Hebrews 11:26
Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
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(26) The reproach of Christ.—Better, The reproach of the Christ. Many explanations have been proposed of this remarkable phrase, some of which—as “reproach for Christ,” “reproach similar to that which Christ endured”—cannot possibly give the true meaning. The first point to be noted is that the words are almost exactly a quotation from one of the chief of the Messianic Psalms (Psalm 89:50-51)—“Remember, Lord, the reproach of Thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of many peoples: wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O Lord; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of Thine Anointed.” Here the writer in effect speaks of himself as bearing “the reproach of the Anointed” of the Lord; pleading in his name and identifying himself with his cause. “The Anointed” is the king who (see the Note on Hebrews 1:5) was the type of the promised Christ. Throughout the whole of their history the people of Israel were the people of the Christ. Their national existence originated in the promise to Abraham, which was a promise of the Christ; and till the fulness of time should come their mission was to prepare the way for Him. The reproach which Moses accepted by joining the people of the promise was, therefore, “the reproach of the Christ,” the type of that “reproach” which in later days His people will share with Him (Hebrews 13:13). He who was to appear in the last days as the Messiah was already in the midst of Israel (John 1:10). (See Psalm 69:9; Colossians 1:24; 1Peter 1:11; and the Note on 2Corinthians 1:5. Philippians 3:7-11 furnishes a noble illustration of this whole record.)

For he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.—Rather, for he looked unto the recompence (Hebrews 10:35). He habitually “looked away” from the treasures in Egypt, and fixed his eye on the heavenly reward.

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.Esteeming the reproach of Christ - Margin, "For;" that is, on account of Christ. This means either that he was willing to bear the reproaches incident to his belief that the Messiah would come, and that he gave up his fair prospects in Egypt with that expectation; or that he endured such reproaches as Christ suffered; or the apostle uses the expression as a sort of technical phrase, well understood in his time, to denote sufferings endured in the cause of religion. Christians at that time would naturally describe all sufferings on account of religion as endured in the cause of Christ; and Paul, therefore, may have used this phrase to denote sufferings in the cause of religion - meaning that Moses suffered what, when the apostle wrote, would be called "the reproaches of Christ." It is not easy, or perhaps possible, to determine which of these interpretations is the correct one, The most respectable names may be adduced in favour of each, and every reader must be left to adopt his own view of what is correct. The original will admit of either of them. The general idea is, that he would be reproached for the course which he pursued. He could not expect to leave the splendours of a court and undertake what he did, without subjecting himself to trials. He would be blamed by the Egyptians for his interference in freeing their "slaves," and in bringing so many calamities upon their country; and he would be exposed to ridicule for his folly in leaving his brilliant prospects at court, to become identified with an oppressed and despised people. It is rare that men are zealous in doing good without exposing themselves both to blame and to ridicule.

Greater riches - Worth more; of greater value. Reproach itself is not desirable; but reproach, when a man receives it in an effort to do good to others, is worth more to him than gold, 1 Peter 4:13-14. The scars which an old soldier has received in the defense of his country are more valued by him than his pension; and the reproach which a good man receives in endeavoring to save others is a subject of greater joy to him than would be all the wealth which could be gained in a life of sin.

Than the treasures in Egypt - It is implied here, that Moses had a prospect of inheriting large treasures in Egypt, and that he voluntarily gave them up to be the means of delivering his nation from bondage. Egypt abounded in wealth; and the adopted son of the daughter of the king would naturally be heir to a great estate.

For he had respect unto the recompense of the reward - The "recompense of the reward" here referred to must mean the blessedness of heaven - for he had no earthly reward to look to. He had no prospect of pleasure, or wealth, or honor, in his undertaking. If he had sought these, so far as human sagacity could foresee, he would have remained at the court of Pharaoh. The declaration here proves that it is right to have respect to the rewards of heaven in serving God. It does not prove that this was the only or the main motive which induced Moses to abandon his prospects at court; nor does it prove that this should be our main or only motive in leading a life of piety. If it were, our religion would be mere selfishness. But it is right that we should desire the rewards and joys of heaven, and that we should allow the prospect of those rewards and joys to influence us as a motive to do our duty to God, and to sustain us in our trials; compare Philippians 3:8-11, Philippians 3:13-14.

