RECEIVED BACK THEIR DEAD BY RESURRECTION
AND OTHERS WERE TORTURED, NOT ACCEPTING THEIR RELEASE: Elabon gunaikes
ex anastaseos tous nekrous auton: alloi de etumpanisthesan ou
prosdechamenoi ten apolutrosin: (Jn 11:40, 41, 42,43, 44, 45 Ac 9:41) (Tortured Ac
22:24,25,29) (Not accepting: Ac 4:19)
(gune/gyne - gives us our word "gynecology" -
branch of medicine dealing with health care for women) refers to the
female gender, in context specifically referring to mothers.
As Spurgeon rightly observes...
works equal wonders in women as in men
Received back (2983)
(lambano) means primarily to take or grasp. It can indicate
both benevolent and hostile actions, and have as object either people
or things; e.g. take a wife, collect taxes, accept a verdict, take a
road, and fig. take courage. It is used with a material subject, as
when, for example, fear or terror seizes men.
In Elijah's time we encounter an
example of resurrection...
1Ki 17:22 The LORD heard the voice
of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he
revived. 23 Elijah took the child and brought him down from the
upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said,
"See, your son is alive." 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I
know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD in your
mouth is truth." (See also 2Ki 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36,
37, Lk 7:12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
from ana = up, again +
histemi = to cause to stand) literally means “to stand again" or
"to cause to stand again" and most NT uses refer to a physical body
rising from the dead or coming back to life after having once died.
The resurrection is distinguished from belief in
why do I need Christianity?), which usually involves
a series of rebirths from which the soul may seek release. The
resurrection is the central, defining doctrine and claim of the gospel
for as Paul wrote "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching
is vain, your faith also is vain." (1Co 15:14)
Resurrection is a reality
because in the final analysis it is a Person, Christ Jesus, Who
John 11:24-27 Martha said to Him,
"I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who
believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives
and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said
to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son
of God, even He who comes into the world."
Anastasis - 42x in 40v - Mt
22:23, 28, 30, 31; Mk 12:18, 23; Lk 2:34; 14:14; 20:27, 33, 35, 36; Jn
5:29; 11:24, 25; Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:2, 33; 17:18, 32; 23:6, 8; 24:15,
21; 26:23; Ro 1:4; 6:5; 1Cor 15:12, 13, 21, 42; Phil 3:10; 2Ti 2:18;
He 6:2; 11:35; 1Pe 1:3; 3:21; Rev 20:5, 6
Related Resources on
The Two Resurrections -
"First" and "Second" - on a timeline
Seven Resurrections in Scripture
Resurrection - Is it Taught in the
Christ's Resurrection Prophesied in
the Old Testament...
First Fruits as a prophetic picture
of Christ's Resurrection
The Sign of Jonah as a prophecy of
The "Third Day" in Hosea - Does it
predict Christ's Resurrection?
Resurrection in the Old Testament
FAITH THAT ENDURES
If the author had stopped with the
discussion at this point, he might have left the false impression that
faith excludes us from suffering, which of course is far from true as
he proceeds to illustrate in graphic language. Perhaps you know
someone who has been fed this false doctrine (some call it the "health
and wealth gospel" an oxymoron for it is not "good news" but "bad
news"!) that the reason you are suffering as a Christian, is that you
don't have enough faith! Nothing could be further from the truth. In
fact, I would submit that the Bible teaches so much the opposite
truth, that if you boast in the fact that you have never experienced
suffering in some form for your faith, there is some reason to
question whether your faith is genuine. I was once one of a group who
interviewed prospective members at a local Bible church and ask a
well-respected, "well off" prospect if he had ever suffered for his
faith, to which he proudly responded "Absolutely not. Never!". That
was the last time the church leadership let me interview prospective
We see this same idea alluded to in
Paul's last letter to his young disciple Timothy, a letter which
included exhortations as well as warnings, all inculcated to spur him
on to fight the good fight of faith (1Ti 6:12)...
If we endure (present
= speaks of a lifestyle of bearing up under the resistance we might
encounter for our testimony regarding Jesus and His Gospel) ,
we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us (2Ti 2:12)
It should be emphasized that the
indicates sustained activity. Suffering is important, but endurance in
that suffering was even more important to Paul and to the writer of
Hebrews. Why? Because endurance demonstrates that one is remaining
steadfast and faithful when others are giving up. This degree of
sacrifice and fidelity is both impossible and incomprehensible to the
one who does not have genuine faith!
is from the Greek word tumpanon = a tambourine or drum;
English = tympanic membrane or eardrum) is a very picturesque verb
which means to stretch on an instrument of torture resembling a drum
and thus to beat to death.
