Galatians 4:12
Brothers, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are: you have not injured me at all.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12-16) Let me beg of you: cast off the bondage of Judaism as I have done, just as I gave p its privileges to place myself on a level with you. I have no complaint to make against you. You remember the illness which detained me among you, and led me first to preach to you the gospel. You received me kindly and warmly enough then, though my bodily infirmities might well have tempted you to despise me. You treated me as if I had been a messenger direct from heaven. You thought yourselves “blest” by my teaching. You would have done anything for me; you would have given me even your eyes. What has become of all this now? Why do you consider yourselves “blest” no more? Why do you treat me as an enemy, merely for telling you the truth?

(12) Be as I am.—Use the same Christian freedom that I use.

For I am as ye are.—I lay no stress on my pure Jewish descent. I claim no privileges because I was circumcised the eighth day. I do not count myself holier than you because I belonged to the strictest of all sects, the Pharisees. I stripped myself of all this, and became a Gentile among Gentiles.

Ye have not injured me at all.—Ye did me no wrong. There is a transition of subject at this clause. The Apostle goes back in thought to his first visit to Galatia. He had no complaint to make of the Galatians then. They did him no injury, showed him no unkindness, but, on the contrary, received him gladly.

Galatians 4:12-14. I beseech you, be as I am — Follow my example in laying aside your opinion of the necessity of the law; for I am — Or rather, I was; as ye are — That is, I was once as zealous of the law as you are; but by the grace of God I am now of another mind: be you so too. See Php 3:7-8. Or, as some understand the verse, I beseech you to maintain the same affectionate regard for me as I bear toward you, and candidly to receive those sentiments which I, to whose authority in the church ye can be no strangers, have been inculcating upon you. Ye have not injured me at all — As if he had said, What I have spoken proceeds purely out of love, and not from any anger or ill-will, for which indeed you have given me no occasion, as I have received no personal injury from you. “The apostle having sharply rebuked the Galatians for their attachment to Judaism, checks himself, and turns his discourse into the most affectionate entreaties and expostulations, in which he shows himself to have had a great knowledge of human nature. For he mentions such things as must have deeply affected the Galatians, especially as he expressed them in a simplicity and energy of language which is inimitable.” — Macknight. Ye know how through, or in, infirmity of the flesh — That is, in great bodily weakness, and under great disadvantage from the despicableness of my outward appearance; I preached the gospel to you at the first. And my temptation, which was in my flesh — The peculiar trial wherewith I was exercised, namely, my thorn in the flesh, see on 2 Corinthians 12:7; ye despised not — Ye did not slight, or disdain me; nor rejected my person or ministry on account of it; but received me as an angel of God — As though I had been a superior being come down from heaven; even as Christ Jesus — With as much affection and submission as it can be supposed you would have shown to Christ himself, if, instead of sending me as his messenger, he had visited you in person. The veneration with which the Galatians regarded the apostle at his first coming among them, cannot be more strongly painted than by these expressions.4:12-18 The apostle desires that they would be of one mind with him respecting the law of Moses, as well as united with him in love. In reproving others, we should take care to convince them that our reproofs are from sincere regard to the honour of God and religion and their welfare. The apostle reminds the Galatians of the difficulty under which he laboured when he first came among them. But he notices, that he was a welcome messenger to them. Yet how very uncertain are the favour and respect of men! Let us labour to be accepted of God. You once thought yourselves happy in receiving the gospel; have you now reason to think otherwise? Christians must not forbear speaking the truth, for fear of offending others. The false teachers who drew the Galatians from the truth of the gospel were designing men. They pretended affection, but they were not sincere and upright. An excellent rule is given. It is good to be zealous always in a good thing; not for a time only, or now and then, but always. Happy would it be for the church of Christ, if this zeal was better maintained.Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am ... - There is great brevity in this passage, and no little obscurity, and a great many different interpretations have been given of it by commentators. The various views expressed may be seen in Bloomfield's Crit. Dig. Locke renders it, "Let you and I be as if we were all one, Think yourselves to be very me; as I in my own mind put no difference at all between you and myself." Koppe explains it thus: Imitate my example; for I, though a Jew by birth, care no more for Jewish rites than you." Rosenmuller explains it, "Imitate my manner of life in rejecting the Jewish rites; as I, having renounced the Jewish rites, was much like you when I preached the gospel to you." Other interpretations may be seen in Chandler, Doddridge, Calvin, etc. In our version there seems to be an impropriety of expression; for if he was as they were it would seem to be a matter of course that they would be like him, or would resemble him. The sense of the passage, however, it seems to me cannot be difficult. The reference is doubtless to the Jewish rites and customs, and to the question whether they were binding on Christians. Paul's object is to persuade them to abandon them. He appeals to them, therefore, by his own example. And it means evidently, "Imitate me in this thing. Follow my example, and yield no conformity to those rites and customs." The ground on which he asks them to imitate him may be either:

