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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ROMANS 11

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    11:1 {I say qen} (legw oun). As in verse #11. oun looks back to #9:16-33 and #10:19-21. {Did God cast off?} (me apwsato ho qeos?). An indignant negative answer is called for by me and emphasized by mˆ genoito (God forbid). Paul refers to the promise in the O.T. made three times: #1Sa 12:22; Ps 94:14 (#Ps 93:14 LXX); #Ps 94:4. First aorist middle indicative (without augment) of apwqew, to push away, to repel, middle, to push away from one as in #Ac 7:27. {For I also} (kai gar eg"). Proof that not all the Jews have rejected Christ. See #Php 3:5 for more of Paul's pedigree.

    11:2 {Whom he foreknew} (hon proegn"). The same form and sense as in #8:29, which see. Probably the Hebrew sense of choice beforehand. The nation of Israel was God's chosen people and so all the individuals in it could not be cast off. {Wot ye not?} (ouk oidate?). "Know ye not?" Why keep the old English "wot"? {Of Elijah} (en Eleiai). "In the case of Elijah." Cf. "in the bush" (#Mr 12:26). {He pleadeth} (entugcanei). See on ¯8:27. entugcanw means to happen on one and so to converse with (#Ac 25:24), to plead for (#Ro 8:27,34), to plead against as here with kata, but the "against" is in kata.

    11:3 {They have digged down} (kateskapsan). First aorist active indicative of kataskapt", to dig under or down. Old verb, here only in N.T. (critical text). LXX has katheilan "pulled down." Paul has reversed the order of the LXX of #1Ki 19:10,14,18. {Altars} (qusiasteria). Late word (LXX, Philo, Josephus, N.T. eccl. writers) from qusiazw, to sacrifice. See #Ac 17:23. {And I am left alone} (kag" hupeleiphthˆn monos). First aorist passive indicative of hupoleipw, old word, to leave under or behind, here only in N.T. Elijah's mood was that of utter dejection in his flight from Jezebel. {Life} (yucen). It is not possible to draw a clear distinction between yuce (soul) and pneuma (spirit). yuce is from yucw, to breathe or blow, pneuma from pnew, to blow. Both are used for the personality and for the immortal part of man. Paul is usually dichotomous in his language, but sometimes trichotomous in a popular sense. We cannot hold Paul's terms to our modern psychological distinctions.

    11:4 {The answer of God} (ho chrˆmatismos). An old word in various senses like crematizw, only here in N.T. See this use of the verb in #Mt 2:12,22; Lu 2:26; Ac 10:22. {To Baal} (tˆi Baal). Feminine article. In the LXX the name Baal is either masculine or feminine. The explanation is that the Jews put _Bosheth_ (aiscune, shame) for Baal and in the LXX the feminine article occurs because aiscune is so, though here the LXX has the masculine t"i.

    11:5 {Remnant} (limma). Old word, but only here in N.T., but in papyri also and with this spelling rather than leimma. From leipw, to leave. {According to the election of grace} (kat' eklogen caritos). As in #9:6-13. The election is all of God. Verse #6 explains it further.

    11:6 {Otherwise} (epei). Ellipse after epei (since), "since, in that case." {Is no more} (ouketi ginetai). "No longer becomes" grace, loses its character as grace. Augustine: _Gratia nisi gratis sit gratia non est_.

    11:7 {What qen?} (ti oun?). Since God did not push Israel away (verse #1), what is true? {The election} (hˆ ekloge). Abstract for concrete (the elect). {Obtained} (epetucen). Second aorist active indicative of epitugcanw, old verb, to hit upon, only here in Paul. See #9:30-33 for the failure of the Jews. {Were hardened} (epwrwqesan). First aorist passive indicative of pwrow, late verb, to cover with thick skin (pwros). See on #2Co 3:14; Mr 3:5.

    11:8 {A spirit of stupor} (pneuma katanuxe"s). The quotation is a combination of #De 19:4; Isa 29:10; 6:9f. this phrase is from #Isa 29:10. katanuxis is a late and rare word from katanussw, to prick or stick (#Ac 2:37), in LXX, here only in N.T., one example in _Pelagia-Legende_. The torpor seems the result of too much sensation, dulled by incitement into apathy. {That they should not see} (tou mˆ blepein). Genitive articular infinitive of negative purpose. {That they should not hear} (tou me akouein). So here also. See Stephen's speech (#Ac 7:51f.).

