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THE apostle has now finished his self-vindication. He has maintained his apostleship to be divine in origin and in fulness of prerogative; and the discussion at Antioch proved his equality with Peter, nay, it evinced his superiority as compared with the momentary relapse and dissimulation of the apostle of the circumcision. His rebuke of Peter does not rest simply on logical argument, but it has its source and power in the living depths of his own spiritual experience. The address as here presented concludes the first portion of the discussion, and is so moulded in its parting words that it naturally introduces us into the second division of the epistle. The object of this second or theological part is to illustrate and defend the doctrine of a free justification through faith, without the works of the law. He concludes his address to Peter by affirming, “I do not set aside the grace of God;” but all who rest justification on legal merit put aside divine grace. I am not guilty of this error, nor can I, for the Son of God died for the great and blessed purpose of providing pardon and acceptance: you Galatians knew this “for Christ was set forth in you, crucified.” How foolish, then, to fall away from Him, to resile for justification to the works of the law, and so to nullify the grace of God, and bring on you the fearful but inevitable conclusion that the death of Christ was superfluous and unneeded, and might have been dispensed with!
Having therefore vindicated his apostolic prerogative, he now turns sharply round on his readers, and, as their sudden change seemed so inexplicable, he cries-
Galatians 3:1. ῏Ω ἀνόητοι Γαλάται “O foolish Galatians!” “O senseless Celts!” The epithet ἀνόητος , sometimes taken among the classics in a passive sense, but always having an active sense in the New Testament when applied to persons (Luke 24:25; Rom 1:14 ; 1 Timothy 6:9; Titus 3:3), means foolish-acting in a spirit which manifests the absence of wisdom. Tittmann, De Syn. p. 144. The apostle does not, as Jerome wrongly supposes, charge them with foolishness as a national characteristic- regionis suae proprietas. Their temperament was rather different. It was not stupidity, but fickleness; not dulness, but susceptibility so quick as to be at variance with decision and permanence. Their folly showed itself in that facility of fascination by which they had been characterized. True, indeed, Callimachus says,
αἳ Γαλάτῃσι κακὴν ὁδὸν ἄφρονι φύλῳ
στήσονται .- Hym. εἰς Δ . 184, p. 33, ed. Blomfield.
On the other hand, Themistius calls the Galatians ὀξεῖς καὶ ἀγχίνοι καὶ εὐμαθέστεροι τῶν ἄγαν ῾Ελλήνων . Orat. 23. See Wernsdorf, de Republica Galatarum, p. 268. Jerome informs us, too, that Hilary, Gallus ipse et Pictavis genitus, calls his own race, in one of his Hymns, Gallos indociles. The ἄνοια had showed itself in the senseless change which they had made. See Introduction. Chrysostom is anxious to vindicate the apostle's use of such an epithet from being a violation of Christ's law, Matthew 5:22. The Syriac reads גָּלַל , H1670 “deficient in understanding.”
Τίς ὑμᾶς ἐβάσκανεν ;-in some of the Greek fathers, etc., ἐβάσκηνεν (Winer, § 15; A. Buttmann, p. 35) “who bewitched you?” This expressive verb still indicates the apostle's surprise, as if he could not explain their change, or as if ordinary causes could not account for it. Βασκαίνω (not as the scholiast on Aristophanes puts it = φάεσι καίνειν “to kill with the eyes,” but) from βάζω , βάσκω -Latin, fascino (Benfey, 2.104),-signifies to hurt by an evil tongue, to slander, then to talk over, or mislead by insidious speech. The word occurs only here in the New Testament. The eye is sometimes the organ of witchery as well as the tongue. Βασκαίνων τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ , Sir 14:8 ; “ oculus obliquus,” Horace, Ephesians 1:14 ; Ep1:37; also Virgil, Eclog. 3.103. It is not in unison with the context to take the verb, with the Greek interpreters, as signifying to envy, for the word with that sense usually governs the dative (Lobeck, Phryn. 463), but sometimes the accusative also, with an ideal difference. Jelf, § 589, 3, obs. 2. Chrysostom renders it τίς ἐφθόνησε ;-who has envied you? your previous privileges excited envy. Jerome adds that the evil eye was specially hurtful to the young, and therefore to the Galatians, as they were but recent converts- in Christo fide nuper nati. The stress is on ἡμᾶς , “you:” who has juggled you?-you, who possessed and so appreciated your high privileges,-he must have wielded very uncommon powers of fascination. In τίς there is no reference to the seducer's imagined piety or power, as Brown thinks; nor is there any apology, as Luther supposes, in the question, as if he “laid the fault on the false apostles.” Prof. Lightfoot lays too much stress on the mere popular image employed by the apostle, and Hammond supposes that sorcery was practised. Winer, Real-Wört., art. Zauberei.
The next clause of the Received Text, τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι “that you should not obey the truth”-is generally rejected as without authority, and as having been probably taken from Galatians 5:7. It is not found in A, B, D, F, א , nor in many versions and fathers. There was also some doubt about the reading in Jerome's time- in exemplaribus Adamantii non habetur. The reason why the apostle, in his sorrow and surprise, puts the striking question is now given. Their privilege having been so great, it was passing strange that they should have been so quickly tempted to abandon it.
Οἷς κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμοὺς ᾿Ιησοὺς Χριστὸς προεγράφη ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρωμένος “before whose eyes Jesus Christ was evidently set forth in you-crucified.” The words ἐν ὑμῖν are not found in A, B, C, א , and were omitted, perhaps, because they were not understood, or were regarded as superfluous. But as they create a difficulty, it is almost impossible to regard them as an interpolation. Much depends on the meaning assigned to προ in προεγράφη -whether the local meaning of palam, “openly,” or the temporal meaning of antea, “before.” The phrase κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμούς and the classical usage seem to favour the former, and it is espoused by Winer, Usteri, Rückert, Wieseler, Ewald, Schott, Lightfoot, and Hofmann; but the Pauline usage is as strong for the latter (Romans 15:4; Ephesians 3:3), which is adopted by Erasmus, Beza, a-Lapide, Trana, and Meyer. The simple verb sometimes signifies to paint or depict, but not so the compound, though Jowett translates, “as in a picture was set.” The meaning then is, that Jesus Christ had been at a prior period, or when Paul preached to them, described to them κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμούς , so that as the placard fronted them they could easily comprehend it. Comp. Sept. 2 Chronicles 32:23, Jeremiah 52:10, Ezekiel 4:12; Ezekiel 21:6; Aristoph. Ranae, 626. Compare κατ᾿ ὄμμα , Eurip. Androm. 1064; Soph. Antig. 760. There is no reference to the foreannouncements contained in the prophets (Jerome, Hermann). The ordinary reading of the Vulgate is praescriptus est, but some codices have proscriptus; and Augustine, Ambros., and Lyra take the words in a kind of legal sense “ pro-scribed ”-Rheims Version. The Claromontane has proscriptus est in vobis. This sense it sometimes has. Comp. Aristoph. Aves, 450; Demosthenes, vol. ii. p. 228, ed. Schaefer; Dio Cass. ii. p. 46, ed. Bekker; Jude 1:4. The phrase ἐν ὑμῖν cannot be regarded as tautological nor as epexegetical of οἷς , nor does οἷς preceding and agreeing with it form a Hebrew construction, אֲשֶׁרבָּכֶם . Winer, § 22, 4. It is annexed to προεγράφη as a species of local qualification-in you. This division of the words is better than to assign ἐν ὑμῖν to the ἐσταυρωμένος , as if the sense were-crucified among you, the idea of Calvin, Borger, and Matthies; or, for, or on account of you (Koppe), or by you. ᾿Εν ὑμῖν , bearing the emphasis (compare ἐν ἐμοί , Galatians 1:1, and Galatians 2:20), shows the nature of the description, or where it could be read. Compare 2 Corinthians 3:2. Before their eyes had it been posted, and in them was it apprehended. What the apostle preached, they accepted. It was not unintelligible, or they might be pardoned. It was not a transient impression meant only for the senses; it had penetrated into them. They understood, appreciated, and believed. Had it not been openly made, and inwardly understood and realized, there would have been no wonder at the sudden revolution; for men cannot hold tenaciously anything of which they have no just perception or cordial appreciation. Had it been only κατ᾿ ὀφθαλμούς , it might have faded away; but it was also ἐν ὑμῖν , and therefore the apostle was amazed that it should so very soon lose its hold. There is no need of taking ἐν ὑμῖν in any proleptic sense, “So that in you He becomes a crucified one,” or dead, as Jatho, and his references to Bremi and Stallbaum are not to analogous instances. Nor is there any allusion to Jewish phylacteries or to heathen amulets: “Your frontlet of faith-Christ crucified” (Wordsworth).
And there is special moment on the last word ἐσταυρωμένος , not to be diluted by “as if” (Turner), but the One who has been crucified, who still in this character is preached, or who still maintains the relation of a crucified One. Winer, § 45, 1. The previous and patent presentation of Christ Jesus was of Him as the Crucified One (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:2); and Theophylact adds, that with the eye of faith they saw the cross more distinctly than τῶν τότε παρόντων καὶ θεωμένων . The theme of preaching was Christ crucified, and it was the object of commemoration in the Lord's Supper. The death of Christ really involved the whole question in dispute, and the ἐσταυρωμένος of this verse repeats the fact of the previous verse, “He gave Himself,” nay, is an echo of an earlier utterance “I have been crucified with Christ.” He had made atonement by His obedience and sufferings, and had thus provided a free and complete salvation received through faith in Him. This doctrine of salvation by His blood they had accepted; and what then could induce them to turn away so speedily, and seek by the law of Moses what they had believed to be attainable only by the cross? Luther's notion is strange and foreign to the point, and the image is unnatural here, that the Galatians had by their inconsistency crucified Christ afresh: Hebrews 6:6. So Ambros., Storr. Out of place also is Bengel's view, that the form of His cross was so portrayed in their hearts that they might be crucified with Him (Windischmann, Ewald); and Cajetan's, that by their sufferings they had become partakers of Christ's sufferings; and that of Mar. Victor., that in persuading them to follow Judaism, their enemies crucified Christ in them. Hofmann, without any good reason, divides the clauses by a comma after I. X. “ abrupt und gewaltsam,” as Moeller in De Wette calls it. The same remark may be made on the punctuation proposed by Matthias.
Galatians 3:2. Τοῦτο μόνον θέλω μαθεῖν ἀφ᾿ ὑμῶν “This only I would learn of you.” This only-this one thing out of many; for this one point is sufficient for the purpose, and is in itself decisive of the controversy. There is no irony in the language (Luther); he wished information on this one point. Acts 23:28; Sept. Exodus 2:4, 2Ma 7:2 ; Soph. OEd. Col. 504; Xen. Hell. 2.1, 1. ᾿Αφ᾿ ὑμῶν is less direct or immediate than παῤ ὑμῶν . Winer, § 47, 2, note. The one thing so conclusive of their folly lies in the question-
᾿Εξ ἔργων νόμου τὸ Πνεῦμα ἐλάβετε , ἢ ἐξ ἀκοῆς πίστεως ; “Did ye from the works of the law receive the Spirit, or by the hearing of faith?” The meaning of Πνεῦμα is restricted erroneously, by Chrysostom, Jerome, and others, to miraculous gifts. It is no argument on the part of Schott and Meyer against this view, that the apostle writes to the entire churches, and that only a fraction could enjoy the χαρίσματα , because the gift of a few was really the gift of the church at large, as a church may be said to enjoy a revival though all its members without exception may not have partaken of the heavenly gift. That the Πνεῦμα included extraordinary gifts is evident from Galatians 3:5; but that it included greatly more is evident from its contrast with σάρξ in the next verse, from the allusion of the 14th verse, and from the entire strain of the epistle, especially of the fifth chapter. The Holy Spirit was the characteristic possession of believers. To settle a previous dispute, Peter had said, “The Holy Ghost fell on them as upon us.” Though the Spirit was bestowed under the law, it was with scantiness; but fulness of gift was a prominent element of the promise in Joel 2:28. That fulness seemed to overflow at the first descent, and miracles, tongues, and healings were the result-as if the prismatic sparkling of the baptism of fire. The Spirit, as the originator and sustainer of the new life, is the special endowment of believers, and was received openly and visibly by many of the converts to Christianity from Judaism.
What, then, was the source of that spiritual influence possessed by them? Was it ἐξ ἔργων νόμου - ἐκ , as in Galatians 2:16, denoting origin or cause-the works of the law, which have the law for their object and are done to fulfil it?
The precise meaning of ἀκοὴ πίστεως -which, however, cannot mean “faithful hearing” (Gwynne)-has been disputed. The noun ἀκοή may be taken either in an active sense-the hearing of faith, that is, the hearing or reception of that gospel in which faith is the distinctive doctrine, in which it is presented as the rule of life; or in a passive sense-that which is heard of faith-that “report” or message which holds out faith as its prominent and characteristic element “the preaching of the faith” (Tyndale). Πίστις is used generally in a subjective sense (see Galatians 1:23). The passive sense is the prevailing, if not the only one of ἀκοή in the New Testament. Matthew 4:24; John 12:38; Rom 10:16-17 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:2. Herod. 2.148; Plato, Tim. 23, A, D. It represents in the Sept. the Heb. שְׁמוּעָה , a passive participle. The contrast also justifies this meaning: on the one hand are works done, on the other hand a report or declaration is made-states of mind quite opposite. Works done in obedience to law is the one alternative, the presentation of a message about faith is the other. The contrast is not so defective as Jowett supposes. Schott and Sardinoux represent that the parallelism of the contrast demands, that as the first clause is subjective, the second must be subjective too. Granted that the first clause is subjective, the second is all the stronger a contrast that it is objective-works that ye do, placed in opposition to a report brought to you. Did they receive the Spirit in obeying the law, or in so trying to obey it as to merit eternal life by it? or was it when the message of faith was preached to them, and they embraced it? for it is to the period of the introduction of the gospel that the apostle refers. They could at once determine the matter-it was one of experience and history. The apostle does not give the answer, for he knew what it must be. It was under the hearing of faith that they first enjoyed the Spirit-that Spirit which enlightens, sanctifies, certifies of sonship, makes intercession for us as being in us, seals us, and is the earnest and first-fruits. Opposed to usage and correctness is the interpretation of Rollock, Matthies, and Wahl, that ἀκοή stands for ὑπακοή -obedience. It is needless to object, with Gwynne and Hofmann, that the hearing of the gospel does not in itself secure the gift of the Spirit, as the apostle is alluding in the contrast to open and usual instrumentality. Jerome starts and answers the question- si fides non est nisi ex auditu quomodo qui surdi nati sunt possunt fieri Christiani? It is needless to debate the question raised by De Wette and Wieseler, whether, as the first holds, the parties specially addressed were Jews or proselytes once under the law, or whether, as the second maintains, they were Gentiles who had never been under the law at all. The challenge, however, has a special point as spoken to Jews, to whom their law had been everything.
Galatians 3:3. Οὕτως ἀνόητοί ἐστε ; “Are ye so very foolish?”- οὕτως being used of degree or extent: Galatians 1:6; Mark 7:18; John 3:16; Hebrews 12:21; οὐκ ἔστιν οὕτω μῶρος ὃς θανεῖν ἐρᾷ , Soph. Antig. 220; Xen. Cyr. 2.2, 16. The folly is again noticed, and the οὕτως refers to it.
᾿Εναρξάμενοι πνεύματι , νῦν σαρκὶ ἐπιτελεῖσθε ; “having begun in the Spirit, are ye now being completed in the flesh?” The words ἐναρξάμενοι and ἐπιτελεῖσθε occur in Philippians 1:6. See also 2 Corinthians 8:6. The two datives are those of manner. Winer, § 31, 7; Bernhardy, p. 101. The two clauses are so arranged in contrast, that they make what grammarians call a Chiasma. Jelf, 904, 3. They had begun in or with the Spirit; that is, the beginning of their spiritual life might be so characterized. His influences, enjoyed through the hearing of faith, are the commencement-the one way in which life is to be enjoyed and sustained. The natural course would be, begun in the Spirit, and in the Spirit perfected-reaching perfection in Him as He is more copiously given and His influences work out their end more thoroughly, and with less resistance offered to them. But the apostle adds abruptly, “are ye now being carried to perfection in the flesh?” The verb ἐπιτελεῖσθε contains more than the idea of end as in contrast to that of commencement in ἐναρξάμενοι , the notion of perfection being in it, not simply and temporally-but a perfect end ethically. 1 Samuel 2:12; Luke 13:32; Romans 15:28; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Corinthians 8:6; Rost und Palm, sub voce. The verb may be either middle or passive. In the former it often occurs in the classics, but usually with an accusative of object. Windischmann, De Wette, Hilgenfeld, Ewald, Bisping, Hofmann, Wieseler, and Winer so take it here. Some in this way render, “Are ye now for finishing-do ye think that you can finish or be perfect, or do ye seek to be perfected, or do ye bring yourselves to perfection?” But the passive form only is found in the Septuagint and the New Testament, and thus Chrysostom and others regard it; the Vulgate has consummamini. The use of the present (not the Attic future, Usteri) implies that they were at the moment cherishing this mistaken perfection. The language, perhaps, is not irony, but springs from a deeper source. It depicts their own experience and their folly. Is it possible that you can suppose that a beginning in the Spirit can be brought to maturity in the flesh? Are ye so senseless as to imagine it? Are you living under such a delusion? As the ἀνόητοι is repeated in his fervour from the first verse, it being there the warning epithet; so πνεύματι comes from the second verse, it being there the testing word. By πνεῦμα is meant here again the Holy Spirit-the Life and Power of the gospel which fills the spirit of believers, and not vaguely the gospel itself; and by σάρξ is designated, not the Jewish dispensation, but the sensuous element of our nature, which finds its gratification in the observance of ceremonial or of external rites. See under Philippians 3:4; Romans 4:1. It is too restricted on the part of Chrysostom, Rückert, and Schott to give σάρξ any immediate reference to circumcision, though it is not excluded; and too vague on the part of Theodoret to render πνεῦμα by χάρις , and on the part of Winer to describe it as indoles eorum qui mente Deum colere didicerunt. The folly was extreme-to go back from the spiritual to the sensuous, from that which reaches the soul and fills it with its light, life, and cheering influence, or from the gift of Pentecost, to the dark economy, which consisted of “meats, and drinks, and divers washings.” Shall he who has been conscious of his manhood, and exulted in it, dwarf himself into a child, and wrap himself in swaddling bands? It was so foolish to turn round so soon after they had so auspiciously begun; though there is no allusion here or in the context, as Wolf and Schott think, to the image of a race. Lightfoot's allusion to a sacrifice is farfetched; as is the similar notion of Chrysostom, that the false teacher slew them as victims.