(1) That he had abandoned them or,

(2) Because he asks them to yield a point to him.

He had done so in many instances for their welfare, and had made many sacrifices for their salvation, and he now asks them to yield this one point, and to become as he was, and to cease these Jewish observances, as he had done.

For I am as ye are - Greek "For I as ye." This means, I suppose, "For I have conformed to your customs in many things. I have abandoned my own peculiarities; given up my customs as far as possible; conformed to you as Gentiles as far as I could do, in order to benefit and save you. I have laid aside the uniqueness of the Jew on the principle of becoming all things to all men (Notes, 1 Corinthians 9:20-22), in order that I might save you. I ask in return only the slight sacrifice that you will now become like me in the matter under consideration."

Ye have not injured me at all - "It is not a personal matter. I have no cause of complaint. You have done me no personal wrong. There is no variance between us; no unkind feeling; no injury done as individuals. I may, therefore, with the more freedom, ask you to yield this point, when I assure you that I do not feel personally injured. I have no wrong to complain of, and I ask it on higher grounds than would be an individual request: it is for your good, and the good of the great cause." When Christians turn away from the truth, and disregard the instructions and exhortations of pastors, and become conformed to the world, it is not a personal matter, or a matter of personal offence to them, painful as it may be to them. They have no special reason to say that they are personally injured. It is a higher matter. The cause suffers. The interests of religion are injured. The church at large is offended, and the Saviour is "wounded in the house of his friends." Conformity to the world, or a lapse into some sin, is a public offence, and should be regarded as an injury done to the cause of the Redeemer. It shows the magnanimity of Paul, that though they had abandoned his doctrines, and forgotten his love and his toils in their welfare, he did not regard it as a personal offence, and did not consider himself personally injured. An ambitious man or an impostor would have made that the main, if not the only thing.

12. be as I am—"As I have in my life among you cast off Jewish habits, so do ye; for I am become as ye are," namely, in the non-observance of legal ordinances. "The fact of my laying them aside among Gentiles, shows that I regard them as not at all contributing to justification or sanctification. Do you regard them in the same light, and act accordingly." His observing the law among the Jews was not inconsistent with this, for he did so only in order to win them, without compromising principle. On the other hand, the Galatian Gentiles, by adopting legal ordinances, showed that they regarded them as needful for salvation. This Paul combats.

ye have not injured me at all—namely, at the period when I first preached the Gospel among you, and when I made myself as you are, namely, living as a Gentile, not as a Jew. You at that time did me no wrong; "ye did not despise my temptation in the flesh" (Ga 4:14): nay, you "received me as an angel of God." Then in Ga 4:16, he asks, "Have I then, since that time, become your enemy by telling you the truth?"

Be as I am; for I am as ye are; be as friendly to me as I am to you: see the like phrase, 1 Kings 22:4. But how doth the apostle say they had not injured him at all, when it is manifest they had defamed him?

