Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Romans 11 12 38 expositonal
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Romans 11 12 38 expositonal


Published on

Charles e Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher from these notes I was able to use to preach/teach from the text in Romans 11

Charles e Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher from these notes I was able to use to preach/teach from the text in Romans 11

Published in: Education, Spiritual

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. Romans 11:9-15 Commentar y Char les e. W hisant, Pastor/Teacher/ Be gin this wor k on Januar y 17 2014 T he Remnant Of Isr ael: 1-10 Ingr afted Br anches 11-24 All Isr ael (Elect) W ill Be Saved 22-32 Doxology 33-36 Romans 11:9-11 Commentary Romans 11:9 And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM. Bible Study ToolsOur LibraryCommentariesRobertson's Word Pictures of the New TestamentRomans Romans 11:9 Romans 11:9
  • 2. David says (Daueid legei). From Psalms 69:23 ; ( Psalms 68:23 LXX); Psalms 34:8 ; Psalms 28:4 (combined quotation). Table (trapeza). For what is on the table, "a feast." A snare (ei pagida). From phgnumi, to make fast, old word for snares for birds and beasts. See on Luke 21:35 . Ei in predicate with ginomai is a translation-Hebraism. A trap (ei qhran). Old word for hunting of wild beasts, then a trap. Only here in N.T. A stumbling-block (ei skandalon). A third word for trap, snare, trap-stick or trigger over which they fall. See on 1 Corinthians 1:23 ; Romans 9:33 . A recompense (ei antapodoma). Late word from double compound verb antapodidwmi, to repay (both anti and apo). Ancient Greeks used antapodosi. In LXX and Didache. In N.T. only here (bad sense) and Luke 14:12 (good sense). Greek: kai Dauid legei, (3PAI) Genetheto (3SAPM) e trapeza auton eis pagida kai eis theran kai eis skandalon kai eis antapodoma autois, Amplified: And David says, Let their table (their feasting, banqueting) become a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a just retribution [rebounding like a boomerang upon them]; ESV: And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; ICB: And David says: "Let their own feasts trap them and cause their ruin. Let their feasts cause them to sin and be paid back. NIV: And David says: "May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. NKJV: And David says: "Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. NLT: David spoke of this same thing when he said, "Let their bountiful table become a snare, a trap that makes them think all is well. Let their blessings cause them to stumble. Phillips: And David says of them: 'Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a recompense to them; Wuest: Even David says, Let their table become for a snare and a trap, and a stumbling block and a just retribution to them. Young's Literal: and David saith, 'Let their table become for a snare, and for a trap, and for a stumbling-block, and for a recompense to them; AND DAVID SAYS LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE: kai Dauid legei genetheto trapeza auton eis pagida: Deut 29:4, Isaiah 29:10 Psalms 69:22 -23 Deuteronomy 6:10-12; 32:13-15; 1Samuel 25:36-38; Job 20:20-23; Proverbs 1:32; Isaiah 8:13,14; Luke 12:20; 16:19-25; 1Timothy 6:17-19) David writes.... (Psalms 69:22,23)
  • 3. Paul quotes David to show that David like Moses (Dt 29:4 "Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.") anticipated that such an experience of the judgment of God would occur to Israel as a whole ("the rest" Ro 11:7 ~ a partial hardening Ro 11:25). The hardening of Israel will reach its height in the middle of Daniel's Seventieth Week (often referred to as the Tribulation). Scripture anticipates the condition of Israel as it is today. God is not surprised; neither should we be. If it were otherwise, we should be troubled. Vine on "their table" writes...It is here symbolical of the special privileges granted to Israel and centering in Christ." MacArthur comments "A person’s table is generally thought of as a place of safety, feasting, and sustenance. But the table of the ungodly and self righteous will become a snare and a trap. The Jews considered God’s Word, in particular the Torah, to be their spiritual sustenance— which indeed it was. But because of their rebellious unbelief, that Word became a judgment on them, a stumbling block and a retribution. One of the saddest commentaries of history is that so many people place their trust in the very thing that damns them. All false religions—pagan, cultic, unbiblical Christianity, and every other kind—present counterfeit means of salvation. The more their adherents feed on the falsehoods, the more immune they become to the true gospel of Jesus Christ, the living bread of life. As she continued to reject God, Israel became progressively more spiritually blind—so blind that she could not recognize her own Messiah and Savior. Just as David had prayed in righteous indignation against the sins of his own people, Israel’s eyes were darkened to see not. Because Israel refused to see the things of God, God judicially ratified her willing blindness. Bend their backs suggests the hunched over position in which blind people sometimes walk as they grope their way on a path they cannot see that leads to a destination they do not seek. (MacArthur, J. Romans. Chicago: Moody Press) Believer's Bible Commentary writes that..."The table here means the sum total of the privileges and blessings which flowed through Christ. What should have been a blessing was turned into a curse." (Believer's Study Bible. Criswell Center for Biblical Studies. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) Charles Ryrie comments that "God's blessings (THEIR TABLE) actually became a stumbling block to their receiving God's righteousness. " (Ryrie Study Bible) Bible Knowledge Commentary writes that..."[Ps 69:22-23] which predicts that the very things which should have been the source of nourishment and blessing to Israel (table means their blessings from the hand of God, which should have
  • 4. led them to Christ; cf. Galatians 3:24) became the occasion for their rejection of God. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) KJV Bible Commentary has this note..."The words snare, trap, and stumbling block are closely related. Their combination serves to enforce the turning of the table to its opposite intent. The table is indicative of the bountiful mercy and blessing of God to Israel. Israel has not partaken of the good things of God’s table. The recurring motif of the unseeing eyes indicates the principle that the temporary blindness has overtaken all of Israel, with the exception of the believing remnant. Thus the application is clear. Those who seek their own righteousness must bow down their back always to the bondage of sin. But those who seek the righteousness of Christ receive it by grace and are the believing remnant of God." (KJV Bible commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) Warren Wiersbe writes that...Their “table to become a snare” means that their blessings turn into burdens and judgments. This is what happened to Israel: their spiritual blessings should have led them to Christ, but instead they became a snare that kept them from Christ. Their very religious practices and observances became substitutes for the real experience of salvation. Sad to say, this same mistake is made today when people depend on religious rituals and practices instead of trusting in the Christ who is pictured in these activities. (Wiersbe, W. W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.) A SNARE AND A TRAP AND A STUMBLING BLOCK: eis pagida kai eis therankai eis skandalon: (Ro 9:32-33 Rev 2:14) Snare (3803)(pagis) describes that which causes one to be suddenly endangered or unexpectedly brought under control of a hostile force. Luke; Romans; 1 Timothy 2x; 2 Timothy specifically was a snare or trap in which birds were entangled (unexpectedly, suddenly, unawares) and then came to refer to whatever brings peril, loss, destruction including the allurements and seductions of sin. (cf interesting background on "Fowler" ~ Professional bird catcher ISBE, Easton's) Trap (2339) (theran is derived from ther = wild beast) denotes a hunting of wild beast to destroy them and then a prey, game or trap and thus figuratively as used here referred to preparing destruction for men by use of a net or “trap”. Stumbling block (4625) (skandalon - see word study) referred literally to that part of a trap on which the bait was laid and when touched caused the trap to close on its prey. It came to mean any entanglement of the foot [Trench]. In NT skandalon is always used metaphorically, and ordinarily of anything that
  • 5. arouses prejudice, or becomes a hindrance to others, or causes them to fall by the way. denotes an enticement to conduct which could ruin the person in question. Sometimes the "enticement" or hindrance is in itself good (as in the current verse), and those stumbled by it are the wicked. In this verse the Messiah is the SKANDALON, especially Christ crucified & the Cross. AND A RETRIBUTION (God’s judgment) TO THEM : kai eis antapodoma autois: (Dt 32:35 Ps 28:4 Isa 59:18 Heb 2:2) Retribution (468) (antapodoma from antí = in turn + apodidomi = render) (see cognate verb antapodidomi) a noun which means a giving back in return for something received and so that which is offered or given as recompense or retribution (in both a good sense and a bad sense). The thing paid back in a good sense (Lk 14:12) or bad sense (Ro 11:9). Retribution - recompense, reward. The dispensing or receiving of reward or punishment especially in the hereafter. Something given or exacted in recompense. the act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin, or injury. Webster's 1828 = "The distribution of rewards and punishments at the general judgment. It is a strong argument for a state of retribution hereafter, that in this world virtuous persons are very often unfortunate, and vicious persons prosperous. Spectator." Let their blessings be like a trap that makes them think all is well & which causes them to stumble and which pays them back. Because they refused to receive God’s truth (Isa6:9-10 Jn5:40) their backs will be bent under the weight of guilt and punishment forever. The only other NT useLuke 14:12 Romans 11:10 "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER *." Let their eyes be darkened (skotisqhtwsan oi opqalmoi autwn). First aorist passive imperative of skotizw, to darken. A terrible imprecation. That they may not see (tou mh blepein). Repeated from verse Luke 8 . Bow down (sunkampson). First aorist active imperative of sunkamptw, old verb, to bend together as of captives whose backs (nwton, another old word, only here in N.T.) were bent under burdens. Only here in N.T. Greek: skotisthetosan (3PAPM) oi ophthalmoi auton tou me blepein, (PAN) kai ton noton auton dia pantosv sugkampson. (2SAMM) Amplified: Let their eyes be darkened (dimmed) so that they cannot see, and make them bend their back [stooping beneath their burden] forever.(4) ESV: let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever." ICB: Let their eyes be closed so they cannot see. Let their backs be forever weak from
  • 6. troubles." Psalm 69: 22-23 NIV: May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever." NKJV: Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back always." NLT: Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and let their backs grow weaker and weaker." Phillips: let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always'. In the providence of God disaster has been turned to good account Wuest: Let their eyes be darkened in order that they may not see and in order that they may always bow down their back. Young's Literal: let their eyes be darkened -- not to behold, and their back do Thou always bow down.' LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT: skotisthetsan hoi ophthalmoi auton tou me (Ro 11:8; 1:21; Psalms 69:23; Zechariah 11:17; Ephesians 4:18; 2Peter 2:4,17; Jude 1:6,13) darkened (4654) (skotizo from skótos = darkness) means literally to be or become dark, to be unable to give light and figuratively to obscure. Aorist imperative (passive voice) calls for action that comes from without the one who is darkened (spiritually speaking) This is a terrible imprecation (uttering in a sense a curse upon another). Because Israel refused to see the Lord Jesus as Messiah and Savior, they lost the power to see Him. Because they steadfastly, stubbornly refused to hear the pleading voice of God, now they were smitten with spiritual deafness. That terrible judgment continues to this very day. Paul describes a similar darkening of all men who have suppressed the truth about God in unrighteousness...(Ro 1:21-23) This clearly ties in with the “spirit of stupor” in Ro 11:8 and the hardening in Ro 11:7, and indicates that Israel as a whole was blinded toward the truth of the gospel. As she continued to reject God, Israel became progressively more spiritually blind—so blind that she could not recognize her own Messiah and Savior. Just as David had prayed in righteous indignation against the sins of his own people, Israel’s eyes were darkened to see not. Because Israel refused to see the things of God, God judicially ratified her willing blindness. See (991)(blepo)
  • 7. AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER: kai ton noton auton dia pantos sugkampson (Deuteronomy 28:64-68; Isaiah 51:23; 65:12) Bend (4781) (sugkampto from sún = together + kámpto = to bend, bow) means to bend together, to bow down low. It pictures bend together as of captives whose backs were bent under burdens. This is written in the form of a command (aorist imperative) This picture suggests the hunched over position in which blind people sometimes walk as they grope their way on a path they cannot see that leads to a destination they do not seek. Forever (1275) (diapantos from diá = through + pantós = all) literally means through all and describes continuous unbroken permanence of a characteristic habit. This means through all time and so constantly or continually. It does not mean “without end,” but is more accurately rendered “constantly” or “continuously". That is, as long as it lasts, may there be no relief. It is difficult to tell exactly what calamity this is supposed to represent. It may be a figure for the hard labor of slavery, the heaviness of a burden, a state of weakness, or the overwhelming effects of grief or fear. Any of these could apply to first-century Judaism. Paul may be saying, “May their backs be always weak and feeble under the burden that they bear because of their rejection of the gospel” (Fitzmyer). Or he may be referring to “the state of slavish fear in which the Jews shall be held as long as this judgment of hardening which keeps them outside of the gospel shall last” (Godet). In summary, Paul says all in Israel not included in the remnant chosen to salvation by sovereign grace were hardened. He explains this hardening in that God gave them a spirit of slumber, an insensibility of heart that made them insensible to the gospel, sightless spiritual eyes, and deaf ears. How are we to understand this? Moses records the fact that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but not until Pharaoh had first hardened his own heart. The original hardening came from his totally depraved nature. Then God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by forcing him to an issue which he did not want to meet. The more God demanded that he let Israel go, the more Pharaoh rebelled. The more he rebelled, the harder his heart became. So with Israel. Israel rejected God and His Word, and the more it did so the harder its heart became. Light rejected, blinds. In addition to this natural hardening of the heart, there was God’s judicial action of hardening as a just judgment upon its sin of rejection. Romans 11:11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make
  • 8. them jealous. Did they stumble that they might fall? (mh eptaisan ina peswsin?). Negative answer expected by mh as in verse Luke 1 . First aorist active indicative of ptaiw, old verb, to stumble, only here in Paul (see James 3:2 ), suggested perhaps by skandalon in verse Romans 11:9 . If ina is final, then we must add "merely" to the idea, "merely that they might fall" or make a sharp distinction between ptaiw, to stumble, and piptw, to fall, and take peswsin as effective aorist active subjunctive to fall completely and for good. Hina, as we know, can be either final, sub-final, or even result. See 1 Thessalonians 5:4 ; 1 Corinthians 7:29 ; Galatians 5:17 . Paul rejects this query in verse Romans 11:11 as vehemently as he did that in verse Romans 1 . By their fall (twi autwn paraptwmati). Instrumental case. For the word, a falling aside or a false step from parapiptw, see Romans 5:15-20 . Is come. No verb in the Greek, but ginetai or gegonen is understood. For to provoke them to jealousy (ei to parazhlwsai). Purpose expressed by ei and the articular infinitive, first aorist active, of parazhlow, for which verb see 1 Corinthians 10:22 . As an historical fact Paul turned to the Gentiles when the Jews rejected his message ( Acts 13:45 ; Acts 28:28 , etc.). The riches of the world (plouto kosmou). See Romans 10:12 . Their loss (to htthma autwn). So perhaps in 1 Corinthians 6:7 , but in Isaiah 31:8 defeat is the idea. Perhaps so here. Fulness (plhrwma). Perhaps "completion," though the word from plhrow, to fill, has a variety of senses, that with which anything is filled ( 1 Corinthians 10:26 1 Corinthians 10:28 ), that which is filled ( Ephesians 1:23 ). How much more? (poswi mallon). Argument a fortiori as in verse Ephesians 24 . Verse Ephesians 25 illustrates the point. Greek: Lego (1SPAI) oun, me eptaisan (3PAAI) hina pesosin? (3PAAS) me genoito; (3SAMO) alla to auton paraptomati e soteria tois ethnesin, eis to parazslosai (AAN) autoua. Amplified: So I ask, Have they stumbled so as to fall [to their utter spiritual ruin, irretrievably]? By no means! But through their false step and transgression salvation [has come] to the Gentiles, so as to arouse Israel [to see and feel what they forfeited] and so to make them jealous. ESV: So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. ICB: So I ask: When the Jews fell, did that fall destroy them? No! But their mistake brought salvation to the non-Jews. This took place to cause the Jews to be jealous. NIV: Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. NKJV: I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. NLT: Did God's people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! His purpose was to make his salvation available to the Gentiles, and then the Jews would be
  • 9. jealous and want it for themselves. Phillips: Now I ask myself, "Was this fall of theirs an utter disaster? It was not! For through their failure the benefit of salvation has passed to the Gentiles with the result that Israel is made to see and feel what is has missed. Wuest: I say then, Surely, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? Away with the thought. But through the instrumentality of their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles with a view to provoking them [Israel] to jealousy. Young's Literal: I say, then, Did they stumble that they might fall? let it not be! but by their fall the salvation is to the nations, to arouse them to jealousy; I SAY THEN, THEY DID NOT STUMBLE SO AS TO FALL, DID THEY: Lego oun, me eptaisan hina pesosin (Ezekiel 18:23,32; 33:11) The Amplified Version has...So I ask, Have they stumbled so as to fall [to their utter spiritual ruin, irretrievably]? By no means! But through their false step and transgression salvation [has come] to the Gentiles, so as to arouse Israel [to see and feel what they forfeited] and so to make them jealous. Stumble (4417) ptaio (see word study) Fall (4098) (parapipto ) means literally to fall away and then to apostatize. (See study of derivative word = Transgression (trespass) (3900) paraptoma) They refers to “the others” (v7), the majority of the people of Israel, excluding the “remnant chosen by grace” (v5). Paul’s question is preceded by the negative particle me which expects a negative answer, “They did not stumble that they should fall, did they?” The contrast here between stumbling and falling shows that by the latter is meant an irremediable fall from which there is no rising. Israel has not stumbled and fallen beyond recovery. This is thus a rhetorical question, not calling for an answer but proving a point. The Jews stumbled over Christ, but not so as to fall irretrievably. The idea onveyed by falling is here suggestive of what is impossible of recovery. God’s temporarily setting Israel aside was not an afterthought or an outburst of emotional anger but had a definite purpose. Again (11:1) Paul introduces his point by asking a rhetorical question and then giving the strongest negative answer possible. God has not allowed His chosen people Israel to fall into such unbelief and disobedience that they are unsalvageable. He has indeed given them “a spirit of stupor,” and He “let their eyes be darkened to see not” (v8, 10). For a divinely appointed time, He has let them wander about in spiritual blindness and darkness. Yet their blindness is not irreversible, and their darkness was never to be permanent. MAY IT NEVER BE: me genoito :
  • 10. Once again the question in Greek was worded to elicit the strongest negative answer Paul could offer. This is the 10th and last time in Romans, Paul responded, me genoito [Romans 3:4, 6, 31 6:2,15 7:7,13 9:14 11:1] BUT BY THEIR TRANSGRESSION SALVATION HAS COME TO THE GENTILES: alla to auton paraptomati e soteria tois ethnesin: (Ro 11:12,31) But - always pause to ponder this term of contrast. Transgression (trespass) (3900) paraptoma -see word study) Salvation (4991) soteria Jesus had instructed Paul to turn to the Gentiles, Luke recording Paul's testimony that...(Acts 22:18-21) Luke records the fulfillment (3 times) of our Lord's prophetic charge to Paul, a charge to change direction from the Jews to he Gentiles... (Acts 13:42,46-48) (Acts 18:6) (Acts 28:24-28) In turning to the Gentiles Paul was fulfilling these purposes of God. Paul followed this procedure all through his missionary labors, first going to the Jews, and when they rejected the gospel, to the Gentiles, until finally in his first Roman imprisonment, he abandoned Israel entirely and turned to the Gentiles. The severe stumbling of which Paul speaks is, of course, Israel’s rejection of her Messiah, Jesus Christ. But Israel’s rejection of God’s own Son and His kingdom did not thwart God’s plan. On the contrary (but), the Lord used that terrible transgression of His people to accomplish His own divine objective. The very people for whom the kingdom was intended and to whom the kingdom was offered will be shut out of the kingdom. Individual Jews who reject their Messiah will be banned and sent permanently “into the outer darkness,” (Mt8:12) but the unbelieving nation shall one day believe and be restored. In the meanwhile, because of their rejection of the kingdom, God has offered the kingdom, and the salvation it represents, to a people called out from among the Gentiles. Although the widespread salvation of Gentiles came about because Israel as a nation refused her Savior, that extension of grace was not an afterthought with God. From His first calling of Abraham, it was God’s intent that His chosen people should be the instruments of bringing salvation to the Gentiles. “In you,” the Lord told Abraham, “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Ge12:3). In the covenant at Sinai God called Israel to be His witnesses, His spiritual ambassadors to the world as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex19:6). Like their Messiah, “the tribes of Jacob, and . . . the preserved ones of Israel” were to be “a light of the nations so that [God’s] salvation may reach to the end of
  • 11. the earth” (Isa49:6 Paul applied this to himself in Ac13:47). TO MAKE THEM JEALOUS: eis to parazelosai autous: Make...Jealous (3863) (parazeloo from pará = to the point of, unto, implying movement toward a certain point + zeloo [word study[ = to desire, be zealous) means to stimulate alongside and thus to excite to rivalry or to provoke to emulation and so to make jealous. The idea is that then the Jews would be jealous and want it for themselves. Parazeloo is a Greek infinitive with a preposition (eis = unto, toward) and carries the idea of purpose. God’s purpose for this hardening is to use it as a means of converting many Gentiles, which in turn will be a means of converting many of the hardened Jews themselves. Thus paradoxically the ultimate goal and result of the hardening is the salvation of those who are hardened! The sequence of events is as follows: the bulk of the Jews reject the gospel; they are hardened; as a consequence Gentiles are saved; as a consequence of this, many of the hardened Jews are made jealous and are saved; and as a consequence of this, even more Gentiles are saved! Although jealousy is essentially a negative term, God’s intention was for Israel’s jealousy of Gentiles to be a positive stimulus to draw His people back to Himself. But Jews had long disdained Gentiles ("dogs"), whom they considered to be outside the boundaries of God’s grace. To be told they had lost their special relationship to God was distressing enough, but to be told that God offered that forfeited relationship to Gentiles was a bitter pill indeed. But God’s ultimate purpose in setting Israel aside was not to drive His people further away but to bring them back to Himself. He wanted to make them face their own sin and its consequences, to sense their alienation from Jehovah and to recognize their need for the salvation that He now offered the Gentiles. As Jews see the Lord pour out the kind of blessings on the Gentile church that once were reserved for Israel, some of them desire that blessing for themselves and come to Jesus Christ, their spurned Messiah, in repentance and faith. That happens with individual Jews throughout this age, and at the end of the Great Tribulation will happen to the whole nation (i.e., to the one third who are refined and purified and turn to their Messiah for salvation by faith) One of the great ironies of history is the relationship of God’s "chosen people" (the Jews) to the rest of humanity (the Gentiles). Anti–Semitism by Gentiles has often been paralleled by, and sometimes precipitated by, the anti-Gentile sentiments of Jews. It therefore was-and no doubt still is for many Jews-an enormous leap from a negative contempt of Gentiles to a positive jealousy of them. Yet that is precisely the leap the Lord intends for them to make as a first step in bringing them back to Him. What is the practical application of this truth to our lives today? It should be the
  • 12. desire of every Christian to manifest the spiritual realities of a transformed life that would draw unbelieving Jews to belief in our Lord and their Messiah, a witness that would tap their divinely inspired jealousy of Gentiles and be used to turn it to a divinely desired faith in His Son. Unfortunately, the Christianity that Jews see in many professed, and even some genuine, Christians reflects little of the love and righteousness of Christ and of the salvation He brings. When they see Gentile Christians who are dishonest and immoral, and especially those who are anti-Semitic (yes, there is anti-Semitism in the church!) in the name of Christ (who was the supremely perfect Jew), they are deeply and understandably offended and repulsed. They are anything but jealous of such Gentiles, and they distance themselves still further from the Lord instead of drawing closer to Him. Romans 11:12 Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! NASB: Greek: ei de to paraptoma auton ploutos kosmou kai to ettema auton ploutos ethnon, poso mallon to pleroma auton. Amplified: Now if their stumbling (their lapse, their transgression) has so enriched the world [at large], and if [Israel's] failure means such riches for the Gentiles, think what an enrichment and greater advantage will follow their full reinstatement! ESV: Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion[1] mean! ICB: The Jews' mistake brought rich blessings for the world. And what the Jews lost brought rich blessings for the non-Jewish people. So surely the world will get much richer blessings when enough Jews become the kind of people God wants. NIV: But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! NKJV: Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! NLT: Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the Jews turned down God's offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when the Jews finally accept it. Phillips: For if their failure has so enriched the world, and their defection proved such a benefit to the Gentiles, think what tremendous advantage their fulfilling of God's plan could mean. Wuest: But since their fall is the enrichment of the world, and their defeat and loss the
  • 13. enrichment of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness? Young's Literal: and if the fall of them is the riches of a world, and the diminution of them the riches of nations, how much more the fulness of them? NOW IF THEIR TRANSGRESSION BE RICHES FOR THE WORLD AND THEIR FAILURE IS RICHES FOR THE GENTILES: ei de to paraptoma auton ploutos kosmou kai to etthema auton ploutos ethnon (Ro 11:15,33; 9:23; Ephesians 3:8; Colossians 1:27) (25; Isaiah 11:11-16; 12:1-6; 60:1-22; 66:8-20; Micah 4:1,2; 5:7; Zechariah 2:11; Zechariah 8:20-23; Revelation 11:15-19) Now if their stumbling (their lapse, their transgression) has so enriched the world [at large], and if [Israel's] failure means such riches for the Gentiles, think what an enrichment and greater advantage will follow their full reinstatement! (Amplified) Transgressions (3900) (paraptoma from parapipto = fall aside, apostatize) is a "false step" and describes a deviation from living according to what has been revealed as the right way to live. Riches (4149) (ploutos from pletho = fill) can describe wealth, money, possessions, or abundance. Here Paul is obviously not speaking of worldly riches but of spiritual riches. Failure (2275) (hettema from hettáomai = be overcome) describes a deterioration and objectively as used in this verse pictures a failure or a loss. "their fall... their fullness" (Ro 11:12KJV) - These two phrases, their fall and their fulness, correspond to the two comings of Christ. Paul writes in the interval when the cross is past history and the redemption of Israel is, as in our day, future. (Romans 11715 - Life from the Dead) God has used even the great transgression of Israel in rejecting her Messiah to accomplish His ultimate purpose of bringing spiritual riches to the world, that is, the Gentiles, just as He had declared to Abraham when He first called Israel to Himself: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Ge 12:3). Although Israel failed to witness to the world in righteousness, God caused her to witness to the world, as it were, in unrighteousness. Because the Lord could not use Israel’s faithfulness to bring riches to the Gentiles, He instead used her failure. HOW MUCH MORE WILL THEIR FULFILLMENT BE: poso mallon to pleroma auton: Much more - When used in a comparison regarding quantity, denotes a greater abundance. Otherwise the phrase much more denotes a greater certainty (Ro 5:9,10 Ro 5:15 Ro 5:17-). What is Israel's "fulfillment" associated with? Messiah's return and the establishment of His Millennial kingdom. This is why it is much more!
