|New International Version (©2011)|
Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."
New Living Translation (©2007)
What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, "All nations will be blessed through you."
English Standard Version (©2001)
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU."
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and told the good news ahead of time to Abraham, saying, All the nations will be blessed through you.
International Standard Version (©2012)
Because the Scripture saw ahead of time that God would justify the gentiles by faith, it announced the gospel to Abraham beforehand when it said, "Through you all nations will be blessed."
NET Bible (©2006)
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, saying, "All the nations will be blessed in you."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
For because God knew beforehand that the nations are made right by faith, he preached The Good News to Abraham beforehand, as The Holy Scriptures say: “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Scripture saw ahead of time that God would give his approval to non-Jewish people who have faith. So Scripture announced the Good News to Abraham ahead of time when it said, "Through you all the people of the world will be blessed."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed.
American King James Version
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, In you shall all nations be blessed.
American Standard Version
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham,'saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed.
And the scripture, foreseeing, that God justifieth the Gentiles by faith, told unto Abraham before: In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Darby Bible Translation
and the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations on the principle of faith, announced beforehand the glad tidings to Abraham: In thee all the nations shall be blessed.
English Revised Version
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed.
Webster's Bible Translation
And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel to Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Weymouth New Testament
And the Scripture, foreseeing that in consequence of faith God would declare the nations to be free from guilt, sent beforehand the Good News to Abraham, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed."
World English Bible
The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Good News beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you all the nations will be blessed."
Young's Literal Translation
and the Writing having foreseen that by faith God doth declare righteous the nations did proclaim before the good news to Abraham --
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:6-14 The apostle proves the doctrine he had blamed the Galatians for rejecting; namely, that of justification by faith without the works of the law. This he does from the example of Abraham, whose faith fastened upon the word and promise of God, and upon his believing he was owned and accepted of God as a righteous man. The Scripture is said to foresee, because the Holy Spirit that indited the Scripture did foresee. Through faith in the promise of God he was blessed; and it is only in the same way that others obtain this privilege. Let us then study the object, nature, and effects of Abraham's faith; for who can in any other way escape the curse of the holy law? The curse is against all sinners, therefore against all men; for all have sinned, and are become guilty before God: and if, as transgressors of the law, we are under its curse, it must be vain to look for justification by it. Those only are just or righteous who are freed from death and wrath, and restored into a state of life in the favour of God; and it is only through faith that persons become righteous. Thus we see that justification by faith is no new doctrine, but was taught in the church of God, long before the times of the gospel. It is, in truth, the only way wherein any sinners ever were, or can be justified. Though deliverance is not to be expected from the law, there is a way open to escape the curse, and regain the favour of God, namely, through faith in Christ. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law; being made sin, or a sin-offering, for us, he was made a curse for us; not separated from God, but laid for a time under the Divine punishment. The heavy sufferings of the Son of God, more loudly warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come, than all the curses of the law; for how can God spare any man who remains under sin, seeing that he spared not his own Son, when our sins were charged upon him? Yet at the same time, Christ, as from the cross, freely invites sinners to take refuge in him.
