To properly interpret and understand the New Testament, we need to place it in its original framework and context which is the “Restoration of Isra’el.” In this series, I have discussed how the “original gospel” was “the Restoration of Israel,” and the whole reason God sent Yeshua (Jesus) was to initiate and proclaim “the kingdom of God/heaven,” which was the “Restoration of Israel,” and was to provide a basis for that “restoration” that Yeshua was crucified, buried, and was resurrected. Now in this article, I would like to discuss how Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) also taught “the Restoration” here in Romans 11.
And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are too.
In this verse, the root of the olive tree – the people and nation of Israel (Jeremiah 11:16-17) – is compared to “the first piece of dough.” So since “the first piece of dough” is holy, so “the limp is also” holy; therefore, if the “root is holy,” then “the branches are also holy.”
But of some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,
The prophet Jeremiah also mentions that because of their sins and idolatry, some of “the branches of it are broken” (Jeremiah 11:16d). Wild olive trees represent the various nations of the world, so Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) is arguing that once we put our faith and trust in the Messiah Yeshua, the anointed King of Israel, then God removes us from our “wild olive trees,” and He engrafts us into His cultivated olive tree, Israel.
do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) is telling these Gentiles (non-Jews) not to feel themselves superior/arrogant/better than the Jewish people, but if they insist on them being arrogant, they need to remember that they are not the one “who support the root of Israel, but the root of Israel supports them.
You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) know the heart of these Gentile (non-Jewish) believers, and he knew they would boast themselves up by the fact of some of the Jewish people being “broken off, so that” they “might be grafted in.”
Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;
As we can see, some of the natural branches – the Jewish people – “were broken off for their unbelief,” but when we compare this to the passage in Jeremiah, we discover that “unbelief” is the same as “disobedience to God’s commandments.” He also says that we “stand by your faith.” Therefore, “faith” would be the same thing as “obedience to God’s commandments.” We are “not be conceited but fear;”
For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.
Here Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) explains why we need to fear. “If God did not spare the natural branches” – the people of Israel – then He won’t spare Christians either. He treats Jew and Christian exactly the same. This is a lesson that modern Christians need to pay attention to, since most of them have grown arrogant in the belief that there is no way that God will ever cut them off because of what they do. This is the same belief that the ancient Israelites had that eventually led to them being attacked and take away into exile.
Behold 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.
Therefore, we need to understand both “the kindness and severity of God.” “To those who fell, severity,’ but “to you” as believers, “God’s kindness, if you CONTINUE in His kindness.” God’s Kindness is shown to those who place Him first and keep His commandments, so as long as we do that, we will be continuing “in His kindness.” “Otherwise,” Paul warns, we “will also be cut off,” just as those disobedient Jews had been.
And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.
Here we learn that if the Jewish people “do not continue in their unbelief” in both the Messiah and/or the commandments of God, then He will graft them into His olive tree – Israel – once again.
For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted in contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into THEIR own olive tree?
Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) tells them that “if you were cut off from ‘a wild olive tree,’ which was “grafted in” to the olive tree of Israel, which is “contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree,” then “how much more shall these who are the natural branches” – the Jewish people – “be grafted into THEIR own olive tree?”
For I do not want you, brethren, to be unimformed of this mystery. lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in;
Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) says here that he does not want us to be “uninformed,” or “ignorant” of “this mystery,” unless, he says, that the “ignorance” will lead to us being “wise in [our] own estimation, that a PARTIAL HARDENING has happened to Israel,” and this is true for both the Jewish people and the Christians. And this “partial hardening” would continue UNTIL “the fulness of the Gentiles has come in.”
But what does he mean by “the fulness of the Gentiles”? This actually goes back to the scene where Jacob is blessing Joseph’s sons in Genesis 48, and when Joseph tries to place his right hand on Manasseh, his older son, rather than Ephraim, his younger son, Jacob responds by saying,
I know it, my son, I know it; he [Manasseh] shall also become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed [descendants] shall become A MULTITUDE OF NATIONS. (Genesis 48:19)
This phrase, “a multitude of nations,” is the English translation of the Hebrew phrase, melo’ hagoyim. The Hebrew word, melo’, refers to “the filling up until the eventual fullness of” and ha – is the Hebrew word for “the” and goyim means “nations or Gentiles.” Therefore, the Hebrew phrase melo’ hagoyim could be translated as “the filling up and the eventual fullness of the nations or Gentiles.” Consequently, then, when Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) uses the phrase, “the fulness of the Gentiles,” he is referring to the descendants of the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim coming back into union with the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Thus, “blindness has happened to both parts of Israel – the Jewish people and who became called “Christians” – when they recognize that they are both a part of the ONE Olive Tree, and they come back together into ONE Kingdom, then we will experience THE RESTORATION OF ISRA’EL.
and thus – as we are told – all Israel will be saved.