Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.…
Hitherto the Jewish Christians had continued to celebrate the ancient ritual, and their presence in the temple and the synagogue had been tolerated by their unbelieving countrymen; but now they were in danger of excommunication, and it is hardly possible for us to conceive their distress and dismay. Their veneration for the institutions of Moses had not been diminished by their acknowledgment of the Messiahship of the Lord Jesus; for them, as well as for the rest of their race, an awful sanctity rested on the ceremonies from which they were threatened with exclusion. Therefore, the writer of this Epistle calls up the most glorious names of Jewish history to confirm his vacillating brethren in their fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ. It was not by offering sacrifices, nor by attending festivals, nor by the pomp and exactness with which they had celebrated any external rites and ceremonies, that the noblest of their forefathers had won their greatness, but by their firm and steadfast trust in God.
(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
WEB: Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.