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Romans 9:3 – I wished

12-05-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet

…that my sorrow is great, and unintermittent pain is in my heart – for I myself wished to be anathema from Christ – for my brethren my relatives according to the flesh…

The common translations reflect this sentence with “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ …”. As if Paul were talking about the present tense. But he writes in the past tense: I wished … Paul thinks back to the time when he persecuted the Christ and wished to be a curse on him. He made every effort to protect his people from this corrupted name. He recognized all too well the fierce Jewish resistance that Paul encountered to his message.

The heartache that Paul felt uninterruptedly for his people was the memory of how he himself once was. But with this pain in his heart, Paul was still hopeful for his people. After all, God had connected his name and promises to Israel. It is impossible that this would have expired.

Besides, if things got well with Paul, could it not with Israel? If God could open his eyes, then also of the whole nation?