Messianic jews, Jewish New Testament and comments of David H. Stern

chapter 11
1. Trusting (Habakkuk 2:4) is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.
Trusting or “faith,” Greek pistis. See Ac 3:16&N and section (1) of Ga 2: 16cN.
Being confident, Greek upostasis (literally, “that which stands under”), what gives present reality to what we hope for. See also v. 6&N. 

2. It was for this that Scripture attested the merit of the people of old.
The importance of trusting is that “Scripture” (here the word stands for “God”) regards it as the sole basis for human merit, that is, for righteousness (see v. 7N) and thus for pleasing God (vv. 5-6). “Avraham put his trust in God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6, quoted at Ro 4:3).
Jewish writings contain similar catalogues of spiritual heroes. Judas Maccabeus’ father Mattathias recalls the faithfulness under pressure of various Tanakhic figures in 1 Maccabees 2:51-61. The account in Sirach 44:1-50:21 commences with the phrase used by James Agee as a book title, “Let us now praise famous men.” Compare 4 Maccabees 16:20-21, 18:11-13; likewise the martyrology recounting the execution by the Romans of ten rabbis in the second century C.E., recited in the Musaf service on Yom-Kippur. 

3. By trusting, we understand that the universe was created through a spoken word of God, so that what is seen did not come into being out of existing phenomena.
In contrast to the rest of the chapter, which analyzes various “heroes of faith” chronicled in the Tanakh, this verse sets forth a basic function of trusting, namely, that by trusting we understand - or, as the 11th-century Christian theologian Anselm put it, Credo ut intelligam (“I believe in order to understand”). Those who refuse to take the tiny step necessary to trust in God cannot understand the most basic truths: the benevolent consequences of faith are not only emotional but affect the realm of the mind.
What is seen did not come into being out of existing phenomena but was created through a spoken word of God. “And God said... “ (Genesis 1:1-3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 26); see also Psalm 33:6, 2 Ke 3:5&N. The Bible contradicts the philosophy of materialism. Incidentally, so does the “Big Bang” theory, which says that the entire universe began in an unimaginably great explosion some fifteen billion years ago, before which there was nothing (or, in terms of the theory itself, “before” which the concepts of time and matter are mathematically and physically undefined). A number of materialistic and atheistic scientists have confessed inability to cope emotionally and spiritually with these consequences of their own theory. 

4. By trusting, Hevel offered a greater sacrifice than Kayin; because of this, he was attested as righteous, with God giving him this testimony on the ground of his gifts. Through having trusted, he still continues to speak, even though he is dead.
Whereas Kayin’s (Cain’s) offering of field crops was rejected, Hevel’s (Abel’s) animal sacrifice was accepted, God giving him this testimony in Genesis 4:3-10, which says that the voice of his blood cries out from the ground. Through Scripture, which mentions this voice, he continues to speak. Abel is referred to in the New Testament at Mt 23:35, 1 Yn 3:12. In Jewish writings the 6th-century Tanchuma (Balak 16) gives Abel second place in a list of “seven righteous men who built seven altars, from Adam to Moses” (Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 285).
There are those who accuse God of being unfair to Kayin. How could Kayin have known what to offer? If he didn’t know, why did God punish him for it? My answer is that God’s nature is such that he always gives those who err an opportunity to repent. This is exactly what he did in Genesis 4:6-7. Unfortunately Kayin, instead of rising to the occasion, “rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him” (Genesis 4:8). It was for this deliberate murder that he was punished (Genesis 4:9—15), not for making the wrong offering. 

5. By trusting, Hanokh was taken away from this life without seeing death — "He was not to be found, because God took him away" — for he has been attested as having been, prior to being taken away, well pleasing to God (Genesis 5:24)
Chanoch (Enoch; Genesis 5:18, 21—24), like Elijah, is an object of rabbinic speculation, since both are reported to have been taken by God without dying. See Wisdom 4: 10-14, Sirach 44: 16, Enoch 70:1-4.
Was well pleasing to God. This is the Septuagint’ s rendering; the Hebrew text says he “walked with God.” 

