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Bible Commentaries

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians
Galatians 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Galatians 5:1. This verse is closely connected with the immediately preceding one (Galatians 4:31), and is, as we have just said, the prime inferential and practical lesson. But it is difficult, if not impossible, to fix on the correct reading, there being so many variations affecting both the sense and the connection.

The Stephanic text reads: τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ οὖν ᾗ χριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἠλευθέρωσε, στήκετε. The οὖν, the , and the ἡμᾶς are matter of doubt and of various reading. οὖν is omitted in D, in the Latin and Syriac, and in Theodore Mops. Theodoret, Jerome, Ambros., Pelagius, C3, K, L, many cursives, Damascenus, Theophylact, OEcumenius, place οὖν after ἐλευθερίᾳ; while it is put after στήκετε in A, B, C1, F, א, the Coptic version, and in Origen, Cyril, and Augustine. The best authority places the particle after στήκετε. Then is omitted in A, B, C, D1, א; but it ( τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ᾗ) is found in D3, E, K, L, in the majority of cursives, and in the most of the Greek fathers, and is adopted by Tischendorf, Scholz, Rinck, Reiche, Ellicott; while the reading ᾗ ἐλευθερίᾳ is found in F, G,-the Claromontane Latin and Vulgate reading also quâ libertate, followed by the Gothic, Victorinus, Augustine, and Jerome. The authority for this peculiar reading is chiefly Latin, and it may have been a re-translation of the Latin idiom qua libertate. But the omission of makes the clause and the connection difficult, though the omission is really well supported. The omission is adopted by Alford—“with liberty did Christ make you free,” beginning thus the new statement. It may be said that was omitted from its closeness to the same letter beginning ἡμᾶς (Wieseler), and it may be replied that it got in from an unwitting repetition of the same first letter (Meyer). The ἡμᾶς stands before χριστός in A, B, D, F, א; but after it in C, K, L, א3, and in several of the versions, in some of the Greek fathers, and many of the Latin ones, the Vulgate having Christus nos, and Ulphilas uns Christus. The first order is therefore the better sustained, and χριστὸς ἡμᾶς may have been written to avoid ᾗ ἡμᾶς, found in the codices referred to. According, then, to diplomatic evidence, the best supported reading is-

τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἡμᾶς χριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσε· στήκετε οὖν—“For freedom did Christ free us: stand therefore.” This is adopted by Lachmann, Meyer, Usteri, Hofmann, and Alford. Prof. Lightfoot does not set it aside altogether, but retains it as an alternative reading. See Mill, Griesbach, Winer.

1. Retaining the , some join the first clause to the previous verse—“We are children not of the bond-woman, but of the free woman, in that freedom with which Christ made us free.” So Schott, and Prof. Lightfoot who puts the alternative: “Ye are sons by virtue of the freedom which Christ has given, or children of her who is free with that freedom which Christ has given us.” So Wycliffe, the Genevan and the Rheims versions. But the connection is loose and pointless, and στήκετε becomes in that case abrupt and unsupported.

2. Some connect it with στήκετε, and give the dative the sense of quod attinet ad-stand fast in respect to, or rather in, the liberty for which Christ did make us free (Ellicott, Winer). The may be by attraction, or it may be ablatival—“with which.” Piscator, Rückert, Hilgenfeld, Wieseler, and the Vulgate-quâ libertate.

3. Adopting the reading which we prefer, the sense will be: “with liberty did Christ make us free (the dative instrumental): stand therefore;” or, “for liberty Christ freed us; make a stand,”-it being the dativus commodi, and the stress being on ἐλευθερίᾳ. A. Buttmann, p. 155. We are children of the free woman-beyond doubt it is; for liberty Christ did free us:5:13; John 8:36. The verb στήκετε, unknown in classical Greek, derives its specialty of sense from the context. 2 Thessalonians 2:15. See under Philippians 1:27. Chrysostom says by the word “stand fast” he indicates their vacillation- τὸν σάλον.

The verb ἐνέχομαι is “to be held in” or “by,” either physically, as τῇ πάγῃ, Herod. 2.121, or ethically, as δόγμασιν, Plutarch, Symp. 2.3. See Kypke in loc. It means to be held fast in, or so held that there is difficulty or impossibility of escape. Mark 6:19; Luke 11:53; Sept. Genesis 49:23; Ezekiel 14:4. The phrase ζυγῷ δουλείας is the “yoke of bondage,” though both nouns want the article. Winer, § 19, 1; Soph. Ajax, 944; Sept. Song of Solomon 5:1. The genitive δουλείας, which deprives its governing noun of its article, denotes the characterizing quality or element of the yoke. The πάλιν is explained by a reference to Galatians 4:9, if the allusion be definite-once under a yoke of heathenism, they would be involved again in a yoke of heathenism; or if the genitive be indefinite, the meaning would be-once in bondage, and again to be held fast in it, without formally specifying its nature.


Verse 2

Galatians 5:2. ῎ιδε ἐγὼ παῦλος λέγω ὑμῖν—“Behold I Paul say to you.” The proper accentuation of ἴδε has been disputed. In later Greek it is a paroxyton, but in Attic Greek an oxyton. Winer, § 6, 1; Moeris, p. 193. This accentuation is followed by Lachmann and Tischendorf. The particle occurs frequently in the Gospels, ἰδού being commoner in the Epistles; and here it sharply summons attention to what follows, as a warning of highest moment. In the ἐγὼ παῦλος is the direct interposition of the apostle's own authority, as in 2 Corinthians 10:1, Ephesians 3:1. The name would suggest what he has said so solemnly of himself in the beginning of the epistle—“Paul an apostle, neither of men nor by man,” etc. The words are therefore decidedly more than what Jowett calls “an expression of his intimate and personal conviction.” Other allusions given to the phrase by commentators seem to be inferential and distant. Thus Grotius-apostolus . . . quod illi vestri doctores de se dicere non possunt; Koppe-cujus animi candorem et integritatem nostis; Wetstein, followed by Prof. Lightfoot-ego quem dicunt circumcisionem predicare; Wieseler-in Gegensatze zu dem Irrlehrer; Borger-ego vero, idem ille Paulus quem tam impudenter calumniantur; Brown—“who ardently loves you, and whom you once ardently loved;” Sardinoux-il pose son nom . . . par sentiment paternel de la confiance que les Galates avaient pour lui. Of course, when the apostle asserts his authority, he virtually puts himself into opposition to the false teachers, and the name might suggest many associations in connection with his previous residence among them. But the phrase especially places his personal or official authority in abrupt and warning emphasis. It is in no sense a pledge-pignori quasi nomen suum obligat (Trana), nor an oath (S. Schmid), nor is it based on any suspicion that the Judaizing teachers gave out that they were at one with him in doctrine (Jatho).

῞οτι, ἐὰν περιτέμνησθε, χριστὸς ὑμᾶς οὐδὲν ὠφελήσει—“that if ye be circumcised”—“if ye be getting yourselves circumcised”—“Christ shall profit you nothing.” (See under Galatians 1:8.) The present subjunctive indicates the continuance of the habit. He says not, that they had been circumcised, but “if ye be getting yourselves circumcised.” Klotz-Devarius, vol. 2.455. The future form of the second clause is referred by Meyer, as is his wont, to the second coming-the parousia. But the future here simply indicates certainty of result. Winer, § 40, 6; Matthew 7:16. The warning is strongly worded. Circumcision and salvation by Christ are asserted to be incompatible. The false teachers said, “Except ye be circumcised, ye cannot be saved;” and the apostle affirms, in the teeth of this declaration, “Of what advantage shall Christ be to you, if ye are trusting in something else than Christ-in the blood of your foreskin, and not in His atoning blood?” It is of course to the Gentile portion of the church that the apostle directly addresses himself. The circumcision of one who was a Jew wholly or on one side might be pardoned as a conformity to national custom, and as a sacred token of descent from Abraham, if it was meant to involve no higher principle. But when heathens were circumcised, they wore a lie in their flesh, for they had no connection with Abraham; and to declare circumcision to be essential to their salvation was not only enforcing a national rite on those for whom it was never intended, but was giving it a co-ordinate value with the death of Christ-as if that death had failed to work out a complete salvation. Conformity to Judaism so taught and enjoined, interfered with the full and free offer of pardon by the Son of God: it raised up a new condition-interposed a barrier fatal to salvation; for it affirmed that the Gentile must become a proselyte by initiation, and do homage to the law, ere he could be profited by faith in Christ. It brought two contradictory principles into operation, the one of which neutralized the other: if they trusted in Christ, there was no need of circumcision; if they observed circumcision, they would get no benefit from Christ, for they were seeking justification in another way. “What a threat!” exclaims Chrysostom; “good reason for his anathematizing angels.”


Verse 3

Galatians 5:3. ΄αρτύρομαι δὲ πάλιν παντὶ ἀνθρώπῳ περιτεμνομένῳ—“Yea, I testify again to every man getting himself circumcised”-circumcidenti se, Vulgate, the chief stress being on παντί. Acts 20:26; Ephesians 4:17. But Chrysostom's explanation dilutes the sense, “Lest you suspect that I say it of enmity, I testify not to you only, but to every one.” The particle δέ is more than transitional (Wieseler), but is neither enim nor potius; according to Hermann, ad Vigerum, No. 343, it is in this connection represented by autem, as in the Vulgate. Hilgenfeld supposes that θεόν is understood after μαρτύρομαι, as if he called God to witness. But such an accusative is not necessary. “I obtest”-I solemnly do testify. Josephus, Galatians 3:8; Galatians 3:3. In πάλιν reference is not made, as Meyer and Wieseler suppose, to previous oral warnings when he was with them, but plainly to the λέγω of the previous verse—“I say”—“once more I testify.” It is out of the question to give it the meaning of porro with Borger, or contra with Koppe and Wahl. The verse does not indeed repeat the statement of the preceding one; but the apostle makes an extended affirmation, which is also an additional one- πάλιν, the second verb being a solemn repetition of the preceding one. He has said, if ye be circumcised; and now he obtests to every one not as having been circumcised, but as now submitting to circumcision; not simply assuming the possibility of the occurrence, or regarding it as actually accomplished, but vividly representing every one who gets himself circumcised as putting himself under covenant to obey the whole law. The obtestation is not to the Jews who may have been circumcised in infancy, nor to the heathen who may at any earlier period, and prior to the introduction of the gospel, have become proselytes; but to the Gentile converts who might persist in undergoing the rite on the principles and with the motives of the Judaizing teachers. And his solemn averment is-

῞οτι ὀφειλέτης ἐστὶν ὅλον τὸν νόμον ποιῆσαι—“that he is a debtor to do the whole law.” Circumcision, as the initiatory rite-inaugurale sacramentum (Dickson)-is to be regarded not merely in itself, but in the connected obligations under which it brought one. It was a pledge to obey the whole law. The person who on purpose submitted to circumcision did by that act place himself under the law, as he who is baptized is brought into a similar relation to the law of Christ, or as a foreigner whose naturalization pledges him to observe the law of the land. And such circumcision bound a man not to obey this or that department of ordinances, but to do the “whole law”-the emphasis being on ὅλον. The law is a code one and indivisible in origin and authority, however ramified its statutes; therefore an elective obedience to preferred precepts is not to be permitted. Chrysostom thus illustrates the obligation in reference to the ceremonial law: A man circumcised is bound to offer sacrifices, and such oblations necessitate the observance of sacred seasons and the visitation of sacred places. The precise allusion or inference which the apostle has in his mind has been disputed. Some, as Usteri and Rückert, suppose it thus: A debtor to obey the whole law, which you can never do, so that you are under the curse. But in order to such an application, the apostle did not need to emphasize ὅλον, for law in no sense can justify: Galatians 3:1. Winer brings out this conclusion, Debetis totam legem recipere, h. e. religionem Christianam omnem abjicere. But the object of the apostle seems to be, not to prove that by being circumcised a man places himself under stipulation to obey the whole law-an impossibility, and therefore subjects himself to the curse,-but rather to show the utter incompatibility between the law and the gospel, or that any one so acting places himself under the very yoke from which Christ came to redeem him. He has spoken of this bondage in the previous section, which is wound up with “stand fast, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” It is the bondage rather than the curse of the law which at the moment is uppermost in his mind; and this voluntary circumcision is a first step toward self-subjugation, for it binds a man to do the whole law. Perhaps, as Estius has remarked, the Judaists disguised or evaded this inference of the apostle, that circumcision puts a man under covenant to do the whole law, as indeed their own conduct seems to have illustrated. See Galatians 6:13. Compare Romans 2:25.


Verse 4

Galatians 5:4. κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ, οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε—“Ye were done away from Christ, whoever of you are being justified by law.” The article τοῦ is doubtful. It is omitted in B, C, D1, F, א, and by Lachmann; but it is found in A, D3, K, L, and almost all MSS., and it is inserted by Tischendorf. The first verb denotes the dissolution of all connection between them and Christ. It is not common in classic Greek, or even in the Septuagint where it occurs only four times; but it is one of the compound verbs often used by the apostle, and is here followed by ἀπό. Romans 7:2; Romans 7:6. Fritzsche suggests that it is a structura praegnans- καταργεῖσθαι καὶ χωρίζεσθαι ἀπό, Ad Romans 7:2, vol. ii. pp. 8, 9; Winer, § 66, 2; Poppo's Thucydides, 1.1, 292. The tense of the verb points to a previous time, the time when they began their course of defection-then they were done away from Christ. The sentence is an asyndeton, or without any connecting particle, and the syntax is changed to the second person-a sudden and striking application of the previous verse-as if reverting to the ὑμῖν and ὑμᾶς of the second verse. He had said, Christ shall profit you nothing; and he explains the reason: Ye were done away from Christ, for He profits only those who are in union with Him. The branch cut off from the living trunk soon withers and dies. The emphasis is on the verb beginning the sentence (OEcumenius), on the perilous state described by it; and, that there may be no mistake, he adds with special point-

οἵτινες ἐν νόμῳ δικαιοῦσθε—“whoever of you are justified by the law,” or “as being persons who.” The compound οἵτινες points them out as a class-quippe qui. The ἐν is not distinctly instrumental, but as usual indicates the sphere, though it may be what Donaldson calls instrumental adjunct, § 476. The law is regarded as that within which the supposed justification takes place, or, in another aspect, it is supposed to be the means of it. The present δικαιοῦσθε is what is called the subjective present-justified in their own feeling or opinion, ὡς ὑπολαμβάνετε (Theophylact). Schmalfeld, p. 91. De Wette and Windischmann give it the sense of justified in your idea and intention; “who seek to be justified,” Rückert and Baumgarten; and Bagge puts it still more remotely, “who think that ye are to be, and so seek to be justified.” But it is not the seeking of justification, but the dream of having it, that the apostle describes. When in their heart they thought themselves justified in the sphere of law, they became nullified from Christ; yea, he adds, τῆς χάριτος ἐξεπέσατε—“from grace ye fell away.” ᾿εξεπέσατε is the Alexandrian mode of spelling for ἐξεπέσετε. Lobeck, Phryn. p. 724; Winer, 13, 1. With the genitive it signifies tropically “to fall off” or “away from.” 2 Peter 3:17; Sirach 34:7; Ast, Lexicon Platon. sub voce. χάρις is not here the subjective influence of grace, but is in opposition to ἐν νόμῳ. The contrast is implied in Romans 5:2. Compare 2 Peter 3:17. Law and grace are in direct antagonism. Justification by the one is of debt, by the other is of favour. The justified person works out his acceptance in the one case; he simply receives it in the other. If a man then imagines that he is justified by law, he has renounced grace as the principle of justification. He who is circumcised comes under pledge to obey the whole law; but obedience to law is wholly different in nature and operation from faith in Christ, so that he who looks to law renounces connection with Christ. Christ's method of justification is wholly of grace, and those who rely on law and merit are in opposition to grace-are fallen out of it. The clause has really no bearing on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, or on their possible apostasy. See, however, Wesselius in loc.


