...step by step
Beloved of the Lord;
Remember: “This only would I learn of you, received ye-ἐλάβετε (elabete)-to take, receive) the spirit, by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?” -(Galatians 3:2)
received ye-ἐλάβετε: Verb, Second-Aorist, Active, Indicative, 2nd Person, Plural: ["YE-GOT"]
1. The Law
3. The Royal Law (pending)
The Law, also know as the Law of Moses, it was given through Moses at Mount Sinai after God delivered the Israelite's from the bondage of Egypt.
The great design of the law was that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those that believe; that, being convinced of their guilt, and the insufficiency of the law to bring righteousness and justification for us, we might be persuaded to believe on Christ.
Authorized Version 1611 [Punctuation / Italics]
King James Bible 1769 [Spelling]
Concordance / Lexicon:
Analytical Concordance to the Bible: Robert Young, 1880.
The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.
Thayer's Greek Lexicon.
Friberg Analytical Greek Lexicon
Gingrich, Greek New Testament Lexicon
Danker, Greek New Testament Lexicon
Stephanus 1550 & Beza's 1598 & Scrivener's 1894 Textus Receptus.
G#### : Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Number:— used when comparing Greek words that share the same Root Word, but not the same Inflection / Parsing.
Open Bracket [(abc)] : My commentary insert/input.
StudyLight.org: SL (click)
BibleHub.com: BH (click)
*use with Google Chrome
Beza Greek New Testament 1598
17 Ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωσέως ἐδόθη· ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο.
17 "For-ὅτι (hoti)-because) the-ὁ (ho)-the) *Law-νόμος (nomos)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law)) was given-ἐδόθη (edothe)-to give) by-διὰ (dia)-through, by means of) Moses-Μωσέως (Moseos)-"drawer out", (He wrote the first five books of the Bible, commonly referred to as the Books of Moses)), *but grace-χάρις (charis)-grace, favour, good-will, pleasure) and-καὶ (kai)-and, also) *truth-ἀλήθεια (aletheia)-truth:—true, truth, verity) came-ἐγένετο (egeneto)-to become, (i.e. came into being)) by-διὰ (dia)-through, by means of) Jesus-Ἰησοῦ (Iesou)-Jesus, (the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind)) Christ-Χριστοῦ (Christou)-"anointed", (i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus:—Christ))."
Example of Greek word:
*νόμος (nomos)-Law click: Galatians 3:12
*χάρις (charis)-but grace click: Colossians 1:2
*ἀλήθεια (aletheia)-truth click: John 8:32
was given-ἐδόθη: Verb, Aorist, Passive, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: For the Law ["WAS-GIVEN"] by Moses, but grace and truth
came-ἐγένετο: Verb, Second-Aorist, Middle-Deponent, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: ["BECAME"] by Jesus Christ.
For-ὅτι (hoti)-because) the-ὁ (ho)-the) Law-νόμος (nomos)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law)) was given-ἐδόθη (edothe)-to give) by-διὰ (dia)-through, by means of) Moses-Μωσέως (Moseos)-"drawer out", (He wrote the first five books of the Bible, commonly referred to as the Books of Moses)),:
The law was given by Moses — Moses received the law from God, and through him it was given to the Jews, Acts 7:38. The law of Moses, however excellent in itself, was little in comparison of the Gospel: as it proceeded from the justice and holiness of God, and was intended to convict men of sin, that the way of the Gospel might be the better prepared, it was a law of rigour, condemnation, and death: Romans 4:15; 2 Corinthians 3:7-8. It was a law of shadows, types, and figures: Hebrews 10:1, and incapable of expiating sin by its sacrifices: Romans 8:3; Hebrews 7:18, /19; Hebrews 10:1, Hebrews 10:11. But Christ has brought that grace which is opposed to condemnation: Romans 5:15, Romans 5:20-21; Romans 8:1; Galatians 3:10; and he is himself the spirit and substance of all those shadows: Colossians 2:19; Hebrews 10:1. -(Adam Clarke Commentary). SL
While the Law of Moses brought mankind under judgment and a curse because of his sinful nature, Jesus brought blessings by redeeming us from under the curse of the Law. We see examples of this contrast in the ministry of Jesus Christ as He confronted the religious leaders. For example, the Law required that the woman caught in adultery be stoned (John 8:1-11). However, Jesus forgave her and her let go free. On another occasion a woman with an issue of blood pressed through the crowd and touched the helm of His garment. According to the Law she was unclean and required to separate herself from society (Luke 8:43-48). However, Jesus commended her faith. There were times that Jesus and His disciples picked grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8). When the Pharisees condemned this action, Jesus replied that He was Lord over the Sabbath.-(Gary H. Everett's Study Notes). SL
For the law was given by Moses- Both moral and ceremonial... and points out what is man's duty both to God and men; uncovers sin, accuses him of it, convicts him of it, and condemns him for it; "nor could it give strength to perform its demands; nor does it give the least hint of forgiveness; nor will it admit of repentance... The ceremonial law pointed out the pollution of human nature, the guilt and punishment of sin"-(Gill's Exposition). BH
[(The)] Law commands and demands; it says: ‘This shalt thou do, or else-’; and it has nothing more that it can say.-(MacLaren). BH
For the law- [the Old Dispensation with its condemnation ( Romans 3:20, Galatians 2:21) and its types and shadows-- Colossians 2:16, Colossians 2:17, Hebrews 8:4, Hebrews 8:5, Hebrews 10:1] was given through Moses- [by angels at Mt. Sinai-- Hebrews 2:2]; grace and truth- [the New Dispensation with its justification ( Romans 3:21-26) and its realities-- Hebrews 9:1-15] came through Jesus Christ. [ Hebrews 1:1, Hebrews 1:2, Hebrews 2:3.]-(The Fourfold Gospel). SL
The law was given - The Old Testament economy. The institutions under which the Jews lived. By Moses - By Moses, as the servant of God. He was the great legislator of the Jews, by whom, under God, their polity was formed. The law worketh wrath Romans 4:15; it was attended with many burdensome rites and ceremonies Acts 15:10; it was preparatory to another state of things. The gospel succeeded that and took its place, and thus showed the greatness of the gospel economy, as well as its grace and truth.-(Barnes' Notes). BH
