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Romans 11.8-Paul Quotes Deuteronomy 29.4 and Isaiah 29.10 To Support His Contention That Israel Was Hardened As A Result Of Unbelief

Romans Chapter Eleven  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:12:58
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Romans: Romans 11:8-Paul Quotes Deuteronomy 29:4 And Isaiah 29:10 To Support His Contention That Israel Was Hardened As A Result Of Unbelief- Lesson # 359

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Wenstrom Bible Ministries

Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom

Sunday June 28, 2009

www.wenstrom.org

Romans: Romans 11:8-Paul Quotes Deuteronomy 29:4 And Isaiah 29:10 To Support His Contention That Israel Was Hardened As A Result Of Unbelief

Lesson # 359

Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 11:1.

This morning we will study Romans 11:8 and in this passage, the apostle Paul quotes Deuteronomy 29:4 and Isaiah 29:10 to support his contention that Israel was hardened because of unbelief.

Romans 11:1, “I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.”

Romans 11:2, “God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?”

Romans 11:3, “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”

Romans 11:4, “But what is the divine response to him? ‘I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.’”

Romans 11:5, “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice.”

Romans 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

Romans 11:7, “What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened.”

Romans 11:8, “Just as it is written, ‘GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.’”

“Just as it is written” indicates a comparison between Paul’s statement at the end of Romans 11:7 that the majority of Israelites were hardened by God because of their rejection of Jesus Christ and the quotations from Deuteronomy 29:4 and Isaiah 29:10 that appear after this statement.

Deuteronomy 29:4, “Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.’”

This verse is one of the final exhortations that Moses gave to Israel before they crossed the Jordan to take possession of the land of Canaan.

Moses reminds Israel of the great acts that God has performed for them on their behalf but he recognizes that they can’t fully appreciate this as indicated by his statement in Deuteronomy 29:4.

Now, Paul changes the original negative statement of Moses, namely “the Lord has not given” to a positive one “God has given.”

He does this since it better suits the purpose for which he cites this verse because he is attempting to support his teaching in Romans 11:7 that God hardened the majority in Israel for their rejection of Christ.

Isaiah 29:10, “For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.”

Isaiah 29:10 speaks of the spiritual insensitivity in the prophet Isaiah’s day, which was in itself a judgment from God.

The fact that the prophets and seers in Isaiah’s day did not see and understand clearly was part of God’s judgment.

They did not understand God’s revelation about His judgment on the Assyrians that Isaiah recorded in Isaiah 29:11-12.

No one, either people who could read or those who couldn’t, could understand this truth.

In Romans 11:8, Paul cites the expression “a spirit of stupor” which was used in Isaiah 29:10 to describe God’s judgment upon Israel in the prophet Isaiah’s day since this is exactly what God was doing in Paul’s day.

Romans 11:8, “Just as it is written, ‘GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.’”

“GOD” refers to the Father since the articular construction of this noun in the New Testament commonly signifies the first member of the Trinity.

“GAVE” is the third person singular aorist active indicative form of the verb didomi (divdwmi) (did-o-mee), which means, “to cause someone to undergo some experience with the implication that this experience is judgment from God.”

This word indicates that God the Father caused Israel to undergo a spirit of stupor as judgment for rejecting His Son Jesus Christ as Savior.

“THEM” refers to the unregenerate citizens of the nation of Israel since in context Paul in Romans 11:8 is supporting his contention that Israel was hardened by God for their rejection of Christ.

“A SPIRIT OF STUPOR” is composed of the accusative neuter singular form of the noun pneuma (pneuma) (pnyoo-mah), “A SPIRIT” and the genitive feminine singular form of the katanuxis (katavnuci$) (kat-an-oox-is), “OF STUPOR.”

The noun pneuma refers to a mental attitude or disposition, which is described by the noun katanuxis, “stupor.”

The noun katanuxis denotes a “spiritual insensitivity” that God gave them as a result of rejecting His Son Jesus Christ.

“EYES” is the noun ophthalmos, which is used in a figurative sense for the capacity to understand spiritual truth.

“TO SEE NOT” denies any idea of the Israelites understanding spiritual truth as a result of rejecting Christ.

“EARS” is the noun ous (ou@$) (ooce), which is used in a figurative sense for the capacity to receive spiritual truth since the ears are used to hear the Word of God.

“TO HEAR NOT” denies any idea of the Israelites receiving spiritual truth as a result of rejecting Christ.

“DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY” is composed of the conjunction heos (e%w$) (heh-oce), “DOWN TO” and the articular genitive feminine singular form of the noun hemera (h(mevra) (hay-mer-ah), “THIS VERY” and the adverb of time semeron (shvmeron) (say-mer-on), “DAY.”

The conjunction heos function as an improper preposition and means “up to” indicating that Israel has no capacity to understand and receive spiritual truth because of their rejection of Christ “up to” the time Paul wrote this epistle in approximately 57 A.D.

The noun hemera refers to the period of time in which Paul wrote this Roman epistle in approximately 57 A.D.

In our passage, it is used in a figurative sense referring to the church age, which began on the day of Pentecost with the baptism of the Spirit in June of 32 A.D. and will end with the rapture of the church, which is imminent.

The adverb of time semeron refers to the same day that Paul wrote this epistle in approximately in 57 A.D.

So in Romans 11:8, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 29:4 and Isaiah 29:10 to support his contention that Israel was hardened because of unbelief.

In this passage, he teaches that as a result of their rejection of Christ, the Father caused unregenerate Israel to experience an insensitive attitude towards spiritual truth.

He then explains that unregenerate Israel did not have the capacity to receive and understand spiritual truth as a result of their rejection of Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ used the same language when denouncing Israel’s rejection of His teaching (See Matthew 13:1-17; John 12:27-43).

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