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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 11

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1) "Now faith is," (estindepistis)"Now (moreover) faith is or (exists) as,” first a spiritual gift from God, without acceptance and use of which no person can be saved, except by voluntarily accepting, as a sinner, this gift from God and placing it in Jesus Christ to save him, Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-12; 1 Corinthians 13:13.

2) "The substance of things hoped for," (elpizomenon hupostasis) "Reality (the undergirding) of things being hoped," It is the pier or foundation of things for which one hopes in this life, Hebrews 6:19-20. For hope that anchors the soul must be based on faith in Jesus Christ; Thus faith is the sustaining, undergirding substance of all Christian hope, without which no one can please God, Hebrews 11:6; Romans 5:5.

3) "The evidence of things not seen," (pragmaton legchos ou blepomenon) "And it exists (as) proof of pragmatic or practical things not being seen," at this moment - none-the-less real, however 2 Corinthians 4:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:9; John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 John 3:1-3. God has many things undreamt awaiting those who thru faith know and love him, Revelation 5:9-10.

Verse 2

1) "For by it," (en taute gar) "Because by this," By or in this foundation, faith exists, keeps on existing, as a gift of God, to the believer, Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 13:13; John 1:11-12. It is a gift that is to grow, be strengthened, and increase, Luke 17:5; and by it there is access to God, Romans 5:2.

2) "The elders obtained a good report," (emarturethesan hoi presbuteroi) "The elders obtained witness," a good testimony or report, in its practical effects, Exodus 3:8; Numbers 13:27. Faith in Jesus Christ, exercised in daily obedience to "the faith," the system or body of truth he taught, still gives his elders and all saints a good report today, 1 Thessalonians 1:3-10; Judges 1:3; Matthew 5:15-16; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22.

Verse 3

1) "Through faith we understand," (pista’ nooumen) "By (the gift of) faith we understand," recognize or realize, not of the flesh, 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 13:13. Faith not only enables one to. carry a good report, testimony, or witness for the Lord, but also gives Godly, Superior understanding or comprehension of Spiritual things and moral and ethical values, Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:16-18; 2 Peter 3:18.

2) "That the worlds were framed by the word of God," (katertisthai tous aionas hremati theou) "That the ages(of time) were adjusted by a word (rhetoric mandate or pronouncement) of God," of the Creator, apart from whom nothing came to exist, John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16-17. The purpose of God for the ages was arranged or laid out by their Creator, then gradually disclosed to men by prophecy of the Holy Spirit, Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Peter 1:18-20; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 5:9-14.

3) "So that things which are seen," (eis to blepomenon) "So that the thing visible (being seen)," present order of earthly things. Visible things existing and consisting of matter (material elements) of visible creative compounds and mixtures have not always been visible. They became visible in Creation and formation of all things, Psalms 19:1-4; Romans 1:20.

4) "Were not made of things that do appear," (me gegonenai ek phainomenon) "Has not come to be (exist) out of things (now) appearing," as they are visibly manifested. Whether all existing, singular elements of matter are eternal in their singular invisible form, or whether all invisible elements were brought into existence in the creation, then all visible things formed from God’s compounding and mixing them in the creation of the heavens and the earth is a matter of wide philosophical and theological conjecture. But of this there is no ground for supposition or conjecture - that God thru Christ made all visible things in heaven and on earth, Colossians 1:16-17.

Verse 4

1) "By faith Abel offered to God," (pistei abel prosenegken) "By means of faith (the gift of faith) Abel offered;” The gift of faith (Gk. pistis) enabling, driving power, placed by a repenting sinner, in Jesus -Christ, brings one eternal life, Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 20:21; John 1:11-12; Galatians 3:26. This faith, accepted as the first of three spiritual gifts from God, enables or causes a child of God to grow and bear fruit to God, 2 Peter 1:4-9.

2) "A more excellent sacrifice than Cain," (pleiona thusian kain) "A greater (better in degree) sacrifice than Cain;” Hebrews 9:22; Genesis 4:4. Sacrifices and services may be offered to God acceptably only by one who first acknowledges he is a sinner, needs a Saviour, and desires to follow that Saviour as Lord of his life, Luke 9:23. A gift or sacrifice or religious rite, not preceded by faith in Jesus as Saviour, avails nothing, John 8:24.

3) "By which he obtained witness that he was righteous," (di hes emarturethe einai dikaios) "Through which he obtained, secured witness (to be recognized as) a just or righteous man;” The sacrifice did not make him righteous, neither does baptism or the Lord’s supper today, Galatians 3:26-27.

4) "God testifying of his gifts," (marturountos epi tois dorois autou tou theou) "Because of God’s witnessing over his gifts," by some divine manifestation such as the shekina light of glory, or the cloud of smoke glory that filled the temple, or the fire may have consumed the sacrifice; at least Cain visibly saw some manifestation of it, Genesis 4:5; 2 Chronicles 7:1-3.

5) "And by it he being dead yet speaketh," (kai di’ autes apothanon eti lalei) "And through it, (Abel’s better sacrifice of blood) though he has died, he speaks on," keeps on witnessing, generation after generation; By his faith in worshipping properly he encourages people, even today, Revelation 14:13.

POSTHUMOUS INFLUENCE

Joseph, while he lived, saved much people alive, and his own lofty goodness was an impressive and elevating pattern to his relenting and admiring brethren. But as an instance of special providence, and an example of untarnished excellence amidst terrible temptations, Joseph dead has spoken to more than Joseph living. The sweet singer of Israel, while he lived, taught many to handle the harp, and infected not a few with his thankful, adoring spirit. But David being dead yet singeth, and can hardly name the psalm, or hymn, or spiritual song, of which the lesson was not learned from the son of Jesse. Paul, in his living day, preached many a sermon, and made a convert to the faith of Jesus. But Paul being dead yet preacheth, and they were sermons from his sepulchre which converted Luther, and Zwingle, and most of our modern evangelists. And Luther is dead but the Reformation lives. Calvin is dead, but his vindication of God’s free and sovereign grace will never die. Knox, Melville, and Henderson are dead, but Scotland still retains a Sabbath and a Christian peasantry, a Bible in every house, and a school in every parish. Bunyan is dead, but his bright spirit still walks the earth in its "Pilgrim’s Progress." Baxter is dead, but souls are still quickened by the "Saints’ Rest" and the "Call to the Unconverted." Cowper is dead, but the "golden apples" are still as fresh as when newly gathered in the "Silver Basket" of the Olney Hymns. Eliot is dead, but the missionary enterprise is young. Henry Martyn is dead, but who can count the apostolic spirits, who, Phoenix-wise have started from his funeral? Howard is dead, but modern philanthropy is only commencing its career. Raikes is dead, but the Sabbath schools go on. Wilberforce is dead, but the Negro will find for ages a protector in his memory.

