Galatians 3:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.

King James Bible
And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

Darby Bible Translation
Now I say this, A covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law, which took place four hundred and thirty years after, does not annul, so as to make the promise of no effect.

World English Bible
Now I say this. A covenant confirmed beforehand by God in Christ, the law, which came four hundred thirty years after, does not annul, so as to make the promise of no effect.

Young's Literal Translation
and this I say, A covenant confirmed before by God to Christ, the law, that came four hundred and thirty years after, doth not set aside, to make void the promise,

Galatians 3:17 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Confirmed before of God in Christ - i.e. The promise of justification, etc., made to believers in Christ Jesus, who are the spiritual seed of Christ, as they are children of Abraham, from the similitude of their faith. Abraham believed in God, and it was reckoned to him for justification; the Gentiles believed in Christ, and received justification. Probably the word Christ is to be taken, both here and in the preceding verse, for Christians, as has already been hinted. However it be taken, the sense is plainly the same; the promise of salvation must necessarily be to them who believe in Christ, for he is the promised seed, Genesis 3:15, through whom every blessing is derived on mankind; and through his spiritual seed - the true Christians, the conquests of the cross are daily spreading over the face of the earth. The present unparalleled dispersion of the sacred writings, in all the regular languages of the universe, is a full proof that all the nations of the earth are likely to be blessed through them; but they have nothing but what they have received from and through Christ.

Four hundred and thirty years after - God made a covenant with Abraham that the Messiah should spring from his posterity. This covenant stated that justification should be obtained by faith in the Messiah. The Messiah did not come till 1911 years after the making of this covenant, and the law was given 430 years after the covenant with Abraham, therefore the law, which was given 1481 years before the promise to Abram could be fulfilled, (for so much time elapsed between the giving of the law and the advent of Christ), could not possibly annul the Abrahamic covenant. This argument is absolute and conclusive. Let us review it. The promise to Abraham respects the Messiah, and cannot be fulfilled but in him. Christians say the Messiah is come, but the advent of him whom they acknowledge as the Messiah did not take place till 1911 years after the covenant was made, therefore no intermediate transaction can affect that covenant. But the law was an intermediate transaction, taking place 430 years after the covenant with Abraham, and could neither annul nor affect that which was not to have its fulfillment till 1481 years after. Justification by faith is promised in the Abrahamic covenant, and attributed to that alone, therefore it is not to be expected from the law, nor can its works justify any, for the law in this respect cannot annul or affect the Abrahamic covenant. But suppose ye say that the law, which was given 430 years after the covenant with Abraham, has superseded this covenant, and limited and confined its blessings to the Jews; I:answer: This is impossible, for the covenant most specifically refers to the Messiah, and takes in, not the Jewish people only, but all nations; for it is written, In thy seed - the Messiah and his spiritual progeny, shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. This universal blessedness can never be confined, by any figure of speech, or by any legal act, to the Jewish people exclusively; and, as the covenant was legally made and confirmed, it cannot be annulled, it must therefore remain in reference to its object.

In opposition to us, the Jews assert that the Messiah is not yet come; then we assert, on that ground, that the promise is not yet fulfilled; for the giving of the law to one people cannot imply the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, because that extends to all nations. However, therefore, the case be argued, the Jewish cause derives no benefit from it; and the conclusion still recurs, salvation cannot be attained by the works of the law, forasmuch as the covenant is of faith; and he only, as your prophets declare, who is justified by faith, shall live, or be saved. Therefore we still conclude that those who are only under the law are under the curse; and, as it says, he that doeth these things shall live in them, and he that sinneth shall die, there is no hope of salvation for any man from the law of Moses. And the Gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaiming salvation by faith to a sinful and ruined world, is absolutely necessary, nor can it be superseded by any other institution, whether human or Divine.

How we arrive at the sum of 430 years may be seen in the note on Exodus 12:40 (note). Dr. Whitby also gives a satisfactory view of the matter. "The apostle refers to the promise made, Genesis 12:3, since from that only are the 430 years to be computed, for then Abraham was 75 years old, Genesis 12:4; from thence to the birth of Isaac, which happened when Abraham was 100 years old, (Genesis 21:5), 25 years; from his birth to the birth of Jacob, 60 years, for Isaac was 60 years old when Rebecca bare him, Genesis 25:26. From Jacob's birth to the descent into Egypt, 130 years, as he said to Pharaoh, Genesis 47:9. The abode of him and his posterity in Egypt was 215 years; so that, with their sojourning in Canaan, was 430 years;" the sum given here, and in Exodus 12:40 (note).

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

1 Corinthians 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you said, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:29 But this I say, brothers, the time is short: it remains, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

1 Corinthians 10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you from now on walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.

the covenant.

Genesis 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your seed have I given this land...

Genesis 17:7,8,19 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant...

Luke 1:68-79 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people...

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 8:56-58 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad...

Romans 3:25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood...

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.

Hebrews 11:13,17-19,39,40 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them...

1 Peter 1:11,12,20 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify...


Genesis 15:13 And he said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them...

Exodus 12:40,41 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelled in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years...

Acts 7:6 And God spoke on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage...


Galatians 3:15 Brothers, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man cancels, or adds thereto.

Job 40:8 Will you also cancel my judgment? will you condemn me, that you may be righteous?

Isaiah 14:27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who shall cancel it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?

Isaiah 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand...

Hebrews 7:18 For there is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

that it.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life...

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it?...

Romans 4:13,14 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law...

Hebrews 6:13-18 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself...


Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace.

Numbers 30:8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed...

Psalm 33:10 The LORD brings the counsel of the heathen to nothing: he makes the devices of the people of none effect.

Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words...

July 8. "Having Begun in the Spirit, are Ye Now Made Perfect by the Flesh" (Gal. Iii. 3).
"Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh" (Gal. iii. 3). Grace literally means that which we do not have to earn. It has two great senses always; it comes for nothing and it comes when we are helpless; it doesn't merely help the man that helps himself--that is not the Gospel; the Gospel is that God helps the man who can't help himself. And then there is another thing; God helps the man to help himself, for everything the man does comes from God. Grace is given to the man
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Lessons of Experience
'Have ye suffered so many things in vain?'--GAL. iii 4. Preached on the last Sunday of the year. This vehement question is usually taken to be a reminder to the fickle Galatians that their Christian faith had brought upon them much suffering from the hands of their unbelieving brethren, and to imply an exhortation to faithfulness to the Gospel lest they should stultify their past brave endurance. Yielding to the Judaising teachers, and thereby escaping the 'offence of the Cross,' they would make
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Case of Conscience Resolved
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Substance of Some Discourse had Between the Clerk of the Peace and Myself; when He came to Admonish Me, According to the Tenor of that Law, by which I was in Prison.
When I had lain in prison other twelve weeks, and now not knowing what they intended to do with me, upon the third of April 1661, comes Mr Cobb unto me (as he told me), being sent by the justices to admonish me; and demand of me submittance to the church of England, etc. The extent of our discourse was as followeth. Cobb. When he was come into the house he sent for me out of my chamber; who, when I was come unto him, he said, Neighbour Bunyan, how do you do? Bun. I thank you, Sir, said I, very
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Cross References
Genesis 15:13
Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.

Exodus 12:40
Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years.

Psalm 105:9
the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.

Acts 7:6
God spoke to him in this way: 'For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated.

Ephesians 2:12
remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

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