“What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction”
Up to this point Paul has been insisting that God acts in sovereign freedom.  The clay has no right to question the intentions of the potter; but here Paul adds another perspective.

“What if God”
Literally:  “Now if God”–In the exercise of His undoubted right, God has done something like this, in His dealings with the Jew and Gentile. If God does what Paul supposes, what then?  Is it not right?

This is the second point in the answer to the objection in verse 19. The answer has respect to the two classes of men which actually exist on the earth–the righteous and the wicked.  And the question is, whether in regard to these two classes God does in fact do wrong? If He does not, then the doctrine Paul’s is established, and the objection is not valid. s. Paul considers the case of sinners in v. 22.

“willing to show His wrath”
Literally: “Desiring to display wrath.”  -This denotes an inclination of mind towards the thing proposed. If the thing itself was right; if it was proper to “show his wrath,” then it was proper to be WILLING to do it. If it is right to do a thing, it is right to purpose or intend  to do it.

            WILLING:  (Grk.–thelōn)–Meaning: Being disposed; having an inclination to. Although willing,  not because God was willing.

Not referring to the determinate purpose of God, but to His will growing out of His holy character.  Although His holy will will lead God to show His wrath, yet because of His infinite love, He withheld His wrath and endured.

             WRATH: (Grk.–orgēn)—This word occurs thirty-five times in the N.T.

         The meaning is derived from the idea of earnestly desiring or reaching for an object, and properly denotes, in its general sense, a vehement desire of attaining anything. Hence it comes to denote an earnest desire of revenge, or of inflicting suffering on those who have injured us, Eph. 4:31, “Let all bitterness and wrath,” etc.; (Col. 3:8; I Tim. 2:8). Hence it denotes indignation in general, which is not joined with a desire of revenge, Mark 3:5, “He looked round about on them with anger.”
         This also denotes
punishment for sin–the anger or displeasure of God against any and all sin.. In this place it is evidently used to denote God's severe displeasure against sin. As sin is an evil of so great magnitude, it is right for God to be willing to display His displeasure against it; and just in proportion to the extent of the evil.

“to make His power known”
Literally:  “And to make His power known.”–This language is the same as that which was used in relation to
 Pharaoh , (v. 17; Ex. 9:16).  This really explains why God bears so patiently with those who will experience His wrath.  He wants to show forth His wrath and make His 
power known.

         Paul probably did not really intend to confine it to the Egyptians only. In the following verse he speaks of “the vessels of mercy prepared unto glory;” which cannot be supposed to be language adapted to the temporal deliverance of the Jews. The case of Pharaoh was one instance, or illustration, of the general principle on which God would deal with men. His government is conducted on great and uniform principles; and the case of Pharaoh was a development of the great laws on which He governs the universe.
         This necessarily presupposes sin.
God judged it best to display His wrath against transgressors of His laws and those who oppose His government, and thus show His power to destroy His enemies and save His friends.  God's will is supreme and right, even to His being willing to show publicly His wrath.  The holiness and righteousness of God will be exhibited to all creatures in His visitation of wrath upon the wicked.

“endured with much long-suffering”
Literally:  “Endured in much long-suffering.”–Bore with; was patient, or forbearing, (Rev.2:3), “And hast borne, and hast patience,” etc. (I Cor.  13:7), “Charity (love) beareth all   things.”  (See Luke 18:7).

         Endured with much patience. He allowed them to live, while they   deserved to die. God bears with all sinners with much patience; He spares them amid all their   provocations, to give them an opportunity for repentance; though they are really fitted for destruction
         The unbelieving Jewish nation, so sinful   before God, yet long endured, is meant. God in the exercise of His sovereign will, has thus far deferred the exhibition of hHs wrath in its destruction. This verse began with a question. Yet He prolongs their lives, and offers them pardon, and loads them with benefits. This fact is a complete vindication of the government of God from the aspersions of all His enemies. It implies, that if God does all this, where is there any fault? 

         “the vessels of wrath”
         Literally: “Vessels of wrath.”–Those who had moved His wrath by still rejecting His mercy.

