Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:7

You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?
New American Standard Version

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ye did run well - Ye once had the faith that worked by love - ye were genuine, active, useful Christians.

Who doth hinder - Who prevented you from continuing to obey the truth? Ye could only be turned aside by your own consent. St. Paul here, as in 1 Corinthians 9:24; (note), compares Christianity to a race. See the notes on the above text.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Ye did run well - The Christian life is often represented as a race; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:24-26. Paul means here, that they began the Christian life with ardour and zeal; compare Galatians 4:15.

Who did hinder you - Margin, “Drive you back.” The word used here ( ἀνακόπτω anakoptō) means properly to beat or drive back. Hence, it means to hinder, check, or retard. Dr. Doddridge remarks that this is “an Olympic expression, and properly signifies “coming across the course” while a person is running in it, in such a manner as to jostle, and throw him out of the way.” Paul asks, with emphasis, who it could have been that retarded them in their Christian course, implying that it could have been done only by their own consent, or that there was really no cause why they should not have continued as they began.

That ye should not obey the truth - The true system of justification by faith in the Redeemer. That you should have turned aside, and embraced the dangerous errors in regard to the necessity of obeying the laws of Moses.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/galatians-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Galatians 5:7

Ye did run well; who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the truth.

I. The concession--“Ye did run well.”

1. Christianity is like a race.

2. Christianity differs from a race.

II. The expostulation--“Who did hinder you?”

1. Satan (1 Thessalonians 2:18; Zechariah 3:1).

2. Heretical teachers.

3. Worldly influences. (T. Adams.)

Running

I. Christian people must be runners in the race of God, which teaches us--

1. That we must make haste without delay to keep God’s commandments (Psalms 119:32; Psalms 119:60).

2. That we must increase in all good duties.

3. That we must look neither right nor left, but forward (Philippians 3:1; Luke 9:62).

4. That we must allow no man to hinder our course.

II. Christian people must not only run, but run well.

1. The two feet by which we run are faith and a good conscience.

2. Some men are lame in one or other of their feet, and are therefore hindered.

III. Christian people must run from the beginning to the end, and finish their course so as to obtain life everlasting (1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:24). For which cause they must

1. Cherish a fervent desire of eternal life.

2. Maintain a daily purpose of not sinning. (W. Perkins.)

Hindrances

I. The truth demands unhindered obedience.

II. Hindrances to obedience to the truth are always to be expected. The Galatians were too hot to last. Hindrances raise from--

1. The discovery that Christianity is a daily, practical, quiet conformity to the will of Christ, arising out of steady love to Him.

2. The use of extraordinary means to revive the pleasure of spiritual sensation or sentimentality.

3. Revived zeal for the mere external performances of religion.

4. Worldly longings and sinful habits.

5. Listening to others sneering at religion.

III. The most disastrous consequences follow upon giving way to spiritual hindrances.

1. We lose our hold on saving truth.

2. Hindrances lead to the ruin of the soul.

IV. Incessant watchfulness is necessary against such hindrances. They may come--

1. Suddenly.

2. Insidiously.

3. Therefore be always on guard. (Hadji.)

Christian advancement

He only is advancing in life whose heart is getting softer, whose blood is getting warmer and brain quicker, and whose spirit is entering into living peace. (Ruskin.)

Hindrances--Riches

Atlanta, according to fable, was an athletic yet charming maiden, who challenged all her suitors to run with her in the race. She offered to become the wife of the conqueror, but attached death as a penalty to failure. Many competed with her, and lost their lives. At last Hippomenes, the judge, Overcome by her charms, offered himself for the contest. Unseen, he took three golden apples, and they sprang forth from the goal, and skimmed along the sand. Hippomenes felt himself failing, and threw down one of the golden apples to detain the virgin. She, amazed, stopped to pick it up, while he shot ahead. She soon overtook him, when he threw another apple, which she stopped to get. Again she shot by him. One apple remained, which he threw to one side; and she, selfconfident or undecided, turned aside for it; and he reached the goal, and won the prize. The golden apples defeated her, as they have many others, in the race of life.

Hindrances--Novel reading

At a prayer-meeting on March 9th Mr. J. M. Scroggie said:--“At the close of an evangelistic meeting in Inverness I saw a young lady at the church door looking very sad. I spoke to her, and she told me she was a backslider. She said she was converted ten years before, and for many years enjoyed fellowship with Christ; but she began novel-reading. For awhile she read novels and the Bible side by side, but in the end the novels had the best of it, and she laid aside the Bible. She had then no desire for private prayer, and grew cold in her Christian life. She moved from the part where she was then living, and went and sat under the preaching of Dr. Black, whose earnest words showed to her that she must either give up the novels or her hope of salvation. She added, ‘For some weeks I have been wretched: I pointed out to her suitable portions of God’s Word, and soon the light began to dawn upon her darkened soul. She went home, fell upon her knees, and after lengthened prayer, between two anti three o’clock in the morning, she was able to thank God for restoration and joy and peace in Christ.”

Hindered Christians

In the heathery turf you will often find a plant chiefly remarkable for its peculiar roots; from the main stem down to the minutest fibre, you will find them all abruptly terminate, as if shorn or bitten off, and the quaint superstition of the country people alleges, that once on a time it was a plant of singular potency for healing all sorts of maladies, and therefore the great enemy of man in his malignity bit off the roots, in which its virtues resided. The plant with this odd history is a very good emblem of many well-meaning but little-effecting people. They might be defined as radicibus praemorsis, or rather inceptis succisis. The efficacy of every good work lies in its completion, and all their good works terminate abruptly, and are left off unfinished. The devil frustrates their efficacy by cutting off their ends; their unprofitable history is made up of plans and projects, schemes of usefulness that were never gone about, and magnificent undertakings that were never carried forward; societies that were set ageing, then left to shift for themselves, and forlorn beings who for a time were taken up and instructed, and just when they were beginning to show symptoms of improvement were cast on the world again. (James Hamilton, D. D.)

