|Greek: Pistei diebesan (3SAAI) ten Eruthran THalassan os dia ceras ges, es peiran labontes (AAPMPN) oi Aiguptioi katepothesan. (3PAPI)
Amplified: [Urged on] by faith the people crossed the Red Sea as [though] on dry land, but when the Egyptians tried to do the same thing they were swallowed up [by the sea]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
NLT: It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians followed, they were all drowned. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: By faith the people walked through the Red Sea as though it were dry land, and the Egyptians who tried to do the same thing were drowned. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: By faith they passed through the Red Sea as through dry land, which the Egyptians having attempted, were drowned. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: By faith they did pass through the Red Sea as through dry land, which the Egyptians having received a trial of, were swallowed up;
BY FAITH THEY PASSED THROUGH THE RED SEA AS THOUGH THEY WERE PASSING THROUGH DRY LAND; AND THE EGYPTIANS, WHEN THEY ATTEMPTED IT, WERE DROWNED: Pistei diebesan (3SAAI) ten Eruthran THalassan os dia ceras ges, es peiran labontes (AAPMPN) oi Aiguptioi katepothesan. (3PAPI): (Exodus 14:13-31; 15:1-21; Joshua 2:10; Nehemiah 9:11; Psalms 66:6; 78:13; 106:9-11; Psalms 114:1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 136:13, 14, 15; Isaiah 11:15,16; 51:9,10; 63:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Habakkuk 3:8, 9, 10)
Faith (4102)(pistis) is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it. As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.
For more discussion on the meaning of faith see commentary on Hebrews 11:1-2.
Faith is believing that God will keep His promises, despite circumstances that seem to be to the contrary! True faith that saves one's soul includes at least three main elements - (1) firm persuasion or firm conviction, (2) a surrender to that truth and (3) a conduct emanating from that surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a changed life. (Click for W E Vine's definition of faith) Click for Dr Wayne Grudem's online outline of Conversion and/or Listen to the Mp3 of Conversion which addresses the question "What is saving faith?" in an easy to understand manner.
John MacArthur reminds us that "Faith is trusting completely in God’s Word. It is unconditional confidence in what He says, strictly on the basis that He has said it. The fact is that we either trust what God says or we are left to trust our own intellect, instincts, and attitudes. These are our only two options. Our own way is the way of unbelief; God’s way is the way of faith. The faith illustrated in Hebrews 11 is that which takes the bare word of God and acts on it, risking all. It is faith that does not question or ask for signs or miraculous direction. Looking for signs and wonders and explanations that we can understand or glory in is not faith. It is doubt looking around for proofs. Anything that demands more than God’s Word is doubt, not faith. God sometimes gives explanations and reasons for His Word, but He is not obligated to give them, and faith does not require them. As Jesus said to Thomas, "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" (John 20:29). Faith is therefore opposite from human nature, opposite from the world system. It often requires accepting from God that for which we can see no logic or reason. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
They - Who is "they"? Obviously this refers to the nation of Israel.
They passed through the Red Sea - Their action was a response to their faith in God's Word. They believed God and acted upon His promise.
Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees
Guzik - The difference between the Israelites crossing the Red Sea and the Egyptians who followed them was not courage, but faith. The Egyptians had as much (or more) courage than the Israelites, but not the same faith - and they each had different fates. The Israelites passed through, and the Egyptians were drowned. (Hebrews 11 Commentary)
Spurgeon - There you have the difference between faith and presumption: faith goes through the sea, presumption is drowned in the sea. There are two redemptions: redemption by price and redemption by power. Redemption by price was typified in the paschal lamb and the Passover. Redemption by power was typified in the passage of the Red Sea, when the children of Israel went through it dry-shod and the Egyptians were drowned.
Passing through dry land - This fact is repeated three times in the Exodus account to emphasize the miraculous nature of Jehovah's way of salvation.
Here is the original text...
Steven Cole in his sermon on Overcoming Faith writes...
