Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Hebrews 11

Verse 1

faith. Greek. pistis. App-150.

substance. Greek. hupostasis. See Hebrews 1:3 and 2 Corinthians 9:4. Used of title-deeds in the Papyri.

evidence = proof. Greek. elenchos. Only here and 2 Timothy 3:16. Compare Romans 10:17.

seen. Greek. blepo. App-133.

obtained, &c. = were borne witness to. Greek. martureo. See p. 1511.

Verse 3

worlds = ages. Greek. aion. App-129.

framed = prepared, as Hebrews 10:5. Greek. katartizo. App-125.

word. Greek. rhema. See Mark 9:32.

God. App-98.

so = to (Greek. eis) the end.

were . . . made = came into being. Greek. ginomai, to become.

appear. Greek. phaino. App-106. The reference is not to creation, but to the ordering by God of the dispensations, each of which succeeded but did not spring from its predecessor as a plant does from its seed. By rendering aionas as "worlds" here; katertisthai as "framed", instead of "prepared"; and gegonenai as "made", instead of "came into being", or "came to pass", the meaning of this important statement is lost.

Verse 4

Abel. Abel illustrates faith"s worship.

unto = to.

than. Greek. para. App-104.

obtained witness. Greek. marlureo, as in Hebrews 11:2.

righteous. Greek. dikaios. App-191.

testifying. Greek. martureo, as above.

of = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

speaketh. Greek. laleo. App-121.

Verse 5

Enoch. In Enoch we see faith"s walk.

translated. Greek. metatithemi. See Acts 7:16.

see. Greek. eidon. App-133.

before. Greek. pro. App-104.

translation. Greek. metathesis. See Hebrews 7:12.

had this testimony = was borne witness to, as Hebrews 11:2.

pleased. Greek. euaresteo. Only here, Hebrews 11:6, and Hebrews 13:16.

Verse 6

without. Greek. choris. See Hebrews 4:15.

believe. Greek. pisteuo. App-150.

is. Greek. esti. The verb substantive.

is. Greek. ginomai, to become.

rewarder. Greek. misthapodotes. Only here. Compare Hebrews 11:26, and Hebrews 10:35.

diligently seek. Greek. ekzeteo. See Acts 15:17.

Verse 7

Noah. Noah is an example of faith"s witness. Compare 2 Peter 2:5.

being warned of God. Greek. chrematizo. See Luke 2:26.

not . . . as yet. Greek. medepo. Only here.

moved with fear. Greek. eulabeomai. See Acts 23:10.

to = for. Greek. eis. App-104.

saving = salvation.

condemned. Greek. katakrino. App-122.

world. Greek. kosmos. App-129.

righteousness. Greek. dikaiosune. App-191.

by = according to. Greek. kata. App-104.

Verse 8

Abraham. In Abraham we see the obedience of faith (compare Romans 4:3-22), and in Sarah faith"s reckoning, or judging.

should after = was about to.

knowing. Greek. epistamai. App-132. See App-50. Part I.

Verse 9

sojourned. Greek. paroikeo. Only here and Luke 24:18.

in. Greek. eis. App-104.

land. Greek. ge. App-129.

strange. Greek. allotrios. App-124.

tabernacles = tents.

heirs with him. Greek. sunkleronomos. See Romans 8:17.

Verse 10

looked. Greek. ekdechomai. See Hebrews 10:13.

a = the.

foundations = the foundations. Greek. themelios. Revelation 21:14-20. See App-146.

builder. Greek. technites = Architect or Designer. See Acts 19:24. From the same root we have tekton, rendered "carpenter", Matthew 13:55. Mark 6:3, meaning builder or constructor. The word used in contempt of our Lord"s earthly occupation (as being apart from Rabbinical connexion and teaching) is profoundly significant. Does it not suggest the reason why He elected for the period of His Incarnation to become a carpenter, rather than, e.g., a shepherd, as the Antitype of David? He, the great Architect, Designer, and Fabricator of "all things visible", including "the city which hath the foundations"! He, the Preparer, Arranger, and Constitutor of the ages or dispensations (aions, Hebrews 11:3 and Hebrews 1:2), condescended to follow during "the days of His flesh"a trade involving the planning, calculation, and manual skill of a craftsman!

maker. Greek. demiourgos. Only here. A word used by the Gnostics; and by Plato and Xenophon for the Creator of the world.

Verse 11

also = even.

received. It was given from above.

strength. Greek. dunamis. App-172.

to conceive. Literally for (Greek. eis) casting down (Greek. kataboe. See App-146). Compare 2 Kings 19:3. The strength was Divinely supplied not only to conceive, but to bring to the birth.

was delivered of = brought forth.

past. Greek. para. App-104.

age = season. Greek. kairos. Genesis 18:11.

judged. Same as "counted", Hebrews 10:29.

faithful. Greek. pistos. App-150.

