Romans 9:25-28 Commentary

To go directly to that verse


Greek: os kai en to Osee legei, (3SPAI) Kaleso (1SFAI) ton ou laon mou kai ten ouk egapemenen (RPPFSA) egapemenen; (RPPFSA)

Amplified: Just as He says in Hosea, Those who were not My people I will call My people, and her who was not beloved [I will call] My beloved. [Hos. 2:23.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: Just as he says in Hosea: “A people which was not mine I will call my people; and her who was not beloved I will call beloved." (Westminster Press)

ESV: As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'" (ESV)

ICB: As the Scripture says in Hosea: "I will say, 'You are my people' to those I had called 'not my people.' And I will show my love to those people I did not love." Hosea 2:1,23 (ICB: Nelson)

NIV: As he says in Hosea: "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people; and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," (NIV - IBS)

NKJV: As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved."

NLT: Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, "Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before." (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: He says in Hosea: 'I will call them my people, who were not my people, and her beloved, who was not beloved'. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: As also in Hosea He says, I will call those, not my people, my people, and those, not beloved, beloved. 

Young's Literal: as also in Hosea He saith, 'I will call what is not My people -- My people; and her not beloved -- Beloved,

Summary of
Romans 9-11
Romans 9 Romans 10 Romans 11
God's Sovereignty
Israel's Election by God
Man's responsibility
Israel's Rejection of God
God's Ways Higher
God Not Rejecting Israel

AS HE SAYS ALSO IN HOSEA: os kai en to Osee legei (3SPAI):

  • Hosea 1:1,2
  • Hosea 2:23; 1 Peter 2:10
  • Romans 9 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Denney - 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.

In this section Paul begins with some passages from Hosea to establish the acceptability of the Gentiles, then goes on to some from Isaiah to show that the call does not include all Israel.

He says (3004) (lego) speaks with a focus upon the content of what is said. God spoke and present tense indicates He is still speaking.

Paul quoted (Hosea 2:23) somewhat freely using it as a statement to indicate that God would turn (temporarily) from the Jews and call the Gentiles…

Hosea 2:23 "And I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion (corresponds to Hosea's daughter "Lo-Ruhamah = not compassion, without compassion or love), and I will say to those who were not My people (corresponds to Hosea's son named "Lo-Ammi"- Apostate Israel, God says, was "not My people" for they had lived as heathens and now they had become as heathens. But that was not God’s last word as the next clause shows!), 'You are My people!' (Those whom God wills to restore will be restored) and they will say, 'Thou art my God!'" (Comment: Interpreted in its OT context, Hosea 2:23 refers to Israel and not to the Gentiles. It looks forward to the time when Israel will be restored as God’s people and as His beloved.)

English translation of Hosea 2:23 in the Septuagint: "And I will sow her to me on the earth; and will love her that was not loved, and will say to that which was not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art the Lord my God."

Paul's point is that the call of the Gentiles should not have come as a surprise to the Jews.

God directed Hosea to give his children symbolic names—one son Lo-Ammi (not my people = Gomer's second son, his name symbolized the rejection of Israel, who, at Sinai, had covenanted to be God's people) and the daughter Lo-Ruhamah (not… loved or means "not pitied" or "not having obtained mercy," signifying that Israel will not find mercy when the impending judgment falls).

These names of Hosea's children represented God’s abandonment of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to the Assyrian Captivity and Exile (Hosea 1:2-9). However, God was not permanently casting away the people of Israel.

In the verses quoted by Paul, God promised to restore them as His beloved and as His people. By ethnic heritage the Gentiles were not God’s people, so Paul was led by the Spirit of God to apply these verses to Gentiles—and Jews also—who were sovereignly chosen by God and called to be His people in Christ. The quotation of Hosea 2:23 is rather free with the order of the clauses reversed to fit the application to Gentiles. Paul was applying these verses from Hosea to the Gentiles, not reinterpreting them. He was not saying that Israel of the Old Testament is part of the church.

Dr S Lewis Johnson the respected former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary wrote…

Paul follows with a series of Old Testament quotations in support of the fact that God has called Gentiles to faith and left Israel with a remnant in the earth. In other words if Israel had read the Scriptures, they would have understood what might happen, if they should reject the revelation of God climaxed in the appearance of their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Ro 9:25-29). Oh! How many things become clear when we read the Scriptures! (Romans 9:14-33)

I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE 'MY PEOPLE': kaleso (1SFAI) ton ou laon mou laon mou:

Wuest - The contents of these verses refer back to the fact that Paul includes the Gentiles with the Jews within the scope of God’s mercy. The “my people which were not my people,” and the “beloved which was not beloved” are the Gentiles.

Henry Alford - It is difficult to ascertain in what sense the Apostle cites these two passages from Hosea as applicable to the Gentiles being called to be the people of God. That he does so, is manifest from the words themselves, and from the transition to the Jews in Romans 9:27. (Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary)

Peter (1Peter 2:10) uses the same passage from Hosea in his first epistle, but probably with a slightly different desired "endpoint" (see comment after verse below)…

for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. (see note 1 Peter 2:10)

Comment: In Hosea it is Israel who is not God's people. In Romans it is the Gentiles to whom Paul applies Hosea's words. Thus in 1 Peter the words could apply to both Jews before they met their Messiah and pagan Gentiles before the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. This is especially apropos in light of the difficulty to dogmatically label the recipients of Peter's letter as Jewish versus Gentile believers.

As noted above, although Hosea was speaking of the remnant Israel, Paul (writing under the Spirit's inspiration) applies the same principle to God's calling of a remnant of the Gentiles as well

And the LORD said, "Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God." (Hosea 1:9).

Marvin Vincent commenting on "that my people which was not My people" notes that "The Greek is much more condensed. “I will call the not-My-people My-people.” See Hos 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 Ruhamah 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. Isa 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). (Word Studies in the NT)

AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, 'BELOVED: kai ten ouk egaphemenen (RPPFSA) egaphemenen (RPPFSA):

  • Ro 1:7; Ezekiel 16:8; John 16:27
  • Romans 9 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

And her who was not beloved, "Beloved" - Remember that although Paul quotes an OT prophet's words to Israel, in context he applies the principle to those Gentiles who will become believers in Messiah.

Beloved (25) (agapao) means those who are loved unconditionally, sacrificially as can be perfectly done only by God Himself. God's love for His beloved is not sentimental or emotional but represents the act of His will with the intended goal of the recipient's highest good irrespective of whether they deserved it (which of course they did not)! Clearly agape love flows out of God's grace or unmerited favor. Both uses of beloved in this verse are in the perfect tense which speaks of the enduring effect of God's love to those who were not His beloved but now are His beloved.

