Romans 9:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

New Living Translation
When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?

English Standard Version
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

New American Standard Bible
Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

King James Bible
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Or has the potter no right over the clay, to make from the same lump one piece of pottery for honor and another for dishonor?

International Standard Version
A potter has the right to do what he wants to with his clay, doesn't he? He can make something for a special occasion or something for ordinary use from the same lump of clay.

NET Bible
Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Or is not a potter authorized over the clay to make some formed things from it, one vessel for honor and one for dishonor?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A potter has the right to do whatever he wants with his clay. He can make something for a special occasion or something for everyday use from the same lump of clay.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour?

King James 2000 Bible
Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

American King James Version
Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?

American Standard Version
Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Or hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Darby Bible Translation
Or has not the potter authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour?

English Revised Version
Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Webster's Bible Translation
Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?

Weymouth New Testament
Or has not the potter rightful power over the clay to make out of the same lump one vessel for more honourable and another for less honourable uses?

World English Bible
Or hasn't the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor?

Young's Literal Translation
hath not the potter authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make the one vessel to honour, and the one to dishonour?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:14-24 Whatever God does, must be just. Wherein the holy, happy people of God differ from others, God's grace alone makes them differ. In this preventing, effectual, distinguishing grace, he acts as a benefactor, whose grace is his own. None have deserved it; so that those who are saved, must thank God only; and those who perish, must blame themselves only, Hos 13:9. God is bound no further than he has been pleased to bind himself by his own covenant and promise, which is his revealed will. And this is, that he will receive, and not cast out, those that come to Christ; but the drawing of souls in order to that coming, is an anticipating, distinguishing favour to whom he will. Why does he yet find fault? This is not an objection to be made by the creature against his Creator, by man against God. The truth, as it is in Jesus, abases man as nothing, as less than nothing, and advances God as sovereign Lord of all. Who art thou that art so foolish, so feeble, so unable to judge the Divine counsels? It becomes us to submit to him, not to reply against him. Would not men allow the infinite God the same sovereign right to manage the affairs of the creation, as the potter exercises in disposing of his clay, when of the same lump he makes one vessel to a more honourable, and one to a meaner use? God could do no wrong, however it might appear to men. God will make it appear that he hates sin. Also, he formed vessels filled with mercy. Sanctification is the preparation of the soul for glory. This is God's work. Sinners fit themselves for hell, but it is God who prepares saints for heaven; and all whom God designs for heaven hereafter, he fits for heaven now. Would we know who these vessels of mercy are? Those whom God has called; and these not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles. Surely there can be no unrighteousness in any of these Divine dispensations. Nor in God's exercising long-suffering, patience, and forbearance towards sinners under increasing guilt, before he brings utter destruction upon them. The fault is in the hardened sinner himself. As to all who love and fear God, however such truths appear beyond their reason to fathom, yet they should keep silence before him. It is the Lord alone who made us to differ; we should adore his pardoning mercy and new-creating grace, and give diligence to make our calling and election sure.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

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 over the clay which he did not make, only has made a purchase of, or has it in his possession, much more has God a power, who has created the clay, to appoint out of it persons to different uses and purposes, for his own glory, as he sees fit; even

of the same lump, to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour. The apostle seems to design hereby, to point out to us the object of predestination to be man, as yet not made, but as lying in the mere mass of creatureship, signified by the unformed clay, before put into any shape; and is an allusion to the first creation of man, out of the clay, or dust of the earth, Genesis 2:7; for such a consideration of man best agrees with the clay, lump, or mass, not yet formed, than as already made, and much less as fallen and corrupted: for if men, in predestination, were considered in the corrupt mass, or as fallen creatures, they could not be so well said to be made out of it, both to honour and dishonour; but rather since they were all dishonourable, that some were left in that dishonour, and others removed from it unto honour: besides, if this is not the case, God must create man without an end, which is contrary to the principle of reason and wisdom; the end is the cause, for which a thing is what it is; and it is a known rule, that what is first in intention, is last in execution, and "vice versa": the end is first fixed, and then the means; for God to create man, and then to fix the end of his creation, is to do what no wise potter would do, first make his pots, and then think of the end of making them, and the use they are to be put unto. To make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour, is for God to appoint creatures, which are to be made out of the same mass and lump, for his own glory; which end, his own glory, he determines to bring about by different means, as these following: with respect to the vessels of honour, whom he appoints for his glory, he determines to create them; to suffer them to fall into sin, whereby they become polluted and guilty; to raise and recover them, by the obedience, sufferings, and death of his Son; to regenerate, renew, and sanctify them, by his Spirit and grace, and to bring them to eternal happiness; and hereby compass the aforesaid end, his own glory, the glorifying of his grace and mercy, in a way consistent with justice and holiness: with respect to the vessels of dishonour, whom he also appoints for the glorifying of himself, he determines to create them out of the same lump; to suffer them to fall into sin; to leave them in their sins, in the pollution and guilt of them, and to condemn them for them; and hereby gain his ultimate end, his own glory, glorifying the perfections of his power, justice, and holiness, without the least blemish to his goodness and mercy: now if a potter has power, for his own advantage and secular interest, to make out of the same clay what vessels he pleases; much more has God a power, out of the same mass and lump of creatureship, to appoint creatures he determines to make to his own glory; which he brings about by different methods, consistent with the perfections of his nature.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. Hath not the potter power over the clay; of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another to dishonour?—"The objection is founded on ignorance or misapprehension of the relation between God and His sinful creatures; supposing that He is under obligation to extend His grace to all, whereas He is under obligation to none. All are sinners, and have forfeited every claim to His mercy; it is therefore perfectly competent to God to spare one and not another, to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor. But it is to be borne in mind that Paul does not here speak of God's right over His creatures as creatures, but as sinful creatures: as he himself clearly intimates in the next verses. It is the cavil of a sinful creature against his Creator that he is answering, and be does so by showing that God is under no obligation to give His grace to any, but is as sovereign as in fashioning the clay" [Hodge]. But, Second: "There is nothing unjust in such sovereignty."

Romans 9:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Calling of the Gentiles
20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?…
Cross References
Isaiah 10:15
Does the ax raise itself above the person who swings it, or the saw boast against the one who uses it? As if a rod were to wield the person who lifts it up, or a club brandish the one who is not wood!

Isaiah 45:9
"Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker, those who are nothing but potsherds among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'The potter has no hands'?

Jeremiah 18:6
He said, "Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.

Romans 9:20
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'"

Romans 9:22
What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction?

2 Timothy 2:20
In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.
Treasury of Scripture

Has not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and another to dishonor?

the potter.

Romans 9:11,18 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good …

Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made all things for himself: yes, even the wicked for …

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our …

Jeremiah 18:3-6 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he worked a …

one vessel.

Romans 9:22,23 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known…

Jeremiah 22:28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein …

Hosea 8:8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a …

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel …

2 Timothy 2:20,21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, …

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