Hebrews 11:11

Hebrews 11:11

Through faith also Sarah herself
Some copies add "being barren"; and so read the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions; which is a circumstance which makes her faith appear the greater: but it is a question whether the apostle speaks of the faith of Sarah, or of Abraham; some think he speaks of Abraham's faith; and that it was through his faith that Sarah conceived; and observe, that the last clause may be rendered, "because he judged him faithful" and the rather, because the apostle, both before and after, is speaking of Abraham's faith, ( Hebrews 11:8-10 Hebrews 11:17 ) . And in ( Hebrews 11:12 ) mention is made only of one, even of Abraham; and in ( Romans 4:17 ) only notice is taken of Abraham's faith, respecting this matter; nor is Sarah's faith observed in the history of it, but her diffidence: but why may not Sarah be joined with Abraham, in this commendation, as well as Isaac and Jacob? and though, at first, she distrusted, yet she afterwards feared, and believed: other women are mentioned in this catalogue of believers; and they share in the same grace and privileges as men: and Sarah, being a believer, as well as Abraham,

received strength to conceive seed:
sometimes "strength" itself signifies seed, as in ( Proverbs 31:3 ) and so to receive strength is to receive seed; which the female does from the male; hence that saying of the Jews F20, the male does not receive strength from another, but the female (xk tlbqm) "receiveth strength" from another; but here it is to be understood of receiving power from God to retain seed, received from men, and conceive by it; which Sarah, in her circumstances, without the interposition of the almighty power, could never have done. The nymph Anobret is so called, in imitation of this conception of Sarah's; or as she is called in the Phoenician language, (trbne Nx) , which signifies "conceiving by grace": as this conception must be entirely ascribed to the power and grace of God:

and was delivered of a child when she was past age;
of bearing and bringing forth children, being ninety years of age, ( Genesis 17:17 ) . Now though the conception, bearing, and bringing forth of children are things natural, ordinary, and common, yet here was a particular promise respecting this matter; and there were great difficulties in nature attending it, and such as to reason were insuperable; but these were got over, through the power and grace of God, and which is ascribed to faith in the faithfulness of a promising God:

because she judged him faithful who had promised;
that she should have a son at the time of life; (See Gill on Hebrews 10:23).


F20 Caphtor, fol. 21. 2.