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Romans 9:30 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who followed not after righteousness, attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— What shall we say then? That the Gentiles who followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— What then shall we say? That [they of the] nations, who did not follow after righteousness, have attained righteousness, but [the] righteousness that is on the principle of faith.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— What, then, shall we say? That, they of the nations, who were not in pursuit of righteousness, have laid hold of righteousness,—a righteousness, however, which is by faith;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— What, then, shall we say? that nations who are not pursuing righteousness did attain to righteousness, and righteousness that [is] of faith,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— What then shall we say? That the Gentiles who followed not after justice have attained to justice, even the justice that is of faith.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— What shall wee say then? That the Gentiles which followed not after righteousnesse, haue attained to righteousnesse, euen the righteousnesse which is of faith:
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— WHAT then shall we say? That the Gentiles who have not followed after righteousness have attained righteousness, but that righteousness which is of faith:
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, who ran not after righteousness, have found righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith:

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
What 5101
{5101} Prime
τίς
tis
{tis}
Probably emphatic of G5100; an interrogitive pronoun, who, which or what (in direct or indirect questions).
shall we say 2046
{2046} Prime
ἐρέω
ereo
{er-eh'-o}
Probably a fuller form of G4483; an alternate for G2036 in certain tenses; to utter, that is, speak or say.
z5692
<5692> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 814
then? 3767
{3767} Prime
οὖν
oun
{oon}
Apparently a primary word; (adverbially) certainly, or (conjugationally) accordingly.
That 3754
{3754} Prime
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
the Gentiles, 1484
{1484} Prime
ἔθνος
ethnos
{eth'-nos}
Probably from G1486; a race (as of the same habit), that is, a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by implication pagan).
which 3588
{3588} Prime

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
followed 1377
{1377} Prime
διώκω
dioko
{dee-o'-ko}
A prolonged (and causative) form of a primary verb δίω [[dio]] (to flee; compare the base of G1169 and G1249); to pursue (literally or figuratively); by implication to persecute.
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
not 3361
{3361} Prime
μή
me
{may}
A primary particle of qualified negation (whereas G3756 expresses an absolute denial); (adverbially) not, (conjugationally) lest; also (as interrogitive implying a negative answer [whereas G3756 expects an affirmative one]); whether.
after righteousness, 1343
{1343} Prime
δικαιοσύνη
dikaiosune
{dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay}
From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification.
have attained 2638
{2638} Prime
καταλαμβάνω
katalambano
{kat-al-am-ban'-o}
From G2596 and G1983; to take eagerly, that is, seize, possess, etc. (literally or figuratively).
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
to righteousness, 1343
{1343} Prime
δικαιοσύνη
dikaiosune
{dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay}
From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification.
even 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
the righteousness 1343
{1343} Prime
δικαιοσύνη
dikaiosune
{dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay}
From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification.
which 3588
{3588} Prime

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
is of 1537
{1537} Prime
ἐκ
ek
{ek}
A primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause; literally or figuratively; direct or remote).
faith. 4102
{4102} Prime
πίστις
pistis
{pis'-tis}
From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Romans 9:30-31

_ _ What shall we say then? — “What now is the result of the whole?” The result is this — very different from what one would have expected.

_ _ That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained — “attained”

_ _ to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith — As we have seen that “the righteousness of faith” is the righteousness which justifies (see on Romans 3:22, etc.), this verse must mean that “the Gentiles, who while strangers to Christ were quite indifferent about acceptance with God, having embraced the Gospel as soon as it was preached to them, experienced the blessedness of a justified state.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Romans 9:30-33

_ _ The apostle comes here at last to fix the true reason of the reception of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews. There was a difference in the way of their seeking, and therefore there was that different success, though still it was the free grace of God that made them differ. He concludes like an orator, What shall we say then? What is the conclusion of the whole dispute?

_ _ I. Concerning the Gentiles observe, 1. How they had been alienated from righteousness: the followed not after it; they knew not their guilt and misery, and therefore were not at all solicitous to procure a remedy. In their conversion preventing grace was greatly magnified: God was found of those that sought him not, Isaiah 65:1. There was nothing in them to dispose them for such a favour more than what free grace wrought in them. Thus doth God delight to dispense grace in a way of sovereignty and absolute dominion. 2. How they attained to righteousness, notwithstanding: By faith; not by being proselyted to the Jewish religion, and submitting to the ceremonial law, but by embracing Christ, and believing in Christ, and submitting to the gospel. They attained to that by the short cut of believing sincerely in Christ for which the Jews had been long in vain beating about the bush.