Verse 5

Galatians 5:5. ῾ημεῖς γὰρ πνεύματι ἐκ πίστεως ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης ἀπεκδεχόμεθα—“For we by the Spirit are waiting for the hope of righteousness from faith.” Tyndale's translation is an exegetical paraphrase: “We look for and hope in the Sprite to be justified thorow fayth.” The γάρ introduces the proof, based on a contrary experience. The Judaists and their party thought themselves justified by works of law; we, on the other hand, by the Spirit, who cometh not through works but faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness, which has also faith as its source. The ἡμεῖς are the apostle and those who, like him, so thought and felt that Christ did profit them, who also still clung to Christ, and had a living interest in His gracious process of justification.

πνεύματι is the dative of instrument-by the assistance of the Spirit-not as if it were ἐν πνεύματι. It plainly in such a context refers to the Holy Ghost, though, like a proper name, it wants the article. The older interpretation of Wolff, Rambach, that the word means doctrina evangelii, is baseless. 2 Corinthians 3:6, adduced in proof, presents a sentiment of a different nature and contrast. Nor is it spiritus pro fide (Beza), nor evangelium (Seb. Schmid), nor promissio gratiosa (E. Schmid). Middleton, Peile, Brown, and Windischmann take it adverbially—“spiritually,” or in a spiritual manner, nach geistiger Weise. Middleton, Greek Art. p. 126. Grotius, Borger, and Fritzsche are disposed to regard it as referring to the human spirit; the first explaining it by intra animam, the second by interioribus animi sensibus, and the third by mente: Opuscula, p. 156. This interpretation takes a very low and incorrect view of the apostle's statement. Akin to it is another opinion which takes πνεύματι as the human spirit enlightened and spiritualized by the Holy Spirit (Rosenmüller, Morus, Paulus, Winer). Winer explains it, in Christi communione; Baumgarten-Crusius, der höhere, heilige Lebensgeist. But the apostle often refers to the Spirit of God as the gift of Christ, as dwelling and working in the heart of believers, and creating and sustaining such graces as that of hope here referred to. Many expositors suppose an ideal contrast in πνεύματι to σαρκί, as characterizing the genius and form of Jewish observance. But the apostle refers not so much to legal observance by contrast in this verse as to the result of it,-not to the pursuit of right-eousness on the part either of legalists or believers, but to the condition into which those who trust in Christ are brought by the Spirit, who cometh from the hearing of faith. Rather, perhaps, the contrast is: Ye are fallen away from Christ; we, on the other hand, are enjoying the Spirit of Christ given to those redeemed by Him, trusting in Him, in union with Him, and therefore no longer under the law, but heirs, and full of the hope of future blessing: Galatians 3:5-7; Romans 8:15; Ephesians 1:13.

Luther and some others wrongly join πνεύματι to ἐκ πίστεως-spiritu qui ex fide est-since, as Meyer remarks, no contrast is made with any other spirit; it is the contrast to ἐν νόμῳ of the previous verse. The double compound verb ἀπεκδέχομαι signifies “to wait for,” and so to be in earnest and constant expectation of (Romans 8:19; Romans 8:23; Romans 8:25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 3:20), the sub-local reference being to the place whence the object is expected to come. Fritzschiorum Opusc. p. 156; Eurip. Alcest. 130. It is needless to suppose that there is a pleonasm (Jowett), or to imagine that the apostle originally intended to write ἔχομεν (Winer, Usteri, Schott); or, with Matthies, to give the verb the unjustifiable sense of accipimus, wir fassen. ᾿ελπίς is used with another compound, προσδέχομαι, in Acts 24:15 and Titus 2:13. It is not formally, but in thought, a cognate accusative, like ζῆν βίον, though Winer in his commentary styles it a pleonasm, and likewise Usteri. Lobeck, Paralip. p. 501. Wieseler objects that the noun and verb are not synonymous in meaning; but in these passages quoted, the accusative connected with the verb contains the object of hope,-future good or blessing being the object of expectation, for hope is the expectation combined with the desire of blessing to come.

In the phrase ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης the difficulty is to define the relation of the genitive. First, it may be the genitive of object, righteousness itself being the object of hope. So Theophylact, Winer, Usteri, Rückert, Schott, Olshausen, and Meyer. In that case the meaning is, we wait for the hoped righteousness-justitia sperata-righteousness itself being the object of hope. But the genitive, even with such a meaning, can scarcely be that of apposition (Wieseler, Gwynne). Or, secondly, it may be the genitive of subjective possession-the hope which belongs to righteousness, or that blessing connected with righteousness which is the object of hope. So Pelagius, Hunnius, Bengel, Borger, Windischmann, Bisping, Bagge, and Jowett. Thus Beza makes it coronam gloriae-spem quam justitia praebet. Rosenmüller and Koppe err when they give δικαιοσύνη the meaning of omnis felicitas. In this view of the relation indicated by the genitive we are inclined to concur. For,

1. To expect hoped-for righteousness is an idea that enfeebles the argument, and places believers in no strong position as against legalists. They think themselves justified-we hope to be justified. To describe a condition opposed to their delusions about justification, something stronger than mere hope might be expected.

2. Righteousness to believers is a present possession, and as such the apostle usually represents it. Faith brings righteousness now, and such is the illustration in the third chapter. Ellicott's objection to this, that the Jew regarded δικαιοσύνη as something outward, present, realizable, is of little weight; for what is inner may be regarded equally as present and realizable. It is true, as Neander says, that δικαιοσύνη is one of those divine results which “stretch into eternity;” but it is perfectly possessed in time, though not in its fullest development. Thus σωτηρία is enjoyed as soon as faith is possessed; but that salvation has a fulness still to be revealed, as is indicated in Romans 13:11, Hebrews 9:28. Adoption may be described in similar terms.

3. Alford remarks that ἐλπίδα has the emphasis: this, however, does not favour his view, but ours. We believers have not only righteousness really now, but we are waiting also for the realization of the great hope wrapt up in it; we believers have now and in reality what you legalists imagine you have-justification; nay, we are cherishing the hope which it excites and sustains. Romans 8:30. The hope belonging to this righteousness is final acceptance-future blessedness and glorification, though we do not, as Ellicott, affix this idea to δικαιοσύνη itself, but take it as one of the assured and hopedfor results to which it leads.

The phrase ἐκ πίστεως is opposed to ἐν νόμῳ, and probably belongs to δικαιοσύνη, though some would connect it otherwise, as if the meaning were-We by the Spirit and out of faith do expect. It is noticeable that all the nouns in this and the following verse want the article. Gersdorf, Beiträge zur Sprach-charact. p. 273, etc.


Verse 6

Galatians 5:6. ᾿εν γὰρ χριστῷ ᾿ιησοῦ οὔτε περιτομή τι ἰσχύει οὔτε ἀκροβυστία—“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision.” The clause ἐκ πίστεως is prominent and regulative in the previous verse, and the reason is given in the verse before us. πίστις stands opposed to everything legal-to law, to ritual, to works of any sort. And why? The reason is introduced by γάρ.

The phrase ἐν χριστῷ ᾿ιησοῦ is sadly diluted if made to mean in lege Christi (Grotius), in Christi regno (Pareus), or Christi judicio (Koppe and Flatt), or as if it were παρὰ χριστῷ, or Christi religio (Morus). The union is that of personal union; and, as Ellicott remarks, the addition of ᾿ιησοῦ is not to be overlooked. Circumcision availeth nothing-does not create a deeper union into Christ Jesus, or excite a livelier hope, or confer a firmer hold on righteousness. This is an idea immediately present to the apostle's mind, and the one which pervades the previous verse, nay, is the very text of the epistle. But he adds-

οὔτε ἀκροβυστία. See under Galatians 2:7. It is a very wrong and perilous thing to be circumcised in order to righteousness, as he has so strenuously insisted; but he is not to be misunderstood, for the mere fact of uncircumcision has in itself no merit, and helps not to a deeper interest or fellowship in Christ. The uncircumcised has nothing to boast of over the circumcised; if both be in Christ, their condition is equal-is influenced neither by the presence of the mere external rite, nor by the want of it.

᾿αλλὰ πίστις δἰ ἀγάπης ἐνεργουμένη—“but faith working through love” is of avail- τι ἰσχύει. The emphasis is on πίστις, as might be expected. The theological dispute is concerning ἐνεργουμένη-whether it has an active or a passive signification. That it may have the latter is undoubted, as Polybius, 1.13, 5; Joseph. Antiq. 15.5, 3. See Rost und Palm sub voce. But ἐνεργεῖσθαι, not used of persons in the New Testament, has uniformly an active meaning-operatur, Vulgate. Winer, § 38, 6; Romans 7:5; 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 4:12; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; James 5:16. The faith shows from itself its efficacy through love-the real signification of the dynamic middle voice. Through love it operates, manifests its vitality and power- ζῶσα δείκνυται (Theophylact). He on whom faith is reposed, becomes naturally an object of love. If I believe that the Son of God in my nature died for me, and, yet wearing that nature, in it reigns over me, pleads for me, and fills me with His Spirit that I may finally and fully bear His image-such a faith must induce love within me toward Him and towards all that bears His image. And thus the three grand graces are referred to here-faith, hope, and love. 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Colossians 1:4. While faith is child-like and hope is saint-like, love is God-like.

Tertullian, however, renders-fides quae per dilectionem perficitur; Bellarmine and Estius take the same view; and the Council of Trent cites the clause so translated in proof of their favourite doctrine of fides formata, Sess. vi. c. 7. Bisping and Windischmann, though they do not hold the participle to be passive, will not part with the doctrine which the passive is adduced to support; the one saying, that in any case the essential meaning of the clause is unchanged, and the other, that either way it remains a strong proof of the Catholic doctrine. But the theory sets aside the Pauline theology of justification.

The apostle then recurs to the Galatians in direct personal appeal, referring to their previous state of spiritual prosperity, and how they had so quickly declined from it; warning them at the same time of the rapidity of spiritual declension when it once begins, and throwing blame on their seducers whose arts had prevailed.


Verse 7

Galatians 5:7. ᾿ετρέχετε καλῶς—“Ye were running well.” The meaning of the figure is apparent: Galatians 2:2; Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 4:7. They had been making rapid progress in the right course, but they had suddenly and unaccountably deflected. Legalism and internal dissensions (Galatians 5:15) had got in among them. Ye were running well, and the hope was that ye should reach the goal and win the garland. The second member of the verse drops the transparent figure, which it identifies with obedience to the truth. Truth was the course, and obedience was the progress. Such is the eulogy; and now, without any connecting particle, the sudden question is put-a question of sorrow and surprise-

τίς ὑμᾶς ἐνέκοψεν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι;—“Who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” The Received Text has ἀνέκοψεν on the authority of a few minuscules, while the other reading has vastly preponderant authority. Erasmus edited ἀνέκοψε, and from him it passed into the Elzevir copies. Usteri is inclined still, but on feeble grounds, to receive it; and he reckons the next words a gloss. The verb ἐγκόπτειν is “to strike in,” to hinder as by breaking up a road, and is used classically with the dative of a person, as in Polybius, 24.1, 12; but it is also construed with the accusative: Acts 24:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Compare Lucian, Nigrinus, § 35, vol. i. p. 24, ed. Dindorf.

τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι—“that ye should not obey the truth.” The article τῇ is wanting in A, B, and א. Chrysostom omits this clause; and after πείθεσθαι F and G add μηδενὶ πείθεσθε-nemini consenseritis in Lucifer and Ambrosiaster-evidently an interpolation, though it is defended by Koppe and Semler. Jerome remarks in reference to those words, that they are found nec in Graecis libris, nec in his qui in apostolum commentati sunt. Windischmann, however, is not wholly adverse to it, if thus connected with the former clause—“be persuaded by no one not to obey the truth.” The μὴ before πείθεσθαι is not properly pleonastic, though the two translations correspond in sense—“who hath hindered that ye should not obey the truth?” or, “who hath hindered you from obeying the truth?” Meyer indeed says, it is das gewöhnliche pleonastische nach verbis des Hinderns. See Hermann, Vigerus, No. 271. The opinion is common, but the particle μή expresses the intended negative result contained in the infinitive. Jelf, § 749; Klotz-Devarius, vol. ii. p. 668; Madvig, § 210.

The truth is the truth of the gospel. See under Galatians 2:5; Galatians 2:14. That truth is opposed in the apostle's mind not simply to what is false, but to every modification or perversion of it, under any guise which would rob it of its efficacy, mar its symmetry, or in any way injure its adaptation to man. And the truth is to be obeyed; not simply understood or admired, but obeyed. This clause omitted by Chrysostom has been wrongly placed at the end of Galatians 3:1 in the Received Text.


