Romans 11:32

32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

Read Romans 11:32 Using Other Translations

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone.

What does Romans 11:32 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Romans 11:32

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief
Both Jews and Gentiles, particularly God's elect among them: some think the metaphor is taken from the binding up of sheaves in bands; and that Jews and Gentiles are the sheaves, and unbelief the band, in which they are bound together; but the apostle is not speaking of their being together in unbelief, but as separate, first the Gentiles, and now the Jews: rather it seems to be taken from a prison, and Jews and Gentiles are represented as prisoners, and unbelief the prison, in which they are shut up by God: not that God is the author of unbelief, or of any other sin in men; he does not put it into them, or them into that, but finding them in unbelief, concludes them in it, or leaves them in such a state, and does not as yet however deliver out of it, or say to the prisoners, go forth: moreover, to be "concluded in unbelief", is the same as to be "concluded under sin", ( Galatians 3:22 ) ; that is, to be thoroughly convinced of it; and to be held and bound down by such a sense of it in the conscience, as to see no way to escape deserved punishment, or to obtain salvation, but by fleeing to the mercy of God in Christ:

that he might have mercy upon all:
not upon all the individuals of Jews and Gentiles; for all are not concluded in, or convinced of the sin of unbelief, but only such who are eventually believers, as appears from the parallel text, ( Galatians 3:22 ) ; and designs all God's elect among the Jews, called "their fulness", ( Romans 11:12 ) ; and all God's elect among the Gentiles, called "the fulness of the Gentiles", ( Romans 11:25 ) ; for whom he has mercy in store, and will bestow it on them; and in order to bring them to a sense of their need of it, and that he may the more illustriously display the riches of it, he leaves them for a while in a state of unbelief, and then by his Spirit thoroughly convinces them of it, and gives them faith to look to, and believe in, the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto eternal life.

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