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TEXT. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son ; and if a son, then
an heir of God, through Christ. 8 Howbeit, then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them,
which by nature are no gods. 9 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 ?
PARAPHRASE. put; forasmuch as God hath sent forth his Spiritd into your my hearts, which enables you to cry, Abba, Father. So that thou
art no longer a bondman, but a son ; and if a son, then an 8 heire of God, or of the promise of God through Christ. But
then, i. e. before ye were made the sons of God, by faith in
Christ, now under the Gospel, ye, not knowing God, were in 9 bondage to those, who were in truth no gods. But now, that
ye know God, yea rather, that ye are known and taken into favour by him, how can it be that you, who have been put out of a state of bondage, into the freedom of sons, should go
NOTES. 6 d The same argument, of proving their sonship from their having the Spirit, St.
Paul uses to the Romans, Rom. viii. 16. And he that will read 2 Cor. iv. 17 -1.6, and Eph. i. 11-14, will find, that the Spirit is looked on as the seal and assurance of the inheritance of life, to those who have received the adoption of sons," as St. Paul speaks here, ver. 5. The force of the argument seems to lie in this, that as he, that has the spirit of a man in him, has an evidence that he is the son of a man, so he, that hath the Spirit of God, has thereby an assurance that he is the son of God. Conformable hereunto, the opinion of the Jews was, that the Spirit of God was given to none but themselves, they alone being the people or children of God; for God calls the people of Israel his sons, Exod. iv. 22, 23. And hence, we see, that when, to the astonishment of the Jews, the Spirit was given to the Gentiles, the Jews no longer doubted that the inheritance of eternal life was also conferred on the Gentiles. Compare Acts x,
44–48, with Acts xi. 15—18. 7 e St. Paul, from the Galatians' having received the Spirit, (as appears chap. iii. 2)
argues, that they are the sons of God, without the law; and consequently heirs of the promise, without the law; for, says he, ver. 1-6, the Jews theniselves were fain to be redeemed from the bondage of the law, by Jesus Christ, that, as sons, they might attain to the inheritance. But you, Galatians, says he, have, by the Spirit that is given you by the ministry of the Gospel, an evidence that God is your Father ; and, being sons, are free from the bondage of the law, and heirs without it. The same sort of reasoning St. Paul uses to the Romans, ch.
viii. 14-17. 9 f Known. It has been before observed, how apt St. Paul is to repeat his words,
though something varied in their signification. We have here another instance of it: having said, “Ye have known God," he subjoins, “or rather are known of him," in the Hebrew latitude of the word known; in which language it sometimes signifies knowing, with choice and approbation. See Amos iii. 2. I Cor. viii. 3.
TEXT. 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
PARAPHRASE. backwards, and be willing to put yourselves under the weak
and beggarly elements of the world into a state of bondage 10 again? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years, 11 in compliance with the Mosaical institution. I begin to be
afraid of you, and to be in doubt, whether all the pains I have taken about you, to set you at liberty, in the freedom of the Gospel, will not prove lost labour.
NOTES. & The law is here called weak, because it was not able to deliver a man from bondage and death, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, Rom. viii, 1–3. And it is called beggarly, because it kept men in the poor estate of pupils, from the full possession and enjoyment of the inheritance, ver. 1–3. h The apostle makes it matter of astonishment, how they, who had been in bondage to false gods, having been once set free, could endure the thoughts of parting with their liberty, and of returning into any sort of bondage again, even under the mean and beggarly rudiments of the Mosaical institution, which was vot able to make them sons, and instal them in the inheritance. For St. Paul, ver. 7, expressly opposes bondage to sonship; so that all, who are not in the state of sons, are in the state of bondage. Nádry, again, cannot here refer to otoixeix, elements, which the Galatians had never been under hitherto, but to bondage, which he tells them, ver. 8, they had been in to false gods.
CHAPTER IV. 12—20.
CONTENTS. He presses them with the remembrance of the great kindness they had for him, when he was amongst them; and assures them that they have no reason to be alienated from him, though that be it which the Judaizing seducers aim at.
TEXT. 12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am ; for I am as ye are : ye have
not injured me at all. 13 Ye know how, through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the Gospel
unto you at the first. 14 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. 15 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. 16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? 17 They zealously affect you, but not well ; yea, they would exclude
you, that ye might affect them. 18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and
not only when I am present with you.
