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HEBREWS
Book 2

LESSON EIGHT

FOLLY 

Silliness (see Prov 5:23; etc.)
Emptiness (see Gen 34:7, KJV;  "disgraceful thing," NIV);
And many others  (Job 24:12; Ps 85:8; Eccl 2:3; 2 Tim 3:9).
Offensive thing Jer 23:13 ( "folly," NASB & KJV ;  "repulsive thing," NIV)

As a word in common use,  folly is a weak or absurd act,  and foolishness is a want of wisdom or judgment.
(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

FAITH

(Grk. pistis).   Belief or trust - especially in a higher power. 
The fundamental idea in Scripture is steadfastness and faithfulness.

Scripture's Use of the Word "Faith"  
The word is used in Scripture 

(1) Subjective Most frequently in a subjective sense,  denoting a moral and spiritual quality of individuals,  by virtue of which men are held in relations of confidence in God and fidelity to Him.
(2) Objective In an objective sense,  meaning the body of truth,  moral and religious,  which God has revealed - that which men believe. 

Examples of this use of the word are not numerous,  though they occur occasionally,  as in Phil 1:27;  1 Tim 1:19; 6:20-21;  Jude 3,20.
(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

Why these two words, foolishness and faith?
I think because in our day there seems to be a lot of foolishness used for faith. 
Many times we treat God as if He were nothing more than our servant.  We expect God to grant our every wish no matter how foolish it is.  You may ask,  how do we do that?  The answer is in our giving to the work of God,  which in itself is a good thing as long as we do it as unto the Lord and not do it with the desire to receive something in return for our giving.  I have heard ministers say,  ‘if you give God a dollar,  He will give you back one hundred for your dollar’.  If that was truly the case then we would all be rich and the stock market would go broke.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t give God what is due Him,  or that we shouldn’t support the ministry,  or that we shouldn’t support our church in all of its functions.  God will bless us as we obey Him and the Scriptures.
We should not take Scripture out of its context to use it for our own selfish needs.

Matt 6:8
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,  before ye ask him.    KJV

Matt 7:11
If ye then,  being evil,  know how to give good gifts unto your children,  how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?    KJV

Matt 18:19
Again I say unto you,  That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask,  it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.    KJV

Matt 21:22
And all things,  whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,  believing,  ye shall receive.    KJV

From these Scriptures,  it seems that we have freedom to ask God anything that we want and as long as we believe in what we ask,  we will receive it because God desires that we should have anything that our minds can think of. Wrong.   There are a few conditions that first must be stated.

First

Matt 16:24
Then said Jesus unto his disciples,  If any man will come after me,  let him deny himself,  and take up his cross,  and follow me.    KJV

Matt 26:39
And he went a little further,  and fell on his face,  and prayed,  saying,  O my Father,  if it be possible,  let this cup pass from me:  nevertheless not as I will,  but as thou wilt.    KJV

If you deny yourself and you desire only the will of God then you will ask according to His will and you will receive your requests according to the will of God.

Second

James 4:1-3
(1)  What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? (2)  You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet,  but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have,  because you do not ask God. (3)  When you ask,  you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,  that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.     NIV

Now we continue with our subject of  faith.

THE PAST TRIUMPHS OF FAITH

The reference to Faith as the characteristic of the true people of God,  leads the writer of the Epistle to develop at length the lesson of Faith given in the records of the Old Covenant.  From the first the divine revelation has called out Faith.  Hence it is to be expected that Faith should still find its appropriate trial. Thus the appeal to the past experience of the readers,  and to the general law of God’s dealings,  is confirmed in detail by the manifold experience of the saints.

The development of the work of Faith appears to follow an intelligible and natural plan. 

(v. 1) The writer first marks the characteristics of Faith generally
(v. 3) And its application to the elementary conceptions of religion  ( compare v. 6)
(4-7) He then shows that the spiritual history of the world is a history of the victories of Faith.
This is indicated by the fragmentary records of the old world 
(8-16) And more particularly by the records of the growth of the Divine Society.
This was founded in the Faith of obedience and patience of the patriarchs
(17-22) And built up in the Faith of sacrifice, sustained against natural judgment
(23-31) And carried to victory by the Faith of conquest 
(32-38) The later action of Faith in the work of the people of God is indicated up to the last national conflict under the Maccabees
(39,40) And it is then declared that all these preliminary victories of Faith await their consummation from the Faith of Christians

Characteristics and Works of Faith  (Heb 11:1 & 2)

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(v. 1) The reality,  the sphere,  and the power of Faith are affirmed
(v. 2) The religious history of mankind is appealed to generally in support of its claims
Heb 11:1-2
(1)  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
(2)  For by it the elders obtained a good report.
KJV

Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
(1)  Now is faith of [things] hoped for [the] assurance, of things [the] conviction not seen(2)   For by this were borne witness to the elders.

11:1 

Now is faith of hoped for…not seen
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the test of objects not seen
The order ( now is faith ) shows that the object of the writer is not to give a formal definition of Faith,  but to bring out characteristics of Faith which bear upon his argument. 

It seems to suggest the affirmation of the reality of faith
as well as the nature of faith

As if it were  ‘Now faith is,  and it is this…’ 
This fullness of meaning explains the  this  which follows.

The noun (faith) has no article as indicating faith in its abstract conception,  and not specifically the Christian faith. Compare Rom. 1:5; 3:28.

Rom 1:5
By whom we have received grace and apostleship,  for obedience to the faith among all nations,  for his name.    KJV

Rom 3:28
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.    NIV

In the characterization of Faith which is given we have to consider:

(a) Its Object  Its object is of  hoped for and of things conviction not seen
(b) Its Office Its office is to be the assurance of the former, the conviction of the latter

The object of Faith is distinctly intelligible.
Faith essentially deals with the future and with the unseen.
The regions not entered by direct physical experience. 
The statement is perfectly general 

things hoped for
objects not seen

and not specific in regard to the contents of the revelation given by God. 

Faith deals with everything that comes under these two categories. 

By Faith we attach the idea of permanence to the law which represents the results of past observation. 
By Faith we discern the love which is offered to our notice by outward signs.

In considering things ‘future’ and ‘unseen’ it will be felt that hope has a wider range than sight.
Hope includes that which is internal as well as that which is external. 
Hence:

of hoped for  is left indefinite as extending to the whole field of mental and spiritual activity, 
while of things  conviction not seen  suggests a definite order of objects and events outside the believer,  which are conceived of as realities which may fall under man’s senses.

Under another aspect  ‘things hoped for’  are more limited than  ‘objects not seen,’  for the latter embrace all that belongs to the requital and purification of the guilty,  and the present government of God.

In regard to the office of Faith it may be laid down that the interpretations of the two words  assuranceconviction  must be coordinate:  that they must describe Faith under the same general aspect. 
Now, as far as the description of Faith here is concerned, it may be presented to us

in regard to what it is,  as a particular frame of mind, 
or in regard to what it does, as producing particular results.

Senses have been given to  assurance  and  conviction  which correspond with both views.  Thus conviction has been translated  ‘assurance,’  a meaning which it has in Heb. 3:14.  

And again ‘essence’ (substance),  that is,  that which gives real existence to a thing, a sense closely akin to the sense in  Heb. 1:3

So too  conviction  is looked upon as the feeling of certainty, and  ‘proof,’  that is, the means by which certainty is gained.

The two senses of assurance are well established;  but it is difficult to suppose that conviction can express a state.  If then  conviction  must be understood of the ‘proof,’  the  ‘test,’  by which the reality of the unseen is established;  it seems to follow necessarily that the parallel meaning must be given to assurance,  ‘that which gives true existence’ to an object.

Nor is it a valid objection that assurance is not in the case strictly ‘essence’ as applied to the several objects of hope, but (generally) that which gives reality to them.  
For it is in virtue of  Faith that things hoped for are now,   so that Faith is their essence in regard to the actual experience of the believer.

Thus the general scope of the statement is to show that the future and the unseen can be made real for by Faith.

Things which in the succession of time are still  ‘hoped for’  as future have a true existence in the eternal order;  and this existence Faith brings home to the believer as a real fact.  So also  things unseen  are not mere arbitrary fancies:  Faith tries them,  tests them,  brings conviction as to their being.

11:2 

For by this
For herein,  as living and acting in this atmosphere of Faith, of Faith by which the future is realized and the unseen apprehended, the elders had witness borne to them.  The religious history of man is taken as the proof of the power which Faith possesses to test and realize the unseen.

Faith is indeed the characteristic of all the Jewish heroes,  though Faith,  as such,  is very little noticed in the Old Testament.  The witness is borne to the life which was inspired by Faith. 

Faith at the Dawn of History  (Heb 11:3 - 7)

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The first view of Faith is taken from the brief records of the old world given in Genesis 1-9. 

(v. 3) It is first laid down that our fundamental view of the origin (as so of the course) of the world rests on Faith
(v. 4) In Abel, Enoch, Noah, the writer considers three types of Faith under different circumstances, as answering to man’s constitution, to the development of life, to special revelation. Abel recognized the natural obligations of man to God generally, and fulfilled them unto death, through which he still lives
(v. 5) Enoch realized fellowship with God in action till it was crowned in an eternal fellowship
(v. 7) Noah obeyed a specific direction of God and was saved through suffering

And it may be added that, as in Abel and Enoch there were revelations of death and life, so in Noah there was a revelation of judgment.

Heb 11:3-7
(3)   Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
(4)   By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
(5)   By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
(6)   But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
(7)   By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
KJV


Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
(3)  By faith we apprehend to have been framed the worlds by [the] word of God, so that not from [things] appearing the things seen have being( 4)   By faith a more excellent sacrifice Abel than Cain offered to God, by which he was borne witness to as being righteous, bearing witness to his gifts God, and through it, having died, yet speaks( 5)   By faith Enoch was translated not to see death, and was not found, because translated him God; for before his translation he has been borne witness to have well pleased God( 6)   But apart from faith [it is] impossible to well please [him]. For to believe it behooves him who approaches to God, that he is, and [that] for those who seek out him a rewarder be becomes( 7)   By faith having been divinely instructed Noah concerning the things not yet seen, having been moved with fear, prepared an ark for [the] salvation of house his; by which he condemned the world, and of the according to faith righteousness became heir.

11:3

The belief in creation — the belief in a divine will manifested in the existence of the world — is the necessary foundation for the life of faith in all its manifestations.  Hence this primary action of faith is declared first.  By faith we attain to the assurance that the world — history —is not the result of blind fate but answers to an expression of the will of God;  and so we can attain to fresh victories corresponding to our position,  even as in the past the heroes of faith triumphed.
The verse presents two distinct thoughts:

1. It declares the fundamental act of faith by which we apprehend the fact of creation.
2. Then points out the consequence which ought to follow from it in our view of the world, as it lies before us.

The conception of creation by God’s word rightly leads to a present belief in the power of God as Preserver and Governor of that which He created.

By faith….by word of God
By faith we perceive that the world hath been framed by God’s word
The conclusion is an interpretation of the external phenomena which are presented to us made by the highest rational faculty in man (we apprehend), to which Faith gives validity.

For  we apprehend  compare Rom. 1:20.  It expresses a mental as distinguished from a sensuous perception (Mk. 8:17).

Rom 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.    NIV

Mark 8:17
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them:  "Why are you talking about having no bread?  Do you still not see or understand?  Are your hearts hardened?   NIV

To have been framed
Expresses the manifoldness and the unity of all creation; and by the tense marks that the original lesson of creation remains for abiding use and application. Compare Heb. 10:5;13:21; 1 Thess. 3:10; Gal. 6:1.

The conception of creation as unfolded in time,  the many ‘ages’ going to form one ‘world,’ is taken up into Christian literature. 

By faith
By the direct exercise of faith,  by the act of faith
The (instrumental) dative is used by Paul in 2 Cor. 1:24; Rom. 11:20; Col. 1:23.
The ‘world’ was conceived to exist archetypal in the ‘mind’ of God before it was brought under the limitations of time and space  (see my study in Genesis,  Paul the Learner). 

So that not…the things seen have being
To the end that that which is seen be known to have arisen not from things which appear
The purpose and end of the knowledge gained by faith as to the creation of the world is the conviction that the visible order as we observe it, as a whole (the things seen),  has not come into being by simple material causation. We learn to recognize that there is a divine power behind.  Such a conclusion is the fundamental triumph of Faith. Creation can best be conceived by us as the limitation of that which is, and not as the addition of anything to the sum of being.

The phrase  so that  can,  according to usage,  have no other sense than that of expressing the end. 
Compare Heb. 10:7.  It occurs eight times in the Epistle,  and uniformly in this meaning.
By a not unnatural brevity of expression ‘the becoming of the world’  is used for  ‘our conception of the becoming of the world.’ 

The apostolic phrase expresses whatever truth is conveyed by it. No purely physical explanation of the origin of the world is possible. Things that appear cannot give an explanation of the origin of the universe which we see.

Appearing the things seen
The visible order,  as one whole,  is contrasted with the many elements which fall under the senses.

11:4 

ABEL

By faith a more excellent sacrifice…to God
Genesis 4:2.  By faith Abel offered to God a more abundant sacrifice than Cain

Gen 4:2-7
(2)  Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.  (3)  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD(4)  But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.  The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,  (5)  but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.  So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 
(6)  Then the LORD said to Cain,  "Why are you angry?  Why is your face downcast?  (7)  If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right,  sin is crouching at your door;  it desires to have you, but you must master it."     NIV

The use of a   more excellent  in Heb. 3:3; Matt. 6:25  has been supposed to justify the general sense of  ‘more excellent,’  ‘better’  qualitatively only.  But the narrative in Genesis suggests that the deeper gratitude of Abel found an outward expression in a more abundant offering.  He brought of the  ‘firstlings’  and did not offer like Cain at   ‘the end of time,’  while he also brought  ‘of the fat’  of his flock.

