Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
Verse 1. - Now I say (λέγω δέ). A form of expression usual with the apostle when introducing a new statement designed either to explain or elucidate something before said (cf. Galatians 3:17; Galatians 5:16; Romans 15:8, according to the Received Text; 1 Corinthians 1:12. So τοῦτο δέ φημι, 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 Corinthians 15:50). It is intended apparently to quicken attention: "Now I wish to say this." In the present case the apostle designs to throw further light upon the position taken in Galatians 3:24, that God's people, while under the Law, were under a bondage from which they have now been emancipated. Compare the somewhat similar process of illustration adopted in Romans 7:2-4. In both passages it is not a logical demonstration that is put forward, but an illustratively analogous case in human experience. A metaphor, though not strictly an argument, yet frequently helps the reader to an intuitive perception of the justness of the position laid down. That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all (ἐφ ὅσον χρόνονὁ κληρονόμος νήπιός ἐστιν οὐδὲν διαφέερει δόλου κύριος πάντων ὤν); so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant, though he is lord of all. The article before κληρονόμος, heir, is the class article, as before μεσίτης, mediator (Galatians 3:20) - "an heir." In the word νήπιος the apostle evidently has in view one who as yet is in his nonage - as in English law phrase, "an infant." In Roman law language, infans is a child under seven, the period of minority reaching to twenty-five. In Attic Greek, the correlate to one registered amongst "men" was a παῖς. It does not appear that the apostle means to use a technical legal expression. He contrasts νήπιος with ἀνὴρ in 1 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:13, 14. "Differeth nothing from a bond-servant;" i.e. is nothing better than a bond-servant, as Matthew 6:26; Matthew 10:31; Matthew 12:12. The verb διαφέρειν seems used only in the sense of your differing from another to your advantage, so that τὰ διαφέροντα are things that are more excellent. "Lord," "proprietor;" the title to the property inheres in him, though he is not yet fit to handle it.
But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Verse 2. - But is under tutors and governors (ἀλλὰ ὑπὸ ἐπιτρόπους ἐστὶ καὶ οἰκονόμους) but is under guardians and stewards. Ἐπίτροπος is, in Greek, the proper designation of a minor's guardian; as, for example, is shown by Demosthenes's speeches against Aphobus, who had been his ἐπίτροπος. These speeches also show that the ἐπίτροπος was entrusted with the handling of the property of his ward. Yet, as οἰκονόμος more especially denotes one entrusted with the management of property, it should seem that St. Paul uses the former term with more especial reference to the guardian's control over the person of his ward. The ward has to do what the ἐπίτροπος, guardian, thinks proper, with no power of ordering his actions according to his own will; while, on the other hand, the youth is not able to appropriate or apply any of his property further than as the "steward" thinks right; between the two he is bound hand and foot to other people's control. The plural number of the two nouns indicates the rough and general way in which the apostle means to sketch the case; speaking in a general way, one may describe a minor as subject to "guardians and stewards." Until the time appointed of the father (ἄχρι τῆς προθεσμίας τοῦ πατρός). The noun προθεσμία, properly an adjective, ὥρα or ἡμέρα being understood, is used very commonly to denote, either a determined period during which a thing is to be done or forborne, which is its most ordinary sense (see Reiske's 'Lexicon to Demosthenes'); or the further limit of such a period, whence Symmachus uses it to render the Hebrew word for "end" in Job 28:3; or, lastly, a specified time at which a certain thing was to take place, as, for example, Josephus, 'Ant.,' 7:04, 7, "When the (προθεσμία) day appointed for the payment came." This last seems to be the meaning of the word here, though it admits of being taken in the second sense, as describing the limit of the child's period of nonage. The somewhat loosely constructed genitive, τοῦ πατρός, "of the father," may be compared either with the διδακτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, "taught of God" (John 6:45), or, in a somewhat different application, "the chastening and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). In reference to the whole case as stated by the apostle, it has been asked - Is the father to be conceived of as dead, or as only gone out of the country, or how? It is sufficient to reply that "the point of the comparison" - to use Bishop Lightfoot's words - "lies, not in the circum stances of the father, but of the son;" and, further, that to supplement the description which the apostle gives by additional particulars not relevant for the purpose of the comparison would only tend to cloud our view of its actual import. In fact, any image taken from earthly things to illustrate things spiritual will inevitably, if completely filled out, be found to be in some respects halting. Another inquiry has engaged the attention of commentators, as to how far the particular circumstance, that the period of nonage is made dependent upon the father's appoint meat, can be shown to agree with actual usage as it then obtained. It would seem that no positive proof has hitherto been alleged that such an hypothesis was in strict conformity with either Greek or Roman or Hebrew law. And hence some have had recourse to the precarious and far-fetched supposition that St. Paul founds his thesis on Galatian usage, arguing that such would have been in accordance with that purely arbitrary control which, according to Caesar ('Bell. Gall.,' 6:19), a paterfamilias exercised over wife and children among the kindred tribes in Gaul. The scruple, how ever, now referred to arises from supposing that we know more about the facts than we really do know. So far as has been shown, we cannot tell what was really the precise rule of procedure which, in the case described by the apostle, prevailed either in Judaea, or in Tarsus, or in Galatia; nor again from what region of actual experience St. Paul drew his illustration. We, therefore, have no possible right to say that the case which he supposes was not fairly supposable. On the contrary, when we reflect how open the apostle's mind was for taking note of facts about him, and how wide and varied his survey, we may safely rest assured that his supposed case was in reality framed in perfect accordance to the civil usage, to which the Galatians would understand him to refer. At the same time, it must be conceded that, amongst different modes of arranging a minor's case which actual usage permitted or may be imagined to have permitted, the apostle selected just that particular mode which would best suit his present immediate purpose.
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Verse 3. - Even so we (οὕτω καὶ ἡμεῖς); so we also. This "we" represents the same persons as before in Galatians 3:13, 24, 25 (see notes), namely, the people of God; a society preserving a continuous identity through successive stages of development, till now appearing as the Church of Christ. The plural pronoun recites, not individuals, but the community viewed as a whole, having the now subsisting "us" as its present representatives. Individually, Christians in general now, and many of those who then when the apostle wrote belonged to the Church, never were in the state of nonage or bondage here referred to. It is, however, notwithstanding this, quite supposable that St. Paul's account of the history of the whole society is in some degree tinted by the recollection of his own personal experiences. When we were children (ὅτε ῆμεν νήπιοι); that is, when we were in our nonage. The phrase is not meant to point to a state of immaturity in personal development, but simply to the period of our being withheld from the full possession of our inheritance. This is all that the course of thought now pursued requires; and we only create for ourselves superfluous embarrassment by carrying further the parallel between the figuring persons and the figured. The spiritual illumination enjoyed by the Christian Church, compared with that of the pre-Christian society, presents as great a contrast as that of a man's knowledge compared with a child's; but that is not the point here. Were in bondage under the elements (or, rudiments) of the world (ὑπὸ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου η΅μεν δεδουλωμένοι); were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world; or, were under the rudiments of the world brought into bond-service. This latter way of construing, separating η΅μεν from the participle δεδουλωμένοι to connect it with the words which precede, is recommended by the parallel, which the words, "were under the rudiments of the world," then present to the words," is under guardians and stewards," in ver. 2; while the participle "brought into bond-service" reproduces the notion expressed by the words, "is no better than a bond-servant," of ver. 1. The participle "brought into bond-service," then, stands apart, in the same way as the participle "shut up "does in Galatians 3:23. This, however, is only a question of style; the substantial elements of thought remain the same in either way of construing. The Greek word στοιχεῖα calls for a few remarks, founded upon the illustration of its use given by Schneider in his 'Greek Lexicon.' From the primary sense of "stakes placed in a row," for example, to fasten nets upon, the term was applied to the letters of the alphabet as placed in rows, and thence to the primary constituents of speech; then to the primary constituents of all objects in nature, as, for example, the four "elements" (see 2 Peter 3:10, 12 ); and to the "rudiments" or first "elements" of any branch of knowledge. It is in this last sense that it occurs in Hebrews 5:12, "What are the (στοιχεῖα) rudiments (of the beginning, or) of the first principles of the oracles of God" (on which compare the passage from Galen quoted by Alford at the place). This must be the meaning of the word here; it recites the rudimental instruction of children, as if the apostle had said "under the A, B, C, of the world." This is evidently intended to describe the ceremonial Law; for in ver. 5 the phrase, "those under the Law," recites the same persons as are here described as "under the rudiments of the world;" as again the "weak and beggarly rudiments," in ver. 9, are surely the same sort of" rudiments" as are illustrated in ver. 10 by the words, "Ye observe days, and months, and seasons, and years." Since the Law under which the people of God were placed was God's own ordinance, we must infer that, when it is here designated as "the A, B, C, of the world," the genitive can neither denote the origin of these rudiments nor yet any qualification of moral pravity, but only the qualification of imperfection and inferiority; that is, it denotes the ceremonial institution s of the Law as appertaining to this earthly material sphere of existence, as contrasted with a higher spiritual sphere. Thus "the A, B, C, of the world" is an expression as nearly as possible identical with that of "carnal ordinances" (literally, ordinances of the flesh), used to describe the external ceremonialism of the Law in Hebrews 9:10; which phrase, like the one before us, is used with a full recognition, in the word "ordinances" (δικαιώματα), of the Law as of Divine appointment, while the genitive "of the flesh" marks its comparative imperfection. They were, as Conybeare paraphrases, "their childhood's elementary lessons of outward things." This designation of Levitical ceremonies as being an "A, B, C," or "rudiments, of the world," appears to have become a set phrase with the apostle, who uses it again twice in the Colossians (Colossians 2:8, 20), where he appears, if we may judge from the context, to have in view a (perhaps mongrel) form of Jewish ceremonialism which, with circumcision (mentioned in ver. 11), conjoined other "ordinances" (δόγματα) mentioned in vers. 14, 20, relating to meats and drinks and observance of times, illustrated in vers. 16, 21. This, he tells the Colossians, might have been all very well if they were still "living in the world" (ver. 20); but now they were risen with Christ! - with Christ, who had taken that "bond" (χειρόγραφον, ver. 14) out of the way; and therefore were called to care for higher things than such merely earthly ones as these. Some suppose that the apostle has reference to the religious ceremonialisms of the idolatrous Gentiles, as well as those of the Mosaic Law. These former ceremonialisms belonged, indeed, to "the world," both in the sense above pointed out and as tinged with the moral pravity characterizing the "present evil world" in general. But these cannot be here intended, forasmuch as it was not to such that God's people were by his ordinance subjected. The other rendering of στοιχεῖα - "elements" - which the Authorized Version puts into the text, but the Revised Version into the margin, was probably selected in deference to the view of most of the Fathers, who, as Meyer observes, took the Greek word in its physical sense: Augustine referring it to the heathen worship of the heavenly bodies and the other cults of nature; Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Ambrose to the new moons and sabbaths of the Jews, viewed as determined by the motions of the sun and moon; Jerome, however, interpreting it rudimenta discipliner. On the other hand, in Colossians 2:8, 20, both of our Versions have "rudiments" in the text and "elements" in the margin; in 2 Peter 3:10, 12, "elements" only. "Brought into bend-service" (δεδουλωμένοι), namely, by the act of the supreme Father imposing upon us the yoke of his Law.
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Verse 4. - But when the fulness of the time was come (ὅτε δὲ η΅λθε τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ χρόνου); but when the completion of the term (Greek, time) came. "The completion of the term" is the notion answering to "the time appointed of the father" in ver. 2. The "time" (χρόνος) here most probably corresponds to the period terminated by the προθεσμία: that is, it is the interval which God ordained should first elapse. So Acts 7:23, Ὡς δὲ ἐπληροῦτο αὐτῷ τεσσαρακονταετὴνς χρόνος, "When he was well-nigh forty years old;" literally," When there was being completed to him a time of forty years" (comp. also Acts 7:30; Acts 24:27; Luke 21:24; Luke 1:57). The substantive (πλήρωμα) "completion" occurs in the same sense in Ephesians 1:10, "Dispensation of the completion of the times." The apostle might apparently have written ὡς δὲ ἐπληρώθη ὁ χρόνος, "But when the term was completed;" but he prefers to express it in this particular form, as colouring the idea with a certain pathos of solemn joy at the arrival of a time so long expected, so fraught with blessing (compare the use of the verb "came" in Galatians 3:25). Why the supreme Disposer, the Father of his people, chose that particular era in the history of the human race for his children's passing into their majority is a deeply interesting subject of inquiry. Much has been said, as for example by Neander and Guerieke in their Histories of the Church, and by Schaff in his History of the Apostolic Church, on the preparedness of the world at large at just that juncture for the reception of the gospel. It may, however, be questioned whether the apostle had this in his mind in the reference here made to the Divine prothesmia. So far as appears, his view was fastened upon the history of the development of God's own people, which up to this time had been under the pedagogic custody of the Mosaic Law. Indeed, in just this context he does not even advert, as he may be supposed to have done in Galatians 3:24, to the effect produced by the Law in preparing God's own people for the gospel, but speaks only of the negative aspect of the legal economy; that is, of those features of "bondage," "powerlessness," and "poverty" which marked it as a state of oppression and helplessness. The training, probably implied in the reference to its "rudiments," stands back for the present out of view; the only notion which is actually brought prominently forward being the comparatively degraded condition in which the child-proprietor was for that while detained. God sent forth his Son (ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν υἱὸν αὑτοῦ). The terms here used require to be very closely considered: they arc fraught with the very essence of the gospel. The compound verb ἐξαποστέλλω occurs in nine other places of the New Testament, all of them in St. Luke's Gospel and the Acts. In six of these (Luke 1:53; Luke 20:10, 11; Acts 9:30; Acts 17:14; Acts 22:21) the ἐξ is well represented in our English Bible by "away." In the remaining three (Acts 7:12; Acts 11:22; Acts 12:11) - "(Jacob) sent forth our fathers first;" "They sent forth Barnabas as far as to Antioch;" "God hath sent forth his angel") - the preposition represented by "forth" expresses with more or less distinctness the idea that the person sent belonged intimately to the place or the society of the person who sent him. In no one passage is it without its appreciable value. The verb ἀποστέλλω, without this second prepositional adjunct of ἐξ, is used, for example, in John 17:18, both of the Father sending the Son and of Christ sending his apostles" into the world," but without putting forward this indication of previous intimate connection. So the verb πέμπω is used in like manner of God sending his Son in Romans 8:3, and of the mission of the Holy Spirit in John 14:26. It was, no doubt, optional with the writer or speaker whether he would employ a verb denoting this particular shade of meaning present in the ἐξ or not; but we are not, therefore, at liberty to infer that, when he chooses to employ a verb which does denote it, he uses it without a distinct consciousness of its specific force. In the clause before us, therefore, as also in ver. 6, the writer must be assumed to have had in his mind at least the thought of heaven as the sphere of existence from which the Son and the Spirit were sent, as in Acts 12:11 above cited, if not of some yet closer association with the Sender. The reference to a previously subsisting intimacy of being between the Sender and the Sent, which we trace here in the preposition ἐξ of the compound verb, is in Romans 8:3, where the verb employed is πέμψας, indicated in the emphatic reference implied in the pronoun ἑαυτοῦ, "sending his own Son." In endeavouring next to determine the import of the expression," his Son," as here introduced, we are met by the surmise that the apostle may have written it proleptically, or by anticipation; that is, as describing, not what Christ was before he was sent forth, but the glory and acceptableness with the Almighty which marked him as the Messiah after his appearing in the world; for when, for example, in another place the apostle writes," Christ Jesus came into the world to rove sinners," he must be understood as expressing himself proleptically, designating the person who came into the world by the name and office which he bore as among men, and not as he was before he came. A proleptic designation is therefore conceivable. But this interpretation of the apostle's meaning is resisted by the tendency of the context in the kindred passage in Romans 8:3, "God sending his own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin;" for those added words betoken very strongly that Christ was viewed by the apostle as having been God's Son before he appeared in the flesh. And such is the impression which a reader not preoccupied with other ideas would naturally receive also here. The conviction that this is what the apostle really intended is corroborated by references which he elsewhere makes to Christ's pro-incarnate existence and work; as, for example, in Philippians 2:5, 6; Colossians 1:15, 16; the latter of which passages, by describing "the Son of God's love" as "the Firstborn of every creature, because by him all things were created" (see Alford, and the 'Speaker's Commentary' on the passage), betokens that St. Paul regarded him as having been even then the "Son of God;" and this, too, in the sense of derivation from "the substance of the Father, ... begotten" (as the Nicene Creed recites) "of his Father before all worlds." We may, therefore, reason, ably believe that the Apostle Paul, whose views alone are now under consideration, recognized these two senses of the term, namely, the theological and the Christologieal, as inseparably blending into one when thus applied to the Lord Jesus; for we must allow that it appears alien to his manner of sentiment and of representation to suppose that he ever uses it in the purely theological sense only. In the view of the apostle Christ was the "Son of God," not only when appointed to be the Messiah, but also before he was "made to be of a woman." Indeed, it should seem that this conception of his person is just that which forms the basis for the subsequent statement that the object of his coming into the world was to procure the adoption of sons for us. Made of a woman (γενόμενον ἐκ γυναικός); made to be of a woman. This, indeed, was probably the sense intended by King James's translators, when they followed Wicklife and the Geneva Bible in rendering "made of a woman;" whilst Tyndale and Cranmer, followed by the Revisers of 1881, give "born of a woman." Just the same divergency of renderings appears in the same English translations in Romans 1:3, "made of the seed of David (γενομένον ἐκ σπέρματος Δαβίδ)," except that Tyndale has "begotten" instead of "born." The difference in sense is appreciable and important: "made" implies a previous state of existence, which "born" does not. So far as the present writer can find, wherever in the New Testament the Authorized Version has "born," we have in the Greek either τεχθῆναι or γεννηθῆναι: γενέσθαι never having this sense at all. As in Galatians 3:13 (γενόμενος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν κατάρα), "Being made a curse for us," and in John 1:14 (ὁ Λόγος σάρξ ἐγένετο), "The Word was made flesh;" so here God's Son is described as "made to be of a woman," the phrase, "of a woman," being nearly identical in import with the word "flesh" in St. John, distinctly implying the fact of the Incarnation. The preposition "of" (ἐκ) denotes derivation of being, as when it is found after the verb "to be" in John 8:47, "He that is of God;" "Ye are not of God," pointing back to the claim which (ver. 41) the Jews had made that they had God for their Father. The construction of γίγνομαι, to come to be, with a preposition occurs frequently, as in Luke 22:44; Acts 22:17; Romans 16:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:7. There can be no doubt that γενόμενον must be taken in the next clause with the same meaning as here. Made under the Law (γενόμενον ὑπὸ νόμον); that is, made to be under the Law. The "Law" here, as in the clause immediately after "those under the Law," indicates, not Law in general, but that particular law of tutorship and of domination over one as yet in the depressed condition of a minor, which the apostle has just before spoken of; that is, a law of ceremonies and of external cult. The article is wanting in the Greek, as in Romans 2:12, 23; Galatians 2:21; Galatians 3:11, etc. We cannot be unconscious of a tone of pathos in the apostle's language, thus declaring that he who had before been no less august a being than God's Son, should in conformity with his Father's will have stooped to derive being "from a woman," as well as to become subject to such a Law of servitude as that of Moses was. In the second chapter of the Philip-plans we have a similar account of the Incarnation, in which, with similar pathos, the apostle remarks that he took upon him the form of a "bond-servant" (δοῦλος), being made to be in the like condition to that of men (ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων γένομενος); but in that passage the line of thought does not lead to a definite reference of his being made subject to the ceremonial Law. The apostle probably thinks of Christ as being made subject to the Law by his being circumcised; a child of Israelite parents, so long as he was uncircumcised, was repudiated by the Law as one not in the covenant. With reference to the preceding clause," made of a woman," we are naturally led to inquire why this particular was specified. It does not appear to be essential to his argument, as the next clause certainly is. Probably it was added as marking one of the successive steps down which the Son of God descended to that subjection ("servitude," ver. 3) to the ceremonial Law which the apostle is most particularly concerned with. As in Philippians 2. he is exhibited, first as emptying himself; next, as taking upon him the form of a bond-servant by being made man; and then at length as brought to "the death of the cross;" so here, more briefly, he appears as "sent forth" from the bosom of the Father; next, as made "the son of a woman;" then as brought under the Law, to the end that (of course by the Crucifixion) he might buy off from under the Law those who were subject thereto. If the apostle intended anything more definite by introducing this first clause, it may have been to glance at that fellowship with the whole human race, with all "born of women" (γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν, Matthew 11:11), into which God's own Son came by becoming himself "of a woman" (comp. 1 Timothy 2:5). To refer to yet another point, we can fearlessly affirm that this sentence of the apostle is perfectly consistent with the belief in the writer's mind that our Lord was born of a virgin-mother, for a specified reference to this fact did not lie in his way just at present, and therefore is not to be desiderated. The only point for consideration in this respect is whether the expression employed does at all allude to it. Many have thought that it does. But when we consider that "one born of woman." γεννητὸς γυναικός, in Hebrew yelud isshah, was a set phrase to denote a human creature (cf. Matthew 11:11; Job 14:1; Job 15:14; Job 25:4; Job 11:12 [Septuagint]), with no particular reference to the woman except as the medium of our being introduced into the world, it has been with much probability judged by most recent critics that the clause shows no colouring of such allusion. Nevertheless, we distinctly recognize in it the sentiment expressed in the familiar verse of the ancient hymn: "Tu, ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti virginis uterum;" else, why did not the apostle write γενόμενον ἐν σαρκί ορ γενόμενον ἄνθρωπον?
