For those who believe “all Israel will be saved” in Romans 11:26 refers to physical, blood line descendants of Jacob, how do they understand the word “all”?

In the abolute sense of every single Israelite that has ever lived, including every single Pharisee and Sadducee, as well as Judas Iscariot?

Or “most”, that is, a significant portion of Israelites, with the exception of some “really bad ones”?

Or all Israelites living during the tribulation, that is, only those of Jewish descent taken from a segment of time in history, to the exclusion of Jews who have lived at other times?

Also, what of those who are of mixed blood, for example, 50% Jewish and 50% Spanish, are such ones included in “all Israel?

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    As the answer below emphasises (Romans 9:6) scripture clearly states that 'not all are (true) Israel who are (naturally) of Israel'. Therefore there is no real exegetical value in asking the hypothetical question. I think this would have better been asked on the Christianity site as it a question about relative opinions, not absolute scriptural text.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 27, 2019 at 8:46
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    I am starting to see a consistent theme on this stack, that is that if a question or answer is not concerning original or alternative language and grammar other than English, that contextually exegetical questions or answers are not considered applicable... I don't agree. The fact is that in this question and many others the correct hermeneutic to apply is a simple contextual evaluation of what is said, in and by the text it self, with the consultation of language or grammar to amend, critic or obsolete the answer or question
    – Lowther
    Jun 27, 2019 at 11:36
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    It says all of Israel not every Israelite. That’s an important distinction. Imagine saying all of the United States of America was at the Olympics, maybe all 50 states were present but not all Americans were present. All Israel, all twelve tribes but not every Israelite Jun 27, 2019 at 16:04
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    @autodidact I agree with the 'America- Israel' comparison...
    – Lowther
    Jun 28, 2019 at 12:15
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    @Constantthin the wild branches are either, depending on the interpretation, those with partial bloodline or no bloodline at all of the 12 tribes. And yes they are able to be grafted in by faith. Sep 17, 2019 at 19:25

7 Answers 7



I believe that all of physical bloodline Israel will be saved.

I however do not agree with the OP’s interpretation that all of Israel means every Israelite.

While all of Israel can be interpreted at the individual level to mean every Israelite, it can also be interpreted in a broader sense, all twelve tribes of Israel and the statement “all of Israel will be saved” will still hold true, which would therefore mean physical bloodlines.

I therefore believe that Apostle Paul was not referring to all of Israel at the individual level but at the twelve bloodline tribe level.

So the hermeneutics revolves around the word Israel and how it was intended and used by Apostle Paul.


Not sure where to start with this subject whether right at the very beginning before Abraham was even chosen to become a great nation Deuteronomy 32:9 according to

Gen 12:2  And I will make of you (Abram/Abraham) a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing

or further along but definitions might be a better option


With regards to the ancient people, Hebrews are all twelve tribes, Israelites and Jews


Pertaining initially to all twelve tribes but after the prophesied split of Solomon’s kingdom it refers to the Northern Ten Tribes plus any Levites living among them

Israelite’s in the latter sense are not Jews and cannot represent the Jewish people

Israelite in the former sense includes the Jews but is not formed entirely of Jews.

(Israelite in the sense of inhabitants of the land of Israel without specificity to tribal origin is also used, adding to the confusion).


Specific to the Southern Kingdom which consisted of Judah and Benjamin plus the Levites living among the Jews

A Jew is an Israelite and a Hebrew but a Jew does not represent ALL of Israel or ALL the Hebrew people


Initially The Northern Ten tribes were called Samaria though not Samaritans except for those who lived in the city of Samaria. After captivity Samaritans were not pure bloodline of Israelite Northern Kingdom Hebrew but a mix of gentiles and Israelites but no Jews


Are typically indistinguishable from the Jews or they cannot trace their heritage back to the Jews. They might be able to trace their heritage back to the Northern Ten Israelite tribes but to the Jew this is irrelevant


One who came under the umbrella of the Jews by adoption/conversion. Proselytes included gentiles but also those from Israel of the Northern Ten Tribes that were not Jews.


