesus Christ in His Humanity, Who [in His Humanity] is a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - a Jew born of a Jewish woman. Note that the Humanity of Jesus Christ is declared to be sovereign over all creation and God blessed forever.

III) [Ro 9:6-8]:

(v. 9:6 YLT) "And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel

(v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but - 'in Isaac shall a seed be called to thee'

(v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed"

A) CHRIST'S ANATHEMA ON PARTICULAR ISRAELITES IN HISTORY IS NOT A FAILURE OF THE WORD OF GOD AND THE COVENANTS THEREIN. NOT ALL ISRAELITES ARE TRUE ISRAELITES BECAUSE ONE MUST EXPRESS A MOMENT OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM IN GOD'S PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH ABRAHAM'S SEED, ISAAC AND IN HIS MESSIAH-SAVIOR DESCENDANT

(v. 2:28) "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (v. 9:1 YLT) Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, (v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart - (v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh (v. 9:4 YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises, (v. 9:5 YLT) whose [are] the fathers, and of whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed to the ages. Amen. (v. 9:6 YLT) And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel" =

(v. 9:6 Greek) "ouch hoion ......de ...hoti ekpeptOken ho .logos tou .theou

........................."Not ..however .but .that has failed .....the word .......of God

ou .gar pantes .hoi ex israEl .houtoi israEl"

not for all ........the of .Israel .these ..Israel"

The covenants of God with His people, the Israelites, which covenants are contained in God's Word, promise that the Israelites are His chosen people whom He has assured will rule the world forever from the promised land with His Son as everlasting King. But there is the matter of Christ's anathema on Israelites for rejecting Him. This is not viewed by Paul as a failure of the covenants or of the Word of God because Paul stipulates that not all of those who are of Israel, i.e., those physical descendants of Abraham and Isaac, are "houtoi israEl" = "these Israel," in whom those covenants will be fulfilled. Those Israelites who are under the covenants are of the faith of Abraham, the others are not. Hence those Israelites who are not of the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant are under the anathema of Christ and are not partakers of the covenants.

[Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 10, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., Grank E Gaebelien, Gen. Ed., 1976, p. 104]:

"At once the atmosphere of tragedy is qualified by Paul's forthright denial that the course of events has taken God by surprise. If there is failure, it must be attributed to men, not to God. By 'God's word' (v. 6) we are to understand 'the declared purpose of God'... This certainly involves the element of promise (cf. vv. 8, 9). God's saving purpose does not include all who belong to Israel in the biological sense. This distinction is similar to that drawn concerning the use of the term 'Jew' (2:28, 29). Though unnamed, Ishmael is apparently in view, in contrast to Isaac, when a contrast is made between merely being a descendant of Abraham in a physical sense and enjoying God's call to spiritual destiny - belonging to the godly line of descent that would culminate in the Messiah himself ... It was not true of Isaac that he was born in due course, by natural processes, and that God then acknowledged him for the reason that he belonged to Abraham. Such was the case with Ishmael insofar as it provided a ground for bestowing on him material blessings (Gen 17:20; 21:13). Isaac was unique in that he was the child who was promised. God's purpose was centered in him before he was born. It was God, in fact, not man, Who set the time of his birth. [cf., Gen 21:10, 12]. Apart from divine enablement to the parents, Isaac would never have been born, for Abraham was impotent and Sarah was no longer able to bear children.

B) THOSE WHO ARE ONLY PHYSICAL DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM ARE NOT GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE, ISRAEL. THEY MUST ALSO BE OF THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM - IN THE SON OF THE PROMISE, ISAAC AND IN HIS MESSIAH-SAVIOR DESCENDANT, JESUS CHRIST, UNTO ETERNAL LIFE - TO BE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE, GOD'S CHOSEN ONES OF ISRAEL, THROUGH THE SEED OF ABRAHAM

(v. 9:1 YLT) "Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, (v. 9:2 YLT) that I have great grief and unceasing pain [= sorrow] in my heart - (v. 9:3 ASV) For I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren's sake, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (v. 9:4 YLT) who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises (v. 9:5 ASV) whose [are] the fathers, and from whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is [sovereign] over all, [Who is] God blessed forever. Amen. (v. 9:6 YLT) And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel (v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but 'In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee' [Gen 21:12], (v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed" =

(v. 9:7 Greek) "oud hoti .......eisin .......sperma .abraam

........................."nor because they are .seed .....of Abraham

pantes tekna .......all ...en isaak .klEthEsetai ......soi .....sperma"

all .......children ..but, 'In Isaac .shall be called .to you seed

v. 9:8 Greek) tout estin .ou ..ta ...tekna ....tEs ....sarkos tauta tekna

.......................This is ......not .the .children of the flesh ...these children

tou theou .alla ta ..tekna ....tEs ......epaggelias logizetai ...........eis sperma"

of ..God ....but the children of the ..promise ....are reckoning .for seed"

The point is further made via a reference to Genesis 21:12, ('In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee'), that not all physical descendants of Abraham are children in the sense of being God's children, His chosen people, Israel - called of God to be in His eternal kingdom; only those who are of the faith of Abraham through Isaac. Individuals may be children of Abraham and Isaac in the flesh, i.e., physical descendants; but they are not true children of Israel - of the promise of eternal life through Abraham through his son Isaac and in his Messiah-Savior Descendant, until they believe in that promise.

Note that although Gentiles can express the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant unto eternal life, they are not in view in the context of this particular passage which is limited to those who are true Israelites.

*** EXCERPTS FROM GEN 21 AND ROMANS 2 ***

(Gen 21:10 YLT) and she saith to Abraham, 'Cast out this handmaid and her son; for the son of this handmaid hath no possession with my son - with Isaac.'

(Gen 21:10 Interlinear):

"WattO'mer .le'abrAhAm gArEs .....hA'Amâ .............hazzO' we'et-benâ ..

"and she said to Abraham drive out .the female slave the this and her son because

lO' yîras '''''''''''''''''''ben-hA'Amâ .......................hazzO't 'im-benî .......'im-yishAq"

not .he will be an heir the son of the female slave .the this .with my son with Isaac"

(Gen 21:11 NKJV) And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son.

(Gen 21:12 NKJV) But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.

(Gen 21:12 Interlinear):

"wayyO'mer 'elOhîm .'el-'abrAhAm 'al-yEra' ..............be'êneykA ...'al-hanna'ar

"and He said God .......to Abraham ....not it will be evil in your eyes .concerning the boy

we'al-amAtekA ...............................kOl 'aser ...tO'mar .......'EleykA .sArâ ..sema'

and concerning your female slave .all ..which .she will say .to you ...Sarah listen

beqOlâ ..................beyishAq yiqqArE' ..........lekA ...zAra."

by her voice because in Isaac ...it will be called to you .seed."

God tells Abraham not to consider it wrong, (lit., distress), concerning the expulsion from his household of his son, Ishmael and Ishmael's mother, Sarah's female slave, (Hagar). God tells Abraham to heed the voice of Sarah, Abraham's wife; who has demanded that Abraham cast out the female slave and her son from their household, (cf. Gen 21:10). The reason for God's command is that it is in Isaac that Abraham's seed will be called relative to God's promise of eternal life and that being fulfilled in His provision of a son by faith not by blood relations. It is evident that God wants to make it clear that His promises to Abraham and all mankind were solely through His sovereignty - through Abraham's Seed via relations with his wife Sarah alone, not through anyone else. This excludes Hagar and Ishmael her son with Abraham, for Ishmael was Abraham and Sarah's solution to their childlessness, not God's. There can be no changes in what God has promised, nor risk of confusion, nor any modification by man of what God has promised.

One cannot say that Ishmael as a physical descendant of Abraham fulfills God's promise of a son through whom will come as a descendant, a Messiah-Savior. God's statement, "for in Isaac your seed shall be called [Abraham]" refers to God's promise through Abraham and his son Isaac with Sarah, not through anyone else. A promise that has spiritual implications is in view and is relative to faith in God's promise to Abraham of eternal life through a son by Abraham's wife Sarah, not Hagar.

Earlier passages in Genesis indicate that God formally made a unilateral covenant with Abraham when Abraham believed in God's promise that through his seed would come a Messiah-Savior Who would make provision for eternal life for Abraham and for all the families of the earth throughout all the ages. When Abraham believed in that promise, God declared Abraham righteous unto eternal life, (cf. Gen 15:6). At that time, God ratified and confirmed His covenant with Abraham unilaterally so that all those who expressed a moment of faith in God's promise of a Messiah-Savior through the Seed of Abraham would be declared righteous unto eternal life. Abraham is the example for all individuals of all ages of one who received an eternal righteousness from God unto eternal life through a moment of faith alone in the LORD's provision through Abraham of a Messiah-Savior alone, (Jesus Christ).

Hence it is established that through faith in God's provision through the seed of Abraham, Isaac and through the Seed of Isaac, (Jesus Christ), would come justification unto eternal life - not through Ishmael or any other son of Abraham. Notice that anyone born through Ishmael would in the physical sense be of the seed of Abraham, but not in the sense of the promises of God to Abraham through Isaac and all the families of the earth, which is a spiritual promise through the specific physical descendancy of Abraham through Isaac. In this case, God was refering to the seed of His promise of eternal life which decidedly comes only through Isaac and only by faith not by blood relations.

*** EXCERPT FROM ROMANS 2 ***

AN OUTWARD, (PHYSICAL), JEW MUST BE A JEW IN ANOTHER SENSE: AN INWARD ONE VIA CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART BY THE SPIRIT - BY FAITH IN THE GOSPEL, NOT BY THE LAW, IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED A JEW IN GOD'S SIGHT. GENTILES AND CHRISTIANS ARE NOT IN VIEW IN THIS VERSE

(Ro 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" =

In view in verse 2:28 is an outward Jew, i.e., a man who is a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is not viewed by God as a Jew inwardly. Verse 2:29 then stipulates that an outward, (physical), Jew must be a Jew in another sense: an inward one via circumcision of the heart by the Spirit - by the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior, Abraham's Seed, (Jesus Christ), not by the Law, in order to be declared a Jew in God's sight.

Being a Jew inwardly, (Ro 2:29), is defined as having a "circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code", i.e., not by keeping the commandments of the Mosaic Law or any human doing. Note that Gentiles and Christians are NOT in view in this verse. Although all individuals of all ages, Jew and Gentile alike, are given the opportunity to express a moment of faith alone in Christ alone to receive circumcision of the heart, (a declaration of having God's righteousness unto eternal life), this does not make them Jewish unless they are also physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART (MIND) BY THE SPIRIT IS A SPIRITUAL OPERATION, A REMOVAL OF ONES ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SINS AT THE POINT OF A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE - THE GOSPEL - UNTO THE IMPUTATION OF A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD

(v. 1:2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 1:4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. ... (v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' ... (Ro 2:28) "A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (Ro 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" (cont.) =

Circumcision of the heart is stipulated as a circumcision by the Spirit evidently in the spiritual realm. The word "heart" refers in Scripture to the center of thinking, the mind . Since circumcision is a removal of something by definition; and the phrase "by the Spirit" refers to a spiritual condition that is removed by the Spirit of God; and since author Paul has previously referred to an eternal righteousness from God being imputed to the individual by God, (1:17; 2:13), then that which is removed is ones accountability of sins unto an eternal righteousness from God. This eternal righteousness from God is imputed by God the Holy Spirit at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17). Notice that this inward, spiritual circumcision - removal of accountability for ones sins by the Spirit unto an imputation of an eternal righteousness from God is NOT accomplished by the written code through obedience to it, i.e., by any human doing.

*** END OF EXCERPTS ***

IV) [Ro 9:9]:

(v. 9:9 NIV) "For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time [it takes for a life to be born from conception] I will return, and Sarah will have a son." [Gen 18:10, 14]

A) THE LORD PROMISED TO RETURN TO ABRAHAM AT THE APPOINTED TIME THAT IT TAKES FOR A LIFE TO BE BORN FROM CONCEPTION - IMPLYING THAT SARAH HAD JUST CONCEIVED AT WHICH TIME SARAH WILL HAVE A SON, ISAAC THROUGH WHOM WOULD BE FULFILLED THE LORD'S COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM

(v. 9:6 YLT) "And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel (v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but 'In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee' [Gen 21:12], (v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed. (v. 9:9 NIV) For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time [it takes for a life to be born from conception] I will return, and Sarah will have a son." [Gen 18:10, 14] =

(v. 9:9 Greek) "Epangelias .gar ho .logos houtos Kata ..............ton .kairon

........................."Of promise for .the word this, ....According to the .time

touton eleusomai ...kai ..estai ................tE Sarrha ...huios"

this .....I will come, and .there shall be ......to Sarah a son"

The phrase "For this was how the promise was stated" in verse 9:9 NIV refers to the LORD's promise of a son to be miraculously born to Sarah and Abraham, (Gen 17:15-22; 18:10, 14), who are well past child bearing age. The son is to be named Isaac and through him the LORD promised to fulfill His covenant with Abraham, (cf Gen 12:1-2, 17:15-22):

(1) to make Abram a great nation in the promised land which implies many descendants and rulership forever via a Messiah-Savior, the seed of Abram;

(2) to bless Abram in the promised land which implies temporal and spiritual prosperity and longevity unto eternal life;

(3) to make Abram's name great in the promised land, which implies enabling Abram to be faithful in doing great and godly things as part of God's plan for man's eternal reconciliation with Him and restoration of the loss of mankind's sovereignty over the earth through a descendant of Abram

(4) whereby the LORD declared that in Abram all the families of the earth - of all time - would be blessed implying the temporal and the eternal as part of God's plan for man's eternal reconciliation with Him and restoration of the loss of mankind's sovereignty over the earth through a descendant of Abram.

In Ro 9:9, Paul quotes from Gen 18:10 and 14 when he writes,

(v. 9:9 Greek) "Epangelias .gar ho .logos houtos Kata ..............ton .kairon

........................."Of promise for .the word this, ....According to the .time

touton eleusomai ...kai ..estai ..tE Sarrha huios"

this .....I will come, and .there shall be to Sarah a son"

1) [Compare Gen 18:10, 14]:

(v. 18:10a NKJV) "And He said, 'I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, [according to the time it takes for a life to be born from conception] and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.'...

(Gen 18:10 Interlinear):

"WayyO'mer sôb ...........'Asûb ...........'EleykA kA'Et ...............................hayyâ

"and He said .returning I will return to you ...according to the time of .living things

wehinnEh-bEn lesArâ ....'istekA ....wesArâ .....sOma'at petah ...hA'Ohel wehû 'ahrAyw."

and behold son to Sarah your wife and Sarah listener ..door of the tent ..and it after him."

(v. 18:14 NKJV) Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, [according to the time it takes for a life to be born from conception] and Sarah shall have a son."

(Gen 18:14 Interlinear):

"heyippAlE' ...mêehwâ .........dAbAr lammô'Ed ......'Asûb ...........'EleykA

"is it too hard from Yahweh thing ...to the set time I will return to you

kA'Et ...............................hayyâ ...........ûlasArâ ........bEn"

according to the time of living things and to Sarah son"

In Gen 18:10, the LORD states that He will certainly return to Abraham according to the time of life. Gen 18:14 adds that Yehweh will return, "At the appointed time ... according to the time of life." This implies that there is a specific timeframe for a life to go through the stage from conception to birth, namely the birth of Isaac, the son of the promise through whom God will fulfill His covenant with Abraham and Isaac, (Gen 17:19). So at the appointed time the LORD says that Sarah, Abraham's wife, will have a son - at which time He will return. Hence it is implied that Sarah has, at the time of Genesis 18:10 & 14 conceived Isaac supernaturally via the LORD's divine intervention. And over the time it takes for a human to be born from that moment of conception, (lit., "according to the time of life"), the LORD said He would return ("At the appointed time") when "Sarah shall have a son,", i.e., given birth to that son she conceived. This was to be the son of the promise to Abraham, whose name will be Isaac, (Gen 17:19), with whom God will establish His covenant - the covenant He had earlier confirmed with Abraham through the seed of Abraham, (Gen 15:6-20).