- J. Hamilton

Verse 5

1) "By faith Enoch was translated," (pistei enoch metetethe) "By faith Enoch was removed, transported, or translated;" taken alive bodily out of this life without experiencing the normal experience of physical death, Genesis 5:22; Genesis 5:24. He was translated as one who "Walked With God" by faith in the wicked pre-flood days.

2) "That he should not see death," (tou me idein thanaton) "Not to see, (behold) stand face to face with death," encounter the physical pains or experience of death. In his translation he was given a Spiritual body in exchange for his natural body, 1 Corinthians 15:44; 2 Kings 2:11-18.

3) "And was not found," (kai ouch herusketo) "And was not found," or to be found among either the living or dead corpses. It appears that his translation was private, while that of Elijah was publicly witnessed, 2 Kings 2:7; 2 Kings 2:11; 2 Kings 2:15-18.

4) "Because God had translated him," (clioti metetheken auton ho thess) "Because God had removed, transported, or translated him," who had walked uprightly with him by faith, 2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:10.

5) "For before his translation he had this testimony," (pro gar tes metath eseos memarturetai) "For before his metathesis, translation, he has or holds this witness;” He had developed a reputation of living with a consciousness of God’s presence, God’s fellowship, and Spiritual progress. So are Christians called to walk, Ephesians 5:15-16; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12.

6) "That he pleased God," (eurarestekenai to theo) "To have been will pleasing to or toward God," in his character and conduct in the turmoil of pre-flood days, 1 John 2:2; Ephesians 5:1-2; that men might daily walk to please him!

Verse 6

1) "But without faith," (choris de pisteos) "But apart from (aside from or without) faith," apart from the continuing Spiritual gift of faith, (1 Corinthians 13:13) first of the three abiding spiritual gifts. Without a sinner’s acceptance of this gift of faith and placing it in Jesus Christ, no one can ever be saved, Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11; John 1:13; John 8:24; Galatians 5:6.

2) "It is impossible to please him," (adunaton evarestesai) "It is impossible to be well pleasing (as a being) toward God," Romans 8:8; Romans 10:17 states that this faith, by which one is saved and empowered to serve, comes by hearing the Word of God. This is why it is so needful for one to hear the Word, Luke 14:35; Luke 15:1; Revelation 2:29.

3) "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is," (gar dei ton proserchomenon to theo pisteusai) "For the one approaching, coming toward (coming to) God must believe (he exists);” that he is God of the universe, God over all, 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 5:24; John 8:24, John 3:18; Men must turn from sin to the living God, the true God if they ever find salvation, Acts 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 4:10.

4) "And that he is a rewarder," (kai misthspodotes ginetai) "And that he is (becomes or exists as) a rewarder;” He responds to those who come to him, call upon him with a broken and contrite spirit of heart, Psalms 34:18; Psalms 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 62:2. This response is to meet the needs of both the saved and unsaved who call upon him in faith, Romans 10:13; Psalms 145:18.

5) "Of them that diligently seek him," (kai tois ekzetousin auton) "Even to those seeking him out," earnestly, honestly, with determination, seeking him with all their heart, with integrity of purpose, to be or become right with him, Jeremiah 29:13; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 55:6-8.

Verse 7

1) "By faith Noah, being warned of God," (pistei chrematis theis Noe) "By or through faith Noah, having been warned from God," Genesis 7:4-6; at 480 years of age, Genesis 6:3; warned through a revelation of God, concerning coming judgement for sin upon the earth, Genesis 6:13; Genesis 7:1; Genesis 7:4. God never sends judgement without first giving warning, Hebrews 9:26.

2) "Of things not seen as yet," (peri ton medepo blepomenon) "Concerning things not being seen," not having even had a glimpse of -to that time. This alludes to the flood, of which there had been no prior examples. Before that time there had never been rain or a flood on the earth, Genesis 2:6; Genesis 6:17.

3) "Moved with fear, prepared an ark," (eulabetheis kateskeuasen kiboton) "Being devout (toward God) he prepared a (kibbutz-like) ark." He acted, obeyed with-faith and Godly reverence, or respect to the warning; While the ark was 120 years being prepared, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; .

4) "To the saving of his house," (eis soterian tou oikou) "To, or to the end of, the saving of his household," his family of eight, Genesis 6:18; Genesis 7:13; They believed his message from God, obeyed, and got to themselves a continuing good name, by this unity of faith and obedience, Ephesians 6:1-4; Proverbs 22:1.

5) "By the which he condemned the world," (di hes katekrinen ton kosmon) "Through which gift of faith-deed he condemned the world," or identified the unbelieving world as an object of just judgement, 1 Peter 3:20.

6) "And became heir," (kai egeneto kleronomos) "And he became heir," one with an earthly heirsetting of inheritance, Romans 4:13.

7) "Of the righteousness which is by faith," (tes kata pistin dikaosuner) "Of righteousness which is according to (the gift of) faith," 2 Peter 2:5; Romans 3:22; Philippians 3:8-9. Faith produces fear, fear produces righteousness, and righteousness brings rewards, 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Verse 8

The Patriarchs of Faith (v. 8-23)

1) "By faith Abraham, when he was called," (pistei kaloumenos abraam) "By faith Abraham being a called one;” Immediately he believed God, was saved, and his faith was accounted, or imputed to him for righteousness, Romans 4:3; Romans 4:5; Romans 4:16; Genesis 12:1; Genesis 12:4; Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:6-9.

2) "To go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance," (ekselthein eis topon homn emellen lambanein eis kleronomian) "To go forth (from Ur of Chaldee) into a place, (Canaan), which he was about to receive for an inheritance;" Tho he received it not personally, it was pledged as a receipt to his Seed after him, while he yet had no seed, no heir of his own, Genesis 15:7; Genesis 17:8; Genesis 18:10; Acts 7:2-5.

3) "Obeyed; and he went forth," (kai ekselthen) "Obeyed and went forth," of his own volition, will or accord. The idea of "obey" is that immediately upon being called, he believed the gospel, was saved, and began to express his faith by departing his homeland, (chaldee). Genesis 15:9; Galatians 3:8; Romans 4:3; Romans 1:16.

4) "Not knowing whither he went," (me epistameneos pou erchetai) "Not understanding where he goes out," where he went, (into Canaan), wandering from place to place, yet he obeyed. His act of going out immediately was evidence or fruit of his faith he had placed in God for his salvation and daily care; Matthew 7:13-17; Men still know not what tomorrow holds, but when called to a vocation, avocation, or field of religious service, they are still wise when they go out to their daily calling and labors by faith in, and obedience to, God’s daily call, James 4:14-15; Ephesians 5:15-18; Luke 9:23; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 9

1) "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise," (pistei parokesin eis gen tes epangelias) "Through (the gift of) faith he sojourned in a land of promise," He moved about, out in travel, from place to place, unsettled as a nomad, Genesis 13:18; Genesis 23:3-4; Genesis 35:21; moving his temporary dwelling from place to place; He had no specific knowledge of where or what that promised country was, when he went out, Genesis 12:1; Genesis 12:4; Genesis 7:8.

