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O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

3:19 sweat of thy face. The Curse on Adam had four main aspects: (1) sorrow, because of the futility of endless struggle against a hostile environment; (2) pain, signified by the thorns; (3) sweat, or tears, the “strong crying” occasioned by the labor necessary to maintain life and hope; and (4) eventual physical death in spite of all his efforts, returning back to the dust. But Christ, as the second Adam, has borne the curse for us (Galatians 3:13), as the “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3), wearing the thorns and suffering the greatest pain (Mark 15:17), acquired by strong crying (Hebrews 5:7) to sweat as it were drops of blood before being finally brought into the dust of death (Psalm 22:15). And because He so suffered for us, once again someday God will dwell with men, and “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Revelation 21:4). Indeed there shall be “no more curse” (Revelation 22:3).

6:3 My spirit. One of the ministries of God’s Holy Spirit has always been to convict man’s spirit of “sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). Man is also “flesh,” however, and there is perpetual conflict between the flesh and the spirit, even in the life of a believer (Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:16,17). God is long-suffering with respect to man’s rebellion, but only for a time: the hour of His judgment must eventually arrive.

15:6 believed. This is the first mention of “belief” or “faith” in the Bible, as well as the first mention of “counted” or “imputed.” In Noah’s case, “grace” preceded imputed righteousness (Genesis 6:9–“just” means “righteous”); in Abraham’s case, it was “faith.” Both are essential for righteousness that satisfies God (Ephesians 2:8-10); one stresses the divine side, the other the human. This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament (Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23); in each case it is stressed that Abraham is a type of all who are saved, the principle always being that of salvation through faith (which is by grace) unto righteousness.

15:16 fourth generation. It is not absolutely certain whether the 430-year term mentioned in the Abrahamic covenant begins with the coming of Abraham into Canaan or the descent of the children of Israel into Egypt. The former seems indicated by Galatians 3:16-17 in which case the “sojourning” mentioned in Exodus 12:40 and the “affliction” of Genesis 15:13 would apply to their total experience in both Canaan and Egypt. If this is the case, then the actual sojourn in Egypt would be only 215 years (from the time of Abram’s entry into Canaan to the birth of Isaac was 25 years; Isaac was 60 years old at Jacob’s birth; and Jacob was 130 years old when he and his children migrated to Egypt, a total of 215 years–see Genesis 12:4; 21:5; 25:26; 47:9). The “fourth generation” consisted of men whose great-grandfathers had been among the seventy Israelites who entered Egypt. Even if the children of Israel actually stayed 400 years in Egypt, the life span in those days was still around 100 or more (Moses died at 120), so it would have easily been possible for people of the fourth generation still to be living at the time of the exodus. There is also the problem of whether 215 years could have been enough time for the Israelite population to grow from about seventy to about two million. Although this seems unlikely, it would have been possible if the average family size had been about eight children (remember that Jacob himself had twelve) and the average life span still about one hundred years, with parents living to see their great-grandchildren grow to maturity. In contrast, consider the notes at Exodus 6:17 and 12:41.

22:17 thy seed. In Genesis 22:17,18, three times God used the word “seed” in the singular, instead of “seeds” in the plural. Paul claimed that this verse is a prophecy of Christ (Galatians 3:16), instead of a prophecy of all the children of Abraham. This argument is predicated on the truth of verbal inspiration, which even makes a fine distinction between singular and plural.

24:67 he loved her. Although the New Testament does not specifically say that Isaac and Rebekah constitute a “type” of Christ and His Church, the numerous parallels are more than coincidental, and do follow naturally from the clear identification of Isaac himself as a type of Christ (note Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 11:17-19). In the symbolic parallel, the servant dispatched by Abraham to seek a bride for his son becomes the Holy Spirit, sent by the Heavenly Father to find and bring the heavenly Bride, the Church, to His Son (John 14:26; 16:13,14; Acts 15:14). After she accepts the invitation, the Spirit, like Abraham’s servant, guides the Bride through the wilderness to join the Bridegroom when he comes out to meet her at the end of the journey. There are numerous detailed parallels one can discern as the passage is studied in depth.

6:7 to me for a people. The promise of God to set apart a special people whose identity would be linked to Himself has been reaffirmed again and again, beginning as far back as His rejection of Cain while accepting Abel (Genesis 4:5). It was specially affirmed to Abraham (Genesis 12:1; 15:4,6), and here to Moses and the children of Israel. Finally, He has also chosen all “they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7, 26-29; note also Acts 15:14).

19:19 voice of the trumpet. There seems to have been a host of angels present around Mount Sinai as the Law was being given (note Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19) and one or more were blowing loudly on the trumpet of God. This, along with the lightning and dark cloud and great quaking of the mountain, made an awe-inspiring spectacle which the people could never forget (or so it would have seemed). Compare the exposition of this scene in Hebrews 12:18-21.

19:18 love thy neighbour. The Lord Jesus combined this command with that of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and called them the two greatest commandments (see Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:27). Note also Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8.

1:46 all they that were numbered. This number did not include the women and children nor the tribe of Levi. All the Israelites in the wilderness must easily have exceeded two million. Since there were only seventy who had entered Egypt (Genesis 46:27), this represented an average doubling of the Israelite population every twenty to thirty years, depending upon the somewhat uncertain duration of their stay in Egypt, which may have been as little as 215 years or as much as 430 (Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40,41; Galatians 3:17). This represents an unusually high growth rate, implying large families (Jacob had twelve sons, for example). As reported in Exodus 1:7, “the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.” Despite these large numbers, God miraculously provided food and water for them in the desert for forty years. Their numbers no longer grew, however. The corresponding total at the end of the forty years was only 601,730. Of this total, only Caleb and Joshua were left from the number in the first census, all others dying in the wilderness because of unbelief.

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