Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Galatians 4:30

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

What saith the Scripture? - (In Genesis 21:10;): Cast out the bond woman and her son: and what does this imply in the present case? Why, that the present Jerusalem and her children shall be cast out of the favor of God, and shall not be heirs with the son of the free woman - shall not inherit the blessings promised to Abraham, because they believe not in the promised seed.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Nevertheless - But Ἀλλὰ (Alla).

What saith the Scripture? - What does the Scripture teach on the subject? What lesson does it convey in regard to the bondman?

Cast out the bondwoman and her son - This was the language of Sarah, in an address to Abraham, requesting him to cast out Hagar and Ishmael; Genesis 21:10. That was done. Paul uses it here as applicable to the case before him. As used by him the meaning is, that everything like servitude in the gospel is to be rejected, as Hagar and Ishmael were driven away. It does not mean, as it seems to me, that they were to expel the Jewish teachers in Galatia, but that they were to reject everything like servitude and bondage; they were to adhere only to that which was free. Paul cannot here mean that the passage in Genesis 21:10, originally had reference to the gospel, for nothing evidently was further from the mind of Sarah than any such reference; nor can it be shown that he meant to approve of or vindicate the conduct of Sarah; but he finds a passage applicable to his purpose, and he conveys his ideas in that language as exactly expressing his meaning. We all use language in that way wherever we find it.

(Yet God confirmed the sentence of Sarah; Genesis 21:12. Hence, Mr. Scott thus paraphrases, “But as the Galatians might read in the Scriptures that God himself had commanded Hagar and Ishmael to be sent away from Abraham‘s family, that the son of the bondwoman might not share the inheritance with Isaac; even so the Jewish nation would soon be cast out of the church, and all who continued under the legal covenant excluded from heaven.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The history thus explained is applied. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free. If the privileges of all believers were so great, according to the new covenant, how absurd for the Gentile converts to be under that law, which could not deliver the unbelieving Jews from bondage or condemnation! We should not have found out this allegory in the history of Sarah and Hagar, if it had not been shown to us, yet we cannot doubt it was intended by the Holy Spirit. It is an explanation of the subject, not an argument in proof of it. The two covenants of works and grace, and legal and evangelical professors, are shadowed forth. Works and fruits brought forth in a man's own strength, are legal. But if arising from faith in Christ, they are evangelical. The first covenant spirit is of bondage unto sin and death. The second covenant spirit is of liberty and freedom; not liberty to sin, but in and unto duty. The first is a spirit of persecution; the second is a spirit of love. Let those professors look to it, who have a violent, harsh, imposing spirit, towards the people of God. Yet as Abraham turned aside to Hagar, so it is possible a believer may turn aside in some things to the covenant of works, when through unbelief and neglect of the promise he acts according to the law, in his own strength; or in a way of violence, not of love, towards the brethren. Yet it is not his way, not his spirit to do so; hence he is never at rest, till he returns to his dependence on Christ again. Let us rest our souls on the Scriptures, and by a gospel hope and cheerful obedience, show that our conversation and treasure are indeed in heaven.
Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 66.4

If ever a people needed light, it is those who are living in the very closing days of this earth's history. We want to know what saith the Scripture. We want to come to the living oracles of God. We want that living faith which grasps the arm of infinite power, and we want to rely with all our being upon Jesus Christ, our righteousness. And we may do it. Yes, we do it profitably to our own soul's interest. FW 66.4

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1077

13. See EGW on 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. 6BC 1077.1

15-21 (1 Timothy 1:9, 10; James 1:22-25; see EGW on 2 Corinthians 3:6-9). Not Obedient, but Transgressors, Under Bondage—Paul in his Epistle to Timothy describes the very men who are under the bondage of the law. They are the transgressors of the law. He names them lawless, disobedient, sinners, unholy, profane, murderers, adulterers, liars, and all who depart from sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1:9, 10. 6BC 1077.2

The law of God is the mirror to show man the defects in his character. But it is not pleasant to those who take pleasure in unrighteousness to see their moral deformity. They do not prize this faithful mirror, because it reveals to them their sins. Therefore, instead of instituting a war against their carnal minds, they war against the true and faithful mirror, given them by Jehovah for the very purpose that they may not be deceived, but that they may have revealed to them the defects in their character. 6BC 1077.3

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