12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, the city 1 of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly 12:23 and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator 2 of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does. 3
1 tn Grk “and the city”; the conjunction is omitted in translation since it seems to be functioning epexegetically – that is, explaining further what is meant by “Mount Zion.”
2 tn The Greek word μεσίτης (mesith", “mediator”) in this context does not imply that Jesus was a mediator in the contemporary sense of the word, i.e., he worked for compromise between opposing parties. Here the term describes his function as the one who was used by God to enact a new covenant which established a new relationship between God and his people, but entirely on God’s terms.
3 sn Abel’s shed blood cried out to the Lord for justice and judgment, but Jesus’ blood speaks of redemption and forgiveness, something better than Abel’s does (Gen 4:10; Heb 9:11-14; 11:4).