Main point summary
God uses even the exceeding sinfulness of sin to bring about ends that resound to his glory and the good of his people. The higher purpose of God was not that unbelievers should be condemned but that the nations should be saved, though both achieve the highest purpose of glorifying his name. Now, if he can bring about glorious ends from the actions of unbelievers, how much more shall he bring about glorious ends from the fullness of those who have followed Christ into death and, consequently, into life?
Therefore, I say,
they did not fall
in order that they should fall, did they?
By no means!
ἀλλὰ τῷ αὐτῶν παραπτώματι
Instead, by means of their same sin,
ἡ σωτηρία τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
salvation is to the nations
εἰς τὸ παραζηλῶσαι αὐτούς.
in order to provoke them to jealousy.
εἰ δὲ τὸ παράπτωμα αὐτῶν πλοῦτος κόσμου
Now if their sin is riches of the world,
καὶ τὸ ἥττημα αὐτῶν πλοῦτος ἐθνῶν,
and their loss riches of the nations,
πόσῳ μᾶλλον τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῶν.
their fullness is how much more?
Ὑμῖν δὲ λέγω τοῖς ἔθνεσιν•
Now I am speaking for the advantage of you all, the nations.
ἐφʼ ὅσον μὲν οὖν εἰμι ἐγὼ ἐθνῶν ἀπόστολος,
In so far as on the one hand, therefore, I myself am an apostle of the nations,
τὴν διακονίαν μου δοξάζω,
I glorify my ministry.
εἴ πως παραζηλώσω μου τὴν σάρκα
If somehow I might make my flesh jealous
καὶ σώσω τινὰς ἐξ αὐτῶν.
even some of them might be saved,
εἰ γὰρ ἡ ἀποβολὴ αὐτῶν καταλλαγὴ κόσμου,
for if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,
τίς ἡ πρόσλημψις
what is the acceptance,
εἰ μὴ ζωὴ ἐκ νεκρῶν;
except life from the dead?
εἰ δὲ ἡ ἀπαρχὴ ἁγία,
If the firstfruits is holy,
καὶ τὸ φύραμα•
also the lump,
καὶ εἰ ἡ ῥίζα ἁγία,
and if the root is holy,
καὶ οἱ κλάδοι.
also the branches.
The riches of his glory are made known to the vessels of mercy by means of the preparation of vessels of wrath. The vessels of wrath were prepared for the purpose of making known the riches of God's glory to the nations!
This word for jealousy (also in 11:14) does not seem to be used positively but in correspondence with the pronouncement of judgment, "I will make you jealous with what is not a nation" Rom. 10:19.
If his purpose for bringing riches to the world/nations is in primary view here, then this could have a lesser force (result), though not excluding the fact that it was still part of God's purpose
Is this question an expexegetical explanation of "the reconciliation?"
Should this be a subject or an object?
Dative of Measure (Wallace, 166-67)
Dative of Advantage
Subjective or objective genitive? -Is it God's rejection of them or their rejection of God? -Since there is no genitive pronoun identifying the acceptance as specifically theirs, perhaps this is evidence for why the rejection is God's rejection of them.
Grammar Notes, Questions
Parsing -I'm taking both παραζηλωσω & σωσω in v. 14 as imperfective, active, subjunctive, 1, sg. Translation -Therefore, I say, they did not fall in order that they should fall, did they? By no means! Instead, by means of their same sin, salvation is to the nations in order to make them jealous. Now if their sin is riches of the world, and their loss riches of the nations, their fullness is how much more? Now I am speaking for the advantage of you all, the nations. In so far as on the one hand, therefore, I myself am an apostle of the nations, I glorify my ministry, if somehow I might make my flesh jealous and some of them might be saved, for if their loss is the reconciliation of the world, what is the acceptance, except life from the dead? If the firstfruits is holy, also the lump, and if the root is holy, also the branches. Grammar Notes -Significance of τῳ αυτων παραπτωματι - genitive pronoun in the 1st attributive position? --> If an intensive pronoun is in the attributive position it functions as an "identifying adjective" and is translated "same" (Wallace, 349-59) --> "their same sin" -Is αυτους in v. 11 the subject or the object of the infinitive? -ποσῳ μαλλον is what kind of dative? --> Dative of measure (Wallace, 166-67) -εφ᾽ οσον in v. 13? --> BDAG 18.c.β - "as long as" --> BDAG 13 - "to the degree that" or "in so far as" --> Functioning to emphasize that he is trying to show the degree to which he is an apostle to the nations in order to make jealous Questions 1. What does it mean to "make jealous?" --> 1 Kgs. 19:10, 14 2. How are all of the conditional sentences functioning?
