Hebrews 11:13-19 The Promises of Faith. 14. The mention of Jephthæ as an example of "faith," makes it unlikely he sacrificed the life of his daughter for a rash vow. a country--rather as Greek, "a fatherland." And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. What does Hebrews 11:11 mean? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The author of Hebrews does just that and then shows examples of the Old Testament heroes of faith (Heb 11), showing how their faith led to action, and their action was reckoned as faith, and as righteousness. What Does Hebrews 11:6 Mean? Now faith must have some revelation of God on which it fastens. . Rahab showed her "faith" in her confession, Joshua 2:9 Joshua 2:11 , "I know that Jehovah hath given you the land; Jehovah your God, is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath." ALFORD translates, "greeted them." The soundings of trumpets, though one were to sound for ten thousand years, cannot throw down walls, but faith can do all things [CHRYSOSTOM]. This verse gives a definition of the "only-begotten Son" ( Hebrews 11:17 ). Translate, "is eventually"; proves to be; literally, "becomes." All rights reserved. that God is--is the true self-existing Jehovah (as contrasted with all so-called gods, not gods, Galatians 4:8 ), the source of all being, though he sees Him not ( Hebrews 11:1 ) as being "invisible" ( Hebrews 11:27 ). invisible--as though he had not to do with men, but only with God, ever before his eyes by faith, though invisible to the bodily eye ( Romans 1:20 , 1 Timothy 1:17 , 6:16 ). In both accomplishes great things and suffers great things, without counting it suffering [CHRYSOSTOM]. From the antediluvian saints he passes to the patriarchs of Israel, to whom "the promises" belonged. Persons such as Abel, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah are commended for their trust in God's promises. Faith is the means of understanding the origin of all that is (11:3). And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. God's people are, and always have been, a reproached people. BENGEL supports English Version. Moses made his choice when ripe for judgment and enjoyment, able to know what he did, and why he did it. We should be pleased to think, how great the number of believers was under the Old Testament, and how strong their faith, though the objects of it were not then so fully made known as now. Hebrews 11:30-35 By Faith They Overcame. The "wherefore" does not mean that God's good pleasure is the meritorious, but the gracious, consequence of their obedience (that obedience being the result of His Spirit's work in them in the first instance). "Paul shows how we ought to seek in all its fulness, under the veil of history, the essential substance of the doctrine sometimes briefly indicated" [BENGEL]. Believers may and ought to have respect to the recompence of reward. For--proof that "faith" ( Hebrews 11:13 ) was their actuating principle. (32-38) The better state of believers under the gospel. This is why verse one tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The context for faith is a life in which things are hoped for but not yet seen or possessed. Those are likely to grow up to be distinguished for faith, who begin betimes, like Samuel, to exercise it. not made, &c.--Translate as Greek, "so that not out of things which appear hath that which is seen been made"; not as in the case of all things which we see reproduced from previously existing and visible materials, as, for instance, the plant from the seed, the animal from the parent, &c., has the visible world sprung into being from apparent materials. seeing him . whose builder and maker--Greek, "designer [ Ephesians 1:4 Ephesians 1:11 ] and master-builder," or executor of the design. If heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall obey and go forth, though not knowing what may befall us; and we shall be found in the way of duty, looking for the performance of God's promises. ALFORD explains, "Received him back, risen from that death which he had undergone in, under, the figure of the ram." Both Old and New Testaments are brimming with men and women of faith, and Hebrews 11 provides a picture-gallery of personalities who believed God's Word, and their faith is reckoned as righteousness. Hence he feared not the wrath of visible man; the characteristic of faith ( Hebrews 11:1 , Luke 12:4 Luke 12:5 ). And those once truly and savingly called out of a sinful state, have no mind to return into it. Hebrews 11:4–16 gives examples of figures from the Old Testament who demonstrated faith in God and were blessed as a result. Micaiah, the son of Imlah, by Ahab ( 1 Kings 22:26 1 Kings 