|Romans 9||Romans 10||Romans 11|
Israel's Election by God
Israel's Rejection of God
|God's Ways Higher
God Not Rejecting Israel
Romans 11:1-4 Commentary
Amplified: No, God has not rejected and disowned His people [whose destiny] He had marked out and appointed and foreknown from the beginning. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? (ESV)
ICB: God chose the Israelites to be his people before they were born. And God did not leave his people. Surely you know what the Scripture says about Elijah, how he prayed to God against the people of Israel. Elijah said, (ICB: Nelson)
NIV: God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel: (NIV - IBS)
NKJV: God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,
NLT: No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning. Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? Elijah the prophet complained to God about the people of Israel and said, (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: It is unthinkable that God should have repudiated his own people, the people whose destiny he himself appointed. Don't you remember what the scripture says in the story of Elijah? How he pleaded with God on Israel's behalf: (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: God did not repudiate His people whom He foreordained. Or, do you not know absolutely in the case of Elijah what the scripture says, how he pleads to God against Israel? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: God did not cast away His people whom He knew before; have ye not known -- in Elijah -- what the Writing saith? how he doth plead with God concerning Israel, saying,
|GOD HAS NOT REJECTED HIS PEOPLE WHOM HE FOREKNEW: ouk aposato (3SAMI) o theos ton laon autou on proegno (3SAAI): (Ro 8:29,30; 9:6,23; Acts 13:48; 15:18; 1Peter 1:2)
Not (3756) (ouk) conveys absolute negation of what follows. In short God has not rejected the nation of Israel! Yes, at present most are non-believers, but in the end times one-third will be saved (the remnant).
Rejected (683) (apotheo/apotheomai from apó = from + othéo = push, thrust, drive) means literally to push aside, thrust way (from) or push off. Figuratively as used here it means to reject, repudiate, refuse to listen to, to cast away or to put away (from).
Foreknew (4267) (proginosko from pró = before + ginosko = know) is literally to know before. As proginosko is used of God’s eternal counsel it includes all that He has considered and purposed to do prior to human history. In the language of Scripture, something foreknown is not simply that which God was aware of prior to a certain point. Rather, it is presented as that which God gave prior consent to, that which received His favorable or special recognition. Hence, this term is reserved for those matters which God favorably, deliberately and freely chose and ordained.
God's foreknowledge is not that He God chooses those He chooses because He looks down the corridors of time and He knows who will accept Him. These Jews did not accept Him but in fact rejected Him and yet Paul states that God has not rejected them. God had chosen Israel as His covenant people from eternity past and entered into a relationship with them that will never be destroyed.
Foreknew is not a reference simply to God’s omniscience—that in eternity past He knew who would come to Christ. Rather, it speaks of a predetermined choice to set His love on certain Jews and to establish an intimate relationship… in other words to be His elect. Therefore God's "foreknowledge," as is evident from His calling of Israel long before Israel was a nation, involves not just pre-knowledge but pre-planning.
Henry Alford explains foreknew as that “which, in His own eternal decree before the world, He selected as the chosen nation, to be His own, the depository of His law, the vehicle of the theocracy, from its first revelation to its completion in Christ’s future kingdom.”
OR DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT THE SCRIPTURE SAYS IN THE PASSAGE ABOUT ELIJAH HOW HE PLEADS WITH GOD AGAINST ISRAEL: e ouk oidate (2PRAI) en Elia ti legei (3SPAI) e graphe os entugchanei (3SPAI) to theo kata tou Israel: (Genesis 44:15; Exodus 32:1; Acts 3:17; 7:40; Philippians 1:22) (Nehemiah 9:30; Luke 4:1; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 1:1) (Numbers 16:15; Jeremiah 18:19-23; John 4:1-3,11)
About Elijah (en Helia) is the idea “in the case of Elijah” or “in the history of Elijah” that is to say, that part of the Hebrew Scriptures relating to Elijah. The Scriptures were frequently so designated in Jewish writings.
The prophet was deeply depressed, having fled for his life from Jezebel. Paul applies Elijah's experience to the doctrine of Israel's remnant of believers during the age of the church (1Ki 19:8-19).
Pleads (Intercedes, appeals) (1793)(entugchano from en = in + tugcháno = to reach a mark, to get, to obtain) according to Vine means "primarily “to fall in with, meet with in order to converse”; then, “to make petition,” especially “to make intercession, plead with a person,” either for or against others". Present tense pictures Elijah continually pleading with God. Not for but against Israel!
Amplified: Lord, they have killed Your prophets; they have demolished Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life." (ESV)
ICB: "They have killed your prophets, and they have destroyed your altars. I am the only prophet left. And now they are trying to kill me, too." (ICB: Nelson)
NIV: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? (NIV - IBS)
NKJV: "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life"?
