Galatians 4:25 (NASB)

" Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children."


Paul wrote Galatians to counter teachers who said the Gentiles must become Jews and follow the Jewish law before becoming Christians (2:4). In Gal. 4:21-31 Paul used symbolic language (ἅτινά ἐστιν ἀλληγορούμενα, v24). His basis was that Ismael was born as a result of human effort attempting to fulfil God’s promise (v23) while Isaac born miraculously, an impossibility from the standpoint of human effort, making Isaac the true son of God’s promise. Trying to fulfill God’s promise of salvation based on human effort through the Law, Paul associates with Ismael who was born to Sarah, based on ancient Middle-Eastern custom, through Sarah’s servant. Paul described seeking salvation through the Law as slavery (2:4). Thus, in Gal 4:25 Paul symbolizes the slave Hagar as Jerusalem and Jerusalem’s children as the Jews who were still trying to be saved through the Law given at Mount Sinai.

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