The child of the Spirit (Gal. 4:29)

“But just as at that time,

The child

Who was born

According to the flesh

Persecuted the child

Who was born

According to the Spirit,

Thus,

It is now.”

ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ τότε ὁ κατὰ σάρκα γεννηθεὶς ἐδίωκεν τὸν κατὰ Πνεῦμα, οὕτως καὶ νῦν.

Paul said, “But just as at that time (ἀλλ’ ὥσπερ τότε), the child who was born according to the flesh (ὁ κατὰ σάρκα γεννηθεὶς) persecuted (ἐδίωκεν) the child who was born according to the Spirit (τὸν κατὰ Πνεῦμα), so it is now (οὕτως καὶ νῦν).”  Paul interpreted the story in Genesis, chapter 21:9, where Ishmael was playing with his younger brother Isaac as taunting.  “But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac.”  Jewish tradition had seen this as a persecution rather than a playful action.  Due to this action, Sarah then decided to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael.  Paul linked this action of Sarah and Hagar with the present situation that they were facing in Galatia.  He considered the Judaizers in the Galatia territory as persecuting the new gentile Christians with their demands or taunts to follow the Jewish law of the Torah.  They were like Ishmael.  The descendants of Hagar and Ishmael had become the traditional enemies of the Jewish people.  Paul saw this action of the Jewish Christians as a persecution of the new gentile Christians.  Has anyone playfully taunted you?

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