The Meaning of Romans 11:12 Explained

Romans 11:12

KJV: Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

YLT: and if the fall of them is the riches of a world, and the diminution of them the riches of nations, how much more the fulness of them?

Darby: But if their fall be the world's wealth, and their loss the wealth of the nations, how much rather their fulness?

ASV: Now if their fall, is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

What does Romans 11:12 Mean?

Study Notes

world
kosmos = mankind.
The Greek word kosmos means "order," "arrangement," and so, with the Greeks, "beauty"; for order and arrangement in the sense of system are at the bottom of the Greek conception of beauty.
When used in the N.T. of humanity, the "world" of men, it is organized humanity-- humanity in families, tribes, nations--which is meant. The word for chaotic, unorganized humanity--the mere mass of man is thalassa, the "sea" of men (e.g.) Revelation 13:1 (See Scofield " Revelation 13:8 ") . For "world" (kosmos) in the bad ethical sense, "world system" John 7:7 .

Verse Meaning

Paul here anticipated the national repentance of Israel that he articulated later ( Romans 11:26). God promised to bless the world through Israel ( Genesis 12:1-3). How much more blessing will come to the world when Israel turns back to God than is coming to the world now while she is in rebellion against God!
"While pleroma probably has a qualitative denotation-"fullness"-the context and the parallel with Romans 11:25 suggest that this "fullness" is attained through a numerical process. Paul would then be suggesting that the present "defeat" of Israel, in which Israel is numerically reduced to a small remnant, will be reversed by the addition of far greater numbers of true believers: this will be Israel"s destined "fullness."" [1]

Context Summary

Romans 11:1-12 - A Remnant Saved By Grace
In the worst days of Hebrew apostasy there was always an elect handful that did not go astray after other gods. It was so in the days of Elijah; and it was a comfort to the faithful heart of Paul to believe that, amid the general opposition excited by the preaching of the gospel, there were many secret lovers of the Cross who were true to the Messiah and His claims. Man can never count these quiet, unknown, holy souls, who, like the sweetest wild flowers, can be detected only by the fragrance of their lives. But God counts them, to whose grace and care all that is good in them is due.
The few seek and find, because they stoop to seek in God's predetermined way and along His lines. But when men set themselves against these, they become hardened and overwhelmed by a "spirit of stupor," Romans 11:8, r.v. When Scripture says that God gives them this, it simply means that such state of insensibility is the working out of an inevitable law. But the Apostle cherished the secret hope that the avidity with which the Gentiles were accepting the gospel would, in the mystery of God's providence, have the ultimate effect of bringing the Chosen People back to Him whom their fathers crucified, Romans 11:11. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 11

1  God has not cast off all Israel
7  Some were elected, though the rest were hardened
16  There is hope of their conversion
18  The Gentiles may not exult over them;
26  for there is a promise of their salvation
33  God's judgments are unsearchable

Greek Commentary for Romans 11:12

Diminishing [ἥττημα]
The literal translation. Rev. renders loss. Referring apparently to the diminution in numbers of the Jewish people. Other explanations are defeat, impoverishment, injury, minority. [source]
Fullness [πλήρωμα]
See on John 1:16. The word may mean that with which anything is filled (1 Corinthians 10:26, 1 Corinthians 10:28; Matthew 9:16; Mark 6:43); that which is filled (Ephesians 1:23); possibly the act of filling (Romans 13:10), though this is doubtful. Here in the first sense: the fullness of their number contrasted with the diminution. They will belong as an integral whole to the people of God. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 11:12