2) [Compare Gen 17:19]:

(v. 17:19 NIV) "Then God said, 'Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him."

V) [Ro 9:10-13]:

(v. 9:10 YLT) "And not only [so], but also Rebecca, having conceived by one, [lit., "by one conception"] [by] Isaac our father -

(v. 9:11 YLT) (for they being not yet born, neither having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling,) it was said to her -

(v. 9:12 YLT) 'The greater shall serve the lesser'; [Gen 25:23]

(v. 9:13 YLT) according as it hath been written, 'Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate.' " [Mal 1:1-3]

A) REBECCA BY 'OUR FATHER ISAAC' HAD ONE CONCEPTION = TWINS BY DIVINE INTERVENTION. WHILE THE TWINS WERE IN THE WOMB AND DID NOT HAVE A CHANCE TO DO GOOD OR EVIL, THE LORD FORETOLD THAT THE GREATER ONE, THE FIRSTBORN WOULD SERVE THE LESSER AND THE LESSER WOULD BE THE SEED OF THE CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE TO ABRAHAM OF A MESSIAH-SAVIOR DESCENDANT. HENCE THE INTEGRITY AND PURPOSE OF THE ELECTION OF GOD WOULD PREVAIL OUTSIDE OF NATURAL CAUSES, HUMAN DOING AND THE TRADITION OF MAN

(v. 9:6 YLT) "And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel (v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but 'In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee' [Gen 21:12], (v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed. (v. 9:9 NIV) For this was how the promise was stated: 'At the appointed time [it takes for a life to be born from conception] I will return, and Sarah will have a son.' [Gen 18:10, 14] ( v. 9:10 YLT) And not only [so], but also Rebecca, having conceived by one, [lit., "by one conception"] [by] Isaac our father - (v. 9:11 YLT) (for they being not yet born, neither having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling,) it was said to her - (v. 9:12 YLT) 'The greater shall serve the lesser;' [Gen 25:23] (v. 9:13 YLT) according as it hath been written, 'Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate.' " [Mal 1:1-3] =

(v. 9:10 Greek) "Ou monon .de ...alla kai ..Rhebekka ex .henos .koitEn

.......................... "Not only....and, but .also Rebecca ...by .one ....conception

echousa .Isaak tou patros hEmOn"

having ...Isaac the father .our"

Verse 9:10 in the Greek stipulates that Rebecca by 'our father Isaac' - referring to the father of the Jews, had by one conception - twins, [(v. 9:11): Jacob and Esau] and while the twins were not yet born, i.e., while they did not yet have a chance to do good or evil, God declared that the greater one, [the firstborn of the twins, Esau] would serve the lesser, Jacob, (v. 9:13), the one born after Esau. So Jacob was the one called of God to be the seed of the children of the promise through Abraham and Isaac - God's children and chosen people. Hence the integrity and purpose of the election of God outside of human doing, (works) and human tradition would prevail, (v. 9:12). Hence Jacob would prevail over Esau solely by God's calling as the seed of the children of the promise through the seed of Abraham and Isaac without any connection with works or the result of the order of natural birth or human tradition; but by the grace and sovereignty of God alone.

1) [Compare Gen 25:21-26]:

(v. 25:21 NIV) "Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

(v. 25:22 NKNV) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, 'If [all is] well, why [am I like] this?|' So she went to inquire of the LORD.

(v. 25:23 NIV) The LORD said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.'

(v. 25:24 NKJV) So when her days were fulfilled [for her] to give birth, indeed [there were] twins in her womb.

(v. 25:25 NAS) Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.

(v. 25:26 NKJV) Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them."

a) When Rebekah Was Barren, Isaac Prayed And God Supernaturally Provided By One Conception, Twin Sons - Progenitors Of Two Nations Who God Foretold Would Struggle With One Another Even In The Womb. The Younger Would Prevail, Receive The Firstborn Birthright And Be The Seed Of God's Chosen People In The Line Of The Promises To Abraham And Isaac Of The Messiah-Savior Descendant

When Isaac's wife Rebekah remained childless - even barren, he prayed and the LORD answered that prayer with the result that Rebekeh became supernaturally pregnant with twin sons. The children so struggled within her womb that Rebekeh inquired of the LORD about this. The LORD's answer was that it was a sign that the two children in her womb were the progenitors of two nations who would struggle with one another and would be separated from one another wherein the older [firstborn] will serve, i.e., be subservient to, the younger [second born] pointing to their familial relationship and implying that the younger would receive the firstborn's family birthright from the older and be in the line of the descendancy of God's chosen people, Israel to the promised Seed of Abraham and Isaac: the Messiah-Savior - a fulfillment of the LORD's covenant with Abraham and Isaac through Jacob, not Esau. Esau would be the father of another nation of people who would struggle with the Israelites, the Edomites, (Gen 36:9).

The firstborn son of Isaac and Rebecca, Esau, in human tradition would have received the birthright blessings and be in authority in the family and the ruler and in the line of God's chosen people to be descendant from the family as a fulfillment of the covenant with Abraham and Isaac. But God declared in His promise to Isaac that this authority and destiny would be given to Jacob, the second born twin - outside of the human tradition of the firstborn. In view of this and Rebekeh's supernatural, divine conception of the twins, it is clear that God's calling of Jacob to be in the line of and ruler of God's chosen people, and to be in the line of the Seed of the Promised Messiah to come, had nothing to do with the natural order of things nor the will or traditions of man, (cf. Gen 25:21-26), but solely of the election and will of God.

[BKC, OT, Walvoord and Zuck Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 68]:

"God supernaturally provided a son for Isaac. Like Sarah, Rebekah was barren (v. 21) even though God promised that nations would stem from Abraham! In contrast with Abraham (16:1-4), Isaac prayed, and God responded. This shows that births were sometimes supernatural provisions...

But there was conflict in Rebekah's womb (25:22). When she went to inquire about this from the LORD, she received a prediction from Him: Two nations, that is, twin progenitors of two nations, were struggling in her womb and the younger would triumph (v. 23). Indeed the Israelites (Jacob's descendants) and the Edomites (Esau's descendants) fought continuously. God's election of Jacob the younger over Esau the older was against the natural order."

B) THE PHRASE "JACOB I DID LOVE AND ESAU I DID HATE" PORTRAYS NOT THE EMOTIONS OF LOVE AND HATE OF GOD BUT THE STARK CONTRAST BETWEEN THE BLESSINGS JACOB RECEIVED FROM GOD AND THROUGH JACOB UPON ALL MANKIND DUE TO GOD'S ELECTION OF JACOB AS THE SEED OF THE PROMISED MESSIAH-SAVIOR OF THE WORLD TO COME THROUGH ABRAHAM VS. NOT ELECTING ESAU FOR THAT PURPOSE

(v. 9:6 YLT) "And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel (v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but 'In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee' [Gen 21:12], (v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed. (v. 9:9 NIV) For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time [it takes for a life to be born from conception] I will return, and Sarah will have a son." [Gen 18:10, 14] (v. 9:10 YLT) And not only [so], but also Rebecca, having conceived by one, [lit., "by one conception"] [by] Isaac our father - (v. 9:11 YLT) (for they being not yet born, neither having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling,) it was said to her - (v. 9:12 YLT) 'The greater shall serve the lesser;' [Gen 25:23] (v. 9:13 YLT) according as it hath been written, 'Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate.' " [Mal 1:1-3] =

Romans 9:13 is not to be taken that God literally hates certain people. It is an hyperbole – a linguistic device portraying a stark contrast. Just as one can say to emphasize the difference in car velocity:

'He went by that car so fast that it was standing still,' so the bible can say, with respect to relative blessings bestowed upon either, that God loved Jacob and hated Esau to demonstrate the stark contrast between the blessings God chose to bestow upon Jacob instead of Esau, and through Jacob upon all mankind. This is due to the LORD's election of Jacob, instead of Esau, to be in the line of the seed of Abraham to a Messiah-Savior of the world. The phrase, "According as it hath been written, 'Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate" in Ro 9:13 is a quotation from Malachi 3:2 & 3 which is in answer to verses 3:1 & 2 wherein Israel questions God's love for her. God's answer to Israel's questioning of Him, "Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate," implies that His love for Israel was demonstrated by the blessings flowing to Israel through His election to bestow blessings upon Jacob, Israel's father, through His love as opposed to choosing Esau.

Note that God did bless Esau and his descendants, the Edomites many times but in the end they were destroyed. Hence a temporal, emotional love and hate is not in view in this passage.

1) [Compare Luke 14:26]:

"If anyone comes to Me [Jesus Christ, (v. 16)] and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple.'

This is not to say that one is to start hating ones parents and family in order to become a disciple of the LORD. Instead there is in view in Luke 1:26 a stark contrast between the focus, priority and devotion to the LORD of a true disciple which is so much greater in comparison with his focus, priority and devotion to his family members that it can be viewed as the difference between love and hate.

[Expositors, pp. 104-5]:

[The phrase 'Not only that' in Ro 9:10 refers to the fact that]: "Something more needs to be said, for it could be pointed out that the nation of Israel looked back to its origin in Isaac rather than in Ishmael or the sons of Abraham by Keturah. After all, it was only natural that the son of Sarah should be chosen rather than the son of Hagar the bondwoman. So Paul feels impelled to cite the case of the twin brothers, both of them sons of Isaac and Rebecca, with nothing in the least lacking regarding their parentage. According to ordinary human expectation, they should stand on equal terms before God in His dealings with them. But it was not so. Natural generation from Isaac, the promised seed of Abraham, did not assure them of the same place in the divine economy. God made a distinction between them before they were born - before their characters had been shaped or any deeds had been performed that might form a basis for evaluation. The freedom and sovereignty of God were thus safeguarded. He deliberately disturbed the normal pattern of the culture into which the children were born by decreeing that the elder should serve the younger. It is not portraying a temperamental type of hate vs. love, but a contrasted positional difference in the relationship God promised with Jacob vs Esau.

In this connection, by quoting Malachi 1:2, 3, Paul lifts the discussion from what might appear to be a purely personal one to the plane of corporate, national life. God's love for Jacob and hatred for Esau ought not to be construed as temperamental. Malachi is appealing to the course of history as fulfilling the purpose of God declared long before. Hatred in the ordinary sense will not fit the situation, since God bestowed many blessings on Esau and his descendants. The 'hatred' is simply a way of saying that Esau was not the object of God's electing purpose (cf. the use of hate in Luke 14:26, where discipleship is stated to involve 'hatred' for one's own family and one's own life; they are simply put out of consideration when one takes on himself the responsibility of following Christ). The value of the account of the two brothers is to make clear that in election God does not wait until individuals or nations are developed and then make a choice on the basis of character or achievement. If He did so, this would make a mockery of the concept of election, because it would locate the basis in man rather than in God and His purpose. God's love for Jacob, then, must be coupled with election rather than explained by some worthiness found in him."

2) [Compare Mal 1:1-3]:

(v. 1:1NKJV) "The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. Israel Beloved of God

(v. 1:2 NKJV) 'I have loved you,' says the LORD. Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' 'Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?' Says the LORD. 'Yet Jacob I have loved;

(v. 1:3 NKJV) 'But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.' "

a) Israel Questions God's Love For Her. God Answers: Jacob, Your Father, I Did Love - I Chose To Bless Him And Hence All Israel With The Blessings Of The Covenant I Made With Father Abraham. By Contrast, Esau, His Brother, I Hated - I Did Not So Choose To Bless. I Laid Waste His People And His Heritage

(v. 1:1 NKJV) "The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. Israel Beloved of God (v. 1:2 NKJV) 'I have loved you,' says the LORD. Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' 'Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?' Says the LORD. 'Yet Jacob I have loved; (v. 1:3 NKJV) 'But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.' " =

Israel questions the LORD's love for her. She forgets about the LORD's election of Jacob as her patriarch father and the expression of His love for Jacob in contrast to Esau which will provide immense blessings for Jacob's descendants, Israel, despite her ungodliness and through the seed of Jacob and Israel to all the families of the earth throughout history through a Messiah-Savior; as opposed to God's not choosing Esau and his descendants. God blessed Esau and the Edomites for a season but at the end "laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness."

[BKC, OT, p. 1575]:

"1:1. The [Hebrew] word massA ("burden") with which the book begins, sets a sober mood... [It] gives this prophets's [Malachi's] entire message a sense of anxiety and foreboding.

The phrase the word of the LORD frequently appears as an introduction to a prophecy, to identify it as a revelation from God that carries His authority. 'The LORD' (Yahweh) is of course the name of God which recalls His association with the covenant He made with Israel at Sinai. Since the word is addressed to Israel, the burden of this discourse concerns problems in the covenant relationship between God and Israel. And since Yahweh is the faithful, loyal, covenant-keeping God, trouble in the covenant relationship can only be because of Israel's unfaithfulness. The fact that this burden from the Lord came through Malachi must have heightened the sense of imminent rebuke in the minds of the original readers. The priests were supposed to be God's messengers (cf. Mal 2:7), but now they were to listen to one whose name [Malachi] means 'My messenger' ...

1:2a. The words I have loved you are not a general statement about God's love for all people. The God of Israel was speaking: He is the One Who called her into existence and Who ruled over her and raised her (cf. v. 6) for more than 1,000 years on the basis of His covenant with her. And she was the object of His love (v. 2c).

Considerable pathos is in the words, 'I have loved you,'... [God's] love for Israel antedated her existence; He loved her in that He sovereignly and graciously elected her to be His own possession. This was clearly revealed at the time He gave the covenant (Dt 4:37; 5:10; 7:6-9). Love was the heart of this covenant relationship. This is clear from the exhortations that follow these declarations of divine love... Acknowledging God's love for her, Israel should have responded by loving Him and obeying His commands...

1:2b Israel asked God, How have You loved us?... By questioning God's claim, Israel was betraying a distrust of God, a lack of faith in His Word - not only a lack of trust in Malachi's statement (1:2a) but also a distrust of God's faithfulness to His covenant. Israel's failure to believe God's Word caused her to fail to love Him and also caused her to be hostile toward Him.

Perhaps Israel thought her complaint was legitimate. After all, about 100 years had passed since the people had returned from the Exile; yet the kingdom predicted by God's prophets had still not come. Instead the people continued to be dominated by foreign governors (v. 8) and experienced hard times economically (2:2; 3:9, 11). If they had carefully read the covenant in Deuteronomy they would have known that such misfortune were the result - not the cause - of their disobedience. While Malachi later indicated that a righteous remnant, which feared God, did exist at that time (3:16-18), the nation as a whole needed to repent from the sin of unbelief and fall in love wholeheartedly with the LORD.

1:2c-3a. The LORD's claim over Israel was vindicated by two considerations. First was His love expressed in His free choice, His election of Jacob and his descendants (including this generation which had questioned Him) to inherit the promise. This was contrary to the normal practice of choosing the oldest. Esau, also named Edom and the father of the Edomites (Gen 36:1), was the firstborn of the twins. Yet even before birth God freely elected Jacob, later named Israel, as the heir (Gen 25:21-34; Rom 9:10-13). The Hebrew words for loved and hated refer not to God's emotions but to His choice of one over the other for a covenant relationship ... The verbs [loved and hated] refer to God's acts in history toward both of the two nations which descended from the two brothers...

The verbs 'I have loved' and 'I have hated' (vv. 2b-3a) are in the perfect tense and therefore express not only God's past relationship with Israel and Edom but also His historical and present dealings (in Malachi's day) with these peoples."

VI) [Ro 9:14-16]:

(v. 9:14 NKJV) "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!

(v. 9:15 NKJV) For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.' [Ex 33:19]

(v. 9:16 NIV) It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy."