Galatians 3:4. Τοσαῦτα ἐπάθετε εἰκῆ ; εἴ γε καὶ εἰκῆ “Did ye suffer so many things in vain, if it be really in vain?” We hold this to be the right translation of the verb, that it has not a neutral sense, and that it cannot be used in bonam partem “have ye experienced so many blessings in vain?” The verb has such a meaning in extra-biblical writings, but not in itself-never having it when used absolutely, such a sense being determined by the context, or by the addition of such words as εὖ , χάριν , ἀγάθα , etc. Rost und Palm, sub voce; Joseph. Ant. 3.15, 1; ἀγαθὸν καὶ κακὸν πάσχουσι , Artemidorus, 4:67; παθὼν ἀγαθὸν μέγα , Theognis, 342, p. 20, ed. Welcker; ὧν πέπονθεν οὐκ ἔχει χάριν , Chares, ap. Stobaei Florileg. 17.3, vol. i. p. 345, ed. Gaisford; Kypke and Raphel. in loc., and Hombergk's Parerga, p. 278; Bos, Ellips. p. 131. In Homer and Hesiod it never has such a sense at all; nor in the Hellenistic Greek (Septuagint and Apocrypha); nor in the New Testament, though it occurs in it above forty times, and eleven times in the Pauline writings. But this meaning is given it here by Schomer, the first apparently to propose it, and by Borger, Flatt, Homberg, Winer, Wieseler, Bagge, Holsten, Sardinoux, De Wette, Usteri, Schott, Trana, Ewald, Hilgenfeld, Jowett, and the lexicographers Robinson, Wahl, Bretschneider, and Wilke. The sense then will be, Did ye experience so many things,-or, “Have you had all those experiences in vain?” (Jowett.) But the proper translation is the natural one “Did ye suffer so many things in vain?” Such a reference to previous suffering is surely not “unlike the noble spirit of the apostle;” for he is rebuking that inconsistency which, as it turns its back on blessing, forgets the lessons of persecution. The Syriac appears to favour this view “have ye borne;” and the Vulgate has passi estis. But if the verb do refer to suffering, what sufferings are spoken of? Not
1. Suffering with the apostle himself, though they had borne with him most patiently. Such is Bengel's view, unsupported alike by the diction and by the context. Nor is it
2. Sufferings of bondage which were brought upon them by their false teachers. For, as Alford remarks, a different tense would have been employed, as the apostle would consider them as suffering from that source still. But the aorist refers to a specific period in their past history. The appeal would also be in vain; for the Galatians, so long as their delusion lasted, would not admit that they were suffering in this sense. The ceremonial under which they were brought was hailed by them as a means of perfection, and not a source of suffering. The apostle alludes to a previous epoch. And
3. To the sufferings endured by them on their first conversion, when the Crucified One was so vividly set before their very eyes, and they received the Spirit, and began in the Spirit. Thus Theodoret, ὑπὲρ τοῦ Χριστοῦ τὰ παθήματα ; and Augustine, multa jam pro fide toleraverant. It is objected, first, that there is no historical account of persecution endured by the Galatian churches; but the silence of the Acts of the Apostles can furnish no argument. The record is there so very brief and incidental-it is not even a sketch. We cannot suppose that the Jews were less busy in Galatia than in other places, as at Antioch in Pisidia, Lystra, and Thessalonica. 1 Thessalonians 2:13-14. The probability is, that the Galatians suffered like so many of the infant churches, and suffered just because they professed faith in the doctrines of the cross-apart from any Jewish modification, supplement, or admixture: Galatians 5:11, Galatians 6:12. It is objected, secondly, by Meyer and Usteri, that the idea of suffering is not in harmony with the course of thought. But surely the appeal is quite in keeping with previous statements. The argument rests on the folly of the Galatians. It was folly to be so bewitched as to revert to the law, which did not and could not give them the Spirit; folly to begin in the Spirit, and apostatize to the flesh which could not perfect them; and folly assuredly all the more unaccountable, after they had suffered so severely for their first and opposite views and opinions. They were so foolish as to renounce blessings which they had once prized, nay, for which they had also undergone persecution. Men naturally cling to that for which they have suffered, but they had in childish caprice flung it away. The apostle thus appeals first to what they had enjoyed, and then to what they had endured, as the proof of their folly-their senselessness. See under Philippians 1:29.
Εἴ γε καὶ εἰκῆ “if indeed they be in vain.” The particle εἴγε , different from εἴπερ , does not express doubt,-the usage, according to Hermann, being, εἴπερ usurpatur, de re quae esse sumitur sed in incerto relinquitur utrum jure an injuria sumatur; εἴ γε , autem, de re quae jure sumpta creditur. Καί signifies truly or really-if it really be in vain. Klotz-Devarius, 2.308; Hartung, 1.136. If what has been said is true, and it must be true, those sufferings are in vain-though he is loath to believe it. There is therefore no need, first, to weaken the sense, and render the clause, si modo frustra, si modo dicere ita liceat (Morus); nor secondly, with the Greek fathers, and many others, as Bengel and Hofmann, to suppose the apostle as hinting, on the one hand, that possibly after all the εἰκῆ might be prevented; nor, thirdly, with Augustine, Meyer, Wieseler, etc., as surmising, on the other hand, that worse than εἰκῆ may be dreaded- ne ad perniciem valeat. The Syriac reads, “And I would- וֶאשׁתוֹ5 -that it were in vain.”
Galatians 3:5. ῾Ο οὖν ἐπιχορηγῶν ὑμῖν τὸ Πνεῦμα , καὶ ἐνεργῶν δυνάμεις ἐν ὑμῖν , ἐξ ἔργων νόμου , ἢ ἐξ ἀκοῆς πίστεως ; “He then that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles in you, doeth He it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” The οὖν is continuative, or rather resumptive,-is “then,” not “therefore,” taking up again, after a momentary digression, the question of Galatians 3:2, which has not yet been formally answered. The first participle ἐπιχορηγῶν signifies to furnish, to minister to: Sir 25:22 ; 2 Corinthians 9:10; Colossians 2:19; Ephesians 4:16. Its original meaning in connection with the furnishing of a chorus on some public occasion is lost sight of, and the generosity of the act, not the purpose of it, remains in the verb. Χορηγοῦσι οἱ πλούσιοι , Xen. Athen. 1.13. The ἐπί does not signify, as often, “additional,” but probably specifies direction. The Spirit came down ἐπί -upon them. Of that Spirit so furnished, the apestle gives a specimen- ἐνεργῶν δυνάμεις ἐν ὑμῖν . The ἐν is not “among,” as Winer and others take it, but “in,” its natural sense. Matthew 14:2; 1 Corinthians 12:6; Philippians 2:13. These δυνάμεις are works of power, which the Spirit alone can effect-the result of His influence and inhabitation. They are not, perhaps, to be confined to miracles, but may comprehend other results of divine energy. The Galatian believers were conscious of the Spirit's presence and working within them, as they had felt the pulsations of the new life, and perhaps could speak with tongues, and they were therefore prepared to answer the interrogation. But there are two questions-What is the tense of the participles? and to whom does the apostle refer? Peter Lombard, Erasmus, Macknight and even Augustine, Doddridge, Riccaltoun, and Brown understand the apostle to apply these participles to himself “out of modesty declining to name himself” (Locke). In some inferior sense they might be true of him. But the apostle was not likely so to characterize himself as if he stood in God's stead. Could he say that he furnished the Spirit when he was only at best the vehicle of communication, or that he wrought these miracles in them when his hands simply conveyed the energy? The participles portray the source, and not the mere medium. In fact, these two clauses give only the reverse view of Galatians 3:2. There the reception of the Spirit is spoken of, here it is the donation of the Spirit; there it is man who gets, here it is God who gives. See also under Galatians 1:6.
Nor do the participles refer to the same point of time with ἐλάβετε , as they are not aorists. The Greek commentators, followed by Semler and Bengel, take them as imperfects, and as referring to the time when the apostle was among the Galatians. But as the reference is to God, it is most natural to take the participles as presents; and the present tense may refer not specially to divine gift as continuous, but may be used in a substantival sense to characterize God as the Giver,-this function of supplying the Spirit specially belonging to Him. Winer, § 45, 7. See under Galatians 1:23. God, whose prerogative it is to give the Spirit and work miracles,-does He, is He in the habit of giving the one and doing the other by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? In the second verse of the chapter the apostle refers to the period when they received the Spirit; and in this verse, while he refers to God, it is to God not simply as giving the Spirit at that precise period, but to the principle on which He usually acts, or the instrumentality which He usually employs, in the bestowment of such gifts. See under Galatians 3:2.
Example is often more pointed and powerful than theoretical illustration, just as for geographical instruction a map excels a verbal description of a country. The Jews boasted of Abraham, their forefather, and of their being Abraham's progeny. “We be Abraham's seed” was their characteristic vaunt, and they believed that because of this relationship all spiritual blessing was chartered to them. Matthew 3:9; John 8:33. Some of their sayings were “All Israel hath part in eternal life;” “Great is the virtue of circumcision-no circumcised person enters hell.” “Your Rabbins,” said Justin Martyr, “delude themselves and us in supposing that the kingdom of heaven is prepared for all the natural seed of Abraham, even though they be sinners and unbelievers.” See Wetstein on Matthew 3:9. Such being their trust in Abraham and in lineal descent from him, his justification was a ruling precedent for all those who truly hoped to be saved after his example. If he, then, was justified without circumcision, and prior to it, how could Judaizers insist on its necessity? But his justification was prior to his circumcision, nay, his circumcision was but the seal of a righteousness already possessed by him. Abraham was not circumcised in order to be justified; he was circumcised because he was justified. Let the example of Abraham, then, decide the controversy, for Judaizers cannot in loyalty refuse to be bound by it. It is surely enough for you to be as he was, and to accept the doctrine which his life suggests and embodies. Ought it not by common consent to be a divine precedent to all generations? At once, then, without warning, and without any connecting particle, does he add-
Galatians 3:6. Καθὼς ᾿Αβραὰμ ἐπίστευσε τῷ Θεῷ , καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” The apostle does not answer his own question: he takes for granted that every one will reply, “By the hearing of faith,”-faith being the leading term, which is now illustrated in the case of Abraham. He thus passes so far from the point of the interrogation, which was the supply of the Spirit, and takes up another topic-justification by faith. But by καθώς both themes are associated, as indeed they really are in Galatians 3:3. The reception of the Spirit implies justification, and is a blessing either dependent upon it or collateral with it. So related to each other are the two gifts, that the apostle binds them together in the following illustration, which, after dwelling on law, curse, faith, righteousness, life, returns to the leading question as answered in Galatians 3:14.
The connecting compound καθώς (a later form of καθά , Phryn. ed. Lobeck, p. 426) is not to be causally rendered as by Gwynne “Forasmuch as Abraham believed God, therefore know ye,” etc.; for such abruptness mars the consecutive force of the argument, since καθώς introduces the illustrative example. The verse is a quotation from Genesis 15:6, as given in the Sept., and as in Romans 4:3, James 2:23. The Hebrew of the last clause is somewhat different: בהָ לָּוֹצְדָ ˜ ָקה׃ à וַיַּחְשְׁ ֶ “and He counted it to him as righteousness.” The nominative to the verb ἐλογίσθη in the Greek translation is τὸ πιστεῦσαι . The meaning of εἰς after λογίζεται has been viewed in various ways. Some give it the sense of destination, one of its common uses-his faith was counted unto, or, in order to, righteousness; that is, it was the means of securing righteousness to Abraham. Writers on systematic theology have generally adopted this exegesis, as indicating the connection of an instrumental faith with the righteousness of Christ. Thus Gerhard, Loci Com. i. 7.238: Fides . . . dicitur nobis imputari ad justitiam quippe cujus est organum apprehendens. Many also have held that faith must mean here the object of faith, “that,” as Bishop Davenant says, “being ascribed to faith itself which is due in reality to Christ.” Disputatio de Justitia, cap. xxviii. Others take it as the state of mind which was regarded by God as true faith, and therefore instrumental to the obtaining of righteousness. But the phrase seems to be more idiomatic in meaning, and, according to Fritzsche, λογίζεταί τι εἴς τι is equivalent to λογίζεταί τι εἰς τὸ ὥστε εἶναι τι - ita res aestimatur, ut res sit, h.e. ut pro re valeat. Fritzsche ad Romans 2:26. The one thing is regarded as being the other thing, or its equivalent. Thus Acts 19:27, the temple of the great goddess Diana εἰς οὐδὲν λογισθῆναι “should be counted for nothing,” or regarded as nothing; Romans 2:26, οὐχὶ ἡ ἀκροβυστία αὐτοῦ εἰς περιτομὴν λογισθήσεται ; “shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?” the one state being regarded as the other state; Romans 9:8, ἀλλὰ τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας λογίζεται εἰς σπέρμα “but the children of the promise are counted for a seed,” or are reckoned as a seed. So too in Septuagint: 1 Samuel 1:13, καὶ ἐλογίσατο αὐτὴν ᾿Ηλεὶ εἰς μεθύουσαν “and Eli regarded her (Hannah) as a drunk woman;” Isaiah 40:17, καὶ εἰς οὐδὲν ἐλογίσθησαν αὐτῷ “and they (all the nations) are counted to Him for nothing”- quasi non sint, sic sunt coram eo (Vulg.); Wis 9:6 , “for though a man be never so perfect among the children of men, yet if Thy wisdom be not with him,” εἰς οὐδὲν λογισθήσεται “he shall be counted for nothing,” or, as in the Authorized Version, “he shall be nothing regarded.” Such an idiom is plainly tantamount to a simple predication. Compare Wis 5:4 ; Wis 15:15 ; Mark 10:8. The preposition is used in the same way after verbs denoting to make or constitute, as Acts 13:22; Acts 5:36; with the verb of existence “they shall be εἰς σάρκα μίαν ,” Matthew 19:5; or after γίνεσθαι - ἐγένετο εἰς δένδρον μέγα -in our version, “waxed a great tree.” Acts 5:36; Acts 7:21; Romans 11:9; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Bernhardy, pp. 218, 219. See also Rost und Palm, sub voce, p. 804. This interpretation gives no support to the theory that the verb by itself means to impute or reckon to another what does not belong to him-the notion of Jonathan Edwards, Arminius, and many others, who confound the signification with the sense of the term. Nor will its use in Philemon 1:18 justify such an assumption, for there the meaning is settled by the circumstances and the context. It is the same with the corresponding Hebrew verb חָשַׁב , H3108, which, when it means to reckon to any one, does not by itself determine whether such reckoning the rightly or wrongly made. This inferential or ethical sense is to be gathered from the connection. According to this idiom, the faith of Abraham was accounted to him as his righteousness, or God regarded his faith as his righteousness.
The factitive verb δικαιόω is peculiar in its uses, and occurs 37 times in the New Testament. It is used absolutely of God, Luke 7:29; of man, Luke 10:29, Romans 2:13; and also relatively, as in a judicial sense, Psalms 82:3, Matthew 12:37. In the general classical use of the word in reference to acts or events, there is a kind of legal element involved, or a judgment formed or a decision come to (Thucyd. 5.26); and in the case of persons, the verb means to act justly toward them, to right them, to put them in a right relative position. And so the verb came to denote to condemn, to punish, to put a criminal in a right position in reference to the law and society. Thucyd. 3.40; Herod. 1.100; AElian, Var. Hist. 5.18. In the Septuagint it represents the Pihel and Hithpahel of צָדַק , H7405, the former, צִדֵּק , at least five times- Job 32:2; Job 33:32; Jeremiah 3:11; Ezekiel 16:51-52 -in all which vindication is the idea, righting one's self or others by a judgment pronounced. The Hiphil הִצְדִּיק occurs many times. In Exodus 23:7, Deuteronomy 25:1, 1Ki 8:32 , 2 Chronicles 6:23, Isaiah 50:8, it describes God's vindication or judicial approval; in 2 Samuel 15:4, Job 27:5, Psalms 82:3, Proverbs 17:15, Isaiah 5:23, it is used of men, and of them under a legal aspect, as of Absalom promising to right every suitor who came to him, or that he would declare in his favour,-of Job vowing that he could not vindicate or pronounce sentence of acquittal on his criminators “miserable comforters,”-of judges who are summoned to give decisions based on character, and who, if they act in a contrary spirit, have a woe pronounced on them, and are, from their unjust sentences, “an abomination to God.” The phrase as occurring in Daniel 12:3 is of doubtful meaning, and the word in Isaiah 53:11 involves the question under discussion. The Greek term is frequently found, besides, in the Septuagint and Apocrypha with a similar reference, though not always so distinctly as in the previous instances,-the reference in the majority of cases being to an opinion or a judgment uttered or an acquittal pronounced, and not to heart or character made better inherently. The phrase in Psalms 73:13 is an apparent exception, where, however, ἐδικαίωσα represents a different Hebrew term, זָכָה , H2342, and it is the rendering in several places of the Hebrew שָׁפַט , H9149, to judge. In Psalms 51:4 the Kal of צָדַק , H7405 is rendered by ὅπως ἂν δικαιωθῇς ἐν τοῖς λόγοις σου “in order that Thou may be just in Thy words,” or, “that Thy rectitude may be made apparent in Thy utterances.” The common meaning is thus forensic in nature-to righten a man, or to give him acceptance with God, Romans 3:24; Romans 3:26; Romans 3:28; Romans 5:1; Romans 6:7; or from its nature as acquittal from a charge- παρὰ Θεῷ “at the bar of God.” It is used in Galatians 2:17, in opposition to “found sinners,” or being under the curse. It means thus to give one the position of a δίκαιος , or to righten him in relation to God by releasing him from the penalty, so that he is accepted by the gracious Judge, and at the same time to purify and perfect him-a process which, beginning at the moment of his justification, stretches on through many a struggle to its complete development. Thus the blessing of Abraham, or justification by faith, and the reception of the Spirit the Worker of spiritual renewal, are regarded as collateral or as interconnected gifts in the 14th verse. To condemn is the opposite of to justify- κατάκριμα is the opposite of δικαίωμα (Romans 5:16): but condemnation is not making a man a criminal, it is proving or asserting him to be one; so justification is not making a man righteous, but declaring him to be righteous, not for his own merit, but through his faith in the righteousness of Christ-that faith being the means of vitalizing the soul at the very moment of its being the instrument of release and acceptance. Δικαιοσύνη might be taken in a broad sense as covering the whole of that rightening which a sinner needs and through faith enjoys; that is, righteousness both imputed and inherent. But specially in such passages as this, where the leading thought is release from the curse which violation of the law has induced and perpetuated, its reference is rather to the basis than to the method of justification-to that, on his possession of which a sinner is rightened in relation to the law, relieved from its penalty. Δικαιοσύνη is not to be confounded with δικαίωσις which in Romans 4:25 is opposed to the παραπτώματα on account of which Christ was delivered up, and is the realized result of His resurrection; while in Romans 5:18 it is defined by ζωῆς , as obtained δἰ ἑνὸς δικαιώματος . J. A. Turretine, Wesley, Moses Stuart followed by Dr. Brown, take δικαιοσύνη Θεοῦ as meaning generally God's method of justification or of justifying a sinner. The explanation is vague, unless method mean something more than plan or outline, and include also basis and result, and it will not fit in to many passages where the phrase occurs. But δικαιοσύνη is said to refer to moral condition, as “nothing can be more inapplicable than a Greek noun ending in οσυνη to a mere business of reputation or extrinsic change. ” Knox's Remains, vol. 1.303. But, first, there are passages where the word cannot bear such a meaning as applied to God's dealing with sinners, so that it has not this moral sense uniformly; secondly, in its meaning as the basis of justification, it is moral in the sense of being personal, or in our individual possession; and thirdly, in another aspect, δικαιοσύνη may be regarded as the “moral” state of one who is δίκαιος at God's tribunal, or as that quality which characterizes him before God. The meaning of the term may be thus conserved without making the ground of justification inherent righteousness-without grounding, as Mr. Knox and others do, justification on sanctification. The compound term justification would naturally signify “making righteous”- justum facere, and several Romish theologians lay hold of this as an argument; but the word belongs not to the classic Latin, and came into general use as a representative of the Greek δικαιόω . Still the word, from its composition, is unfortunate, especially when ranged by the side of sanctification “making holy.” The analogy taken from the verbs “magnify” and “glorify” as applied to God will not hold, for “justify” belongs to the relation of God to man. Not a few theories about different kinds of justification are wanting in any sound scriptural basis;-some confounding it with election, faith in that case being only its proof, not its instrument; others assuming a first, and a final justification at the last day; and others laying no small stress on the difference between an actual and a declarative justification-a theory apparently necessitated by the attempt to reconcile the statements of the apostles James and Paul, but not indispensable by any means to a true adjustment of their language: thus Cunningham, Historical Theology, vol. ii. p. 67; Buchanan, Doctrine of Justification, p. 233, etc., Edin. 1867. Owen distinguishes between justification and justification!
