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Hebrews 11:16-39

Context
11:16 But as it is, 1  they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He had received the promises, 2  yet he was ready to offer up 3  his only son. 11:18 God had told him, “Through Isaac descendants will carry on your name,” 4  11:19 and he reasoned 5  that God could even raise him from the dead, and in a sense 6  he received him back from there. 11:20 By faith also Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning the future. 11:21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped as he leaned on his staff. 7  11:22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, 8  mentioned the exodus of the sons of Israel 9  and gave instructions about his burial. 10 

11:23 By faith, when Moses was born, his parents hid him 11  for three months, because they saw the child was beautiful and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 11:24 By faith, when he grew up, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 11:25 choosing rather to be ill-treated with the people of God than to enjoy sin’s fleeting pleasure. 11:26 He regarded abuse suffered for Christ 12  to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed on 13  the reward. 11:27 By faith he left Egypt without fearing the king’s anger, for he persevered as though he could see the one who is invisible. 11:28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, 14  so that the one who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 11:29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as if on dry ground, but when the Egyptians tried it, they were swallowed up. 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho 15  fell after the people marched around them 16  for seven days. 11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute escaped the destruction of 17  the disobedient, because she welcomed the spies in peace.

11:32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets. 11:33 Through faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, 18  gained what was promised, 19  shut the mouths of lions, 11:34 quenched raging fire, 20  escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, 21  became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight, 11:35 and women received back their dead raised to life. 22  But others were tortured, not accepting release, to obtain resurrection to a better life. 23  11:36 And others experienced mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 11:37 They were stoned, sawed apart, 24  murdered with the sword; they went about in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 11:38 (the world was not worthy of them); they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and openings in the earth. 11:39 And these all were commended 25  for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. 26 

1 tn Grk “now.”

2 tn Here “received the promises” refers to the pledges themselves, not to the things God promised.

3 tn Grk “he was offering up.” The tense of this verb indicates the attempt or readiness to sacrifice Isaac without the actual completion of the deed.

4 tn Grk “in Isaac seed will be named for you.”

sn A quotation from Gen 21:12.

5 tn Grk “having reasoned,” continuing the ideas of v. 17.

6 tn Grk “in/by a symbol.”

7 tn Grk “worshiped on the top of his staff,” a quotation from Gen 47:31 (LXX).

8 tn Grk “coming to an end,” “dying.”

9 sn Joseph’s prophecy about the exodus of the sons of Israel is found in Gen 50:24.

10 tn Grk “about his bones,” which refers by metonymy to the disposition of his bones, i.e., his burial.

sn The instructions about his burial are recorded in Gen 50:25.

11 tn Grk “Moses, when he was born, was hidden by his parents.”

12 tn Grk “the abuse [or ‘reproach’] of Christ.”

13 tn Grk “he was looking away to.”

14 tn Grk “the pouring out of the blood.”

sn The sprinkling of the blood refers here to the application of the blood to the doorways of the Israelite houses (cf. Exod 12:7, 13).

15 map For location see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

16 tn Grk “after they had been encircled.”

17 tn Grk “did not perish together with.”

18 tn This probably refers to the righteous rule of David and others. But it could be more general and mean “did what was righteous.”

19 tn Grk “obtained promises,” referring to the things God promised, not to the pledges themselves.

sn Gained what was promised. They saw some of God’s promises fulfilled, even though the central promise remained unfulfilled until Christ came (cf. vv. 39-40).

20 tn Grk “quenched the power of fire.”

21 tn Or “recovered from sickness.”

22 tn Grk “received back their dead from resurrection.”

23 tn Grk “to obtain a better resurrection.”

24 tc The reading ἐπρίσθησαν (ejprisqhsan, “they were sawed apart”) is found in some important witnesses (Ì46 [D* twice reads ἐπίρσθησαν, “they were burned”?] pc syp sa Orpt Eus). Other mss have ἐπειράσθησαν (ejpeirasqhsan, “they were tempted”), either before “sawed apart” ([א] L P [048] 33 81 326 1505 pc syh), after “sawed apart” (Ì13vid A D1 Ψ 1739 1881 Ï lat bo Orpt), or altogether in place of “sawed apart” (0150 vgmss Cl). Since the two words ἐπρίσθησαν and ἐπειράσθησαν are so much alike in sight and sound, and since the position of “they were tempted” varies in the mss, it seems best to say that ἐπειράσθησαν is an accidental corruption of ἐπρίσθησαν or an intentional change to a more common word (the root of ἐπρίσθησαν [πρίζω, prizw] occurs only here in the NT, while the root of ἐπειράσθησαν [πειράζω, peirazw] occurs 38 times). The best reading here seems to be “sawed apart” without any addition before or after. (See TCGNT 603-4, for a discussion of emendations that scholars have proposed for this difficult problem.)

25 sn The expression these all were commended forms an inclusio with Heb 11:2: The chapter begins and ends with references to commendation for faith.

26 tn Grk “the promise,” referring to the thing God promised, not to the pledge itself.



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