Galatians 4:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

King James Bible
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

American Standard Version
but now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again?

Douay-Rheims Bible
But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known by God: how turn you again to the weak and needy elements, which you desire to serve again?

English Revised Version
but now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known of God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again?

Webster's Bible Translation
But now, after ye have known God, or rather are known by God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which ye desire again to be in bondage?

Weymouth New Testament
Now, however, having come to know God--or rather to be known by Him--how is it you are again turning back to weak and worthless rudimentary notions to which you are once more willing to be enslaved?

Galatians 4:9 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Rather are known of God

Rather corrects the first statement, have known God, which might seem to attach too much to human agency in attaining the knowledge of God. The divine side of the process is thrown into the foreground by are known, etc. Known does not mean approved or acknowledged, but simply recognized. Saving knowledge is doubtless implied, but is not expressed in the word. The relation of knowledge between God and his sons proceeds from God. The Galatians had not arrived at the knowledge of God by intuition nor by any process of reasoning. "God knew them ere they knew him, and his knowing them was the cause of their knowing him" (Eadie). Comp. 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Timothy 2:19; Matthew 7:23. Dean Stanley remarks that "our knowledge of God is more his act than ours." If God knows a man, that fact implies an activity of God which passes over to the man, so that he, as the subject of God's knowledge, comes into the knowledge of God. In N.T. γινώσκειν often implies a personal relation between the knower and the known, so that knowledge implies influence. See 1 Corinthians 2:8; John 1:10; John 2:24; John 17:3. For a parallel to this interchange between the active and the passive, see Philippians 3:12.

How (πῶς)

"A question full of wonder" (Bengel). Comp. I marvel, Galatians 1:6.

Turn ye again (ἐπιστρέφετε πάλιν)

Better, the continuous present, are ye turning, as of a change still in progress. Comp. Galatians 1:6. Πάλιν again, according to N.T. usage, and corresponding with πάλιν ἄνωθεν in the following clause. Not back, which is the earlier sense and the usual classical meaning.

Weak and beggarly elements (ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα)

For elements see on Galatians 4:3. For πτωχὰ beggarly, see on Matthew 5:3. The two adjectives express the utter impotence of these "elements" to do and to bestow what was done and given by God in sending his Son into the world. Comp. Romans 8:3; Hebrews 7:18.

Again (πάλιν ἄνωθεν)

Ἄνωθεν (ἄνω above) adds to πάλιν the idea of going back to the beginning. Its primary meaning is from above; thence, from the first, reckoning in a descending series. So Luke 1:3; Acts 26:5. Such combinations as this are not uncommon in N.T. and Class. See, for instance, Acts 18:21; Matthew 26:42; Acts 10:15; John 21:16. But these additions to πάλιν are not pleonastic. They often define and explain it. Thus, John 21:16, πάλιν marks the repetition of Jesus' question, δεύτερον the number of the repetition. He asked again, and this was the second time of asking.

Ye desire (θέλετε)

It was more than a mere desire. They were bent on putting themselves again into bondage. See on Matthew 1:19.

Galatians 4:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

ye have.

1 Kings 8:43 Hear you in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calls to you for...

1 Chronicles 28:9 And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind...

Psalm 9:10 And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek you.

Proverbs 2:5 Then shall you understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me...

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the Son, but the Father; neither knows any man the Father, save the Son...

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts...

Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory...

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...

1 John 2:3,4 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments...

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true...

are known.

Exodus 33:17 And the LORD said to Moses, I will do this thing also that you have spoken: for you have found grace in my sight...

Psalm 1:6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

John 10:14,27 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine...

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son...

1 Corinthians 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And...

how.

Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh...

Colossians 2:20-23 Why if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances...

Hebrews 7:18 For there is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

again. or, back.

Hebrews 10:38,39 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him...

elements. or, rudiments.

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

Cross References
1 Corinthians 8:3
But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

2 Corinthians 11:20
For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.

Galatians 4:3
In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.

Colossians 2:20
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--

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