12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run(A) with perseverance(B) the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,(C) the pioneer(D) and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,(E) scorning its shame,(F) and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(G) Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary(H) and lose heart.

God Disciplines His Children

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.(I) And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart(J) when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,(K)
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a](L)

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.(M) For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline(N)—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits(O) and live!(P) 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.(Q) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace(R) for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.(S) 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b](T) so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.(U)

Warning and Encouragement

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone(V) and to be holy;(W) without holiness no one will see the Lord.(X) 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God(Y) and that no bitter root(Z) grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral,(AA) or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.(AB) 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears,(AC) he could not change what he had done.

The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;(AD) 19 to a trumpet blast(AE) or to such a voice speaking words(AF) that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them,(AG) 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[c](AH) 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d](AI)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion,(AJ) to the city(AK) of the living God,(AL) the heavenly Jerusalem.(AM) You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn,(AN) whose names are written in heaven.(AO) You have come to God, the Judge of all,(AP) to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,(AQ) 24 to Jesus the mediator(AR) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood(AS) that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.(AT)

25 See to it that you do not refuse(AU) him who speaks.(AV) If they did not escape when they refused him who warned(AW) them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?(AX) 26 At that time his voice shook the earth,(AY) but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[e](AZ) 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken(BA)—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,(BB) let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,(BC) 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”[f](BD)

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 12:6 Prov. 3:11,12 (see Septuagint)
  2. Hebrews 12:13 Prov. 4:26
  3. Hebrews 12:20 Exodus 19:12,13
  4. Hebrews 12:21 See Deut. 9:19.
  5. Hebrews 12:26 Haggai 2:6
  6. Hebrews 12:29 Deut. 4:24

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being

My son,(A) do not forget my teaching,(B)
    but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years(C)
    and bring you peace and prosperity.(D)

Let love and faithfulness(E) never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.(F)
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.(G)

Trust in the Lord(H) with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths(I) straight.[a](J)

Do not be wise in your own eyes;(K)
    fear the Lord(L) and shun evil.(M)
This will bring health to your body(N)
    and nourishment to your bones.(O)

Honor the Lord with your wealth,
    with the firstfruits(P) of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled(Q) to overflowing,
    and your vats will brim over with new wine.(R)

11 My son,(S) do not despise the Lord’s discipline,(T)
    and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,(U)
    as a father the son he delights in.[b](V)

13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
    those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
    and yields better returns than gold.(W)
15 She is more precious than rubies;(X)
    nothing you desire can compare with her.(Y)
16 Long life is in her right hand;(Z)
    in her left hand are riches and honor.(AA)
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
    and all her paths are peace.(AB)
18 She is a tree of life(AC) to those who take hold of her;
    those who hold her fast will be blessed.(AD)

19 By wisdom(AE) the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,(AF)
    by understanding he set the heavens(AG) in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
    and the clouds let drop the dew.

21 My son,(AH) do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,(AI)
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,(AJ)
    an ornament to grace your neck.(AK)
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,(AL)
    and your foot will not stumble.(AM)
24 When you lie down,(AN) you will not be afraid;(AO)
    when you lie down, your sleep(AP) will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side(AQ)
    and will keep your foot(AR) from being snared.(AS)

27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
    “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
    when you already have it with you.(AT)
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
    who lives trustfully near you.(AU)
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
    when they have done you no harm.

31 Do not envy(AV) the violent
    or choose any of their ways.

32 For the Lord detests the perverse(AW)
    but takes the upright into his confidence.(AX)
33 The Lord’s curse(AY) is on the house of the wicked,(AZ)
    but he blesses the home of the righteous.(BA)
34 He mocks(BB) proud mockers(BC)
    but shows favor to the humble(BD) and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools get only shame.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 3:6 Or will direct your paths
  2. Proverbs 3:12 Hebrew; Septuagint loves, / and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

Listen, my sons,(A) to a father’s instruction;(B)
    pay attention and gain understanding.(C)
I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold(D) of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.(E)
Get wisdom,(F) get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;(G)
    love her, and she will watch over you.(H)
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
    Though it cost all(I) you have,[b] get understanding.(J)
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.(K)
She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.(L)

10 Listen, my son,(M) accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.(N)
11 I instruct(O) you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.(P)
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.(Q)
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.(R)
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.(S)
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;(T)
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.(U)

18 The path of the righteous(V) is like the morning sun,(W)
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.(X)
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;(Y)
    they do not know what makes them stumble.(Z)

