In this passage, Paul expresses his grief at Israel’s rejection of the gospel, but explains how Scripture foretells of the rejection.
Paul begins by expressing his sorrow at the rejection that has been committed by Israel. In verse 3, we see that Paul alludes to the ending of chapter 8, in which he says that he is convinced that nothing can separate him from Christ. In verse 3, he says that, if possible and necessary, he would be separated from Christ for Israel. This is his attitude because Israel had more blessings from God than any other people group. As Jews, some were adopted into the family of God, saw God’s glory, received God’s covenants, received the Mosaic Law, served in God’s physical temple, received God’s promises, were descended from the patriarchs, and had the Christ as one of them.
In verse 6, Paul begins to explain how Scripture foretells Israel’s rejection of the gospel. The first reason is that God’s Word, although seemingly favorable toward Israel, has not failed. The reason for this is that not all of Israel’s citizens are true descendants of Israel, or Jacob. In addition, they are not all the children of Abraham. Rather, those who are the spiritual descendants of Isaac are Abraham’s children. In other words, God’s children are not physical descendants of Jacob and Abraham, but those who possess faith in the Abrahamic Covenant, or promise, are God’s children. Paul illustrates this by quoting the Scripture that records God as promising Abraham that He will miraculously give Abraham a son. In addition, God sovereignly chose which of Rebekah’s children would be the one through whom the messianic line would continue, who would be a child of God. Rather than choosing based upon the works of the children, He chose the younger child over the older child, which was not normal. He did this through sovereignly setting His love upon Jacob, and sovereignly setting His hatred upon Esau.