Here is an addition to our Hebrew Text,  taken from the LXX.
Though thou hast offered right,  yet if thou hast not rightly divided, has thou not sinned?’ 
This verse was not brought over into our English Bibles.

It is impossible to determine certainly in what Abel’s Faith consisted.  The fact that he offered  ‘a more abundant’ sacrifice shows a fuller sense of the claims of God.  It has been reasonably suggested that the sacrifice of animals, which were not yet given for food,  indicates a general sense that life was due to the Living One alone.

By which he was borne witness
Through which sacrifice.  The sacrifice was the sign of the righteousness — the true relation to God by faith — which he had inwardly. Through this the witness came,  as God bore witness on occasion of his gifts  (Compare verse 7).  The express title of  ‘righteous’  is not given to Abel in the Old Testament narrative,  but to Noah first (v. 7).  The character however is given to him,  and the title in later times: Matthew 23:35; 1 John 3:12.
There is nothing in Scripture to show in what way the divine witness was given to Abel.  A widespread legend current still among Mohammedans (Koran, v. & 30 notes), related that fire came down and consumed his sacrifice:
According to an Eastern tradition the ram which Abraham offered was the ram of Abel’s offering which was sent down from Paradise (Sale on Koran xxxvii. 107).  A similar thought finds expression in the Jewish legend (Pirke R. Eliez. 31 ap. Biesenthal page 297 n.) that the altar of Abraham’s sacrifice was that on which Adam,  Abel and Noah had sacrificed.  ( I find traditions interesting but they are not Scripture).

By which……yet speaks
Through it,  i.e. faith
Abel’s faith was the ground of his living activity after death.  Philo argues that Cain truly died and Abel lived.

Yet many refer historically  to having died,  ‘after death he still (in the record of Scripture Gen. 4:10 comp. Heb. 12:24) speaketh as indeed not dead.’ 
Or it may be fully temporal and describe the present voice of the first righteous martyr. 

It seems most in accordance with the language of Scripture on the unseen world not to exclude the second view. Revelation 6:9.

Rev 6:9
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.   NIV

By which…through it
Through which  (sacrifice or faith?) … through it  (faith or sacrifice?)
The reference of the pronouns is ambiguous.  Each may refer either to  ‘faith’ or to  ‘the sacrifice’; and every combination has found advocates. On the whole it appears to be most natural to see:

In the sacrifice means through which the testimony was borne
In the faith that which prompted the sacrifice that whereby Abel still speaks. 

The decision must be made by consideration of the general thought of the passage. 
The words themselves admit equally all interpretations.  Yet compare v. 7  by which.

11:5

ENOCH

Gen 5:21-24
(21)  When Enoch had lived 65 years,  he became the father of Methuselah. 
(22)  And after he became the father of Methuselah,  Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  (23)  Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years.  (24)  Enoch walked with God;  then he was no more,  because God took him away.    NIV

In Enoch the view of the true destiny of man was again revealed,  fellowship with God
Side by side with advancing material civilization the revelation of the spiritual life was also given.

Was translated not to see death
In the LXX we find this statement repeated  ‘continued to please God’  and that was why God took him out of an ungodly world.  

One of these days, God will take the church out of a ungodly world,  because Jesus continued to please His Father and we are included in the thought of pleasing God,  if we continue in Christ.   (Paul the Learner)

Was not found, because translated him God
The writer follows the interpretative rendering of the LXX while the Hebrew has simply:  he was not, for God took him,  a phrase which leaves the mode of Enoch’s departure from life quite open.

For before his translation
Faith
was the ground of the translation because pleasing God is specially mentioned before this took place; and such pleasing implies faith.  The circumstances under which Enoch lived gave prominence to his Faith.  In a corrupt age he is said to have maintained that fellowship with God which is identical with pleasing Him.

Been borne witness
The witness stands recorded.

11:6

The simple notice that Enoch  ‘pleased God’  (or ‘walked with God’) is sufficient proof of his Faith.  For Faith is an essential condition of ‘pleasing’ (or of  ‘fellowship’).

Heb 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.    NIV

For to believe it behooves
The Faith which is thus declared to be necessary for everyone who approaches God as a worshipper (those who approach),  includes two elements:

1. The belief that God is.
2. That He is morally active.

In other words it is a Faith in the existence and in the moral government of God.

That he is and…he becomes
That He is — that there is One Who answers to the intuition — and that He shows Himself a rewarder
The word  who seek out,  which is common in the LXX,  wherever it occurs in the New Testament in the sense of  ‘searching’  suggests the notion of strenuous endeavor.
Compare Heb. 12:17; Acts 15:17; Rom. 3:11; I Pet. 1:10.

Acts 5:17
Then the high priest and all his associates,  who were members of the party of the Sadducees,  were filled with jealousy.   NIV

11:7 

NOAH

Gen 6:8-10
(8)  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD
(9)  This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time,  and he walked with God.  (10)  Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.    NIV

The Faith of Noah was directed to a special revelation which was made known to others also.  In this respect it differed from the Faith of Abel and Enoch.

Divinely instructed...things not seen
The things not yet seen’ (not indefinitely  ‘things’),  the judgment which was to come upon the world with all its attendant circumstances,  were the subject of the divine communication.

Of the flood which was yet future.  The meaning is,

There were no visible signs of it
There was nothing which could be a basis of calculation that it would occur
This admonition was given an hundred and twenty years before the deluge,
and of course long before there could have been any natural indications that it would occur.

(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Therefore, the building of the ark by Noah, was strictly an act of faith.  He simply believed what God said.

Having been moved with fear, prepared
Moved with pious care (he) prepared….Compare Heb. 5:7  in that [he] feared; Heb. 12:28  (with reverence and fear);  Acts 23:10  fearing.
This characteristic was at once called out by the divine warning. 
Divinely instructed  and  having been moved with fear  appear to be coincident in time.

The King James Version gives the impression that Noah acted under the influence of fright. The English Revised Version (1881) improves on this a little by rendering  "godly fear."  The true idea is  "pious care,"  a reverent circumspection with regard to things enjoined by God,  and as yet unseen,  yet confidently expected on the strength of God's word.
(from Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

The word  being prepared  (1 Peter 3:20)  includes both the construction and the fitting up of the ark.

By which
Through which ark  (compare v. 4). 
His Faith was visibly presented to the eyes of his contemporaries by the construction of the ark. 
Through this then he condemned the unbelieving world,  as witnessing to the divine destruction which was to come upon them in just recompense for their deeds.

Both here and in verse 4  by which  may be referred to Faith,  but in both cases the form of the argument seems to require a reference to the  outward expression of the Faith

The Sacrifice of Abel 
and the Ark of Noah 
were the Faith of each made visible.

And so it can rightly be said that Noah through the ark — the embodiment of his Faith in deed — became heir of the righteousness according to Faith.

He condemned…became
The first verb through the form is ambiguous, is probably an imperfect and describes the constant significance of his action.

Noah's actions must have generated a great deal of interest and probably ridicule as well.  

Noah's faith influenced his whole family and they were saved.
Noah's faith condemned the whole world,  for his faith revealed their unbelief.

Events proved that Noah was right!

Jesus used this experience to warn people to be ready for His return (Matt 24:36-42). 
In Noah's day, the people were involved in innocent everyday activities and completely ignored Noah's witness  (2 Peter 2:5)

(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1989 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Matt 24:36-39
(36)   "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  (37)   As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  (38)   For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;  (39)   and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.    NIV

Matt 24:44
So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  
KJV

Of the according to faith righteousness…heir
Noah is the first man who receives the title of  ‘righteous’  in the Old Testament. (Genesis 6:9).
Faith’  and  ‘righteousness’  are placed in different connections one with the other.

Rom 6:11
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.   KJV

Rom 6:13
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God,  as those that are alive from the dead,  and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.    KJV

Rom 9:30
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles,  which followed not after righteousness,  have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.     KJV

Rom 10:6
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise,  Say not in thine heart,  Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)     KJV

Phil 3:9
And be found in him,  not having mine own righteousness,  which is of the law,  but that which is through the faith of Christ,  the righteousness which is of God by faith:     KJV

The righteousness according to faith,’  the righteousness which  ‘answers to,’  ‘corresponds with’  faith,  is that righteousness which God alone can give,  which answers to,  corresponds with,  that spiritual order which faith alone enters.

Heir
The righteousness was something which came to him as having its source without,  and yet according to a certain law. 
It was his by an unquestionable right:  it corresponded with the position of a son; and this position Noah showed by his conduct to be his. 
Compare Heb. 1:14  (to inherit salvation);  
Heb. 12:17 (to inherit the blessing). 

The righteousness was 
not a hope for the future 
but a real possession by the gift of God.

Compare note on Heb. 6:12

Faithful Abraham  (Heb 11:8  - 12)

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With the call of Abraham the records of Faith enter on a new phase. 
Faith is treated henceforth in relation to a society, a people of God, through whom the divine blessings were to be extended to mankind. Under this wider aspect Faith is regarded in two forms as shown by the representative founders of the ancient people in:

(Heb. 11:8-16) The Faith of patient Obedience which is the foundation of the Kingdom of God
(Heb. 11:17-19) The Faith of Sacrifice which is the principle of its development

True faith is able to wait for the fulfillment of God's purposes in Gods time. But,  while we are waiting,  we must also be obeying.

(Heb 11:8-10) Abraham believed and obeyed when he did not know where he was going .
(Heb 11:11-12) Abraham believed and obeyed when he did not know how Gods will would be accomplished.
(Heb 11:13-16) Abraham believed and obeyed God when he did not know when God would fulfill His promises.
(Heb 11:17-19) Abraham believed and obeyed God by faith when he did not know why God was so working.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright (c) 1989 by SP Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The Faith of patient Obedience is traced mainly in the Life of Abraham:

(11:8-12) Abraham impressed his own character upon his descendants
(11:13-16) In Abraham and in them it was openly shown that the societies of earth have a spiritual archetype which is the true object of human endeavor

The Faith of patient Obedience seen in the Faith of Abraham  (11:8-12).

The Faith of the patriarchs,  represented by the Faith of Abraham,  is presented under three different aspects:

(11:8) The Faith of Self-Surrender As Abraham trusted God wholly,  going forth he knew not where
(11:9, 10) The Faith of Patience As he waited on the scene of his hope looking for God’s work
(11:11, 12) The Faith of Influence As he communicated his faith to Sarah, so that though them (‘one flesh’) the innumerable offspring of faith were born

In each case Abraham cast himself upon the unseen and realized the future.
The promise was thus carried to its first typical fulfillment (Heb. 6:15)

Heb 6:15
And so after waiting patiently,  Abraham received what was promised.   NIV

The Faith of Abraham is no less conspicuous in later Jewish teaching than in Christian teaching.
He is said to have gained  this world and the world to come by Faith.
In this respect he is spoken of as a  father to the Gentiles. (Mechilta on Exodus 14:31 ap. Delitzsch l.c.)

Ex 14:31 - "The great hand:" i.e.,  the might which Jehovah had displayed upon Egypt.
In addition to the glory of God through the judgment upon Pharaoh (Ex  4, 17), the guidance of Israel through the sea was also designed to establish Israel still more firmly in the fear of the Lord and in faith. But faith in the Lord was inseparably connected with faith in Moses as the servant of the Lord.  Hence the miracle was wrought through the hand and staff of Moses.  But this second design of the miraculous guidance of Israel did not exclude the first, viz.,  glory upon Pharaoh.  From this manifestation of Jehovah's omnipotence,  the Israelites were to discern not only the merciful Deliverer,  but also the holy Judge of the ungodly,  that they might grow in the fear of God,  as well as in the faith which they had already shown, when,  trusting in the omnipotence of Jehovah, t hey had gone,  as though upon dry land (Heb 11:29), between the watery walls which might at any moment have overwhelmed them.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

In this place the Faith of Abraham is not connected directly with personal righteousness, as in Paul’s Epistles, but is presented as the power through which the patriarch was enabled to work towards the fulfillment of God’s counsel for the nations by his trust in the unseen.

Heb 11:8-12
(8)    By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 
(9)    By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
(10)  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
(11)  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
(12)  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
KJV

Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
(8)  By faith being called Abraham obeyed to go out into the place which h was about to receive for an inheritance, and went out, not knowing where he is going(9)   By faith he sojourned in the land of the promise, as [in] a strange [country], in tents having dwelt with Isaac and Jacob, the joint-heirs of the promise same(10)  for he was waiting for the foundations having city, of which [the] artificer and constructor [is] God(11)   By faith also herself Sarah power for [the] conception of seed received, and beyond age seasonable gave birth; since faithful she esteemed him who promised(12)   Wherefore also from one were born, and that too of [one] having become dead, even as the stars of the heaven in multitude, and as sand which [is] by the shore of the sea the countless.

11:8       The Faith of Self-Surrender

The beginning of the Messianic nation was a call, a separation.

The founder had a promise of an inheritance.
This promise he could trust though he knew not how it would be fulfilled.

By faith being called…an inheritance
By faith Abraham when called obeyed, to go forth into a place which he was to receive as an inheritance.
The present participle (being called) serves to emphasize the immediate act of obedience (obeyed).  He obeyed the call while it was still sounding in his ears.

To go out
The point in this ‘going forth’ was that Abraham gave up all in faith upon the invisible God  (Genesis 12:1; Acts 7:3: compare Heb. 13:13);  and in doing this he knew not what he was to receive.  The future was safe in God’s counsel.  In this supreme act,  by which he became  ‘the father of the faithful,’  Abraham had no example to follow.

