Paul's Epistle to the Romans

  (40) Restoration of the Nation Israel (the parable of the olive tree)

      Romans 11:22-32



22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which 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.
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.
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.


22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.


Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God:

So, in the parable of the olive tree, we see two great contrasting aspects of God’s character—His goodness and His severity. His severity is on display in the removal of Israel from the favored-nation status. His goodness is seen in His turning to the Gentiles with the gospel (see [1]Acts 13:46; [2]18:6). But that goodness must not be taken for granted. The Gentiles could also be cut off if they do not maintain the faith which the Savior found during His earthly ministry (see [3]Matt. 8:10; [4]Luke 7:9).

The word goodness signifies caring, or kindness. Here it means the kindness of God in bestowing these favors on the Gentiles. Those who receive God’s goodness, especially if it is His gift of eternal life, must respond with gratitude, love, and confidence. It demands expressions of thanksgiving.

It must be constantly borne in mind that Paul is not speaking of the church or of individual believers. He is talking about the Gentiles as such and national Israel. Nothing can ever separate the Body of Christ from the Head, and nothing can separate a believer from the love of God, but the Gentiles can be removed from their present position of special privilege.

on them which fell, severity;

On them which fell is a reference to the Jewish nation. The word severity sometimes suggests the idea of harshness, or even of cruelty. (Webster.) But nothing of this kind is conveyed in the original word that was used here. In the context of this passage, it stands for the act of God in cutting off or rejecting the Jews as useless branches; and conveys no idea of injustice, cruelty, or harshness. It was a just act, and consistent with all the perfections of God. It indicated an intention to do that which was right, even though the punishment might seem to be severe, and even if they must be involved in many dreadful tragedies. The apostle, in those verses just preceding this passage, uses a metaphor taken from engrafting, where engrafting was frequently done by making a puncture in the bark of a tree, and then inserting a bud taken from another. This was the procedure used in Roman agriculture. A poem by Dryden describes the process:

For where the tender rinds of trees disclose
Their shooting gems, a swelling knot there grows;
Just in that space a narrow slit we make,
Then other buds from bearing trees we take;
Inserted thus, the wounded rind we close,
In whose moist womb the admitted infant grows.

but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness:

The word "his" is not in the original. And the word goodness may denote integrity, godliness, uprightness, as well as favor. Yes!, all men benefit from God’s goodness; but man is not good according to Romans 3:12; it describes man in his current condition— “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  "God's goodness," that is, His sovereign goodness in admitting Gentile believers to a covenant standing, who before wert a "stranger to the covenants of promise" (Eph 2:12-20) is probably the meaning here; though it may mean, "if thou dost continue in a state of favour;" that is, if your faith and good conduct is such as to make God continue his kindness towards you.

Christians do not merit the favor of God by their faith and good works; but their obedience is an indispensable condition on which that favor is to be continued. It is in this way that the grace of God is magnified, at the same time that the utmost good is done to man himself.

Paul is not speaking, here, of the connection of individual believers with Christ, which he had abundantly taught in chap. 8 and elsewhere, to be unbreakable, but of the relation of communities to the church and its various privileges. There is no promise or covenant on the part of God, securing to the Gentiles the enjoyment of these blessings through all generations, any more than there was any such promise to protect the Jews from the consequences of their unbelief. The continuance of these favors depends on the conduct of each successive generation. Paul therefore says to the Gentile, that he must continue in the divine favor, “otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

The word “thou” refers here to the Gentile churches. In relation to them the favor of God was dependent on their faithfulness. If they became disobedient and unbelieving, then the same principle which led Him to withdraw his mercy from the Jewish people would lead also to their rejection and exclusion. And on this principle God has acted in numberless cases. For example, his favor was withdrawn from the seven churches of Asia, (see Revelation chapters 1-3), from Corinth, from Antioch, from Philippi, and even from Rome itself.

        _____________________________________verse 22 notes_______________________________
  [1](Acts 13:46) “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” Paul and Barnabas were not easily intimidated. They explained that they were under obligation to declare the message first of all to the Jewish people. However, since they had rejected the message, and had thus condemned themselves as unworthy of everlasting life, the preachers announced they were turning to the Gentiles with the gospel.
  [2](Acts 18:6) “And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.” The unbelieving Jews opposed Paul and blasphemed or railed on him. To reject the gospel is ultimately to oppose oneself. The unbeliever harms no one so much as himself. Paul shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”  The shaking of his clothing was an expressive act, signifying his dissociation from them.
  [3](Matthew 8:10) “When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Jesus marveled at the faith of this Gentile. This is one of two times when Jesus is said to have marveled; the other time was at the unbelief of the Jews (Mark 6:6). He had not found such great faith among God’s chosen people, Israel.
  [4](Luke 7:9) “When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”  No wonder that Jesus marveled at the faith of this Gentile centurion. No one in Israel had made such a bold confession of Jesus’ absolute authority.


23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in:

And they also refers to the Jews. The reference here is not to the restoration of the Jewish nation; the point is that the rejection of Jews is not irrevocable; and its severance should not be considered final. If they abandon their national unbelief, there is no reason why God cannot put them back into their original place of privilege. It would not be impossible for God to do this. But there is a condition for their restoration: If they abide not in unbelief. So, we find that their rejection took place as a consequence of their willful stubbornness: and, that they may return to the fold, the door of which still stands open.

If they abide not, that is, if they do not continue in willful pigheadedness and denial of the Messiah. Their unbelief was the sole cause of their rejection, so, if that is removed, they may be restored to the Divine favor. “Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:16). The it in verse 16 may refer to the heart of an individual Jew, or it may refer to Israel nationally. When either turns to the Lord and accepts Jesus as Messiah, then the veil is taken away, the darkness is gone. Then the truth dawns, that all the types and shadows of the law find their fulfillment in God’s beloved Son, the Messiah of Israel. If the nation of Israel is in view, then the verse points forward to a future day when a believing remnant will turn to the Lord, as prophesied in verses 25, 26, and 32. There is always only a remnant that is saved. There was a remnant in Elijah’s day; there was a remnant in David’s day; there was a remnant in Paul’s day; and there will be a remnant during the Great Tribulation Period.