The passage before us implies that Abraham had no righteousness, or was in want of a righteousness which no law could provide for him, and that Jehovah reckoned faith to him as, or in lieu of, such a personal righteousness which he had not. A new principle was brought in by God Himself; as the Hebrew text so distinctly expresses it “He counted his faith to him for righteousness;” and the non-righteous Abraham stood before the divine tribunal acquitted and accepted as truly as if he had possessed a personal righteousness through uniform obedience. His faith, not as an act, but as a fact, put him into this position by God's own deed, without legal fiction or abatement. He believed God; that is, God in the promise given by Him in Genesis 15:5: “And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them. And He said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” He was lifted into acceptance with God, however, not on account of his faith, but through it laying hold of the promise. That faith had no merit; for what merit can a creature have in believing the Creator's word?-it is only bare duty,-but Abraham's trust in God introduced him into the promised blessing. His faith rested on the promise, and through that faith he became its possessor or participant. That promise, seen in the light of a previous utterance, included the Messiah; and with all which it contained, and with this as its central and pre-eminent object, it was laid hold of by his faith, so that his condition was tantamount to justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ. In Abraham's case the promise was vague-the Redeemer had not become incarnate, and righteousness had not been formally provided; but now the person and work of Christ are distinctly set before us as the immediate object of saving faith-the characteristic doctrine of the New Testament. Tholuck indeed objects that the parallel between Abraham and believers is not complete- unvolkommene -Abraham's faith being his righteousness, and Christ's righteousness being reckoned to believers. But the promise included Him whose day Abraham rejoiced to see, and whatever was included in the promise was grasped by his faith Compare Alford and Meyer on Romans 4:3, and Philippi on the same verse in reply to Tholuck and Neander. And this righteousness is not innocence, as Bishop O'Brien more than once represents it in his Treatise on the Nature and the Effects of Faith, 2d ed. p. 186. That the justified person has sinned, is an element of his history which can never be obliterated; nay, it is confessed in all the songs of the saints, and the atoning work of Christ ever presupposes it. He who believes becomes righteous, not innocent as if he had never broken the law or had uniformly kept it; for he has sinned, and Omnipotence itself is unable to reverse a fact. But from all the penal effects of his sin he is graciously absolved, and is treated as righteous by God.
It was faith, then, and faith alone, which was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. Bishop Bull maintains that faith justifies, not as “one single virtue,” but as being the germ of holiness, or as “comprehending all the works of Christian piety.” St. Paul, he affirms, is to be interpreted from St. James, not St. James from St. Paul. Be that as it may, the Pauline doctrine is, that justification is by faith alone- fide sola sed non fide quae est sola; that is, this faith, while alone it justifies, does not remain alone-it proves its vitality or justifying nature by clothing itself with good works. The function of faith as justifying differs in result from its function as sanctifying; but it sanctifies as surely as it justifies. “God infuses righteousness in the very act of justifying.” Davenant. Its sanctifying power is as certain as its justifying influence, and therefore the view of Bishop Bull is superficial: “Whoso firmly believes the gospel, and considers it with due attention, will in all probability become a good man.” No such probability is hazarded in the New Testament-absolute certainty is asserted. One may ask, in fine, how far Bishop Bull's theory about the nature of faith- fides formata -differs from that of Bellarmine and that of the Tridentine theology which represents no less than six graces as co-operating with faith in a sinner's justification. See also Newman, Lectures on Justification.
The discussion of the doctrine of imputation belongs to systematic theology, and it has been ably treated, with varying opinions and conclusions-as in the treatises of Hooker, Owen, Martensen, Dick, Wardlaw, Edwards, Hodge, Cunningham, and Buchanan. See other authors in Buchanan's Notes.
It may be added, in conclusion, that it has been often asked why faith should have been constituted the one instrument of justification; and various answers have been given. It may be replied that the loss of faith in God brought sin and death into the world. The tempter insinuated doubts of God's disinterestedness, as if He had been jealous, and had selfishly forbidden access to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, since those who partook of the fruit would become gods and rise to a feared equality with Himself. The insinuation prevailed,-His creatures so poisoned against Him, gave up confidence in Him, and fell into spiritual death. And surely the restoration of this confidence or faith in God is, and must be in the nature of things, the first step toward pardon, acceptance, or reinstatement-toward reunion with the one Source of life. Still, faith is indispensable only as instrument or condition, not for any merit in itself. The phrases ἐκ πίστεως , or διὰ πίστεως , or ἐν or ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει , are used, but never διὰ πίστιν -on account of faith-which would be allied to the justitia inhaerens of Thomas Aquinas, and the meritum ex congruo of Peter Lombard. See under Galatians 2:16. The earlier fathers were not accustomed to minute doctrinal distinctions, and they often write without precision-their thoughts occupied with the entire process of salvation, without any minute analysis of its separate parts. Such freedom produces apparent inconsistency in careless utterances which may be variously expounded. So that the patristic history of the doctrine of justification has been viewed from opposite points, and been to some extent interpreted in the light of previous opinions. See, for example, on the one hand, Davenant's De Justitia, cap. xxix.; Faber's Primitive Doctrine of Justification, chap. iv.; and on the other hand, Bellarmine's De Justificatione, and Newman. See also Donaldson's Critical History of Christian Literature and Doctrine.
Galatians 3:7. Γινώσκετε ἄρα ὅτι οἱ ἐκ πίστεως , οὗτοί εἰσιν υἱοὶ ᾿Αβραάμ “Know ye therefore that they who are of faith, those are the sons of Abraham.” This verse is an inferential lesson which he charges them to learn. The verb is better construed in the imperative than in the indicative, which is preferred by Jerome, Beza, Rückert, Alford, Lightfoot, etc.; for the apostle is not taking for granted that they know it, but he is enjoining their knowledge of it, and he proceeds to expound and prove it to them. Cognoscite ergo -Vulgate. The particle ἄρα gives peculiar force to the imperative: “therefore,” it being admitted that Abraham's faith was the undoubted means of his justification. Hartung, p. 443; Klotz-Devarius, 2.167. Compare 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 13:23. The phrase οἱ ἐκ πίστεως is more than a mere periphrasis for οἱ πιστεύοντες . The preposition represents origin-genetic relation. Romans 2:8; Romans 3:26; Romans 4:14; John 18:37; Winer, § 47. The aspect of thought is not simply-those who possess faith but those who are sprung of faith; yet not specially here the faith of Abraham (Windischmann),-faith being at once the formative and the distinctive principle. The pronoun οὗτοι , so placed, has a sharp exclusiveness of meaning,-those, and those alone-those and none other. Bernhardy, p. 283. The contrast to ἐκ πίστεως is not ἐκ σαρκός , as Chrysostom wrongly illustrates, but specially οἱ ἐξ ἔργων in Galatians 3:10, though at the same time it is implied that mere natural descent does not entitle a man to be ranked in this spiritual progeny of Abraham. It is not Abraham's blood, but Abraham's faith which forms the filial bond. The phrase υἱοὶ ᾿Αβραάμ is expressive, and is meant to be so. Romans 4:12-18; Schoettgen, in loc. vol. i. p. 731. To be his children is to have what he had, and that is faith; and to be what he was, and that is to be justified. Faith is the common principle between father and children; justification is the common blessing, or the gift of righteousness is the common inheritance. Only such as have faith-and the point is not raised whether they be Gentiles or of the line of Isaac and Jacob, whether they be of the circumcision or of the uncircumcision-they alone are true Abrahamids- σπέρμα ᾿Αβραάμ . The aspect of thought is different here from that in Galatians 3:29, where to be Abraham's seed is said to result from connection with Christ. The conclusion is levelled directly against proud Judaizing errorists, who insisted more on imitation of Abraham's circumcision than on the possession of Abraham's faith,-thus misunderstanding the place, nature, and meaning of the seal and rite, and deluding their victims away from the Spirit to trust in externalism, and seek for perfection in the flesh.
Galatians 3:8. Προϊδοῦσα δὲ ἡ γραφή “But the Scripture foreseeing.” The particle δέ is transitional (“but,” not “and,” as in our version), to urge an additional but different aspect of the same truth (Klotz-Devarius, vol. 2.523),-that there is community of blessing with Abraham, and that this was no novelty. It had been described or foretold at a very early period, for it is found in the inspired record of the patriarch's life. In the words προϊδοῦσα ἡ γραφή the Scripture is personified, from the divine power and presence originating and pervading it. The Scripture embodies the mind of God, and that God being omniscient, His Scripture foresees as well as narrates, glances into the future with the same eye as it sweeps round the present or looks back into the past. Prophecy in a book coming from the All-knowing One is as natural as history; but there is no distinction meant here and on this point between divine and human writing (Hofmann). This species of personification is not uncommon in Jewish books. Surenhusius, Bib. Katall. 567; Schoettgen, in loc. vol. 1.732. Romans 4:3; John 7:38. The Syriac reads מֶטֻל גֶיר דקָדֶד יִדָעאוֹלוֹהוֹא “for because God knew beforehand.”
What the Scripture foresaw is-
῞Οτι ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοῖ τὰ ἔθνη ὁ Θεός “that of faith God justifies the nations.” The verb is present, not, as Meyer and De Wette argue, because the future time is taken as present, there being no time with the Unchanging One; nor merely, as Alford, because it is God's one way of justification; nor, as Ellicott, because the reference is to eternal and immutable decrees; nor, as Trana and Bengel, a view from the apostle's own position: but rather because it is God's continuous and uniform way of justification, and that by which He may be characterized. The words ἐκ πίστεως have the emphasis-that out of which justification springs-faith as opposed to works; for it is of this means or source of justification that the apostle's quotation and reasoning are a proof. Winer, 40:2; Schmalfeld, § 54.
The ἔθνη are supposed by Estius, Alford, and Winer to include all nations-Jew and Gentile, the word being accepted in its widest significance. But we are inclined to take it in its more common and current usage, and therefore that in which it would be most likely understood by those whom the apostle addressed-the signification which it has in Galatians 3:14. It there denotes the Gentiles, or other races than the Jews. Not only were his own race to be justified by faith such as his, but races alien to him and his should be justified precisely in the same way. The Scripture notified to Abraham the glad tidings beforehand- προευηγγελίσατο ,-a word occuring in Philo, but found only here in the New Testament. This early prophetic notification made to Abraham was committed to writing- ἡ γραφή , and its substance was-
῞Οτι ἐνευλογηθήσονται ἐν σοὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη “that there shall be blessed in thee all the nations.” This second double compound verb rests on high authority, and it is plural, though in concord with a neuter nominative. Kühner, § 424, a. ῞Οτι is recitative, or introduces the quotation. The words, however, are not found as the apostle quotes them. In the Septuagint occur: Genesis 12:3, ἐνευλογηθήσονται ἐν σοὶ πᾶσαι αἱ φυλαὶ τῆς γῆς ; Genesis 18:18, ἐνευλογηθήσονται ἐν αὐτῷ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη . The quotation represents both passages, as it so far combines them. The difficulty lies in the determination of the meaning of ἐν σοί .
1. It has been common to take it as meaning virtually “in thy seed”-thy seed as embodied in thee, and that seed meaning Christ. This view has been held by many, as by OEcumenius and Jerome, and more recently by Estius, Hunnius, Rambach, Bullinger, a-Lapide, Borger, Bagge, and Schott. In that case ἐν would signify per, through-through thee, or thy seed springing out of thee. But (1.) the mere words cannot bear this meaning-it is a foreign sense imposed upon them; (2.) it would not sustain the inference of the following verse “blessed with Abraham;” (3.) nor would it warrant the language of the 14th verse, in which a certain blessing is called the blessing of Abraham; and (4.) it would forestall the new and peculiar argument of the 16th verse.
2. Nor can the phrase mean, as Calvin, Brown, Semler, Rosenmüller, and Baumgarten-Crusius suppose, “along with,” or “in the same manner as;” for then the statement of the following verse, so far from being a deduction from this one, would only be a repetition of its sentiment, and the logical link expressed by ὥστε would be broken. Calvin is content with a reference to Abraham as commune exemplar, and Augustine with an imitatione fidei; while Chrysostom explains ἐν σοί by τὴν πίστιν μιμησάμενοι , and that in contrast to their possessing τὴν φυσικὴν συγγένειαν .
3. The meaning, then, seems to be, that Abraham is pictured as the root and representative of all the faithful. They are in him as spiritual children in a spiritual ancestor or federal head, and are therefore included in his blessing-are blessed in him. It is only a quotational illustration of the truth announced in the previous verse. Gwynne, afraid lest the phrase “in thee” as so explained should lead to theological error, presses the meaning so far down that “father of the faithful” is only analogous to “Jabal, father of such as dwell in tents,” “Jubal, father of all such as handle the harp.” Wieseler understands “in thee” = “having a share in thy blessing,” which indeed is the result.
And what is the εὐλογία , blessing, promised or predicted? It does not seem to be merely the reception of the Spirit, that being a result of the blessing, Galatians 3:14 (De Wette, Wieseler); nor is it properly salvation as a whole, or the benefits attached to it (Hofmann); but it is specially that blessing which has immediate and uniform connection with faith and righteousness, i.e. justification. The quotation is adduced to prove that God justifies the Gentiles by faith, and it is this phase of blessing which has been since the conclusion of the previous chapter especially before the apostle's mind, and which he now proceeds more fully to illustrate. It was the free nature of this blessing and its dependence on faith alone which the Judaizers so strenuously and malignantly impugned. The “blessing” is in contrast also with the “curse” so soon referred to, and that curse is the penalty of a broken law. The prophecy does not teach that when men wish to bless one another, they shall take Abraham for a proverbial example, and say, God bless thee as He blessed Abraham (Jowett). But God, foreseeing His own gracious and uniform process of justifying the Gentile races through faith, made it known to Abraham, even while disclosing to him the blessing of his own promised and direct posterity. God revealed it, not to some heathen prince or priest, one of the Gentiles himself, but to the father of the Jewish race. He wrapped up blessing for the world in benediction given to the Abrahamids. And the words are surely “good tidings,” fully warranting the epithet; for they show that the non-Abrahamic races were not utterly cast off, though they were not comprised in the covenant, and that they do not need to seek admission into that covenant by circumcision in order to obtain righteousness before God. It is Abraham's faith, not Abraham's blood, which brings them into federal or genetic unity with him.
Galatians 3:9. ῞Ωστε οἱ ἐκ πίστεως , εὐλογοῦνται σὺν τῷ πιστῷ ᾿Αβραάμ “So then they which are of faith are blessed together with the faithful Abraham.” ῞Ωστε expresses a consequence. Schmalfeld, Synt. § 155. The deduction is not specially from ἐνευλογηθήσονται (Alford and Ellicott), but it rests also upon ἐν σοί . Believers are ideally Abraham's children, inheriting his righteousness, for it had been fore-announced “In thee shall all nations be blessed;” therefore those who believe are really blessed along with believing Abraham. Faith brings them into such a filial union with Abraham, that they are as if contained in him- ἐν σοί , and are through the same faith blessed along with him- σὺν τῷ ᾿Αβραάμ . Οἱ ἐκ πίστεως , as before, has the emphasis. The aspect of relation is now changed: it was ἐν , now it is σύν . In the one the idea is that of unity; in the second, that of company. “In him,” as children in an ancestor, are they blessed, according to the promise in the quotation, and therefore “with him;” in fellowship with him are they blessed, he and they together-they being ἐκ πίστεως , and he being πιστός . For τῷ πιστῷ is prefixed to Abraham, to prevent any mistake as to that in which this unity and community consist. The adjective is used in an active sense. See under Ephesians 1:1. It is altogether wrong in Grotius to take σύν as equivalent in meaning to καθώς or ὥσπερ , “in the same way.” The apostle's representation is by no means so vague. The assertion is directed against that error which insisted on the Gentile races submitting to the seal of Abraham's race and lineage before they could enjoy his blessing. It attacks l'orgueilleux egöisme des Juifs (Sardinoux), which mistakes the ground of Abraham's justification, and would frustrate the promise which Jehovah made to him. Judaizing was opposed alike to the example of Abraham and this early statement of Scripture. The apostle had therefore been preaching no novelty when he preached to the Gentiles, and Jews too, a free and complete salvation, simply through faith in the Crucified One. Chrysostom describes the apostle in the conclusion of this verse as συλλογιζόμενος -Those who are of faith are Abraham's children; Abraham's children are blessed; therefore those who are of faith-believers-are blessed with believing Abraham.
Galatians 3:10. ῞Οσοι γὰρ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου εἰσίν , ὑπὸ κατάραν εἰσίν “For as many as are of the works of the law are under curse.” The γάρ introduces another argument from the opposite point of view. Believers alone are blessed; and that they who are of faith are alone blessed is plain from the fact, that they who stand in antagonism to them, or they who are of the works of the law, are under curse-are not only negatively unblessed, but positively under curse. The ἐκ is expressive, denoting origination and that dependence which it characterizes, as in οἱ ἐκ πίστεως . It is not simply οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι , men in the act of working, but men whose character and hopes have their origin and shape out of works of the law. All such- ὅσοι -as are under law are ὑπὸ κατάραν . Compare ὑπὸ χάριν , Romans 6:14. The preposition is used in an ethical sense (Matthew 8:9; Romans 3:9; Romans 7:14; 1 Corinthians 9:20; Winer, § 49, k); the original image of position, “under,” fades away in familiar usage, and the idea remains of subjection. Κατάρα is plainly opposed to εὐλογία , and denotes here the penalty of sin. They are under the penalty, according to the apostle's proof, not merely because they have broken, but because they are breaking, the law. Their obedience is neither complete nor uniform. They are under the curse, and the law cannot deliver them; for the function of law is to arraign, convict, and punish. By it is “the knowledge of sin,” it shows their conduct to be out of harmony with its requirements, and thus by its demonstration all the world becomes guilty before God. “For,” as the apostle adds in proof, γέγραπται γὰρ , ὅτι . ῞Οτι by authority of A, B, C, D, F, לאאּ יָקִיםאֶתאּ דִּבְרֵיהַתּוֹרָהאּ הַזֹּאת לַעֲשׂוֹתאוֹתָם ø אֲשֶׁר , and it introduces the quotation: “for it has been written,” and still stands written-
᾿Επικατάρατος πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου , τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά “Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things which have been written in the book of the law, to do them.” The quotation is from Deuteronomy 27:26, but not precisely in harmony with the original Hebrew or the Septuagint. The Hebrew is: א ; and the Septuagint reads: ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ἄνθρωπος ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς λόγοις τοῦ νόμου τούτου ποιῆσαι αὐτούς . The Hebrew wants the πᾶς and πᾶσι . Jerome, however, says that he saw CHOL in the Samaritan Text- Quam ob causam Samaritanorum Hebraea volumina relegens, inveni Chol quod interpretatur OMNIS sive OMNIBUS scriptum esse, et cum Septuaginta interpretibus concordare. And he accuses the Jews of making the deletion wilfully, though the motive he ascribes to them is somewhat puerile-lest they too should be under curse; for the omission does not change the sense, and the verse is a summary conclusion of all the Ebal curses recorded in the previous paragraph. Surenhusius well says: ארורהאישׁ , maledictus vir iste, id est quisque, et in responsione dicitur, “respondit totus populus, dixitque Amen.” Biblos Katall. p. 569. The verb ἐμμένει , “to stand in,” “to continue” (Thucydides, 4.118; Polyb. 3.704; Acts 14:22; Hebrews 8:9), is sometimes followed by the simple dative, but here by ἐν ,-not, however, as if the relation were doubly marked. The directive ἐπι in the adjective ἐπικατάρατος is based upon an image the inverse of that implied in the previous ὑπό . He who is ὑπὸ κατάραν is truly ἐπικατάρατος . The term does not belong to classic Greek. The “all things which are written in the law” are the sphere in which any one must abide who purposes to do them; but if he leave this sphere and break any of them, he is cursed-the emphasis being placed on ἐπικατάρατος . The last clause, τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά , is the infinitive of design, such an infinitive being, as Winer remarks, § 44, 4, b, almost peculiar to Luke and Paul. It grew out of the ordinary meaning of the genitive as denoting result, for purpose and result are closely associated. This usage, which is also found in the classical writers after the age of Demosthenes, is common in the Septuagint, the translation being partly induced by the Hebrew infinitive with ל prefixed. Thiersch, De Pent. p. 173. The apostle's meaning is, that confessedly every one fails to keep all the written enactments of the law; therefore every one seeking salvation by his own obedience is under curse. He is striving to obtain blessing from a code which has condemned and cursed him, to win life from a law which has wrought his death. Psa 14:3 ; 1 Kings 8:46. It is useless to refute the notion of Semler and others, that the law here is the ceremonial law, and the curse the civil penalty that followed trespass or neglect.
