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Hebrews 11 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

11 1 He declareth in the whole Chapter, that the Fathers, which from the beginning of the world were approved of God, attained salvation no other way than by faith, that the Jews may know that by the same only, they are knit unto the Fathers in an holy union.

Now [a]faith is the grounds of things which are hoped for, and the evidence of things which are not seen.

[b]For by it our [c]elders were well reported of.

[d]Through faith we understand that the world was ordained by the word of God, so that the things which we [e]see, are not made of things which did appear.

[f]By faith Abel offered unto God a greater sacrifice than Cain, by the which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: by the which faith also he being dead, yet speaketh.

[g]By faith was Enoch translated, that he should not [h]see death: neither was he found: for God had translated him: for before he was translated, he was reported of, that he had pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God, must believe that God is, and that he is a [i]rewarder of them that seek him.

[j]By faith Noah being warned of God of the things which were as yet not seen, moved with reverence, prepared the Ark to the saving of his household, through the which Ark he condemned the world, and was made heir of the righteousness, which is by faith.

[k]By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed God, to go out into a place, which he should afterward receive for inheritance, and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

By faith he abode in the land of promise, as in a strange country, as one that dwelt in tents with Isaac and Jacob heirs with him of the same promise.

10 For he looked for a city having a [l]foundation, whose builder and maker is God.

11 Through faith Sarah also received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful which had promised.

12 And therefore sprang thereof one, even of one which was [m]dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand of the sea shore which is innumerable.

13 All these died in [n]faith, and received not the [o]promises, but saw them afar off, and believed them, and [p]received them thankfully, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14 For they that say such things, declare plainly, that they seek a country.

15 And if they had been mindful of that country, from whence they came out, they had leisure to have returned.

16 But now they desire a better, that is an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed of them to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham offered up Isaac, when he was [q]tried, and he that had received the [r]promises, offered his only begotten son.

18 (To whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.)

19 For he considered that God was able to raise him up even from the dead: from [s]whence he received him also after [t]a sort.

20 [u]By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come.

21 [v]By faith Jacob when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph, and leaning on the end of his staff, worshipped God.

22 [w]By faith Joseph when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment of his bones.

23 [x] By faith Moses when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, neither [y]feared they the king’s commandment.

24 By faith Moses when he was come to age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,

25 And chose rather to suffer adversity with the people of God, than to enjoy the [z]pleasures of sin for a season,

26 Esteeming the rebuke of Christ greater riches, than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, and feared not the fierceness of the king: for he endured, as he that saw him which is invisible.

28 Through faith he ordained the Passover and the effusion of blood, lest he that destroyed the first born, should touch them.

29 [aa]By faith they passed through the red sea as by dry land, which when the Egyptians had assayed to do, they were swallowed up.

30 [ab]By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days.

31 [ac]By faith the [ad]harlot Rahab perished not with them which obeyed not, when she had received the spies [ae]peaceably.

32 [af]And what shall I more say? for the time would be too short for me to tell of Gideon, of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah, also of David, and Samuel, and of the Prophets:

33 Which through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained the [ag]promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, of weak were made strong, waxed valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35 The [ah]women received their dead raised to life: others also were [ai]racked, and would not be delivered, that they might receive a better resurrection.

36 And others have been tried by mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover by bonds, and imprisonment.

37 They were stoned, they were hewn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword, they wandered up and down in [aj]sheep’s skins, and in goats’ skins, being destitute, afflicted, and tormented:

38 Whom the world was not worthy of: they wandered in wildernesses and mountains, and dens, and caves of the earth.

39 [ak]And these all through faith obtained good report, and received [al]not the promise,

