|Greek: Kai ti eti lego? (1SPAS) epileipsei (3SFAI) me gar diegoumenon (PMPMSA) o chronos peri Gedeon, Barak, Samyon, Iephthae, Dauid te kai Samouel kai ton propheton
Amplified: And what shall I say further? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
NLT: Well, how much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: And what other examples shall I give? There is simply not time to continue by telling the stories of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jeptha; of David, Samuel and the prophets. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And what shall I say yet? For the time will fail me telling of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthae, and both David and Samuel and the prophets, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: And what shall I yet say? for the time will fail me recounting about Gideon, Barak also, and Samson, and Jephthah, David also, and Samuel, and the prophets,
AND WHAT MORE SHALL I SAY? FOR TIME WILL FAIL ME IF I TELL OF GIDEON, BARAK, SAMSON, JEPHTHAH, OF DAVID AND SAMUEL AND THE PROPHETS: Kai ti eti lego; epileipsei me gar diegoumenon o chronos peri Gedeon, Barak, Sampson, Iephthae, Dauid te kai Samouel kai ton propheton: (Ro 3:5; 4:1; 6:1; 7:7) (Jn 21:25 ) (Jdg 6:1-8) (1Sa 12:11) (Jdg 4:1-5) (Jdg 13:1-16) (Jdg 11:1-12) (1Sa 16:1,13; 17:1-18; Acts 2:29-31; 13:22-36) (1Sa 1:20; 2:11,18; 3:1-12; 28:3-25; Ps 99:6; Jer 15:1; Acts 3:24; Acts 13:20) (Mt 5:12; Lk 13:28; 16:31; Acts 10:43; Jas 5:10; 1Pe 1:10, 11, 12; 2Pe 1:21; 3:2)
Hughes comments that all of the preceding examples and those in these closing verses are consistent with Hebrews 11:1 noting that "faith is a dynamic certainty made up of two certitudes: a future certitude that makes one sure of the future as if it were present, and a visual certitude that brings the invisible within view. One hears God’s Word and so believes it that its future fulfillment becomes subjectively present and visible to the spiritual eye.
Time will fail me - Why? Because he had so many OT examples of faith that he could have given to encourage his Hebrew readers. In short he was running out of time, not examples of faithful men and women.
Gideon by faith defeated the Midianite army with a small band of 300 men. (see Judges 6-8)
By faith Barak with the prodding of Deborah was used by God to defeat the Canaanites. (see Judges 4, 5)
Samson defeated the Philistines several times most notably in his last act of faith in which he himself was killed.
Jephthah defeated the Ammonites with God’s power (see Judges 11, 12)
Spurgeon on Barak - Look at Barak; after he has once believed in the power of God, he marches to the fight and wins the victory, and is commemorated in soul-stirring words by the poetess, “Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, sing a song! Get up, Barak! Take captive your captives, O son of Abinoam” (Jdg 5:12). Mighty to conquer was the man who was timid to fight. When faith gave him courage, it made him triumph. Carry a vial of strong faith along with you, and a good dose of it will drive off fainting fits.
Spurgeon on Samson There are some names in this chapter that we should hardly have expected to see there, the characters mentioned having been so disfigured by serious faults, and flaws, and failings. But the distinguishing feature of faith was there in every instance, especially in the case of Samson. Perhaps there was no more childlike faith in any man than there was in him. Who but a man full of faith would have hurled himself upon a thousand men with no weapon in his hand but the jawbone of a donkey? There was a wondrous confidence in God in that weak, strong man, which, though it does not excuse his faults, yet nevertheless puts him in the ranks of the believers. Happy is the man or woman who believes in God.
William Newell - Right through this great eleventh of Hebrews these men and women of God act in reliance upon Him or His stated Word, wholly apart from their own feelings. Take Gideon (Heb 11:32): Go to the book of Judges and read his record: how he trembled and shrank at the thought of taking a step in leadership of God’s hosts. God met his trembling heart, of course, not only twice in the matter of fleece, but afterwards in the dream his servant was given to hear (Jdg 7:9–15-note). And that trembling heart became strong so that he was able to say to the people of Israel: “Jehovah HATH delivered into your hand the host of Midian.” This is Mark 11:24 again, “a conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11 Commentary)
Steven Cole's sermon…
Amplified: Who by [the help of] faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
NLT: By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Through their faith these men conquered kingdoms, ruled in justice and proved the truth of God's promises. They shut the mouths of lions, (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: who through faith overcame kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: who through faith did subdue kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped mouths of lions,
WHO BY FAITH CONQUERED KINGDOMS, PERFORMED ACTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, OBTAINED PROMISES, SHUT THE MOUTHS OF LIONS: (Joshua 6:1-13; 2Sa 5:4-25; 8:1-14; Ps 18:32, 33, 34; 44:2, 3, 4, 5, 6; 144:1,2,10) (He 11:4, 5, 6, 7, 8,17) (He 6:12, 13, 14, 15; 10:36; 2Sa 7:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Gal 3:16) (Jdg 14:5,6; 1Sa 17:33, 34, 35, 36; Ps 91:13; Da 6:20, 21, 22, 23; 2Ti 4:17; 1Peter 5:8)
Who by faith - The writer now presents a variety of manifestations of faith.
