The Same Subject Continued: Illustration of Our Subjection to the Law Only till Christ
Came, from the Subjection of an Heir to His Guardian till He Is of
Age. Peter's Good Will to the Galatians
Should Lead Them to the Same Good Will to Him as They Had at First
Shown. Their Desire to Be under the Law
Shown by the Allegory of Isaac and Ishmael to Be Inconsistent with
Their Gospel Liberty.
1-7. The fact of God's sending His Son to
redeem us who were under the law (Ga 4:4), and sending the Spirit of His Son into
our hearts (Ga 4:6),
confirms the conclusion (Ga 3:29) that
we are "heirs according to the promise."
the heir—(Ga 3:29). It is not, as in earthly inheritances,
the death of the father, but our Father's sovereign will simply that
makes us heirs.
child—Greek, "one under
differeth nothing, &c.—that is,
has no more freedom than a slave (so the Greek for "servant"
means). He is not at his own disposal.
lord of all—by title and virtual
ownership (compare 1Co 3:21, 22).
2. tutors and governors—rather,
"guardians (of the person) and stewards (of the property)." Answering
to "the law was our schoolmaster" or "tutor" (Ga 3:24).
until the time appointed of the
father—in His eternal purposes (Eph 1:9-11). The Greek is a legal
term, expressing a time defined by law, or testamentary
3. we—the Jews primarily, and
inclusively the Gentiles also. For the "we" in Ga 4:5 plainly refers to both Jew and
Gentile believers. The Jews in their bondage to the law of Moses, as
the representative people of the world, include all mankind virtually
amenable to God's law (Ro 2:14, 15; compare Note, see on Ga 3:13; Ga 3:23). Even the
Gentiles were under "bondage," and in a state of discipline suitable to
nonage, till Christ came as the Emancipator.
were in bondage—as "servants" (Ga 4:1).
under the elements—or "rudiments";
rudimentary religion teaching of a non-Christian character: the
elementary lessons of outward things (literally, "of the [outward]
world"); such as the legal ordinances mentioned, Ga 4:10 (Col 2:8, 20). Our childhood's lessons [Conybeare and Howson]. Literally, The letters of the
alphabet (Heb 5:12).
4. the fulness of the time—namely, "the
time appointed by the Father" (Ga 4:2). Compare Note, see on Eph 1:10; Lu 1:57; Ac 2:1; Eze 5:2. "The Church has its own ages" [Bengel]. God does nothing prematurely, but,
foreseeing the end from the beginning, waits till all is ripe for the
execution of His purpose. Had Christ come directly after the fall, the
enormity and deadly fruits of sin would not have been realized fully by
man, so as to feel his desperate state and need of a Saviour. Sin was
fully developed. Man's inability to save himself by obedience to the
law, whether that of Moses, or that of conscience, was completely
manifested; all the prophecies of various ages found their common
center in this particular time: and Providence, by various
arrangements in the social and political, as well as the moral world,
had fully prepared the way for the coming Redeemer. God often permits
physical evil long before he teaches the remedy. The smallpox had for
long committed its ravages before inoculation, and then vaccination,
was discovered. It was essential to the honor of God's law to permit
evil long before He revealed the full remedy. Compare "the set time"
was come—Greek, "came."
sent forth—Greek, "sent
forth out of heaven from Himself" [Alford and Bengel].
The same verb is used of the Father's sending forth the Spirit (Ga 4:6). So in Ac 7:12. Compare with this verse, Joh 8:42; Isa
his—emphatical. "His own Son."
Not by adoption, as we are (Ga 4:5): nor merely His Son by the anointing of
the Spirit which God sends into the heart (Ga 4:6; Joh
made of a woman—"made" is used as in
15:45, "The first man, Adam,
was made a living soul," Greek, "made to be (born)
of a woman." The expression implies a special interposition of God in
His birth as man, namely, causing Him to be conceived by the Holy
Ghost. So Estius.
made under the law—"made to be under
the law." Not merely as Grotius and
Alford explain, "Born subject to the law
as a Jew." But "made" by His Father's appointment, and His own
free will, "subject to the law," to keep it all, ceremonial and moral,
perfectly for us, as the Representative Man, and to suffer and exhaust
the full penalty of our whole race's violation of it. This constitutes
the significance of His circumcision, His being presented in the temple
2:21, 22, 27; compare Mt 5:17), and His baptism by John, when He
3:15), "Thus it becometh us
to fulfil all righteousness."
