and though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything either good or bad, so that God’s purpose [His choice, His election] would stand, not because of works [done by either child], but because of [the plan of] Him who calls them, it was said to her, “THE OLDER (Esau) WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER (Jacob).” As it is written and forever remains written, “JACOB I LOVED (chose, protected, blessed), BUT ESAU I HATED (held in disregard compared to Jacob).”
What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOMEVER I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOMEVER I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then God’s choice is not dependent on human will, nor on human effort [the totality of human striving], but on God who shows mercy [to whomever He chooses—it is His sovereign gift]. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “I RAISED YOU UP FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE, TO DISPLAY MY POWER IN [dealing with] YOU, AND SO THAT MY NAME WOULD BE PROCLAIMED IN ALL THE EARTH.” So then, He has mercy on whom He wills (chooses), and He hardens [the heart of] whom He wills.
You will say to me then, “Why does He still blame me [for sinning]? For who [including myself] has [ever] resisted His will and purpose?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers [arrogantly] back to God and dares to defy Him? Will the thing which is formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does the potter not have the right over the clay, to make from the same lump [of clay] one object for honorable use [something beautiful or distinctive] and another for common use [something ordinary or menial]? What if God, although willing to show His [terrible] wrath and to make His power known, has tolerated with great patience the objects of His wrath [which are] prepared for destruction? And what if He has done so to make known the riches of His glory to the objects of His mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory, including us, whom He also called, not only from among the Jews, but also from among the Gentiles? Just as He says in [the writings of the prophet] Hosea:
“I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’
AND [I will call] HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.’ ”
“AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’
THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.”