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Verse 5. - To redeem them that were under the Law (ἵνα τοὺς ὑπὸ νόμον ἐξαγοράσῃ); that he might redeem (Greek, buy off) them which were under the Law. In what way Christ bought God's people off, not only from the curse, but also from the dominion of the Law, has been stated by the apostle above, at Galatians 3:13, "Christ bought us off (Ξριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἐξηγόρασεν) from the curse of the Law by being made on our behalf a curse" (see note). But why, in order to effect this object, was it prerequisite, as it is here implied that it was, that he should be himself "brought under the Law"? The directions which the Law in Deuteronomy 21:22, 23 gave with respect to those "hanged on a tree" were apparently held by Joshua (Joshua 8:29; Joshua 10:26, 27) to apply also to the case of persons so hanged who were not Israelites. If so, does it not follow (an objector may say) that Jesus, even if not an Israelite under the Law, would, however, by being crucified, have fallen under the curse of the Law, and thereby annihilated the Law for all who by faith should become partakers with him, whether Jews or Gentiles? why, then, should be have been brought under the Law? The objection is met by the consideration that, in order that Christ might abrogate the Law by becoming subject to its curse, it was necessary that he should himself be perfectly acceptable to God, not only as being the eternal "Son of his love," but also in the entire completeness of his life as a man, and, therefore, by perfect obedience to the will of God as declared in the Law, under which it had pleased God to place his people. The Law, whatever the degradation which its ceremonial institute inferred for "the sons of God" subjected to it, was, nevertheless, for the time, God's manifest ordinance, to which all who sought to serve him were bound to submit them° selves. They could not be righteous before him unless they walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless (Luke 1:6). That we might receive the adoption of sons (i%na th\n υἱοθεσίαν ἀπολάβωμεν); that is, that our adoptive sonship might be actually and in full measure made over to us. The" we" recites God's people; the same persons as those indicated by the preceding phrase, "those which were under the Law," which phrase was not meant to define one particular class among God's people, but to describe the condition in which God's people had been placed. Their Father had put them under the Law with the view of their being at his appointed time bought off from the Law and admitted to the full enjoyment of their filial privileges. This purpose of their Father, signified beforehand in the promises to Abraham, explains the article before υἱοθεσίαν: it was the adoptive sonship which had been guaranteed to them. Hence the use here of the verb ἀπολάβωμεν instead of λάβωμεν: for the prepositional prefix of this compound verb has always its force; generally denoting our receiving a thing in some way due to us, answering to its force in the verb ἀποδίδωμι, repay: sometimes our receiving a thing in full measure (comp. Luke 6:34, 35; Luke 16:25; Luke 18:30; Luke 23:41; Romans 1:27; Colossians 3:24 2John 8). In Luke 15:27 it is receiving back one lost. The second ἵνα is subordinate to the first; the deliverance of God's people from the Law was in order to their introduction into their complete state of sonship. The noun υἱοθεσία does not appear to occur in any Greek writer except St. Paul; though θέσθαι υἱόν υἱὸς θετός, υἱόθετος ὁ κατὰ θέσιν πατήρ, are found in various authors. After the analogy of other compound verbal nouns with a similar termination (ὁρκωμοσία ἀγωνοθεσία θεσμοθεσία, etc.), it means first the act of adoption, as, perhaps, Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:5; and then, quite naturally, the consequent condition of the adopted child, as in Romans 8:15; Romans 9:4; and this seems its more prominent sense here. Romans 9:4 suggests the surmise that the term had been in use before among Palestinian Jews, with reference to Israel's state under the theocracy, and that St. Paul borrowed it thence with reference to the Christian Church, in which it found a more complete realization.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Verse 6. - And because ye are sons (ὅτι δέ ἐστε υἱοί). The apostle is adducing proof that God's people had actually received the adoption of sons; it was because it was so, that God had sent into their hearts the Holy Spirit, imparting that vivid consciousness of sonship which they enjoyed. The fact of the adoption must have been there, to qualify them to be recipients of this divinely inspired consciousness. The affirmation in Romans 8:16, "The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God," closely resembles our present passage; but it is not identical. We are not made sons (the apostle intimates) by the Spirit giving us the consciousness of sonship; but, having been previously made sons, the Spirit raises in our spirits sentiments answering to the filial relation already established. The position of the clause introduced by "because" is like that in 1 Corinthians 12:15, 16. The persons recited by the "ye" are still God's people; not the Galatian believers in particular, except as a portion of the whole Church of God. The apostle puts the thought in this form to bring the truth more strikingly home to their minds. This he does more closely still in the next verse by "thou." But that he has in view God's people as a whole is clear, not only from the whole strain of the context, but also from the phrase, "into our hearts," in the next clause. God hath sent forth (ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ Θεός); God sent forth. The tense indicates that the apostle does not refer to a sending forth of God's Spirit to each individual believer, parallel to that "sealing" which believers are stated to be subjects of in Ephesians 1:13. This historic aorist, as it does in ver. 4, points to one particular emission - that by which the Comforter was sent forth to take up his dwelling in the Church as his temple through all time (John 14:16, 17; Acts 1:4, 5). The Spirit of his Son. The Spirit which "anointed" Jesus to be the Christ; which throughout animated the God-Man Jesus; which prompted him in full filial consciousness, himself in a certain critical hour with loud outcry (μετὰ κραυγῆς ἰσχυρᾶς, Hebrews 5:7) to call out, "Abba, Father!" The phrase, "his Son," is aetiological; by it the apostle intimates that it was only congruous that the Spirit which had animated the whole life of the incarnate Son should be shed forth upon those who by faith become one with him, and should manifest his presence with them, as well as their union with Christ, by outcome of sentiment similar to that which Christ had expressed. Since the sonship of Christ is here spoken of as if it were not merely antecedent, but also in some way preparatory to the sending forth of the Spirit, it best suits the connection to construe it, not, as in ver. 4, as that belonging to him in his preincarnate state of being, but as that which appertained to him after being "made to be of a woman," and in which his disciples might be considered as standing on a certain footing of parity with him. This harmonizes with the relation which in the Gospels and Acts the sending of the Spirit is represented as holding to his resurrection and ascension. The interpretation above given in one point presupposes the apostle's knowledge of the story of the agony in the garden, when, according to St. Mark (Mark 14:36), Jesus himself used the words, "Abba. Father." This presupposition is warranted, not only by the probabilities of the case, but also by what we read in Galatians 5:7 of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Pauline, certainly, if not actually St. Paul's. We have to add that the Gospels not only make repeated mention of our Lord as addressing the Supreme Being by the compellative of "Father," but also represent him as constantly speaking of God as bearing that relation both to himself and to his disciples. This mode of designating the Almighty was characteristic in the highest degree of Jesus, and up to that time, so far as appears in the Scriptures, unknown. The manner in which the apostle here speaks of the "sending forth" of the Spirit in close proximity to the mention of the "sending forth" of the Son, strongly favours the belief that he regarded the Spirit, as being also a personal agent. In Psalm 104:30 we have in the Septuagint "Thou wilt send forth (ἐξαποστελεῖς) thy Spirit, and they will be created." In Psalm 43:3 and Psalm 57:3 God is implored to "send forth [ἐξαπόστειλον, Septuagint] his light and his truth," "his mercy and his truth;" these being poetically personified as angelic messengers. Into your hearts (εἰς τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν). But this reading of the Textus Receptus is, by recent editors, replaced by the reading, εἰς τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶν, into our hearts, the other reading being regarded as a correction designed to conform this clause with the words, "ye are sons," in the preceding one. In both cases the apostle has in his view the Church of God viewed generally. His putting "our" here instead of "your" was probably an outcome of his feeling of proud gladness in the thought of his own happy experience. A precisely similar change in the pronoun, attributable probably to the same cause, is observable in the remarkably analogous passage in Romans 8:15, "Ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Crying (κράζον); crying out aloud. The word expressing loud utterance betokens in this case undoubting assurance. No faint whisper this of an inner consciousness, shy, reticent, because afraid to assure itself of so. glorious, so blissful a relation; no hesitating half-hope; it is a strong, unwavering conviction, bold, though humbly bold, to thus address the all-holy Supreme himself. The "cry" is here attributed to the Spirit himself; in Romans 8:15 to believers, these being the Spirit's organs of utterance; presently after in the Romans, vers. 26, 27, the Spirit himself is said to "intercede with groanings which cannot be uttered ... . according to the will of God." Analogously, in the Gospels, evil spirits in demoniacs at times are said to "cry out" (Mark 1:26; Mark 9:26), while in other passages the cry is attributed to the possessed person. Abba, Father (Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ). In addition to Romans 8:15, just cited, the same remarkable words are found once only besides, in Mark 14:36, as uttered by our Lord in the garden. St. Luke (Luke 22:42) gives only "Father" (Πάτερ); St. Matthew (Matthew 26:39, 42), "my Father" (Πάτερ μου: in ver. 39, however, νου is omitted by Tischendorf, though he retains it in ver. 42). St. Matthew, by adding μου to Πάτερ here, which he does not add in Matthew 11:25, 26, seems to indicate that the form of address which our Lord then employed bespoke more than usual of fervency or of intimacy of communion. According to Furst ('Concordance'), "Abba," אַבָּא, occurs frequently in the Targums "sensu proprio et honorifico;" in the Jerusalem Targum taking the form "Ibba," אִבָּא. In consequence, we may assume, of the "honorific" complexion of this form of the word, it was in Chaldee the form usually employed in compellation, or for the vocative. The hypothesis that either the Divine Sneaker, or the Evangelist Mark, or the Apostle Paul, added ὁ Πατὴρ as an explanatory adjunct to the Aramaic "Abba," for the benefit of such as might need the explanation, is resisted
(1) by the threefold recurrence of the conjoined phrases in just the same form;
(2) by the absence of any such intimation of a translation as we find given in other passages where an Aramaic word is explained, as in Mark 5:41; Mark 7:11, 34; John 1:38, 41, 42; John 20:16; Acts 9:36;
(3) by the addition of ὁ Πατὴρ being made by St. Paul in the Romans, when writing with a glowing ardour of strong feeling wholly repugnant to the didactic calmness of a translational gloss: he does not pause to add such a gloss to "Maranatha" in 1 Corinthians 16:22, where it would seem to be much more called for. The apparently nominatival form of ὁ Πατὴρ lends no countenance to this view, as is shown by the comparison of Matthew 11:26, ναί ὁ Πατήρ: Luke 8:54, 41 ἡ παῖς, ἔγειρε: and in the Septuagint, Psalm 8:1, 9, Κύριε ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν: Psalm 7:1, Κύριε ὁ Θεός μου. Another hypothesis that the twofold compellative was meant to intimate that God was now Father alike to Jewish believers and to Gentile, is wrecked upon its occurrence in St. Mark. The present writer ventures to surmise that the conjoined phrase originated thus: The Lord Jesus, being wont very commonly to substitute for the name "God" the designation of "Father," may be supposed to have used for this designation the word "Abba" as the honorific form of the Chaldaic noun for "father," in much the same way as the Jews regularly substituted the noun Adonai, an honorific form of Adonim, "lord," or "master," for the unutterable tetragrammaton, יהוה. Instead of Adonai, Christ (it may be supposed) customarily employed the word "Abha," as an almost proper name of the Supreme Being. When our Lord had occasion to apply the word "Father" as a common noun to God, whether in addressing him or in speaking of him, we may infer firm the Peshito-Syriac Version of Mark 14:36 that he added another form of the same original noun "Abj," or "Obj," instead of or in addition to "Abba." The Πάτερ of Luke 22:42 may have been used to represent "Abba;" St. Matthew's Πάτερ μου to represent "Abj" or "Obj." The use of "Abba, ὁ Πατὴρ by believers, probably quite an exceptional use, was adopted, both as a conscious reminiscence of Christ's utterance in the garden - they, by conjoining themselves thus with their Lord, pleading, as it were, his Name as their warrant for claiming this filial relation with the Most High - and also as an intensely emphatic description of God's fatherhood, by conjoining together the almost proper name denoting his general fatherhood by which (supposably) Christ was used to designate God, and the common noun by which Christ's disciples had by him been taught to address him in prayer, and which embodied their sense of his especial fatherhood to those who serve him. The apostle is not to be understood as intimating that the Holy Spirit does actually produce in every heart in which he dwells the definite consciousness of sonship. It is enough for his purpose that the nisus, the endeavour and tendency of his spiritual operation, is in all cases in that direction, though through slackness on their own part so many Christians fail of conquering for themselves the full possession of their inheritance. But, however, we need not (he implies)go back to Mosaic ceremonialism to seek there for our assured sonship. We have it already here - here, in Christ, and in the indwelling presence of his Spirit.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Verse 7. - Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son (ὥστε οὐκ ἔτι εῖ δοῦλος ἀλλ υἱός); so then, no longer art thou a bondservant, but a son. "Ωστε, properly "so that," is frequently used by St. Paul for" so then" or "wherefore," to state a final conclusion (cf. ver. 16, below; Galatians 3:24; Romans 7:4, etc.). It here marks the conclusion resulting from the statements of the preceding six verses, viz. of God having sent forth his Son to do away with the Law, subjection to which had marked the nonage of his people, and to raise them to their complete filial position, and of his then sending forth his Spirit into their hearts loudly protesting their sonship. "No longer art thou;" by this individualizing address the apostle strives to awaken each individual believer to the consciousness of the filial position belonging to him in particular. Believe it: in Christ Jesus, thou, thine own very self, art a son! The phrase, "no longer," marks the position of God's servant new, as compared with what it would have been before Christ had wrought his emancipating work and the Holy Spirit had been sent forth as the Spirit of adoption; then he would have still been a bond-servant; he is not that now. This abrupt singling out one individual as a sample of all the members of a class is an instance of the δεινότης of St. Paul's style (comp. Romans 11:17; Romans 12:20; Romans 13:4; Romans 14:4; 1 Corinthians 4:7). The individual cited by the "thou" is neither a Gentile convert only nor a Jewish believer only; it is any member of God's kingdom. "A son," a member of God's family, an οἰκεῖος τοῦ Θεοῦ (Ephesians 2:19), one free of all law of bondage and in full possession of a son's privileges; no sinner, now, under his Father's frown; but accepted, beloved, cherished, honoured with his Father's confidence. And if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (ei) de\ ui(o/ kai\ κληρονόμος διὰ Θεοῦ [Receptus, κληρονόμος Θεοῦ διὰ Ξριστοῦ; and if a son, an heir also through God. So Romans 8:17, "And if children (τέκνα), heirs also; heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ." The inheritance here meant is the possession of every blessing which the theocratic kingdom entitles its members to look forward to. And the point of this added clause is that no further qualification is needed for our having a vested right in that inheritance, than that which is supplied by faith in Christ, uniting us to him and making us sharers with him; no such qualification, for example, as the Mosaizing reactionaries insisted upon (see Acts 15:1); no observance of ceremonial rites, whether of the Law or of such freaks of heretical" will-worship" as are referred to in Colossians 2:23. Thy faith in Christ (says in effect the apostle) gives thee now for good and all an assured place in whatever inheritance God designs to give his people. The manuscripts 'rod other authorities for the text present considerable variety in the reading of the last words of this clause. The reading adopted by L. T. Tr., Meyer, Alford, Lightfoot, and Hort and Westcott, namely, κληρονόμος διὰ Θεοῦ, is that found in the three oldest uncials, and presents a form of expression which was likely so greatly to surprise the copyist as to set him naturally upon the work of revision; whereas that of the Received Text, κληρονόμος Θεοῦ διὰ Ξριστοῦ, would have seemed to him so perfectly natural and easy that he would never have thought of altering it. The words, "heir through God," taken in connection with the foregoing context, insist upon the especial appointment of the supreme God himself; his intervention displayed in the most conspicuous manner conceivable, through the incarnated Son and the sent-forth Spirit. The believer is here said to be a son and an heir "through God," in the same sense as St. Paul affirms himself to be an apostle "through Jesus Christ and God the Father," and "through the will of God" (Galatians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1); for "of him and through him and unto him are all things," and most manifestedly so, the things composing the economy of grace which the gospel announces (Romans 11:36). The apostle has thus brought back his discourse to the same point which it had reached before in Galatians 3:29. The reader will do well to carefully compare this section of the Epistle (vers. 3-7) with Romans 7:25-8:4 and Romans 8:14-17. With great similarity in the forms of expression, the difference of the apostle's object in the two Epistles is clearly discerned. There he is discoursing the more prominently of the believer's emancipation from the controlling power of a sinful nature, which, under the Law, viewed under its moral aspect rather than its ceremonial, was rather fretted into yet more aggravated disobedience than quelled or overpowered. Here his subject is more prominently the believer's emancipation from the thraldom of the Law's cere-monialism, which in the present Epistle, relative to the troubles in the Galatian Churches, he has more occasion to deal with. Both the one deliverance, however, and the other was necessary for the believer's full consciousness of adoptive sonship; and each was, in fact, involved in the other.
Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Verse 8. - Howbeit (ἀλλά); a strongly adversative conjunction, belonging to the whole sentence comprised in this and the next verse, which are closely welded together by the particles μὲν and δέ. In contravention of God's work of grace just described, they were renouncing their sonship and making themselves slaves afresh. Then (τότε μέν). The μέν, with its balancing δέ, here, as often is the case, unites together sentences not in their main substance strictly adverse to each other, but only in subordinate details contrasted, of which we have an exemplary instance in Romans 8:17, Κληρονόμους μὲν Θεοῦ συγκληρονόμους δὲ Ξριστοῦ. In such cases we have often no resource in English but to leave the μὲν untranslated, as our Authorized Version commonly does; "indeed" or "truly," for example, would be more or less misleading. The truth is, the apostle in these two verses is heaping reproach upon the Galatian Judaizers; first, in this verse, for their former (guilty) ignorance of God and their idolatries, and then, in the next verse, for their slighting that blessed friendship with God which they owed only to his preventing grace. In dealing with Gentile Christians the apostle repeatedly is found referring to their former heathenism, for the purpose of enforcing humility or abashing presumption, as for example in Romans 11:17-25; Romans 15:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 12:2; Ephesians 2:11-13, 17. In the case of the Galatians his indignation prompts him to use a degree of outspoken severity which he was generally disposed to forbear employing. The "then" is not defined, as English readers might perhaps misconstrue the Authorized Version as intending, by the following clause, "not knowing God," which in that version is "when ye knew not God" - a construction of the words which the use of the participle would hardly warrant; rather the time referred to by the adverb is the time of which he has before been speaking, when God's people were under the pedagogy of the Law. This, though when compared with Christ's liberty a state of bondage, was, however (the apostle feels), a position of high advancement as compared with that of heathen idolaters. These last were "far off," while the Israelites were "nigh" (compare the passages just now referred to). During that time of legal pedagogy the Galatians and their forefathers, all in the apostle's view forming one class, were wallowing in the mire of heathenism. When ye knew not God (ou)k ei)do/te Qeo/n); ye knew not God and, etc. "Knowing not God" describes the condition of heathens also in 1 Thessalonians 4:5," Not in the passion of lust, even as the Gentiles which know not (τὰ μὴ εἰδότα) God;" 2 Thessalonians 1:8, "Rendering vengeance to them that know not (τοῖς μὴ εἰδόσιν) God." Both of these passages favour the view that the apostle does not in the least intend in the present clause to excuse the idolatries which he goes on to speak of, but rather to describe a condition of godlessness which, as being positive rather than merely negative, inferred utter pravity and guiltiness. He uses οὐκ with the participle here, in place of the μὴ in the two passages cited from the Thessalonians, as intending to state an historical fact viewed absolutely - a sense which is made clear in English by substituting an indicative verb for the participle. Ye did service unto (ἐδουλεύσατε); served; devoted yourselves to. The verb is, perhaps, used here in that milder sense in which it frequently occurs; as in Matthew 6:24; Luke 15:29; Luke 16:13; Acts 20:19; Romans 7:6, 25; Romans 14:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:9. The Revised Version, however, gives "were in bondage to" in the present instance, but "serve" in the passages now cited. The aorist, instead of an imperfect, describes the form of religious life which they then led as a whole. Them which by nature are no gods (toi = fu/sei mh\ ou = si θεοῖς). The Textus Receptus has τοῖς μὴ φύσει οϋσι θεοῖς, which would apparently mean "which arc not gods by nature, but only in your imagination;" like "There be that are called gods," in 1 Corinthians 8:5 - Zeus, Apollo, Here, etc., mere figments of imagination (comp. 1 Corinthians 8:4). The more approved reading suggests rather the idea that the objects they worshipped might not be non-existent, but were certainly not of a Divine nature; "by nature," that is, in the kind of being to which they belong (Ephesians 2:3; Wisd. 13:1, μάταιοι φύσει). The question may be asked - If they were not gods, what then were they? The apostle would probably have answered, "Demons;" for thus he writes to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:20): "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to devils (δαιμονίοις), and not to God." Alford renders, "to gods which by nature exist not," etc.; but the more obvious sense of οϋσιν is that of a copula merely (comp. 2 Chronicles 13:9, Septuagint, "He became a priest (τῷ μὴ ὄντι θεῷ)").
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Verse 9. - But now (νῦν δέ); and now. (See note on "then" in ver. 8). After that ye have known God, or rather are known of God (γνόντες Θεόν μᾶλλον δὲ γνωσθέντες ὐπὸ Θεοῦ); after that ye have gotten to know God, or rather to be known of God. Considering the interchangeable use of γνῶναι or ἐγνωκέναι and εἰδωέναι in John 8:55 and 2 Corinthians 5:16, it seems precarious to make much distinction between them as applied to the knowledge of God. The former, however, is the verb more commonly used in this relation; by St. John, in his First Epistle, where so much is said of knowing God, exclusively; although in other relations he, both in Epistle and Gospel, uses the two verbs interchangeably. The expression, "to know God," is one of profound pregnancy; denoting nothing less than that divinely imparted intuition of God, that consciousness of his actual being, viewed in his relation to ourselves, which is the result of truly "believing in him." Moreover, as it is knowing a personal Being, between whom and ourselves mutual Action may be looked for, it implies a mutual conversancy between ourselves and him, as the term "acquaintance" (οἱ γνῶστοί τινος), as used in Luke 2:44 and 23. 49, naturally does. So that "having gotten to be known of God" is very nearly equivalent to having been by God brought to be, to speak it reverently, on terms of acquaintanceship with him; and this does indeed seem to be meant in 1 Corinthians 8:3. The Galatian believers had in very truth gotten to know God, if they had learnt to cry out unto him, "Abba, Father." And the remembrance of this happy experience of theirs, which he had, we may suppose, himself witnessed in the early days of their discipleship, prompts him to introduce the correction, "or rather to be known of God." Their having attained such a consciousness of sonship had been, as he writes, ver. 7, "through God;" he it was that had sent forth his Sen that his people might receive the adoption of sons; he that had sent forth his Spirit into their hearts to give them the sense of sonship; he had shown that he knew, recognized them to be his (2 Timothy 2:19), by gifting them with the blissful prerogative of knowing what he was to them. The correction of "knowing" by "being known" is analogous to that of "apprehend" by "being apprehended" in Philippians 3:12. The pragmatic value of this correcting clause is to make the Galatians feel, not only what a wilful self-debasement it was on their part, but also what a slight put upon the Divine favours shown to them, that they should frowardly repudiate their filial standing to adopt afresh that servile standing out of which he had lifted his people. What was this but a high-handed contravening of God's own work, a frustration of his gospel? And this by them whom only the other day he had rescued from the misery and utter wickedness of idolatry! How turn ye again; or, back (πῶς ἐπιστρέφετε πάλιν); how turn ye back again. An abrupt change from the form of sentence which the foregoing words naturally prepared us for; which might have been such as we should have by simply omitting the "how." As if it were, "After having gotten to be known of God, ye are turning back again - how can ye? - to the weak," etc. This "how," as in Galatians 2:14, is simply a question of remonstrance; not expecting an answer, it bids the person addressed consider the amazing unseemliness of his proceeding (so Matthew 22:12; comp. also 1 Timothy 3:5; 1 John 3:17). The verb ἐπιστρέφειν frequently denotes "turning back" (Matthew 10:13; Matthew 12:44; 2 Peter 2:22; Luke 8:55). To the weak and beggarly elements (ἐπὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα); the mere elementary lessons, the A, B, G (see ver. 4, and note), which can do nothing for you and have nothing to give you. The description is relative rather than absolute. The horn-book, useful enough for the mere child, is of no use whatever to the grown-up lad who has left school. In Hebrews 7:18 mention is made of "the weakness and unprofitableness" of the Levitical Law relative to the expiation of sin; which is not precisely the aspect of the Law which is here under view. The word "beggarly" was probably in the writer's mind contrasted with "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). Whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage! (οῖς πάλιν ἄνωθεν δουλεύειν θέλετε;); whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again? The verb δουλεύειν is here, differently from ver. 8, contrasted with the condition of a son enjoying his full independence (see ver. 25 and Galatians 5:1). It would be an insufferable constraint and degradation to the full-grown son to be set to con over and repeat the lessons of the infant school. Ἄνωθεν, afresh, over again, intensifies πάλιν by adding the notion of making a fresh start from the commencing-point of the course indicated. The application of these words, together especially with the phrase, "turn back again," in the preceding clause, to the case of the Galatian converts from idolatrous heathenism, has suggested to many minds the idea that St. Paul groups the ceremonialism of heathen worship with that of the Mosaic Law. Bishop Lightfoot in particular has here a valuable note, in which, with his usual learning and breadth of view, he shows how the former might in its ritualistic element have subserved the purpose of a disciplinary training for a better religion. Such a view might be regarded as not altogether out of harmony with the apostle's spirit as evinced in his discourses to the Lyeaonians and the Athenians (Acts 14:15-17; Acts 17:22-31). But though in his wide sympatheticalness he might, if discoursing with heathens, have sought thus to win them to a better faith, he is hardly just now in a mood for any such sympathetic tolerance. He is much too indignant at the behaviour of these Galatian revolters to allow that their former religious ceremonies could have been good enough to be admitted to group with those of the Law of Moses: he has just before adverted to their former heathenism for the very purpose of (so to speak) setting them down - a purpose which would be a good deal defeated by his referring to that cult of theirs as in any respect standing on a level with the cult of the Hebrews. Indeed, it may be doubted whether, at the utmost limit to which he would at any time have allowed himself to go, in the "economy" which he unquestionably was used to employ in dealing with souls, he would, however, have gone so far as to class the divinely appointed ordinances of Israel, the training-school of God's own children, with the ritual of demon-inspired worships. It is much easier to suppose that the apostle identifies the Galatian Churchmen with God's own people, with whom they were now in fact σύμφυψοι, blended in corporal identity with them. God's children had heretofore been in bondage to the A, B, C, of the Law, but were so no longer; if any of those who were now God's children took it in hand to observe that Law, then were they, though not in their individual identity, yet in their corporate identity, turning back again to the A, B, C, from which they had been emancipated. The former experience of Israel was their experience, as the "fathers" of Israel were their fathers (1 Corinthians 10:1); which experience they were now setting themselves to renew.
Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Verse 10. - Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years (ἡμέρας παρατηρεῖσθε, καὶ μῆνας καὶ καιρούς καὶ ἐνιαυτούς); days ye are intent on observing, and months, and seasons, and years. In the compound verb παρατηρεῖν, the prepositional prefix, which often denotes "amiss," seems rather, from the sense of "at one's side," to give the verb the shade of close, intent observation. This may be shown by the circumstances to be of an insidious character; thus the active παρατηρεῖν in Mark 3:2; Luke 6:7; Luke 14:1; Acts 9:24, and the middle παρατηροῦμαι, with no apparent difference of sense, in Luke 20:20. Josephus uses the verb of "keeping the sabbath days" ('Ant.,' 3:05, 8), and the noun παρατήρησις τῶν νομίμων, for "observance of the things which are according to the laws" ('Ant.,' 8:03, 9). The accumulation of nouns with the reiterated "and," furnishing another example of the δεινότης of St. Paul's style, betokens a scornfully impatient mimesis. These reactionaries were full of festival-observing pedantry - "days," "new moons," "festivals," "holy years," being always on their lips. The meaning of the first three of the nouns is partially suggested by Colossians 2:16, "Let no man judge you... in respect of a feast day, or a new moon, or a sabbath day (ἑορτῆς νουμηνίας, σαββάτων);" in which passage, we may observe, there is a similar tone of half-mocking mimesis; where the same ideas are apparently presented, but in a reverse order. Comp. also 2 Chronicles 8:13, Offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles." The "days," then, in the present passage, we may suppose, are the sabbath days, together perhaps with the two fast days every week which the Jewish tradition prescribed (Luke 18:12). The "months" point to the new moons, the observance of which might occasion to these Gentiles considerable scope for discussion in adjusting themselves to the Jewish calendar, different no doubt from the calendar they had been hitherto used to. The "seasons" would be the annual festivals and fasts of the Jews, not only the three prescribed by the Levitical Law, but also certain others added by tradition, as the Feasts of Purim and of Dedication. So far we appear to be on tolerably sure ground. The fourth item, "years," may refer either to the sabbatical year (Leviticus 25:2-7), which at any rate latterly the Jews had got to pay much attention to (1 Macc. 6:49, 53; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 14:10, 6; also 14:16, 2; Tacitus, 'Hist.,' 5:4); or possibly the jubilee years, one such fiftieth year, it might be, falling about this time due. Bengel ('Gnomon') supposes that a sabbatical year might be being held A.D. , to which date he assigns this Epistle; while Wieseler ('Chronicles Synops.,' p. 204, etc., referred to by Bishop Lightfoot) offers a similar conjecture for the year A.D. autumn to A.D. autumn. Very striking is the impatience which the apostle manifests in overhearing as it were the eager discussions occupying the attention of these foolish Galatian Judaizers. Their interest, he perceived, was absorbed by matters which were properly for them things of no concern at all, but which, with ostentatious zeal as such persons do, they were making their concern. The cause of their doing so lay, we may believe, in the feeling which was growing up in their minds that such like outward observances would of themselves make their life acceptable to God; this general sentiment habiting itself, in the choice of the particular form of outward ceremonies to be adopted, in the observance of the celebrations given by God to his people for the season of their nonage. The principle itself was no doubt repugnant to the apostle's mind, even apart from the Judaizing form which it was assuming, and which threatened a defection from Christ. Curious regard to such matters he evidently on its own account regards with scorn and impatience. But therewith also the old venerable religion, localized at Jerusalem as its chief seat, would under the impulse of such sentiments be sure to perilously attract their minds away from the "reformation" (διόρθωσις, Hebrews 9:10) to which it had now been subjected; and they were in danger of losing, nay, had in great degree at least already lost, the zest which they once had fell in embracing the exceeding great and precious gifts which Christ had brought to them. What was there here but the "evil heart of unbelief" spoken of in Hebrews 3:12, "in departing from the living God," now manifesting himself to his people in his Son? It is this animus characterizing the behaviour of the Galatian Churchmen which marks its essential difference as compared with that observance of "days" and "meats" which in Romans 14. the apostle treats as a matter, relative to which Christians were to live in mutual tolerance. As long as a Christian continued to feel his relation to the Lord Jesus (Romans 14:6-9), it mattered not much if he thought it desirable to observe the Jewish sabbath or to abstain from eating animal food. He might, indeed, make himself thereby chargeable with spiritual unwisdom; the apostle clearly thought he would; but if he still held fast by Christ as the sole and all-sufficing Source to him of righteousness before God and of spiritual life, he was to be received and welcomed as a brother, without being vexed by interference with these foolish tenets of his. It became different when his care for such really indifferent externals took his heart away from a satisfied adherence to the Lord; then his ceremonialism or asceticism became rank and even fatal heresy. And this was what the apostle was fearing on behalf of his once so greatly cherished disciples in Galatia.
