Hebrews 12

Therefore ( τοιγαρουν ). Triple compound inferential participle ( τοι, γαρ, ουν ) like the German doch denn nun, a conclusion of emphasis, old particle, in N.T. only here and 1Th 4:8. There should be no chapter division here, since 12:1-3 really is the climax in the whole argument about the better promises (10:19-12:3) with a passionate appeal for loyalty to Christ.

Us also ( κα ημεις ). We as well as "these all" of 11:39 and all the more because of the "something better" given us in the actual coming of Christ.

Compassed about ( εχοντες περικειμενον ). Literally, "having ( εχοντες, present active participle of  εχω ) lying around us" ( περικειμενον, present middle participle of  περικειμα, old verb as in Lu 17:2).

Cloud of witnesses ( νεφος μαρτυρων ). Old word (Latin nubes), here only in the N.T., for vast mass of clouds.  Νεφελη is a single cloud. The metaphor refers to the great amphitheatre with the arena for the runners and the tiers upon tiers of seats rising up like a cloud. The  μαρτυρες here are not mere spectators ( θεατα ), but testifiers (witnesses) who testify from their own experience (11:2,4,5,33,39) to God's fulfilling his promises as shown in chapter Heb 11.

Laying aside ( αποθεμενο ). Second aorist-middle (indirect, from ourselves) participle of  αποτιθημ, old verb as in Col 3:8 (laying off old clothes). The runners ran in the stadium nearly naked.

Every weight ( ογκον παντα ). Old word (kin to  ενεγκειν, φερω ) like  φορτοσ, βαρος. Here every encumbrance that handicaps like doubt, pride, sloth, anything. No trailing garment to hinder or trip one.

The sin which doth so easily beset us ( την ευπεριστατον αμαρτιαν ). "The easily besetting sin." There are a dozen possible renderings of this double compound verbal from  ευ, well, and  περιιστημ, to place around or to stand around (intransitive). The Vulgate has circumstans nos peccatum (the sin standing around us). Probably this is the true idea here, "the easily encompassing (or surrounding) sin." In this case apostasy from Christ was that sin. In our cases it may be some other sin. The verbal adjective reminds one of the ring of wild beasts in the jungle that encircle the camp-fire at night each ready to pounce upon a careless victim.

Let us run ( τρεχωμεν ). Present active volitive subjunctive of  τρεχω, "let us keep on running."

With patience ( δι' υπομονης ). Not with impatience, doubt, or despair.

The race that is set before us ( τον προκειμενον ημιν αγωνα ). Note the article and the present middle participle of  προκειμα, old compound (already in 6:18, and also in 12:2). Dative case ( ημιν ) of personal interest.

Looking unto ( αφορωντες εις ). Present active participle of  αφοραω, old verb to look away, "looking away to Jesus." In N.T. only here and Php 2:23. Fix your eyes on Jesus, after a glance at "the cloud of witnesses," for he is the goal. Cf. Moses in 11:26 ( απεβλεπεν ).

The author ( τον αρχηγον ). See 2:10 for this word. "The pioneer of personal faith" (Moffatt).

Perfecter ( τελειωτην ). A word apparently coined by the writer from  τελειοω as it has been found nowhere else. Vulgate has consummator.

For the joy ( αντ της χαρας ). Answering to, in exchange for (verse 16), at the end of the race lay the joy "set before him" ( προκειμενης αυτω ), while here was the Cross ( σταυρον ) at this end (the beginning of the race) which he endured ( υπεμεινεν, aorist active indicative of  υπομενω ),

despising shame ( αισχυνης καταφρονησας ). The cross at his time brought only shame (most shameful of deaths, "yea, the death of the cross" Php 2:8). But Jesus despised that, in spite of the momentary shrinking from it, and did his Father's will by submitting to it.

Hath sat down ( κεκαθικεν ). Perfect active indicative of  καθιζω, and still is there (1:3).

Consider ( αναλογισασθε ). First aorist middle imperative of  αναλογιζομα, old word to reckon up, to compare, to weigh, only here in the N.T. See  κατανοησατε in 3:1. Understanding Jesus is the key to the whole problem, the cure for doubt and hesitation.

