Daily Word

By faith…endure suffering | Hebrews 11:35-38 (ESV)

35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Hebrews 11:35-38 (ESV)


Here we see saints who experienced some of the most severe of life’s trials and tests – physical, emotional, and/or spiritual. Women who suffered the loss of a child. Prophets who were stoned, beaten, mocked, imprisoned, homeless. Those who were tortured accepted death as a better reward than being released from suffering.

Who are they?

There are two women who received back their dead: the woman of Zarephath, whose child was restored to life by Elijah, 1Kgs 17:19-22; and of the son of the Shunammite woman, whose child was restored to life by Elisha, 2Kgs 4:18-37. The others we know for certain are Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, who was stoned. (2Chr 24:21) and Jeremiah, “Then Pashhur beat Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper Benjamin Gate of the house of the Lord.” Jer 20:2 ESV It is rumored that Isaiah was sawn in two and Jewish historical books provide examples of the others.

Remember who Hebrew’s is about

Remember that Hebrews is about Jesus – His superiority to the former ways of relating and being right with God through a better covenant. As we review the description of the sufferings listed, it causes me (and I presume you and the original readers) to think of Jesus and the suffering He experienced, how He kept his eye on the goal. We’ll see soon that, as Jesus is superior to angels, Moses, the law, the priests, He is also to these heroes of faith. Who received His good friend, Lazarus, back from the dead? Who was tempted by the devil himself? Who suffered betrayal by His closest friends, mocking and flogging and of course, death. But worse, who experienced separation from His Father as He became sin for us. He is the superior example of sacrifice and perseverance: “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV) Let us follow His example.

Christ suffering on cross – unspalsh

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