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Sonship in Christ

Now I say, as long as the heir is a [a]child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is [b]owner of everything, but he is under guardians and stewards until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were (A)enslaved under the [c](B)elemental things of the world. But when (C)the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, (D)born of a woman, born (E)under [d]the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under [e]the Law, that we might receive the adoption as (F)sons. And because you are sons, (G)God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “(H)Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and (I)if a son, then an heir [f]through God.

However at that time, (J)when you did not know God, you were (K)slaves to (L)those which by nature are no gods. But now, having known God, or rather having been (M)known by God, (N)how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless [g](O)elemental things, to which you want to be enslaved all over again? 10 You (P)observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored [h]over you for nothing.

12 I beg of you, (Q)brothers, (R)become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong. 13 But you know that it was because of a [i]bodily illness that I proclaimed the gospel to you the [j]first time; 14 and that which was a [k]trial to you in my [l]bodily condition you did not despise or [m]loathe, but (S)you received me as an angel of God, as (T)Christ Jesus Himself. 15 Where then is [n]that sense of blessing you had? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So have I become your enemy (U)by [o]telling you the truth? 17 They zealously seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will zealously seek them. 18 But it is good always to be zealously sought in a commendable [p]manner, and (V)not only when I am present with you. 19 (W)My children, with whom (X)I am again in labor until (Y)Christ is formed in you— 20 but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, because (Z)I am perplexed about you.

An Allegory of Two Covenants

21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not (AA)listen to the Law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, (AB)one by the servant-woman and (AC)one by the free woman. 23 But (AD)the son by the servant-woman had been born according to the flesh, while (AE)the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 [q](AF)This is [r]spoken with allegory, for these women are two covenants: one from (AG)Mount Sinai bearing children into (AH)slavery; [s]she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But (AI)the Jerusalem above is free; [t]she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

(AJ)Rejoice, barren woman who does not give birth;
Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor;
For more numerous are the children of the desolate one
Than of the one who has a husband.”

28 And you brothers, (AK)in accordance with Isaac, are (AL)children of promise. 29 But as at that time (AM)he who was born according to the flesh (AN)was persecuting him who was born according to the Spirit, (AO)so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say?

(AP)Cast out the servant-woman and her son,
For (AQ)the son of the servant-woman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”

31 So then, brothers, we are not children of a servant-woman, [u]but of the free woman.


  1. Galatians 4:1 Or minor
  2. Galatians 4:1 Lit lord
  3. Galatians 4:3 Or rudimentary teachings, principles
  4. Galatians 4:4 Or law
  5. Galatians 4:5 Or law
  6. Galatians 4:7 Through the gracious act of
  7. Galatians 4:9 Or rudimentary teachings, principles
  8. Galatians 4:11 Or for
  9. Galatians 4:13 Lit weakness of the flesh
  10. Galatians 4:13 Or former
  11. Galatians 4:14 Or temptation
  12. Galatians 4:14 Lit flesh
  13. Galatians 4:14 Lit spit out at
  14. Galatians 4:15 Lit the congratulation of yourselves
  15. Galatians 4:16 Or dealing truthfully with you
  16. Galatians 4:18 Or thing
  17. Galatians 4:24 Lit Which
  18. Galatians 4:24 Or written
  19. Galatians 4:24 Lit which
  20. Galatians 4:26 Lit which
  21. Galatians 4:31 Ch 5:1, note 1