1I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,
1. For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 7
 though he is the owner of everything,2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.3In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles
1. Or elemental spirits; also verse 9
 of the world. (
Ga 2:4 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—
Ga 2:4)4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, (
Ge 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring* and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. (
2Ch 13:9 Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes for ordination* with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are not gods.
1Jo 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1Jo 4:8)9But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? (
Ro 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,* he condemned sin in the flesh,
Col 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
Col 2:16)11I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain. (
Ga 2:2 I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.
Ga 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
Ga 1:6)14and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. (
1Sa 29:9 And Achish answered David and said, “I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God. Nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’
2Co 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2Co 5:20)15What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.16Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?
1. Or by dealing truthfully with you
Ga 2:5 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
Ga 2:5)17They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.18It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, (
Ga 4:13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first,
Ga 4:13)19my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! (
Ro 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Jas 1:18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Jas 1:18)20I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Example of Hagar and Sarah
21Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. (
Ge 16:5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!”
Re 3:12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.
Re 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
Re 21:10)27For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.” (
Isa 54:1 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.