Romans 11:11
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come to the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
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(11-24) In this section the Apostle goes on to consider further the bearings of the rejection, and here, first (Romans 11:11-16), he considers the more hopeful side of it as regards the Jews themselves; their fall was not to be final, and there was every reason to think that their reconversion would more than make up for their fall; secondly (Romans 11:17-24), he turns to the Gentiles and bids them remember how it was that they came to be inserted like a graft in the true theocratic stem, and warns them not to make use of their new privilege to boast against those who were refused to make way for them.

(11) The Jews did, indeed, stumble at the stumbling-block mentioned in Romans 9:32-33. Many were offended at Christ. But did their stumbling involve their utter and final ruin? It had a far more beneficent purpose than that. It brought salvation to the Gentiles, and it did this only to react as an incentive upon the Jews.

For to provoke them to jealousy.—The reason why salvation had been extended to the Gentiles was to stir up them (the Jews) to emulation. Their privileges had made them negligent and apathetic. The sight of others stepping into those privileges was to rouse them from their apathy

Romans 11:11-12. Have they stumbled that, as a nation, they should fall — Totally and finally? No: though they have taken such offence at Christ and the gospel that they are rejected by God at present, yet they are not fallen into irrecoverable ruin, so as never more to be owned by God as his people: but rather, through their fall, salvation, that is, the gospel, which is the means of salvation, is come unto the Gentiles — Not but that salvation might have come to the Gentiles if they had stood, but it was the divine appointment that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles, upon its being rejected by the Jews. Thus in the parable, Matthew 22:8-9, they that were bidden were not worthy; Go ye therefore into the highways, &c. See also Luke 14:21; and so the apostles acted. It was necessary, said St. Paul, Acts 13:46, that the word of God should first be spoken to you, Jews: but seeing that you put it from you, lo! we turn to the Gentiles. See also Acts 18:6. Add to this, that the persecution of the Christians in Judea drove them into other countries, into which, whether private Christians or public teachers, they carried the gospel with them, and by conversation or preaching, communicated the knowledge of it to such as they found willing to receive it. See Acts 8:4. To provoke them to jealousy — That is, to excite them to a holy emulation of sharing the blessings to be expected from their own Messiah, when they shall see so many heathen nations enjoying them. For the word παραζηλοω is evidently to be taken here in a good sense, and signifies, to excite others to emulate those who enjoy advantages which they themselves do not possess. “The admission of the Gentiles into the church erected by Christ, was a very proper means of exciting the Jews to emulation; because, when they saw the Gentiles endued with the gifts of the Spirit, and with miraculous powers, and observed the holiness of their lives, and the favour which God showed them; in short, when they found all the blessings and privileges of the people of God bestowed on the Gentiles, they would naturally conclude that the Christian was now the only church of God, and be excited to imitate the Gentiles by entering into it, that they might share with them in these privileges, Romans 11:14; as it is probable a number of them actually did, especially after the destruction of Jerusalem.” — Macknight. Thus, as the rejection of the Jews became an occasion of the calling of the Gentiles, so this calling of the Gentiles will prove an occasion of the restoration of the Jews. For, if the fall of them — That is, their rejecting the gospel, and so falling from the honour and happiness of being God’s people, be the riches of the world — The occasion of God’s spreading the light of his truth and the riches of his grace over all the world. And the diminishing of them — Greek, το ηττημα, the diminution or the lessening of them, by stripping them of their privileges; the riches of the Gentiles — The occasion of his manifesting his abundant mercy in pardoning and saving the heathen; how much more their fulness — That Isaiah , 1 st, The general conversion of them, which the word πληρωμα, here rendered fulness, undoubtedly implies; since the general conversion of the Gentiles is expressed by the same word, Romans 11:25. 2d, The restoring them to their forfeited privileges, and thereby raising them even to more than their former greatness, which is fifty called their fulness, because it will render both themselves and the Christian church complete. For the word πληρωμα, fulness, is properly that which, being added to another thing, makes it complete. Thus Matthew 9:16, the patch with which a torn garment is mended, or made complete, has this name given it: and in this sense the church is called, Ephesians 1:23, το πληρωμα, the fulness of him who filleth all in all; because without the church, which is his body, Christ would not be complete. “The apostle’s meaning is, that a general conversion of the Jews will take place before the end of the world, and will afford to the Gentiles the completest evidence of the truth of the gospel, by showing them that it is the finishing of a grand scheme, which God has been carrying on for the salvation of mankind, by means of his dispensation toward the Jews.” Indeed so many prophecies refer to this grand event, that it is surprising any Christian should doubt of it. And these are greatly confirmed by the wonderful preservation of the Jews, as a distinct people, to this day. When it is accomplished, it will be so strong a demonstration both of the Old and New Testament revelation, as will doubtless convince many thousands of Deists, in countries professedly Christian; of whom, under such corrupt establishments as generally prevail, there will, of course, be increasing multitudes among merely nominal Christians. And this will be a means of swiftly propagating the gospel among Mohammedans and Pagans; who would probably have received it long ago, had they conversed only with real Christians.11:11-21 The gospel is the greatest riches of every place where it is. As therefore the righteous rejection of the unbelieving Jews, was the occasion of so large a multitude of the Gentiles being reconciled to God, and at peace with him; the future receiving of the Jews into the church would be such a change, as would resemble a general resurrection of the dead in sin to a life of righteousness. Abraham was as the root of the church. The Jews continued branches of this tree till, as a nation, they rejected the Messiah; after that, their relation to Abraham and to God was, as it were, cut off. The Gentiles were grafted into this tree in their room; being admitted into the church of God. Multitudes were made heirs of Abraham's faith, holiness and blessedness. It is the natural state of every one of us, to be wild by nature. Conversion is as the grafting in of wild branches into the good olive. The wild olive was often ingrafted into the fruitful one when it began to decay, and this not only brought forth fruit, but caused the decaying olive to revive and flourish. The Gentiles, of free grace, had been grafted in to share advantages. They ought therefore to beware of self-confidence, and every kind of pride or ambition; lest, having only a dead faith, and an empty profession, they should turn from God, and forfeit their privileges. If we stand at all, it is by faith; we are guilty and helpless in ourselves, and are to be humble, watchful, afraid of self-deception, or of being overcome by temptation. Not only are we at first justified by faith, but kept to the end in that justified state by faith only; yet, by a faith which is not alone, but which worketh by love to God and man.Have they stumbled that they should fall? - This is to be regarded as an objection, which the apostle proceeds to answer. The meaning is, is it the design of God that the Jews should totally and irrecoverably be cast off? Even admitting that they are now unbelieving, that they have rejected the Messiah, that they have stumbled, is it the purpose of God finally to exclude them from mercy? The expression to stumble is introduced because he had just mentioned a stumbling-stone. It does not mean to fall down to the ground, or to fall so that a man may not recover himself; but to strike the foot against an obstacle, to be arrested in going, and to be in danger of falling. Hence, it means to err, to sin, to be in danger. To fall expresses the state when a man pitches over an obstacle so that he cannot recover himself, but falls to the ground. Hence, to err, to sin, or to be cast off irrecoverably. The apostle shows that this last was not the way in which the Jews had fallen that they were not to be cast off forever, but that occasion was taken by their fall to introduce the Gentiles to the privileges of the gospel, and then they should be restored.

