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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Hebrews 12

Verse 1

Wherefore . Greek. toigaroun, a very emph. word of inference; Occurs only here and 1 Thessalonians 4:8 . Resume from Hebrews 10:39 .

seeing. &c . = we also having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us.

compassed about = surrounding. Greek. perikeimai. See Acts 28:20 .

cloud = throng. Greek. nephos. Only here. The usual word for "cloud" is nephele.

witnesses . Greek. martus. See John 1:7 . Whose lives witness to the power of faith. Not "spectators", for then the word would be autoptes (Luke 1:2 ) or epoptes (2 Peter 1:16 ).

let us lay aside = laying aside. See Rom 18:12 .

weight . Greek. onkos. Only here.

sin . App-128 .

doth so easily beset . Greek. enperistatos. Only here.

with = through. Greek. dia. App-104 .Hebrews 12:1 .

patience = patient continuance. See Romans 2:7 .

race . Greek. agon. See Philippians 1:1 , Philippians 1:30 . Always translated fight, conflict, &c, except here. The word means the place of assembly, and then the games witnessed, and then any contest, a lawsuit, &c.

set before . Greek. prokeimai. Compare Hebrews 6:18 .

Verse 2

Looking = Looking away from (these witnesses). Greek. aphorao. App-133 . Compare Philippians 1:2 , Philippians 1:23 .

Jesus . App-98 .

Author . See Hebrews 2:10 and Acts 3:15 .

Finisher = Perfecter. Greek. teleiotes. Only here. Compare App-125Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 1:2 .

faith . Greek. pistis . App-150 . He stands at the head of the train of faith's heroes, and alone brought faith to perfection. Omit our.

endured = patiently endured. See Hebrews 10:32 .

the = a.

the shame = shame.

is set . All the texts read, "hath sat".

at = on. Greek. en. App-104 .

God . App-98 . The charge is to look away from the witnesses of the past to Him Who is the faithful and true Witness (Revelation 3:14 ).

Verse 3

consider . Greek. analogizomai. Only here.

That = That hath.

contradiction . Greek. antilogia. See Hebrews 6:16 . Compare Luke 2:34 , where the verb antilego occurs.

of = by. Greek. hupo . App-104 .

lest = in order that (Greek. hina) not (Greek. me) .

be wearied . Greek. kamno . Only here, James 5:15 .Revelation 2:3 .

and faint = fainting. Greek. ekluo . See Galatians 1:6 , Galatians 1:9 .

minds = souls. App-110 .

Verse 4

not yet . Greek. oupo.

resisted . Greek. antikathistemi. Only here.

unto . Greek. mechris. Compare Philippians 1:2 , Philippians 1:8 .

striving . Greek. antagonizomai. Only here.

sin . App-128 . The Lord's example is set before them. Hitherto they had to endure spoliation and shameful treatment, but not martyrdom. This is in favour of the early date of the Epistle ( App-180 ). The words "not yet" suggest a time before the persecution under Nero, which began A.D. 65 and lasted till his death A.D. 68.

Verse 5

forgotten . Greek. eklanthanomai. Only here.

exhortation . Greek. paraklesis. See Romans 12:8 and App-134 .

speaketh . Greek. dialegomai. See Acts 17:2 .

unto = to.

children, son . Greek. huios. App-108 .

despise . Greek. oligoreo. Only here. See Proverbs 3:11 , Proverbs 3:12 .

chastening . Greek. paideia. See Ephesians 6:4 .

LORD . App-98 .

nor . Greek. mede .

rebuked . Greek. elencho.

Verse 6

loveth . Greek. agapao. App-135 . See Revelation 3:19 .

chasteneth Greek. paideuo. See 1 Corinthians 11:32 .

scourgeth . Greek. mastigoo. See John 19:1 .

Verse 7

If . Greek. ei , but the texts read eis , i.e. Ye are suffering patiently for ( eis ) discipline.

dealeth . Greek. prosphero. Occurs in Hebrew twenty times; translated "offer", except here. In this verse it is passive and means to do business with, deal with.

the = a.

not . App-105 .

Verse 8

if . Greek. ei . App-118 .

without . Greek. choris. See Hebrews 4:15 .

chastisement = chastening, as verses: Hebrews 12:5 , Hebrews 12:7 , Hebrews 12:11 . are = have become.

partakers . Greek. metochos. See Hebrews 1:9 .

bastards . i.e. fictitious. Greek. nothos. Only here.

