|Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!|
|Greek: Ti oun eroumen? (1PFAI ) me adikia para to theo me genoito; (3SAMO)
Amplified: What shall we conclude then? Is there injustice upon God's part? Certainly not!
ESV: What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
ICB: So what should we say about this? Is God unfair? In no way.
NIV: What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!
NKJV: What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!
NLT: What can we say? Was God being unfair? Of course not!
Philips: Now do we conclude that God is monstrously unfair? Never!
Wuest: What shall we say then? There is not unrighteousness with God, is there? Away with the thought.
Young's Literal: What, then, shall we say? unrighteousness is with God? let it not be!
|Romans — 3:21-5:21||Romans — 6:1-8:39||Romans — 9:1-11:36||Romans — 12:1-16:27|
|Romans 9||Romans 10||Romans 11|
Israel's Election by God
Israel's Rejection of God
|God's Ways Higher
God Not Rejecting Israel
Are you confused about God's plan for Israel? Then I highly recommend Tony Garland's 12 Hour Course on Romans 9-11 in which he addresses in depth the question of What Will Happen to Israel? (click) or see the individual lectures below)
Note that when you click the preceding links, each link will in turn give you several choices including an Mp3 message and brief transcript notes. The Mp3's are long (avg 70+ min) but are in depth and thoroughly Scriptural with many quotations from the Old Testament, which is often much less well understood than the NT by many in the church today. Tony Garland takes a literal approach to Scripture, and his love for the Jews and passion to see them saved comes through very clearly in these 12 hours of teaching! Take your home Bible Study group through this series if you dare! Take notes on the tapes as the transcripts are a very abbreviated version of the audio messages. This course is highly recommended for all who love Israel! I think you will agree that Tony Garland, despite coming to faith after age 30 as an engineer, clearly has been given a special anointing by God to proclaim the truth concerning Israel and God's glorious future plan for the Jews. Garland has also produced more than 20 hours of superb audio teaching in his verse by verse commentary on the Revelation (in depth transcripts also available) which will unravel (in a way you did not think was possible considering the plethora of divergent interpretations) God's final message of the triumph and return of the our Lord Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords! Maranatha!
WHAT SHALL WE SAY THEN THERE IS NO INJUSTICE (unrighteousness) WITH GOD IS THERE?: Ti oun eroumen (1PFAI) me adikia para to theo: (Ro 2:5; 3:5,6; Genesis 18:25; Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job 8:3; 34:10-12,18,19; Job 35:2; Psalms 92:15; 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1; Revelation 15:3,4; 16:7)
Paul anticipates a human reaction to God's choice of Jacob over Esau. Paul anticipates men judging God and accusing God of unjust. And yet we know from studying God's attributes (see discussion of God's attribute of Justice), that He is always fair. He is never unjust in His essence. So here we see where human logic comes to a "logical" but wrong conclusion.
Injustice (93) (adikia [word study] from a = negates what follows + dike = right) describes the condition of not being right. Adikia describes unrighteousness of heart and life resulting in wrongdoing. It can describe a deed violating law and justice.
He is going to say that it is not a matter of injustice but a matter of mercy. God sovereignly (See God's attribute Sovereignty) has mercy (see God's attribute Mercy) on who He will although all deserve His wrath (see God's attribute Wrath).
MAY IT NEVER BE: me genoito (3SAMO): (All 15 of uses of "May it never be!" with only one non-Pauline use - Luke 20:16; Rom 3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:1, 11; 1 Cor 6:15; Gal 2:17; 3:21; 6:14)
The idea is "Away with the thought. Perish the thought. By no means! Certainly not!"
Phillips renders it “Do we conclude that God is monstrously unfair? Never!”
|Greek: to Mousei gar legei, (1SPAI) Eleeso (1SRAI) on an eleo, (1SPAS) kai oiktireso (1SFAI) on an oiktiro. (1SRAI)
Amplified: For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion (pity) on whom I will have compassion.(7)
ESV: For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
ICB: God said to Moses, "I will show kindness to anyone I want to show kindness. I will show mercy to anyone I want to show mercy."
NIV: For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
NKJV: For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."
NLT: For God said to Moses, "I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose."
Philips: God said long ago to Moses: 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion'.
Wuest: For to Moses He says; I will have mercy upon whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.