26. Esteeming—Inasmuch as he esteemed.

the reproach of Christ—that is, the reproach which falls on the Church, and which Christ regards as His own reproach, He being the Head, and the Church (both of the Old and New Testament) His body. Israel typified Christ; Israel's sufferings were Christ's sufferings (compare 2Co 1:5; Col 1:24). As uncircumcision was Egypt's reproach, so circumcision was the badge of Israel's expectation of Christ, which Moses especially cherished, and which the Gentiles reproached Israel on account of. Christ's people's reproach will ere long be their great glory.

had respect unto, &c.—Greek, "turning his eyes away from other considerations, he fixed them on the (eternal) recompense" (Heb 11:39, 40).

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: faith influenced and determined his former choice from the most excellent ground of it, the representation of these by the Divine inspired truth to him; it made him weigh and deliberate about the matters proposed, and then to judge, and positively determine about them: That the reproachful suffering of all sorts of afflictions, poverty, distresses, tortures, most ignominiously inflicted on them by their enemies for their faith in Christ, and expectation of him according to God’s promise, and who was now the Angel of the covenant that protected them, as well as their ancestor Jacob, Genesis 48:15,16: these Moses chose to suffer patiently, out of faith in and love to Christ; these, with what excellent things were to follow by virtue of God’s promise, he preferred as a better and richer estate, and infinitely more desirable, than all the treasures of honours and riches, which either Egypt or its king could oblige him with, the whole of them founded in the dust, disposed by flesh, fading in enjoyment, and ending in vanity. What are these treasures, compared to those laid up in store by Christ for his in heaven?

For he had respect unto the recompence of the reward: these were the things Moses had in his eye, the end of Christ’s reproach, and Egypt’s glory; this made him turn his eye and heart away from Egypt, and intently to look on the excellent issue of his reproachful sufferings for Christ, even Christ rendering to him his unexpressibly glorious and eternal reward for it, 2 Corinthians 4:17,18. This God had promised to, Christ had purchased for, such, who were by faith bearing his reproach, and qualified for the enjoying of it, Romans 8:17,18 2 Timothy 2:12 1 Peter 4:13,14.

Esteeming the reproach of Christ,.... That is, either Christ personal; meaning not any reproach that lay upon Christ, as the immediate object of it; nor upon the people of Israel for the delay of his coming; but rather for the sake of Christ: Christ was made known to the Old Testament saints, and they believed in him; he was typified by sacrifices which they offered; and they were reproached for his sake, for the sacrifices they offered, and for the worship they performed, for their faith in the Messiah, and their expectation of him: or this may be understood of Christ mystical, the church; called Christ, because of the union, communion, sympathy, and likeness there is between them, insomuch that what is done to the one, is done to the other: when the saints are reproached, Christ himself is reproached; and therefore all reproaches of this nature should be bore willingly, cheerfully, courageously, patiently, and constantly: and such Moses reckoned

greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; he counted reproach itself riches; that is, he esteemed that riches for which he was reproached, as Christ, his word, and ordinances, and communion with the saints in them; all which are comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; yea, are more valuable and desirable than thousands of gold and silver, or than the treasures in Egypt, which were very large; money, cattle, and lands coming into the hands of the king, through the seven years' famine in it, Genesis 47:14 and for which immense treasure, treasure cities were built, Exodus 1:11 which would have become Moses's, had he been Pharaoh's successor, to which he bid fair, before he discovered himself.

For he had respect unto the recompence of the reward; by which is meant, either the deliverance of the Israelites from their bondage, which he judged a sufficient recompence for all his afflictions and reproaches he endured, as the Apostle Paul did for the elect's sake, for the sake of Christ's body the church, Colossians 1:24 or the enjoyment of the land of Canaan, promised for an inheritance to the seed of Abraham; or the enjoyment of God's presence among his people, who is their shield, and exceeding great reward; or rather eternal glory, which is the reward of the inheritance, and is a reward of grace, and not of debt; this he had respect unto, looked for, and believed he should enjoy; so that his faith was of things unseen; and this caused him to prefer even afflictions with the saints, and reproaches for Christ, to all worldly riches and grandeur.