A) GOD IS ABSOLUTELY SOVEREIGN AND RIGHTEOUS. HE IS ACCOUNTABLE TO NO ONE. HIS ACTIONS ARE NEVER UNRIGHTEOUS. MERCY AND COMPASSION TOWARD UNDESERVING ISRAEL WERE HIS TO DISPLAY. THEY DID NOT DEPEND UPON MAN'S DESIRE OR EFFORT. GOD'S ACTIONS WERE WHOLLY CONSISTENT WITH HIS UNILATERAL COVENANT AND CALLING OF ABRAHAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE

(v. 9:6 YLT) "And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel (v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but 'In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee' [Gen 21:12], (v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed. (v. 9:9 NIV) For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time [it takes for a life to be born from conception] I will return, and Sarah will have a son." [Gen 18:10, 14] ( v. 9:10 YLT) And not only [so], but also Rebecca, having conceived by one, [lit., "by one conception"] [by] Isaac our father - (v. 9:11 YLT) (for they being not yet born, neither having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling,) it was said to her - (v. 9:12 YLT) 'The greater shall serve the lesser;' [Gen 25:23] (v. 9:13 YLT) according as it hath been written, 'Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate.' " [Mal 1:1-3] (v. 14 NKJV) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! (v. 15) For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.' " [Ex 33:19]

In case there is still someone who might conjure up an objection to the way God handles things, accusing Him of being unrighteous; author Paul quotes from yet another passage from Scripture, namely Ex 33:19 when he writes, (v. 14 NKJV) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! (v. 15) For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.' "

Despite Israel's repeated failures, even after Israel turned against God to worship an idol, (Ex 32), God tells Moses that He will maintain His presence with Israel as His chosen people and show compassion toward her. This is due to God's unilateral covenant with Abraham to "make [Abraham's] descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and ...give [Abraham's] descendants [the promised] land ... [as] their inheritance forever." [Gen 12:1-3; 32:13]. So it is not by anything Israel does, but God's sovereign choice of the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, the Israelites as His chosen people. So God says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion." (Ex 33:19), to explain that His sovereignty and His alone will prevail without ever involving human doing, (cf Ro 9:11). So God is absolutely sovereign and righteous and does not need to justify His actions to anyone, especially mankind who only deserves destruction, (Ro 3:9-20).

1) [Compare Ex 32:7-16; 33:11-19]:

(v. 32:7 NIV) '''Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt.

(v. 32:8 NIV) They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'

(v. 32:9 NIV) "I have seen these people," the LORD said to Moses, "and they are a stiff-necked people.

(v. 32:10 NIV) Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation."

(v. 32:11 NIV) But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. "O LORD," he said, "why should Your anger burn against Your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?

(v. 32:12 NIV) Why should the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from Your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on Your people.

(v. 32:13 NIV) Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel [Jacob], to whom you swore by Your own Self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.' " [Gen 12:1-3, 15:4-6; 26:3-5; 28:13-15 ]

(v. 32:14 NIV) Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

(v. 32:15 NIV) Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.

(v. 32:16 NIV) The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets....

(v. 33:11 NIV) The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

(v. 33:12 NIV) Moses said to the LORD, "You have been telling me, 'Lead these people,' but you have not let me know whom You will send with me. You have said, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with Me.'

(v. 33:13 NIV) If You are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You. Remember that this nation is Your people."

(v. 33:14 NIV) The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

(v. 33:15 NIV) Then Moses said to him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.

(v. 33:16 NIV) How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"

(v. 33:17 NIV) And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."

(v. 33:18 NIV) Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory."

(v. 33:19 NKJV) Then He [the LORD] said, 'I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.' " =

a) The LORD Continued To Be Gracious And Compassionate With Israel Despite Her Ungodliness By Virtue Of His Sovereignty As Demonstrated By His Unilateral Covenant With Abraham And His Descendants, The Israelites. The LORD Is Sovereign, And Not Dependent Upon Any Man: He Will Be Gracious And Compassionate To Whomever He Chooses

(v. 32:7 NIV) '''Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. (v. 32:8 NIV) They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.' (v. 32:13 NIV) [Moses said]: Remember Your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel [Jacob], to whom You swore by Your own Self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.' " [Gen 12:1-3, 15:4-6; 26:3-5; 28:13-15 ] (v. 33:11 NIV) The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent. (v. 33:13 NIV) If You are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You. Remember that this nation is Your people." (v. 33:16 NIV) How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with Your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" (v. 33:19 NKJV) Then He [the LORD] said, 'I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.' " =

Moses reminded the LORD in an effort to convince Him to continue to show compassion on Israel: "Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel [Jacob], to whom you swore by your own self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.' " [Gen 32:13 NIV Gen 12:1-3, 15:4-6; 26:3-5; 28:13-15]

In Exodus 33:16, Moses said to the LORD, "How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"

And the LORD responds with, "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (v. 33:19)

So the context of Ex 32:7-16; 33:11-19 is the absolute sovereignty of the LORD, without dependence upon any man: The LORD will be gracious to whom He will be gracious to and have compassion on whom He will have compassion. The LORD sovereignly chose to be faithful to what He unilaterally promised to Abraham and his seed: to be the LORD's chosen people to possess the promised land; and through Abraham's seed will be the promised Messiah-Savior of the whole world, (Gen 12:1-3). Hence, solely on the basis of His absolute sovereignty, the LORD continued to be present with Moses and Israel, despite Israel's ungodliness - with no consideratoin for human doing.

[Expositors, p. 106]:

"God's dealings with Jacob and Esau might be challenged as arbitrary, on the ground that Esau was the object of injustice. To demonstrate that this is not God's character, Paul goes further into the history of Israel, focusing on the golden calf incident at Sinai. There the people sinned grievously. If God had acted simply in justice, He could have blotted out His people. Instead, He recalled Moses to the mount and for a second time gave him the tables of commandments, yet not until He had proclaimed to His servant Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy' (Exod 33:19). That mercy was seen in sparing a sinful nation. And lest that mercy be construed as depending on man's 'desire' or 'effort' Paul denies any such qualification (v. 16). Mercy, like grace, stands over against human worth and effort whenever salvation is concerned. It is free, because God is not bound to show mercy to any."

VII) [Ro 9:17-18]:

(v. 9:17 NKJV) For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

(v. 9:18 NKJV) Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens."

A) PAUL CONTINUES TO DEFEND THE SOVEREIGNTY AND HOLINESS OF GOD RELATIVE TO THE PLAGUES GOD PUT UPON PHARAOH AND EGYPT AND GOD'S HARDENING OF PHARAOH'S HEART IN THIS MATTER

(v. 9:6 YLT) "And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel (v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but 'In Isaac shall a seed be called to thee' [Gen 21:12], (v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed. (v. 9:9 NIV) For this was how the promise was stated: 'At the appointed time [it takes for a life to be born from conception] I will return, and Sarah will have a son.' [Gen 18:10, 14] ( v. 9:10 YLT) And not only [so], but also Rebecca, having conceived by one, [lit., "by one conception"] [by] Isaac our father - (v. 9:11 YLT) (for they being not yet born, neither having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling,) it was said to her - (v. 9:12 YLT) 'The greater shall serve the lesser;' [Gen 25:23] (v. 9:13 YLT) according as it hath been written, 'Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate.' " [Mal 1:1-3] (v. 14 NKJV) "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! (v. 15) For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.' " [Ex 33:19] (v. 9:16 NIV) It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. (v. 9:17 NKJV) For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.' (v. 9:18 NKJV) Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." =

Paul moves from defending God's sovereignty and holiness relative to God's continual exercising of compassion for Moses and Israel despite Israel's failures, to defending God's actions in bringing plagues upon Pharaoh and Egypt and God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Scripture has already stipulated that God would have been justified in destroying Pharaoh and Egypt due to their oppression of Israel and Pharaoh's recalcitrant insolence toward God, (Ex 9:15); but God chose instead to impose plagues upon Pharaoh and Egypt which did not destroy them in order that Pharaoh and all Egyptians might know that there is no one like Him, (Ex 9:14) and hence believe in Him as their God unto salvation.

By virtue of God's imposing plagues upon Pharaoh and Egypt:

(1) God said to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you [Pharaoh] up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth," (Ro 9:17).

(2) God is not dependent upon human response to decide what He will do. Humanity deserves destruction, (Ro 3:9-20), yet God provides His grace and a way out of that destruction through faith in Him.

(3) God will see to it that His people, Israel, will be freed from enslavement by Pharaoh as a fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham and his seed, Israel.

As God imposed one plague after another upon Egypt, Pharaoh responded to each with rebellion, deception and recalcitrant insolence toward God and Israel - refusing to let her go, (Ex 7-9:12). Note that Pharaoh's responses were of his own free will; and God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart, (Ex 7:3; 9:12), brought out Pharaoh's rebellious nature all the more, in effect, sealing him to his own temporal and eternal destruction.

If God had hardened Pharaoh's heart such that Pharaoh had no free will choice but to recant any faith in God and renege on his promise to let Israel go, then God would defeat a number of key purposes of His which demanded Pharaoh's and Egypt's free will and were implied in the passage Paul quoted from in Exodus chapter 9:

(Ex 9:13 NKJV) '''Then the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me, (Ex 9:14 NKJV) for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. (Ex 9:15 NKJV) Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. (Ex 9:16 NKJV) But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." '''

In the final analysis, through the plagues upon Pharaoh and Egypt, (1) the glory and power of God was revealed especially in opposition to the evil rebellion of Pharaoh which God predicted; (2) the holiness and absolute uniqueness of God remained unquestionably intact - there is no one like Him; (3) the deliverance of God's chosen people was enhanced with Israel eventually walking out of Egypt and into the promised land with huge wealth voluntarily given to them by Egypt, (Ex 12:36), and (4) Pharaoh remained intractably insolent and rebellious toward God unto his destruction as prophesied.

[Expositors, p. 106]:

"The thought moves from Moses, [(Ro 9:14-16)] to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt at the time of the Exodus - from the leader of Israel to its oppressor [Ro 9:17]. The Scripture is represented as speaking a vivid reminder that it is God's word. 'I raised you up' is not strictly a reference to Pharaoh's emergence in history, but to God's providence in sparing him up to that time. Pharaoh deserved death for his oppression and insolence, but his life would not be taken during the series of plagues, so that the full extent of his hardness of heart might be evident and the glory of God in the deliverance of His people enhanced... The fame of this Pharaoh actually depended on the mercy of God in sparing him. God can be glorified through those who oppose Him as well as through those who trust and serve Him...

Paul concludes the Pharaoh episode with this observation: "Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden' (v. 18). He does not so much as bother to indicate that Pharaoh hardened his own heart, an evidence of unbelief and rebellion, because he is emphasizing the freedom of God's action in all cases. The hardening of Pharaoh's heart can profitably be related to the principle laid down in Romans 1, that God's method of dealing with those who reject the revelation of Himself in nature and history (and in Pharaoh's case also in miracles) is to abandon them to still greater excess of sin and its consequences."

1) [Compare Ex 9:12-35]:

(v. 12 NKJV) "But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh; and he did not heed them [Moses & Aaron], just as the LORD had spoken to Moses, (cf 7:1-4a).

(v. 13 NKJV) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me,

(v. 14 NKJV) for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth.

(v. 15 NKJV) Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth.

(v. 16 NKJV) But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

(v. 17 NKJV) As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go.

(v. 18 NKJV) Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, such as has not been in Egypt since its founding until now.

(v. 19 NKJV) Therefore send now and gather your livestock and all that you have in the field, for the hail shall come down on every man and every animal which is found in the field and is not brought home; and they shall die.

(v. 20 NKJV) He who feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his livestock flee to the houses.

(v. 21 NKJV) But he who did not regard the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field.

(v. 22 NKJV) Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt-on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.

(v. 23 NKJV) And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire [lightening] darted to the ground. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt.

(v. 24 NKJV) So there was hail, and fire [lightening] mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation

(v. 25 NKJV) And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field.

(v. 26 NKJV) Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.

(v. 27 NKJV) And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "I have sinned this time. The LORD is righteous, and my people and I are wicked.

(v. 28 NKJV) Entreat [pray to] the LORD, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer

(v. 29 NKJV) So Moses said to him, "As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the LORD's

(v. 30 NKJV) But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the LORD God

(v. 31 NKJV) (Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud.

(v. 32 NKJV) But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops.)

(v. 33 NKJV) So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the LORD; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth.

(v. 34 NKJV) And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants.

(v. 35 NKJV) So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the LORD had spoken by Moses."

a) The Sovereignty And Holiness Of God Is Defended Relative To The Plagues God Put Upon Pharaoh And Egypt And God's Hardening Of Pharaoh's Heart In This Matter

God subjected Pharaoh and Egypt to a number of plagues and each time Pharaoh reacted with a hardened, insolent heart toward God. He repeatedly refused to set God's chosen people, the children of Israel free. Exodus 9:12, 34-35 stipulate that the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart in such a manner that Pharaoh would still remain accountable for his actions. If God had hardened Pharaoh's heart such that Pharaoh had no free will choice but to recant any faith in God and renege on his promise to let Israel go, then God would defeat a number of key purposes of His which demanded Pharaoh's and Egypt's free will and were implied in the passage Paul quoted from in Exodus chapter 9:

(Ex 9:13 NKJV) '''Then the LORD said to Moses, "Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: "Let My people go, that they may serve Me, (Ex 9:14 NKJV) for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. (Ex 9:15 NKJV) Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. (Ex 9:16 NKJV) But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." '''

And Pharaoh did harden his own heart - all the more, (vv. 9:34-35). Pharaoh had a choice to heed God's warning of another more devastating plague - a hailstorm - which was preceded by an advisory that God justifiably could have completely destroyed Pharaoh and Egypt in the plagues, but did not, (v. 9:15). God had made His intent clear to Pharaoh in all of the plagues He brought upon Egypt: that Pharaoh and Egypt would know that there is no one like Him in all the earth and that they should believe in Him unto eternal life, (v. 9:14, cf. Gen 12:1-3). So God declared that unless Pharaoh and Egypt believed in the God of Moses and let God's chosen people Israel go yet another but much more devasting plague would occur. Ex 9:14 says that God would send His plagues to Pharaoh's "very heart", i.e., to his essence, to the core of his being. Pharaoh's heart was arrogant and insolent toward the sovereignty and authority of God. This was exemplified by Pharaoh's hardened reaction to the plagues previous to this. The promise of the plague was fulfilled as God had predicted to Moses. (cf. Ex 7:1-5). After the full fledged hailstorm plague, God subjected Pharaoh to a series of even greater, more devasting plagues until Pharaoh finally capitulated and finally let Israel go - but not without pursuing Israel later with his army, (cf. Ex 14). The purpose of God's actions in all of this is clearly stipulated in Ex 9:16 NKJV: But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."

[Expositor's, Vol 2, p. 361]:

"As in the first (7:15) and the fourth (8:20) plagues, Moses was to begin this third cycle of plagues by rising early in the morning to confront Pharaoh with the LORD's message (v. 13). From these early days in February until the time of the tenth and climactical plague, Pharaoh would spend approximately eight of the most dreadful weeks he had ever known.

To further underscore the theological significance of these weeks and their events, Moses was prompted by God to preface his latest announcement of divine judgment with a long message filled with doctrinal instruction (vv. 13b-19). This unprecedented message was calculated to move Pharaoh and his subjects from rebellion to believe in the God of the Hebrews. Its ominous contents included the following:

1. An announcement that God would vent the 'full force'... of His plagues on Egypt so that no one would doubt that there was anyone like this God in all the earth.

2. A reminder that previous pestilences and plagues might well have swept both king and people off the face of the earth had not God deliberately and purposely spared them for one very important reason: that God's power and name would be heralded throughout the earth by means of Pharaoh's stupidity (vv. 15-16).

3. A declaration that, in denying the release of Israel, Pharaoh had acted as an obstructionist against almighty God Himself (v. 17).

4. A threat that Egypt would experience the worst hailstorm it had ever seen in its history (v. 18).

5. An extraordinary feature that provided for those Egyptians who believed Moses' words were a means of escape from the effects of the storm (v. 19).

The seventh plague was to be judgment with the expectation that it might result in the blessing of belief and trust. Had not Abraham been given this mission to be a means of blessing to 'all peoples on earth' (Gen 12:3)? And has not the theme 'that the Egyptians might know that I am the LORD' ... appeared frequently in the midst of these plagues (7:5; 8:10; 9:14, 16, 39-20...