I’ve answered this subject in multiple different ways on this stack. This latest response is very important though I will probably repeat it again in this response and probably add links to other previous related responses.Romans 7 the law of the first husband


Israel typically twelve tribes. God marries Israel and enters into covenant with Israel

“"When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭16:8

Fast forward

Rehoboam loses ten tribes and Israel is split into two kingdoms, the Northern ten tribes also called Israel and later Samaria and the Southern two tribes also called Judah from which we get the name Jews or Jewish despite it being Judah and Benjamin plus Levites.

“And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, "What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David." So Israel went to their tents. "Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin” ‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭12:16, 23‬ ‭

Notice the text calls Israel everyone except the house of David which are the two tribes Judah and Benjamin plus the rest of the people or the Levites.

Israel however is given a certificate of divorce

“Thus says the Lord: "Where is your mother's certificate of divorce, with which I sent her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭50:1‬ ‭


“And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also.” ‭‭JEREMIAH‬ ‭3:8

Judah did not get a certificate of divorce because of multiple reasons including the promise to David that he would always have an heir on the throne.

The Jews or Judah goes into captivity and after seventy years a portion return to the land of Israel.

What is most important to note is that the Northern Ten Tribes never return back, the Samaritans are not accepted among the Jews because they mixed with the gentiles and as far as the Samaritans or Israelites from the Northern Kingdom who never returned back to the land they were one with the gentiles because they had been given a certificate of divorce.

Romans - Paul explains the saving of all of Israel.

The issue for the Christian Jews is a real one because among the gentiles there are now living and mixed into their bloodlines the blood of the divorced Ten Northern Tribes and according to the Law God CANNOT break His own Law.

“then her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭24:4‬ ‭

This was a serious issue for the early Church comprised of Jews only and proselytes. The Jews could accept a person to become a Christian if they first became a Jew. That didn’t sit well with those who knew their heritage was neither of Judah nor of Benjamin but of one of the other ten tribes.

By bloodline they were of Israel. Legally they could not re-enter into covenant with the God that divorced them

Law of the first husband.

Apostle Paul explains that the wife is bound to her first husband so long as the first husband is alive. But if the first husband dies, she is released from the law of the first husband and is free to marry without committing adultery.

“For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:2‬ ‭

(I understand that it’s contested who the Angel of the Lord is, but for the sake of brevity it’s Jesus prior to incarnation. He was the one that entered into covenant with ALL of Israel Acts 7:38 and He divorced the Ten Tribes)

Apostle Paul is saying that since Jesus the first husband died, He released the divorced Ten Tribes from the Law of marriage and opened the way for everyone to enter into the NEW COVENANT. Because not only did He die but He resurrected and became the eligible bachelor again, making Himself available as the Bridegroom.

New Covenant

The New Covenant is not of bloodlines. That’s why Apostle Paul says

“But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel (bloodline) belong to Israel (New Covenant Commonwealth), This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:6, 8‬ ‭

According to the Bible the Church is Israel or a continuation of Israel, children of the promise not of the flesh but of faith. The Jews or the older brother in the prodigal son chose to stay outside but Paul is saying that the Jews will stay outside only for a while for all of Israel will be saved.

“remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭

The Ten Tribes which have bloodlines to Israel are Gentiles because they had been cut off and they were for all intents and purposes Gentiles as many did mix with the Gentiles and they lost their bloodline identity though it was cut off.

However these bloodline Israelites come into the NEW covenant together with the gentiles under a New and BETTER way.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:13

The New Covenant makes the Old Covenant obsolete. Hebrew 8:13 This goes hand in hand with what Apostle John says.

“who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭

It’s not about bloodlines anymore, it’s about being IN HIM, in Jesus Christ.

Prophecy fulfilled

This age old prophecy that claimed God will accept the divorced Ten Tribes becomes fulfilled in Christ via the cross and the issue of the law of the first husband is resolved also in the cross

“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," it shall be said to them, "Children of the living God." And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint for themselves one head. And they shall go up from the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” ‭‭Hosea‬ ‭1:10-11‬ ‭

Notice that the distinction is made, Israel AND Judah (Jews). But they are now one, gathered together again. Israel who were not his people anymore but one with the gentiles are now children of God or Christians if you will.

