on Romans 11 :12
Now if the fall of them - The English reader may imagine that, because fall is used in both these verses, the original word is the same. But their fall, and the fall of them, is παραπτωμα, the same word which we render offense, Romans 5:15, Romans 5:17, Romans 5:18, and might be rendered lapse. Whereas that they should fall (Romans 11:11) is, ινα πεσωσι. Now, πιπτω, to fall, is used in a sense so very emphatical as to signify being slain. So Homer, Il. viii., ver. 475.
Ηματι τῳ, οτ' αν οἱ μεν επι πρυμνησι μαχωνται,
Στεινει εν αινοτατῳ, περι Πατροκλοιο πεσοντος
Ὡς γαρ θεσφατον εστι.
And for Patroclus slain, the crowded hosts,
In narrow space, shall at the ships contend.
Such the divine decree.
And again, Il. xi., ver. 84.
Οφρα μεν ηως ην και αεξετο ἱερον ημαρ,
Τοφρα μαλ' αμφοτερων βελε' ἡπτετο, πιπτε δε λαος.
While morning lasted, and the light of day
Increased, so long the weapons on both sides
Flew in thick vollies; and the people fell.
on Romans 11 :12
If the fall of them - If their lapse, or falling. If their temporal rejection and being cast off for a time has already accomplished so much.
Be the riches of the world - The word "riches" means wealth, abundance of property; more than is necessary to the supply of our needs. Hence, it means also anything that may promote our comfort or happiness, as wealth is the means of securing our welfare. The gospel is called riches, as it is the means of our highest enjoyment, and eternal welfare. It is the means of conferring numberless spiritual blessings on the Gentile world; and as this was done by the fall of the Jews, so it could be said that their fall was the riches of the world. It was the occasion or means without which the blessings of the gospel could not be conferred on the world.
The diminishing of them - Margin, "Decay." "Loss" ἥττημα hēttēma. This word means diminution, defect, what is lacked or missing. Hence, also judgment, condemnation. Here it means their degradation; the withdrawing of their special privileges; their rejection. It stands opposed to "their fulness."
The riches of the Gentiles - The means of conferring important blessings on the Gentiles.
How much more their fulness - The word "fulness" πλήρωμα plērōma means what fills up, or completes anything. Thus, it is applied to what fills a vessel or cup; also to the piece of cloth which is put in to fill up the rent in a garment; Matthew 9:16. To the fragments which were left when Christ had fed the five thousand; Mark 8:20; Romans 13:10. "Love is the fulfilling of the law," that is, it is the filling up of the law, or what renders the obedience complete; see Galatians 5:14. Here it stands opposed to their fall, and their diminution, and evidently means their complete restoration to the favor of God; their recovery from unbelief and apostasy. That there will be such a recovery, the apostle proceeds to show. The sentiment of the passage then is, If their rejection and punishment; their being cut off from the favor of God, an event apparently so unlikely to promote the spread of true religion, if their being withrawn from all active influence in spreading the true knowledge of God, be yet the occasion of so many blessings to mankind as have attended the spread of the gospel in consequence of it; how much more shall we expect when they shall be restored; when the energy and zeal of the Jewish nation shall unite with the efforts of others in spreading the knowledge of the true Messiah. In what way, or when, this shall be, we know not. But it is easy to see, that if the Jewish people should be converted to the Christian faith, they would have facilities for spreading the truth, which the church has never had without them.
(1) they are scattered in all nations, and have access to all people.
(2) their conversion, after so long unbelief, would have all the power and influence of a miracle performed in view of all nations. It would be seen why they had been preserved, and their conversion would be a most striking fulfillment of the prophecies.
(3) they are familiar with the languages of the world, and their conversion would at once establish many Christian missionaries in the heart of all the kingdoms of the world. It would be kindling at once a thousand lights in all the dark parts of the earth.
(4) the Jews have shown that they are eminently suited to spread the true religion. It was by Jews converted to Christianity, that the gospel was first spread. Each of the apostles was a Jew; and they have lost none of the ardor, enterprise, and zeal that always characterized their nation. Their conversion would be, therefore, to give to the church a host of missionaries prepared for their work, familiar with all customs, languages, and climes, and already in the heart of all kingdoms, and with facilities for their work in advance, which others must gain only by the slow toil of many years.
on Romans 11 :12
11:12 The first part of this verse is treated of, Rom 11:13, and c; the latter, How much more their fulness, (that is, their full conversion,) Rom 11:23, and c. So many prophecies refer to this grand event, that it is surprising any Christian can doubt of it. And these are greatly confirmed by the wonderful preservation of the Jews as a distinct people to this day. When it is accomplished, it will be so strong a demonstration, both of the Old and New Testament revelation, as will doubtless convince many thousand Deists, in countries nominally Christian; of whom there will, of course, be increasing multitudes among merely nominal Christians. And this will be a means of swiftly propagating the gospel among Mahometans and Pagans; who would probably have received it long ago, had they conversed only with real Christians.