Galatians 4:9

“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?”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

But now after that yee haue knowen God, or rather are knowen of God, how turne ye againe to the weak and beggerly Elements, whereunto ye desire againe to be in bondage?
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

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?
- New American Standard Version (1995)

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?
- American Standard Version (1901)

But now that you have come to have knowledge of God, or more truly, God has knowledge of you, how is it that you go back again to the poor and feeble first things, desiring to be servants to them again?
- Basic English Bible

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?
- Darby Bible

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?
- Webster's Bible

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?
- Weymouth 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?
- World English Bible

But now whanne ye han knowe God, and ben knowun of God, hou ben ye turned eftsoone to the febil and nedi elementis, to the whiche ye wolen eft serue?
- Wycliffe Bible

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?
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Galatians 4:9

4:9 But now being known of God - As his beloved children. How turn ye back to the weak and poor elements - Weak, utterly unable to purge your conscience from guilt, or to give that filial confidence in God. Poor - incapable of enriching the soul with such holiness and happiness as ye are heirs to. Ye desire to be again in bondage - Though of another kind; now to these elements, as before to those idols.

People's Bible Notes for Galatians 4:9

Ga 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God. Having learned the knowledge of the true God. Or rather are known of God. God, himself, had sought them through the gospel, and had offered them eternal life. They knew God because God had taken note of them and sent them the gospel. How turn ye again? How can they, known of God, called from the bondage of those that are not gods (Ga 4:8), turn back again to bondage? The bondage referred to is that of the law. They had been delivered from the bondage of idolatry, but were relapsing into another bondage. The weak and beggarly elements. Weak, because they have no spiritual power to strengthen us; beggarly, because they have no rich promises like the gospel; elements, because they belong to a rudimentary condition, to an undeveloped state to the childhood of the race.

Discussion for Galatians 4

  • Vireen
    Just to add to what Scott said, being free from the Law also means not under its condemnation, and that can only happen when Christ is living in us, only Christ can bring freedom from the condemnation of the law.

  • Scott
    Pauls writings are very clear and easy to understand. He is very repetitive with his message throughout Romans and Galatians. We are not saved by the laws of the old covenant, but by faith and only faith in Jesus Christ under the new covenant. Galatians 3:24-25 explains that the old covenant, the law, was for those in the era before Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us. This does not do away with all the laws, for the many of the laws are now written on our spiritual hearts. However we cannot obtain salvation by keeping the laws. The laws we keep, we keep because we truly love and serve the Lord God Almighty. and the laws I'm speaking of are the laws that are written on our hearts. Many of them do line up with the hebrew laws, but not all the hebrew laws line up with those on our hearts. If the law was still in effect we would still be sacrificing animals to cover our sins. Now we have Christ that does not cover our sins but washes them away. Much of the weakening, confusion, and strife in the denominational churches today is caused from the legalism that Satan wants to shove on us as freed christians. If he can shackle us with fussing and feuding over stuff that really doesn't matter, then it distracts us from spreading the real message of the Gospel. The fact that Christ gave His life to provide us a way for the redemption of our sins.
  • Bro.Davis
    Paul's writings are hard to understand if you do not understand the "law" and what the "curse" of the law is. Being under the curse was when you broke the law or did not keep it. keeping the law was not a curse to you and the law in itself was not a curse to anyone. Paul is saying that the law must be kept to not be under the curse of the law. That the Messiah Yushua Jesus came to redeem those that were under the curse of the law which was "Sin". He did not come to take away the law, but came to take away the curse sin's of those that had not kept the law. He died for our sins to be taken away, not the law to be taken away as some may believe.
  • Stephende
    In this chapter the divergent path of is explained. Will we trust in the Law given by God thru Moses, the oracles, or do we obviate the law thru Faith in the Son of God. Our faith, does it not depend on the law, for God heareth no sinners. He is a God who loves righteousness and hates the worldly man. Jacob have I loves but Esau have I hated. I think will must be ever mindful of our actions and perceptive of our inner most being so that we are acceptable in his sight. Our Faith is strengthened as we endure the hardships put in our path and still not falter in our Faith. Let every aspirant work out his own salvation by staying in the Word of Good, thereby being approved of God, the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ.
  • Agar born of the flesh persecuted Isaac born of the spirit . The verse ends saying- Even so it is now. Does this mean that the flesh continues to persecute the spirit even today. I would say YES. Does it have any reference to Paul 's persecution of Jesus? The flesh verses the spirit? Or am I correct on both accounts?
  • John Matlala
    Our Beloved Apostle Paul was more radical when writing this Letter, the question of Ten commandemnts was addreseed by His Lord, Our Lord Jesus Christ on his first public Speech, Mat5:17-18. He Said i 'm not here to put end to law but to add. And not even one letter from law will be removed until the end comes. we therefore need to be cautious about not breaking Ten Commandments which were given to Moses in Mt Sinai.

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