11. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
11. Dico igitur, Num impegerunt ut corruerent? Absit: sed eorum lapsu salus contigit gentibus in hoc, ut ipsi ad aemulationem provocarentur.
12. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?
12. Si vero eorum lapsus divitiae sunt mundi, et imminutio eorum divitiae gentium, quanto magis complementum ipsorum?
13. For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
13. Vobis enim dico gentibus, quatenus certe ego gentium sum Apostolus, ministerium meum illustror,
14. If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
14. Si quomodo ad aemulationem provocavero carnem meam, et aliquos ex ea salvos fecero:
15. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
15. Si enim rejectio eorum, reconciliatio est mundi, quid assumptio nisi vita ex mortius?
It is then in conformity with this difference that he now speaks; for since the Jews for the most part rejected Christ, so that perverseness had taken hold almost on the whole nation, and few among them seemed to be of a sane mind, he asks the question, whether the Jewish nation had so stumbled at Christ, that it was all over with them universally, and that no hope of repentance remained. Here he justly denies that the salvation of the Jews was to be despaired of, or that they were so rejected by God, that there was to be no future restoration, or that the covenant of grace, which he had once made with them, was entirely abolished, since there had ever remained in that nation the seed of blessing. That we are so to understand his meaning is evident from this, -- that having before connected a sure ruin with blindness, he now gives a hope of rising again; which two things are wholly different. They then, who perversely stumbled at Christ, fell and fell into destruction; yet the nation itself had not fallen, so that he who is a Jew must necessarily perish or be alienated from God.
The word here used denotes the feeling of emulation or jealousy with which we are excited, when we see another preferred before us. Since then it was the Lord's purpose that Israel should be provoked to emulation, they were not so fallen as to be precipitated into eternal ruin; but that God's blessing, despised by them, might come to the Gentiles, in order that they might at length be also stirred up to seek the Lord, from whom they had fallen away.
But there is no reason for readers to weary themselves much as to the application of this testimony: for Paul does not dwell on the strict meaning of the word, but alludes only to a common and well-known practice. For as emulation stimulates a wife, who for her fault has been rejected by her husband, so that she strives to be reconciled again; so it may be now, he says, that the Jews, seeing the Gentiles introduced into their place, will be touched with grief for their divorce, and seek reconciliation.
Now he would have spoken more strictly correct, if, to the
And here also he uses the verb
1 This is not quite correct: the first part is a mere announcement of a fact -- the fall of the Jews; and then in what follows, according to the usual style of Scripture, the same thing is stated in other words, and a corresponding clause is added; and the antithesis is found to be suitable -- the diminution and the completion. The reason for the restatement of the first clause seems to be this, -- that the fall might not be deemed as total, but in part; it was
2 The meaning attached here to the words
13. For I say this to you Gentiles (as I am indeed the Apostle of the Gentiles,) that I render my ministry glorious,
14. If I shall by any means excite to emulation my own flesh and save some of them.
The sentiment in the last clause is the same as that at the end of Romans 11:11. The Vulgate, and some of the Latin Fathers, and also Luther, read
3 Some view the last words, "life from the dead," as understood of the Jews and not of the Gentiles. But the antithesis seems to require the latter meaning. The rejection or casting away,
Some of the fathers, such as Chrysostom and Theodoret, regarded the words as referring to the last resurrection: but this is wholly at variance with the context. -- Ed.