Spiritual declension

When visiting a gentleman in England, I observed a fine canary. Admiring his beauty, the gentleman replied, “Yes, he is beautiful, but he has lost; his voice. He used to be a fine singer, but I was in the habit of hanging his cage out of the window, the sparrows came around him with their incessant chirping, gradually he ceased to sing and learned their twitter, and now all that he can do is to twitter, twitter.” Oh! how truly does this represent the case of many Christians; they used to delight to sing the songs of Zion, but they came into close association with those whose notes never rise so high, until at last, like the canary, they can do nothing but twitter, twitter. (D. L. Moody.)

Religious decline

This disease is one which, like that fatal malady which leaves the cheek beautiful and the eye brilliant whilst it rapidly undermines the strength, may allow external appearances to continue specious and flattering, though the work of death is fast going on within.

I. Signs of spiritual decline.

1. Remissness in spiritual exercises.

2. Want of interest in the conversion of others.

3. Worldliness.

4. Laxness in creed.

II. The dangers of this state.

1. Difficult to restore decayed affection. If the fire be once out, almost impossible to rekindle the embers.

2. The longer any one goes on in this state, the less likely he is to retrace his steps. (H. Melvill, B. D.)

Spiritual declension insidious

It is the insidiousness of the disease which makes it so difficult to cope with, and so likely to be fatal. The resemblance is continually forced upon us, between what our medical men call consumption, and what our theologians call spiritual declension. You know very well that the presence of consumption is often scarcely suspected, till the patient is indeed past recovery. The worm has been eating out the Core of life, and yet its ravages have been overlooked, for the victim has hardly seemed to languish, and if the hectic flush may have occasionally excited a parent’s fears, they have been quickly allayed by the assurance that no pain was felt, and by the smile that seemed prophetic of life And even when no doubt could exist in the minds of others as to the presence and progress of the malady, it is, we might almost say, one symptom of the complaint, that it flatters the patient, so that often he may be expecting recovery even on the day of his death. Now this disease, so insidious, so flattering, so fatal, is the exact picture of spiritual decline. There is, indeed, one point of difference; but that only makes the moral malady the more formidable of the two. It may be hard to make the consumptive patient see his danger, but that disease is apparent enough to others; friends and neighbours, however unsuspicious at the first, become well aware of the painful truth, as disease is more and more confirmed. But where there is spiritual decline, it may be unsuspected to the last. Ministers and kinsmen may perceive no difference in the man; equally regular in the public duties of religion, equally large in his charities, equally honourable in his dealings, equally pure in his morals. The fatal symptoms may be all internal; and because they are not such as to draw observation, there may be no warning given by ethers; and the sick man, not examining himself, and not finding that his religious friends suppose his health to be on the decline, will be all the more likely to be persuaded of his safety, and to learn his disease, alas! only from his death. See to it, then, whether or not there be amongst you this spiritual cankerworm. You may find out by the symptoms already indicated, whether or not you are in any measure ceasing to “run well.” But you must be honest and bold with yourselves. The case is not one for trifling. You are not to shrink from proving yourselves diseased. Go down into your hearts; try the pulse there; use the thermometer there. Stay not upon the surface, where a thousand things may preserve the appearance of animation, and induce what may pass for the glow of life and health; but descend into yourselves, search into yourselves, and be content with no evidence but that of an increasing love of God and an increasing hatred of sin. (H. Melvill, B. D.)

Hindrances to a godly life

Christian life fitly compared to a race: soon over, and followed by a prize to the winner: a hard struggle while it lasts. But how often does one who began by running well relax his efforts and fall back! What are the causes of this--the obstacles that come in the way of Christian endeavour?

I. Corrupt heart. This remains even in the best. It inclines us to sin; and unless we resist the inclination, sin gets the mastery over us, and we are slaves. One bad habit, thus contracted, is enough to ruin the soul. Our only safety lies in the help of God, He “will give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”

II. Bad example. We are greatly influenced by -what we see in others. Sometimes an influence is exerted purposely to corrupt us. At school. At home. Be careful in the choice of companions. Be stedfast in doing the right, even if alone.

III. Want of good guidance in youth. An un-favourable start is a terrible obstacle. But God will bestow His blessing on those “who love and fear Him, wherever their lot has cast them. (R. D. B. Rawnsley, M. A.)

Warning against defection

1. A Christian life is like a course or race from earth to heaven by the way of holiness and all commanded duties, especially the exercise of faith and love; therefore we ought to carry, ourselves as those who run in a race.

2. It is very ordinary for new converts to be carried on with a greater measure of affection and zeal, and to make swifter progress than others, or they themselves afterwards, when they are of older standing; the newness of the thing, the first edge which is upon their affections, not yet blunted by change of cases and multiplicity of duties, and God’s restraining for a time the violent assault of multiplied furious temptations until they be a little confirmed and engaged in His way, together with His affording a more plentiful measure of His sensible presence at first than afterwards, all contribute to this.

3. As those who once made good progress in the ways of God may afterwards sit up, their after-carriage proving no ways answerable to their promising beginnings; so, when it thus happens, it is matter of sad regret to beholders, and of deserved reproof to the persons themselves.

4. No satisfactory reason can be given for which any, who has once entered the way of truth and holiness, should alter his course, halt in it, or make defection from it, and thereby cause the ways of God to be evil spoken of (2 Peter 2:2).

5. When people fall remiss and lazy in giving obedience to known truth, they are upon the very brink and precipice of defection into contrary error, and of apostasy from the very profession of truth.

6. The serious consideration of a man’s former forwardness in the ways of God, and how little reason can be given for his present backsliding and remissness, is a strong incitement to do the first works, and by future diligence to regain “what he has lost by his former negligence. (James Fergusson.)

