New King James Version
The Race of Faith
12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, (A)let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and (B)let us run (C)with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, (D)who for the joy that was set before Him (E)endured the cross, despising the shame, and (F)has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Discipline of God(G)
3 (H)For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, (I)lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 (J)You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
7 (M)If[d] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what (N)son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, (O)of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to (P)the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, (Q)that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no [e]chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields (R)the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Renew Your Spiritual Vitality(S)
12 Therefore (T)strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
14 (U)Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, (V)without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone (W)fall short of the grace of God; lest any (X)root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any (Y)fornicator or [f]profane person like Esau, (Z)who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was (AA)rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
The Glorious Company
18 For you have not come [g]to (AB)the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and [h]darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it (AC)begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: (AD)“And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned [i]or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, (AE)“I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the [j]general assembly and church of (AF)the firstborn (AG)who are registered in heaven, to God (AH)the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men (AI)made perfect, 24 to Jesus (AJ)the Mediator of the new covenant, and to (AK)the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things (AL)than that of Abel.
Hear the Heavenly Voice
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For (AM)if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, (AN)“Yet once more I [k]shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the (AO)removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we [l]may (AP)serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For (AQ)our God is a consuming fire.
- Hebrews 12:2 originator
- Hebrews 12:2 perfecter
- Hebrews 12:5 discipline
- Hebrews 12:7 NU, M It is for discipline that you endure; God
- Hebrews 12:11 discipline
- Hebrews 12:16 godless
- Hebrews 12:18 NU to that which
- Hebrews 12:18 NU gloom
- Hebrews 12:20 NU, M omit the rest of v. 20.
- Hebrews 12:23 festal gathering
- Hebrews 12:26 NU will shake
- Hebrews 12:28 M omits may
Jesus, the Example
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, 2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].(A)
3 Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
A Father’s Discipline
4 You have not yet struggled to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have [c]forgotten the divine word of encouragement which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not make light of the discipline of the Lord,
And do not lose heart and give up when you are corrected by Him;
For the Lord disciplines and corrects those whom He loves,
And He punishes every son whom He receives and welcomes [to His heart].”(B)
7 You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for [d]what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 Now if you are exempt from correction and without discipline, in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate children and not sons [at all]. 9 Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we submitted and respected them [for training us]; shall we not much more willingly submit to the Father of [e]spirits, and live [by learning from His discipline]? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short time as seemed best to them; but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose].
12 So then, strengthen hands that are weak and knees that tremble.(C) 13 Cut through and make smooth, straight paths for your feet [that are safe and go in the right direction], so that the leg which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather may be healed.
14 Continually pursue peace with everyone, and the sanctification without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of God’s grace; that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 and [see to it] that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.(D) 17 For you know that later on, when he wanted [to regain title to] his inheritance of the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance [there was no way to repair what he had done, no chance to recall the choice he had made], even though he sought for it with [bitter] tears.(E)
Contrast of Sinai and Zion
18 For you have not come [as did the Israelites in the wilderness] to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to gloom and darkness and a raging windstorm, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and a sound of words [such that] those who heard it begged that nothing more be said to them.(F) 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a wild animal touches the mountain, it will be stoned [to death].”(G) 21 In fact, so terrifying was the sight, that Moses said, “I am filled with fear and trembling.”(H) 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels [in festive gathering], 23 and to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to God, who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect [bringing them to their final glory], 24 and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant [uniting God and man], and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance].(I)
The Unshaken Kingdom
25 See to it that you do not refuse [to listen to] Him who is speaking [to you now]. For if those [sons of Israel] did not escape when they refused [to listen to] him who warned them on earth [revealing God’s will], how much less will we escape if we turn our backs on Him who warns from heaven?(J) 26 His voice shook the earth [at Mount Sinai] then, but now He has given a promise, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the [starry] heaven.”(K) 27 Now this [expression], “Yet once more,” indicates the removal and final transformation of all those things which can be shaken—that is, of that which has been created—so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.(L) 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, and offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is [indeed] a consuming fire.(M)
- Hebrews 12:1 I.e. the people commended for their faith in ch 11. See 11:2, 39.
- Hebrews 12:2 Sometimes the public shame of the cross is overlooked when one thinks of the pain and agony inflicted by it, but in the Roman Empire crucifixion was a shameful and disgraceful way to die, a form of capital punishment from which Roman citizens were exempt; and in Roman comedy it was used in a curse: “Go to a bad cross!”
- Hebrews 12:5 Or have you forgotten.
- Hebrews 12:7 Or who is a son whom.
- Hebrews 12:9 The meaning seems to be that God is the Father of that which is spiritual as well as that which is physical.
New International Version
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, 2 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) 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary(H) and lose heart.
God Disciplines His Children
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.(I) 5 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,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,(K)
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a](L)
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.(M) For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline(N)—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 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.
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.
King James Version
12 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,
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.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
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:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
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?
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.
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 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
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.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
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;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
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.
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,
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:
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:
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
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,
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,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
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:
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.
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.
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:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.