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.
6. without—Greek, "apart from faith": if one be destitute of faith (compare Ro 14:23).
to please—Translate, as Alford does, the Greek aorist, "It is impossible to please God at all" (Ro 8:8). Natural amiabilities and "works done before the grace of Christ are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ; yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin" [Article XIII, Book of Common Prayer]. Works not rooted in God are splendid sins [Augustine].
he that cometh to God—as a worshipper (Heb 7:19).
must believe—once for all: Greek aorist tense.
that God is—is the true self-existing Jehovah (as contrasted with all so-called gods, not gods, Ga 4:8), the source of all being, though he sees Him not (Heb 11:1) as being "invisible" (Heb 11:27). So Enoch; this passage implies that he had not been favored with visible appearances of God, yet he believed in God's being, and in God's moral government, as the Rewarder of His diligent worshippers, in opposition to antediluvian skepticism. Also Moses was not so favored before he left Egypt the first time (Heb 11:27); still he believed.
and … is—a different Greek verb from the former "is." Translate, "is eventually"; proves to be; literally, "becomes."
rewarder—renderer of reward [Alford]. So God proved to be to Enoch. The reward is God Himself diligently "sought" and "walked with" in partial communion here, and to be fully enjoyed hereafter. Compare Ge 15:1, "I am thy exceeding great reward."
of them—and them only.
diligently seek—Greek, "seek out" God. Compare "seek early," Pr 8:17. Not only "ask" and "seek," but "knock," Mt 7:7; compare Heb 11:12; Lu 13:24, "Strive" as in an agony of contest.