John Owen comments that "These instances are taken from things of all sorts to show that there is nothing of any kind whatever wherein we may be concerned but that faith will be useful and helpful."
A W Pink opens his comments on this verse with a discussion of faith - True faith performs a prominent part in all experimental godliness. Where there is a total absence of the grace of faith, a man is without God and without hope in this world; but where that spiritual principle exists, if only in the very small degree, there has taken place a wondrous and miraculous change. The one who is the subject of it may not, for a time, understand its nature; but instead, make the greatest mistakes about it; nevertheless, that change is no less than one passing from death unto life. “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed” (Matthew 17:20): that little grain has a principle of life in it, and contains in embryo the future plant; so with the implanting of the principle of grace in the heart—it will yet develop into, or rather be consummated in, Glory… No matter what our lot may be—“pleasing or painful”; no matter what station we are called to fill—high or low; no matter how formidable or difficult the obstacles which confront us, “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). (Exposition of Hebrews)
Spurgeon - All these were men of faith. Others mentioned in Scripture have done something, but God did not accept them. Men have humbled themselves, and yet God has not saved them. Ahab did, and yet his sins were never forgiven. Men have repented, and yet have not been saved, because theirs was the wrong repentance. Judas repented and went and hanged himself, and was not saved. Men have confessed their sins and have not been saved. Saul did it. He said to David, “I have sinned! Come back, David my son” (1Sa 26:21), and yet he went on as he did before. Multitudes have confessed the name of Christ, and have done many marvelous things, and yet they have never been pleasing to God, from this simple reason: they did not have faith. I take the meaning of (conquered kingdoms) to be not a laudation of the acts themselves so much as an honor put upon faith itself by the Holy Spirit. If you read of those who conquered kingdoms, that is not the point: others have conquered kingdoms, but it is “who through faith conquered kingdoms.” If you read of those who escaped the edge of the sword; many have done that, but none are recorded here but those “who by faith escaped the edge of the sword.” “Put to flight enemy battle lines”: many have done that by valor and strength, but to do it by faith—that is the thing. Many have endured flogging and bonds and imprisonment, and have wandered about destitute, afflicted, tormented, but such sufferings are nothing unless they are borne by faith.
Conquered kingdoms (2610) (katagonizomai from kata = against, + agonizomai = to contend for victory in the public games) means to struggle against and by implication to overcome or subdue. The idea is to fight or contend, to enter into a trial of strength, of courage on the field, to prevail in battle. Historical examples would include Joshua's leading Israel to conquer Canaan and David's rulership leading Israel to conquer the surrounding nations.
A W Pink on performed acts of righteousness reminds us that - right actions must spring from right principles and must be performed with right ends, if they are to be acceptable to God. In other words, they must issue from a living faith and have in view the glory of God.
Spurgeon on performed acts of righteousness - Is that as great an exploit as subduing kingdoms? Yes, that it is. To have, by faith, preserved a holy character, in such a world of temptation as this, is a far grander achievement than to have conquered any number of kingdoms by force of arms.
