2. Israel’s Accountability (10:14–21)

14 Therefore, how shall they call on one in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How timely are the feet 1  of those who bring good news!”

16 But not all have obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 Therefore, faith comes from hearing, and hearing is through the word of Christ. 2  18 But I say, have they not heard? Indeed they have:

Into all the earth their voice has gone forth,

their words unto the ends of the inhabited world.

19 But I say, has not Israel known? Moses first says,

I will make you jealous with what is not a nation, with

a nation that is without understanding, I will make you angry.

20 And Isaiah also boldly says,

I will be found by those who are not seeking me, I will make myself manifest to those who are not asking for me.

21 But about Israel he says,

All the day long I have held out my hands to a people

who are disobedient and obstinate.

Verse 14, with its “therefore” 3  followed by a question, marks the beginning of a new unit of thought. 4  The immediate point of contact is with the word “call upon” in the quotation of Joel 2:28 in v. 13. That quotation asserts that salvation is a matter of calling on the Lord. In vv. 14ff., Paul asks whether such calling on the name of the Lord is really possible. He begins by analyzing the conditions that are necessary for such calling on the Lord in a series of rhetorical questions (vv. 14–15a). He then makes clear that every condition—except one—has been met. First, the gospel, “the word of faith” (cf. v. 8), has been preached (v. 15; cf. v. 14c). Second, that message of the gospel, “the word of Christ” has been heard; indeed, the voices of its messengers have been heard throughout the inhabited world (v. 18; cf. vv. 14b and 17). Not only has the gospel been made known; it has, to at least some extent, been understood (vv. 19–20). What is the missing ingredient? Faith. For calling on the name of the Lord is another way of saying “believe”; and it is this humble acceptance for oneself of the gospel that is missing (v. 16). Verse 16 is therefore the center of this paragraph and expresses its main point.

But of whom is Paul speaking in this paragraph? He explicitly identifies “Israel” as the object of his criticism in v. 19. But up to that point, Paul has used indefinite third person plural verbs, making it likely that at least in vv. 14–15, and perhaps in all of vv. 14–18, he is thinking of people generally. 5  However, there are also indications that Paul is thinking of Israel particularly in this paragraph. 6  The third person plural verbs in v. 14 take the reader back inevitably to the last use of such verbs in chap. 10, in Paul’s indictment of the Jews for their ignorance of, and failure to submit to, God’s righteousness in vv. 2–3. 7  Verses 14–21 seem to continue that indictment, as Paul removes any possible excuse that the Jews might have for their failure to respond to God’s offer of righteousness in Christ. Probably, then, Paul writes generally in vv. 14–18 about the relationship of all people to the message of the gospel while at the same time thinking especially of the application of these points to Israel. His point, then, is that Israel cannot plead ignorance: God has made his purposes clear in both the OT (note the six OT quotations in vv. 14–21) and the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. So the fault rests with Israel: she has been “disobedient and obstinate” (v. 21; cf. v. 16).

14–15 Verse 14 and the first part of v. 15 contain a series of four parallel rhetorical questions, each beginning with the interrogative “how.” 8  By repeating the verb from the end of one question at the beginning of the next, Paul creates a connected chain of steps that must be followed if a person is to be saved (v. 13). 9  Paul in v. 13 has asserted a universally applicable principle: that salvation is granted to all who call on the Lord. But people cannot call on the Lord if they do not believe in him. 10  They cannot believe in him if they do not hear the word that proclaims Christ. 11  And that word will not be heard unless someone preaches it. But a preacher is nothing more than a herald, a person entrusted by another with a message. Thus preaching, finally, cannot transpire unless someone sends the preachers.

The quotation of Isa. 52:7 12  at the end of v. 15 serves two functions. First, it provides scriptural confirmation of the necessary role of preaching. Second, however, it implicitly suggests that the last condition for salvation listed by Paul in vv. 14–15a has been met: God has sent preachers. 13  Significant for this latter point is the use of the verb “preach good news” in the Isaiah text. Paul’s use of this passage would inevitably suggest an allusion to the preaching of the gospel by himself and other “authorized messengers” sent out by God (e.g., apostles)—especially since the passage was widely viewed as prophetic of the messianic age. 14  It is also possible that the Greek word hōraioi should be translated “timely,” rather than “beautiful,” 15  lending further support to the eschatological focus on the apostolic preaching.

