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Chapter 11

11:1 I say then [legō oun]. As in verse 11. [Oun] looks back to 9:16-33 and 10:19-21. Did God cast off? [mē apōsato ho theos?]. An indignant negative answer is called for by [] and emphasized by [mē genoito] (God forbid). Paul refers to the promise in the O.T. made three times: 1Sa 12:22; Ps 94:14 (Ps 93:14 LXX); Ps 94:4. First aorist middle indicative (without augment) of [apōtheō], to push away, to repel, middle, to push away from one as in Ac 7:27. For I also [kai gar egō]. Proof that not all the Jews have rejected Christ. See Php 3:5 for more of Paul’s pedigree.

11:2 Whom he foreknew [hon proegnō]. The same form and sense as in 8:29, which see. Probably the Hebrew sense of choice beforehand. The nation of Israel was God’s chosen people and so all the individuals in it could not be cast off. Wot ye not? [ouk oidate?]. “Know ye not?” Why keep the old English “wot”? Of Elijah [en Eleiāi]. “In the case of Elijah.” Cf. “in the bush” (Mr 12:26). He pleadeth [entugchanei]. See on 8:27. [Entugchanō] means to happen on one and so to converse with (Ac 25:24), to plead for (Ro 8:27,34), to plead against as here with [kata], but the “against” is in [kata].

11:3 They have digged down [kateskapsan]. First aorist active indicative of [kataskaptō], to dig under or down. Old verb, here only in N.T. (critical text). LXX has [katheilan] “pulled down.” Paul has reversed the order of the LXX of 1Ki 19:10, 14, 18. Altars [thusiastēria]. Late word (LXX, Philo, Josephus, N.T. eccl. writers) from [thusiazō], to sacrifice. See Ac 17:23. And I am left alone [kagō hupeleiphthēn monos]. First aorist passive indicative of [hupoleipō], old word, to leave under or behind, here only in N.T. Elijah’s mood was that of utter dejection in his flight from Jezebel. Life [psuchēn]. It is not possible to draw a clear distinction between [psuchē] (soul) and [pneuma] (spirit). [Psuchē] is from [psuchō], to breathe or blow, [pneuma] from [pneō], to blow. Both are used for the personality and for the immortal part of man. Paul is usually dichotomous in his language, but sometimes trichotomous in a popular sense. We cannot hold Paul’s terms to our modern psychological distinctions.

11:4 The answer of God [ho chrēmatismos]. An old word in various senses like [chrēmatizō], only here in N.T. See this use of the verb in Mt 2:12,22; Lu 2:26; Ac 10:22. To Baal [tēi Baal]. Feminine article. In the LXX the name [Baal] is either masculine or feminine. The explanation is that the Jews put Bosheth [aischunē], shame) for Baal and in the LXX the feminine article occurs because [aischunē] is so, though here the LXX has the masculine [tōi].

11:5 Remnant [limma]. Old word, but only here in N.T., but in papyri also and with this spelling rather than [leimma]. From [leipō], to leave. According to the election of grace [kat’ eklogēn charitos]. As in 9:6-13. The election is all of God. Verse 6 explains it further.

11:6 Otherwise [epei]. Ellipse after [epei] (since), “since, in that case.” Is no more [ouketi ginetai]. “No longer becomes” grace, loses its character as grace. Augustine: Gratia nisi gratis sit gratia non est.

11:7 What then? [ti oun?]. Since God did not push Israel away (verse 1), what is true? The election [hē eklogē]. Abstract for concrete (the elect). Obtained [epetuchen]. Second aorist active indicative of [epitugchanō], old verb, to hit upon, only here in Paul. See 9:30-33 for the failure of the Jews. Were hardened [epōrōthēsan]. First aorist passive indicative of [pōroō], late verb, to cover with thick skin [pōros]. See on 2Co 3:14; Mr 3:5.

11:8 A spirit of stupor [pneuma katanuxeōs]. The quotation is a combination of De 19:4; Isa 29:10; 6:9f. This phrase is from Isa 29:10. [Katanuxis] is a late and rare word from [katanussō], to prick or stick (Ac 2:37), in LXX, here only in N.T., one example in Pelagia-Legende. The torpor seems the result of too much sensation, dulled by incitement into apathy. That they should not see [tou mē blepein]. Genitive articular infinitive of negative purpose. That they should not hear [tou mē akouein]. So here also. See Stephen’s speech (Ac 7:51f.).

