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Bible Commentaries
Romans 11

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

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Verse 1

Romans 11:1 . Μὴ ἀπώσατο ) hath He cast away entirely? So Gideon, expostulating in faith, says νῦν ἀπώσατο ἡμᾶς , now He has forsaken us ( cast us away , Jdg 6:13 ). But οὐκ ἀπώσεται Κύριος τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ , but the Lord will not cast away His people , Psalms 94:0 (93):14. Has He cast them away, says Paul, so that they are no longer the people of God? In ch. 10 after he so impressively exhibited the grace [which God exercised] towards the Gentiles, and the rebellion of the Jews, this objection might be made. He therefore answers, far be it from us to say, that God has rejected His people, when the very appellation, His people contains a reason for denying it. The negative assertion, far be it , [God forbid], is made distinctly, (1.) concerning the present time of the offending people; both that there are now some, [believers among them]; comp. Acts 21:20 , note; and that in the successively increasing admission of Gentiles, there will be very many of Israel, who shall believe. These are called the remnant and the election Romans 11:5 ; Romans 11:7 . (2.) As to the future; that the people themselves, will at last be converted Romans 11:24 , note. ἐγὼ , I ) Paul would rather draw a favourable conclusion from the individual [believing Israelites, as himself] to the genus, [the whole nation,] than one, on the unfavourable side, from the genus [the unbelieving nation] to the species [the individual]; I, formerly a persecutor, deserved to be cast away. The genus is the whole Jewish people: the species is believers among the Jews (of whom Paul was one as an individual) or such of that people as should hereafter believe.

Verse 2

Romans 11:2 . Προέγνω ) foreknew , as a people peculiar to Himself, Romans 11:29 . ἐν Ἡλίᾳ , in Elias ) in the history of Elias, who was in the greatest straits, and thought himself to be alone; when Israel had become fewer than at any time before or since, [ 1Ki 20:15 ]. ἐντυγχάνει , Hesychius, ἐντυγχάνει , προσέρχεται ; comp. Acts 25:24 ; 1Ma 8:32 .

Verse 3

Romans 11:3 . Κύριε , τοὺς προφήτας σου τὴν ψυχήν μου ) 1 Kings 19:14 , LXX., ἐγκατέλιπον τὴν διαθήκην σου οἱ υἱοὶ Ἰσραὴλ , τὰ θυσιαστήριά σου καθειλον , καὶ τοὺς προφήτας σου ἀπέκτειναν ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ , καὶ ὑπολέλειμμαι ἐγὼ μονώτατος , καὶ ζητοῦσι τὴν ψυχήν μου λαβεῖν αὐτήν . The children of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, thrown down Thine altars, and slain Thy prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life to take it away . The nicety of the apostle’s style is remarkable; the LXX. in this passage use μονώτατος , as they often do; Paul μόνος .

Verse 4

Romans 11:4 . Κατέλιπον , I have left [Engl. Vers. not so well, reserved ]) who were not to be slain by Hazael, Jehu, or Elisha. The LXX., 1 Kings 19:18 , have καὶ καταλέιψω ἐν Ἰσραὴλ ἑπτὰ χιλιάδας ἁνδρῶν πάντα γόνατα , ἃ οὐκ ὤκλασαν γόνυ τῷ Βάαλ . And I will have in Israel seven thousand men, all the knees, which have not bowed to Baal . From the verb λείπω [in κατέλιπον , I have left ] we derive λεῖμμα a remnant [a portion left ]; see what follows. ἐμαυτῷ , to myself ) Paul adds this for the sake of emphasis, in antithesis to the complaint of Elias about his being left alone . The Lord knows His own people. ἑπτακισχιλίους , seven thousand ) among a people, who had become reduced to a wonderfully small number, the number is not small, nay it was itself the whole people, 1 Kings 20:15 . From these the whole posterity of the ten tribes at least were descended. Heb. בל , i.e. purely such as these, without any admixture of the worshippers of Baal. I do not say, that they were the same individuals, who are mentioned in 1 Kings 20:15 ; 1 Kings 19:18 ; but the number is equal, viz., seven thousand, in 1 Kings 20:15 , and about seventy years afterwards, in ch. 1 Kings 19:18 , after the time of Hazael, Jehu and Elisha, comp. 2 Kings 13:7 ; 2 Kings 13:14 . ἄνδρας , men) Men were chiefly taken into account in reckoning, and were present at public worship; therefore their wives and children also are to be added to the seven thousand. Τῇ Βάαλ ) In the feminine gender, supplying εἰκόνι , the image of Baal, used by way of contempt, and antithetic to men. So the LXX. also Judges 2:11 , etc. Under the assertion of guiltlessness as to the worship of Baal, guiltlessness as to the worship of the golden calves [120] is included.