NLT: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: 'Lord, they have killed your prophets, and torn down your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life'. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Lord, your prophets they killed. Your altars they demolished. And as for myself, I was left alone, and they are seeking my life. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: 'Lord, Thy prophets they did kill, and Thy altars they dug down, and I was left alone, and they seek my life;'
|LORD, THEY HAVE KILLED THY PROPHETS THEY HAVE TORN DOWN THINE ALTARS: kurie, tous prophetas sou apekteinan (3PAAI) ta thusiasteria sou kateskapsan (3PAAI):(quotes Lxx of 1Ki19:10, cf 19:14) (1Kings 18:4,13; 19:10-18; Nehemiah 9:26; Jeremiah 2:30) (1Kings 18:30,31)
1Kgs 19:10 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Thy covenant, torn down Thine altars and killed Thy prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
John MacArthur - When his life was threatened by Jezebel, even the godly and normally fearless Elijah became fearful and despondent, thinking in self pity that he was the only believer left on earth. (Commentary on Romans)
Prophets (4396)(prophetes from próphemi = literally to tell beforehand in turn from pró = before, in front of, forth, on behalf of + phemí = speak, tell) is primarily a forth-teller or one who speaks out God’s message, primarily to their own generation, usually always calling the people to God's truth for them at that moment, often using the phrase "Thus saith the Lord." The prophet is one who speaks before in the sense of proclaim, or the one who speaks for, i.e., in the Name of (God).
AND I ALONE AM LEFT AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE: kago hupeleiphthen (1SAPI) monos kai zetousin (3PPAI) ten psuchen mou: (See study of "remnant")
Seeking (2212)(zeteo) implies giving attention and priority to and deliberately pursuing after. The most common sense of this word is to "seek". Webster says that to seek means to go in search or quest of, to look for, to try to discover, to search for by going from place to place. To inquire for; to ask for; to solicit; to endeavor to find or gain by any means.
Life (5590)(psuche or psyche from psucho = to breathe, blow, English = psychology, "study of the soul") is the breath, then that which breathes, the individual, animated creature. However the discerning reader must understand that psuche is one of those Greek words that can have several meanings, the exact nuance being determined by the context. It follows that one cannot simply select of the three main meanings of psuche and insert it in a given passage for it may not be appropriate to the given context. The meaning of psuche is also contingent upon whether one is a dichotomist or trichotomist. Consult Greek lexicons for more lengthy definitions of psuche as this definition is only a brief overview.
Elijah stood for God and seemingly he stood alone. When threatened by wicked Queen Jezebel, Elijah’s mood became one of utter dejection & he fled in because of his fear. But as God reminded this great prophet, He always has a believing remnant (in Israel's day and our day) no matter how dark the day & no matter how great the unbelief. It is a basic teaching of the Word that the majority will fall from the faith, so God takes the remnant and begins over again. Not only did God always have a believing remnant (cf Isa1:9) but He always used them and blessed them as lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Are you discouraged, feeling like you're the only one who is zealous for the Lord and the things of eternity? When you become discouraged and feel that you may be the only faithful Christian left, read Elijah's story in 1 Kings 19 and focus on God’s greatness and then in all things give thanks.
Amplified: But what is God's reply to him? I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal! [I Kings 19:18.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." (ESV)
ICB: But what answer did God give Elijah? He said, "But I have left 7,000 people in Israel. Those 7,000 have never bowed down before Baal." (ICB: Nelson)
NIV: And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." (NIV - IBS)
NKJV: But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
NLT: And do you remember God's reply? He said, "You are not the only one left. I have seven thousand others who have never bowed down to Baal!" (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: And do you remember God's reply? 'I have reserved for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal'. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Young's Literal: but what saith the divine answer to him? 'I left to Myself seven thousand men, who did not bow a knee to Baal.'
|BUT WHAT IS THE DIVINE RESPONSE TO HIM: alla ti legei (3SPAI) auto o chrematismos:
Divine response (5538) (chrematismos) carries the idea of divine answer in the form of an oracle or revelation.
I HAVE KEPT FOR MYSELF SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL: katelipon (1SAAI) emauto heptakischilious andras hoitines ouk ekampsan (3PAAI) gonu te Baal: (Numbers 25:3; Deuteronomy 4:3; Judges 2:13; 1Kings 16:31; 2Kings 10:19,20; Jeremiah 19:5; Hosea 2:8; Hosea 13:1; Zephaniah 1:4)
Kept (2641) (kataleipo from kata = intensifies meaning + leipo = leave behind) literally means to leave but in a stronger sense than leipo. In the present context kataleipo means to leave remaining and so to have left or to reserve. God reserved 7000.
Paul takes this quotation from the Hebrew of 1Kings 19:18, with the addition of the words “for Myself” by which stress is laid upon the electing prerogative and power of God (His personal possession!)
Bowed (2578) (kampto) means to bend, such as the knees as in this verse.
The preservation of the faithful remnant was a work of God, another reflection of God's Sovereignty in SALVATION which contrasts with MAN'S RESPONSE (responsibility) as most bowed to and kissed Baal. Although they had the truth about the Holy God they made a personal choice to be reject the truth about God and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator Who is blessed forever. God did not predestine them to kiss Baal. Furthermore He did not predestine them to ultimately to be thrown into the Lake of Fire. But on the other side He did predestine some to be part of the remnant who believed and obeyed from a new heart. If He had not predestined this remnant Israel would have been like Sodom and Gomorrah with no survivors (Ro 9:29 fr Isa 1:9) and so would we today.