Galatians 3:1
O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
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(1-5) Whence this strange relapse? It is not as if you were ignorant of better things. The crucified Saviour, the one great object of faith, has been preached before you in a way too plain to be mistaken. It has been written, as it were, in large characters before your eyes. It could only be some kind of evil enchantment or fascination that has prevented you from looking upon it. You have given up Christ and gone back to the Law. Yet, let me ask you—and surely no other proof is needed—all this outpouring of spiritual gifts that you have enjoyed since you became Christian, to what do you owe it? Is that due to the Law and works, or is it due to Christ and faith in Him? The one system is spiritual, the other is carnal and material. Will you begin with what is high and descend to what is low? Will you by such a declension practically admit that all the persecutions that you underwent were undergone in a mistaken cause? (I can hardly believe it.) At this present moment the gift of spiritual grace and miraculous power still in some measure continues, and where it is seen, is it not in clear connection—not with legal observances—but with faith in Christ?

In the last section of the last chapter the Apostle had been gradually working away from the historical retrospect with which he had begun to the doctrinal polemic in which he is about to engage, and now he addresses the Galatians with impassioned directness and earnestness, upbraiding them with their shameful apostasy.

(1) Foolish.—The same word as that which is used in Luke 24:25, “O ye fools and slow of heart,” and in Romans 1:14, “wise and foolish,” 1Timothy 6:9, and Titus 3:3, but not the same as that which is used in Matthew 7:26; Matthew 23:17; Luke 11:40; Romans 1:22; 1Corinthians 1:20; 1Corinthians 4:10; 2Corinthians 11:19, &c. The combination, “fools and slow of heart,” helps to bring out its meaning. “Slow of heart” refers to deadness of the moral affections; “fools” and “foolish” to the absence or undisciplined condition of the reasoning faculty. The Gauls of Galatia were a people intellectually shallow and frivolous. A little reason and reflection would have kept them from so gross an inconsistency.

Bewitched you.—The Greek word for this is probably connected in origin with the Latin word from which is derived our own “fascinate,” and the idea prominent in both is that which is embodied in the popular superstition of the evil eye. This superstition lingers still, especially in some southern countries, such as Italy and Spain. In Italy it is well known under the names “jettatura,” “occhio cattivo.” In Spain its existence has been graphically illustrated by a picture of the late J. Phillip, R.A., now in the museum at Stirling.

The metaphor here is strikingly in harmony with that which follows. The cross of Christ has been “evidently set forth” (i.e., posted up in large and bold characters) before the Galatians, but some evil fascination (that of their Judaising teachers) has drawn away their eyes from looking upon it, and held them fixed upon another object (legal observances), as baneful as the cross was salutary.

That ye should not obey the truth.—These words are omitted by the best MSS. and by all recent editors. They were, without doubt, originally a gloss, put in to explain more fully the single word “bewitched.” As an explanation they are sufficiently right, but they certainly did not form part of the text as it left the hands of St. Paul.

Evidently set forth.—This hardly brings out the full force of the metaphor, which is that of a picture or writing conspicuously and publicly exhibited.

Crucified.—This word is emphatic: “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

Among you.—If these words are to be retained in the text they must, of course, be taken, not with “crucified,” but with “evidently set forth.” They will then be a repetition, intended to enhance the force of the phrase “before whose eyes”—“before whose eyes and in whose very midst Jesus Christ was set forth crucified.” But the probability is that the words ought to be omitted altogether, as they are wanting in the four most ancient MSS., as well as in a majority of the oldest versions.



Galatians 3:1The Revised Version gives a shorter, and probably correct, form of this vehement question. It omits the two clauses ‘that ye should not obey the truth’ and ‘among you.’ The omission increases the sharpness of the thrust of the interrogation, whilst it loses nothing of the meaning.

Now, a very striking metaphor runs through the whole of this question, which may easily be lost sight of by ordinary readers. You know the old superstition as to the Evil Eye, almost universal at the date of this letter and even now in the East, and lingering still amongst ourselves. Certain persons were supposed to have the power, by a look, to work mischief, and by fixing the gaze of their victims, to suck the very life out of them. So Paul asks who the malign sorcerer is who has thus fascinated the fickle Galatians, and is draining their Christian life out of their eyes.

Very appropriately, therefore, if there is this reference, which the word translated ‘bewitched’ carries with it, he goes on to speak about Jesus Christ as having been displayed before their eyes. They had seen Him. How did they come to be able to turn away to look at anything else?

But there is another observation to be made by way of introduction, and that is as to the full force of the expression ‘evidently set forth.’ The word employed, as commentators tell us, is that which is used for the display of official proclamations, or public notices, in some conspicuous place, as the Forum or the market, that the citizens might read. So, keeping up the metaphor, the word might be rendered, as has been suggested by some eminent scholars, ‘placarded’--’Before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been placarded.’ The expression has acquired somewhat ignoble associations from modern advertising, but that is no reason why we should lose sight of its force. So, then, Paul says, ‘In my preaching, Christ was conspicuously set forth. It is like some inexplicable enchantment that, having seen Him, you should turn away to gaze on others.’ It is insanity which evokes wonder, as well as sin which deserves rebuke; and the fiery question of my text conveys both.

I. Keeping to the metaphor, I note first the placard which Paul had displayed.

‘Jesus Christ crucified has been conspicuously set forth before you,’ he says to these Galatians. Now, he is referring, of course, to his own work of preaching the Gospel to them at the beginning. And the vivid metaphor suggests very strikingly two things. We see in it the Apostle’s notion of what He had to do. His had been a very humble office, simply to hang up a proclamation. The one virtue of a proclamation is that it should be brief and plain. It must be authoritative, it must be urgent, it must be ‘writ large,’ it must be easily intelligible. And he that makes it public has nothing to do except to fasten it up, and make sure that it is legible. If I might venture into modern phraseology, what Paul means is that he was neither more nor less than a bill-sticker, that he went out with the placards and fastened them up.

Ah! if we ministers universally acted up to the implications of this metaphor, do you not think the pulpit would be more frequently a centre of power than it is to-day? And if, instead of presenting our own ingenuities and speculations, we were to realise the fact that we have to hide ourselves behind the broad sheet that we fasten up, there would be a new breath over many a moribund church, and we should hear less of the often warrantable sarcasms about the inefficiency of the modern pulpit.

But I turn from Paul’s conception of the office to his statement of his theme. ‘_Jesus_ was displayed amongst you.’ If I might vary the metaphor a little, the placard that Paul fastened up was like those that modern advertising ingenuity displays upon all our walls. It was a picture-placard, and on it was portrayed one sole figure--Jesus, the Person. Christianity is Christ, and Christ is Christianity; and wherever there is a pulpit or a book which deals rather with doctrines than with Him who is the Fountain and Quarry of all doctrine, there is divergence from the primitive form of the Gospel.

I know, of course, that doctrines--which are only formal and orderly statements of principles involved in the facts--must flow from the proclamation of the person, Christ. I am not such a fool as to run amuck against theology, as some people in this day do. But what I wish to insist upon is that the first form of Christianity is not a theory, but a history, and that the revelation of God is the biography of a man. We must begin with the person, Christ, and preach Him. Would that all our preachers and all professing Christians, in their own personal religious life, had grasped this--that, since Christianity is not first a philosophy but a history, and its centre not an ordered sequence of doctrines but a living person, the act that makes a man possessor of Christianity is not the intellectual process of assimilating certain truths, and accepting them, but the moral process of clinging, with trust and love, to the person, Jesus.

But, further, if any of you consult the original, you will see that the order of the sentence is such as to throw a great weight of emphasis on that last word ‘crucified.’ It is not merely a person that is portrayed on the placard, but it is that person _upon the Cross_. Ah! brethren, Paul himself puts his finger, in the words of my text, on what, in his conception, was the throbbing heart of all his message, the vital point from which all its power, and all the gleam of its benediction, poured out upon humanity--’Christ crucified.’ If the placard is a picture of Christ in other attitudes and in other aspects, without the picture of Him crucified, it is an imperfect representation of the Gospel that Paul preached and that Christ was.

