Romans 9:25
As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) As he saith also in Osee.—The original of the prophecy in Hosea relates to the pardon and reconciliation promised to the apostate and idolatrous people of the northern kingdom. It is here typically and prophetically applied to the Gentiles. Those who had ceased to belong to the chosen people, and those who had never belonged to it, were to all intents and purposes in the same position.

Osee.—“It may be questioned whether this word should be pronounced as a dissyllable, the double e being regarded as an English termination, as in Zebedee, Pharisee, &c., or as a tri-syllable, the word being considered as a reproduction of the Greek form of the name.” (Lightfoot, On Revision, p. 156, n.)

9:25-29 The rejecting of the Jews, and the taking in the Gentiles, were foretold in the Old Testament. It tends very much to the clearing of a truth, to observe how the Scripture is fulfilled in it. It is a wonder of Divine power and mercy that there are any saved: for even those left to be a seed, if God had dealt with them according to their sins, had perished with the rest. This great truth this Scripture teaches us. Even among the vast number of professing Christians it is to be feared that only a remnant will be saved.As he saith also - The doctrine which he had established, he proceeds now to confirm by quotations from the writings of Jews, that he might remove every objection. The doctrine was,

(1) That God intended to call his people from the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

(2) that he was bound by no promise and no principle of obligation to bestow salvation on all the Jews.

(3) that, therefore, it was right for him to reject any or all of the Jews, if he chose, and cut them off from their privileges as a people and from salvation.

In Osee - This is the Greek form of writing the Hebrew word Hosea. It means in the book of Hosea, as "in David" means in the book of David, or by David, Hebrews 4:7. The passage is found in Hosea 2:23. This quotation is not made according to the letter, but the sense of the prophet is preserved. The meaning is the same in Hosea and in this place, that God would bring those into a covenant relation to himself, who were before deemed outcasts and strangers. Thus, he supports his main position that God would choose his people from among the Gentiles as well as the Jews, or would exercise toward both his right as a sovereign, bestowing or withholding his blessings as he pleases.

25. As he saith also in Osee—"Hosea."

I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved—quoted, though not quite to the letter, from Ho 2:23, a passage relating immediately, not to the heathen, but to the kingdom of the ten tribes; but since they had sunk to the level of the heathen, who were "not God's people," and in that sense "not beloved," the apostle legitimately applies it to the heathen, as "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise" (so 1Pe 2:10).

Here the apostle proves, that the Gentiles were children of the Promise, or that the promise belonged to them, as well as to the Jews: and because the Jews could not endure to hear of this, he cites two testimonies out of Hosea, to convince them: one is in this verse, and it is taken out of Hosea 2:23; the other is in the following verse.

As he also saith in Osee,.... Hosea 2:23, so "Hosea" is called "Osee", as here, in the Septuagint in Nehemiah 10:23. That is, as God says in the prophecy of Hosea, which was given by divine inspiration; and speaks of the calling of the Gentiles, as the spiritual Israel, after God had wrote a "lo-ammi", Hosea 1:9, and a "loruhamah", Hosea 1:6, upon the people of the Jews; and shows, that he had appointed some from among the Gentiles, to obtain salvation by Jesus Christ; since he foretells their calling, long before they were in being; which could have no other foundation than his own eternal sovereign will and pleasure:

I will call them my people, which were not my people; his people they were before he called them, in some sense; inasmuch as he had chosen them for his people, had promised in covenant they should be, had given them to Christ as his people, and him to be a covenant to them: who, as such, made reconciliation for them, sanctified them by his blood, redeemed and saved them; but then they were not known to be the people of God, neither by themselves, who knew not God, and so could not know themselves to be his people; nor by others, by the Jews, by whom they were called the uncircumcision, sinners of the Gentiles; looking upon the character or the people of God, as only belonging to themselves: God had not as yet laid hold on them as his people, and claimed his right in them, and made known himself to them as their covenant God; he had not avouched them to be his people, nor had they avouched him to be their God; as yet they were not his willing people, nor a holy people, not being formed for himself, by his mighty grace; nor a people near unto him, with respect to worship and fellowship, but afar off from him. His calling them his people, is his acquainting them with their relation to him, which he had taken them in to himself, of his own grace; for so it is in Hosea 2:23, "And I will say unto them which were not my people, thou art my people": in the effectual calling, the Spirit of God is sent down into the hearts of his people, to witness their relation to him, and to work faith in their souls, to receive the testimony; when they reply and say, "thou art my God", Hosea 2:23, and so they come to know themselves to be the people of God, of which they were before ignorant; and to be known others, by being made a willing people, in the day God's power upon them, willing to be saved by him in his own way, and willing to serve and worship him in his own ordinances, and according to his own appointment; and by being holy and righteous, having the characters, and enjoying the privileges of the people of God:

