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Hebrews 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

1) "Wherefore seeing we also," (toigaroun kai hemeis) "Therefore since we also," we, in addition to the roster of heroes and heroines of The Faith cited in previous chapter, in the light of the examples of those who were righteous, and did righteousness from Abel to Christ, let us continually perceive, be motivated in faith, to obey our calling, and not fall out, 1 Corinthians 10:6; Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

2) "Are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses," (tosouton echontes perikeimenon hemin nephos marturon) "Are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses," by such an hovering, overshadowing, encircled, host of living testators now in heaven, whose heroic examples we have in testimony; Since we have a better, living (ever-living) high priest in heaven interceding for us and a better house (covenant of worship and service) the church that Jesus built as our base of worship, service, and fellowship, Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 3:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:15; Mark 13:34-37.

3) "Let us put aside every weight," (ogkon apothemenoi panta) "Let us put aside every encumbrance," every care, every frustration, every hindrance, every obstacle, every selfish motive, as a runner lays aside all weights and heavy clothes and shoes for the race; Ephesians 4:31-32; Romans 12:12; 1 John 2:15; 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Peter 5:7.

4) "And the sin which doth so easily beset us," (kai ten euperistaron hamartian) "Even the most besetting (diverting) sin," Covetousness, which incites our most prone moral and ethical mark-missing tendencies - let us put them off, put them away, as old worn out, filthy unclean garments, with the sin of covetousness, that incites all other acts of sins, Ephesians 4:22; Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8.

5) "And let us run with patience," (di humones trechomen) "Let us run through endurance," run a disciplined, persevering race, not falling out, even to the finish line, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 10:36-37; Let the one who is running well not be hindered, stopped, or flagged down, Galatians 5:7; Galatians 6:9.

6) "The race that is set before us," (ton prokeimenon hemin agona) "The race-contest set or scheduled before us," to serve the Lord faithfully, loyally, obediently, as a good steward, till the end of life, or he calls us home, one by one, Revelation 2:10; ; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Hebrews 11:40.

Verse 2

1) "Looking unto Jesus," (aphorontes eis ton iesous) "Looking away to, toward, or unto Jesus," for instruction, motivation, fixing our gaze on him for motivation in faith and service; Even Moses endured by faith, "seeing him who is invisible," Hebrews 11:27. He is the Blessed Hope, Titus 2:13.

2) "The author and finisher of our faith," (tes pisteos archigon kai teleioten) "The author (originator), forerunner, and the finisher (terminator) of the faith of us," given by him, Ephesians 2:8-9, the one most worthy of following in salvation and as an example of perseverance in the will of God till death. To finish the race of life faithfully ones gaze must be on him, Acts 4:12.

3) "Who for the joy that was set before him," (hos anti tes prokeimenes auto charas) "Who (against) instead of the joy placed before him;” In consideration of the joy set before Jesus, he was nerved to endure, for the purchase of man’s redemption, John 17:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9.

4) "Endured the cross," (hupemeinen stauron) "Endured (underwent) the cross," where he bore our sins in his body, 1 Peter 2:24; Colossians 1:20-22; Isaiah 53:4-6.

5) "Despising the shame," (aischunes kataphronesas) "While despising (taking lightly) the shame," in comparison with the shame of human sin and the joy for all in salvation, Galatians 3:13.

6) "And is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (en deksia te tou thronou tou theou kekathiken) "And has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God;” The highest place of honor. From there he now intercedes and advocates for his own, Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24-26; 1 John 2:1-2.


Akaba was the captain of a robber clan. His treasuries were filled with the countless stores which he had stolen. His mind, however, was ill at ease. He came to Ben-Achmet, a dervish renowned for his sanctity, living on the borders of a wilderness in Arabia, and thus addressed him: - "Five hundred swords obey my nod, innumerable slaves bow to my control, my storehouses are filled with silver and gold; tell me, how can I add to all these the hope of eternal life? The dervish led him to a rugged mountain track, pointed to three immense stones, bade him take them and follow him to the top of the hill. Akaba took them up, but with such a weight he could scarcely move. One by one he was obliged to leave them, and then easily climbed the hill. "My son," said the hermit, when they had sat on the top, "you have a three-fold burden to hinder you on the road to a better state. Dismiss the robber band, set your slaves free, give back your ill-gotten gain. Sooner would Akaba reach the mountain top, bearing those heavy stones, than find real happiness in power, lust, and wealth." Akaba obeyed the hermit.

Verse 3

The Father’s Chastening

1) "For consider him that endured such contradiction," (analogisthe gar ton toiauten antilogian hupomemenekota) "For you all consider the one who (is) having endured (undergone) such contradiction," consider, by way of comparison, so as to judge the value of our Lord’s having endured testings and sufferings, all his life, even far beyond that endured by heroes and heroines of the faith of ancient times, for he endured such being without sin, not being guilty of frequent sins, Hebrews 7:26.

2) "Of sinners against himself," (hupo ton hamartolon eis heautou) "By sinners against himself;” of such Simeon prophesied, Luke 2:34; While they of Israel claimed to be looking for the redeemer who came and fulfilled every detailed prophecy regarding his first coming from his virgin birth to his victorious death, yet he was rejected by sinners of his own people, John 5:43; John 1:11-12; John 8:24.