[120] Set up by Jeroboam in Dan and Bethel, 1 Kings 12:29 . ED.

Verse 5

Romans 11:5 . Οὖν , then ) The conclusion drawn from the Old to the New Testament.

Verse 6

Romans 11:6 . Χάριτι , by grace ) The meaning of the dative is one, and that of the particle ἐκ with the genitive is another [is different]. The former rather indicates the vehicle or instrument, as a canal, in the pure and simple sense; the latter, more properly the material cause, the principle [first origin], the source. οὐκ ἔτι , now no longer [ no more ]) This phrase used four times shows the strength of the conclusion. This decree, which God has decreed, is absolute: I will make men righteous only by faith, no man by works . This decree no one shall break through. γίνεται ἐστὶν , [becomes] is made is ) This is a nice and just distinction between these words [lost sight of in the Engl. Vers.]. Nature asks for works; faith acknowledges supervenient grace, γενομένην [grace coming into exercise]. So, ἐγένετο [came into exercise] John 1:17 . φερομένην χάριν , 1 Peter 1:13 . εἰ δὲ ἐξ ἔργων , οὐκ ἔτι ἐστὶ χάρις · ἐπεὶ τὸ ἔργον οὐκ ἔτι ἐστί ἔργον . But if it is of works, then is it no more grace, otherwise work is no more work ) From this short clause, it is no more of works , this inference is drawn, Israel has not obtained: and from that short clause, it is no more grace , the inference is, the election has obtained . The first part of this verse excludes works, the second establishes grace; with this comp. Romans 11:5 . The first part forms the protasis, the last, the apodosis, which is always the more necessary part, and is improperly omitted by some in this passage, comp. by all means ch. Romans 4:4-5 ; Ephesians 2:8-9 . Grace and work are opposed to each other, כְּעֻלָּה , LXX. for the most part interpret it ἐργον , work, for example Psalms 109:20 .

Verse 7

Romans 11:7 . Ἡ ἐκλογὴ , the election ) chiefly of the Israelites, the election , that is, the elected, inasmuch as being elected, obtain.

Verse 8

Romans 11:8 . Ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Θεὸς πνεῦμα κατανύξεως , ὀφθαλμοὺς τοῦ μὴ βλέτειν καὶ ὦτα τοῦ μὴ ἀκούειν ) Deuteronomy 29:4 , yet the Lord God hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day . Isaiah 29:10 , LXX., πεπότικεν ὑμᾶς Κύριος , πνεύματι κατανύξεως , καὶ καμμύσει τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν κ . τ . λ . The Lord hath made you drunk with the spirit of slumber , and He will shut their eyes , etc. Add Matthew 13:0 [12,] 14, note. Ἒδωκεν , hath given , by a most righteous judgment, and hath said to them, have . [121] κατανύξεως ) ΚΑΤΆΝΥΞΙς in this passage denotes suffering from frequent pricking, which terminates in stupor. It is taken in a good sense, Acts 2:37 , and very often among ascetic writers. The Latins use similarly compunctio, compunction . ἕως , even unto ) A tacit limitation, 2 Corinthians 3:14 .

[121] According as you have chosen . The have , refers to spiritual goods. “From him who hath not (his spiritual privileges to any good purpose) shall be taken away even that he hath .” God gives to men, that which they choose for themselves. You fancy you have, I give you accordingly . ED.

Verse 9

Romans 11:9 . Γενηθήτω αὐτῶν εἰς παγίδα καὶ εἰς θήραν καὶ εἰς σκάνδαλον καὶ εἰς ἀνταπόδομα αὐτοίς σύγκαμψον ) Psalms 69:22-23 , LXX., γενηθήτω αὐτῶν ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν εἰς παγίδα καὶ εἰς ἀνταπόδοσιν καὶ εἰς σκάνδαλον . Let their be made before their eyes into a snare , and for a recompence, and for an offence . σύγκαμψον . τράπεζα , a table ) שלחן , Psalms 69:22 , where, on comparing with it the preceding verse, there is an allegory, i.e., while they are carelessly taking their food, let them be taken themselves. σκάνδαλον , stumbling-block) It is taken in the more literal sense in this passage, to correspond with the synonyms, noose and instrument of capture (laqueus and captio); for σκάνδαλον is the moveable stick in a trap. It corresponds to מוקש in the above psalm. There is a gradation: the noose (laqueus) catches a part, for example, the foot; the instrument of capture (captio, θήρα , trap) holds the whole; the stumbling-block (scandalum) not only catches, but also hurts. ἀνταπόδομα , recompence) Their fault, therefore, not the absolute decree of God, was the mediating cause of their rejection.

Verse 10

Romans 11:10 . Σκοτισθήτωσαν . σύγκαμψον ) They, who have their eyes darkened, and their back bent, are sure to stumble , Romans 11:11 , and rush into a snare.

Verse 11

Romans 11:11 . Ἔπταισαν ) πταίω is properly used for the stumbling of the feet . Comp. James 3:2 , note. The physical propriety of the, word πταίω , both respecting the foot and the tongue, is contrasted with its moral signification. ἵνα πέσωσι ) that they should fall entirely, all of them, and that too without any hope of being lifted up again. A proverbial expression: they have fallen in some measure, Romans 11:22 , but not utterly. τοῖς ἔθνεσιν , to the Gentiles ) We have here the article itself of the thing performed [ ἡ σωτ . τοῖς ἐθν . By their fall has come the salvation which the Gentiles now enjoy], Acts 13:46 , lo! [and, Behold , Rom 11:22 ]. εἰς τὸ παραζηλῶσαι αὐτοὺς , that they might be provoked to jealousy ) That the Israelites might be provoked to believe, Romans 11:14 . [ Reader, see that you also be provoked, by every means whatever, to jealousy; you will thus in no ordinary degree be strong in grace . V. g.] This word occurs elsewhere, ch. Romans 10:19 .

Verse 12

Romans 11:12 . Εἰ δὲ , Now if ) This verse has two parts, the first is treated of, Romans 11:13 , etc.: the latter, how much more , etc., Romans 11:23-24 . κόσμον ἐθνῶν , of the world of the Gentiles ) The world denotes quality [in reference to the] παράπτωμα , the original fall [ i.e. , the fall of man in Adam]; the Gentiles , quantity, or, in other words, multitude, to which fewness [ diminishing , Engl. Vers.], ἥττημα , is opposed; whence τὸ πλήρωμα [ the fulness ] signifies, presently after, the large numbers of Israel abounding in grace. ἤττημα ) the fewness , in opposition to πλήρωμα , fulness [abundance]. Isaiah 31:8 , ἐσονται εἰς ἥττημα , [His young men shall become a mere handful; lit. a fewness ]. πόσῳ μᾶλλον , how much more ) for where there are many seeds, their increase is the greater. τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῶν , their fulness , [abundance]; supply, will be the riches of the Gentiles . Therefore, even if the Jews had believed from the very first, the Gentiles would not have been excluded. The same word occurs in Romans 11:25 .

Verse 13

Romans 11:13 . Ὑμῖν ) to you , not that you may be elated, but that the Jews may be invited. διακονίαν , ministry ) apostleship among the Gentiles. δοξάζω , magnify ) To wit, Paul enhances the grace given to the Gentiles and its fulness, as about to be reciprocated upon [towards] the Israelites themselves [intended to have a reflex influence on Israel]; and here he gives a reason for his so enhancing that grace.

Verse 14

Romans 11:14 . Τὴν σάρκα , the flesh ) i.e. , brethren. Isaiah 58:7 .

