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18 So again we see that it is entirely up to God to show mercy or to harden[a] the hearts of whomever he chooses.

19 Well then, one might ask, “If God is in complete control, how could he blame us? For who can resist whatever he wants done?”

20 But who do you think you are to second-guess God? How could a human being molded out of clay say to the one who molded him, “Why in the world did you make me this way?”[b]

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  1. Romans 9:18 Although the Greek implies God hardens hearts, the Aramaic is more of a Hebrew idiom, “God gives permission for them to be hardened.” This implies the hardening the heart is from within the individual.
  2. Romans 9:20 By implication Paul is speaking of people who have been made from clay in the hands of the divine Potter. See Isa. 29:16; 45:9.