I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
Verse 11. - I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain (φοβοῦμαι ὑμᾶς μήπῶς εἰκῆ κεποπίακα εἰς ὑμᾶς I am afraid of you, lest by any means 1 have bestowed labour upon you in vain. That is, this behaviour of yours makes me fear whether I may not have bestowed labour upon you fruitlessly. A similar construction of μή πως with an indicative occurs in 1 Thessalonians 3:5, Μή πως ἐπείρασεν ὑμᾶς ὁ πειράζων, "Fearing, whether the tempter may not have tempted you;" followed by the subjunctive, Καὶ εἰς κένον γένηται ὁ κόπος ἡμῶν, "And lest our labour should [in the as yet future result] prove to be for no good." This passage in the Thessalonians serves to illustrate the nature of the mischief, which, in the present case, the apostle feared might result. For one thing, there was the hurt, the perhaps fatal hurt, which the Galatian believers might themselves receive from that virtual renouncement of their spiritual inheritance which they now seemed to be foolishly making. But there was also the disappointment which would accrue to himself through the failure of his work among them: "For what," as he wrote to the Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, "is our hope, or crown of glorying? Are not even ye, before our Lord Jesus at his coming?" The same anticipated joy he speaks of in writing to the Philippians, as about to accrue to himself from the steadfastness of his converts: "That I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain, neither labour in vain." This anticipation was a joy which he would fain not have wrested from him.
Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
Verse 12. - Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are (γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ ὅτι κἀγὼ ὡς ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί δέομαι; be ye as I; because I on my part an as ye; brethren, I entreat. We may compare 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be imitators of me, even as on my part I am of Christ (μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε καθὼς κἀγὼ Ξριστοῦ)." There is no need in respect to γίνεσθε to accentuate the notion of change this verb often means simply "show one's self, act as;" as e.g. 1 Corinthians 14:20, Μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε... ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶ τέλειοι γίνεσθε: 1 Corinthians 15:58, and often. "Be as I;" to wit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus as our sole and all-sufficing Righteousness before God, and in that faith letting go all care about rites and ceremonies of the Law of Moses, or indeed ceremonialism of any kind, as if such things mattered at all here, in the business of being well-pleasing to God, whether done or forborne. "Because I on my part am as ye." I, a born Jew, once a zealous worker - out of legal ceremonial righteousness, have put that aside, and have placed myself on the footing of a mere Gentile, content to live like a Gentile (ἐθνικῶς καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαῖκῶς, Galatians 2:14), trusting in Christ like as any Gentile has to de who was bare alike of Jewish prerogative and of ceremonial righteousness. This "for" or "because" is an appeal to them for loving sympathy and fellow-working. What was to become of him if Gentiles withheld from him their practical sympathy with his religious life? To what other quarter could he look for it? From Jewish sympathy he was an utter outcast. The ἀδελφοί δέομαι, "brethren, I entreat," comes in here as a breathing forth of intense imploring. And a remarkable instance is here afforded of that abrupt, instantaneous transition in the expression of feeling which is one great characteristic of St. Paul when writing in one of his more passionate moods. Compare for this the flexure of passionate feeling prevailing through the tenth and three following chapters of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. Just before, in this chapter, vers. 8-11, the language has been that of stern upbraiding, and, indeed, as if de haut en bas; as from one who from the high level of Israelite pre-eminence was addressing those who quite recently were mere outcast heathens. But here he seems suddenly caught and carried away by a flood of passionate emotion of another kind. The remembrance comes to his soul of his own former sorrows, when he "suffered the less of all things," as he so pathetically tells the Philippians (Philippians 3:4-14); when in the working out of his own salvation, and that of the Gentiles to whom he had been appointed to minister, he had cut himself off from all that he had once prized, and from all the attachments of kindred and party and nation. A terrible rending had it been for him when he had ceased to be a Jew; his flesh still quivered at the recollection, though his spirit rejoiced in Christ Jesus. And now this mood of feeling prompts him to cast himself almost as it were at the feet of these Gentile converts, adjuring them not to turn away from him, not to bereave him of their fellowship and sympathy. Ye have not injured me at all (οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε); no wrong have ye done me. This commences a new sentence, which runs on through the next three verses. The apostle is anxious to remove from their minds the apprehension that he was offended with them on the ground of unkindness shown by them towards himself. It was true that he had been writing to them in strong terms of displeasure and indignation; but this was altogether on account of their behaviour towards the gospel, not at all on account of any injury that he had himself to complain cf. He is well aware of the virulent operation of the sentiment expressed by the old maxim, "Odimus quos laesimus;" and is therefore eager and anxious to take its sting out of the mutual relations between himself and them. When the apostle is writing under strong emotion, the connecting links of thought are frequently difficult to discover; and this is the case here. But this seems to be the thread of connection: the Galatian Christians would not be ready to accord him any sympathetic compliance with his entreaty that they would "be as he was," if they thought he entertained towards them sentiments of soreness or resentment on personal grounds. There was no reason, he tells them, why they should; they had done him no wrong. There is no reason for supposing that the time of the action referred to in οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε is identical with that indicated by the aorists of the two next verses. From the words, τὸ πρότερον, "the first time," in ver. 13, it is clear, as critics have generally felt, that there had been a second visit after that one. If so, a disclaimer of offence taken during the first visit would not have obviated the suspicion of offence taken during a later one. The aorist of ἠδικήσατε must, therefore, cover the whole period of intercourse. Perhaps thus: whatever wrong you may suspect me of charging you with, be assured I do not charge you with it; there was no personal affront then offered me. In what follows, it is true, he dwells exclusively upon the enthusiastic demonstration which they made of their personal attachment to him when he first visited them; but though the assertion here made is not to its full extent proved good by the particulars given in vers. 13 and 14, and though the enthusiasm of personal kindness there described must, under the circumstances, have very considerably abated; yet, very supposably, nothing may have occurred since then - nothing, for example, during his second visit - which would show that they now disowned those feelings of love and respect. At all events, he refuses to allow that there had. No personal affront had he to complain of; while, on the other hand, their former intense kindness had laid up as it were a fund of responsive affection and gratitude in his bosom which could not be soon exhausted.
Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
Verse 13. - Ye know (οἴδατε δέ); and ye know. The apostle very often uses the verb οἵδαμεν, or οἴδατε, conjoined with either δέ, γάρ, or καθώς, when recalling some circumstance of personal history (1 Corinthians 16:15; Philippians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:1, 2, 5, 11; 1 Thessalonians 4:4; 2 Timothy 1:15) or to introduce the statement of a doctrine as one which would be at once recognized as certain or familiar (Romans 2:2; Romans 3:19; Romans 8:28; 1 Timothy 1:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:6). The phrase as so used is equivalent to "We [or, 'you'] do not need to be told," etc.; and with δὲ is simply a formula introducing such a reminiscence, this conjunction having in such cases head versative force, but being simply the δὲ of transition (meta-batic); equivalent to "now" or "and," or not needing to be represented at all in translation; so that the Authorized Version is perfectly justified in omitting it in the present instance. The phrase may be taken as meaning "And you will well remember." If the apostle had intended to introduce a statement strongly adversative to the last preceding sentence, he would probably have written ἀλλὰ τοὐναντίον (ch. 2:7) or some such phrase. How through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you (ὅτι δἰ ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν that because of an infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you. "An infirmity of the flesh;" that is, a bodily illness. The noun ἀσθένεια is used for "illness" in John 11:4; Acts 28:9; 1 Timothy 5:23; Matthew 8:17. It also denotes a nervous disablement, as Luke 13:11, 12; John 5:5. The verb ἀσθενέω is the common word for "being sick," as Luke 4:40; Luke 7:10; John 11:3, etc. It is possible that the apostle meant to say that the Galatians might not unnaturally have thought themselves treated slightingly in that his remaining among them so long was owing to illness and not to his own choice; but that yet, for all that, they had shown themselves most eager in welcoming their involuntary visitor. The words, however, do not require to be thus construed, and in all probability intend no more than to bring back to their remembrance the disorder under which he was then suffering. The illness would seem to have been of a nature to make his personal appearance in some way unsightly, and even repulsive; for the ἐξεπτύσατε, spat out, of the next verse suggests even the latter idea. Evidently this disorder, as also the one noted in 2 Corinthians 12:7, 8, did not disqualify him for ministerial work altogether. He adverts to the circumstance, as making it yet more remarkable and more grateful to his feelings, that, notwithstanding the disagreeable aspect which in some way his disorder presented to those about him, they had cherished his presence among them with so much kindness as they did and also with such reverential respect. How it was that his illness brought about this protracted stay, whether it was that he fell ill while journeying through the country so as to be unable to pursue his way to his ulterior destination, or whether the remarkable healthiness of the climate either first attracted him thither or detained him there for convalescence (see Bishop Lightfoot, 'Galatians,' p. 10, note 2, for the character of the climate at Angora, the ancient Ancyra), it is impossible for us to determine. It is noticeable that St. Chrysostom's comments on the passage appear to show that he considered the apostle to be simply stating the circumstances under which and not those in consequence of which he preached the gospel to them; and so also OEcumenius and Theophylact paraphrase δἰ ἀσθένειν by μετὰ ἀσθενείας, suggesting the conjecture that they and St. Chrysostom understood the words as equivalent to "during a period of infirmity of the flesh." But this gives to διὰ with an accusative a sense which, to say the least, is not a common one. Is this illness of body to be connected with the affliction, most probably a bodily affliction, mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12:7, 8, "the stake in the flesh"? This latter affliction has been discussed very fully by Dean Stanley and Meyer on the Corinthians, by Bishop Lightfoot in his commentary on the Galatians, and by Dr. Farrar in his ' Life of St. Paul.' It appears to have first befallen the apostle after the "revelations" accorded to him fourteen years before he wrote his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, which he is supposed to have done in the autumn of A.D. . This would bring us back to about A.D. . The apostle's first visit to Galatia, according to Bishop Lightfoot, p. 22, took place about A.D. . When we consider that no doubt many of those wearing labours and hardships, interspersed with frequent suffering of gross personal outrage, recounted in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, had been undergone in the eight first of those fourteen years (the stoning at Lystra certainly had), it must seem very precarious to conjecture that the malady here referred to was a recurrence of just that particular disorder experienced eight years before. How many other ailments might not the apostle have been subject to, amid the cruel allotment of suffering and hardship which prevailingly marked his course! It is quite as probable, to say the least, that he may then have been suffering in health or in limb from some assault of personal violence recently undergone. St. Luke gives no particulars whatever of this portion of St. Paul's journey, which is only just mentioned in Acts 16:6. The apostle visited Corinth for the first time not many months after this first sojourn in Galatia; and it is interesting to observe that he speaks of his having then ministered to them in "feebleness" (ἀσθενείᾳ, 1 Corinthians 2:3), in a manner strongly suggestive of bodily weakness. At the first (τὸ πρότερον); the first time - an expression plainly implying that there had been a subsequent sojourn. Respecting this latter visit, all we know is what we have so cursorily stated in Acts 18:23; unless, perchance, we may be able to draw some inferences relating to it from what we read in this Epistle itself. Chronologers are pretty well agreed in placing the commencement of this third apostolical journey about three years after the commencement of the second.
And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
Verse 14. - And my temptation which was in my flesh (καὶ τὸν πειρασμὸν ὑμῶν [Receptus, πειρασμόν μου τὸν] ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου) i and that which was a temptation for you in my flesh. "In my flesh;" that is, in my bodily appearance. Instead of ὑμῶν, the Textus Receptus gives μου τόν: but ὑμῶν is the reading of the best manuscripts, and, as the more difficult one, was the one most likely to be tampered with; it is accordingly accepted by recent editors with great unanimity. "My trial "would add to the sentence a tinge of pathetic self-commiseration. "Your trial" brings out the sentiment how greatly his affliction would be likely to indispose his hearers to listen to his message; it "tested" very severely the sincerity and depth of their religious sensibility. Ye despised not, nor rejected (οὐκ ἐξουθενήσατε οὐδὲ ἐξεπτύσατε); ye scorned not, nor loathed. The disfigurement on the apostle's person, whatever it was, did not detain their attention; they did not, at least not long, occupy themselves with indulging their feelings of ridicule or disgust; their sense of it got to be soon absorbed in their admiration of the apostle's character and in their delight in the heavenly message which he brought to them. The verb ἐξουθενέω, in the New Testament found only in St. Luke and St. Paul, means always, not merely "to despise," but to express contempt for a thing, "to scout" (comp. Luke 18:9; Luke 23:11; Acts 4:11; Romans 14:3, 10; 1 Corinthians 1:28; 1 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:20). Grotius observes of ἐξεπτύσατε that it is a figurative expression drawn from our spitting out of our mouth what greatly offends our taste; quoting Catullus ('Carm.' 50, 'Ad Lic.'): "Precesque nostras, Oramus, ne despuas." Critics have remarked that ἐκπτύειν, which is not found elsewhere used thus metaphorically as ἀποπτύειν is, is probably so applied here by the apostle to produce a kind of alliteration after ἐξουθενήσατε: as if it were "Non reprobastis, nec respuistis." But received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus (ἀλλ ὡς ἄγγελον Θεοῦ ἐδέξασθέ με ὡς Ξριστὸν Ἰησοῦν); but as an angel of God received ye me, as Christ Jesus. Their first feeling of aversation from his personal appearance gave place to emotions of delight in his message of which he seemed as it were the embodiment, and of reverential love and gratitude to himself. His manifest absorption in the glad tidings he brought, and in love to his Lord, irradiating his whole being with his unbounded benevolence and gladsomeness as the messenger of peace (Ephesians 2:17), was recognized by them with a response of unspeakable enthusiasm. A faint parallel is afforded by 1 Thessalonians 2:18.
Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
Verse 15. - Where is then (or, what was then) the blessedness ye spake of? (ποῦ οϋν [Receptus τίς οϋν η΅ν] ὁ μακαρισμὸς ὑμῶν;); where, then, is that gratulation of yourselves (or, of yours)? The reading, ποῦ οϋν, which is that of the best manuscripts, is now generally accepted in preference to that of the Textus Receptus, τίς οϋν η΅ν, in which, however, τίς οϋν stands on a higher footing of evidence than the remaining word η΅ν. This latter reading may be taken to mean: either, "Of what sort, then, was that gratulation of yours? "that is, what was its value in respect to the depth of conviction on which it was founded? - τίς being qualis, as Luke 10:22; Luke 19:3, etc., which would bring us to much the same result as ποῦ: or, "How great, then, was that gratulation of yours!" But the "then" (οϋν) comes in lamely; τότε ("at that time") would have been more in place; and, further, it is questionable whether the τίς of admiration ever occurs without the wonder taking a tinge of inquiry, as, for example, Mark 6:2; Luke 5:21; Colossians 1:27, which would be out of place here. With the more approved reading, ποῦ οϋν, the apostle asks, "What is, then, become of that gratulation of yourselves?" The "then" recites the fact, implied in the description given of their former behaviour, that they did once felicitate themselves on the apostle's having brought them the gospel. This is more directly brought into view in the words which follow. As the verb μακαρίζω means "pronounce happy," as Luke 1:48 and James 5:11, the substantive μακαρισμὸς denotes "pronouncing one to be happy;" as Romans 4:6, 9. So Clement of Rome ('Ad Cor.,' 50), who weaves the apostle's words into his own sentence with the same meaning. This felicitation must have been pronounced by the Galatians upon themselves, not upon the apostle; the apostle would have spoken of himself on the object of their εὐλογία, not of their μακαρισμός. For I bear you record (μαρτυρῶ γὰρ ὑμῖν); for I bear you witness; testify on your behalf; the phrase always denoting commendation (Romans 10:2; Colossians 4:13). Compare "Ye were running well," Galatians 5:3. The verb denotes a deliberate, almost solemn, averment. That, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me (ὅτι εἰ δυνατόν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὑμῶν ἐξορύξαντες ἐδώκατέ [Receptus, α}ν ἐδώκατε] μοι,); that, if possible, ye had spirted out your eyes to give them to me. The phrase, ἐξορύσσειν ὀφθαλμούς, occurs in the Septuagint of Judges 16:21 and 1 Samuel 11:2, Hebrew, "bore out the eyes." The omission of the ἄν, which is rejected by recent editors, perhaps intimates the certainty and readiness with which they would have done it; but the particle occurs very sparingly in the New Testament as compared with classical Greek. There seems something strange in the specification of this particular form of evidencing zealous attachment. If there had otherwise appeared any question of making gifts, the apostle might have been construed to mean, "Ye were ready to give me anything, your very eyes even;" but this is not the case. Possibly the particular mention of "the Churches of Galatia" in 1 Corinthians 16:1 may have been occasioned by their having shown an especial readiness, even at the apostle's second sojourn among them, to take part in the collection referred to; or by their having been the first Churches he came to in that particular tour, the directions which he gave to them being given also to all the Churches he went on to visit; but on this point see Introd. p. 16. The tone of Galatians 6:6-10 does not betoken especial open-handedness on their part, unless, perhaps, the words, "let us not grow weary," hint at a liberality once displayed but now declined from. On the whole, this specification of "eyes" seems rather to point to there having been something amiss with the apostle's own eyes, either from ophthalmia or as the effect of personal outrage perpetrated upon him. It is especially deserving of notice how the apostle, in the two clauses of this verse, links together their joy in their newly found Christian blessedness with their grateful love to himself; the latter fact is adduced as proof of the former. Their gospel happiness, he feels, was indissolubly woven in with their attachment to him: if they let go their joy in Christ Jesus, as, apart from any qualification to be acquired by observances of the Law of Moses, their all-sufficient righteousness, they must also of necessity become estranged from him, who was nothing if not the exponent and herald to them of that happiness. This consideration is of great moment for the right understanding of the next verse.
