The Letter to the Hebrews

Chapter 12

An exhortation to constant faith, patience, and godliness, 1-21. A commendation of the new testament above the old, 22-29.

1 Therefore, seeing we also are encompassed with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.

4 You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children:

"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,/
nor faint when you are rebuked by him.

For whom the Lord loves he chastens,/
and scourges every son whom he receives.

7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons. For what son is he whom the father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are illegitimate sons and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we gave them reverence. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they truly for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, so that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it.

12 Therefore, "lift up the weakened hands and the feeble knees," 13 And make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame may not be turned out of the way, but rather be healed.

14 Follow peace with all men, and also holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. 15 Look diligently, lest any man falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up, trouble you, and by it many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who sold his birth-right for one morsel of food. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wished to have inherited the blessing, he was rejected. For he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

18 For you have not come to the mountain that might be touched and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, to darkness, to tempest, 19 To the sound of a trumpet, or the voice of words, which those who heard the voice entreated that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 For they could not endure that which was commanded: "And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, 'it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart.'" 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I exceedingly fear and tremble." 22 But you have come to mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the first-born who are written 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.

25 See that you do not refuse him who speaks. For if those did not escape who refused him who spoke on earth, much more we shall not escape if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven. 26 His voice then shook the earth, but now he has promised, saying, "Yet once more I do not shake the earth only, but also heaven." 27 And this word, "Yet once more," signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, 29 For "our God is a consuming fire."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Hebrews, Chapter 12[➚]


[v.5-6] - Quoting Proverbs 3:11-12 (LXX—paraphrased). Reference, Deuteronomy 8:5; Psalm 94:12; Revelation 3:19.

[v.7] - Reference, Deuteronomy 8:5; Psalm 94:12.

[v.12] - Quoting Isaiah 35:3 (LXX—paraphrased).

[v.16] - Reference, Genesis 25:33.

[v.20] - Quoting Exodus 19:13 (LXX).

[v.21] - This is not a specific quote from Moses, but rather it may be an implied quote based on the events of Exodus 19:16-17, which says that, "all the people who were in the camp trembled." From John Calvin's Commentary: "Yet interpreters are at a loss to know how it is that the Apostle ascribes these words to Moses, I exceedingly fear and quake; for we read nowhere that they were expressed by Moses. But the difficulty may be easily removed, if we consider that Moses spoke thus in the name of the people, whose requests as their delegate he brought to God. It was, then, the common complaint of the whole people; but Moses is included, who was, as it were, the speaker for them all."

[v.26] - Quoting Haggai 2:6 (LXX—paraphrased).

[v.29] - Quoting Deuteronomy 4:24 (LXX—paraphrased).