5. To—Greek, "That He might
them … under the law—primarily
the Jews: but as these were the representative people of the world,
the Gentiles, too, are included in the redemption (Ga 3:13).
receive—The Greek implies the
suitableness of the thing as long ago predestined by God.
"Receive as something destined or due" (Lu 23:41; 2Jo 8). Herein God makes of sons of men sons
of God, inasmuch as God made of the Son of God the Son of man [Augustine on Psalm 52].
6. because ye are sons—The gift of the
Spirit of prayer is the consequence of our adoption. The Gentile
Galatians might think, as the Jews were under the law before their
adoption, that so they, too, must first be under the law. Paul, by
anticipation, meets this objection by saying, Ye are sons, therefore ye need not be as children
(Ga 4:1) under the tutorship of the law,
as being already in the free state of "sons" of God by faith in Christ
3:26), no longer in your
nonage (as "children," Ga 4:1). The
Spirit of God's only Begotten Son in your hearts, sent from, and
leading you to cry to, the Father, attests your sonship by adoption:
for the Spirit is the "earnest of your inheritance" (Ro 8:15, 16;
Eph 1:13). "It is because ye
are sons that God sent forth" (the Greek requires this
translation, not "hath sent forth") into OUR (so the oldest manuscripts read for "your," in
English Version) hearts the Spirit of His son, crying, "Abba,
Father" (Joh 1:12). As
4:5 he changed from "them,"
the third person, to "we," the first person, so here he changes from
"ye," the second person, to "our," the first person: this he does to
identify their case as Gentiles, with his own and that of his believing
fellow countrymen, as Jews. In another point of view, though not the
immediate one intended by the context, this verse expresses, "Because
ye are sons (already in God's electing purpose of love), God
sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts," &c.: God thus,
by sending His Spirit in due time, actually conferring that sonship
which He already regarded as a present reality ("are") because of His
purpose, even before it was actually fulfilled. So Heb 2:13, where "the children" are spoken of as
existing in His purpose, before their actual existence.
the Spirit of his Son—By faith ye are
one with the Son, so that what is His is yours; His Sonship ensures
your sonship; His Spirit ensures for you a share in the same. "If any
man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Ro 8:9). Moreover, as the Spirit of God
proceeds from God the Father, so the Spirit of the Son proceeds from
the Son: so that the Holy Ghost, as the Creed says, "proceedeth from
the Father and the Son." The Father was not begotten: the Son is
begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost proceeding from
the Father and the Son.
crying—Here the Spirit is regarded as the agent in praying,
and the believer as His organ. In Ro 8:15, "The Spirit of adoption" is said to be
that whereby WE cry, "Abba, Father"; but
8:26, "The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with
groanings which cannot be uttered." The believers' prayer is His
prayer: hence arises its acceptability with God.
Abba, Father—The Hebrew says,
"Abba" (a Hebrew term), the Greek, "Father"
("Pater," a Greek term in the original), both united
together in one Sonship and one cry of faith, "Abba, Father." So "Even
so ('Nai,' Greek) Amen (Hebrew)," both meaning the
1:7). Christ's own former cry
is the believers' cry, "Abba, Father" (Mr 14:36).
7. Wherefore—Conclusion inferred from
thou—individualizing and applying the
truth to each. Such an individual appropriation of this comforting
truth God grants in answer to them who cry, "Abba, Father."
heir of God through Christ—The oldest
manuscripts read, "an heir through God." This combines on behalf of
man, the whole before-mentioned agency, of THE
Trinity: the Father sent His Son and the Spirit; the Son has
freed us from the law; the Spirit has completed our sonship. Thus the
redeemed are heirs THROUGH the Triune
God, not through the law, nor through
fleshly descent [Windischmann in Alford]; (Ga 3:18 confirms this).
heir—confirming Ga 3:29; compare Ro 8:17.
8-11. Appeal to them not to turn back from
their privileges as free sons, to legal bondage again.
then—when ye were "servants" (Ga 4:7).
ye knew not God—not opposed to Ro 1:21. The heathen originally
knew God, as Ro 1:21
states, but did not choose to retain God in their knowledge, and so
corrupted the original truth. They might still have known
Him, in a measure, from His works, but as a matter of fact they knew
Him not, so far as His eternity, His power as the Creator, and His
holiness, are concerned.
are no gods—that is, have no
existence, such as their worshippers attribute to them, in the nature
of things, but only in the corrupt imaginations of their worshippers
(see on 1Co 8:4; 1Co 10:19,
13:9). Your "service" was a
different bondage from that of the Jews, which was a true service. Yet
theirs, like yours, was a burdensome yoke; how then is it ye wish to
resume the yoke after that God has transferred both Jews and Gentiles
to a free service?
