GoedBericht.nl logo

Romans 11:17– The fatness of the olive tree

20-10-2021 - Posted by Hans

Now if some of the boughs are broken out, yet you, being a wild olive, are grafted among them, and became joint participant of the root and fatness of the olive

The picture of the root and the branches from the preceding verse is extended here by Paul. By the broken branches, Paul is referring to individual Israelites who through unbelief have been cut off from “the root and fatness of the olive tree.” By “the root” and “the fatness” he thinks of the promise made to Abraham. Israelites naturally partake in this—provided they also believe as Abraham did. But while “natural branches” (:21) were broken out because of unbelief, “the nations” (the wild olive) on the other hand became partakers of “the blessing of Abraham” (Gal.3:14) by faith. They are, as it were, grafted onto that root.

Paul is not teaching here that believers from the nations are incorporated into Israel or counted as Israelites. Paul’s teaching is that we are incorporated into Christ and given a place in his body (=body). He is the seed of Abraham (Gal.3:16) and all who are “in him” therefore share in the promise that applies to him. So they too are (in him) “seed of Abraham” (Gal.3:29)!