Stand Fast

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 

‘Stand fast’ – Keep rank. Do not be disorderly or retreat. Keep unity. Let nothing divide you so that satan can defeat you.

‘Liberty’ – this refers to the freedom of the gospel of the new covenant (4:21-31; Jas. 1:25; 2:12). The old covenant was one of bondage, sin, and death; the new is one of freedom, righteousness, and life. The Messiah was to bring liberty from the curse and all its effects (Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18). All Christians enjoy liberty (2:4; 5:1, 13; Rom. 8:21; 1Cor. 8:9; 10:29; 1Pet. 2:16). The Spirit brings it (2Cor. 3:17). Liberty is not to be abused or used for an occasion to sin (5:13; 1Cor. 8:9; 1Pet. 2:16).

‘Christ has made us free.’ Christ Himself is the one who sets free from the law of Moses (Rom. 10:4; Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 2:14-17).

‘Be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ Two things are commanded here: Stand fast in liberty from all bondage to the law (5:1; 3:10-12; Col. 2:14-17). Be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage to the law (5:1; Acts 15:10).

‘Entangled again’ [Greek: enecho] to be held or caught; entangled in. Make a definite break from all keeping of the law and let your freedom from it be settled once and forever. Recognize that you are under a new covenant and that you are out from all observance of Jewish rites, ceremonies, commandments, days, sabbaths, seasons, times, years, and whatever else is in the Jewish law (Col. 2:14-17; Eph. 2:14-15).

‘Yoke of bondage’ Observing any or all the Mosaic laws, commandments, rituals, or any jot or tittle of the law is considered a yoke of bondage (4:24; Acts 15:10). If one goes back to keeping the law, he is under obligation to keep the whole contract (3:10-12; 5:3; Jas. 2:10). If one wants to know whether he is allowed to steal, murder, commit adultery, or keep any sabbath, then let him go to the new contract. You are only under the law when you choose to break it.

Not Children of the Bondwoman

Galatians 4:26-31 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bear not; break forth and cry, thou that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what sad the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. 

‘Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.’ The New Jerusalem in heaven is a free city and the mother of us all (Heb. 11:10-16; 12:22-23; 13:14; Rev. 3:12; 21:1-22:5). In other words, Jerusalem is the place where God lives and who adopts us into His family (4:26-27).

‘Rejoice, thou barren that bear not; break forth and cry, thou that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which hath an husband.’ This verse predicts the salvation of the Gentiles during the rejection and dispersion of Israel. Paul quoted this passage to prove that more men will be saved under the new covenant than under the old one, which is cast out and abolished. Quoted from Isaiah 54:1.

‘Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.’ We who are Christians are the children of the promise and the new covenant like Isaac and are being persecuted as he was (4:28-29).

‘Born after the Spirit, even so it is now.’ Men were born again in Old Testament days (4:29; Deut. 32:18; Ps. 19:7; 32:1-2; 51:10-13; 103:3; Isa. 1:16-18). This was experienced by having faith in the coming redemption on the cross, whereas we look back to the cross.

‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son.’ Quoted from Genesis 21:10. This represents the old covenant being cast out as having no part in the Christian program. Christians are not under one detail of the law of Moses, including the ten commandments. When you truly love you will never transgress the moral law (Rom. 13:8, 10). Deprive any man of his wife (Rom. 13:9). Rob any woman of her virtue. Take the life of anyone. Hate anyone (1Jn. 3:15). Take the property of anyone. Rob a man of his good name. Covet one thing of another. Love only yourself. Work ill toward anyone (Rom. 13:10).

‘For the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.’ Just as Hagar and Ishmael were cast out of Abraham’s home and received no inheritance with Isaac, so the law of Moses and the gospel cannot mix. They are two different contracts. One is abolished and the other is still in force (4:30-31).

The Two Covenants

Galatians 4:21-25 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendered to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answered to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 

‘That Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.’ Recorded in Genesis 16:15 and 21:1-8. Abraham had six more sons from his second marriage to Keturah (Gen. 25:1-2).

