The Reconciling of the World

Romans 11:12-17 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 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? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, were graffed in among them, and with them partakes of the root and fatness of the olive tree 

‘Riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness.’ If, in consequence of their rebellion, the riches of God’s grace has to come to the Gentile world, how much more will the world be blessed when Israel comes to her fullness of blessing again.

‘Emulation’ same word translated “jealousy” in Romans 11:11. If I might by some means provoke some Jews to seek their share of the gospel.

‘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?’ If the rejection of Israel and the turning to Gentiles caused all the world to have the immediate opportunity of being saved, how much more will many in the world be blessed when the whole nation of Israel is saved in one day (11:15, 25-29; Isa. 66:7-8; Zech. 12:10-13:1; 14:1-5, 14, 16-21).

‘Firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches’ “The firstfruit” refers to the first Jews blessed in the gospel and “the lump” to the whole nation that will be blessed and become holy in the end (11:16, 25-29; Isa. 66:7-8; Zech. 12:10-13:1; 14:1-21). “The root and fatness of the olive tree” refers to Christ and God’s blessings of the Abrahamic and New Covenant. “The branches” are the Israelites, like true Christians are the branches in the vine of John 15:1-8.

‘And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, were graffed in among them, and with them partakes of the root and fatness of the olive tree’ Israel is here pictured as branches of an olive tree and the Gentiles as a wild olive tree, or the oleaster which bears no fruit. Some are broken off because of unbelief and Gentiles take their place to partake of Israel’s blessings.

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