Hebrews 11:35
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(35) Raised to life again.—Literally, by a resurrection. (See 1Kings 17:22-23; 2Kings 4:35-37.) At this point the character of the record is changed; hitherto we have heard of the victories of faith in action, now it is of the triumph of faith over suffering that the writer speaks. Those who “escaped the edge of the sword” (Hebrews 11:34) and those who “were slain with the sword” alike exemplified the power of faith.

Others were tortured.—See the account of the aged Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:30), martyred because he would not pollute himself with swine’s flesh and the “flesh taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king.” The following chapter records the martyrdom of seven brethren, who for their adherence to their law were put to death with cruel tortures. (See especially Hebrews 11:9; Hebrews 11:14; Hebrews 11:23; Hebrews 11:29; Hebrews 11:36.)

Not accepting deliverance.—Literally, not accepting the redemption, i.e., the deliverance offered, which must be purchased at the price of their constancy.

A better resurrection.—Better than that return to the present life which is spoken of in the first words of the verse.

Hebrews 11:35-36. Women, naturally weak, received their dead children raised to life again — Compare 1 Kings 17:22-23; 2 Kings 4:36-37; and others — Particularly seven children and one pious and holy mother; were tortured — In the most inhuman manner, to compel them to renounce their religion, and be guilty of idolatry. See the margin. Thus from those who acted great things the apostle rises higher, even to those who showed the power of faith by suffering; not accepting deliverance — When it was offered them on sinful terms, nor even riches and preferments added to the proposal; that they might obtain a better resurrection — A resurrection to a better life than that they were to lose, and a higher reward than they could have received had they not endured these afflictions; seeing the greater their sufferings, the greater would be their felicity and glory hereafter; and others — In the same glorious cause; had trial of cruel mockings — As Samson before Dagon, when the Philistines had put out his eyes; and doubtless hundreds of others, whose names and trials have not been recorded; and scourgings — Jeremiah was beaten by Pashur, Jeremiah 20:2; and by the princes, Jeremiah 37:15 : but scourging was so frequent a punishment, both alone and before a capital execution, that it is probable it was inflicted on many pious persons; moreover, of bonds and imprisonments — Joseph was cast into a prison, Jeremiah was let down into a dungeon full of mire, Jeremiah 37:13; Jeremiah 37:16; Jeremiah 38:6; and Micaiah was imprisoned by Ahab, 1 Kings 22:27.11:32-38 After all our searches into the Scriptures, there is more to be learned from them. We should be pleased to think, how great the number of believers was under the Old Testament, and how strong their faith, though the objects of it were not then so fully made known as now. And we should lament that now, in gospel times, when the rule of faith is more clear and perfect, the number of believers should be so small, and their faith so weak. It is the excellence of the grace of faith, that, while it helps men to do great things, like Gideon, it keeps from high and great thoughts of themselves. Faith, like Barak's, has recourse unto God in all dangers and difficulties, and then makes grateful returns to God for all mercies and deliverances. By faith, the servants of God shall overcome even the roaring lion that goeth about seeking whom he may devour. The believer's faith endures to the end, and, in dying, gives him victory over death and all his deadly enemies, like Samson. The grace of God often fixes upon very undeserving and ill-deserving persons, to do great things for them and by them. But the grace of faith, wherever it is, will put men upon acknowledging God in all their ways, as Jephthah. It will make men bold and courageous in a good cause. Few ever met with greater trials, few ever showed more lively faith, than David, and he has left a testimony as to the trials and acts of faith, in the book of Psalms, which has been, and ever will be, of great value to the people of God. Those are likely to grow up to be distinguished for faith, who begin betimes, like Samuel, to exercise it. And faith will enable a man to serve God and his generation, in whatever way he may be employed. The interests and powers of kings and kingdoms, are often opposed to God and his people; but God can easily subdue all that set themselves against him. It is a greater honour and happiness to work righteousness than to work miracles. By faith we have comfort of the promises; and by faith we are prepared to wait for the promises, and in due time to receive them. And though we do not hope to have our dead relatives or friends restored to life in this world, yet faith will support under the loss of them, and direct to the hope of a better resurrection. Shall we be most amazed at the wickedness of human nature, that it is capable of such awful cruelties to fellow-creatures, or at the excellence of Divine grace, that is able to bear up the faithful under such cruelties, and to carry them safely through all? What a difference between God's judgement of a saint, and man's judgment! The world is not worthy of those scorned, persecuted saints, whom their persecutors reckon unworthy to live. They are not worthy of their company, example, counsel, or other benefits. For they know not what a saint is, nor the worth of a saint, nor how to use him; they hate, and drive such away, as they do the offer of Christ and his grace.Women received their dead raised to life again - As in the case of the woman of Zarephath, whose child was restored to life by Elijah, 1 Kings 17:19-24; and of the son of the Shunamite woman whose child was restored to life by Elisha; 2 Kings 4:18-37.

