This is what the ancients were commended for.13
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command,2 so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended3 as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings.4 And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.55
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.6 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 him7 must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen,8 in holy fear built an ark9 to save his family.10 By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.118
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance,12 obeyed and went,13 even though he did not know where he was going.
By faith he made his home in the promised land14 like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents,15 as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.1610
For he was looking forward to the city17 with foundations,18 whose architect and builder is God.1911
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren20--was enabled to become a father21 because hea considered him faithful22 who had made the promise.
And so from this one man, and he as good as dead,23 came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.2413
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised;25 they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.26 And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.2714
People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.2816
Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one.29 Therefore God is not ashamed30 to be called their God,31 for he has prepared a city32 for them.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.33 He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspringb will be reckoned."c3419
Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead,35 and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.3621
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons,37 and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.3823
By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born,39 because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.4024
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter.4125
He chose to be mistreated42 along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.
He regarded disgrace43 for the sake of Christ44 as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.4527
By faith he left Egypt,46 not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer47 of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.4829
By faith the people passed through the Red Sead as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.4930
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.5031
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.e5132
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon,52 Barak,53 Samson,54 Jephthah,55 David,56 Samuel57 and the prophets,
who through faith conquered kingdoms,58 administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,5934
quenched the fury of the flames,60 and escaped the edge of the sword;61 whose weakness was turned to strength;62 and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.6335
Women received back their dead, raised to life again.64 Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.
Some faced jeers and flogging,65 while still others were chained and put in prison.6637
They were stonedf;67 they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.68 They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,69 destitute, persecuted and mistreated--
the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves70 and holes in the ground.
These were all commended71 for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.7240
God had planned something better for us so that only together with us73 would they be made perfect.74