    11:9 {David says} (Daueid legei). From #Ps 69:23f; (#68:23f LXX); #34:8; 28:4 (combined quotation). {Table} (trapeza). For what is on the table, "a feast." {A snare} (eis pagida). From pegnumi, to make fast, old word for snares for birds and beasts. See on ¯Lu 21:35. eis in predicate with ginomai is a translation-Hebraism. {A trap} (eis thˆran). Old word for hunting of wild beasts, qen a trap. Only here in N.T. {A stumbling-block} (eis skandalon). A third word for trap, snare, trap-stick or trigger over which they fall. See on ¯1Co 1:23; Ro 9:33. {A recompense} (eis antapodoma). Late word from double compound verb antapodid"mi, to repay (both anti and apo). Ancient Greeks used antapodosis. In LXX and Didache. In N.T. only here (bad sense) and #Lu 14:12 (good sense).

    11:10 {Let their eyes be darkened} (skotisthˆt"san hoi ophthalmoi autwn). First aorist passive imperative of skotiz", to darken. A terrible imprecation. {That they may not see} (tou mˆ blepein). Repeated from verse #8. {Bow down} (sunkamyon). First aorist active imperative of sunkampt", old verb, to bend together as of captives whose backs (n"ton, another old word, only here in N.T.) were bent under burdens. Only here in N.T.

    11:11 {Did they stumble that they might fall?} (me eptaisan hina peswsin?). Negative answer expected by me as in verse #1. First aorist active indicative of ptaiw, old verb, to stumble, only here in Paul (see #Jas 3:2), suggested perhaps by skandalon in verse #9. If hina is final, qen we must add "merely" to the idea, "merely that they might fall" or make a sharp distinction between ptaiw, to stumble, and piptw, to fall, and take pes"Sin as effective aorist active subjunctive to fall completely and for good. hina, as we know, can be either final, sub-final, or even result. See #1Th 5:4; 1Co 7:29; Ga 5:17. Paul rejects this query in verse #11 as vehemently as he did that in verse #1. {By their fall} (t"i autwn parapt"mati). Instrumental case. For the word, a falling aside or a false step from parapiptw, see #5:15-20. {Is come}. No verb in the Greek, but ginetai or gegonen is understood. {For to provoke them to jealousy} (eis to parazˆl"sai). Purpose expressed by eis and the articular infinitive, first aorist active, of parazˆlo", for which verb see #1Co 10:22. As an historical fact Paul turned to the Gentiles when the Jews rejected his message (#Ac 13:45ff.; 28:28, etc.). {The riches of the world} (ploutos kosmou). See #10:12. {Their loss} (to hettema autwn). So perhaps in #1Co 6:7, but in #Isa 31:8 defeat is the idea. Perhaps so here. {Fulness} (plerwma). Perhaps "completion," though the word from plerow, to fill, has a variety of senses, that with which anything is filled (#1Co 10:26,28), that which is filled (#Eph 1:23). {How much more?} (poswi mallon). Argument _a fortiori_ as in verse #24. Verse #25 illustrates the point.

    11:13 {To you that are Gentiles} (humin tois eqnesin). "To you the Gentiles." He has a serious word to say to them. {Inasmuch qen} (eph' hoson men oun). Not temporal, _quamdiu_, "so long as" (#Mt 9:15), but qualitative _quatenus_ "in so far qen as" (#Mt 25:40). {I glorify my ministry} (tˆn diakonian mou doxazw). As apostle to the Gentiles (eqnwn apostolos, objective genitive). Would that every minister of Christ glorified his ministry. {If by any means} (ei pws). this use of ei with purpose or aim is a kind of indirect discourse. {I may provoke} (parazˆl"s"). Either future active indicative or first aorist active subjunctive, see same uncertainty in #Php 3:10 katantˆs", but in #3:11 katalab" after ei is subjunctive. The future indicative is clear in #Ro 1:10 and the optative in #Ac 27:12. Doubtful whether future indicative or aorist subjunctive also in s"s" (save).

