(1) I say then, God has not rejected his people, has he (this chapter culminates with the status of Israel’s rebellion and a related Gentile problem that said since most of Israel had rejected the Basar in Yeshua, God had rejected Israel and replaced them with a new people and a new faith not patterned after the Torah. Paul extinguishes this idea and warns those thinking along this line)? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite (This term was used for all Jewish people, regardless of what tribe you were from. He also said he was a Jew in Acts 21.39 and a Hebrew in Phil 3.5. These terms are synonymous), a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (2) God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew (loved before the world was, the Jewish elect-Eph 1.4). Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel (Paul reminds the people that Elijah thought that God had given up on Israel and thought he was the only one left that believed. God showed him that even when Israel is in sin, he will not break his promises to them and that he does not change. God showed Elijah there was a remnant)? (3) “Lord, they have killed the prophets, they have torn down your altars, and I alone am left and they are seeking my life.” (4) But what is the divine response to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand (this means a complete number, many) men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” (5) In the same way then (now), there has also to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice (through the Torah based faith he has given, there has been and always will be a remnant, by God’s work and choice. Man has nothing to add to it). (6) But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works (it is not a cooperative effort between man and God based on something man does), otherwise grace is no longer grace. (7) what then? That which Israel is seeking for, it is not obtained but those who were chosen (by God before the world was-Eph 1.4) obtained it, and the rest were hardened (by God= passive voice in Greek. They did not harden themselves= middle voice in Greek, or each other,=which is the active voice); (8) just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor. Eyes to see not and ears to hear not (not spiritually perceptive), down to this very day.” (9) And David says, “Let their table (where conspiracies are discussed among like-minded people) become a snare and a trap (to prevent them from seeing) and a stumbling block and a retribution to them. (10) Let their eyes be darkened to see not, and bend their backs forever.” (11) I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they (The Jews who do not believe in Yeshua yet, have stumbled, but they have not fallen for all time. They are still considering what Paul has been saying but their faith is “weak” because they are missing the target, the objective of the Torah, which is Yeshua-Rom 10.4)? May it never be! But by their transgression (a false step, weak as far as Yeshua is concerned) salvation has come to the Gentiles to make them jealous (so that they, in turn, come to accept Yeshua). (12) Now if their transgression (false step) be riches for the world (if a small remnant of Israel accepts Yeshua and the world is blessed) and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be (there will be even greater blessings when more of Israel comes to believe, full recovery). (13) But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. In as much as I am an apostle (a sent one=”shaliach”) of Gentiles (on behalf of Israel), I magnify my ministry, (14) if somehow I might move to jealousy (provoked by those who were “not a people”-Deut 32.21. There is no reason for Israel to be jealous of another belief system outside of the Torah. If a new faith came along and Jews had to “convert to it”, it would mean that God has rejected them, which he hasn’t. It would also mean that God is not going to keep his promises to the Jewish people in light of all the eschatological promises he has made. Paul is bringing Gentiles into the faith as foretold by the prophets. He was hoping this would provoke his brethren to jealousy) my fellow-countrymen and save some of them. (15) For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead (like what Ezekiel saw in 37.1-28). (16) And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, so are the branches (Paul begins to develop his Olive Tree theology…the first piece of dough represents the covenants, promises, adoption, glory, the Torah, Temple, the fathers, Messiah. In other words, the faith of Israel-Rom 9.4. The lump and the root are the remnant/Messiah. The unbroken branches represent the natural Jews who believe in Yeshua. The broken branches are those Jews who still haven’t believed in him, and the wild olive branches are the Gentiles). (17) But if some of the branches (the natural branches-the Jews who don’t believe) were broken off (In Isa 60.22 the Jewish scholars saw a contradiction. They saw the kingdom being hastened before the time, but the people had to repent. If not, it would come in its due time, at the end of the 6000 years. They saw it being offered around the year 4000 but repentance was needed-Deit 30.1-6. The Kingdom of God is a variation of the “kingdom of YHVH” in 1 Chr 28.5; 2 Chr 13.8. The kingdom of heaven is the restored kingdom of Israel-Acts 1.6. The kingdom was offered at Messiah’s 1st coming-Matt 11.12, 12.28; Mark 112.34. The offer was rejected for not repenting-Matt 11.12-19; Luke 17.21-25; Matt 21.43. The offer was extended beyond the crucifixion-Acts 3.12-26 with the Gentiles being grafted into it. The offer expired in 63 AD with the death of James and Paul’s statement in Acts 28.17-28. The condition of repentance was not met) and you (Gentiles) being a wild olive were grafted in among them (you see, Gentiles were to have a place in the Torah-based faith of Israel, not start a separate, new, replacement theology-Eph 2.11-22) and become partakers with them of the rich root (Messiah, the root of Jesse-Rom 15.12; Isa 4.2; 11.10; 53.2; Jer 23.6) of the olive tree, (18) do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, it is not you who support the root, but the root you (don’t assume you are superior, God has not replaced Israel with you, but you have been grafted into them.). (19) You who will say then. “branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” (20) Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, and you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; (21) for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you (if Gentiles turn away from the faith found in the Torah given to Israel, they risk being disciplined in the first place. This is the same warning he gave the Ephesians in Rev 2.1-7). (22) Behold (focus on this) then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in his kindness; otherwise you will also be cut off (your temporal blessings will stop). (23) And they also, if they (unbelieving Jews) do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (24) For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree (these are unproductive and bore no fruit), and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree (Israel bore fruit and was productive); how much more (Hillel rule #1) shall these who are natural be grafted into their own olive tree? (25) For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (the term “fullness of the Gentiles” is a Hebrew idiom that goes back to Gen 48.19. Jacob prophesies that the younger Ephraim will have descendants living among the Gentiles, “m’loh ha goyim,” and Paul is referring to the return of the 10 tribes from among the nations to the land when Messiah comes. This was referred to in v 15) (26) and thus all Israel will be saved (the true Israel, with their proper place back) as it is written; “the deliverer will come from Zion, he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” (27) “And this is my covenant with thee, when I take away their sins (Jer 31; Heb 8.6-13).” (28) From the standpoint of the gospel they (the unbelieving Jews) are enemies for your sake but from the standpoint of choice (election) they are beloved for the sake of the fathers, (29) for the gifts (the Torah ,etc) and calling of God are irrevocable (they don’t go away just because a person believes in Yeshua-Matt 5.17-21; Rom 3.31. That is when you really “pick it up” spiritually) (30) For just as you once were disobedient to God but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience (31) so these also now have been disobedient in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may be shown mercy (this hardening is part of the Lord’s plan to embrace all nations). (32) For God has shut up all in disobedience that he might show mercy to all (both Jew and Gentile have been imprisoned by unbelief, incapable of believing until the Holy Spirit renews the mind. The Gentiles were benefiting from the unbelief of the some of the Jews, yet they had a wrong idea about what was happening because they did not understand the unsearchable ways of God. They thought they had replaced them and his Torah given to Israel. This was based on the already developing concept called “replacement theology” that was emerging in Rome and throughout the empire. They didn’t see that their inclusion in the faith of Israel was to provoke the unbelieving Jews to faith in Yeshua). (33) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable his ways! (34) For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became is counselor (he gives grace as he wills, because he is merciful, he can give to some what they do not deserve. By not giving to all, he can show what all deserve. We will never fully understand what grace means until we see what happens to those who are condemned and realize that their fate was also our fate, unless God had showed us mercy-Deut 29.29). (35) Or who has first given to him that it might be paid back to him again? (36) For from him and through him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen (any spiritual blessing is from him as a source and he is the ultimate end as well. This is how it all works).