though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call,
she was told, "The elder will serve the younger."
As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
So it depends not upon man's will or exertion, but upon God's mercy.
For the scripture says to Pharaoh, "I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth."
So then he has mercy upon whomever he wills, and he hardens the heart of whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?"
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty and another for menial use?
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the vessels of wrath made for destruction,
in order to make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory,