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Romans 11: 25-26


Adam and I have been discussing a few verses in Romans under another post (see here)…primarily Romans 11: 25 and 26;

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. 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: (KJV)

This evening I came upon the message (below) concerning these two verses and rather then add this to the existing conversation, decided to put it up as a stand-alone post.

(Adam, hope you see this)

The reason this interested me was at reading it I suddenly realized that this was how I basically remember understanding verse 26 the first time I read it…long before becoming caught up in all the numerous & different interpretations concerning this (or any other) specific verse, other people’s theological views, or prior to reading (or hearing) anyone else’s opinion: in other words, it was as a new believer when I just read the Word, minus the outside input we all eventually receive after being saved for awhile. aha!

From Jesus is LordCould You Please Explain Romans 11:25-26?

This passage, Romans 11:25-26, has been more widely misunderstood than almost any other passage in the Bible. In fact, it is amazing to me that so many Bible teachers try to make Romans 11:25-26 say just the opposite of what it says.

The setting of Romans Chapter 11 is that God is explaining that most of the people in the nation of Israel were blinded, but there is a remnant, chosen by grace, who have become saved. Paul used himself as an example of those who have become saved. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says in verse 5:

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

Then he says in verse 7:

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

Spiritual blindness was the condition of national Israel throughout its history and is still the condition right up to the present day…. In verse 25, God begins to bring the first 24 verses of this chapter to conclusion. It is addressed to the Gentile world so that we will have an understanding of how national Israel fit into God’s salvation plan.

Romans 11:25: 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 [verse 7 says it happened to most of national Israel], until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. 

“Until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” means that national Israel will continue to be spiritually blind, except for a remnant chosen by grace, as long as there is one Gentile, or non-Jew, anywhere in the world, who is still to be saved. In our generation, Israel has been a nation for over 50 years, and they are as adamant about their opposition to Christ as the Messiah as they were at any time in their history.There has been no change, and there will be no change. God says that their condition will remain the same until the last person who is of the elect of God becomes saved. When the last Gentile has become saved, it will be the end. The world will continue to its predetermined end, but before the world can end, all those who have been elected to salvation will have become saved.

Then we read in the first part of Romans 11:26:

And so all Israel shall be saved. . . .

All kinds of Bible teachers do terrible violence to this verse. They understand this verse to say, “And then all Israel shall be saved.” In other words, they change the word “so” to “then.” They teach that after the Gentiles have been saved, God is going to do a work in national Israel.

First of all, that does not make any sense because national Israel, that is, the blood descendants of Abraham, have been on earth for 4,000 years. What about all the Jews who lived and died unsaved during the past 4,000 years? They are part of national Israel. They are not going to be resurrected and have a second opportunity. More than that, the word “so” does not mean “then.” “So” is not a chronological word. “So” means “in this manner,” or “thus,” or “in this way.” In what way? In what manner?

In the manner in which God describes in Romans Chapter 11, namely, that most of national Israel is blinded, but there is a remnant chosen by grace. In this manner, all Israel that is to be saved, shall be saved. This is not talking, in any sense, about a future change in God’s plan. It simply ties back into everything that has gone before, as God has reported in the previous 25 verses. God explains why His salvation can come to the remnant of national Israel that is chosen by grace.

He says in the second part of Romans 11:26-27:

. . . as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

When Christ came and took on a human nature, to whom did He come? He came to the Jews. He was born in Bethlehem, a Jewish city. He was reared in Nazareth, a Jewish city. He was crucified in Jerusalem, a Jewish city. For three and half years, He ministered mainly around the Sea of Galilee, a Jewish area. He came to the nation of Israel, and a remnant of national Israel was chosen by grace. Later, He told the disciples that they were to go into all the world with the Gospel because salvation was to come to Gentiles as well. These verses are easy to understand if we read them carefully.

We cannot superimpose something we have been taught upon these verses. God does not have a future plan for national Israel; that idea is not found anywhere in the Bible.

Am sure this seems somewhat simplistic, but as a new believer, God’s Word did seem simple to understand for me.

