Romans 11:5-8 Commentary

 

 

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Summary of
Romans 9-11
Romans 9 Romans 10 Romans 11
Past
Election
Present
Rejection
Future
Reception
God's Sovereignty
Israel's Election by God
Man's responsibility
Israel's Rejection of God
God's Ways Higher
God Not Rejecting Israel

 

Romans 11:5-8 Commentary
Updated 12/25/13

Romans 11:5  In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.

REFERENCES
Updated 12/24/13
Caveat Emptor: Be a Berean - Not All Commentaries
Accept a Literal Restoration of the Nation of Israel!

Henry Alford
Paul Apple
Jack Arnold
Wayne Barber
Wayne Barber
William Barclay
Albert Barnes
David Baron
Brian Bell
Johann Bengel
Brian Bill
Brian Bill
John Calvin
Alan Carr
Rich Cathers
Adam Clarke
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Steven Cole
Thomas Constable
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
W A Criswell
Bob Deffinbaugh
Explore the Bible
Expositor's Greek
Tony Garland
Tony Garland
Tony Garland
Tony Garland
Frederic Godet
Bruce Goettsche
A C Gaebelein
L M Grant
Scott Grant
Dave Guzik
Robert Haldane
Richard Halverson
Matthew Henry
Gregg Herrick
Daniel Hill
Charles Hodge
F B Hole
Barry Horner
Barry Horner
Harry Ironside
Jamieson, F B
S Lewis Johnson
William Kelly
Keith Krell
Steve Kreloff
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
John MacArthur
J Vernon McGee
Middletown
G Campbell Morgan
Robert Morgan
Handley G C Moule
Net Bible Notes
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
Phil Newton
William Newell
John Piper
John Piper
John Piper
Matthew Poole
Ray Pritchard
Ray Pritchard
Ray Pritchard
Ray Pritchard
Ray Pritchard
Ray Pritchard
Ray Pritchard
A T Robertson
Gil Rugh
Rob Salvato
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Charles Simeon
Chuck Smith
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
C H Spurgeon
Charles Stauffer
Ray Stedman
Ray Stedman
Ray Stedman
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
Ron Teed
John Trapp
Marvin Vincent
Drew Worthen
Precept Ministries
Steve Zeisler
Steve Zeisler

Romans 11 Commentary
Romans Notes in Outline Form
Commentary on Romans - 396 pages
Romans 11:1-10: Is God Through With Israel?
Romans 11:11-24: Is God Through With Israel?

Romans 11 Commentary (Daily Study Bible)
Romans 11 Commentary
The Jewish Problem - small book by Jewish believer in 1891
Romans 11 Sermon Notes
Romans 11 Commentary (Gnomon)
Romans 11:11-24 Holding on to Hope
Romans 11:33-36 Living for the Glory of God
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:1-36 God's Plan For The Jew And For You
Romans 11:1-24 Romans 11:25-36
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:1-6: Can God’s Promises Fail?

Romans 11:7-10: Chosen or Hardened?

Romans 11:11-15: God’s Certain Purpose for History

Romans 11:16-24: Guarding Against Spiritual Pride

Romans 11:25-27: Understanding God’s Prophetic Revelation

Romans 11:28-32: Stand in Awe

Romans 11:33-36: God is Great; You are not Great, Part 1

Romans 11:33-36: God is Great; You are not Great, Part 2

Romans 11 Commentary - Expository Notes
Romans 11:1 Israel in the Plan of God
Romans 11:1-2 Israel in the Remembrance of God - 1966
Romans 11:1-2 Israel in the Remembrance of God -1982
Romans 11:1-2 Hath God Cast Away His People?
Romans 11:1-2 Hath God Cast Away His People? -2
Romans 11:1 The Problem of Israel's Unbelief
Romans 11:24-29 The Future Restoration of Israel
Romans 11:1-36 The Problem of Israel's Unbelief
Romans 11:1-10; Ro 11:11-24; Ro 11:25-27; Ro 11:28-36
Romans 11:1-36 Concern of God
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:1-6 God Has Not Cast Away The Jews (all his works recommended)
Romans 11:7-15 Life from the Dead
Romans 11:16-24 Two Olive Trees
Romans 11:25-36 The Salvation of Israel

Romans Commentary online
Romans 11:1-12; Ro 11:11-24; Ro 11:25-31; Ro 11:32-34
The Epistle to the Romans
Romans 11 Commentary

Romans 11 Mercy for All
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans: Prologue to Prison
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:25-32: Israel's Present Hardening and Future Salvation
Romans Notes - 200+ pages of Verse by Verse Notes
Romans Commentary online (Alternate source)
Romans 11 Commentary