Leon Morris in explaining the phrase "not beloved, beloved" (or "I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one.") writes that "Hosea has this before the “not my people” clause and his verb here seems to mean “my pitied one”; Paul has reversed the order of the clauses and has “love” rather than “pity”. He is saying that in Scripture it is the call of God and the love of God that makes the people of God, and this quite irrespective of Jewish or Gentile origin. There is, of course, a sense in which all the people of the world are the objects of God’s love (John 3:16). God loves because it is his nature to love. But there is also a sense in which those who are his people are specially beloved, and this is the theme of the present passage." (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)

To reiterate, Hosea's words in their original Old Testament context referred to Israel and not to the Gentiles. They looked forward to the time when Israel would be restored as God’s people and as His beloved (this time is yet future - they are back in the nation but largely in unbelief as of 2014). When Paul quotes these OT passages in Romans, he applies them to God's effectual call of the Gentiles. What right does Paul have to make such a radical change? The answer of course is that the Holy Spirit Who inspired the words in the first place has the right to reinterpret or reapply them at a later time.

Related resources:

Are you confused about God's plan for Israel? Then I highly recommend Tony Garland's 12 Hour Course on Romans 9-11 in which he addresses in depth the question of What Will Happen to Israel? (click) or see the individual lectures below)

Note that when you click the preceding links, each link will in turn give you several choices including an Mp3 message and brief transcript notes. The Mp3's are long (avg 70+ min) but are in depth and thoroughly Scriptural with many quotations from the Old Testament, which is often much less well understood than the NT by many in the church today. Tony Garland takes a literal approach to Scripture, and his love for the Jews and passion to see them saved comes through very clearly in these 12 hours of teaching! Take your home Bible Study group through this series if you dare! Take notes on the tapes as the transcripts are a very abbreviated version of the audio messages. This course is highly recommended for all who love Israel! I think you will agree that Tony Garland, despite coming to faith after age 30 as an engineer, clearly has been given a special anointing by God to proclaim the truth concerning Israel and God's glorious future plan for the Jews. Garland has also produced more than 20 hours of superb audio teaching in his verse by verse commentary on the Revelation (in depth transcripts also available) which will unravel (in a way you did not think was possible considering the plethora of divergent interpretations) God's final message of the triumph and return of the our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords! Maranatha!


Greek: kai estai (3SFMI) en to topo ou errethe (3SAPI) autois, Ou laos mou humeis ekei klethesontai (3PFPI) huioi theou zontos (PAPMSG)

Amplified: And it shall be that in the very place where it was said to them, You are not My people, they shall be called sons of the living God. [Hos. 1:10.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: And as he says in that same place where it was said to them: “You are not my people; there they shall be called the sons of the living God.” (Westminster Press)

ESV: "And in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' there they will be called 'sons of the living God.'" (ESV)

ICB: "Now it is said to Israel, 'You are not my people.' But later they will be called 'children of the living God.'" Hosea 1:10 (ICB: Nelson)

NIV: and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'" (NIV - IBS)

NKJV: "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God."

NLT: And, "Once they were told, 'You are not my people.' But now he will say, 'You are children of the living God.'" (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: 'And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, You are not my people, there they will be called sons of the living God'. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: And it shall come to be that in the place where it was said to them, Not my people are you, there they shall be called sons of the living God. 

Young's Literal: and it shall be -- in the place where it was said to them, Ye are not My people; there they shall be called sons of the living God.'

Septuagint (LXX) of Hosea 1:10: kai estai (3SFMI) en to topo ou errethe (3SAPI) autois: ou laos mou humeis ekei klethesontai (3PFPI) huioi theou zontos (PAPMSG)

AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE: kai estai (3SFMI) en to topo ou errethe (3SAPI) autois ou laos mou humeis::

Paul continues the sentence quoting directly from the Septuagint of Hosea 1:10 (highlighted Scripture below corresponds to the words Paul quoted)

Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And it will come about that, in the place Where it is said to them, "You are not My people," It will be said to them, "You are the sons of the living God."

This addition from Hosea 1:10 further emphasizes the divine call that makes the "not my people" into "sons of the living God".

Once again, in its Old Testament context Hosea was not speaking of the Gentiles but describing Israel’s future restoration to God’s favor. Yet under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul applies it to God’s acknowledgment of the Gentiles as His sons. This is another illustration of the fact that when the Holy Spirit quotes verses from the OT in the NT, He can rightfully apply them as He wishes.

THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD: ekei klethesontai (3PFPI) huioi theou zontos (PAPMSG):

They - refers to the Gentiles and is a promise included in the original promise to Abraham, Moses recording God's promise…

Genesis 12:3+ And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

Comment: The phrase "all the families of the earth" would include the Gentiles.

Inherent in God's promise to bless all the families is the promise of the coming of Abraham's Seed, the Messiah, for it was only through Him that the blessing to Abraham would pass. Paul explains this in the NT in Galatians writing…

Galatians 3:8+ And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED IN YOU." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer… 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed (this is how all the nations, which would include the Gentiles, would be blessed "in" Abraham - in his seed was the line of the Messiah, the Christ, through which the blessings could flow to all who would believe like Abraham!). He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to One, "And to your Seed," that is, Christ. (Comment: In Genesis 22:17 God reaffirms His promise of Genesis 12:1-3 but even more specifically states "indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed [masculine, singular in the Hebrew = prophesying of the Messiah] as the stars of the heavens")

Called (2564)(kaleo) means to speak to another in order to bring them nearer, either physically or in a personal relationship. A number of the NT uses convey the nuance of an invitation. (See related study on "the called")

Again there is the thought of God’s effectual call, this time directed to people in the situation of Gentiles. It is not the situation that prevails, but the divine call. And the call is to membership in the heavenly family. The substantives have no articles, which puts the stress on the quality. The people who were not God’s people will be called nothing less than sons (with all the rights and privileges that that implies) of One who is none less than God, and living God at that (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press) (Comment: Regarding Gentiles as God's sons, see related discussion on "adoption as sons" in Ephesians 1:5)

Dr. Harry Ironside writes that in our day "when grace is going out to the Gentiles, Israel would be set to one side nationally. By-and-by the same grace that is now being shown to the Gentile nations will be manifested again to the Israelites, and they will once more be called the children of the living God. Isaiah prophesied that although the number of the children of Israel would be as the sands of the sea, yet of this vast throng only a remnant would be saved. And that salvation would come in the day of the Lord's indignation, when He would be executing His judgment on the earth (see Isaiah 10:22-23). (Romans 9 Commentary).

