7A potter kneads the soft earthand laboriously molds each vessel for our service,fashioning out of the same clayboth the vessels that serve clean usesand those for contrary uses, making all alike;but which shall be the use of each of themthe worker in clay decides.8 With misspent toil, these workers form a futile god from the same clay— these mortals who were made of earth a short time before and after a little while go to the earth from which all mortals are taken, when the time comes to return the souls that were borrowed. 9 But the workers are not concerned that mortals are destined to die or that their life is brief, but they compete with workers in gold and silver, and imitate workers in copper; and they count it a glorious thing to mold counterfeit gods. 10 Their heart is ashes, their hope is cheaper than dirt, and their lives are of less worth than clay, 11 because they failed to know the one who formed them and inspired them with active souls and breathed a living spirit into them. 12 But they considered our existence an idle game, and life a festival held for profit, for they say one must get money however one can, even by base means. 13 For these persons, more than all others, know that they sin when they make from earthy matter fragile vessels and carved images.
Date: 100-50 B.C.E. (based on scholarly estimates)
17 For the scripture says to Pharaoh: “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” 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?” 21Has 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— 24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he also says in Hosea:“I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved, ‘My beloved.’” 26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”