Romans 11 Commentary - The Gospel and Israel's Salvation
Romans 11:18 Future Israel - Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:1-10; Ro 11:11-24; Ro 11:25-27; Ro 11:28-36

Romans Commentary
Romans 11 He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not?
Romans 11 Sermons - Mp3 only - very good - Kreloff is a Jewish believer
The Goodness and Severity of God
Romans 11:1-2 Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 1
Romans 11:2-6 Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 2
Romans 11:7-10 Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 3
Romans 11:11-15 Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 4
Romans 11:16-26 Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 5
Romans 11:25-29 Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 6
Romans 11:30-36 Has God Cancelled His Promises to Israel? Part 7

Romans 11 Commentary- multiple Mp3's on this chapter from Thru the Bible
Romans 11 Notes
Romans 11 Commentary (The Analyzed Bible)
Romans 9-11 What's Ahead for Israel?
The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:1-6 Israel, Election, and Grace, Pt. 1 (scroll down page)
Romans 11:7-10 Israel, Election, and Grace, Pt. 1 (scroll down page)
Romans 11:11-16 Israel’s Stumble—God’s Mercy (scroll down page)

Romans 11:17-22 The Danger of Spiritual Arrogance (scroll down page)
Romans 11:22-27 All Israel Will Be Saved  (scroll down page)
Romans 11:28-32 The God of Mercy  (scroll down page)
Romans 11:33-36 From Him-Through Him-To Him-Glory! (scroll down page)
Romans 11 Verse by Verse Commentary
Romans 11:1-6 Has God Rejected His People? Part 1
Romans 11:1-6 Has God Rejected His People? Part 2
Romans 11:1-10 For God's Sake, Let Grace Be Grace

Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:1-10 Has God Lost the Battle

Romans 11:11-16 No Hopeless Cases

Romans 11:17-24 No Place for Pride

Romans 11:25-26 Does Israel Have a Future-

Romans 11:28-29 God Unchanging

Romans 11:30-32 Sinners in the Hands of a Merciful God

Romans 11:33-36 Our Awesome God

Romans 11 Word Pictures
Romans 11 Does God Have a Future for Israel? 46 page booklet
Romans 11:1-36 Not Finished With Israel
Romans 11:22-24 The Dispensations of God Towards Jews and Gentiles
Romans 11:25-27 The Future Salvation of All Israel
Romans 11:28-29 The Jews Still Beloved of God for their Father's Sake
Romans 11:30-31 The Gospel Given to Us As a Deposit for the Jews
Romans 11-12 See Sermon Notes
Romans 11:36
Romans 11:36 Laus Deo or Duo (sermon) (Pdf)
Romans 11 Exposition
Romans 11 The Sovereignty of God – Romans 9:1 – 11:36
Romans 11:1-36: Christian and the Jew
Romans 11:1-24 There's Hope Ahead
Romans 11 Commentary
Romans 11:1-10 God is Patient and Forgiving, But Don't Push
Romans 11:11-26 Belief is Always the Bottom Line
Romans 11:26-36 How Great is God's Mercy
Romans 11 Commentary

Romans 11 Word Studies

Romans 11:1  Ro 11:2-10; Ro 11:11-16; Ro 11:17-25 Ro 11:26-12:1
Romans 9-11 - Part 3

Romans 11:1-32 Roots
Romans 11:33-12:2 Responding To Riches

Greek: houtos oun kai en to nun kairo leimma kat' eklogen charitos gegonen; (3SRAI
Amplified: So too at the present time there is a remnant (a small believing minority), selected (chosen) by grace (by God's unmerited favor and graciousness).
ESV: So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
ICB: It is the same now. There are a few people that God has chosen by his grace.
NIV: So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
NKJV:  Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
NLT: It is the same today, for not all the Jews have turned away from God. A few are being saved as a result of God's kindness in choosing them.
Phillips: In just the same way, there is at the present time a minority chosen by the grace of God.
Wuest: Therefore, thus also at this present season a remnant according to a choice of grace has come into being.
Young's Literal: So then also in the present time a remnant according to the choice of grace there hath been;
ROMANS ROAD
to RIGHTEOUSNESS
Romans
1
:18-3:20
Romans
3:21-5:21
Romans
6:1-8:39
Romans
9:1-11:36
Romans
12:1-16:27
SIN SALVATION SANCTIFICATION SOVEREIGNTY SERVICE
NEED
FOR
SALVATION
WAY
OF
SALVATION
LIFE
OF
SALVATION
SCOPE
OF
SALVATION
WORK
OF
SALVATION


Related resources
...

