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Romans 11


 1 I Demand then, (1) Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For (2) I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.


(1) Now the Apostle sheweth how this doctrine is to be applied to others abiding still in his propounded cause. Therefore he teacheth us that all the Jews in particular are not cast away, and therefore we ought not to pronounce rashly of private persons, whether they be of the number of the elect or not.
(2) The first proof, I am a Jew, and yet elected, therefore we may and ought fully resolve upon our election, as hath been before said; but of another man's we cannot be so certainly resolved, and yet ours may cause us to hope well of others.


  (3) God hath not cast away his people which he (a) (*) knew before. (4) Know ye not what the Scripture saith of Elijah, how he maketh request unto God (♣) against Israel, saying,


(3) The second proof: because that God is faithful in his league or Covenant, although men be unfaithful; So then seeing that God hath said, that he will be the God of his unto a thousand generations, we must take heed, that we think not that the whole race and offspring is cast off, by reason of the unbelief of a few, but rather, that we hope well of every member of the Church, because of Godís league and Covenant.
(a) Which he loved and chose from everlasting.

(*) And elected before all beginning.
(4) The third proof, taken from the answer that was made to Elijah; even then also, when there appeared openly to the face of the world no elect, yet God knew his elect and chosen, and of them also good store and number. Whereupon this also is concluded, that we ought not rashly to pronounce of any man as of a reprobate, seeing that the Church is oftentimes brought to that state, that even the most watchful and sharp sighted pastors think it to be clean extinct and put out.

(♣) He talked with God not that he should punish Israel, but yet lamented their falsehood and so his words made against them.


  (*) Lord, they have killed thy Prophets, and dug down thine altars, and I am left alone, and they seek my life?


(*) 1 Kings 19:10 .


 4 But what saith the answer of God to him? (*) I have (b) reserved unto myself (♣) seven thousand men, which have not bowed the knee to (c) Baal.


(*) 1 Kings 19:18 .

(b) He speaketh of remnants and reserved people which were chosen from everlasting, and not of remnants that should be chosen afterwards, for they are not chosen, because they were not idolaters, but therefore they were not idolaters, because they were chosen and elect.

(♣) Meaning an infinite number.
(c) Baal signifieth as much as Master or patron, or one in whose power another is, which name the idolaters at this day give their idols, naming them patrons and patronesses or Ladies.


 5 Even so then at this present time is there a remnant according to the (d) (*) election of grace.


(d) The election of grace, is not whereby men chose grace, but whereby God chose us of his grace and goodness.

(*) Or, free election of grace.


 6  (5) And if it be of grace, it is (e) no more of works, or else were grace no more grace; but if it be of works, it is no more grace, or else were work no more work.


(5) Although that all be not elect and chosen, yet let them that are elected, remember that they are freely chosen, and let them that stubbornly refuse the grace and free mercy of God, impute it unto themselves.
(e) This saying beateth down flat to the ground all the doctrine of all kinds and manner of works, whereby our justifiers of themselves do teach, that works are either wholly or partly the cause of our justification.


 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that he sought, but the election hath obtained it, and the rest have been (f) hardened,


(f) Look Mark 3:5 .


 8  (6) According as it is written, (*) God hath given them the spirit of (g) (♣) slumber, eyes that they (h) should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day.


(6) And yet this hardness of heart cometh not but by God's just decree and judgment, and yet without fault, whom as he so punisheth the unthankful by taking from them all sense and perseverance, and by doubling their darkness, that the benefits of God which are offered unto them, do redound to their just destruction.

(*) Isaiah 6:9; Isaiah 29:10; Matthew 13:14; John 12:40; Acts 28:26 .
(g) A very dead sleep which taketh away all sense.

(♣) Or, pricking.
(h) That is, eyes unjust to see.


 9 And David saith, (*) (i) Let their (♣) table be made a snare, and a net, and a stumblingblock, even for a recompense unto them.


(*) Psalm 69:23 .

(i) As unhappy birds are enticed to death by that which is their sustenance, so did that only thing turn to the Jew's destruction, out of which they sought life, to wit, the Law of God, for the preposterous zeal whereof they refused the Gospel.

(♣) Christ by the mouth of the Prophet wisheth that which came upon the Jews, that is, that as birds are taken whereas they think to find food, so the Law which the Jews of a blind zeal preferred to the Gospel thinking to have salvation by it, should turn to their destruction


 10 Let their eyes be darkened that they see not, and (*) bow down their back always.


(*) Take from them thy grace and strength.


 11  (7) I demand then, Have they stumbled, that they (*) should fall? God forbid. But through their fall, salvation cometh unto the Gentiles, to (♣) provoke them to follow them.