Commenting on Romans 9:25-26 Thomas Constable writes that "The inclusion of Gentiles in this group is in harmony with Old Testament prophecy. Hosea 2:23 and 1:10 in their contexts refer to a reversal of Israel’s status. Some interpreters say that this is a direct fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Others claim that this was an initial partial fulfillment that does not eliminate a future complete fulfillment. A better explanation, I think, is that Paul saw an analogy between God’s present calling of Gentiles and His future calling of Israel. Gentiles were not a distinct people as were the Jews but constituted the mass of humanity. Nevertheless by God’s grace believing Gentiles became members of the new people of God, the church." (Romans 9 Notes)

Living (2198) (zao) refers literally to natural physical life (opposite of death, Acts 22:22, 25:24, 28:4, Ro 7:1-3, 1Cor 7:39, of Adam = 1Cor 15:45; 2Cor 4:11 = refers to natural lives of believers; Php 1:22 - "to live on in the [physical] flesh"; 1Th 4:15,17 = believers physically alive at time of Rapture; Heb 2:15; Heb 9:17; James 4:15 = "we shall live" physically if God so wills it!), to come to life after death (Mt 9:18), to recover life after sickness (Jn 4:50). Zao refers to supernatural, spiritual life (cf Jn 11:25, 26), Paul explaining that Christ "lives because of the power of God." (2Cor 13:4) In Rev 16:3 "living thing" refers to the biological life of all the sea animals. In Rev 19:20 the Antichrist and his False Prophet will be "thrown alive into the lake of fire," indicating they will have conscious awareness of their torment (forever and ever).

Zao refers to the new birth wrought by one's faith in the Gospel (Ro 1:17)

Zao refers to to means of compensation in 1Cor 9:14 ("get their living from the Gospel")

In Php 1:21 Paul said "to live (zao) is Christ" indicating his (as should every believer's) life found it summa bonum, it's highest good, it's truest meaning, it's greatest satisfaction, it's most complete fulfillment, IN CHRIST, in His life lived out through us!

In ancient Greece, Attics rarely used the verb zao except in the present and imperfect tenses, supplying the other tenses from bióo (980) which means to spend one’s existence, simply to pass one’s life, from which is derived our word “biography,” the narrative of how one spent his life.

Faith is intimately, vitally associated with zao in the life of believers who "live by faith" (Ro 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38)

To live is used frequently as a metaphorical description of one's behavior, lifestyle or daily conduct (Lk 15:13, cp "loose living" = ungodly conduct; lived as a Pharisee = Acts 26:5; live in the sphere, "atmosphere," and power/dominion of sin as one's lifestyle = Ro 6:2 [cf Col 3:7] which contrasts with Jesus life He lives for He "lives to God" = Ro 6:10, Gal 2:19; live like the Gentiles = Gal 2:14; 2Ti 3:12 = live godly as their lifestyle; believers no longer have to live their lives subject to the power of the fallen flesh = Ro 8:12; Ro 10:5 = "live by that righteousness" based on law, legalism - see also Gal 3:12; Titus 2:12 = "live sensibly" referring to believers daily conduct; to "live to righteousness" is now our privilege and power - 1Pe 2:24; believers supernaturally "live through" Christ = 1Jn 4:9). Zao describes Jesus' present heavenly ministry - "He always lives to make intercession" for us (Heb 7:25). The phrase "new and living way" refers to Christ (Heb 10:20; cf "the Way" Jn 14:6). Believers have a living hope based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1:3).

Zao speaks of the believer's source of a brand new quality of life, a supernatural life in Christ (Ro 6:11, 13; Gal 2:20, Gal 5:25; 1Thes 5:10 = "live together with Him" = speaks of glorified state) and in the Spirit in contrast to living in the unregenerate state (in the flesh) (Ro 8:13). Zao refers to the believer's present "resurrection life" ("alive from the dead" - Ro 6:13). Heb 12:9 emphasizes that godly discipline encourages us and lead us to live godly lives.

In the phrase "living and the dead," zao in the used in the context of judgment to refer to those who are born again (the living) and the dead are those who have rejected Christ (Acts 10:42, 2Ti 4:1, 1Pe 4:5)

Zao speaks of God as the source of life (in Him we live Acts 17:28).

In Romans 7:9 zao is used in the phrase "sin became alive," referring to the ability of the Law to stimulate, excite or stir up our fallen sin nature (to then commit actual sins).

Zao describes Jesus' healing (resurrecting in a sense) of those with fatal illnesses (John 4:50, 51, 53, cf Peter raising Tabitha - Acts 9:41, Paul raising the boy who feel asleep during his sermon, feel out of the window and died - Acts 20:12, 9-10).

Zao, live (living) is used in the context of the resurrection and life after death (in general = Mt 22:32, Mark 12:27; in reference to Jesus living post-resurrection = Mk 16:11, Lk 24:5, 23, Acts 1:3, Paul's assertion in Acts 25:19; Jesus use of the phrase "As I live" = while He has always lived, this appears to refer to His post-resurrection life; Rev 1:18, 2:8). The phrase "came to life" refers to the resurrection of believers (Rev 20:4). Jesus will be worshipped as the One Who "lives forever and ever." (Rev 4:10, 10:6). Zao describes the counterfeit resurrection of the Antichrist (Rev 13:14).

God is not a dead god like the idols but is the "Living Father" (Jn 6:57) and the "Living God" (Mt 16:16, Acts 14:15, Ro 9:26, 2Cor 3:3, 6:16, 1Ti 3:15, 4:10, Heb 3:12, Heb 9:13, 10:31, 12:22, Rev 7:2). Jesus is referred to as the "living One" (Luke 24:5, Rev 1:18) and the "Living Bread" (Jn 6:51) which all must "eat" (clearly speaks of belief as explained in Jn 11:25. Eating probably speaks of entering an unbreakable union of eternal covenant with Jesus - pictured by married couples feeding each other cake) of Him will live (Jn 6:51, 57). His Word is more life giving than physical bread (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4). Living water (Jn 4:10,11) in context describes Jesus' message of salvation, the Gospel. In the future we will drink from "springs of the water of life" (NIV = "Living water" = Rev 7:17) Jesus is our living Stone (1Pe 2:4 and because of our union with him, we are "living stones" 1Pe 2:5). In John 7:38 living water refers to the Holy Spirit. Believers are to present themselves to God as a living… sacrifice (Ro 12:1) which is our act of worship. God's word is described as living (living oracles = Acts 7:38, living and active = Heb 4:12; living and abiding Word of God = 1Pe 1:23). "Living creatures" describes those around the Throne of God (Rev 4:9, 5:14, Rev 15:7).