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 Garland's 12 Hour Course on Romans 9-11 in which he addresses in depth the question of  What Will Happen to Israel?  (click) or see the individual lectures below)

Romans 9:1-5 Paul's Sorrow Concerning Israel
Romans 9:6-13 Children of the Promise
Romans 9:14-24 The Potter and the Clay
Romans 9:25-33 A Remnant Will be Saved
Romans 10:1-13 The Righteousness of God
Romans 10:14-21 Has Israel Not Heard?
Romans 11:1-6  God Has Not Cast Away The Jews
Romans 11:7-15 Life from the Dead
Romans 11:16-24 Two Olive Trees
Romans 11:25-36 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 the Revelation (in 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!

IN THE SAME WAY THEN: houtos oun kai:

This relates to the previous statement that "I have kept for myself" (Ro 11:4) which reflects God's gracious choice ~ God's Sovereignty in salvation.

THERE HAS ALSO COME TO BE AT THE PRESENT TIME A REMNANT: en to nun kairo leimma kat ekloghen charitos gegonen (3SRAI): (Ro 11:6,7; 9:27) (28; 9:11; Ephesians 1:5,6)

Come to be (1096) (ginomai) means to cause to be ("gen"-erate), to become or to come into existence. The verb "come to be" is in the perfect tense which means that this remnant has come into existence at a point in time in the past and is a permanent part of the great host of the saved. (just another small "jot or tittle" supporting the great truth that one cannot lose his or her salvation).

Remnant  (3005) (leimma from leipo [word study] = to leave or to lack) () describes that which is left or that which remains. See d

See onsite study of the important Biblical doctrine of remnant

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - recommended

ISBE article

Remnant - Holman Bible Dictionary

Remnant of Israel - Thompson Chain Reference

Remnant - Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Paul uses leimma in this verse to describe that group of Jews in national Israel which was left (so to speak) out of the general apostasy (abandonment of a previous loyalty) of most of Israel. Yes, most of the "chosen people" chose not to bow down to Jehovah, the great "I Am" but to bow down and kiss Baal, the pitiful "is not" (i.e., an idol is nothing). This remnant of Jews who placed their faith in the Messiah were "left" because God graciously elected them. Remember that "elect" is from ekloge which means to select or pick out some from a larger number.

Time (2540) (kairos - see word study)

Trench says kairos = the seasons...the critical epoch-making periods foreordained of God … when all that has been slowly, and often without observation, ripening through long ages is mature and comes to the birth in grand decisive events which constitute at once the close of one period and the commencement of another.

The time to which Paul had reference was a strategic one, one marked by the inclusion of the Gentiles together with the Jew in the one Body of Christ, a time at which, while the Gentiles gladly received the Word, Israel was apostate, a time at which in spite of Israel’s apostasy, there was a remnant in Israel saved in the sovereign grace of God.

Although the nation had rejected Jesus, thousands of individual Jews had come to faith in Him (Acts 2:41 4:4; 6:1).

ACCORDING TO GOD'S GRACIOUS CHOICE (lit = choice of grace): kat ekloghen charitos:

Gracious (5485) (charis - see word study) is God's unmerited favor. They (as did we all) deserved hell but God granted them "heaven" so to speak!

Grace is genitive of description. The ground or motivating factor in this choice of certain in Israel who were to be the objects of the sovereign choice of God for salvation, was grace, the spontaneous overflowing love of God bestowing the gift of salvation upon one who does not only not deserve that gift, but deserves appropriate punishment for his sins (compare a vessel of wrath otherwise prepared for destruction).

God did not choose this remnant because of its natural or racial descent or their "good works" (for as Jesus says "apart from Me you can do nothing"), but solely because of His grace, His unmerited favor (Dt 7:7-8 Ep 2:8-9 2 Ti 1:9).

Choice (1589ekloge - see word study

Remnant Summary (Click study on remnant):

In the history of Israel a remnant may be discerned, a true heart circumcised born again by faith remnant of "spiritual" Israel within the nation of Israel. In Elijah's time 7000 had not bowed the knee to Baal (1Ki19:18). In Isaiah's time, Israel had been reduced to only a few godly "survivors" (Isa1:9), for whose sake God still forebore to destroy the nation. During the captivities the remnant appears in Jews like Esther, Mordecai, Ezekiel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. At the end of the seventy years of Babylonian captivity it was the remnant that returned under Ezra and Nehemiah. At the advent of our Lord, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, and those "who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem" (Lu2:38) were the remnant. During the Church Age the remnant is composed of believing Jews (Ro11:4-5). But an important aspect of the remnant is prophetic. During the great tribulation a remnant out of all Israel will turn to Jesus as Messiah, including the "sealed" Israelites of [Rev7:3-8]. A great multitude of Gentiles [Rev7:9] will also be saved during the great tribulation. Some of these will undergo martyrdom (Rev6:9-11), some will be spared to enter the millennial kingdom (Zec12:6-13:9). Many of the Psalms express, prophetically, the joys and sorrows of the remnant.