II. Now, think, secondly, of the fascinators that draw away the eyes.

Paul’s question is not one of ignorance, but it is a rhetorical way of rebuking, and of expressing wonder. He knew, and the Galatians knew, well enough who it was that had bewitched them. The whole letter is a polemic worked in fire, and not in frost, as some argumentation is, against a very well-marked class of teachers--viz. those emissaries of Judaism who had crept into the Church, and took it as their special function to dog Paul’s steps amongst the heathen communities that he had gathered together through faith in Christ, and used every means to upset his work.

I cannot but pause for a moment upon this original reference of my text, because it is very relevant to the present condition of things amongst us. These men whom Paul is fighting as if he were in a sawpit with them, in this letter, what was their teaching? This: they did not deny that Jesus was the Christ; they did not deny that faith knit a man to Him, but what they said was that the observance of the external rites of Judaism was necessary in order to entrance into the Church and to salvation. They did not in their own estimation detract from Christ, but they added to Him. And Paul says that to add is to detract, to say that anything is necessary except faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work is to deny that that finished work, and faith in it, are the means of salvation; and the whole evangelical system crumbles into nothingness if once you admit that.

Now, is there anybody to-day who is saying the same things, with variations consequent upon change of external conditions? Are there no people within the limits of the Christian Church who are reiterating the old Jewish notion that external ceremonies--baptism and the Lord’s Supper--are necessary to salvation and to connection with the Christian Church? And is it not true now, as it was then, that though they do not avowedly detract, they so represent these external rites as to detract, from the sole necessity of faith in the perfected work of Jesus Christ? The centre is shifted from personal union with a personal Saviour by a personal faith to participation in external ordinances. And I venture to think that the lava stream which, in this Epistle to the Galatians, Paul pours on the Judaisers of his day needs but a little deflection to pour its hot current over, and to consume, the sacramentarian theories of this day. ‘O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you?’ Is it not like some malignant sorcery, that after the Evangelical revival of the last century and the earlier part of this, there should spring up again this old, old error, and darken the simplicity of the Gospel teaching, that Christ’s work, apprehended by faith, without anything else, is the means, and the only means, of salvation?

But I need not spend time upon that original application. Let us rather come more closely to our own individual lives and their weaknesses. It is a strange thing, so strange that if one did not know it by one’s own self, one would be scarcely disposed to believe it possible, that a man who has ‘tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come,’ and has known Jesus Christ as Saviour and Friend, should decline from Him, and turn to anything besides. And yet, strange and sad, and like some enchantment as it is, it is the experience at times and in a measure, of us all; and, alas! it is the experience, in a very tragical degree, of many who have walked for a little while behind the Master, and then have turned away and walked no more with Him. We may well wonder; but the root of the mischief is in no baleful glitter of a sorcerer’s eye without us, but it is in the weakness of our own wills and the waywardness of our own hearts, and the wandering of our own affections. We often court the coming of the evil influence, and are willing to be fascinated and to turn our backs upon Jesus. Mysterious it is, for why should men cast away diamonds for paste? Mysterious it is, for we do not usually drop the substance to get the shadow. Mysterious it is, for a man does not ordinarily empty his pockets of gold in order to fill them with gravel. Mysterious it is, for a thirsty man will not usually turn away from the full, bubbling, living fountain, to see if he can find any drops still remaining, green with scum, stagnant and odorous, at the bottom of some broken cistern. But all these follies are sanity as compared with the folly of which we are guilty, times without number, when, having known the sweetness of Jesus Christ, we turn away to the fascinations of the world. Custom, the familiarity that we have with Him, the attrition of daily cares--like the minute grains of sand that are cemented on to paper, and make a piece of sandpaper that is strong enough to file an inscription off iron--the seductions of worldly delights, the pressure of our daily cares--all these are as a ring of sorcerers that stand round about us, before whom we are as powerless as a bird in the presence of a serpent, and they bewitch us and draw us away.

The sad fact has been verified over and over again on a large scale in the history of the Church. After every outburst of renewed life and elevated spirituality there is sure to come a period of reaction when torpor and formality again assert themselves. What followed the Reformation in Germany? A century of death. What followed Puritanism in England? An outburst of lust and godlessness.

So it has always been, and so it is with us individually, as we too well know. Ah, brethren! the seductions are omnipresent, and our poor eyes are very weak, and we turn away from the Lord to look on these misshapen monsters that are seeking by their gaze to draw us into destruction. I wonder how many professing Christians are in this audience who once saw Jesus Christ a great deal more clearly, and contemplated Him a great deal more fixedly, and turned their hearts to Him far more lovingly, than they do to-day? Some of the great mountain peaks of Africa are only seen for an hour or two in the morning, and then the clouds gather around them, and hide them for the rest of the day. It is like the experience of many professing Christians, who see Him in the morning of their Christian life far more vividly than they ever do after. ‘Who hath bewitched you?’ The world; but the arch-sorcerer sits safe in our own hearts.

III. Lastly, keeping to the metaphor, let me suggest, although my text does not touch upon it, the Amulet.

One has seen fond mothers in Egypt and Palestine who hang on their babies’ necks charms, to shield them from the influence of the Evil Eye; and there is a charm that we may wear if we will, which will keep us safe. There is no fascination in the Evil Eye if you do not look at it.

The one object that the sorcerer has is to withdraw our gaze from Christ; it is not illogical to say that the way to defeat the object is to keep our gaze fixed on Christ. If you do not look at the baleful glitter of the Evil Eye it will exercise no power over you; and if you will steadfastly look at Him, then, and only then, you will not look at it. Like Ulysses in the legend, bandage the eyes and put wax in the ears, if you would neither be tempted by hearing the songs, nor by seeing the fair forms, of the sirens on their island. To look fixedly at Jesus Christ, and with the resolve never to turn away from Him, is the only safety against these tempting delights around us.

But, brethren, it is the crucified Christ, looking to whom, we are safe amidst all seductions and snares. I doubt whether a Christ who did not die for men has power enough over men’s hearts and minds to draw them to Himself. The cords which bind us to Him are the assurance of His dying love which has conquered us. If only we will, day by day, and moment by moment, as we pass through the duties and distractions, the temptations and the trials, of this present life, by an act of will and thought turn ourselves to Him, then all the glamour of false attractiveness will disappear from the temptations around us, and we shall see that the sirens, for all their fair forms, end in loathly fishes’ tails and sit amidst dead men’s bones.

Brethren, ‘looking _off_ unto Jesus’ is the secret of triumph over the fascinations of the world. And if we will habitually so look, then the sweetness that we shall experience will destroy all the seducing power of lesser and earthly sweetness, and the blessed light of the sun will dim and all but extinguish the deceitful gleams that tempt us into the swamps where we shall be drowned. Turn away, then, from these things; cleave to Jesus Christ; and though in ourselves we may be as weak as a humming-bird before a snake, or a rabbit before a tiger, He will give us strength, and the light of His face shining down upon us will fix our eyes and make us insensible to the fascinations of the sorcerers. So we shall not need to dread the question, ‘Who hath bewitched you?’ but ourselves challenge the utmost might of the fascination with the triumphant question, ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’

