The Aaronic Blessing

“Now, I am speaking to you Gentiles.” (Rom. 11:13)

“Paul could make sense of his life only in the context of the promises to Israel. The temptation to regard Israel as a relic of the past, now supplanted by the Gentile church (Rom. 11:17-24), may have been acute among Gentile believers in Rome (cf. 14:1-15:3), but the phenomenon was probably common wherever the Gentile mission was accompanied by (and itself evoked) the self-distancing of Jews. That Paul combats this tendency, and against the evidence, insists that the future will include the salvation of Israel (11:25-32) reflects more than merely his disgust at Gentile “anti-Judaism.” It demonstrates his conviction that without the salvation of Israel the history of the world would make no sense at all.” (John Barclay, Paul and the Gift, 524)

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