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CONTENTS. The apostle in this chapter goes on to show the future state of the Jews and Gentiles in respect of Christianity, viz. that though the nation of the Jews were for their unbelief rejected, and the Gentiles taken in their room to be the people of God, yet there were a few of the Jews that believed in Christ, and so a small remnant of them continued to be God's people, being incorporated, with the converted Gentiles, into the Christian church. But they shall, the whole nation of them, when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, be converted to the Gospel, and again be restored to be the people of God.

The apostle takes occasion also, from God's having rejected the Jews, to warn the Gentile converts that they take heed; since, if God cast off his ancient people, the Jews, for their unbelief, the Gentiles could not expect to be preserved if they apostatized from the faith, and kept not firm in their obedience to the Gospel.

TEXT. 1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid! For I

also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of

Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye

not what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,


1 I say, then, “ Has a God wholly cast away his people, the

Jews, from being his people ?”. By no means; for I my

self am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of 2 Benjamin. God hath not utterly cast off his people, whom

he formerly owned ', with so peculiar a respect. Know ye not what the Scripture saith concerning Elijah ? How he


1 . This is a question in the person of a Jew, who made the objections iu the

foregoing chapter, and continues on to object here. 2 " See chap. viii. 29.

TEXT. 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars;

and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to

myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the

image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant, accord

ing to the election of 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no


PARAPHRASE. 3 complained to the God of Israel in these words: “Lord,

they have killed thy prophets, and have digged down thine

altars, and of all that worshipped thee 1 alone am left, 4 and they seek my life also." But what saith the answer of

God to him? “ I have reserved to myself seven thousand

men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal ," i. e. have 5 not been guilty of idolatry. Even so at this time also there

is a remnant reserved and segregated, by the favour and free 6 choice of God. Which reservation of a remnant, if it be by grace and favour, it is not of works 4, for then


would not be grace. But if it were of works, then is it not grace. For then work would not be work, i. e. work gives a right,

NOTES. 4.c“Baal" and Baalim were the names whereby the false gods and idols which the

heathens worshipped were signified in sacred Scripture; see Jadges ii. 1l--13.

Hos. xi, 2. 6 4“ It is not of works.” This exclusion of works seems to be mistaken by

those, who extend it to all manner of difference in the person chosen, from those that were rejected; for such a choice as that excludes not grace in the chooser, but merit in the chosen. For it is plain that hy works here St. Paul means merit, as is evident also from chap. iv. 2—4. The law required complete, perfect obedience: he that performed that had a right to the reward; but he that failed and came short of that had by the law no right to any thing but death. And so the Jews, being all sinners, God might, without injustice, have cast them all off; none of them could plead a right to his favour. If therefore he chose out and reserved any, it was of mere grace, though in his choice he preferred those who were the best disposed and most inclined to his service. A whole province revolts from their prince, and takes arms against him; he resolves to pardon some of them. This is a purpose of grace. He reduces them under his power, and then chooses out of them, as vessels of mercy, those that he finds least infected with malice, obstinacy, and rebellion. This choice neither voids nor abates his purpose of grace ; that stands firm ; but only executes it so, as may best comport with his wisdom and goodness. And, indeed, without some regard to a difference in the things taken from those that are left, I do not see how it can be called choice. A handful of pebbles, for example, may be taken out of a heap; they are taken and separated, indeed, from the rest ; but if it be without any regard to any difference in them from others rejected, I doubt whether any body can call them chosen.

TEXT. more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: other

wise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for;

but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded : 8 According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of

slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should

not hear, unto this day. 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a spare, and a trap, and

a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them : 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down

their back alway. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall ? God forbid :

PARAPHRASE. grace bestows the favour, where there is no right to it; 'so

that what is conferred by the one cannot be ascribed to the 7 other. How is it then? Even thus, Israel, or the nation

of the Jews, obtained not what it seeks, but the election, or that part which was to remain God's elect, chosen

people, obtained it, but the rest of them were blinded 8 : 8 According, as it is written“, “ God hath given them the

spirit of slumber ; eyes that they should not see, and ears 9 that they should not hear, unto this day." And David

saith', “'Let their table be made a snare and a trap, and 10 a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them: Let their

eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down 11 their back alway." What then do I say, that they

have so stumbled, as to be fallen past recovery? By no means : but this I say, that by their fall, by their rejec

NOTES. 7 “What it seeks," i, e. that righteousness whereby it was to continue the peo

ple of God; see chap. ix. 31. It may be observed that St. Paul's discourse being of the national privilege of continuing the people of God, he speaks here and all along of the Jews in the collective term Israel. And so likewise the reninant, which were to remain his people, and incorporate with the convert Gentiles into one body of Christians, owning the dominion of the one, true God, in the kingdom he had set up under bis Son, and owned by God for his people, he calls the election. { " Election," a collective appellation of the part elected, which in other places he calls remnant. This remnant, or election, call it by which name you please, were those who sought righteousness by faith in Christ, and not by the deeds of the law, and so became the people of God, that people which he had chosen to be his.

