The Abrahamic Covenant
Part 9
The Bond-woman and the Free-woman

John Plunkett
May 23, 2015


Last time in Part 8, we covered a lot of ground.  In order to pull things together, to catch up and to summarize “the story so far,” we did a lot of recapping of scriptures that we’d covered in more detail in earlier episodes.  But today, we’ll move on!


Our next New Testament “covenant” scriptures are in the third and fourth chapters of Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, where we’ll be spending most of our time today.


But let’s ask the same question again that we’ve asked so frequently throughout this series:  which covenant – or covenants (plural) – are these scriptures referring to? 


Galatians 3:
6:  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 
7:  Know you therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8:  And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen
{NKJV: gentiles} through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, “In you shall all nations be blessed.”


One of the amazing things about these covenant scriptures is that they bring out to us the fact that the gospel was being preached all of the way back in Abraham’s time.  Yes, God gave the gospel to Abraham.  That is astonishing!


The Greek word in verse 8 for ‘justify’ is “dikaioo.”  It means to make just, make righteous, or to make free.  And that very same freedom will come up later in today’s sermon.


This dovetails so perfectly with all that we read recently in the Romans 11 “grafting” scriptures; and like them, this is so obviously referring to the Abrahamic Covenant – and specifically the “grace” part of it, which, as we all know by now, is one and the same as the New Covenant. 


Paul mentions “the scripture” here in verse 8.  Which scripture is he quoting from?  Where did God say these words to Abraham?  Actually, there are at least three scriptures where God mentions these things:

Genesis 12:3:
And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.


Genesis 18:18:
Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?


Genesis 22:18:
And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.


Over and over again, God drove this point home to Abraham, when it must have seemed so impossible that this was going to happen. 

Back to Galatians 3, and continuing in verse 9:


9:  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10:  For as many as are of the works of the law
{i.e. the law of the Sinai Covenant} are under the curse: for it is written, “Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law {the Sinai Covenant law} to do them”…


What is “the book of the Law” where this is written?  It is found in Deuteronomy 27, which is referring to the Sinai covenant and its laws:


Deuteronomy 27:26:
Cursed be he that confirms not all the words of this law to do them.  And all the people shall say, “Amen.”


But the people did not “do them.”  The people did not “do” the law.  They did not fulfil what they had promised to do; and so, as a result, they were under this curse. 


I searched around in the Old Testament to see if there was a record of them saying “Amen,” as God repeatedly commanded them here in this chapter.  I couldn’t find any record of them doing so.  You can go through this chapter and read how many times the LORD commanded, “And the people shall say “Amen.” But when you come to the end of the account, the people did not say “Amen.”


Back to Galatians 3:

11:  But that no man is justified {the Greek word “dikaioo” again} by the law {the Sinai Covenant law} in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just {this similar Greek word “dikaios” means “righteous”} shall live by faith.


Yes, by faith – just like Abraham!


12:  And the {Sinai Covenant} law is not of faith: but, the man that does them {does the Sinai laws} shall live in them…


 In other words, if any man wants to stay with the Sinai Covenant and its laws, he is bound by his vow to continue keeping them.


13:  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the {Sinai} law, being made a curse for us: for it is written {in Deuteronomy 21:23}, “Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree”:

14a:  that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ…


Yes!  Through Jesus Christ’s New Covenant – which is one and the same as the “grace” part of the Abrahamic Covenant – those spiritual blessings were opened up to the Gentiles.


How does this happen?

It is made possible by Jesus who took the curse on Himself by voluntarily agreeing to be hanged on a tree. 


14b: …that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith…


Through faith!  By the terms of the New Covenant and the grace part of the Abrahamic Covenant!  Not through the keeping of the works of the laws of the Sinai Covenant.

15:  Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannuls, or adds thereto…


The old King James English is not very clear here; but what Paul is, in effect, saying here is that: “Even a covenant between two mere human beings, once it has been confirmed, signed, sealed and delivered, is irrevocably bound and unchangeable.  If this is the case with a confirmed human-to-human covenant, how much more irrevocable is a confirmed covenant between the Eternal God and men?”


16:  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He said not “and to seeds,” as of many; but as of one, “and to your seed,” which is Christ.


