Galatians 4:9
New International Version
But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

New Living Translation
So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?

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?

Berean Study Bible
But now that you know God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and worthless principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Berean Literal Bible
But now, having known God, but rather having been known by God, how do you turn again to the weak and destitute principles, to which you desire to be enslaved again anew?

New American Standard Bible
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

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?

Christian Standard Bible
But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elements? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?

Contemporary English Version
But now you know God, or better still, God knows you. How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers?

Good News Translation
But now that you know God--or, I should say, now that God knows you--how is it that you want to turn back to those weak and pitiful ruling spirits? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But now, since you know God, or rather have become known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and bankrupt elemental forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?

International Standard Version
But now that you know God, or rather have been known by God, how can you turn back again to those powerless and bankrupt basic principles? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again?

NET Bible
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 basic forces? Do you want to be enslaved to them all over again?

New Heart English Bible
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental principles, to which you desire to be in bondage all over again?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But now that you have known God and especially that you are known by God, you have turned again to those sick and weak principles, and you wish again to be subject to them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But now you know God, or rather, God knows you. So how can you turn back again to the powerless and bankrupt principles of this world? Why do you want to become their slaves all over again?

New American Standard 1977
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

Jubilee Bible 2000
But now, having known God, or rather being known of God, how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, in which ye desire again to be in slavery?

King James 2000 Bible
But now, after you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

American King James Version
But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you 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?

Darby Bible Translation
but now, knowing God, but rather being known by God, how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly principles to which ye desire to be again anew in bondage?

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?

World English Bible
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental principles, to which you desire to be in bondage all over again?

Young's Literal Translation
and now, having known God -- and rather being known by God -- how turn ye again unto the weak and poor elements to which anew ye desire to be in servitude?
Study Bible
Paul's Fears for the Galatians
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9But now that you know God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you are turning back to those weak and worthless principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 8:3
But the one who loves God is known by God.

2 Corinthians 11:20
In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or exalts himself or strikes you in the face.

Galatians 4:3
So also, when we were children, we were enslaved under the basic principles of the world.

Colossians 2:20
If you have died with Christ to the spiritual forces of the world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its regulations:

Treasury of Scripture

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

ye have.

1 Kings 8:43
Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.

1 Chronicles 28:9
And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Psalm 9:10
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

are known.

Exodus 33:17
And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

Psalm 1:6
For the LORD knoweth 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…

how.

Galatians 3:3
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye 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, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

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

again.

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.

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







Lexicon
But
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

now that
νῦν (nyn)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3568: A primary particle of present time; 'now'; also as noun or adjective present or immediate.

you know
γνόντες (gnontes)
Verb - Aorist Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1097: A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' in a great variety of applications and with many implications.

God,
Θεόν (Theon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

or rather
μᾶλλον (mallon)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3123: More, rather. Neuter of the comparative of the same as malista; more) or rather.

are known
γνωσθέντες (gnōsthentes)
Verb - Aorist Participle Passive - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1097: A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' in a great variety of applications and with many implications.

by
ὑπὸ (hypo)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 5259: A primary preposition; under, i.e. of place, or with verbs; of place (underneath) or where (below) or time (when).

God,
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

how [is it that]
πῶς (pōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 4459: Adverb from the base of pou; an interrogative particle of manner; in what way?; also as exclamation, how much!

you are turning
ἐπιστρέφετε (epistrephete)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1994: From epi and strepho; to revert.

back
πάλιν (palin)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3825: Probably from the same as pale; anew, i.e. back, once more, or furthermore or on the other hand.

to
ἐπὶ (epi)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

those
τὰ (ta)
Article - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

weak
ἀσθενῆ (asthenē)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 772: (lit: not strong), (a) weak (physically, or morally), (b) infirm, sick. Strengthless.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

worthless
πτωχὰ (ptōcha)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4434: Poor, destitute, spiritually poor, either in a good sense (humble devout persons) or bad.

principles?
στοιχεῖα (stoicheia)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4747: Neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of stoicheo; something orderly in arrangement, i.e. a serial constituent, proposition.

Do you wish
θέλετε (thelete)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2309: To will, wish, desire, be willing, intend, design.

to be enslaved
δουλεύειν (douleuein)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 1398: To be a slave, be subject to, obey, be devoted. From doulos; to be a slave to.

by [them]
οἷς (hois)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Dative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

all over
ἄνωθεν (anōthen)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 509: From ano; from above; by analogy, from the first; by implication, anew.

again?
πάλιν (palin)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3825: Probably from the same as pale; anew, i.e. back, once more, or furthermore or on the other hand.
(9) Known God.--The word for "known" is different from that so translated in the verse above. It brings out more distinctly the process of obtaining knowledge, especially with reference to a state of previous ignorance. Having come to know God.

