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R. Kent Hughes: In this chapter Paul concerns himself with the question of whether God has given up on Israel. It was a natural question because much of the nation was spiritually lost in Old Testament times, and likewise the bulk of the nation rejected the Messiah when he came. Paul’s answer here will be that God is in no way done with the Jews—there is a future for the Jewish nation. This answer, as we shall see, carries with it some advice on how we are to regard the Jews.

Frank Thielman: So far in Romans 9–11 Paul has argued that Israel’s rejection of the gospel does not mean the failure of God’s word for two reasons.

  • First, Scripture itself shows that God has always decided who would belong to his people. If more gentiles than Jews currently fill their ranks, then this only shows that salvation comes to people at God’s initiative (9:1–29).
  • Second, he has demonstrated that despite God’s sovereignty over who belongs to his people, Israel itself bears responsibility for rejecting the gospel, and their disobedience is consistent with the disobedience of Israel so often described in Scripture (9:30–10:21)

So far, then, Paul has shown that God’s relationship to the Israelites who have rejected him is not inconsistent with the portrait of God’s relationship to his people in Scripture, and he has gone a long way toward successfully defending his thesis that “the word of God has not failed” (9:6).

Still, the argument so far has not demonstrated how the current situation of Israelite unbelief can be consistent with God’s promises of faithfulness to Abraham’s physical descendants.  God may be justified in placing within his people anyone he chooses, and he may be just in punishing those who have rebelled against him, and all this may be consistent with his approach to Israel in Scripture. Yet in Scripture God promised to be faithful to the Israel defined not merely in spiritual terms but in physical terms also, and in Scripture he is merciful to this particular ethnic group even when they rebel against him.

The final step in Paul’s argument, then, shows that God is both merciful to physical Israel in the present (11:1–10) and in the future will continue to be merciful to them (11:11–32). Each of the two sections begins the same way rhetorically.  A rhetorical question suggests an idea that Paul emphatically rejects and then follows with a thesis statement describing the essence of what he is about to argue. . .

In 11:1–10 Paul shows that in the present there is a remnant of Israelites whom God has graciously chosen to attain righteousness through faith in the gospel (11:1–6) despite God’s hardening of the rest of Israel (11:7–10). The section explores the idea of the salvation of a “remnant” (λεῖμμα, v. 5; cf. ὑπελείφθην, v. 3) that Paul had mentioned in passing in the set of scriptural quotations that ended the first major section of his argument (9:27, ὑπόλειμμα; 9:29, ἐγκατέλιπεν). . .

Main Idea: Paul argues that the remnant of those within physical Israel who have received God’s grace and attained righteousness demonstrates that even in the present situation God has not rejected his people. The imbalance between Israelite believers and unbelievers in the present differs little from the situation described in Scripture. In Elijah’s time a remnant existed who had not abandoned God to worship Baal, and in David’s time there were unjust Israelites, like those who in more recent days had rejected Jesus and persecuted his followers. Once again Paul shows that God’s word has not failed (9:6) because the present situation is consistent with what Scripture says about God’s approach to physical Israel.

S. Lewis Johnson: Now, after the apostle has said that, he still wants to answer the question that is lying at the bottom of all of this, What about Israel? And in chapter 11 he makes two points, they are very simple points. Israel’s failure is not total. We should never forget that. It is not that all Israel has been set aside now. There are Israelites who are being saved. There are Israelites who are in the company of the Gentiles, who are in the church of God. There is a remnant according to the election of grace. And finally, he makes the point that her failure is not final. There is coming a time when all Israel shall be saved the promises of the Old Testament are to be fulfilled. Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “I cannot understand how you theologians and preachers can apply to the church–or multiplicity of churches—Scripture promises which, in their plain meaning apply to God’s chosen people, Israel, and to Palestine; and which consequently must be still future. The prophetic books are full, of teachings which, if they are interpreted literally, would be inspiring, and a magnificent assurance of a great and glorious future; but which, as they are spiritualized, becomes farcical–as applied to the church they are a comedy.”

John Schultz: The question remains whether apostate Israel can still be considered God’s chosen people, or whether only Messianic Jews fall into that category. The answer to this is pertinent in our time, since most Israelis who presently live in the land of Israel are either Judaist or atheist. Some Christians blindly accept all present-day Israel does as legitimate because they are still considered God’s chosen people, regardless of the morality of their acts.