and her beloved, which was not beloved. In the text in Hosea 2:23, it is, "I will have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy": hence the Vulgate Latin has added this clause to the text, though unsupported by any copy, or other version. The apostle is to be justified in his version, by the Septuagint interpreters, who have rendered the passage in Hosea, "I will love her that was not beloved"; and by the true sense of the word there used, which signifies to love in the most kind, tender, and endearing manner; see Psalm 18:1; where the word is used and so rendered. The sense is not, that God's chosen ones among the Gentiles were not the objects of his love before calling; for their very calling is the fruit, effect, and so the evidence of love before. The love of God is from everlasting to everlasting, invariably and unchangeably the same; he had chosen them in his Son; he had made a covenant with them in Christ, had put them into his hands, and made them his care and charge; he had sent him to die for them, and obtain eternal redemption for them; and all this before he called them, which abundantly proves his love to them: but this love was not manifested to their souls; it had not been shed abroad in their hearts; they had no sensation of it in their breasts; the streams of that river of God had not as yet flowed into their souls; nor were they partakers of the effects of it in themselves; but being called by grace, they feel, they experience, and enjoy that, and all the happy: fruits and effects of it; the loving kindness of God is let down into their hearts in the effectual calling, and with it he draws them to himself, as a fruit and evidence of his everlasting and unchangeable love to them.

{25} As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

(25) Our vocation or calling is free, and of grace, even as our predestination is: and therefore there is no reason why either our own unworthiness, or the unworthiness of our ancestors should cause us to think that we are not the elect and chosen of God, if we are called by him, and so embrace through faith the salvation that is offered us.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 9:25. Of the καὶ ἐξ ἐθνῶν it is shown that it is in accordance with (ὡς) a divine prophetic utterance. The ἐξ Ἰουδαίων required no confirmation from prophecy; but the other statement required it the more, inasmuch as it was exactly the Gentiles who had become believing that had been introduced as σκεύη ἐλέους, in place of the Jews who had remained unbelieving.

ἐν τῷ Ὡς.] in libro Hoseae: comp. Mark 1:2; John 6:45; Acts 7:42. The passage Hos. 2:25 (the citation varies both from the LXX. and the original text) treats of the idolatrous people of the ten tribes, to whom God announces pardon and renewed adoption as the people of God. The apostle recognises in this pardon the type of the reception of the Gentiles to salvation, and consequently, as its prophetically Messianic sense, a prediction of the calling of the Gentiles; and from this point of view, which has its warrant in the likeness of category to which the subjects belong (comp. Hengstenberg, Christol. I. p. 251), he has also introduced the deviations from the words of the original and of the LXX., transposing the two parallel sentences, and rendering the thought ἐρῶ τῷ οὐ λαῷ μου κ.τ.λ. (LXX.) by καλέσω κ.τ.λ., because the divine κλῆσις of the Gentiles loomed before him as the Messianic fulfilment of the saying. Yet we are not thereby justified in understanding καλέσω and κληθήσονται, Romans 9:26, immediately in the sense of vocation (Fritzsche); for καλεῖν τινά τι, to call any one to something, is without linguistic warrant, and the departure thus assumed from the original and from the LXX. would be unnecessary, and would amount to a mechanical proceeding. On the contrary, καλεῖν is to be left in its ordinary signification to name (comp. Hosea 1:6); the divine naming, however, as “my people, my beloved,” of which the Gentiles were previously the very opposite, is in point of fact none other than just their calling to Messianic salvation, in consequence of which they are then named also from the human side υἱοὶ Θεοῦ ζῶντος (Romans 9:26), and are therewith recognised according to the theocratic status which they have obtained. The vivid thought laid hold of the expression καλέσω the more readily, since in this word to call and to name form a single notion. Accordingly we must translate: I will name that which is not my people, my people; and her who is not beloved, beloved. Both expressions refer in the original to the significant names of a son (לֹא עַמִּי) and of a daughter (לֹא רֻחָמָה) of the prophet, which he had been directed to give them as symbolically significant of the rejection of the people, Hosea 1:6-9.