God forbid - By no means; see Romans 11:1.

But rather through their fall - By means of their fall. The word "fall" here refers to all their conduct and doom at the coming of the Messiah, and in the breaking up of their establishment as a nation. Their rejection of the Messiah; the destruction of their city and temple; the ceasing of their ceremonial rites; and the rejection and dispersion of their nation by the Romans, all enter into the meaning of the word "fall" here, and were all the occasion of introducing salvation to the Gentiles.

Salvation - The Christian religion, with all its saving benefits. It does not mean that all the Gentiles were to be saved, but that the way was open; they might have access to God, and obtain his favor through the Messiah.

The Gentiles - All the world that were not Jews. The rejection and fall of the Jews contributed to the introduction of the Gentiles in the following manner:

(1) It broke down the harrier which had long subsisted between them.

(2) it made it consistent and proper, as they had rejected the Messiah, to send the knowledge of him to others.

(3) it was connected with the destruction of the temple, and the rites of the Mosaic Law; and taught them, and all others, that the worship of God was not to be confined to any single place.

(4) the calamities that came upon the Jewish nation scattered the inhabitants of Judea, and with the Jews also those who had become Christians, and thus the gospel was carried to other lands.

(5) these calamities, and the conduct of the Jews, and the close of the Jewish economy, were the means of giving to apostles and other Christians right views of the true design of the Mosaic institutions. If the temple had remained; if the nation had continued to flourish; it would have been long before they would have been effectually detached from those rites. Experience showed even as it was, that they were slow in learning that the Jewish ceremonies were to cease. Some of the most agitating questions in the early church pertained to this; and if the temple had not been destroyed, the contest would have been much longer and more difficult.

For to provoke them to jealousy - According to the prediction of Moses; Deuteronomy 32:21; see Romans 10:19.

11. I say then, Have they stumbled—"Did they stumble"

that they should fall? God forbid; but—the supplement "rather" is better omitted.

through their fall—literally, "trespass," but here best rendered "false step" [De Wette]; not "fall," as in our version.

salvation is come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy—Here, as also in Ro 10:19 (quoted from De 32:21), we see that emulation is a legitimate stimulus to what is good.

Hitherto he hath showed that the rejection of the Jews is not total. Now he comes to prove that it is not final; that before the end of the world they shall be generally called and converted; that they, together with the Gentiles that believe, shall make one sheepfold, and one flock under one Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. And for the proving of this, divers arguments are brought by the apostle, (who alone plainly handles this secret), on which he insisteth the longer, for the comfort of the poor Jews, as also for the administration and information of the Gentiles.

Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: here is another prolepsis or anticipation. The Jews might say: If the case be thus, that these holy prophets, Isaiah and David, have foretold our blindness and stumbling, then we are in a hopeless condition, and that for ever. To this he answers, that they have not so stumbled as that they should finally fall, so as never to rise again; far be it from me to affirm any such things: God hath revealed the contrary to me; that he will one day call the Jews again, and restore them to his favour.

Through they fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles: q. d. Out of the forementioned evil there ariseth this good, that the gospel (being rejected by the Jews) is preached to the Gentiles, and they are thereby called and brought to salvation: see Acts 13:42,46. Because now at first a few Jews only, and a multitude of Gentiles, are converted, it hath so fallen out, that the ceremonial law is the more easily abrogated, and the doctrine of the gospel and the grace of God is the better established.

To provoke them to jealousy; i.e. the Jews who embrace not the gospel: q. d. This grace that God hath bestowed upon the Gentiles, he will make use of in his appointed time, as a prick of holy jealousy to the Jews; he will by means thereof stir them up to a holy indignation and emulation, to see themselves so far outstripped by those whom they contemned, and thereupon to embrace the gospel, and become the people of God again. Thus, as God hath ordered that the casting away of the Jews should be an occasion of the calling of the Gentiles; so again, on the other hand, the calling of the Gentiles shall be an occasion of the restoring of the Jews. I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall?.... This is an objection, which the apostle takes from the mouth of an adversary; and the purport of it is, you say that the people of the Jews being blind, have stumbled at Christ and his Gospel, as was prophesied of them, and to which they were appointed; pray what were God's view and end in this? was it that they should fall and perish eternally? if it be so, is not this doing himself, what he forbids others, namely, "to put a stumblingblock before the blind?" Leviticus 19:14, and can he be excused from cruelty, and rejoicing at the misery of others? or is their stumbling permitted, that they should "all" fall through unbelief, and be cast away? and so it is an objection of the same kind with Romans 11:1; or since they have stumbled, and have thereby fell into a forlorn and miserable condition, are they always to continue in it, as the last clause in the above cited passage suggests? To which the apostle answers,

God forbid; neither of these are to be admitted of. The end which God had in view, in suffering the Jews to stumble and fall, was not their destruction, but rather the salvation of the Gentiles; and especially not the destruction of "all" of them, blindness had only happened "in part" to them; for there was a remnant among them according to the election of grace, which should be saved; a chosen number, which obtained life and righteousness by Christ; yea, a fulness of them, how small soever their number might be now, which should be brought in; and still less that they should always continue in this sad condition, their unbelief had brought them into; for the time would come, when there would be a receiving of them as life from the dead, when all Israel should be saved. And at present there appeared nothing ill in view,

but rather through their fall, salvation is come unto the Gentiles. That is, the Gospel; which is sometimes called salvation, the Gospel of our salvation, the word of "salvation"; because it is a declaration of salvation by Christ, and is the power of God unto it; or a means made effectual by the power of God to convince persons, both of their need, and of the worth of it, and also a means of the application of it to them, by the Spirit of God: now this came to the Gentiles by the ministry of the apostles, according to the orders and command of Christ; and that through the fall of the Jews, their unbelief and rejection of the Messiah; for the Gospel was first preached to them, but they contradicting and blaspheming it, the apostles turned to the Gentiles, and preached it to them, as the Lord had commanded them: and thus they came to be acquainted with the doctrine of salvation by a crucified Christ, and to have it powerfully applied to their souls by the Spirit of God; when salvation might be said to "come" to them, in such sense as our Lord says it did to Zacchaeus and his house, Luke 19:9, and another end is to be answered hereby; which is

for to provoke them to jealousy: that is, to provoke the Jews to jealousy; not in an ill sense, as in Romans 10:19, and as they were provoked upon the first sending of the Gospel to the Gentiles, and the calling of them, when they discovered a great deal of envy, wrath, and bitterness; but in a good sense, as will appear in the latter day, when being convinced of their sin in rejecting the Messiah, and observing the many advantages the Gentiles have received by embracing him, and they have lost by their contempt of him, will be provoked to an holy emulation of them, and be stirred up through their means to seek the Lord their God, and David their King; and thus things will wind about in Providence. The fall of the Jews makes way for the Gospel among the Gentiles; and this having had its effects with them, will be a means of putting the Jews upon serious thoughts about, and a studious inquiry after, the true Messiah, and salvation by him; all which is a full answer to the question, and the objection contained in it.

{7} 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.

(7) God appointed this casting off of the Jews, that it might be an occasion to call the Gentiles: and again might turn this calling of the Gentiles, to be an occasion to restore the Jews, that is, that they being inflamed and provoked by jealousy of the Gentiles, then might themselves at length embrace the Gospel. And by this we may learn that the severity of God serves for the setting forth of his glory as well as his mercy does, and also that God prepares himself a way to show mercy by his severity: so that we ought not rashly to despair of any man, nor proudly triumph over other men, but rather provoke them to a holy jealousy, that God may be glorified in them also.

Romans 11:11. At this point begins the teleological discussion respecting the οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ ἐπωρώθησαν, Romans 11:7. See the contents above.

λέγω οὖν] quite as in Romans 11:1 : I ask therefore, attaching it by way of inference to the ἐπωρώθησαν just supported by Scripture.

μὴ ἔπταισαν, ἵνα πές.] But their stumbling had not the aim (ordained by God) that they should fall? i.e., by the fact of their stumbling at Christ (Romans 9:32-33), and refusing faith to Him, has the divine purpose not aimed at their everlasting ἀπώλεια? This emphasis on πέσωσι (come to be prostrate) involves the climactic relation to ἔπταισαν (to stumble),—a relation which Hofmann loses sight of when he makes the question express nothing further than: whether the fall which Israel suffered had been its own aim? Photius aptly remarks: τὸ πταῖσμα αὐτῶν οὐχὶ εἰς κατάπτωσιν τέλειαν γέγονεν, ἀλλὰ μόνον οἷον ὑπεσκελίσθησαν. Others have found the point of the question not purely in the climax of the two figurative verbs, but in definitions mentally supplied, which, however, as such, cannot be admitted. So, in particular, Augustine and many: only in order that they should fall, as though it ran μόνον ἵνα, as Umbreit still takes it (comp. Hofmann); further Melancthon: “non sic impegerunt Judaei, ut in tota gente nemo sit salvandus,” as though it ran ἵνα πάντες; and yet further, Ewald: “that they might purely in accordance with the divine design, and therefore without their freedom and their own will, fall into sin and into destruction,” as though it ran ἵνα ἐξ ἀνάγκης, or the like. We must simply abide by the view, that πταίειν is a figure for the taking offence at Christ which refuses faith, and πίπτειν a figure for the being involved in everlasting destruction; comp. Hebrews 4:11, Sir 2:7. In the former the latter was not present as the aim of God’s purpose.

