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Galatians 4:23-26: Warning against Islam?

The Bible is a spiritual book about past and future. About Islam are many prophecies, both direct and indirect. One of the verses that treat Islam in a more direct way is the following one: “But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all (Galatians 4:21-26). The message of the Bible book Galatians is to refute Judaism. Have the verses also something to do with Islam? Or is the message only to warn against rituals and traditions of Judaism?

1. Heavenly community represented by Sarah, earthly flesh by Hagar

“Which things are symbolic” means that Hagar and Sarah are two symbols. That means here is that Hagar symbolizes the old covenant, while Sarah is the symbol of the new covenant. The covenant represented by Sarah, is the mother of all believers, who are born of the Holy Spirit. They are the true spiritual seed of Abraham. The Arab people accepted their identification with Ishmael and Hagar, at least after 7th century AD, after Muhammad identified Muslims and Islam as descending from Abraham through Ishmael in the Koran [1]. The Jewish interpretation was that a person is or a Jew with physical and religious connection with Abraham through Isaac and Sarah, or a person was an Arab (Gentile) connected with Abraham through Ishmael and Hagar. Hagar is the example of the Law of Moses which is obsolete and generates earthly bondage: “the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage” (Galatians 4:24). By identifying with Hagar, Muslims are following earthly flesh and bondage practices according to Galatians 4:23-26. A clear prophecy against Islam in the New Testament.

2. Prophecy about the character of Islam

“The one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar Gal” (Galatians 4:24) is the set of rituals and traditions in the Old Testament. It is possible to recognize this as part of Islam, because Muslims have much in common with Jewish Christians, who don’t believe Jesus Christ is God [2]. The Old Testament is no longer leading in spiritual guidance because Jesus said when he died: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). See also Galatians 4:30: “Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman”. It talks about Jewish practices to bring people into bondage and slavery while God’s will is to work in the Kingdom of God: “ But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?” (Galatians 4:9). Because Islam contains many Jewish and other law practices, the bondage connected with Hagar is a prophecy about Islam.

3. Conclusion

There is an underlying structure inside the Bible verses Galatians 4:23-26. By the identification of Muhammad as a descendant of Hagar, all Qur’an and Islam are part of the refuted covenant of Hagar connected with Mount Sinai in Arabia. Therefore mentioned verses are a warning against Islam.

Notes

1. Thomas Patrick Hughes, A Dictionary of Islam: Being a Cyclopaedia of the Doctrines, Rites, Ceremonies, and Customs, Together With the Technical and Theological Terms, of the Muhammadan Religion, Asian Educational Services, New Delhi, 1995, 19.
2. Hans Küng, Islam, Past, Present & Future, Oneworld Publications, 2009, 43-45.