6. And without trusting, it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever approaches him must trust that he does exist and that he becomes a Rewarder to those who seek him out.
This continues the definition of “trusting” begun in v. 1. Whoever approaches God must trust that he does exist. This rules out atheism and agnosticism. But God answers people who are not sure whether God is there and are praying to find out if he is.
Although God is who he is for ever and for all, he becomes for some what he is not for others, a rewarder of those who seek him out. This idea rules out deism, the idea that God started the universe but now it runs by itself without his involvement, and it underlies the concepts of judgment, heaven and hell. The idea that it is more exalted to behave properly regardless of whether God will reward is prideful and anti-biblical; God does not require us to simulate a supposedly higher motive than he himself provides! In fact, such behavior is a form of self-righteousness. 

7. By trusting, Noach, after receiving divine warning about things as yet unseen, was filled with holy fear and built an ark to save his household. Through this trusting, he put the world under condemnation and received the righteousness that comes from trusting.
Noach. See Genesis 5:28-10:1. After receiving divine warning about things as yet unseen, namely, of course, the Flood (Genesis 6: 13-7: 1; 2 Ke 3:20). Like Enoch (v. 5&N), Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9).
Through this trusting, he put the world under condemnation. Righteous behavior condemns sin (Ro 12:20-21).
The righteousness that comes from trusting. Compare Ro 1:17, 3:22, 4: 13, 9:30. 

8. By trusting, Avraham obeyed, after being called to go out (Genesis 12:1) to a place which God would give him as a possession; indeed, he went out without knowing where he was going.
9. By trusting, he lived as a temporary resident in the Land of the promise, as if it were not his, staying in tents with Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov, who were to receive what was promised along with him.
Genesis 12:1-5.
After Avram arrived in the land of Cana’an God told him, “I will give this land to your seed” (Genesis 12:7). But later he said, “I will give it to you and your seed forever” (Genesis 13:15).

Avraham lived as a temporary resident, wandering in and out of the Land (Genesis 12:6-10; 13:1-12,17-18; 14:13-16; 20:1; 21:34; 22:19; 23:4) which God had promised him (13:14-18; 15:7, 18-21; 17:8); so did Yitzchak (Genesis 26:3-4) and Ya'akov (Genesis 35:12, 27). But they all died without inheriting the land God had promised to them personally as well as to their descendants (v. 13).

Is the promise therefore unfulfillable? No, because Yeshua testified that Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov are still alive (Ml 22:31-32&N). When their seed, the Jewish people, come into full possession of Eretz-Israel, as God has promised them, the Patriarchs will be alive to inherit with them. But perhaps the promise that Avram will inherit the Land has been spiritualized in the New Covenant? Perhaps "the Land" now refers to heaven and not to a piece of real estate in the Middle East? No, because God instructed Avram, "Arise, and walk through the length and breadth of the Land, for I will give it to you" (Genesis 13:17). Obviously God did not mean him to walk through heaven. God keeps his promises, he does not renege on them by spiritualizing them into something else. See Mt 5:5&N, 2C 1:20&N. 

10. For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God.
11. By trusting, he received potency to father a child, even when he was past the age for it, as was Sarah herself; because he regarded the One who had made the promise as trustworthy.
Some translations have this verse speaking of Sarah's faith, but there are arguments against this understanding. See F.F. Bruce's commentary, ad loc. 

12. Therefore this one man, who was virtually dead, fathered descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, and as countless as the grains of the sand on the seashore (Genesis 15:5–6; 22:17; 32:13(12); Exodus 32:13; Deuteronomy 1:10; 10:22).
13. All these people kept on trusting until they died, without receiving what had been promised. They had only seen it and welcomed it from a distance, while acknowledging that they were aliens and temporary residents on the earth (1 Chronicles 29:15).
14. For people who speak this way make it clear that they are looking for a fatherland.
15. Now if they were to keep recalling the one they left, they would have an opportunity to return;
16. but as it is, they aspire to a better fatherland, a heavenly one. This is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
vv. 10,13-16 He was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, etc. The author is thinking Jewishly, remaining conscious of several levels of meaning. He does not deny the simple sense (p 'shat) of the promises concerning the Land of Israel, where Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov lived as aliens and temporary residents (compare Genesis 23:4. 35:27,47:9; Psalm 39:13(12); 1 Ke 2:11; and see v. 9N).

