Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.
New Living Translation
These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them.
English Standard Version
Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.
Berean Standard Bible
These things serve as illustrations, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery: This is Hagar.
Berean Literal Bible
which things are allegorized, for these are two covenants: one indeed from Mount Sinai, begetting unto slavery, which is Hagar.
King James Bible
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
New King James Version
which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—
New American Standard Bible
This is speaking allegorically, for these women are two covenants: one coming from Mount Sinai giving birth to children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.
This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.
This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.
Now these facts are about to be used [by me] as an allegory [that is, I will illustrate by using them]: for these women can represent two covenants: one [covenant originated] from Mount Sinai [where the Law was given] that bears children [destined] for slavery; she is Hagar.
Christian Standard Bible
These things are being taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery—this is Hagar.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
These things are illustrations, for the women represent the two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery—this is Hagar.
American Standard Version
Which things contain an allegory: for these women are two covenants; one from mount Sinai, bearing children unto bondage, which is Hagar.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But these are illustrations of the two Covenants, the one that is from Mount Sinai begets to bondage, which is Hagar.
Contemporary English Version
All of this has another meaning as well. Each of the two women stands for one of the agreements God made with his people. Hagar, the slave woman, stands for the agreement that was made at Mount Sinai. Everyone born into her family is a slave.
Which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from mount Sina, engendering unto bondage; which is Agar:
Good News Translation
These things can be understood as a figure: the two women represent two covenants. The one whose children are born in slavery is Hagar, and she represents the covenant made at Mount Sinai.
International Standard Version
This is being said as an allegory, for these women represent two covenants. The one woman, Hagar, is from Mount Sinai, and her children are born into slavery.
Literal Standard Version
which things are allegorized, for these are the two covenants: one, indeed, from Mount Sinai, bringing forth to servitude, which is Hagar;
New American Bible
Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar.
These things may be treated as an allegory, for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar.
New Revised Standard Version
Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery.
New Heart English Bible
These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to slavery, which is Hagar.
Weymouth New Testament
All this is allegorical; for the women represent two Covenants. One has its origin on Mount Sinai, and bears children destined for slavery.
World English Bible
These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Hagar.
Young's Literal Translation
which things are allegorized, for these are the two covenants: one, indeed, from mount Sinai, to servitude bringing forth, which is Hagar;
Additional Translations ...
ContextHagar and Sarah
…23His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born through the promise. 24These things serve as illustrations, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children into slavery: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present-day Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.…
He said: "The LORD came from Sinai and dawned upon us from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran and came with myriads of holy ones, with flaming fire at His right hand.
1 Corinthians 10:11
Now these things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.
So also, when we were children, we were enslaved under the basic principles of the world.
Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present-day Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.
Treasury of Scripture
Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which engenders to bondage, which is Agar.
Ezekiel 20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
Hosea 11:10 They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Galatians 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Luke 22:19,20 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me…
1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Galatians 3:15-21 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto…
Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
Hebrews 8:6-13 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises…
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Genesis 16:3,4,8,15,16 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife…
Genesis 21:9-13 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking…
Genesis 25:12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
Which things are an allegory.--Literally, Which things are allegorised--i.e., spoken in double sense,--
"Where more is meant than meets the ear."
The allegorical sense does not exclude the literal sense. but is added to it. In like manner St. Paul speaks of the events which happened to the Israelites in their wanderings in the wilderness as happening "for our ensamples," or, more correctly, "by way of types or figures" (1Corinthians 10:11): though elsewhere a distinction is drawn between "type" and "allegory," the first implying that the narrative on which it is based is true, the second that it is fictitious. St. Paul does not use the word here in this strict sense. The justification for the allegorical treatment of the patriarchal history may be expressed in the words of Calvin: "As the house of Abraham was at that time the true Church, so there can be no doubt that the chief and most memorable events which happened in it are so many types for us." At the same time, the argumentative force of the passage evidently rests upon the apostolic assertion of Christian liberty, not upon the logical cogency of the inference from the details of the type to the thing typified.
These are the two covenants.--"These," i.e., these women, Hagar and Sarah. "Are," in the sense of stand, for," "typically represent," as in the interpretation of the parable of the tares: "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world" (Matthew 13:39); or, in the words of the institution of the Lord's Supper: "this is my body . . . this is my blood" (Matthew 26:26; Matthew 26:28), where the meaning is really as little doubtful as here. "The two covenants" should be simply "two covenants." What covenants the Apostle goes on to explain. So, too, "the one" in the next clause should be rather one. . . .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.
Parallel Commentaries ...
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's 3748: Whosoever, whichsoever, whatsoever.
serve as illustrations,
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's 238: To speak allegorically. From allos and agoreo (compare agora); to allegorize.
Strong's 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.
Demonstrative Pronoun - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's 3778: This; he, she, it.
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's 1417: Two. A primary numeral; 'two'.
Noun - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's 1242: From diatithemai; properly, a disposition, i.e. a contract.
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's 1520: One. (including the neuter Hen); a primary numeral; one.
Strong's 575: From, away from. A primary particle; 'off, ' i.e. Away, in various senses.
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's 3735: A mountain, hill. Probably from an obsolete oro; a mountain: -hill, mount(-ain).
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's 4614: Sinai, a mountain in Arabia. Of Hebrew origin; Sina, a mountain in Arabia.
[and bears] children
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's 1080: From a variation of genos; to procreate; figuratively, to regenerate.
Strong's 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's 1397: Slavery, bondage. From douleuo; slavery.
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's 3748: Whosoever, whichsoever, whatsoever.
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's 28: Hagar, the servant of Sarah, concubine of Abraham. Of Hebrew origin; Hagar, the concubine of Abraham.
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NT Letters: Galatians 4:24 These things contain an allegory for these (Gal. Ga)