Verse 8. - The substance of this verse, taken in conjunction with the next, is this: The announcement which the Scripture records as made to Abraham, that "in him all the nations should be blessed," that is, that by being like him in faith all nations should be blessed like him, did thus early preach to Abraham that which is the great cardinal truth of the gospel preached now: it proceeded upon a foresight of the fact now coming to pass, that by faith simply God would justify the Gentiles. As well as the Scripture quoted before from Genesis 15, so this announcement also ascertains to us the position that they that are of faith, and they alone, are blessed with the believing patriarch. Such appears to be the general scope of the passage; but the verbal details are not free from difficulty. And the Scripture, foreseeing (προι'δοῦσα δὲ ἡ γραφή); and, again, the Scripture, foreseeing. The conjunction δὲ indicates transition to another item of proof, as, e.g. in Romans 9:27, Ἡσαίας δέ. The word "Scripture" in 2 Peter 1:20, "no prophecy of Scripture," certainly denotes the sacred writings as taken collectively, that is, what is frequently recited by the plural, αἱ γραφαί, "the Scriptures." So probably in Acts 8:22, "the passage of Scripture." We are, therefore, war, anted in supposing it possible, and being possible it is here also probable, that this is the sense in which the apostle now uses the term as well as in ver. 22, rather than as denoting, either the one particular passage cited or the particular book out of which it is taken. This view better suits the personification under which the Old Testament is here presented. This personification groups with that in Romans 9:17, "The Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up." In both cases the "Scripture" is put in place of the announcement which Scripture records as having been made, the Scripture itself being written after the time of both Abraham and Pharaoh, and not addressed to them. But here there is the additional feature, of foresight being attributed to Scripture - a foresight, net exactly of the Holy Spirit inspiring the Scripture, but of the Divine Being who, on the occasion referred to, was holding communication with Abraham; although, yet again, "the Scripture" seems in the words, "foreseeing that God would justify," etc., distinguished from "God." The sense, however, is clear; Scripture shows that, as early as the time of Abraham, a Divine intimation was given that God would, on the ground of faith simply, justify any human being throughout the world that should believe in him as Abraham did. Rabbinical scholars tell us that in those writings a citation from Scripture is frequently introduced with the words, "What sees the Scripture?" or, "What sees he [or, 'it']?" That God would justify the heathen through faith (ὅτι ἐκ πίστεως διακαιοῖ τὰ ἔθνη ὁ Θεός); that by (Greek, out of) faith would God justify the nations. The position of ἐκ πίστεως betokens that the apostle's point here is, not that God would justify the Gentiles, but that it was by faith that he would do so irrespectively of any fulfilment on their part of ceremonial observances. The tense of the present indicative δικαιοῖ is hardly to be explained thus: would justify as we now see he is doing. The usual effect of the oratio obliqua transfers the standpoint of time in δικαιοῖ to the time of the foresight, the present tense being put instead of the future (δικαιώσει), as intimating that God was, so to speak, even now preparing thus to justify, or, in the Divine estimate of spaces of time, was on the eve of thus justifying; analogously with the force of the present tense in the participles "given" and "poured out" (διδόμεν ἐκχυνόμενον) in Luke 22:19, 20. The condition of mankind in the meanwhile is described in vers. 22, 23 - shut up unto the faith that was to be revealed. A question arises as to the exact interpretation of the word ἔθνη as twice occurring in this verse. Does the apostle use it as the correlative to Jews, "Gentiles;" or without any such sense of contradistinction, "nations" including both Jews and Gentiles? In answer, we observe:
(1) The great point in these verses (6-9) is, not the call of the Gentiles, but the efficacy of faith without Levitical ceremonialism, as summed up in the words of ver. 9.
(2) The original passage which the apostle is now referring to is that in Genesis 12:3, where the Septuagint, conformably with the Hebrew, has Καὶ ἐνευλογηθήσονται ἐν σοὶ πᾶσαι αἱ φυλὰι τῆς γῆς: in our Authorized Version," And in thee shall all families [Hebrew, mishpechoth] of the earth be blessed:" only, through some cause or other, instead of "all families," he writes the words, "all nations" (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη), which we find in what was said by the Lord to the two angels (Genesis 18:18), Καὶ ἐνευλογηθήσονται ἐν αὐτῷ [that is, Abraham] πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τῆς γῆς: Authorized Version, "all the nations of the earth" (Genesis 22:18, and the promise to Isaac, Genesis 26:4, are irrelevant to the point now under consideration). We, therefore, are warranted in assuming that, as ἔθνη might be used as coextensive with φυλαί ("families"), it really is here employed by the apostle with the same extension of application. We may add that, most certainly, the apostle utterly repudiated the notion that God justifies Gentiles on a different footing from that on which he justifies Jews: whether Jews or Gentiles, they only who are of faith are blessed