What does Hebrews 11:22 mean?
ESV: By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
NIV: By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
NASB: By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
CSB: By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones.
NLT: It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.
KJV: By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Verse Commentary:
This passage gives examples of Old Testament believers who exemplify godly faith. This faith is best described as trust, which is a reliance on God to make good on His promises, even when we can't see all of the details (Hebrews 11:1–3). This includes a recognition that God's plans are eternal (Hebrews 11:13–14), and our purpose is not exhausted in our earthly lives (Hebrews 11:10, 16). Prior examples in this segment included patriarchs such as Abraham (Hebrews 11:8), Isaac and Jacob (Hebrews 11:9), and others who trusted God to continue His work, through their children, towards fulfilling His promises.

Here the example is given of Joseph, who certainly faced struggle and hardship during his life (Genesis 37:23–24; 39:10–20). Despite that, he witnessed God using those hardships to rescue the descendants of Jacob (Genesis 45:1–5; 50:19–20). As a result, though he died with Israel still living outside of the Promised Land, Joseph specifically asked that his bones be carried into that land when Israel finally took possession (Genesis 50:25). During the exodus from Egypt, four centuries later, Joseph's bones were transported personally by Moses (Exodus 13:18–19).
Verse Context:
Hebrews 11:17–31 makes a subtle shift from the prior verses. Earlier, the writer had given examples of faithful obedience leading to God's blessings. Those cases were mostly general, where a willingness to trust God was weighed against an uncertain future. In this passage, however, we are shown men and women who chose to trust God despite immediate, personal hardships. This, as well, is a crucial aspect of faith, which the writer has already defined as a confident trust in God.
Chapter Summary:
True, godly faith is defined as trust, relying on God when looking to the future, and obeying even when we don't fully understand all details. The great figures of the Old Testament, such as Abraham, Moses, and David, all lived according to this type of faith. Ultimately, that means trusting God's intent to make good on His promises from an eternal perspective. The model of faith presented by those people, in light of the struggles they faced, ought to inspire Christians towards a more confident, purposeful faith.
Chapter Context:
Up to this point, the book of Hebrews has given extensive evidence proving that Jesus Christ, and the new covenant He brought about, is God's ultimate plan for mankind's salvation. Chapter 10 provided an additional warning about the danger of falling away from this truth. Chapter 11 begins by clarifying the meaning of the word ''faith,'' primarily by listing examples of Old Testament figures who exemplify it. The ultimate application of this knowledge should be a motivation to ''hold fast'' to the gospel, despite hardships. That encouragement is a major theme of chapter 12.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:14:39 AM
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