Young's Literal: for to Moses He saith, 'I will do kindness to whom I do kindness, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion;'
|FOR HE SAYS TO MOSES "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY": o Mousei gar legei, (1SPAI) Eleeso (1SRAI) on an eleo, (1SPAS): (Ro 9:16,18,19; Ex 33:19; 34:6,7; Isaiah 27:11; Micah 7:18)
F or (gar) - Notice the little preposition "for" (there are over 7000 "for's" in Scripture) and if the context indicates, as it does in this passage, that the "for" is a term of explanation, pause and ponder, asking yourself what is the Spirit explaining? Notice how pausing to ponder will always force you to examine the context. You can (and should) practice this simple discipline every time you encounter a for, and while not every instance is a term of explanation, a "for" at the beginning of a verse is almost always is used with that grammatical sense. I guarantee that if you begin to "pause and ponder," you will radically rejuvenate your "Read Through the Bible in a Year" program! You might even get a small journal and begin to keep notes on what the Spirit illuminates and how this truth can be applied to your daily life. As you practice interrogating the text (for, therefore, but, so that, etc) with 5W/H questions such as "What's the for explaining?", you will begin to learn to (1) Read the Bible inductively (power point overview) and to (2) Meditate (see also Primer on Biblical Meditation) on the Scripture. Meditation or "chewing the cud" of the Scripture (cf Mt 4:4, Job 23:12-note, Jer 15:16) so to speak is a vanishing discipline in our fast paced, hi tech, low touch society, but a spiritual discipline which God promises to greatly bless (See Ps 1:1-note, Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note, Joshua 1:8-note, cf Ps 4:4, 19:14, 27:4, 49:4, 63:6, Ps 77:6, 77:12, Ps 104:34, Ps 119:15, 119:23, 119:27, Ps 119:48, 119:78, Ps 119:97, 119:99, Ps 119:148, 143:5, Ps 145:5)
The connection and the argument are obvious:
Paul quotes the Septuagint (LXX) of (Exodus 33:19)
Paul has already shown us that all mankind is under sin (Romans 3:9, 10-note, Ro 3:19-note, Ro 3:23-note Ro 6:23-note) and justly deserves God's righteous wrath (Ro 1:18-note). But God who is rich is mercy (see His attribute Mercy) looks down and has mercy on some and compassion on some. He has mercy and compassion on whomever He chooses. This should cause us to fall on our face and cry out
What awesome truth this is.
I will - God's will - NIDNTT comments on thelo in Romans 9:14ff - The exegesis of Ro. 9:14ff. has always caused difficulties. How are the will of man and the will of God related to each other? The attempt has repeatedly been made to understand this passage from the perspective of human free will and responsibility. But Paul does not go into the question of human responsibility here at all (cf. for this Ro 10:16ff.). It is not human volition (thelein) which is decisive for God’s action; it is God’s saving will which is the pre-condition for all human volition. The freedom of divine compassion is not dependent on human exertion, and just as little dependent on human resistance (cf. Ro 9:17). God accomplishes His will in history precisely in that He harnesses both obedient and obdurate into His saving plan (Ro 9:18). “The Pauline exegesis is not open to rational analysis; it puts deliberate obstacles in the way. The statement ‘God hardens’ now threatens everyone, including the Jews (Ro. 9:24ff.), just as God’s compassion is now perceptible to everyone, including the reprobate (Ro 9:22).
Mercy (1653) (eleeo [word study] from eleos [word study]) means “to feel sympathy with the misery of another, especially such sympathy which manifests itself in action, less frequently in word.” It describes the general sense of one who has compassion or person on someone in need. Eleeo indicates that one is moved to pity and compassion by tragedy and includes the fear that this could happen to me (although this latter obviously does not apply to God). The idea of this verb is to see someone in dire need (including one who may not deserve the misfortune), to have compassion on them, and to give help to remove the need. Specifically in context eleeo means God extends help for the consequence of sin. He has compassion on sinners who are in unhappy circumstances (that's stating it somewhat euphemistically!).
Mercy implies that there is absolutely nothing within us that caused God to bestow His mercy upon us. It is simply according to His good pleasure. There was nothing in us to commend us to God. We could do nothing to help ourselves (Ro 5:6-note, Ro 5:8-note, Ro 5:10-note). Mercy also implies that the one bestowing the mercy has the means to meet the need. Here God meets the need of those He chooses.
NIDNTT writes of the root word eleos that in classical Greek…
Vincent writes that eleeo means
Vine writes that eleeo means…
Eleeo - 29x in 26v in NAS - Matt 5:7; 9:27; 15:22; 17:15; 18:33; 20:30, 31; Mark 5:19; 10:47, 48; Luke 16:24; 17:13; 18:38, 39; Ro 9:15-note, Ro 9:18-note; Ro 11:30-note, Ro 11:31-note, Ro 11:32-note; Ro 12:8-note; 1Cor 7:25; 2Cor 4:1; Phil 2:27-note; 1Ti 1:13, 16; 1Pe 2:10-note. NAS = found mercy(1), had mercy(4), has mercy(2), have mercy(15), mercy(1), receive mercy(1), received mercy(3), show mercy(1), shown mercy(3), shows mercy(1).
AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION: kai oiktireso (1SFAI) on an oiktiro (1SFAI):
I will have compassion - Paul is quoting Moses in Exodus 33:19. What God says here is fair because God is God and we are not. This is His right and it is right because He is also the infinitely good God in all that He does. God is sovereign in dispensing of His mercy. We simply do not have His eternal, transcendent, omniscient, etc perspective, nor could we (now) with our finite minds. In future glory, what perplexes and discomforts us now will fade into oblivion as we behold His face and come to understand His matchless, infinite wisdom.
Compassion (3627) (oikteiro from oiktos = compassion, pity = compassion or pity which in turn is said to be derived from the interjection oi = "Oh!"; see also study of cognate - oiktirmos) means to exercise pity or to have compassion on as one is moved or motivated by sympathy. This verb includes emotion as well as action, a deep empathy for its objects. In Biblical Greek Oikteiro does carry (although not as strongly) the implication of the intent to help.
A criminal begs eleos from his judge, but hopeless suffering is often the object of oikteiro/oiktirmos.
Vincent - The former verb (eleeo) emphasizes the sense of human wretchedness in its active manifestation; the latter (oikteiro) the inward feeling expressing itself in sighs and tears.
Compassion (from Latin com = with + pati = to bear, suffer - thus literally to "bear with" or "to suffer with") is a sympathetic consciousness of other's distress together with a desire to alleviate it and in the case of God, with the ability to in fact do so!