Exegetical Notes -Connection between 11:12 and Rom. 9:22-24 -->The riches of his glory are made known to the vessels of mercy by means of the preparation of vessels of wrath. The vessels of wrath were prepared for the purpose of making known the riches of God's glory to the nations! -Exception clause in Rom. 11:15 -->"Because we usually place the clause we want to focus on at the end of the sentence. When we consider an exception as the most important or key part of an utterance, we place special focus on it by placing it after what would otherwise be a false statement and thus offering a qualification with the exception. By doing this, it is as if we were shining a giant floodlight on the exception, highlighting the one exception to the otherwise false statement. Steve Runge provides another helpful analogy: ' This rhetorical process is analogous to having a table full of items, sweeping all of them onto the floor, and then placing the one item you are interested in back onto the table all by itself. You could have simply pointed to the item and said, “This is the one I am interested in.” But sweeping every item onto the floor has a dramatic effect. . . . Removing everything and then adding back the important item that was already there attracts far more attention to it than just pointing to it on the table.'" (Biblemesh Level 4, "Not X Except Y"; cf. Runge Discourse Grammar , 84) 11:13a seems to crystallize the fact that all of this has been for the sake of the salvation of the nations. Questions 1. What does it mean to "make jealous?" -1 Kgs. 19:10, 14 -ζηλος in 10:2 -παραζηλοω also in Rom. 10:19; 11:14; 1 Cor 10:22 --> Throughout the LXX and in the 4 uses of the NT, this word for jealousy does not seem to be employed in a positive way. It is either Yahweh being provoked to jealousy and wrath because of Israel's sin, or the people of Israel being tempted to be jealous of the nations around them. This does not seem to be a provocation to return to Yahweh, but to depart further from him. -πταιω vs. πιπτω - are these synonymous or are they different? --> Connection to Rom. 9:32–33. Interesting in that 11:7-10 seems to connect back to Rom. 9:30–32, 10:3; and Rom. 11:6 connects to Rom. 9:32. -->Dunn says they can be used synonymously, though he asserts that the context implies a progression to a more serious outcome (653). However, he also indicates that ινα should be taken as an indication of result, which would produce a translation such as, "It is not the case that the stumbling of Israel resulted in their fall." However, the clear implication from the beginning of Romans 9 is that those who do not believe have indeed fallen. Even in Rom. 11:22, it is clear that the severity of God has been observably exercised toward those who have fallen. Therefore, whether it is purpose or result, one must acknowledge that Paul speaks as though there are some in the category represented by πιπτω. --> Perhaps an alternative may be to see the difference between these words as nothing more than stylistic variation in vocabulary, then the interpretation hinges more on the ινα than on the difference between these two nearly synonymous nouns. Since it has been shown that some did indeed fall ( πιπτω), then understanding ινα to indicate result does not make sense. So, what then is a purpose ινα doing in this passage? Was their stumbling for the purpose of falling? No, but it was for the purpose of extending salvation to the nations. Not only this, but the salvation of the nations is for the purpose of making the stumblers jealous (10:19). ---> If his purpose for bringing riches to the world/nations is in primary view here, then this could have a lesser force (result), though not excluding the fact that it was still part of God's purpose 2. How are all of the conditional sentences functioning? "The first relation the two parts can have is that of cause and effect. “IF” = cause; “THEN” = effect." (Wallace, 682 "The second relation the protasis can have to the apodosis is that of ground, or evidence, to inference. Here the speaker infers something (the apodosis) from some evidence. That is, he makes an induction about the implications that a piece of evidence suggests to him." (Wallace, 683) "The third relation the two parts can have to one another is one of equivalence. That is, we could put this formula this way: “If A, then B” means the same thing as “A = B.” (This often looks very similar to evidence-inference.)" (Wallace, 683) "The implied conditions are normally equivalent to the third class condition." (Wallace, 689) Rom. 11:12 -If he is continuing to speak of the remnant and the rebel, then αυτων here can potentially refer to εθνων and κοσμου. Possibly supporting this is the το πληρωμα των εθνων down in v. 25. If those who sin are still able to bring glory to God, how much more the fullness of those who receive him? -->"How much more is their fullness" appears to be functioning in the 2nd category above, making an inference. Rom. 11:14 -If the concept of making jealous is taken as above, then this statement seems to take on a concessive implication. "Although I might make some of my flesh jealous by magnifying my ministry, even so some of them may be saved." Rom. 11:15a-b -If the αυτων is taken to be an objective genitive, meaning "God's rejection of them," then it could be that what is being compared is the rejection of the rebel and the acceptance of the remnant, which is composed of the nations first of the Jew and also of the Greek. "Life from the dead" seems to stand in parallel to the "how much more" in v. 12, which suggests that those who receive life from the dead as a result of the acceptance are the nations. This makes sense, since Paul said he is speaking for their advantage (11:13). --> This seems to fall under the 3rd category above. -If the αυτων is a subjective genitive, then what is being compared must be the benefits granted to the nations by the rejection of God (the killing of Jesus) and the benefits granted them by God's acceptance of them. --> This would seem to be under the 2nd category, being inferential (going from lesser to greater) --> Interesting to think about Rom. 5:10-11 in connection with this passage. We were reconciled by the death of Jesus (which was the rejection spoken of here) and now, much more shall we be saved by his life! --> Life from the dead: Rom. 6:1-11 - the acceptance brings life from the dead, just as he was declared to be the Son of God in power by the resurrection, we too, having been accepted, shall be raised from death to life. Rom. 11:16 -The proceeding discussion on the "root" that supports them seems to confirm the interpretation of 11:15, in which those who are joined to Christ in his death shall also be joined to him in his life. If he is the firstfruits and the root, and he, having been raised from the dead first, is holy, then so shall be the lump of his choosing and the branches that are grafted into him. Doxological Response - How great a comfort it is that God works all things together for good for those who love him. How much greater a comfort it is to know that he is able to do such work through the sinful acts of those who oppose him and do evil by seeking their own righteousness. How magnificent a truth it is that if God does good to his people and brings glory to his name through the sinful acts of his rebellious creatures, he will do as much and more good and bring as much and more glory to his name through the obedience of his children who submit themselves to him and love him and receive his Son and become like him in every way. How wonderful to know that Christ, the firstfruits, has made us a part of a new holy lump, and how wonderful to know that Christ, the holy root firmly planted, is able to sustain the branches that are grafted into him by faith alone!