The Letter to the Hebrews
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield,
Chapter 12 begins[ 1 ] with an encouragement to look to the Christian's forerunner
Jesus and to run the spiritual race with endurance. The discipline of God is
compared with the correction by a human father. Readers are urged to be
strengthened and not fall after the example of Esau. The glorious assembly to
which Christians come is described. They are urged to listen to Him who speaks
from heaven (see chart HEBREWS 12 OUTLINE).
HEBREWS 12 OUTLINE
1. Encouragement to run the spiritual race with
endurance (Heb 12:1, 2).
2. God's discipline compared to correction by a human
father (Heb 12:3-11).
3. Be strengthened and not fall after example of Esau
4. The glorious assembly to which Christians come
5. Urged not to refuse to listen to Him who
speaks from heaven (Heb 12:25-29).
LET US LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT
12:1, 2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares
us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before
Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right
hand of the throne of God.
Therefore [wherefore].[ 2 ] The Hebrew writer draws an inference from chapter
11 where many faithful witnesses were introduced. That inference leads to
complete trust in Jesus and then to a changed and steadfast life.
We also [also].[ 3 ] In some of Paul's epistles, "we" refers to the apostles but not
so here. "We also" alludes to the writer and his readers.
CLOUD OF WITNESSES
(Patriarchs) (Kings) (Captains) (Righteous men)
Since we are surrounded by [seeing we, seeing we also, are compassed about,
compassed about with, since we have, having surrounding us, so great a cloud
of witnesses around us].[ 4 ] "Witnesses" may be used in the sense of spectators
(see 1Ti 6:12). The spectators may the faithful heroes of old described in
Hebrews 11. They had borne witness to their faith by their lives in difficult
circumstances, many by martyrdom.[ 5 ] They are pictured as onlookers or witnesses
observing the struggle of Christians as in an arena, amphitheater or colosseum.[ 6 ]
Perhaps 100,000 onlookers, heroes of faith,[ 7 ] though now in paradise, look down
on Christians as they participate in various contests[ 8 ] or races. If a Christian
would glance quickly toward the grandstand, the many spectators might appear to
him like a great cloud (see chart CLOUD OF WITNESSES).
1. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the
host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and
on His left (1Ki 22:19).
2. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as
I also am known (1Co 13:12).
LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT
1. Vacation cottage, fraternal lodge, civic club.
2. Political party, yacht, alumni organization.
3. Board of directors, governing committee, bingo,
4. Country club, volunteer group, PTA.
5. Election board, chamber of commerce. (Coffman 310)
Jesus spoke of some Gentile witnesses who would condemn His own generation.
The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and
condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a
greater than Jonah is here (Mt 12:41).
Let us lay aside every weight [laying aside, let us also lay aside, every
weight].[ 9 ] When ancient runners trained with weights strapped around their
ankles, they laid them aside during the race. We are told that some of them even
removed their underwear in order to run less encumbered. Christians are pictured
as runners who want something extra in order to victoriously finish their race.
They are encouraged to lay aside every hindrance that might retard faithful
running. Every suspected dishonest contemplation, impure imagination or
improper influence should be immediately discarded for Christ. Even activities,
not wrong in themselves, are to be laid aside if they hinder service to Christ.
And the sin which so easily ensnares us [and sin which clings so closely,
which doth so easily beset us, entangles us].[ 10 ] Some interpreters explain "the
sin" as a weakness that the devil tries to use against a Christian. Such a sin, if
committed, is said to be a "besetting sin." But notice the article in the Greek, the
sin. The Hebrew writer must have had a specific sin in mind. The sin, so often
alluded to in this epistle, is unbelief. Jesus implied that unbelief is a sin.[ 11 ]
And let us run with endurance [and let us run with perseverance,
patience].[ 12 ] The Christian race requires perseverance and tenacity all the way
to the finish line. Steadfastness is essential until at last each runner receives a
crown of victory.
The race.[ 13 ] There is something about the Christian life that is very much like
a race (see 1Co 9:24; Ga 2:2; Php 2:16; 2Ti 2:5; 4:8). First of all the race must
be entered according to rules. This corresponds to believing and obeying the
gospel. Then there is the race course itself where one might tend to give up too
soon or be distracted by conditions or other runners. Finally, there is the goal.
In the case of the Christian the goal is eternal life in heaven.
THE CHRISTIAN RACE
1. To win, must be legally enrolled (2Ti 2:5).
2. Some do not win (1Co 9:24).
3. Discipline an absolute prerequisite of success
4. A host of spectators watches (Heb 12:1).
5. Patience required.
6. Winner rewarded (1Co 9:25).
7. Only one wins earthly contest; every faithful runner
wins spiritual race.
(Adapted from Coffman 311, 312)
That is set before us [that lies before us].[ 14 ] The Hebrew writer spoke before
of Christians having fled for refuge "to lay hold of the hope set before us" (Heb
6:18). Here, he demonstrates that the race course is clearly marked out. The
gospel gives the "rules of the road." The inspired will of God points out both
positive and negative influences and actions that motivate, inspire or that may
[12:2] Looking unto Jesus [looking to, looking steadfastly on, Jesus].[ 15 ] The
idea of concentration in the Greek verb has been captured by several translators
who render "fixing our eyes on." This idea is made clearer by Paul in his letter
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those
things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the
upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Php 3:13, 14).
MOTIVATIONS TO RUN FAITHFULLY
(Heb 12:1, 2)
1. A great cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1).
2. The race course is set before us, clearly marked out
3. The example of Jesus (Heb 12:2).
Jesus is not just one of the many witnesses (see (1Ti 6:13; Re 1:5; 3:14). He is
our forerunner, the perfecter of our faith.[ 16 ]
The author [the pioneer, the leader].[ 17 ] The Hebrew writer has previously
mentioned that Christ is the Captain of salvation.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all
things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation
perfect through sufferings (Heb 2:10).
Jesus is Captain (Heb 2:10), Author (Heb 12:2) and Prince (Re 1:5). Some
lexicographers avoid the term "author" because they have concluded that Christ
was not the originator of "faith." However, the article "the" implies that Christ
is the beginner of "the faith," that is the belief system of the gospel (compare Ac
6:7; 13:8; Ga 1:23; 3:23; Jude 3).
And finisher [and perfecter, completer].[ 18 ] Jesus is the perfecter of the
Christian's faith in that He set the perfect example of belief and obedience to the
Father's will. He is the perfecter of faith in that he provides the eternal reward
to those who reach their goal. Most of all, He is the One who speaks to us the
words of the NT that produces saving faith (Ro 10:17).
"PERFECT" AS USED IN HEBREWS (A)
1. To perfect the author of their salvation through
sufferings (Heb 2:10).
2. Christ having been made perfect (Heb 5:9).
3. Let us go on to perfection (Heb 6:1).
4. If perfection was through the Levitical priesthood
5. The law made nothing perfect (Heb 7:19).
"PERFECT" AS USED IN HEBREWS (B)
1. Son who has been perfected forever (Heb 7:28).
2. Gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make
him who performed the service perfect in regard to
the conscience (Heb 9:9).
3. The Law can never by same sacrifices make perfect
those who draw near (Heb 10:1).
4. By one offering He has perfected forever those who
are being sanctified (Heb 10:14).
5. That they should not be made perfect apart from us
Of our faith [of faith, of the faith].[ 19 ] Christ is the author of His doctrine, the
faith, the truth, the word (see Joh 8:31, 32; 12:47, 48; 2Jo 9, 10; Jude 3). The
NEB paraphrases this passage: "on whom faith depends from start to finish."
Calvinists probably find a degree of false comfort in this weak rendering.
Who for the joy that was set before Him [who, in view of, considering, the
joy lying before him].[ 20 ]
Endured the cross.[ 21 ] To a Jew, one who was hanged on a cross was accursed
(De 21:23). In ancient times, a shameful cross was not an item of jewelry. It was
instead a symbol of the most agonizing torture and death. It was a disgraceful
wooden construction upon which the vilest of criminals bled and died swearing.
Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with
God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a
bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in
appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point
of death, even the death of the cross (Php 2:6-8; see also Joh 15:11; 16:20-24; 17:13).
Despising the shame [having despised, without regard for, its shame].[ 22 ] The
sinless Son of God was shamefully beaten (scourged) and then executed like a
common criminal. The cross was considered a suitable means of killing slaves and
the vilest malefactors. It was so shameful that Roman citizens were exempt from
it. Jesus despised the reproach, disgrace and shame. Yet He counted it necessary
for Him to endure in order to pay the cost for our salvation.
And has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [and is, and hath
set down, seated, at the right of the throne of God].[ 23 ] Sitting down is thought
by some to be figurative as in other passages such as Hebrews 1:3; 8:1; 10:12 but
here it may be literal (see Heb 1:3; 10:12).
Christ shares in God's universal rulership of the universe. Especially significant
is that He is head of the church (Eph 1:18-23). It is a great encouragement to
think of Jesus as the Victor over death and the grave, enthroned and crowned at
God's own right hand.
JESUS ENDURED HOSTILITY FROM SINNERS
12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against
Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
For consider Him [consider well him].[ 24 ] Not only is Christ an inspiration to
every saved person because He is at the right hand of God but because he endured
and suffered for them. He endured much more than people ever do for Him.
When Christians consider Him, they never become weary or faint-hearted.
Who endured such hostility [that, that hath, endured so great gainsaying,
contradiction, opposition].[ 25 ] Courageously, Christ endured contradiction,
opposition, rejection, betrayal, deceit, false judgment and cruelty. The hostility
against Him included everything He endured up to and including His suffering,
bleeding and dying on the cross.
From sinners [of sinners, by sinful people].[ 26 ] No others but sinners would
have been hostile toward the sinless Son of God. Neither would any righteous
person be hostile toward His true followers.
Against Himself.[ 27 ] The plural pronoun in some Greek texts may be correct.
If so, the idea would be that hostile sinners actually opposed themselves. If the
singular is correct, the hostility is understood to be against Christ. It is, however,
always true that those who oppose Christ harm themselves as well as others.
Lest you become weary [that ye, so that you, be not, not be, may not grow,
wax not, weary, lest ye be wearied].[ 28 ] Notice that considering Christ is an
antidote for becoming weary and losing heart.
And discouraged in your souls [or fainthearted, and faint, fainting, in your
minds].[ 29 ] One of the chief problems of any Christian is discouragement. As a
runner, he may become discouraged if he takes his eyes off Christ. As a Christian
soldier, he may become weary of the fight if he forgets his Captain.
Paul kept thinking of Christ and kept on going in spite of persecutions and
discouragements. His old self was crucified with Him, "that the body of sin might
be done away with" (Ro 6:6). He said, "I have been crucified with Christ" (Ga
2:20). He "crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Ga 5:24). He
boasted only in the cross (Ga 6:14).
BE NOT WEARY AND FAINT
1. Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle
with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do
not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified
because of them (De 20:3).
2. The multitude without food three days: I do not
want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on
the way (Mt 15:32; Mk 8:3).
3. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in
due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart
DO NOT DESPISE THE LORD'S CHASTENING
12:4-6 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And
you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son,
do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are
rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every
son whom He receives."
You have not yet resisted [ye have not yet resisted].[ 30 ] In the fight against
sin, the Hebrew readers had not yet suffered major persecution in which their
blood would be shed.
To bloodshed [unto, to the point of shedding your, blood].[ 31 ] One of the
contests in Herod's games was boxing. The contestants did not wear soft boxing
gloves but wound rugged leather thongs around their fists. Some were known to
wrap pieces of metal inside the leather. Fighters were often covered with blood
from the unmerciful blows. The struggles of Christ and many of those mentioned
in the chapter of faith had resulted in bloodshed (Php 2:8; Heb 11:35, 37). The
conflicts against sin of the original readers of the Hebrew letter had not yet
reached that extreme. Paul was concerned about his own life.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have
preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1Co 9:27).
Striving against sin [in your struggle, wrestling, against sin].[ 32 ] The
Christian is in a real battle against sin (see note on 2Co 10:4). Nothing could be
more false than the idea that some have promoted, saying that the Christian is to
relax and let the Holy Spirit do all the fighting by using His own sword.
My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His
correction; 12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the
son in whom he delights (Pr 3:11, 12).
[12:5] And you have forgotten [and have you, and ye have, quite
forgotten].[ 33 ] Early Greek NT manuscripts were without periods and questions
marks. Some understand this phrase to be a question; others an accusation.
The exhortation.[ 34 ] The writer seems to accuse his readers of utterly forgetting
the above exhortation from Proverbs 3:11, 12. Those who forget such things may
be in grave danger of falling away from Christ. An exhortation from the OT
Scriptures is called upon to encourage Christians.
Which speaks to you as to sons [which speaketh, which addresses you, was
addressed, which reasoneth, unto you, with you, as, as with, as unto,
children].[ 35 ] An OT passage is to be considered by those who are sons of God.
That is, Christians are to reason concerning it. This, in no way, implies that they
Christians are under the OT as law (see notes on Col 2:14-16; Heb 7:12).
Nevertheless, Christians may learn a lot about God's attitude toward sin by
studying the OT Scriptures.
RIGHT RESPONSE TO GOD'S CHASTENING
1. Not despise it (Heb 12:5).
2. Not be discouraged or faint under it (Heb 12:5).
3. Must be in subjection to it (Heb 12:9).
4. Must be trained [exercised] by it (Heb 12:11).
My son.[ 36 ] Job's friend Eliphaz, in his effort to show that the innocent do not
Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the
chastening of the Almighty. 18 For He bruises, but He binds up; he
wounds, but His hands make whole (Job 5:17, 18).
Do not despise [do not regard lightly, regard not lightly, despise not, despise
not thou].[ 37 ] There is a purpose in the Lord's chastening. Christians are to look
for lessons in it and not disregard or take it as a matter of course. They are to
seriously consider God's chastening.
The chastening of the Lord [the discipline of the Lord].[ 38 ] The Greek word
for "chastening" or "discipline" alludes to the kind of correction administered in
order to train children.
DIVINE DISCIPLINE (A)
1. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he
commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of
men and with the blows of the sons of men
2. Blessed is the man whom You instruct [chasten], O
LORD, and teach out of Your law" (Ps 94:12).
3. But when we are judged, we are chastened by
the Lord, that we may not be condemned with
the world (1Co 11:32).
DIVINE DISCIPLINE (B)
1. As chastened, and yet not killed (2Co 6:9).
2. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to
wrath, but bring them up in the training and
admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
3. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness (2Ti 3:16).
4. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore
be zealous and repent (Re 3:19).
Nor be discouraged [nor lose courage, nor faint].[ 39 ] In verse 2, the readers
were admonished to consider Jesus' suffering in order to avoid losing heart. Once
again they are urged not to be discouraged, this time by misunderstanding His
chastening and reproof. As F. Scott Peck said, "Life is difficult."
When you are rebuked by Him [when, when thou art, punished, reproved,
of him].[ 40 ] The writer does not say "if" but "when" you are rebuked. Therefore,
Christians may expect the Lord to discipline, chasten and correct His precious
[12:6] For whom the Lord loves [for him whom the Lord loveth].[ 41 ] So far
as I know God loves us without a logical reason. Because of His great love He
gave His only begotten Son to die for us. In addition, His love is demonstrated
by the reproof and correction of His children. Chastening, then, is not a sign of
God's displeasure, but of His love. The tender heart of God was unveiled by
Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him, and be full of reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever. 32 Though He causes grief, yet
He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. 33 For
He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men (Lam 3:30-33).
God's yearning over His people is shown by these words revealed through
How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How
can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart
churns within Me; my sympathy is stirred (Ho 11:8).
He chastens [he chasteneth, disciplines].[ 42 ] This is the word Pilate used when,
about to scourge Jesus, he said, "I will therefore PAIDEUSAS chastise Him and
release Him" (Lu 23:16). Life may become strenuous and perplexing. Hard times
may be used to correct and improve Christians, not to discourage and dishearten.
