28. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
28. Secundum Evangelium quidem inimici propter vos; secundum electionem vero dilecti propter Patres:
29. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
29. Sine poenitentia enim sunt dona et vocatio Del.
30. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief;
30. Quemadmodum enim vos quoque 1 increduli fuistis Deo, nunc autem misericordiam estis consequuti istorum incredulitate:
31. Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they have also may obtain mercy.
31. Sic et ii nunc increduli facti sunt, eo quod adepti estis misericordiam, ut ipsi quoque misericordiam consequantur. 2
32. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
32. Concludit enim Deus omnes sub incredulitate, ut omnium misereatur.
"I will be the God of thy seed," (Genesis 17:7,)
it is evident that he has not wholly turned away his kindness from the Jewish nation.
He does not oppose the gospel to election, as though they were contrary the one to the other, for whom God has chosen he calls; but inasmuch as the gospel had been proclaimed to the Gentiles beyond the expectation of the world, he justly compares this favor with the ancient election of the Jews, which had been manifested so many ages before: and so election derives its name from antiquity; for God had in past ages of the world chosen one people for himself.
Paul then intends here to teach two things -- that there is nothing in any man why he should be preferred to others, apart from the mere favor of God; and that God in the dispensation of his grace, is under no restraint that he should not grant it to whom he pleases. There is an emphasis in the word
2 Our common version departs here from the original by connecting "your mercy" with the last clause. Calvin keeps the proper order of the words, though he paraphrases them,
3 They were "enemies" to Paul and the Church, say Grotius and Luther, -- to the gospel, says Pareus, -- to God, says Mede and Stuart. The parallel in the next clause, "beloved," favors the last sentiment. They were become God's enemies, and alienated through their rejection of the gospel; but they were still regarded as descendants of the Fathers and in some sense on their account "beloved," as those for whom God entertained love, inasmuch as his "gifts and calling" made in their behalf, were still in force and never to be changed. -- Ed.
4 Hypallage -- transposition, a change in the arrangement of a sentence.
5 It is not desirable to amalgamate words in this manner; nor is it necessary. The Apostle ascends; he mentions first the "gifts," the free promises which God made to the Jews; and then he refers to the origin of them, the calling or the election of God, and says that both are irreversible, or, as Castellio well explains the word
Calvin seems to regard "the gifts and calling" as having reference to the adoption of the Jewish nation, and their adoption to certain privileges included in the Abrahamic covenant, probably those mentioned in Romans 9:4. But Pareus, Mede, and others, extend the meaning farther, and consider "the gifts" as including those of "faith, remission of sins, sanctification, perseverance and salvation;" and they understand by "calling," not the external, which often fails, but the internal, made by the Spirit, and every efficacious, of which the Apostle had spoken, when he said, "Those whom he has predestinated, he has called, justified, and glorified." according to this view the Apostle must be considered to mean, that according to what is said in Romans 11:5, the gifts and callings of God shall be effectual towards some of the Jews throughout all ages, and towards the whole nation, when the fullness of the Gentiles shall come in; or, that though they may be suspended, they shall yet be made evident at the appointed time; so that what secures and renders certain the restoration of the Jews is the covenant of free grace which God made with their fathers.
Some, as Pareus informs us, have concluded from what is here said, that no Gentile nation, once favored with "the gifts and calling of God," shall be wholly forsaken; and that though religion may for a long season be in a degenerated state, God will yet, in his own appointed time, renew his gifts and his calling, and restore true religion. The ground of hope is the irrevocability of his gifts and calling. -- Ed.
6 The verb which Calvin renders conclusi,
God has shut up together, etc., "how?" asks Pareus; then he answer, "by manifesting, accusing, and condemning unbelief, but not by effecting or approving it." -- Ed.