Galatians 3:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole."

New Living Translation
But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

English Standard Version
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Berean Study Bible
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Berean Literal Bible
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it has been written: "Cursed is everyone hanging on a tree"--

New American Standard Bible
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE "--

King James Bible
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Christian Standard Bible
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.

Contemporary English Version
But Christ rescued us from the Law's curse, when he became a curse in our place. This is because the Scriptures say that anyone who is nailed to a tree is under a curse.

Good News Translation
But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, "Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God's curse."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.

International Standard Version
The Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written, "A curse on everyone who is hung on a tree!"

NET Bible
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree")

New Heart English Bible
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But The Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of The Written Law, and he became a curse in our place, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Christ paid the price to free us from the curse that God's laws bring by becoming cursed instead of us. Scripture says, "Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed."

New American Standard 1977
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”—

Jubilee Bible 2000
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, (for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree),

King James 2000 Bible
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

American King James Version
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

American Standard Version
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Darby Bible Translation
Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, (for it is written, Cursed [is] every one hanged upon a tree,)

English Revised Version
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Webster's Bible Translation
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Accursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Weymouth New Testament
Christ has purchased our freedom from the curse of the Law by becoming accursed for us--because "Cursed is every one who is hanged upon a tree."

World English Bible
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,"

Young's Literal Translation
Christ did redeem us from the curse of the law, having become for us a curse, for it hath been written, 'Cursed is every one who is hanging on a tree,'
Study Bible
Christ Redeemed Us
12The Law, however, is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” — 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 21:23
you must not leave the body on the tree overnight, but you must be sure to bury him that day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse. You must not defile the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Acts 5:30
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging Him on a tree.

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Galatians 4:5
to redeem those under the Law, that we might receive our adoption as sons.

Treasury of Scripture

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

redeemed. See on ver.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for …

Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the …

Isaiah 55:5-7,10-12 Behold, you shall call a nation that you know not, and nations that …

Daniel 9:24,26 Seventy weeks are determined on your people and on your holy city, …

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is …

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many …

Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is …

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

Romans 8:3,4 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, …

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might …

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, …

Hebrews 7:26,27 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, …

Hebrews 9:12,15,26,28 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he …

Hebrews 10:4-10 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should …

1 Peter 1:18-21 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible …

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that …

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, …

1 John 2:1,2 My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. …

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and …

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first …

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, …

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him…


2 Kings 22:19 Because your heart was tender, and you have humbled yourself before …

Jeremiah 44:22 So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your …

Jeremiah 49:13 For I have sworn by myself, said the LORD, that Bozrah shall become …

Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers, …


Deuteronomy 21:23 His body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall in …

2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled …

2 Samuel 18:10,14,15 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw …

2 Samuel 21:3,9 Why David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and with …

Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. …

Esther 9:14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given …

Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, …

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that …


Joshua 10:26,27 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on …

(13, 14) The Law brought a curse, but the Christian is delivered from that curse. How? Christ has taken it upon Himself. The Crucifixion brought Him under the curse of the Law. At the same time, it abolished the dominion of the Law, and threw open the Messianic blessedness to Gentiles as well as Jews: in other words, to all who gave in their adhesion to the Messiah by faith.

(13) Christ hath redeemed us.--Better, Christ redeemed us. The opening of this verse without any connecting particle lends sharpness and emphasis to the contrast. The Law brought a curse. There it stopped short. That was all it could do. The first thing that Christianity does is to undo this result of the Law by deliverance from the curse.

This deliverance is represented under the form of a ransom. Christ "bought off" the human race from the penalty of its sins, the price paid being His death. Comp. 1Corinthians 6:20; 1Corinthians 7:23, "Ye are (were) bought with a price;" 2Peter 2:1, "The Lord that bought them;" Revelation 5:9, "Thou wast slain and hast redeemed (bought) us to God by thy blood;" Revelation 14:4, "These were redeemed (bought) from among men." The word used in these passages, as well as in that before us, is the general word for "buying." But that the "buying" intended is that more definitely conveyed by the idea of "ransom" appears from the use of the special word for ransom in Matthew 20:28 ( = Mark 10:45), "The Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many;" 1Timothy 2:6, "Who gave Himself a ransom for all." The word commonly translated "redemption" (Romans 3:24; 1Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:15) also contains the same special idea of "a ransoming."