            VESSELS:  (Grk.–skeuos)—The word vessel means a cup, etc., “made of earth.”  As the human body is frail, easily broken and destroyed, it comes to signify also the body. (II Cor. 4:7): “We have this treasure in earthen vessels.” (I Thess. 4:4),

            VESSELS OF WRATH(Grk.–skeuē orgēs)— Rather: “pertaining to wrath.”  Not filled with wrath, nor prepared to serve for a manifestation of divine wrath.  Made so by      their own acts and have fallen under His wrath.  

“fitted for destruction”
Literally: “Having been fited for desturction.”–By their own willful and final impenitence.  Paul does not say that
God fitted them for destruction.  God has endured or put up with them.  Jerusalem, that crucified His Son and slew His followers, was still standing after more than a quarter of a century in Paul’s time.  God tempered His judgment with long suffering. Is there  any injustice in this?

          FITTED: (Grk.–katertismena)–This word really means adjusted.  Not so much “fitted” for destruction, but “made ready; made ripe for destruction. 

This denotes a present state previous formed, but really giving no hint of how it has been formed.  It is a simple declaration that they were IN FACT fitted for it, without making an affirmation about the manner in which they became such.

         DESTRUCTION: (Grk.–eiapoleian)—This word occurs in the N.T. no less than twenty times; for example: “Which leadeth to destruction” (Matt. 7:13). “Son of perdition.” (John 17:12).  Ac 8:20, “Thy money perish with thee;” (Act 8:20).

“And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.”
This verse  gives the purpose for the preparation of vessels of destruction.  In this verse He proceeds to show that the objection could not lie against his dealings with the other class of men–the righteous. If His dealings towards neither were liable to the objection, then He has met the whole case, and the Divine government is vindicated. This He proves by showing that for God to show the riches of His glory towards those whom He has prepared for it cannot be regarded as unjust.

“And that he might make known.”
Literally:   “And that He make known.”–That He might display. Paul has previously shown (in verse 22) that the dealings of In this verse He proceeds to show that the objection could not lie against His dealings with the other class of men–the righteous.

 If God’s dealings towards neither were liable to the objection, then He has met the whole case, and the Divine government is vindicated. This He proves by showing that for God to show the riches of His glory towards those whom He has prepared for it cannot be regarded as unjust. What if, by showing such longsuffering even to the vessels of wrath, He did the more abundantly show the greatness of His glorious goodness, wisdom, and power, on the vessels of mercy; on those whom He had himself, by His grace, prepared for glory.  Is this an injustice?

        THAT:  (Grk.–hina)–Better rendered as, “in order that…”

“the riches of His glory”–The glorious perfections of the character of God, especially of His mercy and grace. This is a form of expression common among the Hebrews, meaning the same as His rich or His abundant glory.”   The same expression occurs in Eph. 1:18:  “That He did the more abundantly show the greatness of his glorious goodness, wisdom, and power.” 

        HIS GLORY:  (Grk.–tēs daxēs autou)—Literally:  “the glory of Him;” the glorious perfections of His character, especially of His mercy and grace.   Paul has previously told us that,  “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (3:23).

“on the vessels of mercy”
Literally:  “On vessels of mercy.”–Men towards whom the mercy of God was to be displayed, (v. 22), that is, on those towards whom He has purposed to display His mercy;   those whom He mercifully led to repent of their sins and believe on Christ.

         MERCY: (Grk.–eleous)–Mercy is favor, or pity shown to the miserable.  While Grace is favor to the undeserving, mercy is favor to those in distress. However. this distinction is not always strictly observed by the sacred writers.

God endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath:
1.      To show His wrath, and to make His power known.  And also,
2.      That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy.

“which he had afore prepared”
Literally:  “Which He before prepared.”–We are here brought to a remarkable difference between God’s mode of dealing with them and His dealing with the wicked.  Here it is expressly affirmed that God Himself had prepared them for glory.

