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Hebrews 11:13

by Don Costello  
1/02/2009 / Bible Studies

Hebrews 11:13

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

1. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises"

a. The verses preceding verse 13 all speak of the things the men and women did and received through faith from the word and promise of God. Then in verse 13 it says, they "all died in faith, not having received the promises. The writer is obviously referring to different promises.

b. Enoch didn't die! Enoch received the promise of translation, but not these promises.

c. Abraham and Sarah received the promise of Isaac, but not these promises.

d. Noah received the promise of his family being saved from the flood, but not these promises.

e. Abel received confirmation of a more excellent sacrifice, but not these promises.

2. "but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them"

a. having seen [1492 * eidon] [Bullinger: to see; implying not the mere act of seeing, but the actual perception of the object"]

b. were persuaded [3982 * peitho] [Zodhiates: Generally of any truth. Used in an absolute sense, to be convinced.]

c. embraced [782 * aspazomai] [Zodhiates: To embrace, salutespoken of those who meetwith the meaning of greeting. In Hebrews 11:13, spoken of things, to welcome, embrace, receive gladly, the promises.]

d. There are certain things required before we can see afar off.

1). 2 Peter 1:5-9 "And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;
And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness;
And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

2). One of the definite characteristics of persons who have in essence quit trusting God is they lose their spiritual senses.

a). Jeremiah 17:5, 6 "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited."

b). Hebrews 5:11, 12 "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."

3. "and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."

a. confessed [3670 * homologeo; homo-the same; lego-to speak] [Zodhiates: to agree or consent to the desire of another.] [D.C. To say the same thing as God says primarily, but also to say what other faithful people say.]

b. stranger [xenos * 3581] [Zodhiates: Strange, foreign, not of one's family, not belonging to the Christian community, an alien. [D.C. Also the opposite, not belonging to the natural, earthly community and belonging to the heavenly.]

c. pilgrims [3927 * parapidemos; para-from, expressing a contrary position; epi-in or among a people; demos-a people.] [Zodhiates: A stranger, sojourner; not simply one who is passing through, but a foreigner who has settled down, however briefly, next to or among the native people.]

d. For the believer, Old Covenant or New Covenant, we are strangers and pilgrims.

1). Philippians 3:20 "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:"

a). conversation 4175 * politeuma] [Zodhiates: Any public measure, administration of the state, the condition or life of a citizen. In the N.T., the state itselfmetaphoricallyof Christians in reference to their spiritual community and their status as citizens of heaven.]

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is

I have a blog located at:

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