Charles Simeon comments on by faith…
A W Pink on obtained promises… “Obtained promises,” or secured the blessings promised. God assured Joshua that he should conquer Canaan, Gideon that he should defeat the Midianites, David that he should be king over all Israel. But outwardly, tremendous difficulties stood in the way of the accomplishment of those things, yea, apparent impossibilities prevented them. Gideon was put upon a great improbability when he was commanded to take but three hundred men, fall upon and destroy an immense host. David and his little company seemed to be no match for the armed forces of Saul, and after his death, for years the throne seemed as far away as ever. But where there is a real trust in the living God the most formidable difficulties may be overcome.“Obtained promises.” Ah, it is one thing to hear and read about the wonderful things which the faith of others secures, but what about your own experience, dear reader? You may sincerely think that you believe in and are resting upon the sure promises of God, but are you obtaining a fulfillment of them in your own daily life? Are the blessings set forth in the promises actually in your possession? Are you securing the things promised? If not, is the reason to be found in your failure to heed what here precedes? Before “obtained promises” comes “subdued kingdoms” and then “wrought righteousness.” We must not expect to “obtain” the precious things set before us in the promises until we definitely and diligently set about the subjugation of the flesh, and walk according to the rules of God’s Word—regulating our conduct by its precepts and commands. (Exposition of Hebrews)
Spurgeon on obtained promises - THE promises of God are to the believer an inexhaustible mine of wealth. Happy is it for him if he knows how to search out their secret veins and enrich himself with their hidden treasures. They are to him an armory containing all manner of offensive and defensive weapons. Blessed is he who has learned to enter into the sacred arsenal, to put on the breastplate and the helmet, and to lay his hand to the spear and to the sword.
Morris on obtained promises - Many of the elders won great victories, and received the fulfillment of many divine promises (e.g., Daniel), while others “received not the promises” (Hebrews 11:39) even though they also had great faith. Perhaps it takes even greater faith to stand true to God when the heavens seem silent to our prayers than when He is answering in great victories. (Defender's Study Bible)
Shut the mouths of lions - This is a clear reference to the prophet Daniel in the lion's den because of failing to obey a pagan order not to pray to God. Daniel records the story in chapter 6…
How might this apply to believers today who are unlikely to be thrown into a literal lion's den? While a literal lion was Daniel's enemy, a figurative lion is our relentless ferocious foe, the Devil himself (and his minions) who ever seeks to "kill and destroy" our faith and our testimony for Jesus Christ. Peter writes that in order to "shut the mouth" of this roaring lion we must…
Steven Cole adds that a Hebrews 11:1 quality of faith…
F B Meyer THE ROLL OF FAITH
Amplified: Extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the devourings of the sword, out of frailty and weakness won strength and became stalwart, even mighty and resistless in battle, routing alien hosts. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
NLT: quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: they quenched the furious blaze of fire, they escaped from death itself. From being weaklings they became strong men and mighty warriors; they routed whole armies of foreigners. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, turned to flight armies of aliens. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: quenched the power of fire, escaped the mouth of the sword, were made powerful out of infirmities, became strong in battle, caused to give way camps of the aliens.
QUENCHED THE POWER OF FIRE: esbesan (3PAAI) dunamin puros: (Ps 66:12; Isa43:2; Da 3:19, 20, 21, 22, 13, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28; 1Pe 4:12)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are the obvious examples of this manifestation of faith, Daniel recording…
While the writer doubtless refers to quenching the power of literal fire, there is a metaphorical application to all believers, Paul exhorting us…
The psalmist records the faithfulness of God in the fire…
Through Isaiah God promised…
ESCAPED THE EDGE OF THE SWORD: ephugon (3PAAI) stomata machaires: (1Sa 20:1; 2Sa 21:16,17; 1Ki 19:3; 2Ki 6:16, 17, 18,32; Job 5:20; Ps 144:10; Jer 26:24)
Escaped the edge of the sword - Not by one's cunning but by one's faith. The believer is immortal until God says it's time to come home! In the meantime we operate in the sphere of faith.
David escaped the edge of the sword of Saul - "Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said to Jonathan, "What have I done? What is my iniquity? And what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life?" (1Samuel 20:1)
And in another episode of David's life - Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, "You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel." (2Samuel 21:16, 17)
FROM WEAKNESS WERE MADE STRONG: edunamothesan (3PAPI) apo astheneias: (Jdg 7:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25; 8:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; 15:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20; 16:19-30; 2Ki 20:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Job 42:10; Ps 6:8; 2Co 12:9-note; 2Co 12:10-note)
Spurgeon - Do you notice how, every now and then, there is the mention of a feat that seems altogether beyond you, but then there follows one in which you can be a partaker with these heroes and heroines of faith? It may be that you have never “extinguished the effectiveness of fire,” yet, often enough, it has been true of you that, by faith, “out of weakness” you have been “made strong.” They were quite as weak as the weakest of us, but by their faith they laid hold of heavenly strength until they could do all things. There was nothing in the range of possibility, or, I might say, nothing within the lines of impossibility, that they could not have performed. They achieved everything that was necessary in the form of service, and they bore up gloriously under the most fearful pressure of suffering, simply and only by faith in God, who became their Helper. You and I may be very weak at this time, but we can be made strong out of just such weakness.
