Hebrews 11:8-19  -  Abraham


When called to go, Abraham went.

When told to live in a foreign land that was promised to him, Abraham lived in tents

When promised an heir, Abraham believed.

When asked to offer his son, Abraham obeyed

When it was time to die, Abraham was still waiting.

His son and grandson also lived and died waiting.


When God calls you to go or give and you obey.

Then God will call you to go further and give again.

We live by faith.


Abraham Waited

Hebrews 6:13 - Abraham mentioned as having faith and waiting patiently

Acts7:2-5 – Stephen makes it clear that Abraham lived as a pilgrim



Abraham’s Faith Led to Obedience

Obedience to go to the land came first.   

Then the promise was given and continued to Isaac because Abraham obeyed.  See Genesis 26:5


The promise of the inheritance:

  • came after Abraham had returned from Egypt in Gen 13:14-17.
  • Confirmed when the heir was promised in Gen. 15:18-21
  • Confirmed again at the covenant of circumcision in Gen. 17:8.


God did not make a promise of the inheritance until after Abram had obeyed the call and went into the land.



Abraham received the promise of an inheritance after he obeyed.

Yet, the promise was never fulfilled in his life.

He lived like a stranger in a foreign land in tents.


Abraham received Isaac but only as a means of passing the unfulfilled promise onto.

Likewise, Isaac received Jacob while living in tents in a foreign land and handed down the promise.



The key to their ability to endure and wait:


εξεδεχετο    γαρ      την       τους       θεμελιους       εχουσαν       πολιν        ης

he expected       for          the            the           foundations           having               city            of which


τεχνιτης      και          δημιουργος                 ο θεος

craftsman              and               maker                               God


εξεδεχετο  he was looking forward to (NIV)” means to await expectantly.  This preposition in compound means to be ready, to be prepared to deal with the situation.


τεχνιτης “architect (NIV)” means craftsman, artificer, designer, maker. 


δημιουργος “builder (NIV)” means public workman, constructor, maker. 

  • Taken from demos and ergon
    • “demos” means “people”
    • “ergon” means “work, labor, doing”
  • This is a word used an ancient papyrus written by Christians to identify Jesus Christ as the Creator of all things.


“technites” refers to the plan
”demiourgos” refers to the execution of the plan.


Abraham was looking forward to the eternal city.

Abraham was not looking forward to:

  • Canaan
  • Ur
  • The earthly city of Jerusalem


This city is mentioned in:

  • Psalm 87
  • Galatians 4:26
  • Philippians 3:20
  • Hebrews 12:22
  • Hebrews 13:14
  • Revelation 21:1-27


The Dead Sea scrolls called Mt. Zion New Jerusalem



Reasons for Abraham and not Sarah:

  1. Sarah is a poor example of faith.  She laughed when told of Isaac’s birth.
  2. Abraham and his faith are the focus of verses before 11:11 and then again in 11:12.
  3. The entire Genesis account is about Abraham’s faith.  Not Sarah’s.
  4. Paul uses the same story of Isaac’s birth in Rom. 4:20 as an example of Abraham’s faith.
  5. The phrase “katabolen spermatos” translated “to conceive seed” instead refers to the father’s part and literally means “for the deposition of seed”.