2) "As in a strange country," (hos allotrian) "As a foreigner," as a stranger, one having no permanent home, as a non-citizen, one searching for a fatherland, an homeland, while yet unsettled, away from his own inheritance, never to receive it in his own lifetime, Acts 7:5-6.

3) "Dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob," (en skenais katoikesas meta isaak kai jakob) "Making a temporary home in tents with Isaac and Jacob," who also believed God in refusing to settle down and build permanent homes in the country of their sojourn. They lived -in temporary tents, as if they were only neighbors and had no inheritance claim on the land," 2 Corinthians 5:1.

4) "The heirs with him of the same promise," (ton sugkleronomon tes epangelias tes autes) "heirs in colleague of the same promise," the same inheritance promise; yet they too were compelled to move with him from place to place, indicating that they had a deeper, more significant faith of their coming inheritance than the mere land-grant area alone; for they looked in colleague, close affinity of faith, with Abraham, for that city to come, Genesis 13:14-18; Genesis 15:18; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:4; James 5:7; Hebrews 11:16.

THE TENTS OF ARABIA

The tents are generally six or seven feet high, and rectangular in form, made of a strong coarse cloth of camel’s or goat’s hair, which is spun by the women, and woven in a common loom. As a substitute for this, a stuff, made with the fibers of a root called "leftadun," is sometimes used. These tents are of a dark color (So 1:5); the roofs slope, so that they are almost waterproof, unless the rain be very heavy and last for several days. Inside they are sometimes divided into three compartments, one of which belongs to the women, whose special duty it is to pitch and strike the tent. The tents may be said to have a fixed order in a camp, as they are arranged around an open place where the cattle are penned at night. No works are constructed to defend these, nor are sentries posted; the dogs alone are trusted to wake all the sleepers on approach of strangers. When any danger threatens, the chief gives a signal, each family packs up the goods in its own tent, and loads them on the camels, the cattle are driven in advance, and quicken their pace as though they understood their master’s wishes. On a march of this kind the horsemen ride in front to reconnoiter, and then fall back on the flanks, and, if necessary, bravely and obstinately protect the retreat with the help of the footmen, armed with guns and knives.

- Pierrotti

Verse 10

1) "For he looked for a city which hath foundations," (eksedecheto gar ten tous themelious echousan polin) "For he expected a city having, holding, or possessing foundations;” He longed for, waited, looked in expectant hope for an eternal, permanent city, dwelling place of comfort and beauty; This city has a permanent foundation, which was lacking in the tents, Hebrews 13:14. The city of the believer’s expectancy, hope, and promise is a continuing one, 2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 12:22. Here it is called "the city of the living God."

2) "Whose builder and maker is God," (hes technites kai demiourgos ho theos) "Of which (city) the architect and maker is God," the Grand-/ architect of the universe, who has prepared the new Jerusalem for the inheritance center of his eternal administration, Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21:2-3; Revelation 21:9-10; Revelation 21:14; Revelation 21:22-27.

Verse 11

1) "Through faith also Sara herself," (pistei kai aute sarra) "Through (the gift of) faith Sara, (princess) herself also," the wife of Abraham; It is to be understood that Sarah also, or "likewise," believed God for salvation, though she first laughed, and stood in that faith with her sojourning husband, believing that they should receive an inheritance of a new city, by and by, or in God’s own time, 1 Peter 3:5-6.

2) "Received strength to conceive seed," (dunamen eis katabolen spermatos elaben) "Received power (of physical strength) for conception of seed," to bear a son, herself, an heir to Abraham in their old age, because of God’s promises repeated and confirmed to them, though she doubted at first, Genesis 18:9-19.

3) "And was delivered of a child when she was past age," (kai para kairon helikias) "And was delivered of the child, even beyond the normal period of (her) age," for child-bearing. For a woman in her prime life to be barren, then believe that she would bear a son in old age, was a triumph in faith. Abraham was an hundred, and Sarah ninety years old when their son Isaac was born, Genesis 21:1-5.

4) "Because she judged him faithful who had promised," (epei pistin hegesato ton epangeilamenon) "Since she deemed him to be faithful with whom all things were possible, who was having promised," Romans 4:21; Genesis 21:6-7. It was thru this seed that redemption was to come and all the nations of the earth be blessed, Genesis 3:15; Genesis 3:20; Genesis 12:1-3. In her faith in God she was a faithful, respected, and obedient helpmate to Abraham, calling him lord, 1 Peter 3:5-6. Trust in God manifests itself in obedience of life to one’s call and position in life, Galatians 5:12; Ephesians 5:22; Ephesians 5:25.

Verse 12

1) "Therefore sprang there even of one," (dio kai aph’ enos egenethesan) "Wherefore there be came from one," the one God called, Abraham, Genesis 12:1-4; When he was an hundred years of age and Sarah was more than ninety years of age, Genesis 17:15-19.

2) "And him as good as dead," (kai tauta nenekromenou) "And that one too having (already died)," from the reproduction standpoint, having become impotent, unproductive, or incapable of causing childbearing, according to natural life, barren or unfruitful; From such a state Abraham, by supernatural power and intervention, begat Isaac, Hebrews 11:17-19.

3) "So many as the stars of the sky in multitude," (kathos ta astra tou ouranou to plethei) "Just as the stars, a constellation of the sky, innumerable," Genesis 41:49; Joshua 11:4; in multitudes, in unlimited numbers. Abraham at one hundred years of age was promised that he should be "exceeding fruitful," and make nations and "kings" to come out of him. This means that he was the progenitor of royalty, thru Judah and David, Genesis 17:4-8; Genesis 49:10.

4) "And as the sand which is by the seashore innumerable," (kai hos he ammos he para to chelos tes thalasses he amarithmetos) "And as innumerable as the sand by (the lip of) the seashore;” Genesis 22:15-18 recounts this confirmation of God’s covenant to Abraham by an angel from God. This expression is later used regarding Israel and Judah, God’s ancient chosen offspring people of Abraham and Sarah’s seed-line, with whom Christ shall yet dwell and over whom he shall reign in fulfilling the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants, Hosea 1:10-11; Luke 1:30-33.

Verse 13

1) "These all died in faith," (kata pistin apethanon houtoi pantes) "According to (the gift of) faith these all died;” Like Paul they all held faith, believed in God’s promises of rewards, supported by faith, till death, 2 Timothy 4:7-8. They held on to and held in faith till death, Revelation 2:10.

2) "Not having received the promise," (me komeismenoi tas epangelias) "Not having possessed the promises;” These patriarchs, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob manifested their faith in the promises of God unto and in death, even dying in faith, Hebrews 10:36; Hebrews 11:39.

3) "But having seen them afar off," (alla porrothen autas idontes) "But perceiving them from afar," Hebrews 11:27; seeing them as Moses did, far away, 1 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Even so should believers and those of our faith, hailing the promises, witnessing and working in faith, John 14:13; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:10-11; Revelation 22:12.