‘After the flesh’ – that is, nothing supernatural in his birth for both parents were normal.

‘By promise’ – both parents were past age and it was impossible in the natural to have Isaac. So, by promise and by the supernatural renewal of youth he was born.

‘Allegory’ – an extended simile; a symbolic representation; natural or religious story, of which the lesson is the substance and the details are but accessories to the main point. The main idea is that Sarah and Hagar symbolize the old and new covenants. Hagar represents the Mosaic law that gendered to bondage and which has been cast out and abolished (4:24-25, 30). Sarah represents the new covenant that gives freedom from bondage and brings men to God, making them children of His by the new birth (4:26-31). The teaching is that the old covenant has been cast out and is no longer in force (4:30; Acts 15:1, 24).

‘Gendered to bondage’ – brings children into slavery to rites and ceremonies that never justify (2:16; 4:9; 5:1; Acts 15:10). This illustrates earthly Jerusalem which is in bondage with her children (4:25).

Travail in Birth Again Part 2

Galatians 4:19-20 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. 

There are fifteen proofs that people can be born again more than once from the following Biblical facts: [1] All people had eternal life in Adam until he sinned. If he had not sinned, all people would have lived forever (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-21). The new birth of John 3:1-8 is a rebirth or a restoration to original life by the cancellation of the death penalty (Isa. 59:2; Matt. 1:21; John 3:16; Eph. 2:1-9). If this can thus happen once, it can happen again and again if necessary. [2] The gospel teaches forgiveness more than once – even 490 times (Matt. 18:21-22). Would God command people to do this, if He would not do it Himself? [3] If any believer sins, he has an advocate with the Father (1Jn. 2:1-2). What is this advocate for if not to restore backsliders to God? [4] If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us (1Jn. 1:9). [5] Peter was once converted, confessing Jesus as the Son of God and the Christ, which brings the new birth (1Jn. 5:1; Matt. 16:16). He even had the power to preach and heal and had the Spirit in him (Matt. 10:1-20). Jesus predicted his backsliding and reconversion (Luke 22:31-34), proving that a converted man can and must be reconverted if he sins as Peter did in Matthew 26:69-75. [6] James taught a reconversion after one sin and incurs the death penalty again (Jas. 5:19-20). [7] Paul taught that God can graft men in again (Rom. 11:18-24). [8] Paul taught that men who have even overthrown the faith of others can come to repentance again (2Tim. 2:17-26). [9] Paul taught a rebirth again of backsliders (4:19), those who had fallen from grace (1:6-8; 3:1-5; 4:19; 5:4). [10] Paul taught us to restore a sinning brother (6:1). How could this be if it is impossible or unnecessary? [11] In Hebrews 6:1 Paul teaches the laying again of the foundation of repentance if necessary. Only apostates cannot be renewed to repentance (Heb. 6:4-9; 10:26-29). The reason is that they have thrown away all faith in the only sacrifice that can renew them. Backsliders who still have faith in Christ can be renewed regardless of how low in sin they are. [12] Jesus taught a reconversion (Rev. 2:4-5, 16, 21-26; 3:3, 15, 16). [13] In Luke 15:1-32, Jesus taught us that a sheep, coin, or boy could become lost and found again. It would be illogical to argue they could be lost and found but once, or that, once being found, they could never be lost again. It would be still more unreasonable to argue that if any one of them was lost and never found again that it was never found. What would be the process and result of finding them any number of times should they be lost? The same thing is possible of people who go back to sin any number of times. [14] David was renewed again after he sinned (Ps. 51:1-14). [15] God taught Israel time and again that He would restore them if they would meet conditions (Isa. 1:16-18; Jer. 3:13-15; 4:1-4; 18:1-10; Hos. 6:1-3; 10:12-13; 2Chron. 7:14).