Help us, O Lord! we beseech Thee, to live near Thee. Turn away our eyes from beholding vanity, and enable us to set the Lord always before us that we be not moved. Galatians 3:1. St Paul having, by many arguments, proved himself to be a real apostle, and showed that his knowledge of the gospel was given him by immediate revelation from the Lord Jesus, proceeds in this and the following chapter to treat of the doctrines in dispute between him and the false teachers, and especially of that of justification, which these Jewish teachers affirmed could not be obtained by the Gentiles unless they were circumcised, and observed the ceremonies of the law of Moses; but which Paul insisted, was simply and only by faith in Christ. And to impress the Galatians the more strongly with a sense of the danger of the doctrine which his opposers taught, he here charges them with want of understanding or consideration, for listening to it, saying: O foolish Galatians — Or thoughtless, as the word ανοητοι may be properly rendered; for it not only signifies persons void of understanding, but also persons who, though they have understanding, do not form right judgments of things, through want of consideration. “The apostle, by calling the Galatians foolish, doth not contradict our Saviour’s doctrine, (Matthew 5:22,) because he doth it not, εικη, rashly, without cause, saith Theophylact, nor out of anger and ill-will to them, but from an ardent desire to make them sensible of their folly.” — Whitby. Who hath bewitched, or deceived, you — For the word βασκανειν is often used for deceiving another with false appearances, after the manner of jugglers; that ye should not obey — Should not continue to obey, that is, to be persuaded of, and influenced by; the truth — That has been so fully declared and proved to you; before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth — By our preaching; as if he had been crucified among you — As if he had said, Who hath so deluded you, as to prevail with you thus to contradict both your own reason and experience? For ye have been as fully and clearly informed of the nature and design of Christ’s sufferings, as if they had been endured by him in your very sight; and you have witnessed their efficacy in procuring for you reconciliation with God, peace of conscience, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.3:1-5 Several things made the folly of the Galatian Christians worse. They had the doctrine of the cross preached, and the Lord's supper administered among them, in both which Christ crucified, and the nature of his sufferings, had been fully and clearly set forth. Had they been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, by the ministration of the law, or on account of any works done by them in obedience thereto? Was it not by their hearing and embracing the doctrine of faith in Christ alone for justification? Which of these had God owned with tokens of his favour and acceptance? It was not by the first, but the last. And those must be very unwise, who suffer themselves to be turned away from the ministry and doctrine which have been blessed to their spiritual advantage. Alas, that men should turn from the all-important doctrine of Christ crucified, to listen to useless distinctions, mere moral preaching, or wild fancies! The god of this world, by various men and means, has blinded men's eyes, lest they should learn to trust in a crucified Saviour. We may boldly demand where the fruits of the Holy Spirit are most evidently brought forth? whether among those who preach justification by the works of the law, or those who preach the doctrine of faith? Assuredly among the latter.O foolish Galatians - That is, foolish for having yielded to the influence of the false teachers, and for having embraced doctrines that tended to subvert the gospel of the Redeemer. The original word used here (ἀνόητοι anoētoi) denotes void of understanding; and they had shown it in a remarkable manner in rejecting the doctrine of the apostles, and in embracing the errors into which they had fallen. It will be remembered that this is an expression similar to what was applied to them by others; see the introduction, Section I. Thus, Callimachus in his hymns calls them "a foolish people," and Hillary, himself a Gaul, calls them Gallos indociles, expressions remarkably in accordance with that used here by Paul. It is implied that they were without stability of character. The particular thing to which Paul refers here is that they were so easily led astray by the arguments of the false teachers.

Who hath bewitched you - The word used here (ἐβάσκανεν ebaskanen) properly means, to prate about anyone; and then to mislead by pretences, as if by magic arts; to fascinate; to influence by a charm. The idea here is, that they had not been led by reason and by sober judgment, but that there must have been some charm or fascination to have taken them away in this manner from what they had embraced as true, and what they had the fullest evidence was true. Paul had sufficient confidence in them to believe that they had not embraced their present views under the unbiassed influence of judgment and reason, but that there must have been some fascination or charm by which it was done. It was in fact accomplished by the arts and the plausible pretences of those who came from among the Jews.

That ye should not obey the truth - The truth of the gospel. That you should yield your minds to falsehood and error. It should be observed, however, that this phrase is lacking in many manuscripts. It is omitted in the Syriac version; and many of the most important Greek and Latin Fathers omit it. Mill thinks it should be omitted; and Griesbach has omitted it. It is not essential to the passage in order to the sense; and it conveys no truth which is not elsewhere taught fully. It is apparently added to show what was the effect of their being bewitched or enchanted.

Before whose eyes - In whose very presence. That is, it has been done so clearly that you may be said to have seen it.

Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth - By the preaching of the gospel. He has been so fully and plainly preached that you may be said to have seen him. The effect of his being preached in the manner in which it has been done, ought to have been as great as if you had seen him crucified before your eyes. The word rendered "hath been evidently set forth" (προεγράφῃ proegraphē), means properly to write before; and then to announce beforehand in writing; or to announce by posting up on a tablet. The meaning here is, probably, that Christ has been announced among them crucified, as if the doctrine was set forth in a public written tablet - Robinson's Lexicon. There was the utmost clearness and distinctness of view, so that they need not make any mistake in regard to him. The Syriac renders it, "Christ has been crucified before your eyes as if he had been represented by painting." According to this, the idea is, that it was as plain as if there had been a representation of him by a picture. This has been done chiefly by preaching. I see no reason, however, to doubt that Paul means also to include the celebration of the Lord's supper, in which the Lord Jesus is so clearly exhibited as a crucified Saviour.

Crucified among you - That is, represented among you as crucified. The words "among you," however, are lacking in many manuscripts and obscure the sense. If they are to be retained, the meaning is, that the representations of the Lord Jesus as crucified had been as clear and impressive among them as if they had seen him with their own eyes, The argument is, that they had so clear a representation of the Lord Jesus, and of the design of his death, that it was strange that they had so soon been perverted from the belief of it. Had they seen the Saviour crucified; had they stood by the cross and witnessed his agony in death on account of sin, how could they doubt what was the design of his dying, and how could they be seduced from faith in his death, or be led to embrace any other method of justification? How could they now do it, when, although they had not seen him die, they had the fullest knowledge of the object for which he gave his precious life? The doctrine taught in this verse is that a faithful exhibition of the sufferings and death of the Saviour ought to exert an influence over our minds and hearts as if we had seen him die; and that they to whom such an exhibition has been made should avoid being led astray by the blandishments of false doctrines and by the arts of man. If we had seen the Saviour expire, we could never have forgotten the scene! Let us endeavor to cherish a remembrance of his sufferings and death as if we had seen him die.


Ga 3:1-29. Reproof of the Galatians for Abandoning Faith for Legalism. Justification by Faith Vindicated: The Law Shown to Be Subsequent to the Promise: Believers Are the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, Who Was Justified by Faith. The Law Was Our Schoolmaster to Bring Us to Christ, that We Might Become Children of God by Faith.

1. that ye should not obey the truth—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.

bewitched—fascinated you so that you have lost your wits. Themistius says the Galatians were naturally very acute in intellect. Hence, Paul wonders they could be so misled in this case.

you—emphatical. "You, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been graphically set forth (literally, in writing, namely, by vivid portraiture in preaching) among you, crucified" (so the sense and Greek order require rather than English Version). As Christ was "crucified," so ye ought to have been by faith "crucified with Christ," and so "dead to the law" (Ga 2:19, 20). Reference to the "eyes" is appropriate, as fascination was supposed to be exercised through the eyes. The sight of Christ crucified ought to have been enough to counteract all fascination.Galatians 3:1-5 Paul asketh what had moved the Galatians to depend on the

law, having already received the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:6-9 As Abraham was justified by faith, so they who are of

faith inherit his blessing.

Galatians 3:10-12 The law brought men under a curse, and could not justify.

Galatians 3:13,14 Christ hath freed us from the curse, and laid open the

blessing to all believers.

Galatians 3:15-18 Supposing that the law justified, God’s covenant with

Abraham would be void.

Galatians 3:19-22 But the law was only a temporary provision against sin till

Christ’s coming, and in no wise contrary to God’s promises.

Galatians 3:23,24 Serving as a schoolmaster to prepare men for Christ.

