Galatians 4:1-20

Slavery v. Freedom

By David M Rogers

www.BibleTruth.cc

Published: February 2011

Table of Contents

Formerly Being a Slave

Weak and Poor Elementary Matters

The Example of Sha'ul

 


Galatians 4:1-20

And I say, for as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards till the time prearranged by the father.  So we also, when we were children, were under the elementary matters of the world, being enslaved.  But when the completion of the time came, Elohim sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under Torah, to redeem those who were under Torah, in order to receive the adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!"  So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, also an heir of Elohim through Messiah.  But then, indeed, not knowing Elohim, you served those which by nature are not mighty ones.  But now after you have known Elohim, or rather are known by Elohim, how do you turn again to the weak and poor elementary matters, to which you wish to be enslaved again?  You observe days and months and seasons and years.  I fear for you, lest by any means I have labored for you in vain.  Brothers, I beg you to become as I am, because I am as you are. You did not wrong me at all.  But you know that through weakness of the flesh I brought the Good News to you before.  And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as a messenger of Elohim, as Messiah Yahusha.  Then where was your blessing? For I bear you witness, that if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. So then, have I become your enemy, speaking truth to you?  They are jealous towards you, for no good, but they wish to shut you out, that you might be jealous towards them.  And it is good always to be jealous in what is good, and not only when I am present with you.  My little children, for whom I am again in birth pains until Messiah is formed in you, even now I wish to be present with you now and to change my voice, for I have doubts about you.

Formerly Being a Slave

Under Guardianship

1 And I say, for as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, though he is master of all,

2 but is under guardians and stewards till the time prearranged by the father.

The Child

Sha’ul uses "child" (Gr. "paidos") because of its link to tutor (Gr. "paidagogos" child leader)

The minor (child) is one who is under submission to another

The guardians and the stewards are those who were put in charge over the house (see parable of the stewards – Luke 20:9ff)

(see Dev 30:1-4)

This "heir" child comes of age at the "appointed time set by the father" – a reference to the time when Israel would repent of its wanderings under the authority of men and return to Covenant (Dev 4:25-31)

Weak and Poor Elementary Matters

3 So we also, when we were children, were under the elementary matters of the world, being enslaved.

While children (under the authority of another), Israel submitted to the rules of the nations where they were enslaved, while Yehudah became enslaved to the rules of men as dictated by the Pharisees.

Cf. Colossians 2:8 tradition of men = the elementary principles of the world (see also 2:20-22)

The World’s Religion

Devarim 4:19 When you look up to the sky, see the sun, moon, and stars--the whole heavenly creation--you must not be seduced to worship and serve them, for Yahuwah your Elohim has assigned them to all the people of the world.

The elementary things are probably the worship of sun, moon and stars – or as others have categorized them – air, water, fire, earth.

The Comparison to Mosheh

4 But when the completion of the time came, Elohim sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under Torah,

5 to redeem those who were under Torah, in order to receive the adoption as sons.

The story and history of Mosheh were well known – the "prophet like Mosheh" would thus have similar qualifications!

The Prophet Like Mosheh

Mosheh

Set time = pesach

Sent forth by Yah

Geneology – born as one of them

Under Torah –born under enslavement

Redeem – redeemed slaves

(Grew up in royalty, gave it up to redeem his people)

Adoption – brought Israel into relationship as sons

Prophet Like Mosheh

Set time = pesach

Sent by Yah

Geneology – the Seed of prophesy, of Miriyam

Born under the system of Rabbinic authority

Redeem his people from this Rabbinic authority

(Also gave up his royalty to redeem his people)

Introduced talmidim back to Torah obedience as sons

Adopted into the Family

6 And because you are sons, Elohim has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!"

7 So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, also an heir of Elohim through Messiah.

Our Father

"Our father, who is in heaven…"

Hebrew: Avinu sh’beshamayim

Yesh 64:8 Yet, Yahuwah, you are our father. We are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the product of your labor.

