Romans 11:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 11:10, NIV: May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.'

Romans 11:10, ESV: let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.”

Romans 11:10, KJV: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Romans 11:10, NASB: MAY THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS CONTINUALLY.'

Romans 11:10, NLT: Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and let their backs be bent forever.'

Romans 11:10, CSB: Let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,and their backs be bent continually.

What does Romans 11:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is quoting Jewish Scriptures from the Old Testament to support the idea that God has often hardened some people, in terms of their ability to understand and believe Him. Romans chapter 9 took an in-depth look at how, when, and for what purposes this can happen. This verse continues a quotation from David's Psalm 69, often taken as being about Christ Himself. In that way, this quote from Psalm 69:22–23 can refer to the enemies of Christ.

David prayed that his enemies and, by Paul's implication, the Jewish unbelievers of his day, would have darkened eyes so they could not see or understand. That is, they will be hardened to the truth that Christ is the Messiah and, thus, refuse to have faith in Christ and be saved by God's grace.

It's not clear what is meant by their backs being bent forever. Those who reject Christ are, ultimately, facing an eternity of separation from God because of their stubbornness (John 5:40; Isaiah 6:9–10). Paul might be referring to the danger faced by all who refuse to come to Christ, which is to be subject to shame and suffering "forever."