The meaning of oiktirmos is like splagchnon/splanchnon [word study], related primarily the viscera, which were thought to be the seat of compassion. The word came to signify manifestations of pity and refers to the pity that is aroused by the sight of another's suffering. Lightfoot says "By splagchnon is signified the abode of tender feelings, by oiktirmos the manifestation of these in compassionate yearnings and actions."
The related word eleos which is also often translated mercy is similar in meaning but Thayer discussing the corresponding verb forms (eleeo, oikteiro) makes the following distinction…
The Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible has an interesting note on compassion explaining that…
Oikteiro is used only in Romans 9:15 in the NT but 34 times in the non-apocryphal Septuagint…
Paul quotes from the reference in Ex 33:19 which deals with Israel’s idolatry while Moses was on the mount receiving the Law (Ex 32:4ff). The whole nation deserved to be destroyed, yet God killed only 3,000 people (Ex 32:27-28) not because they were more wicked or less godly, but purely because of His grace and mercy. They were in great need of great compassion from a great, gracious God! And aren't we all, for one sin would rightly take us to hell! But in His great compassion, God provides us a stair way to heaven in the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Hallelujah! Amen!
God's sparing the rebels and continuing to guide and protect them was purely based on His mercy and grace. He had the absolute right to condemn or to save as He divinely saw fit. God’s sovereignty and His grace not only are compatible but are inseparable, like parallel train tracks - get the train tracks misaligned and you have a disaster. "Misalign" sovereignty and grace and you have at least a misunderstanding of the character of God.
Spurgeon writes in his devotional that…
Amplified: So then [God's gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God's mercy. [It depends not on one's own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God's having mercy on him.]
ESV: So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
ICB: So God will choose the one he decides to show mercy to. And his choice does not depend on what people want or try to do.
NIV: It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
NKJV: So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
NLT: So receiving God's promise is not up to us. We can't get it by choosing it or working hard for it. God will show mercy to anyone he chooses.
Philips: It is obviously not a question of human will or human effort, but of divine mercy.
Wuest: Therefore, then, it [this being the recipient of God’s mercy] is not of the one who desires nor even runs, but of the One who is merciful, God.
Young's Literal: so, then -- not of him who is willing, nor of him who is running, but of God who is doing kindness:
|SO THEN IT DOES NOT DEPEND ON THE MAN WHO WILLS OR THE MAN WHO RUNS: ara oun ou tou thelontos (PAPMSG) oude tou trechontos (PAPMSG):
So then - Always take a moment to pause and ponder this term of conclusion. What is Paul concluding, etc? NET Note adds that "There is a double connective (ara oun) here that cannot be easily preserved in English: "consequently therefore," emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing."
It - What is "it?" Amplified says "God's gift." Wuest says "this being the recipient of God’s mercy." NLT says "receiving God's promise."
This is a picture of human thinking and striving as seen in John's description of those who became children of God by faith and…
Did you come to God because you wanted to come to God? You would not have even wanted to unless God had placed that desire in your heart to even want Him. So it is not because you actively willed and purposed or resolved to come to God. This truth is a blow to our pride isn't it? Not our will or our effort but God's mercy!
BUT ON GOD WHO HAS MERCY: alla tou eleontos (PAPMSG) theou: (Ro 9:11; Genesis 27:1, 2, 3, 4,9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Psalms 110:3; Isaiah 65:1; Matthew 11:25,26; Luke 10:21; John 1:12,13; 3:8; 1Corinthians 1:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31; Ephesians 2:4,5; Philippians 2:13; 2Thessalonians 2:13,14; Titus 3:3, 4, 5; James 1:18; 1Peter 2:9,10)
But (alla) is a strong adversative or term of contrast, which also should cause us to pause and ponder - what is the change of direction? Why? etc.
God Who has mercy - The present tense signifies that God never lacks for mercy. Mercy a continual attribute of His character, a truth that even saved sinners should never forget.
It is not man’s choice or pursuit but God who initiates mercy for the sinner. Salvation is never initiated by human choice or merited by zealous human effort. Salvation always begins in God’s sovereign, gracious, and eternal will. Those who receive God’s mercy receive it solely by His amazing grace.
Ishmael desired ("the man who wills") the blessing but failed to receive it. Esau ran ("the man who runs") for the blessing, as it were, but also failed to receive it (Ge 27:30, 31-35). Esau received a blessing from his father but not the blessing he sought with tears, because he was ungodly and sought the blessing without repentance or faith (Heb 12:16, 17-note).
Paul writes of God's mercy on those dead in their trespasses and sins…
And again in Titus God showed mercy on those who were foolish , disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending their life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another, Paul recording that…
Finally Peter says "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1Pe 1:3-note)
G Campbell Morgan writes that Paul "does not mean that we are not to will, that we are not to run. Neither does it mean that we enter into the blessings of salvation apart from willing, apart from running. We must will to do, and we must run well, allowing nothing to hinder. It does most clearly mean that no willing on our part, no running of our own, can procure for us the salvation we need, or enable us to enter into the blessings it provides. It means more than that. Of ourselves we shall have no will for salvation, and shall make no effort toward it. Everything of human salvation begins in God. His will is to have mercy. His work enables Him to do so. It is only as that will is made known to man, that he wills to receive the mercy. It is only as that work operates within man, that he is able to work out his salvation. Our wills must be exercised, our running must be positive; but we enter into salvation, and shall at last reach the crowning at the goal, only because of the everlasting mercy of God. There is neither merit nor cause for glorying in our choice or our effort. If God had not willed our saving, neither should we. If God did not work within us, we should work nothing out. Even if, of our service, we can ever say we laboured abundantly, we shall have to add: Yet not we, but the grace of God which was with us. (Morgan, G. C. Life Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible)
|Greek: legei (3SPAI) gar e graphe to Pharao hoti eis auto touto exegeira (1SAAI) se opos endeixomai (1SAMS) en soi thn dunamin mou, kai opos diaggele (2SAPS) to onoma mou en pase te ge
Amplified: For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over.