Endured ( υπομεμενηκοτα ). Perfect active participle of the same verb  υπομενω used in verse 2.

Gainsaying ( αντιλογιαν ). Old word from  αντιλογος (from  αντιλεγω ), already in 6:16; 7:7.

Of sinners ( υπο των αμαρτωλων ). "By sinners."

Against themselves ( εις εαυτους ). Against their better selves if a genuine reading. But  εις εαυτον (against himself), against Christ, is far more likely correct.

That ye wax not weary ( ινα μη καμητε ). Negative final clause with  ινα μη and the second aorist active subjunctive of  καμνω, old verb to be weary as here or sick as in Jas 5:15.

Fainting in your souls ( ταις ψυχαις υμων εκλυομενο ). Present passive participle of  εκλυω, old verb to loosen out, to set free, and in passive to be enfeebled, to be tired out (here in soul with locative case), as in verse 5. The rest of the Epistle drives home the argument.

Resisted ( αντικατεστητε ). Second aorist active indicative (intransitive) of the double compound  αντικαθιστημ, old verb to stand in opposition against in line of battle, intransitively to stand face to face ( αντ ) against ( κατα ), here only in the N.T.

Unto blood ( μεχρις αιματος ). "Up to blood." As was true of Jesus and many of the other heroes of faith in chapter Heb 11.

Striving ( ανταγωνιζομενο ). Present middle participle of  ανταγωνιζομα, old verb with the same figure in  αντικατεστητε.

Against sin ( προς αμαρτιαν ). Face to face with sin as in verse 1.

Ye have forgotten ( εκλελησθε ). Perfect middle indicative of  εκλανθανω, to cause to forget, old verb, here only in the N.T. with genitive case as usual.

Reasoneth with you ( υμιν διαλεγετα ). Present middle indicative of  διαλεγομα, old verb to ponder different ( δια- ) things, to converse, with dative. Cf. Ac 19:8f. The quotation is from Pr 3:11f.

Regard not lightly ( μη ολιγωρε ). Prohibition with  μη and the present active imperative of  ολιγωρεω, old verb from  ολιγωρος and this from  ολιγος (little) and  ωρα (hour), old verb, here only in N.T.

Chastening ( παιδειας ). Old word from  παιδευω, to train a child ( παις ), instruction (2Ti 3:16), which naturally includes correction and punishment as here. See also Eph 6:4.

Nor faint ( μηδε εκλυου ). Prohibition with  μη and present passive imperative of  εκλυω (see verse 3).

Scourgeth ( μαστιγο ). Present active indicative of  μαστιγοω, old verb from  μαστιξ (whip). This is a hard lesson for God's children to learn and to understand. See 5:7 about Jesus.

That ye endure ( υπομενετε ). Present active indicative or present active imperative and so just "endure for chastening."

Dealeth with you ( υμιν προσφερετα ). Present middle indicative of  προσφερω, but this sense of bearing oneself towards one with the dative here only in the N.T., though often in the older Greek.

What ( τις ). Interrogative.

Whom ( ον ). Relative. Cf. Mt 7:9.

If ye are without chastening ( ε χωρις εστε παιδειας ). Condition of first class, determined as fulfilled. Note position of  εστε (are) between the preposition  χωρις and  παιδειας (ablative case).

Have been made ( γεγονασιν ). Perfect active indicative of  γινομα.

Partakers ( μετοχο ). Partners (3:14).

Then ( αρα ). Accordingly, correspondingly.

Bastards ( νοθο ). Old word, here only in N.T. Illegitimate.

Furthermore ( ειτα ). The next step in the argument (Mr 4:17).

We had ( ειχομεν ). Imperfect indicative of customary action, "we used to have."

To chasten us ( παιδευτας ). Predicate accusative after  ειχομεν, "as chasteners." Old word from  παιδευω, as agent ( -της ). Only once in LXX (Ho 5:2) and twice in N.T. (here and Ro 2:20).