Verse 8

Galatians 5:8. ῾η πεισμονὴ οὐκ ἐκ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς—“The persuasion is not from Him who calleth you.” The change of into by Vömel is needless, though Tyndale's version is not unlike—“even that counsel that is not of Him,” etc.-an answer to the previous question, “who was a let unto you, that ye should not obey the truth?” The verse is also regarded by Erasmus and Beza as the answer to the previous question, Who hindered you?-the persuasion not of Him that calleth you. But, as De Wette remarks, the article would in that case be repeated after πεισμονή. The word πεισμονή, suggested by the paronomasia, presents a difficulty; it occurs very rarely, being found neither in classic Greek nor in the Septuagint. It is found in the commentary of Eustathius on Homer several times, and in Justin Martyr, Apol. 1.53, Chrysostom on 1 Thessalonians 1:4, and Epiphanius, Haeres. 30.21. The citation from Ignatius is more than doubtful, as the Codex Colb., instead of οὐ πεισμονῆς τὸ ἔργον, reads οὐ σιωπῆς μόνον τὸ ἔργον, and the reading is adopted by Dressel. The question is, whether the word should be taken in an active or a passive sense-whether it signify Ueberredung or Folgsamkeit, assentiendi facilitas aut persuadendi sollertia, persuading or persuadedness. The signification of credulitas given by Estius, of obstinacy by Bengel, of Eigensinn by De Wette, may not be admitted. The noun, as far as its form is concerned, may have either meaning. 1. The Greek fathers give it the passive sense. Theophylact explains it by τὸ πείθεσθαι, and OEcumenius by τὸ πεισθῆναι. This interpretation is adopted by many-as Winer, Rückert, Matthies, Olshausen, Reiche, and Prof. Lightfoot. The meaning then would be-this conviction or state of mind you are in, cometh not of Him that calls you. But this would be a truism, and the active sense of καλοῦντος is in that way overlooked. 2. But secondly, the πεισμονή and καλοῦντος are in contrast: it comes from a source opposed to the divine call. It is not the state of being persuaded, but the art or process of persuading, which comes into direct conflict with divine call. The Judaistic arts and arguments were not in harmony with the effectual calling of God. The one is πεισμονή-persuasion- ἐν πειθοῖς σοφίας λόγοις-art and arguments-on merely human and specious principles; the other is κλῆσις, the summons of God to life and truth in Christ. The apostle goes back in idea to τίς ὑμᾶς ἐνέκοψεν; the Judaizers are present to his mind from this question on through several verses and to the end of the twelfth verse. It is their work which he thus pictures; their πεισμονή was the preaching of another gospel, the bewitching of the Galatians. Were the apostle repeating the idea in μὴ πείθεσθαι, he would probably have expressed it in its negative form, and with the addition of a pronoun, as indeed is supplied by Jerome who gives both views, and by Augustine and Ambrosiaster. The active meaning is abundantly warranted. Justin Martyr, Apolog. 1.53; Epiphanius, Haeres. 30.21. This is the meaning given by Beza, Piscator, Borger, a Lapide, Usteri, Schott, Hilgenfeld, Meyer, Wieseler, and Trana. Reiche, adopting the passive sense, proposes to read the verse interrogatively, and wonders that nobody has thought of it: Is not persuasion-obedience-from God who calls you? This is not very different from omitting οὐκ altogether: Persuasion is of Him that calleth you; and so οὐκ is omitted in D1 and some Latin codices referred to by Jerome who, however, after saying that in some Latin codices the reading ex Deo was a corruption from ex eo, assigns a theological reason for the omission of the negative οὐ: verum simpliciores quique putantes se deferre Deo ut persuasio quoque nostra in ejus sit potestate, abstulerunt partem orationis non. In the phrase ἐκ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς, the present participle, as Meyer suggests, may be taken substantively (Madvig, § 180), or it may bear its usual meaning-who is calling you still. Winer, § 45, 7. The reference is to God, as in Galatians 1:6; Galatians 1:15, not to the apostle (Locke, Paulus, Doddridge, and Macknight), nor to Christ (Theophylact). Because of the use of the uncommon word πεισμονή, and the various readings of this and the previous verse, Schott says that he conjectures, haud temere, the whole verse to be a gloss; it is wanting, he adds also in proof, in the AEthiopic version.


Verse 9

Galatians 5:9. ΄ικρὰ ζύμη ὅλον τὸ φύραμα ζυμοῖ—“A little leaven the whole lump leaveneth.” This is a proverbial saying, delivered here as a warning. Matthew 13:33; Matthew 16:11; Mark 8:15; Luke 13:21; 1 Corinthians 5:6. The figure-applied in a bad sense, save in Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:21 -may refer either to the false teachers or to their doctrine. Luther, Chrysostom, Calvin, a Lapide, Matthies, and Meyer refer it to the latter. The meaning in that case is, that the introduction of minute error has a tendency to corrupt the whole mass of truth. Alford differently—“corrupts the whole mass of Christians,” taking ζύμη in the abstract and φύραμα in the concrete. It refers to persons, Romans 11:16, and here the Judaists are in the apostle's mind. True indeed, as Meyer says, the apostle nowhere lays stress on their number; yet the following ὁ ταράσσων might seem to indicate that the Judaists were not many. The question is, Who hindered you? and the assertion that the hindrance was occasioned by the πεισμονή refers to the teachers; so that the proverb may mean, that though like leaven they may appear small in comparison with the lump, yet by assiduity and influence they may and will infect and debase the entire society- ὅλον being emphatic. Such is the better view, as being more in harmony with the context. Theophylact refers the little leaven to circumcision- μία οὖσα ἐντολή; but that can scarcely be the apostle's reference: it is the doctrine connected with it which he has chiefly in view.


Verse 10

Galatians 5:10. The apostle so far modifies his statement, or rather expresses a confidence that the whole lump will not be so leavened. Still there is no connecting particle; each statement stands out vividly by itself-

᾿εγὼ πέποιθα εἰς ὑμᾶς ἐν κυρίῳ—“I have confidence in” or “toward you in the Lord.” The emphatic use of the pronoun ἐγώ is, “I for my part.” There is a tacit contrast to what goes before, which some copyists filled in by δέ, as in C1, F, and which Lachmann so far acknowledges as to put it within brackets in his text. The verb is used with ἐπί and an accusative- ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς- 2 Thessalonians 3:4, 2 Corinthians 2:3; it has also, as here, the momentous adjunct ἐν κυρίῳ, in Philippians 2:24, 2 Thessalonians 3:4; with a different aspect of relation it is also followed by ἐπί with a dative, 2 Corinthians 1:9, Hebrews 2:13, and by the simple dative, Philippians 1:14, 2 Corinthians 10:7, which designates the region or ground of confidence. εἰς ὑμᾶς is “in reference to you.” Wisdom of Solomon 16:24; Winer, § 49, a, c; Bernhardy, p. 220. He based his confidence not on his own pointed reproof, solemn expostulation, or tender reminiscences; not on their affection toward him, or their probable recognition of the truth and reappreciation of it when they should bethink themselves. He might not overlook those elements indeed, but he says boldly, ἐν κυρίῳ. Compare Romans 14:14. We have in these three verses in succession, πείθεσθαι.- πεισμονή- πέποιθα. His confidence was-

῞οτι οὐδὲν ἄλλο φρονήσετε—“that ye will think nothing different”-that is, that ye will be of the same mind with me. Acts 28:22; Philippians 1:7; Philippians 3:15. The reference seems directly to be to what he has been enjoining and illustrating in the previous sections; but as that includes the germ of his preaching, the inference is fair, that the entire circle of the apostle's public instruction is comprehended. We do not, like Ellicott, make the last the immediate reference; nor does the use of the future justify the supposition, for it naturally refers to the period when the epistle should be read, not excluding, of course, the anticipated and lasting result.

The apostle's confidence was, that the persuasive arts of the Judaizers should fail; that their success should be only temporary; and that the mass, after the novelty had worn off and they had come to themselves, should be of his mind-should settle down into harmony with him in reference to all the distinctive or characteristic truths of the gospel which he had proclaimed. See under Philippians 3:15.

The apostle has been verging for some time toward the next declaration-the stern censure of the false teachers-

῾ο δὲ ταράσσων ὑμᾶς βαστάσει τὸ κρίμα—“but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment.” The δέ marks a contrast between the apostle's confidence in returning harmony of opinion with himself, as just expressed, and the perversions and disturbances created by the Judaists. The singular ὁ ταράσσων is not collective for οἱ ταράσσοντες (Galatians 1:7), nor is it used as representing a class. Winer, § 27; 2 Corinthians 11:4. Nor, probably, does it specify any particular individual or any well-known person directly, as Erasmus, Bengel, Usteri, and others suppose; for the ὅστις ἂν ᾖ generalizes the expression. The phrase simply takes an individual of a class, and holds him up for the moment to notice, so that what is true of him is true of the entire party of which he is the representative. Madvig, § 14. It matters not-

῞οστις ἂν ᾖ—“whoever he may be.” Acts 3:23. There is in this clause no direct reference to personal character, relation, or state, though they may be all included. The common reference has been to station-high station; as by Theophylact and Theodoret- μεγάλοι, ἀξιόπιστοι, and they are followed by Luther, Rückert, and De Wette. The sentiment may be true, but it is not directly expressed. Whoever he may chance to be-no matter what his position, influence, or pretensions-he shall bear his judgment. Lightfoot's filling up, “however he may vaunt his personal intercourse with the Lord,” is a very unlikely supposition. Some, according to Jerome, found in this clause a quiet reference to Peter.

βαστάσει τὸ κρίμα. κρίμα is the judgment or sentence-whatever its nature-pronounced by the κριτής, and by contextual reference it is here a condemnatory judgment. Romans 3:8. We have λαμβάνειν κρίμα in Luke 20:47, Romans 13:2, James 3:1. In the Septuagint it represents the Hebrew נָשָׂא, H5951 in its various senses. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:29, 1 Timothy 5:12. The image of a load in βαστάσει is found in Hebrew usage. Locke, Borger, and Macknight regard the κρίμα as excommunication; Jatho refers it to other church penalties, and placing a comma after φρονήσετε, he supposes the apostle to express his confidence that the church would agree in judgment with him against the offenders; but the apostle refers the judgment to God- ἀνταπόδοσις θεοῦ (Hesychius). Tischendorf writes ἐὰν, after A, B, א. See on this spelling, Winer, § 42, 6; Hermann, ad Viger. 835. κρίμα is accented κρῖμα in classical writers. See under Galatians 2:9. Lipsius, Grammatische Untersuchungen, p. 40.

The apostle immediately adds-


Verse 11

Galatians 5:11. ᾿εγὼ δέ, ἀδελφοί, εἰ περιτομὴν ἔτι κηρύσσω, τί ἔτι διώκομαι;—“But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted?” The first ἔτι is omitted in some MSS. The difficulty of the temporal allusion may have suggested the omission. He never or at any time preached circumcision since he became an apostle. The ἐγώ is again emphatic in position and expression—“as for me;” and the δέ is not transitional simply, but indicates a contrast. There were troublers among them, and they shall bear their judgment. Such a crimination did not apply to him, though he had been unjustly charged. It would seem that some of these troublers alleged his patronage, and were sheltering themselves under his example. He had circumcised Timothy; nay, to Jews he became as a Jew; and his practice, misunderstood, might be quoted in favour of Judaizing inconsistency. But, in direct opposition to all arguments and apologies, he says, “As for me, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted?” εἰ κηρύσσω-if I preach-if it be a fact that I preach. See under Galatians 1:9. The ἔτι refers to a period prior to his conversion, when, of course, circumcision was a prominent article of his creed and advocacy. He may have taken the word κηρύσσω from his present form of labour, and applied it, though not with perfect accuracy, to his previous maintenance of Judaism in its integrity (Galatians 1:14). The present tense is used, as if borrowed from the allegation of his opponents-he preaches yet circumcision,- περιτομήν having the stress. To preach circumcision is to maintain the observance of it to be necessary to salvation, and that all Gentile converts should submit to it as essential to their admission to the church, and their hope of final acceptance.

The apostle's reply to the charge of preaching circumcision is decisive- τί ἔτι διώκομαι—“why am I still persecuted?” This second ἔτι may be regarded, but not necessarily, not as temporal, but as logical- Romans 3:7; Romans 9:19 —“If I preach circumcision, what reason is there that I should be persecuted?” The fact of his being persecuted by the Jews and Judaists was surely a proof that he was neither preaching circumcision, nor was regarded by them as preaching it. Had he been preaching circumcision, would not they have joyfully clung to him? The conclusion is inevitable-

῎αρα κατήργηται τὸ σκάνδαλον τοῦ σταυροῦ—“then the offence of the cross is done away with.” 1 Corinthians 1:23. A and C, 39, 40, add τοῦ χριστοῦ, and so Jerome with the Coptic and AEthiopic versions. The addition is an exegetical emendation. The Syriac version takes the clause interrogatively, and Knapp and Vater so point it. Bengel is not disinclined to it, and Usteri and Ewald adopt it. But there is no necessity for it, and the statement by such a turn becomes feebler in character. The particle ἄρα leads to a somewhat unexpected conclusion (Klotz-Devarius, ii. p. 160. See under Galatians 2:17; Galatians 2:21)—“those things being so”—“then after all,” ergo in the Latin versions. The noun σκάνδαλον occurs often in the New Testament and the Septuagint, and properly is not offence, but that at which one stumbles or takes offence-found with its literal meaning, Leviticus 19:14 - ἀπέναντι τυφλοῦ οὐ προσθήσεις σκάνδαλον, but only tropically in the New Testament. Morus and others understand σταυρός figuratively, as denoting suffering on account of Christ. But this sense weakens the declaration, for the apostle speaks directly of Christ's cross as involved in the controversy, and in the phrase adduced from Matthew 16:24 it is his own cross that a man is asked to take up. The offence of the cross is the offence which the Jews took at the idea of salvation through the Crucified One, and Him alone: Galatians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 1:17; Philippians 2:8. Salvation by the blood of the cross was a sore stumblingblock to their national pride-an open affront to their cherished theology; for He that died on Calvary had been rejected by their people, and doomed for blasphemy and treason to a public execution. To speak of that instrument of shame and agony as the means of salvation inflamed their bitterest prejudices, and chafed them into an unscrupulous and malignant hostility, which plumed itself on doing God service when it put down and thwarted in every way, even unto death, the preachers and disciples of a crucified Messiah. 1 Thessalonians 2:15.


Verse 12

Galatians 5:12. ῎οφελον καὶ ἀποκόψονται οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς—“I would that they would even cut themselves off who are unsettling you.” The verb ἀναστατοῦν is defined by Hesychius as ἀνατρέπειν. Acts 17:6; Acts 21:38. The term is of deeper meaning than ταράσσοντες in Galatians 1:7 -not only troubling, but unhinging you. The ordinary classic phrase is ἀνάστατον ποιεῖν. Sturz, De Dialect. Alexandrinâ, p. 146. Symmachus, however, employs the verb, Psalms 59:11 (Psalms 58:11); and Aquila, Psalms 11:12 (Psalms 10:12). Bengel takes quite a peculiar view of the connection. ῎οφελον, according to him, should stand by itself, as being a curt answer to the previous clause taken interrogatively—“Is then the offence of the cross ceased?” “I wish it were; he shall bear his judgment, . . . and they who are unsettling you shall be cut off.” (Similarly Bagge.) Besides the disjointed construction, the insulation of ὄφελον and the wrong translation of the middle verb forbid this exegesis. ῎οφελον is very rarely joined with the future, so that D, F have ἀποκόψωνται-an evident emendation. Lucian gives such a connection as an example of a solecism, Pseudosophista, p. 216, vol. iv. Bipont. The word is allied to ὤφειλε- ὤφελον. Matthiae, § 513; 1 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 11:1; Klotz-Devarius, 516. D3, K, L have ὤφελον. The future is here used virtually for the optative, and the word is treated as a mere particle, Winer, § 41; A. Buttmann, § 185. In the use of the term in 1 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 11:1, there is a tinge of irony.

