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Galatians 4 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:1 - What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:2 - The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:3 - So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces[fn] of the world.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:4 - But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:5 - to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:6 - Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[fn] Father.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:7 - So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:8 - Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:9 - 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[fn]? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:10 - You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:11 - I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:12 - I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:13 - As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you,
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:14 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:15 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:16 - Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:17 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:18 - It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:19 - My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:20 - how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

Hagar and Sarah

(Gen 21:8–21; Isa 54:1 )
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:21 - Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:22 - For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:23 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:24 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:25 - Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:26 - But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:27 - 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.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:28 - Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:29 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:30 - 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.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 4:31 - Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
NIV Footnotes
Or under the basic principles
The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
Aramaic for Father
Or principles
Isaiah 54:1
Gen. 21:10

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

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For more information on this translation, see the NIV Preface.

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