Hebrews 11:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

New Living Translation
But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

English Standard Version
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

Berean Study Bible
Instead, they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

Berean Literal Bible
But now they stretch forward to a better one, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

New American Standard Bible
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

King James Bible
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But they now desire a better place--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

International Standard Version
Instead, they were longing for a better country, that is, a heavenly one. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he has prepared a city for them.

NET Bible
But as it is, they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

New Heart English Bible
But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Now it is apparent that they longed for better than that, which is in Heaven; because of this, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a City for them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Instead, these men were longing for a better country-a heavenly country. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God. He has prepared a city for them.

New American Standard 1977
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one; therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

King James 2000 Bible
But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.

American King James Version
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: why God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.

American Standard Version
But now they desire a better country , that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But now they desire a better, that is to say, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.

Darby Bible Translation
but now they seek a better, that is, a heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for he has prepared for them a city.

English Revised Version
But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Webster's Bible Translation
But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.

Weymouth New Testament
but, as it is, we see them eager for a better land, that is to say, a heavenly one. For this reason God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has now prepared a city for them.

World English Bible
But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Young's Literal Translation
but now they long for a better, that is, an heavenly, wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for He did prepare for them a city.
Study Bible
The Faith of Abraham and Sarah
15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. 17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac on the altar. He who had received the promises was ready to offer his one and only son,…
Cross References
Genesis 17:7
"I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.

Genesis 26:24
The LORD appeared to him the same night and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham; Do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you, and multiply your descendants, For the sake of My servant Abraham."

Genesis 28:13
And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.

Exodus 3:6
He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Exodus 3:15
God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

Exodus 4:5
"that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."

Mark 8:38
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels."

2 Timothy 4:18
And the Lord will rescue me from every evil action and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 2:11
For both the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are of the same family. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.

Hebrews 10:34
You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, knowing that you yourselves had a better and permanent possession.
Treasury of Scripture

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: why God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.

they desire. See on ver.

Hebrews 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

Hebrews 12:22 But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, …

God is.

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of …

to be.

Genesis 17:7,8 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed …

Exodus 3:6,15 Moreover he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, …

Isaiah 41:8-10 But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed …

Jeremiah 31:1 At the same time, said the LORD, will I be the God of all the families …

Matthew 22:31,32 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that …

Mark 12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have you not read in the …

Luke 20:37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when …

Acts 7:32 Saying, I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, and the …

for.

Hebrews 11:10 For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed …

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to …

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the …

(16) They confess themselves but sojourners (Hebrews 11:13), and thus make it plain that they are still seeking their true home (14); and yet, if. they had sought nothing more than an earthly home, there is one already, which was once theirs, and to which they might return (15); hence it is no earthly but a heavenly-country that they desire. This is the general current of thought in these verses, presenting a very close analogy to the argument of Hebrews 3:7 to Hebrews 4:11; here, as there, words which otherwise might appear to have but an earthly reference are seen to have a higher and a spiritual import. In Hebrews 11:8-9 we have before us only the land of inheritance, but in Hebrews 11:10 the heavenly rest; and in Hebrews 11:13 words which as read in Genesis might seem to refer to a wandering life in the land of Canaan are taken as a confession of sojourning upon earth. It is not necessary to suppose that the desires and yearnings of "the fathers" expressed themselves in the definite forms which later revelation has made familiar; in all that is essential the hope existed, whilst the mode of the fulfilment was unknown. Through faith the patriarchs were willing to connect their whole life and that of their children with waiting at God's bidding for the fulfilment of a promise--wandering and sojourning until God's own time should come when He would grant a home in a country of their own. And yet each of these servants of God recognised that relation to God in which lay the foundation of the promise to him to be personal and abiding. If these two thoughts be united, it will be easy to see how each one for himself would be led to regard the state of wandering in which he spent his life as an emblem of a state of earthly waiting for an enduring home; the sojourning in the land was a constant symbol of the sojourning upon earth. Hence (see the passages quoted in Hebrews 11:13) the same language is used from age to age after Canaan is received as an inheritance. (Comp. Hebrews 4:9; and see Exodus 3:15, and Matthew 22:31-32.)

But now.--See Hebrews 8:6; the meaning is not "at this present time," but "as the case stands in truth."

Wherefore God is not ashamed.--Rather, Wherefore God is not ashamed of them (compare Hebrews 2:11). Because of this lofty desire, or rather, because of the faith and love towards Him in which the desire was founded, and of which therefore the longing for a heavenly country was the expression, God is not ashamed of them, to be called (literally surnamed) their God (Genesis 17:7; Genesis 26:24; Genesis 28:13; Exodus 3:6; et al.). That He is not ashamed of them He has shown, "for He prepared for them a city." Before the desire existed the home had been provided. (Comp. Matthew 25:34.)