This is one argument fortified by Scripture; and the apostle adduces another, and a more sweeping one. This tenth verse states the principle-no obedience save what is uniform and universal can be accepted; no one renders this, or can render it; therefore they who yet are legalists are under the curse, and the word of God has emphatically said so. But he now states as a result the broad fact fortified by Scripture too, that justification is impossible by the law, for it is declared to depend not on obedience, but simply and solely on faith.
Galatians 3:11. ῞Οτι δὲ ἐν νόμῳ οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ δῆλον “But that in the law no one is justified before God is evident.” Flatt gives the connection in this way: because no man is justified by the law in God's sight, it is clear that the just shall live by faith. But the second ὅτι , introducing a quotation which contains an argument, must be causative in signification. Bengel seems to take δῆλον ὅτι as one word- δηλονότι , id est “As concerns the fact that no one is justified in the law before God, it is beyond all doubt true that the just shall live by faith.” Homberg suggests that a point is to be placed after Θεῷ - ut τὸ δῆλον sequentia regat “since no one is justified in the law before God, it is plain that the just shall live by faith.” Hofmann adopts a similar view, taking δῆλον ὅτι adverbially, and regarding the following clause as an explanatory parenthesis, and a protasis or premiss to Galatians 3:13-14. But 1 Corinthians 15:27 and 1 Timothy 6:7 will not bear out this construction which is never used by the apostle; and so far from being an incidental insertion, this quotation is an essential portion of the argument, which is made up of a series of brief statements fortified by a series of Scripture proofs. Δέ is more than continuative. It introduces not an additional argument merely, but one of another kind. Justification is not of works, for legalists are under curse, since they cannot render perfect obedience, is the one argument; but the second is, Justification cannot depend on works, for the Scripture asserts its connection with faith. It seems to many as if some objection had started itself to the apostle's mind. Brown puts it thus: “But are not justification by the law and justification by believing reconcilable? may they not be coincident?” But the verse does not afford a reply to such a question, nor does it seem to be the objection present to the apostle's thought. De Wette, followed by Ellicott, supposes it to be, “but lest any one should imagine that if a man did so continue in all things written in the book of the law, he should be blessed.” Granting that this hypothesis might be started, the answer must have been in the affirmative, for perfect obedience must secure acceptance; though on another view it must be in the negative, since no man ever did find acceptance by works, and justification before God has uniformly been by faith. And such is his answer to the supposed challenge. We see no need, however, for accounting for the chain of argument by forging such a link of association. Justification cannot be by law, for legalists are under a penalty; and he says now, Justification as a fact has never been by works, but invariably by faith. The verb δικαιοῦται is therefore in the ethical present-it is God's characteristic and invariable way of justification. The phrase παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ has a judicial aspect. Romans 2:13; 2Th 1:6 ; 1 Peter 2:20; Rost und Palm, sub voce. The phrase ἐν νόμῳ is not nach der Norm des Gesetzes (Wieseler), but may mean, by or through law as instrument, as Meyer maintains, for, as he says, “ Χριστός is in contrast to it.” But ἐν may have a wider meaning: no one is justified “in the law”-in any aspect of it or in any connection with it, for justification is found wholly beyond its sphere. The proof of the position is again taken from Scripture, but the quotation is so well known that there is no introductory formula-
῞Οτι ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται - “because the just shall live by faith.” Codices D 1 and F, agreeing with the Syriac and the Itala, have ὅτι γέγραπται γάρ , F omitting δῆλον . The quotation is from Habakkuk 2:4 - וַצַדִּיק בֶּאַמוּנָתוֹיִחְיֶה , “the just man by his faith shall live;” and is rendered by the Septuagint, ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεώς μου ζήσεται . The apostle omits μου . The pronoun μου , if not an error-and its position differs in the MSS.-indicates another Hebrew reading, and may be used objectively: “by faith in me,” that is, God. The rendering of אַמוּנָה , H575 by πίστις is found also in Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, but with the reading αὐτοῦ or ἑαυτοῦ . Orig. Hex. vol. ii. p. 372, ed. Montf. But “his faith” may mean either ex fide ejus -faith in Him-God, or ex fide sua -his own faith. The idea of stedfastness expressed by the Hebrew noun implies faith, and it is commonly rendered πίστις in the Septuagint; though only in this place it is translated faith in the Authorized Version, its usual renderings being “steady,” “faithful,” “faithfulness,” “truth,” “truly,” “verily,” “stability,” and “set,” as in the phrase “set office”-margin “trust.” The quotation occurs again in Romans 1:17, and in Hebrews 10:38.
It is difficult to determine the connection, whether ἐκ πίστεως belongs to ὁ δίκαιος before it-the man just by faith shall live, or whether it belongs to ζήσεται after it-the just shall live by his faith. Interpreters are greatly divided. The first view is supported by Cajetan, Pareus, Bengel, Michaelis, Semler, Morus, Rückert, Usteri, Hilgenfeld, Meyer, Brown, Alford, Sardinoux, Bisping, Umbreit on Romans 1:17. In favour of this view it may be said, that the apostle's aim is to show the source of justification, and not the means or foundation of spiritual life; his theme being justification by faith, not life by faith. Besides, as Meyer says, ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως stands opposed to ὁ ποιήσας αὐτά in the following verse. The other view is held by many old interpreters-by Borger, Schott, Matthies, Winer, De Wette, Ellicott, Middleton, Wieseler, Bagge, Ewald, Holsten, Hofmann, Philippi on Romans 1:17, Delitzsch on Habakkuk 2:4:; Habakkuk 2:1. The original Hebrew is in favour of this meaning. The first clause reads, “See, the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his stedfastness.” See Fürst, Lex. sub voce. The first clause of the verse in the Septuagint is wholly different from the Hebrew, though there is quite a harmony of sense with the second.
2. The order of the Greek words is also in its favour. It is not ὁ ἐκ πίστεως δίκαιος . Great stress, however, cannot be laid on this argument, for it has been replied that the apostle quotes the words as they stand in the Septuagint. But it may be answered, the apostle quotes them in the sense which they bear in the Septuagint, which is a true translation of the original, though the first part of the verse would seem to be rendered from a different Hebrew text (Hitzig).
3. There is the contrast ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται and ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς - ἔργοις ,-phrases directly antagonistic; the one living by faith, the other living in works-life and its source, life and its element.
4. The apostle's theme is justification by faith. Now justification and life are not different, as Alford's objection would imply; he who is justified or rescued from the curse-that curse being death-lives παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ . The apostle has spoken of his own experience as a justified man under the more subjective aspect of life in the end of the second chapter, and the same idea recurs to him as suggested by a quotation from the Old Testament. No man is justified in or by the law before God, for the justified man lives by faith-faith giving him life, or rescuing him from death as the penalty of the law which he has broken. Or the statement, he is justified by faith, is the inference, inasmuch as he lives by faith-life being the result of justification, or rather coincident with it.
The ἐκ denotes origin-out of faith comes life. Abiding faith is continuous life. If faith vary, life flickers, it is so susceptible and so dependent on faith; or, to speak differently, the Spirit of life cannot dwell in an unbelieving heart. The apostle adds-
Galatians 3:12. ῾Ο δὲ νόμος οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ πίστεως “But the law is not of faith.” This δέ introduces the minor proposition of the syllogism. The law is in no sense connected with faith in its origin, essence, or working-does not spring from it, and in no way belongs to it. Theodoret says truly, ὁ νόμος οὐ πίστιν ζητεῖ , ἀλλὰ πρᾶξιν ἀπαιτεῖ . The law is not, as Dr. Brown paraphrases, “the way of justification by the law,” but the law itself as an institute, the Mosaic law being the reference, and on this point representing all law. The insertion of ζήσεται after πίστεως , which Gwynne “confidently presses as the true grammatical construction,” would be a clumsy and unsatisfactory interpolation.
᾿Αλλ᾿ ὁ ποιήσας αὐτὰ ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς “but he who hath done these things shall live in them.” The ἀλλά is strongly adversative. The Received Text has ἄνθρωπος after αὐτά on such slender authority as D 3 , K, L, and it was probably taken from the quotation as it stands in the Septuagint, Leviticus 18:5. The Hebrew clause is, אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַיבָּהֶם ; and the whole verse in the Septuagint is, καὶ φυλάξεσθε πάντα τὰ προστάγματά μου καὶ πάντα τὰ κρίματά μου , καὶ ποιήσετε αὐτά· ἃ ποιήσας αὐτὰ ἄνθρωπος ζήσεται ἐν αὐτοῖς . The αὐτά are the προστάγματα and κρίματα of the previous clauses. Compare Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:21; Bar 4:1 . As in the previous quotation, there is no formula as γέγραπται , nor does it need to be understood. The apostle uses a well-known quotation, and does not need to name it as such; but there is a formula employed in Romans 10:5. The emphasis is on the aorist ποιήσας . Doing, not believing, is always connected with the law. It prescribes obedience, and threatens penalty. Works, not faith, belong to it. It does not recognise faith, for it says, Do, and then thou shalt live. He who has kept these laws lives in them as the element of his life. Praecepta legis non sunt de credendis, sed de faciendis (Thomas Aquinas). The two quotations are placed almost side by side. Faith and obedience are very opposite in nature, and so are a life of faith and a life of legal obedience. Perfect obedience would secure life; but there is, and there can be, no perfect obedience. All are therefore under the curse who are under the law, and the law has no justifying power; but by a new principle which the law knows nothing of, and which is quite opposed to law in essence and operation, are men justified-to wit, by faith. These two verses are a species of inverted syllogism. The major is, “The just shall live by faith;” the minor is, “but the law is not of faith;” and the conclusion is, therefore “in the law no one is justified before God.” See under Galatians 2:16, etc.
Galatians 3:13. Χριστὸς ᾑμᾶς ἐξηγόρασεν ἐκ τῆς κατάρας τοῦ νόμου “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.” There is no connecting particle, and the abruptness of the asyndeton gives vividness to the expression. Compare Colossians 3:4; Dissen, ad Pind. Excur. ii. p. 277. Olshausen needlessly supposes a μέν in Galatians 3:10 and a δέ in this verse to be left out. As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.” There is no doubt, whatever general truth may be inferred from the passage, that the ἡμεῖς are specially or primarily, if not solely, Jews. If the law, as seems clear, be the Mosaic law or the published law of God, then its curse lay upon the Jews who were guilty of violating it, and to them the threatening of Galatians 3:10 applies. The ἡμάς also stands in contrast to εἰς τὰ ἔθνη , who are not included in it. Freed from the curse through faith in Him who bore it, why should they be so rigid and undutiful in enjoining that law on the Gentiles? That law did not originally include the Gentiles under its sway,-it in fact severed Israel and non-Israel, Jew and Gentile. The us and the we are, therefore, properly those who in Galatians 3:23 are said to be ὑπὸ νόμον , and also in Galatians 4:5, and not heathen also (Pareus, Winer, Matthies, Baumgarten-Crusius). The law of Moses is wrongly affirmed by Winer to have authority over the heathen. The apostle gives a different view of the heathen world in Romans 2:14-15, and states a contrary doctrine-that they are “without law.” So far, indeed, as the Mosaic law is unnational, or so far as it is a proclamation of earlier moral law springing out of those essential and unchanging relations which creatures bear to God and to one another, it must bind all races.
The aorist verb ἐξηγόρασεν “bought us out,” redeemed or ransomed-corresponds very much to the other terms employed elsewhere- λυτρόω , ἀπολύτρωσις . The preposition in a compound verb in the later Greek is not to be unduly pressed, as Ellicott remarks, and as Thiersch has illustrated, De Pent. vers. Alex. p. 82. The simple verb occurs 1Co 6:20 ; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 2 Peter 2:1; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 14:3-4. The idea is deliverance by ransom. See under Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 1:14. The curse of the law is its penalty of death, under which it holds us in terrible bondage. The mode in which the action asserted by the verb was done is told by the following participial clause-
Γενόμενος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν κατάρα “having become a curse for us,” γενόμενος having the stress upon it. The noun κατάρα is the abstract, and without the article points out that the curse which He became was full-not circumscribed or modified-wide as the curse of the law. 2 Corinthians 5:21. Cursed is every one who has not kept the law- ἐπικατάρατος -Christ became κατάρα -not an accursed one, but curse. No element of the κατάρα that fell on the sinner is beyond the sphere or influence of the κατάρα which He became; γενόμενος -not under the curse originally, but filled with blessedness, the law having no claim on Him derived from previous or personal violation of any of its statutes.
He became a curse ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν , for us. See what is said under Galatians 1:4. While ὑπέρ signifies primarily on behalf of, or for the good of, it may here bear in combination the meaning of “in room of,” as certainly in John 13:37-38, 2 Corinthians 5:20, in Philemon 1:13, and in Plato, ῾Ωμολογήκαμεν· ἐγὼ ὑπὲρ σοῦ ἀποκρινοῦμαι , Gorgias, 515, D, Opera, vol. ii. p. 305, ed. Stallbaum. Compare Usteri, Paulin. Lehrb. p. 117. If substitution be not formally expressed, it is certainly implied in this striking declaration. He became the curse that lay upon us, and thus ransomed us out of it.
A quotation is introduced as proof of the last statement by γέγραπται γάρ , “it has been” and it stands “written,” as in the Textus Receptus; but the ὅτι γέγραπται has in its favour A, B, C, D 1 , F, with the Vulgate and several of the Latin fathers.
᾿Επικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου “Cursed is every one that hangeth upon a tree.” The quotation is taken freely from Deuteronomy 21:22-23. The Hebrew of the clause is להִיםתָּלוּי ø כִּיאּ קִלְלַת אַ -for he that is hanged is accursed of God; the Greek, ὅτι κεκατηραμένος ὑπὸ Θεοῦ πᾶς κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου . The whole place is given in our version thus: “And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” The clause “and he be to be put to death,” is properly “he be put to death,” for crucifixion was not a Hebrew punishment. The common version of the clause under consideration is the correct one “the curse of God;” though another rendering has been sometimes given “He that is hanged is an insult to God”- ὕβρις Θεοῦ ,-the rendering of him whom Jerome calls Ebion ille haeresiarches semichristianus et semijudaeus. The rendering of the Peshito, of the Targum of Jonathan, and of the Greek translators Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, is a modification of this view. Jerome also makes allusion to an altercatio between Jason and Papiscus-a controversy referred to also by Celsus and Origen-in which the words in dispute are rendered λοιδορία Θεοῦ . See Prof. Lightfoot's note on the subject. The words ὑπὸ Θεοῦ are omitted in the quotation, and ἐπὶ ξύλου is added from the previous verse. Lightfoot says that the words ὑπὸ Θεοῦ are “instinctively” omitted by Paul; but they are really implied in the citation-the criminal having broken God's law bore God's curse; and in their application to Christ, it is still God's law whose curse was borne by Him, though the ὑπὸ Θεοῦ fades into the background, as it is not essential to form a result of the present argument. Bähr and Hofmann suppose the words to be omitted on purpose to keep out the idea expressed, as, among other grounds, it might be a stumbling-block to the unsettled Galatians. The citation is thus made as to sense-a citation the force and truth of which his readers must at once admit. Suspension from a stake (though ξύλον in later Greek and in the New Testament signifies also a living tree) was a posthumous degradation awarded to certain classes of criminals put to death probably by stoning. Crucifixion was not a Jewish punishment, but the dead criminal was exposed on a stake by the hands. A man so hanged was a curse, and was not on that account to remain exposed all night, because the land had been consecrated to God. So the very means of Christ's death showed it to be an accursed death. His being hanged on a tree proved that He was made a curse. The manner of the death, besides being in consonance with prophecy, was a visible proof and symbol of its real nature; for “He bore our sins on His own body on the tree.” He bore the curse of a broken law, and the mode of His death signally showed that He became a curse, for, by being suspended on a stake, He became in the express terms of the law a curse. Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39; 1 Peter 2:24. And this declaration was a continuous stumbling-block, as Jerome testifies, and as may be seen in Tertullian, Adversus Judaeos, § 10, Opera, vol. ii. p. 727, ed. OEhler; in Justin Martyr, Dial. cum Tryph. § 96, Opera, vol. ii. p. 327, ed. Otto; and in Aristo Pellaeus, some fragments of whom may be found, with annotations, in Routh's Reliq. Sac. vol. i. p. 95, etc. Jewish contempt styled the Saviour “the hanged man,” as may be seen in the second chapter of the first part of Eisenmenger's Entdeckt. Judenthum, “on the slanderous names which the Jews give to Christ.” Eisenmenger did with a will this work, which is a curious, erudite, and ponderous indictment against the Jewish nation.
Galatians 3:14. ῞Ινα εἰς τὰ ἔθνη ἡ εὐλογία τοῦ ᾿Αβραὰμ γένηται ἐν Χριστῷ Ιησοῦ “in order that to the Gentiles the blessing of Abraham might come in Christ Jesus.” The ἵνα points to the final purpose expressed by ἐξηγόρασεν and the clauses connected with it, and not simply with γενόμενος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν κατάρα , as Alford, after Theophylact, OEcumenius, Winer, Usteri, and Schott; and ἡ εὐλογία τοῦ ᾿Αβραάμ is the blessing possessed or enjoyed by Abraham-not the blessing promised to him, as Wieseler and Schott argue, but the blessing itself, justification by faith, Galatians 3:6. Ellicott and Trana make it the genitive of object, the blessing announced to Abraham; the promise was vouchsafed to him, and he enjoyed the reality. The apostle does not allude by contrast in εὐλογία to κατάρα in the previous verse, though it may not be altogether excluded, but he re-introduces the idea of Galatians 3:5-9. Winer takes the blessing generally as felicitas, but too vaguely; Gwynne as the “Spirit”-a confusion of ideas; and Wieseler, the collective blessing of God's kingdom. These are included as results, but the blessing to which the apostle gives prominence is justification by faith, as in Galatians 3:8. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the heathen by faith- τὰ ἔθνη ; and Christ became a curse, that upon the same τὰ ἔθνη the blessing of Abraham might come. Besides, it is the object of the apostle to vindicate the doctrine of justification by faith, for it was endangered by the false teaching of the Judaizers. The heathen are foreshown to be justified by faith, and it was contravening this foreannouncement to insist on something more than faith in order to justification. For the phrase γένηται εἰς , “should come to” or “should reach,” compare Acts 21:17; Act 25:15 ; 2 Corinthians 8:14; Revelation 16:2. The preposition retains its local meaning, and does not signify, as in Peile's paraphrase, “in reference to” the nations. Winer, § 49, a. The ἔθνη are the heathen in contradistinction to the Jews, and not the peoples generally, as Estius, Olshausen, and Baumgarten-Crusius suppose. This blessing of Abraham comes upon the Gentiles ἐν X. I., in Christ Jesus-the element in which it is found, conveyed, and enjoyed-not in the law, which claims perfect obedience, and inflicts a curse on all transgressors. But why this connection? Christ became a curse that the blessing of Abraham might come, not on his own descendants, but on the Gentiles-the moment lying on the words εἰς τὰ ἔθνη , from their position. Through His death comes justification, or deliverance from the curse, and acceptance with God,-the curse of the law being borne by Him,-and that death, the infinite merit of which flows over to the Gentile, at the same time (though the idea is not formally introduced here) put an end to the typical and national economy from which the Gentiles were excluded, and introduced a new dispensation without distinction of race or blood. Besides the expiation of guilt in Christ's death, which is the express and special thought of the apostle, there was in it also the fulfilment of the old symbols, with their consequent abolition, and the inauguration of a system of world-wide adaptation and offer. The blessing so specially characterized as Abraham's, and so founded on Christ's expiation, passes over to those who bear no natural kinship to him “aliens,” “strangers,” “afar off”-who, looking up to the Source of all spiritual good, may say, “Doubtless Thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not.”