ESV: For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
ICB: The Scripture says to the king of Egypt: "I made you king so I might show my power in you. In this way my name will be talked about in all the earth."
NIV: For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
NKJV: For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."
NLT: For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, "I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you, and so that my fame might spread throughout the earth."
Philips: The scripture says to Pharaoh: 'Even for this same purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name shall be declared in all the earth' .
Wuest: For the scripture says to Pharaoh, For this same purpose I raised you up, in order that I may demonstrate in you my power, and in order that there may be published everywhere my Name in all the earth.
Young's Literal: for the Writing saith to Pharaoh -- 'For this very thing I did raise thee up, that I might shew in thee My power, and that My name might be declared in all the land;'
|FOR THE SCRIPTURE (personified) SAYS TO PHARAOH: legei (3SPAI) gar e graphe to Pharao: (Romans 11:4; Galatians 3:8,22; 4:30)
For (gar) - see preceding note on this term of explanation.
Scripture (1124) (graphe from grapho = to write; English = graphite - the lead in a pencil!) means first a writing or thing written, a document. Graphe is used in such a way that quoting Scripture is understood to be the same as quoting God! And here Scripture "speaking" to Pharaoh is tantamount to God speaking to Pharaoh.
Being an absolute monarch, Pharaoh assumed that, certainly within his own realm, everything he said and did was by his own free choice to serve his own human purposes. But the Lord made clear through Moses that Pharaoh was divinely raised up to serve a divine purpose, a purpose of which the king was not even aware.
FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU: hoti eis auto touto exegeira (1SAAI) se opos endeixomai (1SAMS) en soi ten dunamin mou:
Paul quotes the Septuagint (LXX) of (Exodus 9:16)
Paul does say "for this very purpose I created you". Out of a mass of unregenerate mankind God raises up a man who had suppressed the truth, who refused to give God thanks and honor, exchanging His truth for the lie and who was therefore without excuse (Ro 1:20, 21-note).
God This is who God called forth (almost as one would do in a play) on to the stage of world history (His story) saying in essence "I will use you to demonstrate my power." It is not as if Pharaoh had said I want to believe in You and be saved. In fact when Pharaoh is faced with the clear demonstration of God's power and refuses to bow down, instead becoming becoming hardened. And Pharaoh is used for God's purposes to deliver many from bondage.
Raised up (1825) (exegeiro from ek = out + egeiro = to raise) carries the idea of bringing forward or lifting up and was used of the rise of historical figures to positions of prominence. To awaken someone from sleep (Lxx of Ps 3:6, Ge 28:16). "To bring to a sitting position… someone by the hand Hv 3, 1, 7" (BDAG). Cause to appear (Lxx of Zech 11:16-see below, Ro 9:17)
Friberg - (1) To cause to appear in history, call into being, raise up. (2) of the dead - to cause to live again, raise up (1Co 6:14). (Ed: Also used with meaning #2 in one version of the Lxx of Daniel 12:2-note, Theodoret's version has anistemi).
The only other NT use is also by Paul in the context of the resurrection…
Exegeiro - 61 times in the Septuagint (LXX). - Ge 28:16; 41:21; Num 10:35 ("Rise up, O LORD!"); Nu 24:19; Jdg 5:12 ("Awake, awake."); 1Sam 26:12; 2Sam 12:11; 19:18; 23:18; 1Kgs 16:3; 2Chr 36:22; Ezra 1:1, 5; Esther 8:4; Job 5:11; Ps 3:5; 7:6; 35:23; 44:23; 57:8; 59:4; 73:20; 78:65; 80:2; 108:2; 119:62; 139:18; Pr 25:23; Song 2:7; 3:5; 4:16; 8:4f; Isa 38:16; 41:2; 51:9, 17; 52:1; Jer 6:22; 31:26; 50:41; 51:1, 38; Ezek 21:16; 23:22; Dan 11:25; 12:2; Joel 3:7, 9, 12; Jonah 1:4, 11, 13; Hab 1:6; 2:19; 3:13; Hag 1:14; Zech 2:13; 4:1; 11:16; 13:7.
Here are some representative uses in the Septuagint…
Speaking through the prophet Nathan, the Lord told David that, because of his murder of Uriah and taking his wife, Bathsheba, for himself,
One of Job’s “comforters” rightly said of God that
In much the same way that He raised up Pharaoh, the Lord also raised up “the Chaldeans” to do His will, Habakkuk recording God's declaration…
Zechariah records that one day will
All of these events (and others too numerous to mention) underline the truth that God is sovereign over history. (See attribute Sovereign)
Demonstrate (1731) (endeíknumi [word study] from en = in, to + deíknumi = make known the character or significance of something by visual, auditory, gestural, or linguistic means) means to point out, to demonstrate, to put on display, to prove, to show proof, to show forth, to show oneself, to give visible proof, to show in anything and implies an appeal to facts. The preposition (in) in the compound suggests more than the simplest demonstration. It is like laying the index finger, as it were, on the object. It means to to show something in someone. It can mean to do something to someone, as Alexander the coppersmith did (endeíknumi) Paul much harm (see 2Ti 4:14- note). In the papyri it could have a quasi-legal sense of proving a petition or charge or of proving that a charge was wrong. Josephus used endeíknumi to describe Herod Agrippa’s display of generosity to those of other nations (Josephus, Antiquities, 19:330).