20 My son,(AA) pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.(AB)
21 Do not let them out of your sight,(AC)
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.(AD)
23 Above all else, guard(AE) your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.(AF)
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes(AG) look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet(AH)
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;(AI)
    keep your foot from evil.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 4:7 Or Wisdom is supreme; therefore get
  2. Proverbs 4:7 Or wisdom. / Whatever else you get
  3. Proverbs 4:26 Or Make level

At Mount Sinai

19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt(A)—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai.(B) After they set out from Rephidim,(C) they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.(D)

Then Moses went up to God,(E) and the Lord called(F) to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt,(G) and how I carried you on eagles’ wings(H) and brought you to myself.(I) Now if you obey me fully(J) and keep my covenant,(K) then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.(L) Although the whole earth(M) is mine, you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests(N) and a holy nation.’(O) These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

So Moses went back and summoned the elders(P) of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak.(Q) The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.”(R) So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud,(S) so that the people will hear me speaking(T) with you and will always put their trust(U) in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.

10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate(V) them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes(W) 11 and be ready by the third day,(X) because on that day the Lord will come down(Y) on Mount Sinai(Z) in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits(AA) for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned(AB) or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn(AC) sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”(AD)

14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes.(AE) 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain(AF) from sexual relations.”

16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder(AG) and lightning, with a thick cloud(AH) over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast.(AI) Everyone in the camp trembled.(AJ) 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.(AK) 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke,(AL) because the Lord descended on it in fire.(AM) The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace,(AN) and the whole mountain[b] trembled(AO) violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice(AP) of God answered(AQ) him.[c]

20 The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai(AR) and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see(AS) the Lord and many of them perish.(AT) 22 Even the priests, who approach(AU) the Lord, must consecrate(AV) themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.”(AW)

23 Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai,(AX) because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits(AY) around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”

24 The Lord replied, “Go down and bring Aaron(AZ) up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out against them.”(BA)

25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 19:6 Or possession, for the whole earth is mine. You
  2. Exodus 19:18 Most Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint and all the people
  3. Exodus 19:19 Or and God answered him with thunder

Obedience Commanded

Now, Israel, hear the decrees(A) and laws I am about to teach(B) you. Follow them so that you may live(C) and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add(D) to what I command you and do not subtract(E) from it, but keep(F) the commands(G) of the Lord your God that I give you.

You saw with your own eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor.(H) The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, but all of you who held fast to the Lord your God are still alive today.

See, I have taught(I) you decrees and laws(J) as the Lord my God commanded(K) me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering(L) to take possession of it. Observe(M) them carefully, for this will show your wisdom(N) and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”(O) What other nation is so great(P) as to have their gods near(Q) them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws(R) as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Only be careful,(S) and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach(T) them to your children(U) and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb,(V) when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn(W) to revere(X) me as long as they live in the land(Y) and may teach(Z) them to their children.” 11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain(AA) while it blazed with fire(AB) to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.(AC) 12 Then the Lord spoke(AD) to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;(AE) there was only a voice.(AF) 13 He declared to you his covenant,(AG) the Ten Commandments,(AH) which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws(AI) you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.

Idolatry Forbidden

15 You saw no form(AJ) of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb(AK) out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,(AL) 16 so that you do not become corrupt(AM) and make for yourselves an idol,(AN) an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,(AO) 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun,(AP) the moon and the stars(AQ)—all the heavenly array(AR)—do not be enticed(AS) into bowing down to them and worshiping(AT) things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace,(AU) out of Egypt,(AV) to be the people of his inheritance,(AW) as you now are.

21 The Lord was angry with me(AX) because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22 I will die in this land;(AY) I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land.(AZ) 23 Be careful not to forget the covenant(BA) of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol(BB) in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire,(BC) a jealous God.(BD)

25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt(BE) and make any kind of idol,(BF) doing evil(BG) in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses(BH) against you(BI) this day that you will quickly perish(BJ) from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter(BK) you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive(BL) among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods(BM) of wood and stone,(BN) which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.(BO) 29 But if from there you seek(BP) the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart(BQ) and with all your soul.(BR) 30 When you are in distress(BS) and all these things have happened to you, then in later days(BT) you will return(BU) to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful(BV) God; he will not abandon(BW) or destroy(BX) you or forget(BY) the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.

The Lord Is God

32 Ask(BZ) now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth;(CA) ask from one end of the heavens to the other.(CB) Has anything so great(CC) as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God[a] speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?(CD) 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation,(CE) by testings,(CF) by signs(CG) and wonders,(CH) by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,(CI) or by great and awesome deeds,(CJ) like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.(CK) 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice(CL) to discipline(CM) you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved(CN) your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength,(CO) 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance,(CP) as it is today.

