Christus de maledictio legis redemit
Christ redeems from the law’s curse
3:13 Christus nos redemit de maledicto legis, factus pro nobis maledictum: quia scriptum est: maledictus omnis qui pendet in ligno: [n. 146]
3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (for it is written: cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree). [n. 146]
3:14 ut in gentibus benedictio Abrahae fieret in Christo Jesu, ut pollicitationem Spiritus accipiamus per fidem. [n. 151]
3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Christ Jesus: that we may receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. [n. 151]
146. Posito damno a lege illato, et defectu legis ab illo eripere non valentis, hic consequenter ostendit virtutem Christi ab ipso damno liberantis. Et
146. Having explained the curse brought on by the law, as well as the law’s incapacity to deliver from sin, he now shows forth Christ’s power to set one free from this curse.
primo ostendit quomodo per Christum ab ipso damno liberamur;
First, he shows how through Christ we are set free of that curse;
secundo quomodo etiam super hoc auxilium a Christo acquirimus, ibi ut in gentibus, et cetera.
second, how in addition we receive help from Christ, at that the blessing of Abraham.
Circa primum tria facit.
As to the first, he does three things.
Primo enim ponit liberationis auctoritatem;
First, he presents the author of the liberation;
secundo liberationis modum, ibi factus pro nobis, etc.;
second, the manner of liberation, at being made a curse for us;
tertio testimonium propheticum, ibi quia scriptum est, et cetera.
third, the testimony of the prophets, at for it is written.
147. Dicit ergo primo: quicumque servabant opera legis erant sub maledicto sicut dictum est, nec per legem liberari poterant. Ideo necesse fuit aliquem habere, qui nos liberaret, et iste fuit Christus. Et ideo dicit Christus redemit nos de maledicto legis, et cetera. Rom. VIII, 3: quod impossibile erat legi, etc., Deus mittens Filium suum, scilicet Christum, et cetera. Redemit, inquam, nos, scilicet Iudaeos, pretioso sanguine suo, Apoc. V, 9: redemisti nos in sanguine, et cetera. Is. XLIII, 1: noli timere, quia redemi te, et cetera. De maledicto legis, id est, de culpa et poena. Infra IV, v. 5: ut eos qui sub lege erant redimeret; Os. XIII, 14: de morte redimam eos.
147. Therefore, he says first: all who observed the works of the law were under a curse, as has been said, and they could not be delivered by the law. Hence it was necessary to have someone who should set us free, and that someone was Christ. Hence he says, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law: for what the law could not do . . . God, sending his own Son (Rom 8:3), i.e., Christ. He has redeemed, I say, us, namely, the Jews, with his own precious blood: you have redeemed us in your blood (Rev 5:9); fear not, for I have redeemed you (Isa 43:1), from the curse of the law, i.e., from guilt and penalty: that he might redeem those who were under the law (Gal 4:5); I will redeem them from death (Hos 13:14).
148. Modum liberationis ponit cum dicit factus pro nobis maledictum. Ubi notandum quod maledictum est quod dicitur malum. Et secundum duplex malum potest dici duplex maledictum, scilicet maledictum culpae et maledictum poenae. Et utroque modo potest hoc legi dupliciter factus est pro nobis maledictum.
148. Then when he says, being made a curse for us, he sets forth the manner of the deliverance. Here it should be noted that a curse is that which is said as an evil. Now it is according to two kinds of evil that there can be two kinds of curse, namely, the curse of guilt and the curse of punishment. And with respect to each this passage can be read, namely, he was made a curse for us.
Et primo quidem de malo culpae. Nam Christus redemit nos de malo culpae. Unde sicut redemit nos de morte mortuus, ita redemit nos de maledicto culpae factus maledictum, scilicet culpae; non quidem quod in eo peccatum esset aliquod, qui peccatum non fecit, nec dolus, etc., ut dicitur I Petr. II, v. 22, sed secundum opinionem hominum, et praecipue Iudaeorum qui reputabant eum peccatorem. Io. XVIII, 30: si non esset hic malefactor, non tibi tradidissemus eum. Et ideo de hoc dicitur II Cor. V, 21: eum qui non noverat peccatum, fecit pro nobis peccatum.
First of all with respect to the evil of guilt, for Christ redeemed us from the evil of guilt. Hence, just as in dying he redeemed us from death, so he redeemed us from the evil of guilt by being made a curse, i.e., of guilt; not that there was really any sin in him, for he did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (1 Pet 2:22), but only according to the opinion of men and particularly the Jews who regarded him as a sinner: if he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to you (John 18:30). Hence it is said of him, him who knew no sin he has made sin for us (2 Cor 5:21).
Dicit autem maledictum, non maledictus, ut ostendat quod Iudaei eum sceleratissimum reputabant. Unde dicitur Io. IX, 16: non est hic homo a Deo, etc.; et Io. X, 33: de bono opere non lapidamus te, sed de peccato et de blasphemia.
But he says, a curse, and not accursed, to show that the Jews regarded him as the worst type of criminal. Hence it is said, this man is not of God who does not keep the sabbath (John 9:16) and not for a good work do we stone you, but for sin and for blasphemy (John 10:33).
Et ideo dicit factus est pro nobis maledictum, in abstracto; quasi dicat: factus est ipsa maledictio.
Therefore he says, being made for us a curse in the abstract. As though to say: he was made curse itself.
149. Secundo exponitur de malo poenae. Nam Christus liberavit nos a poena, sustinendo poenam et mortem nostram: quae quidem in nos provenit ex ipsa maledictione peccati. In quantum ergo hanc maledictionem peccati suscepit, pro nobis moriendo, dicitur esse factus pro nobis maledictum. Et est simile ei quod dicitur Rom. VIII, 3: misit Deus Filium suum in similitudinem carnis peccati, id est, mortalis. Eum qui non noverat peccatum, scilicet Christum, qui peccatum non fecit, Deus scilicet Pater, pro nobis fecit peccatum, II Cor. V, 21, id est fecit pati peccati poenam, quando scilicet oblatus est propter peccata nostra.
149. Second, it is explained with respect to the evil of punishment. For Christ freed us from punishment by enduring our punishment and our death which came upon us from the very curse of sin. Therefore, inasmuch as he endured this curse of sin by dying for us, he is said to have been made a curse for us. This is similar to what is said in Romans: God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin (Rom 8:3), i.e., of mortal sin. Him who knew no sin, namely, Christ, who committed no sin, God (namely, the Father) has made sin for us (2 Cor 5:21), i.e., made him suffer the punishment of sin, namely, when he was offered for our sins.
150. Consequenter ponit Scripturae testimonium cum dicit quia scriptum est: maledictus omnis, et cetera. Et hoc Deut. XXVII.
150. Then he gives the testimony of Scripture when he says, for it is written: ‘cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’ (Deut 21:23).
Ubi sciendum, secundum Glossam, quod in Deuteronomio, unde accipitur hoc verbum, tam in nostris, quam in Hebraeis codicibus habetur: maledictus a Deo omnis, etc., quod quidem, scilicet a Deo, in antiquis Hebraeorum voluminibus non habetur, unde creditur quod a Iudaeis post passionem domini appositum sit ad infamiam Christi.
Here it should be noted, according to a Gloss, that in Deuteronomy, from which this passage is taken, our version as well as the Hebrew version has: cursed by God is everyone who hangs on a tree. However, the phrase by God is not found in the ancient Hebrew volumes. Hence it is believed to have been added by the Jews after the passion of Christ in order to defame him.
Potest autem exponi auctoritas de malo poenae et de malo culpae. De malo quidem culpae sic maledictus omnis qui pendet in ligno, non propter hoc quod pendet in ligno, sed pro culpa pro qua pendet. Et hoc modo Christus aestimatus maledictus in cruce pendens, propter hoc quod maxime tali poena punitus fuit. Et secundum hoc continuatur ad praecedentia. Dominus enim praecepit in Deuteronomio, ut qui suspensus fuerit, in vespera deponatur; et ratio huius est, quia haec poena erat caeteris abiectior et ignominiosior. Dicit ergo: vere factus est pro nobis maledictum, quia ipsa mors crucis, quam sustinuit, sufficit ad maledictionem, hoc modo exponendo de malo culpae, sed solum aestimatione Iudaeorum, quia scriptum est maledictus omnis, et cetera.
But it is possible to expound this authority both with respect to the evil of punishment and the evil of guilt. Of the evil of punishment thus: cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree, not precisely because he hangs on a tree, but because of the guilt for which he hangs. And in this way Christ was thought to be cursed, when he hung on the cross, because he was being punished with an extraordinary punishment. And according to this explanation, there is a continuity with the preceding. For the Lord commanded in Deuteronomy that anyone who had hung on a tree should be taken down in the evening; the reason being that this punishment was more disgraceful and ignominious than any other. He is saying, therefore: truly was he made a curse for us, because the death of the cross which he endured is tantamount to a curse—thus explaining the evil of guilt, although it was only in the minds of the Jews—because it is written: ‘cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’.
De malo vero poenae sic exponitur maledictus omnis qui, etc., quia ipsa poena est maledictio, scilicet quod sic mortuus est. Et est hoc modo exponendo vere maledictus a Deo, quia Deus ordinavit quod hanc poenam sustineret, ut nos liberaret.
But with respect to the evil of punishment, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree is explained thus: the punishment itself is a curse, namely, that he should die in this way. Explained in this way, he was truly cursed by God, because God decreed that he endure this punishment in order to set us free.
151. Consequenter cum dicit ut in gentibus benedictio, etc., ponit spem quam per Christum, super hoc quod per eum liberamur de maledicto, acquirimus, ut dicitur Rom. V, 16: non sicut delictum, ita et donum; immo multo maius, scilicet quia liberat a peccato, et confert gratiam.
151. Then when he says, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Christ Jesus, he touches on the hope which we acquire through Christ in addition to being freed from the curse: not as the offense, so also the gift (Rom 5:16), but much greater, namely, because he both frees us from sin and confers grace.
Primo ergo ponit fructum, et quibus datur, dicens ut in gentibus benedictio Abrahae, etc., quasi dicat: factus est pro nobis maledictum, non solum ut maledictionem removeret, sed ut in gentibus, quae non sub maledictione legis erant, fieret benedictio Abrahae promissa Gen. XXII, 18: in semine tuo benedicentur omnes gentes, et cetera. Et haec quidem benedictio facta est nobis, id est, impleta est, per Christum, qui est de semine Abrahae, cui dictae sunt promissiones et semini suo, qui est Christus, ut dicitur infra.
First, therefore, he mentions the fruit and those to whom it is given, saying, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the gentiles through Christ Jesus. As if to say: he was made a curse for us not only to remove a curse but also to enable the gentiles, who were not under the curse of the law, to receive the blessing promised to Abraham: in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen 22:18). And this blessing was made to us, i.e., fulfilled, through Christ, who is of the seed of Abraham to whom the promises were made ’and to your seed’, which is Christ (Gal 3:16).
Quae quidem benedictio et fructus est ut pollicitationem Spiritus accipiamus, id est, promissiones quas Spiritus Sanctus facit in nobis, scilicet de beatitudine aeterna, qui quasi arra et pignus nobis traditus ipsam nobis promittit, ut habetur Eph. I, 14 et II Cor. c. VI. Et quidem in pignore datur ad certitudinem. Nam pignus est quaedam certa promissio de re accipienda. Rom. V: non enim accepistis spiritum servitutis, etc., et infra: si filii, et haeredes.
Now this blessing, this fruit, is that we may receive the promise of the Spirit, i.e., the promises which the Holy Spirit, given to us as a pledge and a deposit, works in us concerning eternal happiness which he promises to us (Eph 1:14; 2 Cor 6). Furthermore, in the pledge is contained a guarantee, for a pledge is an assured promise concerning something to be received: for you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption of sons (Rom 8:15), and, and if sons, heirs also (Rom 8:17).
Vel pollicitationem Spiritus accipiamus, id est, Spiritum Sanctum, quasi dicat: accipiamus pollicitationem de Spiritu Sancto factam semini Abrahae, Ioel II, 28: effundam de Spiritu meo, etc.; quia per Spiritum Sanctum coniungimur Christo, et efficimur semen Abrahae, et digni benedictione.
Or: that we may receive the promise of the Spirit, i.e., the Holy Spirit. As if to say: that we may receive the promise made to the seed of Abraham concerning the Holy Spirit: upon my servants I will pour forth my Spirit (Joel 2:29). For it is through the Spirit that we are joined to Christ and become children of Abraham, worthy of the blessing.
152. Secundo ostendit per quid proveniat nobis iste fructus, dicens per fidem, per quam quidem et haereditatem aeternam acquirimus. Ad Hebr. IX: accedentem ad Deum oportet credere quia est, et inquirentibus se remunerator sit. Per fidem etiam acquirimus Spiritum Sanctum, quia, ut dicitur Act. V, 32, Dominus dat Spiritum Sanctum obedientibus sibi, scilicet per fidem.
152. Second, he shows how this fruit comes to us, saying, by faith, through which also we obtain an eternal inheritance: he that comes to God must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him (Heb 11:6). Through faith, too, we receive the Holy Spirit, because as is said in Acts: the Lord gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey him (Acts 5:32), namely, through faith.
Promise to Abraham
3:15 Fratres (secundum hominem dico) tamen hominis confirmatum testamentum nemo spernit, aut superordinat. [n. 153]
3:15 Brethren (I speak after the manner of man), yet a man’s testament, if it be confirmed, no man despises nor adds to it. [n. 153]
3:16 Abrahae dictae sunt promissiones, et semini ejus. Non dicit: et seminibus, quasi in multis: sed quasi in uno: et semini tuo, qui est Christus. [n. 156]
3:16 To Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed. He does not say: and to his seeds as of many. But as of one: and to your seed, which is Christ. [n. 156]
3:17 Hoc autem dico, testamentum confirmatum a Deo: quae post quadringentos et triginta annos facta est lex, non irritum facit ad evacuandam promissionem. [n. 159]
3:17 Now this I say: that the testament which was confirmed by God, the law which was made after four hundred and thirty years does not disannul, to make the promise of no effect. [n. 159]
3:18 Nam si ex lege haereditas, jam non ex promissione. Abrahae autem per repromissionem donavit Deus. [n. 161]
3:18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise. But God gave it to Abraham by promise. [n. 161]
153. Postquam Apostolus probavit per auctoritates, quod lex non iustificat, nec ad iustificationem, quae est per fidem, est necessaria, hic consequenter ostendit idem per rationes humanas. Et
153. Having proved by authority that the law does not justify and is not necessary for justification, which is through faith, the Apostle then proves the same point with human reasons.
circa hoc quatuor facit.
Concerning this he does four things.
Primo humanam consuetudinem ponit;
First, he mentions a human custom;
secundo assumit promissionem divinam, ibi Abrahae dictae sunt promissiones, etc.;
second, he touches on a divine promise, at to Abraham were the promises made;