Galatians 3:19
Parallel Verses
King James Version
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Darby Bible Translation
Why then the law? It was added for the sake of transgressions, until the seed came to whom the promise was made, ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator.

World English Bible
What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise has been made. It was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Young's Literal Translation
Why, then, the law? on account of the transgressions it was added, till the seed might come to which the promise hath been made, having been set in order through messengers in the hand of a mediator --

Galatians 3:19 Parallel
Commentary
Geneva Study Bible

{22} Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of {o} transgressions, {p} till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; {23} and it was {q} ordained by {r} angels in the hand of a mediator.

(22) An objection which rises from the former answer: if the inheritance is not by the Law (in the least way) then why was the Law given after the promise was made? In order, the apostle says, to reprove men of sin, and so to teach them to look to Christ, in whom at length that promise of saving all people together should be fulfilled; the Law was not given in order to justify men.

(o) That men might understand by discovering their sins that they are only saved by the grace of God, which he revealed to Abraham, and that in Christ.

(p) Until the partition wall was broken down, and that full seed sprang up, made of two peoples, both of Jews and Gentiles. For by this word seed we may not understand Christ alone by himself, but coupled and joined together with his body.

(23) A confirmation of the former answer taken from the manner and form of giving the Law: for it was given by angels, striking a great terror into all, and by Moses a mediator coming between. Now they that are one need no mediator, but they that are in any way separated, and that are at variance one with another, do. Therefore the Law itself and the mediator were witnesses of the wrath of God, and not that God would by this means reconcile men to himself and abolish the promise, or add the Law to the promise.

(q) Commanded and given, or proclaimed.

(r) By the service and ministry.

Scofield Reference Notes

[1] Wherefore then

The answer is sixfold:

(1) The law was added because of transgressions, i.e. to give to sin the character of transgression.

(a) Men had been sinning before Moses, but in the absence of law their sins were not put to their account. Rom 5:13. The law gave to sin the character of "transgression," i.e. of personal guilt.

(b) Also, since men not only continued to transgress after the law was given, but were provoked to transgress by the very law that forbade it Rom 7:8, the law conclusively proved the inveterate sinfulness of man's nature Rom 7:11-13.

(2) The law, therefore, "concluded all under sin" Rom 3:19,20,23.

(3) The law was an ad interim dealing, "till the seed should come". Gal 3:19.

(4) The law shut sinful man up to faith as the only avenue of escape. Gal 3:23.

(5) The law was to the Jews what the pedagogue was in a Greek household, a ruler of children in their minority, and it had this character "unto" i.e. until Christ Gal 3:24.

(6) Christ having come, the believer is no longer under the pedagogue. Gal 3:25

Margin because of

for the sake, i.e. in order that sin might be made manifest as transgression. See, Rom 4:15 5:20 7:7,13.

Galatians 3:19 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Universal Prison
'But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.'--GAL. iii. 22. The Apostle uses here a striking and solemn figure, which is much veiled for the English reader by the ambiguity attaching to the word 'concluded.' It literally means 'shut up,' and is to be taken in its literal sense of confining, and not in its secondary sense of inferring. So, then, we are to conceive of a vast prison-house in which mankind is confined.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Lessons of Experience
'Have ye suffered so many things in vain?'--GAL. iii 4. Preached on the last Sunday of the year. This vehement question is usually taken to be a reminder to the fickle Galatians that their Christian faith had brought upon them much suffering from the hands of their unbelieving brethren, and to imply an exhortation to faithfulness to the Gospel lest they should stultify their past brave endurance. Yielding to the Judaising teachers, and thereby escaping the 'offence of the Cross,' they would make
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Uses of the Law
Yet, pardon me my friends, if I just observe that this is a very natural question, too. If you read the doctrine of the apostle Paul you find him declaring that the law condemns all mankind. Now, just let us for one single moment take a bird's eye view of the works of the law in this world. Lo, I see, the law given upon Mount Sinai. The very hill doth quake with fear. Lightnings and thunders are the attendants of those dreadful syllables which make the hearts of Israel to melt Sinai seemeth altogether
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

