For this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)and), this is my covenant with them,” &c., appears to be taken from the LXX. version of Isaiah 27:9. The connecting-links between the two are the removing of transgression from Jacob, and the form of the phrase, “This is my covenant with them.” (“This is his blessing,” Isaiah 27:9, LXX.)Isaiah 59:21. But the apostle connects with it a part of another promise taken from Jeremiah 31:33-34; or rather he abridges that promise, and expresses its substance, by adding "when I shall take away their sins." It is clear that he intended to express the general sense of the promises, as they were well known to the Jews, and as 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 be, is not revealed. It may be remarked, however, that that passage does not mean that the Redeemer shall come personally and preach to them, or re-appear for the purpose of recalling them to himself; nor does it mean that they will be restored to the land of their fathers. Neither of these ideas is contained in the passage. God will doubtless 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 repay 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 helps in spreading the knowledge of the Messiah.
this is my covenant with them—literally, "this is the covenant from me unto them."
when I shall take away their sins—This, we believe, is rather a brief summary of Jer 31:31-34 than the express words of any prediction, Those who believe that there are no predictions regarding the literal Israel in the Old Testament, that stretch beyond the end of the Jewish economy, are obliged to view these quotations by the apostle as mere adaptations of Old Testament language to express his own predictions [Alexander on Isaiah, &c.]. But how forced this is, we shall presently see.Romans 11:11. Or else the meaning is: They are enemies of God, and of his gospel; and the rather reject it, because you Gentiles embrace it; they think the worse of the gospel because you believe and profess it. Then he adds by way of correction, that they were not yet in such desperate circumstances; but in regard of
election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. By election he means, either God’s choosing them to eternal life; or rather, his choosing that nation and people, above all other nations and people of the world, to be his peculiar people: see Deu 7:6 Psalm 135:4 Acts 13:46. And by God’s love to them, he means his love of good will which he had to that people still, for their fathers’ sakes: not because of the merit of their fathers, but because of the covenant made with their fathers; because they are descended of those fathers, to whom God had promised, that he would be their God, and the God of their seed after them; aye, and of their seed’s seed for ever; which promises of God, the infidelity of many of them cannot wholly frustrate.
when I, saith the Lord,
shall take away their sins: some think that the apostle alludes to Jeremiah 31:34; others, that he takes this passage out of Isaiah 27:9; where in the Septuagint version the selfsame phrase is used; though it may be no citation, or reference, but the apostle's own words, explaining what is meant by "turning away ungodliness from Jacob", Romans 11:26; and as before; regards not the taking away of their sins by the sacrifice of Christ, which is done already, and is what the blood of bulls and goats could not do; but of the removing of their sins from themselves, from their consciences, by the application of the blood of Christ, and the imputation of his righteousness.For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Romans 11:27. καὶ αὕτη κ.τ.λ. This is My covenant with them = this is the constitution which I give them to live under. Weiss interprets this by what follows, making the αὕτη prospective, but this is somewhat forced. The διαθήκη is not equivalent to the removal of sins, though it is based upon it: it covers the whole condition introduced by that removal. Cf. Jeremiah 31:31 ff. The deliverance referred to in Romans 11:26-27, though promised to Israel as a whole, is a religious and ethical one. It has no political significance, and nothing to do with any assumed restoration of the Jews to Canaan. This is obvious even apart from the argument of Weiss that the deliverance in question is to be immediately followed by the resurrection; an argument which depends on a doubtful interpretation of ζωὴ ἐκ νεκρῶν Romans 11:15.27. for this is my covenant unto them] Lit., and this for them is the covenant granted by me. Cp., for the terms of a great “Covenant of Grace,” Jeremiah 31:31-34, with the quotation and inspired comment in Hebrews 8:8-12; Hebrews 10:16-17.
“This” refers backward; q. d., “I have covenanted that the Messiah shall bring Jacob to grace and peace; and this covenant I will carry out when my time of pardon and renewal comes.”Romans 11:27. Αὓτη, this) of which see in the preceding verse.—παρʼ ἐμοῦ, from me) He himself will do it.—διαθήκη, testament [covenant])—namely, it shall then be and shall be unfolded.—τὰς ἁμαρτίας) sins, and the miseries arising from them.
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