9. known God or rather are known of
God—They did not first know and love God, but
God first, in His electing love, knew and loved them as His, and
therefore attracted them to the saving knowledge of Him (Mt
7:23; 1Co 8:3; 2Ti 2:19;
compare Ex 33:12, 17; Joh 15:16; Php 3:12). God's great grace in this made their
fall from it the more heinous.
how—expressing indignant wonder at
such a thing being possible, and even actually occurring (Ga 1:6). "How is it that ye turn back
weak—powerless to justify: in
contrast to the justifying power of faith (Ga 3:24; compare Heb 7:18).
beggarly—contrasted with the
riches of the inheritance of believers in Christ (Eph 1:18). The state of the "child" (Ga 4:1) is weak, as not having attained
manhood; "beggarly," as not having attained the inheritance.
elements—"rudiments." It is as if a
schoolmaster should go back to learning the A, B, C'S [Bengel].
again—There are two Greek words
in the original. "Ye desire again, beginning afresh, to be in
bondage." Though the Galatians, as Gentiles, had never been under the
Mosaic yoke, yet they had been under "the elements of the world" (Ga 4:3): the common designation for the Jewish
and Gentile systems alike, in contrast to the Gospel (however superior
the Jewish was to the Gentile). Both systems consisted in outward
worship and cleaved to sensible forms. Both were in bondage to the
elements of sense, as though these could give the justification and
sanctification which the inner and spiritual power of God alone could
ye desire—or "will."
Will-worship is not acceptable to God (Col 2:18, 23).
10. To regard the observance of certain days
as in itself meritorious as a work, is alien to the free spirit of
Christianity. This is not incompatible with observing the Sabbath or
the Christian Lord's day as obligatory, though not as a work
(which was the Jewish and Gentile error in the observance of days), but
as a holy mean appointed by the Lord for attaining the great end,
holiness. The whole life alike belongs to the Lord in the Gospel view,
just as the whole world, and not the Jews only, belong to Him. But as
in Paradise, so now one portion of time is needed wherein to draw off
the soul more entirely from secular business to God (Col 2:16). "Sabbaths, new moons, and set feasts"
(1Ch 23:31; 2Ch 31:3), answer to "days, months, times."
"Months," however, may refer to the first and seventh
months, which were sacred on account of the number of feasts in
times—Greek, "seasons," namely,
those of the three great feasts, the Passover, Pentecost, and
years—The sabbatical year was about
the time of writing this Epistle, A.D.
11. lest—Greek, "lest
haply." My fear is not for my own sake, but for yours.
12. be as I am—"As I have in my life
among you cast off Jewish habits, so do ye; for I am become as ye are,"
namely, in the non-observance of legal ordinances. "The fact of my
laying them aside among Gentiles, shows that I regard them as not at
all contributing to justification or sanctification. Do you
regard them in the same light, and act accordingly." His observing the
law among the Jews was not inconsistent with this, for he did so only
in order to win them, without compromising principle. On the other
hand, the Galatian Gentiles, by adopting legal ordinances, showed that
they regarded them as needful for salvation. This Paul combats.
ye have not injured me at all—namely,
at the period when I first preached the Gospel among you, and when I
made myself as you are, namely, living as a Gentile, not as a Jew.
You at that time did me no wrong; "ye did not despise my
temptation in the flesh" (Ga 4:14):
nay, you "received me as an angel of God." Then in Ga 4:16, he asks, "Have I then, since
that time, become your enemy by telling you the truth?"
13. how through infirmity—rather, as
Greek, "Ye know that because of an infirmity of my
flesh I preached," &c. He implies that bodily sickness, having
detained him among them, contrary to his original intentions, was the
occasion of his preaching the Gospel to them.
at the first—literally, "at the
former time"; implying that at the time of writing he had been
twice in Galatia. See my Introduction; also see on Ga 4:16, and Ga 5:21. His sickness
was probably the same as recurred more violently afterward, "the thorn
in the flesh" (2Co 12:7),
which also was overruled to good (2Co 12:9, 10), as the "infirmity of the flesh"
14. my temptation—The oldest manuscripts
read, "your temptation." My infirmity, which was, or might have been, a
"temptation," or trial, to you, ye despised not, that is, ye
were not tempted by it to despise me and my message. Perhaps, however,
it is better to punctuate and explain as Lachmann, connecting it with Ga 4:13, "And (ye know) your temptation (that
is, the temptation to which ye were exposed through the infirmity)
which was in my flesh. Ye despised not (through natural pride),
nor rejected (through spiritual pride), but received me,"
&c. "Temptation does not mean here, as we now use the word,
tendency to an evil habit, but BODILY
as an angel of God—as a
heaven-inspired and sent messenger from God: angel means
"messenger" (Mal 2:7).
