Hosea 8:8

Hebrew Bible

6 That idol was made by a workman—it is not God! The calf idol of Samaria will be broken to bits. 7 They sow the wind, and so they will reap the whirlwind! The stalk does not have any standing grain; it will not produce any flour. Even if it were to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it all up. 8 Israel will be swallowed up among the nations; they will be like a worthless piece of pottery. 9 They have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey that wanders off. Ephraim has hired prostitutes as lovers. 10 Even though they have hired lovers among the nations, I will soon gather them together for judgment. Then they will begin to waste away under the oppression of a mighty king.

Romans 9:21

New Testament

18 So then, God has mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy, and he hardens whom he chooses to harden. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who has ever resisted his will?” 20 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?” 21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath prepared for destruction?

 Notes and References

"... God’s faithfulness in spite of Israel’s stubbornness is, of course, a core theme of Romans 9–11. Unfortunately, the historical resonance of Paul’s argument in 9:20–23 has too often been overlooked, as many interpreters have assumed that in these verses Paul has suddenly expanded his vision beyond Israel such that the lump of 9:21 represents all humanity rather than Israel. Dunn, for example, dismisses Paul’s mention of the lump as irrelevant, suggesting that “Paul’s point could be made without this emphasis ... he no doubt intends a reminder that all humanity, Israel included, is made of the same common (lump of) clay.” It seems best, however, not to ignore or dismiss as unnecessary the few details we do have, especially since there is no question that the lump (φύραμα) of 11:16 represents Israel. Moreover, despite Dunn’s assertion of what Paul “no doubt intends,” the potter/ clay metaphor appears in the context of a larger argument in Romans 9 about God’s dealings with Israel, coming at the end of a chronological retelling of the narrowing of the heirs of the promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and then the nation of Israel, which divided into two parts, one of which (northern Israel) was rejected and cast among the nations (compare Hosea 8:8). Thus when Paul states that not all “from the same lump (ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ φυράματος)” (9:21) are made into the same kind of vessel, this analogy is best understood as further developing the thesis of 9:6, a difficult statement that obviously requires clarification, explaining how God’s choice to make dishonorable use of a portion of Israel squares with the covenantal promises of Israel’s redemption ..."

Staples, Jason A. Vessels of Wrath and God’s Pathos: Potter/Clay Imagery in Rom 9:20–23 (pp. 1-22) Harvard Theological Review, 2022

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