Galatians 3:25-29 But faith being come the law is at an end, and all

believers are, without distinction, become children of

God, and heirs of the promise.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you? The apostle beginneth the further pursuit of the argument he was upon, with a smart reprehension of them, as men of no understanding, and bewitched. The word translated

bewitched, signifies vitiating the eyes, or spoiling the sight, so as that men cannot discern an obvious object in a due position. The meaning is: Who hath seduced you, who hath so corrupted your understanding that your actions are as unaccountable as the effects of witchcraft?

That ye should not obey the truth: the word translated obey, signifies also to believe: in general it signifies to be persuaded; which may refer either to an assent to the truth, or obedience to the precepts of the gospel.

Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you; whenas Christ hath been plainly preached before you, and his death, with the blessed end and effects of it, hath been so made known amongst you, as if you had seen him crucified. Or else Christ may be said to be crucified amongst them, because it was in their time, so as they could not but hear of it, and there was no more reason for them to doubt of the truth of the thing, than if he had been crucified in their country.

O foolish Galatians,.... Referring not to any national character, as some have thought, by which they were distinguished from others for their rudeness in knowledge, their ignorance and folly, as the Cretians for their lying, &c. nor to their former state in unregeneracy, it being common to all men, to God's elect themselves, before conversion, to be foolish in a moral and spiritual sense; but to their present stupidity about the article of justification, it being an instance of most egregious folly to leave Christ for Moses, the Gospel for the law, and the doctrine of free justification by the righteousness of Christ, which brings so much solid peace and comfort with it, for the doctrine of justification, by the works of the law, which naturally leads to bondage. Now this was said, not rashly, nor in anger, or on purpose to reproach and provoke, and so not at all contrary to Matthew 5:22 but in like manner as Christ said to his disciples, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe", &c. Luke 24:25. So the apostle here, as pitying the Galatians, grieved for them, and as one surprised and astonished that ever people of such light, that had had the Gospel so clearly preached to them, should ever give into such a notion.

Who hath bewitched you? some false teacher or another had, or it cannot be conceived how their heads should ever have been turned this way; which must be understood, not in a literal and proper sense, as Simon Magus bewitched the people of Samaria with his sorceries, but in a figurative and improper one; that as sorcerers and enchanters cast a mist before people's eyes, or, by some evil arts or juggling tricks, deceive their sight, and make objects seem to appear which do not, or in a different form than they really do, so these deceitful workers, who had transformed themselves into the apostles of Christ, as Satan sometimes transforms himself into an angel of light, had set this doctrine in a false light before them, thereby to corrupt their minds from the simplicity that is in Christ. Though the apostle reproves the Galatians for their folly and weakness in giving in so easily to such deceptions, yet he imputes the chief fault unto, and lays the greatest blame on the false teachers; whom he represents as sorcerers and enchanters, and their doctrine, particularly that of justification by works, as witchcraft; it being pleasing to men, a gratifying of carnal reason, and operating as a charm upon the pride of human nature. What Samuel said to Saul, 1 Samuel 15:22 may be applied to the present case, "to obey" the truth "is better than sacrifice", than all the rituals of the ceremonial law: "and to hearken" to the Gospel of Christ, "than the fat of rams", or any of the legal institutions; "for rebellion" against, and opposition to any of the doctrines of the Gospel, and especially to this of justification by the righteousness of Christ, "is as the sin of witchcraft". The Greek word, signifies "to envy", and hence, "to bewitch"; because the mischief, by witchcrafts, generally proceeds from envy; and so the Syriac version, which the Arabic follows, renders it, , "who hath envied you", which suggests this sense, that the false apostles envying their light and knowledge in the Gospel, their faith, peace, comfort, and happiness, had endeavoured to introduce another doctrine among them, subversive of all this.

That ye should not obey the truth. This clause is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in some others, and in the Syriac version. By "the truth" is meant, either the whole Gospel, often so called, in opposition to the law, and the types and shadows of it; and because it is contained in the Scriptures of truth, and comes from the God of truth; the substance of it is Christ, who is the truth, and is what the Spirit of truth leads into; or else particularly the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ, which is the truth the apostle is establishing, and these Galatians seemed to be going off from, through the artful insinuations of the false teachers. Formerly these people had not only heard this truth, but embraced it: they received the love of it, were strongly affected to it, and firmly believed but now they began to hesitate and doubt about it; they were not so fully persuaded of it as heretofore; they seemed ready to let it go, at least did not hold it fast, and the profession of it, without wavering as before; they were fallen from some degree of the steadfastness of their faith in, and of the obedience of it to this truth, which is what was the design of the false apostles, and is here charged upon the Galatians. The aggravations of which follow in this, and in some subsequent verses,

before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth; meaning in the ministry of the Gospel, in the clear preaching of it by the apostle; Jesus Christ was the sum and substance of his ministry, in which he was set forth and described, and, as it were, painted to the life by him; the glories and excellencies of his divine person, the nature of his office, as Mediator, the suitableness of him as a Saviour, the fulness of his grace, the efficacy of his blood, sacrifice, and righteousness, were so fully, and in such a lively manner expressed, that it was as if Christ was personally and visibly present with them; yea, he was so described in his sufferings and death, as hanging, bleeding, dying on the accursed tree, that he seemed to be as it were, as the apostle adds,

crucified among you: for this cannot be understood literally, for he was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem; nor does it respect the sin of the Galatians in departing from the Gospel, as if that was a crucifying of him again, and a putting him to open shame; nor their sufferings for the sake of Christ, as if he, in that sense, was crucified in them, and with them: but it intends the clear Gospel revelation of a crucified Christ, in the preaching of him by the apostle, which was such that no picture, no image, no crucifix would come up to, and which, where such preaching is, are altogether vain and needless; and the clear view these saints had, by faith, in the glass of the Gospel of Christ, and him crucified, which so realized the object, as if it was present and before the natural eye. Now this was an aggravation of their weakness and folly, that after such clear preaching, and clear sight, they had of the Gospel, and of Christ in it, that they should in the least degree depart from it.

O {1} foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, {a} before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

(1) The third reason or argument taken of those gifts of the Holy Spirit, with which they were endued from heaven after they had heard and believed the gospel by Paul's ministry. And seeing that they were so evident to all men's eyes, that they were as it were graphic images, in which they might behold the truth of the doctrine of the Gospel, just as much as if they had beheld with their eyes Christ himself crucified, in whose only death they ought to have their trust, he marvels how it could be that they could be so bewitched by the false apostles.

(a) Christ was laid before you so notably and so plainly that you had a graphic image of him as it were represented before your eyes, as if he had been crucified before you.

Galatians 3:1. O irrational Galatians! With this address of severe censure Paul turns again to his readers, after the account of his meeting with Peter; for his reprimand to the latter (Galatians 2:15-21) had indeed so pithily and forcibly presented the intermixture of Judaism with faith as absurd, that the excited apostle, in re-addressing readers who had allowed themselves to be carried away to that same incongruous intermingling, could not have seized on any predicate more suitable or more naturally suggested. The more inappropriate, therefore, is the idea of Jerome (comp. also Erasmus, and Spanheim ad Callim. H. in Del. 184, p. 439), who discovered in this expression a natural weakness of understanding peculiar to the nation. But the testimony borne on the other hand by Themist. Or. 23 (in Wetstein, on Galatians 1:6) to the Galatian readiness to learn, and acuteness of understanding—the consciousness of which would make the reproach all the more keenly felt—is also (notwithstanding Hofmann) to be set aside as irrelevant. Comp. Luke 24:25; Titus 3:3τίς ὑμᾶς ἐβάσκανε] τίς conveys his astonishment at the great ascendency which the perversion had succeeded in attaining, and by way of emphatic contrast the words τίς ὑμᾶς are placed together: Who hath bewitched you, before whose eyes, etc.? Comp. v. Galatians 5:7.

