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Galatians 4

1 Then (1) I say, that the (*) heir as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be Lord of all,


(1) He declareth that by another double similitude, that which he said before concerning the keeper and schoolmaster. For he saith, that the Law, (that is, the whole government of God's house according to the Law) was as it were a tutor or overseer appointed for a time, until such time as that protection and overseeing which was but for a time, being ended, we should at length come to be at our own liberty, and should live as children, and not as servants. Moreover, he sheweth by the way, that the governance of the Law, was as it were an A B C, and as certain principles in comparison of the doctrine of the Gospel.

(*) The Church of Israel was under the Law as the pupil subject to his tutor, even unto the time of Christ, when she waxed strong, and then her tutorship ended.


 2 But is under (*) tutors and governors, (a) until the time appointed of the Father.


(*) That is, the Law, which before he called a schoolmaster, Galatians 3:25 .

(a) This is added, because he that is always under a tutor or governor, may hardly be counted a freeman.


 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the (b) (*) rudiments of the world.


(b) The Law is called rudiments, because that by the Law God instructed his Church as it were by rudiments, and afterward poured out his holy Spirit most plentifully in the time of the Gospel.

(*) That is, under the Law, which was but an, a. b. c. in respect of the Gospel.


 4  (2) But when the (c) fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a (d) woman, and made (*) under the Law,


(2) He uttereth and declareth many things at once, to wit, that this tutorship was ended at his time, that curious men may leave to ask, why that schoolmastership lasted so long. And moreover, that we are not sons by nature, but by adoption, and that in that Son of God, who therefore took upon him our flesh, that we might be made his brethren.
(c) The time is said to be full, when all parts of it are past and ended, and therefore Christ could not have come either sooner or later.
(d) He calleth Mary a woman, in respect of the sex, and not as the word is used in a contrary sense, to a virgin still.

(*) That is, who was subject unto the Law.


 5 That he might redeem them which were under the Law, that we (*) might receive the (e) adoption of the sons.


(*) Romans 8:15 .

(e) The adoption of the sons of God, is from everlasting, but is revealed and shewed in the time appointed for it.


 6  (3) And because ye are sons, God hath (f) sent forth the (g) (*) Spirit of his Son into your hearts, which crieth, (♣) Abba, Father.


(3) He sheweth that we are in such sort free and set at liberty, that in the mean season we must be governed by the Spirit of Christ, which reigning in our hearts, may teach us the true service of the Father. But this is not to serve, but rather to enjoy true liberality, as it cometh sons and heirs.
(f) By that which followeth he gathereth that which went before; for if we have his Spirit, we are his sons, and if we are his sons, then are we free.
(g) The holy Ghost, who is both of the Father, and of the Son; but there is a peculiar reason why he is called the Spirit of the Son, to wit, because the holy Ghost sealeth up our adoption in Christ, and maketh us a full assurance of it.

(*) For our adoption unto Christ is sealed by him.

(♣) He instructeth both Jews and Gentiles to call God their Father in every language, so that none are expected.


 7 Wherefore, thou art no more (*) a (h) servant, but a son; now if thou be a son, thou art also the (i) heir of God through Christ.


(*) Which mayest not use thy liberty.

(h) The word, servant, is not taken here for one that liveth in sin, which is proper to the infidels, but for one that is yet under the ceremonies of the Law, which is proper to the Jews.
(i) Partaker of this blessings.


 8  (4) But even then, when ye (*) knew not God, ye did service unto them, which by (♣) nature are not gods.


(4) He applieth the former doctrine to the Galatians, with a peculiar reprehension; for in comparison of them, the Jews might have pretended some excuse as men that were born and brought up in that service of the Law. But seeing that the Galatians were taken and called out of idolatry to Christian liberty, what pretence might they have to go back to those impotent and beggarly rudiments?

(*) When ye received the Gospel, ye were idolaters; therefore it is shame for you to refuse liberty and become servants, yea, and seeing the Jews desire to be out of their tutorship.

(♣) Not in deed, but in opinion.


 9 But now seeing ye know God, yea, rather are known of God, how turn (*) ye again unto impotent and (k) beggarly rudiments, whereunto as from the beginning ye will be in bondage (l) again?


(*) The Galatians, of Paynims began to be Christians, but by false apostles were turned backward to begin anew the Jewish ceremonies, and so instead of going forward toward Christ they ran backward from him.

(k) They are called impotent and beggarly ceremonies, being considered apart by themselves without Christ; and again, for that by that means they gave good testimony that they were beggars in Christ, when as notwithstanding, for men, to fall back from Christ to ceremonies, it is nothing else, but to cast away riches, and to follow beggary.
(l) By going backward.


 10 Ye observe (*) days, and months, and times, and years.


(*) Ye observe days, as Sabbaths, new moons, ect.; ye observe months as the first and seventh month; ye observe times, as Easter, Whitsuntide, the feast of Tabernacles; ye observe years as the Jubilee, or year of forgiveness, which beggarly ceremonies are most pernicious to them which have received the sweet liberty of the Gospel, and thrust them back into superstitious slavery.


 11 I am in fear of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain.


 12  (5) Be ye as (*) I (for I am even as you) brethren, I beseech you; ye have not hurt (♣) me at all.


(5) He mitigateth and qualifieth those things wherein he might have seemed to have spoken somewhat sharply, very artificiously and divinely, declaring his good will towards them in such sort, that the Galatians could not but either be utterly desperate when they read these things, or acknowledge their own lightness with tears, and desire pardon.

(*) So friendful to me, as I am affectioned toward you.

(♣) For I pardon you, if you repent.


 13 And ye know, how through (m) (*) infirmity of the flesh, I preached the Gospel unto you at the first.


(m) Many afflictions.

(*) Being in great dangers and afflictions, but without pomp and ostentation.