And so in the New Covenant the New Israel is ALL of Israel twelve tribes not just the Jews or two tribes.

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.” ‭‭James‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭

James is addressing the ecclesia or the Church by its other name, the twelve tribes. The church is The New Israel, the Israel of God, of promise and not of the flesh.

“For he finds fault with them when he says: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭8:8‬ ‭

Again both Israel and Judah is mentioned in the New Covenant which was signed in blood at the cross. Covenant requires blood.

“And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭


The bloodline Israelites are all saved in the sense that all twelve tribes have access again to the New Covenant and this is opened to everyone Jew or Gentile (mixed with Israelite/Hebrew bloodlines).


I think it’s important to acknowledge that gentiles were present throughout the whole process of deliverance from Egypt. They experienced the plagues, they went through the Red Sea, entered the covenant at Mt Sinai with the rest of Israel and so forth.

“A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭12:38‬ ‭

The gentiles always played a role in attaching themselves to the promises of God because after all, “all the nations of the world would be blessed in this seed”

“For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭

It’s also fascinating to note that this language of ALL is used about the gentiles but yet Paul uses it about Israel.

“As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all),” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭10:36‬ ‭

It’s always been about Israel. Israel has not been replaced, Israel is ongoing and the nations/gentiles attach themselves to the Israel of promise

“When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life."” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭11:18‬ ‭

The current fight between the Church and the Jews is a fight of ignorance between two brothers the older brother of the Jews/Judah and the prodigal son Efraim, the younger brother that returns and is accepted not on merit but grace through faith which is the Church. The older brother is invited to come and join the feast and stop going about in the Old Covenant ways.


Also worth mentioning that God was set from before He split up the nations at Genesis 11 Tower of Babel according to Deuteronomy 32:8ESV DSS LXX that He would once again regain all the nations. This is why it’s particularly important to see Acts 2 and the tongues of fire as well as the many nations being converted all at once.

This was a prophecy that God fulfilled from Psalm 82:8

“Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭82:8‬ ‭

And it’s particularly interesting to see that God judges the one who disturbed the nations as Jesus Himself said that satan has already been judged John 16:11

This was also prophesied in Isaiah 14 and it says that the gentiles would attach themselves to Israel

“For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭

God split the nations, set up his own nation and through that nation promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob He takes back all the nations including the ten divorced tribes that intermingled with the gentiles. And this by the cross. It’s no wonder even the heavenly hosts marvel at God’s ability to execute His plans and make it known ahead of time

In light of

“not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭9‬:‭6‬ ‭

And in light of the New Covenant revelation of the true sons of God awaiting the redemption of their bodies through adoption otherwise known as glorification

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭23‬ ‭

But technically since not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, only those of the promise by faith, then technically every individual who makes up the true Israel through personal, voluntary, non compulsive faith in Jesus Christ, this means that all of Israel will be saved. The true Israelites, all of them. They will be given supernatural bodies technically making super-physical. So yes all physical Israel that is the true Israel who enter into Christ by faith all will be saved and they are now part of the commonwealth of Israel, all twelve tribes.

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    Thank you for your response. You mention a few things I had not considered before. I am interested in knowing about any recommended further reading related to the concept of “all Israel” in Romans 11:26 and it’s relation to the inclusion of the 10 lost tribes. Jul 18, 2019 at 12:23
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    Well done, Nihil. The only nit-pick I would offer is to refer to the 'target' of Christ's provision as transcending "Israel" to become "the Israel of God".. as versus Gentiles "attaching to Israel", since 'Israel', as you point out, could be seen as the despised divorcee. I would also add, for everyone's benefit, that it is quite difficult to guess when NT scriptures refer to post-exilic 'the Judeans' vs. "all 12 tribes", since the English term "Jew" muddies water.
    – Richard7
    Sep 17, 2019 at 16:44
  • @Richard7 the Israel of God is the child born of the promise, who has existed since Isaac, so there is no transcending, it’s attaching to those who like Abraham receive salvation by faith. If I understood your comment correctly. Sep 18, 2019 at 1:00
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    This article by Jason Staples follows similar lines of reasoning as your answer. It is the most persuasive explanation I have read to date. jasonstaples.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/… Sep 18, 2019 at 5:49
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    Thank you @למהזהתשאללשמי I’m curious to read it myself. Sep 18, 2019 at 10:29

The answer as to who all Israel is in Romans 11:26 when speaking of an Ethnic people taken from specific fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lies in very clear promises, covenants and prophecies concerning Israel and God's plan for them in the bible as a specific people of covenant and promise.

