Galatians 4:1

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
And the child, though heir, differeth nothing from a servant, till the time appointed of the father."

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
SYNOPSIS OF THE CHAPTER i. He continues the argument of the preceding chapter that the Jews, like children and slaves, were under the Jewish law as a pdagague, while Christians, as sons of full age, were led, not by the law, but by the Spirit of adoption, whereby they cry, "Abba, Father," and that it Isaiah , therefore, unworthy of them to return to the weak and beggarly elements of the law. ii. He Observes (ver13) on the eagerness with which the Galatians had formerly embraced his preaching, that he may shame them for so lightly departing from it. iii. He introduces (ver21) a new argument from an allegory drawn from Abraham"s history. His wife Sarah, a "free woman," bore him Isaac as his son and heir, by whom were represented Christians, the free-born sons of God, free from the bondage of the law, and in due time heirs of Abraham"s blessing. His bondwoman Hagar bore him Ishmael, who was cast out, and who represented the Judaisers, to be shut out from the blessing promised by God to ...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Now I say. This is closely connected with vers24,25 of the preceding chapter, where it was said that "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, but after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster." He proceeds to prove this at greater length, and begins with the example of a child who is under tutors. The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant. An infant, as the Greek word Isaiah , who has not yet attained to years of discretion, inasmuch as he is under a tutor and a pdagogue, and cannot exercise the right of dominion over his property, is in the position of a slave rather than a lord, nay, he is subject to a slave, viz, his pdagogue, and is under tutors and governors.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
By the child, in this place, the apostle understands all the Jewish people, who, as long as they were under the childhood of the law, were subject to numerous restrictions, although they were the favorite children of God. But when the fulness of time came, they received the adoption of children, and were in possession of the liberty of the law of grace. They were no longer obliged to observe the legal rites. Whence the apostle wishes the conclusion to be drawn, that if persons once subject to the law were now exempt from it, how much more will those be excused from its yoke, who were never under its control. (Calmet)


AD 420
The infant heir … signifies the whole human race up to the advent of Christ, and, to speak more largely, right up to the end of the world. For, just as all die in Adam the first man, though they are not yet born, so all those who were born before Christ’s advent are now made alive in the second Adam. And so it is that we served the law in the fathers and are saved by grace in the sons. This understanding fits the catholic church, which asserts a single providence in the Old and New Testaments and does not distinguish in time those whom it makes equal in condition. –.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The word child in this place denotes not age but understanding; meaning that God had from the beginning designed for us these gifts, but, as we yet continued childish, He let us be under the elements of the world, that is, new moons and sabbaths, for these days are regulated by the course of sun and moon. If then also now they bring you under law they do nothing else but lead you backward now in the time of your perfect age and maturity. And see what is the consequence of observing days; the Lord, the Master of the house, the Sovereign Ruler, is thereby reduced to the rank of a servant.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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