Galatians 5:12
I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) I would they were even cut off.—The Authorised version is undoubtedly wrong here. The words may mean “cut themselves off,” i.e., from your communion, but it seems far best to take the words, with all the ancient Greek interpreters and a large majority of modern commentators, including Dr. Lightfoot and Bishop Wordsworth, as referring to an extension of the rite of circumcision, such as the Galatians might see frequently practised by the priests of Cybele, whose worship had one of its most imporant centres in their country—I would they would even make themselves eunuchs. Let them carry their self-mutilation still further, and not stop at circumcision.

The expression is in several ways surprising as coming from St. Paul. We should remember, in some mitigation of it, the fact just alluded to, that the Galatians were themselves familiar with this particular form of self-mutilation; and familiar with it, no doubt, in discourse as well as in act. Christianity, while it has had the effect of putting a stop to such horrible practices, has also banished them even from thought and word. It is less, perhaps, a matter of wonder that we should have to appeal to the difference in standard between the Apostle’s times and our own, than that we have to appeal to it so seldom. Still, at the best, words like these must be allowed to come some way short of the “meekness and gentleness of Christ.” We may compare with them, as well for the particular expression as for the general vehemence of language, Philippians 3:2 : “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of concision” (with a play on “circumcision”). The Apostle himself would have been the last to claim that he had “already attained, either were already perfect.” A highly nervous and excitable constitution such as his, shattered by bodily hardships and mental strain, could not but at times impair his power of self-control. It is to be noticed, however, that his indignation, if it sometimes carries him somewhat too far, is always roused in a worthy cause. Such momentary ebullitions as these are among the very few flaws in a truly noble and generous character, and are themselves in great part due to the ardour which makes it so noble.

Which trouble you.—A different word from that which is similarly translated in Galatians 5:10. Its meaning is stronger: “to uproot and overthrow.”

5:7-12 The life of a Christian is a race, wherein he must run, and hold on, if he would obtain the prize. It is not enough that we profess Christianity, but we must run well, by living up to that profession. Many who set out fairly in religion, are hindered in their progress, or turn out of the way. It concerns those who begin to turn out of the way, or to tire in it, seriously to inquire what hinders them. The opinion or persuasion, ver. 8, was, no doubt, that of mixing the works of the law with faith in Christ in justification. The apostle leaves them to judge whence it must arise, but sufficiently shows that it could be owing to none but Satan. It is dangerous for Christian churches to encourage those who follow, but especially who spread, destructive errors. And in reproving sin and error, we should always distinguish between the leaders and the led. The Jews were offended, because Christ was preached as the only salvation for sinners. If Paul and others would have admitted that the observance of the law of Moses was to be joined with faith in Christ, as necessary to salvation, then believers might have avoided many of the sufferings they underwent. The first beginnings of such leaven should be opposed. And assuredly those who persist in disturbing the church of Christ must bear their judgment.I would they were even cut off - That is, as I understand it, from the communion of the church. So far am I, says Paul, from agreeing with them, and preaching the necessity of circumcision as they do, that I sincerely wish they were excluded from the church as unworthy a place among the children of God. For a very singular and monstrous interpretation of this passage, though adopted by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Jerome, Grotius, Rosenmuller, Koppe, and others, the learned reader may consult Koppe on this verse. To my amazement, I find that this interpretation has also been adopted by Robinson in his Lexicon, on the word ἀποκόπτω apokoptō. I will state the opinion in the words of Koppe. "Non modo circumcidant se, sed, si velint, etiam mutilant se - ipsa genitalia resecent." The simple meaning is, I think, that Paul wished that the authors of these errors and disturbances were excluded from the church.

Which trouble you - Who pervert the true doctrines of salvation, and who thus introduce error into the church. Error always sooner or later causes trouble; compare the note at 1 Corinthians 5:7.

12. they … which trouble you—Translate, as the Greek is different from Ga 5:10, "they who are unsettling you."

were even cut off—even as they desire your foreskin to be cut off and cast away by circumcision, so would that they were even cut off from your communion, being worthless as a castaway foreskin (Ga 1:7, 8; compare Php 3:2). The fathers, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, and Chrysostom, explain it, "Would that they would even cut themselves off," that is, cut off not merely the foreskin, but the whole member: if circumcision be not enough for them, then let them have excision also; an outburst hardly suitable to the gravity of an apostle. But Ga 5:9, 10 plainly point to excommunication as the judgment threatened against the troublers: and danger of the bad "leaven" spreading, as the reason for it.