Answer. He had forgiven, or was ready to forgive, this to them; he had no desire or design to be revenged on them. Or in this particular thing of Judaizing, for which he had been reflecting upon them, they had done him no personal injury; it was only his care for and love to their souls, which had drawn out this discourse from him; not any particular prejudice to them, or any desire he had to take any revenge upon them, for any personal injury done to himself. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am,.... Though they had gone so far backwards, yet still hoping well of them that they would he reclaimed, he styles them "brethren": not in a carnal but spiritual relation, as being born of God, and belonging to his family; and out of his sincere and hearty love for them as his brethren in Christ, he exhorts them to be as he was; which some understand of affection, as desiring them to show the same love to him as to themselves, that he might be to them as another I, as a part of themselves; so true friendship makes, and true friends look upon each other to be, as Jonathan and David, and the first Christians were, of one heart and soul. But this phrase rather seems to have regard to likeness and imitation; and the sense is, that he would have them to be as he was, and do as he did; to be as free from the law, and the servitude and bondage of it, as he was; to reckon themselves dead unto it, as he did; and to relinquish the observance of days, and months, and times, and years, and any and every part of the ceremonial law, and to account all these things, as he had done, loss and dung for Christ; and this he presses, not in an authoritative way, laying his commands as an apostle upon them, but in a kind and gentle manner entreating them: and which he backs with the following reason or argument,

for I am as ye are; as your very selves; I have the same love for you, you have for yourselves; I love you as I do myself; this way go such interpreters that understand the exhortation to regard love and affection: but rather the meaning is, be as I am, and do as I do, "because I was as you are"; so the Syriac and Arabic versions read the words. Some think that the apostle particularly addresses the Jews in these churches; and that his sense is, that he was born a Jew, as they were, was brought up in the Jewish religion, and in the observance of these things, as they had been, and yet he had relinquished them, therefore would have them do so likewise: or rather his intention is, that he had been as zealous for the observation of the ceremonial law, and all the rituals of it, as they now were; and though he was a Jew by birth, and had had a Jewish education, and so had been prejudiced in favour of these things, yet he had renounced them all; and therefore they who were Gentiles, and were never under obligation to them, should never think of coming into bondage by them; and since he had accommodated himself to them, and had become all things to all, that he might gain some, whether Jews or Gentiles, so he hoped they would condescend to him, and follow his example: or this may have respect, not to his former but present state, according to our version; and the sense be, I am as you are, and you are as I am with respect to things spiritual; we are both alike in Christ, chosen in him, and redeemed by him; are equally regenerated by his Spirit, and are all the children of God by faith in him, and no more servants; are all equally Christ's free men, and have a right to the same privileges and immunities; and therefore be as I am, as free from observing the ceremonies of the law, and so from the bondage of it, since we are upon an equal foot, and upon the same foundation in Christ.

Ye have not injured me at all; what injury they had done was to God, whose will it was that these things should be abolished; and to Christ, who had broken down the middle wall of partition; and to the Gospel, which proclaimed liberty to the captives; and to their own souls, by entangling themselves with the yoke of bondage; but no personal private injury was done to the apostle by their compliance with the law. This he says, lest they should think that he spoke out of anger and resentment, and on account of any personal affront offered to him; which leads him to take notice of their former kindness and respect to him, and which he designs as a reason why they should pay the same deference to him now as then.

{5} Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.

(5) He moderates and qualifies those things in which he might have seemed to have spoken somewhat sharply, very skilfully and divinely declaring his good will toward them in such a way, that the Galatians could not but either be utterly hopeless when they read these things, or acknowledge their own lack of steadfastness with tears, and desire pardon.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Galatians 4:12.[191] After this expression of anxiety, now follows the exhortation to return, and with what cordiality of affection! “Subito … ἤθη καὶ πάθη, argumenta conciliantia et moventia admovet,” Bengel.

γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγὼ, ὅτι κἀγὼ ὡς ὑμεῖς] is explained in two ways,—either as a summons to give up Judaistic habits, or as a summons to love. The correct interpretation is: “Become as I, become free from Judaism as I am, for I also have become as you; for I also, when I abandoned Judaism, thereby became as a Gentile (Galatians 2:14; Php 3:7 f.), and placed myself on the same footing with you who were then Gentiles, by non-subjection to the Mosaic law. Now render to me the reciprocum, to which love has a claim.” So Koppe, Winer, Usteri, Neander, Fritzsche, de Wette, Hilgenfeld. This interpretation is not only in the highest degree suitable to the thoughtful delicacy of the apostle—who might justly (in opposition to Wieseler’s objection) represent his former secession from Judaism as a service rendered to his readers (as Gentiles), because he had in fact seceded to be a converter of the Gentiles—but is the only explanation in harmony with the words and the context. Ἐγενόμην must be supplied in the second clause, and to take it from γίνεσθε is just as allowable as in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (in opposition to Hofmann). Comp. Php 2:5; and see generally, Krüger, § lxii. 4. 1; Winer, p. 541 f. [E. T. 728]; Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 13: προερῶν ἅπερ αὐτῷ. As to κἀγώ, comp. on 1 Corinthians 11:1. Following Chrysostom, Theodoret and Theophylact, Erasmus (in his Paraphrase), Vatablus, Semler, and others, also Matthies, interpret: “Become as I, abandon Judaism; for I also was once a zealous adherent of it like you, but have undergone a change.” But as ἐγενόμην is the only supplement which suggests itself in harmony with the context, Paul must have written the ἤμην, which on this view requires to be supplied (as Justin. ad Graec. ii. p. 400. ed. Col. γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγὼ, ὅτι κἀγὼ ἤμην ὡς ὑμεῖς), and this ἤμην would in that case have conveyed the main element of the motive (fui, nec amplius sum). But as Paul has written, the point of the passage lies in his desire that his readers should become like unto him, as he also had become like to the readers. Schott (comp. Rosenmüller and Flatt) correctly supplies ἐγενόμην, but he again supplies ἐγενέσθε with ὑμεῖς: “siquidem ego quoque factus sum, quales vos facti estis, cum Jesu Christo nomen daretis, abjeci studia pristina Judaismi pariter atque vos olim abjecistis.” Incorrectly, because this would presuppose that Paul was speaking to Jewish Christians, and because the motive, thus understood, could only have been of real avail as a motive in the event of Paul having been converted later than the Galatians. Jerome, Erasmus (in his Annotationes), Cornelius a Lapide, Estius, Michaelis, Rückert, interpret: “Become as I, lay aside Judaism, for I also have lovingly accommodated myself to you;” comp. Wieseler: “Because I also, when I brought the gospel to you, from, a loving regard toward you Gentiles put aside Jewish habits” (Galatians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 9:21). So also in substance Olshausen, Ellicott, Reithmayr, and others; similarly also Hofmann.[192] Against this view it may be urged, that, in Paul’s working as an apostle to the Gentiles, his non-Judaistic attitude was a matter of principle, and not a matter of considerate accommodation, and that long before he preached to the Galatians. Besides, the result would be a dissimilar relation between the two members; for Paul cannot require the putting away of Jewish habits as a matter of affectionate consideration, but only as a Christian necessity. The reciprocity of what is to be done under this aspect is the point of the demand. According to Ewald, Paul says, “As Christians, follow ye entirely my example, because I too am a simple Christian and, strictly speaking, not more than you.” But thus the very idea that was most essential (a simple Christian) would not be expressed. Others, including Luther, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, Zachariae, and Morus, find the sense: “Love me, as I love you.” But how could the reader discover this in the words, since Paul has not yet said a word as to any deficiency of love to him? Beza and Grotius wrongly appeal to the mode of designating one who is beloved as an alter ego, an idea which ὡς ἐγώ and ὡς ὑμεῖς do not at all convey.

ἀδελφοὶ, δέομαι ὑμῶν] The language of softened and deeply moved love. The words are to be referred not to the sequel (Luther, Zeger, Koppe, and others), in which there is nothing besought, but to the previous summons, with which he beseeches them to comply.

οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε] suggests a motive for granting his entreaty γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ, by recalling their relation to him, as it had stood at the time when he first preached the gospel to them: “How should ye not grant me this entreaty, since ye have done no injury to me (and certainly therefore in this point just asked for, will not vex me by non-compliance); but ye know,” etc. According to Chrysostom, Theophylact, Augustine, Pelagius, Luther, Calvin, Estius, Windischmann, and others, including Winer, the words are intended to give an assurance that the previous severe language had not flowed from displeasure and irritation against his readers. But Paul has in fact already changed, immediately before, to the tone of love; hence such an assurance here would come in too late and inappropriately. Nor would the οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε, which on account of the connection with Galatians 4:13 evidently applies to the period of his first visit, necessarily exclude a subsequent offence; so that the “igitur non habui, quod vobis irascerer” (Winer), which has been discovered in these words, is not necessarily implied in them. The temporal reference of the οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε, which is definitely and necessarily given by Galatians 4:13, excludes also the view of Beza, Bengel, Rückert, Ewald, and others, that Paul represents the vexation occasioned to him by the relapse of his readers as having not occurred (“all was forgotten and forgiven,” Ewald), in order to encourage them by this meiosis to a compliance with the γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ. Lastly, those interpretations are incorrect, which, in spite of the enclitic με, lay an antithetic emphasis on the latter; as that of Grotius (“me privatim”), that of Rettig in the Stud. u. Krit. 1830, p. 109 (not me, but God and Christ), and that of Schott (nihil mihi nocuistis, vobis tantum). Nor is Hofmann’s view more correct: that Paul, taking occasion by a passage in the (alleged) epistle of his readers, desired only to say to them that the οὐδέν με ἠδικήσ. was not enough; instead of having merely experienced nothing unbecoming from them, he could not but expect more at their hands, for which reason they ought to recall what their attitude to him had been at his first visit to them. In this view what is supposed to form the train of thought is a purely gratuitous importation, with the fiction of a letter written by the Galatians superadded; and the assumed strong contrast to the sequel must have been marked by a μέν after οὐδέν (as to Plat. Rep. p. 398 A, Hartung, Partik. I. p. 163, forms a right judgment), or by ἀλλά instead of δέ, in order to be intelligible.

On ἀδικεῖν with accusative of the person and of the thing, comp. Acts 25:10; Philemon 1:18; Wolf, Lept. p. 343; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 6. 7.

[191] As to vv. 12–20, see C. F. A. Fritzsche, in Fritzschior. Opusc. p. 231 ff.

[192] According to Hofmann, Paul says of himself that he places himself on an equality with his Gentile readers (inasmuch as, where his vocation requires it, he lives among the Gentiles as if he were not a Jew), and, on the other hand, requires of them that they shall place themselves on an equality with him (and therefore shall not live after the Jewish manner, but shall share his freedom from the law, after he has accommodated himself to their position aloof from the law). Hofmann insists, namely, on the supplying of γίνομαι (present), which, as well as γίνεσθε, he understands in the sense of behaving and conducting themselves. This sense, however, is not suitable, since the readers are really to become different, and not merely to accommodate themselves to another line of conduct; the γίνεσθαι would not therefore retain the same sense in the two halves of the verse. See also, in opposition to this view, Möller on de Wette. The use of γίνεσθαι in the sense of se praestare is, however, in itself linguistically admissible (see Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 7. 4), but not in conformity with the proofs adduced by Hofmann; as to which Dissen, ad Dem. d. Cor. p. 239 f., takes the correct view.Galatians 4:12. Our versions abruptly sever the connection of this verse with the previous context, and do great violence to the Greek text in both clauses. They transpose the words ἀδελφοὶ δέομαι ὑμῶν from their true place at the end of the verse to the beginning, and render γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ, Be ye as I am. But this makes it = γίνεσθε ὁποῖος ἐγώ εἰμι (cf. Acts 26:29), though it is impossible to understand εἰμι in the Greek text after γίνεσθε. The context points distinctly to ἐγενόμην as the proper supplement after ὡς ἐγώ. The last verse has carried back the author’s thoughts to his original ministry, and he proceeds to revive the remembrance of that period. “Act as I did (he exclaims); deal with me as I dealt with you.” Instead of a mere vague admonition to imitate his character he is holding up his actual conduct for an example to them, and proceeds to specify the particular occasion to which he refers.—ὅτι κἀγὼ …: For I too beseech you as you, brethren, besought me. It is an obvious error to detach κἀγώ from the following verb δέομαι and supply εἰμι, as is done in our versions. The Greek requires a verb to be supplied after ὑμεῖς corresponding to κἀγὼ δέομαι ὑμῶν, and I understand accordingly ἐδεήθητέ μου.