Verse 9

Furthermore = Moreover.

have . Omit.

which, &c . = as correctors. Greek. paideutes. Only here and Romans 2:20 .

gave . . . reverence . Greek. entrepomai. See 1 Corinthians 4:14 .

them . Omit.

be in subjection . Greek. hupotasso. See Hebrews 2:5 .

Father . App-98 .

spirits . App-101 . Compare Numbers 16:22 .Job 33:4 .Ecclesiastes 1:12 , Ecclesiastes 1:7 . Isaiah 42:5 .Zechariah 12:1 . Here not "angels" as some interpret, but the new-created spirits of His "sons".

live . App-170 .

Verse 10

for . Greek. pros . App-104 .

after their own pleasure = according as (Greek. kata) it seemed good to them.

that = to the end (Greek. eis) that.

be partakers . Greek. metalambano. See Hebrews 6:7 .

holiness . Greek. hagiotes. Only here. Not the word in Hebrews 12:14 .

Verse 11

no chastening . Literally all chastening seemeth not (Greek. ou) .

joyous = of joy. App-17 .

grievous = of grief.

peaceable . Greek. eirenikos. Only here and James 3:17 .

righteousness . Greek. dikaiosune. App-191 .

exercised . See Hebrews 5:14 .

thereby = by (Greek. dia . App-104 .Hebrews 12:1; Hebrews 12:1 ) it.

Verse 12

lift up . Greek. anorthoo. See Luke 13:13 . Elsewhere Acts 15:16 .

hang down . Greek. pariemai. Only here.

feeble = palsied. Greek. paraluomai. See Luke 5:18 .

Verse 13

straight . Greek. orthos. Only here and Acts 14:10 .

paths . Greek. trochia. Only here.

be turned out of the way . Greek. ektrepomai. See 1 Timothy 1:6 .

healed . Greek. iaomai. See Luke 6:17 .

Verse 14

Follow = Pursue. The force of the Greek dioko is seen in Philippians 1:3 , Philippians 1:14 (press toward).

with . Greek. meta . App-104 .

holiness . Greek. hagiasmos. See Romans 6:19 .

no man = no one. Greek. oudeis.

shall see . Greek. opsomai. App-133 . (a.)

the Lord . App-98 .

Verse 15

Looking diligently . Greek. episkopeo. Only here and 1 Peter 5:2 .

lest . Greek. me . App-105 .

any . Greek. tis . App-123 .

man = one.

fail . Greek. hustereo. Compare Hebrews 4:1 ; Hebrews 11:37 .

of = from. Greek. apo. App-104 .

grace . App-184 .

bitterness . Greek. pikria. See Acts 8:23 .

springing = germinating. Greek. phuo . Only here and Luke 8:6 , Luke 8:8 .

trouble . Greek. enochleo. Only here. See Acts 15:19 .

thereby . Greek. dia tautes . Some texts read di autes, the same as Hebrews 12:11 .

be defiled . Greek. miaino. See John 18:28 .

Verse 16

profane . Greek. bebelos. See 1 Timothy 1:9 .

morsel of meat . Greek. brosis. See Romans 14:17 .

sold . Greek. apodidomi. Same as "yield", Hebrews 12:11 .

his . The texts read "his own".

birthright . Greek. prototokia. Only here.

Verse 17

know . Greek. oida . App-132 .

afterward . Greek. metepeita . Only here. Add "also".

when he would have = wishing to. Greek. thelo . App-102 .

inherited . Greek. kleronomeo. See Hebrews 1:4 .

rejected . Greek. apodokimazo. Only here and 1 Peter 2:4 , 1 Peter 2:7 , after the Gospels. Compare dokimazo, Hebrews 3:9 .

repentance . Greek. metanoia. App-111 . Repentance means a change of mind, and Esau sought to change his (father's) mind.

though he sought . . . carefully = having sought carefully. Greek. ekzeteo. See Hebrews 11:6 .

Verse 18

mount . The texts omit.

that might, &c . = that was touched. Greek. pselaphao. The reference is to Exodus 19:16-19 .

and . This and other five "ands" in verses: Hebrews 12:18 , Hebrews 12:19 exemplify the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ).

nor = and.

blackness = a thick cloud. Greek. gnophos . Only here.

darkness . Greek. skotos, but the texts read zophos. See 2 Peter 2:4 , 2 Peter 2:17 . Jude 1:6 , Jude 1:13 .

tempest . Greek. thuella. Only here.

