Hebrews 12:10
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they indeed for a few days, according to their own pleasure, instructed us: but he, for our profit, that we might receive his sanctification.

English Revised Version
For they verily for a few days chastened us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
It is true that they disciplined us for a few years according as they thought fit; but He does it for our certain good, in order that we may become sharers in His own holy character.

Hebrews 12:10 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Much difficulty and confusion have attached to the interpretation of this verse, growing out of: (a) the relations of the several clauses; (b) the meaning of for a few days, and how much is covered by it. The difficulties have been aggravated by the determination of commentators to treat the verse by itself, confining the relation of its clauses within its own limits, attempting to throw them into pairs, in which attempt none of them have succeeded, and entirely overlooking relations to the preceding verse.

For a few days (πρὸς ὀλίγας ἡμέρας)

This clause is directly related to be in subjection to the father of spirits and live, and points a contrast. On the one hand, subjection to the Father of spirits, the source of all life, has an eternal significance. Subjection to his fatherly discipline means, not only the everlasting life of the future, but present life, eternal in quality, developed even while the discipline is in progress. Subjection to the Father of spirits and life go together. On the other hand, the discipline of the human father is brief in duration, and its significance is confined to the present life. In other words, the offset to for a few days is in Hebrews 12:9. To read for a few days into the two latter clauses of the verse which describes the heavenly discipline, and to say that both the chastening of the earthly and of the heavenly father are of brief duration, is to introduce abruptly into a sharp contrast between the two disciplines a point of resemblance. The dominant idea in πρὸς is not mere duration, but duration as related to significance: that is to say, "for a few days" means, during just that space of time in which the chastisement had force and meaning. See, for instances, Luke 8:13; John 5:35; 1 Thessalonians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 7:8. The few days can scarcely refer to the whole lifetime, since, even from the ancient point of view of the continuance of parental authority, parental discipline is not applied throughout the lifetime. It signifies rather the brief period of childhood and youth.

After their own pleasure (κατὰ τὸ δοκοῦν αὐτοῖς)

Better, as seemed good to them. The αὐτοῖς has a slightly emphatic force, as contrasted with a higher intelligence. The thought links itself with παιδευτὰς in Hebrews 12:9, and is explained by as seemed good to them, and is placed in contrast with subjection to the Father of spirits. The human parents were shortsighted, fallible, sometimes moved by passion rather than by sound judgment, and, therefore, often mistaken in their disciplinary methods. What seemed good to them was not always best for us. No such possibility of error attaches to the Father of spirits.

But he for our profit (ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὸ συμφέρον)

The contrast is with what is implied in as seemed good to them. The human parent may not have dealt with us to our profit. Συμφέρειν means to bring together: to collect or contribute in order to help: hence, to help or be profitable. Often impersonally, συμφέρει it is expedient, as Matthew 5:29; Matthew 18:6; John 11:50. The neuter participle, as here, advantage, profit, 1 Corinthians 12:7; 2 Corinthians 12:1. There is a backward reference to live, Hebrews 12:9, the result of subjection to the Father of spirits; and this is expanded and defined in the final clause, namely:

That we might be partakers of his holiness (εἰς το μεταλαβεῖν τῆς ἁγιότητος αὐτοῦ)

Lit. unto the partaking of his holiness. Ἑις marks the final purpose of chastening. Holiness is life. Shall we not be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For, in contrast with the temporary, faultful chastening of the human parent, which, at best, prepares for work and success in time and in worldly things, his chastening results in holiness and eternal life.

Hebrews 12:10 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

after their own pleasure. or, as seemed good, or meet, to them. but he. See on.

Hebrews 12:5,6 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to children, My son, despise not you the chastening of the Lord...

partakers.

Leviticus 11:44,45 For I am the LORD your God: you shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy...

Leviticus 19:2 Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you...

Ephesians 4:24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Ephesians 5:26,27 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word...

Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and unreproveable in his sight:

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1 Peter 1:15,16 But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation...

1 Peter 2:5,9 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices...

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature...

Cross References
Psalm 119:75
I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

Lamentations 3:33
for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.

Hebrews 12:14
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

2 Peter 1:4
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

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