Romans 9:20
New International Version
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?'"

New Living Translation
No, don't say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, "Why have you made me like this?"

English Standard Version
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

Berean Study Bible
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

Berean Literal Bible
But rather, O man, who are you, answering against God? Shall the thing formed say to the One having formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"

New American Standard Bible
On 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?

King James Bible
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?

Christian Standard Bible
But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"

Contemporary English Version
But, my friend, I ask, "Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did?

Good News Translation
But who are you, my friend, to talk back to God? A clay pot does not ask the man who made it, "Why did you make me like this?"

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"

International Standard Version
On the contrary, who are you—mere man that you are—to talk back to God? Can an object that was molded say to the one who molded it, "Why did you make me like this?"

NET Bible
But who indeed are you--a mere human being--to talk back to God? Does what is molded say to the molder, "Why have you made me like this?"

New Heart English Bible
But who indeed are you, a human being, to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Therefore, who are you, oh son of man, that you give a rebuttal to God? Does the thing formed say to the one who formed it, “Why have you made me this way?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Who do you think you are to talk back to God like that? Can an object that was made say to its maker, "Why did you make me like this?"

New American Standard 1977
On 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?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Rather, O man, who art thou to reply against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

King James 2000 Bible
Nay but, O man, who are you that replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?

American King James Version
No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?

American Standard Version
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus?

Douay-Rheims Bible
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?

Darby Bible Translation
Aye, but thou, O man, who art thou that answerest again to God? Shall the thing formed say to him that has formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

English Revised Version
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus?

Webster's Bible Translation
No, 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?

Weymouth New Testament
Nay, but who are you, a mere man, that you should cavil against GOD? Shall the thing moulded say to him who moulded it, "Why have you made me thus?"

World English Bible
But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed ask him who formed it, "Why did you make me like this?"

Young's Literal Translation
nay, but, O man, who art thou that art answering again to God? shall the thing formed say to Him who did form it, Why me didst thou make thus?
Study Bible GRK ▾ 
The Calling of the Gentiles
19One of you will say to me, “Then why does God still find fault? For who can resist His will?” 20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21Does not the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special occasions and another for common use?…
Cross References
2 Samuel 16:10
But the king replied, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? If he curses me because the LORD told him, 'Curse David,' who can ask, 'Why did you do this?'"

Job 9:32
For He is not a man like me, that I can answer Him, that we can take each other to court.

Job 33:13
Why do you contend with Him that He answers nothing a man asks?

Isaiah 10:15
Does an ax raise itself above the one who swings it? Does a saw boast over him who saws with it? It would be like a staff waving the one who lifts it! It would be like a staff lifting him who is not wood!

Isaiah 29:16
You have turned things upside down, as if the potter were regarded as clay. Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pottery say of the potter, "He has no understanding"?

Isaiah 45:9
Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker--one clay pot among many. Does the clay ask the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.

Jeremiah 18:6
"O house of Israel, can I not treat you as this potter treats his clay? declares the LORD. Just like clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.

Daniel 4:35
All the peoples of the earth are counted as nothing, and He does as He pleases with the army of heaven and the peoples of the earth. There is no one who can restrain His hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?'"

Luke 12:14
But Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed Me judge or executor between you?"

Romans 2:1
You therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on another. For on whatever grounds you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Romans 2:3
So when you, O man, pass judgment on others, yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?

Romans 9:21
Does not the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special occasions and another for common use?

Romans 9:22
What if God, intending to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the vessels of His wrath, prepared for destruction?

Romans 14:4
Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

2 Timothy 2:20
A large house contains not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. Some indeed are for honorable use, but others are for common use.

James 2:20
O foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is worthless?

Treasury of Scripture

No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?

O man.

Romans 2:1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are that judge: …

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require …

1 Corinthians 7:16 For what know you, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? …

James 2:20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

who art.

Job 33:13 Why do you strive against him? for he gives not account of any of his matters.

