Romans 11The intent and meaning of the several detached verses of this chapter, and their general bearing upon the subject of discussion, seem sufficiently clear; but the manner in which they were logically related to each other in the author's mind is less obvious. The links of connection are variously supplied by the conjectures of commentators.
Maketh intercession against; pleads against. The passage referred to is found in 1 Kings 19:10, 14, 18.
The election of grace; the election of favor or mercy.
The meaning is, that salvation must either be fully merited, or else bestowed in mercy. It cannot be partially merited. For unless the law is fully obeyed, it is broken, and the reward of transgression, not that of obedience, is deserved.
Israel; Israel in general.—He seeketh for; looketh for; that is, the justification which he expects on account of his alleged obedience of the law.—Were blinded; were blind, as some say, in order to avoid the necessity of supposing any agency on the part of Jehovah in respect to the moral character of wicked men. But the expression in the next verse, "God has given them the spirit of slumber," seems very unequivocal. They, however, who cannot submit to the doctrine which it seems to teach, shelter themselves from it by saying that God is represented in the Scriptures as doing that which he does not interpose to prevent. And it must be conceded that this interpretation is confirmed by the form in which the passage originally occurs in the book from which it is quoted here. (Deut. 29:4.) The Lord hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear.
The rejection of the gospel by the Jews, under the preaching of the apostles, almost every where resulted in turning the apostles to the Gentiles, and was thus the occasion of promoting the wider extension of Christianity.—Their fulness; their general acceptance of the gospel.
My flesh; my kinsmen.
The lump; the whole mass. The meaning is, that, inasmuch as now a small portion of the Jewish nation believed in Christ, so the time would come when all would be brought into his kingdom.
And thou; referring, obviously to the Gentile convert.—Graffed; grafted.—The root and fatness; the strength and sustenance derived from the root.
Thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. The meaning is, that the Christian church, to which the Gentile convert was admitted, being built upon the foundation of the Jewish church, the Gentile should not cherish feelings of pride and superiority in respect to his Jewish brother.
They also; the unbelieving Jews.
The fulness of the Gentiles; the Gentiles generally.
And so; and then.
They are enemies; God treats them as enemies; that is, the Jewish people are, for a time, rejected, and the Gentiles received in their stead; but still God will ultimately restore them, out of regard to the promises which he made to their fathers.
Without repentance; that is, on the part of God. He will, at all events, faithfully fulfil the promises which he makes.
That is, the Jews reject the gospel now; but the course of divine providence, after bestowing mercy upon the Gentiles, will finally bestow it also upon them.
That he might have mercy; with the design of finally having mercy, &c.
Thus, in the conclusion of the doctrinal part of the Epistle, the writer expresses what may be regarded as the leading sentiment which he has been inculcating through the whole, viz., that no man can come to God with any merits of his own, or any claim whatever for recompense or reward; but that, as the goodness and mercy of God's alone originate all blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, so his power and will are supreme in directing the disposal of them.
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