*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Hebrews 11:8-12 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Hebrews 11:8
  • Hebrews 11:9
  • Hebrews 11:10
  • Hebrews 11:11
  • Hebrews 11:12

The Pauline Author names the patriarchs of the Jewish faith as faithful believers in the promises of God.

Abraham was seen as the father of the Jewish faith, an important figure to the Pauline Author’s audience. The Pauline Author uses him as an example of walking by faith as well. In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham to leave his home and go to the land that God would show him. God promises to make him a great nation and bless him. It took a lot of faith for Abraham to leave his home and follow God before knowing where he was going. However, he obeyed by going out to a place that he would eventually receive for an inheritance. He got to Canaan and God told him he would give the land to his descendants. He lived in tents and as a stranger in this land with his son Isaac and grandson Jacob who were also heirs of the same promise God made to Abraham. Abraham had faith that there was another greater city that will be built by God, a heavenly city that Christ will rule over. This faith allowed him to remain faithful in a difficult situation.

Abraham’s wife, Sarah, had faith that God would fulfill His promises to them. Although she was very old she was able to conceive a son because of her faith. We know that Sarah did have doubts about her ability to have a son with a man as good as dead (Genesis 18:12) and yet even in her doubt she believed that God was  faithful who had promised her a son.

God fulfilled his promise to Abraham and Sarah, they had a son and they have as many descendants as the stars of the heaven in number and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

Biblical Text

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

Check out our other commentaries:

  • Matthew 5:23-24 meaning

    Concluding His example of how anger is a demonstration of disharmony (unrighteousness), Jesus shares a way this can be applied.......
  • Hosea 2:2-5 meaning

    The LORD urges His children to denounce their mother for her shameful behavior, lest they follow her and fall under the same judgment that awaits......
  • Deuteronomy 3:18-22 meaning

    Moses restates his response to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh after he had distributed the land east of Jordan to them.......
  • Matthew 2:13-15 meaning

    An angel commands Joseph to take his young family away from Bethlehem and to flee to Egypt, because Herod will soon try to kill Jesus.......
  • Exodus 33:1-6 meaning

    Chapter 33 begins with the LORD commanding Moses to tell the people to leave Sinai and begin their journey to the land He promised them.......