Hebrews 11:1-2, 23-24, 28-39

Hebrews 11:1-2, 23-24, 28-39
Easter – A Women’s Lectionary


Now faithI is the assuranceII of things hopedIII for,

Notes on verse 1a

I “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.
II “assurance” = hupostasis. 5x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is literally standing under – used to indicate ownership. It can be a possession, property, support, or substance. Figuratively, it can also be assurance, confidence, or essence.
III “hoped” = elpizo. From elpis (expectation, hope, trust, confidence, faith; expectation whether abstract or concrete); from elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively); from elpomai (to anticipate, expect). This is to expect, trust, hope for, or to wait in an active way.

the convictionIV of thingsV not seen.VI Indeed, by faith our ancestorsVII received approval.VIII

Notes on verses 1b-2

IV “conviction” = elegchos. 2x in NT. From elegcho (to expose, reprove, discipline, convict, or rebuke; using convincing evidence to expose a wrong). This is proof, evidence, conviction.
V “things” = pragma. 11x in NT. From prasso (to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit; to accomplish, attend, or commit). This is an action, matter, or business. It is something done on a regular basis that is done in order to get something done.
VI “seen” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
VII “ancestors” = presbuteros. From presbus (old man). This is an elder as one of the Sanhedrin and also in the Christian assembly in the early church.
VIII “received approval” = martureo. From martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is to bear witness, testify, give evidence. It is to testify in a literal or figurative sense.

23 By faith MosesIX was hiddenX by his parentsXI for three monthsXII after his birth,XIII

Notes on verse 23a

IX “Moses” = Mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
X “hidden” = krupto. 18x in NT. This is to hide by covering, secret, hidden things. This is the root of the word “cryptography.”
XI “parents” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
XII “three months” = trimenon. 1x in NT. From treis (three) + men (month). This is for three months.
XIII “birth” = gennao. From genna (descent, birth); from genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is to beget, give birth to, or bring forth. Properly, it refers to procreation by the father, but was used of the mother by extension. Figuratively, this can mean to regenerate.

 because they sawXIV that the childXV was beautiful;XVI

Notes on verse 23b

XIV “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
XV “child” = paidion. From pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (to strike or sting). This is a child as one who is still being educated or trained. Perhaps one seven years old or younger. Used figuratively for an immature Christian.
XVI “beautiful” = asteios. 2x in NT. From astu (a city). This is like the city, i.e. urbane. So, it can mean witty, beautiful, lovely, elegant, or courteous.

and they were not afraidXVII of the king’sXVIII edict.XIX 

Notes on verse 23c

XVII “afraid” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
XVIII “king’s” = basileus. Probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is king, emperor, or sovereign.
XIX “edict” = diatagma. 1x in NT. From diatasso (to arrange thoroughly, charge, appoint, give orders to; a command that is a proper order, given with the chain of command and so binding; from ancient military language); {from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + tasso (to arrange, appoint, determine)}. This is an arrangement or commandment.

24 By faith Moses, when he wasXX grownXXI up, refusedXXII to be calledXXIII a sonXXIV of Pharaoh’sXXV daughter,XXVI

Notes on verse 24

XX “was” = ginomai. Related to “birth” in v23. See note XIII above.
XXI “grown” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
XXII “refused” = arneomai. From a (not) + rheo (say, speak of). This is to deny, disown, refuse, repudiate someone or a previously held belief, to contradict.
XXIII “called” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
XXIV “son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
XXV “Pharaoh’s” = Pharao. 5x in NT. From Egyptian pr (palace, pharaoh; literally house + great). This is Pharaoh, a title for Egyptian kings. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pharaoh
XXVI “daughter” = thugater. This is daughter, a related female or one who lives with you.

28 By faith he keptXXVII the PassoverXXVIII and the sprinklingXXIX of blood,XXX

Notes on verse 28a

XXVII “kept” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
XXVIII “Passover” = pascha. From Aramaic corresponding to Hebrew pesach (Passover or the offering for Passover); from pasach (to stop, pass over, skit over, to spare). This is Passover – used for the feast, the lamb of sacrifice, the day, and the festival itself. This is where the term “paschal” comes from as in the “paschal lamb.”
XXIX “sprinkling” = proschusis. 1x in NT. From pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + cheo (to pour). This is a pouring forth, an effusion.
XXX “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).

so that the destroyerXXXI of the firstbornXXXII would not touchXXXIII the firstborn of Israel.

