Galatians 5:26


King James Version (KJV)

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

American Standard Version (ASV)

Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Let us not be full of self-glory, making one another angry, having envy of one another.

Webster's Revision

Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

World English Bible

Let's not become conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Let us not be vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another.

Definitions for Galatians 5:26

Let - To hinder or obstruct.
Vain - Empty; foolish; useless.

Clarke's Galatians 5:26 Bible Commentary

Let us not be desirous of vain glory - Κενοδοξοι· Let us not be vain glorious - boasting of our attainments; vaunting ourselves to be superior to others; or seeking honor from those things which do not possess moral good; in birth, riches, eloquence, etc., etc.

Provoking one another - What this may refer to we cannot tell; whether to the Judaizing teachers, endeavoring to set themselves up beyond the apostle, and their attempts to lessen him in the people's eyes, that they might secure to themselves the public confidence, and thus destroy St. Paul's influence in the Galatian Churches; or whether to some other matter in the internal economy of the Church, we know not. But the exhortation is necessary for every Christian, and for every Christian Church. He who professes to seek the honor that comes from God, should not be desirous of vain glory. He who desires to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, should not provoke another. He who knows that he never deserved any gift or blessing from God should not envy another those blessings which the Divine goodness may have thought proper to bestow upon him. May not God do what he will with his own? If Christians in general would be content with the honor that comes from God, if they would take heed to give no provocations to their fellow Christians, if they would cease from envying those on whom either God or man bestows honors or advantages, we should soon have a happier and more perfect state of the Christian Church than we now see. Christianity requires us to esteem each other better than ourselves, or in honor to prefer one another. Had not such a disposition been necessary to the Christian character, and to the peace and perfection of the Church of Christ, it would not have been so strongly recommended. But who lays this to heart, or even thinks that this is indispensably necessary to his salvation? Where this disposition lives not, there are both the seed and fruit of the flesh. Evil tempers are the bane of religion and totally contrary to Christianity.

Barnes's Galatians 5:26 Bible Commentary

Let us not be desirous of vainglory - The word used here (κενόδοξοι kenodoxoi) means "proud" or "vain" of empty advantages, as of birth, property, eloquence, or learning. The reference here is probably to the paltry competitions which arose on account of these supposed advantages. It is possible that this might have been one cause of the difficulties existing in the churches of Galatia, and the apostle is anxious wholly to check and remove it. The Jews prided themselves on their birth, and people are everywhere prone to overvalue the supposed advantages of birth and blood. The doctrines of Paul are, that on great and most vital respects people are on a level; that these things contribute nothing to salvation (notes, Galatians 3:28); and that Christians should esteem them of little importance, and that they should not be suffered to interfere with their fellowship, or to mar their harmony and peace.

Provoking one another - The sense is, that they who are desirous of vainglory, do provoke one another. They provoke those whom they regard as inferiors by a haughty carriage and a contemptuous manner toward them. They look upon them often with contempt; pass them by with disdain; treat them as beneath their notice; and this provokes on the other hand hard feeling, and hatred. and a disposition to take revenge. When people regard themselves as equal in their great and vital interests; when they feel that they are fellow-heirs of the grace of life; when they feel that they belong to one great family, and are in their great interests on a level; deriving no advantage from birth and blood; on a level as descendants of the same apostate father; as being themselves sinners; on a level at the foot of the cross, at the communion table, on beds of sickness, in the grave, and at the bar of God; when they feel this, then the consequences here referred to will be avoided. There will be no haughty carriage such as to provoke opposition; and on the other hand there will be no envy on account of the superior rank of others.

Envying one another - On account of their superior wealth, rank, talent, learning. The true way to cure envy is to make people feel that in their great and important interests they are on a level. Their great interests are beyond the grave. The distinctions of this life are temporary, and are comparative trifles. Soon all will be on a level in the grave, and at the bar of God and in heaven. Wealth, and honor, and rank do not avail there. The poorest man will wear as bright a crown as the rich; the man of most humble birth will be admitted as near the throne as he who can boast the longest line of illustrious ancestors. Why should a man who is soon to wear a "crown incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away," envy him who has a ducal coronet here, or a royal diadem - baubles that are soon to be laid aside forever? Why should he, though poor here, who is soon to inherit the treasures of heaven where "moth and rust do not corrupt," envy him who can walk over a few acres as his own, or who has accumulated a glittering pile of dust, soon to be left forever?

Why should he who is soon to wear the robes of salvation, made "white in the blood of the Lamb," envy him who is "clothed in purple and fine linen," or who can adorn himself and his family in the most gorgeous attire which art and skill can make, soon to give place to the winding-sheet; soon to be succeeded by the simple garb which the most humble wears in the grave? If men feel that their great interests are beyond the tomb: that in the important matter of salvation they are on a level; that soon they are to be undistinguished beneath the clods of the valley, how unimportant comparatively would it seem to adorn their bodies, to advance their name and rank and to improve their estates! The rich and the great would cease to look down with contempt on those of more humble rank, and the poor would cease to envy those above them, for they are soon to be their equals in the grave; their equals, perhaps their superiors in heaven!

Wesley's Galatians 5:26 Bible Commentary

5:26 Be not desirous of vain glory - Of the praise or esteem of men.They who do not carefully and closely follow the Spirit, easily slide into this: the natural effects of which are, provoking to envy them that are beneath us, and envying them that are above us.

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