16 In this verse Paul identifies the link in the chain of requirements leading to salvation that is missing for so many people: faith (cf. v. 14a). 16  While Paul has been speaking generally of all people in vv. 14–15, here he probably focuses especially on Jews. 17  The verse therefore is central to Paul’s argument in vv. 14–21 and, indeed, in 9:30–10:21, reasserting as it does Paul’s basic accusation of his Jewish brothers and sisters (see also 9:32 and 10:3). 18  The “not all” 19  is a litotes: “only a few.” 20  One of the reasons Paul chooses to put the matter this way is to echo the “remnant” theology he has introduced in 9:6b (cf. also 9:27): “not all those who belong to Israel are Israel.” 21  Paul’s identification of the break in the chain of vv. 14–15a seems a bit premature, since in vv. 18–21 he continues to do what he began in v. 15b, identifying links in the chain that are in place. 22  But Paul could not resist the natural contrast between the truth of the publication of the good news (v. 15b) and the Jews’ tragic reaction to it. Surprisingly, Paul characterizes this reaction as “disobedience” rather than unbelief. But Paul has linked faith and obedience since the beginning of the letter (see 1:5, “the obedience of faith”), and he is especially concerned in this context to show that Israel’s situation is the result not simply of a relatively passive unbelief, but of a definite and culpable refusal to respond to God’s gracious initiative (see 10:3 and 21).

Nevertheless, Paul considers Israel’s disobedience and unbelief as two sides of the same coin, as the quotation from Isa. 53:1 in v. 16b makes clear: “Lord, who has believed our report?” 23  As he does on three other occasions in Rom. 9–11 (see also 9:27, 29; 10:20), Paul names Isaiah as the biblical author.

17 This verse seems awkwardly placed. The introductory “therefore” 24  and its content suggest that it is a conclusion drawn from the chain of salvation requirements in vv. 14–15a. Some scholars therefore think the verse is out of place 25  or even that it was a later addition to the text of Romans. 26  These desperate measures are not, however, necessary. As we have seen, the identification of the one point in the chain at which Israel has fallen short in v. 16 is premature, interrupting Paul’s assertion of those points that have found fulfillment. What Paul says in v. 17 is therefore a necessary transition back into this topic. It picks up immediately the connection between “believing” and “hearing/report” that the quotation of Isa. 53:1 in v. 16b assumes and restates the second step in the series of salvation requirements: faith comes as a result of “hearing” (cf. v. 14b). 27  The last part of v. 17 then restates and expands on the third step in that sequence (v. 14c): hearing, the kind of hearing that can lead to faith, can only happen if there is a definite salvific word from God that is proclaimed. 28  That word through which God is now proclaiming the availability of eschatological salvation and which can awaken faith in those who hear it is “the word of Christ”: the message whose content is the lordship and resurrection of Christ (see 10:8–9). 29 

18 Verse 17 has focused attention on the critical step of “hearing” in the sequence of steps leading to salvation. Paul now goes back to this step and asks “have they not heard?” Probably here again (as in vv. 14–15) Paul is speaking generally about all people but with special reference to Jews. 30  Paul puts his question in a form that makes it legitimate to paraphrase it with an assertion: people have heard. 31  In keeping with his concern throughout this paragraph and Rom. 9–11 generally, Paul substantiates this assertion with an appeal to Scripture: “Indeed,” 32  Paul says, they have heard, for Ps. 19:4 asserts that “their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words unto the ends of the inhabited world.” 33  Paul’s use of this text raises two questions. First, what is Paul’s purpose in using a passage that extols God’s revelation in nature (as Ps. 19:1–6 does) in this context? The implied object of the verb “heard” in Paul’s question must be “the word of Christ”; “their voice” and “their words” in the Psalm verse must then refer to the voices and words of Christian preachers (see vv. 14–16). Paul is not, then, simply using the text according to its original meaning. 34  His application probably rests on a general analogy: as God’s word of general revelation has been proclaimed all over the earth, so God’s word of special revelation, in the gospel, has been spread all over the earth. 35  His intention is not to interpret the verse of the Psalm, but to use its language, with the “echoes” of God’s revelation that it awakes, to assert the universal preaching of the gospel. 36 

But this brings us to our second question: How could Paul assert, in A.D. 57, that the gospel has been proclaimed “to the whole earth”? Two implicit qualifications of Paul’s language are frequently noted. First, as the word oikoumenē in the second line of the quotation might suggest, Paul may be thinking in terms of the Roman Empire of his day rather than of the entire globe. 37  Second, Paul’s focus might be corporate rather than individualistic: he asserts not that the gospel has been preached to every person but to every nation, and especially to both Jews and Gentiles. 38  Both these considerations may well be relevant. But perhaps it would be simpler to think that Paul engages in hyperbole, using the language of the Psalm to assert that very many people by the time Paul writes Romans have had opportunity to hear. 39  It cannot be lack of opportunity, then, that explains why so few Jews have come to experience the salvation God offers in Christ.

