Letter to the Romans
A remnant of Israel has been saved
1 And so I ask: Has God re jected his people? Of course not. I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 No, God has not rejected the people he knew beforehand. Don’t you know what the Scripture says of Elijah when he was accusing Israel be fore God? 3 He said: “Lord, they have killed your prophets, destroyed your altars, and I alone remain; and now they want to kill me.” 4 What was God’s answer? “I kept for myself seven thousand who did not worship Baal.” 5 In the same way now there is a remnant in Israel, those who were chosen by grace. 6 It is said: by grace, not because of what they did. Otherwise grace would not be grace.
7 What then? What Israel was looking for, it did not find, but those whom God elected found it. The others hardened their hearts, 8 as Scripture says: God made them dull of heart and mind; to this day their eyes cannot see nor their ears hear. 9 Da vid says: May they be caught and trapped at their banquets; may they fall, may they be punished. 10 May their eyes be closed so that they cannot see and their backs be bent forever.
Do not despise those who stumbled
11 Again I ask: Did they stum ble so as to fall? Of course not. Their stumbling allowed salvation to come to the pagan nations and this, in turn, will stir up the jealousy of Is rael. 12 If Israel’s short coming made the world rich, if the pagan nations grew rich with what they lost, what will hap pen when Israel is restored?
13 Listen to me, you who are not Jews: I am spending myself as an apostle to the pagan nations, 14 but I hope my ministry will be successful enough to awaken the jealousy of those of my race, and finally to save some of them. 15 If the world made peace with God when they re mained apart, what will it be when they are welcomed? No thing less than a passing from death to life.
16 When the first fruits are consecrated to God, the whole is consecrated. If the roots are holy, so will be the bran ches. 17 Some branches have been cut from the olive tree, while you, as a wild olive tree, have been grafted in their stead, and you are benefiting from their roots and sap. 18 Now therefore, do not be proud and despise the branches, because you do not support the roots, the roots support you. 19 You may say, “They cut off the branches to graft me.” 20 Well and good. But they were cut off because they did not believe, while you stand by faith. Then do not pride yourself on this too much, rather beware: 21 if God did not spare the natural branches, even less will he spare you.
22 Admire at the same time both the goodness and severity of God: he was severe with the fallen and he is generous with you, as long as you remain faithful. Otherwise you will be cut off. 23 If they do not keep on rejecting the faith they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them back again. 24 If you were taken from the wild olive tree to which you belonged and, in spite of being a different species, you were grafted into the good olive tree, it will be much easier and natural for them to be grafted into their own tree.
Israel will be saved
25 I want you to understand the mys terious decree of God, lest you be too confident: a part of Is rael will remain hardened until the majority of pagans have entered. 26 Then the whole of Israel will be saved, as Scripture says: From Zion will come the Liberator who will purify the descendants of Jacob from all sin. 27 And this is the covenant I will make with them: I will take away from them their sins.
28 Regarding the Gospel, the Jews are opponents, but it is for your benefit. Regarding election, they are beloved because of their ancestors; 29 because the call of God and his gifts cannot be nullified.
30 Through the disobedience of the Jews the mercy of God came to you who did not obey God. 31 They in turn will receive mercy in due time after this disobedience that brought God’s mercy to you. 32 So God has submitted all to disobedience, in order to show his mercy to all.
33 How deep are the riches, the wis dom and knowledge of God! His decisions can not be explained, nor his ways un derstood! 34 Who has ever known God’s thoughts? Who has ever been his ad viser? 35 Who has given him something first, so that God had to repay him? 36 For everything comes from him, has been made by him and has to return to him. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.