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Romans 11:25 – The complement of the nations and Ephraim

20-10-2021 - Posted by Hans

… this secret… that callousness, in part, on Israel has come, until the complement of the nations may be entering.

We have already seen that “the complement of the nations” refers to the completion of the present work of God among the nations. The time between the first and second coming of Christ. This interruption in God’s ways is hidden in prophecy. But that is precisely why it can be found under the surface in it!

When Jacob was to bless Joseph’s sons on his deathbed, the eldest, Manasseh, was placed on his right hand and Ephraim on the left. The birthright blessing would go to the eldest. But what did Jacob do? He crossed his arms and laid his right hand on Ephraim. The second son received the birthright blessing. And Jacob solemnly declared that Ephraim’s seed would become “a fulness of nations” (!!) (Gen. 48:19).

The ten tribes are variously referred to as “Israel” and “Ephraim”. First Ephraim went into captivity and later Judah and both have officially returned to the land (Jer.3:18). But, notice: according to the inheritance of Judah (Ezra 1:2). Hence ‘Jewish’ (= Judah). Ephraim has not returned to her own territory but has largely disappeared among the nations. And right there, among the nations, comes the birthright blessing of Jacob. The secret of “the complement of the nations”!