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Israel's Election by God
Israel's Rejection of God
God's Ways Higher
God Not Rejecting Israel
severity, but to you,
continue in His
also will be
Amplified: Then note and appreciate the gracious kindness and
the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's
gracious kindness to you--provided you continue in His grace and abide
in His kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off (pruned away).
ESV: Note then the kindness and the severity of God:
severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you,
provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut
ICB: So you see that God is kind, but he can also be very
strict. God punishes those who stop following him. But God is kind to
you, if you continue following in his kindness. If you do not continue
following him, you will be cut off from the tree.
NIV: Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God:
sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you
continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
NKJV: Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on
those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in
His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
NLT: Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe to
those who disobeyed, but kind to you as you continue to trust in his
kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.
Phillips: You must try to appreciate both the kindness and the
strict justice of God. Those who fell experienced his justice, while
you are experiencing his kindness, and will continue to do so as long
as you do not abuse that kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off
from the tree.
Wuest: Behold therefore God’s benevolent kindness and His
severity; on the one hand, upon those who fell, severity, and, on the
other hand, upon you, God’s benevolent kindness, upon the condition
that you continue to remain in and abide by His benevolent kindness.
Otherwise, also you will be cut out.
Young's Literal: Lo, then, goodness and severity of God -- upon
those indeed who fell, severity; and upon thee, goodness, if thou
mayest remain in the goodness, otherwise, thou also shalt be cut off.
Summary on the Attributes of God
Spurgeon on the Attributes of God
Israel of God - Is God "Finished"
with Israel in His prophetic plan?
Off Site - Table
Comparing/contrasting Israel & Church
Off Site - Does the Church Fulfill
Israel's Program? - John Walvoord
The Jewish People, Jesus Christ and World History
- S Lewis Johnson
Are you confused about God's plan for Israel?
Then I highly recommend Tony
12 Hour Course on Romans 9-11
in which he addresses in depth the question of What
Will Happen to Israel?
or see the individual lectures below)
Romans 9:1-5 Paul's Sorrow Concerning Israel
Children of the Promise
The Potter and the Clay
A Remnant Will be Saved
The Righteousness of God
Has Israel Not Heard?
God Has Not Cast Away The Jews
Life from the Dead
Two Olive Trees
The Salvation of Israel
Note that when you click the
preceding links, each link will in turn give you several choices
including an Mp3 message and brief transcript notes. The Mp3's
are long (avg 70+ min) but are in depth and thoroughly Scriptural with
many quotations from the Old Testament, which is often much less well
understood than the NT by many in the church today. Garland takes a
literal approach to Scripture, and his love for the Jews and passion to
see them saved comes through very clearly in these 12 hours of teaching!
Take your home Bible Study group through this series if you dare. Take
notes on the tapes as the transcripts are a very abbreviated version of
the audio messages. This course is highly recommended for all who love
Israel! I think you will agree that Tony Garland, despite coming to
faith after age 30 as an engineer, clearly has been given a special
anointing by God to promulgate the truth concerning Israel and God's
glorious future plan for the Jews. Garland has also produced more than
20 hours of superb audio teaching in his verse by verse commentary on
depth transcripts also available) which will unravel (in a way you did
not think was possible considering the plethora of divergent
interpretations) God's final message of the triumph and return of the
our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords! Maranatha!
BEHOLD THEN THE KINDNESS AND SEVERITY OF GOD: ide
(2SAAM) oun chrestoteta kai apotomian theou: (2:4,5;
from the adjective
chrestos = useful, profitable in turn from chraomai = to furnish
what is needed in turn from chráo = lend, furnish as a loan)
for in depth study of
describes the quality of being helpful and beneficial. Kindness is God's
beneficial provision that meets the need of sinful man. Kindness
is not an apathetic response to sin, but a deliberate act to bring the
sinner back to God. Kindness reflects benevolence in action,
kindliness which disposes one to do good but not a goodness
qualitatively but a goodness in action and expressed in deed.
Kindness is that temper or disposition which delights in
contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully
in gratifying their wishes and which supplies their wants or alleviates
their distresses. Kindness is not just a sweet disposition but is
a serving trait.