The context of Romans reading from Chapter 1 easily shows the patterned fall of Israel into the 'heathen (gentile) state', and beside it in Romans Chapter 2 the fall of Judah on account of faithless observance though they had not gone the way of Israel. Paul's discussion, when examining his OT quotes in Romans chapters 9-11, show that even the Gentiles (Ethnos / nations) in the Book of Romans are spoken of as if they are the remnant of the house of Israel and Judah which the law and the prophets said the LORD YHWH would redeem, not in a spiritual people but of a literal remnant of Israel, a work not cut short.

Starting in Romans 9:6-8 KJV  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  (7)  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.  (8)  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

This theme is continued in Romans 9:24-28 KJV  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?  (25)  As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  (26)  And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.   (27)  Esaias (Isa 10:22) also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:  (28)  For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

Romans quote where Paul is speaking of the gentiles is in Hosea specifically concerning Israel:

Hosea 1:9-11  Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head...

Romans 10 again has an element which is focused upon Israel scattered among the Nations (Gentile-Israel)

Romans 10:1 KJVA  Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved... Romans 10:5-8 KJVA  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.  (6)  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  (7)  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  (8)  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach...

This is a quote of Deuteronomy 30:11-14 KJVA  which again has an Israel specific context concerning Israel scattered among the nations (ethnos) to be redeemed Deuteronomy 30:1-14 KJVA And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee...

That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.  (4)  If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:  (5)  And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.  (6)  And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.  (7)  And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.  (8)  And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.  (9)  And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:  (10)  If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.  (11)  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.  (12)  It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  (13)  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  (14)  But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

The remnant of Israel taken from the ethnos/nations/gentiles

Romans 11:5-8 KJVA  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  (6)  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.  (7)  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded  (8)  (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

all Israel in Romans 11:25-27 KJVA  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  (26)  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  (27)  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. **?

Notice in 11:27 the partial quote of "the New Covenant" from Jeremiah 31:31 which as well is directed specifically to "the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah" in verse 31,and Paul's quote covers Jeremiah 31:33-34 KJVA  "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days …"I will remember their sin no more."

And so who are all Israel in Romans 11:26?

It is the reserved remnant of Israel spoken of by YHWH through Moses and the prophets, which Paul the "apostle to the gentiles" spoke of first in Romans 9:6-8 and continue up until the Romans 11:26 the verse of question:

Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Soldarnal
    Jun 30, 2019 at 1:36

All of Ethnic Israel at the Time of the Gentiles Being Complete

One view follows this logic. The context of Romans 11 is a set of contrasts/comparisons between:

  1. the members of ethnic Israel (v.1), of which a remnant among them are elect (v.7) and the rest blinded (v.7-10), but all of which are the "natural branches" (v.21, 24b; whether broken off of [v.17a], still part of [v.17b], or re-grafted into the tree [v.23-24]).
  2. the members of ethnic Israel (v.1ff.) and the Gentiles (v.11ff.) who are not natural branches (not Israel), but of a wild olive tree (v.17a, v.24a), who have the opportunity to be grafted in to the olive tree (v.17b).

It is faith that differentiates who is part of the cultivated olive tree (some of natural Israel are broken off because of lacking it [v.20a], while Gentiles are grafted in because of it [v.20b]). Romans ch. 10 covers extensively the need for faith, and Israel's general lack of it.

