Romans 11:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 11:28, NIV: As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,

Romans 11:28, ESV: As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.

Romans 11:28, KJV: As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Romans 11:28, NASB: In relation to the gospel they are enemies on your account, but in relation to God’s choice they are beloved on account of the fathers;

Romans 11:28, NLT: Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News, and this benefits you Gentiles. Yet they are still the people he loves because he chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Romans 11:28, CSB: Regarding the gospel, they are enemies for your advantage, but regarding election, they are loved because of the patriarchs,

What does Romans 11:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is addressing Gentile Christians. He has warned them not to be arrogant toward Jewish people who have rejected Christ (Romans 11:18). He has revealed to them that the people of Israel have been hardened in their unbelief by God so that Gentiles could come to God through faith in Christ (Romans 11:15), and that Israel will return to God through faith in Christ once that hardening is lifted (Romans 11:26).

Now Paul agrees that Israel has become an enemy of the gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul should know. He has suffered great persecution at the hands of the Jewish religious leaders for preaching the gospel. This makes what he says about the Jewish people next even more significant. His words here clarify that anti-Jewish sentiments are not only foreign to the Bible's depiction of Jews, they are contradictory to the character of God.

Paul describes the Jewish people as "beloved," meaning that they are still loved and cherished by God. This is in regard to "election," Paul writes, meaning that God has destined that Israel will return to close relationship with Him as her people come to faith in Christ at some point in the future (Romans 11:25–27).

Why has God elected the people of Israel—meaning a representative number, not necessarily every single Israelite—to return to Him at this future time? It is for the sake of their forefathers, the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God's promises to Israel's founding fathers were unconditional and irrevocable, as the following verse will declare.