Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
Attention!
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries
Romans 11

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verse 1

Romans 11:1

Romans 11:1

I say then, Did God cast off his people?—Paul, having shown that the Jews had rejected Christ and that God rejected

them, sees the conclusion liable to be reached by them—that God had cast off the Israelites as a nation; so he asks the ques­tion and responds to it.

God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abra­ham, of the tribe of Benjamin.—Paul was of the purest blood of the Israelites. Had God cast them off because they were Israelites, Paul would not have been his servant. They broke themselves off because they rejected the long-expected Mes­siah.

Verse 2

Romans 11:2

Romans 11:2

God did not cast off his people which he foreknew.—God has not wholly cast off his people whom he formerly chose, but that he has rejected them as a nation is indisputable. [Prior to the coming of Christ, Israel were the people of God by virtue of their descent from Abraham ; but so soon as Christ sent forth his apostles with a world-wide commission, the ground of acceptance changed. Descent was not the ground of acceptance. Faith in Christ alone secured favor. With­out rendering obedience to him, the most devout Jew was rejected; with it, none was.]

Or know ye not what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he pleadeth with God against Israel:—Elijah charged the Israel­ites with crime against God, and pleaded with him for their rejection.

Verse 3

Romans 11:3

Romans 11:3

Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have digged down thine altars: and I am left alone, and they seek my life.—His complaint against them was that they had killed the prophets, destroyed the altars of God, supplanted them with altars of idols, and he was left alone of the prophets, and they were seeking his life. He was fleeing for his life, dis­couraged, and thought all Israel had forsaken God. (1 Kings 19:10-14). [Elijah, in that state of deep discouragement into which the foregoing events had plunged him, no longer saw in Israel any other than idolaters, or believers too cowardly to deserve the name.]

Verse 4

Romans 11:4

Romans 11:4

But what saith the answer of God unto him?God an­swered him that it was not so bad as it appeared to him.

I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.—He had reserved seven thousand true in their worship to him, who had not gone into the idol worship of Baal. [Baal was the principal deity of the Phoenicians, and represented the sun. Jezebel, the queen of Ahab, was a Phoenician, and sought to supplant the worship of Jehovah with the worship of Baal. (1 Kings 16:31-33).]

Verse 5

Romans 11:5

Romans 11:5

Even so then at this present time also there is a rem­nant—Paul assured them that it was not so bad as outward appearances indicated. At the time he was writing there was a remnant of Israel left that had accepted the grace of God offered in Christ Jesus and were chosen of him.

according to the election of grace.—God proffered mercy and pardon through Jesus Christ, and whosoever believed in him was chosen and approved of God. Jesus is called "the grace of God.” (Titus 2:11). In Christ and his teachings are embraced the gracious provisions of God for salvation. [The election was a choice proceeding from grace. The grace resided in God, and the act of choosing was his; but his grace prompted the act. Although the grace prompted the election, the grace was not the reason for it. The reason existed in those chosen, not in him who chose; and it lay in their obedience to Christ. The nation of Israel, God rejected because of disobedience to Christ; the individual, he retained in his favor because of obe­dience to him. Election in the case of the redeemed does not precede obedience, and, therefore, is neither the cause of it nor the reason for it. On the contrary, obedience precedes election, and is both the condition of it and the reason for it. Obedience is man’s own free act, to which he is never moved by any prior election of God. Choosing, on the other hand, is God’s free act, prompted by grace, and conditioned on obedience. This obedience he seeks to elicit by his love manifested in Jesus Christ (John 3:16); but to this he is led solely by his love for man and never by previous choice. True scriptural election, therefore, is a simple, intelligible thing.]

Verse 6

Romans 11:6

Romans 11:6

But if it is by grace, it is no more of works:If they were saved by the provisions of grace in Christ, it was not by the works of the Jewish law, or by any works that allowed boast­ing. The Holy Spirit says: “By grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are his work­manship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10). God, moved by love, has presented in Christ gracious terms of mercy that man can appropriate through faith. The salva­tion did not come of works that would allow boasting, but was given by God to those who through faith accepted it and walked in God’s ways.

otherwise grace is no more grace.—If salvation under Christ is by works, then grace and works have lost their distinguish­ing features.

