The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 34 of 144
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the surrounding difficulties, and lifting out the word translated by hupostasis. Spurrell's
translation avoids some of the pitfalls.
"My own person was not concealed from Thee, when I was formed in a secret
manner; curiously wrought in the lower bowels of the earth. Thine eyes beheld me
in embryo; and my members, each one of them was recorded in the book"
(Psa. 139: 15, 16).
"My bones which Thou hast made in secret, were not hidden from Thee, nor my
SUBSTANCE, in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes saw my unwrought
(substance)" (LXX translation).
There is much in the passage for meditation. Faith is to the things hoped for as the
unborn embryo is to the fully formed and living child. There is much that is secret, dark
and mysterious, but the whole presses forward to fullness of life. Such is the underlying
thought of Heb. 11: 1. The things hoped for were at the moment "not seen", they were as
yet "unborn", yet very real to faith. As we watch the expectant mother lovingly and
quietly preparing the little garments for the life that is not yet manifest, we have God's
own illustration of that faith which is the substance of things hoped for. Let us now
examine the second statement. "Faith is the evidence of things not seen."
Elengchos occurs but twice in the N.T., Heb. 11: 1 and II Tim. 3: 16. The A.V.
translates it once "evidence" and once "reproof". When we turn to the verb elengcho we
have a wider field for investigation. The following are the renderings in the A.V.,
convict, convince, rebuke, reprove, tell one's fault. In no one place is it ever
translated "prove" or "demonstrate", or by any such word that is parallel to "evidence".
We find the word in Heb. 12: 5, where it is translated "to be rebuked". Now structurally
this passage balances Heb. 11: 1 thus:--
A |
Heb. 11: 1. Faith. Substance and elengchos.
| 11: 2-40. The cloud of witnesses.
| 12: 1, 2.  The cloud of witnesses.
A |
12: 3-5. Faith. The elengchos.
Now if the last passage is rightly rendered "rebuke", how can the only other
occurrence of the word in Hebrews, bound as it is by all the ties of structure and
consistent argument, how can Heb. 11: 1, we say, be rightly translated "evidence"? The
reader may by this time be ready to consult the LXX again, and the first passage we note
will be Hab. 2: 1, "I will stand upon my watch . . . . . what I shall answer upon my
reproof", which is in the immediate context of the quotation, "the just shall live by faith".
Instead of "proof" we find "reproof". Let us search this matter further. Now elengchos
occurs some 21 times, and elengcho come 53 times. It is manifestly impossible with our
limited space to provide a concordance of the occurrences here. We will give a few, but
would here assure the reader that everyone of these 74 occurrences has been investigated,
and that all point in one direction, namely, that elengchos does not mean "evidence", but
"rebuke". Let us see a few examples:--