Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office:
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(13-16) In this I am speaking to you Gentiles. It is you who will benefit by the restoration of the Jews. And this is the real reason why, as Apostle of the Gentiles, I make the most of my office. I do it in order to incite to emulation my own countrymen, knowing that the effects of their rejection lead us to infer the very happiest effects from their readmission. For their end will be as their beginning was. They began their career as the chosen people of God, and the conclusion of it will be still more glorious.

(13) For I speak to you Gentiles.—The connecting particles in this verse must be altered according to an amended reading. “For” should be omitted, a full stop placed after “Gentiles,” and “then” inserted after “inasmuch.” “I speak to you Gentiles”—spoken with something of a pause. “Inasmuch then” (or, in so far then) “as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I seek to do honour to my office. But not without an arrière-pensée. My motive is at least partly to win over my own countrymen.”

Romans 11:13-14. For, or now, I speak to you Gentiles — You believing Romans, and thus make known to you the present rejection of the Jews, and the happiness of the Gentiles in their future restoration, for your caution as well as comfort; inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles — By a special designation of divine providence and grace, and am accordingly under an indispensable obligation to communicate to them whatever will be for their profit; I magnify my office — Far from being ashamed of ministering to them, I glory therein, and esteem it the most signal honour of my life to be so employed. And the rather, if by any means — Especially by converting the Gentiles; I may provoke to emulation — To a striving to partake of the privileges of the gospel, as well as the Gentiles; them which are my flesh — My kinsmen; and might save some of them — Might bring them to believe in Jesus, and so to be saved. Here, by a most popular and affectionate turn, the apostle represents himself as zealous in converting the Gentiles, from his great love to the Jews.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.For I speak to you Gentiles - What I am saying respecting the Jews, I say with reference to you who are Gentiles, to show you in what manner you have been admitted to the privileges of the people of God; to excite your gratitude; to warn you against abusing those mercies. etc. As Paul also was appointed to preach to them, he had a right to speak to them with authority.

I am the apostle of the Gentiles - The apostle of the Gentiles, not because other apostles did not preach to Gentiles, for they all did, except perhaps James; nor because Paul did not himself preach occasionally among the Jews; but because he was especially called to carry the gospel to the Gentiles, and that this was his original commission Acts 9:15; because he was principally employed in collecting and organizing churches in pagan lands; and because the charge of the Gentile churches was especially intrusted to him, while that of the Jewish churches was especially intrusted to Peter; see Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 3:8; Galatians 2:7-8. As Paul was especially appointed to this function, he claimed special authority to address those who were gathered into the Christian church from pagan lands.

I magnify mine office - I honor δοξάζω doxazō my ministry. I esteem it of great importance; and by thus showing that the gospel is to be preached to the Gentiles, that the barrier between them and the Jews is to be broken down, that the gospel may be preached to all people, I show that the office which proclaims this is one of signal honor. A minister may not magnify himself, but he may magnify his office. He may esteem himself as less than the least of all saints, and unworthy to be called a servant of God Ephesians 3:8, yet he may feel that he is an ambassador of Christ, intrusted with a message of salvation, entitled to the respect due to an ambassador, and to the honor which is appropriate to a messenger of God To unite these two things constitutes the dignity of the Christian ministry.

13, 14. I speak—"am speaking"

to you Gentiles—another proof that this Epistle was addressed to Gentile believers. (See on [2249]Ro 1:13).

I magnify—"glorify"

mine office—The clause beginning with "inasmuch" should be read as a parenthesis.

i.e. I speak to you of being rich in the faith above the Jews, because I challenge a special interest in you, inasmuch as

I am appointed to be the apostle of the Gentiles, and am sent chiefly unto them: see Romans 15:16 Acts 9:15 13:2 22:21 26:17 Galatians 1:16 2:7 Ephesians 3:8 2 Timothy 1:11. And therefore, in thus setting forth your privileges and blessings:

I magnify mine office. For I speak to you Gentiles,.... The church at Rome, as the primitive churches for the most part did, consisted of Jews and Gentiles; hence the apostle sometimes addresses the one, as in Romans 2:17, and sometimes the other, as here; and this he does to observe unto them the grace and goodness of God, in enriching them with the Gospel of salvation; and that they might not despise the Jews, from whom it first came out, and through whose fall it came to them, and was preached among them by some of that nation:

in as much as I am the apostle of the Gentiles. He was ordained and set apart by God, in his eternal purposes, to be a teacher of the Gentiles; he was sent immediately by Christ to bear his name among them, though not among them only, to the exclusion of the people of Israel; he chiefly preached the Gospel to them, though sometimes to the Jews also; and the success of his ministry was mostly among the uncircumcision, though he sought by all ways and means to gain both Jews and Gentiles: hence he addresses the Gentiles with greater freedom and boldness, because he was their apostle, and had been so useful among them; and is a reason why we Gentiles should have a special regard to his writings; for though every word of God is pure, and all Scripture is divinely inspired, and is profitable on one account or other; nor is any part of it to be slighted and neglected; yet as Paul's epistles are written chiefly to the Gentile churches, excepting that to the Hebrews, and which some question whether it is his, they ought especially to be attended to by us; though, alas, of all the inspired writings they are had in the least esteem:

I magnify mine office: not himself, for he was not of a self-exalting spirit, but humble and lowly minded, ready at all times to own himself to be less than the least of saints and the chief of sinners; but his office, which he had received from Christ, as an instance of his grace and favour. This was magnified partly by the miracles, signs, and wonders done by him, in proof, and for the confirmation of his apostleship; and partly by his constant, diligent, and faithful preaching of the Gospel: as also by the unwearied pains he took to spread it far and near; and likewise by the numbers of souls he was the means of bringing to the knowledge of Christ; and it was no small accession of glory to his office, as an apostle of the Gentiles, that he was an instrument of the conversion of many among the Jews.

{8} For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, {m} I magnify mine office:

(8) He witnesses by his own example, that he goes before all others in this regard.

(m) I make noble and famous.

Romans 11:13-14. Not a parenthetical thought (Reiche), but the connection with the preceding and following is: “πόσῳ μᾶλλον τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῶν I say: but you precisely, the Gentile Christians,—who might think that my office belongs only to you and the Gentiles, and that the conversion of the Jews lies less in my vocation,—you I hereby make to know (ὑμῖν λέγω), that I, as apostle of the Gentiles, etc.; for (motive) the conversion of the Jews will have the happiest consequence (Romans 11:15).”

τοῖς ἔθνεσιν] to the (born) Gentiles, denotes, as an apposition to ὑμῖν, the readers according to their chief constituent element, in virtue of which the Christian Gentile body is represented in them; comp. Romans 1:13. Observe that Paul does not write τοῖς δὲ ἔθνεσιν ἐν ὑμῖν λέγω, as though he intended only a Gentile fraction of the otherwise Jewish-Christian community (in opposition to Mangold). In contradistinction to his readers, the Jews, although his flesh, are to him third persons, whom he, as apostle of the Gentiles, might mediately serve. Baur fails to recognise this, I. p. 371.

ἐφʼ ὅσον] not temporal (quamdiu, Matthew 9:15; 2 Peter 1:13), but: in quantum, in as far as I, etc. Comp. Matthew 25:40; Plato, Rep. p. 268 B; Xen. Cyr. v. 4. 68. Just so εἰς ὅσον and καθʼ ὅσον.

μέν] as so often in Paul without a corresponding δέ. But we see from the following that the train of ideas passing before his mind was this: “I seek indeed, so far as I am one who has the commission of Apostle to the Gentiles (observe the emphatic ἐγώ, in which a noble self-consciousness is expressed), to do honour to my office, but I have in view withal (for see Romans 10:1, Romans 9:2-3) to incite my kinsmen to emulation, etc.”

εἴπως] whether in any way. The practical honouring of the office, which consists in a true discharge of it, is an acting, whereby the desired attainment is attempted, see on Romans 1:10; Php 3:11; Acts 27:12; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 220. Less in accordance with the text—since the very εἴπως παραζ. κ.τ.λ. presupposes an actual δοξάζειν (2 Thessalonians 3:1; John 12:28).

Reiche and Ewald (after Grotius and many others, including Flatt) take it as: I boast, hold my office something high and glorious. Hofmann, indeed, understands an actual glorification, but conditioned by εἰ πῶς κ.τ.λ., so that the latter is not whether possibly, but if possibly. From this the illogical relation of present and future which thus arises must deter us (Paul must have used the future δοξάσω).

παραζ. and σώσω] future indicative, like Romans 1:10. On σώσω, comp. 1 Timothy 4:16; 1 Corinthians 7:16; 1 Corinthians 9:22. The enclitic μου standing before the noun cannot be emphatic (van Hengel), but represents, at the same time, the dative of interest (whether I shall perhaps rouse to me my flesh to jealousy), like 1 Corinthians 9:27, Php 2:2, Colossians 4:18, et al., and frequently in classical Greek.