Verse 15

Romans 11:15 . Γὰρ , for ) The particle connecting the discussion with the proposition. ἀποβολὴ , the casting away ) an antithesis to receiving , but in this sense, that God is said to receive by grace, men to be cast away [to suffer casting away] by their own fault. Upon the casting away of the Jews, the Gentiles were received , and obtained grace, Romans 11:30 . πρόσληψις ) αὐτῶν , Hesychius: πρόσληψις , γνῶσις , comp. προσελάβετο , ch. Romans 14:3 . Τίς , concludes from the less to the greater: ἀποβολὴ , casting away , and πρόσληψις , receiving , are contrary to each other; therefore, καταλλαγὴ , reconciliation [ of the world , in the former clause], precedes τῆ ζωῇ ἐκ νεκρῶν , [ of the Israelites , in the latter clause] life from the dead , which implies much more [than καταλλαγή ]. ζωὴ , life ) of the world , Romans 11:12 . ζωὴ ἐκ νεκρῶν , life from the dead ) a thing much greater, and more desirable. The meaning is: the life of those who had been dead, Ezekiel 37:3 , etc., so ἐκ , from , ch. Rom 6:13 ; 2 Corinthians 4:6 . He is speaking of bringing the whole to life, that there may be no dead mass remaining. The conversion of the whole human race or the world will accompany the conversion of Israel.

Verse 16

Romans 11:16 . Ἡ ἀπαρχὴ , the first fruits ) The patriarchs. ἁγία , holy ) appropriated and acceptable to God. Comp. Romans 11:15 , with 1 Timothy 4:4-5 . φύραμα , a lump ) Numbers 15:20-21 , ἀπαρχὴ φυράματος . ἡ ῥίζα , the root ) the patriarchal stock, considered naturally, as also being regarded as in possession of circumcision and of the promise. In the opinion of Weller , after Orige [122] , Christ is the root , the patriarchs also are the branches , from whom the first fruits were derived.

[122] rigen (born about 186 A.D., died 253 A.D., a Greek father: two-thirds of the N. Test. are quoted in his writings). Ed. Vinc. Delarue, Paris. 1733, 1740, 1759.

Verse 17

Romans 11:17 . Συ , Thou ) O Roman , who art a Gentile. ἀγριέλαιος , a wild olive ) the graft of the wild olive; a singularly expressive [ δεινή . end. δεινότης ] Synecdoche. [ Sad experience even in our age proclaims this fact. A promiscuous multitude, unwilling to bear true Christianity, labour under the wildest ignorance; nor do we even except those, who boast no ordinary attainments in virtue and knowledge . V. g.] ἐν αὐτοῖς ) among them: The word, them , is not to be referred to the word, some , but to the branches generally. συγκοινωνὸς ) Paul often uses σὺν concerning the Gentiles, Ephesians 2:19 ; Ephesians 2:22 ; Ephesians 3:6 ; comp. μετὰ , Romans 15:10 .

Verse 18

Romans 11:18 . Μὴ κατακαυχῶ , Boast not against ) Let them, who deny the [possibility of the] conversion of the Jews, take care, that they boast not against them . οὐ σὺ , it is not thou that) supply know or remember that; know, or remember that it is not thou that bearest the root , but, etc.

Verse 19

Romans 11:19 . Ἵνα , in order that ) This particle expresses the chief force of the boasting [of the Gentiles]; but in opposition to this boasting compare the, for your sakes , Romans 11:28 , and τῷ , Romans 11:31 [sc. ὑμετέρῳ ἐλέει , they disobeyed to the end that through the mercy showed to you they might obtain mercy.]

Verse 20

Romans 11:20 . Τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ τῇ πίστει , by [because of] unbelief by faith ) Neither of the two events (says Paul) [was ordered] absolutely: for if it were absolutely, there would be room for boasting, which is here shown to be out of place: faith , the gift of God, making men humble [could not be such as to give room to boasting ]. ἕστηκας ) thou hast obtained and still holdest this standing , contrasted with the words, them, who fell , Romans 11:22 . μὴ ὑψηλοφρόνει , ἀλλὰ φοβοῦ ) be not high-minded, but fear; Proverbs 3:7 , μὴ ἴσθι φρόνιμος παρὰ σεαυτῷ , φοβοῦ δὲ τὸν θεόν , Be not wise in thine own eyes; but fear God. φοβοῦ , fear ) Fear is opposed not to confidence, but to superciliousness, and security.

