11:33 obtained promises. Many of the elders won great victories, and received the fulfillment of many divine promises (e.g., Daniel), while others “received not the promises” (Hebrews 11:39) even though they also had great faith. Perhaps it takes even greater faith to stand true to God when the heavens seem silent to our prayers than when He is answering in great victories.
11:35 not accepting deliverance. The apocryphal books of the Maccabees describe how many faithful Jews were tortured unto death, even though they could have received deliverance and riches if they only would recant and renounce their faith. This type of experience was later shared by many of the early Christians, but they had faith in such promises as that of II Corinthians 4:17: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
11:37 sawn asunder. According to Jewish tradition, the prophet Isaiah was executed by being sawn in two during the reign of the evil son of King Hezekiah, Manasseh.