I wish that God would some way or other put an end to these that trouble you. This Paul speaketh not out of hatred to their persons, but out of a zeal to the glory of God, and a just indignation against these men, who had so much hindered the salvation of the members of this church. And it is not improbable that the apostle here spake by the Spirit of prophecy, as knowing God would cut them off; so that his and the like imprecations of holy men in Scripture are not to be drawn into precedents, or made matters for our imitation, unless we had the same discerning of spirits which they had, or the same Spirit of prophecy and revelations from God as to future things. But how far it is lawful or unlawful for ordinary persons, whether ministers or private Christians, to pray against God’s or his church’s enemies, is a question for the arguing which this place is too narrow.

I would they were even cut off which trouble you. These words are a solemn wish of the apostle's with respect to the false teachers, or an imprecation of the judgment of God upon them; that they might be cut off out of the land of the living by the immediate hand of God, that they might do no more mischief to the churches of Christ: this he said not out of hatred to their persons, but from a concern for the glory of God, and the good of his people. The word here used answers to the Hebrew word and which is often made use of by the Jews in solemn imprecations; we read (o) of a righteous man, , "that cut off his children": the gloss upon it is,

"he used to say, when he made any imprecation, , "may I cut off my children";''

that is, may they die, may they be cut off by the hand of God, and I bury them;

"says R. Tarphon (p), may my children be "cut off", if these books of heretics come into my hands, that I will burn them;''

and says the same Rabbi (q) may I "cut off" my children, or may my children be cut off, if this sentence or constitution is cut off, or should perish. There is another use of this word, which may have a place here, for it sometimes signifies to confute a person, or refute his notion (r).

"It is a tradition of the Rabbius, that after the departure of R. Meir, R. Judah said to his disciples, let not the disciples of R. Meir come in hither, for they are contentious; and not to learn the law do they come, but , "to cut me off"; (i.e. as the gloss says, to show how sharp they are that none can stand against them;) to confute and overcome me, by their sentences, or constitutions.''

So the apostle here might wish that the mouths of these false teachers were stopped, their notions refuted, that they might give them no more trouble; to which agrees the Arabic version; "they that trouble you I wish they were dumb"; or that their mouths were stopped, as such vain talkers should be; see Titus 1:10 or the sense of the apostle is, that it was his will and desire that these men should be cut off from the communion of the church; with which views he mentions the proverbial expression in Galatians 5:9 with which compare 1 Corinthians 5:6 or that they would cut themselves off, by withdrawing from them, going out from among them, and leaving them as these men sometimes did.

(o) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 85. 1.((p) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol, 116. 1.((q) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 17. 1. Misn. Oholot, c. 16. sect. 1. & Maimon, in Bartenora in ib. (r) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 52. 2. Nazir, fol. 49. 2.

{11} I would they were even cut off which {g} trouble you.

(11) An example of a true pastor inflamed with the zeal of God's glory, and love for his flock.

(g) For those that preach the Law cause men's consciences to always tremble.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Galatians 5:12. The vivid realization of the doings of his opponents, who were not ashamed to resort even to such falsehood (Galatians 5:11), now wrings from his soul a strong and bitterly sarcastic wish[232] of holy indignation: Would that they, who set you in commotion, might mutilate themselves! that they who attach so much importance to circumcision, and thereby create commotion among you, might not content themselves with being circumcised, but might even have themselves emasculated! On ὄφελον as a particle, see on 1 Corinthians 4:8. “Omnino autem observandum est, ὤφελον (as to the form ὄφελον, see Interpr. ad Moer. p. 285 f.) non nisi tum adhiberi, quum quis optat, ut fuerit aliquid, vel sit, vel futurum sit, quod non fuit aut est aut futurum est,” Hermann, ad Viger. p. 756. It is but very seldom used with the future, as Lucian, Soloec. 1. See Hermann l.c.; Graev. ad Luc. Sol. II. p. 730.

καί] the climactic “even,” not that of the corresponding relation of retribution (Wieseler), in which sense it would be only superfluous and cumbrous.

