New American Standard Bible
For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.
King James Bible
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Darby Bible Translation
For if the inheritance be on the principle of law, it is no longer on the principle of promise; but God gave it in grace to Abraham by promise.
World English Bible
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by promise.
Young's Literal Translation
for if by law be the inheritance, it is no more by promise, but to Abraham through promise did God grant it.
Galatians 3:18 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For if the inheritance - The inheritance promised to Abraham. The sum of the promise was, that "he should be the heir of the world;" see Romans 4:13, and the note at that verse. To that heirship or inheritance Paul refers here, and says that it was an essential part of it that it was to be in virtue of the promise made to him, and not by fulfilling the Law.
Be of the law - If it is by observing the Law of Moses; or if it come in any way by the fulfilling of law. This is plain. Yet the Jews contended that the blessings of justification and salvation were to be in virtue of the observance of the Law of Moses. But if so, says Paul, then it could not be by the promise made to Abraham, since there could not be two ways of obtaining the same blessing.
But God gave it to Abraham by promise - That, says Paul, is a settled point. It is perfectly clear; and that is to be held as an indisputable fact, that the blessing was given to Abraham by a promise. That promise was confirmed and ratified hundreds of years before the Law was given, and the giving of the Law could not affect it. But that promise was, that he would be the ancestor of the Messiah, and that in him all the nations of the earth should be blessed. Of course, if they were to be blessed in this way, then it was not to be by the observance of the Law, and the Law must have been given for a different purpose. What that was, he states in the following verses.
LibraryThe Universal Prison
'But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.'--GAL. iii. 22. The Apostle uses here a striking and solemn figure, which is much veiled for the English reader by the ambiguity attaching to the word 'concluded.' It literally means 'shut up,' and is to be taken in its literal sense of confining, and not in its secondary sense of inferring. So, then, we are to conceive of a vast prison-house in which mankind is confined. …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
A Call to the Unconverted
The Ordinance of Covenanting
Letter iv. You Reply to the Conclusion of My Letter: "What have we to do with Routiniers?...
For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.
For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,
saying, "I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU."
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