Verse 7

Romans 11:7

Romans 11:7

What then?—[What conclusion by way of result shall we draw from what has just been stated?]

That which Israel seeketh for, that he obtained not;—Israel by the works of the law did not attain to the righteousness which he sought, and was not accepted of God.

but the election obtained it,—But those who by faith ac­cepted the grace of God offered through Jesus Christ, and so were chosen of God, have attained it.

and the rest were hardened:—Hardened by refusing to be­lieve in Jesus Christ.

Verse 8

Romans 11:8

Romans 11:8

according as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stu­por, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this very day.—Paul shows that this blindness had been foretold by their prophets. Isaiah foretold that God would send blindness upon them, because they were obdurate in their rebellion. “And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw nigh unto me, and with their mouth and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which hath been taught them.” (Isaiah 29:13). Their heart was not near God; so they feared him not from the teachings of God, but from the precepts of men. When people look to the wis­dom and precepts of men instead of God for instruction, God says their heart is far removed from him; and When they per­sist in this course, he gives them over to blindness that they should bring ruin on themselves.

Verse 9

Romans 11:9

Romans 11:9

And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:— Let that which was intended for their good become a snare to entrap them, a stumbling block over which they may fall, and a recompense to requite them their iniquity. This shows God’s dealings with men. He proposes to bless them if they will trust him; but if they are determined in their rebellion, then the things to bless them will be a curse, will lead them into greater sin and bring the deeper ruin.

Verse 10

Romans 11:10

Romans 11:10

Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow thou down their back always.—Let the spiritual eyes of those of Israel who reject the Messiah become darkened; let their perception become blunt and their understanding dull that they may remain ignorant. They willfully refuse to see in Christ their own long-promised Messiah. When men per­sistently refuse to do right, God’s policy is to leave them to the effect of their own folly. David, their boasted king, had thus seen how hopeless they had grown in their rebellion.

Verse 11

Romans 11:11

Romans 11:11

I say then, Did they stumble that they might fall? God forbid:—Have they stumbled that they should finally fall away and never return to God again?

but by their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles,—It is difficult to see how the falling away from God of the Jews would facilitate the bringing in of the Gentiles; yet that seems to be the meaning. The Jews were forbidden association with the Gentiles, not to cut them off from the knowledge of God, but to protect the Jews from the corrupting influences of idolatry among the Gentiles. God knew that in the then condition of Jews and Gentiles—of the slight hold that he had on the Jews, and the strong tendency to be led into idolatry, with its cultivation of lascivious feelings and grati­fication of the lusts—the association would lead the Jews into idolatry to a much greater extent than it would lead the Gen­tiles to God; so he prohibited the association. But in viola­tion of God’s command, the Jews did affiliate with the Gen­tiles until they were so corrupted that God sent them into captivity among the Gentiles, with whom they had formed alliance. This was the culmination of the falling away; but the Gentiles by a long course of suffering had become ready to accept God. The captivity of the Jews carried some faith­ful Jews into the Gentile lands as well as the unfaithful ones. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; Ezra and Nehemiah—all faithful and true to God—were not only carried into captivity, but were brought into immediate association with the kings and their household. They were made servants in the households of the kings, and by virtue of their superior wisdom, knowledge, and goodness became the tutors of the young princes and counselors and advisers of the kings. They taught them the knowledge of the true God and pre­pared the Gentiles to receive Christ, as they would not have been prepared had the Jews maintained their exclusiveness.

As an example, Cyrus, king of Persia, gave orders to the Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem. God put it in their heart to do this. How did he do it? Daniel and his fellow servants in the king’s house taught him of the true God, and of the Jewish history. Through this influence God led Cyrus to make the decree for the return of the Jews and for them to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the temple of God. Many of the more faithful Jews, like Daniel and the Hebrew chil­dren, did not return to Jerusalem, but remained with many Jews, teaching the knowledge of the true God, and so get­ting the Gentiles ready to receive Christ when he came.

