Rom. 11:25 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. 1. Paul is addressing "brethren" at Rome which is predominantly a GENTILE congregation as the words that immediately follow prove - "ye should be wise in your own conceits" and that the preceding pronouns prove: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? In verses 21-24 the contrast is between "thee" defined as GENTILES versus "them" who in context had been "cut off" and thus are the ethnic nation of Israel. 2. He is addressing what he calls a "mystery" or something previously hidden but now made manifest. The mystery is that ETHNIC ISRAEL has entered into PARTIAL blindness. Partial in regard to time and quantity. In regard to time, it is a PRESENT state of Israel or during the "until the fullness of the GENTILES be come in." In regard to quantity, it is not ALL Israel that are blind but only the majority of Israel as a nation, that which has been "cut off" rather than the "remnant" of Israel. 3. This is ethnic "Israel" because they are placed in contrast to Gentiles in the preceding context above (vv. 22-24 "thee" versus "them") and in this text they are also placed in contrast with "Gentiles" or "ye." 4. The purpose for their present PARTIAL blindness is clearly stated. They will remain in blindness "Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" - meaning until all the promised seed among the Gentile nations be saved. This interpretation is born out in the preceding context by the following words: 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Paul is explicitly denying they should fall completely but rather this is a mere time of "stumbling" for a stated purpose - the very same stated purpose given in verse 25 - that the elect among the gentile nations should be saved. However, that stated purpose has a TIME LIMITATION in the words "UNTIL the FULLNESS of the Gentiles be come in." Moreover, the ISRAEL that has stumbled in verse 11 is the same Israel that "should not fall" utterly but has suffered only TEMPORARY blindness in verse 25. They "should not fall" completely and permenantly because after God's stated purpose for cutting them off is completed then "all Israel shall be saved" that is all Israel that stumbled, all Israel that suffered partial blindness, all Israel as a nation.