Romans 9:11
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,

King James Bible
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Darby Bible Translation
the children indeed being not yet born, or having done anything good or worthless (that the purpose of God according to election might abide, not of works, but of him that calls),

World English Bible
For being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls,

Young's Literal Translation
(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 --

Romans 9:11 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For the children being not yet born - It was not, therefore, by any works of theirs. It was not because they had formed a character and manifested qualities which made this distinction proper. It was laid back of any such character, and therefore had its foundation in the purpose or plan of God.

Neither having done any good or evil - That is, when the declaration Romans 9:12 was made to Rebecca. This is a very important passage in regard to the question about the purposes of God.

(1) they had done nothing good or bad; and when that is the case, there can be, properly speaking, no moral character, for "a character is not formed when the person has not acquired stable and distinctive qualities." Webster.

(2) that the period of moral agency had not yet commenced; compare Genesis 25:22-23. When that agency commences, we do not know; but here is a case of which it is alarmed that it had not commenced.

(3) the purpose of God is antecedent to the formation of character, or the performance of any actions, good or bad.

(4) it is not a purpose formed because he sees anything in the individuals as a ground for his choice, but for some reason which he has not explained, and which in the Scripture is simply called purpose and good pleasure; Ephesians 1:5.

(5) if it existed in this case, it does in others. If it was right then, it is now. And if God then dispensed his favors on this principle, he will now. But,

(6) This affirmation respecting Jacob and Esau does not prove that they had not a nature inclined to evil; or a corrupt and sensual propensity; or that they would not sin as soon as they became moral agents. It proves merely that they had not yet committed actual sin. That they, as well as all others, would certainly sin as soon as they committed moral acts at all, is proved everywhere in the Sacred Scriptures.

The purpose of God - Note, Romans 8:28.

According to election - To dispense his favors according to his sovereign will and pleasure. Those favors were not conferred in consequence of the merits of the individuals; but according to a wise plan "lying back" of the formation of their characters, and before they had done good or evil. The favors were thus conferred according to his choice, or election.

Might stand - Might be confirmed; or might be proved to be true. The case shows that God dispenses his favors as a sovereign. The purpose of God was thus proved to have been formed without respect to the merits of either.

Not of works - Not by anything which they had done either to merit his favor or to forfeit it. It was formed on other principles than a reference to their works. So it is in relation to all who shall be saved. God has good reasons for saving those who shall be saved. What the reasons are for choosing some to life, he has not revealed; but he has revealed to us that it is not on account of their works, either performed or foreseen.

But of him that calleth - According to the will and purpose of him that chooses to dispense those favors in this manner. It is not by the merit of man, but it is by a purpose having its origin with God, and formed and executed according to his good pleasure. It is also implied here that it is formed in such a way as to secure his glory as the primary consideration.

Romans 9:11 Parallel Commentaries

Library
God's Will and Man's Will
The great controversy which for many ages has divided the Christian Church has hinged upon the difficult question of "the will." I need not say of that conflict that it has done much mischief to the Christian Church, undoubtedly it has; but I will rather say, that it has been fraught with incalculable usefulness; for it has thrust forward before the minds of Christians, precious truths, which but for it, might have been kept in the shade. I believe that the two great doctrines of human responsibility
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863

The Coming of the Called.
"That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth."--Rom. ix. 11. The question is, whether the elect cooperate in the call. We say, Yes; for the call is no call, in the fullest sense of the word, unless the called one can hear and hears so distinctly that it impresses him, causes him to rise and to obey God. For this reason our fathers, for the sake of clearness, used to distinguish between the ordinary call and the effectual call. God's call does not
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Whence Also the Just of Old, Before the Incarnation of the Word...
18. Whence also the just of old, before the Incarnation of the Word, in this faith of Christ, and in this true righteousness, (which thing Christ is unto us,) were justified; believing this to come which we believe come: and they themselves by grace were saved through faith, not of themselves, but by the gift of God, not of works, lest haply they should be lifted up. [2679] For their good works did not come before God's mercy, but followed it. For to them was it said, and by them written, long ere
St. Augustine—On Patience

The Sum and Substance of all Theology
Note: On Tuesday, June 25th, 1861, the beloved C. H. Spurgeon visited Swansea. The day was wet, so the services could not be held in the open-air; and, as no building in the town was large enough to hold the vast concourses of people who had come from all parts to hear the renowned preacher, he consented to deliver two discourses in the morning; first at Bethesda, and then at Trinity Chapel. At each place he preached for an hour and a quarter. The weather cleared up during the day; so, in the evening,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

Cross References
Romans 4:17
(as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Ephesians 1:11
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

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