Endeiknumi - 11x in 11v - Ro 2:15; 9:17, 22; 2 Cor 8:24; Eph 2:7; 1Ti 1:16; 2Ti 4:14; Titus 2:10; 3:2; Heb 6:10, 11. NAS = demonstrate(4), did(1), show(4), showing(2), shown(1).
Power (Miracles) (1411)(dunamis from dunamai = to be able, to have power) refers especially to miraculous power. Dunamis is intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way (power, might, strength, ability, capability), the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. Dunamis is translated miracle (2), miracles (17), miraculous powers (3) which is the sense of dunamis in the context of the miracles wrought in the confrontation of Moses with Egypt.
AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH: kai opos diaggele (3SAPS) to onoma mou en pase te ge: (Exodus 10:1,2; 14:17,18; 15:14,15; 18:10,11; Joshua 2:9,10; 9:9; 1Samuel 4:8) (John 17:26)
My Name - God's miracles (cf "signs" in Ex 10:2) were like a flashing neon sign (so to speak), pointing to the invisible God, giving clear evidence that He existed and was intimately involved in the outworking of human history. Today we say that a "video went viral," which is a picture of what happened in the ancient land when God manifested His miracle working power.
Thayer - to carry a message through, announce everywhere, through places, through assemblies of men, etc.; to publish abroad, declare
Diaggello - 3x in 3v translated as giving notice (1), proclaim everywhere (1), proclaimed (1).
Diaggello - 4x in the Septuagint - Ex 9:16; Lev 25:9; Josh 6:10; Ps 2:7; Ps 59:12;
The psalmist Asaph appeals to God not to remain silent or still as His enemies exalt themselves pleading with Him to…
In Isaiah King Hezekiah appeals to the Lord (for Israel's deliverance) that His name might be proclaimed…
Solomon writes that…
Amplified: So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens (makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of) whomever He wills.
ESV: So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
ICB: So God shows mercy where he wants to show mercy. And he makes stubborn the people he wants to make stubborn.
NIV: Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
NKJV: Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
NLT: So you see, God shows mercy to some just because he wants to, and he chooses to make some people refuse to listen.
Philips: It seems plain, then, that God chooses on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will harden in their sin.
Wuest: Therefore, then, upon whom He desires, He shows mercy; and whom He desires to harden, He hardens.
Young's Literal: so, then, to whom He willeth, He doth kindness, and to whom He willeth, He doth harden.
|SO THEN HE HAS MERCY ON WHOM HE DESIRES (on whomever He chooses, on whom He wants to have mercy) : ara oun on thelei (3SPAI) eleei (3SPAI) on: (Ro 9:15,16; 5:20,21; Ephesians 1:6)
So then - As noted earlier, this conjunction should always cause one to pause and ponder this term of conclusion. What is Paul concluding, etc? NET Note adds that "There is a double connective (ara oun) here that cannot be easily preserved in English: "consequently therefore," emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing."
Denney - From the two instances just quoted Paul draws the comprehensive conclusion: So then on whom He will He has mercy, and whom He will He hardens. The whole emphasis is on thelei (see thelo below). The two modes in which God acts upon man are showing mercy and hardening, and it depends upon God’s will in which of these two modes He actually does act. (Expositor's Greek Testament)
Has mercy (1653)(eleeo from eleos [word study]) means “to feel sympathy with the misery of another, especially such sympathy which manifests itself in action, less frequently in word.” It describes the general sense of one who has compassion or person on someone in need. It indicates being moved to pity and compassion by tragedy. To see someone in dire need, to have compassion on them, and to give them help to remove the need. In the active voice (as in Ro 9:18) eleeo means to show mercy and so to be greatly concerned for someone in need and/or to help someone because of pity. God has mercy on sinners otherwise destined for an eternal separation in hell.
Robert Haldane - Here the general conclusion is drawn from all the Apostle had said in the three preceding verses, in denying that God was unrighteous in loving Jacob and hating Esau. It exhibits the ground of God's dealings both with the elect and the reprobate. It concludes that His own sovereign pleasure is the rule both with respect to those whom He receives, and those whom He rejects. He pardons one and hardens another, without reference to anything but His own sovereign will, in accordance with His infinite wisdom, holiness, and justice. 'Even so, Father,' said our blessed Lord, 'for so it seemed good in Thy sight.' God is not chargeable with any injustice in electing some and not others; for this is an act of mere mercy and compassion, and that can be no violation of justice.
That mighty act of God in delivering Israel from bondage in Egypt demonstrated two great truths. He delivered Israel to exhibit His sovereign mercy on [those] whom He desires, and He raised up and destroyed Pharaoh to exhibit the corollary truth that He hardens those whom He desires. Only His divine desire determines which it will be.
