Hebrews 11

Examples of Faith


Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

This object is a modern impression taken from an ancient Roman stamp seal. Such a seal is a form of proof or assurance, demonstrating authenticity and the approval of the person who has applied the seal. Hebrews 11:1 speaks of faith as assurance or conviction of what one has not yet seen. This stamp seal was photographed at the Seville Archaeological Museum.

Noah's Example

By faith Noah … prepared an ark for the salvation of his household (Hebrews 11:7).

Mount Ararat, also known as Greater Ararat or Büyük Ağrı Dağı, is the mountain most commonly associated with the landing site of Noah’s ark. The tradition goes back at least to the eleventh or twelfth centuries. Mount Ararat, with its elevation of 16,945 feet (5,165 m), is the highest mountain in all of Turkey, which is probably why it was identified as the landing site of the ark.

Joseph's Example

By faith Joseph, when his departure was near … gave instructions concerning his bones (Hebrews 11:22).

It was symbolically important that the man who had, from the human side, taken the initiative to bring Israel into Egypt would wait to be buried until the Israelites left Egypt and had returned to Canaan. Joseph’s bones were eventually interred near Shechem (Josh 24:32). This photograph of the traditional tomb of Joseph is striking because of the absence of buildings around it. By contrast, the tomb today is surrounded by modern apartment buildings and other structures. This American Colony photograph was taken between 1898 and 1914.

Moses's Example

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter (Hebrews 11:24).

The identity of the pharaoh who adopted Moses is uncertain; some scholars have suggested Thutmose I, who would fit chronologically if one uses a high chronology for the Egyptian kings and an early date (15th century) for the exodus. This glazed steatite bottle belonged to Meretnubt, the daughter of Thutmose I.

Israel's Example

By faith they crossed over the Red Sea as on dry land (Hebrews 11:29).

This picture is of Lake Timsah in Egypt, one of the bodies of water that has been suggested to be the Red Sea (lit. “Sea of Reeds”) crossed by the Israelites. There are a chain of small lakes and marshes on the Isthmus of Suez, between the modern Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea. From north to south they are Lake Manzala, the Ballah Lakes, Lake Timsah, and the Bitter Lakes. Today, the lakes are linked by the Suez Canal which joins Port Taufiq with Port Said.

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