But at the same time he implies that Avraham understood a deeper level of meaning in God's promise, a meaning relating not only to the Land of Israel but to earth and heaven. This we learn from the author's citing the phrase, "aliens and temporary residents on the earth," from 1 Chronicles 29:15. The last three words could be rendered from the Greek as "in the Land," according to the context here. But in 1 Chronicles the Hebrew word "'аГ means "on" not "in," and the context there makes it clear that "ha 'aretz" means "the earth."

Avraham's awareness of the deeper meaning (drash or renter, see Mt 2:15N) gave him the faith to remain obedient to God in the face of not receiving during his lifetime what had been promised, namely, the Land of Israel. This is why he could aspire to a better fatherland, a heavenly one (compare Pp 3:20), namely, the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God (v. 10), elsewhere called "the city of the living God. heavenly Jerusalem" (12:22; compare 13:14 and Ga 4:26). 

17. By trusting, Avraham, when he was put to the test, offered up Yitz’chak as a sacrifice. Yes, he offered up his only son, he who had received the promises,
Avraham... offered up Yitzchak as a sacrifice. The story of the 'Akedat-Yitzchak, the "Binding of Isaac," Genesis 22:1-19, is read in the synagogue as part of the liturgy for the second day of Rosh-Hashanah (some versions of the Siddur also include it in the first part of the daily morning prayers); and its musaf service contains this prayer:

"Remember unto us, Adonai our God, the covenant, the loving-kindness and the oath which you swore to Avraham ourfather on Mount Moriah. May the binding ('akedah) with which Avraham our father bound his son Yitzchak on the altar appear before you, how he overcame his compassion in order to do your will with a perfect heart."

It is highly appropriate that the 'Akedah should be remembered at this season, when Jewish people are concerned with sin and its punishment, death, as symbolized by sacrifices (see, for example, the Un 'tanneh Tokef 'prayer quoted in 9:22N). Indeed, Rashi comments on Genesis 22:14 (on "this day"), "The Lord will see this 'akedah to forgive Israel every year and rescue them from trouble; so that it will be said, 'On this day1 in all coming generations, 'on the mountain of the Lord is seen' the ashes of Yitzchak heaped up and serving for atonement."

Verse 19N explains that the events of the 'Akedah prefigure the atoning death of Yeshua the Messiah. The 'Akedah is referred to again in the New Testament, at Ya 2:21-23. 

18. to whom it had been said, "What is called your ‘seed’ will be in Yitz’chak (Genesis 21:12),
19. For he had concluded that God could even raise people from the dead! And, figuratively speaking, he did so receive him.
In this verse the author focuses not on the ethical problem of human sacrifice (on which see 7:26-28N and 1С 15:3N, section on "the Messiah died for our sins"), but on the strong faith Avraham had, in the face of the fact that Isaac's survival was indispensable to the fulfillment of God's promise. This faith is evidenced in Avraham's confidence that both he and his son would come back from Mount Moriah: "I and the boy will go there, worship, and return to you" (Genesis 22:5).

God could even raise people from the dead. The Jewish doctrine of resurrection was not borrowed from Persian Zoroastrianism but is taught in the Tanakh; for details, see 1С 15:3N, section on "And he was raised." The P'rushim held this doctrine, whereas the Tz'dukim did not (see Mt 22:23-32&NN, Ac 23:8&N). The second b 'rakhah of the 'Amidah, recited three times a day by observant Jews, focuses on this central article of Orthodox Jewish faith (Reform Judaism denies physical resurrection and has altered this blessing accordingly). It says:

You, Lord, are powerful forever. You revive the dead, you are strong to save. You sustain the living with loving-kindness, revive the dead with great compassion, support the falling, heal the sick, loose the bound and keep faith with those who sleep in the dust. Who is like you, О doer of mighty deeds? Who is a king like you, who puts to death, restores life and causes salvation to spring forth? You can be counted on to revive the dead. Blessed are you, reviver of the dead.

