Hebrews 11:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 11:27, NIV: By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:27, ESV: By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:27, KJV: By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:27, NASB: By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he persevered, as though seeing Him who is unseen.

Hebrews 11:27, NLT: It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.

Hebrews 11:27, CSB: By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king's anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees him who is invisible.

What does Hebrews 11:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse represents a transition with respect to Moses, one easily missed when the verse is taken out of its immediate context. Earlier, the book of Hebrews defined godly faith as a trusting, forward-looking reliance on God, in spite of our own ignorance, producing obedience (Hebrews 11:1–3). Moses' story was held up as one such example of that kind of faith. Specifically, Moses chose to identify with his birth people, the persecuted nation of Israel, instead of his adoptive people, the rich but wicked Egyptians (Hebrews 11:24–26). That willingness to value God's promises more than earthly wealth is credited to Moses as the kind of forward-looking faith God requires (Hebrews 11:10–16).

Here, the text mentions Moses "leaving" Egypt. This could be taken one of two ways—the first being a reference to Moses' initial departure from Egypt, fleeing after killing an abusive slaver who was beating a fellow Israeli (Exodus 2:11–15). That, however, is not what this verse references. Instead, the "leaving" mentioned here is that of the Exodus itself. Moses' role in leading Israel out of slavery in Egypt required him to face the wrath of the Pharaoh. Instead of shrinking from this duty, Moses obeyed God (Exodus 5:1; 12:40–41). Future verses will help to clarify that the writer of Hebrews is now speaking of this event in particular.

Prior passages mentioned that God makes visible things out of invisible things—He works in ways we cannot always see, now, but will see, later on. Moses "endured" the struggles and doubts involved in challenging the king of Egypt because he placed trusting faith in God.