ἀποκόψονται] denotes castration (Arrian, Epict. ii. 20. 19), either by incision of the vena seminalis (Deuteronomy 23:1) or otherwise. See the passages in Wetstein. Comp. ἀπόκοπος, castrated, Strabo, xiii. p. 630; ἀποκεκομμένος, Deuteronomy 23:1. Owing to καί, which, after Galatians 5:11, points to something more than the circumcision therein indicated, this interpretation is the only one suited to the context: it is followed by Chrysostom and his successors, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Cajetanus, Grotius, Estius, Wetstein, Semler, Koppe, and many others; also Winer, Rückert, Usteri, Matthies, Schott, Olshausen, de Wette, Hilgenfeld, Hofmann, Reithmayr, Holsten; comp. Ewald, who explains it of a still more complete mutilation, as does Pelagius, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and others. In opposition to the context, others, partly influenced by an incorrect aesthetical standard (comp. Calovius: “glossa impura”), and sacrificing the middle signification,—which is always reflexive in Greek prose writers (Kühner, II. p. 19), and is also to be maintained throughout in the N.T. (Winer, p. 239, [E. T. 316]),—have found in it the sense: “exitium imprecatur impostoribus” (Calvin, acknowledging, however, the word as an allusion to circumcision; Calovius, and others); or have explained it of the divine extirpation (Wieseler); or: “may they be excommunicated” (Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, Cornelius a Lapide, Bengel, Michaelis, Zachariae, Morus, Baumgarten-Crusius, Windischmann, and others);[233] or: “may all opportunity of perverting you be taken from them” (Elsner, Wolf, Baumgarten); or: “may they cut themselves off from you” (Ellicott).

ἀναστατοῦν] stronger than ταράσσειν, means here to stir up (against true Christianity), to alarm. Comp. Acts 17:6; Acts 21:38. The word, used instead of the classic ἀνάστατον ποιεῖν, belongs to the later Greek; Sturz, dial. Mac. p. 146.

[232] According to Hofmann, indeed, it is “quite earnestly meant,” and is supposed to contain the thought that “their perversity, which is now rendered dangerous by their being able to appeal to the revealed law, would thereby assume a shape in which it would cease to be dangerous.” How arbitrarily the thought is imported! And yet the wish, if earnestly meant, would be at all events a silly one. For a similar instance of a bitterly pointed saying against the Judaistic overvaluing of circumcision, see Php 3:2.

[233] Luther, in his translation, rendered it: to be extirpated (thus like Calvin); in his Commentary, 1519, he does not explain it specially, but speaks merely of a curse which is expressed. In 1524, however, he says characteristically: “Si omnino volunt circumcidi, opto, ut et abscindantur et sint eunuchi illi amputatis testiculis et veretro, i. e. qui docere et gignere filios spirituales nequeunt, extra ecclesiam ejiciendi.” On the other hand, in the Commentary of 1538, he says quite simply, “allusit … ad circumcisionem, q. d. cogunt vos circumcidi, utinam ipsi funditus et radicitus excindantur.”

Galatians 5:12. ὄφελον. This adverb occurs also in 1 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 11:1, Revelation 3:15. In all three places it expresses dissatisfaction with the actual position, “Would that it were otherwise”. But it acquires this force from its combination with past tenses, like the aorist ὤφελον in Attic Greek. When coupled however with a future as it is here, it does not express a wish, but like the future of ὀφείλειν declares what ought to be the logical outcome of the present. The clause predicts in bitter irony to what final consummation this superstitious worship of circumcision must lead. Men who exalt an ordinance of the flesh above the spirit of Christ will be bound in the end to proceed to mutilation of the flesh like heathen votaries.—ἀποκόψονται. This word was habitually used to describe the practice of mutilation which was so prevalent in the Phrygian worship of Cybele. The Galatians were necessarily familiar with it, and it can hardly bear any other sense.—ἀναστατοῦντες. This word forcibly expresses the revolutionary character of the agitation which was upsetting the peace and order of the Galatian Churches. It is used in Acts 17:6; Acts 21:38 to denounce seditious and riotous conduct.

12. The Apostle gives vent to his righteous indignation.

they were even cut off] Two explanations of this expression are given. All expositors however agree in translating the verb as a middle, not as passive.