What then is the meaning of ἀποκόψονται? 1. It cannot bear the passive sense-the abscindantur of the Vulgate, or “were cut off” of the English version. Winer, § 38, 4. The usage, though it occurs in classical writings, does not seem to be found in the New Testament. The Gothic, too, has vainei jah usmaitaindau; and the Syriac has the common idiom, “cutting were cut off.” Calvin interprets it in the same way-exitium imprecatur impostoribus illis, and he vindicates the exegesis: “And yet I should not wish that a single individual perish thus; but my love of the church, and my anxiety for her interests, carry me into a kind of ecstasy-quasi in ecstasin-so that I can think of nothing else.” Bagge explains it—“cut off from a position of hope that they may ever accept the salvation of Christ.” The interpretation of Wieseler and Schmoller is similar to Calvin's; so Hammond, and Chandler who renders—“excluded from the church, disowned by you as brethren;”—“were themselves cut off from the society of the church with the circumcising knife of excommunication” (Boston). But the passive translation is grammatically untenable; and if excommunication were the penalty, the apostle in his plenary authority would have pronounced the sentence himself.

2. Retaining the proper middle signification, the verb has been supposed to mean “cut themselves off, or get themselves cut off, from fellowship with you.” Generally this view is held by Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, a Lapide, Bengel, Windischmann, Webster and Wilkinson, Ellicott, and Gwynne who renders—“that they would even beat themselves away!” But this meaning is unusual; the καί in this case also loses its emphasis; and why in such a crisis did the apostle only wish for the severance and not at once command it, as in 1 Corinthians 5:11? There may be an allusion to the ἐνεκόψε of Galatians 5:7, both being compounds of the same verb; but the paronomasia will not bear out Gwynne's idea—“Instead of intercepting the progress of others, make away with yourselves,” for the καί again becomes meaningless, and the wish amounts to little. But the words of the apostle are sharp and precise.

3. The meaning is keener than this, that they may be deprived of all opportunity of seducing you (Wolf, Baumgarten), and greatly stronger than that of doing penance-Busse thun.

4. Nor is the meaning merely in a tropical sense, utinam spadones fient propter regnum coelorum, et carnalia seminare cessabunt; the view of Thomas Aquinas, and of Augustine who calls it sub specie maledictionis, benedictio. Some admit in the phrase a reference to circumcision—“would execute upon themselves not only circumcision, but excision also” (Conybeare). Bengel too: Quemadmodum praeputium per circumcisionem abscinditur, ut quiddam, quo carere decet Israelitam; ita isti tanquam praeputium rejiculum de communione sanctorum abscindentur et anathema erunt.

5. Another and literal sense has been given, which some brand as indelicate, which Bagge calls “a positive insult to St. Paul,” which Gwynne stigmatizes as “a filthy witticism,” and of which even Le Clerc writes, Imprecatio scurrae est non Pauli, viz. I would that they would not only circumcise, but even castrate themselves;-Chrysostom saying, μὴ περιτεμνέσθωσαν μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀποκοπτέσθωσαν; and Jerome as decidedly, non solum circumcidantur sed etiam abscindantur-would not only circumcise, but eunuchize themselves. Now, 1. this is the proper meaning of the term, to hew off limbs- κάρη, αὐχένα, τένοντας: Iliad, 9.241; Odyss. 10.127; Rost u. Palm sub voce. 2. This verb and its noun are the technical terms employed for this act: Arrian, Epictetus, 2.20. γάλλος ὁ ἀπόκοπος ἤτοι ὁ εὐνοῦχος, Hesychius; Lucian, Eunuchus, p. 210, vol. v. Opera, Bipont. 3. The word bears the same meaning in the Septuagint: οὐδὲ ἀποκεκομμένος, Deuteronomy 23:1; also Philo, De Leg. Spec. § 7; De Victis Offer. § 13. See Wetstein in loc. A portion of the passage quoted by Bentley (Critica Sacra, p. 48) from Dio Cassius is a various reading. Dio Cassius, lib. 79:11, p. 448, vol. ii. Op. ed. Dindorf. 4. Both the name and the thing were familiarly known in Galatia, especially in the town of Pessinus, where, on Mount Dindymus, Cybele had her shrine, which was served by emasculated priests. Lucian, Cronosolon, § 12, p. 16, vol. ix. Op. Bipont. Justin Martyr also uses the verb of the priests of the mother of the gods: I. Apolog. p. 70, E, p. 196, vol. i. Opera, ed. Otto. See also Bardesanes, Cureton's Spicileg. Syr. p. 32. Strabo also mentions the ἀπόκοποι γάλλοι, 13:4, 14, p. 87, vol. iii. Geograph. ed. Kramer. Reference may also be made to the wild wail of the Carmen, lxiii. of Catullus. Diodorus Siculus, 3:31, p. 247, vol. i. Opera, ed. Dindorf. Such a mutilation must have been so well known in the province of Galatia, that the apostle's words in connection with the περιτομή of the previous verse could scarcely have conveyed any other allusion to a Galatian reader; and this reconciles us to this third interpretation. The verb could not have the same hard sound to them as it has to us. 5. The καί in this way preserves its ascensive force-not only circumcise, but even eunuchize themselves. In a similar spirit and play of terms, the apostle says, Philippians 3:2-3 : βλέπετε τὴν κατατομήν· ἡμεῖς γὰρ ἡ περιτομή. Circumcision to a Gentile was a mere bodily mutilation of the same kind as that of the priests of Cybele. See under Philippians 3:2. Such an ἀποκοπή was quite on a level with their περιτομή: let them show their extravagant attachment to the rite by imitating the degraded ministers of Cybele. Luther writes, Allusit ad circumcisionem, q. d. cogunt vos circumcidi utinam ipsi funditus et radicitus excindantur. Such is the view of all the Greek fathers, of Jerome, Ambrosiaster, Augustine, and of Winer, Matthies, Schott, Olshausen, Usteri, De Wette, Hilgenfeld, Alford, Ewald, Jowett, and Prof. Lightfoot. It is needless to apologize for the apostle's words, as springing either from Judaicus furor, as Jerome says, or, as he further hints, from human frailty, since the apostle was a man adhuc vasculo clausus infirmo. Nor does it serve any purpose to call the imprecation simply prophetic (Pareus) or ecstatic (Calvin). It is a bitter sarcasm on the fanatical fondness for circumcision, and the extravagant estimate of its value, which these Judaistic zealots cherished, and which they were putting into prominence with persistent vehemence-a scornful and contemptuous estimate of the men, and of the mere mutilation for which they had such a passion.


Verse 13

Galatians 5:13. ῾υμεῖς γὰρ ἐπ᾿ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἐκλήθητε, ἀδελφοί—“For ye for your part were called to liberty, brethren”- ὑμεῖς being emphatic from its position. γάρ is “not merely a particle of transition” (Brown); nor is it to be referred to a more remote sentiment—“Let them not revolutionize you, for ye were called to freedom” (Webster and Wilkinson); nor is it connected with ὄφελον—“Would that the offence of the cross were done away; would that the Jews no longer rejected the doctrine that the law cannot justify, for ye were called” (Bagge). Gwynne needlessly throws the connection back to the last verse of the previous chapter. But γάρ refers back to the immediately preceding statement, and is a justification of the strong and indignant feeling expressed against the Judaizers, since they were fighting against the very freedom into which they had been called. Some difficulty about the meaning and reference of γάρ seems to have suggested the alteration into δέ, as in F, G, and in Chrysostom. The ἐπί expresses the object or design of the verb-called that you might be free. 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Ephesians 2:10; Xenophon, Anab. 7.6, 3; Winer, § 48, c; Jelf, 634, 3. It is the state for which, or for the permanent enjoyment of which, they had been called. To a state of liberty, permanent and unvarying, had they been summoned-freedom from that legal yoke under which the reactionists would bind them, and from which they had been delivered so wholly that they were under no obligation to conform either occasionally or partially, for such conformity impaired the breadth and fulness of their liberty. Law and its bondage were in direct antagonism to faith and its freedom. For κλῆσις, see under Galatians 1:6, Ephesians 4:1. And he names them “brethren,” in affectionate counsel. Possibly ἐκλήθητε here was suggested by the previous phrase, ἐκ τοῦ καλοῦντος: the persuasion to bow to the servitude of the law did not come from Him who called them to freedom. But he adds the salutary caution-

΄όνον μὴ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν εἰς ἀφορμὴν τῇ σαρκί—“only turn not your liberty into an occasion for the flesh.” The ellipse is emphatic in its conciseness. F, G supply δῶτε after σαρκί; and so Jerome and the Vulgate, detis. Meyer proposes τρέπετε, De Wette τρέψητε, and Hofmann ἔχετε. The want of a verb in similar cases with μή is not uncommon. Winer, § 64, 6; Matthew 26:5; Sophocles, Antig. 577; Klotz-Devarius, 2.669; Hartung, 2.153. Some versions get out of the difficulty by recurring to the nominative. Thus the Syriac—“Only let not your liberty be for an occasion to the flesh;” and similarly Tyndale and the Genevan. The noun ἀφορμή signifies in martial phrase, a base of operations, as in Thucydides, 1:90; then a starting-point, an occasion or opportunity-with λαμβάνειν to take it, or with διδόναι to afford it. The dative σαρκί is that of dativus commodi-the flesh taking advantage of the occasion. Romans 7:8; Romans 7:11; 2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 11:12; 1 Timothy 5:14. The σάρξ is man's unrenewed nature,-not simply his corporeal organism with its passions and appetites, but his whole nature ethically viewed as under the dominion of sin-sense and selfishness. See under Galatians 5:19, and under Ephesians 2:3. See also Wieseler's long note. They had been exhorted to stand fast in the liberty, but they are specially cautioned not to abuse it. They were to be on their guard against antinomian licentiousness; for, though they were not under the law as a means of justification, they were still under it as their rule of life. The probable reference, as the succeeding context hints, is to whatever is opposed to the mutual service of love enjoined in the next clause,-perhaps that selfishness and self-importance which some among them seem to have cherished,-and to their contemptuous disregard for such as had not arrived at their cherished independence. The making freedom an occasion for the flesh is an extravagance which has been often witnessed; as with the German Anabaptists in the peasant wars of the days of Luther, and among the Fifth Monarchy men of the English Puritans. In the quaint words of a recent Irish theologian, “If the devil cannot stop the coach, he mounts the box and drives.” Compare Romans 6, Judges 1:4.

᾿αλλὰ διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης δουλεύετε ἀλλήλοις—“but by love be in bondage to,” or “be serving, one another.” A different reading, τῇ ἀγάπῃ τοῦ πνεύματος, is found in D, F, 31, in the Claromontane, Vulgate, Gothic, and Coptic versions; but it is evidently an emendation, or an attempt to express a contrast to σαρκί. The article τῆς emphasizes the love as possessed and manifested by them, and διά points it out as the instrument of this mutual service. While there was ἐλευθερία, there was also to be δουλεία; not that of fear, as under the law, but that which springs from a faith working by love. Mutual service in their spiritual freedom was to be the result of mutual love, each serving and being served in turn,-a result which could not be obtained if they remained apart in cold and haughty isolation. Comp. Romans 16:8; Romans 16:22; 1 Corinthians 9:19; 1 Peter 2:16; 2 Peter 2:19. The law had occasioned no little disputation among them, was the source out of which had sprung those factious alienations; and yet what is the spirit of that very law? Is it not as follows?


Verse 14

Galatians 5:14. ῾ο γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται—“For the whole law has been fulfilled in one word.” Codices K and L have λόγος instead of νόμος-an evident blunder. D1 and F prefix ἐν ὑμῖν to ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ-a plain interpolation; Tertullian has in vobis. Marcion, as quoted by Epiphanius, substituted ὑμῖν for ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ, and he seems to have read the verse thus: ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ὑμῖν πεπλήρωται; thus out of enmity against the Mosaic law, as some alleged, altering the apostle's meaning, and omitting ἐν τῷ that the following clause might not seem to be a quotation.

The reading πεπλήρωται is found in A, B, C, א, 17, 21, 23, 37, 39-71, in Marcion as quoted by Epiphanius, in Tertullian against Marcion, in Damascenus, and Augustine, who, however, often reads impletur. The reading is adopted by Lachmann and Tischendorf. πληροῦται of the Received Text has in its favour D, F, K, L, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and many of the versions, as the Claromontane and Vulgate, the Gothic, Coptic, and Syriac. It is also advocated by Reiche at some length. The external testimony for πληροῦται is not however preponderant, and it is impaired by the suspicion which Meyer alleges, that the mechanical copyist did not understand the full force of the perfect. The present, besides, would mean that the process of fulfilment was still going on; whereas the perfect signifies, has been and is still fulfilled, is in a fulfilled state, or has received its full complement of obedience in this: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” A. Buttmann, p. 172.

The position of the words ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος is peculiar, but not without example: Acts 20:18; 1 Timothy 1:16. In γάρ the connection is manifest: by their love they were to be serving one another, and for this reason, that love by divine appointment was the fulfilment of the law. The phrase ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ means, in this one utterance or precept- πᾶς and ἑνί being in contrast. But,

1. The notion attached by Grotius to πληροῦται is peculiar: The law is filled up, or is fulfilled-sicut rudimenta implentur per doctrinam perfectiorem. That is, the law itself gets an addition which perfects it. But the apostle is not speaking of the law as a code which may receive any enlargement, but of the obedience which it exacts. How could the Mosaic law be made perfect by the addition of one of its own precepts, and how could πᾶς stand in such a statement as Grotius supposes?

2. Not a few give πεπλήρωται the meaning of-is summed up, comprehenditur, like ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται in Romans 13:9. This is the view of Luther, Calvin, Borger, Jaspis, Winer, Usteri, Reiche, and Olshausen. But though the meaning of the two phrases be not dissimilar, still the verb before us will not bear the signification thus assigned to it. Its proper meaning is distinctly to be given it, as other clauses of the New Testament show. So that we prefer-

3. The interpretation which gives the verb its common signification; and such is the view of Chrysostom and his followers, of Rückert, Matthies, Schott, De Wette, Meyer, Baumgarten-Crusius, and Wieseler. Thus Matthew 3:15, Romans 8:4, Colossians 4:17, Galatians 6:2, Acts 13:25, Romans 13:8. See under next clause.