 

Romans 11:6  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

Greek: ei de chariti, ouketi ex ergon, epei e charis ouketi ginetai (3SPMI) charis 
Amplified: But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].
ESV:  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
ICB: And if God chose them by grace, then it is not for the things they have done. If they could be made God's people by what they did, then God's gift of grace would not really be a gift.
NIV: And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
NKJV: And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
NLT: And if they are saved by God's kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God's wonderful kindness would not be what it really is--free and undeserved.
Phillips: And if it is a matter of the grace of God, it cannot be a question of their actions especially deserving God's favour, for that would make grace meaningless.
Wuest: But since it is by grace, no longer is it out of a source of works. Otherwise no longer is grace, grace.
Young's Literal: and if by grace, no more of works, otherwise the grace becometh no more grace; and if of works, it is no more grace, otherwise the work is no more work.
BUT IF IT IS BY GRACE IT IS NO LONGER ON THE BASIS OF WORKS: ei de chariti, ouketi ex ergon: (Ro 3:27,28; 4:4,5; 5:20,21; Galatians 2:21; 5:4; Ephesians 2:4-9; 2Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5)

But - Always pause to ponder this term of contrast.

Grace (5485) (charis - see word study)

Note that the remnant is saved by grace and not by works (cf Ro 4:4-5) which parallels the truth Paul taught in [Ro 9:30-33]. It is impossible to mix grace and works, for the one cancels the other. Israel’s main concern had always been in trying to please God with good works (Ro 9:30-10:4). The nation refused to submit to Christ’s righteousness (Ro 10:4-5), just as religious, self-righteous people refuse to submit today.

This truth is found in a parallel verse in Deuteronomy where Moses warns the nation of Israel...

"Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, 'Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,' but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people. (Deuteronomy 9:4-6)

OTHERWISE GRACE IS NO LONGER GRACE: epei e charis ouketi ginetai (3SPMI) charis:

If it were on the basis of works God's grace would not be what it really is -- free and undeserved. Human effort and God’s grace are therefore mutually exclusive ways to salvation.

Writing to the Galatian churches Paul stated that...

If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing). (Galatians 2:21, Amplified)

Paul understood grace as shown by his testimony to the Corinthians that...

by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1Corinthians 15:10)

Henry Alford, commenting on the contents of verse six, says;

“And let us remember, when we say an election of grace, how much those words imply: namely, nothing short of the entire exclusion of all human work from the question. Let these two terms be regarded as, and kept distinct from one another, and do not let us attempt to mix them and so destroy the meaning of each.”

 

Romans 11:7  What then ? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;

Greek: ti oun? o epizetei (3SPMI) Israel, touto ouk epetuchen, (3SAAI) e de ekloge epetuchen; (3SAAI) oi de loipoi eporothesan (3PAPI
Amplified: What then [shall we conclude]? Israel failed to obtain what it sought [God's favor by obedience to the Law]. Only the elect (those chosen few) obtained it, while the rest of them became callously indifferent (blinded, hardened, and made insensible to it).
ESV: What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,
ICB: So this is what has happened: The people of Israel tried to be right with God. But they did not succeed. But the ones God chose did become right with him. The others became hard and refused to listen to God.
NIV: What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,
NKJV: What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
NLT: So this is the situation: Most of the Jews have not found the favor of God they are looking for so earnestly. A few have--the ones God has chosen--but the rest were made unresponsive.
Phillips: What conclusion do we reach now? That Israel did not, on the whole, obtain the object of his striving, but a chosen few "got there", while the remainder became more and more insensitive to the righteousness of God.
Wuest: What then? That which Israel is constantly seeking, this it did not obtain. But those chosen out obtained it. And the rest were hardened
Young's Literal: What then? What Israel doth seek after, this it did not obtain, and the chosen did obtain, and the rest were hardened,
WHAT THEN? THAT WHICH ISRAEL IS SEEKING FOR IT HAS NOT OBTAINED: Ti oun o epizetei (3SPMI) Israel, touto ouk epetuchen (3SAAI): (Ro 3:9; 6:15; 1Corinthians 10:19; Philippians 1:18) (Ro 9:31,32; 10:3; Proverbs 1:28; Luke 13:24; Hebrews 12:17)

Seeking (1934epizeteo - see word study

What was Israel “so earnestly” seeking? The answer can be found in [Ro 9:30-10:3] -- They were pursuing righteousness, a right standing before God. The situation was ironic. The Jews zealously sought to be accepted by God on the basis of works and the righteousness of the Law (cf. Romans 10:2-3). However, they were not accepted by God; only the elect were, because of God’s sovereign choice by grace.

