« PreviousContinue »
was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
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, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
17 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.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 Wherefore then serveth the law?
5 Deut. 27. 26. 6 Hab. 2. 4. Rom. 1. 17. Heb. 10.38.
22 But the Scripture hath concluded 1oall under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For "as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
7 Levit. 18. 5. 11 Rom. 6. 3.
8 Deut. 21. 23. 9 Or, testament. 10 Rom. 3. 9.
Verse 17. "Four hundred and thirty years after."-There has been considerable discussion here; and this is rather remarkable considering that Moses himself, Paul, Josephus, and the Talmudists agree in the same number, which they evidently obtain by counting from the call of Abraham and the original promise to him-the number of years between that promise and its ratification by the birth of Isaac, supplying the years wanting to complete the four hundred and thirty. Stephen, who says, "four hundred years" (Acts vii. 6), evidently either employs an even number for an uneven one, in a popular address; or counts from the ratification of the promise by the birth of Isaac.
19. "Ordained by angels.”—Compare Acts vii. 53. In his account of the promulgation of the law, Moses takes no notice of the presence or ministry of angels. But it was the general opinion of the ancient Jews, that wherever God manifested His presence in an especial manner, hosts of angels were in attendance. In process of time their ministry came to be included in the idea of their presence; and in the time of Christ and his apostles, it was universally believed by the Jews that the law was promulgated by the ministry of angels. This is shown by numerous Rabbinical citations adduced, here and on the parallel texts, by Lightfoot, Wetstein, Schoettgen, and Gill; and Josephus bears testimony to the same effect. (Antiq.' xv. 5. 3.)
“A mediator."-Not, in this place, Christ, as some of the ancient commentators supposed, but Moses. The office which that prophet performed, on the occasion which the Apostle has in view, was essentially that of a mediator; and was so understood by the Jews, who, at this time, were accustomed to give him that title, declaring that he then acted as "a mediator (VN) between God and them." (Tzeror Hammor,' fol. 1. 6; 1, 2.) They were right; for Moses himself distinctly claims the character thus assigned him; "I stood between the LORD and you at this time, to shew you the word of the LORD." Deut. v. 5.
24. "Our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ."-The translation of raidaywyos, pædagogus, by " schoolmaster," throws some shade over the idea this passage is intended to convey. The pædagogus was not a schoolmaster, but was generally a slave, or at least a domestic servant, who attended on his master's sons to watch over their behaviour, and particularly to conduct them to and from school and places exercise. From this part of his office he derived his He had nothing to do with education properly speaking; although when he happened to be an educated man, which was sometimes the case, he appears to have assisted and directed his young masters in getting ready their lessons for school. In the Greek authors, the pædagogus is often introduced as a character, and as such is usually represented as of a severe and imperious disposition. In point of fact, then, the present text really represents Christ himself as the schoolmaster, to whose school the pupils were brought by the pædagogus-the Law.
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
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.
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
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 bondmaid, the other by a free woman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman 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 Ara bia, and 'answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
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.
Verse 2. "Until the time appointed by the father."-The case supposed appears to be that of a fatherless heir, who, though he be "lord of all," remains under the control of guardians and tutors until he becomes of age. Among the Jews a fatherless child had two guardians. He became of age at the time appointed by his father's will: but if the father died intestate, his minority terminated at the usual time. This was thirteen years and one day, if the signs of
less of age then appeared; but if not, the time might be protracted till they were twenty years of age; and some ́s he even reached thirty-five before the matter was determined.
"My temptation which was in my flesh," &c.-St. Paul manifestly refers to the same circumstance of humiliation h he calls the "thorn in his flesh," when writing to the Corinthians. See the note on 2 Cor. xi. 30. In the preng verse, he calls it "infirmity of the flesh."
Te moveth them to stand in their liberty, 3 and sot to observe circumcision: 13 but rather love, hich is the sum of the law. 19 He reckoneth up he works of the flesh, 22 and the fruits of the pirit, 25 and exhorteth to walk in the Spirit. SAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not tangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Behold, I Paul say unto you, that 'if vbe circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
"Ye would have plucked out your own eyes," &c.-The power of seeing being the most precious of all man's bodily lties-and being deemed such by the universal consent of mankind-to declare that one is dearer to us than our that we would give our eyes to him, or for his sake, are forms of speech universally prevalent for expressing, e strongest manner, the warm regard entertained for the person to whom, or concerning whom, the declaration is de. Such forms of expression are particularly common in the East; and numerous examples might be adduced, as from the classical as the Rabbinical writers. Some readers will recollect the line of our own poet:
"Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes.”.
For we through the Spirit wait for the e of righteousness by faith.
For in Jesus Christ neither circumon availeth any thing, nor uncircumci11; but faith which worketh by love.
Ye did run well; who did hinder t ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that aeth you.
"A little leaven leaveneth the whole
For I testify again to every man that ircumcised, that he is a debtor to do the ole law.
: Christ is become of no effect unto you, soever of you are justified by the law; are fallen from grace.
d, that ye will be none otherwise mindbut he that troubleth you shall bear his Jgment, whosoever he be.