19 The repetition of the opening words of v. 18—“but I say”—marks out v. 19 as a second step in Paul’s argument that began in v. 18. There he showed that it was not lack of opportunity to hear that prevented Jews from being saved. Now he takes a step further and, abandoning the opening sequence of steps, probes deeper into the nature of the Jews’ “hearing.” Specifically, he raises and rejects the possibility that this hearing was a merely superficial hearing, not accompanied by genuine understanding. No, Paul affirms, Israel has “known.” 40  Paul explicitly uses the word “Israel” to make clear for the first time his “real” subject in this paragraph. At the same time, the use of the word adds emphasis to his point: Can it really be that Israel, the recipient of God’s numerous and detailed prophecies about his plans and purposes, does not “know”? 41  What it was that Israel “knows,” as the subsequent context suggests, is that God could very well act in such a way that the preaching of Christ would result in the inclusion of the Gentiles and in judgment upon Israel (see the OT quotations in vv. 19b–21). This Israel knows from her own Scriptures; her “ignorance,” then (v. 3), consists in her willful refusal to recognize the fulfillment of these texts in the revelation of God’s righteousness in Christ. Israel, Paul suggests, “sees, but does not perceive; hears, but does not comprehend” (Isa. 6:9; cf. Mark 4:12 and pars.; John 12:40; Acts 28:26–27).

Paul quotes Deut. 32:21b as the first step (“Moses first 42  says”) in his demonstration from Scripture of what Israel knew. 43  The verse is part of Moses’ “song” to Israel, in which he rehearses the history of God’s gracious acts on Israel’s behalf and Israel’s stubborn and sinful response to those acts. The words Paul quotes state God’s “equivalent” response to Israel’s idolatry: because Israel has made God jealous with “what is no god” (v. 21a), God will make Israel “jealous” 44  with what is “no people.” The phrase “no people” was probably the catch phrase that drew Paul’s attention to this text, since he quotes the Hosea prophecy about those “not my people” becoming the people of God in 9:25–26. 45  Paul sees in the words a prophecy of the mission to the Gentiles: 46  the inclusion of Gentiles in the new people of God stimulates the Jews to jealousy and causes Israel to respond in wrath against this movement in salvation history. From their own Scriptures, then, Israel should have recognized that God was at work in the gospel.

20 But it is not only the “law” that anticipates the gospel and Israel’s negative reaction to it; the “prophets” bear witness to the same truth. In fact, Paul suggests, the prophetic text testifies even more clearly to these points: “Isaiah boldly 47  says, ‘I will be found by those who are not seeking me, I will make myself manifest to those who are not asking for me.’ ” 48  Paul quotes from Isa. 65:1, a verse that in its context refers to God’s making himself known to the people of Israel. 49  As he did with Hos. 1:10 and 2:23 in 9:25–26, Paul takes OT texts that speak of Israel and applies them, on the principle of analogy, to the Gentiles. Paul’s application of this text to the Gentiles could be based on the language of “those who did not seek me.” The wording of the quotation therefore brings us back to where this whole passage began: Gentiles, who were not pursuing righteousness, have attained a right relationship with God (9:30).

21 Having applied Isa. 65:1 in v. 20 to the Gentiles, Paul now applies Isa. 65:2 to Israel, 50  an application that matches the original meaning of the text. 51  The passage stresses both God’s constant offer of grace to his people and their stubborn resistance to that grace. But which is uppermost? God’s continuing gracious concern for Israel? 52  Or Israel’s disobedience? 53  The question that this verse sparks in 11:1 might suggest that the latter is closer to the truth. But we should probably not choose between the two. Both the grace of God in revealing himself and in reaching out to Israel and Israel’s refusal to respond to that grace are important for Paul’s argument.



 1 A number of MSS (the second corrector of א, Ψ, the western uncials D, F, and G, 33, and the majority text) add here the phrase τῶν εὐαγγελιζομένων εἰρήνην, “of those who preach good news of peace.” The words are a corruption seeking to conform Paul’s quotation more closely to the LXX (see, e.g., S-H, 297; Cranfield, 2.534–35 n. 4; Fitzmyer, 597–98; contra, e.g., Godet, 386).

