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TEXT. 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went
into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke
you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation
I will anger you. 20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought
me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. 21 But to Israel he saith, All day long have I stretched forth my hands
unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
PARAPHRASE. 17 believed our report ?” That which we may learn from thence
is, that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing from the word of God, i. e. the revelation of the Gospel in the writings of the sacred Scriptures, communicated by those whom God sends as preachers thereof, to those who are ignorant of it; and there is no need that Christ should be brought down
from heaven to be personally with you, to be your Saviour. 18 It is enough that both Jews and Gentiles have heard of him,
by messengers, whose voice is gone out into the whole earth, and words unto the ends of the world, far beyond the bounds
of Judea. 19 But I ask, Did not Israel know? this, that the Gentiles were
to be taken in, and made the people of God ? First Moses tells it them from God, who says, “I will provoke you to
jealousy by them who are no people; and by a foolish nation 20 I will anger you. But Isaiah declares it yet much plainer in
these words: “I was found of them that sought me not ; I 21 was made manifest to them that asked not after me." And to
Israel, to show their refusal, he saith : “All day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”
NOTE. 199“ Did not Israel know ?” In this and the next verses St. Paul seems to sup
pose a reasoning of the Jews to this purpose, viz. that they did not deserve to be cast off, becanse they did not know that the Gentiles were to be admitted, and so might be excused, if they did not embrace a religion wherein they were to mix with the Gentiles; and to this he answers in the following verses.
CHAPTER XI. 1-36.
THE apostle in this chapter goes on to show the future state of the Jews and Gentiles in respect of Christianity, viz. that though the nation of the Jews were for their unbelief rejected, and the Gentiles taken in their room to be the people of God, yet there were a few of the Jews that believed in Christ, and so a small remnant of them continued to be God's people, being incorporated, with the converted Gentiles, into the Christian church. But they shall, the whole nation of them, when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, be converted to the Gospel, and again be restored to be the people of God.
The apostle takes occasion also, from God's having rejected the Jews, to warn the Gentile converts that they take heed; since, if God cast off his ancient people, the Jews, for their unbelief, the Gentiles could not expect to be preserved if they apostatized from the faith, and kept not firm in their obedience to the Gospel.
1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid! For I
also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of
Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye
not what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
1 I say, then, “ Has a God wholly cast away his people, the
Jews, from being his people ?" By no means; for I my
self am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of 2 Benjamin. God hath not utterly cast off his people, whom
he formerly owned b, with so peculiar a respect. Know ye not what the Scripture saith concerning Elijah ? How he
1 - This is a question in the person of a Jew, who made the objections in the
foregoing chapter, and continues on to object bere. 2 " See chap. viii. 29.
TEXT. 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my
life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him ? I have reserved to
myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the
image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant, accord
ing to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no
PARAPHRASE. 3 complained to the God of Israel in these words: “Lord,
they have killed thy prophets, and have digged down thine
altars, and of all that worshipped thee 1 alone am left, 4 and they seek my life also.” But what saith the answer of
God to him? “ I have reserved to myself seven thousand
men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal," i. e. have 5 not been guilty of idolatry. Even so at this time also there
is a remnant reserved and segregated, by the favour and free 6 choice of God. Which reservation of a remnant, if it be by grace and favour, it is not of works", for then
would not be
grace. But if it were of works, then is it not grace. For then work would not be work, i. e. work gives a right,
NOTES. 4c"Baal” and Baalim were the names whereby the false gods and idols which the
heathens worshipped were siguified in sacred Scripture; see Judges ii. 11-13.
Hos, xi. 2. 6 1“ It is not of works.” This exclusion of works seems to be mistaken by
those, who extend it to all manner of difference in the person chosen, from those that were rejected; for such a choice as that excludes not grace in the chooser, but merit in the chosen. For it is plain that by works here St. Paul means merit, as is evident also from chap. iv. 2-1. The law required complete, perfect obedience : he that performed that had a right to the reward; but he that failed and came short of that had by the law no right to any thing but death. And so the Jews, being all sinners, God might, without injustice, have cast them all off'; none of them could plead a right to his favour. If therefore he chose out and reserved any, it was of mere grace, though in his choice he preferred those who were the best disposed and most inclined to his service. A whole province revolts from their prince, and takes arms against him; he resolves to pardon some of them. This is a purpose of grace. He reduces them under his power, and then chooses out of them, as vessels of mercy, those that he finds least infected with malice, obstinacy, and rebellion. This choice neither voids por abates his purpose of grace; that stands firm ; but only executes it so, as may best comport with his wisdom and goodness. And, indeed, without some regard to a difference in the things taken from those that are left, I do not see how it can be called choice. A handful of pebbles, for example, may be taken out of a heap; they are taken and separated, indeed, from the rest ; but if it be without any regard to any difference in them from oihers rejected, I doubt whether any body can call them chosen.
