Just as the Israelites were encompassed with the pillar of cloud in the wilderness, New Testament saints are also surrounded by a “cloud.” Only, this cloud which surrounds us is “a cloud of witnesses” – the Old Testament saints whose faith and patience were just mentioned in the preceding chapter. Remember, some of these Old Testament saints experienced immense victory, while others experienced crushing defeat. In either case, they all bore noble testimony to God and received commendation from God for their faith. And these Old Testament saints now serve as witnesses for, or against us, as we seek to live by faith. They are compared to a “great” cloud because they encompass us on every side, and are many in number.