Even So…

"And so all Israel will be saved [‘delivered’]." Romans 11:26

It is difficult to mark a specific line of demarcation in Romans 11 where Paul changes his focus to discuss others than spiritual "Israel"—but verse 25 might seem to be a suitable place. "For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in."

It might be remarked here that "blindness in part" does not mean that all Jews are partly blinded and partly seeing. Rather it means that a complete, wilful, blindness has happened to "part of Israel" [the larger part, as history has shown], and this condition remains to our day, and will remain until the Gospel age church is completed.

Spiritual "Israel" is composed of:

  1. Jews who accepted Jesus and thus remained part of the "olive tree," rooted in the Abrahamic promise.
  2. Believing Gentiles who are grafted into the "olive tree." .
  3. Jews who rejected the Gospel, were "broken off" the tree, but later repented and were grafted into the tree again. .

Its arrangements are discussed in depth in chapters 9 and 10, and on through 11:24.

The first word in this Rom.11:26 text is the Greek ‘kai,’ often translated ‘and’ or sometimes ‘even.’ It seems that ‘even’ fits the context better for this verse. Thus, we would have—"Even so all Israel will be delivered…"

Our first question might be, who is "Israel" in this text? It would be earthly Israel, the Jews, referred to in verse 26 as "Jacob" [drawing from Isaiah 59:20]. Paul, in his earlier discussion, had somewhat muddied the waters when he used the word "Israel" twice in the same sentence, with two different meanings–"For they are not all Israel who are of Israel.: (Rom.9:6). He clarified the matter in later verses, when he identified the first usage as being spiritual "Israel" by using the words "children of promise," "elect," and "remnant."

What about the "even so?" Paul has stated that earthly Israel, the majority of the Jewish nation, has "stumbled," that they are "enemies" of the Gospel, and that they are "blinded." "Even so," in spite of this unregenerate behaviour for centuries, they will be "delivered." They are, after all, still beloved. "Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers..." (Rom.11:28).

So, all earthly "Israel" will be delivered; but how? And delivered from what, and to what?

The explanation follows next—"as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.’" (Rom.11:26)

Also—"I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me [Him] whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son and grieve for Him as one grieves for a first‑born." (Zechariah 12:10)

This is in the initial stages of the Millennial Kingdom. The "Deliverer" [Jesus and His Bride] will take power, beginning with Jerusalem and the land of Israel. This Kingdom will spread over, and dominate, the entire world [even as does the "stone" of Daniel 2:35,44]. The Kingdom will be Israelitish in nature; eventually the entire world will be "Israel."

Surely this does not mean that every individual Jew will be saved eternally; that would not seem to allow for free choice. Perhaps it means that all will be raised from death, instructed in righteousness, and have a full fair opportunity [in the Kingdom arrangements] to be saved to eternal life?

But how would this be any different from what the billions of Gentiles will experience? No difference at all, except in the matter of time—"for the Jew first and also for the Greek [Gentiles]." (Rom.1:16) We notice that Paul does not mention deliverance for the Gentiles as such. So perhaps there is a deeper meaning in Paul’s words?

We might, therefore, suggest that while the Gentiles will be raised from the dead, they will not, as such, enter the Kingdom arrangements. They will have to become, as it were, proselytes into earthly "Israel" by accepting the Jewish Messiah and His rule and believing that He is their Saviour; they will have to enter into the "New Jerusalem" arrangements. See Revelation 21:24‑27; 22:14‑15. Thus earthly "Israel" will grow, until the entire world is "Israel."

"Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." (Zechariah 8:23)

"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the LORD’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.

Many people shall come and say,
‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.’

For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations,
And rebuke many people;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:2‑4)

Perhaps, then, in the final analysis, earthly "Israel" has to do with character [not racial or ethnic lineage], even as is the case with spiritual "Israel." Jacob’s name was changed to "Israel" to reflect the change in his character and direction of life—"Israel" meaning "prince with God," or "overcomer with God." If that is the case, then it is certainly true that all "Israel," both spiritual and earthly, will be saved to eternal life; the one group to heavenly existence, and the other to earthly. Those who will not accept the gift of life on God’s terms will ultimately be destroyed. Thus, there will be no more sin or evil: the universe will be clean forever!

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!" (Rom.11:33)