The principle which the apostle had just stated as applicable to the Gentiles is applicable also to the Jews. Neither one nor the other, simply because they are Jew or Gentile, is either retained in the church or excluded from it. As the one continues in this relation to God, only on condition of faith, so the other is excluded by his unbelief alone. Nothing but unbelief prevents the Jews from being brought back, “for God is able to graff them in again.” That is, not merely has God the power to accomplish this result, but the difficulty or impediment of it is not in Him, but solely in themselves. There is no unalterable purpose in the divine mind, or any insurmountable obstacle which forbids their restoration; on the contrary, the event is, in itself considered, far more probable than the calling of the Gentiles.

for God is able to graff them in again.

Fallen as they are and degraded, God can, through divine intervention and mercy, restore them to all their forfeited privileges; and this will take place if they abide not in unbelief: which implies that God has furnished them with all the power and means necessary for faith, and that they may believe on the Lord Jesus whenever they want to. The veil still continues on their heart; but it is not a veil which God has spread there, but a veil fashioned by their own voluntary and obstinate unbelief: and, when they finally turn to the Lord (Jesus), the veil shall be taken away. See what the apostle has said (See [5]2 Corinthians 3:6-18 ).
For God is able to graff them in again, because He has:
1. Power to restore them; to bring them back, and place them in His favor. Only the power of God can bring about the recovery of His ancient people, which implies how very difficult a task it is—which every one who has ever labored for the conversion of the Jews would admit.
2. He has not bound himself absolutely to reject them, and for ever to exclude them. When the apostle realized this truth, it became his purpose for the Jews, which was to show them that God had not cast away his people, or finally rejected the Jewish nation [6](Romans 11:1-2 ). In the next verse the apostle proceeds to show that God indeed has the power.

Seeing that Gentile believers will be cut off unless they “continue in the goodness of God,” so the Jews, if they abandon their unbelief, will again be grafted in. They are not cut off by a decree of God casting them away, but by their own unbelief.

_________________________________verse 23 notes_____________________________________

[5](2 Corinthians 3:6-18—The Living Bible) He is the one who has helped us tell others about his new agreement to save them. We do not tell them that they must obey every law of God or die; but we tell them there is life for them from the Holy Spirit. The old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives them life. 7Yet that old system of law that led to death began with such glory that people could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For as he gave them God’s law to obey, his face shone out with the very glory of God—though the brightness was already fading away. 8Shall we not expect far greater glory in these days when the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9If the plan that leads to doom was glorious, much more glorious is the plan that makes men right with God. 10In fact, that first glory as it shone from Moses’ face is worth nothing at all in comparison with the overwhelming glory of the new agreement. 11So if the old system that faded into nothing was full of heavenly glory, the glory of God’s new plan for our salvation is certainly far greater, for it is eternal. 12Since we know that this new glory will never go away, we can preach with great boldness, 13and not as Moses did, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelis could not see the glory fade away. 14Not only Moses’ face was veiled, but his people’s minds and understanding were veiled and blinded too. Even now when the Scripture is read it seems as though Jewish hearts and minds are covered by a thick veil, because they cannot see and understand the real meaning of the Scriptures. For this veil of misunderstanding can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings their hearts are blind and they think that obeying the Ten Commandments is the way to be saved. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord from his sins, then the veil is taken away. 17The Lord is the Spirit who gives them life, and where he is there is freedom from trying to be saved by keeping the laws of God. 18But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.
  [6](Romans 11:1-2) 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. 2God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Eliasa? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel,


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?


For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature,

The wild olive is an uncultivated and unfruitful tree. That is the reason the apostle very appropriately says: Thou wert cut out of that olive tree which is barren. He does not mean to imply that the tree is naturally barren; but he maintains that the wild trees are commonly or customarily permitted to remain barren, and therefore, they are not cultivated. Bear in mind that in this verse, Paul is speaking to Gentiles.

The   Christian Gentile, who was a stranger to the covenants of promise, and who would understand the metaphor of the Olive Tree, and how it applies to his situation, could grasp the truth that in his natural condition of unfruitfulness, he was brought through the gospel into the spiritual blessings contained in God’s promise to Abraham.

and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree:

There was, among the Gentiles, no inclination or tendency toward God. This does not mean that they were spiritually depraved or that their nature was literally like the wild olive; but it is used, for the sake of illustration, to show that their moral character and habits were unlike those of the friends of God. According to the Scriptures, there is no difference, so far as their relation to God is concerned, between the different races of men, since all have sinned. But in the case of true believers (the friends of God), they are saved sinners.

how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

It is still more probable that Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham, would be brought into the spiritual privileges contained in the promise given to their own ancestor, because nationally they have a covenant relationship with God already, which is not the case with Gentiles. The argument here is that it was in itself as difficult a thing to reclaim them (the Jews), and change them from opposition to God to friendship, as it would seem difficult or impossible to reclaim and make fruitful the wild olive tree (the Gentiles). But God is able to graft them in; however, what follows in this passage does not prove the power of God to restore the Jews to their ancient privileges, but rather, it discloses that their restoration is a probable event. The main idea in the context of this passage is expressed in verse 23, “They shall be graffed in.” The apostle says that this may be expected. To graft a wild olive branch into a cultivated olive tree is an unnatural graft, or, as Paul says, it is contrary to nature. To graft natural branches into their original cultivated olive tree is a very natural process. The Gentiles were from the wild olive tree, having no natural connection with the tree into which they were grafted. The Jews were its natural branches. Therefore, their reunion with their native stalk was more probable than the grafting in of the Gentiles.

The Bible does not speak of any natural fitness of the Jews, as a race, for the true religion, in opposition to the unsuitableness of the Gentiles. They are all alike; unfit for the service and enjoyment of God, and unable to save themselves. But, on the other hand, they are alike in that both Jews and Gentiles are susceptible to the salvation of the gospel, which is adapted to all classes of men.

Now, if it was possible to bring about such a change in the state and disposition of the Gentiles, who were without God (see [7]Ephesians 2:12), atheists, in the world; how much more possible is it, to bring about a similar change in the Jews, who acknowledge the one, only, and true God, and receive the law and the prophets as a revelation from him. This seems to be the drift of the apostle's argument.

Therefore, the simple meaning of this verse is that the future restoration of the Jews is, in itself, a more probable event than the introduction of the Gentiles into the church of God. This, of course, supposes that God regarded the Jews with special favor, on account of their relation to Him, and that there is still something in their relation to the ancient servants of God, and His covenant with them, which causes them to be regarded with special interest. Just as men look upon the children of their relatives and friends with kinder feelings than on the children of strangers, God still maintains purposes of remarkable mercy towards his ancient people. The restoration of this people, therefore, to the blessings of the church of God, is far from being an improbable event. No matter how far Israel may stray from the truth of God, the roots are still good. God is still “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (See [8]Exodus 3:6) He will keep His promises to the patriarchs. This means that the olive tree will bloom again.