Notes on verse 28b

XXXI “destroyer” = olothreuo. 1x in NT. Probably from olethros (ruination, destruction, doom; death, punishment, or undoing); from ollumi (to destroy). This is to spoil or destroy.
XXXII “firstborn” = prototokos. 8x in NT. From protos (what is first, which could be the most important, the first in order, the main one, the chief); {from pro (before, first, in front of, earlier)} + tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is firstborn or oldest. Figuratively, it can also mean pre-eminent.
XXXIII “touch” = thiggano. 3x in NT. Perhaps from thigo (to finger). This is to touch, handle, harm, manipulate.

29 By faith the people passed throughXXXIV the RedXXXV SeaXXXVI as if it were dryXXXVII land,XXXVIII

Notes on verse 29a

XXXIV “passed through” = diabaino. Related to “king’s” in v23. 3x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + baino (see XVIII note above). This is to cross, pass through.
XXXV “Red” = Eruthros. 2x in NT. This is red. It is where “erythrocyte” comes from.
XXXVI “Sea” = Thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.
XXXVII “dry” = xeros. 8x in NT. This is dry, arid, withered. It can also refer to dry land or imply something that is shrunken.
XXXVIII “land” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.

but when the EgyptiansXXXIX attemptedXL to do so they were drowned.XLI 

Notes on verse 29b

XXXIX “Egyptians” = Aiguptios. 5x in NT. From Aiguptos (Egyptian); from Egyptian ḥwt-kꜣ-ptḥ (Egypt; literally “the temple of the ka of Ptah in Memphis, Egypt”); from ḥwt (hut, large structure, palace, temple, estate) + ka (“a spiritual part of the soul in Egyptian mythology, which survived after death”; “something like ‘life-force’; the part of the soul which the living have and the dead do not…goodwill – especially of the king) + ptah (“a god of creativity and craftsmen, sometimes also identified with gods of death and the birth of the sun”; “Ptah, creator god and patron of craftsmen, worshipped at Memphis”).. This is Egyptian. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Egypt
XL “attempted” = peira + lambano. Peira is 2x in NT. From the base of peran (over, beyond, across); akin to pera (on the far side); from a derivative of peiro (to pierce). This is trial, experiment, attempt, experience, assaying.  Lambano does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
XLI “drowned” = katapino. 7x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + pino (to drink literally or figuratively). This is literally to drink down – to gulp something down whole, devour, destroy, consume, or overwhelm. It is to drink down in a literal or figurative sense.

30 By faith the wallsXLII of JerichoXLIII fellXLIV after they had been encircledXLV for sevenXLVI days.XLVII 

Notes on verse 30

XLII “walls” = teichos. 9x in NT. Perhaps from tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a wall – particular of a house or around a city.
XLIII “Jericho” = Hiericho. 7x in NT. From Hebrew Yriychow (Jericho); {perhaps from yareach (moon); {from the same as yerach (month)} OR from ruach (small, breathe, perceive, anticipate, accept, enjoy).}. This is Jericho, meaning either “fragrant” or “moon.”
XLIV “fell” = pipto. This is to fall literally or figuratively.
XLV “encircled” = kukloo. 5x in NT. From the same as kuklo (circle, surrounding); from kuklos (circle, ring). This is to encircle, surround, gather. It is where the word “cycle” comes from.
XLVI “seven” = hepta. This is seven or seventh. Figuratively, seven is the number of completeness or perfection.
XLVII “days” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.