It is the re-grafting in of members of Israel that precedes the verse in question (v.23-24), which re-grafting means their coming to faith; but that cannot happen until the blindness of that part of Israel that is blinded is lifted, which occurs when "the fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (v.25), for such blindness is only "until" that fullness occurs. It is upon this lifting of blindness that it is stated "and so all Israel will be saved" (v.26a), as Christ "the Deliverer ... will turn away ungodliness from Jacob [natural Israel]" (v.26b) and will "take away their sins" (v.27).

However, Romans 11 does not give any indication of when this "fullness of the Gentiles" will come about, only that it will, and when it does, the blindness is lifted that kept the rest of Israel from joining the remnant that were saved during this time of blindness.

Now, as to who is considered ethnic Israel, the Scriptures are not entirely clear within Romans. But broadly speaking, and also found in the context of Romans, anyone whose father was a Jew is a Jew (ethnic lineage is traced through the male, through the fathers [v.28; cf. Rom 9:5]). The standard for Israel was that if parentage could not be established, then humanly speaking, the person was set aside as "defiled" (with respect to being an Israelite able to serve as a priest or Levite, e.g. Neh 7:64-65); notice that pagan wives were separated from (Ezra 9:1-2, ch. 10, specifically 10:11), but the implication is not that such a separation occurred with the children from those wives (Ezra 10:44; however, Neh 13:3 is unclear if it refers to mixed race children or simply to the separation from those who had, but should not have, mixed into Israel, such as the pagan wives).

So while it cannot be considered dogmatic, it seems that paternal lineage is key. A 50% Jew from the paternal side would qualify as a Jew, but not from the maternal side (e.g. Timothy need not have been circumcised, whose father was Greek and mother Jewish, but was by Paul to appease Jews, Act 16:1-3). And if so, then if a 50% (paternal) male fathered children from a Gentile wife making a 25% Jewish child, that child would still be a Jew by direct paternal relation, and if that child was a male who in turn fathered a child (12.5% Jewish), he/she would also be Jewish. Yet whether this is in fact the case or not, or if one has to be at least 50%+ Jewish, is not really for us to worry about (and not the main point of the passage): God will sort out who He deems to be the natural branches of ethnic Israel by His rules, and if part of that ethnic group at the time the fullness of the Gentiles comes, blindness will be lifted.


I thought this was a very good question and well put. Judas surely will not be saved (Mat 26:24), and he was a Jew. I think "all Israel" to be saved refers to all Jews, past and present, who did not violate those laws that have as a penalty - that man shall be cut off from his people. Examples:

  • not circumcised - Gen 17:14
  • not keeping Passover - Exo 12:15,19
  • working on the Sabbath - Exo 31:14 (this would eliminate most Jews in the U.S.)
  • eating blood - Lev 7:27
  • various sexual sins - Lev 18 & 20
  • sacrificing a child to Molech Lev 18:21,29;20:3 (supporting abortion)
  • Seeking familiar spirits - Lev 20:6
  • Despising the Lord's word - Num 15:30-31
  • Marrying a worshipper of a foreign God - Mal 2:11-12
  • Profaning the temple services - Exo 30; Lev 7; Lev 17, 19; Num 9:13

This pretty much eliminates most liberal Jews.

What if a Jew keeps all these (which are not much) and supports Israel, but works on the Sabbath in a gentile land? (It is much easier to not work on Sabbath in Israel.) I think, but do not know, but I think such a person would count as a Jew based on:

Rom 1: 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither that circumcision which is outward in flesh;

29 but he is a Jew who is so inwardly; and circumcision, of the heart, in spirit, not in letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (Rom. 2:28-29 DBY)