22:27 ). And though we do not hope to have our dead relatives or friends restored to life in this world, yet faith will support under the loss of them, and direct to the hope of a better resurrection. Faith made him to prefer the adoption of the King of kings, unseen, and so to choose ( Hebrews 11:25 Hebrews 11:26 ) things, the very last which flesh and blood relish. Now faith is the substance: Just as our physical eyesight is the sense that gives us evidence of the material world, faithis the “sense” that gives us evidence of the invisible, spiritual world. Sarah received the promise as the promise of God; being convinced of that, she truly judged that he both could and would perform it. Natural amiabilities and "works done before the grace of Christ are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ; yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin" [Article XIII, Book of Common Prayer]. We were not spectators of creation; it is by faith we perceive it. He was afraid, and fled from the danger where no duty called him to stay (to have stayed without call of duty would have been to tempt Providence, and to sacrifice his hope of being Israel's future deliverer according to the divine intimations; his great aim, did not fear the king so as to neglect his duty and not return when God called him. 25. Hezekiah (Isaiah 37:1-38:22'). 35. His faith, as Joseph's ( Hebrews 11:22 ), consisted in his so confidentially anticipating the fulfilment of God's promise of Canaan to his descendants, as to desire to be buried there as his proper possession. Christ, as the Word, was preached to the Old Testament believers, and so became the seed of life to their souls, as He is to ours. 32. the time--suitable for the length of an Epistle. It was not any intrinsic merit in "the firstling of the flock" above "the fruit of the ground." —See Hebrews 8:6; the meaning is not “at this present time,” but “as the case stands in truth.” Wherefore God is not ashamed. Have we given up what was called for, fully believing that the Lord would make up all our losses, and even bless us by the most afflicting dispensations? things not seen--the whole invisible and spiritual world: not things future and things pleasant, as the "things hoped for," but also the past and present, and those the reverse of pleasant. a city--Greek, "the city," already alluded to. The world is not worthy of those scorned, persecuted saints, whom their persecutors reckon unworthy to live. Christ, in Luke 4:26 , makes especial mention of the fact that Elijah was sent to an alien from Israel, a woman of Sarepta. rewarder--renderer of reward [ALFORD]. Abel brought a sacrifice of atonement from the firstlings of the flock, acknowledging himself a sinner who deserved to die, and only hoping for mercy through the great Sacrifice. Hebrews 11:1–3 defines faith using words which are frequently quoted, and also frequently misunderstood. . "He acquiesced in the bare word of God where the thing itself was not apparent" [CALVIN]. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. were drowned--Greek, "were swallowed up," or "engulfed." A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God; and is willing to fare as they fare. must believe--once for all: Greek aorist tense. By faith we venture our eternal interests on the bare word of God, and this is altogether reasonable. In particular, this segment of the book of Hebrews focuses on those who heard from God, obeyed, and were blessed. is not ashamed--Greek, "Is not ashamed of them." righteousness which is by faith--Greek, "according to faith." Jacob lived by faith, and he died by faith, and in faith. He omits the more leading blessing of the twelve sons of Jacob; because "he plucks only the flowers which stand by his way, and leaves the whole meadow full to his readers" [DELITZSCH in ALFORD]. They are not worthy of their company, example, counsel, or other benefits. God "had respect (first) unto Abel, and (then) to his offering" ( Genesis 4:4 ). Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is the conviction - or better, the evidence - of things not seen." But the reference may be to the Maccabees having put to flight the Syrians and other foes. As creation is the foundation and a specimen of the whole divine economy, so faith in creation is the foundation and a specimen of all faith [BENGEL]. He was forty years old, a time when the judgment is matured. Description of the great things which faith (in its widest sense: not here restricted to faith in the Gospel sense) does for us. A flame seems to have issued from the Shekinah, or flaming cherubim, east of Eden ("the presence of the Lord," Genesis 4:16 ), where the first sacrifices were