Add parallel Print Page Options

The Faithful See from Afar

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of realities not seen. For by it the elders received commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen did not come from anything visible.

By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain. Through faith he was commended as righteous[a] when God approved of his gifts. And through faith he still speaks, although he is dead.

By faith Enoch was taken so as not to see death, and he was not found because God took him.[b] For before he was taken, he was commended as pleasing to God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

By faith Noah, when warned about events not yet seen, in holy fear prepared an ark for the safety of his household. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he migrated to the land of promise as if it were foreign, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob—fellow heirs of the same promise. 10 For he was waiting for the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive[c] when she was barren and past the age, since she considered the One who had made the promise to be faithful. 12 So from one—and him as good as dead—were fathered offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and as uncountable as the sand on the seashore.[d]

13 These all died in faith without receiving the things promised—but they saw them and welcomed them from afar, and they confessed that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth. [e] 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If indeed they had been thinking about where they had come from, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they yearn for a better land—that is, 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 he was tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had received the promises was offering up his one and only son— 18 the one about whom it was said, “Through Isaac offspring shall be named for you.” [f] 19 He reasoned that God was able to raise him up even from the dead—and in a sense, he did receive him back from there.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he bowed in worship while leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, made mention of the exodus of Bnei-Yisrael and gave instructions about his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was an extraordinary child and they were not afraid of the king’s decree. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 Instead he chose to suffer mistreatment along with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the disgrace of Messiah[g] as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt—because he was looking ahead to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger—for he persevered as if seeing the One who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the smearing of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as if on dry ground. When the Egyptians tried it, they were swallowed up.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were circled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she welcomed the spies with shalom.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets. 33 By faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, and made foreign armies flee.

35 Women received their dead raised back to life; and others were tortured, after not accepting release, so they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Others experienced the trial of mocking and scourging—yes, and even chains and prison.

37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were murdered with the sword. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, mistreated. 38 The world was not worthy of them! They wandered around in deserts and mountains, caves and holes in the ground. 39 And all these, though commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised— 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that only with us would they reach perfection.


  1. Hebrews 11:4 cf. Mt. 23:35.
  2. Hebrews 11:5 cf. Gen. 5:24(5:24 LXX); Grk. metathesis, lit. transposition, a change in location.
  3. Hebrews 11:11 cf. Gen. 18:11-14; 21:2. Some mss. add and she bore a child.
  4. Hebrews 11:12 cf. Gen. 15:5; 22:17; 32:12.
  5. Hebrews 11:14 cf. Gen. 23:4; 47:9.
  6. Hebrews 11:19 Gen. 21:12(LXX).
  7. Hebrews 11:26 cf. Ps. 89:50-51.