Verse 12

sprang = were begotten.

him, &c. = and that too, one having become dead. Greek. nekroo. See Romans 4:19.

stars, sand. Genesis 15:5; Genesis 22:17; Genesis 26:4. Exodus 32:13. Isaiah 48:19.

sky = heaven. See Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

by. Greek. para. App-104.

innumerable. Greek. anarithmetos. Only here.

Verse 13

in = according to. Greek. kata. App-104. Compare Hebrews 11:7.

promises. i.e. the things promised. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct).

afar off = from afar. Greek. porrothen. Only here and Luke 17:12.

and were persuaded of. The texts omit.

embraced. Greek. aspazomai. Same as "salute", Hebrews 13:24.

strangers. Greek. xenos. See Acts 17:18.

pilgrims. Greek. parepidemos. Only here, 1 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 2:11. We must be strangers to the world ere we can become pilgrims in it. See Genesis 23:4. 1 Chronicles 29:15. Psalms 39:12.

earth. Greek. ge, as Hebrews 11:9.

Verse 14

declare plainly. Greek. emphanizo. See Hebrews 9:24. App-106.

country = a (true) home. Greek. patris. Only here and seven times in the Gospels.

Verse 15

truly if = if indeed.

if. Greek. ei. App-118.

returned. Greek. anakampto. See Acts 18:21.

Verse 16

now = as a matter of fact.

desire. Greek. oregomai. Only here, 1 Timothy 3:1; 1 Timothy 6:10.

heavenly. See Hebrews 3:1.

ashamed. See Hebrews 2:11. Add "of them". Figure of speech Tapeinosis. App-6.

called. Greek. epikaleomai. See Acts 2:21.

hath. Omit.

city. See Hebrews 11:10.

Verse 17

tried = tested.

offered = hath offered.

received. Greek. anadechomai. See Acts 28:7.

offered = was offering.

only begotten. Greek. monogenes. See John 1:14.

Verse 18

Of = With reference to. Greek. pros. App-104.

shall, &c. Literally shall a seed be called for thee. This is quoted from Genesis 21:12.

Verse 19

Accountings = Reckoning. Greek. logizomai. See Romans 4:4.

raise up. Greek. egeiro. App-178.

from the dead. Greek. ek nekron. App-139.

also, &c. = he did even in a figure receive (Greek. komizo, RS Matthew 25:27) him back.

figure. Greek. parabole. See Hebrews 9:9. Isaac was, as far as Abraham was concerned, to all intents and purposes, dead, and so became a type of Christ in resurrection.

Verse 20

Isaac. Isaac shows us faith overcoming the will of the flesh, in that he blessed Jacob instead of Esau.

concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

Verse 21

Jacob. Jacob"s faith was manifested by his blessing each of Joseph"s sons, putting Ephraim first according to God"s will. See Genesis 48:5-20,

both = each of.

sons. Greek. huios. App-108.

worshipped. Greek. proskuneo. App-137.

upon. Greek. epi. App-104. Jacob"s worship was because he had just secured Joseph"s promise that he would not bury him in Egypt but in Machpelah, thus enabling him to express his confidence in God"s promises. This is recorded in Genesis 47:31, before the blessing of Joseph"s sons.

Verse 22

he died = was ending (life).

departing. Greek. exodos. Only here, Luke 9:31, and 2 Peter 1:15.

children = sons, as in Hebrews 11:21.

gave commandment. Greek. entellomai. First occurance: Matthew 4:6. The faith of Joseph was shown in his confidence that God would fulfil the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Genesis 50:24, Genesis 50:25. Compare Genesis 48:21.

Verse 23

Moses. See Hebrews 3:2.

three months. Greek. trimenon. Only here.

of = by. Greek. hupo. App-104.

proper. Greek. asteios. See Acts 7:20.

child. Greek. paidion. App-108.

commandment. Greek. diatagma. Only here. Compare Romans 13:2. Moses" parents must have had some revelation from God, on which their faith could act.

Verse 24

when he was, &c. Literally having become great, i.e. grown up.

refused. Greek. arneomai. Genitive translation "deny".

Verse 25

Choosing = Having chosen. Greek. haireomai. See Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:22.

suffer affliction with. Greek. sunka koucheomai. Only here.

people. Greek. laos. See Acts 2:47.

enjoy the pleasures = have enjoyment (Greek. apolausis. See 1 Timothy 6:17).

sin. Greek. hamartia. App-128.

for a season. Greek. proskairos. See 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Verse 26

Esteeming. Same as judged, Hebrews 11:11.

reproach. Greek. oneidismos. See Hebrews 10:33.

Christ. i.e. the Messiah. App-98. Genitive of Relation. App-17. Moses, as well as Abraham, looked forward to His day. John 8:56.

in. The texts read "of".

had respect. Greek. apoblepo, literally look away. Only here.

recornpence, &c. Greek. misthapodoaia. See Hebrews 2:2.

Verse 27

wrath. See Exodus 10:28, Exodus 10:29; Exodus 11:4-8.

endured. Greek. kartereo. Only here. Compare Acts 1:14.

seeing. Greek. horao. App-133.

invisible. Greek. aoratos. See Romans 1:20. He feared not the visible king, because he had seen the Invisible. Compare Elijah (1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 18:15), and Elisha (2 Kings 3:14; 2 Kings 5:16).