Gen 12:1-3
The Call. - The word of Jehovah,  by which Abram was called,  contained a command and a promise.
Abram was to leave all - his country, his kindred (see Gen 43:7), and his father's house - and to follow the Lord into the land which He would show him.  Thus he was to trust entirely to the guidance of God,  and to follow wherever He might lead him.  That Canaan was to be his destination, was no doubt made known as a matter of certainty in the revelation which he received after his arrival there  (v. 7).  For thus renouncing and denying all natural ties,  the Lord gave him the inconceivably great promise,

 "I will make of thee a great nation; 
and I will bless thee, 
and make thy name great; 
and thou shalt be a blessing
."

The four members of this promise are to be regarded as an ascending climax,  expressing four elements of the salvation promised to Abram,  the last of which is still further expanded in v. 3.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

He went forth to ‘a place’ (not ‘the place’) of which all that he knew was that in the end it should be his.

And went out…he is going
And he went forth while he knew not whither he was coming (going).  It was not revealed to Abraham till he had left Haran what was to be his abode:  Gen. 12:7; compare Acts 7:2.

Gen 12:7
The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land."  So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.  NIV

Here in Sichem Jehovah appeared to him,  and assured him of the possession of the land of Canaan for his descendants.  The assurance was made by means of an appearance of Jehovah,  as a sign that this land was henceforth to be the scene of the manifestation of Jehovah.  Abram understood this,  "and there builded he an altar to Jehovah, who appeared to him,"  to make the soil which was hallowed by the appearance of God a place for the worship of the God who appeared to him.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The use of  he is going  presents the patriarch as already on his journey;  and the writer seems to regard his end as the promised land in which he himself is ideally (he is going).

11:9,10.        The Faith of Patience

The Faith of self-surrender was submitted to a longer proof.  When Abraham reached the land which was to be his,  he occupied it only as a sojourner.  He had to learn that the promise of God would not be fulfilled by any material possession.

11:9 

By faith he sojourned in
By faith he entered as a sojourner into the land of promise
For  sojourned in  compare Acts 12:19;
For  sojourned  see Luke 24:18;  compare Acts 7:6,29; 13:17; Eph. 2:19; 1 Pet. 2:11; 1:17. 
The word is common in the LXX,  Gen. 21:23;  23:4.

Gen. 21:23
‘Now therefore swear to me by God,  that thou wilt not injure me nor my seed nor my name;
but that according to the kindness with which I have treated thee, thou wilt deal with me and 
this land in which thou hast sojourned.’   LXX

Gen. 23:4
‘I am a stranger and sojourner among you, give me therefore the possession of a burying place
among you, that I may bury my dead from before me.’     LXX

The phrase  land of the promise  occurs here only in the New Testament.  There is no corresponding Hebrew phrase in the Old Testament,  nor is there any exact parallel.  It describes the land which was attached to the promises;  to which they pointed;  which was assured to Abraham by God.  Compare Gen. 12:7; 13:15.

Keil & Delitzsch on Gen 13:14-18
After Lot's departure,  Jehovah repeated to Abram  (by a mental, inward assurance, as we may infer from the fact that  'aamar   "said"  is not accompanied by  wayeeraa'   "he appeared").  His promise that He would give the land to him and to his seed in its whole extent,  northward, and southward,  and eastward,  and westward,  and would make his seed innumerable like the dust of the earth.  From this we may see that the separation of  Lot was in accordance with the will of God,  as Lot had no share in the promise of God;  though God afterwards saved him from destruction for Abram's sake.  The possession of the land is promised `owlaam `ad   "for ever."  The promise of God is unchangeable.  As the seed of Abraham was to exist before God for ever,  so Canaan was to be its everlasting possession.  But this applied not to the lineal posterity of Abram,  to his seed according to the flesh,  but to the true spiritual seed,  which embraced the promise in faith,  and held it in a pure believing heart.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

In tents having dwelt…same
Abraham dwelt throughout the time of his sojourn in tents,  so declaring that that which was to be permanent was not yet attained.  And Isaac and Jacob,  who shared his hope,  showed the same patience of faith.  The premature settlement of Lot and its disastrous issue point the lessons of Abraham’s discipline.

Isaac and Jacob are specially mentioned because these three,  Abraham,  Isaac, and Jacob,  cover the whole period of disciplinary sojourning in Canaan;  and to these three the foundation promise was repeated (Gen. 12:2; 26:3; 28:13; compare Ex. 6:3,8).

Abraham
Gen 12:2 "I will make you into a great nation 
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.     NIV
Isaac
Gen 26:3 Stay in this land for a while,  and I will be with you and will bless you.  For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.    NIV 
Jacob
Gen 28:13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.    NIV
Israel  -  Restored & Redeemed by Jesus
Isa 60:21-22 (21)  Then will all your people be righteous 
and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted, 
the work of my hands,
for the display of my splendor. 
(22)  The least of you will become a thousand,
the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the LORD;     NIV

Biesenthal quotes a striking passage from the Hebrew Talmud  ( Sanh. F. iii. a)  in which the patient faith of the patriarchs is illustrated by the fact that while they were heirs of the land,  they bore without complaint the trial of gaining with difficulty what they needed there for the simplest wants  (Gen. 23:4; 26:17; 33:19).

11:10

The ground of this patent waiting was the growing sense of the greatness of the divine purpose.  Abraham felt,  under the teaching of his pilgrim life,  that no earthly resting-place could satisfy the wants and the powers of which he was conscious.  He looked beyond the first fulfillment of the promise which was only a step in the accomplishment of the purpose of God.

For he was waiting for…God
For he looked for the city that hath the foundations
The object of his desire was social and not personal only.  ‘He looked for the city that hath the foundations’  — the divine ideal of which every earthly institution is but a transitory image.  The visible Jerusalem,  the visible Temple, were farther from this spiritual archetype than the tents of the patriarch and the Tabernacle of the wilderness.  They were in large measure of human design and wholly of human construction.  But God Himself frames and constructs the heavenly city  (v. 16)  no less than the heavenly sanctuary:  compare Heb. 8:2. See also Heb. 12:22; 13:14; Revelation 21:2; Gal. 4:26.

It is a new city
A city which never appeared before, 
A city of which all other cities are but the poor pre-intimations,
A city as compared with which all present cities will sink out of mind and memory
A city new in its materials
A city new in its size
A city new in its location
A city new in its style
A city new in its permanence
A city new in its moral purity
A city new in everything characteristic of it
It is heaven-built
It is jeweled in its foundations
It is jeweled in its walls
It is jeweled in its streets
It is perfected in everything that is charming and beautiful 
It is "as a bride adorned for her husband"  (Rev 21:2). 

Rev 21:2
I saw the Holy City,  the new Jerusalem,  coming down out of heaven from God,  prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.    NIV

The idea of   foundations having city  is that of the one ‘city’ which has ‘the eternal foundations.’ 
To this outwardly the tents of the patriarchs offered the most striking contrast. Compare Revelation 21:14.

Rev 21:14
The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.   NIV

Of which artificer and constructor God
Whose designer and maker is God
The word  artificer  in this connection refers to the plan and constructor to the execution of it.  
Artificer
occurs in the more general sense of  ‘craftsman’  Acts 19:24,38; Rev. 18:22. 
Constructor is not found again in the New Testament.

Additional Note on Heb. 11:10   -   The social imagery in the Epistle

(A)  Political terms applied to the Christian Society

No words are more liable to be misunderstood than those which describe forms of social organization. They survive the state of things to which they were originally applied, and are transferred to a new order, more or less analogous to the past yet widely distinguished from it. For this reason the language which is used in the New Testament to describe the Christian Society is exposed to many interpretations.

Believers are represented in the apostolic writings as united in a

‘congregation’
‘state’
‘city,
‘kingdom,’

and it is important to endeavor to realize the primitive conception of Christianity as a social power.

In this connection the teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews is of the greatest moment.
It offers a view of the organization of the Gospel in most respects singularly comprehensive; and it is not unlikely that the imminent overthrow of the Jewish state gave occasion for dwelling upon this aspect of the Gospel. There is however one striking omission.
The Epistle is almost silent as to ecclesiastical organization. No one of the words which have come to represent the main ideas of Church government is used in it with its limited technical sense.

‘Apostle’ In Hebrews The title ‘Apostle’ is used only of Christ Himself 
(Heb. 3:1  the apostle and high priest of our confession, Christ Jesus). 
The verb  looking diligently  in Heb. 12:15,  in the one place where it occurs, suggests no thought of official oversight.
‘The Elders’ ‘The elders’ are simply the heroes of the Old Dispensation (Heb. 11:2). 
' The Assembly' The term assembly (Heb. 2:12) is not used in the sense of  ‘a particular church’  or of  ‘the universal church’ 
(2:12)  in midst of assembly
(12:23) to assembly of firstborn). 

The single term which indicates the existence of ordered discipline in the body is the most general, ‘those that have rule,’ ‘that lead’ (13:7,17,24).

(B)   Variety of social imagery in the Epistle to the Hebrews

With this exception the view given in the Epistle of the social embodiment of the Gospel is most varied. 
Eight passages present it under five distinct aspects:

1. Heb 2:5 The habitable world which is to come.
The Divine Order in its fullest extent and realization.
2. Heb 3:2 &
Heb 10:21
All his…the house of God.
The relation of the Order to God, as its Head and Indweller.
3. Heb 11:10,16 &
Heb 13:14
Foundations having city…the coming one.
Compare Heb. 8:11.   The social constitution of the Order.
4. Heb 12:22 The vision of the fullness of the Order.
5. Heb. 12:28 A kingdom not to be shaken.
Compare Col. 1:13.    A present kingdom.

Each of these aspects of the Christian Society must be considered separately.

The Christian Society is the embodiment of  ‘the order to come’   (Heb. 2:5).

The far-reaching phrase which is inadequately rendered by  ‘the world to come,’  suggests the thought of the Order towards which the earlier discipline of the world had been directed.

It has been all along foreseen. 
It is the true fulfillment of the destiny of humanity:  the initial stage of the consummation which answers to creation.
It is essentially comprehensive.
It includes men as men, and places them in their due connection with Nature.

This inherent universality of the Order,  as contemplated under this aspect,  explains the silence of the Epistle on the call of the Gentiles.
Old divisions,  which had their place in the times of preparation,  could not continue when man was seen to have reached the divine end in Christ.
Henceforth;  ‘the people’  and  ‘the nations’  were united in a larger fellowship.

The spiritual Order was revealed in Him, of which Greek civilization and Roman government were partial types.

The house of God    (Heb. 3:2; 10:21).

Under the image of  ‘the House of God’  the Christian Society is regarded in a different light.

It is the organized system in which God dwells, and of which He is the Master.
The sense of the dwelling-place, which is dominant, passes into that of the family, and then the dwelling-place consists of human hearts. 
The image is derived directly from Numbers 12:7 ‘he is faithful in all my house’.
The earliest and simplest expression of the thought of  ‘the House of God’  is in Genesis 28:17.
The phrase is rarely applied to the Tabernacle:  Exodus 23:19; 34:26; Joshua 6:24; Judges 18:31.
It is used of the Temple in 2 Samuel 7:5; 1 Kings 8:17 and later writings.

The passage from the thought of a material to that of a spiritual ‘House’ is natural: Jeremiah 7:4; John 2:16,19 (compare Matthew 23:38). In its widest meaning the ‘House’ includes Nature no less than Humanity; but it is through man that all other things reach their end.  Hence while Christ is  ‘a great Priest over the House of God'  (Heb. 10:21),  Christians are in a peculiar sense ‘His House’ (Heb. 3:6).  As Paul writes to the Ephesians:  Each several building — each chamber in the whole fabric of the universe — fitly framed together,  groweth into a holy sanctuary in the Lord;  in Whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21). Compare 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 2:5;4:17.

The Christian Society as the abiding City     (Heb. 11:10,16; 13:14)

It is however under the idea of the  ‘city,’  the  ‘state’,  that the Christian Society enters most fully upon the inheritance of earlier life.  Three distinct elements contribute to the fullness of the conception of the Christian city - Jewish, Greek, and Stoic:

Now we will look at three different teachings, 

(1)  The book of Revelation
(2) The teachings of Paul
(3) The teachings of the Epistle to the Hebrews

In the Revelation the Jewish conception finds its most striking application. 
In the Epistles of Paul the Greek conception is dominant. 

But in each case the idea of universality raises the particular conception to its loftiest form.

(1) The book of Revelation
The real significance of the imagery of the Revelation is liable to be mistaken. 
This is largely derived from Ezekiel.
The holy city, new Jerusalem’ (Rev. 21:2),  is in fact not a city,  made up of human dwellings - 
It is one building,
a Temple, 
a House of God   (compare Ezekiel 40:2).

Ezek 40:2
In visions of God he took me to the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, on whose south side were some buildings that looked like a city.     NIV

The last nine chapters of Ezekiel contain a magnificent vision, in which the prophet, being transported in an ecstatic state into the land of Israel, is shown the new temple and the new organization of the service of God, together with the new division of Canaan among the tribes of Israel, who have been brought back from among the nations. 
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Which has hitherto been in heaven  (cc. 4. 5; 6:19; 14:15,17; 8:3; 16:7;  compare Heb. 8:5). 
It is a perfect cube  (Rev. 21:16), ‘four-square to all the elements,’ of absolute symmetry and strength.
Angel-watches guard its gates (Rev. 21:12).
The people live in a Paradise around it, and have free access to the divine throne (Rev. 22:1; 14, 19);  and at the same time,  under another aspect, some at least among them are themselves part of the spiritual Sanctuary (Rev. 3:12). 
A single  ‘street,’  as in the earthly Temple,  gives an approach to that manifestation of God which takes the place of the Sanctuary (Rev. 21:21),  ‘The name of God, and the name of the city of God, and the new name of Christ’ is the signature of believers.  The revelation of this new Society,  no less than the revelation of God Himself, in other words, gives to the Christian his abiding character. 
As a citizen of this new city, a priest doing service (Rev. 22:3) to a present Lord, a servant and yet a king (Rev. 22:5), he reaches the goal of his creation.
Meanwhile a wider work is accomplished. The leaves of ‘the tree’ by ‘the river of the water of life’ are ‘for the healing of the nations’ (Rev. 22:2). 
So it is that ‘the nations shall walk amidst the light’ of the city — which is ‘the glory of God’ — and ‘the kings of the earth do bring their glory into it’ (Rev. 21:24).