So this is the situation: Most of the Jews have not found the favor of God they are looking for so earnestly. Why? [Ro 9:32] Because it is obtained only by faith and they were stubborn and rebellious.

The writer of Hebrews says that...

(NASB) indeed we have had good news (gospel) preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard."

(Amplified " For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe)." (Hebrews 4:2)

BUT THOSE WHO WERE CHOSEN OBTAINED IT AND THE REST WERE HARDENED: e de ekloge epetuchen (3SAAI) oi de loipoi eporothesan (3PAPI):  (Ro 11:5; Ro 8:28-30; 9:23; Ephesians 1:4; 2Thessalonians 2:13,14; 1Peter 1:2)

But - Always pause to ponder this term of contrast.

The Chosen (1589) (ekloge from eklegomai in turn from ek = out + légo = select, choose, eklegomai meaning to choose or select for oneself, but not necessarily implying rejection of what is not chosen) means literally a choosing out and in Scripture speaks of election, the benevolent purpose of God by which any are chosen unto salvation so that they are led to embrace and persevere in Christ’s bestowed grace and the enjoyment of its privileges and blessings here and hereafter. Although not used in this way in the present context, ekloge, can describe election which is vocational. The Lord called out the tribe of Levi to be His priests, but Levites were not thereby guaranteed salvation. Jesus called twelve men to be apostles but only eleven of them to salvation. After Paul came to Christ because of God’s election to salvation, God then chose him in another way to be His special apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; Rom. 1:5).

Obtained (2013) (epitugchano from epí = intensifier + tugcháno = obtain, meet by chance, meet with, fall in with a person, hit the mark, to attain) means to hit, especially hit a mark with an arrow, to chance upon, and to to attain or obtain. The idea is to obtain or gain what is sought after.

Hardened (4456) (
poroo from poros = small piece of stone broken off from a larger one) means to make hard like a stone, and so to make callous or insensitive to touch. Here as elsewhere in the New Testament, poroo is used only figuratively and specifically only in a spiritual sense referring to the effect on one's heart and mind. Poroo is used in this verse (and the noun form, porosis, is used in Romans 11:25) with a meaning similar to the verb skleruno in Ro 9:18 ("So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires").

Some versions translate poroo in this verse as "blinded".

NIDNTT has the following note on poroo...

(from Hippocrates on) is derived from poros, tufa or tuff (porous stone), and means to harden, to form a callus (when broken bones heal), and thus to petrify, to become hard. (Colin Brown: New International Dictionary of NT Theology)

Kenneth Wuest comments that poroo means...

to cover with a thick skin, to harden by covering with a callous,” metaphorically, “to make the heart dull” (John 12:40). (Wuest's Word Studies in the New Testament)

William Barclay has a lengthy comment

Poroo is the verb and porosis is the noun which are used in the NT to express the idea of what the AV calls 'the hardening of the hearts of men'. These words are interesting, not only for their history, but also for a most suggestive shift of meaning which they undergo.

At the back of both of them there is the word oros. Poros is used in a variety of senses. Basically it means a kind of stone, which Theophrastus in his work on stones describes as a stone like Parian marble in colour and in texture but lighter. Aristotle used the word for a stalactite, one of these solidified drippings of water in a cavern. In the papyri the word is used of the kind of stone that is used to pack the foundation course of a building. Medically the words have certain technical uses. Poros means the chalk stone that forms in the joints and paralyses action. It also means a stone in the bladder; and porosis means the process by which a callus forms at the joining of the break when fractured bones unite. Porosis does not mean a callus on the skin, as, for instance, a callus formed on the hand by digging; the Greek for that is tule, which is not a NT word. Porosis is the much harder and much more irremovable bone callus that forms when a fracture unites. In all these cases it is easy to see that the basic meaning of the word is an impenetrable hardness, a hardness like bone or even marble.

The words then acquire two different sets of meanings.

(i) They are used in connexion with something which has 'lost all power of sensation'. Athenaeus has a queer story of Dionysius of Heracles. He became overfat from over-eating. He became subject to fits of coma. His surgeons could only arouse him by pricking him with long needles. And even then certain parts of his body had lost all power of feeling because the fat had lost its sense of feeling. It had become peparomene, which is the perfect participle passive of the verb poroun. The words have now become definitely connected with 'loss of feeling'.