There is nothing made but what can be revived, restored, recast, refinished, rebuilt, reanimated, refashioned, and remade be proper and skilled workmen. Shall we say the Almighty God is the only one who cannot do His work over and over again if it needs to be done? Shall we say man alone cannot be forgiven, restored to favour, and recreated more than once?

‘I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.’ I would like to be present with you to know the extent of your backslidings, to alter my tone and soften my rebukes, for I stand in doubt of you.

Travail in Birth Again Part 1

Galatians 4:19-20 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. 

‘Travail’ [Greek: odino] birth pangs; travail (4:19, 27; Rev. 12:2). Paul had laboured in preaching, prayer, and tears to win them to Christ, so he considered them his children. They were very dear to him. Now he had to travail in birth again until they would come back to God and Christ be formed in them again. They had fallen from grace (1:6-8; 3:1-5; 4:19; 5:4) and had to be renewed in Christ again. This is not a physical birth, but the travail of the soul in prayer causing physical and spiritual sufferings which are very real.

‘Again’ [Greek: palin] again; restore once more; anew. It refers to something which could not be done again if it had not been done once before.

The New Birth: A moral and spiritual change, not a physical one (4:29; John 3:1-8). A change of heart, will, motives, desires, life and conduct, and not an organism (2Cor. 5:17-18). A change of masters, not of constitutional makeup of body, soul, or spirit (Rom. 6:11-23; 8:1-4). Adoption of one from the satanic family into the family of God (4:5; Rom. 8:14-16; Eph. 1:5). Not a coming into existence of the body, soul, or spirit, as in the natural birth, but a consecration of them to serve God and holiness instead of satan and sin (5:16-26; Rom. 6:16-22; 8:1-13; Col. 3:5-10). Not a begetting by the Holy Spirit in the sense that Jesus became and is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:16), but a renewal in righteousness and true holiness of one who is already in existence (Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:10; Ps. 51:10). A change of nature, but not the coming into existence of that nature (Rom. 3:24-25; 2Cor. 5:17; Tit. 3:5). A change of favour, a new standing before God (Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:1-9; Tit. 2:11-14; 2Pet. 3:18; 1Jn. 3:8-10). A change of character, state and service (5:22-23; 1Cor. 13:1-13; Rom. 3:24-31; 5:1-11; 2Tim. 2:21; Tit. 2:11-14). There is no comparison between the natural and spiritual birth as to choose in the matter, conception, embryo, process, and the actual birth. The very moment one is grown enough to recognize he is a sinner and when he repents and believes the gospel a moral and spiritual change takes place (Mark 1:15; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9; 1Jn. 1:9). The very moment he decides to sin again he has a moral fall, incurs the penalty of the broken law again and comes under the sentence of death again (5:4, 19-21; Jas. 1:13-15; 5:19-20; Rom. 6:11-23; 8:1-13; John 8:34; 2Pet. 2:19-22; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:26-29; 2Cor. 6:9-11; 1Jn. 3:8-10; Ezek. 18:4; etc.). If a person sins, he must be forgiven and restored or pay the death penalty as in Galatians 6:7-8 and the above scriptures.

To be continued…

How Turn You Again?

Galatians 4:8-18 Howbeit then, when you knew not God, you did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as you are: you have not injured me at all. You know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh you despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness you spoke of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. 

‘When you knew not God, you did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?’ This is proof that they not only were one-time idolaters but were proselytes to Judaism (4:9-12). They ran well for a while (5:7), but later left Christ and the gospel to go back under the law (1:6-7; 3:1-5; 4:9-10; 5:4-9).

‘Beggarly elements’ – they are the observance of sabbaths and special days of the law (4:10; Col. 2:14-17; Rom. 14:5-6); observance of months – new moons of the law (4:10; Col. 2:14-17); observance of times or certain seasons of the year, as the feasts of Israel (4:10; Lev. 23:1-44; Col. 2:14-17) and the observance of years – annual atonements, sabbatical years, and jubilees of Israel (4:10; Lev. 23:1-44 and 25:1-55).

