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17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh:[a]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.”[b] 18 So then,[c] God[d] has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden.[e]

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?”

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  1. Romans 9:17 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.
  2. Romans 9:17 sn A quotation from Exod 9:16.
  3. Romans 9:18 sn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.
  4. Romans 9:18 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  5. Romans 9:18 tn Grk “So then, he has mercy on whom he desires, and he hardens whom he desires.”

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