Hebrews Chapter 11 Second Continued
Hebrews 11:15 “And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.”
We see in this, that Abraham, and those with him, were not driven out of the land. Abraham left by choice. He could have gone back at any time. Abraham was following God’s instruction when he left. The only way he would have come back, is if God sent him back.
We can see here, that if Abraham had been constantly looking back, and wishing for what he had in Ur, God could not have used him.
Hebrews 11:16 “But now they desire a better [country], that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”
“Their God”: God referred to Himself as “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6; Gen. 28:13; Matt. 22:32). This is a significant covenant formula whereby an individual or a people identified with God and He with them (Lev. 26:12).
Christians must realize that this is not our home here on earth any more. The home we are looking for is in heaven. We are told by Jesus Himself not to lay up our treasures here, but to lay them up in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-20 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”
We see in the next few verses that Jesus Christ is even now in heaven preparing a place for the Christians. Heaven is our eternal home.
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.”
Verses 17-19: See (Gen. 22:1-8). Abraham again proved his faith by his willingness to give back to God his son of promise, Isaac, whom he had miraculously received because of his faith. It would take an even greater miracle for them to replace Isaac by natural means. He trusted God for a resurrection (Rom. 4:16-21).
Verses 17-18 “Only Begotten”: Isaac was not the only son of Abraham, there was also Ishmael through Hagar (Gen. 16:1-16). The term refers to someone who is unique, one of a kind (John 1:14). Isaac was the only son born according to God’s promise and was the only heir of that promise. The quotation from (Gen. 21:12), proves this latter point.
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten [son],”
Abraham offering up his only son Isaac, was a type and shadow of God the Father offering up His only Son Jesus Christ. The shadow is never exactly like the happening the shadow was made from. In this particular instance, Abraham was stopped by someone greater than himself.
When the Father God offered up His Son there was no greater to stop Him. If you would like to read more on this, you can find the details (in chapter 22 of Genesis).
Hebrews 11:18 “Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:”
Abraham had two sons, one by Sarah and the other by Hagar the servant girl. God did not carry out the promises He had made to Abraham through Hagar’s son Ishmael. Ishmael is spoken of as Abraham’s son of the flesh. Isaac, who was Abraham’s son by Sarah was the miracle son of the spirit. God passed the blessings of Abraham down through Isaac, not Ishmael.
Genesis 17:19 “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him.”
Romans 9:7 “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
We can see in this Scripture from Romans that this blessing was not to be passed down through all of Abraham’s sons, but just through Isaac.
Hebrews 11:19 “Accounting that God [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”
“Even from the dead”: Believing that God’s promise regarding Isaac was unconditional, Abraham came to the conclusion that God would fulfill that promise even if it required raising Isaac from the dead (Gen. 22:5).
“Figure”: The word is the same (as in 9:9), which is the basis for the English word “parable.” Abraham received Isaac back from the dead, as it were, even though Isaac had not been slain.
Though Abraham was stopped before the actual slaying of his son, Isaac was as good as dead in Abraham’s mind (Gen 22:10-12). Thus, Isaac serves as a type (Greek parabole), of a literal resurrection. This incident prefigured the resurrection of Abraham’s ultimate Seed, Jesus Christ.
This is speaking of the fact that Isaac was as good as dead the three days on the journey. It was as if God had raised him from the dead, when God stopped Abraham from sacrificing him. Here again, we see a shadow of the three days that Jesus’ body was in the tomb. Abraham had faith that even if he did sacrifice him that God would raise him from the dead.
Hebrews 11:20 “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.”
“Isaac” (see Genesis 27:1 – 28:5).
We find two totally different types of blessings that Isaac blessed his two sons with. Jacob got the right hand blessing, which is the best blessing. The right hand blessing is the blessing in the spirit. Esau received the left hand blessing, which was a flesh blessing. You will quickly see the difference in the blessings in the next few verses. We will look at Isaac’s blessings first.
Genesis 27:28-29 “Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:” “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed [be] every one that curseth thee, and blessed [be] he that blesseth thee.”
Genesis 28:3-4 “And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;” “And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.”
Now look at the marked difference in Esau’s blessings.
Genesis 27:37 “And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?”
Genesis 27:39-40 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;” “And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.”
