New American Standard Bible
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
King James Bible
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Darby Bible Translation
But before faith came, we were guarded under law, shut up to faith which was about to be revealed.
World English Bible
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Young's Literal Translation
And before the coming of the faith, under law we were being kept, shut up to the faith about to be revealed,
Galatians 3:23 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
But before faith came - That is, the system of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus. Faith here denotes the Christian religion, because faith is its distinguishing characteristic.
We were kept under the law - We, who were sinners; we, who have violated the Law. It is a general truth, that before the gospel was introduced, people were under the condemning sentence of the Law.
Shut up unto the faith - Enclosed by the Law with reference to the full and glorious revelation of a system of salvation by faith. The design and tendency of the Law was to shut us up to that as the only method of salvation. All other means failed. The Law condemned every other mode, and the Law condemned all who attempted to be justified in any other way. Man, therefore, was shut up to that as his last hope; and could look only to that for any possible prospect of salvation. The word which in this verse is rendered "were kept" ἐφρουρούμεθα ephrouroumetha, usually means to guard or watch, as in a castle, or as prisoners are guarded; and though the word should not be pressed too far in the interpretation, yet it implies that there wasa rigid scrutiny observed; that the Law guarded them; that there was no way of escape; and that they were shut up. as prisoners under sentence of death, to the only hope, which was that of pardons.
Unto the faith ... - That was the only hope. The Law condemned them, and offered no hope of escape. Their only hope was in that system which was to be revealed through the Messiah, the system which extended forgiveness on the ground of faith in his atoning blood.
LibraryThe 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
A Call to the Unconverted
The Ordinance of Covenanting
Letter iv. You Reply to the Conclusion of My Letter: "What have we to do with Routiniers?...
"For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.
For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
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