Verse 21

Romans 11:21 . Μήπως ) Repeat, φοβοῦ . φείσεται ) The Indicative, the particle μήπως being here in a manner disregarded, [by the Indie, instead of the subjunctive, the regular mood after μὴ ] has a more categorical [positive, unconditional] force. Baumgarten would rather read φείσηται with μήπως . But Mart. Crusius shows, that ἵνα , ὡς , ὃπως , υὴ , are sometimes joined with the future indicative, Gram. Gr. Part I. page 867, and beside other examples, he specifies that passage of Demosthenes, ὅπως τὰ παρόντα ἐπανορθωθήσεται . Blackwall has collected other examples in the Sacred Classics, p. 432, ed. Woll., where he praises this very passage of Paul on account of its elegance. Certainly language, framed, as this is, rather categorically, tends to excite fear [more than conditional or potential language, as φείσηται would be.]

Verse 22

Romans 11:22 . Χρηστότητα καὶ ἀποτομίαν , goodness and severity ) An important disjunction. ἐπιμείνῃς , thou shalt have continued ) To continue is in respect to what is good, in this verse; in respect to what is evil in the next [ ἐπιμείνωσιν , abide in unbelief]. The one is described on the part of God, the other on the part of man comp. Romans 11:28 ; Romans 11:30 , etc. The Roman [Church] has not remained in goodness, since the righteousness of works has been introduced. ἐπεὶ , otherwise ) Believers may utterly fall away. ἑκκοπήοῃ , thou shalt be cut off ) by the sword; not merely, shalt be broken off [ ἑκκλασθήσῃ ], as they were, by the hand. כרת , LXX., ἐκκόπτω , I cut off, Jeremiah 44:8 , not however generally in that sense, in which, I utterly destroy, ( ἐξολοθρεύω ), is used.

Verse 23

Romans 11:23 . Ἐὰν μὴ , if not ) Therefore their conversion will not be [the effect of] irresistible [grace]. δυνατὸς , [able] powerful ) it might be a principal objection: how will the Jews be converted, who for so many ages act so as to withdraw themselves from the faith, separate [draw aside] the Old Testament revelations from the true Messiah, and snatch them out of the hands of believers? Paul answers, God has power: comp. the, powerful [able], ch. Romans 14:4 : and He will show the glory of this power, against which no one in the Gentile world can strive. There will then be a great work! πάλιν , again ) not only in [with] a smaller [comparatively small] number, as now, but in [with] a greater number, as formerly, when they were the people of God.

Verse 24

Romans 11:24 . Ἀγριελαίου , of the wild olive tree ) There is as great a distinction between those, who either have not, or have the revealed word, as there is between the wild and cultivated olive-tree. παρὰ φύσιν ) quite contrary to nature , for in the art of gardening, the process of engrafting, which unites two trees of a different nature, commits the soft graft, which is followed by the fruit, to the woody stem: but Paul says, that the graft of the wild olive is inserted into the good olive-tree, in order that it may follow [in consequence partake of] the fatness of the good olive. πόσῳ μᾶλλον , how much more ) He gradually comes from that which can be, to that which actually is . The discourse in fact assumes an augmentation of force; formerly Paul demonstrated from the prophets, that in Israel there were more wicked than good men, he now demonstrates in like manner from the prophets, that there will be hereafter more good than wicked men; and while he is drawing forth this statement, he calls it a mystery , fitted to check the pride of the Gentiles, lest they should think that the part assigned to the Jews was to be always inferior.

