BIBLE: Galatians Chapter 4 – Headline “A Brother From Another Mother”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Galatians 4

Sons and Heirs Through Christ

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,
Galatians 4:but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.
Galatians 4:Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
Galatians 4:But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born (or made) of a woman, born under the law,
Galatians 4:to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Galatians 4:And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
  • “Abba” literally means “Father”.
Galatians 4:Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of (through) God through Christ.

Fears for the Church

Galatians 4:But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.
Galatians 4:But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
  • The Law itself is under its own law seeing that the One who has power over it keeps it in subjection.
Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.
  • The Jewish Feasts, Sabbaths, and Jubilees all of which pointed to Jesus.
Galatians 4:11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.
Galatians 4:12 Brethren, I urge you to become like me, for I became like you. You have not injured me at all.
Galatians 4:13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first.
Galatians 4:14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel (Or: messenger) of God, even as Christ Jesus.
Galatians 4:15 What (Where) then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.
Galatians 4:16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
Galatians 4:17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them.
Galatians 4:18 But it is good to be zealous in a good thing always, and not only when I am present with you.
Galatians 4:19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you,
Galatians 4:20 I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.

Two Covenants

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons (Ishmael and Isaac): the one by a bondwoman (Hagar), the other by a freewoman (Sarah).
  • From the Hebrew name יִשְׁמָעֵאל (Yishma’el) (ie Ishmael) meaning “God will hear”, from the roots שָׁמַע (shama’) meaning “to hear” and אֵל (‘el) meaning “God”. In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Abraham. He is the traditional ancestor of the Arab people.
  • The Hebrew term Yiṣḥāq (יִצְחָק) (Isaac) which literally means “He laughs/will laugh.” Abraham and Sarah laughed when God told them that the barren Sarah would have a son in her old age.
Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
  • The flesh is the natural man and the promise is the spiritual man.
Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—
Galatians 4:25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—
Galatians 4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother (Sarai) of us all.
Galatians 4:27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”
  • Isaiah 54 [A Perpetual Covenant of Peace] “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.
  • Genesis 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
  • Genesis 25:21 Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.

  • Jesus is the “Son of Promise”, the Seed of Abraham. Believers are of His Seed, His children.
Galatians 4:29 But, as he (Ishmael) who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him (Isaac) who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
  • The Law even now persecutes the child of Promise; the child of Faith.
    • Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”
  • Cast out the Law and its offspring. The children of the law will not be heirs with the children of faith.
    • Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
  • Hagar the Egyptian was the mother of Ishmael. Egyptian literally means to be bound up in grave clothes/captivity.
Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Ishmael is the brother from the other mother (the Law)
Isaac is the brother from another mother (the Spirit)

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