31 By faith RahabXLVIII the prostituteXLIX did not perish withL those who were disobedient,LI 

Notes on verse 31a

XLVIII “Rahab” = Rhaab. 2x in NT. From Hebrew Rachab (Rahab, meaning “wide” or “spacious”); from rachab (to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense; extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly). This is Raab or Rahab, a name meaning “wide” or “spacious.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Rahab.html
XLIX “prostitute” = porne. 12x in NT. From pornos (fornicator or immoral person); perhaps from pernemi (to sell off or export); related to piprasko (to sell with travel involved; to sell into slavery; to be devoted to); from perao (to travel); from peran (over, beyond). This is prostitute. Can be used figuratively to refer to a community that is taken with idolatry.
L “perish with” = sunapollumi. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + apollumi (to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently; to cancel or remove); {from apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination)}. This is to destroy with or perish with.
LI “were disobedient” = apeitheo. 14x in NT. From apeithes (unbelieving, disobedient, spiritually rebellious); {from a (not, without) + peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust)}. This is to disobey or rebel. It refers to those who refuse to be convinced of something – willful disbelief.

because she had receivedLII the spiesLIII in peace.LIV

Notes on verse 31b

LII “received” = dechomai. This is to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome. It is to receive in a literal or figurative sense.
LIII “spies” = kataskopos. 1x in NT. Probably from kataskopeo (to inspect, spy out, to look in secret or with bad motives); {from kataskopos (a spy or scout); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + skopeo (to look at, take heed, consider, observe, ai at, or spy); {from skopos (a mark or goal like the marker at the end of a race; figuratively, other goals or destinations; also, a watch or sentry); from skeptomai (to peer out, consider, gaze carefully); perhaps related to skapto (to dig or excavate)}}}. This is a spy or scout.
LIV “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)

32 And what more should I say? For timeLV would failLVI me to tellLVII of Gideon,LVIII

Notes on verse 32a

LV “time” = chronos. Time in the chronological sense, quantitative time or a duration of time.
LVI “fail” = epileipo. 1x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + leipo (to leave behind, remain, lack, abandon, fall behind while racing). This is to fail or fall short.
LVII “tell” = diegeomai. 8x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + hegeomai (to think, suppose, have an opinion; to lead the way, what comes in front or first, initial thought, high esteem or authority; one who commands in an official capacity); {from ago (lead, bring, carry, drive, go)}. This is to describe fully, narrate, declare, tell something clearly so that one knows what is most important.
LVIII “Gideon” = Gedeon. 1x in NT. From Hebrew Gidon (Gideon, meaning “feller” or “warrior”); from gada (to cut or chop as one cuts down a tree; cutting off or destroying things). This is Gideon or Gedeon, meaning “feller” or “warrior.”

 Barak,LIX Samson,LX Jephthah,LXI

Notes on verse 32b

LIX “Barak” = Barak. 1x in NT. From Hebrew Baraq (Barak or Baraq; “flash of lightning”); from the same as baraq (lightning; figuratively, a gleaming or glittering; concretely, a flashing sword); from baraq (to flash, a flash of lightning). This is Barak, meaning “flash of lightning.”
LX “Samson” = Sampson. 1x in NT. From Hebrew Shimshon (Samson, “sunlight” or “sun-like”); from the same as shemesh (sun or toward the east; root may mean being brilliant; figuratively, a ray or an arch). This is Sampson or Samson, meaning “sunlight” or “sun-like.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Samson.html
LXI “Jepthah” = Iephthae. 1x in NT. From Hebrew Yiphtach (Jephthah or Iphthah, “he opens”); from pathach (to open wide in a literal or figurative sense; to open, draw out, let something go free, break forth, to plow, engrave, or carve). This is Jephtah or Jephtahe, meaning “he opens.”

of DavidLXII and SamuelLXIII and the prophetsLXIV— 

Notes on verse 32c

LXII “David” = Dauid. From Hebrew David (David); from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
LXIII “Samuel” = Samouel. 3x in NT. From Hebrew Shemuel (Samuel, “name of God” or “heard of God”); {from shem (name, fame, renown; indicating something essential about a person; honor, authority, or character); {may be from sum (to put, place, set)} + el (God, a god) OR from shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied) + el (God, a god)}. This is Samuel, meaning “name of God” or “heard of God.”
LXIV “prophets” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.