  • 14. Earlier in the letter Paul had used another extreme contrast to portray the greatness of God’s love and grace: God demonstrates His own love towrd us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Ro 5:8-9-note, Ro 5:10-note). If a dying Savior could redeem us, how much more can a resurrected, living Savior sustain us. By the same logic, if a faithless Israel could bring salvation to the Gentiles, how much more or much greater blessing will her faithfulness bring. The Lord promises Israel one day will receive the Messiah she rejected because He...will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced (Zech 12:10).In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity (Zech 13:1). Following that,the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one...And there will be no more curse...Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations...will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts” (Zech 14:9, 11, 16). Comment: Zechariah 12-14 constitutes a unit and should be studied together for a proper understanding. Although the Jews had stumbled, their fall would not be irrevocable (Ro 11:27, 29) for as Paul explains in this section their fall was the way by which God had appointed salvation to come to the Gentiles. However in their fall, the sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent God had their restoration in view, because the very kindness God demonstrated to the Gentiles would be the means of provoking Israel to jealousy. And as great as were the benefits to the world from Israel's fall, the benefits of their restoration would be even greater. One might say "The best is yet to come!" It is notable that almost 500 years before Paul penned these words of hope for Israel, the prophet Ezekiel had foretold of not only a physical (including reuniting of Judah/Benjamin and the Northern 10 tribes) but a spiritual renewl in Ezekiel 37:1-28-See commentary. Fulfillment (4138) (pleroma from pleroo = make full, fill, fill up) describes fullness, a full measure, an abundance or a completion. Pleroma is that which has been filled and thus refers to that which is complete, the completeness of Israel referring here to its return to God at the second Advent of the Messiah when all Israel would be saved (cp Ro 11:26). Paul uses pleroma in Ro 11:25-to describe the fulness of the Gentiles. If Israel's rejection of light brings "riches", how much more will Israel’s restoration
  • 15. result in rich blessing for all the world! When Israel turns to the Lord at the close of the Great Tribulation, (the Second Coming of the Messiah) she will become the channel of blessing to the nations in the Millennium. The Lord Jesus will reign in Jerusalem on the earth, the nation of Israel will be composed of born again believers in Messiah, Satan will be bound, and the world will experience unprecedented universal righteousness, peace, and prosperity for one thousand years. And all God's people cry "Maranatha, Come Lord!" Charles Hodge wrote that "At the second coming of Christ, "The conversion of the Jews will be accompanied by the most glorious consequences for the whole world." Claude Stauffer writes...In the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32, we see a prophetic word about what would happen when Israel forsook God. The result has come to pass in what we see today. God is working in the world primarily through the Gentile church in the present day. But God is not finished with Israel. He is going to provoke them to jealousy through showing the Gentiles His salvation. Like a child playing hard to get, who is provoked to jealousy when their sibling is shown attention by a parent, so too will Israel be provoked to jealousy and return to the Lord (11:11). • In Deuteronomy 32 it states God’s plan:Deuteronomy 32:21 – “They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.” God has never stopped loving Israel and He will use the Gentiles to provoke them to jealousy to awaken their love for Him. Jeremiah is inspired by God to describe God’s love for Israel as everlasting when he writes:Jeremiah 31:3 – “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Paul goes on to say that if so much has come from the fall of the Jews, (that is salvation to the Gentiles world) then when Israel does turn to the Lord their fullness will be even greater. There is a lot of anti-Semitism in the world today, even in the church. Israel is being disciplined by God, but God has not cast them aside forever. He will again raise them up to fit into His plan again. We have seen this resurrection begun on May 14th, 1948 with the establishment once again of Israel as a nation. Then in 1967 Israel captured Jerusalem. Soon during the Tribulation (Revelation 7; 14), God is going to work a mighty revival in the world and He is going to do it through Jews who will accept Jesus as their Messiah. The culmination of this fullness will be the kingdom age of Christ’s reign on earth during the Millennium (Revelation 20). In the book of Daniel, Daniel records a prophecy which states that from the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem there world be 490 years of prophetic workings
  • 16. for Israel in God’s plans. When Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and went to the cross it marked the fulfillment of the first 69 sevens or 483 years according to Daniel’s prophecy. We are awaiting the beginning of the seventieth week (i.e. Hebrew HEPTED or set of seven years) of Daniel which is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble and the 7-year Tribulation. During this seventieth week, God will work through Israel to fulfill His will upon the earth. The close of this seven-year period will be punctuated with the 2nd Coming of Jesus (see Revelation 6-19). (Bible Studies) Romans 11:13 But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch * then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, To you that are Gentiles (umin toi eqnesin). "To you the Gentiles." He has a serious word to say to them. Inasmuch then (ep oson men oun). Not temporal, quamdiu, "so long as" ( Matthew 9:15 ), but qualitative quatenus "in so far then as" ( Matthew 25:40 ). I glorify my ministry (thn diakonian mou doxazw). As apostle to the Gentiles (eqnwn apostolo, objective genitive). Would that every minister of Christ glorified his ministry. If by any means (ei pw). This use of ei with purpose or aim is a kind of indirect discourse. I may provoke (parazhlwsw). Either future active indicative or first aorist active subjunctive, see same uncertainty in Philippians 3:10 katanthsw, but in Romans 3:11 katalabw after ei is subjunctive. The future indicative is clear in Romans 1:10 and the optative in Acts 27:12 . Doubtful whether future indicative or aorist subjunctive also in swsw (save Greek: humin de lego (1SPAI) tois ethnesin. eph' hoson men oun eimi (1SPAI) ego ethnon apostolos, thn diakonian mou doxazo (1SPAI) Amplified: But now I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I lay great stress on my ministry and magnify my office, ESV: Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry ICB: Now I am speaking to you who are not Jews. I am an apostle to the non-Jews. So while I have that work, I will do the best I can. NIV: I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry NKJV: For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, NLT: I am saying all of this especially for you Gentiles. God has appointed me as the apostle to the Gentiles. I lay great stress on this, Phillips: Now a word to you who are Gentiles. I should like you to know that I make as much as I can of my ministry as "God's messenger to the Gentiles" Wuest: But to you I am speaking, the Gentiles. Inasmuch then, as for myself, as I am an
  • 17. apostle of Gentiles, I do my ministry honor Young's Literal: For to you I speak -- to the nations -- inasmuch as I am indeed an apostle of nations, my ministration I do glorify; BUT I AM SPEAKING TO YOU WHO ARE GENTILES: humin de lego (1SPAI) tois ethnesin: To you who are Gentiles - While Paul was directly addressing the Gentile believers in Rome, the truths in this section are applicable to Gentile believers in our day. INASMUCH THEN AS I AM AN APOSTLE OF GENTILES I MAGNIFY MY MINISTRY: eph hoson men oun eimi (1SPAI) ego ethnon apostolos eph hoson men oun eimi (1SPAI) ego ethnon apostolos, ten diakonian mou doxazo (1SPAI): (Romans 15:16-19; Acts 13:2; Galatians 1:16; 2Timothy 1:11,12) Apostle (652) apostolos (see word study) Apostle of Gentiles - Jesus explained to the somewhat fearful Ananias so that he would be encouraged to go to Saul (Paul) and help him...(On the Road to Damascus Jesus described Paul's "marching orders" to Ananias) Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake. (Acts 9:15-16) Paul a Jew repeatedly emphasized his ministry to the Gentiles...(In his Defense before the Jews he testified) and He (the risen Christ) said to me, 'Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'" (Acts 22:21) 15 "And I said, 'Who art Thou, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 'But arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.' (Acts 26:15-18) (Paul before the Jewish Council at Jerusalem testified that) "And it was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain...I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised 8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), 9 and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave
  • 18. to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. (Gal 2:2,7-9) “the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8-). And for this (the fact that there was one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus) I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (1Timothy 2:7) Paul understood the sovereignty of God in salvation. He understood that whom God foreknew He predestined and called (Ro 8:28-30) and yet here we see he approaches this issue of salvation with a sense of his responsibility of delivering the gospel to all men for he does not know who the elect are. We see a similar thought in his last known letter, 2 Timothy, in which he explained that it was because of the gospel that ...I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. For this reason I endure all things (man's responsibility) for the sake of those who are chosen (elect - God's sovereignty), that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory. (2Ti 2:9-10) Note that when Paul first came to a city, he invariably would go first to the synagogue or search out individual Jews if they were too few to have a synagogue. Some of those hearers would believe, but, for the most part, they resisted and rejected the gospel that was “spoken against everywhere” (Acts 28:22). At that point, Paul would turn his focus to the Gentiles. Magnify (1392) doxazo Ministry (1248) diakonia ( In this way Paul would "magnify" his "ministry" or as Phillips paraphrases it... I should like you to know that I make as much as I can of my ministry as "God's messenger to the Gentiles" Romans 11:14 if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. Greek: ei pos parazeloso (1SFAI) mou ten sarka kai soso (1SFAI) tinas ex auton. Amplified: In the hope of making my fellow Jews jealous [in order to stir them up to imitate, copy, and appropriate], and thus managing to save some of them. ESV: in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.
  • 19. ICB: I hope I can make my own people jealous. That way, maybe I can help some of them to be saved. NIV: in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. NKJV: if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. NLT: for I want to find a way to make the Jews want what you Gentiles have, and in that way I might save some of them. Phillips: so as to make my kinsfolk jealous and thus save some of them. Wuest: if by any means, possibly, I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and save some of them. Young's Literal: if by any means I shall arouse to jealousy mine own flesh, and shall save some of them, IF SOMEHOW I MIGHT MOVE TO JEALOUSY MY FELLOW COUNTRYMEN: ei pos parazeloso mou ten sarka: (1Corinthians 7:16; ; 2Timothy 2:10) (Ro 9:3; Philemon 1:12) In the hope of making my fellow Jews jealous [in order to stir them up to imitate, copy, and appropriate], and thus managing to save some of them. (Amplified) If somehow. Elsewhere Paul stated it this was...And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. (1Cor 9:20-22) Jealous (3863) (parazeloo from pará = to the point of, unto, implying movement toward a certain point + zeloo = to desire, be zealous) means to stimulate alongside and thus to excite to rivalry or to provoke to emulation and so to make jealous. The idea is that then the Jews would be jealous and want it for themselves. Parazeloo is a Greek infinitive with a preposition (eis = unto, toward) and carries the idea of purpose. AND SAVE SOME OF THEM: kai soso (1SFAI) tinas ex auton: (1Corinthians 7:16; 1Timothy 4:16; James 5:20) Save (4982) (sozo) means basically to rescue from peril, to protect, to keep alive - the word involves preservation of life, physical or spiritual, in this context clearly referring to spiritual life associated with regeneration or the new birth brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5) and the Gospel (Ro 1:16).
  • 20. Romans 11:15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead ? The casting away of them (h apobolh autwn). Objective genitive (autwn) with apobolh, old word from apoballw, to throw off ( Mark 10:50 ), in N.T. only here and Acts 27:22 . The reconciling of the world (katallagh kosmou). See Romans 5:10 for katallagh (reconciling). It explains verse Romans 11:12 . The receiving (h proslhmpsi). Old word from proslambanw, to take to oneself, only here in N.T. Life from the dead (zwh ek nekrwn). Already the conversion of Jews had become so difficult. It is like a miracle of grace today, though it does happen. Many think that Paul means that the general resurrection and the end will come when the Jews are converted. Possibly so, but it is by no means certain. His language may be merely figurative. Greek: ei gar e apobole auton katallage kosmou, tis e proslempsis ei me zoe ek nekron? Amplified: For if their rejection and exclusion from the benefits of salvation were [overruled] for the reconciliation of a world to God, what will their acceptance and admission mean? [It will be nothing short of] life from the dead! ESV: For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? ICB: God turned away from the Jews. When that happened, God became friends with the other people in the world. So when God accepts the Jews, then surely that will bring to them life after death. NIV: For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? NKJV: For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? NLT: For since the Jews' rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, how much more wonderful their acceptance will be. It will be life for those who were dead! Phillips: For if their exclusion from the pale of salvation has meant the reconciliation of the rest of mankind to God, what would their inclusion mean? It would be nothing less than life from the dead! Wuest: For, in view of the fact that their repudiation results in the world’s reconciliation, what will the receiving of them result in if not in life from among the dead? Young's Literal: for if the casting away of them is a reconciliation of the world, what the reception -- if not life out of the dead? FOR IF THEIR REJECTION BE THE RECONCILIATION OF THE WORLD: ei gar e apobole auton katallage kosmou: (Ro 11:1,2,11,12) (5:10; Daniel 9:24; 2Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:20,21)
  • 21. For if their rejection and exclusion from the benefits of salvation were [overruled] for the reconciliation of a world to God, what will their acceptance and admission mean? [It will be nothing short of] life from the dead! (Amplified) For - always pause and ponder this term of explanation. The word “if” which Paul uses throughout his argument here is not ean the “if” of a hypothetical condition, but ei the “if” of a fulfilled condition. Paul is not arguing upon the basis of an hypothesis, but upon the basis of facts. The translation should read, “since,” or “in view of the fact.” Rejection (580) (apobole from apó = from + bállo = cast as casting away a garment) describes literally a casting off and thus a rejection. Reconciliation (2643) (katallage from katallasso = change mutually; reconcile in turn from katá = an intensifying preposition + allásso = to make otherwise, to change the form or nature of a thing) means a change or reconciliation from a state of enmity between persons to one of friendship. In the NT, this word describes restoration to divine favor by bringing about a change in man, i.e., a conversion, the means or occasion of reconciling the world to God. Reconciliation is the removal of enmity that stands between people and God. Reconciliation is the basis of restored fellowship between people and God The Greek verb katallasso basically means “change” or “exchange.” In the context of relationships between people, the term implies a change in attitude on the part of both individuals, a change from enmity to friendship. When used to describe the relationship existing between God and a person, the term implies the change of attitude on the part of both a person and God. The need to change the sinful ways of a human being is obvious. It should be noted that some argue that no change is needed on the part of God. On the other hand, inherent in the doctrine of justification is the changed attitude of God toward the sinner. God declares a person who was formerly His enemy to be righteous before Him. World (2889) kosmos (see word study) WHAT WILL THEIR ACCEPTANCE BE BUT LIFE FROM THE DEAD: tis e proslempsis ei me zoe ek nekron: (Ezekiel 37:1-14; Revelation 11:11; 20:4-6) Acceptance (4356) (proslepsis from proslambano = to receive unto oneself, to take in addition, to receive besides) means a taking to oneself and thus describes an acceptance. The reconciling of Israel back to God is, indeed, associated with the "resurrection" of Israel as a nation (See Ezekiel 37:1-14-notes) and also with the bodily resurrection of all who have died in faith, Isaiah prophesying to Israel that...
  • 22. Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits. (Isaiah 26:19, compare Hosea 6:1-3 Rev 20:4-6-) The receiving of Israel refers to that wonderful moment when, as the Messiah returns to the Mt. of Olives (Zechariah 14) all Israel shall be saved (Ro 11:26note). This will be “life from among the dead” in that the nation will be saved by the sovereign grace of God out from a spiritually dead state and from among those who remain spiritually dead. (See related discussion beginning in Ezekiel 37:14In speaking of life from the dead, Paul was not referring to bodily resurrection. Regarding individual Jews, he was speaking of receiving spiritual life as a gracious gift to displace spiritual death, the wage of unbelief. Regarding Israel, he was speaking of its rebirth and the rebirth of the whole world in the glorified millennial kingdom of God (Isa11:1-9-note; Rev 20). In that glorious day, even “the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Ro 8:21-note). Romans 11:16-18 Commentary Romans 11:16 If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. First fruit (aparch). See on 1 Corinthians 15:20 1 Corinthians 15:23 . The metaphor is from Numbers 15:19 . The LXX has aparchn puramato, first of the dough as a heave offering. The lump (to purama). From which the first fruit came. See on Numbers 9:21 . Apparently the patriarchs are the first fruit. The root (h riza). Perhaps Abraham singly here. The metaphor is changed, but the idea is the same. Israel is looked on as a tree. But one must recall and keep in mind the double sense of Israel in Numbers 9:6 . (the natural and the spiritual). Greek: ei de e aparche hagia, kai to phurama; kai ei e rhiza hagia, kai oi kladoi. Amplified: Now if the first handful of dough offered as the firstfruits [Abraham and the patriarchs] is consecrated (holy), so is the whole mass [the nation of Israel]; and if the root [Abraham] is consecrated (holy), so are the branches. ESV: If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. ICB: If the first piece of bread is offered to God, then the whole loaf is made holy. If the roots of a tree are holy, then the tree's branches are holy too. NIV: If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. NKJV: For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is
  • 23. holy, so are the branches. NLT: And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their children will also be holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too. Phillips: If the flour is consecrated to God so is the whole loaf, and if the roots of a tree are dedicated to God every branch will belong to him also. Wuest: Now, in view of the fact that the firstfruit is holy, also the lump, and since the root is holy, also the branches. Young's Literal: and if the first-fruit is holy, the lump also; and if the root is holy, the branches also. AND IF THE FIRST PIECE OF DOUGH BE HOLY THE LUMP IS ALSO: ei de e aparche hagia kai to phurama: (Exodus 22:29; 23:16,19; Leviticus 23:10; Deuteronomy 18:4; 26:10; Nehemiah 10:35-37; Proverbs 3:9; Ezekiel 44:30; James 1:18; Revelation 14:4): The Amplified Version helps understand Paul's meaning translating this as...Now if the first handful of dough offered as the firstfruits [Abraham and the patriarchs] is consecrated (holy), so is the whole mass [the nation of Israel]; and if the root [Abraham] is consecrated (holy), so are the branches. The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains that...Paul was convinced that Israel’s stumbling is temporary rather than permanent and that the nation will be restored as God’s people. With two illustrations Paul showed why he believed this. His first illustration was taken from God’s instructions to Israel to take “a cake from the first of [their] ground meal and present it as an offering” (Nu 15:20) after they entered the land of Canaan and reaped their first wheat harvest. This offering was to be repeated each year at their harvests. The cake made from the first ground meal of the wheat harvest was sanctified or made holy by being offered to God...Paul’s second illustration was that of a tree: If the root is holy, so are the branches. In both illustrations the principle is the same: what is considered first contributes its character to what is related to it. With a tree, the root obviously comes first and contributes the nature of that type of tree to the branches that come later. With the cake presented to the Lord, the flour for the cake is taken from the ground meal, but that cake is formed and baked first and presented as a firstfruit. Since it is set apart to the Lord first, it sanctifies the whole harvest. The firstfruits and the root represent the patriarchs of Israel or Abraham personally, and the lump and the branches represent the people of Israel. As a result Israel is set apart (holy) to God, and her “stumbling” (rejection of Christ) must therefore be temporary. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible knowledge commentary: An exposition of the
  • 24. scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) First piece (536) (aparche from apó = away from + árchomai = to begin) is the first fruit, which in Biblical terms describes an offering of any kind, animal as well as grain. It represents the first portion of offering set aside specifically for Lord. The first portion of the harvest was regarded both as a first installment and as a pledge of the final delivery of the whole. Here the first fruit and the lump speak of dough, not of fruit or grain. Holy (40) (hagios) means set apart (that's what "sanctify" means) from profane common use by God and for God. Hagios is translated "saint" which describes every believer's position in Christ - we are set apart from that which is secular, profane, and evil on one hand and on the other hand dedicated to worship and service of God. "Saints" are not some special, elite group of men and women! Your name in fact is "St. ______." Paul is alluding to the practice of setting apart a portion of the dough in Numbers 15 where we read... Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 18 "Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, 'When you enter the land where I bring you, 19 then it shall be, that when you eat of the food of the land, you shall lift up an offering to the LORD. 20 'Of the first of your dough you shall lift up a cake as an offering; as the offering of the threshing floor, so you shall lift it up. 21 'From the first of your dough you shall give to the LORD an offering throughout your generations. (Numbers 15:17-21) William MacDonald explains that...The argument is that if the piece of dough is set apart to the Lord, so is all the dough that might be made from it (MacDonald, W., and Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) J Vernon McGee writes that...“Dough,” of course, is bread dough! A part of the dough was offered to God as a token that all of it was acceptable. The “firstfruit” evidently refers to the origin of the nation: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. “Holy” has no reference to any moral quality, but to the fact that it was set apart for God. Now if the first fruit, or the first dough—that little bit of dough—was set apart for God, what about the whole harvest? Since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were set apart for God, what about the nation? It all belongs to God, you see. God is not through with the nation Israel. (McGee, J. V. Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the Thru the Bible radio program. Vol. 4, Page 724. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) Warren Wiersbe adds that...The reference is to (Numbers 15:17-21). The first part of the dough was to be offered up to God as a symbol that the entire lump belonged to Him. The same idea was involved in the Feast of Firstfruits, when the priest offered a sheaf to the Lord as a token that the entire harvest was His (Lev 23:9-14). The basic idea is that when God accepts the part He sanctifies the whole. Applying this to the history of Israel, we understand Paul’s argument. God
  • 25. accepted the founder of the nation, Abraham, and in so doing set apart his descendants as well. God also accepted the other patriarchs, Isaac and Jacob, in spite of their sins or failings. This means that God must accept the “rest of the lump”—the nation of Israel. AND IF THE ROOT BE HOLY, THE BRANCHES ARE TOO: kai ei e rhiza hagia, kai oi kladoi: (Ro 1:17; Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 2:21; 1Corinthians 7:14) Root = The patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Branches = The patriarchs’ descendants: the nation of Israel. If the foundational part of a plant (the root) is holy, then that which it produces (the branches) must likewise (too) be holy. In order to be faithful to His own Word, the Lord must provide a future salvation for Israel. Israel has not yet completely fulfilled God’s covenant promise to Abraham or His countless reiterations of that promise to redeem and restore Abraham’s descendants. If the root, Abraham and the other patriarchs, is holy, then the branches, their descendants, are holy too. They were divinely called and set apart before the foundation of the world and God’s work with those branches will not be complete until they bear the spiritual fruit He intends to produce in and through them, until the end of the age when Israel actually becomes the holy people they were destined to be. God did not judge Israel and offer the gospel to Gentiles because Jews are inherently more unrighteous and unworthy or because Gentiles are inherently more righteous and worthy (Ro 2:14-15). That is the reverse of the view Jews had long had of Gentiles. It did not take long for early Gentile Christians to be tempted to scorn the Jews because they had scorned Christ. That notion poured fuel on the fire of anti-Semitism that had existed in many Gentile nations and cultures for countless centuries. And because many Gentile believers in the early
