corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hebrews 11

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

this chapter is a commendation and recommendation of faith, which is the substance (1) of things hoped for, giving as it were a substance in our minds to such things as we are in hopes and in expectation of hereafter, and making them present to us before they come to pass. --- It is also a sure conviction (2) of things that appear not. For when God has revealed things, and we believe them upon the divine and infallible authority of the revealer, we have a greater certainty of them than any demonstration can afford us. By this virtue of faith, they of old, our forefathers, obtained (3) a testimony from God that their actions were pleasing to him. (Witham) --- Faith is the basis, the foundation supporting hope; for unless there be faith, there cannot possibly be any hope. (Menochius)

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Substantia, Greek: upostasis, subsistentia.

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Argumentum, Greek: elegchos. Convictio, ostensio. It does not seem well translated evidence, as by the Protestants and Mr. N. because faith is an obscure knowledge, though it be the most certain, because of the infallible authority of God, who has revealed those obscure mysteries.

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Greek: Emarturethesan, testimonium consecuti sunt. This expression, which is repeated ver. 4, 5, and 39, signifies an approbation or commendation.


Verse 3

faith so highly commended here is not that special faith of sectarists, by means of which persons of various and contradictory tenets pretend to assure themselves that their sins in particular are pardoned for Christ's sake, but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised.


Verse 4

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Pluriman hostiam, Greek: pleiona thusian, majorem.


Verse 5

Henoch [Enoch] was translated, so as not to die nor see death. In Ecclesiasticus (Chap. xliv.) he is said to be translated into paradise. By these words, that he should not see death, it is the general exposition of the ancient interpreters, that he is not dead; but in what place, or in what manner God preserveth him, we know not. See St. Augustine, lib. de pec. orig. [on Original Sin] chap. xxiii.; St. John Chrysostom; &c. (Witham)


Verse 6

proves the Henoch [Enoch] was translated by faith, or on account of faith, thus: Henoch was translated because he pleased God; now he could not please God but by faith; therefore by faith he was translated. (Menochius)


Verse 7

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Metuens, Greek: eulabetheis, which signifieth a fear with reverence. See Hebrews v. 7.


Verse 8

By faith he that is called Abraham, &c. He commends his faith, who believing God, left his own country, lived in Chanaan [Canaan] as in a strange country, waiting for the promise and for a city, whose builder and maker is God; i.e. for an habitation in the kingdom of heaven. (Witham)


Verse 10

Patriarchs, who lived to a great age, dwelt not in fixed dwellings, but in moveable tents, as pilgrims; whereas their descendants, the period of whose existence is greatly curtailed, pass their time in building and planning as if they were never to die. This earth is a place of our exile, heaven is our true country: let us then live here as strangers and pilgrims, looking forward with anxious desires for our true country, the land of the living, in the bosom of our God.


Verse 11

By faith also Sara, &c. Though Sara [Sarah] seemed at first incredulous, yet she presently believed, and conceived Isaac when she was past the age of having children. (Witham)


Verse 12

Hid as dead: dead in a manner in that respect, and incapable of having children by Sara [Sarah]. (Witham)

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Et hoc emortuo: the ordinary Greek copies have, Greek: kai tauta nenek romenou; i.e. secundum hæc, or in this respect dead, being incapable of having children by Sara.


Verse 13

All these died in the faith of God's promises; that is, of their posterity, being to be introduced into the promised land of Chanaan [Canaan], but chiefly into the happy country of heaven. For had they only aspired and wished for the country of Chaldea, out of which Abraham came, they had time enough to have returned thither. (Witham) --- A metaphor taken from sailors, who, after a long and dangerous voyage, no sooner descry their native country, but they hail it with transports of joy: this in Virgil: Italiam, Italiam, primus conclamat Achates.

Thus the Patriarchs, when beholding at a distance, and through faith, their heavenly country, hailed it with joyous and repeated accents, eagerly desiring to reach the envied port.


