Romans 11:28
As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.
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(28) The real position of the Jews is this: They have been suffered to fall into a state of estrangement in order to make room for the Gentiles. But this does not abrogate God’s original choice of them. They are still His beloved people, for the sake of their forefathers, the patriarchs, if not for their own.

Romans 11:28-29. As concerning the gospel — That is, in reference to the gospel; they are enemies for your sakes — They reject it with the greater hatred, because you embrace it, or rather, (for they generally rejected the gospel before the Gentiles were called,) they reject the gospel, and thereby show that they are enemies to it, to God, and to themselves, which God permits for your sakes, and which turns to your advantage: (see on Romans 11:11; Romans 11:19; Romans 11:30 :) but as touching the election, that part of them who believe, and therefore are chosen of God to be his people along with the believing Gentiles; they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes — God’s gracious regard to the memory of their pious ancestors, engages him peculiarly to love and favour them. Or, the election here spoken of may be that national election, whereby the Jews were made the church and people of God. See on chap, Romans 9:11. In respect of that election, the Jews, though unbelieving, and enemies in respect of the gospel, as is said in the former clause, are still beloved with a love of compassion and goodwill, for the special love God bore to Abraham and the rest of the patriarchs, from whom they are descended: and, in consequence of the promises made to their fathers, they shall, as a people, in some future period, become the people of God, by believing the gospel. It is justly observed by Whitby, that there is a two-fold election of the Jews spoken of in this chapter; one whereby they were made the people of God, through their natural descent from the fathers, and which Moses has described, Deuteronomy 7:6-8. The other, whereby such of them as believed on Christ, were made the people of God under the gospel dispensation. This election is mentioned Romans 11:7. For the gifts and calling of God, &c. — “The blessings which God freely bestowed on Abraham and his seed, and his calling, or making them his people, God will never repent of; but will restore to his natural seed the honour of being his people, after the Redeemer hath turned away their ungodliness of unbelief, Ezekiel 16:60-62.” — Macknight.

11:22-32 Of all judgments, spiritual judgments are the sorest; of these the apostle is here speaking. The restoration of the Jews is, in the course of things, far less improbable than the call of the Gentiles to be the children of Abraham; and though others now possess these privileges, it will not hinder their being admitted again. By rejecting the gospel, and by their indignation at its being preached to the Gentiles, the Jews were become enemies to God; yet they are still to be favoured for the sake of their pious fathers. Though at present they are enemies to the gospel, for their hatred to the Gentiles; yet, when God's time is come, that will no longer exist, and God's love to their fathers will be remembered. True grace seeks not to confine God's favour. Those who find mercy themselves, should endeavour that through their mercy others also may obtain mercy. Not that the Jews will be restored to have their priesthood, and temple, and ceremonies again; an end is put to all these; but they are to be brought to believe in Christ, the true become one sheep-fold with the Gentiles, under Christ the Great Shepherd. The captivities of Israel, their dispersion, and their being shut out from the church, are emblems of the believer's corrections for doing wrong; and the continued care of the Lord towards that people, and the final mercy and blessed restoration intended for them, show the patience and love of God.As concerning the gospel - So far as the gospel is concerned; or, in order to promote its extension and spread through the earth.

They are enemies - The word "enemies" here stands opposed to "beloved;" and as in one respect, to wit, on account of "election," they were still beloved, that is, beloved by God, so in another respect they were his enemies, i. e., opposed to him, or cast off from him. The enemies of God denote all who are not his true friends; Colossians 1:21; Romans 5:10; compare Romans 11:8. The word here is applied to the Jews because they had rejected the Messiah; had become opposed to God; and were therefore rejected by him.

For your sakes - For your advantage. Their rejection has become the occasion by which the gospel has been preached to you; compare Romans 11:11, Romans 11:19-20.

As touching the election - So far as the purpose of election is concerned. That is, the election of their fathers and of the nation to be the special people of God.

They are beloved - God still regards them with interest; has purposes of mercy toward them; intends still to do them good. This does not, mean that he approved of their conduct or character, or that he had for them the same kind of affection which he would have had if they had been obedient. God does not love a sinful character; but he may have still purposes of mercy, and regard people with deep interest on whom he intends yet to bestow mercy.

For the fathers' sakes - Compare Deuteronomy 10:15. He had chosen their fathers to be His special people. He had made many promises to Abraham respecting his seed, and extended these premises to his remotest posterity. Though salvation is by grace, and not from human merit, yet God has respect to his covenant made with the fathers, and will not forget his promises. It is not on account of any merit of the fathers or of ancient saints, but solely because God had made a covenant with them; and this purpose of election would be manifest to their children in the latest times. As those contemplated in the covenant made with Abraham, God retained for them feelings of special interest; and designed their recovery to himself. It is clear here that the word "election" does not refer to external privileges; for Paul is not teaching the doctrine that they shall be restored to the external privileges of Jews, but that they shall be truly converted to God. Yet this should not be abused by others to lead them to security in sin. No man has any security of happiness, and of the favor of God, but he who complies with the terms of his mercy. His commands are explicit to repent and believe, nor can there be safety except in entire compliance with the terms on which he is willing to bestow eternal life.

28, 29. As concerning the Gospel they are enemies for your sakes—that is, they are regarded and treated as enemies (in a state of exclusion through unbelief, from the family of God) for the benefit of you Gentiles; in the sense of Ro 11:11, 15.

but as touching, the election—of Abraham and his seed.

they are beloved—even in their state of exclusion for the fathers' sakes.

See Poole on "Romans 11:27"

As concerning the Gospel,.... Whereas it might be objected to the call and conversion of the Jews, their implacable enmity to the Gospel, the apostle replies, by granting, that with respect to that,

they were enemies to God and Christ, to the Gospel, and the ministers of it, and particularly to the apostle:

for your sakes; the Gentiles, to whom it was preached, and by whom it was received, and which greatly irritated and provoked the Jews; or the sense is, that they were suffered to reject the Gospel, and treat it with hatred and virulence, that by this means it might be taken away from them, and carried to the Gentiles; so that the present enmity of the Jews to the Gospel, turned to the advantage of the Gentiles, and should not hinder the future conversion of God's elect among them in the latter day:

but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes; as many of them as belong to the election of grace, are beloved of God; and will appear to be so, when they are called by grace, as they will be, for the confirming of the promises concerning their future restoration made unto their fathers; not one of which shall ever fall to the ground, or they be deprived of any gifts and blessings of grace, which God has purposed for them, or promised to them, as is clear from what follows:

{14} As concerning the {d} gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the {e} election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

(14) Again, that he may join the Jews and Gentiles together as it were in one body, and especially may teach what duty the Gentiles owe to the Jews, he emphasises, that the nation of the Jews is not utterly cast off without hope of recovery.

(d) Since they do not receive it.

(e) In that God does not give them what they deserve, but what he promised to Abraham.

Romans 11:28 ff. Yet a final summary gathering up of the sacred-historical relation of Israel to God, and (Romans 11:29-32) discussion of it; in which, however, the reference, bearing on the apostle’s object, to the statement καὶ οὕτω πᾶς Ἰσραὴλ σωθήσεται does not require the parenthesizing of καθὼς γέγραπται κ.τ.λ. (Ewald), as in Romans 11:28 the substantive verb is easily and obviously supplied.

The unbelieving Israelites as such are the subject (αὐτῶν, Romans 11:27).

κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγ.] The relation is thereby designated, according to which they are ἐχθροί. The gospel was preached to them; but they rejected it, in which relation they are hated of God. In conformity with the message of salvation, which reached them, but was despised by them (comp. Romans 11:25), they must necessarily be ἐχθροί; since in fact, not accepting the δικαιοσύνη proffered in the gospel, they remained under the wrath of God (Romans 11:7). According to the context, we must think of the ἀπείθεια of the Jews, Romans 11:30; and therefore neither of their exclusion from the gospel (Fritzsche), nor even of the diffusion of the latter (Rückert).

ἐχθροί] not my enemies (Theodoret, Luther, Grotius, Semler, and others), nor yet enemies of the gospel (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Michaelis, Morus, Rosenmüller). That, on the contrary, Θεῷ (see on Galatians 4:16) is to be supplied, as Θεοῦ with ἀγαπητοί, is evident generally from the connection with Romans 11:27; Romans 11:29; and that ἐχθροί is to be explained not in an active (Olshausen, van Hengel, Ritschl, and older interpreters), but in a passive sense (to whom God is hostile), is shown by the contrast of ἀγαπητοί. Comp. on Romans 5:10.

διʼ ὑμᾶς] for your sake, because you are thereby to attain to salvation, Romans 11:11.

κατὰ τὴν ἐκλ.] is usually taken: as fellow-members of the nation elected to be the people of God; comp. Romans 11:2. But ἐκλογή—differently from the προέγνω, Romans 11:2—has already been clearly defined in Romans 11:5; Romans 11:7 as the elect λεῖμμα, and hence, with Ewald, is here also to be taken in this sense. Consequently: in conformity with the fact, however, that among them is that elect remnant. This believing ἐκλογή is the living testimony of the undying love of God towards the people. Comp. Romans 11:5.