  • 26. church had been raised in the midst of pagan anti-Semitism, it was not difficult for Satan to tempt them to continued prejudice against Jews because of Israel’s rejection and crucifixion of her own Messiah and Savior. Some modern “Christian” cults are based on the notion of British Israelism. They hold the totally unscriptural and unhistorical notion that Anglo–Saxons comprise the ten so-called lost tribes of Israel—a name to which they believe Jews have long lost all claim, because God eternally rejected and condemned them for rejecting and putting Jesus Christ to death. Anti-Semitism is the very underpinning of such cults. Less extreme prejudice, often hidden and usually denied, is also reflected in some Christian churches and organizations. It is not impossible even for true believers to become infected with that age–old spiritual disease which the Lord so intensely detests. Romans 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, Branches (kladwn). From klaw, to break. Were broken off (exeklasqhsan). First aorist passive indicative of ekklaw. Play on the word klado (branch) and ekklaw, to break off. Condition of first class, assumed as true. Some of the individual Jews (natural Israel) were broken off the stock of the tree (spiritual Israel). And thou (kai su). An individual Gentile. Being a wild olive (agrielaio wn). This word, used by Aristotle, occurs in an inscription. Ramsay (Pauline Studies, pp. 219ff.) shows that the ancients used the wild-olive graft upon an old olive tree to reinvigorate the tree precisely as Paul uses the figure here and that both the olive tree and the graft were influenced by each other, though the wild olive graft did not produce as good olives as the original stock. But it should be noted that in verse Numbers 24 Paul expressly states that the grafting of Gentiles on to the stock of the spiritual Israel was "contrary to nature" (para pusin). Wast grafted in (enekentrisqh). First aorist passive indicative of enkentrizw, to cut in, to graft, used by Aristotle. Belongs "to the higher Koin" (literary Koin) according to Milligan. Partaker (sunkoinwno). Co-partner. Fatness (piothto). Old word from piwn (fat), only here in N.T. Note three genitives here "of the root of the fatness of the olive Greek: Ei de tines ton kladon exeklasthesan, su de agrielaios on (PAPMSN) enekentristhes (2SAPI) en autois kai sugkoinonos tes rhizes tes piotetos tes elaias egenou, (2SAMI) Amplified: But if some of the branches were broken off, while you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them to share the richness [of the root and sap] of the olive tree,
  • 27. ESV: But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root[2] of the olive tree, ICB: Some of the branches from an olive tree have been broken off, and the branch of a wild olive tree has been joined to that first tree. You non-Jews are the same as that wild branch, and you now share the strength and life of the first tree, the Jews. NIV: If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, NKJV: And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, NLT: But some of these branches from Abraham's tree, some of the Jews, have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, were grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in God's rich nourishment of his special olive tree. Phillips: But if some of the branches of the tree have been broken off, while you, like shoots of wild-olive, have been grafted in, and don't share like a natural branch the rich nourishment of the root, Wuest: Now, since certain of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became joint-partaker with them of the root of the fatness of the olive, Young's Literal: And if certain of the branches were broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wast graffed in among them, and a fellow-partaker of the root and of the fatness of the olive tree didst become-- BUT IF SOME OF THE BRANCHES WERE BROKEN OFF: Ei de tines ton kladon exeklasthesan ( (Psalms 80:11-16; Isaiah 6:13; 27:11; Jeremiah 11:16; Ezekiel 15:6-8; Matthew 8:11,12; Matthew 21:43; John 15:6) Branches...broken off ~ unbelieving Israel Wild Olive ~ believing Gentile Rich root of the Olive Tree ~ The place of divine blessing. God’s covenant of salvation made with Abraham (John MacArthur) But - Always pause to ponder this term of contrast. Ryrie agrees that...The olive tree is the place of privilege that was first occupied by the natural branches (the Jews). The wild branches are Gentiles who, because of the unbelief of Israel, now occupy the place of privilege. The root of
  • 28. the tree is the Abrahamic covenant that promised blessing to both Jew and Gentile through Christ. (Ryrie Study Bible) If is a first class condition, which assumes that what follows is a fact. Indeed some of the branches, the natural Jews (Israel) were broken off by their unbelief and rejection of the Messiah. Notice that Paul makes clear that not all of the branches (the natural Jews) were broken off. This truth is also emphasized by his use of the phrase among them which refers to natural Jews who did believe in Messiah. There always had been a believing remnant in Israel. Notice that the term “Broken off” is the equivalent of “fall” (Ro 11:11), “their failure” (Ro 11:12), and “their rejection” (Ro 11:15). AND YOU BEING A WILD OLIVE WERE GRAFTED IN AMONG THEM: su de agrielaios on (PAPMSN) enekentristhes en autois: (Psalms 80:11-16; Isaiah 6:13; 27:11; Ezekiel 15:6-8; Matthew 8:11,12; ; John 15:6) (Deuteronomy 8:8; Judges 9:8,9; Psalms 52:8; Zechariah 4:3; Jonah 1:16; Revelation 11:4) Wild Olive (65) (agrielaios from ágrios = wild + elaía = olive tree, olive) is Paul's metaphorical way of referring to the Gentiles who had believed in Christ. Centuries earlier God had warned His people through His prophet Jeremiah that their continued unbelief and idolatry would reap an unwanted harvest ... What right has My beloved (Israel who was to have been His faithful wife) in My house when she has done many vile deeds? Can the sacrificial flesh take away from you your disaster, so that you can rejoice? (God was not interested in their sacrifices but in their broken and contrite hearts)" 16 The LORD called your name, "A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form"; With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, and its branches are worthless (Paul has explained in Romans 11 these were broken off). 17 And the LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me by offering up sacrifices to Baal. (Jeremiah 11:15-17) Jesus over 600 years later warned His Israel that... "the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. (Matthew 21:43). W E Vine - The Gentile who, though now a believer, is, naturally, a member of those nations which God had suffered to walk in their own ways (Ac 14:16), and who therefore remained unfaithful to God. The wild olive being a tree of comparatively little value, this part of the metaphor sets in contrast the glorious
  • 29. position of relationship into which God had brought Israel on the ground of covenant promise. The process of grafting is almost invariably that of putting the good shoot into the inferior stock. Whenever the reverse process was adopted it was to invigorate the fruitful stock and not to fertilize the wild shoot. What is set forth here, therefore, does not correspond actually to either method, but is selected in order to suit the subject, namely, the enrichment of individual Gentiles by their admission to the blessings forfeited by some of God’s ancient people through their unbelief. AND BECAME PARTAKER WITH THEM OF THE RICH ROOT OF THE OLIVE TREE: kai sugkoinonos tes rhizes tes piotetos tes elaias egenou (2SAMI): Partaker (4791) (sugkoinonos from sun = with + koinonos = companion, partner) means co-participant or partaker together with others. The New Living Translation phrases this verse this way...But some of these branches from Abraham's tree, some of the Jews, have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, were grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in God's rich nourishment of his special olive tree. The discerning reader needs to be careful when reading some of the commentaries on this section of Romans. For example the respected devotional commentary by Matthew Henry has some very confusing statements on Romans 11:17. Henry writes that..."those that God grafts into the church he finds wild and barren, and good for nothing. Men graft to mend the tree; but God grafts to mend the branch. The church of God is an olive-tree, flourishing and fruitful as an olive (Ps. 52:8; Hos. 14:6)...The Gentiles, being grafted into the church, partake of the same privileges that the Jews did, the root and fatness. The olive-tree is the visible church (Henry, M. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged) Clearly Matthew Henry is misinterpreting the rich root of the olive tree as the church. Notice also that Henry goes so far as to find the "church" in Old Testament passages like Hosea 14:6 which are clearly (in context) speaking of the nation of Israel. In a sense Matthew Henry is doing the very thing Paul warns Gentile believers against in this section of Romans. Warren Wiersbe agrees and cautions that To say that the olive tree, with its natural and grafted branches, is a picture of the church would be a great mistake. (Wiersbe, W. W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books) (Bolding added) It should also be noted that the fact that true believers living today are spiritual children of Abraham does not mean that the church is "spiritual
  • 30. Israel." Yes as Paul said "if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." (Gal 3:29) Gentile believers who are not physical children of Abraham are his spiritual children in the sense that they have followed the pattern of his faith. All believers, Jew or Gentile, in fact are heirs of the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant. The Bible Knowledge Commentary (on Galatians 3:29) however cautions that...Any discussion of the seed (offspring) of Abraham must first take into account his natural seed (offspring), the descendants of Jacob in the 12 tribes. Within this natural seed there is a believing remnant of Jews who will one day inherit the Abrahamic promises directed specifically to them (cf. Ro 9:6, 8). But there is also the spiritual seed of Abraham who are not Jews. These are the Gentiles who believe and become Abraham’s spiritual seed. They inherit the promise of justification by faith as Paul explained... (cf. Gal. 3:6-9). To suggest, as amillenarians do (Ed note: and as many of the older commentators like Matthew Henry), that Gentile believers inherit the national promises given to the believing Jewish remnant (Ed note: e.g., the specific promises of the land in Genesis 15:18) promises which God has not yet literally fulfilled but which He will fulfill in the Millennium) —that the church thus supplants Israel or is the “new Israel”—is to read into these verses what is not there. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) (Bolding added) (See also discussion of the phrase Israel of God) Paul will now go on to warn the Gentile Christians of the danger of repeating the sin of the Jews--boasting of their privileged position (Ro 11:18-21). He will also explain that if God, by cutting off the branches of the natural olive, has made room for Gentile believers, how much easier will it be for him to restore the natural branches to their place in the cultivated olive (Ro 11:23-24)! Romans 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. Glory not over the branches (mh katakaucw twn kladwn). Genitive case after kata. Present middle imperative second person singular of katakaucaomai with negative mh, "stop glorying" or "do not have the habit of glorying over the branches." The conclusion of the preceding condition. Gloriest (katakaucasai). Late form -aesai retaining . Not thou (ou su). Very emphatic position. The graft was upon the stock and root, though each affected the other. Greek: me katakaucho (2SPMM) ton kladon; ei de katakauchasai, (2SPMI) ou su ten rhizan bastazeis (2SPAI) alla e rhiza se.
  • 31. Amplified: Do not boast over the branches and pride yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root [that supports] you. ESV: do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. ICB: So do not brag about those branches that were broken off. You have no reason to brag. Why? You do not give life to the root. The root gives life to you. NIV: do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. NKJV: do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. NLT: But you must be careful not to brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. Remember, you are just a branch, not the root. Phillips: don't let yourself feel superior to those former branches. (If you feel inclined that way, remind yourself that you do not support the root, the root supports you.) Wuest: stop boasting against the branches. But, assuming that you are boasting, you are not sustaining the root, but the root you. Young's Literal: do not boast against the branches; and if thou dost boast, thou dost not bear the root, but the root thee! DO NOT BE ARROGANT TOWARD THE BRANCHES: me katakaucho ton kladon: (Ro 1:20; 3:27; 1Kings 20:11; Proverbs 16:18; Matthew 26:33; Luke 18:9-11; 1Corinthians 10:12) Do not be arrogant - This present imperative with a negative is which signifies stop being arrogant or don't let this begin to be your mindset! Arrogant - exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one’s own worth or importance in an overbearing manner. Don't manifest a feeling of superiority. Could the false doctrine of replacement theology be a variation of arrogance toward the branches, the Jews? (See introductory comments at Romans 11) Arrogant (2620) (katakauchaomai from katá = against + kauchaomai = boast over a privilege or possession. The root is auchen = neck which vain persons are apt to carry in proud manner) means to exult or boast against or to boast arrogantly. In Ro 11:18 the Gentile believers are contrasted with the "branches" those Jews who rejected Christ. The verb is in the with a negative which can be more accurately translated as "stop being arrogant toward" the unbelieving Jews. The point is that this aberrant attitude had already begun to creep into the Roman church which by all of Paul's testimony was a good church. How easily this leaven of subtle anti-Semitism can begin to permeate even the best of churches today! We must diligently guard against this attitude toward the
  • 32. Jews or the nation of Israel. How could a Gentile, a wild olive, who had been grafting in (by faith) demonstrate his or her arrogance? One way is by saying that the Jews who did not believe should have believed! Another way is to assume a holier-than-thou attitude toward the Jews. It is tragic and lamentable that, throughout much of church history, Jewish converts to Christ have often been subjected to attitudes of Gentile superiority and been shunned or reluctantly accepted into Christian fellowship. Paul anticipated that, in spite of this clear truth, some of his Gentile readers would continue to argue against him (see Romans 11:19). As an aside I would pose this question: What happened in this regard to the Early Church Fathers? Why did not many of them see this truth? Even Martin Luther in his latter years wrote a vicious pamphlet vilifying the Jews because they would not accept Messiah! (See a sample link from a non-believing Jewish source) If Martin Luther could fall into such deception, let every man take heed lest he fall! William Newell comments...How few of us Gentile believers understand and bear in mind that we are beneficiaries of those promises which God lodged in Abraham as a root of promise, --all the promises we inherit in Christ! (Romans 11). BUT IF YOU ARE ARROGANT REMEMBER THwwAT IT IS NOT YOU WHO SUPPORTS THE ROOT BUT THE ROOT SUPPORTS YOU: ei de katakauchasai ou su ten rhizan bastazeis alla e rhiza se: (Ro 4:16; Zechariah 8:20-23; John 10:16; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 2:19,20) Root = spiritual promises and blessings that flow through the Abrahamic Covenant. In a sense even the New Covenant was also actually given to Israel first. E.g. Jeremiah writes... "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, (with who? is it with the Gentiles?) 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. (for more on this subject see the New Covenant in the Old Testament) (Jeremiah 31:31-32) And who did Jesus inaugurate the New Covenant with? Were there any Gentiles present? And who did the Spirit Who was promised as part of the blessing of the
  • 33. New Covenant first come upon in Acts 2? And who composed the predominant makeup of disciples in the early church (probably until about 100AD)? (Answer: Jewish believers). Clearly we Gentiles are "Johnny come lately" and thus have no grounds whatsoever for spiritual pride in regard to our salvation. There is never any ground for a believer from among the Gentiles to hold a Jew as such in any measure of contempt or inferiority. Paul warned the Gentiles that they were obligated to Israel, and therefore they dared not boast of their new spiritual position (Ro 11:18-21). The Gentiles entered into God’s plan because of faith, and not because of anything good they had done. Paul was discussing the Gentiles collecively, and not the individual experience of one believer or another. No matter how far Israel may stray from the truth of God, the roots (the covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were made by a covenant keeping God!) are still good. God is still the “God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Ex 3:6 Mt 22:32). He will keep His promises to the patriarchs and to any and all natural Jews who enter in by grace through faith. Praise God that His the keeping of His covenants does not depend on us but is rooted in His attributes such as Faithfulness, Love, Mercy, Immutable, Good, Eternal Romans 11:19-21 Commentary Romans 11:19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." Thou wilt say then (erei oun). A presumptuous Gentile speaks. That I might be grafted in (ina egw enkentrisqw). Purpose clause with ina and first aorist passive subjunctive. He shows contempt for the cast-off Jews. Greek: ereis (2SFAI) oun, Exeklasthesan kladoi hina ego egkentristho. (1SAPS) Amplified: You will say then, Branches were broken (pruned) off so that I might be grafted in! ESV: Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." ICB: You will say, "Branches were broken off so that I could be joined to their tree." NKJV: You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." NLT: "Well," you may say, "those branches were broken off to make room for me."
  • 34. Phillips: You may make the natural retort, "But the branches were broken off to make room for my grafting!" Wuest: You will say then, Branches were broken off in order that I might be grafted in. Young's Literal: Thou wilt say, then, 'The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in;' right! YOU WILL SAY THEN: ereis (2SFAI) oun: Paul anticipated that in spite of this clear truth, some of his Gentile readers would continue to argue against him. BRANCHES WERE BROKEN OFF SO THAT I MIGHT BE GRAFTED IN: exeklasthesan (3PAPI) kladoi hina ego egkentristho (1SAPS): (Ro 11:11,12,17,23,24) The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains that The apostle anticipated the rebuttal a Gentile believer might make: Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in. Though that was not the real reason the branches were broken off, Paul accepted the statement for the sake of argument. Then he pointed out that the real reason the branches were broken off was Israel’s unbelief and that any Gentile as a grafted-in branch stands (cf. Ro 5:2-note) by faith. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books) Thomas Constable commenting on Ro 11:19-20 adds that...It is true that one of the reasons Gentiles have become partakers of the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant is that many of the Jews have not believed. However the Gentile believer who may feel superior to the unbelieving Jew needs to remember that the only reason he is where he is is because he has simply believed God. He is not there because he has done some meritorious work that would be a ground for boasting (Romans 11 Commentary - Expository Notes) Romans 11:20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited *, but fear; Well (kalw). Perhaps ironical, though Paul may simply admit the statement (cf. Mark 12:32 ) and show the Gentile his real situation. By unbelief (th apistiai) --by faith (pistei). Instrumental case with both contrasted words (by unbelief, by belief). Greek: kalos; te apistia exeklasthesan, su de te pistei estekas. (2SRAI) me hupsela phronei, (2SPAM) alla phobou; (2SPPM) Amplified: That is true. But they were broken (pruned) off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith), and you are established through faith [because you do believe]. So do
  • 35. not become proud and conceited, but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid. ESV: That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. ICB: That is true. But those branches were broken off because they did not believe. And you continue to be part of the tree only because you believe. Do not be proud, but be afraid. NIV: Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. NKJV: Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. NLT: Yes, but remember--those branches, the Jews, were broken off because they didn't believe God, and you are there because you do believe. Don't think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. Phillips: It wasn't quite like that. They lost their position because they failed to believe; you only maintain yours because you do believe. The situation does not call for conceit but for a certain wholesome fear. Wuest: Well! Because of their unbelief they were broken off. But, as for you, by faith you stand. Stop having a superiority complex, but be fearing; Young's Literal: by unbelief they were broken off, and thou hast stood by faith; be not high-minded, but be fearing; QUITE RIGHT, THEY WERE BROKEN OFF FOR THEIR UNBELIEF BUT YOU STAND BY YOUR FAITH: kalos: te apistia exeklasthesan su de te pistei esthkas (2SRAI): (John 4:17,18; James 2:19) (Ro 3:3; Acts 13:46,47; 18:6; Hebrews 3:12,19; 4:6,11) (Ro 5:1,2; 2Chronicles 20:20; Isaiah 7:9; 1Corinthians 16:13; 2Corinthians 1:24; Colossians 2:7; 1Peter 5:9,12) That is true. But they were broken (pruned) off because of their unbelief (their lack of real faith), and you are established through faith [because you do believe]. So do not become proud and conceited, but rather stand in awe and be reverently afraid. (Amplified) Yes, but remember--those branches, the Jews, were broken off because they didn't believe God, and you are there because you do believe. Don't think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. (NLT) Granted that Jews were rejected because of their unbelief, but nevertheless there was no personal merit in the Gentiles by which they became recipients of the divine favor. That favor was bestowed on the condition of their faith, and faith excludes boasting (Ro 3:27). Accordingly the real cause of their rejection is sufficient to correct a false inference.
  • 36. Unbelief (570)(apistia [see word study] from a = without + pistós = believing, faithful) means literally not believing = faithlessness, distrust, lack of belief. It describes an unwillingness to commit oneself to another or respond positively to the other’s words or actions. Faith (4102)(pistis ]) is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it. Note that this discussion of pistis is only an overview and not a detailed treatise of this vitally important subject. Wayne Grudem defines faith that saves one's soul...Saving faith is trust in Jesus Christ as a living person for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life with God. This definition emphasizes that saving faith is not just a belief in facts but personal trust in Jesus to save me... The definition emphasizes personal trust in Christ, not just belief in facts about Christ. Because saving faith in Scripture involves this personal trust, the word "trust" is a better word to use in contemporary culture than the word "faith" or "belief." The reason is that we can "believe" something to be true with no personal commitment or dependence involved in it. (Grudem, W. A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine Zondervan) DO NOT BE CONCEITED BUT (have an attitude of reverential awe) FEAR: me hupsela phronei (2SPAM) alla phobou (2SPPM): (Ro 11:18; 12:16; Psalms 138:6; Proverbs 28:26; Isaiah 2:11,17; Habakkuk 2:4; Zephaniah 3:11; Luke 18:14; 2Corinthians 10:5; 2Thessalonians 2:4; 2Timothy 3:3-5; James 4:6; 1Peter 5:5,6; Revelation 3:17; Revelation 18:7) (Proverbs 28:14; Isaiah 66:2; 1Corinthians 10:12; Philippians 2:12; Hebrews 4:1; 1Peter 1:17) Stop thinking so high Stop having a superiority complex, but be fearing (Wuest) The situation does not call for conceit but for a certain wholesome fear. (Phillips) Conceited is two words in Greek - (5308) (hupselós) which means high or lofty. The second word is (5426) (phroneo) which means to think, to have a mindset, to be minded. The activity represented by phroneo involves the will, affections, and conscience. The combination means to be high-minded, lofty in mind, proud or arrogant. The present imperative with the negative Greek word ("me" = conveys negation) calls for the reader to cease from an attitude that they are presently manifesting (i.e., spiritual arrogance toward the Jews). Fear (5399) (phobeo from phobos = alarm or fright, fear, terror, reverence, respect, honor) means to cause to run away, to frighten, to terrify, to be alarmed. As used here phobeo conveys more the sense of to revere, to reverence or to be in awe of God. The
  • 37. present imperative calls for this to be one's lifestyle or habitual practice (which necessitates continually being filled with the Holy Spirit that we might have the supernatural enabling power to accomplish always "fear"-see Eph 5:18-note, Gal 5:16note).. If Israel’s special calling and blessing from the Lord could not protect them from being broken off, then certainly the Gentiles’ lack of that calling and blessing cannot protect them from being broken off for their unbelief. Therefore you would do well, Paul advises his Gentile readers, to have a righteous holy fear and to strongly resist any temptation to arrogance (Ro 11:18) and conceit (Ro 11:20). If God cut off apostate Israel because of her unbelief, how much more surely will He cut off an apostate church because of unbelief. As alluded to in a previous comment, this is a warning the "Church" has failed to heed as manifest by the evolution of allegorical interpretation of Scripture by the early church fathers such as Origen so that by the time of Augustine this respected and influential teacher taught that Israel was replaced by the Church, in this case the Roman Catholic church. And so it went for the first 1000 years and thus Jews were often despised and hated and persecuted by the very ones who Paul is clearly stating should have known better. Probably few of these were truly saved but only pretending to be ''Christians'', although even such revered saints as Martin Luther in his later years published vitriolic diatribes against the Jews even calling for their tongues to be torn out if they did not convert! (See a sample link from a non-believing Jewish source) When we leave the (real) Literal we enter the surreal and we are in the land of ''science fiction'' with all sorts of fantastic interpretations and vain imaginings, the end of which is potentially deception and destruction. Romans 11:21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Be not highminded (mh upshla pronei). "Stop thinking high (proud) thoughts." Of God spared not (ei gar o qeo ouk epeisato). It is not ei mh (unless), but the ouk negatives the verb epeisato (first aorist middle indicative of peidomai, to spare. Condition of first class. Greek: ei gar o theos ton kata phusin kladon ouk epheisato, (3SAMI) [me pos] oude sou pheisetai. (3SFMI) Amplified: For if God did not spare the natural branches [because of unbelief], neither will He spare you [if you are guilty of the same offense]. ESV: For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
  • 38. ICB: If God did not let the natural branches of that tree stay, then he will not let you stay if you don't believe. NIV: For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. NKJV: For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. NLT: For if God did not spare the branches he put there in the first place, he won't spare you either. Phillips: If God removed the natural branches for a good reason, take care that you don't give him the same reason for removing you. Wuest: for in view of the fact that God did not spare the branches which were according to nature, neither will He spare you. Young's Literal: for if God the natural branches did not spare -- lest perhaps He also shall not spare thee. FOR IF GOD DID NOT SPARE THE NATURAL BRANCHES NEITHER WILL HE SPARE YOU: ei gar o theos ton kata phusin kladon ouk epheisato (3SAMI) (me pos) oude sou pheisetai (3SFMI): (Ro 11:17,19; 8:32; Jeremiah 25:29; 49:12; 1Corinthians 10:1-12; 2Peter 2:4-9; Jude 1:5) Jer 25:29 For behold, I am beginning to work calamity in this city which is called by My name, and shall you be completely free from punishment? You will not be free from punishment; for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,” declares the LORD of hosts.’ 1Cor 10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY." 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed (present imperative = calls for continual guarding of our hearts lest we too fall like Israel did. Flesh is flesh whether it is Old Testament or New Testament flesh!) that he does not fall.
