Galatians 4 (Lexham English Bible)

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No Longer Slaves But Sons and Heirs

1 Now I say, for as long a time [as] the heir is a child, [he is] no different from a slave, [although he]a is master of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the time set by [his] father. 3 So also we, when we were children, we were enslaved under the elemental spirits of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent out his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order that he might redeem those under the law, in order that we might receive the adoption. 6 And because you are sons, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba!b (Father!)," 7 so that you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, also an heir through God.

Do Not Be Enslaved Again

8 But at that time [when you]c did not know God, you were enslaved to the things which by nature are not gods. 9 But now, [because you] have come to know God, or rather have come to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental spirits? Do you want to be enslaved to themd all over again? 10 You carefully observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid [for] you, lest perhaps I have labored for you in vain! 12 I ask you, brothers, become like me, because I also [have become] like you. You have done me no [wrong]!

Paul’s Personal Appeal

13 But you know that because of an illness of the flesh I proclaimed the gospel to you the first time. 14 And you did not despise or disdain [what was] a trial for you in my flesh, but you welcomed me like an angel of God, like Christ Jesus. 15 So where [is] your blessing? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes [and] given [them] to me! 16 So then, have I become your enemy [by]e being truthful to you? 17 They zealously seek you, not commendably, but they want to exclude you, in order that you may seek them [zealously]. 18 But [it is] good to be sought zealously in good at all times, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My children, for whom I am having birth pains again, until Christ is formed in you! 20 But I could wish to be present with you now, and to change my tone because I am perplexed about you.

Hagar and Sarah Represent Two Covenants

21 Tell me, [you] who are wanting to be under the law, do you not understandf the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the female slave and one by the free woman. 23 But the one by the female slave was born according to human descent, and the one by the free woman through the promise, 24 which [things] are spoken allegorically, for these [women] are two covenants, one from Mount Sinai, bearing [children] for slavery, who is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is a slave with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is written, "Rejoice, O barren woman, who does not give birth to [children]; burst out and shout, [you] who do not have birth pains, because many [are] the children of the desolate [woman], even more than [those of] the one who has a husband." 28 But you, brothers, are children of the promise, just as Isaac. 29 But just as at that time the [child] born according to human descent persecuted the [child born] according to the Spirit, so also now. 30 But what does the scripture say? "Drive out the female slave and her son, for the son of the female slave will never inherit with the son"g of the free woman. 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the female slave but of the free woman.
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