And scourges [and he chastises, scourgeth].[ 43 ] Christians may expect a
figurative "whipping" from God.
Every son whom He receives [every son whom he receiveth].[ 44 ] There does
not seem to be any exceptions to God's chastening. Every son of God, every
Christian, is included here. No one is exempt from God's discipline. "We must
through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God" (Ac 14:22). Robert Milligan
No child of God need, therefore, expect to enter heaven without, on his way
thither, passing through the furnace of afflictions.[ 45 ]
GOD DEALS WITH YOU AS WITH SONS
12:7, 8 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what
son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without
chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and
If you endure chastening [it is for discipline, for chastening, that ye, that you
have to, endure, what you are enduring is training].[ 46 ] A Christian endures for
a purpose. That purpose is for correction and refinement.
God deals with you as with sons [God is treating you, dealeth with you,
conducts himself toward you, as, as towards, children].[ 47 ] Christians endure
suffering from God. Instead of proving His disfavor, it identifies them as His
GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN
(Heb 12:7, 8)
1. If you are chastened, God loves you as a son.
2. If He neglects your discipline you are not His
3. It is not for your detriment that you are chastised.
4. It is for valuable but unpleasant chastening that
you are enduring.
For what son is there whom a father does not chasten? [what son is he, for
who is the son, that, whom, his father, the father, chasteneth not, does not
discipline, train?].[ 48 ] Discipline and sonship go together.
[12:8] But if you are without chastening [if you are left, but if ye be, without
discipline, without chastisement].[ 49 ] One's sonship is in question if he is without
Of which all have become partakers [whereof all, in which all share, are,
have been made, have participated].[ 50 ] All legitimate sons of God are partakers
of His discipline.
Then you are illegitimate [then are ye bastards].[ 51 ] The converse of the idea
that legitimate children are disciplined is true. Many illegitimate children
anticipate that their fathers will neglect or move away them. They do not expect
him to discipline them at all.
And not sons [and not children of God].[ 52 ] Bastards or illegitimate children
may not always suffer during their earthly life. On the other hand, those who
have God as their spiritual Father and Christ as their Savior accept suffering as a
part of life's training.
GOD DISCIPLINES FOR OUR PROFIT
12:9, 10 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we
paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the
Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as
seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His
Furthermore [besides this, moreover, also].[ 53 ]
We have had human fathers [we had earthly fathers, the fathers of our
flesh].[ 54 ]
Who corrected us [to discipline, chasten, us, as chasteners, which corrected,
disciplined, us].[ 55 ]
RESPECT FOR PARENTS (A)
1. Then Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and
all his father's household with bread, according to
the number in their families Ge 47:12).
2. David to king of Moab: Please let my father and
mother come here with you, till I know what God
will do for me (1Sa 22:3).
3. [Solomon] rose up to meet her and bowed down to
her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne
set for the king's mother; so she sat at his right
hand (1Ki 2:19).
And we paid them respect [and we respected, reverenced, them, and we gave
them reverence].[ 56 ]
RESPECT FOR PARENTS (B)
1. Sons of Jonadab obeyed their father in all he
charged them: to drink no wine all our days, we, our
wives, our sons, or our daughters (Jer 35:8).
2. Jesus continued in subjection to Mary and Joseph
3. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the
disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His
mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
(Joh 19:25, 26).
Shall we not much more readily be in subjection? [and shall we not much
rather be subject, submissive].[ 57 ] The Father of spirits is perfect and so is His
discipline. His purpose is entirely benevolent (see 2Pe 1:4). But the present verse
mainly has to do with obedience to the gospel and dedication to God's will (see
note below on And live).
FATHER OF SPIRITS
1. O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh
(Nu 16:22; 27:16).
2. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the B
heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms
the spirit of man within him (Zec 12:1).
3. For the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls
which I have made (Isa 57:16).
4. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must
worship in spirit and truth (Joh 4:23, 24).
5. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets
(Re 22:6 NASB).
To the Father of spirits [unto the Father of spirits].[ 58 ] The Israelites fell into
emotional turmoil after Korah, Dathan, Abiram and others rebelled but even so
they recognized that God was "the Father of spirits."
Then they fell on their faces, and said, "O God, the God of the spirits of all
flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?" (Nu
Moses and the prophets give additional details on the subject of God being the
Father of spirits (see chart FATHER OF SPIRITS).
The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD,
who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms
the spirit of man within him (Zec 12:1).[ 59 ]
For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own
poets have said, "For we are also His offspring" (Ac 17:28).
And live.[ 60 ] Disobedient children were condemned to death by the Law of
If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of
his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened
him, will not heed them, 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold
of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city.
20 And they shall say to the elders of his city, "This son of ours is stubborn
and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.'
21 Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones;" so you
shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear
The passage above from Deuteronomy presents a type of the dreadful punishment
to be inflicted upon disobedient and rebellious children of God (see Heb 10:39).
The outcome of being in subjection to the Father of spirits is to live! A quality
spiritual life on earth begins by obeying the gospel and then by living faithfully in
harmony with the truth. Jesus discussed this in the famous chapter on the Bread
As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who
feeds on Me will live because of Me (Joh 6:57).
Christians enjoy the abundant life of which Jesus spoke (Joh 10:10).
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to
God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your
mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present
your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present
yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness to God (Ro 6:11-13).
In the Galatian letter we have Paul explaining his spiritual life before the Antioch
For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have
been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God
(Ga 2:19, 20).
The ultimate result of being in subjection to the Father of spirits is eternal life
in heaven (see notes on Tit 1:2; 3:7).
TO THE FATHER OF SPIRITS AND LIVE
1. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has
granted the Son to have life in Himself (Joh 5:26).
2. He who eats this bread will live forever (Joh 6:58).
4. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead
indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our
Lord (Ro 6:11).
5. God has sent His only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through Him (1Jo 4:9).
6. God has given us eternal life, and this life is in
His Son (1Jo 5:11).
[12:10] For they indeed for a few days [indeed they, for, for they verily, for
a short time, for a little while].[ 61 ] The writer of Hebrews refers to the duration
and sort of discipline that had been administered by earthly parents. Its duration
was short in that it was completed during childhood and youth. Its quality varied
because it was meted out according to the best judgment of human parents.
Chastened us as seemed best to them [disciplined us, they at, after, their,
their own, pleasure, as it pleased them, seemed good to them].[ 62 ] Fathers and
mothers may do their best to discipline their children. At least, they think so.
Still, the parents are subject to mistakes, misunderstandings and short-sightedness.
They try to be impartial but it is difficult to discipline children without passion or
temper being brought to bear. The purpose of discipliner should be to mold the
character of the disciplinee. A vent for personal anger may turn out to be more
for the good of a parent than the child. Nevertheless, most adults are able to look
back on discipline they received as children with a realization that it helped them
become better workers and better citizens. Even if a parent was in error in his
discipline, a child may, in the long run, benefit from it.
But He for our profit [but he does it, disciplines us, for our benefit, for our
good, for profit].[ 63 ] God's discipline is never a failure because of an error on
His part. Any discipline that comes from Him is always for our good, as C. S.
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts
in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.[ 64 ]
That we may be partakers of His holiness [that we may share, that we may
be, might be, partakers of, in order to the partaking in, his holiness].[ 65 ]
Notice the chain of thought. We are in subjection to the Father of spirits (verse
9) that we may share His holiness (verse 10). What comes between the subjection
and the holiness is discipline--sorrowful, grieving, distressful discipline with no joy
CHASTENING ULTIMATELY YIELDS PEACEABLE FRUIT
12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful;
nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those
who have been trained by it.
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present [all, indeed all,
discipline, but no chastening, rather than pleasant, seemeth, at the time, for
the moment, to be joyous, matter of joy].[ 66 ] Discipline administered by parents
does not seem pleasant or joyful at the time. Neither does the discipline meted out
by our Heavenly Father.[ 67 ]
But painful [but grievous, of grief, unpleasant, seems painful].[ 68 ] Some
never learn from God's discipline. Only those who are "trained by it" or
"exercised thereby" are benefitted. "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now
I keep Your word" (Ps 119:67). "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may
learn Your statutes" (Ps 119:71).
Nevertheless, afterward it yields [later, but, yet, afterwards, it yieldeth].[ 69 ]
If Christians can rejoice in persecution for righteousness (Mt 5:10-12; Lu 6:22;
compare 2Th 1:4-7) perhaps they can learn to enjoy the outcome of the Lord's
The peaceable fruit of righteousness [even the fruit of righteousness].[ 70 ] The
peaceable fruit of righteousness is the best-tasting fruit in the world. It is enjoyed
after the discipline is over and its lessons are being put into practice.
The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness,
quietness and assurance forever (Isa 32:17).
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation
produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope
(Ro 5:3, 4).
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2Co 4:17).
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle,
willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without
hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who
make peace (Jas 3:17, 18).
To those who have been trained by it [unto them, which are, that have been,
exercised, thereby].[ 71 ] Christians who have been through the crucible of
discipline appreciate God's correcting hand. These tried and tested souls need to
help those now being disciplined to see it through to its happy end.
STRENGTHEN HANDS AND KNEES
12:12, 13 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble
knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not
be dislocated, but rather be healed.
PEACEABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
1. For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness,
righteousness, and truth (Eph 5:9).
2. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which
are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God
3. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by
those who make peace (Jas 3:18).
STRENGTHEN OTHERS (A)
1. David to Solomon: I go the way of all the earth; be
strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man
2. Azariah to Asa: But you, be strong and do not let
your hands be weak, for your work shall be
rewarded! (2Ch 15:7).
3. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong,
do not fear!" (Isa 35:4).
Therefore [wherefore].[ 72 ] The Hebrew writer resumes the figure of a
contestant or runner (see verse 1).
STRENGTHEN OTHERS (B)
1. Haggai to those who returned from captivity: "Yet
now be strong, Zerubbabel," says the LORD; "and
be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high
priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,"
says the LORD, "and work; for I am with you," says
the LORD of hosts (Hag 2:4).
2. Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Let your hands be
strong, you who have been hearing in these days
these words by the mouth of the prophets (Zec 8:9)
3. Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong
4. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the
power of His might (Eph 6:10; compare 2Ti 2:1).
Strengthen [lift, lift up].[ 73 ] In addition to the figure of runners in a race,
picture the people coming from captivity on the long march back to Jerusalem.
They are weary, emotionally drained and tender of foot. Stronger travelers
encourage the weaker ones according to the strength that comes from the Lord.
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; your right hand has
held me up, your gentleness has made me great (Ps 18:35).
They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright (Ps
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name
of the LORD our God. 8 They have bowed down and fallen; but we have
risen and stand upright. 9 Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we
call (Ps 20:7-9).
The hands which hang down [your drooping hands, the hands that are weak,
that hang down].[ 74 ] The Holy Spirit takes a thought He had given to Isaiah who
wrote primarily of the restoration of the Jews to be led by Zerubbabel. "Strengthen
the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees" (Isa 35:3; compare 1Th 5:14).
The passage may also contain an allusion to weak Christians on the upward
journey to eternal life.
And the feeble knees [and strengthen your weak knees, and the palsied,
failing, knees, and the knees that are feeble].[ 75 ]
A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of
Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray (Isa 35:8).
The Hebrew Christians were somewhat cheerless. On the "holy highway" to the
heavenly Jerusalem, they had become disheartened, possibly by God's chastening.
Hands of the tired runners of the Christian race were hanging down and their
knees were feeble. They needed encouragement. The Hebrew epistle provided
just that but fellow Christians needed to help as well.
[12:13] And make straight paths for your feet.[ 76 ] Christians are to do their
best to make their route to heaven plain, clear and right. Regular Bible study,
prayer and assembling together helps to make it smoother. Stronger Christians
provide circumstances and encouragement for weaker ones so that their pathway
will be easier. They unremittingly endeavor to make "straight paths" for children,
relatives and friends in order to encourage them to be faithful to the Lord.
So that what is lame [that that, lest that, which is lame, the weak].[ 77 ] Some
of those who are following Christ are lame spiritually. They need special care and
May not be dislocated [may not be put out of joint, be not, will not be,
turned aside, out of the way].[ 78 ] Minor injuries such as sprains, cuts and bruises
need first aid in order to prevent worse problems. Christians with "insignificant"
problems need to receive care from stronger members.
But rather be healed [but that rather it may, but let it rather, be
restored].[ 79 ] The inference is that, with the proper attention, weak and injured
church members may be brought back to useful service (compare Ro 15:1; Ga 6:1-5; Jas 5:16).
1. Pursue love (1Co 14:1).
2. Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to
hospitality (Ro 12:13).
3. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward
call of God in Christ Jesus (Php 3:14).
4. Always pursue what is good both for yourselves
and for all (1Th 5:15).
5. But you, O man of God, flee these things and
pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love,
patience, gentleness (1Ti 6:11).
6. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness,
faith, love, peace with those who call on the
Lord out of a pure heart (1Ti 6:11).
1. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and
pursue it (Ps 34:14; 37:27; 1Pe 3:1).
2. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the
good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you
shall be devoured by the sword (Isa 1:19, 20).
3. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live
peaceably with all men (Ro 12:18).
4. Let us pursue the things which make for peace and
the building up of one another (Ro 14:19).
5. Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace (Eph 4:3).
PURSUE PEACE WITH ALL
12:14-16 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will
see the Lord: 15 looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many
become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau,
who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
Pursue peace with all people [seek, strive for, follow, follow after, peace with
all, with all men].[ 80 ] Peace is important with God. He wants Christians to be
peacemakers. In the beatitudes Jesus taught that peacemakers are blessed by being
called God's children (Mt 5:9). "People" or "men" is italicized in some versions
because there is no corresponding word in the Greek text. Some prefer to supply
"brethren" (compare Ro 14:19; 1Co 10:32). Christians are to pursue peace with
everyone, not revenge, hostility or discord.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Mt 5:9;
compare Mk 9:50).
1. Flee sexual immorality (1Co 6:18).
2. For what fellowship has righteousness with
lawlessness? And what communion has light with
darkness? (2Co 6:14).
3. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the
flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of
God (2Co 7:1).
4. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that
you should abstain from sexual immorality (1Th 4:3).
5. Be holy, for I am holy (1Pe 1:16).
6. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved,
what manner of persons ought you to be in holy
conduct and godliness (2Pe 3:11).
HOLINESS NOT OPTIONAL
And holiness [and for the holiness, and the sanctification].[ 81 ] Verse 10
implies one of the reasons to endure God's chastening is "that we may be partakers
of His holiness." Israel, under the OT Law, did not attain holiness (Ro 9:31). So
Paul urged the Roman brethren:
So now present your members as slaves to righteousness for holiness (Ro
Holiness is not an optional extra.[ 82 ] Notice the words now and slaves in Romans
6:19. "Now" proscribes the time when the command should be obeyed. "Slaves"
alludes to total dedication to the task.
Without which no one will see the Lord [without which no man shall see the
Lord].[ 83 ] In Matthew 5:8 Jesus said that the "pure in heart" shall see God. We
may infer that being holy and being pure in heart are the same. Souls are purified
when people obey the truth (1Pe 1:22). Then and there they become pure and
holy. "See the Lord" may be a figure borrowed from the privilege of being in the
presence of and associating with kings. The pure in heart shall "see God" (Mt
5:8). Believers shall "see life" (Joh 3:36). Servants of the Lamb "shall see His
face" (Re 22:4). Seeing the Lord, God, His face and life are all terms that picture
SEE THAT NO ONE COMES SHORT OF GOD'S GRACE
[12:15] Looking diligently [see to it, looking carefully, watching].[ 84 ] One
obligation that must not be overlooked concerns the direction of one's attention.
