1 Now faith means we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see. 2 It was for this that the men of old won their record.
3 It is by faith we understand that the world was fashioned by the word of God, and thus the visible was made out of the invisible.
4 It was by faith that Abel offered God a richer sacrifice than Cain did, and thus won from God the record of being 'just,' on the score of what he gave; he died, but by his faith he is speaking to us still.
5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken to heaven, so that he never died (he was not overtaken by death, for God had taken him away). For before he was taken to heaven, his record was that he had satisfied God; 6 and apart from faith it is impossible to satisfy him, for the man who draws near to God must believe that he exists and that he does reward those who seek him.
7 It was by faith that Noah, after being told by God what was still unseen, reverently constructed an ark to save his household; thus he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that follows faith.
8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed his call to go forth to a place which he would receive as an inheritance; he went forth, although he did not know where he was to go. 9 It was by faith that he sojourned in the promised land, as in a foreign country, residing in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob who were co-heirs with him of the same promise; 10 he was waiting for the City with its fixed foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 It was by faith that even Sara got strength to conceive, bearing a son when she was past the age for it ??because she considered she could rely on Him who gave the promise. 12 Thus a single man, though he was physically impotent, had issue in number like the stars in heaven, countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 (These all died in faith without obtaining the promises; they only saw them far away and hailed them, owning they were 'strangers and exiles upon earth.' 14 Now people who speak in this way plainly show they are in search of a fatherland. 15 If they thought of the land they have left behind, they would have time to go back, 16 but they really aspire to the better land in heaven. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God; he has prepared a City for them.)
17 It was by faith, when Abraham was put to the test, that he sacrificed Isaac, he was ready to sacrifice his only son, although he had received the promises 18 and had been told that it is through Isaac that your offspring shall be reckoned ??19 for he considered that God was able even to raise men from the dead. Hence he did get him back, by what was a parable of the resurrection.
20 It was by faith that Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in connexion with the future. 21 It was by faith that, when Jacob was dying, he blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bending in prayer over the head of his staff. 22 It was by faith that Joseph at his end thought about the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders about his own bones.
23 It was by faith that Moses was hidden for three months after birth by his parents, because they saw the child was beautiful, and had no fear of the royal decree. 24 It was by faith that Moses refused, when he had grown up, to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 ill-treatment with God's people he preferred to the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering obloquy with the messiah to be richer wealth than all Egypt's treasures ??for he had an eye to the Reward.
27 It was by faith that he left Egypt, not from any fear of the king's wrath; like one who saw the King Invisible, he never flinched. 28 It was by faith that he celebrated the passover and performed the sprinkling by blood, so that the destroying angel might not touch Israel's first-born. 29 It was by faith that they crossed the Red Sea like dry land ??and when the Egyptians attempted it they were drowned.
30 It was by faith that the walls of Jericho collapsed, after being surrounded for only seven days. 31 It was by faith that Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, as she had welcomed the scouts peaceably.
32 And what more shall I say? Time would fail me to tell of Gideon, of Barak and Samson and Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets ??33 men who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouth of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness won to strength, proved valiant in warfare, and routed hosts of foreigners. 35 Some were given back to their womankind, raised from the very dead; others were broken on the wheel, refusing to accept release, that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 others, again, had to experience scoffs and scourging, aye chains and imprisonment ??37 they were stoned, sawn in two, and cut to pieces; they had to roam about in sheepskins and goatskins, forlorn, oppressed, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wanderers in the desert and among the hills, in caves and gullies.
39 They all won their record for faith, but the Promise they did not obtain. 40 God had something better in store for us; he would not have them perfected apart from us.