_ _ II. Concerning the Jews observe, 1. How they missed their end: they followed after the law of righteousness (Romans 9:31) — they talked much of justification and holiness, seemed very ambitious of being the people of God and the favourites of heaven, but they did not attain to it, that is, the greatest part of them did not; as many as stuck to their old Jewish principles and ceremonies, and pursued a happiness in those observances, embracing the shadows now that the substance was come, these fell short of acceptance with God, were not owned as his people, nor went to their house justified. 2. How they mistook their way, which was the cause of their missing the end, Romans 9:32, Romans 9:33. They sought, but not in the right way, not in the humbling way, not in the instituted appointed way. Not by faith, not by embracing the Christian religion, and depending upon the merit of Christ, and submitting to the terms of the gospel, which were the very life and end of the law. But they sought by the works of the law; as if they were to expect justification by their observance of the precepts and ceremonies of the law of Moses. This was the stumbling-stone at which they stumbled. They could not get over this corrupt principle which they had espoused, That the law was given them for no end but that merely by their observance of it, and obedience to it, they might be justified before God: and so they could by no means be reconciled to the doctrine of Christ, which brought them off from that to expect justification through the merit and satisfaction of another. Christ himself is to some a stone of stumbling, for which he quotes Isaiah 8:14; Isaiah 28:16. It is sad that Christ should be set for the fall of any, and yet it is so (Luke 2:34), that ever poison should be sucked out of the balm of Gilead, that the foundation-stone should be to any a stone of stumbling, and the rock of salvation a rock of offence; so he is to multitudes; so he was to the unbelieving Jews, who rejected him, because he put an end to the ceremonial law. But still there is a remnant that do believe on him; and they shall not be ashamed, that is, their hopes and expectations of justification by him shall not be disappointed, as theirs are who expect it by the law. So that, upon the whole, the unbelieving Jews have no reason to quarrel with God for rejecting them; they had a fair offer of righteousness, and life, and salvation, made to them upon gospel terms, which they did not like, and would not come up to; and therefore, if they perish, they may thank themselves — their blood is upon their own heads.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 9:30

What shall we say then — What is to be concluded from all that has been said but this, That the gentiles, who followed not after righteousness — Who a while ago had no knowledge of, no care or thought about, it. Have attained to righteousness — Or justification. Even the righteousness which is by faith. This is the first conclusion we may draw from the preceding observations. The second is, that Israel — The Jews Although following after the law of righteousness — That law which, duly used, would have led them to faith, and thereby to righteousness. Have not attained to the law of righteousness — To that righteousness or justification which is one great end of the law

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Romans 9:30

(27) What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed (e) not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

(27) The declaration and manifestation of our election is our calling apprehended by faith, as it came to pass in the Gentiles.

(e) So then, the Gentiles had no works to prepare and procure God's mercy before hand: and that the Gentiles attained to that which they did not seek, the mercy of God is to be thanked for it: and in that the Jews did not attain that which they sought after, they can only thank themselves, because they did not seek for it in the proper way.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
shall:

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? [Is] God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

the Gentiles:

Romans 1:18-32 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; ... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Romans 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Isaiah 65:1-2 I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name. ... I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts;
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, ... And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
Ephesians 4:17-19 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, ... Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

followed:

Romans 9:31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked [is] an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
Proverbs 21:21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock [whence] ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit [whence] ye are digged.
1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

even the righteousness:

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Romans 4:9 [Cometh] this blessedness then upon the circumcision [only], or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
Romans 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
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Pv 15:9; 21:21. Is 51:1; 65:1. Ro 1:17, 18; 3:5, 22; 4:9, 11, 13, 22; 5:1; 9:14, 31; 10:10, 20. 1Co 6:9. Ga 3:8; 5:5. Ep 2:12; 4:17. Php 3:9. 1Ti 6:11. He 11:7. 1P 4:3.

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