Galatians 4:27
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For it is written: "Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband."

New Living Translation
As Isaiah said, "Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!"

English Standard Version
For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.”

New American Standard Bible
For it is written, "REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND."

King James Bible
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For it is written: Rejoice, childless woman, who does not give birth. Burst into song and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate are many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband.

International Standard Version
For it is written, "Rejoice, you childless woman, who cannot give birth to any children! Break into song and shout, you who feel no pains of childbirth! For the children of the deserted woman are more numerous than the children of the woman who has a husband."

NET Bible
For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren woman who does not bear children; break forth and shout, you who have no birth pains, because the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For it is written: “Rejoice, barren one, she who does not bear, triumph and shout, she who does not give birth, because the children of the desolate have increased more than the children of a wife.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Scripture says: "Rejoice, women who cannot get pregnant, who cannot give birth to any children! Break into shouting, those who feel no pains of childbirth! Because the deserted woman will have more children than the woman who has a husband."

Jubilee Bible 2000
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth into praise and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.

King James 2000 Bible
For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.

American King James Version
For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband.

American Standard Version
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: For more are the children of the desolate than of her that hath the husband.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband.

Darby Bible Translation
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break out and cry, thou that travailest not; because the children of the desolate are more numerous than [those] of her that has a husband.

English Revised Version
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: For more are the children of the desolate than of her which hath the husband.

Webster's Bible Translation
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she who hath a husband.

Weymouth New Testament
For it is written, "Rejoice, thou barren woman that bearest not, break forth into a joyful cry, thou that dost not travail with child. For the desolate woman has many children--more indeed than she who has the husband."

World English Bible
For it is written, "Rejoice, you barren who don't bear. Break forth and shout, you that don't travail. For more are the children of the desolate than of her who has a husband."

Young's Literal Translation
for it hath been written, 'Rejoice, O barren, who art not bearing; break forth and cry, thou who art not travailing, because many are the children of the desolate -- more than of her having the husband.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:21-27 The difference between believers who rested in Christ only, and those who trusted in the law, is explained by the histories of Isaac and Ishmael. These things are an allegory, wherein, beside the literal and historical sense of the words, the Spirit of God points out something further. Hagar and Sarah were apt emblems of the two different dispensations of the covenant. The heavenly Jerusalem, the true church from above, represented by Sarah, is in a state of freedom, and is the mother of all believers, who are born of the Holy Spirit. They were by regeneration and true faith, made a part of the true seed of Abraham, according to the promise made to him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 27. - For it is written (γέγραπται γάρ). The points indicated in the section of Isaiah (54.) referred to by the quotation which is made of the first verse, and which amply make good what the apostle has been stating and implying, are these: that a new economy was to appear; that by this economy a multitude of servants of God should be called into being; that this multitude should in numbers far surpass those called into being heretofore; that this economy, though newly manifested, had been in existence before, but comparatively unblest with offspring; that it was to be known as an economy of forgiving, adopting love, involving a principle of spiritual life and of spontaneous, no longer constrained and servile, obedience. We need not hesitate in asserting that the last-named features of the new economy were, in the apostle's view, included in the prediction he means to refer to, although not contained in those words of the prophet which he has expressly quoted. For it is one of the characteristics of a Jewish religious teacher's method of citing Scripture, noted by the learned Dr. Biesenthal, himself a Jew, in his 'Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews' ('Einleitung,' p. 54), that he is wont to omit in his express citation more or less of the passage referred to, leaving it to his hearer or reader to supply the omitted portions from his own knowledge, even when these are most material for the argument; as e.g. in Hebrews 6:13, 14, the" oath," fully recorded in Genesis 22:16, is not itself contained in the citation made by the writer. The above-named, then, we may assume to have been points which the apostle regarded as contained in the passage he refers to, because they are contained in the section of which the cited words are an integral portion. Whatever may be thought of the applicability, in a measure, of the prophet's language in the section alluded to, to the case of Israel restored from the Babylonian captivity, yet that such an application furnishes no complete explanation of its import is clear from the circumstance that this jubilant prophesying follows immediately upon the delineation in the preceding chapter of the sufferings of Christ - a delineation which ended with the intimation of the results which should follow in the triumph over mighty powers opposing the Sufferer, and in the work of justification which he would accomplish upon "many" (Isaiah 51:10-12). That the section was understood by our Lord to refer to the new economy which he was himself to introduce, is evidenced by his citing the words, "All thy children shall be taught of the Lord" (ver 13), as pointing to the spiritual illumination which should at the time referred to characterize the people of God universally, so universally that none would be numbered amongst God's true people, that is, amongst the disciples of his Son, who had not "heard from the Father" (John 6:45). We have, then, in this section of Isaiah a distinctly predictive description of a condition of spiritual well-being which was to result from Christ's mediation; that is, of the illumination, peace and joyful sense of God's love which then should be the "heritage of the servants of the Lord." This, construed in the apostle's imagery, connecting itself with that of the words which he expressly quotes, is the large multiplication of the children of the freewoman, bringing forth her offspring into a state of freedom and adoption in the great Father's family. The Greek rendering of the passage given by the apostle is identical with that of the Vatican text of the Septuagint. The Alexandrian text varies only in adding καὶ τέρπου, "and be glad," to the word βόησον, "cry." apparently to explain what kind of crying out was intended. Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not (εὐφράνθητι στεῖρα ἡ οὐ τίκτουσα). The Authorized Version as well as the Revised thus renders the Greek here; but in the original passage in Isaiah the former renders, "that didst not bear." the Hebrew having the preterite indicative; and similarly, the "travailest not" in the next clause here is "didst not travail" there. The participles, τίκτουσα and ὠδίνουσα, may be classed with τυφλὸς ὤν ἄρτι βλέπω in John 9:25, expressing the normal state as hitherto known, though just now subjected to a change. Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not (ῤῆξον καὶ βόησον ἡ οὺκ ὠδίνουσα); break forth and shout, thou that travailest not. But the Hebrew has "break forth into singing" instead of "break forth and shout;" and so m Isaiah 49:13; the word for "singing" denoting unarticulated cries of joy, as in Psalm 30:5, and often. The Hebrew word for "break forth" appears to mean "scream (for joy)," as in Isaiah 12:6, etc. For the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband (ὅτι πολλὰ τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐρήμου μᾶλλον η} τῆς ἐχούσης τὸν ἄνδρα); for more are the children of the desolate than of her which hath the husband. The word "desolate" represents the same Hebrew participle in 2 Samuel 13:20, where the Septuagint has χηρεύουσα, widowed. It points in the present case to the solitary and unhappy condition of a woman "forsaken by her husband" (comp. Isaiah 54:6). On the other hand, the words, τῆς ἐχούσης τὸν ἄνδρα, render the one Hebrew word be'ulah, the passive participle of the verb ba'al, cohabit with. Compare the use of this verb in Deuteronomy 24. I ("married her," Authorized Version; συνοικήσῃ αὐτῆ, Septuagint); Deuteronomy 21:13, "and be her husband." The words, therefore, denote her that had her husband living with her as such; "hath," as John 4:18; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 7:2. "The husband" is conceived of as belonging both to her and of right to the "desolate one." Perhaps τὸν ἄνδρα may be rendered "her husband." In the prophet's view, the "woman which had her husband" was the visible Israel, possessing the temple and the other tokens of the Lord's dwelling in her midst; the "desolate one" was the spiritual or the ideal Israel to be manifested in the future; for the present out of sight and seemingly in abeyance; but thereafter to he quickened into fertility by the inhabitation of the Lord (for he in the prophet's vision, ver. 5, is the Husband), revealed in his first suffering then glorified Servant as portrayed in the foregoing prophesying. So exactly do these two images correspond with "the Jerusalem that now is" and "the Jerusalem that is above," of the apostle's imagery, that his use of the prophet's words is plainly no mere accommodation to his purpose of language which was in reality alien to the subject, but is the citation of a passage regarded by him as strictly predictive, and therefore probative of the truth of his representation. The view of this prophecy of Isaiah found in Clemens Romanus, Ep. it., 'Ad Corinthians,' § 2, and in Justin Martyr, 'Apol.,' p. 88, which regards it as referring to the Gentile Church as contrasted with the Jewish, is plainly a misconception of its import: the rejoicing mother of the prophet, as well as the supernal Jerusalem of the apostle, knows of no distinction in her believing offspring, between Jew and Gentile, comprising both alike.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For it is written,.... Isaiah 44:1, which is cited to prove, that the heavenly Jerusalem, or Gospel church state, is the mother of us all, and has brought forth, and still will bring forth, many souls to Christ, even many more than were under the legal dispensation by the Jewish church, though the Lord was an husband to them, Jeremiah 31:32. The words are,