 14  (*) And the (n) trial of me which was in my flesh, ye despised not, neither abhorred, but ye received me as an Angel of God, yea, as (o) Christ Jesus.


(*) That is, the troubles and vexations which God sent to try me while I was among you.

(n) Those daily troubles wherewith the Lord tried me amongst you.
(o) For my ministries sake.


 15  (p) What was then your felicity? 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.


(p) What a talk was there abroad in the world amongst men, how happy you were?


 16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?


 17 They are jealous over you (q) (*) amiss, yea, they would exclude (♣) you, (r) that ye should altogether love them.


(q) For they are jealous over you for their own commodity.

(*) For they are but ambitious.

(♣) They would turn you from me that you might follow them.
(r) That they may convey all your love from me to themselves.


 18 But it is a good thing to love (s) earnestly always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.


(s) He setteth his own true and good love, which was earnestly bent towards them, against the naughty vicious love of the false apostles.


 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be (*) formed in you.


(*) And imprinted so in your hearts that you love none other.


 20 And I would I were with you now, that I might (t) change my voice, for I am in doubt of you.


(t) Use other words among you.


 21  (6) Tell me, ye that (u) will be under the Law, do ye not hear the Law?


(6) The false apostles always urgeth this, that unless the Gentiles were circumcised, Christ could profit them nothing at all, and this dissension of them which believed of the circumcision, against them which believed of the uncircumcision, was full of offence; the Apostle, after divers arguments whereby he hath refuted their error, bringeth forth an allegory, wherein he saith the holy Ghost did shadow out unto us, all these mysteries; to wit, that it should come to pass, that two sorts of sons should have Abraham a father common to them both, but not with like success; for as Abraham begat Ishmael, by the common course of nature, of Hagar his bondmaid and a stranger, and begat Isaac of Sarah a free woman by the virtue of the promise and by grace only, and the first was not only heir, but also persecuted the heir; so there are two covenants, and as it were two sons born to Abraham of those two covenants, as it were of two mothers. The one was made in Sinai, without of the land of promise according to which covenant Abraham's children according to the flesh were begotten; to wit, the Jews which seek righteousness by that covenant, that is, by the Law; but they are not heirs, and they shall at length be cast out of the house, as they that persecute the true heirs. The other was made in that high Jerusalem, or in Sion, (to wit, by the sacrifice of Christ) which begetteth children of promise, to wit, believers, by the virtue of the holy Ghost which children (as Abraham) do rest themselves in the free promise, and they only by the right of children shall be partakers of the father's inheritance, and those servants shall be shut out.
(u) That desire so greatly.


 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, (*) one by a servant, and (♣) one by a free woman.


(*) Genesis 16:15 .

(♣) Genesis 21:2 .



 23 But he which was of the servant, was born after the (x) flesh, and he which was of the free woman, was born by (y) promise.


(x) As all men are, and by the common course of nature.
(y) By virtue of the promise, which Abraham laid hold on for himself and his true seed, for otherwise Abraham and Sara were past the begetting and bearing of children.


 24 By the which things another thing is meant; for (z) these mothers (*) are the (a) two Testaments, the one which is (♣) Hagar of Mount (b) Sinai, which gendereth unto bondage.


(z) These do represent and shadow forth.

(*) That is, signify.
(a) They are called two covenants, one of the Old Testament, and another of the New; which were not two indeed, but in respect of the times, and the diversity of the government.

(♣) Hagar and Sinai represent the Law; Sarah and Jerusalem the Gospel; Ishmael the Jewish Synagogue, and Isaac the Church of Christ.
(b) He maketh mention of Sinai, because that covenant was made in that mountain, of which mountain Hagar was a shadow.


 25 (For Hagar or Sinai is a mountain in (*) Arabia, and it (c) answereth to Jerusalem which now is) and (d) she is in bondage with her children.


(*) That is, out of the land of promise.

(c) Look how the case standeth between Hagar and her children; even so standeth it between Jerusalem and hers.
(d) That is, Sinai.


 26 But Jerusalem, which is (e) (*) above, is free; which is the mother of us all.


(e) Which is excellent, and of great account.

(*) Or, high and heavenly.


 27  (7) For it is written, (*) Rejoice thou (♣) barren that bearest no children; break forth, and cry, thou that travailest not; for the (f) desolate hath many more children, than she which hath a husband.


(7) He sheweth that in this allegory, he hath followed the steps of Isaiah, who foretold that the Church should be made and consist of the children of barren Sarah, that is to say, of them which only spiritually should be made Abrahamís children by faith, other than of fruitful Hagar, even then foreshewing the casting off of the Jews, and the calling of the Gentiles.

(*) Isaiah 54:1 .

(♣) Meaning Sarah.
(f) She that is destroyed and wasted.


 28  (*) Therefore, brethren, we are after the (g) manner of Isaac, children of the (h) promise.


(*) Romans 9:8 .

(g) After the manner of Isaac, who is the first begotten of the heavenly Jerusalem, as Ishmael is of the slavish Synagogue.
(h) That seed, unto which the promise belongeth.


 29 But as then he that was born after the (i) flesh, persecuted him that was born after the (k) spirit, even so it is now.


(i) By the common course of nature.
(k) By the virtue of God's promise and after a spiritual manner.


 30 But what saith the Scripture? (*) Put out the servant and her son, for the son of the servant shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.


(*) Genesis 21:10 .


 31  (8) Then brethren, we are not children of the servant, but of the (*) free woman (♣) .


(8) The conclusion of the former allegory, that we by no means procure and call back again the slavery of the Law, seeing that the children of the bondmaid shall not be heirs.

(*) For we are in the Church of Christ, which is our mother, and not of the Synagogue which is a servant under the Law.

(♣) By the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.




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