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2016 November 28
Sacrifice of Isaac (1597-1599)
Either Caravaggio (1571-1610) ... or ...
Bartolomeo Cavarozzi (1587-1625)
Baroque Style (Both Painters)
[Bartolomeo Cavarozzi was a Baroque Style Painter of the Caravaggisti School]
Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Image Source: Wikimedia
Explanation: Hebrews 11is often called the faith chapter since it deals so extensively with examples and issues related to faith. The chapter begins by defining faith. It is not an assumption that something is true. Rather, someone who has faith is both assured and convinced that something is true. As shown in the rest of the chapter, it is trust in God. Those who lived in past generations obtained a good report by acting and living in faith (1-2).
Faith gives us the understanding that the worlds (literally, the ages or the eons) were created (put together) by the word of God, so that the things which we see are not made of things that are visible. These invisible things are the word (or words) of God. Words are invisible. There is no reference here to atomic theory which goes back to Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) and continues till today. Not only are words invisible, they are immaterial. Atoms, on the other hand, are material. For an evangelical perspective on this see Bossard's online article (3).
The writer of Hebrews now turns to various examples of faith in action in the lives of those who lived in past generations. He begins with Abel who lived at the foundation of humanity. By faith he offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, and God declared him righteous. Enoch was translated and escaped death because he pleased God. He could not have pleased God without faith, because without faith it is impossible to please God. He who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. Noah saved himself and his house by believing and acting upon God's warnings about things which were not yet seen. Thereby, he became an heir of the righteousness which comes through faith (4-7).
Abraham left his country and lived as a stranger in the land which God promised to him because he looked for a city whose builder and maker was God. Sarah, because she counted God faithful, also received strength to conceive a child when she was past her age of conception. So from someone who was as good as dead an innumerable multitude arose (8-12).
All of these died in faith without having received the promises. But they saw them afar off, and they embraced them because they desired a better, heavenly country. So God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he has prepared a city for them (13-16).
By faith Abraham offered Isaac, his only son, through whom his seed should be called. He believed that God was able to raise him from the dead, and he received him from the dead, figuratively. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau regarding things to come. By faith Jacob blessed the sons of Joseph, giving them each their appropriate blessings. By faith Joseph gave commandment to carry his bones out of Egypt when Israel departed in a future generation (17-22).
By faith, the parents of Moses hid him instead of destroying him along with the other Hebrew male children as Pharaoh had commanded. By faith Moses refused his adoption by Pharaoh's daughter and choose to suffer affliction with God's people rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. He endured as seeing him who is invisible. He forsook Egypt. He kept the Passover (23-28).
By faith the nation of Israel passed through the Red Sea, but the Egyptians were drowned by it. By faith the walls of Jericho collapsed. By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish when she received the spies with peace (29-31).
Many others lived by faith. Some obtained victories by faith. Others endured afflictions and death by faith (32-38).
All of them, victors and victims, obtained a good report by faith. And God will make us part of them, so that together we will be made complete (39-40). ]
[Sermons: John Macarthur. Various. ]
[Illustration: Today's painting depicts the sacrifice of Isaac. It is arguably the most theologically important event mentioned in today's chapter. ]
[THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES:
Hebrews 11: Genesis 1:1; Genesis 4:4; Genesis 5:24; Genesis 6:8, 14; Genesis 12:1-2; Genesis 12:5; Genesis 27:11-12, 14; Genesis 18:1-33; Genesis 22:17; Genesis 47:9; Psalm 39:13; Genesis 23:4; Hosea 14:2; Genesis 22:1; Genesis 22:12; Genesis 27:28; Genesis 47:31; Genesis 48:15; Genesis 50:24; Exodus 2:2; Exodus 2:11; Exodus 2:15; Exodus 12:11, 18; Exodus 14:22; Joshua 6:20; Joshua 2:1; Joshua 6:17, 23; Judges 6:4, 11, 15; 1 Samuel 7:1-17; 2 Samuel 2:1-32; 2 Samuel 8:1-18; Judges 14:1-20; Daniel 6:1-28; Daniel 3:1-30; 2 Kings 4:20; 1 Kings 17:1-24; 1 Kings 19:1. ]
[ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]
[ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]
[ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]
*** For Additional word studies use one of the Greek Interlinear Bibles below. ***
1. The Doctrine of Christ & its Implications (Hebrews 1:1 - Hebrews 10:39) - 60 A.D. Italy
2. The Exhortations to Believe Christ and to Obey Him (Hebrews 11:1 - Hebrews 13:25) - 60 A.D. Italy
2. The Exhortations to Believe Christ and to Obey Him (Hebrews 11:1 - Hebrews 13:25) - 60 A.D. Italy
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.
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.
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 [outside her mature time], because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore [the lip of the sea] innumerable.
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.
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.
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 recompence 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.
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 Gedeon, 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.
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.
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