Hebrews 11:24
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Come to yearsi.e., grown up, “when he was full forty years old” (Acts 7:23). The words here used are taken from the Greek translation of Exodus 2:11, where we first read of Moses as openly Associating himself with his oppressed people. When Moses slew the Egyptian who was “smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren,” he in act “refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter,” and chose “to suffer Affliction with the people of God.” (See Exodus 2:15.)

Hebrews



THE FAITH OF MOSES


Hebrews 11:24-27I HAVE ventured to take these verses as a text, not with the idea of expounding their details, or even of touching many of the large questions which they raise, but for the sake of catching their general drift. They are the writer’s description of two significant instances in the life of the great Lawgiver of the power of faith. He deals with both in the same fashion. He first tells the act, then he analyses its spring in the state of feeling which produced it, and then he traces that state of feeling to certain external facts which were obvious to the faith of Moses. ‘The Great Refusal,’ by which he flung up his position at the court of Pharaoh, and chose to identify himself with his people, is the one. His flight from Egypt to the solitudes of Horeb is the other. The two acts are traced to the states of feeling or opinion in Moses. The former came from a choice and an estimate. ‘He chose to suffer with the people of God’; and he ‘esteemed the reproach... greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.’ The latter in like manner came from a state of feeling. He ‘forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king.’ What underlay the choice, the estimate, the courage? ‘He had respect,’ or more literally and forcibly, ‘he looked away to the recompense of the reward.’ He saw ‘Him who is invisible.’ So, an act of vision which disclosed him a future recompense and a present God was the basis of all. And from that act of vision there came states of mind which made it easy and natural to choose a lot of suffering and humiliation, and to turn away from all the glories and treasures and wrath of Egypt.

That is to say, we have here two things - what this man saw, and what the vision did for his life, and I wish to consider these two. The same sight is possible for us; and, if we have it, the same conduct will certainly follow.

I. Note then, first, what this man saw.

Two things, says the writer. ‘He looked away to the recompense of the reward,’ and he saw God. Now I need not remind you, I suppose, that these two objects of real vision correspond to the two elements of faith which the writer describes in the first verse of our chapter, where he says that it is ‘the substance of things hoped for’; to which corresponds ‘the recompense of the reward,’ and ‘the evidence of things not seen; to which answers Him who is invisible.’

Now, that conception of faith, as having mainly to do with the future and the unseen, is somewhat different superficially from the ordinary notion of faith, set forth in the New Testament, as being trust in Jesus Christ. But the difference is only superficial, and arises mainly from a variety in the prominence given to the elements which both conceptions have in common. For the faith which is trust in Jesus Christ is directed towards the unseen, and includes in itself the realisation of the future. And the faith which is vivid consciousness of the invisible world, and realisation of a coming retribution, finds them both most clearly and most surely in that Lord ‘in whom, though now we wee Him not, yet believing we rejoice,’ and anticipate the future ‘end of our faith’ even the salvation of our souls. So we may take these two points that emerge from our text, and look at them as containing for our present purpose a sufficient description of what our faith ought to do for us.

There must be, first, then, a vivid and resolute realisation of future retribution. Now, note that this same expression, a somewhat peculiar one, ‘the recompense of the reward,’ is found again in this letter in directly the opposite reference from that which it has here. In the second chapter of the Epistle we read that ‘every transgression and disobedience shall receive its just recompense of reward.’ Both recompense by punishment and by blessedness are included in the word, so that its meaning is the exact requital of good or evil by a sovereign judge.

And that is the very purpose which faith has for one of its chief functions, to burn in the conviction on our slothful minds - that all that is round about us is at once cause and consequence; that life is a network of issues of past actions, and of progenitors of future ones; that nothing that a man does ever dies; that

‘Through his soul the echoes roll,

And grow for ever and for ever’


that ‘whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.’ Character is the result of actions. Condition is largely, if not altogether, dependent upon conduct and upon character. And, just as the sandstone cliffs were laid down grain by grain by an evaporated ocean, and stand eternal when the waters have all vanished, so whatever else you and I are making of, and in, our lives, we are making permanent cliffs of character which will remain when all the waves of time have foamed themselves away.