Verse 17

By faith Abraham....offered up Isaac; i.e. was ready and willing to do it, when Isaac was his only son, by whom God had promised to give him a numberless progeny, but by faith he considered that God, who had miraculously given him a son, could if he pleased raise him to life again. (Witham)


Verse 19

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Eum in parabolam accepit, Greek: en parabole, in typo, in similitudine. St. John Chrysostom says, Greek: toutestin en upodeigmati.


Verse 21

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Adoravit fastigium virgæ ejus, Greek: prosekunesen epi to akron tes rabdon autou epi does not change the signification. See St. John Chrysostom and Estius.


Verse 22

Concerning his bones. That is, that when the Israelites should leave Egypt, they should take with them his bones, to be buried in Chanaan [Canaan] with his ancestors. This shews he had faith on God's promises, that he would give the Israelites the land of Chanaan. (Witham)


Verse 23

By faith Moses....was hid three months, &c. It is not improbable what Josephus relates, (lib. ii. Jewish Antiquities, chap. 5) that the parents of Moses, by revelation from God, or by some extraordinary marks, were persuaded that he should deliver the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt, and conduct them into the land of promise. (Witham)


Verse 24

-26

By faith Moses....chose rather to be afflicted with the people of God, than to be honoured as the son of Pharao's daughter, and to enjoy short sinful pleasures in the court of the king. --- Esteeming the reproach of Christ: by which seems to be signified, that Moses, to whom Christ and his sufferings were revealed, chose rather to endure such reproaches and contradictions from his brethren, the Israelites, as Christ was to suffer from the Jews, than to have all the short pleasures of what is called a happy life. See St. John Chrysostom, hom. xxvi. --- For he looked unto the reward; not any temporal reward or advantage in this life, but a reward from God in heaven, or rather where God himself would be his reward. (Witham)


Verses 24-26

By faith Moses....chose rather to be afflicted with the people of God, than to be honoured as the son of Pharao's daughter, and to enjoy short sinful pleasures in the court of the king. --- Esteeming the reproach of Christ: by which seems to be signified, that Moses, to whom Christ and his sufferings were revealed, chose rather to endure such reproaches and contradictions from his brethren, the Israelites, as Christ was to suffer from the Jews, than to have all the short pleasures of what is called a happy life. See St. John Chrysostom, hom. xxvi. --- For he looked unto the reward; not any temporal reward or advantage in this life, but a reward from God in heaven, or rather where God himself would be his reward. (Witham)


Verse 27

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Invisibilem enim tanquam videns sustinuit: Greek: ekarterese, i.e. sustinuit non Deum, sed animositatem regis.

====================


Verse 30

following examples are clear enough, if we look into the history and particular actions of those here named. It was a faith in God's mercies and promises that gave them courage, resolution, and perseverance amidst all dangers and difficulties, against all afflictions and persecutions, that made them despise the short happiness of this mortal life, in hopes of an immortal happiness hereafter. Yet they who are so much commended and approved for their faith, received not the great promise of entering into the kingdom of heaven; and they who lived and died well, were indeed in a place of rest, but their souls were not admitted to the beatifical vision, to see and enjoy God in heaven, till our blessed Saviour [Jesus Christ], at his ascension, entered first, and opened as it were heaven's gates for others to enter. In this God provided something better for us, who, after his coming, if we die without sin, and without any temporal punishments due to sin, our souls are presently happy with God in heaven. (Witham)


Verse 37

Greek: Melon signifies a sheep; Greek: melote signifies a sheep skin, with the wool on it. This, or a goat skin, was the usual covering of poor people, and as such was adopted by the ancient prophets, mortified to all the luxuries of life. Thus Elias [Elijah] is called vir pillosus, a hairy man, not for his beard or hair, but for his shaggy or hairy covering.


Verse 39

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 11:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/hebrews-11.html. 1859.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology