Pharaoh no Unconditional Reprobate
Romans 9:17-18
For the scripture said to Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you…

I. THE BENEFIT OR INDULGENCE OFFERED BY GOD UNTO PHARAOH time after time, UPON CONDITION OF HIS REPENTANCE and dismission of his people, as, viz., his immunity from further plagues or judgments from God, SHOW THAT THE MEANS VOUCHSAFED WERE EFFECTUAL, AND SUFFICIENT TO HAVE WROUGHT HIM TO REPENTANCE. The proffer or promise of a benefit upon the performance of such or such a condition supposeth a sufficiency of power to perform this condition. To promise anything upon other terms is rather an insultation over the weakness of him to whom the promise is made, than any matter of kindness which the nature of a promise still imports. The promise of a reward of a thousand pounds made unto a cripple upon condition he will run twenty miles within an hour's space, is merely to deride such a man in his misery. Therefore certainly Pharaoh, God by many promissory intimations signifying that upon his repentance the judgments threatened should not come upon him, is hereby shown to have had power to fulfil the condition.

II. PHARAOH, BY THE MEANS VOUCHSAFED, DID SEVERAL TIMES TRULY REPENT of his obstinancy, and gave order for the dismission of the people (Exodus 10:16 17; 12:31, 32, etc.). Therefore he was — questionless — in a sufficient capacity to have repented and dismissed the people. That afterwards he repented of this repentance, and returned to his former obdurateness, is no argument that his former repentance was not true. Yea, if this repentance had been hollow or counterfeit, his repenting of it had been no sin. And besides, if the tree — as our Saviour saith — be known by the fruit, that repentance of Pharaoh, which produced —

1. Confession of sin committed both against God and men (Exodus 10:16).

2. Application by way of entreaty unto the saints to pray unto God for him (Exodus 10:16).

3. An express order with encouragement unto Moses and Aaron, to expedite the departure of their people according to the commandment of God, and this in as ample manner as themselves desired it (Exodus 12:31, 32); that repentance must needs be conceived to have been a true repentance. And, doubtless, had Pharaoh persisted in that repentance, and not relapsed into his former provocation — which he was no ways necessitated unto — he had escaped that dreadful stroke from Heaven, which he met with in the Red Sea.

(John Goodwin.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

WEB: For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I caused you to be raised up, that I might show in you my power, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

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