1Here is what I have been saying. As long as your own children are young, they are no different from slaves in your house. They are no different, even though they own all of the property.2They are under the care of guardians and those who manage the property. They are under their care until the time when their fathers give them the property.3It is the same with us. When we were children, we were slaves to the basic things the people of the world believe.4But then the right time came. God sent his Son. A woman gave birth to him. He was born under the authority of the law.5He came to set free those who were under the law. He wanted us to be adopted as children with all the rights children have.6Because you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. He is the Holy Spirit. By his power we call God “[Abba.]” Abba means Father.7So you aren't slaves any longer. You are God's children. Because you are his children, he gives you what he promised to give his people.
Paul's Concern for the Believers in Galatia
8At one time you didn't know God. You were slaves to gods that are really not gods at all.9But now you know God. Even better, God knows you. So why are you turning back to those weak and worthless beliefs? Do you want to be slaves to them all over again?10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!11I am afraid for you. I am afraid that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
Paul's Appeal to the Believers
12I make my appeal to you, brothers and sisters. I'm asking you to become like me. After all, I became like you. You didn't do anything wrong to me.13As you know, it was because I was sick that I first preached the good news to you.14My sickness was hard on you. But you didn't put me off. You didn't make fun of me. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God. You welcomed me as if I were Christ Jesus himself.15What has happened to all of your joy? If you could have torn out your own eyes and given them to me, you would have. I can give witness to that.16Have I become your enemy now by telling you the truth?17Those people are trying hard to win you over. But it is not for your good. They want to take you away from us. They want you to commit yourselves to them.18It is fine to be committed to something, if the purpose is good. And you shouldn't be committed only when I am with you. You should always be committed.19My dear children, I am in pain for you. Once again I have pain like a woman giving birth. And my pain will continue until Christ makes you like himself.20I wish I could be with you now. I wish I could change my tone of voice. As it is, you bewilder me.
Hagar and Sarah
21You who want to be under the authority of the law, tell me something. Don't you know what the law says?22It is written that Abraham had two sons. The slave woman gave birth to one of them. The free woman gave birth to the other one.23Abraham's son by the slave woman was born in the usual way. But his son by the free woman was born because of God's promise.24Those things can be taken as examples. The two women stand for two covenants. One covenant comes from Mount Sinai. It gives birth to children who are going to be slaves. It is Hagar.25Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia. She stands for the present city of Jerusalem. That's because she and her children are slaves.26But the Jerusalem that is above is free. She is our mother.27It is written, “Be glad, woman, you who have no children. Start shouting, you who have no labor pains. The woman who is all alone has more children than the woman who has a husband.” (Isa 54:1)28Brothers and sisters, you are children because of God's promise just as Isaac was.29At that time, the son born in the usual way tried to hurt the son born by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the same now.30But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman. Get rid of her son. The slave woman's son will never have a share of the family's property with the free woman's son.” (Ge 21:10)31Brothers and sisters, we are not the slave woman's children. We are the free woman's children.
English Standard Version
Sons and Heirs
1I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, 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 of the world. (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; Mr 1:15; Lu 2:21; Lu 2:27; Joh 1:14; Php 2:7; 1Ti 2:6; 1Ti 2:15)5to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Ro 8:15; Ga 3:13; Ga 3:26)6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Ac 16:7; Ro 5:5; 2Co 3:17)7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Ga 3:29)
Paul’s Concern for the Galatians
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. (2Ch 13:9; Isa 37:19; Jer 2:11; Jer 5:7; Jer 16:20; 1Co 1:21; 1Co 8:4; Eph 2:11; 1Th 1:9; 1Th 4:5; 2Th 1:8; 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; 1Co 8:3; Ga 3:3; Heb 7:18)10You observe days and months and seasons and years! (Ro 14:5; Col 2:16)11I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain. (Ga 2:2; Ga 5:2; Ga 5:4; 1Th 3:5)12Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. (2Co 2:5; 2Co 6:13)13You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, (1Co 2:3; 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; Mal 2:7; Mt 10:40; 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? (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)19my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! (Ro 8:10; 1Co 4:15; Phm 1:10; 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; Ge 21:2)23But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. (Ge 17:16; Ge 18:10; Ge 18:14; Ge 21:1; Ro 9:7; Ga 4:28; Ga 4:29; Heb 11:11)24Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. (De 33:2; Ro 9:4)25Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.26But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. (Heb 12:22; Re 3:12; Re 21:2; 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)28Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. (Ro 9:8; Ga 3:29; Ga 4:23)29But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. (Ge 21:9; Ga 5:11)30But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” (Ge 21:10; Joh 8:35)31So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. (1Pe 3:6)