Much of the dealing of God with the Jews and much of the teaching of the prophets was intended to affect the Gen­tiles fully as much as the Jews. Pharaoh was raised up that God might show to the Egyptians and other nations the power of God. David, the shepherd lad, slew Goliath, a skilled giant, "that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” (1 Samuel 17:46).

to provoke them to jealousy.—The refusal of the Jews to accept Christ was the occasion of their destruction and dis­persion as a nation, and removal of an obstacle to the Gen­tiles’ coming to Christ. Then the coming of the Gentiles, their reception of the gifts of the Spirit, and the general pros­perity which the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ brings to nations, would provoke the Jews to jealousy and make them anxious to secure again the favor of God.

Verse 12

Romans 11:12

Romans 11:12

Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles;—The dispersion of the Jews among the Gentiles greatly helped the spread of Christianity when Christ came. “Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5), on the day of Pentecost, who, on the return to their respective homes, spread the news among the nations. But this disper­sion was the result of their falling away from God and pre­pared them for the coming of the Christ.

Sometimes nations and men, in descent from a higher to a lower position, meet others ascending from the lower to a higher and impart to them truths they have learned in the higher condition that help the other in the upward movement.

The question may arise; If the Jews had been true to God, would the Gentiles have been in worse condition than they were by the sins of the Jews? By no means. Had the Jews all been true to God, they would have been so blessed that they would have attracted the Gentiles to God by their prosperity and happiness; but God, who sees the end from the beginning, overrules so as to bless those willing to receive the blessing in the conditions that arise.

Then, again, the uplifting of people must be gradual. Be­cause the children of Israel sinned, the law was added as a tutor to train them to receive the Messiah—that is, they were not capable of receiving his teaching in the low, fleshly state into which they had fallen; so God trained them until they were prepared to receive him. Was not this true of families and nations then, and is it not true of them now? Is it not true that there are nations of peoples now not qualified to re­ceive the truth as it is in its purity, but first need to be trained and uplifted and gradually prepared by less pure forms of truth that they may be schooled thereby to receive the higher and purer truths of God?

how much more their fulness?—Now, if the fall of the Jews was the means of opening the riches of God’s blessings to the world by bringing them into the favor of God and di­minished their own importance, helped the Gentiles to enjoy more of the favor of God, how much rather will their return to God bless the world? If they return, it will not be as the exclusive people of God. When they return, they will rec­ognize all as enjoying the favor of God in Christ Jesus. They will come as sinners trusting in God for salvation.

Verse 13

Romans 11:13

Romans 11:13

But I speak to you that are Gentiles.—The effort is to excite their gratitude and to warn them against abusing God’s mercies so graciously vouchsafed to them.

Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry;—He magnified and gloried in his work. He did this by showing that the conversion of the Gentiles had been foretold in prophecy and what a wonderful influence it would have on the world.

Verse 14

Romans 11:14

Romans 11:14

if by any means I may provoke to jealousy them that are my flesh,—[Paul honored his ministry by his untiring zeal and energy to convert just as many Gentiles as possible, hoping that the lore of them he brought to Christ, the more he would stir the Jews to emulation. In a very limited way did he at­tain his purpose.]

and may save some of them—[Those who are instruments of salvation are said to save. (1 Corinthians 7:16; 1 Corinthians 9:22; 1 Timothy 4:16). Only by speaking thus can we realize the grandeur of the work of those who turn sinners from the error of their way.] It may mean that he might provoke them to fidelity to God that they might be saved.

Verse 15

Romans 11:15

Romans 11:15

For if the casting away of them is the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?—For if the casting them off as the exclusive people of God opened the way for other nations to accept Christ, what shall their return to the favor of God be but receiving them as from the dead ? They were dead and in condemnation from God while rejecting him. Their return to God will give them life with God.

