Hebrews 11:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

New Living Translation
It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel's offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.

English Standard Version
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.

New American Standard Bible
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.

King James Bible
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was approved as a righteous man, because God approved his gifts, and even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith.

International Standard Version
By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain did, and by faith he was declared to be righteous, since God himself accepted his offerings. And by faith he continues to speak, even though he is dead.

NET Bible
By faith Abel offered God a greater sacrifice than Cain, and through his faith he was commended as righteous, because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith he still speaks, though he is dead.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
By faith, Abel offered to God a sacrifice much better than that of Cain, and because of it there is a testimony concerning him that he was righteous, and God testifies concerning his offering; and because of it, although he died, he also speaks.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Faith led Abel to offer God a better sacrifice than Cain's sacrifice. Through his faith Abel received God's approval, since God accepted his sacrifices. Through his faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

Jubilee Bible 2000
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by it he being dead yet speaks.

King James 2000 Bible
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.

American King James Version
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.

American Standard Version
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice exceeding that of Cain, by which he obtained a testimony that he was just, God giving testimony to his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Darby Bible Translation
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained testimony of being righteous, God bearing testimony to his gifts, and by it, having died, he yet speaks.

English Revised Version
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh.

Webster's Bible Translation
By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained testimony that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Weymouth New Testament
Through faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain did, and through this faith he obtained testimony that he was righteous, God giving the testimony by accepting his gifts; and through it, though he is dead, he still speaks.

World English Bible
By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks.

Young's Literal Translation
by faith a better sacrifice did Abel offer to God than Cain, through which he was testified to be righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and through it, he being dead, doth yet speak.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