βασκαίνω (from βάζω, to speak) means here to cast a spell upon (mala lingua nocere, Virg. Ecl. vii. 28), to bewitch by words, to enchant (Bos, Exercitatt. p. 173 f., and Wetstein),—a strong mode of describing the perversion, quite in keeping with the indignant feeling which could hardly conceive it possible. Comp. βασκανία, fascinatio, Plat. Phaed. p. 95 B; βάσκανος, Plut. Symp. Galatians 5:7; ἀβάσκαντος, unenchanted. Hence the word is not to be explained, with Chrysostom and his followers: who has envied you, that is, your previous happy condition?—although this signification is of very frequent occurrence, usually indeed with the dative (Kühner, II. p. 247; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 462; Piers. ad Herodian. p. 470 f.), but also with the accusative in Sir 14:6, Herodian. ii. 4. 11.

οἷς κατʼ ὀφθαλμοὺς Ἰησ. Χρ. προεγράφη ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρωμένος] This fact, which ought to have guarded the Galatians from being led away to a Judaism opposed to the doctrine of atonement, and which makes their apostasy the more culpable, justifies the question of surprise, of which the words themselves form part; hence the mark of interrogation is to be placed after ἐσταυρ.

κατʼ ὀφθαλμούς] before the eyes. See examples in Wetstein. Comp. κατʼ ὄμματα, Soph. Ant. 756, and on ii. 11.

προεγράφη] is explained by most expositors, either as antea (previously) depictus est (Chrysostom, Luther, Erasmus, Castalio, Beza, Cornelius a Lapide, and others; also Hilgenfeld, Reithmayr), or palam depictus est (most modern expositors, following Calvin; including Winer, Paulus, Rückert, Usteri, Matthies, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Reiche, Ewald, Wieseler, Hofmann, Holsten), with which Hofmann compares the brazen serpent in the wilderness, and Caspari (in the Strassb. Beitr. 1854, p. 211 f.) even mixes up a stigmatization with the marks of Christ’s wounds, which Paul, according to Galatians 6:17, is supposed to have borne on his own body. But these interpretations are opposed not only by the words ἐν ὑμῖν (see below), but also by the usus loquendi. For, however frequent may be the occurrence of γράφειν in the sense of to paint, this signification can by no means be proved as to προγράφειν, not even in Arist. Av. 450 (see Rettig in Stud. u. Krit. 1830, p. 97). The Greek expression for showing how to paint, tracing out, in the sense of a picture given to copy, is ὑπογράφειν. Following Elsner and others, Morus, Flatt, and Schott understand it as palam scriptus est (1Ma 10:36; Lucian, Tim. 51; Plut. Mor. p. 408 D, Demetr. 46, Camill. 11 et al.[112]): “ita Christus vobis est oboculos palam descriptus, quasi in tabula vobis praescriptus,” Morus. This is inconsistent with ἐν ὑμῖν, for these words cannot be joined with ἐσταυρωμένος (see below); and Schott’s interpretation: in animis vestris—so that what was said figuratively by οἷςπροεγρ. is now more exactly defined sermone proprio by ἐν ὑμῖν—makes the ἐν ὑμῖν appear simply as something quite foreign and unsuitable in the connection, by which the figure is marred. In the two other passages where Paul uses προγράφειν (Romans 15:4; Ephesians 3:3) it means to write beforehand, so that πρό has a temporal and not a local signification (comp. Ptol. viii. 25. 15, and see Hermann on our passage); nor is the meaning different in Judges 1:4 (see Huther). And so it is to be taken here.[113] Paul represents his previous preaching of Christ as crucified to the Galatians figuratively as a writing, which he had previously written (προεγράφη) in their hearts (ἐν ὑμῖν). Comp. 2 Corinthians 3:2 f. In this view κατʼ ὀφθαλμούς is that trait of the figure, by which the personal oral instruction is characterized: Paul formerly wrote Christ before their eyes in their hearts, when he stood before them and preached the word of the cross, which through his preaching impressed itself on their hearts. By his vivid illustration he recalls the fact to his readers, who had just been so misled by a preaching altogether different (Galatians 1:6). With no greater boldness than in 2 Corinthians 3:2 f., he has moulded the figure according to the circumstances of the case, as he is wont to do in figurative language (comp. Galatians 4:19); but this does not warrant a pressing of the figure to prove traits physically imcompatible (an objection urged by Reiche). Jerome and others, also Hermann, Bretschneider, and Rettig, l.c. p. 98 ff., have indeed correctly kept to the meaning olim scribere (Rettig, however, remarking undecidedly, that it may also mean palam scribere), but have quite inappropriately referred it to the prophecies of the O.T.: “quibus ante oculos praedictio fuit Christi in crucem sublati,” Hermann. Apart from the circumstance that the precise mode of death by crucifixion is not mentioned in the prophetical utterances, this would constitute a ground for surprise on the part of the apostle of a nature much too general, not founded on the personal relation of Paul to his readers, and therefore by no means adequate as a motive; and, in fact, Galatians 3:2-4 carry back their memory to the time, when Paul was at work among them.

ἐν ὑμῖν] is not, with Grotius, Usteri, and others, to be set aside as a Hebrew pleonasm (אֲשֶׁר בָּכֶם), but is to be understood as in animis vestris (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:2; Soph. Phil. 1309: γράφου φρενῶν ἔσω; Aesch. Prom. 791, Suppl. 991, Choeph. 450), and belongs to ΠΡΟΕΓΡΆΦΗ; in which case, however, the latter cannot mean either palam pictus or palam scriptus est, because then ἘΝ ὙΜῖΝ would involve a contradictio in adjecto, and would not be a fitting epexegesis of οἷς (Winer, comp. Schott), for the depicting and the placarding cannot take place otherwise than on something external. To take ἐν ὑμῖν as among you and connect it with ΠΡΟΕΓΡ., would yield not a strengthening of οἷς (as de Wette holds), but an empty addition, from which Reiche and Wieseler also obtain nothing more than a purport obvious of itself.[114] On the other hand, Hofmann hits upon the expedient of dividing the words οἷςἐσταυρ. into two independent sentences: (1) Before whose eyes is Jesus Christ; (2) as the Crucified One, He has been freely and publicly delineated among you. But, apart from the linguistically incorrect view of προεγράφη, this dismemberment would give to the language of the passage a violently abrupt form, which is the more intolerable, as Paul does not dwell further on the asyndetically introduced προεγρ. ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρ. or subjoin to it any more particular statement, but, on the contrary, in Galatians 3:2 brings forward asyndetically a new thought. Instead of introducing it abruptly in a way so liable to misapprehension, he would have subjoined προεγράφη—if it was not intended to belong to οἷς—in some simple form by γάρ or ὅτι or ὅς or ὅσγε. Without any impropriety, he might, on the other hand, figuratively represent that he who preaches Christ to others writes (not placards or depicts) Christ before their eyes in their hearts. Most expositors connect ἐν ὑμῖν with ἐσταυρ., and explain either as propter vos (Koppe), contrary to the use of ἐν with persons (see on Galatians 1:24); or, unsuitably to the figurative idea κατʼ ὀφθαλμοὺς κ.τ.λ., in animis vestris;[115] or (as usually) inter vos: “so clearly, so evidently … just as if crucified among you,” Rückert. But the latter must have been expressed by ὡς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρ., and would also presuppose that the apostle’s preaching of the cross had embodied a vivid and detailed description of the crucifixion. It was not this however, but the fact itself (as the ἱλαστήριον), which formed the sum and substance of the preaching of the cross; as is certain from the apostle’s letters. Lastly, Luther’s peculiar interpretation, justly rejected by Calovius, but nevertheless again adopted in substance by Matthias,—that ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρ. is a severe censure, “quod Christus (namely, after the rejection of grace) non vivit, sed mortuus in eis est (Hebrews 6:6),” which Paul had laid before them argumentis praedictis,—is as far-fetched, as alien from the usual Pauline mode of expression, and as unsuitable to the context as the view of Cajetanus, that, according to the idea “Christ suffers in His members” (Colossians 1:24), ἐν ὑμ. ἐσταυρ. is equivalent to for the sake of whom ye have suffered so much.