Amplified: Because of faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encompassed for seven days [by the Israelites]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
NLT: It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho seven days, and the walls came crashing down. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was by faith that the walls of Jericho collapsed, for the people had obeyed God's command to encircle them for seven days. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: By faith the walls of Jericho fell, having been encircled seven days. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: by faith the walls of Jericho did fall, having been surrounded for seven days;
BY FAITH THE WALLS OF JERICHO FELL DOWN, AFTER THEY HAD BEEN ENCIRCLED FOR SEVEN DAYS: Pistei ta teiche Iericho epesan (3PAAI) kuklothenta (APPNPN) epi hepta hemeras: (Joshua 6:3-20; 2Corinthians 10:4,5)
By faith - Faith in Jehovah's unusual command was manifest by obedience to His charge. Once again we see that faith that pleases God is faith that obeys God. To say one believes and yet to fail to obey is not true faith.
Spurgeon - Believing and obeying always run side by side...Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God, trusts God; and he that trusts God, obeys God...(In short) Obedience is the hallmark of faith.
Jericho - Jericho like the Red Sea presented an obstacle to Israel. We need to remember that obstacles to us are "opportunities" for God to show Himself great and mighty in our life.
Here is the account of this great God glorifying event from Joshua 6...
The walls of Jericho fell down - Liberal scholars try to explain away this supernatural intervention, but faith sees it as a clear indicator of God's mighty power at work on the part of His people. Beloved, we need to remember that He is the same mighty God in each of our lives. What are the insurmountable walls in our life?
Spurgeon - On they went with steady tramp, and though they saw no corpses blocking up their pathway, though their arms were not red with blood, though they heard no shriek of those that fly, and could utter no shout of victory, yet they were as confident as they were when actually the walls began to rock, and the dust and smoke went up to heaven, and the shrieks of the slain made glad the foeman’s ear. We must encompass this city in full faith. You could not see faith at work on those solid walls. Those huge ramparts and battlements seemed to stand fast and firm, yet they “fell down, after they had been marched around seven days.” No battering rams played upon them, but faith can do better work than battering rams or dynamite.
John Phillips - To them, Jericho was insurmountable, but that is exactly where faith triumphs. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell" (Heb 11:30). Human wisdom would have advocated the purchase of slings and catapults and the amassing of huge stockpiles of stones for ammunition. Human wisdom would have suggested digging trenches to enable sappers to creep up to the walls and undermine them. Human wisdom would have called for starving the people of Jericho into submission. But faith had a better way. Faith does not oppose Satan's devices with human devices. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2Co 10:4-note). (Exploring Hebrews: An Expository Commentary)
William MacDonald - Reason would claim that such an impregnable fortress could be taken only by superior forces. But faith’s methods are different. God uses strategies that appear foolish to men in order to accomplish His purposes...Military experts would write off the method as ludicrous. But it worked! The weapons of the spiritual warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds (2Co 10:4-note). (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Summary lessons gleaned from Israel's march around Jericho (see Steven Cole's full exposition below)
Chrysostom - The soundings of trumpets, though one were to sound for ten thousand years, cannot throw down walls, but faith can do all things (quoted by Jamieson)
Murray - The strength of the enemy, in which he trusted, in view of the impotence of God's people, availed nothing before the power of faith. When shall we learn, in quiet patience and perseverance, to wait upon God our seven days too, the circle of a completed time, until He gives the possession of the promised rest. Let our faith claim it; we are the children of a God who does impossibilities; we are called to a life of faith that expects and receives them. Let our life be—faith in God. (Hebrews 11:32 Faith and Its Power of Achievement -p 465)
Steven Cole's sermon
Amplified: [Prompted] by faith Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed along with those who refused to believe and obey, because she had received the spies in peace [without enmity]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV:By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
NLT: It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute did not die with all the others in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was because of her faith that Rahab the prostitute did not share the fate of the disobedient, for she showed her faith in the true God when she welcomed the Israelites sent out to reconnoitre. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who were disobedient, having received the spies with peace. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: by faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who disbelieved, having received the spies with peace.