Weakness (769)(astheneia from a = without + sthénos = strength, bodily vigor) means literally without strength or bodily vigor = want of strength = lacking strength. Literally astheneia refers to bodily diseases or ailments (Lk 5:15, 13:11, 12, Jn 5:5, 11:4, 28:9). Another meaning of astheneia is incapacity to do or experience something, an inability to produce results, a state of weakness or limitation (1Co 15:43; 2Co 11:30; 12:5, 9, 10, 13:4; Ro 8:27; Heb 4:15; 5:2; 7:28; 11:34) Paul's use in 1Co 2:3 conveys the sense of weakness in terms of courage.
Richards - This group of words expresses powerlessness. The weak are without strength, incapacitated in some serious way. (Expository Dictionary)
Made strong (1412) (dunamoo see also word study on related word endunamoo; words of the stem dunamai all have the basic sense of ability or capability) means to be enabled and speaks of an inherent power which gives one the ability to do something. This verb is in the passive voice which means that the strengthening comes from outside source (God) Note the principle clearly implied is that when we are weak (in our self, our strength, our puny efforts) then we are strong (in His endless source of strength), specifically in spiritual matters.
Weakness… made strong - The paradox of the Christian life, the truth which the natural man (who lacks a living, saving faith) cannot comprehend (1Cor 2:14), for such spiritual truth can only be comprehended and apprehended by faith in His Word of Truth. As Paul wrote…
Spurgeon in his sermon The Best Strengthening Medicine writes…
BECAME MIGHTY IN WAR: egenethesan (3PAPI) ischuroi en polemo:
On the victories of faith!
Spurgeon asks "Is this also a feat of faith? Yes; instead of showing their faith by putting their enemies to flight, they prove it by enduring all manner of tortures without shrinking." It is well to be humble; it is never well to be weakly fearful. Some are always afraid. They dare not try this, and dare not try that, and if they happen to be placed in office where they can influence others by their counsels, they are shockingly bad officers, because they are always keeping the church back from Victory by a fear of defeat.
Mighty (2478)(ischuros from ischuo = to be able) is an adjective which means strong, powerful, mighty (usually referring to inherent physical strength), able, forcible. Strong, having moral power. Inherently strong. Ischuros denotes power or ability and places “stress on the actual power that one possesses rather than on the mere principle of power.
PUT FOREIGN ARMIES TO FLIGHT: parembolas eklinan (3PAAI) allotrion: (1Sa 14:13, 14, 15; 17:51,52; 2Sa 8:1-18; 2Chr 14:11, 12, 13, 14; 16:1-9; 20:6-25; 2Chr 32:20, 21, 22)
Spurgeon asks "Do you notice how, every now and then, there is the mention of a feat which seems altogether beyond you; but then there follows one, in which you can be a partaker with these heroes and heroines of faith? It may be that you have never “quenched the violence of fire;” yet, often enough, it has been true of you that, by faith, “out of weakness” you have been “made strong.”
Charles Simeon asks "Who would imagine that faith should ever possess such powers as are here ascribed to it? Who would suppose that by it men should “put to flight mighty armies,” and “subdue whole kingdoms?” Yet this has been done, and done by faith also: for all the kingdoms of Canaan were subdued by Joshua’s faith; as were the surrounding kingdoms of Moab, and Syria, and Edom, with many others, by the faith of David. And who would think that this principle should prevail to shut the mouths of lions; yes, and to quench the violence of fire, so that a furnace heated to the utmost extent of man’s ability, should not be able to singe a hair of a person’s head? Yet was the former of these done by the faith of Daniel; as was the latter, by the faith of his three companions, Shadrach, Meshech, and Abed-nego. Even to the raising of the dead has this availed: for, through the exercise of it, Elijah raised the son of the widow of Zarephath, and Elisha the son of the Shunamitish woman. Now of these things I say, they are utterly incredible: and, in declaring them, I seem to demand an assent that is perfectly unreasonable. For, how should it be that such a hidden principle of the mind should ever enable a man to work such miracles as these? Verily, the whole account seems to be nothing but “a cunningly-devised fable,” that yet can impose on none who give to it one moment’s consideration. But it is true, and the very truth of God. Nor will it appear incredible, if we duly consider the way in which it operates. It is God himself who engages to do the thing: and faith calls into action his Almighty arm (and with him all things are possible). So that, inasmuch as faith, insures his effectual aid, it may be truly said, that “all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Hebrews 11:32-35 Power of Faith)