  • 39. For - Always pause and ponder this small but "strategic" term of explanation. Why did He not spare them? Why were they cut off? Their unbelief. And if God set aside Israel for their unbelief, He could do the same to Gentiles for their pride. W E Vine - High mindedness is the forerunner of stumbling. A privilege granted affords no room for self-glorying. On the contrary there is room for fear of the danger of stumbling, as Israel had done. If the natural descendants of Abraham, and partakers of the blessings of the covenant, were deprived of their privileges through unbelief, verily the Gentile has reason to beware of the danger that God will not spare him, who by nature was a stranger from the covenant of promise (Eph 2:12-note). (Collected Writings of W E Vine Romans 11:22-24 Commentar y Romans 11:22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. The goodness and the severity of God (crhstothta kai apotomian qeou). See on Romans 2:2 for crhstoth, kindness of God. Apotomia (here alone in the N.T.) is from apotomo, cut off, abrupt, and this adjective from apotemnw, to cut off. This late word occurs several times in the papyri. If thou continue (ean epimenh). Third class condition, ean and present active subjunctive. Otherwise (epei). Ellipse after epei, "since if thou dost not continue." Thou also (kai su). Precisely as the Jewish branches of verse Romans 17 were. Shalt be cut off (ekkophsh). Second future passive of ekkoptw, to cut out. Greek: ide (2SAAM) oun chrestoteta kai apotomian theou; epi men tous pesontas (AAPMPA) apotomia, epi de se chrestotes theou, ean epimenes (2SPAS) te chrestoteti, epei kai su ekkopese. (2SFPI) Amplified: Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's gracious kindness to you--provided you continue in His grace and abide in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away). ESV: Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. ICB: So you see that God is kind, but he can also be very strict. God punishes those who stop following him. But God is kind to you, if you continue following in his kindness. If you do not continue following him, you will be cut off from the tree. NIV: Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. NKJV: Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise
  • 40. you also will be cut off. NLT: Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe to those who disobeyed, but kind to you as you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. Phillips: You must try to appreciate both the kindness and the strict justice of God. Those who fell experienced his justice, while you are experiencing his kindness, and will continue to do so as long as you do not abuse that kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off from the tree. Wuest: Behold therefore God’s benevolent kindness and His severity; on the one hand, upon those who fell, severity, and, on the other hand, upon you, God’s benevolent kindness, upon the condition that you continue to remain in and abide by His benevolent kindness. Otherwise, also you will be cut out. Young's Literal: Lo, then, goodness and severity of God -- upon those indeed who fell, severity; and upon thee, goodness, if thou mayest remain in the goodness, otherwise, thou also shalt be cut off. BEHOLD THEN THE KINDNESS AND SEVERITY OF GOD: ide oun chrestoteta kai apotomian theou: (Ro 2:4,5; 9:22,23; Nu 14:18-22; Deut 32:39-43; Joshua 23:15,16; Psalms 58:10,11; Psalms 78:49-52; 136:15-22; Isaiah 66:14) Nu 14:18‘The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’ Behold (3708) (eido) is aorist imperative. Kindness (5544) (chrestotes from the adjective chrestos = useful, profitable in turn from chraomai = to furnish what is needed in turn from chráo = lend, furnish as a loan) describes the quality of being helpful and beneficial. Kindness is God's beneficial provision that meets the need of sinful man. Kindness is not an apathetic response to sin, but a deliberate act to bring the sinner back to God. Kindness reflects benevolence in action, kindliness which disposes one to do good but not a goodness qualitatively but a goodness in action and expressed in deed. Kindness is that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes and which supplies their wants or alleviates their distresses. Kindness is not just a sweet disposition but is a serving trait. Earlier in this letter Paul asked"do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness (chrestotes) and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" (Ro 2:4-) God's kindness does not excuse men of their sin but convicts them of sin and leads them to repentance. In the next chapter of Romans Paul uses chrestotes to
  • 41. contrast the attitude and action of sinful men writing "all have turned aside. Together they have become useless. There is none who does good (chrestotes). There is not even one." (see note on Romans 3:12) John MacArthur writes that kindness (chrestotes)"connotes genuine goodness and generosity of heart. Our salvation from sin and lostness and death issued wholly from God’s kindness, His loving, benevolent, and entirely gracious concern to draw us to Himself and redeem us from sin forever." TO THOSE WHO FELL, SEVERITY BUT TO YOU, GOD'S KINDNESS: epi men tous pesontas ( apotomia, epi de se chrestotes theou: Those who fell are the unbelieving Jews, and “you” are the believing Gentiles. But what Paul is suggesting is that the positions are reversible. Gentiles can become objects of God’s severity, and Israel can become the object of His kindness, depending on the response of each to God. Severity (663) (apotomia from apoténo = to cut off) describes a cutting off, a severing, as of a man cutting off as the gardener cuts off, with a pruning knife, dead useless boughs, or luxuriant stems. from a fruit tree. Apotomia thus has the root (no pun intended) meaning of cutting right off, or cutting quickly, and corresponds to the verb ekkopto (cut off), with which this verse ends. And in this context, pipto (fell) means to fall down so as to be completely ruined. Paul is therefore speaking of an extremely serious spiritual condition, in which people fell from spiritual opportunity into judgment. (Related topic: God's wrath) IF YOU CONTINUE IN HIS KINDNESS OTHERWISE YOU ALSO WILL BE CUT OFF: ean epimenes te chrestoteti, epei kai su ekkopese ) : (Ro 2:7; Luke 8:15; John 8:31; 15:4-10; Acts 11:23; 14:22; 1Corinthians 15:2; Galatians 6:9; 1Thessalonians 3:5,8; Hebrews 3:6,14; 10:23,35-39; 1John 2:19; Jude 1:20,21) Continue (1961)(epimeno [see word study] from epí = upon, in or at + méno = abide, endure, continue, stay or remain > epí intensifies the meaning and so this word is a strengthened form of méno and gives the force of adherence to and persistence in what is referred to) means literally to tarry, to stay at or with, to abide in, to continue in. The most common usage of epimeno in the NT is the literal picture of one abiding, remaining on, tarrying or staying at a place (Ac 10:48, 21:4, 10, 28:12, 14, 1Co 16:7, 8, Ga 1:18) Figuratively epimeno means to persist in (Jn 8:7), to persevere or to continue in an activity (Acts 12:16) or state, such as in a state of sin in Romans 6:1 (note), in the faith in Colossians 1:23 (note), in the work of teaching in 1Ti 4:16.In which of these are you "persisting", beloved? MacArthur believes this should be interpreted as follows:The previous phrase ("those that fell") looks at the past. Paul then warns those in the present who
  • 42. have identified with the saving gospel that they must continue in His kindness or they, too, will be judged severely like those in the past who were near the blessing and fell. That is a familiar NT idea, which affirms the reality of true, saving faith by its continuity. That is the perseverance of the saints that evidences their genuine conversion (Jn 8:31 15:5-6; Col 1:22-23 Heb 3:12-14, 4:11, 1Jn 2:19). Not everyone interprets this verse in the above manner. For example Bible Believer's Commentary says:"It must be constantly borne in mind that Paul is not speaking of the church or of individual believers. He is speaking about the Gentiles as such. Nothing can ever separate the Body of Christ from the Head, and nothing can separate a believer from the love of God, but the Gentile peoples can be removed from their present position of special privilege." Nelson's Study Bible:If Gentiles continue in God’s goodness, they will not be cut off, and if Jews turn to God in faith, they can be grafted in again. This is not a reference to individual salvation but to God’s program for Jews and Gentiles. Beet writes that All exultation of Gentiles over Jews is now shut out. Not only has the spiritual life of the Gentiles come through the Jews, but the present state of the Jews tells what will become of the Gentiles if they cease to believe. Charles Hodge in his commentary on Romans writes that...:Nothing in this language is inconsistent with the doctrine of the final perseverance of believers, even supposing that the passage refers to individuals, for it is very common to speak hypothetically in this way and say that an event cannot or will not come to pass unless the requisite means are employed, when the occurrence of the event has been made certain by the prior intention and promise of God (see Acts 27:31). The foundation of all such statements is the simple truth that he who intends the end also intends the means; and he brings about the end by providing the means. And when rational agents are concerned, he provides the means by rational considerations presented to their minds and made effectual by his grace, when the end contemplated is good. This passage, however, has no legitimate bearing on this subject. Paul is not speaking about the connection between individual believers and Christ, which, as he has fully taught in chapter 7 and elsewhere, is indissoluble, but about the relationship of communities to the church and its various privileges. No promise or covenant on the part of God guarantees that the Gentiles will enjoy these blessings through all generations, any more than there was any such promise to protect the Jews from the consequences of their unbelief. The continuation of these favors depends on the conduct of each successive generation. Therefore Paul tells the Gentile that he must continue in the divine favor: Otherwise, you also will be cut off. Bible Knowledge Commentary writes that...In these verses Paul summarized his
  • 43. whole discussion of God’s sovereign choice in temporarily putting Israel aside corporately and proclaiming righteousness by faith to all mankind. Consider (ide, “see, behold”) therefore the kindness (chrestoteta, “benevolence in action”; also used of God in 2:4; Eph. 2:7; Titus 3:4) and sternness of God. “Sternness” translates apotomian, used only here in the New Testament (cf. the adverb apotomos in 2 Cor. 13:10 [“be harsh”] and Titus 1:13 [“sharply”]). God’s sovereign choice involved severity toward the Jews who stumbled (fell; cf. Rom. 11:11) in unbelief and were hardened (v. 25), but that same decision displayed the goodness of God toward individual Gentiles. God’s continuing His goodness to the Gentiles depends on their continuing in His kindness. If Gentiles do not continue in God’s kindness, they also will be cut off. This does not suggest that a Christian can lose his salvation; it refers to Gentiles as a whole (suggested by the sing. you) turning from the gospel much as Israel as a nation had done. Because of God’s blessing of ancient Israel as a nation, many Jewish unbelievers shared in that blessing. In the same way, because of God’s blessing on the church, many unbelievers within the church taste that blessing. But if they fall away, God’s patience will be exhausted and His offer of grace withdrawn, that blessing by association will be of no value when unbelievers face the living God in judgment and are eternally cut off from Him. Those who in unbelief refuse God’s kindness in the offer of salvation are destined to be cut off by His severity. Romans 11:23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. If they continue not in their unbelief (ean mh epimenwsi th apistiai). Third class condition with the same verb used in verse Romans 22 of the Gentile. Locative case of apistiai here (same form as the instrumental in verse Romans 20 ). For God is able (dunato gar estin o qeo). See this use of dunato estin in Romans 4:21 rather than dunatai. This is the crux of the whole matter. God is able. Greek: kakeinoi de, ean me epimenosin (3PPAS) te apistia, egkentristhesontai; (3PFPI) dunatos gar estin (3SPAI) o theos palin egkentrisai (AAN) autous. Amplified: And even those others [the fallen branches, Jews], if they do not persist in [clinging to] their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. ESV: And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. ICB: And if the Jews will believe in God again, then God will accept the Jews back again. God is able to put them back where they were. NIV: And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. NKJV: And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God
  • 44. is able to graft them in again. NLT: And if the Jews turn from their unbelief, God will graft them back into the tree again. He has the power to do it. Phillips: And as for the fallen branches, unless they are obstinate in their unbelief, they will be grafted in again. Such a restoration is by no means beyond the power of God. Wuest: And, moreover, those also, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to again graft them in. Young's Literal: And those also, if they may not remain in unbelief, shall be graffed in, for God is able again to graff them in; AND THEY ALSO IF THEY DO NOT CONTINUE IN THEIR UNBELIEF, WILL BE GRAFTED IN: kakeinoi de, ean me epimenosin (3PPAS) te apistia, egkentristhesontai Continue (1961) (epimeno from epí = upon, in or at + méno = stay or remain) means abide in, continue in, tarry in, abide or stay in. FOR GOD IS ABLE TO GRAFT THEM IN AGAIN: dunatos gar estin o theos palin egkentrisai autous: (Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 23:39; 2Corinthians 3:16) For - Always pause and ponder this term of explanation. God is able - See in depth study on this great Biblical Truth! Our God IS able! What are you experiencing even as you read this? Do you need to be reminded that He is able to come to your aid in the midst of your adversity or affliction. Mark it down beloved - our God is able! Able (1415) (dunatos from dunamai = be able, have power by virtue of inherent ability and resources) (See also the great word dunamis) pertaining to having the ability to perform some function or being in a position to, be able, be capable able to do something (Related topic: God's Omnipotence) Graft (1461) (egkentrizo from en = in + kentrízo = make a puncture from kéntron = a prick or sharp point, emphasizing fact of the incision required in grafting) means to insert by making a puncture or small opening and thus to engraft. Our hearts are hardened by sin and need to be "pricked" by the Word of truth that they might be convicted of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come. Paul's argument is that if the hard thing, the thing contrary to nature, i.e. the grafting of wild branches into the cultivated olive, has been accomplished, one should not find it difficult to believe that God will restore the broken-off branches (Israel) of the cultivated olive to their former position. Since in tree culture this would be impossible because of the deadness of the branches after they were removed, Paul is indeed talking "contrary to nature."
  • 45. How will "God graft them in again"? The prophet Zechariah records Jehovah's promise that one day in the future..."it will come about ...that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. (Zechariah 12:10) Romans 11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural * branches be grafted into their own olive tree ? Contrary to nature (para pusin). This is the gist of the argument, the power of God to do what is contrary to natural processes. He put the wild olive (Gentile) into the good olive tree (the spiritual Israel) and made the wild olive (contrary to nature) become the good olive (kallielaio, the garden olive, kallo and elaia in Aristotle and a papyrus). Into their own olive tree (th idiai elaiai). Dative case. Another argument a fortiori, "how much more" (pollwi mallon). God can graft the natural Israel back upon the spiritual Israel, if they become willing. Greek: ei gar su ek tes kata phusin exekopes (2SAPI) agrielaiou kai para phusin enekentristhes (2SAPI) eis kallielaion, poso mallon houtoi oi kata phusin egkentristhesontai (3PFPI) te idia elaia. Amplified: For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural [branches] back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree. ESV: For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. ICB: It is not natural for a wild branch to be part of a good tree. But you non-Jews are like a branch cut from a wild olive tree. And you were joined to a good olive tree. But those Jews are like a branch that grew from the good tree. So surely they can be joined to their own tree again. NIV: After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! NKJV: For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these,
  • 46. who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? NLT: For if God was willing to take you who were, by nature, branches from a wild olive tree and graft you into his own good tree--a very unusual thing to do--he will be far more eager to graft the Jews back into the tree where they belong. Phillips: And, in any case, if you who were, so to speak, cuttings from a wild-olive, were grafted in, is it not a far simpler matter for the natural branches to be grafted back onto the parent stem? Wuest: For, as for you, in view of the fact that you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into the good olive tree, how much more will these who are according to nature be grafted into their own olive tree. Young's Literal: for if thou, out of the olive tree, wild by nature, wast cut out, and, contrary to nature, wast graffed into a good olive tree, how much rather shall they, who are according to nature, be graffed into their own olive tree? FOR IF YOU WERE CUT OFF FROM WHAT IS BY NATURE A WILD OLIVE TREE AND WERE GRAFTED CONTRARY TO NATURE INTO A CULTIVATED OLIVE TREE: ei gar su ek tes kata phusin exekopes agrielaiou kai para phusin enekentristhes ) eis kallielaion: (Ro 11:17,18,30 ) For - Always pause and ponder this term of explanation. This passage does not teach that the national promises to Israel have been abrogated and are now being fulfilled by the church. This idea, taught by amillenarians, is foreign to Paul’s point, for he said Israel’s fall is temporary. (Related topics Millennium; Israel of God) HOW MUCH MORE SHALL THESE WHO ARE THE NATURAL BRANCHES BE GRAFTED INTO THEIR OWN OLIVE TREE: poso mallon houtoi oi kata phusin egkentristhesontai te idia elaia: For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural [branches] back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree. (Amplified) How much more - This phrase is used 24 times in the NAS often in a positive or encouraging context - Deut 31:27; 1Sam 14:30; 21:5; 23:3; 2Sam 4:11; 16:11; 2Kgs 5:13; Job 4:19; Pr 11:31; 15:11; 19:7; 21:27; Ezek 14:21; Matt 7:11; 10:25; 12:12; Luke 11:13; 12:24, 28; Ro 11:12, 24; 1Cor 6:3; Philemon 1:16; Heb 9:14 That is, it is still more probable that Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham,
  • 47. should be brought into the spiritual privileges contained in the promise given to their own ancestor, for nationally they have a covenant relationship with God already, which is not the case with Gentiles. The great lesson of this passage is certainly that just as the Jews of the Old Testament became proud, assuming that they alone knew God, the same thing may happen to Gentiles in the New Testament era. Gentile believers must not yield to the temptation to disrespect the Jews. If it had not been for the grace of God, Gentiles would never have been grafted into the life of God which the Jews enjoyed. The new life which enables them to produce fruit grows from the same root that the old stock of Israel grows. NT believers must not assume that they are better than the Jews because they were cut off for their unbelief. Every church must never forget its reliance upon the divine grace of God, else her end will be the same as that of the old branches. The process of being grafted into the life of God finds its basis in the grace of God. We must never lord the grace of God over those who have been cut from the tree, for it is much easier to put the natural branches back, than to graft different branches in their place. We therefore must rest totally on the grace of God for our salvation, as the remnant does. Romans 11:25-27 Commentary Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery --so * that you will not be wise in your own estimation --that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; (NASB: Lockman) This mystery (to musthrion touto). Not in the pagan sense of an esoteric doctrine for the initiated (from muew, to blink, to wink), unknown secrets ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7 ), or like the mystery religions of the time, but the revealed will of God now made known to all ( 1 Corinthians 2:1 1 Corinthians 2:7 ; 1 Corinthians 4:1 ) which includes Gentiles also ( Romans 16:25 ; Colossians 1:26 ; Ephesians 3:3 ) and so far superior to man's wisdom ( Colossians 2:2 ; Colossians 4:13 ; Ephesians 3:9 ; Ephesians 5:32 ; Ephesians 6:19 ; Matthew 13:11 ; Mark 4:11 ). Paul has covered every point of difficulty concerning the failure of the Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah and has shown how God has overruled it for the blessing of the Gentiles with a ray of hope still held out for the Jews . "In early ecclesiastical Latin musthrion was rendered by sacramentum, which in classical Latin means the military oath. The explanation of the word sacrament, which is
  • 48. so often founded on this etymology, is therefore mistaken, since the meaning of sacrament belongs to musthrion and not to sacramentum in the classical sense" (Vincent). Wise in your own conceits (en eautoi pronimoi). "Wise in yourselves." Some MSS. read par eautoi (by yourselves). Negative purpose here (ina mh hte), to prevent self-conceit on the part of the Gentiles who have believed. They had no merit in themselves A hardening (pwrwsi). Late word from pwrow ( Mark 11:7 ). Occurs in Hippocrates as a medical term, only here in N.T. save Mark 3:5 ; Ephesians 4:18 . It means obtuseness of intellectual discernment, mental dulness. In part (apo merou). Goes with the verb gegonen (has happened in part). For apo merou, see 2 Corinthians 1:14 ; 2 Corinthians 2:5 ; Romans 15:24 ; for ana mero, see 1 Corinthians 14:27 ; for ek merou, see 1 Corinthians 12:27 ; 1 Corinthians 13:9 ; for kata mero, see Hebrews 9:5 ; for mero ti (adverbial accusative) partly see 1 Corinthians 11:18 . Paul refuses to believe that no more Jews will be saved. Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (acri ou to plhrwma twn eqnwn eiselqh). Temporal clause with acri ou (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of eisercomai, to come in ( Matthew 7:13 Matthew 7:21 ). For fulness of the Gentiles (to plhrwma twn eqnwn) see on verse Romans 11:12 , the complement of the Gentiles. Greek: Ou gar thelo (1SPAS) humas agnoein, (PAN) adelphoi, to musterion touto, hina me ete (2PPAS) [par'] heautois phronimoi, hoti porosis apo merous to Israel gegonen (3SRAI) achris ou to pleroma ton ethnon eiselthe, (3SAAS) Amplified: Lest you be self-opinionated (wise in your own conceits), I do not want you to miss this hidden truth and mystery, brethren: a hardening (insensibility) has [temporarily] befallen a part of Israel [to last] until the full number of the ingathering of the Gentiles has come in (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers:[3] a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (ESV) ICB: I want you to understand this secret truth, brothers. This truth will help you understand that you do not know everything. The truth is this: Part of Israel has been made stubborn. But that will change when many non-Jews have come to God. (ICB: Nelson) NIV: I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (NIV - IBS) NKJV: For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. NLT: I want you to understand this mystery, dear friends, so that you will not feel proud and start bragging. Some of the Jews have hard hearts, but this will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to Christ. (NLT - Tyndale House) Phillips: Now I don't want you, my brothers, to start imagining things, and I must therefore
  • 49. share with you my knowledge of God's secret plan. It is this, that the partial insensibility which has come to Israel is only to last until the full number of the Gentiles has been called in. (Phillips: Touchstone) Wuest: For I do not desire you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning this mystery, in order that you may not be wise in yourselves, that hardening in part has come to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. (Eerdmans) Young's Literal: For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this secret -- that ye may not be wise in your own conceits -- that hardness in part to Israel hath happened till the fulness of the nations may come in; FOR I DO NOT WANT YOU, BRETHREN, TO BE UNINFORMED OF THIS MYSTERY: Ou gar thelo (humas agnoein, adelphoi, to musterion touto: (Psalms 107:43; Hosea 14:9; 1Corinthians 10:1; 12:1; 2Peter 3:8) (Ro 16:25; Ephesians 3:3,4,9; Revelation 10:7) I do not want you to miss this hidden truth and mystery, brethren (Amplified) For (gar) is a conjunction which means because (see term of explanation). Whenever you see a verse begin with for, a good habit to develop is to ask yourself "Because of what?" "Why is this for at the beginning of the passage?" "What is Paul linking it with?" Observe that Paul has just asked "how much more shall these who are the natural branches (the Jews) be grafted into their own olive tree?" (see note Romans 11:24) Paul had just explained the olive tree which represents the promises given to the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) which were rooted in the Abrahamic covenant. He had stated that the olive tree was a cultivated olive tree, and that the Gentiles who are participating in it as branches grafted in are not the natural branches, which are Jews. In light of this truth, Paul wants the Gentiles to understand that there is greater potential (how much more) for unbelieving Israel to come to faith than there was for Gentiles who are saved by adopting that which has a Jewish "foundation". In other words, Christianity was founded on the OT Scriptures which were the privileged possession of the Jews and we Gentiles have come to believe in a Jewish Messiah. Paul's point is that we Gentiles need to think about this dynamic (for I do not want you brethren to be uniformed...). If we Gentiles who were unnatural branches came to believe in the Messiah as our Savior, how much more likely is it for God to turn unbelieving Jews of Israel to faith in Messiah. In other words, the Jews have a much greater affinity and natural connection then Gentiles. And yet we Gentiles (wild olive branches) did come to faith, even though we had less affinity for the natural olive tree. And since this has happened to you Gentiles, don't be surprised when Israel comes to faith in what is often incorrectly regarded as a "western religion" for in fact more accurately Christianity is in its origin a "middle eastern religion". I do not want you - Not identifies (ou) the absolute negation. So Paul is saying in the strongest way possible he does not want his readers to be ignorant of what
  • 50. he is about to explain. Clearly the truth Paul is about to reveal must be very important. Uninformed (50) (agnoeo from a = not + noéo = perceive, understand) means to not have information about, to not know, to be unaware of or to be ignorant of. The present tense speaks of being continually ignorant. Ignorance in this area is not bliss but leads to one becoming wise in their own mind. The ignorance can be as simple as the fact that one has never been taught the truth inherent in the mystery or that the preaching in one's church is shallow and tends to avoid non-seeker friendly "controversial" topics as in Romans 9-11. The most heinous reason for ignorance is not that one has not heard the truth, but having heard the revelation of this mystery makes a conscious choice to reject it! There is what I would interpret as a subtle form of "anti-Semitism" in the church today, in which some believers simply do not like the fact that God has a chosen nation called Israel and that He is not finished with them. Dearly beloved, how is your heart in this area? Mystery (3466) (musterion from mustes = one initiated [as into the Greco-Roman religious "mystery" cults] from mueo = to close or shut) (Click for in depth study of musterion) as used in the NT speaks of some truth which is not discoverable apart from being revealed by God. Mystery in the NT is a truth previously unknown but now revealed. Thus Paul is not using "mystery" like we do in modern parlance as something "mysterious", something "unknown". Quite the opposite is true, for when mystery is used in the NT it refers not to a truth which is difficult to understand, but to a truth previously unrevealed (and therefore unknown) which is now revealed and publicly proclaimed. Here in Romans 11:25 the mystery revealed is that Israel's blindness or hardening is (1) partial (not complete - see notes below and study of the Jewish believing remnant through the ages) and (2) temporary (it will last only until the time when all the Gentiles whom God will save have in fact been saved [have "come in"]). Mystery refers to the activity of God in salvation history, once hidden (Romans 16:25), but now made known to his people by revelation. The content of this mystery embraces Israel's present hardening--which is partial because the believing remnant constitutes an exception and because the hardening is limited in duration, lasting only "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. SO THAT YOU BE WISE IN YOUR OWN ESTIMATION: hina me ete par) heautois phronimoi: (Ro 12:16; Proverbs 3:5, 6, 7; 26:12,16; Isaiah 5:21) Lest you be self-opinionated (wise in your own conceits) (Amplified) So that (hina) means in order that, a term of conclusion. (always pause to ponder terms of
  • 51. conclusion) The application is clear. If believers today remain uniformed about God's plan for the Jews (the mystery revealed here by Paul) in the End Times, they will become wise in their own estimation. And sadly this is what has occurred in much of the church over the centuries and to a large extent in our own day. Lest you be wise in your own estimation - Paul was concerned that some Gentile believers would be wise in their own estimation and would assume that racial distinctions (Jew and Gentile) no longer exist. And so Paul explains that God Several Bible paraphrases bring out the idea nicely...This truth will help you understand that you do not know everything (International Children's Bible: Nelson) so that you may not be conceited (NIV - IBS) so that you will not feel proud and start bragging (NLT - Tyndale House) Estimation (5429) (phronimos from phronéo = think, have a mindset from phren = mind) means wise, prudent, having the capacity to understand, often in the daily things of life and implies a cautious character. Phronimos describes one who is thoughtful, sagacious or discreet. It describes the quality of one's thinking which is the result of insight and stands in opposition to moros which means foolish. The idea is that there is understanding combined with wisdom and insight. Phronimos implies a cautious, sensible, prudent character and in Mt 10:16 refers to one as "shrewd" as a serpent. One who is shrewd has clever discerning awareness, acute perception and sharp powers of judgment. Phronimos also includes the ideas of one who is prudent, sensible and practically wise in relationships with others. There is a type of phronimos that is desirable (eg, here in Mt 7:24, 10:16, et al) and a type that is not desirable (Ro 11:26, 12:16) this latter describing the person who relies on their own innate wisdom. Paul's point is that when Christians become conceited it is because they think they have understanding but sadly the mystery revealed here in Romans 11:25 is still mysterious to them! God’s sovereign plan to put Israel aside temporarily in order to show grace to Gentiles is no basis for conceit on the part of the Gentiles but is designed to display further the glory of God. Remember Paul has said if God can save Gentiles (unnatural branches) how much more will He be able to save all of Israel (natural branches) in His perfect timing! THAT A PARTIAL HARDENING HAS HAPPENED TO ISRAEL: hoti porosis apo merous to Israel gegonen Partial (3313) (meros from meiromai = to get as a section or allotment) describes a division or share and thus a portion or a part (cf remnant).