ἐσταυρ.] as the Crucified One, is with great emphasis moved on to the end. Comp. 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 1:23.

[112] On this meaning is based the interpretation of Ambrose, Augustine, and Lyra, “He was proscribed, that is, condemned,” which is indeed admissible so far as usage goes (Polyb. xxxii. 21, 12, xxxii. 22, 1; Plut. Brut. 27), but quite unsuitable to the context. Comp. Vulgate: proscriptus est, instead of which, however, Lachmann has praescriptus est.

[113] So taken correctly also by Matthias, who, however, explains the expression from the idea of an amulet used against the enchantment. But this idea would presuppose some secret writing, the very opposite of which is conveyed by the expression.

[114] Reiche, “id factum esse a se, gentium apostolo, inter eos praesente” (not, it might be, alio loco or per homines sublestae fidei, not clanculum, but cunctis, publico eorum conventu, etc.). Wieseler: “not merely from a distance by means of an epistle.”

[115] To this category belongs Bengel’s mystical interpretation, “forma crucis ejus in corde vestro per fidem expressa, ut jam vos etiam cum illo crucefigeremini.” Thus the expression would signify the killing of the old man which had taken place through ethical fellowship in the death of Christ, to which ἐν ὑμ. ἐσταυρ. is referred by Storr also. A similar view is taken by Jatho, Br. an d. Gal. p. 24: that ἐν ὑμῖν is proleptic, “so that He, as the atoning One, came into and abode in you;” comp. Ewald, “to paint clearly before the eyes that Christ is now really crucified in them, and, since they have Him in them, He has not been crucified for them in vain;” also Windischmann.Galatians 3:1-6. WHAT SENSELESS FOLLY IS IT FOR YOU, WHO HAD THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST SET PLAINLY BEFORE YOUR EYES, TO RESORT NOW TO CIRCUMCISION! THINK ONLY HOW IT WAS THAT YOU RECEIVED THE SPIRIT: WAS IT BY OBEDIENCE TO LAW OR BY LISTENING IN FAITH? CAN YOU COMPLETE A SPIRITUAL WORK BY AN ORDINANCE OF THE FLESH? DID YOU SUFFER ALL THAT PERSECUTION FOR NOTHING? WAS IT YOUR OBEDIENCE TO LAW OR YOUR LISTENING IN FAITH THAT LED TO GOD’S IMPARTING TO YOU THE SPIRIT WITH POWER, EVEN AS THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM WAS RECKONED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS?Ch. Galatians 3:1-9. Justification by Faith, the dispensation of the Spirit

1. In the concluding verses of the preceding chapter the Apostle has not been directly addressing the Galatians. He has rather been following up his rebuke to Peter by an argument—a soliloquy—ending in a reductio ad absurdum. A doctrine which practically makes the death of Christ superfluous is impious and revolting. ‘And is this the doctrine which you were lightly disposed to accept? O foolish Galatians, to what spell of sorcery have you succumbed? Christ Crucified was lifted up before you as the object of faith. Instead of looking away (Hebrews 12:2) from all else to Jesus Christ alone, you allowed your eyes to wander to the Law and your own works, and so yielded to the deadly fascination of these Judaizing teachers.’

O foolish Galatians] The epithet ‘foolish’ does not refer to a national characteristic. The Galatians, like other Keltic races, were quick-witted. Their folly consisted in not seeing the inconsistency of the new teaching with their own experience (Galatians 3:2) and the impious conclusion to which it inevitably led, c. Galatians 2:21. Our Lord addressed the two disciples at Emmaus in the same terms—“O fools, &c.” Luke 24:25.

hath bewitched] Rather, ‘bewitched’, cast a spell over you, the allusion being to the time when they ‘so readily’ (c. Galatians 1:6) transferred their allegiance to the Judaizing teachers. The change so sudden, and so senseless, seems like the effect supposed to be produced by magical arts. This verb does not occur elsewhere in N. T., though not uncommon in Classical Greek. It is used of the spell which was supposed to be cast over persons, especially children, by the influence of the evil eye—a superstition prevalent in ancient times, and still existing in the East, in Italy and among the Kelts in Brittany. The word sometimes expresses, as here, the baneful effect on the victim, sometimes the feeling of envy or jealousy on the part of the agent. There may be a combination of these two ideas here; for St Paul alludes (c. Galatians 4:17, Galatians 6:12) to the intense spirit of partisanship by which the Judaizers were actuated.

that ye should not obey the truth] Rightly omitted in the R.V. The clause is not found in the best MSS., and has probably been inserted from ch. Galatians 5:7.

before whose eyes] ‘to whom, confronting you, Christ was set forth’.

hath been evidently set forth crucified] This of course does not imply that they had actually witnessed His Crucifixion—indeed the tense of the participle ‘crucified’ (better, ‘as having been crucified’) excludes such an explanation. One verb in the original stands for ‘hath been evidently set forth’. Render, ‘was set forth’. The same word occurs Romans 15:4, where it is rightly translated “were written before”. It is not probable that this can be the sense in this passage, first, because there is no specific mention of our Lord’s death by Crucifixion in the Messianic prophecies of the O.T.; and secondly, because in such prophecies Christ could not be said to have been described as crucified ‘before their eyes’. Two other explanations (both in a figurative sense) have been adopted, (1) ‘was described as in a picture, was pourtrayed, or delineated’. This finds favour with Theod. Mops., Luther, Calvin, and others; and (2) ‘was publicly announced, proclaimed’. The latter sense is preferred by Bp. Lightfoot, on the ground of its being “the common word to describe all public notices or proclamations”. In Judges 4 we have a similar thought—‘whose names have been posted up as of men doomed to this condemnation’.

among you] Omitted in many MSS. and in R.V. If it is retained, it may refer to the fact that the doctrine of the Cross, ‘embracing the whole mystery of redemption by grace and freedom from legal obligation’ (Alford), had been proclaimed without reserve among them, not as a passing announcement, but in the systematic teaching of the Church.Galatians 3:1. , Ο) He abruptly attacks the Galatians.—ἀνόητοι Γαλάται, foolish Galatians) inasmuch as not having followed up, and held fast, a subject which had been most distinctly set before them, Galatians 3:3. He does not call them ἀγαπητοὺς, beloved, because they were not to be loved, but to be reproved; although He really loved them.—ἐβάσκανε, bewitched) [that is, produced in you a change so sudden, and at the same time so very great.—V. g.] What follows more closely agrees with this word, if the phrase, not to obey the truth, were to be laid aside;[18] for the eyes are so obstructed by fascination [that a man is either of opinion that he does not see what he sees, or thinks that he sees what does not exist.—V. g.]—κατʼ ὀφθαλμοὺς, before the eyes) Very clearly.—προεγράφη, hath been distinctly [evidently] set forth by writing) Things are said προγράφεσθαι, to be set forth, which are placed publicly in writing before the eyes of all, as H. Valesius shows, Not. in Harpocr, p. 116. Jesus Christ had been so written or portrayed before the eyes of the Galatians by the Gospel.—ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρωμένος, crucified among you) The form of His cross exhibited in your heart by faith, that now henceforth you might also be crucified with Him, ch. Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:19, note. This crucifixion with Christ is realized especially in the Lord’s Supper.

[18] The margin of both Ed. with the concurrence of the Germ. Vers. implies that it should be laid aside.—E. B.

