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Let’s lay out the context:

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:23‬

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward.

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:24-29‬ ‭NASB1995

‬‬Q: How could Moses have faith “when he was born”? Aren’t babies incapable of exerting faith?

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    Just check other versions for clarity. NLT “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” NHEB Hebrews 11:23: “By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.”
    – Michael16
    Mar 17, 2022 at 6:21
  • You can absolutely do better than this. 5 upvotes!! Really?? I'm going to add a second downvote here and I very rarely downvote. Mar 19, 2022 at 0:05
  • @OldeEnglish Do better? What are you talking about? I’m legitimately confused about this verse. This isn’t a contest to me.
    – Cork88
    Mar 19, 2022 at 0:09
  • @OldeEnglish It would appear that the NET translation captures Moses’s parents faith more clearly: “By faith, when Moses was born, his parents hid him for three months, because they saw the child was beautiful and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:23‬ ‭NET‬‬. This makes more accurate sense.
    – Cork88
    Mar 19, 2022 at 0:31

2 Answers 2

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Hebrews 11:23 simply says that,

"By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden..."

It doesn't say,

"By Moses's faith, when he was born, was hidden..."

It simply asserts that faith was the means by which he came to be hidden. It doesn't explicitly say whose faith, but that it was because of faith.

But contextually, the faith by which Moses was hidden would be of his parents for it says...

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict."

The agents of action whose faith was the reason Moses was hidden are contextually identified as the parents of Moses.

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9

The passage makes a little more sense in Greek:

Πίστει Μωϋσῆς γεννηθεις ἐκρύβη τρίμηνον υπο τῶν πατέρων αὐτοῦ

The passive γεννηθεις could be rendered "having been born" (e.g. here); it isn't the verb driving the sentence. It's an aorist participle indicating that the "being born" happened prior to the main verb "ἐκρύβη", referring to his being hidden.

υπο τῶν πατέρων αὐτοῦ indicates that the action being performed was by Moses' parents. His parents exercised faith.

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  • +1 Illuminating observation.
    – Austin
    Mar 17, 2022 at 20:03
  • 1
    Nice grammatical explanation, simply put. I'm surprised at the supposed dilemma of the OP here. Mar 18, 2022 at 23:58
  • 1
    @OldeEnglish Some things occur more clearly to some than to others. You could have added an answer if that was best. Or spoke to the matter in a comment. ;)
    – Cork88
    Mar 19, 2022 at 0:32

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