And others were tortured - The word which is used here - τυμπανίζω tumpanizō - to "tympanize," refers to a form of severe torture which was sometimes practiced. It is derived from τύμπανον tumpanon - "tympanum" - a drum, tabret, timbrel; and the instrument was probably so called from resembling the drum or the timbrel. This instrument consisted in the East of a thin wooden rim covered over with skin, as a tambourine is with us; see it described in the notes on Isaiah 5:12. The engine of torture here referred to, probably resembled the drum in form, on which the body of a criminal was bent so as to give greater severity to the wounds which were inflicted by scourging. The lash would cut deeper when the body was so extended, and the open gashes exposed to the air would increase the torture; see 2 Macc. 6:19-29. The punishment here referred to seems to have consisted of two things - the stretching upon the instrument, and the scourging; see Robinson's Lexicon and Stuart in loc. Bloomfield, however, supposes that the mode of the torture can be best learned from the original meaning of the word τυμπανον tumpanon - "tympanum" - as meaning:

(1) a beatingstick, and,

(2) a beating-post which was in the form of a T, thus suggesting the posture of the sufferer. This beating, says he, was sometimes administered with sticks or rods; and sometimes with leather thongs inclosing pieces of lead. The former account, however, better agrees with the usual meaning of the word.

Not accepting deliverance - When it was offered them; that is, on condition that they would renounce their opinions, or do what was required of them. This is the very nature of the spirit of martyrdom.

That they might obtain a better resurrection - That is, when they were subjected to this kind of torture they were looked upon as certainly dead. To have accepted deliverance then, would have been a kind of restoration to life, or a species of resurrection. But they refused this, and looked forward to a more honorable and glorious restoration to life; a resurrection, therefore, which would be better than this. It would be in itself more noble and honorable, and would be permanent, and therefore better. No particular instance of this kind is mentioned in the Old Testament; but amidst the multitude of cases of persecution to which good men were subjected, there is no improbability in supposing that this may have occurred. The case of Eleazer, recorded in 2 Macc. 6, so strongly resembles what the apostle says here, that it is very possible he may have had it in his eye. The passage before us proves that the doctrine of the resurrection was understood and believed before the coming of the Saviour, and that it was one of the doctrines which sustained and animated those who were called to suffer on account of their religion. In the prospect of death under the infliction of torture on account of religion, or under the pain produced by disease, nothing will better enable us to bear up under the suffering than the expectation that the body will be restored to immortal vigour, and raised to a mode of life where it will be no longer susceptible of pain. To be raised up to that life is a "better resurrection" than to be saved from death when persecuted, or to be raised up from a bed of pain.

