galatians 4 commentary

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He continued to frequent the Sabbath-worship of the synagogue, attended the feasts, bound himself under voluntary vows. Because ye are sons has been perverted by 'religious leaders, and made to teach as if it said, “to make you sons,” etc. 19. , as distinguished from Jerusalem below: and to this distinction the apostle seems to have respect here, who further says concerning this Jerusalem, that she. When he first came among them, he laboured exceedingly; he preached the Gospel in season, and out of season; he followed his indefatigable endeavours with importunate prayers; and his ministry among them was attended with much weakness of body, and with many reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, comparable to the birth throes of a woman in travail: however, as he hoped he was the means of their being born again, of the turning of them from Heathenism to Christianity, and from serving idols to serve the living God, and believe in his Son Jesus Christ; but the false apostles coming among them had so strangely wrought upon them, and they were so much gone back and degenerated, that they seemed to be like so many abortions, or as an unformed foetus; wherefore he laboured again with all his might and main, by writing to them, using arguments with them, sometimes giving them good words, at other times rough ones, and fervently praying for them, if possible, to recover them from Judaism, to which they were inclined, to the pure Gospel of Christ. The apostle therefore properly places this mountain in Arabia. (See the passage cited in the preceding verse.) Desire to be present. It has also been rendered “notwithstanding” 10 times. However, the descendants from this union though numerous, were people of the heathen world and not spiritual children of God, as were the descendants of Sarah through Christ. 17; Xen. Nechalot, c. 11. . Yet in this and the following verses, Sarah is represented as the mother of Christians, notwithstanding she was an ancestor of Moses by whom the law for the Jews was given. The Jews themselves own that the time of the Messiah's coming is fixed, and that at that time he shall come, whether they are worthy or not, for so it is asserted in their TalmudF4T. They were happy persons while under the ministry of the apostle; as a Gospel ministry is a great happiness to any that enjoy it; for this is the way to find eternal life, to have spiritual peace and pleasure, joy and comfort, light and liberty, whereas a contrary doctrine leads to all the reverse. It is in the latter sense that the present use is made of the two sons of Abraham. The events concerning these two women were literal and actually happened, but Paul is showing how the facts illustrate some other truths pertaining to God’s dispensations of religion among mankind. Study the bible online using commentary on Galatians 4 and more! Ishmael was conceived and born according to the established laws of fleshly reproduction; the account of it is in Genesis 16. meaning the ordinances of the ceremonial law, he before calls "the elements of the world", and here "weak", because they could not give life, righteousness, peace, joy, comfort, and salvation; and, since the coming of Christ, were become impotent to all the uses they before served; and beggarly, because they lay in the observation of mean things, as meats, drinks, &c. and which were only shadows of those good things, the riches of grace and glory, which come by Christ. What they were wishing and seeking for was to draw off the minds and affections of these persons from him; or they were desirous of removing them from the Gospel of Christ unto another Gospel, and did all they could to hinder them from obeying the truth; and particularly were for shutting them out of their Christian liberty, and bringing them under the bondage of the law; yea, were for separating them from the churches, that they might set up themselves at the head of them. 1,2. , אפוטרופא לדיקנני לא מוקמינן, "we do not appoint a tutor or guardian for a bearded person"; that is, an adult person, one that is grown up to man's estate; but מוקמינן ליה אפוטרופא לינוקא, "we appoint a guardian for an infant"; and they had not used to appoint women or servants, or such as were minors themselves, or any of the common people; but men of substance, integrity, and wisdomF26Maimon. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 1. lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain, Ye know how, through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the Gospel unto you at the first, Where is then the blessedness you 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, Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, And answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children, 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, persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman, John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. that Abraham had two sons, not two sons only; for besides the two referred to, he had six more, Genesis 25:2 but it being only pertinent to the apostle's purpose to take notice of these two, he mentions no more, though he does not deny that he had any more. meaning, when the Gospel was first preached to them by him; when Christ was revealed to them as God's salvation; when the doctrines of free justification by the righteousness of Christ, and full pardon by his atonement and satisfaction by his sacrifice, were published among them; when the love of God was shed abroad in their hearts, and the Spirit of Christ was sent thither, crying "Abba", Father: but, alas! of them more rightly think, that it meant a contention about the inheritance, which Sarah's words to Abraham seem to confirm; and that Ishmael claimed the birthright, and despised Isaac as the younger son; insisted upon the right to the inheritance, and mocked at the promise of God, with respect to Isaac; and might threaten what he would do to him, should he claim it thereupon: mocking has been always reckoned a species of persecution; so the Old Testament saints, among other instances of persecution, had trial of "cruel mockings"; thus our Lord was persecuted, and also his apostles. Gendereth to bondage means to bring forth children who are destined to bondage under rites and ceremonies of the law. But it is good to be zealously affected,.... A zealous affection when right is very commendable, as the instances of Phinehas, Elijah, John the Baptist, and our Lord Jesus Christ show, and a contrary spirit is very disagreeable. Since the Galatians seemed to be better inclined toward Paul when he was in their midst personally, he wished to be with them again. because I tell you the truth; the Gospel so called, because it comes from the God of truth, is concerned with Christ, who is truth itself, and is dictated, revealed, and blessed by the Spirit of truth; and is opposed unto, and is distinct from the law, which is only an image and shadow, and not truth itself: it chiefly respects the great truths of salvation alone by Christ, and justification by his righteousness; and may also regard what he had said concerning the abrogation of the law, blaming them for the observance of it, and calling its institutions weak and beggarly elements; all which he told or spoke publicly, plainly, honestly, fully, and faithfully, boldly, constantly, and with all assurance, consistently, and in pure love to their souls; and yet it brought on him their anger and resentment.

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