40 God providing a better thing for us, that they [am]without us should not be made perfect.


  1. Hebrews 11:1 An excellent description of faith by the effects, because it representeth things which are but yet in hope, and setteth as it were before our eyes things that are invisible.
  2. Hebrews 11:2 He showeth that the Fathers ought to be accounted of, by this virtue.
  3. Hebrews 11:2 That is, those Fathers of whom we came: and whose authority and example ought to move us very much.
  4. Hebrews 11:3 He showeth the propriety of faith, by setting unto us most piked examples of such as from the beginning of the world excelled in the Church.
  5. Hebrews 11:3 So that the world which we see, was not made of any matter that appeared or was before, but of nothing.
  6. Hebrews 11:4 Abel.
  7. Hebrews 11:5 Enoch.
  8. Hebrews 11:5 That he should not die.
  9. Hebrews 11:6 This reward is not referred to our merits, but to the free promise, as Paul teacheth in Abraham the father of all the faithful, Rom. 4:4.
  10. Hebrews 11:7 Noah.
  11. Hebrews 11:8 Abraham and Sarah.
  12. Hebrews 11:10 This foundation is set against their tabernacle.
  13. Hebrews 11:12 As unlikely to bear children, as if she had been stark dead.
  14. Hebrews 11:13 In faith, which they had while they lived, and followed them even to their grave.
  15. Hebrews 11:13 This is the figure Metonymy, for the things promised.
  16. Hebrews 11:13 For the Patriarchs were wont when they received the promises, to profess their religion, by building of altars, and calling on the name of the Lord.
  17. Hebrews 11:17 Tried of the Lord.
  18. Hebrews 11:17 Although the promises of life were made in that only begotten Son Isaac, yet he appointed him to die, and so against hope he believed in hope.
  19. Hebrews 11:19 From which death.
  20. Hebrews 11:19 For there was not the true and very death of Isaac, but as it were the death, by means whereof he seemed also as it were to have risen again.
  21. Hebrews 11:20 Isaac.
  22. Hebrews 11:21 Jacob.
  23. Hebrews 11:22 Joseph.
  24. Hebrews 11:23 Moses.
  25. Hebrews 11:23 They were not afraid to bring him up.
  26. Hebrews 11:25 Such pleasures as he could not enjoy, but he must needs provoke God’s wrath against him.
  27. Hebrews 11:29 The red sea.
  28. Hebrews 11:30 Jericho.
  29. Hebrews 11:31 Rahab.
  30. Hebrews 11:31 A notable example of God’s goodness.
  31. Hebrews 11:31 Courteously and friendly, so that she did not only not hurt them, but also kept them safe.
  32. Hebrews 11:32 Gideon, Barak and other Judges and Prophets.
  33. Hebrews 11:33 The fruit of the promises.
  34. Hebrews 11:35 He seemeth to mean the story of that woman of Zarephath, whose son Elijah raised again from death, and the Shunammite, whose son Elisha restored to his mother.
  35. Hebrews 11:35 He meaneth that persecution which Antiochus wrought.
  36. Hebrews 11:37 In vile and rough clothing, so were the saints brought to extreme poverty, and constrained to live like beasts in wildernesses.
  37. Hebrews 11:39 An amplification taken of the circumstance of the time: their faith is so much the more to be marveled at, by how much the promises of things to come were more dark, yet at length were indeed exhibited to us, so that their faith and ours is as one, as is also their consecration and ours.
  38. Hebrews 11:39 But saw Christ afar off.
  39. Hebrews 11:40 For their salvation did hang upon Christ, who was exhibited in our days.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Hebrews 11 New International Version (NIV)

Faith in Action

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[b] considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[c] 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.

23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.

31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.[d]

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.


  1. Hebrews 11:5 Gen. 5:24
  2. Hebrews 11:11 Or By faith Abraham, even though he was too old to have children—and Sarah herself was not able to conceive—was enabled to become a father because he
  3. Hebrews 11:18 Gen. 21:12
  4. Hebrews 11:31 Or unbelieving
  5. Hebrews 11:37 Some early manuscripts stoning; they were put to the test;
New International Version (NIV)

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