VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
PREVIOUS - NEXT CHAPTER - INDEX
Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Made (us) free (hleuqerwsen). With the exception of John viii. 32, 36, only in Paul.
Stand fast (sthkete). Used absolutely, as 2 Thess. ii. 15. Mostly in Paul. See on 1 Thess. iii. 8. 80 Be not entangled (mh enecesqe). Or, held ensnared. By Paul only here and 2 Thess. i. 4. Lit. to be held within. For an elliptical usage see on Mark vi. 19.
Yoke (zugw). Metaphorical, of a burden or bondage. Comp. Matthew xi. 29, 30; Acts xv. 10; 1 Tim. vi. 1. Similarly LXX, Gen. xxvii. 40; Lev. xxvi. 13; 2 Chron. x. 4, 9, 10, 11, 14. So always in N.T. except Apoc. vi. 5, where it means a pair of scales. See note, and comp. Lev. xix. 35, 36; Prov. xi. 1; xvi. 11; Hos. xii. 7.
If ye be circumcised (ean peritemnhsqe). Better, receive circumcision. The verb does not mean that they have already been circumcised. It states the case as supposable, implying that they were in danger of allowing themselves to be circumcised.
Christ will profit you nothing. Circumcision is the sign of subjection to the Jewish "yoke" - the economy of the law. The question with the Galatians was circumcision as a condition of salvation. See chapter ii. 3, 5; Acts xv. 1. It was a choice between salvation by law and salvation by Christ. The choice of the law involved the relinquishment of Christ. Comp. chapter ii. 21. Chrysostom says: "He who is circumcised is circumcised as fearing the law: but he who fears the law distrusts the power of grace: and he who distrusts gains nothing from that which he distrusts."
Every man. Emphasizing and particularising the general to you, you, in verse 2.
A debtor (ofeilethv). In N.T. mostly of one under moral obligation. So in the sense of sinner, Matt. vi. 12; Luke xiii. 4. Comp. Rom. i. 14; viii. 12. Similarly the verb ojfeilein to owe, as Luke xi. 4; xvii. 10; Romans xv. 1, etc., though it is frequent in the literal sense.
To do the law (poihsai). Rare in N.T. See John vii. 19; Rom. ii. 13, 25 (prasshv). Threin to observe the law, the tradition, the commandment, Matt. xix. 17; Mark vii. 9; John xiv. 15; Acts xv. 5 Jas. ii. 10: plhroun to fulfill the law, Rom. xiii. 8; Gal. v. 14; comp. ajnaplhroun Galatians vi. 2: fulassein to keep or guard the law, Acts vii. 53; xxi. 24; Galatians vi. 13: also with commandments, word of God or of Christ, ordinances of the law, Matt. xix. 20; Mark x. 20; Luke xi. 28; John xii. 47; Romans ii. 26. Telein to carry out the law, Rom. ii. 27; Jas. ii. 8. Poihsai is to perform what the law commands: threin to observe, keep an eye on with the result of performing: fulassein to guard against violation: telein to bring to fulfillment in action.
The whole law (olon). Comp. Jas. ii. 10. Submission to circumcision commits one to the whole law. It makes him a party to the covenant of the law, and the law requires of every one thus committed a perfect fulfillment, Gal. iii. 10.
Ye are fallen from grace (thv caritov exepesate). For a similar phrase see 2 Pet. iii. 17. Having put yourselves under the economy of salvation by law, you have fallen out of the economy of salvation by the grace of Christ. Paul's declarations are aimed at the Judaisers, who taught that the Christian economy was to be joined with the legal. His point is that the two are mutually exclusive. Comp. Rom. iv. 4, 5, 14, 16. The verb ejkpiptein to fall out, in the literal sense, Acts xii. 7; Jas. i. 11. In Class. of seamen thrown ashore, banishment, deprivation of an office, degeneration, of actors being hissed off the stage.