3) "Lest ye be wearied," (hina me kamete) "in order that you all may not grow weary," or wax weary in going on in the faith of the Christian life, John 15:20; Matthew 10:25; Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58. The more God’s children pray in faith the less weary they grow.

4) "And faint in your minds," (tais pouchais humon eklouomenoi) "Fainting in your souls;” or grow despondent in your souls, be discouraged, 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Luke 18:1 indicates that praying strengthens God’s children to keep them from fainting when trials confront them, 2 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 4:16.

Verse 4

1) "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood," (houpo mechris haimatos antikatestete) "You all have not yet (until this moment) resisted unto (until) blood," as he did. The brethren addressed in the letter, perhaps the saints, house of God, or church in Jerusalem, to the point of time of this writing, had not been confronted with a testing that required they renounce their faith or be slain, Hebrews 10:32-34, as many of ancient time had done, and as Jesus had done in shedding his blood for his claim to be the Son of God and the redeemer, 1 Peter 1:18-19; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:7.

2) "Striving against sin," (pros ten hamartian antagonizomenoi) "Continually struggling against the sin;” It was sin in sinners that caused them to resist Jesus Christ, the church, and people of God, and still is today; This resistance, opposition, and these testings are to be endured by children of God in resisting-faith, James 4:7-8; Ephesians 6:11-18.

Verse 5

1)"And ye have forgotten the exhortation," (kai eklelesthe tes peerakleseos) "And ye have forgotten (failed to recall) the exhortation," the motivation concept, as tender words of a father to avoid despising or taking it lightly when the Lord chastens. Because of sins in the lives of his children, whether sins of attitude or deed, he chastens to the point of even wounding, then healing again, Job 5:17-18; Deuteronomy 32:38.

2) "Which speaketh unto you as unto children," (hetis humin hos huiois dialegetai) "Which discourses with you all as with heir-sons;" In this kind of exhortation, a motivation by declaring his love as reflected in chastening or correcting his children for sins of disobedience of deed or attitude, he assures them of his deep love and care for their happiness, Psalms 94:12-13.

3) "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord," (huie mou me oligorei paideias kuriou)"My son, do not take lightly the discipline of the Lord;” The disciplinary correction of the Lord has design and purpose in it that should be understood and accepted when it comes upon each of his children for good, Leviticus 26:23-24; Proverbs 3:11-12.

4) "Nor faint when thou art rebuked of him," (mede eklou hup’ autou elegchomenos) "Nor faint by reason of him by whom you are being chided, corrected, or reproved:” Do not grow weary, resentful, or in despond when he corrects or rebukes you, be it gently by causing a guilty conscience of repeated remorse for your wrong or be it sickness, affliction, loss of property or business reverse that comes to you; a fainting, withdrawn hermit or recluse can never be happy in such a state or be a good witness for him, Proverbs 3:11-13.

Verse 6

1) "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth," (hon gar agapa kurios paideuei) "For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines," like one disciplines, spanks, chastens, or corrects a child: if he truly loves the child; The chastening is declared by the Lord to be for the purpose of bringing his erring child to repentance, which means a change of attitude and conduct, from wrong to right, James 1:12; Revelation 3:19; Repentance is required of any who turns aside from direct worship of God, immorality and worship of other gods of gold, silver, wood, etc. Revelation 9:20-21.

2) "And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth," (mastigoi de panta huion hon paradechetai) “And he lashes, stripes, or scourges every heir or son that he receives or takes to his care;” Even as, just as a father chastens his son to teach him obedience, honor, and up-rightness in character, Deuteronomy 8:5-6. As the father chastens his son while there is hope, before his son becomes fixed, set, or obstinate in stubbornness, disobedience and rebellion the father chastens him in hope of helping him to grow to maturity in honor, so does God chasten his children, each of them, Proverbs 19:18.

True love impartially ministers both food and medicine, praise and reproof, to those who need it.

Verse 7

1) "If ye endure chastening," (eis paideien hupomenete) "As you all undergo (endure) discipline," or child discipline, as every child of God does, Revelation 3:19. Recall that the "ye" whom the writer addresses are "holy brethren" of the "house" or church that Jesus built, but not so holy that they did not sin or do wrong, for which God chastened them, Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 3:3; Hebrews 3:6.

2) "God dealeth with you as with sons," (hos huiois humin prospheretai ho theos) "As God continually deals with you as with sons," as "those being prepared for heirship," Deuteronomy 8:5; 2 Samuel 7:14; and heirship to royalty, a royal reign with Christ. No discipline of character and life development of body, mind, and spirit is more rigid than that required by children growing up to become kings and princely rulers, Psalms 73:14; Psalms 118:18.

3) "For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (tis gar huios hon ou paideeui pater) "For what son is there that (exists) whom a father disciplines not?" The rhetoric implication is that there is no son whom his father does not chasten or correct. Even so God chastens every child of his for sins of omission and commission, even for knowing to do good and being commanded to do good and doing nothing about it, Proverbs 13:14; James 4:17; Psalms 89:30-34.

Verse 8

1) "But if ye be without chastisement," (ei de choris este paideias) "But if you all are without discipline," if you all never have, or have never had discipline, divine chastening; Disciplinary, Divine chastisement or correction comes to every child of God to turn him from overt or covert sin, John 16:33; 1 Corinthians 11:31-34.

2) "Whereof all are partakers," (hes metoichoi gegonasin pantes) "Of which all (sons) have become sharers;” or bearers of chastisement or correction for wrongs, Hebrews 12:6; Revelation 3:19.

3) "Then are ye bastards," (ara este nathoi) "Then you are all (as) bastards;” not by birth what or who you claim to be, such as were not permitted to enter the congregation of Israel, even to the tenth generation, Deuteronomy 23:2.

4) "And not sons," (kai ouch huioi) "And not sons," or heirs of God at all. To be without chastisement, which God uniformly or impartially administers to all of, or each of his children, would only prove that one is not a genuine or true child of God, Hebrews 12:5.


A child was taken ill with that dangerous disorder, the croup. It was a child most ardently loved, and ordinarily, very obedient; but, in this state of uneasiness and pain, he refused to take the medicine which was needful, without delay, to administer. The father, finding him resolute, immediately punished his sick and suffering son. Under these circumstances, and fearing that his son might soon die, it must have been a most severe trial to the father; but the consequence was, that the child was taught that sickness was no excuse for disobedience, and, while his sickness continued, he promptly took whatever medicine was prescribed, and was patient and submissive. Soon the child was well. Does any one say that this was cruel? It was one of the noblest acts of kindness which could have been performed. If the father had shrunk from duty here, it is by no means improbable that the life of the child would have been forfeited.

-W. Abbott

Verse 9

1) "Furthermore," (eita) "What is even more,” in addition to the previously affirmed matters.

2) "We have had fathers of our flesh," (tous men tes sarkos hemon pateras eichomen) "We had fathers of the flesh (flesh-fathers)," in experiences of human relations, Proverbs 22:5; Proverbs 29:15.

3) "Which corrected us," (paideutas) "Correctors," Imperfect child trainers of us in past times, in obedience to the word of God, even chastening, correcting, and beating us with the rod. Proverbs 23:13-14.

4) "And we gave them reverence;” (kai enetrepometha) "And we respected them," they sought only our temporal good, Proverbs 29:17; Ephesians 6:4. Timothy had such training or discipline under a dear mother and grandmother whose influence over him was commended, 2 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 3:15.

5) "Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits," (ou polu mallon hupagesometha to patri ton pneumaton) "Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits, to God the Father, the giver and sustainer of our souls and lives, Numbers 16:22; Acts 17:28; Psalms 89:30-34.

6) "And live?" (kai zesomen) "And we shall live," shall we not? 1 Corinthians 11:31-34; 1 Peter 5:6-7; or we shall avoid having our lives cut short willfully sowing to the flesh as children of God and inciting his judgement of chastening from, even to death, as Annanias and Sapphira, Luke 12:47-48; Acts 5:1-11.

Verse 10

1) "For they verily," (hoi men gar) "Because they indeed," surely, certainly and in comparison.

2) "For a few days," (pros oligas hemeras) "To the time of a few days,” up to a limited time or period, during youth, while there was hope, only up to manhood or up to the time of physical maturity. Chastening of a father upon his son ends at manhood of the son, whether or not it has achieved much benefit in the son, Proverbs 23:13-14; Proverbs 22:15.

3) "Chastened us after their own pleasure," (kata to dokoun autois epaideuon) "Disciplined or corrected us with a view to temporary improvement, according to the thing seeming to them to be good. For a father to be morally and ethically proper, Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 11:18. To spare or neglect the use of the rod of chastening was said to hate the son, Proverbs 13:24.

4) But he for our profit," (ho de epi to sumpheron) "But he (the heavenly Father) chastens his heirs for their profit," that we may repent (turn from a course) of wrong conduct to obedient and diligent service to him, Revelation 3:19; Ephesians 2:10; James 4:17; 1 Corinthians 11:31-34.

5) "That we might be partakers of his holiness," (eis to metalabein tes hagiotetis autou) "To the intent that we should be recipients of his sanctity," of his holiness, true profit for us, honesty, and goodness in character and conduct, Romans 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:4-9; 2 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Peter 3:15; Hebrews 12:14.


The son of a minister, lately deceased, had by some means excited the displeasure of his father. His father thought it right to be reserved for an hour or two, and when asked a question about the business of the day, he was very short in his answer to his son. The time was nearly arrived when the youth was to repeat his lessons. He came into his father’s study, and said, "Papa, I cannot learn my lessons unless you are reconciled; I am sorry I have offended you; I hope you will forgive me; I think I shall never offend you again." His father replied, "All I wish is to make you sensible of your fault; when you acknowledge it, you know all is easily reconciled with me." "Then papa," said he, "give the token of reconciliation, and seal it with a kiss." The hand was given, and the seal most heartily exchanged on each side. "Now," exclaimed the dear boy, "I will learn Latin and Greek with anybody;” and fled to his little study. "Stop, stop," cried his father, "have you not met Heavenly Father? If what you have done be evil, He is displeased, and you must apply to Him for forgiveness." With tears starting in his eyes, he said, "Papa, I went to Him first; I knew except He was reconciled, I could do nothing;” and with tears, he said, "I hope He has forgiven me, and now I am happy." His father never had occasion to look at him with a shade of disapprobation from that time till his death.

Verse 11

1) "Now no chastening for the present," (pasa men paideia pros men to poron) "On the one hand all discipline indeed for the present," whether of an earthly or Heavenly Father, at the time of the chastening, while it is being experienced, 1 Corinthians 11:31-32.

2) "Seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:” (ou dokei charas einas alla lupes) "Seems not to be of joy but of grief," to those who are chastened, corrected, or suffer. It seems at the moment of chastening to be painful, not good or pleasant, Romans 5:1-5; Proverbs 19:18.

3) "Nevertheless afterward," (husteron de) "On the other hand later," when the lesson of obedience has been learned by the chastening. David wrote, "Before I was afflicted (chastened) I went astray; but now have I kept thy word," Psalms 119:67; Psalms 119:71.

4) "It yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness," (apodidosin karpon eirenikon dikaiosunes) "It gives back a peaceable fruit of righteousness," in contrast with the fruit of sin, Jeremiah 31:18-19; James 3:18. It is profitable when allowed to do its work.

5) "Unto them that are exercised thereby," (tois di autes gegumnasmenois) "To those who have been exercised through it," who have been brought to maturity by means of it, or taught and disciplined by the chastening experience; Even nations and families may be chastened to bring them to righteous conduct, Psalms 119:165; Isaiah 32:16-17. Such is then profitable to them.

Verse 12

1) "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down,"(dio anorthosate tas pareimenas cheiras) "Wherefore you all straighten the hands that have been wearied," caused to fall, to hang down, the nerveless hands; Based on the evidence that chastisement is a mark or badge of your sonship (heirship) and God’s love for you, start serving him with ready, willing, and useful hands again, Isaiah 35:3.

2) "And the feeble knees," (kai ta paralelumena gonata) "And the knees that are having been paralyzed," enfeebled, discouraged, or in despond, those that have run the race in the past; God can revive or strengthen weak hands and feeble knees, as declared by Job 4:3-4; Fainting and sleeping are to be overcome or avoided by all who would run the Christian race well pleasing to the Lord, restricting the degree of chastening each may receive, Ephesians 3:13; Ephesians 5:14; Romans 13:11-14.

Verse 13

1) "And make straight paths for your feet," (kai trochias orthas poiteite tois posin humon) "And make straight tracks (footpaths) for your feet;” as the runner runs on an approved track, so should children of God run the race of Christian life within moral, ethical, and doctrinal lines of Divine approval, Proverbs 4:14-18; Matthew 5:14; 2 Timothy 2:5.

2) "Lest that which is lame," (hina me to cholon) "In order that the lame might not;” those who are weak or immature children of God, those who are easily led to waver and wonder from their profession, Matthew 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 8:8-13.

3) "Be turned out of the way;” (ektrape) "Be turned aside;” be turned out of the straight or proper way, or dislocated by your bad example, Romans 14:21-22; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 1 Corinthians 8:11-13. It is an axiom, a rule of life that no person lives to himself alone, without influencing others for good or for evil, Romans 14:7.

4) "But let it rather be healed," (iasthe de mallon) "But rather in order that it may be healed or cured," of its ill or paralysis. Let the weak or the lame be helped by following your better example of holiness in character and conduct, Galatians 6:1; 1 Timothy 4:12. The healing of hurt is to come by the drawing near to God, Hebrews 10:22.

Verse 14

1) "Follow peace with all men," (eirenen diokete meta panton) "Pursue and keep on pursuing peace with all men," This refers to the matter of attempting to pursue or be at peace or in harmony of general good will with neighbors and in the community, as opposed to rivals and the spirit of egotism; Such is admonished, Romans 12:18; Romans 14:19; David called for this, Psalms 34:14.

2) "And holiness," (kai ton hagiasmon) "And (at the same time) sanctification," separation from evil to righteousness; Romans 12:1-2. The fruit of an holy or Divine nature; Without this new or Divine nature no one can see God or enter into heaven. An holy life should be the prominent fruit of an holy nature, 2 Timothy 2:22; Revelation 21:27; John 3:3; John 3:5.

3) "Without which no man can see the Lord:” (ou choris oudeis opsetai ton kurion) "apart from or without which-not even one will see the Lord," 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

It is the pure in heart and peacemakers who shall see God and be called the children of God, Matthew 5:8-9; Matthew 5:48; Revelation 21:27; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 5:5; John 3:3. This purity of heart and soul is imputed thru faith in Jesus Christ to every one who believes, Acts 15:9; Romans 4:5-8. The purity of heart should be reflected in constructive righteous living. This is the writer’s application, Matthew 5:13-16; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 5:15-18.

Verse 15

1) "Looking diligently," (episkopountes) "Continually observing," being cautions, narrowly observing your own behaviour, deportment, or conduct, except it be in vain, unfruitful, 2 Corinthians 6:1; Matthew 7:13-15.

