Hebrews 12:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death."

King James Bible
(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

Darby Bible Translation
(for they were not able to bear what was enjoined: And if a beast should touch the mountain, it shall be stoned;

World English Bible
for they could not stand that which was commanded, "If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned;"

Young's Literal Translation
for they were not bearing that which is commanded, 'And if a beast may touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or with an arrow shot through,'

Hebrews 12:20 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched - I believe the words ψηλαφωμενῳ ορει should be translated to a palpable or material mountain; for that it was not a mountain that on this occasion might be touched, the history, Exodus 19:12, Exodus 19:13, shows; and the apostle himself, in Hebrews 12:20, confirms. It is called here a palpable or material mount, to distinguish it from that spiritual mount Sion, of which the apostle is speaking. Some contend that it should be translated tacto de caelo, thunder-struck; this sense would agree well enough with the scope of the place. The apostle's design is to show that the dispensation of the law engendered terror; that it was most awful and exclusive; that it belonged only to the Jewish people; and that, even to them, it was so terrible that they could not endure that which was commanded, and entreated that God would not communicate with them in his own person, but by the ministry of Moses: and even to Moses, who held the highest intimacy with Jehovah, the revealed glories, the burning fire, the blackness, the darkness, the tempest, the loud-sounding trumpet, and the voice of words, were so terrible that he said, I exceedingly fear and tremble.

These were the things which were exhibited on that material mountain; but the Gospel dispensation is one grand, copious, and interesting display of the infinite love of God. It is all encouragement; breathes nothing but mercy; is not an exclusive system; embraces the whole human race; has Jesus, the sinner's friend, for its mediator; is ratified by his blood; and is suited, most gloriously suited, to all the wants and wishes of every soul of man.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For they.

Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir to them; he shined forth from mount Paran...

Romans 3:19,20 Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped...

Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written...

if so much.

Exodus 19:13,16 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live...

Library
Shaking of Heaven and Earth. December 22.
"Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but heaven" (Hebrews xii. 26- 29). This is one of the royal texts of Scripture. It declares one of those great laws of the kingdom of God which may fulfil itself once and again at many eras and by many methods; which fulfilled itself most gloriously in the first century after Christ; again in the fifth century; again at the time of the Crusades; and again at the great Reformation in the sixteenth century,--and is fulfilling itself again at this very day.
Charles Kingsley—Daily Thoughts,

March 26. "Jesus, the Author and Finisher of Our Faith" (Heb. xii. 2).
"Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. xii. 2). Add to your faith--do not add to yourself. This is where we make the mistake. We must not only enter by faith, but we must advance by faith each step of the way. At every new stage we shall find ourselves as incompetent and unequal for the pressure as before, and we must take the grace and the victory simply by faith. Is it courage? We shall find ourselves lacking in the needed courage; we must claim it by faith. Is it love? Our own love
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Voice of the Blood of Christ
Now, we have in our text "blood" mentioned--two-fold blood. We have the blood of murdered Abel, and the blood of murdered Jesus. We have also two things in the text:--a comparison between the blood of sprinkling, and the blood of Abel; and then a certain condition mentioned. Rather, if we read the whole verse in order to get its meaning, we find that the righteous are spoken of as coming to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel; so that the condition which will
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

The Shameful Sufferer
"O love, thou fathomless abyss!" for this love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless. None of us can attain unto it. In speaking thereof we feel our own weakness, we cast ourselves upon the strength of the Spirit, but, even then, we feel that we can never attain unto the majesty of this subject. Before we can ever get a right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand his previous glory in its height of majesty, and his incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame. Now, who can
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

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 19:13
They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.' Only when the ram's horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain."

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