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Galatians 4:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the principles of the world;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— So also, we, when we were infants, under the elementary principles of the world, were held in servitude;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— so also we, when we were babes, under the elements of the world were in servitude,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— So we also, when we were children, were serving under the elements of the world.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Euen so we, when wee were children, were in bondage vnder the Elements of the world:
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— So we also, while children, under the principles of the world were subjected.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— So also we, while we were children, were in subordination under the elements of the world.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Even 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
so 3779
{3779} Prime
οὕτω
houto
{hoo'-to}
From G3778; in this way (referring to what precedes or follows).
we, 2249
{2249} Prime
ἡμεῖς
hemeis
{hay-mice'}
Nomitive plural of G1473; we (only used when emphatic).
when 3753
{3753} Prime
ὅτε
hote
{hot'-eh}
From G3739 and G5037; at which (thing) too, that is, when.
we were 2258
{2258} Prime
ἦν
en
{ane}
Imperfect of G1510; I (thou, etc.) was (wast or were).
z5713
<5713> Grammar
Tense - Imperfect (See G5775)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 532
children, 3516
{3516} Prime
νήπιος
nepios
{nay'-pee-os}
From an obsolete particle νη- [[ne]]-; implying negation and G2031; not speaking, that is, an infant (minor); figuratively a simple minded person, an immature Christian.
were 2258
{2258} Prime
ἦν
en
{ane}
Imperfect of G1510; I (thou, etc.) was (wast or were).
z5713
<5713> Grammar
Tense - Imperfect (See G5775)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 532
in bondage 1402
{1402} Prime
δουλόω
douloo
{doo-lo'-o}
From G1401; to enslave (literally or figuratively).
z5772
<5772> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 463
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 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).
elements 4747
{4747} Prime
στοιχεῖον
stoicheion
{stoy-khi'-on}
Neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of G4748; something orderly in arrangement, that is, (by implication) a serial (basal, fundamental, initial) constituent (literally), proposition (figuratively).
of 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).
world: 2889
{2889} Prime
κόσμος
kosmos
{kos'-mos}
Probably from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Galatians 4:1-7.


Galatians 4:3

_ _ we — the Jews primarily, and inclusively the Gentiles also. For the “we” in Galatians 4:5 plainly refers to both Jew and Gentile believers. The Jews in their bondage to the law of Moses, as the representative people of the world, include all mankind virtually amenable to God’s law (Romans 2:14, Romans 2:15; compare Note, see on Galatians 3:13; see on Galatians 3:23). Even the Gentiles were under “bondage,” and in a state of discipline suitable to nonage, till Christ came as the Emancipator.

_ _ were in bondage — as “servants” (Galatians 4:1).

_ _ under the elements — or “rudiments”; rudimentary religion teaching of a non-Christian character: the elementary lessons of outward things (literally, “of the [outward] world”); such as the legal ordinances mentioned, Galatians 4:10 (Colossians 2:8, Colossians 2:20). Our childhood’s lessons [Conybeare and Howson]. Literally, The letters of the alphabet (Hebrews 5:12).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Galatians 4:1-7.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Galatians 4:3

So we — The church of God. When we were children — In our minority, under the legal dispensation. Were in bondage — In a kind of servile state. Under the elements of the world — Under the typical observances of the law, which were like the first elements of grammar, the A B C of children; and were of so gross a nature, as hardly to carry our thoughts beyond this world.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Galatians 4:3

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the (b) elements of the world:

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

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
when:

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. ... But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

in:

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 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;
Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

elements:
or, rudiments,
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?
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Hebrews 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Mt 11:28. Jn 8:31. Ac 15:10. Ro 8:15. Ga 2:4; 3:19, 23, 24; 4:9, 25, 31; 5:1. Col 2:8, 20. He 7:16.

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