Galatians 4:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,

King James Bible
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Darby Bible Translation
Now I say, As long as the heir is a child, he differs nothing from a bondman, though he be lord of all;

World English Bible
But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a bondservant, though he is lord of all;

Young's Literal Translation
And I say, so long time as the heir is a babe, he differeth nothing from a servant -- being lord of all,

Galatians 4:1 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Now I say - He had before said Galatians 3:24-25 that while they were under the Law they were in a state of minority. This sentiment he proceeds further to illustrate by showing the true condition of one who was a minor.

That the heir - Any heir to an estate, or one who has a prospect of an inheritance. No matter how great is the estate; no matter how wealthy his father; no matter to how elevated a rank he may be raised on the moment that he enters on his inheritance, yet until that time he is in the condition of a servant.

As long as he is a child - Until he arrives at the age. The word rendered "child" (νήπιοι nēpioi) properly means an infant; literally, "one not speaking" (νη nē insep. un, ἔπος epos), and hence, a child or babe, but without any definite limitation - Robinson. It is used as the word "infant" is with us in law, to denote "a minor."

Differeth nothing from a servant - That is, he has no more control of his property; he has it not at his command. This does not mean that he does not differ in any respect, but only that in the matter under consideration he does not differ. He differs in his prospects of inheriting the property, and in the affections of the father, and usually in the advantages of education, and in the respect and attention shown him. but in regard to property, he does not differ, and he is like a servant, under the control and direction of others.

Though he be lord of all - That is, in prospect. He has a prospective right to all the property, which no one else has. The word "lord" here (κύριος kurios), is used in the same sense in which it is often in the Scriptures, to denote master or owner. The idea which this is designed to illustrate is, that the condition of the Jews before the coming of the Messiah was inferior in many respects to what the condition of the friends of God would be under him - as inferior as the condition of an heir was before he was of age, to what it would be when he should enter on his inheritance. The Jews claimed, indeed, that they were the children or the sons of God, a title which the apostle would not withhold from the pious part of the nation; but it was a condition in which they had not entered on the full inheritance, and which was far inferior to that of those who had embraced the Messiah, and who were admitted to the full privileges of sonship. They were indeed heirs. They were interested in the promises. But still they were in a condition of comparative servitude, and could be made free only by the gospel.

Galatians 4:1 Parallel Commentaries

The Allegories of Sarah and Hagar
We shall attempt this morning to teach you something of the allegories of Sarah and Hagar, that you may thereby better understand the essential difference between the covenants of law and of grace. We shall not go fully into the subject, but shall only give such illustrations of it as the text may furnish us. First, I shall want you to notice the two women, whom Paul uses as types--Hagar and Sarah; then I shall notice the two sons--Ishmael and Isaac; in the third place, I shall notice Ishmael's conduct
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

Luther -- the Method and Fruits of Justification
Martin Luther, leader of the Reformation, was born at Eisleben in 1483, and died there 1546. His rugged character and powerful intellect, combined with a strong physique, made him a natural orator, so that it was said "his words were half battles." Of his own method of preaching he once remarked: "When I ascend the pulpit I see no heads, but imagine those that are before me to be all blocks. When I preach I sink myself deeply down; I regard neither doctors nor masters, of which there are in the church
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

"For as Many as are Led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. For Ye have not Received the Spirit of Bondage
Rom. viii. s 14, 15.--"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 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." The life of Christianity, take it in itself, is the most pleasant and joyful life that can be, exempted from those fears and cares, those sorrows and anxieties, that all other lives are subject unto, for this of necessity must be the force and efficacy of true religion,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Moral Reactions of Prayer
The Moral Reactions of Prayer All religion is founded on prayer, and in prayer it has its test and measure. To be religious is to pray, to be irreligious is to be incapable of prayer. The theory of religion is really the philosophy of prayer; and the best theology is compressed prayer. The true theology is warm, and it steams upward into prayer. Prayer is access to whatever we deem God, and if there is no such access there is no religion; for it is not religion to resign ourselves to be crushed
P. T. Forsyth—The Soul of Prayer

Cross References
Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 4:2
but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.

1 John 5:10
The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.

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