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Galatians 4:22-26

Context
4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the 1  slave woman and the other by the free woman. 4:23 But one, the son by the slave woman, was born by natural descent, 2  while the other, the son by the free woman, was born through the promise. 4:24 These things may be treated as an allegory, 3  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. 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, 4  and she is our mother.

1 tn Paul’s use of the Greek article here and before the phrase “free woman” presumes that both these characters are well known to the recipients of his letter. This verse is given as an example of the category called “well-known (‘celebrity’ or ‘familiar’) article” by ExSyn 225.

2 tn Grk “born according to the flesh”; BDAG 916 s.v. σάρξ 4 has “Of natural descent τὰ τέκνα τῆς σαρκός children by natural descent Ro 9:8 (opp. τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας). ὁ μὲν ἐκ τῆς παιδίσκης κατὰ σάρκα γεγέννηται Gal 4:23; cp. vs. 29.”

3 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.

4 sn The meaning of the statement the Jerusalem above is free is that the other woman represents the second covenant (cf. v. 24); she corresponds to the Jerusalem above that is free. Paul’s argument is very condensed at this point.



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