ABD corrected Liter (Δ), Gfg Vulg. (many MSS., but Cod. Amiat. the best, has “veritati non obedire”) omit τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι. Rec. Text with C retains the words. Jerome 7, 418c writes, “Legitur in quibusdam codicibus, ‘Quis vos fascinavit non credere veritati.’ Sed hoc, quia in exemplaribus Adamantii non habetur, omisimus;” and 7, 487a, “licet et Græca exemplaria hoc errore confusa sint.”—ED.Verse 1. - O foolish Galatians (ω΅ ἀνόητοι Γαλάται). In thus apostrophizing them, the apostle brands their present behaviour, not any lack of intelligence on their part in general (comp. Luke 24:25). "Foolish" - to allow yourselves to be thus robbed of your happiness. The transporting feeling of elevation and joy with which, in Galatians 2:19-21, the apostle describes himself as crucified with Christ to the Law, and as living in Christ and through Christ, makes him the more keenly sensible of the senseless folly shown by the Galatians in taking up the observance of the Law. Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truths? (τίς ὑμᾶς ἐβάσκανε; [Receptus adds, τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι]); who in his envy did bewitch you? With respect to the Greek text, there is now no doubt amongst editors that the words, τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι, "that ye should not obey the truth," are not genuine here, being in all probability foisted in from Galatians 5:7. We have, therefore, to omit them and to read ἐβάσκανεν as before οῖς. Ἐβάσκανεν is a remarkable word, and calls for comment. In common Greek, βασκαίνειν τινά, to treat one with malignant words, means either to slander, belie, blacken character, or to cast upon him primarily words conveying baleful spells, and then, in later usage very frequently, baleful spells of any kind, and more especially spells from the "evil eye" (Aristotle, Plutarch); in the language of old English superstition, "forelook" or "overlook." Indeed, so closely did this last notion cling to the verb, as to have suggested to Greek grammarians for its etymology, φάεσι καίνειν, "to kill with the eyes." The more scientific etymologists of recent days derive it from βάζω β´ασκω, speak; as if it were "to bespeak a man." The nouns βάσκσνος βασκανία, following the senses of the verb, express the ideas, either of envious detraction or of sorcery (see Schneider; Passow; Liddell and Scott). In the New Testament the word occurs only here. In the Septuagint we meet with it in Deuteronomy 28:54, where, for the words, "His eye shall be evil towards his brother," we have Βασκανεῖ τῷ ὀφθαλμῷ αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, meaning apparently, "He shall grudge with his eye his brother;" and so again in ver. 56, the same phrase is used analogously of the tender woman, "She shall grudge with her eye her husband;" Ecclus. 14:6, "There is not a worse man (τοῦ βασκαίνοντος ἑαυτόν) than he that grudges his own self;" ibid. ver. 8, "Evil is (ὁ βασκαίνων ὀφαλμῷ) he that grudgeth with his eye. In Scripture, both in the Old Testament and the New, and in the Apocrypha, the phrases, "the eye being evil," "the evil eye," following the Hebrew, always denote envy, ill nature, niggardliness (Deuteronomy 15:9; Deuteronomy 28:54, 56; Proverbs 23:6 [comp. Proverbs 22:9, "a bountiful eye"]; Matthew 20:15; Mark 7:22). Nowhere either in the Scriptures or in the Apocrypha is there any reference to "forelooking," unless perchance the me'onen, Deuteronomy 20:10 (Authorized Version, "observer of times"), is etymologically connected with the Hebrew word for "eye," which, however, few critics suppose. Ignatius, 'Ad Romans', 3, has Οὐδέποτε ἐβασκάνατε οὐδένα ἄλλους ἐδιδάξατε, "never grudged any man." This Septuagintal use of the verb presents, as the reader will observe, a somewhat different shade of meaning to any of those cited above from the lexicons. Following, however, its guidance, we may understand the apostle as here asking, "Whoso ill-natured jealousy was it that did light upon you?" and as intending to convey these two ideas:

(1) the envy of their once happy state which actuated the agent referred to; and,

(2) by implication, the baleful effect wrought by the envier upon them. The aorist of the verb seems to point to a decisive result. He had, it is hinted, succeeded in his wish; he had robbed them of the blessedness which had excited his jealousy. In respect to the former idea, elsewhere (Galatians 4:17, "They would fain shut you out") the apostle ascribes the action of their misleaders to sinister designs against their well-being. It is, indeed, this thought that inspires the extreme severity of his language above in Galatians 2:4; the βάσκανος, of whom he here speaks, belonged to, or derived from, them. In short, the pathetic question here before us breathes the like indignation and vexation as that in Galatians 5:7, "Ye were running on well: who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?" - the last words of which passage, though not admissible here in the text, would, however, if there, form a perfectly correct explanatory clause. The more distinctly to mark the effect actually produced by the envier, very many commentators have enwoven into their interpretation of ἐνάσκανεν, besides its Septuagiutal sense, its other sense of blasting with some kind of charm: "The malignity," Chrysostom writes, "of a demon whose spirit [or, 'breath'] had blasted their prosperous estate." Great use has been made, in particular, by many, as, e.g. Jerome and, according to Estius, by Thomas Aquinas, of the superstition of the "evil eye," which, in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, has in all ages been so rife. Bishop Lightfoot, in his interesting note on the passage, offers the following paraphrase: "Christ's death in vain? O ye senseless Gauls, what bewitchment is this? I placarded Christ crucified before your eyes. Ye suffered them to wander from this gracious proclamation of your King. They rested on the withering eye of the sorcerer. They yielded to the fascination and were riveted there. And the life of your souls has been drained out of you by that envious gaze." It may, however, be questioned whether the apostle would have recognized his own thought in this thorough-going application of the superstition of the "evil eye." It is doubtful whether he used the verb ἐβάσκανεν with reference to any species of sorcery at all; but if he did, he may have intended no more than this: "What envious ill-wisher has by some strange, inexplicable sorcery so wrought upon you? Or, how can I explain your behaviour, except that you have been acting under some binding spell? Surely such folly is well-nigh inconceivable with men in free possession of their own souls." But

(1) each of these two renderings of the passage is open to the objection that St. Paul, in writing ἐβάσκανεν, either might have intended to express by the word "envious grudging," according to its Sep-tuagintal use, or he might have meant some kind of sorcery according to a common acceptation of the term, but could hardly have meant to convey both senses together.

(2) The introduction of the supposition is inconvenient, not only because there could not have really been any such ingredient in the actual circumstances of the present case, but also because its mention would serve to excuse the folly of the Galatians, as indeed Chrysostom observes that it does, rather than to enhance its censure, which latter would have been more to the apostle's purpose.