Earlier in this letter Paul asked
"do you think lightly of the riches
of His kindness (chrestotes) and forbearance and patience, not
knowing that the kindness of God leads you to
repentance?" (see note on
God's kindness does not excuse
men of their sin but convicts them of sin and leads them to repentance.
In the next chapter of Romans Paul uses chrestotes to contrast the
attitude and action of sinful men writing
"all have turned aside.
Together they have become useless. There is none who
does good (chrestotes). There is not even one." (see note on
John MacArthur writes that
"connotes genuine goodness and
generosity of heart. Our salvation from sin and lostness and death
issued wholly from God’s kindness, His loving, benevolent, and entirely
gracious concern to draw us to Himself and redeem us from sin forever."
TO THOSE WHO FELL, SEVERITY BUT TO YOU, GOD'S KINDNESS: epi men tous
pesontas (AAPMPA) apotomia, epi de se chrestotes theou:
Those who fell are the unbelieving Jews, and “you” are the
believing Gentiles. But what Paul is suggesting is that the positions
are reversible. Gentiles can become objects of God’s severity, and
Israel can become the object of His kindness, depending on the response
of each to God.
Severity (663) (apotomia from apoténo = to cut off)
describes a cutting off, a severing, as of a man cutting off as the
gardener cuts off, with a pruning knife, dead useless boughs, or
luxuriant stems. from a fruit tree.
Apotomia thus has the root
(no pun intended) meaning of cutting right off, or
cutting quickly, and corresponds to the verb ekkopto (cut off), with
which this verse ends. And in this context, pipto (fell) means to fall
down so as to be completely ruined. Paul is therefore speaking of an
extremely serious spiritual condition, in which people fell from
spiritual opportunity into judgment. (Related topic:
IF YOU CONTINUE IN HIS KINDNESS OTHERWISE YOU ALSO WILL BE CUT OFF: ean epimenes (2SPAS) te chrestoteti, epei kai su ekkopese
1 Corinthians 15:2;
1 Thessalonians 3:5,8;
1 John 2:19;
MacArthur believes this should be interpreted as follows:
phrase ("those that fell") looks at the past. Paul then warns those in
the present who have identified with the saving gospel that they must
continue in His kindness or they, too, will be judged severely like
those in the past who were near the blessing and fell. That is a
familiar NT idea, which affirms the reality of true, saving faith by its
continuity. That is the perseverance of the saints that evidences their
genuine conversion (Jn 8:31 15:5-6; Col 1:22-23 Heb 3:12-14, 4:11, 1Jn 2:19).
Not everyone interprets this verse in the above manner. For example
Bible Believer's Commentary says:
"It must be constantly borne in mind
that Paul is not speaking of the church or of individual believers. He
is speaking about the Gentiles as such. Nothing can ever separate the
Body of Christ from the Head, and nothing can separate a believer from
the love of God, but the Gentile peoples can be removed from their
present position of special privilege."
Nelson's Study Bible:
If Gentiles continue in God’s goodness, they will
not be cut off, and if Jews turn to God in faith, they can be grafted in
again. This is not a reference to individual salvation but to God’s
program for Jews and Gentiles.
Beet writes that
All exultation of Gentiles over Jews is now shut out. Not only has
the spiritual life of the Gentiles come through the Jews, but the
present state of the Jews tells what will become of the Gentiles if they
cease to believe.
Charles Hodge in his commentary on Romans writes that...:
Nothing in this language is inconsistent with the
doctrine of the final perseverance of believers, even supposing that the
passage refers to individuals, for it is very common to speak
hypothetically in this way and say that an event cannot or will not come
to pass unless the requisite means are employed, when the occurrence of
the event has been made certain by the prior intention and promise of
God (see Acts 27:31). The foundation of all such statements is the
simple truth that he who intends the end also intends the means; and he
brings about the end by providing the means. And when rational agents
are concerned, he provides the means by rational considerations
presented to their minds and made effectual by his grace, when the end
contemplated is good.
