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Hebrews 12:18-21

12:18 For you have not come to something that can be touched, 1  to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind 12:19 and the blast of a trumpet and a voice uttering words 2  such that those who heard begged to hear no more. 3  12:20 For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 4  12:21 In fact, the scene 5  was so terrifying that Moses said, “I shudder with fear.” 6 

1 tn This describes the nation of Israel approaching God on Mt. Sinai (Exod 19). There is a clear contrast with the reference to Mount Zion in v. 22, so this could be translated “a mountain that can be touched.” But the word “mountain” does not occur here and the more vague description seems to be deliberate.

2 tn Grk “a voice of words.”

3 tn Grk “a voice…from which those who heard begged that a word not be added to them.”

4 sn A quotation from Exod 19:12-13.

5 tn Grk “that which appeared.”

6 tn Grk “I am terrified and trembling.”

sn A quotation from Deut 9:19.

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