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Lesson Ten: Galatians 4:12-20

  • Page ID
    125048
  • Instructions: Translate the Greek text with help from the reader notes. Complete the MYON (Make Your Own Note) and Discussion Questions if you desire.

    12 Γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ, ὅτι κἀγὼ ὡς ὑμεῖς, ἀδελφοί, δέομαι ὑμῶν. οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε· 13 οἴδατε δὲ ὅτι δι’ ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν τὸ πρότερον, 14 καὶ τὸν πειρασμὸν ⸀ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου οὐκ ἐξουθενήσατε οὐδὲ ἐξεπτύσατε, ἀλλὰ ὡς ἄγγελον θεοῦ ἐδέξασθέ με, ὡς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν. 15⸀ποῦ ⸀οὖν ὁ μακαρισμὸς ὑμῶν; μαρτυρῶ γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι εἰ δυνατὸν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ὑμῶν ⸀ἐξορύξαντες ἐδώκατέ μοι. 16 ὥστε ἐχθρὸς ὑμῶν γέγονα ἀληθεύων ὑμῖν; 17 ζηλοῦσιν ὑμᾶς οὐ καλῶς, ἀλλὰ ἐκκλεῖσαι ὑμᾶς θέλουσιν, ἵνα αὐτοὺς ζηλοῦτε. 18 καλὸν ⸀δὲ ζηλοῦσθαι ἐν καλῷ πάντοτε, καὶ μὴ μόνον ἐν τῷ παρεῖναί με πρὸς ὑμᾶς, 19 ⸀τέκνα μου, οὓς πάλιν ὠδίνω ⸀μέχρις οὗ μορφωθῇ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν· 20 ἤθελον δὲ παρεῖναι πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἄρτι, καὶ ἀλλάξαι τὴν φωνήν μου, ὅτι ἀποροῦμαι ἐν ὑμῖν. SBLGNT

    4:12

    [GMN] Γίνεσθε is PDM2P (LF: γίνομαι).

    [SN] Ὡς ἐγώ . . . κἀγὼ ὡς ὑμεῖς: A form of εἰμί is implied after ἐγώ, κἀγὼ, and ὑμεῖς.

    [GΜΝ] Κἀγὼ is a contraction of καί and ἐγώ (#crasis).

    [LN, SN] The verb δέομαι (PDI1S), “to beg/plead,” takes a genitive object (ὑμῶν).

    [SN] Οὐδένμε ἠδικήσατε: Note here the double accusative, with με serving as the direct object and οὐδέν as an #accusative of extent (“you harmed me in no way/to no extent”).

    [LN] Ἠδικήσατε (AAI2P LF: ἀδικέω) means “to hurt/harm/wrong.” It occurs twenty-eight times in the NT, including nine times in Paul. Here (as with the other Pauline uses) the verb likely denotes a harmful act that dishonors the receiving party.

    4:13

    [LN, SN] Ἀσθένειαν τῆς σαρκὸς idiomatically means “bodily illness,” where τῆς σαρκὸς functions as an #attributive genitive.

    [LN, SN] Τὸ πρότερον literally means “before” or “formerly” but is better translated here as “first” or “originally.” It is an #adverbial accusative.

    4:14

    [SN] Τὸν πειρασμὸν ὑμῶν ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου: Here the genitive ὑμῶν modifies the direct object πειρασμὸν as an #objective genitive (“the trial you endured”), while the genitive μου modifies the object of the preposition σαρκί as a possessive genitive (“my flesh”). Thus, Paul is explaining that his bodily illness was a trial for the Galatian believers.

    [LN, SN] Ἐξουθενήσατε (AAI2P LF: ἐξουθενέω) means “to despise” or “to reject,” often with the connotation that the one who is despised has no value. Here the idea of rejection is primarily in view, and the link to ἐξεπτύσατε (by way of οὐδὲ) suggests they should be read somewhat synonymously. It occurs eleven times in the NT, including eight times in Paul.

    [LN] Ἐξεπτύσατε (AAI2P LF: ἐκπτύω): This verb is a #hapaxlegomenon, literally meaning “to spit out” and figuratively “to reject.”

    [SN] Twice in this verse, ὡς acts as a comparative conjunction (“like”), describing how the Galatians received (ἐδέξασθέ) Paul. The first refers to how they would receive a messenger or an angel (ἄγγελον) from God, and the second to how they did receive Christ.

    [GMN] Ἐδέξασθέ (ADI2P LF: δέχομαι): The χ in the stem becomes ξ when it combines with the σ of the aorist morphology.

    4:15

    [SN] The question ποῦ . . . ὑμῶν; is a verbless clause with an implied ἐστιν.

    [LN] ‘O μακαρισμὸς (MSN) can refer to a state of happiness or of being favored/blessed, or it can refer to a pronouncement of blessedness. Given the context (Paul’s recounting of past favor from the Galatians, cf. εἰ δυνατὸν . . . ἐδώκατέ μοι), the latter meaning is in view here.

    [SN] Ὑμῶν (MPG) is a #subjective genitive, meaning something like “the blessing you pronounced.”

    [SN] Εἰ δυνατὸν is a verbless clause meaning “if possible.” If the imperfect ἦν is implied, this clause would serve as the #protasis of a #second-class conditional statement, with the #apodosis governed by the aorist verb ἐδώκατέ.

    [GMN, LN] Ἐξορύξαντες (AAPMPN LF: ἐξορύσσω) has a stem ending in a palatal stop (γ). As such, when the γ combines with the σ formative of the aorist tense, the resultant letter is ξ. This verb is only used twice in the NT (cf. Mk 2:4, where it means “to dig out”) and means here “to tear out.”

