Hebrews 12:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

King James Bible
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Darby Bible Translation
the universal gathering; and to the assembly of the firstborn who are registered in heaven; and to God, judge of all; and to the spirits of just men made perfect;

World English Bible
to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Young's Literal Translation
to the company and assembly of the first-born in heaven enrolled, and to God the judge of all, and to spirits of righteous men made perfect,

Hebrews 12:23 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

To the general assembly - see the notes on Hebrews 12:22.

And church of the first-born - That is, you are united with the church of the first-born. They who were first-born among the Hebrews enjoyed special privileges, and especially pre-eminence of rank; see the notes on Colossians 1:15. The reference here is, evidently, to those saints who had been distinguished for their piety, and who may be supposed to be exalted to special honors in heaven - such as the patriarchs, prophets, martyrs. The meaning is, that by becoming Christians, we have become in fact identified with that happy and honored church, and that this is a powerful motive to induce us to persevere. It is a consideration which should make us adhere to our religion amidst all temptations and persecutions, that we are identified with the most eminently holy men who have lived, and that we are to share their honors and their joys. The Christian is united in feeling, in honor, and in destiny, with the excellent of all the earth, and of all times. He should feel it, therefore, an honor to be a Christian; he should yield to no temptation which would induce him to part from so goodly a fellowship.

Which are written in heaven - Margin, enrolled. The word here was employed by the Greeks to denote that one was enrolled as a citizen, or entitled to the privileges of citizenship. Here it means that the names of the persons referred to were registered or enrolled among the inhabitants of the heavenly world; see the notes, Luke 10:20.

And to God the Judge of all - God, who will pronounce the final sentence on all mankind. The object of the reference here to God as judge does not appear to be to contrast the condition of Christians with that of the Jews, as is the case in some of the circumstances alluded to, but to bring impressively before their minds the fact that they sustained a especially near relation to him from whom all were to receive their final allotment. As the destiny of all depended on him, they should be careful not to provoke his wrath. The design of the apostle seems to be to give a rapid glance of what there was in heaven, as disclosed by the eye of faith to the Christian, which should operate as a motive to induce him to persevere in his Christian course. The thought that seems to have struck his mind in regard to God was, that he would do right to all. They had, therefore, everything to fear if they revolted from him; they had everything to hope if they bore their trials with patience, and persevered to the end.

And to the spirits of just men made perfect - Not only to the more eminent saints - the "church of the firstborn" - but to "all" who were made perfect in heaven. They were not only united with the imperfect Christians on earth, but with those who have become completely delivered from sin, and admitted to the world of glory. This is a consideration which ought to influence the minds of all believers. They are even now united with "all" the redeemed in heaven. They should so live as not to be separated from them in the final day. Most Christians have among the redeemed already not a few of their most tenderly beloved friends. A father may be there; a mother, a sister, a smiling babe. It should be a powerful motive with us so to live as to be prepared to be reunited with them in heaven.

Hebrews 12:23 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
Genesis 18:25
"Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?"

Exodus 4:22
"Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My firstborn.

Psalm 50:6
And the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is judge. Selah.

Psalm 69:28
May they be blotted out of the book of life And may they not be recorded with the righteous.

Psalm 94:2
Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.

Luke 10:20
"Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."

Hebrews 2:12
saying, "I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE."

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