Bible: Heb 1-11
Introduction: God Has Spoken Fully and Finally in His Son
1:1 After God spoke long ago 1 in various portions 2 and in various ways 3 to our ancestors 4 through the prophets, 1:2 in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, 5 whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. 6 1:3 The Son is 7 the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, 8 and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. 9 1:4 Thus he became 10 so far better than the angels as 11 he has inherited a name superior to theirs.
The Son Is Superior to Angels
1:5 For to which of the angels did God 12 ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? 13 And in another place 14 he says, 15 “I will be his father and he will be my son.” 16 1:6 But when he again brings 17 his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him!” 18 1:7 And he says 19 of the angels, “He makes 20 his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,” 21 1:8 but of 22 the Son he says, 23
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, 24
and a righteous scepter 25 is the scepter of your kingdom.
1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.
“You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, 28
and the heavens are the works of your hands.
1:11 They will perish, but you continue.
And they will all grow old like a garment,
1:12 and like a robe you will fold them up
and like a garment 29 they will be changed,
but you are the same and your years will never run out.” 30
1:13 But to which of the angels 31 has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 32 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those 33 who will inherit salvation?
Warning Against Drifting Away
2:1 Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2:2 For if the message spoken through angels 34 proved to be so firm that every violation 35 or disobedience received its just penalty, 2:3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 2:4 while God confirmed their witness 36 with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed 37 according to his will.
Exposition of Psalm 8: Jesus and the Destiny of Humanity
“What is man that you think of him 40 or the son of man that you care for him?
2:7 You made him lower than the angels for a little while.
You crowned him with glory and honor. 41
2:8 You put all things under his control.” 42
For when he put all things under his control, he left nothing outside of his control. At present we do not yet see all things under his control, 43 2:9 but we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, 44 now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, 45 so that by God’s grace he would experience 46 death on behalf of everyone. 2:10 For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, 47 in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer 48 of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 2:11 For indeed he who makes holy and those being made holy all have the same origin, 49 and so 50 he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 51 2:12 saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers; 52 in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.” 53 2:13 Again he says, 54 “I will be confident in him,” and again, “Here I am, 55 with 56 the children God has given me.” 57 2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in 58 their humanity, 59 so that through death he could destroy 60 the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), 2:15 and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. 2:16 For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham’s descendants. 2:17 Therefore he had 61 to be made like his brothers and sisters 62 in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement 63 for the sins of the people. 2:18 For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.
Jesus and Moses
3:1 Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, 64 partners in a heavenly calling, take note of Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess, 65 3:2 who is faithful to the one who appointed him, as Moses was also in God’s 66 house. 67 3:3 For he has come to deserve greater glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves greater honor than the house itself! 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 3:5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s 68 house 69 as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken. 3:6 But Christ 70 is faithful as a son over God’s 71 house. We are of his house, 72 if in fact we hold firmly 73 to our confidence and the hope we take pride in. 74
Exposition of Psalm 95: Hearing God’s Word in Faith
3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, 75
“Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks! 76
3:8 “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of testing in the wilderness.
3:9 “There your fathers tested me and tried me, 77 and they saw my works for forty years.
3:10 “Therefore, I became provoked at that generation and said, ‘Their hearts are always wandering 78 and they have not known my ways.’
3:11 “As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’” 79
3:12 See to it, 80 brothers and sisters, 81 that none of you has 82 an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes 83 the living God. 84 3:13 But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception. 3:14 For we have become partners with Christ, if in fact we hold our initial confidence 85 firm until the end. 3:15 As it says, 86 “O, that today you would listen as he speaks! 87 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” 88 3:16 For which ones heard and rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership? 89 3:17 And against whom was God 90 provoked for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness? 91 3:18 And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient? 3:19 So 92 we see that they could not enter because of unbelief.