4) "And embraced them and confessed," (kai aspasamenoi kai homologesantes) "But greeting (as in embrace) and confessing," greeting and acknowledging, they kept on sojourning, believing, serving, and obeying his commandments, as they understood them, till death, foreseeing the death of Christ and the restitution of all things thru him, John 8:56; Acts 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:22-26.

5) "That they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth," (hoti ksenoi kai parepidemoi eisen epi tes ges) "That they were strangers and sojourners (temporary travelers) on the earth;” Genesis 23:4; Job 14:1-3; Job 14:14-15; Job 19:25-27; Psalms 17:15.

Verse 14

1) "For they that say such things," (hoi gar toi auta legontes) "For those saying these things," giving this kind of testimony, as Abraham did, Genesis 23:4; as Jacob did, Genesis 49:18; as Job did, Job 19:25-26; and as Simeon did, Luke 2:25-32.

2) "Declare plainly that they seek a country," (emphanizousin hoti patrida epizetousin) "Make it emphatically manifest that they seek a fatherland," an inheritance land, Canaan, as their home, a land with which they have racial, family lineage rights of redemption heirship thru Christ; and even a position as kings and priests with him and unto him in glory, in the coming ages, Romans 8:17-18; Romans 8:23; Revelation 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 4:18.

FAITH SEES ETERNAL LIFE

As he that is to pass over some broad and deep river must not look downward to the current of the stream, but must set his foot sure, and keep his eye on the bank, on the farther shore; so he that draws near death must look over the waves of death, and fix his eye of faith on eternal life.

- Cawdry

Verse 15

1) "And truly, if," (kai ei men) "And if on one hand;” on the condition that,

2) "They had been mindful of that country from whence they came out," (ekeines emnemoneuon aph’ es eksebesan) "That one (country, Chaldee) they had remembered from which they came out," or "they had remembered that country (of Chaldee) out of which they came," if they had looked, turned back to the Ur of the Chaldee or Land of Haran, that heathen birthplace of their parentage, to have lived and died as they were born, aliens from God, afar off, Ephesians 2:11-13; Ephesians 4:17-18.

3) "They might have had opportunity to have returned," (eichon an kairon anakampsai) "They might have had an opportune time to return," to go back, but there is no evidence that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, or Jacob ever expressed such a desire to go back to Mesopotamia, so firmly fixed were they with their trust in God, Hebrews 11:39; Proverbs 3:3-5; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9. Abraham and his seed were voluntary exiles from their native fatherland and remained such thru life, witnessing that by faith they looked for a better land and home and city and body, which the Lord had promised to prepare and give to them in his own time, Hebrews 11:13; Revelation 14:13-14; John 14:1-3.

Verse 16

1) "But now they desire a better country," (nun de kreittonos oregontai) "But on the other hand now and hereafter continually, without end, they aspire to a better country," a better place, a better home. The "they" appears to refer to all true obedient believers who have, hold, or possess the "faith" of Abraham, or Abraham kind of faith, Galatians 3:6-8; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:16.

2) "That is, an heavenly,” (tout estin epouramiou) "That is an heavenly place," (one better than an earthly) Land, city, and body, Job 19:25-27; John 14:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; ; Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 12:22.

3) "Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God," (dio ouk epaischunetai autos ho theos theos epikaleisthae auton) "Wherefore God is not (at all) ashamed of them, to be called their God," those who accept him by faith, as Abraham did, (Genesis 15:6; ; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:15-16) and follow him thru life in obedient service looking for a new Fatherland, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did; He was not ashamed to call them brethren, Exodus 3:15; Hebrews 2:11; Hebrews 2:16.

4) "For he hath prepared for them a city," (hetoimasen gar autois polin) "Because he prepared for them a city," a permanent dwelling place; It has been in his purpose, intent, or plan from the foundation of the world, in Christ, 1 Peter 1:18-21; Ephesians 1:3-14; Matthew 22:31-32.

HEAVEN, WHAT IT IS

A scoffing infidel of considerable talents, being once in the company of a person of slender intellect, but of genuine piety, and supposing, no doubt, that he should obtain an easy triumph in the display of his ungodly wit, put the following question to him: "I understand, sir, that you expect to go to heaven when you die: can you tell me what sort of a place heaven is?" "Yes, sir," replied the Christian; "heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people; and if your soul is not prepared for it, with all your boasted wisdom, you will never enter there."

Baxendale’s Anecdotes

HEAVEN DESIRABLE

No one cries when children, long absent from their parents, go home. Vacation morning is a jubilee. But death is the Christian’s vacation morning. School is out. It is time to go home. It is surprising that one should wish life here, who may have life in heaven.

H. W. Beecher

Verse 17

1) "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac," (pistei prosenenochen abraam ton isaak peirazomenos) "By (the gift of) faith, Abraham being tested, (because) he has offered up Isaac;” His having offered Isaac was a testing of his complete faith, which he obediently pursued until God said it is enough, Genesis 17:8-9; Genesis 20:1; Genesis 22:1; James 2:21. Faith enables one to offer the best he has to God, John 3:16.

2) "And he that had received the promises," (kai ho tas epangelias anadeksamenos) "And the one having (already-undertaken the promises," on numerous occasions, Genesis 12:1-4; Genesis 13:14-18; Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:4; Genesis 17:6-8; Genesis 21:1-5; Genesis 21:12.

3) "Offered up his only begotten son," (kai ton monogene prosepheren) "Was also offering up the only begotten," of him, called his "only son," of the seed of promise, Genesis 22:1-2; Genesis 22:9; Genesis 22:12. Isaac did not die, but he was given up to death by Abraham; So great was Abraham’s faith that he accounted God was able to raise him from the dead from which he received him in his first birth and from this altar alive, as from the dead, to be ready to die, if need be, in obedient witnessing and service for our Lord, keeper of promises to his church and every believer, Hebrews 13:5; John 10:27-29; John 14:15; John 15:14; Revelation 2:10.

The offering of Isaac was a type of our Lord’s substitutionary offering of his only begotten Son for the sins of the world, Isaiah 53:4-6; Isaiah 53:10-12; John 1:14; John 3:15-18.

Verse 18

1) "Of whom it was said," (pros on elalethe) "As to whom (with reference to whom) it was spoken," or to whom it was said,

2) "That in Isaac," (hoti en Isaak) "that in the family of Isaac," it had been purposed that the true seed of Abraham should be preserved, Galatians 3:16; Galatians 3:29.

3) "Shall thy seed be called," (klethesetai soi sperma) "Thy seed shall be called," thy seed-lineage of promise shall be called, .

Verse 19

1) "Accounting that God was able," (logisamenos hoti dunatos ho theos) "Reckoning, computing, or calculating that God was able (powerful enough);” This calculation was not merely by human reasoning so much as faith in the word of seed-promise from God, Genesis 21:12; Isaiah 55:8-9.

