Galatians 4:17

They are zealous of you, but not for good; yea, they would exclude you, that you might be zealous of them.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
They zealously affect you. The Judaisers do all they can to woo you to espouse their cause, and to bring you into subjection to their law, but their object is not good. They would exclude you. Some texts read include here, which gives a very good meaning. These Judaisers are like crafty wooers, who, when they are seeking to win a wealthy wife, show her every kind of honour and service, and humour her whims in everything; but when they have attained their object, they shut her up, appoint custodians of her person, and treat her as a slave. They are now promising you, Galatians , great things; but they want to shut you up under the law, and shut you out from the liberty that is in Christ. That ye might affect them. It is not friendship that animates them. They want to gain your confidence, that you may surrender to them, and become their disciples, and give, them ground for public boasting.

Gaius Marius Victorinus

AD 400
Since emulate signifies two things—one when someone emulates what he finds pleasing because it is good and another when people are emulators because they feel envy—these people, he says, emulate you in a bad way, by which he means that they are imitators through envy…. When he adds the phrase “so that you may emulate them” [meaning] “that you may follow them,” he has thus used the double sense of emulation in different places, since emulation is imitation, and especially when it is also directed to what is good…. [He continues:] “Emulate therefore better gifts—not those of Jewish law, which are not gifts and are not better; but emulate those things which are good and better gifts. That is, whatever belongs to faith and love, emulate that with regard to Christ and follow it. It is always good to emulate better things. Emulation as such is not good, but the emulation of better things is always good, and not only when I am present.” –.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
He tells them this change comes from the false teachers among them, who with a false zeal would exclude them from a friendship and a submission to St. Paul, and deprive them again of that Christian liberty by which Christ, and the faith of Christ, had freed them from the yoke of the Mosaical law. On this account I must labor and travail, as it were to bring you forth a second time. How do I now wish to be with you, to change my voice, to exhort you, to reprehend you, to use all ways and means to regain you to Christ? I am in confusion about you, I am perplexed, as the Greek signifies, as not knowing what to say or do. (Witham)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
It is a wholesome emulation which leads to an imitation of virtue, but an evil one, which seduces from virtue him who is in the right path. And this is the object of those persons, who would deprive you of perfect knowledge, and impart to you that which is mutilated and spurious, and this for no other purpose than that they may occupy the rank of teachers, and degrade you, who now stand higher than themselves, to the position of disciples. For this is the meaning of the words that you may seek them. But I, says he, desire the reverse, that you may become a model for them, and a pattern of a higher perfection: a thing which actually happened when I was present with you.

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

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