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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 flesha, you treated me not with
contempt and scorn: but you received me as an angel of God, 15 yea, as Jesus Christ himself
. What benedictions 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 enemy 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 mand, at all times, and not barely
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 bim the letter is writ to, and it would be sometimes
ungraceful, oftentimes superfluous, particularly to mention them. 15 • 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 dThat by xado 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 men
TEXT. 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be
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.
NOTES. tioned, as peculiarly deserving their affection, to which the rule given in this verse could refer. He had said, ver. 17, Snaocom imãs, “they affect you ;" and ivæ aúłows Snãoūts, “that you might affect them;" this is only of persons, and therefore Srdoñolas iv xarw, 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, nor 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 warmth 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 bas taken to express it is much more elegant, modest, and grace
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 bè, but, must be left out, as we see it is in our translation. But if τεκνία μου, « my little children,” be joined, by apposition, to úpās, you, the last word of the foregoing verse, and so the two verses, 18 and 19, be read as one sentence, ver. 20, with 8d, but, in it, follows very naturally. But, as we now read it in our English Bible, dè, 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'Arrasau Bwinn, “ 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
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 Jerus
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. I. The term, Law, in the foregoing
verse, comprehends the five books of Moses.
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 bondV. 1. woman, but of the free'. 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, 1. 29 d'o xalà oápxa yeron leis,“ born after the flesh ;" and toy xalà niveawab, “born
after the Spirit." These expressions have, in their original brevity, with regard to the whole view, wherein St. Paul uses them, an admirable beauty and force,
which cannot be retained in a paraphrase. 30 ¢Scripture, viz. Gen. xxi. 10. 31 *The apostle, by this allegorical history, shows the Galatians, that they who
are sous of Agar, i. e, under the law given at Mount Sinai, are in bondage, 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 theniselves in that state of freedom.
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 dible, 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, Syacūchas žy xahơ, 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.