8"Blinded;" see 2 Cor. iii. 13–16. & h«Written." Isai. xxix, 10, and vi. 9, 10. 9 i “Saith.” Psal. Ixix, 22, 23. VOL. VIII.


TEXT. but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles,

for to provoke them to jealousy: 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminish

ing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you, Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the

Gentiles, I magnify mine office : 14 If, by any means, I may provoke to emulation them which are my

flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world,

what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead? 16 For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root

be holy, so are the branches.

PARAPHRASE, tion for refusing the Gospel, the privilege of becoming the people of God, by receiving the doctrine of salvation,

is come to the Gentiles, to provoke the Jews to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of the Jews hath been to the enriching of

the rest of the world, and their damage an advantage to the Gentiles, by letting them into the church, how much more

shall their completion be so, when their whole nation shall be 13 restored? This I say to you, Gentiles, forasmuch as, being 14 apostle of the Gentiles, í magnify: mine office : If, by any

means, I may provoke to emulation the Jews, who are my

own flesh and blood, and bring some of them into the way of 15 salvation. For if the casting them off be a means of recon

ciling the world, what shall their restoration be, when they

are taken again into favour, but as it were life from the dead, 16 which is to all mankind of all nations ? For if the first fruits m

be holy " and accepted, the whole product of the year is holy, and will be accepted. And if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from whom the Jewish nation had their original, were holy, the branches also, that sprang from this root, are holy.

NOTES. 11 k That this is the meaning of “fall” here, see Acts xiii. 46. 13 · St. Paul magnified his office of apostle of the Gentiles, not only by preaching

the Gospel to the Gentiles, but in assuring them farther, as he does, ver. 12, that when the nation of the Jews shall be restored, the fulness of the Gentiles

shall also come in. 16 m These allusions the apostle makes use of here to show that the patriarchs,

the root of the Jewish vation, being accepted by God, and the few Jewish converts, which at first entered into the Christian church, being also accepted by God, are as it were first fruits, or pledges, that God will in due time admit the whole vation of the Jews into his visible church, to be his peculiar people again.

“Holy:" by holy is here meant that relative holiness, whereby any thing hati an appropriation to God.

TEXT. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild

olive-tree, wert graffed in amongst them, and with them partakest

of the root and fatness of the olive-tree ; 18 Boast not against the branches : but if thou boast, thou bearest not

the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be

graffed in. 20 Well: because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest

by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear. 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also

spare not thee. 22 Behold, therefore, the goodness and severity of God: on them which


17 If then some of the natural branches were broken off: if

some of the natural Jews, of the stock of Israel, were broken off and rejected, and thou, a heathen of the wild Gentile race, wert taken in, and ingrafted into the church of God in their

room, and there partakest of the blessings promised to Abra18 ham and his seed; Be not so conceited of thyself as to show

any disrespect to the Jews. If any such vanity possesses thee, remember that the privilege thou hast, in being a Christian, is derived to thee from the promise made to Abraham

and his seed, but nothing accrues to Abraham or his race 19 by any thing derived from thee. Thou wilt perhaps say, 20 “ The Jews were rejected to make way for me.

Well, let it be so: but remember that it was because of unbelief that they were broken off, and that it is by faith alone that thou hast obtained, and must keep thy present station. This ought to

be a warning to thee not to have any haughty conceit of 21 thyself, but with modesty to fear. For if God spared not the

seed of Abraham, but cast off even the children of Israel for

their unbelief, he will certainly not spare thee, if thou art 22 guilty of the like miscarriage. Mind, therefore, the benignity

and rigour of God; rigour to them that stumbled at the Gospel

NOTE. 18 • " Boast not against the branches." Though the great fault that most dis

ordered the church, and principally exercised the apostle's care in this epistle, was from the Jews pressing the necessity of legal observances, and not brooking that the Gentiles, though converts to Christianity, should be admitted into their communion without being circumcised; yet it is plain from this verse, as also chap. xiv. 3, 10, that the convert Gentiles were not wholly without fault ou their side, in treating the Jews with disesteem and contempt. To this also, as it comes in his way, he applies fit remedies, particularly in this chapter and chap. xiv.

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