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Sons and Heirs

1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,1 though he is the owner of everything,
2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.
3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles2 of the world.
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.
9 But 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?
10 You observe days and months and seasons and years!
11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.
12 Brothers,3 I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong.
13 You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first,
14 and 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.
15 What 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.
16 Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?4
17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.
18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you,
19 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!
20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?
22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman.
23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.
24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.
25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;5 she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
27 For 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.”
28 Now you,6 brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
29 But 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.
30 But 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.”
31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 7
2 Or elemental spirits; also verse 9
3 Or Brothers and sisters; also verses 28, 31
4 Or by dealing truthfully with you
5 Some manuscripts For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia
6 Some manuscripts we
1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.
2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces1 of the world.
4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.2
6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,3 Father.”
7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces4? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!
11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong.
13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you,
14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.
15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them.
18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.
19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,
20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?
22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman.
23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.
24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.
25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.
26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.
27 For it is written: “Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”5
28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise.
29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”6
31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
1 Or under the basic principles
2 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
3 Aramaic for Father
4 Or principles
5 Isaiah 54:1
6 Gen. 21:10
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.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
1 Or under the basic principles
2 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
3 Aramaic for Father
4 Or principles
5 Isaiah 54:1
6 Gen. 21:10
1 Here 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.
2 They 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.
3 It is the same with us. When we were children, we were slaves to the basic things the people of the world believe.
4 But then the right time came. God sent his Son. A woman gave birth to him. He was born under the authority of the law.
5 He came to set free those who were under the law. He wanted us to be adopted as children with all the rights children have.
6 Because 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.
7 So 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

8 At one time you didn't know God. You were slaves to gods that are really not gods at all.
9 But 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?
10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!
11 I am afraid for you. I am afraid that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

Paul's Appeal to the Believers

12 I 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.
13 As you know, it was because I was sick that I first preached the good news to you.
14 My 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.
15 What 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.
16 Have I become your enemy now by telling you the truth?
17 Those 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.
18 It 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.
19 My 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.
20 I 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

21 You who want to be under the authority of the law, tell me something. Don't you know what the law says?
22 It 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.
23 Abraham'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.
24 Those 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.
25 Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia. She stands for the present city of Jerusalem. That's because she and her children are slaves.
26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free. She is our mother.
27 It 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.”
28 Brothers and sisters, you are children because of God's promise just as Isaac was.
29 At 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.
30 But 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.”
31 Brothers and sisters, we are not the slave woman's children. We are the free woman's children.
1 Or under the basic principles
2 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
3 Aramaic for Father
4 Or principles
5 Isaiah 54:1
6 Gen. 21:10
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