13 comments on “Romans 11: 25-26

  1. Whilst Paul can be forgiven for not quoting chapter and verse as there weren’t any in his time, I find it rather irksome that when studying this verse, no one refers back to Paul’s source material as it leaves no doubt as to Paul’s meaning and clears up this huge theological black hole.

    Isaiah 59:20 NKJV

    “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
    And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,”
    Says the Lord.

    NIV makes it more clear:

    ‘The Redeemer will come to Zion,
    to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,’
    declares the Lord.

    • True Steve. And this is why we have to be willing to do our homework when studying God’s Word. Looking back to where Paul is quoting from and what it pertained to, does clear up many questions people have pertaining to this verse.

  2. Quite brilliant, and I’m surprised I’ve always missed it. I always assumed the meaning was “then,” even though I read “so.” It makes much more sense read in this way.

  3. It is just amazing that so many seemingly sincere believers can get this so wrong. I believe that a huge part of the problem is that they start with some sort of theological template and then find it relatively easy to interpret every scripture based on that template. For them the Bible is like one big jigsaw puzzle and they already have read OTHER books that show them what the finished picture looks like. So they contort the pieces in whatever fashion necessary to achieve the desired result. It is like those who go around knocking on doors purporting to be teachers of the Bible. But whenever there are questions, it is always OTHER books that provide the answers, but they always insist that EVERYTHING has to come from the Bible (except, of course, when THEY are explaining what the Bible is REALLY saying).

    I really, really like the notes in the Orthodox Study Bible and would highly recommend it to anyone sincerely interested in knowing more of the Word of God. Protestants will certainly find issues to quibble over, but there is so much value that it is well worth sorting through the relatively few doctrinal issues. Here is a brief partial excerpt related to Romans 11.25-26:

    “The mystery which explains the unbelief of so many Jews is that the Gentiles are now being united to the remnant of the faithful Jews, and thus the body of believers together form the true Israel.”

    How easy is that to understand? The notes in this study Bible are just amazing. I recommend it to any sincere student of the Word.

    • I believe that a huge part of the problem is that they start with some sort of theological template and then find it relatively easy to interpret every scripture based on that template. For them the Bible is like one big jigsaw puzzle and they already have read OTHER books that show them what the finished picture looks like. So they contort the pieces in whatever fashion necessary to achieve the desired result.

      George, i couldn’t agree more.

      When we first come to Christ and (as many do) begin to devour the bible, God’s word seems so easy to understand. Its only after we become influenced by so many other people’s opinions, and interpretations, that it becomes complicated. And you’re right, most of this comes from reading books written by others…the so-called experts.

      I really, really like the notes in the Orthodox Study Bible and would highly recommend it to anyone sincerely interested in knowing more of the Word of God. Protestants will certainly find issues to quibble over, but there is so much value that it is well worth sorting through the relatively few doctrinal issues. Here is a brief partial excerpt related to Romans 11.25-26:

      “The mystery which explains the unbelief of so many Jews is that the Gentiles are now being united to the remnant of the faithful Jews, and thus the body of believers together form the true Israel.”

      How easy is that to understand? The notes in this study Bible are just amazing. I recommend it to any sincere student of the Word.

      If im not mistaken you mentioned this bible version before, because i recall jotting it down somewhere, planning to look into it.

      My oldest son gives me an Amazon gift card every year for my birthday/Christmas (they fall close together) and i believe you’ve just told me what im purchasing with it this year. Aha…
      Is there just one version? Is this it?

      Orthodox Study Bible

      If not, i’d greatly appreciate it if you could share a link

    • Yes, that is the correct link.

    • Thanks George. After your recommendation and reading through the reviews, i added it to my Amazon wish-list.

      I’m looking forward to ordering it in a few weeks! (Thank you Lord!)

  4. I love his point about how a lot of people effectively change the word “so” to “then” in verse 26. This really does affect the meaning of the verse quite dramatically. I’m also glad that he applied verse 26, and its background in Isaiah 59, to our Savior’s first coming and to His work on the cross. I believe that’s an accurate understanding of Paul’s point, and it also removes the grounds for the teaching that every living Jewish soul will be saved in one day in the future.

