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Romans 11

Rom 11:1

I say then (λεγω ουν). As in verse 11. Ουν looks back to 9:16-33 and 10:19-21.

Did God cast off? (μη απωσατο ο θεοσ?). An indignant negative answer is called for by μη and emphasized by μη γενοιτο (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 απωθεω, to push away, to repel, middle, to push away from one as in Ac 7:27 .

For I also (κα γαρ εγω). Proof that not all the Jews have rejected Christ. See Php 3:5 for more of Paul's pedigree.

Rom 11:2

Whom he foreknew (ον προεγνω). 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? (ουκ οιδατε?). "Know ye not?" Why keep the old English "wot"?

Of Elijah (εν Ελεια). "In the case of Elijah." Cf. "in the bush" (Mr 12:26 ).

He pleadeth (εντυγχανε). See on 8:27. Εντυγχανω 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 κατα, but the "against" is in κατα.

Rom 11:3

They have digged down (κατεσκαψαν). First aorist active indicative of κατασκαπτω, to dig under or down. Old verb, here only in N.T. (critical text). LXX has καθειλαν "pulled down." Paul has reversed the order of the LXX of 1Ki 19:10,14,18 .

Altars (θυσιαστηρια). Late word (LXX, Philo, Josephus, N.T. eccl. writers) from θυσιαζω, to sacrifice. See Ac 17:23 .

And I am left alone (καγω υπελειφθην μονος). First aorist passive indicative of υπολειπω, 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 (ψυχην). It is not possible to draw a clear distinction between ψυχη (soul) and πνευμα (spirit). Ψυχη is from ψυχω, to breathe or blow, πνευμα from πνεω, 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.

Rom 11:4

The answer of God (ο χρηματισμος). An old word in various senses like χρηματιζω, only here in N.T. See this use of the verb in Mt 2:12,22; Lu 2:26; Ac 10:22 .

To Baal (τη Βααλ). Feminine article. In the LXX the name Βααλ is either masculine or feminine. The explanation is that the Jews put Bosheth (αισχυνη, shame) for Baal and in the LXX the feminine article occurs because αισχυνη is so, though here the LXX has the masculine τω.

Rom 11:5

Remnant (λιμμα). Old word, but only here in N.T., but in papyri also and with this spelling rather than λειμμα. From λειπω, to leave.

According to the election of grace (κατ' εκλογην χαριτος). As in 9:6-13. The election is all of God. Verse 6 explains it further.

Rom 11:6

Otherwise (επε). Ellipse after επε (since), "since, in that case."

Is no more (ουκετ γινετα). "No longer becomes" grace, loses its character as grace. Augustine: Gratia nisi gratis sit gratia non est.

Rom 11:7

What then? (τ ουν?). Since God did not push Israel away (verse 1), what is true?

The election (η εκλογη). Abstract for concrete (the elect).

Obtained (επετυχεν). Second aorist active indicative of επιτυγχανω, old verb, to hit upon, only here in Paul. See 9:30-33 for the failure of the Jews.

Were hardened (επωρωθησαν). First aorist passive indicative of πωροω, late verb, to cover with thick skin (πωρος). See on 2Co 3:14; Mr 3:5 .

Rom 11:8

A spirit of stupor (πνευμα κατανυξεως). The quotation is a combination of De 19:4; Isa 29:10; 6:9f . This phrase is from Isa 29:10 . Κατανυξις is a late and rare word from κατανυσσω, 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 (του μη βλεπειν). Genitive articular infinitive of negative purpose.

That they should not hear (του μη ακουειν). So here also. See Stephen's speech (Ac 7:51f. ).

Rom 11:9

David says (Δαυειδ λεγε). From Ps 69:23f ; (68:23f LXX); 34:8; 28:4 (combined quotation).

Table (τραπεζα). For what is on the table, "a feast."

A snare (εις παγιδα). From πηγνυμ, to make fast, old word for snares for birds and beasts. See on Lu 21:35 . Εις in predicate with γινομα is a translation-Hebraism.

A trap (εις θηραν). Old word for hunting of wild beasts, then a trap. Only here in N.T.

