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God has certainly not rejected all Jews. I am evidence of that. Just like in the past, there is also

1Because of that,

2No, God has not rejected his people, whom he chose long ago to be people whom he would bless in a special way. Remember [RHQ] what is written [PRS] in the Scriptures about Elijah when he mistakenly complained to God about the people of Israel, saying:

3“Lord, they have killed the rest of your(sg)prophets, they have destroyed your altars. I am the only one who believes in you who remains alive, and now they are trying to kill me!”

4God answered him like this: “You(sg) are not the only one who believes in me! I have protected for myself not just you, but 7000 other men who have not worshipped the false god Baal. …Remember that!/Do not you remember that?† [RHQ]”

5So, similarly, there is also at this time a small group of us Jews who have become believers. God has chosen us to become believers (OR, his people) only because he acts kindly toward us, in ways that we do not deserve.

6Since it is because he acts kindly toward those whom he chooses, it is not because they have done good things that he has chosen them. If God chose people because they did good deeds, then it would not be because he was acting toward them in a way that they did not deserve.

The Scriptures confirm that the people of Israel as a whole did not find the way of being declared r

7Since God chose only some people of Israel, …this is what I conclude:/what shall we conclude?† [RHQ] Most of the people of Israel did not find the way for him to erase the record of their sins, even though some of them were earnestly looking for it. The people of Israel whom God had chosen found it, but the rest of them were {God} made spiritually insensitive/unresponsive.

8Our fellow Jews are just like the ones about whom Isaiah wrote: “God …caused their senses to be dull/made them unable to think clearly†. Up to this very day, they have eyes but they cannot see spiritually. [MET]They have ears, but they cannot understand spiritually.”

9And they remind me of what King David said, when he asked God to cause his enemies’ senses to be dull [MET]: Make them stupid [MTY],like animals that are caught in snares! May they feel secure because of the things that they enjoy but which will catch them like a trap [DOU, MET], with the result that you will destroy them.

10May their ability to perceive danger be dulled {Dull their ability to perceive spiritually} [MET], with the result that they will not become alarmed [MET] when there is danger. May you cause them to carry heavy loads on their backs continually as slaves do [MTY].”

My reply to a query as to whether the result of the Jews’ unbelief is a permanent falling away from

11Perhaps someone will ask, “When the Jews sinned by not believing in Christ, did it result in their separating themselves from God permanently?” Then I would reply, No, they have certainly not separated themselves from God permanently! What is happening is that because they sinned, God is saving non-Jews in order to cause the Jews to envy the way he blesses non-Jews and so ask Christ to save them.

12When the Jews sinned (OR, rejected Christ), the result was that God abundantly blessed the other people in [MTY] the world by offering them the opportunity to believe. And when the Jews failed spiritually, the result was that God abundantly blessed the non-Jews. Since that is true, think how wonderful it will be when the complete number of the Jews whom God has chosen will believe in Christ [RHQ]!

I highly esteem the work that God has called me to do as an apostle among you non-Jews. I hope that

13Now it is to you non-Jews that I am saying what follows. I am the one who is the apostle to non-Jews, and I highly esteem this work that God appointed me to do.

14But I also hope that by my labors I will make my fellow Jews …jealous/want what you non-Jews have†, with the result that some of them will believe and thus be saved.

15God has rejected most of my fellow Jews because they refused to believe, with the result that he reconciled many other people in the world [MTY] to himself. But he will accept my fellow Jews again when they trust in Christ! And …this is what the result will be./do you know what the result will be?† [RHQ] It will be as though God is making them alive again after they have been dead!

16Just like the whole lump of dough will belong to God if people offer to God [MET] the bread baked from the first part of it [MET], so the Jews will belong to God because their ancestors belonged to God. And just like the branches of a tree will be good if the root is good [MET], so the descendants of our great Jewish ancestors who belonged to God will also someday belong to God.

You non-Jews who trust in Jesus must not despise the Jews whom God has rejected. You must not become

17God has rejected many of the Jews [MET], like branches of a tree are broken off {like people break offdead branches of a tree}. And each of you non-Jews whom God has accepted is like [MET] a branch of a wild/uncultivated olive tree that was {that someone} grafted among the branches (OR, onto one of the branches) that were left on a cultivated olive tree.God has caused you to benefit from how he blessed our(exc) first Jewish ancestors, as branches benefit from the nutritious sap from the root of a cultivated olive tree [MET].