Moses was a Jew, whereas Pharaoh was a Gentile; but both of them were sinners. Both were murderers, and both witnessed God’s miracles. Yet Moses was redeemed and Pharaoh was not. God raised up Pharaoh in order to reveal His own glory and power, and God had mercy on Moses in order to use him to deliver His people Israel. Pharaoh was a ruler, whereas Moses’ people were slaves under Pharaoh. But Moses received God’s mercy and compassion, because that was God’s will. The Lord’s work is sovereign, and He acts entirely according to His own will to accomplish His own purposes. The issue was not the presumed rights of either men but rather the sovereign will of God.
AND HE HARDENS WHOM HE DESIRES: de thelei (3SPAI) sklerunei: (Ro 1:24, 25, 26, 27, 28; 11:7,8; Exodus 4:21; 7:13; Deuteronomy 2:30; Joshua 11:20; Isaiah 63:17; Matthew 13:14,15; Acts 28:26, 27, 28; 2Thessalonians 2:10, 11, 12)
Hardens whom He desires - "makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of" (Amplified). Compare with His divine judicial activity in Romans 1 where 3 times God gives sinners over to their depraved natures (Ro 1:24-note, Ro 1:26-note, Ro 1:28-note)
We see a similar "spiritual" judgment in the time of the antichrist's rule where Paul writes that…
Denney - The word sklerunei (skleruno) is borrowed from the history of Pharaoh, Ex 7:3; Ex 7:22; Ex 8:19; Ex 9:12; Ex 14:17. What precisely the hardening means, and in what relation God’s hardening of Pharaoh’s heart stood to Pharaoh’s own hardening of it against God, are not unimportant questions, but they are questions which Paul does not here raise. He has one aim always in view here—to show that man has no claim as of right against God; and he finds a decisive proof of this (at least for a Jew) in the opposite examples of Moses and Pharaoh, interpreted as these are by unmistakable words of God Himself. It was through God, in the last resort, that Moses and Pharaoh were what they were, signal instances of the Divine mercy and the Divine wrath. (Expositor's Greek Testament)
Hardens (4645) (skleruno [word study from skleros = hard, dry, hard, rough <> from skéllo = dry up) means to make hard or stiff and is used only figuratively to refer to the heart or mind. In the active skleruno means to harden and in the passive sense, to grow hard.
The NT uses of skleruno are only figurative (metaphorical) and mean to cause one to become unyielding, obstinate or stubborn (carried on in an unyielding or persistent manner). As a physician, I find it interesting that skleruno was a medical technical term (first attested by Hippocrates) in Greek writings describing something becoming hardened or thickened. Our English word "hardening of the arteries" is known as "arteriosclerosis". This is a serious, potentially fatal physical condition, but here and in the book of Hebrews (Heb 3:8-note, Heb 3:13-note = the efficacious effect of sin, it's deceptive, attractive, seductive character!, Heb 3:15-note, Heb 4:7-note) the danger is even more ominous, for spiritual hardening can lead to eternal death and damnation of one's soul, not just loss of their physical life!
From the uses of skleruno in Exodus, one observes two important aspects of hardening: (1) Man can repeatedly harden his heart, until finally God does the hardening, with the implication that the latter is irrevocable. (2) One effect when one's heart is hardened is not listening to God.
Is Paul saying that God hardened Pharaoh's heart? Is Paul saying that God purposely choose Pharaoh to be an evil man? Pharaoh knew God and suppressed the truth. He did not want God. He saw God's power and hardened his heart. Yet God used him for His purposes to deliver many from bondage
The Exodus account of Moses’ confrontation with Pharaoh speaks of God hardening Pharaoh's heart (Ex 4:21 7:3), but Moses also records that Pharaoh hardened his own heart as in the following verse…
A study of these passages in Exodus emphasizes the tension between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. As already discussed, Esau although rejected by God before birth, chose to reject his inheritance as the firstborn. Similarly, before he was born, Judas was appointed to betray Christ, Luke recording Peter's words…
The apostle John also records God's sovereignty in Judas' betrayal recording that…
And although clearly appointed by God for their place and purpose in history, both Esau and Judas, personally and willfully chose to follow sin and unbelief.
In some mysterious way, our human decisions for which we bear full responsibility have also been God's decisions, and vice versa. This is beyond our finite comprehension and we should not try to rationalize it by some human device of reasoning. What God does is right, by definition, Moses recording
The psalmist echoes this truth recording that…
Indeed, Jehovah's ways are "unsearchable" (Ro11:33, cf David's declaration regarding God's knowledge and care for him -- "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it." Ps139:6).
We must simply bow our knee and trust Him in whatever He does, knowing that He always right and is always accomplishing His own eternal purposes thereby.
Desires (2309)(thelo; see study of derivative thelema; see synonyms boule and boulomai) is a very common NT verb (208x) which primarily refers to exercising of one's will with the underlying sense of to be willing, to desire, to want or to wish (in Jn 15:7 in context of prayer). To apply oneself to something (or to will). Thelo "expresses not simply a desire, but a determined and constant exercise of the will." (W E Vine)
The reader should realize that thelo is one of those Greek words that is somewhat difficult to define with absolute consistency. For example, some sources state that thelo refers to a thoughtful, purposeful choice, not a mere whim or emotional desire, while Kenneth Wuest says thelo expresses "a desire that comes from one's emotions" and "boulomai a desire that comes from one's reason." (see more detailed discussion below). W E Vine says thelo "chiefly indicates the impulse of the will rather than the tendency (boulomai). The different shades of meaning must be determined by the teaching of the Scriptures generally or by the context."