First, attention needs to be given one's own salvation and then to that of someone
else. Every Christian needs both to care for and encourage others. None should
allow himself to let bitterness take over and be lost, that is, come short of the
grace of God. None should fail in helping others guard against the same.
Lest anyone fall short [that no one, lest any man, there be any one, fail, fail
to obtain, falleth short, falls behind, who lacks].[ 85 ] Recall again the picture of
Christians advancing toward the holy city, heavenly Jerusalem. Willful or careless
stragglers, those holding back or completely off the path, may never reach the
goal. If they do not, they lose all of the benefits of the grace of God and will be
Of the grace of God [the, from the, grace of God].[ 86 ] The grace of God is
that which enables the feet of Christian runners to be planted on the shores of
heaven at last. If anyone comes short of grace he loses heaven (see Ga 5:4, 7).
In Hebrews 10:38, the writer spoke of those who draw back. Here the picture is
of undue carelessness so that a runner is left behind in a cloud of dust. Because
of his intentional drawing back, indifference or lack of effort, he forfeits his prize.
Lest any root of bitterness [lest a, that no, "root of bitterness"].[ 87 ] A "root
of bitterness" is anyone who turns away from the Lord. When God was
establishing His covenant with the Israelites, He warned about serving heathen
So that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe,
whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the
gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing
bitterness or wormwood (De 29:18).
A "root bearing bitterness or wormwood"[ 88 ] included not only people who went
and served "the gods of these nations" but who boasted[ 89 ] about it.
And so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he
blesses himself in his heart, saying, "I shall have peace, even though I walk
in the imagination of my heart" (De 29:19).
Notice the harsh warning:
The LORD would not spare him; for then the anger of the LORD and His
jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this
book would settle on him, and the LORD would blot out his name from
under heaven (De 29:20).
The NASB renders the first of the above verse: "The Lord shall never be willing
to forgive him." in Moses' song apostate Israel is described.
For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah; their
grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. 33 Their wine is the
poison of serpents, and the cruel venom of cobras (De 32:32, 33; compare
Springing up [spring up, grow up].[ 90 ] About a year ago I cut down a paradise
tree that was growing in my back yard. Since then hundreds of little paradise trees
sprang up everywhere. The evil of one person who rebels against God may spread
to many others (1Co 5:6; Ga 5:9).
Causes trouble [and cause trouble, trouble you].[ 91 ]
And by this many become defiled [and by it corrupt many, through it,
thereby, the many be defiled].[ 92 ] In the NT, defiled ones are classed with the
unbelieving of whom Paul said, "Even their mind and conscience are defiled" (Tit
Lest there be any fornicator [that no one be immoral, lest there be any
fornication, that there be no sexually immoral person].[ 93 ] One characteristic
of them is that they regard that which is sacred as common.
THE SIN OF ADULTERY/FORNICATION
1. Primarily against God (Ge 39:9).
2. Against one's very soul (Pr 6:32).
3. Against the life of the nation (Pr 13:34).
4. Against marriage (Mt 19:6).
5. Against one's body (1Co 6:18).
6. Against the Christ (1Co 8:12).
Or profane person [or an unholy person, irreligious].[ 94 ] I do not believe that
the present passages implies that all defiled persons are fornicators. Paul wrote
that the Law was made for the unholy and profane.
Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the
lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy
and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for
manslayers (1Ti 1:9).
Like Esau [as Esau].[ 95 ] Esau may have been a fornicator but it is not certain
that the Hebrew writer so accused him.[ 96 ] He was definitely a profane person
because he regarded that which was sacred (his birthright) as common.
Who for one morsel of food [who for one meal, a single meal, one mess of
meat].[ 97 ]
ADVANTAGES OF A BIRTHRIGHT
1. Pre-eminence in authority (see Ge 27:29; 49:3).
2. Superiority of position (see Ex 4:22; De 21:16, 17).
3. A double portion of the inheritance
(De 21:15-17; 1Ch 5:1, 2).
4. A first-born patriarch had the privilege of priesthood.
5. The Messiah was to come through those who held
Sold his birthright [sold his own birthright].[ 98 ] A birthright gave several
advantages (see chart ADVANTAGES OF A BIRTHRIGHT). Probably the most
important feather had to do with the coming of the Messiah through the firstborn.
A disregard for this one thing was enough to make Esau a profane person. A
check of the genealogical lists will reveal that God set aside this rule in several
cases. For example, Isaac was preferred to Ishmael; Jacob to Esau; Judah to
Reuben.[ 99 ] For the Messianic lineage, David was chosen over his older brothers.
Solomon was chosen over Adonijah.[ 100 ]
To Esau, at that moment, selling the birthright must have seemed
inconsequential. He was tired and hungry. Did he think that it would not do him
any good if he died of hunger? Did he think that a quick meal here and now
would offer more gratification than any future benefits of an uncertain birthright?
FOUND NO PLACE FOR REPENTANCE
12:17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing,
he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it
diligently with tears.
For you know [for ye know].[ 101 ]
That afterward [that even, that also, how that, afterwards].[ 102 ] Esau had
already made the sale of his birthright.
When he wanted to inherit the blessing [desiring, when he desired, when he
would have, inherited the blessing].[ 103 ] The birthright Esau sold held the very
blessing he desired.
He was rejected.[ 104 ] It was too late for Esau. His birthright had been sold.
His blessing had been given to another. It was irrecoverable.
For he found no place for repentance [for he found no chance to repent, of
repentance, for a change of mind in his father].[ 105 ] Later on, Esau had second
thoughts but no matter how hard he pleaded, he could not bring about a change of
mind in his father Isaac.
Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, "Who? Where is the one who
hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I
have blessed him-- and indeed he shall be blessed" (Ge 27:33).
For the father to arbitrarily cancel a blessing after it was officially given was not
consistent with the rules of birthrights and blessings. He would not force the
cancellation of the sold birthright or recover it for Esau. He could not, he should
not, he did not, change his mind.
Though he sought it diligently with tears [although he sought it, sought it
earnestly, carefully, with tears].[ 106 ] Because of the wording of this phrase, it
may be that Esau did everything possible to find repentance[ 107 ] in his own heart.
However, the meaning evidently is that he found no place for a change of mind
in his father Isaac.
When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great
and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me-- me also, O my father!"
Isaac went ahead and blessed Esau but it was a "secondary" blessing. He did not
rescind or alter the blessing already bestowed upon Jacob.
In Hebrews 4, we learned that it is possible to come short of the promised rest
in heaven. The present chapter teaches that a person may "fall short of the grace
of God" (Heb 12:15). It is also possible for a person to be rejected as was Esau.
A BLAZING GLOOMY MOUNTAIN
12:18, 19 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and
that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the
sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged
that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
For you have not come [for ye are not come].[ 108 ] The coming of the
Israelites to Mount Sinai was a type of Christians coming to Mount Zion (see verse
22) but there is a great difference between the two comings. The first was one of
fear; the second, of joy. The Greek perfect tense suggests that Christians have
come to Mount Zion and their present state is affected by that coming. In other
words, they had obeyed Christ (Heb 5:9) and remained as Christians. They gladly
received the word (Ac 2:41), and continue to serve the Lord with gladness
(compare Ps 100:2; Ac 2:42).
To the mountain [unto a, the, mount].[ 109 ] There is no doubt that the mountain
alluded to is Sinai[ 110 ] but there is some question as to just which mountain is in
That may be touched [to what might be touched].[ 111 ] Mount Sinai was
tangible, corporeal, touchable. The Lord warned Moses:
You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, "Take heed to
yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base.
Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death" (Ex 19:12;
compare verses 23, 24).
Although Mount Zion, to which Christians come, is spiritual and heavenly, it
must not be thought of as imaginary. It is very true and real. It is as real as the
body of Christ and as actual as salvation from sin.
And that burned with fire [a blazing fire, and was all on fire].[ 112 ] At the
time of the giving of the Law, Mount Sinai was "on a smoke" (KJV).
Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended
upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the
whole mountain quaked greatly (Ex 19:18; compare De 5:4; 9:15).
And to blackness and darkness [and, and unto, nor unto, blackness, and
obscurity, gloom].[ 113 ] The Israelites were acquainted with darkness. One of the
plagues of Egypt was "thick darkness" (Ex 10:22). Much later, in pronouncing
a day of judgment upon Judah, the prophet Zephaniah painted a somber picture
when he wrote of coming trouble because of the countless sins of Judah.
That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of
devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of
clouds and thick darkness (Zep 1:15).
However, the reference in the present verse is to the giving of the Law of
Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were
thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the
sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the
camp trembled (Ex 19:16).
Later on, Moses related the same scene.
Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain
burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick
darkness (De 4:11).
And tempest [and a tempest].[ 114 ]
[12:19] And the sound of a trumpet [and trumpet's sound, and the sound of
a trumpet].[ 115 ] At the giving of the Law of Moses, the fire, smoke and storm
were accompanied by trumpet blasts. The people were terrified.
Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the
sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw
it, they trembled and stood afar off (Ex 20:18).
And the voice of words [and voice, a voice, whose words, and a voice of
words].[ 116 ] The Israelites heard the sound of God's thunderous words.
And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and
louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice (Ex 19:19).
In relating this experience, Moses wrote,
And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the
sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice (De 4:12).
Again, Moses recounted,
These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from
the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice;
and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and
gave them to me (De 5:22).
So that those who heard it [made the hearers, which, which voice, they that
heard].[ 117 ] The people actually heard the voice of the living God and lived (De
Begged [entreat, entreated, excusing themselves].[ 118 ]
That the word should not be spoken to them anymore [that no word more,
no further word, messages, should be spoken, be given them, unto them,
declined the word being addressed to them any more].[ 119 ] The Israelites were
afraid they would die because they heard God speaking. They begged that nothing
additional be said to them. They pleaded:
Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if
we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die (De
5:25; compare De 18:16).
MOSES WAS EXCEEDINGLY AFRAID
12:20, 21 (For they could not endure what was commanded: "And if so much
as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow." 21
And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and
For they could not endure what was commanded [for they were not able to,
bear what, that which, was enjoined, the order, the command, that was
given].[ 120 ] The mountain was touchable (verse 18), yet the people could not bear
the command to kill a beast that touched it. They also feared for their own lives.
The rigor of the command seemed too much for them to accept. They experienced
so much terror they would not approach Mount Sinai, even if they could.
And if so much as a beast touches the mountain [and if, if even, a beast,
touch, should touch, the mount].[ 121 ] For man or beast to touch the mountain
was to profane it.
It shall be stoned.[ 122 ] Any person who touched Mount Sinai at that time was
to be put to death (Ex 19:12). Likewise, an animal that touched it was to be
stoned to death (Ex 19:13).
Or shot with an arrow [or thrust through with a dart].[ 123 ] At first glance
it seems that the method of killing a beast was optional. However, "or shot with
an arrow" does not appear in several versions. Although the phrase is carried in
the NKJV, it apparently is a gloss,[ 124 ] a section added sometime after the original
was penned. In some versions, the words "with an arrow" in the OT reference are
in italics, indicating they were supplied by translators.
[12:21] And so terrifying was the sight [indeed, so terrible, fearful, was the
appearance, and the sight was so terrifying].[ 125 ] With the frightful whirlwind,
fire, smoke, earthquake blasts and the thundering voice of God, who would not be
scared out of his wits?
That Moses said, I am exceedingly afraid and trembling [Moses said, I
tremble with fear, I exceedingly fear and tremble, quake, full of
trembling].[ 126 ] Moses too feared for his life. Later, when he came down from
Sinai with the Ten Commandments, it seems that he did not want to hear God's
voice any more either. He broke the stone tablets. In one of his sermons in
Deuteronomy, he reviewed the rebellion of the Israelites together with his own fear
that was first recorded in Exodus 32:1-35.
Then I took the two tablets and threw them out of my two hands and broke
them before your eyes. 18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the
first, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water,
because of all your sin which you committed in doing wickedly in the sight
of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger
and hot displeasure with which the LORD was angry with you, to destroy
you. But the LORD listened to me at that time also (De 9:17-19).
By contrast, Christians have come to glorious Mount Zion, to the kingdom of
YOU HAVE COME TO MOUNT ZION
12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the
general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to
God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the
Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks
better things than that of Abel.
1. Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion
2. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is
Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the
great King (Ps 48:2).
3. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine
forth (Ps 50:2).
4. In that time a present will be brought to the LORD
of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin, and
from a people terrible from their beginning onward,
a nation powerful and treading down, whose land
the rivers divide-- to the place of the name of
the LORD of hosts, to Mount Zion (Isa 18:7).
But you have come to Mount Zion [but ye are come unto Mount Sion].[ 127 ]
The Holy Spirit contrasts NT Mount Zion to which Christians come, with the OT
Mount Sinai. Earthly Mount Zion in Jerusalem is a type of heavenly Mount Zion,
the dwelling-place of God. Think of Mount Zion as a place of joyful obedience.
There was rejoicing by those on Pentecost who gladly received the word (Ac 2:41)
who, upon being baptized, received the forgiveness of sins and then the gift of the
Holy Spirit. Sinai, on the other hand, was a site of terror.
And to the city of the living God [and unto, even to, the city of the living
God].[ 128 ] The city of the living God where He reigns and to which the redeemed
come is called heavenly Jerusalem. Christians on earth hold citizenship there (Eph
2:19; Php 3:20).
The heavenly Jerusalem [heavenly Jerusalem][ 129 ] (see chart HEAVENLY
To an innumerable company of angels [and to myriads, innumerable hosts,
vast multitudes, of angels, innumerable angels in festal gathering].[ 130 ] Angels
are ministering spirits for those who inherit salvation (Heb 1:14). Their number
is so large it is referred to as myriads, literally, ten thousands, the plural signifying
[12:23] To the general assembly [to a, and to the, assembly, the universal
gathering].[ 131 ] The Law was given by angels at a time of fear and dread (see
note on Ga 3:19). By faith Christians see a "festal host" of angels around the
heavenly throne on which Christ is exalted. The myriads of angels, together with
the church, are joyful (implied by the Greek PANEEGUREI general assembly).
This accords with what Jesus said about joy in heaven when sinners repent (see Lu
And church of the firstborn [and to the assembly of, and church of the
firstborn people].[ 132 ] In the Bible the word "firstborn" is a rather technical term.
It sometimes refers to the eldest son, the one born first of his mother and father.
However, it often means first in rank or privilege. The Lord's church is "the
church of the firstborn." Its members, as firstborn ones, have exalted privileges
and blessings (see Eph 1:3).
In the present verse, the Greek for "firstborn" is plural.[ 133 ] Faithful Christians
are "firstborn." They share the inheritance as fellow-heirs in Christ who is God's
first-born (see Ac 13:33; Ro 8:17; Col 1:18; chart CHRIST THE FIRST-BORN).
In a figure, every member of the church of Christ makes up "the true Israel of
God" (Ga 6:16). God instructed Moses to say to Pharaoh:
Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son,
My firstborn (Ex 4:22).
Today, the church, the true Israel of God, is God's firstborn. Unlike Esau,
Isaac's firstborn son who sold his birthright, faithful Christians retain their
birthright and, figuratively, their first-born sonship (see Heb 12:16).
Who are registered in heaven [which are written, enrolled, in the
heavens][ 134 ] (see charts WRITTEN IN HEAVEN OT and NT).
CHRIST, THE FIRST-BORN
1. Firstborn among many brethren (Ro 8:29).
2. Firstborn over all creation (Col 1:15).
3. Firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18).
4. But when He again brings the firstborn into the
world (Heb 1:6).
5. Firstborn from the dead (Re 1:5).
WRITTEN IN HEAVEN (OT)
1. Moses: Yet now, if You will forgive their sin-- but if
not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You
have written (Ex 32:32).
2. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living
3. And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion
and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy--
everyone who is recorded among the living in
Jerusalem (Isa 4:3).
4. And at that time your people shall be delivered,
every one who is found written in the book
WRITTEN IN HEAVEN (NT)
1. But rather rejoice because your names are written in
heaven (Lu 10:20).
2. My fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of
Life (Php 4:3).
3. Clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out
his name from the Book of Life (Re 3:5;
To God the Judge of all [and to a judge who is God of all, and to God judge,
the judge, of all].[ 135 ] The Great Judge is the Father of those whom He chastens
(Heb 12:6, 7), of those in His grace (Heb 12:15), of the church of the first-born
enrolled in heaven (Heb 12:23). He is a consuming fire (see note on Heb 12:29).
Of course, as "Judge of all the earth" (Ge 18:25), He will judge the world. He
will do so, not personally, but through Jesus Christ (Joh 5:22; Ac 17:31).
To the spirits of just men [and to the spirits of righteous people].[ 136 ] The
departed spirits of righteous men and women of all dispensations and ages abide
in the heavenly city.
Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night
in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16
They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not
strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne
will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God
will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Re 7:15-17).
Made perfect.[ 137 ] The words "made perfect" are used in a technical sense in
the book of Hebrews and often mean forgiven (compare Heb 8:11, 12; 11:40). In
the present verse, they describe the heavenly condition of the saved. At the last
day, they shall be raised incorruptible, imperishable and changed. "This mortal
must put on immortality" (1Co 15:52, 53).
[12:24] To Jesus [and to Jesus].[ 138 ] The Holy Spirit continues the thought of
"coming" or "drawing near" (see verse 22). A Christian draws near to Christ, the
Mediator. It is a sacred privilege to come to God through Him (see notes on Ro
5:2; 1Co 1:30; Heb 8:6).
The Mediator of the new covenant [mediator, the mediator, of a, the, new
covenant].[ 139 ] Jews, conversant with the OT, were aware of the famous
prophecy of the new covenant (Jer 31:31-34). The Hebrew writer, especially in
chapter 8, demonstrated conclusively that Jesus is the mediator of it. When, at the
end of time, men and women are ushered into eternity, those who have lived and
died after the cross will be judged by the new covenant, not the old. It behooves
men and women to draw near to God through Jesus Christ the Mediator of the new
covenant (see charts MEDIATOR OF NEW COVENANT A and B).
MEDIATOR OF NEW COVENANT (A)
1. A surety of a better covenant (Heb 7:22).
2. Mediator of a better covenant, which was
established on better promises (Heb 8:6).
3. New covenant with the house of Israel and with the
house of Judah (Heb 8:8).
MEDIATOR OF NEW COVENANT (B)
1. For this is the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I
will put My laws in their mind and write them on
their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall
be My people (Heb 8:10).
2. The Mediator of the new covenant, by means of
death, for the redemption of the transgressions
under the first covenant, that those who are called
may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance
And to the blood of sprinkling [and to the sprinkled blood, the sprinkling of
blood].[ 140 ] The sprinkling of blood alludes both to the inauguration of the old
covenant (Ex 24:8) and the atonement (Le 16:14, 15). The shedding of Christ's
blood in His death was necessary for the new covenant to become of force (Heb
9:14-16; compare 10:14-18). Shedding of blood was always essential for
remission of sins.
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the
unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall
the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without
spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living
God? (Heb 9:13, 14).
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins
(Heb 10:4; compare (Heb 10:22).
Sprinkling of blood is necessary for salvation but not by animal blood by which
there is no remission (Heb 9:22). Peter reminded his readers that they were
chosen and that the sprinkling of blood occurs in connection with obedience to
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of
the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace
to you and peace be multiplied (1Pe 1:2).
That speaks better things than that of Abel [speaking better, that speaketh
more graciously, than, than the blood of, Abel].[ 141 ] The blood of Christ and
the blood of Abel are personified. Christ's blood speaks better than Abel's. Abel's
blood cries out, "Vengeance! Vengeance!" (Ge 4:10). Christ's cries out, "Mercy!
Mercy!" Abel may have recognized a connection between faith, blood and
forgiveness. However, there are many things about salvation in Christ he probably
knew little or nothing about (see note on Heb 11:4; chart ABEL DID NOT
ABEL DID NOT UNDERSTAND
1. That everyone must come to God through Christ
(Joh 11:25; 14:6).
2. God set forth Christ as a propitiation by His blood
3. That God might be just and the justifier of the one
who has faith in Jesus (Ro 3:26).
4. God having provided something better for us, that
they should not be made perfect apart from us
DO NOT REFUSE HIM WHO SPEAKS
12:25, 26 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not
escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape
if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook
the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only
the earth, but also heaven."
See [see to it].[ 142 ] In summation of the thoughts presented in verses 28-30, the
Holy Spirit urges His readers to "See" or "See to it." That is, they were to take
care that they did not refuse the message of Christ (see verse 24; note on Heb
That you do not refuse [that ye refuse not, that you do not reject].[ 143 ] At
Sinai, the Israelites asked that God not speak directly anymore to them (see verse
19). At the time, they were extremely frightened. Their refusal foreshadowed
many similar occasions in the wilderness when they did not want to listen to God's
word. This was what the Hebrew writer was talking about when he said,
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do
not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the
wilderness (Heb 3:7, 8).
While it is said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your
hearts as in the rebellion" (Heb 3:15).
Refusing Him (Christ) who is speaking reminds one of the parable of the Great
Supper, when all "began to PARAITEISTHAI make excuses" (Lu 14:18). Men
and women have made multitudinous and lame excuses for not heeding the Lords's
message. At the judgment He will reprove those making excuses (Mt 7:22, 23).
1. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ
2. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life (Joh 6:68).
3. The word that I have spoken will judge him in the
last day (Joh 12:48).
4. If you love Me, keep My commandments
(Joh 14:15, 23).
5. In these last days spoken to us by His Son
Him who speaks [him that speaketh, is speaking].[ 144 ] Christ and His blood
still speaks through the gospel. He is speaking to us through the pages of the NT.
Christians, who turn back to the OT Judaistic system are, in effect, refusing the
blood of Christ that speaks "Mercy!" (see note on verse 24).
For if they [for if those].[ 145 ] The Hebrew writer Spirit alludes to those who
came out of Egypt with Moses. As if speaking to the same wilderness-generation,
he wrote to Christians:
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in
departing from the living God (Heb 3:12).
In chapter 4 the Holy Spirit calls that generation "they" just as in the present
verse. "They" disregarded the message of God, His law.
For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word
which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those
who heard it (Heb 4:2).
Did not escape [escaped not].[ 146 ] Earlier, the Hebrew writer introduced the
question, "How shall we escape" (Heb 2:3). The judgment is coming for everyone
(Heb 9:27). "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb
10:31; see chart MUCH LESS SHALL WE ESCAPE).
Who refused Him who spoke on earth [who had, when they, rejected him
that spake, warned, was warning them, uttered the oracles, on earth].[ 147 ]
The Greek implies that the one who warned the Israelites was speaking from God.
God warned them through Moses, the one who "spoke on earth" (see Thayer in
footnote). Barclay observed,
Now the word [CHREEMATIZONTA] that he uses of Moses implies that
Moses was only the transmitter of these oracles[ 148 ] (see note on Ac 11:26).
MUCH LESS SHALL WE ESCAPE
1. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a
salvation? (Heb 2:3).
2. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose,
will he be thought worthy who has trampled the
Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the
covenant by which he was sanctified a common
thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
3. Much more shall we not escape if we turn
away from Him who speaks from heaven
Much more shall we not escape if we turn away [much less, how much less,
shall we escape if we reject, much more shall not we escape who, we who, can
we escape if we reject him][ 149 ] (see chart MUCH LESS SHALL WE ESCAPE).
From Him who speaks from heaven [him who warns, that speaketh, warneth,
who does so, who is, from heaven].[ 150 ] God, who speaks from heaven, has
"spoken to us by His Son" (Heb 1:2; see note below on verse 26). Although Jesus
may have spoken with a Galilean accent, He gave a heavenly message. The Son
of God, God the Son, warns from heaven. Hear Barclay again:
He was not merely the transmitter of the voice of God [like Moses was]; He
was the voice of God.[ 151 ]
COSMIC CATACLYSM COMING
[12:26] Whose voice [His voice].[ 152 ] God's voice shook the earth.
Then shook the earth [shook the earth then].[ 153 ]
The mountains gushed[ 154 ] before the LORD, this Sinai, before the LORD
God of Israel (Jg 5:5).
O God, when You went out before Your people, when You marched
through the wilderness, Selah 8 The earth shook; the heavens also dropped
rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God,
the God of Israel (Ps 68:7, 8).[ 155 ]
But now He has promised [ but now he hath promised].[ 156 ] After the return
from captivity,[ 157 ] the quality of the rebuilt temple did not equal its former glory.
God assured Zerubbabel that His Spirit was still abiding in their midst and that the
nations would be shaken. The Hebrew writer quotes, saying,
For thus says the LORD of hosts: "Once more (it is a little while) I will
shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land" (Hag 2:6).
Saying, Yet once more [saying, Yet once, once for all].[ 158 ] The complete
fulfillment of what God foretold was not to be in OT times. "Yet once more"
implies one more time when the earth will be shaken (see note below on verse 27).
The promise was to have a fulfillment in the distant future (see 2Pe 3:7-10).
I shake not only the earth [I will shake not only the earth, will I make to
tremble not the earth only][ 159 ] (see Ge 28:15; De 31:6-8; Jos 1:5).
But also heaven [but also the heaven].[ 160 ] Both the heavens and the earth will
They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment;
12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You
are the same, and Your years will not fail (Heb 1:11, 12).
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first
earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea (Re 21:1).
THINGS NOT BE SHAKEN REMAIN
12:27 Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that
are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be
shaken may remain.
Now this yet once more indicates [but the, but this, this phrase, and this
word yet once, yet once for all, signifies, signifieth].[ 161 ] The indication is to
a future shaking that will be final, that is, the end of the earth.
The removal [the removing].[ 162 ] Paul observed, "For the form of this world
is passing away" (1Co 7:31). John recognized this and more.
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will
of God abides forever (1Jo 2:17).
Of those things that are being shaken [of what is, of those things that are,
of the things that can be, shaken].[ 163 ] The things that are shaken are the
created things. The shaken things are removed. They do not "remain." Some
perceptive scholars claim to have seen in this an allusion to the removal of the
whole Jewish system in AD 70.
As of things that are made [as being, as having been, as of what has been,
that have been, made].[ 164 ]
Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work
of Your hands. 26 They will perish, but You will endure; yes, they will all
grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will change them, and they will
be changed (Ps 102:25, 26).
That the things which cannot be shaken may remain [in order that what,
that those things, which are not, that what is not, that the things that cannot
be, shaken may remain].[ 165 ] The church of our Lord cannot be shaken (see
chart UNSHAKABLE THINGS).
THE UNSHAKABLE KINGDOM
12:28, 29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be
shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with
reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Therefore [wherefore].[ 166 ] The Holy Spirit uses information about removing
"created things" as a motivation to show gratitude and to offer to God acceptable
service. The attitude of Christians is one of reverence and awe.
1. The food which endures to everlasting life
(Joh 6:27; compare 1Pe 1:25).
2. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures,
he will receive a reward (1Co 3:14).
3. Love never fails (1Co 13:8).
4. The things which are not seen are eternal
5. God's spiritual kingdom: "The things which cannot
be shaken" (Heb 12:27).
Since we are receiving a kingdom [receiving, we receiving, for receiving, a
kingdom].[ 167 ] The kingdom that reaches into heaven is, on earth, the church of
Which cannot be shaken [not to be shaken, that, for that, cannot be
moved].[ 168 ]
Let us have grace [let us be grateful, let us be thankful].[ 169 ] Christians are
grateful for the kingdom. As Timothy Dwight wrote:
I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode;
The church our blest Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.
By which we may serve God [and thus, through which, whereby, let us serve
God, offer, we may offer service, to God].[ 170 ]
Acceptably [acceptable worship, well-pleasing to God, in a pleasing
manner].[ 171 ] The word "acceptable" was used of Enoch being pleasing to God
(Heb 11:5). "But without faith it is impossible EUARESTEESAI to please Him"
(Heb 11:6). It is also applied to benevolent work.
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is
EUARESTEITAI well pleased (Heb 13:16).
With reverence.[ 172 ] Christians worship God with great respect. Their souls
are prostrate before Him.
And godly fear [and awe, fear].[ 173 ] The realization that God is a consuming
fire keeps me on my toes as I worship and serve daily the Great King of the
Universe. Worship not acceptable include actions not done by faith (see Ge 4:5)
and offering strange things not commanded (Le 10:1-3). Sinful actions include
encouraging sin for money, disobeying direct commands like King Saul (1Sa 15)
and disrespecting God's instructions like Uzza (1Ch 13:7-11).
[12:29] For our God is a consuming fire [for also our God is a consuming
fire].[ 174 ]
The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of
the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel (Ex 24:17).
Our Lord is "a consuming fire, a jealous God" (De 4:24). This aspect of Deity
relates to the destruction of the enemies of Israel (De 9:3). Malachi predicted the
coming of the Lord. He was to be "like a refiner's fire and like launderer's soap"
(Mal 3:2; compare Mal 4:1).
God's holy anger blazes toward the rebellious and toward those who reject the
sacrifice of His only begotten Son (compare 2Th 1:7-9). The book of Hebrews
warns against neglect (Heb 2:1-4), a heart of unbelief (Heb 3:12, 13), crucifying
afresh the Son of God (Heb 6:4, 5), judgment to come (Heb 9:27), willful sin
(Heb 10:26, 27) and drawing back to perdition (Heb 10:29-31).
On the other hand, the book of Hebrews offers much encouragement to hold fast
the confession (Heb 4:14, 10:23), to go on to perfection (Heb 6:1) being
persuaded of better things (Heb 6:9), to draw near with a true heart (Heb 10:22),
and to continue praising God (Heb 13:15).
[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV, RSV and occasionally another version.
Greek transliteration tends to follow the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]TOIGAROUN, so therefore (Marshall 887); an emphatic particle, strongly affirming the facts on
which the following exhortation is based (Vincent 4.535); a particle introducing an inference for that
very reason, then, therefore (Arndt 821); so then (Lenski 423); therefore (Williams).
[ 3 ]KAI HEEMEIS, also we (Marshall 887); the we also should be construed with let us run.
Therefore let us also [as they did] run our appointed race with patience" (Vincent 4.536); we, too, on
our part (Lenski 423); as we (Williams).
[ 4 ]TOSOUTON ECHONTES PERIKEIMENON HEEMIN NEPHOS MARTUROON, such having
lying around us a cloud of witnesses (Marshall 887); ECHONTES is the present active participle,
nominative plural masculine of ECHOO; PERIKEIMENON is the present middle participle, accusative
singular neuter of PERIKEIMAI (Han 407); literally, having so great a cloud of witnesses lying around
us. NEPHOS cloud means a great mass of cloud covering the entire visible space of the heavens, and
therefore without definite form, or a single large mass in which definite outlines are not emphasized
or distinguished; does not mean spectators, but those who have borne witness to the truth, as those
enumerated in chapter 11. Yet the idea of spectators is implied, and is really the principal idea
(Vincent 4.536); so great, so large, so far, so much, so strong, etc., a crowd of people surrounding
someone; [MARTUROON], figuratively, of anyone who can or should testify to anything . . . of any
kind of human witnessing by eye and ear . . . of those witnesses whose faith is tried and true (Arndt
494, 648, 823); having so great a cloud of witnesses all about us (Lenski 423); have so vast a crowd
of spectators in the grandstands [the ancient arena surrounded by spectators of the sports much like our
modern athletic field with spectators in the grandstands; hence our translation] (Williams).