The months of leniency were about over. Now the full blast of the ensuing plagues would penetrate directly to Pharaoh's 'heart' (v. 14)... The 'heart'... does not signify 'his person,'... but rather his inner being, nature, and seared conscience. His pride and arrogance would be tossed to the wind as the terrors of these new plagues forced him in perplexed and desperate sorrow of soul to literally beg that the Israelites leave his presence immediately. Yet Pharaoh was no mere pawn to be toyed with at will, for the object was that he too might come to experience personally and believe ('know') the incomparability of God's person and greatness. The very superlative rating of His deeds... [rendered "none like it"] should have led the king and his people to the identical rating of God's person...

27-30 Pharaoh, obviously shaken, conceded the point: 'I have sinned,' he allowed, though he included the face-saving qualifier 'this time.' The question is however, what made this plague any different than the rest - except its severity. Only when the LORD began to hurt Pharaoh did he (momentarily) seek Him... Pharaoh declared that Yahweh... was in the right and that he and his people were in the wrong! Indeed! But had not Pharaoh been reduced to plea bargaining with Moses and Aaron twice before (8:8, 25-28)?

Moses' reply was simple, confident, and noble. He would spread out his hands in prayer (a gesture of request and appeal to God) once he was back out in the country with his own people, and the hail and thunder would stop - to prove once again... that the whole earth belongs to the LORD. 'But,' Moses added, 'I know that you and your official still do not fear the LORD God'...

After Moses' prayer was answered, [and the plague subsided], Pharaoh once again rescinded his offer and forgot all about his confession of sin and wrong [doing]."

VIII) [Ro 9:19-24]:

(v. 9:19 NKJV) "You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?'

(v. 9:20 NIV) But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him Who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' [Isa 29:16; 45:9]

(v. 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

(v. 9:22 ASV) What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction:

(v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

(v. 9:24 NKJV ) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?"

A) ALTHOUGH GOD IS CREATOR AND CAN DO ANYTHING HE CHOOSES WITH HIS CREATION, BY HIS RIGHTEOUS NATURE GOD DOES NOT FORCE MEN AGAINST THEIR WILLS TO DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD LEAD TO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION. HENCE MEN ARE HELD WHOLLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS

(v. 9:17 NKJV) For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. (v. 9:18 NKJV) Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." (v. 9:19 NKJV) "You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?' (v. 9:20 NIV) But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him Who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' [Isa 29:16; 45:9] (v. 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? =

Paul establishes that the Creator God is absolutely sovereign over His creation; hence God is free to do with His creation what He will. In verse 9:19, which reads "You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" Paul answers the imaginary objector's question with his own question: "But who are you, O man to talk back to God?" which is to say that God is absolutely sovereign and does not depend upon anything man or His creation does. Furthermore, the objector has totally ignored man's responsibility for his own actions. The objector has implied that since God is sovereign, then God is to blame for an individual's behavior especially when it leads to his own destruction. But Paul had already established through the example of Pharaoh that man is responsible for his own actions before God, (cf. Ro 3 ), even when God hardens the heart, (cf. Ex 9 ). God does not force men against their wills to do anything that leads to their own destruction. God is absolute righteousness by nature and always provides a way of mercy and forgiveness even unto eternal life for all individuals.

Paul goes on to ask in 9:20, "Shall what is formed say to Him Who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " Paul continues to refute the argument that the individual has no say or responsibility for his actions because God is their Creator Who made them that way. Paul's answer stipulates that the Creator God can do anything He chooses - it is His creation. Furthermore, Paul repeatedly stipulated and implies here that God's creation of mankind includes man's responsibility for his own actions. [] Hence there can be found no wrong doing within God for the sins of man.

[Expositor's, op. cit., pp. 106-7]:

"19-26. Paul, continuing the review of God's sovereign activity, presents another problem. If God acts unilaterally, according to His own will and purpose, does this not remove all basis for judgment, since man is not in position to resist the divine will? Why, then, should man be blamed? In reply, Paul first points out the inappropriateness of the creature talking back to God (v. 20) as though he had sufficient wisdom to judge the Almighty. The illustration of the potter and the clay (v. 21) shows how ridiculous this is... The apostle is insisting on the right of the potter to make whatever type of vessel he chooses... Pharaoh was useful in fulfilling God's purpose... [which ended in his destruction because of Pharaoh's recalcitrant insolence toward God]."

Note that the phrase 'vessels prepared for destruction' does not convey the idea that God raises some individuals up just so that they can be destroyed without any avenue to accept salvation unto eternal life to avoid the eternal destruction and without any avenue to live a lifestyle of faithfulness to the LORD that avoids temporal destruction. Individuals who are 'vessel[s] prepared for destruction' will be destroyed because they will inevitably choose of their own free wills not to express faith in God. The example is given of Pharaoh repeatedly rejecting the mercy of God in sparing him through many plagues which were brought upon him and Egypt due to their recalcitrant insolence toward Him and refusal to set Israel free from enslavement. God presented clear evidence to Pharaoh of His power and mercy which Pharaoh could have accepted and been spared.

1) [Compare Isa 29:16; 45:9]:

(Isa 29:16 NIV) "You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'He did not make me'? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?

(Isa 45:1 NKJV) '''Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held - to subdue nations before him. And loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut:

(Isa 45:2 NKJV) "I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron.

(Isa 45:3 NKJV) I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.

(Isa 45:4 NKJV) For Jacob My servant's sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.

(Isa 45:5 NKJV) I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me,

(Isa 45:6 NKJV) That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other;

(Isa 45:7 NKJV) I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.

(Isa 45:8 NKJV) Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it.

(Isa 45:9 NKJV) Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'?

(Isa 45:10 NKJV) Woe to him who says to his father, 'What are you begetting?' Or to the woman, 'What have you brought forth?' " '''

a) The LORD Is Creator Of All Things, Sovereign And Righteous In All That He Does. Woe To Him Who Questions Him. He Raised Up Cyrus, An Unbeliever To Be A Conqueror To Enable Israel, His Chosen People, To Return From Captivity To The Promised Land So As To Bring Forth Salvation And Righteousness To The Earth Through Israel Via A Messiah-Savior Descendant

The LORD is Creator of all things, sovereign and righteous in all that He does, (Isa 45:8). He raised up Cyrus, an unbeliever, to be a conqueror, (Isa 45:1-2), in order to enable Israel, His chosen people, through Cyrus' conquests, to return to the Promised Land, (Isa 45:1-2). This return is part of the LORD's design to fulfill His covenant with Israel: through Israel will salvation and righteousness - both temporal and eternal - be brought to the earth, (Isa 45:8), via a Messiah-Savior Descendant.

Notice that Cyrus is an unbeliever, (v. 45:4), yet the LORD used him to fulfill His covenant. The grand purpose in all of this is so that all will know that the LORD is God and that there is no one else beside Him, righteous and sovereign in all that He does, (Isa 45:5); and woe to him who questions the sovereignty and righteousness of the LORD, Who created all things, (Isa 45:1, 9-10).

[Expositor's, Vol. 6, p. 270]:

"Cyrus was raised up [by God] that the Jews might return to Palestine and that Christ might then be born in Bethlehem, and that when redemption had been accomplished and its message proclaimed there might be a universal acknowledgment that the God of Israel is the true God... [Notice] God's disclosure to His people that He would deliver them through pagan Cyrus. We cannot accuse God of using inappropriate means to achieve his ends. Isaiah was particularly gifted in portraying sin as ridiculous and illogical, as He does here with the illustrations of the discarded scraps of pottery and the lump of clay in the hands of the potter."

[BKC, OT, p. 1100]:

"The LORD can work sovereignly over individuals on the earth because He created it. When someone who is created voices disapproval of the Creator's work he risks receiving a pronouncement of impending doom (woe, vv. 9-10...) from the LORD. A potsherd, a broken, discarded piece of pottery, has no right to question the potter. Nor does a child have the right to question why his parents brought him into the world. In the same way Israel has no right to question God her Maker (45:9, 11), the world's Creator (v. 12), in His plans to raise up Cyrus (v. 13). Cyrus' task was again stated: to allow freed exiles to rebuild God's city, Jerusalem (cf. 44:28)." [Hence paving the way for God's promise of a Messiah-Savior for all the families of the earth to be born of the seed of Abraham in the promised land, (cf. Gen 12:1-3) ]

B) ON THE ONE HAND, GOD SOVEREIGNLY CHOSE TO DEMONSTRATE HIS WRATH, POWER AND RIGHTEOUS LONG SUFFERING WITH VESSELS HE CREATED FOR DESTRUCTION, (UNBELIEVERS, ESPECIALLY IN VIEW: UNBELIEVERS OF ISRAEL). ON THE OTHER HAND, GOD CHOSE TO DEMONSTRATE THE RICHES OF HIS GLORY WITH VESSELS HE CREATED TO RECEIVE HIS MERCY AND GLORY: THE REMNANT OF BELIEVERS THROUGHOUT HISTORY, JEWS AND GENTILES

(v. 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (v. 9:22 ASV) What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (v. 9:24 NKJV) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" =

After asking the rhetorical question which answer is 'yes': (v. 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?" Author Paul corroborates this answer with another rhetorical question defending the sovereignty and holiness of God: on the one hand, "What if God, willing to show His wrath and [willing] to make His power known, endured with much long suffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto [for] destruction;" and on the other hand, "[What if] God might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?' And the answer to Paul's second rhetorical question is, 'God answers to no one.'

The phrase rendered "vessels of wrath" refers to a particular people whom God endured with much long suffering. It refers to unbelieving Israel, as opposed to the remnant of Israelite believers of the faith of Abraham. []. It was Israel alone whom God endured with long suffering as His chosen people, (cf. The Book of Isaiah).

Notice that God's demonstration of His wrath and power and longsuffering is justified because He is Creator - absolutely sovereign and righteous. It is stipulated in verse 9:22 that God endured much longsuffering which refers to His striving with Israel to bring them to faithfulness. In spite of this, Israel repeatedly rebelled, but God, in all of this was longsuffering, demonstrating His righteousness and sovereignty until He had no recourse but to act with disciplinary wrath and destruction. This implies that unbelieving Israel who was fitted by God for destruction, still had every opportunity to be faithful and not turn against God her Father. She was God's chosen people but she largely failed to express faith in Him, (except for the remnant of believers, (cf Ro 9:27; Isa 10:22); hence she suffered the destructions that she did.

Finally, the grand purpose of God with the vessels He created for honor was to make known to all of creation the riches of His glory by demonstrating His glory though those individuals - certain chosen Jews and Gentiles whom He specifically chose throughout the ages, prepared before creation, to be objects of His mercy. They are objects who are not deserving of God's glory, but nevertheless will receive and reflect the eternal glory of God. These vessels of honor will inevitably choose of their own volition to express a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life - the faith of Abraham. For only those who are of the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant will receive the glory of God and that solely by the grace of God.

[Expositor's, Vol. 10, p. 107]:

"Presumably, and in view of what follows, when Paul speaks of 'the objects of His [God's] wrath' (v. 22), he has in mind those in Israel who have remained obdurate in opposing the gospel, yet are still the objects of the divine long suffering. In contrast to them are 'the objects of His mercy' (v. 23) in whom God wills to show the riches of His glory (in contrast to His wrath). These, whom He has prepared for glory, include both Jews and Gentiles (v. 24), in line with the previous teaching (1:16; 2:10, 11; 3:22) and with the prophetic announcement. Gentiles, who are not actually a people but only masses of humanity, are called by the grace of God to a distinctive role - that of being the people of God."

IX) [Ro 9:25-26]:

(v. 9:25 NKJV) "As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23]

(v. 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' "[Hos 1:10]

A) JUST AS SPECIFIC GENERATIONS OF ISRAELITES WHO BELIEVE IN AND ARE TRUE TO THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM IN A MESSIAH-SAVIOR DESCENDANT THROUGH ISAAC UNTO ETERNAL LIFE WILL BE CALLED BY GOD HIS PEOPLE WHO WERE FORMERLY NOT HIS PEOPLE, AND BELOVED WHO WERE NOT HIS BELOVED, AND SONS OF THE LIVING GOD, (= BELIEVERS), SUCH FAITHFUL GENERATIONS BEING PRESERVED (SAVED) FROM TEMPORAL DESTRUCTION UNTO GREAT AND RICH TEMPORAL BLESSINGS / PROTECTION / NURTURING UNTO A UNIQUE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD COMPARED TO ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE EARTH; SO SHALL IT BE WITH GROUPS OF JEWS AND GENTILES THROUGHOUT THE AGES - EACH GROUP WITH GOD'S PARTICULAR DESTINY FOR THEM

(v. 8:14 YLT) "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God... (v. 8:19 NKJV) For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God... (v. 9:6 YLT) And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel (v. 9:7 YLT) nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but - 'in Isaac shall a seed be called to thee' (v. 9:8 YLT) that is, the children of the flesh - these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed... (v. 9:19 NKJV) You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?' (v. 9:20 NIV) But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him Who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' [Isa 29:16; 45:9] (v. 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (v. 9:22 ASV) What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (v. 9:24 NKJV ) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (v. 9:25 NKJV) As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23] (v. 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' "[Hos 1:10] =

God has "prepared beforehand," i.e., "called" certain Jews and Gentiles within each generation to be His people, His beloved, and "sons of the living God," i.e., faithful believers, (cf. Ro 8:14, 19). In Ro 9:24 and 5, Paul refers to Hosea chapters one and two where we learn the principle that when individuals of any period of history believe in and are true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life, they are viewed by God as Paul stipulates: (v. 9:25 NKJV) " 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23] (v. 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.''[Hos 1:10].

So just as specific generations of Israelites who believe in and are true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life will be called by God His people who were not His people, and beloved who were not His beloved, and sons of the living God, (= believers); and those particular generations will be preserved (saved) from temporal destruction unto great and rich temporal blessings / protection / nurturing unto a unique fellowship with God compared to all the peoples of the earth; so shall it be with groups of Jews and Gentiles throughout the ages; each group to experience God's particular destiny for them.

Note that the phrase "His people" does not convey precisely the same thing for ancient Israelite believers as it does for groups of believers of other times. Nevertheless all believers are God's chosen people - His children, each in accordance with God's order of things.

B) HOSEA CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO POINT TO A FUTURE GENERATION DESCENDANT FROM THE GODLESS AND ESTRANGED ANCIENT ISRAELITES OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM. THIS FUTURE GENERATION WILL BELIEVE IN AND BE TRUE TO THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM IN A MESSIAH-SAVIOR DESCENDANT THROUGH ISAAC UNTO ETERNAL LIFE; AND THAT GENERATION OF ISRAEL WILL BE VIEWED ONCE AGAIN BY THE LORD AS HIS PEOPLE, BELOVED AND SONS OF THE LIVING GOD TO RECEIVE PROTECTION AND TEMPORAL BLESSINGS

Hosea chapters one and two point to a future generation descendant from the godless and estranged ancient Israelites of the Northern Kingdom. This future generation will believe in and be true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life; and that generation of Israel will be viewed once again by the LORD as His people, beloved and sons of the living God whereupon the LORD will move them into the Promised Land - the future eternal kingdom. A picture of a wife [Israel] being restored to her Husband [the LORD] is portrayed to demonstrate the change in God's point of view relative to Israel, His wife, from being estranged and virtually unmarried to being reconciled and beloved. Note that the phrase 'in that day' in vv. 2:16 and 2:18 refers to when Israel will be occupy the promised land in the eternal kingdom. The picture is one of a final and eternal relationship between God and Israel, the wife of God, her Husband. The phrases "I [God] will bethroth you [Israel] to Me forever," (Hos 2:19); and "Then I [God] will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God!' " (Hos 2:23b), corroborates a future and renewed, intimate and eternal relationship between God and His wife Israel heretofore never attained.