On the other hand, some Christians maintain that the church has replaced Israel of old as God’s chosen ones and that Israel has irrevocably lost its privileged status with God. This chapter of Romans seems to contradict the extreme of both views.

John MacArthur: Now, the question of God keeping those promises is a bigger question than just dispensational debate.  The question of God keeping those promises is a question of divine integrity because if God has obviated, cancelled, changed His promises to Israel, we’re all in a lot of trouble because we have a God who can’t be trusted and who may as readily change His promises to us as He did to them.  Now that’s the bottom line consideration in understanding what’s before us in this chapter.

Israel’s very existence as a nation is tied to the promises of God without question.  In fact, they were elected by God as His chosen nation and by His own sovereignty, unconditionally, He promised to bless them.  The blessing that came to them in the Abrahamic covenant was not even conditioned upon them.  In other words, God determined to do it no matter what they did.  God would bring about the right circumstances to fulfill His promises.  So God chose a people, God made promises to a people, God confirmed those promises by an oath in the fifteenth chapter of Genesis. He made the promises in chapter 12chapter 13, and then in chapter 15 He confirmed it by an oath.  He had animals cut in half, which was the old way of making an oath; the pieces laid on two sides and two birds killed and laid on each side. And then He, as a smoking furnace and a burning lamp, passed between those pieces, covenanting with Himself, swearing by Himself, making an oath to Himself that He would keep His promises.  So you have divine covenants based on sovereign election confirmed by a divine oath and that is why Hebrews 6 verses 13 to 18 says God has made His covenants and confirmed them by an oath by which He swore to keep His covenants.  And so God has made promises to Israel which He must keep. . .

Some have concluded, therefore, that because Israel rejected the Messiah, God cancelled out all His promises to them.  God just erased the blackboard.  The promises were written in chalk and when that happened, took out His big eraser and just wiped them off. That’s the end of promises to Israel.  And many teach today that God then has obliterated all of His covenant promises to Israel and they are now spiritually being fulfilled in the church and we are the new Israel who receive all of the literal promises to Israel spiritually.  We are the Israel of God, they tell us.  And as far as the nation is concerned, they’re out, the promises have been cancelled. . .

I hope that when we’re done you’ll have a tremendous affirming sense of the trustworthiness of God who is a covenant-keeping God You see, Paul must defend the fact that God has not cancelled His promises to Israel, because how are you going to get any Gentile to accept the gospel from a God who cancels out His promises?

First of all, Israel’s setting aside because of their unbelief, because of God’s sovereign plan, Israel’s setting aside — mark it now — is only, first of all, partial. It’s only partial.  Not all Jews are set aside, it’s only partial.  Secondly, it’s only passing, it’s only passing. It’s only temporary.  Thirdly, it is purposeful and that is the most marvelous part of the chapter.  It is partial. It is passing. It is purposeful.  It is partial, goes from verse 1 to 10 It is passing, from verse 11 to 25.  It is purposeful, from 26 to 36.  So the theme of the chapter is very clear, Israel will be restored, Israel will receive fully the promises and that’s why the chapter ends with praise in verses 33 to 36.   Their setting aside is only partial, not all of them; only passing, not permanent; and purposeful, in other words, it has purpose, it has a goal, it has an object, it has a reason.  And it’s just thrilling as we go through these things.

Douglas Moo: The center of the first paragraph is verse 5: “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Paul leads up to this assertion by citing the evidence of his own Christian commitment (v. 1b) and the Old Testament (vv. 2b–4) for God’s preservation of a remnant. He follows up his central claim by elaborating on grace (v. 6) and then, reiterating his argument from 9:6–29, concludes by showing how Israel’s present condition is the result of God’s sovereign choice (vv. 7–10).

Grant Osborne: In this section Paul points out that not all Jews have rejected God’s message of salvation. He draws upon the experience of Elijah to show that there had always been a faithful remnant among the people. In Paul’s day, there was still a remnant living by faith, under the law (11:5). After all, Paul was a Jew; so were Jesus’ disciples and nearly all of the early Christian missionaries. Part of God’s sovereign choice involves bringing a remnant of his people back to himself. This truth forbids any hint of anti-Semitism—God’s plan still includes the Jews.