(ii) The words become connected with the idea of 'blindness' and 'inability to see'. The word poroun is the only one of the group which occurs in the Septuagint, and it only occurs once, in Job 17.7 where the AV has it : 'Mine eyes have grown dim by reason of sorrow.'

So then we may say that at the back of them this group of words has three ideas—the idea of 'hardness', the idea of 'lack of the power to feel', and the idea of 'blindness', lack of the power to see. With this background in our minds we turn to the NT.

Poroo and porosis together occur eight times in the NT.

(i) They describe the mental condition of a man 'who cannot see the lesson that events are designed to teach him'. In Mark 6.52 the disciples were bewildered when Jesus came to them walking on the water because they did not see the meaning of the miracle of the loaves and fishes, because their hearts were 'hardened' (peporomene). When they were crossing the lake, they were worried about the fact that they had forgotten to bring bread with them. This episode in Mark follows the feeding of the four thousand; and Jesus asked them why they were so worried about having no bread. `Have you your hearts yet hardened?' He asks (pepbromene) (Mark 8.17). The word here describes the blind insensitiveness which will not learn a lesson. We sometimes say that things make no 'impression' on a person. Now there were certain Greek thinkers who believed that things did literally make an `impression' on the mind. It was as if words and sights and ideas impinged on the soft, wax-like substance of the mind, and literally left an `impression'. But clearly if the mind becomes hardened there can be no such thing as an 'impression' on it. Here the word describes unteachability. It describes the man who is so wrapped up in his own little world that nothing from any other world can touch him, the man whose mind is shut to all ideas but his own, the man who is impervious to the lessons that events are designed to teach him.

(ii) They describe the mental condition of the man 'who has made himself incapable of seeing the meaning of God's word for him'. Paul says of the Jews that their minds are 'blinded' when they hear the word of God read to them (2 Cor. 3.14). A man can lose any faculty if he will not use it. Darwin lamented the fact that he had lost the power to appreciate music and poetry, because he had given all his time to biology. He said that if he had life to live over again he would keep that faculty of appreciation alive. If a man erects his ideas into supreme authority for long enough he will in the end be incapable of receiving the ideas of God.

(iii) They describe 'the attitude of the Jews' to God. In spite of the miracles they did not believe in Jesus because God had blinded their eyes and 'hardened' their hearts (John 12.40). These are the words that Paul twice uses to describe what had been happening to Israel throughout all her history (Rom. 11.7, 25). They describe the man who stubbornly takes his own way, who is deaf to the appeal of God, because he has been busy making God in his own image. They describe the man who thinks he knows better than God.

(iv) The immoralities of the Gentile world are due to the fact that their understandings were darkened because of the porosis of their hearts (Eph. 4.18). The idea is that they have so long stifled conscience that conscience has ceased to function. Conscience has petrified. It is so calloused that it has no sensitiveness left.

(v) When Jesus was about to heal the man with the withered hand in the Synagogue and when he saw the bleak looks of the orthodox because the deed was going to be done on a Sabbath he was grieved at the 'hardness' (porosis) of their hearts (Mark 3.5). There are two things there.

(a) They had so long identified religion with rules and regulations that they could not recognize real religion when they saw it.

(b) They had so legalized religion that they had forgotten human sympathy. Because they had so long taken their way and not God's way they were completely insensitive alike to the appeal of God and the appeal of human need.

Whenever a man sets his own ideas in the place that God should take, whenever he stubbornly goes his own way, he is on the way to a condition in which his heart is petrified, in which his heart and his conscience have become insensitive and when his eyes are blind. (adapted from from William Barclay's treatise on "New Testament Words". Westminster. John Know Press)

Those chosen and the rest hardened equate with the "vessels of wrath" prepared for destruction and "vessels of mercy" prepared beforehand for glory (Ro 9:22,23) You say if He Hardened it's "not fair" -- don't take God to court Oh man. God is fair and just. Who are we to question His justice. That any are shown mercy should cause us to give Him glory in the highest for none deserved or earned His mercy. We must look at salvation from God's viewpoint not from man's where we think we can earn His favor or since we are so good in serving Him He owes us something. Modern day Christianity has a "small" God made in man's image and needs a fresh infusion of His divine perspective on life & eternity that he might simply bow in reverential awe at so great a salvation and so wonderful a Savior!

