Add parallel Print Page Options

Living as Heirs

Now I am saying, so long as the heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, even though he is the owner of everything. Instead, he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also, when we were underage, we were subservient to the basic principles of the world. But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons. Now because you are sons, God sent the Ruach of His Son into our hearts, who cries out, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son—and if a son, also an heir through God. [a] But at that time, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods at all. But now you have come to know God—or rather you have come to be known by God. So how can you turn back again to those weak and worthless principles? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain!

12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong— 13 you know it was because of a physical ailment that I proclaimed the Good News to you the first time; 14 and though my physical condition was a trial to you, you did not hate or reject me. No, you welcomed me as a messenger of God—or even as Messiah Yeshua. 15 So where is your sense of joy? For I testify that you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me, if possible. 16 So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?! 17 Others zealously court you—not in a good way, but they wish to shut you out so that you will court them. 18 To be courted is good, but let it always be in a good way—and not just when I am there with you. 19 My dear children! Again I suffer labor pains until Messiah is formed in you. 20 I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, for I don’t know what to make of you.

Midrash on Abraham’s Two Sons

21 Tell me, you who want to be under Torah, don’t you understand[b] the Torah? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and one by the free woman. [c] 23 But one—the son by the slave woman—was born naturally;[d] while the other—the son by the free woman—was through the promise. 24 Now these things are being treated allegorically, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, giving birth to slavery—this is Hagar. 25 But this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery along with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free—she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

“Rejoice, O barren woman
    who bears no children.
Break forth and shout,
    you who suffer no labor pains.
For more are the children of the desolate
    than of the one who has a husband.”[e]

28 Now you, brothers and sisters—like Isaac, you are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time the one born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Ruach, so it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Drive out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son”[f] of the free woman. 31 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.


  1. Galatians 4:8 Some mss. read heir of God through Messiah.
  2. Galatians 4:21 Or hear, listen to the law; cf. Deut. 6:4; 18:15; Exod. 24:7.
  3. Galatians 4:23 cf. Gen. 16:15; Gen. 21:2.
  4. Galatians 4:23 Lit. according to the flesh.
  5. Galatians 4:27 Isa. 54:1.
  6. Galatians 4:30 Gen. 21:10(LXX).