That process, which is going on moment by moment all through our lives, Christian faith follows beyond the grave. It works right up to the edge of the grave as everybody can see, and many a man’s last harvest of the seed that he sowed to the flesh is his, when laid a Corrupted corpse into his coffin. But does it stop there? The world may say, ‘We know not.’ Christian faith overleaps the gulf and sees the process going on more intensely and unhindered in the life yonder. We are like signalmen in their isolated boxes. They pull a lever, and the points a quarter of a mile away are shifted. The man does not see what he has done, but he has done it all the same. And when his time for travelling comes, he will find that he has determined the course on which he must run by the actions that were done here.

And so, brethren, this conviction, not merely as being a selfish looking for a peaceful and blessed heaven, as some people try to vulgarise the conception, but as being the thrilling consciousness that every deed has its issues, and is to be done, or refrained from, in view of these, this is what is meant by the word of my text: ‘he looked away’ to the recompense of reward.

Now remember that such a vision clear and definite before a man, substantial and solid and continuous enough to become a formative power in his life, and even to determine its main direction, is only realisable as the result of very special and continuous effort. The writer of the letter employs a singular and a strong word, which I have tried to English by the phrase ‘looking off unto the recompense.’ He turned away by a determined effort of resolution, averting his gaze from other things in order to fix it on the far off thing. One use of the tube of the telescope is to shut out cross lights, and concentrate the vision on the far off object, looked at undisturbed. Unless we can thus shut off on either side these dazzling and bewildering brilliances that dance and flicker round us, we shall never see clearly that solemn future and all its infinite possibilities of sorrow or of blessedness. The eye that is focused to look at the things on the earth cannot see the stars. When the look-out man at the bow wants to make sure whether that white flash on the horizon is a sun-smitten sail or a breaker, he knits his brows and shades his eyes with his hand, and concentrates his steady gaze till he sees. And you and I have to do that, or the most real things in the universe, away yonder in the extreme distance, will be problematical and questionable to us. Oh, brother! our Christian lives would be altogether different if we made the resolve and kept it, to fix our gaze on ‘the recompense of the reward.’

Then the next thing that this man saw, says my text, was ‘Him who is invisible.’

Now I do not suppose that there is any reference there to the miraculous manifestations of a divine presence which were given to the lawgiver, for these came long after the incidents which are being dealt with in my text. True! he saw God face to face amidst the solitudes and the sanctities of Sinai. But that is not at all what the writer is thinking about here. He is thinking about the vision which was given to Moses, in no other fashion than it may be given to us, if we will have it, the sight of God to the ‘inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude,’ and ministers strength to our lives, in solitude or in society. The conscious realisation of God’s presence in our minds and hearts and wills, and the whole trembling and yet rejoicing inner man, aware that God is near, are what is meant by this vision of Him. The realisation of His presence continually, the sight of Him in nature, so that every bush burns with a visible deity, and every cloud is the pillar in which He moves for guidance, the realisation of His presence, in history, in society, operating all changes and working round us, and in us, and on us - this is the highest result of a true religious faith.

And it is worthy to be called sight. For not the vision of the eye is the source of the truest certitude, but the vision of the inward spirit. A man may be surer of God than he is of the material universe that he touches and handles and beholds. The vision that a trustful heart has of God is as real, as direct, and, I venture to say, more assured, than the knowledge which is brought to us through sense.

And such a vision ought to be, and will be if we are right, no disturbing or unwelcome thought, but a delight and a strength. A prisoner in a solitary cell sometimes goes mad because he knows that somewhere in its walls there is a peep-hole at which, at any moment, the eye of a gaoler may be on the watch. But the loving heart that yearns after God has nothing but joy in the otherwise awful thought, ‘If I take the wings of the morning, Thou art there. If I fly to the uttermost parts of the west, there I meet Thee.’ ‘If I make my bed in the grave, Thou art there. Thou hast beset me behind and before.’ Brethren, either our ghastliest doubt or our deepest joy is, ‘Thou, God, seest me.’ ‘When I awake I am still with Thee.’

