Eschatological Problems IX: Israel’s Restoration -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 102:408 (Oct 1945)
Article: Eschatological Problems IX: Israel’s Restoration
Author: John F. Walvoord

Eschatological Problems IX: Israel’s Restoration

John F. Walvoord

[Author’s Note: In the previous article on Israels Blindness, it was pointed out that there were three views of the meaning of the phrase, “all Israel,” in Romans 11:26: (1) all believers; (2) Jews as a people; (3) Jews as a whole or as a nation. It was further shown that Romans 11:25 taught a future restoration for Israel after the fullness of the Gentiles is concluded and that this restoration had two phases: (a) immediate lifting of their blindness, (b) restoration as a nation at the second coming of Christ. The implications of Romans 11:26 were reserved for the present article.]

The confusion in the minds of expositors of Scripture concerning the meaning of Romans 11:26 is one of the obvious facts of Biblical interpretation. Not only various schools of thought disagree, but the passage is a problem to all. An important clue to its interpretation is found in its preceding context. The entire chapter of Romans eleven deals with the question, “Did God cast off his people?” (Rom 11:1). The answer given to this leading question is that “God did not cast off his people which he foreknew” (Rom 11:2). The argument proceeds to point out that there has always been a remnant of Israel who believed both under the law and under grace. The fact that this group were only a small portion of the nation of Israel is explained as the occasion for the present grace extended to Gentiles: “I say then, Did they stumble that they might fall? God forbid: but by their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy” (Rom 11:11). The argument then turns on the point that if the unbelief and “fall” of Israel as a nation was the occasion of blessing on the Gentiles, how much more will be the blessing on both Gentiles and Israel when Israel comes into its fullness of blessing: “Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” (Rom 11:12). These facts combine to serve as a warning to Gentiles not to be high-minded and serve as an encouragement to Israel that a future time

of blessing is in store. The contrast throughout the passage is not between the believer and unbeliever, but between Gentiles as such and Israel as a nation. In R...

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