Through the Spirit (pneumati). The Holy Spirit who inspires our faith. Not as Lightfoot, spiritually. The words pneumati ejk pistewv are not to be taken as one conception, the Spirit which is of faith, but present two distinct and coordinate facts which characterize the waiting for the hope of righteousness; namely, the agency of the Holy Spirit, in contrast with the flesh (comp. Rom. vii. 6; viii. 4, 15, 16; Eph. i. 13; ii. 22), and faith in contrast with the works of the law (comp. chapter iii. 3, and see chapter ii. 16; iii. 3; Rom. i. 17; iii. 22; ix. 30; x. 6).
By faith (ek pistewv). Const. with wait, not with righteousness.
Wait for (apekdecomeqa). Quite often in Paul, and only twice elsewhere, Hebrew ix. 28; 1 Pet. iii. 20. See on Philip. iii. 20.
The hope of righteousness (epida dikaiosunhv). Hope for the object of hope, as Rom. viii. 24; Col. i. 5; Heb. vi. 18; Tit. ii. 13. The phrase means that good which righteousness causes us to hope for. Comp. hope of the calling (Eph. i. 18; iv. 4): hope of the gospel (Colossians i. 23). 81
Availeth (iscuei). Has any significance or practical power. The verb in Paul only here and Philip. iv. 13. See on 2 Thess. i. 9. Which worketh (energoumenh). See on 1 Thess. ii. 13. Middle voice, comp. Rom. vii. 5; 2 Cor. i. 6; iv. 12; 2 Thess. ii. 7; Eph. iii. 20. Not passive, as by many Roman Catholic expositors, faith which is wrought by love.
By love (di agaphv). Not that justification is through love; but the faith of the justified, which is their subjective principle of life, exhibits its living energy through love in which the whole law is fulfilled (verse 14). See 1 Timothy i. 5; 1 Thess. i. 3; 1 Corinthians 13.
Well (kalwv). Bravely, becomingly, honorably to yourselves and to the church. Often in Paul. See Rom. xi. 20; 1 Cor. iii. 37, 38; 2 Corinthians xi. 4; Gal. iv. 17; Philip. iv. 14.
Did hinder (enekoyen). See on 1 Pet. iii. 7. Comp. 1 Thess. ii. 18; Rom. xv. 22.
Obey the truth (alhqeia peiqesqai). The exact phrase N.T.o . Disobey (apeiqousi) the truth, Rom. ii. 8: obedience (upakoh) of the truth, 1 Peter i. 22.
Him that calleth (tou kalountov). Very often applied to God by Paul. See Rom. viii. 30; ix. 11; 1 Cor. i. 9; vii. 15; Gal. i. 15; 1 Thessalonians ii. 12 iv. 7; v. 24; 2 Thess. ii. 14. The persuasion to subject yourselves to the Jewish law does not proceed from him who called you to freedom in Christ.
Lump (furama). P o . See on Rom. ix. 21.
Will be - minded (fronhsete). The word denotes a general disposition of the mind rather than a specific act of thought directed at a given point. Comp. Philip. iii. 15, 19; iv. 2; Rom. viii. 5; xi. 20; 1 Cor. xiii. 11: and fronhma mind, Rom. viii. 6, 7, 27. In Class. often with eu well, kalwv honorably, ojrqwv rightly, kakwv mischievously. Ta tinov fronein is to be of one's party.
He that troubleth (o arasswn). Comp. chapter i. 7. Not with reference to any particular individual, as Peter or James (Lipsius), but generally, of any possible person, "whoever he may be." The verb is used by Paul only in this Epistle, and refers to disturbance of faith or unity.