῞Ινα τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πνεύματος λάβωμεν διὰ τῆς πίστεως “in order that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” This second ἵνα is co-ordinate with the first, and is of climactic force. Rückert after Chrysostom maintains the second clause to be subordinate to the first, and to express the result of it. Schott has a similar view. Flatt renders this second ἵνα , “so that.” The conjunctions ἵνα - ἵνα , co-ordinate or parallel, are found in Romans 7:13, 2 Corinthians 9:3, Ephesians 6:19. It is also something more than an explanation, the error of Grotius, Estius, and Koppe. In the first plural λάβωμεν the “we” includes probably both Jews and Gentiles. He does not say λάβωσι , as Chrysostom reads, in direct reference to the Gentiles just referred to, nor does he formally express ἡμεῖς as in contrast to τὰ ἔθνη , but he employs the simple verb. Having specified the Gentiles, and recurring to the use of “we,” the probability is that he means “we”-both Gentiles just referred to, and Jews, the subject of the previous paragraph. Hofmann, Beza, Bengel, and virtually Brown, confine the subject of the verb to the Jews- Judaei benedictioni in Christo propinqui. What they should receive, the apostle styles-
Τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πνεύματος “the promise of the Spirit.” The verb λάβωμεν may mean to receive it in full, or into conscious possession. The ἡ ἐπαγγελία τοῦ πνεύματος is no Hebraism standing for τὸ ἐπαγγελθὲν πνεῦμα -the promised Spirit; and as little can it mean promissio spiritualis -Calvin, Pareus, Zegerus. The genitive is that of object-the promise which has the Spirit for its object; or perhaps is the genitive of nearer specification or definition, as Wieseler takes it. The genitives which admit of the resolution referred to are very limited. Winer, § 34. See Fritzsche also on the phrase ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς , ad Romans 6:4, vol. i. p. 367. Were the genitive that of subject, as Winer takes it, it would mean, as he phrases it, bona illa quae a divino spiritu promissa sunt. But the Spirit Himself stands out as the special subject of promise: Joel 2:28; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4, ii.; Ephesians 1:13. In the apostle's idea, the Spirit does not give the promise, but seals it in personal realization. The Spirit is a characteristic prediction of the Old Testament, and the Paraclete is Christ's pre-eminent promise in the New Testament. Thus it is plain that the apostle recurs in this clause to the question of the second verse, τὸ πνεῦμα ἐλάβετε ; “Did ye receive the Spirit?” and he answers that question by various connected arguments, referring to Abraham-to faith as opposed to law and works-to the curse of the law and Christ's endurance of it, in order that the promise of the Spirit may be enjoyed as an actual blessing. His questions were, “Did ye receive the Spirit ἐξ ἔργων ?” Galatians 3:2; “Does God furnish the Spirit ἐξ ἔργων ?” Galatians 3:3. No; and the answer is elaborated in a series of pithy and pointed sentences, “compactly built together,” till he ends the demonstration, and sets down as the proved result- διὰ τῆς πίστεως . For νόμος and ἔργα are associated with κατάρα , and Christ became κατάρα for us, that justification might come to the Gentiles, according to the old promise that all the nations should be blessed in Abraham, their faith and not their blood being their bond of union with him; their faith being at the same time inseparably connected with their possession of the Spirit-God's great promise to believers.
Galatians 3:15. ᾿Αδελφοὶ , κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men”-I am going to use a human analogy, or to propose an illustration from a human point of view. “Brethren, yet beloved and cared for,” though they are censured as senseless in their relapse; affectionate remembrance naturally springing up at this pause in the argument. The phrase κατὰ ἄνθρωπον has various shades of meaning, as may be seen by comparing Romans 3:5, 1 Corinthians 9:8 with 1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 15:32, Galatians 1:11. See Wetstein on Romans 3:5. The point of the statement is, that if it be true beyond doubt of a human covenant, it applies much more to a divine covenant- a minore ad majus.
῞Ομως ἀνθρώπου κεκυρωμένην διαθήκην οὐδεὶς ἀθετεῖ ἢ ἐπιδιατάσσεται “though it be but a man's covenant, yet when it has been confirmed, no one annulleth or addeth to it”-imposeth new conditions. Διαθήκη is rightly rendered covenant, for the context demands such a sense. Such is its constant meaning in the Septuagint, and its uniform use in the New Testament- Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 9:17 being no exception. The classical meaning of the plural form of the word and the testamentum of the Vulgate have given currency to the other translation of “testament,” which is adopted here by Luther, Erasmus, and Olshausen. The Hebrew בְּרִית , H1382, as a name both of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, is always represented by it. Suidas defines it by συνθήκη , a covenant in the strictest sense; but it has a wider significance than this allied term. Yet the meaning is not so general as dispensation or arrangement- dispositio (Winer, Matthies, Usteri, Schott, Hofmann, Hauck, and virtually Brown); the usual sense fits in to the illustration. The participle κεκυρωμένη is applied to the ratification of a bargain, Genesis 23:20; of a public measure, Thucyd. 8.69; of a treaty of peace, Polyb. 1.6; and of laws, Andocides, De Myster. p. 27, ed. Schiller. The confirmation might be effected in various ways, as by an oath, Hebrews 6:13-18, or by the erection of a memorial or witness, Genesis 31:44-53. The adverb ὅμως is not to be taken as ὁμῶς , “in like manner” (Morus, Jatho), but it signifies “yet,” or “though,”-not doch selbst (Zachariae, Matthies) nor quin imo (Wolf). Windischmann, Olshausen, and Rückert refer it to κατ᾿ ἄνθρωπον , and take it as tamen or certe “I speak only as a man”-one certainly cannot abrogate a man's testament; but the point is missed in this exegesis. Some connect it with ἀνθρώπου “yet even a man's covenant no one annulleth” (Gwynne, Matthias). Bagge lays the emphasis on the participle κεκυρωμένην , and connects ὅμως with it “no one sets aside a covenant, although ratified by man.” But the illustration is broader in its basis, for ὅμως logically belongs to οὐδείς , and is out of its order by an idiomatic displacement. 1 Corinthians 14:7; Winer, 61, 4. This trajection happens oftenest with participles- participio suo praemitti solito. Stallbaum, Phaedo, 91, C; Plat. Opera, vol. i. p. 155; Xen. Cyrop. 5.4, 6; Thucyd. 6.69. The sense then is, though it be a man's covenant, when it is confirmed no one yet or notwithstanding annuls it or adds to it. The last verb signifies to add or to supplement ( superordinat, Vulgate), and by its composition- ἐπί -it hints what the supplement is, or insinuates that it is contrary to the contents of the covenant or purpose of its author (Erasmus, Winer). Joseph. Bell. Jude 1:2-3, where ἐπιδιαθήκη means a second will; Antiq. 17.9, 4. After a man's covenant has been duly ratified, no one dares to set aside or supplement it with any new matter or any additional stipulations. It stands good beyond strife and cavil against all opposition and argument. ᾿Ανθρώπου is emphatic, to mark the contrast; for if it be so with a mere man's covenant, how much more so with God's, which was also a ratified covenant! To add to a covenant is virtually to annul it; the Judaistic dogma, under the guise of a supplement, was really an abrogation of the original promise or covenant.
Galatians 3:16. Τῷ δὲ ᾿Αβραὰμ ἐῤῥέθησαν αἱ ἐπαγγελίαι , καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ “Now to Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed.” The non-Attic form ἐῤῥέθησαν has the support of the best MSS., as A, B, C, D, F, א , etc.; Lobeck, Phrynichus, p. 441; Buttmann, vol. ii. p. 121. It is needless and irrelevant on the part of Schott, De Wette, and Hilgenfeld, to make Galatians 3:15-17 a syllogism, and this verse the minor premiss. A more definite contrast must in that case have been expressed, and the parenthetical and explanatory clause οὐ λέγει would destroy the symmetry. The minor premiss is in Galatians 3:17, and this verse is rather a subsidiary illustration of some points or words in the covenant, the validity of which he is just going to prove. Thus-
1. The plural αἱ ἐπαγγελίαι is not one promise, but many, or the promise repeated in varying terms: Genesis 12:3; Genesis 13:15; Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:8; Genesis 22:16-18. The arrangement of the words gives the emphasis to καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ by severing it from τῷ ᾿Αβραάμ .
2. The promises were spoken not to Abraham only, but to Abraham and his Seed. This Seed he explains to be Christ, so that until the Seed came, the promise was not fulfilled; it was still a divine promise awaiting its fulfilment when the law was given, and could not therefore be set aside by it, or be clogged with new clauses. The force of the argument lies in this, that the seed is not Abraham's natural progeny, to which Canaan had been given, but Christ, who did not come into the world till the fulness of time. The simple dative, not that of relation, is here employed, and the meaning is not, for Abraham and his seed (Matthias, Vömel), nor “through” or “in reference to Abraham and his seed” (Brown), but the Seed is characterized as the party to whom the promises were uttered or given.
3. The point of the argument then is the quotation καὶ τῷ σπέρματί σου , the very words employed by God. For he explains-
Οὐ λέγει· Καὶ τοῖς σπέρμασιν , ὡς ἐπὶ πολλῶν , ἀλλ᾿ ὡς ἐφ᾿ ἑνός· Καὶ τῷ σπέρματί σου , ὅς ἐστι Χριστός “He saith not, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And TO THY SEED,’ which is Christ.” The καί is plainly a part of the quotation, which must be taken either from Genesis 13:15 or from Genesis 17:8, and therefore not from Genesis 22:18, as Tertullian and many after him have supposed. The apostle now explains the meaning and the unipersonal reference of the singular σπέρμα . Οὐ λέγει , referring back to ἐῤῥέθησαν , probably in this instance not impersonal (Lightfoot), for Θεός is emphatically implied in the context and in ἐῤῥέθησαν . He who spoke the promises used this phrase, “And to thy seed.” In the two clauses ἐπί with the genitive has some trace of its local meaning, “on”-the utterance of God in the promise rests not on many, but on one-like scribere super. Winer, § 47, 9. There are several instances in classical Greek. Ast, Lex. Plat. sub voce. Λεγόμενον ἐπὶ τῶν θεῶν τούτων , AElian, Var. Hist. 1.31; Plato, Charmides, 155, D; and Stallbaum's modification of Heindorf's note, which, however, is not applicable here, vol. 2.132-3; Diodor. Sic. 1.12. For the attraction in ὅς , which has not ἑνός for its antecedent (Beza), see Winer, § 24, 3; Mark 15:16; 1 Timothy 3:15.
The apostle's argument is, that the singular σπέρμα signifies what the plural σπέρματα could not have suggested. This plural is indeed found in 4Ma 17:1 , τῶν ᾿Αβραμιαίων σπερμάτων ; but this use is not so natural. Comp. in poetry, AEschylus, Supp. 290; Sophocles, OEdip. 1275. The Hebrew term ‡ ֶזרַע , H2446 is used in the plural, with quite a different meaning, to signify “grains of seed,” 1 Samuel 8:15, and in Daniel 1:12, where it is rendered “pulse” in our version. On this account the plural זַרָעִים could not have been employed in such a promise, and therefore the apostle's argument from it would be void. The plural, however, is used in Chaldee in the sense of posterity; and the apostle's inference only implies, that had a plural been employed in the promise, his reasoning could not have been sustained. It is also true, on the other hand, that σπέρμα may have a plural signification, as in Romans 4:18; Romans 9:7, where the apostle's argument depends on it, as also in Galatians 3:29 of this chapter. The singular ‡ ֶזרַע , H2446 denotes a man's offspring as a collective unit, not its separate individuals but in their related oneness, the organic unity of the branches with the root. In the promise made to Abraham, however, the singular term is not a collective unity, but has an unipersonal sense which no plural form could have borne, such as בָּנִים וּבָנֶיךָ . The singular form thus gives a ground for the interpretation which he advances. The Septuagint had already given a similar personal meaning to σπέρμα - αὐτός σου τηρήσει κεφαλήν , Genesis 3:15. That seed is Christ-not Jesus in individual humanity, but the Messiah so promised. The posterity of Abraham was embodied in Him; He was its summation and crown. It would never have existed but for Him, nor could its mission to bless all nations be fulfilled but in Him. For Him was Abraham chosen, and Canaan promised and conferred. In typical fore-union with Him was the old economy organized, and its testimony to Him was the soul of prophecy. The seed of Abraham blessed the world by the circulation of its oracles in a Greek translation, its code being a protest against polytheism, against atheism - the negation of the Infinite, and against pantheism-the absorption of the finite,-a vindication of the dignity of man as made in God's image, and of the majesty of law as based on His authority; while it made a special providence a matter of daily experience, and disclosed the harmony of mercy with the equity and purity of divine legislation. Babylon, Egypt, and Phoenicia had contributed to the education of humanity, which was also mightily advanced by the genius of Greece and the legislation of Rome. But Judaism diffused a higher form of truth: it taught religion-the knowledge and worship of that God who was in Christ, in whom all the spiritual seed are comprehended, in whom they were chosen, and in whom they have died, been raised, and enthroned in the heavenly places. In the Old Testament there are glimpses of the same truth; for the servant of Jehovah is sometimes the Messiah in person, sometimes Israel either national or spiritual, and sometimes Messiah combining in Himself and identified with the theocratic people. Messiah was the Lord's servant, and so was Israel; their service, either individual or collective, had its root and acceptance in Him. Israel was God's son, His first-born-closely related to Him, reflecting His image, and doing His will among the nations; and Messiah's relations and functions are described in similar language. In this way Moses, in his time, bore “the reproach of Christ;” and in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:15) a prophetic utterance regarding the chosen people is said to be fulfilled in the child Jesus “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” Hosea 11:1. The same truth is more vividly brought out in the New Testament-the identity of Christ and Christ's. “Why persecutest thou me?” said Jesus to the persecutor. The apostle “fills up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in his flesh for His body's sake,” and he says, “The sufferings of Christ abound in us;” and again, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” Act 9:4 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Hebrews 11:26. See under Ephesians 1:23 and Colossians 1:24.
The meaning is not, Christ and His church (Augustine, Beza, Matthies, Jatho); nor the church under a special aspect, as Bengel and Ernesti; but Christ Himself, embodying at the same time His church-the Head with its members in organic unity.
Galatians 3:17. Τοῦτο δὲ λέγω “This, however, I say,” or, my meaning is. The δέ serves to resume or restate the argument, applying the previous principle underlying a man's covenant to the point under discussion in the form of an implied inference.
Διαθήκην προκεκυρωμένην ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰς Χριστὸν ὁ μετὰ τετρακόσια καὶ τριάκοντα ἔτη γεγονὼς νόμος οὐκ ἀκυροῖ , εἰς τὸ καταργῆσαι τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν “a covenant which has been before confirmed by God for Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, does not invalidate, so as to do away the promise.” The words εἰς Χριστόν of the Received Text are doubtful. They are found in D, F, K, L, majority of cursives, the Syriac version ( בָמשִׁיהוֹא ), the Claromontane Latin, and the Greek fathers; but are wanting in A, B, C, א , in the Vulgate, Coptic, and in Jerome and Augustine. The words are therefore suspicious, though Ewald, Wieseler, Hauck, and Hofmann vindicate their genuineness; and were they genuine, they cannot mean “in Christ” as in the Authorized Version, nor “with Christ” as Scholefield, nor “until Christ” as Borger, but “for Christ.” Jelf, 625; Galatians 4:11, Galatians 5:10; Rom 2:26 ; 2 Corinthians 12:6, etc. The phrase, however, is quite in harmony with the statement of the previous verse: the covenant was ratified with Abraham and his Seed, or its primary object was Christ-not in Him, but with a view to Him was it confirmed. The covenant was ratified “before” by God with Abraham, the προ in the participle being in contrast with the following μετά . The ratification took place when the covenant was made. In one instance there was a sacrifice; in another an oath, when God “sware by Himself.” If a man's covenant on being confirmed cannot be set aside or interpolated with new conditions, much more must God's covenant remain unchanged, unvitiated, unabrogated. The law, so unlike it in contents and purpose, can be no portion of it; and the priority of the covenant by four centuries is additional proof of its validity: the law, that was introduced so long after it, can have no retrospective annulling influence over it. Magnitudo intervalli auget promissionis auctoritatem (Bengel, Koppe, Meyer). The γεγονώς means “that came into existence” with the act of legislation at Mount Sinai. The εἰς introducing the last clause gives the purpose of ἀκυροῖ : “so as to do away with the promise”-the promise which was so much the core of the covenant, and so identified with it that they are convertible terms. Rom 1:20 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:16.
The law came in “430 years after the promise”- μετὰ ἔτη τετρακόσια καὶ τριάκοντα . The apostle thus puts the interval in specific numbers. If the period from the promise to the Exodus was 430 years, as the apostle asserts, then the sojourn in Egypt could not have been 400 years; or if it lasted 400 years, then the apostle's chronology is defective by more than 200 years. But in Exodus 12:40 the abode in Egypt is said to be “430 years;” in Genesis 15:13 the time of affliction is predicted to be 400 years, the statement being quoted by Stephen in his address, Acts 7:6. There is thus a very marked difference of computation, and the apostle has followed the chronology of the Septuagint. It reads in Exodus 12:40, ἡ δὲ κατοίκησις τῶν ςἱῶν ᾿Ισραήλ ἣν κατῴκησαν ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ καὶ ἐν γῇ Χαναάν , [ αὐτοὶ καὶ οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν , b ἔτη τετρακόσια τριάκοντα -the clause within brackets being found in Codex A, and there being other minor variations. The Samaritan Pentateuch reads similarly. The apostle adopts this chronology of the Alexandrian translators, who might, from their residence in Egypt, have some special means of information on the point. Josephus, Antiq. 2.15, 2, says “that they left Egypt in the month Xanthicus . . . 430 years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but 215 years after Jacob's removal into Egypt.” Josephus, however, with strange inconsistency, had announced another chronology in his Antiquities, 2.9,1, and he follows it also in his Jewish War, 5.9,4. Philo adopts it, Quis rerum divinarum haeres, § 54, Opera, vol. iv. p. 121, ed. Pfeiffer; so also Theophilus, ad Autolycum, 3.10, p. 215, ed. Otto. Hengstenberg, Kurtz, Hävernick, Ewald, Tiele, Reinke, Delitzsch, and Hofmann support this view, and disparage the Alexandrian reading as a clumsy and artificial interpolation. But the apostle adopted the Hellenistic chronology, and it can be satisfactorily vindicated out of many distinct intimations and data even in the Hebrew Text. There seem to have been two traditions on the subject, and Josephus apparently acknowledged both of them. It is ingenious but baseless to attempt a reconciliation by supposing that the promise may be regarded as made to Jacob just before he went down to Egypt, so that 430 years can be allowed for the sojourn (Olshausen), or by maintaining that the “land not theirs” of the Abrahamic promise comprehends Canaan as well as Egypt. See Usher's Chron. Sac. cap. viii. As to the possible rate of increase of population during 215 years, see the calculations in Birks, The Exodus of Israel, chap. iii.
Galatians 3:18. Εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία , οὐκ ἔτι ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας “For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise.” The γάρ shows strongly the basis of the previous statement-if the law abrogate the promise, inheritance comes of law; but law and promise are quite antagonistic in nature, so that if it be of law, the promise is completely set aside. The one hypothesis excludes the other-there is no middle ground. ᾿Εκ has its usual significance of origin, and οὐκ ἔτι is used in a logical sense “no more,” not in point of time, but by force of inference. Winer, § 65, 10. The “inheritance” was to Abraham the land of Canaan; and as the name is naturally employed in connection with the Abrahamic covenant, of which it was the characteristic term and gift, it became a symbol of spiritual blessing, or of “the better country,” as the apostle argues in Hebrews 11:0 It does not mean expressly the Holy Spirit (Gwynne).