  • 52. What does Paul mean by partial? Is he saying that all of the Jews are "partially blind."? Or does he mean that complete blindness applies to part of the Jews? From the context (see verses discussed below - Ro 9:67, 11:1, 11:2-4, 11:5 - all allude to a remnant or part of the whole nation) the latter interpretation is the more accurate interpretation Marvin Vincent a Greek scholar agrees writing...Not partial hardening, but hardening extending over a part. Paul had alluded to this partial hardening in Romans 9 is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 neither are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." ( Romans 9:6; 9:7) Underline partial. Don't forget this truth. Only some of the branches were broken off (see note Romans 11:17). Certainly God is saving Jews in our own time and in fact He has always had a Jewish remnant (see study) of men and women who believed in Yeshua, their Messiah as their personal Redeemer. Thus not only was the unbelief partial but it will also be temporary as indicated by the time phrase until as discussed more below. Notice that Paul himself a Jew now believing in Messiah is evidence that the blindness or hardening was only partial. In fact, Paul opened Romans 11 with the truth that God has always preserved a remnant of believing Jews. For example, in Romans 11:1 [note] Paul presents himself as an example of that the hardening is partial, and in Romans 11:2, 3, 4 (notes Ro 11:2, 3, 4) he draws an illustration from the OT in the Divine response to Elijah that God had preserved a remnant of 7000. Then based on these examples, Paul emphasizes that...In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious (not merited) choice. (See note Romans 11:5) Paul doubly emphasizes that this remnant was in no way based on merit but on grace writing...But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen (elect) obtained it, and the rest (the remaining ones = the remnant) were hardened (verb poroo - means to make hard like stone and thus calloused and insensitive to touch. In NT poroo is used only in a spiritual sense of hardened hearts in Mk 6:52; 8:17 Jn 12:40, of hardened minds in 2Cor 3:14). (See notes Romans 11:6; 11:7) And so we see that Paul is returning to the subject with which he had begun Roman 11 to explain how God would work out His plan for His people whom He had not rejected. Beloved, the church needs to remember that God is not finished with Israel. Anyone who teaches that is conceited and lacks understanding of the mystery in this passage! Replacement theology (see excellent summary) is such an aberrant conceited understanding, in which the
  • 53. basic premise is propounded that God is finished with Israel because the Church is now the Israel of God ! Hardening (KJV = "Blindness") (4457) (porosis related to poroo [see note above] = to harden or petrify from poros = small piece of stone broken off from a larger one) means to made hard like a stone, and so callous or insensitive to touch. When referring to the joints of the body, the verb poroo signified the stiffening of one's joints. Applied to the eyes, poroo meant blindness and this latter secular use led to the KJV rendering as "blindness". Barclay remarks that porosis was used as a...medical word, and it meant a callus (on skin this a thickened, hard area). It was specially used for the callus which forms round the fracture when a bone is broken, the hard bone formation which helps to mend the break. When a callus grows on any part of the body that part loses feeling. It becomes insensitive. The minds of the mass of the people have become insensitive; they can no longer hear and feel the appeal of God. There are only 2 other NT uses of porosis...Mark 3:5 And after looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness (porosis) of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. Ephesians 4:18 (note) being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness (porosis) of their heart; All 3 NT uses of porosis are figurative two specifying the heart as the "organ" that was hardened. Arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries of the heart will take a person to the grave, but spiritual hardening of the heart will take them to hell (unless God grants deliverance as in Romans 11:26) Porosis is thus a callousness or dullness to spiritual matters. William Barclay has another note writing that...Porosis comes from poros, which originally meant a stone that was harder than marble. It came to have certain medical uses. It was used for the chalk stone which can form in the joints and completely paralyze action. It was used of the callus that forms where a bone has been broken and re-set, a callus which is harder than the bone itself. Finally the word came to mean the loss of all power of sensation; it described something which had become so hardened, so petrified that it had no power to feel at all. That is what Paul says the heathen life is like (Ephesians 4:18) It has become so hardened that it has lost the power of feeling. In the Epistle to a Young Friend, Robert Burns wrote about sin: The terror of sin is its petrifying effect. The process of sin is quite discernible. No man becomes a great sinner all at once. At first he regards sin with horror. When
  • 54. he sins, there enters into his heart remorse and regret. But if he continues to sin there comes a time when he loses all sensation and can do the most shameful things without any feeling at all. His conscience is petrified. (This is because all men in Adam are totally depraved & have an inherent sin nature from Adam to commit sins). (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press or Logos) In short, Paul paints the picture of hearts of a portion of Israel attaining to such a state in which a figurative callus had grown over their spiritual heart, making them insensitive and incapable of receiving the teaching regarding the Messiah. And so the first part of the mystery that is revealed is that there is partial hardening but of those affected, the hardening is complete. Has happened - This verb is in the perfect tense which indicates that the hardening has occurred at a point in time in the past and is still in effect at the time of Paul's writing. And if anyone could understand this spiritual hardness and insensitivity, it would be Paul, who was violently opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even assenting to the stoning of Stephen in Acts 8:1 Luke recording that... Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death...The Geneva Study Bible notes are not a bad interpretation of this hardness (blindness) explaining that... The blindness of the Jews is neither so universal that the Lord has no elect in that nation, neither will it be continual: for there will be a time in which they also (as the prophets have foretold) will effectually embrace that which they now so stubbornly for the most part reject and refuse. UNTIL THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES HAS COME IN: achri ou to pleroma ton ethnon eiselthe (3SAAS): Psalms 22:27; 72:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,17; 127:1; Isaiah 2:1-8; 60:1-22; 66:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; Micah 4:1,2; Zechariah 8:20, 21, 22, 23; 14:9-21; Revelation 7:9; 11:15; 20:2, 3, 4) The second aspect of the mystery revealed is that the hardening has a definite lifespan and will end as identified by the conjunction until. The prerequisite condition for the hardness to depart is also specified as when the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. Regarding the conjunction until, Robertson refers to this as "a temporal clause...until which time". (Word Pictures) Until - This word is frequently a strategically placed expression of time, especially in prophetic writings and therefore it behooves the diligent student of the Word of Truth to pause and ponder this time phrase, at least asking what happens next, etc.
  • 55. Until (891) (achri) in this context is an adverb of time (it can also be used of place but that is not the present context). Here achri is a conjunction expressing time up to a point. Up to what point is the question then? Or when is Until? When is this partial hardening no longer partial but in fact lifted by God? Paul answers this declaring that it is when the fulness of the Gentiles has come in, at which time all Israel will be saved (Ro 11:26) which in turn is associated with the Deliverer's return or Messiah's Second Coming (Mt 24:31, Zec 12:10, 13:9), which will occur at the end of Daniel's Seventieth Week. Fullness (4138) (pleroma from pleroo = make full, fill, fill up) describes fullness, a full measure, an abundance or a completion. Pleroma can describe a time period when all that is intended to be done during that period is accomplished. Pleroma is that which has been filled and thus refers to that which is to a sum total, to a complete amount, or a full number, in this case the "full number" of Gentiles who will come to belief in Messiah. The NET Bible conveys the meaning clearly rendering it... A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (NET Bible) When all the Gentiles whom God has chosen for salvation during the present age of Israel’s rejection have experienced salvation, God will carry out the events and effects described in Romans 11:26-note. The fulness of the Gentiles does not necessarily equate with the removal of the church (as stated by C I Scofield) because we know that after the removal of the church there will be a great harvest of souls some of which appear to be Gentiles, John recording that...After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands...These are the ones who (continually) come out of the Great Tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Re 7:9; 7:14See notes Re 7:9; 14) These Gentiles are saved out of the Great Tribulation. Are these the last Gentiles to be saved? Although some associate the "fullness of the Gentiles" with the end of the Great Tribulation others feel the time phrase is more vague. Morris for example states that...When the full number (known only to God) has been reached...God will begin again to deal with Israel as His elect nation. (Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing) Fulness of the Gentiles vs Times of the Gentiles Is the fulness of the Gentiles the same as the times of the Gentiles? They certainly sound similar but notice that fulness is not a synonym of times, so there is some distinction between these terms. Luke introduces the term the fulness of
  • 56. the Gentiles is in chapter 21 teaching that, Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24) What characterizes these times? Is Luke speaking of the salvation of the Gentiles? Clearly, Luke is not referring to the salvation of Gentiles in this passage but to their exercise of political power and/or dominion over the city of Jerusalem by the Gentiles. In marked contrast, Paul speaks of the fulness which does refer to salvation of the Gentiles and not to their dominion over Jerusalem. Although both these descriptions occur over a period of time and that time undoubtedly overlaps significantly, we need to be accurate in our handling of these terms and retain the distinction intended by Luke and Paul. The times of the Gentiles began with the first sacking of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586BC (Note: that some commentators feel these times begin with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD). In either case these times extend to the Second Coming of Christ, for at that time the Gentile dominion will be removed as Messiah returns, defeats the Gentile powers gather to destroy Israel and sets up His Millennial Kingdom. on earth. At that time God will fulfill His promises to the redeemed nation of Israel, including the promise of "the Land" (see Ge ) Some commentators merge the two statements about the Gentiles. For example Henry Morris writes that...God is now "[visiting] the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name" (Acts 15:14). When the full number (known only to God) has been reached, then the times of the Gentiles (Ed note: More accurately "the fullness of the Gentiles") will end (Luke 21:24), and God will begin again to deal with Israel as His elect nation. (Morris, Henry: Defenders Study Bible. World Publishing) (Comment: Morris seems to merge these two phrases together and while certainly overlapping to a large extent, they still describe separate events as Dr Walvoord explains more fully below). Dr Walvoord explains that...When the two concepts, the times of the Gentiles and the fullness of the Gentiles are compared, it becomes evident that the times of the Gentiles is primarily a political term and has to do with the political overlordship of Jerusalem. By contrast, the term the fullness of the Gentiles refers to the present age in which Gentiles predominate in the church and far exceed Israel in present spiritual blessing. It becomes clear, therefore, that, while the two concepts may be contemporaneous at least for much of their fulfillment, the termini of the two periods are somewhat different. The times of the Gentiles will end only when Israel will permanently gain political control of Jerusalem at the second advent of Christ, whereas the fullness of the Gentiles will be completed when God’s present task of winning Jew and Gentile to Christ is completed. ("The Times of the Gentiles". Bibl Sac Vol 125. Issue 497. Page 9, 1968)
  • 57. Romans 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." (NASB: Lockman) And so (kai outw). By the complement of the Gentiles stirring up the complement of the Jews (verses Romans 11 ). All Israel (pa Israhl). What does Paul mean? The immediate context (use of pa in contrast with apo merou, plhrwma here in contrast with plhrwma in verse Romans 12 ) argues for the Jewish people "as a whole." But the spiritual Israel (both Jews and Gentiles) may be his idea in accord with Romans 9:6 ( Galatians 6:16 ) as the climax of the argument. At any rate we should strive for and pray for the conversion of Jews as a whole. Paul here quotes from Isaiah 59:20 ; Isaiah 27:9 . The Deliverer (o ruomeno). Present middle articular participle of ruomai, to rescue, to deliver. See on 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ; 2 Corinthians 1:10 . The Hebrew Goel, the Avenger, the Messiah, the Redeemer ( Deuteronomy 25:5-10 ; Job 19:25 ; Ruth 3:12 ). Paul interprets it of Jesus as Messiah. Greek: kai houtos pas Israel sothesetai; (3SFPI) kathos gegraptai, (3SRPI) hexei ek Sion o rhuomenos, (PMPMSN) apostrepsei (3SFAI) asebeias apo Iakob; Amplified: And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob. (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob"; (ESV) ICB: And that is how all Israel will be saved. It is written in the Scriptures: "The Savior will come from Jerusalem; he will take away all evil from the family of Jacob. (ICB: Nelson) NIV: And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. (NIV - IBS) NKJV: And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; NLT: And so all Israel will be saved. Do you remember what the prophets said about this? "A Deliverer will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel from all ungodliness. (NLT - Tyndale House) Phillips: Once this has happened, all Israel will be saved, as the scripture says: 'The deliverer will come out of Zion, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob, (Phillips: Touchstone)
  • 58. Wuest: And thus all Israel shall be saved, even as it stands written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn ungodliness from Jacob. (Eerdmans) Young's Literal: and so all Israel shall be saved, according as it hath been written, 'There shall come forth out of Sion he who is delivering, and he shall turn away impiety from Jacob, AND SO ALL ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED: kai houtôs pas Israel sothesetai (3SFPI): (Isaiah 11:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; 45:17; 54:6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Jeremiah 3:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; 30:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22; 31:31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37; Jer 32:37, 38, 39, 40, 41; 33:24, 25, 26; Ezekiel 34:22, 23, 24, 25,2 6, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31; 37:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28; 39:25, 26, 27, 28, 29; Ezekiel 40:1-48; Hosea 3:5; Joel 3:16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; Amos 9:14,15; Micah 7:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20; Zephaniah 3:12, 13, 14,15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20; Zechariah 10:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) (Psalms 14:7; 106:47; Isaiah 59:20) Does the Bible really say that the Jews are "God's chosen people"?; Does God take sides with modern Israel? And so - In this way, so -The thus seems to correlate with with the until of verse 25, thereby acquiring temporal force, such as "when that has happened." And so - Important marker of continuation of Paul's argument. All Israel - This phrase has been interpreted primarily in one of three ways (and only one can be correct). The "candidate" interpretations are that all Israel is... 1) The NT Church composed of Jews and Gentiles. 2) The elect remnant of believing Jews during this present age. 3) The literal ethnic nation of Israel. 4) Every individual Jew who ever lived - There is absolutely no suggestion elsewhere in Scripture that Paul means that every individual Jew that ever lived will be saved. (e.g., Mt 11:24 "Nevertheless I (Jesus as He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent) say to you (Jews) that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.") All Israel will be saved - Notice first, Paul does not say "might be saved" but "will be saved"! This is not just a possibility but is an absolute certainty! And it is to transpire in the future. Note also that literally the text says all Israel and the plain reading would take this as indicating all of the nation of Israel. In fact, if you are a new Christian who is reading this text and you have not been biased by someone's teaching on this verse, you are probably wondering why give such a lengthy discussion to a topic
  • 59. that seems so obvious on simple reading. In other words, in your reading of the text you probably read Israel and that is what you interpreted it as - Israel. Unfortunately some commentators spiritualize this phrase all Israel and distort it to mean "spiritual Israel" or what they interpret to be the "church". [i.] Art and Science of Interpretation; [ii.] The Rise of Allegorical Interpretation; [iii.] Understanding Symbols and Figures) In my opinion this interpretation has a faulty foundation for they usually base it on a misinterpretation of the phrase Israel of God in Galatians 6:16 [1] notes Israel of God; [2] Table on Israel & Church Israel and the Church [3] excellent audio lecture - Is the Church Israel?), where the Church is said to be the spiritual Israel! Without going into the technical arguments (the interested reader is encouraged to review the studies just noted) all through the NT Israel is literally the nation of Israel. (See offsite study on The Use of the Term "Israel" in the NT) To make all Israel anything but literal Israel in this chapter is poor hermeneutics (science of Interpretation). CONCLUSION For Dispensational Israelology, the conclusion is that the Church is never called, and is not, a “spiritual Israel” or a “new Israel.” The term “Israel” is either used of the nation or the people as a whole, or of the believing remnant within. It is never used of the Church in general or of Gentile believers in particular. Why do I say that? Remember that context is king in regard to accurate Interpretation. Context and usage of a term by the author (in this case Paul's use of Israel especially in Romans 9-11) are critical in establishing the meaning of a text. We are not free to interpret terms in any way we would like. What is the
  • 60. immediate context of Romans 11:26? What has Paul clearly been discussing for 3 chapters (Romans 9, 10, 11)? Eleven times (counting Romans 11:25) Paul uses the specific name Israel (Ro 9:6; 27; 31;10:19; 10:21; 11:2; 7; 25; 26-see notes Ro 9:6; 27; 31;10:19; 10:21; 11:2; 7; 25; 26). Take a moment and read each of his uses. How many of them refer to the literal nation of Israel? I think if you take the plain sense of the text as your rule, you will agree that every use prior to Romans 11:26 refers to the literal nation of Israel. Why would Paul try to "fool" us or confuse us by all of a sudden introducing a new, non-literal meaning for the name Israel? That makes no sense whatsoever. The clear, logical conclusion is that Paul intends Romans 11:26 to also indicate the nation of Israel and not the church! Paul in fact has just warned Gentile believers not to be arrogant (twice - see Romans 11:18-note), conceited (Romans 11:20-note) or wise in your own estimation (note Romans 11:25-note)! A number of Gentile commentators seem to have conveniently disregarded the practical application of Paul's warnings! (E.g., see the offsite analysis of Covenant Theology) Here is an example from John Calvin a highly respected commentator (and rightly so) who interprets this passage in a non-literal sense writing that... Many understand this of the Jewish people, as though Paul had said, that religion would again be restored among them as before: but I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning, — “When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the firstborn in God’s family.” Do you see what Calvin has done with Romans 11:26? He is saying that Israel in this passage is not just the Jews but is all the people of God, both Gentile and Jew. Now think about the logic of Calvin's interpretation -- Why would Paul have to clarify a mystery if all those who are of the household of faith, both Jew and Gentile, who are going to come to faith, will eventually come to faith?! That is hardly a mystery to say that all those who will be saved, will in fact be saved! It is interesting to read the interpretation by Charles Hodge who is a covenant theologian and therefore one who we would expect would spiritualize all Israel, but he does not writing that...
  • 61. From the context (Ed note: Notice what Hodge uses as his plumbline to aid accurate interpretation of this passage context), Israel here must mean the Jewish people, and all Israel the whole nation. The Jews, as a people, are now rejected; as a people they are to be restored. As their rejection, although national, did not include the rejection of every individual, so their restoration, though also national, need not include the salvation of every individual Jew. All Israel does not mean here all the true people of God, as Augustine, Calvin, and others explain it; nor all the elect Jews — i.e., all that part of the nation which constitute “the remnant according to the election of grace” — but the whole nation, as a nation. (Hodge, Charles: Commentary on Romans. Ages Classic Commentaries or Logos) (Bolding added) (To this interpretation we can only say "Amen!") David Brown in Jameison, Fausset and Brown although an older commentary has an excellent comment writing that...To understand this great statement, as some still do, merely of such a gradual inbringing of individual Jews, that there shall at length remain none in unbelief, is to do manifest violence both to it and to the whole context. It can only mean the ultimate ingathering of Israel as a nation, in contrast with the present “remnant.” (So Tholuck, Meyer, De Wette, Philippi, Alford, Hodge). Three confirmations of this now follow: two from the prophets, and a third from the Abrahamic covenant itself. (Commentary on Romans 11:26) John Piper agrees observing that...In the context of Ro 11:12 (note "their fulfillment"), Ro 11:15 (Covenant has profound implications and is the most solemn, binding, intimate contract known in the Bible. Covenant was considered a binding agreement among the ancients, and so was not entered into lightly. After pieces of the sacrificial animal were laid opposite one another, the individuals who were cutting covenant would walk between the flesh. This walk represented the so-called walk into death indicating their commitment to die to independent living and to ever after live for their covenant partner and to fulfill the stipulations of their covenant (See this practice in Jer 34:8ff, esp Jer 34:18-19). Furthermore, this walk into death was a testimony by each covenant partner that if either broke the covenant God would take their life, even as had been done to the sacrificial animal. In short, we see the gravity of entering into and then breaking covenant. Covenant was a pledge to death. A pledge cut in blood. In covenant the shedding of blood demonstrated as nothing else could the intensity of the commitment. By cutting covenant the two parties were bound for life. Thus the shedding of blood in the cutting of covenant established the gravity and binding nature of this transaction. Both the Old and the New Covenants were inaugurated with blood. The practice of cutting covenant is found throughout history with traces or remnants of covenant truth in every quarter of the globe. (Seenote "their from the dead"), it is unwarranted to interpret all
  • 62. Israel here to mean anything other than corporate, ethnic Israel. So one of my guiding principles in reading Old Testament prophecy about Israel is that there is a glorious future ahead, when Israel will repent, turn to Christ, and be saved. (Read his full sermon There Shall Be A Fountain Opened) (Amen !) In summary, all Israel in Romans 11:26 means all Israel. (See Master's Thesis paper by Matthew Waymeyer (Pdf) - Romans 11:26 The Identity of "All Israel" Made a copy of 15 pages The next question is when will all Israel be saved? What is the nearest time phrase? Clearly Paul has given us a clue for he has just stated that this will not occur until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. The terminus of this event as discussed is difficult to state with absolute dogmatism. The juxtaposition with another event however that can be accurately "timed" gives us a strong clue. In other words, in this same verse Paul describes the return of Israel's Messiah. Therefore one can reasonably associate the time in which all Israel will be saved with the time of the return of Christ, which we know from other passages occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation. All Israel will be saved. This will take place when Christ returns to earth to establish His millennial kingdom centered in Jerusalem (Zec 12:8, 9, 10, 13:1,14:9), following the Great Tribulation period (Mt 24:15, 21) (see Daniel's Seventieth Week) Will be saved (4982) (sozo) (Click in depth study on sozo) has the basic meaning of rescuing one from great peril and here refers to salvation in a spiritual sense (God granting repentance and regeneration). Additional nuances of sozo include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, heal, make whole. The complete restoration of Israel will climax the purging trials of "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer 30:7), which corresponds to the time Jesus referred to as "the Great Tribulation" (Mt 24:21) How will God bring about the fulfillment of all Israel will be saved? Let's look first at a passage in Zechariah that is clearly prophetic and has no identifiable fulfillment in history so that it must be yet future. The prophet records... (God declares) "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd (God the Son, the Messiah), and against the man, My Associate (one in close, united relation)," Declares the LORD of hosts (God the Father). "Strike (beat, wound, slay, kill, smite) the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered (dispersed, scattered abroad); And I will turn My hand against the little ones.8 "And it will come about in all the land," Declares the LORD, "That two parts in it will be cut off (karath severe something from something) and perish (die); But the third will be left in it.9 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined,
  • 63. And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" (Zechariah 13:7, 8, 9) Comment: Zechariah 13:7 is quoted by Jesus in Matthew 26:31 and Mark 14:27 as He identifies Himself as the Shepherd. To strike the Shepherd is clearly a prophecy of the Crucifixion. Although some take the sheep may be scattered as referring to the disciples, the alternative interpretation favored by Arnold Fruchtenbaum (in his book The Footsteps of the Messiah) is that Messiah's "sheep, Israel, were scattered throughout the world" which is in fact what happened in the dispersion of the Jews after Messiah was Crucified. And so what we see verse 7 is a reference to Messiah's first coming and verses 8-9 a reference to His Second coming. (see discussion of time gaps in prophecy) Why do we say that? Because there is no time in history in which 2/3's of Israel has been killed (Hitler killed about 1/3 in the Holocaust). Furthermore, notice the results regarding the remaining 1/3. They will be refined (refined by the time of Jacob's trouble, the Great Tribulation) and call on My Name (if you have been to Israel today you know that most of modern Israel is secular not orthodox so this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled). Thus Zechariah is describing events which are yet future when 1/3 will survive the purging and constitute the all Israel who will be saved. As John MacArthur says "From the midst of their fiery refinement, the elect remnant of Israel will see Jesus Christ, their Messiah and call on Him as their Savior and Lord. Israel will thus be saved and restored to covenant relationship with the Lord." To reiterate this is the all Israel who will be saved in Romans 11:26 - it is the 1/3 of the nation of Israel who believe on their Messiah. John MacArthur explains that all Israel refers to...All the elect Jewish people alive at the end of the Tribulation, not the believing remnant of Jews within the church during this church age. Before all Israel is saved, its unbelieving, ungodly members will be separated out by God’s inerrant hand of judgment. Ezekiel makes that truth vividly clear (Ezekiel 20:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, cf. Da 12:10; Zech 13:8, 9) (MacArthur, J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word or Logos) In Daniel's great prophecy that begins in Daniel 10 and runs unbroken through Daniel 12 (it is all one subject), Daniel relates God's prophecy concerning His dealings with Israel, many of these prophecies having already been fulfilled in history (especially the section of Daniel 11:34), but from Daniel 11:35-12:13 is future prophecy regarding Israel. In this section Daniel has passages that parallel
  • 64. Zechariah 13:7, 8, 9 and speak of God's final purging of Israel which result in the saved remnant of one third... And some of those (Israel) who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge, and make them pure, until the end time (here is another "time gap" which jumps at least 2000 years to the time of the end, almost certainly the Great Tribulation); because it is still to come at the appointed time. (Daniel 11:35) Many (context = Jews) will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked (Jews) will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (Daniel 12:10) The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes that...All Israel will be saved does not mean that every Jew living at Christ’s return will be regenerated. Many of them will not be saved, as seen by the fact that the judgment of Israel, to follow soon after the Lord’s return, will include the removal of Jewish rebels (Ezekiel 20:34, 35, 36, 37, 38). Following this judgment God will then remove godlessness and sins from the nation as He establishes His New Covenant with regenerate Israel (cf. Jer. 31:33-34). (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor or Logos) Ezekiel 20 is mentioned in both of the preceding comments and describes the time when Christ will enter into judgment with those Jews who have survived the Great Tribulation. As described below He will determine who is saved and only the Jews He brings into the Covenant (the text does not state it, but undoubtedly those Jews who are saved at this time will be saved by grace through faith) will enter into His Millennial Kingdom. Ezekiel records 33 "As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out (this wrath cumulates in the last 3.5 years, the Great Tribulation), I shall be king over you (cp, Jesus' Second Coming which John describes as the "King of kings" which parallels this passage in Ezekiel - see Revelation 19:16-note). 34 And I shall bring you (Israel, all ethnic Jews) out from the peoples (the Gentiles) and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out (note emphasis of wrath - see similar phrase in note on Revelation 16:1 - this verse introduces the last 7 Bowl Judgments which occur in the last 3.5 years); 35 and I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 "As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you," declares the Lord GOD. 37 "And I shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant (save them as they express personal faith in the New Covenant -Jeremiah 31:31 - see study of New Covenant in the Old Testament); 38 and I shall purge from you the (Jewish) rebels and those (Jews) who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel (Millennial Kingdom). Thus you will know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 20:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38)
