By Faith We Understand
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence #Rom. 8:24; (2 Cor. 4:18; 5:7); Heb. 11:7, 27of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
3By faith we understand that #Gen. 1:1; Ps. 33:6; (John 1:3); 2 Pet. 3:5the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith at the Dawn of History
4By faith #Gen. 4:3–5; Matt. 23:35; 1 John 3:12Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still #Gen. 4:8–10; Heb. 12:24speaks.
5By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, #Gen. 5:21–24“and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
7By faith #Gen. 6:13–22Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, #1 Pet. 3:20prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of #Rom. 3:22the righteousness which is according to faith.
8By faith #Gen. 12:1–4; Acts 7:2–4Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, #Gen. 12:8; 13:3, 18; 18:1, 9dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, #Heb. 6:17the heirs with him of the same promise; 10for he waited for #(Heb. 12:22; 13:14)the city which has foundations, #(Rev. 21:10)whose builder and maker is God.
11By faith #Gen. 17:19; 18:11–14; 21:1, 2Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and #Luke 1:36she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him #Heb. 10:23faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one man, and him as good as #Rom. 4:19dead, were born as many as the #Gen. 15:5; 22:17; 32:12stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
The Heavenly Hope
13These all died in faith, #Heb. 11:39not having received the #Gen. 12:7promises, but #John 8:56; Heb. 11:27having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and #Gen. 23:4; 47:9; 1 Chr. 29:15; Ps. 39:12; Eph. 2:19; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14For those who say such things #Heb. 13:14declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15And truly if they had called to mind #Gen. 11:31that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed #Gen. 26:24; 28:13; Ex. 3:6, 15; 4:5to be called their God, for He has #(John 14:2); Heb. 11:10; (Rev. 21:2)prepared a city for them.
The Faith of the Patriarchs
17By faith Abraham, #Gen. 22:1–14; James 2:21when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18of whom it was said, #Gen. 21:12; Rom. 9:7“In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19concluding that God #Rom. 4:17was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
20By faith #Gen. 27:26–40Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, #Gen. 48:1, 5, 16, 20blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
22By faith #Gen. 50:24, 25; Ex. 13:19Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
The Faith of Moses
23By faith #Ex. 2:1–3Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s #Ex. 1:16, 22command.
24By faith #Ex. 2:11–15Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26esteeming #Heb. 13:13the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the #Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17reward.
27By faith #Ex. 10:28he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28By faith #Ex. 12:21he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29By faith #Ex. 14:22–29; Jude 5they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
By Faith They Overcame
30By faith #Josh. 6:20the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31By faith #Josh. 2:9; 6:23; James 2:25the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when #Josh. 2:1she had received the spies with peace.
32And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of #Judg. 6:11; 7:1–25Gideon and #Judg. 4:6–24Barak and #Judg. 13:24—16:31Samson and #Judg. 11:1–29; 12:1–7Jephthah, also of #1 Sam. 16; 17David and #1 Sam. 7:9–14Samuel and the prophets: 33who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, #Judg. 14:6; 1 Sam. 17:34; Dan. 6:22stopped the mouths of lions, 34#Dan. 3:23–28quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35#1 Kin. 17:22; 2 Kin. 4:35–37Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were #Acts 22:25tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and #Gen. 39:20; 1 Kin. 22:27; 2 Chr. 18:26; Jer. 20:2; 37:15of chains and imprisonment. 37#1 Kin. 21:13; 2 Chr. 24:21; Acts 7:58They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. #2 Kin. 1:8; Matt. 3:4They wandered about #1 Kin. 19:13, 19; 2 Kin. 2:8, 13; Zech. 13:4in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, #1 Kin. 18:4, 13; 19:9in dens and caves of the earth.
39And all these, #Heb. 11:2, 13having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40God having provided something better for us, that they should not be #Heb. 5:9made perfect apart from us.