Hebrews 11:39

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

And these all having obtained a good report through faith,.... This may either be limited to the sufferers in the preceding verses, who were martyred, or suffered martyrdom for the faith, as the words may be rendered; and who are called martyrs or witnesses, in Hebrews 12:1 and so the Ethiopic version renders the clause, "and all these were witnesses concerning the faith": or it may be extended to all the instances of faith throughout the chapter; and so the apostle reasserts what he had said, Hebrews 11:2, having proved it by a variety of examples; See Gill on "Hebrews 11:2".

received not the promise; not that they did not receive the promise of the land of Canaan, for so did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, &c. nor that they did not receive the promise of deliverance and victory, for so did Joshua, the Judges, and others; or that they did not receive the promise of eternal life, for that they all did; but the promise of the Messiah, that is, the Messiah promised: for they had the promise, but not the thing; who is called "the Promise", emphatically, because he is the first and grand promise; and because in him all the promises centre, and are yea, and amen: him the Old Testament saints received not; they, greatly desired to see him in the flesh; they saw him by faith; they believed in him, and rejoiced in the expectation of his coming; but he was not exhibited to them incarnate. Now since these saints so strongly believed, and so cheerfully suffered before Christ came; the apostle's argument is, that much more should the saints now, since Christ is come, and the promises received, go on believing in him, and readily suffering for his sake; see Hebrews 12:1.