The Meaning of Faith
11:1Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.1 11:2For therein the elders had witness borne to them. 11:3By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.
The Example of Abel, Enoch and Noah
11:4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh. 11:5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God: 11:6And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him. 11:7By faith Noah, being warned of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
The Faith of Abraham
11:8By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 11:9By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10for he looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11:11By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive seed when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised: 11:12wherefore also there sprang of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand, which is by the sea-shore, innumerable.
11:13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 11:14For they that say such things make it manifest that they are seeking after a country of their own. 11:15And if indeed they had been mindful of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 11:16But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.
11:17By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac: yea, he that had gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 11:18even he to whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19accounting that God is able to raise up, even from the dead; from whence he did also in a figure receive him back. 11:20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. 11:21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 11:22By faith Joseph, when his end was nigh, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
The Faith of Moses
11:23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw he was a goodly child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 11:24By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 11:25choosing rather to share ill treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 11:26accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he looked unto the recompense of reward. 11:27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 11:28By faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the firstborn should not touch them.
The Faith of Other Israelite Heroes
11:29By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were swallowed up. 11:30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been compassed about for seven days. 11:31By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with them that were disobedient, having received the spies with peace.
11:32And what shall I more say? for the time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah; of David and Samuel and the prophets: 11:33who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 11:34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, waxed mighty in war, turned to flight armies of aliens. 11:35Women received their dead by a resurrection: and others were tortured, not accepting their deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:11:36and others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword: they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated11:38(of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves, and the holes of the earth.
11:39And these all, having had witness borne to them through their faith, received not the promise, 11:40God having provided some better thing concerning us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
- “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This verse is also translated two ways: "Faith gives substance to" and "Faith is a proving of."
In Lessons in Truth, Faith, paragraphs 23 and 24 Emilie Cady gives us another translation: "Faith takes hold of the Substance of the thing hoped for, and brings into evidence (or visibility) the things not seen." She says in these paragraphs that there are two "unerring truths": (1) there is already a supply for every want and (2) demand must be made before the supply can come forth. Her point is that when faith "takes hold" of Substance, then demand is being made.
Preceding Entry: Hebrews 10
Following Entry: Hebrews 12