Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV

4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Who are those who were redeemed from the law

1) Jews

2) Gentiles

3) Both Jews and Gentiles

  • 1
    Short answer : 3) both Jews and gentiles. I think that is very clear from both Galatians and Romans. All the sons of Adam are under law. That is what Adam chose for himself and all of his seed. And all, both Jew and gentile must needs be redeemed out from under it, as we are taught. I hope to get the time to expand this to a full answer. (+1).
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 9:01

3 Answers 3


By nothing more than the antecedents of Grammar, "those" are given by the description in V3:

So also, when we were children, we were enslaved under the basic principles of the world.

Therefore, the question should be, "What are the people "enslaved under the basic principles of the world" (ὑπὸ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου ἤμεθα δεδουλωμένοι). BDAG suggests that this phrase, τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου (the principles of the world) is probably, "of things that constitute the foundation of learning, fundamental principles".

If this is true, then those enslaved by this world's philosophies, which Paul contrasts (V 1 & 2) with freed people (compare John 8:34-36), then the people who he is discussing is all those who accept Christ - see Gal 3:28, There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


Galatians 4:5 to redeem those under law

The question of "Who are 'those'?" is related to the question "what is the law?".

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.

So, the law refers to the OT Law. Strictly speaking, those under the Law are the Jews only. But let's continue with the rest of verse 5

to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

Who are "we"?

Certainly, it includes Paul himself but who else?

Verse 6:

Because you are his sons

So, "we" includes Paul and the Galatians.

The epistle is address to the Christians in the Roman province of Galatia.

Galatians 1:15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother's womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles.

Paul is writing to the Gentiles.

Jesus is born under the Law. He saves the Jews under the Law. Because of His death according to the Law, both Jews and Gentiles are now His sons.

Strictly speaking, "those" refers to Jews only; figuratively, it includes the Gentiles as well.


Who are 'those' in Galatians 4:4-5?

Galatians 4:4-7 (NASB)

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under [b]the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir [c]through God.

To redeem those who were under the Law.

At Galatians chapter 4 Paul speaks of the unique privilege, first granted to the fleshy Israelites to be " adopted as sons of God". Having received the spirit of adoption and depending on their ultimate faithfulness. their heavenly inheritance was assured by God's spirit.

Jesus assured his faithful disciples. " Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom."(Luke 12:32 (NASB) The expression "little flock" means that a relatively small number of humans are invited.

For seven years,(Daniel 9:27 The Abrahamic covenant)) this unique privilege of "adoption as sons of God was preached" to the Jews, but since not enough of them accepted the invitation, it was also preached to the nations. Cornelius being the first gentile to be "adopted as the son of God".

Compare, "The parable of the Great Banquet." Luke 14:15-24 NET


First call. Vs 17-20 To those invided, refers to the Israelite religious leaders.

Second call, Vs 21 " Then the master of the household was furious and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and alleys of the city,[y] and bring in the poor,[z] the crippled,[aa] the blind, and the lame.’ This call was to the ordinary Israelites, the poor and the helpless.

Since not enough Israelites responded to the invitation, the invitation was extended to the people of the Nations.

Third call. Vs 23 was to the Gentiles ."23 So the master said to his slave, ‘Go out to the highways and country roads and urge people to come in, so that my house will be filled.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.