But now they desire a better country,.... Which is not to be understood of the then present time, in which the apostle wrote; for the patriarchs, of whom he speaks, were not then on earth, nor in any third place between heaven and earth; they were then in heaven; and though there are indeed in heaven desires after perfect happiness, in soul and body; yet this intends the desires of these saints when on earth, and which are common to all believers in the present state of things; who, as the patriarchs desired a better country than Chaldea, or even Canaan itself, so they desire a better country than this world; and such is heaven: it is on high; here are no noxious and pestilential vapours, no mists or fogs beclouding, no storms and tempests, but it is full of light and glory; having the delightful breezes of divine love, and the comfortable gales of the blessed Spirit; here is no heat of persecution, nor coldness, nor chills of affection; here is plenty of most delicious fruits, no hunger nor thirst; and here are riches, which are solid, satisfying, durable, safe and sure: many are the liberties and privileges here enjoyed; here is a freedom from a body subject to diseases and death, from a body of sin and death, from Satan's temptations, from all doubts, fears, and unbelief, and from all sorrows and afflictions; the inhabitants of it are the spirits of just men made perfect, angels, God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and Christ in human nature; upon all which accounts it is abundantly the better country, and as it is explained,

that is, an heavenly; an inheritance in heaven, an house eternal in the heavens, the kingdom of heaven; and it is no wonder that it should be desired by such who know it, and the nature of it: the word denotes a vehement desire; and it is such, that the saints desire to depart from this world, and go unto it; which shows that they are weaned from this, and have seen something glorious in another. Remarkable is the saying of Anaxagoras (u) who, when one said to him, hast thou no regard to thy country? answered, I have, and that the greatest, pointing with his fingers towards heaven; and, says Philo the Jew (w), the soul of every wise man has heaven for his country, and the earth as a strange place:

wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; their covenant God and Father; See Gill on Hebrews 8:10, even though he is the God of the whole earth;

for he hath prepared for them a city; in his council and covenant, and by his Son; See Gill on Hebrews 11:10. This proves that he is not ashamed of the relation he stands in to them, since he has made a provision for them to dwell with him to all eternity.

(u) Laert. in Vit. Anaxag. p. 92. (w) De Agricultura, p. 196. Vid. ib. de Confus. Ling. p. 331. 16. Proving the truth that the old fathers did not, as some assert, "look only for transitory promises" [Article VII, Book of Common Prayer].

now—as the case is.

is not ashamed—Greek, "Is not ashamed of them." Not merely once did God call himself their God, but He is NOW not ashamed to have Himself called so, they being alive and abiding with Him where He is. For, by the law, God cannot come into contact with anything dead. None remained dead in Christ's presence (Lu 20:37, 38). He who is Lord and Maker of heaven and earth, and all things therein, when asked, What is Thy name? said, omitting all His other titles, "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" [Theodoret]. Not only is He not ashamed, but glories in the name and relation to His people. The "wherefore" does not mean that God's good pleasure is the meritorious, but the gracious, consequence of their obedience (that obedience being the result of His Spirit's work in them in the first instance). He first so "called" Himself, then they so called Him.

for—proof of His being "their God," namely, "He hath prepared (in His eternal counsels, Mt 20:23; 25:34, and by the progressive acts of redemption, Joh 14:2) for them a city," the city in which He Himself reigns, so that their yearning desires shall not be disappointed (Heb 11:14, 16).

a city—on its garniture by God (compare Re 21:10-27).11:8-19 We are often called to leave worldly connexions, interests, and comforts. If heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall obey and go forth, though not knowing what may befall us; and we shall be found in the way of duty, looking for the performance of God's promises. The trial of Abraham's faith was, that he simply and fully obeyed the call of God. Sarah received the promise as the promise of God; being convinced of that, she truly judged that he both could and would perform it. Many, who have a part in the promises, do not soon receive the things promised. Faith can lay hold of blessings at a great distance; can make them present; can love them and rejoice in them, though strangers; as saints, whose home is heaven; as pilgrims, travelling toward their home. By faith, they overcome the terrors of death, and bid a cheerful farewell to this world, and to all the comforts and crosses of it. And those once truly and savingly called out of a sinful state, have no mind to return into it. All true believers desire the heavenly inheritance; and the stronger faith is, the more fervent those desires will be. Notwithstanding their meanness by nature, their vileness by sin, and the poverty of their outward condition, God is not ashamed to be called the God of all true believers; such is his mercy, such is his love to them. Let them never be ashamed of being called his people, nor of any of those who are truly so, how much soever despised in the world. Above all, let them take care that they are not a shame and reproach to their God. The greatest trial and act of faith upon record is, Abraham's offering up Isaac, Ge 22:2. There, every word shows a trial. It is our duty to reason down our doubts and fears, by looking, as Abraham did, to the Almighty power of God. The best way to enjoy our comforts is, to give them up to God; he will then again give them as shall be the best for us. Let us look how far our faith has caused the like obedience, when we have been called to lesser acts of self-denial, or to make smaller sacrifices to our duty. Have we given up what was called for, fully believing that the Lord would make up all our losses, and even bless us by the most afflicting dispensations?
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