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Verse 16. - Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? [ὥστε ἐχθρὸς ὑμῶν γέγονα ἀληθεύων ὑμῖν;]; so then, am I become your enemy, because I deal with you according to truth? This is a wailing remonstrance against an apprehended incipient state of alienation. "So then," ὥστε (see note on ver. 7), occurs repeatedly before an imperative; as 1 Corinthians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 10:12; Philippians 2:12; Philippians 4:1; James 1:19; here only before a question. Its consecutive import here lies in the essential identification between their attachment to St. Paul and their allegiance to the pure gospel. If they forsook the gospel, their heart was gone from him. Naturally also their incipient defection from the truth was accompanied by a jealousy on their part hew he would regard them, and by a preparedness to listen to those who spoke of him, as Judaizers everywhere did, with disparagement and dislike. No doubt the accounts which had just reached him of the symptoms showing themselves among them of defection from the gospel, and which prompted the immediate despatch of this Epistle, had informed him also of symptoms of a commencing aversation from himself. The construction of γέγονα with ἀληθεύων is similar to that of γέγονα ἄφρων with καυχώμενος in the Textus Receptus of 2 Corinthians 12:11, which is perfectly good Greek, even though the word καυχώμενος must be removed from the text as not genuine. The verb "I am become" describes the now produced result of the action expressed by the participle ἀληθεύων, "dealing according to truth" - an action which has been continuous to the present hour and is still going on. If the apostle were referring only to something which had taken place at his second visit, he would have probably used different tenses; either, perhaps, ἐχθρὸς ὑμῶν ἐγευόμην ἀληθεύων - compare φανῃ... κατεργαζομένη in Romans 7:13 (or with a contemporaneous aorist participle, ἀληθεύσας); or, ἐχθρὸς ὑμῶν γέγονα ἀληθεύσας, like εϊναι μοιχαλίδα γενομένην ἀνδρὶ ἑτέρῳ in Romans 7:3. As it stands, "dealing with you according to truth" (ἀλήθεύων ὑμῖν) expresses the apostle's continuous declaration of the gospel, and his never-flinching ins]stance upon the mortal danger of defection from it (see Galatians 1:9, προειρήκαμεν); and "I am become your enemy" points to the result now manifesting itself from this steadfast attitude of his, in consequence of their consciousness of meriting his disapproval. The verb ἀληθεύω occurs only once in the Septuagint - in Genesis 42:16, Αἰ ἀληθεύετε η} οὐ, "Whether there be any truth in you" (Authorized Version and Hebrew); and once besides in the New Testament - in Ephesians 4:15, Ἀληθεύοντες ἐν ἀγάπῃ, where the verb denotes, apparently, not merely being truthful in speech, but the whole habit of addiction both to uprightness and to God's known truth; for we can hardly leave out of our view this latter idea, when we consider how frequently the apostle designates the gospel by the term "the truth" (2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 2 Corinthians 13:8; Galatians 3:1; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 12, 13; 1 Timothy 2:4). "Enemy" is either one regarded as adopting a hostile position to them, or one viewed with hostile feeling by them, which latter is its sense in Romans 11:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:15. The above exposition of the import of this verse is confirmed by the consideration that the Epistle affords no trace of the apostle's relations with the Galatian converts having been other than mutually friendly at even his second visit to them. This fact is implied in ver. 12, and Galatians 1:9 furnishes no evidence to the contrary; for those warnings may have been uttered in his first visit as well as in his second, without occasioning or being occasioned by any want of mutual confidence. This view of their mutual relations is confirmed likewise by the feelings of indignant astonishment with which evidently the apostle took up his pen to address them in this letter: the tidings which had just reached him had been a painful surprise to him.
They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
Verse 17. - They zealously affect you, but not well (zhlou = sin u(ma = ou) kalw = ); they admire you in no good way. Of the several senses of the verb ζηλοῦν, those of "envy," "emulate," "strive after," are plainly unsuitable in this verse and the one which follows. So also are the senses "to be zealous on one's behalf, to be jealous of one," which in Hellenistic usage crept into it, apparently from its having been in other senses adopted to represent the Hebrew verb qinne, and borrowing these from this Hebrew verb. The only phase of its meaning which suits the present passage is that which it perhaps by far the most frequently presents in ordinary Greek, though not so commonly in the Septuagint and in the New Testa ment, namely, "to admire," "deem and pronounce highly fortunate and blessed." When used in this sense, it has properly for its object a person; but with a suitable qualification of meaning it may have for its object something inanimate. Very often is the accusative of the person accompanied with the genitive of the ground of gratulation, as Aristophanes, 'Ach.,' 972, Ζηλῶσε τῆς εὐβουλίας "I congratulate, admire, you for your cleverness;" see also 'Equit.,' 834; 'Thes moph.,' 175; 'Vesp.,' 1450; but not always; thus Demosthenes, 'Fals. Legat.,' p. 424, "(Θαυμάζουσι καὶ ζηκοῦσι) they admire and congratulate and would each one be himself the like;" 'Adv. Lept.,' p. 500 (respecting public funeral orations), "This is the custom of men admiring (ζηλοὐντων) virtue, not of men looking grudgingly upon those who on its account are being honoured;" Xenophon, 'Mere.,' 2:1,19. "Thinking highly of themselves, and praised and admired (ζηλουμένους) by others;" Josephus, 'C. Ap.,' 1:25, "(ζηλουμένους) admired by many." It thus seems to be often just equivalent to ὀλβίζω or μακαρίζω, with the sense of which latter verb it is brought into close neighbourhood in Aristophanes, 'Nubes,' 1188, "' Blessed (μάκαρ), Strepsiades, are you, both for being so wise yourself and for having such a son as you have,' - thus will my friends and fellow-wardsmen say, in admiration of me (ζηλοῦντες)." Probably this is the sense in which the apostle uses the verb in 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ζηλῶ γὰρ ὑμᾶς Θεοῦ ζηκῷ, "I rejoice in your felicity with an infinite joy;" referring to the intense admiration which he felt of their present felicity, in their having been betrothed a chaste maiden to Christ; not till the next verse introducing the mention of his fear lest this paradisaical happiness might be darkened by the wiles of Satan. It is in a modified shade of the same sense that the word is employee - where it is rendered "covet earnestly" in our Authorized Version in 1 Corinthians 12:31; 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39. In the passage now. before us, then, ζηκιῦσιν ὑμᾶς probably means "they admire you," that is, they tell you so. They were expressing strong admiration of the high Christian character and eminent gifts of these simple-minded believers; the charisms which had been bestowed upon them (Galatians 3:2); their virtues, in contrast especially with their heathen neighbours; their spiritual enlightenment. No doubt all this was said with the view of courting their favour; but ζηλοῦτε can hardly itself mean "court favour," and no instance of its occurring in this sense has been adduced; and this rendering of the verb breaks down utterly in ver. 18. The persons referred to must, of course, be understood as those who were busy in instilling at once Judaizing sentiments and also feelings of antipathy to the apostle himself, as if he were their enemy (ver. 16). The Epistle furnishes no indication whatever that these persons were strangers coming among them from without, answering, for example, to those spoken of in Galatians 2:12 as disturbing the Antiochian Church. It is quite supposable that the warning which, not long after the writing of this Epistle, the apostle addressed to the Ephesian elders at Miletus (Acts 20:29, 30), when putting them on their guard against those who "from among their own selves should rise up speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them," was founded in part upon this experience of his in the Galatian Churches. Galatian Churchmen it may well have been, and no other, who now (as the apostle had just been apprised) were employing that χρηστολογία καὶ εὐλογία, that "kind suave speech" and that "speech of compliment and laudation," which in Romans 16:18 he describes as a favourite device of this class of deceivers, to win the ear of their unwary brethren. "In no good way;" for they did it insincerely and with the purpose of drawing them into courses which, though these men themselves knew it not, were nevertheless fraught with ruin to their spiritual welfare. Yea, they would exclude you; or, us (ἀλλὰ ἐκκλεῖσαι ὑμᾶς θέλουσιν); nay, rather, to shut you out is their wish. The reading "us," noticed in the margin of the Authorized Version, is probably a merely conjectural emendation made in the Greek text by Beza, wholly unsupported by manuscript authority. The ἀλλὰ is adversative to the οὐ καλῶς, the secondary thought of the preceding clause, in the same way as the ἀλλὰ in 1 Corinthians 2:7 is adversative to the secondary negative clauses of ver. 6. The verb "shut out," with no determinative qualification annexed, must have it supplied from the unexpressed ground for the "admiration" denoted by the verb ζηλοῦσιν. The high eminence of spiritual condition and happiness on the possession of which these men were congratulating their brethren, they would be certainly excluded from if they listened to them. Compare the phrase, "who are unsettling you," driving you out of house and home, in ch. 5:12, where see note. That ye might affect them (ἵνα αὐτοὺς ζηλοῦτε); that ye may admire themselves. The position of αὐτοὺς makes it emphatic. We may paraphrase thus: that, being detached from regard to my teaching, and made to feel a certain grave deficiency on your own part in respect to acceptableness with God, ye may be led to look up as disciples to these kind-hearted sympathetic advisers for instruction and guidance. The construction of ἵνα with ζηλοῦτε, which in ordinary Greek is the present indicative, ζηλῶτε being the form for the present subjunctive, is precisely similar to that of ἵνα μὴ with φυσιοῦσθε in 1 Corinthians 4:6. When it is considered how punctually St. Paul is wont to comply with the syntactical rule with reference to ἵνα, and that these two remarkable deflections therefrom are connected with contract forms of verbs in -όω, Ruckert's suggestion seems to be perfectly reasonable, that the solecism lies, not in the syntactical construction, but in the grammatical in flexion, contracting -όη into -οῦ instead of into-ῶ. This form of contraction may have been a provincialism of Tarsus, or it may have been an idiotism of St. Paul himself. Other expedients of explanation which have been proposed are intolerably harsh and improbable.
But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
Verse 18. - But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you (καλὸν δὲ ζηλοῦσθαι, [Receptus, τὸ ζηλοῦσθαι] ἐν καλῷ παντότε καὶ μὴ μόνον ἐν τῷ παρεῖναί με πρὸς ὑμᾶς); but good it is to be admired, in what is good, at all times and not only when I am present with you. That is, but as to being admired and felicitated, the good kind of admiring felicitation is that which, being tendered on a good account, is enjoyed at all times, and not only, my little children, when 1 am with you, as on that first occasion when you were so full of mutual felicitation and joy in the newly found sense of God's adoption and love in Christ Jesus. In signification, this ζηλοῦσθαι, to be admired, is equivalent to μακαρίζεσθαι, to be congratulated, and was illustrated in the first note on ver. 17, especially by the reference to Aristophanes, 'Nubes,' 1188. Ζηλοῦσθαι ἐν τῷ παρεῖναι με πρὸς ὑμας, "to be objects of admiration when I am present with you," is manifestly a recital of the μακαρισμὸς ὑμῶν, "the gratulation of yourselves," of ver. 15. The vivid remembrance of the simple-hearted joy and frank sympathy with each other's happiness of those days comes back to the apostle's mind with fresh force, after his brief mention and rebuke of the false-hearted gratulations and compliments by which they were now in danger of being ensnared. With a gentle reprehension of their levity, in that they were now bartering that former well-founded happiness for this later poor gratification of being recipients of mere false flattery, he yearns to bring them back to what they were so senselessly casting away, and that they should hold it fast, a stable joy, whether he was with them or not. This would be the case if "Christ were truly formed in them." The phrase, ἐν καλῷ, "in what is good," is similar to ἐν κρυπτῷ (John 7:4); ὁ ἐν τῷ φανερῷ ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ Ἰουδαῖος (Romans 2:28, 29). The sphere in which this admiring felicitation acts must be "what is good;" here that highest good which these Galatians were in danger of losing, if, indeed, they possessed it - being, and knowing themselves to be, sons of God. It is a doubtful point whether ver. 19 should be conjoined with this present verse, with a colon between vers. 19 and 20, and a comma only at the end of ver. 18; or whether the sentences should be separated as they appear in our Authorized Version. But at all events, the earnest, anxious, tender affectionateness which, as it were, wrings the apostle's heart in writing ver. 19, is to be felt already working in his soul in the writing of this eighteenth verse. The sense above given to the verb ζηλοῦν, though disallowed by Alford and Bishops Ellicott and Lightfoot, appears to be that recognized by the Greek commentators Chrysostom and Theophylact.
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Verse 19. - My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (τεκνία μου [or, τέκνα μου] οὔς πάλιν ὠδίνω ἄρχις οῦ μορφωθῇ Ξριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν); my little children (or, my children) of whom I am again in travail, until Christ be formed in you. It has been above remarked to be doubtful whether this verse should be conjoined with the preceding verse or with that which follows. The objection to the latter arrangement, presented by the δὲ at the commencement of ver. 20, is thought by many to be obviated by a number of instances which have been alleged in which this conjunction is used with a sentence following a vocative compellation (see Alford, Ellicott). But such cases appear marked by a tone of vivacity and surprise which is not present here. On the other hand, the tone of loving affectionate anxiety breathing in this verse links it more closely with the preceding than with the following one, in which such pathos is no longer discernible, but is replaced by a deliberative attitude of mind. The word τεκνία occurs as a compellation here only in St. Paul's writings, though repeatedly in St. John's Epistle and once in his Gospel (John 13:33), where it appears as used by our Lord in an access of deeply moved affectionate-ness. St. Paul addresses Timothy as "his child" (τέκνον) in 2 Timothy 2:1 and 1 Timothy 1:18, not only as a term of endearment, but as denoting also his having been spiritually begotten by him (comp. Philemon 1:10; 1 Corinthians 4:15). Here the like sense attaches to the word, as is clear from the following clause, "of whom I am again in travail;" but the diminutive form of the noun, agreeing well with the notion of a child at its birth, combines in this case apparently a tender allusion also to the extremely immature character of their Christian discipleship .(compare "babes (νήπιοι) in Christ," 1 Corinthians 3:1) - so immature, in fact, that the apostle is travailing of them afresh, as if not yet born at all. This particular shade of meaning, however, must be sacrificed, if we accept the reading τέκνα μου, "my children," which is highly authenticated. The verb ὠδίνω cannot be understood as pointing to gestation merely; it can only denote the pangs of parturition. The apostle by this figure describes himself as at this hour in an anguish of desire to bring the souls of his converts both to a complete state of sonship in Christ Jesus, and to a complete consciousness of that state - now at length bring them thereto, though that former travail had seemingly been in vain. In 1 Corinthians 4:15 and Philemon 1:10 he refers to himself as a spiritual father of his converts, and this too with touching pathos. Great is the pathos too of his reference to himself as, in his fostering care of his Thessalonian converts, like a tender "nursing mother cherishing her own children," and also as of a "father" of them (1 Thessalonians 2:7, 11). But neither of those passages equals the present in the expression of intense, even anguished, longing to effect, if only he might be able to effect it, a real transformation in the spiritual character of these Galatian converts. "Until" - I cannot rest till then! - "Christ be formed in you." The verb μορφόω, form, occurs only here in the New Testament in its uncompounded shape. A passage is cited from 'Const. Apost.,' 4:7, in which it occurs in the phrase, "formed man in the womb." In the Septuagint of Exodus 21:22 we have ἐξεικονισμένον of the unborn infant. It certainly seems as if the apostle used the word as one belonging to the same region of thought as the ὠδίνω, but, with the like bold and plastic touch as elsewhere characterizes his use of imagery, refusing to be tied to thorough-going consisteney in its application. Compare for example 2 Corinthians 3:2. When the hour of ὠδῖνες is come, the period of the" formation" of the babe has expired. Further, as showing the freedom of the writer's use of imagery, the easiest way of taking ἐν ὑμῖν is to suppose that "Christ" is here viewed as "within" them, and not as a likeness to which they are to be conformed: camp. Galatians 2:22, "Christ liveth in me;" and Colossians 1:27, where the "mystery" of the gospel is summed up in the words, "Christ in you the hope of glory." He cannot rest, he means, till the image, thought, of Christ as the Object of their sole and absolute trust, as the complete ground of their acceptance with God and their sonship, shall be perfectly and abidingly formed in their hearts. The hour in which a perfectly formed "Christ," that fair' Divine Child of joy and hope, has come to be there, in their hearts, will be the hour in which the apostle's travailing pangs have issued in their birth. No doubt the apostle is writing to persons baptized into Christ and thus clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27); persons, in the language of the Church, "born again." But however straitly we choose to be restrained in the use of such images, solidifying into rigid dogma similitudes used for such passing illustration as the occasion of the moment requires, the sacred writers themselves recognize no such restriction. As Chrysostom observes in his 'Commentary,' the apostle's language in effect is, "Ye need a fresh new-birth, a fresh remoulding (ἀναγεννήσεως ἑτέρας ὑμῖν δεῖ καὶ ἀναπλάσεως)." Baptized into Christ as those Galatians were, they were, however, in his view no true sons of God, until Christ had been really formed in their hearts.
