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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 12

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


As for us. All these examples of faith in chapter 11 are a large crowd of witnesses! Let us rid ourselves. The symbolism is from the Games. Runners practiced with weights on their feet. For the race, these are removed. To win the Christian race, we must get rid of worldly hopes and fears, obligations and friendships, and anything else that would slow us down in our race. See 2 Corinthians 6:14 and note. And the sin. This also is from the symbolism of the Games. Sin (in general) is like the long flowing robes that would tangle in the legs of the runner and trip him up. No one would think of running with such a robe on them! No one should allow sin to trip them up! With determination. If you do not want to win, you probably won’t! You must stick with it!!!

Verse 2


Our eyes fixed on Jesus. His example is much greater than any or all of the others!!! On whom our faith depends. He is both the source and the Pioneer! He has broken trail for us by going on ahead of us. See Colossians 1:18. Because of the Joy. The joy of being the Pioneer who destroys the power of the Devil and brings many sons and daughters to God by setting them free from sin and death!!! The disgrace. Galatians 3:13. Seated. Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12.

Verse 3


Think. If you feel discouraged, think about what he went through!!!

Verse 4


For in your struggle. “You have not been asked to do what Christ did!!!”

Verse 5


Have you forgotten? “You know, if you will remember, that sufferings are evidences of God’s love for you!” The quotation is Proverbs 3:11-12 Septuagint. When the Lord. “Do not think it just as accidental act of blind fate (as the Gentiles do).” Discouraged. “This is not God’s wrath for your sin! See what Jesus said in Luke 13:1-5.”

Verse 6


Because. “Instead of being expressions of his anger, punishments (chastisements) are proof of his love!” Punishes. MacKnight says: “This scripture, by showing God’s Providence to be just and righteous, dispels the gloom which the misery and suffering which are part of life, may bring on us. We are here being trained and developed, by God who is our teacher. He uses the problems and suffering of life to teach us the good qualities and the character to serve him in this world, and to enjoy the pleasures of the next. May every suffering child of God understand this and believe it!” Chastises. “As a father spanks his children, because he loves them!” See Proverbs 3:11-13.

Verse 7


Endure what you suffer. “This is an expression of your Father’s love!” That God is treating you. “He is giving you his blessing by causing you to grow spiritually!” Who was not punished by his father, who wanted to correct his faults and develop his character?

Verse 8


If you are not. “The fathers of bastards have no concern about the health, welfare, and education of them.”

Verse 9


In the case of. “They punished us for our faults and we respected them.” How much more. “Our spiritual Father uses more love and gentleness than our human fathers, and he will not give us more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).”

Verse 10


But God does it. “We must be holy to live with him in Eternity!”

Verse 11


At the time. “It makes us sad, because of the pain it brings.” Later, however. “Those who have been disciplined, trained, matured, prepared by such punishment reap the peaceful reward!” Compare Psalms 119:67; Psalms 119:71; Psalms 119:75; Job 42:2-3; Romans 8:28; Romans 8:37. [For many years I have used the expression: God spanks his children. This is certainly the idea in these verses. But it is not wrath!!! I imagine God saying, something like this: “Hove you! Everything I have is yours! I have amazing mercy! I am not angry with you. When I spank you, it is because I love you! I want you to grow spiritually! I want you to be strong and healthy! I am giving you blessings in each spanking, so that you will be a blessing to others! The whole world is programmed learning for you, because I want you to live with me forever! Open yourself to me and let me come in and heal you and forgive you. See, I am running to meet you! Listen! I stand at the door and knock! Open yourself to me! I love you! I love you!” See Luke 15:11-32 and notes.]

Verses 12-13


Lift up your limp hands. “Push ahead with all your strength!” Compare Job 4:1-6.

Verse 14


Try to be at peace. “You must make an effort to be at peace with the Gentiles as well as the Jews, and even with your enemies!” Try to live a holy life. “You must make a positive effort to live pure and holy, so that you will be acceptable to God!” These people were contentious, and when one sinned through weakness, they would bring anger and belligerence against him in an unholy way. In doing this they would destroy themselves as well. See what Paul says in Galatians 6:1-2.