Job 36:23 Who has enjoined him his way? or who can say, You have worked iniquity?

Job 38:2,3 Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge…

Job 40:2,5,8 Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproves …

Job 42:2-6 I know that you can do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld …

Matthew 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye …

repliest. or, answerest again.

Job 16:3 Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldens you that you answer?

Titus 2:9 Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please …

or, disputes with God?

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of …

1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the …

Shall.

Isaiah 29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the …

Isaiah 45:9-11 Woe to him that strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with …







Lexicon
But
μενοῦνγε (menounge)
Particle
Strong's Greek 3304: Nay rather; indeed, truly, really. From Not Used and oun and ge; so then at least.

who
τίς (tis)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5101: Who, which, what, why. Probably emphatic of tis; an interrogative pronoun, who, which or what.

are you,
εἶ (ei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

O
(ō)
Interjection
Strong's Greek 5599: A primary interjection; as a sign of the vocative case, O; as a note of exclamation, oh.

man,
ἄνθρωπε (anthrōpe)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

to talk back
ἀνταποκρινόμενος (antapokrinomenos)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 470: To contradict, reply against, give a hostile answer. From anti and apokrinomai; to contradict or dispute.

to God?
Θεῷ (Theō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

[Shall]
μὴ (mē)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

what
τὸ (to)
Article - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

is formed
πλάσμα (plasma)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4110: A thing formed or fashioned. From plasso; something moulded.

say
ἐρεῖ (erei)
Verb - Future Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2046: Probably a fuller form of rheo; an alternate for epo in certain tenses; to utter, i.e. Speak or say.

to Him who
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

formed [it],
πλάσαντι (plasanti)
Verb - Aorist Participle Active - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4111: To form, mould, as a potter his clay. A primary verb; to mould, i.e. Shape or fabricate.

“Why
Τί (Ti)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 5101: Who, which, what, why. Probably emphatic of tis; an interrogative pronoun, who, which or what.

have you made
ἐποίησας (epoiēsas)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4160: (a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause. Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do.

me
με (me)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

like this?”
οὕτως (houtōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3779: Thus, so, in this manner. Or (referring to what precedes or follows).
(20) Nay but, O man.--The answer is not so much a solution of the intellectual difficulty, as an appeal to the religious sense to prevent it from being raised. That His dealings should be questioned at all is a breach of the reverence due to God.

Verses 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 understanding St. Paul's drift, to examine this passage. The prophet, in order that he might understand God's way of dealing with nations, is directed to go down to the potter's house, and watch the potter at his work. The potter is at work with a lump of clay, with the view of making a vessel of it; but it is "marred in the hand of the potter;" it does not come out into the form intended; so he rejects it, and makes anew another vessel after his mind, "as seemed good to the potter to make it." The prophet's application of the illustration is that, "as the clay is in the potter's hands, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel, saith the LORD;" meaning that if the house of Israel failed to answer to the LORD'S purpose, he could reject it at his pleasure, as the potter did the marred vessel; and in vers. 7-10 the view is extended to God's power over, and way of dealing with, all nations of mankind; and then, in ver. 11, the men of Judah are warned to return from their evil ways, lest the LORD should so do unto them. Thus it is by no means implied by the illustration that Israel, or any other nation, has been formed with the primary and irresistible purpose of rejecting it as a "vessel unto dishonour," or that, when rejected, it has not had opportunity of being otherwise; but only that God has absolute power and right over it, to reject it if proved unworthy. It cannot then resist his will (βούλημα, i.e. determination or resolve; not here θέλημα. The primary Divine θέλημα is "that all men should be saved, and come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4); and this men do resist. For distinction between θέλειν and Βούλεσθαι, cf. Matthew 1:19); but yet he may "find fault" with justice. It is here again evident that it is not individuals, but nations, that are in view all along. The apostle goes on next to consider whether, in God's actual dealings with the "vessels unto dishonour," there may not be, not only great forbearance, but also a merciful purpose. 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.
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