2) "Lest any man fail of the grace of God;” (me tis husteron apo tes charitos tou theou) "Lest (in order that not) anyone should be failing (disappointing) from (the purpose of) the grace of God;” come short of the purpose of the grace of God in one’s life, Deuteronomy 29:18; Hebrews 3:12; 2 Peter 1:10.

3) "Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you," (me tis hriza pikrias ano phupisa enochle) "Lest any root of bitterness growing up disturb," or frustrate you, obstruct you in your Christian race and testimony in the church worship and service of your life, Deuteronomy 19:18; Hebrews 3:12; Ephesians 4:31. Bitterness is said to grieve the Holy Spirit. Children of God must avoid it, put it away.

4) "And thereby many be defiled;” (kai dia tautes mianthosin hoi polloi) "And through this (failing and bitterness) many be defiled," led into gross sin, Colossians 3:19, James 3:14-18; Romans 13:13-14.

The evil influence of one with a spirit of bitterness, malice, envy, or an old grudge may cause another, even weaker brother to fall, in the Master’s service. Disposition or attitude of spirit is very important in Christian testimony.

A "little leaven" is putrefying, hurtful, 1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9; Evil communications corrupt or short-circuit good manners, 1 Corinthians 15:33.

Verse 16

1) "Lest there be any fornicator," (me tis pornos) "Lest there should be any fornicator;” A moral fornicator is one who commits immoral sex with the opposite sex while unmarried to each other. Spiritual fornication, as a parallel refers to unscriptural conduct of a believer with or before an unbeliever, Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4.

2) "Or profane person, as Esau," (e bebelos hos Esau) "Or profane person like Esau," the "hairy" one who sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. A profane person is one who has carnal, worldly, and low values and views of spiritual matters, Leviticus 18:11; Isaiah 36:20; 1 Timothy 6:20.

3) "Who for one morsel of meat," (hos anti broseos mias) "Who against one morsel of food," meat or bread. Esau, like the carnal of today, thought chiefly and covetously of the desires of his own flesh; Men, foolish men, still sell eternal matters for shadows of materialism of the present time, 1 John 2:15-17.

4)"Sold his birthright," (apedoto ta prototo kai heautou) "Gave away (forfeited, or gave up) the rights of the firstborn, himself," . He was here said to have "despised" it, taken it lightly.

The eldest son was due a double portion or two parts of the father’s birthright bequest so that he could equitably make sacrifices of worship as the priest of the family, for all the family, following the father’s death.

But Esau gave a big discount, one half of his double portion of the inheritance, together with the honor of leading family worship, in exchange for one moment of gratification of his hunger - how fickle! Mark 8:36-37.

Verse 17

1) "For ye know how that afterward," (iste gar hoti kai metepeita) "For you all know that surely afterward," when he saw his folly, when it was too late, Genesis 27:34-40; Galatians 6:7-8.

2) "When he would have inherited the blessing," (thelon kleronomesai ten euogian) "Continually wishing, yearning to inherit the blessing," which he had bartered, traded away so lightly, with such fickle regard, Genesis 27:34; Genesis 27:36; Genesis 27:38.

3) "He was rejected," (apedokimasthe) "He was rejected," turned away by his father - though he begged, he begged in vain. Many spiritual opportunities, once gone, are gone forever. This principle prevails in the instance that men with extra living wives are not to be ordained as elders, deacons, or pastors, 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:5-6.

4) "For he found no place of repentance," (metanoias gar tokon ouch heuren) "For he found not a place of repentance," Hebrews 6:6; There are sins once committed that have such eternal consequence they can never be changed or reversed, Proverbs 1:22-30; Proverbs 29:1; .

5) "Though he sought it carefully with tears," (kaiper meta dakruon ekzetesas auten) "Even though he was seeking it out," or sought to find a place of repentance, to the point of regaining his firstborn birthright, Romans 2:5-9. There was no way by which either repentance or tears could reverse what had been done. Sorrows and tears and regrets will not bring the murdered back to life, or health to ones body that is ravished by sin, Galatians 6:7-8.


Some time ago a ship went down, having struck a hidden reef. Fortunately, unlike the sad case of the Teuton the other day, there was time enough to get the passengers and crew into the boats which safely held off from the foundering vessel. Just before the last boat started, the captain and mate, having seen that all were safe, stood upon the gangway ready to leave the ship. She was fast sinking - no time to be lost. The mate said to the captain, "I have left my purse below; let me go and get it." "Man," replied the other, - you have no time for that; jump at once." "Just a moment, captain - I can easily get it;- and away the mate rushed below. But in that moment the ship went creeping down. I hear the gurgling flood! The captain has barely time to save himself, when, swirling in the awful vortex, the vessel disappears! By and by the body of the mate was found, and in his stiffened hand was tightly grasped the fatal purse. When the purse was opened, what do you think it contained? Eighteen pence! And for that paltry sum he risked and lost is life.

- Bib. III.

Verse 18

1) "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched,” (pu gar proseleluthate pselaphomen) "For you all have not approached a mountain that might be touched or felt." In drawing near unto God such as Israel, people of the old covenant, had once come, and had been forbidden to touch the mount, Mt Sinai, lest they die, Exodus 19:12; Exodus 19:23.

2) "And that burned with fire," (kai kekaumeno puri) "And that mount that is having been ignited with fire," when the Mosaic Law, law of the covenant was being given, Exodus 19:16-18 - to show that God is as a consuming fire to the impenitent, Deuteronomy 4:24. Israel came to a fire flaming mountain, thunderous darkness, as a terror stricken multitude.

3) "Nor unto blackness," (kai gnopno) "Even toward darkness;” So holy is God and so holy is his law that men, sinful men could not look upon it and live, 2 Corinthians 3:7-9.

4) "And darkness," (kai zopho) "And to or toward deep gloom," Exodus 20:21; Exodus 34:29-35. God dwells in great darkness, to curtain his glory from man, lest man die, 1 Kings 8:12; Leviticus 16:2.

5) "And tempest," (kai thuelle) "And to or toward a whirlwind or hurricane," Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 2 Corinthians 3:11-14.

Beholding the law of the Lord should now be a joy, a delight, an assurance, because it now perfectly and thoroughly furnishes his people unto every good work, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 3:15.

Fears of His holiness, and our approach to him thru the Christ of Calvary, should be gone forever, Romans 8:15; Hebrews 2:15.

Verse 19

1) "And the sound of a trumpet," (kai salpingos echo) "And to a sound of a trumpet," Exodus 19:16. The trumpet was "exceeding loud," so that the people trembled, Revelation 1:10; Revelation 4:1.

2) "And the voice of words;” (kai phone hermaton) "And to or toward a voice of rhetorics," that sounded so loudly they were heard by 600,00 men besides others, Deuteronomy 5:4-22; These words were those of the law of the ten commandments that brought fear to their souls, Exodus 20:1-17.

3) "Which voice they that heard entreated," (hes hoi akousantes paretesanto) "Which the ones who were hearing entreated," Deuteronomy 5:23-27. Terror-stricken with guilt and fear of the moral code of the Law they begged Moses to let God not speak a second time, lest they die.

4) "That the word should not be spoken to them any more:” (me prostethenai autois logon) "That not a word be added to them," to the things already spoken from that mountain; Exodus 20:18-19; Deuteronomy 5:28-30. Let it be clearly understood that as men trembled and feared greatly at the sound of the Mosaic Law, so shall they tremble, fear, and bow down at the hour of judgement when they are judged by his word, Romans 14:11-12; Revelation 20:11-12.

Verse 20

1) "(For they could not endure that which was commanded," (ouk epheron gar to diastellomenon) "Because they could not bear that which was charged," or what was being commanded, as the ten commandments were thunderously sounded one by one, as the sound of a blasting trumpet, Exodus 20:1-17. This describes the fear caused by both the voice of God and severe words of the commandments.

2) "And if so much as a beast touch the mountain,"(kan therion thige tou orous)"That if even a beast should touch the mountain," not only were the people of Israel warned of death if they even touched Sinai while God was delivering the law to them but also any beast that touched it was to be killed, as follows Exodus 19:12-13.

3) "It shall be stoned," (lithobolethesetai) "It shall be stoned," slain by stoning or shot thru, whether man or beast. Truly, "The way of the transgressor is hard," Proverbs 13:15.

4) "Or thrust through with a dart," (lithobolethesetai) "It shall be thrust through with a spear-dart," till it be caused to die. They were to approach the foot of the Mount to give heed to the words of the Lord, but not to touch it. Our Lord suffered the "way of the transgressor," the punishment of the transgressor of Divine Law, when he bear our transgressions, our sins in his body on the tree, Isaiah 53:12; 1 Peter 2:24.

Verse 21

1) "And so terrible was the sight," (kai, houto phoberon hen to phantazomenon) "And so fearful was the thing (view) appearing," the appearance of smoke, lightening, thunder, and darkness, in which God revealed himself to Israel while initiating the Law covenant, Exodus 19:16-19. The sound of thunder, the voice of God, the vision of the holiness of God, was so terrible as he gave forth the moral codes of the ten ’commandments and the covenant conditions, that even Moses trembled too, lest he die.

2) "That Moses said," (mouses eipen) "That Moses said," Moses himself even spoke aloud; Deuteronomy 9:9; Exodus 19:1-9. God here pledged to make Israel a "peculiar treasure," a "kingdom of priests," an "holy nation," if they would obey his voice and keep his covenant of worship and service.

3) "I exceedingly fear and quake:)" (ekphobos eimi kai entromos) "I am terrified (within) and trembling (without)," as did all in the camp of Israel, as God prepared to give the Law to them, Exodus 19:16; To "fear God and keep his commandments" is the whole duty of man, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

The people to whom the book of Hebrews is written was not confronted with the requirements of morals, ethics, and religious rites of the Mosaic Law, but with the laws of the New Covenant Church, committed to them by Jesus Christ, by and thru whom God now speaks, last of aII, Hebrews 1:1-3; Hebrews 3:1-6; To this "better house" than that of Moses, God now speaks, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 13:34-37; 1 Timothy 3:12; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 2:19-22; Ephesians 3:9-11; Ephesians 3:21; 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Revelation 19:5-9.

Verse 22

1) "But ye are come unto Mount Sion," (alla proseleluthate zion crei) "But you all have approached to (toward) Mount Zion," you have come face to face with, are confronted with, the New Zion (city of God); The new covenant, is the idea being presented, in contrast with the Sinai law covenant.

2) "And unto the city of the living God," (kai polei theou zontos) "Even to a city of the living God," a dwelling place, where God in Christ abides, and his spirit indwells; He promised to be with and dwell or abide in his church forever, Matthew 28:20; John 14:15-17; and he still does, Revelation 1:12-13; Revelation 1:20.

3) "The heavenly Jerusalem," (ierousalem epouranio) "To or toward (facing) an heavenly Jerusalem," Galatians 4:26-27; Revelation 3:12; the New Jerusalem that is the church, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, that shall be the center of all light, worship, fellowship, service and praise in the New Heaven and New Earth, Revelation 21:2; Revelation 21:9-10.

4) "And to an innumerable company of angels," (kai muriasin angelon) "Even to myriads of angels;” This myriad of angels which the brethren of this book of Hebrews had approached was and is that unnumbered, unseen host of angels sent forth to be ministers to those who have an heir-setting of salvation, to rule and reign with Christ on this earth, as affirmed Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 5:9-10; Luke 22:28-30; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 23

1) "To the general assembly," (panegurei) "To an assembly," of a general nature, (you have approached) the family of God, having been partakers of the same Divine nature held by the redeemed both in heaven and on earth, Ephesians 3:15.

2) "And church of the firstborn," (kai ekklesia prototokon) "Even a church (an assembly) of the firstborn ones," the church of Jesus Christ, established by him, Matthew 16:18; purchased by Him, Acts 20:28; recognized as His bride, John 3:28-29; which He loved and gave himself for, Ephesians 5:25; to whom each true covenant fellowship congregation is espoused, 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; and to Which Jesus is one day to be united in marriage, Revelation 19:5-9; and take to her new home, Revelation 21:9-10.

3) "Which are written in heaven," (apogegrammenon en ouranois) "Having been enrolled (inscribed) in heaven;” We are confronted with obligations to all people of the family of God, but with special obligations to those of the church of our fellowship, that carries on his worship, ordinances, and service, Hebrews 10:24-25; to the household of faith, Galatians 6:10.

4) "And to God the Judge of all," (kai krite theo panton) "And you all have approached to or toward God, to the judge of all," who shall judge each according to his works, 2 Timothy 4:1-2; Romans 2:16; Acts 17:31-32.

5) "And to the spirits of just men made perfect," (kai pneumasi dikaion teteleiomenon) "Even (as well as) to spirits of just men who have been made complete;" those with new natures, new creatures, you have approached and are fellowshipping with them in your labors, in your new covenant, church assembly worship, 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:9; Ephesians 2:10.

Verse 24

1) "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant," (kai diathekes neas mesite iesou) "And to Jesus mediator of a new covenant" This sentence began with Hebrews 12:18, "ye are not come unto (to Mt Sinai)," explaining that these Hebrew brethren, persons and people addressed constituted a church (new covenant fellowship), Ephesians 1:20-22; of worshipping people with Jesus Christ, as their new covenant mediator or head, in heaven, Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15.

2) "And to the blood of sprinkling," (kai haimati hrantismpu) "And to a sprinkling of blood;” This alludes to the continuing fulfillment of the types and shadows of the Old Testament sprinkling of blood as a symbol of the Source of moral cleansing, as Jesus offers his own blood at heaven’s mercy seat where he ever lives to make intercession for sins of his own today, Exodus 24:7-8; Leviticus 16:2; Leviticus 16:14; ; 1 John 1:7.

3) "That speaketh better things than that of Abel,” (kreitton lalounti para ton abel) "Continually speaking a better thing than did the blood of Abel;” Abel’s blood spoke first of his faith in the word of God and loyalty to it, and second of the vengeance and hate of Cain, his brother toward him. The blood of Abel cried for vengeance, Genesis 4:10, but the blood of Jesus Christ our Saviour, Intercessor, and coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords speaks of pardon, forgiveness and remission of sins, Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 13:8.

Verse 25

1) "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh," (blepete me paraitesesthe ton lalounta) "You all look to it that you refuse not the one now continually speaking," to you and on your behalf, thru the word, his Spirit, and his mercy seat intercession, and advocacy in heaven today; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 8:14-16; Romans 8:27; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2.

2) "For if they escaped not," (ei gar ekeinoi ouk eksephugon) "Because if those did not escape (on earth);" who ignored the prophets and laws he gave to them at Sinai, and even rejected His Son when he came; Mark 7:5-9; John 1:11-12; Acts 2:36; Acts 13:45-46; If they of the first (old law covenant) were cut off, Romans 11:12-23.

3) "Who refused him that spoke on earth," (epi ges paraitesamenoi ton chrematizonta) "The ones on earth continually refusing him who was continually warning," from heaven, even God, thru the law, the prophets and last of all his Son, Hebrews 2:2-3; Hebrews 3:17; Hebrews 10:28-29; ; John 5:43; John 8:24; John 8:36; Acts 7:51-56.