A.  (:1a) Key Question: Has God Rejected Israel Completely and Permanently?

I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?

Frank Thielman: Paul may have especially had in mind the context of 1 Samuel 12:22 where, after Israel had “rejected . . . God” by asking for a king (1 Sam 10:19), they worried that God would punish them with death (1 Sam 12:19) and asked Samuel to intercede for them with God. Samuel responds, “Do not be afraid. . . . For the Lord will not cast away [ἀπώσεται] his people for his great name’s sake, because the Lord graciously took you to him for a people” (1 Sam 12:20, 22 LXX).

B.  (:1b) Quick Answer

  1. Powerful Denial

May it never be!

Michael Bird: Paul responds with an emphatic denial, “By no means!” (mē genoito) to underscore its impossibility (see 3:4, 5-6; 9:14; 11:11).

  1. Proof from Paul’s Personal Testimony

For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Thomas Schreiner: Paul’s intention is not to distinguish among the various tribes of Israel, for that would suggest that it is not sufficient to be an Israelite to be chosen, and that the tribe from which one hails also plays a role in whether one is selected. Instead, the designations “offspring of Abraham” and “tribe of Benjamin” following “Israelite” are merely intended to emphasize that Paul was truly descended from ethnic Israel (so Cranfield 1979: 545). . .

The emphasis here, however, is not on Paul’s calling but on his conversion; the latter demonstrates that God has not forsaken Israel. Paul’s call as a missionary to the gentiles was unique and not a pattern for his kindred, whereas his conversion was a sign that God had not abandoned Israel.

R. Kent Hughes: Paul’s case is encouraging. He had been the foremost calculating, implacable, bloodthirsty enemy of the Church. He was so odious to Christians that after Saul’s conversion only Barnabas, a peacemaker par excellence, could affect his acceptance. God had sovereignly hunted him down, smote him on the Damascus Road, and brought him kicking and struggling into the Kingdom. Paul, a hardened, religious man with blood on his hands, came to Christ, so there is hope for anyone. By the authority of the Word of God we can say that no one is beyond the grace of God. People like Paul are living demonstrations that God is not through with the Jews. What a beautiful gospel to preach!

C.  (:2-6) Corroboration from God’s Gracious Choice Demonstrated in History

  1. (:2a)  Thesis: Rejection Unthinkable in Light of God’s Election of Israel

God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.

Thomas Schreiner: Here, the preservation of the remnant functions more explicitly in an anticipatory way: the preservation of the remnant signifies that God isn’t finished with his people and thus will fulfill his saving purposes and save Israel in the end (cf. Hafemann 1988: 49–50; Hvalvik 1990: 90; Keck 2005: 265). . .

As in 8:29, the word προγινώσκειν (proginōskein, to foreknow) doesn’t merely connote foreknowledge but also implies foreordination, with the emphasis being on God’s covenant love for his people (cf. Amos 3:2; 1 Cor. 8:3; Gal. 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:19). Such an understanding of προγινώσκειν (foreknow) is confirmed by the immediate context, for “foreknew” (προέγνω) clearly functions as the antonym of “has forsaken” (ἀπώσατο).  The latter verb means “rejected,” and thus the former means “selected.”

Michael Bird: The irrevocable nature of Israel’s election is based on the immutability of God’s knowledge; God cannot unknow the people whom he knows are his (see Rom 8:29).

James Dunn: Paul’s confidence is twofold: that Israel is not acting in any way unforeseen by God; and that consequently God remains faithful to Israel notwithstanding Israel’s failure. Just as the choice of Jacob and rejection of Esau was without regard to their future conduct (9:10–13), so Israel’s status as God’s people remains unaffected by Israel’s latest and most serious failure.

