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Hebrews 12:1-2

Context
The Lord’s Discipline

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 1  we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 12:2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 2 

Hebrews 12:12-16

Context
12:12 Therefore, strengthen 3  your listless hands and your weak knees, 4  12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, 5  so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.

Do Not Reject God’s Warning

12:14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, 6  for without it no one will see the Lord. 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no one be like a bitter root springing up 7  and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled. 12:16 And see to it that no one becomes 8  an immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 9 

Hebrews 12:25-28

Context

12:25 Take care not to refuse the one who is speaking! For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less shall we, if we reject the one who warns from heaven? 12:26 Then his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven too.” 10  12:27 Now this phrase “once more” indicates the removal of what is shaken, that is, of created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. 12:28 So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe.

1 tn Grk “having such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.”

2 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1.

3 tn Or “straighten.”

4 sn A quotation from Isa 35:3. Strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees refers to the readers’ need for renewed resolve and fresh strength in their struggles (cf. Heb 10:36-39; 12:1-3).

5 sn A quotation from Prov 4:26. The phrase make straight paths for your feet is figurative for “stay on God’s paths.”

6 sn The references to peace and holiness show the close connection between this paragraph and the previous one. The pathway toward “holiness” and the need for it is cited in Heb 12:10 and 14. More importantly Prov 4:26-27 sets up the transition from one paragraph to the next: It urges people to stay on godly paths (Prov 4:26, quoted here in v. 13) and promises that God will lead them in peace if they do so (Prov 4:27 [LXX], quoted in v. 14).

7 tn Grk “that there not be any root of bitterness,” but referring figuratively to a person who causes trouble (as in Deut 29:17 [LXX] from which this is quoted).

sn An allusion to Deut 29:18.

8 tn Grk “that there not be any,” continuing from v. 15.

9 sn An allusion to Gen 27:34-41.

10 sn A quotation from Hag 2:6.



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