[BKC, OT, p. 1387]:

"Hosea 2:23, along with 1:10, is quoted in Romans 9:25-26... Paul quoted those Hosea passages to say that both Jews and Gentiles will be converted during the Church Age (cf. Rom 9:24). This does not mean, however, that he equated the Gentiles with Israel and regarded the conversion of Gentiles as a direct fulfillment of Hosea's prophecy. Paul clearly taught that national Israel would be saved as well (Rom 11). Rather, Paul extracted from Hosea's prophecy a principle concerning God's gracious activity... According to Hosea, God will mercifully bring a [future generation of a] previously rejected people into a relationship with Himself. Paul recognized this same pattern in God's dealings with the Gentiles. In Romans 9:25 Paul, then, was applying Hosea 2:23 to the Gentiles; he was not reinterpreting the verse."

[BKC, NT, p. 478]:

"To back up his conclusion and particularly the part about Gentiles, Paul quoted two verses from Hosea (2:23, 1:10). God directed Hosea to give his children symbolic names - one son Lo-Ammi (not my people) and the daughter Lo-Ruhamah (not... loved). These represented God's abandonment of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to the Assyrian Captivity and Exile (Hosea 1:2-9)."

1) [Compare Hos 1:1-2:23]:

(cf. Ro 9:25 NKJV) "As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23]

(cf. Ro 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' "[Hos 1:10]

a) [Hos 1:1-5]:

[Hos 1:1 NKJV] '''The word of the LORD that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.

[Hos 1:2 NKJV] When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: "Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD"

[Hos 1:3 NKJV] So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

[Hos 1:4 NKJV] Then the LORD said to him: "Call his name Jezreel, For in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.

[Hos 1:5 NKJV] It shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow [i.e., the military might] of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel." '''

i) Hosea Was Commanded By The LORD To Marry A Prostitute As A Reflection Of The Israelites' Spiritual Harlotry Of Worshipping Baal. Then The LORD Commanded Hosea To Name His First Son Jezreel - A Reminder Of Israel's Evil And God's Plan To Bring An End To The Northern Kingdom Of Israel Through Drought, Invasion, Captivity, Exile And Slavery

During the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahiz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah [the Southern Kingdom of Israelites] and Jeroboam, King of Israel, [the Northern Kingdom of Israelites] the word of the LORD came to the prophet of Hosea. Hosea was commanded by the LORD to marry a prostitute as a reflection of the Israelites' spiritual harlotry in departing from the LORD to worship other gods. When Hosea's prostitute wife Gomer gave birth to a son, the LORD commanded Hosea to name him Jezreel, the name of the valley in Palestine where Jehru committed ungodly bloodshed. Hence the name became a reminder of Jehru's evil, God's plan of vengeance upon the tribe of Jehru and God's bringing an end to the Northern Kingdom of Israel through drought, invasion, captivity, exile and slavery, evidently for turning from the LORD, (cf v. 1:6)]

[BKC, OT, p. 1380]:

"The reason for the LORD's coming punishment on Jehu's dynasty (lit., house) was the massacre at Jezreel (ca. 841 B.C.). Jehu's slaughter of Jezebel and Ahab's descendants had been prophesied by Elijah (1 Kings 21:21-24), commanded by Elisha (2 Kings 9:6-10), and commended by the LORD Himself (2 Kings 10:30)....

[But Jehu went too far]:

Jehu also killed Joram (2 Kings 9:24), Ahaziah, king of Judah (2 Kings 9:27-28), 42 of Ahaziah's relatives (2 Kings 10:12-14), and several functionaries of the Baal cult (2 Kings 10:18-28). Though the execution of Baal's servants was certainly in accord with the LORD's will (cf. 1 Kings 18:40), Jehu's attack on the house of David went too far. Despite the fact that Ahaziah's assassination could be attributed to God's providence (2 Chron 22:7), it demonstrated an underlying lack of regard for the LORD's commands... Though their deaths did not actually occur in Jezreel (cf. 2 Kings 9:27; 10:12-14), they were associated with the wholesale slaughter at that place." [i.e., that's where the slaughter began]

b) [Hos 1:6]:

(Hos 1:6 NKJV) "And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: 'Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, [lit., she is not loved] For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away' "

i) The LORD Commands Hosea To Name His Daughter LoRuhamah, Which Means "She Is Not Loved," A Comment On The LORD's Removal Of His Love And The Withdrawal Of His Mercy From The House Of Israel, The Israelites Of The Northern Kingdom Tribes. He Will Take Them Away Via Military Conquest And Enslavement For Being Unfaithful

When Gomer conceived again, she bore Hosea a daughter. The LORD commanded Hosea to name her LoRuhamh which literally means, 'she is not loved.' The LORD explained to Hosea that He would no longer be long suffering and have mercy on the House of Israel, {the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, (v. 6)}, but will completely take them away, evidently via military conquest and enslavement for being unfaithful, (cf. v. 7). Hence, Hosea's generation of the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom, would be cut off from the LORD. Destruction was imminent.

c) [Hos 1:7]:

(Hos 1:7 NKJV) "Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the LORD their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword [nor] battle, [nor] By horses [nor] horsemen."

i) The LORD Said That He Would Save The Southern Israelite Kingdom Of Judah From Temporal Destruction In A Manner Which Did Not Involve Military Force But By The LORD Their God Himself - His Direct Intervention

When Gomer conceived again, she bore Hosea a daughter. The LORD commanded Hosea to name her LoRuhamh which literally means, 'she is not loved.' The LORD explained to Hosea that He would no longer be long suffering and have mercy on the House of Israel, {the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, (v. 6)}, but will completely take them away, evidently via military conquest and enslavement for being unfaithful, (cf. v. 7). Hence, Hosea's generation of the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom, would be cut off from the LORD. Destruction was imminent, (vv. 6-7). On the other hand, in verse 7, it is reported that the LORD said that He would "save" the House of Judah, the Southern Kingdom from such a fate as the Northern Kingdom would experience, (v. 7). In considering Isa 10:12 from which chapter Paul quotes in Romans 9:27 which has the phrase, "When the LORD has finished all His work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, He will say, 'I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes," we have the point being made that the LORD will use Assyria toward disciplining Judah also, but not to the point of her destruction. The salvation of Judah and punishment of Assyria is described in (Hos 1:7 NKJV) as "Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the LORD their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword [nor] battle, [nor] By horses [nor] horsemen," i.e., the LORD will supernaturally destroy Assyria's forces which threaten Judah before they do any damage. So the word rendered "save" in this passage refers to the salvation = deliverance from premature temporal destruction and physical death as it does in Romans chapters 9 and 10 and most of the time in the bible. Note that this kind of salvation the LORD stipulated would be by the LORD their God Himself, and not by bow, sword, battle, horse or horsemen.

[BKC, OT, p. 1381]:

"Judah, the Southern Kingdom, in contrast with Israel, would experience the LORD's love in the form of deliverance from the Assyrians. This would not be accomplished through human military might (symbolized by the bow, sword, etc.), but by the LORD's intervention. This promise was fulfilled in 701 B.C. when God supernaturally annihilated 185,000 soldiers in the powerful Assyrian army in one night thereby ending its campaign against Judah (2 Kings 19:32-36)."

d) [Hos 1:8-9]:

(Hos 1:8 NKJV) "Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.

(Hos 1:9 NIV) Then God said: 'Call his name Lo-Ammi, [lit., 'not my people'] For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.' "

i) The LORD Commands Hosea To Name His Third Child, A Son, Lo-Ammi, Which Means "Not My People." With This The LORD Declares That Due To Their Unfaithfulness The Generation Of Israelites Of The Northern Kingdom Are Not His People, And He Is Not Their God - Temporal But Not Total Destruction Is Imminent

Gomer conceived yet a third time with a son commanded of Hosea by God to be named, "Lo-Ammi" which literally means "not My people." The LORD explains to Hosea the reason for this name - His explanation having Hosea's generation of Israelites of the Northern Kingdom in view: "For you are not My people, And I will not be your God." Temporal destruction is imminent. Notice that the phrase rendered "And I will not be your God" in the NIV is literally, "and I [am] not I AM ('ehyeh) to you" which is closely related to the divine name the LORD to Moses (Ex 3:13-14). So the message to Hosea is that Hosea's generation of the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom will no longer experience the LORD's blessings, nor salvation from temporal destruction. In effect He will not be their God and they will not be His people. The relationship between that generation of the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom and the LORD will be cut off and temporal destruction will become imminent.

On the other hand, Hosea 1:10 indicates that God will restore His relationship with Israel, with descendants of the Northern Kingdom Israelites - a future remnant of believers who will express the faith of Abraham in Abraham's Seed, a Messiah-Savior Descendant, (cf. Hosea 1:10 below):

e) [Hos 1:10]:

(Hos 1:10 NKJV) "Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, 'You [are] not My people,' [Then] it shall be said to them, '[You are] sons of the living God.' "

i) There Will Be A Great Restoration Of The Israelites' Population In The Future. In The Place Where It Was Said To Them "You [Are] Not My People" [Then] It Shall Be Said To Them "[You Are] Sons Of The Living God" Implying That God Will Restore His Broken Relationship With Israel With A Future Generation Of Israelites Who Become Faithful Believers

(cf. Ro 9:26 NKJV) "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' "[Hos 1:10]

(Hos 1:9 NIV) "Then God said: 'Call his name Lo-Ammi, [lit., 'not my people'] For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.' (Hos 1:10 NKJV) Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, 'You [are] not My people,' [There] it shall be said to them, '[You are] sons of the living God.' " =

Verse 9 declares that because of unfaithfulness, Hosea's generation of the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom would be cut off from the LORD. The LORD declares that they would not be His people and that He would not be their God, implying imminent temporal destruction of much but not all of their population and dispersement into exile and slavery.

On the other hand, verse 10 then states that in the future the population of Israelites would once more be restored to a number as the sand of the sea, corroborating that a great reduction in their descendants' numbers in ancient times would occur. This corroborates the temporal death and destruction implied in verse 9. Hence in the future there will be a great restoration of the Israelites' population. Verse 10 goes on to state that when the LORD said, "You are not My people," there will be future descendants of the dispersed Israelites of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, who will instead be called "sons of the living God." The phrase "sons of the living God" implies that these future descendants of the Israelites of the ancient Northern Kingdom who were destroyed and dispersed for being unfaithful, these future descendants will express the faith of Abraham, i.e., trust in the LORD's provision of a descendant Messiah-Savior, Jesus Christ through Abraham to become children of God unto eternal life.

f) [Hos 1:11]:

(Hos 1:11 NKJV) "Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great [will be] the day of Jezreel!"

i) There Will Be A Great Restoration Of The Israelites' Population In The Future And A Remnant Of Believers From That Generation Of Israelites, Then The Israelite Believers Of Judah And The Northern Kingdom Will Be Gathered Together Under One Ruler. In That Great Day Of Jezreel - Of The Eternal Kingdom In The Promised Land, The Restored Nation Israel Will Grow In Her Relationship With The LORD

(Hos 1:8 NKJV) "Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. (Hos 1:9 NIV) Then God said: 'Call his name Lo-Ammi, [lit., 'not my people'] For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.' (Hos 1:10 NKJV) Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, 'You [are] not My people,' [There] it shall be said to them, '[You are] sons of the living God.' (Hos 1:11 NKJV) Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great [will be] the day of Jezreel!" =

Verse 11 further describes the future restoration of Israel via the descendants of the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom with those of Judah, the Southern Kingdom, under one ruler: "Then the children of Judah and of Israel [the Northern Kingdom] shall be gathered together and appoint one head. They shall come up out of the land," (Hos 1:11).The Hebrew word "'eres," which is rendered "the land" in verse 1:11b in the NKJV, is literally the earth. It is a figure of speech which refers to the Israelite nation of the Eternal Kingdom of God growing, maturing and flourishing in her relationship with her LORD as a plant grows up out of the earth. Note that since it has already been established that the Israelite descendants will come from wherever they dwelt during those future times on earth as a scattered people; then the meaning of the Promised Land for "'eres," is ruled out. The phrase rendered, "For great [will be] the day of Jezreel!" in the NKJV, refers to the Jezreel Valley - formerly a place in Palestine which characterized Israel's rebelliousness and evil, ; but being a part of the eternal promised land, it is now characterized with the newly reunited tribes of Israel who will reside forever with the LORD.

g) [Hos 2:1]:

(v. 2:1 NAS) "Say to your brothers, 'Ammi,' ['ammî = My people] and to your sisters, 'Ruhamah.' [rUhAmâh = My loved one]"

i) With The Future Gathering Together Of The Descendants Of The Israelites Of The Ancient Kingdoms Of Israel And Judah And The Restoration Of The Descendants' Relationship With The LORD In View, The LORD Declares Through Hosea, That The Descendants Are "Ammi" = His People; And The Restored Nation "Ruhamah" = His Loved One

(Hos 1:8 NKJV) "Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. (Hos 1:9 NIV) Then God said: 'Call his name Lo-Ammi, [lit., 'not my people'] For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.' (Hos 1:10 NKJV) Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, 'You [are] not My people,' [There] it shall be said to them, '[You are] sons of the living God.' (Hos 1:11 NKJV) Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great [will be] the day of Jezreel! (Hos 2:1 NAS) Say to your brothers, 'Ammi,' ['ammî = My people] and to your sisters, 'Ruhamah.' [rUhAmâh = My loved one]" =

In view of the future gathering together of the descendants of the ancient Kingdoms of Israel and Judah which have long since passed away; and in view of the restoration of the descendants' relationship with the LORD as 'sons of the living God', (Hos 2:1); Hosea now declares that the two groups of descendants will together be "Ammi" = His people; and the restored nation of Israel of both groups of Israelites, "Ruhamah" = His loved one.

{BKC, OT, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, USA, 1987, p. 1382]:

"These words [of Hos 2:1] were spoken to a segment of the restored nation of the future, (cf. v. 23), viewed as a group of children (say and your pl. in Heb.) They were told to proclaim to their brothers and sisters (other Israelites) that the nation's relationship with the LORD had been reestablished. The LORD then addressed them as My people ('ammî; cf. 1:9) and My loved one (rUhAmâh; cf. 1:6)... In summary, Hosea 1:10-2:1 contains a marvelous prophecy of Israel's future restoration, in which the effects of the LORD's judgment will be totally reversed. The nation that suffered defeat at Jezreel [Part of a valley in which the Northern Kingdom of Israel suffered defeat in battle and during the end times in which the Battle of Armageddon will be fought] and was called 'not loved' and 'not My people' will take part in the great 'day of Jezreel' [future times of the eternal kingdom] and hear the LORD say, 'My people' and '[My] loved one'. The covenant promises to Abraham (of numerous descendants) and David (of eternal kingship) will be fulfilled when the covenant ideal predicted by Moses will be realized (Deut 30:1-9)."]

h) [Hos 2:2-4]:

(v. 2:2 NKJV) "Bring charges ["riyb" = lit. strive, contend] against your mother, bring charges; For she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, And her adulteries from between her breasts;

(v. 2:3 NIV) Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst.

(v. 2:4 NIV) I will not show My love to her children, because they are the children of [spiritual] adultery."

i) The LORD Contends With The Northern Kingdom Of Israel For Being Unfaithful. The LORD Has Broken Off His Relationship With Her In A Separation From His Marriage With Her Accompanied By Severe Temporal Discipline Until She Removes The Unfaithfulness

Verses 2-4 return to the portrayal of the Northern Kingdom of unfaithful ancient Israel. Hosea 2:2 is a command to contend with Israel ["riyb" = lit. strive, contend, imperative mood] for being unfaithful and for committing spiritual adultery, i.e., worshipping other gods, (v. 2:2). Severe temporal disciplines will occur until Israel returns faithfully to the LORD: "Otherwise I will strip her naked.. make her like a desert... turn her into a parched land and slay her with thirst."

Famine, drought, pestilence are in view. Futhermore, the LORD addresses the subject of the children of ancient Israel, "I [the LORD] will not show My love to her children, because they are the children of [spiritual] adultery." This signifies that the children of the Israelites of the Northern Kingdom worship other gods as their parents do, (v. 2:4).