offered. And faith will enable a man to serve God and his generation, in whatever way he may be employed. Hebrews 11, popularly called \"the Faith Chapter,\" contains the recitation of the names and deeds of several men and women of faith from creation to the time of Israel's entering of the Promised Land. What a difference between God's judgement of a saint, and man's judgment! The natural world could not, without revelation, teach us this truth, though it confirms the truth when apprehended by faith ( Romans 1:20 ). It is a phrase of Luke, Paul's companion. This view of faith is explained by many examples of persons in former times, who obtained a good report, or an honourable character in the word of God. she judged him faithful who had promised--after she had ceased to doubt, being instructed by the angel that it was no jest, but a matter in serious earnest. BENGEL explains it by distinguishing "appear," that is, begin to be seen (namely, at creation), from that which is seen as already in existence, not merely beginning to be seen; so that the things seen were not made of the things which appear," that is, which begin to be seen by us in the act of creation. Thus Christ's ascension is the cause, and His absence the crown, of our faith: because He ascended, we the more believe, and because we believe in Him who hath ascended, our faith is the more accepted [BISHOP PEARSON]. Faith was the ground of his pleasing God; and his pleasing God was the ground of his translation. It is needful for persons to be seriously religious; to despise the world, when most capable of relishing and enjoying it. But the "ALL" can hardly but include Abel, Enoch, and Noah. 3. we understand--We perceive with our spiritual intelligence the fact of the world's creation by God, though we see neither Him nor the act of creation as described in Genesis 1:1-31 . After all our searches into the Scriptures, there is more to be learned from them. 18. There are several most suggestive associations. he received him--"received him back" [ALFORD]. ... Hebrews 11:6(NASB) Verse Thoughts. It is the excellence of the grace of faith, that, while it helps men to do great things, like Gideon, it keeps from high and great thoughts of themselves. Through faith, the future object of Christian hope, in its beginning, is already present. But the universal and final perfecting will not take place till Christ's coming. So the seven brothers, 2 Maccabees 7:9,11,14,29,36; and Eleazar, 2 Maccabees 6:21,28,30, "Though I might have been delivered from death, I endure these severe pains, being beaten." with--Their kind of dwelling being the same is a proof that their faith was the same. The believer's faith endures to the end, and, in dying, gives him victory over death and all his deadly enemies, like Samson. This accounts for his strange reluctance and despondency when commissioned by God to go and arouse the people ( Exodus 3:15 , Exodus 4:1 Exodus 4:10-12 ). for--proof of His being "their God," namely, "He hath prepared (in His eternal counsels, Matthew 20:23 , 25:34 , and by the progressive acts of redemption, John 14:2 ) for them a city," the city in which He Himself reigns, so that their yearning desires shall not be disappointed ( Hebrews 11:14 Hebrews 11:16 ). HUGO DE ST. VICTOR distinguished faith from hope. The full blessedness of body and soul shall not be till the full number of the elect shall be accomplished, and all together, no one preceding the other, shall enter on the full glory and bliss. Hebrews 11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) V. Examples, Discipline, Disobedience Chapter 11 []. Noah's faith influenced his practice; it moved him to prepare an ark. God nowhere in the Mosaic law allowed human sacrifices, though He claimed the first-born of Israel as His. By faith he was commended as righteous when God gave approval to his gifts. So also it is implied in the first clause of the verse that the invisible spiritual worlds were framed not from previously existing materials. Salem Media Group. Shall we be most amazed at the wickedness of human nature, that it is capable of such awful cruelties to fellow-creatures, or at the excellence of Divine grace, that is able to bear up the faithful under such cruelties, and to carry them safely through all? In particular, this segment of the book of Hebrews focuses on those who heard from God, obeyed, and were blessed. . His beauty was probably "the sign" appointed by God to assure their faith. 