[ 5 ]The ordinary Greek word for "witness" gradually changed its meaning to martyr (see Ac 22:20;
Re 2:13; compare Ne 9:26).
[ 6 ]"Herod built a theater at Jerusalem, as also a very great amphitheater in the plain . . . yet did he
celebrate these games every five years, in the most solemn and splendid manner. . . . He had also made
a great preparation of wild beasts, and of lions themselves in great abundance, and of such other beasts
as were either of uncommon strength, or of such a sort as were rarely seen. These were prepared
either to fight with one another, or that men who were condemned to death were to fight with them"
(Josephus, Antiquities 15.8.1). "He also built the other edifices, the amphitheater, and theater, and
market-place, in a manner agreeable to that denomination; and appointed games every fifth year, and
called them, in like manner, Caesar's Games; and he first himself proposed the largest prizes upon the
hundred ninety-second Olympiad; in which not only the victors themselves, but those that came next
to them, and even those that came in the third place, were partakers of his royal bounty" (Josephus,
[ 7 ]God's armies are multitudinous. "You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like
a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you" (Eze 38:9; compare 38:16). In these two
passages, the mighty armies appear to be those who would "come up against" God's people Israel.
[ 8 ]Herod's games, of which the Jewish Christians were familiar, consisted of leaping, boxing,
wrestling, throwing the quoit, foot races, horse races and chariot races (R. Milligan 340). The game
of quoits is similar to horseshoes except metal rings are used instead of the shoes.
[ 9 ]ONKON APOTHEMENOI PANTA, encumbrance putting away every (Marshall 887);
APOTHEMENOI is the second aorist middle participle, nominative plural masculine of
APOTITHEEMI (Han 407); literally, bulk, mass. . . render "encumbrance," according to the figure
of the racer who puts away everything which may hinder his running (Vincent 4.537); bulk or mass;
hence, metaphorically, an encumbrance, weight; [APO from, TITHEEMI to put, place, set, frequently
signifies to lay], always in the middle voice in the NT, is used metaphorically, "laying aside [every
weight]" (Vine 649); having put away every weight (Lenski 423); let us throw off every impediment
[ 10 ]KAI TEEN EUPERISTATON HAMARTIAN, and the most besetting sin (Marshall 887);
literally signifies "standing well [that is, easily] around" [EU well, PERI around, STATOS standing,
that is, easily encompassing]. It describes sin as having advantage in favor of its prevailing (Vine 112);
KAI adds to the general encumbrance a specific encumbrance or hindrance. 'EUPERISTATOS to place
itself round. Hence, of a sin which readily or easily encircles and en tangles the Christian runner, like
a long, loose robe clinging to his limbs. Beset is a good rendering, meaning to surround (Vincent
4.537); the sin which all too readily distracts us" (NEB margin); and the easily hampering sin (Lenski
423); and the sin that easily entangles our feet (Williams).
[ 11 ]"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of
judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me" (Joh 16:8, 9).
[ 12 ]DI HUPOMONEES TRECHOOMEN, through endurance let us run (Marshall 887);
TRECHOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of TRECHOO (Han 407); both
passive endurance and active persistence (Vincent 4.537); of persevering activity in the Christian course
with a view to obtaining the reward (Vine 980); let us by means of perseverance go on running (Lenski
423); and run with endurance (Williams).
[ 13 ]TON AGOONA, the contest [race] (Marshall 887); the general term contest, not the specific
word for race (Vincent 4.537); [from ATOO to lead], signifies a contest of athletes, metaphorically,
1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7, "fight;" Hebrews 12:1, "race;" hence, the inward conflict of the soul;
inward conflict is often the result, or the accompaniment of outward conflict; translated "race" in
Hebrews 12:1, one of the modes of athletic contest, this being the secondary meaning of the word (Vine
218, 916); the contest (Lenski 423); the race (Williams).
[ 14 ]PROKEIMENON HEEMIN, set before us (Marshall 887); PROKEIMENON the present middle
participle, accusative singular masculine of PROKEIMAI (Han 407); [PRO before, KEIMAI to lie, to
be laid], signifies set before, of the hope of the believer (Vine 1024); lying before us (Lenski 423); for
which we are entered (Williams).
[ 15 ]APHORONTES EIS TON 'IEESOUN, looking away to the Jesus (Marshall 887; Lenski 423);
the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of APHORAOO (Han 407); looking away
from everything which may distract (Vincent 4.537, 538); looking away from one thing so as to see
another [APO from, EIDON to see], to concentrate the gaze upon (Vine 685); keeping our eyes on
[ 16 ]Compare the passage in 4 Maccabees 17:9 encouraging Jews to keep their eyes fixed on God.
[ 17 ]TON ARCHEGON, the author (Marshall 887; Lenski 423); primarily signifies one who takes
a lead in, or provides the first occasion of, anything. In the Septuagint, it is used of the chief of a tribe
or family [Nu 13:2]. . . [Christ] is represented as the One who takes precedence in faith and is thus the
perfect Exemplar of it. The pronoun "our" does not correspond to anything in the original, and may
well be omitted. Christ in the days of His flesh trod undeviatingly the path of faith, and as the
Perfecter has brought it to a perfect end in His own Person. Thus He is the leader of all others who
tread that path (Vine 80); leader or captain (Vincent 4.538); the perfect leader (Williams).
[ 18 ]KAI TELEIOOTEEN, and finisher (Marshall 887); perfecter (Vincent 4.538); the RV suitably
translates TELEIOTEES "perfecter" (Vine 432); and completer (Lenski 423); and example [literally,
leader and perfecter, but as our example, hence translation] (Williams).
[ 19 ]TEES PISTEOOS, of the faith (Marshall 887; Lenski 423); in Hebrews it is also true that God
is specifically the object of the Christian's faith, and Christ [12:2] (Arndt 662, 663); render faith or the
faith (Vincent 4.538); of faith (Williams).
[ 20 ]HOS ANTI TEES PROKEIMENEES AUTOO CHARAS, who against the set before him joy
(Marshall 887); PROKEIMENEES is the present middle participle, genitive singular feminine of
PROKEIMAI (Han 407); laid before him, was present, the joy that was set before him, that is, was
within his grasp, he endured the cross (Arndt 707); ANTI in its usual sense, in exchange for.
PROKEIMENEES lying before, present (Vincent 4.538); who for the joy lying before him (Lenski
423); who, instead of the joy which lay before Him (Williams).
[ 21 ]HUPEMEINEN STAURON, endured a cross (Marshall 887); HUPEMEINEN is third person
singular, first aorist active indicative of HUPOMENOO (Han 407); [a strengthened form of MENOO
to abide], bore up courageously [under suffering] (Vine 359); aorist, completed, originally, an upright
stake or pale. STAUROUN to drive down a stake; to crucify (Vincent 4.539); endured [the] cross
(Lenski 423); endured the cross (Williams).
[ 22 ]AISCHUNEES KATAPHRONEESAS, shame despising (Marshall 887); KATAPHRONEESAS
is the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of KATAPHRONEOO (Han 407);
[KATA down, PHREEN the mind], literally, thinking down upon or against; hence, thinking slightly
of, despising [the shame], objectively, ignominy, that which is visited on a person by the wicked (Vine
70, 293); attendant upon a malefactor's death (Vincent 4.539); despising [the] shame (Lenski 423); with
no regard for its shame (Williams).
[ 23 ]EN DEXIA TE TOU THRONOU TOU THEOU KEKATHIKEN, [the] right [hand] and of the
throne of God has taken [his] seat (Marshall 887, 888); KEKATHIKEN is third person singular, perfect
active indicative of KATHIZOO (Han 407); perfect tense, he remains seated and reigning (Vincent
4.539); to indicate that he has become a partner in God's universal government. That these expressions
are to be understood in this figurative sense, and not of a fixed and definite place in the highest heavens
. . . will be questioned by no one who carefully considers Revelation 3:21 (Thayer 129); and has sat
down at the right [hand] of the throne of God (Lenski 423); and since has taken His seat at the right
hand of the throne of God (Williams).
[ 24 ]ANALOGISASTHE GAR TON, For consider ye the [one] (Marshall 888); ANALOGISASTHE
is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ANALOGIZOMAI (Han 407); reckon up;
consider in the way of comparison. GAR for introduces the reason for the exhortation to look unto
Jesus (Vincent 4.539); by all means, so then . . . by all means consider him who endured (Arndt 152);
yea, take into consideration him (Lenski 430); just think of the examples set by Him [Think of Him]
[ 25 ]HUPOMEMEENEKOTA ANTILOGIAN, having endured contradiction (Marshall 888);
HUPOMEMEENEKOTA is the perfect active participle, accusative singular masculine of
HUPOMENOO (Han 407); [strengthened form of MENOO to abide], denotes abode under borne up
courageously [under suffering] (Vine 359); contradiction or gainsaying (Vincent 4.539); who has
perseveringly endured such opposition (Lenski 430); who has endured so great opposition (Williams).
[ 26 ]HUPO TOON HAMARTOOLOGOON, by of sinners (Marshall 888); of sinners, HUPO by, at
the hands of (Vincent 4.539); pre-eminently sinful, especially wicked (Thayer 31); by the sinners
(Lenski 430); by sinful men (Williams).
[ 27 ]EIS HEAUTON, against himself (Marshall 888; Lenski 430); against themselves; but the reading
HEAUTOUS is doubtful . . . HEAUTON himself, which I prefer (Vincent 4.540); aimed at Him
[ 28 ]HINA MEE KAMEETE, lest ye grow weary (Marshall 888); KAMEETE is second person
plural, second aorist active subjunctive of KAMNOO (Han 407); primarily signified work; then, as the
effect of continued labor, be weary, of becoming weary (Vine 400); that ye be not weary (Vincent
4.540); that you may not grow tired (Lenski 430); to keep from growing weary (Williams).
[ 29 ]PSUCHAIS HUMOON EKLUOMENOI, souls of you fainting (Marshall 888); EKLUOMENOI
is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of EKLUOMAI (Han 407); EKLUEIN is
to loosen; hence, relax, exhaust. Render fainting in your minds (Vincent 4.540); of becoming weary
in the strife against sin (Vine 400); by relaxing in your souls! (Lenski 430); and fainthearted (William).
[ 30 ]OUPOO ANTIKATESTEETE, Not yet ye resisted (Marshall 888); ANTIKATESTEETE is
second person plural, second aorist active indicative of ANTIKATHISTEEMI (Han 407); [you have
not] stood firm against [ANTI against, KATHISTEEMI to set down, KATA] (Vine 958); not did you
[as yet] resist (Lenski 432); you have not yet resisted (Williams).
[ 31 ]MECHRIS HAIMATOS, until blood (Marshall 888); until; you have not yet resisted as far as
blood, that is, so that your blood was shed (Arndt 22, 515); up to the point of blood (Lenski 432); to
the point of pouring out your blood (Williams).
[ 32 ]PROS TEEN HAMARTIAN ANTAGOONIZOMENOI, against sin struggling against (Marshall
888); ANTAGOONIZOMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of
ANTAGOONIZOMAI (Han 407); struggling against [ANTI] (Vine 1097); in your struggle against sin
(Arndt 72); in contending against the sin (Lenski 432); as you have struggled against sin (Williams).
[ 33 ]KAI EKLELEESTHE, and ye have forgotten (Marshall 888); EKLELEESTHE is second person
plural, perfect passive indicative of EKLANTHANOO (Han 407); forgotten utterly [EK out, intensive,
LANTHANOO to escape notice], middle voice, of forgetting an exhortation (Vine 451, 452); the simple
verb LANTHANEIN means to escape notice; to be unseen or unknown. Middle and passive, to let a
thing escape; forget (Vincent 4.540); forgotten [altogether] (Arndt 242); and you have been forgetting
(Lenski 432); and you have forgotten (Williams).
[ 34 ]TEES PARAKLEESEOOS, the exhortation (Marshall 888); exhortation, admonition,
encouragement (Thayer 483); encouragement, exhortation (Arndt 618); the encouragement (Lenski 432);
the encouragement (Williams).
[ 35 ]HEETIS HUMIN HOOS HUIOIS DIALEGETAI, which with you as with sons discourses
(Marshall 888); DIALEGETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of DIALEGOMAI
(Han 407); the verb always in the sense of mutual converse or discussion (Vincent 4.540); speaks,
preaches (Arndt 185); [the verb means] to think different things with oneself, to ponder, then, to dispute
with others (Vine 924); which reasons with you as with sons (Lenski 432); which is addressed to you
as sons (Williams).
[ 36 ]HUIE MOU, Son of me (Marshall 888); my son (Lenski 432; Williams).
[ 37 ]MEE OLIGOOREI, do not make light of (Marshall 888); OLIGOOREI is third person singular,
present middle indicative of OLIGOOREOO DIALEGOMAI (Han 407); [do not] care little for, regard
lightly [OLIGOS little] (Vine 293); make little of (Vincent 4.540); think lightly, make light of (Arndt
564); be not treating lightly (Lenski 432); refrain from thinking lightly (Williams).
[ 38 ]PAIDEIAS KURIOU, [the] discipline of [the] Lord (Marshall 888); chastening by the affliction
of evils and calamities (Vine 175); discipline, correction, mostly of divine discipline (Arndt 603, 604)'
the Lord's chastisements (Lenski 432); of the discipline the Lord inflicts (Williams).
[ 39 ]MEEDE EKLUOU, nor faint (Marshall 888); EKLUOU is second person singular, present
middle imperative of EKLUOMAI (Han 407); [EK out, LUOO to loose], of becoming weary under the
chastening hand of God (Vine 400); do not lose heart (Arndt 243); nor be relaxing (Lenski 432); and
giving up (Williams).
[ 40 ]HUP' AUTOU ELENCHOMENOS, by him being reproved (Marshall 888); ELENCHOMENOS
is the present passive participle, nominative singular masculine of ELENCHOO (Han 407); convicted,
rebuked, reproved (Vine 955); heightened, punished, disciplined (Arndt 249); when reproved by him
(Lenski 432); when you are corrected by Him (Williams).
[ 41 ]HON GAR AGAPA KURIOS, for whom loves [the] Lord (Marshall 888); AGAPA is third
person singular, present active indicative or subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 407); this is not the love
of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Romans 5:8.
It was an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that
which lies in the nature of God Himself (Vine 693); for whom the Lord loveth (Lenski 432); for
everyone He loves (Williams).
[ 42 ]PAIDEUEI, he disciplines (Marshall 888; Williams); third person singular, present active
indicative of PAIDEUOO (Han 407); he chastises (Lenski 432).
[ 43 ]MASTIGOI DE, scourges and (Marshall 888); MASTIGOI is third person singular, present
active indicative of MASTIGOOO (Han 407); [MASTIX a whip, scourge], metaphorically, in Hebrews
12:6, of the chastening by the lord administered in love to His spiritual sons (Vine 1000); moreover,
he scourges (Lenski 432); and chastises (Williams); Christ prophesied he would be delivered up to the
Gentiles to mock and MASTIGOSAI scourge [Mt 20:19; compare Mk 10:34; Lu 18:33; Paul in Ac
22:25]. Another word for scourge is PHRAGELLOOO [see Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15]; compare Latin
FLAGELLO, English flagellate].
[ 44 ]PANTA HUION HON PARADECHETAI, every son whom he receives (Marshall 888);
PARADECHETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of PARADEFHOMAI (Han 407);
admits to filial privileges: acknowledges as his own (Vincent 4.541); receives or admits with approval
[PARA beside] Vine 928); every son whom he takes over [as a son] (Lenski 432); every son whom He
heartily receives (Williams).
[ 45 ]R. Milligan 347.