A stumbling-block (εις σκανδαλον). A third word for trap, snare, trap-stick or trigger over which they fall. See on 1Co 1:23; Ro 9:33 .

A recompense (εις ανταποδομα). Late word from double compound verb ανταποδιδωμ, to repay (both αντ and απο). Ancient Greeks used ανταποδοσις. In LXX and Didache. In N.T. only here (bad sense) and Lu 14:12 (good sense).

Rom 11:10

Let their eyes be darkened (σκοτισθητωσαν ο οφθαλμο αυτων). First aorist passive imperative of σκοτιζω, to darken. A terrible imprecation.

That they may not see (του μη βλεπειν). Repeated from verse 8.

Bow down (συνκαμψον). First aorist active imperative of συνκαμπτω, old verb, to bend together as of captives whose backs (νωτον, another old word, only here in N.T.) were bent under burdens. Only here in N.T.

Rom 11:11

Did they stumble that they might fall? (μη επταισαν ινα πεσωσιν?). Negative answer expected by μη as in verse 1. First aorist active indicative of πταιω, old verb, to stumble, only here in Paul (see Jas 3:2 ), suggested perhaps by σκανδαλον in verse 9. If ινα is final, then we must add "merely" to the idea, "merely that they might fall" or make a sharp distinction between πταιω, to stumble, and πιπτω, to fall, and take πεσωσιν as effective aorist active subjunctive to fall completely and for good. Hινα, 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 (τω αυτων παραπτωματ). Instrumental case. For the word, a falling aside or a false step from παραπιπτω, see 5:15-20.

Is come . No verb in the Greek, but γινετα or γεγονεν is understood.

For to provoke them to jealousy (εις το παραζηλωσα). Purpose expressed by εις and the articular infinitive, first aorist active, of παραζηλοω, 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 (πλουτος κοσμου). See 10:12.

Their loss (το ηττημα αυτων). So perhaps in 1Co 6:7 , but in Isa 31:8 defeat is the idea. Perhaps so here.

Fulness (πληρωμα). Perhaps "completion," though the word from πληροω, 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? (ποσω μαλλον). Argument a fortiori as in verse 24. Verse 25 illustrates the point.

Rom 11:13

To you that are Gentiles (υμιν τοις εθνεσιν). "To you the Gentiles." He has a serious word to say to them.

Inasmuch then (εφ' οσον μεν ουν). Not temporal, quamdiu, "so long as" (Mt 9:15 ), but qualitative quatenus "in so far then as" (Mt 25:40 ).

I glorify my ministry (την διακονιαν μου δοξαζω). As apostle to the Gentiles (εθνων αποστολος, objective genitive). Would that every minister of Christ glorified his ministry.

If by any means (ε πως). This use of ε with purpose or aim is a kind of indirect discourse.

I may provoke (παραζηλωσω). Either future active indicative or first aorist active subjunctive, see same uncertainty in Php 3:10 καταντησω, but in 3:11 καταλαβω after ε 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 σωσω (save).

Rom 11:15

The casting away of them (η αποβολη αυτων). Objective genitive (αυτων) with αποβολη, old word from αποβαλλω, to throw off (Mr 10:50 ), in N.T. only here and Ac 27:22 .

The reconciling of the world (καταλλαγη κοσμου). See 5:10f. for καταλλαγη (reconciling). It explains verse 12.

The receiving (η προσλημψις). Old word from προσλαμβανω, to take to oneself, only here in N.T.

Life from the dead (ζωη εκ νεκρων). 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.

Rom 11:16

First fruit (απαρχη). See on 1Co 15:20,23 . The metaphor is from Nu 15:19f . The LXX has απαρχην φυραματος, first of the dough as a heave offering.

The lump (το φυραμα). From which the first fruit came. See on 9:21. Apparently the patriarchs are the first fruit.

The root (η ριζα). 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).

Rom 11:17

Branches (κλαδων). From κλαω, to break.

Were broken off (εξεκλασθησαν). First aorist passive indicative of εκκλαω. Play on the word κλαδος (branch) and εκκλαω, 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 (κα συ). An individual Gentile.

Being a wild olive (αγριελαιος ων). 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" (παρα φυσιν).

