Romans 9:20
Parallel Verses
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?

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?

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?

Romans 9:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Nay but, O man ... - To this objection the apostle replies in two ways; first, by asserting the sovereignty of God, and affirming that he had a right to do it Romans 9:20-21; and secondly, by showing that he did it according to the principles of justice and mercy, or that it was involved of necessity in his dispensing justice and mercy to mankind; Romans 9:22-24.

Who art thou ... - Paul here strongly reproves the impiety and wickedness of arraigning God. This impiety appears,

(1) Because man is a creature of arraigning God. This impiety appears, Because man is a creature of God, and it is improper that he should arraign his Maker.

(2) he is unqualified to understand the subject. "Who art thou?" What qualifications has a creature of a day, a being just in the infancy of his existence; of so limited faculties; so perverse, blinded, and interested as man, to sit in judgment on the doings of the Infinite Mind? Who gave him the authority, or invested him with the prerogatives of a judge over his Maker's doings?

(3) even if man were qualified to investigate those subjects, what right has he to reply against God, to arraign him, or to follow out a train of argument tending to involve his Creator in shame and disgrace? No where is there to be found a more cutting or humbling reply to the pride of man than this. And on no subject was it more needed. The experience of every age has shown that this has been a prominent topic of objection against the government of God; and that there has been no point in the Christian theology to which the human heart has been so ready to make objections as to the doctrine of the sovereignty of God.

Repliest against God - Margin, "Answerest again; or, disputest with God." The passage conveys the idea of answering again; or of arguing to the dishonor of God. It implies that when God declares his will, man should be still. God has his own plans of infinite wisdom, and it is not ours to reply against him, or to arraign him of injustice, when we cannot see the reason of his doings.

Shall the thing formed ... - This sentiment is found in Isaiah 29:16; see also Isaiah 45:9. It was especially proper to adduce this to a Jew. The objection is one which is supposed to be made by a Jew, and it was proper to reply to him by a quotation from his own Scriptures. Any being has a right to fashion his work according to his own views of what is best; and as this right is not denied to people, we ought not to blame the infinitely wise God for acting in a similar way. They who have received every blessing they enjoy from him, ought not to blame him for not making them different.

Romans 9:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
God's Will and Man's Will
The great controversy which for many ages has divided the Christian Church has hinged upon the difficult question of "the will." I need not say of that conflict that it has done much mischief to the Christian Church, undoubtedly it has; but I will rather say, that it has been fraught with incalculable usefulness; for it has thrust forward before the minds of Christians, precious truths, which but for it, might have been kept in the shade. I believe that the two great doctrines of human responsibility
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 8: 1863

The Coming of the Called.
"That the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth."--Rom. ix. 11. The question is, whether the elect cooperate in the call. We say, Yes; for the call is no call, in the fullest sense of the word, unless the called one can hear and hears so distinctly that it impresses him, causes him to rise and to obey God. For this reason our fathers, for the sake of clearness, used to distinguish between the ordinary call and the effectual call. God's call does not
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Whence Also the Just of Old, Before the Incarnation of the Word...
18. Whence also the just of old, before the Incarnation of the Word, in this faith of Christ, and in this true righteousness, (which thing Christ is unto us,) were justified; believing this to come which we believe come: and they themselves by grace were saved through faith, not of themselves, but by the gift of God, not of works, lest haply they should be lifted up. [2679] For their good works did not come before God's mercy, but followed it. For to them was it said, and by them written, long ere
St. Augustine—On Patience

The Sum and Substance of all Theology
Note: On Tuesday, June 25th, 1861, the beloved C. H. Spurgeon visited Swansea. The day was wet, so the services could not be held in the open-air; and, as no building in the town was large enough to hold the vast concourses of people who had come from all parts to hear the renowned preacher, he consented to deliver two discourses in the morning; first at Bethesda, and then at Trinity Chapel. At each place he preached for an hour and a quarter. The weather cleared up during the day; so, in the evening,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

Cross References
2 Samuel 16:10
But the king said, "What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? If he curses, and if the LORD has told him, 'Curse David,' then who shall say, 'Why have you done so?'"

Job 9:32
"For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, That we may go to court together.

Job 33:13
"Why do you complain against Him That He does not give an account of all His doings?

Isaiah 10:15
Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it? Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it? That would be like a club wielding those who lift it, Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.

Isaiah 29:16
You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding "?

Isaiah 45:9
"Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands '?

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

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