Zao - 140x in 124 verses - Usage: alive(15), get their living(1), holding(1), life(6), life*(1), live(53), lived(3), lives(19), living(44).


Matthew 9:18 While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live."

Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Matthew 22:32 'I AM (ego eimi - Jesus is equating Himself with Yahweh, the great I Am of Ex 3:14) THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB '? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."

Comment: The clear implication is that the patriarchs live even though they died (which would directly refute the Sadducees who did not belief in the resurrection (context - Mt 22:23-30, 31) and thus denied life after death..

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God."

Matthew 27:63 and said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I am to rise again.'

Mark 5:23 and implored Him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live."

Mark 12:27 "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken."

Mark 16:11 When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.

Luke 2:36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.'"

Luke 10:28 And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE."

Comment: Jesus was not teaching salvation by works (do this). Salvation is only by faith, but true faith that saves will manifest itself as works. The root is faith, the fruit is works. The "fruit" does not save, but demonstrates the "plant" is alive and "genuine!"

Luke 15:13 "And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

32 'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"

Luke 20:38 "Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him."

Comment: Lk 20:37 Jesus had just mentioned God was the God of the OT patriarchs and for Him to have such a (continuing, living) relationship with them presupposed their resurrection from the dead (see Lk 20:36).

Luke 24:5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead?

23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."

11 She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?

John 4:50 Jesus said to him, "Go; your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off.

51 As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living.

53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives"; and he himself believed and his whole household.

John 5:25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

John 6:51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."

57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever."

John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"

John 14:19 "After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

Acts 1:3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Acts 7:38 "This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the Angel (This is almost certainly the pre-incarnate Messiah - cf Acts 7:30, 38 - see Angel of the LORD) who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you.

Acts 9:41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.

Acts 10:42 "And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.

Acts 14:15 and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, WHO MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM.

Acts 17:28 for in Him we live and move and exist (God gives life to EVERY person, born again and dead in trespasses and sin), as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'

Acts 20:12 They took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.

Acts 22:22 They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!"

Acts 25:19 but they simply had some points of disagreement with him about their own religion and about a dead man, Jesus, whom Paul asserted to be alive.

24 Festus said, "King Agrippa, and all you gentlemen here present with us, you see this man about whom all the people of the Jews appealed to me, both at Jerusalem and here, loudly declaring that he ought not to live any longer.

Acts 26:5 since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.

Acts 28:4 When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, "Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live."

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."

Romans 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?

2 For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.

3 So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.

9 I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;

Romans 8:12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Comment: Beware that some otherwise conservative, evangelical sources (e.g., College Press NIV Commentary, which as an aside is not my favorite) make the grievous comment "This verse is a strong affirmation of the real possibility that a Christian can fall from grace and lose his salvation. Those who cling to the dogma of “once saved, always saved” deny this, of course." Paul is not saying one can lose their salvation! The point is that if one has a lifestyle that is continually controlled by the desires of the flesh, how can such a one ever make the claim that he was a believer in the first place and in fact he will die in his sins (unless He accepts the life giving Gospel that also provides the "sin-killing" power of the indwelling Holy Spirit). In short, one who habitually lives like an unbeliever does so because he is and always was an unbeliever. Do not be deceived by a profession of faith without a possession of some power and inclination toward holiness and godliness -- notice I did not say that one would achieve perfection (in regard to holiness or godliness), but that they would definitely give evidence that this was the general direction of their life! Direction not perfection (at least not until glorification. Hallelujah!)


Romans 10:5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.

Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Romans 14:7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Ray Stedman - He is not talking about funerals, and life and death in that sense. He is talking about those who feel free to enjoy liberty to the fullest. They are living, while others, because of deep convictions of their own, limit themselves, and to that degree they are dying, because death is limitation… The important thing is that we belong to the Lord. He understands." That, therefore, is what we ought to remember in our relationships with one another. We belong to the Lord. We are brothers and sisters. We are not servants of each other. We are servants of the Lord and he has the right to change us." While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord.


1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 9:14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.

1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

2 Corinthians 1:8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;

2 Corinthians 3:3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

2 Corinthians 4:11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

2 Corinthians 6:9 as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death,

16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

2 Corinthians 13:4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

Galatians 2:14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

Galatians 2:19 "For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 3:11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM."

Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.

Colossians 2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,

Colossians 3:7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,

1 Thessalonians 3:8 for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.

1 Timothy 3:15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

1 Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

1 Timothy 5:6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.

2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

2 Timothy 4:1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

Hebrews 2:15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 7:8 In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on.

25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.

Hebrews 10:20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,

31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

James 4:15 Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that."

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,

5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

1 Peter 4:5 but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.

1 John 4:9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

Revelation 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Revelation 2:8 "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

Revelation 3:1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Revelation 4:9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,

10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

Revelation 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,

Revelation 10:6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer,

Revelation 13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

Revelation 15:7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

Revelation 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.

