Romans 11 :16

Romans 11 :16 Translations

King James Version (KJV)

For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

American King James Version (AKJV)

For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

American Standard Version (ASV)

And if the firstfruit is holy, so is the lump: and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And if the first-fruit is holy, so is the mass: and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Webster's Revision

For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

World English Bible

If the first fruit is holy, so is the lump. If the root is holy, so are the branches.

English Revised Version (ERV)

And if the firstfruit is holy, so is the lump: and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Definitions for Romans 11 :16

Clarke's Commentary on Romans 11 :16

For if the first fruit be holy - As the consecrating the first fruits to God was the means of drawing down his blessing upon the rest, so the conversion of Abraham to the true faith, and the several Jews who have now embraced Christianity, are pledges that God will, in process of time, admit the whole Jewish nation into his favor again, so that they shall constitute a part of the visible Church of Christ.

If the root be holy, so are the branches - The word holy in this verse is to be taken in that sense which it has so frequently in the Old and New Testaments, viz. consecrated, set apart to sacred uses. It must not be forgotten that the first converts to Christ were from among the Jews; these formed the root of the Christian Church: these were holy, ἁγιοι, consecrated to God, and those who among the Gentiles were converted by their means were also ἁγιοι, consecrated; but the chief reference is to the ancestors of the Jewish people, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and, as these were devoted to God and received into his covenant, all their posterity, the branches which proceeded from this root, became entitled to the same privileges: and as the root still remains, and the branches also, the descendants from that root still remain: they still have a certain title to the blessings of the covenant; though, because of their obstinate unbelief, these blessings are suspended, as they cannot, even on the ground of the old covenant, enjoy these blessings but through faith: for it was when Abraham believed God that it was accounted to him for righteousness; and thus he became an heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Barnes's Commentary on Romans 11 :16

For if the first-fruit be holy - The word "first-fruit" ἀπαρχή aparchē used here denotes the firstling of fruit or grain which was separated from the mass and presented as an offering to God. The Jews were required to present such a portion of their harvest to God, as an expression of gratitude and of their sense of dependence; Numbers 15:19-21. Until this was done, it was not lawful to partake of the harvest. The offering of this was regarded as rendering the mass holy, that is, it was lawful then to partake of it. The first-fruits were regarded as among the best portions of the harvest; and it was their duty to devote to God that which would be the best expression of their thanksgiving. This was the general practice in relation to all that the land produced. The expression here, however, has reference to the small portion of dough or kneaded meal that was offered to God; and then the mass or lump φύραμα phurama was left for the use of him who made the offering; Numbers 15:20.

Be holy - Be set apart, or consecrated to God, as he commanded.

The lump - The mass. It refers here properly to the dough of which a part had been offered. The same was true also in relation to the harvest, after the waive-sheaf had been offered; of the flock, after the first male had been offered, etc.

Is also holy - It is lawful then for the owner to partake of it. The offering of a part has consecrated the whole. By this illustration Paul doubtless means to say that the Jewish nation, as a people, were set apart to the service of God, and were so regarded by him. Some have supposed that by the first-fruit here the apostle intends to refer to the early converts, made to the Christian faith in the first preaching of the gospel. But it is more probable that he refers to the patriarchs, the pious people of old, as the first-fruits of the Jewish nation; see Romans 11:28. By their piety the nation was, in a manner, sanctified, or set apart to the service of God; implying that yet the great mass of them would be reclaimed and saved.

If the root be holy - This figure expresses the same thing as is denoted in the first part of the verse. The root of a tree is the source of nutritious juices necessary for its growth, and gives its character to the tree. If that be sound, pure, vigorous, we expect the same of the branches. A root bears a similar relation to the tree that the first-fruit does to the mass of bread. Perhaps there is allusion here to Jeremiah 11:16, where the Jewish nation is represented under the image of "a green olivetree, fair, and of goodly fruit." In this place the reference is doubtless to Abraham and the patriarchs, as the root or founders of the Jewish nation. If they were holy, it is to be expected that the distant branches, or descendants, would also be so regarded. The mention of the root and branches of a tree gives the apostle occasion for an illustration of the relation at that time of the Jews and Gentiles to the church of Christ.

Wesley's Commentary on Romans 11 :16

11:16 And this will surely come to pass. For if the first fruits be holy, so is the lump - The consecration of them was esteemed the consecration of all and so the conversion of a few Jews is an earnest of the conversion of all the rest. And if the root be holy - The patriarchs from whom they spring, surely God will at length make their descendants also holy.
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