Hebrews 11

Now faith is ( εστιν δε πιστις ). He has just said that "we are of faith" (10:39), not of apostasy. Now he proceeds in a chapter of great eloquence and passion to illustrate his point by a recital of the heroes of faith whose example should spur them to like loyalty now.

The assurance of things hoped for ( ελπιζομενων υποστασις ).

Hupostasis is a very common word from Aristotle on and comes from  υφιστημ ( υπο, under,  ιστημ, intransitive), what stands under anything (a building, a contract, a promise). See the philosophical use of it in 1:3, the sense of assurance (une assurance certaine, Menegoz) in 3:14, that steadiness of mind which holds one firm (2Co 9:4). It is common in the papyri in business documents as the basis or guarantee of transactions. "And as this is the essential meaning in Heb 11:1 we venture to suggest the translation 'Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for'" (Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary, etc.).

The proving of things not seen ( πραγματων ελεγχος ου βλεπομενων ). The only N.T. example of  ελεγχος (except Textus Receptus in 2Ti 3:16 for  ελεγμον ). Old and common word from  ελεγχω (Mt 18:15) for "proof" and then for "conviction." Both uses occur in the papyri and either makes sense here, perhaps "conviction" suiting better though not in the older Greek.

Therein ( εν ταυτη ). That is, "in faith," feminine demonstrative referring to  πιστις.

The elders ( ο πρεσβυτερο ). More nearly like "the fathers," not the technical sense of elders (officers) usual in the N.T., but more like "the tradition of the elders" (Mr 7:3,5; Mt 15:2).

Had witness borne to them ( εμαρτυρηθησαν ). First aorist passive of  μαρτυρεω (cf. 7:8), "were testified to."

By faith ( πιστε ). Instrumental case of  πιστις which he now illustrates in a marvellous way. Each example as far as verse 31 is formally and with rhetorical skill introduced by  πιστε. After that only a summary is given.

We understand ( νοουμεν ). Present active indicative of  νοεω, old verb (from  νους, intellect) as in Mt 15:17; Ro 1:20. The author appeals to our knowledge of the world in which these heroes lived as an illustration of faith. Recent books by great scientists like Eddington and Jeans confirm the position here taken that a Supreme Mind is behind and before the universe. Science can only stand still in God's presence and believe like a little child.

The worlds ( τους αιωνας ). "The ages" as in 1:2 (cf. Einstein's fourth dimension, time). Accusative case of general reference.

Have been framed ( κατηρτισθα ). Perfect passive infinitive of  καταρτιζω, to mend, to equip, to perfect (Lu 6:40), in indirect discourse after  νοουμεν.

So that ( εις το ). As a rule  εις το with the infinitive is final, but sometimes as here it expresses result as in Ro 12:3 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1003).

Hath been made ( γεγονενα ). Perfect active infinitive of  γινομα.

What is seen ( το βλεπομενον ). Present passive articular participle (accusative case of general reference) of  βλεπω.

Of things which do appear ( εκ φαινομενων ). Ablative case with  εκ (out of) of the present passive participle. The author denies the eternity of matter, a common theory then and now, and places God before the visible universe as many modern scientists now gladly do.

A more excellent sacrifice ( πλειονα θυσιαν ). Literally, "more sacrifice" (comparative of  πολυς, much). For this rather free use of  πλειων with the point implied rather than stated see Mt 6:25; Lu 10:31; 12:23; Heb 3:3.

Than Cain ( παρα Καιν ). For this use of  παρα after comparative see 1:4,9. For the incident see Ge 4:4.

Through which ( δι' ης ). The sacrifice ( θυσια ).

He had Witness borne to him ( εμαρτυρηθη ). First aorist passive indicative of  μαρτυρεω as in verse 2, "he was witnessed to."

That he was righteous ( εινα δικαιος ). Infinitive in indirect discourse after  εμαρτυρηθη, personal construction of  δικαιος (predicate nominative after  εινα ) agreeing with the subject of  εμαρτυρηθη (cf. Ro 1:22,  εινα σοφο ).

