Hebrews 12:18
Parallel Verses
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,

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,

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,

Hebrews 12:18 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For ye are not come - To enforce the considerations already urged, the apostle introduces this sublime comparison between the old and new dispensations; Hebrews 12:18-24. The object, in accordance with the principal scope of the Epistle, is, to guard them against apostasy. To do this, he shows that under the new dispensation there was much more to hind them to fidelity, and to make apostasy dangerous, than there was under the old. The main point of the comparison is, that under the Jewish dispensation, everything was adapted to awe the mind, and to restrain by the exhibition of grandeur and of power; but that under the Christian dispensation, while there was as much that was sublime, there was much more that was adapted to win and hold the affections. There were revelations of higher truths. There were more affecting motives to lead to obedience. There was that of which the former was but the type and emblem. There was the clear revelation of the glories of heaven, and of the blessed society there, all adapted to prompt to the earnest desire that they might be our own. The considerations presented in this passage constitute the climax of the argument so beautifully pursued through this Epistle, showing that the Christian system was far superior in every respect to the Jewish. In presenting this closing argument, the apostle first refers to some of the circumstances attending the former dispensation which were designed to keep the people of God from apostasy, and then the considerations of superior weight existing under the Christian economy.

The mount that might be touched - Mount Sinai. The meaning here is, that "that mountain was palpable, material, touchable" - in contradistinction from the Mount Zion to which the church had now come, which is above the reach of the external senses; Hebrews 12:22. The apostle does not mean that it was permitted to the Israelites to touch Mount Sinai - for this was strictly forbidden, Exodus 19:12; but he evidently alludes to that prohibition, and means to say that a command forbidding them to "touch" the mountain, implied that it was a material or palpable object. The sense of the passage is, that every circumstance that occurred there was suited to fill the soul with terror. Everything accompanying the giving of the Law, the setting of bounds around the mountain which they might not pass, and the darkness and tempest on the mountain itself, was adopted to overawe the soul. The phrase "the touchable mountain" - if such a phrase is proper - would express the meaning of the apostle here. The "Mount Zion" to which the church now has come, is of a different character. It is not thus visible and palpable. It is not enveloped in smoke and flame, and the thunders of the Almighty do not roll and re-echo among its lofty peaks as at Horeb; yet it presents "stronger" motives to perseverance in the service of God.

And that burned with fire - Exodus 19:18; compare Deuteronomy 4:11; Deuteronomy 33:2.

Nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest - see Exodus 19:16.

Hebrews 12:18 Parallel Commentaries

Library
December 2. "Looking Diligently Lest any Man Fail" (Heb. xii. 15).
"Looking diligently lest any man fail" (Heb. xii. 15). It is not losing all, but coming short we are to fear. We may not lose our souls, but we may lose something more precious than life--His full approval, His highest choice, and our incorruptible and star-gemmed crown. It is the one degree more that counts, and makes all the difference between hot water--powerless in the boiler--and steam--all alive with power, and bearing its precious freight across the continent. I want, in this short life of
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Note F. Note from Bengel on Rom. I. 4.
According to the Spirit of Holiness. The word hagios, holy, when God is spoken of, not only denotes the blameless rectitude in action, but the very Godhead, or to speak more properly, the divinity, or excellence of the Divine nature. Hence hagiosune (the word here used) has a kind of middle sense between hagiotes, holiness, and hagiasmos, sanctification. Comp. Heb. xii. 10 (hagiotes or holiness), v. 14 (hagiasmos or sanctification). So that there are, as it were, three degrees: sanctification,
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

Fourteenth Day. Endurance in Contradiction.
"Who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself."-- Heb. xii. 3. What endurance was this! Perfect truth in the midst of error; perfect love in the midst of ingratitude and coldness; perfect rectitude in the midst of perjury, violence, fraud; perfect constancy in the midst of contumely and desertion; perfect innocence, confronting every debased form of depravity and guilt; perfect patience, encountering every species of gross provocation--"oppressed and afflicted, He opened not His mouth!"
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

"But it is Good for Me to Draw Near to God: I have Put My Trust in the Lord God, that I May Declare all Thy
Psal. lxxiii. 28.--"But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works." After man's first transgression, he was shut out from the tree of life, and cast out of the garden, by which was signified his seclusion and sequestration from the presence of God, and communion with him: and this was in a manner the extermination of all mankind in one, when Adam was driven out of paradise. Now, this had been an eternal separation for any thing that
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Exodus 19:12
"You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, 'Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 19:16
So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

Exodus 19:18
Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.

Exodus 20:18
All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.

Deuteronomy 4:11
"You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom.

Deuteronomy 5:5
while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said,

Deuteronomy 5:22
"These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.

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