Compare the phrase, 2Sa 19:27, a
Hebrew and Oriental one for a person to be received with the highest
respect (Zec 12:8). An
angel is free from the flesh, infirmity, and
as Christ—being Christ's
representative (Mt 10:40).
Christ is Lord of angels.
15. Where, &c.—Of what value
was your congratulation (so the Greek for "blessedness"
expresses) of yourselves, on account of your having among you me, the
messenger of the Gospel, considering how entirely you have veered about
since? Once you counted yourselves blessed in being favored with
ye would have plucked out your own
eyes—one of the dearest members of the body—so highly
did you value me: a proverbial phrase for the greatest self-sacrifice
5:29). Conybeare and Howson
think that this particular form of proverb was used with reference to a
weakness in Paul's eyes, connected with a nervous frame, perhaps
affected by the brightness of the vision described, Ac 22:11;
2Co 12:1-7. "You would have
torn out your own eyes to supply the lack of mine." The divine power of
Paul's words and works, contrasting with the feebleness of his person
10:10), powerfully at first
impressed the Galatians, who had all the impulsiveness of the Celtic
race from which they sprang. Subsequently they soon changed with the
fickleness which is equally characteristic of Celts.
16. Translate, "Am I then become your
enemy (an enemy in your eyes) by telling you the truth" (Ga 2:5, 14)? He plainly did not incur their
enmity at his first visit, and the words here imply that he had
since then, and before his now writing, incurred it: so
that the occasion of his telling them the unwelcome truth, must
have been at his second visit (Ac 18:23, see my Introduction). The fool and sinner hate a
reprover. The righteous love faithful reproof (Ps 141:5; Pr
17. They—your flatterers: in contrast to
Paul himself, who tells them the truth.
zealously—zeal in proselytism was
characteristic especially of the Jews, and so of Judaizers (Ga 1:14; Mt 23:15; Ro 10:2).
affect you—that is, court you (2Co 11:2).
not well—not in a good way, or for a
good end. Neither the cause of their zealous courting of you,
nor the manner, is what it ought to be.
they would exclude you—"They wish to
shut you out" from the kingdom of God (that is, they wish to persuade
you that as uncircumcised Gentiles, you are shut out from it), "that ye
may zealously court them," that is, become circumcised, as
zealous followers of themselves. Alford
explains it, that their wish was to shut out the Galatians from the
general community, and attract them as a separate clique to their own
party. So the English word "exclusive," is used.
18. good to be zealously
affected—rather, to correspond to "zealously court" in Ga 4:18, "to be zealously courted." I do
not find fault with them for zealously courting you, nor with you for
being zealously courted: provided it be "in a good cause"
(translate so), "it is a good thing" (1Co 9:20-23). My reason for saying the "not well"
4:17; the Greek is the
same as that for "good," and "in a good cause," in Ga 4:28), is that their zealous courting of
you is not in a good cause. The older interpreters, however,
support English Version (compare Ga 1:14).
always—Translate and arrange the words
thus, "At all times, and not only when I am present with you." I
do not desire that I exclusively should have the privilege of
zealously courting you. Others may do so in my absence with my full
approval, if only it be in a good cause, and if Christ be faithfully
preached (Php 1:15-18).
19. My little children—(1Ti
1:18; 2Ti 2:1; 1Jo 2:1). My
relation to you is not merely that of one zealously courting you
18), but that of a
father to his children (1Co 4:15).
I travail in birth—that is, like a
mother in pain till the birth of her child.
again—a second time. The former time
was when I was "present with you" (Ga 4:18; compare Note, see on Ga 4:13).
Christ be formed in you—that you may
live nothing but Christ, and think nothing but Christ (Ga 2:20), and glory in nothing but Him, and His
death, resurrection, and righteousness (Php 3:8-10; Col 1:27).