TEXT. more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: other
wise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for
; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded : 8 According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of
slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should
not hear, unto this day. 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and
a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down
their back alway. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall ? God forbid :
PARAPHRASE. grace bestows the favour, where there is no right to it; so
that what is conferred by the one cannot be ascribed to the y other. How is it then? Even thus, Israel, or the nation
of the Jews, obtained not what it seeks, but the election, or that part which was to remain God's elect, chosen
people, obtained it, but the rest of them were blinded 8 : 8 According, as it is written“, “ God hath given them the
spirit of slumber ; eyes that they should not see, and ears 9 that they should not hear, unto this day.” And David
saith, “Let their table be made a snare and a trap, and 10 a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them: Let their
eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down 11 their back alway.” What then do I say, that they
have so stumbled, as to be fallen past recovery? By no means : but this I say, that by their fall, by their rejec
NOTES. qeWhat it seeks," i. e. that righteousness whereby it was to continue the peo
ple of God; see chap. ix. 31. It may be observed that St. Paul's discourse being of the national privilege of continuing the people of God, he speaks here and all along of the Jews in the collective term Israel. And so likewise the remnant, which were to remain his people, and incorporate with the convert Gentiles into one body of Christians, owning the dominion of the one, true God, in the kingdom he had set up under his Son, and owned by God for his people, he calls the election. ?• Election," a collective appellation of the part elected, which in other places he calls remnant. This remnant, or election, call it by which name you please, were those who sought righteousness by faith in Christ, and not by the deeds of the law, and so became the people of God, that people which he had chosen to be his. 8“ Blinded:" see 2 Cor. iii. 13–16.
h« Written." Isai. xxix. 10, and vi. 9, 10., 9 i« Saith.” Psal. lxix, 22, 23. VOL. VIII.
TEXT. but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles,
for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminish
ing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you, Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the
Gentiles, I magnify mine office : 14 If, by any means, I may provoke to emulation them which are my
flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world,
what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead? 16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root
be holy, so are the branches.
PARAPHRASE. tion for refusing the Gospel, the privilege of becoming the people of God, by receiving the doctrine of salvation,
is come to the Gentiles, to provoke the Jews to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of the Jews hath been to the enriching of
the rest of the world, and their damage an advantage to the Gentiles, by letting them into the church, how much more
shall their completion be so, when their whole nation shall be 13 restored ? This I say to you, Gentiles, forasmuch as, being 14 apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify' mine office : If, by any
means, I may provoke to emulation the Jews, who are my own flesh and blood, and bring some of them into the way
of 15 salvation. For if the casting them off be a means of recon
ciling the world, what shall their restoration be, when they
are taken again into favour, but as it were life from the dead, 16 which is to all mankind of all nations ? For if the first fruits m
be holyn and accepted, the whole product of the year is holy, and will be accepted. And if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from whom the Jewish nation had their original, were holy, the branches also, that sprang from this root, are holy,
NOTES. 11 k That this is the meaning of “fall” here, see Acts xiii. 46. 13 St. Paul magnified his office of apostle of the Gentiles, not only by preaching
the Gospel to the Gentiles, but in assuring them farther, as he does, ver. 12, that when the nation of the Jews shall be restored, the fulness of the Gentiles
shall also come in. 16 m These allusions the apostle makes use of here to show that the patriarchs,
the root of the Jewish nation, being accepted by God, and the few Jewish converts, which at first entered into the Christian church, being also accepted by God, are as it were first fruits, or pledges, that God will in due time admit the whole nation of the Jews into his visible church, to be his peculiar people again.
“Holy:" by holy is here meant that relative holiness, whereby any thing hath an appropriation to God.