This passage, however, has no legitimate bearing on this subject. Paul
is not speaking about the connection between individual believers and
Christ, which, as he has fully taught in chapter 7 and elsewhere, is
indissoluble, but about the relationship of communities to the church
and its various privileges. No promise or covenant on the part of God
guarantees that the Gentiles will enjoy these blessings through all
generations, any more than there was any such promise to protect the
Jews from the consequences of their unbelief. The continuation of these
favors depends on the conduct of each successive generation. Therefore
Paul tells the Gentile that he must continue in the divine favor:
Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
Bible Knowledge Commentary writes that...
In these verses Paul summarized his whole discussion of God’s
sovereign choice in temporarily putting Israel aside corporately and
proclaiming righteousness by faith to all mankind. Consider (ide, “see,
behold”) therefore the kindness (chrestoteta, “benevolence in action”;
also used of God in 2:4; Eph. 2:7; Titus 3:4) and sternness of God.
“Sternness” translates apotomian, used only here in the New Testament
(cf. the adverb apotomos in 2 Cor. 13:10 [“be harsh”] and Titus 1:13
[“sharply”]). God’s sovereign choice involved severity toward the Jews
who stumbled (fell; cf. Rom. 11:11) in unbelief and were hardened (v.
25), but that same decision displayed the goodness of God toward
individual Gentiles. God’s continuing His goodness to the Gentiles
depends on their continuing in His kindness. If Gentiles do not continue
in God’s kindness, they also will be cut off. This does not suggest that
a Christian can lose his salvation; it refers to Gentiles as a whole
(suggested by the sing. you) turning from the gospel much as Israel as a
nation had done.
Because of God’s blessing of ancient Israel as a nation, many Jewish
unbelievers shared in that blessing. In the same way, because of God’s
blessing on the church, many unbelievers within the church taste that
blessing. But if they fall away, God’s patience will be exhausted and
His offer of grace withdrawn, that blessing by association will be of no
value when unbelievers face the living God in judgment and are eternally
cut off from Him. Those who in unbelief refuse God’s kindness in the
offer of salvation are destined to be cut off by His severity.
11:23 And they
if they do not
grafted in, for
graft them in
Amplified: And even those others [the fallen branches, Jews],
if they do not persist in [clinging to] their unbelief, will be
grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
ESV: And even they, if they do not continue in their
unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in
ICB: And if the Jews will believe in God again, then God will
accept the Jews back again. God is able to put them back where they
NIV: And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be
grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
NKJV: And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will
be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
NLT: And if the Jews turn from their unbelief, God will graft
them back into the tree again. He has the power to do it.
Phillips: And as for the fallen branches, unless they are
obstinate in their unbelief, they will be grafted in again. Such a
restoration is by no means beyond the power of God.
Wuest: And, moreover, those also, if they do not remain in
unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to again graft them in.
Young's Literal: And those also, if they may not remain in
unbelief, shall be graffed in, for God is able again to graff them in;
AND THEY ALSO IF THEY DO NOT CONTINUE IN THEIR UNBELIEF, WILL BE GRAFTED
IN: kakeinoi de, ean me epimenosin (3PPAS) te apistia,
(epimeno from epí = upon, in or at + méno = stay or
remain) means abide in, continue in, tarry in, abide or stay in.
FOR GOD IS ABLE TO GRAFT THEM IN AGAIN: dunatos gar estin (3SPAI) o
theos palin egkentrisai (AAN) autous: (Zechariah
2 Corinthians 3:16)
God is able
(dunatos from dunamai = be able, have power by virtue of
inherent ability and resources) (See related in depth word
dunamis) pertaining to having the
ability to perform some function or being in a position to, be able, be
capable able to do something (Related topic:
(egkentrizo from en = in + kentrízo = make a
puncture from kéntron = a prick or sharp point, emphasizing fact
of the incision required in grafting) means to insert by making a
puncture or small opening and thus to engraft. Our hearts are
hardened by sin and need to be "pricked" by the Word of truth that they
might be convicted of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.
