Romans 11:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 11:8, NIV: as it is written: 'God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.'

Romans 11:8, ESV: as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”

Romans 11:8, KJV: (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

Romans 11:8, NASB: just as it is written: 'GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.'

Romans 11:8, NLT: As the Scriptures say, 'God has put them into a deep sleep. To this day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear.'

Romans 11:8, CSB: as it is written,God gave them a spirit of stupor,eyes that cannot seeand ears that cannot hear,to this day.

What does Romans 11:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul follows his pattern of supporting his arguments with quotes from the Old Testament—the Jewish Scriptures. He has just written that God has hardened most Israelites in regard to faith in Christ.

To show that God has always done this, even with Israel, Paul seems to assemble the quote in this verse from Isaiah 29:10 and Deuteronomy 29:4. In both instances, God was said to have kept Israel from understanding what was true. The people were overcome by a spirit of stupor, or sleepiness, and were not given eyes to see and ears to hear. God was the one who kept them from understanding.

Again, some might ask if this is fair on God's part. Paul made clear in Romans 9, however, that God retains the right to give or withhold understanding, to soften or harden hearts, as He sees fit and for His greater purposes. Just as Pharaoh was resistant to God, and so God enhanced that resistance, Israel's "hardening" comes as part of God's overall plan to fulfill His own purposes.