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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GALATIANS - Chapter 3 - Verse 8

Verse 8. And the Scripture. The word Scripture refers to the Old Testament. See Barnes "Joh 5:39".

It is here personified, or spoken of as foreseeing. The idea is, that he by whom the Scriptures were inspired foresaw that. It is agreeable, the meaning is, to the account on the subject in the Old Testament. The Syriac renders this, "Since God foreknew that the Gentiles would be justified by faith, he before announced to Abraham, as the Scripture saith, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Foreseeing. That is, this doctrine is contained in the Old Testament. It was foreseen and predicted that the heathen would be justified by faith, and not by the works of the law.

That God would justify the heathen. Greek, The nations- ta eynh —the Gentiles. The fact that the heathen, or the Gentiles, would be admitted to the privileges of the true religion, and be interested in the benefits of the coming of the Messiah, is a fact which is everywhere abundantly predicted in the Old Testament. As an instance, see Isa 49:6,22,23

Isa 40. I do not know that it is anywhere distinctly foretold that the heathen would be justified by faith, nor does the argument of the apostle require us to believe this. He says that the Scriptures, that is, he who inspired the Scriptures, foresaw that fact, and that the Scriptures were written as if with the knowledge of that fact; but it is not directly affirmed. The whole structure and frame of the Old Testament, however, proceeds on the supposition that it would be so; and this is all that the declaration of the apostle requires us to understand.

Preached before the gospel. This translation does not convey quite the idea to us which the language of Paul, in the original, would to the people to whom he addressed it. We have affixed a technical sense to the phrase, "to preach the gospel." It is applied to the formal and public annunciation of the truths of religion, especially the "good news" of a Saviour's birth, and of redemption by his blood. But we are not required by the language used here to suppose that this was done to Abraham, or that "the gospel" was preached to him in the sense in which we all now use that phrase. The expression in Greek proeuhggelisato means, merely, "the joyful news was announced beforehand to Abraham;" scil, that in him should all the nations of the earth be blessed. It was implied, indeed, that it would be by the Messiah; but the distinct point of the "good news" was not the "gospel" as we understand it, but it was that somehow through him all the nations of the earth would be made happy. Tindal has well translated it, "Showed beforehand glad tidings unto Abraham." This translation should have been adopted in our common version.

In thee shall all nations be blessed. See Barnes "Ac 3:25"; See Barnes "Ro 4:13".

All nations should be made happy in him, or through him. The sense is, that the Messiah was to be descended from him; and the religion of the Messiah, producing peace and salvation, was to be extended to all the nations of the earth. See Ge 12:3. Comp. See Barnes "Ga 3:16"

of this chapter.

{d} "would justify" Ga 3:22 {e} "saying" Ge 12:3; 22:18; Ac 3:25

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