stand men in no stead on their greatest occasions, nor with respect unto
Now, these things were not considered by Moses in the notion of
them, but he saw them daily exemplified before his face. lie saw the
treasures of Egypt, with the state, glory, gallantry, and power of the
court, by whom they were enjoyed, and what supply they had for all
488 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [dl. XI.
their lusts and desires. And he saw the poor, oppressed, scorned people
of God, in their bearing the reproach of Christ. Yet in this present
view of them, when it most highly affected him, he did in his mind,
judgment, and resolution, prefer the latter before the former; so as to
choose it and embrace it. This is that which faith will effect. Let us
go and do likewise.
Fourthly. These things Moses considered under the notion of ' riches.'
He esteemed the reproach of Christ to be, jxut,ova wXnvrov, ' greater
riches.' Riches, opulency, wealth, contain all that men have and value
in this world ; all that is of use unto them for all the ends of life ; all
that they desire, and place their happiness in ; at least so far, as that
they judge they cannot be happy without them. Hence two things are
denoted in the word. 1. That which is the principal means of all the
ends of life. 2. An abundance of it. On these accounts, the word is
frequently used by the Holy Ghost, to denote the spiritual things which
G od prepares for, and gives unto believers ; with the greatness, the
abundance, the excellency of them. They are called ' riches, durable
substance, treasures ;' and said to be richly or abundantly communi-
cated, for there is in them, an all-sufficiency, in all things, for all the
ends of man's life and blessedness. So doth the apostle here call them
' riches,' with an especial respect also to the treasures of Egypt, which
were their riches.
Obs. III. There is therefore an all satisfactory fulness in spiritual
things, even when the enjoyment of them is under reproach and perse-
cution, unto all the true ends of the blessedness of men.
Fifthly. There is in the words the ground whereon Moses made his
judgment concerning these things, and what it was which influenced his
mind into that determination. For although he might, on some ac-
count, prefer the reproach of Christ unto the treasures of Egypt, yet it
doth not easily occur on what ground he should judge that it was greater
riches than they, or more sufficient unto all the ends of man's life and
blessedness. Wherefore, the ground of this judgment being taken
from a due consideration of what did accompany this reproach of Christ
and was inseparably annexed unto it, is expressed in these words, ' for
he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.'
' He had respect,' a7T£j3A£7r£, intuitus est, ' he looked on ;' he saw by
the eyes of faith, as represented in the promise ; he took into conside-
ration. Trjv juicr0a7roSo(7tav, ' the recompence of the reward ;' Praemii
retributionem, largitionem ; mercedis redditionem. The gratuitous re-
ward that God hath annexed unto faith and obedience, not merited or
deserved by them, but infallibly annexed unto them in a way of sove-
The causal conjunction, yap, ' for,' is introductive of the reason
whereon Moses made the judgment before declared.
Slichtingius is mute as unto this reward, not knowing, as it should
seem, how to avoid the force of this plain testimony, concerning the
faith which believers under the Old Testament had of eternal rewards,
by virtue of God's promise. Grotius is bold in his usual manner, and
refers it to the possession of the land of Canaan. Hammond forsakes
his guide, and extends it unto things eternal. Nor can there be any
VER. 24—26.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 489
thing move improbable, than the conjecture of Grotius. For neither did
Moses ever enter into the land of Canaan ; nor was the interest of his
posterity therein, to be any way compared with the treasures of Egypt.
But the apostle gives us here a pregnant instance of that description
of faith which he gave us in the first verse of the chapter, namely, that
it was the ' substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things
not seen.' For both these were seen in the faith of Moses. It gave
him an evidence of the invisible things of the eternal reward ; and
caused them so to subsist in their power and foretaste in his mind, as
that he chose and preferred them above all things present and visible.
Obs. IV. Such signal exemplifications of the nature and efficacy of
faith in others, especially when victorious against mighty oppositions,
as they were in Moses, are high encouragements unto us, unto the like
exercise of it in the like circumstances.
Now whereas, as was said, and is plain in the text, that this is the
ground whereon Moses made the judgment declared, it is evident that
the whole thereof, and of his faith therein, is resolved into this certain
and immoveable truth ; that God in his purpose, promise, and constitu-
tion of his word, hath immutably annexed a blessed reward unto the re-
proach of Christ, or the undergoing of it by believers.