Paul's argument is that if the hard thing, the thing contrary to
nature, i.e. the grafting of wild branches into the cultivated
olive, has been accomplished, one should not find it difficult to
believe that God will restore the broken-off branches (Israel) of the cultivated
olive to their former position. Since in tree culture this would be
impossible because of the deadness of the branches after they were
removed, Paul is indeed talking "contrary to nature."
How will "God graft them in again"?
The prophet Zechariah
records Jehovah's promise that one day in the future...
"it will come about ...that I will
set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I
will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me
whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for
an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter
weeping over a first-born. (Zechariah
if you were
what is by
tree, and were
nature into a
who are the
* branches be
grafted into their
Amplified: For if you have been cut from what is by nature a
wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a cultivated olive
tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural [branches]
back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree.
ESV: For if you were cut from what is by nature a
wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated
olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted
back into their own olive tree.
ICB: It is not natural for a wild branch to be part of a good
tree. But you non-Jews are like a branch cut from a wild olive tree.
And you were joined to a good olive tree. But those Jews are like a
branch that grew from the good tree. So surely they can be joined to
their own tree again.
NIV: After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is
wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated
olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be
grafted into their own olive tree!
NKJV: For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild
by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive
tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted
into their own olive tree?
NLT: For if God was willing to take you who were, by nature,
branches from a wild olive tree and graft you into his own good
tree--a very unusual thing to do--he will be far more eager to graft
the Jews back into the tree where they belong.
Phillips: And, in any case, if you who were, so to speak,
cuttings from a wild-olive, were grafted in, is it not a far simpler
matter for the natural branches to be grafted back onto the parent
Wuest: For, as for you, in view of the fact that you were cut
out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and contrary to nature
were grafted into the good olive tree, how much more will these who
are according to nature be grafted into their own olive tree.
Young's Literal: for if thou, out of the olive tree, wild by
nature, wast cut out, and, contrary to nature, wast graffed into a
good olive tree, how much rather shall they, who are according to
nature, be graffed into their own olive tree?
FOR IF YOU WERE CUT OFF FROM WHAT IS BY NATURE A WILD OLIVE TREE
AND WERE GRAFTED CONTRARY TO NATURE INTO A CULTIVATED OLIVE TREE: ei gar
su ek tes kata phusin exekopes (2SAPI) agrielaiou kai para phusin enekentristhes (2SAPI) eis kallielaion:
This passage does
not teach that the national promises to Israel have been abrogated and
are now being fulfilled by the church. This idea, taught by
amillenarians, is foreign to Paul’s point, for he said Israel’s fall is
temporary. (Related topics
Israel of God)
HOW MUCH MORE SHALL THESE WHO ARE THE NATURAL BRANCHES BE GRAFTED INTO
THEIR OWN OLIVE TREE: poso mallon houtoi oi kata phusin
egkentristhesontai (3PFPI) te idia elaia:
For if you have been cut from what is
by nature a wild olive tree, and against nature grafted into a
cultivated olive tree, how much easier will it be to graft these natural
[branches] back on [the original parent stock of] their own olive tree.
That is, it is still more
probable that Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham, should be
brought into the spiritual privileges contained in the promise given to
their own ancestor, for nationally they have a covenant relationship
with God already, which is not the case with Gentiles.
The great lesson of this passage is certainly that just as the Jews of
the Old Testament became proud, assuming that they alone knew God, the
same thing may happen to Gentiles in the New Testament era.
Gentile believers must not yield to the temptation to disrespect the
Jews. If it had not been for the grace of God, Gentiles would never have
been grafted into the life of God which the Jews enjoyed. The new life
which enables them to produce fruit grows from the same root that the
old stock of Israel grows.
NT believers must not assume that they are better than the Jews because
they were cut off for their unbelief. Every church must never forget its
reliance upon the divine grace of God, else her end will be the same as
that of the old branches. The process of being grafted into the life of
God finds its basis in the grace of God. We must never lord the grace of
God over those who have been cut from the tree, for it is much easier to
put the natural branches back, than to graft different branches in their
place. We therefore must rest totally on the grace of God for our
salvation, as the remnant does.