World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary

11. The Remnant of Israel

1I say then, Did God cast off his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not cast off his people which he foreknew. Or know ye not what the scripture saith of Elijah? how he pleadeth with God against Israel: 3Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. 5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6But if it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. 7What then? that which Israel seeketh for, that he obtained not; but the election obtained it, and the rest were hardened: 8according 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. 9And David saith,

Let their table be made a snare, and a trap,

And a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them:

10Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see,

And bow thou down their back always.

11I say then, Did they stumble that they might fall? God forbid: but by their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. 12Now if their fall, is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13But I speak to you that are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I glorify my ministry; 14if by any means I may provoke to jealousy them that are my flesh, and may save some of them. 15For if the casting away of them is the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16And if the firstfruit is holy, so is the lump: and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17But 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; 18glory not over the branches: but if thou gloriest, it is not thou that bearest the root, but the root thee. 19Thou wilt say then, Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. 20Well; by their unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by thy faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21for if God spared not the natural branches, neither will he spare thee. 22Behold then the goodness and severity of God: toward them that fell, severity; but toward thee, God's goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23And they also, if they continue not in their unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 24For 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? 25For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; 26and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written,

There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer;

He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27And this is my covenant unto them,

When I shall take away their sins.

28As touching the gospel, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sake. 29For the gifts and the calling of God are not repented of. 30For as ye in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience, 31even so have these also now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you they also may now obtain mercy. 32For God hath shut up all unto disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all. 33O 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! 34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.

Select a resource above

Ro 11:1-36. Same Subject Continued and ConcludedThe Ultimate Inbringing of All Israel, to Be, with the Gentiles, One Kingdom of God on the Earth.

1. I say then, Hath—"Did"

God cast away his people? God forbid—Our Lord did indeed announce that "the kingdom of God should be taken from Israel" (Mt 21:41); and when asked by the Eleven, after His resurrection, if He would at that time "restore the kingdom to Israel," His reply is a virtual admission that Israel was in some sense already out of covenant (Ac 1:9). Yet here the apostle teaches that, in two respects, Israel was not "cast away"; First, Not totally; Second, Not finally. First, Israel is not wholly cast away.

for I also am an Israelite—See Php 3:5, and so a living witness to the contrary.

of the seed of Abraham—of pure descent from the father of the faithful.

of the tribe of Benjamin—(Php 3:5), that tribe which, on the revolt of the ten tribes, constituted, with Judah, the one faithful kingdom of God (1Ki 12:21), and after the captivity was, along with Judah, the kernel of the Jewish nation (Ezr 4:1; 10:9).

2-4. God hath—"did"

not cast away his people—that is, wholly

which he foreknew—On the word "foreknew," see on Ro 8:29.

Wot—that is, "Know"

ye not that the scripture saith of—literally, "in," that is, in the section which relates to

Elias? how he maketh intercession—"pleadeth"

against Israel—(The word "saying," which follows, as also the particle "and" before "digged down," should be omitted, as without manuscript authority).

3. and I am left alone—"I only am left."

4. seven thousand, that have not bowed the knee to Baal—not "the image of Baal," according to the supplement of our version.

5. Even so at this present time—"in this present season"; this period of Israel's rejection. (See Ac 1:7, Greek).

there is—"there obtains," or "hath remained"

a remnant according to the election of grace—"As in Elijah's time the apostasy of Israel was not so universal as it seemed to be, and as he in his despondency concluded it to be, so now, the rejection of Christ by Israel is not so appalling in extent as one would be apt to think: There is now, as there was then, a faithful remnant; not however of persons naturally better than the unbelieving mass, but of persons graciously chosen to salvation." (See 1Co 4:7; 2Th 2:13). This establishes our view of the argument on Election in Ro 9:1-29, as not being an election of Gentiles in the place of Jews, and merely to religious advantages, but a sovereign choice of some of Israel itself, from among others, to believe and be saved. (See on Ro 9:6.)

6. And, &c.—better, "Now if it (the election) be by grace, it is no more of works; for [then] grace becomes no more grace: but if it be of works," &c. (The authority of ancient manuscripts against this latter clause, as superfluous and not originally in the text, though strong, is not sufficient, we think, to justify its exclusion. Such seeming redundancies are not unusual with our apostle). The general position here laid down is of vital importance: That there are but two possible sources of salvation—men's works, and God's grace; and that these are so essentially distinct and opposite, that salvation cannot be of any combination or mixture of both, but must be wholly either of the one or of the other. (See on Ro 4:3, Note 3.)