II. And now, secondly, notice what the vision did for this man.

I cannot do more than touch very lightly upon the various points that are involved here. But I would have you notice in general that the writer masses the enemies of a noble life, which Moses overcame by this sight, in three general classes - pleasures, treasures, dangers. The faith of Moses lifted him above ignoble pleasures, saved him from coveting fleeting possessions, armed him against mere corporeal perils. And these three - delights, rules, dangers, may be roughly said to be the triple-headed Cerberus that bars our way. Let us look how the vision will help to overcome them all.

This sight will take the brightness out of ignoble and fleeting pleasures. Moses had the ball at his foot, Jewish legends tell us that the very crown was intended to be placed on his head. However that may be, a life of luxurious ease, of command over men, accompanied by the half deification which in old days hedged a king, were his for the taking; and he turned from them all. He did not choose suffering: but he chose to be identified with the people of God, though he knew that thereby he was electing a life of sorrow and of pain. The world has seen no nobler act than that when he passed through the gates of Pharaoh’s palace, the fragments of whose glorious architecture we still wonder at, and housed himself in the dark reed huts where the slaves dwelt.

Now that same spirit, both in regard to choice and to estimate, must be ours, and will be ours, if we have any depth and reality of vision of the recompense and of the invisible God. For if you once let the light of these two solemn thoughts in upon the delights of earth, how poor and paltry, how coarse and ignoble, they look! Did you ever see the scenes of a theatre by daylight? What daubs; what rents; what coarse work! Let the light of the ‘recompense’ and of God in upon earthly delights, and how they shrivel, and dwindle, and disappear! Ah, brethren! if we would only bring our earthly desires to the touchstone of these two great thoughts, we should find that many a thing that holds us would slacken its grasp, and the fair forms, with their tiny harps, and their sweet songs that tempt us on the flowery island, would be seen for what they are - ravenous monsters whose guests are in the depths of hell. ‘He had respect to the recompense of the reward,’ and spurned ignoble pleasures. If you see the things that are, you will not be tempted with the things that seem.

And then, further, such a vision will help us to appraise at their true value earthly possessions.. I cannot enter upon the question of what the writer means precisely by that singular phrase, attributing to Moses ‘the reproach of Christ.’ Whether it implies the reproach borne for Christ, or like Christ, or by Christ, all which interpretations are possible, and have been suggested, need not concern us now. The point is that the twofold vision of which the writer is speaking, let in upon worldly possessions, reveals their emptiness and dressiness, as compared with the true riches.

There are old stories of men who in the night received from fairy hands gifts of gold in some cave, and when the daylight came upon them what had seemed to be gold and jewels was a bundle of withered leaves and red berries, already half corrupted and altogether worthless. There are many things that the world counts very precious which are lille the fairy’s gold. Nothing that can be taken from a man really belongs to him. The only real riches, corresponder with his necessities, are those which, once possessed, are inseparable from his being, the riches of an indwelling God, and of a nature conformed to His.

And that effect of the vision of the unseen and the future, as bringing down to their true value all the wealth of Egypt and of the world, is a lesson which no man needs more than do we whose lives, and habits of thinking, are passed and formed in a commercial community, in which success means a fortune, and failure means poverty; in which the poor are tempted to look upon the possession of wealth as the only thing to be coveted, and the rich are tempted to look upon it as the one thing to be rejoiced over. Let the light of the future, and of God, ever shine upon your estimates of the worth of the world’s wealth.

Lastly, such a vision will arm a man against all perils. I take it that ‘forsaking Egypt’ in my text refers to Moses’ flight to Horeb. Now, in the book of Exodus that flight is traced to his fear. In my text it is traced to his courage. So, then, there may dwell in one heart fearing and not fearing. There may be dread, as there was with Moses, sufficient to impel him to flight, though not sufficient to induce him to abandon the purpose which made flight necessary. He was afraid enough to shelter himself. He was not afraid enough, by reason of dangers and difficulties, to fling up his mission. That is to say, the vision will not take away from a man natural tremors, nor will it blind him to real dangers and difficulties, but it will steady his resolve, and make him determined, though he may have to bow before the blast, to yield no jot of his convictions, nor fling away any of his confidence. He will flee to Horeb, if need be, but he will not cease to labour for the redemption of Israel If we put our trust in God, and live in the continual realisation of future retribution, then, whilst we may prudently adapt our course so as to find a smooth bit of road to walk on, and to avoid dangers which may threaten, we shall never let these either shake our confidence in God, or alter our conviction of what He requires from us.