αὐτῶν] refers to those intended by the collective τὴν σάρκα. Σάρκα δὲ εἰπὼν γνησιότητα καὶ φιλοστοργίαν ἐνέφηνε, Theophylact. Theodoret quite erroneously thinks that Paul wished to intimate a denial of spiritual fellowship. On the contrary, πλέον αὐτοὺς οἰκειούμενος (Oecumenius), he says μ. τ. σάρκα, which is like τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου κατὰ σάρκα, Romans 9:3, but more strongly significant. Genesis 37:27; Jdg 9:2; 2 Samuel 5:1. Comp. Isaiah 58:7. Note the modesty of the expression τινάς, which, however, was suggested by the experience of the difficulty of the conversion of the Jews; comp. 1 Corinthians 9:22.Romans 11:13 f. ὑμῖν δὲ λέγω τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. Paul does not here address a new class of readers. He has been speaking all along to a Gentile church, and speaking to it in that character (see above, pp. 561 ff.); and he feels it necessary to show the relevance, in such circumstances, of bestowing so much attention on the condition and prospects of the Jews. His mission to the Gentiles has an indirect bearing on his own countrymen; the more successful he can make it, the greater is the prospect that some of the Jews also may be provoked to jealousy and saved. Every Jew, again, who is saved, goes to make up the πλήρωμα of Romans 11:12, and so to bring on a time of unimaginable blessing for the Gentile world. ἐφʼ ὅσον Matthew 25:40. μὲν οὖν is printed in all the critical editions, but Sanday and Headlam would read μενοῦν as one word, and discount the restrictive force of the μέν, which suggests that apostleship to Gentiles was but one part of Paul’s mission. ἐγὼ: the pronoun expresses not merely a noble consciousness of vocation, but Paul’s feeling that in his particular case at all events a mission to the Gentiles could not but include this ulterior reference to the Jews. His devotion, accordingly, to his Gentile ministry, never let them fall out of view. “As far then as apostleship to Gentiles is represented by me (as no doubt it is) I glorify my ministry (by faithful discharge of it), if by any means I may save some of the Jews.” For the interpretation of δοξάζω see 2 Thessalonians 3:1, John 17:4. For εἴ πως see Buttmann, p. 255 f. τινὰς ἐξ αὐτῶν: disenchanting experience taught him to speak thus. cf. 1 Corinthians 9:22.13. For] Better, perhaps, But, or Now; by documentary evidence. The particle merely calls attention to the fresh and fuller statement.

I speak to you] Immediately. He implies a hope to reach the Jews through them.

you Gentiles] Evidently the Roman Christians were in the main a Gentile body, and as such St Paul here speaks to them. The words, of course, would be intelligible if he spoke only to a Gentile section; but the whole drift of cch. 9–11 shews that the Gentiles were a very large majority.

I am the apostle, &c.] “I” is emphatic: his position toward the Gentiles was distinct among the Apostles. “A noble self-consciousness here finds expression.” (Meyer.)—For the fact of this distinctive commission see Acts 9:15; and see below, Romans 15:15-19; Galatians 2:7-8; Ephesians 3:8. See also 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 for an illustration of his intense and sympathetic devotion to this his work, and his holy indignation at the sin of Jewish unbelief and persecution.

magnify] Lit. glorify. The practical meaning is that he is, and rejoices to be, the Apostle for the Gentiles; makes much of his commission both in word and deed; discusses with his Gentile converts even those truths which specially concern Jews; and yet, all the while, not without a longing and design to benefit his Jewish brethren—for he knows that the more his work prospers among the Gentiles, the more hope there is that Jews will be roused to attention and enquiry, and so to the desire to enter the covenant of Messiah. See on Romans 11:11.Romans 11:13. Ὑμῖν) to you, not that you may be elated, but that the Jews may be invited.—διακονίαν, ministry) apostleship among the Gentiles.—δοξάζω, magnify) To wit, Paul enhances the grace given to the Gentiles and its fulness, as about to be reciprocated upon [towards] the Israelites themselves [intended to have a reflex influence on Israel]; and here he gives a reason for his so enhancing that grace.Verses 13, 14. - But (δὲ is better supported than γὰρ) I speak to you the Gentiles. Inasmuch (or, so far) then (οϋν, which is not in the Textus Receptus, being read, and so connecting this clause with what follows) as I am an apostle of the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy (in the Authorized Version, emulation, but it is the same word as in ver. 11) my flesh (i.e. my kindred), and may save some of them. To the Gentiles, whom he now directly addresses, he thus intimates that, though he is especially their apostle, yet beyond them he has his own countrymen still in view, whose conversion, through theirs, he has ever close to his heart. I glorify (δοξάζω) my ministry - i.e, my apostleship to the Gentiles - may mean that I add glory to it, if I may, through it, attain that further purpose. For Ispeak

The best texts read δὲ but instead of γάρ for. The sentence does not state the reason for the prominence of the Gentiles asserted in Romans 11:12, but makes a transition from the statement of the divine plan to the statement of Paul's own course of working on the line of that plan. He labors the more earnestly for the Gentiles with a view to the salvation of his own race.

Inasmuch as Iam

The best texts insert οὖν then. So Rev.; thus disconnecting the clause from the preceding, and connecting it with what follows.

I magnify mine office (τὴν διακονίαν μου δοξάζω)

Lit., I glorify my ministry, as Rev. Not I praise, but I honor by the faithful discharge of its duties. He implies, however, that the office is a glorious one. The verb, which occurs about sixty times in the New Testament, most frequently in John, is used, with very few exceptions, of glorifying God or Christ. In Romans 8:30, of God's elect. In 1 Corinthians 12:26, of the members of the body. In Revelation 18:7, of Babylon. For ministry, see on minister, Matthew 20:26.

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