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Romans 9:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Or has not the potter authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Or hath not the potter a right over the clay—out of the same lump, to make some, indeed, into a vessel for honour, and some for dishonour?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— hath not the potter authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make the one vessel to honour, and the one to dishonour?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Or hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Hath not the potter power ouer the clay, of the same lumpe, to make one vessell vnto honour, and another vnto dishonour?
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— Or, hath not the potter power over his clay, that from the (same) mass he might make vessels, the one to honour, and the other to vileness?
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Hath not the potter dominion over his clay out of the same mass to make vessels, one for honor, and another for dishonor?

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
2228
{2228} Prime

e
{ay}
A primary particle of distinction between two connected terms; disjunctive, or; comparative, than.
Hath 2192
{2192} Prime
ἔχω
echo
{ekh'-o}
A primary verb (including an alternate form σχέω [[scheo]], {skheh'-o}; used in certain tenses only); to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession, ability, contiguity, relation or condition).
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
potter 2763
{2763} Prime
κεραμεύς
kerameus
{ker-am-yooce'}
From G2766; a potter.
power 1849
{1849} Prime
ἐξουσία
exousia
{ex-oo-see'-ah}
From G1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, that is, (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence.
over the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
clay, 4081
{4081} Prime
πηλός
pelos
{pay-los'}
Perhaps a primary word; clay.
of 1537
{1537} Prime
ἐκ
ek
{ek}
A primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause; literally or figuratively; direct or remote).
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
same 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
lump 5445
{5445} Prime
φύραμα
phurama
{foo'-ram-ah}
From a prolonged form of φύρω [[phuro]] (to mix a liquid with a solid; perhaps akin to G5453 through the idea of swelling in bulk), mean to knead; a mass of dough.
to y3739
[3739] Standard
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
y3303
[3303] Standard
μέν
men
{men}
A primary particle; properly indicative of affirmation or concession (in fact); usually followed by a contrasted clause with G1161 (this one, the former, etc.
make 4160
{4160} Prime
ποιέω
poieo
{poy-eh'-o}
Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct).
z5658
<5658> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 516
one x3739
(3739) Complement
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
x3303
(3303) Complement
μέν
men
{men}
A primary particle; properly indicative of affirmation or concession (in fact); usually followed by a contrasted clause with G1161 (this one, the former, etc.
vessel 4632
{4632} Prime
σκεῦος
skeuos
{skyoo'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a vessel, implement, equipment or apparatus (literally or figuratively [specifically a wife as contributing to the usefulness of the husband]).
unto 1519
{1519} Prime
εἰς
eis
{ice}
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
honour, 5092
{5092} Prime
τιμή
time
{tee-may'}
From G5099; a value, that is, money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself.
and 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
another 3739
{3739} Prime
ὅς
hos
{hos}
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
unto 1519
{1519} Prime
εἰς
eis
{ice}
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
dishonour? 819
{0819} Prime
ἀτιμία
atimia
{at-ee-mee'-ah}
From G0820; infamy, that is, (subjectively) comparative indignity, (objectively) disgrace.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Romans 9:20-21.


Romans 9:21

_ _ Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another to dishonour? — “The objection is founded on ignorance or misapprehension of the relation between God and His sinful creatures; supposing that He is under obligation to extend His grace to all, whereas He is under obligation to none. All are sinners, and have forfeited every claim to His mercy; it is therefore perfectly competent to God to spare one and not another, to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor. But it is to be borne in mind that Paul does not here speak of God’s right over His creatures as creatures, but as sinful creatures: as he himself clearly intimates in the next verses. It is the cavil of a sinful creature against his Creator that he is answering, and be does so by showing that God is under no obligation to give His grace to any, but is as sovereign as in fashioning the clay” [Hodge]. But, Second: “There is nothing unjust in such sovereignty.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Romans 9:14-24.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 9:21

Hath not the potter power over the clay — And much more hath not God power over his creatures, to appoint one vessel, namely, the believer, to honour, and another, the unbeliever, to dishonour?

If we survey the right which God has over us, in a more general way, with regard to his intelligent creatures, God may be considered in two different views, as Creator, Proprietor, and Lord of all; or, as their moral Governor, and Judge.

God, as sovereign Lord and Proprietor of all, dispenses his gifts or favours to his creatures with perfect wisdom, but by no rules or methods of proceeding that we are acquainted with. The time when we shall exist, the country where we shall live, our parents, our constitution of body and turn of mind; these, and numberless other circumstances, are doubtless ordered with perfect wisdom, but by rules that lie quite out of our sight. But God's methods of dealing with us, as our Governor and Judge, are dearly revealed and perfectly known; namely, that he will finally reward every man according to his works: "He that believeth shalt be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned."

Therefore, though "He hath mercy on whom he willeth, and whom he willeth he hardeneth," that is, suffers to be hardened in consequence of their obstinate wickedness; yet his is not the will of an arbitrary, capricious, or tyrannical being. He wills nothing but what is infinitely wise and good; and therefore his will is a most proper rule of judgment. He will show mercy, as he hath assured us, to none but true believers, nor harden any but such as obstinately refuse his mercy. Jeremiah 18:6-7

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Romans 9:21

(19) Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one (20) vessel unto (x) honour, and another unto (21) dishonour?

(19) Alluding to the creation of Adam, he compares mankind not yet made (but who are in the creators mind) to a lump of clay: who afterwards God made, and daily makes, according as he purposed from everlasting, both such as should be elect, and such as should be reprobate, as also this word "make" declares.

(20) Whereas in the objection propounded, mention was only made of vessels to dishonour, yet he speaks of the others also in this answer, because he proves the Creator to be just in either of them.

(x) To honest uses.

(21) Seeing then, that in the name of dishonour the shame of everlasting death is signified, those agree with Paul, who say that some are made by God for most just destruction: and they that are offended with this kind of speech betray their own folly.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the potter:

Romans 9:11 (For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Romans 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.
Proverbs 16:4 The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand.
Jeremiah 18:3-6 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. ... O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay [is] in the potter's hand, so [are] ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

one vessel:

Romans 9:22-23 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: ... And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Jeremiah 22:28 [Is] this man Coniah a despised broken idol? [is he] a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
Hosea 8:8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein [is] no pleasure.
Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
2 Timothy 2:20-21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. ... If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, [and] prepared unto every good work.
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Pv 16:4. Is 64:8. Jr 18:3; 22:28. Ho 8:8. Ac 9:15. Ro 9:11, 18, 22. 2Ti 2:20.

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