[ 46 ]EIS PAIDEIAN HUPOMENETE, For discipline endure ye (Marshall 888); HUPOMENETE
is second person plural, present active indicative of HUPOMENOO (Han 407); it is for chastening that
ye endure. Do not faint at affliction. Its purpose is disciplinary (Vincent 4.541); HUPOMENETE is
a strengthened form of MENOO to abide, endure, denotes abide under, bear up courageously [under
suffering] (Vine 359); the verb may be either present indicative or present imperative . . . [some
manuscripts] imply the sense "and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth for chastening" (Bruce 356);
training [from PAIDEIA education, training up, nurture, instruction, discipline, correction,
chastisement] (Littrell); for chastisement you perseveringly endure (Lenski 435); you must submit to
[ 47 ]HOOS HUIOIS HUMIN PROSPHERETAI HO THEOS, as with sons with you is dealing God
(Marshall 888); PROSPHERETAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of PROSPHEROO
(Han 407); the verb means to bring to: often to bring an offering to the altar. In the passive voice with
the dative, to be borne toward one; hence, to attack, assail, deal with, behave toward (Vincent 4.541);
brings to bear to [PROS to, PHEROO to bear] signifies, in the middle voice, to bear oneself towards
any one, to deal with anyone in a certain manner (Vine 266); in a special sense the devout, believers,
are sons of God (Arndt 834); as with sons is God dealing with you (Lenski 435); God is dealing with
you as His sons (Williams).
[ 48 ]TIS GAR HUIOS HON OU PAIDEUEI PATEER, for what son [is there] whom disciplines not
a father (Marshall 888); PAIDEUEI is third person singular, present active indicative of PAIDEUOO
(Han 407); some interpreters render, "who is a son whom the father?" etc. That is, no one is a son
who is without paternal chastening. The KJV is better [for what son is he whom the father chasteneth
not] (Vincent 4.541); discipline by human fathers (Arndt 604); for what son whom a father does not
chastise? (Lenski 435); for who is the son that his father never disciplines? (Williams).
[ 49 ]EI DE CHOORIS ESTE PAIDEIAS, But if without ye are discipline (Marshall 888); ESTE is
second person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 407); be [left] without [divine] discipline
(Arndt 603); now if you are without chastisement (Lenski 435); now if you are without any discipline
[ 50 ]HEES METOCHOI GEGONASIN PANTES, of which sharers have become all (Marshall 888);
GEGONASIN is third person plural, second perfect active indicative of GINOMAI (Han 407); of which
all have been made partakers (Vincent 4.541); sharing or participating in the Lord's discipline (Arndt
515); of which all have become partakers (Lenski 435); in which all true sons share (Williams).
[ 51 ]ARA NOTHOI ESTE, then bastards ye are (Marshall 888); ESTE is second person plural,
present active indicative of EIMI (Han 407); born out of wedlock, illegitimate, baseborn; then you are
illegitimate children (Arndt 541); then are you bastards (Lenski 435); you are only illegitimate children
[ 52 ]KAI OUCH HUIOI, and not sons (Marshall 888; Lenski 435); and not real sons (Arndt 541);
and not true sons (Williams).
[ 53 ]EITA, Furthermore (Marshall 888; Lenski 436; Williams); introducing a new phase of the
subject under discussion (Vincent 4.542); a transition word furthermore, then, next . . . introducing a
new argument in a demonstration (Arndt 234).
[ 54 ]TOUS MEN TEES SARKOS HEEMOON PATERAS EICHOMEN, the of the flesh of us fathers
we had (Marshall 888); EICHOMEN is first person plural, imperfect active indicative of ECHOO (Han
407); earthly, human parents (Vincent 4.542); human or mortal nature, earthly descent, our physical
fathers (Arndt 635, 743); fathers of the corporeal nature, natural fathers, [opposite to HO PATER TON
PNEUMATON father of spirits] (Thayer 494); we had the fathers of our flesh (Lenski 436); we had
earthly fathers (Williams).
[ 55 ]PAIDEUTAS, correctors (Marshall 888); literally, "we have had fathers of our flesh as
chasteners" (Vincent 4.542); as chastisers (Lenski 436); who disciplined us (Williams).
[ 56 ]KAI ENETREPOMETHA, and we respected [them] (Marshall 888); ENETREPOMETHA is
first person plural, imperfect middle indicative of ENTREPOO (Han 407); turned in [that is, upon
oneself], put to shame, denotes, when used in the passive voice, felt respect for, showed deference to,
reverenced (Vine 965); with middle sense turned toward . . . someone, had regard for, respect (Arndt
269); and kept respecting them (Lenski 436); and we used to treat them with respect (Williams).
[ 57 ]OU POLU [DE] MALLON HUPOTAGEESOMETHA, not much more shall we be subject
(Marshall 888); HUPOTAGEESOMETHA is first person plural, second future passive indicative of
HUPOTASSOO (Han 407); the verb HUPOTASSOO is "primarily a military term, to rank under
[HUPO under, TASSOO to arrange], denotes . . . in the Middle or Passive Voice, to subject oneself,
to obey, be subject to" (Vine 1099); subject oneself, be subjected or subordinated, obey (Arndt 848);
shall we not much rather be subject (Lenski 436); how much more cheerfully should we submit
[ 58 ]TOO PATRI TOON PNEUMATOON, to the father of spirits (Marshall 888; Lenski 436); our
relation to him is on the side of our eternal being (Vincent 4.542); of God as Creator; from a root word
signifying a nourisher, protector, upholder (Vine 411, 412); father of spiritual beings (Thayer 495); of
God (Arndt 635); to the Father of our spirits).
[ 59 ]Josephus speaks of God, saying, "He is himself the Father of the whole race of mankind, and
seems to bear part of that dishonor which falls upon those that have the same name, when they do not
meet with due returns from their children" (Antiquities 4.8.24).
[ 60 ]KAI ZEESOMEN, and we shall live (Marshall 888); ZEESOMEN is first person plural, future
active indicative of ZAOO (Han 407); have true life; not limited to the future life (Vincent 4.543);
[have] spiritual life (Vine 678); and live (Lenski 436; Williams).
[ 61 ]HOI MEN GAR PROS OLIGAS HEEMERAS, they indeed for a few days (Marshall 888); for
a few days (Arndt 563); this clause is directly related to be in subjection to the Father of spirits and
live, and points a contrast. . . . The dominant idea in PROS is not mere duration, but duration as
related to significance: that is to say, "for a few days" means, during just that space of time in which
the chastisement had force and meaning . . . the brief period of childhood and youth (Vincent 4.543,
544); for they for a few days (Lenski 438); for they disciplined us only a short time (Williams).
[ 62 ]KATA TO DOKOUN AUTOIS, according to the thing seeming [good] (Marshall 888); as
seemed good to them (Vincent 4.544); seemed, was reputed (Vine 1012); seemed, had the appearance
(Arndt 202); according to what seemed good to them (Lenski 438); as it seemed proper to them
[ 63 ]HO DE EPI TO SUMPHERON, but he for the [our] profit (Marshall 888); contrast with what
is implied in as seemed good to them. SUMPHEREIN means to bring together: to collect or contribute
in order to help: hence, to help or be profitable. Often impersonally, SUMPHEREI it is expedient .
. . the neuter participle, as here, advantage, profit (Vincent 4.544); [for our] profit, advantage (Arndt
780); but he for what [really] profits (Lenski 438); but He does it for our good (Williams).
[ 64 ]C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, London, 1940, page 81.
[ 65 ]EIS TO METALABEIN TEES HAGIOTEETOS AUTOU, for the to partake of the sanctity of
him (Marshall 889); METALABEIN is the second aorist active infinitive of METALAMBANOO (Han
407); literally, unto the partaking of his holiness. EIS marks the final purpose of chastening. Holiness
is life (Vincent 4.544); [that we may] have, or get, a share of [His] sanctity, the abstract quality of
holiness (Vine 556, 834); so that we partake of his holiness (Lenski 438); in order that we may share
His holy character [Greek, holiness] (Williams).
[ 66 ]PASA MEN PAIDEIA PROS MEN TO PARON OU DOKEI CHARAS EINAI, for indeed the
present seems not of joy to be (Marshall 889); DOKEI is third person singular, present active indicative
of DOKEOO (Han 407); literally, all chastening--doth not seem. PASA of all sorts, divine and human.
Every kind of chastisement. PROS MEN TO PARON for the present. MEN indicates that the
suffering present is to be offset by a fruitful future--but [DE] afterward; literally, to be of joy but of
grief (Vincent 4.545); for the present does not seem to be [a matter] of joy (Lenski 440); literally, [not]
joy [but] grief, sorrow, pain of mind or spirit, affliction (Arndt 482, 875); now for the time being no
discipline seems to be pleasant (Williams).
[ 67 ]Compare the somewhat enlightened view of Elihu (Job 33:19-28).
[ 68 ]ALLA LUPEES, but of grief (Marshall 889; Lenski 440); it is painful (Williams).
[ 69 ]HUSTERON DE APODIDOOSIN, later on the other it gives back (Marshall 889);
APODIDOOSIN is third person singular, present active indicative of APODIDOOMI (Han 408); yet
later on it yields (Lenski 440); later on, however, it yields (Williams).
[ 70 ]KARPON EIREENIKON DIKAIOSUNES, fruit peaceable of righteousness (Marshall 899); the
fruit of righteousness is described as "peaceable fruit," the outward effect of Divine chastening (Vine
463); perhaps with a suggestion of recompense for the longsuffering and waiting, since APODIDONAI
often signifies "to give back" . . . fruit which consists in righteousness or is righteousness (Vincent
4.545); peaceful fruit of righteousness (Lenski 440); the fruit of peace which grows from upright
[ 71 ]TOIS DI' AUTEES GEGUMNASMENOIS, to the [ones] through it having been exercised
(Marshall 899); GEGUMNASMENOIS is the perfect passive participle, dative plural masculine of
GUMNAZOO (Han 407); it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even
the fruit of righteousness" (Vincent 4.545); the verb GUMNAZOO means primarily to exercise naked
[from GUMNOS naked]; then, generally, to exercise, to train the body or mind . . . of the effect of
chastening, the spiritual exercise producing the fruit of righteousness (Vine 389); for those who have
been exercised by means of it (Lenski 440); to those who are trained by it (Williams).
[ 72 ]DIO, Wherefore (Marshall 889; Lenski 441); because chastening is thus necessary, and serves
for wholesome discipline, and issues in holiness (Vincent 4.546); inferential conjunction, therefore, for
this reason (Arndt 198); so (Williams).
[ 73 ]ANORTHOOSATE, straighten ye (Marshall 889); ANORTHOOSATE is second person plural,
first aorist active imperative of ANORTHOOO (Han 408); set up, make, erect . . . set right, brace
(Vincent 4.546); strengthen the weakened knees (Arndt 73); set upright [ANA up, ORTHOS straight],
used of lifting up "hands that hang down" (Vine 669); straighten out (Lenski 441); tighten the grip
[ 74 ]TAS PAREIMENAS CHEIRAS, the having been wearied hands (Marshall 889); PAREIMENAS
is the perfect passive participle, accusative plural feminine of PARIEEMI (Han 408); the slackened or
weakened hands (Vincent 4.546); in the passive voice, relaxed, exhausted, said of hands that hang down
in weakness (Vine 523); weakened listless, drooping (Arndt 627); the limp hands (Lenski 441); of your
slipping hands (Williams).
[ 75 ]KAI TA PARALELUMENA GONATA, and the having been paralysed knees (Marshall 889);
PARALELUMENA is the perfect passive participle, accusative plural neuter of PARSLUOO (Han
408); for feeble render palsied (Vincent 4.546); palsied knees, metaphorically; the duty enjoined is that
of "courageous self-recovery in God's strength" (Vine 627, 829); undone, weakened, disabled, the
weakened knees (Arndt 620); and the paralyzed knees (Lenski 441); stiffen the stand of your knocking
[ 76 ]KAI TROCHIAS ORTHAS POIEITE TOIS POSIN HUMOON, and tracks straight make for
the feet of you (Marshall 889); POIEITE is second person plural, present active indicative or imperative
of POIEOO (Han 408); the corresponding Hebrew [Pr 4:26] means to tear, to cut into: hence to cut
through as a path; to make firm or plain . . . here, not in the sense of straight as distinguished from
crooked, but more generally, right, plain, by implication even or smooth (Vincent 4.346, 347); used
of height, denotes "upright," of line of direction, figuratively, said of paths of righteousness (Vine
1091); and make straight paths for your feet (Lenski 441); and keep your feet in straight paths
[ 77 ]HINA MEE TO CHOOLON, lest the lame (Marshall 889); CHOOLOS lame, halting . . .
metaphorically here. TO CHOOLON here signifies the lame part or limb (Vincent 4.547); lame (Vine
520); what is lame, the lame legs, symbolical (Arndt 889); that the lame thing (Lenski 441); so that
limbs may not (Williams).
[ 78 ]EKTRAPEE, be turned aside (Marshall 889); EKTRAPEE is third person singular, second aorist
passive subjunctive of EKTREPOO (Han 408); be put out of joint (Vincent 4.547); is difficult. In line
with the previous meanings, one possibility is: turn from the way . . . But EKTRAPEE is often taken
here, because of the context, as a medical technical term be dislocated, in order that what is lame may
not be dislocated. Linguistically, another possibility is: that what is lame might not be avoided (Arndt
246); turn or twist out; passive, in a medical sense, in a figure of the limbs . . . lest it be wrenched out
of [its proper] place, dislocated, [RV margin, put out of joint] . . . lest he who is weak in a state of
grace fall therefrom (Thayer 200); may not get turned off wrong (Lenski 441); be dislocated (Williams).
[ 79 ]IATHEE DE MALLON, may be cured but rather (Marshall 889); IATHEE is third person
singular, second aorist passive subjunctive of EKTREPOO (Han 408); be healed, figuratively, of
spiritual healing (Vine 533); the figure of sin as a wound or disease is also plain in Hebrews 12:13
(Arndt 368); restored [from IAOMAI to heal, cure; spiritually, restore, save] (Littrell); but rather be
cured (Lenski 441).
[ 80 ]EIREENEEN DIOOKETE META PANTOON, Peace follow with all men (Marshall 889);
DIOOKETE is second person plural, present active imperative of DIOOKOO (Han 408); the verb is
used of the pursuit of moral and spiritual ends (Vincent 4.548); pursue without hostility, follow, follow
after peace and sanctification (Vine 442); peace continue with all (Lenski 442); continue to live in peace
with everybody (Williams).
[ 81 ]KAI TON HAGIASMON, and sanctification (Marshall 889); signifies (a) separation to God [1Co
1:30; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2]; (b) the resultant state, the conduct befitting those so separated [Ro 6:19, 22;
1Th 4:3, 4, 7; 1Ti 2:15; Heb 12:14] (Vine 555); holiness [from HAGIASMOS holiness, consecration,
sanctification]; one is sanctified in Christ (1Co 1:2) by the word of God [Joh 17:17; Ro 6:3, 4, 18; Tit
3:5] (Littrell); and the sanctification (Lenski 442); and strive for consecration (Williams).
[ 82 ]Bruce 364.
[ 83 ]HOU CHOORIS OUDEIS OPSETAI TON KURION, which without no one will see the Lord
(Marshall 889); OPSETAI is third person singular, future middle indicative of ORAOO (Han 408); see
the Lord (Arndt 578); metaphorically, to be admitted into intimate and blessed fellowship with God in
his future kingdom (Thayer 451);; without which no one shall see the Lord! (Lenski 442); without
which no one can see the Lord (Williams).
