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The Meaning of Faith

11 Now faith is the assurance[a] of things hoped for, the conviction[b] of things not seen.(A) Indeed, by faith[c] our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.[d](B)

The Examples of Abel, Enoch, and Noah

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable[e] sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith[f] he still speaks.(C) By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death, and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.”(D) And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would approach God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.(E)

The Faith of Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance, and he set out, not knowing where he was going.(F) By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.(G) 10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.(H) 11 By faith, with Sarah’s involvement, he received power of procreation, even though he was too old, because he considered[g] him faithful who had promised.(I) 12 Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”(J)

13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth,(K) 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better homeland, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.(L)

17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son,(M) 18 of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.”(N) 19 He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.(O) 20 By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.”(P) 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.[h](Q)

The Faith of Moses

23 By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.[i](R) 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered abuse suffered for the Christ[j] to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s anger, for he persevered as though[k] he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.[l](S)

The Faith of Other Israelite Heroes

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned.(T) 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days.(U) 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient,[m] because she had received the spies in peace.(V)

32 And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,(W) 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.(X) 35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection.(Y) 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging and even chains and imprisonment.(Z) 37 They were stoned to death; they were sawn in two;[n] they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented(AA) 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and holes in the ground.(AB)

39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.(AC)

The Example of Jesus

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[o] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,(AD) looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the sake of[p] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.(AE)

Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners,[q] so that you may not grow weary in your souls or lose heart.(AF) In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children—

“My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord
    or lose heart when you are punished by him,(AG)
for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves
    and chastises every child whom he accepts.”(AH)

Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children, for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?(AI) If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children.(AJ) Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness.(AK) 11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.(AL)

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees(AM) 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.(AN)

Warnings against Rejecting God’s Grace

14 Pursue peace with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and through it many become defiled.(AO) 16 See to it that no one becomes an immoral and godless person, as Esau was, who sold his birthright for a single meal.(AP) 17 You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing[r] with tears.(AQ)

18 You have not come to something[s] that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest,(AR) 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them.(AS) 20 (For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.”(AT) 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”)(AU) 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,(AV) 23 and to the assembly[t] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,(AW) 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.(AX)

25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking, for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven!(AY) 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”(AZ) 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.(BA) 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe, 29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.(BB)

Service Well-Pleasing to God

13 Let mutual affection continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.(BC) Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them, those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.[u] Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.(BD) Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”(BE) So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food,[v] which have not benefited those who observe them.(BF) 10 We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent[w] have no right to eat.(BG) 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.(BH) 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood.(BI) 13 Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.(BJ) 15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.(BK) 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing, for that would be harmful to you.(BL)

18 Pray for us; we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.(BM) 19 I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you very soon.


20 Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,(BN) 21 make you complete in everything good[x] so that you may do his will, as he works among us[y] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever.[z] Amen.(BO)

Final Exhortation and Greetings

22 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been set free, and if he comes in time he will be with me when I see you.(BP) 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.[aa](BQ)


  1. 11.1 Or reality
  2. 11.1 Or evidence
  3. 11.2 Gk by this
  4. 11.3 Or was not made out of visible things
  5. 11.4 Gk greater
  6. 11.4 Gk through it
  7. 11.11 Other ancient authorities read By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered
  8. 11.22 Gk his bones
  9. 11.23 Other ancient authorities add By faith Moses, when he was grown up, killed the Egyptian, because he observed the humiliation of his brothers and sisters
  10. 11.26 Or the Messiah
  11. 11.27 Or because
  12. 11.28 Gk would not touch them
  13. 11.31 Or unbelieving
  14. 11.37 Other ancient authorities add they were tempted
  15. 12.1 Other ancient authorities read sin that easily distracts
  16. 12.2 Or who instead of
  17. 12.3 Other ancient authorities read such hostility from sinners against themselves
  18. 12.17 Gk it
  19. 12.18 Other ancient authorities read a mountain
  20. 12.23 Or angels, and to the festal gathering and assembly
  21. 13.3 Gk were in the body
  22. 13.9 Gk not by foods
  23. 13.10 Or tabernacle
  24. 13.21 Other ancient authorities read for every good work
  25. 13.21 Other ancient authorities read you
  26. 13.21 Other ancient authorities add and ever
  27. 13.25 Other ancient authorities add Amen