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Galatians 4:8-31 Good News Translation (GNT)

Paul's Concern for the Galatians

In the past you did not know God, and so you were slaves of beings who are not gods. But now that you know God—or, I should say, now that God knows you—how is it that you want to turn back to those weak and pitiful ruling spirits? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again? 10 You pay special attention to certain days, months, seasons, and years. 11 I am worried about you! Can it be that all my work for you has been for nothing?

12 I beg you, my friends, be like me. After all, I am like you. You have not done me any wrong. 13 You remember why I preached the gospel to you the first time; it was because I was sick. 14 But even though my physical condition was a great trial to you, you did not despise or reject me. Instead, you received me as you would an angel from heaven; you received me as you would Christ Jesus. 15 You were so happy! What has happened? I myself can say that you would have taken out your own eyes, if you could, and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

17 Those other people show a deep interest in you, but their intentions are not good. All they want is to separate you from me, so that you will have the same interest in them as they have in you. 18 Now, it is good to have such a deep interest if the purpose is good—this is true always, and not merely when I am with you. 19 My dear children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ's nature is formed in you. 20 How I wish I were with you now, so that I could take a different attitude toward you. I am so worried about you!

The Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Let me ask those of you who want to be subject to the Law: do you not hear what the Law says? 22 It says that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman, the other by a free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the usual way, but his son by the free woman was born as a result of God's promise. 24 These things can be understood as a figure: the two women represent two covenants. The one whose children are born in slavery is Hagar, and she represents the covenant made at Mount Sinai. 25 Hagar, who stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia, is[a] a figure of the present city of Jerusalem, in slavery with all its people. 26 But the heavenly Jerusalem is free, and she is our mother. 27 For the scripture says,

“Be happy, you childless woman!
    Shout and cry with joy, you who never felt the pains of childbirth!
For the woman who was deserted will have more children
    than the woman whose husband never left her.”

28 Now, you, my friends, are God's children as a result of his promise, just as Isaac was. 29 At that time the son who was born in the usual way persecuted the one who was born because of God's Spirit; and it is the same now. 30 But what does the scripture say? It says, “Send the slave woman and her son away; for the son of the slave woman will not have a part of the father's property along with the son of the free woman.” 31 So then, my friends, we are not the children of a slave woman but of a free woman.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 4:25 Hagar … is; some manuscripts have Sinai is a mountain in Arabia, and it is.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Galatians 4:8-31 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces[a]? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.

24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:

“Be glad, barren woman,
    you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
    you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
    than of her who has a husband.”[b]

28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”[c] 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 4:9 Or principles
  2. Galatians 4:27 Isaiah 54:1
  3. Galatians 4:30 Gen. 21:10
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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