2) "To raise him up, even from the dead;” (kai ek nekron egeirein) "Even to raise him up out of (from among) dead bodies or corpses;” Yes, true people of God have always believed in the resurrection from the dead, Job 14:14-15; Job 19:25-27; Psalms 17:15; Romans 8:11; John 5:28-29; Belief in the resurrection or life after death is almost universal, John 5:21.

3) "From whence also he received him in a figure," (othen auton kai en parabole ekomisato) "From whence he even obtained or begat him, in a parabolic manner or speaking."

Some hold that this alludes only to Abraham’s receiving him back from the dead or death, to which, in his heart, he had given him up. It seems plausible, however, that this also alludes to his receiving him by promise, by Divine intervention, when Abraham, from the natural reproductive standpoint was as good as dead.

Verse 20

1) "By faith," (pistei kai) "By (the gift of) faith also," without which it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-9.

2) "Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau," (eulogesen Isaak ton lakob kai ton Esau) "Isaac also blessed Jacob and Esau," with regards to matters of the future of their prosperity and families in the faith-promise line of the coming Messiah or redeemer, Genesis 27:26-29. Jacob obtained both his birthright and blessing by deception of his aged father, Genesis 27:36-37.

3) "Concerning things to come," (peri mellonton) "Concerning coming things, matters, or events;” With much tears and prayer Esau received a secondary blessing from his father Isaac, Genesis 27:39; Genesis 27:30; Genesis 28:1-4. To Jacob the blessing specifically identified his seed as future inheritors of the land, as promised to Abraham, Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:8.

Verse 21

1) "By faith Jacob, when he was dying," (pistei lakob apothneskon) "By (the gift of) faith, Jacob even when he was dying," in the line of faith of Abraham, believed and preached, by all Old Testament prophets from Abraham to Christ, Acts 10:43; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:5; Romans 4:16; These blessings were at length pronounced, both in physical weakness and strong spiritual faith, as Jacob sat on the bed or arose at times reverently leaning on his staff, then lay back upon his bed and died, Genesis 48:1; Genesis 49:33.

2) "Blessed both the sons of Joseph," (eulogesen hekaston ton huion ioseph) "Blessed each of the sons of Joseph," separately and individually. This he did by crossing his hands, Divinely led, though near blind, placing his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, distinguished by faith between the two, according to the purpose of God, Genesis 48:17-20. Jacob set the future of Ephraim, the younger, above that of Manasseh, the older, by Divine order, Genesis 48:2-5.

3) "And worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff," (kai prosekunesen epi to akron tes hrabdou autou) "And worshipped while leaning upon the top of his staff," his sojourning shepherd’s staff or rod, symbolizing God’s rod and staff, the word and the spirit, which comfort, strengthen, and empower the faith of believers, even in the hour of death, Psalms 23:4; Hebrews 13:5.

Jacob asked for and got a pledge from Joseph that he would carry him back and bury him in Canaan; He worshipped, gratefully expressing his faith in God’s promise that his seed should one day possess the Land. Having received this pledge he bowed, worshipped in reverence, and lay back upon his bed, departing to be with his people in the Lord, Genesis 47:28-31; Genesis 49:29-33.

Verse 22

1) "By faith Joseph, when he died," (pistei loseph teleuton) "Through (the gift of) faith Joseph while he was dying," at one hundred and ten years of age, after he had lived to see his third generation, Genesis 50:22-23; Genesis 50:26.

2) "Made mention of the departing of the children of Israel," (peri tes eksodon ton huion Israel emnemoneusen) "He remembered (called to attention) matters concerning the exodus or eventual departure of the heirs of Israel," from Egypt back to their promised homeland. He motivated his children and grandchildren to believe that God would visit them, and with a strong hand, lead them back to that land he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Genesis 50:24.

3) "And gave commandment concerning his bones," (kai peri ton osteon autou eneteilato) "And gave orders concerning (transport) of his bones," when the departure should come. He took an oath, a solemn pledge from them in the name of the living God, to carry his bones forth from Egypt, when they were carried back to their homeland, Genesis 50:25-26; Genesis 15:13-16; His bones were buried 262 years later at Shechem in Canaan, a place of inheritance of the children of Joseph, Joshua 24:32.

Verse 23

1) "By faith Moses, when he was born," (pistei Mouses gennetheis) "By faith Moses having been born," or after his birth, by or in the faith of his Godly Hebrew parents, who believed that children were "an heritage of the Lord," to be a divine blessing to parents, not a curse to be aborted or put to death, Psalms 127:3; Genesis 33:5; Deuteronomy 28:4.

2) "Was hid three month of his parents," (ekrube trimenon hupo ton pateron autou) “Was hidden for a period of three months by his parents;” indicating their moral convictions regarding the value of human life; These parents of Moses showed their faith in God and his promises by caring for the child, shielding him from being killed by decree of Pharaoh, Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21.

3) "Because they saw he was a proper child," (dioti eidon asteion to paidion) "By reason of the fact that they perceived him to be a fine, alert (astute) child," a beautiful Hebrew child, an heritage from their God, Psalms 127:3; Acts 7:20.

4) "And they were not afraid," (kai ouk ephobethesan) and they did not fear," were not afraid or subdued by fear. They believed that they were to preserve, not consent to destroy their son, Moses, and that they were to bring him up in the Lord, Ephesians 6:4; Matthew 10:28.

5) "Of the king’s commandment," (to diatagma tou basileos) "The decree of the king," who was also known as Pharaoh, Exodus 1:16; Exodus 2:2; When a king’s decree is directly against the word, will, and command of God to men on moral, ethical, and spiritual matters, the Christian must make delay and redress of grievance for repeal or reverse of such decree. God commands, bring up children - not kill them, as an heritage of his, see? Colossians 3:20-21.

Verse 24

1) "By faith Moses, when he was come to years," (pistei mouses megas genomenos) "By (the gift of) faith Moses when he was great," mature, educated, a grown man -When he had come to be a person of responsible age - had embraced the faith of Abraham, made known to him thru the tender care of his parents from the time he was an infant, as his mother had by Divine intervention become his legal nurse, Exodus 2:2-10.

2) "Refused to be called," (ernesato legesthai) "Disavowed (refused) to be (or when he was) called;” He would not identify himself as an Egyptian, an oppressor of the Hebrew people, to smite, torment, and enslave them; this deep conviction led or motivated him to kill an Egyptian who was mercilessly beating an Hebrew one day, Exodus 2:11-12.

3) "The son of Pharaoh’s daughter," (huios thugatros pharao) "An heir-son of Pharaoh’s daughter," whose I adopted son he was because of strings of stigma and compromise and dishonor attached thereto. When two Hebrews fought together the next day, and Moses tried to break up the fight, one of them sarcastically asked Moses in the presence of a gang, whether he intended to kill him as he did the Egyptian on the previous day. The report came to Pharaoh who then sought to kill Moses who had refused to be called his daughter’s son, Exodus 2:12-15; Acts 7:22-30.

