Hebrews 11:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

New Living Translation
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

English Standard Version
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

Berean Study Bible
By faith we understand that the universe was formed by God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Berean Literal Bible
By faith we understand the universe to have been formed by the word of God, so that the things being seen have not been made from the things being visible.

New American Standard Bible
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

King James Bible
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
By faith we understand that the universe was created by God's command, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible.

International Standard Version
By faith we understand that time was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are invisible.

NET Bible
By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God's command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible.

New Heart English Bible
By faith, we understand that the ages were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For by faith we understand that the worlds were fashioned by the word of God, and these things that are seen came into being out of those things which are unseen.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Faith convinces us that God created the world through his word. This means what can be seen was made by something that could not be seen.

New American Standard 1977
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Through faith we understand that the ages were framed by the word of God, that which is seen being made of that which was not seen.

King James 2000 Bible
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

American King James Version
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

American Standard Version
By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.

Douay-Rheims Bible
By faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God; that from invisible things visible things might be made.

Darby Bible Translation
By faith we apprehend that the worlds were framed by [the] word of God, so that that which is seen should not take its origin from things which appear.

English Revised Version
By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which do appear.

Webster's Bible Translation
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which appeared.

Weymouth New Testament
Through faith we understand that the worlds came into being, and still exist, at the command of God, so that what is seen does not owe its existence to that which is visible.

World English Bible
By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.

Young's Literal Translation
by faith we understand the ages to have been prepared by a saying of God, in regard to the things seen not having come out of things appearing;
Study Bible
Faith and Assurance
2This is why the ancients were commended. 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed by God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous when God gave approval to his gifts. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.…
Cross References
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

Psalm 33:9
For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

John 1:3
Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.

Romans 4:17
As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the presence of God, in whom he believed, the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not yet exist.

1 Corinthians 2:7
No, we speak of the mysterious and hidden wisdom of God, which He destined for our glory before time began.

1 Timothy 4:5
because it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

Hebrews 1:2
But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.

Hebrews 6:5
who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age--

2 Peter 3:5
But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water,
Treasury of Scripture

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

faith.

Hebrews 1:2 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed …

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of …

Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things, …

Jeremiah 10:11,16 Thus shall you say to them, The gods that have not made the heavens …

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made …

Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like …

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is …

Romans 1:19-21 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God …

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before …

2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God …

Revelation 4:11 You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for …

(3) Through faith.--Rather, By faith, as in the following verses. The first place is not given to "the elders," for the writer's object is to set forth the achievements of faith. With these, he would say, the Scripture record is filled. Even where there is no mention of this principle we must trace it in the lives of God's servants; even where there is no history of men, there is a necessity for the exercise of faith by ourselves, and the first words of Scripture teach this lesson.

That the worlds were framed.--Literally, that the ages have been prepared. The remarkable expression which was used in Hebrews 1:2 is here repeated. The complete preparation of all that the successive periods of time contain is the idea which the words present. The narrative of the first chapter of Genesis ascribes the whole creation of "the heaven and the earth" to God; and associates with "a word of God" every stage in the preparation and furnishing of the earth. (See Note on Hebrews 1:2.) This is the first lesson of that record. But it does not stand alone, as is taught more plainly still by the next clause.

So that things which are seen.--A slight alteration in the Greek is necessary here--"the thing seen" (or "what is seen") being the true reading. A more important point is a change in the aspect of the whole clause, which the Greek seems to require. As the English words stand, they point out the significance of the statement of Scripture respecting the creative act: we believe the writer intended rather to state the divine purpose in relation to that first creation and all subsequent acts that are included in the "preparing of the ages." "In order that what is seen should not have come into being out of things which appear." This is probably the true meaning of the clause. In the narrative of the first chapter of Genesis God would have us learn a lesson for the whole course of human history and development. As the visible universe did not take its being out of what was apparent, so what from time to time is seen does not arise of itself out of what is manifest to man's natural perceptions. Not only is the eternity of matter denied, but from the beginning a warning has been given against a materialistic philosophy. The first page of Scripture is designed to teach the constant presence and work of the Creator. This lesson we learn and apply by faith; and the result of its application is seen in many points of the history which follows. In that history the operation of faith is twofold. The writer's most obvious design is to call attention to the faith possessed by "the elders," and its wonderful triumphs; but it is in many cases by the same faith that we interpret the Scripture record so as to discover this to have been their guiding principle. But seldom does the Old Testament directly speak of faith, and hence the importance of this verse (which some have thought incongruous, since it retards the exhibition of the elders' faith) as throwing light on our interpretation of the teaching of God's word.

