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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - GALATIANS 5

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    5:1 {With freedom} (tei eleuqeriai). Rather dative case instead of instrumental, "for freedom,"for the (article) freedom that belongs to us children of the freewoman" (#4:31). {Did Christ set us free} (hemas cristos eleuqerwsen). Effective aorist active indicative of eleuqerow (from ercomai, to go, go free). {Stand fast therefore} (stekete oun). See on #Mr 3:31; 1Co 16:13 for this late word from perfect stem of histemi, "keep on standing therefore,"stay free since Christ set you free." {Be not entangled again} (me palin enecesqe). "Stop being held in by a yoke of bondage." Common word for ensnare by trap. The Judaizers were trying to lasso the Galatians for the old yoke of Judaism.

    5:2 {I Paul} (egw paulos). Asserts all his personal and apostolic authority. For both words see also #1Th 2:16; 2Co 10:1; Col 1:23; Eph 3:1. {If ye receive circumcision} (ean peritemnesqe). Condition of third class and present passive subjunctive, a supposable case, but with terrible consequences, for they will make circumcision a condition of salvation. In that case Christ will help them not at all.

    5:3 {A debtor} (ofeiletes). Common word from ofeilw, to owe for one who has assumed an obligation. See on »Mt 6:12. See #Ga 3:10. He takes the curse on himself.

    5:4 {Ye are severed from Christ} (katergeqete apo cristou). First aorist passive of katargew, to make null and void as in #Ro 7:2,6. {Who would be justified by the law} (hoitines en nomwi dikaiousqe). Present passive conative indicative, "ye who are trying to be justified in the law." {Ye are fallen away from grace} (tes caritos exepesate). Second aorist active indicative of ekpiptw (with a variable vowel of the first aorist) and followed by the ablative case. "Ye did fall out of grace,"ye left the sphere of grace in Christ and took your stand in the sphere of law" as your hope of salvation. Paul does not mince words and carries the logic to the end of the course. He is not, of course, speaking of occasional sins, but he has in mind a far more serious matter, that of substituting law for Christ as the agent in salvation.

    5:5 {For we} (hemeis gar). We Christians as opposed to the legalists. {Through the Spirit by faith} (pneumati ek pistews). By the Spirit (Holy Spirit) out of faith (not law). Clear-cut repetition to make it plain.

    5:6 {Availeth anything} (iscuei ti). Old word to have strength (isc-s). See on »Mt 5:13. Neither Jew nor Greek has any recommendation in his state. See #3:28. All stand on a level in Christ. {Faith working through love} (pistis di' agapes energoumene). Middle voice of energew and "through love,"the moral dynamic" (Burton) of Paul's conception of freedom from law.

    5:7 Who did hinder you? (tis humas enekoyen?). First aorist active indicative of enkoptw, to cut in on one, for all the world like our use of one cutting in on us at the telephone. For this late verb see on »Ac 24:4; 1Th 2:18. Note the singular tis. There was some ringleader in the business. Some one "cut in" on the Galatians as they were running the Christian race and tried to trip them or to turn them.

    5:8 { this persuasion} (he peismone). "The art of persuasion," the effort of the Judaizers to persuade you. Only here and in ecclesiastical writers.

    5:9 this proverb Paul has in #1Co 5:6. It is merely the pervasive power of leaven that is involved in the proverb as in #Mt 13:33, not the use of leaven as a symbol of evil.

    5:10 {Whosoever he be} (hostis ean ei). Indefinite relative clause with ean and subjunctive. It seems unlikely that Paul knew precisely who the leader was. In #1:6 he uses the plural of the same verb tarassw and see also anastatountes in verse #12.

    5:11 {Why am I still persecuted?} (ti eti diwkomai?). Some of the Judaizers even circulated the slander that Paul preached circumcision in order to ruin his influence.

    5:12 {I would} (ofelon). Would that, used as conjunction in wishes. See on »1Co 4:2; 2Co 11:1. Here a wish about the future with future indicative. {They which unsettle you} (hoi anastatountes humas). Late verb from anastatos, driven from one's abode, and in papyri in this sense as well as in sense of upsetting or disturbing one's mind (boy's letter) as here. In #Ac 17:6; 21:38 we have it in sense of making a commotion. {Cut themselves off} (apokoyontai). Future middle of apokoptw, old word to cut off as in #Ac 27:32, here to mutilate.

    5:13 {Ye were called for freedom} (ep' eleuqeriai ekleqete). The same point as in #5:1 made plainer by the use of ep' (on the basis of, for the purpose of). See #1Th 4:7 for this use of epi. {Only use not} (monon me). No word for "use" in the Greek. Probably supply trepete or strefete, "turn not your liberty into an occasion for the flesh" (eis aformen tei sarki), as a spring board for license. On aforme, see on »2Co 5:12. Liberty so easily turns to license.

    5:14 {Even in this } (en twi). Just the article with en, "in the," but it points at the quotation from #Le 19:18. Jews (#Lu 10:29) confined "neighbor" (plesion) to Jews. Paul uses here a striking paradox by urging obedience to the law against which he has been arguing, but this is the moral law as proof of the new love and life. See also #Ro 13:8, precisely as Jesus did (#Mt 22:40).

    5:15 {If ye bite and devour one another} (ei allelous daknete kai katesqiete). Condition of first class assumed as true. Two common and old verbs often used together of wild animals, or like cats and dogs. {That ye be not consumed one of another} (me hup' allelwn analwqete). Negative final clause with first aorist passive subjunctive of analiskw, old word to consume or spend. In N.T. only here and #Lu 9:54. There is a famous story of two snakes that grabbed each other by the tail and each swallowed the other.

    5:16 {Ye shall not fulfil} (ou me telesete). Rather, "Ye will not fulfil." Strong double negative with aorist active subjunctive. {The lust of the flesh} (epiqumian sarkos). Bad sense here as usual in Paul, but not so in #1Th 2:17; Php 1:23. The word is just craving or longing (from epi, qumos, yearning after).

    5:17 {Lusteth against} (epiqumei kata). Like a tug of war. this use of sarx as opposed to the Spirit (Holy Spirit) personifies sarx. Lightfoot argues that epiqumei cannot be used with the Spirit and so some other verb must be supplied for it. But that is wholly needless, for the verb, like epiqumia, does not mean evil desire, but simply to long for. Christ and Satan long for the possession of the city of Man Soul as Bunyan shows. {Are contrary the one to the other} (allelois antikeitai). Are lined up in conflict, face to face (anti-), a spiritual duel (cf. Christ's temptations), with dative case of personal interest (allelois). {That ye may not do} (hina me poiete). "That ye may not keep on doing" (present active subjunctive of poiew). {That ye would} (ha ean qelete). "Whatever ye wish" (indefinite relative with ean and present subjunctive).

    5:18 {Under the law} (hupo nomon). Instead of "under the flesh" as one might expect. See #Ga 3:2-6 for contrast between law and spirit. The flesh made the law weak (#Rom 8:3; Heb 9:10,13). They are one and the same in result. See same idea in #Ro 8:14. Note present tense of agesqe (if you are continually led by the Spirit). See verse #23.

    5:19 {Manifest} (fanera). Opposed to "hidden" (krupta). Ancient writers were fond of lists of vices and virtues. Cf. Stalker's sermons on _The Seven Cardinal Virtues_ and _The Seven Deadly Sins_. There are more than seven in this deadly list in verses #19-21. He makes the two lists in explanation of the conflict in verse #17 to emphasize the command in verses #13f. There are four groups in Paul's list of manifest vices: (I) Sensual sins like fornication (porneia, prostitution, harlotry), uncleanness (akaqarsia, moral impurity), lasciviousness (aselgeia, wantonness), sexual vice of all kinds prevailed in heathenism. (2) Idolatry (eidwlatreia, worship of idols) and witchcraft (farmakeia from farmakon, a drug, the ministering of drugs), but the sorcerers monopolized the word for a while in their magical arts and used it in connection with idolatry. In N.T. only here and #Re 18:23. See #Ac 19:19 perierga, curious arts. (3) Personal relations expressed by eight words, all old words, sins of the spirit, like enmities (exqrai, personal animosities), strife (eris, rivalry, discord), jealousies (zelos or zeloi, MSS. vary, our very word), wraths (qumoi, stirring emotions, qen explosions), factions (eriqeiai, from eriqos, day laborer for hire, worker in wool, party spirit), divisions (dicostasiai, splits in two, dica and stasis), heresies (haireseis, the very word, but really choosings from haireomai, preferences), envyings (fqonoi, feelings of ill-will). Surely a lively list. (4) {Drunkenness} (meqai, old word and plural, drunken excesses, in N.T. only here and #Lu 21:34; Ro 13:13), revellings (kwmoi, old word also for drinking parties like those in honor of Bacchus, in N.T. only here and #Ro 13:13; 1Pe 4:3). {And such like} (kai ta homoia toutois). And the things like these (associative instrumental toutois after homoia, like). It is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is representative.

    5:21 {Forewarn} (prolegw) {--did forewarn} (proeipon). Paul repeats his warning given while with them. He did his duty qen. Gentile churches were peculiarly subject to these sins. But who is not in danger from them? {Practise} (prassontes). prassw is the verb for habitual practice (our very word, in fact), not poiew for occasional doing. The {habit} of these sins is proof that one is not in the Kingdom of God and will not inherit it.

    5:22 {The fruit of the Spirit} (ho karpos tou pneumatos). Paul changes the figure from {works} (erga) in verse #19 to fruit as the normal out-cropping of the Holy Spirit in us. It is a beautiful tree of fruit that Paul pictures here with nine luscious fruits on it: {Love} (agape). Late, almost Biblical word. First as in #1Co 13, which see for discussion as superior to filia and erws. {Joy} (cara). Old word. See on »1Th 1:6. {Peace} (eirene). See on »1Th 1:1. {Long-suffering} (makroqumia). See on »2Co 6:6. {Kindness} (crestotes). See on »2Co 6:6. {Goodness} (agaqwsune). See on »2Th 1:11. {Faithfulness} (pistis). Same word as "faith." See on »Mt 23:33; 1Co 13:7,13. {Meekness} (prautes). See on »1Co 4:21; 2Co 10:1. {Temperance} (egkrateia). See on »Ac 24:25. Old word from egkrates, one holding control or holding in. In N.T. only in these passages and #2Pe 1:6. Paul has a better list than the four cardinal virtues of the Stoics (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice), though they are included with better notes struck. Temperance is alike, but kindness is better than justice, long-suffering than fortitude, love than prudence.

    5:24 {Crucified the flesh} (ten sarka estaurwsan). Definite event, first aorist active indicative of staurow as in #2:19 (mystical union with Christ). Paul uses sarx here in the same sense as in verses #16,17,19, "the force in men that makes for evil" (Burton). {With} (sun). "Together with," emphasizing "the completeness of the extermination of this evil force" and the guarantee of victory over one's passions and dispositions toward evil.

    5:25 {By the Spirit let us also walk} (pneumati kai stoicwmen). Present subjunctive (volitive) of stoicew, "Let us also go on walking by the Spirit." Let us make our steps by the help and guidance of the Spirit.

    5:26 {Let us not be} (me ginwmeqa). Present middle subjunctive (volitive), "Let us cease becoming vainglorious" (kenodoxoi), late word only here in N.T. (kenos, doxa). Once in Epictetus in same sense. {Provoking one another} (allelous prokaloumenoi). Old word prokalew, to call forth, to challenge to combat. Only here in N.T. and in bad sense. The word for "provoke" in #Heb 10:24 is paroxusmon (our "paroxysm"). {Envying} (fqonountes). Old verb from fqonos. Only here in N.T.

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