The law was given by Moses. It was not a system of grace, nor could it make men perfect; in contrast with it the system of grace and truth (see Joh 1:14) was given by Jesus Christ.-(People's New Testament). SL
but grace-χάρις (charis)-grace, favour, good-will, pleasure) and-καὶ (kai)-and, also) truth-ἀλήθεια (aletheia)-truth:—true, truth, verity) came-ἐγένετο (egeneto)-to become, (i.e. came into being)) by-διὰ (dia)-through, by means of) Jesus-Ἰησοῦ (Iesou)-Jesus, (the Son of God, the Saviour of mankind)) Christ-Χριστοῦ (Christou)-"anointed", (i.e. the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus:—Christ)).:
Through Moses, here taken as representing the pre-Christian dispensation, was given the law, which made great demands but gave nothing, which was a true revelation of God’s will, and so far was good, but brought men no ability to become liker God. But through Jesus Christ (here for the first time named in the Gospel-[(of John)], because we are now fully on the ground of history) came grace and truth. In contrast to the inexorable-[(def. impossible to stop or prevent.)] demands of a law that brought no spiritual life. Jesus Christ brought “grace,” the unearned favour of God. The Law said: Do this and live; Christ says: God gives you life, accept it. “Truth” also was brought by Christ.—ἀλήθεια here means “reality” as opposed to the symbolism of the Law (cf. John 4:23). In the Law was a shadow of good things to come: in Christ we have the good things themselves.-(Expositor's Greek Testament). BH
“but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” Comments - Grace and truth were the instruments that God used to pardon our iniquity. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 2:6). Jesus declared Himself as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). . . . God poured forth His grace upon us through Jesus Christ because of His great love for mankind. It is because God is still a holy and just God that Jesus spoke of truth and righteousness and judgment. It was because of His truth and righteousness that Jesus had to bear the death of the Cross in behalf of all humanity. -(Gary H. Everett's Study Notes). SL
This verse clearly contrasts the two dispensations in view. Even non-dispensationalists acknowledge this and admit that they recognize two different economies, the Old Testament legal economy and the New Testament gracious economy. Significantly, Moses’ first plague in Egypt involved turning water into blood (Exodus 7:14 /15), whereas Jesus’ first recorded miracle involved turning water into wine (John 2:1-11).-(Expository Notes of Dr, Thomas). SL
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: By grace and truth, is meant the Gospel, in opposition to the law; which is called grace, because it is a declaration of the love, and grace, of God to men; it ascribes salvation, in all the parts of it, to the free grace and favour of God; and is the means of implanting and increasing grace in the hearts of men. And "truth", not only because it contains truth, and nothing but truth, it coming from the God of truth; and the substance of it being Christ, who is the truth; and being revealed, applied, and led into by the Spirit of truth; but because it is the truth of the types, and the substance of the shadows of the law-(Gill's Exposition). BH
The mention of ‘grace’ reminds the Evangelist that this was the characteristic of the Gospél and marked its superiority to the Law; for the Law could only condemn transgressors, grace forgives them.-(Cambridge Greek Testament). SL
His gift is not like the gift that Moses brought down from the mountain, merely a writing upon tables; His gift is not the letter of an outward commandment, nor the letter of an outward revelation. It is the thing itself which He reveals by being it. He does not speak about grace, He brings it; He does not show us God by His words, He shows us God by His acts. He does not preach about Him, but He lives Him, He manifests Him. His gentleness, His compassion, His miracles, His wisdom, His patience, His tears, His promises; all these are the very Deity in action before our eyes; and instead of a mere verbal revelation, which is so imperfect and so worthless, grace and truth, the living realities, are flashed upon a darkened world in the face of Jesus Christ-(MacLaren). BH
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Christ was not only greater than the mighty John the Baptist, but was also transcendantly above the great law-giver, Moses. This verse does not mean that grace and truth were not evidenced by the law of Moses, but that the grace and truth through the Lord Jesus Christ far exceeded anything in the old dispensation. The great heroes under the old covenant, all of the majestic ceremonial of the Jewish system, as well as all the burden of the great prophecies reached the zenith-[(e.g. high point)] of their meaning and fulfillment in Christ. The true knowledge of God the Father of all creation came uniquely in the Lord Jesus who could truly say, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father!" (John 14:9).-(Coffman's Commentaries). SL
Scrivener's Textus Receptus 1894
27 ποῦ οὖν ἡ καύχησις; ἐξεκλείσθη. διὰ ποίου νόμου; τῶν ἔργων; οὐχί, ἀλλὰ διὰ νόμου πίστεως. 28 λογιζόμεθα οὖν πίστει δικαιοῦσθαι ἄνθρωπον, χωρὶς ἔργων νόμου.
27 "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what Law? Of works? Nay: but by the Law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude-λογιζόμεθα (logizometha)-to reckon, account), that a man *is justified-δικαιοῦσθαι (dikaiousthai)-to make or declare right) *by faith-πίστει (pistei)-faith, faithfulness, steadfastness, believe, belief), *without-χωρὶς (choris)-apart, beside, apart from) *the deeds-ἔργων (ergon)-work, (by implication: an act:—deed, doing, labour, work)) *of the Law-νόμου (nomou)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law, by extension: any law of man:—moral or ceremonial))."
