J.B. Phillips New Testament
All the heroes of faith looked forward to their true country
13-16 All these whom we have mentioned maintained their faith but died without actually receiving God’s promises, though they had seen them in the distance, had hailed them as true and were quite convinced of their reality. They freely admitted that they lived on this earth as exiles and foreigners. Men who say that mean, of course, that their eyes are fixed upon their true home-land. If they had meant the particular country they had left behind, they had ample opportunity to return. No, the fact is that they longed for a better country altogether, nothing less than a heavenly one. And because of this faith of theirs, God is not ashamed to be called their God for in sober truth he has prepared for them a city in Heaven.
Abraham’s faith once more
17-19 It was by faith that Abraham, when put to the test, made a sacrifice of Isaac. Yes, the man who had heard God’s promises was prepared to offer up his only son of whom it had been said ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called’. He believed that God could raise his son up, even if he were dead. And he did, in a manner of speaking, receive him back from death.Read full chapter