(Rom 11:1 NASB) I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
Rom 11:1: Elohim has not rejected all of the descendants of Abraham. The people are not rejected simply because they are of the blood of Israel or because they are of Jewish descent..
Paul had just quoted that Elohim had been holding out His arms to a stubborn and obstinate people all day (Romans 10:21).
Paul is not coming back now and saying that Jews who reject Messiah are still somehow saved. The point Paul is making is that there are still blood descendants of Abraham that have not rejected Elohim and His Messiah that He sent to Israel. It may seem like they have all rejected Him, but that is not the case.
(Rom 11:2 NASB) God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
(Rom 11:3 NASB) “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED THY PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN THINE ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”
(Rom 11:4 NASB) But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”
Rom 11:4: Paul uses the example of Elijah to prove his point (1 Kings 19:10-18). It seemed to Elijah that he was the only one left. He thought all of Israel had gone corrupt. It was not so. Elohim preserved a remnant of Israel who maintained righteousness.
In looking at the passage Paul is quoting, Paul points out that the 7000 who have not bowed their knee to Baal are ones that Elohim kept. They did not keep themselves from bowing their knee to Baal, but Elohim kept them from doing so.
(Rom 11:5 NASB) In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.
Rom 11:5: Paul says, “In the same way then…” Just as Elohim kept the remnant of 7000 men from bowing the knee to Baal, Elohim has preserved a remnant according to Elohim’s gracious choice. It is not according to the choice of the people, but according to the gracious choosing of Elohim.
A remnant coming out of Jerusalem was told by Elohim in the day of Isaiah (Isaiah 37:32).
(Rom 11:6 NASB) But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
Rom 11:6: It is not on the basis of any kind of works. It is not on the basis of whether or not one chooses Jesus, or accepts him, or asks him into their hearts.
(Rom 11:7 NASB) What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;
(Rom 11:8 NASB) just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.”
Rom 11:8: The majority of Israel of the flesh were seeking Elohim, but only on their own terms. There was only a remnant of Israelites chosen to obtain salvation and accept Messiah. The rest were hardened. This is according to the predestination spoken of in the previous two chapters.
Paul quotes Isaiah again to prove this (Isa. 29:10). This is also spoken of in Torah (Deut. 29:2-4)
(Rom 11:9 NASB) And David says, “LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM.
(Rom 11:10 NASB) “LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER.”
Rom 11:10: Paul also quotes Psalm 69:22-23. Paul always used the Torah and Tanakh to come to his conclusions.
(Rom 11:11 NASB) I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.
Rom 11:11: Paul reveals the purpose behind Elohim causing the stumbling of Israel. By their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
Why did Israel need to reject Messiah in order for salvation to come to the Gentiles? I have my own thoughts. Keep in mind that Israel believed Gentiles to be unclean and unworthy of salvation. Salvation may not have ever stretched beyond the borders of Israel if Israel had not made this rejection.
This would be a fulfillment of much of the Tanakh (Isa. 42:6-7).
(Rom 11:12 NASB) Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
(Rom 11:13 NASB) But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,
(Rom 11:14 NASB) if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
Rom 11:14: Paul believes that by going to the Gentiles, his fellow countrymen might be moved to jealousy.
The mindset of the Jews in that day was that the Gentiles were unfit for the Spirit of Elohim. However, if they see the Spirit of Elohim active in the Gentiles, they might be jealous of this and desire it themselves.
(Rom 11:15 NASB) For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
Rom 11:15: Paul speculates that if their rejection result in the reconciliation to the rest of the world, what will their acceptance be, but life from death? Israel of the flesh is all but dead without Elohim.
(Rom 11:16 NASB) And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are too.
Rom 11:16: What is Paul referring to when he says “if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also?” He is using an illustration of obedience to the law of the sacrifice of the bread offering (Num. 15:17-21). Paul states that if that first piece of dough be offered to Elohim as commanded, all of the lump of dough will be holy (set-apart).
