Galatians 4:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 4:27, NIV: "For it is written: 'Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.'"

Galatians 4:27, ESV: "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.”"

Galatians 4:27, KJV: "For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband."

Galatians 4:27, NASB: "For it is written, 'REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.'"

Galatians 4:27, NLT: "As Isaiah said, 'Rejoice, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband!'"

Galatians 4:27, CSB: "For it is written, Rejoice, childless woman, unable to give birth. Burst into song and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate woman will be many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband."

What does Galatians 4:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

To explain why salvation by faith alone is God's actual plan for mankind, rather than salvation by works and rituals, Paul is creating an allegory. He compares the slavery of those who follow the law with the freedom of those who come to God by faith in Christ. He has compared those born to a slave women, such as Abraham's wife Hagar (Genesis 16:1–5), to those who live under the law.

Those born to the free woman Sarah, however, live in freedom. He will go on to show that this freedom comes from being born according to God's Spirit: through faith in Christ.

Here however, Paul quotes from Isaiah 54:1 and applies it to his allegory. Isaiah was prophesying about Israel's future after her captivity to Babylon. She would once again thrive and grow, as a formerly barren woman who now begins to have many children.

Paul connects this prophesy to his allegory about Abraham's wife Sarah. She waited and waited and finally gave birth to a free son of her own, just as God had promised (Genesis 21:1–3). In a similar way, when the time was just right, God sent Christ to earth as a man to provide a way for those under the law to be truly free (Galatians 3:23–29).