Hebrews 12:15
Parallel Verses
New International Version
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

New Living Translation
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

English Standard Version
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

New American Standard Bible
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

King James Bible
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.

International Standard Version
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up and causes you trouble, or many of you will become defiled.

NET Bible
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no one be like a bitter root springing up and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And be watchful, lest anyone among you be found lacking the grace of God, or lest the root of bitterness produce vines and harm you, and many be defiled by it,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Make sure that everyone has kindness from God so that bitterness doesn't take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
looking diligently that no one deviate from the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up impede you, and thereby many be defiled,

King James 2000 Bible
Looking diligently lest any man fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

American King James Version
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

American Standard Version
looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you , and thereby the many be defiled;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Looking diligently, lest any man be wanting to the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up do hinder, and by it many be defiled.

Darby Bible Translation
watching lest [there be] any one who lacks the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and many be defiled by it;

English Revised Version
looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled;

Webster's Bible Translation
Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up, trouble you, and by it many be defiled;

Weymouth New Testament
Be carefully on your guard lest there be any one who falls back from the grace of God; lest any root bearing bitter fruit spring up and cause trouble among you, and through it the whole brotherhood be defiled;

World English Bible
looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it;

Young's Literal Translation
looking diligently over lest any one be failing of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up may give trouble, and through this many may be defiled;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:12-17 A burden of affliction is apt to make the Christian's hands hang down, and his knees grow feeble, to dispirit him and discourage him; but against this he must strive, that he may better run his spiritual race and course. Faith and patience enable believers to follow peace and holiness, as a man follows his calling constantly, diligently, and with pleasure. Peace with men, of all sects and parties, will be favourable to our pursuit of holiness. But peace and holiness go together; there can be not right peace without holiness. Where persons fail of having the true grace of God, corruption will prevail and break forth; beware lest any unmortified lust in the heart, which seems to be dead, should spring up, to trouble and disturb the whole body. Falling away from Christ is the fruit of preferring the delights of the flesh, to the blessing of God, and the heavenly inheritance, as Esau did. But sinners will not always have such mean thoughts of the Divine blessing and inheritance as they now have. It agrees with the profane man's disposition, to desire the blessing, yet to despise the means whereby the blessing is to be gained. But God will neither sever the means from the blessing, nor join the blessing with the satisfying of man's lusts. God's mercy and blessing were never sought carefully and not obtained.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 15. - Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God (i.e. fall short of it; or, ὑστερῶν being here followed by ἀπὸ, the idea may be rather that of falling back from it); lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many (or, according to the more probable reading, the many, i.e. the general community) be defiled. In this, the usual rendering of the verse, is supplied, so as to make μήτις ὑστερῶν mean "lest there be any one that fails." But this is not necessary; the verb ἐνοχλῇ ("trouble you") may be common both to the first μήτις and to μήτις ῤίζα, thus: "Lest any one failing... lest any root... trouble you." The sentence may have been broken off after its first clause in order to bring in the appropriate quotation from Deuteronomy 29:18, which in our A.V. runs thus: "Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood." The Vatican text of the LXX. has Μήτις ἐστὶν ἐν ὑμῖν ῤίζα ἄνω φύουσα ἐν χολῇ καὶ πικρίᾳ: the Alexandrian, which seems to be followed here, has Μήτις ἐστὶν ἐν ὑμῖν δίζα πικοίας ἄνω φύουσα ἐκογλῆ καὶ πικρίᾳ. The reference in the speech of Moses is to the future possibility of any "man, or we man, or family, or tribe" turning from the LORD to go and serve the gods of the nations, and so involving, not only themselves, but even the whole people in a curse. The figure is that of a plant being allowed to grow of such a nature at its root as to bear bitter and pernicious fruit. There is no special allusion in the word "bitterness" to disturbance of "peace" by dissensions; for this is not the idea in the original passage, nor is it carried out in the following verses of the Epistle. (Cf. Acts 8:23, "Thou art in the gall of bitterness (εἰς χολὴν πικρίας)")

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Looking diligently,.... Acting the part of bishops, or overseers, as the word signifies; and so this exhortation either respects officers of the church of the Hebrews, whose business it was more especially to inspect into the principles and practices of the members of it, and take care that they did not imbibe false doctrines, or live immoral lives; or rather the several members of the church, whose business it is to watch over one another, since this epistle seems to be written to the whole church.