(1) ‘I would that they who are such advocates for circumcision would go further and practise self-mutilation, like the priests of Cybele’. This is the view of Chrysostom and has the support of the most eminent commentators, ancient and modern. Bp. Lightfoot remarks, that ‘by glorying in the flesh’ the Galatians were returning in a very marked way to the bondage of their former heathenism; and Dr Jowett considers that ‘the common interpretation of the Fathers, confirmed by the use of language in the Septuagint, is not to be rejected only because it is displeasing to the delicacy of modern times’.

(2) ‘I would that they who are not merely teaching error, but stirring up sedition among you, would go further and even cut themselves off from you’, i.e. that instead of remaining as a disturbing element in the Church, they would openly secede and sever themselves. In favour of this interpretation (which seems to be adopted by the R.V. ‘even cut themselves off’[30]) the following considerations are of weight: (a) The word occurs three times (exclusive of repetitions) in the active voice in the N. T. and always in the physical sense = ‘amputate’ or cut through. It occurs nowhere else in the middle. And it is common for a verb to undergo a change from the physical to the ethical sense with the change of voice. (b) It is not met with in the middle in the LXX. The passive participle occurs once in the sense of ‘mutilated’. (c) The word rendered ‘trouble’ you, is not the same as that used in Galatians 5:10, but a term descriptive of the action of those leaders who stirred up a body of disaffected citizens, inducing them to abandon their homes and live by warfare or depredation, comp. Acts 21:38. What wish more natural than that men with such sectarian aims should sever themselves wholly from the company of believers? (d) The coarseness of the former explanation is heightened by the abruptness of the wish. There is moreover no other allusion in St Paul’s writings to the practice in question.

[30] With the alternative in the Margin, ‘Mutilate themselves’.

Between the two interpretations the student must choose that which approves itself to his judgment.

Galatians 5:12. Ἀποκόψονται, shall be cut off) Immediately after the reproof concerning the past, Paul entertains [and expresses] good hope of the Galatians for the future; but he denounces punishment against the seducers in two sentences, which, by disjoining in the meantime the particle ὄφελον, are as follows:—ὁ δὲ ταράσσων ὑμᾶς βαστάσει τὸ κρίμα, κ.τ.λ., καὶ ἀποκόψονται οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς. That one concealed troubler, worse than the others, Galatians 5:10, who boasted that Paul himself agreed with him about circumcision, is here, cursorily in passing, refuted, Galatians 5:11; but the others also, who are disturbing the Galatians about the status of the Gospel [in relation to circumcision and the law], are threatened with being cut off. Thus the particle καὶ, and, retains its natural meaning, and these words cohere, βαστάσειδὲκαὶ ἀποκόψονται, as well as those, κρίνετεδὲκαὶ ἐξαρεῖτε, 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 : ἀποκόψονται is the future middle, which, as often happens, so here, has a passive signification: it corresponds to the Hebrew word כרת, and is a conjugate of the verb ἐγκόπτειν, Galatians 5:7. Either the whole, when a part is cut off [the whole has the part cut off], or a part cut off from the whole, is said respectively ἀποκόπτεσθαι. Some ascribe the former sense in this passage to the zeal of the apostle, so that the mutilation of the body of the circumcised [viz. by taking away not merely the foreskin, but the whole member] may be denoted; and, indeed, the LXX. often translate כרת by κόπτω, ἀπόκοπτω, etc., especially Deuteronomy 23:1) 2, where ἀποκεκομμένος is used for that, which the French here translate more than circumcised; but we can scarcely receive what is said by the apostle but by metonymy, i.e., that as persons cut off they may be debarred from the Church. Deut. as above. The second sense is more consistent with the gravity of the apostle, that he should speak thus: As the prepuce is cut off by circumcision, as a thing which it becomes an Israelite to want, so those shall be cut off, as a worthless prepuce, from the communion of the saints, and shall be accursed (anathema): ch. Galatians 1:7, and following verses. With a similar reference to circumcision, Paul, Php 3:2, speaks of κατατομὴν, concision; nor is it altogether foreign to the subject, what Apollon. in Philostr. Galatians 5:11, says of the Jews, already of old time, they not only cut themselves off from the Romans, but also from all men. Now, what is to be done with the particle ὄφελον? Most construe ὄφελον καὶ ἀποκόψονται; but ὄφελον, though it is a particle of sufficiently frequent occurrence, is nowhere to be found construed with the future of the indicative. The Complutensian Edition acknowledging this fact, to avoid this difficulty, have given ἀποκόψωνται; but it is unsupported by the copies.[49] There are many imprecations in the sacred writings, and this word ὄφελον is not used in any of their formulæ: nor would Paul in this passage, after a categorical (unconditional) denunciation, finally make war by a prayer against the disturbers of the peace. Στιγμή, the point, is put after ὄφελον in the sixth Augustan. I think it will be found so in many MSS., if philologers would notice such things; for the comma is certainly in some ancient editions, especially in that of Basle, 1545. Nay, ὄφελον may be very conveniently connected with the preceding words: ἄρα κατήργηται τὸ σκάνδαλον τοῦ σταυροῦ; ὄφελον,—was then the offence of the Cross taken away? I wish it were. Ὄφελον is subjoined in reference to a thing desirable (such as is also noticed 1 Corinthians 4:8), as μὴ γένοιτο, Galatians 3:21, is used in reference to a matter by no means pleasant; and as εἶεν among the Greeks in cases of concession, or esto among the Latins. And, as in ch. Galatians 2:17, after ἄρα is put μὴ γένοιτο, so here, after ἄρα is put ὄφελον. I wish that the Cross were a scandal to no one—I wish that all, along with Paul, may hereafter glory in the Cross, ch. Galatians 6:14-15.—οἱ ἀναστοῦντες ὑμᾶς) The same word as at Acts 17:6. It denotes, to remove a man entirely from the station which he occupies.

