Hebrews 11:11 - And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing... (2024)

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11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[a] considered him faithful who had made the promise.

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Hebrews 11:11 in Other Translations


11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.


11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.


11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.


11 By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said.


11 By faith even Sarah herself, when she was barren, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.

Hebrews 11:11 Meaning and Commentary

Hebrews 11:11

Through faith also Sarah herself
Some copies add "being barren"; and so read the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions; which is a circ*mstance which makes her faith appear the greater: but it is a question whether the apostle speaks of the faith of Sarah, or of Abraham; some think he speaks of Abraham's faith; and that it was through his faith that Sarah conceived; and observe, that the last clause may be rendered, "because he judged him faithful" and the rather, because the apostle, both before and after, is speaking of Abraham's faith, ( Hebrews 11:8-10 Hebrews 11:17 ) . And in ( Hebrews 11:12 ) mention is made only of one, even of Abraham; and in ( Romans 4:17 ) only notice is taken of Abraham's faith, respecting this matter; nor is Sarah's faith observed in the history of it, but her diffidence: but why may not Sarah be joined with Abraham, in this commendation, as well as Isaac and Jacob? and though, at first, she distrusted, yet she afterwards feared, and believed: other women are mentioned in this catalogue of believers; and they share in the same grace and privileges as men: and Sarah, being a believer, as well as Abraham,

received strength to conceive seed:
sometimes "strength" itself signifies seed, as in ( Proverbs 31:3 ) and so to receive strength is to receive seed; which the female does from the male; hence that saying of the Jews F20, the male does not receive strength from another, but the female (xk tlbqm) "receiveth strength" from another; but here it is to be understood of receiving power from God to retain seed, received from men, and conceive by it; which Sarah, in her circ*mstances, without the interposition of the almighty power, could never have done. The nymph Anobret is so called, in imitation of this conception of Sarah's; or as she is called in the Phoenician language, (trbne Nx) , which signifies "conceiving by grace": as this conception must be entirely ascribed to the power and grace of God:

and was delivered of a child when she was past age;
of bearing and bringing forth children, being ninety years of age, ( Genesis 17:17 ) . Now though the conception, bearing, and bringing forth of children are things natural, ordinary, and common, yet here was a particular promise respecting this matter; and there were great difficulties in nature attending it, and such as to reason were insuperable; but these were got over, through the power and grace of God, and which is ascribed to faith in the faithfulness of a promising God:

because she judged him faithful who had promised;
that she should have a son at the time of life; (See Gill on Hebrews 10:23).


F20 Caphtor, fol. 21. 2.

Taken from John Gill's Exposition of the Bible

Hebrews 11:11 In-Context

9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.

12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

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Cross References 3

  • 1. Genesis 17:17-19; Genesis 18:11-14
  • 2. Genesis 21:2
  • 3. S 1 Corinthians 1:9

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "By faith Abraham, even though he was too old to have children—and Sarah herself was not able to conceive—was enabled to become a father because he"

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.

Hebrews 11:11 - And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing... (2024)
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