(7) God appointed this casting out of the Jews, that it might be an occasion to call the Gentiles; and again might turn this calling of the Gentiles, to be an occasion to restore the Jews, to wit, that they being inflamed and provoked by emulation of the Gentiles, might themselves at length embrace the Gospel. And hereby we may learn, that the severity of God serveth as well to the setting forth of his glory as his mercy doeth, and also that God prepare himself a way to mercy, by his severity, so that we ought not rashly to despair of any man, nor proudly triumph over other men, but rather provoke them to a holy emulation, that God may be glorified in them also.

(*) Without hope to be restored.

(♣) The Jews to follow the Gentiles.


 12 Wherefore if the fall of them be the (k) riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the (*) riches of the Gentiles, how much more shall their (l) abundance be?


(k) By riches he meaneth the knowledge of the Gospel to everlasting life; and by the world, all nations dispersed throughout the whole world.

(*) In that the Gentiles have the knowledge of the Gospel.
(l) Of the Jews, when the whole nation without exception shall come to Christ.


 13  (8) For in that I speak to you Gentiles, in as much as I am the Apostle of the Gentiles, I (m) magnify my office,


(8) He witnesseth by his own example, that he goeth before all others in this behalf.
(m) I make noble and famous.


 14 To try if by any means I might (*) provoke them of my flesh to follow them, and might save some of them.


(*) That they might be jealous over Christ against the Gentiles, and so to be more fervent in love toward Christ than the Gentiles.


 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving be, (n) but (*) life from the dead?


(n) It shall come to pass that when the Jews come to the Gospel, the world shall as it were quicken again, and rise up from death to life.

(*) The Jews now remain, as it were, in death for lack of the Gospel; but when both they and the Gentiles shall embrace Christ, the world shall be restored to a new life.


 16  (9) For if (*) the (o) firstfruits be holy, so is the whole lump; and if the (p) root be holy, so are the branches.


(9) The nation of the Jews being considered in their stock and root, that is, in Abraham, is holy, although that many of the branches be cut off. Therefore in judging of our brethren, we must not stick in their unworthiness, to think that they are at once all cast off, but we ought to consider the root of the Covenant, and rather go back to their ancestors which were faithful, that we may know that the blessing of the Covenant resteth in some of their posterity, as we also find proof hereof in ourselves.

(*) Abraham was not only sanctified, but his seed also which neglected not the promise.
(o) He alludeth to the firstfruits of the loaves by the offering whereof all the whole crop of corn was sanctified, and they might use the rest of the year following with good conscience.
(p) Abraham.


 17  (*) (10) And though some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild Olive tree, wast grafted in (q) (♣) for them, and made (r) partaker of the root and fatness of the (♠) Olive tree;


(*) Jeremiah 11:6 .

(10) There is no cause why the Gentiles which have obtained mercy, should triumph over the Jews which contemn the grace of God, seeing they are grafted into the Jewís ancestors. But let them rather take heed that which also be not found in them which is worthily condemned in the Jews. And hereof also this general doctrine may be gathered and taken, that we ought to be studious of God's glory, even in respect of our neighbors; so far ought we to be from bragging and glorying, for that, which we are preferred before others by a singular grace.
(q) In place of those boughs which are broken off.

(♣) Or, in them.
(r) It is against the common course of husbandry, that the barren juice of the imp is changed with the juice of the good tree.

(♠) That is, the Church of the Israelites.


 18  (s) Boast not thyself against the branches; and if thou boast thyself, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.


(s) We may rejoice in the Lord, but so that we despise not the Jews, whom we ought rather to provoke to that good striving with us.


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


 20 Well, through unbelief they are broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but (t) (*) fear.


(t) See that thou stand in awe of God modestly and carefully.

(*) Be careful; worship God, and trust in his promises.


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


(u) He calleth them natural, not because they had any holiness by nature, but because they were born of them whom the Lord set apart for himself from, other nations, by his league and covenant which he freely made with them.


 22  (11) (*) Behold therefore the (x) bountifulness, and severity of God, toward them which have fallen, severity, but toward thee, bountifulness, if thou continue in his (y) bountifulness; or else thou shalt also be cut off.


(11) Seeing the matter itself declareth that election cometh not by inheritance (although the fault be in men, and not in God, why the blessing of God is not perpetual) we must take good heed, that which be not found in ourselves, which we think blameworthy in others, for the election is sure, but they that are truly elect and engrafted, are not proud in themselves with contempt of others, but with due reverence to God, and love towards their neighbor, run to the mark which is set before them.

(*) He speaketh of the Jews and Gentiles in general.
(x) The tender and loving heart.
(y) In that state which God his bountifulness hath advanced thee unto, and we must mark here, that he speaketh not of the election of every private man which remaineth steadfast forever, but of the election of the whole nation.