God bearing witness ( μαρτυρουντος του θεου ). Genitive absolute with present active participle of  μαρτυρεω.

Through it ( δι' αυτης ). Through his faith (as shown by his sacrifice). Precisely why Abel's sacrifice was better than that of Cain apart from his faith is not shown.

Being dead ( αποθανων ). Second aorist active participle of  αποθνησκω, "having died."

Yet speaketh ( ετ λαλε ). Cf. Ge 4:10; Heb 12:24. Speaks still through his faith.

Was translated ( μετετεθη ). First aorist passive indicative of  μετατιθημ, old verb to transpose, to change as in 7:12; Ac 7:16.

That he should not see death ( του μη ιδειν θανατον ). Here again  του with the infinitive usually expresses purpose, but in this case result is the idea as in Mt 21:23; Ro 1:24; 7:3, etc. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1002).

He was not found ( ουχ ηυρισκετο ). Imperfect passive of  ευρισκω from Ge 5:24. Was still not found.

Translated ( μετεθηκεν ). First aorist active of same verb as  μετετεθη just before.

Translation ( μεταθεσεως ). Substantive from the same verb  μετατιθημ, used already in 7:12 for change. See also 12:27. Our very word "metathesis."

He hath had witness borne him ( μεμαρτυρητα ). Perfect passive indicative of  μαρτυρεω, stands on record still, "he has been testified to."

That he had been well-pleasing unto God ( ευαρεστηκενα τω θεω ). Perfect active infinitive of  ευαρεστεω, late compound from  ευαρεστος (well-pleasing), in N.T. only in Heb 11:5f.; 13:16. With dative case  θεω. Quoted here from Ge 5:22,24. The word is common of a servant pleasing his master.

Impossible ( αδυνατον ). Strong word as in 6:4,18. See Ro 8:8 for same idea with  αρεσα ( αρεσκω, Ga 1:10).

Must believe ( πιστευσα δε ). Moral necessity to have faith (trust,  πιστευω ). This is true in business also (banks, for instance).

That he is ( οτ εστιν ). The very existence of God is a matter of intelligent faith (Ro 1:19ff.) So that men are left without excuse.

He is a rewarder ( μισθαποδοτης γινετα ). Rather, "becomes a rewarder" (present middle indicative of  γινομα, not of  ειμ ). Only N.T. example of  μισθαποδοτης, late and rare double compound (one papyrus example, from  μισθος (reward) and  αποδιδωμ (to pay back) like  μισθαποδοσια (10:35; 11:26).

Seek after ( εκζητουσιν ). That seek out God.

Being warned of God ( χρηματισθεις ). First aorist passive participle of  χρηματιζω, old word for oracular or divine communications as already in 8:5 (cf. Mt 2:12,22, etc.).

Moved with godly fear ( ευλαβηθη ). First aorist passive indicative of  ευλαβεομα, old verb from  ευλαβης (from  ευ and  λαβειν, to take hold well or carefully), to show oneself  ευλαβης, to act circumspectly or with reverence, here only in N.T. (save Textus Receptus in Ac 23:10), often in LXX.

An ark ( κιβωτον ). Ge 6:15; Mt 24:38. Shaped like a box (cf. Heb 9:4).

Through which ( δι' ης ). Through his faith as shown in building the ark.

The world ( τον κοσμον ). Sinful humanity as in verse 38.

Heir ( κληρονομος ). In 2Pe 2:5 Noah is called "a preacher of righteousness" as here "heir of righteousness." He himself believed his message about the flood. Like Enoch he walked with God (Ge 6:9).

Not knowing whither he went ( μη επισταμενος που ερχετα ). Usual negative  μη with a participle (present middle from  επισταμα, old and common verb to put the mind on). Present middle indicative ( ερχετα ) preserved in the indirect question after the secondary tense  εξηλθεν (went out) from which  επισταμενος gets its time. Abraham is a sublime and graphic example of faith. He did not even know where the land was that he was going to receive "as an inheritance" ( εις κληρονομιαν ).

