Galatian Reading (#13)

Take a few minutes to catch up and pray that God would bless you through the reading of His word.

Read Galatians 4:21-31

[4:21] Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? [22] For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. [23] But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. [24] Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. [25] Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. [26] But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. [27] For it is written,
    “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
        break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
    For the children of the desolate one will be more
        than those of the one who has a husband.”
    [28] Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. [29] But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. [30] But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” [31] So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.


  • Whom is Paul addressing in v 21? What question does he ask them?
  • What distinguished the two sons of Abraham (v 22)?
    • How was the son of the slave born (v 23)?
    • How was the son of the free woman born?
  • In what manner does Paul interpret these events (v 24)?
    • Together, what do the two women represent (v 24)?
    • What is Hagar “from” (v 24)? 
      • For what are her children born?
      • To what does she correspond in the present (v 25)? Why?
  • What is the status of “the Jerusalem above” (v 26)? 
    • What is her relationship to Paul and his readers?
    • What are the “brothers” like (v 28)?
  • What happened “at that time” (v 29)? 
    • How does that compare to what is happening “now”?
    • What conclusion does Paul draw (v 31)?


  • What Old Testament story is Paul referring to in v. 21-23? 
    • Who is the son of the slave?
    • Who is the son of the free woman?
  • What does it mean to interpret something “allegorically”?
  • What is “the Jerusalem above”?
  • What is the point of the quotation in v 27?
  • What is Paul talking about in v 29? When did one son of Abraham persecute the other?
    • How is that analogous to what was going on in Paul’s day?
    • How does the quote in v 30 shed light on the situation?
  • What is the meaning of Paul’s conclusion in v 31? What point has he been trying to make? How does the whole Hagar-Ishmael/Sarah-Isaac allegory make a convincing point to people who want to be under the law? 


  • What does it mean to live in light of the fact that you are one of the “children of promise”? How would your life be different if you were spiritually under slavery to the law?
  • Paul says that people born of the flesh persecute people born of the Spirit (v 29). Why do you think that is? How does that help you to endure persecution from other people.

Share prayer requests and pray for each other.