Hebrews 12:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm;

New Living Translation
You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.

English Standard Version
For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest

New American Standard Bible
For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,

King James Bible
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm,

International Standard Version
You have not come to something that can be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, to gloom,

NET Bible
For you have not come to something that can be touched, to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For you have not approached the fire that burned and was tangible, neither to the darkness and dark fog and the tempest,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You have not come to something that you can feel, to a blazing fire, to darkness, to gloom, to a storm,

Jubilee Bible 2000
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched and that burned with fire nor unto blackness and darkness and tempest

King James 2000 Bible
For you are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

American King James Version
For you are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

American Standard Version
For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

Douay-Rheims Bible
For you are not come to a mountain that might be touched, and a burning fire, and a whirlwind, and darkness, and storm,

Darby Bible Translation
For ye have not come to [the mount] that might be touched and was all on fire, and to obscurity, and darkness, and tempest,

English Revised Version
For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

Webster's Bible Translation
For ye are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, and to darkness, and tempest,

Weymouth New Testament
For you have not come to a material object all ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and storm and trumpet-blast and the sound of words--

World English Bible
For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness, darkness, storm,

Young's Literal Translation
For ye came not near to the mount touched and scorched with fire, and to blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:18-29 Mount Sinai, on which the Jewish church state was formed, was a mount such as might be touched, though forbidden to be so, a place that could be felt; so the Mosaic dispensation was much in outward and earthly things. The gospel state is kind and condescending, suited to our weak frame. Under the gospel all may come with boldness to God's presence. But the most holy must despair, if judged by the holy law given from Sinai, without a Saviour. The gospel church is called Mount Zion; there believers have clearer views of heaven, and more heavenly tempers of soul. All the children of God are heirs, and every one has the privileges of the first-born. Let a soul be supposed to join that glorious assembly and church above, that is yet unacquainted with God, still carnally-minded, loving this present world and state of things, looking back to it with a lingering eye, full of pride and guile, filled with lusts; such a soul would seem to have mistaken its way, place, state, and company. It would be uneasy to itself and all about it. Christ is the Mediator of this new covenant, between God and man, to bring them together in this covenant; to keep them together; to plead with God for us, and to plead with us for God; and at length to bring God and his people together in heaven. This covenant is made firm by the blood of Christ sprinkled upon our consciences, as the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled upon the altar and the victim. This blood of Christ speaks in behalf of sinners; it pleads not for vengeance, but for mercy. See then that you refuse not his gracious call and offered salvation. See that you do not refuse Him who speaketh from heaven, with infinite tenderness and love; for how can those escape, who turn from God in unbelief or apostacy, while he so graciously beseeches them to be reconciled, and to receive his everlasting favour! God's dealing with men under the gospel, in a way of grace, assures us, that he will deal with the despisers of the gospel, in a way of judgment. We cannot worship God acceptably, unless we worship him with reverence and godly fear. Only the grace of God enables us to worship God aright. God is the same just and righteous God under the gospel as under the law. The inheritance of believers is secured to them; and all things pertaining to salvation are freely given in answer to prayer. Let us seek for grace, that we may serve God with reverence and godly fear.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 18-29. - There follows now, both for encouragement and for warning, a grand contrast between the Mosaic and Christian dispensations, founded on the phenomena that accompanied the giving of the Law. To Mount Sinai, with its repelling terrors, is opposed an ideal picture of Mount Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem, expressive of the communion of saints in Christ. And then at ver. 25 (as previously in Hebrews 10.) the tone of encouragement changes again to one of warning, the very excess of privilege being made the measure of the guilt of slighting it. Verse 18. - For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned, with fire, and unto blackness and darkness and tempest. The allusion is to the Israelites approaching Mount Sinai when the Law was given (see Deuteronomy 4:11, whence still more than from Exodus 19. the whole description is taken, "And ye came near [προσήλθετε, the same word as is used supra, Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 7:25], and stood under the mountain"). Though the word "mount" in the Received Text has the support of no ancient authority, it must be understood, whether or not originally written. For it comes after προσήλθετε in the passage of Deuteronomy which is evidently referred to, the following words, "blackness, darkness, tempest" (σκότος γνόφος θύελλα), being also found there. And otherwise we should have to translate, "a touched [i.e. palpable] and kindled fire;" but "touched" (φηλαφωμένῳ) is not suitable to fire; and we should also lose the evidently intended contrast between the two mountains of Sinai and Zion, which appears in ver. 22. Neither may we trans- late, as some would do, "a mountain that might be touched, and kindled fire;" for the original passage in Deuteronomy has "and the mountain burned with fire (καὶ τὸ ὄρος ἐκαίετο πυρὶ)." The participle φηλαφωμένῳ (literally, that was touched), rather than ψηφαλητῷ, may be used here, although on the occasion referred to all were forbidden to touch the mountain, by way of bringing more distinctly into view the actual Sinai, which was touched at other times, and which Moses both touched and ascended. If so, the main purpose of the word is to contrast the local and palpable mountain of the Law with the ideal Mount Zion which is afterwards spoken cf. Or, the verb ψηλαλάω may here carry with it its common sense of groping after, as in the dark (cf. Deuteronomy 28:29, Καὶ ἔση ψηλαφῶν μεσημβρίας ὡσεὶ ψηλαφήσαι ὁ τυφλὸς ἐν τῷ σκότει), with reference to the cloudy darkness about Sinai, and in contrast with the clear unclouded vision of Zion.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched,.... The design of the apostle in the following words is, in general, to engage the Hebrews to adhere closely to the Gospel, from the consideration of the superior excellency of it to the law; and in particular, to enforce his former exhortations to cheerfulness under afflictions; to an upright walk in the ways of God; to follow peace with all men, even with the Gentiles, and holiness both of heart and life; and to value the doctrine of the Gospel; and to take heed that none fail of it, or act unbecoming it: and here the apostle observes, what the believing Hebrews were not come to, being delivered from it, namely, the legal dispensation, which was their privilege; the happiness of which as expressed by a detail of particular circumstances, which attended the giving of the law to the Jews: it was given on a "mount which might be touched"; that is, by God, who descended on it, and by, touching it caused it to smoke, quake, and move, Exodus 19:18. Compare with, Psalm 68:8 for it was not to be touched by the Israelites, nor by their cattle, Exodus 19:12, that is, at the time that the law was given, and Jehovah was upon it, otherwise it might be touched; and the meaning is, that it was an earthly mountain, that might be approached to, and be seen and felt, and not of a spiritual nature, as Sion, or the church of God; and so may be expressive of the carnality of the law, and also of the movableness of it:

and that burned with fire; as Mount Sinai did, Exodus 19:18 Deuteronomy 4:11 which set forth the majesty of God, when upon it, at whose feet went forth burning coals; and also the wrath of God, as an avenging lawgiver and Judge; and the terror of that law, which strikes the minds of the transgressors of it with an expectation of fiery indignation; and so points out the end of such transgressors, which is, to be burnt:

nor unto blackness and darkness; which covered the mount when God was upon it, Exodus 19:16 and which also may express the majesty of God, round about whom are clouds and darkness; and also the horror of the legal dispensation, and the obscurity of it; little being known by the Jews of the spirituality of the law, of the strict justice of God, and of the righteousness which the law requires, and of the end and use of it; and especially of the way of salvation by Christ; and so dark were they at last, as to prefer their own traditions before this law: it is added,

and tempest; there being thunderings and lightnings, which were very terrible, Exodus 19:16 and though there is no express mention made of a tempest by Moses, yet Josephus (d) speaks not only of very terrible thunderings and lightnings, but of violent storms of wind, which produced exceeding great rains: and the Septuagint on Deuteronomy 4:11 use the same words as the apostle does here, "blackness, darkness, and tempest". This also may denote the majesty of God, who was then present; the terror of that dispensation; the horrible curses of the law; and the great confusion and disquietude raised by it in the conscience of a sinner.

(d) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 5. sect. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18. For—The fact that we are not under the law, but under a higher, and that the last dispensation, the Gospel, with its glorious privileges, is the reason why especially the Hebrew Christians should "look diligently," &c. (Heb 12:15, 16).

are not come—Greek, "have not come near to." Alluding to De 4:11, "Ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire … with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness." "In your coming near unto God, it has not been to," &c.

the mount—The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate omit "the mount." But still, "the mount" must be supplied from Heb 12:22.

that might be touched—palpable and material. Not that any save Moses was allowed to touch it (Ex 19:12, 13). The Hebrews drew near to the material Mount Sinai with material bodies; we, to the spiritual mount in the spirit. The "darkness" was that formed by the clouds hanging round the mount; the "tempest" accompanied the thunder.

Hebrews 12:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
Our Kingdom Cannot Be Shaken
18For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.…
Cross References
Exodus 19:12
Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, 'Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death.

Exodus 19:16
On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.

Exodus 19:18
Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.

Exodus 20:18
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance

Deuteronomy 4:11
You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.

Deuteronomy 5:5
(At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:

Deuteronomy 5:22
These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

2 Corinthians 3:7
Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was,

2 Corinthians 3:9
If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!
Treasury of Scripture

For you are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

Exodus 19:12-19 And you shall set bounds to the people round about, saying, Take …

Exodus 20:18 And all the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the noise …

Exodus 24:17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on …

Deuteronomy 4:11 And you came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain …

Deuteronomy 5:22-26 These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly in the mount out …

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the …

Romans 8:15 For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but …

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of …

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