The apostle adds-

᾿εν τῷ, ᾿αγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν—“is fulfilled in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The repetitive words ἐν τῷ are omitted by D1, F, the Itala and Vulgate, by Marcion, and many of the Latin fathers, as Jerome and Pelagius, but without any ground. σεαυτόν has the authority of A, B, C, D, E, K, א, etc.; ἑαυτόν is read only in F, G, L, and many cursives. It is, however, defended by Meyer, but now abandoned by Tischendorf. It is true that ἑαυτόν does not change the sense, for it may be used in the second person: Winer, § 22, 5; Matthew 3:9; John 12:8; Acts 13:46; Philippians 2:12; A. Buttmann, p. 99. But the external authority for σεαυτόν preponderates, and the accidental dropping of a σ after ὡς, ending with the same letter, may have given rise to the variation.

The quotation is from Leviticus 19:18, תּ לְרֵעֲךָָכָּ־מוֹךָà וַָאהַבְ, ָ translated in Septuagint as it is found here: “And thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The future for the imperative is common in Hebrew. Thiersch, De Pent. p. 156, etc. The meaning of πλησίον in the quotation is somewhat different from the original, where it denotes brother Jews. Here its reference seems specially to fellow-Christians, and generally to fellow-men. See Augustine, De Doct. Christ. 1.31. The question, “Who is my neighbour?” was in its wide sense answered by Christ in the parable of the good Samaritan; and that answer is, Every one needing thy help, be his blood or creed what it may, is thy neighbour.

1. But what is meant by loving one's neighbour as one's self? It does not mean with the same amount, but with the same kind of love,-which realizes or acts out the spirit of brotherhood,-which seeks for a neighbour what you seek for yourself, and feels his welfare involved in your own. According to Gwynne, it comprises both “manner and degree.”

2. But how does this love of a neighbour fulfil the law? And the first question then is, What is the law referred to? Some, as Koppe, Brown, and Gwynne, suppose it the law of Christ; others, as Beza and Locke, the second table of the law; others, as Schöttgen and Rückert, the divine law generally; others only the moral law, as Estius and Baumgarten-Crusius; others, as Macknight, hold that “the whole law” signifies those parts of the Mosaic law which enjoined men's duty to their neighbour; and similarly Turner. It seems a certain and necessary conclusion, that the whole law is that very law to which the apostle has referred so often in a variety of aspects. In what other sense could those who had heard the epistle read understand it? What is said is true of the Mosaic law in itself, and as a representative portion of God's great legislation. Secondly, the difficulty yet remains, how loving one's neighbour fulfils the whole law? Did the whole law mean only the whole law in reference to our neighbour, it would be easily understood. Love of neighbour would fulfil it in its various precepts; for what but the want of love, what but selfishness, leads any one to kill, or commit adultery, or steal, or perjure himself, or covet? If he loved his neighbour as himself, no such breaches of the divine code would be possible for him-murder would be to him as suicide, and false witness like self-crimination. The great Teacher has said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30. But if one obeys the second commandment, which is “like unto” the first, he also obeys the first. For right love of neighbour implies the love of God, and is one of its tests or visible fruits. “If he love not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” No one can love his neighbour with the prescribed measure and character of love, unless he love God; for that neighbour is loved because he is God's child and bears His image. The love of the child presupposes as its root the love of the All-Father; obedience to the second commandment depends upon and comprises obedience to the first; and therefore love, in its inner spring, essence, and motive, fulfils the law. Disputes about that law were apparently running high among the Galatians, and were creating alienation, schism, and hatred; and yet the spirit of that law is love, showing itself in mutual service. Thus the apostle says, He who loves his neighbour νόμον πεπλήρωκε; and again, πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη—“love is the fulfilment of the law.” Romans 13:8; Romans 13:10. And this is the royal law. James 2:8. Calvin says “that the doctors of the Sorbonne argued, that as the rule is superior to what it directs, so the love of ourselves must always hold the first rank.” This, he affirms, is not to interpret but to subvert our Lord's words, adding-asini sunt qui ne micam quidem habent caritatis.


Verse 15

Galatians 5:15. The apostle enforces these thoughts by the emphatic warning-

εἰ δὲ ἀλλήλους δάκνετε καὶ κατεσθίετε—“But if one another ye bite and devour.” The image is taken from the preying of wild beasts. The first verb δάκνω-used literally, Xen. Anab. 3.2-is employed in this tropical sense in Arrian's Epict. 2.22. It means more than to vex or thwart (Robinson); it is to inflict deep piercing spiritual wounds-to lacerate character and feeling. A similar figure occurs in Psalms 27:2; and Horace has dente mordeor invido: Carmina, 4.3. The second verb denotes an action consequent upon the first. The animal bites, and then devours. The idiom is different in Greek and English: the first is, “to eat down,” “to eat up.” The verb-used literally of animals, Matthew 13:4, etc.; and of the action of fire, Revelation 11:5 -signifies here the utter spiritual waste which animosity creates and hurries on. Not content with wounding others, it would trample them and spoil them in its voracity and rage. 2 Corinthians 11:20. Both Cyprian and Marian. Victor have for the second verb, accusatis. Chrysostom says: “To bite is to satisfy a feeling of anger, but to devour is a proof of extreme savagism- θηριωδίας ἐσχάτης.” And the caution is added-

βλέπετε μὴ ὑπὸ ἀλλήλων ἀναλωθῆτε—“see that by one another ye be not consumed;” the emphasis lying on ἀλλήλων-a reciprocal pronoun, realizing vividly the scene or object of the action, and in contrast to the previous clause—“serving one another in love.” βλέπετε is followed as often by μή and the subjunctive aorist. Winer, § 56; Gayler, 323. ᾿αναλίσκω, which appears to be climactic after δάκνετε and κατεσθίετε, is often used of killing or destroying. 2 Maccabees 2:10; AEschylus, Agam. 570, τί τοὺς ἀναλωθέντας ἐν ψήφῳ λέγειν; Thucydides, 8:65. It is also employed in the sense of spending or squandering money, and thereby exhausting it. Here it pictures spiritual devastation and wreck, when, in consequence of brawling and contention, the spiritual life should go out, and the community itself be broken up and ended. Mutual destruction is the natural result of fierce mutual quarrel. Neither gains the victory-both perish. Koppe refers the result cautioned against to the interference of the Roman magistrates, who might interdict their religion; and Grotius points to it as a divine judgment. Both opinions are contrary to the verse and context.


Verse 16

Galatians 5:16. λέγω δέ, πνεύματι περιπατεῖτε—“Now I say, According to the Spirit walk.” The first words are a formula introducing a further explanation, and refer back to the first part of Galatians 5:13 - εἰς ἀφορμὴν τῇ σαρκί; the intervening verses being suggested by the last clause of the same verse- διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης. . . δέ is not merely continuative, but points to the difference of theme. Had the apostle referred, as Gwynne supposes, to the immediately preceding verse, and merely proceeded with a specific and opposed injunction, λέγω would have been superfluous. It always introduces continued explanation: Galatians 3:17, Galatians 4:1. For περιπατεῖτε, see under Ephesians 2:2. The dative πνεύματι is that of norm- κατὰ πνεῦμα, Romans 8:4 (Meyer, Usteri)-indicating the rule or manner. Winer, § 31, 6; Galatians 3:17; Romans 4:12; Philippians 3:16. Fritzsche regards it as the dativus commodi (on Romans 13:13), because in such a verb as the one occurring in this clause, nulla notionis eundi ratio habetur; and Hofmann similarly refers it to the power of the Spirit, like πνεύματι ζῆν. Wieseler takes it as instrument, the Spirit being the path in which they walk. Similarly Gywnne—“the Spirit, the agent, being regarded as the instrument.” πνεῦμα is the Holy Spirit; for it is the same Spirit that is spoken of in Galatians 5:18; Galatians 5:22, and therefore is not the spiritual part of our nature, nor the human spirit in unity with the Divine Spirit (Beza, Rückert, De Wette, Schott, Olshausen, and Brown); some epithet or addition would need to be added to the simple πνεῦμα to give it such a meaning. Nor can the phrase be diluted into “after a spiritual manner” (Peile, and Theodoret who calls it ἐνοικοῦσαν χάριν). The want of the article does not forbid the reference to the Holy Spirit; for πνεῦμα came at length to be treated as a proper name. See under Ephesians 1:17.

Their whole course of life in thought and act, in all its manifestations, was to be in the Spirit who is the source of all good and gracious impulse. He is within believers the living, ennobling, and sanctifying power; and susceptibility of influence-of check and guidance-from Him, in all points of daily life, was to characterize them-

καὶ ἐπιθυμίαν σαρκὸς οὐ μὴ τελέσητε—“and (so) ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” This translation is accepted by perhaps the majority of expositors. The clause is a conclusion following an imperative-do the one, and the other shall follow; the καί being consecutive. Winer, § 53, 3; Matthew 22:32; Luke 6:37; 2 Corinthians 13:11. See under Philippians 4:7. The double negative οὐ μή is intensive, as if it were μηδαμῶς. Lobeck, Phrynichus, p. 724; Winer, § 56, 3. See under Galatians 4:30. The aorist subjunctive is often employed in such negative utterances, especially in later Greek. Donaldson, Cratyl. 394; Krüger, § 53, 7, An. 6.

But another rendering has been adopted, and the verb is taken as an imperative—“and fulfil not the lust of the flesh;” the verse consisting in this case of an affirmative and a negative imperative connected by the simple copula. This is the view of Castalio, Beza, Koppe, Usteri, Baumgarten-Crusius, Ewald, and Meyer. The verb may indeed be taken in an imperative sense, there being apparently similar instances of such an imperative use of the second person subjunctive, and the aorist subjunctive being abundantly used in later Greek for the future. Gayler has given many examples from the classics, and a table of them from the Sept., p. 440, 1, etc. But there is no clear example of this construction in the New Testament, and there is often difference of reading in such cases as here. D3, E have οὐ μὴ τελέσετε, as if from the Latin versions, which give non perficietis. The context following plainly presupposes an assertion made, not a prohibitive command given, and assigns the reason for making it: If ye walk by the Spirit, ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh; for the two courses are incompatible-the one excludes the other. It is questionable if the use of τελεῖν will bear out the inference of Calvin—“The spiritual man may be often assaulted by the lusts of the flesh, but he does not fulfil them.” See the use of ποιεῖν in John 8:44, Ephesians 2:3, compared with Romans 2:27, James 2:8. For σάρξ, see under Ephesians 2:3; Delitzsch, Bib. Psychol. 5.6, die unaufgehobene Antinomie; Müller, die Christ. Lehre von der Sünde, vol. i. p. 442, etc.


Verse 17

Galatians 5:17. ῾η γὰρ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα κατὰ τῆς σαρκός—“For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.” The reason or ground of the previous statement is assigned- γάρ. The flesh and spirit are powers in one and the same person. The same verb ἐπιθυμεῖ, as a vox media, is used of both, to mark the reflex antagonism. There is no zeugma (Bengel), and no similar verb needs to be supplied, as is done by Prof. Lightfoot. The verb is often followed by the genitive, accusative, or infinitive; but here by κατά, as marking the direction of the ἐπιθυμία,-a hostile direction being implied- Matthew 10:35; Matthew 27:1; Acts 6:13; 1 Corinthians 4:6, etc.-though not overtly stated, as by ἀντί. The flesh longs and wrestles for its former predominance; it is ever in the position of lusting against the spirit, and the spirit is always and unweariedly beating back and resisting the impulses and yearnings of the flesh. According to Meyer, Wieseler, and others, it is wholly or partially wrong to compare this mutual struggle with that depicted in Romans 7 which in their opinion characterizes the unrenewed, as in such the struggle is between σάρξ and νοῦς. See Hodge in loc. Flesh and the spirit are ever so opposed, that to walk by the spirit is to preclude the fulfilment of the lust of the flesh. This inner warfare is not unknown to classical writers; it is in some aspects a matter of daily experience with all men. Euripides, Medea, 1077; Arrian, Epictetus, 2.26; Xenophon, Cyro. 6.1, 41; Cicero, Tusc. 2.21; Ovid, Metam. 7.19; Seneca, Ep. 25. See Wetstein in loc. and Schoettgen, vol. i. p. 1178.

ταῦτα γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντίκειται—“for these are opposed the one to the other.” The order of the Received Text is found only in K, L, א, some versions and fathers. But its δέ is supported by A, C, D3, K, L, א3, etc., and is accepted by Tischendorf, 7th ed.; while γάρ is found in B, D1, F, א1, the Latin versions and fathers, and is preferred by Lachmann. The evidence is pretty fairly balanced. But it may be said on one side, δέ may have been inserted by copyists to avoid the repetition of γάρ; on the other, that γάρ was inserted to prevent the repetition of δέ. The recurrence of δέ, however, would not be so strongly felt as that of γάρ, and would less likely lead to change; moreover, γάρ repeated is a characteristic of the apostle's style. Were the sentence a repetition of the preceding, δέ, as De Wette argues, would be the more appropriate; but it explains, or rather assigns a reason for the reciprocal hostility—“for they are contrary the one to the other.” The pronoun ταῦτα is not the τὸ ἐπιθυμεῖν τὴν σάρκα τὸ πνεῦμα (Baumgarten-Crusius, Gwynne), a mere truism, but πνεῦμα and σάρξ themselves. They maintain this reflex warfare, and they cannot coalesce, for they are contrary the one to the other. There is no use in making the clause an explanatory paraphrase (Rückert and Schott), and giving it this sense—“for they are in their nature opposed to one another.” But there is at the same time no tautology, and the apostle is describing an actual contest.