We gave them reverence ( ενετρεπομεθα ). Imperfect middle of old word  εντρεπω, to turn in or at. Here "we turned ourselves to" as in Mt 21:37, habitual attitude of reverence.

Shall we be in subjection ( υποταγησομεθα ). Second future passive of  υποτασσω. There is no  δε here to correspond to  μεν in the first part of the verse.

Unto the father of spirits ( τω πατρ των πνευματων ). Rather, "Unto the Father of our spirits" (note article  τον ). As God is.

They ( ο μεν ). Demonstrative  ο in contrast ( μεν ).

Chastened ( επαιδευον ). Imperfect active, used to chasten.

As seemed good to them ( κατα το δοκουν αυτοις ). "According to the thing seeming good to them."  Δοκουν is present active neuter singular articular participle of  δοκεω.

But he ( ο δε ). Demonstrative with  δε vs.  μεν.

For our profit ( επ το συμφερον ). Present active articular neuter singular participle of  συμφερω, to bear together as in 1Co 12:7.

That we may be partakers ( εις το μεταλαβειν ). Articular second aorist active infinitive of  μεταλαμβανω with  εις for purpose, "for the partaking."

Of his holiness ( της αγιοτητος αυτου ). Genitive with  μεταλαβειν (to share in). Rare word, in N.T. only here and 2Co 1:12.

For the present ( προς το παρον ). A classical phrase (Thucydides),  προς with the accusative neuter singular articular participle of  παρειμ, to be beside.

Not joyous, but grievous ( ου χαρασ, αλλα λυπης ). Predicate ablative (springing from) or predicate genitive (marked by). Either makes sense, but note predicate ablative in 2Co 4:7 ( κα του θεου κα μη εξ ημων ).

Peaceable fruit ( καρπον ειρηνικον ). Old adjective from  ειρηνη (peace), in N.T. only here and Jas 3:17. Peaceable after the chastening is over.

Exercised thereby ( δι' αυτης γεγυμνασμενοις ). Perfect passive participle (dative case) of  γυμναζω, state of completion, picturing the discipline as a gymnasium like 5:14; 1Ti 4:17.

Wherefore ( διο ). Because of the chastening.

Lift up ( ανορθωσατε ). First aorist active imperative of  ανορθοω, old compound (from  ανα, ορθος ) to make straight, in N.T. here and Lu 13:13; Ac 15:16.

Hang down ( παρειμενας ). Perfect passive participle of  παριημ, old verb to let pass, to relax, in N.T. only here and Lu 11:42.

Palsied ( παραλελυμενα ). Perfect passive participle of  παραλυω, old verb to loosen on the side, to dissolve, to paralyze (Lu 5:18,24).

Straight paths ( τροχιας ορθας ). Track of a wheel ( τροχος, Jas 3:6 from  τρεχω, to run), here only in N.T. "Straight ( ορθας ) wheel tracks."

Be not turned out of the way ( ινα μη εκτραπη ). Negative final clause with  ινα μη and second aorist passive of  εκτρεπω, old verb to turn out, to twist, to put out of joint. So 1Ti 1:6. Vivid picture of concern for the lame ( χωλον, as in Mt 11:5). Graphic picture of concern for the weak, a good argument for prohibition also.

Follow after peace ( ειρηνην διωκετε ). Give peace a chase as if in a hunt.

With all men ( μετα παντων ). Like Paul's use of  διωκω with  ειρηνην in Ro 14:19 and his to  εξ υμων (so far as proceeds from you) in 12:18. This lesson the whole world needs including Christians.

Sanctification ( αγιασμον ). Consecration as in 1Th 4:7; Ro 6:19, etc.

Without which ( ου χωρις ). Ablative case of the relative with  χωρις (post positive here). About seeing God compare Mt 5:8 where we have  καθαρο.

Looking carefully ( επισκοπουντες ). Present active participle of  επισκοπεω, to have oversight, in N.T. only here and 1Pe 5:2. Cf.  επισχοπος (bishop).

Lest there be any man ( μη τις ). Negative purpose clause with  ε (present active subjunctive) omitted.

