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Romans 9:27-29

Context

9:27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children 1  of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 9:28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 2  9:29 Just 3  as Isaiah predicted,

If the Lord of armies 4  had not left us descendants,

we would have become like Sodom,

and we would have resembled Gomorrah.” 5 

1 tn Grk “sons.”

2 tc In light of the interpretive difficulty of this verse, a longer reading seems to have been added to clarify the meaning. The addition, in the middle of the sentence, makes the whole verse read as follows: “For he will execute his sentence completely and quickly in righteousness, because the Lord will do it quickly on the earth.” The shorter reading is found largely in Alexandrian mss (Ì46 א* A B 6 1506 1739 1881 pc co), while the longer reading is found principally in Western and Byzantine mss (א2 D F G Ψ 33 Ï lat). The longer reading follows Isa 10:22-23 (LXX) verbatim, while Paul in the previous verse quoted the LXX loosely. This suggests the addition was made by a copyist trying to make sense out of a difficult passage rather than by the author himself.

tn There is a wordplay in Greek (in both the LXX and here) on the phrase translated “completely and quickly” (συντελῶν καὶ συντέμνων, suntelwn kai suntemnwn). These participles are translated as adverbs for smoothness; a more literal (and more cumbersome) rendering would be: “The Lord will act by closing the account [or completing the sentence], and by cutting short the time.” The interpretation of this text is notoriously difficult. Cf. BDAG 975 s.v. συντέμνω.

sn A modified quotation from Isa 10:22-23. Since it is not exact, it has been printed as italics only.

3 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

4 tn Traditionally, “Lord of hosts”; Grk “Lord Sabaoth,” which means “Lord of the [heavenly] armies,” sometimes translated more generally as “Lord Almighty.”

5 sn A quotation from Isa 1:9.



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