Jeremiah 18:6

Hebrew Bible

4 Now and then there would be something wrong with the pot he was molding from the clay with his hands. So he would rework the clay into another kind of pot as he saw fit. 5 Then the Lord’s message came to me, 6 “I, the Lord, say: ‘O nation of Israel, can I not deal with you as this potter deals with the clay? In my hands, you, O nation of Israel, are just like the clay in this potter’s hand. 7 There are times, Jeremiah, when I threaten to uproot, tear down, and destroy a nation or kingdom. 8 But if that nation I threatened stops doing wrong, I will cancel the destruction I intended to do to it.

Romans 9:21

New Testament

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? 23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory—

 Notes and References

"... Boyd (2000:75) saw Jeremiah 18 as the strongest evidence for the theme of future openness. If God is willing to change his plans, he argued, then what is permanently fixed cannot be changed (2000:75). Thus, Boyd (2000:76) insisted that scholars make a mistake when interpreting the potter/clay analogy in Jeremiah 18:1-10 as evidence that God exercises unilateral control over his creation. He believed scholars misunderstand Paul’s use of the analogy in Romans 9:21-23 (2000:76). Instead, he argued that Jeremiah used the analogy to make the opposite point, that is, God was willing to change and revise his plan for the nation once he saw his first plan had become spoiled. Boyd (2000:77) critiqued classical theologians for their interpretation of םַחָנ (nacham) as being nothing more than an accommodating metaphor, meaning it looked like God changed his mind, but in reality, he did not. Boyd (2000:77) argued that the biblical texts tell us in plain terms that God intended to do one thing and changed his mind and did another thing as opposed to indicating that God only looked as if he had changed his mind. Boyd (2000:77) concluded, “There is simply no reason to interpret language about changeable aspects of God less literally than language about unchangeable aspects of God”. In other words, Boyd (2000:77) did not believe there is anything in the text that indicates anything other than what it plainly says ..."

Marsh, Allen Bythel How ובּש ׁAND םַחָנ Contribute to Understanding the Meaning of Jeremiah 4:28, 15:6-7, 18:7-10 and 26:3, 13 and 19 (pp. 50-51) South African Theological Seminary, 2018

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