S. Lewis Johnson: But someone might say when Paul says, “I am an Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin and of the seed of Abraham,” one swallow does not make a summer. And the apostle will have a further answer for that. But I want you to notice that expression, “whom he foreknew.” We’ve been saying all along that in the Bible when we read of foreknowledge, we really have a word of divine election that we are not to think of this in the way that it is popularly thought of, as if God looked down through the years and saw who would believe and then chose them. The choice then is not God’s, the choice is man’s. God would be gaining in knowledge, and he’s omniscient eternally. Think of this for a moment, if “whom he foreknew” means whom he foreknew would believe there is no problem. No one would ever ask the question, “Has God cast away his people.” If he has foreknown them, he foreknows that they will believe. That’s no problem. The problem arises when we think of divine election. He has elected a people, but these people are today in apostasy. Then what about the election, that is a problem. And so the apostle says, “God has not cast away his people whom he foreknew.” He set his heart upon them in divine love and chose them, is the force of that word. He has not cast away his people “whom he foreknew.”

  1. (:2b-4)  Historical Example: Remnant Preserved in Days of Elijah

Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 ‘Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, they have torn down Thine altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.’ 4 But what is the divine response to him? ‘I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’

Frank Thielman: The addition of “for myself ” also implies that the seven thousand are God’s people because God took the initiative in making them his people (cf. 11:6).

Thomas Schreiner: What the story of Elijah does illustrate, however, is that the majority of Israel was apostate (cf. Käsemann 1980: 301).  Here is the point of similarity between Elijah’s day and Paul’s: most of Israel had refused to acknowledge Jesus as the resurrected Lord, and this refusal is comparable to Israel’s devotion to Baal instead of to Yahweh. From the deplorable state of affairs in Israel, Elijah inferred that he was the only follower of Yahweh left, and Paul fears that one might draw the similar conclusion that God has abandoned Israel since most have not confessed Jesus as Lord. The divine response to Elijah—the word χρηματισμός (chrēmatismos, divine response) indicates an oracular word from God (cf. 2 Macc. 2:4; 1 Clem. 17.5)—corrects Elijah’s misapprehension and contains a principle that is applicable to the contemporary situation facing the Roman church. . .

The presence of the remnant indicates that the promises will be fulfilled in an even more dramatic way in the future (J. Wagner 2002: 237). As Das (2007: 246–49) notes, the remnant theme constitutes a weakness in Merkle’s claim (2000) that the promise is fulfilled entirely in the salvation of a remnant, since the presence of a remnant indicates that the promise will be fulfilled in a greater way in the future, that is, by the future restoration and salvation of Israel. Hence the sparing of Noah signifies the preservation of humanity in the future and isn’t limited to Noah’s family. So too, God brought Joseph into Egypt so that a remnant of Israel would survive (Gen. 45:7), pointing to an even greater future for Israel. Hence, “the remnant is not a replacement for the people as a whole” (Das 2007: 250).

  1. (:5-6)  Present Day Application: Remnant Now Reflects God’s Grace

a.  (:5)  Current Operation of God’s Gracious Choice = Remnant Exists Now

In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time

a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.

Frank Thielman: What happened in Elijah’s time provides an analogy to what was happening in Paul’s time. It might seem to Paul’s fictional interlocutor that God’s promise always to bless his people has failed because so few Israelites have embraced the gospel. In fact, however, Paul and other Jewish believers form a remnant of faithful Israelites, and this remnant demonstrates by its existence that God’s gracious choice of Israel has never been in question. . .

This present remnant “exists” (γέγονεν) because God chose to be gracious to them: the phrase “by gracious choice” (κατ᾽ ἐκλογὴν χάριτος) has a causal quality to it.  God’s gracious choice of Paul and other believing Jews is the reason why this remnant exists.

John Toews: For the first time since 6:15 Paul reintroduces the word grace; it is clearly a very critical term in his argument, because he uses it four times in two verses. Election, the key term in Israel’s self understanding, and grace, a key term in Paul’s theology of salvation and peoplehood, are linked for the first time in Romans. Grace and works are contrasted for the first time in Romans. The elect remnant exists only by an act of God’s free and unconditional choice. God did not elect Israel or the remnant because of who they were or what they did. Specifically, grace excludes works, the definition of election that marks Jewish identity. Paul is summarizing his entire argument in these verses—salvation, whether called righteousness or election, is by God’s grace (3:24 – 6:15). That is why salvation cannot be restricted to Israel (3:20, 27-28; 9:32).

