1 Then, I ask, has God repudiated his People? Never! Why, I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin! 2 God has not repudiated his People, his predestined People! Surely you know what scripture says in the passage called 'Elijah'? You know how he pleads with God against Israel:
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have demolished thine altars; I alone am left, and they seek my life.
4 Yet what is the divine answer? I have left myself seven thousand men who have not knelt to Baal. 5 Well, at the present day there is also a remnant, selected by grace. 6 Selected by grace, and therefore not for anything they have done; otherwise grace would cease to be grace.
7 Now what are we to infer from this? That Israel has failed to secure the object of its quest; the elect have secured it, and the rest have been rendered insensible to it ??8 as it is written, God has given them a spirit of torpor, eyes that see not, ears that hear not ??down to this very day.
9 And David says, Let their table prove a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a retribution for them; 10 let their eyes be darkened, that they cannot see, bow down their backs for ever.
11 Now I ask, have they stumbled to their ruin? Never! The truth is, that by their lapse salvation has passed to the Gentiles, so as to make them jealous. 12 Well, if their lapse has enriched the world, if their defection is the gain of the Gentiles, what will it mean when they all come in?
13 I tell you this, you Gentiles, that as an apostle to the Gentiles I lay great stress on my office, 14 in the hope of being able to make my fellow-Jews jealous and of managing thus to save some of them. 15 For if their exclusion means that the world is reconciled to God, what will their admission mean? Why, it will be life from the dead! 16 If the first handful of dough is consecrated, so is the rest of the lump; if the root is consecrated, so are the branches.
17 Supposing some of the branches have been broken off, while you have been grafted in like a shoot of wild olive to share the rich growth of the olive-stem, 18 do not pride yourself at the expense of these branches. Remember, in your pride, the stem supports you, not you the stem. 19 You will say, "But branches were broken off to let me be grafted in!" 20 Granted. They were broken off ??for their lack of faith. And you owe your position to your faith. You should feel awed instead of being uplifted. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider both the kindness and the severity of God; those who fall come under his severity, but you come under the divine kindness, provided you adhere to that kindness. Otherwise, you will be cut away too. 23 And even the others will be grafted in, if they do not adhere to their unbelief; God can graft them in again. 24 For if you have been cut from an olive which is naturally wild, and grafted, contrary to nature, upon a garden olive, how much more will the natural branches be grafted into their proper olive?
25 To prevent you from being self-conceited, brothers, I would like you to understand this secret: it is only a partial insensibility that has come over Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in. 26 This done, all Israel will be saved ??as it is written, The deliverer will come from Sion, he will banish all godlessness from Jacob: 27 this is my covenant with them, when I take their sins away.
28 So far as the gospel goes, they are enemies of God ??which is to your advantage; but so far as election goes, they are beloved for their father's sake. 29 For God never goes back upon his gifts and call. 30 Once you disobeyed God, and now you enjoy his mercy thanks to their disobedience; in the same way they at present are disobedient, 31 so that they in turn may enjoy the same mercy as yourselves. 32 For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.
33 What a fathomless wealth lies in the wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable his judgments! How mysterious his methods! 34 Who ever understood the thoughts of the Lord? Who has ever been his counsellor? 35 Who has first given to him and has to be repaid? 36 All comes from him, all lives by him, all ends in him. Glory to him for ever, Amen!