Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:14

For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, " You shall love your neighbor as yourself ."
New American Standard Version

Adam Clarke Commentary

For all the law - Which respects our duty to our fellows, is fulfilled - is comprehended, in one word: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. See the notes on Matthew 19:19, and Romans 13:9; (note).

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For all the law is fulfilled … - That is, this expresses the substance of the whole law; it embraces and comprises all. The apostle of course here alludes to the Law in regard to our duty to our fellow-men, since that was the point which he particularly enforces. He is saying that this law would counteract all the evil workings of the flesh, and if this were fulfilled, all our duty to others would be discharged. A similar sentiment he has expressed in Romans 13:8-10; see the notes at that passage. The turn here in the discussion is worthy of particular notice. With great skill he changes the subject from a doctrinal argument to a strain of practical remark, and furnishes most important lessons for the right mode of overcoming our corrupt and sensual passions, and discharging our duty to others.

Thou shalt love thy neighbor … - See this explained in the note at Matthew 19:19.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Galatians 5:14

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The fulfilling of the law

I. Love is of perpetual obligation.

II. A true response to the obligation of neighbourly love will ensure the faithful discharge of every other obligation.

III. Therefore love is the fulfilliing of the law. For--

1. The law is the interpretation of love, and the definition and prescription of that which the infinite intelligence knows that love demands. But--

2. There is also the underlying assumption that in the absence of love the law cannot be truly fulfilled. Therefore--

3. When the principle of love, recognizing the authority of the teaching and guiding law, has restrained from every act of injury to its neighbour, and prompted to all sorts of kindly service for that neighbour’s good, then has the law been truly fulfilled. (W. Tyson.)

Love of our neighbour

I. Love is--

II. It exists as being--

1. Cherished in the heart.

2. Exhibited in the life.

III. The term neighbour is applicable and includes all men. All are God’s offspring.

IV. The degree of love here necessary.

1. As truly as thyself.

2. With the same love in kind and degree. (T. Robinson.)

I. The duty--Love.

1. The word.

2. The deed.

3. The truth.

II. Its object--Our neighbour.

1. Friend or foe.

2. At home or abroad.

III. Its measure--As thyself; therefore--

1. Sincerely.

2. Constantly.

3. Devotedly.

IV. Its excellence.

1. It fulfils the whole law.

2. Promotes universal happiness and peace. (J. Lyth., D. D.)

Self-love

Contracted affections, like self-love, may oppose their own end--private good. The supposed contrariety between benevolence and self-love may be only apparent.

I. Self-love as distinguished from other passions.

1. Self-love has an internal, other affections an external, object.

2. Such affections are distinct; from self-love, though part of ourselves.

3. All language recognizes this distinction. Self-love produces interested actions; particular affections, actions which are friendly.

4. Happiness does not consist in self-love, but in the wise gratification of all our affections.

5. Self-love often fails to produce happiness; it often produces anxiety, ands when in excess, misery. Thus self-love is distinct from particular affections, and so far from being our only rule, it often disappoints itself, especially when made one solitary principle.

II. Self-love as distinguished from benevolence. These are distinguished but not necessarily opposed.

1. From the nature of the affections themselves; self-love does not exclude particular affections, nor does benevolence.

2. From the course of action suggested by them.

3. From the temper of mind produced by them.

4. From Scripture, which inculcates benevolence, and yet recognizes self-love and appeals to it. (Bishop Butler.)

The love of our neighbour

I. The object of this affection. Love of our neighbour or benevolence seeks the good of others, and in its noblest form it is the perfection of God.

II. The proper extent of this affection. As ourselves: which implies--

1. That this love is to be of the same kind.

2. That our love for others is to bear a certain proportion to our love for ourselves.

3. That our love for others is equal to our love for ourselves, no ill consequences can ensue, for

III. The influence of this affection on our general temper. Its effect is--

1. To produce all charitableness.

2. To fit men for every relation and duty.

3. To moderate party feeling.

4. To prevent; or heal all strife.

IV. This affection includes all virtue.

1. Love prompts men to seek the greatest happiness of all, which is itself a discharge of all obligations.

2. Love even prompts to the practice of personal virtues (temperance, etc.); and certainly the neglect of these virtues implies a deficiency of love to others.

3. Apart from particular natures and circumstances, love includes all goodness; and--

4. Piety itself is the love of God, as an infinitely good Being. (Bishop Butler.)

We may love man because of what he is as man

God has stamped beauty on his material body, and given an higher grandeur to his mysterious mind. But there is a deeper and diviner reason for love. It is this: To love a man because he is a brother in Christ; because he is to some extent like Christ, and reflects His image upon those who come in contact with him. Here the grounds of love are moral, spiritual, and internal. (Thomas Jones.)
.

Neighbourly love

Thomas Samson was a working miner, and working hard for his bread. The captain of the mine said to him on one occasion, “Thomas, I’ve got an easier berth for you, where there is comparatively little to do, and where you can earn more money: will you accept it?” What do you think he said? Captain, there’s our poor brother Tregony. He has a sick body, and he is not able to work as hard as I am. I fear his toil will shorten his useful life. Will you let him have the berth?” The captain, pleased with his generosity, sent for Tregony, and gave him the berth, which he is now enjoying. Thomas was gratified, and added, “I can work a little longer yet.” (Sunday Magazine.)