35. Women received their dead raised—as the widow of Zarephath (1Ki 17:17-24). The Shunammite (2Ki 4:17-35). The two oldest manuscripts read. "They received women of aliens by raising their dead." 1Ki 17:24 shows that the raising of the widow's son by Elijah led her to the faith, so that he thus took her into fellowship, an alien though she was. Christ, in Lu 4:26, makes especial mention of the fact that Elijah was sent to an alien from Israel, a woman of Sarepta. Thus Paul may quote this as an instance of Elijah's faith, that at God's command he went to a Gentile city of Sidonia (contrary to Jewish prejudices), and there, as the fruit of faith, not only raised her dead son, but received her as a convert into the family of God, as Vulgate reads. Still, English Version may be the right reading.

and—Greek, "but"; in contrast to those raised again to life.

tortured—"broken on the wheel." Eleazar (2 Maccabees 6:18, end; 2 Maccabees 19:20,30). The sufferer was stretched on an instrument like a drumhead and scourged to death.

not accepting deliverance—when offered to them. So the seven brothers, 2 Maccabees 7:9, 11, 14, 29, 36; and Eleazar, 2 Maccabees 6:21, 28, 30, "Though I might have been delivered from death, I endure these severe pains, being beaten."

a better resurrection—than that of the women's children "raised to life again"; or, than the resurrection which their foes could give them by delivering them from death (Da 12:2; Lu 20:35; Php 3:11). The fourth of the brethren (referring to Da 12:2) said to King Antiochus, "To be put to death by men, is to be chosen to look onward for the hopes which are of God, to be raised up again by Him; but for thee there is no resurrection to life." The writer of Second Maccabees expressly disclaims inspiration, which prevents our mistaking Paul's allusion here to it as if it sanctioned the Apocrypha as inspired. In quoting Daniel, he quotes a book claiming inspiration, and so tacitly sanctions that claim.

Women received their dead raised to life again: through this Divine faith, both the prophets Elijah and Elisha did raise and restore, the one to the window of Sarepta, 1 Kings 17:22,23, the other to the Shunammite, 2 Kings 4:35,36, their sons from the dead; and these women and mothers did by faith receive them from the prophets alive again, who by faith and prayer procured this mercy from the quickening Lord, for them. In the general resurrection all shall be raised by the power of God, and the effect of faith therein is only receptive; we shall enjoy life again, and receive others from the dead also.

And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; others also, besides the prophets forementioned, Hebrews 11:32, etumpanisyesan, were tympanized; what manner of torturing death this was, is not so certain, whether by excoriation, and making drum-heads of their skins, or extending them on the rack, as the skin or parchment is on the drum head, and then with clubs, or other instruments, beating them to death; of which sort of sufferers seems Eleazer to be under Antiochus Epiphanes, /Apc /APC 2Ma 6:19,30, for his not turning heathen, when urged to it by that torture; and though his deliverance from torture and death were offered to him by his tormentors on compliance with them, and renouncing his religion, yet he refused it, as others did, /Apc /APC 2Ma 7:24, resolving to endure the utmost extremity rather than turn idolater, and disobey God.

That they might obtain a better resurrection: that which influenced them to suffer, was their faith in God’s promise of obtaining thereby a resurrection to an incomparable better life than they could have enjoyed on earth; for though they might have been spared from death now threatened them, which was a kind of resurrection, yet was it not to be compared with the resurrection to eternal life, glory, bliss, and pleasure, to be enjoyed by them with God in heaven. See what influenced them, 2 Corinthians 4:17,18. Women received their dead raised to life again,.... As the widow of Zarephath, and the Shunammite, 1 Kings 17:22. Their sons were really dead, and they received them alive gain, from the hands of the prophets, Elijah and Elisha, in the way of a resurrection, and by faith; by the faith of the prophets:

and others were tortured; racked, or tympanized; referring to the sufferings of seven brethren, and their mother, in the times of Antiochus, recorded in 2 Maccabees 7 as appears from the kind of torment endured by them; from the offer of deliverance rejected by them; and from their hope of the resurrection: for it follows,

not accepting deliverance; when offered them by the king, see the Apocrypha:

