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TEXT. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not ; break forth
and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more
children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as, then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that
was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless, what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bond-woman
and her son: for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with
the son of the free-woman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of
the free. V. 1. Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made
us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
PARAPHRASE. 26 is, and is in bondage with her children.) But the heavenly
Jerusalem, which is above, and answers to Sarah, the mother
of the promised seed, is free, the mother of us all, both Jews 27 and Gentiles who believe. For it was of her, that it is writ
ten“, “ Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not; break out into loud acclamations of joy, thou that hast not the travails of
child-birth; for more are the children of the desolate than 28 of her that hath an husband.” And it is we, my brethren, 29 who, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as, then,
Ishmael, who was born in the ordinary course of nature,
persecuted Isaac, who was born by an extraordinary power 30 from heaven, working miraculously; so is it now. But what
saith the Scripturee? “ Cast out the bond-woman and her son:
for the son of the bond-woman shall not share the inherit31 ance with the son of the free-woman.” So then, brethren,
we, who believe in Christ, are not the children of the bond. V.1. woman, but of the freef. Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty,
wherewith Christ hath made you free, and do not put on again a yoke of bondage, by putting yourselves under the law.
NOTES. 27 Written, viz. Isaiah liv. I. 29 d'o xalà oápxa yerinbeis, “ born after the flesh ;" and Toy xolà myeŪua, “born
after the Spirit." These expressions have, in their original brevity, with regard to the whole view, wherein St. Paul uses them, an adınirable beauty and force,
which cannot be retained in a paraphrase. 30 eScripture, viz. Gen. xxi. 10. 31 The apostle, by this allegorical history, shows the Galatians, that they who
are sons of Agar, i, e. under the law given at Mount Sinai, are in boudage, and intended to be cast out, the inheritance being designed for those only, who are the free born sons of God, under the spiritual covenant of the Gospel. And thereupon he exhorts them, in the following words, to preserve themselves in that state of freedom.
uld ev submisions to give argue ablished the here at
It is evident from verse 11, that, the better to prevail with the Galatians to be circumcised, it had been reported, that St. Paul himself preached up circumcision. St. Paul, without taking express notice of this calumny, chap. i. 6, and ii. 21, gives an account of his past life, in a large train of particulars, which all concur to make such a character of him, as renders it very incredible, that he should ever declare for the circumcision of the Gentile converts, or for their submission to the law. Having thus prepared the minds of the Galatians to give him a fair hearing, as a fair man, Synoūodas šv raão, he goes on to argue against their subjecting themselves to the law. And having established their freedom from the law, by many strong arguments, he comes here at last openly to take notice of the report had been raised of him, [that he preached circumcision] and directly confutes it.
1. By positively denouncing to them, himself, very solemnly, that they, who suffer themselves to be circumcised, put themselves into a perfect legal state, out of the covenant of grace, and could receive no benefit by Jesus Christ, ver. 2-4.
2. By assuring them, that he, and those that followed him, expected justification only by faith, ver. 5, 6.
3. By telling them, that he had put them in the right way, and that this new persuasion came not from him, that converted them to christianity, ver. 7, 8.
4. By insinuating to them, that they should agree to pass judgment on him, that troubled them with this doctrine, ver. 9, 10.
5. By his being persecuted, for opposing the circumcision of the Christians. For this was the great offence, which stuck with the Jews, even after their conversion, ver. 11.
6. By wishing those cut off, that trouble them with this doctrine, ver. 12.
This will, I doubt not, by whoever weighs it, be found a very skilful management of the argumentative part of this epistle, which ends here. For, though he begins with sapping the foundation, on which the Judaizing seducers seemed to have laid their main stress, viz. the report of his preaching circumcision; yet he reserves the direct and open confutation of it to the end, and so leaves it with them, that it may have the more forcible and lasting impression on their minds.
TEXT. 2 Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall
profit you nothing. 3 For I testify, again, to every man that is circumcised, that he is a
debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you; whosoever of you are justified
by the law, ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor un
circumcision; but faith, which worketh by love. 7 Ye did run well: who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the
PARAPHRASE. 2 Take notice that I, Paula, who am falsely reported to preach up
circumcision in other places, say unto you, that if you are cir3 cumcised, Christ shall be of no advantage to you. For I repeat, here again, what I have always preached, and solemnly testify to every one, who yields to be circumcised, in compliance with those who say, That now, under the Gospel, he cannot be saved
bwithout it, that he is under an obligation to the whole law, and 4 bound to observe and perform every tittle of it. Christ is of no
use to you, who seek justification by the law: whosoever do so,
be ye what ye will, ye are fallen from the covenant of grace. 5 But Is, and those, who with me are true Christians, we, who
follow the truth of the Gospel, and the doctrine of the Spirit d
of God, have no other hope of justification, but by faith in 6 Christ. For in the state of the Gospel, under Jesus, the
Messiah, it is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision that is
of any moment; all that is available is faith alone, working by they love. When you first entered into the profession of the
Gospel, you were in a good way, and went on well : who has
NOTES. 2 * '18ł, byw llachos, “ Behold, I Paul,” I the same Paul, who am reported
to preach circumcision, poptó pouas dè nás marti áy córw, v. 3, witness again, continue my testimony, to every man, to you and all men. This so emphatical way of speaking may very well be understood to have regard to what he takes notice, rer. 11, to be cast upon him, viz. his preaching circumcision, and is a very
significant vindication of himself. 3 b6 Cannot be saved." This was the ground, upon which the Jews and Judaizing
Christians urged circumcision. See Acts xv. 1. 5 €“ We." It is evident, from the context, that St. Paul here means himself.
