| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 38 - Page 82 of 249 Index | Zoom | |
in the word the idea that "envy" is the moving cause of this bewitchment. These
Galatians had been "fascinated"--and a philosopher can be quoted as saying that
fascination is "evil by the eye" a thought that is suggestive as we read the next statement
of Gal. 3: "Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth crucified
among you" (Gal. 3: 1). The Revised text omits the words "that ye should not obey the
truth" which appear to have been interpolated from chapter 5: 7.
Paul's preaching of "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" must have been vivid, as we can
well believe. He uses a figure borrowed from the hustings, for the words "evidently set
forth", prographo, refer to the exhibition of placards which modern though it may sound,
was a practice in common use at the time of the apostle.
Prographo when used in its primary sense "to write beforehand" occurs in Rom. 15: 4
and Eph. 3: 3. In Jude 4, it indicates rather a notice of trial or condemnation, but
when writing to the Galatians, Paul uses the word, as he does the word diatheke
"covenant" in Gal. 3: 15, "after the manner of men", and the Galatians would know the
practice that was common in their day, of using placards for making public notices and
proclamations. There may also be a glance at the practice of both heathen and Jew to
resort to amulets and phylacteries as charms to avoid the evil eye, and concerning this
Wordsworth has the following comment:
"O foolish Galatians--foolish as children--who was it that bewitched you with his
evil eye of jealousy? who envied you the liberty of Christ, and desired to spoil you of it?
Who beguiled you, my children (Gal. 4: 19), whom I was rearing up as a father, unto
men in Christ? Who beguiled you back into Judaism, with its rites and ceremonies and
external observances? Your false teachers who so deal with you, would have written and
bound before your eyes the scrolls of the Law; they would have laid upon you its
outward fringes and phylacteries, and thus have entangled you to bondage. Who envied
you the liberty of the Gospel, which I your apostle, preached to you? Who bewitched
you, before whose eyes was written and bound by me, as your true scriptural scroll, your
frontlet of Faith, your Scriptural Phylactery, CHIRST CRUCIFIED; and whom I had
thus guarded, as I thought, against all the envious fascination of your spiritual enemies?"
The words "among you" are omitted by the Revised texts, though some commentators
still reckon that they should be retained. If they are, it is important to remember that they
must be construed as a "regular local predicate appended to proegraphe" (Ellicott) and
must not be understood as referring to the word "crucified". The order of the words in
the original adds greatly to the pathos and emphasis, "written before, in you, crucified".
The words "in you" moreover must be understood as a reflection of the truth expressed in
Gal. 2: 20 "Christ liveth in me", and as here, that the last word of the sentence--for
emphasis sake--is the word "crucified".
The extreme importance that the apostle attached to the Cross of Christ, is most
evident from these two references (Gal. 2: 20 and 3: 1), and it would be profitable and
illuminating to pause, while we considered all that has been said of this most wondrous
theme--yet, it seems better to let the apostle pursue his own argument in his own way.
We shall find him introducing the Cross early in the argument (3: 13) and with great
point. Consequently with the atmosphere created by the consideration of Gal. 3: 1, all