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    I read your post. We don’t disagree it’s just that you’re being imprecise and too loose with the definition of Jews to mean all Israeli which is incorrect. It’s only correct toward the Jews (Tribes of Judah, Benjamin and some Levite’s). Sep 13, 2020 at 19:43
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    Thanks for reading my post and commenting. After the return from Babylon, the word Jew or Judah refers to all Israel. The remnant from the northern 10 tribes came back with Judah to the land of Israel. (Ezr 2:2,70; etc.). In the New Testament time, Christians are the Israel of God. Jews who do not believe in the Messiah are not part of the Israel of God, but they are Jews. Sep 13, 2020 at 20:46
  • I understand how you arrived at this conclusion, I’m just telling you historically (documented) that the southern kingdom rejected the northern kingdom tribes and demanded they convert to Judaism denouncing their tribal heritage in the ten northern kingdom. Furthermore there is the issue that the northern ten tribes had received a certificate of divorce and could not be received back into covenant with God without also breaking the law of Moses regarding the first husband. Thank you. I don’t think there is much else to say that I haven’t already answered in the above posting Sep 13, 2020 at 20:59
  • @SteveMiller says "The remnant from the northern 10 tribes came back with Judah to the land of Israel.". Not true. Judah was captured by the Babylonians and later released. But long before that the other ten tribes were captured by Assyria and they never returned. Their location was still known in the 1st century (e.g. Jesephus states that "the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude and not to be estimated in numbers.", which is hardly a remnant. Many of the Apostles that weren't mentioned in Acts likely ministered to them. May 6, 2023 at 1:39
  • @RayButterworth - Who are you going to believe, Josephus or the Bible? How did Josephus know the 10 tribes were intact beyond the Euphrates? It was probably a Jewish myth (Tit 1:14). Besides Ezra 2:2,70 that I ref'd above, other verses that show a remnant of the 10 tribes had returned to Israel before the time of Christ: Isa 8:14; Acts 26:7 May 7, 2023 at 21:05

"All Israel" cannot mean every genetic descendants of Abraham.

John 10:24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.

The important context here is time:

Roman 11:25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in

Paul is talking about two groups of people, Jews and Gentiles, over time. In the future when the full number of Gentiles has reached, all Israel who rightfully expected the coming of the Messiah will join the number of those Gentiles who rightfully expected his 2nd coming.

Roman 11:26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

Paul is talking about the merging of these two groups of people at a future time.


Paul began in chapter 9 stating that "not all Israel is Israel..." What does that mean? Not all biological descendants of Jacob/Israel are a part of Israel. Remember when Elijah told God that there were none left in Israel spiritually except Elijah? But God told him that there were still 7,000 who had not bowed the knee to Baal, so they were still in Israel.

As Paul continues with his discussion in chapters 9-11 in Romans he delineates about the Gentiles being delivered from condemnation. He goes on in chapter 11 to address the Gentiles, as the wild olive tree, being grafted into the domestic olive tree, Israel.

Romans 11:25, 26a NIV

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited; Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved...

So when the full number of Gentiles become Christians, followers of Yehoshua, then all Israel will be saved. So not all biological descendants of Jacob/Israel are what make up Israel. Gentiles are now included also. How is this possible? Because Yehoshua has not only taken the sins of Israel, but He has also taken their mission of taking Yehovah to the whole world. And He has taken their name; Yehoshua is Israel, and the Gentile believers are in Him, and thus they are a part of Israel.

The best book on this subject is by Hans LaRondelle entitled "The Israel of God in Prophecy", published in 1989. I'll not delve into that at this time.


To understand Paul in roughly physical-genetical terms is wrong; for does not he include into Israel proselytes to Judaism who practice Judaism, are circumcised, go to synagogues, consider themselves as adepts of Jahve, are considered as co-religionists by genetical Jews and alongside with the latter await for the Messiah and deny that Christ is the one? Of course Paul includes them also in his “all Israel”!

But surely ontology stands above anything else and salvation is the righting or restoring of one’s fallen state through repentance to God, which is the ontological dimension. Therefore, no repentance, no salvation, regardless what nation or tribe you belong to. Now, will all Jews repent out of their genetical belonging? No!

Then what does Paul imply? Nothing but that: like he speaks that pagans were engrafted to the olive bush as unnatural twigs instead of the fallen natural twigs - the Jews, he does not imply all pagans and all Jews (himself being a one), but some big and conspicuous quantity, the big and conspicuous majority, and what is true of Jews is true of all mankind also to whom the name of the Crucified Lord is preached.

There is not a “genetical” salvation, all salvation pends on repentance and the latter is a free decision.

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