Though Israel stumbled over Christ, a Restoration of the Nation is Certain
Some of the Jews found the truth but the rest, the remaining ones (the left over ones, hoi loipoi), were rejected and hardened by God. Hardened is the Aorist Passive of poroo. The word is used to describe hardened skin, a callus. It means to lose the power of understanding. It can mean the mind has been blunted, dulled, or, the hardening of the heart, stubbornness. Since it is a Passive Voice it means the action is coming from outside, from God. He is the one who has hardened the hearts of the Jews so that they may be judged! There is a judicial blindness that has fallen temporarily upon the people of Israel, yet they are to be restored as a nation, a theocracy established soon in the future!
With "it has been written" Paul uses what is called a Perfect Tense. The action starts in the past and comes right up to the present. What God said in the past (in Deut. 19:4; Isa. 29:10; 6:9) has come all the way up to the present time and, in a sense, is now being fulfilled. A "spirit of stupor" could better imply going to sleep. The spirit is pulled down as if asleep or as if the person is drunk. The word "sleep" has the thought that the spirit has been pricked or stuck. It has lost its sensation, dulled by incitement into apathy, as if one is sound asleep! The majority of Jews at that time could in no way comprehend the gospel message.
Nicoll adds: "The ‘spirit of sleep’ is defined by what follows—unseeing eyes, unhearing ears; a spirit which produces a condition of insensibility, to which every appeal is vain. … Who sends this spirit of stupor? It is God! He does not send it arbitrarily nor at random; it is always a judgment." (p. 677)
Christ’s rejection and humiliation are mentioned in verses 4, 7-8, 10-12, with verses 14-20 describing the suffering of His soul in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36-45). Verse 21 is a direct reference to the cross (Matt. 27:34, 48; John 19:28-30). The imprecation or judgment section is found in verses 22-28 which is connected to Romans 11:9-10. Israel’s present blindness is prophesied in verse 25.
On Psalm 69 Unger writes: "The psalm is about the sufferings of the suffering One, the rejected Messiah-Savior, at His first advent, as the numerous quotations and references to it in the New Testament amply attest, demonstrating it to be a great Messianic psalm."
The "back bent" is often used as an expression of a slave carrying a heavy load or burden. The Law will weigh the stubborn Jews down but too, they will suffer the penalty of their rejection through the present dispensation (PERIOD) of grace. Persecution and rejection among the nations will follow the scattered Jews far and wide! Some translations cite always (pantos) as forever but this is a bad way of explaining the word from the root pas. It is better translated by all means, in every way, certainly, altogether. The Jews will not remain in this humiliated position "forever." They are to be redeemed soon and rescued by the return of the Lord Jesus as their promised King!
Even allegorist and amillennialist Nicoll sees the light on this passage. Their fall is not to be permanent. He writes "This stumbling of the Jews is not to be interpreted in the sense of a final fall. A recovery is in prospect." (Nicoll, p. 679) Hodge adds: "Paul shows that the rejection of the Jews was not intended to result in their being finally cast away." (Commentary, p. 362) This does not sound like REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY to me!
Vine concurs: The word "fall" denotes a moral fall as in 5:15. "Neither is the rejection of Israel total nor is it final. … There will be a recovery of divine favor." (Vine, p. 407) Kroll concludes: "Thus Paul begins to lay the groundwork for the proof that Israel’s rejection is not permanent. The Jews will be restored to God." (p. 179)
End or argument! Sorry, Hank, you missed it!