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TEXT. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but
God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore, then, serveth the law? It was added because of trans
gressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise was made;
and it was ordained by angels, in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one; but God is one.
PARAPHRASE. 18 If the blessing and inheritance be settled on Abraham and be
lievers, as a free gift by promise, and was not to be obtained by 19 the deeds of the law; To what purpose, then, was the law?
It was added, because the Israelites, the posterity of Abraham, were transgressors, as well as other men, to show them their sins, and the punishment and death they incurred by them, until Christ should come, who was the seed, into whom both Jews and Gentiles, ingrafted by beliering, become the people of God, and children of Abraham, that seed to which the promise was made. And the law was ordained by angels, in the hand
of a mediator b, whereby it is manifest, that the law could not 20 disannul the promise; Because a mediator is a mediator be
tween two parties concerned, but God is but one of those
NOTES. 19 • That this is the meaning of, “ because of transgressions," the following part
of this section shows, wherein St. Paul argues to this purpose: The Jews were sinners, as well as other men, rer. 22. The law denouncing death to all sinners, could sare none, rer. 21, but was thereby useful to bring men to Christ, that they might be justified by faith, rer. 24. See ch. ii. 15, 16.
Mediator. See Deut. r. 5. Ler. xsri. 46. Where it is said, the law was made between God and the children of Israel, by the hand of Moses. 20 - But God is one : To understand this rerse, we must carry in our minds what
St. Paul is here doing, and that from rer. 17 is manifest, that he is proring that the law could not disannul the promise; and he does it upon this known rule, that a covenant, or promise, once ratified, cannot be altered, or disannulled, by any other, but by both the parties concerned. Now, says he, God is but one of the parties concerned in the promise; the Gentiles and Israelites together made up the other, rer. 14. But Moses, at the giving of the law, was a mediator only between the Israelites and God; and, therefore, could not transact any thing to the disannulling the promise, which was between God, and the Israelites aud Gentiles together, because God was but one of the parties to that corenant; the other, which was the Gentiles, as well as Israelites, Moses appeared, or transacted, not for. And so what was done at mount Sinai, by the mediation of Moses, could not affect a covenant made between parties whereof ouly one was there. How necessary it was for St. Paul to add this, we shall see, if we consider, that without it his argument of 430 years', distance would hare been deficient, and hardly conclusire. For if both the parties concerned in the promise had transacted by Moses the mediator, (as they might it none but the nation of the Israelites had been concerned in the promise made by Gud to Abraham) they night, by mutual consent, hare altered, or set aside, the former promise, as well four hundred years, as four days after. That which hindered
TEXT. 21 Is the law, then, against the promises of God? God forbid ! for if
there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily
righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by
faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut
unto the faith, which should afterwards be revealed.
PARAPHRASE. 21 concerned in the promise. If, then, the promised inheritance
come not to the seed of Abraham, by the law, is the law opposite, by the curse it denounces against transgressors, to the promises that God made of the blessing to Abraham ? No, by no means! For if there had been a law given, which could
have put us in a state of life, certainly righteousness should 22 have been by law. But we find the quite cont by the
Scripture, which makes no distinction betwixt Jew and Gentile, in this respect, but has shut up together all mankind, Jews and Gentiles, under sin and guilt, that the blessing" which
was promised, to that which is Abraham's true and intended 23 seed, by faith in Christ, might be given to those who believe.
NOTES. it was, that at Moses's mediation, on mount Sinai, God, who was but one of the parties to the promise, was present: but the other party, Abraham's seed, consisting of Israelites and Gentiles together, was not there; Moses transacted for the nation of the Israelites alone : the other nations were not concerned in the covenant made at mount Sinai, as they were in the promise made to Abraham and his seed; which, therefore, could not be disannulled without their consent. For that both the promise to Abraham and his seed, and the covenant with
Israel at mount Sinai, was national, is in itself evident. 21 d Zwotoñoos, “ Put into a state of life." The Greek word signifies to make
alive. St. Paul considers all men here, as in a mortal state, and to be put out of that mortal state, into a state of life, he calls, being made alive. This, he says, the law could not do, because it could not confer righteousness. • 'Ex róuou, by law, i.e. by works, or obedience to that law, which tended towards righteousness, as well as the promise, but was not able to reach, or confer it. See Rom. viii. 3, i. e. frail men were not able to attain righteousness by an exact
conformity of their actions to the law of righteousness. 22 Tà máyla, All, is used here for all men. The apostle, Rom. iii. 9, and 19,
expresses the same thing by wávlas, all men; and wãs ó xóopos, all the world. But speaking in the text here of the Jews, in particular, he says, We, meaning those of his own nation, as is evident from ver. 24, 25. $ Uuder sin, i. e. rank them all together, as one guilty race of sinners : see this proved, Rom, iii. 9. i. 18, &c. To the same purpose of putting both Jews and Gentiles into one state, St. Paul uses ouvéxi sioe wárias, “ hath shut them up all together," Rom. xi. 32.
