Hebrews 12:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling."

King James Bible
And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

Darby Bible Translation
and, so fearful was the sight, Moses said, I am exceedingly afraid and full of trembling;)

World English Bible
and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, "I am terrified and trembling."

Young's Literal Translation
and, (so terrible was the sight,) Moses said, 'I am fearful exceedingly, and trembling.'

Hebrews 12:21 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said ... - This is not recorded in the account of the giving of the Law in Exodus, and it has been made a question on what authority the apostle made this declaration respecting Moses. In Deuteronomy 9:19, Moses indeed says, of himself, after he had come down from the mountain, and had broken the two tables of stone that were in his hand, that he was greatly afraid of the anger of the Lord on account of the sin of the people. "I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure wherewith the Lord was wroth against you to destroy you;" and it has been supposed by many that this is the passage to which the apostle here alludes. But it is very evident that was spoken on a different occasion from the one which is referred to in the passage before us. That was after the Law was promulgated, and Moses had descended from the mount; and it was not said in view of the terrors of the scene when the Law was given, but of the apprehension of the wrath of God against the people for their sin in making the golden calf.

I know not how to explain this, except by the supposition that the apostle here refers to some tradition that the scene produced this effect on his mind. In itself it is not improbable that Moses thus trembled with alarm (compare Exodus 19:16), nor that the remembrance of it should have been handed down among the numerous traditions which the Jews transmitted from age to age. There must have been many things that occurred in their journey through the wilderness which are not recorded in the Books of Moses. Many of them would be preserved naturally in the memory of the people, and transmitted to their posterity; and though those truths might become intermingled with much that was fabulous, yet it is not irrational to suppose that an inspired writer may have adduced pertinent and true examples from these traditions of what actually occurred. It was one method of preserving "the truth," thus to select such instances of what actually took place from the mass of traditions which were destined to perish, at would be useful in future times. The circumstance here mentioned was greatly suited to increase the impression of the sublimity and fearfulness of the scene. Moses was accustomed to commune with God. He had met him at the "bush," and had been addressed by him face to face, and yet so awful were the scenes at Horeb that even he could not bear it with composure. What may we then suppose to have been the alarm of the body of the people, when the mind of the great leader himself was thus overpowered!

Hebrews 12:21 Parallel Commentaries

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

Hebrews 12:20
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