In regard to the wicked, it is simply affirmed that they were fitted for destruction, without affirming anything of the agency by which this was done. The Jews were fitted for destruction long before; but the fittest time to destroy them was after God had prepared the believing Gentiles unto glory. For the rod of the Messiah's strength was to be sent out of Zion, Psalm 110:2. The Jewish nation was to supply the first preachers of the Gospel, and from Jerusalem their sound was to go forth into all the earth. Therefore the Jewish state, notwithstanding its corruptions, was to be preserved till the Messiah came, and even till the Gospel preached by the apostles had taken deep root in the Gentile world.

            AFORE PREPARED:  (Grk.-proētoimasen)–
“Mark well this word afore.  For the whole process of our salvation is viewed from that blessed future day when we shall enter, through Divine mercy, into the glory unto which God afore appointed us, and for which He afore prepared us, in the work of Christ for us, and the application to us of that work, by the blessed Holy Spirit.  All was afore arranged by God.” — William Newell

“unto glory”
Literally: “For glory.”  To happiness; and especially to the happiness of heaven. (Heb. 2:10),“It became Him, in bringing many sons unto glory,” etc. (5:2), “We rejoice in hope of  the glory of God.” (II Cor. 4:17), “Our light affliction worketh for us a far more exceeding             and eternal weight of glory.” (II Thess. 2:14; II Tim. 2:10; I Pet. 5:4).

This word “glory,” refers to the future state of individuals.The eternal state is called “glory” because it blends together everything that constitutes honor, dignity, purity, love, and happiness.  All these significations are in various places attached to this word, and all mingle in the eternal state of the righteous.

“Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”

“Even us”
Literally: “also us.”–We who are the vessels of mercy.  Paul now begins to prove that the Gentiles might be called as well as the Jews.  In fact, this was a leading purpose of this epistle.

Here Paul comes to the other proposition, of grace free for all, whether Jew or Gentile primarily, but to individuals chosen out of nations. Two things are established here. Christians, selected from both Jews and Gentiles. This proves that he did not refer to nations
1.      That the grace of
God was not confined to the Jewish people, as they supposed, so that it could be conferred on no others.
2.      That
God was not bound to confer grace on all the descendants of Abraham, as He bestowed it on those selected from the mass, according to His own will, and not of necessity on the mass itself..

“whom He hath called”
Literally: “Whom He called.”–All the Jews and Gentiles who have been invited by the preaching of the Gospel to receive justification by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and have come to the Gospel feast on this invitation.

God “endured the vessels of wrath” (v. 22) that He might make known His mercy in calling both Jews and Gentiles.. The destruction of the Jewish nation, predicted by the Savior in Matt. 24:2, was delayed in mercy until tens of thousands of Jews, as well as of Gentiles, accepted Christ (Matt. 24:22). The whole passage shows that God suffered the sins of the Jewish nation, without cutting it off, because its existence was essential in His plans for saving the world. Never forget that from it Christ came.

         “not of Jews only:
         Literally:  “not only us, of Jews.”–Paul now declares that these “vessels  of mercy” did not just come from the

          OF:  (Grk.–ek)–Better rendered as, “from;” so to read, “called…from Jews only.”

“As He saith also in Osee, ‘I will call them My people, and her beloved, which swas not beloved.’”
Paul turns to various O.T. passages to show:
1.      That Gentiles are included in
God's redeptive plans, and
2.      That only a remnant of believing
Jews will be preserved.

         He first draws from the prophet Hosea.

         “As He saith also in Osee”
         Literally:  “As also He says in Hosea.”  

 OSEE(Grk.—Hosēe)–The Greek form of the Hebrew word Hosea.

         The passage that Paul quotes is found in Hosea 2:23. This quotation is not made according to the letter of how it is written, but the sense of the prophet is preserved. The meaning is the same in Hosea and in this place, that God would bring those into a covenant relation to Himself, who were before deemed outcasts and strangers. Paul supports his main position that God would choose His people from among the Gentiles as well as the Jews, or would exercise towards both His right as a Sovereign, bestowing or withholding His blessings as He pleases.
         That it was God's plan aforetime to call the Gentiles to salvation Paul shows by this prophecy. In Hosea 1:10, there is a prediction of the same import, which Paul quotes in v. 26. In both passages Hosea shows that the gospel call to the Gentiles is only in harmony with the long-declared purpose of God

“call them My people–not beloved”
Literally:  “I will call the Not My People—Not Having-been Loved.” Those who had been cast off as enemies, He would reclaim and gather as friends. 