[ 84 ]EPISKOPOUNTES, observing (Marshall 899); is the present active participle, nominative plural
masculine of EPISKOPEOO (Han 408); KJV gives diligently as the force of EPI; but EPI signifies
direction rather than intensity. The idea is exercising oversight (Vincent 4.548); literally, looking upon
[EPI upon, SKOPEOO to look at, consider], looking carefully, looking diligently, EPI being probably
intensive here (Vine 686); continuing to exercise oversight (Lenski 443); continue to look after
[ 85 ]MEE TIS HUSTEROON APO, not [lest] anyone falling from (Marshall 889); HUSTEROON
is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of HUSTEREOO (Han 408); fall back
from, implying a previous attainment. The present participle marks something in progress: "lest any
one be falling back" (Vincent 4.548); comes late, is last, behind, inferior (Vine 404); come too late,
be excluded from (Arndt 849); be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, fall short of the
end; with APO and the genitive indicating the end, metaphorically, fail to become a partaker [others
render here fall back] (Thayer 646); lest anyone be dropping away from (Lenski 443); one another, that
no one fails (Williams).
[ 86 ]APO TEES CHARITOS TOU THEOU, from the grace of God (Marshall 889; Lenski 443);
from the grace of God; of that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and
grants to sinners the pardon of their offenses, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ
(Thayer 666); to gain God's spiritual blessing (Williams).
[ 87 ]MEE TIS RHIZA TIKRIAS, not [lest] any root of bitterness (Marshall 889; Lenski 443); a bad
man in the church (Vincent 4.548); a bitter root, and so producing bitter fruit, in a figurative
discussion, a person disposed to apostatize and induce others to commit the same offence (Thayer 509,
563); lest any root of bitterness (Lenski 443); or some evil like a bitter root (Williams).
[ 88 ]Of Antiochus Epiphanes, it was said, "there sprang from these a sinful offshoot [a sinful root]"
(1Mac 1:10). From him, all kinds of evil sprang up.
[ 89 ]Literally, bless himself in his heart.
[ 90 ]ANOO PHUOUSA, up growing (Marshall 889); PHUOUSA is the present active participle,
nominative singular feminine of PHUOO (Han 408); the participle pictures the springing up in progress;
the root gradually revealing its pernicious character (Vincent 4.549); active voice, intransitively, of a
root of bitterness (Vine 1081); shooting forth, springing up (Thayer 661); springing up (Lenski 443);
may spring up (Williams).
[ 91 ]ENOCHLEE, disturb (Marshall 889); third person singular, present active subjunctive of
ENOCHLEOO (Han 408); trouble, [EN in, OCHLOS a throng, crowd] (Vine 1169); [from OCHLOS
a crowd, annoyance], of the growth of a poisonous plant, figuratively to represent the man who corrupts
the faith, piety, character of the Christian church (Thayer 217); be causing trouble (Lenski 443); and
trouble you (Williams).
[ 92 ]KAI DIA TAUTEES MIANTHOOSIN HOI POLLOI, and through this be defiled the many
(Marshall 889); MIANTHOOSIN is third person plural, first aorist passive subjunctive of MIAINOO
(Han 408); primarily, be stained, tinged or dyed with another color, as in the staining of a glass, hence,
pollute, contaminate, soil, defile, used of moral defilement (Vine 278); the many: the majority of the
church (Vincent 4.549); and by means of it many get to be contaminated (Lenski 443); and many of
you be contaminated by it (Williams).
[ 93 ]MEE TIS PORNOS, not [lest] any fornicator (Marshall 889); lest there be any fornicator (Lenski
443); some immoral person (Williams); in the OT, a fornicator may refer to an idolater or an apostate
[ 94 ]EE BEBEELOS, or profane man (Marshall 889); of men, profane, ungodly (Thayer 100);
primarily, permitted to be trodden, accessible [from BAINOO to go, whence BEELOS a threshold],
hence, unhallowed, profane [opposite to HIEROS sacred], is used of persons (Vine 889); or profane
one (Lenski 443); or godless person (Williams).
[ 95 ]HOOS 'EESAU, as Esau (Marshall 889); hairy, the firstborn son of Isaac (Thayer 281); like
Esau (Lenski 443; Williams).
[ 96 ]In rabbinical writings, Esau is accused of fornication, as well as being a lecherous, impure and
unholy man (Bruce 366, 367). Tradition has it that while his brother Jacob was obtaining the birthright
from Isaac, Esau not only was hunting for a deer but he was having sexual relations with a virgin.
[ 97 ]HOS ANTI BROOSEOOS MIAS, who against eating one (Marshall 889); [from BROOSIS
eating, food] (Littrell); BROOSIS, literally, the act of eating; "one eating of meat" (Vincent 4.549);
who for one meal (Lenski 443); for a single meal (Williams).
[ 98 ]APEDOTO TA PROOTOTOKIA HEAUTOU, gave up the rights of the firstborn of himself
(Marshall 889); APEDOTO is third person singular, second aorist middle indicative of APODIDOOMI
(Han 408); in the NT often of discharging an obligation; paying back. To sell [Ac 5:8; 7:9] (Vincent
4.549); gave up or back, also means in the middle voice, gave up of one's own will; hence, sold, of
Esau's act in selling his birthright; birthright [from PROOTOS first, TIKTOO to beget] (Vine 120,
1014); gave away his own primogeniture (Lenski 443); sold his own birthright (Williams).
[ 99 ]Reuben lost his birthright because of sin. His next two younger brothers Simeon and Levi lost
theirs through violence. The blessing came through Judah (see Ge 49:3-10).
[ 100 ]See Vine 120, 434.
[ 101 ]ISTE GAR, For ye know (Marshall 889); ISTE is second person plural, perfect active
imperative or indicative of OIDA (Han 408); second person plural indicative or imperative of OIDA;
possibly derived from ISEMI, found only in the Doric form ISAMI to know; more probably derived
from EIDOO, ISMEN, IDMEN, etc.; [for you] know, understand (Thayer 174, 307, 718); for you
know (Lenski 443; Williams).
[ 102 ]HOTI KAI METEPEITA, that indeed afterwards (Marshall 889); afterwards, without
necessarily indicating an order of events (Vine 32); that even when afterward (Lenski 443); that, when
[ 103 ]THELOON KLEERONOMEESAI TEEN EULOGIAN, wishing to inherit the blessing
(Marshall 889); THELOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of THELOO;
KLEERONOMEESAI is the first aorist active infinitive of KLEERONOMENOO (Han 408); willed,
wished, implying volition and purpose, frequently a determination, [KLEEROS a lot, NEMOMAI to
possess], used of birthright, that into the possession of which one enters in virtue of sonship, not
because of a price paid or of a task accomplished; the invocation of blessings, benediction (Vine 125,
291, 588); wanting to inherit the blessing (Lenski 443); he wanted to get possession of the blessing
[ 104 ]APEDOKIMASTHEE, he was rejected (Marshall 889; Lenski 443; Williams); is third person
singular, first aorist passive indicative of APODOKIMAZOO (Han 408); rejected as the result of
examination and disapproval [APO away from, DOKIMAZOO to approve], of the rejection of Esau
from inheriting "the blessing," (Vine 941); [was] rejected (Arndt 91); disqualified (Bruce 368).
[ 105 ]METANOIAS GAR TOPON OUCH HEUREN, for of repentance place not he found (Marshall
889); HEUREN is third person singular, second aorist active indicative of EURISKOO (Han 408);
METANOIA, after-thought, change of mind, repentance, corresponds in meaning to METANOEOO
[literally, to perceive afterwards: META after, implying change, NOEOO to perceive], used of
repentance from sin or evil, except in Hebrews 12:17, where the word "repentance" seems to mean,
not simply a change of Isaac's mind, but such a change as would reverse the effects of his own previous
state of mind. Esau's birthright bargain could not be recalled, it involved an irretrievable loss (Vine
952); the phrase place of repentance does not mean that Esau was rendered incapable of repentance,
which is clearly contradicted by what follows; nor that he was not able to persuade Isaac to change his
mind and to recall the blessing already bestowed on Jacob and give it to him. This is unnatural, forced,
and highly improbable. The words place of repentance mean an opportunity to repair by repenting.
He found no way to reverse by repentance what he had done. The penalty could not be reversed in the
nature of the case (Vincent 4.549, 550); a change of mind: as it appears in one who repents of a
purpose he has formed or of something he has done, Hebrews 12:17; place for recalling the decision,
changing the mind, [of his father] (Thayer 262, 405); [from METANOIA a change of mind]; Esau
could not get his father to change his mind and give him the blessing (Littrell); for he did not find a
place for repentance (Lenski 443); for he could find no opportunity to repent (Williams).
[ 106 ]KAIPER META DAKRUOON EKZEETEESAS AUTEEN, though with tears seeking out it
(Marshall 889); EKZEETEESAS is the first active participle, nominative singular masculine of
EKLEETEOO (Han 408); although with tears [he] sought out, searched for (Arndt 170, 240, 395);
although having sought it [the blessing] with tears (Lenski 443); although with tears he tried to get the
[ 107 ]Some think "it" refers to the blessing that Esau could not find; others that Esau could not find
a way to bring himself to repentance. I lean toward the view that he could not get his father Isaac to
change his mind.
[ 108 ]OU GAR PROSELEELUTHATE, For not ye have approached (Marshall 889);
PROSELEELUTHATE is second person plural, second perfect active indicative of PROSERCHOMAI
(Han 408); perfect tense of PROSERCHOMAI, [for you have not] come to, approached (Thayer 545);
the perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 451); for you have not
come (Lenski 451; Williams).
[ 109 ]OREI mount is omitted by the "best texts," but should be understood (Vincent 4.550).
[ 110 ]Hebrew SINAY which means uncertain or "belonging to the desert of Sin." There are four
summits, Mount Serbal, Jebel Musa, Ras Safsaf, Jebel Hellal and Mount Seir. One peak is now known
as Mount Saint Catharine. Saint Catherine's Monastery is located at the foot of Jebel Musa [Mountain
of Moses]. Some scholars distinguish between Horeb and Sinai. Others contend they are the same
mountain with two different names. The last mention in Scripture of a person visiting Mount Sinai is
Elijah when he fled from Jezebel (1Ki 19:8; Thayer 575; Zondervan 797).
[ 111 ]PSEELAPHOOMENOO, to [a mountain] being felt (Marshall 890); the present passive
participle, dative singular neuter of PSEELAPHAOO (Han 408); the present participle that is being
touched, means simply that the mountain was something material and tangible. The KJV which might
be touched, although not literally correct, conveys the true sense (Vincent 4.550); felt, handled (Vine
1158); handled, touched, felt (Thayer 676); to what is touched (Lenski 451); that can be touched
[ 112 ]KAI KEKAUMENOO PURI, and having been ignited with fire (Marshall 890);
KEKAUMENOO is the perfect passive participle, dative singular neuter of KAIOO (Han 408); passive
participle, set on fire; kindled with fire: not attributive of PURI enkindled fire (Vincent 4.550); passive
voice, [was] ignited, burned (Vine 151); set fire to, lighted [on], burning [with] fire (Thayer 319, 558);
and to fire having been set ablaze (Lenski 451); to a blazing fire (Williams).
[ 113 ]KAI GNOPHOO KAI ZOPHOO, and to darkness and to deep gloom distinguished from
SKOTOS darkness that conceals. These words signify half-darkness, gloom, nebulousness; as the
darkness of evening or the gathering gloom of death (Vincent 4.551); the gloom of the nether world;
hence, thick darkness, darkness that may be felt; blackness, gloom, seems to have been associated with
the idea of a tempest. It is related to SKOTOS, darkness, in [Hebrews 12:18] and in the Septuagint
of Exodus 10:22; Deuteronomy 4:11; Zephaniah 1:15 (Vine 122, 260); and to murk and to blackness
(Lenski 451); to gloom and darkness (Williams).
[ 114 ]KAI THUELLEE, and to whirlwind (Marshall 890); [from THUEIN to boil or foam]. It is a
brief, violent, sudden, destructive blast, sometimes working upward and carrying objects into the upper
air (Vincent 4.551); a hurricane, cyclone, whirlwind [akin to THUOO to slay and THUMOS wrath]
(Vine 1126); and to tempest (Lenski 451); storm (Williams).
[ 115 ]KAI SALPINGOS ECHOO, and of trumpet to sound (Marshall 890); ECHOOS a noise . . .
SALPINX is a war-trumpet (Vine 4.551); a trumpet (Thayer 567); and to trumpet's blast (Lenski 451);
and trumpet-blast (Williams).
[ 116 ]KAI PHOONEE RHEEMATOON, to a voice of words (Marshall 890); a sound of words
(Thayer 562); and to sound of utterances (Lenski 451); and a voice whose words (Williams).
[ 117 ]HOI AKOUSANTES, the [ones] hearing (Marshall 890); AKOUSANTES is the first aorist
active participle, nominative plural masculine of AKOUOO (Han 408); which those who heard (Lenski
451); the hearers (Williams); the usual word for those who heard.
[ 118 ]PAREETEESANTO, entreated (Marshall 890); third person plural, first aorist middle indicative
of PARAITEOMA (Han 408); asked to be excused, begged (Vine 599); begged (Arndt 616); made
entreaty (Lenski 451); beg (Williams).
[ 119 ]MEE PROSTETHEENAI AUTOIS LOGON, not to be added to them a word (Marshall 890);
PROSTETHEENAI is the first aorist passive infinitive of PROSTITHEEMI (Han 408); literally, be
added. To them refers to the hearers, not to the things heard. Render "that no word should be spoken
unto them" (Vincent 4.551); that no word more should be spoken to them (Thayer 549); they begged
that no further message be given them (Arndt 616); that there be not added for them [any more] word
(Lenski 451); that not a word more should be added (Williams).
[ 120 ]OUK EPHERON GAR TO DIASTELLOMENON, not they bore for the thing being charged
(Marshall 890); EPHERON is third person plural, imperfect active indicative of PHEROO;
DIASTELLOMENON is the present passive participle, accusative singular neuter of DIASTELLOO
(Han 408); [not] bear (Vine 359); [not] endure the rigor of a thing (Thayer 650); [not] bear patiently,
endure, put up with the command (Arndt 189, 855); bear (Vine 359); for they were not bearing [that
is, not able to bear] the thing enjoined (Lenski 451); for they did not try [ingressive imperfect] to bear
the order (Williams).
[ 121 ]KAN THEERION THIGEE TOU HOROUS, If even a beast touches the mountain (Marshall
890); THIGEE is third person singular, second aorist active subjunctive of THINGANOO (Han 408);
it implies a touching or grasping which affects the object . . . in classical Greek often of touching or
handling some sacred object which may be desecrated by the one who lays hands on it . . . so here,
the touch of the mountain was profanation (Vincent 4.552); and if a beast [even] touch the Mount
(Lenski 451); even if a wild animal touches the mountain (Williams).
[ 122 ]LITHOBOLEETHEESETAI, it shall be stoned (Marshall 890; Lenski 451); third person
singular, future passive indicative of LITHOBOLEOO (Han 408); [it will be] pelted with stones
[LITHOS stones, BALLOO to throw], stoned to death (Vine 1090); it must be stoned to death
[ 123 ]The correct text omits or thrust through with a dart (Vincent 4.552); not in my Greek text.
[ 124 ]A gloss is a brief marginal insertion intended as a comment that was later copied into the text.
[ 125 ]KAI, HOUTOO PHOBERON EEN TO PHANTAZOMENON, and, so fearful was the thing
appearing (Marshall 890); PHANTAZOMENON is the present passive participle, nominative singular
neuter of PHANTAZOO (Han 408); PHOBEROS is used only in the active sense in the NT, that is,
causing fear, terrible. PHANTAZOO to make visible, is used in its participial form [middle voice],
with the neuter article, as equivalent to a noun, and is translated "appearance" or "sight" (Vine 415);
so frightful was the appearance (Lenski 451); and so terrifying was the sight (Williams).