On the οὐ standing beside the noun with the article, where the denial refers to a concrete definite subject, see Baeumlein, Partik. p. 276.

Romans 9:25 f. This result of God’s ways with man—His calling not only from the Jews but from the Gentiles—agrees with His own declarations in Scripture. Romans 9:25 answers roughly to Hosea 2:23, LXX: I will love her who was not beloved, and will say to that which was not My people, Thou art My people. Not My people (= Lo-ammi) and Not beloved (= Lo-ruhamah) were the names of a son and a daughter of Hosea, who symbolised the kingdom of Israel, rejected of God but destined to share again in His favour. Paul here applies to the calling of the Gentiles words which spoke originally of the restoration of Israel—an instance which shows how misleading it may be to press the context of the other passages quoted in this chapter. Romans 9:26 is also a quotation from Hosea 2:1 (LXX): the ἐκεῖ is supplied by Paul. The application of it is similar to that of Romans 9:25. In Hosea the promise is that the Israelites who had lost their standing as God’s people should have it given back to them, in all its dignity. This also Paul reads of the calling of the Gentiles. They were once no people of God’s, but now have their part in the adoption. But what is the meaning of “in the place where … there shall they be called”? It is not certain that in Hosea there is any reference to a place at all (see margin of R.V.), and it is not easy to see what Paul can mean by the emphatic ἐκεῖ. The ordinary explanation—the Gentile lands—is as good as any, but seems hardly equal to the stress laid on ἐκεῖ.

(D) Quotations in Application

25. Osee] In the Gr., Oseë or Hoseë; the equivalent of the Heb. Hoshea. Here, lit., in the Oseë; i.e., probably, “in the writings of Hosea.”

I will call, &c.] Hosea 2:23 (25 in the Heb.). The quotation does not agree with the LXX. The Heb. is, lit., “And I will have pity on the not-pitied-one (fem.), and I will say to the not-my-people, My people art thou.” St Paul here gives an equivalent for “pity;” the Divine equivalent, love; and otherwise quotes nearly with the Heb.—The first reference of the prophetic word was to the bringing back of the Ten Tribes to holy allegiance. The Apostle is guided to expound this as a type of the bringing in of the Gentiles to the chosen Israel of God.—The same text is quoted by allusion, 1 Peter 1:10; an important parallel passage.

her] The familiar personification of a church or nation.

Romans 9:25. Λέγει, saith) God. Paul asserted the prior right of God in calling the Gentiles, and their actual calling, and now at last that the event is shown, he brings in one testimony from the Old Testament, and ch. Romans 15:9, etc., a number more in succession, by a method worthy of notice. The predictions, though numerous and quite clear from their fulfilment, yet in the first instance do not easily obtain belief. The strength of the following quotation is not in the verb καλέσω I will call [name], but in the other part of the expression: ἐκάλεσεν, He called, is used as in Romans 8:30. Nevertheless naming immediately accompanies calling, and in a manner precedes it.—καλέσω τὸν οὐ λαόν μον, λαόν μου. καὶ τὴν οὐκ ἠγαπημένην, ἠγαπημένην) I will call them my people, who were not my people, and her beloved who was not beloved, Hos. 2:25. The LXX. have, And I will have mercy on her, on whom I have not had mercy, and I will say to them who are not my people, thou art my people.—[καὶ ἐλεήσω τὴν οὐκ ἠλεημένην. καὶ ἐρῶ τῷ οὐ λαῷ μου, λαός μου εἶ σύ.]—ἠγαπημένην loved) as one betrothed, as a bride.