Lest any man fail of the grace of God; not the free favour and love of God in Christ, which is everlasting, unchangeable, and from whence there is no separation; nor the grace of God implanted in the heart in regeneration, which is incorruptible, never failing, but always remains, as do faith, hope, and love; but either the whole doctrine of the Gospel, which is a declaration of the grace of God; or particularly the doctrine of free justification by the righteousness of Christ, which men may receive in vain, and fall from, 2 Corinthians 6:1 to which these Hebrews might be prone: and such "fail" of it, who either come short of it, do not come up to it, receive and embrace it; or who having professed it, drop it and deny it: now such should be looked after, and such a case should be diligently looked into; because the glory of God, the honour of Christ, the good of souls, and the well being, and even the continuance of the church state are concerned:

lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; the Alexandrian copy reads , "the many", the common people, the private members of the church; though it may intend either things or persons: it may design things; and these either the corruption of nature in general, which is a root that lies hidden in a man's heart; and is a root or gall of bitterness; and is apt to spring up, and bring forth bitter fruit, and gives trouble both to a man's self and others; and is of a defiling nature, in particular sins; such as malice, strife, and contention, covetousness, lust, pride, oppression, idleness, &c. which make bitter work, and occasion great trouble in churches, oftentimes: or errors and heresies, which sometimes, like roots, lie under ground, secret and undiscovered; and are bitter ones in their effects, bringing ruin and swift destruction on the souls of men; and these sometimes spring up in churches, while ministers and members are asleep, or not so diligent and watchful as they should be; and occasion great trouble, and are very infectious, and defiling: moreover, persons may be designed; which agrees well with Deuteronomy 29:18 from whence this phrase is taken; and with the instance in the following verse, such as all immoral persons, and false teachers, particularly self-justiciaries, that preach the doctrine of justification by the works of the law: this was the capital mistake, and rooted error of the Jewish nation; and a bitter one it was; it produced many bitter fruits of pride and vain glory; and this sprung up in the church, and troubled and defiled many there and elsewhere, being spread by the abettors of it; see Acts 15:24. Now, care should be taken, that no such person be in churches, holding such an error; because of the glory of God, Father, Son, and Spirit; the comfort of souls; the peace of the church, and the growth and increase of it, which must be hurt by such men and doctrines; so , "a sinful root", is used for a "wicked man", in the Apocrypha:

"In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us: for since we departed from them we have had much sorrow.'' (1 Maccabees 1:11)

and , "a root of bitterness", signifies, in Jewish writings (u), an error, or heresy, in opposition to a root of faith, or a fundamental doctrine.

(u) Cosri, Orat. 1. fol. 35. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

15. lest any … fall—Greek, "lest any (namely, through sloth in running) failing," or "falling short of the grace of God … trouble you." The image is taken from a company of travellers, one of whom lags behind, and so never reaches the end of the long and laborious journey [Chrysostom].

root of bitterness—not merely a "bitter root," which might possibly bring forth sweet fruits; this, a root whose essence is "bitterness," never could. Paul here refers to De 29:18, "Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood" (compare Ac 8:23). Root of bitterness comprehends every person (compare Heb 12:16) and every principle of doctrine or practice so radically corrupt as to spread corruption all around. The only safety is in rooting out such a root of bitterness.

many—rather, "the many," that is, the whole congregation. So long as it is hidden under the earth it cannot be remedied, but when it "springs up," it must be dealt with boldly. Still remember the caution (Mt 13:26-30) as to rooting out persons. No such danger can arise in rooting out bad principles.

Hebrews 12:15 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Call to Holiness
14Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 29:18
Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

2 Corinthians 6:1
As God's co-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.

Galatians 5:4
You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Titus 1:15
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.

Hebrews 4:1
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
Treasury of Scripture

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Looking.

Hebrews 2:1,2 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which …

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of …

Hebrews 4:1,11 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering …

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to …

Hebrews 10:23-35 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for …

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you …

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives …

1 Corinthians 10:12 Why let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you …

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. …

2 Peter 1:10 Why the rather, brothers, give diligence to make your calling and …

2 Peter 3:11,14 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner …

2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have worked, …

Jude 1:20,21 But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, …

any man.

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you …

1 Corinthians 13:8 Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall …

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified …

fail of. or, fall from.

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified …

any root.

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of …

Deuteronomy 29:18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, …

Deuteronomy 32:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: …

Isaiah 5:4,7 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done …

Jeremiah 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then …

Matthew 7:16-18 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, …

trouble.

Joshua 6:18 And you, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest …

Joshua 7:25,26 And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? the LORD shall trouble …

Joshua 22:17-20 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not …

Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not …

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, …

and thereby.

Exodus 32:21 And Moses said to Aaron, What did this people to you, that you have …

1 Kings 14:16 And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who …

Acts 20:30,31 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, …

1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens …

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Galatians 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; so that Barnabas …

2 Timothy 2:16,17 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase to more …

2 Peter 2:1,2,18 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there …

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