King James Version
4 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? 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, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
English Standard Version
Sons and Heirs
4 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,[a] though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, (A)were enslaved to the elementary principles[b] of the world. 4 But (B)when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, (C)born (D)of woman, born (E)under the law, 5 (F)to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive (G)adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent (H)the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then (I)an heir through God.
Paul's Concern for the Galatians
8 Formerly, when you (J)did not know God, you (K)were enslaved to those that by nature (L)are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather (M)to be known by God, (N)how can you turn back again to (O)the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 (P)You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid (Q)I may have labored over you in vain.
12 Brothers,[c] (R)I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. (S)You did me no wrong. 13 You know it was (T)because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you (U)at first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me (V)as an angel of God, (W)as Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by (X)telling you the truth?[d] 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and (Y)not only when I am present with you, 19 (Z)my little children, (AA)for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ (AB)is formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Example of Hagar and Sarah
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, (AC)one by a slave woman and (AD)one by a free woman. 23 But (AE)the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while (AF)the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two (AG)covenants. (AH)One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;[e] she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But (AI)the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
(AJ)“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than those of the one who has a husband.”
28 Now you,[f] brothers, (AK)like Isaac, (AL)are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh (AM)persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, (AN)so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? (AO)“Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but (AP)of the free woman.
- Galatians 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 7
- Galatians 4:3 Or elemental spirits; also verse 9
- Galatians 4:12 Or Brothers and sisters; also verses 28, 31
- Galatians 4:16 Or by dealing truthfully with you
- Galatians 4:25 Some manuscripts For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia
- Galatians 4:28 Some manuscripts we