Galatians 3:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

New Living Translation
For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God's promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.

English Standard Version
For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

Berean Study Bible
For if the inheritance depends on the Law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God freely granted it to Abraham through a promise.

Berean Literal Bible
For if the inheritance is by the Law, it is no longer by a promise. But God has granted it to Abraham through a promise.

New American Standard Bible
For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

King James Bible
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

International Standard Version
For if the inheritance comes about through the Law, it no longer comes about through the promise. But it was through a promise that God so graciously gave it to Abraham.

NET Bible
For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise, but God graciously gave it to Abraham through the promise.

New Heart English Bible
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by promise.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if the inheritance is by The Written Law, it would therefore not be from The Promise to Abraham, but God gave it to him by The Promise.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If we have to gain the inheritance by following those laws, then it no longer comes to us because of the promise. However, God freely gave the inheritance to Abraham through a promise.

New American Standard 1977
For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

King James 2000 Bible
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

American King James Version
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

American Standard Version
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise: but God hath granted it to Abraham by promise.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise. But God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Darby Bible Translation
For if the inheritance [be] on the principle of law, [it is] no longer on the principle of promise; but God gave it in grace to Abraham by promise.

English Revised Version
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise: but God hath granted it to Abraham by promise.

Webster's Bible Translation
For if the inheritance is by the law, it is no more by promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Weymouth New Testament
For if the inheritance comes through obedience to Law, it no longer comes because of a promise. But, as a matter of fact, God has granted it to Abraham in fulfilment of a promise.

World English Bible
For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by promise.

Young's Literal Translation
for if by law be the inheritance, it is no more by promise, but to Abraham through promise did God grant it.
Study Bible
The Purpose of the Law
17What I mean is this: The Law that came four hundred thirty years later does not revoke the covenant previously established by God, so as to cancel the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the Law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God freely granted it to Abraham through a promise. 19Why then was the Law given? It was added because of transgressions, until the arrival of the seed to whom the promise referred. It was administered through angels by a mediator.…
Cross References
Romans 4:14
For if those who live by the Law are heirs, faith is useless and the promise is worthless,

Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.

Hebrews 6:13
When God made His promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself,

Hebrews 6:14
saying, "I will surely bless you and multiply your descendants."
Treasury of Scripture

For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

if.

Galatians 3:10,12,26,29 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for …

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by …

Romans 4:13-16 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not …

Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; …

but. See on ver.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, …

Psalm 105:6-12,42 O you seed of Abraham his servant, you children of Jacob his chosen…

Micah 7:18-20 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the …

Luke 1:54,55,72,73 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy…

Hebrews 6:12-15 That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith …

(18) The fulfilment of the promise is unaffected by the Law. For it is not dependent upon the Law, or upon the Law and the promise combined (the Law modifying the promise), but upon the promise alone. The Law does not come in at all. Law and promise--in other words, contract and free gift--are incompatible ideas. But the land of Canaan was promised to Abraham as a free gift, and as a free gift the spiritual Canaan is thrown open to his spiritual descendants.

The inheritance.--In the first instance, the temporal inheritance of the land of Canaan; but here understood of the spiritual blessings of the Messianic kingdom.

Gave it.--In the original a strong word: God hath freely given it. There is an antithesis to the idea of "covenant" or "contract," in which both parties have to perform a part. The promise was given by God to Abraham freely, gratuitously, unfettered by any engagement on his side by the non-fulfilment of which it might be made void.

Verse 18. - For if the inheritance be of the Law, it is no more of promise (εἰ γὰρ ἐκ νόμου ἡ κληρονομία [or, οὐκ ἔτι] ἐξ ἐπαγγελίας); for if from a Law the inheritance accrues, it accrues no longer from a promise. The two nouns "Law" and "promise" have no article, being regarded here in their several characteristic principles, which were not only diverse, but contrary. The Law says, "The man that doeth these things shall live by them;" and this while enforcing a great variety of minute positive principles by severe threats and penalties. The promise bestows of free grace without works. The promised bestowment is here styled "inheritance," because received by Abraham's seed as his heirs (see ver. 29 and Galatians 4:1). In the Old Testament it is a favourite designation of the land of Canaan; as e.g. in Psalm 105:11. Here it relates to a spiritual possession. Οὐκέτι seems preferred by editors of the text, when used logically, as if it were, It no longer appears to be (so Romans 7:17; Romans 11:6); whereas οὐκ ἔτι might be referred to a change which took place at the time when the Law was given. But God gave it to Abraham by promise (τῷ δὲ Ἀβραὰμ δι ἐπαγγελίας κεχάρισται ὁ Θεός); but God hath freely given it to Abraham by promise. The verb χαρίζομαι emphatically marks a gilt as freely and lavishly bestowed (compare its use in Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 2:12). The perfect tense points to the now and evermore enduring effect of the promise. The position of ὁ Θεὸς is emphatic - God, no less than he! (comp. Romans 8:31). The march of this sentence, with which the apostle closes up this paragraph of the discussion, gives, as it stands in the Greek, the reader to feel the apostle's soul dilating with wonder cud delight as he gives expression to the two notions - the gracious freeness of the gift, and the Divine personality of the Giver. The mention here of Abraham alone, without "his seed," is perhaps due to the apostle's sense of the long priority of this guaranteed bestowment to the giving of the Law. In appreciating the tone of the passage, we must not lose sight of the venerableness of this personage, the primordial father, not only of the Hebrew race, but of all believers in Christ to the end of the world. For if the inheritance be of the law,.... By the inheritance is meant, either the eternal inheritance, everlasting life and happiness in heaven, which is the gift of God through Christ, and not attained to and enforced by the works of the law; or particularly the blessing of justification, promised in the covenant to Abraham, and his spiritual seed; even to the Gentiles, and inherited by them; which is not obtained through obedience to the law of works, nor does it belong to those who seek for it by the deeds of the law, for these are not heirs of it; see Romans 4:14. For was this the case,

it is no more of promise; it cannot be by merit and by promise, by works and grace too; these can never be reconciled, and consist together; if it is by promise, then not of the law; and if it is of the law, it is not by promise: "but" nothing is more certain than this, that

God gave it, freely, without any consideration of the works of the law,

to Abraham by promise; wherefore justification is not by works, but by the free grace of God, through faith in the righteousness of Christ; and in this way men become heirs according to the hope of eternal life: all which is directly opposite to the notion of the Jews, who say, that, ,

"for the reward of the commandments, men shall inherit paradise (k).''

(k) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 152. 3.18. the inheritance—all the blessings to be inherited by Abraham's literal and spiritual children, according to the promise made to him and to his Seed, Christ, justification and glorification (Ga 4:7; Ro 8:17; 1Co 6:9).

but God, etc.—The Greek order requires rather, "But to Abraham it was by promise that God hath given it." The conclusion is, Therefore the inheritance is not of, or from the law (Ro 4:14).3:15-18 The covenant God made with Abraham, was not done away by the giving the law to Moses. The covenant was made with Abraham and his Seed. It is still in force; Christ abideth for ever in his person, and his spiritual seed, who are his by faith. By this we learn the difference between the promises of the law and those of the gospel. The promises of the law are made to the person of every man; the promises of the gospel are first made to Christ, then by him to those who are by faith ingrafted into Christ. Rightly to divide the word of truth, a great difference must be put between the promise and the law, as to the inward affections, and the whole practice of life. When the promise is mingled with the law, it is made nothing but the law. Let Christ be always before our eyes, as a sure argument for the defence of faith, against dependence on human righteousness.
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