4:3 So also we, when we were minors, 1 were enslaved under the basic forces 2 of the world.
4:9 But now that you have come to know God (or rather to be known by God), how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless 3 basic forces? 4 Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again? 5
4:24 These things may be treated as an allegory, 6 for these women represent two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. 4:25 Now Hagar represents Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
2 tn Or “basic principles,” “elemental things,” or “elemental spirits.” Some interpreters take this as a reference to supernatural powers who controlled nature and/or human fate.
3 tn Or “useless.” See L&N 65.16.
5 tn Grk “basic forces, to which you want to be enslaved…” Verse 9 is a single sentence in the Greek text, but has been divided into two in the translation because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence.
6 tn Grk “which things are spoken about allegorically.” Paul is not saying the OT account is an allegory, but rather that he is constructing an allegory based on the OT account.