rejoice thou barren that bearest not, break forth and cry thou that travailest not, for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband; by her that was "barren", and "bore" not, and "travailed" not, and was "desolate", is not meant the Gentile world, which before the coming of Christ was barren and destitute of the knowledge of him, and from among whom very few were called by grace; but the Gospel church in the first beginnings of it, in Christ's time, and especially about the time of his death, and before the pouring forth of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, when the number of its members were few; for the names of the disciples together were but 120, when it seemed to be barren, and desolate, and deprived of its husband Christ, but was quickly to have a large accession to, it, both of Jews and Gentiles; and therefore is called upon to "rejoice, break forth", and "cry"; that is, to break forth into songs of praise, and express her spiritual joy, by singing aloud, and setting forth in hymns and spiritual songs the glory of powerful and efficacious grace, in the conversion of such large numbers of souls, the like of which had never been known under the former administration. Three thousand were converted under one sermon, and added to this first Gospel church; and the number of its members still increased, and the number of the men that afterwards believed was about five thousand; and after this we hear of more believers being added to the Lord, both men and women; and also that a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith; and when out of this church, the apostles, and other preachers of the Gospel went everywhere into the Gentile world, thousands of souls were converted, and a large number of churches formed, and a spiritual seed has been preserved ever since; and in the latter day Zion will travail in birth, and bring forth a numerous offspring; a nation shall be born at once, and the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in. Agreeably to this sense the Jewish writers, Jarchi, Kimchi, and Aben Ezra, understand this passage of Jerusalem; as does also the Chaldee paraphrase, which renders it thus:

"Praise, O Jerusalem, which was as a barren woman that bringeth not forth; rejoice in praise, and be glad, who was as a woman which conceives not, for more are the children of Jerusalem forsaken than the children of the habitable city, saith the Lord.''

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

27. (Isa 54:1).

thou barren—Jerusalem above: the spiritual Church of the Gospel, the fruit of "the promise," answering to Sarah, who bore not "after the flesh": as contrasted with the law, answering to Hagar, who was fruitful in the ordinary course of nature. Isaiah speaks primarily of Israel's restoration after her long-continued calamities; but his language is framed by the Holy Spirit so as to reach beyond this to the spiritual Zion: including not only the Jews, the natural descendants of Abraham and children of the law, but also the Gentiles. The spiritual Jerusalem is regarded as "barren" while the law trammeled Israel, for she then had no spiritual children of the Gentiles.

break forth—into crying.

cry—shout for joy.

many more—Translate as Greek, "Many are the children of the desolate (the New Testament Church made up in the greater part from the Gentiles, who once had not the promise, and so was destitute of God as her husband), more than of her which hath an (Greek, 'THE') husband (the Jewish Church having God for her husband, Isa 54:5; Jer 2:2)." Numerous as were the children of the legal covenant, those of the Gospel covenant are more so. The force of the Greek article is, "Her who has THE husband of which the other is destitute."

Galatians 4:27 Additional Commentaries
Context
Hagar and Sarah
26But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27For it is written, "REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND." 28And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.…
Cross References
Isaiah 54:1
"Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD.

Galatians 4:19
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,
Treasury of Scripture

For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband.

Rejoice.

Isaiah 54:1-5 Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, …

barren.

1 Samuel 2:5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they …

Psalm 113:9 He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother …

desolate.

Ruth 1:11-13 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will you go with me? …

Ruth 4:14-16 And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which has not left …

2 Samuel 13:20 And Absalom her brother said to her, Has Amnon your brother been …

Isaiah 49:21 Then shall you say in your heart, Who has begotten me these, seeing …

1 Timothy 5:5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusts in God, and …

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