On ἔπταισαν, comp. the proverb: μὴ δὶς πρὸς τὸν αὐτὸν λίθον πταίειν, Polyb. xxxi. 19. 5, xxxi. 20. 1; and on the sense of moral stumbling, Jam 2:10; Jam 3:2; 2 Peter 1:10; Eur. Aeg. fr. ii. 1 : πταίσαντʼ ἀρετὰν ἀποδείξασθαι. The subject is the λοιποί of Romans 11:7, the mass of the people not belonging to the ἐκλογή.

τῷ αὐτῶν παραπτ.] through their fault consisting in the refusal of faith, through their offence. Παραπτ. does not refer to πέσωσι (Reiche, Tholuck, and several others),—which the emphatic sense of πές. forbids; but in substance that πταῖσμα is meant, which is morally characterized by means of παράπτωμα as delictum (so rightly Vulg.), as ἁμαρτία (comp. John 16:9), according to its stated figurative designation (comp. also Romans 4:25, Romans 5:15). Quite against the usage of the N. T., Tholuck renders: defeat (Diod. xix. 100).

τοῖς ἔθνεσιν] sc. γέγονεν. That through the despising of the Messianic salvation on the part of the Jews its attainment by the Gentiles was effected—this experience Paul had learnt to recognise as that which it actually was, as the way which the fulfilment of the divine arrangement, Romans 1:16, took. Comp. Matthew 21:43; Matthew 22:9; Acts 13:46; Acts 28:28.

εἰς τὸ παραζ. αὐτούς] aim; comp. Calovius: “Assumtio novi populi directa fuit ad veteris provocationem ad aemulationem, ut nempe Israelitae … seria aemulatione irritati, et ipsi doctrinae ev. animos suos submitterent.” Comp. Romans 10:19. With this εἰς τὸ παραζ. αὐτ., exactly the counterpart of ἵνα πέσωσι is expressed.Romans 11:11. λέγω οὖν: I say then, taking up the problem again. μὴ ἔπταισαν ἵνα πέσωσιν; surely they did not stumble so as to fall? The subject is the mass of the Jewish nation, all but the elect remnant. The contrast here between stumbling and falling shows that the latter is meant of an irremediable fall, from which there is no rising. This is one of the cases in which ἵνα is loosely used; it cannot possibly be translated “in order that”. For similar examples cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 1 Corinthians 7:29, Galatians 5:17. ἀλλὰ: on the contrary, by their (moral) fall salvation has come to the Gentiles to provoke them (the unbelieving Israelites) to jealousy. The fact stated here is illustrated at every point in Paul’s own ministry; he turned to the Gentiles because the Jews would not hear him. See Acts 13:46 ff; Acts 18:6; Acts 28:25-28. The end in view in it (cf. Romans 10:19) is his proof that the stumbling of the Jews is not to be interpreted in the sense of a final fall. A recovery is in prospect.11–32. Moreover, the rejection is not final: it has a providential purpose to serve; but a great reversal of it is in store

11. I say then] Same word as Romans 11:1. Here begins a new section of the discussion, lasting to the end of the chapter, and of the subject. St Paul has shewn that the rejection of Israel was never total; he now declares that it is not final. A time is to come when the mass of the bodily Israel shall believe, and be restored to the Church.

Have they stumbled] Lit. and better, Did they stumble; i.e. when they, as a nation, rejected Messiah. Cp. the figure of the “stumbling-block” to illustrate Jewish unbelief, 1 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 5:11.

that they should fall] Q. d., “Was their stumbling permitted by God with a view to their fall?” Evidently here “fall” (by contrast with “stumble”) bears the sense of final and fatal rejection. Was the nation then and there for ever cut off from becoming, on any national scale, Christian?

God forbid] For the spirit of these words here, see Romans 9:1-5.

through their fall] Better, on occasion of their sinful stumbling. The word rendered “fall” is that elsewhere (e.g. Romans 4:25, Romans 5:15, &c.; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 2:1;) rendered “trespass,” “fault,” “offence,” &c. Literally it is “a falling aside;” and thus nearly approaches the idea of “stumbling.” Since elsewhere in N. T. it always conveys the idea of guilt, we attempt to combine the moral and literal meanings as above. No doubt the word is chosen by St Paul with reference to the metaphors, just used, of stumbling and prostration; and it is intended to mark a temporary, not final, “false step.” The E. V. fails to keep this point.—The salvation of Gentiles was indeed always in the Divine purpose; but Jewish unbelief was the occasion which that purpose took for its actual developement.