Vine comments that
The verb tumpanizo signifies
either to beat to death (tumpanon, a drum, beaten with a drumstick),
or to stretch upon a wheel for torture. The sense is general, i.e., to
inflict any kind of torture.
John MacArthur notes that...
The particular torture referred to
involved stretching the victim over a large drum-like instrument and
beating him with clubs, often until dead. God’s faithful are willing
to be beaten to death rather than compromise their faith in Him. They
would not sacrifice the future on the altar of the immediate. They
preferred being put to death, because by faith they knew that one day
they would be resurrected.
John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
The root word tympanum is
used in the
for the timbrel or tambourine.
Liddell Scott quote
Hdt.4.76, which describes it as a kettledrum as was used in the
worship of the mother goddess and Dionysus. There are two uses below
describing the tympanum as a rack, a wheel shaped instrument of
torture, over which criminals were stretched as though they were skins
(like skins over a tambourine) and then were horribly beaten with
clubs or thongs. It follows that the verb used here in Hebrews 11
means to beat or scourge the victim upon the rack (tumpanon), in
essence beating them to death, a horrible way to die.
The root word tympanum is
used 21x in 20 verses all in the
- Ge 31:27; Ex 15:20;
Jda. 11:34; Jdg 11:34; 1 Sam 10:5; 18:6; 2 Sam 6:5; 1 Chr 13:8; 1Esd
5:2; Jdt 3:7; 16:1; 1Macc 9:39; 2Macc 6:19, 28; Ps 80:3; 149:3; 150:4;
Isa 5:12; 24:8; Jer 38:4. Note that all of these uses except for
two refer to the musical instrument upon which one beats to "make
a beat". The NRSV has the following two exceptions in the Apocryphal
2 Maccabees 6:18-20 Eleazar,
one of the scribes in high position, a man now advanced in age and of
noble presence, was being forced to open his mouth to eat swine's
flesh. 19 But he, welcoming death with honor rather than life with
pollution, went up to the rack (tumpanon) of his own accord,
spitting out the flesh, 20 as all ought to go who have the courage to
refuse things that it is not right to taste, even for the natural love
2 Maccabees 6:27-28
Therefore, by bravely giving up my life now, I will show myself worthy
of my old age 28 and leave to the young a noble example of how to die
a good death willingly and nobly for the revered and holy laws." When
he had said this, he went at once to the rack
from pros = in compound Greek words implies motion
or direction toward +
= a deliberate and ready reception)
means to accept favorably, to receive one into
intercourse/companionship, to give access to oneself or receive to
Not is the modifier of
accepting and is the Greek word ou which signifies absolute
negation. The point is that these saints of great faith absolutely
refused release because of their "uplook" which gave them an eternal
"outlook"! We need to emulate their faith. The idea seems
to be that these men and women refused to be released or set free from
the prospect of torture. What
would result in them being set free? If they had denied God's Truth
Christ their Redeemer. This offer has been made to many of His martyrs
over the centuries but true believers have always held fast to the end (Heb 3:6-note,
cp Mt 24:14) and chosen not to expediently deny Jesus in order to
obtain futile passing "freedom" (which is really spiritual bondage) in
this life, a poor exchange for an eternal life with God in the ages to
come. The clarion charge of the past, present and future is to hold
fast to the confession of your hope without wavering for He Who
promised is faithful (Heb 10:23-note).
The description of some being tortured, not accepting their release,
may refer to two incidents during the reign of terror of the wicked
Antiochus Epiphanes (reported in the apocryphal 2 Maccabees 6 & 7).
the first, an old teacher of the law, Eleazar, was forced to open his
mouth to eat pork. But, “preferring an honour-able death to an unclean
life, he spat it out” (2Macc. 6:19, New English Bible). They then
stretched him on a rack and flogged him.
At one point, they offered that he could eat clean meat, but pretend
that it was the pork that the king had ordered. He replied, “Send me
quickly to my grave. If I went through with this pretence at my time
of life, many of the young might believe that at the age of ninety
Eleazar had turned apostate. If I practiced deceit for the sake of a
brief moment of life, I should lead them astray and bring stain and
pollution on my old age. I might for the present avoid man’s
punishment, but, alive or dead, I shall never escape from the hand of
the Almighty” (2Macc 6:24-27).