    [GMN] Ἐδώκατέ is AAI2P (LF: δίδωμι).

    [SN, LN] Ἐξορύξαντες ἐδώκατέ: ἐξορύξαντες is an adverbial participle of #attendant circumstance, which expresses action that is coordinate with the main verb ἐδώκατέ. As such, it may be translated like a main verb: “You would havetorn out your eyes and given them to me.”

    4:16

    [SN] Ὥστε typically introduces a #result clause (“so that/with the result that”), but this usage is unusual. It is probably best to think of it as concluding the preceding section (4:12–15), with ὥστε having the sense of “well then” or “so then.”

    [GMN] Γέγονα is RAI1S (LF: γίνομαι).

    [SN] Ἀληθεύων (PAPMSN LF: ἀληθεύω) is an adverbial participle. The sense is likely #means (“by telling the truth”), #cause (“because”), or #result (“as the result of”).

    4:17

    [LN] Ζηλοῦσιν (PAI3P LF: ζηλόω) and ζηλοῦτε (PAS2P LF: ζηλόω): This verb is used primarily by Paul in the NT and can be variously translated “to be zealous/jealous.” In this passage, in which Paul’s rival teachers are in view, it refers to “making much of” someone.

    [SN] Ὑμᾶς is an #accusative of reference (“zealous for/with reference to you”) or direct object, depending on whether ζηλοῦσιν is translated in a stative sense (“they are zealous/jealous”) or a transitive sense (“they seek after/make much of”).

    [LN] The adverb καλῶς (“well”) here carries the sense of “nobly” or “with good motive.”

    [LN] Ἐκκλεῖσαι (AAN LF: ἐκκλείω) only occurs twice in the NT (see also Rom 3:27). It has the sense of “to exclude” or “to shut out.” The choice of this word is interesting considering the morphologically similar συγκλείω in 3:22, 23.

    MYON [SN] Explain the function of ἵνα in this clause.

    [GMN]Ζηλοῦτε (PAS2P LF: ζηλόω): While the morphology is identical to the PAI and PAM forms (cf. 1 Cor 12:31, 14:1, 39; Jas 4:2), the presence of ἵνα suggests that it should be parsed and translated as a subjunctive verb. This is the only occurrence of ζηλόω following ἵνα and the only case of a 2P subjunctive form of the verb, so it is possible that this is simply an irregular morphology.

    4:18

    [SN] Καλὸν (MSA LF: καλός, -ή, -ό) is a #predicate adjective in a verbless clause.

    [SN]Ζηλοῦσθαι (PMN or PPN LF: ζηλόω) functions as the subject of a verbless clause. It is the third time a form of ζηλόω is used in vv. 17–18.

    [SN] Ἐν καλῷ (NSD) may be understood to describe the #manner in which it is “good to be zealous” or “good to be made much of.”

    [LN] Παρεῖναί (PN LF: πάρειμι) means “to be present.”

    [SN, LN] Ἐν τῷ παρεῖναί με πρὸς ὑμᾶς is a #temporal use of ἐν with the #articular infinitive παρεῖναί functioning as the object of the prepositional phrase. The whole phrase should be translated “during my presence with you” or, more loosely, “while I am with you.”

    [GMN] The pronoun με is the #accusative subject of the infinitive τῷ παρεῖναί. Remember that both the subject and the object of an infinitive appear in the accusative case.

    4:19

    [LN] Τέκνα (NPV LF: τέκνον) is a #vocative of direct address.

    [SN] The pronoun οὓς (MPA) is the direct object of ὠδίνω; this is a case of #constructio ad sensum since the antecedent is neuter (Τέκνα) and does not expect a masculine relative pronoun.

    [LN] Ὠδίνω (PAI1S LF: ὠδίνω) has to do with pain suffered during childbirth; there are only three occurrences in the NT (see 4:27; Rev 12:2).

    [LN] Μορφωθῇ (APS3S LF: μορφόω) means “to be formed.” The verbal form is a NT #hapax legomenon, though it is related to μορφή (“form,” occurring three times: see Mk 16:12; Phil 2:6, 7) and μόρφωσις (“form/embodiment/formulation,” occurring twice: see Rom 2:20; 2 Tim 3:5).

    4:20

    [SN] Πρὸς ὑμᾶς indicates #association (“with you”).

    [LN] Ἀλλάξαι (AAN LF: ἀλάσσω) means “to change” or “exchange,” so the phrase ἀλλάξαι τὴν φωνήν μου essentially means “to change my tone.”

    [SN] Παρεῖναι (PN LF: πάρειμι) and ἀλλάξαι are both #complementary infinitives that complete the thought of ἤθελον.

    [LN] Ἀποροῦμαι (PMI1S LF: ἀπορέω) means “to be perplexed,” “uncertain,” or “at a loss.” It occurs six times in the NT, including twice in Paul (cf. 2 Cor 4:8).

    [SN] The prepositional phrase ἐν ὑμῖν probably expresses either #reference (“I am perplexed concerning you”) or #cause.

    Discussion Questions (4:12–20)

    [4:15] Compare this usage of μακαρισμὸς with the other two NT uses in Rom 4:6, 9 (cf. also Pauline uses of μακάριος, e.g., Rom 4:7, 8; 1 Cor 7:40). What connotations does the word have, and is there a better gloss than “blessing/blessedness”?

    [4:16] Recognizing that punctuation was a later addition to the text, is it more likely that this verse is a question or an exclamation? If the former, is it a genuine question or a rhetorical question?

    [4:18] Part of the difficulty in translating this verse is due to the possibility of ζηλοῦσθαι being either middle or passive voice. Test out each possibility, taking time to reread 4:12–20. Which option makes the most sense of the section?