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 and impediments.
(a) For sin besieges us on all sides, so that we cannot
12:22b 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 same way.
(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.
12:33 For consider him that endured such contradiction of
sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in
(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?
12:44 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against
(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 tamed.
12:55 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
(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.
12:96 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,
(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
12:107 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.
12:128 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
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
(e) Keep a right course, and so, that you show examples of
good life for others to follow.
12:149 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without
which no man shall see the Lord:
(9) We must live in peace and holiness with all men.
12:1510 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.
12:1611 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 us.
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
(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.
12:1812 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be h
touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness,
and darkness, and tempest,
(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.
12:21 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 perfect,
(k) So he calls them that are taken up to heaven, although
one part of them sleeps in the earth.
12:2513 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?
12:2614 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 the law.
(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.
12:2815 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.