Hebrews 6:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,

New Living Translation
For example, there was God's promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:

English Standard Version
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,

New American Standard Bible
For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,

King James Bible
For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself:

International Standard Version
For when God made his promise to Abraham, he swore an oath by himself, since he had no one greater to swear by.

NET Bible
Now when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because there was no greater than he by whom to swear, he swore by himself,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God made a promise to Abraham. Since he had no one greater on whom to base his oath, he based it on himself.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For when God promised unto Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself,

King James 2000 Bible
For when God made a promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself,

American King James Version
For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself,

American Standard Version
For when God made promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he sware by himself,

Douay-Rheims Bible
For God making promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom he might swear, swore by himself,

Darby Bible Translation
For God, having promised to Abraham, since he had no greater to swear by, swore by himself,

English Revised Version
For when God made promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he sware by himself,

Webster's Bible Translation
For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself,

Weymouth New Testament
For when God gave the promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself,

World English Bible
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he swore by himself,

Young's Literal Translation
For to Abraham God, having made promise, seeing He was able to swear by no greater, did swear by Himself,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

6:11-20 The hope here meant, is a sure looking for good things promised, through those promises, with love, desire, and valuing of them. Hope has its degrees, as faith also. The promise of blessedness God has made to believers, is from God's eternal purpose, settled between the eternal Father, Son, and Spirit. These promises of God may safely be depended upon; for here we have two things which cannot change, the counsel and the oath of God, in which it is not possible for God to lie; it would be contrary to his nature as well as to his will. And as He cannot lie; the destruction of the unbeliever, and the salvation of the believer, are alike certain. Here observe, those to whom God has given full security of happiness, have a title to the promises by inheritance. The consolations of God are strong enough to support his people under their heaviest trials. Here is a refuge for all sinners who flee to the mercy of God, through the redemption of Christ, according to the covenant of grace, laying aside all other confidences. We are in this world as a ship at sea, tossed up and down, and in danger of being cast away. We need an anchor to keep us sure and steady. Gospel hope is our anchor in the storms of this world. It is sure and stedfast, or it could not keep us so. The free grace of God, the merits and mediation of Christ, and the powerful influences of his Spirit, are the grounds of this hope, and so it is a stedfast hope. Christ is the object and ground of the believer's hope. Let us therefore set our affections on things above, and wait patiently for his appearance, when we shall certainly appear with him in glory.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 13-15. - For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Abraham - the ancestor of the Hebrews, the first recipient of the promises, the father of the faithful - is now appropriately adduced as an example. He (Genesis 22:16), as is the case with you (Psalm 110.), was assured of his inheritance by the Divine oath; and so he obtained it, but only through "faith and patience." You have the like assurance, but attended with the like conditions. And then this Divine oath, the significance of which is set forth in vers. 16-18, is made a link of connection between the hortatory section (Hebrews 5:11-6:20) and the coming argument about Melchizedek. This is one instance of the artistic way in which, throughout the Epistle, the interposed hortatory passages are so turned as to connect the divided sections of the argument. But what is said about Abraham (vers. 13, 14, 15) has been variously understood. It is connected with ver. 12 thus: "Be ye followers of them who inherit the promises through faith and patience: for God, in his promise to Abraham, swore by himself in confirmation of it; and so (καὶ ὀὔτω) through patience he obtained the promise. Be it here observed that μακροθυμήσας in ver. 15 ("having patiently endured," A.V.) corresponds with διὰ μακροθυμίας in ver. 12, and expresses essentially the same idea. The aorist participle μακροθυμήσας does not in itself imply that the patience was previous to the obtaining; it expresses only that by patiently enduring he obtained. Observe also that καὶ οὔτω (cf. Acts 7:8; Acts 27:44; Acts 28:14) denotes the consequence from what has been previously stated; i.e. that μακροθυμήσας ἐπέτυχε followed from the Divine oath ensuring the fulfillment of the promise. Both his eventually obtaining and his patience in awaiting fulfillment were in consequence of the assuring oath. But then how and when did Abraham himself obtain the promise? Not even the temporal fulfillment in the multiplication of his seed and the inheritance of the Promised Land, much less the spiritual fulfillment in Christ, was during his own life. Both he could but see "afar off." In respect to the latter it is expressly said (Hebrews 11:13, 39) that the patriarchs did not receive the promises - μὴ λαβόντες τὰς ἐπογγελίας: οὐκ ἐκομίσαντο τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν. What, then, is meant by μακροθυμήσας ἐπέτυχε? Bleek understands the time of the oath (Genesis 22.), when the promise was irrevocably assured, to have been the time of obtaining. But more than this is suggested by the phrase, ἐπέτυχε τῆς ἐπαγγελίας (cf. Hebrews 11:33), as well as by καὶ οὔτω, viz. the actual attainment of the blessing assured to him by oath. There are two other ways of explaining:

(1) to identify Abraham with his seed, in whom, though not in his own person, he may be conceived to have obtained, - of which view it may be significant that πληθυνῶ τὸ σπέρμα σου of the LXX. (Genesis 22:17) is changed in the Epistle to πληθννῶ σε:

(2) to regard Abraham, still alive in the unseen world, as himself enjoying the fulfillment of the ancient promise. So Delitzsch, who, dwelling on the thought that nothing less than the blessing of Abraham extended to the whole world (cf. κληρονόμος τοῦ κόσμου, Romans 4:13) can be regarded as complete fulfill-merit, says, "God's oath-sealed word of promise is now fulfilled in Christ, and Abraham, while living on in the unseen world, is conscious of and enjoys that fulfillment, and so may be said to have "obtained the promise." This view derives some support from Hebrews 11:13-16, where the longings of the pilgrim patriarchs is so beautifully represented as reaching to a heavenly fulfillment. On the other hand, the aorist ἐπέτυχε is against it, and hence view

(1) may be accepted as a sufficient explanation of the expression (see below, or Hebrews 11:39). With regard to the general drift, it is obvious how μακροθυμία, as well as πίστις, in respect to the promise first made to him "in Charran," is strikingly displayed in Abraham's recorded life.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For when God made promise to Abraham,.... The apostle proposes Abraham as a pattern, because he was the father of these Hebrews, and of all believers; and because they were interested in the promise made to him, and had a right to the same blessing with him; and because he was remarkable for his faith and patience: the promise made to him is not that in Genesis 12:1 nor that in Genesis 15:1 but that in Genesis 22:16 for that only had an oath annexed to it: and this was made by Jesus Christ, there called the Angel of the Lord, and here God; and who is truly and properly so; and than whom there is none greater; and who elsewhere, as here, is said to swear by himself, Isaiah 45:23 as follows:

because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself; swearing is ascribed to a divine person after the manner of men, and in condescension to them; and who is never introduced swearing, but in matters of moment and of great importance; the note of Philo the Jew (n) on the passage in Genesis 22:16 from whence the following words are cited, is worthy of observation, being very near the apostle's words;

"well does he (God) confirm the promise with an oath, and with an oath that becomes God; for you see that God does not swear by another, for nothing is better than himself, but by himself, who is the best of all; but some have suggested as if it was inconvenient to swear, for an oath is taken for the sake of faith; but God alone is faithful, &c.''

(n) Leg. Allegor. l. 2. p. 98.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. For—confirming the reasonableness of resting on "the promises" as infallibly sure, resting as they do on God's oath, by the instance of Abraham. "He now gives consolation, by the oath of God's grace, to those whom, in the second, third, and fourth chapters, he had warned by the oath of God's 'wrath.' The oath of wrath did not primarily extend its force beyond the wilderness; but the oath of grace is in force for ever" [Bengel].

Hebrews 6:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
God's Promise is Certain
13For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14saying, "I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU."…
Cross References
Genesis 22:16
and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,

Exodus 32:13
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: 'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.'"

Deuteronomy 1:8
See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore he would give to your fathers--to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob--and to their descendants after them."

Isaiah 45:23
By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.

Jeremiah 22:5
But if you do not obey these commands, declares the LORD, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin.'"

Jeremiah 44:26
But hear the word of the LORD, all you Jews living in Egypt: 'I swear by my great name,' says the LORD, 'that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, "As surely as the Sovereign LORD lives."

Luke 1:73
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:

Galatians 3:15
Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.

Galatians 3:18
For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
Treasury of Scripture

For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself,

he sware.

Hebrews 6:16-18 For men truly swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation …

Genesis 22:15-18 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time…

Ezekiel 32:13 I will destroy also all the beasts thereof from beside the great …

Psalm 105:9,10 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath to Isaac…

Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, …

Jeremiah 22:5 But if you will not hear these words, I swear by myself, said the …

Jeremiah 49:13 For I have sworn by myself, said the LORD, that Bozrah shall become …

Micah 7:20 You will perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which …

Luke 1:73 The oath which he swore to our father Abraham,

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