Τῷ δὲ ᾿Αβραὰμ δἰ ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ Θεός “but God has given it to Abraham by promise.” “By promise,” or “through promise”-through the medium of promise; not exactly in the form of promise (Rückert, Peile), though that is the result. The verb is used in its common transitive signification, the inheritance being understood; and the perfect tense denotes the duration of the gift. Compare Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 2:12; Philippians 1:29. It alters the connection to make Christ the object of the gift, as Grotius; or to supply no object at all, as Schott, Olshausen, and Matthias ( gratiosum se ei exhibuit); or to take the verb in a passive sense, God giving Himself as the inheritance, as Caspari. This is not the usage of the New Testament which never identifies God with the inheritance, but describes Him as its Giver, Lord, and Possessor. Romans 8:17; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Ephesians 5:5; James 2:5. The object of the apostle is to show the validity of the promise having for its gift the inheritance, which, if it be of law, cannot be of promise; but the fact is, that God gave it to Abraham by promise, and it cannot be of law. What is expressed as the subject of the first or conditional clause is naturally supplied as the object of the second or demonstrative clause, resting on the great historical fact which was universally admitted. The point of the argument is lost in generality if no accusative be supplied. For the verse is a species of dilemmatic syllogism, the first giving the hypothesis-disjunctive major-if the inheritance be of the law, it is no longer of promise; the minor being, but God has given it to Abraham by promise; and the conclusion is so self-evident that it does not need to be expressed-therefore it is not of the law. For similar reasoning, see Romans 4:13, etc. If, then, the law cannot upset the promise, and yet if that law be of divine origin and introduction, what is its use and meaning? It must serve some purpose worthy of its Author, though its functions be very different from those assigned it by the Galatian Judaists. Therefore the apostle puts the question-
Galatians 3:19. Τί οὖν ὁ νόμος ; “What then is the law?” “What thanne the lawe?” (Wycliffe.) Τί is not for διὰ τί “wherefore” (Schott, Brown, Wieseler, Bagge, and Jatho); nor is ἐτέθη , as the latter thinks, the natural supplement, ἐστι being quite sufficient. The passages adduced in proof by Wieseler have a verb expressed, and one of a different character. The τί is the neuter, employed in reference to the abstract nature of the subject. It often occurs with such a meaning. Bernhardy, p. 336. The law-not “the ceremonial law” alone (Gwynne)-is not useless, as might be conjectured; it is in no sense περιττός , ἀλλὰ πάνυ χρησίμως ἐδόθη (Chrysostom), for-
Τῶν παραβάσεων χάριν προσετέθη “on account of the transgressions it was superadded.” The compound verb is to be preferred, on preponderant authority, to the simple ἐτέθη of the Received Text, which has little in its favour-D, F, and the Latin versions ( posita est), Clement, Origen, and Eusebius in some quotations. There may have been a temptation to substitute the simple verb, as the compound might seem opposed to ἐπιδιατάσσεται of Galatians 3:15 “addeth thereto.”
The idiomatic χάριν , originally in gratiam “in favour of,” “for the sake of”-came at length to signify generally “on account of,” a definite purpose being involved. Many examples may be found in Ellendt ( Lex. Soph. sub voce), who explains it as in gratiam alicujus, inde alicujus aut hominis aut rei causa significans, quanquam minime semper gratia adsignificatur; and in Ast ( Lex. Platon.), who says: Praepositionis instar ita ponitur, ut verti possit “causa” et “propter.” Various meanings have been assigned to the expression, “on account of the transgressions.”
1. Many give it the sense of to restrain transgressions-Clement, Homil. 11.16, παραπτωμάτων χάριν ἡ τιμωρία ἕπεται -the result being that “He may present them pure in the day of universal judgment.” Many of the fathers and the older expositors held this opinion, followed by Neander, Olshausen, De Wette, Baur, and others. This is one of the ends of law generally, since it commands obedience to its statutes and threatens a penalty on transgressors. But the term employed is παραβάσεων , not ἁμαρτία , and implies in itself the existence of a law or legal standard, without which sins could scarcely bear such an appellation: “where no law is, there is no transgression.”
2. Some attach the meaning to the phrase “the law was superadded for the sake of transgressions,” to multiply them. Alford, Meyer, Wieseler, Lipsius, and Hofmann, who put it in various phases. But such a view is extreme, for it is the application to a passing phrase such as this of the formal argument of the apostle in a theological section of the Epistle to the Romans 5:20, etc. It is true that the law does this in various ways, for it irritates man's fallen and perverse nature, and brings about that love of forbidden things which the apostle pictures in Romans 7:0 - ut transgressio sit et abundet. Luther.
But 3. probably the phrase means that the law multiplies transgressions chiefly by detecting them, and bringing men to a knowledge of them. “I had not known sin but by the law: for I had not known lust except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet;” “sin that it appear sin;” “that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” Romans 7:7-13. So Calvin, Winer, Matthies, Windischmann, Ellicott. Meyer's objection to this opinion, resting on his view of the uniform meaning of χάριν , falls to the ground. This view is thus the virtual basis of the one enunciated before it, as it is principally by the knowledge of transgressions that they are multiplied. For the law so instructs in the nature of sin, that what before was reckoned innocent is seen to be transgression, and what was regarded as trivial comes to be recognised as “exceeding sinful.” Through this detection transgressions are of necessity multiplied in number and intensified in enormity. Gwynne's notion is inadmissible, that the phrase refers to the work of the priesthood in offering sacrifice “on behalf of sins.” It must not be forgotten, too, that the law is here regarded as an intermediate dispensation, as is intimated in the following clause- προσετέθη , ἄχρις οὗ . The purpose of the superaddition of the law was connected with the coming of Christ-that is, to prepare for it, by so deepening the sense of sinfulness that men, convicted of so often breaking it, could not look to it for righteousness, but must be “shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.” The Mosaic dispensation, provisionally introduced between the Abrahamic promise and the coming of the Seed, was a preparative or an educative instrument, not merely in its typical services as foreshowing the realities of atonement and pardon, but in the ethical power of multiplying transgressions through the light which it cast upon them, and of convincing those who were under it of the necessity of Christ's advent in order to release them from its curse. The function of the law was to produce profounder views of the number and heinousness of sins, as preparatory to the appearance of Him who came to deliver from its awful penalty, so that, under the pressure of such convictions, His redemption might be welcomed as a needed and an adapted blessing. Thus the law did not add to the promise, but was a different institute altogether; as Meyer remarks, “it was not an ἐπιδιαθήκη ,” or anything connected with the ἐπιδιατάσσεται of the fifteenth verse. And it was also temporary-
῎Αχρις οὗ ἔλθῃ τὸ σπέρμα ᾧ ἐπήγγελται “until the Seed to whom the promise has been made shall have come.” This use of the subjunctive proceeds upon this, that the apostle throws himself back to the time when the law was given, which thereby becomes to him present time, and from it he looks down into the future, though historically that future was now past time. Winer, § 41, 1; Jelf, § 841. The particle ἄν is not used, as the period referred to is a definite one, without any contingency. Stallbaum, Plato, Phaedo 62 C, Opera, vol. i. p. 32; Hermann, de Part. ἄν , pp. 110-12, omittitur ἄν in re certa designanda; Klotz-Devarius, 2.368, non adjuncta ἄν ubi eventus per se ponitur. The Seed is Christ- ᾧ , to whom, not εἰς ὅν , but the ordinary dative (Winer, Usteri), as Galatians 3:16 shows. It seems better to take the verb as passive, for then it is in harmony with ἐῤῥέθησαν , Galatians 3:16. The Vulgate has promiserat, and Bengel and Flatt prefer it. Compare 2Ma 4:27 and Romans 4:21, Hebrews 12:26, in both which places the Authorized Version prefers the active. Bretschneider in his Lexicon gives the meaning, cui demandatum est ut legem mosaicam tollat -a meaning unauthorized by New Testament usage and unnatural in the context. It serves no purpose, as in many editions of the New Testament, to make this clause a parenthesis. The same sense might have been expressed by two finite verbs and a conjunction. Hermann, Vigerus, vol. ii. p. 614, London 1824. The next clauses point out the mode in which the law was superadded, and the first is-
Διαταγεὶς δἰ ἀγγέλων “being ordained by means of angels”- ordinata, Vulgate; disposita, Clarom.,-the aorist denoting time contemporaneous with the former verb προσέτεθη . The phrase διατάσσειν νόμον is to enact a law: νόμον διέταξε Κρονίων , Hesiod, Opera et Dies 276, ed. Goettling; τὸν γε νόμον διατάττειν , Plato, Leg. 746 E. Comp. Judges 5:9. So in his address Stephen says that they received the law εἰς διαταγὰς ἀγγέλων “at the enactments of angels,” εἰς as in Matthew 12:41. But the word will not bear the sense of “promulgate,” as many have wrongly conjectured. The phrase δἰ ἀγγέλων signifies by the instrumentality of angels, whatever that instrumentality may mean, and is not to be diluted into “in the presence of” (Calovius, Loesner), or “under the attestation of” (Peile). Nor can ἀγγέλων signify men-messengers (Zegerus), nor priests, ἱερέας , as Chrysostom alternatively puts it. The angels are not the source of the law in any sense (Schultess); διά implies only instrumentality. But in some way or other as God's instruments they enacted it, so that it was ὁ δἰ ἀγγέλων λαληθεὶς λόγος “the word spoken by angels.” Hebrews 2:2; Winer, § 47, 1. The divine precepts were by them made audible to the people, or they had mysterious connection with the awful phenomena which enshrined the majesty of the Lawgiver. Josephus holds fast the distinction- τῶν ἐν τοῖς νόμοις δἰ ἀγγέλων παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ μαθόντων . Antiq. 15.5, 3. It is one thing to originate a law, and a different thing to enjoin it. The special point is, that the law was not given immediately by God, but mediately by angels-they came between God and the people; but Jehovah, without any intervening agency, and directly, spoke the promise to Abraham. No allusion is made to angels in the portions of Exodus which relate the giving of the law. The first reference is in the last blessing of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:2: “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them.” The special clause is בת ־ֹקדֶשׁ ¢ וַאָָָתה מֵרִבְ ֹ “He came from the midst of thousands of holy ones.” But the Seventy had a different reading, or fused together two readings, and translate, σὺν μυριάσι Κάδης ,-adding, ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ ἄγγελοι μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ . Not a few expositors follow the Sept. rendering, which requires the pointing קָדֵשׁ , and render, from the heights of Kadesh; but the Hebrew will not bear such a rendering. Aquila has ἀπὸ μυριάδων ἁγιασμοῦ ; Symmachus, ἀπὸ μυριάδος ἁγίας ; the Vulgate, cum eo sanctorum millia. So also the Targums. The common rendering is the best. The angels appear already in connection with God, Genesis 28:12; and as “God's host,” Genesis 32:1-2. The “holy ones” of the Hebrew text cannot be the Jewish people, as is thought by Luther, Vatablus, and Dathe; for He came not with them, but to them. Again, in Psalms 68:17 there is a similar allusion: “The chariots of God are two myriads, thousands repeated (or thousands on thousands): the Lord is with them, Sinai is in His holy place.” Jewish tradition gradually enlarged on these hints, though the word angels occurs in none of the original clauses, and made such a romance out of them as may be found in Eisenmenger's Entdecktes Judenthum, vol. 1.308, etc. The mention of angels in connection with the law is not specially meant to shed lustre upon it, as in Acts 7:38 and Hebrews 2:2; but the object here is to show that the employment of angels-glorious though these beings are-in the enactment of it proves its inferiority to the promise, which was directly given by Jehovah in sole majesty to Abraham, no one coming between them. And for the same end it is added-
᾿Εν χειρὶ μεσίτου “in the hand of a mediator.” Meyer takes the clause in a historical sense: Moses having received from God the tables of the law, carried them to the people. Exodus 32:11; Exodus 34:29. But idiomatic usage shows that ἐν χειρί has much the same meaning as διά , the Hebrew phrase בְּיַד , which it often represents in the Septuagint, having this general signification. Exodus 35:29; Leviticus 10:11; Leviticus 26:46; Numbers 4:38; Numbers 4:41-45; Numbers 15:23; Joshua 14:2; 2 Chronicles 33:8; in all which places the phrase is by the hand of Moses. Compare 1 Kings 12:15, Jeremiah 37:2, Proverbs 26:6. As the giving of the law is described here, there can be no doubt that Moses is the mediator, whatever might be the position of the high priest in subsequent times. Moses thus describes his own mediation: “I stood between you and the Lord at that time”- ἀναμέσον Κυρίου καὶ ὑμῶν . Sept. Deuteronomy 5:5; Deuteronomy 5:27. Philo says, that on hearing the sound of the idolatry connected with the worship of the golden calf, and receiving the divine command, he sprang down to be “a mediator and reconciler”- μεσίτης καὶ διαλλακτής . Vita Mosis, 3.19. The name mediator, סַרַסוּר , is often given to Moses in the rabbinical writings. See Schoettgen and Wetstein. The allusions in Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24, also plainly recognise the mediatorship of Moses. Origen started the opinion that the mediator was Christ, and was followed by Athanasius, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Chrysostom, Hilary, Victorinus, and others; but Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, and Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, Epiphanius, and others rightly maintain that the mediator was Moses, and the most of modern commentators adhere to the same view. Schmieder takes him to be the angel of the covenant ( Nova Interpretatio, Galatians 3:19-20), as does also Schneckenburger. This angel is often referred to in the Old Testament, but there is no ground for the opinion that He is referred to here, and in those simple terms. But Moses did the work of a mediator-went from the people to God, and came from God to the people; the first function more priestly, and the second more prophetic, in character. Through his mediatorial intervention the law was superadded, but the promise was made by Jehovah to Abraham without any one between them. On the other hand, it is held by Calvin, Meyer, Wieseler, Winer, Schott, Baumgarten-Crusius, and Alford, that the apostle refers to angels and a mediator in order to illustrate the glory of the law. But even in Hebrews 2:2, “the word spoken by angels” is put in contrast to the “salvation spoken by the Lord,” and is regarded as inferior to it, the argument being from the less to the greater. The contrast formally stated there is implied here-the majus did not need to be expressed: the covenant was confirmed by God; God gave it to Abraham by promise; God is one. Is the law against the promises of God? It is no objection to say that the employment of a mediator is no mark of inferiority, since the new dispensation has its Mediator too; for, first, the contrast is not between the law and the gospel, but between the law and the earlier promise; and secondly, the Mediator of the new covenant is the Son of God-no mere man, as Moses; and, as Professor Lightfoot says, “the argument here rests in effect on our Lord's divinity as its foundation.” Nor could it be “unwise,” as Meyer argues, in the apostle to depreciate the law in writing to those who were zealots about it; for he only states in these two clauses two facts about it which they could not gainsay, and he quietly leaves them to draw the inference. Nor is his object to enhance the solemnity of the giving of the law as a preparation for Christ; for that is not the theme in hand-it is the relation of the law superinduced because of transgressions, to the older promise, and the function of a law as a paedagogue is afterwards introduced. Granting that its enactment by angels glorifies the law, it is yet inferior to a word immediately spoken by the God of angels. The argument of the verse is:
1. The law has no organic relation to the promise, was neither a new form of it nor a codicil to it, did not spring out of it, but was superadded as a foreign and unallied element.
2. The law has functional connection with sin; the promise regards an inheritance.
3. The law was provisional and temporary only; the promise has no limitation of time, and is not to be superseded.
4. The law was given by a species of double intervention-the instrumentality of angels and the mediation of Moses; the promise was given directly and immediately from God's own lips, no one stepping in between its Giver and its recipient-neither angel ordaining it nor man conveying it.
5. The promise, as resting solely on God, was unconditioned, and therefore permanent and unchanging; the law, interposed between two parties, and specially contingent on a human element, was liable to suspension or abolition.
6. This law, so necessitated by sin, so transient, so connected with angelic ordinance and human handling, was an institute later also by far in its inauguration-was 430 years after the promise.
Galatians 3:20. ῾Ο δὲ μεσίτης ἑνὸς οὐκ ἔστιν , ὁ δὲ Θεὸς εἷς ἐστίν “Now a mediator is not of one, but God is one;” equivalent to saying, No mediator can belong to one party- ἑνός emphatic-but two parties at least are always implied. It is philologically wrong in Hauck to regard μεσίτης as meaning “one taken out of the midst,” and equivalent to intercessor or representative, for it is “middleman.” The verse defines by the way what a mediator is, δέ being transitional, and ὁ μεσίτης giving the specific idea-virtually every mediator, “denoting in an individual a whole class.” Winer, § 18. Matthew 12:35; John 10:11; 2 Corinthians 12:12. Compare Job 9:33. Meyer quotes Hermann: Articulus definit infinita . . . aut designando certo de multis, aut quae multa sunt cunctis in unum colligendis. Praef. ad Iphig. in Aulide, p. xv. Lipsiae 1831. In every work of mediation there must be more than one party, and thus at the giving of the law in the hand of a mediator there were two parties-God on the one side, and the Jewish people on the other, there being a covenant or contract between them. This view of the clause is held generally by Theodoret, Luther, Keil, Usteri, Rückert, De Wette, etc. The numeral ἑνός must be masculine, in correspondence with the following εἷς ; but Koppe and Bengel supply νόμου , Borger πράγματος , Keil μέρους , Sack τρόπου , Rosenmüller and Steudel σπέρματος , understanding by it believers, also Gurlitt who limits it to heathen believers ( Stud. u. Kritik. 1843), and Jatho who restricts it to Christ, the one Seed. Some, with a wrong interpretation of the clause ending with ἀγγέλων , take the singular ἑνός in contrast: Moses was not a mediator of one, i.e. God, but of many, i.e. angels; as Schultess, Schmieder, Caspari, Huth, Schneckenburger, and Gfrörer in his das Jahrhundert des Heils, 1.228, etc.
“But God is one”- ὁ δὲ Θεὸς εἷς ἐστιν . Δέ adversative; ἑνός being numerical, so must εἷς . God is one, and is therefore mediatorless. God Himself without any intervention speaks the promise to Abraham; the promise is conveyed through no third party, as was the law. Whatever contingency might be in the law and its conveyance by a mediator who went between God and the people, there can be none with regard to the promise, the direct and unconditioned word of Jehovah Himself alone. The all-inclusive One uttered the words, “In thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed,” to Abraham immediately, no one placing himself between them. God the Giver is one (not two-Himself and a mediator) in the bestowment of that absolute promise, which the introduction of the law four centuries afterwards cannot modify or set aside. It is not necessary for this interpretation, as some object, that the historical ἦν should be employed, as the present is commonly employed in a definitive sentence. The clause, “but God is one,” does not announce dogmatically the unity of the Godhead, as do several similar utterances in the Pentateuch. Whatever doctrinal ideas the words might suggest, they are here used on purpose to deny all duality in the bestowment of the promise, the ὁ μεσίτης as implying more than one- ἑνὸς οὐκ -being in contrast with God, who is one- εἷς . The law, in the period of introduction, in its temporary and provisional nature, and in the mediatorial process by which it was given, is so different from the promise and its method of bestowment, that the apostle next puts the question sharply, “Is the law then against the promises of God?” This view, which appears to be the simplest, as well as grammatically correct and in harmony with the context, has been opposed by many, who take ὁ μεσίτης to refer to the mediator just mentioned-either Christ or Moses-the verse being then regarded as descriptive of his relations or functions; some supposing it to state an objection, others regarding it as the refutation of one.