Douglas Moo: Paul preserves the careful balance he has maintained throughout these chapters as he discusses Israel. God’s Word affirms a continuing role for Israel in salvation history. But Israel cannot claim this role as a matter of right, for it is due solely to the working of God’s grace. This polemical thrust becomes explicit in verse 6. “Grace” means that “works” have no role to play, that God is entirely free to bestow his blessing on whomever he chooses. If those blessings were in fact dependent on our works, God would not be free in his granting of blessing, and “grace would no longer be grace.”

b.  (:6)  Cause of Preservation = Grace Not Works

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works,

otherwise grace is no longer grace.

Frank Thielman: The gracious nature of God’s choice logically implies that nothing these believing Israelites did prompted God to choose them. In Elijah’s time, God did not reserve the seven thousand for himself because they refused to “bow the knee to Baal” (as the expression “those who” [οἵτινες] might otherwise imply), nor in Paul’s time did God choose a remnant of Israelites because they did anything that prompted him to be gracious to them.

Thomas Schreiner: One should also observe that Paul’s teaching on election is indissolubly bound up with his gospel of justification (Luz 1968: 82). Those who deny unconditional election introduce, albeit subtly, the notion that human works play a role in obtaining justification and open the door for human boasting (so Müller 1964: 86–87).  For Paul, the purity of grace is bound up with the conviction that God elects apart from any work on the part of human beings. Luther (1957) saw this very clearly in his classic work The Bondage of the Will. He defended the doctrines of the bondage of the will and unconditional election so vigorously because the denial of either compromised the Pauline gospel that justification is by grace alone through faith alone. The Reformation was propelled by scholars who believed in and preached passionately the doctrine of grace; it would probably not have occurred if Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli were semi-Pelagian. Finally, the election of a remnant of the Jews is no contradiction of Rom. 9:6–7, where Paul says that no one’s election is guaranteed on the basis of one’s pedigree (so Munck 1967: 107–8, 111). What Paul affirms here, however, is that God by his grace freely confers, in accordance with his historic promises, saving grace on a remnant of Jews by virtue of his sovereign will. God sovereignly chooses to redeem those whom he freely chose.

James Dunn: Likewise, precisely because “of works” summarizes Israel’s misunderstanding of the law within the election of grace, we are also given confirmation that “works” for Paul do not denote “works of merit” which “earn” God’s favor (despite the possible implications of 4:4). Rather what Paul objects to is “works” understood as a qualification for God’s favor simply because it is they which qualify for membership of the covenant people and which sustain that identity as God’s elect. It is this reduction of God’s election to matters of ethnic and ritual identity which Paul sees as the fatal misunderstanding and abandonment of God’s grace and of the election of grace.


(Israel Stubbornly Resisted God’s Ways, So God Deadened Their Senses to Spiritual Truth)

A.  (:7) Salvation Depends on God’s Sovereign Choice

  1. Human Seeking Is Futile

What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained,

Frank Thielman: Despite the existence of a remnant of Israelite believers, most of Israel continues to seek for righteousness without attaining it. Attaining righteousness is only possible through faith in Christ, and God has made most of Israel ever more resistant to the gospel as a punishment for their rebellion against him. . .

Within the context of 11:1–10 where Paul is concerned with physical Israel, both the larger body and the “chosen” subset must refer to physical Israelites. The “chosen,” then, are not the multiethnic people of God whether Jewish or gentile but a small group of Jewish Christians whom God chose for salvation from his wrath against sin.

  1. Sovereign Choice Is the Key

but those who were chosen obtained it,

Grant Osborne: This verse provides an excellent summary of Romans 9-11. The nation had earnestly sought God’s acceptance by doing works of the law (see 10:2-3). But God did not accept them. Instead, he accepted the elect—the remnant chosen through his sovereignty and grace. Throughout the Old Testament, God dealt with the people of Israel in two ways: (1) as individuals, and (2) as a corporate community. At times, God emphasized the responsibility that each person bears for his or her own sins. At other times, God emphasized the fact that the entire nation might be affected by the acts of a few. Paul uses the name Israel to indicate the community of Jews, most of whom rejected Jesus and most of whom were busily but hopelessly pursing righteousness under the law.