_____________________________verse 24 notes________________________________

[7](Ephesians 2:12) “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” The Gentiles were without Christ: they had no Messiah. It was to the nation of Israel that He was promised.
[8](Exodus 3:6) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.


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.


For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,
The expression, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant,” indicates that what Paul is about to say is of extreme importance. He is in the process of revealing a mystery lest ye should be wise in your own conceits.

Now, in the previous verse, the apostle reveals that the future restoration of Israel is not only a possibility, but is a guaranteed fact. What Paul now reveals is a mystery—a truth previously unknown, a truth that could not be known by man’s unaided intellect, but a truth that has now been made known.

A mystery in Scripture is always a subject of Divine revelation, something which God intends His people to know. This is confirmed here by the desire that the readers should not be ignorant of the mystery about to be mentioned. At the same time a mystery is something beyond the ability of the natural mind to discover. It could be made known only to those who are enlightened by the Spirit of God. The mystery that Paul is about to unfold is concerning the conversion of Israel. In the New Testament it signifies, generally, any thing or doctrine that has not, in former times, been fully known to men: or, something that has not been heard of, or which is so deep, profound, and difficult of comprehension, that it cannot be apprehended without special direction and instruction: here it signifies the doctrine of the future restoration of the Jews, not fully known in itself, and not at all known is the time in which it will take place. Thus the doctrine, that the division between the Jews and the Gentiles was to be broken down, is called a mystery, because it had been, until the times of the apostles, concealed, and was then revealed fully for the first time (See [9]Romans 16:25; [10]Colossians 1:26,27). Thus the doctrine which the apostle was stating was one that until then had been concealed, or had not been made known. It does not mean that there was anything unintelligible or incomprehensive in it, but until then it had not been made known.

There is yet another mystery where this clause may be applied; if you accept a mystery as being a secrete that has been openly revealed and has therefore become public truth, you can say that the advent of Christ was a mystery, because in Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” [11](Colossians 2:2-3 ). But in particular, it is the good news that in Christ Gentiles are now beneficiaries along with the Jews of the promises of God and equal members of His family.

lest ye should be wise in your own conceits;

It seems from this, and from other expressions in this epistle, that the converted Gentiles had not behaved toward the Jews with that modesty and politeness which Christians are required to express to one another. In this chapter the apostle strongly guards them against giving way to such a disposition. The knowledge of the mystery was to be a preventative against an assumption of superior wisdom on the part of believing Gentiles (see [12]Proverbs 3:7); as if they had received what Israel had refused because they were special in some way. The Gentiles dare not fall into the trap, as those in Rome apparently had done, of looking down their nationalistic noses at the Jews as a nation. That is why Paul chose to communicate the truth in regard to this; he feared that they would speculate about the reason why God had rejected the Jews; and may become elated with the belief that they had, by their own skill and genius found out the cause. Rather than leave them to vain speculations and self-gratification, he chose to eliminate all inquiry, by stating the truth about their present and future state.

that blindness in part is happened to Israel,

Paul reveals to them a mystery, not in the sense of a secret, but in the sense of a divine truth previously unknown. This mystery is as follows: Blindness in part has happened to Israel. It has not affected the entire nation, but only the unbelieving segment. This partial blindness or blindness to a part of them happened because they were not all unbelievers: several thousands of Jews had been converted to the Christian faith; though the majority of the nation, and especially its rulers, civil and spiritual, continued opposed to Christ and his doctrine. The blindness Israel experienced has already been stated by Paul in Romans 11:7; “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Israel failed to obtain righteousness because they sought it through self-effort instead of through the finished work of Christ. The remnant, chosen by God, succeeded in obtaining righteousness through faith in the Lord Jesus. The majority of the nation suffered what might be called judicial blindness. Refusal to receive the Messiah resulted in a decreased capacity and inclination to receive Him. Blindness, in this case, is a hardening. This is nothing new, since we have already seen that it is God who hardens (See [13]Romans 9:18), although this is a judicial process by which He hands people over to their own stubbornness. The hardness takes the form of spiritual insensitivity. In the case of Israel it is the same as the “veil” which Paul says elsewhere lies over theit hearts and minds (See [14]2 Corinthians 3:14; [15]4:3).

Pharaoh repeatedly hardened his own heart, and after each of the plagues God additionally hardened Pharaoh’s heart as a judgment upon him. The same sun that melts ice hardens clay. The same sun that bleaches cloth tans the skin. The same God who shows mercy to the brokenhearted also hardens the impenitent. Grace rejected is grace denied.

God has the right to show mercy to whomever He wishes, and to harden whomever He wishes. But because He is God, He never acts unjustly.

until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Blindness will continue only until the fullness of the Gentiles arrives. The fullness of the Gentiles refers to the time when the last Gentile member will be added to the church, and when the completed Body of Christ will be raptured home to heaven. The fullness of the Gentiles must be distinguished from the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24 ). The fullness of the Gentiles coincides with the Rapture. The phrase “times of the Gentiles” refers to the entire period of Gentile domination over the Jews, beginning with the Babylonian captivity (see 2 Chron. 36:1–21) and ending with Christ’s return to earth to reign.

The spiritual blindness of Israel is not only to be understood as partial and not total, but also as temporary and not eternal. This blindness holds sway over the nation Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has arrived; before that, the Gospel will be preached through all the nations of the earth and multitudes of heathens every where will embrace the faith. The Jews will continue in a state of blindness until such time as a multitude of nations, or Gentiles, have been converted to the Christian faith; and the Jews, hearing about it, will be excited, by a spirit of emulation, to examine and acknowledge the validity of the proofs of Christianity, and embrace faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

According to Acts 15:14, God is visiting the Gentiles today to call out a people for His name. [16]Luke 21:24 says, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” This means that when the complete number of Gentiles—those who are foreknown and foreordained by God [17](Romans 8:28-30)—has entered the kingdom of God, the spiritual blindness on the nation Israel will be removed.

We must bear in mind, however, that the fullness of the Gentiles does not mean that all the nations of the universe, and all the individuals of those nations will be saved: probably, there will be nothing more than a general spread of Christianity over many nations which are now under the influence of Pagan or Mohammedan superstition. If we wait for the conversion of the Jews till such a time as every Gentile and Mohammedan soul shall be, in this special sense, converted to God, then—we shall wait for ever.