7. warned of God--The same Greek, Hebrews 8:5 , "admonished of God." Hebrews 11:1 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) The Meaning of Faith 11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. There, every word shows a trial. obtained a good report--Greek, "were testified of," namely, favorably (compare Hebrews 7:8 ). "The elders," whom we all revere so highly. was delivered of a child--omitted in the oldest manuscripts: then translate, "and that when she was past age" ( Romans 4:19 ). The sacrifice seems to have been a holocaust, and the sign of the divine acceptance of it was probably the consumption of it by fire from heaven ( Genesis 15:17 ). TRENCH denies that the Old Testament believers embraced them, for they only saw them afar off: he translates, "saluted them," as the homeward-bound mariner, recognizing from afar the well-known promontories of his native land. For, by the law, God cannot come into contact with anything dead. Hebrews 11:4–16 gives examples of figures from the Old Testament who demonstrated faith in God and were blessed as a result. had respect unto, &c.--Greek, "turning his eyes away from other considerations, he fixed them on the (eternal) recompense" ( Hebrews 11:39 Hebrews 11:40 ). on the earth--contrasted with "an heavenly" ( Hebrews 11:16 ): "our citizenship is in heaven" (Greek: Hebrews 10:34 , Psalms 119:54 , Philippians 3:20 ). The Hebrew, as translated in English Version, sets it aside: the bed is alluded to afterwards ( Genesis 48:2 , 49:33 ), and it is likely that Jacob turned himself in his bed so as to have his face toward the pillow, Isaiah 38:2 (there were no bedsteads in the East). [⇑ See verse text ⇑] This passage from Hebrews details Old Testament heroes who obeyed God, despite not fully understanding the future. True faith infers the reality of the objects believed in and honed for ( Hebrews 11:6 ). with peace--peaceably; so that they had nothing to fear in her house. As uncircumcision was Egypt's reproach, so circumcision was the badge of Israel's expectation of Christ, which Moses especially cherished, and which the Gentiles reproached Israel on account of. Faith always has been the mark of God's servants, from the beginning of the world. JOSEPHUS states that when a child, he threw on the ground the diadem put on him in jest, a presage of his subsequent formal rejection of Thermutis' adoption of him. Isaac was Abraham's "only-begotten son" in respect of Sarah and the promises: he sent away his other sons, by other wives ( Genesis 25:6 ). Not a full definition of faith in its whole nature, but a description of its great characteristics in relation to the subject of Paul's exhortation here, namely, to perseverance. Adam is passed over in silence here as to his faith, perhaps as being the first who fell and brought sin on us all; though it does not follow that he did not repent and believe the promise. stars . The Fathers, CHRYSOSTOM, &c., restricted the meaning of Hebrews 11:39 Hebrews 11:40 to this last truth, and I incline to this view. . The sufferer was stretched on an instrument like a drumhead and scourged to death. 39. having obtained a good report--Greek, "being borne witness of." 27. not fearing the wrath of the king--But in Exodus 2:14 it is said, "Moses feared, and fled from the face of Pharaoh." 8. Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come. Not only is He not ashamed, but glories in the name and relation to His people. Many are the unsung heroes and heroines of the past, present, and future, who believed God and whose faith is reckoned as righteousness. he that cometh to God--as a worshipper ( Hebrews 7:19 ). a city--on its garniture by God (compare Revelation 21:10-27 ). Chapter 10 ended with both a warning and a word of encouragement. In confessing themselves strangers here, they evidently imply that they regard not this as their home or fatherland, but seek after another and a better. the king's commandment--to slay all the males ( Exodus 1:22 ). Hebrews 4:9; and see Exodus 3:15, and Matthew 22:31-32.) (20-31) By other Old Testament believers. Hebrews 11:1-6 The Definition of Faith. Faith causes the believer's person to be accepted, and then his offering. seven days--whereas sieges often lasted for years. Hebrews chapter 11 dives deeply into the writer's application of all the information given so far. Hebrews 11:1 is linked to the rest of the chapter with the repetitive phrase “by faith” (pistei, πίστει), which describes the actions and attitudes of Israel’s ancestors. Hebrews 11:1. seen them afar off--( John 8:56 ). In this faith of Moses' parents there was a mixture of unbelief, but God was pleased to overlook it. in sheepskins--as Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:13 , Septuagint). He first so "called" Himself, then they so called Him. These all — Namely, Abraham and Sarah, with their children, Isaac and Jacob; died in faith — Believing that God would fulfil his promises; but not having received the promises — That is, the things promised, for which the word promises is here put by a usual metonymy. Faith was the principle of their holy obedience, remarkable services, and patient sufferings. So Enoch; this passage implies that he had not been favored with visible appearances of God, yet he believed in God's being, and in God's moral government, as the Rewarder of His diligent worshippers, in opposition to antediluvian skepticism. of them--and them only. Both alike are marvellous effects of faith. 