῞ινα μὴ ἃ ἂν θέλητε ταῦτα ποιῆτε—“that ye may not do those things whatsoever ye may wish.” For the use of ἄν, see Winer, § 42, 3, b; Kühner, § 428, a. ῞ινα is not to be explained ecbatically, or as denoting simply event- ὥστε μή, as in our version, “so that,” and by Luther, Usteri, Baumgarten-Crusius, De Wette, Bisping, Brown, Gwynne, Prof. Lightfoot, and several others. The conjunction is therefore to be taken in its full telic force-the constant mutual contest has this in view- ἵνα. The emphatic ἀλλήλοις of the previous clause governs the interpretation. On either side is the will influenced and counteracted. It is therefore one-sided, on the one part, to give this meaning only in reference to the second clause of the verse; that is, by the struggle of the spirit ye may not do what things your fleshly will would prompt you to do. Such is the view of Chrysostom—“that you may not permit the soul to proceed in its evil desires.” He is followed by Theodoret, OEcumenius in one of his explanations, Grotius, Beza, Bull, Neander. Though θέλω may refer to the carnal will in John 8:44 and in 1 Timothy 5:11, there is no reason to impose such a sense upon it in this place. Dr. Brown, in vindication of the same view, argues that the clause is an illustration of the statement, “If they walked by the spirit, they would not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.” But this is to forget the vital connection of the two clauses. Bagge holds the same view, adding, “How any other sense than this is to be extracted from the words of the apostle, I do not comprehend.” And it is as one-sided, on the other part, to give the opposite meaning in sole reference to the first clause of the verse; that is, that by the struggle of the flesh ye may not do what the spirit prompts you to do. Such is the opinion of Luther, Calvin, Estius, Usteri, Schott, De Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bisping, and virtually Prof. Lightfoot. θέλω points indeed, in Romans 7:15, etc., which Lightfoot calls “the parallel passage,” to the will in its direction toward good, as the context very plainly shows; but there is no such contextual guidance found in this place. Both these interpretations are therefore wrong; for the words are used of actual contest, not of decided mastery on either side. The phrase ἀλλήλοις ἀντίκειται describes not only actual antagonism, but undecided result. It is true in the case of all who are born again, that the conflict ends in the victory of the spirit; but the apostle here does not include the issue, he speaks only of the contest. So that the exegesis is preferable which includes both sides of the statement: “The spirit wrestles against your doing the things which ye would on the impulse of the flesh, and the flesh struggles against your doing the things which ye would on the impulse of the spirit.” In this case no inferred ethical notion is attached to θέλητε, and the clause describes the nature of the contest between the flesh and the spirit. Thus OEcumenius in one of his interpretations, Bengel, Meyer, and Winer, who has, scil. τὸ πν. impedit vos quo minus perficiatis τὰ τῆς σαρκός, contra ἡ σάρξ adversatur vobis ubi τὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, peragere studetis. The idea of Wieseler is somewhat different, and amounts to this, that the man does not do the thing, τοῦτο, which in each particular case he would do. If he wills to do good, he cannot do it; if he wills to do evil, he cannot do it: whatever he does is in opposition to his will. But this view is too precise and definite for the more general picture which the apostle presents. Hofmann's notion is, that the object of the willing is not to be thought of, whether good, or bad, or both; but that, while the contest lasts, your deed is not one of your self-willing, and that when the contest ends, you come to peace when you walk by the Spirit of God. This is true; but it is rather an inference from the statement than a reproduction of the statement itself. The apostle depicts the inner warfare of renewed men, especially in the earlier stages of faith, when the old nature has not been beaten back and conquered, and the new nature has not risen up to the fulness of mastery-when the feebleness of a partial sanctification is unable to work out its purposes, through the many temptations and hindrances yet lurking in the heart. He states a general principle which every one acknowledges as verified in his own experience. The soul in which dwells the Spirit of God is unable to realize its own ideal on the one hand, though it is still approaching it; and on the other hand, it is kept not from sinning, but from falling into many sins to which the power of former habit most especially exposes it. The Galatians were in such a distressing condition at that moment, recurring at the same time to carnal ordinances instead of giving His own place and pre-eminence to the Spirit; going back from their higher experiences to lower and legal institutions. See under Galatians 3:3. Gwynne says somewhat inconsistently, that the experience of Galatians 5:17 is not “of the regenerate character;” but in whom else than a regenerate man does the Spirit of God so dwell? He admits that the experience of the persons spoken of, though it do not belong to the regenerate character, may apply to such as are “babes in Christ;” but the “babe” is surely the child of the new birth.


Verse 18

Galatians 5:18. εἰ δὲ πνεύματι ἄγεσθε, οὐκ ἐστὲ ὑπὸ νόμον—“But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” δέ introducing a new and contrasted thought: in opposition to this fluctuation of purpose and impotence of will—“but.” The dative πνεύματι is that of instrument. Winer, § 31, 7; Krüger, § 48, 6, p. 286; Romans 8:14; in another aspect, 2 Timothy 3:6. To be led by the Spirit, in the full sense of it, is to be under His benign and powerful influence in all thoughts, aspirations, and acts,-to be yielded up to His government without reserve,-to have no will without His prompting it, no purpose without His shaping it,-is to be everywhere and in all things in willing submission to His control, and always guarding against any insubordination which may “grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” When men are in this condition, it is true of them—“Ye are not under the law;” not, ye will not be as a result, but “ye are”-a parallel condition. To be led by the Spirit is much the same as to walk by the Spirit, Galatians 5:16. In what sense are those led by the Spirit not under the law?

Not, 1. Because you have no need of it-the opinion of Rückert, Matthies, Schott;- οὐ δεῖται τῆς ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου βοηθείας, τίς χρεία νόμου; (Chrysostom). This idea is not in the full extent of it warranted by anything in the context.

Nor, 2. Because the law is something foreign-an alien principle; for the law of the Spirit is engraven in his heart (Usteri). This is not fully found in the context. Nor is it,

3. Because the law finds in you nothing to forbid or condemn (Meyer, Wieseler, Ellicott). This is a strong statement, and one that actual experience does not verify. If the apostle be supposed to describe an ideal state, in which no element of the flesh had any power, and in which the whole man was under the willing, unresisted government of the Spirit, the statement would be true; for in a perfect saint the law would “have nothing to forbid, because nothing forbidden is desired, and nothing to be condemned, because nothing condemnable is done” (Windischmann). So far, indeed, as a man is guided by the Spirit, so far the law has nothing to condemn in him,-the law cannot be against the fruits of the Spirit. But the apostle is not describing what might be, or what ought to be, but what is. But,

4. As to be under law is to be under its authority, to be in bondage to it, so not to be under it is to be freed from its yoke-terrente, premente, vindicante (Estius, Lightfoot, Hofmann). The Galatians were putting themselves again in subjection to law, and ignoring the free government of the Spirit. To be led by the Spirit is incompatible with being under the law. See the beginning of chap. iii. To be under the law is thus to acknowledge its claim, and to seek to obey it in hope of meriting eternal life; but the believer dies to the law, and rises into “newness of life,”-is influenced by the Spirit of God as a guiding power within him; and “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” According to Rückert and Schott, one might expect the apostle to say, If ye are led by the Spirit, perficietis quod tanquam πνευματικοί volueritis. It serves no purpose to make the verse a parenthesis (Koppe, Flatt). The σάρξ and νόμος are placed under the same category. In the former verse it was flesh and spirit, here it is spirit and law. For the flesh is in subjection to the law, and the law condemns it. All about it is under the law, which at the same time, so far from checking or subduing, only irritates it, and helps it to develop its worst manifestations. See under Galatians 3:19. The law is helpless for its deliverance. In this special case believers in Christ entered into a new dispensation, the special characteristic of which was the Spirit, according to Christ's promise; and all who possessed His gracious influences were no longer under the law-a ministration of death, but had come into the possession of spiritual power and freedom,-their will, moved by a higher will, was growing able to realize its own purposes. Or, more generally, believers pass out of the dominion of law-mere law, having died to it; their hearts filled by the Spirit of God are under the government of a new principle. In this sense the law does not condemn them, as they are forgiven, and obedience to it is not the condition of their forgiveness; for there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” Nor are they under the law in regard to their sanctification: as long as they were under it, they were disobeying it, and were slavishly struggling to escape its penalty. Not that they allow themselves to act contrary to it, but a higher power legislates within them, able at the same time to ensure obedience to its edicts,-that obedience being not a servile submission to law, but a willing conformity to the example of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. They are not under the law to command them sternly; they are guided and influenced by the Spirit of God-a divine law, an enshrined authority within them. There is in these statements no antinomianism, or “going on in sin that grace may abound.” The Spirit by whom we are led is the Spirit of holiness, and the flesh is crucified. The difference is as between formal law in outer statute, cold and dead as the tables of stone on which it was engraved, and a law within, a living power, fulfilling itself in love, and gradually working out a universal compliance; for “sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law, but under grace,” and Christ is Sanctification as well as Righteousness. οὐ νόμῳ ἀπειλοῦντι δούλοις, πνεύματι δὲ τῷ ἄγοντι τέκνα θεοῦ. Cramer's Catena in loc. Luther writes, “When I was a monk, I thought by and by that I was utterly cast away, if at any time I felt the lust of the flesh, if I felt any evil emotion. If at that time I had rightly understood those sentences of Paul, I should not have so miserably tormented myself, but should have thought and said to myself, as I commonly now do-Martin, thou shalt not utterly be without sin, for thou hast flesh; thou shalt therefore feel the battle thereof. Despair not, therefore, but resist it strongly.”


Verse 19

Galatians 5:19. φανερὰ δέ ἐστιν τὰ ἔργα τῆς σαρκός—“Now manifest are the works of the flesh;”- φανερά having the stress upon it, yet not so as to mean that the works of the flesh are so open that one led by the Spirit does not first need the teaching of the law about them-what to do, what to refrain from, in reference to them (Hofmann). Meyer connects this clause with the one before it, and as a closer explanation of “ye are not under the law”-to show what the sinful principle produces when the Holy Spirit does not lead men; and Ellicott more distinctly calls it “the open difference between the works of the flesh against which the law is ordained, and the fruits of the Spirit.” Probably this is too narrow a connection. The flesh is spoken of in the entire short paragraph in its lusting and warrings, in contrast with the Spirit in its wrestlings and leadings. Those who are guided by the Spirit are not as such under the law; but the flesh is under law, under its sentence and dominion: manifest are its works, and the law cannot but condemn them as ἔργα-works-done by the evil and unrenewed nature. It is needless to press a contrast in φανερά with the fruit of the Spirit as being more hidden, and as needing to be educed and specified. The works of the flesh are notorious, and notoriously of a corrupt origin. σάρξ is, very plainly, greatly more than the sensual part of fallen nature, for many of these ἔργα are intellectual or spiritual in nature. See under Ephesians 2:3, and under Galatians 5:16. The apostle proceeds to give a specimen catalogue-

῞ατινά ἐστι—“of which class are”-qualia sunt (Jelf, 816, 5), or less likely, quippe quae (De Wette). They are sins no doubt very common in the Gentile world, and characterized the Galatian people. Thomas Aquinas well says-cum apostolus in diversis locis diversa vitia et diversimode enumerat, non intendit enumerare omnia vitia ordinate et secundum artem, sed illa tantum in quibus abundant et in quibus excedunt illi, ad quos scribit.

The Received Text begins with μοιχεία, on the authority of D, F, K, L, א3, the Claromontane Latin, the Gothic, the Phil., Syriac, and many of the Greek and Latin fathers; while F, G make it plural, with several of the following words, as does Origen. But the preferable reading omits the word, as in A, B, C, א1, 17, Vul., Cop., etc. Probably the insertion was a reminiscence of Matthew 15:19, Mark 7:21.

πορνεία—“fornication.” 2 Corinthians 12:21. Scarcely reckoned a sin in heathen opinion.

᾿ακαθαρσία—“uncleanness,” “impurity,” including unnatural lusts, so common in Greece and the East. See Döllinger's The Gentile and the Jew, vol. 1.377-431; vol. 2.197, 238, 273, etc., Eng. trans.

᾿ασέλγεια—“lasciviousness”-probably from - θέλγω. Mark 7:22; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:19. Donaldson derives it from a and σαλαγ., foulness. Benfey (Wurzellexicon, sub voce) proposes another derivation: from ἀσ., satiety, and ἀλγ. ἄλγος, die Sucht. Suidas takes it from a, and σέλγη, a Pisidian town of notorious debauchery. It is defined in the Etymologicum Magnum as ἑτοιμότης πρὸς πᾶσαν ἡδονήν. That it did not signify lasciviousness always, is plain from its use by Demosthenes, where it means insolence. The blow which Meidias gave was in character with ἡ ἀσέλγεια-the outrageousness-of the man. Orat. cont. Meid. 514, p. 327, vol. i. Opera, ed. Schaefer. In a similar way, the term wantonness, which had at first a more general signification, has passed in English into the meaning of open sensuality. It is the self-asserting propensity indulged without check or regard to ordinary propriety, especially in libidinous gratification. Tittmann, De Synon. p. 81; Trench, Synon. p. 64; Wetstein in loc.


Verse 20

Galatians 5:20. εἰδωλολατρεία—“idolatry”-worship of images or false gods, not a species of the former sensualities (Olshausen), though perhaps not without reference to the idol feasts, which were often scenes of revelry and lust. 1 Corinthians 5:11. The worship of God might be mingled with that of the national divinities. Acts 15:20; compare 2 Kings 5:18. The word was also applied to various sins, as undue devotion to anything to the exclusion of the Highest. See under Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5.

φαρμακεία-not poisoning, or the use of φίλτρα (Plat. Leg. 11.12), but, from its connection with the previous sin, “sorcery,” or, as defined by Suidas, γοητεία. It is often used in this sense in the Sept.: Exodus 7:11; Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:18, Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 47:12; and in the Apocrypha: Wisdom of Solomon 12:4; Wisdom of Solomon 18:13. φάρμακον is found also in 2 Kings 9:22, and along with πορνεῖαι is ascribed to Jezebel. The words again occur twice over, Nahum 3:4, in a description of the sin and doom of Nineveh. Comp. Revelation 9:21; Revelation 18:23; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15. The term, from its association with idolatry, denotes incantation-superstitious dealings with the spirit-world. These practices were common in Asia Minor. Acts 19:18.

῎εχθραι—“hatreds”-breaches of the law of love, apt to deepen into malignity. Sept. 1 Maccabees 13:6, 2 Maccabees 4:3.

῎ερις—“strife.” Codices C, D & sup2, 3;, E, F, K, L have the plural; the singular being found A, B, D1, א, and it is preferred by Lachmann and Tischendorf. Romans 13:13. In 2 Corinthians 12:20 the three next words occur in the same order. In such strife, love by which the law is fulfilled becomes wholly lost, for it springs out of these “hatreds,” and is nursed by them.

ζῆλος. Codices C, D & sup2, 3;, K, L, א, and very many versions and fathers, have the plural; but B, D1, E ( ζήλους, a misprint, being read in F) have the singular, and it is found in several of the fathers. Amidst such variations, it is hard to say whether the singular or plural ought to be adopted. Only there was some temptation from the following plurals to change these singular forms into plural ones for the sake of uniformity. ζῆλος is used in a good sense, John 2:17, Romans 10:2, 2 Corinthians 9:2; and also among the classics: ζῆλος τῶν ἀρίστων, Lucian, Adv. Indoct. 17; ζῆλος καὶ μίμησις, Herodian, Galatians 2:4. But here it signifies rivalry, jealousy in the dark sense, mingled with envy (Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 12:20), and burning like fire: πυρὸς ζῆλος, Hebrews 10:27; Sept. ἐν πυρὶ ζήλου, Zephaniah 1:18; Zephaniah 3:8, as applied to God; also ζῆλον πικρόν, James 3:14. Trench, Syn. p. 99. See under Galatians 4:17.