And or "And, as a result" of his faith, figuratively speaking, Avraham did so receive him; since Isaac was as good as dead until the angel stayed Avraham's hand (Genesis 22:11-12). Alternatively, Avraham received Isaac back from being virtually dead "as a figure" in advance of Yeshua the Messiah, who would actually be resurrected centuries later; compare Yeshua's words at Yn 8:56, "Avraham, your father, was glad that he would see my day; then he saw it and was overjoyed."

vv. 8-19 The Tanakh itself extols Avraham’s faith (Nehemiah 9:7-8), as does Sha’ul (Romans 4, Galatians 3). Our author devotes more space to him than to anyone else, giving no less than four instances of his trusting: his obeying God’ s call to leave home for an unknown land (v. 8), his steadfast hoping for the unseen heavenly city (vv. 9-10, 13-16), his trusting God to provide an heir through Sarah despite its natural impossibility (vv. 11-12), and his offering that heir as a sacrifice (vv. 17-19). The passage may also be divided into these two parts: faith for this life (vv. 8—12), and faith that transcends death (vv. 13-19).

vv. 11-12,17-19 Avraham's faith was such that he trusted God to fulfill his promise, even if it required miracles, first, of making an aged couple able to have children (Genesis 17:19, 18:11-14,21:2; compare Ro 4:17-22), and second, of resurrecting Isaac from the dead, a possible implication of the story of the 'Akedah. (the "binding" of Isaac for sacrifice by Avraham, Genesis 22:1-19); see vv. 17-19NN. 

20. By trusting, Yitz’chak in his blessings over Ya‘akov and Esav made reference to events yet to come.
The events referred to in the blessings of Genesis 27:27-40 were yet to come, long after, when King Herod, an Idumean (that is, an Edomite, a descendant of Esav), would break Jacob's yoke on Esau (Genesis 27:40) and rule Jacob's descendants. 

21. By trusting, Ya‘akov, when he was dying, blessed each of Yosef’s sons, leaning on his walking-stick as he bowed in prayer (Genesis 47:31 (Septuagint))
Ya'akov, when he was dying, blessed each of YoseFs sons, (Genesis 48), leaning on his walking-stick. The Masoretic text of Genesis 47:31 says that Jacob "leaned upon the head of the bed" (Hebrew mittah). The Greek of the Septuagint, quoted here, implies a different vowel-pointing of the same Hebrew consonants (matteh, which means "staff, walking-stick"). 

22. By trusting, Yosef, near the end of his life, remembered about the Exodus of the people of Isra’el and gave instructions about what to do with his bones.
Although he lived as a highly honored Egyptian entitled to an elaborate tomb, Yosef believed the promises to Avraham that there would be an Exodus (on this word see Lk 9:31N). His instructions that his bones be carried to Eretz-lsrael (Genesis 50:24-25) were carried out more than four centuries later (Genesis 50:26, Exodus 13:19, Joshua 24:32). 

23. By trusting, the parents of Moshe hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw that he was a beautiful child (Exodus 2:2) and they weren’t afraid of the king’s decree.
The parents of Moshe, Amram and Yoch'eved (Exodus 6:20), hid him by placing him in a basket to float in the Nile, so that he wouldn't be killed according to Pharaoh's decree. In answer to their faith, Pharaoh's daughter found him there and raised him as her own son, even employing the child's own mother to nurse him (Exodus 2:1-10). 

24. By trusting, Moshe, after he had grown up (Exodus 2:11), refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.
25. He chose being mistreated along with God’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin.
26. He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward.
He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah.... Moses did not know of Yeshua, nor is there evidence that he had specific knowledge of a coming Messiah, Savior or Son of God, although he did refer to a Star that would come out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17-19) and to a future prophet like himself (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19). But Yn 5:46 says that Moses nevertheless wrote about Yeshua. One may fairly say that Moses suffered on behalf of all God's promises, both those known to him at the time and those God would make in the future; and, after the fact, it is clear that this implies his suffering abuse on behalf of the Messiah. Sha'ul, in many ways the Moses of his day, suffered similarly (Ro 9:2-4a&N, 1С 11:22-33&NN).

He kept his eyes fixed on the reward, which was "not seen" (v. 1).

