Romans 9:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.

New Living Translation
They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God's adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.

English Standard Version
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.

Berean Study Bible
the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the Law, the temple worship, and the promises.

Berean Literal Bible
who are Israelites, whose is the divine adoption as sons, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises;

New American Standard Bible
who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,

King James Bible
Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises.

International Standard Version
who are Israelis. To them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises.

NET Bible
who are Israelites. To them belong the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises.

New Heart English Bible
who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Who are the children of Israel, whose was the adoption of children, the glory, The Covenant, The Written Law, the ministry which is in it, The Promises,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They are Israelites, God's adopted children. They have the Lord's glory, the pledges, Moses' Teachings, the true worship, and the promises.

New American Standard 1977
who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,

Jubilee Bible 2000
who are Israelites, to whom pertains the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises,

King James 2000 Bible
Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

American King James Version
Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

American Standard Version
who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God , and the promises;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who are Israelites, to whom belongeth the adoption as of children, and the glory, and the testament, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises:

Darby Bible Translation
who are Israelites; whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the law-giving, and the service, and the promises;

English Revised Version
who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Webster's Bible Translation
Who are Israelites; to whom pertain the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Weymouth New Testament
To them belongs recognition as God's sons, and they have His glorious Presence and the Covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the Temple service, and the ancient Promises.

World English Bible
who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises;

Young's Literal Translation
who are Israelites, whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises,
Study Bible
Paul's Concern for the Jews
3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my own flesh and blood, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory and the covenants; theirs the giving of the Law, the temple worship, and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them proceeds the human descent of Christ, who is God over all, forever worthy of praise! Amen.…
Cross References
Genesis 17:2
"I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly."

Exodus 4:22
"Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My firstborn.

Exodus 40:34
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

Deuteronomy 4:13
"So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

Deuteronomy 7:6
"For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Deuteronomy 14:1
"You are the sons of the LORD your God; you shall not cut yourselves nor shave your forehead for the sake of the dead.

Deuteronomy 29:14
"Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath,

1 Kings 8:11
so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.

Psalm 147:19
He declares His words to Jacob, His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.

Ezekiel 1:28
As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
Treasury of Scripture

Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

are Israelites.

Romans 9:6 Not as though the word of God has taken none effect. For they are …

Genesis 32:28 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: …

Exodus 19:3-6 And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, …

Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are an holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God …

Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Isaiah 41:8 But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed …

Isaiah 46:3 Listen to me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house …

John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, Behold an Israelite …

the adoption.

Exodus 4:22 And you shall say to Pharaoh, Thus said the LORD, Israel is my son, …

Deuteronomy 14:1 You are the children of the LORD your God: you shall not cut yourselves, …

Jeremiah 31:9,20 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them…

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

and the glory.

Numbers 7:89 And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to …

1 Samuel 4:21,22 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from …

1 Kings 8:11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: …

Psalm 63:2 To see your power and your glory, so as I have seen you in the sanctuary.

Psalm 78:61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.

Psalm 90:16 Let your work appear to your servants, and your glory to their children.

Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness …

covenants. or, testaments.

Genesis 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your …

Genesis 17:2,7,10 And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply …

Exodus 24:7,8 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of …

Exodus 34:27 And the LORD said to Moses, Write you these words: for after the …

Deuteronomy 29:1 These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses …

Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; …

Nehemiah 13:29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, …

Psalm 89:3,34 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn to David my servant…

Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of …

Jeremiah 33:20-25 Thus said the LORD; If you can break my covenant of the day, and …

Acts 3:25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God …

Hebrews 8:6-10 But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also …

the giving.

Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God.

Nehemiah 9:13,14 You came down also on mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, …

Psalm 147:19 He shows his word to Jacob, his statutes and his judgments to Israel.

Ezekiel 20:11,12 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which …

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

the service.

Exodus 12:25 And it shall come to pass, when you be come to the land which the …

Isaiah 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted …

Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted …

Hebrews 9:3,10 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all…

promises.

Luke 1:54,55,69-75 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy…

Acts 2:39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that …

Acts 3:25,26 You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God …

Acts 13:32,33 And we declare to you glad tidings, how that the promise which was …

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the …

Hebrews 6:13-17 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no …

(4) The adoption.--They are the theocratic people, the people whom God had, as it were, adopted to Himself, and taken into the special filial relation. (Comp. Hosea 11:1, "I called my son out of Egypt;" Exodus 4:22, "Israel is my son, even my firstborn;" et al.)

