by Harley Howard

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The Epistle To The Romans Chapter 11:16-36 (17 of 25)
Harley Howard

16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also
holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Two illustrations are used here in this verse. One is
an offering, more specifically, the firstfruit of an
offering. The other a tree, its roots and branches.

One commentator summed up this verse by stating the

"In both illustrations the principle is the same: what
is considered first contributes its character to what
is related to it. With a tree, the root obviously
comes first and contributes the nature of that type of
tree to the branches that come later. With the cake
presented to the Lord, the flour for the cake is taken
from the ground meal, but that cake is formed and
baked first and presented as a firstfruit. Since it is
set apart to the Lord first, it sanctifies the whole
harvest. The firstfruits and the root represent the
patriarchs of Israel or Abraham personally, and the
lump and the branches represent the people of Israel."

Now I want to interject a point that the writer left
out, and I might add a very important part.

Not only did the firstfruits refer to the patriarchs
of Israel or Abraham personally, according to this
commentator, but clearly according to Jeremiah 2:1-3,
ISRAEL was called the firstfruit unto God (read). The
fact that Israel was called by God His firstfruit is
significant for this reason; it lends even greater
support to what Paul has already stated about God not
being through with Israel. Even in the reference in
Jeremiah, there was a time when Israel pursued the
Lord. However, nationally, they rejected Him.
Nevertheless, throughout all of the existence and
history of Israel, God has always chosen out a remnant
among His firstfruits and will continue to do so until
one day Israel as a nation worships and serves the
Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah without reserva ...

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