Example of Greek word:
*G1344: (dikaiousthai-is justified) click: 1 Cor 6:11 (edikaiothete-ye are justified)
*πίστει (pistei)-by faith click: Hebrews 11:7
*χωρὶς (choris)-without click: 1 Timothy 2:8
*ἔργων (ergon)-the deeds click: Hebrews 9:14 (works)
*νόμου (nomou)-of the Law click: Galatians 3:10
we conclude-λογιζόμεθα: Verb, Present, Middle or Passive Deponent, Indicative, 1st Person Plural: Therefore ["WE-ARE-accountING"//"we-are-reckoning"], that a man
is justified-δικαιοῦσθαι: Verb, Present, Passive, Infinitive: ["TO-BE-beING-JUSTIFIED"] by faith, without the deeds of the Law.
***Therefore we conclude As if he had said, Since it appears, by what has been said, that all are sinners, involved in guilt and condemnation, and so cannot be justified by the law, whether natural or revealed, and that God has appointed another way of justification, we draw this conclusion; that a man is justified- Is accounted righteous, accepted and dealt with as such; by faith- By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the mercy and grace of God, and the truths and promises of the gospel through him.-(Joseph Benson's Commentary). SL
***Therefore we conclude, c.] Seeing these things cannot be denied, viz., that all have sinned: that all are guilty, that all are helpless: that none can deliver his own soul, and that God, in his endless mercy, has opened a new and living way to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19, /20, &c: therefore we, apostles and Christian teachers, conclude, λογιζομεθα, prove by fair, rational consequence, that a man - any man, is justified - has his sins blotted out, and is received into the Divine favour, by faith in Christ's blood, without the deeds of the law, which never could afford, either to Jew or Gentile, a ground for justification, because both have sinned against the law which God has given them, and, consequently, forfeited all right and title to the blessings which the obedient might claim.-(Adam Clarke Commentary). SL
***'Works of the law' -perfect law-keeping, trying to maintain a right standing with God on the basis of flawlessly keeping the law, has been shown to be a system that cannot justify anyone.-(Mark Dunagan). SL
***In other words, we are establishing the law for the purpose that the law was given. It forces me to take God's alternate. The law shows me that I can't be having a standing before Him through my own efforts, and so I've established the law for the purpose which God gave the law by declaring that the law cannot justify me or make me righteous, but the law can only bring me to despair of myself so that I take God's alternate plan of faith in Jesus Christ.-(Chuck Smith Bible). SL
***For we conclude.- He has proved that we are put right with God [justified] only through faith (which includes the obedience of faith). A clear line is drawn between faith and the works of the Law, as these represent two distinctly different religious systems, and this shows us that faith (and the obedience of faith) must not itself be interpreted as a work of law.-(The Bible Study New Testament). SL
Beza Greek New Testament 1598
19 Τί οὖν ὁ νόμος; τῶν παραβάσεων χάριν προσετέθη, ἄχρις οὗ ἔλθῃ τὸ σπέρμα ᾧ ἐπήγγελται· διαταγεὶς δι᾽ ἀγγέλων, ἐν χειρὶ μεσίτου.
19 "Wherefore-Τί (ti)-what) then-οὖν (oun)-then) serveth the-ὁ (ho)-the) Law-νόμος (nomos)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law))? It was added-προσετέθη (prosetethe)-to add (on, to) because of-χάριν (charin)-for or on account of) *transgressions-παραβάσεων (parabaseon)-transgression, trespass, (violation:—breaking, transgression)), till-ἄχρις (achris)-till, up to) the-τὸ (to)-the) seed-σπέρμα (sperma)-seed, progeny, (i.e. offspring, descendant)) should come-ἔλθῃ (elthe)-to come, (i.e. arrive)) to whom-ᾧ (ho)-who) *the promise was made-ἐπήγγελται (epeggeltai)-to profess, promise), and it was ordained-διαταγεὶς (diatageis)-to arrange throughout, (i.e. set in order, ordain)) by-δι (di)-through, by means of, (i.e. through (the agency of)) *Angels-ἀγγέλων (aggelon)-messenger, agent) in-ἐν (en)-in) *the hand-χειρὶ (cheiri)-hand (literally or figuratively)) *of a Mediator-μεσίτου (mesitou)-middle man, mediator)."
Example of the Greek word:
*παραβάσεων (parabaseon)-transgressions click: Hebrews 9:15
*ἐπήγγελται-the promise was made click: Romans 4:21 (he had promised)
*ἀγγέλων (aggelon)-Angels click: Mark 8:38
*χειρὶ (cheiri)-the hand click: John 3:35
*G3316: (mesitou-of a Mediator) click: 1 Timothy 2:5 (mesites-mediator)
It was added-προσετέθη: Verb, Aorist, Passive, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: Wherefore then serveth the Law? ["WAS-addED"//"it-was-added"] because of transgressions,
till-ἄχρις: PREPosition: ["UNTIL"] the seed
should come-ἔλθῃ: Verb, Second-Aorist, Active, Subjunctive, 3rd Person, Singular: ["MAY-BE-COMING"], to whom
the promise was made-ἐπήγγελται: Verb, Perfect Middle or Passive Deponent, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: [He-HAS-promisED"], and it was
ordained-διαταγεὶς: Verb, Second-Aorist, Passive, Participle, Nominative, Singular, Masculine: ["BEING-prescribED"] by Angels in the hand of a Mediator.
