Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree "--
13. Abrupt exclamation, as he breaks away impatiently from those
who would involve us again in the curse of the law, by seeking
justification in it, to "Christ," who "has redeemed us from its
curse." The "us" refers primarily to the Jews, to whom the law
principally appertained, in contrast to "the Gentiles"
Ga 4:3, 4).
But it is not restricted solely to the Jews, as ALFORD thinks; for these are the representative people of
the world at large, and their "law" is the embodiment of what God
requires of the whole world. The curse of its non-fulfilment affects
the Gentiles through the Jews; for the law represents that
righteousness which God requires of all, and which, since the Jews
failed to fulfil, the Gentiles are equally unable to fulfil.
"As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse," refers
plainly, not to the Jews only, but to all, even Gentiles (as the
Galatians), who seek justification by the law. The Jews' law represents
the universal law which condemned the Gentiles, though with less clear
consciousness on their part
The revelation of God's "wrath" by the law of conscience, in some
degree prepared the Gentiles for appreciating redemption through Christ
when revealed. The curse had to be removed from off the heathen, too,
as well as the Jews, in order that the blessing, through Abraham, might
flow to them. Accordingly, the "we," in "that we might receive
the promise of the Spirit," plainly refers to both Jews and Gentiles.
redeemed us--bought us off from our former bondage
and "from the curse" under which all lie who trust to the law and the
works of the law for justification. The Gentile Galatians, by putting
themselves under the law, were involving themselves in the curse from
which Christ has redeemed the Jews primarily, and through them the
Gentiles. The ransom price He paid was His own precious blood
(1Pe 1:18, 19;
1Co 6:20; 7:23;
being made--Greek, "having become."
a curse for us--Having become what we were, in our behalf, "a
curse," that we might cease to be a curse. Not merely accursed (in
the concrete), but a curse in the abstract,
bearing the universal curse of the whole human race. So
"Sin for us," not sinful, but bearing the whole sin of our race,
regarded as one vast aggregate of sin. See Note there. "Anathema"
means "set apart to God," to His glory, but to the person's own
destruction. "Curse," an execration.
Christ's bearing the particular curse of hanging on the tree, is
a sample of the "general" curse which He representatively bore. Not
that the Jews put to death malefactors by hanging; but after
having put them to death otherwise, in order to brand them with
peculiar ignominy, they hung the bodies on a tree, and such
malefactors were accursed by the law (compare
Ac 5:30; 10:39).
God's providence ordered it so that to fulfil the prophecy of the curse
and other prophecies, Jesus should be crucified, and so hang on
the tree, though that death was not a Jewish mode of execution. The
Jews accordingly, in contempt, call Him Tolvi, "the
hanged one," and Christians, "worshippers of the hanged one";
and make it their great objection that He died the accursed death
[TRYPHO, in Justin Martyr, p. 249]
Hung between heaven and earth as though unworthy of either!
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Galatians Images and
The Book of
Galatians 1:11-12 - But I certify you, brethren, that the
gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither
received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the
revelation of Jesus Christ.
Galatians 4:4 - But when the fulness of the time was come,
God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Galatians in The New Testament - A Brief Overview
Painting of Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt - 1657
Introduction to The
Book of Galatians
Brief Summary. Paul instructs the churches that he
established in Galatia. He defends his apostleship against the
Judaizers who wanted to mix Christianity with the Law of Moses.
Paul says that salvation is by grace and not by law.
Summary of The Book of
Purpose. Paul was so well received by the Galatians
that they even looked upon him as an angel or God himself
(Galatians 4:14). The churches that he established had become
strong churches, yet they were severely affected by the false
teaching of the Judaizers. Paul deals with their false doctrines
and their attacks at his apostleship, and shows clearly how
Christianity cannot be mingled with Jewish laws and
circumcision. He reminds them that his authority and ministry
was not passed on through the other apostles, but came directly
through Jesus Christ. Regarding Christianity he uses sound
doctrine, Scripture, and allegory to show how Christianity is
greater than the law. The true purpose of the law was to point
to Jesus Christ, and the gospel does not see any difference
between the Jew, the Greek, the free man, the slave, nor male
nor female. Paul's message in the book of Galatians regarding
Christianity and its relationship to the law of Moses is
theologically brilliant, and some have referred to it as the
Christian Declaration of Independence.
Audience. Scholars agree that paul was writing to the
churches in Galatia which he established on his first
Authorship. Paul the Apostle was the author of the
book of Galatians. Scholars agree that Paul was the author of
the epistle to the Galatians. Paul refers to his own name as
"Paul" twice in Galatians (Galatians 1:1 and 5:2). The second
reference is very conclusive that it was Paul writing. There
were several references to the life of Paul which can easily be
harmonized with the Book of Acts.
Date. it is very difficult to be certain about the
date of the epistle to the Galatians. Most scholars give it a 50
or 55 AD date.
Place Written. It is also difficult to be certain
about the location where Paul wrote his epistle to the
Galatians. Most likely it was written from either Syrian Antioch
before the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) or it could have been
written from Ephesus on Paul's second or third missionary
Outline of the Book of
Paul's Message of the Gospel - Chapter 1:1-10
Paul Defends Justification by Faith - Chapters 1:11-2:21
Paul Explains Justification by Faith - Chapters 3:1-4:31
Paul Explains Applying Justification by Faith 5:1-6:18
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus"
would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or
consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A).
Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means
"The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".
Galatians Maps and Resources
Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the
Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus,
in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which
prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and
the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture
throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the
rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map
reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first
missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and
his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the
church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary
Journey's. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map
reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his
second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in
Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for
dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him
over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister
in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea,
Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to
Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map
reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his
third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he
returned to the cities he had first visited on his first
missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in
Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of
his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19).
Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the
"Nations" within the ancient world during the first century
A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas
of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)
Map of New Testament Asia - This map shows the cities within
Asia Minor during the first century A.D., the time of the New
Testament. The map includes the principal cities of Asia
including Tarsus, Ephesus, and Colossae, and provinces like
Galatia and Pamphilia. (Color Map)