Zao - 523v in non-apocryphal Septuagint -

Gen 1:20, 24; 2:7, 19; 3:20, 22; 5:3, 5ff, 9f, 12f, 15f, 18f, 21, 25ff, 30; 8:21; 9:3, 10, 12, 15f, 28; 11:11ff; 12:13; 17:18; 19:19f; 20:7; 21:19; 25:6f; 26:19; 27:40, 46; 31:32; 35:28; 42:2, 18; 43:7f, 27f; 45:3, 26, 28; 46:30; 47:19; 50:22; Exod 4:18; 19:13; 21:35; 22:4; 33:20; Lev 11:10; 13:10, 14; 14:4ff, 49ff; 16:10, 20f; 18:5, 18; 25:35f; Num 4:19; 5:17; 14:21, 28, 38; 16:30, 33, 48; 19:17; 21:8f; 24:23; Deut 4:1, 4, 10, 33, 42; 5:3, 24, 26; 6:24; 8:1, 3; 11:8; 12:1, 19; 16:20; 19:4f; 30:6, 16, 19; 31:13, 27; 32:39f; 33:6; Josh 3:10; 4:14; 8:23; 9:21; Judg 8:19; 15:19; Ruth 2:20; 3:13; 1 Sam 1:26, 28; 5:12; 10:24; 14:39, 45; 15:8f; 17:36; 19:6; 20:3, 14, 21, 31; 25:26, 34; 26:10, 16; 28:10; 29:6; 2 Sam 1:10; 2:27; 4:9; 11:11; 12:5, 18, 21f; 14:11, 19; 15:21, 34; 16:16; 18:14, 18; 19:6; 20:3; 22:47; 1 Kgs 1:25, 29, 31, 34, 39; 2:24, 35; 3:22f, 25f; 8:40; 12:6, 24; 17:1, 12, 23; 18:10, 15; 20:18, 32; 21:15; 22:14; 2 Kgs 1:2; 2:2, 4, 6; 3:14; 4:7, 16f, 30; 5:16, 20; 7:4, 12; 8:8ff, 14; 10:14, 19, 21; 11:12; 13:21; 14:17; 18:32; 19:4, 16; 20:1; 2 Chr 6:31; 10:6; 18:13; 23:11; 25:25; Neh 2:3; 5:2; 6:11; 9:29; Esth 4:17; 6:13; 8:12; Job 7:16; 8:17; 12:10; 14:14; 18:19; 21:7; 27:2; 42:16; Ps 18:46; 22:26, 29; 27:13; 38:19; 39:5; 41:2; 42:2; 49:8; 52:5; 55:15; 56:13; 58:9; 69:28, 32; 72:15; 84:2; 89:48; 115:18; 116:9; 118:17; 119:17, 25, 37, 40, 50, 77, 88, 93, 107, 116, 144, 149, 154, 156, 159, 175; 124:3; 138:7; 142:5; 143:2, 11; Prov 1:12; 3:22; 9:6, 11, 18; 28:16; Eccl 4:2, 15; 6:3, 6; 7:2, 14; 9:4f; 10:19; 11:8; Song 4:15; Isa 8:19; 37:4, 17; 38:1, 16, 19; 49:18; 55:3; Jer 4:2; 5:2; 11:19; 12:16; 16:14f; 21:9; 22:24; 23:7f; 35:7; 38:2, 16f, 20; 44:26; 46:18; 49:11; 52:33; Lam 3:39; 4:20; Ezek 3:18, 21; 5:11; 13:19, 22; 14:16, 18, 20; 16:22, 48; 17:16, 19; 18:3, 9, 13, 17, 19, 21ff, 28; 20:3, 11, 13, 21, 25, 31, 33; 33:10f, 15f, 19, 27; 34:8; 35:6, 11; 37:3, 6, 9f, 14; 47:9; Dan 2:4, 28, 30; 3:9, 24; 4:1, 17, 22, 27, 34; 5:10, 23; 6:6, 20f, 26; 12:7; Hos 1:10; 4:15; 6:2; 14:7; Amos 5:4, 6, 14; 8:14; Jonah 4:3, 8; Hab 2:4; Zeph 2:9; Zech 1:5; 13:3; 14:8


Greek: Esaias de krazei (3SPAI) huper tou IsraEl, Ean e o arithmos ton huion Israel os e ammos tes thalasses, to hupoleimma sothesetai; (3SFPI)

Amplified: And Isaiah calls out (solemnly cries aloud) over Israel: Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant (a small part of them) will be saved [from perdition, condemnation, judgment]! (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: And Isaiah cries about Israel: “Even though the number of the sons of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, (Westminster Press)

ESV: And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the sons of Israel[3] be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, (ESV)

ICB: And Isaiah cries out about Israel: "There are so many people of Israel. They are like the grains of sand by the sea. But only a few of them will be saved. (ICB: Nelson)

NIV: Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. (NIV - IBS)

NKJV: Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved.

NLT: Concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out, "Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand on the seashore, only a small number will be saved. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: And Isaiah, speaking about Israel, proclaims: 'though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: And Isaiah cries in anguish concerning Israel, If the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. 

Young's Literal: And Isaiah doth cry concerning Israel, 'If the number of the sons of Israel may be as the sand of the sea, the remnant shall be saved;

Septuagint (LXX) of Isa 10:22 kai ean genetai (3SAMS) o laos Israel os e ammos tes thalasses to kataleimma auton sothesetai (3SFPI)

AND ISAIAH CRIES OUT CONCERNING ISRAEL: Esaias de krazei (3SPAI) huper tou Israel:

  • Isaiah 1:1
  • Isaiah 10:20, 21, 22, 23
  • Romans 9 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

In quoting this Old Testament passage Paul is shifting his emphasis form the inclusion of Gentiles in the people of God to explain the truth of remnant (which permeates the entire OT - see discussion), explaining that only a remnant of Israel will be saved.

Note there is some difference between the Greek Textus Receptus (source of KJV, NKJV) and more modern Greek manuscripts (source of NASB, NIV, etc) in the specific Greek word translated "remnant". Here is the version of the Greek used in the NAS translation…

Greek Nestle-Aland of Romans 9:27: Esaias de krazei (3SPAI) huper tou IsraEl, Ean e o arithmos ton huion Israel os e ammos tes thalasses, to hupoleimma (remnant) sothesetai; (3SFPI) (Comment: The Textus Receptus has kataleimma in place of hupoleimma, most Greek authorities favoring the later word, although the meaning differs only slightly between the two words.)

Paul in quoting Isaiah 10:22 quotes not from the Hebrew text but the Greek text (LXX) which explains in part why the phrase "A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness" which is found only in the Hebrew, is not used here in Romans 9:27

NAS translation of Isaiah 10:22 For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.

Septuagint (LXX) of Isaiah 10:22 kai ean genetai (3SAMS) o laos Israel os e ammos tes thalasses to kataleimma (remnant from kataleipo = leave behind) auton sothesetai (3SFPI) (Brenton's English rendering of the LXX of Isaiah 10:22: And though the people of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them shall be saved.)

Cries (2896) (krazo) refers to speaking or demanding with a loud voice, crying out, screaming, shrieking, making a vehement outcry. To communicate something in a loud voice. This may bring out the thought of urgency rather than simply being loud.

Note use of present tense which says the prophet continues to cry out. Isaiah cried in anguish over the outlook for Israel, but his cry contains the prophetic hope (certainty) of a future remnant of Israel (Jews who believe in their Messiah for redemption, in so doing entering into the New Covenant in His blood, even as Jeremiah had prophesied about in Jeremiah 31:31 "new covenant")

Marvin Vincent comments that krazo is "An impassioned utterance… compare John 7:28, 37; Acts 19:28; 23:6. Mostly of an inarticulate cry The prophet in awful earnestness, and as with a scream of anguish, cries over Israel” (Morison)… (Vincent adds that in Lu 18:39 krazo is) A stronger word than boao, cried, in Luke 18:38, which is merely to cry or shout, while this is to cry clamorously; to scream or shriek. (Word Studies in the NT)

Concerning (5228)(huper) literally means over, which Vincent remarks is as if Paul is "proclaiming a judgment which hangs over Israel." (Ibid)

Paul is now underscoring the truth that only the remnant of the Jews will be saved -- that is what He had always said and thus it proves that the word of God has indeed not failed.

THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE AS THE SAND OF THE SEA IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED: ean e (3SPAS) o arithmos ton huion Israel os e ammos tes thalasses to hupoleimma sothesetai (3SFPI):

  • Ro 11:4, 5, 6; Ezra 9:8,14; Isaiah 1:9; 10:20,21; 11:11; 24:13; Jeremiah 5:10; Ezekiel 6:8; Micah 5:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Romans 9 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Number (706) (arithmos) means a cardinal number or as in this context a numerical total, the actual number not being specified except figuratively (compared to grains of sand).

Sand (285) (ammos) refers to sand or a sandy shore (in Rev 12:18). Ammos is usually used figuratively (including uses in LXX and Philo) to refer to things that cannot be counted.

What a dramatic contrast Paul is laying out… sons of Israel as numerous as grains of sand but only a small number of "grains" of which will be saved!

Hosea makes a prediction similar to Isaiah's…

Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel Will be like the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered; And it will come about that, in the place Where it is said to them, "You are not My people," It will be said to them, "You are the sons of the living God."

Sea (2281) (thalassa) refers to a large body of water and in the NT is used to refer to several different named bodies (Mediterranean, Red, Galilee). Here the use is figurative the sand of the seashore symbolizing numberlessness.

Remnant (5275 = verb form hupoleipo) (hupoleimma from verb hupoleipo <> from hupo = under, beneath + leipo = leave, lack) (Click study of the remnant especially from an Old Testament perspective) means a remnant, remainder or residue, a small number or a relatively small surviving group. The definite article preceding hupoleimma in the Greek indicates this is a very specific remnant, the Jews who listen to the message of truth, the gospel of their salvation and believe in the Messiah. This is not just "a" remnant, but "the remnant", which as previously discussed is a doctrinal truth that runs throughout the pages of OT Scripture like a golden lifeline and runs intimately throughout Romans 9-11. The doctrine of the remnant will reach its consummation and ultimate fulfillment in the book of the Revelation. (See related offsite discussion or as a The Doctrine of the Remnant and the Salvation of Israel in Romans 9-11) Hupoleimma in the Septuagint (Lxx) - 1 Sa 9:24; 2 Ki. 21:14; Job 20:21; Mic. 4:7; Mic. 5:7; Mic. 5:8; Mal. 2:15; Rom. 9:27

Remnant (2640)(Kataleimma from kataleipo = leave behind, forsake, abandon from kata = down, intensifies + leipo = leave behind) means a remnant which is found only in the Textus Receptus of Romans  9:27 quoting from Isaiah 10:22+ which refers to Israel.

Synonyms -  leimma (3005), a remnant; loipós (3063), the rest; remnant; perísseuma (4051), that which remains over, a surplus, a superabundance; katáloipos (2645), remaining.

Gilbrant Kataleimma, meaning “residue, remnant,” is from leipo, “to leave, to leave behind.” Bauer notes a usage in Galen (Second Century B.C.); this is possibly a medical use describing the residual effects of an illness. The Septuagint records 21 instances of kataleimma, usually a form of shᵉ’ār stands behind it. As early as Genesis we see kataleimma as a “remnant” of God’s people emerging. These are particularly those preserved from destruction (of Joseph’s brothers, Genesis 45:7; cf. Isaiah 10:22). This, however, is not always the case for the term (e.g., Judges 5:13; 2 Samuel 14:7 [LXX 2 Kings 14:7]; Isaiah 14:22). The technical sense seems more prominent and developed in later Judaism (e.g., Tobit 13:16 [Codex Sinaiticus]; cf. Sirach 44:17; 47:22). The only New Testament occurrence of kataleimma is in Romans 9:27. Here the word is rendered “remnant” and stands in contrast to Israel as a national identity. In this usage the term expresses the Old Testament idea of the holy remnant. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Kataleimma in the Septuagint (Lxx) -  Ge 45:7 = a remnant; Jdg. 5:13 = survivors; 1 Sa 13:15; 2 Sa 14:7 = so as to leave my husband neither name nor remnant; 1 Ki. 12:24; 1 Ki. 15:4; 2 Ki. 10:11 = he left him without a survivor.; 2 Ki. 19:31 = For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant (kataleimma), and out of Mount Zion survivors (anasozo = rescued). The zeal of the LORD will perform this.; Job 22:20; Isa. 10:22 =  a remnant within them will return; Isa. 14:22 = will cut off from Babylon name and survivors; Isa. 14:30 = And it will kill off your survivors; Isa. 37:30; Jer. 40:11 = Babylon had left a remnant for Judah; Jer. 49:9; Jer. 50:26

Saved (4982)(sozo) has the basic meaning of rescuing one from great peril. Additional nuances include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole. Sozo is sometimes used of physical deliverance from danger of perishing (see Mt 8:25; Mt 14:30; Lu 23:35; Acts 27:20 27:31), physical healing from sickness (Mt 9:21-22; Mk 5:23, Acts 4:9), and deliverance from demonic possession (Lu 8:36). More often sozo refers to salvation in a spiritual sense as illustrated in the following passages: Matthew recorded the angel's conversation with Joseph declaring

"She (Mary) will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save (sozo) His people from their sins." (Mt 1:21)

Here sozo is equated with deliverance from sins (guilt and power of) with Jesus' name being a transliteration of Joshua meaning "Jehovah is salvation".

The reality that many among Israel would reject Messiah Jesus, but that a remnant would be preserved by God is a major theme in Romans 9-11. Paul is quoting these OT prophets to show that these ideas had always been part of God's sovereign plan and was thus driven by His electing purpose (see discussion of "chosen in Him" Eph 1:4-note). The elect remnant of Jewish believers are the true Israel, the "Israel of God" (See related discussion) as Paul referred to believing Jews in Galatians 6:16. It is also important to keep in mind that the national aspects of the OT promises made to Israel (e.g., the boundaries of the promised land have never been occupied to the extent God promised they would be occupied by Israel, the throne of David, the restoration of Jerusalem) are preserved in and for the believing Jewish remnant according to God's election (Ro 11:5-note).