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


(12) Many are now for a season cut off, that is, are without the root, which in their time shall be grafted in, and again there are a great sort, which after a sort, and touching the outward shew, seem to be engrafted, which notwithstanding through their own fault afterwards are cut off and clean cast away; which thing is especially to be considered in nations and peoples, as in the Gentiles and Jews.


 24 For if thou wast cut out of the Olive tree, which was wild by (z) nature, and wast grafted contrary to nature in a (a) right Olive tree, how much more shall they that are by nature, be grafted in their own Olive tree?


(z) Understand nature, not as it was first made, but as it was corrupted in Adam, and so derived from him to his posterity.
(a) Into the people of the Jews which God had sanctified of his grace, and he speaketh of the whole nation, not of every one part.


 25  (13) For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this secret (lest ye should be arrogant in (b) yourselves) that partly (*) obstinacy is come to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be (c) come in.


(13) The blindness of the Jews is neither so universal that the Lord hath no elect in that nation, neither shall it be continual, for there shall be a time wherein they also (as the Prophets have forewarned) shall effectually embrace that which they do now so stubbornly for the most part reject and refuse.
(b) That ye be not proud within yourselves.

(*) Meaning stubbornness and indurations against Godís word.
(c) Into the Church.


 26 And so (♣) all Israel shall be saved, as it is written, (*) The deliverer shall come out of Sion, and shall turn away the ungodliness from Jacob.


(♣) He sheweth that the time shall come that the whole nation of the Jews though not every one particularly, shall be joined to the Church of Christ.

(*) Isaiah 59:20 .


 27 And this is my covenant to them, (*) When I shall take away their sins.


(*) Isaiah 27:9 .


 28  (14) As concerning the (d) Gospel, they are enemies for your sakes, but as touching the (e) election, they are beloved for the fathersí sakes.


(14) Again, that he may join the Jews and Gentiles together as it were in one body, and especially may teach what duty the Gentiles owe to the Jews, he beateth this into their heads, that the nation of the Jews is not utterly cast off without hope of recovery.
(d) For as much as they receive it not.
(e) In that, which God respecteth not what they deserve, but what he promised to Abraham.


 29  (15) For the (*) gifts and calling of God are without repentance.


(15) The reason or proof; because the covenant made with that nation of life everlasting, cannot be frustrate and vain.

(*) To whom God giveth his Spirit of adoption, and whom he calleth effectually, he cannot perish; for Godís eternal counsel never changeth.


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


(16) Another reason, because that although that they which are hardened, are worthily punished, yet hath not this stubbornness of the Jews so come to pass properly for a hatred to that nation, but that an entry might as it were be opened to bring in the Gentiles, and afterward, the Jews being inflamed with emulation of this mercy which is shewed to the Gentiles, might themselves also be partakers of the same benefit, and so it might appear that both Jews and Gentiles are saved, only by the free mercy and grace of God, which could not have been so manifest, if at the beginning, God had brought all together into the Church, or if he had saved the nation of the Jews without this interruption.


 31 Even so now have they not believed (*) by the mercy shewed unto you, that they also may obtain mercy.


(*) Or, that by your mercy.


 32 For God hath shut up (f) all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all.


(f) Both Jews and Gentiles.


 33  (17) O the deepness of the riches, both of the wisdom, and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his (g) judgments, and his (h) ways past finding out!


(17) The Apostle crieth not as astonished with this wonderful wisdom of God, which he teacheth us, ought to be religious reverenced, and not curiously and profanely to be searched beyond the compass of that which God hath revealed unto us.
(g) The course that he holdeth in governing all things both generally and particularly.
(h) The order of his counsels and doings.


 34  (*) (18) For (♣) who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who was his counselor?


(*) Isaiah 40:13; 1 Corinthians 2:16 .

(18) He bridleth three manner of ways, the wicked boldness of man; first, because that God is above all, most wise, and therefore it is very absurd, and plainly godless to measure him by our folly. Moreover, because he is debtor to no man, and therefore no man can complain of injury done unto him. Thirdly, because all things are made for his glory, and therefore we must refer all things to his glory, much less may we contend and debate the matter with him.

(♣) He reproveth the rashness of men which murmur against the judgments of God.


 35 Or who hath (*) given unto him (i) first, and he shall be recompensed?


(*) That is, provoked him by his good works.

(i) This saying overthroweth the doctrine of foreseen works and merits.


 36 For of (*) him, and through him, and for (k) him are all things; to him be glory forever. Amen.


(*) All things are created and preserved of God to set forth his glory.

(k) To wit, for God, to whose glory all things, are referred, not only things that were made, but especially his new works which he worketh in his elect.




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