Us.--In the first instance, "the Jews," but not to be confined too strictly to them. The Apostle is writing to a Gentile (though Judaising) Church, and he does not wish to exclude any of his readers. Though the Gentiles do not come directly under "the curse of the Law," they came under God's condemnation. From this they were released, and the blessings of the theocracy hitherto annexed to the Law were thrown open to them by the death of Christ.

From the curse of the law.--From that curse which the Law pronounced upon all who failed to keep its precepts.

Being made a curse.--Being treated as if He were accursed. Comp. 2Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin"--i.e., treated as sinful One who was not sinful. The idea is somewhat strengthened by the use of the substantive for the adjective. The curse identifies itself with its object: seizes, as it were, upon the person of its victim.

For us--i.e., "on our behalf," "for our sakes," not "in our stead." It is impossible to escape the conclusion that St. Paul, like the rest of the Apostles, regarded the sufferings of Christ as undergone in our stead. The idea is, indeed, distinctly expressed in this very passage; but it must be gathered from the context, not from the use of the preposition. The preposition which means "instead" is found in Matthew 20:28; 1Timothy 2:6. (See Note on Galatians 1:4.)

As it is written.--The way in which the curse of the Law fell upon Christ was through His death. The ignominious death by which He died was one to which the curse of God specially attached. The Law expressly declared that that criminal who died upon the cross or gibbet was an object of the divine wrath. Christ died as such a criminal, and so came under the curse.

It is to be observed, in considering the doctrinal bearings of this passage, that the curse which fell upon Christ was not the same curse as that described above as the consequence of human guilt in failing to keep the requirements of the Law. It is not the accumulated penalty for the whole mass of human disobedience, but rather an incidental defilement, contracted by an in-voluntary breach of a particular ceremonial precept. The death of Christ involved a curse because the manner of it was by suspension from a cross. Nothing more than this is said. Christ, the sinless One, died for sinful men. If He had not died they must have died. And His death acted (in some inscrutable way) so as to propitiate the wrath of God. But it is not said that the actual load of human guilt was laid upon Him. It is not said that His death was the actual punishment of that guilt. The death of Christ removed the necessity for the punishment of men, but it could not be regarded as a punishment in relation to Christ Himself. In this respect it would seem as if the symbolism of the scapegoat (which is sometimes adduced in explanation of the present passage) was imperfectly applicable. In the case of the scapegoat, the high priest was to lay his hands upon his head, and to "confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat;" and the goat was to "bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited" (Leviticus 16:21-22). No such process as this really took place in the case of our Lord; nor is it applied to Him even in 1Peter 2:24, otherwise than in vague and general metaphor. The literal application derives no countenance from the present passage, but is rather contradicted by it. It expressly distinguishes between the curse which fell upon Christ and the curse which was due to the sins of men, though the incurrence of the one led to the abrogation of the other.

Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.--From Deuteronomy 21:23. The Hebrew and LXX. insert "of God"--"He that is hanged is cursed of God"--which St. Paul instinctively omits. The reference in the original is to the exposure of the body upon a stake or gibbet after death.

