The Berean Expositor
Volume 39 - Page 74 of 234
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No.66. (24) GALATIANS.
Galatians 3: 13 - 20.
The argument from the Galatian Will applied (3: 17 - 20).
pp. 78 - 80
"And this I say." With these words the Apostle resumes the main argument of this
section. It is not true to say that verse sixteen is a digression, or even a parenthesis, it is
but the suspending of the main argument for a moment to ensure that Christ, the true
Seed, shall be clearly seen in His rightful place before the conclusion is reached.
If verse seventeen ignores verse sixteen, and treats it as a parenthesis, what "covenant"
is intended? If it be the covenant which is identified with "the promise" of verse sixteen,
all is clear. It is that covenant, not "a man's covenant" which is now the theme. This
covenant, said the Apostle, was "confirmed before of God in Christ", and that is shown to
be the fact by his inspired teaching concerning the word "seed". Therefore, if a man's
will when once confirmed stands, no man either adding to it or disannulling it, how much
more shall not God's covenant stand? "The law, which was four hundred and thirty years
after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect."
In another series of articles entitled "Time and Place" the chronology of the Scriptures
is traced step by step from Adam to the Babylonian captivity, and it is obvious that any
chronological note given here cannot demonstrate its accuracy, as no proof can be offered
for the dates already assumed, but a word or two is necessary, as there has been a sorry
misconception on the part of many eminent commentators, who by reason of their
failure to discern things that differ, and observing that two periods are mentioned, one of
430 years (Exod. 12: 40 and Gal. 3: 17) and the other of 400 years (Gen. 15: 13 and
Acts 7: 6), they have given way to such comments as:
"The difficulty lies . . . . . in the Hebrew text of Exod. 12: 40" (Alford).
"The length of the sojourn is given in round numbers" (Lightfoot).
"Supposing it could be proved that St. Paul's knowledge of ancient chronology was
imperfect, this need not surprise us" (Conybeare and Howson).
The 430 years:
"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was 430 years"
(Exod. 12: 40).
The 400 years:
"Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and
they shall afflict them 400 years" (Gen. 15: 13).
"His seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into
bondage, and entreat them evil 400 years" (Acts 7: 6).