"24 Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and suspecting it to be a reproachful speech, whilst the youngest was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with oaths, that he would make him both a rich and a happy man, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers; and that also he would take him for his friend, and trust him with affairs. 25 But when the young man would in no case hearken unto him, the king called his mother, and exhorted her that she would counsel the young man to save his life.'' (2 Maccabees 7)

that they might obtain a better resurrection; which they died in the faith of, see the Apocryha:

"7 And him he sent with that wicked Alcimus, whom he made high priest, and commanded that he should take vengeance of the children of Israel. 11 And said courageously, These I had from heaven; and for his laws I despise them; and from him I hope to receive them again. 14 So when he was ready to die he said thus, It is good, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God to be raised up again by him: as for thee, thou shalt have no resurrection to life. (2 Maccabees)

The resurrection of the saints, which is unto everlasting life, is a better resurrection than mere metaphorical, and figurative ones, as deliverances from great afflictions, which are called deaths; or real ones, which were only to a mortal state, and in order to die again, as those under the Old Testament, and under the New, before the resurrection of Christ; or than the resurrection of the wicked: for the resurrection the saints will obtain will be first, at the beginning of the thousand years; the wicked will not live till after they are ended; it will be by virtue of union to Christ, whereas the wicked will be raised merely by virtue of his power; the saints will rise with bodies glorious, powerful, and spiritual, the wicked with base, vile, and ignoble ones; the righteous will come forth to the resurrection of life, the wicked to the resurrection of damnation. The consideration of the better resurrection is of great use to strengthen faith, under sufferings, for righteousness sake, and this is obtained by suffering; not that suffering is the meritorious cause of it, but saints in this way come to it; it is promised to such, and it will be attained unto, and enjoyed by such; for all that live godly, do, and must suffer persecution in one way or another.

{t} Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were {u} tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

(t) He seems to mean the story of that woman of Sarepta, whose son Elijah raised again from the dead, and the Shunammite, whose son Elisha restored to his mother.

(u) He means that perfection which Antiochus wrought.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 11:35. Ἔλαβον γυναῖκες ἐξ ἀναστάσεως τοὺς νεκροὺς αὐτῶν] Women received back their dead (their sons) through resurrection. Those meant are the widow of Sarepta (1 Kings 17:17 ff.), whose son was awakened out of death by Elijah, and the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:18 ff.), whose son was raised by Elisha. Far-fetched is the supposition of Biesenthal (in Guericke’s Zeitschr. f. die ges. luther. Theol. u. Kirche, 1866, H. 4, p. 616 ff.): reference is made to the tradition, preserved to us in the rabbinical and talmudic literature, of the cessation of the dying away of the male population in the wilderness on the 15th Ab.

Syntactically Hebrews 11:35 begins a new proposition (against Böhme, who, as unnaturally as possible, makes the statement ἔλαβοναὐτῶν still dependent on οἵ, Hebrews 11:33, and regards γυναῖκες as apposition to οἵ).

With ἄλλοι δέ, to the close of Hebrews 11:38, the discourse passes over to examples of a suffering faith, which remained still unrewarded upon earth.

ἄλλοι δὲ ἐτυμπανίσθησαν] Others, on the other hand, were stretched on the rack. Allusion to the martyr-death of Eleazar (2Ma 6:18 ff.), and of the seven Maccabean brothers, together with their mother (2 Maccabees 7.). τυμπανίζεσθαι means: to be stretched out upon the τύμπανον (comp. 2Ma 6:19; 2Ma 6:28), an instrument of torture (probably wheel-shaped, Josephus, de Macc. c. 5, 9, 10 : τροχός),—to be stretched out like the skin of a kettledrum, in order then to be tortured to death by blows (comp. 2Ma 6:30).

οὐ προσδεξάμενοι] not accepting, i.e. since the expression, by reason of the objective negation οὐ, blends into a single notion: disdaining.

τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν] the deliverance, namely the earthly one, which they could have gained by the renouncing of their faith. Comp. 2Ma 6:21 ff; 2Ma 7:27 ff.