11:9 David says [Daueid legei]. From Ps 69:23f.; (68:23f LXX); 4:8; 28:4 (combined quotation). Table [trapeza]. For what is on the table, “a feast.” A snare [eis pagida]. From [pēgnumi], to make fast, old word for snares for birds and beasts. See on Lu 21:35. [Eis] in predicate with [ginomai] is a translation-Hebraism. A trap [eis thēran]. Old word for hunting of wild beasts, then a trap. Only here in N.T. A stumbling-block [eis skandalon]. A third word for trap, snare, trap-stick or trigger over which they fall. See on 1Co 1:23; Ro 9:33. A recompense [eis antapodoma]. Late word from double compound verb [antapodidōmi], to repay (both [anti] and [apo]. Ancient Greeks used [antapodosis]. In LXX and Didache. In N.T. only here (bad sense) and Lu 14:12 (good sense).

11:10 Let their eyes be darkened [skotisthētōsan hoi ophthalmoi autōn]. First aorist passive imperative of [skotizō], to darken. A terrible imprecation. That they may not see [tou mē blepein]. Repeated from verse 8. Bow down [sunkampson]. First aorist active imperative of [sunkamptō], old verb, to bend together as of captives whose backs [nōton], another old word, only here in N.T.) were bent under burdens. Only here in N.T.

11:11 Did they stumble that they might fall? [mē eptaisan hina pesōsin?]. Negative answer expected by [] as in verse 1. First aorist active indicative of [ptaiō], old verb, to stumble, only here in Paul (see Jas 3:2), suggested perhaps by [skandalon] in verse 9. If [hina] is final, then we must add “merely” to the idea, “merely that they might fall” or make a sharp distinction between [ptaiō], to stumble, and [piptō], to fall, and take [pesōsin] 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 1Th 5:4; 1Co 7:29; Ga 5:17. Paul rejects this query in verse 11 as vehemently as he did that in verse 1. By their fall [tōi autōn paraptōmati]. Instrumental case. For the word, a falling aside or a false step from [parapiptō], see 5:15-20. Is come. No verb in the Greek, but [ginetai] or [gegonen] is understood. For to provoke them to jealousy [eis to parazēlōsai]. Purpose expressed by [eis] and the articular infinitive, first aorist active, of [parazēloō], for which verb see 1Co 10:22. As an historical fact Paul turned to the Gentiles when the Jews rejected his message (Ac 13:45ff.; 28:28, etc.). The riches of the world [ploutos kosmou]. See 10:12. Their loss [to hēttēma autōn]. So perhaps in 1Co 6:7, but in Isa 31:8 defeat is the idea. Perhaps so here. Fulness [plērōma]. Perhaps “completion,” though the word from [plēroō], to fill, has a variety of senses, that with which anything is filled (1Co 10:26,28), that which is filled (Eph 1:23). How much more? [posōi mallon]. Argument a fortiori as in verse 24. Verse 25 illustrates the point.

11:13 To you that are Gentiles [humin tois ethnesin]. “To you the Gentiles.” He has a serious word to say to them. Inasmuch then [eph’ hoson men oun]. Not temporal, quamdiu, “so long as” (Mt 9:15), but qualitative quatenus “in so far then as” (Mt 25:40). I glorify my ministry [tēn diakonian mou doxazō]. As apostle to the Gentiles [ethnōn apostolos], objective genitive). Would that every minister of Christ glorified his ministry. If by any means [ei pōs]. This use of [ei] with purpose or aim is a kind of indirect discourse. I may provoke [parazēlōsō]. Either future active indicative or first aorist active subjunctive, see same uncertainty in Php 3:10 [katantēsō], but in 3:11 [katalabō] after [ei] is subjunctive. The future indicative is clear in Ro 1:10 and the optative in Ac 27:12. Doubtful whether future indicative or aorist subjunctive also in [sōsō] (save).

11:15 The casting away of them [hē apobolē autōn]. Objective genitive [autōn] with [apobolē], old word from [apoballō], to throw off (Mr 10:50), in N.T. only here and Ac 27:22. The reconciling of the world [katallagē kosmou]. See 5:10f. for [katallagē] (reconciling). It explains verse 12. The receiving [hē proslēmpsis]. Old word from [proslambanō], to take to oneself, only here in N.T. Life from the dead [zōē ek nekrōn]. 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.

11:16 First fruit [aparchē]. See on 1Co 15:20, 23. The metaphor is from Nu 15:19f. The LXX has [aparchēn phuramatos], first of the dough as a heave offering. The lump [to phurama]. From which the first fruit came. See on 9:21. Apparently the patriarchs are the first fruit. The root [hē 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 9:6f. (the natural and the spiritual).

11:17 Branches [kladōn]. From [klaō], to break. Were broken off [exeklasthēsan]. First aorist passive indicative of [ekklaō]. Play on the word [klados] (branch) and [ekklaō], 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 [agrielaios ōn]. 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 24 Paul expressly states that the grafting of Gentiles on to the stock of the spiritual Israel was “contrary to nature” [para phusin]. Wast grafted in [enekentristhēs]. First aorist passive indicative of [enkentrizō], to cut in, to graft, used by Aristotle. Belongs “to the higher Koinē” (literary Koinē) according to Milligan. Partaker [sunkoinōnos]. Co-partner. Fatness [piotētos]. Old word from [piōn] (fat), only here in N.T. Note three genitives here “of the root of the fatness of the olive.”

