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1: Hath God rejected his whole people - All Israel? In no wise.
Now there is "a remnant" who believe, (Ro 11:5); and hereafter
"all Israel will be saved," (Ro 11:26).
2: God hath not rejected that part of his people whom
he foreknew - Speaking after the manner of men. For, in fact,
knowing and foreknowing are the same thing with God, who knows
or sees all things at once, from everlasting to everlasting.
Know ye not - That in a parallel case, amidst a general apostasy,
when Elijah thought the whole nation was fallen into idolatry, God
"knew" there was "a remnant" of true worshippers.
3: (1Ki 19:10).
4: To Baal - Nor to the golden calves.
5: According to the election of grace - According to that
gracious purpose of God, "He that believeth shall be saved."
6: And if by grace, then it is no more of works - Whether
ceremonial or moral. Else grace is no longer grace - The very
nature of grace is lost. And if it be of works, then it is no
more grace: else work is no longer work - But the very nature of
it is destroyed. There is something so absolutely inconsistent
between the being justified by grace, and the being justified by
works, that, if you suppose either, you of necessity exclude the
other. For what is given to works is the payment of a debt;
whereas grace implies an unmerited favour. So that the same
benefit cannot, in the very nature of things, be derived from
7: What then - What is the conclusion from the whole? It
is this: that Israel in general hath not obtained justification;
but those of them only who believe. And the rest were blinded
- By their own wilful prejudice.
8: God hath at length withdrawn his Spirit, and so given
them up to a spirit of slumber; which is fulfilled unto
this day.(Isa 29:10)
9: And David saith - In that prophetic imprecation, which is
applicable to them, as well as to Judas. A recompence - Of their
preceding wickedness. So sin is punished by sin; and thus the
gospel, which should have fed and strengthened their souls, is
become a means of destroying them.(Ps 69:22,23)
11: Have they stumbled so as to fall - Totally and finally? No
But by their fall - Or slip: it is a very soft word in the original.
Salvation is come to the gentiles - See an instance of this,(Ac 13:46).
To provoke them - The Jews themselves, to jealousy.
12: The first part of this verse is treated of, (Ro 11:13),
&c; the latter, How much more their fulness, (that is, their
full conversion,) (Ro 11:23), &c.
So many prophecies refer to this grand event, that it is
surprising any Christian can doubt of it. And these are greatly
confirmed by the wonderful preservation of the Jews as a distinct
people to this day. When it is accomplished, it will be so strong
a demonstration, both of the Old and New Testament revelation, as
will doubtless convince many thousand Deists, in countries nominally
Christian; of whom there will, of course, be increasing multitudes
among merely nominal Christians. And this will be a means of swiftly
propagating the gospel among Mahometans and Pagans; who would
probably have received it long ago, had they conversed only with
13: I magnify my office - Far from being ashamed of
ministering to the gentiles, I glory therein; the rather, as
it may be a means of provoking my brethren to jealousy.
14: My flesh - My kinsmen.
15: Life from the dead - Overflowing life to the world,
which was dead.
16: And this will surely come to pass. For if the first
fruits be holy, so is the lump - The consecration of them was
esteemed the consecration of all and so the conversion of a few
Jews is an earnest of the conversion of all the rest. And if the
root be holy - The patriarchs from whom they spring, surely God
will at length make their descendants also holy.
17: Thou - O gentile. Being a wild olive tree - Had the
graft been nobler than the stock, yet its dependance on it for life
and nourishment would leave it no room to boast against it. How much
less, when, contrary to what is practised among men, the wild olive
tree is engrafted on the good!
18: Boast not against the branches - Do not they do this
who despise the Jews? or deny their future conversion?
20: They were broken off for unbelief, and thou standest
by faith - Both conditionally, not absolutely: if absolutely,
there might have been room to boast. By faith - The free gift
of God, which therefore ought to humble thee.
21: Be not highminded, but fear - We may observe, this
fear is not opposed to trust, but to pride and security.
22: Else shalt thou - Also, who now "standest by faith,"
be both totally and finally cut off.
24: Contrary to nature - For according to nature, we graft
the fruitful branch into the wild stock; but here the wild branch
is grafted into the fruitful stock.
25: St. Paul calls any truth known but to a few, a
mystery. Such had been the calling of the gentiles: such
was now the conversion of the Jews. Lest ye should be wise in
your own conceits - Puffed up with your present advantages;
dreaming that ye are the only church; or that the church of
Rome cannot fail. Hardness in part is happened to Israel,
till - Israel therefore is neither totally nor finally rejected.
The fullness of the gentiles be come in - Till there be a vast
harvest amongst the heathens.
26: And so all Israel shall be saved - Being convinced by the
coming of the gentiles. But there will be a still larger harvest
among the gentiles, when all Israel is come in. The deliverer
shall come - Yea, the deliverer is come; but not the full fruit of
his coming.(Isa 59:20)
28: They are now enemies - To the gospel, to God, and
to themselves, which God permits. For your sake: but as for
the election - That part of them who believe, they are beloved.
29: For the gifts and the calling of God are without
repentance - God does not repent of his gifts to the Jews,
or his calling of the gentiles.
32: For God hath shut up all together in disobedience
- Suffering each in their turn to revolt from him. First, God
suffered the gentiles in the early age to revolt, and took the
family of Abraham as a peculiar seed to himself. Afterwards he
permitted them to fall through unbelief, and took in the
believing gentiles. And he did even this to provoke the Jews to
jealousy, and so bring them also in the end to faith. This was
truly a mystery in the divine conduct, which the apostle adores
with such holy astonishment.
33: O the depth of the riches, and wisdom, and knowledge of God
- In the ninth chapter, St. Paul had sailed but in a narrow sea:
now he is in the ocean.
The depth of the riches is described,(Ro 11:35);
the depth of wisdom,(Ro 11:34);
the depth of knowledge,
in the latter part of this verse.
Wisdom directs all things to the best end;
knowledge sees that end.
How unsearchable are his judgments - With regard to unbelievers.
His ways - With regard to believers.
His ways are more upon a level;
His judgments "a great deep."
But even his ways we cannot trace.
34: Who hath known the mind of the Lord - Before or any farther
than he has revealed it.(Isa 40:13).
35: Given to him - Either wisdom or power?
36: Of him - As the Creator. Through him - As the
Preserver. To him - As the ultimate end, are all things.
To him be the glory of his riches, wisdom, knowledge.
Amen - A concluding word, in which the affection of the
apostle, when it is come to the height, shuts up all.