Falleth short of ( υστερων απο ). Present active participle of  υστερεω (see 4:1) agreeing with  τις. Followed here by  απο and the ablative.

Root of bitterness . ( ριζα πικριας ). Quoted from De 29:18. Vivid picture.

Springing up ( ανω φυουσα ). Present active participle of  φυω, to sprout. Pictured here as a quick process. Also from De 29:18.

Trouble ( ενοχλη ). Present active subjunctive (in final clause with  μη τις ) of  ενοχλεω, old verb to trouble with a crowd, to annoy. In N.T. only here and Lu 6:18.

Be defiled ( μιανθωσιν ). First aorist passive subjunctive (in final clause with  μη ) of  μιανω, old verb to dye, to stain, to defile as in Tit 1:15 (the conscience). The contagion of sin is terrible as any disease.

Profane ( βεβηλος ). Trodden under foot, unhallowed (1Ti 1:9).

For one mess of meat ( αντ βρωσεως μιας ). Idea of exchange, "for one act of eating" (1Co 8:4).

Sold ( απεδετο ). Second aorist middle indicative from Ge 25:31,33, and with irregular form for  απεδοτο (regular  μ form).

His own birthright ( τα πρωτοτοκια εαυτου ). From Genesis also and in Philo, only here in N.T. From  πρωτοτοκος (first born, Heb 1:6).

Ye know ( ιστε ). Regular form for the second person of  οιδα rather than the Koine  οιδατε.

He was rejected ( απεδοκιμασθη ). First aorist passive indicative of  αποδοκιμαζω, old verb to disapprove (Mt 21:42).

Place of repentance ( μετανοιας τοπον ).  Μετανοια is change of mind and purpose, not sorrow though he had tears ( μετα δακρυων ) afterwards as told in Ge 27:38. He sought it ( αυτην, the blessing  ευλογιαν ) with tears, but in vain. There was no change of mind in Isaac. The choice was irrevocable as Isaac shows (Ge 27:33). Esau is a tragic example of one who does a wilful sin which allows no second chance (Heb 6:6; 10:26). The author presses the case of Esau as a warning to the Christians who were tempted to give up Christ.

Ye are not come ( ου προσεληλυθατε ). Perfect active indicative of  προσερχομα. There is no word here in the Greek for "a mount" like  ορε in verses 20,22 (and Ex 19:12f.; De 4:11), but it is clearly understood since the dative participles agree with it unless they be taken as descriptive of  πυρ ("a palpable and kindled fire " when  πυρ would be the dative case after  προσεληλυθατε ).

That might be touched ( ψηλαφωμενω ). Present passive participle (dative case) of  ψηλαφαω, old verb to handle, to touch (Lu 24:39).

That burned with fire ( κεκαυμενω πυρ ). Perfect passive participle of  καιω, old verb to burn, with instrumental case  πυρ (fire), unless the other view (above) is correct.

Unto blackness ( γνοφω ). Dative case of  γνοφος (late form for earlier  δνοφος and kin to  νεφος, cloud), here only in N.T. Quoted here from Ex 10:22.

Darkness ( ζοφω ). Old word, in Homer for the gloom of the world below. In the Symmachus Version of Ex 10:22, also in Jude 1:6; 2Pe 2:4,15.

Tempest ( θυελλη ). Old word from  θυω (to boil, to rage), a hurricane, here only in N.T. From Ex 10:22.

The sound of a trumpet ( σαλπιγγος ηχω ). From Ex 19:16.  Εχος is an old word (our  εχο ) as in Lu 21:25; Ac 2:2.

The voice of words ( φωνη ρηματων ). From Ex 19:19; De 4:12.

Which voice ( ης ). Relative referring to  φωνη (voice) just before, genitive case with  ακουσαντες (heard, aorist active participle).

Intreated ( παρηιτησαντο ). First aorist middle (indirect) indicative of  παραιτεομα, old verb, to ask from alongside (Mr 15:6), then to beg away from oneself, to depreciate as here, to decline (Ac 25:11), to excuse (Lu 14:18), to avoid (1Ti 4:7).

