The Berean Expositor
Volume 39 - Page 93 of 234
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Commentators both ancient and modern fall into two groups in their explanation of
this appeal:
1. One group, taking the language of I Kings. 22: 4 as a proverbial utterance say
that Paul says "Let us be friends".
2. The other group consider that the Apostle alludes to the fact that he, a Hebrew and
a Pharisee had already become like a Gentile so far as the law was concerned, and that he
appeals to the Galatian believers to take their stand with him. Moffatt's rendering of
Gal. 4: 12 is very free, but it gives a pointer "Do take my line brothers, I beg of you--
just as I once took yours".
Ellicott sees in this a "dissuasive from Judaism urged on the ground of his own
dereliction of it"; compare I Cor. 9: 20, 21. The structure, as always, decided for us
that the sentiment of Gal. 4: 12 corresponds with that of Gal. 2: 19. It is not an appeal
for their friendship, it is a parallel with the appeal made to Peter, calling attention to the
Apostle's attitude to the law, and in effect saying "If I, a Hebrew, should have seen it
essential to my salvation to die to the law that I might live unto God, how utterly
inexplicable must your conduct be, being by race Gentiles, to turn back to that system
after having been made Christ's free men".
With this appeal we bring this most vivid and vital section of Galatians to a
conclusion. There is much more close reasoning and earnest appeal to be considered, but
before we can proceed further, a survey of the next great section is called for. This we
hope to give in our next article.
No.71. (29) GALATIANS.
Galatians 4: -12 - 20.
The travail of an apostle.
pp. 234 - 237
We have now given consideration to the first great central member of Galatians,
namely Gal. 2: 15 - 4: 12, which can be summed up under the heading "The Cross 5:
The Law", and divided under the sub-headings Faith 5: Works and Liberty 5: Bondage.
We now turn our attention to the corresponding great member, Gal. 4: 12 - 6: 10,
which may be summed up under the headings "The Cross 5: The Flesh", and subdivided
under the sub-headings Spirit 5: Flesh and Liberty 5: Bondage. This great section must
naturally be broken up into smaller portions if we are to study it intelligently, and so we
concentrate our attention at the moment on Gal. 4: 12-20, which is in the nature of a
personal appeal to the Galatians, referring to their past love and their present zeal and the
evil influence of their Judaistic teachers.
The structure emphasizes the great difference which the Apostle observed between the
reception with the Galatians had given him on a former visit, even though circumstances