Became a sojourner ( παρωικησεν ). First aorist active indicative of  παροικεω, old verb to dwell ( οικεω ) beside ( παρα ), common in LXX, in N.T. only here and Lu 24:18. Called  παροικον (sojourner) in Ac 7:6.

In the land of promise ( εις γην της επαγγελιας ). Literally, "land of the promise." The promise made by God to him (Ge 12:7; 13:15; 17:8).

As in a land not his own ( ως αλλοτριαν ). For  αλλοτριος (belonging to another) see 9:25; 11:34.

The heirs with him of the same promise ( των συνκληρομενων της επαγγελιας της αυτης ). Late double compound ( συν, κληροσ, νεμομα ), found in Philo, inscriptions and papyri, in N.T. only here, Ro 8:17; Eph 3:6; 1Pe 3:7. "Co-heirs" with Abraham.

He looked for ( εξεδεχετο ). Imperfect middle of  εκδεχομα (see on 10:13) picturesque progressive imperfect, his steady and patient waiting in spite of disappointment.

The foundations ( τους θεμελιους ). Not just "tents" ( σκηναις, verse 9). Ahraham set his steady gaze on heaven as his real home, being a mere pilgrim ( παροικος ) on earth.

Builder ( τεχνιτης ). Old word from  τεχνη (craft) or trade (Ac 17:29; 18:3), craftsman, artificer, in N.T. only here and Ac 19:24,38.

Maker ( δημιουργος ). Old word from  δημιος (public) and  εργον, a worker for the public, artisan, framer, here only in N.T.

To conceive seed ( εις καταβολην σπερματος ). For deposit of seed. See 4:3 for  καταβολη.

Past age ( παρα καιρον ηλικιας ). Beyond ( παρα with the accusative) the season of age.

Since she counted him faithful who had promised ( επε πιστον ηγησατο τον επαγγειλαμενον ). Sarah herself ( αυτη--Σαρρα ). Even Sarah, old as she was, believed God who had promised. Hence she received power.

And that as good as dead ( κα ταυτα νενεκρωμενου ). Accusative of general reference ( ταυτα ), sometimes singular as in 1Co 6:8. The perfect passive participle from  νεκροω, late verb to make dead, to treat as dead (Ro 4:19), here by hyperbole.

By the sea shore ( παρα το χειλος της θαλασσης ). "Along the lip of the sea" (from Ge 22:17),  χειλος here alone in this sense in the N.T.

Innumerable ( αναριθμητος ). Old compound verbal adjective (alpha privative and  αριθμεω, to number), here alone in N.T.

In faith ( κατα πιστιν ). Here a break in the routine  πιστε (by faith), "according to faith," either for literary variety "or to suggest  πιστις as the sphere and standard of their characters" (Moffatt).

These all ( ουτο παντες ). Those in verses 9-12 (Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob).

Not having the promises ( μη κομισαμενο τας επαγγελιας ). First aorist middle participle of  κομιζω, to obtain, as in 10:36; 11:39. And yet the author mentions Abraham (6:15) as having obtained the promise. He received the promise of the Messiah, but did not live to see the Messiah come as we have done. It is in this sense that we have "better promises."

Greeted them ( ασπασαμενο ). First aorist middle participle of  ασπαζομα, to salute (Mt 5:47). Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day in the dim distance (Joh 8:56).

Strangers ( ζενο ). Foreigners. "To reside abroad carried with it a certain stigma" (Moffatt). But they "confessed" it (Ge 23:4; 47:9).

Pilgrims ( παρεπιδημο ). Late double compound ( παρα, επι, δημος ), a sojourner from another land, in N.T. only here and 1Pe 1:1; 2:11.

A country of their own ( πατριδα ). Land of the fathers ( πατηρ ), one's native land (Joh 4:44). Cf. our patriotic, patriotism.

Had been mindful ( εμνημονευον )--

would have had ( ειχον αν ). Condition of second class (note  αν in conclusion) with the imperfect (not aorist) in both condition and conclusion. So it means: "If they had continued mindful, they would have kept on having (linear action in both cases in past time).

