Romans 11:3

3 1"Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life."

Romans 11:3 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 11:3

Lord, they have killed thy prophets
By the order of Jezebel, wife of Ahab king of Israel, ( 1 Kings 18:4 ) . This sin of slaying the prophets of the Lord is charged upon the Jews by Christ, ( Matthew 23:31 Matthew 23:37 ) , and by the apostle, ( 1 Thessalonians 2:15 ) . In the text in ( 1 Kings 19:14 ) , it is added, "with the sword": which expresses the manner of death they were put to; and this clause is there put after the following, according to a rule of transposition among the Jews; (See Gill on Matthew 27:10).

And digged down thine altars;
either the altars which the patriarchs had formerly built, and were still in being; and though not used, yet were kept and had in great veneration; wherefore the pulling of them down was done in contempt of them, and of the worship of God, which had been formerly performed there; or else such altars, which the religious among the ten tribes built, since the times of Jeroboam, who forbad them to go up to Jerusalem, but ordered them to go to Dan or Bethel; which they not choosing to do erected altars in different places for divine service, and which the Jews F18 say were allowed; for from that time, the prohibition of altars at other places than at Jerusalem ceased:

and I am left alone:
meaning either as a prophet, not knowing that Obadiah had hid an hundred prophets by fifty in a cave, ( 1 Kings 18:4 ) ; or else as a worshipper of the true God, imagining that he was the only person in Israel, that had a true zeal for the Lord of hosts:

and they seek my life;
lay in wait for it, Jezebel by her emissaries being in quest of him; it is added in ( 1 Kings 19:14 ) , "to take it away"; for she had swore by her gods, that by the morrow about that time, his life should be as the life of one of the prophets of Baal he had slain; and in one copy it is added here.


F18 Kimchi in 1 Kings xviii. 30.

Romans 11:3 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 1

  • 1. Cited from 1 Kings 19:10, 14
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.