The apostle does not say, however, that the Jews may not be converted until all the Gentiles become Christians; for he expressly supposes in our passage that the conversion of the Jews will have an important influence in extending the gospel among the Gentiles. Probably the meaning is, that this blindness is to continue until great numbers of the Gentiles are converted; until the gospel shall be extensively spread; and then the conversion of the Jews will be a part of the rapid spread of the gospel, and will be among the most efficient and important aids in completing the work.

All that can be safely inferred from this language is that some portion of the Gentile world will be converted before the restoration of the Jews, as a nation. Thus all the true Israel, embracing Jews as well as Gentiles, should ultimately be saved.

____________________verse 25 notes________________________

[9](Romans 16:25) Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
[10](Colossians 1:26-27) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
[11](Colossians 2:2-3) That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
[12](Proverbs 3:7) Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
[13](Romans 9:18) “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”
[14](2 Corinthians 3:14) But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
[15](2 Corinthians 4:3) But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
[16](Luke 21:24) And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
[17](Romans 8:28-30) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

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:


And so all Israel shall be saved:

While Israel’s blindness is removed at the time of the [18]Rapture, that does not mean that all Israel will be saved right away. Jews will be converted throughout the Tribulation Period, but the entire elect remnant will not be saved until Christ returns to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.

When Paul says that all Israel will be saved, he means all believing Israel; but it would be enough individuals to make the believers in Christ representative of the nation. The unbelieving portion of the nation will be destroyed at the Second Advent of Christ [19](Zechariah 13:8, 9 ). The term saved, as applied to the Israelites in different parts of the Scripture, signifies no more than their being gathered out of the nations of the world, separated to God, and possessed of the high privilege of being His peculiar people. Only those who say “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” will be spared to enter the kingdom. That does not include all Israelites in the past, but the nation as such at the time of Christ’s Second Advent, and the inauguration of His Millennial reign.

This is what Isaiah referred to when he spoke of the Redeemer coming to Zion and turning transgression away from Jacob [20](Isaiah 59:20, 21). Notice that it is not Christ’s coming to Bethlehem, but His coming to Zion—that is, His Second Coming.

all Israel shall be saved is not implying that, every Israelite will be converted simply on the basis of his inheritance, at the Second Coming. The German theologian Adolph Harnach attacked Paul for this statement saying that he allowed his patriotism to override his logic. But when Paul says all Israel shall be saved he is not repudiating the doctrines he expounded in chapter 2 (that the Jews’ law, circumcision, birth, or arguments could not make him righteous). We must understand the all to mean Israel as a whole or Israel as a nation and not necessarily including every individual Israelite. This clearly is the way the Jews used the phrase “all Israel.” For example, it says in The Mishnah tractate Sanhedrin X.I., “All Israel has a portion in the age to come” and then proceeds immediately to name the Israelites who have no portion in that age. Thus we must understand this expression to mean Israel as a company, rather than every Jew without a single exception.

The salvation that all Israel will experience is salvation from sin through faith in Jesus Christ. It is not a national salvation, for nothing is said about either a political entity or a return to the land. No one is ever saved without a personal relationship with the Savior. Nor is there any hint of a special way of salvation for the Jews which dispenses with faith in Christ.

as it is written,

Long before this, Isaiah wrote about the Second Coming, but Paul does not quote him literally in what follows, but cites the gist of [20]Isaiah 59:20-21, and [21]Isaiah 27:9.

The rest of the verse says that the Deliverer shall come out of [22]Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Now this did not happen when Christ came the first time even though multitudes were converted before, at, and for some time after, the day of Pentecost; since these times were all past when the apostle wrote this epistle, which was probably about A.D.57 or A.D. 58; and, as no remarkable conversion of the Jewish people has taken place since then, therefore, the fulfillment of this prophecy is yet to take place.

There shall come out of Sion  the Deliverer,

Paul settled the matter of the restoration of Israel with a prophecy from [20]Isaiah 59:20, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. This reference is to an appearance to Israel of her Redeemer and Messiah. When He comes, Israel will be restored through faith in the Son of God.

Zion was one of the hills of Jerusalem. The city of David was built on it; and it came to indicate, in general, the church, or people of God. And when it is said that the Redeemer should come out of Zion, it means that he should come from among that people.

and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Israel, who was the grandson of Abraham, was called Jacob before God changed his name to Israel. God chose him for a fourfold mission:
1. To witness of the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Deut 6:4; Isa 43:10, 12).
2.  To illustrate to the nations the blessedness of serving the true God (Deut 33:26-29; 1Ch 17:20, 21; Ps 144:15).
3.  To receive, preserve, and transmit the Scripture (Deut 4:5-8; Rom 3:1, 2).
4.  To produce, as to His humanity, the Messiah Gen 3:15; Gen 12:3; Gen 22:18; Gen 28:10-14; Gen 49:10; 2Sa 7:12-16; Isa 7:14; Isa 9:6; Mat 1:1 Rom 1:3

In Isaiah 27:9 (See note 21), the phrase is, “the iniquity of Jacob shall be purged.” The general idea expressed in these verses is, “The God, the deliverer, shall come for the salvation of Jacob,” i.e. for the Jews. And this is all that Paul wanted to establish by these ancient prophecies. The apostle teaches, that the deliverance promised the ancient Jews, and to which the prophet Isaiah referred to in the passage cited above, included much more than the conversion of the comparatively few Jews who believed in Christ at the advent. The full accomplishment of the promise, that he should turn away ungodliness from Jacob, took into account the conversion of the whole nation, as such, to the Lord.

The apostle, having drawn his illustrations of man's sinfulness chiefly from Ps 14:1-7 and Isa 59:1-21, now seems to combine the language of the same two places regarding Israel's salvation. In the one place the Psalmist longs to see the "salvation of Israel coming out of Zion" (Ps 14:7); in the other, the prophet announces that "the Redeemer (or, 'Deliverer') shall come to (or 'for') Zion" (Isa 59:20). But,  seeing that all the glorious manifestations of Israel's God will be coming out of Zion, which will serve as the seat of His manifested glory ([23]Ps 20:2 ; [24]Ps 110:2 ; [25]Isa 31:9 ), the twist which the apostle gives to the words merely adds to them that familiar idea.