    While not taking away a whole lot from what the author is saying, I would stray from his viewpoint when it comes to discussing national Israel. I don’t see national Israel continuing beyond 70 AD, despite the fact that one modern nation has taken on that name since 1948. I do agree, though, with what he says concerning the Jewish people. Only a remnant from among the Jewish people has believed in Christ and experienced salvation, and this is just as true today as it was in 60 AD, 860 AD, 1960 AD, and as it will be in the years to come.

    I also have a different view than the author does concerning the end of the age (a Biblical term), and the end of time and the end of the world (non-Biblical phrases). Despite this difference, I agree with most of the author’s main premises.

    I still suspect, concerning verse 25, that “the blindness in part” upon Israel was limited to the same generation that Jesus repeatedly called “wicked”, “evil”, “adulterous,” and which He said was full of the blood of the martyrs and was about to be judged.

    I also suspect that “the fullness of the Gentiles” was not about Gentiles being saved, but was rather about the Gentile nations (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome) dominating Israel according to Daniel’s visions. This domination reached its fullness when Rome was used as the instrument to bring final judgment upon the nation of Israel in 70 AD. I believe parallels to this are found in Luke 21:24 and Revelation 11:2.

    “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-24).

    “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months” (Revelation 11:2).

    • I love his point about how a lot of people effectively change the word “so” to “then” in verse 26. This really does affect the meaning of the verse quite dramatically.

      It really does, doesn’t it. My amplified uses “so” as does my old KJV Thompson-Chain. I need to check the others…

      While not taking away a whole lot from what the author is saying, I would stray from his viewpoint when it comes to discussing national Israel. I don’t see national Israel continuing beyond 70 AD, despite the fact that one modern nation has taken on that name since 1948.

      This has been something i’ve found myself pondering on a lot in recent months. I realize many if not most Christians strongly believe what we see as ‘Israel’ today, is a fulfillment of prophecy. But if you read closely in the old testament, the conditions which were to be met PRIOR to each and every time God ‘restored’ the people to the land, (repentance, forsaking idolatry, turning back to God, etc), what has occurred in the 20th century, DOES NOT FIT. This puzzles me.

    • Good insights Adam! I would add that there has really a remnant of every nation that has been saved all the way back to the time of Adam and Eve. From the beginning until now, some have had faith and most have not. The whole matter of the grace and love of God is just too simple for these people who insist on making it so complicated. It has ALWAYS throughout the ages been: “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18.3 And that is just too simple for so many who need all sorts of prophetic cheat sheets in order to make sense of it. Its just unbelievable the number of Bibles that come stuffed with all manner of charts and maps and various fictional interpretations that over complicate and even obscure the simple message of the gospel.

    • Regarding modern day Israel, I suspect that one can find the answer by asking whether modern day Israel is founded on FAITH or on FLESH. The Church is founded on FAITH. One can found any organization by FLESH and LABEL it “Church” and that doesn’t make it the Church. The same is true of “Israel” because the true “Church” is the true “Israel”. So it becomes obvious that the nation of Israel today is NOT the Israel of God. But, then, it never was. The physical nation of Israel has never ever been anything other than a carcass in a sense, a fallen garden of Eden provided by God for His elect. Thus, one could compare it to a church BUILDING that houses the Church, but just as not all Israel are Israel, not all who frequent the church building are the Church. And just as there is a point where church buildings become devoid of the gospel, so physical Israel can and has become devoid of faith. But then there is always a remnant. We see that remnant in otherwise dead churches and we see than remnant in Israel in the form of Jewish Christians who ARE the Israel of God. So that would be my perception. As for any specific prophetic link for modern day Israel, I see absolutely none, nor do I see any specific prophetic link regarding England or the USA, or any other modern day nation for that matter.

    • What we refer to as Israel today, speaking only of the State, was founded by the flesh. This is what puzzles me, why or how so many Christians believe it is a fulfillment of prophecy…and in doing so, will defend it’s actions (the Israeli government) to the ‘death’.

      Today i came across a message which addressed this very thing. I’m going to step out and post it folks, knowing it’s not going to be very popular with some who read here. I’d appreciate input from those who take the time to read it.

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