Galatians 4:2

Under guardians (upo epitropou). Old word from epitrepw, to commit, to intrust. So either an overseer ( Matthew 20:8 ) or one in charge of children as here. It is common as the guardian of an orphan minor. Frequent in the papyri as guardian of minors. Stewards (oikonomou). Old word for manager of a household whether freeborn or slave. See Luke 12:42 ; 1 Corinthians 4:2 . Papyri show it as manager of an estate and also as treasurer like Romans 16:23 . No example is known where this word is used of one in charge of a minor and no other where both occur together. Until the time appointed of the father (acri th proqesmia tou patro). Supply hmera (day), for proqesmio is an old adjective "appointed beforehand" (pro, qesmo, from tiqhmi). Under Roman law the tutor had charge of the child till he was fourteen when the curator took charge of him till he was twenty-five. Ramsay notes that in Graeco-Phrygia cities the same law existed except that the father in Syria appointed both tutor and curator whereas the Roman father appointed only the tutor. Burton argues plausibly that no such legal distinction is meant by Paul, but that the terms here designate two functions of one person. The point does not disturb Paul's illustration at all.