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. Chapter 4.

1 This is what I mean: so long as the heir is a minor, he is no better off than a slave, even though the whole estate is his; 2 he is under guardians and trustees until the date fixed by his father. 3 And so it was with us. During our minority we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe, [Or: the elements of the natural world; Or: elementary ideas belonging to this world.] 4 but when the term was completed, God sent his own Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to purchase freedom for the subjects of the law, in order that we might attain the status of sons.

6 To prove that you are sons. God has sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, crying 'Abba! Father!' 7 You are therefore no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then also by God's own act an heir.

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

8 Formerly, when you did not acknowledge God, you were the slaves of beings which in their nature are no gods. [Or: were slaves to 'gods' which in reality do not exist.] 9 But now that you do acknowledge God?or rather, now that he has acknowledged you?how can you turn back to the mean and beggarly spirits of the elements? [See note of Gal.4.3.] Why do you propose to enter their service all over again? 10 You keep special days and months and seasons and years. 11 You make me fear that all the pains I spent on you may prove to be labour lost.

12 PUT YOURSELVES in my place, my brothers, I beg you, for I have put myself in yours. It is not that you did me any wrong. 13 As you know, it was bodily illness that originally [Or: formerly; Or: on the first of my two visits.] led to my bringing you the Gospel, 14 and you resisted any temptation to show scorn or disgust at the state of my poor body; [Or: you showed neither scorn nor disgust at the trial my poor body was enduring.] you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as you might have welcomed Christ Jesus himself. 15 Have you forgotten how happy you thought yourselves in having me with you? I can say this for you: you would have torn out your very eyes, and given them to me, had that been possible! 16 And have I now made myself your enemy by being honest with you?

17 The persons I have referred to are envious of you, but not with an honest envy: [Or: paying court to you, but with honest intentions.] what they really want is to bar the door to you so that you may come to envy [Or: pay court to.] them. 18 It is always a fine thing to deserve an honest envy [Or: to be honourably wooed.] ?always, and not only when I am present with you, dear children. 19 For my children you are, and I am in travail with you over again until you take the shape of Christ. 20 I wish I could be with you now; then I could modify my tone; [Or: now, and could exchange words with you.] as it is, I am at my wits' end about you.

The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah

21 TELL ME NOW, you who are so anxious to be under law, will you not listen to what the Law says? 22 It is written there that Abraham had two sons, one by his slave and the other by his free-born wife. 23 The slave-woman's son was born in the course of nature, the free woman's through God's promise. 24 This is an allegory. The two women stand for two covenants. The one bearing children into slavery is the covenant that comes from Mount Sinai: that is Hagar. 25 Sinai is a mountain in Arabia and it represents the Jerusalem of today, for she and her children are in slavery. 26 But the heavenly Jerusalem is the free woman; she is our mother. 27 [ Is.54.1. ] For Scripture says, 'Rejoice, O barren woman who never bore child; break into a shout of joy, you who never knew a mother's pangs; for the deserted wife shall have more children than she who lives with the husband.'

28 And you, my brothers, like Isaac, are children of God's promise. 29 But just as in those days the natural-born son persecuted the spiritual son, so it is today. 30 [ Gn.21.10. ] But what does Scripture say? 'Drive out the slave-woman and her son, for the son of the slave shall not share the inheritance with the free woman's son.' 31 You see, then, my brothers, we are no slave-woman's children; our mother is the free

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