Verse 25

1) "Choosing rather," (mallon helomenos) "Making a continuing choice rather or instead," It is declared that he “went out unto his brethren and looked on their burdens;" Exodus 2:11. This indicates that he had care and compassion for them, in their afflictions, by voluntary choice, Romans 12:15.

2) "To suffer affliction with the people of God," (sugkachoucheisthai to las tou theou) "To be ill treated in colleague, fellowship, or affinity with the people of God," In such a course of life Moses was blessed, Daniel and three Hebrew children were blessed, and our Lord pronounced blessings upon his people (the church) in the sermon on the Mount, 2 Timothy 3:12; Romans 8:18; Matthew 5:11-12; 1 Peter 4:12-14.

3) "Than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season," (e proskairon echein hamartias apolausin) "Than to have or hold the privilege of enjoyment of sin in Egypt for a limited time in the expanse of eternity, or in relation to eternity; He chose well 1 John 2:15-17; that men might not only receive Christ by faith, but also take hold of his yoke of service thru voluntary obedience, knowing that there is an accounting hour of judgement for every deed done in the body, good or evil, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:10-12.

Verse 26

1) "Esteeming the reproach of Christ," (hegesamenos ton oneidismon tou christou) "Deeming (adjusting) the reproach of Christ," counting it as an honor to be identified with Christ, the coming Messiah of Israel’s Faith-Promise and hope; It was an honor above that of royal position in Egypt and because of this choice God honored him to become emancipator and law-giver of Israel, Exodus 20:1-17; John 1:17.

2) "Greater riches," (meizona plouton) "Greater riches," in worth, quality of character, greater, superior to, more valuable than; a greater plutocracy, source of wealth.

3) "Than the treasures in Egypt," (ton aiguptou thesauron) "Than the treasures of Egypt;” to which he might have been heir for a fleeting time; He voluntarily chose to cut himself off from ever receiving the accumulated wealth of Egypt. Men can not serve God and Mammon; they must still make personal choices, as Joshua did, Joshua 24:15; Matthew 6:24.

4) "For he had respect unto the recompence of reward," (aapeblepen gar eis ten misthapodosian) "Because he was looking away, to or toward a day of eternal recompence;” He believed that God would reward him and his people who put their faith in him and pursued his promises in labors of faith and expectancy; 1 Corinthians 3:8; Psalms 126:5-6; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 22:12.

Men must still choose daily between honesty and cheating in business and education, between telling the truth and telling a lie, between morality and immorality, between living in obedience and/or disobedience to God, between living in marriage morally or out of marriage immorally, between living in or out of the church fellowship,

Verse 27

1) "By faith he forsook Egypt," (pistei katelipen aigupton) "By (means of) faith he left Egypt," Note every act of Moses’ life was by, in, or through faith in the word of the living, promise-keeping God, whose "word is true from the beginning," Psalms 119:160; He departed and for 40 years in faith and disciplined conduct became trustworthy for God’s call from the burning bush, Exodus 3:1-10.

2) "Not fearing the wrath of the king:” (me phobetheis ton thumon tou baseleos) "Not fearing the anger of the king:” Because of his open, public decision to be identified with the Hebrews, the people of God, it is evident that without regards to personal cost of life’s deprivations in turning to help the people of God, he feared God more than the anger of the king of Egypt, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 10:28. This decision led him to the mold of a hero.

3) "For he endured, as seeing him who is invisible," (ton gar aorraton hos horon ekarteresen) "For he endured or persevered as seeing the unseen one," as looking continually upon the invisible God; the God who is eternal, who manifested himself in the visible person of his Son, the promised seed of Abraham, for which Moses and his people looked, 1 Timothy 1:17; John 1:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18; 1 Timothy 6:15-16.

Verse 28

1) "Through faith he kept the passover," (pistei pepoieken to pascha) "By faith he (has) made. the passover," observed the commemorative passover, saw that Israel kept it annually, in obedience to the command of the Lord, even thru the wilderness journey, .

2) "And the sprinkling of blood," (kai ten proschusin tou haimatos) "And by faith he (has) made the affusion (sprinkling) of the (ceremonial) blood," above the door posts and lintels, symbolizing the substitutionary bloodshed of Jesus Christ, our passover who protects us from the wrath of our sins, Exodus 12:7; Exodus 12:22; Romans 3:25.

3) "Lest he that destroyed the firstborn," (hina me ho olethreuon ta protoka) "in order that the one who destroyed the firstborn ones," of men, herd, and flocks where and when the first passover was not observed, down in Egypt by the Egyptians, Exodus 12:12; Exodus 12:25.

4) "Should touch them," (thigmi auton) "Might (me) not touch them," to avoid death punishment against them for their disobedience, such as came on the disobedient that first passover night down in Egypt, Exodus 12:29-30. Apart from the shedding of blood for sins there is no safety from the wrath of God, Hebrews 9:22; Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

Verse 29

1) "By faith they passed through the Red Sea," (pistei diebesan ten eruthran thalassan) "By (means of) faith they went thru the Red Sea;" He who had delivered them from death, who by faith caused them safely to pass thru, to cross, the Red Sea dry shod, protected from nature’s harm and Pharaoh’s army, Exodus 14:13-22.

2) "As by dry land," (hos dia kseras ges) "As (though) they were passing through dry land," Exodus 14:29, declares, "But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea." The Lord saved or delivered Israel that day from the hate of Pharaoh’s army, Exodus 14:30-31.

3) "Which the Egyptians assaying to do," (hes peiran labontes hoi aiguptioi) "Which trial the Egyptians taking it on themselves to do, of their own accord;” They pursued Israel into the sea where God had rolled back the waters, Exodus 14:23-26. Their chariots stalled; their wheels ran off; their horses stampeded; they drowned at the Word of God and the hand of Moses, Proverbs 29:1; Psalms 106:9-12.

4) "Were drowned," (katepothesan) "They were swallowed up," or drowned, in the same Red Sea, at the same location; They had not entered the waters (between the wall of the waters) by, in, or thru faith, and the shedding of the Passover blood; In presumptuous sin they all died, Exodus 14:27-28; Proverbs 1:22-30; Judges 1:5.

Verse 30

1) "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down," (pistei ta teiche iericho epesan) "By faith the walls of Jericho fell, toppled;” By faith in the word of the God of Abraham who promised Joshua and Israel, "I have given into thine hand Jericho," yet he called on Joshua and Israel to manifest their faith in his gift to them, Joshua 6:2-7.

2) "After they were compassed about seven days," (keklothenta epi hepta hemeras) "After or when it had been encircled (for a period of) seven days," Joshua 6:8-20. The walls fell after God’s command of seven marches had been finished, not half finished, indicating his standard of perfect obedience in life to meet conditions of his promises given, Matthew 5:48; James 1:22.

Verse 31

1) "By faith the harlot Rahab," (pistei hraab he porne) "Through faith the prostitute Rahab," the one who, like the fallen Samaritan woman, had lived a morally degrading life, but had her entire course of life changed when she met and trusted Jesus Christ, John 4:15; John 4:28-30; John 4:39; Christ came to redeem men from all sins thru faith in his blood, Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 53:4-6; Romans 3:25; Titus 2:14.

