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9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;


9 By faith he dwelt in the land of [the] promise

The land of promise was the geographical area of Canaan, which we call Palestine today (Ex 13:5). The Greek has “the promise,” indicating a special promise, the Abrahamic Covenant. It took faith to live as a nomad in a foreign country in anticipation of God fulfilling His promise.

as in a foreign country,

When Abraham entered Canaan, he was a stranger in a foreign country. He never built a city or even a house in the promised land. This patriarch had little in common with the people of Canaan. Abraham’s faith that began in Ur extended to his sojourn in Canaan.

dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob,

Abraham and his sons lived concurrently in tents during his sojourn. Tent life was nomadic life. Canaan’s inhabitants lived in cities while Abraham and his progeny lived in tents. Both Isaac and Jacob lived in tents. Neither Abraham nor his immediate descendants possessed the land. They lived like nomads among strangers.

There is no reference to Esau because he did not inherit the promise (He 12:16).

the heirs with him of the same promise;

The promise to Abraham extended to Isaac and Jacob; they inherited his promise. This was the beginning of a theocratic kingdom, a nation that ruled for God.


God honors persistent faith.


Even when Abraham entered Canaan and received the promise of his inheritance, he did not immediately possess the land. It was his only by promise, not by possession. Yet this patriarch continued to believe that God would give them the entire territory of Canaan. He and his family continued as nomads by faith until that time.

Those who operate on God’s principles know that He will be true to His word. They may not know at a point of difficulty where God will lead them, but they trust Him through it all. This is persistent faith.

It is imperative that, when a person comes in confrontation with God, there is a response. He cannot continue with his life as before this experience.

The Christian has an inheritance, but we do not enter it until a future point (1 Pe 1:4). God leaves us on earth to fight the fight of faith. We are to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Co 5:7).