Romans 11:1

The Remnant of Israel

1 I ask, then, 1has God rejected his people? By no means! For 2I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,[a] a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

Romans 11:1 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 11:1

I say then, hath God cast away his people?
&c.] The Alexandrian, copy adds here, "whom he foreknew", as in ( Romans 11:2 ) : upon the citation of the above passages out of Moses and Isaiah, relating to the calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews, the apostle saw an objection would arise, which he here takes up from the mouth of an adversary, and proposes it; in which is suggested, that God has cast away all his people the Jews, according to this count; and if so, where is his covenant with Abraham? what is become of his promises? and how is his faithfulness to be accounted for? and what hope can any Israelite have of ever obtaining salvation? than which, nothing can be thought more injurious to God, and absurd in itself. This was an old prejudice of the Jewish nation, and still continues, that God never would, nor has he cast them away, even in their present condition; it is one of the articles of their creed, received by the Karaites F15, a sect among them, that

``the blessed God (twlgh yvnal oam al) , "hath not cast away the men of the captivity", though they are under the chastisements of God; but it is fit that they should every day obtain salvation by the hands of Messiah, the Son of David.''

Now to this objection the apostle makes answer; "first", in his usual way,

God forbid,
when anything was objected which was displeasing to him, abhorred by him, which was not agreeable to the perfections of God, to the truth of his word, and promises, and could by no means be admitted of; and next by observing his own case, which was a standing instance to the contrary; for God had chosen him unto eternal salvation, Christ had redeemed him by his blood, and he was effectually called by grace; and as to his eternal state, he had no doubt or scruple about it; and besides, the Lord had made him a minister of the Gospel, had greatly qualified him for that work, had raised him to the high office of an apostle, and had made him very useful to the souls of many, both Jews and Gentiles; and yet he was one of the nation of the Jews, and therefore God had not cast them all away, as the objection insinuates:

for I also am an Israelite;
according to the flesh, by lineal descent from Jacob or Israel; see ( 2 Corinthians 11:22 ) ( Philippians 3:5 ) ; as well as in a spiritual sense:

of the seed of Abraham;
"the grandfather of Israel"; the head of the Jewish nation he was, both of his natural and of his spiritual seed, who is the father of us all:

of the tribe of Benjamin;
a very little tribe, which in the time of the Judges was near being destroyed, and, upon the return from the captivity of Babylon, was very small, as it was at this time; and yet God had not cast away this, much less all the tribes of Israel.


F15 Apud Trigland. de Sect. Karaeorum, c. 10. p. 151.

Romans 11:1 In-Context

1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?
3 "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life."
4 But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal."
5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

Cross References 2

  • 1. 1 Samuel 12:22; Jeremiah 31:37; Jeremiah 33:24
  • 2. 2 Corinthians 11:22; Philippians 3:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or one of the offspring of Abraham
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.