Caring for others

The intensity of maternal affection was illustrated in the observation of a little boy, who, after reading Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” asked his mother which of the characters she liked best. She replied, “Christian, of course: he is the hero of the story.” The dear child responded, “Mother, I like Christiana best, because when Christian set out on his pilgrimage, he went alone; but, when Christiana started, she took the children with her.” Great love:--Edward I. of England having received a wound from a poisoned dagger, his wife Eleanor sucked out the poison, venturing her own life to save her husband’s.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Galatians 5:14". The Biblical Illustrator. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/galatians-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

The "law" in view here is the "law of Christ," mentioned again in Galatians 6:2. True, this was a commandment of the Law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18), but that is not the frame of reference applicable here. Christ himself had made the "first and great commandment" to be the "love of God, and love of one's neighbor" (Mark 12:29-31), nor has there ever been, from the morning of creation, the slightest relaxation of this primary obligation of all who were ever born on earth. In Romans 13:8-10, Paul outlined this principle more fully, specifying as specific components of this law of Christ such commandments as "Thou shalt not commit adultery ... nor steal ... nor kill ... nor covet, etc." There also, Paul indicated that love of the brethren is the heart condition that makes the honoring of such commandments possible for the Christian. As Huxtable said, "This passage in Romans is a lengthened paraphrase of the one before us."[15] For further exegesis on all of this, see my Commentary on Romans, Romans 13:9-10.

[14] Herman N. Ridderbos, op. cit., p. 195.

[15] E. Huxtable, op. cit., p. 250.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/galatians-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For all the law is fulfilled in one word,.... Not the ceremonial law, to which acts of mercy, kindness, and love are opposed, and from which they are distinguished; but the law of the decalogue given to Moses on Mount Sinai, and by him to the people of the Jews; and intends either only the second table of it, since only love to the neighbour is mentioned; or else the whole of it, both tables, since it is said, "all the law"; which by Christ is reduced to two heads, love to God, and love to the neighbour; and though the former is not here expressed, it is implied as a cause in the effect, for the love of God is the cause, and so the evidence of love to the neighbour; nor can there be the one without the other. The two tables of the law consist of עשרת הדברים, "ten words"; as theF19Exod. xxxiv. 28. Vid. Targum Onk. & Jon. in ib. Jews commonly call them, and we the decalogue, and yet they are fulfilled in one; that is, they are to be brought into such a compendium, reduced to such an head; or as the apostle in a parallel place says, they may briefly be comprehended in this saying, Romans 13:9. The Jews make the commandments of the law to be a very large number indeed, but at last reduce them to one, as the apostle here does,

"six hundred and thirteen commandments (they sayF20T. Bab. Maccot, fol. 23. 2. & 24. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 151. 1. ) were given to Moses----David came and reduced them to eleven, Psalm xv, Isaiah came and reduced them to six, Isaiah 33:15 Micah came and reduced them to three, Micah 6:8 Isaiah came and reduced them to two, Isaiah 56:1, Amos came and reduced them to one, Amos 5:4 but this being objected to, it is observed that Habakkuk came, וחעמידן על אחת, "and reduced them to one", Habakkuk 2:4 that is faith, as here the apostle reduces them to love:'

even in this, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: these words are taken out of Leviticus 19:18 and which R. Akiba saysF21In Jarchi in Lev. xix. 18. , agreeably with the apostle, whose contemporary he was, is כלל גדול בתורה, "the grand general rule in the law"; or the grand comprehensive of the law: the object of love, the "neighbour", signifies not only, as there the Jews explain it, those of their own people, or proselytes to their religion; but all sorts of men, whether in a natural, civil, or spiritual relation; and whether those that do us good or do us ill, friends or enemies: the measure or rule of love is, "as thyself"; and designs not an equality of affection, but a likeness of effects; that is, to do the same kind acts of love to others, one would choose to have done to ourselves: and this is the fulfilling of the law; that is, so far as a man loves aright, so far he fulfils the law; not that he does it perfectly, for man in his fallen state is unable to do that, for the law is exceeding broad, and reaches to thoughts, desires, and inclinations, as well as to words and deeds; and besides, love said to be the fulfilling of it, is imperfect; hence then there can be no justification by works of charity, nor by any services of men, which at best are imperfect; nor are they done in their own strength, and without the grace of God; nor is there any that can be said to have fulfilled the law perfectly but Christ, and to him must we look for a justifying righteousness. These words contain a reason engaging to love one another, and to do all kind of offices of love to each other; since it is a main and principal thing contained in the law, and to which that may be reduced.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/galatians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

13 For h all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

(13) He sets forth the love of our neighbour, as a mark unto which all Christians ought to refer all their actions, and to that he cites the testimony of the Law.

(h) This particle "all" must be limited to the second table of the ten commandments.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/galatians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

all the lawGreek, “the whole law,” namely, the Mosaic law. Love to God is presupposed as the root from which love to our neighbor springs; and it is in this tense the latter precept (so “word” means here) is said to be the fulfilling of “all the law” (Leviticus 19:18). Love is “the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2; Matthew 7:12; Matthew 22:39, Matthew 22:40; Romans 13:9, Romans 13:10).

is fulfilled — Not as received text “is being fulfilled,” but as the oldest manuscripts read, “has been fulfilled”; and so “receives its full perfection,” as rudimentary teachings are fulfilled by the more perfect doctrine. The law only united Israelites together: the Gospel unites all men, and that in relation to God [Grotius].

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
It is customary with Paul to lay the doctrinal foundation first and then to build on it the gold, silver, and gems of good deeds. Now there is no other foundation than Jesus Christ. Upon this foundation the Apostle erects the structure of good works which he defines in this one sentence: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

In adding such precepts of love the Apostle embarrasses the false apostles very much, as if he were saying to the Galatians: "I have described to you what spiritual life is. Now I will also teach you what truly good works are. I am doing this in order that you may understand that the silly ceremonies of which the false apostles make so much are far inferior to the works of Christian love." This is the hall-mark of all false teachers, that they not only pervert the pure doctrine but also fail in doing good. Their foundation vitiated, they can only build wood, hay, and stubble. Oddly enough, the false apostles who were such earnest champions of good works never required the work of charity, such as Christian love and the practical charity of a helpful tongue, hand, and heart. Their only requirement was that circumcision, days, months, years, and times should be observed. They could not think of any other good works.

The Apostle exhorts all Christians to practice good works after they have embraced the pure doctrine of faith, because even though they have been justified they still have the old flesh to refrain them from doing good. Therefore it becomes necessary that sincere preachers cultivate the doctrine of good works as diligently as the doctrine of faith, for Satan is a deadly enemy of both. Nevertheless faith must come first because without faith it is impossible to know what a God-pleasing deed is.

Let nobody think that he knows all about this commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." It sounds short and easy, but show me the man who can teach, learn, and do this commandment perfectly. None of us heed, or urge, or practice this commandment properly. Though the conscience hurts when we fail to fulfill this commandment in every respect we are not overwhelmed by our failure to bear our neighbor sincere and brotherly love.

The words, "for all the law is fulfilled in one word," entail a criticism of the Galatians. "You are so taken up by your superstitions and ceremonies that serve no good purpose, that you neglect the most important thing, love." St. Jerome says: "We wear our bodies out with watching, fasting, and labor and neglect charity, the queen of all good works." Look at the monks, who meticulously fast, watch, etc. To skip the least requirement of their order would be a crime of the first magnitude. At the same time they blithely ignored the duties of charity and hated each other to death. That is no sin, they think.

The Old Testament is replete with examples that indicate how much God prizes charity. When David and his companions had no food with which to still their hunger they ate the showbread which lay-people were forbidden to eat. Christ's disciples broke the Sabbath law when they plucked the ears of corn. Christ himself broke the Sabbath (as the Jews claimed) by healing the sick on the Sabbath. These incidents indicate that love ought to be given consideration above all laws and ceremonies.

For all the Law is fulfilled in one word.
We can imagine the Apostle saying to the Galatians: "Why do you get so worked up over ceremonies, meats, days, places, and such things? Leave off this foolishness and listen to me. The whole Law is comprehended in this one sentence, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' God is not particularly interested in ceremonies, nor has He any use for them. The one thing He requires of you is that you believe in Christ whom He hath sent. If in addition to faith, which comes first as the most acceptable service unto God, you want to add laws, then you want to know that all laws are comprehended in this short commandment, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' "

Paul knows how to explain the law of God. He condenses all the laws of Moses into one brief sentence. Reason takes offense at the brevity with which Paul treats the Law. Therefore reason looks down upon the doctrine of faith and its truly good works. To serve one another in love, i.e., to instruct the erring, to comfort the afflicted, to raise the fallen, to help one's neighbor in every possible way, to bear with his infirmities, to endure hardships, toil, ingratitude in the Church and in the world, and on the other hand to obey government, to honor one's parents, to be patient at home with a nagging wife and an unruly family, these things are not at all regarded as good works. The fact is, they are such excellent works that the world cannot possibly estimate them at their true value.

It is tersely spoken: "Love thy neighbour as thyself." But what more needs to be said? You cannot find a better or nearer example than your own. If you want to know how you ought to love your neighbor, ask yourself how much you love yourself. If you were to get into trouble or danger, you would be glad to have the love and help of all men. You do not need any book of instructions to teach you how to love your neighbor. All you have to do is to look into your own heart, and it will tell you how you ought to love your neighbor as yourself.

My neighbor is every person, especially those who need my help, as Christ explained in the tenth chapter of Luke. Even if a person has done me some wrong, or has hurt me in any way, he is still a human being with flesh and blood. As long as a person remains a human being, so long is he to be an object of our love.

Paul therefore urges his Galatians and, incidentally, all believers to serve each other in love. "You Galatians do not have to accept circumcision. If you are so anxious to do good works, I will tell you in one word how you can fulfill all laws. 'By love serve one another.' You will never lack people to whom you may do good. The world is full of people who need your help."

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website
Bibliographical Information
Luther, Martin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Martin Luther's Commentary on Galatians". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mlg/galatians-5.html. Zondervan. Gand Rapids, MI. 1939.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Even in this (εν τωιen tōi). Just the article with ενen “in the,” but it points at the quotation from Leviticus 19:18. Jews (Luke 10:29) confined “neighbour” (πλησιονplēsion) to Jews. Paul uses here a striking paradox by urging obedience to the law against which he has been arguing, but this is the moral law as proof of the new love and life. See also Romans 13:8, precisely as Jesus did (Matthew 22:40).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/galatians-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

All the law ( ὁ πᾶς νόμος )

More correctly, the whole law. Comp. Matthew 22:40.

Is fulfilled ( πεπλήρωται )

Has been fulfilled. Comp. Romans 13:8. The meaning is not embraced in, or summed up in, but complied with. In Romans 13:9, ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται issummed up, is to be distinguished from πλήρωμα hathfulfilled (Romans 13:8) and πλήρωμα fulfillment(Romans 13:10). The difference is between statement and accomplishment. See on do the law, Galatians 5:3.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/galatians-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

For all the law is fulfilled in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself — inasmuch as none can do this without loving God, 1 John 4:12; and the love of God and man includes all perfection. Leviticus 19:18.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/galatians-5.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Ибо весь закон. Здесь кроется скрытое противопоставление между увещеванием Павла и учением лжеапостолов. В то время как первые настаивали на одних обрядах, Павел попутно объявляет здесь, каковы истинные обязанности христиан. Итак, похвала любви направлена здесь на то, чтобы галаты уразумели: в ней кроется главный принцип христианского совершенства. Однако надо понять, почему все заповеди закона содержатся в повелении о любви. Ведь закон состоит их двух скрижалей, из коих первая учит почитанию Бога и долгу благочестия, а вторая – самой любви. Поэтому, абсурдным кажется делать из части целое. Одни объясняют это так, что даже в первой скрижали не заповедуется ничего, кроме любви к Богу от всего сердца. Однако Павел ясно говорит здесь о любви к ближнему. Итак, надобно поискать более надежное решение. Я признаю, что любовь к Богу выше любви к братьям, поэтому соблюдение первой скрижали больше значит для Бога, чем соблюдение второй. Однако благочестие – это нечто сокрытое от человеческих чувств, как невидим для людей и Сам Бог. И хотя обряды были установлены ради свидетельствования об этой любви, они не являются ее надежными доказательствами. Ибо часто бывает так, что больше всего настойчивы и упорны в соблюдении обрядов как раз лицемеры.