That no word should be spoken unto them ( προστεθηνα αυτοις λογον ). First aorist passive infinitive of  προστιθημ, old word to add, here with accusative of general reference ( λογον ), "that no word be added unto them." Some MSS. have here a redundant negative  μη with the infinitive because of the negative idea in  παρηιτησαντο as in Ga 5:7.

For they could not endure ( ουκ εφερον γαρ ). Imperfect active of  φερω, "for they were not enduring (bearing)."

That which was enjoined ( το διαστελλομενον ). Present passive articular participle of  διαστελλω, old verb to distinguish, to dispose, to order. The quotation is from Ex 19:12f. The people appealed to Moses (Ex 20:19) and the leaders did so also (De 5:23f.), both in terror.

If even ( καν ). "Even if." Condition of third class with second aorist active subjunctive of  θιγγανω as in 11:28, followed by genitive  ορους (mountain).

It shall be stoned ( λιθοβοληθησετα ). From Ex 19:13. Late compound verb from  λιθοβολος (from  λιθοσ, βαλλω ) as in Mt 21:35.

Fearful ( φοβερον ). As in 10:27,31, only in Heb. in N.T.

The appearance ( το φανταζομενον ). Present passive articular participle of  φανταζω, old verb from  φαινω, to make visible, here only in N.T. "The manifestation."

I exceedingly fear and quake ( εκφοβος ειμ κα εντρομος ). "I am terrified ( εκφοβος, late compound like  εκφοβεω, to frighten, Mr 9:6) and trembling" ( εντρομος, late compound like  εντρεμω, to tremble at, as in Ac 7:32; 16:29).  Εκφοβος is quoted from De 9:19.

But ( αλλα ). Sharp contrast to verse 18 with same form  προσεληλυθατε.

Unto Mount Zion ( Σιων ορε ). Dative case of  ορος, as with the other substantives. In contrast to Mount Sinai (verses 18-21). Paul has contrasted Mount Sinai (present Jerusalem) with the Jerusalem above (heaven) in Ga 4:21-31.

City ( πολε ). As in 11:10,16. Heaven is termed thus a spiritual mountain and city.

The heavenly Jerusalem ( Ιερουσαλεμ επουρανιω ). See 11:10,16; Isa 60:14.

Innumerable hosts of angels ( μυριασιν αγγελων ). "Myriads of angels."  Μυριας is an old word (from  μυριος, 1Co 4:15) as in Lu 12:1.

To the general assembly ( πανηγυρε ). Old word (from  πας and  αγυρισ, αγειρω ). Here only in N.T.  Πανηγυριζω occurs in Isa 66:10 for keeping a festal holiday. Possibly to be connected with  αγγελων, though not certain.

Church of the firstborn ( εκκλησια πρωτοτοκων ). Probably an additional item besides the angelic host as the people of Israel are called firstborn (Ex 4:22). The word  εκκλησια here has the general sense of all the redeemed, as in Mt 16:18; Col 1:18; Eph 5:24-32, and equivalent to the kingdom of God.

Who are enrolled in heaven ( απογεγραμμενων εν ουρανοις ). Perfect passive participle of  απογραφω, old verb to write off, to copy, to enroll as in Lu 2:1,3,5 (only N.T. examples). Enrolled as citizens of heaven even while on earth (Lu 10:20; Php 1:27; 3:20; 4:3; Re 13:8, etc.).

To God the Judge of all ( κριτη θεω παντων ). All these chief substantives in the dative case. People should not forget that God is the Judge of all men.

Made perfect ( τετελειωμενων ). Perfect passive participle of  τελειοω, perfected at last (11:40).

To Jesus ( Ιησου ). This great fact is not to be overlooked (Php 2:10f.). He is there as Lord and Saviour and still "Jesus."

The mediator of a new covenant ( διαθηκης νεας μεσιτη ). As already shown (7:22; 8:6,8,9,10; 9:15) and now gloriously consummated.

To the blood of sprinkling ( αιματ ραντισμου ). As in 9:19-28.