Verse 13. - Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Ξριστὸς ἡμᾶς ἐξηγόρασεν ἐκ τῆς κατάρας τοῦ νόμου); Christ bought us off from the curse of the Law. The position of the word "Christ" in the Greek, heading the sentence, makes it emphatic - Christ; he alone; no means offered by the Law hath procured justification for the sinner. "Us;" not merely the Israelites after the flesh, who were visibly under the Law: but either all mankind, Gentiles as well as Israelites, being declared by the Law unclean and unholy, both ceremonially and morally, and thus under its curse (comp. "for us," 2 Corinthians 5:21); or God's people, the children of Abraham, prospective as well as present (comp. John 11:50-52 and Galatians 4:5). "Redeemed," or "bought us off." The same compound Greek verb occurs Galatians 4:5, "That he might redeem [buy off] them who were under the Law;" obviously, buy off from being under it. Another Greek verb, λυτρόω, ransom, is rendered "redeem" in Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18; whence the compound verbal noun ἀπλούτρωσις, redemption, in Romans 3:24; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 1:30, etc. The apostle may be supposed to have preferred to use ἐξαγοράζω here, as pointing more definitely to the price which the Redeemer paid; for in λυτρόω, redeem, this notion of a price paid often lies so far in the background as to leave the verb to denote simply "deliver." The un-compounded verb ἀγοράζω, buy, is found with reference to Christ's death in 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 1 Cor 7:23, "Ye were bought with a price;" 2 Peter 2:1, "The Master that bought them;" Revelation 5:9, "Didst purchase unto God with thy blood." In the present passage it is not the blood of Christ, as in 1 Peter 1:18, that is regarded as the purchase money, - for the notion of expiation with blood of sacrifice is not even glanced at; but rather, as the next words show, his taking upon him the accursedness and pollution which by the Law attached to every one crucified. "From the curse of the Law;" its cursing affects us no more. God's people are, in Christ. no longer, as they were before, subject to his disapproval or abhorrence, in consequence of transgressing the positive, ceremonial enactments of the Law of Moses. In respect to that class of transgressions, its cursing expended itself, and perished, upon the crucified body of the Son of God. Being made a curse for us (γενόμενος ὐπὲρ ἡμ῀ν κατάρα); having become on our behalf a curse. The position of κατάρα makes it emphatic. The form of expression, "become a curse," instead of "become accursed," is chosen to mark the intense degree in which the Law's curse fastened upon the Lord Jesus. Compare the expression, "made him on our behalf sin," in 2 Corinthians 5:21. Probably the form of expression was suggested to the apostle by that found in the Hebrew of the passage of Deuteronomy which he proceeds to cite (see next note but one). The preposition ὑπέρ, "for,... . on behalf of," may possibly mean "in place of," as (perhaps) in Philemon 1:13; but this idea would have been more distinctly expressed by ἀντί: and the strict notion of substitution is not necessary to the line of argument here pursued. For it is written (γέγραπται γὰρ). But the more approved reading is ὅτι γέγραπται, because it is written; which more definitely marks the writer's purpose of vindicating the propriety of his using so strong an expression as "becoming a curse." Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὁ κρεμάμενος ἐπὶ ξύλου); or, upon wood (Deuteronomy 21:23). The Septuagint has Κεκατηραμένος [or, Κατηραμένος] ὑπὸ Θεοῦ πᾶς κρεμάμενος [or, πᾶς ὁ κρ.] ξύλου, "Cursed by God is every one hanging on a tree." The Hebrew is qillath elohim talui, "a curse of God is he that is hanged." The words, "every one" and "on a tree," are additions made by the Septuagint; the latter expression, however, is found in the preceding clause, as also in the preceding verse; so that the sense is given rightly. The apostle departs from the Septuagintal rendering of the Hebrew phrase, "a curse of God," probably because he regarded the rendering as inaccurate; for the phrase, "curse of God," is probably a strongly intensive form of expression, like "wrestlings of God," in Genesis 30:8 ("great wrestlings," Authorized Version). See note on "exceeding great city" (Hebrew, "a city great unto God") in Jonah 3:3, in 'Speaker's Commentary.' According to this view, ἐπικατάρατος, in which the element ἐπὶ is intensive, is a just interpretation; while it also makes the clause more striking as an antithesis to the ἐπικατάρατος, etc., in ver. 10. We are, per haps, justified in adding that it would not have exactly suited the apostle's purpose to admit the words," by God;" for, though the Law pronounced the crucified Jesus a "curse," God, in the apostle's feeling, did not in this case ratify the Law's malediction. To understand the bearing of the verse rightly it is necessary to be quite clear as to the sense in which Christ is here said to have become a curse. The context shows that he became a curse simply by hanging upon a tree. No spiritual trans action, such as that of our guilt being laid upon him, comes into view here at all. It was simply the suspension upon a cross that imparted to him, in the eye of the Law, this character of accursedness, of extreme abhorrent defilement. In other words, the accursedness was the extreme of ceremonial pollutedness - ceremonial, with no admixture of guilt or spiritual pollution. It has, indeed, been attempted by critics, Jewish as well as Christian, as Bishop Lightfoot has shown, to justify this aphorism of the Law, by the plea that one thus punished