Moses had every possible advantage Egypt could offer. Jewish tradition maintains that as the adopted child of Pharaoh's daughter he may even have been in line for the throne. But he also had knowledge of God's revelation and of his own identity as an Israelite, and chose being mistreated along with God's people rather than enjoying the perquisites of his position, until finally (Exodus 2:11-15) he was forced to flee for his life. 

27. By trusting, he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered as one who sees the unseen.
This refers not to the incident of Exodus 2:11-15 but to Moses' appearances before Pharaoh and to the Exodus itself (Exodus 5-11; 12:31—42,51; 13:17-22). 

28. By trusting, he obeyed the requirements for the Pesach, including the smearing of the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Isra’el.
Exodus 12:1-30. 

29. By trusting, they walked through the Red Sea as through dry land; when the Egyptians tried to do it, the sea swallowed them up.
Exodus 14:1-15:21.

The author devotes more space to Moshe than to any of the other heroes of faith except Avraham. 

30. By trusting, the walls of Yericho fell down — after the people had marched around them for seven days.
31. By trusting, Rachav the prostitute welcomed the spies and therefore did not die along with those who were disobedient.
These verses recount events from the time of Joshua (Joshua 6:1-20, 2:1-21, 6:21-25). Rachav's (Rahab's) faith is referred to at Ya 2:25, and she was further rewarded by becoming an ancestor of King David and of Yeshua the Messiah (Mt 1:5-6, 16). 

32. What more should I say? There isn’t time to tell about Gid‘on, Barak, Shimshon, Yiftach, David, Sh’mu’el and the prophets;
The author singles out the three best-known judges, a general, David the best-known king, Shmu'el (Samuel) the judge-prophet, and the other prophets. Gid'on (Gideon, Judges 6:11-8:35) is remembered for the faith demonstrated when he accepted God's decision that he should reduce the size of the Israelites' army from 32,000 to 300 before defeating the Midianites' force of 50,000 (Judges 7).

General Barak (Judges 4-5), though not independent of Dvorah the judge and Ya'el, had faith of his own, for even though he knew that these women would get the glory for the victory instead of himself (Judges 4:9), he led the Israelites in conquering Sisera, Yavin and the Canaanites.

Shimshon (Samson, Judges 13-16) lived much of his life with his eyes not on the Lord. But after he was blinded he saw clearly enough to pray for strength to destroy the Philistines' temple; this is what qualifies him for the faith hall of fame (Judges 16:25-30).

At first glance Yiftach (Jephtha, Judges 11:1-12:7) seems an even less likely candidate, but his rash vow to sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house, which turned out to be his daughter, does not detract from the undiluted faith in God which this simple man demonstrated as he defeated the Ammonites. 

33. who, through trusting, conquered kingdoms, worked righteousness, received what was promised, shut the mouths of lions (Daniel 6:23(22))
34. quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, had their weakness turned to strength, grew mighty in battle and routed foreign armies.
35. Women received back their dead resurrected; other people were stretched on the rack and beaten to death, refusing to be ransomed, so that they would gain a better resurrection.
36. Others underwent the trials of being mocked and whipped, then chained and imprisoned.
Through trusting, Moses conquered the kingdoms of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan (Numbers 21:21-35). Daniel shut the mouths of lions (Daniel 6:1-29). Chananyah, Misha'el and 'Azaryah (Shadrakh, Meishakh and 'Aved-n'go) quenched the power of fire (Daniel 1:6, 3:1-30). Elijah and Elisha were among those who escaped the edge of the sword (1 Kings 19:2ff., 2 Kings 6:31ff.). The widow of Tzarfat and the woman of Shunem received back their dead resurrected through Elijah and Elisha's ministries (I Kings 17:8-24, 2 Kings 4:8-37). From the Apocrypha we learn how in the days of the Maccabees, the 90-year-old Torah-teacher El'azar willingly chose to die 'al kiddush haShem ("to sanctify God's name"; see Ac 7:59-60N), rather than eat pork and appear publicly to have forsaken Judaism — he was among those stretched on the rack and beaten to death, refusing to be ransomed, so that they would gain a better resurrection (2 Maccabees 6:18-31). Yeshua himself was mocked, whipped, chained and imprisoned (Yn 19:1-3. Mk 15:1-9); compare also the prophets Mikhayahu (Micaiah, 1 Kings 22:24) and Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah 20:2, 7; 37:15). 