The interpretations which have been given of this verse, so difficult from its terse brevity, amount to several hundreds; and it would be a vain attempt to enumerate or classify them. Suffice it to say, first, that it is in vain to attempt to displace the verse, as if it were spurious, for it is found without variation in all MSS.,-or as if it were made up of two glosses, first written on the margin, and then carelessly taken into the text (Michaelis, Lücke, Stud. u. Kritik. 1828). Equally vain is it to rewrite it, as if the first words should be τὸ δὲ σπέρμα (Gödör); or to change the accentuation of ἕνος , and give it the unwarranted signification of annual “the yearly mediator is no more,” οὐκ ἔστιν (Weigand). As little to the purpose are such eccentric interpretations as that of Bertholdt, who takes ἑνός to refer to Abraham, because he is called הָאֶחָד in Isaiah 51:2; or that of Kaiser, who supplies υἱός “Moses is not the son of One, that is God, but Christ is;” or that of Holsten, that ὁ μεσίτης is the law standing between two things-the promise and the fulfilment; or that of Matthias, who, over-looking the contrast between ἑνός in the first clause and εἷς in the second, understands the second clause thus “God (and not fallible man) is one of the two parties,”-his conclusion being, that therefore the law, though given by angels, is of divine origin; and then, giving the κατά of the following verse the sense of “under,” he makes the question to be, “Does the law fall under the idea of promise?” or, “Does the law belong to the category of the promises?”-or that of Hermann, who, preserving the numerical meaning of εἷς , and regarding it as part of the minor proposition of a syllogism, brings out this odd sense: Deus autem unus est; ergo apud Deum cogitari non potest interventor, esset enim is, qui intercederet inter Deum et Deum, quod absurdum est; -but the reductio assumed as an inference is wholly foreign to the verse and context, and his further exposition proceeds on the sense of testamentum, as given to διαθήκη ;-or that of Ewald, whose interpretation is not dissimilar in some points, but who, instead of saying “between God and God,” speaks of two “innerly different Gods, or an earlier and a later God.” So Bagge “There are not two gods,-one giving the promise, the other the law,-but One only;” and similarly Vömel. Bengel's general view is, “The party to whom the mediator belonged is different from God-namely, the law. There is not one God before and another after the giving of the law. Before the law He transacted without a mediator; the mediator belongs to the law, but the promise to God.” Quite apart from the meaning and the course of argument is the opinion that makes εἷς mean ὁ αὐτός , unus idemque (Semler), or sibi constans (Beza), or that regards ἑνός as ἑνότητος - a mediator implying diversity of opinion (Gabler, Schöttgen). The exegesis of Dr. Brown is ingenious but philologically baseless, because ἑνός and εἷς never signify immutable, as Borger and Koppe contend. “The law was given by the hands of Moses as a mediator. But was he not the mediator of Him who is one and the same, unchangeable? Now God, who appointed Moses mediator, is one and the same, unchanged and unchangeable.” To give ἑνός a numerical meaning in the first clause, but εἷς an ethical meaning in the second clause, is not consistent (Schleiermacher, Usteri). Koppe, Cameron, Sack, and Barnes who gives his exegesis as original, educe this meaning: “While there may be many mediators, God is one, consistent with Himself, so that the two dispensations cannot be opposed.” Hilgenfeld, after Matthies, in the same way gives εἷς the sense of absolute unity- monarchie. See also Baumgarten-Crusius, Lipsius, Rechtfertigung, p. 77. Somewhat similarly Luther: Neque Deus eget mediatore, cum sit ipse unus secum optime conveniens; and again, Deus neminem offendit ergo non indiget ullo mediatore. Luther's opinion is so far reproduced in Matthies; in Rink “God is eternal unity” ( Stud. u. Kritik. 1834), and in De Wette “God is essential unity.” Windischmann has a more complex and untenable view: “God is one-the Giver as the Father, the Receiver as the Son-united,”- unmittelbar dem Geber und dem Emptfänger nach. So too his co-religionist Bisping, “The promise was given immediately to the Seed, that is Christ, who is God and man in one person. The promise made by God to God needed no mediator.” And similarly also Wilke. It is loading the verse with an inferential sense to explain, that as God is but one of the parties concerned, and as Moses was mediator between God and the Jews only, his mediation could have no effect on a promise which included Gentiles as well as Jews (Locke, Whitby, Chandler); or to conjecture that the apostle's words suggest an allusion to the unity of man-to whom God is one and alike-and to the unity of man with God (Jowett); or to argue, God is one only, one part only, and the Israelites as being the other part are bound to obey the law- Deus est unus, una (altera) tantummodo pars est gens Israel (Winer, with whom agree virtually Kern, Paulus, and Sardinoux); or to affirm, God is one, not the other party, and stands therefore not under the law, so that the freedom of Christ the Son of God from the law is established (Steinfass).
Those interpretations which give ὁ μεσίτης a personal reference, and identify it with either Christ or Moses, labour under insuperable difficulties. The fathers generally held the former view, as Chrysostom, Ambros., and Jerome, and many others. The exegesis of some of this class may be thus reported: “The law was given in the hand of a mediator-Jesus Christ. Now He is not the mediator of the one dispensation only, but of the other also. But God is one-the one God gave the law and the promises, and in both cases He has employed the same mediator.” But the mediator of the context is very plainly Moses, and that paraphrase assumes greatly more than the text asserts. Similar objections may be made to another form of the same exegesis: “Now the mediator (Jesus Christ) does not belong to one part of the human race, but to both Jew and Gentile, even as the one God is God of both.” Others give it this form: “Christ is the mediator between two parties; but God is one of those parties, the elect being the other.” Or, “God is in Himself One; so likewise was He one of the parties, the other party being the children of Israel.” But the majority hold the reference to be to Moses, as Theodoret, Bengel, Schultess, Jatho, Brown, Hofmann, Wieseler. Theodoret explains: “But Moses was not the mediator of one, for he mediated between God and the people; but God is one. He gave the promise to Abraham, He appointed the law, and He has shown the fulfilment of the promise. It is not one God who did one of these things, and another God the other.” Others, as Noesselt, follow the form already given with Christ as mediator: “Moses was not the mediator of the one seed, containing both Jews and Gentiles; but God is one, standing in a common relation to both Jews and Gentiles.” The one seed, however, is Christ; and ἑνός is masculine, as the construction plainly determines. Piscator brings out a different conclusion: “God who gave the law by Moses is one, and therefore, being unchanged, still will punish such as break His law; therefore justification by works is impossible.” Another form of the exegesis is that of Pareus (1621) “a mediator implies two parties, out of which one must be transgressors, in reference to Galatians 3:19. But the transgressing party cannot be God, who is one- justitia et sanctitate semper sibi constans. ” Cameron puts it thus: “A mediator (Moses) does not belong to the Sinaitic covenant only, but also to the Abrahamic or Christian covenant (Christ); but God is one-both covenants originate in Him.” Wessel takes the genitive ἑνός in the sense of dependence “the Mediator Christ is not of one God, i.e. is not subject to Him as a creature, though officially He became a mediator, nay, He is Himself the One God;” as if the apostle had wished to vindicate Christ's divinity from some objection based upon His economic subordination. Turner regards the verse as an assertion of the great characteristic of the gospel, that “the illustrious Mediator thereof is not the Mediator of one race or class or body of men, as Moses, but of all, as God is one and the same, equally the Father of all.” The objection to this and other similar interpretations need not now be recounted. Wieseler's notion is, that the failure of the mediation of Moses-since it concerned not God, but man also-arose out of his having to do with men who have not obeyed the law; the apostle's purpose being to show how the divinity of the law may be reconciled with its sin-working power. The first part of this exegesis is adopted by Kamphausen in Bunsen's Bibel-werk. Hofmann's interpretation of the first clause virtually is: “The mediator Moses did not concern himself with the one united seed, as such a unity, according to Galatians 3:28, exists only in Christ, but with a multitude of individuals;” and his interpretation of the second clause is, that it stands in contrast to the phrase “ordained by angels,” and asserts the divine unity as opposed to the multitude of those spirits. See Meyer and Wieseler on this interpretation.
Galatians 3:21. ῾Ο οὖν νόμος κατὰ τῶν ἐπαγγελιῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ ; μὴ γένοιτο “Is then the law against the promises of God? God forbid.” The οὖν aperte collectivam vim prae se fert. Klotz-Devarius, ii. p. 717. “Promises” in the plural may refer to its repetition at various times and in various forms. The genitive τοῦ Θεοῦ may, as read in the light of the context, characterize the promises as God's in a special sense-His as given by Him singly, and without any intervention. The sense proposed by Gwynne, “God in contrast with any other beings,” is feeble. The question anticipates a natural objection, which the previous reasoning would suggest-not the statement merely of the 20th verse (Meyer, Winer), nor merely the clause “because of transgressions” in the 19th verse (Estius, Bengel, De Wette); for neither of these two statements by itself leads to the objection which the apostle starts and refutes. The οὖν takes up the entire description. If the law cannot set aside the promise,-if law and promise are so opposite principles, that if the inheritance be of law, it can no longer be of promise,-if the manner in which the promise was given surpasses in true divineness that in which the law was announced, the query at once rises-a query that seems to cast discredit on the previous reasoning by reducing it to an absurdity “Is the law then against the promises of God?” No. There is a wide difference, but no antagonism. The promise is not touched or altered by it, and it had its own function to discharge as a preparative institute. For μὴ γένοιτο , see under Galatians 2:17. Nay more-
Εἰ γὰρ ἐδόθη νόμος ὁ δυνάμενος ζωοποιῆσαι , ὄντως ἐκ νόμου ἂν ἦν ἡ δικαιοσύνη -the order in the last clause having the authority of A, B, C; א places ἦν before ἄν , and the Received Text places ἄν before ἐκ νόμου , while D omits it; F, G leave out ἂν ἦν , and B has ἐν νόμῳ “for if there had been given a law which was able to give life, verily by the law should have been righteousness”-the argument for the μὴ γένοιτο . For the form of the hypothetical proposition, see Jelf, § 851, 3. The νόμος is the Mosaic law, and the article following confines it to the special quality-to that defined by the participle. Compare Acts 4:12; Acts 10:41, Romans 2:14; Winer, § 20, 4. The verb ζωοποιῆσαι is “to quicken,” “to impart life,” to bestow that ζωή which Christ speaks of as the sum or result of all His blessings, John 3:16, etc. Life is opposed to that death which sin has wrought within us, and is not specially a new moral life (Rückert, Winer, Matthies, Olshausen, Ewald). To give life is only here another and more subjective form of saying to bestow the inheritance, and in using the term the apostle is mentally referring to Galatians 3:11-12. If the law could have given life, truly- ὄντως , emphatic in position “in very truth from the law (as its origin) righteousness would have been.”
Δικαιοσύνη is the one indispensable condition or means of life or justification, and not the result (Wieseler). To give life, the law must confer righteousness- ὁ δίκαιος ζήσεται . The law is not against the promises of God; it comes not into rivalry with them, for it has a different aim and work, being superadded on account of transgressions. If it could have justified, righteousness would have sprung from it, and the promises would have been by it annulled, or rather superseded. But no one can obey the law, and win righteousness by his obedience to it. Righteousness is found in a very different sphere-that of trust in the divine promise, Galatians 3:10-13. Law and promise are so far removed from one another in character and operation, that the one comes not into collision with the other as if to counterwork it. The law, as Chrysostom says, is οὐκ ἐναντίος τῆς χάριτος ἀλλὰ καὶ συνεργός . Nay, as the apostle proceeds to illustrate, the law cannot be hostile to the promise, for both are portions of one divine plan carried out in infinite wisdom and harmony. For the law subserves the promise, one of its special functions being to produce such convictions of sin as “shut up” men to faith in the promise as the only means of salvation-the teaching of the following verse. But this verse looks back to Galatians 3:18, and its declaration, as the next verse does to Galatians 3:19, the connection of the law with sin.
Galatians 3:22. ᾿Αλλὰ συνέκλεισεν ἡ γραφὴ τὰ πάντα ὑπὸ ἁμαρτίαν “But the Scripture shut up all under sin.” ᾿Αλλά is strongly adversative “but, on the contrary,”-the statement following being in direct contradiction to the preceding one: so far from righteousness being of the law, the Scripture embodying that law shuts up all men under sin, as unrighteous and beneath its curse. Therefore the law, which encloses all under sin and its penalty, cannot by any possibility be the source of life. The phrase ἡ γραφή is so far personified, as doing what God its author does. Romans 11:32. It may signify the Old Testament as a whole, or, as being in the singular, some special portion of it, as Psalms 143:2, or Deuteronomy 27:26. Compare for use of singular Luke 4:21, and chiefly in John, as John 19:37; John 20:9, etc., in many of which places the quotation is not given, but only referred to. The συν in the verb συνέκλεισεν does not mean that all are shut up together-omnes simul (Bengel, Usteri), for the verb is sometimes applied to individuals, and means to hem in on all sides. Sept. Psalms 31:9; Polybius, 11.2, 10. Compare Herod. 7.41; Pol. 1.17, 8. Many of the fathers, followed by Calvin, Beza, and others, suppose that “Scripture” means the law. It indeed contains, expounds, and enforces the law, but it is not to be identified with it. Nor does the verb mean merely, convinced them of sin- ἤλεγξεν (Chrysostom, Hermann), for this subjective experience was not always effected as a reality; but the Scripture so shut them up objectively under sin as to bring out their inability to obtain righteousness by the law. Bishop Bull and others assign a declaratory meaning to the verb- conclusos declaravit; and similar reference to the verdict of Scripture is alleged by Schott, Winer, Wieseler, Usteri, Hofmann, in the same way as an analogous dilution- permisit, demonstravit -is proposed for the same verb in Romans 11:32 by so many expositors. Such a meaning is only inferential as to result. The Scripture was the divine instrument of this spiritual incarceration, in which sin has the lordship over its prisoners. Bondage and helplessness are intended by the phrase-not, however, to produce despair, but to serve a very different purpose. There was little need for Jerome's caution, nec vero aestimandum scripturam auctorem esse peccati, . . . judex non est auctor sceleris. The neuter plural τὰ πάντα (not ἔθνη , Grotius) is certainly more comprehensive than the masculine, though it is putting undue pressure on it to extract the signification of man and man's things (Bengel),- humana omnia, non modo omnes sed etiam omnia (Windischmann, Hofmann),-Brenz including especially the lower animals. The statement is certainly true, but the following verse is rather against such a view as required by the context, and the masculine is used in Romans 11:32 to express an analogous thought. The neuter sets out the comprehensive or unindividualized generality of the statement. Winer, § 27, 5. Compare John 6:37; John 17:2, 1 Corinthians 1:27, Colossians 1:20, 2 Thessalonians 2:6, and examples in Poppo, Thucydides, Prolegom. 1.104; thus, too, quaecunque for quemcunque, Sallust, vol. ii. p. 68, ed. Kritz. And the purpose is-
῞Ινα ἡ ἐπαγγελία ἐκ πίστεως ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ δοθῇ τοῖς πιστεύουσι “in order that the promise by faith in Christ Jesus might be given to them who believe.” The telic ἵνα expresses the divine purpose of the previous statement. It cannot mean the mere result, or be taken logice-quo appareret dari, as Winer, Burton, Peile, Koppe, Semler. The promise, ἐπαγγελία , is the abstract, tantamount in this clause to the blessing promised. It is connected with faith- ἐκ ,-for the words are to be construed with ἐπαγγελία , and qualify it. That faith belongs to, rests on, I. X. as its object. Gwynne's notion of its being a subjective genitive has a precarious foundation. The article is not inserted before I. X., as no defining limitation is intended. Winer, § 20, 2. The antithesis looks back to ἐκ νόμου in the 21st verse-the promise springs out of faith, and is conditioned by it. It has no connection of origin or stipulation with the law. Originating in faith, and dependent on faith, it is given τοῖς πιστεύουσιν -they only being its recipients. It is harsh to connect ἐκ πίστεως with δοθῇ , and the repetition of idea is not a mere emphatic tautology (Winer); but the apostle first says that the promise is one which from its nature is conditioned by faith, and then he adds, it is given to those in whom this condition is realized, or the defining element of this promise and the requisite qualification for receiving it are ever one and the same-faith. The Galatians accepted the last part of the statement, that the recipients of the inheritance were believers; but they demurred to the first part, that the promise is of faith, for they practically held that it was to some extent connected with works of law, and was partially suspended on the performance of them. Therefore the earnest apostle first defines the promise as “of faith,” and then limits the reception of it to those “who believe,” that there might be no possible mistake as to his meaning. The shutting up of all under sin shows the impossibility of salvation by works, and brings out clearly the connection of salvation with the promise and faith. The next verses look back to the clause of Galatians 3:19 in which the intermediate duration of the law is stated.
Galatians 3:23. Πρὸ τοῦ δὲ ἐλθεῖν τὴν πίστιν , ὑπὸ νόμον ἐφρουρούμεθα συγκεκλεισμένοι εἰς τὴν μέλλουσαν πίστιν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι “But before the faith came, we were kept in ward, shut up under the law for the faith to be afterwards revealed.” The perfect participle of the Received Text has C, D 3 , K, L in its favour, with several of the Greek fathers, and is adopted by Tischendorf; while the present συγκλειόμενοι has A, B, D 1 , F, א . The last, accepted by Lachmann, is apparently the better supported by MSS., though it may be suspected of being a conformation to the verb ἐφρουρούμεθα . Δέ leads on to another explanatory thought-to an additional element of contrast, and it stands third in the clause on account of the prepositional phrase. Hartung, 1.190; Klotz-Devarius, 2.378. The particle is postponed, ubi quae praeposita particulae verba sunt aut aptius inter se conjuncta sunt aut ita comparata, ut summum pondus in ea sententia obtineant. Poppo, Thucyd. 1.302. The article specializes the faith as that just mentioned “the faith of Jesus Christ”-not in an objective or theological sense, the body of truth claiming faith or the gospel, as many of the older commentators supposed, with Schott, Bisping, Gwynne, Brown, etc. It is subjective faith placed under an objective aspect (see under Galatians 1:23), or an inner principle personified. It is not “Christ” (Pelagius, Bullinger), nor “Christ and the preaching of the doctrine of faith” (Brenz). The faith with this special aspect and object did not come till Christ came, till the promised Deliverer or Christ appeared in human nature, and under the human name Jesus, Galatians 3:22. Under the law, faith in Him unincarnate did exist, and certainly such faith did justify; for the “non-justification of the Jew antecedent to the coming of Christ,” asserted by Gwynne, is tantamount to his non-salvation, and contradicts many utterances and thanks-givings of the Old Testament. The pre-Christian faith resting ideally on One to come, brought them acceptance and pardon, for men are saved not by the doctrine, but by the fact of an atonement; though faith in Him as really existent, or as Jesus, came with Himself into the world. Faith came when prophecy merged into history, and prior to the incarnation the Jews were under the pressure of law-the reference in the verb and participle being to them and their law.
