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Paul to the Galatians

The Galatians to whom Sha’ul (Paul) preached the gospel in about 53 CE were heathen people, very likely being descended from Yapheth one of Noah’s sons, as were other people of the coastal Mediterranean regions and islands (Gen. 10:5). It is now known that the Galatians were a very corrupt and superstitious people, having worshipped the pagan mother of deities called Agdistis.

Being gentiles they had never heard of Yahuah the Creator, nor had they known anything of His instructions, the Torah. Many have taken them to be Jewish, descended from Yahudah, but they certainly were not Jews as Paul frequently calls them gentiles.

When Paul wrote “but now after you have known Yahuah, or rather are known by Yahuah, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years”.

Now the Galatians could not “turn again” to days or years that they had never observed in the past. Prior to Paul teaching them they knew nothing of the Sabbath, nor of any Feast days or Jubilees etc.

Going back to the “weak and beggarly elements”, we note that in the Concordance “elements” is from the Greek word “stoicheia”. It would seem that in Paul’s time stoicheia referred to the sun, moon, stars and planets. All of them were associated with pagan gods and goddesses and they regulated the progression of the calendar and therefore the great pagan festivals honouring the pagan gods. This is the same word that is used by Kepha (Peter) in 2 Kepha 3:10 “The elements shall melt with fervent heat” and verse 12 “looking for the coming of the day of Yahuah when the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat”.

In Paul’s view these gods were demonic, so he was referring to the demonic bondage in which the Galatians had been held prior to being taught the gospel.

The “days, months, seasons and years” that Paul wrote about have nothing to do with the Appointed Times set down by Yahuah in Leviticus 23.

Paul pleads with them “brethren, I beseech you be as I am for I was as you are”. Paul is not advising them not to keep the Sabbath, for we know from other epistles that he always kept them along with all the other Feasts of Yahuah. He kept the Feast of Tabernacles, Acts 18:21; the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Acts 20:6; and Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), Acts 20:16.

Paul is encouraging the Galatians to stand fast in the liberty of the true worship in the promise given to them through the Messiah Yahusha. Yahuah’s instructions were given to the Israelites through Moses in order to identify sin and were likened to a schoolmaster until the coming of the Messiah, that we might be justified by faith. Now we are no longer under a schoolmaster as He has already come and we are now able to keep Yahuah’ s instructions in the Spirit, not in a legal way but by having the Law written on our hearts after having received the gift of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).

Neville Shaw


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