9:16 So then, 1 it does not depend on human desire or exertion, 2 but on God who shows mercy. 9:17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: 3 “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 4 9:18 So then, 5 God 6 has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden. 7
9:19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?” 9:20 But who indeed are you – a mere human being 8 – to talk back to God? 9 Does what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 10 9:21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay 11 one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 12 9:22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects 13 of wrath 14 prepared for destruction? 15 9:23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects 16 of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory – 9:24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 9:25 As he also says in Hosea:
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” 20
9:27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children 21 of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 9:28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.” 22 9:29 Just 23 as Isaiah predicted,
“If the Lord of armies 24 had not left us descendants,
we would have become like Sodom,
and we would have resembled Gomorrah.” 25
9:30 What shall we say then? – that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 9:31 but Israel even though pursuing 26 a law of righteousness 27 did not attain it. 28 9:32 Why not? Because they pursued 29 it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. 30 They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 31 9:33 just as it is written,
“Look, I am laying in Zion a stone that will cause people to stumble
and a rock that will make them fall, 32
yet the one who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 33
[9:17] 3 sn Paul uses a typical rabbinic formula here in which the OT scriptures are figuratively portrayed as speaking to Pharaoh. What he means is that the scripture he cites refers (or can be applied) to Pharaoh.
[9:22] 15 tn Or possibly “objects of wrath that have fit themselves for destruction.” The form of the participle could be taken either as a passive or middle (reflexive). ExSyn 417-18 argues strongly for the passive sense (which is followed in the translation), stating that “the middle view has little to commend it.” First, καταρτίζω (katartizw) is nowhere else used in the NT as a direct or reflexive middle (a usage which, in any event, is quite rare in the NT). Second, the lexical force of this verb, coupled with the perfect tense, suggests something of a “done deal” (against some commentaries that see these vessels as ready for destruction yet still able to avert disaster). Third, the potter-clay motif seems to have one point: The potter prepares the clay.
[9:28] 22 tc In light of the interpretive difficulty of this verse, a longer reading seems to have been added to clarify the meaning. The addition, in the middle of the sentence, makes the whole verse read as follows: “For he will execute his sentence completely and quickly in righteousness, because the Lord will do it quickly on the earth.” The shorter reading is found largely in Alexandrian
[9:28] tn There is a wordplay in Greek (in both the LXX and here) on the phrase translated “completely and quickly” (συντελῶν καὶ συντέμνων, suntelwn kai suntemnwn). These participles are translated as adverbs for smoothness; a more literal (and more cumbersome) rendering would be: “The Lord will act by closing the account [or completing the sentence], and by cutting short the time.” The interpretation of this text is notoriously difficult. Cf. BDAG 975 s.v. συντέμνω.
[9:32] 29 tn Grk “Why? Because not by faith but as though by works.” The verb (“they pursued [it]”) is to be supplied from the preceding verse for the sake of English style; yet a certain literary power is seen in Paul’s laconic style.
[9:32] 30 tc Most
[9:32] tn Grk “but as by works.”