So I gather up all that I have been trying to say in the one word - the true way to make life noble is the old way, the way of faith. The sight of God, the vision of judgment will make earth’s pleasures paltry, earth’s treasures dross, earth’s dangers contemptible. The way to secure that ennobling and strengthening vision to attend us everywhere, is to keep near to Jesus Christ, and to fix our hearts on Him. In communion with Him pleasures that perish will woo in vain, and possessions from which we must part will lose their worth, and perils that touch the body will cease to terrify; and through faith ‘we shall be more than conquerors in Him that loved us.’Hebrews 11:24-26. By faith Moses — None in the old world was more signalized by Providence in his birth, education, and actions, than Moses; hence his renown was both then and ever after very great; when he was come to years Μεγας γενομενος, when he became great; Syriac, when he was a man. The word may respect either state and condition, or time of life and stature. To become great, is in Scripture and common speech, to become so in wealth, honour, or power, and so Moses was become great in the court of Pharaoh; and hence the greatness of his self-denial here commended. But although this is true, and is a circumstance which greatly commends his faith, yet it is not primarily intended in this expression; for having declared the faith of his parents, and the providence of God toward him in his infancy, in the foregoing verse, the apostle here shows what his own disposition and practice was, after he was grown up to years of understanding. The expression is the same with that used by the LXX. Exodus 2:11, where we read, In those days when Moses was grown. The time referred to seems to have been that mentioned by Stephen, Acts 7:7, when he left the court of Pharaoh, and visited his brethren, being learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and full forty years old; refused to be called — Any longer, as he had before been; the son of Pharaoh’s daughter — It is not said in the history that Moses made this refusal formally, but he did it in effect by his actions; he boldly professed himself an Israelite, and interposed to vindicate his brethren from their oppression; at the same time leaving Pharaoh’s court, and (after killing the Egyptian who had smitten a Hebrew) fleeing into the land of Midian. And though he afterward returned to Egypt, he did not reside with Pharaoh’s daughter as formerly, but went among his afflicted brethren, and never afterward forsook them; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God — Greek, συγκακουχνεισθαι, to be evil entreated, or pressed with things evil and grievous. What the afflictions and sufferings of the people of God were at that time in Egypt is well known: but it does not appear that it was required of Moses to work in the kilns and furnaces with his brethren; but considering their woful condition he sympathized with them, and was willing to suffer with them whatever they might be exposed to in the course of divine providence. To account for this exercise of faith in Moses; we must suppose that in his childhood and youth he had often conversed with his parents and with the Israelites, of whom he knew himself to be one by his circumcision; and that they had given him the knowledge of the true God, the God of their fathers, and of the promises which God had made to their nation as his people. Than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season Προσκαιρον εχειν αμαρτιας απολαυσιν, literally, to have the temporary fruition, or enjoyment of sin. The enjoyment of sin is therefore said to be temporary, or for a season, because it is subject to a thousand interruptions and reverses in this life, unavoidably ends with it, and is followed, if repentance prevent not, with everlasting misery. Thus were things truly represented to the thoughts of Moses; he did not shut his eyes on calamities to be endured on the one hand, nor suffer himself to be imposed upon by flattering appearances on the other. He omitted no circumstance that might produce a right choice. He considered the worst thing belonging to the people of God, which is their affliction, and the best of the world, which is but the vanishing pleasure of sin; and he preferred the worst of the one above the best of the other. Esteeming the reproach of Christ — So he terms the infamy that he was or might be exposed to, by acknowledging