We need to keep this in mind: the fact that Jesus Christ is the very centre of these covenants.  Imagine a little seed and how small it is; but how very much is contained in that seed.


17:  And this I say, that the covenant {the Abrahamic Covenant}, that was confirmed before {previously; in the past} of God in Christ, the law {of the Sinai Covenant}, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise {of the Abrahamic Covenant} of none effect.


This is amazing because it is telling us that Jesus Christ was right there with Abraham. 


18:  For if the inheritance be of the law {of the Sinai covenant… which it isn’t!}, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise


Not by the law!  Not by the Sinai covenant!  He gave it to Abraham “by promise.”  And He gave that promise through Jesus Christ who was right there with Abraham!


So, through the apostle Paul, God is telling us here that He is actually elevating the importance of the eternally-binding grace part of the Abrahamic Covenant.  He is solidifying it and He is making it permanent. Rock solid!  At the same time, He is lowering the importance of the temporary Sinai Covenant along with its works of the sacrificial law.  The Sinai Covenant was temporary; but the Abrahamic Covenant and the New Covenant are eternal.


We could continue on with much more detail in the remaining verses of this chapter; but for now, let’s just finish the chapter off with a reading of verses 26 to 29, which are most relevant to what we were talking about in Parts 7 and 8 of this study series – access to the Abrahamic Covenant by Gentiles:


26:  For you are all the children of God by faith {Abraham-like!} in Christ Jesus.


Again, we have to remember who these people were that Paul was writing to.  Many of these Galatians were Gentiles.


27:  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28:  There is neither Jew {Israelite} nor Greek {Gentile},   there is neither bond nor free there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29:  And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 


There is an inheritance for us all, whether we are Israelites, Abrahamites, or Gentiles.


As we move on into chapter 4, please keep those “bond nor free” and “male nor female” phrases in mind, because we’re about to examine the amazing account of the symbolism of two very famous females – one who was a bond-woman and one who was a free-woman.  We are going to examine their incredible symbolism here.


Galatians 4:
21:  Tell me, you that desire to be under the Law
{specifically the sacrificial laws of the Sinai Covenant}, do you not hear the law?

22:  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one {Ishmael} by a bond-maid {the Egyptian servant-girl, Hagar}, the other {Isaac} by a free-woman {Abraham’s lawful wife, Sarah}.
23:  But he
{Ishmael} who was of the bond-woman was born after the flesh {Greek “sarx” which can mean “the sensuous nature of man”}; but he {Isaac} of the free-woman was by promise


Other than Abraham being very elderly at the time, there was no real miracle in the conception of Ishmael. 

Even in our day, elderly men have been known to sire children – usually by young women.  Also, in the time of the patriarchs, life-spans were longer and the onset of the aging process did not come as early as it does in our day.  Like other elderly patriarchs, Abraham was at this time still what we can call “able” in this respect. 

Even after Sarah’s death, Abraham remarried and sired six more sons!  Perhaps there something good in their water back then!  Also, Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, was not aged or barren. 


But Sarah was both aged and barren!  So Isaac’s conception and birth were “by promise” – true miracles – direct results of God’s repeated advance promises as well as His direct intervention when the time came.


As we continue in this chapter, please remember that Peter wrote that some of Paul’s writings in his epistles can sometimes be hard for his readers to understand (II Peter 3:15-16).


This is the first time I can remember ever having seen the use of a “treble symbolism” in scripture. 

What we see here is:

- A symbolizes B,
- B symbolizes C,
- C symbolizes D.


Let’s repeat verses 22 and 23, just to get the flow:


22:  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one {Ishmael} by a bond-maid {Hagar}, the other {Isaac} by a free-woman {Sarah}.

23:  But he {Ishmael} who was of the bond-woman was born after the flesh; but he {Isaac} of the free-woman was by promise…

24:  which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the Mount Sinai, which genders to bondage, which is Hagar…


So, these two women begin this allegory of the two covenants – beginning with “the one from Mount Sinai, which genders to bondage, which is Hagar.”

Which are “the two covenants” mentioned here?  As we shall see as we go through this, they are the Sinai Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant – specifically its grace part – which is the same as the New Covenant.