BY FAITH RAHAB THE HARLOT DID NOT PERISH ALONG WITH THOSE WHO WERE DISOBEDIENT, AFTER SHE HAD WELCOMED THE SPIES IN PEACE: Pistei Raab e porne ou sunapoleto (3SAMI) tois apeithesasin, (AAPMPD) dexamene (AMPFSN) tous kataskopous met' eirenes: (Joshua 2:1-22; 6:22, 23, 24, 25; Mt 1:1,5; Jas 2:25) (He 3:18; 1Peter 2:8; 3:20) (Joshua 1:1; 2:4-24)
By faith - God is here shown to be the God of both Jews and Gentiles and that both approach Him in the same way -- by faith (cp Heb 11:6).
Faith (4102)(pistis) - For more discussion on the meaning of faith see commentary on Hebrews 11:1-2. Click for Dr Grudem's online outline of Conversion and/or Listen to the Mp3 of Conversion which addresses the question "What is saving faith?" in an easy to understand manner.
Vine writes that "hers was a simple faith and very elementary, but it was real. She knew what God had determined, and acted accordingly. She grasped the unseen, and put her belief into action. Hence her life was lifted out from the influences of her Canaanitish condition, and her faith brought her from her alienated state into the fellowship of God’s people. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Rahab the harlot - Scripture is brutally honest. Yes, she became Rahab the believer, but the Scripture reminds us of how God is able to take us from the "guttermost" and lift us to the "uttermost", from eternal death to eternal life, independent of how evil we were before we entered into His great salvation by faith. In summary, Rahab was saved by God's grace and by her personal faith which was shown to be genuine by her good works of preserving the life of the spies.
Spurgeon - All the other persons mentioned here were doubtless saved by faith. But I do not find it especially remarked concerning any of them that they did not perish through their faith, while it is particularly said of this woman that she was delivered amidst the general destruction of Jericho purely and only through her faith. And, without doubt, her salvation was not merely of a temporal nature, not merely a deliverance of her body from the sword, but redemption of her soul from hell. That she was really saved in a gospel sense, as well as temporally, seems to me to be proved from her reception of the spies. This was an emblem of the entrance of the word into the heart, and her hanging out of the scarlet thread was an evidence of faith, not inaptly picturing faith in the blood of Jesus the Redeemer.
Stedman - Along with the story of Jericho’s overthrow, we read the remarkable account of Rahab the harlot (v. 31). She had heard of Israel’s conquests at the Red Sea and in the wilderness and expected them to assault Jericho many years before. She knew that their victories came from their faith in God, and she “received the spies with peace” (literally) when Joshua sent them to spy out the city. Her motive was not merely to save her life and that of her family; she was convinced, as she said, that “the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” That faith was honored when the walls of the city collapsed and all within were killed except Rahab and her family. That her faith was genuine is confirmed by Matthew when he lists her as one of the ancestors of Jesus. She went on to marry Salmon and became the mother of Boaz, and thus the great-grandmother of David. Faith overcame a sinful life, delivered her from a pagan religion. She was granted a place of honor among the heroes and heroines of faith. The incident also illustrates the fact that “in Christ there is neither male nor female.” Rahab was a woman in a man’s world, but faith accepts no such distinctions.
Steven Cole summarizes the truths gleaned from the story of Rahab (see below for full exposition)...
Here is Rahab's first encounter with the Israeli spies and her exercise of faith...
Then in Joshua 6 we read the conclusion of the account of Rahab...
Sir Robert Anderson comments on the phrase Rahab the harlot - Rahab the harlot! Those who seek for proofs of the divine authorship of Scripture may find one here. Was there ever an Israelite who would have thought of preferring that woman's name to the names of David and Samuel and the prophets, and of coupling it with the name of the great apostle and prophet of the Jewish faith, "whom the Lord knew face to face," and to whom He spoke "as a man speaketh unto his friend"! And what Jew would have dared to give expression to such a thought? But God's thoughts are not our thoughts. And He who immortalized the devotion of the widow who threw her last two mites into the Temple treasury has decreed that the faith of Rahab who, like Moses, took sides with the people of God, shall never be forgotten.