20. Translate as Greek, "I could wish."
If circumstances permitted (which they do not), I would gladly be with
you [M. Stuart].
now—as I was twice already. Speaking
face to face is so much more effective towards loving persuasion than
writing (2Jo 12; 3Jo 13, 14).
change my voice—as a mother (Ga 4:19): adapting my tone of voice to
what I saw in person your case might need. This is possible to one
present, but not to one in writing [Grotius and Estius].
I stand in doubt of you—rather, "I am
perplexed about you," namely, how to deal with you, what kind of words
to use, gentle or severe, to bring you back to the right path.
21. desire—of your own accord madly
courting that which must condemn and ruin you.
do ye not hear—do ye not consider the
mystic sense of Moses' words? [Grotius].
The law itself sends you away from itself to Christ [Estius]. After having sufficiently maintained his
point by argument, the apostle confirms and illustrates it by an
inspired allegorical exposition of historical facts, containing in them
general laws and types. Perhaps his reason for using allegory was to
confute the Judaizers with their own weapons: subtle, mystical,
allegorical interpretations, unauthorized by the Spirit, were their
favorite arguments, as of the Rabbins in the synagogues. Compare the
Jerusalem Talmud [Tractatu Succa, cap. Hechalil]. Paul
meets them with an allegorical exposition, not the work of fancy, but
sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. History, if properly understood contains
in its complicated phenomena, simple and continually recurring
divine laws. The history of the elect people, like their legal
ordinances, had, besides the literal, a typical meaning (compare 1Co 10:1-4; 15:45, 47; Re 11:8). Just as the extra-ordinarily-born
Isaac, the gift of grace according to promise, supplanted, beyond all
human calculations, the naturally-born Ishmael, so the new theocratic
race, the spiritual seed of Abraham by promise, the Gentile, as well as
Jewish believers, were about to take the place of the natural seed, who
had imagined that to them exclusively belonged the kingdom of God.
22. (Ge 16:3-16; 21:2).
Abraham—whose sons ye wish to be
a bond maid … a free
woman—rather, as Greek, "the bond maid …
the free woman."
23. after the flesh—born according to
the usual course of nature: in contrast to Isaac, who was born "by
virtue of the promise" (so the Greek), as the efficient
cause of Sarah's becoming pregnant out of the course of nature (Ro 4:19). Abraham was to lay aside all
confidence in the flesh (after which Ishmael was born), and to
live by faith alone in the promise (according to which Isaac was
miraculously born, contrary to all calculations of flesh and
24. are an allegory—rather, "are
allegorical," that is, have another besides the literal
these are the two covenants—"these
[women] are (that is, mean; omit 'the' with all the oldest
manuscripts) two covenants." As among the Jews the bondage of the
mother determined that of the child, the children of the free covenant
of promise, answering to Sarah, are free; the children of the legal
covenant of bondage are not so.
one from—that is, taking his
origin from Mount Sinai. Hence, it appears, he is treating of
the moral law (Ga 3:19)
chiefly (Heb 12:18).
Paul was familiar with the district of Sinai in Arabia (Ga 1:17), having gone thither after his
conversion. At the gloomy scene of the giving of the Law, he learned to
appreciate, by contrast, the grace of the Gospel, and so to cast off
all his past legal dependencies.
which gendereth—that is, bringing
forth children unto bondage. Compare the phrase (Ac 3:25), "children of the covenant which
God made … saying unto Abraham."
Agar—that is, Hagar.
25. Translate, "For this word, Hagar,
is (imports) Mount Sinai in Arabia (that is, among the
Arabians—in the Arabian tongue)." So Chrysostom explains. Haraut, the traveller, says
that to this day the Arabians call Sinai, "Hadschar," that is,
Hagar, meaning a rock or stone. Hagar twice fled
into the desert of Arabia (Ge 16:1-16; 21:9-21): from her the mountain and city took
its name, and the people were called Hagarenes. Sinai, with its rugged
rocks, far removed from the promised land, was well suited to represent
the law which inspires with terror, and the spirit of bondage.
answereth—literally, "stands in the
same rank with"; "she corresponds to."
Jerusalem which now is—that is, the
Jerusalem of the Jews, having only a present temporary existence, in
contrast with the spiritual Jerusalem of the Gospel, which in germ,
under the form of the promise, existed ages before, and shall be
for ever in ages to come.
and—The oldest manuscripts read,
"For she is in bondage." As Hagar was in bondage to her
mistress, so Jerusalem that now is, is in bondage to the law, and also
to the Romans: her civil state thus being in accordance with her
spiritual state [Bengel].