  • 65. (Some think this time of judgment described by Ezekiel refers to the judgment that occurs during the "Tribulation", especially the last 3.5 years but others favor a separate time of Judgment when the King will separate the believing and unbelieving Jews at the time of His return, much like the separate judgment of the Gentile "sheep and goats" - see Mt 25:31ff. These respective judgments determine who enters the Millennial Kingdom in the flesh so to speak. They are those who will "people" the kingdom. It is notable that all allowed into the Messianic Kingdom initially will be believers.) The Messianic Jew Arnold Fruchtenbaum commenting on Ezekiel's prophecy writes that...The rebels among the Jewish people will be purged out by this judgment. Only then will the whole new nation, a regenerate nation, be allowed to enter the Promised Land under King Messiah. (Fruchtenbaum, A. G. The Footsteps of the Messiah : A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. Rev. ed.. Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries) See also Arnold Fruchtenbaum's series: 1. Israelology: Part 1 of 6 Introduction: Definition of Terms 22 pages 2. Israelology: Part 2 of 6 Israel Present (Note: Article begins on Page 2) 3. Israelology: Part 3 of 6 Israel Present (Continued) 4. Israelology: Part 4 of 6 - Israel Future (Part One) 5. Israelology: Part 5 of 6 - Israel Future (Part Two) 6. Israelology: Part 6 of 6 Other Relevant Topics - Illustrations of Israel (including marriage) JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION": kathos gegraptai hexei Sion ho rhuomenos (Matthew 1:21; Acts 3:26; Titus 2:14) As it is written - This is a "formula" that speaks of an Old Testament reference. Written (1125) (grapho) is in the perfect tense which emphasizes the lasting and binding authority of that which was written. It has been written at some point in time in the past and it "stands" written. In Psalm 14:7 David cries out in praye Note that at the Second Coming Christ's feet touch the the Mount of Olives (the very place of His Ascension - cp Acts 1:9, 10, 11) which splits from north to south (see Zech 14:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Here in Romans 11:26 Christ fulfills the prediction that “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION.” In the frequent
  • 66. mention of Christ in His Second Coming in relation to Zion as revealed in the Old Testament, the prophets predict both that Christ will come to Zion (cp Zech 14:19) and that thereafter He will come out of Zion as indicated by the following passages (Psalm 20:2) (Psalm 53:6) . (Ps 110:2) Comment: Ryrie writes that "At His second coming (during the Millennium) Messiah will rule this earth from Zion (Jerusalem) on the throne of David (Is 2:3Is 4:3, 4, 5- Zech. 8:3; 14:3). And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isa 2:3) (Joel 3:16) Comment: Note the context - the previous verse says "15 The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars lose their brightness." which perfectly parallels Mt 24:29, 30, the signs that signal the Second Coming of the Lord. To reiterate, here in Romans 11:26 we encounter God's answer to David's prayer. Sometimes God's answers are delayed for a while! This is an interesting principle to keep in mind when we don't receive or perceive God has answered our cries to Him. And another reason to keep praying without ceasing! Don't grow weary. You have not seen the end of the story. Paul now substantiates the declaration concerning the future of Israel by appealing to the witness of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah citing his words from Isaiah 59:20, 21 and Isaiah 60:1, Isaiah 27:9... Isaiah 59:20 And a Redeemer (Hebrew = Ga'al/Goel [see word study on Kinsman Redeemer]; Septuagint [Lxx] = rhuomai = deliver, Deliverer) will come to Zion, and to those who turn (Hebrew = shub [7725] = turn back, repent, turn away from [see use in Ezek 14:6]; Lxx = apostrepho = turn away from) from transgression (Hebrew = pesha = fundamental idea of root is breach of relationships, between parties; Lxx = asebeia = ungodliness) in Jacob," declares the LORD. 21 And as for Me, this is My covenant with them," says the LORD: "My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring's offspring," says the LORD, "from now and forever." Comment: What covenant? This is the New Covenant first promised in a Jewish context in Jeremiah 31:31. Who is the covenant with? God says with them and in context them are the Jews who turn from transgression, which would correlate with those who are saved in Romans 11:26. Note that it is God Who
  • 67. initiates the New Covenant and in it He promises, pledges and binds Himself to Israel (those who are saved by grace through faith) so that He becomes their God and they become His people (these are now the Jews not just outwardly by lineage, but inwardly by the Spirit [ Romans 2:28; 29-note] Who circumcises their heart and gives them a new heart [see Deut 30:6, Ezekiel 36:26,27]). It is interesting and somewhat sad to see how we Gentiles in the church age during which Israel is partially hardened, so quickly overlook (or perhaps have never been taught) that the New Covenant was first promised to Israel, not to the Gentiles, and that the New Covenant was inaugurated as it were by a Jew (Yeshua) in the company of 11 fellow Jews (His disciples at the Last Supper, which was actually the Jewish Passover!). This background helps one understand Isaiah's prophecy and the fulfillment of that prophetic promise to Israel in Romans 11:25, 26, 27, for the gifts and calling and covenant of God with His chosen people are irrevocable. To be sure, then, the New Covenant has a distinctly Jewish "flavor" but notice how Jesus described the New Covenant to His Jewish disciples declaring this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. (Mt 26:28). Who is included in the many? Jesus answers for us in John declaring that as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12). Isaiah 60:1 Isaiah 27:9 . Deliverer (4506) (rhuomai from rhúo = to draw, drag along the ground) (Click for in depth study of rhuomai) means to draw or snatch to oneself and invariably refers to a snatching from danger, evil or an enemy. This basic idea of rescuing from danger is pictured by the use describing a soldier’s going to a wounded comrade on the battlefield and carrying him to safety (he runs to the cry of his comrade to rescue him from the hands of the enemy). Rhuomai emphasizes the greatness of the peril from which deliverance is given by a mighty act of power. Rhuomai is more the idea of rescue or draw to oneself whereas sozo is more the idea of preserve from. In the Septuagint (LXX) Rhuomai translates the Hebrew word ga'al (see ISBE article on Goel). in HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB: apostrepsei (3SFAI) asebeias apo Iakob: (Matthew 1:21; Acts 3:26; Titus 2:14) He will remove (654) (apostrepho from apo = away from, a marker of dissociation, implying a rupture from a former association and indicates separation, departure,
  • 68. cessation, reversal + strepho = turn quite around, twist, reverse, turn oneself about) means literally to turn back or away In the present context apostrepho means to remove anything from anyone, in this case to remove ungodliness. See the discussion of Ezekiel 20:33-38 in the preceding section where God states that He will purge the rebels and they will not enter into the the land of Israel (Millennial Kingdom) Ungodliness (763) (asebeia from asebes = impious, ungodly, wicked from a = w/o + sébomai = worship, venerate) means want or lack of reverence or piety toward God (which speaks of one's heart attitude) and thus living without regard for God and in a way that denies His existence and right as Supreme Ruler and Authority (which speaks of one's actions emanating from one's attitude). This word suggests an utter disregard for the existence of God and leads naturally to a lack of reverence or awe for God. Such a person will live in a way that denies God's existence and His right as Supreme Ruler and Authority. BDAG adds that in general understood vertically as a lack of reverence for deity and hallowed institutions as displayed in sacrilegious words and deeds: impiety; its corollary adikia refers horizontally to violation of human rights (Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature) Asebeia suggests a disregard of the existence of God, a refusal to retain Him in knowledge and a habit of mind leads to open rebellion. It is a general reference to all that is "anti-God". Ungodliness is the attitude and action that describes every sinner who has not trusted the Lord Jesus for salvation. Hiebert adds that ungodliness is suggestive of the whole inner and outer life of the one who lives without God and in opposition to His law. From Jacob (Dictionary Articles) - Jacob in this context is not individuals per se but stands for Israel, specifically all those in Israel who will repent and place their faith in Yeshua their Messiah. Note that the name Jacob is never used to refer to the church, another piece of evidence that undercuts the interpretation of those who would try to equate the Church with Israel in the phrase all Israel will be saved . Romans 11:27 THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS. (NASB: Lockman)
  • 69. My covenant (h par emou diaqhkh). "The from me covenant," "my side of the covenant I have made with them" (Sanday and Headlam). Cf. Jeremiah 31:31 . Not a political deliverance, but a religious and ethical one. When I shall take away (otan apelwmai). Second aorist middle subjunctive of apairew, old and common verb, to take away. Greek: kai aute autois e par' emou diatheke, hotan aphelomai (1SAMS) tas hamartias auton. Amplified: And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins. (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (ESV) ICB: And I will make this agreement with those people when I take away their sins." Isaiah 59:20-21; 27:9 (ICB: Nelson) NIV: And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (NIV - IBS) NKJV: For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." NLT: And then I will keep my covenant with them and take away their sins." (NLT Tyndale House) Phillips: for this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins'. (Phillips: Touchstone) Wuest: And this to them is the covenant from me when I shall take away their sins. (Eerdmans) Young's Literal: and this to them is the covenant from Me, when I may take away their sins.' AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS: kai aute autois e par emou diatheke, hotan aphelomai tas hamartias auton: (Isaiah 55:3; 59:21; Jeremiah 31:31, 32, 33, 34; 32:38, 39, 40; He 8:8, 9-notes, He 8:10note, He 8:12; He 10:16) (Isaiah 27:9; Hosea 14:2; John 1:29) Related Resources on Covenant... Covenant: As It Relates to Marriage Covenant: Why Study It? Covenant: Introduction Lesson 1 Covenant: Summary Table Lesson 2 Covenant: The Exchange of Robes Lesson 3 Covenant: The Exchange of Armor and Belts Lesson 4 Covenant: Solemn and Binding
  • 70. Lesson 5 Covenant: A Walk Into Death Lesson 6 Covenant: The Oneness of Covenant Covenant: Oneness Notes Lesson 7 Covenant: Withholding Nothing from God Lesson 8 Covenant: Abrahamic versus Mosaic Lesson 9 Covenant: New Covenant in the Old Testament Lesson 10 Covenant: Why the New is Better Lesson 11 Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New My covenant with them - With who? Who is "them?" In context of Romans 11 (Paul has been speaking of his people, the ethnic Jews), this clearly is Jehovah's immutable covenant with Israel. He is not speaking of the church in this specific context. Covenant (1242) (diatheke from diatithemi = set out in order, dispose in a certain order <> from dia = two + tithemi = to place pictures that which is placed between two Thus, a covenant is something placed between two = thus an arrangement between two parties) literally conveys the idea of a testament, as in one's last will and testament. A covenant is an agreement between two parties that binds them together and conveys the associated ideas of very close fellowship (even oneness and identity as for example in the marriage covenant where two mystically become one flesh). Cleon Rogers describes covenant in the ancient world as...the uniting and community of the souls and wills of the two, which results in a common purpose, common friends, common enemies, mutual confidence, loyalty, and exclusion of strife. In all of this the will of the stronger was the dominating force. This resulting harmony is often described by the word Shalom which stresses the wholeness, harmony, and unity of the two. Along with this unity there was also the obligation to help or aid one another in time of trouble. Because of these tremendous implications it was always advisable to proceed with caution before making a covenant with anyone. (The Covenant with Abraham and Its Historical Setting. Bibliotheca Sacra. Volume 127. Issue 507. Page 240. 1970) The 3 major meanings of diatheke in the NT can be summarized as... (1) A legal technical term used when one settles an inheritance and known by our familiar English term "last will and testament" (2) A binding contract between two or more persons, as in Galatians 3:15
  • 71. where the covenant is between men. (3) The major NT (and Septuagint use) is a declaration of the will of God in "concerning His self-commitment, promises, and conditions by which he entered into relationship with man covenant, agreement" (Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker Academic) Diatheke was commonly used in the Greco-Roman world to define a legal transaction in settling an inheritance (used in this sense in Hebrews 9:16; 17notes) which we often refer to as one's last will and testament. In this sense it referred to the disposition which a person made of his property in prospect of death. Vine comments that...Etymologically considered the (English) word covenant is formed from two others meaning “coming together,” and thus describes a mutual undertaking between two or more parties who severally make themselves responsible for the discharge of certain obligations. But the Greek word diatheke, from which it is translated, does not in itself contain the idea of joint obligation, it means rather an obligation undertaken by one alone. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos) NIDNTT adds that in classical Greek usage diatheke...occurs from Democritus and Aristoph. onwards in the sense of a will or testament. It is not thought to be derived from the act. diatithemi, distribute, allocate, regulate, but only from the mid. diatithemai, control persons and things (Xen.), and especially dispose of by will (so private legal documents among papyri). It denotes, therefore, an irrevocable decision, which cannot be cancelled by anyone. A prerequisite of its effectiveness before the law is the death of the disposer. Hence diatheke must be clearly distinguished from syntheke, an agreement. In the latter two partners engaged in common activity accept reciprocal obligations. diatheke is found only once with this meaning (Aristoph. Birds, 1, 440). Elsewhere it always means a one-sided action. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan) Introduction to Covenant and Not all will be saved. Paul is not teaching the heresy of "universalism" but is clearly teaching that God's infinite mercies are available to all who would seek them from Him. Yes, most of mankind will reject God's mercies in the process of fitting or preparing themselves for destruction (Ro 9:22, cp Ro 9:17-18) and they are without excuse. MacDonald explains that... Summary of Major Biblical Covenants)
  • 72. As noted, most of the NT uses of diatheke refer to God's declaration of His will concerning His self-commitment, promises, and conditions by which he entered into relationship with man. Diatheke denotes an irrevocable decision, which cannot be cancelled by anyone. A prerequisite of its effectiveness before the law is the death of the disposer and thus diatheke was like a "final will and testament". In reference to the divine covenants, such as the Abrahamic covenant, diatheke is not a covenant in the sense that God came to agreement or compromise with fallen man as if signing a contract. Rather, it involves declaration of God’s unconditional promise to make Abraham and his seed the recipients of certain blessings. All covenants are based on promises. Sometimes the promises are by only one party, sometimes by both. Sometimes the promises are conditional, sometimes they are not. But promises are always involved. As far as God’s covenants are concerned, it is always His promises that are significant. Men break their promises, God does not. The benefits and the power are always from God’s side, and therefore the significant promises are always from His side. Consequently, it is God’s promises in the New Covenant that here are called “better.” Here are some general aspects of covenant as recorded in Scripture (1) Initiated by one of the parties - In covenants with God, He is the Initiator (with Noah, Ge 6;18, with Abraham, Ge 17:7, cf Ge 12:1, 2, 3, 4, with Moses and Israel Ex 34:27, Jesus inaugurates the New Covenant, Mt 26:28, Lk 22:20, cf Isaiah 42:8, Mal 3:1). Examples of men who initiated covenants with other men include Abimelech with Abraham, Ge 21:27, 32; Abimelech with Isaac, Ge 26:28, Laban with Jacob, Ge 31:44). (2) Sacrifice is usually involved - clean animals Ge 8:20, animals in Ge 15:10, Jesus' body and blood in the New Covenant, Mt 26:28. The spillage of blood is usually a central part of the establishment of the covenant. (3) Offspring are affected by the covenant - see Ge 6:18, 9:9, 9:12 (every living creature included here). (4) Often accompanied by a promise or an oath - see God's promise in Ge 8:21 "I will never again destroy every living thing as I have done." In Genesis 17 (see initial promises in Genesis 12:1, 2, 3) God promises Abram (Abraham) "I will multiply you exceedingly...for I will make you the father of a multitude of everlasting covenant to be God to you and to your descendants after you. "And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
  • 73. (5) A sign or witness often accompanies the establishment of covenant - Genesis 9:13 "My (rain) bow in the cloud... shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth." Cf circumcision in Ge 17:14. The "well of seven" (or of the oath) in Genesis 21 between Abraham and Abimelech. (6) There is often a covenant meal - Isaac and Abimelech Ge 26:30, Laban and Jacob, Ge 31:54, meal in Ex 24:11 with the Mosaic covenant, the "Passover meal" (= Lord's Supper = communion) in Luke 22:30. In our modern society and even in the evangelical church, we have for the most part forgotten the profound significance of covenant in Scripture. Yes, we can recite the covenants but few understand the symbolism and seriousness of Biblical covenants which were the closest, most indissoluble union two parties could make. Today we make "covenants" with fine print that allows one to "get out" of the agreement with relative ease. Take for example the sacred marriage covenant, which has all but lost its holy character in society in general (some are even talking of doing away with this covenant, and many are living together without marrying which in effect is an abolition of this covenant. See Covenant: As It Relates to Marriage) and tragically even in the evangelical church where surveys show divorce rates as high as among non-believers! Andrew Murray, the gifted nineteen century writer emphasizes the importance of more than a superficial understanding of covenant writing...:Blessed is the man who truly knows God as his God; who knows what the Covenant promises him; what unwavering confidence of expectation it secures, that all its [covenant's] terms will be fulfilled to him; what a claim and hold it gives him on the Covenantkeeping God Himself. To many a man, who has never thought much of the Covenant, a true and living faith in it would mean the transformation of his whole life. The full knowledge of what God wants to do for him; the assurance that it will be done by an Almighty Power; the being drawn to God Himself in personal surrender, and dependence, and waiting to have it done; all this would make the Covenant the very gate of heaven. May the Holy Spirit give us some vision of its glory. (Murray, Andrew: Two Covenants) (See discussion of Covenant: Why Study It?) The covenant between Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel 18 highlights the seriousness of covenant as it was understood by the ancients (see discussion of Covenant - Solemn and Binding and A Walk Into Death). When covenant was cut, there was a surrender of rights and a merger of individual natures, so that the two became one, signifying a oneness and identity with the other party. As a result of this oneness and identity each party became the other party's covenant defender. For more background on these profound concepts see Covenant -The Exchange of Robes and Exchange of Armor and Belts. The idea of two becoming one (cp the mystical union of marriage in Genesis 2:24) has several aspects
  • 74. including the co-mingling of blood, the sharing of a common life, the exchange of names, the sharing of a meal, the idea of friendship and the establishment of a memorial (eg, wedding rings, Lord's Supper "Do this in remembrance of Me"!). For a more thorough discussion the reader is encouraged to study the topics Part 6 The Oneness of Covenant and Covenant: Oneness Notes. Finally, we would be remiss if we did not emphasize that covenant conveyed responsibilities (see Covenant: Withholding Nothing from God). Finally, Scripture says "let the redeemed of the Lord say so" and my personal testimony is that as I began to study covenant, God used these profound truths to literally (and supernaturally) save my marriage covenant of 25 years (and 15 years as a believer). I firmly believe that if the truths of covenant were understood in churches across America, divorce rates would be drastically, supernaturally reduced as these truths transformed husbands and wives. (see Covenant: As It Relates to Marriage). Without question the best way to truly understand covenant in the way I have attempted to summarize it, is to study these Biblical truths for one's self. And the best course available is the 11 week course of Covenant (click to download 20 page Pdf of Lesson 1 - the overview) produced by Precept Ministries International. This study will transform your life, your marriage, and your ministry. As one of my old medical school professors used to say "you can't not know" these truth about covenant. They are too important. Consider the fact for example that the Greek titles of the Scriptures are the “Old Covenant” and the “New Covenant” and our English word “Testament” is taken from the titles prefixed to the Latin versions. Covenant is what the entire Bible is about beloved. You can't not know! over 330 times in Septuagint (LXX) most often (some 270 times) to translate the Hebrew word Beriyth (01285). See the excellent ISBE article Covenant In The Old Testament. As discussed elsewhere, the ordinary Greek word for a compact was syntheke but this term was avoided by the Septuagint translators because it suggested the equal rank of the two parties, whereas the OT Beriyth is used for "a relationship between God and man graciously created by God, and only accepted by man". In the NT, OT and LXX diatheke refers to a declaration of the will of God concerning His self-commitment, promises, and conditions by which he entered into relationship with man and with the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Isaiah God invited Israel to...Isaiah 55:3) (Isaiah 59:21) This is My covenant - What covenant? This refers to the New Covenant, which is in a sense a continuation of the Abrahamic Covenant, which was also an unconditional covenant, based on God's grace (i.e., not one's merit), initiated by God and entered into by personal faith.
  • 75. In Jeremiah God makes a covenant promise to Israel that He will surely keep because He is a covenant keeping God.(Jeremiah 31:31-34) (Comment: Although this is the sole record of the phrase "new covenant", the truth of this covenant is expressed in a number of other OT passages - see discussion of the New Covenant in the Old Testament) When I take away their sin - What time is when? Many feel that this promise will be fulfilled by Messiah upon His return at the end of the Seven Year "Tribulation" or at the end of Daniel's Seventieth Week. In the Olivet Discourse Messiah explained that...(Mt 24:29-31) To reiterate, neither Jesus nor Paul is saying that every Jew who has ever lived will be saved but only those who are among the elect or the chosen (the remnant) who are alive when Messiah returns. The elect will be those who place their faith in Messiah and be saved. Jehovah had promised deliverance through His prophet Zechariah who recorded that...(Zechariah 13:8, 9, compare Ezekiel 20:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, Daniel 12:10). In the previous chapter Zechariah recorded Jehovah's gift of grace on the elect remnant of Jews... (Zechariah 12:10 Take away (cut off) (851) (aphaireo from apó = from + hairéo = take) means to put or take something away from its normal location, to put out of the way or to remove. It means to cause to cease. In the present context, aphaireo means to take away their sins and to procure the forgiveness of sin. Praise God He is able to take away the sins of both Jew and Gentile. The prophet Isaiah alludes to this taking away of Israel's sins... (Isaiah 43:25) m(Isaiah 44:22) Peter exhorts his unregenerate Jewish audience in Acts 3 to...Repent (aorist imperative) therefore and return (aorist imperative), that your sins may be wiped away (exaleipho = erased = Ancient writing was upon papyrus and the ink had no acid in it so therefore it did not bite into the papyrus like modern ink, but simply lay on top of it. To erase the writing a man simply wiped it away with a wet sponge. Even so God wipes out the sin of the forgiven man or woman, Jew or Gentile. Hallelujah!), in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you (Acts 3:19-20) The prophet Micah asks...(Micah 7:18, 19) . (Psalms 103:12) (See Spurgeon's Comment )
  • 76. book=ps&chapter=103&verse=012 Jeremiah explains how completely Messiah will take away their sins writing that... (Jer 31:34: (Jeremiah 50:20) In Ezekiel God reiterates that at the end of this age...(Ezekiel 36:25-29) Romans 11:28-32 Commentary Romans 11:28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; As touching the gospel (kata to euaggelion). "According to (kata with the accusative) the gospel" as Paul has shown in verses Jeremiah 11-24 , the gospel order as it has developed. Enemies (ecqroi). Treated as enemies (of God), in passive sense, because of their rejection of Christ (verse Jeremiah 10 ), just as agaphtoi (beloved) is passive. As touching the election (kata thn ekloghn). "According to the election" (the principle of election, not as in verses Jeremiah 5 the elect or abstract for concrete). For the fathers' sake (dia tou patera). As in Jeremiah 9:4 ; Jeremiah 11:16 . Greek: kata men to euaggelion ecthroi di' humas kata de ten eklogen agapetoi dia tous pateras; Amplified: From the point of view of the Gospel (good news), they [the Jews, at present] are enemies [of God], which is for your advantage and benefit. But from the point of view of God's choice (of election, of divine selection), they are still the beloved (dear to Him) for the sake of their forefathers. ESV: As regards the gospel, they are enemies of God for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. ICB: The Jews refuse to accept the Good News, so they are God's enemies. This has happened to help you non-Jews. But the Jews are still God's chosen people, and God loves them very much. He loves them because of the promises he made to their ancestors. NIV: As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, NKJV: Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. NLT: Many of the Jews are now enemies of the Good News. But this has been to your benefit, for God has given his gifts to you Gentiles. Yet the Jews are still his chosen people because of his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • 77. Phillips: As far as the Gospel goes, they are at present God's enemies - which is to your advantage. But as far as God's purpose in choosing is concerned, they are still beloved for their fathers' sakes. Wuest: On the one hand, with reference to the gospel they are enemies for your sakes; on the other hand, with reference to the selected-out ones they are beloved ones for the fathers’ sake; Young's Literal: As regards, indeed, the good tidings, they are enemies on your account; and as regards the choice -- beloved on account of the fathers; FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE GOSPEL THEY ARE ENEMIES FOR YOUR SAKE: kata men to euaggelion ecthroi di humas: (Ro 11:11,30; Matthew 21:43; Acts 13:45,46; 14:2; 18:6; 1Thessalonians 2:15,16) Gospel (2098)(euaggelion from eú = good + aggéllo = proclaim, tell) is literally good news or glad tidings. For a concise definition of the Gospel read 1Cor 15:1-8) (See notes 1Corinthians 15:1; 15:2; 15:3; 15:4; 15:5; 15:6 ; 15:7 ;15:8) "for your sake" takes us back to the (Ro 11:11-12) where Israel's stumbling was for the Gentile's sake in that it made salvation available to the Gentiles. BUT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF GOD'S CHOICE THEY ARE BELOVED FOR THE SAKE OF THE FATHERS: kata de ten eklogen agapetoi dia tous pateras dia tous pateras: (Ro 11:7; Isaiah 41:8,9) (Genesis 26:4; 28:14; Leviticus 26:40-42; Deuteronomy 4:31; 7:7,8; 8:18; 9:5; 10:15; Psalms 105:8-11; Jeremiah 31:3; Micah 7:20; Luke 1:54,68-75) But - Always pause and ponder this term of contrast. The Jews are beloved. We must not forget this truth! God is sovereign in their salvation and it is not because of any merit passed on from the patriarchs, but because God chose Israel and that choice was and is and forever will be irrevocable. Choice (1589)(ekloge from eklegomai [eklego - word study] in turn from ek = out + lego = select, choose, eklegomai meaning to choose or select for oneself, but not necessarily implying rejection of what is not chosen. See study of related word eklektos = elect) means literally a choosing out, a picking out, a selection or an election (2Pe 1:10, 1Th 1:4 - referring to God's selection of believers). In the passive sense ekloge refers to God's selection for a purpose or task. In other words it represents a special choice as when God referred to Paul as "my chosen instrument" (Acts 9:15). In Ro 11:28 ekloge speaks of God's choice of Israel, who were selected by Him to carry out His specific plan of redemption for mankind. Beloved (27)(agapetos from agapao = to love, agape = unconditional love borne by Spirit - Gal 5:22-note) means beloved, dear, very much loved. Agapetos describes the
  • 78. love of another, this love being called out of the "giver's" heart by preciousness of the recipient of the love (the "beloved'). Agapetos is used only of Christians as united with God or with each other in love. Agapetos is used only of Christians as united (by covenant, the New Covenant) with God and/or with each other in love. Agapetos describes "one who is in a very special relationship with another" (BDAG) and in secular Greek is used mostly of a child, especially an only child to whom all the love of his parents is given (cf use by the Father describing His only Son and Abraham describing his "only son" in Ge 22:2). BDAG adds that agapetos " pertains to one who is dearly loved, dear, beloved, prized, valued (papyri, LXX; pseudepigraphia) indicating a close relationship, especially that between parent and child." For the sake of the fathers is an allusion to the patriarchs and to God's unconditional, immutable covenant with Abraham, which was re-affirmed to Isaac and then to Jacob (Israel). God is faithful to keep His covenant promises. (See related topics: Covenant: Abrahamic versus Mosaic; Covenant: New Covenant in the Old Testament ; Covenant: Why the New is Better; Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New ) Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Without repentance (ametamelhta). See on 2 Corinthians 7:10 for this word (a privative and metamelomai, to be sorry afterwards). It is not ametanohton ( Romans 2:5 ) from a privative and metanoew, to change one's mind. God is not sorry for his gifts to and calling of the Jews ( Romans 9:4 ). Greek: ametameleta gar ta charismata kai e klesis tou theou. Amplified: For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] ESV: For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. ICB: God never changes his mind about the people he calls and the things he gives them. NIV: for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. NKJV: For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. NLT: For God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. Phillips: For once they are made, God does not withdraw his gifts of his calling. Wuest: for the gifts in grace and the calling of God are with respect to a change of mind irrevocable. Young's Literal: for unrepented of are the gifts and the calling of God;
  • 79. FOR THE GIFTS AND THE CALLING OF GOD ARE IRREVOCABLE: ametameleta gar ta charismata kai e klesis tou theou: (Hosea 13:14) Mal 3:6 Nu 23:19 “ For - Always pause and ponder this important term of explanation. In this verse for which explains why they are still beloved of God. The answer is of course that God does not take back His gifts. Once He has made an unconditional promise, He never goes back on it. He gave Israel the special privileges as we studied in Romans 9:4, 5. He called Israel to be His earthly people, separate from the rest of the nations. Nothing can change His purposes. Gifts (5486) (charisma from charis = grace + the ending --ma which indicates the result of something, in this case the result of grace) means “gift of grace” or “free gift”. Calling (2821) (klesis) means a call and was used for an invitation to a banquet. In the NT the word is used metaphorically of the call or invitation to come into the kingdom of God with all its privileges. In the present context "klesis" refers to the divine call by which elect Jews are introduced into the privileges of the gospel. God’s invitation (klesis) to man to accept the benefits of His salvation is what this calling is all about. Louw Nida defines klesis as an "urgent invitation to someone to accept responsibilities for a particular task, implying a new relationship to the one who does the calling; the station in life or social role which one has." Vine defines klesis as "a calling, is always used in NT of that calling the origin, nature and destiny of which are heavenly (the idea of invitation being implied); it is used especially of God's invitation to man to accept the benefits of salvation." Charles e Whisnant Pastor/Teacher had a study on this in Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio in January 15, 2014 Irrevocable (278) (ametameletos from a = without + metamélomai = change one's mind; regret) means not feeling regret as result of what one has done. The idea is not feeling regret as result of what one has done not regretful, not feeling sorry about. It means that God will not change His mind about what He has promised Israel through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God's gifts and callings are ametameletos or "incapable of being changed, not to be taken back, inflexible" and in 2Cor 7:10 ametameletos speaks "of the beneficial results of repentance with nothing to feel sorry about, leaving no feeling of regret." (Friberg) BDAG says in the passive sense ametameletos means "not to be regretted, without regret" and the active sense it means "feeling no remorse, having no regret."