33 who through faith conqueredLXV kingdoms,LXVI administeredLXVII justice,LXVIII

Notes on verse 33a

LXV “conquered” = katagonizomai. Related to “tell” in v32. 1x in NT. From kata (down, against, among) + agonizomai (to struggle, strive, or fight; contending to win a prize or against an adversary or in war; striving to accomplish something); {from agon (a gathering or contest – as an athletic competition such as a race; also conflict, struggle, opposition or a fight; used figuratively in a positive sense – as fighting the good fight of faith; used in a negative figurative sense for effort or anxiety; properly, refers to a place where people gather, which implies the game or contest); from ago (see note LVII above)}. This is to struggle against, defeat, conquer in war.
LXVI “kingdoms” = basileia. Related to “king’s” in v23 & “passed through” in v29. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (see note XVIII above). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
LXVII “administered” = ergazomai. From ergon (work, task, action, employment). This is to work, labor, perform, toil.
LXVIII “justice” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.

obtainedLXIX promises,LXX shutLXXI the mouthsLXXII of lions,LXXIII 

Notes on verse 33b

LXIX “obtained” = epitugchano. 5x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + tugchano (root means to become ready; to hit, meet, happen, obtain, chance, perhaps; properly, to hit the mark or be spot on; the opposite of the Greek word for sin hamartano, which literally means to miss the mark); {perhaps from tucho (to make ready, bring about). This is to obtain by chancing upon something, to acquire.
LXX “promises” = epaggelia. Related to “tell” in v32 & “conquered” in v33. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (angel, messenger); probably from ago (see note LVII above)}. This is a summons, promise, or message. It is a formal promise that is officially sanctioned. In the New Testament, this usually refers to a promise made in the Old Testament.
LXXI “shut” = phrasso. 3x in NT. Perhaps from phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is to stop, fence in, or obstruct, silence.
LXXII “mouths” = stoma. Perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.
LXXIII “lions” = leon. 9x in NT. This is lion, which is where our word “lion” comes from.

34 quenchedLXXIV ragingLXXV fire,LXXVI escapedLXXVII the edgeLXXVIII of the sword,LXXIX

Notes on verse 34a

LXXIV “quenched” = sbennumi. 8x in NT. This is to quench or extinguish in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean suppress.
LXXV “raging” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
LXXVI “fire” = pur. This is fire, lightning, heat from the sun. Figuratively, it can refer to strife or trials.
LXXVII “escaped” = pheugo. This is to run away in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to flee, escape, shun, or vanish.
LXXVIII “edge” = stoma. Same as “mouths” in v33. See note LXXII above.
LXXIX “sword” = machaira. Perhaps from mache (fight, battle, conflict; figuratively, controversy); from machomai (to fight, strive, dispute, quarrel; to war). This is a short sword, slaughter knife, or dagger. It is a stabbing weapon. Figuratively, associated with retribution, war, or legal punishment.

won strengthLXXX out of weakness,LXXXI becameLXXXII mightyLXXXIII in war,LXXXIV

Notes on verse 34b

LXXX “won strength” = dunamoo. Related to “raging” in v34. 2x in NT. From dunamis (see note LXXV above). This is to empower, strengthen, enable.
LXXXI “weakness” = astheneia. From asthenes (without strength, sick, deprivation; weak in a moral or physical sense); {From a (not) + sthenes (strong, vigor); {from the base of sthenoo (to strengthen so that one can be mobile); from sthenos (strength)}}. This is weakness, frailty, illness, suffering, or calamity. It is any kind of sickness or injury that includes weakness or diminishes your ability to enjoy or accomplish what you would choose.
LXXXII “became” = ginomai. Same as “was” in v24. See note XX above.
LXXXIII “mighty” = ischuros. From ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance). This is strong – first of physical strength. Later, also used figuratively for forcible, powerful, mighty, vehement, or sure.
LXXXIV “war” = polemos. 18x in NT. From pelomai (to bustle) or from polus (much, many, abundant). This is war, quarrel, strife; battle, whether one time or on-going. It is war in a literal or figurative sense.

put foreignLXXXV armiesLXXXVI to flight.LXXXVII 

Notes on verse 34c

LXXXV “foreign” = allotrios. 14x in NT. From allos (other, different, another; this is one more of the same kind or a similar type). This is something or someone that belongs to others. By extension, this is another, stranger, foreign, or foreigner.
LXXXVI “armies” = parembole. 11x in NT. From para (by, beside, in the presence of) + emballo (to throw in, subject to); {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a juxtaposition, camp, barracks.
LXXXVII “put…to flight” = klino. 7x in NT. This is to slant, rest, recline, approach an end, wear. It can be bend in a literal or figurative sense – to lay down, a day ending, causing an opposing army to flee.

