Hebrews 11:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 11:10, NIV: "For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."

Hebrews 11:10, ESV: "For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God."

Hebrews 11:10, KJV: "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Hebrews 11:10, NASB: "for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God."

Hebrews 11:10, NLT: "Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God."

Hebrews 11:10, CSB: "For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God."

What does Hebrews 11:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse is key to understanding the perspective of early patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God had promised Abraham his descendants would be a mighty nation, occupying a Promised Land (Genesis 15:5–7). The writer of Hebrews invoked Abraham as an example of true faith and one God honored with blessing. At the same time, this passage noted the same promise was also given to Abraham's son and grandson, Isaac and Jacob. That particular pledge had not been fulfilled in their lifetimes, but they chose to trust God and obey accordingly.

This, according to the writer of Hebrews, is because Abraham—and by extension, his children—looked forward beyond even their own lives. The reference here to "the city that has foundations" might be an echo of the visions seen by prophets of the Old Testament (Ezekiel 40—48; Isaiah 60—66), and given more detail in the book of Revelation (Revelation 21:9–14). The city is the New Jerusalem, a feature of God's eventual conquest over all sin and death (Revelation 21:2–4). Their faith explicitly led them to believe that God's ultimate purpose for them was not earthly, but heavenly. This same perspective is important when reading the other examples of faith given in this passage.