Wast grafted in (ενεκεντρισθης). First aorist passive indicative of ενκεντριζω, to cut in, to graft, used by Aristotle. Belongs "to the higher Koine" (literary Koine) according to Milligan.

Partaker (συνκοινωνος). Co-partner.

Fatness (πιοτητος). Old word from πιων (fat), only here in N.T. Note three genitives here "of the root of the fatness of the olive."

Rom 11:18

Glory not over the branches (μη κατακαυχω των κλαδων). Genitive case after κατα. Present middle imperative second person singular of κατακαυχαομα with negative μη, "stop glorying" or "do not have the habit of glorying over the branches." The conclusion of the preceding condition.

Gloriest (κατακαυχασα). Late form -αεσα retaining ς.

Not thou (ου συ). Very emphatic position. The graft was upon the stock and root, though each affected the other.

Rom 11:19

Thou wilt say then (ερεις ουν). A presumptuous Gentile speaks.

That I might be grafted in (ινα εγω ενκεντρισθω). Purpose clause with ινα and first aorist passive subjunctive. He shows contempt for the cast-off Jews.

Rom 11:20

Well (καλως). Perhaps ironical, though Paul may simply admit the statement (cf. Mr 12:32 ) and show the Gentile his real situation.

By unbelief (τη απιστια)

--by faith (πιστε). Instrumental case with both contrasted words (by unbelief, by belief).

Rom 11:21

Be not highminded (μη υψηλα φρονε). "Stop thinking high (proud) thoughts."

Of God spared not (ε γαρ ο θεος ουκ εφεισατο). It is not ε μη (unless), but the ουκ negatives the verb εφεισατο (first aorist middle indicative of φειδομα, to spare. Condition of first class.

Rom 11:22

The goodness and the severity of God (χρηστοτητα κα αποτομιαν θεου). See on Ro 2:2 for χρηστοτης, kindness of God. Αποτομια (here alone in the N.T.) is from αποτομος, cut off, abrupt, and this adjective from αποτεμνω, to cut off. This late word occurs several times in the papyri.

If thou continue (εαν επιμενηις). Third class condition, εαν and present active subjunctive.

Otherwise (επε). Ellipse after επε, "since if thou dost not continue."

Thou also (κα συ). Precisely as the Jewish branches of verse 17 were.

Shalt be cut off (εκκοπηση). Second future passive of εκκοπτω, to cut out.

Rom 11:23

If they continue not in their unbelief (εαν μη επιμενωσ τη απιστια). Third class condition with the same verb used in verse 22 of the Gentile. Locative case of απιστια here (same form as the instrumental in verse 20).

For God is able (δυνατος γαρ εστιν ο θεος). See this use of δυνατος εστιν in 4:21 rather than δυνατα. This is the χρυξ of the whole matter. God is able.

Rom 11:24

Contrary to nature (παρα φυσιν). 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 (καλλιελαιος, the garden olive, καλλος and ελαια in Aristotle and a papyrus).

Into their own olive tree (τη ιδια ελαια). Dative case. Another argument a fortiori, "how much more" (πολλω μαλλον). God can graft the natural Israel back upon the spiritual Israel, if they become willing.

Rom 11:25

This mystery (το μυστηριον τουτο). Not in the pagan sense of an esoteric doctrine for the initiated (from μυεω, 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 μυστηριον 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 μυστηριον and not to sacramentum in the classical sense" (Vincent).

Wise in your own conceits (εν εαυτοις φρονιμο). "Wise in yourselves." Some MSS. read παρ' εαυτοις (by yourselves). Negative purpose here (ινα μη ητε), to prevent self-conceit on the part of the Gentiles who have believed. They had no merit in themselves

A hardening (πωρωσις). Late word from πωροω ( 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 (απο μερους). Goes with the verb γεγονεν (has happened in part). For απο μερους, see 2Co 1:14; 2:5; Ro 15:24 ; for ανα μερος, see 1Co 14:27 ; for εκ μερους, see 1Co 12:27; 13:9 ; for κατα μερος, see Heb 9:5 ; for μερος τ (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 (αχρ ου το πληρωμα των εθνων εισελθη). Temporal clause with αχρ ου (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομα, to come in (Mt 7:13,21 ).

