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Galatians 4:21-31 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Let us see what the Law itself has to say

21 Now tell me, you who want to be under the Law, have you heard what the Law says?

22-27 It is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave and the other by the free woman. The child of the slave was born in the ordinary course of nature, but the child of the free woman was born in accordance with God’s promise. This can be regarded as an allegory. Here are the two agreements represented by the two women: the one from Mount Sinai bearing children into slavery, typified by Hagar (Mount Sinai being in Arabia, the land of the descendants of Ishmael, Hagar’s son), and corresponding to present-day Jerusalem—for the Jews are still, spiritually speaking, “slaves”. But the free woman typifies the heavenly Jerusalem, which is the mother of us all, and is spiritually “free”. It is written: ‘Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who do not travail! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.’

28-30 Now we, my brothers, are like Isaac, for we are children born “by promise”. But just as in those far-off days the natural son persecuted the “spiritual” son, so it is today. Yet what is the scriptural instruction? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.’

31 So then, my brothers, we are not to look upon ourselves as the sons of the slave woman but of the free, not sons of slavery under the Law but sons of freedom under grace.

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

The New Testament in Modern English by J.B Phillips copyright © 1960, 1972 J. B. Phillips. Administered by The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England. Used by Permission.

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