Hebrews 11:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 11:8, NIV: By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

Hebrews 11:8, ESV: By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Hebrews 11:8, KJV: By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Hebrews 11:8, NASB: By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going.

Hebrews 11:8, NLT: It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.

Hebrews 11:8, CSB: By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going.

What does Hebrews 11:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

To this point in chapter 11, the writer has defined "faith" from the perspective of a forward-looking trust in God's promises (Hebrews 11:1). This is in the context of taking all we know of God—the evidence of Scripture, history, and our experiences—and using it to "hold fast" to our confidence that God will make good on His word (Hebrews 10:23). That confidence, naturally, should lead us to obey Him even when we can't fully see the end of the story. This is the core property of saving faith: a trust that God will be God.

One of the Bible's greatest examples of this kind of trusting faith is Abraham. Here, the writer specifically mentions the moment when Abraham—then named Abram—was called by God to leave his homeland (Genesis 12:1–4). Though Abraham didn't know exactly what the future held, he chose to obey God. This particular section of Hebrews focuses on the general pattern on faith and how God responds by blessing those who obey. Later, Abraham will be mentioned again as the theme shifts to Old Testament heroes who "held fast" to faith despite challenging circumstances.