18However, you non-Jews must not despise the Jews whom God rejected [MET], who are like the branches that were broken off from the tree! If any of you wants to boast about having received blessings from God, remember this: Branches do not nourish a root. Instead the root nourishes the branches. [MET] Similarly, you are blessed by God because of what you have received from the Jews! It is not what the Jews have received from you that blesses them [MET]!

19If one of you then says, “God rejected the Jews [MET] like branches [MET] that are broken {that people broke} off a tree and rejected, in order that he might accept us non-Jews, as branches [MET] of a tree are grafted in {as people graft in branches of a tree},”

20I would reply that this is true. However, it is because the Jews did not believe in Christ that they were rejected [MET] {that God rejected [MET] them}. As for you, it is only because you believe in Christ that God has accepted you! So do not any of you become proud, but instead beware of what could happen to you!

21Since God did not spare the unbelieving Jews [MET] who were like a tree’s natural branches, he will not spare any of you if you do notkeep trusting in him!

22Note then, that God acts kindly, but he also acts severely. He has acted severely toward the Jews who have stopped …trusting in/obeying† him. On the other hand, he acts kindly toward each of you non-Jews only if you continue to appreciate his acting kindly toward you. However, you will be rejected {he will reject you} if you do not keep trusting in him.

23And if the Jews believe in Christ [LIT], God also will reunite them to himself as branches are grafted {as people graft branches} into a tree again, because God is able to do that.

24Each of you non-Jews who were previously separated from God has benefited from the ways in which God blessed the Jews [MET]. That is like taking branches that have been cut {that someone has cut} from a wild olive tree that just grew without being planted {someone planting it} and, contrary to what people usually do, grafting them into a cultivated olive tree. So God will much more readily receive back the Jews because they belonged to him before [MET]! That will be like the original branches that had been cut off being grafted {like grafting the original branches that someone cut off,} back into the olive tree to which they originally belonged!

I want you to know that all the people of Israel will some day be saved, as the Scriptures say will

25My non-Jewish fellow believers, I certainly want you to understand [LIT] this truth that God has now revealed about my fellow Jews who are refusing to believe. You should not proudly think that are now God favors you than the Jews (OR, that you understand God’s further plans for the Jews). Many people of Israel will continue to be stubborn until all the non-Jews whom God has chosen have believed in Jesus.

26And then all [HYP] the people of Israel will be saved {God will save all [HYP] the people of Israel}. Then these words that are written {that a prophet wrote} in the Scriptures will …become true/be fulfilled†: “The one who sets his people free will originate from the place where God dwells (OR, from the Jews) [MTY]. Then he will remove the guilt of the Israelite people (OR, descendants of Jacob) [MTY].”

27And as God says, “The contract that I will make with them is that I will forgive their sins.”

28With regard to the Jews rejecting the good message about Christ, God treats them as enemies, which has benefited you non-Jews. But in regard to their being the people whom God chose, God still loves them because of what he promised their ancestors.

29He still loves them, because he never changed his mind about the privileges/blessings he gave to them and about his choosing them to be his people.

30You non-Jews once disobeyed God, but now he has acted mercifully towards you because the Jews disobeyed him.

31Similarly, now they have disobeyed God. The result is that by the very same way in which he acted mercifully towards you, he will act mercifully towards them again.

32God has declared and proved that all people, both Jews and non-Jews [MET], disobey …him/his laws†. He has declared that because he wants to act mercifully towards us all.

I marvel at how great God’s wisdom and knowledge are, and his decisions and actions toward us!

33I marvel how vast and great are the wise things that God has done and what he has always known [DOU]! We are completely unable to understand the things that he has decided and the ways in which he acts toward us [DOU]!

34I remember the Scriptures that say: “…No one has known what the Lord thinks./Who has known what the Lord thinks?† [RHQ] …Absolutely no one has given him advice about what he should do!/Who has advised him about what he should do?† [RHQ]”

35And, “…No one has given anything to God thathe did not previously receive from God!/Has anyone given anything to God thathe did not previously receive from God?† [RHQ]” So God …is not obligated to/does not have to† pay back anything to anyone!

36God is the one who created all things. He is also the one who sustains all things. The reason that he created them was that everything he created might praise him. Mayall people honor him forever! …May it be so!/Amen!†

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