might inferentially be supposed to have merited this form of execution by some especial enormity of guilt. But, plainly, such previous guiltiness might not have been present; the man crucified, or impaled, or hung might have suffered upon a false accusation. But though he bad suffered unjustly, his being gibbeted would, notwithstanding his innocence, constitute him "a curse of God" all the same. Ceremonial pollutedness, as well as ceremonial purity, was altogether independent of moral considerations. And at present the line of thought which the apostle is following relates simply to questions of Levitical or ceremonial purity or defilement. Have Christian believers as such anything to do with these matters? This is the point at issue. The apostle proves that they have nothing to do with them, upon the ground that the crucifixion of Christ did away wholly with the ceremonial Law. It will only confuse the reader if he supposes that the apostle means here to embody the whole doctrine of Christ's sacrificial atonement; he is at present concerned with stating the relation which his passion bore to the Law. The passage before us illustrates the meaning of the words in Galatians 2:19, "I through the Law died unto the Law:" he felt himself disconnected from the ceremonial Law, in consequence of that Law pronouncing Christ crucified "a curse of God." A question arises, how far the crucifixion of Christ, viewed in this particular aspect of its constituting him in the eye of the ceremonial Law an accursed thing, modified for those who believe on him the effect of the malediction which the Law pronounced upon such as violated its moral precepts. The following observations are offered for the reader's consideration. The Law given in the Pentateuch is uniformly spoken of in Scripture as forming one whole. Composed of precepts, some moral, some ceremonial, some partaking mixedly of both qualities, it constituted, however, one entire coherent system. If a part of it was destroyed, the whole Law as such itself perished. If so, then the cross of Christ, by annihilating its ceremonial enactments, shattered in pieces the whole legislation, so that the disciples of Christ are no longer at all under its dominion, or subjects jurisprudentially (so to speak) to its coercive punitive power. Yet its moral precepts, so far as they embodied the eternal principles of rectitude, would, so far, and because they do so, and not because they were part of the Law given through Moses, continue to express the will of God concerning us. Being, however, "letter" and not "spirit," they were always altogether inadequate expressions of that Divine will - a will which is spiritual, 'which is evermore changing its form and aspect towards each human soul, according to the ever-varying conditions of its spiritual position. The moral precepts of the Law are for us no more than types or figures, mere hints or suggestions of the spiritual duties which they refer to; they cannot be regarded as definitively regulative laws at all. Thus they appear to be treated by Christ and his apostles; as e.g. Matthew 5:21-37; 1 Corinthians 9:8-10; and it is in this light that the Church of England regards them, in reciting the Decalogue in her Pre-Communion Office. And, analogously, the curse which the Law pronounces upon those who set any of its precepts at nought, whether moral or ceremonial, may be regarded as a mere type, revealing, or rather giving a slightest most imperfect glimpse of, the wrath with which the Divine justice burns against wilful transgressors of the eternal Law; a hint or suggestion, again, and not its direct denouncement. God's people, however, by being through faith united to the crucified and risen Christ, become through his cross dead to the whole Law of Hoses, both as regulative and as punitive, - freed from it absolutely; not, however, to be without Law unto God; only, the Law they are now under is a spiritual Law, one conformable to the nature of that dispensation of life and of the Spirit, to which through the Risen One they belong. With this view it agrees that the execration which the Law pronounced upon the Son of God as crucified, and by pronouncing which the Law itself perished, is to be regarded as a most significant and impressive symbol of the spiritual import of our Lord's death. It pronounces to the universe that, for those who by faith are one with Christ, the wrath of Divine justice against them as sinners is quenched - quenched in the infinite, Divine love and righteousness of Christ. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,.... The Redeemer is Christ, the Son of God; who was appointed and called to this work by his Father, and which he himself agreed to; he was spoken of in prophecy under this character; he came as such, and has obtained eternal redemption, for which he was abundantly qualified; as man, he was a near kinsman, to whom the right of redemption belonged; and as God, he was able to accomplish it. The persons redeemed are "us", God's elect, both of Jews and Gentiles; a peculiar people, the people of Christ, whom the Father gave unto him; some out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation: the blessing obtained for them is redemption; a buying of them again, as the word signifies; they were his before by the Father's gift, and now he purchases them with the price of his own blood, and so delivers them "from the curse of the law"; its sentence of condemnation and death, and the execution of it; so that they shall never be hurt by it, he having delivered them from wrath to come, and redeemed from the second death, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. The manner in which this was done was by being

