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Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ from a servant though he is lord of all. But he is under tutors and governors until the time appointed by the father. So when we were children, we were in bondage to the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born from a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Previously, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods. But now, after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how do you turn again to the weak and beggarly elemental forces to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have worked for you in vain.

12 Brothers, I ask you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong. 13 You know that it was because of an infirmity of the flesh that I first preached the gospel to you. 14 Though my infirmity was a trial to you, you neither despised nor rejected me, but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 So where is your blessing? For I bear witness of you that, if it had been possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

17 They would zealously influence you, but not favorably. Yes, they would exclusively control you, so that you might consult them. 18 But it is good to be zealous in a good manner always and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, of whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am displeased with you.

The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a slave woman, the other by a free woman. 23 But he who was of the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but he of the free woman through the promise.

24 These things are an allegory, for these are the two covenants. The one is from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and represents the present Jerusalem, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is written:

“Rejoice, barren woman
    who does not bear;
break forth and shout,
    you who have no labor pains!
For the desolate has many more children
    than she who has a husband.”[a]

28 Now we, brothers, like Isaac, are the children of promise. 29 But as it was then, he who was born after the flesh persecuted him who was born after the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.”[b] 31 So then, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.