Moo: Corporate Election in Romans 9:9–13?

John Bowling
2 min readJun 28, 2020

The following map contains quotes from pages 605–606 of The Letter to the Romans, 2nd ed. (NICNT).

Footnote 178 is worth quoting, since some will likely want to object to Moo’s use of the term “election” as support for his point:

This word is, however, used in a broader sense in 11:28. But 9:10–13 is more closely related to 11:1–11 than to 11:28.

(I should also explain why “And, as the OT itself makes clear,…” is mapped as a supporting “pro” for the above, since that may not be obvious without the broader contextual issue. Paul is seeking

And Moo’s conclusion is worth quoting at length:

For these reasons I believe that Paul is thinking mainly of Jacob and Esau as individuals rather than as nations and in terms of their own personal relationship to the promise of God rather than of their roles in carrying out God’s plan. The nations denoted by these names, we must remember, have come into existence in and through the individuals who first bore those names. In a context in which Paul begins speaking rather clearly about the individuals rather than the nations, we should not be surprised that he would apply a text that spoke of the nations to the individuals who founded and, in a sense “embodied” them. It is not the issue of how God uses different individuals or nations in accomplishing his purposes that is Paul’s concern, but which individuals, and on what basis, belong to God’s covenant people. This matter of “belonging to God’s covenant people” is the bridge that connects Paul’s appeal to the patriarchs to his own concerns. Paul appeals to OT history to establish a principle about the way in which God brings into being his own people.[179] What it means to belong to the New Covenant people may not be exactly the same as what it means to belong to the Old Covenant people.[180] But he is arguing that God in his own day is bringing into being a covenant people in the same way that he did in the days of the patriarchs: by choosing some and rejecting others.[181] So, Paul will make clear later in this text, some Jews are called by God to be part of his people (vv. 24–29), while others have, for the time being at least, been rejected.[182] — ibid, 606–607

For a list of all of my posts on Douglas Moo’s commentary on Romans, see here.



John Bowling

Throwing half-baked ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks.