1 Now faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, the proof of the reality of the things we cannot see. 2 For by it the men of old won God's approval.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were created, beautifully coordinated, and now exist, at God's command; so the things that we see did not develop out of mere matter.
4 By faith Abel offered a sacrifice more acceptable to God than Cain did, for by it he was approved as an upright man, since God approved him for the offering he made; and by it he still continues to speak, though dead.
5 By faith Enoch was transplanted from earth, so that he did not experience dying; and he could not be found, because God had transplanted him from earth. For before he was transplanted from earth evidence was given him that he pleased God; 6 but without faith it is impossible to please Him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that there is a God and that He gives rewards to all who earnestly try to find Him.
7 By faith Noah, on being divinely warned about things not seen as yet, in reverence prepared an ark for saving his family, and by his faith condemned the world and became possessor of the uprightness that results from faith.
8 By faith Abraham, on being called, obeyed in starting off for a country which he was to receive as his own, and he did it in spite of the fact that he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his temporary home in the land that God had promised him, although a land inhabited by others, living merely in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were to share the promise with him. 10 For he was confidently looking forward to that city with the solid foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11 By faith Sarah received strength to become pregnant, and actually gave birth to a child, although she was past the time of life for it, because she thought that He who made her the promise was to be trusted. 12 And so there sprang from one man, and that dead as to any prospects for offspring, a people as numberless as the stars in the sky and as the sands beside the seashore.
13 These people all died victoriously as a result of their faith, although they did not receive the blessings promised; that is, because they really saw them in the far-off future and welcomed them, and so professed to be only foreigners and strangers here on earth. 14 For people who make such a profession as this show that they are in search of a country of their own. 15 And if they had been cherishing the memory of the country they had left, they would have had an opportunity to go back. 16 But in reality they were aspiring for a better country, I mean, a heavenly one. This is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was put to the test, offered Isaac as a sacrifice; that is, he who had received the promise was starting to offer as a sacrifice his only son, 18 of whom it had been said, "Through Isaac your offspring must be traced." 19 For he considered the fact that God was able to raise people from the dead; and so from the dead, in a figure, he did receive him back.
20 By faith Isaac put his blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when about to die, put his blessing on each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the closing of his life, made mention of the future migration of the Israelites, and gave directions what to do with his body.
23 By faith, Moses, at his birth was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king's decree. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as a son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 because he preferred to suffer hardships with the people of God than to have the passing enjoyment that results from sin, 26 and thought the reproach endured for the Christ was greater wealth than all the treasures in Egypt, for he kept his eye upon the reward.
27 By faith he left Egypt, because he was not afraid of the king's anger, for he persevered as though he were actually seeing Him who is unseen. 28 By faith he instituted the Passover and the pouring of blood upon the doorposts, so that the destroyer of the first-born might not touch them. 29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though it were dry land, while the Egyptians, in attempting it, were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho collapsed, after being surrounded each of seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who disobeyed God, because she had welcomed the scouts as friends.
32 And why should I continue to mention more? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets, 33 who by their faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, received new promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 stopped the force of fire, escaped from dying by the sword, out of weakness found great strength, grew mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women by a resurrection received their dead again; others endured tortures, because they would not accept release, that they might rise to a better life. 36 Still others stood the test of taunts and tortures, and even chains and prisons. 37 They were stoned to death, they were tortured to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. With nothing on their bodies but skins of sheep or goats they wandered here and there, destitute, oppressed, mistreated -- 38 men of whom the world was not worthy, though wandering in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the ground.
39 Though all these people by their faith won God's approval, yet none of them received what He had promised, 40 for God had provided something still better for us, that they, apart from us might not attain perfection.