« Prev Chapter 5 Next »

Chapter 5

5:1 With freedom [tēi eleutheriāi]. Rather dative case instead of instrumental, “for freedom,” “for the (article) freedom that belongs to us children of the freewoman” (4:31). Did Christ set us free [hēmas Christos ēleutherōsen]. Effective aorist active indicative of [eleutheroō] (from [erchomai], to go, go free). Stand fast therefore [stēkete oun]. See on Mr 3:31; 1Co 16:13 for this late word from perfect stem of [histēmi], “keep on standing therefore,” “stay free since Christ set you free.” Be not entangled again [mē palin enechesthe]. “Stop being held in by a yoke of bondage.” Common word for ensnare by trap. The Judaizers were trying to lasso the Galatians for the old yoke of Judaism.

5:2 I Paul [egō Paulos]. Asserts all his personal and apostolic authority. For both words see also 1Th 2:16; 2Co 10:1; Col 1:23; Eph 3:1. If ye receive circumcision [ean peritemnēsthe]. Condition of third class and present passive subjunctive, a supposable case, but with terrible consequences, for they will make circumcision a condition of salvation. In that case Christ will help them not at all.

5:3 A debtor [opheiletēs]. Common word from [opheilō], to owe for one who has assumed an obligation. See on Mt 6:12. See Ga 3:10. He takes the curse on himself.

5:4 Ye are severed from Christ [katērgēthēte apo Christou]. First aorist passive of [katargeō], to make null and void as in Ro 7:2,6. Who would be justified by the law [hoitines en nomōi dikaiousthe]. Present passive conative indicative, “ye who are trying to be justified in the law.” Ye are fallen away from grace [tēs charitos exepesate]. Second aorist active indicative of [ekpiptō] (with [a] variable vowel of the first aorist) and followed by the ablative case. “Ye did fall out of grace,” “ye left the sphere of grace in Christ and took your stand in the sphere of law” as your hope of salvation. Paul does not mince words and carries the logic to the end of the course. He is not, of course, speaking of occasional sins, but he has in mind a far more serious matter, that of substituting law for Christ as the agent in salvation.

5:5 For we [hēmeis gar]. We Christians as opposed to the legalists. Through the Spirit by faith [pneumati ek pisteōs]. By the Spirit (Holy Spirit) out of faith (not law). Clear-cut repetition to make it plain.

5:6 Availeth anything [ischuei ti]. Old word to have strength [isch–s]. See on Mt 5:13. Neither Jew nor Greek has any recommendation in his state. See 3:28. All stand on a level in Christ. Faith working through love [pistis di’ agapēs energoumenē]. Middle voice of [energeō] and “through love,” “the moral dynamic” (Burton) of Paul’s conception of freedom from law.

5:7 Who did hinder you? [tis humas enekopsen?]. First aorist active indicative of [enkoptō], to cut in on one, for all the world like our use of one cutting in on us at the telephone. For this late verb see on Ac 24:4; 1Th 2:18. Note the singular [tis]. There was some ringleader in the business. Some one “cut in” on the Galatians as they were running the Christian race and tried to trip them or to turn them.

5:8 This persuasion [hē peismonē]. “The art of persuasion,” the effort of the Judaizers to persuade you. Only here and in ecclesiastical writers.

5:9 This proverb Paul has in 1Co 5:6. It is merely the pervasive power of leaven that is involved in the proverb as in Mt 13:33, not the use of leaven as a symbol of evil.

5:10 Whosoever he be [hostis ean ēi]. Indefinite relative clause with [ean] and subjunctive. It seems unlikely that Paul knew precisely who the leader was. In 1:6 he uses the plural of the same verb [tarassō] and see also [anastatountes] in verse 12.

5:11 Why am I still persecuted? [ti eti diōkomai?]. Some of the Judaizers even circulated the slander that Paul preached circumcision in order to ruin his influence.