θυμοί—“outbursts of anger.” The word comes from θύω, and it, according to Donaldson (Cratyl. § 471), from θε, to place, as in τίθημι, which, on the principle that “the same root may suggest contrasted ideas,” signifies also to run, as in θέειν, like “fast” in English, which means both “fixed” and “rapid.” The noun therefore means-impulse toward a thing; and in Plato, De Republica 440, it signifies the “will”—“disposition” in general, Legg. 5.731, B, though he explains it as signifying anger in the Cratylus, 419, E: θυμὸς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς θύσεως καὶ ζέσεως τῆς ψυχῆς ἔχοι ἂν τοῦτο τὸ ὄνομα. See Stallbaum's note. It is therefore more demonstrative than inimicitia hominis acerbi et iracundi, for it is excandescentia (quum bitumen et sulphur additum est, excandescet). Cato, R. R. 95. The plural θυμοί denotes here, concrete manifestations of the abstract sin. Lobeck, Soph. Ajax, p. 274, 3d ed. Similarly σοφίαι, Aristoph. Ran. 688; φιλοσοφίαι, Plato, Theaet. 172, C θάνατοι, αἵματα, etc., Bernhardy, pp. 62, 63. θυμοί are those explosions of rage that proceed from a vindictive heart and an ungovernable temper. See under Ephesians 4:31.

᾿εριθεῖαι—“caballings.” The word is not derived from ἔρις, though both may come from the root ἔρω, ἔρδω. It is allied to ἐριθεύω as δουλεία to δουλεύω. The Homeric ἔριθος is a day-labourer, one who works for hire-used of reapers and slaves, and is connected by some with ἔριον, wool. It means first of all, labour for hire, then intriguing or canvassing for office- καὶ γὰρ ἡ ἔριθεια εἴρηται ἀπὸ τῆς μισθοῦ δόσεως, Aristot. Pol. 5.2, 3; Suidas, sub voce δεκάζεσθαι. It then comes naturally to signify party-spirit,-thus Hesychius, ᾿ηριθεύετο . . . ἐφιλονείκει,-and is opposed to χρηστομαθεία in Ignat. Ep. ad Philad. § 8. In the New Testament it is opposed to ἀγάπη, Philippians 1:16-17; in James 3:14; James 3:16 it is coupled with ζῆλος as here, and as something more active and mischievous, leading to ἀκαταστασία; in Philippians 2:3, with κενοδοξία, vainglory, which often prompts to it, and as opposed to σύμψυχοι, τὸ ἓν φρονοῦντες, and to τῇ ταπεινοφροσύνῃ ἀλλήλους ἡγούμενοι ὑπερέχοντας ἑαυτῶν. It stands between θυμοὶ and καταλαλιαί in 2 Corinthians 12:20. See Romans 2:8. It is thus dark, selfish, unscrupulous intriguing, that alike sacrifices peace and truth to gain its end. See under Philippians 1:17.

διχοστασίαι—“divisions,” the decided and violent taking of a side on selfish and unyielding grounds.

αἱρέσεις—“factions,” the result of the former-divisions organized into factions, but without the ecclesiastical meaning which a Lapide, Crocius, and others assign to the term. The word is applied to the party of the Sadducees, Acts 5:17; to that of the Pharisees, Acts 15:5; to that of the Christians- τῶν ναζωραίων αἱρέσεως, Acts 24:5; and in 1 Corinthians 11:19 it is applied to parties within the church. The Judaizers were producing such results in the Galatian churches by their self-willed and bitter reactionary agitations.


Verse 21

Galatians 5:21. φθόνοι, φόνοι—“Envyings, murders.” The second term φόνοι is omitted in B, א, several cursives and fathers, Jerome; but it is found in A, C, D, F, G, K, L, majority of MSS., and in the Latin and Syriac versions. It is admitted by Lachmann, but rejected as doubtful by Tischendorf. The omission was probably owing to the similarity of sound (Gleichklang); but the paronomasia is in the apostle's style. Romans 1:29, φθόνου, φόνου; Winer, § 68; φθόνου, φόνου τε, Eurip. Troades, 770-1; Bötticher, de Paronom. Lipsiae 1828.

φθόνος-envy-is the desire to appropriate what another possesses. It has no redeeming feature about it: ἐπιεικές ἐστιν ὁ ζῆλος καὶ ἐπιεικῶν, τὸ δὲ φθονεῖν φαῦλον καὶ φαύλων, Arist. Rhet. 2.9, 10; or πρῶτον μὲν ζῆλος ἀπὸ ζήλου δὲ φθόνος, Plato, Men. 242; Trench, Synon. 1st ser. p. 99.

φόνοι—“murders”-the sudden or the deliberate sacrifice of any human life that stands in the way of self-advancement, or it may be a deed of vengeance.

΄έθαι, κῶμοι—“drunkenness, carousals.” “Drunkenessis, immesurable etyngis” (Wycliffe); “ebrieties, commessations” (Rheims); “dronkenes, glottony” (Genevan). The last Greek term is the more comprehensive one. Judith 13:15, ἐν ταῖς μέθαις αὐτοῦ. In Romans 13:13 the words are joined; also in Dio Cassius, οὐδὲν ἄλλο ἢ μέθαι τε καὶ κῶμοι, p. 272, Opera, vol. ii. ed. Bekker. The second term-in Latin comissationes-is described by Hesychius as being ἀσελγῆ ᾄσματα, πορνικά, συμπόσια, ᾠδαί. So Plato, Theaet. 173, D Herod. 1.121. See Becker's Charicles, vi., and Gallus, x. Compare Isaiah 5:11-12, Amos 6:4-6, 1 Thessalonians 5:7, 1 Peter 4:3.

And not only these sins, but-

καὶ τὰ ὅμοια τούτοις—“and such like.” Luther says-addit et iis similia quia quis omnem lernam carnalis vitae recenseat? Ed. 1519.

These works of the flesh have been often divided into four classes. Any classification or system, however, is scarcely to be expected; but each term of the catalogue may have been suggested by some law of association, especially as some of the terms are similarly arranged in other places. In the first class are sensual sins-fornication, impurity, wantonness; in the second class are sins of superstition-idolatry and sorcery; in the third class, sins of malice and social disorder-hatred, strife, jealousy, wraths, caballing, divisions, heresies, envying, murders; and in the fourth class are sins of personal excess-drunkenness and revellings. In the first class, the first term, which has a distinct meaning, may have suggested the other and allied vices-miscellaneous and grosser aspects of forbidden indulgence. The two terms of the second class are somewhat similar,-the first more precise in meaning, and the second more comprehensive-all occult dealings with the powers of evil. In the third class there is a climactic enumeration-hatreds ripening into strife; jealousy venting itself in passionate outbursts; cabals yet darker and more selfish; divisions, the result of deepening hostility; envyings quite fiendish in nature; and murders-the extreme result, and no uncommon thing in such countries, to obtain an end and consummate an intrigue by the removal of a rival. In the fourth class are first the simple term drunkenness, and the more inclusive term after it, referring either to scenes of dissipation so gay and wanton, or to orgies so gross and sensual, that they may not be described; and the terms stand each in its own prominence, unconnected by any particle,-an asyndeton common before such phrases as τὰ τοιαῦτα, οἱ ἄλλοι. Jelf, § 792, 2.

῝α προλέγω ὑμῖν, καθὼς καὶ προεῖπον—“concerning which I tell you before, as also I did foretell you.” Engl. Ver.: “as I have also told you in time past.” The καί is not in B, F, א1, nor in the Vulgate, and is bracketed by Lachmann; but it is retained on the authority of A, C, D, K, L, א4, almost all MSS., and the majority of versions. The is not governed by πράσσοντες (Olshausen, Schott), but by προλέγω, as an accusative of contents (Inhalt), and may be resolved by “was anbetrifft”-quod attinet ad ea quae. Scheuerlein, p. 55; Thucyd. 2.62, and Poppo's note. The anacoluthon and the position of the relative, used in a sense absolutely, emphasize it. John 8:54. The προ in both verbs is “beforehand”-not before they come to light (Matthies); nor does the προ in προεῖπον mean “already” (Baumgarten-Crusius), but before the event, 1 Thessalonians 3:4, or the day of retribution. He gives them a present forewarning, ere it is too late; and this was by no means the first warning he had given them—“as also I did foretell you;” that is, when he had been with them; both during his first and second sojourn, he had forewarned them as he now is writing to them. The theme of forewarning then and now was-

῞οτι οἳ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσι—“that they who are doing such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” The contents of the προλέγω are prefaced by ὅτι, and described by τὰ τοιαῦτα-such things as these-the sins referred to and all similar sins, the article τά specifying the things as a class; “de toto genere eorum qui tales sunt, usurpatur.” Kühner, Xen. Mem. 1.5, 2. The verb ποιεῖν and πράσσειν may sometimes be distinguished, as John 3:20-21; Xen. Mem. 2.9, 4; but as, with these exceptions and John 5:29, the verb occurs only in Luke and Paul, and characterizes their style, it would be wrong to lay any stress on its use. The persons described are they who are doing and continuing to do such things, and are not λυπηθέντες εἰς μετάνοιαν-they shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10. They prove by their perseverance in such practices that they are not led by the Spirit; that they are not justified through faith; that they are not children, and therefore not heirs of the promise: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. See under Ephesians 5:4. Heaven, according to the popular adage, is a prepared place for a prepared people. The kingdom of Christ exists on earth, with Him as its Head and Defence, and only those who are qualified, through a change inwrought and sustained by His Spirit, are admitted into it in its ultimate and glorious form in heaven. The inheritor of the kingdom must be brought into congenial harmony with its occupations and enjoyments. They “which do such things” prove their want of meetness “for the inheritance of the saints in light,” and therefore cannot enter it; it has no attraction for them, and they could find no enjoyment in it. See under Colossians 1:12.


Verse 22

Galatians 5:22. ῾ο δὲ καρπὸς τοῦ πνεύματος—“But the fruit of the Spirit,”-passing by δέ to this contrasted catalogue. Both ἔργα and καρπός are, as Meyer says, in themselves voces mediae, no ethical quality being essentially attached to them. Nay, we find them reversed in Sept. Proverbs 10:16, ἔργα δικαίων- καρποὶ δὲ ἀσεβῶν. Still one may suppose that the terms are here changed for good reason, inasmuch as Paul uses καρπός on the good side; and, as Ellicott remarks, even in Romans 6:21 it means, “what good result had ye in those things whereof ye are ashamed?” If, then, there be an intended distinction, what is it? Not because those graces are regarded more as feelings or dispositions than as acts (Rückert, and virtually Hofmann); nor because they are beneficent and delightful (Winer, Usteri, Schott, Alford); but because they spring out of one living root, as the singular seems also to indicate. The καρπός may show itself in ἔργα which in their collective form make up the καρπός; but here it is regarded in its unity of source and development. Its origin is “the Spirit;” not man's spirit, or the new and better mode of thinking and feeling to which men are formed by the Holy Spirit (Brown), but the Holy Spirit Himself, the Author of all spiritual good. Those who are led by the Spirit not only do not do the works of the flesh, but they bring forth the fruit of the Spirit. It is wrong and forced to seek a detailed antagonism in the two lists. The apostle's eagerness did not give him leisure to arrange such parallels or work out symmetrical antitheses.

The first of the graces is ἀγάπη—“love”-the root of all the other graces,-greater than faith and hope, for “God is Love;” love to God and all that bears his image, being the essence of the first and second tables of the law,-all the other graces being at length absorbed by it as the flower is lost in the fruit. 1 Corinthians 13; Romans 12:9.

χαρά—“joy.” Joy is based on the possession of present good, and here means that spiritual gladness which acceptance with God and change of heart produce. For it is conscious elevation of character, the cessation of the conflict in its earlier stage (Galatians 5:16-17), the opening up of a new world, and the hope of final perfection and victory. It is opposed to dulness, despondency, indifference, and all the distractions and remorses which are wrought by the works of the flesh. This joy is the spring of energy, and praise wells out of the joyful heart. Where the heart is gladness, the instinctive dialect is song. May not the joy of restoration at least equal the joy of continuous innocence? It is therefore here not merely nor prominently Mitfreude, joy in the happiness of others (Grotius, Zachariae, Stolz, Koppe, Borger, Winer, Usteri, Hofmann), nor joy as opposed to moroseness (Calvin, Michaelis), though these aspects or manifestations are not excluded. This joy is “joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17), the “joy of faith” (Philippians 1:25), “joy of the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6), “joy in the Lord” (Philippians 3:1); and the welcome addressed to the faithful servant is, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

εἰρήνη—“peace” with God primarily, and peace within them; and not simply so, but concord-peace with those around them. See under Philippians 4:7.

΄ακροθυμία—“long-suffering” (longanimitie, Rheims)-is opposed to shortness of temper- ὀξυθυμία, Eurip. Andr. 728. It enables us to bear injury without at once avenging ourselves: βραδὺς εἰς ὀργήν, James 1:19; 1 Corinthians 13:4. See under Ephesians 4:2.

χρηστότης—“kindness”-occurs in Paul's writings only, as in 2 Corinthians 6:6, where also it is joined to the previous term; in Titus 3:4, where, along with φιλανθρωπία, it is ascribed to God our Saviour; and in Romans 11:22, where, along with ἀποτομία, it is also ascribed to Him. Compare Romans 3:12; Ephesians 2:7; Colossians 3:12; Sept. Psalms 144:7; Psalms 67:11. Plato defines it as ἤθους ἀπλαστία μετ᾿ εὐλογιστίας, Defin. p. 412, E. Phavorinus also defines it as εὐσπλαγχνία, ἡ πρὸς τοὺς πέλας συνδιάθεσις, τὰ αὐτοῦ ὡς οἰκεῖα ἰδιοποιουμένη. The meaning is kindness-gentleness, affability, the benign heart and the soft answer, “the gentleness of Christ;” or a serene, loving, and sympathizing temper, the fruit of that Spirit who descended in the form of a dove upon our great Exemplar, and abode upon Him.

᾿αγαθωσύνη—“goodness.” The word is Hellenistic (Thom. Mag. p. 921), and occurs in Romans 15:14, Ephesians 5:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:11. It is difficult to distinguish it from the previous term. Jerome calls the first benignitas sive suavitas, and the second bonitas, differing from the former quia potest bonitas. esse tristior et fronte severis moribus irrugata, bene quidem facere et praestare quod poscitur. It may signify beneficence, specially Gutigkeit, (Ewald, Wieseler)-kindness in actual manifestation. 2 Chronicles 24:16; Ecclesiastes 7:15.

πίστις—“faith” (“faythfulnes,” Tyndale, Cranmer)-not simply faith in God in the theological sense (Jerome, Theophylact),-that being implied, as the Spirit dwells only in those who have faith,-nor merely fidelity or good faith (Meyer), nor veracity (Winer); but trust generally, trustfulness toward God and towards man. Confidence in God, in all His promises, and under all His dispensations; and a spirit of unsuspicious and generous confidence towards men,-not moved by doubts and jealousies, nor conjuring up possible causes of distrust, and treasuring up sad lessons from previous instances of broken plight. 1 Corinthians 13:7.

πραΰτης—“meekness.” The word-so written in A, B, C, א-is sometimes spelled πραότης, as in D, E, F, G, K, L. The last is the more Attic form (Photii Lex. 447, ed. Porson), though the other may be the earlier. Lobeck, Phryn. 403; Lipsius, Gramm. Untersuch. pp. 7, 8. See also A. Buttmann, p. 23. It is also sometimes spelled with iota subscribed in both forms, but not by Lachmann and Tischendorf. This Christian grace is universal in its operation-submission Godward, meekness manward, which seems to be its special reference. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:1, Matthew 5:5; Matthew 11:29. The meek man bears himself mildly-submissively-in all things, “like a weaned child;” neither arraigns God, nor avenges himself on man. See under Ephesians 4:2; Sirach 45:4; and the definition in Stobaeus, Flor. 1.18, p. 8, vol. i. ed. Gassford.

᾿εγκράτεια—“temperance”-self-control-the holding in of passions and appetites, distinguished by Diogenes Laertius from σωφροσύνη in that it bridles ἐπιθυμίας σφοδράς, the stronger desires. Suidas defines it as ἡ ἕξις ἀήττητος ἡδονῶν. Acts 24:25; 2 Peter 1:6; Sept. Sirach 18:30. The word is to be taken in its widest significance, and not principally in reference to sexual sin-as Origen: τὸ δεδομένον ἀπὸ θεοῦ σῶμα ἄῤῥεν τηρητέον, Comm. in Matt. vol. i. p. 369, ed. Huet. This virtue guards agáinst all sins of personal excess, and is specially opposed to drunkenness and revellings as works of the flesh.

The Cod. D1, F, the Vulgate, and Claromontane Latin, with some of the Latin fathers, but not Jerome or Augustine, add to the catalogue ἁγνεία, castitas. Indeed there are twelve terms in the Vulgate for the nine of the Greek text-patientia, modestia, castitas-as if it had read ὑπομονή and ἐπιείκεια. These fruits of the Spirit may be divided into three clusters, with three terms under each. The first three are more distinctive in character, yet of true individual experience-love, joy, peace-graces peculiar to Christianity; the next three are social in their nature, and are climactic illustrations of the command, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”-long-suffering, kindness, beneficence; and the three occurring last-trustfulness, meekness, temperance-are perhaps selected and put into contrast with opposite vices prevailing in the Galatian community.

The apostle adds-


Verse 23

Galatians 5:23. κατὰ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστιν νόμος—“Against such there is no law.” For τὰ τοιαῦτα, see under Galatians 5:21. A similar catalogue from Aristotle occurs in Stobaeus, containing χρηστότης, ἐπιείκεια, εὐγνωμοσύνη, ἐλπὶς ἀγαθή, and ending with καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα. Florileg. 1.18, p. 16, vol. i. ed. Gassford. The gender of τοιούτων is matter of dispute. Is the meaning, “against such” persons as possess the fruit of the Spirit there is no law? or is it, “against such” graces there is no law? The masculine is preferred by the Greek fathers, by Erasmus, Grotius, Bengel, Koppe, Rückert, Hofmann, and Gwynne. But there is no immediate personal reference in the context. τὰ τοιαῦτα are naturally the virtues or elements of Spirit-fruit which have now been enumerated, and all such-all like them; and they apparently correspond to the τὰ τοιαῦτα of the 21st verse: so that the neuter is rightly preferred. Those who adopt the masculine reference explain the phrase, thus: either such do not need the law, or such the law does not condemn (Rückert, Hofmann). A similar phrase is used by Aristotle: κατὰ δὲ τῶν τοιούτων οὐκ ἔστι νόμος, αὐτοὶ γάρ εἰσι νόμος, Pol. 3.13, 14, p. 83, vol. x. Opera, ed. Bekker. Similar explanations have been given with the neuter reference.

1. Some introduce a meiosis, as Beza, Estius, Flatt, and De Wette-non adversatur, sed commendat-so far is the law from forbidding such graces, that it much more bids or enjoins them.

2. Winer and Schott thus interpret: “The law is not against those virtues-it has only a negative power to restrain the outbreaks of a sinful will; but in the fruits of the Spirit there is nothing to restrain, and therefore no law exists against them.”

3. Usteri and Matthies understand it thus: “Where such virtues exist, the law is superfluous”-an inference rather than an explanation.

4. But the simplest and easiest reference and meaning are preferable—“against such there is no law,” i.e. to condemn them. Meyer takes the clause as explanatory of the latter part of Galatians 5:18 : “ye are not under the law, the law has no power over you.” Probably this may be included, but the direct meaning is, that these graces are condemned by no law; and you may say that this happens, first, from their very nature, and secondly, because, as the fruit of the Spirit, they belong to those who are led by that Spirit, and therefore are not under the law. 1 Timothy 1:9-10.


Verse 24

Galatians 5:24. οἱ δὲ τοῦ χριστοῦ [ ᾿ιησοῦb τὴν σάρκα ἐσταύρωσαν—“Now they who are Christ's crucified the flesh.” The Received Text is found in D, F, G, L, in the Latin versions, and in many of the versions and fathers. On the other hand, τοῦ χριστοῦ ᾿ιησοῦ is found in A, B, C, א(the last adding also τοῦ κυρίου, which has been erased), and in some of the versions, as the Ethiopic and Coptic, and in Cyril and Augustine. The order is indeed unusual. The testimony of these old codices is, however, of great weight. Where a similar phrase occurs, as in Acts 17:3, Ephesians 3:1, there are also various readings, as might be expected. The δέ is not resumptive of Galatians 5:18 (Bengel), nor yet of Galatians 5:16 (De Wette), nor is it for γάρ (Beza). It introduces a new or contrasted view of the subject. The works of the flesh, when the flesh is unchecked, exclude from heaven, but the fruit of the Spirit has no law against it. The Spirit indeed is lusted against by the flesh; and he adds, “now,” or “but they who belong to Christ [Jesus] crucified the flesh,” and the Spirit has therefore unresisted predominance. Hofmann also connects it closely with the previous verse, and with τοιούτων as masculine. Chrysostom inserts a question: they might object, “And who is such a man as this?” this verse being the answer to the objecting interrogation.

The genitive τοῦ χριστοῦ [ ᾿ιησοῦb is that of possession: they belong to Him as bought by Him, delivered by Him, and possessed by Him, through His Spirit producing such fruit. “Christ liveth in me.” They who are Christ's cannot but be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit, for they crucified the flesh,-not “have crucified” (Luther, Matthies, Schott), the aorist referring to an indefinite past time, when the action was done. The action is described and then dismissed (Ellicott). That the effects of the crucifixion still remained, is indeed very plain, but the aorist does not say so; it puts it only as a single and separate fact. Donaldson, p. 411. Nor does it mean quae fieri soleant-such a meaning assigned to the aorist is wrong-vulgo putatur. Wex, Soph. Antig. vol. i. p. 326. The flesh is not the flesh of Christ, as Origen and some of the fathers supposed, meaning, either because our bodies are members of Christ, and therefore one with Him, or corporea scripturae intelligentia quae nunc caro Christi appellatur; or, as jerome gives it, Crucifixit Christi carnem, qui non juxta carnem historiae militat, sed spiritum allegoriae sequitur praeviantem. The flesh was crucified once for all when they believed, and it remains dead; it has lost its living mastery through a violent and painful death. They were crucified with Christ in a somewhat different sense, when with Him and in His death they died to the law. The apostle says, “I have been crucified with Christ;” but that I includes more than the σάρξ, which was also nailed to the cross. See under Galatians 2:20. But here it is said that they crucified the flesh, their old unrenewed nature: when they believed and were converted, they inflicted death upon it. Colossians 3:5; Romans 6:6. In and through union with Christ, believers themselves die to the law and escape its penalty; but at the same time the flesh is also crucified, its supremacy is overthrown. Thus justification and sanctification are alike secured to believers through their union with Christ in His sufferings and death.

σὺν τοῖς παθήμασι καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις—“along with the passions and lusts.” See under Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:5; Romans 6:5; Romans 7:5. παθήματα, allied to πάθος, are mental states more passive in character, and ἐπιθυμίαι are desires more active in pursuit, in reference to all those spheres of forbidden gratification to which the θυμός is ever prompting. It has attached to it such epithets as κακή, Colossians 3:5, σαρκικαί, 1 Peter 2:11; and such genitives as τῆς ἀπάτης, Ephesians 4:22, φθορᾶς, 2 Peter 1:4. Trench, Synon. p. 161, 2d ser.


Verse 25

Galatians 5:25. εἰ ζῶμεν πνεύματι, πνεύματι καὶ στοιχῶμεν—“If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit also let us walk.” The ζῶμεν has the stress in the first clause, and the repeated πνεύματι has it in the second. There is no connective particle, the asyndeton making the inferential counsel based on the previous condition assumed to be true, all the more vivid.

The dative πνεύματι is not that of manner—“if we be spiritually affected.” Middleton (Greek Art. 349), who adds, “I understand it as a caution against the mischievous consequences of trusting to the all-sufficiency of faith.” But such a dilution robs both verse and context of the contrast between σάρξ and πνεύμα; the Spirit being represented, too, as the source of life, of guidance, and of all superiority to the works of the flesh.

Nor is the dative to be rendered “to the Spirit” (Prof. Lightfoot), as in the clauses τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ ἀποθανεῖν, Romans 6:2; Romans 6:11, or κυρίῳ ζῶμεν, Romans 14:6; Romans 14:8 (Fritzsche on Romans, vol. iii. p. 142); for in that case it would not differ materially in meaning from the clause which follows it as the inference,-to live to Him and to walk in Him, being only differing phases of the same relation. They are all but identical, and the one could not therefore form a ground for the other. The Spirit is plainly viewed here as having so close a connection with our life, that it forms the basis of a solemn injunction, which no one recognising such a connection would think of gainsaying.

The dative is probably instrumental (Rückert, Schott, and Hofmann), or as Meyer calls it, ablatival. Winer, § 31, 7. Thus, the first dative may be used somewhat loosely, from correspondence with the second, in an injunction so brief and distinct, and in which the very order of the words imparts point and emphasis. The second dative, as the usage of the verb indicates, is that of norm, as in Galatians 5:16. Fritzsche gives it in paraphrase: Si vitam spiritui divino debemus, ad spiritum etiam dirigamus vitam-Ad Rom. vol. iii. p. 142; A. Buttmann, p. 160, 22, b. The verb signifies to advance in order or in a row-in battle order, and hence, ethically, to walk according to rule; perhaps, from its literal meaning, having the sense of a more definite walk than the vaguer περιπατεῖν. Polyb. 28.5, 6; Sext. Empir. p. 640, ed. Bekker; Philippians 3:16; Romans 4:12; and Acts 21:24, where an explanatory participle is used instead of a dative.

The apostle announces a general maxim, and puts himself among those whom he addressed. He takes for granted that his first principle will not be disputed, that the one source of life is the Spirit; and his argument then is: If we live by the Spirit, if the flesh being crucified there springs up a new life, and if that inner life be originated and fostered by the Spirit, let our whole conduct be in harmony with the character and workings of this holy Life-giver. Should not the outer life be in unison with its inner source? Should not the fruit of the Spirit adorn him who lives by the Spirit? It would be grievous inconsistency for us to admit as an undoubted fact that we live by the Spirit, and yet to be producing the works of the flesh. Though we had the law, we could not live up to the law, the σάρξ was only irritated and condemned by it. But with this higher principle of life within us, let us walk according to His guidance and strength. He gives ability to follow His impulses, for He enjoins no duty for the performance of which He does not implant sufficient grace. Nay, if we walk by the Spirit, it then becomes an impossibility for us to fulfil the lusts of the flesh: Galatians 5:16.


Verse 26

Galatians 5:26. ΄ὴ γίνωμεθα κενόδοξοι—“Let us not become vainglorious.” The verb is to be taken with its proper significance; not vaguely, let us not be, but “let us not become”-Vulgate, efficiamur-not simus, as Beza and Calvin. Beza's dogmatic objection to efficiamur is, that men are born such by nature; but, as Meyer remarks, believers have been born again. They were in circumstances and under temptations by which they might easily become vainglorious. In the verb itself and its person, by which the apostle classes himself among them, is a spirit of mildness in rebuke and warning. κενοδοξία is glory without basis, conceit, and is defined by Suidas ματαία τις περὶ ἑαυτοῦ οἴησις. See under Philippians 2:3, where it is opposed to ταπεινοφροσύνη; Wisdom of Solomon 14:14; Polyb. 27.6-12, 39.1, 1; 2 Maccabees 5:9. This vainglory is unworthy of us. 1 Corinthians 1:31, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17. The exhortation of the apostle is general, and is not to be confined to Judaizing sympathizers on the one side (Theophylact), nor, on the other side, to those remaining true to the apostle (Olshausen)-their vainglory resting on their continued faithfulness. Quisque gloriae cupidus est . . . a vera gloria discedit (Calvin).

᾿αλλήλους προκαλούμενοι—“provoking one another”-as Chrysostom adds: εἰς φιλονεικίας καὶ ἔρεις. The verb means to invite or challenge to combat. Xen. Cyr. 1.4, 4; Diodor. Sic. 4.58; often in Homer, Il. 3.432, 6.50, 218, 285; Polyb. 1.46, 11; Wetstein in loc. Such provocation was the natural result of that vainglory against which he is warning.

᾿αλλήλοις φθονοῦντες—“envying one another.” B, G, several MSS. and Greek fathers, read ἀλλήλους, which is adopted by Lachmann and Lightfoot; but the text is supported by A, C, D, F, K, L, א, etc. The other reading may have arisen from a careless repetition of the previous ἀλλήλους. The verb φθονεῖν, which does not occur elsewhere, governs here the dative of person. There are, however, other constructions in classic writers. Kühner, § 578. The provocations referred to excited responsive envyings; the strong challenged the weak, and the weak envied them in turn. Perhaps, however, it is too precise to make such a distinction, for those even of the same party might occasionally provoke and envy one another.

The apostle in this verse “works around,” as Lightfoot observes, to the subject of Galatians 5:15. The divisions in the church were naturally destructive of brother-love, and showed themselves in those works of the flesh-hatred, strife, jealousy, angers, intrigues, divisions, separations, envyings. But against these are ranged the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, trustfulness-graces specially needed by the Galatian churches in this crisis, as they were tempted to vainglory, to challenge and envy one another; the φθονοῦντες of this verse recalling the φθόνοι of Galatians 5:21.

 


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Bibliography Information
Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:4". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/galatians-5.html.

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Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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