    11:15 {The casting away of them} (hˆ apobolˆ autwn). Objective genitive (autwn) with apobolˆ, old word from apoballw, to throw off (#Mr 10:50), in N.T. only here and #Ac 27:22. {The reconciling of the world} (katallage kosmou). See #5:10f. for katallage (reconciling). It explains verse #12. {The receiving} (hˆ proslˆmpsis). Old word from proslambanw, to take to oneself, only here in N.T. {Life from the dead} (z"ˆ ek nekr"n). Already the conversion of Jews had become so difficult. It is like a miracle of grace today, though it does happen. Many think that Paul means that the general resurrection and the end will come when the Jews are converted. Possibly so, but it is by no means certain. His language may be merely figurative.

    11:16 {First fruit} (aparce). See on ¯1Co 15:20,23. The metaphor is from #Nu 15:19f. The LXX has aparcen phuramatos, first of the dough as a heave offering. {The lump} (to phurama). From which the first fruit came. See on ¯9:21. Apparently the patriarchs are the first fruit. {The root} (he riza). Perhaps Abraham singly here. The metaphor is changed, but the idea is the same. Israel is looked on as a tree. But one must recall and keep in mind the double sense of Israel in #9:6f. (the natural and the spiritual).

    11:17 {Branches} (klad"n). From klaw, to break. {Were broken off} (exeklasqesan). First aorist passive indicative of ekkla". Play on the word klados (branch) and ekkla", to break off. Condition of first class, assumed as true. Some of the individual Jews (natural Israel) were broken off the stock of the tree (spiritual Israel). {And thou} (kai su). An individual Gentile. {Being a wild olive} (agrielaios "n). this word, used by Aristotle, occurs in an inscription. Ramsay (_Pauline Studies_, pp. 219ff.) shows that the ancients used the wild-olive graft upon an old olive tree to reinvigorate the tree precisely as Paul uses the figure here and that both the olive tree and the graft were influenced by each other, though the wild olive graft did not produce as good olives as the original stock. But it should be noted that in verse #24 Paul expressly states that the grafting of Gentiles on to the stock of the spiritual Israel was "contrary to nature" (para fusin). {Wast grafted in} (enekentristhˆs). First aorist passive indicative of enkentriz", to cut in, to graft, used by Aristotle. Belongs "to the higher _Koin‚_" (literary _Koin‚_) according to Milligan. {Partaker} (sunkoinwnos). Co-partner. {Fatness} (piotˆtos). Old word from pi"n (fat), only here in N.T. Note three genitives here "of the root of the fatness of the olive."

    11:18 {Glory not over the branches} (me katakaucw twn kladwn). Genitive case after kata. Present middle imperative second person singular of katakaucaomai with negative me, "stop glorying" or "do not have the habit of glorying over the branches." The conclusion of the preceding condition. {Gloriest} (katakauchasai). Late form -aesai retaining s. {Not thou} (ou su). Very emphatic position. The graft was upon the stock and root, though each affected the other.

    11:19 {Thou wilt say qen} (ereis oun). A presumptuous Gentile speaks. {That I might be grafted in} (hina egw enkentrisqw). Purpose clause with hina and first aorist passive subjunctive. He shows contempt for the cast-off Jews.

    11:20 {Well} (kalws). Perhaps ironical, though Paul may simply admit the statement (cf. #Mr 12:32) and show the Gentile his real situation. {By unbelief} (tˆi apistiai) {--by faith} (pistei). Instrumental case with both contrasted words (by unbelief, by belief).

    11:21 {Be not highminded} (mˆ hupsˆla phronei). "Stop thinking high (proud) thoughts." {Of God spared not} (ei gar ho qeos ouk efeisato). It is not ei me (unless), but the ouk negatives the verb efeisato (first aorist middle indicative of feidomai, to spare. Condition of first class.

    11:22 {The goodness and the severity of God} (crestoteta kai apotomian qeou). See on #Ro 2:2 for chrˆstotˆs, kindness of God. Apotomia (here alone in the N.T.) is from apotomos, cut off, abrupt, and this adjective from apotemn", to cut off. this late word occurs several times in the papyri. {If thou continue} (ean epimenˆis). Third class condition, ean and present active subjunctive. {Otherwise} (epei). Ellipse after epei, "since if thou dost not continue." {Thou also} (kai su). Precisely as the Jewish branches of verse #17 were. {Shalt be cut off} (ekkopˆsˆi). Second future passive of ekkoptw, to cut out.

