The Epistle of ROMANS

Chapter Eleven


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.

Literal: I ask then, has God rejected His people? I cannot believe it. 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,

Literal: God has not rejected His people which of old He acknowledged as His own. Do you not know what the Scripture says in Elias? How he makes intercession/pleads with God against Israel, saying,

3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine alters; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

Literal: Lord, they have killed thy prophets, they have torn down thine alters, and I alone am left, 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.

Literal: But what does God say to him? I left to myself 7,000 men who have not bowed a knee to Baal.

5. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Literal: Even so then at this present time, a remnant has come into being, selected by the grace of God.

6. And if by grace, then is it  no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be  of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Literal: And if by grace, then it is no more of works, or grace would cease to be grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace, otherwise work is no more work.

7. What then? Israel hath not obtained that for which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

Literal: What follows? What Israel sought, Israel has not achieved, but the selected few have achieved it, and the rest were blinded (hardened) to the truth.

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.

Literal: (According as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of slumber, eyes so as not to see, and ears so as not to hear) unto this day".

This is from Isaiah 29: 10. This spirit of slumber is a 'stupor' like a deep sleep. These people are in a stupor and simply cannot see the truth. God allows this to happen to people who simply refuse to believe. It is happening even to this day.

9. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

Literal: And David says: Let their table be made a snare and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence (retribution, repayment) unto them:

10. Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Literal: Let their eyes be darkened so as not to see and their back continually bowed down.

11. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather  through their fall salvation is come  unto the Gentile, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Literal: I say then, did they stumble that they might fall? or I now ask, "Did their failure mean complete downfall?"

New English Translation -- May it not be. But as a result of their offence and fall, salvation is come to the Gentiles, for to provoke them (Israel) to jealousy or emulation.

12. 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?

Literal: But if their offence means the enrichment of the world, and if their falling off or default means the enrichment of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness or coming to full strength?


13. For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Literal: For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I give all honor to my ministry.

Paul is stressing the importance of his ministry and God does the same in the following verse:

Acts 9: 15b . . . . . . . for he is a chosen vessel unto me [God], to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

14. If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are  my flesh, and might save some of them.

Literal: If by any means I will provoke to jealousy my flesh or men of my own race (Judeans), 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?

Literal: For if their rejection or the casting away of them be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from among the dead?

16. For if the firstfruit be  holy, the lump is  also holy:  and if the root be  holy, so are  the branches.

Literal: For if the first fruits are holy or consecrated, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

New English Translation: 16a -- . . . . . . . If the first portion of dough is consecrated, so is the whole lump.

17. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

Literal: But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, have been grafted in among them and have come to share the same fertile root and sap of the olive tree;

18. Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Literal: New English Translation -- Do not make yourself superior to the branches. If you do so, remember, that it is not you who sustains the root: the root sustains you.

19. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

Literal: You will say then: Branches were lopped off so that I might be grafted in.

20. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

Literal: Well, because of unbelief they were broken off (they were lopped off for lack of faith) and you stand by faith (believing).

Put away your pride and be not highminded, but be on guard. God is warning against pride and being haughty. He wants us to be sharp and be on guard and ready with the Word if these thoughts try to attack our mind. Because you are a son of God does not make you superior to other people. You are blessed with God's grace and mercy because, by your own free will, you choose to believe and keep God first in your life. God does not love you any more than anyone else. You are, because you believe, very important to God and He can do more for you because you choose to obey Him.

21. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed   lest he also spare not thee.

Literal: For if God spared not the natural branches (Israel), take heed lest he also spare not thee (Gentiles).

22. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his  goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Literal: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them (Israel) which fell, severity (a cutting off); but toward thee (Gentiles), goodness, if thou (Gentiles) continue in His goodness**: otherwise thou (the Gentiles) also shalt be cut off.

Remember that this is written to the Gentiles. Both Israel and the Gentiles now needed to be born again of God's Spirit. This explains verse 21. **Now we need to understand the term 'goodness' here. The Gentiles must continue in His goodness which means they must continue getting saved by confessing Romans 10: 9, 10.

23. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

Literal: And they also (the Israelites) if they do not continue faithless and not still abide in unbelief, will be grafted in, for it is in God's power to graft them in again.

24. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches,  be grafted into their own olive tree?

Literal: For if you were cut from your native wild olive tree which is wild by nature, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a good olive tree (belonging to God): how much more readily will they, the natural olive branches, be grafted into their native stock -- into their own olive tree?

REMEMBER that 'you' is referring to the Gentiles and 'they' is referring to Israel.

This verse needs to be studied but it appears clear when the pronouns are understood. The Gentile is being referred to as a wild olive tree and God says that even they can be grafted in to a cultivated olive tree -- one belonging to God. So then it stands to reason that a natural, cultivated olive branch can surely be grafted into their own olive tree which is cultivated and does belong to God. The Gentiles being grafted in is contrary to nature but in the latter case, with Israel, it is not contrary to nature since the cultivated olive tree, belonging to God was set up initially for the Israelites. There are also three (3) figures of speech used in verses 21 to 23. The first is ‘Detailing’, the second is ‘Introverted Parallelism’ and the third is ‘Inversion’.

25. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Literal: For I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, that you may not, in yourselves, be wise; this partial blindness (hardness) has come upon Israel only until the Gentiles have been admitted in full strength.

26. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Literal: When that has happened, the whole of Israel shall be saved as it is written "Out of Zion shall come the Deliverer, and he shall remove wickedness from Jacob."

27. For this is  my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Literal: And this is the covenant I will grant them, when I shall take away their sins.

28. As concerning the gospel, they are  enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are  beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Literal: As concerning the gospel, they are treated as God's enemies for your sake, but as concerning those which are chosen, they are beloved (receiving preference) for the sake of the patriarchs.

Deuteronomy 10: 15 -- Only the Lord had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even  you above all people, as it is  this day.

29. For the gifts and calling of God are  without repentance.

Literal: For the gifts (favor, kindness, that which is freely given, a gift of grace) and calling (whose origin, nature and goal are heavenly) of God are without repentance (not to be regretted; without change of purpose).

In other words, God will keep His promises. He never goes back on His Word. His promises are for keeps and He will deliver according to our believing.

Numbers 23: 19 -- God is  not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it?  or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

30. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Literal: For as in times past, you have not believed (obeyed) God, but now you have received mercy in the time of their disobedience (through their disobedience).

This type of unbelief here at the end of the verse is apeitheia unbelief which refers to "Those who have heard but still refuse to believe what they have heard".

31. Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Literal: New English Translation -- So now, when you receive mercy, they have proved disobedient, but only in order that they too may receive mercy.

32. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Literal: For God had enclosed them (or shut them all up together) in unbelief or disobedience, that He might show mercy to all.

The New English Translation states that this situation existed because it was God's purpose to show mercy to all mankind.

33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are  his judgements, and his ways past finding out!

Literal: Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable or untraceable are His judgements and His ways.

They cannot be traced. His judgements are incomprehensible and His ways untrackable. This is the same word used in Ephesians.

Ephesians 3: 8 -- Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable (untrackable) riches of Christ;

The context here shows that this present interval between "the sufferings of Christ" and "the glory that should follow" had been kept a secret. This was the Mystery -- the Age of Grace in which you now live. This also contains the figure of speech in Romans 11: 33 called ‘Alliteration’ which is the "repetition of the same letter or syllable at the commencement of successive words".  Unsearchable is ANEXeruneeta and His ways past finding out is ANEXichniastoi which is untrackable. This verse also expresses 'wonder and astonishment' which is the figure of speech ‘Wondering’ -- an expression of feeling by way of wonder.  The verse also contains the Figure ‘Condescensio’ by ascribing human attributes to God.  So there are THREE figures of speech in this verse.

34. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counseller?

Literal: For who knows the mind of the Lord? Or who became His counsellor?

This is also a Figure of Speech referred to as ‘Erotesis’ or ‘Interrogating’ which is the ‘asking of questions without waiting for the answer, and without expecting any reply'. This same figure is again in verse 35.

35. Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

Literal: Or who first gave to Him, to be recompensed with a gift in return?

Job 35: 7 -- If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?

36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are  all things: to whom be  glory for ever. Amen.

Literal: For of Him and through Him and unto Him are all things: to Him be glory for all ages. Amen.

New English Translation -- Source, Guide and Goal of all that is -- to Him be glory forever. Amen.