[49] Beng. errs in this. D(Δ)G support ἀποκόψωνται: and fg Vulg. have ‘abscindantur.’ But ABC, the weightiest authorities, have ἀποκόψονται, the difficulty of explaining which gave birth to ἀποκοψονται.—ED.

Verse 12. - I would they were even cut off which trouble you (ὄφελον καὶ ἀποκόψονται οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς); would to God they would make themselves even as the apocopi of Cybele (Greek, would even mutilate themselves), who are casting you out of country and home! The word ὄφελον, originally a verb, had got, thus stripped of its augment, to be a mere particle of wishing. Its sense with an indicative aorist is seen 1 Corinthians 4:8, Ὄφελόν γε ἐβασιλεύσατε, "Would to God ye had come to your kingship [which is far from being really the case yet!];" Exodus 16:3; Numbers 14:2; Numbers 20:3 (Septuagint), Ὄφελον ἀπεθάνομεν, "Would to God we had died!" with an indicative imperfect, 2 Corinthians 11:1, Ὄφελον ἀνείχεσθέ μον μικρὸν ἀφροσύνης, "Would to God ye were [i.e. could be] tolerant of a little foolishness of mine! [might I hope for it?];" Revelation 3:15, Ὄφελον ψυχρὸς η΅ς, etc., "Would that thou wert cold," etc. With an indicative future (an extremely rare combination), it may still be regarded as expressing a longing that something might be looked forward to, which in reality is not to be anticipated; different from a simple desire that a thing may be, unaccompanied by the feeling that it cannot be, which is its three with an optative, as in Psalm 119:5. The tone of especially fervid aspiration, the vivacity, which usually marks wishes introduced by ὄφελον, is perhaps unduly tamed down by the rendering "I would that." In respect to the verb ἀποκόψονται, Greek scholars are pretty well agreed that the passive rendering of our Authorized Version, "were cut off," cannot be defended. There is no certain instance (Bishop Ellicott remarks) of a similar interchange of the middle voice with the passive. The sense of the verb is shown by the Septuagint rendering of Deuteronomy 23:1, Οὐκ εἰσελεύσεται θλαδίας καὶ ἀποκεκομμένος εἰς ἐκκλησίαν Θεοῦ: where the word 'to the ἀποκεκομμένος answers Hebrew keruth shophkah, rightly rendered in the Vulgate and in our English Bible (cf. Gesenius's 'Thesaurus,' and Furst, under shophkah). "This meaning is assigned to ἀποκόψονται," observes Bishop Lightfoot, "by all the Greek commentators, I believe, without exception (the Latin Fathers, who read ' abseimtantur' in their text had more latitude), and seems alone tenable." (See Grotius, in Peele's ' Synopsis.' ) This interpretation gives its full force to καί ("not only circumcise, but even," etc.): it explains the form of the aspiration as one not likely to be realized; whereas the excision from the Church of these extremely aberrant members, falling nearly if not quite under the anathema of the first chapter, was a thing quite within the apostle's own power: it harmonizes with the intense resentment which colours the phrase, οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ἡμᾶς (see below). The sentiment, it is true, seems one which it would be impossible for a public speaker, or even a writer, amongst ourselves to give such open expression to. Nevertheless, when viewed as framed in amid the surroundings which environed it at the time, it wears none of that aspect of coarseness which would confessedly be felt to attach to it under the conditions of modern life. That the worship of Cybele at Pessinus, one of the principal cities of Galatia, was deformed by the practice of such self-mutilation on the part of some of its devotees, was a matter of universal notoriety, and we may confidently assume that the apostle, when in the neighbourhood, heard frequent mention of those apocopi as they were called, and thus was led now to allude to it