 2 Instead of Χριστοῦ, some MSS (the primary Alexandrian uncial א [first corrector], the secondary Alexandrian uncial A, Ψ, the western uncial D [first corrector], 33, and the majority text) have θεοῦ. Howard (“Tetragram,” pp. 78–79) argues for the latter, but Χριστοῦ has early and diverse support (the combination of the early uncial P46, the strength of the Alexandrian text [א {original hand}, B, 1739; cf. also C and 81], and the western D [original hand]) and makes better sense in the context (cf. vv. 8–9). An early copyist has substituted the more customary ῥῆμα Θεοῦ (five times in the NT; ῥῆμα Χριστοῦ only here). See Metzger, 525; Dunn, 2.619; Fitzmyer, 598–99.

 3 Gk. οὖν.

 4 See S-H, 294, who refer as parallels to 9:14, 30; 11:1, 11. All modern English versions and almost all commentators take this view. A few scholars, however, have argued for a break between vv. 10 and 11 (Hodge, 344), vv. 11 and 12 (Godet, 384), vv. 15 and 16 (Denney, 672), or vv. 16 and 17 (Aletti, Comment Dieu est-il juste? 119–20).

 5 See, e.g., Denney, 672; Käsemann, 294; Black, 147; Wilckens, 2.228; Murray, 2.60; Dunn, 2.620; Munck, Christ and Israel, pp. 91–92; Bell, Provoked to Jealousy, pp. 83–87. Some commentators think, in light of the universalism of v. 13, that Paul might have Gentiles specifically in mind (e.g., Calvin, 396; Haldane, 512; Hodge, 346–47; Watson, 166–67; Gaston, Paul and the Torah, pp. 131–32; cf. Dunn, 2.620).

 6 See Chrysostom, Homily 18 (p. 478); Godet, 385; S-H, 295; Lagrange, 259; Michel, 333; Schmidt, 180; Gaugler, 2.143; Zeller, 188; Kuss, 3.771–72; Cranfield, 2.533; Schlier, 316; Morris, 389.

 7 See Chrysostom, Homily 18 (p. 478).

 8 Gk. πῶς.

 9 BDF 493(3) comment on the rhetorical nature of this repetition.

 10 The Greek uses the preposition εἰς with πιστεύω. This construction, which is extremely common in John and 1 John, is rare in Paul (see Gal. 2:16; Phil. 1:29; Col. 2:5 has the substantive πίστος with εἰς).

 11 Paul uses the genitive of the relative pronoun (οὗ) with the verb ἤκουσαν. Since this verb normally takes the genitive to denote the person who is heard (as opposed to the thing that is heard, which is usually denoted with the accusative), commentators suggest that Paul thinks of the preacher himself (Käsemann) or Christ (Godet) as the person who is heard. But the context (see vv. 15, 16, 17) seems to require a reference to the “word,” the gospel. Therefore Paul may use the genitive to suggest that Christ is the one who is heard in the message of the gospel (e.g., S-H; Murray; Cranfield; Dunn).

 12 Paul’s wording differs from both the MT and the LXX in omitting any reference to the preaching of peace (although cf. the textual variant), but it is generally closer to the MT (מַה נָּאווּ עַל הֶהָרִים רַגְלֵי מְבַשֵּׂר מַשְׁמִיעַ שָׁלוֹם מְבַשֵּׂר טוֹב; “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news …” [NRSV]) than to the LXX (ὡς ὥρα ἐπὶ τῶν ὀρέων, ὡς πόδες εὐαγγελιζομένου ἀκοὴν εἰρήνης, ὡς εὐαγγελιζόμενος ἀγαθά …). Paul may therefore be dependent on the Hebrew, or on a non-LXX Greek text (for the latter options, see Koch, 66–69; Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, pp. 135–37). Allusion to Nah. 2:1 is also possible. Paul’s use of the plural τῶν εὐαγγελιζομένων (in contrast to both MT and LXX) manifests his desire to make the text applicable to the multitude of Christian preachers. It is somewhat surprising, however, that Paul does not go on to quote the next part of the verse, which refers to the “message of salvation.” Stuhlmacher suggests that Paul might be dependent on the teaching of Jesus for his use of Isa. 52:7 (see Mark 1:14–15; Matt. 11:2–6; P. Stuhlmacher, “Jesustradition im Römerbrief? Eine Skizze,” TBei 14 [1983], 248–49).

