The Calvinistic View: Paul begins by agonizing over the failure of Israel to come to salvation through faith in Christ (9:1-5). Paul’s solution is that not all of Israel is Israel; i.e., not all of Israel is elect (v. 6). Paul demonstrates God’s prerogative to elect whomever he wills by having elected Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau (vv. 7-13). God has mercy only on those whom he chooses to have mercy, and hardens the rest, as exemplified by Pharaoh (vv. 14-18). At this point, Paul hypothesizes a questioner who articulates the Arminian contention: if God has chosen to harden someone like Pharaoh, how can God then judge him for what he was predestined to do (v. 19)? Paul rebukes the questioner for impiety, and uses the potter-clay illustration to reiterate that God has the right to elect some and reprobate some as he deems fit (vv. 20-21). Paul then adds, as a supporting argument, the fact that when God chooses to reprobate someone like Pharaoh, he has to bear patiently their sin and arrogance, but does so, in order to demonstrate his glory to his elect, which turn out to be among the Gentiles as well as among the Jews (vv. 22-24). He thus brings the discussion back to the issue of Jewish unbelief in Christ, from which his discussion of election has been an excursus. From that point, the rest of the chapter is interpreted with regard to the Jew-Gentile question and salvation by faith, as opposed to works, without explicit reference to election (vv. 25-33). In the next post, I'll present the Arminian interpretation for comparison and contrast.