Galatians Chapter 4

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

Sons and heirs
  1. And I say this: for as long a time as the heir is a child, he differs from a slave in nothing though being lord of all things.
  2. But he’s under guardians and stewards until the time appointed beforehand by the father.
  3. In this way also, when we were children, we were *serving as slaves under the elementary principles of the world.
  4. But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son; having been born from a woman and born under the law,
  5. so He might buy back the men under the law, so we might receive the adoption as sons.
  6. And because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out “Abba,1“Abba” is a Greek form of the Hebrew word for father.  It is a term of greater closeness and familiarity than “father”, though the degree of closeness is widely debated.  Some think “Papa” or “Daddy” is appropriate, while others say that’s is too familiar and prefer “Dad” or perhaps “Pa”.  Some of the latter group prefer to render as an adjective and would translate it “dear father”. Father!”
  7. So then you’re no longer a slave, but a son.  And if a son, then also an heir through God.
  8. But not *knowing God at that former time, you indeed served as slaves to the men who by nature aren’t gods.
  9. But now having known God – and more, having been known by God – how do you return again to the weak and destitute elementary principles, to which you want to serve as slaves all over again?
  10. You carefully observe days, and months, and seasons, and years.
  11. I fear for you, lest somehow in vain I have exhausted myself working for you.
  12. I implore you brothers: become like I am, because I also became like you.  You wronged me in nothing.
  13. Now, you *know that I formerly preached the gospel to you through2“through” could also be translated “because of”, since that is this Greek word’s other primary meaning. an infirmity of the flesh.
  14. And in your test by my infirm flesh, you didn’t treat me with contempt nor reject me in disgust.  But like an angel of God, you welcomed me like Jesus the Anointed.
  15. Where then is your declaration of blessedness?  For I testify of you that if possible, you would’ve given me your eyes after having plucked them out.
  16. So have I become your enemy by speaking truth to you?
  17. They are jealous for you.  Not nobly, but they want to exclude you so you might be jealous for them.
  18. And it’s always noble to be jealous for a noble thing, and not only when I’m present with you.
  19. My children, for whom I again go through birthing pains until the Anointed might be formed in you,
  20. and I was wishing to be present with you now and to change my tone, because I’m perplexed and have doubts in you.
Hagar and Sarah, Slave and Free
  1. Tell me, you men wishing to be under the law, don’t you listen to the law?
  2. For it is *written that Abraham had two sons; one from the slave woman and one from the free woman.
  3. But indeed: the son from the slave woman has been born according to the flesh; but the son from the free woman through the promise,
  4. (about which we’re speaking allegorically) for these are two covenants.  Indeed, one is from Mount Sinai birthing into slavery, which is Hagar.
  5. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she serves as a slave with her children.
  6. But the Jerusalem above is free, who is our mother.
  7. For it is *written: “Be glad you barren woman, you woman not giving birth.  Break forth and shout you woman not suffering birthing pains, because the children of the desolate woman are many more than of the woman having a husband.”3quotation/allusion to Isaiah 54:1
  8. But brothers, you are children of promise like Isaac.
  9. But just as when the son who was born according to the flesh was persecuting the son born according to the Spirit, so also it is now.
  10. But what does the scripture say?  “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman definitely won’t inherit with the son of the free woman.” 4quotation/allusion to Genesis 21:10
  11. Therefore brothers, we aren’t children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.


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