THE REST WERE HARDENED: oi de loipoi eporothesan (3PAPI): (Isaiah 6:10; 44:18; Matthew 13:14,15; John 12:40; 2Corinthians 3:14; 4:4; 2Thessalonians 2:10-12)

The rest - the remainder.

They were "covered with a thick skin" or "hardened by covering with a callous" which was a metaphor meaning to make the heart dull as in (Jn 12:40). (Lk 8:10) perfectly illustrates the elect remnant & the rest being hardened to not be able to understand what He was saying.

The Lord says to Isaiah after he cries "Send me" to...

"Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' 10 "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed." 11 Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered, "Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, Houses are without people, And the land is utterly desolate... (Isaiah 6:9-11)

Comment: Isaiah’s preaching would not be that the people would repent but that they would harden their hearts against his messages. Isaiah’s message was to be God’s instrument for hiding the truth from an unreceptive people. Centuries later, Jesus’ parables were to do the same

Note in the passage in Isaiah, the prophet asks "How Long?" and God explains that Israel's spiritual hardening will not be forever thus implying that there would be a remnant of believing Israel (see Isaiah 6:13).

Why are they hardened? It is in essence a judicial act of God for Israel's refusal to heed the Word of God (cf God's hardening in Ex 4:21 7:3 9:12 10:20, 27 11:10 14:4, 8, 17; Dt 2:30 Jn 12:40) and in response to them first hardening their hearts (Ex 8:15, 32 9:34 10:1 2Ch 36:13 Ps 95:8 Pr 28:14 Mt 19:8 Mk 3:5 Ep 4:18 Heb 3:8, 15 4:7).

Let us be very clear on what Paul is not saying. He is not saying that divine hardening is the cause of Israel's rejection of the gospel, but a punishment for it. Their hardening was the result of their resisting the truth, just as Pharaoh’s heart was hardened because he first resisted the truth and thus first hardened his own heart. It is not surprising to see Pharaoh, a pagan idol worshipping despot, harden himself against the Lord, but it might come as a surprise that most of God’s "chosen people" would do the same thing! Indeed, most of Israel was hardened because they deserved it and it was a just recompense (v9) for their sin against so great a light.

The noted Christian scholar Charles Feinberg, like Paul a believing Jew, tells the following story that gives contemporary evidence that God will never be without a believing remnant of His chosen people Israel.

Over a quarter of a century ago a Russian Jew of great learning named Joseph Rabbinowitz was sent to Palestine by the Jews to buy land for them. He went to Jerusalem. One day he went up on the Mount of Olives to rest. Someone had told him to take a New Testament as the best guidebook about Jerusalem. The Christ He had known was the Christ of the Greek and Roman churches, who were his persecutors and the persecutors of his people. But as he read the New Testament he became acquainted with the real Christ of whom the Old Testament Scriptures had foretold, and his heart grew warm. He looked off toward Calvary and thought: Why is it that my people are persecuted and cast out? And his conviction gave the answer: It must be because we have put to death our Messiah. He lifted his eyes to that Messiah and said: “My Lord and my God.” He came down from the mount a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. He went home to Russia and erected a synagogue for the Jews, over the door of which was written: “Let all the house of Israel know that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” [Ac2:36]. He was one of the many present remnant of Israel, which proves conclusively and better than words that God has not cast away His people.

In the following verses, Romans 11:8-9, Paul explains this hardening in Old Testament terms using quotes from Deuteronomy and Isaiah. Deuteronomy is used to represent the Law and Isaiah the Prophets. Thus both the Law and the Prophets testify to God’s sovereign and predetermined hardening of hearts. But remember that Israel's hardening is neither capricious nor unjust.

 

Romans 11:8  just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY."

Greek: kathos gegraptai, (1SRAI) Edoken (3SAAI) autois o theos pneuma katanuxeos, opthalmous tou me blepein (PAN) kai ota tou me akouein, (PAN) eos tes semeron hemeras. 
Amplified: As it is written, God gave them a spirit (an attitude) of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, [that has continued] down to this very day.
ESV:  as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day."
ICB: As it is written in the Scriptures: "God gave the people a dull mind so they could not understand." Isaiah 29: 10 "God closed their eyes so they could not see, and God closed their ears so they could not hear. This continues until today." Deuteronomy 29: 4
NIV: as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day."
NKJV: Just as it is written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day."
NLT:  As the Scriptures say, "God has put them into a deep sleep. To this very day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear."
Phillips: This is borne out by the scripture: 'God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day'.
Wuest: even as it stands written, God gave them a spirit of insensibility, eyes for the purpose of not seeing, and ears for the purpose of not hearing, until this day.
Young's Literal:  according as it hath been written, 'God gave to them a spirit of deep sleep, eyes not to see, and ears not to hear,' -- unto this very day,
JUST AS IT IS WRITTEN: kathos gegraptai (1SRAI): (Isaiah 29:10)

It is written and stands forever as the final word and authority. This is God's Word. Do you believe that?