Obstructions to spiritual progress

What are the conditions which alone could frustrate the progress upon a river of a strong man and an expert rower, placed in a good and swift boat, and furnished with oars? Such an one might either not use the oars at all, or use only one of them; the result in each case would be practically much the same. In both cases the boat would drift with the stream; the only difference would be that, when one oar was vigorously applied, the boat, in addition to drifting, would move round and round in a circle, and might perhaps for a while mock the rower by the semblance of progress. In spiritual things there are those who are utterly careless and godless--dead alike to the claims of religion and to its hopes. These are they who, launched upon the stream of life, quietly drift down it, giving no thought to the life which is to come after, and seeking only to gather the few perishable flowers which grow upon the brink. And, among persons of more serious mind, there are those who are willing indeed that Christ should do all for them, but have never surrendered themselves to Him to be and do all that He requires. And there are those, on the other hand, who have surrendered the will to Christ, and are making efforts to obey Him; but because they perceive not this simple truth, that they cannot sanctify themselves, that sanctification from first to last, like justification, must be wrought for us by Him,--are constantly met by failures and disappointments, which a simple trust in Him to do all for them can alone remedy. Both these last are they who are rowing with one oar, moving indeed, but moving in a circle, and coming round always to the same point from which they started--deluding themselves for a while by the very fact of their motion with the idea that they are progressing, and often bitterly complaining, as soon as they are undeceived, that they are making no way. And, finally, there are those who are equally well contented to give all to Christ which they have to give (that is, their will), and to take all from Him which He has to give--sanctification and wisdom, as well as righteousness--who in one and the same act of faith have renounced both self-will and self-distrust. These are they who are rowing with two oars, and so realizing a true progress towards that haven where they would be. Show me a man who is both giving to Christ all he has to give, i.e., his will, and at the same time taking from Christ all Christ has to give, which is a perfect salvation from Sin’s guilt, power, and consequences; and I will show you a man who is growing in grace, and advancing daily in meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. And if we find ourselves not thus growing and advancing, and yet are certainly well-disposed persons of some seriousness of mind, it is, no doubt, that we are endeavouring to push the boat forward with only one of the oars, to reach that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord, with trust in Christ alone, or with self-surrender alone. Apply the other oar simultaneously, and the bark shall at once begin to cleave the water, as an arrow cleaves the air, straight forward. (Dean Goulburn.)

Want of perseverance

The leopard does not run after his prey like other beasts, but pursues it by leaping; and if at three or four jumps he cannot seize it, for very indignation he gives over the chase. They are some who, if they cannot leap into heaven by a few good works, will even let it alone; as if it were to be ascended by leaping, not by climbing. But they are most unwise, who, having got up many rounds of Jacob’s ladder, and finding difficulties in some of the uppermost--whether a-wrestling with assaults and troubles, or looking down upon their old allurements--even fairly descend with Demas, and allow others to take heaven. (T. Adams.)

Fickleness

Many are soon engaged in holy duties, easily persuaded to take up a profession of religion--and as easily persuaded to lay it down: like the new moon which shines a little in the first part of the night, but is down before half the night be gone; lightsome professors in their youth, whose old age is wrapped up in thick darkness of sin and wickedness. (W. Gurnall.)

What congregation cannot show some who have outlived their profession? Not unlike the silkworm which, they say, after all her spinning, works herself out of her bottom, and becomes a common fly. As the disciples said of the literal temple, “See what manner of stones are here,” so we once said of the spiritual temple; but now, not one stone upon another. (W. Gurnall.)

The nature of backsliding

Backsliding is the act of turning from the path of duty. It may be considered as--

1. Partial, when applied to true believers, who do not backslide with the whole bent of their will.

2. Voluntary, when applied to those who, after professing to know the truth, wilfully turn from it and live in the practice of sin.

3. Final, when the mind is given up to judicial hardness. Partial backsliding must be distinguished from hypocrisy, as the former may exist when there are gracious intentions on the whole; but the latter is a studied profession of appearing to be what we are not. (C. Buck.)

Signs of backsliding

Among the evidences of backsliding are these--

1. Indifference to prayer and self-examination.

2. Trifling or unprofitable conversation.

3. Neglect of public ordinances.

4. Shunning the people of God.

5. Associating with the world.

6. Neglect of the Bible.

7. Gross immorality. (C. Buck.)

Gradual back-sliding

We warn you against little concessions, little acquiescences, little indulgences, little conformities. Each may only destroy the millionth part of the velocity; but this destruction of a millionth has only to be perpetually repeated, and the planet’s march is arrested, and its lustre is quenched. If vital religion be driven out of the soul, it will be as the Canaanites were to be driven before the Israelites, “by little and little.” (H. Melvill, B. D.)

At Preston, at Malines, at many such places, the lines go gently asunder; so fine is the angle, that at first the paths are almost parallel, and it seems of small moment which you select. But a little farther one turns a corner, or dives into a tunnel; and, now that the speed is full, the angle opens up, and, at the rate of a mile a minute, the divided convoy flies asunder; one passenger is on the way to Italy, another to the swamps of Holland; one will step out in London, the other in the Irish Channel. It is not enough that you look for the better country; you must keep the way; and a small deviation may send you entirely wrong. (J. Hamilton, D. D.)

Spasmodic religion

Nay, sometimes those motions in natural men under the gospel may be more quick, and warm, and violent for a time than the natural motion of this habit; as the motion of a stone out of a sling is quicker than that of life, but faints by degrees, because it is from a source impressed, not implanted and inherent in the nature. They are just like water heated by the fire, which has a fit of warmth, and may heat other things; but though you should heat it a thousand times, the quality not being natural, will vanish, and the water return to its former coldness. But the new heart being in the new creature causes him to walk in the statutes of God, not by fits and starts, but with an uniform and harmonious motion. (S. Charnock.)

Hindrances

Various hindrances

Never censure indiscriminately; admit and praise that which is good, that you may the more effectually rebuke the evil. Paul did not hesitate to praise the Galatians, and say, “Ye did run well.” It is a source of much pleasure to see saints running well. To do this they must run in the right road, straight forward, perseveringly, at the top of their pace, with their eye on Christ, etc. It is a great grief when such are hindered or put off the road. The way is the truth, and the running is obedience; men are hindered when they cease to obey the truth. It may be helpful to try and find out who has hindered us in our race.

1. We shall use the text in reference to hindered believers.

I. You are evidently hindered.

2. Who has hindered you?

(a) Did you not overload yourself with worldly care?

(b) did you not indulge carnal ease?

(c) Did you not by pride become self-satisfied?

(d) Did you not neglect prayer, Bible reading, the public means of grace, the Lord’s Table, etc.? Mend your ways, and do not hinder your own soul.

(e) Did not false teachers do it, as in the case of the Galatians? If so, quit them at once, and listen only to the gospel of Christ.

3. You must look to it, and mend your pace.

II. We shall use the text in reference to delaying sinners.

1. You have sometimes been set a-running.

2. What has hindered you?

3. The worst evils will come of being hindered.

Conclusion:

1. God have mercy on hinderers. We must rebuke them.

2. God have mercy on the hindered. We would arouse them. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A wrong maxim

Cecil says that some adopt the Indian maxim, that it is better to walk than to run, and better to stand than to walk, and better to sit than to stand, and better to lie than to sit. Such is not the teaching of the gospel. It is a good thing to be walking in the ways of God, but it is better to be running--making real and visible progress, day by day advancing in experience and attainments. David likens the sun to a strong man rejoicing to run a race; not dreading it and shrinking back from it, but delighting in the opportunity of putting forth all his powers. Who so runs, runs well. (The Christian.)

A difficult race

The Christian race is by no means easy. We are so let and hindered in running “the race that is set before us,” because of--

1. Our sinful nature still remaining in the holiest saints.

2. Some easily-besetting sin (Hebrews 12:1).

3. The entanglements of the world, like heavy and close-fitting garments, impeding the racer’s speed.

4. Our weakness and infirmity, soon tired and exhausted, when the race is long or the road is rough. (G. S. Bowes.)

Hinderers

It is possible that fellow-professors may hinder. We are often obliged to accommodate our pace to that of our fellow-travellers. If they are laggards we are very likely to be so too. We are apt to sleep as do others. We are stimulated or depressed, urged on or held back, by those with whom we are associated in Christian fellowship. There is still greater reason to fear that in many eases worldly friends and companions are the hinderers. Indeed, they can be nothing else. None can help us in the race but those who are themselves running it; all others must hinder. Let a Christian form an intimate friendship with an ungodly person, and from that moment all progress is stayed; he must go back; for when his companion is going in the opposite direction, how can he walk with him except by turning his back upon the path which he has formerly trodden? (P.)

A sailor remarks

“Sailing from Cuba, we thought we had gained sixty miles one day in our course; but at the next observation we found we had lost more than thirty. It was an under-current. The ship had been going forward by the wind, but going back by the current.” So a man’s course in religion may often seem to be right and progressive, but the under-current of his besetting sins is driving him the very contrary way to what he thinks. (Cheever.)

Hindrances to religious life

I propose to discuss some of those causes which prevent growth and development of religious life. I shall not stop to illustrate the evil influences of overt and known wickedness. I shall select, therefore, only some less apparent, but nevertheless influential causes which produce barrenness in Christian life. Let me say, preliminarily, that there are a great many persons who seem to need no special religious teachings, for one of two opposite reasons. There is one class who are so evenly adjusted in their faculties, so well balanced in mind constitutionally, and who from birth are so Christianly educated, and who are so genially affected by parents, friends, and social connections, and who have all the appointments of society so fitted round about them, that when they become Christians their life seems to be a tranquil and almost unresisting progress. Then there is another large class to whom I do not speak particularly, namely, those persons who have--I know not how, and they know not how--made a profession of religion;--I know not why, and they know not why;--but still they have done it, and are in the Church; and that is about the whole of it. Other people have their difficulties about prayer; they have none, for they do not pray. Other people have their difficulties about the sacred Scriptures; they do not read the Scriptures enough to be troubled by them. The Bible seldom troubles people who do not meddle with it. Other people have their temptations; they have none that they recognize as such. They have temptations, but they yield so easily to them that they are not disturbed by them. Those who have no religious conscience, and whose life is one of quiet compliance with circumstances as they are--it is not particularly to such that I speak to-day. The third class--which is the great middle class--consists of persons who are professedly Christian people, but who have great and almost unceasing religious difficulties.

I. The want of general technical religious culture is one obvious cause of confusion and distress. Men may enjoy little for the very same reason that some farmers reap little--because they sow little and till little. This is the natural poverty which comes from the want of religious thrift. The tendency of our age and nation is particularly to external activity, not to internal meditations. This excessive activity carries us away, and exhausts our susceptibility. How can it be-but that Christians should be weak, when there is so much to stimulate, and so little to feed them?

II. But, secondly, the endeavours which men are continually making to live a religious life while using only a part of their natures, will explain a great many difficulties which Christians experience. It is to be assumed that man is a symmetrical being in his Divinely created nature; that every part of that nature was needed, or God would not have given it, and that no man can become what God meant, who does not develop every part of himself according to the spirit of Christianity. To take every faculty or power God has given you, and bring it under Divine influences, and make it act right--that is being a Christian; and all partialisms, by just so much as they are partialisms, are, therefore, misunderstandings or misappropriations of Christian truth. Let us specify a few. First, our religion must always aim at a good and healthy condition of the body. Health is a Christian grace. It is the mother of almost all the Christian graces; so much so that in respect of multitudes, although it is not difficult for them to exercise Christian graces when they are perfectly healthy, it is almost impossible for them to do it when they are not healthy. What they supposed to be an infernal temptation was the protest of nature in themselves. Our appetites and passions are all of them to be controlled, used, sanctified--not killed. So all our social affections must be used, Christianized, and made to be a part of our Christian life. They are not to be regarded as alternatives, but as parts of true Christian experience. It is sometimes said that we are to distinguish between the natural affections and the gracious ones. I do not know of any gracious affections that are not natural ones. Natural affections, rightly directed, become, by that very rectitude, gracious. Your store, your office, your shop, your family, your neighbourhood, the street--these are not so many things that you must resist for the sake of grace. On the contrary, you must deal with them as the means of grace.

III. Thirdly, men are left in an ungrowing and barren state from an ignorance of the various influences or instruments by which religious feeling may be cultivated. Let me mention a few of those things which observation and experience have taught me to be instrumental in promoting religious feeling. I have mentioned already, and shall mention again only for the sake of completeness, secret religious exercise, as one of the things that promote Christian feeling. I will mention, next, sympathy with other minds. I have never seen a tree whose leaves sung, unless, somehow, the wind was caused to play among them; but the leaves of any tree will sing when the wind does play through them. And there are a great many hearts that do not sing because nothing moves them to sing. Then there are some persons who seem so constituted that their religious feelings almost never flow so readily as when they act for other people. They are persons of great constitutional benevolence. They make benevolence their conscience. When they go forth into life, benevolence is their guiding principle. Such persons oftentimes say, “I never can have deep religious feelings by ordinary means; but when such a man was in trouble, and told me of the wants of his family--his wife and children--and I took my hat and went home with him, and mingled my tears with theirs, it did seem as if I was not a hand-breadth from heaven. I never had such a sense of the goodness of God as I had then.” Probably you were never so near like God as you were then. No wonder you felt near Him. You are not far from Him when you get so near Him as to give your time and energies for the good of His needy creatures. There are many persons who are very little affected by social sympathy, or music, or art, or any of the other influences to which I have referred, but who would be amazingly lifted up if they could have certain doubts which they have concerning their religious safety purged away. Oh, how many different ways there are by which God comes into the soul! The great God, so prolific of thought, so endless in diversity of function, has a million ways by which to express Himself. He, in His power, works on the soul, not through one thing alone--not alone through steeple, nor meetinghouse, nor lecture-room, nor closet, though often and much through these; but through all things--through the heavenly bodies, and animals, and insects, and worms, and clouds, and mountains, and oceans, and rivers, and the productions of the earth; and not by these only, but by everything that affects man’s comfort and happiness in this life--by store and anvil, and plane and saw, and hospital and poor-house, and music and forms of beauty, and sweet feelings and trials, and sufferings and victories over temptation, and light and darkness, and joy and sorrow, and ten thousand unnameable subtle influences that touch the human soul; by all these God reveals His greatness and goodness to us, that He may win us to Himself, and make us heirs of immortality; and, blessed be His name, not to us alone who are here, but to every one, everywhere! (H. W. Beecher.)

Obeying the truth

To obey the truth is to feel and act agreeably to it. It implies such a state of the heart, and such a comformation of conduct, as comports with the nature of the things revealed and believed. As, for example, the truth relates in part to the character of God, which it represents to be infinitely excellent and amiable. To obey that truth is to admire and love the Divine character, for those are the feelings appropriate to it. Is it the greatness of God that is the object of contemplation? The duty is veneration. Is it His sovereignty? The duty is submission. Is it His law? The duty is compliance with all its requisitions. Does the truth relate to the subject of sin? Then the duty is repentance. Does it relate to the Saviour? The duty is faith and trust in Him. We may learn hence the high importance, yea, necessity of apprehending and believing the truth. It cannot otherwise be obeyed. Obedience to truth not known or not credited is impossible. We may learn also the insignificance and worthlessness of mere faith and knowledge. To believe there is a God and not love Him; to have a knowledge of Christ, without trust in Him, or of sin without repenting of it, what is that worth? The obedience of the truth is religion. There can be no better definition of it, unless it be one which we find in Scriptures, viz., this “faith that worketh by love.” There is no other religion worth anything, or availing aught,but that which answers to this description. The obedience of error is not religion, nor is the belief of truth religion. Sincerity is not religion, nor is orthodoxy, but the obedience of the truth. To obey the truth is not anything that can be done at once, or that requires to be done only at stated periods. Religion is not a job, which, being done, there is an end of it; not a mere arrears to be paid up, or a mere score to be wiped off. The truth must be perseveringly obeyed. There is such a thing (would there were not) as declension in religion. The Galatians declined. Paul heard of it, and wrote to them on the subject. How melancholy it is that men should turn away from God, that they should grow worse, as they get nearer the grave and the judgment! If we see no indications of declension in you, yet He who sees not as man sees may. In some of you, however, even we do see them. There is a visible diminution of interest in the things of religion. And I ask you, professor of religion, what it was that hindered you. What first drew you away; how did this declension commence; and where did it commence, and how did it first manifest itself? What sin did you fall into, what duty omit, what was it that you suffered yourself to become inordinately attached to? And you who neither profess nor possess religion, I ask you what hindered you from becoming a penitent disciple of Christ at that time to which I have alluded. Although the hindrance in every case is not precisely the same, yet there is a passage of Scripture which is applicable to every case. “A deceived heart hath turned him aside.” Whenever one either totally or partially departs from the living God, it is because of an evil heart of unbelief that is in him. And there is another passage which applies perhaps to every case of defection. “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” That phrase, the “world,” is a very comprehensive one. It includes everything which may be preferred to God. It includes persons and things. It comprehends profit, pleasure, and honour; your business, your profession, your family. One loves the world in this aspect of it, another in that. In what shape or phase of it, it drew away and destroyed Demas, I do not know. By what one of its many chains it binds you, I cannot tell; perhaps by one of such delicate materials, and so finely drawn, that it is scarcely, if at all, perceptible. (W. Nevins, D. D.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Galatians 5:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/galatians-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Ye were running well; who hindered you that ye should not obey the truth?

In all Paul's writings, he sought to lead people into "the obedience of faith"; and his writings in Galatians do not deviate from that invariable purpose.

Who did hinder you ... The original meaning of the word translated hinder is to break up a road, as an army before the advance of hostile forces."[10] A paraphrase of this metaphor, is "Who tore up the race track in front of you?"

That ye should not obey the truth ... "Some of the Galatians had stopped obeying the truth, as taught by Paul and the other apostles, perhaps neglecting to observe the Lord's supper and failing to do other things which have been distinctive of the Christian life in all ages. The clause here shows that this disobedience was a prime concern of the apostle's. Note, particularly, that it is not said that they had stopped "believing in Christ," for there is no evidence that such was the case. "Faith only" for them was as impotent as it is today. By their failing into Jewish observances, they were neglecting and had stopped obeying the teachings of Christ.

ENDNOTE:

[10] William Sanday, Ellicott' s Commentary on the Holy Bible, Galatians (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1959), p. 456.

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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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

Ye did run well,.... In the Christian race; when they first set out in a profession of religion, they embraced and held fast, and were zealously attached to the truths of the Gospel; they were in the lively exercise of grace on its proper object, and very diligent in the discharge of duty; they made great proficiency in the knowledge of divine things, and ran with cheerfulness and without weariness in the ways of Christ, and in the paths of truth and holiness. The metaphor is taken from runners in a race; see 1 Corinthians 9:24 so far this is said to their commendation, but this should have been persisted in:

who did hinder you; not the apostle, or any of his brethren; no, they encouraged them to go on, and gave them all the assistance they could, to help them forward; but it was the false apostles that hindered them, who did all they could to remove them to another Gospel, and turn them aside out of the right way:

that ye should not obey the truth? of the Gospel, particularly the truth of justification by the righteousness of Christ; which they did not so cheerfully embrace, and show such a respect unto, as they had formerly done; see Galatians 3:1, and which he says not by way of inquiry, but of complaint and concern; and with some indignation against the persons who had been the means of hindering their Christian progress, and with a view to reclaim the Galatians if possible.

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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.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/galatians-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

6 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

(6) Again he chides the Galatians, but with both an admiration and a praise of their former race, so that he may make them more ashamed.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/galatians-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Translate, “Ye were running well” in the Gospel race (1 Corinthians 9:24-26; Philemon 3:13, Philemon 3:14).

who, etc. — none whom you ought to have listened to [Bengel]: alluding to the Judaizers (compare Galatians 3:1).

hinder — The Greek means, literally, “hinder by breaking up a road.”

not obey the truth — not submit yourselves to the true Gospel way of justification.

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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 5:7". "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

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
This is plain speaking. Paul asserts that he teaches the same truth now which he has always taught, and that the Galatians ran well as long as they obeyed the truth. But now, misled by the false apostles, they no longer run. He compares the Christian life to a race. When everything runs along smoothly the Hebrews spoke of it as a race. "Ye did run well," means that everything went along smoothly and happily with the Galatians. They lived a Christian life and were on the right way to everlasting life. The words, "Ye did run well," are encouraging indeed. Often our lives seem to creep rather than to run. But if we abide in the true doctrine and walk in the spirit, we have nothing to worry about. God judges our lives differently. What may seem to us a life slow in Christian development may seem to God a life of rapid progression in grace.

Who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
The Galatians were hindered in the Christian life when they turned from faith and grace to the Law. Covertly the Apostle blames the false apostles for impeding the Christian progress of the Galatians. The false apostles persuaded the Galatians to believe that they were in error and that they had made little or no progress under the influence of Paul. Under the baneful influence of the false apostles the Galatians thought they were well off and advancing rapidly in Christian knowledge and living.

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Luther, Martin. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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

Who did hinder you? (τις υμας ενεκοπσενtis humas enekopseṅ). First aorist active indicative of ενκοπτωenkoptō to cut in on one, for all the world like our use of one cutting in on us at the telephone. For this late verb see note on Acts 24:4; note on 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Note the singular τιςtis There was some ringleader in the business. Some one “cut in” on the Galatians as they were running the Christian race and tried to trip them or to turn them.

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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 5:7". "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

Ye did run ( ἐτρέχετε )

Better, as giving the force of the imperfect, ye were running. You were on the right road, and were making good progress when this interruption occurred. Comp. Galatians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philemon 3:14; 2 Timothy 4:7.

Well ( καλῶς )

Bravely, becomingly, honorably to yourselves and to the church. Often in Paul. See Romans 11:20; 1 Corinthians 7:37, 1 Corinthians 7:38; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 4:17; Philemon 4:14.

Did hinder ( ἐνέκοψεν )

See on 1 Peter 3:7. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:18; Romans 15:22.

Obey the truth ( ἀληθείᾳ πείθεσθαι )

The exact phrase N.T.oDisobey ( ἀπειθοῦσι ) the truth, Romans 2:8: obedience ( ὑπακοή ) of the truth, 1 Peter 1:22.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Ye did run well — In the race of faith. Who hath hindered you in your course, that ye should not still obey the truth?

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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

Вы шли хорошо. С упреком за нынешнее отпадение апостол умышленно соединил похвалу за прошлое подвизание, дабы галаты, устыдившись, тем быстрее вернулись на истинный путь. Удивительно, что он спрашивает, кто именно увел их с правильного пути, что делает, по-видимому, для еще большего их устыжения (Стыда). Слово πειθεσθαι я снова предпочел перевести как «покоряться», а не как «верить», поелику галаты, приняв сначала Евангелие в чистоте, затем были уведены от должного послушания.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Ver. 7. Ye did run well] Why do ye now stop or step back? Tutius recurrere quam male currere, was the Emperor Philip’s symbol. (Reusner Symb.) Better run back than run amiss; for in this case, "He that hasteth with his feet, sinneth," Proverbs 19:2. But to run well till a man sweats, and then to sit down and take cold, may cause a consumption.

Who did let you?] Gr. "Threw a block in your way," εγκοπτειν, transversum aliquid struere.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/galatians-5.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Galatians 5:7

Spiritual Declension.

I. The first test to which we would bring the professing Christian who is anxious to determine whether he is ceasing to run well is that furnished by secret prayer and the study of God's word. If any one is beginning to abbreviate the seasons of private devotion, reading a chapter or two less of the Bible, spending fewer moments in meditation, in self-examination, and in supplication for others and himself, and all not because he has less time at his disposal, but less will to devote to such occupations, let that man look at once to his state. He did run well; who has hindered him? But take other symptoms, equally decisive, though perhaps more easily overlooked. There is no feeling stronger in the genuine Christian than that of desire to promote God's glory in the salvation of his fellow-men. But suppose him to become comparatively indifferent to the diffusion of the Gospel, who will say that there is no abatement of the running well? who will deny the spiritual declension?

II. Note the dangers of the state which is thus described. We cannot but suppose that the Spirit is more displeased when neglected by one on whom He has effectually wrought, than when resisted by another with whom He has striven in vain. And the lukewarm man is useless to himself and to others: to himself, for such a religion as his will never save him; to others, for such a religion will not enable him to be instrumental in the saving of his fellow-men. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 1561.

I. Christendom is full of Christians with no outstanding sin nor yet with one grace; whose whole life is one blank; with whom man finds no fault, and in whom God finds no fruit; who day by day are gaining nothing, and so are day by day losing everything; on whom nothing makes any impression, because they have become dulled to all; unpained, but it is the painlessness of a mortified wound; undisturbed, but it is a death-sleep; in repose, because Satan is no longer restless when he has entered into the house whence he was cast out, and has taken up his abode there.

II. Others, again, lose grace, in that they expose themselves to the temptations of pleasure, wherein they before lost it. Sin finds entrance more easily where it has found it before. The will is weakest there, temptation strongest. People do not mean to fall into the sin of which they have repented, but tinder catches any spark. The soul which knows sin may be kindled by anything which recalls the past sin. It is an awful gift to have recovered grace; it is a precious mercy of God to be again entrusted with that grace which we had before forfeited, but the more precious it is, the more carefully it is to be guarded. Carelessness before a fall may be ignorance, passion, infirmity of nature; carelessness after you have been restored from falling is sin against light: it is to reject the mercy of God in Christ.

III. Another frequent cause of forfeiting the grace of God is that people think that it will abide with them as a matter of course, and are not watchful to retain it; and so, as a matter of course, they lose it. It is part of love to be watchful, not to do what Christ forbids, to be alive to every wile of Satan which might even for a moment separate us from the love of Christ.

E. B. Pusey, Parochial and Cathedral Sermons, 61.

References: Galatians 5:7.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ix., p. 349; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 314; Preacher's Monthly, vol. viii., p. 135. Galatians 5:11.—J. G. Rogers, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii., p. 22; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ii., p. 93. Galatians 5:11-26.—Ibid., vol. iii., p. 80. Galatians 5:12.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. viii., p. 375. Galatians 5:13.—E. Johnson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiv., p. 324; D. Burns, Ibid., vol. xxv., p. 88; H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. xxx., p. 56; W. G. Horder, Ibid., vol. xxxiii., p. 24. Galatians 5:13-18.—Ibid., vol. vi., p. 243. Galatians 5:14.—H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. vii., p. 131. Galatians 5:14-16.—Ibid., vol. x., p. 186. Galatians 5:15, Galatians 5:16.—H. Scott-Holland, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 284; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 156; J. Edmunds, Sixty Sermons, p. 359. Galatians 5:16—H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, The Life of Duty, vol. ii. p. 121; C. Kingsley, Village Sermons, p. 43; S. Pearson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. iv., p. 139; H. S. Paterson, Ibid., vol. xv., p. 309; Phillips Brooks, Sermons, p. 353. Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:17.—E. White, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. iv., p. 157; C. Kingsley, Town and Country Sermons, p. 422; F. D. Maurice, Sermons, vol. i., p. 263; T. Arnold, Sermons, vol. iv., p. 54.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/galatians-5.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Galatians 5:7. Who did hinder you, &c.— The word ' Ανεκοψε, rendered hinder, is an olympic expression, answerable to the word rendered ye did run: and it properly signifies, "Coming across the course,while a person is running in it, in such a manner as to justle, and throw him out of the way."

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/galatians-5.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Ye did run well; that is, in the race of Christianity; you set out well at first, and received the gospel in the plainness and simplicity of it, without any mixture of Jewish ceremonies: What hindered you? who stopt you? who drove you back from your belief of, and obedience to, the truth of the gospel, which you then received from me?

Here note, 1. With what holy wisdom our apostle mixes commendations with his reproofs: at the same time that he reproves them for their present backsliding, he commends them for their former forwardness; Ye did run well.

Note, 2. That ordinarily a Christian's first ways are his best ways, his first fruits his fairest fruits: Jehoshaphat walked in the first ways of David his father, 2 Chronicles 17:3. Commonly young converts are carried out with a greater measure of affection and zeal, and make a swifter progress in religion, than others do, at first, or they themselves do afterward when they are of older standing. These Galatians did run, yea, did run very well at first in the race of Christianity.

Note, 3. That when a person's or a people's progress in Christianity is not answerable to their hopeful beginnings, it is matter of regret and grief to all beholders, as well as matter of reproach and shame to he persons themselves: Ye did run well; who did hinder you? Intimating, that this their defection and apostasy was no less matter of astonishment to St. Paul, than it was of rebuke and reproach to them.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/galatians-5.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Galatians 5:7. ἐτρέχετε καλῶς, ye did run well) in the race of faith, as your calling required, Galatians 5:8; comp. Philippians 3:14. This implies greater activity than to walk. He again comes to arguments calculated to conciliate and move the feelings.— τίς, who) no one, to whom you ought to have listened. So, who, Galatians 3:1.— ἐνέκοψε, hindered) in running.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". 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

This was once your faith, your profession, and according to this you directed the course of your life and actions; who hath hindered you in your course, or turned you out of your way, or given you a check in your race; and hath made you disobedient to, or to swerve from, the truth which you formerly owned and professed.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". 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

Вы шли хорошо Ср. 3:3. Как он это уже делал ранее (2:2; Рим. 9:16; 1Кор. 9:24), Павел сравнивает духовную жизнь галатов с состязаниями в беге. Они начали хорошо – верой приняли благую весть и также начали по вере вести христианскую жизнь.

покорялись истине См. пояснение к 1Пет. 1:22. Здесь говорится о настоящем образе жизни верующих, включающем как их ответ на истинное Евангелие в спасении (ср. Деян. 6:7; Рим. 2:8; 6:17; 2Фес. 1:8), так и следующую за ним готовность повиноваться Слову Божьему в освящении. Павел больше писал о спасении и освящении как о вопросе послушания в Рим. 1:5; 6:16, 17; 16:26. Законническое влияние сторонников иудаизма мешало неспасенным принять верой Евангелие благодати, а истинным верующим – жить верою.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/galatians-5.html.

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

Galatians 5:7. ᾿ετρέχετε καλῶς—“Ye were running well.” The meaning of the figure is apparent: Galatians 2:2; Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 4:7. They had been making rapid progress in the right course, but they had suddenly and unaccountably deflected. Legalism and internal dissensions (Galatians 5:15) had got in among them. Ye were running well, and the hope was that ye should reach the goal and win the garland. The second member of the verse drops the transparent figure, which it identifies with obedience to the truth. Truth was the course, and obedience was the progress. Such is the eulogy; and now, without any connecting particle, the sudden question is put-a question of sorrow and surprise-

τίς ὑμᾶς ἐνέκοψεν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι;—“Who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” The Received Text has ἀνέκοψεν on the authority of a few minuscules, while the other reading has vastly preponderant authority. Erasmus edited ἀνέκοψε, and from him it passed into the Elzevir copies. Usteri is inclined still, but on feeble grounds, to receive it; and he reckons the next words a gloss. The verb ἐγκόπτειν is “to strike in,” to hinder as by breaking up a road, and is used classically with the dative of a person, as in Polybius, 24.1, 12; but it is also construed with the accusative: Acts 24:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Compare Lucian, Nigrinus, § 35, vol. i. p. 24, ed. Dindorf.

τῇ ἀληθείᾳ μὴ πείθεσθαι—“that ye should not obey the truth.” The article τῇ is wanting in A, B, and א. Chrysostom omits this clause; and after πείθεσθαι F and G add μηδενὶ πείθεσθε-nemini consenseritis in Lucifer and Ambrosiaster-evidently an interpolation, though it is defended by Koppe and Semler. Jerome remarks in reference to those words, that they are found nec in Graecis libris, nec in his qui in apostolum commentati sunt. Windischmann, however, is not wholly adverse to it, if thus connected with the former clause—“be persuaded by no one not to obey the truth.” The μὴ before πείθεσθαι is not properly pleonastic, though the two translations correspond in sense—“who hath hindered that ye should not obey the truth?” or, “who hath hindered you from obeying the truth?” Meyer indeed says, it is das gewöhnliche pleonastische nach verbis des Hinderns. See Hermann, Vigerus, No. 271. The opinion is common, but the particle μή expresses the intended negative result contained in the infinitive. Jelf, § 749; Klotz-Devarius, vol. ii. p. 668; Madvig, § 210.

The truth is the truth of the gospel. See under Galatians 2:5; Galatians 2:14. That truth is opposed in the apostle's mind not simply to what is false, but to every modification or perversion of it, under any guise which would rob it of its efficacy, mar its symmetry, or in any way injure its adaptation to man. And the truth is to be obeyed; not simply understood or admired, but obeyed. This clause omitted by Chrysostom has been wrongly placed at the end of Galatians 3:1 in the Received Text.

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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/galatians-5.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘You were running well. Who hindered you that you should not obey the truth?’

Their progress and growth had been fully satisfactory, who was it now then who was hindering them from obeying the truth? The illustration is from the games. They were putting in a good performance, and then someone had cheated in order to prevent their success. Note how Paul confidently describes what he has told them as ‘the truth’. For it is God’s special revelation of Himself. But while it is the truth, sadly they are not ‘obeying’ it. For truth when accepted produces obedience.

‘Who hindered you?’ A deliberate act of cheating is in mind. These were not fair-minded men but cheats.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/galatians-5.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Galatians 5:7. Ye were ruining bravely. The martial and heroic spirit of Paul often compares the course of Christian life with the running of a race in the stadium. Comp. Galatians 2:2; Philippians 3:14; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 4:7.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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 5:7. . The figure of a race, introduced by , is here carried on. Hitherto they had run a smooth course of obedience to truth; who had thrown obstacles in their way?

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/galatians-5.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

did run = were running.

did hinder = impeded. Greek. anakopto. Only here. But the texts read enkopto. See Acts 24:4,

obey. Greek. peitho. App-150.

the truth. i.e. Christ (John 14:6).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

[ Etrechete (Greek #5143)] 'Ye were running well' in the Gospel race (1 Corinthians 9:24; 1 Corinthians 9:26; Philippians 3:13-14).

Who ... - none whom ye ought to have listened to: the Judaizers (cf. Galatians 3:1).

Hinder, [ Enekopsen (Greek #1465), 'Aleph (') A B C Delta G: not anekopsen, as received text] - 'hinder by breaking up a road.'

Not obey the, [so C Delta G. But A B 'Aleph (') omit "the"]

Truth - not submit yourselves to the Gospel way of justification.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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

(7) Ye did run well.—Again, as in Galatians 2:2, a metaphor from foot racing. The Galatians had made a good start, but suddenly changed their course.

Who did hinder you?—The metaphor here is not quite the same, but is somewhat akin to that just used. The original meaning of the word translated “hinder” is to “break up a road,” as an army before the advance of hostile forces.

The truth—i.e., the doctrine taught by St. Paul in opposition to the Judaising tenets which had been introduced into the Galatian Church.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/galatians-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
run
Matthew 13:21; 1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1
hinder you
or, drive you back.
3:1
obey
Acts 6:7; Romans 2:8; 6:17; 10:16; 15:18; 16:26; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 11:8; 1 Peter 1:22
Reciprocal: Ezekiel 18:24 - when;  Matthew 7:24 - whosoever;  Matthew 19:30 - GeneralGalatians 1:6 - so;  Galatians 4:16 - because;  Philippians 3:16 - whereto;  Colossians 1:23 - ye continue;  1 Peter 4:17 - obey;  2 John 1:1 - known

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/galatians-5.html.

Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

The word used here to give the idea of hinder is a word used of someone running out onto the track in a race and jostling a runner so as to throw him off track or off step so that his good race is quite hampered.

It seems that Paul did not know what the Judaizers/Judaizers were, only that they had done their work and that some had been mislead into false doctrine. This is a straight forward statement and a clear question. Who is it that did this to you?

Paul must have desired to know the source of this false doctrine. I have to wonder if he didn"t plan to confront it personally at a later time.

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Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/galatians-5.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.Did run well—Their faith was true, their love was sincere, their works were good. The term run is the apostle’s favourite metaphor of a Christian race. He whose spirit is full of faith, and heart is full of love, will run that race with divine vigour.

Hinder—The Greek is a military term designating the impeding the march of an army by breaking up bridges and roads. The Galatian Christian army was marching at rapid rate when old Judaism blocked their course.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/galatians-5.html. 1874-1909.

The Bible Study New Testament

7. You were doing so well! “You were making such great progress in the Good News of Christ! You were really living God’s truth!!! How could you let anyone talk you out of it???”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "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

7.Ye did run well. The censure which the apostle administers for their present departure from the truth is mingled with approbation of their former course, for the express purpose that, by being brought to a sense of shame, they may return more speedily to the right path. The astonishment conveyed in the question, who hindered you? was intended to produce a blush. I have chosen to translate the Greek word πείθσθαι, obey, rather than believe, because, having once embraced the purity of the gospel, they had been led away from a course of obedience.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Galatians 5:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/galatians-5.html. 1840-57.