salvation] Lit. the salvation; that salvation which was “of the Jews;” Messiah’s way of peace. Cp. Acts 28:28.

for to provoke them] i.e. the Jews. See Romans 10:19. Here is seen, as through a veil, a suggestion of mercy conveyed in the warning of judgment in Deuteronomy 32:21. The “provocation to jealousy” was indeed in numberless instances to result only in mortification and hatred; but in numberless other instances (this surely is in view here) it was to result in an intense desire to regain the blessings of the covenant side by side with Gentile believers. Cp. perhaps, Revelation 3:9[43].

[43] See Abp. Trench’s Commentary there.Romans 11:11. Ἔπταισαν) πταίω is properly used for the stumbling of the feet.—Comp. Jam 3:2, note. The physical propriety of the, word πταίω, both respecting the foot and the tongue, is contrasted with its moral signification.—ἵνα πέσωσι) that they should fall entirely, all of them, and that too without any hope of being lifted up again. A proverbial expression: they have fallen in some measure, Romans 11:22, but not utterly.—τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, to the Gentiles) We have here the article itself of the thing performed [ἡ σωτ.—τοῖς ἐθν. By their fall has come the salvation which the Gentiles now enjoy], Acts 13:46, lo! [and, Behold, Romans 11:22].—εἰς τὸ παραζηλῶσαι αὐτοὺς, that they might be provoked to jealousy) That the Israelites might be provoked to believe, Romans 11:14. [Reader, see that you also be provoked, by every means whatever, to jealousy; you will thus in no ordinary degree be strong in grace.—V. g.] This word occurs elsewhere, ch. Romans 10:19.Verses 11, 12. - I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? i.e. in such wise as to fall, rightly given in the Vulgate as sic ut caderent. There is no need here to press the telic use of ἵνα in ἵνα πέσωσι, so as to require the translation, "that they might fall." It is rather the use of contemplated result. God forbid. But by their fall (rather, trip, or false step). The word is παράπτωμα, suitably used here in view of the figure of stumbling. The idea is that they had stumbled over the "stumbling-block" above spoken of, but not so as to lie hopelessly prostrate. Calvin translates well, "Num impegerunt ut corruerent?" and "eoram lapsu." Alford adopts "lapse" for παράπτωμα. But the word, as used in English, is not equivalent. If we retain the rendering "fall," we must understand a partial or temporary fall, not prostration from which there is no recovery. Salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (The word παραζηλῶσαι with the idea conveyed by it, is from Deuteronomy 32:21, which see.) Now if the fall (πράπτωμα, as above) of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness? The words ἥττημα and πλήρωμα, rendered in the Authorized Version "diminishing" and "fulness," have been variously understood. They are in contrast with each other, and must evidently be understood with reference to the same idea. Now, πλήρωμα, as used afterwards in ver. 25 ἄχρις οϋ τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν ἐσέλθῃ), seems plainly to mean the full complement of the Gentiles; and so here must surely be meant the full complement of the Jews, pointing to the same idea as as Ἰσραὴλ in ver. 26. If so, ἥττημα must mean the defect from such full complement - not. indeed (as some have explained), the small number (i.e. of believers) now opposed to the full number in the future, but abstractedly, defect, or fewness, as opposed to fulness. This interpretation agrees with the meaning of ἥττημα in the only other place where it occurs in the New Testament, viz. 1 Corinthians 6:7, where it seems to signify "defect," though used in that passage with a moral reference. The reason why the present ἥττημα of the Jews is the riches of the Gentiles is that the refusal of the Jews to accept the gospel had been the occasion of its being offered to the Gentiles (cf. Acts 13:46; Acts 28:28; also Matthew 15:24; Matthew 22:9). It is not, of course, meant that the gospel was not originally intended for all the world, but only that the present and immediate promulgation of it to the Gentiles had been due to the Jews' refusal. Otherwise, we may conceive, it would have been after the fulness of the Jews had come in that it would have been extended through them to the Gentiles (el. Romans 15:8, 9). Cf. Isaiah 60, where, as in other prophetic passages, the vision presented is that of the scattered sons of Israel being first brought into the glorified holy city, and the Gentiles gathering round them through the ever-open gates.
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