Promises To Old Testament Believers

Q. In regards to Hebrews 11:13, whom does ‘all these’ refer to, for Enoch did not die, and which promises did they not receive? is this related to the promise in verse 39? Thanks for the great insights you share on this website.

A. Hebrews 11:13 says, “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. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”

It’s intended as a general statement, separating Old Testament believers from the Church. The main promise they hadn’t received was that of a redeemer who would come to save them from their sins. They didn’t belong on Earth but they could not gain admittance into heaven because Jesus had not come yet.

Instead they went to a place of comfort (Paradise) to await the Lord’s death and resurrection. Verse 39 says that only when the Church has come into our inheritance can they receive the full reward for their faith, which is a bodily resurrection from the dead to dwell on Earth during the Millennium. This will happen for Old Testament believers at the time of the second coming (Daniel 12:1-2).

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