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17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh, “This is why I have raised you up, to show my power through you that my name may be proclaimed throughout the earth.”(A) 18 Consequently, he has mercy upon whom he wills,(B) and he hardens whom he wills.[a]

19 [b]You will say to me then, “Why [then] does he still find fault? For who can oppose his will?”(C)

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Footnotes

  1. 9:18 The basic biblical principle is: those who will not see or hear shall not see or hear. On the other hand, the same God who thus makes stubborn or hardens the heart can reconstruct it through the work of the holy Spirit.
  2. 9:19–29 The apostle responds to the objection that if God rules over faith through the principle of divine election, God cannot then accuse unbelievers of sin (Rom 9:19). For Paul, this objection is in the last analysis a manifestation of human insolence, and his “answer” is less an explanation of God’s ways than the rejection of an argument that places humanity on a level with God. At the same time, Paul shows that God is far less arbitrary than appearances suggest, for God endures with much patience (Rom 9:22) a person like the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

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