What is this prophecy referring to? This prophecy is quoted from Isa 10:22

For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. (Isaiah 10:22)

The Bible Knowledge Commentary writes that "The passages quoted (Isa. 10:22-23 and 1:9, both from the LXX) make it clear that in God’s judgment on rebellious Israel He by sovereign choice preserves and saves a remnant. Those promises were fulfilled in the Captivity and Exile of both Israel and Judah and in the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70 and will also be fulfilled in the national end-time deliverance of Israel (see notes Romans 11:26; 11:27). Even today the same principle is true. Jews who become members of the church, the body of Christ, are what Paul later called “a remnant chosen by grace” (Ro 11:5-note), which included himself (Ro 11:1-note). (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor).


Greek: logon gar suntelon (PAPMSN ) kai suntemnon (PAPMSN) poiesei (3SFAI) kurios epi tes ges.

Amplified: For the Lord will execute His sentence upon the earth [He will conclude and close His account with men completely and without delay], rigorously cutting it short in His justice. [Isa. 10:22, 23.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: for the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth completely and summarily.” (Westminster Press)

ESV: for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay." (ESV)

ICB: For the Lord will quickly and completely punish the people on the earth." Isaiah 10:22-23 (ICB: Nelson)

NIV: For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality." (NIV - IBS)

NKJV: For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth."

NLT: For the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth quickly and with finality." (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: For he will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth'. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: For the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, finishing and cutting it short. 

Young's Literal: for a matter He is finishing, and is cutting short in righteousness, because a matter cut short will the Lord do upon the land.

FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD UPON THE EARTH THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY kai suntemnon (PAPMSN) poiesei (3SFAI) kurios epi tes ges: logon gar suntelon (PAPMSN) kai suntemnon (PAPMSN) poiesei (3SFAI) kurios epi tes ges:

  • Isaiah 28:22; 30:12-14; Daniel 9:26,27; Matthew 24:21
  • Romans 9 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

"For the Lord will execute His sentence upon the earth [He will conclude and close His account with men completely and without delay], rigorously cutting it short in His justice." (Amplified)

For (gar) is a term of explanation, which should always prompt you to pause and ask yourself what is the Spirit seeking to explain?

Note that the Greek Textus Receptus from which the KJV, NKJV and Young's Literal are translated has the added phrase "in righteousness" (see above) (Psalms 9:8; 65:5; Isaiah 5:16; Acts 17:31; Revelation 19:11)

NET Note - a more literal (and more cumbersome) rendering would be: "The Lord will act by closing the account [or completing the sentence], and by cutting short the time." The interpretation of this text is notoriously difficult.

The Leon Morris writes that this verse…

It is obvious that the main idea is that of bringing to an end, of shortening, but this might mean a shortening of the promise (i.e., fulfilling it only to a limited degree; Leenhardt puts it this way, “He shortens it in its execution, by cutting out something”), a shortening of the nation (no more than a remnant will be saved; Murray, “so widespread will be the destruction that only a remnant will escape”), or a shortening of the time, combined with the completeness with which God will do his work (“the Lord will quickly settle his full account with the world”, GNB). Most modern translations and commentators accept the third view in some form, and it certainly seems probable. (The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)

Execute (4160) (poieo) means to do, expressing action either as completed or continued (in this case that which will be completed).

Word (3056) (logos) means something said and in this case has to refer to prophecy spoken by the Lord. This prophecy affects the earth ("upon the earth"), implying that it is worldwide.

What is this prophecy referring to? This prophecy is quoted from Isa 10:23

For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord GOD of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land.

Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled when God used the Babylonians to judge Israel for her unbelief and unfaithfulness, His justice was thorough with only a remnant of true believers escaping. Similarly the destruction of Jerusalem 70AD was thorough and quick. It is clear from other prophetic passages, that a given prophecy may have more than one fulfillment. Thus although there has been an original fulfillment by Babylon in 586BC and a partial fulfillment by Rome in 70AD, there appears to be a yet future and final fulfillment associated with Isaiah's prophecy.

I agree with Warren Wiersbe who states that "Romans 9:28 probably refers to God’s work of judgment during the Tribulation (Ed note: Here he uses the word "Tribulation" as a synonym for what Jesus referred to as the Great Tribulation, the last 3.5 years of Daniel's Seventieth Week), when the nation of Israel will be persecuted and judged (Ed: We see this described in Rev 12:13-14-note where "woman" = Israel and "time [1], times [2], and half a time [0.5]" = 3.5 years), and only a small remnant left to enter into the kingdom when Jesus Christ returns to earth. (Bible Exposition Commentary)

After the Great Tribulation, a remnant of believing Jews (1/3 of the nation according to Zechariah 13:9) will enter into the millennial kingdom (see Millennium 1, Millennium 2, Millennium 3) inaugurated by Jesus Christ when He returns to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Thoroughly (4931) (sunteleo from sun = together or an intensifier + teleo = to finish, related word - sunteleia) means to bring together to culmination or completion. The bringing together of an intended purpose. Sunteleo speaks of an activity which is brought to an end, completed or finished. All of the NT uses of sunteleo to one degree or another convey an eschatological sense. The cognate verb teleioo is a key NT term for the completion of God's plan (Lk 12:50, 22:37, Jn 19:30). To finish entirely or completely (eg, Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount - Mt 7:28, Satan's temptations, the Lord's testings of Jesus came to an end - Lk 4:13). The idea is to bring to a successful finish and thus to consummate, complete entirely, accomplish or fulfill an activity (or a prophecy Mk 13:4). Used in contexts which speak of time (Lk 4:2, Acts 21:27, Lxx of Ge 2:2, Dt 34:8, 1Ki 6:9, Job 36:11). To accomplish or fulfill (Mk 13:4 - clearly an eschatological context; Ro 9:28, Lxx = Isa 10:22 = Lxx = logon gar suntelon kai suntemnon en dikaiosune ~ [roughly translated] for the word is bringing this to completion and cutting it short in righteousness). The use in Hebrews 8:8 means to put into effect.

Thayer -

1. to end together or at the same time.

