Can someone explain Romans 9 vs 17-18? Did God harden Pharoahs heart?

Its against the character of God who wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth to harden a mans heart. So how is Romans 9 vs 17 - 18 possible?


Hello, great question. When it says that God hardens someone’s heart most times its from us hardening our own heart and then after time God leaves us to our own ways. You see this when reading about the Hebrews Exodus out of Egypt. Numerous times the Pharaoh hardened his own heart. Then God left him to his own ways and hardened his heart fully. This is shown I believe in the first chapter of Romans when Paul says God left people to their own desires.
Here is deeper teaching on this very subject I think you may like. I hope this helps, God bless :slight_smile:

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From Gods Character, he never leaves the unrighteous to be hardened. he is always calling to them to repent.

If the bible stated that God kept trying to get Pharaoh to repent but Pharaoh hardened his own heart, I will agree. In this case, it clearly says God hardened the heart of Pharoah. Was Moses wrong here in saying so? Or did God really harden the Kinds heart?


@Akara_Ogheneworo A few passages you would have to look at is Exodus 3:19, 8:15, 8:32 which says:

19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go, not even under force. 20 So I will extend my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will do among them, and after that, he will release you.

15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.

32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not release the people.

Even though God already knew that the Pharaoh would not let the Hebrews go he still sent Moses to tell the Pharaoh anyway. And in these verses above you see that Pharaoh hardens his heart on his own at first. This was God giving the Pharaoh a chance and even during the plagues, in the beginning, he has chances to not try to go against God. This is known because the plagues of Egypt were not just any type of plagues but they were to show that God was the true God. They were God’s attack on the Egyptian gods. Here are a few examples from

Water turning into blood (Exodus7)

As Aaron, the spokesman for Moses, touched the “rod” of the Lord to the Nile River it immediately turned to blood, all the fish died, and the river stank. The magicians of Egypt could also do this.

This plague was probably against the Egyptian god of Nile – Hapi, was a deification of the annual flooding (inundation) of the Nile River in Ancient Egyptian religion, which deposited rich silt on its banks, allowing the Egyptians to grow crops. (the water bearer). His name means Running One, probably referring to the current of the Nile.

Some of the titles of Hapi were, Lord of the Fishes and Birds of the Marshes and Lord of the River Bringing Vegetation

Boils and Sores (Ex.9:8-12)

The people and animals were affected by boils. This plague was probably against the Egyptian goddess of Medicine – Isis taught her people the skills of reading and agriculture and was worshipped as the goddess of medicine and wisdom.

Isis was called the Mother of Life, but she was also known as the Crone of Death. Isis was a great enchantress, the goddess of magic. Together with Thoth, she taught mankind the secrets of medicine.

She was the embalmer and guardian of Osiris. She is often rendered on the foot of coffins with long wings spread to protect the deceased.

Locusts (Ex.10:1-20)

Whatever crops were left in tact after the destruction by Hail, were now completely consumed by the swarms of locusts that were unleashed from the sky.

This plague was probably against the Egyptian god of storms and disorder – Seth was a god of the desert, storms, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion.

In later myths he is also the god of darkness, and chaos

So just from this here you can see that Pharaoh more than likely would’ve known this was an attack on the gods that he served and that the God of the Hebrews was showing himself strong and as the one true God. Yet, Pharaoh continued to harden his heart to a certain point to where God, in my opinion, sped up the process and left him to his own evil desires. You can see other examples of this in the old testament with Saul. There you can see God left Saul to his own evil desires as judgment for disobedience. God also allowed an evil spirit to torment Saul as judgment. What happened to Pharaoh was judgment as well and while it is God’s desire for all of us to be saved he is also a God of justice and this was Pharaoh’s judgment for enslaving and killing the Hebrews.

Also here is another video from Dr. Micheal Brown who is an expert on the ancient Hebrew culture and language. He gives the Hebrew perspective of this subject.


Hello, Akara @Akara_Ogheneworo First of all, welcome to Connect and feeling free to ask difficult questions. You are not alone in asking this question. I think the YouTube that Luna @Luna has suggested you watch is an excellent explanation. It is very thorough and enumerates all the different reasons God hardens hearts. I encourage you to listen to it.
I would add to the teacher on the YouTube the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 13:19-31). This actually is a departure from all the other parables in that Jesus names Lazarus (not the brother of Mary and Martha). (So, the possibility of this being an actual event known to Christ). In this passage, the rich man continually refuses to give any charity to Lazarus. Lazarus dies and goes to Abraham’s Bosom (a common expression for paradise). The rich man dies and goes into hell. The rich man sees the error of his hard heart and asks that someone be sent to his house to warn them. But the answer is that “even if someone was raised from the dead, the rich man’s family would not believe”.
So, here Christ is saying that even if God sought after the rich man’s family, because of their own hardness of hearts, it would make no difference. In fact, Christ was foretelling the miracle of his resurrection that would still not change them.
God has done the ultimate He could do by dying on the cross. One thing God doesn’t violate is a person’s will. So, if a person determines in his heart to reject God, even the ultimate that God has done on the cross will not make a difference.
You are right that it is not God’s nature to reject the unrighteous unless they have determined to reject Him. However, as the speaker points out in the YouTube, even then there is still hope. God always leaves that door open–which is His nature. But an unrighteous man’s will can choose a final time to reject God.