Verse 16

Romans 11:16

Romans 11:16

And if the firstfruit is holy, so is the lump:—This refers to the requirement to offer the first fruits to God before the harvest could be eaten by men: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring the sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before Jehovah, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And in the day when ye wave the sheaf, ye shall offer a he-lamb without blemish a year old for a burnt- offering unto Jehovah. And the meal-offering thereof shall be two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto Jehovah for a sweet savor; and the drink-offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin. And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched grain, nor fresh ears, until this selfsame day, until ye have brought the oblation of your God: it is a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” (Leviticus 23:10-14). The grain was unclean to be eaten by the people until the first fruits of it had been offered to the Lord. So as the first fruits of the gospel were from the Jews on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and since they were then taken and accepted of God, so will all Israel be ac­cepted if they turn to God. [They are not irrevocably re­jected, but will be accepted if they accept Jesus Christ and become obedient unto the faith.]

and if the root is holy,—This evidently has reference to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in whom God chose the Jewish race and for whose sake they were accepted and loved. Now, is it possible for those two things, so far apart, to coalesce? Yes. They coalesce in Jesus Christ. [No Christian can so much as think of the Jewish “remnant” without thinking of Him who called the apostles his “brethren.” (Matthew 28:10; John 20:17). So far as his human nature was concerned, he was the first of the Jewish system. His mother, his edu­cation, his worship, were Jewish, “of whom is Christ con­cerning the flesh” (Romans 9:5), and he is equally the root. If he was the root and offspring of David (Isaiah 11:10; Romans 15:12; Revelation 22:16), so was he of Abraham. From him came the call, “the election of grace,” and the promises; and yet not in an exclusive sense, for he was the first fruits of Israel, but also the first fruits of humanity. He was the root of Abraham, but also of all human nature. “He is before all things, and in him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17).]

so are the branches.As the root was acceptable to God, so will the branches be if they believe on him. “Holy” here means acceptable in the service of God. If God has accepted the first converts from the Jews, it gives assurance that he will not refuse the service of the later members of the family, if they will believe and serve God through Jesus Christ. It was the assurance that the Jews were not finally rejected by God.

Verse 17

Romans 11:17

Romans 11:17

But if some of the branches were broken off, and thou, being a wild olive, wast grafted in among them, and didst be­come partaker with them of the root of the fatness of the olive tree;—The point before the apostle was: How and why was the one broken off and the other grafted in where life is re­ceived? The branches of the tame olive received life from the root. While receiving life from the root, they lost faith; so they bore no fruit, or evil fruit. If Paul intended to say that the branch must bear fruit like the root, whence it had received life, he could not represent that it ceased to bear good fruit while yet connected with the good root as he has done. Then when the branch of the wild olive is grafted into the root, he makes no reference to fruit bearing. The point is: When this olive branch, changed by faith so as to bear good fruit, is grafted into the root, it receives its life from the root, not the root from the branch. But the wild olive branch grafted in among these of the tame that still stand through faith, “with them” partakes “of the root and fatness of the olive tree.” The question Paul had before him was: How and why were the branches of the tame olive tree broken off?

How and why are the branches of the wild olive tree grafted in to receive its life from the root, and how can it stand? He says it received its life from the root and fatness of the stock into which it is grafted.

All the facts of horticulture agree precisely with Paul. He says nothing directly about the fruit produced by this ingraft­ing into the stock. The fruit produced is implied in the standing and continuing in the goodness of God, I appre­hend had he followed up the figure to illustrate the condi­tions more specially of fruit bearing, he would have said : “In as much as the branches of the tame olive tree by un­belief had so changed their nature as to bear evil fruit, and in as much as the branch of the wild olive through faith is fitted to bear good fruit, take heed lest through unbelief you be broken off.” He did say, “Otherwise thou also shalt be cut off,” and perish. The root in no part of the figure is represented as giving the quality of the fruit. The character of the branch attained through faith, or the lack of faith, determined the quality of the fruit it bears, and this quality determines whether the branches shall be cut off and die or be grafted in and stand. The parable in all its teachings and implications is in perfect accord with the facts and processes of nature.