11:18 Glory not over the branches [mē katakauchō tōn kladōn]. Genitive case after [kata]. Present middle imperative second person singular of [katakauchaomai] with negative [], “stop glorying” or “do not have the habit of glorying over the branches.” The conclusion of the preceding condition. Gloriest [katakauchāsai]. Late form [-aesai] retaining [s]. Not thou [ou su]. Very emphatic position. The graft was upon the stock and root, though each affected the other.

11:19 Thou wilt say then [ereis oun]. A presumptuous Gentile speaks. That I might be grafted in [hina egō enkentristhō]. Purpose clause with [hina] and first aorist passive subjunctive. He shows contempt for the cast-off Jews.

11:20 Well [kalōs]. Perhaps ironical, though Paul may simply admit the statement (cf. Mr 12:32) and show the Gentile his real situation. By unbelief [tēi apistiāi] —by faith [pistei]. Instrumental case with both contrasted words (by unbelief, by belief).

11:21 Be not highminded [mē hupsēla phronei]. “Stop thinking high (proud) thoughts.” Of God spared not [ei gar ho theos ouk epheisato]. It is not [ei mē] (unless), but the [ouk] negatives the verb [epheisato] (first aorist middle indicative of [pheidomai], to spare. Condition of first class.)

11:22 The goodness and the severity of God [chrēstotēta kai apotomian theou]. See on Ro 2:2 for [chrēstotēs], kindness of God. [Apotomia] (here alone in the N.T.) is from [apotomos], cut off, abrupt, and this adjective from [apotemnō], to cut off. This late word occurs several times in the papyri. If thou continue [ean epimenēis]. 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 17 were. Shalt be cut off [ekkopēsēi]. Second future passive of [ekkoptō], to cut out.

11:23 If they continue not in their unbelief [ean mē epimenōsi tēi apistiāi]. Third class condition with the same verb used in verse 22 of the Gentile. Locative case of [apistiāi] here (same form as the instrumental in verse 20). For God is able [dunatos gar estin ho theos]. See this use of [dunatos estin] in 4:21 rather than [dunatai]. This is the [crux] of the whole matter. God is able.

11:24 Contrary to nature [para phusin]. 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 [kallielaios], the garden olive, [kallos] and [elaia] in Aristotle and a papyrus). Into their own olive tree [tēi idiāi elaiāi]. Dative case. Another argument a fortiori, “how much more” [pollōi mallon]. God can graft the natural Israel back upon the spiritual Israel, if they become willing.

11:25 This mystery [to mustērion touto]. Not in the pagan sense of an esoteric doctrine for the initiated (from [mueō], to blink, to wink), unknown secrets (2Th 2:7), or like the mystery religions of the time, but the revealed will of God now made known to all (1Co 2:1, 7; 4:1) which includes Gentiles also (Ro 16:25; Col 1:26f.; Eph 3:3f.) and so far superior to man’s wisdom (Col 2:2; 4:13; Eph 3:9; 5:32; 6:19; Mt 13:11; Mr 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 [mustērion] was rendered by sacramentum, which in classical Latin means the military oath. The explanation of the word sacrament, which is so often founded on this etymology, is therefore mistaken, since the meaning of sacrament belongs to [mustērion] and not to sacramentum in the classical sense” (Vincent). Wise in your own conceits [en heautois phronimoi]. “Wise in yourselves.” Some MSS. read [par’ heautois] (by yourselves). Negative purpose here [hina mē ēte], to prevent self-conceit on the part of the Gentiles who have believed. They had no merit in themselves A hardening [pōrōsis]. Late word from [pōroō] (11:7). Occurs in Hippocrates as a medical term, only here in N.T. save Mr 3:5; Eph 4:18. It means obtuseness of intellectual discernment, mental dulness. In part [apo merous]. Goes with the verb [gegonen] (has happened in part). For [apo merous], see 2Co 1:14; 2:5; Ro 15:24; for [ana meros], see 1Co 14:27; for [ek merous], see 1Co 12:27; 13:9; for [kata meros], see Heb 9:5; for [meros ti] (adverbial accusative) partly see 1Co 11:18. Paul refuses to believe that no more Jews will be saved. Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in [achri hou to plērōma tōn ethnōn eiselthēi]. Temporal clause with [achri hou] (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of [eiserchomai], to come in (Mt 7:13,21). For fulness of the Gentiles [to plērōma tōn ethnōn] see on verse 12, the complement of the Gentiles.