    11:23 {If they continue not in their unbelief} (ean me epimen"si tˆi apistiai). Third class condition with the same verb used in verse #22 of the Gentile. Locative case of apistiai here (same form as the instrumental in verse #20). {For God is able} (dunatos gar estin ho qeos). See this use of dunatos estin in #4:21 rather than dunatai. this is the crux of the whole matter. God is able.

    11:24 {Contrary to nature} (para fusin). this is the gist of the argument, the power of God to do what is contrary to natural processes. He put the wild olive (Gentile) into the good olive tree (the spiritual Israel) and made the wild olive (contrary to nature) become the good olive (kallielaios, the garden olive, kallos and elaia in Aristotle and a papyrus). {Into their own olive tree} (tˆi idiai elaiai). Dative case. Another argument _a fortiori_, "how much more" (pollwi mallon). God can graft the natural Israel back upon the spiritual Israel, if they become willing.

    11:25 { this mystery} (to musterion touto). Not in the pagan sense of an secret doctrine for the initiated (from muew, to blink, to wink), unknown secrets (#2Th 2:7), or like the mystery religions of the time, but the revealed will of God now made known to all (#1Co 2:1,7; 4:1) which includes Gentiles also (#Ro 16:25; Col 1:26f.; Eph 3:3f.) and so far superior to man's wisdom (#Col 2:2; 4:13; Eph 3:9; 5:32; 6:19; Mt 13:11; Mr 4:11). Paul has covered every point of difficulty concerning the failure of the Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah and has shown how God has overruled it for the blessing of the Gentiles with a ray of hope still held out for the Jews. "In early ecclesiastical Latin musterion was rendered by _sacramentum_, which in classical Latin means _the military oath_. The explanation of the word _sacrament_, which is so often founded on this etymology, is therefore mistaken, since the meaning of sacrament belongs to musterion and not to _sacramentum_ in the classical sense" (Vincent). {Wise in your own conceits} (en heautois phronimoi). "Wise in yourselves." Some MSS. read par' heautois (by yourselves). Negative purpose here (hina me ˆte), to prevent self-conceit on the part of the Gentiles who have believed. They had no merit in themselves {A hardening} (pwrwsis). Late word from pwrow (#11:7). Occurs in Hippocrates as a medical term, only here in N.T. save #Mr 3:5; Eph 4:18. It means obtuseness of intellectual discernment, mental dulness. {In part} (apo merous). Goes with the verb gegonen (has happened in part). For apo merous, see #2Co 1:14; 2:5; Ro 15:24; for ana meros, see #1Co 14:27; for ek merous, see #1Co 12:27; 13:9; for kata meros, see #Heb 9:5; for meros ti (adverbial accusative) partly see #1Co 11:18. Paul refuses to believe that no more Jews will be saved. {Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in} (acri hou to plerwma t"n eqnwn eiselthˆi). Temporal clause with acri hou (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of eisercomai, to come in (#Mt 7:13,21). {For fulness of the Gentiles} (to plerwma t"n eqnwn) see on verse ¯12, the complement of the Gentiles.

    11:26 {And so} (kai houtws). By the complement of the Gentiles stirring up the complement of the Jews (verses #11f.). {All Israel} (pas israel). What does Paul mean? The immediate context (use of pas in contrast with apo merous, plerwma here in contrast with plerwma in verse #12) argues for the Jewish people "as a whole." But the spiritual Israel (both Jews and Gentiles) may be his idea in accord with #9:6 (#Ga 6:16) as the climax of the argument. At any rate we should strive for and pray for the conversion of Jews as a whole. Paul here quotes from #Isa 59:20f.; 27:9. {The Deliverer} (ho ruomenos). Present middle articular participle of ruomai, to rescue, to deliver. See on ¯1Th 1:10; 2Co 1:10. The Hebrew _Goel_, the Avenger, the Messiah, the Redeemer (#De 25:5-10; Job 19:25; Ru 3:12f.). Paul interprets it of Jesus as Messiah.

    11:27 {My covenant} (hˆ par' emou diaqeke). "The from me covenant,"my side of the covenant I have made with them" (Sanday and Headlam). Cf. #Jer 31:31ff. Not a political deliverance, but a religious and ethical one. {When I shall take away} (hotan afelwmai). Second aorist middle subjunctive of afairew, old and common verb, to take away.