Verse 25

Romans 11:25 . Μυστήριον , a mystery ) Paul does not always apply the term, mysteries , to those doctrines, which from the very first are necessary to be known by believers, but to the secrets, which were unknown even to many believers, until, as the case required, for the sake of faith or love they were opened up to them from the Scriptures, heretofore in this respect sealed. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:51 , and on a similar occasion Ephesians 3:3 . The calling of the Gentiles had been a mystery , ch. Romans 16:25 . But now the conversion of Israel is likewise a mystery . [ Therefore something different is intimated from such conversions, as were exhibited day by day in the times of Paul . V. g.] Each of these forms a great part of that mystery , which is confirmed in Revelation 10:7 . Furthermore, since it is a mystery, they ought to be treated with patient forbearance who do not recognise it so quickly, and we should hope for the time, when it will be recognised by all. [123] φρόνιμοι , wise ) dreaming, that the church at Rome cannot fail . Cluverus. The very term, mystery , checks the reader’s pride. Hence the admonition is repeated at. ch. Romans 12:16 , which is already to be found at Romans 11:20 , note. ἀπὸ μέρους , in part ) He speaks in a way softening the unwelcome truth; for οἱ πωρωθέντες , those, who were hardened , were as “the sand of the sea,” Romans 11:7 ; comp. with ch. Romans 9:27 . Therefore, in the following verse, the conversion, which will not be in part [as their hardening was, which yet comprised as many as the sand], but will include all Israel (see foll. verse), will be by far the most abundant. And in the mean time also, there are always some being converted, and for this desirable object it becomes believers to be always on the watch. πλήρωμα , fulness ) a most abundant supply; the antithesis is in part . No nation shall remain, to which the Gospel shall not have been preached in the whole world; although a great part of mankind will still continue to be wicked. εἰσέλθῃ , shall come in ) John 10:9 ; John 10:16 . For many ages, now, many obstacles retard [put a drag on the wheels of] this coming in, obstacles which will be broken through at the proper time, so that the fulness of the Gentiles, who have been long since called, may entirely come in; and then the hardening of Israel will terminate, Psalms 126:2-3 . Paul provokes the Israelites to Christian jealousy; and this presupposes the conversion of the Gentiles before that of Israel, and yet the remaining abundance of the Gentiles may afterwards be gained by the full conversion of Israel, Romans 11:11-12 ; Romans 11:15 ; Romans 11:31 ; Ezekiel 39:7 ; Ezekiel 39:21-27 .

[123] We should never consider a mystery for the sake of curiosity: we should always seek to be humbled before it. V. g.

Verse 26

Romans 11:26 . καὶ οὓτω , and so ) he does not say and then , but with greater force, and so , in which very expression the then is included; to wit, the blindness of Israel will be terminated by the very coming in of the Gentiles. πᾶς Ἰσραὴλ , all Israel ) Israel contradistinguished from the Gentiles, of which Rom 11:25 treats. The words, שארית , a remnant, and פליטה , deliverance, are used in respect of those that perished; but the Remnant itself, numerous in itself, will be wholly converted, Micah 2:12 . σωθήσεται ) shall be saved: The Latin Vulgate has expressed this by, salvus fieret; and not inappropriately. [124] It contains this sentiment, the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in and so all Israel shall be made safe; but ἄχρις οὗ , until , has changed the former verb εἰσελεύσεται [Indic.] into ΕἸΣΈΛΘῌ [Subj.], the second verb, ΣΩΘΉΣΕΤΑΙ , remaining [Indicative]. See similar instances noticed at Mark 3:27 . The Latin Vulg. has expressed the meaning. ἭΞΕΙ ἘΚ ΣΙῺΝ ΔΙΑΘΉΚΗ , ὋΤΑΝ ἈΦΈΛΩΜΑΙ ΤᾺς ἉΜΑΡΤΊΑς ΑὐΤῶς ) shall come out of Zion the covenant, when I shall take away their sins . Isaiah 59:20-21 , LXX., καὶ ἥξει ἓνεκα Σιὼν ΔΙΑΘΉΚΗ , ΕἾΠΕ ΚΎΡΙΟς , Κ . Τ . Λ . , and shall come for the sake of Zion the covenant, saith the Lord , etc. Isaiah 27:9 , LXX., καὶ τοῦτο ἐστιν ἡ εὐλογία αὐτοῦ , ὍΤΑΝ ἈΦΈΛΩΜΑΙ ΤῊΝ ἈΜΑΡΤΊΑΝ ΑὐΤΟῦ , Κ . Τ . Λ . , and this is His blessing, when I shall take away his sin . Heb. גואל לציון , and there shall come to Zion (and for its benefit) the Redeemer, and to those turning from transgression in Jacob. Paul, ch. 3, in describing sin had quoted Psalms 14:0 , and chiefly ch. 59 of Isaiah: now in describing salvation, he joins together the same texts. He says, ἐκ Σιὼν , out of Sion , as the LXX., Psalms 14:7 . The Deliverer or Redeemer comes ( ἘΚ ) out of Sion and ( ל , ἛΝΕΚΑ ) for good to Sion. His coming has been already accomplished, and the fruit will arrive at perfection at the proper time. Sion is a whole, in a good sense, Jacob here is a whole, in a less favourable sense; those returning are a part.