Итак, Бог желает видеть свидетельство нашей к Нему любви в любви к братьям, которую Он нам и заповедует. Вот почему любовь зовется совершенством закона, и не только здесь, но и в Послании к Римлянам 13:8. Не потому, что она выше поклонения Богу, а потому что является его подтверждением. Я уже говорил о том, что Бог невидим. Однако Он представляет Себя нам в лице братьев, и в их лице требует от нас того, что положено лично Ему. Итак, любовь к людям рождается только из страха и любви к Богу. Поэтому не удивительно, если следствие обозначает также и причину, признаком которой является. Значит дурно поступает тот, кто любовь к Богу отделяет от любви к людям.

Люби ближнего. Ибо любящий каждому воздает должное, никому не причинит несправедливости и не принесет вреда, но всем будет благотворить по мере своих сил. Ведь именно об этом и идет речь во второй скрижали. И этот же довод Павел приводит в Послании к Римлянам. Далее, под ближним здесь разумеются все смертные. Ибо всех нас объединяет общая природа, как учит об этом Исаия (58:7): Плоть свою не презирай. Священными узами единства в особенности должен служить вложенный в нас образ Божий. Посему здесь нет различия между другом и врагом. И не может порочность людей уничтожить природное право. Слова «как самого себя» означают следующее: подобно тому, как любой человек склонен любить себя по зову плоти, так и Бог заповедует нам любить своих ближних. Ибо извращают, а не истолковывают слова Господни те, кто (подобно всем сорбоннцам) заключает отсюда, что любовь к себе по порядку предшествует любви к ближнему. Ведь, говорят они, любое правило выше того, что этим правилом управляется. Они – откровенные ослы, не имеющие даже искорки любви. Ведь ежели любовь к себе была бы для нас правилом, отсюда следовало бы, что она правильна, свята и одобряется Богом. Но мы никогда не будем любить ближних искренно и по заповеди Господней, покуда не исправим должным образом любовь к себе. Эти два чувства противоположны и воюют друг с другом. Ведь любовь к себе порождает презрение и пренебрежение другими, рождает жестокость, является источником алчности, хищений, обмана и всех прочих общественных болезней. Она толкает нас к нетерпению, возбуждает в нас желание мстить. Итак, Господь требует от нас обратиться к подлинной любви.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Ver. 14. For all the law] i.e. All the second table. The Scripture often appropriateth the law to the second table, as Romans 13:8; Ephesians 6:2, &c. A man must exercise the first table in the second, the duties of his general calling in his particular calling. In the first commandment, saith Luther, the keeping of all the laws is enjoined, Primo praecepto reliquorum omnium observantia praecipitur. Neither can any one love his neighbour as himself, but he that loves God above all.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/galatians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here our apostle enforces the foregoing exhortation to love and serve one another, with a forcible argument or motive, namely, because love is the fulfilling of the law; that is,

1. it is the fulfilling of that part of the law which relates to our neighbour; all the moral law respecting our neighbour is fulfilled in that one word, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Or, 2. Love may be said to be the fulfilling of the law in general; for true and regular love to our neighbour supposeth our love to God, springeth from it, and is an evidence of it; yea, the love of our neighbour is the perfecting and completing of our love to God. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12.

Learn, That as love is a very comprehensive duty, comprising the inward affection as well as the outward action, so the word neighbour is of a very extensive consideration, and includes all persons, friend and foe, rich and poor, near and afar off; all that partake of humanity must be sharers in our charity: our inward affection and good-will must extend to all, though the outward expressions of it can reach but a very few. Thus the law is fulfilled in one word, when we love our neighbour as ourselves: not as we do (often) love ourselves, but as we should love ourselves, namely, with a wise and well-guided love.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/galatians-5.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

14.] See Romans 13:8-9. The rec. reading πληροῦται would mean merely ‘is in course of being fulfilled,’ whereas now it is, ‘is fulfilled:’ not ‘comprehended’ (Luth., Calv., Olsh., Winer, al.). “The question, how the Apostle can rightly say of the whole law, that it is fulfilled by loving one’s neighbour, must not be answered by understanding νόμος of the Christian law (Koppe), or of the moral law only (Estius, al.), or of the second table of the decalogue (Beza, al.), or of every divinely revealed law in general (Schött.);—for ὁ πᾶς νόμος cannot from the circumstances of the whole Epistle, mean any thing but ‘the whole law of Moses:’—but by placing ourselves on the lofty spiritual level from which St. Paul looked down, and saw all other commands of the law so far subordinated to the law of love, that whoever had fulfilled this command, must be treated as having fulfilled the whole.” Meyer: who also remarks that τὸν πλησίον σου applies to fellow-Christians; cf. ἀλλήλους below.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/galatians-5.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:14.(234) Reason assigned for the διὰ τῆς ἀγάπης κ. τ. λ. just said: for the whole law is fulfilled in one utterance; that is, compliance with the whole Mosaic law has taken place and exists, if one single commandment of it is complied with, namely, the commandment, “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” If, therefore, ye through love serve one another, the whole point in dispute is thereby solved; there can no longer be any discussion whether ye are bound to fulfil this or that precept of the law,—ye have fulfilled the whole law. “Theologia brevissima et longissima; brevissima quod ad verba et sententias attinet, sed usu et re ipsa latior, longior, profundior et sublimior toto mundo,” Luther, πᾶς νό΄ος (comp. 1 Timothy 1:16; Acts 19:7; Acts 20:18; Soph. El. 1244; Phil. 13; Thuc. ii. 7. 2, viii. 93. 3; Krüger, § 50. 11. 12) places the totality of the law in contradistinction to its single utterance. The view of Hofmann, that it denotes the law collectively as an unity, the fulfilment of which existing in the readers they have in the love which they are to show, falls to the ground with the erroneous reading, to which it is with arbitrary artifice adapted; and in particular, πᾶς νόμος means not at all the law as unity, but the whole law:(235) comp. also 2 Maccabees 6:5; 3 Maccabees 6:2 et al.; Herod. i. 111. In point of fact, the phrase does not differ from ὅλος νόμος, Matthew 22:40. Without alteration in the sense, the apostle might also have written πᾶς γὰρ νόμος, which would only have made the emphasis fall still more strongly on πᾶς.