But rather than to permanently and completely destroy Israel or completely abandon her relative to any relationship with her descendants, the LORD continues with long suffering to persuade her and her descendants to believe in Him and be faithful to Him. Recall Hosea's prophecy of a reconcilation with Israel of the future, i.e., with her descendants - a remnant of believing Israelites, (1:10-2:1). So the LORD will see to it that a remnant of Israelites will be saved, i.e., survive the temporal destruction of the future end time tribulation, (v. 1:10-2:1). Notice that temporal, not eternal, judgment of the LORD upon His wife, Israel, is in view. Hence the LORD declares, 'She is not My wife' in the sense of breaking off His relationship with her in a separation from His 'marriage' with her accompanied by severe temporal discipline until she "remove[s] the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts," (v. 2:2). The words rendered "harlotries" and "adulteries" refer to her worshipping other gods - especially the god of Baal. So because of her unbelief and unfaithful behavior and in order to bring her back to Him, the LORD will discipline her by "[making] her like a desert, [turning] her into a parched land, and [slaying] her with thirst." (v. 3), i.e., temporal discipline and destruction.

i) [Hos 2:5-13]:

(v. 2:5 NIV) Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, 'I will go after my lovers [pagan gods], who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.'

(v. 2:6 NIV) Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.

(v. 2:7 NIV) She will chase after her lovers [pagan gods] but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'

(v. 2:8 NIV) She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold - which they used for Baal.

(v. 2:9 NIV) Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her nakedness.

(v. 2:10 NIV) So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of My hands.

(v. 2:11 NIV) I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days - all her appointed feasts.

(v. 2:12 NIV) I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them.

(v. 2:13 NKJV) I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,' says the LORD.

i) In View Of Israel's Unfaithfulness To God And Her Self-Deception That False Gods Like Baal And Not The LORD Were Her Providers, The LORD Fought To Win Israel 'His Wife' Back Through The Temporal Disciplines Of Drought, Invasion, Captivity, Exile And Slavery. Israel's Material Blessings And Pagan Worship Celebrations Which She Used In Her Worship Of Baal Were Taken Away To Prove That The LORD Alone Is Her Sole Provider And To Persuade Her To Return To Him

Verses 2:5-13 describe Israel's self-deception that false gods like Baal and not the LORD were her providers of material blessings. Israel "has not acknowledged that "[the LORD] was the One Who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, Who lavished on her the silver and gold - which they used for Baal," (v. 2:8). She even used the LORD's provisions and the joyous religious celebrations and feasts including the great yearly festivals, the monthly New Moons, and weekly Sabbath observances were to worship Baal, (v. 2:8, 11). Nevertheless, the LORD continued to persuade His wife to return to Him through the temporal disciplines which were geared to take away material blessings and worship celebrations and prove that it is the LORD alone Who is Israel's Provider:

(v. 2:7 NIV) "She will chase after her lovers [pagan gods] but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.' (v. 2:10 NIV) So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of My hands."

From an historical perspective, the effects of the LORD's discipline / punishment would be caused by drought, invasion, captivity, exile and slavery.

[BKC, OT, cont., pp. 1383-4]:

"The LORD's judgment, instead of bringing His relationship with Israel to a complete end, was designed to effect restoration. The first step in this process was to deprive the nation of its false gods and the prosperity it erroneously attributed to them.

(1) Israel deprived of her lovers, (2:5-7)

[2:5-7] In verse 5 Israel's unfaithfulness is vividly pictured. She resolved to pursue her lovers (the Baals; cf. vv. 13, 17; 11:2) because she believed they supplied her physical nourishment (food ... water), protection (wool and ... linen; cf. 2:9), and pleasure (oil and ... drink). In response the LORD declared that He would soon eliminate all means of access to these lovers. Israel would find familar paths blocked with thorns and stone walls (v. 6). Her frantic efforts to find her lovers would be thwarted (v. 7a)... The reality behind this figurative portrayal of judgment probably included drought, invasions, and exile (cf. vv. 9, 11-12)...

(2) Israel deprived of the LORD's blessings (2:8-13).

[2:8] Israel's guilt was established as the basis for her punishment. She had failed to acknowledge the LORD as the Source of her produce and wealth. Instead she used silver and gold to manufacture Baal idols (cf. 8:4; 13:2), for it was this Canaanite deity to whom she attributed her agricultural (grain... new wind and oil) and economic prosperity (2:5, 12-13).

Baal was the Canaanite god who supposedly controlled storms and was responsible for both agricultural and human fertility...

[2:9a] In response to Israel's unfaithfulness, the LORD said He would deprive the nation of agricultural produce (grain and new wine), leaving it destitute.

[2:9b-10] The figurative portrayal of Israel as the LORD's wife is carried along in these verses. Without wool and linen (cf. v. 5), which were used to make clothing..., she would have no means of covering her nakedness. Through this deprivation the LORD would expose her lewdness. Her shameful behavior would become known to all through this public demonstration (cf. Hosea 2:3...). 'Lewdness' (nablût... ) refers to a blatant breach of covenant which disgraces the entire community.... During this exhibition Israel's lovers [pagan gods] would be forced to stand by helplessly, being unable to deliver from the LORD's powerful grip. Then the LORD's superiority and the lovers' weakness (or apathy) would become apparent to her.

[2:11] The coming judgment would also bring the cessation of Israel's joyous religious celebrations, including the great yearly festivals (Ex 23:14-17), the monthly New Moons (i.e., New Moon sacrifices...), and the weekly Sabbath observances. These feasts had been corrupted by Baal worship (cf. Hosea 2:13) and were no longer desired by the LORD.

[2:12-13] The themes in verses 5-9 are repeated in verses 12-13. In implementing the covenant curses the LORD would destroy the produce (her vines and her fig trees... ) which Israel erroneously regarded as the pay given by her paramours in exchange for her services... The vineyards would be reduced to an overgrown thicket inhabited by wild animals. This would be an effect of the depopulation which would accompany the nation's military defeat and exile...

In burning incense to the Baals Israel had, as it were, seductively chased after her lovers (cf. Hosea 2:5). The rings and jewelry, though sources of delight and signs of prestige in the proper context... here represent the unfaithful wife's efforts to attract her lovers. The plural 'Baals' (cf. also Hosea 2:17...in this context probably refer to various local manifestations of the one Canaanite deity (cf. the singular Baal in Hosea 2:8...), who was represented by images in Baal shrines scattered throughout the land... The plurality of idols naturally suggested the comparison to many lovers...

The final statment in this section (2:2-13) summarizes Israel's basic sin and the reason for the coming judgment: she had forgotten (sAkah) the LORD. The verb here does not refer to a mental lapse or loss of knowledge; it describes a refusal to acknowledge the LORD's goodness and authority... Moses had repeatedly urged the nation not to forget the LORD's gracious deeds... and His demand for exclusive worship."}

j) [Hos 2:14-23]:

(cf. Ro 9:25 NKJV) "As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' " [Hos 2:23]

(Hos 2:14 NIV) ''' " 'Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.

(Hos 2:15 NIV) There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

(Hos 2:16 NKJV) "And it shall be, in that day," says the LORD," That you will call Me 'My Husband,' And no longer call Me 'My Master,'

(Hos 2:17 NKJV) For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

(Hos 2:18 NKJV) In that day I will make a covenant for them With the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.

(Hos 2:19 NKJV) I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;

(Hos 2:20 NKJV) I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.

(Hos 2:21 NKJV) It shall come to pass in that day That I will answer," says the LORD; " I will answer the heavens, And they shall answer the earth.

(Hos 2:22 NKJV) The earth shall answer With grain, With new wine, And with oil; They shall answer Jezreel, [referring here to a valley which is identified with Israel]

(Hos 2:23 NKJV) Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, [the Israelite descendents of the unbelieving ancient Israelites of the Northern Kingdom] ' You are My people!' And they shall say, 'You are my God! ' " '''

(cf. Ro 9:25 NKJV) "As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' " [Hos 2:23]

i) There Will Be An Unprecedented Event In The Future: Peace, Safety And Prosperity Will Be Restored To All Human, Plant And Animal Life Throughout All The Earth. At That Time, A Future Generation Of Israelites Will Be Bethrothed Forever To The LORD, Sealed Forever In Faithfulness. The LORD Will Say To Them Whose Ancient Israelite Descendants Were Unfaithful And Hence Not His People, 'You Are My People' And They Shall Say, 'You Are My God!'

Verses 14-23 portray future descendants of the ancient Israelites the latter of whom were disciplined, destroyed and have long since died. Prosperity will return due to the future descendants' becoming believers and their faith in and faithfulness toward God, (Hos 2:19-23).

In this unprecedented future time, there will be prosperity, peace, harmony and safety amongst man and animals throughout all the earth, (2:18-19). At that time, the future generation of Israelites will be betrothed forever to the LORD, sealed forever in faithfulness, (vv. 19-20). The LORD will say to them whose ancient Israelite descendants were unfaithful and hence not His people, 'You are My people' and they shall say, 'You are my God!' (2:23b).

So after punishing the ancient Northern Kingdom Israelites with discipline and destruction for unbelief, the LORD will now allure and lead the future descendant believers of those ancient unbelieving and unfaithful Israelites into the desert and speak tenderly to them, (v. 2:14).

It is in verse 2:15 where it is indicated that prosperity will return. The verse declares that the LORD will give Israel back her vineyards and will make the Valley of Achor, (lit. the 'Valley of Trouble,' the site of one of Israel's past sins - of Achan's heinous act which jeopardized the success of occupying the Promised Land), a symbol of better things to come, a door of sure hope leading to repossession of the Promised Land. The verse states that Israel "will [then] sing as in the days of her youth as in the day she came up out of Egypt." This statement refers to the early days of ancient Israel's relationship with the LORD immediately after her exodus out of Egypt which has in view her eager responsiveness to the LORD in the very beginning of her relationship with the LORD and her journery in the wilderness with Him from out of captivity from Egypt. Note that the LORD views Israel here in this passage as His chosen people, comprised of those generations of Israelites who exercise thrust alone in and faithfulness alone to the LORD as their God alone, (Hos 2:23), as their husband, (Hos 2:16). They are sons of hte living God, (Hos 1:10). all generations of Israelites, past, present and future. Hence the phrase "In the days of her youth" in 2:15 refers to the generation of the Israelite people in their first days of their relationship with the LORD at the time of the exodus from Egypt. The phrase, "In the days of her youth" does not limit Israel to the Exodus generation of Israelites, especially since not all the ancient Israelites coming out of Egypt were youthful. Many were not youthful or grew to be older in those days wandering in the wilderness.

The LORD goes on to declare that a future generation of Israelites will call Him Husband instead of Father; Baal worship will be no more, (vv. 2:16-17); all animals will be at peace and harmony with one another and mankind; and wars will be no more, (v. 2:18).

Note that the eternal time frame and character of this new kingdom of God is unprecedented. Since Israel will be forever bethrothed to God, and since an ancient betrothal involves the payment to seal the promise of the relationship; and since 2:19 stipulates that God's betrothal was "In righteousness and justice, [and] in lovingkindness and mercy," then God's bethrothal will be sealed forever by Him in His righteousness; and it will be in accordance with His justice and by His loving kindness and mercy, i.e., by the grace of God. So the future generation of Israelites in view in Hos 1:10-11; 2:14-23 will be justified = declared as having the righteousness of God unto eternal life through their faith in their Messiah-Savior Descendant by the loving kindness and mercy of God, i.e., His grace. They will know the LORD in that eternal and intimate sense, bethrothed forever to be His wife, (vv. 2:19-20).

Furthermore, at that future time, the LORD will bring great temporal prosperity to the earth - grain, wine, oil. The prosperity will especially be brought to the "Valley of Jezreel," a valley in the Promised Land and a term identified with Israel, (vv. 2:21-22).

Verse 2:23 then stipulates that the LORD will sow Israel for Himself "in the earth" [erets = lit., earth], a picture of planting her as a plant so that she will grow in her relationship with Him as His wife. He declares that He will have mercy on her where before - in ancient times - she had not obtained mercy from Him out of His disciplining her ancient descendants for turning from Him to worship Baal and for failing to acknowledge the LORD as the source of everything, (vv. 2:1-8). Now in the future, the LORD will say to those Israelite descendants of the ancients who the latter were disowned by Him and declared "not My people," "You are My people!" And those descendant Israelites will respond in turn, "You are my God!" demonstrating that they are the remnant of true and faithful believers in their generation.

[BKC, OT, cont., pp. 1383-4]:

"When Israel enters the land she will again pass through the Valley of Achor (lit., 'Valley of trouble'), the site of Achan's heinous sin which jeopardized the success of the Conquest (Josh 7). However, this time the valley will be a symbol of better things to come, a door of hope leading to repossession of the Promised Land...

2:16-17. In that day, when Israel is restored to the land, she will acknowledge the LORD as her husband. She will address Him as 'îsî, my Husband...

2:18. Israel's return to the land will be accompanied by peace. The LORD will mediate a covenant between the nation and the animal kingdom. The harmful beasts of the field, which had earlier devoured the vines and fig trees... will no longer be hostile...

... [portraying] the Kingdom Age as one of harmony between man and animals... The LORD will also cause war (symbolized by bow and sword and battle; cf. Hosea 1:7) to cease in the land of Israel. The nation will dwell safely, free from the threat of foreign invasion. This marks the reversal of an earlier judgment (cf. 1:5) and the return of covenant blessing... where the same expressions, lie down and in safety, are used.

2:19-20. The restoration of the LORD's marriage to Israel is described in terms of a bethrothal...

It will be as though the LORD and Israel had returned to the days of courtship. Bethrothal in ancient Israel was much more binding than engagement is in contemporary Western society... At the time of the bethrothal the man would pay a price to seal the agreement... The LORD's price will consist of righteousness... justice ...love ... compassion, and faithfulness. These qualities will characterize His relationship with Israel, which will never again be disrupted (cf. Hosea 2:19)..."

Note that since the LORD is always perfectly righteous, just, loving, compassionate and faithful; then it is Israel who will now also demonstrate those personal qualities in her eternal relationship with the LORD.

[ (v. 2:19 NKJV) I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;

(v. 2:20 NKJV) I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.

Verses 2:19 and 2:20 refer to the end times when Israel will be betrothed as a wife to God forever, in His righteousness, justice and faithfulness. Her eternal destiny in the eternal kingdom with the LORD will be eternal by the grace of God and not through anything Israel would do.

[BKC, cont., p. 1386]:

"2:21-22. The promise of restored agricultural blessing, mentioned briefly in verse 15, is expanded here. A series of cries and responses is envisioned as different elements of the natural world are personified. Jezreel (the nation of Israel here) will cry out to the grain... wine, and oil. They in turn will respond by calling to the earth from which they are produced. The earth in turn will look to the heavens, the source of the rain which makes the soil productive. The heavens will then call to the LORD, the One Who ultimately controls the agricultural cycle. He will respond by providing the rain necessary for agricultural prosperity.

2:23. The LORD Himself is pictured as engaging in agricultural endeavors. He will plant Israel in the land ... where she will grow under His protective care. The nation called Lo-Ruhaman (not ... loved; cf 1:6) and Lo-Ammi (not My people; cf. 1:9) will [in a future generation of Israelites] experience God's compassion and will be addressed as His people. They will acknowledge that He, not Baal, is their God."

X) [Ro 9:27-29]:

(v. 9:27 NKJV) "Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. [Isa 10:22]

(v. 9:28 NKJV) For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.'

