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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - GALATIANS 3

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    3:1 {Who did bewitch you?} (tis humas ebaskanen?). Somebody "fascinated" you. Some aggressive Judaizer (#5:7), some one man (or woman). First aorist active indicative of baskainw, old word kin to faskw (baskw), to speak, qen to bring evil on one by feigned praise or the evil eye (hoodoo), to lead astray by evil arts. Only here in the N.T. this popular belief in the evil eye is old (#De 28:54) and persistent. The papyri give several examples of the adjective abaskanta, the adverb abaskantws (unharmed by the evil eye), the substantive baskania (witchcraft). {Before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth crucified} (hois kat' ofqalmous iesous cristos proegrafe estaurwmenos). Literally, "to whom before your very eyes Jesus Christ was portrayed as crucified." Second aorist passive indicative of prografw, old verb to write beforehand, to set forth by public proclamation, to placard, to post up. this last idea is found in several papyri (Moulton and Milligan's _Vocabulary_) as in the case of a father who posted a proclamation that he would no longer be responsible for his son's debts. grafw was sometimes used in the sense of painting, but no example of prografw with this meaning has been found unless this is one. With that idea it would be to portray, to picture forth, a rendering not very different from placarding. The foolish Galatians were without excuse when they fell under the spell of the Judaizer. estaurwmenos is perfect passive participle of staurow, the common verb to crucify (from stauros, stake, cross), to put on the cross (#Mt 20:19), same form as in #1Co 2:2.

    3:2 { this only} (touto monon). Paul strikes at the heart of the problem. He will show their error by the point that the gifts of the Spirit came by the hearing of faith, not by works of the law.

    3:3 {Are ye now perfected in the flesh?} (nun sarki epiteleisqe?). Rather middle voice as in #1Pe 5:9, finishing of yourselves. There is a double contrast, between enarxamenoi (having begun) and epiteleisqe (finishing) as in #2Co 8:6; Php 1:6, and also between "Spirit" (pneumati) and flesh (sarki). There is keen irony in this thrust.

    3:4 {Did ye suffer?} (epaqete?). Second aorist active indicative of pascw, to experience good or ill. But alone, as here, it often means to suffer ill (tosauta, so many things). In North Galatia we have no record of persecutions, but we do have records for South Galatia (#Ac 14:2,5,19,22). {If it be indeed in vain} (ei ge kai eikei). On eikei see #1Co 15:2; Ga 4:11. Paul clings to hope about them with alternative fears.

    3:5 {Supplieth} (epicoregwn). It is God. See on ¯2Co 9:10 for this present active participle. Cf. #Php 1:19; 2Pe 1:5. {Worketh miracles} (energwn dunameis). On the word energew see #1Th 2:13; 1Co 12:6. It is a great word for God's activities (#Php 2:13). "In you" (Lightfoot) is preferable to "among you" for en humin (#1Co 13:10; Mt 14:2). The principal verb for "doeth he it" (poiei) is not expressed. Paul repeats the contrast in verse #2 about "works of the law" and "the hearing of faith."

    3:6 {It was reckoned unto him for righteousness} (elogisqe eis dikaiosunen). First aorist passive indicative of logizomai. See on ¯1Co 13:5 for this old word. He quotes #Ge 15:6 and uses it at length in #Ro 4:3ff. to prove that the faith of Abraham was reckoned "for" (eis, good _Koin‚_ idiom though more common in LXX because of the Hebrew) righteousness before he was circumcised. James (#Jas 2:23) quotes the same passage as proof of Abraham's obedience to God in offering up Isaac (beginning to offer him). Paul and James are discussing different episodes in the life of Abraham. Both are correct.

