12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, 1 let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which a doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
(1) An applying of the former examples, by which
we ought to be stirred up to run the whole race, casting away all hindrances
(a) For sin besieges us on all sides, so that we
12:2 2 b
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the c
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.
(2) He sets before us, as the mark of this race,
Jesus himself our captain, who willingly overcame all the roughness of the
(b) As it were upon the mark of our faith.
(c) While he had every type of blessedness in his
hand and power, yet suffered willingly the shame of the cross.
12:3 3 For
consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye
be wearied and faint in your minds.
(3) An amplification, taken from the circumstance
of the person and the things themselves, which he compares between themselves:
for how great is Jesus in comparison of us, and how far more grievous things
did he suffer than we?
12:4 4 Ye
have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
(4) He takes an argument from the profit which
comes to us by God's chastisements, unless we are at fault. First of all
because sin, or that rebellious wickedness of our flesh, is by this means
12:5 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:
(5) Secondly, because they are testimonies of his
fatherly good will towards us, in that they show themselves to be
illegitimate, if they cannot abide to be chastened by God.
6 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?
(6) Thirdly, if all men yield this right to
fathers, to whom next after God we owe this life, that they may rightfully
correct their children, shall we not be much more subject to our Father, who
is the author of spiritual and everlasting life?
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.
(7) An amplification of the same argument: Those
fathers have corrected us after their fancy, for some frail and temporary
good: but God chastens and instructs us for our singular good to make us
partakers of his holiness: which although our senses do not presently perceive
it, yet the end of the matter proves it.
Wherefore lift up the hands which d hang
down, and the feeble knees;
(8) The conclusion: we must go forward
courageously and keep always a right course and (as far forth as we may)
without any staggering or stumbling.
(d) The description of a man that is out of heart
and completely discouraged.
12:13 And make e
straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way;
but let it rather be healed.
(e) Keep a right course, and so, that you show
examples of good life for others to follow.
Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the
(9) We must live in peace and holiness with all
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any f
root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;
(10) We must study to edify one another both in
doctrine and example of life.
(f) That no heresy, or backsliding be an offence.
Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel
of meat sold his birthright.
(11) We must shun immorality, and a profane mind,
that is, such a mind as does not give God his due honour, which wickedness,
how severely God will at length punish, the horrible example of Esau teaches
12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he
would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no g
place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
(g) There was no room left for his repentance:
and it appears by the effects, what his repentance really was, for when he
left his father's presence, he threatened to kill his brother.
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be h
touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and
(12) Now he applies the same exhortation to the
prophetic and kingly office of Christ compared with Moses, after this sort. If
the majesty of the law was so great, how great do you think the glory of
Christ and the gospel is? This comparison he declares also particularly.
(h) Which might be touched with hands, which was
of a gross and earthly matter.
And so terrible was the i sight, [that]
Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
(i) The shape and form which he saw, which was no
counterfeit and forged shape, but a true one.
12:23 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 k
(k) So he calls them that are taken up to heaven,
although one part of them sleeps in the earth.
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:
(13) The applying of the former comparison: If it
were not lawful to condemn his word which was spoken on the earth, how much
less his voice which is from heaven?
Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, l
Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
(14) He compares the steadfast majesty of the
gospel, with which the whole world was shaken, and even the very frame of
heaven was astonished, with the small and vanishing sound of the governance by
(l) It appears evidently in this that the prophet
speaks of the calling of the Gentiles, that these words must refer to the
kingdom of Christ.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace,
whereby we may serve God acceptably with m
reverence and godly n fear:
(15) A general exhortation to live reverently and
religiously under the most happy subjection of so mighty a King, who as he
blesses his most mightily, so does he most severely revenge the rebellious.
This is the sum of a Christian life, respecting the first table of the law.
(m) By reverence is meant that honest modesty
which keeps them in their duties.
(n) Religious and godly fear.