2) "Perished not with them that believed not," (ou sunapoleto tois apeithesasin) "Did not perish with those disobeying," those being unpersuaded; She lived by faith, accepting the promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, regarding both personal redemption and a homeland covenant, so that she was Divinely protected from physical death that came untimely to many of her unbelieving, doubting contemporaries, Joshua 2:9-11; Joshua 6:21; Joshua 6:24.

3) "When she had received the spies with peace," (deksamene tous kataskopous met’ eirenes) "After she had received the spies with peace," protected them, not given them over as enemies to her country. This is as a friend risking his life for a friend, Joshua 6:23; Joshua 6:25; James 2:25.

Verse 32

1) "And what shall I more say?" (kai ti eti lego) "And what more may I say?" What yet in addition to the experiences of the aforementioned heroes and heroines of the faith of Abraham, in trust and in deed, Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:16.

2) "For the time would fail me to tell of," (epileipsei me gar diegournenon ho chronos) "For the chronological time will fail me (not be sufficient) for recounting matters of faith of," the following:

a) "Gideon (peri gedeon) "of things concerning Gideon," a tree-feller, Judges 6:11-12.

b) "And of Barak," (Barak, lightening) "And of things concerning Barak," Judges 4:6; Judges 4:8.

c) "And of Samson," (Samson, sunlike) "And of matters concerning Samson," Judges 15:16.

d) "And of Jephthae," (Jephthae) "And concerning Jephthae," Judges 11:32.

e) "Of David also," (David te) "Matters concerning both David," 2 Samuel 8:15.

f) "And Samuel," (kai Samuel) "And matters concerning both David and Samuel," 1 Samuel 7:9; Acts 3:24; Acts 13:20.

g)“And of the prophets," (kai ton propheton) "Even the prophets," Samuel and David, 1 Samuel 12:1-25; Jeremiah 23:5.

Verse 33

1) "Who through faith subdued kingdoms," (hoi dia pisteos kategonisanto basileias) "Who thru faith overcame kingdoms," These were achievements of both Samuel and David and judges and prophets aforementioned, who in faith filled their offices and callings honorably, subduing idolatry and idolatrous governments around them, James 4:7-8.

2) "Wrought righteousness," (egasanto dikaiosunen) "Worked or performed righteousness," in life and in deed, a matter that is always becoming and well pleasing to God in the behaviour of his children, Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 John 3:7.

3) "Obtained promises," (epeteuchon epangelion) "Obtained or (secured to themselves) promises, objects of Divine promises," Not one has failed, 1 Kings 8:56; Romans 4:21; 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Hebrews 13:5.

4) "Stopped the mouths of lions” (ephraksan stomata leonton) "Stopped mouths of lions," by faith; David did as recounted Judges 14:5-6; 1 Samuel 17:34-37; and Beniah did, 2 Samuel 23:20; and Daniel’s God stopped the mouths of a den of lions for his security, who by faith had refused to bow down to false gods and to stop praying to the living God, Daniel 6:12-22.

In this latter story of Daniel’s fidelity to God there is so much assurance of God’s care of his own who walk, and work, and witness by faith, and not by sight alone, 2 Corinthians 5:6-7.

Verse 34

1) "Quenched the violence of fire," esbesan dunamin puros) "Quenched (put out) the dynamic power of fire," when the three Hebrew children refused to bow down to the statue of Nebuchadnezzar, for which they were cast into the fired-up fiery furnace, the flames of which did not hurt them, Daniel 3:16-30.

2) "Escaped the edge of the sword," (ephugonstomata machaires) "Fled the mouth-edges (cutting) of (the) sword," of being slain, as David did twice from Saul, 1 Samuel 18:11-12; 1 Kings 19:1-21.

3) "Out of weakness were made strong," (edunamothesan apo astheneias) "They were empowered from weakness," such as Samson, Hezekiah and David, who was as a shepherd lad anointed of God to be the mighty king, sweet singer of Israel, and writer and composer or compiler of the Psalms, 1 Samuel 16:11-13; 1 Samuel 17:49-58.

4) "Waxed valiant in fight," (egenethesan ischuroi en polemo) "They became strong ones in polemics, in fight," or in war, as Barak did with Deborah, the prophetess who went up to battle with him, Judges 4:4-24; Judges 5:1-31.

5) "Turned to flight the armies of the aliens," (parembolas eklinan allotrion) "Armies (they commanded) made or caused alien armies (warriors) to retreat," to turn back, or to flee, thinking they were being chased when no man pursued, Deuteronomy 32:30-31; Joshua 23:10; 2 Kings 7:5-7; 2 Kings 19:6-7; 2 Kings 19:35.

Verse 35

1) "Women received their dead raised to life again," (elabon gunaikes eks anastaseos tous nekrous auton) "Women received their dead ones by a resurrection," a bringing up of loved one from among dead corpses, from physical death. Among them was the widow of Zarephath’s son, 1 Kings 17:9; 1 Kings 17:17-24; and the son of a Shunamite woman, 2 Kings 4:32-37.

2) "And others were tortured," (alloi de etumpanisthesan) "But others were beaten or clubbed to death;” This appears to be a general statement regarding people of Israel who were carried into captivity or overrun by heathen nations, especially in the days of the judges and later under Babylonian captivity, Acts 7:5-21.

3) "Not accepting deliverance," (ou prosdeksamenoi ten apolutrosin) "Not accepting (not inclined to receive), of their own accord refusing, the deliverance," apparently a compromise release that required their recanting or turning from their faith in Israel’s God, as were the three Hebrew children and Daniel, while imprisoned under Babylonian oppression, Daniel 3:12-15; Daniel 6:16-24.

4) "That they might obtain a better resurrection," (hina kreittonos anastaseos tuchosin) "In order that they might obtain or secure a better resurrection," a better release or deliverance. They "loved not their lives to the death;” Their release from imprisonment and torture, to start life over, under pressure and the condition that they deny their faith, turn from praying to the living God, is compared with the resurrection from the dead, a better resurrection than merely being released from temporary earthly imprisonment, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18; Job 19:25-27.

Verse 36

Other Victories Thru Faith v. 36-40

1) "And others had trial of cruel mockings," (heteroi de empaigmon) "And others (endured) mockings," of "cruel and derisive nature," in addition to the heroes of faith mentioned above. There awaits a blessed hour of rewards for those faithful believers of old, and of the present, who have been, and are, true to God, even though not prominently known, Matthew 5:11-12; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 2:10.

2) "And scourgings," (kai mastigon peoran elabon) "And they received scourging trials," of their own choice, rather than receive a dishonorable release from persecution of their enemies, such as Jeremiah experienced, Jeremiah 38:6-19.