(3) It seems especially improbable that the apostle was thinking of the "evil eye" when we consider the entire absence of its mention in the sacred writings. Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (οῖς κατ ὀφθαλμοὺς Ἰησοῦς Ξριστὸς προεγράφη ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρωμένος;); to whom, before your very eyes, Jesus Christ had been (literally, was) aforetime (or, openly) set forth crucified (among you)? The genuineness of the words, ἐν ὑμῖν, "among you," is very doubtful. The Revised Greek text omits them. The words, κατ ὀφθαλμούς, "before your very eyes," are very pointed; for the Greek expression, comp. κατὰ πρόσωπον (Galatians 2:11), and Aristoph., 'Ran.,' 625, ἵνα σοι κατ ὀφθαλμοὺς λέγῃ, "that he may say it to your very face." The sense of προεγράφη is much disputed. It is not clear whether the πρὸ is the "before" of time or of place. Of the other passages in the New Testament in which this compound verb occurs, in Romans 15:4 twice, and Ephesians 3:3, πρὸ is certainly, and in Jude 1:4 probably, not so certainly (comp. 1 Macc. 10:36, "enrolled"), "before" of time. In the present passage a reference to the prophecies of the Old Testament seems out of place. It is far more suitable to the connection to suppose that the apostle is referring to his own preaching. Some commentators, retaining the words, ἐν ὑμῖν, connect them with προεγράφη in the sense of "in you," comparing "Christ in you" (Colossians 1:27), and "written in your hearts" (2 Corinthians 3:2); and so render the words thus: "written of, or described, before in you." But such an expression, sufficiently awkward in itself, would further be very unsuitably introduced after the words, "before your very eyes." Supposing we take the πρὸ as of time, there is no satisfactory explanation of the ἐγρὰφη, if understood in the sense of writing, there being no tablet (so to speak) suggested on which the writing could be conceived of as done. Γράφω, it is true, means "describe" in John 1:45 and Romans 10:5; but it is still a description in writing. We are, therefore, driven to assign to the verb the notion of portraying as in a painting, a sense which in Common Greek it certainly does sometimes bear, and which attaches to it in the διαγράφω of Ezekiel 4:1; Ezekiel 8:10 (Septuagint). We thus gain the sense, "had before been set forth or por trayed;" before (that is) the envier assailed you. This same sense, of portraying rather than of writing, would be also the best to give to the verb, supposing the πρὸ to be understood as the "before" of place; which conception of the preposition Bishop Lightfoot contends for, urging the use of the verb προγράφειν, and the nouns πρόγραμμα and προγραφή, with reference to the placards on which public notices were given of political or other matters of business. When, how ever, we consider how partial the apostle is to verbs compounded with πρὸ of time, as is seen in his use of προαιτιάομαι προακούω, προαμαρτάνω προελπίζω προενάρχομαι προεπαγγέλλομαι προτετοιμάζω προευαγγελίζομαι προκαταγγέλλω προκαταρτίζω προκυρόομαι, προπάσχω, not a few of which were probably compounded by himself as he wanted them, it appears highly probable that, to serve the present occasion, he here forms the compound προγράφω in the sense of "portraying before," the compound not existing elsewhere in the same sense. He compares, then, the idea of Christ crucified, presented to his hearers in his preaching, to a portraiture, in which the Redeemer had been so vividly and with such striking effect exhibited to his converts, that it ought in all reason have for ever safeguarded their souls against all danger from teaching of an alien character. If the phrase, ἐν ὑμῖν, be retained, it appears best, with Chrysostom and many others, to understand it as meaning, that St. Paul had presented Christ crucified in such lively colours to their view, that they had, as it were, seen him hanging on the cross in their very midst. The position of ἐσταυρωμένος, disconnected from Ἰησοῦς Ξριστὸς and at the end of the sen tence, gives it intense significance. What the idea of Christ crucified was to his own self, the apostle had just before declared; for him it at once had destroyed all spiritual connection with the ceremonial Law, the Law which bade the crucified One away from itself as accursed, and also by the infinite love to himself which he beheld manifested in Christ crucified for him, had bound him to him by spiritual ties both all-constrain ing and iudissoluble. And such (he means) should have been the effect produced by that idea upon their souls. What envier of their happiness in him could, then, possibly have torn them from him? This same portraiture of "Christ crucified" which he reminds the Galatians he had in those days presented to them, he also, as he tells the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:20, 21), had been intent on holding up before the Greeks of Achaia; while, further, he intimates to the Romans, in his Epistle to them, how eager he was to come and at Rome also hold up Christ as him whom God had set forth to be a Propitiation, through faith, by his blood (Romans 1:15, 16; Romans 3:25). Both to the Jew and to the Gentile, both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise, this, emphatically this, was the alone and the sovereign salvation. This picturing forth of the crucified One, however, would hardly from Paul's lips concern itself much with the outward particulars of the passion; it might have been this, in a far greater degree, in St. Peter's presentment of it, who had been himself witness of those sufferings; but Paul, with his habits of thought, as we know them from his writings, who knew Christ as in the spirit rather than as in the flesh, would occupy himself more with the spiritual idea of the cross - its embodiment of perfect meekness and gentleness and self-sacrifice, of humility. of obedience to the Father's will, of love to all mankind, of especial care for his own, and its antagonism to the spirit of Levitical ceremonialism. "Such presentment," remarks Calvin, "as if in a picture, nay, as if actually crucified in the very midst of the hearers themselves, no eloquence, no artifice of rhetoric, can produce, unless that mighty working of the Spirit be assistant of which the apostle speaks in his two Epistles to the Corinthians (e.g. 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5, 13, 14; 2 Corinthians 3:3, 6). If any, therefore, would fain duly discharge the ministry of the gospel, let them learn not so much to apply eloquence and declamation, as to likewise so pierce into men's consciences that these may truly feet Christ crucified and the dropping upon them of his blood. Where the Church hath painters such as these, she very little needeth any more representations in wood and stone, that is, dead images, very little any paintings; and certainly among Christians the doors of the temples were not open for the reception of images and paintings until the shepherds either had grown dumb and become mere dolls, or else did say in the pulpit no more than just a few words, and these in so cold and perfunctory a manner that the power and efficacy of the gospel ministry was utterly extinct." Foolish (ἀνόητοι)

See on Luke 24:25. In N.T. and lxx always in an active sense. See Luke 24:25; Romans 1:14; 1 Timothy 6:9; Titus 3:3. Νοῦς is used by Paul mainly with an ethical reference, as the faculty of moral judgment. See on Romans 7:23. Ἀνόητος therefore indicates a folly which is the outgrowth of a moral defect. Paul is not alluding to a national characteristic of the Galatians.

Hath bewitched (ἐβάσκανεν)

N.T.o. In Class. with accusative, to slander, malign; with dative, to envy, grudge, use ill words to another, bewitch by spells. For the verb in lxx, see Deuteronomy 28:54, Deuteronomy 28:56; Sir. 14:6, 8. The noun βασκανία (not in N.T.) in lxx, Wisd. 4:12 (the bewitching); 4 Macc. 1:26 (the evil eye); 4 Macc. 2:15 (slander). See also Plato, Phaedo, 95 B (evil eye). The adjective βάσκανος (not in N.T.) appears in lxx, Proverbs 23:6; Proverbs 28:22 (having an evil eye); Sir. 14:3; 18:18; 37:11 (envious). See also Aristoph. Knights, 103; Plut. 571 (slanderous, a calumniator). Ignatius (Romans 3. uses it of grudging the triumph of martyrdom. The two ideas of envy or malice and the evil eye combine in the Lat. invidere, to look maliciously. The ὀφθαλμὸς evil eye is found Mark 7:22. Paul's metaphor here is: who hath cast an evil spell upon you? Chrysostom, followed by Lightfoot, thinks that the passage indicates, not only the baleful influence on the Galatians, but also the envious spirit of the false teachers who envy them their liberty in Christ. This is doubtful.

Before whose eyes (οἷς κατ' ὀφθαλμοὺς)

The Greek is stronger: unto whom, over against your very eyes. The phrase κατ' ὀφθαλμοὺς N.T.o , but quite frequent in lxx. Comp. κατὰ πρόσωπον to the face, Galatians 2:11.

Hath been evidently set forth (προεγράφη)

The different explanations turn on the meaning assigned to προ: either formerly, or openly, publicly. Thus openly portrayed. The use of προγράφειν in this sense is more than doubtful. Previously written. In favor of this is the plain meaning in two of the three other N.T. passages where it occurs: Romans 15:4; Ephesians 3:3. Was posted up, placarded. It is the usual word to describe public notices or proclamations. The more probable sense combines the first and third interpretations. Rend. openly set forth. This suits before whose eyes, and illustrates the suggestion of the evil eye in bewitched. Who could have succeeded in bringing you under the spell of an evil eye, when directly before your own eyes stood revealed the crucified Christ?

Crucified among you (ἐν ὑμῖν ἐσταυρωμένος)

Ἑν ὑμῖν among you is omitted in the best texts. Crucified emphatically closes the sentence. Christ was openly set forth as crucified.

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