  1. Hardening Is the Alternative

and the rest were hardened;

Douglas Moo: The Greek verb for “hardened” is poroo, which in secular Greek often refers to a callous or to the hardening of a bone when it heals after being broken. But in the New Testament, the word always has a metaphorical significance, referring to spiritual obduracy (Mark 6:52; 8:17; John 12:40; 2 Cor. 3:14; cf. the noun form in Mark 3:5; Rom. 11:25; Eph. 4:18). While the Greek verb in 9:18 is different (skleryno), the idea conveyed here is the same. God confirms the spiritual insensitivity that people are locked up under by virtue of their sin in Adam.

Michael Bird: Paul is probably tapping into a standard apocalyptic theme that those who do not use the delay in God’s judgment to repent and turn back to God will themselves be hardened by God to increase their culpability at the final judgment.

Steven Cole: Chosen or Hardened?

Verse 7 is a brief summary of Romans 9 & 10. Douglas Moo (The Epistle to the Romans [Eerdmans], p. 679, note 45) observes, “It blends the predestinatory focus of 9:6-29—‘elect,’ ‘hardened’—with the human responsibility perspective of 9:30 – 10:21 — ‘sought,’ ‘did not attain’—to sum up Paul’s discussion of Israel to this point in chaps. 9-11.” In other words, those who are saved are saved because God chose to save them. Those who are lost are lost because they refused to repent and believe the gospel. And then, as Paul has frequently done in Romans 9-11, he backs up verse 7 with Scripture to show that he isn’t making this up (11:8-10). What Paul says in verse 7 is in line with all of God’s Word. He is saying here:

Either you have been chosen by God to hear, understand, and believe the gospel so that you are saved, or you will be hardened and come under His judgment.

Those are the only two possibilities! While this is not easy truth, it is spiritually nourishing for your soul.

1. If you seek to obtain right standing with God on the basis of your works, you will be hardened and come under God’s terrible judgment.


2.  If you have been chosen by God, you will hear, understand, and believe the gospel so that you are righteous before God through faith in Christ alone.


B.  (:8-10) Spiritual Dullness Results from Divine Hardening

just as it is written,

  1.  (:8)  Spirit of Stupor

God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,

Down to this very day.

Frank Thielman: Paul provides precedent from Scripture for God’s punishment of his people by blocking their ability to understand his revelation of himself. His quotation comes basically from Deuteronomy 29:4 (29:3 LXX), but with a phrase added from Isaiah 29:10 LXX (“a spirit of stupor” [πνεύμα{τι} κατανύξεως]) and a few other minor changes. The changes have the effect of emphasizing God’s initiative in causing the insensibility of unbelieving Israel to the gospel.

Everett Harrison: From an observation of the setting of the quotations, it is clear that God did not give his people deaf ears to mock them any more than he gave them blind eyes to taunt them. What was involved was a judicial punishment for failure to use God-given faculties to perceive His manifested power and to glorify Him.

  1. (:9-10)  Stubborn Rebellion and Spiritual Blindness

And David says, ‘Let their table become a snare and a trap,

And a stumbling block and a retribution to them.

10 Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever.’

Frank Thielman: David, in the Psalms, also demonstrates that God sometimes punishes the disobedient among his people by blinding them to the danger of their sin. Israel’s rejection of Jesus was as unjust as the mistreatment of David at the hands of his enemies. . .

What suggested Psalm 69 to Paul at this point in his argument? Paul’s use of the psalm in Romans 15:3 to refer to Jesus’s rejection and death (cf. 69:9 [68:10 LXX; 69:10 Heb.]) shows that like other early Christians, he believed the experience David described in the psalm paralleled in significant ways Jesus’s experience of rejection (cf. John 2:17; 15:25; Acts 1:20). Here, then, Paul probably thought of the words of the psalm as expressing Jesus’s own pronouncement of judgment on those who had rejected and punished him unjustly.

Thomas Schreiner: The OT texts cited refer to God’s work. He pours out befuddlement on the Jews so that they don’t perceive and comprehend the gospel. He is the one who has reversed their fortunes so that their table of plenty has actually become the scene of their own destruction. He has darkened their eyes and bent their backs in ignominy. We should also recognize that the attribution of hardening to God does not remove responsibility from the Jews. Paul never concluded that since God hardens, therefore the Jews are exculpated from responsibility for their actions. Paul deemed both of these truths to be compatible.