himself one of the Israelites, whom Christ had been pleased to take under his special protection. Or he may mean the scoffs cast on the Israelites for expecting the Messiah to arise among them: greater riches than the treasures of Egypt — Though then a very opulent kingdom. It is here intimated, that if Moses had continued in the court of Egypt, as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he might have had the free use of the king’s treasures, and therewith might have procured to himself every sensual enjoyment. For he had respect unto — Απεβλεπε, he looked off, from all those perishing treasures, and beyond all those temporal hardships; unto the recompense of reward — Not to an inheritance in Canaan: he had no warrant from God to look for this, nor did he ever attain it; but what his believing ancestors looked for, a future state of happiness in heaven.11:20-31 Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come. Things present are not the best things; no man knoweth love or hatred by having them or wanting them. Jacob lived by faith, and he died by faith, and in faith. Though the grace of faith is of use always through our whole lives, it is especially so when we come to die. Faith has a great work to do at last, to help the believer to die to the Lord, so as to honour him, by patience, hope, and joy. Joseph was tried by temptations to sin, by persecution for keeping his integrity; and he was tried by honours and power in the court of Pharaoh, yet his faith carried him through. It is a great mercy to be free from wicked laws and edicts; but when we are not so, we must use all lawful means for our security. In this faith of Moses' parents there was a mixture of unbelief, but God was pleased to overlook it. Faith gives strength against the sinful, slavish fear of men; it sets God before the soul, shows the vanity of the creature, and that all must give way to the will and power of God. The pleasures of sin are, and will be, but short; they must end either in speedy repentance or in speedy ruin. The pleasures of this world are for the most part the pleasures of sin; they are always so when we cannot enjoy them without deserting God and his people. Suffering is to be chosen rather than sin; there being more evil in the least sin, than there can be in the greatest suffering. God's people are, and always have been, a reproached people. Christ accounts himself reproached in their reproaches; and thus they become greater riches than the treasures of the richest empire in the world. Moses made his choice when ripe for judgment and enjoyment, able to know what he did, and why he did it. It is needful for persons to be seriously religious; to despise the world, when most capable of relishing and enjoying it. Believers may and ought to have respect to the recompence of reward. By faith we may be fully sure of God's providence, and of his gracious and powerful presence with us. Such a sight of God will enable believers to keep on to the end, whatever they may meet in the way. It is not owing to our own righteousness, or best performances, that we are saved from the wrath of God; but to the blood of Christ, and his imputed righteousness. True faith makes sin bitter to the soul, even while it receives the pardon and atonement. All our spiritual privileges on earth, should quicken us in our way to heaven. The Lord will make even Babylon fall before the faith of his people, and when he has some great thing to do for them, he raises up great and strong faith in them. A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God; and is willing to fare as they fare. By her works Rahab declared herself to be just. That she was not justified by her works appears plainly; because the work she did was faulty in the manner, and not perfectly good, therefore it could not be answerable to the perfect justice or righteousness of God.By faith Moses - He had confidence in God when he called him to be the leader of his people. He believed that he was able to deliver them, and he so trusted in him that he was willing at his command to forego the splendid prospects which opened before him in Egypt. "When he was come to years." Greek "being great;" that is, when he was grown up to manhood. He was at that time forty years of age; see the notes on Acts 7:23. He took this step, therefore, in the full maturity of his judgment, and when there was no danger of being influenced by the ardent passions of youth.

Refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter - When saved from the ark in which he was placed on the Nile, he was brought up for the daughter of Pharaoh; Exodus 2:9. He seems to have been adopted by her, and trained up as her own son. What prospects this opened before him is not certainly known. There is no probability that he would he the heir to the crown of Egypt, as is often affirmed, for there is no proof that the crown descended in the line of daughters; nor if it did, is there any probability that it would descend on an adopted son of a daughter. But his situation could not but be regarded as highly honorable, and as attended with great advantages. It gave him the opportunity of receiving the best education which the times and country afforded - an opportunity of which he seems to have availed himself to the utmost; notes, Acts 7:22. It would doubtless be connected with important offices in the state. It furnished the opportunity of a life of ease and pleasure - such as they commonly delight in who reside at courts. And it doubtless opened before him the prospect of wealth - for there is no improbability in supposing that he would be the heir of the daughter of a rich monarch. Yet all this, it is said, he "refused." There is indeed no express mention made of his formaliy and openly refusing it, but his leaving the court, and identifying himself with his oppressed countrymen, was in fact a refusal of these high honors, and of these brilliant prospects. It is not impossible that when he became acquainted with his real history, there was some open and decided refusal on his part, to be regarded as the son of the daughter of this pagan monarch.

24. So far from faith being opposed to Moses, he was an eminent example of it [Bengel].

refused—in believing self-denial, when he might possibly have succeeded at last to the throne of Egypt. Thermutis, Pharaoh's daughter, according to the tradition which Paul under the Spirit sanctions, adopted him, as Josephus says, with the consent of the king. Josephus states that when a child, he threw on the ground the diadem put on him in jest, a presage of his subsequent formal rejection of Thermutis' adoption of him. Faith made him to prefer the adoption of the King of kings, unseen, and so to choose (Heb 11:25, 26) things, the very last which flesh and blood relish.

Moses himself was as eminent a believer as his parents, and a mighty instance of Divine faith. He who was so named and saved by the enemies of the church, and adopted as a son to a notorious one of them, yet being great in age and stature, full forty, Exodus 3:11 Acts 7:23, past the folly of childhood and rashness of youth, upon manly deliberation and a rational exercise of faith, notwithstanding he was by birth a poor Israelite, and saved from perisihing by a princess, the daughter of a potent king; nourished through her indulgence by his own mother, adopted as her own son, educated by her in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, preferred, owned, and honoured as her son, and might have been in a fair way to have succeeded to the kingdom; yet, not out of any disingenuity, or base ingratitude to his eminent preserver, but out of a Divine faith, he layeth down all his titles and honours, and renounceth his relation, for the enjoyment of a better title with, and a greater good in, God; and this he manifested by word and deed in his after transactions, Hebrews 11:25. By faith Moses, when he was come to years,.... Or "was great"; a nobleman in Pharaoh's court; or when he was arrived to great knowledge, being learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; or rather when he was well advanced in years, being full forty years of age, Acts 7:22

refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; by whom Moses was taken up out of the water; by whom he was named, and provided for; she reckoned him as her own son, and designed him for Pharaoh's successor, as Josephus reports (l): he refused all this honour, both in words, and by facts; he denied that he was the son of Pharaoh's daughter, as the words will bear to be rendered; for to be "called", often signifies only to "be"; and by taking part with the Israelites, and against the Egyptians, he plainly declared that his descent was from the former, and not the latter: and this discovered great faith; and showed that he preferred being called an Israelite to any earthly adoption, and the care of the church, and people of God, to his own worldly honour and interest; and that he believed the promises of God, before the flatteries of a court; and esteemed afflictions and reproaches, with the people of God, and for his sake, better than sinful pleasures, and earthly riches, as in the following words. Of Pharaoh's daughter; see Gill on Acts 7:21.

(l) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 9. sect. 7.

By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 11:24-26. Progress from the child Moses to the adult Moses. μἑγας γενόμενος, namely, corresponds (comp. Exodus 2:11) to the γεννηθείς, Hebrews 11:23, and μέγας is to be understood not of worldly power and honour (Schulz, Bretschneider), but of being grown up. Comp. Hebrews 8:11; LXX. Genesis 38:11; Genesis 38:14; Hom. Od. ii. 314, xviii. 217, xix. 532.

ἠρνήσατο λέγεσθαι] refused or disdained to be called.

