Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hebrews 11:34

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Quenched the violence of fire - As in the case of the three faithful Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who, for their steady attachment to God's worship, were cast into a fiery furnace, in which they were preserved, and from which they escaped unhurt. Dan. 3.

Escaped the edge of the sword - Moses, who escaped the sword of Pharaoh, Exodus 18:4; Elijah, that of Jezebel; and David, that of Saul: and many others.

Out of weakness were made strong - Were miraculously restored from sickness, which seemed to threaten their life; as Hezekiah, Isaiah 38:21.

Waxed valiant in fight - Like Gideon, who overthrew the camp of the Midianites, and Jonathan, that of the Philistines, in such a way as must have proved that God was with them.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Quenched the violence of fire - As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did; Daniel 3:15-26. “Escaped the edge of the sword.” As Elijah did when he fled from Ahab, 1 Kings 19:3; as Elijah did when he was delivered from the king of Syria, 2 Kings 6:16; and as David did when he fled from Saul.

Out of weakness were made strong - Enabled to perform exploits beyond their natural strength, or raised up from a state of physical infirmity, and invigorated for conflict. Such a case as that of Samson may be referred to, Judges 15:15; Judges 16:26-30; or as that of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 20 who was restored from dangerous sickness by the immediate interposition of God; see the notes on Isaiah 38.

Waxed valiant in fight - Became valiant. Like Joshua. Barak, David, etc. The books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings supply instances of this in abundance.

Turned to flight the armies of the aliens - The foreigners - as the invading Philistines, Ammonites, Moabites, Assyrians, etc.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
After all our searches into the Scriptures, there is more to be learned from them. We should be pleased to think, how great the number of believers was under the Old Testament, and how strong their faith, though the objects of it were not then so fully made known as now. And we should lament that now, in gospel times, when the rule of faith is more clear and perfect, the number of believers should be so small, and their faith so weak. It is the excellence of the grace of faith, that, while it helps men to do great things, like Gideon, it keeps from high and great thoughts of themselves. Faith, like Barak's, has recourse unto God in all dangers and difficulties, and then makes grateful returns to God for all mercies and deliverances. By faith, the servants of God shall overcome even the roaring lion that goeth about seeking whom he may devour. The believer's faith endures to the end, and, in dying, gives him victory over death and all his deadly enemies, like Samson. The grace of God often fixes upon very undeserving and ill-deserving persons, to do great things for them and by them. But the grace of faith, wherever it is, will put men upon acknowledging God in all their ways, as Jephthah. It will make men bold and courageous in a good cause. Few ever met with greater trials, few ever showed more lively faith, than David, and he has left a testimony as to the trials and acts of faith, in the book of Psalms, which has been, and ever will be, of great value to the people of God. Those are likely to grow up to be distinguished for faith, who begin betimes, like Samuel, to exercise it. And faith will enable a man to serve God and his generation, in whatever way he may be employed. The interests and powers of kings and kingdoms, are often opposed to God and his people; but God can easily subdue all that set themselves against him. It is a greater honour and happiness to work righteousness than to work miracles. By faith we have comfort of the promises; and by faith we are prepared to wait for the promises, and in due time to receive them. And though we do not hope to have our dead relatives or friends restored to life in this world, yet faith will support under the loss of them, and direct to the hope of a better resurrection. Shall we be most amazed at the wickedness of human nature, that it is capable of such awful cruelties to fellow-creatures, or at the excellence of Divine grace, that is able to bear up the faithful under such cruelties, and to carry them safely through all? What a difference between God's judgement of a saint, and man's judgment! The world is not worthy of those scorned, persecuted saints, whom their persecutors reckon unworthy to live. They are not worthy of their company, example, counsel, or other benefits. For they know not what a saint is, nor the worth of a saint, nor how to use him; they hate, and drive such away, as they do the offer of Christ and his grace.
Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 62

If you cling to self, refusing to yield your will to God, you are choosing death. To sin, wherever found, God is a consuming fire. If you choose sin, and refuse to separate from it, the presence of God, which consumes sin, must consume you. MB 62.1

It will require a sacrifice to give yourself to God; but it is a sacrifice of the lower for the higher, the earthly for the spiritual, the perishable for the eternal. God does not design that our will should be destroyed, for it is only through its exercise that we can accomplish what He would have us do. Our will is to be yielded to Him, that we may receive it again, purified and refined, and so linked in sympathy with the Divine that He can pour through us the tides of His love and power. However bitter and painful this surrender may appear to the willful, wayward heart, yet “it is profitable for thee.” MB 62.2

Not until he fell crippled and helpless upon the breast of the covenant angel did Jacob know the victory of conquering faith and receive the title of a prince with God. It was when he “halted upon his thigh” (Genesis 32:31) that the armed bands of Esau were stilled before him, and the Pharaoh, proud heir of a kingly line, stooped to crave his blessing. So the Captain of our salvation was made “perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10), and the children of faith “out of weakness were made strong,” and “turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Hebrews 11:34). So do “the lame take the prey” (Isaiah 33:23), and the weak become “as David,” and “the house of David ... as the angel of the Lord” (Zechariah 12:8). MB 62.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 310.4

I charge you as one who knows, look up to God with the simple faith you had in your childhood and say, “Father, I am weary, give me rest. Unite my ignorance to Thy wisdom, my weakness to Thy strength, my frailty to Thy enduring might. Shield me with Thy protecting hand in life's conflicts. Save me from the vigilant foe who haunts my steps.” Then believe, my son, and you will realize even more than you expected. TDG 310.4

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 297

A brother asked, “Sister White, do you think we must understand the truth for ourselves? Why can we not take the truths that others have gathered together, and believe them because they have investigated the subjects, and then we shall be free to go on without the taxing of the powers of the mind in the investigation of all these subjects? Do you not think that these men who have brought out the truth in the past were inspired of God?” Ev 297.1

I dare not say they were not led of God, for Christ leads into all truth; but when it comes to inspiration in the fullest sense of the word, I answer, No.... Ev 297.2

We must have living faith in our hearts, and reach out for larger knowledge and more advanced light.—The Review and Herald, March 25, 1890. Ev 297.3

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Ellen G. White
Christian Service, 97

The doing principle is the fruit that Christ requires us to bear; doing deeds of benevolence, speaking kind words, and manifesting tender regard for the poor, the needy, the afflicted.—The Review and Herald, August 16, 1881. ChS 97.1

The Samaritan woman who talked with Jesus at Jacob's well had no sooner found the Saviour than she brought others to Him. She proved herself a more effective missionary than His own disciples. The disciples saw nothing in Samaria to indicate that it was an encouraging field. Their thoughts were fixed upon a great work to be done in the future. They did not see that right around them was a harvest to be gathered. But through the woman whom they despised a whole city full were brought to hear Jesus. She carried the light at once to her countrymen. This woman represents the working of a practical faith in Christ.—The Ministry of Healing, 102. ChS 97.2

Seventh-day Adventists are making progress, doubling their numbers, establishing missions, and unfurling the banner of truth in the dark places of the earth; and yet the work moves far more slowly than God would have it. [Why?] The members of the church are not individually aroused to put forth the earnest effort they are capable of making, and every branch of the work is crippled by the lack of fervent piety, and devoted, humble, God-fearing laborers. Where are the soldiers of the cross of Christ? Let the God-fearing, the honest, the single-hearted, who look steadfastly to the glory of God, prepare themselves for the battle against error. There are too many faint, cowardly hearts in this hour of spiritual conflict. O that out of weakness they may be made strong, and wax valiant in fight, and put to flight the armies of the aliens!—Historical Sketches, 290. ChS 97.3

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