Romans 9:27 MEANING

Romans 9:27
(27) Crieth.--With reference to the impassioned utterance of the prophet.

A remnant.--Rather, the remnant, with an emphasis upon the word. "The remnant, and only the remnant."

Shall be saved.--In the original, shall return--i.e., as it is explained in the previous verse, "return to God." St. Paul has followed the LXX. in putting the consequences of such conversion for the conversion itself.

Verses 27, 28. - Esaias also crieth (κράζει, denoting loud and earnest utterance; cf. John 1:15; John 7:28, 37; John 12:44; Acts 23:6; Acts 24:21) concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant (not, as in the Authorized Version, "a remnant." The idea seems to be, as it is in the original, that it is the remnant only that) shall be saved: for he will finish a word (not the work, as in the Authorized Version) and cut it short: because a short (rather, cut-short) word (again, not work) will the Lord make (i.e. accomplish) upon the earth. The Greek of ver. 28, according to the Textus Receptus, is difficult, so as to have compelled our translators to render the participles συντελῶν καὶ συντέμνων by futures, "will finish," etc. But we have the high and early authority of the uncials א, A, B, for omitting part of the sentence, so as to make it read more intelligibly, thus: The Lord will make (i.e. accomplish) a word upon the earth, finishing it and cutting it short. The longer form, however, agrees, though not quite exactly, with the LXX., which differs itself greatly from the Hebrew, though not so as to affect the main drift of the passage as a whole. The passage is from Isaiah 10:22, which had primary reference to the remnant of the house of Israel that should "return unto the mighty God" (Isaiah 10:21) after the then predicted devastation of the nation by the Assyrian king. The series of prophecies with which this is connected begins at Isaiah 7, which gives an account of Isaiah's memorable visit to Ahaz King of Judah, on the occasion of the combination of Pekah King of Israel, and Rezin King of Syria, against Jerusalem, in the course of which visit he predicts the birth of Immanuel. He took with him his son, who bore the symbolical name of Shear-jashub ("A remnant shall return"). Subsequently another son was born to the prophet, to whom was given the name Maher-shalal-hash-baz ("Swift of spoil, hasty of prey," as Ewald renders; or, "The spoil speedeth, the prey hasteth," as in margin of the Revised Version); the latter name having been previously written on a great roll (Isaiah 8:1). The primary drift of the prophecies in Isaiah 7. and the following chapters is that the confederacy of Pekah and Reziu against Jerusalem shall fail, that their own lands would ere long be devastated by the Assyrian king, who would sweep irresistibly over Judah too; but that God's people may still trust in the LORD'S protection, who would preserve and bring back a remnant, though a remnant only. The three names, Maher-shalal-hash-baz, Shear-jashub, and Immanuel ("God with us"), are throughout significant of the leading ideas of the whole series of predictions; the first expressing the certainty of coming judgment, the second the return of the remnant, and the third God's own presence with his people. Now, without pausing to consider what primary historical fulfilment of the prophecy about Immanuel there might be in the way of type, we cannot but perceive, in the language and tone of much in this series of prophecies, a distinct Messianic reference. We cannot, for instance, otherwise understand Isaiah 9:6, 7; and in Isaiah 11. there succeeds an ideal picture of peace and blessing under the "rod out of the stem of Jesse," which is undoubtedly Messianic. Hence the relevance of the passage, not only as showing God's way of dealing with his people in times of old, but also as an intimation of how it should be when the Messiah should come.

9:25-29 The rejecting of the Jews, and the taking in the Gentiles, were foretold in the Old Testament. It tends very much to the clearing of a truth, to observe how the Scripture is fulfilled in it. It is a wonder of Divine power and mercy that there are any saved: for even those left to be a seed, if God had dealt with them according to their sins, had perished with the rest. This great truth this Scripture teaches us. Even among the vast number of professing Christians it is to be feared that only a remnant will be saved.Esaias crieth concerning Israel,.... The apostle having produced proper testimonies in proof of the calling of the Gentiles, proceeds to mention others; showing, that some few of the Jews also were to be called, according to prophecy, founded upon divine predestination; which, though they are full proofs of the calling of some from among the Jews, yet at the same time suggest the casting off of the far greater number of them; and which is the apostle's view in citing them, as appears from what he says both here and in the two following chapters. The first testimony is taken out of Isaiah 10:22, and is prefaced or introduced with these words; which either express the great concern of mind and sorrow of heart, with which the prophet spoke them, even with strong crying and tears, seeing a remnant of them only was to be saved; or they show his heart's desire and prayer to God, "for Israel", as the words may be rendered, how that he cried to the Lord for them, entreated him with earnestness and importunity, and wrestled with him on their behalf; or they declare the presence of mind, the freedom of expression, the boldness and intrepidity with which he delivered this message to the Jews, which he knew must be ungrateful to them; in doing which, he run the risk of losing his interest in their affections, if not his life; and inasmuch very probably they did not choose to hear it, but turned away from him, he cried aloud, he spared not, he lift up his voice like a trumpet, as he is bid to do elsewhere, resolving they should hear what he had to say, from the Lord of hosts. This is a form of speech used by the Jews, in citing Scripture; thus, , "the prophet cries" (p), namely, in Isaiah 26:1, which is spoken of the same prophet as here; and again (q) the Holy Spirit "cries, and says", in some certain passage of Scripture; and in another place (r) the Holy Spirit "cried", saying, as in Joel 3:3, "they have cast lots for my people".

Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea: this part of the testimony seems rather to be taken from Hosea 1:10, which may easily be accounted for; since the apostle had just cited the words in Hosea, and so carrying them in his mind, transcribes this sentence from thence; it perfectly agreeing in sense with the passage in Isaiah he had in view, where it stands thus, "though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea", Isaiah 10:22; that is, though the number of them be such as to be compared thereunto; though they are many as the sand of the sea, as the Targum, Kimchi, and Aben Ezra explain it. This was promised unto Abraham, and had its accomplishment in the days of Solomon, and in after times; they were for quantity, for number, as the sand of the sea, even innumerable; and for quality, being barren and unfruitful, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers:

a remnant shall be saved; that is, a few persons only; , "few are called a remnant", as Kimchi on the place observes; these are the remnant among the Jews, according to the election of grace; the few that were chosen, though many were called by the external ministry of Christ and his apostles; the little city, and few men in it, even the escaped of Israel, he that was left in Zion, and that remained in Jerusalem; the little flock among them, which were as sheep among wolves; the few that entered in at the strait gate, and found the way to eternal life; the few that shall be saved; and these shall certainly be saved, with a spiritual and eternal salvation. These, according to the prophecy, were to return to the mighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah; be converted to him, and so saved by him with an everlasting salvation: God had resolved upon it, whose counsel shall stand; he had promised it in covenant, which is ordered in all things and sure; he sent his Son to save these his people from their sins, who is become the author of eternal salvation to them; the grace of God is efficacious and powerful enough, to make them willing to be saved by Christ, and to bring them to him, to venture upon him, and commit their souls to him, to be saved by him; and almighty power is concerned, to keep them through faith unto salvation: so that this little remnant, through the Father's everlasting and unchangeable love, the Son's purchase, prayers, and preparations, and the spirits grace, which works them up for this selfsame thing, shall be certainly and completely saved; though with respect to the difficulties attending it, which could have been surmounted by none but Christ, and by reason of their discouragements arising from sin, temptations, and persecutions, they may be said to be scarcely saved.

(p) Tanchuma, fol. 17. 3. apud Surenhus. Biblos Katallages, p. 14. (q) Mechilta, fol. 15. 1. Ib. (r) Megillat Esther, fol. 93. 1.

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