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the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Romans 11

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Cast away his people ; cast them off as a people, so as to break his covenant with them. The answer is, No; he has cast off the unbelieving part of them, and saved the believing remnant. The apostle then proceeds to show, by quotations from the Jewish scriptures, that God has always proceeded in this way.

I also am an Israelite ; and, as such, an example of the "remnant according to the election of grace," verse Romans 11:5 .

Verse 2

His people which he foreknew ; that is, the remnant of his people which he foreknew. See note to chap Romans 8:29 .

Wot ; know.

Maketh intercession ; 1 Kings 19:10 .

Verse 4

Baal ; the name of an idol which many, in the days of Elijah, worshipped. 1 Kings 18:22 .

Verse 5

A remnant ; a small number of the Jewish nation who belong to his redeemed people, and to whom his promises to Abraham of spiritual blessings, were made. Galatians 3:29 .

Election of grace ; God’s gracious choice of them to be his people. When multitudes enter the wide gate, and walk in the broad way which leadeth to destruction, the reason why some enter the strait gate, and walk in the narrow way which leadeth unto life, is they are by God graciously chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, and are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 ; 1 Peter 1:5 .

Verse 6

No more of works ; if his choice of them were of grace, it was not on the ground of any merit in them; because, if it were, it would be of debt, not of grace.

Verse 7

What then? what is the conclusion to which we come? Israel ; the great body of the Jewish nation.

That which he seeketh for ; righteousness and acceptance with God.

The election ; those whom God graciously chose to be his people, and whom he gave to Jesus Christ. John 6:37 ; John 10:26-30 .

Blinded ; by their sins, in refusing to come to the light, and given up to hardness of heart, as a punishment for their transgressions. John 3:20 . If none were chosen of God to eternal life, none would be saved, because none would take the only way of salvation. His choosing them was not because they were naturally better than others, or on account of any thing spiritually good in them; but it was a favor graciously bestowed, and which, through his grace, is connected with believing in Christ, repenting of sin, and persevering in obedience to eternal life. Of course we ought to be as grateful to God for his election of men, as for their salvation.

Verse 8

As it is written ; Deuteronomy 29:4 ; Isaiah 6:9-10 ; Isaiah 29:10 ; Matthew 13:14-15 ; Mark 4:11-12 .

Verse 9

David saith ; Psalms 69:22-23 . As David was, by divine appointment, an eminent type of Christ, so the destruction of David’s enemies typified that of the enemies of Christ, the great antitype. And in the case of both David’s and Christ’s enemies the great principle was illustrated, that the wicked and rebellious among Abraham’s children shall perish, even as other sinners.

Let their table ; representing all their earthly good.

Verse 10

Bow down their back alway ; the same as "make their loins continually to shake," namely, with terror and anguish. Psalms 69:23 .

Verse 11

Have they stumbled that they should fall? irrecoverably fall? Will the great body of the Jews always continue in unbelief, and all for ever perish? Certainly not.

Salvation is come unto the Gentiles ; the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews was made the occasion of his being preached to the Gentiles, and many among them being led to believe on him. After a time the Jews also shall believe on him and be saved.

For to provoke them to jealousy ; to provoke the Jews to jealousy, while they witness the great privileges to which the Gentiles are admitted through faith in Christ. The apostle alludes to the passage which he had quoted from Deuteronomy 32:21 : "I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people."

Verse 12

Them ; the Jews.

Be the riches of the world ; be the occasion of great good to the world.

How much more ; will their restoration to the favor of God be the occasion of greater good. The ruin of some men is overruled by God as the occasion of great good to others.

Verse 13

I magnify mine office ; his office as apostle to the Gentiles. This he showed to be highly honorable, as connected with the plan of God for the salvation of men.

Verse 14

Provoke to emulation ; provoke to jealousy, as in verse Romans 11:11 ; and chap Romans 10:19 , where the original Greek uses the same word. The apostle means, provoke to jealousy in such a way that they shall be stirred up to seek the blessings which they see taken from them on account of the unbelief, and given to the Gentiles through their faith.

Verse 15

Of them ; the Jews.

Of the world ; the Gentiles.

Life from the dead ; as a glorious resurrection.

Verse 16

The first - fruit ; the cake made from the first dough of the new harvest, which the Israelites were required to offer to the Lord, before they ate of it. See Numbers 15:20 .

Be holy ; consecrated to God.

The lump ; the whole mass of dough from which the offering was taken.

The root ; of the tree. The first-fruit of the dough and the root of the tree here represent the patriarchs of the Israelitish nation, who received the irrevocable promises made to Abraham and his seed. Their reception by God, as a peculiar people consecrated to his service, is a pledge that he will not finally cast off the nation sprung from them. Their present rejection is temporary, and not final.

