Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Proper 15A


I ask,A then,B has GodC rejectedD his people?E By no means!

Notes on verse 1a

A “ask” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
B {untranslated} = me. A particle that implies that the answer to the question asked is “no.”
C “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
D “rejected” = apotheo. 6x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + otheo (to push away, show). This is to push away or cast away. Figuratively, it can mean to repulse, reject, or refuse.
E “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.

I myself am an Israelite,F a descendantG of Abraham,H a member of the tribeI of Benjamin.J 

Notes on verse 1b

F “Israelite” = Israelites. 9x in NT. From Israel (Israel, the people an land); from Hebrew Yisrael (God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring); {from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god)}. This is Israel the people and the land. This is Israelite in a literal or figurative sense.
G “descendant” = sperma. From speiro (to sow seed, spread, scatter); perhaps from spao (to pull, to draw a sword). This is something sown so it could be seed or offspring and descendants. This is where the word “sperm” comes from.
H “Abraham” = abraam. From Hebrew Abraham (exalted father); from the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
I “tribe” = phule. From phuo (to produce, spring up, grow, germinate; perhaps originally meaning puff or blow). This is clan, tribe, lineage. It is those who descend from a shared ancestor.
J “Benjamin” = beniamin. 4x in NT. From Hebrew Binyamin (Benjamin; meaning “son of the right hand”; Jacob’s son, his descendants, and their territory); {from ben (son, age, child) + from yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south); {perhaps yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm)}}. This is Benjamin, meaning “son of the right hand.” It is Benjamin or his tribe.

2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.K Do you not knowL what the scriptureM says of Elijah,N how he pleadsO with God against Israel?P

Notes on verse 2

K “foreknew” = proginosko. 5x in NT. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier) + ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience). This is to know ahead of time, foresee, or ordain.
L “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
M “scripture” = graphe. From grapho (to write). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.
N “Elijah” = elias. From Hebrew Eliyyah (Elijah) {from el (God, god) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; God, Lord; the self-existent or eternal one); from havah (to become) or hayah (to be, become, happen)}}. This is Elijah, “The Lord is God.”
O “pleads” = entugchano. 5x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + tugchano (root means to become ready; to hit, meet, happen, obtain, chance, perhaps; properly, to hit the mark or be spot on; the opposite of the Greek word for sin hamartano, which literally means to miss the mark); {perhaps from tucho (to make ready, bring about)}. This is to encounter, appeal, please, chance upon, confer with, intercede, or petition. It is to meet someone in order to consult with them.
P “Israel” = israel. Related to “Israelite” in v1. See note F above.

29 for the giftsQ and the callingR of God are irrevocable.S 

Notes on verse 29

Q “gifts” = charisma. 17x in NT. From charizomai (to show favor, kindness, or grace, to pardon, forgive); from charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, undeserved favor, a free gift, or a spiritual gift. It is the working of grace, some spiritual gift or religious qualification. It could be some kind of miraculous endowment.
R “calling” = klesis. 11x in NT. From kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is a calling or invitation. In the Bible, this word always refers to a call from God.
S “irrevocable” = ametameletos. 2x in NT. From a (not, without) + metamelomai (to regret or repent; changing your mind – generally used in a positive sense; often, experiencing an emotion that causes you to change your mind such that you care afterwards); {from meta (with, among, behind, beyond) + melo (to think about something, take an interest; to care or worry about something)}. This is literally not repented of so it could mean not having regret or irrevocable. It is also not changing one’s mind or level of concern/interest in something. It is something done from deep conviction.

30 Just as you were once disobedientT to God but have now received mercyU because of their disobedience,V 31 so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercyW shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32 For God has imprisonedX all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

Notes on verses 30-32

T “were…disobedient” = apeitheo. 14x in NT. From apeithes (unbelieving, disobedient, spiritually rebellious); {from a (not, without) + peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust)}. This is to disobey or rebel. It refers to those who refuse to be convinced of something – willful disbelief.
U “received mercy” = eleeo. From eleos (mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion; generally understood in action by word or deed). This is to have pity on, show mercy to, be compassionate; often used for God’s grace. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is from this root verb.
V “disobedience” = apeitheia. Related to “were…disobedient” in v30. 7x in NT. From apeithes (see note T above). This is someone who isn’t persuaded or who willingly disbelieves. It can be obstinance.
W “mercy” = eleos. Related to “received mercy” in v30. See note U above.
X “imprisoned” = sugkleio. 4x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + kleio (to close, lock, shut). This is to shut in, enclose, shut up completely. It can also mean to make subject to.

Image credit: “Wildflowers Cyclamens and Anemones” by Ziva Amir in Shoham Forest in Israel in 2015.

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