In secular Greek use thelo as used by Homer spoke of “readiness,” “inclination,” and “desire," so that when one was ready for an event or inclined to undertake a course of action, thelo was the Greek word used. Plato used thelo of intention or desire. The Septuagint uses often refer to God’s will as revealed to His people (Dt 10:10, 23:5), who too often were not willing (thelo) to obey Him (Dt 1:26). One of the most beautiful uses in Isaiah where God declared
Thelo expresses not only desire, but executive will, active volition and purpose (1Cor 10:20). In 1Cor 7:7 Paul uses thelo to express personal desire without expressing the necessity of its imposition. In 1Cor 16:7 uses an absolute negative and thelo to express his desire, his determination in planning (determination presupposes desire).
In the Septuagint of Ps 115:3, 135:6 (= "pleases"), we see God's sovereignty reflected in the exercise of His will.
Thelo in John 7:17 expresses a vitally important truth for Jesus declares that "If anyone is willing (thelo - here the idea is a purposeful decision not a passive acquiescence) to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself." The principle is that to know the will of God, we must be willing to do the will of God. We don't really know the Bible unless we obey the Bible! We won't really know God's will unless we are willing to obey God's will. The first prerequisite to ascertaining God's leading in some matter, or the truth about some doctrinal question, is a genuine willingness to believe the truth and to follow God's will before they are made known, even if the answer goes against one's preference. As a corollary our HUNGER for the Word of God will be in direct proportion to our OBEDIENCE to the Word of God. In summary, the "first prerequisite to ascertaining God's leading in some matter, or the truth about some doctrinal question, is a genuine willingness to believe the truth and to follow God's will before they are made known, even if the answer goes against one's preference." (Henry Morris)
Thelo will still be expressed by men and women who have in this life said they were "not willing" to believe in Christ and thus they were thrown in the place of eternal torment (see Luke 16:26), where they will still possess wishes, desires and wants, which can no longer be satisfied or fulfilled! This to me is simply a horrible thought, but it is what Scripture teaches. May such a dire end prompt us, yea, even impel us to boldly, lovingly proclaim the Gospel to any and all who will listen!
NIDNTT - thelō frequently appears in the NT in a quite secular sense for general willing, desiring (e.g. Matt. 20:21; Matt. 26:17 par. Mk. 14:12), resolute willing (e.g. Matt. 25:15; Jn. 7:44), finding pleasure in, liking (e.g. Mk. 12:38 par. Lk. 20:46), claiming (2 Pet. 3:5)… 1 (a) In the Pauline writings thelō and thelēma are frequently used to describe the will of God, and especially to describe the real source of the whole event of salvation in Christ.
Thelo is translated "to want or wish", this positive sense indicating a desire to see something done. Jesus said to the man "Do you wish to get well?" (Jn 5:6) Good question for all of us to ponder!
Thélo expresses a desire that comes from one’s emotions. It is an active decision of the will, thus implying volition and purpose. It is a conscious willing and denotes a more active resolution urging on to action and expresses a purpose or determination or decree, the execution of which is, or is believed to be, in the power of him who wills.
Desire (Webster) - to long or hope for, to express a wish for, to have a longing for. Desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim.
Want (Webster) - to have a strong desire for, to have an inclination to, to wish for.
Jerry Bridges says thelo is "the will that ultimately makes each individual choice of whether we will sin or obey (Ed: E.g., see Gal 5:17 which contrasts desires of flesh and Spirit, also Php 2:13 where God the Spirit gives us God honoring desire, cp 2Ti 3:12 - which also clearly is a desire supernaturally stimulated by the Holy Spirit, for our natural flesh reaction would be to gravitate toward that which is ungodly!). It is the will that chooses to yield to temptation or to say no. Our wills, then, ultimately determine our moral destiny, whether we will be holy or unholy in our character and conduct."
Praise God for these 2 uses of thelo…
Thelo versus Boulomai (this is an attempt to separate the meaning of these two words, but be aware the distinctions are not always clear cut as discussed below) - Thelo meaning to wish or to desire embodies the element, emphasizing desire that leads to action. The related word boulomai conveys the idea of deliberate determination, which might be in accordance with the original wish or impulse, but might be contrary to it. Thelo is a stronger word than boulomai because the natural impulse (thelo) is frequently stronger than reasoned resolve (boulomai). Boulomai carries the tone of a preordained, divine decision, somewhat more deliberate than thelo (Lk 22:42). Zodhiates says that "Boulomai expresses a merely passive desire, propensity, willingness, while thelo expresses an active volition and purpose. Boulomai expresses also the inward predisposition and bent from which active volition proceeds; hence it is never used of evil people. Boulomai refers to the constitutional will, such as a congressman has, but the thelo to executive will also, such as a president possesses. (In 1Cor 12:18 which uses thelo) God planned each member of our body and then executed His plan by places them there… Thelo implies purpose or design, whereas boulomai denotes mere willingness or desire." Vine writes that boulomai means "to wish, to will deliberately, and expresses more strongly than thelo, the deliberate exercise of the will… (In another note Vine says thelo) signifies more especially the natural impulse or volition, and indicates a less formal or deliberate purpose than (boulomai)." Thayer says boulomai speaks of deliberation while thelo speaks of inclination. As an aside, it must be note that while most seem to see a different emphasis between thelo and boulomai, not all Greek authorities agree that there are distinct differences. Marvin Vincent for example says "As between thelo and boulomai the general distinction is that thelo expresses a determination or definite resolution of the will; while boule expresses an inclination, disposition, or wish. The two words are, however, often interchanged in NT when no distinction is emphasized. (Compare Mk. 15:15 and Lk. 23:20 Acts 27:43 and Mt. 27:17; Jn. 18:39 and Mt. 14:5; Mk 6:48 and Acts 19:30.) Php 2:13 thelo used of a definite purpose or determination." NIDNTT says "Human will or volition can be represented, on the one hand, as a mental act, directed towards a free choice. But, on the other hand, it can be motivated by desire pressing in from the unconscious. Both kinds of volition are rendered by the word-groups associated with boulomai and thelō. A clear terminological distinction between boulomai (originally volition as a mental act) and thelō (originally instinctive desire) is no longer possible after the very early overlap of the areas covered by the words and is excluded at the time of the NT by their largely synonymous usage." Boulomai is more likely to express God's will of decree, while thelo is more likely to refer to His will of desire. "This is precisely the distinction theologians often make between God's secret will and His revealed will. God desires many things that He does not decree. It was never God's desire that sin exist, yet the undeniable existence of sin proves that even sin fulfills His eternal purposes (Isa 46:10)--though in no sense is He the author of sin (James 1:13)." (John MacArthur).
