NKJV - 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.
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The promise in question was not one of achieving, but of faith in fulfillment. The individuals mentioned in the chapter were justified (that is, counted as righteous by God) as a result of their faith in the future fulfillment of the promise of a Messiah that God had made, even though that fulfillment would occur long after the earthly lives of those individuals had ended. God knew the perfect time for Christ to be incarnated. That time (strictly from a chronological standpoint) came after the deaths of the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. Those heroes therefore did not live to see the final fulfillment of God's promise during their earthly lifetimes, but that was not as a result of any shortcoming or omission on their parts. They did all that they could during their earthly lives by having faith in God's promise. It was simply a matter of chronology that they were not alive to see the promise's fulfillment.
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