Romans 11:15 Reconciling of the world [καταλλαγὴ κόσμου]
See on Romans 5:10, Romans 5:11. Defining the phrase riches of the world in Romans 11:12. [source]
Romans 11:13 For I speak []
The best texts read δὲ butinstead of γάρ forThe sentence does not state the reason for the prominence of the Gentiles asserted in Romans 11:12, but makes a transition from the statement of the divine plan to the statement of Paul's own course of working on the line of that plan. He labors the more earnestly for the Gentiles with a view to the salvation of his own race. [source]
Romans 11:15 The reconciling of the world [καταλλαγη κοσμου]
See note on Romans 5:10. for καταλλαγη — katallagē (reconciling). It explains Romans 11:12. The receiving (η προσλημπσις — hē proslēmpsis). Old word from προσλαμβανω — proslambanō to take to oneself, only here in N.T. Life from the dead Already the conversion of Jews had become so difficult. It is like a miracle of grace today, though it does happen. Many think that Paul means that the general resurrection and the end will come when the Jews are converted. Possibly so, but it is by no means certain. His language may be merely figurative. [source]
Romans 11:25 For fulness of the Gentiles [το πληρωμα των ετνων]
(το πληρωμα των ετνων — to plērōma tōn ethnōn) see Romans 11:12, the complement of the Gentiles. [source]
Romans 11:25 Wise in your own conceits [εν εαυτοις προνιμοι]
“Wise in yourselves.” Some MSS. read παρ εαυτοις — par' heautois (by yourselves). Negative purpose here Late word from πωροω — pōroō (Romans 11:7). Occurs in Hippocrates as a medical term, only here in N.T. save Mark 3:5; Ephesians 4:18. It means obtuseness of intellectual discernment, mental dulness. In part Goes with the verb γεγονεν — gegonen (has happened in part). For απο μερους — apo merous see note on 2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 2:5; Romans 15:24; for ανα μερος — ana meros see note on 1 Corinthians 14:27; for εκ μερους — ek merous see note on 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1 Corinthians 13:9; for κατα μερος — kata meros see note on Hebrews 9:5; for μερος τι — meros ti (adverbial accusative) partly see note on 1 Corinthians 11:18. Paul refuses to believe that no more Jews will be saved. Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (αχρι ου το πληρωμα των ετνων εισελτηι — achri hou to plērōma tōn ethnōn eiselthēi). Temporal clause with αχρι ου — achri hou (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομαι — eiserchomai to come in (Matthew 7:13, Matthew 7:21). For fulness of the Gentiles (το πληρωμα των ετνων — to plērōma tōn ethnōn) see Romans 11:12, the complement of the Gentiles. [source]
Romans 11:25 In part [απο μερους]
Goes with the verb γεγονεν — gegonen (has happened in part). For απο μερους — apo merous see note on 2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 2:5; Romans 15:24; for ανα μερος — ana meros see note on 1 Corinthians 14:27; for εκ μερους — ek merous see note on 1 Corinthians 12:27; 1 Corinthians 13:9; for κατα μερος — kata meros see note on Hebrews 9:5; for μερος τι — meros ti (adverbial accusative) partly see note on 1 Corinthians 11:18. Paul refuses to believe that no more Jews will be saved. Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (αχρι ου το πληρωμα των ετνων εισελτηι — achri hou to plērōma tōn ethnōn eiselthēi). Temporal clause with αχρι ου — achri hou (until which time) and the second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομαι — eiserchomai to come in (Matthew 7:13, Matthew 7:21). For fulness of the Gentiles (το πληρωμα των ετνων — to plērōma tōn ethnōn) see Romans 11:12, the complement of the Gentiles. [source]
Romans 11:26 All Israel [πας Ισραηλ]
What does Paul mean? The immediate context (use of πας — pās in contrast with απο μερουσ πληρωμα — apo merousπληρωμα — plērōma here in contrast with ο ρυομενος — plērōma in Romans 11:12) argues for the Jewish people “as a whole.” But the spiritual Israel (both Jews and Gentiles) may be his idea in accord with Romans 9:6 (Galatians 6:16) as the climax of the argument. At any rate we should strive for and pray for the conversion of Jews as a whole. Paul here quotes from Isaiah 59:20.; Isaiah 27:9. The Deliverer (ρυομαι — ho ruomenos). Present middle articular participle of ruomai to rescue, to deliver. See note on 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 1:10. The Hebrew Goel, the Avenger, the Messiah, the Redeemer (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Job 19:25; Rth 3:12.). Paul interprets it of Jesus as Messiah. [source]
Romans 15:29 In the fulness of the blessing of Christ [εν πληρωματι ευλογιας Χριστου]
On πληρωματι — plērōmati see Romans 11:12. Paul had already (Romans 1:11.) said that he had a χαρισμα πνευματικον — charisma pneumatikon (spiritual blessing) for Rome. He did bring that to them. [source]
1 Corinthians 6:7 Fault among you [ἥττημα ἐν ὑμῖν]
Only here and Romans 11:12. See note. Ἥττημα faultis from ἥττων lessLit., diminution, decrease. Hence used in the sense of defeat, Isaiah 31:8: “Young men shall be discomfited lit., shall be for diminution.” Similarly the kindred verb ἡττάομαι , in 2 Corinthians 12:13, made inferior; and in 2 Peter 2:19, 2 Peter 2:20, overcome. See note there. Compare 1Corinthians href="/desk/?q=1co+6:8&sr=1">1 Corinthians 6:8) is a source of damage, resulting in forfeiture of the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9), and in loss of spiritual power. [source]
1 Corinthians 10:26 The earth is the Lord's, etc. []
The common form of Jewish thanksgiving before the meal. For fullness, see on Romans 11:12. [source]
1 Corinthians 6:7 Nay, already it is altogether a defect among you [ηδη μεν ουν ολως ηττημα υμιν εστιν]
“Indeed therefore there is to you already (to begin with, ηδη — ēdē before any question of courts) wholly defeat.” ηττημα — Hēttēma (from ητταομαι — hēttaomai) is only here, Romans 11:12; Isaiah 31:8 and ecclesiastical writers. See ητταομαι — hēttaomai (from ηττων — hēttōn less) in 2 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Peter 2:19. Νικη — Nikē was victory and ηττα — hētta defeat with the Greeks. It is defeat for Christians to have lawsuits (κριματα — krimata usually decrees or judgments) with one another. This was proof of the failure of love and forgiveness (Colossians 3:13). [source]
Ephesians 1:23 The fullness []
See on John 1:16; see on Romans 11:12; see on Colossians 1:19. That which is filled. The Church, viewed as a receptacle. Compare Ephesians 3:10. [source]
Ephesians 1:10 Of the fullness of times [τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν]
For fullness, see on Romans 11:12; see on John 1:16; see on Colossians 1:19. For times, compare Galatians 4:4, “fullness of the time ( τοῦ χρόνου ), where the time before Christ is conceived as a unit. Here the conception is of a series of epochs. The fullness of the times is the moment when the successive ages of the gospel dispensation are completed. The meaning of the whole phrase, then, is: a dispensation characterized: by the fullness of the times: set forth when the times are full. [source]
Colossians 1:19 It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell [ἐν αὐτῷ εὐδόκησεν πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα κατοικῆσαι]
Εὐδοκέω tothink it good, to be well pleased is used in the New Testament, both of divine and of human good-pleasure; but, in the former case, always of God the Father. So Matthew 3:17; Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 1:21. The subject of was well pleased, God, is omitted as in James 1:12, and must be supplied; so that, literally, the passage would read, God was well pleased that in Him, etc. Rev., it was the good pleasure of the Father. Fullness, Rev, correctly, the fullness. See on Romans 11:12; see on John 1:16. The word must be taken in its passive sense - that with which a thing is filled, not that which fills. The fullness denotes the sum-total of the divine powers and attributes. In Christ dwelt all the fullness of God as deity. The relation of essential deity to creation and redemption alike, is exhibited by John in the very beginning of his gospel, with which this passage should be compared. In John the order is: 1. The essential nature of Christ; 2. Creation; 3. Redemption. Here it is: 1. Redemption (Colossians 1:13); 2. Essential being of the Son (Colossians 1:15); 3. The Son as Creator (Colossians 1:16); 4. The Church, with Christ as its head (Colossians 1:18). Compare 2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 1:19, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:23. Paul does not add of the Godhead to the fullness, as in Colossians 2:9since the word occurs in direct connection with those which describe Christ's essential nature, and it would seem not to have occurred to the apostle that it could be understood in any other sense than as an expression of the plenitude of the divine attributes and powers. Thus the phrase in Him should all the fullness dwell gathers into a grand climax the previous statements - image of God, first-born of all creation, Creator, the eternally preexistent, the Head of the Church, the victor over death, first in all things. On this summit we pause, looking, like John, from Christ in His fullness of deity to the exhibition of that divine fullness in redemption consummated in heaven (Colossians 1:20-22). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
There must also be taken into the account the selection of this word fullness with reference to the false teaching in the Colossian church, the errors which afterward were developed more distinctly in the Gnostic schools. Pleroma fullness was used by the Gnostic teachers in a technical sense, to express the sum-total of the divine powers and attributes. “From the pleroma they supposed that all those agencies issued through which God has at any time exerted His power in creation, or manifested His will through revelation. These mediatorial beings would retain more or less of its influence, according as they claimed direct parentage from it, or traced their descent through successive evolutions. But in all cases this pleroma was distributed, diluted, transformed, and darkened by foreign admixture. They were only partial and blurred images, often deceptive caricatures, of their original, broken lights of the great Central Light” (Lightfoot). Christ may have been ranked with these inferior images of the divine by the Colossian teachers. Hence the significance of the assertion that the totality of the divine dwells in Him. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 11:12 mean?

If however the trespass of them [is] riches of [the] world and failure [is the] riches of [the] Gentiles how much more fullness
εἰ δὲ τὸ παράπτωμα αὐτῶν πλοῦτος κόσμου καὶ ἥττημα πλοῦτος ἐθνῶν πόσῳ μᾶλλον πλήρωμα

δὲ  however 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
παράπτωμα  trespass 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: παράπτωμα  
Sense: to fall beside or near something.
αὐτῶν  of  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
πλοῦτος  [is]  riches 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πλοῦτος  
Sense: riches, wealth.
κόσμου  of  [the]  world 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: κόσμος  
Sense: an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government.
ἥττημα  failure 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: ἥττημα  
Sense: a diminution, decrease: i.
πλοῦτος  [is  the]  riches 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πλοῦτος  
Sense: riches, wealth.
ἐθνῶν  of  [the]  Gentiles 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: ἔθνος  
Sense: a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together.
πόσῳ  how  much 
Parse: Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: πόσος  
Sense: how great.
μᾶλλον  more 
Parse: Adverb
Root: μᾶλλον  
Sense: more, to a greater degree, rather.
πλήρωμα  fullness 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: πλήρωμα  
Sense: that which is (has been) filled.