The Meaning of Romans 9:17 Explained

Romans 9:17

KJV: For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

YLT: 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;'

Darby: For the scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very thing I have raised thee up from amongst men, that I might thus shew in thee my power, and so that my name should be declared in all the earth.

ASV: For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth.

What does Romans 9:17 Mean?

Verse Meaning

God said He raised Pharaoh up. God had mercifully spared Pharaoh up to the moment when He said these words to him, through six plagues and in spite of his consistent opposition to God. God did not mean that He had created Pharaoh and allowed him to sit on Egypt"s throne, though He had done that too. This is clear from Exodus 9:16, which Paul quoted. The NASB translation makes this clear by translating Exodus 9:16, "... for this cause I have allowed you to remain." Pharaoh deserved death for his opposition and insolence. However, God would not take his life in the remaining plagues so his continuing opposition and God"s victory over him would result in greater glory for God (cf. Joshua 9:9; Psalm 76:10). Here is another example similar to the one in Romans 9:15 of God not giving people what they deserve but extending mercy to them instead.
"Paul introduced this quotation with the words, For the Scripture says, for he equated the words of God with the words of Scripture." [1]

Context Summary

Romans 9:14-24 - The Righteousness Of God's Choices
God desires to do His best for every man. But, as in the case of Esau, who wantonly sold his birthright, and of Pharaoh, who turned all God's revelations into occasions of aggravated resistance and stronger revolt, the Heavenly Father is sometimes compelled to cast away those who might assist in the execution of His purposes, and use inferior vessels made from common clay. In the earlier part of the conflict with the proud Egyptian monarch, it is said that he hardened his heart, and afterward that God hardened it, Exodus 8:15; Exodus 10:20. To the froward God becomes froward; that is, the means that He takes to soften and save will harden, just as the sun which melts wax hardens clay.
The same power which was thwarted and resisted by the unbelief and stubbornness of the Chosen People, has taken up us Gentiles, who have had none of their advantages, and what wonderful mercy has He shown to us! Riches of glory on vessels of mercy! Romans 9:23. What an argument for us all not to resist the grace of God, which strives with us so earnestly and continually! God can make saints out of the most unlikely material. Let us see that He has full opportunity. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 9

1  Paul is sorry for the Jews
7  All of Abraham not of the promise
18  God's sovereignty
25  The calling of the Gentiles and rejecting of the Jews, foretold
32  The cause of their stumbling

Greek Commentary for Romans 9:17

To Pharaoh [τωι Παραω]
There is a national election as seen in Romans 9:7-13, but here Paul deals with the election of individuals. He “lays down the principle that God‘s grace does not necessarily depend upon anything but God‘s will” (Sanday and Headlam). He quotes Exodus 9:16. [source]
Might be published [διαγγεληι]
Second aorist passive subjunctive of διαγγελλω — diaggellō f0). [source]
Saith []
Present tense. “There is an element of tirelessness in the utterance. If the scripture ever spoke at all, it continued and continues to speak. It has never been struck dumb” (Morison). [source]
Pharaoh []
The original meaning of the word is now supposed to be the double house or palace. Compare the Sublime Porte. [source]
Raised thee up [ἐξήγειρα]
Hebrew, caused thee to stand. Sept., διετηρήθης thouwast preserved alive. Only once elsewhere in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 6:14, of raising from the dead. The meaning here is general, allowed thee to appear; brought, thee forward on the stage of events, as Zechariah 11:16. So the simple verb in Matthew 11:11; John 7:52. Other explanations are, preserved thee alive, as Sept., excited thee to opposition, as Habakkuk 1:6; created thee. [source]
Might be declared [διαγγελῇ]
Published abroad, thoroughly ( διά ). So Rev. See on Luke 9:60. “Even to the present day, wherever throughout the world Exodus is read, the divine intervention is realized” (Godet). [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 9:17

1 Timothy 5:18 The Scripture [ἡ γραφή]
Comp. 2 Timothy 3:16. To the Jews ἡ γραφή signified the O.T. canon of Scripture; but in most cases ἡ γραφή is used of a particular passage of Scripture which is indicated in the context. See John 7:38, John 7:42; Acts 1:16; Acts 8:32, Acts 8:35; Romans 4:3; Romans 9:17; Romans 10:11; Galatians 3:8. Where the reference is to the sacred writings as a whole, the plural γραφαὶ or αἱ γραφαὶ is used, as Matthew 21:42; Luke 24:32; John 5:39; Romans 15:4. Once γραφαὶ ἅγιαι holyScriptures, Romans 1:2. Ἑτέρα γραφὴ anotheror a different Scripture, John 19:37; ἡ γραφὴ αὕτη this Scripture, Luke 4:21; πᾶσα γραφὴ everyScripture, 2 Timothy 3:16. See on writings, John 2:22. The passage cited here is Deuteronomy 25:4, also by Paul, 1 Corinthians 9:9. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 9:17 mean?

Says for the Scripture to Pharaoh - For this very therefore I have raised up you so that I might show in you the power of Me and that should be declared the name all the earth
λέγει γὰρ γραφὴ τῷ Φαραὼ ὅτι Εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο ἐξήγειρά σε ὅπως ἐνδείξωμαι ἐν σοὶ τὴν δύναμίν μου καὶ ὅπως διαγγελῇ τὸ ὄνομά πάσῃ τῇ γῇ

λέγει  Says 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω 
Sense: to say, to speak.
γραφὴ  Scripture 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: γραφή  
Sense: a writing, thing written.
Φαραὼ  Pharaoh 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: Φαραώ  
Sense: was a common title of the native kings of Egypt.
ὅτι  - 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
αὐτὸ  this  very 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative Neuter 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἐξήγειρά  I  have  raised  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐξεγείρω  
Sense: to arouse, raise up (from sleep).
ὅπως  so  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅπως  
Sense: how, that.
ἐνδείξωμαι  I  might  show 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Middle, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐνδείκνυμι  
Sense: to point out.
δύναμίν  power 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: δύναμις  
Sense: strength power, ability.
μου  of  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
ὅπως  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅπως  
Sense: how, that.
διαγγελῇ  should  be  declared 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: διαγγέλλω  
Sense: to carry a message through, announce everywhere, through places, through assemblies of men etc.
ὄνομά  name 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: ὄνομα  
Sense: name: univ.
γῇ  earth 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: γῆ  
Sense: arable land.