Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Through your mercy—i.e., through the mercy vouchsafed to you. The sight of the admission of the Gentiles is to act as a stimulus upon the Jews, and so lead to a renewal of their faith and obedience.
That through your mercy ... - The immediate effect of the unbelief of the Jews was to confer salvation on the Gentiles, or to open the way for the preaching of the gospel to them. But its remote effect would be to secure the preaching of the gospel again to the Jews. Through the mercy, that is, the compassion or deep feeling of the converted Gentiles; through the deep and tender pity which they would feel for the blinded and degraded Jews: the gospel should be again carried to them, and they should be recalled to the long lost favor of God. Each party should thus cause salvation to come to the other - the Jews to the Gentiles by their unbelief; but the Gentiles, in their turn, to the Jews by their belief. We may here learn,
(1) That the Jews are to be converted by the instrumentality of the Gentiles. It is not to be by miracle, but by the regular and common way in which God blesses people.
(2) that this is to be done by the mercy, or compassion of the Gentiles; by their taking pity on the lost and wretched condition of the Jewish people.
(3) it is to be when the abundance of the Gentiles - that is, when great numbers of the Gentiles - shall be called in.
It may be asked here whether the time is not approaching for the Gentiles to make efforts to bring the Jews to the knowledge of the Messiah. Hitherto those efforts have been unsuccessful; but it will not always be so; the time is coming when the promises of God in regard to them shall be fulfilled. Christians shall be moved with deep compassion for the degraded and forsaken Jews, and they shall be called into the kingdom of God, and made efficient agents in extending the gospel through the whole world. May the time soon come when they shall feel as they should, for the rejected and forsaken children of Abraham, and when their labors for their conversion shall be attended with success.
now not believed—or, "now been disobedient"
that through your mercy—the mercy shown to you.
they also may obtain mercy—Here is an entirely new idea. The apostle has hitherto dwelt upon the unbelief of the Jews as making way for the faith of the Gentiles—the exclusion of the one occasioning the reception of the other; a truth yielding to generous, believing Gentiles but mingled satisfaction. Now, opening a more cheering prospect, he speaks of the mercy shown to the Gentiles as a means of Israel's recovery; which seems to mean that it will be by the instrumentality of believing Gentiles that Israel as a nation is at length to "look on Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him," and so to "obtain mercy." (See 2Co 3:15, 16).See Poole on "Romans 11:30"
that through your mercy they may obtain mercy; not through the mercy the Gentiles show to others, but which they have received of God; and principally intends faith, which springs from the mercy of God, and is a gift of his pure, free, rich grace; and stands opposed to the unbelief of the Jews, through which the Gentiles are said to obtain mercy; and the meaning: is, that in time to come, the Jews, observing the mercy obtained and enjoyed by the Gentiles, will be provoked to jealousy, and stirred up to an emulation of them, to seek for the same mercy at the same hands, and in the same way, they have had it; see Romans 11:11; The apostle's argument in favour of the call and conversion of the Jews, upon the whole is this, that since the unbelief of the Gentiles was no bar to their obtaining mercy, and that through the infidelity of the Jews; then it cannot be thought, that the present blindness, hardness of heart, enmity, and unbelief, which now attend the Jews, can be any obstacle to their obtaining mercy in the same way the Gentiles have; but as the one has been, the other also will be.Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)31. have these also now not believed] Better, did these disobey.
through your mercy] Connect these words with “have these not obeyed.” The verse will then read;—Thus these also now disobeyed through your mercy, that they also, &c.—The “mercy of the Gentiles” is the mercy of God in Christ to them, not any mercy of theirs to the Jews.—The statement of this verse is the almost exact converse of that of Romans 11:30. Jewish unbelief was, in a certain sense, the instrumental cause of Gentile salvation; so, in a certain sense, Gentile salvation was the final cause of Jewish unbelief. In the Divine Plan the call of the Gentiles was to hinge upon the unbelief of the Jews when they should reject Messiah; and thus the grand act of Jewish unbelief was, in a guarded sense, “caused” by the promise of the call of the Gentiles.
that they also may obtain mercy] Q. d., “that their reception again (in single cases, and at length in a mass,) may be as remarkably an act of sovereign compassion as your own call was.” The emphatic idea throughout this section is mercy.Romans 11:31. Ἠπείθησαν, they have disbelieved) They have been left to their unbelief.—τῷ ὑμετέρῳ, your [of you]) the Genitive of the object, [your mercy, i.e. the mercy, of which you are the objects,] as τὰ ἐλέη Δαυίδ, the mercies of David, 2 Chronicles 6:42, רצון עמך, the favour directed to thy people, Psalm 106:4.—ἐλέει, through mercy) construed with ἐλεηθῶσι, might obtain mercy; for ἴνα, that, is often transposed; and in verse 30, the disbelief of the Jews precedes the mercy of the Gentiles; wherefore in verse 31 the mercy of the Gentiles does not [is not to be supposed to] precede the same disbelief of the Jews [as would be the case, if ἐλέει, owing to your partaking of mercy, were taken with ἠπείθησαν]. See Appendix. crit. Ed. ii. on this passage.—ἐλεηθῶσι, might obtain mercy) that mercy, which goes before faith, and which is only acknowledged and received through faith, by which ἀπείθεια, disbelief is retracted.
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