The glory.--The Shechinah, or visible symbol of God's presence. (Comp. Exodus 16:10; Exodus 24:16; Exodus 40:34-35; 1Samuel 4:22; 1Kings 8:10-11; Ezekiel 1:28; Hebrews 9:5.)

The covenants.--Not the two tables of stone, but the several compacts made by God with Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:1-21; Genesis 17:1-22; Genesis 22:15-18; Genesis 26:2-5; Genesis 26:34; Genesis 28:13-15; Genesis 35:9-12; Genesis 46:3-4).

The service of God.--The temple service and ritual.

The promises.--Especially the Messianic promises, a term correlative to the "covenants" above.

Verses 4, 5. - Who (οἵτινες, with its usual sense of quippe qui) are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and from whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Here "the adoption" (ὑιοθεσία) means the selection of Israel to be God's peculiar people (cf. Exodus 4:22, "Israel is my son, even my firstborn;" Deuteronomy 14:1, "Ye are the children of the Lord your God;" Hosea 11:1, "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt;" also Exodus 19:5. Cf. also τέκνα τοῦ Θεοῦ in ver. 8 below). It is, of course, a different idea from that of the spiritual υἱοθεσία of believers (at present as in Romans 8:15, or to come as in Romans 8:23), though it might be typical of it. "The glory" (ἡ δόξα) seems best explained by reference to 2 Corinthians 3:7-18, where the visible glory, said to have rested on the mercy-seat and to have illuminated for a time the face of Moses, is regarded as expressing the glory, in a higher sense, of the old dispensation, which, however, was destined to fade away in the greater glory of the revelation of God in Christ. The word may be thus taken to denote, not simply the Sheehinab, or the glory on Mount Sinai, but rather what was signified by these manifestations. It was probably a recognized term in use with reference to the giving of the Law. "The covenants" (αἱ διαθῆκαι), and "the promises" (αἱ ἐπαγγελίαι), both in the plural, include those made with and given to Abraham and the other patriarchs, as well as the Mosaic ones. The former word is wrongly taken by some as denoting the tables of the covenant. Ἡ λατρεία is obviously the divinely appointed ceremonial worship, the typical significance of which is explained at length in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the same word is used. "The fathers" (οἱ πατέρες) are the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the original recipients of the promises, descent from whom was made such account of by the Jews, as being the foundation of their privileges (cf. Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8; Luke 13:28; John 8:39; and, for the use of πατέρες in this sense, cf. Acts 3:22; Acts 13:32; Romans 15:8; Hebrews 1:1). The last and crowning distinction of the Jewish race is mentioned last, viz. the fleshly descent therefrom of Christ, even of him who in his higher nature is "over all, God blessed for ever." This is certainly the most obvious meaning of the conclusion of ver. 5, as far as the language is concerned, and the one understood by all ancient commentators. Some moderns, however, as is well known, have raised objections to this interpretation of the clause, based solely on the supposed improbability that St. Paul would have so designated Christ. Some would, therefore, get over this imagined difficulty by putting a full stop after κατὰ σάρκα, and taking what follows as a doxology to God the Father, thus: "God, who is over all, be blessed for ever." The apostle is supposed, according to this interpretation, to have been moved to this parenthetical utterance by his contemplation of the Divine favours to Israel, which he had been recounting. Some have suggested the full stop being put after πάντων, so as to refer ὁ ω}ν ἐπὶ πάντων to Christ, and take only what follows as a doxology, or, as some would have it, as a statement. But, in either case, the idea of so unlikely a breaking up of the sentence may be dismissed as untenable. Others, without thus breaking up the sentence, take the whole of it, beginning with ὁ ω}ν, to be, not a doxology, but a statement, thus at- tempting to meet the objection to its being a doxology (to be noticed presently), arising from the collocation of the words. But a mere assertion that God is blessed for ever would seem peculiarly uncalled for and purposeless here. Meyer, being a critic of deserved repute, and an upholder of the modern interpretation of the clause, taking the whole of it together as a doxology to the Father, it may suffice to state his arguments.

(1) That St. Paul, though regarding the Son of God as the image of God, of the essence of God, the agent in creation and preservation, the judge of all, the object of prayer, and the possessor of Divine glory and fulness of grace (Romans 1:4; Romans 10:12; Philippians it. 6; Colossians 1:15, etc.; Colossians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20, etc.; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 8:9), never expressly calls him Θεὸς, but always clearly distinguishes him as the Κύριος from Θεὸς; and that the passages in which Θεὸς has been supposed by some to apply to him (as in 2 Thessalonians 1:12, Κατὰ τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ Κυρίου Ιησοῦ Ξριστοῦ; and Ephesians 5:5; Titus 1:4) are wrongly so understood; ὅς, not Θεὸς, being also undoubtedly the original reading in 1 Timothy 3:16. (Of St. Paul's usual distinction between Θεὸς and Κύριος, when he is referring to the economy of redemption, other instances are found in 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 12:4, 5, 6; Ephesians 4:4, 5, 6. That he does usually so distinguish is undoubted.)

(2) That, according to the old ecclesiastical interpretation, "Christ would be called here, not only God, but even God over all, and consequently would be designated as Θεὸς παντοκράτωρ, which is absolutely incompatible with the entire view of the New Testament as to the dependence of the Son on the Father."

(3) That "in the properly apostolical writings (2 Peter 3:18 does not belong to them, nor does Hebrews 13:21) we never meet with a doxology to Christ in the form which is usual in doxologies to God." Meyer adds in a note, "2 Timothy 4:18 certainly refers to Christ; but this is just one of the traces of post-apostolic composition. Now, to these arguments it may be replied as follows: To (1) that, though it may be true that St. Paul in no other passage expressly calls Christ Θεὸς, yet his doctrine with respect to his Divine nature is in accordance with the expression; for surely the term Θεὸς is applicable to him who is spoken of, as e.g. in Philippians 2:6 and Colossians 1:15, etc.; that his usual distinction between the supreme God and Christ as Mediator by no means precludes his declaring in express terms Christ's essential Deity in a passage where such a declaration is suitable and called for; that even St. John, who is acknowledged by all to have peculiarly set forth the Divine essence of Christ, only once uses the expression, Θεὸς ῆν ὁ Λόγος, or any exactly equivalent to it. To argument (2) it may be replied that the language used does not identify Christ with the Father as ὁ παντοκράτωρ Θεὸς, especially if we suppose a comma after πάντων, so that the meaning would he, "Christ who is over all, God blessed for ever." That Christ is "over all" is what is distinctly declared elsewhere by St. Paul, and Θεὸς, etc., may be appended predicatively to denote his Divine essence. As to argument (3), it is necessary to exclude not only 2 Peter and Hebrews, but also 2 Timothy from the list of apostolical writings in order to give it any force. But even so it would be irrelevant; for the sentence before us is not a doxology, but an assertion: it is, according to the ancient interpretation, not "Blessed be Christ as God for ever;" but" Christ, who is God blessed for ever." The positive reasons for retaining the ancient interpretations may be stated as follows:

(1) Not one of the Greek or other Fathers, or any interpreter before Erasmus, is known to have understood it otherwise.

(2) It gives the most obvious sense of the words themselves. It may well be contended that no other would have been thought of, but for the supposed discrepance with the apostle's usual way of speaking of Christ.

(3) Whereas a doxology to God the Father does not seem called for here, or to have any very obvious bearing on the writer's train of thought, some assertion of the Divine greatness of Christ seems wanted to complete the representation of the final and crowning privilege of the race of Israel. Ὁ ω}ν ἐπὶ πάντων would indeed suffice for this purpose, if it could be dissevered from what follows. But, as has been said above, it is not allowable so to break up the sentence. Cf also Romans 1:4, where the statement that Christ had been born of the seed of David, according to the flesh, is followed by an assertion also of his Divine Sonship.

(4) If the sentence had been intended as a doxology, εὐλογητὸς ought properly to have preceded Θεὸς (cf. Luke 1:68, Αὐλογητὸς Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραὴλ; Ephesians 1:3, Αὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ, etc.; 1 Peter 1:3, where the same expression occurs); whereas in every other passage where εὐλογητὸς follows the subject of the sentence, it is an assertion, and not a doxology (cf. Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 11:31).

(5) The whole objection to the ancient interpretation rests solely on the views of modern critics as to what they think St. Paul was likely to mean - not on what his language most obviously intimates that he did mean - a very unsafe principle of interpretation. Our safe conclusion seems to be that modern criticism has not made out a sufficient case for departing from the unanimous ancient interpretation of this passage. Who are Israelites,.... Which were their national name, as descended from Jacob, whose name was Israel; and it was accounted a very honourable one; see Philippians 3:5; and the very name they bore gave the apostle some concern that they should be cut off; and then he proceeds to enumerate the several distinguishing favours and privileges they had been partakers of:

to whom pertaineth the adoption; not that special adoption, which springs from eternal predestination, is a blessing of the covenant of grace, comes through the redemption of Christ, and is received and enjoyed only by believers in him; for all that were Israelites, were not in this sense the children of God; but national adoption is here meant, by which the whole body of the people, as nation, were the sons of God, his firstborn:

and the glory; either the ark of the covenant, which is so called in Psalm 63:2, according to Kimchi; or the clouds in the tabernacle and temple, which were called the glory of the Lord, and were symbols of his presence, the same with the Shekinah; and so Aben Ezra interprets power, the ark, and glory, the Shekinah, Psalm 63:2,

and the covenants; not the two Testaments, Old and New, but the covenant of circumcision, made with Abraham their father, and the covenant at Sinai they entered into with the Lord; some copies, and the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions, read, "the covenant":

and the giving, of the law: , a way of speaking the (x) Jews make use of when they take notice of this privilege; for it was peculiarly given to them with great solemnity by God himself, through the disposition of angels into the hands of Moses the mediator, and by him to them; and on account of this, they reckoned themselves more beloved of God than the rest of mankind (y).

and the service of God; or "the service", as in the Greek text. So the Jews (z) are used to call it "the service"; and false worship is called by them , "strange service", which is the title of one of their Misnic tracts; and here it signifies the whole worship of God, in the whole compass of it, sacrifices, prayer, praise, &c. daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly:

and the promises; both temporal and spiritual, especially such as related to the Messiah, and which now had their accomplishment.

(x) T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 116. 1. Zohar in Lev. fol. 5. 2, 3.((y) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 103. 2.((z) Vid. Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 2.4. Who are Israelites—See Ro 11:1; 2Co 11:22; Php 3:5.

to whom pertaineth—"whose is"

the adoption—It is true that, compared with the new economy, the old was a state of minority and pupilage, and so far that of a bond-servant (Ga 4:1-3); yet, compared with the state of the surrounding heathen, the choice of Abraham and his seed was a real separation of them to be a Family of God (Ex 4:22; De 32:6; Isa 1:2; Jer 31:9; Ho 11:1; Mal 1:6).

and the glory—that "glory of the Lord," or "visible token of the Divine Presence in the midst of them," which rested on the ark and filled the tabernacle during all their wanderings in the wilderness; which in Jerusalem continued to be seen in the tabernacle and temple, and only disappeared when, at the Captivity, the temple was demolished, and the sun of the ancient economy began to go down. This was what the Jews called the "Shekinah."

and the covenants—"the covenants of promise" to which the Gentiles before Christ were "strangers" (Eph 2:12); meaning the one covenant with Abraham in its successive renewals (see Ga 3:16, 17).

and the giving of the law—from Mount Sinai, and the possession of it thereafter, which the Jews justly deemed their peculiar honor (De 26:18, 19; Ps 147:19, 20; Ro 2:17).

and the service of God—or, of the sanctuary, meaning the whole divinely instituted religious service, in the celebration of which they were brought so nigh unto God.

and the promises—the great Abrahamic promises, successively unfolded, and which had their fulfilment only in Christ; (see Heb 7:6; Ga 3:16, 21; Ac 26:6, 7).9:1-5 Being about to discuss the rejection of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles, and to show that the whole agrees with the sovereign electing love of God, the apostle expresses strongly his affection for his people. He solemnly appeals to Christ; and his conscience, enlightened and directed by the Holy Spirit, bore witness to his sincerity. He would submit to be treated as accursed, to be disgraced, crucified; and even for a time be in the deepest horror and distress; if he could rescue his nation from the destruction about to come upon them for their obstinate unbelief. To be insensible to the eternal condition of our fellow-creatures, is contrary both to the love required by the law, and the mercy of the gospel. They had long been professed worshippers of Jehovah. The law, and the national covenant which was grounded thereon, belonged to them. The temple worship was typical of salvation by the Messiah, and the means of communion with God. All the promises concerning Christ and his salvation were given to them. He is not only over all, as Mediator, but he is God blessed for ever.
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