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12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 12:2 Looking unto 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.

12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 12:19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 12:20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things that that of Abel.

12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Hebrews
Book: Hebrews
Chapter: 12

An exhortation to be constant and persevere, The Example of
Christ is set forth, and the gracious design of God in all the
sufferings believers endured. (1-11) Peace and Holiness are
recommended, with cautions against despising spiritual
blessings. (12-17) The New Testament Dispensation shown to be
much more excellent than the Old. (18-29)

1-11 The persevering obedience of Faith in Christ, was the race
set before the Hebrews, wherein they must either win the Crown
of Glory, or have Everlasting misery for their portion; and it
is set before us. By the Sin that does So easily beset us,
understand that Sin to which we are most prone, or to which we
are most exposed, from habit, Age, or circumstances. This is a
most important exhortation; for while a Man's Darling Sin, be it
what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running
the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for
running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and
faint in their minds, let them recollect that the holy Jesus
suffered, to save them from eternal misery. By stedfastly
looking to Jesus, their thoughts would strengthen holy
affections, and keep under their Carnal desires. Let us then
frequently consider him. What are our little trials to his
agonies, or even to our deserts? What are they to the sufferings
of many others? There is a proneness in believers to grow weary,
and to faint under trials and Afflictions; this is from the
imperfection of Grace and the remains of corruption. Christians
should not faint under their trials. Though their enemies and
persecutors may be instruments to inflict sufferings, yet they
are Divine chastisements; their heavenly Father has his Hand in
all, and his Wise End to answer By all. They must not make Light
of Afflictions, and be without feeling under them, for they are
the Hand and rod of God, and are his rebukes for Sin. They must
not despond and sink under trials, nor fret and repine, but Bear
up with Faith and patience. God may let others alone in their
sins, but he will correct Sin in his own children. In this he
Acts as becomes a Father. Our earthly parents sometimes may
chasten us, to gratify their Passion, rather than to reform our
manners. But the Father of our souls never willingly grieves nor
afflicts his children. It is always for our profit. Our whole
Life here is a state of childhood, and imperfect as to spiritual
things; therefore we must submit to the discipline of such a
state. When we come to a perfect state, we shall be fully
reconciled to all God's chastisement of us now. God's correction
is not condemnation; the chastening may be borne with patience,
and greatly promote Holiness. Let us then learn to consider the
Afflictions brought On us By the malice of men, as corrections
sent By our Wise and gracious Father, for our spiritual good.

12-17 A Burden of affliction is apt to make the Christian's
hands hang down, and his knees grow feeble, to dispirit him and
discourage him; but against this he must strive, that he may
better run his spiritual race and course. Faith and patience
enable believers to follow peace and Holiness, as a Man follows
his Calling constantly, diligently, and with pleasure. Peace
with men, of all sects and parties, will be favourable to our
pursuit of Holiness. But peace and Holiness go together; there
can be not right peace without Holiness. Where persons fail of
having the true Grace of God, corruption will prevail and break
forth; beware lest any unmortified Lust in the Heart, which
seems to be dead, should Spring up, to trouble and disturb the
whole body. Falling away from Christ is the Fruit of preferring
the delights of the Flesh, to the blessing of God, and the
heavenly inheritance, as Esau did. But sinners will not always
have such mean thoughts of the Divine blessing and inheritance
as they now have. It agrees with the profane Man's disposition,
to desire the blessing, yet to despise the means whereby the
blessing is to be gained. But God will neither sever the means
from the blessing, nor join the blessing with the satisfying of
Man's lusts. God's Mercy and blessing were never sought
carefully and not obtained.

18-29 Mount Sinai, On which the Jewish Church state was formed,
was a Mount such as might be touched, though forbidden to be So,
a place that could be felt; So the Mosaic Dispensation was much
in outward and earthly things. The Gospel state is kind and
condescending, suited to our weak frame. Under the Gospel all
may come with boldness to God's presence. But the most holy must
despair, if judged By the holy Law given from Sinai, without a
Saviour. The Gospel Church is called Mount Zion; there believers
have clearer views of Heaven, and more heavenly tempers of soul.
All the children of God are heirs, and every one has the
privileges of the First-born. Let a soul be supposed to join
that glorious assembly and Church above, that is yet
unacquainted with God, still carnally-minded, loving this
present world and state of things, looking back to it with a
lingering Eye, full of pride and guile, filled with lusts; such
a soul would seem to have mistaken its way, place, state, and
company. It would be uneasy to itself and all about it. Christ
is the Mediator of this new Covenant, between God and Man, to
bring them together in this Covenant; to keep them together; to
plead with God for us, and to plead with us for God; and at
length to bring God and his people together in Heaven. This
Covenant is made firm By the Blood of Christ sprinkled upon our
consciences, as the Blood of the Sacrifice was sprinkled upon
the Altar and the victim. This Blood of Christ speaks in behalf
of sinners; it pleads not for vengeance, but for Mercy. See then
that you refuse not his gracious Call and offered Salvation. See
that you do not refuse Him who speaketh from Heaven, with
infinite tenderness and Love; for how can those escape, who turn
from God in unbelief or apostasy, while he So graciously
beseeches them to be reconciled, and to receive his Everlasting
favour! God's dealing with men under the Gospel, in a way of
Grace, assures us, that he will Deal with the despisers of the
Gospel, in a way of Judgment. We cannot Worship God acceptably,
unless we Worship him with reverence and godly fear. Only the
Grace of God enables us to Worship God aright. God is the same
just and righteous God under the Gospel as under the Law. The
inheritance of believers is secured to them; and all things
pertaining to Salvation are freely given in answer to Prayer.
Let us seek for Grace, that we may serve God with reverence and
godly fear.