The Galatians could not fail to recollect the occasion to which these words refer; for it was the true birthday of their Church, the memorable crisis when at the close of Paul’s address the Jews departed from the synagogue, but the Gentiles besought him to repeat to them the words of life on the following Sabbath; after which many Jews and proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas persuading them to abide by the doctrine of the grace of God. (See Acts 13:42-43. In the Greek text it is clear that the persuasion proceeded from them, and not from Paul and Barnabas.) The Galatians had then been suitors to Paul to maintain the freedom of the Gospel, he was now a suitor to them in his turn for its maintenance.—οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε: Ye had done me no wrong. The force of this clause appears from what follows: Paul is dwelling on the mutual relations between him and the Galatians at the time of that memorable petition. They on their side had done him no wrong, they had not driven him away by persecution or illtreatment, yet up to that time (τὸ πρότερον) he had only been induced by illness to preach to them. The Galatians had, in short, given him no excuse for passing them by, as he intended to do, until he was attacked by an illness which left him no option.12–20. Personal Appeal

The Apostle now makes a personal appeal, marked by deep affection and earnestness. “Brethren, I beseech you, become as I am, free yourselves from the trammels of the ceremonial law and of the Judaizing teachers, for I became as you were. To you who were Gentiles and ‘without law, I became as without law’ (1 Corinthians 9:21) that I might gain you to Christ. Copy then my example”.

for I am] Better, I became as you. I gave up much that was dear to me for your sake.

