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not say, they looked upon him as their ea nemy, but puțs a question to them; and even that not in such strong terms as our translation does; which is rather a paraphrase than a translation. His question may be very literally rendered so as to express very strongly the impossibility of his being their enemy; and that certainly agrees best with the pains he had taken to assure them, that he was as they were, their cordial and sincere friend; so they once took him to be, and had expressed their sense of it in the' warmest manner. He was the same person still, danbauw, dealing truly and uprightly with them; for that, and not telling the truth, is the proper meaning of the word. And thus the question will stand, Can I have become your enemy, while I am treating you in the integrity and uprightness of truth itself? It appears by what follows, that he had the · false teachers in view, who had treated
them in quite a different manner. As their professed intention was to draw them off from the truth as it is in Jesus, which Paul had taught them, so they made nọ scruple to employ the bafest means, by false suggestions, to prejudice them against
him, and even to persuade them, that he was their most dangerous enemy. Thus he brings them in, vers. 17. in a seemingly abrupt manner, without saying who they were whom he was speaking of. But he needed not. The question he had put in the foregoing verse directed them fufficiently to the persons he meant, viz. those who had made it their business to alienate their minds from him, that they might have them all to themselves.
Our translation gives what the Apostle says of them by much too faintly: they zealously affect you, but not well; and perhaps there are no words to be found in our language, to express his meaning with the same strength and conciseness. The word zeal, as it is used in our language, though near the original in found, and taken from it, yet does not come up to the full import of the verb; which not only signifies a very warm affection, but is applied not only to kind and beneficent affections, but the very contrary, emulation, envy, and even hatred itself; and one of the most common uses the verb is applied to, is, to express the most earnest application to gain one's favour, good
will, and love. And nearly in this sense the Apostle seems to have applied it to the Judaizers; who, ás appears by the following verse, wanted by all means to engage the Galatians on their side.
It will readily be allowed, that it is fo far from being a fault, that it is a very commendable character, to exert one's self, even with the greatest warmth of zeal, in all those good offices which can recommend him to others. And the Apostle would never have blamed thofe men for what himself, on all occasions, recommended with the greatest earneftness. The Apostle allows it in the very next verfe, and pronounces it to be good to be thus affected to what is really good. But there may be a bad, as well as a good zeal, as the matter it is employed in, or the manner in which it is conducted, is either good or bad.
I know not on what confideration our translators have inserted the particle but into the first clause of the verse, where it is not; and have changed it in the second into another of a different signification. By the insertion, they have divided whať stands a very short sentence into two; and
make the Apostle, implicitly at least, to approve the zealous affection of the false teachers, and to blame only their not managing it well: Whereas he condemns the whole of it, as there was nothing of it right or good, either in matter or manner. He in effect fays, the zeal of these men about you is not good; and he proves it in the next clause by this, that it was all to gain their own very bad ends; and he tells very roundly, in the conclusion of the epistle, what these ends were, chap. vi. 12. 13.
There is a different reading in the sea cond clause of the verse, which makes a considerable variation in the sense. This difference lies only in two letters, which might easily be mistaken by inattentive transcribers, viz, " & ". Interpreters and critics are divided, whether itäs you, or sipeão us, is the authentic reading. Our translators, with many others, have chosen the first; and thus the words run, They would exclude you, that you might affect them. Excluding is a relative term; and the Apostle does not fay from what. But that may be naturally enough fuppleVol. III, ' Rr
mented from the context; and at the same time it will appear, how they gained their end by it. Could they have prevailed with the Galatians to be circumcised, the fame blessings they gave to Paul, when he brought Christ and eternal life to them, would naturally fall upon them for making that necessary supplement to his doctrine. This however could not be done without so far renouncing, and thus being excluded from Christ. But this these blind guides did not regard. .
This sets the attempt of these seducers in the most terrible light; but it is no more than what Paul himself had laid before them in this epiftle. And very necesfary it was, that the thoughtless men who were so ready to fall into the snare, might be apprised of their danger. But however this might be, the promoters of that fystem had sense enough to perceive, that Paul stood in their way; and so long as the Galatians retained their first affection to him, and reverenced him as the Apostle of Christ, and particularly his messenger to them, it would be impossible to carry the point they aimed at; and therefore