(v. 9:29 NKJV) And as Isaiah said before: 'Unless the LORD of Sabaoth [lit., hosts] had left us a seed, [= descendants] We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah. [Isa 1:9]' "

A) JUST AS WHEN THE LORD DECREED THAT A GENERATION OF GODLESS ISRAELITES WAS TO BE DESTROYED, YET HE PRESERVED A REMNANT OF ISRAELITES TO AVERT THEIR EXTINCTION AND INSURE THE FULFILLMENT OF HIS PROMISES TO HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE, WHICH REMNANT WAS DECLARED BY GOD TO BECOME SERVANTS OF THE LORD, I.E., BELIEVE IN AND BE TRUE TO THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM IN A MESSIAH-SAVIOR DESCENDANT THROUGH ISAAC UNTO ETERNAL LIFE; SO IT IS WITH ALL GENERATIONS OF MANKIND, JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE: A REMNANT OF FAITHFUL BELIEVERS WILL BE PRESERVED (SAVED FROM TEMPORAL DESTRUCTION) SO AS TO PRESERVE THE HUMAN RACE FROM EXTINCTION IN ORDER TO FULFILL GOD'S PROMISES TO MANKIND

(Ro 9:6) "It is not as though God's word had failed.For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. (Ro 9:7) Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. (Ro 9:8) In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring... (v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (v. 9:24 NKJV ) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Ro 9:25 NKJV) As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23] (Ro 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' [Hos 1:10] (Ro 9:27 NKJV) Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. [Isa 10:22] (v. 9:28 NKJV) For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.' (v. 9:29 NKJV) And as Isaiah said before: 'Unless the LORD of Sabbath [lit., hosts] had left us a seed, [= descendants] We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah. [Isa 1:9]' " =

From verses 9:6-9:8, especially the phrase "Abraham's offspring" in Ro 9:8 we learn who are the true children of Israel: Those who are of the faith of Abraham in his Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life .

This is corroborated by Ro 9:25-26, where we learn that this same principle is applicable to all individuals: When individuals of any period of history become believers in and are true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life, they are viewed by God as follows: (v. 9:25 NKJV) " 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23] (v. 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.''[Hos 1:10]. Hence Paul is saying that in the same way that not all ancient Israelites were true Israelites nor God's chosen people, nor beloved in God's sight, but those who believe in and are true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life; so God for His glory prepared beforehand Jews and Gentiles of all ages to be called 'beloved', 'His people', "sons of the living God' who then choose to be of and true to that faith, who were beforehand neither His beloved, nor His people, nor His children.

Then in Romans 9:27, author Paul refers to what was written in Isaiah 10:22 in order to bring to clarity the principle that just as only those ancient Israelites of the Northern Kingdom who were the children of the promise of Abraham out of the innumerable number of Israelites because they have expressed the faith of Abraham in his Messiah-Savior Descendant, Jesus Christ, unto eternal life, and who would truly rely on the LORD in faithfulness - were saved from temporal destruction and thus were enabled by the LORD to return to the land after the Assyrian conquest and evert total extinction of the northern ten tribes; so, in the same way, only those out of all of humanity of all ages - Jew and Gentile alike - who believe in and are true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life, i.e., who would truly rely on the LORD during their lives will be saved from temporal destruction and early physical death in their time. Hence they would be instrumental in God's preserving the human race from extinction in order to fulfill God's promises to mankind. Note that author Paul used the word "sOthEsetai" rendered "will be saved" in the NKJV, to reflect what Isa 10:22 implies with the Hebrew word "shûb" rendered "will return" in the NIV: a temporal salvation from destruction during the Assyrian conquest in order for the ancient Israelites to have the opportunity to avert extinction and return to the Promised Land.

So the word rendered "saved" in the phrase "The remnant will be saved" in Ro 9:27 NKJV refers to the preservation of the physical lives of the remnant of Israelite believers relative to their living out the length of their years without premature temporal destruction so as to provide descendants of their people. Note that Israel in general suffered premature temporal destruction and captivity numerous times because of her unbelief and unfaithfulness toward God; but in every age a remnant of Israelites who will became faithful believers will be preserved to avert the extinction of Israel so that there would exist descendants in the future who would inherit the promised land and so that the Messiah-Savior would descend from them as the LORD had promised in His unilateral covenant with Abraham and Abraham's seed, Israel, (Ro 9:6-9). So in Ro 9:27, referring to his time in history, author Paul uses the word "saved" to refer to the preservation of the physical lives of faithful believers from premature destruction and early physical death, both Jew and Gentile, (cc. Ro 9:23-26). Note the references to averting complete temporal destruction as the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah experienced, (Ro 9:29), and the temporal destruction of Pharoah in vv. Ro 9:17-18 for being unfaithful.

1) [Compare Isa 10:1-23]:

a) [Isa 10:1-19]:

(Isa 10:1 NIV) "Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees,

(Isa 10:2 NIV) to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of My people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.

(Isa 10:3 NIV) What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?

(Isa 10:4 NIV) Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain. Yet for all this, His anger is not turned away, His hand is still upraised.

(Isa 10:5 NIV) Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of My anger, in whose hand is the club of My wrath!

(Isa 10:6 NIV) I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger Me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets.

[Note the reference to Israel, (cf 10:11, 22), being disciplined for being a godless nation

(Isa 10:7 NIV) But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations.

(Isa 10:8 NIV) 'Are not my commanders all kings?' he says.

(Isa 10:9 NIV) 'Has not Calno fared like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad, and Samaria like Damascus?

(Isa 10:10 NIV) As my hand seized the kingdoms of the idols, kingdoms whose images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria -

(Isa 10:11 NIV) shall I not deal with Jerusalem and her images as I dealt with Samaria and her idols?'

(Isa 10:12 NIV) When the LORD has finished all His work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, He will say, 'I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.

(Isa 10:13 NIV) For he says: 'By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings.

(Isa 10:14 NIV) As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as men gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp.'

(Isa 10:15 NIV) Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? As if a rod were to wield him who lifts it up, or a club brandish him who is not wood!

(Isa 10:16 NIV) Therefore, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame.

(Isa 10:17 NIV) The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers.

(Isa 10:18 NIV) The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick man wastes away.

(Isa 10:19 NIV) And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down."

i) Assyria Was Directed By God To Discipline God's People, The Israelites Of The Northern Kingdom For Being Godless. However, Assyria Never Acknowledged The Sovereignty Of God And Went Too Far By Attempting To Oppress And Destroy The People Of Israel And Jerusalem Causing God's Wrath To Turn Upon Assyria

At the beginning of Isaiah chapter 10, the prophet Isaiah sets the tone of God's righteous judgment and wrath upon those who make unjust laws, issue oppressive decrees, deprive the poor of their rights, prey on widows, rob orphans, and withhold justice from the oppressed, (vv. 10:1-2). Especially in view are the victims of such oppression by Assryia, God's chosen people, Israel, (v. 10:6), who were at that time a godless nation, (10:6, 11, 22). Assyria is warned of a disastrous destiny with no one to help, riches lost, cringing in captivity or fallen among the slain for her oppression of the Israelites. Yet for all of this warning, Assyria did not heed it! So God's anger was not turned away, His hand remained upraised to strike Assyria down and was executed upon Assyria when He was through with His discipline of Jerusalem, (vv. 10:4-5, 12).

Although God used Assyria as His righteous "rod of anger" and "club of wrath" against "a godless people", [the unfaithful Israelites of the Northern Kingdom, (vv. 10:5-6)], the Assyrian king became arrogant toward God and attributed his conquests to his own power and wisdom, (vv. 10:7-14). The LORD then asked in verse 10:15, "Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? [etc]..." pointing out that it was the LORD Who enabled victory for Assyria not the king. The king went beyond God's disciplining of the Israelites and sought to destroy them, (vv. 10:7-9). After attacking the Northern Kingdom and carrying away a great number of Israelites captive, Assyria began to move on to Jerusalem, the capital of the Southern Kingdom with the same intent and arrogance, (vv. 10:10-11). At this time, the LORD was using Assyria to discipline the Southern Kingdom but short of military conquest. When the LORD had finished His work through Assyria against Mt. Zion and Jerusalem, He destroyed Assyria with pervasive disease and fire, (v. 10:12, 16-19).

[BKC, OT, Walvoord and Zuck Eds., Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 1055]:

"In 701 B.C. 185,000 Assyrian soldiers surrounding Jerusalem were killed (37:36-37). Then in 609 B.C. the Assyrian Empire fell to Babylon. The fall of the Assyrian Empire is a prototype of the fall of all who oppose God and His plans for His covenant people."

b) [Isa 10:20-23]:

(Isa 10:20 NIV) "In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.

(Isa 10:21 NIV) A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.

(Isa 10:22 NIV) Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous.

(Isa 10:23 NIV) The LORD, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land.' "

i) In The Day Of Assyria's Conquest Of Ancient Israel, The LORD Struck Down Assyria With Pervasive Disease And Fire For Oppressing The Israelites, Trying To Destroy Them And For Not Acknowledging God's Sovereignty And Righteousness In The Matter. This Freed A Remnant Of Israelite Captives From Relying Upon The Assyrian Rule, Hence They Began To Truly Rely Upon The LORD, The Mighty God, And Were Enabled By Him To Be Saved From Temporal Destruction And To Return To The Land

(Isa 10:16 NIV) Therefore, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame. (Isa 10:17 NIV) The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers. (Isa 10:18 NIV) The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick man wastes away. (Isa 10:19 NIV) And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down. (Isa 10:20 NIV) In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (Isa 10:21 NIV) A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. (Isa 10:22 NIV) Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. (Isa 10:23 NIV) The LORD, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land.' " =

In the days of ancient Israel of the Northern Kingdom, though the number of the people of Israel was like the sand of the sea, as a result of the Assyrian conquest there only survived a remnant most of whom were taken into captivity. Whereupon the LORD struck Assyria down with pervasive disease and fire for resorting to oppression and destruction of Israel, and for not acknowledging His sovereignty and righteousness, (Isa 10:1-19). So a remnant of the people "of the house of Jacob", (of Israel), who survived the Assyrian conquest and who were taken into captivity no longer had to rely on the Assyria king, i.e., be under his dictatorial rule. Hence the remnant chose to rely upon the LORD instead. They returned to "the Mighty God... the Holy One of Israel" and were enabled by Him to be saved from temporal destruction and to return to the land, (Isa 10:20-22). They became a remnant who believed in and were true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life, i.e., of faithful believers.

Note that Isaiah 10:22 indicates that it was the LORD who decreed an overwhelming and righteous destruction of the Northern Israelites via His agent, Assyria: "Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous." And Isa 10:23 says, "The LORD, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land" which indicates that it was the LORD Who was responsible through Assyria for the destruction of the "whole land," i.e., the Northern Kingdom of Israel, (v. 10:23) and the eventual return of the remnant.

[Compare 2 Kgs 15:29 NIV]:

"In the days of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried the people captive to Assyria"

[Compare 2 Kgs 17:6 NIV]:

"In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria captured Samaria; he carried the Israelites away to Assyria. He placed them in Halah, on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes"

[Compare 2 Kgs 15:19-20 NIV]:

(v. 19 NIV) "Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom.

(v. 20 NIV) Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy man had to contribute fifty shekels of silver to be given to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and stayed in the land no longer."

Note that toward the goal of one thousand talents of silver, wealthy Israelites were required to contribute fifty shekels which translates to at least 60,000 Israelites who were not taken captive during the Assyrian conquest, but remained in the land.

[Compare 2 Chr 30:6-9 NIV]:

(v. 6) "At the king's command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: "People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.

(v. 7) Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see.

(v. 8) Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.

(v. 9) If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."

When Hezekiah celebrated the Passover festival at the time of his religious reforms, he invited the remnant of the Northern tribes residing in the land to join with the people of Judah. Among those people who celebrated the festival in Jerusalem were many people who came from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, Dan, Asher, Zebulun, and Issachar. Although the Northern Kingdom had been destroyed, Hezekiah extended an invitation to those inhabitants of the northern tribes who were left behind by the Assyrians.

ii) The LORD Cut Short His Work On Earth Of Disciplining Ancient Northern Israel Through Assyria So As To Preserve A Remnant Of The Northern Tribes Of Israel And Avert Their Extinction - Which Remnant Would Believe In And Be True To The Faith Of Abraham In A Messiah-Savior Descendant Through Isaac Unto Eternal Life, i.e., Truly Rely On The LORD Hence Preserve His Righteousness By Fulfilling His Covenental Promise To Abraham And His Seed, Israel, Of A Future Generation Of Israelite Descendants Of All Tribes Who Would Dwell Forever With The LORD In The Promised Land

(Isa 10:5 NIV) "Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of My anger, in whose hand is the club of My wrath! (Isa 10:6 NIV) I [the LORD] send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger Me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. (Isa 10:7 NIV) But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations... (Isa 10:16 NIV) Therefore, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame. (Isa 10:17 NIV) The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers. (Isa 10:18 NIV) The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick man wastes away. (Isa 10:19 NIV) And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down. (Isa 10:20 NIV) In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (Isa 10:21 NIV) A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. (Isa 10:22 NIV) Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. (Isa 10:23 NIV) The LORD, the LORD Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land.' " =

Although God used Assyria as His righteous "rod of anger" and "club of wrath" against "a godless people", [the unfaithful Israelites of the Northern Kingdom, (vv. 10:5-6)], the Assyrian king became arrogant toward God and attributed his conquests to his own power and wisdom and sought to destroy those whom he conquered, (vv. 10:7-14). The LORD then asked in verse 10:15, "Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it? [etc]..." pointing out that it was the LORD Who enabled victory for Assyria not the king. The king went beyond God's disciplining of the Israelites and sought to destroy them, (vv. 10:7-9).

So it is implied in Isaiah chapter 10 that since the LORD cut short His work on earth of disciplining ancient Northern Israel through Assyria, He did it so as to preserve a remnant of the northern tribes of Israel from extinction by the hand of Assyria. That remnant would believe in and be true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life, i.e., truly rely on the LORD, hence preserve the righteousness of the LORD by fulfilling His covenental promise to Israel of a future generation of Israelite descendants of all tribes who would dwell forever with the LORD in the Promised Land.

X cont.) [Ro 9:27-29 cont.]:

(v. 9:27 NKJV) "Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. [Isa 10:22]

(v. 9:28 NKJV) For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.'

(v. 9:29 NKJV) And as Isaiah said before: 'Unless the LORD of Sabaoth [lit., hosts] had left us a seed, [= descendants], We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah. [Isa 1:9]' "

B) JUST AS THE LORD PREVENTED EXTINCTION OF THE NORTHERN ISRAELITE POPULATION BY PRESERVING A REMNANT OF THEM - WHO WOULD THEN BELIEVE IN AND BE TRUE TO THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM IN A MESSIAH-SAVIOR DESCENDANT THROUGH ISAAC UNTO ETERNAL LIFE HENCE TRULY RELY ON THE LORD; AND HENCE PRESERVE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FULFILLING HIS COVENENT WITH ABRAHAM AND HIS SEED ISRAEL OF A FUTURE GENERATION OF ISRAELITE DESCENDANTS OF ALL TRIBES WHO WOULD DWELL FOREVER WITH THE LORD IN THE PROMISED LAND; SO GOD INSURES THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PRESERVED (SAVED FROM TEMPORAL DESTRUCTION AND PREMATURE PHYSICAL DEATH) A REMNANT OF INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD BE FAITHFUL BELIEVERS IN EVERY AGE, JEWS AND GENTILES, I.E., ALL MANKIND, AND HENCE PRESERVE THE HUMAN RACE FROM EXTINCTION SO AS TO FULFILL HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HIS PROMISES TO MANKIND

(v. 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (v. 9:22 ASV) What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (v. 9:24 NKJV ) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (v. 9:25 NKJV) As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23] (v. 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' [Hos 1:10] (v. 9:27 NKJV) Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. [Isa 10:22] (v. 9:28 NKJV) For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.' (v. 9:29 NKJV) And as Isaiah said before: 'Unless the LORD of Sabaoth [lit., hosts] had left us a seed, [= descendants], We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah [Isa 1:9]. ' " =

The sovereignty of God in choosing to demonstrate the riches of His glory with vessels He created to receive His mercy and glory: believers throughout history, Jews and Gentiles, (vv. 9:21-24), continues to be in view in Romans chapter 9. []

In Romans 9:27-29, author Paul addresses his (and our) time in history with a perspective of passages he quotes from Hosea and Isaiah. These passages refer to the salvation from premature physical death of a remnant of ancient Israelites who were part of the Northern Kingdom which kingdom was attacked and conquered by Assyria - hence preserving the northern tribes of Israel from extinction. The ancient remnant was described in those passages as returning to the LORD, the Mighty God, and truly relying on Him, (cf. Isa 10:20-23), i.e., being faithful believers. They were enabled by the LORD to return to their land.

