The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 198 of 207
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race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the
covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the
patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, Who is God over all,
for ever praised! Amen" (Rom. 9: 1-5, N.I.V.).
Paul's sorrow is expressed first of all, not in their fall, but in their heights of privilege
bestowed on them by God and this made that fall all the more terrible. There were many
nations before Israel existed, but the Lord passed them by and chose Israel as His
firstborn and this, as we have seen, was linked with an inheritance and this was secured
by eternal promises relating to the seed and to the land. "Israel is My Son, even My
firstborn" (Exod. 4: 22) and as such was "above all the nations that are upon the earth"
(Deut. 14: 2). To them therefore pertained the promises first made by God to the
patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
To Israel pertained the external evidence of God's presence among them, the shekinah
glory in the Tabernacle (Exod. 40: 34) and in the Temple (I Kings 8: 10-11). Not only
these but all the covenants of Scripture with one exception belonged to Israel, the
exception being the covenant with Noah and mankind. There is evidence for the singular
here, the covenant referring to the law of Moses, but the plural is to be preferred for
Ephesians 2: 12 uses the plural in defining Israel's covenant privileges.
The Law with God's standard of righteousness eclipsing any other human code of
conduct was their possession and not only this but the service and worship of God and the
divine ceremonial that prophetically looked forward to the Person and the work of Christ
was expressed in their Temple at Jerusalem.
Theirs also were the promises, specially the Messianic promises, "the sure mercies of
David" (Isa. 55: 3; Acts 13: 23, 32-34) and the climax is reached in the Apostle's last
statement "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came" (verse 5).
In Eph. 2: Paul again summarized the divine privileges of Israel by noting in contrast
the position of the unsaved Gentile "that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens
from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no
hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2: 12).
With this wealth of blessing and privilege no wonder the Psalmist wrote concerning
"He (God) hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for His judgments, they (the
nations) have not known them. Praise ye the Lord" (Psa. 147: 20).
Something must be said about the words following the statement "as concerning the
flesh Christ came". The A.V. concludes the statement by saying "Christ . . . . . Who is
over all, God blessed for ever", or the N.I.V. "Who is God over all, for ever praised!
Amen".  However, some versions put a full stop after God and then finish with a
doxology, "as concerning the flesh Christ came. God be blessed for ever!" Erasmus was
one of the first to suggest this. What has to be decided is (1) is this latter translation