___________________verse 26 notes_______________________

[18](Rapture) The Rapture initiates the seven years of The Great Tribulation—Rapture-The Great Tribulation-Second Coming.
[19](Zechariah 13:8, 9) And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
[20](Isaiah 59:20, 21) “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.  “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.” He will come as Redeemer to the godly remnant in Zion.
[21](Isaiah 27:9) By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.
[22](Sion, Zion) Another name for Jerusalem, especially in the prophetic books. Also used for Mount Zion, a place that will be very important in future history. It is not only the site of the Jerusalem temple, at which the Old Testament people were called to worship; it is also the mountain of God to which Christ will return and from which his rule will extend throughout the world (Isaiah 2:2-3; Micah 4:1-2).
[23](Psalm 20:2) “Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.” The source of the desired aid is specified. The sanctuary in Zion was the dwelling place of God on earth, and so it was reasonable to expect help from the sanctuary and support out of Zion.
[24](Psalm 110:2) The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
[25](Isaiah 31:9) And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.


27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.


For this is my covenant unto them,

The phrase “this is My covenant” is found in Isaiah 59:21(See footnote 20). To read this new covenant, which is a fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, see [26]Jeremiah 31:31–34; [27Hebrews 8:8–12; [28]10:16.

The quotation in this verse, as it is in verse 26, is not from any one place. The words, This is my covenant with them occur in Isaiah 59:21; the clause, When I shall take away their sins, is from Isaiah 27:9. Paul continues the quotation of Isaiah 59:21, but then passes into the promise of Jeremiah 31:33 to indicate that God will not fail to keep His covenant with Israel.

All the apostle intended to prove, is proved by the language of the prophets. The covenant of God with His ancient people is secured; after their apostasy and consequent banishment in Babylon, and their dispersion over the earth, and their rejection of Christ, there will occur the ultimate purging away of their sin, and their restoration, as a nation, to the Messiah’s kingdom. This national conversion is also predicted in [29]Zechariah 12:10 , and in many other passages of the Old Testament.

It may be a good idea to record here a collection of those texts in the Old Testament that seem to point out a restoration of the Jewish commonwealth to a higher degree of excellence than it has yet attained. Isaiah 2:2-5; 19:24, 25; 25:6, etc.; 30:18, 19, 26; Isaiah 60:1-22; 65:17-25; Jeremiah 31:10-12; 46:27, 28; Ezekiel 20:34, 40, etc.; 28:25, 26; 34:20, etc.; 36:8-16; 37:21-28; Ezekiel 39:25, etc.; Joel 3:1, 2, 17, 20, 21; Amos 9:9-15; Obadiah 1:17, 21; Micah 4:3-7; 7:18-20; Zephaniah 3:19, 20.

when I shall take away their sins.

When Paul says, "when I shall take away their sins," it is clear that he intended to express the general sense of the promises, which were well known to the Jews, and it was a point concerning which he did not need to argue or reason with them, that God had made a covenant with them, and intended to restore them if they were cast off, and should then repent and turn to him. The time and manner in which this shall happen, is not revealed; but certainly when God takes away their sins it will be done under the terms of the New Covenant. We can say, however, that that passage does not mean that the Redeemer will come personally and preach to them, or reappear for the purpose of recalling them to himself; nor does it mean that they will be restored to the land of their fathers. None of these ideas is contained in the passage. God will no doubt convert the Jews, as he does the Gentiles, by human means, and in connection with the prayers of his people; so that the Gentiles shall yet recognize the toil and care of the ancient Jews in preserving the Scriptures, and preparing the way for the Messiah; and both shall rejoice that they were made helpers in spreading the knowledge of the Messiah.

_________________________verse 27 notes____________________________

[26](Jeremiah 31:31–34) “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” God made the New Covenant primarily with Israel and Judah (v. 31). Unlike the Mosaic Law, it was unconditional. It emphasized what God will do, not what man must do; notice the occurrences of “I will” in verses 33, 34. Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant because it is through Him that its blessings are secured (Heb. 9:15). The Covenant was ratified by His blood (Luke 22:20). It will not become effective for Israel as a nation until Christ’s Second Coming. In the meantime, however, individual believers enjoy some of its benefits; e.g., their obedience is motivated by grace, not law; God is their God and they are His people; God no longer remembers their sins and iniquities. Universal knowledge of the Lord (v. 34a) awaits the Millennium.
[27](Hebrews 8:8–12) For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
[28](Hebrews 10:16) “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” The LORD promised to make a New covenant with His chosen earthly people.
[29](Zechariah 12:10) And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes:

As concerning the Gospel, or, so far as the gospel is concerned; or, in order to promote its expansion and spread throughout the earth—the Jews were made enemies of God for the sake of Gentiles. In the preceding section, verses 25–27, it was pointed out that the present state and future restoration were matters of divine revelation. Now in verses 28–32 they are shown to be consistent with God’s character, and this is in three respects, His wisdom (v. 28), His unchangeableness, (v. 29), His mercy (vv. 30–32).

So we might summarize Israel’s present status by saying first that concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your sake. The phrase “for your sake” is, literally, “on account of you.” This would be a more accurate rendering. The meaning is that God is understandably opposed to the Jews because of their unbelief and disobedience, and due to this He is bringing Gentiles into the mercy from which Israel as a nation has been temporarily excluded.

The Jews were considered enemies of the Gentiles in the sense of being cast off, set aside, and alienated from God’s favor so that the gospel might go forth to the Gentiles. The label enemies of God should not be limited to the Jews, but should include all who are not His true friends [30](See Colossians 1:21 , [31]Romans 5:10 , and Romans 11:8). Here the term is applied to the Jews because they had rejected the Messiah; had become opposed to God; and were therefore rejected by Him. They are now aliens from their own covenant of promise. But, that is only half the picture—see the last part of the verse— but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.—that is, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore, a Christian cannot indulge in any form of anti-Semitism.

but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

The unbelieving Jews, with regard to the Gospel which they have rejected, are at the present time enemies of God, and aliens from His kingdom, which is under His Son Jesus Christ. From His elevated position at the right hand of God, our wonderful Lord has shown extensive grace to both Jews and Gentiles; to Jews by excluding them, nationally, from the kingdom, but promising them Salvation during the one-thousand year rein of Christ on earth— Until then, they are saved in the same way Gentiles are saved; by grace through faith (See [32]Ephesians 2:8-9). Then God’s grace came to the Gentiles by admitting them into his Church and family: but with regard to the original purpose of election, whereby they were chosen and separated from all the people of the earth to be the peculiar people of God, they are beloved for the fathers' sake; And He still has blessings in store for them on account of their forefathers the patriarchs. They are the objects of God’s love because of the unalterable covenants made to the fathers ([33]Gen. 15:18 ; [34]Deut. 9:5). The phrase “for the father’s sake” may have a better translation; “on account of God’s promises to the fathers.”At the same time, they were enemies of God, God still remembered that they were children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and for that reason, He did not cast them off forever, but instead, He remembered them in love. To this day he has preserved Israel, and He has kept His promise of bringing salvation to the nation. This does not mean that he approved of their conduct or character, or that he had the same kind of affection for them which he would have had if they had been obedient. God does not love a sinful character; but he may still show them mercy.