We must therefore inquire, 1. What this recompence of reward is :
and, 2. How Moses had respect unto it.
1. That this recompence of reward includes in it, yea principally re-
spects the eternal reward of persecuted believers in heaven is out of
question. But whereas God is in his covenant a present reward unto
them, Gen. xv. 1, and that in the present keeping of his commandments
there is a great reward, Ps. xix. 1 1 ; as that also the spiritual wisdom,
grace, mercy, and consolation that believers receive in this world, are
riches, treasures, and durable substance ; I doubt not but the blessed
peace, rest, and satisfaction, which they have in a comfortable persuasion
of their covenant interest in God, are also included herein. But even
these also have their power and efficacy, from their inseparable relation
unto the eternal reward.
2. This reward he had respect unto, which compriseth three things.
1st. He believed it upon divine revelation and promise; and that so
steadfastly, and with such assurance, as if he held it, or had seen it
with his eyes. 2dly. He valued it according to its worth, and desert,
as that which was to be preferred incomparably above all present things.
3dly. lie brought it into reckoning and account, in the judgment which
he was to make concerning the reproach of Christ, and the treasures of
Egypt. And this was the victory whereby he overcame the world, even
his faith. And sundry observations for our own use and instruction, we
may take from this example of the faith of Moses, and its success.
But we must first of all observe in general, that the consideration of
this example is principally required of us in those seasons, wherein we
arc brought into the like circumstances with him, that is, a time of great
distress, oppression, and persecution of the church ; and unto such a
season is this example here applied by the apostle : so we may learn,
Obs. V. It is our duty, in the whole course of our faith and obe-
dience, to have respect unto the future recompence of reward ; but it is
490 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [cH. XI.
so especially in times of great persecution and oppression of the church,
wherein we are, and resolve to be, sharers. — A respect, not as unto that
which^we shall deserve by what we do or suffer, nor as that which prin-
cipally influenceth us unto our obedience or suffering, which is the love
of God in Christ, nor as that between which and what we do, there is
any proportion, like that between work and wages ; but only as unto
that which divine bounty hath proposed unto us for our encouragement,
or as that which becomes the divine goodness and righteousness freely
to grant unto them that believe and obey ; see our Exposition of ch. vi.
10. But this I add, that we are to have this respect unto the future
reward principally, or to have faith in exercise about it, in the times of
danger, persecution, and oppression. Nor is this respect unto the re-
ward any where mentioned in the Scripture, but it is still with regard
unto sufferings and tribulations; see Matt. v. 12, x. 39 — 42; Luke vi.
35 ; Heb. x. 33 — 35 ; Rev. xxii. 12. For as in such a season, we do
stand in need of that view and consideration of the future reward, which
we may lay in the balance against all our present sufferings ; so it be-
comes the greatness, goodness, and righteousness of God, that those
who suffer from the world for him, and according to his will, should
have that proposed and assured unto them for their encouragement,
which is incomparably greater in goodness and blessedness, than what
they can suffer from the world is in evil, loss, and trouble. And there-
fore frequently, where believers are encouraged with an expectation of
of this reward, they are so also with being reminded of that recompence
of reward in vengeance and punishment, which shall befal their wicked
persecutors, both of them being, on many accounts, alike suited unto
their encouragement; see Phil. i. 28; 2 Thess. i. 4 — 10.
Obs. VI. It is faith only that can carry us through the difficulties,
trials, and persecutions which we may be called unto for the sake and
name of Christ. Moses himself, with all his wisdom, learning, cou-
rage, and resolution, had never been able to have gone through with
his trials and difficulties, had not faith had the rule and government of
his mind and heart, had he not kept it in exercise on all occasions.
And in vain shall any of us, in such a season, expect deliverance or
success by any other way or means. A thousand other things may pre-
sent themselves unto our minds, for our relief or preservation in such a
season ; but they will all prove fruitless, dishonourable shifts, or snares
and temptations unto the ruin of our souls. We are kept by the power
of God through faith unto salvation.
Obs. VII. Faith in exercise will carry us safely and securely through
all the trials which we have to undergo for Christ and the gospel. As
there is no other way for our safety, success, and victory, so this will
never fail us. Consider all circumstances, and it is almost impossible
that our temptations and trials should be greater than those of Moses ;
howbeit, faith carried him safely through them all, as we shall see far-
ther in the next verses. How it doth it, whence it derives its power
and efficacy for this end, what are the ways of its working, and how it
engageth all our graces unto its assistance ; by what means it resists,
refels, and conquers oppositions, how it strengthens, relieves, and com-
forts the souls of them that believe, is not my present work to declare ;
VIK. 27.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 491
I only, with the apostle, propose an example of what it hath done, as
a document and evidence of what it will do in like cases.
