v. 39. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise,
v. 40. God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
In this respect the believers of old serve as excellent examples: And these all, although they were testified to through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that without us they should not be perfected. It is true, indeed, these heroes of the Old Testament are excellent examples; God Himself gave testimony in their behalf that their faith was of the genuine kind which He expects from all men that confess Him. Their salvation, therefore, will be as perfect as that of any of the Christians of the New Testament. And yet the inspired writer says that God has provided something better for us; for, whereas all these believers of whom he has written were living in the time of type and prophecy, we Christians are living in the time of the fulfillment. Our knowledge of Christ is not obtained from figures and signs and sacrifices, but we have the full account of His life, His ministry, His Passion, His death, His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of power: we have the perfect revelation of the Son, in His perfect covenant and His perfect sacrifice. Surely, if the faith of the patriarchs and prophets and all the true Israelites of old was so firm and steadfast, how much more ought we, to whom God has given the perfect revelation, be examples of faith to all men!
The inspired author gives a brief definition of faith, citing the example of the patriarchs and of many of the prophets and kings of the Old Testament in corroboration of the truths offered, as an incitement to the Christians of the New Testament.