According to [35]Deuteronomy 10:15 God had chosen their fathers to be his special people. He had made many promises to Abraham with regard to his seed, and extended these promises to his remotest descendants. Though salvation is by grace, and not from human merit, God has kept the covenant that He made with the fathers, and He will not forget His promises. It is not on account of any merit on the father’s part, or of the ancient saints, but solely because God had made a covenant with them; and this purpose of election would be apparent to their children throughout the ages. As for those that will be included in the covenant made with Abraham, God retained feelings for them; and He planned their return to Himself. It is clear here that the word election does not refer to external privileges; for Paul is not teaching the doctrine that they shall be restored to their once exalted position in the world, but the promise is that they shall be truly converted to God.

The word election is a reference to the remnant, which is also the subject of verse 7 “…Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” Israel failed to obtain righteousness because they sought it through self-effort instead of through the finished work of Christ. The remnant, chosen by God, succeeded in obtaining righteousness through faith in the Lord Jesus. The nation suffered what might be called judicial blindness. Refusal to receive the Messiah resulted in a decreased capacity and inclination to receive Him. Observe here a group, which though elect, were far from God. “Election” means grace, not merit.

________________________verse 28 notes_____________________________

[30](Colossians 1:21) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
[31](Romans 5:10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life
[32](Ephesians 2:8-9) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[33](Genesis 15:18) In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
[34](Deuteronomy 9:5) Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
[35](Deuteronomy 10:15) Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.


29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.


The reason they are still beloved is that God’s gifts and calling are never rescinded. God does not take back His gifts. Once He has made an unconditional promise, He never goes back on it. He gave Israel the special privileges listed in 9:4, 5 (See note 37). He called Israel to be His earthly people [36](Isa. 48:12 ), separate from the rest of the nations. Nothing can change that.

This verse expresses His unchangeableness. Having been chosen as His people, the nation is assured of future restoration. God changes His attitude toward men in ways consistent with His own character, and due to their change of attitude toward Him, but this does not alter His promises. The unchangeableness of His own character ensures the fulfillment of His covenant. God’s various dealings with men is the applications of His eternal, unchanging counsel, and are in accordance with His foreknowledge of the ways men do things. God is not a man that He should change. Having chosen the Jews as His people, the purpose which he had in view in that choice can never be altered; and since it was His purpose that they would remain his people forever, their future restoration to his favor and kingdom is certain. Having previously explained the nature of God’s covenant with his ancient people, Paul infers from the divine character, that it will be fully accomplished.

The “gifts” are those privileges which have been specified in chapter nine, verses 4 and 5 .  They are favors or benefits which God bestows on men as a simple matter of favor, and not of reward. (See [38]Romans 5:15, [39]5:10, [40]6:23). Such gifts include all the favors which God bestows on sinners, including pardon, peace, joy, sanctification, and eternal life.

The “calling” is the divine relationship into which Israel has been brought as a nation. At the same time they are beloved as the elect of God. Israel is still God’s chosen people, regardless of her present condition. This proves that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Those privileges and prerogatives in 9:4–5 (See footnote 37) have never been rescinded. What God promises, He also performs. Israel will one day be restored to the favor and blessing of God. Her restoration is prophesied; it will happen.

The phrase  and calling of God refers to that act of God by which he extends an invitation to men to come and partake of his favors, whether it is by a personal revelation, as it was to the patriarchs, or by the promises of the gospel, or by the influences of His Spirit. All such invitations or callings imply a pledge that He will bestow the favor, and will not repent, or turn from it. God never draws or invites sinners to Him without being willing to bestow pardon and eternal life. Here the word calling does not refer to external privileges, but to the choosing of a sinner, and influencing him to come to God, which brings with it eternal life.

Calling is equivalent to election, the one word being substituted for the other (see [41]Romans 8:28, [42]1:7). The general proposition of the apostle, therefore, is, that the purposes of God are unchangeable; and, consequently, those whom God has chosen for any special benefit cannot fail to attain it. The persons whom He has chosen to eternal life shall certainly be saved; and the people, whom he chooses to be his peculiar people, as the Jews were chosen in Abraham, must remain His people for ever. Once the objective is formed in the mind of God, and the promise has been given, it can never be changed. Here, Paul is speaking, not of individuals, but of the rejection and restoration of the Jews as a body; it is evident that the calling and election which he has in view here, pertain to the Jews as a nation, and not to the salvation of individuals. In other words, the natural Israel -- not "the remnant of them according to the election of grace," but THE NATION, sprung from Abraham according to the flesh -- are still an elect people, and as such, "beloved." The very same love which chose the fathers, and rested on the fathers, still rests on their descendants in general, and will someday reclaim them from unbelief, and reinstate them in the family of God.

Repentance, when applied to God, denotes a simple change of purpose relative to some declarations made, which are subject to certain conditions. This is fully explained and illustrated by Jeremiah 18:7-10: Whenever I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be taken up and destroyed, 8then if that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9And if I announce that I will make a certain nation strong and great, 10but then that nation changes its mind, turns to evil, and refuses to obey me, then I, too, will change my mind and not bless that nation as I had said I would.

The phrase “Without repentance” does not refer to man, but to God. It does not mean that God confers his favors on man without them exercising repentance, but that God does not repent, or change, in his determination to bestow His gifts on man. What he promises he will fulfill; what he intends to do, he will not change from or repent of. As he made promises to the fathers, he will not repent of them, and will not depart from them; they shall all be fulfilled; and thus it was certain that the ancient people of God, though many of them had become rebellious, and had been cast off, should not be forgotten and abandoned. This is a general proposition relating to God, and one that is repeatedly made by Him in the Scriptures. "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he not said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"  (Numbers 23:19).   None of those who become his true friends will be forsaken, or cast off. God does not bestow the gift of repentance and faith, of pardon and peace, on men, for a temporary purpose; nor does he impulsively withdraw from them, and leave their souls to ruin. When He renews a soul, it is with reference to his own glory; and to withdraw those favors, and leave such a soul once renewed to go down to hell, would be as much a violation of all the principles of His nature as it would be to all the promises of the Scripture.