35 WomenLXXXVIII receivedLXXXIX their deadXC by resurrection.XCI

Notes on verse 35a

LXXXVIII “women” = gune. Related to “birth” in v23 & “was” in v24. Perhaps from ginomai (see note XIII above). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
LXXXIX “received” = lambano. Same as “attempted” in v29. See note XL above.
XC “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead of lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
XCI “resurrection” = anastasis. Related to “assurance” in v1. From anistemi (to raise up, rise, appear; to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect); from ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (see note II above). This is literally standing up or standing again. It is used figuratively for recovering a spiritual truth. It can be raising up, rising, or resurrection.

OthersXCII were tortured,XCIII refusing to acceptXCIV

Notes on verse 35b

XCII “others” = allos. Related to “foreign” in v34. See note LXXXV above.
XCIII “tortured” = tumpanizo. 1x in NT. From tumpanon (kettle drum) OR from tupto (to strike repeatedly, wound, punish; figuratively to offend). This is to beat a drum. Figuratively, it is torture or beat to death.
XCIV “accept” = prosdechomai. Related to “received” in v31. 14x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + dechomai (see note LII above). This is to receive, welcome, expect, accept. It is reception with a warm, personal welcome or active waiting. It can also mean endurance or patience.

release,XCV in order to obtainXCVI a betterXCVII resurrection. 

Notes on verse 35c

XCV “release” = apolutrosis. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + lutroo (to redeem, liberate, release because ransom was paid in full; figuratively, returning something or someone to their rightful owner) [from lutron (ransom, the money used to free slaves; also a sacrifice of expiation; figurative for atonement); from luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld)]. This is redemption, deliverance, or release particularly with the notion of ransom paid – a buying back what had been lost.
XCVI “obtain” = tugchano. Related to “obtained” in v33. 12x in NT. See note LXIX above.
XCVII “better” = kreitton. 15x in NT. From the same as kratistos (strongest, noblest – high in dignity or honor; used to speak to a high ranking Roman; can also differentiate an equestrian from a senator); from kratus (strong); from kratos (strength, power, dominion; vigor in a literal or figurative sense; power that is exercised). This is stronger, better, more dominant or nobler. It is better in the sense that it is mastered or developed.

36 OthersXCVIII sufferedXCIX mockingC

Notes on verse 36a

XCVIII “others” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
XCIX “suffered” = peira + lambano. Same as “attempted” in v29. See note XL above.
C “mocking” = empaigmos. Related to “child” in v23. 2x in NT. From empaizo (to mock, ridicule, jeer); {from en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + paizo (to play like a child does – can include singing and dancing); {from pais (see note XV above)}}. This is scorn or derision.

and flogging,CI and even chainsCII and imprisonment.CIII 

Notes on verse 36b

CI “flogging” = mastix. 6x in NT. Probably from massaomai (to chew, gnaw, consume); from masso (to handle, squeeze). This is a whip that had leather straps with metal bits sewn onto them. It is figurative for great pain, suffering, disease, or plague. It is a Roman whip used on criminals, the flagellum.
CII “chains” = desmos. 18x in NT. From deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is a chain, bond, infirmity, impediment.
CIII “imprisonment” = phulake. From phulasso (to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly; being on guard in a literal or figurative sense); related to phulaks (military guard, sentry, watcher). This is the act of guarding, the person who guards, the place where guarding occurs (i.e. a prison), or the times of guarding (the various watches).

