Examples of Faith in Action

11 Now faith is the realization of what is hoped for, the proof of things not seen. For by this the people of old were approved. By faith we understand the worlds were created by the word of God, in order that what is seen did not come into existence from what is visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a greater sacrifice than Cain, by which he was approved that he was righteous, because[a] God approved him for his gifts, and through it[b] he still speaks, although he[c] is dead. By faith Enoch was taken up, so that he did not experience death, and he was not found, because God took him up. For before his removal, he had been approved as having been pleasing[d] to God. Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and is a rewarder of those who seek him. By faith Noah, having been warned about things not yet seen, out of reverence constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family, by which he pronounced sentence on the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham, when he[e] was called, obeyed to go out to a place that he was going to receive for an inheritance, and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived in the land of promise as a stranger, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the fellow heirs of the same promise. 10 For he was expecting the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith also, with Sarah[f],[g] he received the ability to procreate[h] even past the normal age[i], because he regarded the one who had promised to be faithful. 12 And therefore these were fathered from one man, and he being as good as dead, as the stars of heaven in number and like the innumerable sand by the shore of the sea.

13 These all died in faith without receiving the promises, but seeing them from a distance and welcoming them, and admitting that they were strangers and temporary residents on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 And if they remember[j] that land from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac, and the one who received the promises was ready to offer his one and only son, 18 with reference to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants will be named,”[k] 19 having reasoned that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which he received him back also as a symbol. 20 By faith also Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things that were going to happen. 21 By faith Jacob, as he[l] was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, as he[m] was dying, mentioned about the exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions about his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he[n] was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw the child was handsome, and they were not afraid of the edict of the king. 24 By faith Moses, when he[o] was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing instead to be mistreated with the people of God rather than to experience the transitory enjoyment of sin, 26 considering reproach endured for the sake of Christ[p] greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the anger of the king, for he persevered as if he[q] saw the invisible one. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, in order that the one who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as if on dry land; the Egyptians, when they made the attempt[r], were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they[s] had been marched around for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she[t] welcomed the spies in peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, accomplished justice, obtained what was promised, shut the mouths of lions, 34 extinguished the effectiveness of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong from weakness, became mighty in battle, put to flight enemy battle lines. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. But others were tortured, not accepting release, in order that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 And others experienced mocking and flogging[u], and in addition bonds and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by murder with a sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, impoverished, afflicted, mistreated, 38 of whom the world was not worthy, wandering about on deserts and mountains and in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 And although they[v] all were approved[w] through their faith, they did not receive what was promised, 40 because[x] God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 11:4 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal participle (“was”)
  2. Hebrews 11:4 I.e., his faith
  3. Hebrews 11:4 Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“is dead”) which is understood as concessive
  4. Hebrews 11:5 Literally “to be pleasing”
  5. Hebrews 11:8 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal participle (“was called”)
  6. Hebrews 11:11 Literally “with her, Sarah”
  7. Hebrews 11:11 Some manuscripts have “even though Sarah herself was barren”
  8. Hebrews 11:11 Literally “power to deposit seed”
  9. Hebrews 11:11 Literally “beyond the time of maturity”
  10. Hebrews 11:15 Some manuscripts have “they had been remembering”
  11. Hebrews 11:18 A quotation from Gen 21:12
  12. Hebrews 11:21 Here “as” is supplied as a component of the temporal participle (“was dying”)
  13. Hebrews 11:22 Here “as” is supplied as a component of the temporal participle (“was dying”)
  14. Hebrews 11:23 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal participle (“afraid of”)
  15. Hebrews 11:24 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal participle (“was”)
  16. Hebrews 11:26 Literally “the reproach of Christ”
  17. Hebrews 11:27 Here “if” is supplied as a component of the participle (“saw”) which is understood as conditional
  18. Hebrews 11:29 Literally “of which attempt making”
  19. Hebrews 11:30 Here “after” is supplied as a component of the temporal participle (“had been marched around”)
  20. Hebrews 11:31 Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“welcomed”) which is understood as causal
  21. Hebrews 11:36 Literally “received experience of mocking and flogging”
  22. Hebrews 11:39 Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“were approved”) which is understood as concessive
  23. Hebrews 11:39 Some manuscripts have “And all these, although they were approved”
  24. Hebrews 11:40 Here “because” is supplied as a component of the causal genitive absolute participle (“had provided”)

Faith in Action

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

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command,(D) 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(E) as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings.(F) And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.(G)

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](H) 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(I) must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

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

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

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised;(AA) they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,(AB) admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.(AC) 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.(AD) 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.(AE) Therefore God is not ashamed(AF) to be called their God,(AG) for he has prepared a city(AH) for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.(AI) 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](AJ) 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead,(AK) 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.(AL)

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons,(AM) 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.(AN)

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

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.(AQ) 25 He chose to be mistreated(AR) along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace(AS) for the sake of Christ(AT) as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.(AU) 27 By faith he left Egypt,(AV) 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(AW) of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.(AX)

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.(AY)

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

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

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon,(BB) Barak,(BC) Samson(BD) and Jephthah,(BE) about David(BF) and Samuel(BG) and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms,(BH) administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,(BI) 34 quenched the fury of the flames,(BJ) and escaped the edge of the sword;(BK) whose weakness was turned to strength;(BL) and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.(BM) 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again.(BN) 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,(BO) and even chains and imprisonment.(BP) 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e](BQ) they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword.(BR) They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,(BS) destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves(BT) and in holes in the ground.

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

Footnotes

  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;

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