As far as individuals are concerned, the calling is not an invitation, but it is the effectual calling of God, which is “without repentance.” In other words, God is not asking even repentance from a person. The “calling of God” does not require any human effort. From God’s viewpoint it is without man’s repentance or change of mind. Some folk think they have to shed tears to be saved. Now certainly the shedding of tears could be a bi-product of an emotional person who turns to Christ, but the shedding of tears has nothing to do with your salvation. It is your faith in Christ that saves you. And neither is your faith meritorious. It is Christ who is meritorious. Your faith enables you to lay hold of Him.


____________________________verse 29 notes_____________________________

[36](Isa. 48:12) Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
[37](Romans 9:4-5) Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
[38](Romans 5:15) “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” The free gift abounds much more to the many. The free gift is the marvelous manifestation of the grace of God abounding to a race of sinners. It is made possible by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ. It was amazing grace on His part to die for His rebellious creatures. Through His sacrificial death, the gift of eternal life is offered to the many.
[39](Romans 5:10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
[40](Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
[41](Romans 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
[42](Romans 1:7) To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.


30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:


For as ye in times past

Times past refers to the era before the gospel was preached, i.e. before the coming of Christ, when the heathen world was in an idolatrous and sinful state. (See [43]Ephesians 2:2; [44]Acts 14:16). The Gentiles were once an untamed, disobedient people, but when Israel spurned the Messiah and the gospel of salvation, God turned to the Gentiles in mercy.

have not believed God,

This was the character of all the heathen nations. They have not believed God or have not obeyed God. They lived in a state of alienation from God, and yet, they were not so predisposed to unbelief so as to be totally and for ever excluded.

According to the Scriptures, faith is an act of obedience, and unbelief is disobedience. Hence to obey often means to believe or confide in. That is, the same act may be expressed by either word. Thus, in [45]Hebrews 5:9, Christ is said to be the author of salvation to all those who obey Him. In the New Testament unbelief is always used to express disobedience to the truth; that is, the act of rejecting the truth. It is not, therefore, moral disobedience in general that is referred to here, but unbelief.

The cases of the Gentiles and Jews are very nearly parallel. Formerly the Gentiles were disbelieving, yet the unbelief of the Jews became the occasion of their obtaining mercy; so now, though the Jews are disobedient, the mercy shown to the Gentiles is to be the means of their obtaining mercy. As the gospel came from the Jews to the Gentiles, so it is to return from the Gentiles to the Jews. Paul had before stated how the unbelief of the Israelites was instrumental in promoting the salvation of other nations, and how the conversion of the Gentiles was to react upon the Jews.

yet have now obtained mercy

Gentiles are now taken into the kingdom of the Messiah, by that method which has destroyed the unique position of the Jewish nation, while fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant. It has given rise to the unbelief and obstinate opposition of the Jews, and, at the same time the Gentiles have obtained mercy; they have been pardoned and admitted to the favor of God by faith in Jesus Christ; salvation was always by faith alone, but through the unbelief of the Jews, the doorway to God’s favor was opened to the Gentiles .
through their unbelief:

The unbelief of the Jews was, as an historical fact, the cause, indirectly, of the gospel’s being extended to the Gentiles. “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” (Romans 11:11)

___________________________verse 30 notes________________________________

[43](Ephesians 2:2) “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” All unsaved people are sons of disobedience in the sense that they are characterized by disobedience to God. They are energized by Satan and are therefore disposed to defy, dishonor, and disobey the Lord.
[44](Acts 14:16) Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

[45](Hebrews 5:9) “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” Here salvation is conditional on obeying Him. In many other passages salvation is conditional on faith. How do we reconcile this seeming contradiction? First of all, it is the obedience of faith (Rom. 1:5; 16:25–27): “the obedience which God requires is faith in His word.” But it is also true that saving faith is the kind that results in obedience. It is impossible to believe, in the true NT sense, without obeying.

31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.


Even so have these also now not believed,

The Jews are, through their unbelief and disobedience, shut out of the kingdom of God.

that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

The immediate effect of the unbelief of the Jews was to confer salvation on the Gentiles or to open the way for the preaching of the gospel to them. But its far-off effect would be to make sure that the preaching of the gospel would again extend to the Jews. Through the mercy, that is, the compassion or deep feeling of the converted Gentiles; through the deep and tender pity which they would feel for the blinded and degraded Jews, the gospel would again be carried to them, and they would be recalled to the long-lost favor of God. Each party would in this way cause salvation to come to the other; the Jews, to the Gentiles, by their unbelief; but the Gentiles, in their turn, to the Jews by their belief. We may here learn:
1. That the Jews are to be converted by the witness of the Gentiles. It is not to be by miracle, but by the regular and common way in which God blesses men.
2. That this is to be done by the mercy or compassion of the Gentiles; by their taking pity on the lost and wretched condition of the Jewish people.
3. It will happen when the abundance of the Gentiles-that is, when great numbers of the Gentiles-have been called into the kingdom. It may be asked here, if the time is approaching for the Gentiles to make efforts to bring the Jews to the knowledge of the Messiah. Up till now those efforts have been unsuccessful; but it will not always be that way; the time is coming when the promises of God in regard to them shall be fulfilled. Christians will be moved with deep compassion for the degraded and forsaken Jews, and they will be called into the kingdom of God, and made capable agents in extending the gospel through the whole world.

Christian brother and sister, pray that the time will soon come when they will feel as they should for the rejected and forsaken children of Abraham, and when their labors for their conversion will be rewarded with success.

Some teach that it is through the Gentiles showing mercy to the Jews that they will be restored, but we know that this is not so. Israel’s restoration will be brought about by the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus (see 11:26, 27). Then Israel as a nation will eventually come to "look on Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him," and so they will "obtain mercy." (See [46]2 Corinthians 3:15, 16). As sure, therefore, as the Jews were once in the kingdom, and the Gentiles were not; as sure as the Gentiles are now in the kingdom, and the Jews are not; so surely will the Jews be brought back into that kingdom.

