The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 88 of 167
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B.--I see, the term "all things" can only be understood by the general teaching of
Scripture, and not that the general teaching of scripture must be bent and made to
conform to our conception of the meaning of the term. I suppose you would agree that
the same canon of interpretation holds good in such passages as I Cor. 13: 7, where we
read that love "believeth all things"?
A.--Yes, for love rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth. I am afraid however
that you are evading the question. I believe that "all Israel" means "all Israel", that "all
men" means "all men", that--
Who are "All Israel"?
B.--There I have to differ with you. I do not believe "all Israel" means "all Israel" in the
sense of including every single individual who claims descent from Abraham or Jacob.
A.--You astound me. If I did not have evidence in your own writings that you profess to
believe that the scriptures are the Word of God, I should hold no further discussion with
B.--Thank you! In spite of your inability to understand me you feel that I must have
some scriptural basis for my position. Let me explain a little. The words "all Israel"
come in Rom. 11: 26, where we read, "and so all Israel shall be saved"; and I will admit
that without any further light it would be excusable in one to believe that the expression
intended every single descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But Rom. 11: is part of a
section of the epistle to the Romans which commences with chapter 9: Had we the
opportunity we could set out the complete structure of the three chapters and you would
see how wonderfully the theme of this dispensational section is balanced. However,
enough for our purpose can be discovered by reading a few verses in Rom. 9: Paul had
enumerated the advantages of being a Jew, a subject begun but not pursued in
Rom. 3: 1, 2. He said:--
"Who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption", etc. (9: 4).
To prevent a false inference he immediately adds:--
"They are NOT all Israel, which are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of
Abraham, are they all children; but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called . . . . . the children
of the promise are reckoned for the seed" (9: 6-8).
A.--You mean therefore that when Rom 11: 26 says "all Israel" we must interpret the
word "all" in the light of these statements?
B.--Yes, just exactly as you did with the examples already considered from I Cor.
A.--But what principle underlies this?
B.--It is given in the verses that follow (Rom. 9: 10-12). There the same principle that
set aside Ishmael sets aside Esau.