  • 80. This word is first in the Greek placing emphasis on this truth. Literally "irrevocable (are) the gifts and calling of God." Irrevocable in English = Not possible to revoke; Unalterable. Webster's 1828 adds "Not to be recalled or revoked; that cannot be reversed, repealed or annulled; as an irrevocable decree, sentence, edict or doom; irrevocable fate; an irrevocable promise." The KJV says "not to be repented of" which is very inadequate. It would have been better translated "without regret". What the apostle is saying here is that when God has given gifts to men and has extended His salvation to them, He never regrets the extension of His grace or changes His mind as having made a mistake because of the behavior of the ones that He saved and gifted. Salvation should never be considered as merely man's decision to follow Christ, but also God's accepance of the genuineness of that decision and the birth and existence of faith. The only other NT use is by Paul (no uses in the Septuagint)...2Cor 7:10 Comment: Here ametameletos is used as a verbal adjective connected with repentance. Metanoia is true repentance, changing of one's mind and asking God to change his heart that he may sin no more. Metaméleia, the noun derived from metaméllomai (3338), means to regret the results of one's decision and action. A thief may regret having stolen because he was caught and punished. However, if the thief is convicted in his heart that stealing is wrong and sinful, he will repent of his sin, not because he was caught, but because of his conviction that sin is contrary to God's will and his own good. Thus he is contrite and asks God to take away the guilt of his sin and to make him a righteous person, one who hates stealing and all other sin. What Paul is therefore speaking about here is unregrettable repentance. No one would regret his repentance because of the consequence of that repentance which is salvation. It is not to be regretted because it has led unto salvation (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29). When God calls it is an effectual call and when He gives you a gift it can never be taken back or annulled. The Sovereign God guarantees these things to the elect. John MacArthur - God’s sovereign election of Israel, like that of individual believers, is unconditional and unchangeable, because it is rooted in His immutable nature and expressed in the unilateral, eternal Abrahamic Covenant (MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word Pub) Moses testifies that... (Numbers 23:19) In Malachi God testifies... (Malachi 3:6) In Isaiah God says... 66:9
  • 81. Romans 11:30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, Ye in time past (umei pote). Ye Gentiles ( Romans 1:18-32 ). Were disobedient (epeiqhsate). First aorist active indicative of apeiqew, to disbelieve and then to disobey. "Ye once upon a time disobeyed God." By their disobedience (th toutwn apeiqiai). Instrumental case, "by the disobedience of these" (Jews). Note "now" (nun) three times in this sentence. Greek: hosper gar humeis pote epeithesate (2PAAI) to theo nun de eleethete (2PAPI) te touton apeitheia Amplified: Just as you were once disobedient and rebellious toward God but now have obtained [His] mercy, through their disobedience, ESV: Just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, ICB: At one time you refused to obey God. But now you have received mercy, because those people refused to obey. NIV: Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, NKJV: For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, NLT: Once, you Gentiles were rebels against God, but when the Jews refused his mercy, God was merciful to you instead. Phillips: Just as in the past you were disobedient to God but have found that mercy which might have been theirs but for their disobedience, Wuest: For, even as you formerly disbelieved God, yet now have been made recipients of mercy through the occasion of the unbelief of these, Young's Literal: for as ye also once did not believe in God, and now did find kindness by the unbelief of these: FOR JUST AS YOU (Gentiles) ONCE WERE DISOBEDIENT TO GOD : hosper gar humeis pote epeithesate (2PAAI) to theo: (1Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 2:1,2,12,13,19-21; Colossians 3:7; Titus 3:3-7) (Ro 11:31; 1Corinthians 7:25; 2 Corinthians 4:1; 1Timothy 1:18; 1Peter 2:10) For - Always pause and ponder this important term of explanation. Disobedient (544)(apeitheo from a = without + peítho = persuade) literally describes one who refuses to be persuaded and who disbelieves willfully and perversely. Apeitheo in the present context means that these individuals possessed an attitude of unbelief because they deliberately choose to disobey, to consciously resist and rebel against
  • 82. authority and finally manifest an obstinate rejection of the will (truth) of God. Do we not all do this at the moment we commit willful sin? BUT NOW HAVE BEEN SHOWN MERCY BECAUSE OF THEIR (the Jew's) DISOBEDIENCE: nun de eleethete (2PAPI) te touton apeitheia: But now - This is the great Divine Reversal! Shown mercy (1653)(eleeo from eleos) - see next verse. Disobedience (543) (apeitheia from a = without + peítho = persuade) - see Ro 11:32 below. MacDonald - The Gentiles were once an untamed, disobedient people, but when Israel spurned the Messiah and the gospel of salvation, God turned to the Gentiles in mercy. (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. . Believer's Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) Romans 11:31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. By the mercy shown to you (twi umeterwi eleei). Objective sense of umetero (possessive pronoun, your). Proleptic position also for the words go with elehqwsin (first aorist passive subjunctive of eleew, from eleo with ina, purpose clause). God's purpose is for the Jews to receive a blessing yet. Greek: houtos kai houtoi nun epeithesan (3PAAI) to humetero eleei hina kai autoi [nun] eleethosin; (3PAPS) Amplified: So they also now are being disobedient [when you are receiving mercy], that they in turn may one day, through the mercy you are enjoying, also receive mercy [that they may share the mercy which has been shown to you--through you as messengers of the Gospel to them]. ESV: so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now[4] receive mercy. ICB: And now the Jews refuse to obey, because God showed mercy to you. But this happened so that they also can receive mercy from God. NIV: so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. NKJV: even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. NLT: And now, in the same way, the Jews are the rebels, and God's mercy has come to you. But someday they, too, will share in God's mercy.
  • 83. Phillips: so they, who at the present moment are disobedient, will eventually share the mercy which has been extended to you. Wuest: thus also these now have disbelieved in order that through the occasion of the mercy which is yours, they themselves also might now become the recipients of mercy, Young's Literal: so also these now did not believe, that in your kindness they also may find kindness; SO THESE (Jews) ALSO NOW HAVE BEEN DISOBEDIENT: houtos kai houtoi nun ): (Ro 10:16; 11:15,25) Disobedient (544) (apeitheo from a = without + peitho = persuade) means literally not to allow one’s self to be persuaded. It describes one who refuses to be persuaded and so to willfully and perversely disbelieve. It conveys an attitude of unbelief and involves deliberate disobedience or conscious resistance to authority. Men, Jews or Gentiles, do not avoid Christ because of insufficient facts but because of proud and unrepentant hearts. IN ORDER THAT BECAUSE OF THE MERCY SHOWN TO YOU (Gentiles) THEY (Jews) ALSO MAY NOW BE SHOWN MERCY: to humetero eleei hina kai autoi (nun) eleethosin (3PAPS): Israel’s disobedience will be followed by mercy, when they are provoked to jealousy through the mercy shown to the Gentiles. Mercy (1656)(eleos) is the outward manifestation of pity and assumes need on the part of those who are recipients of the mercy and sufficient resources to meet the need on the part of those who show it. The idea of mercy is to show kindness or concern for someone in serious need or to give help to the wretched, to relieve the miserable. Here the essential thought is that mercy gives attention to those in misery. Vincent writes that eleos "emphasizes the misery with which grace deals; hence, peculiarly the sense of human wretchedness coupled with the impulse to relieve it, which issues in gracious ministry. Bengel remarks, “Grace takes away the fault, mercy the misery." Shown mercy (1653)(eleeo from eleos [word study]) means “to feel sympathy with the misery of another, especially such sympathy which manifests itself in action, less frequently in word.” Describes the general sense of one who has compassion or person on someone in need. It indicates being moved to pity and compassion by tragedy and includes the fear that this could happen to me. To see someone in dire need (including one who may not deserve the misfortune), to have compassion on them, and to give help to remove the need. Romans 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show
  • 84. mercy to all. Hath shut up (sunekleisen). First aorist active indicative of sunkleiw, to shut together like a net ( Luke 5:6 ). See Galatians 3:22 for this word with upo amartian (under sin). This is a resultant (effective) aorist because of the disbelief and disobedience of both Gentile ( Galatians 1:17-32 ) and Jew ( Galatians 2:1-3:20 ). All (tou panta). "The all" (both Gentiles and Jews). That he might have mercy (ina--elehsh). Purpose with ina and aorist active subjunctive. No merit in anyone, but all of grace. "The all" again, who receive God's mercy, not that "all" men are saved. Greek: sunekleisen (3SAAI) gar o theos tous pantas eis apeitheian hina tous pantas eleese. (3SAAS) Amplified: For God has consigned (penned up) all men to disobedience, only that He may have mercy on them all [alike]. ESV: For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. ICB: All people have refused to obey God. God has given them all over to their stubborn ways, so that God can show mercy to all. NIV: For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. NKJV: For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. NLT: For God has imprisoned all people in their own disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone. Phillips: God has all men penned together in the prison of disobedience, that he may have mercy upon them all. Wuest: for God included all within the state of unbelief in order that He might have mercy upon all. Young's Literal: for God did shut up together the whole to unbelief, that to the whole He might do kindness. FOR GOD HAS SHUT UP ALL IN DISOBEDIENCE: sunekleisen (3SAAI) gar o theos tous pantas eis apeitheian: (Ro 3:9,22; ) For - Again pause and ponder this important term of explanation. All (pas) signifies no exceptions (cf Ro 5:12-note). Disobedience (543) (apeitheia from a = without + peítho = persuade) describes an unwillingness to be persuaded. It is a willful unbelief (so not ignorance but obstinacy!). It is interesting that apeitheo is a stronger term than syn. apistía (570), disbelief, unbelief, faithlessness or distrust.
  • 85. Shut up (4788) (sugkleio from sun = with + kleio = shut, close) means to shut together with, to shut in on all sides, or to close up together. Sugkleio was used to describe enclosing of fish in a net in (as in Lk 5:6). All mankind is like those entrapped fish for all are caught in God's net which demands perfect righteousness. This truth is similar to Paul's statement in Galatians regarding the effect of the Scripture (Law) (Gal 3:22-23, see study of Galatians 3). But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe (Galatians 3:22) The picture also reminds one of (Romans 3:9-10) where "all" (both Jews & Gentiles) are backed into a corner and shown their totally inadequacy for holiness and righteousness before a holy God, Paul recording... What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE THAT HE MIGHT SHOW MERCY TO ALL: hina tous pantas eleese (3SAAS): When we first read this verse, we might get the idea that God arbitrarily condemned both Jews and Gentiles to unbelief, and that there was nothing they could do about it. But that is not the thought. The unbelief was their own doing. What the verse is saying is this: having found both Jews and Gentiles disobedient, God is pictured as imprisoning them both in that condition, so that there would be no way out for them except on His terms. This disobedience provided scope for God to have mercy on all, both Jews and Gentiles. There is no suggestion here of universal salvation. God has shown mercy to the Gentiles and will yet show mercy to the Jews also, but this does not insure the salvation of everyone. Here it is mercy shown along national lines. George Williams says: God having tested both the Hebrew and the Gentile nations, and both having broken down under the test, He shut them up in unbelief so that, being manifestly without merit, and having by demonstration forfeited all claims and all rights to divine favor, He might, in the unsearchable riches of His grace, have mercy upon them all. (MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson) Do you recall Paul's declaration in Romans 9:6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel God had been trying to reach the Jews but for the most part they rejected His Son, the Messiah. Does that mean that God has failed? In this present section of Romans 11, the answer is a categorical "No, God has
  • 86. not failed." Quite to the contrary, He has used Israel's rejection of the Messiah as a means to reach the Gentile world, which He had intended to reach all along. After having shown mercy to the Gentiles, God now uses the very same mercies He has shown to the Gentiles to make the Jews jealous and aware of their rebellion against His Son that they, too, might receive mercy. What keeps anyone from receiving mercy from God? It is a self-righteous, self-confident attitude. "I don't need help. I can handle it myself. I am able to handle all the problems of life on my own. I don't need God." Any individual or nation with that attitude has cut himself off from receiving the mercy of God. So God "has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all." Ray Stedman gives us "an outstanding illustration of this in the fact that... two prominent national figures have remained etched in the public mind as an aftermath of Watergate: Richard Nixon and Charles Colson". Stedman writes that... Charles Colson came to the place where he saw his own rebellion and disobedience to God. He finally came to a place where he was driven to his knees, where he saw that without recognizing it or knowing it, he had been involved in evil things. He began to recognize the extent of it and the control it had in his life. At last he was driven to the place where he openly committed himself to the mercy of God. God changed him. In his book Born Again he tells how God changed him, healed him, delivered him from prison, and sent him out again to have a new life. He is traveling across the country now, telling his story, involved deeply in a great and helpful ministry to prisoners. He is alive (Ed note: Obviously this was written prior to his death on April 22, 1994) and enjoying life to the full. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, has isolated himself in a self-imposed exile in which he refuses to admit he has ever done anything wrong. Tormented with the past, he has become a national pariah, and his life is limited and narrow, crabbed, because he does not yet know of the mercy of God that is available to one who admits disobedience. That is the way God works in history. He is constantly moving in many ways in our individual lives to bring us to an awareness of our self-righteousness and dependence on ourselves. Paul says the Jewish nation has not availed themselves of the righteousness of God. Because they are so determined to establish their own righteousness, they cannot accept the righteousness that comes by faith. That is their problem. (Our Great and Glorious God - Romans 11:25 - 12-1) Romans 11:33-36 Commentary Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways ! (NASB: Lockman)
  • 87. O the depth (O baqo). Exclamation with omega and the nominative case of baqo (see on 2 Corinthians 8:2 ; Romans 8:39 ). Paul's argument concerning God's elective grace and goodness has carried him to the heights and now he pauses on the edge of the precipice as he contemplates God's wisdom and knowledge, fully conscious of his inability to sound the bottom with the plummet of human reason and words Unsearchable (anexeraunhta). Double compound (a privative and ex) verbal adjective of ereunaw (old spelling -eu-), late and rare word (LXX, Dio Cassius, Heraclitus), only here in N.T. Some of God's wisdom can be known ( Romans 1:20 ), but not all. Past tracing out (anexicniastoi). Another verbal adjective from a privative and exicniazw, to trace out by tracks (icno Romans 4:12 ). Late word in Job ( Job 5:9 ; Job 9:10 ; Job 34:24 ) from which use Paul obtained it here and Ephesians 3:8 (only N.T. examples). Also in ecclesiastical writers. Some of God's tracks he has left plain to us, but others are beyond us. Greek: o bathos ploutou kai sophias kai gnoseos theou; os anecherauneta ta krimata autou kai anechichniastoi ai hodoi autou. Amplified: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)! (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (ESV) ICB: Yes, God's riches are very great! God's wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain the things God decides. No one can understand God's ways. (ICB: Nelson) NIV: Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (NIV - IBS) NKJV: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! NLT: Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! (NLT - Tyndale House) Phillips: Frankly, I stand amazed at the unfathomable complexity of God's wisdom and God's knowledge. How could man ever understand his reasons for action, or explain his methods of working? (Phillips: Touchstone) Wuest: O the depth of the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments, and how untraceable the paths He takes
  • 88. Young's Literal: O depth of riches, and wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways! (Eerdmans) OH, THE DEPTH OF THE RICHES BOTH OF THE WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: O bathos ploutou kai sophias kai gnoseos theou: (Psalms 107:8-43; Proverbs 25:3; Ephesians 3:18) (Ro 2:4; 9:23; Ephesians 1:7; 2:7; 3:8,10,16; Colossians 1:27; 2:2,3) Spurgeon has the following thoughts on the riches of God...I remember well being taken one day to see a gorgeous palace at Venice, where every piece of furniture was made with most exquisite taste, and of the richest material, where statues and pictures of enormous price abounded on all hands, and the floor of each room was paved with mosaics of marvellous art, and extraordinary value. As I was shown from room to room, and allowed to roam amid the treasures by its courteous owner, I felt a considerable timidity, I was afraid to sit anywhere, nor did I hardly dare to put down my foot, or rest my hand to lean. Everything seemed to be too good for ordinary mortals like myself; but when one is introduced into the gorgeous palace of infinite goodness, costlier and fairer far, one gazes wonderingly with reverential awe at the matchless vision. "How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God!" "I am not worthy of the least of all thy benefits. Oh! the depths of the love and goodness of the Lord." — Feathers for Arrows Our riches are beyond the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side the river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts, and urge us onward. Truly is it said of us, "Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord?" — Morning and Evening Weigh the riches of Christ in scales, and His treasure in balances, and then think to count the treasures which belong to the saints. Reach the bottom of Christ's sea of joy, and then hope to understand the bliss which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Overleap the boundaries of Christ's possessions, and then dream of a limit to the fair inheritance of the elect. "All things are yours, for ye are Christ's and Christ is God's." — Morning and Evening The last four verses are in the nature of a doxology. The apostle's heart was filled with worship, praise, and admiration as the full blaze of the divine plan fills the horizon of his soul...Apart from revelation none can know God's mind, just as no created being could ever be His counselor. No one ever earned grace by first giving to Him in order to earn a blessing; but everything is from Him, and through Him, and to Him, to Whom be glory forever. Amen. Depth (899) (bathos from bathús = deep) literally describes a distance below a surface
  • 89. and to the depth or a deep place. Figuratively bathos describes a great or extreme degree of anything and as a quality in relation to God it describes His inexhaustibility, His profundity, and His inscrutability. How great are Thy works, O LORD! Thy thoughts are very deep. (Psalms 92:5) (Spurgeon commenting on God's thoughts as very deep writes..."The Lord's plans are as marvellous as his acts; his designs are as profound as his doings are vast. Creation is immeasurable, and the wisdom displayed in it unsearchable. Some men think but cannot work, and others are mere drudges working without thought; in the Eternal the conception and the execution go together. Providence is inexhaustible, and the divine decrees which originate it are inscrutable. Redemption is grand beyond conception, and the thoughts of love which planned it are infinite. Man is superficial, God is inscrutable; man is shallow, God is deep. Dive as we may we shall never fathom the mysterious plan, or exhaust the boundless wisdom of the all comprehending mind of the Lord. We stand by the fathomless sea of divine wisdom, and exclaim with holy awe, "O the depth!" " Notes) - Matt. 13:5; Mk. 4:5; Lk. 5:4; Rom. 8:39; 11:33; 1 Co. 2:10; 2 Co. 8:2; Eph. 3:18 Riches (4149) (ploutos from pletho = fill) properly denotes abundance, plentitude, and literally is used to refer to material wealth or prosperity (abundance of earthly, temporal goods) which is the meaning in the parable of the seed and the soils (Mt 13:22, Mk 4:19, Lk 8:14 = Material riches are deceitful and choke out reception of the Word of God. Be careful all you wealthy readers! Contrast spiritual riches - Ep 3:8) Indeed, think of the people who know whose whole lives glow with the glory of God for they are rich in spiritual possessions, albeit often poor in material possessions! Here Paul is obviously not speaking of worldly riches but of spiritual riches. In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us (see notes Ephesians 1:7; 1:8) To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, (see note Ephesians 3:10) Matt. 13:22; Mk. 4:19; Lk. 8:14; Rom. 2:4; 9:23; 11:12, 33; 2 Co. 8:2; Eph. 1:7, 18; 2:7; 3:8, 16; Phil. 4:19; Col. 1:27; 2:2; 1Tim. 6:17; Heb. 11:26; Jas. 5:2; Rev. 5:12; 18:17 MacDonald sums up Paul's concluding doxology as looking... ...back over the entire Epistle and the divine wonders that have been unfolded. Paul has expounded the marvelous plan of salvation by which a just God can save ungodly sinners and still be just in doing so. He has shown how Christ’s work brought more
  • 90. glory to God and more blessing to men than Adam lost through his sin. He has explained how grace produces holy living in a way that law could never do. He has traced the unbreakable chain of God’s purpose from foreknowledge to eventual glorification. He has set forth the doctrine of sovereign election and the companion doctrine of human responsibility. And he has traced the justice and harmony of God’s dispensational dealings with Israel and the nations. Now nothing could be more appropriate than to burst forth in a hymn of praise and worship. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos) Wisdom (4678) (sophia) is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.God alone possesses wisdom in the absolute sense for with Him are wisdom and might. To Him belong counsel and understanding. (Job 12:13). Wisdom strikes many in the modern world as an "abstract" idea, one which is difficult to define practically. Biblical wisdom however is to the contrary imminently practical, representing in its essence the practical skill for living successfully. Wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding. As discussed below God Alone is the Source of this quality of wisdom, quite different from the best wisdom of fallen men. James describes men's wisdom asJs 3:15-18) Paul, in describing the gospel, wrote that (1Cor 1:18-25) Paul adds that ;" (1Cor 2:6-8 J I Packer says that...God’s wisdom is seen in His works of creation, preservation and redemption: it is His choice of His own glory as His goal (Ps 46:10; Isa. 42:8; 48:11), and His decision to achieve it first by creating a marvelous variety of things and people (Ps. 104:24; Pr 3:19, 20), second by kindly providences of all sorts (Ps 145:13, 14, 15, 16; Acts 14:17), and third by the redemptive “wisdom” of “Christ crucified” (1Co 1:18-2:16) and the resultant world church (Ep 3:10). (J. I. Packer Concise Theology) Related Resources on Wisdom of God... 7. The Wisdom of God by Bob Deffinbaugh, Th.M. 8. The Wisdom of God by Stephen Charnock 9. Of the Wisdom of God by John Gill
  • 91. 10. The Wisdom of God - Mp3 by Jerry Bridges 11. The Wisdom of God by A.W. Tozer 12. Paul writes to the Colossian saints that in Christ...are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (see note Colossians 2:3) Knowledge (1108)(gnosis) in simple terms is the possession of information of what is known. Gnosis describes the comprehension or intellectual grasp of something. Arthur W. Pink wrote that...God is omniscient. He knows everything: everything possible, everything actual; all events, all creatures, of the past, the present, and the future. (See related topic: Omniscient) Godet comments that Paul's description of This depth is rich, not in darkness, but in light; it is a depth both of wisdom and knowledge. —The two kai , both...and ..., have the disjunctive sense; they distinguish the two following substantives very precisely, however closely allied their meaning may be. The second, gnosis, knowledge , refers especially in the context to divine foreknowledge , and in general to the complete view which God has of all the free determinations of men, whether as individuals or as nations. The former, sophia, wisdom , denotes the admirable skill with which God weaves into His plan the free actions of man, and transforms them into so many means for the accomplishment of the excellent end which He set originally before Him. Tozer commenting on the riches of God to His children writes...So there we are— and as Christians, we are not only rich but nobly rich! Rich with riches which need no apology. Riches which have no taint of having come to us through defiled hands. I wonder when we will begin to behave and to live on the level of our spiritual riches instead of acting like poverty-stricken creatures trying to crawl under a leaf so we will not be seen? Let's let the world know how rich we really are! Let's tell it—we are being kept by the power of God unto an inheritance reserved in heaven for us! That is the full-time business of the child of God! — Renewed Day by Day HOW UNSEARCHABLE ARE HIS JUDGMENTS: os anexerauneta ta krimata autou: (Job 5:9; 9:10; 11:7-9; 26:14; 33:13; 37:19,23; Psalms 36:6; 40:5; 77:19; Psalms 92:5; Daniel 4:35) Unsearchable (419) (anexereunetos from a = without + exereunao [ex = out + eraunao = to search or examine] = search out, focusing on the intellectual aspect of the search) literally means "not searched out" and thus it signifies that which is impossible to search out or fully understand. Unsearchable, unfathomable, inscrutable ( not readily investigated, interpreted, or understood). Robert Morey adds that...The word anexerauneta is a plural neuter of