Wherefore-Τί (ti)-what) then-οὖν (oun)-then) serveth the-ὁ (ho)-the) Law-νόμος (nomos)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law))? It was added-προσετέθη (prosetethe)-to add (on, to) because of-χάριν (charin)-for or on account of) transgressions-παραβάσεων (parabaseon)-transgression, trespass, (violation:—breaking, transgression)),:
We have been considering in our studies of the earlier part of this chapter the relationship that the law had, the law as given at Sinai, to the unconditional promise of grace which God gave to Abraham 430 years before [(the Law was ever given at Sinai)], and we have seen that the law coming in afterward could not add to nor take away from the covenant already made [(to Abraham)]. That naturally leads to the question of verse 19, “Wherefore then serveth the law?” If the law did not add anything to what God had given by promise to Abraham, and surely it could not take anything from it, what was its purpose? Why did God give it at all? The apostle answers, “It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” I think perhaps we may understand it better if we read it, “It was added with a view to transgressions,” in order that it might make men see the specific character of transgression, and thus deepen in each soul a sense of his sinfulness and his need [(of a saviour)].-(Ironside's Notes). SL
Wherefore then serveth the law —If the inheritance was not by the law, but by the promise, as a free gift, for what purpose was the law given, or what significancy had it? -(Benson Commentary). BH
Wherefore then serveth the law? This is obviously an objection which might be urged to the reasoning which the apostle had pursued. It was very obvious to ask, if the principles which he had laid down were correct, of what use was the Law? Why was it given at all? Why were there so many wonderful exhibitions of the divine power at its promulgation? Why were there so many commendations of it in the Scriptures? And why were there so many injunctions to obey it? Are all these to be regarded as nothing; and is the Law to be esteemed as worthless? To all this, the apostle replies that the Law was not useless, but that it was given by God for great and important purposes, and especially for purposes closely connected with the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham and the work of the Mediator. -(Barnes' Notes on the Bible.). BH
Wherefore then serveth the law?—As it is of no avail for justification, is it either useless or contrary to the covenant of God? It was added because of transgressions.—To bring out into clearer view the transgressions of the law; to make men more fully conscious of their sins, by being perceived as transgressions of the law, and so make them long-[(Or, desire//yearn)] for the promised Saviour.-(Preacher's Complete Homiletical). SL
But then the question is given as to what function the law still has. The answer is: the law “was added because of transgressions”. Now you must read very carefully. It does not say ‘because of sin’. How could it? God doesn’t give something by which man becomes a sinner. On the contrary, the law makes it clear that man is a sinner, without pointing him at a possibility to escape the penalty that rests on sin. You can compare it to a mirror that shows you how dirty you are. The mirror shows you are dirty, but the mirror is not a soap you can use to wash off the filth. In the same way the law shows that you are a sinner, but it doesn’t give you the means by which you can be redeemed from your sins. The remission of your sins is only possible through the blood of the Lord Jesus.-(Kingcomments). SL
It was added because of transgressions — It was given that we might know our sinfulness, and the need we stood in of the mercy of God. The law is the right line, the straight edge, that determines the obliquity of our conduct. Romans 4:15; and especially Romans 5:20, where this subject is largely discussed, and the figure explained.-(Clarke's Commentary). BH
Wherefore then serveth the Law? (τί οὖν ὁ νόμος;); what then (or, why then) is the Law? The apostle is wont thus to introduce the statement of some objection or some question relative to the point in hand which requires consideration (cf. Romans 3:1; Romans 4:1). He wishes now to show that, while the Law was a Divine ordinance, it was yet not intended to supersede the previously ratified covenant [(made to Abraham:- Genesis 22:18)], but rather to prepare for its being completely carried out-[(Matthew 5:17)]. It was added because of transgressions (τῶν παραβάσεων χάριν προσετέθη); on account of transgressions it was superadded. -(The Pulpit Commentary). SL
Because of transgressions - on account of transgressions, or with reference to them. The meaning is, that the Law was given to show the true nature of transgressions, or to show what was sin. It was not to reveal a way of justification, but it was to disclose the true nature of sin; to deter people from committing it; to declare its penalty; to convince people of it, and thus to be "ancillary"-[(Or, instrumental)] to, and preparatory to the work of redemption through the Redeemer-[(Jesus Christ)]-(Barnes' Notes). BH
it was added because of transgressions; four hundred and thirty years after the covenant made with Abraham; it did not succeed it, nor take the place of it, and so make it null and void; but was over and above added unto it, for the sake of restraining transgressions; which had there been no law, men would not have been accountable for them; and they would have gone into them without fear, and with impunity; but the law was given, to lay a restraint on men, by forbidding such and such things, on pain of death; and also for the detecting, discovering, and making known transgressions, what they are, their nature and consequences -(Gill's Exposition). BH
If then the promise is not affected by the law, so that no new condition of justification is imposed by it, the question naturally arises, ‘Why was the law given?’ To this the Apostle has an answer ready. It was not given to limit, much less to supersede the promise. The promise and the law are like two circles, which touch, but do not intersect each other: each perfect of its kind, because both alike Divine in their origin. But in answering the question which he has anticipated, St Paul shews the inferiority of the law in several particulars to the earlier and ‘better covenant’ (Hebrews 8:6 ). (1) The law condemns: it cannot give life, because no man can fulfil its conditions. It provokes transgression, convinces of sin, and denounces punishment. (2) It was superadded as a parenthetical and temporary dispensation, commencing with the national life of the Jewish people, and terminating with the Advent of the Seed-[(Jesus Christ)] to whom the promise was given. (3) It was not delivered immediately, like the promises to Abraham, but mediately by Moses in the presence of Angels as attesting witnesses. (4) It was a contract between God and man, life depending on the fulfilment of its terms, and was therefore conditional, and not absolute like the promise.-(Cambridge Greek Testament). SL
till-ἄχρις (achris)-till, up to) the-τὸ (to)-the) seed-σπέρμα (sperma)-seed, progeny, (i.e. offspring, descendant)) should come-ἔλθῃ (elthe)-to come, (i.e. arrive)) to whom-ᾧ (ho)-who) the promise was made-ἐπήγγελται (epeggeltai)-to profess, promise)),:
till Christ the promised Seed should come, who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth, Romans 10:4; upon whose coming the law contained in ordinances ceased. That Christ is here to be understood by the seed, is plain by the addition, to whom the promise was made.-(Matthew Poole). BH
