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Graff, Graft

GRAFF, GRAFT (ἐγκεντρίζω, G1596, graft in [to]). The usual procedure of inserting a slip of a cultivated tree into a common or wild one. In Romans 11:17-24, however, the metaphor is used “contrary to nature” (v. 24), of grafting a wild olive branch, the Gentiles, into the good olive tree, the place of blessing under the Abrahamic covenant. Such a process is unnatural, which is precisely the point. Normally, such a graft would be unfruitful. The branches refer fig. to being in the place of spiritual blessing and fruitfulness. “That unbelieving Jews (branches of the good tree) were broken off that Gentiles might be grafted in, afforded no occasion for glorying on the part of the latter. Jew and Gentile alike must enjoy the divine blessings by faith alone. So Jews who abide not in unbelief shall, as ‘the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree’” (W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, II, 171).