For fulness of the Gentiles (το πληρωμα των εθνων) see on verse 12, the complement of the Gentiles.

Rom 11:26

And so (κα ουτως). By the complement of the Gentiles stirring up the complement of the Jews (verses 11f. ).

All Israel (πας Ισραηλ). What does Paul mean? The immediate context (use of πας in contrast with απο μερουσ, πληρωμα here in contrast with πληρωμα 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 (ο ρυομενος). Present middle articular participle of ρυομα, 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.

Rom 11:27

My covenant (η παρ' εμου διαθηκη). "The from me covenant," "my side of the covenant I have made with them" (Sanday and Headlam). Cf. Jer 31:31f. . Not a political deliverance, but a religious and ethical one.

When I shall take away (οταν αφελωμα). Second aorist middle subjunctive of αφαιρεω, old and common verb, to take away.

Rom 11:28

As touching the gospel (κατα το ευαγγελιον). "According to (κατα with the accusative) the gospel" as Paul has shown in verses 11-24, the gospel order as it has developed.

Enemies (εχθρο). Treated as enemies (of God), in passive sense, because of their rejection of Christ (verse 10), just as αγαπητο (beloved) is passive.

As touching the election (κατα την εκλογην). "According to the election" (the principle of election, not as in verses 5f. the elect or abstract for concrete).

For the fathers' sake (δια τους πατερας). As in 9:4; 11:16f .

Rom 11:29

Without repentance (αμεταμελητα). See on 2Co 7:10 for this word (α privative and μεταμελομα, to be sorry afterwards). It is not αμετανοητον (Ro 2:5 ) from α privative and μετανοεω, to change one's mind. God is not sorry for his gifts to and calling of the Jews (9:4f. ).

Rom 11:30

Ye in time past (υμεις ποτε). Ye Gentiles ( 1:18-32).

Were disobedient (επειθησατε). First aorist active indicative of απειθεω, to disbelieve and then to disobey. "Ye once upon a time disobeyed God."

By their disobedience (τη τουτων απειθια). Instrumental case, "by the disobedience of these" (Jews). Note "now" (νυν) three times in this sentence.

Rom 11:31

By the mercy shown to you (τω υμετερω ελεε). Objective sense of υμετερος (possessive pronoun, your). Proleptic position also for the words go with ελεηθωσιν (first aorist passive subjunctive of ελεεω, from ελεος with ινα, purpose clause). God's purpose is for the Jews to receive a blessing yet.

Rom 11:32

Hath shut up (συνεκλεισεν). First aorist active indicative of συνκλειω, to shut together like a net (Lu 5:6 ). See Ga 3:22 for this word with υπο αμαρτιαν (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 (τους παντας). "The all" (both Gentiles and Jews).

That he might have mercy (ινα--ελεηση). Purpose with ινα 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.

Rom 11:33

O the depth (Ο βαθος). Exclamation with omega and the nominative case of βαθος (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 (ανεξεραυνητα). Double compound (α privative and εξ) verbal adjective of ερευναω (old spelling -ευ-), 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 (ανεξιχνιαστο). Another verbal adjective from α privative and εξιχνιαζω, to trace out by tracks (ιχνος 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.

Rom 11:34

Who hath known? (τις εγνω?). Second aorist active indicative of γινωσκω, a timeless aorist, did know, does know, will know. Quotation from Isa 40:13 . Quoted already in 1Co 2:16 .

Counsellor (συμβουλος). Old word from συν and βουλη. Only here in N.T.

His (αυτου). Objective genitive, counsellor to him (God). Some men seem to feel competent for the job.

Rom 11:35

First driven to him (προεδωκεν αυτω). First aorist active indicative of προδιδωμ, 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 (ανταποδοθησετα). First future passive of double compound ανταποδιδωμ, to pay back (both αντ and απο), 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 .

Rom 11:36

Of him (εξ αυτου),

through him (δι' αυτου),

unto him (εις αυτον). By these three prepositions Paul ascribes the universe (τα παντα) with all the phenomena concerning creation, redemption, providence to God as the

Source (εξ), the

Agent (δ), the

Goal (εις).

For ever (εις τους αιωνας). "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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