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Chapter 11

1I ask then, has God repudiated his people? By no means. Why, I am an Israelite myself, I am descended from Abraham, and I belong to the tribe of Benjamin. 2God has not repudiated his people, which he had marked out from the first. Do you not know what the Scripture says in speaking of Elijah, how he appealed to God against Israel? 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, I am the only one left and they are trying to take my life.” 4But what is God’s reply? “I have left myself seven thousand men who have never knelt to Baal!” 5So too at the present time there is a remnant selected by God’s mercy. 6But if it is by his mercy, it is not for anything they have done. Otherwise, his mercy would not be mercy at all. 7What follows? Israel failed to get what it sought, but those whom God selected got it. 8The rest became callous; as the Scripture says, “God has thrown them into a state of spiritual insensibility, with eyes that cannot see and cars that cannot hear, that has lasted down to this day.” 9And David said,

“Let their feasting prove a snare and a trap to them,

Their ruin and their retribution.

10Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see;

Make their backs bend forever under their burden!”

11I ask then, has their stumbling led to their absolute ruin? By no means. Through their false step salvation has gone to the heathen, so as to make the Israelites jealous. 12But if their false step has so enriched the world, and their defeat has so enriched the heathen, how much more good the addition of their full number will do!

13But it is to you who are of the heathen that I am speaking. So far then as I am an apostle to the heathen, I make the most of my ministry, 14in the hope of making my countrymen jealous, and thus saving some of them. 15For if their rejection has meant the reconciling of the world, what can the acceptance of them mean but life from the dead? 16If the first handful of dough is consecrated, the whole mass is, and if the root of a tree is consecrated, so are its branches.

17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you who were only a wild olive shoot have been grafted in, in place of them, and made to share the richness of the olive’s root, 18you must not look down upon the branches. If you do, remember that you do not support the root; the root supports you.

19“But,” you will say, “branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in!”

20That is true; but it was for their want of faith that they were broken off, and it is through your faith that you stand where you do. You ought not to feel proud; you ought to be afraid, 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you. 22Observe then the goodness and the severity of God—severity to those who have fallen, but goodness to you, provided you abide by his goodness, for otherwise, you in your turn will be pruned away. 23Those others too, if they do not cling to their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut from a wild olive and unnaturally grafted upon a cultivated one, how much easier it will be to graft them upon the olive to which they properly belong!

25For to keep you from thinking too well of yourselves, brothers, I do not want you to miss this secret, that only partial insensibility has come upon Israel, to last until all the heathen have come in, 26and then all Israel will be saved, just as the Scripture says,

“The deliverer will come from Zion,

He will drive all ungodliness away from Jacob,

27And this will be my agreement with them,

When I take away their sins.”

28From the point of view of the good news they are treated as enemies of God on your account; but from the point of view of God’s choice, they are dear to him because of their forefathers, 29for God does not change his mind about those to whom he gives his blessings or sends his call. 30For just as you once disobeyed God, but now have had mercy shown you because they disobeyed, 31so they are now disobedient in order that they in turn may experience the same mercy as you. 32For God has made all men prisoners of disobedience so as to have mercy upon them all. 33How inexhaustible God’s resources, wisdom, and knowledge are! How unfathomable his decisions are, and how untraceable his ways!

34“Who has ever known the Lord’s thoughts, or advised him?

35“Or who has advanced anything to him, for which he will have to be repaid?”

36For from him everything comes; through him everything exists; and in him everything ends! Glory to him forever! Amen.

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