θυγατρός] not τῆς θυγατρός is placed (as Exodus 2:5 ff.), since the author combines θυγατρός with Φαραώ into one single (more general) notion: of a Pharaoh’s daughter, i.e. of an Egyptian royal princess.24. refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter] He refused the rank of an Egyptian prince. The reference is to the Jewish legends which were rich in details about the infancy and youth of Moses. See Jos. Antt. ii. ix–xi.; Philo, Opp. ii. 82; Stanley, Lect. on Jewish Church. The only reference to the matter in Scripture is in Exodus 2:10; Acts 7:22-25.Hebrews 11:24. Πίστει Μωϋσῆς, by faith, Moses) So far from faith being opposed to Moses, he was an eminent example of it. The name of Moses is repeated, because in Hebrews 11:23 the apostle is speaking of the faith of his parents, here of his own. Concerning the use of this observation, look, if you are at leisure, at the Apparatus, p. 725 [Ed. 11. p. 418].—μέγας γενόμενος) So the LXX., Exodus 2:11.—ἠρνήσατο, refused) An instance of great self-denial.Verses 24-26. - By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in (or, of) Egypt; for he had respect unto (literally, looked away to) the recompense of reward. As in the speech of Stephen (Acts 7.), so here, the narrative in Exodus is supplemented from tradition, such as is found also in Philo. Moses' refusal to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, i.e. his renunciation of his position in the court in order to associate himself with his oppressed fellow-countrymen, is not mentioned in the original history, though it is consistent with it, and indeed implied. St. Stephen further regards his taking the part of the Israelite against the Egyptian (Exodus 2:11-13) as a sign that he was already conscious of his mission, and hoped even then to rouse his countrymen to make a struggle for freedom. The reproach he subjected himself to by thus preferring the patriot's to the courtier's life is here called "the reproach of Christ." How so? Chrysostom takes the expression to mean only the same kind of reproach as Christ was afterwards subjected to, in respect of his being scorned, and his Divine mission disbelieved, by those whom he came to save. But, if the expression had been used with respect to Christian's suffering for the faith (as it is below, Hebrews 13:13), it would certainly imply more than this; viz. a participation in Christ's own reproach, not merely a reproach like his. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 1:5, τὰ παθήματα τοῦ Ξριστοῦ, and Colossians 1:24, τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Ξριστοῦ, where there is the further idea expressed of Christ himself suffering in his members.) And such being the idea which the phrase in itself would at once convey to Christian readers, and especially as the very same is used below (Hebrews 13:13) with reference to Christians, it must surely be somehow involved in this passage. But how so, we ask again, in the case of Moses? To get at the idea of the phrase we must bear in mind the view of the Old and New Testaments being but two parts of one Divine dispensation. The Exodus was thus not only typical of the deliverance through Christ, but also a step towards it, a preparation for it, a link in the divinely ordered chain of events leading up to the great redemption. Hence, in the first place, the reproach endured by Moses in furtherance of the Exodus may be regarded as endured at any rate for the sake of Christ, i.e. in his cause whose coming was the end and purpose of the whole dispensation. And further, inasmuch as Christ is elsewhere spoken of as the Head of the whole mystical body of his people in all ages - all to be gathered together at last in him - he may be regarded, even before his incarnation, as himself reproached in the reproach of his servant Moses. Compare the view, presented in Hebrews 3, of the Son being Lord of the "house" in which Moses was a servant, and the comprehensive sense of "God's house" implied in that passage. Nor should we leave out of consideration the identification, maintained by the Fathers generally (see Bull, 'Def. Fid. Nic.,' I. 1.), of the Angel of the Pentateuch, of him who revealed himself to Moses as I AM from the bush, with the Second Person of the holy Trinity, the Word who became incarnate in Christ. (Cf. John 1:1-15; also John 8:58, read in connection with Exodus 3:14; and 1 Corinthians 10:4, where the spiritual rock that followed the children of Israel in the wilderness is said to have been Christ.) Whatever, however, be the exact import of the expression, "reproach of Christ," in its application to Moses, it is evidently selected here with the view of bringing his example home to the readers of the Epistle, by thus intimating that his faith's trial was essentially the same as theirs. When he was come to years (μέγας γενόμενος)

Lit. having become great. Comp. lxx, Exodus 2:11. Often in the phrase μικροὶ καὶ μεγάλοι small and great; young and old. See Acts 26:22; Hebrews 8:11; Revelation 11:8; Revelation 13:16, etc.

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