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Hebrews 12:1-13

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  12:3 Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. 12:4 You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed 3  in your struggle against sin. 12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons?

My son, do not scorn 4  the Lord’s discipline

or give up when he corrects 5  you.

12:6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts. 6 

12:7 Endure your suffering 7  as discipline; 8  God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 12:8 But if you do not experience discipline, 9  something all sons 10  have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. 12:9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from 11  our earthly fathers 12  and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? 13  12:10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness. 12:11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. 14  But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness 15  for those trained by it. 12:12 Therefore, strengthen 16  your listless hands and your weak knees, 17  12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, 18  so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.

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

2 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1.

3 tn Grk “until blood.”

4 tn Or “disregard,” “think little of.”

5 tn Or “reproves,” “rebukes.” The Greek verb ἐλέγχω (elencw) implies exposing someone’s sin in order to bring correction.

6 sn A quotation from Prov 3:11-12.

7 tn Grk “endure,” with the object (“your suffering”) understood from the context.

8 tn Or “in order to become disciplined.”

9 tn Grk “you are without discipline.”

10 tn Grk “all”; “sons” is implied by the context.

11 tn Grk “we had our earthly fathers as discipliners.”

12 tn Grk “the fathers of our flesh.” In Hebrews, “flesh” is a characteristic way of speaking about outward, physical, earthly life (cf. Heb 5:7; 9:10, 13), as opposed to the inward or spiritual dimensions of life.

13 tn Grk “and live.”

sn Submit ourselves…to the Father of spirits and receive life. This idea is drawn from Proverbs, where the Lord’s discipline brings life, while resistance to it leads to death (cf. Prov 4:13; 6:23; 10:17; 16:17).

14 tn Grk “all discipline at the time does not seem to be of joy, but of sorrow.”

15 tn Grk “the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

16 tn Or “straighten.”

17 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).

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



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