Verses 25-29. - (c) The inheritance of the promises by the Gentiles, with a remnant only of the Jews, shown to be in accordance with prophecy. This is really a new section of the argument, though the writer, in a way usual with him, does not mark it as such, ver. 25 being in logical connection with the preceding one, suggested by the concluding expression, "Not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles." So far nothing has been adduced to support the idea of Gentiles, to whom no original promises had been made, superseding the Jewish nation in the inheritance, though it had been shown generally that God may have mercy on whom he will; and in the earlier part of the argument (vers. 6-13) all that appeared plainly from the Old Testament was selection out of the total seed of Abraham - not the calling of a new one apart from his stock. Hence this section is necessary for completing the whole argument. Verses 25, 26. - As he saith also in Osee, I will call my people that which was not my people, and beloved her who was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. The quotation in ver. 26 is from Hosea 1:10, and is correctly cited; that in ver. 25 is from Hosea 2:23, and varies from both the Hebrew and the LXX., but not so as to affect the meaning. Both refer to the same subject. The prophet had been directed to "take unto him a wife of wheredoms." He had so taken "Gomer the daughter of Diblaim," who had borne him a daughter, to whom was given the symbolical name Lo-ruhamah ("Not beloved;" or, as it is interpreted in 1 Peter 2:10, "Hath not obtained mercy." "Love and mercy are both contained in the full meaning of the intensive form of the Hebrew word," Pusey on 'Hosea '); and afterwards a son, who received the name Lo-ammi ("Not my people"). Both are symbols of the ten tribes of Israel as distinct from Judah; the two names denoting (as Pusey explains) successive stages of God's repudiation of the people, and the last implying entire rejection. But in Hosea 1:10, after the naming of Lo-ammi, it is said, "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are Lo-ammi, it shall be said unto them, Ye are the children of the living God." The subject is pursued through Hosea 2, at the end of which (ver. 23) comes the other passage quoted: "And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy on Lo-ruhamah; and I will say to Lo-ammi, Ammi ['My people'], and they shall say, My God." It might seem that these quotations are not apposite, since they referred originally, not to the Gentiles, but to the ten tribes of Israel. It is to be observed, however, that the words were spoken after these tribes had been declared to be cut off from being God's people at all, so that a principle of Divine dealing is ex- pressed which is applicable to the Gentile world. "This, which was true of Israel in its dispersion, was much more true of the Gentiles. These, too, the descendants of righteous Noah, God had cast off for the time, that they should be no more his people, when he chose Israel out of them, to make known to them his Being, and his will, and his laws, and (although in shadow and mystery) Christ who was to come. He had threatened to Israel that he should be unpitied, and no more his people; in reversing his sentence, he embraces in the arms of his mercy all who were not his people, and says to them all, that they should be my people and beloved" (Pusey on 'Hosea,' 2:23). In 1 Peter 2:10 the same text from Hosea is quoted as applying to those who were addressed in the Epistle, and then with more obvious applicability; for it appears to have been written, mainly at least, to Israelites of the dispersion (see Romans 1:1). Still, Gentile converts may be concluded to have been included (cf. Romans 1:14; Romans 4:3). It is to be observed that in ver. 25 the feminine ἠγηπημένην has reference to the daughter of the prophet, Lo-ruhamah; and that in ver. 26 "in the place where" must be understood, both in the original prophecy and the application, as meaning any region where those who were to be called my people might be. "And so St. Peter says that this Scripture, was fulfilled in them, while still scattered abroad through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The place, then, where they should be called the sons of the living God is wheresoever they should believe in Christ" (Pusey).

"'Tis Zion, wheresoe'er they dwell,
Who, with his own true Israel,
Shall own him strong to save."


(Christian Year: Fifth Sunday in Lent.') The texts from Isaiah which follow are intended to show that, according to prophetic utterance, while those who were not God's people, in large numbers, would be called his people, a remnant only of the Jews would be so. Romans 9:25That my people which was not my people (τὸν οὐ λαόν μοῦ, λαόν μοῦ)

The Greek is much more condensed. "I will call the not-my-people my-people." See Hosea 1:6-9. The reference is to the symbolical names given by the prophet to a son and daughter: Lo Ammi not my people, and Lo Ruhama not having obtained mercy. The new people whom God will call my people will be made up from both Jews and Gentiles. Hosea, it is true, is speaking of the scattered Israelites only, and not of the Gentiles; but the ten tribes, by their lapse into idolatry had put themselves upon the same footing with the Gentiles, so that the words could be applied to both. A principle of the divine government is enunciated "which comes into play everywhere when circumstances reappear similar to those to which the statement was originally applied. The exiled Israelites being mingled with the Gentiles, and forming one homogeneous mass with them, cannot be brought to God separately from them. Isaiah 49:22 represents the Gentiles as carrying the sons of Israel in their arms, and their daughters on their shoulders, and consequently as being restored to grace along with them" (Godet).

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