11:4-7 Here follow some illustrious examples of faith from the Old Testament. Abel brought a sacrifice of atonement from the firstlings of the flock, acknowledging himself a sinner who deserved to die, and only hoping for mercy through the great Sacrifice. Cain's proud rage and enmity against the accepted worshipper of God, led to the awful effects the same principles have produced in every age; the cruel persecution, and even murder of believers. By faith Abel, being dead, yet speaketh; he left an instructive and speaking example. Enoch was translated, or removed, that he should not see death; God took him into heaven, as Christ will do the saints who shall be alive at his second coming. We cannot come to God, unless we believe that he is what he has revealed himself to be in the Scripture. Those who would find God, must seek him with all their heart. Noah's faith influenced his practice; it moved him to prepare an ark. His faith condemned the unbelief of others; and his obedience condemned their contempt and rebellion. Good examples either convert sinners or condemn them. This shows how believers, being warned of God to flee from the wrath to come, are moved with fear, take refuge in Christ, and become heirs of the righteousness of faith.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which (i.e. faith, not sacrifice, "faith" being the ruling idea of the whole passage) he obtained witness (literally, was witnessed of) that he was righteous, God testifying of (literally, witnessing upon, or, in respect to) his gifts: and through it (faith) he being dead yet speaketh. In the traditions preserved in Genesis of the dim and distant antediluvian period, three figures stand out prominently as representing the righteous seed in the midst of growing evil - Abel, Enoch, and Noah. These are, therefore, first adduced with the view of showing that it is in respect of faith that they are thus distinguished in the sacred record. With respect to Abel, it is not necessary to inquire or conjecture whether the bloody character of his offering is to be considered as constituting its superior excellence. The record in Genesis simply represents the two brothers as offering each what he had to offer in accordance with his occupation and pursuits, the only difference being that Abel is said to, have offered his firstlings and the fat thereof, while nothing is said of Cain having brought his first fruits or his best. Then, in the account of the result, we are only told that unto one the LORD had respect, and not to the other, without mention of the reason why. It is usual to find a reason in the nature of Abel's offering as signifying atonement, and to suppose his faith manifested in his recognition of the need of such atonement, signified to him, as has been further supposed, by Divine command. This view of the intention of the narrative is indeed suggested by the description of what his offering was, viewed in the light of subsequent sacrificial theory; but it is not apparent in the narrative taken by itself, or in the reference to it in the passage before us. The acceptableness of the offering is here simply attributed, as of necessity, to the faith of the offerer, without any intimation of how that faith had been evinced. And with this view of the matter agrees the record itself, where it is said that "unto Abel and his offering the LORD had respect;" i.e. to Abel first, and then to his offering - the offering was accepted because Abel was, not Abel on account of his kind of offering. "Crone quod datur Deo ex dantis mente pensatur... Neque enim sacrum eloquimn dicit, Respexit ad munera Abel et ad Cain mqnera non respexit, sed prius air quid respexit ad Abel, ac deinde subjunxit, 'et ad munera ejus.' Idcirco non Abel ex muneribus, sed ex Abel munera oblata placuerunt" (St. Gregory, quoted by Delitzsch). "And he being dead," etc., refers plainly to Genesis 4:10, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." The same voice of innocent blood, which appealed at the beginning of human history to the God of righteousness, cries still through all the ages; it sounds in our own cars now, telling us that faith prevails on high, and that "right dear in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Cf. Hebrews 12:24 for an allusion again to the cry of the blood of Abel. The word αλεῖν is there also used, supporting the reading λαλεῖ, rather than the λαλεῖται of the Textus Receptus here.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,.... The apostle proceeds to examples of faith, and begins with Abel: it may seem strange that Adam and Eve are not mentioned; this omission is not because they were not believers; but either because of the fall and ruin of mankind by them; or because the apostle speaks only of such who had received some eminent testimony by faith, and therefore passes by many believers, and hastens to Abraham, the father of the Jews. The superior excellency of Abel's sacrifice to Cain's, lay both in the matter, and in the manner of it; the one was offered heartily to the Lord, the other only in show; the one was offered in faith, the other not; Abel looked through his sacrifice to the sacrifice of Christ, not so Cain. Abel's sacrifice was a lamb, a type of Christ, the Lamb of God; a firstling, a figure of him who is the firstborn of every creature; one of the fattest of his flock, expressive of the excellency of Christ; and this was offered up at the end of days, as Christ at the end of the world; and the superior excellency of the sacrifice of the one to that of the other, appears from God's regard to the one, and not to the other, Genesis 4:3 from whence it may be observed, that sacrifices were of divine institution, and were very early types of Christ; and that there always were two sorts of worshippers, spiritual and carnal ones, whom God can distinguish, for he seeth not as man seeth; that the acceptance of persons is in Christ, and is previous to their offerings; that whatsoever works do not spring from faith are unacceptable to God; that no dependence is to be had on birth privileges, or outward actions; and that electing and distinguishing grace very early took place, and appeared.

By which he obtained witness that he was righteous; not righteous by his offering, nor by his faith, but by the righteousness of Christ, which his faith in his sacrifice looked unto; though it was by his faith that he obtained, or received a witness in his own conscience, from the Spirit of God, testifying that he was a justified person; and in consequence of this, he had an outward testimony bore to him in the Scriptures, that he was a righteous person hence he is called righteous Abel, Matthew 23:35.

God testifying of his gifts: not of his own gifts, temporal or spiritual, but of Abel's gifts, which he offered to the Lord; that is, his sacrifices; of these he testified, when he showed respect either by an audible voice, declaring his acceptance of them; or by sending down fire from heaven, upon his sacrifice, which in later times was a symbol of acceptance.

