6. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel which are of Israel:
6. Neque tamen, quasi exciderit verbum Dei: non emro omnes qui sunt ex Israele sunt Israelitae:
7. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called;
7. Nec qui sunt semen Abrabae, ideo omnes filii; sed in Isaac voca-bitur tibi semen:
8. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
8. Hoc est, non qui sunt filii car-nis, ii filii sunt Dei; sed qui sunt filii promissionis, censebuntur in semen:
9. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
9. Promissionis enim verbum hoc est, Secundum hoc tempus veniam, et erit Sarae filius.
Some read, "But it is not possible," etc., as though it were in Greek
But that it may be more evident on what condition the Lord adopted the posterity of Abraham as a peculiar people to himself, two things are to be here considered. The first is, That the promise of salvation given to Abraham belongs to all who can trace their natural descent to him; for it is offered to all without exception, and for this reason they are rightly called the heirs of the covenant made with Abraham; and in this respect they are his successors, or, as Scripture calls them, the children of the promise. For since it was the Lord's will that his covenant should be sealed, no less in Ishmael and Esau, than in Isaac and Jacob, it appears that they were not wholly alienated from him; except,, it may be, you make no account of the circumcision, which was conferred on them by God's command; but it cannot be so regarded without dishonor to God. But this belonged to them, according to what the Apostle had said before, "whose are the covenants," though they were unbelieving; and in Acts 3:25, they are called by Peter, the children of the covenants, because they were the descendants of the Prophets. The second point to be considered is, That the children of the promise are strictly those in whom its power and effect are found.. On this account Paul denies here that all the children of Abraham were the children of God, though a covenant had been made with them by the Lord, for few continued in the faith of the covenant; and yet God himself testifies, in the sixth chapter of Ezekiel, that they were all regarded by him as children. In short, when a whole people are called the heritage and the peculiar people of God, what is meant is, that they have been chosen by the Lord, the promise of salvation having been offered them and confirmed by the symbol of circumcision; but as many by their ingratitude reject this adoption, and thus enjoy in no degree its benefits, there arises among them another difference with regard to the fulfilment of the promise. That it might not then appear strange to any one, that this fulfilment of the promise was not evident in many of the Jews, Paul denies that they were included in the true election of God.
Some may prefer such a statement as this, -- "The general election of the people of Israel is no hinderance, that God should not from them choose by his hidden counsel those whom he pleases." It is indeed an illustrious example of gratuitous mercy, when God deigns to make a covenant of life with a nation: but his hidden favor appears more evident in that second election, which is confined to a part only.
But when he says, that
1 Were this the case, the verb which follows, as Wolfius says and proves by an example, must have been in the infinitive mood. Piscator says the same. But Pareus and Beza take this to be the meaning; and so does Macknight, "Now it is not; possible that the promise of God hath fallen." -- .Ed.
2 Genesis 18:10. The quotation is not from the Septuagint, but is much nearer a literal version of the Hebrew: the only material difference is in the words, "at this time," instead of" according to the time of life." The words in different forms occur four times, -- Genesis 17:21; Genesis 18:10,14; Genesis 21:2; we meet with the same words in 2 Kings 4:16,17. It appears that the Apostle here took this expression, "at this time," from Genesis 17:21, while he mainly followed the text in Genesis 18:10. The meaning of the phrase, "according to the time of life," as given in Genesis and in Kings, evidently is the time of child-bearing, what passes between conception and the birth. This was repeatedly mentioned in order to show that the usual course of nature would be followed, though the conception would be miraculous; the child to be born was to be nourished the usual time in the womb, -- " according to the time of producing life," or of child-bearing.
The exposition of Gesenius, adopted by Tholuck and Stuart, "when the time shall be renewed," does not comport with the passage, as it introduces a tautology. Hammond says, that the Hebrews interpret the expression in Kings as meaning the time between the conception and the birth. -- Ed.