ἵνα κρείττονος ἀναστάσεως τύχωσιν] that they might become partakers of a better resurrection. Motive for the contemning of earthly deliverance. Comp. 2Ma 7:9; 2Ma 7:11; 2Ma 7:14; 2Ma 7:20; 2Ma 7:23; 2Ma 7:29; 2Ma 7:36, as also 2Ma 6:26. κρείττονος stands not in opposition to the resurrection of the ungodly unto judgment, Daniel 12:2 (Oecumenius: κρείττονοςἢ οἱ λοιποὶ ἄνθρωποι· ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἀνάστασις πᾶσι κοινή, ἀλλʼ οὗτοι ἀναστήσονται, φησίν, εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, καὶ οὗτοι εἰς κόλασιν αἰώνιον. Comp. Theophylact), neither does it form any antithesis to ἐξ ἀναστάσεως in the beginning of the verse (Chrysostom: οὐ τοιαύτης, οἵας τὰ παιδία τῶν γυναικῶν; Theophylact, who does not, however, decide; Bengel, Schulz, Böhme, Bleek, Stein, de Wette, Stengel, Ebrard, Delitzsch, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 617, Obs.; Alford, Maier, Kurtz, and others), which is too remote; but corresponds to the ἀπολύτρωσιν immediately preceding. A much higher possession was the resurrection to the eternal, blessed life, than the temporal deliverance from death; which latter could be regarded, likewise, as a sort of resurrection, but truly only as a lower and valueless one.Hebrews 11:35. ἔλαβον γυναῖκες.… “Women received their dead by resurrection,” as is narrated of the widow of Sarepta, 1 Kings 17:17-24, and the Shunamite, 2 Kings 4:34. ἄλλοι δὲ ἐτυμπανίσθησαν … “others were beaten to death”. τύμπανον (sc. τύπανον from τύπ. strike) a drum, τυμπανίζω, I beat. From the expression in 2Ma 6:17; 2Ma 6:28, ἐπὶ τὸ τύμπανον, it might be supposed that some instrument more elaborate than a rod was meant and Josephus speaks of “a wheel” as being used. But that it was substantially a beating to death is proved by what is said of Eleazar (2Ma 2:30), μέλλων ταῖς πληγαῖς τελευτᾶν, εἶπε. That Eleazar and the seven brethren (2 Maccabees 7) are alluded to is obvious, for it was characteristic of them that they died οὐ προσδεξάμενοι τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, not accepting the offered deliverance. Eleazar was shown a way by which he could escape death (2Ma 6:21), and the seven brethren also were first interrogated and would have escaped death had they chosen to eat polluted food. They endured martyrdom, not accepting the escape that was possible, ἵνα κρείττονος ἀναστάσεως τύχωσιν, “that they might obtain a better resurrection,” “unto eternal life—‘better’ than that spoken of in the beginning of the verse, to a life that again ended” (Davidson, Weiss, von Soden). How fully the resurrection was in view of the seven brethren is shown in the saying of the second: “the King of the world shall raise us εἰς αἰώνιον ἀναβίωσιν ζωῆς; of the third who when his hands were cut off declared that he would receive them again from God; of the fourth, who in dying said, “It is good, when put to death by men, to look for hope from God to be raised up again by Him;” and the youngest said of them all, “they are dead under God’s covenant of everlasting life”.35. Women received their dead] The woman of Sarepta (1 Kings 17:22), the Shunamite (2 Kings 4:32-36).

raised to life again] Lit., “by resurrection.”

were tortured] The word means, technically, “were broken on the wheel,” and the special reference may be to 2Ma 6:18-30; 2Ma 6:7. (the tortures of Eleazer the Scribe, and of the Seven Brothers).

deliverance] “The deliverance offered them” (2Ma 6:20-21; 2Ma 7:24).

a better resurrection] Not a mere resurrection to earthly life, like the children of the women just mentioned, but “an everlasting reawakening of life” (2Ma 7:9 and passim).Hebrews 11:35. Ἔλαβον, women received) They as it were snatched them (rescued them).—γυναῖκες, women) that were believers, naturally weak.—ξ ἀναστάσεως, out of or from the resurrection) He says, from, not by. They anticipated a future resurrection.—νεκροὺς) dead sons, 1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 4:35.—ἄλλοι δ, and others) He comes from them that act to them that suffer (although Abel, Hebrews 11:4, was already long ago an example of one both acting and suffering); and the particle δ, but, makes an emphatic addition (Epitasis). The ἄλλοι, others, distinguishes these genera; the word ἓτεροι, others, Hebrews 11:36, distinguishes the species of sufferers. Paul observes the same distinction, 1 Corinthians 12:8-9.—ἐτυμπανίσθησαν) τύμπανον, a drum-stick, then a cudgel with which men were beaten to death; French, bastonnade; ἐτυμπανίσθησαν, they were beaten with clubs. Hesychius: ἐτυμπανίσθησαν, ἐκρεμάσθησαν, ἐσφαιρίσθησαν. The Vulgate, they were distended (distenti sunt): for as in a drum the parchment or skin is distended, so in this kind of punishment the bodies were distended, that they

1. Γεδεὼν

παρεμβολὰς ἔκλιναν ἀλλοτρίων.

2. Βαρὰκ

ἐγενήθησαν ἰσχυροὶ ἐν πολέμῳ.

3. Σαμψὼν

ἐνεδυναμώθησαν ἀπὸ ἀσθενείας.

4. Ἰεφθάε

ἔφυγον στόμα μαχαίρας.

5. Δαυὶδ

κατηγωνίσαντο βασιλείας.

6. Σαμουὴλ

εἰργάσαντο δικαιοσύνην.

7. Προφητῶν

ἐπέτυχον ἐπαγγελιῶν,

ἔφραξαν στόματα λεόντων,

ἔσβεσαν δύναμιν πυρός.