Than Abel ( παρα τον Αβελ ). Accusative as in 1:4.

Better ( κρειττον ). Comparative of  καλος. Abel's blood still speaks (11:4), but it is as nothing compared to that of Jesus.

See ( βλεπετε ). Earnest word as in 3:12. Driving home the whole argument of the Epistle by this powerful contrast between Mount Zion and Mount Sinai. The consequences are dreadful to apostates now, for Zion has greater terrors than Sinai, great as those were.

That ye refuse not ( μη παραιτησησθε ). Negative purpose with  μη and the first aorist middle subjunctive of  παραιτεομα, the same verb used in verse 19 about the conduct of the Israelites at Sinai and also below.

Him that speaketh ( τον λαλουντα ). Present active articular participle of  λαλεω as in verse 24 (Jesus speaking by his blood).

For if they did not escape ( ε γαρ εκεινο ουκ εξεφυγον ). Condition of first class with  ε and second aorist active indicative of  εκφευγω, to escape. Direct reference to Sinai with use of the same verb again ( παραιτησαμενο, when they refused).

Him that warned ( τον χρηματιζοντα ). That is Moses. For  χρηματιζω see 8:5; 11:7.

Much more we ( πολυ μαλλον ημεις ). Argument from the less to the greater,  πολυ, adverbial accusative case. The verb has to be supplied from the condition, "We shall not escape." Our chance to escape is far less, "we who turn away ( αποστρεφομενο, middle participle, turn ourselves away from) the one from heaven ( τον απ' ουρανων )," God speaking through his Son (1:2).

Then shook ( εσαλευσεν τοτε ). Old verb as in Mt 11:7.

He hath promised ( επηγγελτα ). Perfect middle indicative of  επαγγελλω and it still holds. He quotes Hag 2:6.

Will I make to tremble ( σεισω ). Old and strong verb (here future active)  σειω, to agitate, to cause to tremble as in Mt 21:10. The author applies this "yet once more" ( ετ απαξ ) and the reference to heaven ( τον ουρανον ) to the second and final "shaking" at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ for judgement (9:28).

And this word ( το δε ). He uses the article to point out " ετ απαξ " which he explains ( δηλο, signifies, present active indicative of  δηλοω ).

The removing ( την μεταθεσιν ). For this word see 7:12; 11:5. For the transitory nature of the world see 1Co 7:31; 1Jo 2:17. "There is a divine purpose in the cosmic catastrophe" (Moffatt).

Made ( πεποιημενων ). Perfect passive participle of  ποιεω. Made by God, but made to pass away.

That those things which are not shaken may remain ( ινα μεινη τα μη σαλευομενα ). Final clause with  μη and the first aorist active subjunctive of  μενω. The Kingdom of God is not shaken, fearful as some saints are about it.

Wherefore ( διο ). Ground for loyalty to Christ and for calm trust in God.

That cannot be shaken ( ασαλευτον ). Old compound with alpha privative and the verbal adjective from  σαλευω just used. In N.T. only here and Ac 27:41.

Let us have grace ( εχωμεν χαριν ). Present active volitive subjunctive of  εχω, "Let us keep on having grace" as in 4:16, though it can mean "Let us keep on having gratitude" as in Lu 17:9.

Whereby ( δι' ης ). That is  δια χαριτος.

We may offer service ( λατρευωμεν ). This subjunctive in a relative clause can be volitive like  εχωμεν just before (cf. imperative  στητε in 1Pe 5:12) or it might be the futuristic subjunctive as in 8:3 ( ο προσενεγκη ).

Well pleasing ( ευαρεστως ). Old compound adverb, here only in N.T.

With reverence and awe ( μετα ευλαβειας κα δεους ). For  ευλαβεια see 5:7; 11:7.  Δεος is apprehension of danger as in a forest. "When the voice and tread of a wild beast are distinctly heard close at hand the  δεος becomes  φοβος " (Vincent).

A consuming fire ( πυρ καταναλισκον ). From De 4:24. Present active participle of  καταναλισκω, old compound verb, here only in the N.T. This verse is to be coupled with 10:31.

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