Written (1125) (grapho) is in the perfect tense which emphasizes the lasting and binding authority of that which was written. It has been written at some point in time in the past and it "stands" written. This is a common introduction to OT quotations (Romans 1:17 2:24; 3:4 Mt 4:4, 6-7, 10). The perfect tense stresses continuity and permanence, and implies the divine authority of the Scripture.

So here Paul presents a rather free translation and paraphrase of both Deuteronomy and Isaiah (the first line from Isa 29:10,13 & last line from Dt 29:3,4) noting that Israel as a nation has been judicially blinded and deafened by God because of their stubborn refusal to see or hear the true revelation and will of God. In context Moses said they had

"seen all that the LORD did before (their) eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh" and their "eyes (had) seen...great signs & wonders." (Dt 29:2-3).

These truths also emphasizes that seeing the miraculous does not necessarily result in genuine belief.

Sometimes a person who has been struck on the head may seem to be fully conscious but is mentally confused and unaware of his surroundings. Just so, says Paul (as did Isaiah before him), God has enveloped Israel in a state of spiritual numbness, in an attitude of deadness towards spiritual things in a mental and moral dullness or apathy.

GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR: edoken (3SAAI) autois o theos pneuma katanuxeos:  

Isaiah records that...

the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, the seers. (Isaiah 29:10)

Stupor (2659) (katanuxis from katá = an intensifying preposition. + nússo = to prick, pierce) literally a piercing through and is used of numbness resulting from a bite or poisonous sting. In the present context katanuxis signifies the dulling of Israel's spiritual senses.

"Spirit of stupor" is thus more literally “the spirit of stinging.”

These OT quotes both illustrate God’s judicial hardening of unbelieving Israel, and show that what Paul is teaching is not in violation of or inconsistent with the OT. The gospel writers also used a similar  expression to indicate the Jews’ failure to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

God silenced the prophets (Isa 29:10) because Israel refused to hear them (Isa 30:10-11); thus God would make his message plain through the Assyrian invasion (Isa 28:9-13). Israel had become blind and deaf to God’s word (Isa 29:9-10), having excuses (Isa 29:11-12) and a pretense of righteousness (Isa 29:13-14); but someday they would see and hear again (Isa 29:18, 24).

EYES TO SEE NOT: ophthalmous tou me blepein (PAN): (Luke 8:10; Acts 28:26)

This tragic condition rings out over and over in the Old Testament...

"Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. (Deuteronomy 29:4)

And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' (Isaiah 6:9)

'Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes, but see not; Who have ears, but hear not.  (Jeremiah 5:21)

"Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house.  (Ezekiel 12:2)

Jesus reiterates (in His explanation of the parable of the seed, the Word of God, and the different responses of the "soils" it fell upon) this same sad state of most of Israel still present in the New Testament times even in the very presence of the Light of the World...

And He was saying to them, "To you (His disciples) has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, in order that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE; AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND LEST THEY RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN." (Mark 4:11,12)

Moses’ point was that after forty years of wilderness wandering the Israelites still had not come to understand and appreciate what God had done for them in delivering them from Egypt and giving them their own land, even on the very eve of their possession of that land. Paul seems to be saying that the Jews of his day were still laboring under the same spiritual blindness that caused them to crucify their Messiah

AND EARS TO HEAR NOT (and it has continued) DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY: kai ota tou me akouein (PAN) eos tes semeron hemeras:

In Kings we read...

34 To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the LORD commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel... 41 So while these nations feared the LORD, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day. (2Kings 17:34,41)

Paul explained Israel's spiritual blindness and deafness this way to the Corinthians...

But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart (2Corinthians 3:14,15)

Compare Stephen’s speech  in Acts 7...

You men who are stiff-necked (Hard, obstinate, proud ) and uncircumcised in heart (see Scriptures on Circumcision) and ears are always resisting (rush against or upon in a hostile manner, assault, resist by force and violence!) the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 "Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it." (And just prior to stoning Stephen to death) 54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.

Charles Spurgeon - Fate says the thing is and must be, so it is decreed. But the true doctrine is- God has appointed this and that, not because it must be, but because it is best that it should be. Fate is blind, but the destiny of Scripture is full of eyes. Fate is stern and adamantine, and has no tears for human sorrow. But the arrangements of providence are kind and good.


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