Verse 17

Some of the branches ; the Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham, called on this account, verse Romans 11:21 , natural branches.

A wild olive - tree ; one that is uncultivated and bears no valuable fruit; representing the Gentiles.

Verse 18

Boast not against the branches ; the natural branches, the Jews. Do not exult over them, as if you were naturally better than they, and were in no danger.

The root ; the original church of God consisting of Abraham’s seed, into which the Gentiles are grafted by faith.

Verse 19

The branches were broken off ; the Jews were cast out, that the Gentiles might be admitted.

Verse 20

Because of unbelief ; their unbelief was the cause of their rejection.

Thou standest by faith ; continued faith in Christ and obedience to him are essential to your continuance as the people of God.

High - minded ; elated, proud, haughty.

Fear ; walk humbly in the fear and love of God, lest you too be broken off and perish. Men who have right views of God and his ways, of themselves, and their relations to him and their fellow-men, will not be proud, haughty, or censorious, but will be humble, meek, grateful, benevolent.

Verse 22

On them which fell ; the unbelieving Jews.

Severity ; just, righteous punishment.

Toward thee ; the believing Gentiles.

Goodness ; gratuitous favor.

If thou continue in his goodness ; by continuing to believe and obey him.

Verse 25

Of this mystery ; unattainable by mere human reason, and which has not hitherto been clearly revealed: that the rejection of the Messiah by the Jews was to be only temporary; and that when multitudes of the Gentiles should be converted to him, then the Jews also would acknowledge him, and be again received as the people of God.

Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in ; the gentile nations in full number, according to the wise appointment of God.

Verse 26

All Israel ; Israel as a nation, and not, as now, a remnant of believing individuals.

As it is written ; Isaiah 59:20-21 ; Psalms 14:7 ; Jeremiah 31:31-34 ; Hebrews 10:15-18 . However great the present blindness of the Jews, however strong their opposition to Jesus of Nazareth, the time is coming when they will know that he is their long-promised Messiah, will embrace him as their hope of glory, and will become eminent benefactors of the world. With reference to this they have been kept as a distinct people; and all exulting over them by the Gentiles, is highly offensive to God.

Verse 28

As concerning the gospel ; in respect to the spread of the gospel.

Enemies for your sakes ; enemies to the gospel and rejecters of it in such a way that, by the wise appointment of God, it shall be more generally preached and obeyed among the Gentiles. The rejection of the gospel by the Jews was the occasion why the preachers of it turned to the Gentiles, and this was a part of God’s purpose. Compare Acts 13:46 ; Acts 18:6 ; Acts 22:18-21 ; Acts 28:28 .

Touching the election ; on account of God’s choosing Abraham and his spiritual seed, and on account of the promises which he made, they were still remembered in mercy, and in due time would again be restored to the privileges and blessings of his people.

Verse 29

Gifts and calling of God ; his choosing them as his people, and his promises to give them spiritual blessings.

Are without repentance ; will not be revoked. God will not change his determination, or fail to bestow the blessings which he has promised.

Verse 30

Through their unbelief ; their unbelief was made the occasion of your having the gospel preached to you, and thus obtaining mercy.

Verse 31

Through your mercy ; through the mercy bestowed upon you by God, in bringing you into his church. For the converted Gentiles shall, in their turn, be instrumental in bringing back the Jewish people to Christ.

Verse 32

Hath concluded ; left shut up, as in a prison, without any hope of relief, from their own works.

Them all ; the whole, both Jews and Gentiles.

That he might have mercy upon all ; and thus Jews and Gentiles alike be made to feel and acknowledge that their salvation is of grace, not of works.

Verse 33

The reasons of the proceedings of God with men are often by them unknown, and can never be fully understood; yet we may be certain that he, in all cases, has reasons which are perfectly wise and infinitely good. No objection therefore ought to be made, by any one, to any thing that God does; but the spontaneous expression of all should be, Bless the Lord in all places of his dominion; bless the Lord, O my soul. Psalms 103:22 .

Verse 34

Who ; can understand the mind of God? or, who ever taught him any thing? No one. He is alone the sum and source of all. Isaiah 40:13 ; Jeremiah 23:18 . He needeth not and receiveth not information from any of his creatures. Acts 17:24-28 .

Verse 35

Who hath first given ; who ever gave to God any thing which God did not first give to him? No one; for no one ever had any thing, except what he received from God.

Verse 36

Of him ; God, as their Creator.

Through him ; as their Preserver and Benefactor.

To him ; as their great end.

Are all things ; all things were created, are perserved and controlled, and will be disposed of, to the promotion of his glory.

To whom be glory for ever ; it all belongs to Him, to Him let it all be given.

Amen ; so be it. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Psalms 150:6 .

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 11". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/romans-11.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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