‘I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.’ All observances of days, months, times, seasons, years, etc. tend to make men feel religious and justified because they are doing religion and not necessarily living godly. Such is a substitute for the gospel and in vain.

‘Infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.’ This refers to some of Paul’s sufferings for the gospel, recorded in 2Corinthians 11:23-28.

‘Temptation’ [Greek: peirasmos] any kind of temptation or trial (Matt. 6:13; 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 4:13; 8:13; 11:4; 22:28, 40, 46; Acts 20:19; 1Cor. 10:13; Gal. 4:14; 1Tim. 6:9; Heb. 3:8; Jas. 1:2, 12; 1Pet. 1:6; 4:12; 2Pet. 2:9; Rev. 3:10).

‘Plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.’ This is an expression of great affection, like saying, “I would give my right arm for you or lay down my life for you.” It does not indicate that Paul had an eye disease.

‘Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?’ Is it because I tell you the truth that your affections have so changed toward me?

‘They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them.’ Your false teachers are zealous to work themselves into your good graces and to win your love. They would turn you against me so that you might love and abide by their decisions only. It is always good to be zealous for good things (4:17-18).

No More a Servant

Galatians 4:1-7 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God had sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 

‘That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all.’ An heir is not more than a servant until legally of age (4:1-2). Even so, we were children under bondage to the law until Christ came to redeem us from the law, that we might become adopted sons of God and free from the law (4:3-7).

‘Elements’ [Greek: stoicheion] elementary rules, principles of the world system, and rudiments of the Jewish religion (4:3, 9; Col. 2:8, 20; Heb. 5:12; 2Pet. 3:10-12).

‘Fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.’ The crisis of the ages at which time God saw fit to send His Son to redeem men (4:4-5), and the time for the prophets to be fulfilled (Gen. 3:15; 12:1-3; Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; etc.).

‘To redeem them that were under the law.’ To pay the full payment for all people who were slaves to sin and satan and held under the death penalty of the law they had broken. There are seven steps of Gospel redemption: The plan of God to redeem the world by the incarnation of God’s Son (4:4; Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Matt. 1:18-25). The manifestation of God’s Son in “the fulness of the time” (4:4; Dan. 9:24-26; Matt. 1:18-25). The circumstances of His appearing: made of a woman; made under the law; to be a perfect sacrifice (Gal. 4:4-5; John 3:16; Heb. 10:1-18). The redemption by His death (4:5; Rom. 3:24; 1Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:15). The sonship by the adoption of all who believe (4:6; Rom. 8:14-16; Eph. 1:5). The impartation of the Holy Spirit (4:6; 3:14; Rom. 8:9-16). The heirship of all sons (4:7; Rom. 8:14-18; Eph. 1:11; 1Pet. 1:4).

‘Because you are sons, God had sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.’ Because of sonship, we receive the fullest evidence of it by the Spirit (4:6-7; Rom. 8:14-16).

Justified by Faith

Galatians 3:24-29 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

‘Schoolmaster’ [Greek: paidagogos] a servant to care for the children who were their guardian until they became old enough to become legal sons. So, with us, after faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster or the law (3:25). We become children and legally free from the schoolmaster (the law of Moses) by faith in Jesus Christ (3:26).

‘Baptized into Christ’ – the element that one is baptized into determines what kind of baptism is referred to in the various scriptures. This is baptism “into Christ” (3:27; Rom. 6:2-8; Col. 2:12) and into His body (1Cor. 12:13), not a baptism into water. Is Christ water? If not, then this is not baptism into the water, for it is into Christ which refers to salvation where one is washed with the Word of God (3:27; Rom. 6:3-7; 1Cor 12:13; Eph. 4:5; Col. 2:12).

‘Put on Christ’ – to put on Christ means to be clothed with Him; to assume His person and character; and to act the part and sustain the character of Christ in daily life (5:24; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Rom. 6:1-14; 8:1-13). To profess Christianity is to take on the life and works of Christ, follow in His steps, and do His works (John 14:12-15; 1Pet. 2:21; 4:1-2; Rom. 13:14).