So just as the LORD prevented the extinction of the Northern Israelite population by preserving a remnant of them - who would then believe in and be true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life hence truly rely on the LORD; hence preserve His righteousness by fulfilling His covenent with Abraham and his seed Israel of a future generation of Israelite descendants of all tribes who would dwell forever with the LORD in the promised land; so God insures that there will always be preserved (saved from temporal destruction and premature physical death) a remnant of individuals who would be faithful believers in every age, Jews and Gentiles, i.e., all mankind, and hence preserve the human race from extinction so as to fulfill His righteousness and His promises to mankind.

The phrase "in righteousness" in verse 9:28: "For He [the LORD] will finish the work [of disciplining the Israelites with Assyria] and cut it short in righteousness [so that the Israelites would not all be wiped out as in Sodom and Gomorrah, (v. 9:29)] refers to the LORD's maintaining His righteousness by preserving His covenant with Abraham and his seed Israel and by implication, His promises to all mankind.

Had the LORD not intervened to save the remnant from extinction there would have been another Sodom and Gomorrah with no Israelites from the northern ten tribes left to descend from, (Ro 9:29), and fulfill the covenant God made with Abraham and his seed Israel, thus impugning the righteousness of God, because He would not be able to fulfill His promises to Israel. Note that since Lot and his family were not of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but of the family of Abraham, all of the inhabitants of those cities perished leaving no descendants alive.

C) ALTHOUGH THE PARTICULAR REMNANT OF THE TEN TRIBES OF THE ANCIENT ISRAELITES WAS SAVED FROM TEMPORAL DESTRUCTION PREVENTING EXTINCTION OF THEIR TRIBES AND THEN THEY TURNED FROM BEING GODLESS UNBELIEVERS TO BEING FAITHFUL BELIEVERS, TRULY RELIANT UPON THE LORD; NOT ALL ISRAELITES REMAINING ALIVE THROUGHOUT THE AGES WILL BE FAITHFUL BELIEVERS

(v. 9:21 NKJV) Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? (v. 9:22 ASV) What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (v. 9:24 NKJV ) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (v. 9:25 NKJV) As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23] (v. 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' [Hos 1:10] (v. 9:27 NKJV) Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. [Isa 10:22] (v. 9:28 NKJV) For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.' (v. 9:29 NKJV) And as Isaiah said before: 'Unless the LORD of Sabaoth [lit., hosts] had left us a seed, [= descendants], We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah [Isa 1:9]. ' " =

Although the particular remnant of the ten tribes of the ancient Israelites was saved from temporal destruction preventing extinction of their tribes and then they turned from being godless unbelievers to being faithful believers, truly reliant upon the LORD, (cf. Isa 10:20); authors Isaiah and Paul are not saying that all Israelites throughout the ages remaining alive will be faithful believers. All Israelites are born unbelievers, and each must choose to believe in the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant unto eternal life in his mortal lifetime in order to become a believer; and then he must truly rely on the LORD to have his life preserved from temporal destruction and from premature physical death. Not all Israelites will do that.

So Paul is referring to passages in Hosea and Isaiah in order to say that just as God saved a remnant of ancient Israelites who would trust and rely on Him and hence be saved from temporal destruction, premature physical death and extinction of the tribes; so in this age, Jews and Gentiles will be preserved from temporal destruction and premature physical death for being faithful in ones lifestyle to the faith one expressed in Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1) [Compare Isa 1:1-9]:

(v. 1:1) '''The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

(v. 1:2) Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.

(v. 1:3) The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand."

(v. 1:4) Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.

(v. 1:5) Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted.

(v. 1:6) From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness-- only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.

(v. 1:7) Your country is desolate, your cities burned with fire; your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you, laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.

(v. 1:8) The Daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, like a hut in a field of melons, like a city under siege.

(v. 1:9) Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah."

a) In Isaiah's Time, God Saw To It That A Remnant Of Israelites Survived In Order To Continue The Line Of Israelite Descendants In Order To Fulfill His Covenant With Abraham And His Seed Israel

(Ro 9:29 NKJV) "And as Isaiah said before: 'Unless the LORD of Sabaoth [lit., hosts] had left us a seed, [= descendants], We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah. [Isa 1:9]' "

(Isa 1:9 NIV)"Unless the LORD Almighty had left us some survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah." =

In Isaiah's time it was a remnant for whose sake God preserved Israel from total destruction in order to have a future population of Israelites through whom He could fulfill His Covenant. Hence there must always be at least a remnant within each generation of Israelites for the next generation to descend from until the end of the last days when the LORD returns and moves that last generation of His chosen people, Israel into the Promised Land.

D) A FUTURE GENERATION OF FAITHFUL ISRAELITE BELIEVERS AS GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE DIFFERS FROM THE ECONOMY OF THE PRESENT AGE OF BOTH JEWISH AND GENTILE BELIEVERS AS THE PEOPLE OF GOD

(v. 9:22 ASV) "What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, (v. 9:24 NKJV ) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (v. 9:25 NKJV) As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.' [Hos 2:23] (v. 9:26 NKJV) And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ' You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God.' [Hos 1:10] (v. 9:27 NKJV) "Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: 'Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. [Isa 10:22] (v. 9:28 NKJV) For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth.' (v. 9:29 NKJV) And as Isaiah said before: 'Unless the LORD of Sabaoth [lit., hosts] had left us a seed, [= descendants], We would have become like Sodom, And we would have been made like Gomorrah.' " [Isa 1:9] =

Hosea chapters one and two and Isaiah chapters one and ten, referred to in Romans 9:25-29, indicate that in a future time, after generations of Israelites have come and gone, the last generation of Israelites will believe in and be true to the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life and be viewed as true Israelites - separate from Gentiles, God's people, beloved in His sight and sons of the living God; where formerly God declared the past generations of unbelieving, unfaithful Israelites, not beloved and not His people.

On the other hand, Romans 9:22-24 indicates that Jews and Gentiles together in the present, (not future) age who become believers in the faith of Abraham in his Messiah-Savior Descendant through Isaac unto eternal life will also be viewed by God as His people, beloved in His sight and sons of the living God. Nevertheless there will be distinctions between those two groups of God's people. The passages in Hosea and Isaiah point to a future time beyond the time of the present age - a future time of the Israelites as God's particular chosen people which differs from the economy of the present age of both Jews and Gentiles combined as the people of God when they become believers. Hence there is apparently - in the future - a return to God's economy or organization of the time when the ancient Israelite believers were viewed by God as a separate group of God's chosen people - and His beloved and sons of the living God, who are destined to a particularly unique future in the eternal kingdom of God.

XI) [Ro 9:30-33]:

(v. 9:30 NKJV) "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;

(v. 9:31 NKJV) but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.

(v. 9:32 NKJV) Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

(v. 9:33 NKJV) As it is written: 'Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.' "

A) RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT TO BE PURSUED BUT OBTAINED AS THE GENTILES HAVE DONE IT: BY FAITH IN THE ROCK WHO IS CHRIST - A STUMBLING STONE TO THE ISRAELITES WHO REJECTED CHRIST AND VAINLY PURSUED KEEPING THE LAW IN ORDER TO ATTAIN THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS. EXCEPT FOR A REMNANT OF ISRAELITES WHICH GOD HAS PRESERVED TO AVERT ISRAEL'S EXTINCTION THROUGHOUT THE AGES, GENERATIONS OF ISRAELITES HAVE REPEATEDLY BEEN DESTROYED

(v. 9:30 NKJV) "What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; (v. 9:31 NKJV) but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. (v. 9:32 NKJV) Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. (v. 9:33 NKJV) As it is written: " Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." =

Paul asks, "What shall we say then?" in verse 9:30 and then answers that a number of Gentiles attained God's righteousness by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone; but Jews characteristically pursued and failed to attain God's righteousness by attempting to keep the law of righteousness - the Law of Moses. They found Jesus Christ to be a Stumbling Stone. They could not accept that keeping the Law was not the way of righteousness, but simply trusting in their Messiah-Savior Descendant unto that end is. Except for a remnant of Israelites which God has preserved to avert Israel's extinction throughout the ages, Israel has repeatedly been destroyed and dispersed from the land.

1) [Compare Isa 8:13-14]:

(v. 13) "The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, He is the one you are to fear, He is the One you are to dread,

(v. 14) and He will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel He will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem He will be a trap and a snare."

2) [Compare Isa 28:16]:

"So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a Precious Cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed."

[Notice that Israel by and large were unbelievers. Except for a remnant they did not "trust" in the "precious cornerstone" resulting in their "being dismayed", i.e., horrified and hurried up to such an extent that one is destroyed. This has in view physical as well as eternal destruction. On the other hand, for the remnant of believers, God through faith alone in the Precious Cornerstone is a haven and a sanctuary from destruction both temporal and eternal who's eternal destiny is the promised land]

3) [Compare Ez 36:24-27]:

(v. 24) "For I will take you [Israel] out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.

(v. 25) I [God] will sprinkle clean water [the Holy Spirit, (v. 27)] on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols."

(v. 25) "I [God] will sprinkle clean water [the Holy Spirit] on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols."

[And only the Holy Spirit can do this; and this is verified in the next two verses in Ezekiel]:

(v. 26) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; [a born again spirit, (Jn 3:5)] I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

(v. 27) And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws."

[Notice that the destiny of Israel is one of being moved by the Spirit Who is received by faith alone in the Messiah alone to follow God's decrees and be careful to keep God's laws and thus be brought back into the promised land.]

B) JESUS CHRIST IS THE STUMBLING STONE TO THOSE WHO CANNOT ACCEPT HIM BECAUSE THEY INSIST ON A VAIN ATTEMPT TO KEEP LAW TO ATTAIN THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS TO GAIN ETERNAL LIFE. BUT WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO ETERNAL SHAME BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 9:22 ASV) What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering, vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: (v. 9:23 NKJV) and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for [eternal] glory, (v. 9:24 NKJV ) even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (v. 9:30 NKJV) What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; (v. 9:31 NKJV) but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. (v. 9:32 NKJV) Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. (v. 9:33 NKJV) As it is written: 'Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.' " =

The Greek phrase, "ou kataischunthEsetai," rendered "not be put to shame" in Romans 9:33 in the NKJV, future tense, passive voice, means that any individual, Jew or Gentile, who refuses to believe will literally be put to being ashamed by God.

Jesus Christ is the stumbling stone to those who cannot accept Him because they insist on a vain attempt to keep law to attain their own righteousness to gain eternal life. But whoever believes on Him will not be put to eternal shame, but have eternal life. Since the phrase "vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for [eternal] glory" in verse 9:23 has eternal glory in view, then the phrase "the righteousness of faith" in verse 9:30 must refer to the eternal righteousness of God unto eternal life. Furthermore, the phrase "whoever believes on Him" in verse 9:33 must also refer to the reception of the eternal righteousness of God by a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life. Finally, the concept of not being put to shame in verse 9:33 must refer to those who choose to express a moment of faith alone in the LORD alone unto eternal life resulting in eternal life as opposed to eternal shame and wrath - the destiny of those who have never believed. Finally, due to (v. 9:24 NKJV ) "even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles," Jews and Gentiles, i.e., all individuals are in view.

1) [Compare Isa 8:13-17, 28:16-19]:

(Isa 8:13 NAS) "It is the LORD of hosts Whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.

(Isa 8:14 NKJV) He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

(Isa 28:16 NIV) So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a Precious Cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

(Isa 28:17 NIV) I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.

(Isa 28:18 NIV) Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the grave will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.

(Isa 28:19 NIV) As often as it comes it will carry you away; morning after morning, by day and by night, it will sweep through. The understanding of this message will bring sheer terror.' "

At the time of Isaiah, the people of the ancient kingdom of Israel by and large were unbelievers. Except for a remnant they did not "trust" in the "precious cornerstone" resulting in their being dismayed. The verb rendered 'be dismayed' (hîs) in verse 28:16 of the NIV literally means 'be hastened.' In this context it signifies such a hastening as to cause self-destruction and dismay. This has in view physical as well as eternal destruction. On the other hand, God is a haven and a sanctuary from destruction both temporal and eternal for the remnant of Israelite believers, whose eternal destiny is the promised land. In other words, whoever believes in Christ, the Messiah, the precious cornerstone which God laid in Zion, (Isa 28:16) will be saved unto eternal life, i.e., never to go to eternal shame. Furthermore, as the individual trusts in the LORD in his temporal life, he is saved from temporal destruction.

[Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., Grank E Gaebelien, Gen. Ed., 1976, p. 180-181]:

"Even a superficial examination of these verses, (Isa 28:16-19), reveals the considerable extent to which - in word and idea - they take up so much of what the prophet [Isaiah] has said already in this chapter. The conjunction lAkEn ('so' or 'therefore') v. 16 opens with indicates this logical connection with what God has already said in this oracle. The further connection, already noted in the comment at v. 13, between this prophecy and chapter 8 is also very instructive. In the earlier passage (8:14), the LORD Himself had declared that He would be both a sanctuary - and Judah's sanctuary at Jerusalem was made of stone - and a stumbling stone for the people of Israel. Faith would make the difference. Here the stone illustration - having already been developed, by implication, in a negative way in v. 13 - is presented in an eminently positive fashion...

In 8:14, in an oracle from the time of Ahaz, the prophet had used the stone analogy in a most significant way. The LORD Himself was calling men to faith. If they responded in faith, He would be a sanctuary, a holy place, to them. As the altar of God in the temple was treated as a place of refuge (Exod 21:14; 1 Kings 1:50), so God Himself would be a holy place of refuge for them (cf. Exek 11:16). If, however, they refused belief, He would be a stone of stumbling they would fall over. The altar of stone was, of course, set within a temple of stone, so that both the promise and the threat there rest on the spiritualizing of the stone.

The context here [in Isa 28] is very similar. The leadership of Judah was again refused the way of faith and sought alliance with Egypt. The prophet returned to his previous image but developed it differently. The stone-built temple is once again a picture of the God they are to trust in. Instead of reapplying the stone illustration in a threat (but see v. 13b), Isaiah declared God's condemnation of the poor Egyptian makeshift the rebellious and unbelieving people had constructed as a substitute for faith in their God. The passage therefore harmonizes perfectly both with its literary and with its historical contexts. The stone is defined, as we shall see, in terms of the analogy itself; but the reality of which it is the image is unspecified. A comparison of the language of 8:14 and the present passage shows us that there the sanctuary and stone were God Himself whereas here the stone is laid by God. If this passage is a development of the former, then we are bound to ask, 'Who, in Isaiah's prophecies, is both God and distinct from Him?' The clear answer is 'the Messiah,' as 9:6 (cf. 7:14) shows. The soundness of this approach is confirmed when we note that thematic development is a leading feature of Messianism in this book...

If then the stone is the Messiah, what messianic qualities or functions emerge from the prophet's words?... Zion was itself, of course, the place of the temple and also the place where the leaders of the people lived. The stone is probably defined in a twofold way. First of all, it is a tested or testing stone. If the adjective is taken in an active sense, then it will simply indicate that the foundation stone has been tested for strength and shape. If passive, however, it may well refer to a topstone, shaped by the master mason for placing at the end of the whole building process, so forming a test of trueness of line for the whole edifice... If the prophecy is truly messianic, then it is eschatological; and if eschatological, then the idea of a capstone is most apt. We will take it, therefore, in this sense, though this cannot be established beyond a shadow of doubt.

The testing stone is also 'a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation.' This clearly points to the stone that is placed on the living rock and that is of special importance also because it is at the junction of two walls. He is 'precious' because of His superlative value in the divine plan. The ultimate spiritual sanctuary will find its foundation in Him... If we are right in seeing both topstone and foundation stone here, we have evidence of the freedom of the prophet - and behind him of the inspiring Spirit - in the use of analogies. In architecture the same stone cannot fulfill both purposes; but God gives one great answer to the totality of human need, and that answer is Christ...

The verb translated 'dismayed' (hîs) literally means 'to hasten' but it can be applied figuratively to emotions... On the other hand, a literal rendering makes good sense because... it can suggest a contrast with waiting on God..."

Continue to Romans chapter 10