The Meaning of Romans Chapter 11

There are a variety of views regarding Roman chapter 11 and Paul's example of the olive tree as it relates to Jews and non-Jews. Some see a prophecy about the restoration of fleshly Israel, while others create other prophetic scenarios. What is the lesson behind this most intriguing chapter of the Bible? The thoughts below are offered as one opinion and not the only opinion. Nor is it offered with an agenda to offend or belittle another view.

It seems fair enough that we understand the contextual setting of Romans chapter 11. Also, it seems fair that we cannot ignore what Paul has already written on related subjects. Before going to Romans chapter 11 let us consider what Paul has lready written about the Jews and non-Jews.

Both Jews and non-Jews Under Sin's Condemnation

In chapters 1 to 3 Paul argues that both the Jews and the non-Jews are under the condemnation of sin and therefore doomed to God's wrath. First, however, Paul shows that both the Jews and non-Jews will have an opportunity to gain salvation based upon their conviction: “For I am not ashamed of the good news because it is God's power unto salvation to everyone who believes -- to a Jew first and but also to a Greek. For God's righteousness is being revealed out of faith unto faith.” [Romans 1:16, 17 NCMM]

Then Paul demonstrates why God has "abandoned" the Jews in Romans 1:18-31. He concludes his list of reason why God "abandoned" the Jews with, "[Those Jews] knew perfectly well the judgments of The God that those habitually doing those things are worthy of death. But, not only do they habitually do these things they also think approvingly of others who habitually do such things." [NCMM]

Paul continues to show the Jews that they cannot escape God's judgment:

"Therefore, O [Jew], you are without a defense! For you judge yourself when you are judging everyone else as guilty if you habitually practice the same things you are judging. Because we know that God's judgment -- upon those who habitually practice such things -- is in harmony with truth. But, is this your logic, O Jew: Do you think you can escape the judgment of The God while you continue to do the same things as those you judge who habitually practice such things? Or, do you despise the rich kindness [of The God] -- His restraint and tolerance? Not realizing that the kindness of The God is [trying] to lead you to repentance? However, in harmony with your hard and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in a day of wrath when the righteous judgment of The God is revealed. [The God] will reward each one in harmony with [their] works [Psalm 62:12]." [Romans 2:1-5 NCMM]

Paul does not omit the non-Jewish world from God's judgment, for just before asking, "How will God judge the world?" [Romans 3:6], he explains how the non-Jews will be judged. "According to my good news through Christ Jesus [this is how] it will be in the day The God judges the secret things of all humankind." [NCMM] He then goes on in chapter 3 to prove that all -- Jew and non-Jew are under sin's condemnation. Paul explains what a "true" Jew is: "For the true Jew is not manifest in the fleshly circumcision; but, in the secret Jew (with a) spiritual "circumcision" of the heart and not in writing. His praise is not from humans but from The God." [Romans 2:28, 29 NCMM]

Thus, the real or true Jew is not one who is circumcised, boast of the Law, and his own lineage. The "true Jew" is the one who walks after the faith of Abraham.

After proving Scripturally by a number of citations in Hebrew Bible verses, Paul establishes that the Jew and the non-Jew are under sin's condemnation. He then explains how both the Jew and the non-Jew may be pronounced innocent by God through conviction in Jesus Christ. He writes: "Even God's righteousness by means of belief in Jesus Christ and [righteousness] unto all those who believe -- for there is no distinction [between Jew and Greek]. For they all sinned and fall short of the glory of The God." [Romans 3:22, 23 NCMM]

God is not just the God of the Jews, but also the non-Jews, and all may by faithful obedience benefit from His provisions for a righteous judgment. Romans 3:29, 30 states: "Or, is [He] The God of only the Jews, and not non-Jews? Yes! Also, non-Jews! Since it is the one God who will pronounce innocent [Jews] out of belief and also [non-Jews] by their belief." [NCMM]

After considering how faith in Christ's blood is involved in the process of salvation in chapters 4 to 8, Paul then addresses the natural conflict between the Jewish Christian and the non-Jewish Christian. He first mentions the curse which now rests upon the Jews and then goes on to declare another "Israel" --

