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Romans 9:17 (NKJV)

For the Scripture says to the 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.”

Bible Commentary

Romans 9:17 is a Bible verse in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul is using the Pharaoh of Egypt as an example of God’s sovereign will.

There has been much discussion and opinion about God’s intent and true desire toward men. If God ordains everything according to His purpose, do men really have free will or not? This can be like the question, “Which came first; the chicken or the egg?” Such speculation only travels in circles with no real conclusion.

After all, we are only human and God is God. The created hardly have knowledge and understanding over the Creator.


We have proof, however, of one thing. That is, God’s deep and undying love for us. The cross is proof, where His beloved Son hung as a substitute for you and me.

With that in mind, we must also recognize the absolute power and sovereignty of God. He has complete authority over us as a loving Father, but also as ultimate Judge of the earth. This is the point Paul is making in Romans 9:17 when he speaks of Pharaoh of Egypt, who had authority as king over the children of Israel when they were slaves in Egypt.


When Pharaoh became king, he did not know the story of Joseph’s loyalty to former kings, and he could see the children of Israel were stronger and greater in number than the Egyptians. Because of his fear that they might rise up and win against them in war, he afflicted them with harsh treatment. (Exodus 1)

But the harder he made their lives, the more God’s people multiplied. God was making a statement in all of this, but Pharaoh was too stubborn to see it or accept it.

Those who bless God’s people God will bless and those who curse God’s people He will curse (Genesis 12:3).

There are three places in this story where Pharaoh hardened his own heart toward them (Exodus 8:15; 32 and Exodus 9:34). But then there are twice this many places where the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart (all in the Book of Exodus).

Unlocking the Truth - The Will of God

God uses circumstances to point people to Him and to show us that He means what He says in His Word. Just like an earthly father effectively disciplining his children, he must follow through with his word.

In Romans 9:17, God is doing just that when He tells Pharaoh through Moses, “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.”

1.   God is following through with His word that He would bless those who bless His people and curse those who curse His people.

2.   God is using Pharaoh’s high-profile position to glorify Himself because of Pharaoh’s rejection and oppression of God’s people.


He brings Pharaoh down in front of the entire kingdom, crushing his haughtiness and oppressive rule over His chosen people.

This same scenario is played out continually all around us—in our private world and also in public arenas. God is using high-profile positions of “pharaoh’s” for His glory. We must be very careful who we support and who we don't.

Pharaoh lost more than just his pride and his position. He lost his life.

But God was glorified when He rescued His people. God and His people will always win…eventually. Be on His side. Don’t be a prideful pharaoh. Study the Bible verse of Romans 9:17 to know the sovereign hand of the Lord God Almighty.



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