The verb ἐφρουρούμεθα is not asservabamur -the notion of ἀσφάλεια is not in the context (Winer, Usteri, Schott),-but custodiebamur, kept under guard- ὥσπερ ἐν τειχίῳ τινί (Chrysostom). They were under guard, being or having been shut up-literally, concluded, to retain the translation of the previous verse; the συν not referring to those who form the object of the verb, but expressing the fulness of its action-shut round so that escape is impossible. The meaning is not that the paedagogic power of the law- severa legis disciplina (Winer)-restrained sin, for such a sense is not found in the context, which refers not to the moral restraint of the law, but the helplessness of the law to bring righteousness or justification. The connection of συγκεκλεισμένοι is disputed. Some, as OEcumenius, Theophylact, Augustine, Raphelius, Wolff, Bengel, and Hofmann, connect it directly with εἰς . If the reading of the perfect tense be admitted, this connection becomes impossible, for it supposes the act to have been done when the law was given; whereas standing by itself, or unconnected with εἰς , it denotes the completeness and permanence of the state. The meaning of the participle directly joined to εἰς has been thus given by Borger: eo necessitatis redigere ut ad fidem tanquam sacram anchoram confugere cogatur, or conclusi adeoque reservati atque adacti ad fidem. The construction is justifiable, for there are several examples of it. See Fritzsche on Romans 11:32; Raphel. in loc.; Schweighaüser, Lex. Polyb. sub voce. Yet it does not fit in here so well, as “shut up to the faith” would imply the existence of “the faith” during the act or the period of the incarceration. But during the whole of that period it had not yet come, as the apostle expressly argues. The εἰς either of time or destination is more in harmony with the verb in the imperfect, ἐφρουρούμεθα “we were kept in ward until the faith came,” or rather “for the faith about to be revealed.” The law was an institute of intermediate and temporary guard and bondage, but it had a blessed purpose. Εἰς is not temporal (Borger, Matthies, Brown), a sense it very seldom has, and one unneeded here after the distinct temporal assertion, “before the faith came.” The preposition has its ethical meaning of aim or object (not in adventum ejus fidei, Augustine). Donaldson, § 477; Jelf, § 625, 3. The temporally qualifying epithet μέλλουσαν seems taken out of the usual order that it may have the emphasis, and that the idea expressed by it may be put into the foreground, as in Romans 8:18; Romans 10:4. The faith was future when the law was given, and from his assumed standpoint the apostle specializes it; but it was revealed when the apostle wrote- revealed -divinely disclosed-the theme and the mode being alike of God. Matthias connects ἀποκαλυφθῆναι , not with μέλλουσαν , but with συγκεκλεισμένοι , giving εἰς a temporal signification, as if the purpose were to show them openly as persons who, through the guardianship of that law, must remain under its curse till they were freed from it by faith. The Jews, during the continuance of that law, were in spiritual bondage and seclusion; as obedience could not win righteousness for them, they were helpless; and all this that they might pass into freedom when the Seed came, and faith in Him gave them emancipation and acceptance with God. From a law, the curse of which so terribly enslaved them, they were to pass into faith and deliverance. The very contrast should have rejoiced them, as it did the apostle himself, for his own experience gave proof and power to his theology. And yet they were seeking back to that law, and ignoring that faith, which unmixed and by itself, had been the instrument of righteousness to Abraham, and would be the same to all his spiritual children. The law had its own work to do, but that work did not result in the gift of the Spirit, or in the perfection of those under it, Galatians 3:2-5; its work was done in its own sphere which was one of curse and confinement, and done under an economy which was a parenthesis in the divine government, brought in and moulded with a view to the introduction of a better and nobler dispensation, the characteristic principle of which is faith. The law was not, and was not meant to be, a final economy.
Galatians 3:24. ῞Ωστε ὁ νόμος παιδαγωγὸς ἡμῶν γέγονεν εἰς Χριστόν “So that the law has become our tutor (paedagogue) for Christ.” Wycliffe has “under-maister;” “schoolmaster” is in Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Genevan; the Rheims has “pedagogue;” and the interpolated words to bring us are taken from the Genevan, Tyndale rendering “unto the time of Christ.” ῞Ωστε marks the conclusion from the preceding statements, and especially from ἐφρουρούμεθα . We are the children of God; and the law prior to the coming of faith acted toward us as our paedagogue, with all his vigorous discipline and vigilant superintendence. The paedagogue was not the διδάσκαλος or παιδόνομος ,- non magister et pater (Jerome). The term, as its composition implies, is one qui puerum manu prehensum ducit . . . ad magistrum. The paedagogue was usually a slave selected for his fidelity, to whom was entrusted the complete supervision of the children of a family from their sixth or seventh year till they arrived at puberty. Under his charge they went to and from school- gymnasia; he accompanied them in their walks and recreations, as responsible for their personal safety; and he guarded them against evil society and immoral influences. Horace, Sat. lib. i. 6:81, 4. A paedagogue is accused of the opposite, Athenaeus, 7.279, Opera, vol. iii. p. 16, ed. Schweighaüser. He was therefore obliged to maintain the rigid discipline which was commonly associated with the name. Not only were paedagogues called assidui and custodes, but their functions came to be associated with moroseness and imperious severity. Their countenance became proverbial for its sourness. It represents in the Jerusalem Targum the Hebrew אֹמֵן , “nursing father,” of Numbers 11:12; and the Syriac renders it by תוֹראוֹא , “monitor.” The apostle in 1 Corinthians 4:15 puts paedagogue in contrast with “father.” In the later days of Rome the young slave paedagogue was delicately trained, his office in the palace degenerated into that of a mere ornamental attendant on his imperial master, and naturally paedagogue was shortened into the modern page. The Rabbins took the word into their language, making it פדגוג , and associated with it the additional idea of a closer superintendence, as in food, etc.
Thus the surveillance of a paedagogue carried with it the idea of a strictness bordering on severity, and of an inferior but responsible position. The law was in the place of a paedagogue to the Jews-hard, severe, unbending in its guardianship of them when they were in their minority,-it being implied in the illustration, however, that all the while they were children. The paedagogic function of the law was not in the repression of sins (De Wette, Baur); it was given “for the sake of transgressions,” to produce such convictions of guilt and helplessness as prepared for faith in Christ. Its types and ceremonial services conduced to the same result. The phrase εἰς Χριστόν is very naturally understood as meaning “to Christ,”-the paedagogue bringing the child to the Teacher. So the Greek fathers, with Erasmus, Elsner, etc. But this idea does not suit the imagery, for Christ is here not regarded at all as a Teacher, but rather as a Redeemer, as the following clause distinctly implies, as well as the commencing imagery of the next chapter. Nor is the εἰς temporal, usque ad (Morus, Rosenmüller, Rückert, Bagge), but telic; it expresses the spiritual design of the previous paedagogy: it was for Christ, as its ultimate purpose. Winer, § 49, a. The statement is therefore a virtual reply to the objection, “Is the law against the promises of God?” No, it is a paedagogue with a view to Christ, and to Christ the Seed were the promises made. The next clause explains the εἰς Χριστόν , or shows in what sense we ought to regard it-in order that we might be justified by or out of faith; ἐκ πίστεως , as in contrast to νόμος , having the emphasis. See under Galatians 2:16, Galatians 3:6. See Suicer on νόμος .
Galatians 3:25. ᾿Ελθούσης δὲ τῆς πίστεως , οὐκέτι ὑπὸ παιδαγωγόν ἐσμεν “But the faith being come, we are no longer under a paedagogue.” The δέ is adversative-introduces a contrasted statement. The preposition ὑπό (“under,” “under the power of,” Krüger, § 68, 45, 2) is here followed, as always in the New Testament, by an accusative, as in Rom 3:9 , 1 Corinthians 9:20, Galatians 4:2; Galatians 4:21; but in Attic Greek it is sometimes followed by a dative. The paedagogy was from its very nature temporary; it ceased when the faith came. The coming of faith being identical with the coming of the object of that faith-the Seed or Christ for whom the paedagogy was instituted as its purpose-marks at the same time the period when the children pass from the austere constraint and tutelage of the law into maturity and freedom. The noun, though repeated, has not the article after the preposition, the personality of the paedagogue being merged in his work “no longer under paedagogy” (Meyer). Winer, 19, 2, b. And the reason is annexed-we are not children, but are now sons full-grown- υἱοί , not παῖδες .
Galatians 3:26. Πάντες γὰρ υἱοὶ Θεοῦ ἐστε διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ “For ye all are sons of God through the faith in Christ Jesus.” “You all,” Jews and Gentiles also, spoken to in the second person, the previous clause being in the first person-himself and the Jewish believers who were once under the law. 1 Thessalonians 5:5. Usteri and Hofmann wrongly on this account take the address in ὑμεῖς to be, “you believing Gentiles,” the former interpolating thus: though “we are no longer under a paedagogue, how much less you who were never under him!” The sons of God are sons in maturity, enjoying the freedom of sons, and beyond the need and care of a rigorous paedagogue. The υἱοί has the stress upon it in tacit contrast to νήπιοι ,- τεκνίον being John's favourite term, with a different ethical allusion. See under Galatians 4:6-7; Romans 8:14. Theodore of Mopsuest. connects the sonship with τελειότης . It was by the instrumentality of faith that they were sons of God; and that faith-the faith already referred to-was ἐν X. I.; and there being no article after πίστεως to specialize it, the clause represents one idea. See under Ephesians 1:15.
Some would join the words ἐν X. I. to υἱοὶ Θεοῦ , as Usteri, Schott, Windischmann, Wieseler, Ewald, Jowett, Hofmann, Riccaltoun, and Lightfoot. But this construction is against the natural order of the words, and would be a repetition of διὰ τῆς πίστεως as expressing mode. Πίστις stands alone in the two previous verses, as in direct contrast to νόμος , and now its fulness of power is indicated by the adjunct “in Christ Jesus.” The construction with ἐν is warranted, though Riccaltoun denies it. Ephesians 1:15; Colossians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:13; 2 Timothy 3:15; Sept. Psalms 78:22; Jeremiah 12:6. See p. 168. “Sons of God”-not “ye will be” (Grotius), but “ye are sons.” Sons as His creatures, for Adam was “the son of God;” and the prodigal son did not cease to be a son, though he was a lost and wandered one, nay, the father recognised the unbroken link. “We are also His offspring,” said the apostle on Mars Hill, sustaining a filial relation to Him, and still bearing His image, though many of its brightest features have been effaced. But now we are “sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus”-by that faith forgiven, accepted, regenerated, adopted-born of God, and reflecting the paternal likeness-loved, blessed, and disciplined by Him-trained to do His will and to submit to it-enjoying the free spirit which cries “Abba, Father,” and prepared in all ways for His house of many mansions.
Galatians 3:27. ῞Οσοι γὰρ εἰς Χριστὸν ἐβαπτίσθητε , Χριστὸν ἐνεδύσασθε “For as many of you (ye whosoever) as were baptized into Christ, ye put on Christ.” This verse confirms, and at the same time explains, the statement of the previous verse.
Those who, like Prof. Lightfoot, separate ἐν Χ . Ι . from πίστεως connect thus: “In Christ Jesus, I say, for all ye who were baptized into Christ put on Christ.” Those, on the other hand, who keep the words in their natural connection, give this as the argument: “Ye are sons of God; for in being baptized, ye put on Christ who is the Son of God.” Si autem Christum induistis, Christus autem filius Dei, et vos eodem indumento filii Dei estis. But the statement is not so minute as to show τὸν τῆς γεννήσεως τρόπον (Theodoret). Chrysostom says that already they had been proved to be sons of Abraham, but now sons of God. The phrase εἰς Χ . is “into Christ,” into union and communion with Him, and differs from baptism either ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι , or even εἰς τὸ ὄνομα . When a purpose is specified, as μετάνοια , Matthew 3:11, or ἄφεσις τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν , Acts 2:38, εἰς means “with a view to;” but when followed as here by a person, it has the same meaning as in the phrase, “believed into Christ.” See under Galatians 2:16. This is the true baptism, Acts 8:16. But the thing signified does not always or necessarily accompany the sign. Estius remarks, Ex quo liquet non omnes omnino baptizatos Christum induisse; and Peter Lombard, Alii per baptismum inducunt Christum tantum sacramento tenus. See Jerome and Calvin in loc. Both verbs are aoristic, and the two acts are marked as identical in point of time. The figure of “putting on, being clothed with,” is a common one in relation to “power,” Luke 24:49; “armour of light,” Romans 13:12; “the Lord Jesus Christ” as a command, Romans 13:14; “incorruption, immortality,” 1 Corinthians 15:53-54; an “house from heaven,” 2 Corinthians 5:3; the “new man,” Ephesians 4:24, etc. The figure is also common in the Sept.: “the Spirit,” 1 Chronicles 12:18; “salvation,” 2 Chronicles 6:41; “the Spirit of the Lord,” 2 Chronicles 24:20; “shame,” Job 8:22; “righteousness,” Job 29:14, Psa 131:9 ; “fear” (thunder), Job 39:19; “shame and dishonour,” Psa 34:26 (Psalms 35:26) “majesty,” “strength,” Psalms 92:1 (Psalms 93:1); “honour and majesty,” Psalms 103:1 (Psalms 104:1); “cursing,” Psa 108:17 (Psalms 109:17); “salvation,” Psa 131:17 (Psalms 132:17); “glory,” or beautiful garments, Isaiah 52:2; “garments of salvation,” Isaiah 61:10, etc.: and often, too, in the Apocrypha- 1Ma 1:29 ; Wis 5:19 ; Sir 45:10 . Distinct examples are found in the classics: οὐκέτι μετριάζοντες , ἀλλὰ τὸν Ταρκύνιον ἐνδυόμενοι , Dionys. Halicar. 11.5, Opera, vol. i. p. 657, ed. Hudson; ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν , Libanius, Ep. 956; nisi proditorem palam et hostem induisset, Tac. Annal. 16.28. See Wetstein on Romans 13:14, and for some rabbinnical examples, Schoettgen on the same place. The classical passages clearly show, that when one man is said to put on another, the full assumption of his nature or character is meant-the personation of him in thought and act. There is therefore no need to resort to any such image as the toga virilis (Bengel), or the stoling of the high priest at his consecration (Jatho; Deyling, Observ. 3.406), or to baptismal robes, which were not then in existence (Beza). Bingham, Antiq. xi. § 11, 1.
What is it, then, to put on Christ? If to put on a tyrant, as in one of these examples, be to change natures with him, to put on Christ is to exchange our natural character for His-is to become Christ-like in soul and temperament-is to be in the world as He was in the world, the “same mind being in us which was also in Him,”-every one in all things a representative of Him,-His “life” thus “made manifest in our mortal flesh:” ἐν αὑτῷ δεικνὺς τὸν Χριστόν (Chrys.). Wieseler, overlooking the striking peculiarity of the language, identifies the phrase with the putting on of “the new man,” Ephesians 4:24, Christ being only a concrete ideal term. But while the result is the same, the modes of conception are different; and in this place the second clause is moulded from the first, and expresses vividly the connection of Christ with spiritual renovation as its source and image. Chrysostom says, “He who is clothed appears to be that with which he is clothed”- ἐκεῖνο φαίνεται ὅπερ ἐνδέδυται . On Romans 13:14, Opera, vol. ix. p. 767, ed. Gaume. It is also to be borne in mind, that while it is here said that those who were baptized into Christ put on Christ, the apostle elsewhere exhorts those who had been baptized still to put on Christ, Romans 13:4. Believers baptized professedly put on Christ, but the elements of the Christ-like are to be ever developing within them-the new life is ever to be ripening to maturity.
Galatians 3:28. Οὐκ ἔνι ᾿Ιουδαῖος , οὐδὲ ῞Ελλην· οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος , οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος· οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ “There is among such neither Jew nor Greek, there is among such neither bond nor free, there is not among such a male and a female.” The ἔνι is supposed by Buttmann, Kühner, Winer, and Robinson to be another form of the preposition ἐν with a stronger accent, after the analogy of ἔπι and πάρα , “the notion of the verb being so subordinated that it is dropped” (Kühner, § 379, 2). But what then is to be said of clauses in which ἔνι and ἐν are used together, as 1 Corinthians 6:5; Xen. Anab. 5.3, 11; Plato, Phaedo, 77 E? Others take it as a contracted form of ἔνεστι . The sense is not different, whatever view be adopted. In the New Testament it is usually preceded by οὐκ , as 1 Corinthians 6:5, Colossians 3:11, James 1:17. Οὐκ ἔνι is a strong negative “there is not among you,” almost equivalent in strength to “there cannot be among you.” De Wette denies the reference “in you,” and understands it, “there is not in this putting on of Christ;” others give it “in Christ” (Koppe, Webster and Wilkinson), or in that state (Hofmann). But this narrows the reference, and does not harmonize with the last personal clause. In the spiritual family of God, the distinctions of race, social position, and even of sex, are lost sight of. National, social, and sexual distinctions cease to exercise their special influence. The Jew is not to the exclusion of the Greek, nor the Greek to the exclusion of the Jew- οὐδέ ; the bond is not accepted to the refusal of the free, nor the free to the refusal of the bond. Not that in themselves such distinctions cease to exist, but they interfere not with spiritual oneness and privilege. They are so noted in the world as to divide society: Jew and Greek are in reciprocal alienation; bond and free are separated by a great gulf; to the male much was accorded in prerogative which is denied to the female, such as the ordinance on which the Judaists insisted; but these minor characteristics are now merged in a higher unity among the children of God. Such differences were specially prominent and exclusive in ancient times. 1 Corinthians 11:7-9.
The generalized neuters ἄρσεν καὶ θήλυ are not connected, as the previous two pairs, by οὐδέ , but by καί (Genesis 1:27; Mark 10:6), for the distinction is not of race or rank, but of physical and unchangeable organization. Duality is denied: there is no longer a male and a female-no longer the two, but only one. The distinction in its ethical consequences ceases to exist: as a member of the spiritual family, the woman is equal to the man; there is not a man and a woman, but simple humanity. Having put on Christ, the woman is a child of God, equal to the man in all filial honour and enjoyment. See under Colossians 3:11. Some minor points of difference yet remain, as the apostle insists in 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 5:9, etc., but they interfere not with the general statement. The reason is subjoined-
Πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ “for all ye are one (person) in Christ Jesus.” The πάντες of the Received Text is well supported, but ἅπαντες is found in A, B 2 , א . The masculine is now employed, not the neuter ἕν , as it implies conscious oneness. Theodoret says, τὸ εἷς ἀντὶ τοῦ ἓν σῶμα . The unity is organic, not unconscious or fortuitous juxtaposition, but like the union of all the branches with the root, and through the root with one another. There may be many disparities in gifts and graces, but there is indissoluble oneness in Christ Jesus, its only sphere, or through union to Him, its only medium. See under Ephesians 2:15.
Galatians 3:29. Εἰ δὲ ὑμεῖς Χριστοῦ , ἄρα τοῦ ᾿Αβραὰμ σπέρμα ἐστὲ , κατ᾿ ἐπαγγελίαν κληρονόμοι “But if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.” Χριστοῦ is the preferable reading in the first clause; the other words, εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χ . Ι . in D 1 , T, are a comment; and the καί of the last clause of the Text. Recept. is omitted on the authority of A, B, C, D, א , 17, Vulgate, etc. The moment rests on ὑμεῖς -you the objects of my present appeal. If ye be Christ's, then (the οὖν after ἄρα being without good authority) Abraham's seed are ye-the stress being on τοῦ ᾿Αβραάμ -the indubitable conclusion, for Christ is Abraham's Seed, and you belonging to Him-one in Him-must be Abraham's seed also. “And if children, then heirs,”-the emphasis is more on κατ᾿ ἐπαγγελίαν (Ewald, Wieseler, Hofmann) than on the concluding word κληρονόμοι (Meyer) absolute, or without any annexed genitive as τοῦ ᾿Αβραάμ , for they are heirs not of Abraham, but coheirs of the same inheritance with him. Κατ᾿ ἐπαγγελίαν is “agreeably to promise,” the very point which the apostle has been labouring to substantiate, as against the claims made for the law by the disturbers of the churches,-the reference being to Galatians 3:16. “Heirs according to promise;” for “to Abraham and his seed were the promises made,” and that promise, containing the inheritance, the law did not and could not set aside-all in illustration and proof of the starting premiss in Galatians 3:7, “They which be of faith, the same are the children of Abraham;” and of the earlier declaration, that justification comes not from works of law, but through faith in the divine promise, as Abraham was justified by faith. But the Galatian legalists ignored these reasonings, and fell into the error of expecting justification from works; an error which, as the apostle has argued, involved the awful consequence of making Christ's death superfluous, counterworked the example of Abraham the father of the faithful, and ignored the promise of inheritance made by God immediately to him-a promise still given to all those who believe, as the seed of Abraham. In a word, he has fully vindicated the sharp words with which the chapter opens, “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” What folly was involved in their sudden and unaccountable apostasy! See a paper by Riggenbach on “Righteousness by faith”- Rechtfertigung durch den Glauben -in the Stud. u. Kritik. 1868.
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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 3". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17