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Israel's Election by God
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God Not Rejecting Israel
Romans 11:22-24 Commentary
|Greek: kakeinoi de, ean me epimenosin (3PPAS) te apistia, egkentristhesontai; (3PFPI) dunatos gar estin (3SPAI) o theos palin egkentrisai (AAN) autous.
Amplified: And even those others [the fallen branches, Jews], if they do not persist in [clinging to] their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
ESV: And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
ICB: And if the Jews will believe in God again, then God will accept the Jews back again. God is able to put them back where they were.
NIV: And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
NKJV: And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
NLT: And if the Jews turn from their unbelief, God will graft them back into the tree again. He has the power to do it.
Phillips: And as for the fallen branches, unless they are obstinate in their unbelief, they will be grafted in again. Such a restoration is by no means beyond the power of God.
Wuest: And, moreover, those also, if they do not remain in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to again graft them in.
Young's Literal: And those also, if they may not remain in unbelief, shall be graffed in, for God is able again to graff them in;
|AND THEY ALSO IF THEY DO NOT CONTINUE IN THEIR UNBELIEF, WILL BE GRAFTED IN: kakeinoi de, ean me epimenosin (3PPAS) te apistia, egkentristhesontai (3PFPI):
Continue (1961) (epimeno from epí = upon, in or at + méno = stay or remain) means abide in, continue in, tarry in, abide or stay in.
Moule on will be grafted in - Every Jewish convert from the first age till now has been an example of this statement. St Paul is not yet dealing with the question of a conversion of Israel en masse; he has in view individual Gentile faith and individual Jewish faith; and he regards each Jew as (ideally) once a branch in the sacred Tree, but cut out of it, and awaiting a gracious re-engrafting. (Romans 11 Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)
Hodge - 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 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 being brought back, "for God is able to graft them in again." That is, not merely has God the power to accomplish this result, but the difficulty or impediment is not in him, but solely in themselves. There is no inexorable purpose in the divine mind, nor any insuperable obstacle in the circumstances of the case, which forbids their restoration; on the contrary, the event is, in itself considered, far more probable than the calling of the Gentiles. (Romans 11 - Hodge's Commentary on Romans)
FOR GOD IS ABLE TO GRAFT THEM IN AGAIN: dunatos gar estin (3SPAI) o theos palin egkentrisai (AAN) autous: (Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 23:39; 2Corinthians 3:16)
For - Always pause and ponder this term of explanation.
God is able - See in depth study on this great Biblical Truth! Our God IS able! What are you experiencing even as you read this? Do you need to be reminded that He is able to come to your aid in the midst of your adversity or affliction. Mark it down beloved - our God is able!
Able (1415) (dunatos from dunamai = be able, have power by virtue of inherent ability and resources) (See also the great word dunamis) pertaining to having the ability to perform some function or being in a position to, be able, be capable able to do something (Related topic: God's Omnipotence)
Graft (1461) (egkentrizo from en = in + kentrízo = make a puncture from kéntron = a prick or sharp point, emphasizing fact of the incision required in grafting) means to insert by making a puncture or small opening and thus to engraft. Our hearts are hardened by sin and need to be "pricked" by the Word of truth that they might be convicted of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.
Paul's argument is that if the hard thing, the thing contrary to nature, i.e. the grafting of wild branches into the cultivated olive, has been accomplished, one should not find it difficult to believe that God will restore the broken-off branches (Israel) of the cultivated olive to their former position. Since in tree culture this would be impossible because of the deadness of the branches after they were removed, Paul is indeed talking "contrary to nature."
How will "God graft them in again"?
The prophet Zechariah records Jehovah's promise that one day in the future ""it will come about … that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. (Zechariah 12:10)
H C G Moule - Every Jewish convert from the first age till now has been an example of this statement. St Paul is not yet dealing with the question of a conversion of Israel en masse; he has in view individual Gentile faith and individual Jewish faith; and he regards each Jew as (ideally) once a branch in the sacred Tree, but cut out of it, and awaiting a gracious re-ingrafting. (Romans 11 Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)
Romans 11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural * branches be grafted into their own olive tree ?
|Greek: ei gar su ek tes kata phusin exekopes (2SAPI) agrielaiou kai para phusin enekentristhes (2SAPI) eis kallielaion, poso mallon houtoi oi kata phusin egkentristhesontai (3PFPI) te idia elaia.
Amplified: For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural [branches] back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree.
ESV: For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
ICB: It is not natural for a wild branch to be part of a good tree. But you non-Jews are like a branch cut from a wild olive tree. And you were joined to a good olive tree. But those Jews are like a branch that grew from the good tree. So surely they can be joined to their own tree again.
NIV: After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
NKJV: For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
NLT: For if God was willing to take you who were, by nature, branches from a wild olive tree and graft you into his own good tree--a very unusual thing to do--he will be far more eager to graft the Jews back into the tree where they belong.
Phillips: And, in any case, if you who were, so to speak, cuttings from a wild-olive, were grafted in, is it not a far simpler matter for the natural branches to be grafted back onto the parent stem?
Wuest: For, as for you, in view of the fact that you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into the good olive tree, how much more will these who are according to nature be grafted into their own olive tree.
Young's Literal: for if thou, out of the olive tree, wild by nature, wast cut out, and, contrary to nature, wast graffed into a good olive tree, how much rather shall they, who are according to nature, be graffed into their own olive tree?
|FOR IF YOU WERE CUT OFF FROM WHAT IS BY NATURE A WILD OLIVE TREE AND WERE GRAFTED CONTRARY TO NATURE INTO A CULTIVATED OLIVE TREE: ei gar su ek tes kata phusin exekopes (2SAPI) agrielaiou kai para phusin enekentristhes (2SAPI) eis kallielaion: (Ro 11:17,18,30 )
For - Always pause and ponder this term of explanation.
Hodge interprets the "for" - The connection indicated by gar (for,) is not with the preceding clause, God is able to graft them in again, because what follows does not prove the power of God to restore the Jews to their ancient privileges, but that their restoration is a probable event. The connection, therefore, is with the main idea in the context, as expressed in Romans 11:23, "They shall be grafted in." This may be expected, he says, for, etc. The Gentiles were of the wild olive, having no natural connection with the tree into which they were grafted. The Jews were its natural branches. In itself considered, therefore, their reunion with their native stalk was more probable than the grafting in of the Gentiles. The opposition, however, between kata phusin (by nature) and para phusin (contrary to nature), does not refer to any natural fitness of the Jews, as a race, for the true religion, in opposition to the unsuitableness of the Gentiles. 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. They are all alike unfit for the service and enjoyment of God, and alike unable to save themselves. And, on the other hand, they are alike susceptible of the salvation of the gospel, which is adapted to all classes of men. The words in question are used only to preserve the figure of a tree and its branches. The simple meaning, therefore, 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, on account of their relation to him, with peculiar favor, 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. As men look upon the children of their early friends with kinder feelings than on the children of strangers, God refers to this fact to make us sensible that he still retains purposes of peculiar mercy towards his ancient people. (Romans 11 - Hodge's Commentary on Romans)
This passage does not teach that the national promises to Israel have been abrogated and are now being fulfilled by the church. This idea, taught by amillenarians, is foreign to Paul’s point, for he said Israel’s fall is temporary. (Related topics Millennium; Israel of God)
HOW MUCH MORE SHALL THESE WHO ARE THE NATURAL BRANCHES BE GRAFTED INTO THEIR OWN OLIVE TREE: poso mallon houtoi oi kata phusin egkentristhesontai (3PFPI) te idia elaia:
How much more - This phrase is used 24 times in the NAS often in a positive or encouraging context - Deut 31:27; 1Sam 14:30; 21:5; 23:3; 2Sam 4:11; 16:11; 2Kgs 5:13; Job 4:19; Pr 11:31; 15:11; 19:7; 21:27; Ezek 14:21; Matt 7:11; 10:25; 12:12; Luke 11:13; 12:24, 28; Ro 11:12, 24; 1Cor 6:3; Philemon 1:16; Heb 9:14
That is, it is much more probable that Jews, the natural (physical) descendants of Abraham, should be brought into the spiritual privileges contained in the promise given to their own patriarchal ancestor, for nationally Israel has a covenant relationship with God already, which is not the case with Gentiles. If you doubt that statement, note how a Gentile would become a believer in the OT (after the time of Abraham) - somehow he would have to associate himself with the Jews (e.g., Ruth the Moabitess - read Ru 1:16-note, Naaman the Assyrian, 2Ki 5:1-27, note especially 2Ki 5:15, 18-19.
The great lesson of this passage is certainly that just as the Jews of the Old Testament became proud, assuming that they alone knew God, the same thing may happen to Gentiles in the New Testament era.
Gentile believers must not yield to the temptation to disrespect the Jews. If it had not been for the grace of God, Gentiles would never have been grafted into the life of God which the Jews enjoyed. The new life which enables them to produce fruit grows from the same root that the old stock of Israel grows.
NT believers must not assume that they are better than the Jews because they were cut off for their unbelief. Every church must never forget its reliance upon the divine grace of God, else her end will be the same as that of the old branches. The process of being grafted into the life of God finds its basis in the grace of God. We must never lord the grace of God over those who have been cut from the tree, for it is much easier to put the natural branches back, than to graft different branches in their place. We therefore must rest totally on the grace of God for our salvation, as the remnant does.