“Because great is my grief and unceasing pain to my heart. For I wish to be the very one who is anathema and [separated] from the Messiah on behalf of my brothers, my fleshly relatives. ... However, it is not as though the Word of The God has failed. For not all those from Israel are "Israel." Nor, because they are the seed of Abraham [are they] all children [of Abraham], but "Your seed will be called Isaac." [Genesis 21:2] That is, the fleshly children are not the children of The God; rather, the children of the promise are accounted as the Seed. However, it is not as though the Word of The God has failed. For not all those from Israel are "Israel." Nor, because they are the seed of Abraham [are they] all children [of Abraham], but "Your seed will be called Isaac." [Genesis 21:2] That is, the fleshly children are not the children of The God; rather, the children of the promise are accounted as the Seed." [Romans 9:2-8 NCMM]

Some will accuse God of injustice but Paul continues to prove that there is no injustice with God. Indeed, as the Potter He is free to show mercy where He pleases. He points to the case of Jacob and Isau and how God showed mercy to Jacob not based on works, but according to His own choosing. He continues to prove that Israel did not fail to hear because the heavens gave their around the clock testimony. [Romans chapters 9 and 10]

"Only a remnant of Israel will be saved," Paul argues as he uses several Hebrew Bible texts to prove his point. He proves that God would call Jews and non-Jews on the basis of their conviction in Jesus Christ. Now this brings us to Romans chapter 11. We have learned how and why the Jews were abandoned as a nation, cursed by God, for their disbelief. The logical question to follow is raised by Paul, "I ask, then, did The God reject His People?" [Romans 11:1 NCMM] Judging from what we have read before, Paul must mean rejected absolutely as though no Jew could attain unto God's righteousness and salvation. He explains why this is not the case: "No, never! For I am an Israelite! From the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Benjamin! The God did not reject His People whom He knew first." [Romans 11:1, 2 NCMM]

Paul points to himself as an example that God did not make a blanket rejection of the Jews. He then proceeds in verses 2 to 4 to draw a parallel with Elijah and the 7,000 from among the millions of Israel who had no served Baal. He then writes: "So, then, also, at the present time a remnant [of Israel] has come to be by [God's] choosing and unmerited favor." [Romans 11:5 NCMM] This "remnant" composed of Jews, by believing in Jesus Christ, became a part of that real "Israel" composed of "true Jews."

Paul writes in Galatians 3:29 and Galatians 6:15 about an "Israel of God" composed of Jews and Greeks. Peter also writes in like manner using language simlar to Paul's: "But you [non-Jews] are 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies' of the one that called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. For you [non-Jews] were once not a people, but are now God's people; you were those who had not been shown mercy, but are now those who have been shown mercy." [1 Peter 2:9, 10 NWT]

This language agrees with the Nazarene: "And so I tell you [Jews]: God's Kingdom will be removed from you [Jews] and given to a nation producing [Kingdom] fruitage. ... Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murderer of prophets and those casting stones against those sent [by God]. How often I wished to gather your children just like a hen gathers her brood under her wings. However, you [Jewish] people did want it. Behold, your house is abandoned!" [Matthew 21:43; Matthew 23:37, 38]

This rejection of the Messiah by the Jews opened an opportunity for non-Jews. Paul explains this: "I ask, then, did [Israel] stumbled so that they might fall? No, never! Rather, [Israel's] trespass means salvation to the non-Jews to provoke [Israel] to jealousy. However, if [Israel's] trespass means riches to the world, and their failure means riches to the non-Jews, how much more [Israel's] fullness?" [Romans 11:11, 12 NCMM]

What Paul means by this is illustrated by a Nazarene parable:

Matthew 22:1 In further reply Jesus again spoke to [the Jews] with illustrations, saying: 2 "The kingdom of the heavens has become like a man, a king [God], that made a marriage feast for his son [Jesus]. 3 And he sent forth his slaves [the apostles] to call those [Jews] invited to the marriage feast, but they were unwilling to come. 4 Again he sent forth other slaves, saying, 'Tell those [Jews] invited: "Look! I have prepared my dinner, my bulls and fattened animals are slaughtered, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast."' 5 But unconcerned they went off, one to his own field, another to his commercial business; 6 but the rest [of the Jews], laying hold of his slaves [the disciples], treated them insolently and killed them. 7 But the king grew wrathful, and sent his [Roman] armies and destroyed those murderers and burned their city [Jerusalem]. 8 Then he said to his slaves, 'The marriage feast indeed is ready, but those [Jews] invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore go to the roads leading out of the city, and anyone [non-Jew] you find invite to the marriage feast.' 10 Accordingly those slaves [disciples] went out to the roads and gathered together all [the non-Jews] they found, both wicked and good; and the room for the wedding ceremonies was filled with those reclining at the table. 11 When the king [God] came in to inspect the [Jewish and non-Jewish] guests he caught sight there of a [Jewish] man not clothed with a marriage garment. 12 So he said to him, 'Fellow, how did you get in here not having on a marriage garment?' He was rendered speechless. 13 Then the king said to his servants, 'Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the darkness outside. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be.' 14 For there are many invited, but few chosen." [Matthew 22:1-14 NWT; for details see the Nazarene Commentary on MT 22:1+]

Although fleshly Israel was cursed and abandoned this was not a blanket condemnation, for any individual Jews could still accept Christ and be welcomed into the true Israel composed of both Jews and non-Jews. But, what is the meaning of the expression, "how much more [Israel's] fullness"?

Translations approach the phrase differently. [TCNT: full restoration; WMS: the full quota of Jews; NW: full number.] See notes in Nazarene Commentary on Romans 11:25. Opinions vary on the meaning here. Some see some future conversion of the Israeli nation to Christ. It is clear the Saints "will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" on the Day of Judgment. [See notes on Matthew 19:28. (Luke 22:30)] All who ever made up "Israel" will be judged on that Day. [See notes on Roman 2:12-16; compare also notes on Matthew 12:33-37, 39-42; Matthew 16:27 = Mark 8:38.) After Judgment Day the entire compliment of righteous "Israel" will be a force for good on the everlasting New Earth. [See notes on 2 Peter 3:13 and Isaiah 65:17.] There will also be fleshly Jews who will survive the Day of Wrath and live on into the Thousand Year reign of Messiah. [Isaiah 65:17-24; Isaiah 66:22, 23] The Greek word for "fullness" is PLEROMA (4138) and is thought to be drawn from the total of a ship's crew.

This "fullness" is further explained by Paul to involve the resurrection of the Jews from the dead. Note Romans 11:13-16: “However, I tell you non-Jews -- in as much as I really am, then, an apostle to the non-Jews, I glorify my ministry -- if somehow I might provoke my own flesh to jealousy and might save some from among [Israel] -- for if the casting away of [Israel] means reconciliation of the world, what will their reception mean if not life from the dead? Now, if the firstfruits are holy so also is the whole [harvest]; and, if the Root is holy, so also the branches.” 

Paul seems to make it clear that fleshly Israel as a whole was "cast away" but the entire body of all Israel would be raised from the dead and restored to God, or received by God. Over these "tribes of Israel" the Church of Christ will reign. So their "reception" or "restoration" would involve the resurrection. "What will their reception mean if not life from the dead" is also rendered: KJV: what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead; CON: gathering of them; MON: their restoration; WEY: admission. Jesus taught the Jews of his generation would be resurrected on Judgment Day and find the example of Sodom, the Queen of Sheba, and citizens of Nineveh difficult to endure.

[See notes on Matthew 11:24; Matthew 12:33-36, 41] Paul teaches a resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous on a day of judgment. [Acts 17:31; Acts 24:15] This is likely the "reception" Paul has in mind -- the resurrection of the righteous among all the Hebrews who have ever lived to life under Messiah's reign here on earth. [See notes on Revelation 20:12-14.] Not all Hebrews or Jews will gain everlasting life. [See notes on Matthew 23:33.]