In the other incident, seven sons of one
woman were tortured and killed in front of her for refusing to eat
Our text refutes the health and wealth heresy, to say the least! It
shows us the fierce opposition that Satan has towards the faithful
people of God. It reveals the irrational evil that consumes wicked
people to inflict such atrocities on the godly. And, it should
en-courage us to endure rejection, ill-treatment, injustice, and even
torture and death, if need be, for the sake of the gospel. Although,
like the Hebrews (He 12:4-note), we have
not yet resisted to the point of
shedding blood in our striving against sin” it may come to that. If
we do suffer for the sake of Christ, we will join a great company of
God’s people down through history “of whom the world was not worthy”
(He 11:38). (Faith's
Sermons by Book)
from apo =
marker of dissociation or separation + lutroo = to redeem <>
from lútron = ransom <> from luo = loosen what is bound,
loose any person tied or fastened) refers primarily to the payment of
a price to ransom but in this context does not involve payment
with money. The required "redemption price" was a recanting of
one's belief in Jesus, which which would result in deliverance of the
Their release - More
literally "the release" as the definite article is present in the
Greek text, indicating that the specific deliverance offered at the
price (the "redemption price" so to speak) of denying their faith was
A W Pink on release...
It was offered to them, but at the
price of apostasy. Two alternatives were set before them: disloyalty
to the Lord, or enduring the most excruciating suffering; surrender of
the Truth, or being tortured by devils in human form. Freedom from
this torture was offered to them in return for forsaking their
profession. This is expressly affirmed of Eliezer and his seven
brethren in 2 Maccabees. Yea, they were not only offered freedom from
tortures and death, but promised great rewards and promotions, which
they steadfastly refused. The principal design of Satan in setting
torture before God’s saints is not to slay their bodies, but is to
destroy their souls. Space has always been given to the victim for
consideration and recantation: entreaties have been mingled with
threats to induce a renouncing of their profession.
Thus, the real test presented
was, which did these saints of God esteem more highly: the present
comfort of their bodies or the eternal interests of their souls?
(cp Mt 10:28) Let it be remembered that they were men and women of
like passion with us (cp Jas 5:17): their bodies were made of the same
tender and sensitive flesh as ours are, but such was the care they had
for their souls, so genuine was their faith and hope in a better
resurrection, that they listened not to the appeals and whinings of
the outward man. The same issue is drawn, though in another form,
today: alas, what countless millions of people lose their souls
eternally for the temporary gratification of their vile bodies (cp Mk
8:34, 35, 36, 37).
Reader, which do you esteem the more highly: your body or your soul?
Your actions supply the answer: which receives the more thought, care
and attention; which is "denied," and which is catered unto?
Exposition of Hebrews)
IN ORDER THAT THEY MIGHT OBTAIN A BETTER RESURRECTION:
hina kreittonos anastaseos tuchosin: (Mt 22:30 Mk 12:25 Lk
14:14 20:36 Jn 5:29 Ac 23:6 24:15 1Co 15:54 Php 3:11)
In order that - Expresses
purpose, in this case the following truth explains why they refused to reject their
Savior. In short, their refusal of release from torture was evidence that their
faith in a better hope was genuine.
(tugchano probably from tucho = the idea of effecting)
properly "hit" as of hitting a mark and comes to be used in the sense
hit upon, light upon, and thence to obtain, as in this use. It also
conveys the sense of to experience something.
comparative of agathos = intrinsically good) means better in
sense of more useful or more profitable.
Better resurrection - In
context this could refer to a resurrection which is better than the
temporary resurrections just alluded to, because they were revived only to die
again. Believers receive a resurrection which is "permanent" and from which they will never die
Vine adds that...
There may, however, be an
indication that their resurrection will result in a greater bliss and
reward than if they had avoided suffering.
Here is a saint of the past who is
in the historical "Hall of Faith"
JOHN WYCLIFFE (1329-1384) English reformer; Bible translator
A native of Yorkshire, Wycliffe attended Oxford University, where he
received a doctorate of theology in 1372. Wycliffe, the most eminent
Oxford theologian of his day, and his associates, were the first to
translate the entire Bible from Latin into English. His teachings
influenced John HUS and laid the foundations for the PROTESTANT
REFORMATION on the Continent.
