BROTHERS and SISTERS, by faith Abraham lived for a time as a foreigner in the land he had been promised, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For Abraham looked forward to the city that has foundations, Whose architect and builder is God. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac in sacrifice. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only-begotten son, of whom he had been told, “In Isaac your seed will be called” (Genesis 21:12). Abraham concluded that God is even able to raise someone from the dead and, figuratively speaking, Abraham did receive Isaac back from the dead. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial. By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets. By faith they conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, became strong in weakness, grew mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn apart, they were tempted, they were killed by the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in caves and holes in the ground. All of them received a testimony through their faith, but they did not receive the promise, since God had provided something better so that they would not be made perfect apart from us.