37 They were stonedCIV, CV to death,CVI they were sawn in two,CVII 

Notes on verse 37a

CIV “stoned” = lithazo. 9x in NT. From lithos (stone literal of figurative). This is to stone someone.
CV {untranslated} = peirazo. Related to “attempted” in v29. From peira (see note XL above). This is to test, try, tempt, or make proof of. It is to test, scrutinize, or assay something. It could also be examine, entice, prove, or discipline.
CVI “death” = phonos. 9x in NT. From pheno (to slay). This is killing, murder, or slaughter. It is one of the crimes that Barabbas and Saul are accused of.
CVII “sawn in two” = prizo. 1x in NT. From prio (to saw). This is to saw through or in two.

they were killedCVIII by the sword; they went aboutCIX in skins of sheepCX andCXI goats,

Notes on verse 37b

CVIII “killed” = apothnesko. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (to die, be dead). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.
CIX “went about” = perierchomai. 3x in NT. From peri (all-around, encompassing, excess) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go around, visit, sail around, stroll, veer.
CX “skins of sheep” = melote. 1x in NT. From melon (sheep, goat). This is a sheepskin. It may refer to a pig skin.
CXI {untranslated} = derma. 1x in NT. From dero (to skin, hit, flog, flay, thrash). This is skin or hide.

destitute,CXII persecuted,CXIII tormentedCXIV— 

Notes on verse 37c

CXII “destitute” = hustereo. 16x in NT– same verb used by the rich young man when he asks Jesus what do I still lack? (Mt 19:20); used in the parable of the prodigal son to describe him as impoverished (Lk 15:14); used when the wine ran out at the wedding at Cana (Jn 2:3); all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23); used in describing the body of Christ – that we give greater honor to the inferior member (1 Cor 12:24). From husteros (last, later). This is to fall behind, come late, be interior, suffer need, be left out., to fail to meet a goal.
CXIII “persecuted” = thlibo. 10x in NT. Perhaps from tribos (worn track or path like a rut that is formed from rubbing i.e. steady use; also road or highway); from tribo (to rub or thresh). This is to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict. Figuratively, it is to oppress or afflict.
CXIV “tormented” = kakoucheo. 2x in NT. From kakos (bad, evil, harm, ill; evil that is part of someone’s core character – intrinsic, rotted, worthless, depraved, causing harm; deep inner malice that comes from a rotten character; can be contrasted with the Greek poneros, which is that which bears pain – a focus on the miseries and pains that come with evil; also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue) + echo (to have, hold, possess). This is to mistreat or treat in an evil way.

38 of whom the worldCXV was not worthy.CXVI They wanderedCXVII in desertsCXVIII and mountains,CXIX

Notes on verse 38a

CXV “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
CXVI “worthy” = axios. Related to “tell” in v32 & “conquered” and “promises” in v33. From ago (see note LVII above). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.
CXVII “wandered” = planao. From plane (wandering – used figuratively for deceit, error, sin, fraudulence, or wandering from orthodoxy); from planos (wandering, misleading, a deceiver or imposter). This is to wander, lead astray, mislead, mistake, seduce, or deceive. Generally used to refer to sin – going off the right path or roaming fr truth/virtue. This word shares a root with “planet” (as a heavenly body that wanders).
CXVIII “deserts” = eremia. 4x in NT. From eremos (properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated; could be a deserted area or a desert place; secluded, solitary, or lonesome; any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally). This is solitude or an uninhabited place like a desert or desolate region.
CXIX “mountains” = oros. Perhaps from oro (to rise); perhaps akin to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is mountain or hill.

and in cavesCXX and holesCXXI in the ground.CXXII 39 Yet allCXXIII these, though they were commendedCXXIV for their faith, did not receiveCXXV what was promised,

Notes on verses 38b-39

CXX “caves” = spelaion. From speos (cave, grotto). This is a cavern, which implies a place to hide. So, this word can also mean den or hideout. This is the word used for “den of robbers” in Matthew 21:13. Also, this is where the word “spelunk” comes from.
CXXI “holes” = ope. Related to “saw” in v23. 2x in NT. Probably from optanomai (to appear, be seen); from horao (see note XIV above). This is opening, crevice, cavern. It could also refer to a spring of water.
CXXII “ground” = ge. Same as “land” in v29. See note XXXVIII above.
CXXIII “all” = pas. This is all or every.
CXXIV “commended” = martureo. Same as “received approval” in v2. See note VIII above.
CXXV “receive” = komizo. Related to “world” in v38. 10x in NT. See note CXV above.

Image credit: “Ignatius of Antioch” – Anonymous, before 985.

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