If I yet preach circumcision (ei peritomhn eti khrussw). Commonly explained as an allusion to a charge circulated by the Judaisers that Paul preached or sanctioned the circumcision of Gentile converts in churches outside of Galatia, as, for example, in the case of Timothy, Acts xvi. 3. 83 But it is quite unlikely that any such charge was circulated. The Judaisers would not have founded such a charge on an individual case or two, like Timothy's, especially in the face of the notorious fact that Paul, in Jerusalem and Antioch, had contested the demand for the circumcision of Gentile Christians; and Paul's question, "Why do I suffer persecution?" would have been pertinent only on the assumption that he was charged with habitually. not occasionally, preaching circumcision. Had the Judaisers actually circulated such a charge, Paul would have been compelled to meet it in a far more direct and thorough manner than he does here. He would have been likely to formulate the charge, and to deal incisively with the inconsistency in his preaching which it involved. The course of his thought is as follows: "He that troubleth you by preaching circumcision shall bear his judgment; but I am not a disturber - not your enemy (chapter iv. 16), for I do not preach circumcision; and the proof of this is that I am persecuted. If I preached circumcision, there would be no offense, and therefore no disturbance; for the cross would cease to be an offense, if, in addition to the cross, I preached just what the Judaisers assert, the necessity of circumcision."
Yet (epi). As in the time before my conversion. The second epi is not temporal but logical, as Rom. iii. 7; ix. 19. What further ground is there for persecuting me?
Then (ara). As a consequence of my preaching circumcision.
The offense of the cross (to skandalon tou staurou). Comp. 1 Corinthians i. 23. For offense, see on offend, Matt. v. 29.
Ceased (kathrghtai). Lit. been done away or brought to nought. See on verse 4. If Paul had preached circumcision as necessary to salvation, the preaching of the cross would have ceased to be an offense, because, along with the cross, Paul would have preached what the Judaisers demanded, that the Mosaic law should still be binding on Christians. The Judaisers would have accepted the cross with circumcision, but not the cross instead of circumcision. The Judaisers thus exposed themselves to no persecution in accepting Christ. They covered the offense of the cross, and conciliated unbelieving Jews by maintaining that the law was binding upon Christians. See chapter vi. 12.
Which trouble (anastatountev). Only here in Paul, and twice elsewhere, Acts xvii. 6; xxi. 38. o LXX. Stronger than tarassein disturb. Rather to upset or overthrow. The usual phrase in Class. is ajnastaton poiein to make an upset. Used of driving out from home, ruining a city or country. See on madest an uproar, Acts xxi. 38. Rev. unsettle is too weak.
Unto liberty (ep eleuqeria). Better, for freedom. See on unto uncleanness, 1 Thess. iv. 7. Epi marks the intention.
Only (monon). For a similar use of the word, qualifying or limiting a general statement, comp. 1 Cor. vii. 39; Gal. ii. 10; Philippians i. 27; 2 Thess. ii. 7.
Brethren. Rev. rightly puts the word at the end of the verse. The position is unusual. It would seem as if Paul intended to close this severs letter with an assurance that the "foolish Galatians" were still his brethren: They are addressed as "brethren," chapter iv. 12; v. 11; vi. 1. Comp. 1 Corinthians xvi. 24.
Use not liberty (thn eleuqerian). Use is not in the Greek. We may supply hold or make or turn.
Occasion (aformhn). See on Rom. vii. 8. Almost exclusively in Paul. To the flesh (th sarki). See on Rom. vii. 5. The flesh here represents lovelessness and selfishness. Christian freedom is not to be abused for selfish ends. Paul treats this subject at length in 1 Corinthians 8; xii. 25, 26. Individual liberty is subject to the law of love and mutual service. Comp. 1 Peter ii. 16.
By love (dia thv agaphv). Or through love, through which faith works (ver. 6).
Is fulfilled (peplhrwtai). Has been fulfilled. Comp. Rom. xiii. 8. The meaning is not embraced in, or summed up in, but complied with. In Rom. xiii. 9, ajnakefalaioutai is summed up, is to be distinguished from plhrwma hath fulfilled (ver. 8) and plhrwma fulfillment (ver. 10). The difference is between statement and accomplishment. See on do the law, ver. 3.
Be consumed (analwqhte). Rare in N.T. See Luke ix. 54. Partisan strife will be fatal to the Christian community as a whole. The organic life of the body will be destroyed by its own members.
Fulfill (teleshte). Bring to fulfillment in action. See on do the law, ver. 3.