Hebrews 11:21 “By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, [leaning] upon the top of his staff.”
“Jacob” (see Gen. 47:28 – 49:33).
“Both the sons”: Both of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, received a blessing from Jacob. Consequently, two tribes descended from Joseph, whereas only one tribe descended from each of his brothers (see Gen. 47:31; 48:1, 5, 16).
“Top of his staff”: According (to Gen. 47:31), Jacob leaned upon his “bed.” The two words (staff, bed), in Hebrew have exactly the same consonants. Old Testament Hebrew manuscripts were copied without vowels. Later Hebrew manuscripts between the sixth and ninth centuries A.D., took the word as “bed.” The LXX, in the third century B.C., rendered it “staff,” which seems more likely although both could be factual.
This is probably one of the most distinct blessing differences of the right hand and left hand in all the Bible. Joseph had brought both of his sons to be blessed by Jacob. Joseph deliberately placed Manasseh where he would get the right hand blessing, because he was the oldest son.
We see though, that God and Jacob had other plans. Jacob crossed his hands on purpose (the Bible says wittingly), and gave Ephraim the right hand blessing. The word Ephraim means double fruit.
That is exactly what happened, Ephraim got the preferential blessing, or the double blessing. As we said above, the right hand blessing, was in fact, the spiritual blessing. Let us look again at these two very different blessings.
Genesis 48:13-17 “And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought [them] near unto him.” “And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid [it] upon Ephraim’s head, who [was] the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh [was] the firstborn.” “And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,” “The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” “And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.”
Genesis 48:18-20 “And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this [is] the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.” “And his father refused, and said, I know [it], my son, I know [it]: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” “And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.”
We see in this that Joseph made the sign of the cross, when he touched the boys and blessed them. I truly believe that this is really saying that the law, which was first, was not the right hand blessing. The gift of grace, which was the younger, was the best blessing. God blesses whom he will, when He will.
Hebrews 11:22 “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.”
“Joseph” (see Gen. 37:1 – 50:26). Joseph spent all his adult life in Egypt, and even though he was a fourth-generation heir of the promise given to Abraham, he never returned to Canaan while he was alive. Yet, facing death, he still had faith that God would fulfill His promise and demonstrated that confidence by making his brothers promise to take his bones back to Canaan for burial (Gen. 50:24-25; Exodus 13:19; Jos. 24:32).
“His bones”: Though Joseph spent most of his life in Egypt; his faith in God’s promises concerning the Promised Land of Canaan prompted him to order the return of his bones when the nation returned.
Joseph knew that the children of Israel were sojourners in a foreign land. He knew that sometime in the future, his people would return to the land God had promised Abraham as an inheritance for his descendants. Even though this would be a very long time later, Joseph made them take an oath to take his bones with them when they went to the Promised Land.
Genesis 50:24-25 “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” “And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.”
Exodus 13:19 “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straightly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.”
Joshua 24:32 “And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.”
Hebrews Chapter 11 Second Continued Questions
- Abraham was not driven out of the land of Ur of the Chaldees but went out __ __ ___ ______.
- If Abraham had been constantly looking back, longing to return, God ______ ___ ____ _____ ___.
- God hath prepared for him a ____.
- Where is the Christian’s home?
- Where are we to lay up our treasures?
- Where do we find the Scripture that tells us that Jesus is building us a place in heaven?
- By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up _____.
- What was this that Abraham did a type and shadow of?
- What was the difference in Abraham offering Isaac up, and God the Father offering up Jesus?
- Who would the blessings of Abraham flow through?
- Who was the mother of Isaac?
- Who was the mother of Ishmael?
- Which son did God establish Abraham’s covenant with?
- Hebrews 11:19 tells us that Abraham believed what would happen if he sacrificed Isaac?
- What was the three day journey of Abraham and Isaac symbolic of?
- Why was the right hand blessing better than the left hand blessing?
- What would Ishmael and his descendants always be to Isaac and his descendants?
- Who did Joseph bring to his father for him to bless?
- What was strange about the blessings of the 2 boys?
- What angered Joseph about the blessings?
- What does Ephraim mean?
- What sign did Jacob make when he blessed the boys?
- What does the author believe is symbolically shown here?
- What commandment did Joseph make to the children of Israel before he died?
- What did they do with Joseph’s bones?
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