Romans 9:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.

New Living Translation
This means that Abraham's physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham's children.

English Standard Version
This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

New American Standard Bible
That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

King James Bible
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God's children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring.

International Standard Version
That is, it is not merely the children born through natural descent who were regarded as God's children, but it is the children born through the promise who were regarded as descendants.

NET Bible
This means it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise are counted as descendants.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But this is not because the children of the flesh are the children of God, but the children of The Promise are accounted for the seed.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This means that children born by natural descent [from Abraham] are not necessarily God's children. Instead, children born by the promise are considered Abraham's descendants.

Jubilee Bible 2000
That is, Those who are sons of the flesh, these are not the sons of God; but those who are sons of the promise are counted in the generation.

King James 2000 Bible
That is, They who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the descendants.

American King James Version
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

American Standard Version
That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
That is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh, are the children of God; but they, that are the children of the promise, are accounted for the seed.

Darby Bible Translation
That is, [they that are] the children of the flesh, these [are] not the children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned as seed.

English Revised Version
That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed.

Webster's Bible Translation
That is, They who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Weymouth New Testament
In other words, it is not the children by natural descent who count as God's children, but the children made such by the promise are regarded as Abraham's posterity.

World English Bible
That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as a seed.

Young's Literal Translation
that is, the children of the flesh -- these are not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:6-13 The rejection of the Jews by the gospel dispensation, did not break God's promise to the patriarchs. The promises and threatenings shall be fulfilled. Grace does not run in the blood; nor are saving benefits always found with outward church privileges. Not only some of Abraham's seed were chosen, and others not, but God therein wrought according to the counsel of his own will. God foresaw both Esau and Jacob as born in sin, by nature children of wrath even as others. If left to themselves they would have continued in sin through life; but for wise and holy reasons, not made known to us, he purposed to change Jacob's heart, and to leave Esau to his perverseness. This instance of Esau and Jacob throws light upon the Divine conduct to the fallen race of man. The whole Scripture shows the difference between the professed Christian and the real believer. Outward privileges are bestowed on many who are not the children of God. There is, however, full encouragement to diligent use of the means of grace which God has appointed.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 8, 9. - That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for seed. For the word of promise is this, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son (Genesis 18:10). In other words, it is not in virtue of mere carnal descent, but of the promise, that any are so counted; mere carnal descent establishes no claim. It is to be observed that in the first recorded promises to Abraham (Genesis 13:15; Genesis 15:5; Genesis 17:7) there was no restriction; and so through Ishmael, who is also called Abraham's seed (Genesis 21:13), as well as through Isaac, the fulfilment might have been. But the subsequent promise (Genesis 17:19, 21; Genesis 18:10, 14) limited it to Isaac; which limiting promise is, therefore, in ver. 9, referred to. With τέκνα τοῦ Θεοῦ in ver. 8 Compare ἡ υἱοθεσίαα (ver. 4), and also Isaiah 63:16. The apostle may have been led to use the expression here in view of the spiritual sonship to God of Christians (cf. Romans 8:15, etc.)which was typified and prepared for by the υἱοθεσία of the chosen seed. A still further limitation of "the children of the promise" is next referred to; and one still more telling for the apostle's argument. It might be said that Ishmael was not, even carnally, the true seed, as being born, not of the wife, but of the bondwoman; or perhaps that he had forfeited any claim he might have had by his proved unworthiness (Genesis 21:9, etc.). But Esau and Jacob were twin children, not only of the same patriarch (ἐξ ἑνοι`ς), but also of the same wedded wife; and yet one was chosen and the other rejected, and this even before birth; so that, as the selection was not due to carnal descent, so neither could it be due to proved desert. Thus by this second consideration is disposed of the Jew's assertion of an indefeasible claim to inheritance of the promises on the ground of his boasted works, as by the other is disposed of his claim on the ground of his race. St. Paul's argument to the Jews of his own day would be - You cannot set up a claim to be all of you the necessary inheritors of the promises for all time on the ground either of your carnal descent or of your works, since the selection of Israel himself did not depend on either of these grounds; nor can you say that my position (viz. that Christian believers, to the exclusion of most of you, are now the true inheritors of the promises) implies unfaithfulness in God to his ancient promises; for it is in accordance with the principle on which, according to your own Scriptures, he fulfilled of old his promises to the patriarchs. St. Paul, however, is not to be understood here as writing with a direct polemical intention, but rather as discussing a problem which had at one time perplexed himself, and which seemed to him to call for solution.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

That is, they which are the children of the flesh,.... This is an explanation of the foregoing verse, and shows, that by "the seed of" Abraham are meant, the natural seed of Abraham, who are born after the flesh, or descend from him by carnal generation:

these are not the children of God; that is, not all of them, nor any of them, on account of their being children of the flesh, or Abraham's natural seed; for adoption does not come this way; men do not commence children of God by their fleshly descent; they are not "born of blood", but of God, who are the sons of God:

but the children of the promise are counted for the seed; "children of the covenant", is a common phrase with the Jews; who reckoned themselves as such, because they were the seed of Abraham: thus in their prayers they say (e) to God,

"we are thy people, , "the children of thy covenant", the children of Abraham thy friend.''

And so they were the children of the covenant, or promise, which God made with Abraham and his natural seed, respecting the land of Canaan, and their enjoyment of temporal good things in it; but they were not all of them the children of the promise, which God made to Abraham and his spiritual seed, whether Jews or Gentiles, respecting spiritual and eternal things; to whom alone the promises of God, being their God in a spiritual sense, of spiritual and eternal salvation by Christ, and of the grace of the Spirit of God, and of eternal life belong; and who are the seed which were promised to Abraham by God, saying, "thou shalt be a father of many nations", Genesis 17:4, for which reasons, because these spiritual promises belong to them, and because they themselves were promised to Abraham, as his children, therefore they are called "children of the promise": or rather, because as Isaac was a child of promise, being born after the Spirit, by virtue of the promise of God, through his divine power and goodness, when there were no ground or foundation in nature, for Abraham and Sarah to hope for a son; so these are called "children of promise", Galatians 4:28, because they are born again, not through the power of nature, and strength of their own free will; they are not born of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God, according to the will of God and his abundant mercy, by the word of truth, through his power, Spirit, and grace; and by faith receive the promises made unto them; and are counted and reckoned as "Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise", Galatians 3:29, whether they be Jews, or whether they be Gentiles: and since now the promises of God are all made good to these persons, the word of God is not without effect, or is not made void, by the casting off the children of the flesh, or the carnal seed of Abraham, who were not children of the promise in the sense now given.

(e) Seder Tephillot, fol. 3. 2. Ed. Basil. fol. 6. 1. Ed. Amstelod.



Romans 9:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
God's Sovereign Choice
7nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." 8That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. 9For this is the word of promise: "AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON."…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 14:1
You are the children of the LORD your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead,

Matthew 3:9
And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

Romans 4:13
It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

Romans 4:16
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

Romans 8:14
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Romans 8:16
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

Romans 8:19
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

Galatians 3:29
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 4:28
Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise.

Hebrews 11:11
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Treasury of Scripture

That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

They which.

Romans 4:11-16 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness …

Galatians 4:22-31 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a female …

are counted.

Genesis 31:15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he has sold us, and has …

Psalm 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

Psalm 87:6 The LORD shall count, when he writes up the people, that this man …

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor …

Galatians 3:26-29 For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

1 John 3:1,2 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we …

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