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Galatians 4:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Tell me, ye who are desirous of being under law, do ye not listen to the law?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Tell me! ye who, under law, are wishing to be: The law, do ye not hear?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Tell me, ye who are willing to be under law, the law do ye not hear?
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, have you not read the law?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Tell me, ye that desire to be vnder the Law, doe ye not heare the Law?
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— Tell me, you who are willing to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Tell me, ye who desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Tell 3004
{3004} Prime
λέγω
lego
{leg'-o}
A primary verb; properly to 'lay' forth, that is, (figuratively) relate (in words [usually of systematic or set discourse; whereas G2036 and G5346 generally refer to an individual expression or speech respectively; while G4483 is properly to break silence merely, and G2980 means an extended or random harangue]); by implication to mean.
z5720
<5720> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 592
me, 3427
{3427} Prime
μοί
moi
{moy}
The simpler form of G1698; to me.
ye that desire 2309
{2309} Prime
θέλω
thelo
{thel'-o}
In certain tenses θελέω [[theleo]], {thel-eh'-o}; and ἐθέλέω [[etheleo]], {eth-el-eh'-o}, which are otherwise obsolete; apparently strengthened from the alternate form of G0138; to determine (as an active voice option from subjective impulse; whereas G1014 properly denotes rather a passive voice acquiescence in objective considerations), that is, choose or prefer (literally or figuratively); by implication to wish, that is, be inclined to (sometimes adverbially gladly); impersonally for the future tense, to be about to; by Hebraism to delight in.
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
to be 1511
{1511} Prime
εἶναι
einai
{i'-nahee}
Present infinitive from G1510; to exist.
z5750
<5750> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 135
under 5259
{5259} Prime
ὑπό
hupo
{hoop-o'}
A primary preposition; under, that is, (with the genitive) of place (beneath), or with verbs (the agency or means, through); (with the accusative) of place (whither [underneath] or where [below]) or time (when [at]).
the law, 3551
{3551} Prime
νόμος
nomos
{nom'-os}
From a primary word νέμω [[nemo]] (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), generally (regulation), specifically (of Moses [including the volume]; also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle).
do ye y191
[0191] Standard
ἀκούω
akouo
{ak-oo'-o}
A primary verb; to hear (in various senses).
z0
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
hear 191
{0191} Prime
ἀκούω
akouo
{ak-oo'-o}
A primary verb; to hear (in various senses).
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
law? 3551
{3551} Prime
νόμος
nomos
{nom'-os}
From a primary word νέμω [[nemo]] (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), generally (regulation), specifically (of Moses [including the volume]; also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Galatians 4:21

_ _ desire — of your own accord madly courting that which must condemn and ruin you.

_ _ do ye not hear — do ye not consider the mystic sense of Moses’ words? [Grotius]. The law itself sends you away from itself to Christ [Estius]. After having sufficiently maintained his point by argument, the apostle confirms and illustrates it by an inspired allegorical exposition of historical facts, containing in them general laws and types. Perhaps his reason for using allegory was to confute the Judaizers with their own weapons: subtle, mystical, allegorical interpretations, unauthorized by the Spirit, were their favorite arguments, as of the Rabbins in the synagogues. Compare the Jerusalem Talmud [Tractatu Succa, cap. Hechalil]. Paul meets them with an allegorical exposition, not the work of fancy, but sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. History, if properly understood contains in its complicated phenomena, simple and continually recurring divine laws. The history of the elect people, like their legal ordinances, had, besides the literal, a typical meaning (compare 1 Corinthians 10:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:45, 1 Corinthians 15:47; Revelation 11:8). Just as the extra-ordinarily-born Isaac, the gift of grace according to promise, supplanted, beyond all human calculations, the naturally-born Ishmael, so the new theocratic race, the spiritual seed of Abraham by promise, the Gentile, as well as Jewish believers, were about to take the place of the natural seed, who had imagined that to them exclusively belonged the kingdom of God.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Galatians 4:21-31