 13 See esp. Cranfield, contra, e.g., Dunn, who thinks the quotation simply substantiates the need of preaching.

 14 Str-B, 3.282–83; cf. also 11QMelch 15–19.

 15 See BAGD; GEL 67.3; Käsemann; Dunn. In Greek generally, the meaning “timely,” “in appropriate season” for ὡραῖος dominates (LSJ), although elsewhere in the NT it means “beautiful” (see Matt. 23:27; Acts 3:2, 10). The relevant Hebrew word in Isa. 52:7, נָּאווּ, can mean either “beautiful” or “timely” (BDB).

 16 Cranfield also argues that v. 16 asserts the lack of one of the conditions in the chain of vv. 14–15. Dunn, however, argues that v. 16 asserts the general failure of that chain of events in the case of the Jews. S-H, on the other hand, think that v. 16a states an objection to v. 15 to the effect that disobedience to the gospel reveals that that gospel must not be divinely ordained; v. 16b would then be Paul’s response. But this is not the most natural way to take the verse.

 17 This is suggested by the use of Isa. 53:1 in John 12:38, along with Paul’s use of Isa. 53 elsewhere (cf. esp. Rom. 15:21); see esp. Bell, Provoked to Jealousy, pp. 90–92.

 18 Cf. Käsemann.

 19 Gk. οὐ πάντες.

 20 BDR 495(2). Others argue that οὐ πάντες is not a figure of speech but picks up directly the πᾶς in v. 13: “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”—but “not all” obey (Michel; Dunn).

 21 Munck, Christ and Israel, pp. 92–93.

 22 Kuss.

 23 Paul reproduces the LXX exactly, which accurately translates the MT; the only difference is that κύριε has no counterpart in the Hebrew. The quotation of this same text in John 12:38 suggests that it may have been a common early Christian “testimonium” used to explain and justify in Scripture the Jews’ unbelief (Dodd, According to the Scriptures, p. 39). Perhaps Paul also sees the text as particularly appropriate since it closely follows Isa. 52:7, which he has just quoted in v. 15b.

 24 Gk. ἆρα.

 25 E.g., Barrett.

 26 Bultmann, “Glossen,” p. 280; Schmithals.

 27 See, e.g., Cranfield; Morris; Wilckens; Munck, Christ and Israel, pp. 93–94. On the transitional nature of v. 17, see Käsemann; Aageson, “Scripture and Structure,” p. 278. κοή in the quotation of Isa. 53:1 in v. 16b means “that which is heard,” “report” (so almost all commentators, though see Godet). This could suggest that in v. 17 also ἀκοή means “report”; cf. NRSV: “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ” (BAGD; Meyer; Kuss; Michel; Eckstein, “ ‘Nahe ist dir das Wort,’ ” p. 220). But it is more likely that ἀκοή in this verse has the active meaning “act of hearing” (so most English translations; cf. S-H; Barrett; Murray; Dunn; Cranfield). This meaning is preferable because (1) it matches the verb ἀκούω in vv. 14 and 18, verses that are closely related to this verse; and (2) ἀκοή must be distinct from ῥῆμα, which refers to the concrete message. Paul uses ἀκοή seven times outside this context; four probably refer to the “act” or organ of hearing (1 Cor. 12:17 [twice]; 2 Tim. 4:3, 4), while the other three are disputed (Gal. 3:2, 5; 1 Thess. 2:13).

 28 Paul asserts that faith is “based on” (ἐξ) hearing, whereas hearing is “through” (διά) the word of Christ. Some commentators find significance in the shift from the one preposition to the other; e.g., Lenski thinks the former denotes that hearing is the source of faith while the latter implies that hearing is mediated by Christ’s word. But the distinction seems artificial; the two are probably used interchangeably to denote source.

 29 A few commentators take the genitive Χριστοῦ as a subjective genitive: “the word commissioned by Christ” (Kuss) or “proclaimed by Christ” (Munck, Christ and Israel, p. 94). But the obvious relationship between this phrase and vv. 8–9 (note the relatively rare ῥῆμα) suggests rather an objective genitive: “the word that proclaims Christ” (S-H).

 30 Contra, e.g., Calvin, who applies it to the Gentiles.

 31 The question is put in a negative form: οὐκ ἤκουσαν and introduced with another negative particle (μή), implying that the question should be answered in the negative: “it is not the case, then, that they have ‘not heard,’ is it?” See Turner, 283.

 32 μενοῦνγε here means “truly,” “indeed” (cf. BDF 450[4]), and not (as in 9:20), “on the contrary” (as, e.g., Käsemann thinks).