4) "Much more shall not we escape," (polu mallon hemeis) "Much more shall we not escape," or "much less shall we escape." Our Lord set forth the premise that the greater light, opportunity, and understanding one has of the will of God, the greater the degree of his responsibility, ; Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:22-24; Luke 12:47-48.

5) "If we turn away him that speaketh from heaven;” (hoi ton ap’ ouranon apostrephomenoi) "Those continually turning away in rebellion from, (ignoring) the one warning from (the) heavens," that men receive, follow, and serve him as Saviour and Lord of their lives in and thru his new covenant (testament) church worship, not Moses. Luke 9:43; Matthew 11:28-30; Matthew 5:13-15; John 20:21. There is a day of accounting, 2 Corinthians 5:10-12.

Verse 26

1) "Whose voice then shook the earth;” (hou he phone gen esaleusen tote) "Whose voice back then shook the earth;” At Sinai, while the fire flaming Mount Sinai burned, lightening flashed, thunder rolled, and a multitude of two million Israelites trembled, Exodus 19:18.

2) "But now he hath promised, saying," (nun de epengelatai legon) "But now and hereafter he has promised saying," in integrity of continuity he has affirmed by promise;

3) "Yet once more I shake not the earth only," (eti hapaks ego seiso ou monon ten gen) "Yet once (hereafter) I will shake not only the earth;” which trembled at the giving of the Law covenant, .

4) "But also heaven," (alla kai ton ouranon) "But also the heaven," the heavens as well, when both shall pass away, Haggai 2:6-7; Haggai 2:21; Matthew 24:35; Hebrews 1:10-12.

Verse 27

1) "And this word, Yet once more, signifieth," (to de eti hapaks deloi) "Now the phrase, statement of promise, yet once declares," the promise includes, involves or embraces not only the passing away of the present heaven and earth but also signifies the following:

2) "The removal of those things that are shaken," (ten ton saleuomenon metathesin) "Removal of the things that are shaken," the present world order of peoples and governments in disarray, 1 John 2:15-17; These are to pass, to be displaced and replaced with the millennial kingdom and Jesus Christ on David’s throne, reigning, Psalms 102:25-28; 2 Peter 3:10.

3) "As of things that are made," (hos pepoiemenon) "As of things having been made;” which are of earthly existence, having been made, put and held together, John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16.

4) "That those things which cannot be shaken may remain," (hina meine ta me saleuomena) "In order that the (eternal) things may remain which are not being shaken;” Both the old and new covenants can not be broken. Both Israel and the church, God’s two witnessing people, have specific and certain future purposes and places in God’s Divine plan for the coming ages, Luke 1:31-33; Romans 11:25-26; Romans 11:33; Luke 22:30; John 14:1-3; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 13:34-37; 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 19:5-9; Revelation 21:1; Revelation 21:9-10.

Verse 28

1) "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom," (dio basileian paralambanontes) "Wherefore receiving a kingdom," receiving the executive administration of the kingdom of heaven, the church, the house of God, the pillar and ground (support) of the truth, as stewards and administrators of the new covenant, Matthew 13:11; 1 Timothy 3:15; Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 13:34-37.

2) "Which cannot be moved," (asaleutos) "An unshakable one” The kingdom of Israel was set aside, to be dealt with again, but the new covenant church will never be set aside, never be removed, even when Israel is regrafted, Luke 12:31; Luke 22:30; Matthew 10:18; Ephesians 3:21.

3) "Let us have grace," (echomen charin) "Let us have, hold, or possess grace," let us thankfully take hold of available grace, into which we have "access by faith," 1 Timothy 1:12; Romans 5:2; It is sufficient, 2 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Peter 3:18.

4) "Whereby we may serve God acceptably," (di hes latreuomen euarestos to theos) "Through which we may serve God in a well pleasing manner;” otherwise it is vain, Romans 12:1-2; 2 Peter 1:4-9.

5)"With reverence and godly fear;” (meta eulabeios kai deous) "With devoutness and awe," the quality of willing and grateful service that makes it acceptable, 1 Peter 1:17; 2 Corinthians 8:12; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.


I once saw a beautiful device and motto printed on the walls of a Sabbath-school. It was an ox standing between an attar and a plough, with the words underneath, "Ready for either." The altar represented suffering, and the plough serving; and the ox stood ready to be laid on the altar or to be yoked into the plough, equally ready for suffering or serving, as the owner wished. We should ask God to make us ready for either. Your life will be a poor withered thing unless you try to serve Christ. An old man reading the Bible came to the words, "Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you." He stopped and said with a smile, "Yes, and ye are your own friend, too." He is his own worst enemy who shuns the service of Christ.

- Bib. 111.

Verse 29

1) "For our God is," (kai gar ho theos hemon) "For even (surely) our God is (exists as)," a righteous, holy, and just God, who judges lawbreakers, covenant- breakers, Romans 12:12-14.

2) "A consuming fire," (pur katanaliskon) "A consuming fire," to execute judgement, to punish those who obstinately oppose his holiness and call to salvation and Divine service, Psalms 7:11-13; Psalms 11:5-6; Proverbs 1:22-31; Proverbs 29:1; Deuteronomy 4:24; Psalms 97:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Hebrews 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.