The lust (epiqumian). Frequent in Paul, and usually in a bad sense; but see Philip. i. 23; 1 Thess. ii. 17, and comp. Luke xxii. 15. The phrase lust or lusts of the flesh occurs also Eph. ii. 3; 2 Pet. ii. 18; 1 John ii. 16. It means, not the mere sensual desire of the physical nature, but the desire which is peculiar to human nature without the divine Spirit.
So that (ina). Connect with these are contrary, etc. %Ina does not express result, but purpose, to the end that, - the purpose of the two contending desires. The intent of each principle in opposing the other is to prevent man's doing what the other principle moves him to do.
Cannot do (mh poihte). A mistake, growing out of the misinterpretation of ina noted above. Rather, each works to the end that ye may not do, etc. The things that ye would (a ean qelhte). The things which you will to do under the influence of either of the two contending principles. There is a mutual conflict of two powers. If one wills to do good, he is opposed by the flesh: if to do evil, by the Spirit.
Adultery (moiceia). To be dropped from the text.
Uncleanness (akaqarsia). See on 1 Thess. ii. 3.
Lasciviousness (aselgeia). See on Mark vii. 22.
Wrath (qumoi). Lit. wraths. See on John iii. 36.
Strife (eriqiai). More correctly, factions. From eriqov a hired servant. Eriqia is, primarily, labor for hire (see Tob. ii. 11), and is applied to those who serve in official positions for hire or for other selfish purposes, ;and, in order to gain their ends, promote party spirit or faction. Seditions (dicostasiai). Better, divisions. Only here and Romans xvi. 17. Once in LXX, 1 Macc. iii. 29.
Heresies (aireseiv). In Paul only here and 1 Cor. xi. 19. See on 2 Peter ii. 1. Parties, into which divisions crystallize.
Revelings (kwmoi). Comp. Rom. xiii. 13; 1 Pet. iv. 3. In both passages coupled with drunkenness as here. See on 1 Pet. iv. 3.
I tell you before (prolegw). Better beforehand, or as Rev. I forewarn you. P o . Comp. 2 Cor. xiii. 2; 1 Thess. iii. 4.
The kingdom of God. See on Luke vi. 20.
Love (agaph). Comp. love of the Spirit, Rom. xv. 30. In Class. filein is the most general designation of love, denoting an inner inclination to persons or things, and standing opposed to misein or ejcqairein to hate. It occasionally acquires from the context a sensual flavor, as Hom. Od. xviii. 325; Hdt. iv. 176, thus running into the sense of ejran which denotes sensual love. It is love to persons and things growing out of intercourse and amenities or attractive qualities. Stergein (not in N.T., LXX, Sir. 17;17) expresses a deep, quiet, appropriating, natural love, as distinguished from that which is called out by circumstances. Unlike filein, it has a distinct moral significance, and is not applied to base inclinations opposed to a genuine manly nature. It is the word for love to parents, wife, children, king or country, as one's own. Aristotle (Nic. ix. 7, 3) speaks of poets as loving (stergontev) their own poems as their children. See also Eurip. Med. 87. Agapan is to love out of an intelligent estimate of the object of love. It answers to Lat. diligere, or Germ. schatzen to prize. It is not passionate and sensual as ejran. It is not, like filein, attachment to a person independently of his quality and created by close intercourse. It is less sentiment than consideration. While filein contemplates the person, ajgapan contemplates the attributes and character, and gives an account of its inclination. Agapan is really the weaker expression for love, as that term is conventionally used. It is judicial rather than affectionate. Even in classical usage, however, the distinction between ajgapan and filein is often very subtle, and well-nigh impossible to express.
In N.T. ejpiqumain to desire or lust is used instead of ejran. In LXX ajgapan is far more common than filein. Filein occurs only 16 times in the sense of love, and 16 times in the sense of kiss; while ajgapan is found nearly 300 times. It is used with a wide range, of the love of parent for child, of man for God, of God for man, of love to one's neighbor and to the stranger, of husband for wife, of love for God's house, and for mercy and truth; but also of the love of Samson for Delilah, of Hosea for his adulterous wife, of Amnon's love for Tamar, of Solomon's love for strange women, of loving a woman for her beauty. Also of loving vanity, unrighteousness, devouring words, cursing, death, silver.