These facts show two truths: (1) truth is not to be per­petuated through church organizations perpetuated from age to age; (2) men must follow the law of God if they go alone. We need not think the growth or popularity of parties please God or indicate the success of truth of indicates the favor of God. God blesses those who give up all to follow him, and he is the strength and power of his servants who are faithful and true.

Verse 18

Romans 11:18

Romans 11:18

glory not over the branches:—This is an exhortation to those among the Gentiles who had been grafted into the tame olive not to boast against the natural branches, the Jews, which had been broken off. Their whole duty was to learn what God tells them to do, and in the spirit of confiding trust in him do it in the way he directs, being careful to go no farther and leave the results with him. When they did this, it was God working in and through them. It should be the highest ambition of every child of God to let God so use him that his success is God’s success. God only fails when man refuses to let God work through him. (2 Chronicles 16:9).

but if thou gloriest, it is not thou that bearest the root, but the root thee.—If they boasted, they were to remember that the Jews had long been in the favor of God, and, as the root, bore the branches of the wild olive that had been grafted into the root. [We do not do justice to this place if we narrow it to the reception of the Gentiles among the spiritual seed of Abraham; it seems rather to mean that the whole scheme of redemption had its foundation in the Jewish econ­omy. Not only was Abraham the spiritual father of all the faithful; not only was the Redeemer a Jew and all the apostles and first teachers of the gospel of Christ Jews, but all the books of the Scriptures, both of the Old and the New Testa­ment, were written by Jews.]

Verse 19

Romans 11:19

Romans 11:19

Thou wilt say then, Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.—This was spoken as a warning against a feeling of boastful pride they were liable to have against the Jews. It is possible that they would say to the Jews: “You have shown yourselves unworthy, so were cast off, while we have shown ourselves worthy and have been grafted into the favor of God.”

Verse 20

Romans 11:20

Romans 11:20

Well; by their unbelief they were broken off,—The sole cause of the breaking off of the Jews was their disbelief in Christ.

and thou standest by thy faith.—The only ground of accept­ance of the Gentiles was their faith in Christ. Nothing stronger can be said of anyone’s faith than that he stands by it; he stands justified. “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;

through whom also we have had our access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." (Romans 5:1-2). “For in faith ye stand fast.” (2 Corinthians 1:24).

Be not high-minded, but fear:—Be not lifted up with a feel­ing of superiority, but fear lest you fall. [Paul exhorts very solemnly: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12). And yet this fear is in no way inconsistent with rejoicing in the Lord nor with the highest comfort in his service, for the primitive church “had peace, being edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied.” (Acts 9:31).]

Verse 21

Romans 11:21

Romans 11:21

for if God spared not the natural branches, neither will he spare thee.—If God did not spare the children of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, whom he loved, take care as to your fidelity, lest he spare not you. He will no more tolerate unbe­lief and self-sufficiency in the Gentile than he did in the Jew.

Verse 22

Romans 11:22

Romans 11:22

Behold then the goodness and severity of God:—God is noted for two qualities apparently contradictory. One is goodness, mercy, pity; the other is severity, wrath, vengeance.

toward them that fell, severity;—On the Jews, who, despite all his goodness and mercy to them, the wonders and deliver­ances he had shown them through a long series of years, turns from him and refused to trust and obey him, he visited severity and wrath. He brought them to destruction as a people.

but toward thee, God’s goodness,—On the Gentiles, who through their fathers were without God and without hope in the world, had believed in Christ, and God had bestowed on them his goodness and mercy.

if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.—If they would continue in the channel of faith­fulness in which his mercy flowed; otherwise they should be cut off, and then his wrath would fall upon them. [These verses are marked by repeated and emphatic warnings to Gentile believers against falling away from a state of favor with God, as the Jews had fallen, after the same example of unbelief. And the warning is equally appropriate and as needful to believers at the present time.]

