Isaiah 45:9

Hebrew Bible

7 I am the one who forms light and creates darkness; the one who brings about peace and creates calamity. I am the Lord, who accomplishes all these things. 8 O sky, rain down from above! Let the clouds send down showers of deliverance! Let the earth absorb it so salvation may grow and deliverance may sprout up along with it. I, the Lord, create it.’” 9 One who argues with his Creator is in grave danger, one who is like a mere shard among the other shards on the ground! The clay should not say to the potter, “What in the world are you doing? Your work lacks skill!” 10 Danger awaits one who says to his father, “What in the world are you fathering?” and to his mother, “What in the world are you bringing forth?” 11 This is what the Lord says, the Holy One of Israel, the one who formed him, concerning things to come: “How dare you question me about my children! How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my own hands!

Siddur Ashkenaz


You are Adonoy, our God, in heaven and on earth, and in the highest heavens. In truth, You are First, and You are Last. And besides You there is no God. Gather the ones who hope in You from the four corners of the earth. Let all mankind recognize and know that You alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. Who is there among all Your handiwork, among the heavenly or earthly creatures, that can say to You, “What are You doing?” Our father in Heaven, deal graciously and kindly with us for the sake of Your great name which is called upon us and fulfill for us, Adonoy, our God that which is written: ‘At that time, I will bring you in and at that time, I will gather you: for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I bring back your captivity before your eyes,’ said Adonoy.

 Notes and References

"... 'Hardens' (verse 18) is a hard word which easily provokes one to question the moral justice of the universe. 'If God makes me hard, why does he blame me for being hard?' [Paul] offers little comfort as, in his Jewish manner, he answers this question with a question. Who are you, a mere human being, to talk back to God? Lest one think [Paul] is being arrogant, he lets God himself be the one to whom objection must be made by quoting Isaiah in verse 20 and using the image of the potter and the clay from Jeremiah 18:6 in verse 21. Traditional Judaism takes the same viewpoint, as can be seen in this quotation from the weekday morning prayers in the siddur (prayerbook): 'Who is there among all the works of your hands, among those above or among those below, who could say to you, [God,] "What are you doing?"' ..."

Stern, David H. Jewish New Testament Commentary (p. 391) Jewish New Testament Publications, 1994

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