Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 5:9 - 5:9

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Vincent Word Studies - Galatians 5:9 - 5:9

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A little leaven (μικρὰ ζύμη)

A proverbial warning, which appears also 1Co 5:6. It refers, not to the doctrine of the false teachers, but to the false teachers themselves. Comp. Mar 8:15. With the single exception of the parable, Mat 13:33, leaven, in Scripture, is always a symbol of evil. Comp. Exo 12:15, Exo 12:19; Exo 13:3, Exo 13:7; Exo 23:18; Lev 2:11; Deu 16:3. This, however, is no warrant for the nonsense which has been deduced from it, as that Jesus' parable of the leaven contains a prophecy of the corruption of Christianity. Because leaven in Scripture is habitually the type of corruption, we are “none the less free to use it in a good sense as Christ did. One figure need not always stand for one and the same thing. The devil is 'a roaring lion,' but Christ is also 'the lion of the tribe of Judah'” (Trench). It is an apt figure of secret, pervading energy, whether bad or good. A new interest is given to the figure by Pasteur's discovery that fermentation is a necessary consequence of the activity and growth of living organisms. A very few of these Judaising intruders are sufficient to corrupt the whole church.

Lump (φύραμα)

Po. See on Rom 9:21.