with Abraham; and, whether Jews or Gentiles all who are of faith are blessed with him. Preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying (προευηγγελίσατο τῷ Ἀβραάμ ὅτι); preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying. Very striking and animated is the apostle's use of this word προευηγγελίσατο, a compound verb, minted no doubt for the occasion out of his own ardent thought, though it is found also in his senior contemporary, Philo. It is plainly an allusion to the "gospel" now openly proclaimed to the world as having been "by anticipation" already then announced to Abraham, the Most High himself the herald; signifying also the joy which it brought to the patriarch, and (Chrysostom adds) his great desire for its accomplishment. Tim blessed and glorious gospel of the grace of God has been the thought of God in all ages. May we connect with this the mysterious passage in John 8:567 In point of construction, the verb εὐαγγελίζομαι is nowhere else followed by ὅτι: but as it is sometimes found governing an accusative of the matter preached (Luke 1:19; Luke 2:10; Acts 5:42; Acts 8:12; Ephesians 2:17), there is no harshness in its construction with ὅτι, which we may here represent in English by "saying." In thee shall all nations be blessed (ἐνευλογηθήσονται [Receptus, εὐλογηθήσονται] ἐν σοὶ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη). "In thee" as their type and pattern, in respect both to the "blessing" bestowed upon him and to the faith out of which his blessing sprang. The "blessing" consists of God's love and all the well-being which can flow from God's love; the form of well-being varying according to the believer's circumstances, whether in this life or in the life to come; it receives its consummation with the final utterance, "Come, ye blessed (εὐλογημένοι) of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Into this condition of blessedness the sinful and guilty can only be brought through justification; but justification through Christ does of necessary consequence bring us into it. The compound form of the verb, ἐνευλογηθή, added to ἐν σοὶ, forcibly indicates that moral inherency in Abraham, through our being in faith and obedience his spiritual offspring, whereby alone the blessing is attained and possessed. Chrysostom remarks, "If, then, those were Abraham's sons, not who were related to him by blood, but who follow his faith, for this is the meaning of the words, 'In thee all nations,' it is plain that the Gentiles are brought into kindred with him." Augustine explains "in thee," similarly: "To wit, by imitation of his faith by which he was justified even before the sacrament of circumcision." Luther writes "In Abraham are we blessed, but in what Abraham? The believing Abraham, to wit; because if we are not in Abraham, we are under a curse rather, even if we were in Abraham according to the flesh." Calvin likewise: "These words beyond all doubt mean that all must become objects of blessing after Abraham's fashion; for he is the common pattern, nay rather, rule. But he by faith obtained blessing; therefore faith is for all the means."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Scripture foreseeing,.... This seems to agree with the Jewish forms or citing passages of Scripture, , "what does the Scripture foresee?" and , (n) "what does the law foresee?" The Scripture here, by a "prosopopeia", is represented as foreseeing an event that would come to pass, and accordingly spoke of it before hand, and designs God the author of the Scripture; and so the Syriac version renders it, "for seeing" , "that God" foreknew, &c. and means either the Holy Spirit, who searches the deep things of God, is privy to all his counsels and decrees, and to this of the justification of the Gentiles; or God the Father, who justifies the uncircumcision through faith, according to his own provision and predetermination of it, before the world was; for he was in Christ, reconciling the world, his elect among the Gentiles, from all eternity; when he resolved not to impute their sins to them, but to his Son, who engaged to be their surety: or rather the Son of God, since he was the preacher of this to Abraham; who lay in the bosom of the Father, and was not only acquainted with all his purposes and determinations, but entered into a covenant with him, for, and on the behalf of the people, the chosen ones, among the Gentiles as well as Jews; and undertook to bring in a righteousness for them, by which, being received by faith, they should evidentially, manifestly, in the court of their own consciences, be justified: wherefore the wisdom of God, the eternal Logos, having such a certain foresight, both as God and as Mediator, concerned in the covenant of grace for his people,
that God would justify the Heathen through faith: that is, that whereas a righteousness would be wrought out, and brought in, for the justification of all God's elect, and the doctrine of it be preached among the Gentiles, to whom faith would be given to lay hold on, and receive this righteousness, God would hereby, and hereupon pronounce the sentence of justification in the court of conscience; from whence follow peace and joy in the Holy Ghost; the Scripture, the author, and substance of it, God the Word,
