Jerome, Commentary on Galatians, [J.P. Migne, Editor]. Patrologiae Tomus XXVI. Paris: D’Ambroise, Pres La Barriere D’Enfer, ou Petit-Montrouge, 1845. pp. 307-438.
In Galatians 4:8-9, Paul continues with the idea of the Galatians’ need for a teacher. They had recently transferred their loyalty from false gods to the true God. Even the weak things of God, those which should be simple to grasp, were novel and difficult to the Galatians (Jerome, Galatians, 375). Jerome is clear that the whole purpose of the Law of Moses, in the case of the Galatians, is to help them see the difference between God’s will and the Galatians’ will, and to prevent them from departing from the true God so as to return to the false gods which they sought by nature. Jerome emphasizes that the elements of the fallen world are foolish and powerless before God and that the Law of Moses shows this clearly. In contrast, the power and love of God is seen in Christ (Jerome, Galatians, 376). Further, Jerome finds it very significant that Paul speaks of the Galatians as “known by God,” more importantly than the fact that they know God (Jerome, Galatians, 377).
Verses 10-11 present a problem in the Galatians’ practice. They make a point of observing days, months, time, and years. This suggests to Paul that they may be trusting their observances rather than trusting Christ. Jerome makes it clear that the Jews did consider observation of particular days to be very important (Jerome, Galatians, 377). He lists several of the customary festivals, then observes that Paul, in Colossians 2, says that Christians should not be judged for such things. The fact is, as Jerome points out, the resurrection of the Lord is more important than any ohter commemoration.
In verse 12, Paul tells the Galatians to be like him because he is like them. Jerome takes this as a matter of Paul confessing that they are all weak in one way or another but that as they look to the Savior and imitate Him, all will grow to be more like God (Jerome, Galatians, 379).