3) "Yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment," (eti dedesmon kai phulakes) "Yes, even trials of bonds and of prison," rather than deny the faith, Luke 11:47-51. Prophets of God were especially declared to have been killed for their stand for truth, even by their own racial Hebrew brethren, Acts 7:52.

Such as the experience of:

a) Joseph, Genesis 39:20.

b) Hanani 2 Chronicles 16:10.

c) Micaiah 1 Kings 22:26-27.

d) Jeremiah, Jeremiah 32:2-3.

UNCROWNED HEROES

Kings sometimes walk incognito, and then they do not wear crowns. There are kings in your streets. There are men walking about in your midst that wear crowns in their hearts, which, if they were to put them on their heads, would shine so bright that you would think that twilight had dawned. There are thousands who understand and obey the injunction of the Apostle, when he says, "Quit you like men, be strong." I tell you they are heroes; and angels know it, if you do not. And angels know what to write down. When you laid the foundation of that big house, they forgot to record that in heaven. And when the walls went up, and the beautiful apartments were finished, and the whole magnificent structure was completed of the architecture of which you were so proud, as sure as you live, they forgot to put that down. And when you unrolled your rich carpet, and hung your fine pictures, they forgot to make a note of that. But when that man went down out of his splendid mansion into a fourth-class house in an obscure street, shedding, it may be, some tears as a tribute of nature, and gathered his little flock on the first evening around the fire, and made the room bright with love, and faith, and prayer, you may be certain that they put that down. They remember that. And when that man went on from day to day, and from week to week, there was not one resistance to temptation, there was not one thing that made him a man in trouble, that God did not see, that angels did not behold, and that by and by will not be sung in glory in heaven.

H. W. Beecher

Verse 37

1) "They were stoned," (elithasthesan) "They were stoned," by enemies of their God and of them, as Zachariah, 2 Chronicles 24:20-22; Luke 11:50-51.

2) "They were sawn asunder, were tempted," (epirasthesan episthesan) "They were tried (tested); They were put between boards then sawn asunder," dismembered, cut into, into pieces, hacked to death, or sawed to death, a cruel, fiendish form of death often inflicted on prisoners of war, 2 Samuel 12:31; Amos 1:3.

3) "Were slain with the sword:” (en phono machaires apethanon) "They died by murder of sword," Numbers 21:23-24; Jeremiah 21:8-9; as were Uriah and others, Jeremiah 26:23; 1 Kings 19:10.

4) "They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins," (perielthon en melotais in haigeiois dermasin) "They went about (wandered), from place to place, not daring to approach dwellings, in sheepskins (and) in goatskins," the coarsest of clothing, to cover their nakedness, goatskins, as the mantle of Elijah is called, 2 Kings 2:8.

5) "Being destitute, afflicted," (husteroumenoi thlibomenoi) "Voluntarily being (existing) in want, destitution, (and) voluntarily being afflicted;" This is why they wore sheepskins and goatskins.

6) "Tormented," (kakouchoumenoi) "Being in want," of their own accord - choosing maltreatment of going in need, rather than to compromise or deny the faith of Abraham and his and their God, Hebrews 11:25.

Verse 38

1) "Of whom the world was not worthy:” (hon ouk hen achois ho kosmos) "Of whom the world order of persecutors was not worthy;” not worthy to have such noble souls of faith and fidelity among them, Acts 22:22.

2) "They wandered in deserts," (epi eremiais planomenoi) "They wandered (moved about) over deserts or uninhabited and desolate places," as pilgrims sojourners on earth, during the forty (40) years of Sinai and Wilderness Journey, Acts 7:36.

3) "And in mountains," (kai oresin) "And in (among) the mountains," they wandered, having no place to call home; It was from Mount Nebo at the top of Mt Pisgah East of Jericho that Moses died, and was buried of the Lord in a valley in the northern part of Moab Deuteronomy 34:1-8.

4) "And in dens and caves of the earth," (kai spelaiois kai tais opais tes ges) "And in caves and in the holes, crevasse of hiding (for shelter) of the earth, they moved about," they wandered. Elijah hid, and Obadiah hid one hundred prophets of God in caves, and fed them with bread and water, when the wicked Jezebel cut off the prophets from speaking to Israel and slew many, 1 Kings 18:4; 1 Kings 18:13; 1 Kings 19:9.

Verse 39

1) "And these all," (kai houtoi pantes) "And all these," these who endured testings, trials, and even death, dying in the faith of Abraham, Romans 4:3; Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:6-8.

2) "Having obtained a good report," (maturethentes) "Having obtained a good witness," testimony or report, as the twelve spies upon their return from Canaan, Hebrews 11:2. Joseph of Arimathea had the report or reputation of being a good man and a just counsellor, Luke 23:50-51; Dorcas was a woman full of good works, as was also Barnabas, Acts 9:36; Acts 11:24.

3) "Through faith," (dia tes pisteos) "Through the faith," the system of revealed truth that had been committed to them. There exists first, the gift of faith, by which a sinner is saved and which should thereafter increase in him, Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-12; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Luke 17:5; then "the faith" refers to the system of doctrines our Lord gave his church, Judges 1:3.

4) "Received not the promise," (ouk ekomisanto ten epangelian) "Obtained or received not the promise," Luke 1:68-73; or the promised one. Although this royal roster of the heirs of Jesus Christ, all died in full faith, trust, or confidence in their redemption thru the coming one promised as the seed of Abraham, David, and of the woman, Eve, their lives were not lived in vain. He came and is yet coming again. Thru that same kind of saving, obedient, and sojourning faith we too can go on, knowing our labors are not in vain in the Lord, Hebrews 10:36-37; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Verse 40

1) "God having provided some better thing for us," (tou theou peri hemon kreitton ti problepsamenou) "God having foreseen (provided or purposed) some better things concerning us," Matthew 13:16-17; Matthew 1) First, Jesus Christ was better than any of the prophets thru whom he had spoken in times past; 2) Second, he was better than angels; 3) Third, he was a better priest and sacrifice than any of either the Levitical order or that of Melchisedec; 4) Fourth, his covenant of worship and service was better than the Mosaic; and 5) fifth, the house that he built (the church) was better than that of Moses, Hebrews 3:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:15; Mark 13:34-37.

2) "That they without us," (hina choris hemon) "in order that apart from (isolated from) us," the church, as the house and temple of lively stones, joined in affinity, indwelt by the Holy Spirit for worship and service, for an habitation of the Spirit forever, should be heirs with the natural seed of Abraham and of David in honoring Jesus Christ over the Promised Land, in the Millennium, John 14:16-17; Ephesians 3:19-21; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Luke 22:28-30; Ephesians 3:9-10; Ephesians 3:21.

3) "Should not be made perfect," (teleiothosin) "They should not be perfected," 1 Peter 1:10-12; Ephesians 1:10; saved or resurrected and given rewards and an heritage of heirsetting as promised both to them (Israel) and tous, his church; Romans 3:21-25; John 14:3; ; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:10-11; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 19:7-9.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Hebrews 11". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/hebrews-11.html. 1985.
 
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