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach cirecision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
12 I would they were even cut off which 1.Duble you.
P ́I have confidence in you through the Faith,
casion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of
13 For, brethren, ye have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an oc
Or, who did drive you back. 31 Cor. 5. 6.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and 'ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Lev. 19. 18. Matt. 22. 39. Rom. 13, 9. "Or, fulfil not. • Or, passions.
erse 7. "Ye did run well; who did hinder you?"—This is an agonistical metaphor. The Galatian church is repre....ed under the figure of a racer that did run well; and it is asked, who hindered you, intercepted you, put you ig, by cutting off or running across your course? for this is the sort of interruption, as applied to the course of the which the original agonistical term (iyxorra) conveys.
"Witchcraft.”—The original word (@aquaxua) has been understood by many commentators to mean poisoning—a
crime of which there were certainly but too many examples among the Greeks, Romans, and Jews. But it is not easy to see why this should not be comprehended under the word murders; nor does any reason appear why this should seem a work of the flesh so much more than any other kind of murder as to require to be thus specially set do We need not remind the reader that our word "pharmacy" comes from the one here employed. "It is certain observes Doddridge, "that, on account of the drugs made use of in some supposed magical compositions, this word is often used to express those practices in which combinations with invisible malignant powers were believed and intended. to which (whether they had or had not that real foundation which has generally been believed) it is well known that the Gentiles, even in the most learned nations, were very much addicted."
21. "Revellings."-The zw, or "revellings" here alluded to, were, among the Greeks, as Locke explains, a discr derly spending of the night in feasting, with a licentious indulgence in wine, good cheer, music, dancing, &c.
42 Thess. 3. 13. 5 Or, whereby.
1 Or, although. I Cor. 3. 8. Verse 11. "How large a letter," &c.-Taking the words rendered "large" (λixos), and "letter" (ygappara), in their usual significations, the ancient commentators, and some of the modern (as Whitby, Doddridge, &c.), produce the following somewhat startling interpretation, "You see with what great mis-shapen letters I have written this with my own hand." This, it is conjectured, might be because he was not well versed in the Greek characters, or might be owing to that infirmity of the flesh to which he has referred, and which some suppose to have been an affection of the nerves. Heinsius, however, supposes that these words only refer to the passage which follows, since it was usual for St. Paul to write with his own hand the concluding lines of his epistles. Thus, "You see in what large letters I have written what follows, as deserving your most serious attention, viz., AS MANY AS DESIRE," &c., to the end. What gives more probability to this, is the fact that, at this time, all Greek writing was in capital letters; so that the only way to give emphasis to a particular passage was to write those letters much larger than usual. The mystery of underscoring, with single or double lines, to denote italics or capitals, was not then known.
To show the perplexity which the passage has occasioned, we may set down the following different interpretations. The Vulgate has, with what letters; Castalio, with how many letters; Erasmus, how large a letter; Beza, how long a letter. Some refer the expression to the sublimity of the apostle's sentiments, as Hilary; some to the large size of the charac ters employed, as Jerome; and others to the deformity of the characters, as if Paul could not well write Greek, as Theophylact and Chrysostom. Considering how well Paul was acquainted with the Greek language, that he was a man of education, and brought up at Tarsus, a famous seat of Greek learning, and where Greek was the language of society and education, the notion that Paul could not decently write the Greek letters seems not a little absurd, if not
31 Cor. 9. 14.
disrespectful. That yeaμpara is in the plural, and that its usual meaning is that of letters, that is, characters of writing, is certain; and it is also certain, that not Paul himself, nor any classical writer, ever uses the word for an epistle. Nevertheless, that our venerable translators are right in assigning it this sense, may appear when we observe, that this very word, in the same plural form, is used by the sacred writers, not merely to describe the characters of a writing, but the writing itself. In John v. 27, it is used to signify a written account, as distinguished from a verbal relation or discourse. In the Acts it is used for an epistle; and in 2 Tim. iii. 15, St. Paul himself applies it to the whole body of the Old Testament Scriptures. That the apostle should call it "large" is not surprising, although it be true that others are larger. For this was written a good while before any of the larger epistles: and it is really large, as compared with the usual epistolary communications of that, or indeed of any age-even the present. In fact, it is a long letter. And to St. Paul, who usually dictated to an amanuensis, it must have appeared the larger, from being all written by his own hand. He might well therefore refer to its largeness, being so written, as a proof of the interest he felt in the well-doing of the Galatian church.
17. "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."-Archbishop Potter supposes that the apostle here alludes to the stigmata, or brands, with which the Greeks used to mark those who were appointed to serve in the wars, lest they should make their escape. The stigmata were also sometimes impressed upon slaves for the same reason. Others suppose the reference may be to those marks by which the votaries of particular deities were distinguished. All these customs we have had former occasions of explaining. If any of these conjectures be true, we must suppose that the allusion is metaphorical; not that the apostle had really caused any such marks to be impressed upon his person to denote him the servant of Christ, but intimating that the meaning expressed by such stigmata was, in his case, exemplified by the weals and marks of the sufferings and punishments he had sustained in his Lord's service. It is, however, very easy, and perhaps preferable, to suppose that he alludes to those marks upon his person, without any reference to E such stigmata as we have mentioned.