By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out…
Here he had a tent, but there he looked for a city; τὴν, for that city which alone deserves the name of a city. It excels all earthly cities. Aholiab and Bezaleel made the tabernacle, Hiram the temple; .carpenters and masons set up these cities; but God Himself is the Maker and Builder of this city. These cities may be overthrown by waters; the sea may come in tumbling and sweep them away; these towns and cities may be consumed with fire, there be burnings almost every day; these may be sacked with the enemy, and made even with the ground, as Jerusalem and the temple are, which were the wonder of the world; we may be driven by famine and pestilence out of those towns and cities. Howsoever they stand awhile, and we in them; the time shall come when the earth, with all the goodly buildings that be on it, shall be burned with fire. Therefore let us use these cities as we used them not. Let our hearts and affections be in this city, whose Maker and Builder is God. We have not here an abiding city. London is no abiding city; York, Norwich, no town is an abiding town. Death will give us a remove out of all towns. But in this city we shall abide for ever, and reign with Christ for evermore; therefore let us all long for it. He cloth not say that he believed there was such a city; but he looked for it (Judges 5:28). We look out of our windows on sights in the streets, gardens, orchards, etc., but not out of the windows of our hearts for this city. He that looks shortly for a new ,coat, will not be much in love with his old; for a fair house, will not care for a cottage. We look after our wool and cloth, houses, and lands, &c. Let us look daily for Christ's coming; that will put us in possession of this city.
(W. Jones, . D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.