26. This verse stands instead of the sentence
which we should expect, to correspond to Ga 4:24, "One from Mount Sinai," namely, the
other covenant from the heavenly mount above, which is (answers in
the allegory to) Sarah.
Jerusalem … above—(Heb 12:22), "the heavenly Jerusalem." "New
Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God" (Re 3:12; 21:2). Here "the Messianic
theocracy, which before Christ's second appearing is the
Church, and after it, Christ's kingdom of glory" [Meyer].
free—as Sarah was; opposed to "she is
in bondage" (Ga 4:25).
all—omitted in many of the oldest
manuscripts, though supported by some. "Mother of us," namely,
believers who are already members of the invisible Church, the
heavenly Jerusalem, hereafter to be manifested (Heb 12:22).
27. (Isa 54:1).
thou barren—Jerusalem above: the
spiritual Church of the Gospel, the fruit of "the promise," answering
to Sarah, who bore not "after the flesh": as contrasted with the
law, answering to Hagar, who was fruitful in the ordinary course of
nature. Isaiah speaks primarily of Israel's restoration after her
long-continued calamities; but his language is framed by the Holy
Spirit so as to reach beyond this to the spiritual Zion: including not
only the Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham and children of the
law, but also the Gentiles. The spiritual Jerusalem is regarded
as "barren" while the law trammeled Israel, for she then had no
spiritual children of the Gentiles.
break forth—into crying.
cry—shout for joy.
many more—Translate as Greek,
"Many are the children of the desolate (the New Testament Church made
up in the greater part from the Gentiles, who once had not the
promise, and so was destitute of God as her husband), more than of
her which hath an (Greek, 'THE')
husband (the Jewish Church having God
for her husband, Isa 54:5; Jer 2:2)." Numerous as were the children of the
legal covenant, those of the Gospel covenant are more so. The force of
the Greek article is, "Her who has THE husband of which the other is destitute."
28. we—The oldest manuscripts and
versions are divided between "we" and "ye." "We" better accords with
Ga 4:26, "mother of us."
children of promise—not children
after the flesh, but through the promise (Ga 4:23, 29,
31). "We are" so, and
ought to wish to continue so.
29. persecuted—Ishmael "mocked" Isaac,
which contained in it the germ and spirit of persecution (Ge 21:9). His mocking was probably directed
against Isaac's piety and faith in God's promises. Being the older by
natural birth, he haughtily prided himself above him that was born by
promise: as Cain hated Abel's piety.
him … born after the Spirit—The
language, though referring primarily to Isaac, born in a spiritual way
(namely, by the promise or word of God, rendered by His Spirit
efficient out of the course of nature, in making Sarah fruitful in old
age), is so framed as especially to refer to believers justified by
Gospel grace through faith, as opposed to carnal men, Judaizers, and
even so it is now—(Ga 5:11; 6:12, 17;
Ac 9:29; 13:45, 49, 50; 14:1, 2, 19; 17:5, 13; 18:5, 6). The Jews persecuted Paul, not for
preaching Christianity in opposition to heathenism, but for preaching
it as distinct from Judaism. Except in the two cases of Philippi and
Ephesus (where the persons beginning the assault were pecuniarily
interested in his expulsion), he was nowhere set upon by the Gentiles,
unless they were first stirred up by the Jews. The coincidence between
Paul's Epistles and Luke's history (the Acts) in this respect, is
plainly undesigned, and so a proof of genuineness (see Paley, Horæ Paulinæ).
30. Ge 21:10, 12, where Sarah's words are, "shall not be
heir with my son, even with Isaac." But what was there said
literally, is here by inspiration expressed in its allegorical
spiritual import, applying to the New Testament believer, who is
antitypically "the son of the free woman." In Joh 8:35, 36, Jesus refers to this.
Cast out—from the house and
inheritance: literally, Ishmael; spiritually, the carnal and
shall not be heir—The Greek is
stronger, "must not be heir," or "inherit."
31. So then—The oldest manuscripts read,
"Wherefore." This is the conclusion inferred from what precedes. In
3:29 and Ga 4:7, it was
established that we, New Testament believers, are "heirs." If, then, we
are heirs, "we are not children of the bond woman (whose son, according
to Scripture, was 'not to be heir,' Ga 4:30), but of the free woman (whose son was,
according to Scripture, to be heir). For we are not "cast out" as
Ishmael, but accepted as sons and heirs.