Romans 9:31
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law.

King James Bible
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

Darby Bible Translation
But Israel, pursuing after a law of righteousness, has not attained to that law.

World English Bible
but Israel, following after a law of righteousness, didn't arrive at the law of righteousness.

Young's Literal Translation
and Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, at a law of righteousness did not arrive;

Romans 9:31 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But Israel - The Jews. The apostle does not mean to affirm that none of the Jews had obtained mercy, but that "as a people," or acting according to the prevalent principles of the nation to work out their own righteousness, they had not obtained it.

Which followed after the law of righteousness - The phrase, "the law of righteousness," means the law of justice, or "the just law." That Law demands perfect purity; and even its external observance demanded holiness. The Jews supposed that they rendered such obedience to that Law as to constitute "a meritorious" ground of justification. This they had "followed after," that is, pursued zealously and unremittingly. The reason why they did not obtain justification in that way is fully stated in Romans 1-3 where it is shown that the Law demands perfect compliance with its precepts; and that Jews, as well as Gentiles, had altogether failed in rendering such compliance.

Hath not attained to the law of righteousness - They have not come to yield true obedience to the Law, even though imperfect; not such obedience as to give evidence that they have been justified. We may remark here,

(1) That no conclusion could have been more humbling to a Jew than this. It constituted the whole of the prevalent religion, and was the object of their incessant toils.

(2) as they made the experiment fully, and failed: as they had the best advantages for it, and did not succeed, but reared only a miserable and delusive system of self-righteousness Philippians 3:4-9; it follows, that all similar experiments must fail, and that none now can be justified by the Law.

(3) thousands fail in the same attempt.

They seek to justify themselves before God. They attempt to weave a righteousness of their own. The moral man does this. The immoral man attempts it as much as the moral man, and is as confident in his own righteousness. The troubled sinner does this; and this it is which keeps him so long from the cross of Christ. All this must be renounced; and man must come as a poor, lost, ruined sinner, and throw himself upon the mere mercy of God in Christ for justification and life.

Romans 9:31 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
Isaiah 51:1
"Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry from which you were dug.

Romans 3:27
Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

Romans 9:30
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;

Romans 10:2
For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

Romans 10:20
And Isaiah is very bold and says, "I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME, I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME."

Romans 11:7
What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;

Galatians 5:4
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

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