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Hebrews 11:8

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Read Hebrews 11:8 Using Other Translations

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.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.

What does Hebrews 11:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Hebrews 11:8

By faith, Abraham, when he was called
The Alexandrian copy and the Vulgate Latin version read, "by faith he who was called Abraham"; but this call is not to be understood of his name; for though his first name Abram might be given him, in the faith of his being a great man, and his second name Abraham, when he himself was a believer; yet this change was made some years after the call referred to; which is that in ( Genesis 12:1 ) when he was called out of his own country, kindred, and father's house; which was an emblem of the call of God's people out from among the men of the world, and from their friends, relations, and acquaintance, and even out of themselves; and as Abraham was called from "Ur" of the Chaldees, so they from darkness, bondage, idolatry, and communion with wicked men; that, as he, they might not perish with idolaters, being chosen vessels, and for whom God has peculiar blessings in store: and so the grace of God is seen in calling them, without any respect to their deserts, as in calling Abraham: and the care and goodness of God may be observed, in raising up fit instruments to propagate his cause and interest. Now Abraham, being called

to go out into a place;
from Ur of the Chaldees, to the land of Canna;

which he should afterwards receive for an inheritance;
not in his own person, but in his seed and posterity, unless after the resurrection, in the New Jerusalem church state, and which inheritance was typical of heaven;

obeyed
the divine call; and which was a fruit and evidence of his faith, and may he called the obedience of faith:

and he went out, not knowing whither he went:
for though he went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and into the land of Canaan he came, ( Genesis 12:5 ) , yet, when God called him to go forth, and he prepared to obey his call, he knew not what land he was to go into; for it is only said, ( Genesis 12:1 ) ,

unto a land that I will show thee:
upon which words a Jewish commentator F18 has this note;

``he (God) did not immediately make known the land unto him, that so it might be lovely in his eyes;''

and it is, elsewhere, said by the Jews F19, that Abraham

``came from Aspamia (i.e. Mesopotamia), and its companions, (Nkyh edwy hyh alw) , "and he knew not where" he was, as a man that is in the dark;''

all which agrees with our apostle: and, from hence, it may be observed, that God sometimes leads his people in ways they have not known, though they are known to him, and are always right; and that it is the property of faith to follow God, when it cannot see its way; and a great mercy it is to have God for a guide. This also shows, that Abraham's faith agrees with the apostle's definition of it, ( Hebrews 11:1 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F18 Jarchi in Gen. xii. 1.
F19 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 60. fol. 52. 3.
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