Old Testament

Hebrews 11
111Faith is being sure about what we hope for, being convinced about things we do not see. 2For by this faith the ancients were commended in Scripture.[]
3By faith we know that the universe was created by God's word, so that what is seen did not come from visible things.
4By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice to God than Cain did. By faith he was commended in Scripture as righteous when God testified favorably about his gifts. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
5By faith Enoch was taken up, so that he would not experience death, and he was not found because God took him away.[] In fact, before he was taken away, he was commended in Scripture as one who “pleased God.”[] 6And without faith it is impossible to please God. Indeed, it is necessary for the one who approaches God to believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
7By faith Noah, when he was warned about things that had not been seen before, built an ark, in reverent fear, in order to save his family. By it he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that is by faith.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go to a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance, and he left without knowing where he was going.
9By faith he lived as a stranger in the Promised Land, as if it did not belong to him, dwelling in tents along with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11By faith Abraham also received the ability to conceive children, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was past the normal age, because he considered him faithful who made the promise.[] 12And so from one man, and he as good as dead, descendants were born as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand along the seashore.
13One by one, all of these died in faith, without having received the things that were promised, but they saw and welcomed them from a distance. They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14Indeed, people who say things like that make it clear that they are looking for a land of their own. 15And if they were remembering the land they had come from, they would have had an opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better land—a heavenly one. For that reason, God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he prepared a city for them.
17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered Isaac. This man, who received the promises, was ready to offer his only son, 18about whom it was said, “Through Isaac your offspring will be traced.”[] 19He reasoned that God also had the ability to raise him from the dead, and in a figurative sense, Abraham did receive him back from the dead.
20By faith Isaac also blessed Jacob and Esau about things that were going to happen.
21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22By faith Joseph, as he neared the end of his life, mentioned[] the Exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions about his bones.
23By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after he was born, because they saw he was a special child, and they were not afraid of the king's order.
24By faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter when he grew up. 25He chose to be mistreated with God's people rather than enjoy sin for a little while. 26He considered disgrace for the sake of Christ as greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
27By faith he left Egypt without fearing the king's wrath, because he persevered as one who sees him who is invisible.
28By faith he celebrated the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not strike them down.
29By faith they passed through the Red Sea, as if going through on dry ground. When the Egyptians tried it, they were drowned.
30By faith the walls of Jericho fell after the people marched around them for seven days.
31By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with the unbelievers, because she welcomed the spies in peace.
32And what more should I say? There would not be enough time for me to continue to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33By faith they conquered kingdoms, carried out justice, obtained things that were promised, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edges of the sword, were made powerful after being weak, became mighty in battle, and caused foreign armies to flee. 35Women received back their dead by resurrection. And others who were tortured did not accept their release, so that they may take part in a better resurrection. 36Still others experienced mocking and lashes, in addition to chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were tempted;[] they were killed with the sword; they went around in sheepskins and goatskins, needy, afflicted, and mistreated. 38The world was not worthy of them as they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
39All of these were commended in Scripture by faith, yet they did not receive what was promised, 40because God had planned something better for us, namely, that they would not reach the goal apart from us.


  • 11:2 The Greek term for commended appears six more times in this letter (Hebrews 7:8, 17; 10:15; 11:4, 5, 39). Each time it clearly implies by usage and context that it is referring to testimony in Scripture.
  • 11:5 Genesis 5:24
  • 11:5 Genesis 5:24
  • 11:11 Or By faith Sarah received the ability to conceive children, even though she herself was barren and was past the normal age, because she considered him faithful who made the promise. Some witnesses to the text omit was barren and he.
  • 11:18 Genesis 21:12
  • 11:22 Or remembered
  • 11:37 A few witnesses to the text omit they were tempted.