In such a vision,  given as the consummation of the work of the Incarnate Lord,  the most far-reaching words of the prophets find their accomplishment.  The new city is seen to be a Temple.  The centre,  the light,  the law,  of its constitution is the revelation of God though the Lamb (Rev. 21:23 the lamp);  and those who first enter upon its privileges are allowed to see the extension of their own privileges to  ‘the nations,’ and to fulfill a work for these later fellow-citizens.

(2) The teachings of Paul
Paul recognized this spiritual city, ‘the Jerusalem which is above,’ which is ‘free and our mother’ (Gal. 4:26);  but he dwelt more upon the individual privileges which belong to its citizens (comp. 2 Cor. 5:1)  than upon the social fellowship.  As one who knew and used the rights of Roman citizenship,  he felt keenly how those who enjoyed a divine citizenship were raised above all who were not spiritually enfranchised. 
The Christian ‘citizenship’ or ‘commonwealth’ (Phil. 3:20) was for him a great and present reality,  the full power of which would be shown in due time (Phil. 3:21).
Those who before were ‘alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of the promise’ were ‘made near in the blood of Christ’ (Eph. 2:12).
The boundary wall which had hindered their approach to the Sanctuary was broken down (Eph. 2:14).
They were therefore ‘no longer strangers  (without any civic rights)  
or sojourners (licensed dwellers, enjoying a defined status), 
but fellow-citizens with the Saints and of the household of God’ (Eph. 2:19). 

Their life was necessarily an endeavor to realize under the conditions of earth the privileges of the new State of which the Gospel of Christ was the charter (Phil. 1:27), even as the true Jew had enjoyed the rights and duties of the commonwealth of Israel (Acts 23:1).

(3) The teachings of the Epistle to the Hebrews
 In the Epistle to the Hebrews the idea of the Christian city is connected with the whole course of Revelation.  The Call of Abraham pointed to this abiding issue of the counsel of God.  The patriarch recognized that he was but a ‘sojourner’ in the land of promise: for ‘he waited for the city that hath the foundations’ (Heb. 11:10), the one definite organization of the people of God,  already existing in the divine idea. For if men,  for the fulfillment of preparatory discipline, ‘waited,’ God had already provided that towards which they reached forth: ‘He had prepared them a city’ (Heb. 11:16). 
On His side all has been eternally ready,  but even now Christians,  conscious of the transitoriness of the things amidst which they move,  ‘seek after the city which is to come’ (Heb. 13:14).  This city has not still to be founded: it is, and the believer as he is able uses the high prerogatives which belong to its members.

The vision of the fullness of the Christian Society     (Heb. 12:22)

The full realization of the Christian city lies still in the future, but meanwhile the believer is allowed to contemplate its glories in contrast with the terrors of the legislation from Sinai.

The Christian Society as a present kingdom     (Heb. 12:28)

One further image is used of the Christian Society,  which is not derived from Greek or Roman thought,  but from the monarchies of the East. 

Believers receive from the hands of God  ‘a kingdom which cannot be shaken’ (Heb. 12:28). The figure appears to include a twofold idea. 

(a) They are under a sovereignty of infinite wisdom
(b) They are also themselves kings (compare Rev. 1:6; 5:10)

The Society which is established has an office towards the nations.  The kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of kings,  who in turn ruling in His name, bring all people under His sway.

The thought lies in the first proclamation of the Gospel  (Matthew 3:2; 4:17).
It was the topic of the teaching of the Risen Lord  (Acts 1:3)
It forms the substance of the latest apostolic teaching recorded in the Acts (Acts 28:31)
Its present symbol is the Cross (John 12:32)  which points to the way of true dominion, when the single ruler gives himself for his people and does not use his people for selfish ends.  'He who bears the reproach of his country shall be called the lord of the land, and he who bears the calamities of his country shall be called the king of the world.’ (ref. Loa-tzu & lxxviii. Chalmers’ translation). The unconscious prophecy of the Chinese teacher has found its fulfillment; and the truth is committed to Christians that it may be embodied.

11:11,12       The Faith of influence

Abraham had to sustain yet a third trial before the promise received an initial fulfillment. 
The son through whom the blessing was to come was not born while his birth was naturally to be expected and according to man’s reckoning possible.  But Sarah,  who was at first unbelieving,  was at last inspired with her husband’s Faith by his example and influence;  and the promise found amplest accomplishment.

    Sarah

By faith also herself Sarah
By faith even Sarah herself…though she more than doubted. 
Sarah is evidently regarded in the closest union with Abraham (v. 12 from one).  She was ‘one with him.’ Her faith was a condition for the fruitfulness of his faith.

For conception of seed
The translation  ‘for the founding of a race’  is altogether unnatural.  The thought here extends no farther than to the direct personal issue of Sarah’s Faith.

She was enabled to become the mother of Abraham’s son.
She co-operated on her part with Abraham towards the fulfillment of the promise.

The promise was to Abraham, and the word of faith was primarily his, but it was needful that Sarah should join by faith with him.

And beyond age seasonable
Even against the natural expectation of the age which she had reached.

Wherefore also from one
Wherefore also children were born through her from one, and that from one as good as dead
Though Sarah is lost,  so to speak,  in Abraham with whom she was united  (from one),  yet her act of Faith completing his Faith is made the reason of the fulfillment of the promise.

Even as the stars
Genesis 22:17; 32:12. At first the promise is of an heir, and then of a countless progeny. Compare Heb. 6:13.

Gen 22:17
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies.    NIV

Gen 32:12
But you have said, `I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.'"     NIV

The references in the Old Testament to Abraham as  ‘the one’  are significant: Mal. 2:15; Isa. 41:1,2; Ezk. 33:24.

The Heavenly Hope  (Heb 11:13 - 16)

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Characteristics of the patriarchal life of faith

(11:13) The life of the patriarchs was a life of faith to the last,  supported by trust in the invisible which they had realized, resting on complete surrender, directed beyond earth
(11:14-16) They showed that the true satisfaction of human powers,  the ‘city’ which answers to man’s social instincts,  must be ‘heavenly
Heb 11:13-16
(13)  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
(14)  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
(15)  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
(16)  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
KJV

Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
(13)  In faith died these all, not having received the promise, but from afar them having seen, and having been persuaded, and having embraced [them], and having confessed that strangers and sojourners they are on the earth(14)   For they who such things say, make manifest that [their] own country they are seeking(15)   And if indeed that they were remembering from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned(16)   but now a better they stretch forward to, that is, a heavenly; wherefore is not ashamed of them God. God to be called their; for he prepared for them a city.

11:13

Having described the victories of faith gained by the patriarchs the writer marks the great lessons of their death and of their life.  ‘These all’ — the three to whom the promises were given,  Abraham,  Isaac and Jacob,  with Sarah,  the representative of faithful womanhood — ‘died in faith’;  and in life they had realized the promises which they had not outwardly received in a threefold order of growing power:

1. They had seen them.
2. They had welcomed them.
3. They had acknowledged that earth could not fulfill them.

In faith died
They died in faith,  literally  ‘according to faith’,  that is,  under the influence and according to the spirit of Faith,  inspired,  sustained,  guided by Faith.

 Faith was the rule of their lives,  the measure of their growth,  even to the end. 
They faced death as men who retained their hold on the invisible,  which was offered to them in the promises of God,  though earth  ‘gave them no pledge.’  So their departure was transformed into ‘a going home.’
By these all we must understand the first representatives of the patriarchs and not the whole array of their descendants (v. 12).

Not having received…but
The clause does not simply state a fact,  but gives this fact as the explanation of the assertion that the patriarchs ‘died in faith’:  ‘They died in faith inasmuch as they had not received the outward fullness of the promises -

the possession of Canaan
the growth of the nation
the universal blessing through their race

but had realized them while they were still unseen and future.

From afar them having seen…having embraced…having confessed
The three thoughts rise in a natural succession.  They saw the promises in their actual fulfillment: they welcomed the vision with joy through it was far off: they confessed what must be the true end of God’s counsel.

And having confessed
The language of Abraham  (Gen. 23:4  LXX;  compare Gen. 47:9; 24:37;28:4)  is used as expressing the view which the patriarchs took of their life.

Gen. 23:4 
‘I am a stranger and sojourner among you, give me therefore the possession of a burying place among you, that I may bury my dead from before me.’     LXX

Gen 47:9
And Jacob said to Pharaoh,  "The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty.  My years have been few and difficult,  and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers."    NIV

Gen 24:37
And my master made me swear an oath, and said, `You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live.    NIV

Gen 28:4
May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham,  so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien,   the land God gave to Abraham."    NIV

Philo places a similar interpretation on the  ‘sojourning’  of the fathers:  (ref. De conf. Ling. & 17, I p. 416 M.)
Not only was the ‘land’ of Palestine ‘strange’ to them (v. 9), but the ‘earth’ itself.

Strangers and sojourners
Things seen were not their true home,  and they remained among them only for a short space. 
For  strangers  compare Eph. 2:12,19; 
For sojourners compare 1 Pet. 1:1;2:11 (Gen. 23:4); Ps. 39:12 LXX ; Lev. 25:23. 

Psalms 39:12
‘Hearken, O Lord, to my prayer: give ear to my supplication:  hold not Thy peace at my tears:  since I am a sojourner in the land;  and a stranger as all my fathers were;’      LXX

11:14-16

These verses develop the last clause of  verse 13,  and define the grounds of the statement which has been made that the patriarchs  ‘died in Faith.’  Their language showed that they continued to the last to look for that which they had not attained. 

As  ‘strangers they acknowledged that they were in a foreign land:
As  ‘sojourners they acknowledged that they had no permanent possession, no rights of citizenship

At the same time they kept their trust in God.  Their natural fatherland had lost its hold upon them.  They waited for a ‘city’ of God’s preparing.

Heb 11:10
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.    KJV

11:14 

For they who such things
The language of the patriarchs makes clear that they sought for a country, which should be naturally and essentially their own,  not simply the fruit of gift or conquest,  but a true ‘fatherland.’  They had no fatherland on earth.  The word  such things,  which is rare in the LXX.   Is found here only in the Epistles  (John 4:41 and parallels).

11:15

And if indeed
They spoke of a home not yet reached;  and in so speaking they could not have referred to that home which they had left in Mesopotamia,  the seat of primitive civilization;  for returning there was easy. 
Not again could Palestine,  even when occupied at last,  have satisfied their hopes;  this remained the Lord’s land: (Lev. 25:23).

Lev 25:23
The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.     NIV

They were remembering
The verb  remember  has commonly in the New Testament,  as in this Epistle Heb. 13:7,  the sense of ‘remember’;  but in v. 22,  and perhaps in 1 Thess. 1:3,  it has the second sense of  ‘make mention.’ 
It seems on the whole more natural to take that sense here and to suppose that the reference is to the language just quoted rather than to a general feeling:  ‘and if their words, when they so spoke, had been directed to the country from which they went….’   ‘if they had meant that….’   The imperfect tense is used rather than the aorist tense since the words were the expression of a continuous state of mind.

11:16

But now
But now,  as the case is…  see 1 Cor. 7:14; 12:20;  Heb. 8:6.
Though their expectation received no definite fulfillment,  the desire remained still fresh;  and all partial fulfillment’s led them to look forward,  and to look beyond the transitory.

Wherefore
Because their thoughts were directed to spiritual realities,  God,  Who is spirit,  acknowledged them as His own,  revealing Himself as  ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’ (Exodus 3:6,15; Matthew 22:32).

Is not ashamed of them…God to be called
God is not ashamed of them,  not ashamed to be called their God.
The second clause is added in explanation:  ‘is not ashamed of them,'  ' is not ashamed, that is, to be called’ — named by a peculiar title (Acts 4:36; 10:5,18,32) —‘their God.’

The title  ‘the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’  is the characteristic name of God at the Exodus: Ex. 3:6.

Not merely did God call Himself their God, but He IS NOW not ashamed to have Himself called so.
Not only is He not ashamed,  but glories in the relation to His people. 
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Since they had such an elevated aim,  he was willing to speak of himself as their God and Friend.  They acted as became his friends,  and he was not ashamed of the relation which he sustained to them.   The meaning here is,  that they had acted in such a manner that it was fit that he should show toward them the character of a Benefactor, Protector, and Friend.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

For he prepared for them a city
The proof of God’s acceptance of the patriarchs lies in what He did for them.  Their faith truly corresponded with His purpose.

They entered into His design and He acknowledged their devotion and trust.
He was pleased to establish a personal relation with them,  and to fulfill His spiritual promise;  for  ‘He prepared for them a city.’
He made provision for their abiding continuance with Him in the fullness of human life.

The statement is made in the most absolute form without any definition of time (‘He had prepared,’ or ‘thereupon He prepared’).

John 14:2
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.    KJV

I go to prepare ...  Many earlier interpreters p refer  "I would have told you"  to these words,  and render  "I would have told you that I go to prepare a place for you."
But this is inadmissible,  because Jesus says (John 14:3)  that He is actually going to prepare a place. 
The better rendering  "if it were not so, I would have told you,"  as parenthetical,  and connects the following sentence with  "are many mansions,"  by means of  hoti  (for or because),  which the best texts insert.
  "In my Father's house are many mansions  (if it were not so, I would have told you),   for I go to prepare a place for you."
I go to prepare. Compare Num 10:33. Also Heb 6:20, "whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus."

