Hebrews 11:37
Parallel Verses
New International Version
They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--

King James Bible
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

Darby Bible Translation
They were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, died by the death of the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, evil treated,

World English Bible
They were stoned. They were sawn apart. They were tempted. They were slain with the sword. They went around in sheep skins and in goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated

Young's Literal Translation
they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tried; in the killing of the sword they died; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins -- being destitute, afflicted, injuriously treated,

Hebrews 11:37 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

They were stoned - As Zechariah, the son of Barachiah or Jehoida, was, between the altar and the temple; see the account, 2 Chronicles 24:21; and See the notes on Matthew 23:35. And as Naboth the Jezreelite, who, on refusing to give up his father's inheritance to a covetous king, because it had respect to the promise of God, was falsely accused and stoned to death; 1 Kings 21:1-14.

They were sawn asunder - There is a tradition that the Prophet Isaiah was thus martyred. In Yevamoth, fol. 49, 2, it is thus written: "Manasseh slew Isaiah; for he commanded that he should be slain with a wooden saw. They then brought the saw, and cut him in two; and when the saw reached his mouth, his soul fled forth." St. Jerome and others mention the same thing; and among the Jews the tradition is indubitable.

Were tempted - Επειρασθησαν. I believe this word has vexed the critics more than any other in the New Testament. How being tempted can be ranked among the heavy sufferings of the primitive martyrs and confessors is not easy to discern, because to be tempted is the common lot of every godly man. This difficulty has induced learned men to mend the text by conjecture: Beza proposes επυρωθησαν, they were branded. Junius, Piscator, and others, propose επυρασθησαν, they were burnt alive. Gataker thinks επρησθησαν, a word of the same import, should be preferred. Tanaquil Faber gives the preference to επηρωθησαν, they were mutilated - had different parts of their bodies lopped off. Sir Norton Knatchbull contends for επαρθησαν, they were transfixed, or pierced through. Alberti thinks the original reading was εσπειρασθησαν, they were strangled. About as many more differences have been proposed by learned men, all bearing a very clear resemblance to the words now found in the Greek text. By three MSS. the word is entirely omitted; as also by the Syriac, Arabic of Erpen, the Ethiopic, and by Eusebius and Theophylact. Of all the conjectures, that of Knatchbull appears to me to be the most probable: they were transfixed or impaled; and even the present reading might be construed in this sense.

Were slain with the sword - As in the case of the eighty-five priests slain by Doeg, see 1 Samuel 22:18; and the prophets, of whose slaughter by the sword Elijah complains, 1 Kings 19:10. Probably the word means being beheaded, which was formerly done with a sword, and not with an axe; and in the east is done by the sword to the present day.

They wandered about in sheepskins - Μηλωταις Sheepskins dressed with the wool on. This was probably the sort of mantle that Elijah wore, and which was afterwards used by Elisha; for the Septuagint, in 2 Kings 2:8-13, expressly say: Και ελαβεν Ἡλιας την μηλωτην αὑτου· and Elijah took his Sheepskin (mantle.) Και ὑψωσε την μηλωτην Ἡλιου, ἡ επεσεν επανωθεν αὑτου· And he (Elisha) took the Sheepskin of Elijah which had fallen from off him. It was most probably on this account, as Dr. Macknight conjectures, that Elijah was called a hairy man, 2 Kings 1:8; and not on account of having a preposterously long beard, as those marrers of all the unities of time, place, circumstances, and common sense, the painters, represent him. And it is likely that the prophets themselves wore such garments, and that the false prophets imitated them in this, in order that they might gain the greater credit. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision - neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive, Zechariah 13:4; δερῥιν τριχινην, a hairy skin, Sept., probably the goatskins mentioned above. In general, this was an upper garment; but, in the cases to which the apostle alludes, the sheepskin and goatskin seem to have been the only covering.

Being destitute - Ὑστερουμενοι· In want of all the comforts and conveniences of life, and often of its necessaries.

Afflicted - In consequence of enduring such privations.

Tormented - Κακουχουμενοι· Maltreated, harassed, variously persecuted by those to whom they brought the message of salvation.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Kings 21:10,13-15 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, You did blaspheme God and the king...

2 Chronicles 24:21 And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.

Matthew 21:35 And the farmers took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you...

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kill the prophets, and stone them that are sent to you...

John 10:31-33 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him...

Acts 7:58,59 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul...

Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul...

2 Corinthians 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

were slain.

1 Samuel 22:17-19 And the king said to the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD: because their hand also is with David...

1 Kings 18:4,13 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave...

1 Kings 19:1,10,14 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and with how he had slain all the prophets with the sword...

Jeremiah 2:30 In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction: your own sword has devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.

Jeremiah 26:23 And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him to Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword...

Lamentations 4:13,14 For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the middle of her...

Matthew 23:35-37 That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth...

Luke 11:51-54 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: truly I say to you...

Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One...

Acts 12:2,3 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword...

in sheepskins.

2 Kings 1:8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

Matthew 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.

being destitute.

Hebrews 12:1-3 Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight...

Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried...

Matthew 8:20 And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has not where to lay his head.

1 Corinthians 4:9-13 For I think that God has set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle to the world...

2 Corinthians 11:23-27 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure...

2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake...

James 5:10,11 Take, my brothers, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience...

October 15. "Faith is the Evidence of Things not Seen" (Heb. xi. 1).
"Faith is the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. xi. 1). True faith drops its letter in the post-office box, and lets it go. Distrust holds on to a corner of it, and wonders that the answer never comes. I have some letters in my desk that have been written for weeks, but there was some slight uncertainty about the address or the contents, so they are yet unmailed. They have not done either me or anybody else any good yet. They will never accomplish anything until I let them go out of my hands and
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

January the First the Unknown Journey
"He went out not knowing whither he went." --HEBREWS xi. 6-10. Abram began his journey without any knowledge of his ultimate destination. He obeyed a noble impulse without any discernment of its consequences. He took "one step," and he did not "ask to see the distant scene." And that is faith, to do God's will here and now, quietly leaving the results to Him. Faith is not concerned with the entire chain; its devoted attention is fixed upon the immediate link. Faith is not knowledge of a moral
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

The Call of Abraham
I. First, let us LOOK AT ABRAHAM. Abraham's family was originally an idolatrous one; afterwards some beams of light shone in upon the household, and they became worshippers of the true God; but there was much ignorance mingled with their worship, and at least occasionally their old idolatrous habits returned. The Lord who had always fixed on Abraham to be his chosen servant and the father of his chosen people upon earth, made Abraham leave the society of his friends and relatives, and go out of Ur
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Go Back? Never!
"And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is an heavenly...city."--Hebrews 11:15, 16. ABRAHAM left his country at God's command, and he never went back again. The proof of faith lies in perseverance. There is a sort of faith which doth run well for a while, but it is soon ended, and it doth not obey the truth. The Apostle tells us, however, that the people of God were
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 61: 1915

Cross References
2 Samuel 12:31
and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

1 Kings 19:10
He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too."

1 Kings 19:13
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

1 Kings 19:19
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.

1 Kings 21:13
Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, "Naboth has cursed both God and the king." So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.

2 Kings 2:8
Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

2 Kings 2:13
Elisha then picked up Elijah's cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.

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