might more readily receive the blow. The apostle refers to Eleazar in the persecution of Antiochus, 2 Maccabees 6, of whom at Hebrews 11:20 we have the following account: he came of his own accord to the torture (ἐπὶ τὸ τύμπανον); again at Hebrews 11:28 : and at Hebrews 11:30, but when he was at the point of death by the blows, he groaned, and said, It is manifest to the Lord, who has the holy knowledge, that though I might have been delivered (ἀπολυθῆναι) from death, I endure these severe pains in my body, being beaten, etc. Furthermore, as τυμπανίζειν is to beat with clubs, so ἀποτυμπανίζειν, is to Kill with clubs; and the apostle uses the simple verb, because after τυμπάνων πεῖραν (comp. Hebrews 11:36), after they had made trial of this species of torture, they might, if they were disposed to break their faith, have even still accepted of deliverance (ἀπολύτρωσιν). See Suicer’s Thesaurus, which also proves the fact from Gataker, that this word is frequently used to express any violent death. I fancy the reason is, because clubs are a kind of arms most generally met with in all tumults and in a concourse of people: at least in this very passage the apostle seems to point to all kinds of death caused by tumults and inflicted by clubs (in which is included the mode adopted by Antiochus [the tympanum], and mentioned as surpassing the other instruments of torture), and in the following verse he comes to more exquisite punishments [punishments more refined in cruelty]. But the passive form has the middle signification: They suffered themselves to be beaten with clubs. So also Hebrews 11:37, comp. Hebrews 11:36.—τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, deliverance) Eleazar, as we have already seen, used the word ἀπολυθῆναι. The writer of the second book of Maccabees took care to make it appear, that he stood in need of some indulgence; he pleads his excuse, 2Ma 2:24-32 : but yet the history of the Jewish people from the building of the second temple to the beginning of the New Testament is exceedingly valuable.—κρείττονος, better) This resurrection is better than that which restores mortal life. There is a reference to the beginning of this verse. The antithesis is plain: Women received their dead and recovered them from the resurrection (resuscitation) to a temporal life; [in antithesis to]: Martyrs, who were subjected to death, set before their minds a better resurrection, not to temporal but to eternal life. Comp. 2Ma 7:9; 2Ma 7:11; 2Ma 7:14; 2Ma 7:29; 2Ma 7:36.Verse 35. - Women received their dead raised to life again (literally, from, or, out of resurrection. The A.V. gives the sense in good English; only the force of the repetition of the word "resurrection" at the end of the verse is lost); and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. The first part of this verse evidently refers to 1 Kings 17:22 and 2 Kings 4:36 - the memorable instances in the Old Testament of mothers having had their sons restored to them from death. The latter part is as evidently suggested at least by the narrative of 2 Macc. 7; where it is recorded how, under the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, seven sons of one mother were tortured and put to death; how one of them, in the midst of his tortures, having deliverance and advancement offered him if he would forsake the Law of his fathers, courageously refused the offer; and how both they and their mother, who encouraged them to persevere, reiterated their hope of a resurrection from the dead. The "better resurrection" means the resurrection to eternal life by them looked for, which was "better" than the temporary restoration to life in this world granted to the sons of the widow of Zarephath and the Shunammite; while the article in the Greek before "deliverance" (τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν) may be due to the thought of that which is recorded to have been offered to those in the writer's immediate view. There is some doubt as to the exact import of the word ἐτυμπανίσθησαν (translated "tortured"). The usual meaning of the Greek word is" to beat," as a drum is beaten, from τύμπανον, a drum or drumstick: and ἀποτυμπανίζειν means "to beat to death." But, inasmuch as the instrument of torture to which Eleazar (whose martyrdom is related in the preceding chapter of 2 Maccabees) was brought is called τὸ τύμπανον (6:19, 28), it has been supposed that the punishment referred to was the stretching of the victims, in the way of a rack, on a sort of wheel called a tympanum, on which they were then beaten to death, as Eleazar was. So Vulgate, distenti sunt. The fact that the seven of 2 Macc. 7. were not so martyred, but by fire and other tortures, is not inconsistent with this view; for our author need not be supposed to confine his view to them, but uses the word suggested by Eleazar's case. Whatever be the exact import of the word, the A.V. ("were tortured") sufficiently gives the generally intended meaning. Women

The recorded raisings from the dead are mostly for women. See 1 Kings 17:17 ff.; 2 Kings 4:17 ff. Comp. Luke 7:11 ff.; John 11; Acts 9. The reference here is to the first two.

Raised to life again (ἐξ ἀναστάσεως)

Rend. "by a resurrection"; and for the force of ἐξ comp. Romans 1:4.

Were tortured (ἐτυμπανίσθησαν)

N.T.o. lxx once, 1 Samuel 21:13. Originally to beat a drum (τύμπανον). Hence to beat, to cudgel. The A.V. of 1 Samuel 21:13, describing the feigned madness of David, renders ἐτυμπάνιζεν "he scrabbled on the doors of the gate," meaning that he beat the doors like a madman. Τύμπανον means a drum or a drumstick; hence a cudgel; so Aristoph. Plut. 476, where it is associated with κύφων a pillory. Comp. 2 Macc. 6:19, 28. The meaning here is, were beaten to death with clubs, the word being used to represent cruel torture in general.

Not accepting deliverance (οὐπροσδεξάμενοι τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν)

For the verb, see on Hebrews 10:34. The (τὴν) deliverance offered at the price of denying their faith. See 2 Macc. 6:21-27.

A better resurrection (κρείττονος ἀναστάσεως)

Better than a resurrection like those granted to the women above mentioned, which gave merely a continuation of life on earth. Comp. 2 Macc. 7:9, 14.

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Hebrews 11:34
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