Obs. VIII. Faith is highly rational in all its acts of obedience to-
wards God. It reckoncth, computeth, judged), chooseth, determineth
in the most exalted acts of reason. All these things are here ascribed
unto Moses in the exercise of his faith. I would willingly insist hereon,
to vindicate the honour of faith from the imputations that are cast on
all its actings in the world, as weak and foolish, or that it is nothing
but an engine or pretence set up unto the ruin of reason, and the use of
it in the lives of men. And if we cannot prove that the wisdom of faith,
and the reason wherewith and whereon it always acts, are the most emi-
nent that our nature is capable of in this world, and that whatever is
contrary to them, or inconsistent with them, is arrant folly, and con-
trary to the primogenial light of our natures, and all the principles of
reason truly so called, we shall freely give up the cause of faith unto the
vainest pretences of reason that foolish men can make. But a resolu-
tion not to engage in such discourses on this occasion, will not allow me
to enter on a farther demonstration of this truth.
Veil 27. — Oioret jcareXnrei' AiyvTrrov, juij ^»o€»;0£tc tov Sv/liov tov
fiaoiXewQ' tov yap aoparov wg bpwv tKapT£pi)ae.
Toi' Sv/nov. Vul. Lat. Animositatem, which the Rhemists translate
' fierceness.' Syr. nran p, 'from the fury of the king.' lram, iracun-
diam, or as we very properly, ' the wrath.'
Ekaprtprj(T£. Vul. Lat. Invisibilem tanquam videns sustinuit. Rhem.
' For him that is invisible, he sustained as if he had seen him,' very im-
properly, and without any due sense. They make tuapTspiiae, to be a
verb transient, and to affect ' him that is invisible,' whereas it is plainly
used in a neutral sense, or it hath none at all, Nor is the phrase of
Bustinere Deum any where used. Syr. -00*1, ' and he hoped or trusted.'
as one who saw him who is invisible. Fortiter obduravit, forti animo
fuit. We properly, ' endured.'
Vi 1;. \Ti. — By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the
king ; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
Having declared the faith of Moses with respect to the sufferings of
the people of God, the apostle proceeds in like manner to instance in
the power and acting of it, with respect to their deliverance, which here
he mentions in general, and afterwards insists on in some particulars.
There are three things in the words ascribed to the faith of Moses.
1. What he did: he ' left Egypt.' 2. The manner how he did it ; 'not
fearing the wrath of the king.' 3. The reason or ground of his so doing
it; ' for he endured,' &c.
i. That which he did, is that KarcAnrEv Aiyvirrov, 'he left Egypt;'
and he did it by faith. Moses did twice leave Egypt. First, when he
had slain the Egyptian, and lied on its discovery, Exod. ii. 14, 15. And
a second time, when he carried away the people with him out of Egypt,
having returned after his first departure, Exod. x. 29.
492 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. XI.
Some think that the apostle intends his first departure, and that on
this reason, because it is mentioned before the celebration of the pass-
over; whereas it is evident in the story, that his last departure was after
it. And they suppose they can reconcile what is affirmed in Exodus,
namely, that he 'feared,' to wit, the wrath of the king, who sought to
slay him, Exod. ii. 14, 15, and what is here declared by the apostle,
that ' he feared not the wrath of the king.' For they say, that although
he had a natural fear which moved him to use the proper means for the
preservation of his life ; yet he had no such fear as should overthrow
his faith, or hinder him from committing himself to the providence of
God for his preservation, when he fled from so mighty a monarch, who
had long hands to reach him wherever he were.
But it is not likely, nay it is not true, that the apostle intends that
first departure out of Egypt. For, 1. It is said there expressly, that
he fled from the face of Pharaoh, that is, in haste and with fear ; here
that he left Egypt, which expresseth a sedate act of his mind, and that
with respect to the whole country and all the concerns of it. 2. It is
not likely that the apostle would take his instance of the victorious faith
of Moses, from that fact and place wherein there is no mention made of
his faith, but of that which is contrary to it, namely, his fear. 'By
faith he left Egypt,' is not a proper interpretation of ' he feared, and
fled from the face of Pharaoh.' 3. That which the apostle intends was
accompanied with or immediately followed by his keeping of the pass-
over, which was forty years, and somewhat more, after his first flight
out of Egypt.