Until the Seed, etc.: a second detail about the Law, and another mark of its subordinate position. It was an addition; and was only for a time. Cp. Galatians 3:25. The Seed: Christ, as declared in Galatians 3:16.-(Joseph Beet's Commentary). SL
till the seed—during the period up to the time when the seed came. The law was a preparatory dispensation for the Jewish nation (Ro 5:20; Greek, "the law came in additionally and incidentally"), intervening between the promise and its fulfilment in Christ.-(Jamieson F.B.). BH
Till the seed should come ... - The Messiah, to whom the promise particularly applied; see Galatians 3:16. It is not implied here that the Law would be of no use after that; but that it would accomplish important purposes before that. A large portion of the laws of Moses would then indeed cease to be binding. They were given to accomplish important purposes among the Jews until the Messiah should come, and then they would give way to the more important institutions of the gospel. But the moral law would continue to accomplish valuable objects after his advent, in showing people the nature of transgression and leading them to the cross of Christ. The essential idea of Paul here is, that the whole arrangement of the Mosaic economy, including all his laws, was with reference to the Messiah. It was a part of a great and glorious whole. It was not an independent thing. It did not stand by itself. It was incomplete and in many respects unintelligible until he came - as one part of a tally is unmeaning and useless until the other is found. In itself it did not justify or save people, but it served to introduce a system by which they could be saved. It contained no provisions for justifying people, but it was in the design of God an essential part of a system by which they could be saved. It was not a whole in itself, but it was a part of a glorious whole, and led to the completion and fulfillment of the entire scheme by which the race could be justified and brought to heaven.-(Barnes' Notes). BH
To whom the promise was made- The promise was addressed to Abraham, and made to him subordinately; but it was made to the Seed, the Redeemer, in the divine purpose, and supremely.-(Whedon's Commentary). SL
III. THE LAW WAS A TEMPORARY AND INTERMEDIATE DISPENSATION. "It was superadded … till the seed shall have come to whom the promise has been made." This refers to the coming of Christ who is "the Seed." The apostle puts himself back to the time of giving the Law, and looks forward from that starting-point to the future incarnation. The Law was thus a mighty parenthesis coming in between Abraham's promise and the coming of the seed, and was specially preparative and disciplinary in relation to that future event. It was destined then to pass away as a dispensation, but the moral Law, which it held in its bosom, was to abide in its full integrity. That Law still exists in Christianity, with its old power of manifesting sin and carrying conviction to sinners so as to shut them up to Christ.-(The Pulpit Commentaries). SL
and it was ordained-διαταγεὶς (diatageis)-to arrange throughout, (i.e. set in order, ordain)) by-δι (di)-through, by means of, (i.e. through (the agency of)) Angels-ἀγγέλων (aggelon)-messenger, agent):
and it was ordained by angels; not Moses and Aaron, and Joshua, as some say; for though Moses was concerned in the giving of the law, yet not Aaron nor Joshua, nor are any of them ever called angels; but the holy elect angels are here meant, the ten thousands of saints, or holy ones, God came to Mount Sinai with, and the Lord-[(LORD)] was among, in the holy place; see Deuteronomy 33:2 and so the Jews say (l) that the Lord-[(LORD)] appeared on Mount Sinai gloriously, , "with companies", or "troops of angels", to give the law to his people-(Gill's Exposition). BH
Ordained by angels.—The idea of angels having had a share in the giving of the Law appears in Deuteronomy 33:2 : “The Lord came from Sinai . . . He shined forth from mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints.” For “saints” the LXX. substitutes, in the next verse, “angels.” Similar allusions are found at the end of St. Stephen’s speech (Acts 7:53): “Who have received the law by the disposition (as ordinances) of angels, and have not kept it.”-(Ellicott's Commentary). BH
was ordained by angels. Luke, Acts 7:38, speaks of the law as published by one angel: the apostle, Hebrews 2:2, calls it, the word spoken by angels. We read of no angels, Exodus 19:20, nor of any of the saints; yet, Deu 33:2: Moses saith God came from Sinai, with ten thousand saints. The law was given either by the ministry of an angel, or by God attended with angels.-(Matthew Poole). BH
It was ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.—As instrumental enactors of the law. In the giving of the law the angels were representatives of God; Moses, as mediator, represented the people.-(Preacher's Complete Homiletical). SL
in-ἐν (en)-in) the hand-χειρὶ (cheiri)-hand (literally or figuratively)) of a Mediator-μεσίτου (mesitou)-middle man, mediator).:
The share of Moses in the giving of the Law. It was "ordained … in the hand of a mediator," who was Moses. He describes his own mediation: "I stood between you and the Lord at that time" (Deuteronomy 5:5, Deuteronomy 5:27). It was Moses who bore the tables of stone from God to the people. We are not to suppose that the reference is designed to mark the inferiority of the Law to the covenant of promise, which, too, had its Mediator, Jesus Christ the Lord. He is not contrasting the Law and the gospel, but the Law and the promise of Abraham; and he asserts that, while in the one case the angels and Moses had to do with its conveyance, God in the other case gave the promise without the intervention of either man or angel.-(The Pulpit Commentaries). SL
a mediator] The noun thus rendered occurs in four other passages of the N. T. (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24), and in all of them refers to our Lord Jesus Christ. In the three latter He is expressly termed the Mediator of the new or better covenant. Here the mediator is associated with the first covenant. In the epistle to Timothy our Lord is a mediator ‘between God and man’. Here the mediator is between God and the people of Israel, i.e. of course, Moses [See Deuteronomy 5:5].-(Cambridge BSC). BH
Ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Communicated through the means of angels to the mediator between Israel and God; that is, to Moses. See Act 7:53; Heb 2:2; Deu 33:2, and Deu 5:5.-(People's New Testament). SL
in the hand of a mediator—namely, Moses. Deuteronomy 5:5, "I stood between the Lord and you": the very definition of a mediator. Hence the phrase often recurs, "By the hand of Moses." In the giving of the law, the "angels" were representatives of God; Moses, as mediator, represented the people-(Jamieson F.B.). BH
The mediator here meant was Moses, who was particularly authorized by the Jewish people, as well as constituted by God, to mediate in the affair of receiving the law, which he transacted once for all. See Deuteronomy 5:5 ; Lev 26:46 where it is said, that the law was made between God and the children of Israel, by the hand of Moses.-(Thomas Coke Commentary). SL
Scrivener's Textus Receptus 1894
19 οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐτελείωσεν ὁ νόμος, ἐπεισαγωγὴ δὲ κρείττονος ἐλπίδος, δι’ ἧς ἐγγίζομεν τῷ Θεῷ.