    3:7 {The same are sons of Abraham} (houtoi huioi eisin Abraham). "These are." this is Paul's astounding doctrine to Jews that the real sons of Abraham are those who believe as he did, "they which be of faith" (hoi ek pistews), a common idiom with Paul for this idea (verse #9; Ro 3:26; 4:16; 14:23), those whose spiritual sonship springs out of (ek) faith, not out of blood. John the Baptist denounced the Pharisees and Sadducees as vipers though descendants of Abraham (#Mt 3:7; Lu 3:7) and Jesus termed the Pharisees children of the devil and not spiritual children of Abraham (not children of God) in #Joh 8:37-44.

    3:8 {Foreseeing} (proidousa). Second aorist active participle of prooraw. The Scripture is here personified. Alone in this sense of "sight," but common with legei or eipen (says, said) and really in verse #22 "hath shut up" (sunekleisen). {Would justify} (dikaioi). Present active indicative, "does justify." {Preached the gospel beforehand} (proeueggelisato). First aorist middle indicative of proeuaggelizomai with augment on a though both pro and eu before it in composition. Only instance in N.T. It occurs in Philo. and Schol. Soph. this Scripture announced beforehand the gospel on this point of justification by faith. He quotes the promise to Abraham in #Ge 12:3; 18:18, putting panta ta eqne (all the nations) in #18:18 for pasai hai fulai (all the tribes) of the earth. It is a crucial passage for Paul's point, showing that the promise to Abraham included all the nations of the earth. The verb eneulogew (future passive here) occurs in the LXX and here only in N.T. (not #Ac 3:25 in correct text). {In thee} (en soi). "As their spiritual progenitor" (Lightfoot).

    3:9 {With} (sun). Along with, in fellowship with. {The faithful} (twi pistwi). Rather, "the believing" (cf. verse #6).

    3:10 {Under a curse} (hupo kataran). Picture of the curse hanging over them like a Damocles' blade. Cf. #Ro 3:9 "under Sin" (huf' hamartian). The word for "curse" (katara) is an old one (kata, down, Ara, imprecation), often in LXX, in N.T. only here and #13; Jas 3:10; 2Pe 2:14. Paul quotes #De 27:26, the close of the curses on Mt. Ebal. He makes a slight explanatory modification of the LXX changing logois to gegrammenois en twi bibliwi. The idea is made clearer by the participle (gegrammenois) and bibliwi (book). The curse becomes effective only when the law is violated. {Cursed} (epikataratos). Verbal adjective from epikataraomai, to imprecate curses, late word, common in LXX. In N.T. only here and verse #13, but in inscriptions also (Deissmann, _Light from the Ancient East_, p. 96). The emphasis is on "continueth" (emmenei) and "all" (pasin).

    3:11 {In the sight of God} (para twi qewi). By the side of (para) God, as God looks at it, for the simple reason that no one except Jesus has ever kept _all_ the law, God's perfect law.

    3:12 {The law is not of faith} (ho nomos ouk estin ek pistews). Law demands complete obedience and rests not on mercy, faith, grace.

    3:13 {Redeemed us} (hemas exegorasen). First aorist active of the compound verb exagorazw (Polybius, Plutarch, Diodorus), to buy from, to buy back, to ransom. The simple verb agorazw (#1Co 6:20; 7:23) is used in an inscription for the purchase of slaves in a will (Deissmann, _Light from the Ancient East_, p. 324). See also #Ga 4:5; Col 4:5; Eph 5:16. Christ purchased us {from the curse of the law} (ek tes kataras tou nomou). "Out from (ek repeated) under (hupo in verse #10) the curse of the law." {Having become a curse for us} (genomenos huper hemwn katara). Here the graphic picture is completed. We were under (hupo) a curse, Christ became a curse {over} (huper) us and so between us and the overhanging curse which fell on him instead of on us. Thus he bought us out (ek) and we are free from the curse which he took on himself. this use of huper for substitution is common in the papyri and in ancient Greek as in the N.T. (#Joh 11:50; 2Co 5:14f.). {That hangeth on a tree} (ho kremamenos epi xulou). Quotation from #De 21:23 with the omission of hupo qeou (by God). Since Christ was not cursed by God. The allusion was to exposure of dead bodies on stakes or crosses (#Jos 10:26). xulon means wood, not usually tree, though so in #Lu 23:31 and in later Greek. It was used of gallows, crosses, etc. See #Ac 5:30; 10:39; 1Pe 2:24. On the present middle participle from the old verb kremannumi, to hang, see on ¯Mt 18:6; Ac 5:30.

    3:14 {That upon the Gentiles} (hina eis ta eqne). Final clause (hina and genetai, aorist middle subjunctive). {That we might receive} (hina labwmen). Second final clause coordinate with the first as in #2Co 9:3. So in Christ we all (Gentile and Jew) obtain the promise of blessing made to Abraham, through faith.

    3:15 {After the manner of men} (kata anqrwpon). After the custom and practice of men, an illustration from life. {Though it be but a man's covenant, yet when it hath been confirmed} (homws anqrwpou kekurwmenen diaqeken). Literally, "Yet a man's covenant ratified." On diaqeke as both covenant and will see on ¯Mt 26:28; 1Co 11:25; 2Co 3:6; Heb 9:16f. On kurow, to ratify, to make valid, see on ¯2Co 2:8. Perfect passive participle here, state of completion, authoritative confirmation. {Maketh it void} (aqetei). See on ¯2:21 for this verb. Both parties can by agreement cancel a contract, but not otherwise. {Addeth thereto} (epidiatassetai). Present middle indicative of the double compound verb epidiatassomai, a word found nowhere else as yet. But inscriptions use diatassomai, diataxis, diatage, diatagma with the specialized meaning to "determine by testamentary disposition" (Deissmann, _Light from the Ancient East_, p. 90). It was unlawful to add (epi) fresh clauses or specifications (diataxeis).

    3:16 {But as of one} (all' hws ef' henos). But as in the case of one. {Which is Christ} (hos estin cristos). Masculine relative agreeing with cristos though sperma is neuter. But the promise to Abraham uses sperma as a collective substantive and applies to all believers (both Jews and Gentiles) as Paul has shown in verses #7-14, and as of course he knew full well Here Paul uses a rabbinical refinement which is yet intelligible. The people of Israel were a type of the Messiah and he gathers up the promise in its special application to Christ. He does not say that Christ is specifically referred to in #Ge 13:15 or #17:7f.

    3:17 {Now this I say} (touto de legw). Now I mean this . He comes back to his main point and is not carried afield by the special application of sperma to Christ. {Confirmed beforehand by God} (prokekurwmenen hupo tou qeou). Perfect passive participle of prokurow, in Byzantine writers and earliest use here. Nowhere else in N.T. The point is in pro and hupo tou qeou (by God) and in meta (after) as Burton shows. {Four hundred and thirty years after} (meta tetrakosia kai triakonta ete). Literally, "after four hundred and thirty years." this is the date in #Ex 12:40 for the sojourn in Egypt (cf. #Ge 15:13). But the LXX adds words to include the time of the patriarchs in Canaan in this number of years which would cut the time in Egypt in two. Cf. #Ac 7:6. It is immaterial to Paul's argument which chronology is adopted except that "the longer the covenant had been in force the more impressive is his statement" (Burton). {Doth not disannul} (ouk akuroi). Late verb akurow, in N.T. only here and #Mt 15:6; Mr 7:13 (from a privative and kuros, authority). On katargesai see #1Co 1:28; 2:6; 15:24,26.

    3:18 {The inheritance} (he kleronomia). Old word from kleronomos, heir (kleros, lot, nemomai, to distribute). See on ¯Mt 21:38; Ac 7:5. this came to Israel by the promise to Abraham, not by the Mosaic law. So with us, Paul argues. {Hath granted} (kecaristai). Perfect middle indicative of carizomai. It still holds good after the law came.

    3:19 {What qen is the law?} (ti oun ho nomos?). Or, why qen the law? A pertinent question if the Abrahamic promise antedates it and holds on afterwards. {It was added because of transgressions} (twn parabasewn carin proseteqe). First aorist passive of prostiqemi, old verb to add to. It is only in apparent contradiction to verses #15ff., because in Paul's mind the law is no part of the covenant, but a thing apart "in no way modifying its provisions" (Burton). carin is the adverbial accusative of caris which was used as a preposition with the genitive as early as Homer, in favor of, for the sake of. Except in #1Jo 3:12 it is post-positive in the N.T. as in ancient Greek. It may be causal (#Lu 7:47; 1Jo 3:12) or telic (#Tit 1:5,11; Jude 1:16). It is probably also telic here, not in order to create transgressions, but rather "to make transgressions perceptible" (Ellicott), "thereby pronouncing them to be from that time forward transgressions of the law" (Rendall). parabasis, from parabainw, is in this sense a late word (Plutarch on), originally a slight deviation, qen a wilful disregarding of known regulations or prohibitions as in #Ro 2:23. {Till the seed should come} (acris an elqei to sperma). Future time with acris an and aorist subjunctive (usual construction). Christ he means by to sperma as in verse #16. {The promise hath been made} (epeggeltai). Probably impersonal perfect passive rather than middle of epaggellomai as in II Macc. 4:27. {Ordained through angels} (diatageis di' aggelwn). Second aorist passive participle of diatassw (see on ¯Mt 11:1). About angels and the giving of the law see on #De 33:2 (LXX); #Ac 7:38,52; Heb 2:2; Josephus (_Ant_. XV. 5. 3). {By the hand of a mediator} (en ceiri mesitou). En ceiri is a manifest Aramaism or Hebraism and only here in the N.T. It is common in the LXX. mesites, from mesos is middle or midst, is a late word (Polybius, Diodorus, Philo, Josephus) and common in the papyri in legal transactions for arbiter, surety, etc. Here of Moses, but also of Christ (#1Ti 2:5; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24).

    3:20 {Is not a mediator of one} (henos ouk estin). That is, a middleman comes in between two. The law is in the nature of a contract between God and the Jewish people with Moses as the mediator or middleman. {But God is one} (ho de qeos heis estin). There was no middleman between God and Abraham. He made the promise directly to Abraham. Over 400 interpretations of this verse have been made!

    3:21 {Against the promises} (kata twn epaggeliwn). A pertinent question again. Far from it (me genoito). {Which could make alive} (ho dunamenos zwopoiesai). First aorist active infinitive of zwopoiew, late compound (zwos, alive, poiew, to make) verb for which see #1Co 15:22. Spiritual life, he means, here and hereafter. {Verily} (ontws). "Really" (cf. #Mr 11:32; Lu 24:34). Condition and conclusion (an en) of second class, determined as unfulfilled. He had already said that Christ died to no purpose in that case (#2:21).

    3:22 {Hath shut up} (sunekleisen). Did shut together. First aorist active indicative of sunkleiw, old verb to shut together, on all sides, completely as a shoal of fish in a net (#Lu 5:6). So verse #23; Ro 11:32. {Under Sin} (hupo hamartian). See hupo kataran in verse #10. As if the lid closed in on us over a massive chest that we could not open or as prisoners in a dungeon. He uses ta panta (the all things), the totality of everything. See #Ro 3:10-19; 11:32. {That} (hina). God's purpose, personifying scripture again. {Might be given} (doqei). First aorist passive subjunctive of didwmi with hina.

    3:23 {Before faith came} (pro tou elqein ten pistin). "Before the coming (second aorist active infinitive of ercomai, definite event) as to the Faith" (note article, meaning the faith in verse #22 made possible by the historic coming of Christ the Redeemer), the faith in Christ as Savior (verse #22). {We were kept in ward under the law} (huper nomon efrouroumeqa). Imperfect passive of frourew, to guard (from frouros, a guard). See on ¯Ac 9:24; 2Co 11:32. It was a long progressive imprisonment. {Unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed} (eis ten mellousan pistin apokalufqenai). "Unto the faith (verse #22 again) about to be revealed." mellw and the first aorist passive infinitive (regular idiom).

    3:24 {Our tutor unto Christ} (paidagwgos humwn eis criston). See #1Co 4:15 for the only other N.T. example of this old and common word for the slave employed in Greek and Roman families of the better class in charge of the boy from about six to sixteen. The paedagogue watched his behavior at home and attended him when he went away from home as to school. Christ is our Schoolmaster and the law as paedagogue kept watch over us till we came to Christ. {That we might be justified by faith} (hina ek pistews dikaiwqwmen). this is the ultimate purpose of the law as paedagogue. {Now that faith is come} (elqouses tes pistews). Genitive absolute, "the faith (the time of the faith spoken of in verse #23) having come." {Under a tutor} (hupo paidagwgon). The pedagogue is dismissed. We are in the school of the Master.

    3:26 {For ye are all sons of God} (pantes gar huioi qeou este). Both Jews and Gentiles (#3:14) and in the same way "through faith in Christ Jesus" (dia tˆs pistews en Christ"i iesou). There is no other way to become "sons of God" in the full ethical and spiritual sense that Paul means, not mere physical descendants of Abraham, but "sons of Abraham,"those by faith" (verse #7). The Jews are called by Jesus "the sons of the Kingdom" (#Mt 8:12) in privilege, but not in fact. God is the Father of all men as Creator, but the spiritual Father only of those who by faith in Christ Jesus receive "adoption" (huioqesia) into his family (verse #5; Ro 8:15,23). Those led by the Spirit are sons of God (#Ro 8:14).

    3:27 {Were baptized into Christ} (eis criston ebaptisqete). First aorist passive indicative of baptizw. Better, "were baptized unto Christ" in reference to Christ. {Did put on Christ} (criston enedusasqe). First aorist middle indicative of enduw (-nw). As a badge or uniform of service like that of the soldier. this verb is common in the sense of putting on garments (literally and metaphorically as here). See further in Paul (#Ro 13:14; Col 3:9f.; Eph 4:22-24; 6:11,14). In #1Th 5:8 Paul speaks of "putting on the breastplate of righteousness." He does not here mean that one enters into Christ and so is saved by means of baptism after the teaching of the mystery religions, but just the opposite. We are justified by faith in Christ, not by circumcision or by baptism. But baptism was the public profession and pledge, the soldier's _sacramentum_, oath of fealty to Christ, taking one's stand with Christ, the symbolic picture of the change wrought by faith already (#Ro 6:4-6).

    3:28 {There can be neither} (ouk eni). Not a shortened form of enesti, but the old lengthened form of en with recessive accent. So ouk eni means "there is not" rather than "there cannot be," a statement of a fact rather than a possibility, as Burton rightly shows against Lightfoot. {One man} (heis). No word for "man" in the Greek, and yet heis is masculine, not neuter hen. "One moral personality" (Vincent). The point is that "in Christ Jesus" race or national distinctions ("neither Jew nor Greek") do not exist, class differences ("neither bond nor free," no proletarianism and no capitalism) vanish, sex rivalry ("no male and female") disappears. this radical statement marks out the path along which Christianity was to come in the sphere (en) and spirit and power of Christ. Candor compels one to confess that this goal has not yet been fully attained. But we are on the road and there is no hope on any way than on "the Jesus Road."

    3:29 {If ye are Christ's} (ei de humeis cristou). this is the test, not the accident of blood, pride of race or nation, habiliments or environment of dress or family, whether man or woman. Thus one comes to belong to the seed of Abraham and to be an heir according to promise.

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