A place  ( topon).  The heavenly dwelling is thus described by three words:  "house, abode, place."
(from Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Faith of the Patriarchs  (Heb 11:17 - 22)

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The Patriarchal Faith of Sacrifice  (against natural judgment)

From the general description of the life of faith in the patriarchs,  to whom the promise was first committed,  the writer goes on to give special illustrations of the power of faith,  as the promise was seen to advance towards fulfillment through trial.   Thus he notices

(vv. 17-19). The primary trial.  That through which God works is first wholly surrendered to Him.
(vv. 20,21) The patriarchal blessings. The natural order reversed: Isaac, Jacob 
(v. 22) The world abandoned 

In the former paragraph the personal triumph of faith over death has been described: here faith is seen to look through death to the later issue for others.

Heb 11:17-22
(17)  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
(18)   Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
(19)   Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
(20)   By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
(21)   By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
(22)   By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
KJV

Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
(17)  By faith has offered up Abraham Isaac being tried, and [his] only-begotten was offering up he who the promises accepted( 18)  as to whom it was said, In Isaac shall be called thy seed( 19)  reckoning that even from among [the] dead to raise able [was] God, whence him also in a simile he received( 20)  By faith concerning things coming blessed Isaac Jacob and Esau( 21)  By faith Jacob dying each of the sons of Joseph blessed and worshipped on the top of his staff( 22)  By faith Joseph, dying concerning the going forth of the sons of Israel made mention, and concerning his bones gave command.

11:17-19

The trial of Abraham

The references to Abraham in the Old Testament are fewer than might have been expected. There appears to be no mention of his sacrifice unless it is implied in Isaiah 41:8 9 ( LXX ) ‘But thou Israel My servant; thou Jacob, whom I have chosen; thou seed of Abraham whom I loved!’. 

The trial of Abraham
was not so much in the conflict of his natural affection with his obedience to God, 
as in the apparent inconsistency of the revelations of the will of God which were made to him.
Thus the greatness of Abraham’s Faith
was shown by the fact that he was ready to sacrifice his only son, 
though it had been before declared that the fulfillment of the promise which he had received was to come through him.

His obedience therefore included the conviction of some signal and incomprehensible work of God whose promise could not fail.  At the same time the nature of the trial left an opportunity for the right exercise of Faith.   The specific command could be fulfilled only in one way:  the promise might be fulfilled in more ways than one. 
So Faith triumphed.

Gen 22:1-2
(1)  Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied. 
(2)  Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."     NIV

Gen 22:5
He said to his servants,  "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there.  We will worship and then we will come back to you."     NIV

Faith in action,  we will come back to you  -  not I will come back to you.

11:17         Abraham

By faith……being tried
By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up (literally hath offered up) Isaac

The 1st verb being tried expresses the permanent result of the offering completed by Abraham in will
The 2nd verb offered up expresses his actual readiness in preparing the sacrifice which was not literally carried into effect

As far as the trial went,  the work was at once completed.  Compare James 2:21  was justified, having offered.

The use of the word  being tried  (Gen. 22:1)  marks the decisive severity of the trial.  The tense (as distinguished from  having been tempted  (compare Heb. 2:18)  marks the immediate coincidence of the act of obedience with the call for it.  Compare v. 8  being called.

And only-begotten…accepted
Yea, he that had gladly received the promises prepared to offer up his only son
The  ‘only son’  is placed in significant parallelism with the  ‘promise.’
In regard to the promise Isaac was  ‘the only son’ of Abraham (Gen. 17:19).

Gen 17:19
Then God said,  "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son,  and you will call him Isaac.  I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.     NIV

The word  accepted  is unusual.  It occurs again in the New Testament only in Acts 28:7. 
The idea which it suggests here seems to be that of welcoming and cherishing a divine charge which involved a noble responsibility.  The word is used frequently of undertaking that which calls out effort and endurance.

11:18 

As to whom it was said
He to whom it was said  (i.e. Abraham),  not  ‘him in reference to whom’  (Isaac)    Luke 2:18,20. 
The latter rendering is against the structure of the sentence;  though it is in itself possible. Compare Heb. 1:7,8

In Isaac
Gen. 21:12.  The words  in Isaac  stand emphatically first:  In Isaac,  and in no other,  a seed shall bear thy name,  shall be called thine. Compare Rom. 9:7.

Rom 9:7
Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."     NIV

11:19

The obedience of Abraham rested on his faith in the creative power of God. His conclusion was made at once and finally that God could raise from the dead.  That this was his judgment follows of necessity from the fact that he was ready to surrender Isaac without giving up his faith in the fulfillment of the divine promise.

Whence…he received
Whence  (i.e.  from the dead)  he also in a figure  (simile)  received him
Elsewhere in the Epistle (see Heb. 2:17) the word has the sense of  ‘wherefore’;  but such a connection of the clauses here,  whether the words which follow are supposed to express the reward or the circumstances of his Faith,  is altogether unnatural,  and the local sense is common.

But it is doubted whether the reference is to the birth of Isaac or to his deliverance from the altar. 
The latter explanation,  which is adopted by the great majority of commentators from early times,  and is perfectly justified by the original words,  adds nothing to the thought of the passage.  It evidently contained a divine lesson and had a spiritual meaning.  That giving of a son beyond nature included a larger hope.

Abraham received the gift of his son not literally from the dead but figuratively,  in such a way that the gift suggested a further lesson.  The manner in which the birth took place was part of the divine gift.  It constrained the father to see in it a type of other quickening.

The sacrifice and restoration of Isaac is typical of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Cecumenius offers several interpretations, but prefers that which represents the whole action of Abraham and Isaac as typical of the gift of the Son by the Father.

Primasius gives the sense which became current in the West,  that the ram represented the manhood of Christ in which He was not only offered but slain.

The patriarchal blessings: the reversal of natural expectations

The Faith of the patriarchs in looking towards the fulfillment of the promise was able to set aside the expectations which were based on the rules of human succession,  whether,  as in the case of Isaac,  they accepted the divine will when it was contrary to their own purpose  (v. 20),  or,  as in the case of Jacob,  they interpreted it (v. 21).
An element beyond human calculation entered into the gradual accomplishment of the promise as into its initial foundation.

11:20        Isaac

The blessing of Isaac forms a crisis in the fulfillment of the divine counsel.
A choice is made between those through whom the promise might equally have been fulfilled.  The choice was not as in the case of Ishmael and Isaac,  between the son of the bondwoman and the son of the free,  but between twin brothers.

And the will of God inverted the purely human order.

Both sons were blessed,  
but the younger had the precedence and became heir of the promise. 
Compare Mal. 1:2,3 (Rom. 9:13); Heb. 12:16.

Isaac acknowledged the overruling of his own purpose (Gen. 27:33).

Blessed Isaac Jacob and Esau
Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau and that concerning things to come (Gen. 27), concerning things to come as well as (also) in regard to their immediate position. (Syriac & Vulgate. By faith in that which was to come.)

The blessing of Isaac reached beyond the immediate future which could be realized by his sons in their own life-time.  His words pointed onward to a distant order. 

The faith of Isaac was shown by 

his acceptance of the destination of his highest blessing. ‘the blessing,’ to the younger son which was against his own will;
and by his later blessing of Esau.

In itself the supreme value attached to  ‘the blessing’  (Heb. 12:17)  with its unseen consequences was a sign of faith.

Throughout the later history of the Old Testament the fortunes of the children of Israel and of the children of Esau are in constant connection and conflict.

11:21       Jacob

The blessing of Jacob, like that of Isaac, marked a fresh stage in the fulfillment of the promise.
The providential office was then entrusted not to one but to a whole family,  the members of which had separate parts to perform.  But the writer of the Epistle does not refer to the general foreshadowing of the future of the several patriarchs.

He confines himself to the peculiar blessing given to Joseph through his sons,  in whom the service of Egypt was,  so to speak,  received for divine use.  Here again one point seems to be the freedom of God’s choice.  In this case also,  as in the case of Jacob,  the younger is preferred to the elder.

But at the same time the practical exaltation of Joseph to the privilege of the firstborn in place of Reuben indicates the fulfillment of a righteous judgment in the providence of God.

The blessing itself is remarkable: Genesis 48:16  The angel which redeemed me from all evil bless the lads…. Compare the prophetic words to Joseph: Gen. 49:25.

Gen. 48:16
The Angel who has delivered me from all harm 
--may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name 
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly 
upon the earth."     NIV

Gen 49:25-26
(25)  Because of your father's God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you 
with blessings of the heavens above,
blessings of the deep that lies below,
blessings of the breast and womb. 
(26) Your father's blessings are greater 
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.    NIV

By faith Jacob dying each of the sons of Joseph blessed
By faith Jacob when he was dying blessed each of the sons of Joseph, Gen. 48. 
At the close of life  (Gen. 48:21)  Jacob’s faith was still fresh;  and he blessed each of the two sons born to Joseph before he himself came to Egypt (Gen. 48:5).

Such a blessing was exceptional.

Joseph received in his two sons a double share of the divine inheritance, the privilege of the firstborn.
And, as it was given, the younger (a type of the Gentiles found in Jesus Christ) was again preferred to the elder (a type of the Jews found in Jesus also).

But while Isaac would have followed,  had he been able,  the natural order of birth in assigning privilege,  Jacob deliberately inverted the order.  It was not however till a late date that the superiority of Ephraim was established (Numbers 26:34,37).

Num 26:34,37
(34)  These were the clans of Manasseh;  those numbered were 52,700. 
(37)  These were the clans of Ephraim;  those numbered were 32,500.    NIV

A further point must also be noticed.  In blessing the sons of Joseph,  who were also the sons of Asenath,  Jacob recognized that the gifts of Egypt,  a fresh element,  were consecrated to God.  So Joseph became,  as it were, head of a new line.  Psalms 77:15; (Psalms 78:67,68).

Ps. 77:15
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.    NIV

Ps. 78:67,68
(67)  Then he rejected the tents of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim; 
(68)  but he chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loved.     NIV

It would be interesting to inquire how far the failure of Ephraim answered to the misuse of powers corresponding to Egyptian parentage.

And worshipped…of his staff
And he worshipped leaning upon the top of his staff.
These words are not taken from the narrative of the blessing of Joseph’s sons,  but from an earlier passage (Gen. 37:31).

Gen. 47:31
‘And he said,  Swear to me.  So he swore to him.  And Israel bowed down on the head of his staff.’      LXX

In which Jacob pledged Joseph to provide for the removal of his bones to the burial-place of his fathers (compare v. 22).   The quotation is probably designed to direct thought to this act of Faith,  while at the same time it stamps the closing scenes of Jacob’s life with a religious character.  The blessing was given in the presence of God which the patriarch distinctly recognized.  The infirmity of age had not dulled his devotion.

The quotation follows the text of the LXX  which renders a different pointing of the original from that adopted by the Masoretes and by the other Greek translations (upon the head of his staff  for  upon the head of his bed).
But at the same time the Masoretic text describes an act of adoration, and not simply a sinking back in exhaustion. A close parallel occurs in 1 Kings 1:47  ‘the kings servants went in to congratulate our lord king David, saying, God make the name of Solomon better than thy name, and magnify his throne above thy throne! And the king bowed on his bed.’ ( 1 Kings. 1:47   LXX)   Is to be taken absolutely,  ‘bowed himself in worship, i.e. to God’: compare Rev. 5:14; John 4:20;12:20; Acts 8:21; 24:11.

Not less unnatural is the notion that Joseph was the object of this ‘worship,’  being so marked out as the head of the family;  though this view is very commonly held by patristic writers.

Such an application of the image of  ‘the staff’  to the Messiah is found also in Rabbinic writers: (ref. Beresh. R. Gen. 38:18 with references to Isa. 11:1; Ps. 110:2.

The ‘staff,  or  ‘rod,’ played an important part in Jewish tradition.

It was one of the ten things created  ‘between the Suns,’  before the first Sabbath 
(ref. Talmud Aboth, v. 9 with Dr. Taylor’s note).
It was given to Adam, and transmitted through Enoch, Noah, Shem, Abraham,…..Joseph to Moses, and is still reserved for Messiah.
Comp. Wetstein ad loc. (note- please remember that Jewish Tradition is not Scripture)

The death of Joseph marked a third stage in the history of the promise.  He made clear in the fullness of his prosperity that those whom he had invited to Egypt were not to find there an abiding home.  Neither rest nor misery was to bring forgetfulness of their destiny.

11:22        Joseph

By faith Joseph dying concerning the going forth…and concerning his bones
The Faith of Joseph was national at once and personal. 

He looked forward to the independence of his kindred
He claimed for himself a share in their future
His prosperity in Egypt had not led him to forget the promise to Abraham
The personal charge was fulfilled: Exodus 13:19; Joshua 24:32

Ex 13:19
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear an oath.  He had said,  "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place."     NIV

Josh 24:32
And Joseph's bones,  which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt,  were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor,  the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph's descendants.     NIV
Faithful Moses  (Heb 11:23 - 28)

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The Faith of Conflict and Conquest

The Faith which has been hitherto regarded under the discipline of patience and sacrifice is now considered in action.  Under this aspect it is traced both 

(11:23-28) Faith in the great leader, Moses
(11:29-31) Faith in the people whom he led 

Moses  ‘the first Redeemer,’  like Abraham  ‘the father of the faithful,’ is treated at some length. 