Verse 23

Romans 11:23

Romans 11:23

And they also, if they continue not in their unbelief, shall be grafted in:While he warns the Gentiles that if they did not continue in his goodness they would be cut off, he holds out the assurance to the Jews that if they will turn from their unbelief which broke them off, then God would graft them in again.

for God is able to graft them in again.—[They have not so sinned but that God can consistently with his moral attributes restore them.]

Verse 24

Romans 11:24

Romans 11:24

For if thou wast cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and wast grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree; how much more shall these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?—If the Gen­tiles were cut out of the wild olive tree (the disobedient na­tions) and were grafted into the good olive tree, how much rather shall these natural branches be grafted back into their own tree? [If the Jews should change their attitude toward God and toward Christ, God can, consistently with the princi­ples of his administration, change his attitude toward them and can graft them into his favor again. He wills not that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ and be saved. To this end he grafted the wild olive into the good olive.]

Verse 25

Romans 11:25

Romans 11:25

For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery,—A mystery was not something that could not be explained or understood, but something unrevealed and un­known. It is no longer a mystery after it has been explained by an inspired man. It was a mystery, or secret, that the hardness had come upon a part of the Jews until the gospel had been fully preached to the Gentiles.

lest ye be wise in your own conceits,—If they did not under­stand this, they might be wise in their own conceit to think that they had so commended themselves to God as to supplant the Jews in their favor.

that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the ful­ness of the Gentiles be come in;—As to when “the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” is a difficult question to answer. So it receives different answers from different people. I think all agree that “the Gentiles” means that the gospel should be preached to all Gentiles, and that they would have opportuni­ties equal to those the Jews had enjoyed. Whether they will have rejected these opportunities and privileges as the Jews had done is a question concerning which students differ. For a time I thought they would accept the truth, and that “the fulness” meant when they all came to accept Christ. I now think it probable that they will reject Christ as the Jews did. I have very little confidence in human interpretations of un­fulfilled prophecy, because when I look at the fulfillment as given by God, it differs so from what I would have said it meant that I have no confidence in my own interpretations or those of others of what is unfulfilled.

Verse 26

Romans 11:26

Romans 11:26

and so all Israel shall be saved:—It cannot be true that “all Israel” here means the whole Jewish people. “Israel” seems here in the conclusion of the argument to be used in the restricted sense—to apply to those who believe in Jesus and walk in the footsteps of Abraham—for he had already said: “For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel: neither, because they are Abraham’s seed, are they all children” (Romans 9:6-7). “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circum­cision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (Romans 2:28-29). “Know therefore that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7). So “all Israel” here means all who believe in Jesus Christ, both Jews and Gentiles. The Jews, as a nation, were taken out of the way to open the way for the Gentiles to come in among the faithful branches of the Israelites; and so all believers, both Jews and Gentiles, which constitute the true Israel of God, will be saved. The unbelievers ceased to be counted as Israel.

even as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the De­liverer ; he shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:—“Jacob” cannot here mean the fleshly house of Israel, but the true Is­rael of God that believe in Christ. From these Jesus Christ, the deliverer, will turn away ungodliness.

Verse 27

Romans 11:27

Romans 11:27

and this is my covenant unto them, When I shall take away their sins.—This result, that all who would accept Christ should be delivered from sin, is the covenant that God made with them, and this covenant is completed with them when he takes away their sins.

Verse 28

Romans 11:28

Romans 11:28

As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: —“They” here and in the following verses seems to refer to the Jewish nation. They are enemies to the gospel that the Gentiles might be brought in.

but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sake.—It was in the persons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that the divine election of Israel was originally realized and through them that they are beloved. They stand in favor as the chosen people of God through whom Christ came. [This sentiment might well have been expressed in the words of Moses: “Only Jehovah had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all peoples, as at this day.” (Deuteronomy 10:15).]