I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
Verse 20. - I desire to be present with you now (ἤθελον δὲ παρεῖναι πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἄρτι); I could wish to be present with you this very hour. The δὲ marks here simply a transition to another thought, and, as is not unfrequently the case, and as our Authorized Version assumes, needs not to be represented in translation at all. Bishop Lightfoot writes, "But, speaking of my presence, I would I had been present," etc. But this explanation is not necessary. The imperfect verb ἤθελον, like the ἐβουλόμην of Acts 25:22 and the ηὐχόμην of Romans 9:3, denotes a movement as it were which had just been stirring in the mind, but which for good reasons is now withdrawn: "I could almost wish - but long distance and pressure of other duties make it impossible." Thus much in explanation of the withdrawal of the wish. The wish itself was occasioned by the feeling that the yearning desire of his soul might perhaps be more likely to be achieved if, by being on the spot, he were enabled to adapt his treatment to a more distinct consciousness of the circumstances than he can possibly now have. "To be present with you;" the very words are repeated from ver. 18. It was well both with you and with me when I was with you: would that I could be with van now I (On ἄρτι,," this very hour," see note on ch. 1:9.) And to change my voice (καὶ ἀλλάξαι τὴν φωνήν μου). The tense of the infinitive ἀλλάξαι hardly allows us to take the word as meaning "from moment to moment according to the rapidly varying emergencies." This would have been expressed rather by ἀλλάσσειν. The question then arises - Change: from what to what? to which a great variety of answers have been proposed. The clue is probably supplied in the words, "be present with you this very hour." This ἄρτι, contrasting as it does the very present with the former occasions on which the apostle had been with them, suggests that he meant that the tone of his utterance would need to be different if amongst them just now from what it had then been. Then, it was the simple, un-anxious, joyous, exposition of the blessed gospel, untrammelled by fear of being misunderstood; such a way of speaking as one would be naturally drawn on to pursue who found himself addressing those whom he could confide in, and who were disposed frankly and lovingly, with an honest and good heart, to drink in from his lips the simple faith. Perhaps he might now find it necessary to replace that mode of utterance by guarded words, by stern reasoning, by the refuting of wilful misconceptions, by exposing and abashing cavil and objection. For I stand in doubt of you; or, I am perplexed for you (ἀποροῦμαι γὰρ ἐν ὑμῖν); I am perplexed about you. Compare Θαῥῤῶ ἐν ὑμῖν, "I am in good courage concerning you" (2 Corinthians 7:16). As "in" the Corinthians the apostle found ground for good courage, so "in" the Galatians he found ground for perplexity. This explains his wishing that he were with them. He would in that case be less unable to clearly understand their state of mind.
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Verse 21. - Tell me, ye that desire to be under the Law (λέγετέ μοι οἱ ὑπὸ νόμον θέλοντες εϊναι). After the outburst of affectionate earnestness expressed in the last four verses, the apostle seems to have paused, reflecting in what way he could the most effectually convince these Galatian legalists of their error. At length, a consideration occurs to him, which he impetuously so to speak hastens to abruptly sot before them. He has before (Galatians 3:29) shown to the Galatian believers that they were "Abraham's seed." He now means to show that, as children of Abraham through faith in Christ, they stood on a far higher footing than the children of the Sinai covenant did - a position which, by subjecting themselves afresh to the Law, they would forego. The verb "desire" (θέλοντες), as here introduced, intimates that this aspiration of theirs was a mere freak of self-will, there being nothing in the circumstances to prompt it. So in ver. 9, "Ye desire to be in bondage." In consequence of there being no article with νόμον, some would render ὑπὸ νόμον "under Law," that is, Law viewed in genere, as in Romans 4:15. But the whole scope of the Epistle resists this view. The apostle's contention with the Galatian perverters of the truth is not concerning Christians being subject to Law absolutely, but concerning their being subject to a Law of outward ceremonial observance; that is, to the Law of Moses; for there was no other system of positive ordinances by which, as of Divine authority, they could imagine themselves to be bound. The noun νόμος is used without the article, like other monadic nouns with an understood specific reference (for examples, Θεός, Κύριος Ξριστός Πνεῦμα διάβολος κόσμος); as it is also Romans 2:23; Romans 3:31; Romans 4:13, 14; Romans 5:13; 1 Corinthians 9:20; Galatians 2:21; Galatians 4:5; Philippians 3:5, 6. Do ye not hear the Law? (to\n no/mon οὐκ ἀκούετε;); to that Law give ye no heed? The article is here prefixed to νόμον to make the repetition of the noun the more telling; just as it is in Romans 2:23, Ος ἐν νόμῳ καυχᾶσαι διὰ τῆς παραβάσεως τοῦ νόμου τὸν Θεὸν ἀτιμάζεις; The verb ἀκούετε, hear, like our "listen to," means "take to heart what it says;" as in Matthew 10:14; Luke 16:29, 31. There is no reason for attributing to the verb such a sense of listening to an oral utterance as should warrant us in supposing, that the apostle is thinking in particular of the Galatian Christians as in the habit of "hearing" the Pentateuch and ether Old Testament Scriptures read, whether in Jewish synagogues (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:14, 15; Acts 15:21) or in Christian assemblages. That such Scriptures in the Septuagint Version were customarily read aloud when Christians assembled for united worship, especially in the absence or dearth of other inspired writings, is more than probable: we know from Justin Martyr ('Apol.,' 1. p. 83) that such was the custom from Sunday to Sunday in his days, when there were ἀποστολικὰ ὑπμνημονεύματα also available for such use. Moreover, the existence of such a custom helps us to understand how it was that the apostle could here, as in Romans 7:1, presuppose with Christian believers an acquaintance with the contents of the Pentateuch. But we require more here than the thought, "Are ye not wont to hear the Law read?" It is rather an acquaintance with its contents, and taking due account of them, that he demands of his readers. Some uncial manuscripts have ἀναγινώσκετε, read, instead of ἀκούετε. This reading of the text would only imply, not without a touch of sarcasm, the sense which the more accredited reading, ἀκούετε, may be understood as directly denoting. The use of the word "Law" to denote at once the system of Mosaic legislation and the historical record in which it is embedded, is remarkable. The Jews were accustomed to designate the Pentateuch by this term (comp. Matthew 5:17; Luke 16:16; Luke 24:44); and whoever would fain subject themselves to the positive enactments of the Mosaic Law as possessing Divine authority, would of course feel themselves bound also to accept the teaching of the historical record as clothed with the like authority. The apostle himself also accepted both as alike coming from God; only he required that the Divine purpose in both should be clearly understood and be suitably complied with.
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Verse 22 - For it is written (γέγραπται γάρ); for the Scripture saith. The phrase does not here, as it does usually, introduce the citation of a text, but prefaces a brief summary of facts; these facts being recited in words gathered out of the Septuagint Version of Genesis 16. and 21, in much the same way as the story of Melchisedec is sketched in Hebrews 7:1-4. That Abraham had two sons (ὅτι Ἀβραὰμ δύο υἱοὺς ἔσχεν); that Abraham had gotten two sons; for ἔσχεν is not exactly equivalent to εϊχεν. Attention has been drawn to other sons born of Keturah (Genesis 25:1, 2), who both in ancient and in modern days (see Windisch-mann) have been very plausibly interpreted as analogously pointing forward allegorically to those heretical bodies, now vanished, which threatened such danger to the Church in the first centuries. But the apostle's concern here is exclusively with the posture of affairs subsisting at the time of Hagar's and Ishmael's expulsion from the patriarch's family, quoted in ver. 30 from Genesis 21. Even if he had seen fit by allegorical exposition to apply Scripture to those dire forms of utterly perverted Christianity, which he certainly did look forward to as about to arise, it is very questionable whether he would have conceded to them so venerable a parentage as having Abraham for their forefather. Mosaism in its place was a thing of Divine origin, even as Christianity itself was, both of them "covenants" of God; not so the monstrous forms of Gnostic and Manichean teaching which horrified the primitive Church. In fact, typology, that is to say, the interpretation of Old Testament Scripture as bearing a designed allegorical sense, requires very cautious handling. The tracing of analogies is an interesting and pleasing exercise of theological ingenuity; but it is one thing to trace a parallelism, and a quite different thing to detect a latent predictive sense intended by the Holy Spirit. The one by a bondmaid (e%na e)k th = paidi/skh); one by the handmaid; the expression pointing to the individual mother known from the sacred history. The word παιδίσκη in classical Greek means a girl either slave or free. In the Septuagint it is generally a slave (not, however, in Ruth 4:12, where it renders the Hebrew na'arah); in the New Testament it is always a maidservant. St. Paul borrows the word from the Septuagint of Genesis 15. and 21, where it renders the Hebrew shiphehah. Hagar was the personal property of Sarah. The other by a freewoman (καὶ ἕνα ἐκ τῆς ἐλευθέρας); and one by the freewoman. The word "freewoman" is never applied to Sarah in the story in Genesis; not even in the passage freely quoted in ver. 30; but it was an obviously true description, and with perfect fairness introduced in antithesis to Hagar. As applied to one holding so princessly a position in the story as Sarah, the idea of a freewoman stands coloured with a deep tincture of dignity.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Verse 23. - But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh (ἀλλ ὁ μὲν ἐκ τῆς παιδίσκης κατὰ σάρκα γεγέννηται); howbeit the son by the handmaid is shown as born (or, begotten) after the flesh. The ἀλλὰ is strongly adversative; both, indeed, were sons of Abraham, but there was a marked distinction in the way in which they severally came into being. The apostle has evidently in his eye the analogy presented by the natural birth of the Jewish descendants from Abraham, as contrasted with the birth of Abraham's spiritual seed through faith in the promises of the gospel. This point, however, he is content with merely, in vers. 28, 29, glancing at. His main point is the condition of both mother and child in each case, as being either both free or both in bondage. It is not clear whether the apostle by γεγέννηται meant "born" or "begotten," the verb being used in both senses: but neither is it material. The perfect tense of the verb either supposes us to be as it were present at the time of Ishmael's expulsion, in which case it would mean, "hath been born," or is used with reference to the record in the history, meaning in this case "appears in the story as having been born." So the perfect tense is used also in Hebrews 7:6, δεδεκάτωκε, εὐλόγηκε, and Hebrews 10:18, ἐγκεκαίνισται. "According to the flesh" does not precisely mean "in the common course of torture;" the word "flesh" rather contrasts the present visible sphere of human life with the invisible spiritual world, in much the same way as "flesh" is so often contrasted with "spirit." Ishmael was born "after the flesh," because he was born in the common course of nature; Isaac was born (ver. 28) "after the Spirit," because his birth was connected with the invisible spiritual world "through the promise," which on the one A hand was given by God the great Sovereign of the spiritual world, and on the other was laid hold of and made effectual in that same world of spiritual action by Abraham's and Sarah's faith. But he of the freewoman was by promise (ὁ δὲ ἐκ τῆς ἐλευθέρας δὶ [Receptus, διὰ τῆς] ἐπαγγελίας); but the son by the freewoman through a promise (or, through the promise). If the article before ἐπαγγελίας be retained, it is to be taken as pointing to the well-known promise made by the Lord to Abraham, both in the night in which God made a covenant with him (Genesis 15.). and afresh, in a more definite form, on the eve of the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 18.). This promise was the means of Isaac's being born, calling forth as it did an acting of faith in God, both in Abraham (Romans 4:17-21), and likewise in Sarah (Hebrews 11:11), in consideration of which the Almighty beyond the course of nature gave them this child.
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Verse 24. - Which things are an allegory (ἅτινά ἐστιν ἀλληγορούμενα); which things are written (or, expounded) with a further meaning. The relative ἅτινα, as distinguished from ἅ, probably means "which facts, being of this description, are," etc., or, "things, which are of such a sort that they are," etc. (comp. Colossians 2:23 in the Greek). The apostle, perhaps, intimates that the particulars just recited by him belong to a class of objects distinguished among other objects presented to us in the Old Testament by having a further sense than the literal historical one; the literal historical sense, however, by no means being thereby superseded. Comp. 1 Corinthians 10:11, "Now these things happened unto them (τύποι, or τυπικῶς) as figures [or, 'by way of figure ']." The verb ἀλληγορεῖν, is shown by lexicons, Liddell and Scott's and others, to mean, either to speak a thing allegorically or to expound a thing as allegorical. Bishops Ellicott and Lightfoot furnish passages illustrative of both meanings, particularly of the second; and the latter adds the observation that it is possible that the apostle uses the verb here in the sense of being allegorically expounded, "referring to some recognized mode of interpretation." St. Paul did at times refer to authority extrinsical to his own (Ephesians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 11:16; 1 Corinthians 15:11). But whichever of the two possible senses of the verb ἀλληγορεῖσθαι was the one here intended by the apostle, there is no improbability in the supposition that not now for the first time was the narrative of Hagar and Ishmael thus applied: it is quite supposable, for instance, that it had been so applied at Antioch, in the animated discussions in which Paul, Barnabas, and Silas encountered the Judaists in that Church. At all events, it is not merely supposable, but in a high degree probable, that at least some of the historical personages, institutions, and events of the Old Testament Scriptures were wont to be allegorically treated by leaders of Christian thought of the highest authority. We cannot acquiesce in the position adopted by some critics, that such allegorizing is to be relegated to the region of mere Jewish rabbinism, now to be regarded as exploded. And we need not here insist upon the consideration that a rabbinical origin would constitute no valid objection to our acceptance of such allegorizing treatment of Scripture, because that the results of rabbinical exegesis and of rabbinical investigations in theology were in many cases of the highest value - a fact which those who are acquainted, for example, with Professor Reuss's 'Histoire de la Theologie Cbretienne' will not be disposed to question. For we resist the attempt to thrust us back upon the schools of the rabbins, as if it were from them only that St. Paul derived this allegorical method of Scripture exposition. Those schools may have made him acquainted with it, it is true; but altogether independently of rabbinical instruction, the leading teachers of the Church, even before Paul's conversion, "unlearned men," ιδιῶται, as the rabbinists regarded them, had, as we cannot doubt, learnt thus to apply Scripture in the school of Jesus. Christ himself, not only before his passion, but also, and we may believe with greater definiteness and particularity, after his resurrection (Luke 24:27, 45; Acts 1:3), had imparted to his apostles and other disciples some expositions of historical facts of the Old Testament, which must have been of this description, and which would suggest the legitimate application of the same method in other analogous instances. And those men were not only disciples, pupils of Jesus, but were likewise especial, though not the exclusive, organs of the Holy Spirit's teaching in the Church (John 16:12-15; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 4:11). Particular allegorical expositions, therefore, received amongst those apostles and prophets of Christ, came clothed with the highest authority, emanating as they well might have done from Christ's own oral teaching, or from an immediate special leading of his Spirit. And, further, we feel ourselves entitled to believe that the supreme Revealer of spiritual truth to mankind might well think fit to appoint, not only words or ceremonial institutions as means of imparting religious instruction or of prophetical indication, but historical incidents as well; not merely so ordering the manner in which his inspired organs framed their narratives of certain occurrences as to make those narratives prophetical, but also in his disposal of human affairs so ordering the occurrences themselves as that they should be prophetical; furnishing (so to speak) tableaux vivants, in which the faith of his servants should read, ff not spiritual facts which were as yet future, at least spiritual facts after they had come to pass, the prophetical adumbration of which, now recognized by them, would serve to confirm their belief in them and their comprehension of them. The fact that Christ repeatedly and most pointedly referred to the strange experiences of Jonah as prophetical of his own passion and resurrection proves to a certainty that events might be predictive as well as utterances of prophets. Our Lord's use of the story of the brazen serpent, of the gift of manna, and of the Passover (Luke 22:16) points in the same direction. We have also apostolical guidance in construing the Passover, the Exodus, the story of Melehiscdec, Abraham's offering up of his son, the yearly Fast of the Atonement, as legitimately subject to similar treatment. Since the old economy with its histories and its ordinances originated from the same Divine Author as the new, it is no unreasonable belief that in the things of preparatory dispensations he had set foreshadowings, and in no scant number, of those great things in the spiritual economy which from "eternal ages" had been his thoughts towards us, and in which the whole progress of human history was to find its consummation. In the apostle's discussion of his subject there are in part distinctly specified, in part merely indicated, a great variety of contrasts; these the reader will find presented by Bengel in his 'Gnomon' in a tabulated form with great distinctness. For these are the two covenants; or, testaments (αῦται γάρ εἰσι δύο [Receptus, εἰσιν αἱ δύο] διαθῆκαι); for these women are two covenants. The Textus Receptus has αἱ δύο διαθῆκαι. but the article is expunged by all recent editors. What the apostle means is this: the circumstance that Abraham had two wives pointed to the fact that there were to be, not one covenant only, but two. He has previously (Galatians 3:15, 17) spoken of "the promise" as a covenant; while also this term was already a familiar designation of the economy which God appointed to the natural "seed of Abraham." Compare also Jeremiah's mention of these two "covenants" (Jeremiah 31:31). For the use of the verb "are," comp. Matthew 13:37-39; Revelation 1:20. A is B, and B is A, in the characteristics which they have in common. The one from the Mount Sinai (μία μὲν ἀπὸ ὄρους Σινᾶ); one from Mount Sinai. The μία δὲ, or, ἡ δευτέρα, which should have followed to make the sequel of the sentence conformable with its commencement, is, in form, wanting, having in the framing of the sentence got lost sight of, through the parenthesis introduced immediately after this clause to illustrate its bearing; for the words ἡ δὲ ἄνω Ἱερουσαλὴμ of ver. 26 only in substance furnish the apodosis to this protasis, being themselves evolved out of what immediately precedes them. The covenant which is our mother is styled, in Ver. 28,"promise." Windischmann proposes for a formally corresponding apodosis something of this sort: Ἡ δὲ δευτέρα ἀπ οὐρανοῦ (or, ἄνωθεν), εἰς ἐλευθερίαν γεννῶσα, ἥτις ἐστὶ Σάῥῤα συστοιχεῖ δὲ τῇ ἄνω Ἱερουσαλήμ η} ἐλευθέρα ἐστὶ μετὰ τῶν τέκνων αὐτῆς τούτεστιν ἡμῶν (or, οἵτινές ἐσμεν ἡμεῖς). "From Mount Sinai;" being promulgated from Mount Sinai, it takes its being therefrom. Which gendereth to bondage (εἰς δουλείαν γεννῶσα); bearing children unto bondage Those subject to a covenant are regarded as its offspring; as Acts 3:35, "Ye are the children... of the covenant," etc.: their lives are moulded by its direction; they come under the promises, or the discipline, assured by its terms; in short, they owe to it their spiritual condition. The apostle assumes it to be a manifest fact, having before repeatedly asserted it, that those under the Law are in a condition of servitude. Which is Hagar (ἥτις ἐστὶν Ἄγαρ); which is Hagar. The meaning of ἥτις here is, "which being such in character as it is, is Hagar." This covenant, with its children, being wrapped in an element of slavery, is kindred in character with Hagar and her offspring. It is objected that Ishmael was not, in fact, a slave. But as Hagar does not appear to have been a recognized concubine of Abraham, in the same way as Bilhah and Zilpah were concubines of Jacob, but still continued to be Sarah's handmaid ("thy maid," Genesis 16:6), her child was, of course, born into the same condition. With Sarah's consent, it is true, Abraham might, if he had thought fit, have adopted him as a child of his own; but this does not appear to have been done.