If the root (first part of the dough) is holy (set-apart), then all of it will be holy (set-apart). If the root is set-apart for Elohim, then the branches will be set-apart for Elohim also.
However, he then continues by speaking of what happens through disobedience.
(Rom 11:17 NASB) But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,
Rom 11:17: Paul is continuing his analogy he just mentioned in Numbers 15:17-21. Numbers 15:22-29 then discusses unintentional sin and atonement that must take place. However, Numbers 15:30-31 tell the penalty of intentional disobedience. The disobedient Israel will be cast off as Paul mentions in this verse (Romans 11:17).
The reference to Israel being an olive tree is mentioned by David also (Psalm 52:8-9).
Those who trust in Messiah and follow His commands are compared to wild olive trees. The culture is not yet there. Those who are newly grafted in do not yet fully know the culture and richness that is consumed by following the Torah of Elohim.
(Rom 11:18 NASB) do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
Rom 11:18: Faithful Israel is like a cultured olive tree. Those who are grafted in are wild olive branches. Those who are grafted in are supported by the root of the tree which is faithful Israel of the past.
We grow out of the fullness and richness of faithful Israel which is our root.
(Rom 11:19 NASB) You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
(Rom 11:20 NASB) Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;
(Rom 11:21 NASB) for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.
Rom 11:21: The whole message that we are grafted in as a part of Israel should humble us. Just as these natural branches were not spared, we could just as easily be broken off.
(Rom 11:22 NASB) Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
(Rom 11:23 NASB) And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.
Rom 11:23: The situation could reverse itself. As Paul mentioned earlier, our belief only comes from the grace of Elohim. The blindness of fleshly Israel came from Him also.
(Rom 11:24 NASB) For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
Rom 11:24: We were cut off from a wild olive tree. The cultured ways of Elohim and His righteousness and His salvation were completely foreign to us. His ways were against our nature.
For us to boast is foolishness since the natural branches (Israel of the flesh) would fit into this tree so much easier than us.
(Rom 11:25 NASB) For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in;
Rom 11:25: Paul makes this point abundantly clear in this chapter. Israel was made blind so that the fullness of the Gentiles would be allowed into Israel.
This blindness is upon fleshly Israel. It keeps them from understanding Torah and the New Covenant. But through Messiah, that veil is lifted and they can understand Torah (2 Cor. 3:14-16).
(Rom 11:26 NASB) and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.”
(Rom 11:27 NASB) “AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”
Rom 11:27: This is an interesting quote. Paul says that all Israel will be saved. What is he referring to? There are those who think that all Jews will be saved. That is absurd. Paul just said that unbelieving Israel is broken off.
Paul is saying that all Israel will be saved because Israel consists of those who trust in Messiah and are obedient to His Word. His quote from Isaiah 59:20-21 makes that clear.
He promises to take away all their sins. This comes from many places in the Tanakh (Isa. 27:9, 43:25, Jer. 50:20).
(Rom 11:28 NASB) From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;
Rom 11:28: The Jews were enemies of the Gentiles. But for the sake of the fathers, they are beloved. Elohim does not want them to be destroyed. That is still true today. They are beloved on account of the fathers.
(Rom 11:29 NASB) for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
(Rom 11:30 NASB) For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,
(Rom 11:31 NASB) so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.
Rom 11:31: Israel of the flesh may turn to Elohim in repentance at any time.
(Rom 11:32 NASB) For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.
(Rom 11:33 NASB) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Rom 11:33: We were once in disobedience and now fleshly Israel is in disobedience. All men have been shut up in disobedience at one time or another and all men have been shown mercy
(Rom 11:34 NASB) For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR?
(Rom 11:35 NASB) Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN?
(Rom 11:36 NASB) For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Rom 11:36: Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13 and Job 35:7 to remind us that He owes us nothing. We owe it all to Him.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas