Wisdom of Solomon 15:7


4 For neither has the evil intent of human art misled us, nor the fruitless toil of painters, a figure stained with varied colors, 5 whose appearance arouses yearning in fools, so that they desire the lifeless form of a dead image. 6 Lovers of evil things and fit for such objects of hope are those who either make or desire or worship them. 7 A potter kneads the soft earth and laboriously molds each vessel for our service, fashioning out of the same clay both the vessels that serve clean uses and those for contrary uses, making all alike; but which shall be the use of each of them the 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.

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— 24 even us, whom he has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?

 Notes and References

"... Verses 20-21 underscore the statement with a double illustration. This must not be allegorized. It comes from a broad Old Testament tradition (compare Isaiah 29:16; 45:9; 64:7; Jeremiah 18:3-6; Job 10:9; 33:6 and the ensuing Jewish texts ... Sirach 33:7-15). Paul develops the tradition in his own way but seems to borrow from Isaiah 29:16 in verse 20 and comes very close to Wisdom of Solomon 15:7 in verse 21. The question in verse 20 reminds us of Isaiah 45:9 but is hardly borrowed from there. The Old Testament texts do not have the focus ... which points not to the manner (Zahn) but the result (Kuhl) ..."

Käsemann, Ernst Commentary on Romans (p. 269) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1980

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