PARAPHRASE. 12 I beseech you, brethren, let you and I be as if we were all
one. Think yourselves to be very me ; as I, in my own
mind, put no difference at all between you and myself; you 13 have done me no manner of injury : On the contrary, ye
know, that through infirmity of the flesh, I heretofore preached 14 the Gospel to you. And yet ye despised me not, for the
trial I underwent in the flesh, you treated me not with
contempt and scorn: but you received me as an angel of God, 15 yea, as Jesus Christ himself. What benedictionsb did you
then pour out upon me? For I bear you witness, had it been
practicable, you would have pulled out your very eyes, and 16 given them me. But is it so, that I am become your enemyo 17 in continuing to tell you the truth? They, who would make
you of that mind, show a warmth of affection to you ; but it
is not well : for their business is to exclude me, that they may 18 get into your affection. It is good to be well and warmly
affected towards a good man', at all times, and not barely TEXT. 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be
NOTES. 14 - What this weakness, and trial in the flesh, was, since it has not pleased the
apostle to mention it, is impossible for us to know : but may be remarked here, as an instance, once for all, of that unavoidable obscurity of some passages, in epistolary writings, without any fault in the author. For some things necessary to the understanding of what is writ, are usually of course and justly omitted, because already known to him the letter is writ to, and it would be sometimes
ungraceful, oftentimes superfluous, particularly to mention them. 15 b The context makes this sense of the words so necessary and visible, that it is to
be wondered how any one could overlook it. 16 * Your enemy. See chap. i. 6. 18 . That by xaña here, he means a person and himself, the scope of the context
evinces. In the six preceding verses he speaks only of himself, and the change of their affection to him, since he left them. There is no other thing menNOTES. tioned, as peculiarly deserving their affection, to which the rule given in this verse could refer. He had said, ver. 17, šnnovoin ünās, “they affect you ;" and Yux qulous Swaoûts, “ that you might affect them ;" this is only of persons, and therefore Snaowogar iv xalço, which immediately follows, may be best understood of a person ; else the following part of the verse, though joined by the copulative xal, and, will make but a disjointed sense with the preceding. But there can be nothing plainer, mor more coherent than this, which seems to be St. Paul's sense here : “ You were very affectionate to me, when I was with you. You are since estranged from me; it is the artifice of the seducers that have cooled you to me. But if I am the good man you took me to be, you will do well to continue the warınth of your affection to me, when I am absent, and not to be well affected towards me, only when I am present among you." Though this be his meaning, yet the way he has taken to express it is much more elegant, modest, and grace
formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice ; for I
stand in doubt of you.
PARAPHRASE. 19 when I am present with you, My little children, for whom
I have again the pains of a woman in child-birth, until Christ
be formed in you", i. e. till the true doctrine of Christianity 20 be settled in your minds. But I would willingly be this very
moment with you, and change my discourse, as I should find occasion ; for I am at a stand about you, and know not what to think of you.
ful. Let any one read the original, and see whether it be not so. 19 e Jf this verse be taken for an entire sentence by itself, it will be a parenthesis,
and that not the most necessary, or congruous, that is to be found in St. Paul's epistles; or 8, but, must be left out, as we see it is in our translation. But if TEXvíæ peoû, “ my little children," be joined, by apposition, to únās, you, the last word of the foregoing verse, and so the two verses, 18 and 19, be read as one sentence, ver. 20, with è, but, in it, follows very naturally. But, as we now lead it in our English Bible, è, but, is forced to be left out, and ver. 20 stands
alone by itself, without any connexion with what goes before, or follows. 20 f'ANGE wa Qwrnu, “ to change the voice," seems to signify the speaking higher or
lower ; changing the tone of the voice, suitably to the matter one delivers, v. g. whether it be advice, or commendation, or reproof, &c. For each of these have their distinct voices. St. Paul wishes himself with them, that he might accommodate himself to their present condition and circumstances, which he confesses himself to be ignorant of, and in doubt about.
CHAPTER IV. 21.–V. 1.
CONTENTS. He exhorts them to stand fast in the liberty, with which Christ hath made them free, showing those, who are so zealous for the law, that, if they mind what they read in the law, they will there find, that the children of the promise, or of the new Jerusalem, were to be free; but the children after the flesh, of the earthly Jerusalem, were to be in bondage, and to be cast out, and not to have the inheritance.
TEXT. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law ? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond• maid, the other by a free-woman. 23 But he who was of the bond-woman was born after the flesh : but
he of the free-woman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory : for these are the two covenants; the
one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is
Agar.. 25 For this Agar is Mount Sinai, in Arabia, and answereth to Jeru.
salem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
PARAPHRASE. 21 Tell me, you that would so fain be under the law, do you
not acquaint yourselves with what is in the law, either by 22 readinga it, or having it read in your assemblies ? For it is
there written b, Abraham had two sons, one by a bond-maid, 23 the other by a free-woman. But he that was of the bond
woman was born according to the flesh, in the ordinary course of nature; but he that was of the free-woman Abra
ham had by virtue of the promise, after he and his wife were 24 past the hopes of another child. These things have an alle
gorical meaning: for the two women are the two covenants,
the one of them delivered from Mount Sinai, and is represented 25 by Agar, who produces her issue into bondage. (For Agar is
Mount Sinai, in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem, that now
NOTES. 21 - The vulgar has, after some Greek manuscripts, Read. 22 Written there, viz. Gen. xvi. 15, and xxi. 1. The term, Law, in the foregoing
verse, comprehends the five books of Moses.