19 "For the Law made *nothing-οὐδὲν (ouden)-not even one, nothing) perfect-ἐτελείωσεν (eteleiosen)-to complete, (literally: accomplish, bring to its goal)), //but the bringing in-ἐπεισαγωγὴ (epeisagoge)-a leading in upon, (i.e. bringing in besides, introduction)) (Or, but it was the bringing in) *of a better-κρείττονος (kreittonos)-stronger, more powerful, (figuratively: better, i.e. nobler:—best, better)) *hope-ἐλπίδος (elpidos)-hope, (i.e. expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence:—faith, hope) did: by the which we draw nigh-ἐγγίζομεν (eggizomen)-to draw near) unto God-Θεῷ (Theo)-God, (i.e. spoken of the only and true God))."
Example of Greek word:
*οὐδὲν (ouden)-nothing click: Mark 15:3
*κρείττονος (kreittonos)-of a better click: Hebrews 7:22
*ἐλπίδος (elpidos)-hope click: Hebrews 10:23 (faith)
made perfect-ἐτελείωσεν: Verb, Aorist, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: For the Law ["maturES"//"perfects"] nothing, but the bringing in of a better hope did: by the which
we draw nigh-ἐγγίζομεν: Verb, Present, Active, Indicative, 1st Person, Plural: ["WE-ARE-NEARING"//"we-are-drawing-near"] unto God.
***the law made nothing perfect,.... Or no man; neither any of the priests that offered sacrifices, nor any of the people for whom they were offered: it could not perfectly make atonement for sin; nor make men perfectly holy or righteous; it could neither justify nor sanctify; neither bring in a perfect righteousness, nor bring men to perfect holiness, and so to eternal life and salvation.-(Gill's Exposition). BH
***Not once in this whole epistle is there the slightest suggestion of a meaning for the expression "the law" that would distinguish it from the law of Moses in general. The great failure of that law was that it could not motivate and inspire people to righteous living, nor reassure and forgive them when they failed, nor provide the Holy Spirit as a comforter within them, nor spell out the nature of the inheritance above, in any manner comparable to the availability of such blessings in the new covenant. Above everything else, it failed to enable people to draw near to God; and, as Bruce accurately observed, "The whole apparatus of worship associated with that ritual and priesthood was calculated rather to keep people at a distance from God than to bring them near." Bruce, of course, as many others, limits the failure of the law to that portion of it associated with that "ritual and priesthood"; but the moral code was just as helpless as the ritual to bring people near to God. Again reference is made to those magnificent portions of the Sermon on the Mount in which the Saviour dealt with this very thing (Matthew 5:21,/27,/33).-(Coffman Commentaries). SL
***Under the law, only those of the house of Aaron-[of the tribe of Levi)] could serve at the altar ( Numbers 16-28:7 ). Psa_110:4 indicates a change was to one day come. Since Jesus was not of Aaron's house, He could not, by law, wait at the altar. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah, which was not the priestly tribe ( Isa_11:1-5 ; Mic_5:2 ; Rev_5:5 ; Mat_1:1-25 ; Luk_3:1-38 ). The priesthood of Christ is that of the order of Melchizedek and represents a change from the Aaronic priesthood. Christ was also of the tribe of Judah, which shows a change in the priestly tribe since it was that of Levi. Jesus did not receive his priesthood from a fleshly, perishable, line of men, but from the eternal power of God. The law of Moses just gave the priesthood to descendants with no thought of other qualifications. Christ received the office of priest because He was eternal. Melchizedek’s priesthood was totally uninterupted, so Christ could only be called a priest after his order once He was raised from the dead and could serve without interruption ( Heb_7:13-17 ; Psa_110:4 ). The law of Moses had to be set aside, made void, or abolished before a new law could take effect. The law had to be replaced because it could not bring anything to perfection. The new law is better as it allows one to draw closer to God through the blood of Christ. God's oath in connection with Christ's priesthood stresses its importance. It also shows that this law was to last forever, since God fully keeps his oaths and a Melchizedek priest has no end ( Heb_7:18-20 ).