What does Paul mean by "If the firstfruits are holy so also is the whole"? Other versions render this phrase: KJV: for if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy; TCNT: first handful of dough, so is the whole mass; KNX: consecrated. Paul uses "firstfruits" twice elsewhere in Romans. [See notes on Romans 8:23 and Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15.] In 1 Corinthians 15:20, 22 the Risen Christ is the "firstfruits." Paul has just mentioned the resurrection of the dead and it seems possible that here now he means the Risen Christ as the "firstfruits" of the "whole lump" of the Church. [See notes on Matthew 13:33; James 1:18; Revelation 14:4.] NOTE: there are a variety of views on all of these verses. Some view the firstfruits as the Patriarchs but consistency with Paul's own use of "firstfruits" may limited it here to the Risen Lord.

So, then, who or what is the "Root"? This word "root" confirms the above meaning. For Christ is the "root" [Isaiah 11:10; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16] and the Church composes the "branches." [John 15:1-10] Isaiah 53:2 foretells concerning the Messiah as rising up like a "root" in a desert. Paul uses the word "root" one other time at Romans 15:12, "Isaiah proclaims: 'There will be the root of Jesse, and there will be One arising to rule nations; on him nations will rest their hope.'"(NW) Based on this it would seem fair to conclude that the "root" is the Holy Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ. However, some hold the root represents the patriarchs and thus associates this tree with fleshly Israel. Regarding any root associated with Israel Malachi prophesies: "For, look! the day is coming that is burning like the furnace, and all the presumptuous [Jews] and all those doing wickedness must become as stubble. And the day that is coming will certainly devour them," Jehovah of armies has said, "so that it will not leave to them either root or bough.... Remember, you [Jewish] people, the law of Moses my servant with which I commanded him in Ho'reb concerning all Israel, even regulations and judicial decisions." [Malachi 4:1, 4 NW] Note John the Baptist's warning to the Jews at Matthew 3:9, 10, "The God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these rocks. Already the ax is lying at the root of the trees."

Paul now reaches his main point in Romans chapter 11 -- a lofty attitude among the non-Jews against the Jewish brethren. In doing to he uses the parable of an olive tree with both natural branches as well as engrafted wild branches. Consider Romans 11:17-24:

But, if some of the branches were broken off -- while you, being from a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them -- becoming a sharer together with the olive tree root's nourishment -- do not be bragging against the [natural] branches. But, if you do brag against them [understand] you do not bear the Root, but the Root [bears] you. You will say, then, "[Natural] branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." Fine! They were broken off because of unbelief; but you remain steadfast by means of [your] belief. Do not be arrogant, but be in fear. For, if The God did not spare the natural branches neither will He spare you. Observe, then God's kindness and pruning upon those who fell; but upon you God's kindness if you continue in that kindness, otherwise you also will be pruned off. But, if those [of Israel] do not continue in their unbelief they will be grafted in, for God is powerful enough to graft them in again. For, if you - originating from a naturally wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree -- how much more will these natural [branches] be grafted into their own olive tree. [NCMM]

The illustration of branches on a tree being pruned off or removed does not originate with Paul, for Jesus the Nazarene use the same idea. Here lies the problem Paul is counseling: boastful arrogance on the part on a non-Jew over the Jews. It would be like those (non-Jews) in the wedding feast parable chiding "those invited" (the Jews) but who begged off. (John 15:6)

Paul warns the non-Jews: "Do not be arrogant, but be in fear." Or as other versions put it: KJV: be not high-minded, but fear; GDSP: you ought not to feel proud; you ought to be afraid; WMS: stop your haughty thinking: rather continue to be reverent; PME: stand in awe; NEB: put away your pride, and be on your guard; NW: quit having lofty ideas. Compare notes on Romans 12:16; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Philippians 2:12. Paul speaks of individual Jews who may be grafted into the New Israel Olive Tree by accepting Jesus as Messiah. Throughout the centuries hundreds of thousands of Jews have converted to the Christian Church. They Jews would have to respond to Peter's exhortation at Acts 2:38.

So, the main point of Romans chapter 11 is to rebuke the non-Jews for any arrogant attitude regarding the Jews in the Christian Church. He uses the parable of the olive tree only to illustrate the need to understand how easily God could lop off a non-Jewish branch and graft in a Jewish one. Despite this warning both Jew and non-Jew can expect God's mercy. Consider Romans 11:25-32.

