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Israel’s Rejection Is Not Final


I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4But what is the divine reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8as it is written,

“God gave them a sluggish spirit,

eyes that would not see

and ears that would not hear,

down to this very day.”

9 And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,

a stumbling block and a retribution for them;


let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,

and keep their backs forever bent.”

The Salvation of the Gentiles

11 So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry 14in order to make my own people jealous, and thus save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead! 16If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, 18do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you. 19You will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. 22Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And even those of Israel, if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.

All Israel Will Be Saved

25 So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,

“Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;

he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.”


“And this is my covenant with them,

when I take away their sins.”

28 As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!


“For who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?”


“Or who has given a gift to him,

to receive a gift in return?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.


15. For if their rejections, etc. This passage, which many deem obscure, and some awfully pervert, ought, in my view, to be understood as another argument, derived from a comparison of the less with the greater, according to this import, “Since the rejection of the Jews has availed so much as to occasion the reconciling of the Gentiles, how much more effectual will be their resumption? Will it not be to raise them even from the dead?” For Paul ever insists on this, that the Gentiles have no cause for envy, as though the restoration of the Jews to favor were to render their condition worse. Since then God has wonderfully drawn forth life from death and light from darkness, how much more ought we to hope, he reasons, that the resurrection of a people, as it were, wholly dead, will bring life to the Gentiles. 353353     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, ἀποβολὴ of the Jews was the occasion of reconciliation to the world, that is, the Gentiles; then the reception, πρόσληψις, of the Jews will be “life from the dead” to the Gentiles or to the world. He expresses by stronger terms the sentiment in Romans 11:12, “the riches of the world,” only intimating, as it appears, the decayed state of religion among the Gentiles; for to be dead sometimes means a religious declension, Revelation 3:1,2; or a state of oppression and wretchedness, as the case was with the Israelites when in captivity, Ezekiel 37:1-14; Isaiah 26:19. The phrase is evidently figurative, and signifies a wonderful revival, such as the coming to life of those in a condition resembling that of death. The restoration of the Jews unto God’s favor will occasion the revival and spread of true religion through the whole Gentile world. This is clearly the meaning.
   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.
It is no objection what some allege, that reconciliation differs not from resurrection, as we do indeed understand resurrection in the present instance, that is, to be that by which we are translated from the kingdom of death to the kingdom of life, for though the thing is the same, yet there is more force in the expression, and this a sufficient answer.

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