Verse 19

sound . Greek. echos. See Acts 2:2 .

words . Greek. rhema. See Mark 9:32 .

intreated . Greek. paraiteomai. Same as "refuse" in Hebrews 12:25 . See Luke 14:18 (make excuse).

word . Greek. logos . App-121 .

spoken = added.

Verse 20

if . Greek. ean . App-118 .

beast . Greek. therion, not zoon.

touch . See Hebrews 11:28 .

or thrust through, &c . All the texts omit. No doubt this is because of the complex Ellipsis. In Exodus 19:13 we read, "There shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live". The work on "Figures of Speech" makes it clear thus: "And if so much as [a man, or] a beast touch the mountain [if a man] he shall be stoned or [if a beast] thrust through with a dart".

Verse 21

terrible . Greek. phoberos. See Hebrews 10:27 , Hebrews 10:31 .

sight = spectacle. Greek. phantazo. Only here. See Acts 25:23 .

Moses . See Hebrews 3:2 .

exceedingly fear and quake = am fearful (Greek. ekphobos. Compare Mark 9:6 ) and quaking (Greek. entromos. See Acts 7:32 ).

Verse 22

the living God . See Hebrews 3:12 .

heavenly . Greek. epouranios. Compare Hebrews 3:1 .

Jerusalem . Compare Galatians 1:4 , Gal 1:26 . Revelation 3:12 ; Revelation 21:2 , Revelation 21:10 .

innumerable company = myriads.

Verse 23

general assembly . Greek. paneguris. Only here.

church . App-186 .

firstborn = firstborn ones. Greek. prototokos. See Hebrews 11:28 .

written . Greek. apographo. Only here and Luke 2:1 , Luke 2:3 , Luke 2:5 .

heaven . Plural See Matthew 6:9 , Matthew 6:10 .

Judge . Greek. krites. Compare App-122 .

spirits . App-101 .

just men . Greek. dikaios. App-191 .

made perfect = perfected. See Hebrews 11:40 . App-125 . The standpoint is from "the glory" as in Romans 8:30 .

Verse 24

Mediator . Greek. mesites. See Hebrews 9:15 .

the = a.

covenant . See Matthew 26:28 .

blood of sprinkling (Greek. rhantismos) . The phrase only here and 1 Peter 1:2 (sprinkling of blood).

speaketh . Greek. laleo. App-121 .

than . Greek. para. App-104 . Compare Hebrews 1:4 . In Hebrews 12:18-24 seven statements are set forth as to the Old Covenant dispensation, followed by ten of the New. Together se venteen (see App-10 ).

Verse 25

See . Greek. blepo. App-133 .

refuse . Same word as "intreat", Hebrews 12:19 .

spake . Greek. chrematizo. See Hebrews 8:5 ; Hebrews 11:7 .

earth . Greek. ge . App-129 .

if we = who.

turn away . Greek. apostrepho, as Acts 3:26 .

Verse 26

shook . Greek. saleuo. As Matthew 24:29 .

once . See Hebrews 6:4 .

shake . Greek. seio . See Haggai 2:6 , Haggai 2:7 . Occurs: Matthew 27:51 ; Matthew 28:2 ; &c. Compare seismos, earthquake.

also heaven = the heaven (singular Matthew 6:9 , Matthew 6:10 ) also.

Verse 27

signifieth Greek. deloo. See 1 Corinthians 1:11 .

removing . Greek. metathesis . Compare Hebrews 7:12 ; Hebrews 11:5 .

that = in order that. Greek. hina .

cannot be = are not (Greek. me) to be.

remain . Greek. meno. See p. 1511.

Verse 28

which cannot be moved = immovable. Greek. asaleutos. Only here and Acts 27:41 .

whereby = by (Greek. dia . App-104 .Hebrews 12:1; Hebrews 12:1 ) which.

serve . Greek. latreuo. App-190 .

acceptably . Greek. euarestos. Only here. The adjective in Hebrews 13:21 .

reverence . Greek. aidos. Only here and 1 Timothy 2:9 . The texts read deos, awe.

godly fear . Greek. eulabeia. See Hebrews 5:7 , the only other occurance.

Verse 29

consuming fire . From Deuteronomy 4:24 . Compare Exodus 21:17 . Psalms 50:3 ; Psalms 97:3 . 2 Thessalonians 1:8 ; &c.

consuming . Greek. katanalisko. Only here. Intensive of analisko (Luke 9:54 .Galatians 1:5 , Galatians 1:15 . 2 Thessalonians 2:8 ).

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/hebrews-12.html. 1909-1922.