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Rom 11:25–32

11:25–32 Paul’s close reasoning here has been understood in three major ways: (a) He is showing how God saves all of His elect people (“all Israel” in v. 26 being taken as basically synonymous with the church, that is, spiritual Israel). (b) He is showing how God saves all the elect of Israel who are to be saved. (c) He is showing how God will, in the future, bring such widespread salvation to the Jewish people that, in an obvious general sense, it can be said that “all Israel will be saved” (v. 26). While not without difficulties, some form of this last view seems most likely for the following reasons. First, hints of it seem to appear already in vv. 11, 12, 15, 16, 24. Second, v. 25 suggests that an end to the partial hardening of Israel is in view. Third, “Israel” in v. 26 is not naturally interpreted as signifying a different entity from the Israel in view in vv. 1–24 and vv. 28–31, where national Israel (not spiritual Israel) is in view. Fourth, “mystery” in v. 25 would seem inappropriate and exaggerated if Paul’s teaching were simply that all elect Jews will be saved. Finally, this view accords well with the quotations in vv. 26, 27 from Is. 59:20, 21; 27:9; Jer. 31:33, 34, which appear to speak of a comprehensive banishment of that sin that has been the cause of Israel’s alienation from God.