Hebrews 11:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 11:14, NIV: People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.

Hebrews 11:14, ESV: For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

Hebrews 11:14, KJV: For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

Hebrews 11:14, NASB: For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.

Hebrews 11:14, NLT: Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own.

Hebrews 11:14, CSB: Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

What does Hebrews 11:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

According to the writer of Hebrews, faith in God is a matter of trust (Hebrews 11:1). The prior verses were meant to explain how that trust, in a general sense, is reflected in our willingness to obey God despite not having a perfect understanding of His plans. Figures such as Noah and Abraham had to choose obedience before they had a full understanding of how God would make good on His word. In some cases, such as Abraham and Sarah, they did not live to see the complete fulfillment of those predictions. And yet, they had faith in God, because their faith was "looking forward," understanding that God's ultimate purpose for them was eternal, not earthly (Hebrews 11:10).

This point is emphasized in the next verse by noting that, if figures like Abraham were merely looking for an earthly home, they could always have gone back to where they started (Genesis 12:1–4). And yet, they did not.

So, those with a trusting, forward-looking faith are said to be "seeking a homeland." Instead of relying on this earth as our ultimate end, saved believers can be confident that God's ability to work all things for good extends into eternity. In short, faith in God includes a recognition that this life is not all there is, and that what happens in our time on earth is only a temporary step towards what God has in store for us.