-(Gary Hampton Commentaries). SL
***The entire old system of the law therefore “made nothing perfect”. God gave the law to His people on mount Sinai so that through the law it would become clear how sinful man is. The law therefore is also called ‘the power of sin’ (1 Corinthians 15:56; Romans 7:7) and the ‘ministry of death’ (2 Corinthians 3:7). . . The law showed man the right way, but did not give him the power to actually go the right way. It prescribed what should happen in case of sin, but the prescribed sacrifice could not take away sin and had to be repeated again and again in case of new sins. Instead, a new hope has come and the access to God has been opened through the new priesthood-[(Jesus Christ)], to which other laws are connected.-(Kingcomments). SL
***The Bible says, "By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God" ( Romans 3:20 ). The Bible teaches us that the law was never intended to make a man righteous. The purpose of the law was to reveal man's sin and his utter sinfulness. It is by the law that I have a knowledge of sin, for God has declared His righteous standard and I realize that I have fallen short of God's righteous standard. So, the law revealing my failure, points the finger of guilt at me and the law then condemns me to death and to the curse. "For it is written, 'Cursed is every one who continues not in the whole law that is to do the things that are written therein'" ( Galatians 3:10 ). The law makes no one righteous, but it does put us all under the curse, for it reveals to us our sins and it makes us much more guilty, or at least conscious of our guilt.-(Chuck Smith Bible Commentary). SL
***If perfection, remission of sin, could have been obtained by the sacrifices offered by the Jewish priests, there would have been no need that God give a new law and a new priesthood. God sent another priest who was not after the order of Aaron. This priest was God's own Son, a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The Old Testament priesthood was limited to one tribe, Levi, and to one certain family, that of Aaron. Under that priesthood and those sacrifices there was no forgiveness of sins. That helped us understand the necessity of raising up another priest, after the order of Melchizedek and not after the order of Aaron. God's mercy was seen in the giving of the law and even more so in the taking away of the law. Now sins can be forgiven!. Under the Levitical priesthood the next high priest was the eldest son of the present high priest. Death brought a new high priest. The law, by which Christ was constituted a priest, after the order of Melchizedek, was the power of an endless life. Life and immortality is what gave Jesus His priesthood.-(Charles Box's Commentaries). SL
Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550
10 ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσει, πταίσει δὲ ἐν ἑνί γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος
Beza Greek New Testament 1598
11 Ὁ γὰρ εἰπὼν, Μὴ μοιχεύσῃς, εἶπε καὶ, Μὴ φονεύσῃς. εἰ δὲ οὐ μοιχεύεις φονεύεις δέ, γέγονας παραβάτης νόμου.
10 "For-γὰρ (gar)-for, verily, therefore) whosoever-ὅστις (hostis)-whoever, whosoever) *shall keep-τηρήσει (teresei)-to keep, watch, observe) the-τὸν (ton)-the) *whole-ὅλον (holon)-all, the whole, entire) Law-νόμον (nomon)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law)), and yet-δὲ (de)-but, yet) *offend-πταίσει (ptaisei)-to stumble, fall, (figuratively: to err, sin, fail)) in-ἐν (en)-in) one point-ἑνί (heni)-one), he is-γέγονεν (gegonen)-to become) *guilty-ἔνοχος (enochos)-held in, subject to, ( liable to (a condition, penalty or imputation):— guilty of)) of all-πάντων (panton)-all, every (plural). 11 For he //that said (Or, that Law which said), Do not commit adultery; said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become-γέγονας (gegonas)-to become) *a transgressor-παραβάτης (parabates)-transgressor, breaker) of the Law-νόμου (nomou)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law))."
Example of Greek word:
*τηρήσει (teresei)-shall keep click: John 14:23
*ὅλον (holon)-whole click: Matthew 16:26
*G4417: (πταίσει-offend) click: 2 Peter 1:10 (πταίσητέ-ye shall fall)
*ἔνοχος (enochos)-guilty click: Matthew 26:66
*παραβάτης (parabates)-a transgressor click: Romans 2:25 (breaker)
shall keep-τηρήσει: Verb, Future, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: For whosoever ["SHALL-BE-KEEPING"] the whole Law, and yet
offend-πταίσει: Verb, Future, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: ["SHALL-BE-OFFENDING"] in one point,
he is-γέγονεν: Verb, Second-Perfect, Active, Indicative, 3rd Person, Singular: ["HAS-BECOME"] guilty
of all-πάντων: Adjective, Genitive, Plural, Masculine: ["OF-ALL"]. For he that said, Do not commit adultery; said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill,
thou art become-γέγονας: Verb, Second-Perfect, Active, Indicative, 2nd Person, Singular: ["YOU-HAVE-BECOME"] a transgressor of the Law.