Verse 29

Romans 11:29

Romans 11:29

For the gifts and the calling of God are not repented of.God having called the family of Abraham and bestowed upon them the honor of producing the Messiah, never repented of such a calling so as to take it from them, notwithstanding their frequent sins and rebellions against him. This is said in explanation of his statement that they were beloved for the fathers’ sake. [This verse does not contradict such passages as Genesis 6:6; Jeremiah 18:10; for, though God cannot change, many of his gifts are conditional on man’s conduct; therefore, change in man is followed by a corresponding change in God’s treat­ment of him. This change in God’s action is practically the same to us as though God changed his purpose, and, therefore, is sometimes so described. The apparent contradiction arises from the imperfection of human thought and language. God’s character is pledged to fulfill his promises; but each man’s share in the fulfillment depends on his faith.]

Verse 30

Romans 11:30

Romans 11:30

For as ye in time past were disobedient to God,—This refers to the former idolatrous and unbelieving state of the Gentiles, and that the gospel was preached to them, and that they became obedient to it.

but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience,—Their reception of the gospel, and thus obtaining mercy, was in con­sequence of the Jews’ having rejected it.

Verse 31

Romans 11:31

Romans 11:31

even so have these also now been disobedient,—[The Jews were disobedient to God in not believing on his Son. Formerly they were obedient to God, and the Gentiles were disobedient; but now the case is reversed.]

that by the mercy shown to you they also may now obtain mercy.—[As the rejection of the gospel by the Jews proved a blessing to the Gentiles, so, in turn, its reception by the Gen­tiles is to prove a blessing to the Jews and induce them to obey it. At first the gospel came from the Jews to the Gentiles; now it must go from the Gentiles to the Jews. Thus the Jews are to obtain mercy through the mercy shown to the Gentiles.]

Verse 32

Romans 11:32

Romans 11:32

For God hath shut up all unto disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.God has shut up all unto disobe­dience in unbelief, that he might extend the terms of mercy unto all. [All alike are dependent on God’s mercy. Paul says (Galatians 3:22) that those who are thus shut up unto disobedience and under sin will never experience the benefit of God’s mercy, and, consequently, ever remain in bondage to sin unless they become believers in Christ. Consequently, whether the mercy will ever be actually realized or not depends on faith in Christ. With this, all can realize it; without it, none can.]

Verse 33

Romans 11:33

Romans 11:33

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!—Inexpressibly wise and deep is the wisdom that could so arrange that the punishment of the Jews for their unbelief would open the way for the Gentiles to believe in Christ, and that the reception of the Gentiles would be the means of bringing Israel back to God. [Thus they were to be mutual aids until all their interests should be blended and the human race should be united in the love of the same gospel and the service of the same God and Savior. When, therefore, this profound and wonderful plan is contem­plated and its history traced from the commencement to the end, no wonder that the apostle was fixed in admiration at the amazing wisdom of Him who devised it and who has made all events subservient to its establishment and spread among men.] Such wisdom is beyond searching out by human beings, but it is an outburst of wonder and delight in con­templating a glorious revelation of wisdom and goodness sur­passing all that the heart of man could have conceived.

Verse 34

Romans 11:34

Romans 11:34

For who hath known the mind of the Lord?—Who of his own wisdom hath known the mind of the Lord? [God’s designs are impenetrable until he reveals them himself to his apostles and prophets and by them to his people. As to those whom God enlightened on the subject of his designs, Paul himself says : “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16).]

or who hath been his counsellor?—With whom has God in reaching his conclusions deigned to take counsel? [None can say that God’s gifts to him are a return for gifts received. These words put aside all human merit. The action rewarded and the reward are alike gifts of God. Therefore, every good work makes us a debtor to God, not God to us. (Ephesians 2:10).]

Verse 35

Romans 11:35

Romans 11:35

or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recom­pensed unto him again?—All that Jew or Gentile receives from God is of God’s grace, not, to repay the deserts or favors of man.

Verse 36

Romans 11:36

Romans 11:36

For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things.—All things that we are or have are of and from and are bestowed by God that we may bring to him service and honor.

To him be the glory for ever. Amen.—He is worthy of glory now and forever.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Romans 11". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/romans-11.html.
 
adsfree-icon
Ads FreeProfile