God’s Promised Rest
4:1 Therefore we must be wary 93 that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it. 4:2 For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in 94 with those who heard it in faith. 95 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’” 96 And yet God’s works 97 were accomplished from the foundation of the world. 4:4 For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,” 98 4:5 but to repeat the text cited earlier: 99 “They will never enter my rest!” 4:6 Therefore it remains for some to enter it, yet those to whom it was previously proclaimed did not enter because of disobedience. 4:7 So God 100 again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David 101 after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, 102 “O, that today you would listen as he speaks! 103 Do not harden your hearts.” 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God 104 would not have spoken afterward about another day. 4:9 Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. 4:10 For the one who enters God’s 105 rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works. 4:11 Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. 4:13 And no creature is hidden from God, 106 but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Jesus Our Compassionate High Priest
4:14 Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 4:15 For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. 107
5:1 For every high priest is taken from among the people 108 and appointed 109 to represent them before God, 110 to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 5:2 He is able to deal compassionately with those who are ignorant and erring, since he also is subject to weakness, 5:3 and for this reason he is obligated to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. 5:4 And no one assumes this honor 111 on his own initiative, 112 but only when called to it by God, 113 as in fact Aaron was. 5:5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming high priest, but the one who glorified him was God, 114 who said to him, “You are my Son! Today I have fathered you,” 115 5:6 as also in another place God 116 says, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” 117 5:7 During his earthly life 118 Christ 119 offered 120 both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion. 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. 121 5:9 And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 5:10 and he was designated 122 by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek. 123
The Need to Move on to Maturity
5:11 On this topic we have much to say 124 and it is difficult to explain, since you have become sluggish 125 in hearing. 5:12 For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, 126 you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. 127 You have gone back to needing 128 milk, not 129 solid food. 5:13 For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil.
6:1 Therefore we must progress beyond 130 the elementary 131 instructions about Christ 132 and move on 133 to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, 6:2 teaching about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 6:3 And this is what we intend to do, 134 if God permits. 6:4 For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 6:5 tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, 6:6 and then have committed apostasy, 135 to renew them again to repentance, since 136 they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again 137 and holding him up to contempt. 6:7 For the ground that has soaked up the rain that frequently falls on 138 it and yields useful vegetation for those who tend it receives a blessing from God. 6:8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is useless and about to be cursed; 139 its fate is to be burned. 6:9 But in your case, dear friends, even though we speak like this, we are convinced of better things relating to salvation. 6:10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name, in having served and continuing to serve the saints. 6:11 But we passionately want each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of your hope until the end, 6:12 so that you may not be sluggish, 140 but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises.
6:13 Now when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, 6:14 saying, “Surely I will bless you greatly and multiply your descendants abundantly.” 141 6:15 And so by persevering, Abraham 142 inherited the promise. 6:16 For people 143 swear by something greater than themselves, 144 and the oath serves as a confirmation to end all dispute. 145 6:17 In the same way 146 God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, 147 and so he intervened with an oath, 6:18 so that we who have found refuge in him 148 may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 149 6:20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. 150
The Nature of Melchizedek’s Priesthood
7:1 Now this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him. 151 7:2 To him 152 also Abraham apportioned a tithe 153 of everything. 154 His name first means 155 king of righteousness, then king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 7:3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, he has neither beginning of days nor end of life but is like the son of God, and he remains a priest for all time. 7:4 But see how great he must be, if 156 Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe 157 of his plunder. 7:5 And those of the sons of Levi who receive the priestly office 158 have authorization according to the law to collect a tithe from the people, that is, from their fellow countrymen, 159 although they too are descendants of Abraham. 160 7:6 But Melchizedek 161 who does not share their ancestry 162 collected a tithe 163 from Abraham and blessed 164 the one who possessed the promise. 7:7 Now without dispute the inferior is blessed by the superior, 7:8 and in one case tithes are received by mortal men, while in the other by him who is affirmed to be alive. 7:9 And it could be said that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid a tithe through Abraham. 7:10 For he was still in his ancestor Abraham’s loins 165 when Melchizedek met him.
Jesus and the Priesthood of Melchizedek
7:11 So if perfection had in fact been possible through the Levitical priesthood – for on that basis 166 the people received the law – what further need would there have been for another priest to arise, said to be in the order of Melchizedek and not in Aaron’s order? 7:12 For when the priesthood changes, a change in the law must come 167 as well. 7:13 Yet the one these things are spoken about belongs to 168 a different tribe, and no one from that tribe 169 has ever officiated at the altar. 7:14 For it is clear that our Lord is descended from Judah, yet Moses said nothing about priests in connection with that tribe. 7:15 And this is even clearer if another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 7:16 who has become a priest not by a legal regulation about physical descent 170 but by the power of an indestructible life. 7:17 For here is the testimony about him: 171 “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” 172 7:18 On the one hand a former command is set aside 173 because it is weak and useless, 174 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 7:20 And since 175 this was not done without a sworn affirmation – for the others have become priests without a sworn affirmation, 7:21 but Jesus 176 did so 177 with a sworn affirmation by the one who said to him, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever’” 178 – 7:22 accordingly Jesus has become the guarantee 179 of a better covenant. 7:23 And the others 180 who became priests were numerous, because death prevented them 181 from continuing in office, 182 7:24 but he holds his priesthood permanently since he lives forever. 7:25 So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 7:26 For it is indeed fitting for us to have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 7:27 He has no need to do every day what those priests do, to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people, since he did this in offering himself once for all. 7:28 For the law appoints as high priests men subject to weakness, 183 but the word of solemn affirmation that came after the law appoints a son made perfect forever.
The High Priest of a Better Covenant
8:1 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: 184 We have such a high priest, one who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 185 8:2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. 8:3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So this one too had to have something to offer. 8:4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are already priests who offer 186 the gifts prescribed by the law. 8:5 The place where they serve is 187 a sketch 188 and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For he says, “See that you make everything according to the design 189 shown to you on the mountain.” 190 8:6 But 191 now Jesus 192 has obtained a superior ministry, since 193 the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted 194 on better promises. 195
“Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
8:9 “It will not be like the covenant 201 that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord.
8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put 202 my laws in their minds 203 and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. 204
8:11 “And there will be no need at all 205 for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. 206
8:12 “For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.” 207
The Arrangement and Ritual of the Earthly Sanctuary
9:1 Now the first covenant, 210 in fact, had regulations for worship and its earthly sanctuary. 9:2 For a tent was prepared, the outer one, 211 which contained 212 the lampstand, the table, and the presentation of the loaves; this 213 is called the holy place. 9:3 And after the second curtain there was a tent called the holy of holies. 9:4 It contained the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. In this ark 214 were the golden urn containing the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 9:5 And above the ark 215 were the cherubim 216 of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Now is not the time to speak of these things in detail. 9:6 So with these things prepared like this, the priests enter continually into the outer tent 217 as they perform their duties. 9:7 But only the high priest enters once a year into the inner tent, 218 and not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 219 9:8 The Holy Spirit is making clear that the way into the holy place had not yet appeared as long as the old tabernacle 220 was standing. 9:9 This was a symbol for the time then present, when gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper. 9:10 They served only for matters of food and drink 221 and various washings; they are external regulations 222 imposed until the new order came. 223
Christ’s Service in the Heavenly Sanctuary
9:11 But now Christ has come 224 as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 9:12 and he entered once for all into the most holy place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured 225 eternal redemption. 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled consecrated them and provided ritual purity, 226 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our 227 consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
9:15 And so he is the mediator 228 of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance he has promised, 229 since he died 230 to set them free from the violations committed under the first covenant. 9:16 For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be proven. 231 9:17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive. 9:18 So even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. 232 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every command to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 9:20 and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded you to keep.” 233 9:21 And both the tabernacle and all the utensils of worship he likewise sprinkled with blood. 9:22 Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 9:23 So it was necessary for the sketches 234 of the things in heaven to be purified with these sacrifices, 235 but the heavenly things themselves required 236 better sacrifices than these. 9:24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands – the representation 237 of the true sanctuary 238 – but into heaven itself, and he appears now in God’s presence for us. 9:25 And he did not enter to offer 239 himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own, 9:26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the consummation of the ages to put away sin by his sacrifice. 9:27 And just as people 240 are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, 241 9:28 so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, 242 to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin 243 but to bring salvation. 244
Concluding Exposition: Old and New Sacrifices Contrasted
10:1 For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. 245 10:2 For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have 246 no further consciousness of sin? 10:3 But in those sacrifices 247 there is a reminder of sins year after year. 10:4 For the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. 248 10:5 So when he came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.
10:6 “Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you took no delight in.
