1. Galatians 4:15 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What does Paul mean when he says that the Galatians would’ve torn out their eyes if they could have done so?

Galatians 4:15 (ESV)

15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.

The Galatians were initially willing to suffer at their own cost in order to help Paul. Though some think that this verse suggests Paul had some kind of eye problem, this cannot be confirmed. It is more likely that he simply makes use of a common ancient expression to represent deep affection and the giving up of a precious possession (Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8).1