(11:23-26) The Faith of Moses in its personal working
(11:27,28) The Faith of Moses in its public working
Heb 11:23-29
(23)   By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
(24)   By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
(25)   Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
(26)   Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
(27)   By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
(28)   Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
(29)   By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
KJV

Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
(23)  By faith Moses, having been born, was hid three months by his parents because they saw beautiful the little child; and did not fear the injunction of the king(24)  By faith Moses, great having become, refused to be called son of daughter Pharaoh’s  (25)  rather having chosen to suffer affliction with the people of God, than [the] temporary to have of sin enjoyment(26)  greater riches having esteemed than the in Egypt treasures the reproach of the Christ; for he had respect to the recompense(27)   By faith he left Egypt, not having feared the indignation of the king; for the invisible [one] as seeing he persevered(28)  By faith he has kept the passover and the affusion of the blood, lest the destroyer of the firstborn [ones] might touch them(29)  By faith they passed through the Red Sea as through dry [land]; of which having made trial the Egyptians were swallowed up

11:23-26

(v. 23) The Faith of Moses was prepared, as it were, by the Faith which he called out in his parents 
(vv. 24-26) When the time came his choice showed his own Faith

11:23       Moses

By faith Moses…by his parents
In Exodus 2:2  (Hebrew.)  the mother of Moses only is mentioned as concealing the child;  but the LXX indicates that both parents were involved in hiding him.

Exodus 2:2,3
(2) ‘And she conceived and bore a son.  And when they saw that he was a beautiful child they hid him three months. (3)  But when they could no conceal him any longer, his mother provided for him a wicker basket and placed it in the stagnant water by the side of the river.’     LXX

There is no ground for supposing that the reference is to Kohth and Amram to the exclusion of Jochebed. 

Because…of the king
Faith under two forms moved the parents of Moses to preserve him:

I Something in his appearance kindled hope as to his destiny
II Looking to God for the fulfillment of His promise they had no fear of the king’s orders

11:24 

Great having become
When he was grown up (Exodus 2:11)

As an infant he had quickened faith: 
as a man he demonstrated it.

Excerpt concerning the life of Moses from  Josephus' Antiquities Of The Jews

1. ‘He was, therefore, educated with great care. So the Hebrews depended on him, and were of good hopes that great things would be done by him; but the Egyptians were suspicious of what would follow such his education.’ 
Antiquities of the Jews Chapter 9 Page 57.
2. The Egyptians, under this sad oppression, (Ethiopians) betook themselves to their oracles and prophecies: and when God has given them this counsel, to make use of Moses the Hebrew and take his assistance, the king commanded his daughter to produce him, that he might be the general of their army. (quoted by Irenaeus,  from Josephus Antiquities of the Jews Chapter 10 Page 57).

For more information on the subject of Moses as the general of Egypt, see Josephus " Antiquities of the Jews" Chapter 10 Page 58.
Remember that the Egyptians had a habit of removing from their histories any one with whom they disagreed,  including some of their own Pharaoh’s (shepherd kings in the time of Joseph and also women kings).

Acts 7:22
Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.     NIV

11:25 

Rather having chosen…enjoyment
Choosing rather to be evil entreated…than to have enjoyment of sin for a season
Moses was called to devote himself to his people.  He knew the source of the call:  to have disobeyed it therefore by seeking to retain his place in the Egyptian court would have been  ‘sin,’  though such disloyalty would have given him the opportunity for a transitory enjoyment of the resources of princely state.

The people of God
Compare Heb. 4:9.  Moses was able to recognize in a host of bondsmen a divine nation. 
By faith he saw what they were called to be.   ( Acts 7:6-7.   See also Genesis 15:13).

Acts 7:6, 7
(6)  God spoke to him in this way: `Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.  (7)  But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,' God said, `and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.'    NIV

11:26 

Greater riches having esteemed…of the Christ
Since he counted the reproach of the Christ
This clause is commonly taken as parallel with that which precedes: 
rather having chosen
riches having esteemed.  (choosingaccounting…), 
but it seems rather to give the ground of the choice:  ‘choosing rathersince he accounted…’

The reproach of the Christ is the reproach which belongs to Him who is the appointed envoy of God to a rebellious world.  This reproach which was endured in the highest degree by Christ Jesus  (Romans 15:3)  was endured also by those who in any degree prefigured or represented Him,  (God)  those,  that is,  in whom He partially manifested and manifests Himself,  those who live in Him and in whom He lives.

Rom 15:3
For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."     NIV

In this wider sense the people of Israel was ‘an anointed one,’  ‘a Christ,’ even as Christians are ‘Christ’s (compare Psalms 105:15; 1 John 2:20).  ‘The Christ’  is the support and the spring of all revelation to men 
(1 Cor. 10:4).

Ps 105:15
"Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm."     NIV

1 John 2:20
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.    NIV

1 Cor 10:4
And drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.     NIV

For he had respect
For he continued to look away from the things of earth unto the (divine) recompense for suffering (to suffer affliction) and reproach (reproach).

The nature of this recompense, though it is definite, is left undefined (v. 6).  It must not be limited to the future occupation of Canaan by the people.  The fulfillment of God’s counsel includes blessings which man cannot anticipate: 1 Cor. 2:9 (Isaiah 64:4).

The work of Moses

11:27

By faith he left Egypt
It is doubtful to what event reference is made.  From the order in which the fact is mentioned,  and from the manner in which it is described  (he left  as contrasted with  they passed through  v, 29)  it has been concluded that the reference is to the flight of Moses to Midian,  which could be rightly spoken of as a  ‘leaving’ since it involved the temporary abandonment of the work to which Moses had felt himself called.  Nor is it a fatal objection to this view that in the narrative of Exodus it is said that  ‘Moses was afraid’ (Exodus 2:14),  though the superficial contradiction has occasioned some difficulty.

Ex 2:11-15
According to Keil & Delitzsch:
The murder of the Egyptian had also become known;  and as soon as Pharaoh heard of it,  he sought to kill Moses,  who fled into the land of Midian in fear for his life (v. 15).  Thus dread of Pharaoh's wrath drove Moses from Egypt into the desert.  For all that,  it is stated in Heb 11:27, that  "by faith  (pi'stei)  Moses forsook Egypt,  not fearing the wrath of the king."  This faith,  however,  he manifested not by fleeing - his flight was rather a sign of timidity - but by leaving Egypt;  in other words,  by renouncing his position in Egypt,  where he might possibly have softened down the kings' wrath,  and perhaps even have brought help and deliverance to his brethren the Hebrews.  By the fact that he did not allow such human hopes to lead him to remain in Egypt,  and was not afraid to increase the king's anger by his flight,  he manifested faith in the invisible One as though he saw Him,  commending not only himself,  but his oppressed nation,  to the care and protection of God  (vid., Delitzsch on Heb 11:27).
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

If this interpretation be adopted the exact thought will be that Moses was not afraid of the anger of the king in itself.  For the sake of his people he could have braved death;  but,  though he was so far fearless,  yet the lack of faith in those whom he would have delivered  (Acts 7:23)  forced him to retire: ‘ He left Egypt though he feared not the wrath of the king.’  This he did  ‘by faith,’  for even at the moment when he gave up his work he felt the divine presence with him.  ‘He endured  (he persevered)  as seeing Him who is invisible.’

Moses,  the leader of the people,  left the safe though servile shelter and support of Egypt,  casting himself on the protection of the unseen God against the certain vengeance of the king in the fulfillment of his arduous and self-sacrificing work.

For the invisible…he persevered
The most characteristic trait in the life of Moses is that he spoke with God fact to face,  Exodus 33;  Numbers 12:7,8.  The  ‘vision of God’  is that which distinguishes him from the other prophets.

Ex 33:7-11
Again, from Keil & Delitzsch:
Out of this cloud Jehovah talked with Moses (vv. 7-10) "face to face, as a man talks with his friend" (v. 11); that is to say,  not from the distance of heaven, through any kind of medium whatever,  but "mouth to mouth,"  as it is called in Num 12:8,  as closely and directly as friends talk to one another.  "These words indicate, therefore, a familiar conversation, just as much as if it had been said, that God appeared to Moses in some peculiar form of manifestation. If any one objects to this, that it is at variance with the assertion which we shall come to presently, 'Thou canst not see My face,'  the answer is a very simple one.  The appearance of the Word or Memra as the Targums state.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

‘And it was when Mosheh had entered the tabernacle, t he column of the Cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle,  and (He) spake with Mosheh.’  (Exodus 33 - Targum of Onkelos)

The words  as seeing  are in themselves ambiguous.  They may mean either

‘as though he saw,’   or
‘inasmuch as he saw’

The peculiar gift of Moses determines that the latter is the sense here. 

As Christians we have not only to bear our burden in the conflict of life,  and to wait for the fulfillment of the promise which seems to be strangely delayed:

we must also bear ourselves valiantly and do our work with might through the Spirit 
(1 Cor. 16:13; Eph. 3:16).

11:28

By faith he has kept the passover…blood
By faith he kept  (he hath kept)  the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood
The first celebration of the Passover was not only a single act. The Passover then instituted and kept,  remained as a perpetual witness of the great deliverance.  

The sacrifice of the lamb and the open sprinkling of the blood was a signal act of faith challenging the superstition of the Egyptians  (Exodus 8:22).

Ex 8:22-23
(22)  "But on that day I will deal differently with the land of Goshen,  where my people live;  no swarms of flies will be there,  so that you will know that I, the LORD,  am in this land.  (23)  I will make a distinction between my people and your people.  This miraculous sign will occur tomorrow."      NIV

Ex 8:20-22
Keil & Delitzsch:
The fourth plague,  the coming of which Moses foretold to Pharaoh,  like the first,  in the morning,  and by the water (on the bank of the Nile),  consisted in the sending of  "heavy vermin,"  probably Dog-Flies. (aarob),  literally  a mixture,  is rendered:

by the LXX kuno'muia dog-fly
by Symmachus pa'mmuia a mixture of all kinds of flies
by Philo kaabeed a heavy multitude   (as in Ex 10:14; Gen 50:9, etc.)

These insects are described by Philo and many travelers as a very severe scourge (vid., Hengstenberg ut sup.p. 113).

They are much more numerous and annoying than the gnats; 
and when enraged, they fasten themselves upon the human body, 
especially upon the edges of the eyelids, 
and become a dreadful plague.

These swarms were to fill  "the houses of the Egyptians, and even the land upon which they (the Egyptians) were," i.e.,  that part of the land which was not occupied by houses; 

whilst the land of Goshen,  where the Israelites dwelt,  would be entirely spared. hiplaah  (to separate,  to distinguish in a miraculous way),  as in Ps 4:4.
It is generally followed by  beeyn  (Ex 4:4; 11:7), to distinguish between.

(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The special ceremony of  ‘the sprinkling of the blood’ (Ex. 12:7,22)  is mentioned as foreshadowing the deeper mystery involved in the deliverance from Egypt (Heb. 9:22).

Lest the destroyer of …them
The translators realized the action of God through a destroying angel:  1 Cor. 10:10  (the destroyer);  and this seems to be the most natural sense of the original text.  Compare 1 Chron. 21:12,15; 2 Chron. 32:21.

By Faith They Overcame  (11:30 - 38)

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The Faith of the people

The great leader,  like Abraham,  communicated to others the Faith by which he was inspired. 

Just as the Faith of Abraham was united with that of his wife and of his children, 
so the Faith of Moses was bound up with that of Israel.
(11:29) By Faith they overcame difficulties of nature
(11:30) By Faith they overcame the force of enemies
(11:31) By Faith they called out responsive Faith even in Gentiles, so that a remnant of them was saved
(11:32-35a) By Faith they saw the victorious  successes  of Faith 
(11:35b-38) By Faith they endured the victorious sufferings of Faith
Heb 11:29-38
(29)   By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
(30)   By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
(31)   By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
(32)   And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
(33)   Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
(34)   Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
(35)   Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
(36)   And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
(37)   They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(38)  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth
KJV

Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
( 30)   By faith the walls of Jericho fell, having been encircled for seven days.   ( 31)   By faith Rahab the harlot not did perish with those who disobeyed, having received the spires with peace( 32)   And what more do I say? For will fail me relating the time of Gideon, Barak also and Sampson and Jephthae, David also and Samuel and of the prophets( 33)  who by faith overcame kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped mouths of lions( 34)   quenched [the] power of fire, escaped [the] mouths of [the] sword, acquired strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, [the] armies made to give way of strangers( 35)  Received women by resurrection their dead; and others were tortured, not having accepted redemption, that a better resurrection they might obtain( 36)   And others of mockings and of scourgings trial received, yea, moreover, of bonds and of imprisonment( 37)  They were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, by slaughter of [the] sword they died; they wandered in sheep-skins, in goats skins, being destitute, being oppressed, being evil treated( 38)  (of whom was not worthy the world,) in deserts wandering and in mountains and in caves and in the holes of the earth.

11:29 

They passed through
The subject has already been suggested by them (v. 28).

The Faith of the people
met the Faith of the leader.

Ex 14:21-22
(21)  Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided,  (22)  and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.     NIV

11:30 

By faith…fell
Joshua 6.  The walls fell  overthrown by faith  which was shown through a long trial by leader,  priests and people. 
The fall of the walls of Jericho is the symbol of the victory of the Church:  Matthew 16:18.

Matt 16:18
And I tell you that you are Peter,  and on this rock I will build my church,  and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.    NIV

Josh 6:1-5
Keil & Delitzsch:
As they marched in this manner round the city:

Seven priests were to carry seven jubilee trumpets before the ark, 
which implies that the ark itself was to be carried round the city in solemn procession.
But on the seventh day they were to march round the town seven times,
The priests were to blow the trumpets
And when there was a blast with the jubilee horn, 
The people on hearing the sound of the trumpet raised a great cry
The wall of the town should fall down "under itself."

The "jubilee trumpets"  (Eng. Ver.  "trumpets of rams' horns")  
are the same as the  "jubilee horn"  (Eng. Ver. "rams' horn") in v. 5, 
for which the abbreviated form shophar  (trumpet, v. 5; cf. Ex 19:16)  or  jobel  (jubilee: Ex 19:13) is used. 

