“For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.”
King James Version (KJV)
11:16 And this will surely come to pass. For if the first fruits be holy, so is the lump - The consecration of them was esteemed the consecration of all and so the conversion of a few Jews is an earnest of the conversion of all the rest. And if the root be holy - The patriarchs from whom they spring, surely God will at length make their descendants also holy.
Ro 11:16 For if the firstfruit [be] holy. See Nu 15:18-21. Some explain the first fruits by Abraham and the patriarchs. It probably refers, rather, to the Jewish Christians, "the election by grace" (Ro 11:5). If a portion of the nation has been saved, it is an assurance that the whole nation can be saved. And if the root [be] holy. The root may refer to Abraham. The figure is that of a tree, with the patriarchs for the root. "Holy" is used in the sense of acceptable to God, a common sense in the Scriptures. In Ro 11:17 the figure of the root, the stalk and the tree, is expanded.