Verse 28

Through. In verses: Hebrews 11:3, Hebrews 11:11, Hebrews 11:28, the dative case is rendered "Through", in fourteen other verses: it is rendered "By".

passover. Greek. pascha. After the Gospels only here, Acts 12:4 (Easter), 1 Corinthians 5:7.

sprinkling. Greek. proschusis. Only here.

lest = in order that (Greek. hina) not (Greek. me).

destroyed. Greek. olothreuo. Only here.

firstborn. Greek. prototokos. See Romans 8:29. This adjective is neuter plural. Compare Hebrews 12:23.

touch. Greek. thingano. See Hebrews 12:20. Colossians 2:21.

Verse 29

passed through. Greek. diabaino. See Acts 16:9.

assaying = endeavouring or attempting (Greek. peira; here and Hebrews 11:36).

drowned = swallowed up. Greek. katapino, as 1 Corinthians 15:54.

Verse 30

compassed about = encircled. Greek. kukloo. See Acts 14:20.

seven days = for (Greek. epi. App-104.) seven days.

Verse 31

perished . . . with. Greek. sunapollumi. Only here.

believed not = were disobedient. See Hebrews 3:18.

spies. Greek. kataskopos. Only here. The verb, in Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:4.

Verse 32

fail. Greek. epileipo. Only here.

to tell = in narrating. Greek. diegeomai. See Acts 8:33. By Figure of speech Paraleipsis (App-6), the writer briefly alludes to many worthies, of whom time fails to speak in detail. Also Figure of speech Epitrochasmos, or Summarising. In the summary are four judges, two prophets, and a group in which all other prophets are included. Gedeon and Jephthae stand out together as higher examples of faith, Barak and Samson as associated with women, the former in his rise, the latter in his fall.

Verse 33

through. Greek. dia. App-104. Hebrews 11:1.

subdued. Greek. katagonizomai. Only here. Compare Luke 13:24.

kingdoms. See Deuteronomy 4:46, Deuteronomy 4:47. Jos 5-14.

obtained, &c. See Hebrews 6:15.

stopped. Greek. phrasso. See Romans 3:19. Judges 14:5, Judges 14:6; 1 Samuel 17:34-37. Daniel 6:22, Daniel 6:23.

Verse 34

violence = strength, Hebrews 11:11. See Daniel 3:27.

edge = mouth. A Hebraism; occurs over thirty times in the O.T. Compare Luke 21:24. See Joshua 6:21. 2 Kings 10:25; &c.

out of. Greek. apo. App-104.

made strong. Greek. endunamoo. Compare Exodus 4:10-16. Isaiah 6. Jeremiah 1:6-10.

waxed, &c. = became mighty in battle.

turned . . . armies = overturned the camps.

aliens. Same as strange, Hebrews 11:9.

Verse 35

raised, &c. = from (Greek. ek) resurrection (App-178.)

others. Greek. allos. App-124.

tortured = bastinadoed to death Greek. tumpanizomai. Only here.

deliverance. Same as "redemption", Hebrews 9:15. See 2 Macc. 6:19-30; 7:1-42.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

resurrection. Greek. anastasis, as above.

Verse 36

others. Greek. heteros. App-124.

trial. See Hebrews 11:29.

mockings. Greek. empaigmos. Only here.

imprisonment = prison. See Genesis 39:20 (Joseph). 1 Kings 22:26, 1 Kings 22:27 (Micaiah).

Verse 37

stoned. 1 Kings 21:13 (Naboth). 2 Chronicles 24:20, 2 Chronicles 24:21 (Zechariah). Jeremiah after the scene in Pathros (Hebrews 44), according to the Gemara.

sawn asunder. Greek. prizo. Only here. This was the death of Isaiah during the Manassean persecution (compare 2 Kings 21:16), according to the Gemara.

were slain = died.

with the sword. Literally in (Greek. en) the slaughter of the sword.

wandered about. Greek. perierchomai. See Acts 19:13.

sheepskins. Greek. melote. Only here.

and. Read "in" (Greek. en).

goatskins. Greek. aigeios (derma). Only here.

destitute. Greek. hustereo, to lack. See Luke 15:14.

afflicted. Greek. thlibo. See 2 Corinthians 1:6.

tormented = vilely treated. Greek. kakoucheo. Compare Hebrews 11:25; Hebrews 13:3 (suffer adversity). See 1 Thessalonians 2:2.

Verse 38

in. The texts read epi. App-104.

dens. Greek. spelaion. See Luke 19:46.

caves. Greek. ope. Only here and James 3:11 (place).

Verse 39

received. Same Greek. word as in 19. See Note there.

Verse 40

provided. Greek. problepo. Only here.

for = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

made perfect = perfected. Greek. teleioo. App-125. Compare Hebrews 2:10.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.