[124] Thus the Vulg. makes σωθήσεται depend on ἂχρις οὖ , donec , “until the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, and until all Israel shall thus be saved.” ED.

Verse 27

Romans 11:27 . Αὓτη , this ) of which see in the preceding verse. παρʼ ἐμοῦ , from me ) He himself will do it. διαθήκη , testament [ covenant ]) namely, it shall then be and shall be unfolded . τὰς ἁμαρτίας ) sins , and the miseries arising from them.

Verse 28

Romans 11:28 . Ἐχθροὶ ) enemies . Therefore the obstinacy of the Jews ought not to be alleged to the prejudice of their conversion. Moreover, they are called enemies , in an active sense; presently [by and by] they shall be called beloved in a passive sense (both in respect of God, not merely, of Paul); the evil is to be imputed to man; the good proceeds from God. So also mercy and unbelief are opposed to each other, Romans 11:30 , etc. διʼ ὑμᾶς , for your sakes , Romans 11:31 ; Romans 11:12 ; Romans 11:15 .

Verse 29

Romans 11:29 . Ἀμεταμέλητα , without repentance ) Truly an apostolic axiom. Something absolute is signified; for God will not give way to the unbelief of His own people [so as to suffer it to continue] for ever. Repentance is hid from the eyes of the Lord [ i.e. change of His purpose, as to raising Israel from its present spiritual ‘death,’ is impossible with God], Hosea 13:14 . χαρίσματα , gifts ) towards the Jews. κλῆσις , calling ) towards the Gentiles.

Verse 30

Romans 11:30 . καὶ ) [125] I formerly admitted this particle marked with an obelus, thus †, and am now glad that Baumgarten agrees with me. ἠπειθήσατε , ye have not believed ) unbelief falls upon [applies to] even those, who themselves have not heard the word of God, because they had however received it primitively in the persons of the patriarchs Adam and Noah. [The Gentiles are accountable for not having retained the revelation received from Adam, Noah, etc.]

[125] The German version agrees in this. E. B.

ABCD (later correction), G fg , omit καί , before ὑμεῖς . But Vulg. and Rec. Text. have it. ED.

Verse 31

Romans 11:31 . Ἠπείθησαν , they have disbelieved ) They have been left to their unbelief. τῷ ὑμετέρῳ , your [of you]) the Genitive of the object, [your mercy, i.e. the mercy, of which you are the objects ,] as τὰ ἐλέη Δαυίδ , the mercies of David , 2 Chronicles 6:42 , רצון עמך , the favour directed to thy people, Psalms 106:4 . ἐλέει , through mercy) construed with ἐλεηθῶσι , might obtain mercy; for ἴνα , that, is often transposed; and in verse 30, the disbelief of the Jews precedes the mercy of the Gentiles; wherefore in verse 31 the mercy of the Gentiles does not [is not to be supposed to] precede the same disbelief of the Jews [as would be the case, if ἐλέει , owing to your partaking of mercy, were taken with ἠπείθησαν ]. See Appendix. crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. ἐλεηθῶσι , might obtain mercy) that mercy, which goes before faith, and which is only acknowledged and received through faith, by which ἀπείθεια , disbelief is retracted.

Verse 32

Romans 11:32 . Συνέκλεισε , hath concluded together ), Jews and Gentiles, comp. Galatians 3:22 , note. The phraseology of the LXX. Int., Psalms 78:50 , is εἰς θάνατον συνέκλεισε , He shut up to death, he gave over . εἰς ἀπείθειαν , in [ unto ] disbelief ) Ephesians 2:2 . Those who have experienced the power of disbelief , at length betake themselves with the greater sincerity and simplicity to faith. ἳνα ) that . The thing itself will be accomplished. τοὺς πάντας ) them all without exception , [less accurately, all , in Engl. Vers.] all together; comp. Romans 11:30-31 . ἐλεήσῃ , might have mercy ) His mercy being acknowledged by them, Romans 11:6 , when faith is given to them by Himself.

