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17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive-tree, wert graffed in amongst them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive-tree;
18 Boast not against the branches: but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well: because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear.
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which
17 If then some of the natural branches were broken off: if some of the natural Jews, of the stock of Israel, were broken off and rejected, and thou, a heathen of the wild Gentile race, wert taken in, and ingrafted into the church of God in their room, and there partakest of the blessings promised to Abra18 ham and his seed; Be not so conceited of thyself as to show any disrespect to the Jews. If any such vanity possesses thee, remember that the privilege thou hast, in being a Christian, is derived to thee from the promise made to Abraham and his seed, but nothing accrues to Abraham or his race 19 by any thing derived from thee. Thou wilt perhaps say, 20"The Jews were rejected to make way for me. Well, let
it be so: but remember that it was because of unbelief that they were broken off, and that it is by faith alone that thou hast obtained, and must keep thy present station. This ought to be a warning to thee not to have any haughty conceit of 21 thyself, but with modesty to fear. For if God spared not the seed of Abraham, but cast off even the children of Israel for their unbelief, he will certainly not spare thee, if thou art 22 guilty of the like miscarriage. Mind, therefore, the benignity and rigour of God; rigour to them that stumbled at the Gospel
18 "Boast not against the branches." Though the great fault that most disordered the church, and principally exercised the apostle's care in this epistle, was from the Jews pressing the necessity of legal observances, and not brooking that the Gentiles, though converts to Christianity, should be admitted into their communion without being circumcised; yet it is plain from this verse, as also chap. xiv. 3, 10, that the convert Gentiles were not wholly without fault on their side, in treating the Jews with disesteem and contempt. To this also, as it comes in his way, he applies fit remedies, particularly in this chapter and chap. xiv.
fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in:
for God is able to graff them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive-tree, which is wild by nature, and wert graffed, contrary to nature, into a good olive-tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive-tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits) that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
and fell, but benignity to thee, if thou continue within the sphere of his benignity, i. e. in the faith, by which thou partakest of the privilege of being one of his people: otherwise 23 even thou also shalt be cut off. And the Jews also, if they continue not in unbelief, shall be again grafted into the stock of Abraham, and be re-established the people of God. For, however they are now scattered, and under subjection to strangers, God is able to collect them again into one body, make them his people, and set them in a flourishing condi24 tion in their own land P. For if you, who are heathens by birth, and not of the promised seed, were, when you had neither claim nor inclination to it, brought into the church, and made the people of God; how much more shall those, who are the posterity and descendants of him to whom the promise was made, be restored to the state which the promise 25 vested in that family? For to prevent your being conceited of yourselves, my brethren, let me make known to you, which has yet been undiscovered to the world, viz. That the blindness, which has fallen upon part of Israel, shall remain upon them but till the time be come wherein the whole Gentile world shall enter into the church, and make profession of
23 This grafting in again seems to import that the Jews shall be a flourishing nation again, professing Christianity, in the land of promise, for that is to be reinstated again in the promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This St. Paul might, for good reasons, be withheld from speaking out here; but, in the prophets, there are very plain intimations of it.
25Пλρwμα, "the fulness of the Jews," ver. 12, is the whole body of the Jewish nation professing Christianity: and therefore here wλhpwμa Turan, "the fulness of the Gentiles," must be the whole body of the Gentiles professing Christianity. And this ver. 15 seems to teach. For the resurrection is of all.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
26 Christianity. And so all Israel shall be converted to the Christian faith, and the whole nation become the people of God as it is written, "There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 For this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away 28 their sins." They are, indeed, at present, strangers to the
Gospel, and so are in the state of enemies; but this is for your sakes their fall and loss is your enriching, you having obtained admittance through their being cast out: but yet they, being within the election that God made of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their posterity, to be his people, are still his beloved people, for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob's sake,
26Σwthσelαi, "shall be saved." It is plain that the salvation, that St. Paul i
this discourse concerning the nation of the Jews, and the Gentile world, in gross, speaks of, is not eternal happiness in heaven, but he means by it the profession of the true religion here on earth. Whether it be that that is as far as corporations, or bodies politic can go, towards the attainment of eternal salvation, I will not inquire. But this is evident, that being saved is used by the apostle here in this sense. That all the Jewish nation may become the people of God again, by taking up the Christian profession, may be easily conceived. But that every person of such a Christian nation shall attain eternal salvation in heaven, I think nobody can imagine to be here intended. 27"Take away,"
e. Forgive their sins, and take away the punishment they lie
under for them.
28 'Expoì, "enemies,” signifies strangers, or aliens, i. e. such as are no longer the people of God. For they are called "enemies," in opposition to "beloved," in this very verse. And the reason given, why they are enemies, makes it plain that this is the sense, viz. For the Gentiles' sake, i. e. They are rejected from being the people of God, that you Gentiles may be taken in to be the people of God in their room, ver. 30. The same signification has expo, "enemies," chap. v. 10. xατ' evαyyéλov éxopol, “as concerning the Gospel enemies," i. e. all those, who not embracing the Gospel, not receiving Christ for their King and Lord, are aliens from the kingdom of God, and all such aliens are called expo, "enemies." And so indeed were the Jews now: but yet they were xar' ixλoy}) ἀγαπητοὶ, as touching the election beloved," i. e. were not actually within the kingdom of God, his people, but were within the election, which God had made of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their posterity, to be his people, and so God had still intentions of kindness to them, for their fathers' sake, to make them again his people.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy, through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
29 from whom they are descended. For the favours that God showed those their fathers, in calling them and their posterity to be his people, he doth not repent of; but his promise, that 30 they shall be his people, shall stand good". For as you, the Gentiles, formerly stood out, and were not the people of God, but yet have now obtained mercy, so as to be taken in, through the standing out of the Jews, who submit not to the 31 Gospel: Even so they now have stood out, by reason of your being in mercy admitted, that they also, through the mercy you have received, may again hereafter be admitted. 32 For God hath put up together, in a state of revolt from their allegiance to him, as it were in one fold, all men, both
29" So God's not repenting is explained, Numb. xxiii. 19—24. 30 See Acts xiii. 46.
32 Eis axeldav, "in unbelief." The unbelief here charged nationally, on Jews and Gentiles in their turns, in this and the two preceding verses, whereby they ceased to be the people of God, was evidently the disowning of his dominion, whereby they put themselves out of the kingdom, which he had, and ought to have in the world, and so were no longer in the state of subjects, but aliens and rebels. A general view of mankind will lead us into an easier conception of St. Paul's doctrine, who, all through this epistle, considers the Gentiles, Jews, and Christians, as three distinct bodies of men.
God, by creation, had no doubt an unquestionable sovereignty over mankind, and this was at first acknowledged, in their sacrifices and worship of him. Afterwards they withdrew themselves from their submission to him, and found out other gods, whom they worshipped and served. This revolt from God, and the consequence of it, God's abandoning them, St. Paul describes, chap. i. 18—32.
In this state of revolt from God were the nations of the earth, in the times of Abraham; and then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their posterity, the Israelites, upon God's gracious call, returned to their allegiance to their ancient and rightful King and Sovereign, to own the one invisible God, Creator of heaven and earth, for their God, and so become his people again, to whom he, as to his peculiar people, gave a law. And thus remained the distinction between Jews and Gentiles, i. e. the nations, as the word signifies, till the time of the Messiah, and then the Jews ceased to be the people of God, not by a direct renouncing the God of Israel, and taking to themselves other false gods, whom they worshipped: but by opposing and rejecting the kingdom of God, which he purposed at that time to set up, with new laws and institutions, and to a more glorious and spiritual purpose, under his son Jesus Christ: him God sent to them, and him the nation of the Jews refused to receive as their Lord and Ruler, though he was their promised King and Deliverer, answering all the prophecies and types of him,
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom Amen. be glory for ever.
Jews and Gentiles, that, through his mercy, they might all, both Jews and Gentiles, come to be his people, i. e. he hath suffered both Jews and Gentiles, in their turns, not to be his people, that he might bring the whole body, both of Jews and 33 Gentiles, to be his people. O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his 34 judgments, and his ways not to be traced! For who hath
known the mind of the Lord? or who hath sat in counsel 35 with him? Or who hath been beforehand with him, in be
stowing any thing upon him, that God may repay it to him 36 again? The thought of any such thing is absurd. For
and evidencing his mission by his miracles. By this rebellion against him, into whose hand God had committed the rule of his kingdom, and appointed Lord over all things, the Jews turned themselves out of the kingdom of God, and ceased to be his people, who had now no other people but those who received and obeyed his Son,'as their Lord and Ruler. This was the area, "unbelief," here spoken of. And I would be glad to know any other sense of believing, or unbelief, wherein it can be nationally attributed to a people (as visibly here it is) whereby they shall cease, or come to be the people of God, or visible subjects of his kingdom, here on earth. Indeed, to enjoy life and estate in this, as well as other kingdoms, not only the owning of the prince, and the authority of his laws, but also obedience to them, is required. For a Jew might own the authority of God, and his law given by Moses, and so be a true subject, and as much a member of the commonwealth of Israel as any one in it, and yet forfeit his life, by disobedience to the law. And a Christian may own the authority of Jesus Christ, and of the Gospel, and yet forfeit eternal life, by his disobedience of the precepts of it, as may be seen, chap. vii. viii. and ix.
33 This emphatical conclusion seems, in a special manner, to regard the Jews, whom the apostle would hereby teach modesty and submission to the over-ruling hand of the all-wise God, whom they are very unfit to call to account, for his dealing so favourably with the Gentiles. His wisdom and ways are infinitely above their comprehension, and will they take upon them to advise him what to do? Or is God in their debt? Let them say for what, and he shall repay it to them. This is a very strong rebuke to the Jews, but delivered, as we see, in a way very gentle and inoffensive. A method, which the apostle endeavours every where to observe, towards his nation.
35 This has a manifest respect to the Jews, who claimed a right to be the people of God so far, that St. Paul, ch. ix. 14, finds it necessary to vindicate