Galatians 3:12

12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”a

Read Galatians 3:12 Using Other Translations

And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them."
This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”

What does Galatians 3:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Galatians 3:12

And the law is not of faith
The Arabic version adds, "but of man"; which as it is an addition to the text, so it contains false doctrine; for though the law is not of faith, yet not of man, but of God; the law does not consist of faith in Christ, nor does it require it, and that a man should live by it upon his righteousness; it is the Gospel that reveals the righteousness of Christ, and directs and encourages men to believe in him and be saved; nor does the law take any notice of a man's faith; nor has it anything to do with a man as a believer, but as a doer, in the point of justification:

but the man that doth them shall live in them;
the passage referred to, is in ( Leviticus 18:5 ) , the word "them", relates to the statutes and judgments, not of the ceremonial, but of the moral law, which are equally obligatory on Gentiles as on Jews. The Jewish doctors F24 observe on those words, that

``it is not said, priests, Levites, and Israelites, but (Mdah) , "the man"; lo, you learn from hence, that even a Gentile that studies in the law, is as an high priest:''

so that whatever man does the things contained in the law, that is, internally as well as externally, for the law is spiritual, reaches the inward part of man, and requires truth there, a conformity of heart and thought unto it, and that does them perfectly and constantly, without the least failure in matter or manner of obedience, such shall live in them and by them; the language of the law is, do this and live; so life, and the continuation of that happy natural life which Adam had in innocence, was promised to him, in case of his persisting in his obedience to the law; and so a long and prosperous life was promised to the Israelites in the land of Canaan, provided they observed the laws and statutes which were commanded them: but since eternal life is a promise made before the world began, is provided for in an everlasting covenant, is revealed in the Gospel, and is the pure gift of God's grace through Christ, it seems that it never was the will of God that it should be obtained by the works of the law; and which is a further proof that there can be no justification in the sight of God by them, see ( Galatians 3:21 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F24 T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 3. 1.
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