This prophecy originally seems to refer to the ten tribes, but as they had been excluded Paul refers to them as a type of the call of the Gentiles.  Understand that Hosea is NOT really speaking of Gentiles, but is speaking of the scattered Israelites; but the ten tribes, by their lapse into idolatry had put themselves upon the same footing with the Gentiles, so that the words could apply to both races      

          NOT MY PEOPLE:  (Grk.-ou laon mou; Hebrew–lo-ammi)–This is referring to the rebellious Jewish nation.  The new people whom God will call, “My people” will be made up from both Jews and Gentiles.


          NOT BELOVED:  (Grk.-ouk ēgapēmenvn; Hebrew–lo-ruhanah)–Those who were once not beloved: (referring to: the Gentiles)they will be beloved.  

“And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ‘Ye are not My people, there shall they be called the children of the living God.”

“And it shall come to pass”
Literally: “And it shall be.”–It shall happen.  It shall take place.

Paul goes on dealing with his quotation from the prophet Hosea, (Hosea 1:10) which is designed to confirm the doctrine which Paul has been establishing.  Both these quotations have the same aim, and are introduced for the same purpose. In Hosea they did not actually refer to the calling of the Gentiles, but to the recalling the rejected Jews God says, after the Jews  had been rejected and scattered for their idolatry; after they had forfeited His favor, and had been cast off as if they were not His people, He would recall them, and bestow them again the title of sons.

“in the place where it was said of them”
Literally: “In the place where it was said to them.”–That is, to the place where they may be scattered, or where they may presently dwell. Or perhaps even in those nations which were not regarded as the people of
God, there shall be a people to whom this shall apply.

Where the proper name of the people was, that they were not the people of God; where they were idolatrous, sinful, aliens, strangers; so that they had none of the marks of the children of God.  The expression, “in the place where … there,” seems designed only to give greater emphasis to the gracious change here announced, from divine exclusion to divine admission to the privileges of the people of God.

“ye are not My people”
Literally:  “You are not my people”– No longer people in covenant with
God; and under His protection, as their Sovereign, and keeping His laws.

They, the rejected Jews, which had been the people of God, should become a “Lo-ammi”-not My people.  On the contrary, they, the Gentiles, who had before been a Lo-amminot My people, should become the children of the living God.  Again, Hosea 2:23: “I will sow her unto Me in the earth,”–Hosea originally meant for this to apply to National Israel, (alluding probably to the dispersion of the Jews over all the Roman empire); but Paul is applying to the Church.  Paul is pointing out that this proved to be a fruitful cause of preparing the Gentiles for the reception of the Gospel, and, or moreover, “I will have mercy upon her, the body of the believing Gentiles, that had not obtained mercy.”

“there shall they be called children of the living God”
Literally:  ‘there they will be called, ‘sons of {the} living God.”–That is, there they shall be.

          THERE: (Grk.–ekei)–meaning Palestine in the original, but Paul applies it to scattered Jews and Gentiles everywhere.

          CALLED:  (Grk.–kaleō)–The verb “to call”,” in the Hebrew writings, often means the same as “to be.” It denotes that this shall be the name or title which properly expresses their character.

It is a figure perhaps almost peculiar to the Hebrews; and it gives additional interest to the case. Instead of simply saying, coldly and abstractedly, “they are such,” it also ntroduces the idea that such is the favorable judgment of God in the case. See Matt. 5:9, “Peacemakers–shall be called the children of God” “My house shall be called the house of prayer.”

CHILDREN OF THE LIVING GOD: (Grk.–huoi Theou zōntos)-Literally:  “Sons of God (the) living.” 

So that they do not need to leave their own country and come to Judea. The salvation of any of the lost race of men originates in the love of God, and is accomplished by His power and grace, showing them their need of Christ, and inclining them to believe on Him.