Galatians 4:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 4:30, NIV: But what does Scripture say? 'Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son.'

Galatians 4:30, ESV: 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.”

Galatians 4:30, KJV: Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

Galatians 4:30, NASB: But what does the Scripture say? 'DRIVE OUT THE SLAVE WOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE SLAVE WOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN.'

Galatians 4:30, NLT: But what do the Scriptures say about that? 'Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman's son.'

Galatians 4:30, CSB: But what does the Scripture say? "Drive out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave will never be a coheir with the son of the free woman."

What does Galatians 4:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has constructed an allegory about the difference between those who trust in following the law to save them, contrasted with those who, by faith, trust in what Christ has done. It is the difference between slavery and freedom.

To illustrate this, Paul has shown that Ishmael was born into slavery as the son of Abraham's slave-wife (Genesis 16:1–3). This was the result of human efforts, not faith. As the older son, Ishmael may have felt he was secure enough to become Abraham's primary heir, though technically a slave. Perhaps that's why he mocked baby Isaac on the day of a feast to celebrate his being weaned (Genesis 21:8–9).

Sarah, though, saw it happen. Protective of her son Isaac, born in freedom as a result of God's promise (Genesis 21:1–3), she immediately demanded that Abraham cast both Ishmael and Hagar away from their family. She did not want the son of a slave woman to share any part of the inheritance with her son. Abraham resisted, but God confirmed that he should do what Sarah said (Genesis 21:10–12).

Paul's point is very direct. Those who insisted Christians must follow the law to be truly saved correspond to Ishmael. They were still in slavery to sin, and God had cast them out, in a sense. Now that Christ had come, those who followed the law no longer had any part in the inheritance from Abraham. That inheritance is only for those who trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sin and a place in God's family.