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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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Chapter 10
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Hebrews 11:3

By faith (pistei).
Instrumental case of pistiv which he now illustrates in a marvellous way. Each example as far as verse 31 is formally and with rhetorical skill introduced by pistei. After that only a summary is given.

We understand (nooumen).
Present active indicative of noew, old verb (from nouv, intellect) as in Matthew 15:17; Romans 1:20. The author appeals to our knowledge of the world in which these heroes lived as an illustration of faith. Recent books by great scientists like Eddington and Jeans confirm the position here taken that a Supreme Mind is behind and before the universe. Science can only stand still in God's presence and believe like a little child.

The worlds (touv aiwnav).
"The ages" as in 1:2 (cf. Einstein's fourth dimension, time). Accusative case of general reference.

Have been framed (kathrtistai).
Perfect passive infinitive of katartizw, to mend, to equip, to perfect (Luke 6:40), in indirect discourse after nooumen.

So that (eiv to).
As a rule eiv to with the infinitive is final, but sometimes as here it expresses result as in Romans 12:3 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1003).

Hath been made (gegonenai).
Perfect active infinitive of ginomai.

What is seen (to blepomenon).
Present passive articular participle (accusative case of general reference) of blepw.

Of things which do appear (ek painomenwn).
Ablative case with ek (out of) of the present passive participle. The author denies the eternity of matter, a common theory then and now, and places God before the visible universe as many modern scientists now gladly do.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 11:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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