What does Romans 9:5 mean?
ESV: To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
NIV: Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
NASB: whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
CSB: The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.
NLT: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
KJV: Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
NKJV: of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is heartbroken that the vast majority of his people, the Jews, have rejected Christ as the Messiah and the way to salvation. In the previous verse, he began listing the privileges the Israelites have enjoyed as the chosen people of God. The list so far includes national adoption as the children of God, being witnesses to God's glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law of Moses, the worship in the temple, and the promises of God.

Now Paul adds two more privileges Israel has enjoyed. The first is the patriarchs, meaning the founding fathers of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God gave many great promises to the patriarchs and all of their descendants.

The final privilege Paul lists is that through the line of the patriarchs came Christ Himself, the promised Messiah. Paul writes that Christ is, in fact, God over all and blessed forever. The fact that Christ is God is the very truth that Israel as a nation had rejected. They had missed the Messiah, though many individual Jewish people had come to faith in Christ through the teaching of Paul and the other apostles.

Paul insists that God honored the Israelites by sending His own Son to earth as a Jewish man, a descendant of Abraham and of David. However, Paul does not describe Christ Himself as one of the gifts given to the Jewish people, since they rejected Him.
Verse Context:
Romans 9:1–18 finds Paul heartbroken over the rejection of Christ by his people the Jews. They have been given so much as God's chosen people, and Paul insists that God will keep His promises to Israel. Not everyone born to Israel is truly Israel, though, Paul writes. Specific examples are given to show that God does, in fact, choose those who will receive His blessings. The following passage tackles whether this choice, by God, is fair.
Chapter Summary:
Romans 9 begins with Paul describing his anguish for his people Israel in their rejection of Christ. After describing all the privileges God has given to the Jewish people as a nation, Paul insists that God will keep those promises. However, not every person born to Israel belongs to Israel, he writes. God reserves the right to show mercy to some and not others, as Paul demonstrates from Scripture. God is like a potter who creates some vessels for destruction and others for glory. God has called out His people from both the Gentiles and the Jews to faith in Christ, the stumbling stone.
Chapter Context:
Romans 8 ended with Paul's grand declaration that nothing can separate those who are in Christ Jesus from the love of God. Romans 9 turns a sharp corner and finds Paul heartbroken that his people, the Jews, have rejected Christ. He insists that God will keep His promises to Israel, but that not everyone born to Israel is truly Israel. God will show mercy to whomever He wishes, calling out His people from both the Jews and the Gentiles to faith in Christ. Romans 10 will find Paul discussing how Jewish people can be saved.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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