So now if you are really confused over the distinction between thelo and boulomai, read A F Holmes discussion
NIDNTT on thelo in classical Greek usage - Originally and especially in Homer… means: (a) to be ready; to prefer, to be inclined; (b) to wish, to desire (e.g. “he desired to see”, Homer, Od. 11, 566; also in the sexual sense, Homer, Od. 3, 272); (c) to have in mind; (d) to will, both as determining and coming to a decision; and in particular (e) to will, in the sense of compelling, and overbearing the will.
Some theologians refer to the boulomai as God’s secret will and the thelo as His revealed will. In other words, God desires many things that He does not decree.
Thelo is used figuratively in John 3:8, in Jesus' description of the movement of the Holy Spirit in salvation comparing His regenerative work to "wind (that) blows where it wishes (thelo)."
When used with the negative thelo means to be unwilling or to refuse (Mt 1:19, 21:29, Lk 15:28, 18:13, 1Cor 12:1, Gal 1:7, 1Th 2:18). In Jn 5:40 Jesus says "you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life."
Friberg on Thelo - As exercising the will; (1) from a motive of desire wish, want, desire (Jn 15:7); (2) from a readiness or inclination, followed by an infinitive consent to, be ready to, be pleased to, wish to (Mt 1:19); (3) from resolve, decision, or design will, intend, purpose, aim, with a following infinitive either expressed or implied from the context (Rev 11:5); often used of God (1Ti 2:4), of Christ (Mk 3:13), and of the authoritative dealings of the apostles (1Th 4:13)
BDAG on Thelo (summarized) - (1) to have a desire for something, wish to have, desire, want (2) to have something in mind for oneself, of purpose, resolve, will, wish, want, be ready (3) to take pleasure in, like (Mk 12:38, Lk 20:46, Mt 27:43) (4) to have an opinion, maintain contrary to the true state of affairs (2Pe 3:5) (5) Thelo is used in the phrase "What does this mean?" (Acts 2:12, 17:20, Lk 15:26).
Thelo - 208x in 199v - Thelo is translated in NAS various ways (especially desire, want, will and wish)- delighting(1), delights(1), desire(14), desired(4), desires(4), desiring(2), intended(1), intending(1), like(3), maintain(1), mean(1), mean*(2), please(1), purposed(1), refused*(1), unwilling*(11), want(52), wanted(15), wanting(3), wants(8), will(5), willed(1), willing(15), wills(4), wish(24), wished(7), wishes(16), wishing(4), would(1).
Thelo - 159 verses in non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ge 24:8; 37:35; 39:8; 48:19; Ex 2:7, 14; 8:32; 10:4; 11:10; Num 20:21; 22:14; Deut 1:26; 2:30; 10:10; 21:14; 23:5, 22; 25:7; 29:20; Josh 24:10; Jdg 13:23; 20:5; 1Sa 14:15; 18:22; 26:23; 2Sa 2:21; 12:17; 13:9, 14, 16, 25; 14:29; 15:26; 23:16f; 1Kgs 9:1; 10:9, 13; 20:8, 35; 2Kgs 8:19; 13:23; 24:4; 1Chr 11:18; 19:19; 28:4, 9; 2 Chr 7:11; 9:8; 36:5; Neh 1:11; Esther 1:1, 8; 4:17; 5:3; 6:6f, 11; Job 23:13; 33:32; Ps 5:4; 18:19; 22:8; 34:12; 35:27; 37:23; 40:6, 14; 41:11; 51:16; 68:30; 73:25; 78:10; 109:17; 112:1; 115:3; 119:35; 135:6; 147:10; Pr 1:30; 21:1; Eccl 8:3; Song 2:7; 3:5; 8:4; Isa 1:19f; 5:24; 9:5; 28:4, 12; 55:11; 56:4; 66:3; Jer 5:3; 8:5; 9:6; 11:10; 31:15; 38:21; 50:33; Ezek 3:7; 18:23, 32; 20:8; Dan 1:13; 2:3; 4:17; 7:19; 8:4; Hos 6:6; 11:5; Mal 3:1;
Related Article - Will in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
Wayne Detzler (New Testament Words in Today’s Language) on thelo/thelema… (Note that some of the Scriptures below will relate to thelo and others to the cognate thelema)