They were not the silver trumpets of the priests (Num 10:1ff.), but large horns, or instruments in the shape of a horn, which gave a loud far-sounding tone (see at Lev 23:24; 25:11).
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

11:31      Rahab

By faith Rahab
The record of the separation of the people of God from Egypt is closed by the incorporation of a stranger.
Rahab at once looked forward with confidence to the triumph of Israel:  Joshua 2:9. Compare James 2:25.
In the Jewish Talmud:  the ancestress of priests and prophets  (Midr. Bemidbar R. 8 (on Num. 5:9; Wunsche, page 136)).

Josh 2:9
And said to them,  "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you."    NIV

James 2:25
In the same way,  was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?     NIV

The addition of the title the  harlot  places in a fuller light the triumph of  Faith.
The list of the champions of Faith whose victories are specially noticed is closed

by a woman 
a gentile 
an outcast.

In this there is a significant foreshadowing of its essential universality.

Not did perish with those who disobeyed
Perished not with them that were disobedient.
The form of expression places in relief

the punishment of the disobedient; 
and the ground of their destruction.

They too had heard of the wonders which God had wrought for His people and were not moved by them to submission.

Josh 2:9-11
(9) ... said to them,  "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us,   so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.  (10)  We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt,  and what you did to Sihon and Og,  the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan,  whom you completely destroyed.  (11)  When we heard of it,  our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you,  for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.     NIV

Faith in national life

The entrance to Canaan and the representative victory at Jericho closes a complete cycle of divine discipline.

The history of  Israel from the Call of Abraham 
to the occupation of the Promised Land
offers a type of the religious history of man.

So far then the writer of the Epistle has given examples of faith in detail. 
From this point he simply recites in a summary form the names and exploits of later heroes of Faith.

(11:32-35a) They wrought great things 
(11:35b-38) They suffered great things

The enumeration extends to the time of the Maccabees,  the last decisive national struggle of the Jews before the coming of Christ.

Maccabees - History

The Maccabees first came to prominence through the terrible persecution of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes.  
His accession was immediately followed by desperate efforts of the hellenizing party at Jerusalem to assert its ascendancy.  
Jason,  brother of Onias III,  the high priest,  secured the high priesthood and bought permission  (2 Macc. 4:9)  to carry out his design of habituating the Jews to Greek customs (4:7, 20).  
Three years later Menelaus supplanted Jason by a larger bribe,  and the latter fled to the Ammonites (4:23-26). 
During the absence of Antiochus on his second invasion of Egypt,  he was reported as dead,  and Jason seized the opportunity of recovering his office,  took the city,  and inflicted all manner of cruelties on the inhabitants. 
Antiochus,  on hearing of this,  and supposing that there was a general revolt of the Jews,  hastily returned to Jerusalem,  laid siege to the city,  put 40,000 of its inhabitants to death,  and sold as many more into slavery. He despoiled the Temple of its precious vessels and furniture and returned to Antioch laden with the treasure. 
On the occasion of his fourth and last invasion of Egypt,  he was arrested by the Roman ambassadors and ordered to leave the country on pain of the wrath of the Roman Senate. 
On his way home Antiochus passed through Palestine and vented his wrath upon the Jews,  commissioning his lieutenant Apollonius,  with an army of 22,000 men,  to destroy Jerusalem. 
Taking advantage of the Sabbath,  he came upon the people assembled in their synagogues,  massacred the men,  and made the women and children captives. 
He burned the city and erected a fort on an eminence commanding the Temple,  so that the worshipers approaching it were slain.  The place itself was defiled with every abomination;  and the daily sacrifice was made to cease,  according to the prediction of Daniel (Dan 8:9-12; 11:31). 
Matters were brought to a height by the famous decree of Antiochus,  commanding that all the people should conform to the religion of the sovereign on pain of death.  This brought about the Maccabaean war.

(From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

The victorious successes of Faith:  the great things which it has wrought

The summary recital of these outward successes of Faith consists of:

(v. 32) Two groups of names, which represent the theocracy and the kingdom
(vv. 33-35a) A description of the chief types of victory

11:32 

And what
The verb may be conj. And what shall I more say
Or indic. And why (or what) say I more
The sense seems to be  ‘Why do I go on farther?’  ‘What can I say more?’  as if the writer saw already stretching before him the long record on which he is entering.

For will fail me relating the time
Time will (I see) fail me as I tell of….
The persons are named first,  and then types of achievement.  The persons fall into two groups:

The representatives of the Theocracy
The representatives of the Monarchy

Gideon, Barak also and Sampson and Jephthae
These representative heroes of the theocracy are not given in the order of the Book of Judges,  but apparently according to their popular fame.  Records of their exploits are preserved:

Gideon

Judg 6:11-12
(11)  The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.  (12)  When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."     NIV

Keil & Delitzsch:
But Gideon was called to be the deliverer of Israel through an appearance of the angel of the Lord,  to show to him and to all Israel,  that Jehovah,  the God of the fathers,  was still near at hand to His people,  and could work miracles as in the days of old,  if Israel would only adhere to Him and keep His covenant.  The call of Gideon took place in two revelations from God.

First The Lord appeared to Gideon in the visible form of an angel,  in which He had already made himself known to the patriarchs,  and summoned him in the strength of God to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Midianites (vv. 11-24).
In this revelation the Lord acknowledged Gideon
Second The Lord then commanded him,  in a dream of the night,  to throw down his father's altar of Baal,  and to offer a burnt-offering to Jehovah his God upon an altar erected for the purpose (vv. 25-32). 
In this revelation the Lord summoned Gideon to acknowledge Him as his God

(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Barak

Judg 4:4-7
(4)  Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.  (5)  She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.  (6)  She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: `Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor.  (7)  I will lure Sisera,  the commander of Jabin's army,  with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.'"     NIV

"And the Lord discomfited Sisera,  and all his chariots,  and all his army,  with the edge of the sword before Barak." Wayaahaam (break, consume, crush, destroy, discomfit, trouble, vex)  as in Ex 14:24 and Josh 10:10, denotes the confounding of the hostile army by a miracle of God,  mostly by some miraculous phenomenon of nature: see, besides Ex 14:24; 2 Sam 22:15; Ps 18:15, and 144:6.  The expression wayaahaam places the defeat of Sisera and his army in the same category as the miraculous destruction of Pharaoh and of the Canaanites at Gibeon; and the combination of this verb with the expression  "with the edge of the sword"  is to be taken as constructio praegnans,  in the sense:  Jehovah threw Sisera and his army into confusion,  and,  like a terrible champion fighting in front of Israel,  smote him without quarter,  Sisera sprang from his chariot to save himself,  and fled on foot;  but Barak pursued the routed foe to Harosheth, and completely destroyed them.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Samson

Judg 13:2-5
(2)  A certain man of Zorah,  named Manoah,  from the clan of the Danites,  had a wife who was sterile and remained childless.  (3)  The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said,  "You are sterile and childless,  but you are going to conceive and have a son.  (4)  Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean,  (5)  because you will conceive and give birth to a son.  No razor may be used on his head,  because the boy is to be a Nazirite,  set apart to God from birth,  and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines."     NIV

Judg 13:24
And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.

The promise of God was fulfilled. 
The boy whom the woman bare received the name of Samson.  
Shimshown
  (LXXSampsoo'n)  does not mean sun-like, hero of the sun,  from shemesh (the sun), 
but, as Josephus explains it (Ant. v. 8, 4), ischuro's, the strong or daring one, in its original sense to be strong or daring, not  "to devastate."  The boy grew under the blessing of God (see 1 Sam 2:21).
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Judg 15:3
Enraged at this answer, Samson said to them (i.e., to her father and those around him), "Now am I blameless before the Philistines, if I do evil to them."

To be innocent away from a person, i.e., before him (see Num 32:22). 
Samson regarded the treatment which he had received from his father-in-law as but one effect of the disposition of the Philistines generally towards the Israelites,  and therefore resolved to avenge the wrong which he had received from one member of the Philistines upon the whole nation,  or at all events upon the whole of the city of Timnath.

Judg 15:15-16
(15)  As soon as he was relieved of his bands,  he seized upon a fresh jaw-bone of an ass,  which he found there,  and smote therewith a thousand men. 
He himself commemorated this victory in a short poetical strain:
(16)
  "With the ass's jaw-bone a heap, two heaps; with the ass's jaw-bone I smote a thousand men." 
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Jephthah

Judg 11:1-3
(1)  Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior.  His father was Gilead;  his mother was a prostitute.  (2)  Gilead's wife also bore him sons,  and when they were grown up,  they drove Jephthah away.  "You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,"  they said,  "because you are the son of another woman."  (3)  So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob,  where a group of adventurers gathered around him and followed him.    NIV

But when the Ammonites made war upon Israel some time afterwards,  the elders of Gilead   (=  "the princes of Gilead," Judg 10:18)  went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob,  to make this brave warrior their leader.  In Judg 11:4  the account of the war between the Ammonites and Israel,  which is mentioned in Judg 10:17,  is resumed,  and its progress under Jephthah is then more fully described.  
"In process of time" (miyaamiym),  a diebus, i.e.,  after the lapse of a long period, which cannot be more precisely defined,  after the expulsion of Jephthah from his home (see Judg 14:8; 15:1; Josh 23:1). 
qaatsiyn  signifies a leader in war (Josh 10:24),  and is therefore distinguished in v. 11 from ro'sh, a chief in peace and war.

Jephthah assented to this:  "If ye will take me back to make war upon the Ammonites,  and Jehovah shall give them up to me  (lit. 'before me,' as in Josh 10:12; Deut 2:31, etc.),  I will be your head." 
"I" is emphatic as distinguished from he;  and there is no necessity to regard the sentence as a question,  with which the expression in v. 10,  "according to thy words,"  which presuppose an affirmative statement on the part of Jephthah,  and not a question,  would be altogether irreconcilable.

Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead,  "and the people (i.e., the inhabitants of Gilead)  made him head and captain,  and Jephthah spoke all his words before Jehovah at Mizpeh:"  i.e.,  he repeated in a solemn assembly of the people,  before God at Mizpeh,  the conditions and obligations under which he would accept the honor conferred upon him.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

It may be noticed that they overcame different enemies, 

Midianites
Canaanites
Philistines
Ammonites

and in referring to them the writer passes no judgment on character.

David also and Samuel and of the prophets
The great king and the great statesman-prophet sum up all that was noblest in the second stage of the divine history of Israel.  With them are joined the spiritual leaders of the people through whom the growing counsel of God was interpreted through apparent failure and loss. 

David and Samuel appear to be closely connected (also -  and)  and the prophets are added as a second element.

Characteristic achievements of Faith

11:33

The Judges,  the Kings,  and the Prophets represent adequately the chief types of believers under the theocracy and the kingdom.  Having signalized these,  the writer goes on to mark the characteristic manifestations of the power of Faith.

These are described with remarkable symmetry:

In each group there is a progress, and there is a progress in the succession of groups in the direction of that which is more personal.
The first triplet describes the broad results which believers obtained:
Material victory
Moral success in government
Spiritual reward
The second triplet notices forms of personal deliverance from:
Wild beasts
Physical forces
Human tyranny
The third triplet marks the attainment of person gifts:
Strength
The exercise of strength
The triumph of strength (the believer against the alien)

Who by faith
The form  (the Greek word used for faith)  before is now changed. 
The writer speaks of the general inspiring power of faith: See Heb. 6:12. Compare Heb. 11:39  through faith.

Overcame kingdoms

Judges 7 Gideon (Midianites)
Judges 4 Barak (Canaanites),
Judges 14 Samson (Philistines)
Judges 11 Jephthah (Ammonites)
1 Samuel 14:6 Jonathan (Philistines)
2 Samuel 5:17 David (Philistines)
2 Samuel 8:2 David (Moabites &c.)
2 Samuel 10:12 David (Ammonites)

And in each case, with weaker forces than their enemies.

Wrought righteousness
The phrase is to be understood not only of purely individual virtues of leaders: 12:4;  2 Sam. 8:15;  Psalms 14. [15]2;  Zephan. 2:3. 
Conquerors used their success for the furtherance of right.
Righteousness was shown to be the solid foundation of enduring power:  Isaiah 9:7; 1 Kings 10:9.

Obtained promises
Victory was gained and rightly used in just government,  and so it was followed by a deeper apprehension of the will of God.  The phrase  obtained promises  has been noticed before in Heb. 6:15.
It appears to be used here in the most general sense,  which includes both:

The attainment of that which had been already promised
And the quickened expectation of something yet to come.

Each partial fulfillment of a divine word is itself a prophecy.
A promise gained is also a promise interpreted in a larger meaning.

Here the truth is set out in its fullness.  The many  ‘promises’  successively realized in many parts and many fashions led up to the one  ‘promise’ (v. 39)  which is still held before the eye of faith.

The notice of public general, successes is followed by the notice of personal deliverance’s.

Stopped mouths of lions
Daniel 6:22.  There may also be a reference to:

(Judges 14:6) Samson
(1 Sam. 17:34) David

11:34

Examples of deliverance from external perils are followed by examples of personal strengthening.

Acquired strength out of weakness
This general phrase may be interpreted of various forms of physical weakness as in the case of:

(Judges 16:28) Samson
(Isaiah 38) Hezekiah

And of moral distress (Psalms 6:3,8; Psalms 22:21). 
For out  of weakness  compare Luke 5:15; 8:2;  and contrast 2 Corinthians 13:4  in weakness.

Became mighty in war
Waxed mighty in war,  not only in the moment of battle,   but in the whole conduct of the conflict.  Psalms 18:34. For  mighty  compare Luke 11:21.

Luke 11:21
"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.     NIV

Armies made to give way of strangers
The addition of strangers distinguishes this clause from  overcome kingdoms  and fixes the thought here on the religious contrast between the children of the kingdom and strangers (Matthew 17:25). 
This sense of  made to give way,  which is found in classical Greek from Homer downwards,  does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament or in the LXX.

11:35

The triple triplet of victorious faith is followed by a single, abrupt clause which presents the highest conquest of faith,  ‘women received from resurrection their dead.’  In this case faith appears under a twofold aspect. 
There is a silent, waiting, passive faith of love,  which works with the active faith
Women, in whom the instinct of natural affection is strongest, cooperated with the prophets through whom the restoration was effected.  They received their dead.
The word  received  occurs in the narrative of the Shunammite: 2 Kings 4:36.

2 Kings 4:36
Elisha summoned Gehazi and said,  "Call the Shunammite."  And he did.  When she came,  he said,  "Take your son."     NIV

The attempt of Gehazi to awaken the child was unsuccessful, not because of the vainglory of Gehazi himself,  but simply to promote in the godly of Israel  true faith in the Lord.

Elisha then entered the house,  where the boy was lying dead upon his bed,  and shut the door behind them both  (i.e., himself and the dead child),  and prayed to the Lord.  He then lay down upon the boy,  so that his mouth,  his eyes,  and his hands lay upon the mouth,  eyes, and hands of the child,  bowing down over him; and the flesh (the body)  of the child became warm. 
He then turned round, i.e.,  turned away from the boy,  went once up and down in the room,  and bowed himself over him again;  whereupon the boy sneezed seven times,  and then opened his eyes. 
This raising of the dead boy to life does indeed resemble the raising of the dead by Elijah (1 Kings 17:20ff.);  but it differs so obviously in the manner in which it was effected,  that we may see at once from this that Elisha did not possess the double measure of the spirit of Elijah.  It is true that Elijah stretched himself three times upon the dead child,  but at his prayer the dead returned immediately to life,  whereas in the case of Elisha the restoration to life was a gradual thing.
And they both differ essentially from the raising of the dead by Christ, who recalled the dead to life by one word of His omnipotence (Mark 5:39-42; Luke 7:13-15; John 11:43-44),  a sign that He was the only-begotten Son of God,  to whom the Father gave to have life in Himself,  even as the Father has life in Himself (John 5:25ff.),  in whose name the Apostle Peter also was able through prayer to recall the dead Tabitha to life, whereas Elisha and Elijah had only to prophesy by word and deed of the future revelation of the glory of God.

After the restoration of the boy to life, Elisha had his mother called and gave her back her son, for which she fell at his feet with thanksgiving.
(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)\

It cannot be without significance that the recorded raisings from the dead are predominantly for women: 1 Kings 17:17; 2 Kings 4:17; Luke 7:11; John 11; Acts 9:36.
In the phrase  by resurrection  the Resurrection,  which is the transition from dead to life,  is that out of which the departed were received.

The victorious sufferings of Faith:   the great things which it has borne

The record of the open triumphs of Faith is followed by the record of its inward victories in unconquered and outwardly unrewarded endurance.

The order of arrangement is not obvious.  The enumeration appears to consist of two great groups:

vv 35b, 36 Suffering to Death Constancy in the face of release offered in the moment of trial
vv 37,38 Sufferings in Life Constancy in the face of general forms of suffering

And others
But others in a new class triumphed  ‘in that they seemed to fail.’
The restoration from death,  the highest victory of active faith,  is surpassed by a nobler triumph,  the victory over death.

Were tortured
The reference may be to the martyrdom of the seven brethren related in  2 Maccabees 6:18;7.1,2

‘Eleazar one of the chief of the scribes,  a man advanced in years,  and of a comely countenance,  was pressed to open his mouth to eat swine’s flesh.’
‘It came to pass also, that seven brethren, together with their mother, were apprehended, and compelled by the king to eat swine’s flesh against the law, for which end they were tormented with whips and scourges.
But one of them, who was the eldest, said thus: What wouldst thou ask, or learn of us? We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God, received from our fathers.’ 

2 Maccabees 6:18; 2:1,2 Douay Version.

The word  were tortured  is used very vaguely of the infliction of heavy blows;  and the Greek commentators were at a loss as to its exact meaning.  Hesychius gives, i.e. beaten with leaded scourges.  It appears to describe a punishment like breaking on the wheel.  The extremities of the sufferer were fastened to a frame,  and his limbs then broken by heavy clubs,  or in other words  ‘beaten to death.’

Not having excepted redemption
When they did not in fact accept the deliverance which was placed within their reach: 2 Maccabees 6:21; 7:27.
‘But they that stood by,  being moved with wicked pity,  for the old friendship they had with the man,  taking him aside,  desired that flesh might be brought,  which it was lawful for him to eat,  that he might make as if he had eaten,  as the king had commanded of the flesh of the sacrifice:’  
‘So bending herself towards him,  mocking the cruel tyrant,  she said in her own language:  My son,  have pity upon me,  that bore thee nine months in my womb,  and gave thee suck three years,  and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age.’  2 Maccabees 6:21; 7:27     Douay Version

That a better resurrection they might obtain
A resurrection better than the mere restoration to the remnant of an earthly life gained by the acceptance of the offered deliverance.  Compare Heb. 7:19   of a better hope.  See also Luke 20:35.

The comparison between the resurrection to eternal life and the resurrection to an earthly life,  though it is not made directly,  lies implicitly in  a better,  as interpreted by the Maccabean history: 
2 Maccabees 7:9,14.
‘And when he was at last gasp,  he said thus:  Thou indeed,  O most wicked man,  destroyest us out of this present life:  but the King of the world will raise us up,  who die for his laws, in the resurrection of eternal life.’ 
‘And when he was now ready to die,  he spoke thus:  It is better,  being put to death by men,  to look for hope from God,  to be raised up again by him:  for,  as to thee thou shalt have no resurrection unto life.’

Rev 20:12
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.   KJV

11:36

And others
The apostle goes on to notice a second class among those  (and others v. 35)  who showed their faith not in conquering,  but in bearing.  Some endured death,  some endured afflictions less in immediate extent,  yet no less terrible as trials of endurance.

Since this is about endurance and sacrifice unto death, I want to go into the future if you will bear with me.

1. Philip Suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified, AD 54.
2. Matthew Suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, AD 60.
3. James the Less At ninety-four he was beat and stoned by the Jews; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.
4. Matthias He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.
5. Andrew At Edessa he was taken and crucified on a cross.
6. Mark Was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria at the great solemnity of Serapis their idol.
7. Peter Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward.
8. Paul After his prayers made, gave his neck to the sword.
9. Jude He was crucified at Edessa, AD 72.
10. Bartholomew He was length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters.
11. Thomas He was martyred by being thrust through with a spear.
12. Luke He was hanged on an olive tree, by the idolatrous priests of Greece.
13. Simon In Britain he was crucified, AD 74.
14. John He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.
15. Barnabas Killed about AD 73.

And yet,  notwithstanding all these continual persecutions and horrible punishments,  the Church daily increased,  deeply rooted in the doctrine of the apostles and of men apostolic,  and watered plenteously with the blood of saints.  (Fox’s Book of Martyrs Pages 3.4.)

The whole book (Fox's Book of Martyrs) speaks of Christians suffering for the cause of Jesus Christ, now I will leave you with this Scripture found in Revelation 6:9-11.

Rev 6:9-11
(9)  When he opened the fifth seal,  I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.  (10)  They called out in a loud voice,  "How long,  Sovereign Lord,  holy and true,  until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?"  (11)  Then each of them was given a white robe,  and they were told to wait a little longer,  until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.     NIV

Trial received
They experienced sufferings which were

Sharp and direct (of mockings and of scourgings….2 Macc. 7:1),  strokes on soul and body
Dull and long (of bonds and of imprisonment): 1 Kings 22:27; Jeremiah 37; 29:26; 1 Macc. 13;12; 2 Macc. 7:7,10.

‘And Tryphon removed from Ptolemais with a great army,  to invade the land of Juda,  and Jonathan was with him in custody.’     1 Maccabees 13:12.
‘So when the first was dead after this manner, they brought the next to make him a mocking stock:  and when they had pulled off the skin of his head with the hair,  they asked him if he would eat,  before he were punished throughout the whole body in every limb.’ 
‘After him the third was made a mocking stock,  and when he was required,  he quickly put forth his tongue,  and courageously stretched out his hands:’    2 Maccabees 7:7,10.

The  and others  marks a climax (Acts 2:26 [Luke 14:26, if any one]).  The sharp, short trial is easier to bear.

11:37, 38

(v. 37) A fresh summary is given of sufferings to death
(v. 38) A fresh summary is given of sufferings short of death

11:37 

They were stoned
Stoning was a characteristic Jewish punishment:  2 Chron. 24:20 (Zechariah son of Jehoiada); (Luke 11:51); Matthew 21:35; 23:37.

Were sawn asunder
Were sawn asunder  (epristheesan). Occurs only here in the New Testament. 
As Isaiah,  according to tradition.
(from Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

So Isaiah suffered according to tradition:   Just. M. Dial. 120;   Osrig. Ep. Ad Afric. & 9.
For the punishment itself,  see 2 Samuel 12:31; 1 Chron. 20:3; Amos 1:3 (LXX).

Amos 1:3
‘And the Lord said:  For the three transgressions of Damascus,  and for four,  shall I not be averse from it?  Because with iron saws they sawed asunder the pregnant wives of the men of Galaad;’      LXX

The enumeration of sufferings of death is followed by references to sufferings in life.

They wandered in sheep-skins
They went about from place to place with no sure abode.  Sheep-skins is characteristic of the prophet’s dress: 
1 Kings 19:13,19; 2 Kings 2:8,13,14. 
This was of sheep (or goat) skin;  and was afterwards adopted as a monastic dress.

Being destitute, being oppressed, being evil treated
In want of the ordinary means of life  (Luke 15:14; Phil. 4:12; 2 Corinthians 11:9), 
Afflicted by pressure from without  (2 Thess. 1:6), in evil plight generally (13:3; v. 25).

2 Corinthians 11:26-28
(26)   In Journeyings often, in perils of waters,  in perils of robbers,  in perils by mine own countrymen,  in perils by the heathen,  in perils in the city,  in perils in the wilderness,  in perils in the sea,  in perils among false brethren;
(27)  In weariness and painfulness,  in watchings often,  in hunger and thirst,  in fastings often,  in cold and nakedness.
(28)  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.    KJV

11:38 

Of whom was not worthy the world
They were men worth more than the whole world,  and they lacked all. 
This appears to be the meaning, and not that  ‘the world in all its beauty was not fit to be their home.’ 
Compare Proverbs 8:31.

Prov 8:31
Rejoicing in his whole world 
and delighting in mankind.     NIV

From this thought the last clause follows naturally.  The best thing men can give is the sympathy of fellowship:  the last thing which they withdraw is simple fellowship.  But the prophets had no place among their fellow-men; and ‘even the deserts offered them no safe resting-place’.

The clause  in the holes of the earth — the holes of the land — seems to be a quotation from some familiar description.  The word  holes  occurs again James 3:11 with a reference to another feature of the limestone rocks of Palestine.

Conclusion   (11:39 - 40)

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The whole record of past divine history shows us that the trial of faith depended on the will of God, who looked forward to the end.  Here then lies our patience.

Heb 11:39-40
(39)  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
(40)  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
KJV

Greek Text according to G.R. Berry
(39)  And these all, having been borne witness to through faith did not receive the promise(40)  God for us better something having foreseen, that not apart from us they should be made perfect.

11:39 

These all
These all  from the beginning of human discipline to the fulfillment of man’s destiny in Jesus Christ.

Having been borne witness to through faith
These old heroes,  though they received the witness of divine approval given in what they were enabled to do and to suffer through their faith,  died before the end was reached to which they looked from first to last.

Through faith
Through their faith.
The faith by which they welcomed the divine promises became the power through which the fellowship of God with them was made evident.

11:40

The reason of this failure of the fathers to  ‘receive the promise,’  which men might think strange,  lay in the far-reaching Providence — Foresight — of God.  It was His purpose that the final consummation should be for all together,  as indeed it is of all in Christ;  so that no one part of the Body can,  if we realize the meaning of the figure,  gain its fulfillment independently.

The consummation of all the Saints therefore followed upon the completion of Christ’s work,  the accomplishment by Him of the destiny of man,  through fallen.  So far then God foresaw in the order of His great counsel in our case  (for us)  something better than the fathers experienced:  for we have actually seen in part that towards which they strained:  Matthew 13:17; 1 Peter 1:12.

The fathers with a true faith looked for a fulfillment of the promises which was not granted to them.  To us the fulfillment has been granted,  without the trial of deferred hope,  if only we regard the essence of things.

Christ has already opened the way to the Divine Presence on which we can enter,  and He offers to us now a kingdom which cannot be shaken  (Heb. 12:28).  At the same time there is the thought that God has looked further,  even beyond our age of trial,  to the end.

The perfection  (they should be made perfect)  of the individual Christian must in its fullest sense involve the perfection of the Christian society.  The ‘perfection’  which Christ has gained for humanity in His Person (Heb. 2:10; 5:9;7:28; 10:1,14)  must be appropriated by every member of Christ.

In part this end has been reached by the old saints in some degree,  in virtue of Christ’s exaltation  (Heb. 12:23),
But in part it waits for the final triumph of the Savior,  when all that we sum up in confessing the truth of ‘the resurrection of the body’ is fulfilled.

Primasius interprets the gift of the ‘white robe’ in Revelation 6:11 of that endowment of love whereby the waiting souls gladly accept the postponement of their own consummation.

That not apart from us
That they apart from us should not be perfected

That they without us should not be made perfect 
Hina mee chooris heemoon teleioothoosin
Each successive stage of history gathers up into itself the fruit of preceding stages.  This passage teaches the solidarity of humanity in its work as well as in itself.

The man of the present requires the work and suffering and achievement of the men of the past to complete him and his work.
The man of the future will, in like manner, require the work and suffering and achievement of the men of today to complete them.

The whole creation, in all its successive aeons, moves together toward:      "The one far-off, divine event."
(from Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

 

(End of Lesson Eight)

 


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