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12 Ὅσοι θελουσιν ευπροσωπησαι εν σαρκι, οὗτοι αναγχαζουσιν ὑμας περιτεμνεσθαι, μονον ίνα μη τῷ ςαυρῳ του Χριςου διωκωνται.
13 Ουδε γαρ οι περιτεμνομενοι αυτοι νομον φυλασσουσιν· αλλα θελουσιν ὑμας περιτεμνεσθαι, ἵνα εν τη ύμετερα σαρκι καυχησωνται.
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest
they shouldsuffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they might glory in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that
14 Εμοι δε μη γενοιτο καυI should glory, save in the χασθαι, ει μη εν τῷ ςαυρῷ του Κυρίου ήμων Ιησου Χρισου· δι ̓ ᾧ εμοι κοσμος εςαυ
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
ρωται, καγω τῷ κόσμῳ.
by God to follow vice, even in the present life, for the purpose of reclaiming the wicked, to relieve their wants in an abundant manner, would be to counteract the wise plan of the divine providence, and to encourage them in their wickedness.
Ver. 11.1. Υe see how large a letter. The phrase πηλικοις γραμμασι, is rightly translated, how large a letter. For the first word, πηλίκοις, properly signifies of what size ; and the second word, γραμμασι, denotes an epistle, as well as the letters of the alphabet. See Acts xxviii. 21. This translation is adopted by Beza, Le Clerc, Beausobre, Wolf, and Lardner. But Whitby, Doddridge, and others, following Jerome, Chrysostom, and Theophylact, translate πηλίκοις γραμμασι, with what kind of letters ; supposing it to be an apology for the inelegance of the writing. For from the apostle's making use of an amanuensis in his other letters, they infer that he was not accustomed to write Greek. The inference, however, does not follow. Eminent men much engaged in affairs, commonly employ others to write for them, notwithstanding they are able to write very well themselves. I therefore prefer the translation in our Bibles, which represents the apostle as informing the Galatians, that he wrote this large epistle with his own hand, to shew how anxious he was to reclaim them from their errors, and to give them the fullest assurance of the truth of the doctrines contained in it; and that he uniformly preached the same doctrines every where.
Ver. 12.—1. As many as wish to appear fair by the flesh. So the phrase ευπροσωπησαι εν σαρκι, may be translated : for ευπροσωπησαι, properly signifies, to have an bandsome, or lovely countenance. The apostle's meaning is, that the false teachers wished to appear well in the eyes of the Jews, on account of their attachment to the law of Moses, which the apostle in other passages terms the flesh, in opposition to the gospel, which he calls the spirit Gal. iii. 3. note.
12 As many as wish to appear fair by the flesh, these constrain you to be circumcised, only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 2
12 As many of your teachers as wish to appear fair, in the eyes of their unbelieving brethren, by their attachment to the law, these strongly persuade you to be circumcised, not because they think circumcision necessary to salvation, but only that they may not be persecuted by the unbelieving Jews, for preaching salvation through a crucified Messiah.
13 These hypocrites do not enjoin circumcision on any conscientious motives; for not even do the circumcised themselves, keep the law of Moses, but they wish you to be circumcised, merely that they may boast among the unbelieving Jews, of having persuaded you to receive that rite in your flesh.
13 For not even do the circumcised themselves keep the law, (see chap. v. Illustr. ver. 3.) but they wish you to be circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh.
14 But let it never happen to me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified to me,1 and I to the world. 2
14 But let it never happen to me to boust, except in salvation through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified to me; is rendered incapable, either of alluring me by its pleasures, or of terrifying me by its frowns; and I am crucified to the world; I am rendered incapable of its sinful practices and sinful pleasures.
2. That they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. The Jewish chief priests and elders, were great persecutors of the disciples of Christ, and began their persecution very early, John ix. 22. xii. 42. xix. 38. Even Paul himself, before his conversion, was employed by them in this hateful work, which he executed with great violence, not in Judea only, but in foreign cities. It seems the mandates of the council at Jerusalem, were received with implicit submission, even by the synagogues in the Gentile countries, Acts ix. 2. Wherefore the false teachers, of whom the apostle speaks, to recommend themselves to the rulers at Jerusalem, who stirred up the unbelieving Jews every where against the Christians, fell upon the scheme of blending Judaism with the gospel; and as the apostle informs us, urged the Gentiles to receive circumcision, merely that they themselves might not be persecuted for the cross of Christ, or gospel doctrine of salvation through a crucified Messiah.
Ver. 14.-1. By which the world is crucified to me, &c. As believers are
15 For in Christ Je- 15 Εν γαρ Χριςῳ Ιησου sus neither circumcision ούτε περιτομη τι ισχυει, ούτε availeth any thing, nor ακροβυζια, αλλα καινη κτι
uncircumcision, but a new
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
16 Και όσοι τῷ κανονι τουτῳ ςοιχησουσιν ειρηνη επ' αυτους και ελεος, και εWi τον Ισραηλ του Θεου.
17 From henceforth let
17 Του λοιπου, χοπους μοι no man trouble me: for 1 μηδεις παρεχετω· εγω γαρ τα
bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
ζιγματα του Κυρίου Ιησου εν τῳ σωματι μου βαςαζω.
no where said to be crucified by Christ, the words ♪♫ iv, must be translated, by which, and not by whom; for the pronoun iv, is put for σταυρού. The world is said to be crucified to believers by the cross of Christ, because Christ having been put to death for calling himself the Son of God, he was demonstrated to be really the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. Consequently by that great miracle, God confirmed all the promises which Christ made to mankind concerning the pardon of their sins through his death, and concerning his own return from heaven to raise the dead, and judge the world, and to bestow on the righteous eternal life. Now by the firm expectation of these great events, and the assured hope of enjoying eternal happiness with Christ in heaven, founded on the cross, that is, on the death and resurrection of Christ, the world, like the dead carcase of a crucified malefactor, is stript of all its vain allurements.-Farther, our Lord having on the cross endured with the greatest patience and fortitude extreme sufferings; and having received in his human nature the government of the world, as the reward of these sufferings, his followers are thereby taught, that the cause of God and religion often needs the sufferings of good men to support it: and that when they are called to suffer for his cause, they shall receive extraordinary assistances and consolations from God; and that distinguished rewards shall be bestowed on them who suffer courageously for righteousness sake By all which it comes to pass, as the apostle affirms, that the world with its terrors, hath no more power to excite in the mind of believers undue fears, than the dead carcase of a crucified enemy.
2. And I to the world. The cross of Christ likewise crucifies believers to the world. It inspires them with such principles, and leads them to such a course of life, as renders them in the eyes of the world as contemptible, and as unfit for their purposes, as if they were dead carcases. All believers, therefore, after the apostle's example, justly glory in the crucifixion of their master, not only as it is the foundation of that assured hope of pardon which they entertain, but as it is an effectual principle of their sanctification.
15 For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision avai!eth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (See chap. v. 6. note 2.)
15 I boast in the cross of Christ, as the only foundation of my hope of salvation, and as the great principle of my sanctification; Because, under the gospel, neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision is of any avail towards our acceptance with God, but the being a new creature.
16 Now as many of the believing. Gentiles as walk by this rule, seeking acceptance with God, not by cir cumcision, but by becoming new creatures, may peace be their portion in this life, and pardon at the day of judgment. The same blessing I wish on the believing Jews.
16 Now as many as shall walk by this rule, (xavov. Philip. iii. 14. note 1.) peace BE on them,' and mercy, and on the Israel of God.2
17 Henceforth let no one give me trouble: for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body.
17 Henceforth, let no one give me trouble, by calling my commission, my doctrine, or my faithfulness in question: For I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus's servant in my body.
Ver. 15.-1. A new creature. The phrases new creature, new man, Col. iii. 10. and the putting on of Christ, Gal. iii. 27. (See Ephesians iv. 24. note,) are often used by the apostle, to denote an entire change of principles, disposi tions, and actions. See 2 Cor. v. 17. notes 1, 2.
Ver. 16.-1. Peace be on them: or peace shall be on them. In this manner of translating the clause, it is a prediction or promise of happiness, rather than a benediction. For the meaning of peace, see Rom. i. 7. note 4.
2. Israel of God. Not the believing Jews only, but the believing Gentiles, are called the Israel of God, because they are the spiritual seed of Abraham, and the only children of God to whom the promises in their secondary and highest meaning belong. But here, the Israel of God, being distinguished from the believing Gentiles, are plainly the Jewish believers.
Ver. 17.-1. I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body. Because the word syμara denotes marks made by burning, it is generally supposed that the apostle had in his eye, those servants in the heathen temples, on whose foreheads the name of the god to whom they belonged was burned. After which, it was believed they were under the immediate protection of the god. Hence the beast, Rev. xiii. 1. had upon its head the name of Blasphemy: and the worshippers of the beast, ver. 16. had a mark on their right hand, or on their forebeads, whereby they were known to be its worshippers, In like manner, the servants of God have his name on their foreheads, Rev. xxii. 4.-The apostle, in allusion to these customs, calls the scars of the
wounds which he received when stoned, and left as dead on the street of Lystra, the marks of the Lord Jesus. Farther, as he was five times scourged by the Jews, and thrice beaten with rods by the Romans, 2 Cor. xi. 24, 25. he may have suffered some of these punishments before this epistle was written. And if the wounds which he then received left scars in his body, he might call them likewise, the marks by which he was distinguished as the servant of the Lord Jesus.-Chandler conjectures, that by forbidding any one to give him trouble, seeing he bare the marks of the Lord Jesus in his body, the apostle threatened to punish the Judaizing teachers with the rod as if he had said, at his peril, let any man from henceforth give me trouble, by calling my apostleship in question. Perhaps he meant likewise to insinuate, that the marks of the Lord Jesus in his body, were much better proofs of his being Christ's servant, than the mark of circumcision, of which the false teachers boasted, was a proof of their being God's servants.
Ver. 18-1. Brethren. The attentive reader must have taken notice of the severity with which the apostle treated the Galatians. His rebukes were sharp, (chap. i. 6. iv. 11. v. 15.) and the language, in which he gave them, cutting. For he twice called them senseless Galatians. Nevertheless, having expressed his persuasion, that after reading what he had written, they would not think differently from him, in the great articles of the Christian doctrine, ch. v. 10. he shewed his love to them, not only by giving them his apostolical benediction, but by calling them brethren; and by making that appellation the last word of his letter but one.
As it was the general belief of the Jewish nation, that salvation could only be obtained by obedience to the law of Moses, it is natural to suppose, that many of the Jews who embraced the gospel, would teach the Gentiles, that unless they were circumcised they could not be saved: And, on the other hand, that such of them as knew the truth of the gospel, would oppose that false doctrine with a zeal equal to the magnitude of its pernicious consequences. The truth is, this controversy actually took place very early in the church, and occasioned such keen disputation and dissention among the brethren, that it became necessary to apply to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem to have it determined. Accordingly, after deliberating on the matter with the chief brethren of the church of Jerusa