The Book of Hebrews Bible Study Chapter 11 Part 3

Our next portion in this chapter is Hebrews 11:17-27

v17: He was tested: When we are tested by G-d it is not for the purpose of getting us to do something wrong. We need to make an important distinction between testing and tempting. G-d tests us, but never tempts us (James 1:13). These tests demonstrate truth and that which is right – if perchance someone does not pass these tests, they learn of things in their lives which are inadequate or insufficient and need repair. G-d’s testing always has a personal motivation to it for us – we grow, mature, and are encouraged to fix what is incorrect. 

  • Offered up: This means to be offered up ‘in a sacrificial sense’, a burnt offering (See Gen 22:1-19). 
  • His only begotten son: Isaac was the child of promise. From Abraham’s perspective, the promises and purposes of G-d, in some way dependant on Isaac, were not just for himself, for his family, or for his nation but ultimately for the whole world. 

v18: Seed: Relates to what G-d had promised Abraham but is also key to Messiah. Isaac is a type of typology for Yeshua. In the same way that Isaac was called to be sacrificed we know that Messiah was sacrificed. 

v19: G-d was able to raise him up, even from the dead: This is, without a doubt, a reference to resurrection. Abraham understood/ received revelation that there was a connection between resurrection and Kingdom inheritance. Even if Isaac were put to death, it would not have ended the promises of G-d, because ultimately the full outcome of His promises are going to be brought about by means of resurrection. 

  • He also received him in a figurative sense: Abraham walked in faith and relied upon the instructions of G-d. He was willing to offer up his son. Isaac was as good as dead, but we know G-d interrupted this and provided a substitute. This teaches us the gospel message – We should die for our sins (Roms 6:23), but Messiah Yeshua, our substitute, died in our place. 

v20: By faith: If faith is going to be manifested in our lives we need to be thinking about future things, those things that are coming i.e. The Kingdom promises. 

  • Jacob and Esau: Although very different from one another, both received a blessing from Isaac. Jacob was a man focussed on the promises of G-d, whereas Esau focussed on the things of this world. Jacob was committed to future things and desired to walk in the same heritage of Abraham and Isaac. Jacob understood that Esau was not interested in these things and so wanted to receive the birthright from him – which he did. (Gen 25:27-34 tells us that Esau, a skilful hunter, came back from hunting empty handed. He was famished when he arrived home. The Scripture tells us that, according to Esau’s mindset, he was ‘at the point of death’. ‘At the point of death’, for the sake of a meal, he despised and sold his birthright. He was focussed on himself and the immediate gratification of his flesh. This was a wealthy family and there would have plenty of food in their house, but Esau wanted what he wanted, and he wanted it now. To get it he was willing to sell his birthright, and part of that birthright came with a blessing. Esau received a blessing from Isaac, but it was not a good one). 

v21: This verse, seemingly out of place and out of order, teaches us that that same heritage/faith that Isaac had, that had caused him to bless his two sons, was the same faith Jacob had when he blessed the sons of Joseph. This verse also contrasts the difference between Jacob and Esau. When Esau was “dying” (see above) he was thinking about himself and despised/hated his birthright – the heritage of his father, and related to the covenant promises. Jacob, on the other hand, when he was at the point of death blessed future generations. When Jacob, ‘at the point of death’ and lying in bed, heard that Joseph was coming he mustered up all his strength to get up, to bless others, and to worship. See Gen 47:31 and Genesis 48

  • On the top of his staff: This word has to do with authority, discipline, and leadership. All of these things are brought into the text through this phrase. 

v22: When he was (coming to an end): Although the word used here may be referencing the fact that Joseph was near death, it is also the same word which means to ‘come to an end’ or ‘to be brought to perfection’. This is the same word (in a different form) that Messiah used when He cried out on the cross that was ‘finished’. The emphasis is not on death, but on completing the purposes of G-d. 

  • The departure: The exodus. The ‘going out’. Joseph prophesied that the children of Israel would leave Egypt. 
  • Gave instructions concerning his bones: Joseph asked them to take his bones out of Egypt when they left (Gen 50:25). He knew the faithfulness of G-d, and this was a testimony that his prophetic voice was true. When we really believe in the faithfulness (promises) of G-d we are going to be faithful to pursue His will. 

v23: Hidden (for) three months: They hid him because Pharaoh had commanded (a law of that Empire) that all the male infants be put to death by being cast into the Nile River (Ex 1:22)

  • He was a beautiful child: The word here has to do with something which is appropriate or fitting. It is a word in the Greek that means that they had a revelation from G-d that Moses was fit for the assignment – that exodus that Joseph had spoken about. He was the one who would bring about the will of G-d. 

v25: Choosing… to suffer affliction with the people of G-d: Moses did not choose the finer things in life but chose to suffer. The people of G-d were suffering greatly and there was no evidence or visual reason to believe that G-d was going to do anything. They had been in Egypt for generations but, never-the-less, because of the prophecy that G-d was going to rescue His people, Moses wanted to be with them. 

v26: The reproach of Messiah: Moses understood that Messiah was going to suffer. He reasoned that if Messiah was to suffer for the purposes of G-d (that we might experience a spiritual exodus; coming out of the bondage of sin), then he (Moses) reckoned that he would suffer and be with the people of G-d who were going to experience G-d’s faithfulness in a physical exodus. The word reproach has to do with rejection, a despising, shame. Moses was willing to suffer reproach for his faith, and because of that he was able to be used by G-d. 

  • He looked to the reward: This mindset of suffering, that Moses had, caused him to look at things from a different perspective. He did not focus on the temporal pleasures, but on the eternal rewards. 

v27: Endured: Persevered. This word literally means to ‘stand in power’. If we are individuals that look to truth, and are empowered by prophetic revelation, we are going to be in a position where we can stand in power and be recipients of the power of G-d. 

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