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ESV — Galatians 4

Sons and Heirs

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, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, cwere enslaved to the elementary principles2 of the world. But dwhen the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, eborn fof woman, born gunder the law, hto redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive iadoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent jthe Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then kan heir through God.

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you ldid not know God, you mwere enslaved to those that by nature nare not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather oto be known by God, phow can you turn back again to qthe weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 rYou observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid sI may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,3 tI entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. uYou did me no wrong. 13 You know it was vbecause of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you wat first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me xas an angel of God, yas 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 ztelling 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 anot only when I am present with you, 19 bmy little children, cfor whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ dis 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, eone by a slave woman and fone by a free woman. 23 But gthe son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while hthe son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two icovenants. jOne 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 kthe Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

l“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, mlike Isaac, nare children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh opersecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, pso also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? q“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 rof the free woman.

Footnotes

[1] 4:1 Greek bondservant; also verse 7
[2] 4:3 Or elemental spirits; also verse 9
[3] 4:12 Or Brothers and sisters; also verses 28, 31
[4] 4:16 Or by dealing truthfully with you
[5] 4:25 Some manuscripts For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia
[6] 4:28 Some manuscripts we