as he seems to do in this malediction. For it is a malediction, as Chrysostom describes it; a malediction, however, which in severity falls far short of the anathema which has been previously pronounced. Good were it (he means) for the Church, and even perhaps themselves, if they would have the rashness to go a little further with what they call "circumcision," which in their case is mere concision (Philippians 3:2), and make it clear to all men how purely senseless and unchristian their action in this matter is. "Casting you out of country and home." The verb ἀναστατοῦν occurs besides only in Acts 17:6 ("turned upside down" ) and Acts 21:38 ("madest an uproar" ). It is not found in classical Greek, in which we have in its stead ἀναστάτους ποιεῖν ορ τιθέναι: the verbal adjective ἀνάστατος, when it is applied, as it frequently is, to populations, meaning, "made to rise up and depart," "driven from house and home;" applied to cities, "ruined," "laid waste" (Liddell and Scott). Chrysostom observes, "Well does he say, ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς: for they compelled them to abandon their own proper country and liberty and heavenly kindred, and to seek an alien and strange one; casting them out of ' Jerusalem which is above and free,' and forcing them to wander abroad as captives and perforce emigrants." The present tense of the participle points to the action of these perverters as one which. if successful, would have this result; which (ver. 10) the apostle hopes to defeat. The selection of this particular verb, which goes far beyond the ταράσσοντες before used, and which the word "unsettle" adopted here by the Revisers, does not, as commonly used, completely represent, betokens the apostle's intense feeling of the ruinous consequences of the proposed Judaizing reaction. It shows that he adds the words aetiologically, that is, to justify his strong words, ὄφελον ἀποκόψονται. The energy of both expressions suggests the feeling that probably the apostle would not have written as he has here done except for his burning resentment on behalf of Christ's people threatened with so great a hurt. In 1 Car. 6:4 indignant feeling carries him away beyond himself to an utterance which in the next verse he virtually retracts, remarking, "I say it to move you to shame." Perhaps we have here something of the same kind. Galatians 5:12They were cut off (ἀποκόψονται)

More correctly, would cut themselves off. Perhaps the severest expression in Paul's Epistles. It turns on the practice of circumcision. Paul says in effect: "These people are disturbing you by insisting on circumcision. I would that they would make thorough work of it in their own case, and, instead of merely amputating the foreskin, would castrate themselves, as heathen priests do. Perhaps that would be even a more powerful help to salvation." With this passage should be compared Philippians 3:2, Philippians 3:3, also aimed at the Judaisers: "Beware of the concision" (τὴν κατατομήν), the word directing attention to the fact that these persons had no right to claim circumcision in the true sense. Unaccompanied by faith, love, and obedience, circumcision was no more than physical mutilation. They belonged in the category of those referred to in Leviticus 21:5. Comp. Paul's words on the true circumcision, Romans 2:28, Romans 2:29; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:11.

Which trouble (ἀναστατοῦντες)

Only here in Paul, and twice elsewhere, Acts 17:6; Acts 21:38. olxx. Stronger than ταράσσειν disturb. Rather to upset or overthrow. The usual phrase in Class. is ἀνάστατον ποιεῖν to make an upset. Used of driving out from home, ruining a city or country. See on madest an uproar, Acts 21:38. Rev. unsettle is too weak.

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