11. also Sara herself--though being the weaker vessel, and though at first she doubted. In it, the authormost likely the apostle Paulpresents illustrations from the Old Testament to bear out his opening statement: \"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. He had fled, not so much from fear of Pharaoh, as from a revulsion of feeling in finding God's people insensible to their high destiny, and from disappointment at not having been able to inspire them with those hopes for which he had sacrificed all his earthly prospects. Now as these did not receive the promise of entering literal Canaan, some other promise made in the first ages, and often repeated, must be that meant, namely, the promise of a coming Redeemer made to Adam, namely, "the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." obtained promises--as "the prophets" ( Hebrews 11:32 ) did; for through them the promises were given (compare Daniel 9:21 ) [BENGEL]. Not that God "tempts" to sin, but God "tempts" in the sense of proving or trying ( James 1:13-15 ). Hebrews 10:26-31 The Just Live By Faith. The Septuagint translates the Hebrew for "walked with God," Genesis 6:9 , pleased God. Let us look how far our faith has caused the like obedience, when we have been called to lesser acts of self-denial, or to make smaller sacrifices to our duty. 15. framed--"fitly formed and consolidated"; including the creation of the single parts and the harmonious organization of the whole, and the continual providence which maintains the whole throughout all ages. The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, "He that was called Abraham," his name being changed from Abram to Abraham, on the occasion of God's making with him and his seed a covenant sealed by circumcision, many years after his call out of Ur. the elders--as though still living and giving their powerful testimony to the reasonableness and excellence of faith ( Hebrews 12:1 ). [ALFORD]. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it … 1. Cain's proud rage and enmity against the accepted worshipper of God, led to the awful effects the same principles have produced in every age; the cruel persecution, and even murder of believers. In this passage, the writer demonstrates that godly faith is really ''trust.'' the departing--"the exodus" ( Genesis 50:24 Genesis 50:25 ). One way to study this is: This is a statement of what faith does. 4 * By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than Cain’s. . by the which--faith. a better resurrection--than that of the women's children "raised to life again"; or, than the resurrection which their foes could give them by delivering them from death ( Daniel 12:2 , Luke 20:35 , Philippians 3:11 ). All true believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger faith is, the more fervent those desires will be. 40. provided--with divine forethought from eternity (compare Genesis 22:8 Genesis 22:14 ). THOMAS MAGISTER supports English Version, "The whole thing that follows is virtually contained in the first principle; now the first commencement of the things hoped for is in us through the assent of faith, which virtually contains all the things hoped for." substance, &c.--It substantiates promises of God which we hope for, as future in fulfilment, making them present realities to us. the harlot--Her former life adds to the marvel of her repentance, faith, and preservation ( Matthew 21:31-32 ). All hope presupposes faith ( Romans 8:25 ). So he becomes a witness to us of the blessed effects of faith. assaying to do--Greek, "of which (Red Sea) the Egyptians having made experiment." Works not rooted in God are splendid sins [AUGUSTINE]. Besides, the chronological order would be broken thus, the next particular specified here, namely, the institution of the Passover, having taken place before the exodus. Also Samson ( Judges 14:6 ), David ( 1 Samuel 17:34-37 ), Benaiah ( 2 Samuel 23:20 ). . They were true to this principle of faith even unto, and especially in, their dying hour (compare Hebrews 11:20 ). 21. both the sons--Greek, "each of the sons" ( Genesis 47:29 , 48:8-20 ). Join "by faith" with "prepared an ark" ( 1 Peter 3:20 ). "Whosoever professes that he has a Father in heaven, confesses himself a stranger on earth; hence there is in the heart an ardent longing, like that of a child living among strangers, in want and grief, far from his fatherland" [LUTHER]. Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. It will make men bold and courageous in a good cause. Rashness and presumption mistaken by many for faith; with similar rash presumption many rush into eternity. trial--testing their faith. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. declare plainly--make it plainly evident. Not "the promises," which are still future ( Hebrews 11:13 Hebrews 11:39 ). 36. others--of a different class of confessors for the truth (the Greek is different from that for "others," Hebrews 11:35 , alloi, heteroi). . It was in spite of the king's prohibition he left Egypt, not fearing the consequences which were likely to overtake him if he should be caught, after having, in defiance of the king, left Egypt. In other words, faith is not just a responding act of the soul; it is also a grasping or perceiving or understanding act. by the word of God--not here, the personal word (Greek, "logos," John 1:1 ) but the spoken word (Greek, "rhema"); though by the instrumentality of the personal word ( Hebrews 1:2 ). A fuller, more ample sacrifice, that which partook more largely and essentially of the true nature and virtue of sacrifice [ARCHBISHOP MAGEE]. Now that Christ is come, they in soul share our blessedness, being "the spirits of the just made perfect" ( Hebrews 12:23 ); so ALFORD; however, Hebrews 9:12 shows that the blood of Christ, brought into the heavenly holy place by Him, first opened an entrance into heaven (compare John 3:13 ). Though the righteous and the worldlings widely differ in their judgment, they agree in this, it is not fit that good men should have their rest in this world. Faith can lay hold of blessings at a great distance; can make them present; can love them and rejoice in them, though strangers; as saints, whose home is heaven; as pilgrims, travelling toward their home. in the matter of," it, "or, as Greek more emphatically, "this." So the martyrs of the Reformation, though not escaping the fire, were delivered from its having power really or lastingly to hurt them. Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:18, end; 2 Maccabees 19:20,30). as in a strange country--a country not belonging to him, but to others (so the Greek), Acts 7:5 Acts 7:6 . As our advantages, with the better things God has provided for us, are so much beyond theirs, so should our obedience of faith, patience of hope, and labour of love, be greater. The pleasures of sin are, and will be, but short; they must end either in speedy repentance or in speedy ruin. "By faith, he who was (afterwards) called Abraham (father of nations, Genesis 17:5 , in order to become which was the design of God's bringing him out of Ur) obeyed (the command of God: to be understood in this reading), so as to go out," &c. which he should after receive--He had not fully received even this promise when he went out, for it was not explicitly given him till he had reached Canaan ( Genesis 12:1 Genesis 12:6 Genesis 12:7 ). We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. 6. without--Greek, "apart from faith": if one be destitute of faith (compare Romans 14:23 ). sword--So Jephthah ( Judges 12:3 ); and so David escaped Saul's sword ( 1 Samuel 18:11 , 1 Samuel 19:10 1 Samuel 19:12 ); Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:1 , &c. 2 Kings 6:14 ). a proper child--Greek, "a comely child." The faith of the people ("THEY passed") is not introduced till Hebrews 11:29 . (8-19) By Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites, and Rahab. and . and--Greek, "but"; in contrast to those raised again to life. This promise of eternal redemption is the inner essence of the promises made to Abraham ( Galatians 3:16 ). not accepting deliverance--when offered to them. The Bible gives the most true and exact account of the origin of all things, and we are to believe it, and not to wrest the Scripture account of the creation, because it does not suit with the differing fancies of men. Israel ( 1 Kings 22:26 1 Kings 17:17-24 ) in his animal sacrifice, of. ( Romans 8:19 ) both a warning and a word of God. 4:15.... Obedience, remarkable services, and this is a statement of what can not see it engulfed. Seen by the unbeliever, when it is by faith we may fully..., they will rise up to condemn us at the death of Abraham either in speedy ruin a that! '' but `` quenched the violence of fire -- ( Genesis 21:12 ) reset! 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