39 Acknowledge(CQ) and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.(CR) 40 Keep(CS) his decrees and commands,(CT) which I am giving you today, so that it may go well(CU) with you and your children after you and that you may live long(CV) in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.

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Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 4:33 Or of a god

Not Because of Israel’s Righteousness

Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan(A) to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you,(B) with large cities(C) that have walls up to the sky.(D) The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?”(E) But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you(F) like a devouring fire.(G) He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly,(H) as the Lord has promised you.

After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself,(I) “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness(J) of these nations(K) that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity(L) that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness(M) of these nations,(N) the Lord your God will drive them out(O) before you, to accomplish what he swore(P) to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.(Q) Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.(R)

The Golden Calf

Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger(S) of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious(T) against the Lord.(U) At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath(V) so that he was angry enough to destroy you.(W) When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant(X) that the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days(Y) and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water.(Z) 10 The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.(AA) On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.(AB)

11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights,(AC) the Lord gave me the two stone tablets,(AD) the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the Lord told me, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt.(AE) They have turned away quickly(AF) from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves.”

13 And the Lord said to me, “I have seen this people(AG), and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone,(AH) so that I may destroy them and blot out(AI) their name from under heaven.(AJ) And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.”

15 So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands.(AK) 16 When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf.(AL) You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.

18 Then once again I fell(AM) prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water,(AN) because of all the sin you had committed,(AO) doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and so arousing his anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you.(AP) But again the Lord listened to me.(AQ) 20 And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. 21 Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust(AR) and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.(AS)

22 You also made the Lord angry(AT) at Taberah,(AU) at Massah(AV) and at Kibroth Hattaavah.(AW)

23 And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea,(AX) he said, “Go up and take possession(AY) of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled(AZ) against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust(BA) him or obey him. 24 You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you.(BB)

25 I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights(BC) because the Lord had said he would destroy you.(BD) 26 I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people,(BE) your own inheritance(BF) that you redeemed(BG) by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.(BH) 27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness(BI) of this people, their wickedness and their sin. 28 Otherwise, the country(BJ) from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them,(BK) he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.’(BL) 29 But they are your people,(BM) your inheritance(BN) that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.(BO)

on the twenty-first day of the seventh month,(A) the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai:(B) “Speak to Zerubbabel(C) son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak,[a](D) the high priest, and to the remnant(E) of the people. Ask them, ‘Who of you is left who saw this house(F) in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?(G) But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong,(H) Joshua son of Jozadak,(I) the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with(J) you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘This is what I covenanted(K) with you when you came out of Egypt.(L) And my Spirit(M) remains among you. Do not fear.’(N)

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while(O) I will once more shake the heavens and the earth,(P) the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired(Q) by all nations will come, and I will fill this house(R) with glory,(S)’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold(T) is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory(U) of this present house(V) will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,(W)’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

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Footnotes

  1. Haggai 2:2 Hebrew Jehozadak, a variant of Jozadak; also in verse 4

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run(A) with perseverance(B) the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,(C) the pioneer(D) and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,(E) scorning its shame,(F) and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.(G) Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary(H) and lose heart.

God Disciplines His Children

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.(I) And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart(J) when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,(K)
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a](L)

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.(M) For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline(N)—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits(O) and live!(P) 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.(Q) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace(R) for those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.(S) 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b](T) so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.(U)

Warning and Encouragement

14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone(V) and to be holy;(W) without holiness no one will see the Lord.(X) 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God(Y) and that no bitter root(Z) grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16 See that no one is sexually immoral,(AA) or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.(AB) 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears,(AC) he could not change what he had done.

The Mountain of Fear and the Mountain of Joy

18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;(AD) 19 to a trumpet blast(AE) or to such a voice speaking words(AF) that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them,(AG) 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[c](AH) 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d](AI)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion,(AJ) to the city(AK) of the living God,(AL) the heavenly Jerusalem.(AM) You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn,(AN) whose names are written in heaven.(AO) You have come to God, the Judge of all,(AP) to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,(AQ) 24 to Jesus the mediator(AR) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood(AS) that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.(AT)

25 See to it that you do not refuse(AU) him who speaks.(AV) If they did not escape when they refused him who warned(AW) them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?(AX) 26 At that time his voice shook the earth,(AY) but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[e](AZ) 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken(BA)—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,(BB) let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,(BC) 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”[f](BD)

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 12:6 Prov. 3:11,12 (see Septuagint)
  2. Hebrews 12:13 Prov. 4:26
  3. Hebrews 12:20 Exodus 19:12,13
  4. Hebrews 12:21 See Deut. 9:19.
  5. Hebrews 12:26 Haggai 2:6
  6. Hebrews 12:29 Deut. 4:24