Opportunity to return ( καιρον ανακαμψα ). Old verb  ανακαμπτω to bend back, to turn back (Mt 2:12), here first aorist active infinitive. Continual hankering would have found a way. Cf. the Israelites in the wilderness yearning after Egypt.

They desire ( ορεγοντα ). Present middle indicative of  ορεγω, old word for stretching out after, yearning after as in 1Ti 3:1.

Their God ( θεος αυτων ). Predicate nominative with the epexegetic infinitive  επικαλεισθα (to be called) used with  ουκ επαισχυνετα (is not ashamed).

Being tried ( πειραζομενος ). Present passive participle of  πειραζω. The test was still going on.

Offered up ( προσενηνοχεν ). Perfect active indicative of  προσφερω, the verb so often used in this Epistle. The act was already consummated so far as Abraham was concerned when it was interrupted and it stands on record about him. See Ge 22:1-18.

He that had gladly received the promises ( ο τας επαγγελιας αναδεξαμενος ).  Αναδεχομα is old verb to welcome, to entertain, in N.T. only here and Ac 28:7. It seemed the death of his hopes.

Was offering up ( προσεφερεν ). It is the imperfect of an interrupted action like  εκαλουν in Lu 1:59.

To whom it was said ( προς ελαληθη ). First aorist passive indicative of  λαλεω (Ge 21:12). God's very words were in the heart of Abraham now about Isaac "his only son" ( τον μονογενη. Cf. Lu 7:12).

Accounting ( λογισαμενος ). First aorist middle participle of  λογιζομα. Abraham had God's clear command that contravened God's previous promise. This was his solution of his difficult situation.

God is able ( δυνατα ο θεος ). God had given him Isaac in his old age. God can raise him from the dead. It was Abraham's duty to obey God.

In a parable ( εν παραβολη ). See already 9:9 for  παραβολη. Because of ( οθεν, whence) Abraham's superb faith Isaac was spared and so he received him back ( εκομισατο ) as almost from the dead. This is the test that Abraham stood of which James speaks (Jas 2:23).

Even concerning things to come ( κα περ μελλοντων ). As told in Ge 27:28-40 when Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.

Leaning upon the top of his staff ( επ το ακρον της ραβδου αυτου ). From Ge 47:31, but no word for "leaning." The quotation is from the LXX, the Hebrew having "the head of the bed," but the Hebrew word allows either meaning with different vowel points.

When his end was nigh ( τελευτων ). Present active participle of  τελευταω, to finish or close (Mt 2:19), "finishing his life."

Of the departure ( περ της εξοδου ). Late compound for way out, exit as here, metaphorically of death as here (Lu 9:31; 2Pe 1:15).

Concerning his bones ( περ των οστεων αυτου ). Uncontracted form as in Mt 23:27.

Was hid ( εκρυβη ). Second aorist passive indicative of  κρυπτω, to hide, as in Mt 5:14.

Three months ( τριμηνον ). Old adjective used as neuter substantive in accusative case for extent of time, here only in N.T.

A goodly child ( αστειον το παιδιον ). Literally, "the child was goodly" (predicate adjective). Old adjective from  αστυ (city), "of the city" ("citified"), of polished manners, genteel. In N.T. only here and Ac 7:20, about Moses both times. Quoted from Ex 2:2f. The king's commandment ( το διαταγμα του βασιλεως ). Late compound for injunction from  διατασσω, only here in the N.T.

When he was grown up ( μεγας γενομενος ). "Having become great" (from Ex 2:11).

Refused ( ηρνεσατο ). First aorist middle indicative of  αρνεομα, to deny, to refuse. He was of age and made his choice not from ignorance.

Son ( υιος ). Predicate nominative with  λεγεσθα (to be spoken of, present passive infinitive, of  λεγω ).

Choosing rather ( μαλλον ελομενος ). "Rather having chosen" (second aorist middle of  αιρεω, to take for oneself a position).