37. They were stoned, sawed in two, murdered by the sword; they went about clothed in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, mistreated,
38. wandering about in deserts and mountains, living in caves and holes in the ground! The world was not worthy of them!
Z'kharyah the son of Y'hoyadah the priest was stoned to death (2 Chronicles 24:21; compare Mt 23:35-37).

Being sawed in two was certainly a known form of torturing people to death (2 Samuel 12:31), and according to the first-century partly Jewish, partly Christian book. The Ascension of Isaiah, the prophet Yesha'yahu was killed in this way. The Talmud gives this description:

"Rabbi Shim'on ben-'Azzai said, 'I found a genealogy scroll in Jerusalem, and it is written there... [that King] M'nasheh killed Yesha'yahu.' Rabasaid, 'Before killing him, M'nasheh staged a trial and said, "Your teacher Moshe said, 'For men shall not see me and live' [Exodus 33:20]; but you say, 'I saw Adonai sitting on a throne, high and lifted up' [Isaiah 6:1]." [Two similar contradictions are cited.] Yesha'yahu replied, "It is well known that you do not receive what people tell you; so if I answer your accusations, I will only turn you into a wilful murderer." So Yesha 'yahu said a Name [of God, thought of as having supernatural power] and was swallowed up by a cedar. However, the cedar was brought and sawed in two; and when the saw reached his mouth he died; [this was his punishment] for having said, "I live among a people of unclean lips" | Isaiah 6:5].' "(Yevamot 49b)

Jeremiah 26:20-23 mentions the prophet Uriah as having been murdered by the sword, and Elijah speaks of others who suffered the same fate (1 Kings 19:10, Ro 11:3).

Went about clothed in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, mistreated, wandering about in deserts and mountains, living in caves and holes in the ground. The description fits Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 19:13,2 Kings 2:14), as well as the pious Jews who fled from the persecution of Antiochus IV in the time of the Maccabees (1 Maccabees 2:38). Yochanan the Immerser wore camel skins (Mt 3:4) and led a similar life, while Yeshua himself had "no home of his own" (Lk 9:58).

In other words, the people who trusted God were utterly unrewarded and unappreciated in their time by the rest of humanity; the reverse side of this coin is seen when our author writes that the world was not worthy of them! Worldly people, since they themselves do not truly trust God, cannot fully appreciate those whose lives are based utterly on trust, because their values are so different. Bui as soon as worldly people, by God's grace (Ep 2:8-9), take the tiniest step of faith themselves, then the great faith reported in this chapter takes on an altogether different significance for them and becomes a source of inspiration. 

39. All of these had their merit attested because of their trusting. Nevertheless, they did not receive what had been promised,
40. because God had planned something better that would involve us, so that only with us would they be brought to the goal.
Chapter 11 is a homily on 10:35-39. In summarizing the two main themes of Chapter 11, vv. 39-40 hark back to the earlier passage, which expresses the necessity of continuing to trust God despite all obstacles and setbacks, physical or spiritual, in order to receive the reward which God has promised.

On the one hand, all the heroes of faith had their merit attested because of their trusting. (See w. 2,4,5,7.) For indeed the only meritorious acts there are, are those based on trusting in God, as expounded in Galatians and Romans (compare Isaiah 64:5(6)). The original readers of this letter are to renew their trust in Yeshua's atoning death: there is no other way for them to attain the reward of eternal life.

Nevertheless, on the other hand, these heroes of faith, even though they kept on trusting, did not receive what had been promised in their own lifetimes (v. 13). because God had planned something better, namely, something that would involve us who came later; so that only with us would they be brought to the goal (or "perfected, made complete," as explained in 7:11N, Ro 10:4N). God's secret plan for history (Ro 11:25-26, 16:25-26; Ep 1:9, 3:9), involving the perfecting of human beings from all times, places and cultures (Rv 7:9-10), Gentiles as well as Jews (Ro 11:25-36; Ep 1:9-14,2:1-3: II), is glorious beyond imagining (Ro 11:33-36, Ep 3:20-21). Only by trusting God can anyone enjoy its benefits. 

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