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Hebrews 11:26. Indication of cause for Hebrews 11:25, in such wise that ἡγησάμενος, Hebrews 11:26, is subordinated to the μᾶλλον ἑλόμενος, Hebrews 11:25.

τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ χριστοῦ] the reproach of Christ. That signifies not: the reproach for Christ’s sake, which he endured, namely, by virtue of the hope in the Messiah (Castellio, Wolf, Carpzov, Böhme, Kuinoel, Bloomfield, and others). For by the mere genitive this notion cannot be expressed. The sense is: the reproach, as Christ bore it, inasmuch, namely, as the reproach, which Moses took upon him to endure in fellowship with his oppressed people at the hand of the Egyptians, was in its nature homogeneous with the reproach which Christ afterwards had to endure at the hands of unbelievers, to the extent that in the one case as in the other the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom was the end and aim of the enduring. Comp. τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτοῦ φέροντες, Hebrews 13:13, and τὰ παθήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ 2 Corinthians 1:5; as also τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Χριστοῦ, Colossians 1:24.

ἀπέβλεπεν γὰρ εἰς τὴν μισθαποδοσίαν] for he looked stedfastly to the bestowal of the reward. The determining ground for his action.

ἀποβλέπειν in the N. T. only here.

ἡ μισθαποδοσία is the promised heavenly reward, the everlasting salvation; comp. Hebrews 11:39-40. Unsuitably does Grotius limit the expression to the promised possession of the land of Canaan.

26. the reproach of Christ] Rather, “of the Christ” (comp. Hebrews 13:13; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Romans 15:3; Php 3:7-11; Colossians 1:24). There may be in the words a reminiscence of Psalm 89:50-51, “Remember Lord the reproach of thy servants … wherewith thine enemies have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.” By “the reproach of the Christ” is meant “the reproach which He had to bear in His own person, and has to bear in that of His members” (2 Corinthians 1:5). It is true that in no other passage of the Epistle does the writer allude to the mystical oneness of Christ and his Church, but he must have been aware of that truth from intercourses with St Paul and knowledge of his writings. Other wise we must suppose him to imply that Moses by faith realised, at least dimly, that he was suffering as Christ would hereafter suffer.

he had respect unto] Lit. “for he was looking away from it to.” What Moses had in view was something wholly different from sinful pleasure. The verb is found here only in the N. T.

Hebrews 11:26. Τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ Χριστοῦ, the reproach of Christ) So ch. Hebrews 13:13. The expectation of Christ, which Moses had in so great a degree, was the centre of all the things on account of which both the Egyptians and all the Gentiles despised Israel, especially circumcision, of which the opposite, uncircumcision, is called the reproach of Egypt, where circumcision was unknown, Joshua 5:9 : and yet Moses did not for that reason desert the people.—ἀπέβλεπε) he looked far forward.—τὴν μισθαποδοσίαν, to the recompence of reward) which follows the reproach of Christ, is more magnificent than the treasures of Egypt, and to be expected by Moses and all the saints. A grand expression.

Hebrews 11:26Esteeming the reproach of Christ (ἡγησάμενος τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ Χριστοῦ)

The participle gives the reason for his choice of affliction instead of sin: since he esteemed. "The reproach of Christ" is the reproach peculiar to Christ; such as he endured. The writer uses it as a current form of expression, coloring the story of Moses with a Christian tinge. Comp. Romans 15:3; Hebrews 13:13; 2 Corinthians 1:5; Colossians 1:24; Philippians 3:14; 1 Peter 4:14. The phrase is applied to Moses as enduring at the hands of the Egyptians and of the rebellious Israelites the reproach which any faithful servant of God will endure, and which was endured in a notable way by Christ.

He had respect unto (ἀπέβλεπεν εἰς)

N.T.o. Lit. he looked away (from the treasures of Egypt, etc.) unto the recompense.

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