preached before, the Gospel unto Abraham; for not to the Father or the Spirit, as to the Son, can preaching be so well ascribed: Christ was the first preacher of the Gospel that ever was; he first preached it to Adam and Eve in the garden, and afterwards to Abraham: it was Gospel, it was good news to him, that the Messiah should spring from him, and all nations be blessed in him; he rejoiced at it, and by faith saw Christ's day and was glad and particularly that part of the Gospel, and which is a principal part of it, justification by faith; and that, as it concerned the Gentiles, was preached unto him; and before his circumcision, of which that was a sign and seal, namely, that the righteousness of faith should be upon the uncircumcised Gentiles; and before the law of works was given on Mount Sinai, and long before the doctrine of justification by faith was preached unto the Gentiles, and they enjoyed the comfort of it; which shows this to be the Gospel, and to be no new doctrine, nor different from what was so early taught; the sum and substance of which lies in these words, "in thee shall all nations be blessed"; the passage referred to, is in Genesis 12:3 and is repeated Genesis 18:18 and in
Genesis 22:18 is thus expressed,
in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; which shows, that this is not to be understood of Abraham personally, but of his seed; and which cannot intend Isaac, the immediate seed of Abraham, in whom it was never verified; and besides, is carried down to his seed, Genesis 26:4 as not terminating in him; and for the same reason it cannot design Jacob, the immediate seed of Isaac; see Genesis 28:14 nor the whole body of the Jews, the posterity of Jacob, in whom it never had its completion; for when and how have the nations of the earth been blessed in them? either whilst in their own land, when they would have no conversation with them, neither on a civil or sacred account, unless they conformed to their rites; or since their dispersion, so far from it, that their name is used by way of reproach, and as a proverb, a taunt, and a curse everywhere; but it is to be understood of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the son of Abraham, took upon him the seed of Abraham, and to whom it is applied, Galatians 3:16 as by the Apostle Peter, Acts 3:25. The phrase being "blessed in" him, does not signify a blessing of themselves or others, or a proverbial expression that should be used among the Gentiles, "God bless thee as Abraham, or the God of Abraham bless thee, or God bless you as he did the Israelites, or seed of Abraham"; for no one instance can be produced of the nations of the world ever using such a form of blessing; no history, sacred or profane, makes mention that these, or any other Jewish forms of blessing, were ever used among the Gentiles: but here it designs blessings in Christ, and not temporal, but spiritual ones, even all spiritual blessings; as redemption, reconciliation, peace, pardon, adoption, sanctification, and eternal life, and particularly justification; this is the blessedness more especially intended, which comes not upon the circumcision only, but the uncircumcision also; and they that partake of this are blessed indeed; for they are justified from all sin, are free from condemnation, secure from the wrath of God, have a title to eternal life, and shall certainly be glorified: and when it is said that "all nations" shall be thus blessed, the meaning is, not that every individual of all nations shall enjoy this happiness, for all are not in Christ, nor have his righteousness imputed to them, nor have faith in him, there are many that will be condemned with the world; but some of all nations, that God will have saved, and Christ has redeemed by his blood; and these are the many he justifies, even all the elect of God, in the various nations of the world.
(n) Bemidbar Rabba, Parash. 10. fol. 201. 4. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 122. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. And—Greek, "Moreover."
foreseeing—One great excellency of Scripture is, that in it all points liable ever to be controverted, are, with prescient wisdom, decided in the most appropriate language.
would justify—rather, "justifieth." Present indicative. It is now, and at all times, God's one way of justification.
the heathen—rather, "the Gentiles"; or "the nations," as the same Greek is translated at the end of the verse. God justifieth the Jews, too, "by faith, not by works." But he specifies the Gentiles in particular here, as it was their case that was in question, the Galatians being Gentiles.
preached before the gospel—"announced beforehand the Gospel." For the "promise" was substantially the Gospel by anticipation. Compare Joh 8:56; Heb 4:2. A proof that "the old fathers did not look only for transitory promises" [Article VII, Church of England]. Thus the Gospel, in its essential germ, is older than the law though the full development of the former is subsequent to the latter.
In thee—not "in thy seed," which is a point not here raised; but strictly "in thee," as followers of thy faith, it having first shown the way to justification before God [Alford]; or "in thee," as Father of the promised seed, namely, Christ (Ga 3:16), who is the Object of faith (Ge 22:18; Ps 72:17), and imitating thy faith (see on Ga 3:9).
all nations—or as above, "all the Gentiles" (Ge 12:3; 18:18; 22:18).
be blessed—an act of grace, not something earned by works. The blessing of justification was to Abraham by faith in the promise, not by works. So to those who follow Abraham, the father of the faithful, the blessing, that is, justification, comes purely by faith in Him who is the subject of the promise.
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