Who are The Israelites?
A Sermon on Romans 9:4-5
They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (ESV)
Who are the Israelites and why does Paul feel this continual sadness and heaviness for his kinsmen? In Romans 9:4-5, Paul is showing the unique privileges that the Jewish people had as God’s chosen people. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains the three terms which are often used to describe this people group: Jews, Hebrews, and Israelites. Each of these terms have a different meaning when used in Scripture, and he details what those three meanings are. The term Jews is used to show the opposite of Gentile, which is the whole other entirety of the world. Hebrews describes a time in Jewish history for which they spoke Hebrew. Israelites is used for the whole of the people, God’s chosen people group that descended directly from Jacob. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then goes on to detail the other terms that Paul uses in this passage. The term ‘adoption’ is used in a general sense, but means that God has placed this people group in a whole new position as his sons. The term ‘glory’ means how God presented himself to his people, proving his faithfulness to them. All Gentiles have been brought into a share of this, becoming sons and daughters of Christ through adoption.