To be entreated with ( συνκακουχεισθα ). Present passive infinitive of the double compound  συνκακουχεω (from  συν, κακοσ, εχω ), to treat ill with (associative instrumental case), only known example save one in the papyri (second century A.D.), though  κακουχεω in Heb 11:37; 13:3.

To enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season ( προσκαιρον εχειν αμαρτιας απολαυσιν ). Literally, "to have temporary pleasure of sin."  Απολαυσις is old word from  απολαυω, to enjoy, in N.T. only here and 1Ti 6:17.  Προσκαιρος (from  προσ, καιρος ) is a common Koine word as the antithesis to  αιωνιος (eternal) as in Mt 13:21; Mr 4:17; 2Co 4:18 (only N.T. examples). To have been disloyal to God's people would have brought enjoyment to Moses in the Egyptian Court for a short while only.

The reproach of Christ ( τον ονειδισμον του Χριστου ). See Ps 89:51 for the language where "the Messiah" ("The Anointed One") is what is meant by  του Χριστου, here rightly applied by the writer to Jesus as the Messiah who had his own shame to bear (12:2; 13:12). There is today as then (Heb 13:13) a special reproach ( ονειδισμος, already, 10:33) in being a follower of Jesus Christ. Moses took this obloquy as "greater riches" ( μειζονα πλουτον ) than "the treasures of Egypt" ( των Αιγυπτου θησαυρων, ablative case after comparative  μειζονα, for which see Mt 6:19f.). Moses was laying up treasure in heaven.

For he looked unto the recompense of reward ( απεβλεπεν γαρ εις την μισθαποδοσιαν ). In perfect active of  αποβλεπω, "for he was looking away (kept on looking away)." For  μισθαποδοσια see 10:35.

Not fearing ( μη φοβηθεις ). Negative  μη with first aorist passive participle of  φοβεω here used transitively with the accusative as in Mt 10:26. Moses did flee from Egypt after slaying the Egyptian (Ex 2:15), but the author omits that slaughter and ignores it as the dominant motive in the flight of Moses.  Θυμον (wrath) is common in the N.T. (Lu 4:28), though here only in Hebrews.

He endured ( εκαρτερησεν ). First aorist (constative) active indicative of  καρτερεω, old word from  καρτερος, strong, here only in N.T. Moses had made his choice before slaying the Egyptian. He stuck to its resolutely.

As seeing him who is invisible ( τον αορατον ως ορων ). This is the secret of his choice and of his loyalty to God and to God's people. This is the secret of loyalty in any minister today who is the interpreter of God to man (2Co 4:16-18).

He kept ( πεποιηκεν ). Perfect active indicative of  ποιεω, to make, "he has made," emphasizing the permanent nature of the feast.

The sprinkling of the blood ( την προσχυσιν του αιματος ). Rather, "the pouring of the blood" ( προσχυσις from  προσχεω, to pour upon), only here in the N.T. (earliest known example). An allusion to the command in Ex 12:7,22 but in the LXX  προσχεω is the usual term for the act (Ex 24:6; 29:16; Le 1:5,11; De 16:6).

That the destroyer of the first-born should not touch them ( ινα μη ο ολοθρευων τα πρωτοτοκα θιγη αυτων ). Negative final clause with  ινα μη and the second aorist active subjunctive of  θιγγανω, old verb to touch with genitive, in the N.T. only here, 12:20; Col 2:21. The articular participle  ο ολοθρευων is from Ex 11:23. For  πρωτοτοκα see Lu 2:7; Ex 12:29.

Which assaying to do ( ης πιεραν λαβοντες ). Literally, "of which taking trial" (second aorist active participle of  λαμβανω, to take). The idiom  πειραν λαμβανειν occurs in De 28:56, in N.T. only here and verse 36, though a classical idiom (Demosthenes, etc.).

Were swallowed up ( κατεποθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  καταπινω, to drink down, to swallow down (Mt 23:24).

Fell down ( επεσαν ). "Fell," second aorist active indicative of  πιπτω with first aorist endings as often in the Koine.

After they had been compassed ( κυκλωθεντα ). First aorist passive participle of  κυκλοω, old verb to encircle (from  κυκλος, circle) as in Ac 14:20. Antecedent action here.

Having received the spies with peace ( δεξαμενη τους κατασκοπους μετ' ειρηνης ). First aorist middle participle of  δεχομα, to welcome (Lu 10:8,10).  Κατασκοπος is an old compound ( κατασκοπεω, Ga 2:4), used of scout or spy, in LXX, here only in N.T.

And what shall I more say? ( Κα τ ετ λεγω; ). Deliberative present active subjunctive (same form as indicative,  λεγω ). It is both a literary and an oratorical idiom here. He feels helpless to go on in the same style as he has done from Abel to Rahab (11:4-31).

Will fail me if I tell about ( επιλειψε με διηγουμενον περ ). Literally, "will leave me telling about." Present middle participle of  διηγεομα, to lead through, carry a discussion through, and masculine (disposing of Priscilla as possible author) with  με. Vivid and picturesque description of the author's embarrassment of riches as he contemplates the long list of the heroes of faith during the long years in Palestine. He mentions six names (Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David, Samuel) and then summarizes the rest under "the prophets" ( των προφητων, the for-speakers for God) of whom Samuel was the leader.

Through faith ( δια πιστεως ). Change thus from the routine  πιστε used so far.

Subdued kingdoms ( κατηγωνισαντο βασιλειας ). First aorist middle indicative of  καταγωνιζομα, Koine verb to struggle against, to overcome, here alone in the N.T. Used by Josephus of David's conquests. The author has here (verses 33,34), "nine terse clauses" (Moffatt) with no connective (asyndeton) with great rhetorical and oratorical force (sledge-hammer style). For "wrought righteousness" ( ηργασαντο δικαιοσυνην, first aorist middle indicative of  εργαζομα ) see Ac 10:35.

Obtained promises ( επετυχον επαγγελιων ). Second aorist active indicative of  επιτυγχανω, old verb (already in 6:15) with genitive. But they did not see the fulfilment of the Messianic promise (11:39f.).

Stopped the mouths of lions ( εφραξαν στοματα λεοντων ). First aorist active indicative of  φρασσω, old verb to fence in, to block up. See Da 6:18-23.

Quenched the power of fire ( εσβεσαν δυναμιν πυρος ). First aorist active indicative of  σβεννυμ (Mt 12:20). See Da 3:19-28.

Escaped the edge of the sword ( εφυγον στοματα μαχαιρης ). Second aorist active indicative of  φευγω, old verb to flee. "Mouths ( στοματα ) of the sword" (Lu 21:24). See 1Sa 18:11; 1Ki 19:2.

Were made strong ( εδυναμωθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  δυναμοω, late verb from  δυναμις as in Col 1:11.

Waxed mighty in war ( εγενηθησαν ισχυρο εν πολεμω ). "Became strong in battle" (Ps 18:34ff.).

Armies of aliens ( παρεμβολας αλλοτριων ). Late compound ( παρα, εν, βαλλω ) for encampment (Polybius, Plutarch), barracks (Ac 21:34,37), armies in battle line (Re 20:9 and here as in LXX and Polybius). Apparently a reference to the campaigns of Judas Maccabeus.

By a resurrection ( εξ αναστασεως ). Cf. 1Ki 17:17ff.; 2Ki 4:8-37.

Were tortured ( ετυμπανισθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  τυμπανιζω, late verb from  τυμπανον (kettledrum, drumstick), to beat the drum, to beat to death (cf. II Macc. 7 about Eleazar and the Mother and the seven sons), once in LXX (1Sa 21:13).

Not accepting their deliverance ( ου προσδεξαμενο την απολυτρωσιν ). Offered at the price of disloyalty as in II Macc. 6:21-27.

That they might obtain a better resurrection ( ινα κρειττονος αναστασεως τυχωσιν ). Purpose clause with  ινα and the second aorist active subjunctive of  τυγχανω to obtain with the genitive case. A "better resurrection" than the temporary ones alluded to in this verse by the women.