Wycliffe has been called the “MORNING STAR OF THE REFORMATION” because
he boldly questioned papal authority, criticized the sale of
indulgences (which were supposed to release a person from punishment
in purgatory), denied the reality of transubstantiation (the doctrine
that the bread and wine are changed into Jesus Christ’s actual body
and blood during Communion), and spoke out against church hierarchies.
The pope reproved Wycliffe for his heretical teachings and asked that
Oxford University dismiss him. But Oxford and many government leaders
stood with Wycliffe, so he was able to survive the pope’s assaults.
Wycliffe believed that the way to prevail in his struggle with the
church’s abusive authority was to make the Bible available to the
people in their own language. Then they could read for themselves how
each one of them could have a personal relationship with God through
Jesus Christ—apart from any ecclesiastical authority. Wycliffe, with
his associates, completed the New Testament around 1380 and the Old
Testament in 1382. Wycliffe concentrated his labors on the New
Testament, while an associate, Nicholas of Hereford, did a major part
of the Old Testament. Wycliffe and his coworkers, unfamiliar with the
original Hebrew and Greek, translated the Latin text into English.
Therefore, their Bible was a translation of a translation, not a
translation of the original languages. With the coming of the
Renaissance came the resurgence of the study of the classics—and with
it the resurgence of the study of Greek, as well as Hebrew.
Thus, for the first time in nearly a thousand years (500–1500—the
approximate time when Latin was the dominant language for scholarship,
except in the Greek church) scholars began to read the New Testament
in its original language, Greek. By 1500, Greek was being taught at
After Wycliffe finished the translation work, he organized a group of
poor parishioners, known as
Lollards, to go throughout England
preaching Christian truths and reading the Scriptures in their mother
tongue to all who would hear God’s word. As a result the Word of God,
through Wycliffe’s translation, became available to many Englishmen.
Wycliffe was loved and hated. His ecclesiastical enemies did not
forget his opposition to their power or his successful efforts in
making the Scriptures available to all. Several decades after he died
they condemned him for heresy, dug up his body, burned it, and threw
his ashes into the Swift River.
One of Wycliffe’s close associates, John Purvey (1353–1428), continued
Wycliffe’s work by producing a revision of his translation in 1388.
Purvey was an excellent scholar; his work was very well received by
his generation and following generations. Within less than a century,
Purvey’s revision had replaced the original Wycliffe Bible.
Steven Cole -
Faith's Reward (Pastor
Cole's sermons are highly recommended
Sermons by Book)
So the first part of the list teaches us that sometimes God blesses
those who trust Him with spectacular results. Even though they are
flawed people, God uses those who trust Him to accomplish things that
are explainable only by His power. That part of our text is exciting.
But we must keep reading:
Sometimes God blesses those who trust Him with the grace to
endure horrible trials without wavering (Heb 11:35b-38).
“Women receiving back their dead by resurrection” is the apex of the
spectacular. It doesn’t get any more impressive than that! Yet without
skipping a beat, the author continues (He 11:35b-38), “and others were
tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a
better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings,
yes also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in
two, they were tempted [this has weak manuscript support and may not
be original], they were put to death with the sword; they went about
in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated
(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and
mountains and caves and holes in the ground.”
After reading the first part of the list, you want to say, “These guys
on the second half of the list must not have had faith, right?” But
the author continues (He 11:39), “And all these, having gained
approval through their faith,…” Those on the second half of the list
were just as much people of faith as those on the first half! In fact,
you could argue that they had greater faith, because it’s not as easy
to trust God when you’re being scourged, stoned, or sawn in two as it
is when you’re seeing foreign armies put to flight and the dead raised
to life. While all of us, if we could, would sign up to be in the
first group, we need to recognize that sometimes God is pleased to
withhold spectacular results and bless us instead with His grace as
our sufficiency in overwhelming trials (2Co 12:9, 10).
With one exception, many names
could fit into the various categories on this list of persecutions.
That exception is “sawn in two,” which is not in the Bible. Tradition
says that the wicked King Manasseh killed the prophet Isaiah by sawing
him in two. A Jewish work, The Martyrdom of Isaiah, recounts this
terrible ordeal, saying, “Isaiah neither cried aloud nor wept, but his
lips spoke with the Holy Spirit until he was sawn in two” (in Philip
Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Eerdmans], p.
Reward (Pastor Cole's sermons are highly recommended
Sermons by Book))