_ _ In these verses the apostle illustrates the difference between believers who rested in Christ only and those judaizers who trusted in the law, by a comparison taken from the story of Isaac and Ishmael. This he introduces in such a manner as was proper to strike and impress their minds, and to convince them of their great weakness in departing from the truth, and suffering themselves to be deprived of the liberty of the gospel: Tell me, says he, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? He takes it for granted that they did hear the law, for among the Jews it was wont to be read in their public assemblies every sabbath day; and, since they were so very fond of being under it, he would have them duly to consider what is written therein (referring to what is recorded Gen. 16 and 21), for, if they would do this, they might soon see how little reason they had to trust in it. And here, 1. He sets before them the history itself (Galatians 4:22, Galatians 4:23): For it is written, Abraham had two sons, etc. Here he represents the different state and condition of these two sons of Abraham — that the one, Ishmael, was by a bond-maid, and the other, Isaac, by a free-woman; and that whereas the former was born after the flesh, or by the ordinary course of nature, the other was by promise, when in the course of nature there was no reason to expect that Sarah should have a son. 2. He acquaints them with the meaning and design of this history, or the use which he intended to make of it (Galatians 4:24-27): These things, says he, are an allegory, wherein, besides the literal and historical sense of the words, the Spirit of God might design to signify something further to us, and that was, That these two, Agar and Sarah, are the two covenants, or were intended to typify and prefigure the two different dispensations of the covenant. The former, Agar, represented that which was given from mount Sinai, and which gendereth to bondage, which, though it was a dispensation of grace, yet, in comparison of the gospel state, was a dispensation of bondage, and became more so to the Jews, through their mistake of the design of it, and expecting to be justified by the works of it. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia (mount Sinai was then called Agar by the Arabians), and it answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children; that is, it justly represents the present state of the Jews, who, continuing in their infidelity and adhering to that covenant, are still in bondage with their children. But the other, Sarah, was intended to prefigure Jerusalem which is above, or the state of Christians under the new and better dispensation of the covenant, which is free both from the curse of the moral and the bondage of the ceremonial law, and is the mother of us all — a state into which all, both Jews and Gentiles, are admitted, upon their believing in Christ. And to this greater freedom and enlargement of the church under the gospel dispensation, which was typified by Sarah the mother of the promised seed, the apostle refers that of the prophet, Isaiah 54:1, where it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for the desolate hath many more children than she who hath a husband. 3. He applies the history thus explained to the present case (Galatians 4:28); Now we, brethren, says he, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise. We Christians, who have accepted Christ, and rely upon him, and look for justification and salvation by him alone, as hereby we become the spiritual, though we are not the natural, seed of Abraham, so we are entitled to the promised inheritance and interested in the blessings of it. But lest these Christians should be stumbled at the opposition they might meet with from the Jews, who were so tenacious of their law as to be ready to persecute those who would not submit to it, he tells them that this was no more than what was pointed to in the type; for as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, they must expect it would be so now. But, for their comfort in this case, he desires them to consider what the scripture saith (Genesis 21:10), Cast out the bond-woman and her son, for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. Though the judaizers should persecute and hate them, yet the issue would be that Judaism would sink, and wither, and perish; but true Christianity should flourish and last for ever. And then, as a general inference from the whole of the sum of what he had said, he concludes (Galatians 4:31), So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Galatians 4:21

Do ye not hear the law — Regard what it says.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Galatians 4:21

(6) Tell me, ye that (u) desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

(6) The false apostles urged this, that unless the Gentiles were circumcised Christ could profit them nothing at all, and also this dissension of those who believed in the circumcision, against those who believed in the uncircumcision, both these things being full of offence. Therefore the apostle, after various arguments with which he has refuted their error, brings forth an allegory, in which he says that the Holy Spirit did through symbolism let us know all these mysteries: that is, that it should come to pass that two sorts of sons should have Abraham as a father common to them both, but not with equal success. For as Abraham begat Ishmael by the common course of nature, of Hagar his bondmaid and a stranger, and begat Isaac of Sara a free woman, by the virtue of the promise, and by grace only, the first was not heir, and also persecuted the heir. So there are two covenants, and as it were two sons born to Abraham by those two covenants, as it were by two mothers. The one was made in Sinai, outside of the land of promise, according to which covenant Abraham's children according to the flesh were begotten: that is, the Jews, who seek righteousness by that covenant, that is, by the Law. But they are not heirs, and they will at length be cast out of the house, as those that persecute the true heirs. The other was made in that high Jerusalem, or in Zion (that is, by the sacrifice of Christ) which begets children of promise, that is, believers, by the power of the Holy Spirit. And these children (like Abraham) do rest themselves in the free promise, and they alone by the right of children will be partakers of the father's inheritance, whereas those servants will be shut out.

(u) That desire so greatly.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
ye that:

Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Galatians 3:23-24 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. ... Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 7:5-6 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. ... But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter.
Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. ... Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Romans 10:3-10 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. ... For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

do:

Matthew 21:42-44 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? ... And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
Matthew 22:29-32 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. ... I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
John 5:46-47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. ... But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

the law:

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
John 12:34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
John 15:25 But [this cometh to pass], that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
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Mt 21:42; 22:29. Jn 5:46; 10:34; 12:34; 15:25. Ro 3:19; 6:14; 7:5; 9:30; 10:3. Ga 3:10, 23; 4:9.

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