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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Romans 9:14-24

The apostle, having asserted the true meaning of the promise, comes here to maintain and prove the absolute sovereignty of God, in disposing of the children of men, with reference to their eternal state. And herein God is to be considered, not as a rector and governor, distributing rewards and punishments according to his revealed laws and covenants, but as an owner and benefactor, giving to the children of men such grace and favour as he has determined in and by his secret and eternal will... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Romans 9:19-29

9:19-29 But, then, you may ask, "If this is so how can God go on blaming men if they do not take his way? Who can withstand God's purpose?" Fellow! Who are you to be arguing with God? Surely the thing that is molded into shape cannot say to the man who molds it, "Why did you make me like this?" Has not the potter complete authority over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for an honourable use and another for a menial service? What if God, although it was his will to demonstrate... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Romans 9:21

Hath not the potter power over the clay ,.... By the power the potter has over the clay, to shape it in what form he pleases, and out of it to make what vessels he pleases, and for what purposes he thinks fit, which will be most to his own advantage, the apostle expresses the sovereign and unlimited powder which God has over his creatures; the passages referred to, are Isaiah 64:8 , in which God is represented as the potter, and men as clay in his hands; now if the potter has such power... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Romans 9:21

Hath not the potter power over the clay - The apostle continues his answer to the Jew. Hath not God shown, by the parable of the potter, Jeremiah 18:1 , etc., that he may justly dispose of nations, and of the Jews in particular, according as he in his infinite wisdom may judge most right and fitting; even as the potter has a right, out of the same lump of clay, to make one vessel to a more honorable and another to a less honorable use, as his own judgment and skill may direct; for no... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Romans 9:21

Verse 21 21.Has not the worker of the clay? etc. The reason why what is formed ought not to contend with its former, is, that the former does nothing but what he has a right to do. By the word power, he means not that the maker has strength to do according to his will, but that this privilege rightly and justly belongs to him. For he intends not to claim for God any arbitrary power but what ought to be justly ascribed to him. And further, bear this in mind, — that as the potter takes away... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Romans 9:13-24

God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. Here is one of the most difficult problems touched on in the whole of this Epistle, and one of the most difficult problems in the whole range of human thought. It cannot be said that the apostle fully explains it. He does indeed suggest arguments which are sufficient to meet some of its difficulties. But how to reconcile human responsibility with Divine sovereignty remains a problem as difficult as that of reconciling the existence of evil with... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Romans 9:14-24

( b ) In the next section injustice on the part of God, in thus electing the objects of his mercy according to the good pleasure of his will, is repudiated. As in Romans 6:1 and Romans 7:7 , a false inference from what has been said is introduced by τί οὗν ἐροῦμεν , and indignantly rejected by μὴ γένοιτο , followed by reasons against the inference. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Romans 9:19-29

The rebuke of presumption. The objectors might say—If God overrules all the conduct of men by such sovereign power, why does he reprobate any? Is not the very idea of the reprobation inconsistent with itself? He sets himself against some that he may glorify his Name; but if this tends to the working of his will, and they cannot resist, why does he set himself against them? The apostle, in reply, will indeed vindicate to them the reasons which enter into the working of the all-righteous... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Romans 9:19-33

Vessels of wrath and vessels of mercy. We have already seen that God's hatred of Esau was after a millennium of patience. This fact of God's long-suffering with Esau's seed carries the light we need into the difficult section now before us. It is a specious objection that the Divine will is resistless, and so, as each one finds he cannot resist God successfully, what reason has the Most High to find fault with his helpless creatures? But a little fair thinking on the whole subject of God's... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Romans 9:20-21

Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? ( Isaiah 29:16 ; Isaiah 45:9 ). Hath not the potter power (rather, authority ) over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? ( Jeremiah 18:1-10 ). The figure of the clay, first introduced from Isaiah, is carried out at length in the passage from Jeremiah which is referred to. It is important, for... read more

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