A picture of Hagar and Sarah
21 I say this to you people who want God's Law to have authority over you. Think carefully about what that Law really says. 22 The Bible says that Abraham had two sons. The mother of one of them was a slave. The mother of the other son was a free woman. 23 Hagar was a slave. Her son was born as a result of what Abraham himself decided. But Abraham's wife, Sarah, gave birth to the other son. That son was born as a result of what God had promised to Abraham.
24 These two women are like pictures of two agreements that God made with his people. Hagar is like the agreement that God made on Sinai mountain. That agreement causes people to become slaves. 25 Hagar is like a picture of Sinai mountain in Arabia. Also, she is like Jerusalem city here on earth now, because that city and its people are slaves under the authority of God's Law.
4:24Sinai mountain was the place where God gave his Law to Israel's people. God's agreement with his people at that time was that they must obey all the rules in his Law. So Israel's people were like slaves under the authority of God's Law.
4:25Arabia was south and east from Israel.
26 But Abraham's wife, Sarah, is a picture of the new Jerusalem that is above. Sarah was a free person, not a slave, and she is like our mother. 27 It says in the Bible:
‘Be happy, you woman who could not have any children!
You have never known the pain of a child's birth.
But now shout loudly because you are so happy!
Yes, be happy, because the lonely woman now has more children
than the woman who has a husband.’
28 You, my Christian friends, are like Sarah's son, Isaac. Like him, you became God's children as a result of God's promise. 29 Isaac was born because of God's Spirit. The son who was born in the human way gave much trouble to Isaac at that time. You who are believers receive the same kind of trouble now. 30 But this is what it says in the Bible: ‘Send away the woman who is a slave and her son. That woman's son will never receive anything from his father. The son of the free woman will receive all those good things.’ 31 So then, my Christian friends, we are not children of the woman who is a slave. No, we are children of the free woman.
4:30See Genesis 21:10. Hagar's son was called Ishmael. Sarah's son was called Isaac. Hagar and Ishmael caused much trouble to Sarah and Isaac.