Verse 3. - By faith we perceive that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen (or, that which is seen) have (or, has) not been made of things which do appear. "By the word of God" has reference to "and God said," of Genesis 1, which chapter enunciates the primary article of all definite religions faith, viz. the existence and operation of God, as the unseen Author of the visible universe. Even without a revelation to declare this, faith's office is to apprehend it from observation of the phenomena themselves; as is intimated in Romans 1:20, where even to the Greek "the invisible things of God from the creation of the world" are said to be "clearly seen, being understood [νοούμενα: cf νοοῦμεν in the passage before us] by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead." The drift of both passages is the same, viz. this, and no more - that faith recognizes an unseen power and Godhead behind, and accounting for, the seen universe. Commentators, who - taking μὴ ἐκ φαινομένων as equivalent to ἐκ μὴ φαινομένων, and hence seeking to explain what is meant by "non-apparent things" - perceive here a reference either to the formless void (Genesis 1:2) out of which the present creation was evolved, or to the Platonic conception of eternal ideas in the Divine mind, read into the text what is not there. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,.... The celestial world, with its inhabitants, the angels; the starry and ethereal worlds, with all that is in them, the sun, moon, stars, and fowls of the air; the terrestrial world, with all upon it, men, beasts, &c. and the watery world, the sea, and all that is therein: perhaps some respect may be had to the distinction of worlds among the Jews; See Gill on Hebrews 1:2, though the apostle can scarce be thought to have any regard to their extravagant notions of vast numbers of worlds being created: they often speak of three hundred and ten worlds, in all which, they say, there are heavens, earth, stars, planets, &c. (f); and sometimes of eighteen thousand (g); but these notions are rightly charged by Philo (h) with ignorance and folly. However, as many worlds as there are, they are made "by the Word of God"; by Christ, the essential Word of God, to whom the creation of all things is ascribed in John 1:1. And this agrees with the sentiments of the Jews, who ascribe the creation of all things to the Word of God, as do the Targumists (i), and Philo the Jew (k). And these are "framed" by the Word, in a very beautiful and convenient order; the heavens before the earth; things less perfect, before those that were more so in the visible world, or terraqueous globe; and things for men, before men, for whom they were; and it is by divine revelation and faith that men form right notions of the creation, and of the author of it, and particularly of the origin of it, as follows:

so that things which are seen: as the heaven, earth, and sea, and in which the invisible things of God, the perfections of his nature, are discerned:

were not made of things which do appear; they were not made from pre-existent matter, but out of nothing, out of which the rude and undigested chaos was formed; and from that invisible mass, covered with darkness, were all visible things brought into a beautiful order; and all from secret and hidden ideas in the divine minds; and this also is the faith of the Jews, that the creation of all things is "out of nothing" (l). There seems to be an allusion to the word used for creation, which signifies to make appear a thing unseen; and is rendered in the Septuagint version by Numbers 16:30 and Isaiah 40:26 to show, or make appear; and thus God created, or made to appear, the heavens and earth, which before were not in being, and unseen, Genesis 1:1 and created to make, as in Genesis 2:3 that is, made them to appear, that he might put them into the form and order they now are.

(f) Misn. Oketzim, c. 3. sect. 12. Targum Jon. in Exodus 28.30. Kettoreth Hassamim in Targum Jon. in Gen. fol. 4. 4. Lex. Cabel. p. 60, 61. (g) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 3. 2. Yalkut, par. 2. fol. 50. 4. (h) De Opificio, p. 39. (i) Targum Oak. in Deuteronomy 33.27. & Ben Uzziel in Isaiah 48.13. (k) De Opificio, p. 4. & Leg. Alleg. l. 1. p. 44. (l) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 1. 1. Kettoreth Hassamim in Targ. Jon in Gen. fol. 5. 1, 2.3. we understand—We perceive with our spiritual intelligence the fact of the world's creation by God, though we see neither Him nor the act of creation as described in Ge 1:1-31. The natural world could not, without revelation, teach us this truth, though it confirms the truth when apprehended by faith (Ro 1:20). Adam is passed over in silence here as to his faith, perhaps as being the first who fell and brought sin on us all; though it does not follow that he did not repent and believe the promise.

worlds—literally, "ages"; all that exists in time and space, visible and invisible, present and eternal.

framed—"fitly formed and consolidated"; including the creation of the single parts and the harmonious organization of the whole, and the continual providence which maintains the whole throughout all ages. As creation is the foundation and a specimen of the whole divine economy, so faith in creation is the foundation and a specimen of all faith [Bengel].

by the word of God—not here, the personal word (Greek, "logos," Joh 1:1) but the spoken word (Greek, "rhema"); though by the instrumentality of the personal word (Heb 1:2).

not made, etc.—Translate as Greek, "so that not out of things which appear hath that which is seen been made"; not as in the case of all things which we see reproduced from previously existing and visible materials, as, for instance, the plant from the seed, the animal from the parent, etc., has the visible world sprung into being from apparent materials. So also it is implied in the first clause of the verse that the invisible spiritual worlds were framed not from previously existing materials. Bengel explains it by distinguishing "appear," that is, begin to be seen (namely, at creation), from that which is seen as already in existence, not merely beginning to be seen; so that the things seen were not made of the things which appear," that is, which begin to be seen by us in the act of creation. We were not spectators of creation; it is by faith we perceive it.11:1-3 Faith always has been the mark of God's servants, from the beginning of the world. Where the principle is planted by the regenerating Spirit of God, it will cause the truth to be received, concerning justification by the sufferings and merits of Christ. And the same things that are the object of our hope, are the object of our faith. It is a firm persuasion and expectation, that God will perform all he has promised to us in Christ. This persuasion gives the soul to enjoy those things now; it gives them a subsistence or reality in the soul, by the first-fruits and foretastes of them. Faith proves to the mind, the reality of things that cannot be seen by the bodily eye. It is a full approval of all God has revealed, as holy, just, and good. This view of faith is explained by many examples of persons in former times, who obtained a good report, or an honourable character in the word of God. Faith was the principle of their holy obedience, remarkable services, and patient sufferings. The Bible gives the most true and exact account of the origin of all things, and we are to believe it, and not to wrest the Scripture account of the creation, because it does not suit with the differing fancies of men. All that we see of the works of creation, were brought into being by the command of God.
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