Verse 15


That no one turns back. The symbolism is a sheep who strays from the flock and has to be brought back. Christians are to work together to keep each other “headed in the right direction.” Like a bitter plant. This refers to one of their fellow Christians who might poison the group with such things as sin, false teaching, and bitterness.

Verse 16


Like Esau. He is a bad example of the bitter plant. He thought so little of his rights as the older son, that he literally gave them away for a single meal. Immorality is always a danger, and many, like Esau, will be tempted to give away their future for a moment’s pleasure.

Verse 17


Afterward, you know. We can never un-do an act! Esau could nor change what he had done, not could his father remove the blessing which he had already given Jacob. Compare Revelation 22:11 and notes.

Verse 18


You have not come. “So that you will understand why you must not throw away your rights as Abraham’s descendants (Galatians 3:18), I want you to see the difference between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion.” The point is to show that the blessings and obligations of the New Covenant are much better than those of the Old. Compare Exodus 19:0.

Verse 19


When the people heard. This shows the terrifying character of the revelation on which the Age of Moses was based. See Exodus 20:18-19.

Verse 20


Because. This command added to their terror!

Verse 21


That Moses said. Deuteronomy 9:19. Even Moses himself was terrified by all this!!! The comparison makes us think of Elijah (1 Kings 19:11-12).

Verse 22


To Mount Zion. Zion is the symbol of the kingdom of heaven. See Psalms 2:6; Joel 2:32; Isaiah 1:27. The heavenly Jerusalem. See Revelation 21:2-3 and notes. Angels. Angels were part of the terror at Sinai. Here they are part of joy and praise! Compare Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 5:11-12.

Verse 23


Of God’s oldest sons. [The NIV adopts the general view of Theophylact, while the TEV follows Alford, Delitzsch, et. al.] PROTOTOKON is plural = oldest sons. Among the Jews, the oldest son got the largest share of the inheritance. In Christ’s church, every man (and woman) is an “oldest son!” Their names are not written in “birth records” as the Jews wrote every name, but in heaven on the Lamb’s book of the living (Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8 and notes). The terror of Sinai stands in sharp contrast to the joy of Zion!!! Compare Revelation 7:9-12 and notes. Made perfect. See Hebrews 11:39-40.

Verse 24


You have come to Jesus, rather than to Moses. Who arranged. By his death (Hebrews 9:15-17). To the sprinkled blood. See notes on Hebrews 9:5; Hebrews 9:13. Than Abel’s blood. His blood called for revenge (Genesis 4:10); Christ’s blood pleads mercy for us!!!

Verse 25


Do not refuse to hear. See Hebrews 12:19; Hebrews 3:16-19. If we turn away by refusing to hear God’s own Son!!!

Verse 26


His voice. See Hebrews 12:18-19. Compare Exodus 19:18. But now. The quotation is Haggai 2:6. Many apply this to the Second Coming, but I think MacKnight is right in understanding the earth to be pagan idolatry, etc., and heaven to be the Mosaic worship and the Jewish state. See Matthew 24:29-31 and note.

Verse 27


Once more. MacKnight says: “That the Jewish worship, and the heathen idolatry, and the powers which supported these forms of worship, are the things foretold here to be shaken, and that they are to be removed, is evident from God himself, who thus explains the shaking of the heavens and the earth (Haggai 2:21-22).” Will remain. MacKnight says: “For as it implies, that God would make but one alteration more in the religious worship of the world, it certainly follows, that the form to be substituted in place of the things to be shaken and removed, shall be permanent. The gospel therefore will remain to the end of the world, as the only form of religion acceptable to God.”

Verse 28


Because we receive a kingdom. This is the language of Daniel 7:18. Christ’s church = the Kingdom of heaven = the Kingdom of God. See notes on Matthew 16:18-19; Matthew 19:28; Matthew 26:64; Luke 12:32; Luke 22:69; Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:6. In a way. See Hebrews 9:14.

Verse 29


Because our God. Deuteronomy 4:24. Love must be our motivation, not fear of punishment (1 John 4:18). But all who refuse to worship God in a way that pleases Him, have reason to be afraid. This must be balanced against fear of persecution. But Christ is the EVIDENCE that God loves us (John 3:16)!!!

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 12". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/hebrews-12.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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