Children of the free woman
4:28 Nos autem, fratres, secundum Isaac promissionis filii sumus. [n. 268]
4:28 Now we brethren are, as Isaac was, the children of promise. [n. 268]
4:29 Sed quomodo tunc is, qui secundum carnem natus fuerat, persequebatur eum qui secundum spiritum: ita et nunc. [n. 270]
4:29 But as then he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was according to the spirit, so also it is now. [n. 270]
4:30 Sed quid dicit Scriptura? Ejice ancillam, et filium ejus: non enim haeres erit filius ancillae cum filio liberae. [n. 274]
4:30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. [n. 274]
4:31 Itaque, fratres, non sumus ancillae filii, sed liberae:
4:31 So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman but of the free woman:
268. Exposito mysterio quantum ad matres, hic exponit illud quantum ad filios. Et
268. Having disclosed the mystery as to the mothers, he now discloses it as to the sons.
primo ponit filiorum distinctionem;
First, he differentiates between the sons;
secundo principalem conclusionem, ibi itaque, fratres mei, et cetera.
second, he sets down the main conclusion, at so then, brethren.
Distinctionem autem filiorum ponit quantum ad tria.
He distinguishes the sons on three counts:
Primo quantum ad modum originis;
first, as to the manner of origin;
secundo quantum ad affectum dilectionis, ibi sed quomodo tunc, etc.;
second, as to the feeling of love, at but as then he who was born;
tertio quantum ad ius haereditatis, ibi sed quid dicit Scriptura, et cetera.
third, as to their right to the inheritance, at but what does the Scripture say.
269. Modus autem originis quo aliqui nascuntur filii Abrahae est duplex: quidam origine carnali, sicut Ismael de ancilla; quidam autem non carnali origine, sicut Isaac de libera: non quod naturali opere natus non fuerit, sed quia sicut dictum est supra naturalem virtutem carnis fuit ut de vetula sterili filius nasceretur.
269. The manner of origin, according to which the sons of Abraham are born, is twofold: one is by origin according to the flesh, as Ishmael, of the bondwoman; the other not according to the flesh, as Isaac, of the free woman—not because he was not born in the way of nature, but because, as has been said, it was beyond the natural power of the flesh for a son to be born of a barren old woman.
Per hos autem filios intelligitur duplex populus. Nam per Ismaelem intelligitur populus Iudaeorum, qui carnali propagatione est ab Abraham derivatus. Per Isaac autem, populus gentium, qui per imitationem fidei ab Abraham descendit. Et ideo dicit nos autem, fratres, scilicet fideles, tam Iudaei, quam gentiles, secundum Isaac, id est, in similitudine Isaac, promissionis filii sumus facti Abrahae. Rom. IX, 8: qui sunt filii promissionis aestimantur in semine.
Two peoples are understood by these two sons: by Ishmael is understood the Jewish people, who derived from Abraham by carnal propagation; but by Isaac, the people of the gentiles, who descended from Abraham by imitation of his faith. Hence he says: now we, brethren, i.e., the faithful, both Jew and gentile, as Isaac was, i.e., in the line of Isaac, are the children of the promise that was made to Abraham: they that are the children of the promise are accounted for the seed (Gen 21; Rom 9:8).
Sed nota, quod filii carnis Abrahae ad litteram sunt Iudaei, mystice autem, qui propter carnalia et temporalia bona ad fidem veniunt.
But note that the children of Abraham according to the flesh are, literally, the Jewish people; but, mystically, they are the ones who come to the faith for the sake of carnal and temporal goods.
270. Secundum affectum autem distinguuntur, quia qui natus erat secundum carnem, persequebatur illum qui natus erat secundum spiritum.
270. Second, they are distinguished according to affection, because he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was according to the spirit.
271. Sed hic est quaestio. Primo quia non legitur, quod Ismael persecutionem aliquam fecerit contra Isaac, sed quod tantum luserit cum eo. Gen. XXI, 9: cum vidisset Sara filium ancillae Agar ludentem, et cetera.
271. But this raises a difficulty. First, because it is not recorded that Ishmael persecuted Isaac, but only that they played together: when Sarah had seen the son of Hagar, the Egyptian, playing with Isaac her son, she said to Abraham: cast out this bondwoman and her son (Gen 21:9).
Responsio. Dicendum est, quod Apostolus illum ludum dicit persecutionem, quia ludus magni ad parvum est quaedam illusio, cum maior cum parvo ludens intendit eum decipere.
I answer that the Apostle calls this playing a persecution, because there is deception when an older person plays with a younger one; since the older person, in playing with the younger, intends to deceive him.
Vel etiam, ut dicunt quidam, Ismael cogebat Isaac adorare imagines luteas quas faciebat. Per hoc autem docebat eum averti a cultu unius Dei, quod est magna persecutio, cum maius malum sit inferre mortem spiritualem, quam corporalem. Quod tamen ideo in Genesi appellatur ludus, quia sub specie ludi hoc faciebat.
Or, as some say, Ishmael compelled Isaac to adore the clay images he fashioned. By this he was teaching him to be turned from the worship of the one God; and this was a considerable persecution, since it is a greater evil to cause spiritual death than bodily death. Furthermore, in Genesis this is called a game because he did this under the guise of a game.
272. Est etiam quaestio quomodo filii secundum carnem persecuti fuerint et persequantur filios secundum spiritum.
272. There is another difficulty, namely, how the children according to the flesh persecuted and do persecute the children according to the spirit?
Sed ad hoc est responsio, quia a principio primitivae Ecclesiae Iudaei persecuti sunt Christianos, ut patet in Actibus Apostolorum, et facerent etiam nunc si possent. Nunc etiam carnales persequuntur in Ecclesia spirituales viros, etiam corporaliter, illi scilicet qui quaerunt gloriam et temporalia lucra in Ecclesia. Unde dicitur in Glossa: omnes qui in Ecclesia terrenam facultatem quaerunt a Domino, ad hunc Ismaelem pertinent. Ipsi sunt qui contradicunt spiritualibus proficientibus, et detrahunt illis, et habent labia iniqua et linguas dolosas et subdolosas.
The answer is that from the beginning of the early Church the Jews persecuted Christians, as is obvious in the Acts of the Apostles, and they would do the same even now, if they were able. Now, however, those who are carnal persecute spiritual men in the Church even as to the body; those, namely, who seek glory and temporal gain in the Church. Hence a Gloss says that all who seek from the Lord earthly aggrandizement in the Church pertain to this Ishmael. They are the ones who oppose those who are making spiritual progress and slander them. They have iniquity in their mouth, and craft and deceit on their tongues.
Spiritualiter autem persequuntur spirituales filios, superbi et hypocritae. Nam aliquando aliqui manifeste carnales et mali culpam suam recognoscentes, bonis se humiliant, fatui vero bonitatem, quam ipsi non habent, persequuntur in aliis.
But the ones who spiritually persecute the spiritual sons are the haughty and the hypocrites. For sometimes they who are plainly carnal and evil recognize their guilt and humble themselves before the good; but the foolish persecute in others the goodness they themselves lack.
273. Est etiam quaestio, quia haeretici quos nos persequimur, dicunt se natos secundum spiritum, nos vero secundum carnem.
273. A further question arises from the fact that heretics whom we persecute say that they are the ones born according to the spirit and we according to the flesh.
Sed dicendum est, quod duplex est persecutio. Una bona, qua aliquis persequitur alium, ut reducat eum ad bonum, et hanc viri iusti faciunt malis et spirituales carnalibus, vel ut eos corrigant si converti volunt, vel si obstinati sunt in malo, destruant, ne gregem Domini inficiant. Alia persecutio est mala, qua quis persequitur alium, ut pervertat ad malum, et hanc qui secundum carnem nati sunt, faciunt his, qui nati sunt secundum spiritum.
I answer that there are two kinds of persecution: the good one is that in which a person persecutes another to lead him back to good. And this is what just men do to evil men, and spiritual men to carnal men; either to correct them, if they want to be converted, or, if they are obstinate, to destroy them, lest they contaminate the flock of the Lord. The other type of persecution is evil, namely, when a person persecutes another in order to pervert him; and this is what those who are born according to the flesh do to those who are born according to the spirit.
274. Quantum vero ad ius haereditatis, distinguuntur per auctoritatem Scripturae, Gen. XXI, 10: eiice ancillam et filium eius. In quo datur intelligi, quod Iudaei et persecutores fidei Christianae, et etiam carnales et mali Christiani eiicientur a regno caelesti. Matth. VIII, 11: multi venient ab oriente, et cetera. Apoc. XXII, 15: foris canes et venefici, et cetera. Ancilla etiam, id est malitia, et ipsum peccatum eiicietur. Eccli. XIV, 20: omne opus corruptibile in fine deficiet.
274. Finally, as to their right to the inheritance, they are distinguished by the authority of Scripture: cast out the bondwoman and her son (Gen 21:10). By this we are given to understand that the Jews and persecutors of the Christian religion, as well as carnal and evil Christians, will be cast out from the kingdom of heaven: many shall come from the east and the west and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 8:11); without are dogs and sorcerers (Rev 22:15). Furthermore, the bondwoman, i.e., vice and sin itself, will be cast out: every work that is corruptible shall fail in the end (Sir 14:20).
275. Et ratio horum subditur, quia non erit haeres filius ancillae cum filio liberae. In mundo enim isto boni sunt malis permixti, et mali bonis. Cant. II, 2: sicut lilium inter spinas, et cetera. Sed in aeterna patria non erunt nisi boni. Iudic. XI, 2 dicitur ad Iephte: haeres in domo patris nostri esse non poteris, quia de adultera natus es. Quam quidem libertatem habemus a Christo. Unde dicit qua libertate, et cetera. Io. VIII, 36: si filius vos liberaverit, vere liberi eritis.
275. The reason for all this is added, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. For in this world the good are mingled with the wicked and the wicked with the good: as the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters (Song 2:2). But in the eternal fatherland there will be only the good. In Judges it is said to Jephtah: you cannot inherit in the house of our father, because you are born of a harlot (Judg 11:2). This freedom we obtain from Christ; hence he says, by the freedom with which Christ has made us free: if therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36).
Caro et Spiritus
The Flesh and the Spirit
Circumcisio evacuit a Christo
Circumcision makes void of Christ
5:1 Qua libertate Christus nos liberavit. State, et nolite iterum jugo servitutis contineri. [n. 276]
5:1 By the freedom with which Christ has made us free. Stand fast and do not be held again under the yoke of bondage. [n. 276]
5:2 Ecce ego Paulus dico vobis: quoniam si circumcidamini, Christus vobis nihil proderit. [n. 279]
5:2 Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. [n. 279]
5:3 Testificor autem rursus omni homini circumcidenti se, quoniam debitor est universae legis faciendae. [n. 281]
5:3 And I testify again to every man circumcising himself, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. [n. 281]
5:4 Evacuati estis a Christo, qui in lege justificamini: a gratia excidistis. [n. 283]
5:4 You are made void of Christ, you who are justified in the law are fallen from grace. [n. 283]
276. Supra ostendit Apostolus, quod per legem non est iustitia hic vero reducit eos ab errore ad statum rectitudinis. Et
276. Above, the Apostle showed that justice is not through the law; here he leads them back from error to a state of rectitude.