Galatians 4:4

The fulness of the time (to plhrwma tou cronou). Old word from plhrow, to fill. Here the complement of the preceding time as in Ephesians 1:10 . Some examples in the papyri in the sense of complement, to accompany. God sent forth his preexisting Son ( Philippians 2:6 ) when the time for his purpose had come like the proqesmia of verse Galatians 4:2 . Born of a woman (genomenon ek gunaiko). As all men are and so true humanity, "coming from a woman." There is, of course, no direct reference here to the Virgin Birth of Jesus, but his deity had just been affirmed by the words "his Son" (ton uion autou), so that both his deity and humanity are here stated as in Romans 1:3 . Whatever view one holds about Paul's knowledge of the Virgin Birth of Christ one must admit that Paul believed in his actual personal preexistence with God ( 2 Corinthians 8:9 ; Philippians 2:5-11 ), not a mere existence in idea. The fact of the Virgin Birth agrees perfectly with the language here. Born under the law (genomenon upo nomon). He not only became a man, but a Jew. The purpose (ina) of God thus was plainly to redeem (exagorash, as in Philippians 3:13 ) those under the law, and so under the curse. The further purpose (ina) was that we (Jew and Gentile) might receive (apolabwmen, second aorist active subjunctive of apolambanw), not get back ( Luke 15:27 ), but get from (apo) God the adoption (thn uioqesian). Late word common in the inscriptions (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 239) and occurs in the papyri also and in Diogenes Laertes, though not in LXX. Paul adopts this current term to express his idea (he alone in the N.T.) as to how God takes into his spiritual family both Jews and Gentiles who believe. See also Romans 8:15 Romans 8:23 ; Romans 9:4 ; Ephesians 1:5 . The Vulgate uses adoptio filiorum. It is a metaphor like the others above, but a very expressive one.