The Critical Reconstruction of the History of the Apostolic Age.
"Die Botschaft hör' ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube." (Goethe.) Never before in the history of the church has the origin of Christianity, with its original documents, been so thoroughly examined from standpoints entirely opposite as in the present generation. It has engaged the time and energy of many of the ablest scholars and critics. Such is the importance and the power of that little book which "contains the wisdom of the whole world," that it demands ever new investigation and sets
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Light for them that Sit in Darkness;
OR, A DISCOURSE OF JESUS CHRIST: AND THAT HE UNDERTOOK TO ACCOMPLISH BY HIMSELF THE ETERNAL REDEMPTION OF SINNERS: ALSO, HOW THE LORD JESUS ADDRESSED HIMSELF TO THIS WORK; WITH UNDENIABLE DEMONSTRATIONS THAT HE PERFORMED THE SAME. OBJECTIONS TO THE CONTRARY ANSWERED. 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.'--Galatians 3:13. by John Bunyan--1674 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This solemn and searching treatise was first published in 1674, a copy of which is in
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

A Case of Conscience Resolved
WHETHER, WHERE A CHURCH OF CHRIST IS SITUATE, IT IS THE DUTY OF THE WOMEN OF THAT CONGREGATION, ORDINARILY, AND BY APPOINTMENT, TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES FROM THEIR BRETHREN, AND SO TO ASSEMBLE TOGETHER, TO PERFORM SOME PARTS OF DIVINE WORSHIP, AS PRAYER, ETC., WITHOUT THEIR MEN? AND THE ARGUMENTS MADE USE OF FOR THAT PRACTICE, EXAMINED. BY JOHN BUNYAN. EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT. This exceedingly rare tract was first published in 1683, and was not reprinted, either separately, or in any edition of Bunyan's
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Substance of Some Discourse had Between the Clerk of the Peace and Myself; when He came to Admonish Me, According to the Tenor of that Law, by which I was in Prison.
When I had lain in prison other twelve weeks, and now not knowing what they intended to do with me, upon the third of April 1661, comes Mr Cobb unto me (as he told me), being sent by the justices to admonish me; and demand of me submittance to the church of England, etc. The extent of our discourse was as followeth. Cobb. When he was come into the house he sent for me out of my chamber; who, when I was come unto him, he said, Neighbour Bunyan, how do you do? Bun. I thank you, Sir, said I, very
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

The Promises of the Christian Home.
"The promise is unto you, and to your children." ACTS II., 39. "Parent who plantedst in the joy of love, Yet hast not gather'd fruit,--save rankling thorns, Or Sodom's bitter apples,--hast thou read Heaven's promise to the seeker? Thou may'st bring Those o'er whose cradle thou didst watch with pride, And lay them at thy Savior's feet, for lo! His shadow falling on the wayward soul, May give it holy health. And when thou kneel'st Low at the pavement of sweet Mercy's gate, Beseeching for thine erring
Samuel Philips—The Christian Home

Retiring Before the Sanhedrin's Decree.
(Jerusalem and Ephraim in Judæa.) ^D John XI. 47-54. ^d 47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council [called a meeting of the Sanhedrin], and said, What do we? [Thus they reproach one another for having done nothing in a present and urgent crisis. As two of their number (Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathæa) were afterwards in communications with Christians, it was easy for the disciples to find out what occurred on this notable occasion.] for this man doeth many signs.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Ordinance of Covenanting
THE ORDINANCE OF COVENANTING. BY JOHN CUNNINGHAM, A.M. "HE HATH COMMANDED HIS COVENANT FOR EVER." Ps. cxi. 9. "THOUGH IT BE BUT A MAN'S COVENANT, YET IF IT BE CONFIRMED, NO MAN DISANNULETH, OR ADDETH THERETO." Gal. iii. 15. GLASGOW:--WILLIAM MARSHALL. SOLD ALSO BY JOHN KEITH. EDINBURGH:--THOMAS NELSON AND JOHN JOHNSTONE. LONDON:--HAMILTON, ADAMS, & CO. MANCHESTER:-GALT & ANDERSON. BELFAST:--WILLIAM POLLOCK. TO THE REVEREND ANDREW SYMINGTON, D.D., PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Cross References
Exodus 20:19
And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

Deuteronomy 5:5
(I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,

Acts 7:53
Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

Romans 5:20
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Galatians 3:16
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

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