Monday, April 11, 2011

Romans 11:25-36 The Restoration of Israel

     25 For I don’t want you to be ignorant1, brothers, about this mystery2, that you may not be conceited3, because a partial4 hardening has come to Israel until of which the full number5 of the Gentiles may come in. 26 And in this manner, all Israel6 will be saved7, as it has been written,

          ‘The One who rescues8 will come from Zion9
          He will turn away the godlessness10 from Jacob11 
          27 And this is my covenant with them 
          Whenever I take away their sins.’12

28 According to the Gospel, they are enemies on your account13, but according to the election14, they are beloved because of the fathers15. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable16. 30 For just as you were disobedient to God at some point17, but you have now been shown mercy because of their disobedience18, 31 and in the same manner, those now have been shown mercy because of your mercy, so that even they may now have mercy. 32 For God has made all of them a prisoner of disobedience so that he may show mercy to all.19

          33 O the depth of the riches, 
                   the wisdom, and the knowledge of God!
          How unsearchable are his judgements 
                   and untraceable are his paths.20
          34 For who has understood the mind of the Lord 
                  or who has become his counselor?
          35 or who has given to him beforehand 
                  that it will be repaid to him?21

36 Because all things are from him and through him and for him. To him be the glory forever, amen.

1 ἀγνοεῖν (to be ignorant) 

or “to not know”.

2 τὸ μυστήριον (mystery)

or “secret”.  The content of that which has not been known before but which has been revealed to an in-group or restricted constituency. Schreiner says, “In the OT and second temple literature it refers to a secret element of God’s plan that has been hidden from human beings but has now been revealed.” Romans (Baker Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament).

According to Schreiner, the mystery is three fold: “(1) A part of Israel is hardened for a limited period of time; (2) the salvation of the Gentiles will precede the salvation of Israel; and (3) all Israel will eventually be saved.” Pg. 614.

3 [παρ ̓] ἑαυτοῖς (conceited) 

Greek: “beside himself”. Idiomatic in nature. It could be translate “in himself” or “wise in himself”.

4 ἀπὸ μέρους (partial) 

Greek: “from a part”. “Because a harding in part has come to Israel”.

5 τὸ πλήρωμα (the full number) 

or “fullness”. More than likely, referring to the number of Gentiles that will come into the faith.

6 “all Israel” probably refers to certain number of Jews at some point in the future. It is not likely to refer to all Jews who are both dead and alive.

7 So what does this mean? The context of the passage suggests that after the “fullness” of the Gentiles comes, only then will all of Israel be saved. This takes a little unpacking. What is the full number of the Gentiles? It is how many Gentiles will be saved! The time period will actually end once Jesus comes back. That will end the “fullness of the Gentiles”. After that, Israel, at that time, will be saved. Paul shows this in the following quotes from the OT.

8 ὁ ῥυόμενος (The One who rescues) 

or “The One who delivers” or simply “The Rescuer” or “The Deliver”.  In this case, Paul is referring to Jesus.

9 The heavenly Zion where Jesus reigns as the Lord.

10 ἀσεβείας (godlessness)

To live in a manner contrary to proper religious beliefs and practice. In this case, the passage is referring to Israel’s unbelief in Jesus Christ.

11 Quote taken from Isaiah 59:20.

12 Quote taken from Isaiah 27:9.

13 δι ̓ ὑμᾶς (on your account)

Greek: “because of you”.

14 or “choice”. It is God’s choice to show grace on people.

15 Paul is referring to the fore-fathers of the Old Testament. God had promised throughout the OT that he would rescue Israel. This is why God’s plan for the Gentiles includes the Jews as well. Salvation of the Gentiles will allow for the Jews to receive mercy from God after Jesus comes.

16 ἀμεταμέλητα (irrevocable) 

or “without regret” In this text, it means that it can not be changed.

17 ποτε (at some point)

Greek: “at some time”.

18 The Jews’ disobedience at not believing that Jesus is the Lord.

19 Paul wraps up how the salvation for the Jews will come. Their unbelief in Jesus Christ has lead the way to the Gentiles, but once all of the Gentile are gathered together to Jesus, the Jews will then be saved. Ultimately, all are subject to disobedience and God shows his divine being by being showing mercy to all people, Jew or Gentile.

20 Quote taken from Isaiah 40:13.

21 Quote taken from Job 41:11.

The Greek

Ῥωμαίους 11·25 Οὐ γὰρ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ μυστήριον τοῦτο, ἵνα μὴ ἦτε [παρ ̓] ἑαυτοῖς φρόνιμοι, ὅτι πώρωσις ἀπὸ μέρους τῷ Ἰσραὴλ γέγονεν ἄχρι οὗ τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν εἰσέλθῃ 26 καὶ οὕτως πᾶς Ἰσραὴλ σωθήσεται, καθὼς γέγραπται·
ἥξει ἐκ Σιὼν ὁ ῥυόμενος, ἀποστρέψει ἀσεβείας ἀπὸ Ἰακώβ.
Ῥωμαίους 11·27 καὶ αὕτη αὐτοῖς ἡ παρ ̓ ἐμοῦ διαθήκη, ὅταν ἀφέλωμαι τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν.
28 κατὰ μὲν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἐχθροὶ δι ̓ ὑμᾶς, κατὰ δὲ τὴν ἐκλογὴν ἀγαπητοὶ διὰ τοὺς πατέρας· 29 ἀμεταμέλητα γὰρ τὰ χαρίσματα καὶ ἡ κλῆσις τοῦ θεοῦ. 30 ὥσπερ γὰρ ὑμεῖς ποτε ἠπειθήσατε τῷ θεῷ, νῦν δὲ ἠλεήθητε τῇ τούτων ἀπειθείᾳ, 31 οὕτως καὶ οὗτοι νῦν ἠπείθησαν τῷ ὑμετέρῳ ἐλέει, ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ [νῦν] ἐλεηθῶσιν. 32 συνέκλεισεν γὰρ ὁ θεὸς τοὺς πάντας εἰς ἀπείθειαν, ἵνα τοὺς πάντας ἐλεήσῃ.
33 Ὦ βάθος πλούτου καὶ σοφίας καὶ γνώσεως θεοῦ·
ὡς ἀνεξεραύνητα τὰ κρίματα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνεξιχνίαστοι αἱ ὁδοὶ αὐτοῦ.
34 τίς γὰρ ἔγνω νοῦν κυρίου; ἢ τίς σύμβουλος αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο;
35 ἢ τίς προέδωκεν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἀνταποδοθήσεται αὐτῷ;
Ῥωμαίους 11·36 ὅτι ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ δι ̓ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν τὰ πάντα·
αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν.

1 comment:

  1. This passage may give insight regarding confusion between election and the invitation of grace for all. God chose, or elected, Israel to bring salvation to the world.
    God's mercy extends to us all.