63:16 For you are our father, though Avraham does not know us and Yisrael does not recognize us. You, Yahuwah, are our father; you have been called our protector from ancient times.

See also Yesh 22:21; 9:6; Yirm 3:4, 19; 31:9; Ber 49:25

We are the Sons of Elohim

Shemot 4:22, 23 22 You must say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says Yahuwah, "Yisrael is my son, my firstborn, and I said to you, 'Let my son go that he may serve me,'

Devarim 14:1,2 You are sons of Yahuwah your Elohim. Do not cut yourselves or make your forehead bald for the sake of the dead. For you are a people set-apart to Yahuwah your Elohim. He has chosen you to be his people, prized above all others on the face of the earth.

Hoshea 1:10 However, in the future the number of the people of Yisrael will be like the sand of the sea which can be neither measured nor numbered. Although it was said to them, "You are not my people," it will be said to them, "You are sons of the living Elohim!"

Knowing Elohim

8 But then, indeed, not knowing Elohim, you served those which by nature are not mighty ones.

9 But now after you have known Elohim, or rather are known by Elohim, how do you turn again to the weak and poor elementary matters, to which you wish to be enslaved again?

To Know Him is To Obey Him

Shemot 5:2 2 But Pharaoh said, "Who is Yahuwah that I should obey him by releasing Yisrael? I do not know Yahuwah, and I will not release Yisrael."

Yochanan 2:3-5 Now by this we know that we have come to know Elohim: if we keep his commandments. The one who says "I have come to know Elohim" and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person. But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of Elohim has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him.

The Weak and Poor Principles

Vs3 "Elementary principles of the world" – this could never be mistaken for the Written Word of Elohim, could it?

Again, this is clearly a reference to man-made teachings we were once slaves of – the rules made by men.

Vs9 "weak and poor elementary matters"

Amazing that Bible scholars think Sha’ul is calling the written Torah "worldly" "weak" and "poor"!

Returning to Old Practices

Tehillah 106:34 They did not destroy the nations, as Yahuwah had commanded them to do.

35 They mixed in with the nations and learned their ways (Hebrew ma’asim).

36 They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.

37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.

The Works of the Oral Torah

10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.

These are Pharisaical Halachic observances

Days=mandated fast days, see Luke 18:11ff

Months=the "calculated" calendar? The lunar\solar reckoning of Rosh Chodesh

Times=moadim with attached oral requirements of Sanhedrin

Years=rabbinical loopholes regarding the "shimitah" 7th year requirements of Torah

11 I fear for you, lest by any means I have labored for you in vain.

The Example of Sha'ul

12 Brothers, I beg you to become as I am, because I am as you are. You did not wrong me at all.

13 But you know that through weakness of the flesh I brought the Good News to you before.

14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as a messenger of Elohim, as Messiah Yahusha .

15 Then where was your blessing? For I bear you witness, that if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.

16 So then, have I become your enemy, speaking truth to you?

Sha’ul’s Weakness of the Flesh

Sight problems stemming from the blindness experienced on the road to Damascus?

See Acts 9:1-9

His "thorn in the flesh" = sight problems?

See 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

17 They are jealous towards you, for no good, but they wish to shut you out, that you might be jealous towards them.

18 And it is good always to be jealous in what is good, and not only when I am present with you.

No good vs. good = Pharisees vs. Scripture = man’s authority vs. Yah’s authority

The Fight For You

"They" = Pharisees = "Torah Hating Enemies of Yah"

The Pharisees jealously seek to capture all they can to rule over. They wish to "shut you out" of the kingdom of heaven by turning you away from written Torah

Mattityahu 23:13 "But woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven! For you neither enter nor permit those trying to enter to go in.

19 My little children, for whom I am again in birth pains until Messiah is formed in you,

20 even now I wish to be present with you now and to change my voice, for I have doubts about you.

The struggle to recapture a people to return to faithfulness to Messiah (instead of fidelity to Pharisees) is described here as "birth pains"

END