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A small group of people who remain faithful to God, despite widespread unbelief or faithlessness around them. God preserves a remnant in order to ensure a renewed and restored people in the future.


God preserves a remnant of his people

Noah and his family

Genesis 7:23 KJV 1900
And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
See also Ge 6:7–8; Ge 6:18; Ge 7:1; Ge 7:7

Joseph and the sons of Israel

Genesis 45:7 KJV 1900
And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
See also Ge 50:20

Seven thousand faithful in Israel

1 Kings 19:18 KJV 1900
Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Survivors of Assyria’s invasion of Judah

2 Kings 19:4 KJV 1900
It may be the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.
See also 2 Ki 18:13

Survivors of the destruction of Israel

People from the northern kingdom of Israel who had moved to Judah and so escaped its destruction by Assyria:

2 Ch 11:14; 2 Ch 15:9; 2 Ch 31:6; 2 Ch 34:9

Judah as the remnant of God’s people

2 Kings 17:18 KJV 1900
Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

After the fall of the northern capital, Samaria, Judah was regarded as the remnant of all Israel:

2 Ki 21:14; 2 Ch 34:21

Survivors of the fall of Jerusalem

Those taken as exiles into Babylon:

2 Ki 25:11; 2 Ch 36:20

Those left behind in Judah:

2 Ki 25:12; 2 Ki 25:22–23; Je 40:11–12; Je 40:15; Je 42:2; Je 43:5

Those who returned after the exile

Ezra 9:8 KJV 1900
And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
See also Ezr 2:1–2; Ezr 9:13; Ne 1:2; Hag 1:12–14

Those waiting for Jesus Christ’s coming

Lk 2:25; Lk 2:38; Jn 1:12

The remnant as the few who escape judgment

Deuteronomy 4:27 KJV 1900
And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you.
See also Is 10:22; Ro 9:27; Je 6:9; Je 44:14; Je 44:28; Eze 5:12

Ezekiel prays that Israel’s destruction will not be total:

Eze 9:8; Eze 11:13
Eze 17:21; Am 3:12; Am 5:3

God’s promise of hope and restoration

Hope for a remnant seen in the coming of the Messiah

Isaiah 11:1 KJV 1900
And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
See also Is 6:13; Je 23:5; Zec 3:8

God’s promise that survivors will remain

Isaiah 4:2–3 KJV 1900
In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely For them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, And he that remaineth in Jerusalem, Shall be called holy, Even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
See also Is 1:9; Ro 9:29; Is 17:6; Is 37:31–32; Eze 14:22; Joe 2:32

Themes associated with the remnant

The land restored to the remnant of God’s people

Is 27:12–13; Zep 2:7–10; Zec 8:6–12; Zec 10:9

A second exodus

Is 4:5–6; Is 10:26; Is 11:11; Is 11:15–16; Is 31:5; Je 16:14–15

Restoration of the people

Isaiah 10:20–21 KJV 1900
And it shall come to pass in that day, That the remnant of Israel, And such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, Shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; But shall stay upon the Lord, The Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, Unto the mighty God.
See also Is 11:12; Is 28:5; Is 35:8–10; Is 46:3–4; Je 31:7
Jeremiah 23:3 KJV 1900
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
See also Mic 2:12

Further promises associated with the remnant

The promise of future hope

Is 60:21–22; Is 61:4–6; Joe 3:1; Mic 4:6–7; Mic 5:7–9

God’s promise of forgiveness to the remnant

Jeremiah 50:20 KJV 1900
In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; And the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: For I will pardon them whom I reserve.
See also Is 33:24; Je 31:34; Je 33:7–8; Mic 7:18

A renewed relationship with God

Je 24:5–7; Je 32:37–40; Zep 3:12–17

The need for faithful obedience

Is 1:19; Je 42:6–10; Je 44:7–8; Ezr 9:14

The remnant as heirs of God’s new covenant

Je 31:2 The promise of the new covenant is made to the surviving remnant of Israel; Je 31:31–33

A faithful remnant among the Jews

Romans 11:5 KJV 1900
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
See also Lk 1:16; Lk 12:32; Ro 11:7; Ro 11:15; Ro 11:23; Ro 11:25–26; Jas 1:1

A faithful remnant from among the Gentiles

Is 56:6–8; Zec 14:16; Jn 10:16 Jesus Christ’s other sheep are believing Gentiles who will be gathered with the believers of Israel; Ac 15:17; Am 9:12; Ro 11:17; Eph 3:6

God’s new Israel includes all believers

Mt 19:28; Ga 6:16; 1 Pe 1:1; 1 Pe 2:9

Other references to a surviving remnant

Og, king of Bashan, only survivor of the Rephaites:

Dt 3:11; Jos 13:12
Jdg 20:46–47 survivors from the tribe of Benjamin; 2 Ch 18:16 the scattered remains of Israel’s army under Ahab; Is 16:4 fugitives from Moab; Is 21:16–17 few survivors from Kedar
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