πεπλήρωται] As to the reading, see the critical notes. The perfect denotes the fulfilment as complete and ready to hand, as in Romans 13:8. Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Estius, Baumgarten, Semler, Morus, Rückert, Matthies, Schott, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Wieseler, and others, have correctly explained πληροῦσθαι of compliance with the law; for the explanation comprehenditur (Erasmus, Castalio, Luther, Calvin, Rambach, Michaelis, Zachariae, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Winer, Usteri, Olshausen, Reiche, and others), that is, ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται (which, however, in Romans 13:9 is distinguished from πληροῦσθαι), is at variance with the universal usage of πληροῦν τὸν νόμον in the N.T. (comp. ἐκπιμπλάναι τ. νόμον, Herod. i. 199; so also Philo, de Abrah. I. p. 36). See Galatians 6:2; Matthew 3:15; Romans 8:4; Romans 13:8; Colossians 4:17. The thought is the same as in Romans 13:8, ἀγαπῶν τὸν ἕτερον νόμον πεπλήρωκε, and Romans 13:10, πλήρωμα νόμου ἀγάπη. Grotius interprets πληρ. in the same way as in Matthew 5:17 : “sicuti rudimenta implentur per doctrinam perfectiorem.” This interpretation is incorrect on account of πᾶς, and because a commandment of the Mosaic law itself is adduced.

ἐν τῷ] that is, in the saying of the law; see Winer, p. 103 [E. T. 135].

ἀγάπησεις] Leviticus 19:18. Respecting the imperative future, see on Matthew 1:21; and as to ἑαυτόν used of the second person, see on Romans 13:9; Jacobs, ad Anthol. IX. p. 447. On the idea of the ὡς ἑαυτ., see on Matthew 22:39. Comp. Cic. de Legg. i. 12: “Nihilo sese plus quam alterum homo diligat.” The neighbour is, for the Christian who justly (Matthew 5:17) applies to himself this Mosaic commandment, his fellow-Christian (comp. Galatians 5:13, ἀλλήλοις, and see Galatians 5:14), just as for the Jew it is his fellow-Jew. But how little this is to be taken as excluding any other at all, is shown not only by distinct intimations, such as Galatians 6:10, 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 2 Peter 1:7, but also by the whole spirit of Christianity, which, as to this point, finds its most beautiful expression in the example of the Samaritan (Luke 10); and Paul himself was a Samaritan of this kind towards Jews and Gentiles.

The question, how Paul could with justice say of the whole law that it was fulfilled by love towards one’s neighbour, is not to be answered, either by making νόμος signify the Christian law (Koppe), or by understanding it only of the moral law (Estius and many others), or of the second table of the Decalogue (Beza and others; also Wieseler; comp. Ewald), or of every divinely revealed law in general (Schott); for, according to the connection of the whole epistle, πᾶς νόμος cannot mean anything else than the whole Mosaic law. But it is to be answered by placing ourselves at the lofty spiritual standpoint of the apostle, from which he regarded all other commandments of the law as so thoroughly subordinate to the commandment of love, that whosoever has fulfilled this commandment stands in the moral scale and the moral estimation just as if he had fulfilled the whole law. From this lofty and bold standpoint everything, which was not connected with the commandment of love (Romans 13:8-10), fell so completely into the background,(236) that it was no longer considered as aught to be separately and independently fulfilled; on the contrary, the whole law appeared already accomplished in love, that is, in the state of feeling and action produced by the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22 f.; Romans 15:30), in which is contained the culminating point, goal, and consummation of all parts of the law.(237) The idea thus amounts to an impletio totius legis dilectione formata, by which the claim of the law is satisfied (Galatians 5:23). The view of Hofmann, that here the law comes into consideration only so far as it is not already fulfilled in faith; that for the believer its requirement consists in the commandment of love, and even the realization of this is already existing in him, so that he has only to show the love wrought in him by God—simply emanates from the erroneous form of the text and the wrong interpretation of Galatians 5:14 adopted by him. That the apostle, moreover, while adducing only the commandment of love towards one’s neighbour, does not exclude the commandment of love towards God (comp. Matthew 22:37 f.), was obvious of itself to the Christian consciousness from the necessary connection between the love of God and the love of our neighbour (comp. 1 John 4:20; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 8:3). Paul was induced by the scope of the context to bring forward the latter only (Galatians 5:13; Galatians 5:15).

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Galatians 5:14. πληροῦται, is fulfilled) Romans 13:9, note.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/galatians-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

The whole will of God, containing our duty towards men, is reducible to this one thing, love; for whatsoever God hath commanded us to do towards men, is but a brauch from this root, and must flow from love as its principle. Or, the whole will of God concerning man is fulfilled in this one thing of love; where love to God is not excluded, but supposed, as the root of our love to our neighbour; for our neighbour is to be loved for God. Thus Romans 8:8: He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law: and 1 John 4:20, the apostle proveth, that a man cannot love God unless he loveth his brother: and 1 Timothy 1:5: The end of the commandment is charity. Yet what the papists would conclude from hence, (viz. that it is possible for a man to fulfil the law because it is possible for him to love his neighbour), doth by no means follow; for the apostle {1 Timothy 1:5} telleth us, this love must proceed out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned. Mr. Calvin observeth well, that the apostle here mentioneth love to men as the fulfilling of the law, in opposition to the false teachers; who made the fulfilling of the law to lie in the observance of the ceremonies of the law, whereas the great thing which the law of God requireth is love, out of a pure heart, good conscience, and faith unfeigned. So that he who believeth with a faith unfeigned, and, out of that principle, with a pure heart and a good conscience, loveth his neighbour as himself, shall be by God accounted to have fulfilled the law; for love is the end of the law.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/galatians-5.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

весь закон Этика прежнего закона Ветхого Завета такая же, как и в Евангелии Нового Завета, о чем говорится в цитате из Лев. 19:18 (см. пояснения к Рим. 7:12; 8:4; ср. Иак. 2:8-10). Когда христианин действительно любит других, он выполняет все моральные требования бывшего прежде закона Моисея (Мф. 22:36-40; ср. Втор. 6:5; Рим. 13:8-10). Это основной принцип христианской свободы (ст. 6, 13).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/galatians-5.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

All the law; the requirements of the law with regard to our fellow-men.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Family Bible New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/galatians-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

Galatians 5:14. ῾ο γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ πεπλήρωται—“For the whole law has been fulfilled in one word.” Codices K and L have λόγος instead of νόμος-an evident blunder. D1 and F prefix ἐν ὑμῖν to ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ-a plain interpolation; Tertullian has in vobis. Marcion, as quoted by Epiphanius, substituted ὑμῖν for ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ, and he seems to have read the verse thus: ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος ἐν ὑμῖν πεπλήρωται; thus out of enmity against the Mosaic law, as some alleged, altering the apostle's meaning, and omitting ἐν τῷ that the following clause might not seem to be a quotation.

The reading πεπλήρωται is found in A, B, C, א, 17, 21, 23, 37, 39-71, in Marcion as quoted by Epiphanius, in Tertullian against Marcion, in Damascenus, and Augustine, who, however, often reads impletur. The reading is adopted by Lachmann and Tischendorf. πληροῦται of the Received Text has in its favour D, F, K, L, Chrysostom, Theodoret, and many of the versions, as the Claromontane and Vulgate, the Gothic, Coptic, and Syriac. It is also advocated by Reiche at some length. The external testimony for πληροῦται is not however preponderant, and it is impaired by the suspicion which Meyer alleges, that the mechanical copyist did not understand the full force of the perfect. The present, besides, would mean that the process of fulfilment was still going on; whereas the perfect signifies, has been and is still fulfilled, is in a fulfilled state, or has received its full complement of obedience in this: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” A. Buttmann, p. 172.

The position of the words ὁ γὰρ πᾶς νόμος is peculiar, but not without example: Acts 20:18; 1 Timothy 1:16. In γάρ the connection is manifest: by their love they were to be serving one another, and for this reason, that love by divine appointment was the fulfilment of the law. The phrase ἐν ἑνὶ λόγῳ means, in this one utterance or precept- πᾶς and ἑνί being in contrast. But,

1. The notion attached by Grotius to πληροῦται is peculiar: The law is filled up, or is fulfilled-sicut rudimenta implentur per doctrinam perfectiorem. That is, the law itself gets an addition which perfects it. But the apostle is not speaking of the law as a code which may receive any enlargement, but of the obedience which it exacts. How could the Mosaic law be made perfect by the addition of one of its own precepts, and how could πᾶς stand in such a statement as Grotius supposes?

2. Not a few give πεπλήρωται the meaning of-is summed up, comprehenditur, like ἀνακεφαλαιοῦται in Romans 13:9. This is the view of Luther, Calvin, Borger, Jaspis, Winer, Usteri, Reiche, and Olshausen. But though the meaning of the two phrases be not dissimilar, still the verb before us will not bear the signification thus assigned to it. Its proper meaning is distinctly to be given it, as other clauses of the New Testament show. So that we prefer-

3. The interpretation which gives the verb its common signification; and such is the view of Chrysostom and his followers, of Rückert, Matthies, Schott, De Wette, Meyer, Baumgarten-Crusius, and Wieseler. Thus Matthew 3:15, Romans 8:4, Colossians 4:17, Galatians 6:2, Acts 13:25, Romans 13:8. See under next clause.

The apostle adds-

᾿εν τῷ, ᾿αγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν—“is fulfilled in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The repetitive words ἐν τῷ are omitted by D1, F, the Itala and Vulgate, by Marcion, and many of the Latin fathers, as Jerome and Pelagius, but without any ground. σεαυτόν has the authority of A, B, C, D, E, K, א, etc.; ἑαυτόν is read only in F, G, L, and many cursives. It is, however, defended by Meyer, but now abandoned by Tischendorf. It is true that ἑαυτόν does not change the sense, for it may be used in the second person: Winer, § 22, 5; Matthew 3:9; John 12:8; Acts 13:46; Philippians 2:12; A. Buttmann, p. 99. But the external authority for σεαυτόν preponderates, and the accidental dropping of a σ after ὡς, ending with the same letter, may have given rise to the variation.

The quotation is from Leviticus 19:18, תּ לְרֵעֲךָָכָּ־מוֹךָà וַָאהַבְ, ָ translated in Septuagint as it is found here: “And thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” The future for the imperative is common in Hebrew. Thiersch, De Pent. p. 156, etc. The meaning of πλησίον in the quotation is somewhat different from the original, where it denotes brother Jews. Here its reference seems specially to fellow-Christians, and generally to fellow-men. See Augustine, De Doct. Christ. 1.31. The question, “Who is my neighbour?” was in its wide sense answered by Christ in the parable of the good Samaritan; and that answer is, Every one needing thy help, be his blood or creed what it may, is thy neighbour.

1. But what is meant by loving one's neighbour as one's self? It does not mean with the same amount, but with the same kind of love,-which realizes or acts out the spirit of brotherhood,-which seeks for a neighbour what you seek for yourself, and feels his welfare involved in your own. According to Gwynne, it comprises both “manner and degree.”

2. But how does this love of a neighbour fulfil the law? And the first question then is, What is the law referred to? Some, as Koppe, Brown, and Gwynne, suppose it the law of Christ; others, as Beza and Locke, the second table of the law; others, as Schöttgen and Rückert, the divine law generally; others only the moral law, as Estius and Baumgarten-Crusius; others, as Macknight, hold that “the whole law” signifies those parts of the Mosaic law which enjoined men's duty to their neighbour; and similarly Turner. It seems a certain and necessary conclusion, that the whole law is that very law to which the apostle has referred so often in a variety of aspects. In what other sense could those who had heard the epistle read understand it? What is said is true of the Mosaic law in itself, and as a representative portion of God's great legislation. Secondly, the difficulty yet remains, how loving one's neighbour fulfils the whole law? Did the whole law mean only the whole law in reference to our neighbour, it would be easily understood. Love of neighbour would fulfil it in its various precepts; for what but the want of love, what but selfishness, leads any one to kill, or commit adultery, or steal, or perjure himself, or covet? If he loved his neighbour as himself, no such breaches of the divine code would be possible for him-murder would be to him as suicide, and false witness like self-crimination. The great Teacher has said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30. But if one obeys the second commandment, which is “like unto” the first, he also obeys the first. For right love of neighbour implies the love of God, and is one of its tests or visible fruits. “If he love not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” No one can love his neighbour with the prescribed measure and character of love, unless he love God; for that neighbour is loved because he is God's child and bears His image. The love of the child presupposes as its root the love of the All-Father; obedience to the second commandment depends upon and comprises obedience to the first; and therefore love, in its inner spring, essence, and motive, fulfils the law. Disputes about that law were apparently running high among the Galatians, and were creating alienation, schism, and hatred; and yet the spirit of that law is love, showing itself in mutual service. Thus the apostle says, He who loves his neighbour νόμον πεπλήρωκε; and again, πλήρωμα οὖν νόμου ἡ ἀγάπη—“love is the fulfilment of the law.” Romans 13:8; Romans 13:10. And this is the royal law. James 2:8. Calvin says “that the doctors of the Sorbonne argued, that as the rule is superior to what it directs, so the love of ourselves must always hold the first rank.” This, he affirms, is not to interpret but to subvert our Lord's words, adding-asini sunt qui ne micam quidem habent caritatis.

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/galatians-5.html.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:14. For the entire law is (hath been and is) fulfilled in one word (even), in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The law commands supreme love to God (in the first table), and love to our neighbor as to ourselves (in the second table). Love to our neighbor springs necessarily from love to God, and is impossible without it. The teaching of Christ (Matthew 22:39) and of the Apostle (comp. Romans 13:8-9) ere perfectly agree. ‘The neighbor.’ In the Hebrew law, Leviticus 19:18, probably restricted to the Jewish people, but by Christ extended to the universal brotherhood of men. Comp. Matthew 5:43, and the parable of the good Samaritan, Luke 10:29.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/galatians-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Galatians 5:14. . MS. authority is decisive in favour of this perfect against the present . The perfect is likewise adopted in the parallel passage Romans 13:8, . For the very existence of love in the heart attests the completion of a previous inward act of the will.— . The single precept which follows embodies in itself the whole duty to man.— . The language of Leviticus 19:18 is here invested with the comprehensive force which Christ attached to the word neighbour by his teaching.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/galatians-5.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

the law, as far as it regards our duty to our neighbour, is contained in this text of the apostle; he says the same in his epistle to the Romans, Chap. xiii. He that loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/galatians-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

fulfilled. Greek. pieroo. App-125.

word. Greek. logos. App-121.

love. Greek. agapao. App-135. Quoted from Leviticus 19:18.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/galatians-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

All the law, [ ho (Greek #3588) pas (Greek #3956) nomos (Greek #3551)] - 'the whole law.' Love to God is pre-supposed as the root from which love to our neighbour springs. In this sense the latter precept ('word') is the fulfilling of "all the law." Love is "the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2; Matt. 7:12,22,39-40; Romans 13:9-10 ).

Is fulfilled, [Delta G f g, Vulgate, pleerootai (Greek #4137)] - 'is being fulfilled;' implying the process of fulfillment is going on. But 'Aleph (') A B C read, 'has been fulfilled [ pepleerootai (Greek #4137)] permanently and perfectly already (Romans 13:8). The law only united Israelites; the Gospel unites all men, and that in relation to God.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/galatians-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) This verse is another of the marked points of contact between this Epistle and that to the Romans. The theme of it is worked out at length in Romans 13:8-10.

Thy neighbour.—In the original command this appears to mean “thy fellow Israelite.” Our Lord, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, had given it a wider signification, and in the same wider sense it is used here.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/galatians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
all
Matthew 7:12; 19:18,19; 22:39,40; Romans 13:8-10; James 2:8-11
Thou
Leviticus 19:18,34; Mark 12:31,33; Luke 10:27-37; 1 Timothy 1:5
Reciprocal: Judges 8:2 - What;  Malachi 4:4 - the law;  Matthew 5:19 - do;  Matthew 5:43 - Thou;  Mark 9:50 - have peace;  Mark 10:19 - commit;  Luke 6:31 - GeneralJohn 13:34 - That ye love;  Romans 2:27 - if it fulfil;  1 Corinthians 9:21 - not;  1 Corinthians 16:14 - GeneralGalatians 5:13 - but;  Galatians 6:2 - Bear;  Ephesians 4:16 - edifying;  1 Thessalonians 3:12 - love;  James 5:9 - Grudge not;  1 John 2:7 - but;  1 John 4:21 - General2 John 1:6 - this is love

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/galatians-5.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Here we have quite a statement from a man that has just condemned the law and its keeping in a number of ways over several cases of proof and he suggests that loving your neighbor can fulfill the whole thing.

I suspect he wants to say, if you really want some relationship to the law then follow what the Lord told us to do - love our neighbor - neighbor being the church brethren (assumed from the context).

This could be a quote from the Old Testament, or it could have been something that Paul heard from the Lord while here on earth or even when Christ was teaching Paul. Luke 10:27 mentions it when the lawyer spoke to the Lord and in Matthew 19:19 it is mentioned by the Lord when he spoke to the rich young ruler. Leviticus 19:18 is the occurrence in the Old Testament.

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Bibliographical Information
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/galatians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14.Law’ love—From the law of Moses we are emancipated into the law of love. While that love inspires us to run in the way of the law, there is a perfect unity of love, law, and liberty. We act not from compulsion of law; we are in that sense not under law; because our heart freely and spontaneously runs with the law. Yet if, when our love grows cold, or when temptation appeals to our lower nature, we sin and grow discordant, the law revives and we die. It is when our hearts and will vary from the law, because not springing from love, that we feel first the slavery, and then the condemnation, of law.

Fulfilled—Not summed up, but obeyed and carried out. When Paul says that all the law is fulfilled in love to our neighbour, we think, contrary to most commentators, that he means all the duties of man to man. This is not “arbitrary” limitation, for it is in the sphere of mutual human duties (one another, Galatians 5:13; Galatians 5:15) that Paul is speaking. So, also, in Romans 13:8-11. Paul there enumerates several commandments, and then adds, that if there is any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Of course in that passage, as in this, we must understand Paul as speaking within the scope of the second table of the Decalogue. It is no doubt true, that the holy love which in a man fulfils one table, will also fulfil the other. But that is what Paul is here neither saying nor assuming.

Love thy neighbour as thyself—From this clause we may assume, 1. That it is right to love thyself. Self-love, not exaggerated into selfishness, is right. Such a renunciation of self as does not desire one’s own safety, happiness, wellbeing, present and eternal, forms no part of religion. 2. We owe duties to ourselves which others do not owe to us. We cannot demand that others should perform for us those duties which we owe to ourselves. Such a demand would, on our part, be selfish and tyrannical. 3. We owe relative duties to wife, husband, parents, children, which we cannot demand others to perform for us and in our stead. We must love our neighbour so well as not to demand that he perform for us those duties that belong to us. We must leave him time and liberty to perform those duties for himself and his which belong to him. 4. Reciprocally, what we do not rightfully, and by this constitution of things demand, of our neighbour, our neighbour cannot demand from us. We do not claim to love him better than ourselves; and if we so love him as to release him from performing these strictly personal duties for us, we may relieve ourselves from performing his for him. If we claim to reduce the scale of duties to be performed by ourselves for others, we must reduce the scale of duties we demand from others. We adopt thereby the rule that is right and fair for all.

This love is a moral principle. It has different degrees of the emotional in different temperaments. And when expressed in intellectual and practical terms it becomes the Golden Rule.

This principle of love needs the blessed Spirit of God to quicken it into a true life. Nevertheless the law of the second table is often, apparently, more completely fulfilled by natural men than the law of the first. There are men who, in practical life, are just, fair, and benevolent to their fellow-man, but who are little reverent, grateful, or devout to God, their true benefactor. Judged by man, they are all that is right; judged by God, what are they?

 

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/galatians-5.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

14. For the whole Law. “The Law of Moses is condensed in this one commandment: Love your fellowman as yourself. You cannot please God without doing this!!!” Compare Matthew 22:39; Romans 13:8; 1 John 4:20.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/galatians-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14.For all the law. There is a contrast in this verse, though not plainly stated, yet evidently to be understood, between Paul’s exhortation and the doctrine of the false apostles. While they insisted on ceremonies alone, Paul takes a passing glance of the actual duties and exercises of Christians. The present commendation of love is intended to inform the Galatians, that love forms the chief part of Christian perfection. But we must inquire in to the reason why all the precepts of the law are included under love. The law consists of two tables, the first of which instructs us concerning the worship of God and the duties of piety, and the second instructs us concerning the love of our neighbor; for it is ridiculous to make a part the same with the whole. Some avoid this difficulty by reminding us that the first table contains nothing more than to love God with our whole heart. But Paul makes express mention of love to our neighbor, and therefore a more satisfactory solution must be sought.

Piety to God, I acknowledge, ranks higher than love of the brethren; and therefore the observance of the first table is more valuable in the sight of God than the observance of the second. But as God himself is invisible, so piety is a thing hidden from the eyes of men; and, though the manifestation of it was the purpose for which ceremonies were appointed, they are not certain proofs of its existence. It frequently happens, that none are more zealous and regular in observing ceremonies than hypocrites. God therefore chooses to make trial of our love to himself by that love of our brother, which he enjoins us to cultivate. This is the reason why, not here only, but in the Epistle to the Romans, (Romans 8:8,) love is called “the fulfilling of the law;” not that it excels, but that it proves the worship of God to be real. God, I have said, is invisible; but he represents himself to us in the brethren, and in their persons demands what is due to himself. Love to men springs only from the fear and love of God; and therefore we need not wonder if, by a figure of speech, in which a part is taken for the whole, the effect include under it the cause of which it is the sign. But it would be wrong in any person to attempt to separate our love of God from our love of men.

Thou shalt love thy neighbor. He who loves will render to every man his right, will do injury or harm to no man, will do good, as far as lies in his power, to all; for what else is included in the whole of the second table? This, too, is the argument employed by Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (Romans 13:10.) The word, neighbor, includes all men living; for we are linked together by a common nature, as Isaiah reminds us, “that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh” (Isaiah 58:7.) The image of God ought to be particularly regarded as a sacred bond of union; but, for that very reason, no distinction is here made between friend and foe, nor can the wickedness of men set aside the right of nature.

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself ”. The love which men naturally cherish toward themselves ought to regulate our love of our neighbor. All the doctors of the Sorbonne (88) are in the habit of arguing that, as the rule is superior to what it directs, the love of ourselves must always hold the first rank. This is not to interpret, but to subvert our Lord’s words. They are asses, and have not even a spark of the love of their neighhour; for if the love of ourselves were the rule, it would follow that it is proper and holy, and is the object of the divine approbation. But we shall never love our neighbors with sincerity, according to our Lord’s intention, till we have corrected the love of ourselves. The two affections are opposite and contradictory; for the love of ourselves leads us to neglect and despise others, — produces cruelty, covetousness, violence, deceit, and all kindred vices, — drives us to impatience, and arms us with the desire of revenge. Our Lord therefore enjoins that it be changed into the love of our neighbor.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.