But We is a more graceful way of speaking thap I; though he be vindicating himself alone from the imputation of setting up circumcision. d“Spirit.” The law and the Gospel opposed, under the titles of Flesh and Spirit,
we may see, chap. iii. 3, of this epistle. The same opposition it stands in here 6 to the law, in the foregoing verse, points out the same signification.
•“ Which worketh by love.” This is added to express the animosities which were amongst them, probably raised by this question about circumcision. See ver. 11-15.
TEXT. 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you, through the Lord, that you will be none
otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you, shall bear his judg
ment, whosoever he be. 11 And I, brethren, if I yet preached circumcision, why do I yet suffer
persecution ? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
• PARAPHRASE. put a stop to you, and hindered you, that you keep no longer 8 to the truth of the Christian doctrine? This persuasion, that it is necessary for you to be circumcised, cometh not from
him f, by whose preaching you were called to the profession of 9 the Gospel. Remember that a little leaven leaveneth the
whole lump; the influence of one man entertained among 10 you may mislead you all. I have confidence in you, that by
the help of the Lord, you will be all of this same mind " with
me; and consequently he, that troubles you, shall fall under the 11 censure he deserves for it', whoever he be. But as for me,
brethren, if I, at last, am become a preacher of circumcision, why am I yet persecutedk? If it be so, that the Gentile con
NOTES. 8 'This expression of " him that calleth, or calleth you," he used before, chap. i. 6, and, in both places, means himself, and here declares, that this Ws16porn (whether taken for persuasion, or for subjection, as it may be in St. Paul's style, considering a s10 soba, in the end of the foregoing verse) came not from him, for he called them to liberty from the law, and not subjection to it; see ver. 13. “You were going on well, in the liberty of the Gospel; who stopped you ? 1, you may be sure, bad no hand in it; I, you know, called you to liberty, and not to subjection to the law, and therefore you can, by no means, suppose that I should
preach up circumcision." Thus St. Paul argues here. 9 $ By this and the next verse, it looks as if all this disorder arose from one man. 10 h« Will not be otherwise minded,” will beware of this leaven, so as not to be
put into a ferment, nor shaken in your liberty, which you ought to stand fast in; and to secure it, I doubt not, (such confidence I have in you) will with one accord cast out him that troubles you. For, as for me, you may be sure I am not for circumcision, in that the Jews continue to persecute me. This is evidently his meaning, though not spoken out, but managed warily, with a very skilful and moving insinuation. For, as he says of himself, chap. iv. 20, he knew not, at that distance, what temper they were in. i Kpiua, Judgment, seems here to mean expulsion by a church censure; see ver. 12. We shall be the more inclined to this, if we consider, that the apostle uses the same argument of “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," I Cor. v. 6, where
he would persuade the Corinthians to purge out the fornicator, 11 « Persecution. The persecution St. Paul was still under was a convincing argu
ment, that he was not for circumcision, and subjection to the law; for it was from the Jews, upon that account, that, at this time, rose all the persecution which the Christians suffered; as may be seen through all the history of the Acts. Nor are there wanting clear footsteps of it, in several places of this epistle, besides this here, as chap. iii. 4, and vi. 12.
TEXT. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty.
PARAPHRASE. verts are to be circumcised, and so subjected to the law, the
great offence of the Gospel', in relying solely on a crucified 12 Saviour for salvation, is removed. But I am of another mind,
and wish that they may be cut off who trouble you about this 13 matter, and they shall be cut off. For, brethren, ye have been
called by me unto liberty.
CHAPTER V. 13_26.
From the mention of liberty, which he tells them they are called to, under the Gospel, he takes a rise to caution them in the use of it, and so exhorts them to a spiritual, or true Christian life, showing the difference and contrariety between that and a carnal life, or a life after the flesh.
TEXT. Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
PARAPHRASE. Though the Gospel, to which you are called, be a state of liberty from the bondage of the law, yet pray take great care you do not mistake that liberty, nor think it affords you an
opportunity, in the abuse of it, to satisfy the lust of the flesh, 14 but serve a one another in love. For the whole law, concern
NOTE. 13 a Aqva cúele, serve, has a greater force in the Greek than our English word,
serve, does in the common acceptation of it express. For it signifies the opposite