The thing promised in this chapter, sometimes called Blessing, ver. 9, 14, sometimes Inheritance, ver. 18, sometimes Justification, ver. 11, 24, sometimes Righteousness, ver. 21, and sometimes Life, ver. 11, 21.
TEXT. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ,
that we might be justified by faith. 25 But, after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
But before Christ, and the doctrine of justification by faith' in him, came, we Jews were shut up as a company of prisoners together, under the custody and inflexible rigour of the law,
unto the coming of the Messiah, when the doctrine of justifi24 cation by faith in him should be revealed. So that the law,
by its severity, served as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, 25 that we might be justified by faith. But Christ being come,
and with him the doctrine of justification by faith, we are set free from this schoolmaster, there is no longer any need of him.
NOTES. 23 i By faith ; see ver. 14.
k Justification by faith; see ver. 24.
CHAPTER III. 26–29.
CONTENTS. As a further argument to dissuade them from circumcision, he tells the Galatians, that, by faith in Christ, all, whether Jews or Gentiles, are made the children of God; and so they stood in no need of circumcision.
TEXT. 26 For ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus.
PARAPHRASE. 26 For ye are a all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus.
NOTE. 26 a All, i.e. both Jews and Gentiles.
TEXT. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there
is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs accord
ing to the promise.
PARAPHRASE. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ have 28 put on b Christ. There is no distinction of Jew or Gentile, of
bond or free, of male or female. For ye are all one body, 29 making up one person in Christ Jesus. And if ye are all one
in Christ Jesus, ye are the true ones, seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise.
NOTES. 27 b Put ou Christ. This, which, at first sight, may seem a very bold metaphor, if
we consider what St. Paul has said, ver. 16 and 26, is admirably adapted to express his thoughts in few words, and has a great grace in it. He says, ver. 16, that “ the seed, to which the promise was made, was but one, and that one was Christ.” And ver. 26, he declares, “ that by faith in Christ, they all became the sons of God.” To lead them into an easy conception how this is done, he here tells them, that, by taking on them the profession of the Gospel, they have, as it were, put on Christ; so that to God, now looking on them, there appears nothing but Christ. They are, as it were, covered all over with him, as a man is with the clothes he hath put on. And hence he says, in the next verse, that “ they are all one in Christ Jesus," as if there were but that one
person. 29 © The Clermont copy reads ki imecs els écè év Xpisū 'Ingoữ, “ And if ye are
one in Christ Jesus;" more suitable, as it seems, to the apostle's argument. For, ver. 28, he says, “ They are all one in Christ Jesus;" from whence the inference in the following words, of the Clermont copy, is natural : “ And if ye be one in Christ Jesus, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to promise."
CHAPTER IV. 1-11.
CONTENTS. In the first part of this section he further shows, that the law was not against the promise, in that the child is not disinherited, by being under tutors. But the chief design of this section is to show, that though both Jews and Gentiles were intended to be the children of God, and heirs of the promise by faith in Christ, yet they both of them were left in bondage, the Jews to the law, ver. 3, and the Gentiles to false gods, ver. 8, until Christ in due time came to redeem them both; and, therefore, it was folly in the Galatians, being redeemed from one bondage, to go backwards, and put themselves again in a state of bondage, though under a new master.
TEXT. 1 Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing
from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the
father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the
elements of the world : 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son,
made of a woman, made under the law; 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the
adoption of sons. 6 And, because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son
into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
PARAPHRASE. 1 Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth 2 nothing from a bondman", though he be lord of all; But
is under tutors and guardians, until the time prefixed by 3 his father. So web Jews, whilst we were children, were in 4 bondage under the law c. But when the time appointed for
the coming of the Messias was accomplished, God sent forth 5 his Son, made of a woman, and subjected to the law; That he
might redeem those who were under the law, and set them free
from it, that we, who believe, might be put out of the state of 6 bondmen, into that of sons. Into which state of sons, it is
evident that you, Galatians, who were heretofore Gentiles, are
Bondage, ver. 3, 7, will scarce be understood by an English reader : but St.
church, which, though God's peculiar people, yet was to pass its nonage (so St. Paul calls it) under the restraint and tutorage of the law, and not to receive the possession of the promised inheritance until Christ came.
The law, he calls here soysia toữ xóomov, “Elements, or rudiments of the world." Because the observances and discipline of the law, which had restraint and bondage enough in it, led them not beyond the things of this world, into the possession, or taste, of their spiritual and heavenly inheritance.