Murray comments on by faith - By faith. Let this be the motto of our life. In every need and perplexity, with every desire and prayer, with every work and trial, with every thought of ourselves and of God, let this be the one thing we seek—ever to breathe a living faith in a living God. Once again I say: As absolute and universal and undisputed as is the supremacy of God, is to be the supremacy of faith in our heart and life. We can only have as much of God in our heart as we have of faith. And because God is All, and must be All to us, faith in us must be all too. (Ibid)
The exercise of faith by Rahab the harlot brought her not only salvation but into the line of the Messiah for she was the mother of godly Boaz, a man who in many ways pictured the "Greater Boaz" Christ Jesus...
James includes her in the "same breath" as the venerable patriarch Abraham as a prime example of genuine, saving faith writing...
Warren Wiersbe quips - Imagine a pagan harlot becoming a part of the ancestry of Jesus Christ! That is what faith can do! Rahab is certainly a rebuke to unsaved people who give excuses for not trusting Christ. “I don’t know very much about the Bible” is an excuse I often hear. Rahab knew very little spiritual truth, but she acted on what she did know. “I am too bad to be saved!” is another excuse. But Rahab was a condemned heathen harlot! Another excuse is, “What will my family think?” Rahab’s first concern was saving her family, not opposing them. She stands as one of the great women of faith in the Bible.
Spurgeon - It is right to conclude that if there had been other believers there, either the city would have been spared for the sake of ten righteous, or else there would have been means found for their preservation; but she was the only one there. If we could have taken a bird’s eye view of the city of Jericho, and had been informed that there was one believer there, I warrant you we should not have looked to Rahab’s house. She would have been about the last person that we should have supposed had been a possessor of faith in the true God. God has a people where we little dream of it, and He has chosen ones among a sort of people whom we dare not hope for. Who would think that grace could grow in the heart of one who was a harlot by name, as though her sin was openly known to all? Yet it did grow there.
Did not perish along with (544) (sunapollumi from sun/syn = with, speaks of an intimate association + apollumi = from apo = away from or wholly + olethros = state of utter ruin <> ollumi = to destroy <> root of apollyon [Re 9:11] = destroyer) means to destroy together. The destruction in this context is one of losing their lives but not to causing them to cease to exist. Apollumi as it relates to men, speaks not of the loss of being per se, but is more descriptive of the loss of well-being. Apollumi then has the basic meaning of describing that which is ruined and is no longer usable for its intended purpose. The failure of the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho to possess eternal life by faith resulted in utter ruin in this life and the life to come, a life of eternal uselessness. Apollumi in no way speaks of cessation of existence (cp, annihilation) as some "scholars" falsely teach!
Sunapollumi is used 11x in 11v most in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) - Ge 18:23; 19:15; Nu 16:26; Dt 29:19; Ps 26:9; 28:3; Da 2:13; Heb 11:31.
Lest one is tempted to accuse God of being too harsh in destroying the entire population of Jericho, John MacArthur makes the point that "The destruction of the Canaanites was as great a social as it was a spiritual gain to the welfare of humanity. They were a debauched, idolatrous, and wicked people. They were noted for their grossly immoral and perverted sexual practices as well as for their general cruelty. Among other things, they frequently put live babies in jars and built them into their city walls as foundation sacrifices. They were begging for judgment. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
Disobedient (544)(apeitheo from a = without + peítho = persuade) literally describes one who refuses to be persuaded and who disbelieves willfully and perversely. Apeitheo means not to allow oneself to be persuaded, not to comply with and thus to refuse to believe (eg, in the truth, in Christ, in the Gospel). Apeitheo describes the inhabitants of Jericho who in spite of reports of the greatness of Jehovah (reports which Rahab appears to have believed), continued to manifest a stubborn, stiff-necked attitude of disbelief and disobedience, in this case manifest by a refusal to be persuaded by the truth about Jehovah (see Jn 3:36, cp the phrase "obey the gospel" in 2Th 1:8, 1Pe 4:17). Disobedience is opposite of pisteuo, which is the verb translated "believe" or "trust", precisely what Rahab did.