Or rather are known of God.--In speaking of the Galatians as "coming to know" God, it might seem as if too much stress was laid on the human side of the process, and therefore, by way of correction, the Apostle presents also the divine side. Any true and saving knowledge of God has for its converse the "being known of God"--i.e., recognition by God and acceptance by Him, such as is involved in the admission of the believer into the Messianic kingdom.

Again.--In the Greek a double phrase, for the sake of emphasis, over again from the very beginning, as a child might be said to go back to his alphabet.

Weak and beggarly elements.--"Elements" is used here, in the same sense as in Galatians 4:3, of that elementary religious knowledge afforded in different degrees to Jew and Gentile before the coming of Christ. These are called "weak" because they were insufficient to enable man to work out his own salvation. (Comp. St. Paul's account of the inward struggle, and of the helpless condition to which man is reduced by it, in Romans 7:7-24.) They are called "beggarly," or "poor," because, unlike the gospel, they were accompanied by no outpouring of spiritual gifts and graces. The legal system was barren and dry; the gospel dispensation was rich with all the abundance and profusion of the Messianic time (Joel 2:19; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13-14; Isaiah 4:1; Isaiah 65:21-25; John 7:37-38, et al.)

Verse 9. - But now (νῦν δέ); and now. (See note on "then" in ver. 8). After that ye have known God, or rather are known of God (γνόντες Θεόν μᾶλλον δὲ γνωσθέντες ὐπὸ Θεοῦ); after that ye have gotten to know God, or rather to be known of God. Considering the interchangeable use of γνῶναι or ἐγνωκέναι and εἰδωέναι in John 8:55 and 2 Corinthians 5:16, it seems precarious to make much distinction between them as applied to the knowledge of God. The former, however, is the verb more commonly used in this relation; by St. John, in his First Epistle, where so much is said of knowing God, exclusively; although in other relations he, both in Epistle and Gospel, uses the two verbs interchangeably. The expression, "to know God," is one of profound pregnancy; denoting nothing less than that divinely imparted intuition of God, that consciousness of his actual being, viewed in his relation to ourselves, which is the result of truly "believing in him." Moreover, as it is knowing a personal Being, between whom and ourselves mutual Action may be looked for, it implies a mutual conversancy between ourselves and him, as the term "acquaintance" (οἱ γνῶστοί τινος), as used in Luke 2:44 and 23. 49, naturally does. So that "having gotten to be known of God" is very nearly equivalent to having been by God brought to be, to speak it reverently, on terms of acquaintanceship with him; and this does indeed seem to be meant in 1 Corinthians 8:3. The Galatian believers had in very truth gotten to know God, if they had learnt to cry out unto him, "Abba, Father." And the remembrance of this happy experience of theirs, which he had, we may suppose, himself witnessed in the early days of their discipleship, prompts him to introduce the correction, "or rather to be known of God." Their having attained such a consciousness of sonship had been, as he writes, ver. 7, "through God;" he it was that had sent forth his Sen that his people might receive the adoption of sons; he that had sent forth his Spirit into their hearts to give them the sense of sonship; he had shown that he knew, recognized them to be his (2 Timothy 2:19), by gifting them with the blissful prerogative of knowing what he was to them. The correction of "knowing" by "being known" is analogous to that of "apprehend" by "being apprehended" in Philippians 3:12. The pragmatic value of this correcting clause is to make the Galatians feel, not only what a wilful self-debasement it was on their part, but also what a slight put upon the Divine favours shown to them, that they should frowardly repudiate their filial standing to adopt afresh that servile standing out of which he had lifted his people. What was this but a high-handed contravening of God's own work, a frustration of his gospel? And this by them whom only the other day he had rescued from the misery and utter wickedness of idolatry! How turn ye again; or, back (πῶς ἐπιστρέφετε πάλιν); how turn ye back again. An abrupt change from the form of sentence which the foregoing words naturally prepared us for; which might have been such as we should have by simply omitting the "how." As if it were, "After having gotten to be known of God, ye are turning back again - how can ye? - to the weak," etc. This "how," as in Galatians 2:14, is simply a question of remonstrance; not expecting an answer, it bids the person addressed consider the amazing unseemliness of his proceeding (so Matthew 22:12; comp. also 1 Timothy 3:5; 1 John 3:17). The verb ἐπιστρέφειν frequently denotes "turning back" (Matthew 10:13; Matthew 12:44; 2 Peter 2:22; Luke 8:55). To the weak and beggarly elements (ἐπὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα); the mere elementary lessons, the A, B, G (see ver. 4, and note), which can do nothing for you and have nothing to give you. The description is relative rather than absolute. The horn-book, useful enough for the mere child, is of no use whatever to the grown-up lad who has left school. In Hebrews 7:18 mention is made of "the weakness and unprofitableness" of the Levitical Law relative to the expiation of sin; which is not precisely the aspect of the Law which is here under view. The word "beggarly" was probably in the writer's mind contrasted with "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). Whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage! (οῖς πάλιν ἄνωθεν δουλεύειν θέλετε;); whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again? The verb δουλεύειν is here, differently from ver. 8, contrasted with the condition of a son enjoying his full independence (see ver. 25 and Galatians 5:1). It would be an insufferable constraint and degradation to the full-grown son to be set to con over and repeat the lessons of the infant school. Ἄνωθεν, afresh, over again, intensifies πάλιν by adding the notion of making a fresh start from the commencing-point of the course indicated. The application of these words, together especially with the phrase, "turn back again," in the preceding clause, to the case of the Galatian converts from idolatrous heathenism, has suggested to many minds the idea that St. Paul groups the ceremonialism of heathen worship with that of the Mosaic Law. Bishop Lightfoot in particular has here a valuable note, in which, with his usual learning and breadth of view, he shows how the former might in its ritualistic element have subserved the purpose of a disciplinary training for a better religion. Such a view might be regarded as not altogether out of harmony with the apostle's spirit as evinced in his discourses to the Lyeaonians and the Athenians (Acts 14:15-17; Acts 17:22-31). But though in his wide sympatheticalness he might, if discoursing with heathens, have sought thus to win them to a better faith, he is hardly just now in a mood for any such sympathetic tolerance. He is much too indignant at the behaviour of these Galatian revolters to allow that their former religious ceremonies could have been good enough to be admitted to group with those of the Law of Moses: he has just before adverted to their former heathenism for the very purpose of (so to speak) setting them down - a purpose which would be a good deal defeated by his referring to that cult of theirs as in any respect standing on a level with the cult of the Hebrews. Indeed, it may be doubted whether, at the utmost limit to which he would at any time have allowed himself to go, in the "economy" which he unquestionably was used to employ in dealing with souls, he would, however, have gone so far as to class the divinely appointed ordinances of Israel, the training-school of God's own children, with the ritual of demon-inspired worships. It is much easier to suppose that the apostle identifies the Galatian Churchmen with God's own people, with whom they were now in fact σύμφυψοι, blended in corporal identity with them. God's children had heretofore been in bondage to the A, B, C, of the Law, but were so no longer; if any of those who were now God's children took it in hand to observe that Law, then were they, though not in their individual identity, yet in their corporate identity, turning back again to the A, B, C, from which they had been emancipated. The former experience of Israel was their experience, as the "fathers" of Israel were their fathers (1 Corinthians 10:1); which experience they were now setting themselves to renew. 4:8-11 The happy change whereby the Galatians were turned from idols to the living God, and through Christ had received the adoption of sons, was the effect of his free and rich grace; they were laid under the greater obligation to keep to the liberty wherewith he had made them free. All our knowledge of God begins on his part; we know him because we are known of him. Though our religion forbids idolatry, yet many practise spiritual idolatry in their hearts. For what a man loves most, and cares most for, that is his god: some have their riches for their god, some their pleasures, and some their lusts. And many ignorantly worship a god of their own making; a god made all of mercy and no justice. For they persuade themselves that there is mercy for them with God, though they repent not, but go on in their sins. It is possible for those who have made great professions of religion, to be afterwards drawn aside from purity and simplicity. And the more mercy God has shown, in bringing any to know the gospel, and the liberties and privileges of it, the greater their sin and folly in suffering themselves to be deprived of them. Hence all who are members of the outward church should learn to fear and to suspect themselves. We must not be content because we have some good things in ourselves. Paul fears lest his labour is in vain, yet he still labours; and thus to do, whatever follows, is true wisdom and the fear of God. This every man must remember in his place and calling.
Jump to Previous
Bondage Desire Desiring Elemental Elements Feeble First However Miserable Notions Once Poor Principles Rather Rudimentary Servants Slaves Spirits Turn Turning Want Weak Whereunto Willing Worthless
Jump to Next
Bondage Desire Desiring Elemental Elements Feeble First However Miserable Notions Once Poor Principles Rather Rudimentary Servants Slaves Spirits Turn Turning Want Weak Whereunto Willing Worthless
Links
Galatians 4:9 NIV
Galatians 4:9 NLT
Galatians 4:9 ESV
Galatians 4:9 NASB
Galatians 4:9 KJV

Galatians 4:9 Bible Apps
Galatians 4:9 Biblia Paralela
Galatians 4:9 Chinese Bible
Galatians 4:9 French Bible
Galatians 4:9 German Bible

Alphabetical: again all and are back be But by come desire Do elemental enslaved God have how is it know known miserable now or over principles rather that the them things those to turn turning weak which wish worthless you

NT Letters: Galatians 4:9 But now that you have come (Gal. Ga) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Galatians 4:8
Top of Page
Top of Page