made a curse for us; the sense of which is, not only that he was like an accursed person, looked upon as such by the men of that wicked generation, who hid and turned away their faces from as an abominable execrable person, calling him a sinner, a Samaritan, and a devil; but was even accursed by the law; becoming the surety of his people, he was made under the law, stood in their legal place and stead and having the sins of them all imputed to him, and answerable for them, the law finding them on him, charges him with them, and curses him for them; yea, he was treated as such by the justice of God, even by his Father, who spared him not, awoke the sword of justice against him, and gave him up into his hands; delivered him up to death, even the accursed death of the cross, whereby it appeared that he was made a curse: "made", by the will, counsel, and determination of God, and not without his own will and free consent; for he freely laid down his life, and gave himself, and made his soul an offering for sin:

for it is written. Deuteronomy 21:23,

cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: it is in the Hebrew text, "he that is hanged": which is the very name the Jews (y) commonly call Christ by way of reproach; that is, "everyone that hangeth", as the apostle rightly renders it; which is always the sense of an indefinite phrase, unless a restriction is put: adding out of the same verse, "on the tree", by way of explanation; for which he cannot upon any account be found fault with, since it is manifest one hanged on a tree is meant, "who is accursed of God", or "the curse of God"; the curse of God, in vindicating his righteous law, was visibly on such a person; as it was on Christ, when he hung on the cross, in the room and stead of his people; for he was made a curse, not for himself, or for any sins of his own, but for us; in our room and stead, for our sins, and to make atonement for them: upon the whole, the Jew (z) has no reason to find fault as he does, either with the apostle's sense, or citation of this passage; for whether it be rendered "hangeth", or is "hanged", the sense is the same; and though the apostle leaves out the word "God", it is clear from what he says, that his meaning is, that the curse of God lighted upon Christ as the surety of his people, standing in their legal place and stead, in order to redeem them from the law and its curse; since he says, he was "made a curse" for them, which must be done by the Lord himself: and whereas the Jew objects, that it is impossible that anyone, even an Israelite, should be delivered from the curses of the law, but by the observance of it, this shows his ignorance of the law, which, in case of sin, requires a penalty, and which is its curse; and it is not future observance of the law will free from that: and as for the Gentiles, he says, to whom the law was not given, and who were never under it, they are free from the curses of it, without a redemption; but as this is to be, understood not of the ceremonial, but of the moral law, it is a mistake; the Gentiles are under the moral law, and being guilty of the violation of it, are liable to its curse; and cannot be delivered from it, but through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; by virtue of which, they have a part and portion in the blessings promised as follows.