Verse 33

Romans 11:33 . Ὦ βάθος , O the depth ) Paul in ch. 9 had been sailing, as it were, on a narrow sea; he is now embarked on the ocean. The depth of the riches is described in Romans 11:35 , and has respect to ch. Romans 9:23 , Romans 10:12 . (wherefore it ( of the riches ) ought not to be resolved into a mere epithet); the depth of wisdom is described in Romans 11:34 ; the depth of the knowledge , in Romans 11:34 . Comp. concerning riches and wisdom, Ephesians 3:8 , note, and Revelation 5:12 . The different meanings of biblical terms are worthy of being well noticed and collected. Wisdom directs all things to the best end; knowledge knows that end and issue. ὡς , how ) No one examines, no one searches out, but He Himself. Here and in Romans 11:34 , there is a Chiasmus; [126] as is seen by comparing the antecedents and consequents together. The depth is described in the second part of Romans 11:33 [How unsearchable , etc., answering to the depth ]. Knowledge itself, as we have said, is described in Romans 11:34 , for who [hath known , etc.] wisdom itself is described in the words or who [hath been His counsellor ]: riches themselves, in Romans 11:35 [who hath first given to Him, etc.] τὰ κρίματα , His judgments ) respecting unbelievers. αἱ ὁδοι , His ways ) respecting believers. A gradation. His ways are as it were on the surface, His judgments more profound; we do not even search out His ways [much less His judgments].

[126] See Appendix.

Verse 34

Romans 11:34 . Τίς γὰρ ἐγένετο ) Isaiah 40:13 , LXX., τὶς ἔγνω καὶ τὶς αὐτοῦ σύμβουλος . Who? i.e. none: but He Himself. γὰρ , for . The more express quotation of Scripture follows. In proving doctrines the phrase is used, it is written , in other places, it is often omitted, ch. Romans 12:20 . νοῦν Κυρίου , the mind of the Lord ) Isaiah has את רוח יהוה , the Spirit of Jehovah. Paul uses the version of the LXX. Otherwise רוח and νοῦς are not synonymous; but the conclusion arrived at is very good; no one apprehends the Spirit, therefore no one apprehends the mind or sense of the Lord. Reference to the Holy Trinity is implied, comp. on the words, εἰς αὐτὸν , to Him, Romans 11:36 , Isaiah 34:16 , at the end of the verse. σύμβουλος Paul says, not only that no one has been σύμβουλος , but not even now can be so: σύμβουλος is either a partner in counsels, or, one at least privy to them; for he had said just now, for who hath known the mind of the Lord? And yet many in their discussions, for example, on the origin of evil, which touch upon the recesses of the Divine economy much more deeply than this, which is from religious reverence broken off by the apostle between Romans 11:32-33 (for there is a great difference between the fall of many angels and of the whole human race on the one hand, and, on the other, the fall of the Israelites [the latter is a much less profound mystery than the former]) many such, I say, boast, as if they were not only the Lord’s counsellors, but also His inquisitors, His patrons, or His judges. Scripture everywhere stops short at this point, that the Lord hath willed, and hath said, and hath done it: It does not unfold the reasons of things universal or particular; respecting those things that are beyond our present state of infancy, it refers believers to eternity, 1 Corinthians 13:9 , etc. The thirst of knowing will torture and burn others, who unreasonably pry into mysteries, throughout eternity.

Verse 35

Romans 11:35 . Ἢ τίς , κ . τ . λ ) Some adopt these words in the LXX., Isaiah 40:14 : others do not; but Job 41:2 , Hebr. and Vulg. have it thus: Who hath previously given to Me, that I may render to Him again? All things which are under heaven are Mine .

Verse 36

Romans 11:36 . Εξ αὐτοῦ καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸυ , of Him, and through Him, and to Him ) The Origin, Course, and End of [The Source from whom come, the Agent through whom is maintained the continuance of, the End for whom are] all things, is here denoted, comp. 1 Corinthians 8:6 . [ Furthermore , ἐξ αὐτοῦ , refers to riches; διʼ αὐτοῦ , to wisdom; εἰς αὐτὸν , to knowledge . V. g.] ἡ δόξα , the glory ) of the Riches, Wisdom, Knowledge. [ Along with this doxology to Omnipotence, is included the praise of Divine Wisdom and Love, from which the creatures derive their strength, understanding, and blessedness. V. g.] ἀμήν . The final word, with which the feeling of the apostle, when he has said all, makes a termination.

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 11". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/romans-11.html. 1897.
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