So I ask, Have they stumbled so as to fall [to their utter spiritual ruin, irretrievably]? By no means! But through their false step and transgression salvation [has come] to the Gentiles, so as to arouse Israel [to see and feel what they forfeited] and so to make them jealous.
“In that case, I say, isn’t it that they have stumbled with the result that they have permanently fallen away?” Heaven forbid! Quite the contrary, it is by means of their stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy.
So I ask: When ·the Jews [L they] fell, did ·that fall destroy them [or they fall beyond recovery]? ·No [Absolutely not; May it never be; 11:1]! But their ·failure [transgression; violation] brought salvation to the Gentiles, in order to make ·the Jews [L them] jealous.
Now I ask myself, “Was this fall of theirs an utter disaster? It was not! For through their failure the benefit of salvation has passed to the Gentiles with the result that Israel is made to see and feel what is has missed. For if their failure has so enriched the world, and their defection proved such a benefit to the Gentiles, think what tremendous advantage their fulfilling of God’s plan could mean.
Does this mean that God has rejected his Jewish people forever? Of course not! His purpose was to make his salvation available to the Gentiles, and then the Jews would be jealous and begin to want God’s salvation for themselves.
The next question is, “Are they down for the count? Are they out of this for good?” And the answer is a clear-cut No. Ironically when they walked out, they left the door open and the outsiders walked in. But the next thing you know, the Jews were starting to wonder if perhaps they had walked out on a good thing. Now, if their leaving triggered this worldwide coming of non-Jewish outsiders to God’s kingdom, just imagine the effect of their coming back! What a homecoming!
I ask then, “Did the Jews fall so they would be lost forever?” No, not at all! It means the people who are not Jews are able to be saved from the punishment of sin because the Jews sinned by not putting their trust in Christ. This made the Jews jealous of those who are not Jews.
Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves.
So I ask: did God’s people stumble and fall off the deep end? Absolutely not! They are not lost forever; but through their misconduct, the door has been opened for salvation to extend even to the outsiders. This has been part of God’s plan all along, and so is the jealousy that comes when they realize the outsiders have been welcomed into God’s new covenant.
So I ask, `Have their feet been caught so that they have really fallen down?' No. But because they began to fall, the people who are not Jews were told how to be saved. That would make the Jews jealous.