Galatians 3—What is “the curse of the law”, what was “added” and who are what is “school master”?

Do these Galatians Scripture passages nullify the YHVH’s Torah-law as the mainstream church teaches, or do they validate the Torah as the church does not teach? Read and find out…

Galatians 3:13, Curse of the law. The curse of the law is not the Torah-law, but the penalty for violating it. Yeshua came to save us from the penalty of the law, not from the law itself.  Through his grace and forgiveness coupled with our repentance, we are saved from the consequences of violating the law (the penalty of the law, which ultimately is death), but we have not been liberated from obedience to the law. That would be like saying that if someone pays your fine for speeding, the speeding laws no longer apply to you and you are free to drive at any speed you like. This of course is absurd.

Galatians 3:19, It was added/sent again. This refers to the Torah in its codified form as given to the Israelites at Sinai, and to the sacrificial system that was imposed on the rebellious Israelites until the time of Yeshua’s death on the cross (see notes at Jer 7:22). Let me explain.

The Levitical priesthood (along with the elaborate tabernacle sacrificial system) was a temporary institution that YHVH added (Gal 3:19 cp. Jer 7:21–22) to the nation of Israel’s legal system because of the firstborn Israelites’ (who YHVH commissioned to be the priests of their families, Exod 19:22 cp. Exod 13:2, 11–16) failure to prevent Israel from worshipping the golden calf and to sin  by faithlessly grumbling and  murmuring against Elohim. In a general sense, YHVH didn’t give the Israelites the Torah at this time—the principles of which they and their forefathers already knew (e.g. Gen 26:5), and which were in existence since the foundation of the earth. These eternal and inviolate principles had already been passed on down to successive generations by men like Enoch, Noah and the patriarchs. So what other law was added? At Mount Sinai, the eternal principles of the Torah were codified into an administrative legal system (with civil penalties including the institution of a sacrificial system as a penalty for sin, which the Bible calls this system “the law of Moses”), and this codified system became the constitution of the nation of Israel. At the same time, YHVH gave them the institution of the Levitical priesthood and the sacrificial system (Gal 3:19), which (along with the rest of the Torah) pointed them to their need for Yeshua the Savior (Gal 3:16, 24). An example of such a codified system of law would be the American Constitution, the principles of which the founding fathers gleaned from many sources (including the biblical Torah, the ancient Greeks, English common law, the English Magna Carta and the French philosophers), which they then combined to make the legal code that now governs the United States (in theory). A similar situation occurred with the law of Moses, except the source for it was the Word, will, heart and character of Elohim, which he had revealed his servants of antiquity, and which then had been passed on down as well as additional laws that were given to Moses pertaining to governing the nation of Israel.

The civil penalties that the law of Moses prescribes along with the sacrificial and Levitical systems were temporary institutions that pointed, like a schoolmaster, tutor or pedagogue (to use Paul’s analogy in the latter part of Galatians chapter four), to Yeshua the Messiah, and which were completely fulfilled by the Messiah as the writer of Hebrews goes on to explains in great detail (see Hebrews chapters 5–11). 

The general principles of the Torah are inviolate and have never changed. This includes the ten commandments, the biblical feasts, the Sabbath, the dietary laws, and all the laws and principles that regulate moral behavior as well as tell us how to love Elohim with our total being and our neighbor as ourselves. These are the eternal principles of the Torah of which Yeshua said that not one jot or tittle would pass away, that we must obey (both letter and spirit), and that obedience to will determine the saint’s rewards in the kingdom of Elohim. Yeshua explains all these things in his landmark and pivotal teaching that history now refers to as the Sermon on the Mount (i.e. Matthew chapters five through seven). Read it, believe it and follow these principles as they lead and guide you into the kingdom of heaven through Yeshua the Messiah!

Galatians 3:24, Schoolmaster. The church’s concept and understanding of the schoolmaster is incorrect. Consider what David Stern has to say about it:

David Stern in his Complete Jewish Bible translates schoolmaster as custodian. He explains why in his JNT Commentary (p. 553). The word translated as schoolmaster in the KJV and other English Bibles is the Greek word paidagogos which literally means boy-leader. In ancient Greece a paidagogos was a slave who conducted a boy to and from school and was not actually the school teacher. You can verify this definition in Webster’s dictionary. As languages evolve words change in meanings. Therefore, a secondary modern meaning of pedagogue is a teacher or schoolmaster and pedagogy is the science of teaching. Stern explains that the ancient Greek paidagogos had no teaching function and although the Torah had as one of its goals the leading of Jewish people to the Messiah, as Paul explicitly states at Romans 10:4, that is not the import of the present verse. The paidagogos actually would have been a harsh disciplinarian for the Jewish people, providing some protection but generally making the Jewish person aware of many transgressions so that Jews might turn from legalistic rule-following and be declared righteous legally on the basis of faith and being faithful to Yeshua, whose trusting faithfulness to God the Father purchased our salvation.”

Just because the Torah-pedagogue brought us to the Messiah, doesn’t mean we don’t need it anymore. This is a presumptuous and false understanding of Paul in Galatians 3:24 in its broader context. 

One purpose of the Torah was to identify our sin (1 John 3:4)  and hence our need for the  Messiah who forgives that sin. This is what Paul is saying in Gal 3:24. 

However, according to the Bible, that isn’t the only purpose of the Torah. It also shows how to walk in righteousness once Messiah has forgiven us of our sins. It also shows us how to love Elohim with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourself, as Yeshua declared in Mark 12:28–31. Love is also the fulfilling of the law, as Paul states in Romans 13:8–10. It also shows us how to know Elohim intimately (1 John 2:3) and how to have the love of Elohim in us (1 John 2:5) and how to walk as Yeshua walked (1 John 2:6).It also shows us how to love the Messiah (John 14:15). It also shows us how to be blessed physically in this lifetime (Deut 28), and will determine our level of spiritual rewards in the world to come (Matt 5:19). Sadly, the mainstream church doesn’t teach these biblical truths.

To say that we don’t need the Torah any longer is tantamount to saying that it’s now all right to worship idols, take Elohim’s name in vain, dishonor our parents, steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, covet, have sex with animals, etc. This is, of course, absurd. But this, in reality, is what those who say the law was done away with are saying.

Galatians 3:29, Abraham’s seed [Gr. sperma]. Sperma means “a seed containing life within itself from which a plant germinates; the virile semen and its seed, children, offspring or progeny; family, posterity; of divine energy of the Set-Apart Spirit operating within the soul by which we are regenerated Luke 3:8.” Here Paul is stating unequivocally that if one belongs to Messiah, then one is a seed, offspring or progeny Abraham and an heir to the blessings of Abraham. It may seem a curious or impossible thing as human who is not genetically descended from Abraham could still be considered to be from the sperm or seed of Abraham. This shouldn’t be a difficult thing to comprehend in light of John’s statement in Luke 3:8. Speaking to the Jews, he says, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that Elohim is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.’”


5 thoughts on “Galatians 3—What is “the curse of the law”, what was “added” and who are what is “school master”?

  1. As I was meditating on the realization that YHVH gave His nation a constitution, a legal system of judges to judge righteously (as in Ex 18:21) that in His kingdom, this will be the order of things, the greatest and the least in the kingdom ruling righteously with Him. Similarly here in the U.S we HAD a judicial system, sadly ruled by unrighteous people over unrighteous people. Our very laws were based on the original TEN and yet the very church (circus) says even they have been done away with. Now we have LAWLESSNESS n our streets 🙁

  2. The discussion above started with verse 13:
    Gal 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:

    And it was then first stated that: “The curse of the law is not the Torah-law, but the penalty for violating it.”

    However, looking at the previous 3 verses [Gal 3:10-12] Paul says that those who are doing and living out of the works of the Torah-law are under the curse because it is written in the Torah-law: “Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the Torah-law to do them” [Deu 27:26]

    It seems to me that the curse of the Torah-law is failure to continually keep it’s commands [i.e., continuing not in all things which are written in the book of the Torah-law to do them].

    Please comment.

    • I cannot comment until you have watched my videos or read my teachings on Galatians which you can find here:

    • . Scroll down until you come to my written and video teachings chapter-by-chapter on this book. To not understand the broader sweep of this most perplexing missive of Paul is like walking through a mine field without a map. Or have you ever tried assembling a 1000-piece puzzle without first setting the box cover with the picture in front of you? Without the overall picture, you’re lost trying to put the pieces together. Same with Galatians. We can cherry pick verses out off Galatians all day long and attempt to infuse them with our own interpretations. Good luck. One just gets caught up in the weeds on the riverbank and never hits the current of Truth in the middle of the river.

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