__________________________verse 31 notes________________________________

[46](2 Corinthians 3:15-16) “But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” In the Old Testament illustration, the veil was over the face of Moses, but now a veil lies on the hearts of the Jewish people. They are still trying to obtain righteousness on the principle of doing, never realizing that the work has already been done by the Savior on the cross of Calvary. They are seeking to gain salvation by their own merit, not realizing that the law utterly condemns them and that they should flee to the arms of the Lord for mercy and grace.


32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.


For God hath concluded them all in unbelief,

God hath concluded them all in unbelief refers to the guilty status of both Jews and Gentiles. They had all broken God's law—the Jews, the written law; the Gentiles, the law written in their hearts. (See [47]Romans 1:19, 20; [48]2:14, 15). They are represented here as having been accused of their transgressions; tried at God's bar; found guilty of their crimes; condemned to the death they desered; remanded to prison, shut or locked up, under the jailer; and there both unbelieving Jews and Gentiles continued in the same state, awaiting the execution of their sentence: but God, in his own compassion, moved by no merit in either party, initiated a general pardon by means of the Gospel to be proclaimed to all. The Jews have refused to receive this pardon on the terms which God has proposed it, and therefore continue locked up under unbelief. The Gentiles have welcomed the offers of grace, and are delivered out of their prison. But, as the offers of mercy continue to be made to all indiscriminately, the time will come when the Jews, seeing the vast attainment of the Gentile world to the kingdom of the Messiah, and the glorious privileges which they consequently enjoy, will also lay hold on the hope set before them, and in so doing, become, along with the Gentiles, one flock under one shepherd and bishop of all their souls. But the Scripture has concluded that the promise, which comes by faith in Christ Jesus, might be given to them that believe.

The word translated "concluded," may be interpreted, "shut them all up together." It is used properly in reference to those who are shut up in prison, or to those in a city who are shut up by an encircling army; It is used in the New Testament for fish taken in a net, "They enclosed a great multitude of fishes"  (Luke 5:6). And in Galatians 3:22 it says, "But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise," etc. In this place the Scripture is declared to have shut them up under sin, that is, declared them to be sinners; gave no hope of rescue by any works of their own; and thus kept them "shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed" (Romans 11:23).  All are represented, therefore, as if they were in prison, enclosed or confined by God, and to be liberated only in His own way and time. In regard to the work of God in this, we may remark:
1. That the word does not mean that God compelled them to disbelieve the gospel. When, in Galatians 3:22, the Scripture is said to have included all under sin, it is not meant that the Scripture compelled them not to believe.
2. The word does not imply that the sin and unbelief for which they were shut up were not voluntary. Even when a man is committed to prison, the crime which brought him there is voluntary, and he is responsible for it.
3. The keeper of a prison does nothing wrong when he locks-up a criminal; nor does the judge by sentencing him; nor the executioner in fulfilling the sentence of the law. And so it is with God. He does not compel men to remain under unbelief, but He desires for them to affirm that they are sinners and to realize that there is no escape from the evidence of their sin. Then He will pressure them with the evidence of their need of a Savior. He does this for all sinners who ever become converted.
4. Yet God permitted this; suffered Jews and Gentiles to fall into unbelief, because he had a special reason for leaving man to the power of sin and Unbelief. One of those purposes was, without a doubt, to manifest the power of His grace and mercy in the plan of redemption.
5. In all this, and in all other sin, man is voluntary. He chooses his course of evil, and God is under no obligation to compel him to do otherwise. Being under unbelief, God declares the fact, and avails himself of it, in the plan of salvation by grace. 

that he might have mercy upon all.

This verse brings the argument to its climax and gives a final proof that God will still show mercy to Israel and subsequently to the world. The statement recalls passage [49]3:19–24. The passage again demonstrates how all the world has been brought under the judgment of God, and how, whereas all have sinned, God’s grace is extended toward all. It shows the interweaving of God’s plans with a view to His worldwide mercy. God has ordered that the disobedience of the Gentiles and of the Jews may be brought home to them, and that all of them should stand convicted in His sight as sinners. The statement is similar to that of Galatians 3:22; “But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin." There the apostle’s point was that the impossibility of keeping the Law of God was the evidence of the sinful condition of mankind, and that God shut up all under sin that the promise of life and righteousness through faith in Christ might be given to all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile; there was no possibility of escape from the effects of sin by human effort. Here the point is that God has so ordered in His providence that all men should be convicted of disobedience, without possibility of escape from the position by human merit, in order that He might display His mercy. Jew and Gentile must receive mercy on the same footing, namely, sovereign grace.

Mercy is favor shown to the undeserving. It could not have been shown to the Jews and the Gentiles unless it was first proved that they were guilty; for this purpose proof was furnished that they were all in unbelief. It was clear, therefore, that if favor was shown to either, it must be on the same ground, that of mere undeserved mercy. Thus all men were on a level plane; and therefore all might be admitted to heaven without any undesirable distinctions, or any dealings that were not in accordance with mercy and love. Calvin wrote, "The emphasis in this verse is on the word MERCY. It signifies that God is under obligation to no one, and therefore that all are saved by grace, because all are equally ruined." It does not prove that all men will be saved; but that those who are saved will be saved in the same way, by the mercy of God; and that He intends to confer salvation on Jews and Gentiles on the same terms.

There is no inkling in this verse of universal salvation; the plain meaning is that God has had mercy on the human race in the present age by offering the gospel to Jew and Gentile alike, without any distinction of nationality, and that when Israel as a nation is restored to Divine favor and privilege in the earth, He will show His mercy to all nations, i.e., in the Millennium. The word “all,” in reference to Israel, is to be viewed in the light of verse 26, and, as to the Gentiles, in the light of what is said in verses 12–25. In whatever way man enjoys salvation he will never be able to attribute it to anything but the pure mercy of God.

_________________________________verse 32 notes_________________________________

[47](Romans 1:19, 20) “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Are the heathen who have never heard the gospel lost?” Paul shows that they are, not because of knowledge they don’t have, but because of the light which they do have, yet refuse! Those things which may be known of God in creation have been revealed to them. God has not left them without a revelation of Himself.
[48](Romans 2:14-15) “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;” Paul explains that although the law was not given to the Gentiles, yet they have an innate knowledge of right and wrong. They know instinctively that it is wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery, and murder. The only commandment they would not know intuitively is the one concerning the Sabbath; that one is more ceremonial than moral. So what it boils down to is that the Gentiles, who do not have the law, ... are a law to themselves. They form their own code of right and wrong behavior from their moral instincts.
[49](Romans 3:19-24) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

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