For-γὰρ (gar)-for, verily, therefore) whosoever-ὅστις (hostis)-whoever, whosoever) shall keep-τηρήσει (teresei)-to keep, watch, observe) the-τὸν (ton)-the) whole-ὅλον (holon)-all, the whole, entire) Law-νόμον (nomon)-a law, ordinance, (by implication: of Moses:—Law)),:
For whosoever shall keep the whole law - The apostle does not say that this in fact ever did occur, but he says that if it should, and yet a man should have failed in only one particular, he must be judged to be guilty. The case supposed seems to be that of one who claimed that he had kept the whole law. The apostle says that even if this should be admitted for the time to be true in all other respects, yet, if he had failed in any one particular - he would be held to be a transgressor, The design of this is to show the importance of yielding universal obedience, and to impress upon the mind a sense of the enormity of sin from the fact that the violation of any one precept is in fact an offence against the whole law of God -(Barnes's Notes on the Bible). BH
and yet-δὲ (de)-but, yet) offend-πταίσει (ptaisei)-to stumble, fall, (figuratively: to err, sin, fail)) in-ἐν (en)-in) one point-ἑνί (heni)-one),:
And yet offend in one point; slip, or trip, or stumble at; it seems to signify the least failing in any point of the law -(Matthew Poole). BH
For whosoever shall keep...— Better, have kept the whole Law, but shall have offended in one, has become guilty of all. As a chain is snapped by failure of the weakest link, so the whole Law, in its harmony and completeness as beheld by God, is broken by one offence of one man; and the penalty falls, of its own natural weight and incidence, on the culprit -(Ellicott's Commentary). BH
You're a violator. Doesn't matter which one of the commandments you violated. Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not commit adultery. Oh, I've never done that. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Whoops. But you violate one point; you're guilty of all. You're guilty of breaking the law and it really doesn't matter which of the commandments you've broken. You're guilty of having broken the law. If you keep the entire law let yet you break one of the commandments, then you're just as guilty as if you've broken all of them. You are guilty of being a lawbreaker.-(Chuck Smith Bible Commentary). SL
And yet offend in one point - In one respect; or shall violate any one of the commands included in the general word law. The word offend here means, properly, to stumble, to fall; then to err, or fail in duty. See the notes at Matthew 5:29; Matthew 26:31.-(Barnes' Notes). BH
and yet offend in one point; sin, which is a transgression of the law, is an offense to God the Father, who is of purer eyes than to behold it; to Jesus Christ, who loves righteousness, and hates iniquity; and to the blessed Spirit who is grieved and vexed by it; and to the justice of God, which being injured by it, demands satisfaction; and to the law of God, which accuses, convinces, reproves, and condemns for it. The word used signifies to "fall", and designs more than stumbling, even an open breach and violation of the law; and which being made, by any, in a single instance, he is guilty of all:-(Gill's Exposition). BH
he is-γέγονεν (gegonen)-to become) guilty-ἔνοχος (enochos)-held in, subject to, ( liable to (a condition, penalty or imputation):— guilty of)) of all-πάντων (panton)-all, every (plural)).:
He is guilty of all - He is guilty of violating the law as a whole, or of violating the law of God as such; he has rendered it impossible that he should be justified and saved by the law. This does not affirm that he is as guilty as if he had violated every law of God; or that all sinners are of equal grade because all have violated some one or more of the laws of God; but the meaning is, that he is guilty of violating the law of God as such; he shows that he has not the true spirit of obedience; he has exposed himself to the penalty of the law, and made it impossible now to be saved by it -(Barnes' Notes). BH
Whole law as James is using it refers to the ten commandments. Not that the decalogue is still the law of God as it once was, for it has been replaced by the law of Christ-[(Galatians 6:2)]. But it is used to illustrate the point which the writer has under consideration, because it is formed into a certain number of separate commandments each of which is a complete unit of law. Thus if a man rejects a single one of these ten commands he is guilty of all because they all were given by one authority.-(E.M. Zerr's Commentary). SL
He is guilty of all; guilty of the breach, and obnoxious to the punishment, of all; not distributively, or separately, as if he transgressed every precept distinctly; but: Conjunctively or copulatively; he is guilty of not keeping the whole law, though not of breaking each particular command; he breaks the whole law, though not the whole of the law: as he that wounds a man’s arm wounds the whole man, though not the whole of the man; he that breaks one link breaks the whole chain, and he that fails in one musical note spoils the whole harmony -(Matthew Poole). BH
The best manuscripts read, "Whosoever shall have kept the whole law, and yet shall have offended (literally, 'stumbled'; not so strong as 'fall,' [comp. with Romans 11:11) in one (point; here, the respecting of persons), is (hereby) become guilty of all." The law is one seamless garment which is rent if you but rend a part; or a musical harmony which is spoiled if there be one discordant note [Tirinus]; or a golden chain whose completeness is broken if you break one link [Gataker]. You thus break the whole law, though not the whole of the law, because you offend against love, which is the fulfilling of the law-[(Galatians 5:14)]. If any part of a man be leprous, the whole man is judged to be a leper. God requires perfect, not partial, obedience. We are not to choose out parts of the law to keep, which suit our whim, while we neglect others.-(Jamieson Fausset Brown). BH
Points To Note: 1. Barclay notes, "The Jew was very apt to regard the law as a series of detached injunctions. To keep one of these injunctions was to gain credit; to break one was to incur debt. Therefore, a man could add up the ones he kept and subtract the ones he broke, and, as it were emerge with a credit or a debit balance" (p. 81). 2. "They believed that if they kept as many laws as they broke, they were righteous before the law" (Draper p. 79). And nothing really has changed. People in the world will argue, "I have never killed anyone. I am not a thief. I am not immoral" (Draper p. 80). And thus reason that they are OK. We must remember that every law which God has given is important and we can't pick and choose concerning which laws we want to keep. 3. When I violate even one command of God, I stand guilty before God, I have rebelled against Him. Kent notes, "His point is that God's law is a unity, being the expressed will of one Lawgiver. Violating God's will at any point means that the offender has disobeyed God's intention" (p. 83). 4. All of the above means that every law of God is important! "The vital lesson taught here is that all of the law of God is pertinent to us, and that we must not feel at liberty to tamper with any portion thereof" (Woods p. 124). 5. We cannot defend ourselves when we sin by pointing to all the laws that we are keeping. And neither can we justify one unscriptural practice by pointing out the other unscriptural practices that we have already accepted. 6. In addition, we tend to justify our sins by pointing to the sins of others. Note, another Christian's inconsistency doesn't cover my inconsistency in a different area. When I violate the law of God, even on one point, I sin!-(Mark Dunagan). SL
We Have All Transgressed the Law The Law of Moses was on