Wherefore, although this leaving of Egypt may be a general expres-
sion of his whole conduct of the people thence into the wilderness, yet
the apostle hath a peculiar respect to what is recorded, Exod. x. 28, 29.
'And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed unto thy-
self, see my face no more, for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt
die. And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again
no more.' Never was there a higher expression of faith and spiritual
courage thereon ; whence it is said, ch. xi. 8, that he threatened Pha-
raoh, that all his servants should come and bow down before him, and
so went out from him in great anger, or the height of indignation
against his obstinate rebellion against God. He had before him a
bloody tyrant, armed with all the power of Egypt, threatening him with
present death if he persisted in the work and duty which God had com-
mitted to him ; but he was so far from being terrified, or declining his
duty in the least, that he professeth his resolution to proceed, and de-
nounceth destruction to the tyrant himself.
2. This was the manner of his leaving Egypt; fir) ofir)SuQ rov
Svfiov tov j3ac7tXEwc» 'he feared not the wrath of the king;' and assign-
ing it to this act and carriage of his, wherein he may justly and properly
be said to leave Egypt, when he renounced a continuance therein, and
addressed himself to a departure, it is properly placed immediately before
his keeping of the passover, which sufficiently resolves the difficulty pro-
posed on the behalf of the first opinion.
And we may observe the different frames of mind that were in Moses
on these several occasions. In the first of them, when it was reported
VER. 27.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 493
that Pharaoh sought to slay him, it is said, 'he feared and fled;' but
here, when probably another Pharaoh no less powerful, cruel, and
bloody than the former, threatened him with present death, he is so far
from being moved at it, that he declares his resolution to persist in his
duty, and threatens the tyrant himself. And the reason of this differ-
ence was, that on the first occasion Moses had made an attempt to do
what he apprehended to be his duty, without a sufficient call and war-
rant from God, wherein he could not stir up faith to an exercise, which
will not move without a divine word for its warrant; and natural cou-
rage woulcl not carry him out in his undertaking. Now being assured
of his call as well as of his work, he is bold as a lion, through the
power of faith acting regularly on a word of promise and command.
Obs. I. In all duties, especially such as are attended with great dif-
ficulties and dangers, it is the wisdom of believers to take care, not only
that the works of them be good in themselves, but that they have a
just and due call to their performance. When they have so, and are
satisfied therein, there is nothing that faith will not conflict withal and
conquer. But if they are weak in this foundation of duty, they will
find that faith will not be engaged to their assistance.
Obs. II. Even the wrath of the greatest kings is to be disregarded,
if it lie against our duty towards God. See the great and glorious in-
stance, Dan. iii. 13 — 18.
3. Lastly. The ground and reason of what he did, with the inward
frame of his spirit in doing of it, is expressed. ' He endured as seeing
him who is invisible.' The word eicaprEprjCTE, which we render ' en-
dured,' is not used in the New Testament, but in this place only. It is
derived from Koaroc, (by the transposition of a letter,) which is ' strength,'
power, and fortitude. The use of it in other authors is to bear evils,
or to undergo dangers with patience, courage, and resolution, so as
not to wax weary or faint under them, but to hold out to the end.
Kaprcpau. Forti animo sum, non cedo malis. A word singularly suited
to express the frame of mind that was in Moses, with respect to this
work of faith in leaving Egypt. For he met with a long course of va-
rious difficulties, and was often threatened by the king ; besides what
he had to conflict with from the unbelief of the people. But he
strengthened and confirmed his heart with spiritual courage and reso-
lution, to abide in his duty to the end.
So is KctpTtnui joined with avSpia, ' fortitude,' as of the same nature,
and opposed to juaAaicm, ' an easy softness of nature,' that betrays men
to a relinquishment of their duty. And as the verb Ka^re<)£w, is used
sometimes with a dative, sometimes with an accusative case, sometimes
with prepositions, 7rpo<;, tin, tv, sometimes without ; so it is also used
in a neuter sense, without affecting any other persons or things.