11:26 And so [kai houtōs]. By the complement of the Gentiles stirring up the complement of the Jews (verses 11f.). All Israel [pās Israēl]. What does Paul mean? The immediate context (use of [pās] in contrast with [apo merous, plērōma] here in contrast with [plērōma] in verse 12) argues for the Jewish people “as a whole.” But the spiritual Israel (both Jews and Gentiles) may be his idea in accord with 9:6 (Ga 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 Isa 59:20f.; 27:9. The Deliverer [ho ruomenos]. Present middle articular participle of [ruomai], to rescue, to deliver. See on 1Th 1:10; 2Co 1:10. The Hebrew Goel, the Avenger, the Messiah, the Redeemer (De 25:5-10; Job 19:25; Ru 3:12f.). Paul interprets it of Jesus as Messiah.

11:27 My covenant [hē par’ emou diathēkē]. “The from me covenant,” “my side of the covenant I have made with them” (Sanday and Headlam). Cf. Jer 31:31ff. Not a political deliverance, but a religious and ethical one. When I shall take away [hotan aphelōmai]. Second aorist middle subjunctive of [aphaireō], old and common verb, to take away.

11:28 As touching the gospel [kata to euaggelion]. “According to [kata] with the accusative) the gospel” as Paul has shown in verses 11-24, the gospel order as it has developed. Enemies [echthroi]. Treated as enemies (of God), in passive sense, because of their rejection of Christ (verse 10), just as [agapētoi] (beloved) is passive. As touching the election [kata tēn eklogēn]. “According to the election” (the principle of election, not as in verses 5f. the elect or abstract for concrete). For the fathers’ sake [dia tous pateras]. As in 9:4; 11:16f.

11:29 Without repentance [ametamelēta]. See on 2Co 7:10 for this word [a] privative and [metamelomai], to be sorry afterwards). It is not [ametanoēton] (Ro 2:5) from [a] privative and [metanoeō], to change one’s mind. God is not sorry for his gifts to and calling of the Jews (9:4f.).

11:30 Ye in time past [humeis pote]. Ye Gentiles (1:18-32). Were disobedient [epeithēsate]. First aorist active indicative of [apeitheō], to disbelieve and then to disobey. “Ye once upon a time disobeyed God.” By their disobedience [tēi toutōn apeithiāi]. Instrumental case, “by the disobedience of these” (Jews). Note “now” [nun] three times in this sentence.

11:31 By the mercy shown to you [tōi humeterōi eleei]. Objective sense of [humeteros] (possessive pronoun, your). Proleptic position also for the words go with [eleēthōsin] (first aorist passive subjunctive of [eleeō], from [eleos] with [hina], purpose clause). God’s purpose is for the Jews to receive a blessing yet.

11:32 Hath shut up [sunekleisen]. First aorist active indicative of [sunkleiō], to shut together like a net (Lu 5:6). See Ga 3:22 for this word with [hupo hamartian] (under sin). This is a resultant (effective) aorist because of the disbelief and disobedience of both Gentile (1:17-32) and Jew (2:1-3:20). All [tous pantas]. “The all” (both Gentiles and Jews). That he might have mercy [hina—eleēsēi]. Purpose with [hina] 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.

11:33 O the depth [O bathos]. Exclamation with omega and the nominative case of [bathos] (see on 2Co 8:2; Ro 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 [anexeraunēta]. Double compound [a] privative and [ex] verbal adjective of [ereunaō] (old spelling [-eu-], late and rare word (LXX, Dio Cassius, Heraclitus), only here in N.T. Some of God’s wisdom can be known (1:20f.), but not all. Past tracing out [anexichniastoi]. Another verbal adjective from [a] privative and [exichniazō], to trace out by tracks [ichnos] Ro 4:12). Late word in Job (Job 5:9; 9:10; 34:24) from which use Paul obtained it here and Eph 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.

11:34 Who hath known? [tis egnō?]. Second aorist active indicative of [ginōskō], a timeless aorist, did know, does know, will know. Quotation from Isa 40:13. Quoted already in 1Co 2:16. Counsellor [sumboulos]. Old word from [sun] and [boulē]. Only here in N.T. His [autou]. Objective genitive, counsellor to him (God). Some men seem to feel competent for the job.

11:35 First driven to him [proedōken autōi]. First aorist active indicative of [prodidōmi], to give beforehand or first. Old verb, here alone in N.T. From Job 41:11, but not like the LXX, Paul’s own translation. Shall be recompensed [antapodothēsetai]. First future passive of double compound [antapodidōmi], to pay back (both [anti] and [apo], old word in good sense, as here and Lu 14:14; 1Th 3:9 and in bad sense as 2Th 1:6; Ro 12:19.

11:36 Of him [ex autou], through him [di’ autou], unto him [eis 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 [eis]. For ever [eis tous aiōnas]. “For the ages.” Alford terms this doxology in verses 33-36 “the sublimest apostrophe existing even in the pages of inspiration itself.”

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