5:12 I would [ophelon]. Would that, used as conjunction in wishes. See on 1Co 4:2; 2Co 11:1. Here a wish about the future with future indicative. They which unsettle you [hoi anastatountes humas]. Late verb from [anastatos], driven from one’s abode, and in papyri in this sense as well as in sense of upsetting or disturbing one’s mind (boy’s letter) as here. In Ac 17:6; 21:38 we have it in sense of making a commotion. Cut themselves off [apokopsontai]. Future middle of [apokoptō], old word to cut off as in Ac 27:32, here to mutilate.

5:13 Ye were called for freedom [ep’ eleutheriāi eklēthēte]. The same point as in 5:1 made plainer by the use of [ep’] (on the basis of, for the purpose of). See 1Th 4:7 for this use of [epi]. Only use not [monon mē]. No word for “use” in the Greek. Probably supply [trepete] or [strephete], “turn not your liberty into an occasion for the flesh” [eis aphormēn tēi sarki], as a spring board for license. On [aphormē], see on 2Co 5:12. Liberty so easily turns to license.

5:14 Even in this [en tōi]. Just the article with [en], “in the,” but it points at the quotation from Le 19:18. Jews (Lu 10:29) confined “neighbour” [plēsion] to Jews. Paul uses here a striking paradox by urging obedience to the law against which he has been arguing, but this is the moral law as proof of the new love and life. See also Ro 13:8, precisely as Jesus did (Mt 22:40).

5:15 If ye bite and devour one another [ei allēlous daknete kai katesthiete]. Condition of first class assumed as true. Two common and old verbs often used together of wild animals, or like cats and dogs. That ye be not consumed one of another [mē hup’ allēlōn analōthēte]. Negative final clause with first aorist passive subjunctive of [analiskō], old word to consume or spend. In N.T. only here and Lu 9:54. There is a famous story of two snakes that grabbed each other by the tail and each swallowed the other.

5:16 Ye shall not fulfil [ou mē telesēte]. Rather, “Ye will not fulfil.” Strong double negative with aorist active subjunctive. The lust of the flesh [epithumian sarkos]. Bad sense here as usual in Paul, but not so in 1Th 2:17; Php 1:23. The word is just craving or longing (from [epi, thumos], yearning after).

5:17 Lusteth against [epithumei kata]. Like a tug of war. This use of [sarx] as opposed to the Spirit (Holy Spirit) personifies [sarx]. Lightfoot argues that [epithumei] cannot be used with the Spirit and so some other verb must be supplied for it. But that is wholly needless, for the verb, like [epithumia], does not mean evil desire, but simply to long for. Christ and Satan long for the possession of the city of Man Soul as Bunyan shows. Are contrary the one to the other [allēlois antikeitai]. Are lined up in conflict, face to face [anti-], a spiritual duel (cf. Christ’s temptations), with dative case of personal interest [allēlois]. That ye may not do [hina mē poiēte]. “That ye may not keep on doing” (present active subjunctive of [poieō]. That ye would [ha ean thelēte]. “Whatever ye wish” (indefinite relative with [ean] and present subjunctive).

5:18 Under the law [hupo nomon]. Instead of “under the flesh” as one might expect. See Ga 3:2-6 for contrast between law and spirit. The flesh made the law weak (Rom 8:3; Heb 9:10,13). They are one and the same in result. See same idea in Ro 8:14. Note present tense of [agesthe] (if you are continually led by the Spirit). See verse 23.