In studying apeitheo it is important to understand that "the stem peith- (pith-, poith-) has the basic meaning of trust (cf. Latin fido, fides). Trust can refer to a statement, so that it has the meaning to put faith in, to let oneself be convinced, or to a demand, so that it gets the meaning of obey, be persuaded. The active meaning of the verb stem peith- then is to convince and persuade and is especially characteristic of Greek thought. In secular Greek it interesting to note that "Peitho" (art of persuading) was even regarded as a goddess! (see Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
Welcomed (1209) (dechomai = middle voice of a primary verb) means to to receive something offered or transmitted by another (Luke 2:28) and so to be receptive toward someone (as in Heb 11:31, cp "receive" in Lk 10:8, 10). Dechomai means to accept with a deliberate and ready reception of what is offered, to receive kindly and so to take to oneself what is presented or brought by another (e.g., reception of the Word of truth, Jas 1:21-note). In the present context dechomai means that Rahab welcomed the spies into her house even as one would welcome a friend or a guest! Rahab in a word accepted the Israeli spies with an open arm, mind, and heart, going beyond normally expected gracious hospitality (especially hiding them so they would not be discovered).
Spurgeon - This woman said, “If I must die for these men, I will; I am prepared, bad name as I have, to have a worse name still. I am prepared to be handed down to infamy as a traitor to my country, if it is necessary, for taking in these spies. For I know it is God’s will it should be done, and I will do it at all costs.” Do not trust your faith unless it has self-denial with it. Faith and self-denial, like Siamese twins, are born together, and must live together, and the food that nourishes one must nourish both. But this woman, poor sinner as she was, would deny herself. She brought her life, even as that other woman who was a sinner brought the alabaster box of precious ointment, and broke it on the head of Christ.
Spies (2685) (kataskopos from kata = down + skopeo = to take aim at or look toward an object and so to spy out) means to spy or scout, the verb form kataskopeo being used to describe the false brethren who snuck in among the believers in order to bring them from a state of freedom in Christ to a state of bondage under the law (legalism) (Gal 2:4).
Peace (1515)(eirene from verb eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common expression of one “having it all together”. It follows that peace is the opposite of division or dissension. Peace is a state of concord and harmony and is the opposite of war which is how all the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho felt toward Israel. This lack of enmity further describes Rahab's welcoming attitude toward the spies.
William Newell -
Note the following seven points about Rahab:
1. Rahab was a common sinner, even a harlot. God says as to all of us. “There is no difference; for all have sinned.”
2. Rehab's faith (Josh. 2:8–11) was confessed by her in the words, “I know that Jehovah hath given you the land, and that the fear of you is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.”
3. This belief meant complete turning against her own people, just as a believer now comes out from, and is no longer of, the world.
4. It included belief that Jericho would be destroyed (Josh 2:13); and it brought concern for her own kin.
5. It brought about the beautiful typical picture of the scarlet cord, tied up in her window, by which the spies also escaped (Josh 2:15–21). How that cord reminds us of the shed blood of Christ!
6. By her faith she, her father, her mother, her brethren, and all her kindred—“Whosoever shall be with thee in the house”—(Josh 2:19), were preserved (Josh 6:22–23, 25).
7. She became the mother of Boaz (Matt. 1:5), great-grandfather of David the king! (Ruth 4:21–2).
Now let us go back and run over the names—familiar, blessed, sweet names they—of the “witnesses” of Heb 11:4-31, who “had witness borne to them.” BY FAITH— ABEL learned—and offered a blood sacrifice; ENOCH was told—and believed; NOAH was warned—and took warning; ABRAHAM was called—and obeyed; was tried, and offered up Isaac. ISAAC saw things to come; JACOB blessed each of the sons of JOSEPH and worshiped; JOSEPH (though exalted) clung at his end to Israel and their departure from Egypt; MOSES was hid … by his parents,* refused royalty, chose ill-treatment, rejected sin’s pleasures and Egypt’s treasures, looking unto the recompense of the reward: forsook Egypt, endured, kept the Passover. (Hebrews 11 Commentary)