For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. Galatians 4:25-26–Commentary

Galatians 4:10-11:

10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.

Galatians is a dangerous book…(I might lose some friends and some invitations to preach!). So be it…”-Warren W. Wiersbe


COMMENTARY:

Albert Barnes – 1798 – 1870

https://www.swordsearcher.com/christian-authors/albert-barnes.html

Verse 25. For this Agar is Mount Sinai – This Hagar well represents the Law given on Mount Sinai. No one can believe that Paul meant to say that Hagar was literally Mount Sinai. A great deal of perplexity has been felt in regard to this passage, and Bentley proposed to cancel it altogether as an interpolation. But there is no good authority for this. Several manuscripts and versions read it, “For this Sinai is a mountain in Arabia;” others, “to this Hagar Jerusalem answereth,” etc. Griesbach has placed these readings in the margin, and has marked them as not to be rejected as certainly false, but as worthy of a more attentive examination; as sustained by some plausible arguments, though not in the whole satisfactory. The word Hagar in Arabic is said to signify a rock; and it has been supposed that the name was appropriately given to Mount Sinai, because it was a pile of rocks, and that Paul had allusion to this meaning of the word here. So Chandler, Rosenmuller, and others interpret it. But I cannot find in Castell or Gesenius that the word Hagar in Arabic has this signification; still less is there evidence that the name was ever given to Mount Sinai by the Arabs, or that such a signification was known to Paul. The plainest and most obvious sense of a passage is generally the true sense; and the obvious sense here is, that Hagar was a fair representation of Mount Sinai, and of the Law given there.

In Arabia – Mount Sinai is situated in Arabia Petraea, or the Rocky. Rosenmuller says that this means “in the Arabic language;” but probably in this interpretation he stands alone.

And answereth to Jerusalem – Margin, “Is in the same rank with.” The margin is the better translation. The meaning is, it is just like it, or corresponds with it. Jerusalem as it is now (that is, in the days of Paul), is like Mount Sinai. It is subject to laws, and rites, and customs; bound by a state of servitude, and fear, and trembling, such as existed when the Law was given on Mount Sinai. There is no freedom; there are no great and liberal views; there is none of the liberty which the gospel imparts to men. The word συστοιχεῖ sustoichei“answereth to,” means properly to advance in order together; to go together with, as soldiers march along in the same rank; and then to correspond to. It means here that Mount Sinai and Jerusalem as it then was would be suited to march together in the same platoon or rank. In marshalling an army, care is taken to place soldiers of the same height, and size, and skill, and courage, if possible, together. So here it means that they were alike. Both were connected with bondage, like Hagar. On the one, a law was given that led to bondage; and the other was in fact under a miserable servitude of rites and forms.

Which now is – As it exists now; that is, a slave to rites and forms, as it was in fact in the time of Paul.

And is in bondage – To laws and customs. She was under hard and oppressive rites, like slavery. She was also in bondage to sin John 8:3334; but this does not seem to be the idea here.

With her children – Her inhabitants. She is represented as a mother, and her inhabitants, the Jews, are in the condition of the son of Hagar. On this passage compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 10:4, for a more full illustration of the principles involved here.

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Verse 26. But Jerusalem which is aboveThe spiritual Jerusalem; the true church of God. Jerusalem was the place where God was worshipped, and hence, it became synonymous with the word church, or is used to represent the people of God. The word rendered “above,” ( ἄνω anō) means properly “up above,” that which is above; and hence, heavenly, celestialColossians 3:1-2John 8:23. Here it means the heavenly or celestial JerusalemRevelation 21:2, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God, out of heaven.” Hebrews 12:22,” ye are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Here it is used to denote the church, as being of heavenly origin.

Is free – The spirit of the gospel is that of freedom. It is freedom from sin, freedom from the bondage of rites and customs, and it tends to promote universal freedom; see the note at Galatians 4:7; compare John 8:32John 8:36; and the note at 2 Corinthians 3:17.

Which is the mother of us all – Of all who are true Christians, whether we are by birth Jews or Gentiles. We should not, therefore, yield ourselves to any degrading and debasing servitude el any kind; compare the note at 1 Corinthians 6:12.

https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-4.html

SEE:

Hagar is the bondwoman and mother of those under the law. Who is the mother of those who receive the promise of sonship?

 

 

 

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