For I write you, brothers -- that you be not ignorant of this mystery, so that you do not become wise in your own [eyes] -- that a callousness has happened in part to the [nation] of Israel until that time the entire complement of the non-Jews comes in. And, so, all Israel will be saved, just as it has been written, "A Deliverer will come from Zion. He will cast out any irreverence from Jacob. And this is my covenant to them when I take away their sins." [Isaiah 59:20, 21] Regarding the Gospel [the Jews] are enemies to your benefit, but regarding the choosing, [the Jews are] beloved because of the [Hebrew] forefathers. Because, God will not change His mind regarding His charitable gifts and His invitation. For, just as you were once disobedient to The God -- but now you have received mercy because of [Jewish] disobedience -- so now, also, the disobedience of these [Jews] [has meant] mercy to you, so that now they may also receive mercy. For The God has shut them out all together because of their disobedience so that He may show mercy to all of these. [NCMM]

Paul warns the non-Jewish Christians in Rome to "not become wise in your own eyes." This is Paul's main point in Romans chapter 11: the attitude of the non-Jews toward the Jews and the boastful arrogance it may expose. Here Paul has returned to the plural "you" and addresses himself to the non-Jewish Christians in Rome. Paul tells these non-Jews that , "A callousness has happened in part to the [nation] of Israel." In harmony with the prophecy of Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 53:1, 2 Israel as a nation rejected their Messiah. On "callousness" compare notes on Romans 7:24 where Paul speaks for Israel. [See notes on Romans 11:7. (2 Corinthians 3:14-17)] Individual Jews would continue to accept the Messiah and become Christian disciples. Paul says that this "callousness" will continue "Until that time the entire complement of the non-Jews comes in." Non-Jews will continue to flock to Christ and the Church until the door to the wedding feast is shut. (See notes on Matthew 22:2+; also Matthew 25:1+) By that time all the Jews and non-Jews who will become part of the Bride of the Lamb, the heavenly New Jerusalem will reach its full complement or, "fullness." [On fullness see notes on Ro11:12.]

What does Paul mean when he writes, "All Israel will be saved"? There are a number of views on this. He may refer to that true "Jew" of Romans 2:28, 29, or real "Israel" of Romans 9:6, 7. (Compare also Galatians 3:29 and Galatians 6:16.) That is, the Church, the New Israel of God, that spiritual nation of 1 Peter 2:9 composed of true Jews, both Jews and non-Jews. Or, he made allude back to the point made in Romans 11:15 -- the resurrection of all the Hebrew stock to judgment before Christ's throne. (Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:12-14) The Church must be perfected before all the ancient servants of God are raised to life. (Hebrews 11:13, 39, 40; Revelation 20:4, 6; 1 Corinthians 15:23, 24) In this manner "all Israel will be saved" -- that is, all those "righteous" among the Hebrew stock. (See notes on Romans 2:12-16.)

Paul now quotes Isaiah 59:20, 21. Paul has quoted Isaiah 59:7, 8 at Romans 3:15-17. (Isaiah 27:9) "A Deliverer will come from Zion," Isaiah says. Likely this "Deliverer" is in Messianic representation by Jesus Christ. Psalm 2:6 shows him enthroned in Zion since his ascension in 33 CE. (See Paul's quote of Psalm 2:7 at Acts 13:33.) [The use of Zion occurs in Matthew 21:5 (see notes); John 12:15; see notes on Romans 9:33; Hebrews 12:22; 1 Peter 2:6; see notes on Revelation 14:4.] This may refer to Christ's coming as Messiah to the Jews beginning 29 CE; and/or, it may refer to the Day of Judgment when "all Israel" is raised to life and their judgment before Messiah. (See notes on Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30)

"He will cast out any irreverence from Jacob." The reason Yehowah rejected Israel in the sixth century BCE is explained in Isaiah 59:2-16. How does the Deliverer "cast out" all ungodliness from Israel? At the very least, surely, this will be done at the Judgment Day Paul has referenced earlier in Romans 2:12-16. On Judgment Day -- when Israel is raised with Sodom, the Queen of Sheba, and the people of Nineveh -- those who were habitually vile among the Hebrews will be "cast out." [Compare a similar expression in the notes on Matthew 13:50.] Note also John 15:6, "Anyone who does not remain in me will be cast out as a branch and becomes dried up. People will collect those branches and hurl them into a burning fire." The language here is parallel to Matthew 13:50 in the sense of judgment and being cast out. See in John 12:31 how judgment is associated with being "cast out."