What is an allegory?  My dictionary tells me that it is a symbol, a parable or a metaphor.  So Paul is clearly telling us here that he is mentioning Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah and Isaac symbolically.  He is doing so to make a very important point. 


In the past, some have interpreted this the wrong way, thereby leading brethren astray by their false conclusions.  Still, we know that Jesus did use parables to hide His pearls of wisdom and truth from those who His Father was not calling at the time.  So maybe Paul was following his Master’s lead here in a similar way.  But, we have been called and we have been given God’s Spirit and understanding.


So what is God, through the apostle Paul, saying here?  He is putting two covenants on the table for discussion. 

The first covenant is the Sinai Covenant, symbolized by Hagar.  Through Paul, God says that it “genders to bondage.”  When we are talking about Hagar and bondage in the same breath, it is good to remember that she was Egyptian, and also that she was a slave!


But what does the phrase “genders to bondage” mean? 


The English word “genders” is translated from the Greek verb “gennao” (Strong’s 1080) and is alternately translated in the King James Version as: beget, be born, bear, bring forth and be delivered.  It is talking about the birth process.


The word “bondage” is translated from the Greek noun douleia (Strong’s 1397) and it means just what it says – bondage or slavery. 


So, “genders to bondage” can mean:

- Begotten or born to (or into) slavery,
- Begotten or born for the purpose of slavery.


We are talking about Hagar here and the symbolism. The double symbolism is this:
i)    Mount Sinai,
ii)   The Sinai Covenant,
iii)  The sacrificial laws that were given at Mount Sinai which, in turn, symbolize bondage or slavery – specifically slavery to that complex system of sacrificial laws.


That’s the double symbolism.  Now comes the third:


25:  For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.


Physically, geographically and nationally, this is a huge leap!  The mountain that is generally believed to be Mount Sinai is located on the Sinai Peninsula and is presently in the land of Egypt – not in the main peninsula of Saudi Arabia.  The distance from Mount Sinai to Jerusalem in the modern state of Israel is approximately 500 kilometers (about 300 miles).


In Paul’s allegory, Mount Sinai, its covenant and its laws in turn symbolize the city of “Jerusalem which now is,” i.e. the physical, earthly Jerusalem of Paul’s day which, as Paul tells us here, was, at that time, in bondage, along with all of her children.


In bondage to what? 


Twenty-odd years previously, some Jews untruthfully insisted to Jesus that, because the Jews were Abraham’s seed, they had never been in bondage to any man (John 8:31-37). 


These Jews were delusional!   Of course, in reality, they were in bondage!  And had been on more than one occasion:


1.     Despite being children of Abraham, their Israelite forefathers had spent four hundred-odd years in captivity to the Egyptians. 


2.     Virtually the whole house of Judah had spent seventy long years in bondage to the Babylonians. 


3.     Their brethren of the House of Israel had been taken into captivity by Assyria; and the vast majority had never returned to the Promised Land.  And still haven’t to this day! 


4.     Even at the very time that these Jews made these false claims, their country was under the boot of Rome.


5.     Their own puppet kings – the Herods – were gentiles!  They were Idumaeans of Nabatean Arab and Edomite (Esauite) descent.


So yes, those Jews were in physical, national bondage; but was there perhaps another kind of bondage that Paul might have been referring to here? 


Yes.  At the time Paul wrote this letter to the Galatian church brethren, the Jerusalem temple and the Aaronic priesthood were still in existence; and the Sinai Covenant sacrificial laws were still being practiced. 


For thirty-nine (or perhaps forty) years after the death and resurrection of Jesus took away the necessity of that bondage, the Jews were still slaves to the system of the sacrificial laws of the temporary Sinai Covenant – sacrificial laws which could not forgive sin.  (Hebrews 10:11).


Thinking way back in time, the Israelites had originally – as Jacob and his sons – entered Egypt as a free people; but they were later enslaved.  Then God came along and freed them at the time of the exodus. And during that period of freedom, God offered them His temporary Sinai Covenant along with its sacrificial system.  They accepted that package; but it was a temporary covenant and sacrificial system which was supposed to have terminated at the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  But the Jews and Levites continued it for another forty years until God came along and allowed the temple to be destroyed along with all its furnishings and rites.  During that forty years, those Jews and Levites, in effect, enslaved themselves again.  Yes, in the sense of religious practice, they became enslaved again; but they actually did it to themselves, virtually by choice, because they rejected Jesus as their Messiah.


So, although those sacrifices could not take away their sins, many of those “children of the earthly Jerusalem” venerated their physical city, they venerated the physical Temple, they venerated the priesthood, and they venerated the sacrificial rituals; plus many more rituals as well – traditions that they had invented and added themselves in blatant disobedience to God’s Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32).  This was tantamount to idolatry.  


Despite their idolatrous veneration of the physical temple, its priesthood and its rituals (which would soon – in 70 AD – come crashing down around their ears – literally!), their many misdeeds show us that many of those “children of that earthly Jerusalem” were still in bondage to sin; and to its penalty – death! 


How?  Why?  Two reasons:


1.     Because the Jews and Levites strove to hang onto and maintain the Sinai Covenant – the one we might correctly refer to as “the Hagar Covenant” – a covenant which, at the time of the writing of these epistles to the Galatians and Hebrews, was decaying, waxing old, and was ready to vanish away (Hebrews 8:13).  It should have vanished away already; but the Jews hung on to it for dear life.  In another twenty years or so after the writing of these epistles, it would vanish away.


2.     Because all but a few of these “children of the earthly Jerusalem” rejected the “Singular Seed” of the New Covenant – the central figure of the Grace part of the Abrahamic Covenant – the One whose sacrifice could forgive sin.  All of those millions of sacrifices under the Sinai Covenant – sacrifices which could not forgive sin – pictured and pointed to Him and His sacrifice which could forgive sin.  But they rejected Him and His sacrifice.


In addition to these two factors, some Jews (or Judaizers who may not have been actual Jews) were trying to foist the continuation of the terms of the Sinai Covenant on the fledgling Christian church as a necessity – trying to tell them that it was mandatory for them to keep those sacrificial laws.


In ten scriptures, Jerusalem is called “the Holy City” and there is one where it is called “the beloved city.”  in In Matthew 23:37, Jesus revealed that He had a special place in His heart for Jerusalem and its children.  But in that very same verse, He referred to the city of Jerusalem (earthly Jerusalem) as the city whose children killed His prophets and stoned those who were sent to them.  So even though He loved those people, He was not too happy with them or the choices they were making.


There are many other scriptures, as well as items in profane history, that show us that this earthly Jerusalem and its children, which the apostle Paul mentions here in Galatians 4:25 remained steeped in sin.  They still are!


We have discussed the symbolism of Hagar.  Now we move on into the second symbolism: the one of Sarah:


Galatians 4:26: 
But Jerusalem which is above
{i.e. the heavenly Jerusalem} is free, which is the mother of us all.


This “Jerusalem which is above” refers to the second of the two covenants mentioned in verse 24, and to the second set of symbolisms which refer to it. 


Whereas Hagar and the earthly Jerusalem symbolize the Sinai Covenant and its bondage, “the mother of us all” – i.e. Sarah who, as we have seen, was an integral part of the Abrahamic Covenant – symbolizes the heavenly Jerusalem and true freedom. 


It is interesting that Paul does not mention any intermediate mountain here, as he did with the Hagar symbolism (the physical Mount Sinai).  Still, although not mentioned by Paul right here, we might appropriately deduce from this parallel scripture in the book of Hebrews, that the heavenly Mount Zion might rightly be implied as part of the heavenly Jerusalem:


Hebrews 12:
22:  But you are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels…
24:  And to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant


How very well these two epistles – Hebrews and Galatians – dovetail!


When Paul wrote “the mother of us all,” he was speaking physically of Sarah who was the ancestral mother of all Israelites as well as, to a more limited extent, to the other physical descendants of Isaac. 


But spiritually, as we learned in our recent study of Romans 11, Sarah is also the mother of the Gentile converts who are grafted into Israel.


Please notice that God, through Paul, places a great and significant accent on freedom here in Galatians 4:26 – freedom from circumcision and freedom from the necessity to participate in the Sinai Covenant’s system of ritual sacrificial law, which was then becoming obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).


This may not seem like as big a deal for us now as it was thousands of years ago; but it really was a big deal for those people back then because they had Jews and Judaizers who were pushing the continuation of those things on them.  There may be some possibility that that kind of deception could come again and that end-time Judaizers might once again put pressure on God’s people to start doing some of those obsolete things again.  Back in Galatians 4:


27:  For it is written {Isaiah 54:1}, “Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has a husband.”


This poor desolate, barren woman who was unable to travail or to bear children was, of course, Sarah.  Although she did have a husband, it is understandable that poor Sarah did feel somewhat desolate at the age of ninety with no children or grandchildren. 


I understand that we do have brethren who have not been able to have children; and I know that that is a great trial for them.  It is something that we should pray about on behalf of those brethren.  In this day and age, in our hedonistic era, there are so many who don’t care about such things and have no desire for the blessings of parenthood; but in those “Bible times,” children were considered a blessing and the lack of them was considered a curse.  We think about poor Sarah, and her neighbours whispering behind their hands, “I wonder what the princess did so very wrong that God has cursed her so?”  It really was a huge trial.  It should be perceived as a huge trial now; but again, to so many in our modern society, it is not.


But, as we read back in Genesis 21:6-7, once Isaac was born, Sarah did rejoice.  She did what it said in Galatians 4:27 and Isaiah 54:1: she broke forth and cried out in sheer joy


As we continue through this, please keep in mind that Sarah was also symbolic of Mary, Isaac was symbolic of Jesus and Abraham was symbolic of God the Father.  Actually, in many miraculous respects, God was the real father of Isaac (as well as Jesus, of course); and hence, He was kind of a husband to both Sarah and Mary.  Back in Galatians 4:


28:  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.


Yes, it is true that the physical Israelites were physical descendants of Isaac.  Because Isaac’s birth was such a great miracle, so the very existence of Israel as a nation was, and still is, a very great miracle. 


But again, more importantly, it was Jesus sacrifice that enabled the Gentile converts (likely including many of the Galatian brethren) to be spiritually grafted into Israel (Romans 11) – specifically into spiritual Israel which is God’s true church; and thus they too become the descendants of Isaac, Sarah and Abraham – and included, as referred to by Paul here, as “children of promise.”


29a:  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the spirit…


Hagar’s son Ishmael (the son “that was born after the flesh”) persecuted Sarah’s young son, Isaac (the son “that was born after the spirit”).  Here is how that episode is mentioned in Genesis:


Genesis 21:9:
And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.


Why would Sarah get so upset by this mocking?  We might think that this “mocking” was just a bit of friendly, step-brotherly jesting, or perhaps just a bit of harmless ribbing; and that it certainly shouldn’t have caused the history-changing outcry that it did. 


But I believe that there was much more to it than that.  The word mocking here is translated from the Hebrew verb tsachaq (Strong’s 6711) and is translated elsewhere as sport, play and, perhaps most significantly, laugh.

As this was the same word used when Abraham and Sarah laughed at the idea of them having a baby together at their advanced age (Genesis 17:17; 18:12-15), maybe God initially allowed this mocking laughter to teach them an interrelated lesson (as He sometimes did – and still does) – in other words, not to laugh inappropriately.


Isaac’s Hebrew name, Yitschaq (Strong’s 3327), was derived from the verb tsachaq (Strong’s 6711) which means "he laughs."  The extended meanings of the word tsachaq are: To jest, make sport of or toy with.


Also, let’s go back and take a look at the word persecuted in Galatians 4:29.  It is translated from the Greek verb dioko (Strong’s 1377) which is a prolonged and causative form of the verb dio which means to flee.  As well as persecuted, the Greek meanings of this word dioko are quite revealing to this particular context and circumstance with regards to Ishmael and Isaac.  Please peruse this list and think about Ishmael and his mocking of Isaac.  They include:


·        To make another person run or flee

·        To put another person to flight

·        To drive another person away

·        To harass, trouble, mistreat or molest another person

·        To pursue another person (in a hostile manner)

·        To run after another person

·        To seek after another person eagerly

·        To earnestly endeavour to acquire

·        To run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing

·        To press on

·        To run swiftly in a race to reach the goal


In order to properly understand Ishmael’s mocking and persecuting of Isaac, we need to remember just who Abraham, Sarah and Isaac actually were.  Sometimes we think of them as a mere wandering bunch of Bedouins, gypsies, tinkers or hippies.  But no!  Abraham was the equivalent of a king – the human symbol of God the Father – the most important and high being in the whole universe!  Isaac was a prince – the human symbol of Jesus Christ.  Sarah was a noblewoman and a princess – a human symbol and forerunner of Jesus’ human mother, Mary; and as such, the human symbol of God’s true church (Matthew 12:46-50).  These three people – Sarah, Isaac, and Abraham – had in their bodies the genes of the royal line of David and of Jesus Christ. 


On the other hand, Ishmael, was the mere son of an Egyptian slave!  And here he was, persecuting, ridiculing, and making sport of one of the most important princes in the history of the world!


When we consider the extended meanings of the Greek verb dioko (this is my own speculation here), perhaps Ishmael and Hagar thought that, by means of such persecution and mocking, they had some chance of taking some – or even all – of the prize that God had reserved for Isaac.


Back to Galatians 4… and repeating the first part of verse 29:


29a:  But as then he that was born after the flesh {Ishmael} persecuted him that was born after the spirit {Isaac}


29b:  … even so it is now.


What did Paul mean by this?  Were the Ishmaelites persecuting or mocking the Israelites during the apostolic era in the first century? 


In some physical ways, yes they were!  As mentioned earlier, the wicked Herods who reigned as puppet kings over Judea from 74BC to 100AD were not Jewish or even Israelite.  They were part Edomite and part Nabatean Arab.  The Nabateans were descendants of Ishmael’s firstborn son Nebaioth or Nebajoth (who is mentioned in five Old Testament scriptures).  Nebaioth’s Arab name is Nabit (which means firstborn or firstfruit in the Arabic language).


So that was the physical part of the Ishmaelites’ persecution of Israel.  But please remember from back in verse 24 that this whole section of scripture was an allegory. The apostle Paul was writing this part of it in inspired allegorical, symbolic language.  And we need to remember what that symbolism was.  Hagar and Ishmael picture the bondage of the Sinai Covenant with its ritual sacrificial laws.  Sarah and Isaac picture the relative freedom of the Grace Part of the Abrahamic Covenant, the New Covenant and the true church. 


Much of the persecution against God’s early church came from “the circumcision” – the Jews!  As we read earlier, many or even most of troubles within the early church were raised by Jews or Judaizers who wanted to push the terms of the Sinai Covenant onto the brethren – as well as some of the obsolete terms of the Race Part of the Abrahamic Covenant – specifically circumcision. 


What was God’s solution to this?


30:  Nevertheless what says the scripture {Genesis 21:10}?  Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”


It was Sarah who initially asked Abraham to cast out Hagar and Ishmael; but the LORD backed up Sarah’s request, and He repeated it to Abraham as a command (Genesis 21:12). In effect, God was saying, “The son of that slave shall not receive any of the inheritance that I have given to the son of the free-woman.”


Once again, the antitype of the bondwoman, Hagar, and her son, Ishmael, is the relative bondage of the Sinai Covenant and its ritual sacrificial laws.  Through the apostle Paul, God was saying that they too must be cast out! 


Why?  Because that covenant and those laws have no part in the inheritance which we – the people of God’s Church – share with our elder brothers and fellow-heirs – Isaac and his antitype, Jesus Christ.


31:  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman {i.e. Hagar, Ishmael and the Sinai Covenant}, but of the free {i.e. Sarah, Isaac, Jesus Christ and the Grace Part of the Abrahamic Covenant}.


Whether we are physical Israelites, physical Gentiles, or a Heinz 57 mixture of the two, if we have God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us, then we are spiritual Israelites, we are spiritual Isaacites, we are spiritual Abrahamites.  We are spiritual descendants and heirs of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac.  And we are fellow heirs with Jesus Christ.