διὰ τοὺς πατ.] for the fathers’ sake. Calvin aptly remarks: “Quoniam ab illis propagata fuerat Dei gratia ad posteros, secundum pacti formam: Deus tuus et seminis tui;” comp. Romans 11:16; Luke 1:54-55.

Romans 11:28. κατὰ μὲν τὸ εὐαγγέλιον. In both clauses κατὰ defines the rule by which God’s relation to Israel is determined. When He looks at the Gospel, which they have rejected, they are ἐχθροὶ, objects of His hostility, and that διʼ ὑμᾶς, for the sake of the Gentiles, to whom the Gospel in this way comes; when He looks at the ἐκλογὴ, the choice which He made of Israel to be His people, they are ἀγαπητοὶ, objects of His love, and that διὰ τοὺς πατέρας, on account of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, with whom He made an everlasting covenant (cf. Genesis 17:19, Luke 1:54 f.). The passive meaning of ἐχθροὶ is fixed by the contrast with ἀγαπητοὶ, as well as by the logic of the passage: cf. Romans 5:10.

28. As concerning, &c.] This ver. and the next form a small detached paragraph: so do Romans 11:30-32. In both these paragraphs St Paul adds to his main argument and statement a few closing confirmations.—The phraseology of this verse is very brief in the Gr.; As to the Gospel indeed, enemies because of yon; but as to the election, beloved because of the fathers.

concerning the gospel] The verse may be paraphrased; “With a view to the spread of the Gospel, which is the message of salvation for every believer, Jew or Gentile, (Romans 1:16,) it pleased God in His sovereign plan to reject the great majority of the Jews—in order to open His kingdom wide to you. But with a view to the believing element, the elect Jews of every age, including the great multitude to be called to grace hereafter, the Jews are still dear to Him; for His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is sovereign and unchangeable.”

enemies]. See on ch. Romans 5:10. The meaning here is that the Lord was (judicially) hostile to them; viewed them as hostile, “counted them His enemies in the sense of rejecting them from actual participation in His Gospel. Unbelief cut them off, and was their own sin; but it was judicially and sovereignly permitted to have its way. But meantime, in another aspect, they were still “beloved;” still included in a plan of mercy.

the election] The word “election” may mean either the act of choice, or the chosen persons. Here it is probably the latter. The word is with the definite article, as in Romans 11:7. The reference is to the whole number of Jews who had obtained, or should obtain, salvation by faith; whether gathered in one by one, as now, or in multitudes, as hereafter. “With a view to” these, the Jewish people is still, most emphatically, within the purposes of Divine Love.

for the fathers’ sakes] See Deuteronomy 7:8; Deuteronomy 9:5; Deuteronomy 10:15.

Romans 11:28. Ἐχθροὶ) enemies. Therefore the obstinacy of the Jews ought not to be alleged to the prejudice of their conversion. Moreover, they are called enemies, in an active sense; presently [by and by] they shall be called beloved in a passive sense (both in respect of God, not merely, of Paul); the evil is to be imputed to man; the good proceeds from God. So also mercy and unbelief are opposed to each other, Romans 11:30, etc.—διʼ ὑμᾶς, for your sakes, Romans 11:31; Romans 11:12; Romans 11:15.

Verses 28, 29. - As touching the gospel indeed (with regard to acceptance of the gospel now) they are enemies for your sakes (for their having become God's enemies by rejecting and opposing it has been the occasion of your having been now called in): but as touching the election (God's original choice of Israel to be his people. Ἐκλογὴ here cannot well have a concrete sense, as in ver. 7), they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts (χαρίσματα, meaning "free gifts," or "gifts of grace;" the word used to denote the special gifts of the Holy Ghost showered after Pentecost in the apostolic Church; but expressing generally, as here, whatever God, of his own good will, grants freely) and the calling of God are without repentance (i.e. unrepented of by him and irrevocable; cf. Numbers 23:19, 20; also 1 Samuel 15:29). This denial of anthropopathy in God is asserted as a general truth, to be applied to his calling of "the fathers," i.e. the patriarchs, and their seed after them, to be his people. It is true that, as is shown in ch. 4, there is a spiritual seed of Abraham, not necessarily of the house of Israel, to whom the promises in their ultimate scope were to be fulfilled; but the apostle regards it as impossible that the promises made primarily to the chosen people themselves should be revoked or fail of eventual fulfilment to them. Romans 11:28
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