The Hall of Faith
Four observations can be made concerning this chapter.
First, the author’s main point is that since the righteous of the TaNaKh exercised faith, to depart from faith is to depart from the righteous of the TaNaKh.
Second, in 10:35-39, he encouraged the Jewish believers to exercise patient endurance. Therefore, in this chapter he draws many examples from the TaNaKh to show how the people in the Dispensation of the Torah exercised patient endurance. They won the battle through patient endurance and now the first century believer must win it the same way.
Third, the author stated earlier: We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised (6:12). So in this chapter, he will give many examples of those whom the readers can imitate.
Fourth, the key word in the chapter is faith. It is used twenty-four times and always translated faith except once where it is translated as faithful, and once where it is translated as believe, which is basically the same thing. Faith, trust and belief all come from the same Greek root pistis, have a wide semantic range, and are thus interchangeable.294