2. to end completely; bring to an end, finish, complete:

3. to accomplish, bring to fulfilment; passive, to come to pass, Mk 13:4; logon, a word, i.e., a prophecy, Ro 9:28

4. 4. to effect, make - Heb 8:8

Friberg -

(1) of an activity bring to an end, complete, finish (Lk 4.13);

(2) of a predicted event accomplish, carry out, fulfill (Mk 13.4);

(3) of a time span come to an end, be over (Acts 21.27);

(4) of a new undertaking cause to exist, bring about, establish (Heb 8.8)

BDAG summary…

1. to complete something. that has been in process, bring to an end, complete, finish, close something Lk 4:13. A teaching, a speech, Mt 7:28…

2. to carry out or bring into being something that has been promised or expected, carry out, fulfill, accomplish…

3. to exhaust the supply of something, pass. w. act. sense give out John 2:3 (the act. = ‘blot out, destroy’ Jer 14:12; Ezek 7:15; Levi 5:4; corresponding to the pass. Jer 14:15; 16:4; Da 6:4).

4. to come to the end of a duration, come to an end, be over (Dt 34:8; Job 1:5 Lk 2:21; 4:2; Acts 21:27

Sunteleo - 6x in 6v - Usage: effect(1), ended(1), finished(1), fulfilled(1), over(1), thoroughly(1).

Matthew 7:28 (Textus Receptus, not in Nestle-Aland which uses teleo) When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching;

Mark 13:4 "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?"

Luke 4:2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.

Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

Comment: Don't miss the sense of the verb sunteleo used in both Luke 4:2 and Luke 4:13 -- Luke's (the Spirit's) point is not only that Jesus' temptations ended (in the temporal sense, which of course is true) but that they were brought to fulfillment or completion. The 40 days had a purpose by the Father and Jesus accomplished the purpose. He achieved the goal so to speak. There is an application to our lives. What trials and temptations are you currently experiencing? First, remember they will end, either during this life or certainly at the end of your life! Secondly, they are being allowed by a loving Father, Who desires to bring you forth as pure gold, which will shine forth His glory for all eternity. Beloved (and I am writing to myself here as I am currently in the throes of the most difficult trial of my 70 years), it is ALWAYS too soon to quit. The Spirit will enable us to endure to the end. Let us shout "Hallelujah! Amen!"

Acts 21:27 When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him,



Sunteleo - 152 verses in non-apocryphal Septuagint -

Gen 2:1f; 6:16; 17:22; 18:21; 24:15, 45; 29:27; 43:2; 44:5; 49:5; Ex 5:13f; 36:2; 40:33; Lev 16:20; 19:9; 23:22, 39; Num 4:15; 7:1; Deut 26:12; 31:1, 24; 32:23, 45; 34:8; Josh 3:17; 4:1, 10f; 21:42; Jdg 3:18; Ru 2:23; 3:3; 1Sa 10:13; 13:10; 15:18; 20:7, 9, 33f; 24:16; 25:17; 2Sa 6:18; 11:19; 13:36; 21:5; 22:38; 1Kgs 1:41; 2:35; 3:1; 5:17; 6:3, 9; 7:1, 40; 8:1, 12, 54; 9:1; 22:11; 2Kgs 10:25; 1Chr 16:2; 27:24; 28:20; 2Chr 4:11; 5:1; 7:1, 11; 18:10; 20:23; 24:14; 29:17, 28f, 34; 30:22; 31:1, 7; Esther 3:13; 4:1; 8:12; Job 1:5; 14:14; 15:4; 19:26f; 21:13; 33:27; 35:14; 36:11; Ps 7:9; 119:87; Pr 1:19; 8:31; 22:8; Isa 1:28; 8:8; 10:12, 22; 18:5; 28:22; 32:6; 44:24; 46:10; 55:11; Jer 5:3; 6:11, 13; 13:19; 14:12, 15; 15:16; 16:4; 34:8, 15; Lam 2:17; 4:11; Ezek 4:6, 8; 5:12f; 6:12; 7:8, 15; 11:15; 13:14f; 16:14; 20:8, 21; 22:12f, 31; 23:32; 42:15; 43:23; Dan 4:33; 5:26; 9:24; 10:3; 11:16, 36; 12:7; Hos 13:2; Joel 2:8; Amos 7:2; Mic 2:1; Nah 1:15; Zech 5:4; Mal 3:9 -

In the Septuagint sunteleo is used several ways - (1) to finish (off), to accomplish 2Chr 24:14; Ge 2:2; to finish, to leave off Ge 43:2; Ge 17:22; to bring to accomplishment, to fulfill Jer 41:8;; to make an end to Lev 23:39; to continue till the end Dt 31:1; to consume 1Sa 15:18; to kill 2Sa 21:5 (3) to finish (off), to accomplish Ge 44:5; to perpetrate Ge 18:21 (2) to have come to an end, to be over Dt 34:8; to be accomplished Ge 2:1; to be fulfilled; to be completely formed Isa 18:5;

Quickly (4932) (suntemno from sun = an intensifier + témno = to cut or divide) means to cut short or shorten and figuratively speaks of an allotted time cut short or abruptly brought to an end. Suntemno means to cause a duration to come to an abrupt end, with the implication of sooner than expected. Vine on suntemno - to cut short; thus, to bring to an end or accomplish speedily; it is said of a prophecy or decree.

Ray Stedman has this comment on Romans 9:22-28…

What Paul is saying in all this is that God may have purposes and objectives that we do not see. And doesn't he have the right to do it? And what if one of those objectives is not only to display his power and his wrath by allowing and permitting man to oppose him and to resist him, but also to display his amazing patience and longsuffering this way? Did you ever think about that? Did you ever think of how, for centuries and centuries, God has put up with the snarling, nasty, blasphemous, accusing remarks of men, and has done nothing to them? He has listened to all the cheap, shoddy, vulgar things that men say about him, and allowed them to treat him with hostility and anger and never does a thing but patiently endure it and put up with it. Paul says, "What if God does all that. What if it takes that kind of a display of the wrath of God and the patience of God to bring those of us whom he chooses to himself?" Something has to appear to us that makes us understand God. We are not being forced to come to him, we are drawn to him. Therefore we have to respond, and something must make us respond. Is it not the wrath of God and the patience of God that draws us on?

All this, then, is necessary to bring some of us to glory. In other words, for some to be saved, some must be lost. Now, I admit that is an inscrutable mystery. I don't understand it. But I don't have to understand it! That's the whole thing. I can't understand it at this point. There are factors in it which God cannot reveal. He will some day, but he doesn't now -- not because he does not want to, but because I can't handle it. And neither can you. We have to accept it, nevertheless.

Paul suggests here that without the display of wrath on God's part, no Gentiles ever would have been saved -- only the elect of Israel, and only a remnant of them. But, as it is, the Gentiles, those of us who never had the advantages that Israel had, are included, as Hosea and Isaiah both predicted. (See complete message - Romans 9:14-33 Let God Be God ) (Bolding added)