SUMMARY.--Faith Explained. The Faith of the Elders. Remarkable Examples of Ancient Faith. All Seeking for a Better Country. The Victories of Faith. The Sufferings Endured by Faith. Christians Exhorted to Follow These Glorious Examples.
20-22. By faith Isaac blessed, etc. See Genesis 27:26-40 Genesis 28:2-3 . In the blessing there are prophecies of their future history. 21. By faith Jacob, when he was dying. See Gen. 48:8-22 . In his blessing he foresaw that both Ephraim and Manasseh would be tribes of Israel, and that the younger would be the ancestor of the greater tribe. Leaning upon the top of his staff ( Gen. 47:31 ). The Hebrew word as originally written may mean either staff or bed, that on which one rests. In our English version of Genesis "bed" has been preferred. The Septuagint, followed here, says "staff." It means that the sick old man raised from his couch and leaned his weight on his staff while conferring the blessing. 22. By faith Joseph. See Genesis 50:24 Genesis 50:25 . By faith he looked forward to the children of Israel going up to Canaan for a home, and charged that his body should be carried up. This charge was faithfully fulfilled. See Josh. 24:32 .
23-27. By faith Moses. See Exod. 2:2 Acts 7:20 . Through faith in God the parents were led to disobey the king's cruel edict, and to hide the child. A proper child. A promising child. 24. Moses . . . refused to be called, etc. He had faith in God's promises, and hence forsook his honored position, for the sake of his people. 25. Choosing rather. There were honor, wealth and pleasure in the palace, but affliction with the enslaved nation. He chose the latter by faith. For a season. The pleasures of sin are transient. 26. Esteeming the reproach of Christ. Any reproach endured through faith in the promises of which Christ was the center and sum, was called the reproach of Christ. This reproach, though men might shrink from it, was really of more value permanently than the treasures of Egypt, because he looked forward to the recompense, the heavenly blessings. 27. By faith he forsook Egypt. The Exodus was all an achievement of faith. It was faith that made Moses disdain the king's wrath. He endured, as seeing him who is invisible. The unseen God was present with him by faith and his support gave strength to endure all.
28-31. Through faith he kept the passover ( Exod. 12:3-30 ). He kept it because God commanded and he believed all God promised. The sprinkling of blood. The blood of the lamb sprinkled on the door posts. He not only believed that this would protect Israel's first born, but his faith went beyond the type to the Lamb of God. 29. By faith they passed through the Red Sea. See Exod. 14:13-22 . In obedience to God's command they marched into the sea and "were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea" ( 1 Corinthians 10:1 1 Corinthians 10:2 ). 30. By faith the walls of Jericho fell. See Josh. 6:8-21 . 31. By faith the harlot Rahab. See Josh. 2:1-22 .
32-38. What shall we more say? All these cases are examples of heroic deeds and holy lives of faith. And the Scriptures are full of them; of such examples as Gideon ( Judges 6:11 ); Barak ( Judges 4:1 ); Samson ( Judges 13:1 ); Jephthae ( Judges 11:1 ); of David also ( 1 Sam. 16:1 ); Samuel ( 1 Sam. 1:20 ); The prophets. Many of these were illustrious examples of the power of faith. 33. Who through faith subdued kingdoms. Some of those named subdued kingdoms, as Barak, Gideon, David. Obtained promises. Promises were made to many of the worthies named. Stopped the mouths of lions. The case of Daniel is the most remarkable. See Dan. 6:20 . 34. Quenched the violence of fire. See the case of "the Hebrew children" in Dan. 3:19-28 . Escaped the edge of the sword. See 1 Samuel 18:10 1 Samuel 18:11 . 35. Women received their dead raised to life again. The widow of Zarephath ( 1 Kings 17:17-24 ) and the Shunammite ( 2 Kings 4:18-37 ) are examples. Others were tortured. This was especially true in the terrible persecutions recorded in the Book of Maccabees. A better resurrection. They preferred to suffer in hope of the resurrection to eternal life. 36. Others had trial of, etc. This was true of many persecutions recorded in Jewish history. 37. They were stoned. See 1 Kings 21:10-15 1 Kings 21:2 2 Chron. 24:21 . Sawn asunder. The Talmud says that this was Isaiah's fate. 38. Of whom the world was not worthy. When it rejects the good it shows its unworthiness. They wandered in deserts. To hide from persecutors.
39, 40. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith. By the power of faith they lived holy and heroic lives, but all died without having seen the fulfillment of the promise of a Deliverer. 40. God having provided some better thing for us. The new and better covenant, the gospel, the realization of the promise made to Abraham. That they without us should not be made perfect. That they and we together might be made complete in the city whose builder and maker is God. The full fruition, the being made complete (perfect) belongs to the heavenly state. All these ancient heroes, who died not having received the promise, need the realization of the promise in Christ to make them perfect; by that promise we also are saved.