Of mockings and scourgings ( εμπαιγμων κα μαστιγων ).  Εμπαιγμος is from  εμπαιζω (Mt 20:19), late word, in LXX, here alone in N.T.  Μαστιγων ( μαστιξ, a whip, a scourge) is old and common enough (Ac 22:24).

They were stoned ( ελιθασθησαν ). Like Zechariah son of Jehoiada (2Ch 24:20). "A characteristic Jewish punishment" (Vincent). First aorist passive indicative of  λιθαζω (Joh 10:31).

They were sawn asunder ( επρισθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  πριω or  πριζω, old verb ( πριον, a saw). Cruel Jewish punishment (Am 1:3) said to have been inflicted on Isaiah.

They were tempted ( επειρασθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  πειραζω. The MSS. vary greatly in the text here and the order of these two items. This mild word seems an anticlimax after  επρισθησαν. One of the seven brothers was fried (II Macc. 7:4) and so  επρησθεσαν (were burned) from  πιμπραω (Ac 28:6) has been suggested.

With the sword ( εν φονω μαχαιρης ). "In (by) slaughter of the sword" (Ionic form of the genitive  μαχαιρες as in Ex 17:13; Nu 21:24). The fate of unpopular prophets (1Ki 10:10; Jer 26:23).

They went about ( περιηλθον ). Constative aorist active indicative of  περιερχομα (picturesque compound verb). Here the sufferings of the living.

In sheep skins ( εν μηλωταις ). Late word from  μηλον (sheep), rough garment of prophets as Elijah (1Ki 19:13,19), here only in N.T. In Byzantine Greek a monk's garb.

In goatskins ( εν αιγειοις δερμασιν ).  Δερμα, old word from  δερω, to flay (Mt 21:35), here only in N.T.  Αιγειος, old adjective (from  αιξ, goat), here only in N.T.

Being destitute ( υστερουμενο ). Present passive participle of  υστερεω, old verb to be left behind, used by Paul of himself (2Co 11:9).

Afflicted ( θλιβομενο ). Present passive participle of  θλιβω, common verb to oppress.

Evil entreated ( κακουχουμενο ). Present passive participle of  κακουχεω, late compound verb from obsolete  κακουχος ( κακος and  εχω ), in LXX (1Ki 2:26), in N.T. only here and 13:3. See  συνκακουχεισθα in 11:25.

Of whom the world was not worthy ( ων ουκ ην αξιος ο κοσμος ) Graphic picture in a short parenthetical relative clause ( ων, genitive plural with  αξιος ), a phrase to stir the blood of the readers.

Wandering ( πλανωμενο ). Present middle participle of  πλαναω, like lost sheep, hunted by wolves.

Caves ( σπηλαιοις ). Old word from  σπεος (cavern) as in Mt 21:13.

Holes ( οπαις ). Old word, perhaps from  οπς (root of  οραω, to see), opening, in N.T. only here and Jas 3:11. Cf. 1Ki 18:4; II Macc. 5:27; 10:6 (about Judas Maccabeus and others).

These all ( ουτο παντες ). The whole list in verses 5-38. Cf. verse 13.

Through their faith ( δια πιστεως ). Here rather than  πιστε as so often.

Received not the promise ( ουκ εκομισαντο την επαγγελιαν ). First aorist middle of  κομιζω. The Messianic promise they did not live to see (11:13), though they had individual special promises fulfilled as already shown (11:33).

God having provided ( του θεου προβλεψαμενου ). Genitive absolute with first aorist middle participle of  προβλεπω, late compound to foresee, here only in the N.T.

Some better thing ( κρειττον τ ). "Something better," "the better promises" of 8:6.

That apart from us they should not be made perfect ( ινα μη χωρις ημων τελειωθωσιν ). Negative purpose clause with  ινα μη and the first aorist passive subjunctive of  τελειοω. But this glorious and gracious purpose (foresight) of God is not due to any special merit in us. It is simply the fulness of the time in God's dispensation of grace of which we are the beneficiaries. But all the same and all the more (noblesse oblige), we should prove worthy of our heritage and of God's goodness to us and be loyal to Christ.

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