1Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5#Rom 8.15-17. to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Warning against Returning to Bondage
8Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9But 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? 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.
12Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. 13Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 14And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? 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. 16Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? 17They zealously affect you,#4.17 zealously affect you or use zeal toward you. but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect#4.17 affect or use zeal toward. them. 18But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. 19My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah
21Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22#Gen 16.15; Gen 21.2. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. 23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. 24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Si´nai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar. 25For this Hagar is Mount Si´nai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27#Isa 54.1. For 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 which hath a husband.
28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29#Gen 21.9. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30#Gen 21.10. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture?
Cast out the bondwoman and her son:
for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir
with the son of the free woman.
31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.