And by it, he being dead, yet speaketh; good men die, and some of them die a violent death, as did Abel, yet he speaks in the Scriptures, which have a voice in them, Luke 16:29 or by his blood, which calls for vengeance; or rather by, or because of his faith, though he is dead, "he is yet spoken of", as the word may be rendered.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. more excellent sacrifice—because offered in faith. Now faith must have some revelation of God on which it fastens. The revelation in this case was doubtless God's command to sacrifice animals ("the firstlings of the flock") in token of the forfeiture of men's life by sin, and as a type of the promised bruiser of the serpent's head (Ge 3:15), the one coming sacrifice: this command is implied in God's having made coats of skin for Adam and Eve (Ge 3:21): for these skins must have been taken from animals slain in sacrifice: inasmuch as it was not for food they were slain, animal food not being permitted till after the flood; nor for mere clothing, as, were it so, clothes might have been made of the fleeces without the needless cruelty of killing the animal; but a coat of skin put on Adam from a sacrificed animal typified the covering or atonement (the Hebrew for atone means to cover) resulting from Christ's sacrifice. The Greek is more literally rendered [Kennicott] by Wycliffe, "a much more sacrifice"; and by Queen Elizabeth's version "a greater sacrifice." A fuller, more ample sacrifice, that which partook more largely and essentially of the true nature and virtue of sacrifice [Archbishop Magee]. It was not any intrinsic merit in "the firstling of the flock" above "the fruit of the ground." It was God's appointment that gave it all its excellency as a sacrifice; if it had not been so, it would have been a presumptuous act of will-worship (Col 2:23), and taking of a life which man had no right over before the flood (Ge 9:1-6). The sacrifice seems to have been a holocaust, and the sign of the divine acceptance of it was probably the consumption of it by fire from heaven (Ge 15:17). Hence, "to accept" a burnt sacrifice is in Hebrew "to turn it to ashes" (Ps 20:3, Margin). A flame seems to have issued from the Shekinah, or flaming cherubim, east of Eden ("the presence of the Lord," Ge 4:16), where the first sacrifices were offered. Cain, in unbelieving self-righteousness, presented merely a thank offering, not like Abel feeling his need of the propitiatory sacrifice appointed on account of sin. God "had respect (first) unto Abel, and (then) to his offering" (Ge 4:4). Faith causes the believer's person to be accepted, and then his offering. Even an animal sacrifice, though of God's appointment, would not have been accepted, had it not been offered in faith.

he obtained witness—God by fire attesting His acceptance of him as "righteous by faith."

his gifts—the common term for sacrifices, implying that they must be freely given.

by it—by faith exhibited in his animal sacrifice.

dead, yet speaketh—His blood crying front the ground to God, shows how precious, because of his "faith," he was still in God's sight, even when dead. So he becomes a witness to us of the blessed effects of faith.

Hebrews 11:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah
4By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.…
Cross References
Genesis 4:4
And Abel also brought an offering--fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,

Genesis 4:8
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Matthew 23:35
And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

Hebrews 5:1
Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 11:2
This is what the ancients were commended for.

Hebrews 12:24
to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

2 Peter 2:8
(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--

1 John 3:12
Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

Jude 1:11
Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion.
Treasury of Scripture

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.

faith.

Genesis 4:3-5,15,25 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the …

1 John 3:11,12 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we …

a more.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without …

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the …

Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he …

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being …

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily …

he obtained.

Leviticus 9:24 And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed on the …

1 Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, …

Matthew 23:35 That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth…

Luke 11:51 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias which perished between …

and by.

Hebrews 12:1,24 Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, …

Genesis 4:10 And he said, What have you done? the voice of your brother's blood …

Matthew 23:35 That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth…

yet speaketh. or, is yet spoken of.

Jump to Previous
Abel Acceptable Bearing Better Cain Dead Excellent Faith Gifts Obtained Offered Received Respect Righteous Sacrifice Speaketh Speaks Testifying Testimony Witness
Jump to Next
Abel Acceptable Bearing Better Cain Dead Excellent Faith Gifts Obtained Offered Received Respect Righteous Sacrifice Speaketh Speaks Testifying Testimony Witness
Links
Hebrews 11:4 NIV
Hebrews 11:4 NLT
Hebrews 11:4 ESV
Hebrews 11:4 NASB
Hebrews 11:4 KJV

Hebrews 11:4 Bible Apps
Hebrews 11:4 Bible Suite
Hebrews 11:4 Biblia Paralela
Hebrews 11:4 Chinese Bible
Hebrews 11:4 French Bible
Hebrews 11:4 German Bible

Alphabetical: a Abel about And as better By Cain commended dead did even faith gifts God he his is man obtained of offered offerings righteous sacrifice speaks spoke still testifying testimony than that the though through to was well when which

NT Letters: Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God (Heb. He. Hb) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Hebrews 11:3
Top of Page
Top of Page