Kapreptiv St xp»j tern aWtov irmeiov t\iri$i, Thucid. lib. 2. So that
there was no need for the Vul. to join it to tov ooocitov, invisibilem sus-
tinuit. Wherefore, this enduring by faith is not a mere bare continuance
in duty, but it is an abiding in it with courage and resolution, without
fear and despondency.
Obs. III. There is an heroic frame of mind and spiritual fortitude
required to the due discharge of our callings in times of danger, which
494 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CTI. XI.
faith in exercise will produce. — 1 Cor. xvi. 13, TpvyopziTt, cmiKtre tv
TtJ TTLCSTH, avSpi&CrOt, KpaTCUOwdt.
That which preserved Moses in this frame was, that tov aopa-ov wc
opwv, ' he saw him who is invisible.' God is said to be invisible (as he
is absolutely) in respect of his essence, and is often so called in the
Scripture, Rom. i. 20; Col. i. 15; 1 Tim. i. 17. But there is a pecu-
liar reason of this description of him here. Moses was in that state
and condition, and had those things to do, wherein he stood in need
continually of divine power and assistance. Whence this should
proceed he could not discern by his senses, his bodily eyes coilld behold
no present assistant, ' for God is invisible.' And it requires an especial
act of the mind in expecting help from him who cannot be seen.
Wherefore this is here ascribed to him. He saw him who was in him-
self invisible ; that is, he saw him by faith whom he could not see with
his eyes. ' As seeing' is not ' as if he saw him,' but seeing of him
really and indeed ; only in such a way and by such means as left him
still in himself invisible, but represented him a present help no less than
if he had been seen.
A double act of the faith of Moses is intended herein. 1. A clear,
distinct view and apprehension of God in his omnipresence, power,
and faithfulness. 2. A fixed trust in him on their account, at all times
and on all occasions. This he rested on, this he trusted to, that God
was every-where present with him, able to protect him, and faithful in
the discharge of his promise, which is the sum of the revelation he
made of himself to Abraham, Gen. xv. 1, xvii. 1. Hereof he had as
certain persuasion, as if he had seen God working with him and for
him by his bodily eyes. This sight of God he continually retreated to,
in all his hazards and difficulties, and thereon endured courageously to
the end. And,
Obs. IV. There is nothing insuperable to faith, while it can keep a
clear view of the power of God, and his faithfulness in his promises. —
And unless we are constant in this exercise of faith, we shall faint and
fail in great trials and difficult duties. From hence we may fetch
revivings, renewals of strength, and consolations on all occasions, as
the Scripture every-where testifieth, Ps. lxxiii. 25, 26 ; Isa. xl. 28—30.
VER. 28. HuTTtl TTtTTOl^Ke TO TTa
iva jurj oAoOpEvtov to. TTpwroTona, Styrj avTwv.
IltTrou)K£ to Trci(Tx a > ' He wrought, made the passover.' So the
Syriac, KTTX3 iiy. Vul. Celebravit pascha. Rhem. ' He celebrated the
passover.' Fecit, peregit, ' He performed, kept.' E7ra
rjopTaae, ' He kept the feast.'
Keu tt)v irpoaxvcnv tov aipajog. Syr. K72T DDTi, 'and he sprinkled
blood.' Vulg. Et affusionem sanguinis. Rhem. ' And the shedding of
the blood,' adhering to a corrupt translation, which took irpoGxvoiQ, for
the same with ekxwis, not only against the original, but against the
plain express meaning of the Holy Ghost. For it is not the shedding
of blood, which was done in the killing of the lamb, but the sprinkling
of it on the doors and posts that is intended. ' And that affusion,
pouring on, or sprinkling of blood.'
VER. 28.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 495
'O oXoQolvmv Ta TrpwTOTOKct. Vul. Qui vastabat primitiva, ' he that
wasted the firstlings,' which is the best sense that word will bear. The
Rhemists render it ' the first-born.' Qui perimebat, ' who slew.' Qui
destruxit, ' who destroyed.' rvmrttn, ' the destroyer,' oAoflpcunjc,-,
1 Cor. x. 10.
617)} avTtDv. Syr. \nb mp, 'should come nigh them.'
Vkr. 28. — By faith lie kept the passover, and the sprinkling of
blood, lest lie that destroyed the first -horn should touch them. (Or,
that sprinkling of blood, that the destroyer of the first-born should
not touch them.)
The story which the apostle hath respect to, is recorded at large,