[ 126 ]MOOUSEES EIPEN EKPHOBOS EIMI KAI ENTROMOS, Moses said: Terrified I am and
trembling (Marshall 890); EIPEN is third person singular, second aorist active indicative of LEGOO
(Han 408); literally, I am frightened away [or out] and trembling (Vincent 4.552); I am frightened
outright [EK out, intensive, PHOBOS fear], "I exceedingly fear" (Vine 415); Moses said: I am terrified
and quaking (Lenski 451); that Moses said, "I am terrified and terror-stricken! (Williams).
[ 127 ]ALLA PROSELEELUTHATE SIOON OREI, but ye have approached Zion to mount (Marshall
890); PROSELEELUTHATE is second person plural, second perfect active indicative of
PROSERCHOMAI (Han 408); on the contrary, you have come to Mount Zion (Lenski 454); but you
have come to Mount Zion (Williams).
[ 128 ]KAI POLEI THEOU ZOONTOS, and to a city God of [the] living, 'IEROUSALEEM (Marshall
890); ZOONTOS is the present active participle, genitive singular masculine or neuter of ZAOO (Han
408); the heavenly Jerusalem, the abode and community of the redeemed (Vine 186); and to the living
God's city (Lenski 454); even to the city of the living God (Williams).
[ 129 ]'IEROUSALEEM EPOURANIOO, Jerusalem to a heavenly (Marshall 890); the spiritual
mountain and city where God dwells and reigns (Vincent 4.552); heavenly, what pertains to, or is in
heaven [EPI, in the sense of "pertaining to," not here, "above"], of the spiritual Jerusalem (Vine 539);
heavenly Jerusalem (Lenski 454); the heavenly Jerusalem (Williams).
[ 130 ]KAI MURIASIN ANGELOON, and to myriads of angels [or angels, and to the festal gathering
and assembly] (Marshall 890); MURIAS is strictly the number ten thousand. In the plural, an
innumerable multitude. Render "to an innumerable multitude," placing a comma after MURIASIN, and
connecting of angels with the next clause (Vincent 4.553); denotes either ten thousand, or, indefinitely,
a myriad, a numberless host, in the plural, innumerable hosts (Vine 592); and to myriads of angels
(Lenski 454); and to countless hosts of angels (Williams).
[ 131 ]PANEEGUREI, to an assembly (Marshall 890); construe with ANGELOON of angels, with
a comma after angels. Render "to a festal assembly of angels" (Vincent 4.553); [from PAN all,
AGORA any kind of assembly], coupled with the word Church, as applied to all believers who form
the Body of Christ (Vine 76); joyful assembly. This is the word for a joyful national assembly in honor
of the gods. To the Greek it described a joyful holy day when all men celebrated and all men rejoiced
(Barclay 213); in festal assembly (Lenski 454); to a festal gathering (Williams).
[ 132 ]KAI EKKLEESIA PROOTOTOKOON, and a church of firstborn [ones] (Marshall 890);
assembly or church. The "myriads" embrace not only angels, but redeemed men, enrolled as citizens
of the heavenly commonwealth, and entitled to the rights and privileges of first-born sons. [Firstborn]
is properly applied to Christians by virtue of their union with Christ, "the first-born of all creation,"
"the first-born from the dead," as sharing his sonship and heirship (Vincent 4.554); plural, of the
members of the Church (Vine 434); and to a church of first-born (Lenski 454); and assembly of God's
firstborn sons (Williams).
[ 133 ]Vine 434.
[ 134 ]APOGEGRAMMENOON EN OURANOIS, having been enrolled in heaven (Marshall 890);
APOGEGRAMMENOON is the perfect passive participle, genitive plural masculine or neuter of
APOGRAPHOO (Han 408); APOGEGRAPHEIN means to write off or copy; to enter in a register the
names, property, and income of men. Hence, APOGRAPHEE an enrollment. Here, inscribed as
members of the heavenly commonwealth; citizens of heaven (Vincent 4.554); primarily signifies to
write out, to copy; then, to enrol, to inscribe, as in a register . . . members of the Church of the
firstborn are said to be "enrolled" (Vine 363); enrolled in [the] heavens (Lenski 454); enrolled as
citizens in heaven (Williams).
[ 135 ]KAI KRITEE THEOO PANTOON, and judge to God of all men (Marshall 890); a judge who
is God of all (Vincent 4.555); and to a Judge, God of all (Lenski 454); to a Judge who is the God of
[ 136 ]KAI PNEUMASI DIKAIOON, and to spirits of just men (Marshall 890); the departed spirits
of the righteous of both dispensations, who have completed their course after having undergone their
earthly discipline (Vincent 4.555); and to spirits of righteous ones (Lenski 454); to the spirits of upright
[ 137 ]TETELEIOOMENOON, having been made perfect (Marshall 890); the perfect passive
participle, genitive plural masculine or neuter of TELEIOOO (Han 408); raised to the state of heavenly
blessedness those who put their faith in the expiatory death of Christ, passive (Thayer 619); who have
been brought to completion (Lenski 454); who have attained perfection (Williams).
[ 138 ]KAI 'IEESOU, and to Jesus (Marshall 890); and to Jesus (Lenski 454); to Jesus (Williams).
[ 139 ]DIATHEEKEES NEAS MESITEE, covenant of a new mediator (Marshall 890); a new
covenant. NEA new only here applied to the covenant in NT, [which], in certain cases, clearly has the
sense of quality rather than of time [1Co 5:7; Col 3:10] (Vincent 4.555); the new testament's Mediator
(Lenski 454); the mediator of the new covenant (Williams).
[ 140 ]KAI HAIMATI RHANTISMOU, and to blood of sprinkling (Marshall 890; Lenski 454); used
only by biblical and ecclesiastical writers, a sprinkling [purification] . . . blood of sprinkling, that is,
appointed for sprinkling [serving to purify] (Thayer 561); and to the sprinkled blood (Williams).
[ 141 ]KREITTON LALOUNTI PARA TON ABEL, a better thing speaking than Abel (Marshall 890);
LALOUNTI is the present active participle, dative singular masculine of LALEOO (Han 408); for
"better things" render "better than Abel" (Vincent 4.556); speaking something better than Abel (Lenski
454); which speaks a better message than even Abel's did (Williams).
[ 142 ]BLEPETE, Look ye [that] (Marshall 890); second person plural, present active indicative of
BLEPOO (Han 408); metaphorically, see with the mind's eye . . . turn the thoughts or direct the mind
to a thing, consider, contemplate, look to (Thayer 103); see to it, take care (Arndt 143); see (Lenski
460); see to it (Williams).
[ 143 ]MEE PARAITEESEESTHE, not ye refuse (Marshall 890); PARAITEESEESTHE is second
person plural, first aorist middle subjunctive of PARAITEOMAI (Han 408); [not] refuse, reject (Thayer
482); decline . . . reject, refuse someone or refuse to do something to someone (Arndt 616); lest you
refuse (Lenski 460); that you do not refuse (Williams).
[ 144 ]TON LALOUNTA, the [one] speaking (Marshall 890); LALOUNTA is the present active
participle, accusative singular masculine of LALEOO (Han 408); that is speaking, the participle
denoting something that is going on (Vincent 4.556); him that speaks! (Lenski 4); Him who is speaking
to you (Williams).
[ 145 ]EI GAR EKEINOI, for if those (Marshall 890); for if they (Vincent 4.556); for if they (Lenski
461); for if they (Williams).
[ 146 ]OUK EXEPHUGON, escaped not (Marshall 890); EXEPHUGON is first person singular or
third person plural, second aorist active indicative of EKPHEUGOO (Han 408); [EK out of,
PHEUGOO to flee], [did not] flee [out], escaped [not], of the judgments of God (Vine 370); if on earth
they escaped not (Vincent 4.556); escape (Arndt 247); did not escape (Lenski 461; Williams).
[ 147 ]EPI GEES PARAITEESAMENOI TON CHREEMATIZONTA, on earth refusing the [one]
warning (Marshall 890); PARAITEESAMENOI is first aorist middle participle, nominative plural
masculine of PARAITEOMAI; CHREEMATIZONTA is the present active participle, accusative
singular masculine of CHREEMATIZOO (Han 408); EPI GEES upon earth should not be construed
with refused nor warned, but with the whole clause; refusing him that warned [see previous footnote]
(Vincent 4.556); came to signify the giving of a Divine admonition or instruction or warning, in a
general way (Vine 23); active voice, of God imparting a revelation or injunction or warning (Arndt
885); to be the mouthpiece of divine revelations, to promulge the commands of God . . . of Moses
(Thayer 671); when coming to refuse him making divine communication on earth (Lenski 461); because
they refused to listen to him who warned them here on earth (Williams). "Promulge" means to make
known by revelation.
[ 148 ]Barclay 215.
[ 149 ]POLU MALLON [APOSTREPHOMENOI], much more [that is, "much more (shall) we (not
escape)"; or putting it in another way, "much less shall we escape"] (Marshall 890);
APOSTREPHOMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of APOSTREOO
(Han 408); literally turning away, the present participle, possibly with reference to the relapse into
Judaism as already in progress (Vincent 4.556); reject, refuse (Thayer 68); when turning away from
him [making divine communication] we on our part [shall not escape (Lenski 461); how much less can
we, if we reject Him (Williams).
[ 150 ][CHREEMATIZONTA] TON AP' OURANOON, the [one] warning from heaven (Marshall
890); CHREEMATIZONTA is the present active participle, accusative singular masculine of
CHREEMATIZOO (Han 408); literally, from him from the heavens. Supply that speaketh (Vincent
4.556); from [the] heavens (Lenski 461); who is from heaven (Williams).
[ 151 ]Barclay 215.
[ 152 ]HOU HEE PHOONEE, of whom the voice (Marshall 891); a sound, used of the voice of God
(Vine 1202); whose voice (Lenski 463); then His voice (Williams).
[ 153 ]TEEN GEEN ESALEUSEN TOTE, the earth shook then (Marshall 891); ESALEUSEN is third
person singular, first aorist active indicative of SALEUOO (Han 408); agitated, shook, primarily of the
action of stormy winds, waves, etc. used literally of the earth (Vine 1027, 1028); shook the earth at
that time (Lenski 463); shook the earth (Williams).
[ 154 ]Instead of "gushed" some translations have "quaked" or "melted."
[ 155 ]The quaking mountain when the Law was given is not the only instance of the earth shaking
because of God. In the song of Deborah and Barak, we have, "Lord, when Thou didst go out from
Seir, when Thou didst march from the field of Edom, the earth quaked, the heavens also dripped" (Jg
5:4). "Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob" (Ps 114:7).
There are several earthquake passages (see Ex 19:18; 1Sa 14:15; 22:8; 1Ki 19:11, 12; Ps 18:7; Isa
2:19, 21; 13:13; 29:6; Eze 38:19, 20; Am 1:1; Joel 3:16; Hag 2:6, 7; 2:21; Zec 14:5; Mt 27:51, 54;
28:2; Ac 16:26; Re 6:12; 8:5; 11:13, 19; 16:18).
[ 156 ]NUN DE EPENGELTAI, but now he has promised (Marshall 891); EPENGELTAI is third
person singular, perfect passive indicative of EPANGELLOO (Han 408); announced, proclaimed, of
promises of God (Vine 892); but now has given promise (Lenski 463); but now His promise is
[ 157 ]About 516 BC.
[ 158 ]TO DE ETI HAPAX DEELOI, Now the [phrase] Yet once declaring (Marshall 891); once, one
time (Vine 809); declaring: Yet once again (Lenski 463); Now that expression "Once more" (Williams).
[ 159 ]EGOO SEISOO OU MONON TEEN GEEN, I will shake not only the earth (Marshall 891);
SEISOO is first person singular, future active indicative of SEIOO (Han 408); will shake to and fro
(Vine 1028); I will rock not only the earth (Lenski 463); I will make not only the earth tremble).
[ 160 ]ALLA KAI TON OURANON, but also the heaven (Marshall 891; Lenski 463); but heaven
[ 161 ]TO DE ETI HAPAX DEELOI, Now the [phrase] Yet once declares (Marshall 891); DEELOI
is third person singular, present active indicative of DEELOOO (Han 408); [from DEELOS manifest,
evident], makes manifest to the mind; attention is called to this phrase as specially significant, because
it indicates that the shaking prophesied by Haggai is to be final (Vincent 4.558); now this yet once again
indicates (Lenski 463); Now that expression "Once more" (Williams).
[ 162 ]TEEN METATHESIN, the removal (Marshall 891; Vincent 4.558); the change (Lenski 453);
;signifies the final removal (Williams).
[ 163 ]TOON SALEUOMENOON, of the things being shaken (Marshall 891); SALEUOMENOON
is the present passive participle, genitive plural masculine or neuter of SALEUOO (Han 408); agitated,
shaken, primarily the action of stormy winds, waves, etc., is used literally of the earth; of shaking so
as to make insecure (Vine 1027, 1028); of the things shaken (Lenski 463); of the things that can be
[ 164 ]HOOS PEPOIEEMENOON, of things having been made (Marshall 891); perfect passive
participle, genitive plural masculine or neuter of POIEOO (Han 408); as things that have been made
[ 165 ]HINA MEINEE TA MEE SALEUOMENA, in order that may remain the things not being
shaken (Marshall 891); MEINEE is third person singular, first aorist active subjunctive of MENOO;
SALEUOMENA is the present passive participle, nominative plural neuter of SALEUOO (Han 408);
in order that they might await the things which are not shaken. MENEIN is used in this sense, await,
Acts 20:5, 23, and often in classical Greek (Vincent 4.558); in order that there may remain the things
not shaken (Lenski 463); to let remain the things that cannot be shaken (Williams).
[ 166 ]DIO, Wherefore (Marshall 891; Lenski 466); wherefore, on which account (Thayer 152);
[ 167 ]BASILEIAN PARALAMBANONTES, kingdom receiving (Marshall 891);
PARALAMBANONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of
PARALAMBANOO (Han 409); the participle gives no note of time, but simply indicates the fact that
Christians as such receive. The compounded preposition PARA adds to the idea of receiving that of
transmission or communication. They receive from God (Vincent 4.559); as receiving a kingdom
(Lenski 466); receiving a kingdom (Williams).
[ 168 ]ASALEUTON, an unshakable (Marshall 891); unshaken, unmoved . . . metaphorically, not
liable to disorder and overthrow, firm stable (Thayer 79); unshakable (Lenski 466); that cannot be
[ 169 ]ECHOOMEN CHARIN, let us have grace (Marshall 891); ECHOOMEN is first person plural,
present active subjunctive of ECHOO (Han 409); for grace render thankfulness (Vincent 4.559); let us
be grateful (Lenski 466); be thankful for (Williams).
[ 170 ]DI' HEES LATREUOOMEN TOO THEOO, through which we may serve God (Marshall 891);
LATREUOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of LATREUOO (Han 409); in the
NT render religious service or homage, worship (Thayer 372); whereby we may serve God (Lenski
466); and in this way continue to serve God (Williams).
[ 171 ]EUARESTOOS, [EU well, ARESTOS, pleasing, agreeable] (Vine 861); in a well-pleasing way
(Lenski 466); EUARESTEIN to be well pleasing; acceptably (Williams).
[ 172 ]META EULABEIAS, with devoutness (Marshall 891); with pious care (Vincent 4.559); with
reverence (Lenski 466); in reverence (Williams).
[ 173 ]KAI DEOUS, and awe (Marshall 891; Lenski 466); [the] fundamental idea is timid apprehension
of danger; while PHOBOS is the terror which seizes one when the danger appears (Vincent 4.559); and
[ 174 ]KAI GAR HO THEOS HEEMOON PUR KATANALISKON, for indeed the God of us [is] fire
a consuming (Marshall 891); the verb originally [meant] to use up, spend, lavish, as property: thence
to consume as with fire (Vincent 4.560); for our God is a consuming fire (Lenski 466); for our God,
indeed, is a consuming fire [His holiness is the fire that consumes all evil] (Williams).
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington,
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise,
are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various
sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV.
Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
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