The noun ajgaph, o Class., was apparently created by the LXX, although it is found there only 19 times. 84 It first comes into habitual use in Christian writings. In N.T. it is, practically, the only noun for love, although compound nouns expressing peculiar phases of love, as brotherly love, love of money, love of children, etc., are formed with filov, as filadelfia, filarguria, filanqrwpia. Both verbs, filein and ajgapan occur, but ajgapan more frequently. The attempt to carry out consistently the classical distinction between these two must be abandoned. Both are used of the love of parents and children, of the love of God for Christ, of Christ for men, of God for men, of men for Christ and of men for men. The love of man for God and of husband for wife, only ajgapan. The distinction is rather between ajgapan and ejpiqumein than between ajgapan and filein. 85 Love, in this passage, is that fruit of the Spirit which dominates all the others. See vv. 13, 14. Comp. 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John ii. 5, 9-11; iii. 11, 14-16; iv. 7-11, 16-21; v. 1-3. Joy (cara). Comp. joy of the Holy Ghost, 1 Thess. i. 6, and see Rom. v. 2; xiv. 17; xv. 13; 2 Cor. vi. 10; Philip. i. 25; iv. 4; 1 Peter i. 8; 1 John i. 4.
Peace (eirhnh). See on 1 Thess. i. 1. Here of mutual peace rather than peace with God.
Long suffering (makroqumia). See on be patient, Jas. v. 7, and comp. Rom. ii. 4; 2 Cor. vi. 6; Eph. iv. 2; Col. i. 11. Gentleness (crhstothv). See on good, Rom. iii. 12; easy, Matthew xi. 30; gracious, 1 Pet. ii. 3. Better, kindness; a kindness which is useful or serviceable.
Goodness (agaqwsunh). P o . See on Rom. iii. 12.
Faith (pistiv). Trustfulness.
Temperance (egkrateia). Only here by Paul. He alone uses ejgkrateuesqai to have continency, I Corinthians vii. 9; ix. 25. See on is temperate, 1 Corinthians 9;25. The word means self-control, holding in hand the passions and desires. So Xen. Mem. i. 2, 1, of Socrates, who was ejgkratestatov most temperate as to sexual pleasures and pleasures of the appetite.
Such (toioutwn). Such things, not persons.
There is no law (ouk estin nomov). Against such virtues there is no law to condemn them. The law can bring no charge against them. Comp. 1 Timothy i. 9,10.
Have crucified the flesh (thn sarka estaurwsan). The phrase only here. Comp. ch. ii. 20; vi. 14; Rom. vi. 6. The line of thought as regards death to sin is the same as in Rom. vi. 2-7, 11; as regards death to the law, the same as in Rom. vii. 1-6.
Affections (paqhmasin). Better, passions. Often sufferings, as Romans viii. 18; 2 Cor. i. 5, 6, 7; Philip. iii. 10; Heb. ii. 9. Often of Christ's sufferings. Comp. passions of sins, Rom. vii. 5 (see on motions). o LXX, where we find paqov in both senses, but mostly sufferings. Paqov also in N.T., but rarely and P o . See Rom. i. 26; Col. iii. 5; 1 Thessalonians iv. 5: always of evil desires.
Walk (stoicwmen). A different word from that in ver. 16. Only in Paul, except Acts xxi. 24. From stoicov a row. Hence, to walk in line; to march in battle order (Xen. Cyr. vi. 3, 34). Sunstoicei anewereth to, Galatians iv. 25 (note). See also on stoiceia elements, Gal. iv. 3. Paul uses it very graphically, of falling into line with Abraham's faith, Rom. iv. 12.
Provoking (prokaloumenoi). N.T.o . LXX, only 2 Macc. viii. 11. Lit. calling forth, challenging, and so stirring up strife. Very common in Class.