ye have not injured me at all] The exact meaning of these words is doubtful. Perhaps we should refer them to what immediately precedes. ‘I ask you now to make a return for my self-sacrifice. I am not complaining of your conduct in past time. That was deserving of praise, not of reproach’.Galatians 4:12. Γίνεσθε, be ye) He suddenly lays aside τοὺς λόγους, the arguments suited for instruction, and has recourse to ἤθη καὶ πάθη, arguments that are calculated to conciliate and move, Galatians 4:11-20 : of which whoever has not the ready command (and no carnal man has it), is not a perfect teacher. It is in this respect especially that the tenderest affection of the apostle humbly bent itself to the Galatians.—ὡς ἐγὼ, as I) Brotherly (referring to ‘Brethren’) harmony of minds has the effect of causing the things which are taught to be the more readily received; 2 Corinthians 6:13. He says therefore, “Join yourselves with me in my feeling towards Christ.” The particle ὡς, as, denotes the closest union, 1 Kings 22:4.—κᾳγὼ, I also) viz. am.—ὡς ὑμεῖς, as you) I consider your loss as my own.—δέομαι ὑμῶν) I beseech you, that you may think as I do.—οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε, ye have injured me in nothing) He who offends another, or thinks that he is offended, stands aloof from him; but this is not your case. Some will say, Had they not offended Paul, by rendering his labour among them almost vain? Galatians 4:11. Paul answers: I have pardoned this, I do not recall it to my mind. There is at the same time a Meiosis [or Litotes, less expressed than is intended to be understood], i.e. you have embraced me with the kindest affection, Galatians 4:14-15.Verse 12. - Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are (γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ ὅτι κἀγὼ ὡς ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί δέομαι; be ye as I; because I on my part an as ye; brethren, I entreat. We may compare 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Be imitators of me, even as on my part I am of Christ (μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε καθὼς κἀγὼ Ξριστοῦ)." There is no need in respect to γίνεσθε to accentuate the notion of change this verb often means simply "show one's self, act as;" as e.g. 1 Corinthians 14:20, Μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε... ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶ τέλειοι γίνεσθε: 1 Corinthians 15:58, and often. "Be as I;" to wit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus as our sole and all-sufficing Righteousness before God, and in that faith letting go all care about rites and ceremonies of the Law of Moses, or indeed ceremonialism of any kind, as if such things mattered at all here, in the business of being well-pleasing to God, whether done or forborne. "Because I on my part am as ye." I, a born Jew, once a zealous worker - out of legal ceremonial righteousness, have put that aside, and have placed myself on the footing of a mere Gentile, content to live like a Gentile (ἐθνικῶς καὶ οὐκ Ἰουδαῖκῶς, Galatians 2:14), trusting in Christ like as any Gentile has to de who was bare alike of Jewish prerogative and of ceremonial righteousness. This "for" or "because" is an appeal to them for loving sympathy and fellow-working. What was to become of him if Gentiles withheld from him their practical sympathy with his religious life? To what other quarter could he look for it? From Jewish sympathy he was an utter outcast. The ἀδελφοί δέομαι, "brethren, I entreat," comes in here as a breathing forth of intense imploring. And a remarkable instance is here afforded of that abrupt, instantaneous transition in the expression of feeling which is one great characteristic of St. Paul when writing in one of his more passionate moods. Compare for this the flexure of passionate feeling prevailing through the tenth and three following chapters of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians. Just before, in this chapter, vers. 8-11, the language has been that of stern upbraiding, and, indeed, as if de haut en bas; as from one who from the high level of Israelite pre-eminence was addressing those who quite recently were mere outcast heathens. But here he seems suddenly caught and carried away by a flood of passionate emotion of another kind. The remembrance comes to his soul of his own former sorrows, when he "suffered the less of all things," as he so pathetically tells the Philippians (Philippians 3:4-14); when in the working out of his own salvation, and that of the Gentiles to whom he had been appointed to minister, he had cut himself off from all that he had once prized, and from all the attachments of kindred and party and nation. A terrible rending had it been for him when he had ceased to be a Jew; his flesh still quivered at the recollection, though his spirit rejoiced in Christ Jesus. And now this mood of feeling prompts him to cast himself almost as it were at the feet of these Gentile converts, adjuring them not to turn away from him, not to bereave him of their fellowship and sympathy. Ye have not injured me at all (οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε); no wrong have ye done me. This commences a new sentence, which runs on through the next three verses. The apostle is anxious to remove from their minds the apprehension that he was offended with them on the ground of unkindness shown by them towards himself. It was true that he had been writing to them in strong terms of displeasure and indignation; but this was altogether on account of their behaviour towards the gospel, not at all on account of any injury that he had himself to complain cf. He is well aware of the virulent operation of the sentiment expressed by the old maxim, "Odimus quos laesimus;" and is therefore eager and anxious to take its sting out of the mutual relations between himself and them. When the apostle is writing under strong emotion, the connecting links of thought are frequently difficult to discover; and this is the case here. But this seems to be the thread of connection: the Galatian Christians would not be ready to accord him any sympathetic compliance with his entreaty that they would "be as he was," if they thought he entertained towards them sentiments of soreness or resentment on personal grounds. There was no reason, he tells them, why they should; they had done him no wrong. There is no reason for supposing that the time of the action referred to in οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε is identical with that indicated by the aorists of the two next verses. From the words, τὸ πρότερον, "the first time," in ver. 13, it is clear, as critics have generally felt, that there had been a second visit after that one. If so, a disclaimer of offence taken during the first visit would not have obviated the suspicion of offence taken during a later one. The aorist of ἠδικήσατε must, therefore, cover the whole period of intercourse. Perhaps thus: whatever wrong you may suspect me of charging you with, be assured I do not charge you with it; there was no personal affront then offered me. In what follows, it is true, he dwells exclusively upon the enthusiastic demonstration which they made of their personal attachment to him when he first visited them; but though the assertion here made is not to its full extent proved good by the particulars given in vers. 13 and 14, and though the enthusiasm of personal kindness there described must, under the circumstances, have very considerably abated; yet, very supposably, nothing may have occurred since then - nothing, for example, during his second visit - which would show that they now disowned those feelings of love and respect. At all events, he refuses to allow that there had. No personal affront had he to complain of; while, on the other hand, their former intense kindness had laid up as it were a fund of responsive affection and gratitude in his bosom which could not be soon exhausted. Be as I am (γίνεσθε ὡς ἐγώ)

Better, become as I am; free from the bondage of Jewish ordinances.

I am as ye are (κἀγὼ ὡς ἐγώ)

Rather, I became. Supply ἐγενόμην or γέγονα. Become as I am, for I became a Gentile like you. Comp. Philippians 3:7, Philippians 3:8. For the phrase γινέσθαι ὡς to become as, see Matthew 6:16; Romans 9:29; 1 Corinthians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 9:20-22.

Ye have not injured me at all (οὐδέν με ἠδικήσατε)

This translation misses the force of the aorist, and conveys a wrong impression, that Paul, up to this time, had received no wrong at the hands of the Galatians. This was not true. The reference is to his earlier relations with the Galatians, and is explained by Galatians 4:13, Galatians 4:14. Rend. ye did not injure me at all. Ye did not injure me then, do not do so now.

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