The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 31 of 144
Index | Zoom
Heb. 12: 2. Heb. 11: will then represent the prism of glass which has the power of
splitting up the perfect light of the sun, and will split up the perfect faith of Christ, and
focus a ray of each colour, as it were, upon one or more examples, enabling us to see the
better the seven-fold splendour of the perfection of faith in Christ, after having seen the
seven aspects of it separately in the lives of others. To help us in our study, let us
examine the following diagram.
The sun is placed to one side and indicated as a type of Heb. 12: 2. Heb. 11:
intercepts the beam of light and the result is seen at the side. Before we go further we
must make certain that there are these sets of "sevens", and so taking nothing for granted
we begin to count, 1. Abel, 2. Enoch, 3. Noah, 4. Abraham, 5. Isaac, 6. Jacob,
and 7. Sarah. Here the record comes to an end for a time, while verses 12-16 speak of
the pilgrim character of faith. It will be observed that a woman ends the series. We
commence counting again in verse 17, 1. Abraham, 2. Isaac, 3. Jacob, 4. Joseph,
5. Moses, 6. Israel, and 7. Rahab. Here we have another set of seven, again ending
with a woman. In verse 32 the apostle says that time would fail to tell of all that could be
brought forward, but nevertheless the apparently haphazard list that is assembled in this
verse still presents the spectrum, 1. Gideon, 2. Barak, 3. Samson, 4. Jephthae,
5. David, 6. Samuel, and 7. The prophets.
We believe that the seven-fold division of Heb. 11: is an established fact, and so we
can now proceed to a further examination. How are these lists related to each other. It
seems to be a Scriptural principle that truth is confirmed by two or more witnesses.
Believing this to be the case, we approached the double list of names that are mentioned
in detail, and found that they were arranged in pairs. For example, Abel and Enoch are
both connected with death:--
"He being dead yet speaketh" (verse 4).
"Enoch was translated that he should not see death" (verse 5).
The next pair, Noah and Abraham, are related to an inheritance:--
Noah "became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" (verse 7).
Abraham "was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an
inheritance" (verse 8).
Isaac and Jacob are mentioned as dwelling in tents, heirs with Abraham of the same
promise, and looking for a city which hath foundations, so emphasizing their pilgrim
character. Sarah and Abraham are by this arrangement brought together in the centre.
Here resurrection is the theme.