Hebrews Chapter 11
Hebrews 11 has been called "the faith chapter" of the Bible. It details how Christian faith has always existed, right from the garden of Eden when righteous Abel offered his sacrifice unto The Lord God who would, centuries later, offer Himself as a Sacrifice for all of humanity (see Christ The Creator and The Adam Family).
"11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God [see The Logos], so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain [see What Did Abel Have That Cain Didn't?], by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead [see What Happens When You Die?] yet speaketh.
11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death [see What Happened To Enoch?]; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
11:6 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.
11:7 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 [see The Flood]; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
11:8 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 [see On His Own Two Feet and Israel's Iraqi Roots]. 11:9 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: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God [see The City To Come].
11:11 Through faith also Sara [see Abram and Sarai] 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. 11:12 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.
11:13 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. 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 11:16 But now they desire a better country [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac [see Isaac's Faith And Obedience]: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph [see The Israelite Patriarchs - Joseph and Ephraim and Manasseh]; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones [see Joseph's Bones].
11:23 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 [see notes for Exodus 1-3].
11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years [see The Education Of Moses], refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned [see notes for Exodus 13-16].
11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days [see What Actually Made The Walls of Jericho Fall?].
11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon [see notes for Judges 5-7 and Judges 8-12], and of Barak, and of Samson [see notes for Judges 13-15 and Judges 16-18], and of Jephthae; of David also [see King David, Israelite Monarchy - The Origin, Israelite Monarchy - The Civil War and Israelite Monarchy - The United Kingdom], and Samuel, and of the Prophets: 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
11:34 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. 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better Resurrection:
11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37 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;
11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect [see To Meet The Lord In The Air" (Hebrews 11:1-40 KJV)
Hebrews Chapter 12
The author of Hebrews (most probably the apostle Paul - see notes for the next chapter) emphasizes that life is meant to be a journey of Growing In The Grace And Knowledge (listen also to the Sermons First Day of Unleavened Bread: Beginning The Journey To Salvation and Seventh Day of Unleavened Bread: The Road To Life from our Sermons page). "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1 KJV) and "12:13 make straight paths for your feet" (Hebrews 12:13 KJV) reiterates Christ's "7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14 KJV; see When Will You Be Judged? and I Did It My Way).
"12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author [see The Author of Life] and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross [see Crossing The T], despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?]. 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood [see also Why Blood?], striving against sin. 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him [see No Pain, No Gain]:12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits [see Spiritual Conception], and live?
12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness [see The Holy Father]. 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed." (Hebrews 12:1-13 KJV)
The Lord's offer of salvation is made once, sooner or later; there are no "second chances" for those who have been given the means to understand (see When Will You Be Judged?). "12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven" (Hebrews 12:25 KJV) is a dire warning against refusing God's offer of life.
"12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
12:20 For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:
12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion [see Zionism], and unto the city of the living God [see The City To Come], the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn [see Christ's Pentecost; listen also to the Sermons Christ's Pentecost and Pentecost, A Day Of Reckoning from our Sermons page], which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant [see Why A New Covenant?; listen also to the Sermon The Divorce and Remarriage of Jesus Christ from our Sermons page], and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven [see also The Ancient of Days]: 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved [see also The Coming World Dictator], let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:14-29 KJV)
Hebrews Chapter 13
The unidentified author of this epistle then concludes with encouragements and exhortations - which also provide at least 3 clues that the author was, most likely, the apostle Paul. "13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you" (Hebrews 13:24 KJV) indicates that the author was in Italy, which Paul, as a prisoner of the Romans, was at the time. "13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you" (Hebrews 13:23 KJV) strongly indicates Paul because Timothy was an integral part of Paul's Ministry. "13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words" (Hebrews 13:22 KJV) is very Paul-like in humble understatement; some think that "I have written a letter unto you in few words" in describing the relatively lengthy epistle was an ironic (or even mildly sarcastic) statement, but Paul was actually speaking of how, with his vast knowledge and understanding, he wrote only a small portion of what he could have written.
"13:1 Let brotherly love continue. 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares [see also What Do Angels Do?]. 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge [see Grace Into Licentiousness]. 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God [see Minister]: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines [see The Warning About Grievous Wolves]. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
13:11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the Sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood [see also Why Was It Torn?], suffered without the gate. 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls [see Where Is Your Soul?], as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
13:18 Pray for us: for we Trust we have a good Conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. 13:19 But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep [see The Shepherd's Voice], through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen." (Hebrews 13:1-25 KJV)
Fact Finder: What was the prophetic purpose and significance of The Lord instructing the Israelites to construct The Tabernacle In The Wilderness (see also The Camp) and the Temple in Jerusalem (see Temples) so that they faced east?
See Why Did They Face East?