1* Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God on their behalf is for salvation.a 2I testify with regard to them that they have zeal for God, but it is not discerning.b 3For, in their unawareness of the righteousness that comes from God and their attempt to establish their own [righteousness], they did not submit to the righteousness of God.c 4For Christ is the end* of the law for the justification of everyone who has faith.d
5* Moses writes about the righteousness that comes from [the] law, “The one who does these things will live by them.”e 6But the righteousness that comes from faith says,f “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) 7* or ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”g 8But what does it say?
“The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart”h
(that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9for, if you confess* with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.i 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11For the scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”j 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him.k 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”l
14* But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?m 15And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written,n “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring [the] good news!”* 16But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?”o 17Thus faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.p 18But I ask, did they not hear? Certainly they did; for
“Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”q
19But I ask, did not Israel understand?r First Moses says:
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a senseless nation I will make you angry.”
20s Then Isaiah speaks boldly and says:
“I was found [by] those who were not seeking me;
I revealed myself to those who were not asking for me.”
* [10:1–13] Despite Israel’s lack of faith in God’s act in Christ, Paul does not abandon hope for her salvation (Rom 10:1). However, Israel must recognize that the Messiah’s arrival in the person of Jesus Christ means the termination of the Mosaic law as the criterion for understanding oneself in a valid relationship to God. Faith in God’s saving action in Jesus Christ takes precedence over any such legal claim (Rom 10:6).
* [10:4] The Mosaic legislation has been superseded by God’s action in Jesus Christ. Others understand end here in the sense that Christ is the goal of the law, i.e., the true meaning of the Mosaic law, which cannot be correctly understood apart from him. Still others believe that both meanings are intended.
* [10:5–6] The subject of the verb says (Rom 10:6) is righteousness personified. Both of the statements in Rom 10:5, 6 derive from Moses, but Paul wishes to contrast the language of law and the language of faith.
* [10:9–11] To confess Jesus as Lord was frequently quite hazardous in the first century (cf. Mt 10:18; 1 Thes 2:2; 1 Pt 2:18–21; 3:14). For a Jew it could mean disruption of normal familial and other social relationships, including great economic sacrifice. In the face of penalties imposed by the secular world, Christians are assured that no one who believes in Jesus will be put to shame (Rom 10:11).
* [10:14–21] The gospel has been sufficiently proclaimed to Israel, and Israel has adequately understood God’s plan for the messianic age, which would see the gospel brought to the uttermost parts of the earth. As often in the past, Israel has not accepted the prophetic message; cf. Acts 7:51–53.