For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Verse 25. - For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia. This clause has been the subject of much conflicting opinion. The reading of the Greek text is itself much debated, and in the original authorities (manuscripts, versions, and Fathers) it appears in a great variety of forms. A detailed discussion of the latter point would be out of place here; and for the premisses from which the critical judgment is to be drawn, the reader is referred to Alford, and to a detached note which Bishop Lightfoot adds in his ' Commentary,' at the end of this fourth chapter. Only the main result needs to be stated. There are two forms of the text, between which the choice lies. One is that of the Textus Receptus, namely, Τὸ γὰρ Ἄγαρ Σινᾶ ὄρος ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ Ἀραβίᾳ," For the word Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia." This is maintained by Meyer, Alford, Ellicott, and San-day. The other, omitting the word Ἄγαρ, runs thus: Τὸ γὰρ Σινᾶ ὄρος ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ Ἀραβία, "For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia." This is accepted by Bentley, Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf (latterly), Bengel, De Wette, Windischmann, Howson, and Lightfoot. In respect to the original authorities, there is not generally thought to exist any great preponderance in the evidence for either the retention or the omission of the word "Hagar." The decision, therefore, depends chiefly upon a comparison of the internal probabilities. In order to this, we must gain as clear a view as we can of the meaning of the above two readings. That of the Textus Receptus, Τὸ γὰρ Ἄγαρ Σινᾶ ὄρος ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ Ἀραβίᾳ, according to Chrysostom, as well as modern critics, means this: "For the word Hagar is [represents] in Arabia Mount Sinai." Chrysostom remarks, "Hagar is the word for Mount Sinai in the language of that country; "and again, "That mountain where the old covenant was delivered, hath a name in common with the bondwoman." Critics make reference to Galatians 1:17, "I went away into Arabia." "It is difficult," says Dean Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 50." to resist the thought that he [St. Paul] too may have stood upon the rocks of Sinai, and heard from Arab lips the often-repeated Ha jar, rock, suggesting the double meaning to which the text alludes." But the Arabic word for "rock" is chajar, differing from Hajar, the Arabic form of the bondwoman's name, by having eheth for its initial letter instead of he. Further, the Arabs would have used the word only as a common noun, "rock," and not as a proper noun, the name of the mountain. St. Paul could not have mistaken the one for the other. There is no evidence at all to substantiate Chrysostom's assertion that the Arabs did name the mountain Hagar; he apparently thought so only because the apostle seemed to him to affirm it. See Lightfoot further on this point. Moreover, the sentence, "The word Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia," is not what St. Paul would have written to express this idea; either, instead of "in Arabia" he would have written "in the language of the country;" or else, "for the Mount Sinai is called Hagar in Arabia." Another objection to this reading is the order in which the words Σινᾶ and ὄρος stand. Elsewhere where the words are conjoined the order is, as in ver. 24, ὄρος Σινᾶ. The passages are these: Exodus 19:18, 20; 24:26; 31:18; 34:2; Nehemiah 9:13; Acts 7:30. The reversal of the order here indicates that Σινᾶ is the subject, and ὄρος belongs to the predicate; that is, that Ἄγαρ must be expunged from the text, and that we adopt the other reading, Τὸ γὰρ Σινᾶ ὄρος ἐστὶν ἐν τῇ Ἀραβίᾳ, "For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia," the well-known land of Hagar and her descendants; Genesis 16:7; Genesis 21:21; Genesis 25:18 (see Mr. Peele's articles on "Hagar" and "Shur" in the 'Dictionary of the Bible'). The article is prefixed to Σινᾶ as having been already just mentioned; as if it were "for this Sina is," etc. The purpose of the clause, however it be read, is plainly to make more colourable the allegorical exposition; it explains why the locality of the giving of the Law has been referred to in the words, "one, from Mount Sinai" - a local specification quite alien to the apostle's usual manner in referring to the old covenant, and only had recourse to here for this particular object. And answereth to (or, is in the same rank with) Jerusalem which now is (συστοιχεῖ δὲ τῇ νῦν Ἱερουσαλήμ); and standeth in the same class (literally, in the same column) with the Jerusalem that now is. The use of the verb συστοιχεῖν the reader will find amply illustrated in Liddell and Scott's 'Lexicon.' In the military language of Greece, illustrated out of Polybius, οἱ συστοιχοῦντες were those standing in the same file or column, one behind another (as οἱ συζυγοῦντες were those standing side by side in the same rank). Hence, as if tabulated on a board, ideas belonging to the same class, both types and antitypes, were conceived of as if placed in a vertical line in column, and so were called συστοιχοῦντες: whilst ideas belonging to a class contrasted with the former, both types and antitypes, were conceived of as placed horizontally opposite to the former in another column; the two sets of contrasted ideas being ἀντίστοιχα to each other. Thus in the present instance we have two columns -
Hagar, slave mother; — Sarah, freewoman.
Ishmael, slave child; — Believers, free children.
Covenant from Sinai; — Promise.
Jerusalem that now is; etc. — Jerusalem that is above; etc. (Compare Erasmus's note in Peele's 'Synopsis.') It is not improbable, as Bishop Lightfoot observes, that St. Paul is alluding to some mode of representation common with Jewish teachers employed to exhibit similar allegories (see Bengel's note above referred to). We may, therefore, conclude that the subject of the verb συστοιχεῖ, whatever it is, is regarded by the apostle as standing in the same category with the now subsisting Jerusalem, especially in the particular respect which he presently insists upon; namely, as being characterized by slavery. For this is the main point of this whole allegorical illustration; that Judaism is slavery and the Christian state liberty. It is not clear whether the subject of this verb, "standeth in the same column with," is "the covenant from Mount Sinai," or "Hagar," or "Sinai." If either of the two former, then the first clause of this verse is a parenthesis. The construction runs the most smoothly by adopting the third view, which takes" Sinai" as the subject. Sinai, that gave forth the covenant which is represented by Hagar, "stands in the same column" with "the Jerusalem that now is;" for Sinai is the starting-place of the covenant which has now its central abode in Jerusalem; the people that was there is now here; and the condition of slavery into which Sinai's covenant brought them marks them now at Jerusalem. And is in bondage with her children (δουλεύει γὰρ [Receptus, δουλεύει δὲ] μετὰ τῶν τέκνων αὐτῆς); for she is in bondage with her children. The reading γὰρ is substituted for δὲ by the editors with general consent. That the subject of the verb "is in bondage" is "the Jerusalem that now is," is apparent from the contrasted sentence which next follows, "but the Jerusalem that is above is free." "With her children;" repeatedly did our Lord group Jerusalem with" her children "(Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:35; Luke 19:44), having, however, in view the city itself with its inhabitants; while St. Paul probably regards Jerusalem more in idea, as representing Judaism in its central manifestation; "her children" being consequently these who were living under the Law. The apostle here assumes that this mystical Jerusalem with her children was in bondage, making the fact a ground for identifying her with Hagar. That the fact was so St. Paul knew, both from his own experience and from his observation of others. The religious life of Judaism consisted of a servile obedience to a letter Law of ceremonialism, interpreted by the rabbins with an infinity of hair-splitting rules, the exact observance of which was bound upon the conscience of its votaries as of the essence of true piety. The apostle also probably took account of the slavish spirit which very largely characterized the religious teaching of the ruling doctors of Judaism; their bondage, that is, not only to the letter of the Law, but to the traditions also of men; that spirit which those who heard the teaching of the Lord Jesus felt to be so strongly contrasted by his manner of conceiving and presenting religious truth. "He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes." But the main point now contemplated by the apostle was bondage to ceremonialism.
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Verse 26. - But Jerusalem which is above is free (ἡ δὲ ἄνω Ἱερουσαλήμ ἐλευθέρα ἐστίν); but the Jerusalem that is above is free. The mystic Jerusalem in which Christ reigns, the Son of David, who is at the right hand of God. For the word "above," ἄνω, comp. Colossians 3:1, 2, "Seek the things that are above (τὰ ἄνω) where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God: set your mind on the things that are above; your life is hid with Christ in God;" and Philippians 3:20, "Our citizenship (πολίτευμα) is in heaven." This is identical with the "heavenly Jerusalem" of Hebrews 12:22, which, standing in contrast with the "mount that might be touched and that burned with fire," Sinai with its soul-crushing terrors, appears associated with the pacifying blood of Jesus, and with communion with all that is holiest and most glorious. The essential identity of the contrast in the two passages, which are mutually illustrative, bespeaks a common origin in one and the same mind. The supernal Jerusalem is not chiefly contrasted with the Jerusalem "that now is," in point of time: she is not the future only, though in the future to be manifested - the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down (as St. John writes) from God out of heaven (Revelation 21:2); but she is there now, with God. It would be in harmony with St. Paul's representation to suppose that he conceives of her having been there with God in heaven of old, her citizens upon earth being the true servants of God in all ages. In former ages, however, she was comparatively barren; it needed that the enthronization of the God-Man, "the Mediator of the new covenant" (Hebrews 12:24), on "God's holy hill of Zion," should take place before she could become the prolific mother here shown to us. Commentators refer to rabbinical speculations relative to a Jerusalem which was conceived of as existing in heaven, as illustrated by Schottgen's 'Dissertatio de Hierosol. Caelesti' ('Hor. Hebr.,' vol. 1. diss. 5.), and also by Wetstein both here and on Revelation 21. It would be interesting if we could determine when those rabbinical speculations first arose, and how far it may be judged probable that they or some earlier form of them out of which these sprang suggested anything to St. Paul for the form in which he clothed his own conception of this idea; there may have been such. Meanwhile, we cannot but be struck by the purely ideal and spiritual character in which the apostle here exhibits his conception of it; though something like a terrene manifestation in the future seems indicated in Romans 8:21. "Is free;" the counterpart of Sarah, as mentioned in vers. 22, 23. That this Jerusalem is free, the apostle feels it needless to state; she to his very consciousness is the very home and bosom of God's love, having her very existence, as well as her outward-acting power, in his pervading, actuating Spirit. Bondage, constraint, there cannot be; for all volitions are there harmonized, absorbed, by the Spirit of love uniting her component elements both with each other and with God. Which is the mother of us all (ἥτις ἐστὶ μήτηρ ἡμῶν [Receptus, πάντων ἡμῶν]) which is our mother. Here again, as in ver. 24, ἥτις means "which, being such as she is, is our mother." We look at the Jerusalem that is above, and in her princely freedom we recognize what we her children are. The πάντων, which the Textus Receptus has before ἡμῶν, and which is by the general consent of critics rejected, is with much probability supposed to have come into the text by the copyist's recollection of the similar sentence in Romans 4:16, 17, Ἀβραάμ, ὅς ἐστι πατὴρ πάντων ἡμῶν. But πάντων, which there belongs to the essential thought of the context that God had made Abraham "the father of many nations," is unnecessary here, where the apostle is chiefly concerned with the freedom which characterizes the family of promise. If documentary evidence proved it to be genuine, it would find its justification in the notion of the fruitfulness which now at length, as the apostle presently shows, is given to the supernal Jerusalem.
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Verse 27. - For it is written (γέγραπται γάρ). The points indicated in the section of Isaiah (54.) referred to by the quotation which is made of the first verse, and which amply make good what the apostle has been stating and implying, are these: that a new economy was to appear; that by this economy a multitude of servants of God should be called into being; that this multitude should in numbers far surpass those called into being heretofore; that this economy, though newly manifested, had been in existence before, but comparatively unblest with offspring; that it was to be known as an economy of forgiving, adopting love, involving a principle of spiritual life and of spontaneous, no longer constrained and servile, obedience. We need not hesitate in asserting that the last-named features of the new economy were, in the apostle's view, included in the prediction he means to refer to, although not contained in those words of the prophet which he has expressly quoted. For it is one of the characteristics of a Jewish religious teacher's method of citing Scripture, noted by the learned Dr. Biesenthal, himself a Jew, in his 'Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews' ('Einleitung,' p. 54), that he is wont to omit in his express citation more or less of the passage referred to, leaving it to his hearer or reader to supply the omitted portions from his own knowledge, even when these are most material for the argument; as e.g. in Hebrews 6:13, 14, the" oath," fully recorded in Genesis 22:16, is not itself contained in the citation made by the writer. The above-named, then, we may assume to have been points which the apostle regarded as contained in the passage he refers to, because they are contained in the section of which the cited words are an integral portion. Whatever may be thought of the applicability, in a measure, of the prophet's language in the section alluded to, to the case of Israel restored from the Babylonian captivity, yet that such an application furnishes no complete explanation of its import is clear from the circumstance that this jubilant prophesying follows immediately upon the delineation in the preceding chapter of the sufferings of Christ - a delineation which ended with the intimation of the results which should follow in the triumph over mighty powers opposing the Sufferer, and in the work of justification which he would accomplish upon "many" (Isaiah 51:10-12). That the section was understood by our Lord to refer to the new economy which he was himself to introduce, is evidenced by his citing the words, "All thy children shall be taught of the Lord" (ver 13), as pointing to the spiritual illumination which should at the time referred to characterize the people of God universally, so universally that none would be numbered amongst God's true people, that is, amongst the disciples of his Son, who had not "heard from the Father" (John 6:45). We have, then, in this section of Isaiah a distinctly predictive description of a condition of spiritual well-being which was to result from Christ's mediation; that is, of the illumination, peace and joyful sense of God's love which then should be the "heritage of the servants of the Lord." This, construed in the apostle's imagery, connecting itself with that of the words which he expressly quotes, is the large multiplication of the children of the freewoman, bringing forth her offspring into a state of freedom and adoption in the great Father's family. The Greek rendering of the passage given by the apostle is identical with that of the Vatican text of the Septuagint. The Alexandrian text varies only in adding καὶ τέρπου, "and be glad," to the word βόησον, "cry." apparently to explain what kind of crying out was intended. Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not (εὐφράνθητι στεῖρα ἡ οὐ τίκτουσα). The Authorized Version as well as the Revised thus renders the Greek here; but in the original passage in Isaiah the former renders, "that didst not bear." the Hebrew having the preterite indicative; and similarly, the "travailest not" in the next clause here is "didst not travail" there. The participles, τίκτουσα and ὠδίνουσα, may be classed with τυφλὸς ὤν ἄρτι βλέπω in John 9:25, expressing the normal state as hitherto known, though just now subjected to a change. Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not (ῤῆξον καὶ βόησον ἡ οὺκ ὠδίνουσα); break forth and shout, thou that travailest not. But the Hebrew has "break forth into singing" instead of "break forth and shout;" and so m Isaiah 49:13; the word for "singing" denoting unarticulated cries of joy, as in Psalm 30:5, and often. The Hebrew word for "break forth" appears to mean "scream (for joy)," as in Isaiah 12:6, etc. For the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband (ὅτι πολλὰ τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐρήμου μᾶλλον η} τῆς ἐχούσης τὸν ἄνδρα); for more are the children of the desolate than of her which hath the husband. The word "desolate" represents the same Hebrew participle in 2 Samuel 13:20, where the Septuagint has χηρεύουσα, widowed. It points in the present case to the solitary and unhappy condition of a woman "forsaken by her husband" (comp. Isaiah 54:6). On the other hand, the words, τῆς ἐχούσης τὸν ἄνδρα, render the one Hebrew word be'ulah, the passive participle of the verb ba'al, cohabit with. Compare the use of this verb in Deuteronomy 24. I ("married her," Authorized Version; συνοικήσῃ αὐτῆ, Septuagint); Deuteronomy 21:13, "and be her husband." The words, therefore, denote her that had her husband living with her as such; "hath," as John 4:18; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 7:2. "The husband" is conceived of as belonging both to her and of right to the "desolate one." Perhaps τὸν ἄνδρα may be rendered "her husband." In the prophet's view, the "woman which had her husband" was the visible Israel, possessing the temple and the other tokens of the Lord's dwelling in her midst; the "desolate one" was the spiritual or the ideal Israel to be manifested in the future; for the present out of sight and seemingly in abeyance; but thereafter to he quickened into fertility by the inhabitation of the Lord (for he in the prophet's vision, ver. 5, is the Husband), revealed in his first suffering then glorified Servant as portrayed in the foregoing prophesying. So exactly do these two images correspond with "the Jerusalem that now is" and "the Jerusalem that is above," of the apostle's imagery, that his use of the prophet's words is plainly no mere accommodation to his purpose of language which was in reality alien to the subject, but is the citation of a passage regarded by him as strictly predictive, and therefore probative of the truth of his representation. The view of this prophecy of Isaiah found in Clemens Romanus, Ep. it., 'Ad Corinthians,' § 2, and in Justin Martyr, 'Apol.,' p. 88, which regards it as referring to the Gentile Church as contrasted with the Jewish, is plainly a misconception of its import: the rejoicing mother of the prophet, as well as the supernal Jerusalem of the apostle, knows of no distinction in her believing offspring, between Jew and Gentile, comprising both alike.