 33 Paul’s wording exactly follows the majority MSS tradition of the LXX; and the LXX accurately renders the MT.

 34 Contra, e.g., Ellison (Mystery of Israel, 69–71).

 35 See Calvin.

 36 See particularly Hays, 175. The view that Paul is here simply using the language of the Psalm verse without intending to “quote” it has some truth. Note, e.g., the lack of an introductory formula, in contrast to the clear introductions when the OT is quoted in vv. 16, 19, 20, and 21; see, for this view, many of the Greek Fathers (Schelkle); Godet; Dunn; Fitzmyer. However, as Hays rightly emphasizes, Paul’s use of the language from the Psalm has the purpose of drawing the reader’s attention to that text; it creates an “echo” of Scripture.

 37 See Schmithals; Wilckens.

 38 Munck, Christ and Israel, pp. 95–99; Morris.

 39 Comparison should be made with Col. 1:23, where Paul claims that the gospel has been preached “to every creature under heaven.”

 40 As in v. 18, Paul uses a negative question preceded by a particle signaling a negative answer—μὴ Ἰσραὴλ οὐκ ἔγνω;. Hofius, indeed, argues that the context requires that we overlook the normal force of the μή and construe the question as expecting a positive answer: “Israel has not known, has she?” (“Das Evangelium und Israel,” p. 298 n. 5). But his argument from context is not strong enough to force us to abandon the normal meaning of the syntax.

 41 S-H; Cranfield.

 42 πρῶτος here may have comparative force (= πρότερος, i.e., “former”) but probably highlights Moses as the “first” in a long line of the witnesses to the truth Paul is communicating (Murray; Kuss; Dunn; Wilckens). The alternative punctuation, which would take πρῶτος with what precedes—“Did not Israel know first?”—is to be rejected (cf. Cranfield).

 43 Paul’s wording differs from the majority LXX MSS tradition (cf. also the MT) in using second person plural objects of the verbs—ὑμᾶς—in place of third person plural objects—αὐτοῦς. Paul probably introduces this change himself, in order to highlight the “personal” way in which God (cf. ἐγώ) addresses his people (Hübner, Gottes Ich und Israel, p. 97; Stanley, Paul and the Language of Scripture, pp. 143–44).

 44 The verb is παραζηλόω, which can have a range of meanings. Crucial for Paul’s use of the term in Rom. 10–11 are (1) “provoke to jealous anger” (in this verse); and (2) “provoke to jealous emulation” (cf. 11:11, 14). See Bell, Provoked to Jealousy, pp. 24–42. Bell further suggests that Deut. 32 was an important source for Paul’s theological argument in Rom. 9–11.

 45 Bruce.

 46 E.g., Cranfield; Käsemann; Bell, Provoked to Jealousy, pp. 95–104.

 47 Gk. ἀποτολμᾷ, “with boldness.” The word is used only here in the Greek Bible.

 48 Paul, in relationship to the LXX, transposes the verbs, but otherwise, except for orthographic variants, quotes the LXX accurately. The LXX is an accurate enough rendering of the MT, but it may miss the force of the niphal verbs, thus assisting Paul in his use of the text.

 49 This is the majority view among OT commentators. This majority thinks that the verbs in the MT are “tolerative niphals,” to be translated “I allowed myself to be sought,” “I was ready to be found,” and that the last phrase in the verse should be translated “a nation that did not call on my name” (cf., e.g., NRSV). A few commentators, however, think that this last phrase should be translated “a nation not called by my name” and that the verse therefore refers to Gentiles (cf. KJV; J. A. Alexander, Commentary on the Prophecies of Isaiah [rpt.; 2 vols. in 1; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1953], 2.437–38; A. MacRae, “Paul’s Use of Isaiah 65:1,” in The Law and the Prophets: Old Testament Studies Prepared in Honor of Oswald Thompson Allis [ed. J. H. Skilton; Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974], pp. 369–76).

 50 This is the third quotation in these last verses of chap. 10 that returns to the emphasis on God’s own speaking. πρός probably therefore, instead of meaning “concerning” or “with reference to” (so most English translations) has the force of a dative: God says to Israel (KJV).

 51 Paul again probably quotes the LXX: the only difference between his wording and the LXX is that he moves the phrase ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν to the beginning of the sentence.

 52 E.g., Cranfield; Volf, Paul and Perseverance, pp. 166–67.

 53 Godet; Michel.