‘There is neither Jew not Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.’ All races, classes, and sexes are one in Christ and equal in rights and privileges regarding gospel benefits. They make one body with Christ as the head (1Cor. 12:13, 28-31; Eph. 1:20-23; 2:19-22; Col. 3:11). The gulf between Jews and Gentiles, masters and slaves, male and female has been bridged by Christ and the gospel. To be racist or sexist is sinful.

‘One in Christ Jesus’ – all Christians are one in unity, in rights, and in privileges as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one in unity and not one in person (John 17:11, 21-22; 1Jn. 5:7).

‘Heirs according to the promise’ – Seven equal blessings for Christians: All are children of God (3:26). All are baptized into Christ (3:27). All have put on Christ (3:27). All are equal and one in Christ (3:28). All belong to Christ (3:29; 5:24). All are Abraham’s spiritual seed (3:29). All are heirs by promise (3:29).

God is One

Galatians 3:19-23 Wherefore then served the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 

‘Till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.’ The law was to be in force only until Christ came (Matt. 11:13; Luke 16:16; 2Cor. 3:6-14; Heb. 7:28; 9:9-10). There are fifteen statements of time regarding the Law: Till the seed should come (3:19). Unto the revelation of faith (3:23). Unto Christ (3:24). No longer under a schoolmaster (3:25). Until the time appointed (4:2-5). Till all be fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-18). Until John (Matt. 11:13; Luke 16:16). Christ, the end of the law (Rom. 10:4). To be done away (2Cor. 3:7-14). Even so it is now (4:21-31). Since the law (Heb. 7:28). Until the reformation (Heb. 9:10). Nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14-17). But now (Eph. 2:13-16). After that (Christ’s sacrifice, Heb. 8:13; 9:1-28-16)

With such statements of time as to when the law of Moses was to be done away and abolished there should be no further question regarding our NOT being under it now.

‘Mediator’ [Greek: mesites] mediator, Moses (John 1:17; Deut. 5:1-33). Christ is the mediator of the new covenant (1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). This again is proof that Christ and God are separate Persons, for a mediator is a middle person mediating between TWO other persons who are at enmity with each other.

‘God is one’ – the same God for both Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 4:5-6; 1Tim. 2:5; Rom. 3:30). Moses was a mediator of the Jews only. They were only one party to the Abrahamic covenant. Christ is the mediator of Gentiles also, or of all parties to the Abrahamic contract.

‘Is the law then against the promises of God?’ If the law could bring righteousness and life, then justification would be by the law. Scriptures of the prophets as well as the law declare all to be sinners (Rom. 11:32), and imprisoned under sentence of death until the sentence should be executed upon them; that the promise of life by faith might be given to them that believe when Christ paid their penalty (3:22-23).

Cannot Disannul

Galatians 3:15-18 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulled, or added thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 

‘I speak after the manner of men; Though it be by a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulled, or added thereto.’ I [Paul] speak of civil transactions or contracts. If one is signed, sealed, witnessed, and duly recorded it stands under the protection of the civil law, and nothing can be legally added to or taken from it. So, it is with the Abrahamic covenant and promises, made 430 years before the law. The law of Moses cannot disannul them or make them of no effect. Inheritance is not of the law, but the promise of the Abrahamic covenant (3:15-18).

‘And to thy seed, which is Christ.’ This is the 4th and last Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in Galatians (3:16; Gen. 3:15; 21:12).

‘In Christ’ – The phrase “in Christ” is best understood as “because of Christ.” The Greek word eis is used in the sense of for, because of, or on account of.

‘Four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul.’ The whole sojourning of the children of Israel was from the seventy-fifth year of Abraham’s life when he entered Canaan to this day of the exodus. It took place in Mesopotamia, Syria, Canaan, Philistia, and Egypt. The sojourn in Egypt was only 215 years – half of the 430 of the whole period. This is the whole length of the Dispensation of Promise – from Abraham to the exodus.