"This is my covenant to them" Or, as Goodspeed has it: "my agreement with them." It may mean, "this is my promise to them" in this matter of casting out of Israel any ungodliness. There is a possibility here of an allusion to Jeremiah 31:31-35. Either way, the Jacob mentioned is a cleansed Israel, rid of all those who were ungodly in the history of the Hebrew stock. If Jacob here means spiritual Israel, that is, the Church (Galatians 6:16), then this may be a reference to Jeremiah 31:31-35 (see cross references to Hebrews) and the justification of the members of Christ's Body. "When I take away their sins." The reading in Isaiah 59:20 reads from the Hebrew Text, "He shall come as a redeemer to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn back from sin." (JPS) And from the Greek Text, "The deliverer shall come for Zion's sake, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." (LXX) Based on the Hebrew the Deliverer will assist only those who turn from sin. (Isaiah 27:9) Note the 'casting away' at Romans 11:15.

"God has shut them out all together because of their disobedience," Paul affirms regarding the Jews as a nation. As a group fleshly Israel has been shut out because of their disobedience even as Isaiah chapter 59 declared. Only a remnant of Jacob obtained membership into the New Israel of God. [Compare notes on Romans 3:9.]

Paul now concludes this subject of the attitude of the non-Jewish Christians toward the Jewish Christians who had already come into the Church: “O, the depth of God's riches, knowledge and wisdom! Unsearchable are His judgments and untraceable His ways! For, "Who ever knew the LORD'S mind? Or, who ever became His counselor?" [Isaiah 40:13] Or, "Who ever has given to Him that it will be repaid to him?" [Job 41:3] Because everything originated from Him and by Him. And to Him be the glory unto the ages. Amen! [Romans 11:33-35 NCMM]

Paul's phrasing reads in James Moffatt: "What fathomless depth lies in the wisdom and knowledge of God." The paraphrased version by Phillips has it: "Frankly, I stand amazed at the unfathomable complexity of God's wisdom and God's knowledge." Paul reaches a crescendo now in praise of The God who has purposed all of this from the beginning. [On "riches" see notes on Ro2:4 and Ro9:23. (Psalm 139:6) On "wisdom" see 1 Corinthians 1:22, 30; 2:7; see notes on EP1:8, EP1:17, EP3:10. On "knowledge" see 2 Corinthians 4:6; 10:5; Colossians 2:2, 3.] "Unsearchable are His judgments." The word "judgment" is right at the center of Paul's theme throughout Romans. [See notes on Romans 2:2, 3, 5,16; Romans 3:3:4, 6, 7, 8; Romans 3:8; Romans 5:16; Romans 13:2; Romans 14:10. (Psalm 36:6)]

Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13, "Who ever knew the LORD'S mind?" The Greek for "mind" is NOUN (3563) in this quote of Isaiah 40:13 which draws on the Jewish Greek Septuagint. For the Hebrew Text uses RHUACH (7307), also rendered "spirit." Paul does the same at 1 Corinthians 2:16. This proves that the "spirit of God" is the "mind of God." In Hebrew, and likely the oldest Greek copies of the Septuagint, the Tetragram of YHWH occurs in Isaiah 40:13. Speaking of Yehowah, Paul affirms, "Everything originated from Him and because of Him." Knox renders this: all things find in him their origin, their impulse, the centre of their being. This includes His Son who originated from his Father. (Proverbs 8:22; John 1:18; 1 Corinthians 8:6)

From this examination of Romans chapter 11 we have considered one view which limits Paul's main theme as dealing with the natural conflict between those former Jews and non-Jews who had become Christians. Romans chapter 11 is virtually a commentary on our Lord's parable at Matthew 22:1-14. Many Jews have been invited to the Marriage Feast but few will be chosen, and these from among Jews and non-Jews. How grateful we are to presently share in this invitation and choosing. May we -- Jew or non-Jew -- see it to the finish. We rejoice in that future day when "All Israel will be saved!"

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