Page images
PDF
EPUB

*Cursed is every one that continueth not in was added because of transgressions, till the all things which are written in the book of seed should come to whom the promise was the law to do them.

made; and it was ordained by angels in the 11 But that no man is justified by the hand of a mediator. law in the sight of God, it is evident for, 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of The just shall live by faith.

one, but God is one. 12 And the law is not of faith : but, "The 21 Is the law then against the promises man that doeth them shall live in them. of God? God forbid : for if there had been

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the a law given which could have given life, curse of the law, being made a curse for us: verily righteousness should have been by for it is written, °Cursed is every one that the law. hangeth on a tree:

22 But the Scripture hath concluded "all 14 That the blessing of Abraham might under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; Christ might be given to them that believe. that we might receive the promise of the 23 But before faith came, we were kept Spirit through faith.

under the law, shut up unto the faith which 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of should afterwards be revealed. men; Though it be but a man's 'covenant, 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolyet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, master to bring us unto Christ, that we or addeth thereto.

might be justified by faith. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were 25 But after that faith is come, we are no the promises made. He saith not, And to longer under a schoolmaster. seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to 26 For ye are all the children of God by thy seed, which is Christ.

faith in Christ Jesus. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that 27 For "as many of you as have been was confirmed before of God in Christ, the baptized into Christ have put on Christ. law, which was four hundred and thirty years 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there after, cannot disannul, that it should make is neither bond nor free, there is neither the promise of none effect.

male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it Jesus. is no more of promise: but God gave it to 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham by promise.

Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It | promise.

8 Hab. 2. 4. Rom. 1. 17. Heb. 10, 38.

Deut. 27. 26.

7 Levit. 18. 5. 11 Rom. 6. 3.

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 ('VYOX) 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 maidywyos, 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 the places of 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 re

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.

name.

presented

me.

you now,

CHAPTER IV.

spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it

had been possible, ye would have plucked i We were under the law till Christ came, as the heir is under his guardiun till he be of age. 5 But

out your own eyes, and have given them to Christ freed us from the law : 7 therefore we are servants no longer to it. 14 He remembereth

16 Am I therefore become your enemy, their good will to him, and his to them, 22 and because I tell you the truth? sheveth that we are the sons of Abraham by the 17 They zealously affect you, but not freewoman.

well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is might affect them. a child, differeth nothing from a servant, 18 But it is good to be zealously affected though he be lord of all;

always in a good thing, and not only when 2 But is under tutors and governors until I am present with you. the time appointed of the father.

19 My little children, of whom I travail 3 Even so we, when we were children, in birth again until Christ be formed in were in bondage under the 'elements of the you, world:

20 I desire to be present with 4 But when the fulness of the time was and to change my voice; for 'I stand in come, God sent forth his Son, made of a wo- doubt of you. man, made under the law,

21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under 5 To redeem them that were under the the law, do ye not hear the law? law, that we might receive the adoption of 22 For it is written, that Abraham had sons.

two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other 6 And because ye are sons, God hath by a freewoman. sent forth 'the Spirit of his Son into your 23 But he who was of the bondwoman hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

was born after the flesh; but he of the free7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, woman was by promise. but a son; and if a son, then an heir of 24 Which things are an allegory: for God through Christ.

these are the two covenants; the one from 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondye did service unto them which by nature age, which is Agar. are no gods.

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Ara9 But now, after that ye have known God, bia, and 'answereth to Jerusalem which now or rather are known of God, how turn ye is, and is in bondage with her children. Sagain to the weak and beggarly 'elements, 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, whereunto ye desire again to be in bond which is the mother of us all. age?

27 For it is written, "Rejoice, thou barren 10 Ye observe days, and months, and that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou times, and years.

that travailest not: for the desolate hath 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have be- many more children than she which hath an stowed upon you labour in vain.

husband. 12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am ; 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are for I am as ye are : ye have not injured me

the children of promise. at all.

29 But as then he that was born after 13 Ye know how through infirmity of the the flesh persecuted him that was born after flesh I preached the Gospel unto you at the the Spirit, even so it is now. first.

30 Nevertheless what saith the Scrip14 And my temptation which was in my ture? Cast out the bondwoman and her flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but re- son: for the son of the bondwoman shall ceived me as an angel of God, even as Christ not be heir with the son of the freewoman. Jesus.

31 So then, brethren, we are not children 15 'Where is then the blessedness ye of the bondwoman, but of the free.

1 Or, rudiments. * Rom. 8. 15.

8 Or, testaments.

3 Or, back. . Or, rudiments.
Or, is in the same rank with.

Or, hat was then.

6 OT, as. 10 Isa. 54. 1. i Rom. 9.8.

11 Gen. 21. 10.

7 0r, I am perplered for you.

Verse 2. Until the time appointed by the father.”—The case supposed appears to be that of a fatherless heis, when 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 thifteen 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 somes 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 1. h he calls the “thorn in his flesh," when writing to the Corinthians. See the note on 2 Cor. xi. 30. In the preag verse, he calls it "infirmity of the fesh.”

“ Ye would have plucked out your own eyes,” &c.—The power of seeing being the most precious of all man's bodily Ities--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, Le strongest manner, the warm regard entertained for the person to whom, or concerning whom, the declaration is e. 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.".

CHAPTER V.

casion to the flesh, but by love serve one

another. le moveth them to stand in their liberty, 3 and ot to observe circumcision : 13 but rather love,

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, hich is the sum of the law. 19 He reckoneth up even in this ; "Thou shalt love thy neighole works of the flesh, 22 and the fruits of the bour as thyself. pirit, 25 and exhorteth to walk in the Spirit.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, Srind fast therefore in the liberty where- take heed that ye be not consumed one of hih Christ hath made us free, and be not another. esfangled again with the yoke of bondage. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit,

- Behold, I Paul say unto you, that 'if and 'ye shall not fulfil the lust of the vi be circumcised, Christ shall profit you flesh. Buzhing.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spi3 For I testify again to every man that rit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these

ircumcised, that he is a debtor to do the are contrary the one to the other : so that ye "! ble law.

cannot do the things that ye would. Christ is become of no effect unto you,

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are } soever of you are justified by the law; not under the law. are fallen from grace.

19 Now the works of the flesh are mani· For we through the Spirit wait for the fest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, ve of righteousness by faith.

uncleanness, lasciviousness, For in Jesus Christ neither circum- 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, on availeth any thing, nor uncircumci- emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 1; but faith which worketh by love. 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, re

Ye did run well; 'who did hinder you vellings, and such like: of the which I tell tye should not obey the truth?

you before, as I have also told you in time This persuasion cometh not of him that past, that they which do such things shall you.

not inherit the kingdom of God. .: A little leaven leaveneth the whole 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, p.

peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, 0 I have confidence in you through the faith, 1d, that

ye will be none otherwise mind- 23 Meekness, temperance: against such si but he that troubleth you shall bear his there is no law. J'gment, whosoever he be.

24 And they that are Christ's have crui1 And I, brethren, if I yet preach cir- cified the flesh with the 'affections and p. !acision, why do I yet suffer persecution ? lusts. n is the offence of the cross ceased.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also 12 I would they were even cut off which walk in the Spirit. 11. uble you.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, :3 For, brethren, ye have been called provoking one another, envying one an...to liberty; only use not liberty for an oc- other. ? Or, who did drive you back.

• 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 ug, 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 (iyxottw) conveys, .'Witchcraft.”—The original word (paguaxua) has been understood by many commentators to mean poisoning-a

[ocr errors]

a. eth

Iar 15. 1.

3 1 Cor. 5. 6.

crime of which there were certainly but too many examples among the Greeks, Romans, and Jews. Bat 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 filesh so much more than any other kind of murder as to require to be thus specially set doel 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 words often used to express those practices in which combinations with invisible malignant powers were believed and introdel. to which (whether they had or had not that real foundation which has generally been believed) it is well knowo that the Gentiles, even in the most learned nations, were very much addicted.”

21. Revellings.”—The swuns, or " revellings" here alluded to, were, among the Greeks, as Locke explains, a dissderly spending of the night in feasting, with a licentious indulgence in wine, good cheer, music, dancing, &c.

CHAPTER VI.

for in due season we shall reap, if we faint

not. I He moveth them to deal mildly with a brother that huth slipped, 2 and to beur one another's burden :

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let 6 to be liberal to their teachers, 9 and not weary

us do good unto all men, especially unto of well doing. 12 He sheveth what they intend them who are of the houshold of faith. that preach circumcision. 14 He glorieth in no

11 Ye see how large a letter I have writthing, sare in the cross of Christ.

ten unto you with mine own hand. BRETHREN, 'if a man be overtaken in a fault, 12 As many as desire to make a fair shem ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the flesh, they constrain you to be cirin the spirit of meekness; considering thy- cumcised; only lest they should suffer perself, lest thou also be tempted.

secution for the cross of Christ. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so 13 For neither they themselves who are fulfil the law of Christ.

circumcised keep the law; but desire to 3 For if a man think himself to be some have you circumcised, that they may glory thing, when he is nothing, he deceiveth in your flesh. himself.

14 But God forbid that I should glory, 4 But let every man prove his own work, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. and then shall he have rejoicing in himself 'by whom the world is crucified unto me, alone, and not in another.

and I unto the world. 5 For 'every man shall bear his own 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumciburden.

sion availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, 6 'Let him that is taught in the word but a new creature. communicate unto him that teacheth in all 16 And as many as walk according to good things.

this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: upon the Israel of God. for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he 17 From henceforth let no man trouble

me: for I bear in my body the marks of the 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of Lord Jesus. the flesh reap corruption; but he that sow- 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus eth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life Christ be with your spirit. Amen. everlasting:

Unto the Galatians written from 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: Rome. 1 Or, although. * I Cor. 3. 8.

* 9 Thess. 3. 13. 5 Or, whereby. Verse 11. " How large a letter,” &c.—Taking the words rendered “ large” (andsxois), and "letter” (pakuasa), 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

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 interpretatioss. 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, u nát

also reap.

3 1 Cor. 9. 14.

nerves.

disrespectful. That youupata 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. În 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. pose 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 such stigmata as we have mentioned.

Others sup

« PreviousContinue »