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Sons and heirs
- And I say this: as long as the heir is a child, he differs from a slave in nothing, though being lord of everything.
- But he’s under guardians and stewards until the time appointed beforehand by the father.
- In this way also, when we were children, we were being enslaved under the elementary principles of the world.
- But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son; having been born from a woman and born under the law,
- so He might buy back the men under the law, so we might receive the adoption as sons.
- 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!”
- So then you’re no longer a slave, but a son. And if a son, then also an heir through God.
- But not *knowing God at that former time, you were indeed enslaved to the men who by nature aren’t gods.
- But now having known God – and more, having been known by God – how do you return to the weak and destitute elementary principles, to which you want to be enslaved all over again?
- You carefully observe days, and months, and seasons, and years.
- I fear for you, lest somehow in vain I have exhausted myself working for you.
- I implore you brothers: become like I am, because I also became like you. You wronged me in nothing.
- Now, you *know that I formerly preached the gospel to you through(2)“through” could also be translated “because of”, since that is this Greek word’s other primary meaning. an infirmity of the flesh.
- 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.
- Where then is your declaration of blessedness? For I testify of you that if you were able, you would’ve given me your eyes after having plucked them out.
- Have I become your enemy by speaking truth to you?
- They are jealous for you. Not nobly, but to exclude you so you might be jealous for them.
- And it’s always noble to be jealous for a noble thing, and not only when I’m present with you.
- My children, for whom I again go through birthing pains until the Anointed might be formed in you,
- and I’m 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
- Tell me, you men who wish to be under the law, don’t you listen to the law?
- For it is *written that Abraham had two sons; one from the slave woman and one from the free woman.
- 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,
- (about which we’re speaking allegorically) for these are two covenants. Indeed, one is from Mount Sinai birthing into slavery, which is Hagar.
- Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to present Jerusalem, for she’s enslaved with her children.
- But the Jerusalem above is free, who is our mother.
- For it is *written: “Be glad you barren woman, the woman who hasn’t given birth. Break forth and shout you woman who didn’t have labor pains, because the children of the desolate woman are many more than of the woman who has a husband.”(3)quotation/allusion to Isaiah 54:1
- But brothers, you are children of promise like Isaac.
- 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.
- 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.” (4)quotation/allusion to Genesis 21:10
- Therefore brothers, we aren’t children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
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