Romans 9:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 9:4, NIV: the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.

Romans 9:4, ESV: They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.

Romans 9:4, KJV: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Romans 9:4, NASB: who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and daughters, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the temple service, and the promises;

Romans 9:4, NLT: They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God's adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises.

Romans 9:4, CSB: They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises.

What does Romans 9:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has declared his great heartbreak that his people by birth, the Jews, have rejected Christ. He has even said he would trade his own place in Christ—if such a thing made sense—in order for them all to come to Christ.

Now Paul begins to list many of the things the Israelites have been given by God, describing why they are so special as a people. He first mentions Israel's adoption as God's children. This appears to be a different adoption than Paul described for Christians in Romans 8. Israel was adopted in a national sense. God described them as his firstborn son in Exodus 4:22.

Also belonging to Israel was "the glory," probably meaning that God had favored Israel by revealing His glory to them, especially during the time of Moses (Exodus 16:10; 24:17). Next, Paul lists the covenants. This would include God's covenant agreements with Abraham (Genesis 15:18) and David (1 Samuel 7:12–16). Then Paul lists the giving of the law of Moses (Deuteronomy 5:1–22), something Paul has written about extensively in Romans.

Next, Paul lists "the worship," meaning God's appointment to Israel of the task of worshiping Him in the temple and through the sacrificial system. This verse concludes with the statement that the promises belong to Israel, as well. These promises include all the things promised to Israel throughout the Old Testament, including the coming of the Messiah.