    11:28 {As touching the gospel} (kata to euaggelion). "According to (kata with the accusative) the gospel" as Paul has shown in verses #11-24, the gospel order as it has developed. {enemies} (ecqroi). Treated as enemies (of God), in passive sense, because of their rejection of Christ (verse #10), just as agapetoi (beloved) is passive. {As touching the election} (kata tˆn eklogen). "According to the election" (the principle of election, not as in verses #5f. the elect or abstract for concrete). {For the fathers' sake} (dia tous pateras). As in #9:4; 11:16f.

    11:29 {Without repentance} (ametameleta). See on #2Co 7:10 for this word (a privative and metamelomai, to be sorry afterwards). It is not ametanoˆton (#Ro 2:5) from a privative and metanoew, to change one's mind. God is not sorry for his gifts to and calling of the Jews (#9:4f.).

    11:30 {Ye in time past} (humeis pote). Ye Gentiles (#1:18-32). {Were disobedient} (epeithˆsate). First aorist active indicative of apeiqew, to disbelieve and qen to disobey. "Ye once upon a time disobeyed God." {By their disobedience} (tei toutwn apeiqiai). Instrumental case, "by the disobedience of these" (Jews). Note "now" (nun) three times in this sentence.

    11:31 {By the mercy shown to you} (twi humeterwi eleei). Objective sense of humeteros (possessive pronoun, your). Proleptic position also for the words go with eleˆth"Sin (first aorist passive subjunctive of eleew, from eleos with hina, purpose clause). God's purpose is for the Jews to receive a blessing yet.

    11:32 {Hath shut up} (sunekleisen). First aorist active indicative of sunkleiw, to shut together like a net (#Lu 5:6). See #Ga 3:22 for this word with hupo hamartian (under Sin). this is a resultant (effective) aorist because of the disbelief and disobedience of both Gentile (#1:17-32) and Jew (#2:1-3:20). {All} (tous pantas). "The all" (both Gentiles and Jews). {That he might have mercy} (hina--eleˆsˆi). Purpose with hina and aorist active subjunctive. No merit in anyone, but all of grace. "The all" again, who receive God's mercy, not that "all" men are saved.

    11:33 {O the depth} (o baqos). Exclamation with omega and the nominative case of baqos (see on ¯2Co 8:2; Ro 8:39). Paul's argument concerning God's elective grace and goodness has carried him to the heights and now he pauses on the edge of the precipice as he contemplates God's wisdom and knowledge, fully conscious of his inability to sound the bottom with the plummet of human reason and words. {Unsearchable} (anexeraunˆta). Double compound (a privative and ex) verbal adjective of ereunaw (old spelling -eu-), late and rare word (LXX, Dio Cassius, Heraclitus), only here in N.T. Some of God's wisdom can be known (#1:20f.), but not all. {Past tracing out} (anexichniastoi). Another verbal adjective from a privative and exicniazw, to trace out by tracks (icnos #Ro 4:12). Late word in Job (#Job 5:9; 9:10; 34:24) from which use Paul obtained it here and #Eph 3:8 (only N.T. examples). Also in ecclesiastical writers. Some of God's tracks he has left plain to us, but others are beyond us.

    11:34 {Who hath known?} (tis egn"?). Second aorist active indicative of ginwskw, a timeless aorist, did know, does know, will know. Quotation from #Isa 40:13. Quoted already in #1Co 2:16. {Counsellor} (sumboulos). Old word from sun and boule. Only here in N.T. {His} (autou). Objective genitive, counsellor to him (God). Some men seem to feel competent for the job.

    11:35 {First driven to him} (proed"ken autwi). First aorist active indicative of prodid"mi, to give beforehand or first. Old verb, here alone in N.T. From #Job 41:11, but not like the LXX, Paul's own translation. {Shall be recompensed} (antapodoqesetai). First future passive of double compound antapodid"mi, to pay back (both anti and apo), old word in good sense, as here and #Lu 14:14; 1Th 3:9 and in bad sense as #2Th 1:6; Ro 12:19.

    11:36 {Of him} (ex autou), {through him} (di' autou), {unto him} (eis auton). By these three prepositions Paul ascribes the universe (ta panta) with all the phenomena concerning creation, redemption, providence to God as the {Source} (ex), the {Agent} (di), the {Goal} (eis). {For ever} (eis tous aiwnas). "For the ages." Alford terms this doxology in verses #33-36 "the sublimest apostrophe existing even in the pages of inspiration itself."

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