10:8 When he says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offeringsyou did not desire nor did you take delight in them” 251 (which are offered according to the law), 10:9 then he says, “Here I am: I have come to do your will.” 252 He does away with 253 the first to establish the second. 10:10 By his will 254 we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 10:11 And every priest stands day after day 255 serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins. 10:12 But when this priest 256 had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand 257 of God, 10:13 where he is now waiting 258 until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet. 259 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying, 260 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put 261 my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,” 262 10:17 then he says, 263 “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.” 264 10:18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Drawing Near to God in Enduring Faith
10:19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, 265 since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 10:20 by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us 266 through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 267 10:21 and since we have a great priest 268 over the house of God, 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings, 269 because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience 270 and our bodies washed in pure water. 10:23 And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. 10:24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, 271 10:25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day 272 drawing near. 273
10:26 For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, 274 10:27 but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury 275 of fire that will consume God’s enemies. 276 10:28 Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death 277 without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 278 10:29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for 279 the Son of God, and profanes 280 the blood of the covenant that made him holy, 281 and insults the Spirit of grace? 10:30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” 282 and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 283 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
10:32 But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. 10:33 At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way. 10:34 For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison, 284 and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly 285 had a better and lasting possession. 10:35 So do not throw away your confidence, because it 286 has great reward. 10:36 For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised. 287 10:37 For just a little longer 288 and he who is coming will arrive and not delay. 289 10:38 But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I 290 take no pleasure in him. 291 10:39 But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls. 292
People Commended for Their Faith
11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. 11:2 For by it the people of old 293 received God’s commendation. 294 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds 295 were set in order at God’s command, 296 so that the visible has its origin in the invisible. 297 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a greater sacrifice than Cain, and through his faith 298 he was commended as righteous, because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith 299 he still speaks, though he is dead. 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he did not see death, and he was not to be found because God took him up. For before his removal he had been commended as having pleased God. 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 11:7 By faith Noah, when he was warned about things not yet seen, with reverent regard 300 constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, and he went out without understanding where he was going. 11:9 By faith he lived as a foreigner 301 in the promised land as though it were a foreign country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs 302 of the same promise. 11:10 For he was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, 303 whose architect and builder is God. 11:11 By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was too old, 304 he received the ability to procreate, 305 because he regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy. 11:12 So in fact children 306 were fathered by one man – and this one as good as dead – like the number of stars in the sky and like the innumerable grains of sand 307 on the seashore. 308 11:13 These all died in faith without receiving the things promised, 309 but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners 310 on the earth. 11:14 For those who speak in such a way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 11:15 In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 11:16 But as it is, 311 they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He had received the promises, 312 yet he was ready to offer up 313 his only son. 11:18 God had told him, “Through Isaac descendants will carry on your name,” 314 11:19 and he reasoned 315 that God could even raise him from the dead, and in a sense 316 he received him back from there. 11:20 By faith also Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning the future. 11:21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped as he leaned on his staff. 317 11:22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, 318 mentioned the exodus of the sons of Israel 319 and gave instructions about his burial. 320
11:23 By faith, when Moses was born, his parents hid him 321 for three months, because they saw the child was beautiful and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 11:24 By faith, when he grew up, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 11:25 choosing rather to be ill-treated with the people of God than to enjoy sin’s fleeting pleasure. 11:26 He regarded abuse suffered for Christ 322 to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for his eyes were fixed on 323 the reward. 11:27 By faith he left Egypt without fearing the king’s anger, for he persevered as though he could see the one who is invisible. 11:28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, 324 so that the one who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 11:29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as if on dry ground, but when the Egyptians tried it, they were swallowed up. 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho 325 fell after the people marched around them 326 for seven days. 11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute escaped the destruction of 327 the disobedient, because she welcomed the spies in peace.
11:32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets. 11:33 Through faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, 328 gained what was promised, 329 shut the mouths of lions, 11:34 quenched raging fire, 330 escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength in weakness, 331 became mighty in battle, put foreign armies to flight, 11:35 and women received back their dead raised to life. 332 But others were tortured, not accepting release, to obtain resurrection to a better life. 333 11:36 And others experienced mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 11:37 They were stoned, sawed apart, 334 murdered with the sword; they went about in sheepskins and goatskins; they were destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 11:38 (the world was not worthy of them); they wandered in deserts and mountains and caves and openings in the earth. 11:39 And these all were commended 335 for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. 336 11:40 For God had provided something better for us, so that they would be made perfect together with us. 337