5:19 Manifest [phanera]. Opposed to “hidden” [krupta]. Ancient writers were fond of lists of vices and virtues. Cf. Stalker’s sermons on The Seven Cardinal Virtues and The Seven Deadly Sins. There are more than seven in this deadly list in verses 19-21. He makes the two lists in explanation of the conflict in verse 17 to emphasize the command in verses 13f. There are four groups in Paul’s list of manifest vices: (1) Sensual sins like fornication [porneia], prostitution, harlotry), uncleanness [akatharsia], moral impurity), lasciviousness [aselgeia], wantonness), sexual vice of all kinds prevailed in heathenism. (2) Idolatry [eidōlatreia], worship of idols) and witchcraft [pharmakeia] from [pharmakon], a drug, the ministering of drugs), but the sorcerers monopolized the word for a while in their magical arts and used it in connection with idolatry. In N.T. only here and Re 18:23. See Ac 19:19 [perierga], curious arts. (3) Personal relations expressed by eight words, all old words, sins of the spirit, like enmities [exthrai], personal animosities), strife [eris], rivalry, discord), jealousies [zēlos] or [zēloi], MSS. vary, our very word), wraths [thumoi], stirring emotions, then explosions), factions [eritheiai], from [erithos], day labourer for hire, worker in wool, party spirit), divisions [dichostasiai], splits in two, [dicha] and [stasis], heresies [haireseis], the very word, but really choosings from [haireomai], preferences), envyings [phthonoi], feelings of ill-will). Surely a lively list. (4) Drunkenness [methai], old word and plural, drunken excesses, in N.T. only here and Lu 21:34; Ro 13:13), revellings [kōmoi], old word also for drinking parties like those in honour of Bacchus, in N.T. only here and Ro 13:13; 1Pe 4:3). And such like [kai ta homoia toutois]. And the things like these (associative instrumental [toutois] after [homoia], like). It is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is representative.

5:21 Forewarn [prolegō] —did forewarn [proeipon]. Paul repeats his warning given while with them. He did his duty then. Gentile churches were peculiarly subject to these sins. But who is not in danger from them? Practise [prassontes]. [Prassō] is the verb for habitual practice (our very word, in fact), not [poieō] for occasional doing. The habit of these sins is proof that one is not in the Kingdom of God and will not inherit it.

5:22 The fruit of the Spirit [ho karpos tou pneumatos]. Paul changes the figure from works [erga] in verse 19 to fruit as the normal out-cropping of the Holy Spirit in us. It is a beautiful tree of fruit that Paul pictures here with nine luscious fruits on it: Love [agapē]. Late, almost Biblical word. First as in 1Co 13, which see for discussion as superior to [philia] and [erōs]. Joy [chara]. Old word. See on 1Th 1:6. Peace [eirēnē]. See on 1Th 1:1. Long-suffering [makrothumia]. See on 2Co 6:6. Kindness [chrēstotēs]. See on 2Co 6:6. Goodness [agathōsunē]. See on 2Th 1:11. Faithfulness [pistis]. Same word as “faith.” See on Mt 23:33; 1Co 13:7,13. Meekness [prautēs]. See on 1Co 4:21; 2Co 10:1. Temperance [egkrateia]. See on Ac 24:25. Old word from [egkratēs], one holding control or holding in. In N.T. only in these passages and 2Pe 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence.

5:24 Crucified the flesh [tēn sarka estaurōsan]. Definite event, first aorist active indicative of [stauroō] as in 2:19 (mystical union with Christ). Paul uses [sarx] here in the same sense as in verses 16, 17, 19, “the force in men that makes for evil” (Burton). With [sun]. “Together with,” emphasizing “the completeness of the extermination of this evil force” and the guarantee of victory over one’s passions and dispositions toward evil.

5:25 By the Spirit let us also walk [pneumati kai stoichōmen]. Present subjunctive (volitive) of [stoicheō], “Let us also go on walking by the Spirit.” Let us make our steps by the help and guidance of the Spirit.

5:26 Let us not be [mē ginōmetha]. Present middle subjunctive (volitive), “Let us cease becoming vainglorious” [kenodoxoi], late word only here in N.T. [kenos, doxa]. Once in Epictetus in same sense. Provoking one another [allēlous prokaloumenoi]. Old word [prokaleō], to call forth, to challenge to combat. Only here in N.T. and in bad sense. The word for “provoke” in Heb 10:24 is [paroxusmon] (our “paroxysm”). Envying [phthonountes]. Old verb from [phthonos]. Only here in N.T.

« Prev Chapter 5 Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version


| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |