(1) by the threefold recurrence of the conjoined phrases in just the same form;
(2) by the absence of any such intimation of a translation as we find given in other passages where an Aramaic word is explained, as in Mark 5:41; Mark 7:11, 34; John 1:38, 41, 42; John 20:16; Acts 9:36;
(3) by the addition of ὁ Πατὴρ being made by St. Paul in the Romans, when writing with a glowing ardour of strong feeling wholly repugnant to the didactic calmness of a translational gloss: he does not pause to add such a gloss to "Maranatha" in 1 Corinthians 16:22, where it would seem to be much more called for. The apparently nominatival form of ὁ Πατὴρ lends no countenance to this view, as is shown by the comparison of Matthew 11:26, ναί ὁ Πατήρ: Luke 8:54, 41 ἡ παῖς, ἔγειρε: and in the Septuagint, Psalm 8:1, 9, Κύριε ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν: Psalm 7:1, Κύριε ὁ Θεός μου. Another hypothesis that the twofold compellative was meant to intimate that God was now Father alike to Jewish believers and to Gentile, is wrecked upon its occurrence in St. Mark. The present writer ventures to surmise that the conjoined phrase originated thus: The Lord Jesus, being wont very commonly to substitute for the name "God" the designation of "Father," may be supposed to have used for this designation the word "Abba" as the honorific form of the Chaldaic noun for "father," in much the same way as the Jews regularly substituted the noun Adonai, an honorific form of Adonim, "lord," or "master," for the unutterable tetragrammaton, יהוה. Instead of Adonai, Christ (it may be supposed) customarily employed the word "Abha," as an almost proper name of the Supreme Being. When our Lord had occasion to apply the word "Father" as a common noun to God, whether in addressing him or in speaking of him, we may infer firm the Peshito-Syriac Version of Mark 14:36 that he added another form of the same original noun "Abj," or "Obj," instead of or in addition to "Abba." The Πάτερ of Luke 22:42 may have been used to represent "Abba;" St. Matthew's Πάτερ μου to represent "Abj" or "Obj." The use of "Abba, ὁ Πατὴρ by believers, probably quite an exceptional use, was adopted, both as a conscious reminiscence of Christ's utterance in the garden - they, by conjoining themselves thus with their Lord, pleading, as it were, his Name as their warrant for claiming this filial relation with the Most High - and also as an intensely emphatic description of God's fatherhood, by conjoining together the almost proper name denoting his general fatherhood by which (supposably) Christ was used to designate God, and the common noun by which Christ's disciples had by him been taught to address him in prayer, and which embodied their sense of his especial fatherhood to those who serve him. The apostle is not to be understood as intimating that the Holy Spirit does actually produce in every heart in which he dwells the definite consciousness of sonship. It is enough for his purpose that the nisus, the endeavour and tendency of his spiritual operation, is in all cases in that direction, though through slackness on their own part so many Christians fail of conquering for themselves the full possession of their inheritance. But, however, we need not (he implies)go back to Mosaic ceremonialism to seek there for our assured sonship. We have it already here - here, in Christ, and in the indwelling presence of his Spirit.
Hagar, slave mother; — Sarah, freewoman.
Ishmael, slave child; — Believers, free children.
Covenant from Sinai; — Promise.
Jerusalem that now is; etc. — Jerusalem that is above; etc. (Compare Erasmus's note in Peele's 'Synopsis.') It is not improbable, as Bishop Lightfoot observes, that St. Paul is alluding to some mode of representation common with Jewish teachers employed to exhibit similar allegories (see Bengel's note above referred to). We may, therefore, conclude that the subject of the verb συστοιχεῖ, whatever it is, is regarded by the apostle as standing in the same category with the now subsisting Jerusalem, especially in the particular respect which he presently insists upon; namely, as being characterized by slavery. For this is the main point of this whole allegorical illustration; that Judaism is slavery and the Christian state liberty. It is not clear whether the subject of this verb, "standeth in the same column with," is "the covenant from Mount Sinai," or "Hagar," or "Sinai." If either of the two former, then the first clause of this verse is a parenthesis. The construction runs the most smoothly by adopting the third view, which takes" Sinai" as the subject. Sinai, that gave forth the covenant which is represented by Hagar, "stands in the same column" with "the Jerusalem that now is;" for Sinai is the starting-place of the covenant which has now its central abode in Jerusalem; the people that was there is now here; and the condition of slavery into which Sinai's covenant brought them marks them now at Jerusalem. And is in bondage with her children (δουλεύει γὰρ [Receptus, δουλεύει δὲ] μετὰ τῶν τέκνων αὐτῆς); for she is in bondage with her children. The reading γὰρ is substituted for δὲ by the editors with general consent. That the subject of the verb "is in bondage" is "the Jerusalem that now is," is apparent from the contrasted sentence which next follows, "but the Jerusalem that is above is free." "With her children;" repeatedly did our Lord group Jerusalem with" her children "(Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:35; Luke 19:44), having, however, in view the city itself with its inhabitants; while St. Paul probably regards Jerusalem more in idea, as representing Judaism in its central manifestation; "her children" being consequently these who were living under the Law. The apostle here assumes that this mystical Jerusalem with her children was in bondage, making the fact a ground for identifying her with Hagar. That the fact was so St. Paul knew, both from his own experience and from his observation of others. The religious life of Judaism consisted of a servile obedience to a letter Law of ceremonialism, interpreted by the rabbins with an infinity of hair-splitting rules, the exact observance of which was bound upon the conscience of its votaries as of the essence of true piety. The apostle also probably took account of the slavish spirit which very largely characterized the religious teaching of the ruling doctors of Judaism; their bondage, that is, not only to the letter of the Law, but to the traditions also of men; that spirit which those who heard the teaching of the Lord Jesus felt to be so strongly contrasted by his manner of conceiving and presenting religious truth. "He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes." But the main point now contemplated by the apostle was bondage to ceremonialism.