  • 92. anexereunetos and is a combination of "a" plus exereunao which means to search out or explore something until you understand it. God’s judgments are inscrutable, i.e. you may investigate all you want, but, in the end, you will have to throw your hands up and admit defeat. God’s judgments are “incapable of being investigated as to their grounds or reason.” (Morey, R. A. The Trinity : Evidences and Issues. Iowa Falls, IA.: World Pub) TDNT writes that...This postclassical word means “inscrutable” and is used in Romans 11:33 for the mystery of God's way of judgment with Israel that leads to grace. The term implies that the question of the meaning of this judgment cannot be given any theoretical human answer. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans) Job declares... (Job 5:9) Job 9:10) Job 26:14) Job 26:14) (Job 11:7-9) Elihu another of Job's friends declared...Job 37:23) The psalmist declares that.... (Psalms 97:2)) C S Lewis wrote that Amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about ‘man’s search for God.’ To me as I then was, they might as well have talked about the man’s search for a cat. (Surprised by Joy) AND UNFATHOMABLE HIS WAYS: kai anexichniastoi ai hodoi autou: Unfathomable (421) (anexichniastos from a = without + exichniázo = explore, to trace out) means that which cannot be traced out, which is past finding out and thus which is impossible to comprehend. It describes that which is impossible of understanding by human minds. Fathomless. Morey notes that...The word anexichniastoi is the nomative plural masculine of anexichniastos which is a combination of a plus exichniázo which is derived from ichnos (footprint). Only used once in the New Testament (Ed: Not true - see Eph 3:8 below), it is found in the Septuagint (LXX) in Job 5:9; 9:10; 13:24. It offers a striking figure of speech. When following someone in the desert, all you have to do is to trace their footprints in the sand. From their footprints, you can discover where they came from and where they are. But, when it comes to the ways of God, there are no footprints in the sand. You must throw up your hands in defeat and say, “God’s path is untraceable!” Dr. Randy Yeager comments God’s thoughts, His philosophy, the rationale behind His decrees defy human analysis. The hiss of the serpent can be discerned unmistakenable in the effort to find a theology that man can understand in all of its parts. Unregenerate philosophers and theologians would never write what Paul has written here, and they are contemptuous of what he has written. Their theology is clear to them
  • 93. because it is the product of their own intellectual creation. (Morey, R. A. The Trinity : Evidences and Issues. Iowa Falls, IA.: World Pub) The only other NT use of anexichniastos is also by Paul in Ephesians 3 where he writes that... Ephesians 3:8) He has made everything appropriate (KJV = beautiful) in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart (Amplified = [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy]), yet so that man will not find out (NIV = fathom) the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) F L Godet comments that...These two orders (God's judgments and ways) of things are characterized by the most extraordinary epithets which the most pliant of languages can furnish: anexereunetos, what cannot be searched to the bottom; anexichniastos" , the traces of which cannot be followed to the end. The former of these epithets applies to the supreme principle which the mind seeks to approach, but which it does not reach; the latter to an abundance of ramifications and of details in execution which the understanding cannot follow to the end. These epithets are often quoted with the view of demonstrating the incomprehensibility to man of the divine decrees, and in particular of that of predestination (Aug.). But it must not be forgotten that St. Paul's exclamation is called forth, not by the obscurity of God's plans, but, on the contrary, by their dazzling clearness. If they are incomprehensible and unfathomable, it is to man's natural understanding, and until they have been revealed; but, says the apostle, 1 Cor. 2:10. “God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth ( ereuna ) all things, even the deep things (ta bathe) of God.” It is therefore in view of the unveiled mystery that the exclamation is raised, as is done by Paul here: “O the depth of the riches!” A fact which does not prevent the mind which understands them in part from having always to discover in them new laws or applications. John Piper comments that..."Education about God precedes and serves exultation in God. Learning truth precedes loving truth. Right reflection on God precedes right affection for God. Seeing the glory of Christ precedes savoring the glory of Christ. Good theology is the foundation of great doxology. Knowledge is utterly crucial. But it is not an end in itself. It serves faith and love. And if it doesn't, it only puffs up, as Paul says in 1Co8:1.Where education does not produce heartfelt exultation in God, it degenerates into proud intellectualism. And where exultation is not sustained and shaped by solid Biblical education, it degenerates into proud emotionalism. God means to be known and loved. Seen and savored. Pondered and praised. " (Sermon) Ray Stedman addressing God's "unfathomable... ways" writes is clear
  • 94. from Scripture that nothing God ever planned interferes with human responsibility. Nothing God has ever said will happen in any way infringes on our free will or choice. We are free to make choices. We know it. We feel ourselves free to decide to do this or that, to do good or bad. Nothing God ever plans interferes with that freedom of human choice. And yet the amazing thing is that nothing humans ever do can frustrate God's sovereign plan. Isn't that amazing? How can you explain that? No matter what we do, whether we choose this or that with the freedom of choice we have, ultimately it all works out to accomplish what God has determined shall be done. That is the kind of God we have. Paul is not only impressed with God's inscrutable wisdom and ways, but he contrasts it with the impotence of man. He asks three very searching questions. If you have trouble with this, try to answer his questions: His first one is, "Who has known the mind of the Lord?" What he is asking is, "Who has ever anticipated what God is going to do?" Have you? Have you ever been able to figure out how God is going to handle the situations you get into? Oh, we all try, but it never turns out quite the way we think it will, does it? There is a little twist to it that we never could have guessed. (Our Great and Glorious God) J. B. Phillips wrote a book a number of years ago entitled Your God Is Too Small exposing views of God that we all hold to that are woefully inadequate. The "Cosmic Policeman"- the view of God that he is standing around every corner just waiting for us to slip up with respect to the law. Or the "indulgent old man" - a little senile but very friendly, or the "frantic manager" - he’s got sweat on his brow because the world is such a mess and he is trying to hold it all together, or the "parental hangover" - all the warts and scars in your parent’s lives that you project unto God. Every single one of us here this morning has skewed views of God. Views of God that are skewed because of our background, and our experiences or perhaps just simply because of our ignorance. And we don’t realize that we are actually worshipping an idol. Much of our lives and much of our time is spent worshipping a figment of our own imaginations and what we fail to realize is that God exists independently of our views of him. The God who is there exists as he is regardless of our woefully, inadequate views of him. And our goal as Christians ought to be to bring our understanding of God in line with the truth of who he really is. Romans 11:34 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR ? (NASB: Lockman) Who hath known? (ti egnw?). Second aorist active indicative of ginwskw, a timeless aorist, did know, does know, will know. Quotation from Isaiah 40:13 . Quoted already in 1 Corinthians 2:16 . Counsellor (sumboulo). Old word from sun and boulh. Only here in N.T. His (autou). Objective genitive, counsellor to him (God). Some men seem to feel
  • 95. competent for the job. Greek: Tis gar egno (3SAAI) noun kuriou? e tis sumboulos autou egeneto? (3SAMI) Amplified: For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor? (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" (ESV) ICB: As the Scripture says, "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has been able to give the Lord advice?" Isaiah 40: 13 (ICB: Nelson) NIV: "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" (NIV - IBS) NKJV: "For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?" NLT: For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? (NLT - Tyndale House) Phillips: For: 'Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become his counsellor?' ' (Phillips: Touchstone) Wuest: for whoever knew the Lord’s mind? or who became His counsellor? (Eerdmans) Young's Literal: for who did know the mind of the Lord? or who did become His counsellor? FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR: tis gar egno noun kuriou e tis sumboulos autou egeneto : (Job 15:8; 36:22; Isaiah 40:13; Jeremiah 23:18; 1Corinthians 2:16) Paul's first question contrasts the always limited knowledge of man with the infinite knowledge of God. No created being can know the mind of the Lord, except to the extent that He chooses to reveal it. No one is qualified to advise God. God is so wise that He does not need our counsel, and would not profit by it any way. In Jeremiah we hear the question...(Jeremiah 23:18) The psalmist declares.... (Psalm 40:5) Spurgeon has these words on Psalm 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done. Creation, providence, and redemption, teem with wonders as the sea with life. Our special attention is called by this passage to the marvels which cluster around the cross and flash from it. The accomplished redemption achieves many ends, and compasses a variety of designs; the outgoings of the atonement are not to be reckoned up, the influences of the cross reach further than the beams of the sun. Wonders of grace beyond all
  • 96. enumeration take their rise from the cross; adoption, pardon, justification, and a long chain of godlike miracles of love proceed from it. Note that our Lord here speaks of the Lord as "my God." The man Christ Jesus claimed for himself and us a covenant relationship with Jehovah. Let our interest in our God be ever to us our peculiar treasure. Isaiah asks...Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, Or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge, and informed Him of the way of understanding (Isaiah 40:13-14) Paul quotes Isaiah in 1 Corinthians writing.... (1Corinthians 2:16) Who became His counselor - Answer? No one! But He is our great Counselor. Do you seek His counsel before making significant life decisions? Counselor (4825) (sumboulos from sún = together + boule = counsel) is an adviser. It is one who informs about a fact or situation and/or recommends a course of action. Godet says sumboulos "denotes one who deliberates with another, and can communicate to him something of his wisdom." Godet observes that this question...bears on the relation between human and divine wisdom. It is no longer merely the discovery of the secrets of God by the study of His works which is in question, but some good counsel which man might have been called to give to the Creator in the organizing of His plans. The word sumboulos denotes one who deliberates with another, and can communicate to him something of his wisdom. It is therefore a more exalted position than that supposed by the previous question. Lord (master, owner)(2962)(kurios) conveys the main sense of kurios is that of a supreme one, one who is sovereign and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership and uncontested power. Lord is not merely a name that composes a title, but signifies a call to action so that every saint should willingly, reverently bow down to Jesus Christ. If Christ is our Lord, we are to live under Him, consciously, continually submitting our wills to him as His loyal, loving bondservants ("love slaves"), always seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Mt 6:33-note). According to this practical working "definition" beloved we all need to ask ourselves "Is Jesus Christ my Lord?". "Do I arise each day, acknowledges this is the day the Lord hath made?" (Ps 118:24-note) "Do I surrender my will to His will as I begin each day?" (cp Ro 12:1-note, Ro 12:2-note) Beloved, don't misunderstand. None of us have "arrived" in this area of
  • 97. Jesus as Lord of our lives. And it is precisely for that reason that Peter commands us to continually "grow (present imperative) in the grace (unmerited favor, power to live the supernatural, abundant life in Christ) and knowledge (not just intellectual but transformational) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2Pe 3:18-note) So do not be discouraged. Don't "throw in the towel" as they say. Keep on keeping on, pressing (continually = present tense) "on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Php 3:14-note) Romans 11:35 Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? (NASB: Lockman) First driven to him (proedwken autwi). First aorist active indicative of prodidwmi,or first. Old verb, here alone in N.T. From Job 41:11 , to give beforehand but not like the LXX, Paul's own translation. Shall be recompensed (antapodoqhsetai). First future passive of double compound antapodidwmi, to pay back (both anti and apo), old word in good sense, as here and Luke 14:14 ; 1 Thessalonians 3:9 and in bad sense as 2 Thessalonians 1:6 ; Romans 12:19 . Greek: e tis proedoken (3SAAI) auto, kai antapodothesetai (3SFPI) auto? Amplified: Or who has first given God anything that he might be paid back or that he could claim a recompense? (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" (ESV) ICB: "No one has ever given God anything that he must pay back." Job 41:11 (ICB: Nelson) NIV: "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" (NIV - IBS) NKJV: "Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?" NLT: And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? (NLT - Tyndale House) Phillips: ' 'Or who has first given to him and it shall be repaid to him?' (Phillips: Touchstone) Wuest: or who has previously given to Him and it will be recompensed to him? (Eerdmans) Young's Literal: or who did first give to Him, and it shall be given back to him again? OR WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN: e tis proedoken (3SAAI) auto kai antapodothesetai (3SFPI) auto: (Job 35:7; Matthew 20:15; 1Corinthians 4:7)
  • 98. Isaiah 40:14 C. S. Lewis - "To argue with God is to argue with the very power that makes it possible to argue at all!" Speaking to Job, Jehovah asks his choice suffering servant...Job 41:11) Thomas Constable comments that...Job’s observation that God has never needed to depend on human assistance that puts Him in man’s debt (Job 41:11) is also true. The fact that God makes people His partners in executing His will in the world does not mean that He cannot get along without us. He can. (Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible) Paid back (467) (antapodidomi from antí = in turn + apodidomi = render <> from apo = from + didomi = give) means to give back in return for something received. The idea is to practice reciprocity with respect to an obligation (as repaying an obligation - Lk 14:14) thus practicing reciprocity with respect to the obligation. In a negative sense it means to take revenge, pay back, requite, exact retribution or give punishment that is deserved (Ro 12:19, He 10:30 both quoted from Deut 32:35). - Lk. 14:14; Rom. 11:35; 12:19; 1 Thess. 3:9; 2 Thess. 1:6; Heb. 10:30. Romans 11:36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (NASB: Of him (ex autou), through him (di autou), unto him (ei auton). By these three prepositions Paul ascribes the universe (ta panta) with all the phenomena concerning creation, redemption, providence to God as the Source (ex), the Agent (di), the Goal (ei). For ever (ei tou aiwna). "For the ages." Alford terms this doxology in verses Romans 3336 "the sublimest apostrophe existing even in the pages of inspiration itself." Greek: hoti ex autou kai di' autou kai eis auton ta panta; auto e doxa eis tous aionas; amen. Amplified: For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it). (Amplified Bible - Lockman) ESV: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (ESV) ICB: Yes, God made all things. And everything continues through God and for God. To
  • 99. God be the glory forever! Amen. (ICB: Nelson) NIV: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (NIV - IBS) NKJV: For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. NLT: For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen. (NLT - Tyndale House) Phillips: For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever, amen. (Phillips: Touchstone) Wuest: Because out from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Eerdmans) Young's Literal: because of Him, and through Him, and to Him are the all things; to Him is the glory -- to the ages. Amen. FOR FROM HIM AND THROUGH HIM AND TO HIM ARE ALL THINGS: hoti ex autou kai di' autou kai eis auton ta panta: (1Chronicles 29:11,12; Psalms 33:6; Proverbs 16:4; Daniel 2:20, 21, 22, 23; 4:3,34; Matthew 6:13; Acts 17:25,26,28; 1Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Colossians 1:15, 16, 17; Revelation 21:6) For - Always pause and ponder this important term of explanation. Remember the context of this great doxology - the primary focus which harmonizes with the Romans 911 is God’s great plan of salvation through history, not just for Israel but for all mankind. And thus it is only fitting that Paul ascribe glory to Him Who is the Source, Accomplisher, and Goal of man’s salvation, now and forevermore, world without end. Amen. Henry Alford labeled this verse “the sublimest apostrophe existing even in the pages of inspiration itself.” Well too I found this quote from Roberson's too. From Him means God is the all-sufficient cause and source of everything. God is the Originator of all things. All things come from Him. Through Him means God is the mighty sustainer and worker. All things depend on Him. Paul wrote to the Colossians extolling our Lord Jesus Christ declaring that....For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth
  • 100. or things in heaven. (See notes Col 1:16; 17; 18; 19; 20) 13. A W Tozer wrote that...An elementary but correct way to think of God is as the One Who contains all, Who gives all that is given, but Who Himself can receive nothing that He has not first given. (The Knowledge of the Holy) Christ created all things, sustains all things and reconciles all things! As R Kent Hughes reminds us...One second without God’s power and everything would disappear!...Matter is not God, but God is in everything, and nothing works or exists except through his might." (Hughes, R. K. Romans: Righteousness from heaven. Preaching the Word) Thomas Constable writes that...God is the source from which all things come, the means by which all things happen, and the goal toward which all things are moving. He is the originator, sustainer, and finisher of everything ultimately (cf. Col 1:16-note). In view of all these things (Ro 11:33–36), He deserves all glory forever. (Tom Constable's Expository Notes on Romans 11) To Him means God must call every creature to account to Him. All things flow toward God. He is the end purpose. All things will find their culmination in God. He is the reason why all things exist. To help appreciate Paul's description of all things from Him, through Him and to Him, read Chuck Swindoll's description of our tiny solar system, keeping in mind Who it is all from... Imagine a perfectly smooth glass pavement on which the finest speck can be seen. Then shrink our sun from 865,00 miles in diameter to only two feet … and place the ball on the pavement to represent the sun. Step off 83 paces (about two feet per pace) and to represent proportionately the first planet, Mercury, put down a tiny mustard seed. Take 60 steps more and for Venus, put an ordinary BB. Mark 78 more steps … put down a green pea representing Earth. Step off 108 paces from there, and for Mars put down a pinhead. Sprinkle around some fine dust for the asteroids, then take 788 steps more. For Jupiter, place an orange on the glass at that spot. After 934 more steps, put down a golf ball for Saturn. Now it gets really involved. Mark 2,086 steps, and for Uranus … a marble. Another 2,322 steps from there you arrive at Neptune. Let a cherry represent Neptune. This will take 2 1/2 miles, and we haven’t even discussed Pluto! If we swing completely around, we have a smooth, glass surface five miles in diameter, yet just a tiny fraction of the heavens—excluding Pluto. On this surface, five miles across, we have only a seed, BB, pea, pinhead, some dust, an orange, golf ball, a marble and a cherry. Guess how far we’d have to go on the same scale before we could put down another two-foot ball to represent the nearest star. Come on, guess. Seven hundred paces? Two thousand steps more? Forty-four hundred feet? No, you’re way off. We’d have to go 6,720 miles
  • 101. before we could arrive at that star. Miles, not feet. And that’s just the first star among millions. In one galaxy among perhaps hundreds, maybe thousands. And all of it in perpetual motion, perfectly synchronized, the most accurate timepiece known to man. (Swindoll, Chuck: Mind Under Matter. Publication of the First Evangelical Free Church, Fullerton, California) Consider the following simple study - observe and record the wonderful truths that accrue through Him - this would make an edifying, easy to prepare Sunday School lesson - then take some time to give thanks for these great truths by offering up a sacrifice of praise...through Him. Jn 1:3 [NIV reads "through Him"], Jn 1:7, John 1:10, Jn 3:17, Jn 14:6, Acts 2:22, 3:16, Acts 7:25, Acts 10:43, Acts 13:38, 39, Ro 5:9 , Ro 8:37, Ro 11:36; 1Co 8:6, Ep 2:18 , Php 4:13, Col 1:20 Col 2:], Col 3:17 , Heb 7:25 Heb 13:15], 1Pe 1:21, 1John 4:9 Would you like more study on the wonderful topic of through Him? Study also the NT uses of the parallel phrase through Jesus (or similar phrases - "through Whom", "through our Lord", etc) - John 1:17, Acts 10:36, Ro 1:4, 5- Ro 1:8, Ro 2:16-, Ro 5:1; Ro 5:2 Ro 5:11-, Ro 5:21- Ro 7:25-, Ro 16:27-, 1Cor 15:57, 2Cor 1:5, 3:4, 5:18, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:5- Php 1:11- 1Th 5:9-note; Titus 3:6-, He 1:2-He 2:10-, Heb 13:21-1Pe 2:5-, 1Pe 4:11, Jude 1:25) TO HIM BE THE GLORY FOREVER AMEN: auto e doxa eis tous aionas; amen: (Ro 16:27; Psalms 29:1,2; 96:7,8; 115:1; Isaiah 42:12; Luke 2:14; 19:38; Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21; Philippians 4:20; 1Timothy 1:17; 6:16; 2Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 13:21; 1Peter 5:11; 2 Peter 3:18; Jude 1:25; Revelation 1:5,6; 4:10,11; 5:12, 13, 14; 7:10; 19:1,6,7) Glory (1391)(doxa from dokeo = to think) in simple terms means to give a proper opinion or estimate of something and thus the glory of God expresses all that He is in His Being and in His nature, character, power and acts. He is glorified when He is allowed to be seen as He really is. To be where God is will be glory. To be what God intended will be glory. To do what God purposed will be glory. Charles Ryrie says that the glory of God "is the manifestation of any or all of His attributes. In other words, it is the displaying of God to the world. Thus, things which glorify God are things which show the characteristics of His being to the world." Spurgeon words on giving God glory will surely move you to take a moment today and do so and then to contemplate how you might live your life daily to His glory. Herein is a powerful devotional exhortation (read also his preceding words on doctrine which prompted such devotion) from one of God's sweetest singers...
  • 102. I Amen (4243)(amen [OT = Amen (0543) amen]) is a transliteration of the Hebrew noun amen and then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. Amen has been called the best-known word in human speech. To say “Amen” confirms a statement by someone else. Amen is a response to something that has just been said, except in Jesus' teachings. Jesus, the ultimate "Amen" (Rev 3:14), is the supreme authority and so it is clearly apropos that His teachings be introduced by amen. John's Gospel has 25 uses of "amen" and every use is a double amen (or double "truly" in the NAS - 25 times). None of the other 3 Gospels use a "double amen." It is also notable that in the four Gospels, amen is used only by our Lord Jesus Christ, almost always "to introduce new revelations of the mind of God." (Vine) Every use of "amen" or "truly" by Jesus serves to affirm what follows and by extension to cause us to pay close attention to the teaching. The Pauline uses of amen occur primarily at the close of his prayers or doxologies, and as such serve to confirm them as "it is firm" (or "so let it be"). Forever - literally this reads "to the ages." Forever (165)(aion) as implied by the numerous ways it is translated into English is somewhat difficult to define. The specific meaning of aion is best determined by the context in which it is used and in this verse clearly means forever. C H Spurgeon writes the following devotional on Romans 11:36... “To whom be glory for ever. Amen” — Romans 11:36 “To whom be glory for ever.” This should be the single desire of the Christian. All other wishes must be subservient and tributary to this one. The Christian may wish for prosperity in his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this—“To him be glory for ever.” He may desire to attain more gifts and more graces, but it should only be that “To him may be glory for ever.” You are not acting as you ought to do when you are moved by any other motive than a single eye to your Lord’s glory. As a Christian, you are “of God, and through God,” then live “to God.” Let nothing ever set your heart beating so mightily as love to him. Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of every enterprise upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive whenever your zeal would grow chill; make God your only object. Depend upon it, where self begins sorrow begins; but if God be my supreme delight and only object, F B Meyer commenting on "Of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things" writes
  • 103. that... This verse reminds us of those lagoons of perfectly still clear water, of which travellers tell. So clear, that it is easily possible to look into their translucent depths to where the submarine foliage waves! So deep, that the ordinary measuring line fails to plumb them! All these words are monosyllables. A child just learning to read could easily spell them out. But who shall exhaust their meaning? Of Him. — The entire scheme of redemption; the marvellous history of the chosen people, with which this chapter is occupied; the universe of matter, all are included in the all things that have emanated out of God. No one has been his counsellor, or given aught to Him. From all created things, which are as the stream, let us climb to Him, who is their fountain, source, and origin; and in Him let us learn to fill our own souls to the very brim. Through Him. — Through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, God has poured the entire grace and wealth of his nature to bless and help us. There is no good thing that does not come to us through the mediatior, of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Through Him He made the worlds. Through Him we have received the reconciliation. Through Him, also, all grace is made to abound towards us. Never forget to magnify the Lord Jesus as the source of all your supply.