(y) Vid. Buxtorf. Lexic. Talmudie. col. 2596. (z) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 89. p. 469. 13. Abrupt exclamation, as he breaks away impatiently from those who would involve us again in the curse of the law, by seeking justification in it, to "Christ," who "has redeemed us from its curse." The "us" refers primarily to the Jews, to whom the law principally appertained, in contrast to "the Gentiles" (Ga 3:14; compare Ga 4:3, 4). But it is not restricted solely to the Jews, as Alford thinks; for these are the representative people of the world at large, and their "law" is the embodiment of what God requires of the whole world. The curse of its non-fulfilment affects the Gentiles through the Jews; for the law represents that righteousness which God requires of all, and which, since the Jews failed to fulfil, the Gentiles are equally unable to fulfil. Ga 3:10, "As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse," refers plainly, not to the Jews only, but to all, even Gentiles (as the Galatians), who seek justification by the law. The Jews' law represents the universal law which condemned the Gentiles, though with less clear consciousness on their part (Ro 2:1-29). The revelation of God's "wrath" by the law of conscience, in some degree prepared the Gentiles for appreciating redemption through Christ when revealed. The curse had to be removed from off the heathen, too, as well as the Jews, in order that the blessing, through Abraham, might flow to them. Accordingly, the "we," in "that we might receive the promise of the Spirit," plainly refers to both Jews and Gentiles.

redeemed us—bought us off from our former bondage (Ga 4:5), and "from the curse" under which all lie who trust to the law and the works of the law for justification. The Gentile Galatians, by putting themselves under the law, were involving themselves in the curse from which Christ has redeemed the Jews primarily, and through them the Gentiles. The ransom price He paid was His own precious blood (1Pe 1:18, 19; compare Mt 20:28; Ac 20:28; 1Co 6:20; 7:23; 1Ti 2:6; 2Pe 2:1; Re 5:9).

being made—Greek, "having become."

a curse for us—Having become what we were, in our behalf, "a curse," that we might cease to be a curse. Not merely accursed (in the concrete), but a curse in the abstract, bearing the universal curse of the whole human race. So 2Co 5:21, "Sin for us," not sinful, but bearing the whole sin of our race, regarded as one vast aggregate of sin. See Note there. "Anathema" means "set apart to God," to His glory, but to the person's own destruction. "Curse," an execration.

written—(De 21:23). Christ's bearing the particular curse of hanging on the tree, is a sample of the "general" curse which He representatively bore. Not that the Jews put to death malefactors by hanging; but after having put them to death otherwise, in order to brand them with peculiar ignominy, they hung the bodies on a tree, and such malefactors were accursed by the law (compare Ac 5:30; 10:39). God's providence ordered it so that to fulfil the prophecy of the curse and other prophecies, Jesus should be crucified, and so hang on the tree, though that death was not a Jewish mode of execution. The Jews accordingly, in contempt, call Him Tolvi, "the hanged one," and Christians, "worshippers of the hanged one"; and make it their great objection that He died the accursed death [Trypho, in Justin Martyr, p. 249] (1Pe 2:24). Hung between heaven and earth as though unworthy of either!3:6-14 The apostle proves the doctrine he had blamed the Galatians for rejecting; namely, that of justification by faith without the works of the law. This he does from the example of Abraham, whose faith fastened upon the word and promise of God, and upon his believing he was owned and accepted of God as a righteous man. The Scripture is said to foresee, because the Holy Spirit that indited the Scripture did foresee. Through faith in the promise of God he was blessed; and it is only in the same way that others obtain this privilege. Let us then study the object, nature, and effects of Abraham's faith; for who can in any other way escape the curse of the holy law? The curse is against all sinners, therefore against all men; for all have sinned, and are become guilty before God: and if, as transgressors of the law, we are under its curse, it must be vain to look for justification by it. Those only are just or righteous who are freed from death and wrath, and restored into a state of life in the favour of God; and it is only through faith that persons become righteous. Thus we see that justification by faith is no new doctrine, but was taught in the church of God, long before the times of the gospel. It is, in truth, the only way wherein any sinners ever were, or can be justified. Though deliverance is not to be expected from the law, there is a way open to escape the curse, and regain the favour of God, namely, through faith in Christ. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law; being made sin, or a sin-offering, for us, he was made a curse for us; not separated from God, but laid for a time under the Divine punishment. The heavy sufferings of the Son of God, more loudly warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come, than all the curses of the law; for how can God spare any man who remains under sin, seeing that he spared not his own Son, when our sins were charged upon him? Yet at the same time, Christ, as from the cross, freely invites sinners to take refuge in him.
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