Seeing the Invisible

One of my wife’s favourite verses was Psalm 16:8.

I have set the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (NASB)                                                                                                             

The thought is similar to Hebrews 11:27. This verse, referring to Moses, is normally translated as“…he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.”        (NASB)                                                    

But Lane has shown in his superb commentary on Hebrews that translators, missing an idiom in the verse, have wrongly put the emphasis on endurance.1 The verse should actually be translated as “… he kept the One who is invisible continually before his eyes, as it were.”

“The emphasis … falls not on endurance but on continually seeing, as it were, the unseen God.”2

Hebrews 11 is the great chapter on faith, of course. It seems again that faith is intimately connected with keeping our eyes on Jesus.

May God grant us the grace to keep our eyes …

… fixed on Jesus,on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. (Hebrews 12:2b GNB)

1 William L. Lane Word Biblical Commentary vol. 47b Hebrews 9-13 Thomas Nelson Nashville 1991 ISBN 0-8499-0935-X, pages 375-376

2 ibid. 376