9:21 Has the potter no right to make from the same lump of clay 1 one vessel for special use and another for ordinary use? 2 9:22 But what if God, willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects 3 of wrath 4 prepared for destruction? 5 9:23 And what if he is willing to make known the wealth of his glory on the objects 6 of mercy that he has prepared beforehand for glory –
1 tn Grk “Or does not the potter have authority over the clay to make from the same lump.”
2 tn Grk “one vessel for honor and another for dishonor.”
4 tn Or “vessels destined for wrath.” The genitive ὀργῆς (orghs) could be taken as a genitive of destination.
5 tn Or possibly “objects of wrath that have fit themselves for destruction.” The form of the participle could be taken either as a passive or middle (reflexive). ExSyn 417-18 argues strongly for the passive sense (which is followed in the translation), stating that “the middle view has little to commend it.” First, καταρτίζω (katartizw) is nowhere else used in the NT as a direct or reflexive middle (a usage which, in any event, is quite rare in the NT). Second, the lexical force of this verb, coupled with the perfect tense, suggests something of a “done deal” (against some commentaries that see these vessels as ready for destruction yet still able to avert disaster). Third, the potter-clay motif seems to have one point: The potter prepares the clay.