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Verse 28. - Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise (ἡμεῖς δέ, ἀδελφοί κατὰ Ἰσαακ ἐπαγγελίας τέκνα ἐσμέν [or, ὑμεῖς δέ... ἐστέ]); now we (or, now ye), brethren, after the mariner of Isaac, are children of promise. In the Greek text it is uncertain whether we should read ἡμεῖς... ἐσμέν or ὑμεῖς.., ἐστέ, "we are" or "ye are." The only difference is that "ye are" would more directly thrust upon the attention of the Galatians the conclusion, which "we are" would express in a more general form. "After the manner of Isaac;" κατὰ as in Ephesians 4:24, τὸν κατὰ Θεὸν κτισθέντα: 1 Peter 1:15, Κατὰ τὸν καλέσαντα: Lamentations 1:12, Septuagint, Ἄλγος κατὰ τὸ ἄλγος μοῦ. The apostle is viewing Isaac as in the manner of his being brought into being, the type, to which the children of the mystic freewoman were in after ages to be assimilated. In both cases the children are born or begotten through a promise which God of his own free grace hath given, and which, by an accepting faith, is appropriated and made effectual. Thus Isaac was born (see ver. 23 and Romans 9:8, 9). The children of the supernal Jerusalem are begotten through the gospel, which in effect is a promise of adoption through Christ to be children of God held out to all who will accept it. Obviously the cases differ in this - that in one it was the faith of the parents which made the promise effectual; in the other, the faith of those who in consequence of believing become children. But none the less is it true that the result is due to an announcement proceeding out of God's own free grace - "Not of works but of him that calleth" (Romans 9:7-13; comp. John 1:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 4:15; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23). The "promise" is not the parent of the children; this, in the imagery now present to the apostle's mind, is in the antitypal case the mystic Freewoman. The genitive "of promise" is a genitive of qualification, pointing here to the means through which the children are begotten. Compare a somewhat similarly loose use of the genitive in Romans 9:8, "Not the children of the flesh.., but the children of the promise." The case of baptized infants is not in the apostle's view.
But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Verse 29. - But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit (ἀλλ ὥσπερ τότε ὁ κατὰ σάρκα γεννηθεὶς ἐδίωκε τὸν κατὰ Πνεῦμα). (For the phrase, "after," or "according to, the Spirit," see note on ver. 23.) It must be conceded that the apostle somewhat strains the expression in applying it to the case of Isaac; but he does it for the purpose of exhibiting the manner of his birth as homogeneous with that of his antitypes; for these are they of whom it is the more characteristically true; for they are begotten through the Spirit's agency, into the Spirit's kingdom, to be to the uttermost perfected by the Spirit. The imperfect ἐδίωκε, was persecuting, points to the scene presented to our view in Genesis 21:9, in the midst of which intervenes the injunction," Cast out," etc.; or possibly the apostle regards what then took place as one among other incidents exhibiting the same animus on the part of Ishmael. We cannot doubt that St. Paul points to the word "mocking," which occurs in the passage referred to. At the feast held in honour of Isaac's being weaned, "Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking." The same Hebrew verb is used of insult and disrespect in Genesis 39:14, "He hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us;" so again ver. 17. The Septuagint, as we now have it, instead of "mocking," has παίζοντα μετὰ Ἰσαὰκ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτῆς, "at play with Isaac her son;" which would indicate no unkindness on Ishmael's part, but suggest the idea that Sarah's resentment was simply a movement of jealous feeling, roused by her seeing Ishmael assuming a position of equality with a child of hers. But the apostle disregards this interpretation, if indeed the words, "with Isaac her sons" had already then been interpolated into the passage. As those words are not in the Hebrew, the participles lacking any such explanatory adjunct, would fail of itself to express this idea. It is further rendered improbable by the disparity in age between the two lads; for Isaac, having been just weaned, would be only two or three years old, whilst Ishmael would be sixteen or seventeen. It is much more likely that Ishmael, having arrived at these years, participated in Hagar's feelings of jealousy and disappointment that this child should have come to supersede him in the position which, but for this, he might have held in the family; and that, on the occasion of this "great feast," by which the aged pair were celebrating their pious joy ever this "child of promise" as well as very markedly signalizing his peculiar position as Abraham's heir, the elder-born indulged himself in ill-natured and very possibly profane ridicule of the circumstances under which Isaac was born. Hagar's feelings towards her mistress had of old been those of upstart insubordination (Genesis 16:4). That both mother and son were very greatly in the wrong is evidenced by the sanction which Heaven accorded to the punishment with which they were visited. The critics (see Wetstein) quote the following passage from the rabbinical treatise, 'Bereshith rabb.,' 53, 15. "Rabbi Asaria said: Ishmael said to Isaac, 'Let us go and see our portion in the field;' and Ishmael took bow and arrows, and shot at Isaac, and pretended that he was in sport." St. Paul's view, therefore, of the import of the Hebrew participle rendered "mocking" is corroborated by the rabbinical interpretation of the word - a consideration which in such a case is of no small weight. The particular word, "persecuted," with which the apostle describes Ishmael's behaviour to his half-brother, was, no doubt, like the expression, "born after the Spirit," suggested by the antitypal case to which he is comparing it. But the features justifying its application to Ishmael viewed as typical were these - spiteful jealousy; disregard of the will of God; antipathy to one chosen of God to be Abraham's seed; abuse of superior power. Even so it is now (οὕτω καὶ νῦν); even so he does now. The full sentence represented by this elliptic one is: "even so now does he that is born after the flesh persecute him that is born after the Spirit." This was a fact with which the apostle's experience was but too familiar. In Asia Minor itself, as the Acts abundantly testifies, from city to city had he been dogged by the animosity of the "children of Hagar." No doubt something of this had been witnessed even in the Galatian towns, of the evangelization of which we have no equally full particulars; there, too, we may believe, St. Paul's converts had had to note the abhorrence with which their master was regarded by the adherents of the old religion; and it was natural that this should have a tendency to lessen his hold upon their minds; for were not the Jews the ancient Israel of God, the depositaries of his revelations? Moreover, the hostility which harassed him would also alight more or less upon them as being disciples of his (see Jerusalem that is above; etc. Galatians 6:12, and note). All this might make some of them the more ready to listen to Judaizing suggestions. In this verse, therefore, St. Paul is not merely breathing out a sorrow of his own but is fortifying the Galatian believers against a temptation assaulting themselves.
Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Verse 30. - Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? (ἀλλὰ τί λέγει ἡ γραφή). "Nevertheless:" man is acting thus; but, what cloth God say touching the matter? The similar question in Romans 11:4, "But what saith the answer of God (ὁ χρηματισμὸς) to him?" favours the belief that by "the Scripture" the apostle does not mean Scripture in general (as e.g. John 10:35), but the particular "passage of Scripture" to which he is referring (cf. John 19:37; Acts 1:16). The animation of his tone is that of the triumphant assertion of the Almighty's will as an all-suffering answer to all objections and all discouragements. For "the Scripture" is equivalent to "the utterance of God;" not merely as found in an inspired volume, but because of the circumstances attending upon the speaking of the words (comp. Romans 9:17: Galatians 3:8). They were, indeed, uttered by Sarah; being, however, not words of a simply jealous and petulant woman, but of a righteously indignant matron, whose just, if severe, requirement was enforced upon the reluctant Abraham by God's own express command. The historical fact itself, as thus recorded, was singularly noticeable, standing in a position marking it as peculiarly significant: that it really was a type, prophetical of a certain future spiritual procedure, is ascertained for us by the apostle's exposition. Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (ἔκβαλε τὴν παιδίσκην καὶ τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς οὐ, γὰρ μὴ κληρονομήσῃ [or, κληρονομήσει] ὁ υἱὸς τῆς παιδίσκης μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἐλευθέρας cast out the handmaid and her son: for the son of the handmaid shall not inherit with the son of the freewoman. The Septuagint has "Cast out this (ταύτην) handmaid and her son; for the son of this (ταύτης) handmaid shall not inherit with my son Isaac (μετᾶ τοῦ υἱοῦ μου Ἰσαάκ);" the apostle's citation being literally exact, except that it has not the words ταύτην and ταύτης (which are not in the Hebrew), and substitutes "the son of the freewoman" for "my son Isaac." His object in these 'changes, which do not in the least affect the substance, is to mark the utterance the more distinctly as God's own voice, speaking of the parties concerned, not as Sarah did, being one of them, but as supreme Ruler and Judge: for the Lord adopted her decision for his own. In respect to Ishmael's exclusion from inheriting, the instance of Jephthah (Judges 11:1, 2), excluded in somewhat similar terms by the legitimate sons of his father ("Thou shalt not inherit in the house of our father; for the son of a harlot woman art thou"), does not apply. Hagar was not a "harlot;" but stood with respect to Sarah in much the same position as did Bilhah and Zilpah to Rachel and Leah. We cannot doubt but that the discrimination made between the two sons, whatever was the character of Sarah's feelings in the matter, is to be ascribed to God's own sovereign appointment (see Romans 9:7, 11). In this terrible sentence, by which Hagar and Ishmael were driven forth beyond the pale of God's most especial guardianship and blessing, the apostle hears the voice of God bidding away from his covenant all who disbelieved the gospel - all, that is, who set aside God's assurances of his tree unmerited love to all who believed in Jesus. It should seem that it was mainly for the purpose of introducing this denunciation that the apostle has been at the pains to trace out the allegorical meaning of the narrative. The apostle is not now thinking of the national excision of the Jews; he is contemplating, not nationalities, but habits of mind - servile legality on the one side, and on the other faith accepting a free gift of grace. It is at their extreme peril, he in effect tells the Galatians, that they forsake the latter to take up with the former: God has shown that by so doing they will forfeit the inheritance altogether.
So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Verse 31. - In the Greek text of this verse, taken in connection with the first of the next chapter, there is a great diversity of readings. The following are the forms in which it is presented by the principal editors: -
(1) Textus Receptus: Ἄρα ἀδελφοί οὐκ ἐσμὲν παιδίσκης τέκνα ἀλλὰ τῆς ἐλευθέρας. Τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ οϋν ῇ Ξριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἠλευθέρωσε, στήκετε καὶ μὴ πάλιν ζυγῷ δουλείας ἐνέχεθε.
(2) L. T. Tr., Meyer, Revisers, W. and H.: θέρας. Τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἡμᾶς Ξριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσε, στήκετε οϋν καὶ μὴ κ.τ.λ..
(3) Ellicott: Διό, ἀδελφοί οὐκ ἐσμὲν παιδίσκης τέκνα ἀλλὰ τῆς ἐλευθέρας. Τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ η΅ι ἡμᾶς Ξριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσε στήκετε οϋν καὶ κ.τ.λ..
(4) Lightfoot: Διό ἀδελφοί οὐκ ἐσμὲν παιδίσκης τέκνα ἀλλὰ τῆς ἐλευθέρας τῇ ἐλευθεριᾴ η΅ι ἡμᾶς Ξριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσε στήκετε οϋν καὶ κ.τ.λ.. The following are the probable translations of these several forms of the text: -
(1) "Therefore, brethren, we are not a handmaid's children, but children of the freewoman: stand fast then in [or, 'by,' or, 'to'] the freedom with which Christ set us free; and do not again get held in a yoke of bondage."
(2) "Wherefore, brethren, we are not a handmaid's children, but children of the freewoman: with freedom did Christ set us free; stand fast, then," etc.
(3) "Wherefore, brethren, we are not a handmaid's children, but children of the freewoman; in the freedom with which Christ set us free stand fast, then, and," etc.
(4) "Wherefore, brethren, we are not a hand maid's children, but children of the free woman by [i.e. 'by virtue of'] the freedom [or, 'children of her who is free with that free dora'] with which Christ set us free; stand fast, then, and," etc. It will be seen by the above that there appears a general agreement among recent editors of the Greek text upon three points:
(1) they all substitute διὸ for ἄρα - an alteration which makes no difference whatever in the sense;
(2) they expunge the οϋν after ἐλευθερίᾳ;
(3) they insert οϋν after στήκετε. The forms
(4) are identical except in the punctuation. The construction of the dative ἐλευθερίᾳ with στήκετε in forms
(3) is difficult, and has not yet been quite satisfactorily accounted for. We miss the preposition ἐν, to express the idea of immanence which is evidently intended, and to express which ἐν is elsewhere found present; as 1 Corinthians 16:13; Philippians 1:27; Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8. The arrangement given in form
(3) is, in addition, greatly embarrassed by the "then" standing so far on in the sentence - this particle marking, as it does, an inference from the sentence in the preceding verse. The furthest place in the sentence adduced by Winer ('Gram. N. T.,' § 61) is the fourth word, in 1 Corinthians 8:4. The fourth form presents by far the easiest construction. It seems strange, however, if this was the original text, that it came to be changed into shapes so much more difficult to construe. In the second form, the clause, "with freedom did Christ set us free," seems somewhat strangely phrased; but this iteration of the idea of freedom, marking the apostle's anxious insistance upon it, may have led the copyists to suspect an error of transcription, and thus have set them upon the endeavour to improve, as they thought, the text before them. The same anxious insistance upon an idea leads the apostle to a somewhat similar introduction of a clause which is almost a parenthesis, in Ephesians 2:5, "By grace have ye been saved." It will be noticed that the variations in the text above noted make not the smallest difference in the main contents of thought. The same factors of thought are present in all. The further remarks now to be made will assume for their basis the second form of the text. Wherefore, brethren, we are not a handmaid's children, but children of the freewoman. This, διό (Receptus, ἄρα) gathers up the result of the whole foregoing allegorical exposition, not that of its concluding portion only, as a basis for practical remark. "We are not a handmaid's children;" that is, "It is not a slave-girl that is our mother." The article is wanting before παιδίσκης, not because the apostle is thinking, as some imagine, of there being other handmaids besides Mosaism, as, for example, heathen ceremonialism; for the context points to only one slave-girl that can possibly answer to Hagar; but because he wishes by contrast to fasten attention upon the character of her who is our mother. Hence also there is no ἡμεῖς or ὑμεῖς, as in ver. 28. "But children of the freewoman," or "of her who is free;" not defining what individual is our mother, but, who our mother is being now assumed as known, marking what her condition is. With freedom did Christ set us free (τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἡμᾶς Ξριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσε). 'This clause both justifies and explains the word "freewoman." Our mother is a freewoman, because all her children have been emancipated by Christ; and the nature of her freedom is likewise defined by the nature of his work. This sense is more directly asserted in the fourth form of the Greek text - "children of the freewoman by the freedom with which Christ set us free;" but it is in reality contained in the second. Christ's emancipating work was twofold: he at once, by his atonement, effected our deliverance from guilt, and by the manner of his death (Galatians 3:13) disconnected his people from the ceremonial Law. The former aspect of his work is essential to the beneficial effect of the latter. The clear realization of the fact that he has effected our perfect reconciliation with God cuts up from its roots all desire even, that we should ourselves strive, either to make or to keep ourselves acceptable with God by obedience to a Law of positive ordinances; while we also must see that, as connected with a Crucified One, it is impossible that we can be in harmony with the Mosaic ritual. A desire to Judaize cannot eoexist with true faith in our crucified Redeemer. By affirming that Christ hath set us free, the apostle points, not merely to our release from real or fancied obligation to obey the Law of Moses, but also to our "joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received reconciliation "(Romans 5:11). Stand fast, therefore. According to this reading, στήκετε standing alone receives its colour of reference from the context. So 2 Thessalonians 2:15. Here it means the steadfast holding to a whole-hearted assurance that in Christ Jesus our freedom is complete. And do not again get held in a yoke of bondage. The verb ἐνέχομαι ισ used (Herod., 2:121) literally of being caught and held fast by a man-trap; also figuratively of being entangled with perplexities (ἀπορίῃσιν, Herod., 1:190), with a curse, or with guilt, or with arbitrary dicta of a teacher (see Liddell and Scott). The condition of a slave is described by the word "yoke," 1 Timothy 6:1, Ὅσοι εἰσὶν ὑπὸ ζυγὸν δοῦλοι, "As many as are bond-servants under the yoke." And it was probably with this particular shade of meaning that St. Peter used the term at the conference at Jerusalem respecting the ceremonial Law (Acts 15:10) - "a yoke which neither we nor our fathers had strength enough to bear;" referring to it, we may suppose, as slavery, not merely because obedience to it was difficult, but as being observed from a legalistic anxiety to approve one's self thereby to the Divine acceptance or to escape the Divine displeasure. This view of the passage explains how the apostle was able to use the word "again" of these Galatian converts. They had been once under the yoke of an "evil conscience;" but Christ had come to them also, who were "afar off" in Gentile guiltiness, preaching peace, as he had come to them that were "nigh" in the Israelite covenant (Ephesians 2:17). But if they could not have "peace" and "access to the Father" save through conformity with Mosaic eeremonialism, then their "freedom" was forfeited; they sank back again into their former state of bondage. But see also the note on ver. 9. This exhortation to "stand fast" presupposes that they had not yet lapsed, but were only in danger of it (comp. the μετατίθεσθε of Galatians 1:6).